Monday, September 29, 2008

The “Enron Culture” Infects Government

(Our Morally Bankrupt World)

Today, all is woe in Liberal-land. Today's "shocking, upset vote" is a major failure on the part of Nancy Pelosi who took this Bill to a vote without knowing if she had the requisite number of votes. Obviously, she didn't.

The huge bailout plan that, in their minds would’ve ratified “An end to the Supply-Side market-based era and a return to more government oversight and control,” seems to have run aground on the shoals of Conservatism.

The huge bailout Bill went down to defeat in the House of Representatives, as 95 Democrats (over 40% of the Democrats) and 133 Republicans voted against the measure.

Nancy Pelosi is outraged.

Harry Reid is outraged.

Barney Frank is outraged.

Reportedly constituents flooded Congressional offices 100 to 1 against the measure.

If your Legislator didn’t vote in accordance with the wishes of his constituents, you might want to re-consider your vote next time.

As some have noted, and as usual, there is LOTS of blame to go around.

That said, to their credit BOTH G W Bush and John McCain fought to rein in BOTH Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac in 2003 and AGAIN in 2005, both times to have been both “outmanned and overwhelmed by lobbyists” according to Richard Baker of La.

It appears that some Wall Streeters even KNEW of the toxic nature of the bad debt that Fannie and Freddie were packaging as “government-backed mortgage securities” and laughed, “Let’s hope we’re all wealthy and retired before this all blows up.”


BUT not nearly as shameful and SHAMELESS as government bureaucrats, like Jim Johnson, Franklin Raines and others basically mandating malfeasance at Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. This just shows the utter moral bankruptcy of our age, an age in which most people are unable to forego putting personal gain over what's right.

Some have argued, “Look, we’ve got to take care of the poor one way or the other. We could continue to let them languish in Trailer Parks and in Public Housing, OR we could try to get them into “the ownership culture” and hope that that culture moves them to be more productive, more traditional in their thinking.”

Many Conservatives bought into this!

A surprising number, in fact. I suppose “hope springs eternal,” and yeah, I’m probably far from a nice guy, even now unable to resist the “I told ya so, I knew these poor, dumb bastards wouldn’t clean up their acts. What were you guys thinking?”

OK, so I’m NOT a nice guy.

Seems you can’t be honest and nice now-a-days.

Do I blame low-income, “high-risk” Americans for taking on mortgages they almost certainly KNEW they couldn’t afford?

Why should they be any different than anyone else in today’s morally bankrupt world?

Weren’t banks and mortgage brokers largely to blame?

Certainly they were as guilty as the unqualified borrowers, BUT, it seems as though the CRA was used by some nefarious politicians and activist groups (like ACORN) to force banks to make tons of these high-risk loans.

It seems that the Enron guys of this debacle were the folks at Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac and their Congressional allies (Frank and Dodd among the leaders).

But that’s now how this crisis is being reported, nor how the bailout is being defined. Perhaps because the mainstream media (MSM) is peopled with so many people who never took much math in College, they aren’t all that adept at logic either.

For whatever reason, the current bailout has wrongly been described as “A Wall Street bailout,” instead of the “Short-term credit market bailout” that it really is. That might well be due to some in the MSM not understanding the current issue

There are probably more partisan reasons for the MSM not making much of Senator Frank’s or Senator Dodd’s role in this, the Eronesque malfeasance at Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac and the role that various “community activist” and “housing activist” groups (like ACORN) played in all this.
The fact that the MSM isn't reporting this accurately is a major problem.

Who Cares What the People Think, RIGHT?!

On Saturday (9/27/08), Rasmussen Reports came out with a poll that showed public support for the current bailout bill down to just 24% among the American people!


Yes, the package had to be put together quickly and “something needed to be done,” but the American people clearly don’t have much sympathy for fat-cat CEO's and even less for government functionaries, like Barney Frank who helped engineer this mess.

In another September 2008 Rasmussen poll 51% of those polled said the federal government had too much control over the economy already.

One provision that the House Republicans did get gutted was HUGE! They scuttled a provision in the bailout bill that would’ve put some of the profits from the sale of distressed assets the government buys into an affordable housing trust fund. That provision, section 105(d) of the bailout proposal, was removed according to reports from Politico and CBS News.According to The Politico, “ACORN, a Democratic ally, was not specifically directed any funds in the previous proposal, but money that went to state and local governments could then have been divvied out to the organization, which the GOP said was a deal breaker. Fevered opposition to the provision had become a viral sensation.”

While few Americans may be in the mood for a bailout, they feel benefits mainly the same CEOs that routinely walk away with hundreds of millions of dollars after, often lackluster performances, at best, that viewpoint is wrong.

This ISN’T “a stock market (or Wall Street) bailout,” it’s a credit market bailout.

The current problem is that short-term credit markets that even the healthiest businesses rely upon have become so restricted that businesses can’t access them and EVERY business relies on this short-term credit access.

That’s why so many otherwise healthy businesses, many with little exposure to the subprime mortgage debacle recently went under.

We NEED to get that short-term credit market repaired.

The question is, does this bailout do that?

The second question is, since government isn’t looking to keep and run any of the distressed companies it’s bailing out, seeking instead to set them up with merger partners and otherwise repatriate them back into the ocean of the private sector, where will the opportunities for investors lie and will that scenario set up even more dire investment scenarios, like the recent short-selling feeding frenzy that took down so many otherwise healthy companies.

Still, the people have largely been ignored in all this.

At the very least government should be making a much better effort to educate and sell the American people on this plan. Far better than merely sending Hank Paulson over to CBS’s 60 Minutes for a quick interview!

Worse still, is the fact, and THIS a large majority of the American people understand, that some of the very people who helped cause this crisis by retooling the Community Reinvestment Act back in 1994 to, in effect, mandate “bad” or high-risk loans, then using both Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to both issue and then package nearly a TRILLION DOLLARS of “bad paper” as fraudulently misnamed “government-backed mortgage instruments,” to be sold to leading investment firms both here and around the world.

Those are people like Barney Frank and Chris Dodd, who along with Jim Johnson, Frank Raines and others both in Congress and at Fannie and Freddie should be charged with felony malfeasance and in some cases, “abuse of office.”

The terrible thing about all this is that it’s a crisis of government abuse, NOT of Wall Street excess and too many in the mainstream media are too dumb to understand that.

Thankfully there are things like this...
UPDATE: The Conservatives DID listen to the American people! Conservatives on BOTH sides of aisle listened to their constituents, with mail coming in better than 100 to 1 AGAINST the current bailout, 94 Democrats and 132 Republicans in the House opposed the bailout measure.
Look, I support the measure, and even I acknowledge that these Conservatives did the right thing, in listening to their constituents. The government did a very poor job of explaining what this was (NOT a "Wall Street bailout" but a "short-term credit market" bailout)...if I'd thought this was a "Wall Street bailout," as our incompetent mainstream media keeps on calling it, then I'd have opposed it myself.
Yes, the NYSE is down today...WAAAAY DOWN! But if this ultimately gives these Conservatives MORE leverage (and it SHOULD) then perhaps this won't be such a bad thing. Look, ideally I want Jim Johnson, Franklin Raines and the others at Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac who pushed almost $1 TRILLION in bad loans, as casually as a crack dealer peddles crack to be frog-marched out of Capitol Hill and into federal prisons as quickly as possible. I want Obama's connections to the fetid and misanthropic hate group ACORN to be exposed and ACORN's complicity, in fact, their major role in pushing for "credit socialism" made clear and widely known.
I'd also like to see those associated with ACORN treated like the economic terrorists they are, in short to be treated no differently than members of other hate-groups.
And YES, I want to see those on Wall Street who were complicit, who KNEW of the toxic nature of all this bad debt to be treated no differently than the Enron guys, the Tyco crew. Of course, I'd really like to see Fannie's and Freddie's two biggest apologists in Congress (Barney Frank and Chris Dodd) treated that exact same way.
Go on, get'er done my fellow Conservatives.

Burning Down The House: What Caused Our Economic Crisis?

The BEST primer on the current financial crisis. It's been making the rounds for awhile, and it should be viewed even more widely.

H/T to Ace and to Barry at CN

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid,

This is how I'll always remember Paul Newman....I may not have liked his politics (mostly I didn't) BUT he was a great actor and seemingly a great guy as well. "Ya crazy! The fall'll probably kill ya!" Yeah, it gets us all at some point.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

What’s Wrong With the Bailout Bill?...

The current agreed upon bailout is predestined to be an absolute abortion because it’s now going to be overseen by the very people who caused it – government bureaucrats. I KNOW, the WSJ just proclaimed that "Paulson’s plan may ultimately make a $1 TRILLION to $2.2 TRILLION PROFIT for the fed!" And for all I know, that may ultimately be true, BUT it is designed FIRST and foremost to let those MOST responsible off the hook.

The problem at the base of all this is the backing by both most Liberal Democrats and many Moderate (socially Liberal) Republicans is the idea of “credit socialism,” which is predicated on the view that, "Since access to capital is the primary access to wealth creation, then the poor should not continue to be shut out of that wealth creation tool simply because of some stodgy old lending practices, many of which originated in a bygone era."

Guess what?Human nature hasn’t changed in over three millennium, let alone a few hundred years, so the arguments in favor of “creating credit out of thin air” and extending that credit to the poor (the reckless and irresponsible) is an idea so devoid of reason that it should exclude anyone who holds it from ever being taken seriously again.

BUT the purpose of this bailout is only secondarily to maintain the corporate underpinnings of our economy, which government bureaucrats have eroded, and only tertiarily the homeowners who’ve gotten in over their heads. ANYONE who didn’t compute their future obligations against their current life-expenditures, the new property tax and utility bills that will come with their new abodes SHOULDN’T have been lent any money to begin with. The PRIMARY purpose of this bailout is to cover up the culpability of the government and the army of bureaucrats who caused it.

THAT is the most important aspect of all this from the government’s end.

So that’s why the current ongoing FBI investigations will lead anywhere EXCEPT into the offices of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, and even if they do lead there, they WON’T soon be frog-marching any of the former politicos turned pseudo-investment bankers out the front doors on the well-deserved charges of malfeasance.

We won’t seen ANY investigation into Congress and its banking committee that embraced credit socialism in the most bipartisan of ways. It’s ironic that the root cause of the current crisis, all those bad loans and “bad paper” reshuffled as “government-backed mortgage securities” was the result of the 1990s ill-conceived assault on red-lining (charging higher interest rates in high default areas) and “relying too heavily on credit scores” with their "disparate impact on various minority groups"...and, of course, “the poor.”

THAT is the foundation of the current debacle and THAT is the culpability of the government, ESPECIALLY the Liberal Democrats and Moderate Republicans that embraced the failed ideology of credit socialism.

What the bailout is, is nothing short of a whitewash, the Liberals ensconced in government have bargained to eradicate government’s culpability in order to shield their own primary role in all this. This is a distinctly different issue than "Is the bailout necessary," as given the circumstances and what's at stake, some such plan certainly is needed, it's what will get "lost in the shuffle" that's the tragedy here.

IF this had been a “failure of Capitalism” or IF it had been a “scandal comprised of Conservatives,” (1) the Liberals would be crying out, “Let the heavens (government) fall, so long as we can oust the root cause of this scourge” (the Conservatives) and (2) the complicit MSM would not allow such a whitewash to occur without doing their part to expose the Conservative and/or free market nature of the scandal.

None of that bodes well for Conservatives and Libertarians, whose representatives seem to feel that it’s more important to preserve the people’s “faith in the integrity in government” than to do what is right and to expose the outright calumny amidst their fellow politicos on the Left. Hell, Left-wingers like Harold Meyerson has already tried to lamely blame a non-existant Laissez Faire Capitalism for the mess, "...Change the terms of the nation's economic discussion from the course we should take, and the defects of the laissez-faire model that got us here..."

Imagine IF the current crisis really WERE the fault of Capital Markets?! But still, is this really a response born of fear? As in, “Don’t take on the Left directly, as their attack dogs (the MSM) will savage us,” OR is it something even worse, say, moral cowardice?

In my view it really doesn't matter, as neither, in my opinion, bodes very well for us on the Right.
UPDATE: At this hour the Paulson plan looks dead, as Congressional Republicans are said to have scuttled it in favor of "an alternative plan," because they didn't find the protections for taxpayers in this one acceptable. So apparently John McCain's been right all along that "There is no deal in place."
There are reports that Congressional offices have been flooded all day with calls from constituents telling them NOT to go ahead with the deal.
I don't think culpability was an issue in the blockage of the Paulson plan, though I hold out a slim hope that THAT may also have been a sticking point. Government, including its GSEs need to be held accountable for their role in all this.

Biden: FDR Led When Market Crashed

Here's a clip of that Biden gaffe I mentioned a few posts below.

Wild whacky stuff....and it really does make you wonder if this guy isn't greasing the skids for an ungraceful exit.

Who do Liberal Policies Benefit Most?

A common canard parroted by Liberals everywhere is that “working people” who vote Conservative are “voting against their own best interests.”

You’ll never hear HOW those people are doing that, because parrots can’t reason and make actual arguments, they can only...well...parrot other’s assertions.

I’ve already explained HOW Conservative policies BENEFIT working people and HOW Liberal policies HARM them here...

For working people one of the most consistently vital issues is tax policy – and the consensus is that the vast majority of working Americans feel over-taxed.

And they’re right.

Another vital issue for working Americans is criminal justice – they overwhelmingly support stronger measures against criminal suspects, especially violent felons.

On the economy America’s working people support things that help PRIVATE industry create JOBS.


Because, quite simply, Americans love to work.

I mean that. I’ve been to 47 of the 50 states (though I’ll admit I can’t find the 57 that Barack Obama claims exists) and I’ll tell you this without a bit of paternalism on my part – the American people LOVE to work, and they’re built to work. This is a country peopled by folks with strong backs and a burning desire to use them. 48% of Americans claim they’d continue working even if they won the lottery!

So, it’s no wonder that JOBS CREATION is such a focus of so many Americans.

They also support policies that makes living their lives cheaper and easier – like cheaper energy costs! With America sitting on as much as 2.6 TRILLION barrels of oil, the vast majority of Americans (over 70%...and almost certainly over 90% of working Americans) support drilling here and now to bring MORE oil to market, to bring down the costs).

Americans also support EVERYONE being judged on the same standards and oppose by better than 2 to 1 any kinds of race/gender-based preferences for either employment OR jobs admissions.

So most working Americans support a low tax, limited government policy, with a greater emphasis on criminal justice (a “tough on crime” stance), government getting out of the way to allow private enterprise to create more jobs, oppose segregated standards and race/gender-based preferences and energy policies that would seek to bring MORE product to market to lower energy costs.

Conservatives support those SAME things!

So, how do working people “vote AGAINST their own interests” when they vote for Conservatives who support the very SAME things that they support?

Well, either they DON’T, OR those things they support aren’t really in their best interests, to begin with.

BUT they ARE!

A low tax, limited government policy that focuses on criminal justice and allows the private sector to create more jobs IS very much in the best interests of working Americans.

If those things weren’t, wouldn’t you think that there’d be people assailing folks like myself for “telling such lies,” (there aren’t) and more than that, wouldn’t there be lots of Liberals around explaining exactly HOW Liberal policies (higher taxes, an emphasis on suspect’s rights and dealing with “root causes” instead of a narrow “tough-on-crime” approach, restricting drilling the HUGE oil reserves we have right here, etc.) would be more beneficial to working Americans? Once AGAIN, there aren't!

Personally, I haven’t met a single Liberal willing to actually try and explain how such policies would benefit most working Americans...and I've looked around and I've challenged quite a few to do just that.

And I DON’T wonder why.

They can’t. The vast majority of Liberals (perhaps ALL) simply CAN'T make such an argument.

So, if Liberal policies DON’T benefit hard-working Americans, who do they benefit?

Well, they benefit those on the dole, especially those who simply don’t WANT to work – those who see work as “wage slavery.” They benefit these folks by seeking to increase social program-giveaways from WIC and welfare to SSI...ALL at the expense of working Americans.

Those policies also benefit the criminal class by making it more difficult to gather evidence and convict criminals and also by seeking “damages” from you and I FOR criminals, by “blaming society” (that’s US working folks) for criminal’s actions.

They also ostensibly benefit government bureaucrats, but again, ONLY ostensibly, as any policy that restricts the private sector, reduces the revenues needed to fund the public sector.

And they seem to benefit all those multi-national oil/energy companies and all those Sheiks who profit from our own short-sightedness in keeping all that oil (all 2.6 TRILLION barrels) off the world market!

Hmmmm, scammers, thugs and profiteers! It seems the ONLY people NOT benefited by those Liberal policies are America’s working people, who pay the freight for all this in too many ways to count.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Say It AIN’T So...Joe!

In one of the more stunning verbal gaffes in recent memory, Joe Biden, while talking with Katie Couric somberly intones, “One of the things a leader has to do is show the people he knows what he’s talking about, so he calm their fears...when the stock market crashed FDR went on television to calm the people...”


Apparently Joe Biden isn’t “smarter than a fifth grader!”

For one thing, TV wasn’t around back in 1929...and for another, FDR wasn’t President when the stock market crashed, Herbert Hoover was.

In fact, the stock market crash helped get FDR elected!

Kinda makes you wonder whether all those crazy emails going around suggesting “the fix is in,” that Biden will somehow, for some reason bow out of the race in early October to make way for Obama to re-do his VP pick and “get it right this time,” are really all that crazy!

It’s ABOUT Time!...

According to CNN News, “the FBI is investigating Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, Lehman Brothers and AIG - and their executives - as part of a broad look into possible mortgage fraud, sources with knowledge of the investigation told CNN Tuesday.

“The sources would not speak on the record because the investigation is ongoing.
FBI spokesman Special Agent Richard Kelko had no comment on that information, but said that 26 firms were currently under investigation as part of the bureau's mortgage fraud inquiry.”

It’s about time!

One of the things we know the FBI is aware of and actively pursuing is the fraudulent “flipping” of houses using illegal aliens as straw buyers.

One of the examples the FBI cited was one in Las Vegas, which involved a former Nevada First Residential Mortgage Company branch manager who directed loan officers and processors in the origination of over 200 fraudulent Federal Housing Authority loans, with a combined value of over $25 million. According the FBI, the schemers made and submitted false employment and income documentation for borrowers - most were illegal immigrants from Mexico. To date, the FBI reported, “Fifty-eight loans with a total value of $6.2 million have gone into default, with a loss to the Housing and Urban Development Department of over $1.9 million.”

According to columnist Michelle malkin,
“It's no coincidence that the areas hardest hit by the foreclosure wave - Loudoun County, Va., California's Inland Empire, Stockton and San Joaquin Valley, and Las Vegas and Phoenix - also happen to be some of the nation's largest illegal alien sanctuaries. Half of the mortgages to Hispanics are subprime. A quarter of all those subprime loans are in default and foreclosure.”

She added, “The National Council of La Raza and its Development Fund have received millions in federal funds to "counsel" their constituents on obtaining mortgages with little to no money down; the group almost succeeded in attaching a $10 million earmark for itself in one of the housing bills passed this spring.”

This is just one relatively small portion of the abuses that led to this collapse. It is almost a certainty that BOTH Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac were guilty of criminal malfeasance in both reducing traditional lending standards and in packaging that “bad debt” as “government-backed mortgage instruments” and the result of that tsunami of “bad paper” was the destabilizing of the housing market, the undermining of some of the leading financial institutions around the world and a wave of short-selling by investors who saw the meltdown coming and saw an opportunity to profit by it.

Recently the nearly $1 TRILLION bailout has hit snags from both Liberals and Conservatives who want greater accountability from the companies bailed out, iron-clad promises of repayment and help for some of the beleaguered borrowers as well.

What Did Carla Fiorina Say That Was Wrong?...

I meant to mention awhile ago, but the financial meltdown hit directly after Carla Fiorina spoke the truth, so I’m just getting around to it now.

OK, so just before the Fannie and Freddie-induced meltdown Carla Fiorina said what every sensible American already knew, that NONE of the politicians who serve in Washington could run a major Corporation.

It was as arrogant when Guiliani said that top City executives in new York should be paid more as they have the same responsibilities of their corporate counterparts (CEOs, CFOs and COO’s), as when the likes of Chris Dodd and Joe Biden say it today.

Carla Fiorina WAS and remains right, there isn’t an elected official in Washington (and there are some very nice and certainly very smart and capable people in D.C.) who could run a major corporation – if any of them COULD, it goes without question that they’d have taken their chances in the boardroom rather than spending their time winning popularity contests.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Understanding the Current Financial Crisis is VITAL...

Understanding the current financial crisis/meltdown is vital, especially for Conservatives and Libertarians...because it’s a Liberal one and there are people deliberately seeking to obfuscate that fact.
It's natural for people to seek to explain things in ways that fir their own preconceived notions, so you here Liberals talking about - "the failure of the free market," despite the fact that we haven't had a Free Market in America since around 1910. Others look to the President, despite the fact that it is Congress and ONLY Congress that controls the government's purse strings - tax policies, banking policies, Fannie and Freddie and, in fact, the federal budget.

As to the recent “Mortgage Meltdown,” John Fund recently wrote, “The two institutions (Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac) have long been run not by bankers but by retired political figures, predominantly Democrats. From 1991 to 1998, Fannie Mae was headed by James Johnson, a longtime aide to former Democratic vice president Walter Mondale. Johnson’s successor, Franklin D. Raines, had served as budget director to Bill Clinton. Jamie Gorelick, vice chair of Fannie Mae from 1998 to 2003, served as deputy attorney general in the Clinton administration.
"These figures have paid themselves impressive private-sector salaries. Johnson earned US$21-million in just his last year at Fannie Mae. Raines earned US$90-million for five years’ work at Fannie Mae. Gorelick got US$26-million.
“Yet the companies never had to meet the discipline of the private marketplace. They paid no taxes, and they had access to a line of credit at the Treasury department. More ominously for today’s crisis: They were not required to provide anything like the level of information about their internal operations expected of a privately owned company.
“This non-transparency allowed Fannie Mae to engage in serious accounting fraud, overstating its earnings by more than US$6-billion over the Raines years — overstatements that incidentally justified the company’s lavish compensation packages. (Both Johnson and Raines incidentally also received below-market mortgages from the large mortgage company — and major Fannie Mae beneficiary — Countrywide Mortgage.)
“The loss of confidence that struck the markets this week has been gathering for years. It is the natural byproduct of the bad practice of merging private business with government power.
“As so often happens with large scandals, the cost will fall on everyone except the responsible parties. In 2006, federal regulators sued Franklin Raines and two other Fannie Mae executives to recover US$115-million of compensation. The case was settled for US$3-million, plus the surrender of some (now probably valueless) stock options and other contingent benefits. The US$3-million was paid from Fannie Mae’s own insurance.

This was coupled with calls through the 1980s and 1990s by LIBERAL Democrats to outlaw red-lining (charging higher interest rates in high-foreclosure areas) AND basing loan rates and approvals solely on credit scores – AGAIN, THAT’S “Credit Socialism.” In 1999 Phil Gramm proposed a Bill (the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act) that allowed banks to offer a wider, actually "full array" of financial services, from banking and lending to a host of investment vehicles. This had been a trend within the banking community for years leading up to that point. STILL, the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act is not related to, let alone responsible for the current meltdown. The impetus for the mortgage meltdown was what appears to be ineptitude that rises to the level of MALFEASANCE at both Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, the subsequent "packaging of bad paper" (high risk loans) as "government-backed mortgage instruments, which ultimately led to the recent wave of SHORT-SELL attacks on many financial services companies.
Prior to the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act, of November 1999, most financial services companies were already offering both saving and investment opportunities to their customers. On the retail/consumer side, a bank called Norwest led the charge in offering all types of financial services products in 1986. American Express attempted to own almost every field of financial business (although there was little synergy among them). Things culminated in 1998 when Travelers, a financial services company with everything but a retail/commercial bank, bought out Citibank, creating the largest and the most profitable company in the world. The move was technically illegal and provided impetus for the passage of the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act.
Also prior to the passage of the Act, there were many relaxations to the Glass-Steagall Act. For example, a few years earlier, commercial Banks were allowed to get into investment banking, and before that banks were also allowed to get into stock and insurance brokerage. Insurance underwriting was the only main operation they weren't allowed to do, something rarely done by banks even after the passage of the Act.
Much consolidation occurred in the financial services industry since, but not at the scale some had expected. Retail banks, for example, do not tend to buy insurance underwriters, as they seek to engage in a more profitable business of insurance brokerage by selling products of other insurance companies. Other retail banks were slow to market investments and insurance products and package those products in a convincing way.
Crucial to the passing of the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act was an amendment made to the GLBA, stating that no merger may go ahead if any of the financial holding institutions, or affiliates thereof, received a "less than satisfactory [sic] rating at its most recent CRA exam", but this was assailed by the Clinton administration as “having a detrimental impact on minority businesses.” Gramm-Leach-Bliley expanded banking's scope, but it did not cause the incompetence and malfeasance at Fannie and Freddie, nor the subsequent disastrous fallout.
This is NOT a Democratic scandal in my view, it is overwhelmingly a LIBERAL-Democratic scandal, as McCain and G W Bush sought to overhaul and reform (cut-back) Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac in 2003 and 2005, while LIBERALS like Chris Dodd, Charles Rangel and Barney Franks sought to preserve the failing policies of “Credit Socialism.”

ALL of the current financial crises and there are TWO (the mortgage/credit crisis and the short-selling spurred demise of good performing companies).

The first (the credit crisis) created the opportunities for the 2nd among some investors.

Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac have always been derided by many Americans (including myself), basically, those who'd never had a problem getting a conventional mortgage) as “lenders of last resort,” or “lenders to losers.” Now, it appears that they were far, FAR worse – doling out MILLION DOLLAR mortgages to well-connected (mostly connected to Liberal Democrats) people who were poor credit risks for those amounts! They also doled out hundreds of billions of dollars in high risk “bad loans/mortgages” which was, in effect, “credit socialism.”

What BOTH those mismanaged entities did was to (1) by their ability to get special, lower rates from the Fed, they were able to unfairly compete against private lenders, thereby forcing those institutions to find “creative financing” ways to sell their loans and (2) they “packaged paper” (bad loans) and sold these as “government backed” mortgage securities to our own brokerage houses, to our banks and to financial institutions abroad! Those two things CREATED the current “mortgage/credit crisis.”

In other words, the failures at Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac were entirely responsible for the “mortgage meltdown.”

The widespread infection of those failing “government-backed mortgage instruments” created the opportunity for some investors (smart ones) to “SHORT” or short-sell financial stocks (banks, brokerages, etc.). There is NOTHING either illegal or unethical about short-selling.

In this case, the short-selling did actual harm to some very well-run and still profitable companies like Lehman Brothers, Wachovia Bank, Bank of America, etc. because with HUGE investors (like say Hedge Funds as a for instance) all SHORTING those stocks, the stock price drops, just as a betting line would drop when a huge amount of money is dropped on or in favor of the underdog. With their stock prices falling, these institutions could no longer borrow money and ALL institutions need to borrow money – so they were forced with either finding merger partners OR closing their doors...OR getting a government bailout!

The short-sellers have certainly reaped a lot of financial harm, BUT it’s not their fault – their motive was profit and a “return on investment” NOT deliberately doing any harm to others. There was nothing malicious about the short-selling. They saw an opportunity and took advantage of it. It’s as simple as that.

The real underlying cause of this entire train wreck was the utter ineptitude and massive corruption at Fannie and Freddie (BOTH, as John Fund correctly notes, “the domain of Liberal Democrats”. It was the “credit socialism” – creating credit out of thin air for people (poorer people) who didn’t warrant or deserve it, that created the current crisis.

To their credit, G W Bush and John McCain tried mightily to reform (scale back) Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac in 2003 ( and again in 2005 ( – I believe that Obama joined with Barney Franks and Chris Dodd in opposition to those reforms. To this day, the Obama campaign is surrounded by some of the Fannie Mae villains (Franklin Raines and Jim Johnson, to name two).

Since January of 2007 (the last two years) we’ve had, for better or worse, “the Pelosi-Reid economy.” They’ve supported the so-called and misnamed “stimulus package,” the bailouts, etc.

With Pelosi-Reid, TWO very LIBERAL Democrats, running Congress, it’s no wonder we’ve seen a return to disastrous Keynesian policies.

The results of the last two years are ALL on them!

Without question, the American economy has NOT “improved” since 2005-2006, it has gotten markedly WORSE due to the Pelosi-Reid return to Keynesian policies and the undermining of the economy by mismanagement and malfeasance at Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac and the “credit socialism” they sought to use to engage in some social engineering with.

THANKS to Solange for inspiring this post.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Liberal SHOULD NOT Be Synonymous With “Democrat”...

We should all support a strong, viable two Party system, as ideological diversity is necessary and basic to political discourse.

But at this point we NEED to reconsider the axis of the political debate.

“Progressivism” the term socialists have taken up in the wake of the “Red Scare” and more recently “Liberalism” becoming a “dirty word” in the wake Jimmy Carter’s debacle, is no longer a viable political ideology.

If Michael Moore, Keith Olbermann, Rosie O’Donnell and Al Franken don’t prove that the “unhinged Left” is utterly without merit, then you’re just not paying attention.

Today’s ideological battle is no longer the old one between “Big government Liberalism” (the centralized state or “government-run economy”) versus the Corporatism (the highly regulated market-based economy) that is the hallmark of most Western democracies, but between the latter (Corporatism) versus freer markets, both lower taxes and a shift from productivity taxes (income taxes) to consumption taxes (some kind of national sales tax, like the Fair Tax) and perhaps some form of the Land Value Tax (supported by modern-day followers of Henry George).

The Republicans are and will almost certainly remain the Party of Corporatism, so the Democratic Party, which had long been home to most working people should regain that mantle with a shift in ideology, AWAY from the old failed “Franken/Moore/Olbermann Liberalism” to more free market and yet worker oriented policies outlined above.

The hard-Left has greatly damaged the Democratic brand especially among it’s initial core constituency – lower and middle class working people, the kind of people that Senator Charles Schumer recently addressed in his excellent work Positively American.

In that book, Senator Schumer put his finger on the problem the Democrats have had in recent years and at the same time outlined a plan for the Democrats to make the necessary shift toward a more worker-friendly platform.

A Minority of Democrats Self-Identify Themselves as Liberals

With slightly over 40% of today’s Democrats self-identifying as “Liberal,” it is indeed a marginal ideology.

There’s little reason to doubt that a Democratic move to woo more real Conservatives into their ranks wouldn’t replace those disaffected Leftists who’d leave the Party amidst such an ideological shift.

Jettisoning the Far-Left and Embracing a New, Winning Ideology

Moreover, the elections since 1950 have shown that Liberalism is a tough ideology to run on and win with.

JFK ran as a tax-cutting anti-Communist and hardly a Leftist. His brother Bobby was an aide, along with Roy Cohen, of Joe McCarthy.

LBJ won a major victory in a slime-filled election (the A-bomb commercial) that ultimately brought on the GOP’s “Southern Strategy,” which has cost them dearly since.

Jimmy Carter road to victory over Gerald Ford, in the wake of the Watergate scandals (Ford had pardoned Nixon as one of his first acts) as a moderate Democrat.

Since Carter’s star-crossed tenure, EVERY American President has run Right of his opponent, INCLUDING Bill Clinton (the lone Democrat to hold the White House since Carter) who ran to the Right of two Moderate Republicans (George Bush Sr., and Bob Dole).

Senator Charles Schumer, in Positively American, acknowledged that “The Democratic party has been far too liberal, shamelessly liberal and liberal for far too long.” That can and should be remedied by a much needed shift in ideology, in effect, a Democratic “Southern Strategy.”

Conservatives natural affinity is for the Democratic Party. The Democratic Party has been harmed by its long affiliation with Liberalism and recently it’s been positively slimed by the likes of far-Leftists like Michael Moore, Keith Olbermann, Al Franken and Randi Rhodes.

Why continue along this pathway of failure?

Conservative (“Blue Dog”) Democrats are a growing phenomenon. At this point, nearly a quarter of all the Congressional Democrats are Conservative Democrats.

You can contact the Conservative Democratic coalition at;

The new ideological divide is between Conservative/Libertarians who support a more open, unregulated economy versus the Corporatists who favor a more regulated, more secure economy.

For either major political Party to further entertain the failed and discredited ideology of Liberalism/socialism/progressivism is to court disaster.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Why Milton Friedman is RIGHT and Donahue WRONG...

When you initially look at the video posted below, Phil Donahue (“Mr. Compassion”) comes across as "caring" and "kind," while Professor Milton Friedman’s basic message WOULD come off, to many people, as far more cold and analytical without Dr. Friedman’s great sense of humor and innate decency.

The exchange highlights the fact that “things are not always what they seem,” in other words, “You can’t judge a book by its cover.”

Phil Donahue is ALL kindness and compassion devoid of any pragmatism or practicality.

Dr. Friedman’s views appear cold and analytical, but they are, in fact, rooted in a fairness that supports a system (free market capitalism) that consistently provides the MOST prosperity for the MOST people.

Liberalism/socialism is rooted in two major fallacies, that are, in effect, FALSE COMPASSIONS.

The Static Economy or “the FIXED Economic Pie”

The first is that their view is based on the fallacy that we live within a “fixed economic pie,” or static economy,” in short, that there is “only so much wealth available at any given time,” so that disparities in wealth (a natural result of capitalism) harm far more people than they benefit.

The second major fallacy in their view is that the first fallacy (the “fixed economic pie”) mandates that government MUST divide or redistribute the wealth up more equitably in the name of “social and economic justice.”

In fact, we live in a dynamic economy that is constantly changing (expanding and contracting), one in which wealth is both created and destroyed by human action. There is no “fixed economic pie” because the money supply is ever-changing, as the amount of wealth created/eradicated constantly changes.

Some would argue, “You mean there’s NOT a fixed amount of jobs, of housing, land, finite resources, etc.?

I mean EXACTLY that.

There is no “fixed number of jobs in our society.”

We can see that jobs are both created and destroyed daily.

Our housing stock is continually changing, both expanding at times and contracting at others.

Even the amount of resources available is CONSTANTLY changing. We find new veins, new sources of natural resources all the time ad technology renders old sources obsolete and newer sources more practicable.

“Well what about the fact that so many of the rich are born to money, power and privilege and few others have any chance of aspiring to better lives?”

Based on what?On the FACT that less than 5% of those with a net worth (not counting one’s primary residence) of $5 Million have inherited their wealth?

The Whole World “Runs on Greed”?

Yes, I believe Milton Friedman is right, the entire world is run by people seeking their own personal gain.

That can be good, as when diverse people get together without any coercion or direction, via the market to produce goods that provide a mutual benefit to all of them.

That can also be bad, as when people in government seek to exert power and control over people who have an innate right to autonomy and self-direction that comes with self-ownership.

Behaviors lead to poverty and wealth.

Self-discipline, astute skills and the ability to see patterns in current events that should impact the future lead to wealth creation, while impulsivity, recklessness, irresponsibility and a predisposition to violence lead inevitably to poverty.

BUT people CAN and DO change! It happens all the time and one of the best motivators or incentives to introspection and personal change/improvement is poverty and economic distress.

How can compassion be bad

Compassion can be bad when it’s impractical, when it inadvertently rewards bad behavior or inabilities at the expense of productivity.

Good intentions count for NOTHING.

The ONLY thing that counts is results.

Marxism ALWAYS delivers poor results because its built on the flawed foundation of expecting productivity FROM people “according to their abilities” and rewarding people “according to their needs.”

That’s a prescription for a society filled with gluttonous people with ten kids and chronic bad backs, as it rewards dysfunction and disability at the expense of productivity.

Whenever sloth, indolence and disability is rewarded, we get more of all of them.

I see it every day in New York City’s Civil Service. Disability pensions for NYC cops and firefighters pay out three-quarters of one’s salary tax-free. The result is predictable. EVERY FDNY physician, doctor’s who sat behind desks get ¾ tax-free pensions as a matter of course, as a “perk” of their jobs. So to, do Chief officers and that has encouraged all sorts of “angling” and finagling” on the part of workers in those jobs to get out “the right way.” The very existence of those pensions incentivizes disability and even some degree of dishonesty.




Not so much.

It's the same with any program that seeks to benefit "the poor" and others without a strict set of parameters that mandates specific behaviors in order to change the behaviors in individuals that have led to poverty. The primary problem with Liberalism/socialism is that it expects nothing from the individual and, in turn, ultimately does nothing to change that person's self-destructive behaviors. In fact, Liberalism ENCOURAGES dependence and dysfunction, as those things show a "need" for more government action...more government intrusion into all of our lives.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Why is THIS Even a Controversy???

Yesterday (Tuesday, September 9th, 2008) the Miami Herald repored that this election, Floridians will be required to have their identification match up with a state or federal database in order to register to vote.

The new law was brought in-line with court demands for a more flexible system and this new law does that.

The Sexual Revolution...

To the political Left, abortion rights ARE "women's rights," as simplistic and inane as that may be. Abortion rights are called “women’s rights” because abortion on demand is such a central part of what was a generation ago, called the “sexual revolution.”

In the 1960s new contraceptives (the pill, etc.), coupled with abortion on demand made the "sexual revolution" possible because it apparently "liberated women" from the fear of unwanted pregnancy resulting from casual sex.

Of course, with the tens of millions of abortions done since Roe was passed, apparently abortion has morphed into a sort of "back-up contraception."

Previous to the "sexual revolution" BOTH men and women had to consider the possibility of a lifetime commitment to a child and a permanent link to each other (like it or not) before engaging in sexual relations.

It was a ponderous consideration for both sides and families and society vigorously sought to protect a woman's honor and reduce her vulnerabilities via "shotgun weddings” (which were far more prevalent) among families back then and strict child support laws enacted by governments.

All of this served to force people to consider sex a byproduct of commitment to family, but that was too restrictive for Leftists, who saw "the patriarchal family" as one of the pillars that held the "oppressive Western culture" (with its emphasis on private property rights, market-based economies, individual liberties and personal responsibility) together.

The problem was that, as it existed, Western culture had succeeded in delivering the MOST prosperity to the MOST people.

What those opposed to property rights, market-based economies and individualism sought to do was to fight for FREEDOM FROM personal responsibility (“license”), in the name of “freedom.”

The “non-conformist” movement that began in the 1950s against Western “Corporate culture” pretended to be a “freedom” movement – “the freedom to be one’s self” – but it was really an ill-conceived movement to free people from the rigid confines and responsibilities of the corporate culture (work and life), which was one of the things that produced so much of the prosperity that Western cultures enjoyed.

The sexual revolution was even more important, because it freed people from an even more basic responsibility, the responsibility for caring for and respecting their own bodies.

A woman’s “reputation” became a mere joke, to the point, where today, young women can scarcely imagine a time when families sent teens who got pregnant away “with family” for extended periods, or kept them secluded claiming they’d come down with “infectious mononucleosis” in order to shield those girls (and their families) from public scorn and ridicule.

In so doing, the “sexual revolution” reduced the unwanted and unplanned for results of casual sex, all those unwanted babies, now referred to as “fetuses,” to mere refuse/garbage.

The “sexual revolution” was and remains a direct assault on Western culture.

It has been embraced by so many people because most of us have, within us, a libertine streak, that finds the “if it feels good, do it” mantra to be attractive, especially when “doing it” comes with absolutely “no strings attached.”

Today, people who embrace abstinence and eschew casual sex out of “self-respect,” are considered “prudes” and worse, religions which vainly preached against casual, irresponsible sex have seen the size of their congregations shrink. The huge decrease in Church attendance that preceded the Evangelical and “Born Again” movement was certainly related to society’s changing view of casual sex.

In divorcing sex from family-life, it further divorced individuals from personal responsibility and the problem with undermining personal responsibility is that without personal responsibility (accountability) there is no real SELF OWNERSHIP.

And that was the real, primary goal of the “sexual revolution.”

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Remebering the Late, Great Milton Friedman - Here With Phil Donahue on Greed

This is the GREAT Milton Friedman, at his best, a brilliant, charming and very eloquent spokesman for the free market. Perhaps one of the most brilliant lights of the 20th Century.

I Tried to Tell Him...

I tried to give Keith Olbermann some career-saving advice. (SEE:

Either he didn’t take it, or maybe he didn’t get it...but in either case, I blame myself.

But recent developments point to a massive Olby-train wreck!

In a recent piece, Taylor Marsh said “Keith Olbermann is why I dropped any interest in supporting the Fox boycott. Because Fox's Bill O'Reilly had the ratings and the reach out, so when Hillary needed to get both and draw attention to her primary fight, they were there and fair. Yes, I realize the larger Fox network anchors never miss a chance to hit Democrats, almost always unfairly and below the belt, but O'Reilly treated Clinton with respect, something she could never get on "Countdown" or "Hardball," two of the top rated shows on MSNBC...

Beyond THAT, this week, after the MSNBC debacle during the coverage of the two Conventions, Keith Olbermann and Chris Mathews have been demoted from Anchors to analysts.

As Brian Stelter of the NY Times reported, “MSNBC tried a bold experiment this year by putting two politically incendiary hosts, Keith Olbermann and Chris Matthews, in the anchor chair to lead the cable news channel’s coverage of the election.

“That experiment appears to be over.

“After months of accusations of political bias and simmering animosity between MSNBC and its parent network NBC, the channel decided over the weekend that the NBC News correspondent and MSNBC host David Gregory would anchor news coverage of the coming debates and election night. Mr. Olbermann and Mr. Matthews will remain as analysts during the coverage.

“The change — which comes in the home stretch of the long election cycle — is a direct result of tensions associated with the channel’s perceived shift to the political left.

“The most disappointing shift is to see the partisan attitude move from prime time into what’s supposed to be straight news programming,” said Davidson Goldin, formerly the editorial director of MSNBC and a co-founder of the reputation management firm DolceGoldin.

“Executives at the channel’s parent company, NBC Universal, had high hopes for MSNBC’s coverage of the political conventions. Instead, the coverage frequently descended into on-air squabbles between the anchors, embarrassing some workers at NBC’s news division, and quite possibly alienating viewers. Although MSNBC nearly doubled its total audience compared with the 2004 conventions, its competitive position did not improve, as it remained in last place among the broadcast and cable news networks.”

I told you to put away those red bell bottoms Keith!
Another thing I don't gave up ESPN for MSNBC?

Joe Already OVERRATES Himself...

The other day, Joe Biden, commenting on his upcoming debates with Sarah Palin, announced that he’d assume that Sarah Palin is, "as smart as I am, as tough as I am, and knows as much as I do."

Mmmmmmm, bad assumption Joe – I think it's a safe bet that she’s BOTH smarter AND tougher.

Why didn’t he just say, “I look forward to debating her very badly,”?

At least that way, he wouldn’t have been overrating himself.

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Washington D.C.’s New Schools Chancellor Michelle Rhee Highlights the Primary Problem in Contemporary American Education...

Michelle Rhee, Washington D.C.’s maverick Schools Chancellor is looking to change the world!

No, not in any impractical, "social-worker way," but in perhaps the most practical way a person can change the world – making America’s currently broken education system serve its customers/children better.

In that regard, Rhee, who “accidentally” became a teacher via her entrance into the “Teach for America Program” she entered from Cornell University back in 1992.

Now, education experts like Thomas Sowell have long noted that the problem with America’s public education system is that it’s flooded with incompetent teachers. Sowell has long lamented that “In the U.S. a major in education is one of the easiest, least taxing degrees to get and that’s why teachers tend to have some of the lowest SAT scores of any major field of study.”

Rhee knows this all too well.

Ms. Rhee, the daughter of an Ohio physician describes herself as “a relatively high-achieving kid through high school and college. So nobody tells you to go into education, you know, people are telling you to be a doctor or a lawyer, or a stockbroker. They are not telling you to be a teacher.”

As many have noted (it’s hard NOT to notice) the average SAT score of would-be elementary school teachers taking a popular licensing exam is woefully BELOW the average for all college grads.

For that, among other reasons, Rhee has chosen to take on the Teacher’s Union in D.C. and has set up a plan that seeks to pay good/effective teachers six-figure salaries, while eliminating tenure protections for teachers, enabling administrators to simply fire non-effective teachers and open Charter Schools in those districts.

In “Teach for America” she began her entry into American education teaching in an inner city Baltimore 2nd grade classroom.

She recalls an event, one second-grader falling down, while on line at the cafeteria and all the other children walking by, taking turns kicking the kid that was down. “I was like, ‘What are they doing?’ But it was second nature to them. The kid was down, kick him.” She was unable to stop them, or control the children the rest of the semester, she went home that Christmas break with symptoms of severe stress anxiety.

Determined not to be driven out of teaching by a group of eight year olds, she, in her own words, “became obsessed.”

Over the next couple years she and another teacher working with seventy at what she called “sock bottom on standardized tests” to “absolutely at the top. She became convinced that the key to success is SWEAT mainly on the part of the teacher, but also on the part of the student, as well.

She noted, “Those kids, where they lived didn’t change. Their parents didn’t change. Their diets didn’t change. The violence in their communities didn’t change. The ONLY thing that changed for those 70 kids was the adults (teachers) in front of them every single day, teaching them.”

Rhee is now locked in a war with the D.C. teacher’s union. She has proposed a new contract that will eliminate tenure for teachers, in exchange for money for D.C. teachers. She notes. “If they are willing to go on probation for a year - giving up their job security – and can successfully prove their talent, they can earn more than $100,00/year and as much as $130,000/year after five years. If not, they still get a 28% raise and keep their tenure, though all new teachers must sign up for the first option and go on probation for four years.

Rhee is betting that more than half the teachers will be willing to take their chances on accountability for higher pay.

The union has shown that it too can play hardball. When Rhee recently tried to reclassify some central administration workers so they could be terminated without cause, the union began running radio spots assailing Rhee with the O’Jays “Back Stabbers” in the background.

One of the sticks that Rhee carries is that the D.C. public school system is shrinking. About a third of D.C. parents now opt to send their kids to Charter Schools, which are public schools, but where teachers are non-union.

The teacher’s union has lost about 1,000 of its 5,000 teaching spots over the past decade. Rhee has let the union know that she is NOT interested in “protecting turf.” She’s made it known that she’d be perfectly happy to let the old failed system simply wither away and be completely replaced by the growing Charter system.

In those charter or KIPP schools kids perform significantly better on all standardized exams and that’s probably because teachers work from 7 am to 7 pm and on Saturday. Summer vacation lasts only about a month. Some not that “in Rhee’s world many teachers finding themselves working hard, burning out and moving on.

As Kati Haycock, President of Education Trust and a long-time education reform advocate says, “What we need to do is change to the idea that education is the only career that needs to be done for life. There are a lot of smart people who change careers every six or seven years, while education winds up with a bunch of people on the low end of the pile who don’t want to compete in the job market.”


Here’s hoping Michelle Rhee’s reforms take hold and make America’s schools a better place for its STUDENTS as well as those effective teachers.

What OIL Crisis?


With the United States sitting on over 2 TRILLION barrels (more than the entire world has used, to date) of shale oil, we are NOT looking at anything like “peak oil,” we’re looking at the natural and necessary transition to newer and more modern technologies for oil procurement and use.

The U.S. Department of Energy recently stated, “The vast extent of U.S. oil shale resources, amounting to more than 2 trillion barrels, has been known for a century. In 1912, the President, by Executive Order, established the Naval Petroleum and Oil Shale Reserves. This office has overseen the U.S. strategic interests in oil shale since that time. The huge resource base has stimulated several prior commercial attempts to produce oil from oil shale, but these attempts have failed primarily because of the historically modest cost of petroleum with which it competed. With the expected future decline in petroleum production, historic market forces are poised to change and this change will improve the economic viability of oil shale.

“It has been nearly two decades since meaningful federal oil shale policy initiatives were undertaken. In that time technology has advanced, global economic, political, and market conditions have changed, and the regulatory landscape has matured. As America considers its homeland security posture, including its desired access to diverse, secure and abundant sources of liquid fuels, it is both necessary and prudent to reconsider the potential of oil shale in the nation's energy and natural resource portfolio.”

On top of these mammoth shale oil reserves, America also has billions of barrels (a complete estimate has yet been made) off our shors (especially around the east coast and the Gulf of Mexico) and in ANWAR.

THE energy problem in America is due almost entirely to Luddites on the Left seeking to keep America’s HUGE oil reserves off the world market.

That DECREASE in supply ALWAYS results in an INCREASE in cost/price, amidst a steady or, as we’ve had over the last decade, an increasing demand.

There’s absolutely no down side to releasing more of our oil supplies. It will drive down cost, stimulate more mobility (driving) by the American public and prime the country’s economic pump.

Friday, September 5, 2008

The Flaws of Socialism and Why I Believe the Obama Campaign is so Dangerous...

Let me admit this at the outset, I am a proud and very determined ideological bigot.

I don’t merely disagree with socialism/Liberalism/progressivism because it is wrong-headed, viciously misanthropic and doomed to failure (it is), but because I was literally born to revile it as “an ideology for losers,” as much as I was born to embrace LIBERTY - self-ownership/responsibility.

I’ve reviled Kuwait which actually has made a very rudimentary form of socialism work, in fact, Kuwait has done that far more effectively than any Western European or Asian nation ever has! Kuwait has been able to do that distributing the proceeds from its oil profits to its people.

Today, Venezuela is trying to mimic Kuwait’s model.

Kuwait shared the oil wealth with its people as far back as the 1960s. When America’s poverty line began at around $4000/year, Kuwaiti citizens had a guaranteed income of $11,000/year.

I revile Kuwait, because I firmly believe that socialism’s success ANYWHERE is a threat to economic freedom/LIBERTY everywhere.

Now, I LOVE the writings of the GREAT Henry George (Progress and Poverty, among other works), a devoutly Christian, 19th Century American social reformer, reviled by both socialists and capitalist alike. George based his views on the principle that ALL the resources of a nation belonged principally and primarily to the people, just as surely as does the air they breathe.

Henry George’s philosophy greatly influenced the great Russian novelist, Leo Tolstoy, who after penning Anna Karenina and War and Peace, devoted the rest of his literary life to writing religious and social tomes, such as The Kingdom of God is Within You, The Gospels in Brief (one of the most AWESOME books I’ve ever read and I’m not at all religious) and My Confession. Tolstoy’s later works echoed and amplified Henry George’s views and greatly influenced Mahatma Gandhi , who in turn greatly influenced Martin Luther King.

I like Henry George’s philosophy very much, it transcends socialism and looks to humanize Capitalism in a very logical, thoughtful way. While I don’t see many of George’s ideas as very practical, they are, unlike the deeply misanthropic and hateful ideas of Marx, rooted in an innate decency.

I LOVE Tolstoy’s later works and admire his vast talents.

What I don’t at all admire or even respect is the dimwitted philosophy called Marxism based on “FROM each according to his abilities and TO each according to his needs.”

It is one of the most feeble-minded philosophies ever constructed and one of the most unworkable.

Friedrich Nietzsche’s philosophy was far more coherent, far more radical and far more frightening in its scope and vision. Nietzsche advocated “natural selection” (“social Darwinism”) for the human species so that it might evolve toward a better, what he called Uberman or super-man. In that regard he derided charity as “the curse of Christ” because it undermined this natural selection/social Darwinism and encouraged and enabled the poor, the uncompetitive and the profligate to not only survive but to thrive and pass on their defective genes to future generations.

It is indeed tragic that a man as bereft of understanding and nuance as Adolph Hitler is credited with “trying to bring Nietzsche’s vision to life.”

Again, Hitler was as much a Nietzschean as he was a Christian, which is to say he was neither.

I say all that, not merely to rationalize or justify my ideological bigotry and my red-hot hatred for hardcore Leftists, but to give some background to that peculiar affection of mine.

That said, the people running Barack Obama’s campaign (no not Ayers, or Wright or any of those), the David Axelrod’s (the people actually engaged in the day-to-day running of that campaign), have an extreme Leftist agenda. They are supported by the extremely anti-capitalistic George Soros and other American anti-capitalists.

The MSM is largely corporately owned and corporately run.

Ironically enough, even though the command economy, that Karl Marx favored, DOESN’T and CANNOT work, the highly regulated economy CAN and DOES.

The highly regulated (Corporatist economy) can work because, although it stifles new start-ups, new ideas and new products, in the name of “economic stability” – protecting established enterprises, industries and jobs, because it is STILL market-based and privately run.

Armand Hammer, a major U.S. industrialist (founder of Occidental Petroleum and Armand Hammer Cleaning Products) managed to get a contract with the former USSR and held a virtual monopoly status in that command economy.

Armand Hammer formed the Communist Party USA (CPUSA) and advocated for the command economy here in the U.S.

There’s NOTHING either altruistic or even uncommon about wealthy people like Armand Hammer embracing socialism and the command economy. It greatly benefits THEM, by, in effect, “freezing the free-for-all of capitalism and free enterprise in place, while they are on top.

It is for much the same reasons that most major corporations embrace the highly regulated or “Corporatist” economy of Japan, Western Europe and America, today. It benefits themselves AND it gives workers far more stability than they might otherwise have in a constantly changing, economically revolutionary free market system.
My objection to the Obama agenda is NOT that it’s an “Afro-centric one,” (it’s really NOT that), but it IS an extreme Leftist one!

Socialism is NOT a revolutionary ideology, it is one that seeks to enslave the poor and working people to the political class instead to the “clever class,” those who run industries and businesses. THAT is why the truly rich, the Kennedy’s, the Soros’, the Hammer’s all support either outright socialism OR a heavily regulated form of corporatism.

I support Liberty and the vicious free-for-all in which clever, scheming economic bullies, harness the power of ideological book-bright elitists and use them to make fortunes for themselves, while creating jobs for the rest of society.

Capitalism IS Liberty, Capitalism is FREEDOM.

To support socialism is to support political slavery.
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