Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Recap and retread

Ok, let the review begin:

On February 1, 2008, I made the following predictions:

  1. The Republican Party is about to get exactly what it wants.
A moderate candidate! Who lost.

Predictions for 2008-2012:

1. The first recession in 26 years will last between 8 and 11 months and cause widespread dislocations specifically in housing

Recession is 2 consecutive quarters of negative GDP. Not there yet, but probably did start in the 4th quarter. We'll see. I consider this a hit

2. Ford will declare bankruptcy. As will Citigroup. Both will survive but neither will recover. Four of the top 20 banks will fail or be forced into mergers to survive.

Who could have foreseen a government bailout. Citigroup was all but bankrupty.

Here is the list:
1. Citigroup (New York, N.Y.) $2,199,848
2. Bank of America Corp. (Charlotte, N.C.) 1,743,478
3. J. P. Morgan Chase & Company (Columbus, Ohio) 1,642,862
4. Wachovia Corp. (Charlotte, N.C.) 808,575
5. Taunus Corp. (New York, N.Y.) 750,323
6. Wells Fargo & Company (San Fransisco, Calif.) 595,221
7. HSBC North America Inc. (Prospect Heights, Ill.) 493,010
8. U.S. Bancorp (Minneapolis, Minn.) 241,781
9. Bank of the New York Mellon Corp. (New York, N.Y.) 205,151
10. Suntrust, Inc. (Atlanta, Ga.) 178,986
11. Citizens Financial Group, Inc. (Providence, R.I.) 161,759
12. National City Bank (Cleveland, Ohio) 155,046
13. State Street Corp. (Boston, MA) 154,478
14. Capital One Financial Corp. (McLean, Va.) 150,608
15. Regions Financial Corp. (Birmingham, Ala.) 144,251
16. PNC Financial Services Group, Inc. (Pittsburg, Pa.) 140,026
17. BB&T Corp. (Winston-Salem, N.C.) $136,417
18. TD Bank North, INC. (Portland, Maine) 118,171
19. Fifth Third Bankcorp (Cincinatti, Ohio) 111,396
20. Keycorp (Cleveland, Ohio) 101,596

Pure banks, I lost. However, Washington Mutual and Indymac banks were big failures as were the almost complete loss of investment banks. In green, banks that received Treasury money - some forced upon them. Also, we have some new 'banks'. It was clear that the financial sector was going to get hammered. Again, too big to fail saved some. Mostly a hit, but I can't give myself credit for stating the obvious especially when it didn't play out cleanly.

3. Obama will be sworn in as President in Jan 2009. Hillary and Bill will be divorced in 2010.

Hit on the first, we'll see on the second.

4. A series of 'minor' attacks on American soil (single bombers in crowded places) will focus Obama on terrorism....unfortunately, we will find that several of the bombers were illegals that got visas as part of the comprehensive reform passed and signed in 2009. Obama will seal the border with an overstep that will violate virtually the entire Constitution with the complete support of the American people and Congress.

Still to be seen.

5. The military withdrawal from Iraq begins to resemble a retreat under fire.

Still to be seen.

6. A small nuclear denotation in Iran signals Iran's entry into the nuclear club in early 2011.

Still to be seen - but getting closer

7. Hezbolla attacks Israel from the West Bank, Gaza (with Hamas) and Lebannon using rockets, several of which will be chemical. Israeli government will fail and only the Iran nuclear threat prevents the US from doing anything to help. Assistance from a completely unexpected source keeps the country from falling.

Israel grew a few stones this year and is making Hamas pay, but Hezebolla is gaining strength in the north. I left this open ended so I still have time.

8. Bankruptcies in the US hit 1.5 million in 2009 along with 2.5 million foreclosures.

2007-2008 hit 1.04 million. I feel pretty confident about the bk. Estimates on foreclosures put them at 1.35 so far in 2008. I may miss the foreclosures by about .5 million - however, even 2 million foreclosures is going to hurt a lot. still some time left.

9. The Democrats get a functional majority in the Senate in 2009 (with the help of several RINOs) and complete the hat trick with a functional majority in the House in 2010.

Consider this a hit on the Senate and and still time on the House - however, governing tends to hurt chances for the party in power.

10. A major financial figure will expose one, maybe two flat out lies that the media had been reporting in financial matters that leads to a rout of the dollar on international markets. Only the complicity of the EU in the lie prevents the dollar from ouster as the currency of trade.

Not yet...

11. A chemical introduced into coca in South America spreads into the cocaine trade leading to thousands of deaths and tens of thousands of addicts having serious and permanent medical disabilities that WE will have to support.

Ok, a miss - but it could happen.

12. A version of nationalized Medicare will be expanded to 50 and overs and pre-school aged children.

They are going to give a try....still waiting though.

13. In 2011, after tax cuts that were put into place in 2003 expired, the Federal revenues decline for the first time in almost 40 years.

Time not up.

So, not too bad. How did you do?

Monday, December 29, 2008

Stupid is as stupid does

Someone came up to me to tell me about the horrible goings on in Palestine. I was pretty clear - "If you open your mouth to tell me about the horrible Israelis bombing the poor Palestinians, I will KNOW for a fact that you are a moron and incapable of intelligent and rational thought. So, before going any further, if you want to prove your stupidity, by all means tell me, or better yet, let me think you MIGHT be stupid and walk away now."

The response was stunned silence. I considered it a successful result.

I am tired of tolerating stupid people making stupid comments. Conservatives need to quit giving power to PCness.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Twas the night before Christmas

Twas the night before Christmas and all through the Congress

Not a politician was stirring, not even the House Mistress

The earmarks were hung by the Congress with care

In hopes that Obama soon would be there.

The Conservatives were nestled all snug in their enclaves,

While visions of leadership danced in their dreams.

And McCain making mischief’ and Palin at home,

They had all just settled down for a long minority snap.

When out on the Rose Lawn there arose such a clatter,

I sprang from the bed to see what was the matter.

Away to Windows I flew like a flash

Tore open the Twitter and threw up the mash

The rage on the breast of the new-posted blog

Gave the illusion of normalcy to objects aglow,

When, what to my wondering eyes should appear,

But a miniature cabinet and eight tiny posers,

With a little bold driver, so lively and quick,

I knew in a moment it must be Daley’s young Schtick

More rapid than lobbyists his posers they came,

And he whistled and shouted and called them by name,

“Now Clinton! now, Richardson, now Daschle and a Chu

On Salazar! on Duncan! on, Solis and yes, Biden you too!

To the top of the House! To the top of the Congress!

Now shoe away, shoe away, shoe away all

As dry RINOs that before the principle fly,

When they meet with an obstacle, concede to the sky,

So up to the House-top the posers they flew,

With the black bag of tricks and Obama too.

And then, in a twinkling, I heard on the roof

The prancing and pawing of each little goof,

As I drew in my hand and was turning around,

Down the economy came with a bound,

He was dressed all in style, from his head to his toe,

And his clothes were all absent, nar a sash nor a bow,

A bundle of promises he had flung on his back,

And he looked like a peddler just opening his pack,

His eyes – how dark and deep, his ears wiggled how scary!

His cheeks were sunken, his nose all runny!

His droll little mouth was drawn up and flat

And the jut of his chin, sharp and taut, pointed this way and that,

The stump of a cig he held tight in his teeth

and the smoke it encircled his head like a wraith,

He had broad ears and a trim little body,

That rippled when he laughed, or so I am told but not by many

He was a thin and wry, a left loony absorbed old self,

And I laughed when I saw him, in spite of myself,

A glare from his face, a twist of his hand,

Soon gave me to know, I had everything to dread,

He spoke not a word, but went straight to his work

And filled all the promises, then turned like a jerk,

And laying his middle finger aside of his nose,

And giving a sneer, up the chimney he rose,

He sprang to the cabinet, to his team gave a shout,

And away they all flew, full of cheer and ill mirth

But I heard him exclaim, ere he drove out of sight,

It’s all mine now, to all the Conservatives, good night....

Saturday, December 13, 2008


It is human nature to assume that what happened yesterday will happen again today. The Sun rose yesterday, my spouse loved me yesterday, I had a job yesterday. Economists have made a living and science out of the belief that what happened yesterday, can be an indication of what will happen today and tomorrow. Statistical analysis is based on the concept. Trends tend til they don't.

If a car company sells exactly 100 cars every month for 10 years, statistics will tell you (as will human nature) that it will continue to see 100 cars a month into the future. Well trained and experienced economic analysts will delve deeper into the numbers and might tell you that the company can only produce 100 cars a month and that the demand for the vehicles is greater than 100 a month, suggesting a long and profitable (assuming it has been and is now) future. But if the demand ends? What part of the analysis takes that into consideration and gives everyone an idea of the real future? What if demand falls below 100 cars a month?

I read a story on California's budget woes. In it, it said that the shortfall was getting bigger because state revenues had come in significantly worse than expected. Expected, how?

AIG needed $20 billion, then $40 billion, then $85 billion and after $150 billion still might not survive. Why?

Lehman Brothers was liquid on Tuesday, bankrupt 6 days later. Why?

GM had enough money til mid 2009, now it needs money by the end of this month. Why?

These are all examples of following trend lines that fail. Many stock investors - chart types - closely watch a stock and how it behaves around trend lines. Many will note the change in a trend line, but then look for another trend line to follow. Are ALL analysts this blind? No. But most are, and they are in corporations and government (and of course teaching all the new economist in universities).

"Woe is me". Eeyore has a character flaw. Whatever can go wrong, will go wrong. Positive news just doesn't phase him much. Every event is a point on the downward trend. Those supporting the bailout of the automakers have the same character flaw. If GM declares bankruptcy, the end of the United States economy will occur. It doesn't matter that thousands of companies declared bankruptcy and SURVIVED for another day, week or decade. The trend line is down all the way to the bottom.

In all these cases, it should be noted that the trend lines changed because of events outside the analysis that established the trend lines. The Sun didn't come out. But, in many cases, looking back, we can see the break and if we are really careful, we can see why.

I believe the auto industry fall started the day car loans got extended to 30 years. Huh? You wonder what I am thinking. There are no 30 year car loans. Sure there are. When someone refinanced their home and used those extra funds to buy a car, cash, they were actually taking a 30 year loan out on the car. Everyone understands that most cars are not worth the loan the day they drive off the lot. That if they have a four or five year loan, that they will spend most of it, underwater. We accept that. But we also accept that at some point, the vehicle will be paid off and we can get a little for it. But a 30 year loan? Cars (generally) don't last 20 years, let alone 30 and therefore it will never be worth more than is owed. But, people don't see it that way. The actuality is buried in the mortgage. Others will, and have, loudly, that the legacy costs of all those retirees is what is killing GM, but it wasn't a problem when GM was profitable.

But, the issue is not the bailout or GM. It is the mindset that believes what happened yesterday will happen today - and they have the empirical evidence to prove it. Unfortunately for all concerned, reality can and often is different.

I also read today about how the decline of the US will give other countries the opportunity to take our place. China being a big candidate, but also countries with a lot of cash/funds to lend (read oil producers). I take issue with that point of view, not because I am partisan (I love my country) but because trends do not make reality. China pretends (sometimes better, sometimes worse) to be a capitalistic economy. It is not. It's ability to respond to events is limited. Oil producers will have considerably less funds if the world economy continues to fail (and they do not have a diverse economy to replace oil revenues).

I don't believe that the US can remain the source of reserve currency forever - that trend line is just like all the others - but regardless of what event occurs to change it, there has to be another currency available to take it's place - and right now, I can't see one that doesn't have the same, or worse problems than the dollar.

Where will our economy be in a year? The trend lines suggest like The War to End All Wars becoming WW1, the Great Depression will soon be known as the First Great Depression. It is possible because trends are trends, til they are not. What event or events could occur that will change the trend lines? I have two problems: I have a degree in Economics; I will only live 80 or so years. My experience and lifetime are both limited and I have no special insight into the future.

I can make some assumptions - you know, follow the trend lines - the economy is going to get a lot worse before it gets better. And better does not mean like it was before. The automakers, especially GM will never be the same. Could our financial system collapse (duh...already has) into oblivion, no, but what it will look like in the future?

Next time you hear ANYONE predict the future, make sure you know what trend lines they are using.

People have been talking to us and predicting our business (consumer bankruptcy) will be booming. It is not - growing, yes, but booming? Nope. First, people are just walking away. Second, they are hoping that Obama really WILL pay their mortgages.

You can be sure of one thing Obama said: change will happen. That is a trend line that has been unbroken from the beginning.

Friday, December 05, 2008


Every time a group of Moslems engage in a heinous act, we are told that the vast majority of Moslems are peace loving and not terrorists. Every time a group of Moslems slaughter innocents, we are told that American policies contributed to the environment that lead to the mindset of the murders.

I look at Moslem nations that treat women as property. I look at Moslem nations that do not honor or even consider individual freedoms and liberties.

I look at nations where large numbers of Moslems have remained separate from the society they live in; have asked for, or demanded, recognition of Sharia law even when it directly contradicts the law of the surrounding society.

Everywhere I look, Moslem communities are violent and self-segregated. Fathers and sons killing daughters and sisters. Mumbai was savage if you can believe the reports, and given the history of beheadings, acid throwing and hangings, it is EASY to believe.

Entire nations cheer the murders. Entire societies encourage the hate, the cruelty, the murder.

I am going to take a position my Christian friends espouse: hate Islam, not the Moslem.

Either 1.1 billion Moslems rise up and take their religion back from the murders, or I will support the marginalization - the isolation - of any 'infected' communities.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Saturday, November 15, 2008

California, Prop 8 and the 'movement'

When the California Supreme Court ruled that the law setting up the two separate but equal systems of civil unions and marriages was unconstitutional, I was asked my opinion by a number of people. As someone that is heavily involved in the American Conservative Party, they sought to find out how I stood.

I read the opinion and it was clear that the concept of separate but equal was unconstitutional as far as California was concerned. (I suggested it would be equally unconstitutional at the national level.)

That said, the Prop 8 movement has also provoked questions concerning my opinion, both personally and as a leader at ACP. The ACP position was clear, we had no position on a state issue. My personal opinion was equally irrelevant - I don't live in California. But, what is going on after the election, concerns me - both as someone involved in ACP and as 1/2 of a gay relationship.

I think gays have the right to be pissed off. But I have been clear for months that Americans CAN use the ballot box to marginalize, even deny rights outright, to whatever group enough of them can agree on. That Prop 8 passed and overturned the California Supreme Court is an outcome perfectly consistent with the law.

I think gays can protest, but the response has gone well over the deep end. I have been an outspoken critic of things like Pride parades that showcase the most bizarre sides of a culture that is significantly in the minority virtually everywhere. Mainstreaming gays has been a longterm goal of the average gay and every time the outrageous happens, it sets back any advances. What is going on now, is setting gays back a decade or more as people who might have been somewhat willing to accept civil unions are getting slapped back.

I have supported civil unions for years and think that it resolves most of the issues raised by gays facing discrimination in legal matters related to couples. While I disagree strongly with the concept that gays getting married redefines marriage, it is clear - and it should be respected - that many people feel that way and are strongly opposed. Change is possible, but will not happen overnight, and the protests that are going on now will destroy ANY good will those of us that have tried to be rational proponents have gained over the last several years.

The gains made in civil unions will end here. Any attempt to get them on ballots or into laws in the near future will be held up as an attempt to force the same type of situation that is going on in California. Rather than face such an outcome, people - who would be willing to support civil unions - will turn it down.

Instead of showing people that Prop 8 was turning back the clock and marginalizing gays, the post election nightmare will give strength and support for FURTHER turning back the clock.

Once again, gays have overplayed the situation and failed to realize that they are a minority and acceptance has to be given, not taken. It is impossible to claim the Pro-Prop 8 supporters were disrespectful when every single action since has been disrespectful of the voters.

I will continue to make my arguments but it is clear whatever willingness to listen was available before will be in much shorter supply in the future. And THAT has been a defeat gays brought about themselves.

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Voting process

I was talking with CJ this morning about not voting for someone when she sought some clarification, she asked:

"So, there are 4 boxes...Obama, McCain, Not Obama and Not McCain?"

So, here was her idea. You can vote for Obama or McCain, but if you vote for Not Obama or Not McCain, then one vote is deducted from the total.


Monday, November 03, 2008


Over the last year I have had numerous arguments/debates/discussions concerning individual rights. In every conversation that I discuss the idea that the individual is sovereign, I get complete agreement ... until....

The only part of the conduct of any one, for which he is amenable to society, is that which concerns others. In the part which merely concerns himself, his independence is, of right, absolute. Over himself, over his own body and mind, the individual is sovereign.

Until we to abortion. Then, the individual is not sovereign. The individual is a surrogate, a slave to the child. Everyone objects to that characterization, but if a mother's actions are limited to benefit another, against her will.

You can argue this point if you wish, but let me discuss some practicalities.

Human life amendment: can not be enforced as long as Roe v Wade stands. And overturning Roe v Wade would require several things - ONE of which I doubt anyone wants to have happen: overturning the right to privacy.

Overturning Roe v Wade will not be overturned without cases being brought before it. Eight conservative judges will not wake up on the first day of a session and say, 'hey, the past was wrong, we are just going to toss Roe v Wade out'. It will not happen. So, what kind of cases have to be brought? Privacy issues.

The alternate is that, so far, any attempt by a state to make abortion illegal that does not have a 'life or health of the mother' clause has been tossed by the court.

Remember a certain argument I made several months ago when first discussing here our rights. Any sufficiently large number of Americans, with purpose held long enough, can deny the rights of others. Slavery can reintroduced, free speech eliminated. It is possible for Americans to deny the rights of others. Legally.

One of the issues often raised by conservatives is consequences. What would be the consequences of making abortion illegal. Most that argue for that outcome are quick to point out that they will not make the mother criminal. How that position can be reconciled - IT CAN'T - with any support for a strong support for laws, is beyond my ability. Those that have argued with me have told me they would arrest the doctor for murder. RU-486 and other types of abortive drugs would be banned. Of course, we can not ban abortion or drug availability in other countries - but that doesn't bother some, anyone that leaves pregnant and comes back not is guilty...what punishment they want in those cases is usually left unstated.

If the mother can not be allowed to have an abortion, what about actions that could be reasonably thought to cause spontaneous abortion? No one wants to go there, but a few have suggested that overt acts should be illegal. In other words, actions that can cause abortion would be made illegal.

Overturn Roe v Wade, lose the right to privacy. Make abortion illegal, you significantly infringe upon the mother's rights. These seem to be irrelevant, and many will tell you that we would never go so far. Really? I doubt it. Because the same people (often) that will tell you that gay marriage is a slippery slope don't seem to think that banning abortion has a similar slope.

And finally, where are those that oppose abortion on adoption. There are 50,000 kids awaiting adoption in this country. There is no mass movement on the right to address this life issue. Victoria and I became foster parents. Of the 15 couples and women that were in our training group, 2 were 'conservative'.

I oppose abortion. I think it is wrong. I oppose smoking, most drinking and all illegal drug use. My opinion is not enough. The individual is sovereign. And until a child is viable, the ONLY individual we have is the mother.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Corrupt flesh

The question is simple:

How does a political system which all but eliminates anyone with even a slight hint of corruption from attaining political office - create office holders that apparently are corrupt to the core?

Friday, October 24, 2008


If you were expecting a post about the stock market...sorry. I got on an elevator today but it was going up, I wanted to go down. The nice lady that pushed the button said that I would have to go up with them before being able to go down. I told her I was in the stock market and I was getting used to the up and down. We all laughed.

Fortunately I am NOT in the stock market otherwise it would have been the laugh of a desperate woman.

No, I am talking about the election. The previous post noted that the Obama supporters were no longer (if they ever were) interested in logic, reason, or even reality.

But, here is a prediction: John McCain by 51.6%

Why am I picking that number? It just came to me - but the reason for the prediction is less arbitary. A couple I have known for decades, who have never voted for anything BUT a democrat, told me they couldn't do it. They couldn't vote for Obama and their list of reasons is almost a rehash of the post below.

I think the pro-historical vote is going to get hammered by the 'you got to be kidding' group. I have argued on this blog for years that the average American - the Moderate Mainstream - is more conservative that anyone gives it credit for - but more than that, the mainstream of America is much smarter than most give them credit for.

I believe that McCain, a weak candidate, has more substance in his shadow than Obama does in his suit. 8 years ago the left was talking about gravitas. Notice they are not now? Not only does Obama lack gravitas, I am not sure he even has ....well, have you noticed a lack of jokes about his 'manliness'?

And the slams against Sarah Palin are backfiring on two fronts: conservatives are getting pissed that 'conservative = moron'. We knew were were being mocked and demeaned, but calling Sarah a moron is like saying Brett Favre was never more than a third string quarterback. On it's face, the comment is stupid. Second, honest women are getting their 'feminism' handed to them with a kick in the ass out the door. It is quite clear that 'woman' is not nearly as important as 'liberal'. Honorable democratic women that believed the Democrats really were more concerned with their issues are finding themselves not only on the outs, but dismissed as little airheads. They are not liking what they are seeing.

I have been told that McCain chose Palin to 'pander' to women. I disagree, but even if he did, it wouldn't have worked if Hillary had been treated with respect. Dem women compromised themselves for Bill Clinton and expected Hillary to be the price paid to give them back some of their dignity. They were thrown under the bus as fast as Obama could do so.

The democrats have pissed of 52% of the electorate to pander to 12%. And on November 4th, I think it will pay off....for McCain.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

No more of "21 reasons not to vote for Obama"

First, my intention to fulfill this plan is a waste of time, others are doing it better than I can, or have time to try to.

Second, it doesn't make any difference to the people that support Obama.

1. Ayers - many Democrats AGREE with William Ayers! He opposed the United States in Vietnam and he feels he didn't do enough to try and stop it. Most Democrats opposed Vietnam and feel they didn't do enough. I heard someone on the radio say that if Ayers was so bad, why wasn't he in jail? Such blindness is endemic. Further, Ayers is 'respectful' in that he holds a good job and people like him.

2. Rev. Wright - I don't know if you paid attention to all those videos of Wright ranting but the people he was speaking to were CHEERING! His rants against the United States resonates with the left and in many ways, the democrats as a whole. Consider the accusations of imperialism and then put them in the context of Wright's rant and they fade into the background noise of the anti-US left.

3. Guilt by association becomes credibility by association - precisely what Obama wanted as a budding politician. Ayers and Wright gives Obama credibility with the left even when he denounces their actions. He can denounce them..wink, wink, nudge, nudge.

4. Lack of experience is a useless argument: first, we all know that the Presidency is purely on the job training. What we want is some evidence of the candidates ability to deal with unrelenting pressure and good judgment. Obama has been running for 2 years and with the exception of lying through his teeth, he has not buckled. Further, being against Iraq, and his associations ARE signs of good judgment to those that support him.

5. Finally, charges of socialism ring hollow given the GOP's bailing out of corporations (wall street and bankruptcy 'reform' to name two), but more importantly, people WANT socialism! We have been lamenting the policies in schools of eliminating grading and the 'special' status of all students. Losing is bad and 'we' can't make Johnny and Sally feel stupid by showing them how stupid they are. Well, that has moved up the economic ladder and people don't like capitalism's winners and losers. Socialism promises the winners will be dragged back to the average and the losers will benefit. Ignore the stupidity of that promise and the complete inability of socialism to deliver what it promises because the left and the losers don't care. Smart people can make it work and it is a 'provable fact' that Obama is smart...he went to Harvard! Sarah Palin by contrast only went to some stupid college...in Idaho!?

Obama is the left's wet dream candidate. Every good reason we have to oppose him is precisely the reason the left likes him. We can't change that, reason can't change that, appeals to our founding principles will not change that. Too many people don't understand the concept of principles, OR just simply don't agree with them.

John McCain's only hope was to show he was everything Obama is not. Unfortunately, he is a 'maverick', he regularly goes to dinner on the left side of the aisle and if in the end, he is left-lite, why bother? If you can't have a solid conservative, don't want a solid conservative, why bother with a half-asses liberal, just go whole hog and get the real thing.

Obama wins by default. We lose by definition.

How nuanced can the left be? Not very. Watch and weep at the state of the election. Each day til the election I will post 1 reason not to vote for Barack Obama.

21. He is black

The elephant in the room. Race. McCain can't touch it, but Obama embraces it.
Much of Obama's overall appeal stems from his image as practically a post-racial politician. Not only does he have a mixed-race background, with a white mother from Kansas and a black father from Kenya, but his rhetoric, most notably his 2004 Democratic National Convention speech, emphasizes the importance of Americans moving beyond political, religious and racial differences. He rarely makes explicit appeals based on his race the way Jackson did. " A lot of black people aren't ready to get beyond race, because race puts them in the situation they're in," said Ron Walters, a professor at the University of Maryland who worked on Jesse Jackson's Presidential runs. "But many whites want to get beyond the past, they want to support a black person who doesn't raise the past and in fact gives them absolution from the past."
From Time, Jan 23, 2007

In 2004, George W. Bush attracted 11 percent of the black vote, up from the 9 percent he garnered in 2000. In 1996, Bob Dole, running against the nation's so-called "first black president," Bill Clinton, received 12 percent. And now with Obama in the picture, more conservative blacks may feel compelled to join the heftier group of black voters who support the Democrat.

"They're practical if nothing else, and they want to see a black president," Ronald Walters, a professor of government and politics at the University of Maryland, says of black Republican voters. "The historical factor is going to overrun some of the other considerations." In a recent Washington Post-ABC News poll, 7 percent of the surveyed African-American adults supported McCain, while 90 percent supported Obama.
From US News, Jun 27, 2008

Obama's race should have nothing to do with whether he is qualified or not to be President, but too many people are voting FOR him because he is black. Such a position is demeaning to blacks but apparently they are ok with that. There have been reports of blacks being harassed and assaulted because they oppose Obama on policy or experience grounds.

I will not vote for Obama because he is black, and neither should anyone else. Consider his positions, his judgment and his promises, but his race should not be an issue. The fact that it is - from his SUPPORTERS - is depressing. Martin Luther King would be disappointed:

I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.

Today, on the cusp of electing a black man to the Presidency, we have not fulfilled the dream.

Friday, October 10, 2008


Last night at 11:30pm, I went to the bank ATM and took out $200. It will cover food and gas for the next 3-4 days. Here is why:

CJ last night was doing her math homework. She asked for and received my help. The series of problems dealt with the breakeven point for a business, a bakery.

E = 824+3.25n
I = 8.20n

Find the break even point. I did in short order, first graphing the general idea of a solution, then the calculations. It took CJ about an hour to get all the points.

Let's take something a little more relevant, but no less appropriate: What is the GM break point, and what happens til then?

E = 1 trillion + 15,000n
I = 15,000n

First, you will notice in this fiction, there is no breakeven point. Worse, for any n, the result is a cash flow problem. GM gets around this issue by borrowing, a lot. If you were a bank, or any lender, how much would you lend such a business as this? If you were responsible, not a penny. Now, imagine owning GM stock. What would you think GM stock were worth.

If you are a little smart and thought about book value, you need to understand that you can only GET book value when things are sold...when the 5,000 biggest companies are in the same boat as GM...who can buy?

For the last year no one was sure how much mortgage backed securities were worth and that has lead to a credit crunch. Over the last month, more and more people are concerned there will be a recession (too late, already here), and therefore, they are wondering how much stocks are worth. GM has fallen below $5 a share. Sales are off 16% (trucks worse). Next year (probably already), GM will not have a breakeven point and their ability to borrow or sell stock has evaporated. I am not picking on GM, large chunks of the industrialized nations are in similar situations.

People have begun to wonder what companies are worth in the same way markets have wondered what MBS' were worth. The answer has been, "a lot less than they think".

Until people have an idea, there is no bottom.

Thursday, October 09, 2008

A right to prosperity

Come on people. O'Reilly thinks the market is rigged because he made money in the stock market over the last 5 years and all that gain was wiped out in two weeks. Why does O'Reilly think that prosperity and an ever increasing stock market is a right?

As one of his quests suggested, 30% of the top stocks in the 80s no longer exist. Further, this is a bear market. That is what happens when stock prices begin to reflect the future that is more bleak than today. Why shouldn't auto maker stocks go down when sales fall through the floor.

I am a big fan of the infinite universe of rights, but getting richer is not one of them. There is no right to prosperity. And the sooner people like Bill O'Reilly and the American consumer realize that ever rising asset prices is not the inherent future the sooner some kind of recovery can be contemplated.

I am getting tired of people demanding markets and economies act according to their wants and desires. Like the 3 year old demanding their afternoon fix of candy and holding their breath when it is not forthcoming, Americans (and most of the rest of the planet) need to grow up.

Action over substance

To Obama supporters: Do you believe President Obama can fix the current financial crisis?

Potential answers:
1. Yes. If so, how? If he has a plan, why is not putting it forward now? If he doesn't have a plan then how can he fix the problem? Also, if he COULD fix the problem, then you must think Bush could if he wanted to and therefore he wants Americans to suffer.

Is he not putting a plan forward so that the Republicans can't take credit or so that the problem persists long enough for him to win? Are either of those reasons good for Americans?

2. No. They why would you think he is better qualified to be President?

Sunday, October 05, 2008

How low can it go...

Frankly, if Obama were a Republican, he wouldn't even be a Senator. His relationship with a racist(Wright) would be MORE than enough to preclude his political career.

That said, his relationship with Ayers - even if it were as peripheral as the MSM and Obama were to have us believe, would be enough to generate an investigation into Obama's background and finances. His contacts would be enough to generate suggestions that a security clearance should be withheld.

The left doesn't care about Obama's lack of experience. Sarah Palin, in comparison is a seasoned professional. I want to be clear - there is NO candidate currently in the Presidential or Vice-Presidential slot with national and/or international experience. Biden's foreign policy experience would be pathetic if it were compared to Condi Rice. Biden's responses during the VP Debate show that lack clearly.

Being a Senator does not give you national experience even if it does give you national exposure. Being a Senator gives you committee experience - not leadership experience.

Being in a committee teaches you to pander to the constituency with the most influence and Senators are expert panderers. What they can not do is say no; be the adult.

If anything, Sarah Palin represents the adults in this country. Those of us with obligations and responsibilities recognize in her the experience that marks her as a leader. Sarah Palin's response to the 'fix me, heal me, help me, give me' crowd is 'GROW UP'. Enough of the left understands the comparison Palin makes just be being in her position and they are whining at being on the short side.

Losers hate being shown up. Winners like to see a champion perform even if it is at their expense. Losers will do anything to denigrate a winner, or their win. Anything is fair game to them. ANYTHING.

Friday, October 03, 2008

1/2 a chance

McCain, less than 18 hours after Sarah Palin gave his campaign a shot of adrenalin, attempted political suicide, again. McCain suggested he would consider calling upon Al Gore to help him deal with global warming issues.

If Sarah Palin had remained in relative obscurity in Alaska and McCain had chosen Lieberman or ...virtually any Washington name...McCain would be sitting at 20-25% in polls, running out of money and considered all but a lame duck candidate.

So the question is, why are people supporting McCain? Sarah Palin is going to be a Vice President, someone with less influence than Hillary had in Clinton White House. I really like Sarah Palin. I am really a big fan of McCain making the choice he did, but he continues to prove to me and other Conservatives that no matter what he SAYS, his actions still piss us off.

Sarah Palin gave McCain half a chance of becoming President, unfortunately she needs a running mate that brings the other half, and McCain seems disinterested.

(HT American Princess)

Thursday, October 02, 2008

Just a thought

I couldn't believe he said, but he did THREE times.

"We have spent more in 3 weeks in Iraq than we did in the last 6 years in Afghanistan"

I knew it was wrong, we have spent more than 200 Billion in Afghanistan....and Obama/Biden complains about spending $10 billion a year month...[update per commenter]

Is Joe really saying that we have only spent 7.5 billion in Afghanistan over the last 6 years?

Come on Joe, say it ain't so.

Monday, September 29, 2008

Who is stupid?

I am tired of hearing people say that the reason Main Street is opposed to the bailout is because we don't understand the consequences or potential damage not doing the bailout will cause.

Excuse me? I AM quite clear about the potential consequences. I also know that a whole shit load of people that are pushing this bailout haven't got a clue about what THEY are doing.

Why $700 billion? Well...it was a BIG number! Great. Today, the Fed added....$630 Billion in liquidity - without Congress, without the taxpayer, without ANYONE giving them permission.

I heard some moron tell me that McDonald's - an excellent credit risk - couldn't buy coffee because they couldn't get credit. Now tell me people, if I used my Visa card to buy a Starbucks coffee today, would you consider ME a good credit risk? How many companies use credit for daily operations? WAY, way too many.

We use credit like water and think we are smart. Businesses are using credit like AIR and think it is death to not have it. Well, sorry, but I have to get along without credit and there are millions and millions of people and businesses just like me. Oh, and where is the screaming about anti-trust?

I am certain we are in a recession and I am equally certain that we are at the cusp of a DEPression if the next 6 to 12 months are handled badly. After the last month, I have no hope that we can avoid it. Bailout or no bailout, the economy has to lose about 5-6 trillion in asset values. No matter how it happens, that is going to hurt everyone - frankly, I'd appreciate the idiots in Congress and on Wall Street to feel it just as bad as the rest of us.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Who is bailing, what?

Many people have argued that the bailout is necessary because the damage that can be caused by NOT doing it is too much to ask American's to bear.

First, the people making that argument do not know what they are talking about. I have spent the last 10 days reading everything I could about what might happen and there is no one that has said, "this is what will happen".

So, here is what I think will happen, with or without the bailout:

2,000 hedge funds will fail. About a trillion dollars in wealth will go with them - most of that wealth is concentrated in the Street, sovereign wealth funds and foreign investment arms of international banks. The bond insurance firms Ambac and MBIA will both fail. The ratings agencies, Moody's, S&P and Fitch's will all be put under federal scrutiny. One, maybe all three will fail.

We will see the failure of several more banks, large banks:

Bank of America North Carolina 5,728 596,584,899
JPMorgan Chase Bank Ohio 3,108 439,996,000
Wachovia Bank North Carolina 3,103 314,850,000
Wells Fargo Bank South Dakota 3,255 263,664,999
Citibank Nevada 1,036 210,289,000
Washington Mutual Bank Washington 2,180 202,706,306
SunTrust Bank Georgia 1,747 114,579,848
U.S. Bank Ohio 2,590 113,097,080
Regions Bank Alabama 2,087 88,388,815
Branch Banking and Trust Company North Carolina 1,484 83,720,251
National City Bank Ohio 1,451 82,374,824
HSBC Bank USA Delaware 455 75,342,071

Which of these will fail? Wachovia is already being watched, US Bank, SunTrust and Wells Fargo are all in danger, but only JP Morgan is in relative good shape. RBS too big to fail? HSBC?

The hedge failure and the collapse of the derivative market will cascade. Already we have dozens of pension funds and other depositers like States with significant exposure to these markets and in many cases, they were unaware of it. Many of the firms that put those funds into risky situations will be facing legal actions. Auction rate systems will cause significant access limitations to funds by these agencies. Additional borrowing will be significantly limited and therefore those firms that have used short term borrowing rather than accessing long term investment pools will have no choice but to sell those long term investments into a down market. Florida, Ohio and Pennslyvania have already have some of these issues.

Already we are seeing consequences of the actions already taken. WaMu suffered because of Fannie and Freddie. How many banks, investments pools and funds hold securities that already are defunct but are still being carried on their books? Most of them. Sometime in the next week, financial institutions are going to close their books for the quarter and the damage is severe. The bailout will only change that if someone figures out a way to repeal Sarbanes Oxley - or at least the mark to market provisions. It would be a mistake to do so. I am not a fan of SO, but the only reason to NOT mark to market is if you plan on holding the instrument to maturity - something seldom done anymore. If I am going to use an instrument to borrow against, I am going to have to prove the value to the lender as if sometime in the near future a default requires the liquidation of that instrument.

So, we have serious impairment and failure of another 3-5 top 20 banks and a significant loss of funds in instruments that support ongoing operations of organizations or firms. The damage to those firms will cause operation impairments - people will lose paychecks. How many? Fewer than should. SHOULD? Yes. For exactly the same reason that people need to change their behavior when they are faced with the consequences of their actions, those organizations should have to change their behavior. How many companies should be borrowing to meet payroll, week after week? Who is responsible to keep those companies afloat? If we bailout the financial markets, we will take that responsibility. How many firms have something less than sufficient funds to meet their obligations to retirees? 10%, 5? It is a cinch the vast majority do not - neither do states, nor the Federal Government. We have borrowed the future and the bailout just extends that a little further. Like a payday loan, the interest is killing us, and we are only going to make it worse.

Even if we were to make a profit on the $700 billion, it will not happen for years. And in the meantime we will pay. IF, this bailout were sufficient to solve the problem, it might be worth it. But it is not. Here is why: 600 trillion in derivatives have to be unwound. Not all of them, not today. Real estate prices, not just in the United States, but in Europe, England and other places have to come back down to some realistic level. What that level is will be different from place to place, and from time to time so predicting it will be impossible. How much real estate changes will determine how much the derivative market needs to unwind. I took a look at the median income vs the median home prices in the 50 states. In 40 of the states, the median home was too expensive for the median income. Over the next year to 18 months, incomes are going to go down so median home prices will need to go further.

Why will incomes go down? No choice. We have been fudging the books. Unemployment has been higher as has been inflation that is being reported. In both cases, the outward reality is going to be harder to hide. Real estate is coming down. Despite the 'closing' price of the markets, people are seeing significant drops in their investments. Over the last 6 months 10-20%. Combined with real estate values, people are going to hold back new spending. Unable to hide the rising mess in the economy, we will get to see what is really happening....about November 15th.

This will make the bailout worse in two ways: lower revenues and lower asset prices. It will also not stop the falling of either.

We can't make asset prices be what they need to be. We can pretend they are not what they are - but that requires money, lots of money. Right now the overall real estate market is down about 10%, on it's way to 15%. If real estate was $20 trillion, we need $2-3 trillion to hold prices. $700 billion is a nice down payment, but it won't even cause a pause. Some have suggested that real estate may need to come down as much as 40% in some areas - ALERT, in some areas, it passed 40% before the summer. If we get to 30% (which is about where median incomes say it should be), then we need $6 trillion to hold prices. But holding prices is not what we need to do - we actually need prices to come down. That means letting them fall and establishing some level. The only way to do that is to let the markets deterimine what is an appropriate level.

How much will this impact the economy? The loss of $6-7 trillion in assets is going to hurt. If we get unemployment reaching 20 million, how much will that impact the overall economy? The $4 coffee industry? The $2 bottled water industry? The $65 manicure, $100 hair cut, $75,000 car industry?

The bailout can't work because the disease is incurable. At least not with anything we can actually use. We have $600 trillion in derivatives that have to be unwound. Someone is holding them as assets on a book somewhere. Those derivatives, in the end, are based on the value of real estate, which is worth considerably less than it used to be. We have to REPORT somewhere, soon, the loss of trillions of dollars, $700 billion will not change that, it may not even cause a little twitch.

The new President will preside over the mother of all recessions - it will not be caused by a bunch of money/finance geeks. It will not be even be caused by a bunch of politically connected, under supervised, greedy bastards. It will have been caused by 200 million people living beyond their means - but not just them, their employers and their governments too. Such is life.

We are in a recession. It will continue for the next nine to 12 months. It could get worse, if the attempted cure makes things worse. Adding debt, living beyond our means - collectively is not the appropriate cure.

Do, or don't, the bailout will not change things.

Sunday, September 21, 2008


I am a conservative. I believe that the Government is a necessary partner in the operation of our country. I also believe it is, or should be, a minor partner. Every day people and businesses make choices and those choices have consequences, for better or worse. When those consequences are good, we celebrate and cheer. When those consequences are bad, we suffer and hopefully, get back up to try again.

You know....I can't be real considered in this post. I am spitting mad. For the last 18 months I, and a lot of other people have been warning that the financial markets are in deep trouble and unless something changes, the consequences of years of bad choices were going make hash of our financial institutions. Well, every time some official told the world everything was ok and that the few doomsayers were part of the lunatic fringe, fewer and fewer people paid attention. The damage continued to grow every time a little effort was made to put a bandaid on a fatal wound. Fatal you question? Bear Stearns died and people congratulated the financial system. Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac have been put on life support and people cheered. This past week, Lehman Brothers and Merrill Lynch died and the markets were concerned; AIG needed a heart transplant and a few stutter-stepped. And then, in a perfectly healthy, strong economy, the Federal Government promised an entire market that their stupid, bad choices would have no consequences. And in reality, the only thing that happened was that every warning about doing the wrong thing was seen to be a laugh line in a comedy routine.

Too big to fail means that you need to make as many choices as possible to get big enough that no one will make you pay for your mistakes.

I have been told this week that we have no choice. The consequences of letting those institutions that made bad choice on top of bad choice is too much for the American Taxpayer to bear. So, the United States Government is going to make the American Taxpayer PAY....

We have no choice, we can not punish the stupid choices of firms and government because the cost to our economy is too much. The damage would be too great.

So, we will fire some people, trim around the edges of the wound, use a bigger bandaid. As one of the lunatic fringe, I am sorry to say, the patient might be alive, but only because the machines are keeping him that way. Soon enough....say January or February, the plug will not be pulled, the electricity will fail.

Enjoy Christmas.

Friday, September 19, 2008


This week, a dozen crackheads walked into Wall Street and warned them about withdrawal symptoms. The Fed and the Treasury said that would be terrible and so gave them all 1/2 of the needed hit. And promised the dealers they would cover future needs.

Congratulations. The rest of Wall Street cheered that the crackheads would be mollified, and celebrated.

Update: I do consider the cure to be worse than the disease.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Why me?

Ok, come on all you of the religious side of the blogosphere...why am I doing this?

Jesus was NOT a community organizer. He was a teacher, a RABBI! He went around, preaching and teaching about God. He did not get Jews all organized to petition the Roman Governor for better housing, new jobs, or better education. As a matter of fact, he wasn't even organizing Jews to petition their own religious leaders.

And for calling or suggesting that Palin was/is the same as Pilate, well, I am sure there are 49 other state governors that have issues with that characterization also.

Why am I having to do this?

Thursday, August 14, 2008

American Conservative Party

In November 1994, the nation voted the Republican party into the majority of the US House of Representatives for the first time in 40 years. Conservatives rejoiced that they were finally being represented by a like-minded majority in our nation’s largest representative body.

Over the next 8 years the GOP rode the promises and successes of the Contract with American to victory in the White House, and then the Senate. Sadly, once elected into leadership of the entire elected Federal government, the Republican Party proved itself to be nothing more than what they asked conservatives to help them throw out less than a decade before: standard issue politicians.

Through a variety of scandals, spending sprees, and self serving legislation, the Republicans turned their back on a wide range of conservative principles, and in turn the conservative majority that had trusted them with the power to lead.

In 2006, control over the national legislature was given to the Democrats through a combination of conservatives either staying home at best, or even voting for the new, conservative-sounding Democrats, deciding to give them a chance to lead.

The results have been illuminating.

The Democrats have used their hold on power to hamstring the nation prior to the upcoming election. As of this writing they are on recess, having done nothing to address the serious energy crisis looming on the horizon though the Friends of Angelo and their allies did find time to pass a bailout for their donors in the mortgage industry.

And the Republicans? While their efforts in the minority have their moments of promise for conservatives, they too supported the bailout of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, a public/private company that continues to escape standard industry regulation while giving millions to leaders of each party.

I guess you can’t expect too much from a party that failed to oppose the choice of people trusted to run that boondoggle (hint: google Jamie Gorelick)

In case there is any doubt where conservatives and our principles stand in the GOP today, the leadership put their influence, contacts, and resource to nominate a man to the party’s Presidential nomination whose primary legislative battles of the last decade include:

    - Watering down the first amendment and protecting incumbent politicians from criticism before an election

    - Attempting to reward illegal entry into the country through amnesty and putting them ahead of those immigrants waiting for entry while still abroad.

    - Handcuffing the GOP Senate majority in the most far-reaching power they hold - confirmation of judges to the federal bench

The history of the GOP in regards to conservatives is clear: they court us and respect our principles when they need power, and leave those principles behind once in command.

With the next election, we can look forward to a government dedicated to the priorities of the new political class : holier than though leadership by self styled wise men and women whose initiatives will usher in an era of big government, expanded entitlements, identity politics and grievance theaters that will occupy even greater time and attention in a compliant media environment.

Currently, there is no one in Washington or beyond that we can trust to stop the madness and return this nation the principles of its founding:

Individual rights and responsibilities

Small unobtrusive government

Protection of American interests abroad

These are the ideals the powered the greatest experiment in citizen government in history.

And it is with these principles and ideals that we have formed the American Conservative Party, a national group focused on taking the power of government from the political class and putting it back in the hands of real leaders.

Leaders whose accomplishments go beyond winning elections or editing an Ivy League law review. Leaders who understand they are elected to represent the people, not rule them.

A fight against a force as large, powerful, and entrenched behind the great wall of bureaucracy will take time, planning, resources, and most importantly, people.

It’s because of this final need that we are contacting you today.

If you are interested in helping to take back your local government from the coalition of lobbyists, union bosses, bureaucrats, and grievance groups deciding how best to spend your money and expand their reach into your daily life, come by and have a look at our platform.

If you are tired of judges and commissions eroding your rights and deciding your values and ideals have no place in our society, come and take a look at our creed.

And if you want to be a part of the fight to take back the governance of our nation from a self-selecting elite that encroaches further and further into your life, then join up and become part of the party that puts you front and center of our mission.

The American Conservative Party: putting you back in charge.

Conspiracy theory

Regular readers of this blog know that I picked Lieberman as McCain's VP back in March. So, I have been waiting for a while to see if it happens. Given that Lieberman has become attached to the hip of McCain, I am very comfortable in my prediction.

I haven't bothered with Obama's pick because, well, I don't care. But I was thinking....how smart are the Superdelegates of the Democratic Party? Could they be smart enough to think:

Hillary Clinton received more popular votes than Obama. What if the superdelegates, say about 200 of them, thought:

Hillary is going to get hammered by McCain for months before the Convention. What if we pledge to Obama and let him get hammered all summer, then vote for Hillary at the Convention?

Then, she will have the money to go after McCain and he will have spent millions going after the wrong candidate. Her financial status suggests that she in fact won't have the money...but what if all of a sudden is the candidate....she could raise millions in a few weeks and be ready to hit McCain right after the GOP convention.

Just sayin....

Now on to why I have been absent: The American Conservative Party.

A press release:

On August 1st, the House Republican Caucus took the lead in the current energy crisis, staying on the floor of the house to speak after the session was closed.

In response to their defiance, Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi attempted to remove the Representatives from the floor, and when that was unsuccessful, shut down the lights and ordered C-Span to turn off the cameras in the chamber.

And still the House Republicans continue to speak. The GOP has shown true leadership in drawing attention to the unwillingness of the Democrat leadership to allow use of America's natural resources, alleviate economy crippling energy costs, and reduce our dependence on oil from overseas.

We at the American Conservative Party applaud the House Republicans, and salute this demonstration of the power of a principled stand for a conservative cause.

Speaker Pelosi's efforts to stifle debate displays the arrogance of the Democratic leadership and their disdain for the American people. Her actions demonstrate to the nation that the Democratic party and it's leadership has failed in their primary promise in the election in 2006 - the most open and honest congress in U.S. history.

The role of the Blue Dog Democrats, who won election and control over the House for the Democratic party via their stated belief in conservative principles, should not be overlooked either.

Their support has put into power a woman whose primary concern this summer is selling books and a quixotic effort to 'save the planet'.

The role of the representatives in the House - no matter their position - is to represent the people, not rule them. Now would be a great time for the Blue Dogs to remind Nancy Pelosi that she is Speaker of the House, not savior of Gaia.

This week has shown that her arrogance knows no bounds. In spite of her reversal on allowing a vote for offshore drilling as part of an energy package, she continues to keep the House cameras dark. Leaders do not fear the voice of dissent, and Speaker Pelosi has shown that she is not fit to lead the people's house.

Additionally, the failure of the three major networks to cover the event only serves to demonstrate that the MSM is complicit in pushing the agenda of the left over the rights of Americans.

This does not inspire confidence, as Speaker Pelosi and her Democratic colleagues openly seek to silence conservative voices via the 'Fairness Doctrine' and will likely find other ways to ensure that it is only their voice that the American people hear.

This crisis we find our selves in was not inevitable, however, and we are reminded that it is only in the minority that the GOP boldly stands behind conservative ideals. While in the majority, the GOP
- did not use the power given to them to lessen our dependence on foreign oil by ending the ban on offshore drilling
- did not encourage investment in nuclear, clean coal, and other viable sources of energy
- did not step in to block environment lawsuits that have stopped the oil companies from drilling on the disputed 68 million acres currently leased for drilling.

It is a fine thing to see conservative leadership in an area so crucial to the continued growth and prosperity of our country. It would be better if the American people could have counted on that leadership from the Republican Party when they could do something about it.

Monday, June 16, 2008

A Father's Day

Summer of 1968. It was a summer day - not sure which day of the week though it was probably Saturday. Probably late June or mid-July. In our neighborhood, parents sat out on the front steps and kids played in the neighborhood.

Why the following happened, I don't remember. We were talking, my parents and I about something lost to the past. My father looked at me and asked, "want to take a walk?" It was a very surprising question but I said yes. We took off and I looked back at my mother once or twice and she just shrugged her shoulders.

We walked down 63rd Street, heading west. We talked about things, another topic lost to history. About 5 blocks later, we were coming up on the local movie theater. I commented that I wanted to see one of the movies on the double feature. My father said, "let's go." Shock. Awe. Cool.

What were the two movies? 2001, A Space Odyssey and The Green Berets.

I was looking forward to 2001. But I feel in love with sci-fi that day and John Wayne by that evening. A couple of years later my father would teach me to golf. Well, teach is a strong word, he gave me a chance to swing clubs at a ball.

Today, sci-fi and golf are my favorite past-times. And while the Duke has passed on, I have a collection of his work and I like it all. The Green Berets were a little seed that eventually grew and bore fruit - I joined the Air Force at 19. A personal obligation to Peter-son.

I have told my father this several times, but it bears repeating. Parents touch their children in unremarkable, but indelible ways. An afternoon walk and a couple hours in a theater gave me passions that have stayed with me for going on 40 years.

We went camping virtually every year when I was growing up. Several weekends a month and two weeks at the beginning of summer. Fishing, camping, swimming. I love the summer and outdoors. My father cared more about us growing up than stuff or position. In the end, the Jones' were much poorer than my family.

Dad isn't perfect, no father is. But let me be very clear - in all my travels and with everyone I have ever met, I have found no equal to my father.

Happy Father's Day Dad. You earned it.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008


Everyone knows I am an arrogant bitch. Ok, maybe that is too strong, but opinionated? Absolutely. Strong willed? No doubt. Always think I'm right? No.

For several years...since October 04, I have used this site to post comments, commentary and opinions - is that repeating myself over and over? - on topics of interest to me. Most commonly politics and economics. I think I have been consistent, in my positions and my logic.

Victoria has been dealing with a significant medical problem and I have been occupied dealing with all the issue associated with it. I have also been very active at the American Conservative Party (ACP) site and devoting a lot of time and effort there.

This morning I came down to work on work things. I started thinking about Victoria's request to CJ on what she was going to do with her summer - school is out in 2 weeks. Victoria is thinking that CJ should try her hand at a business - for no other reason than to occupy her and let her make a little money. So, I spent some time doing research on one possibility.

I also logged into ACP and checked into chat and looked at recent postings. I was thinking about the format of the site and thinking about things that might be changed to make following discussions easier.

I started checking my reader for posts received from other blog sites to catch up there. Found a site that was interesting and signed up for that - but had to check in with Facebook and MySpace in the process. It reminded me I have not done a BlogRadio show in a while and someone suggested an ACP connection a while back....so I updated that profile with ACP in mind.

While that was going on, I started making a little room on my desk and came across some notes on a project I wanted to post on...except there was no where for it to really go in the context of everything else I was already working on....so I considered starting another blog for that to go into.

If this sounds like I am a little all over the place today....you don't know the half of it, but I have not been doing my job.

That ends today.

I have work to do, and it needs to be done. Although my posting here is sporadic at times, this is the only place that gets to be the catchall.


Consequences of Same Sex Marriage

From an AP report out of Boston:

After four years of legalized same sex marriages in Massachusetts, researchers have found some startling facts:

1. 3 in 10 straight marriages ended with at least one partner remarrying the same sex within 3 months;

2. An additional 3 in 10 marriages ended with both partners remarrying the same sex within 6 months.

3. The historical average of 53% of marriages ending in divorce increased to 84% for marriages between straight couples.

4. The number of marriages between opposite sex partners declined 65%.

Some respondents to the survey gave the following reasons for their divorce:

"My wife used to nag me every weekend when I played golf with my friends, so I said what the hell. I divorced her and married my best friend. Now we play golf every weekend and no one nags us."

"My husband would never just sit and talk with me. I spent so much time with my best friend, that we both got divorced and married each other. We both can sit and talk for hours now, it is great."

"Well, my parents got divorced when I was 14. Dad is still in jail for shooting my mom with a nail gun and Mom has learned how to feed herself again. I just didn't want that kind of marriage."

Gay is normal

for a small segment of the human population. Homosexuality has persisted throughout recorded human history. A small segment of the human population will always (if the past is any indicator of our human genome) be homosexual.

If it is normal to be homosexual, is any law limiting the rights of gays reasonable if it is based solely on being homosexual? Someone is going to offer some specific thing like: yea, homosexuals can't be around children because they will molest them - ignoring the fact that most pedophiles are straight.

Let's outlaw divorce.

WHOA!?!? Where did that come from?

The most common refrain from those opposed to gay marriage is that it will have a devastating effect in marriage. They have not, to me, provided any proof or specific example of what that effect might be, but it is devastating....

Ever watch a marriage unfold in a divorce? On a rare occasion we have two adults in the process, but more commonly we have one adult and a child (the other is actually an adult that is acting so childish as to appear a child in all but age). And watch out when we have 2 children getting a divorce.....no barbarian EVER considered leaving that much destruction in their wake, even the Romans did less to Alexandria. God help the children in those situations because nothing else will.

If people REALLY wanted to protect marriage, they would outlaw divorce. That will have a much greater impact that the potential damage (if any) gay marriage would have on straight marriage.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Principles of the American Conservative Party

Voting was held this week on the following principles and overwhelming majority of those voting approved them.

Principles of the American Conservative Party


From this Foundation, all principles flow.

  • The individual is sovereign
    • We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.
  • Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just limited powers from the consent of the governed
    • We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity do ordain and establish the Constitution for the United States of America.


Authority of Government

  • The citizens of the United States are the sole source of power and life of the United States Government. All powers and authority not explicitly given by the citizens to their representatives remain with the states or the people thereof.
  • The United States Government has the authority and obligation to protect its citizens and their liberties from all actual and perceived threats regardless of the source, location or scope.

Limitiations on Government

  • The federal legislature may make no law that abridges or limits the Constitutional rights of an individual.
  • No state may abridge a citizen's right to life, liberty, or property without due process of law.
  • Property currently owned or controlled by the Government is held in Trust for the citizens
  • Regardless of compensation, no property shall be forcibly taken by government for private use or profit.


  • Any child, born of a citizen, shall have all the legal rights of a citizen born or naturalized into the United States.
  • Persons who are not citizens or resident aliens of the United States have no right to petition or benefit from any agency of the government except for petition of entry or asylum.
  • A child born in the United States to non-citizens is not a citizen.

Citizen Responsibilities

  • Each adult citizen is responsible for the health, education and welfare of himself or herself and their family.
  • No adult citizen may call on the resources of another citizen or group of citizens without their explicit, expressed consent.
  • No citizen or group of citizens, by expression of any character or physical trait, may call upon the resources, nor abridge the rights, of another citizen or group of citizens without their explicit, expressed consent.
  • It is the responsibility of every citizen to participate in the political process.

Saturday, May 17, 2008


A recent conservation discussed our obligation towards our fellow citizens. One example was a couple, he was disabled and she had become injured. The question was: if you were aware of the situation, wouldn't you help? I answered maybe.

Do I have the resources needed? Can I spare them and not risk my own family? While the disabled and injured suggests that the couple bore no responsibility for their condition, but the nature of their situation was not offered. Had they overspent? Had they acted irresponsibility? Is it my responsibility to mitigate the consequences of someone else's choices?

I pointed out that while I might have some obligation towards them, I certainly could not be forced to take it. To be clearer, while I might have some obligation towards my fellow citizen, I can not off-load that obligation onto government thereby making my personal obligation the obligation of all citizens. That is the point: government does not have a personal obligation towards the citizenship: promote the GENERAL welfare.

Organizations like the Red Cross and the Salvation Army were formed by people and supported by large populations that feel a personal obligation towards those that have suffered some calamity. This is the appropriate way to work together to deal with personal obligations. Turning to the government to force (and that is what tax collection is) citizens to contribute to the specific welfare of specific people is a taking for private use.

Crossposted to American Conservative Party

Friday, May 16, 2008


In this post, I commented on the disparity between what is being reported as inflation and what it more like really is.

There are several economic items that on their face appear to be holding their own, but looking further you can see the rot spreading.

The inflation factor means the government (and anyone else) that bases raises and entitlements can get away with lower increases. So there is incentive to cheat.

It appears that the banks that make up the basis for calculating LIBOR (the London version of the Fed rate) have been cheating about how much they have really been paying each other. The result has been a lower rate than is actually occurring.

The question is, if banks and others are lowering interest rates AND inflation is actually a lot higher than being reported....isn't the spread killing investors? Duh. Well, only if you are the idiot actually ponying up the actual money. Those that create the instruments of demise are doing, well, not so well either.

Why then is all this slight of hand going on? Because a 500 trillion dollar derivatives market is poised to collapse and the banks, the majority of the top 100, will collapse with them. The Fed and the ECB can't, won't let that happen.

Unemployment is skyrocketing. What you say, the numbers don't show that. Of course they do, unless all you are looking at is a reported measure of the numbers someone else is reading for you. Hours worked fell substantially in April. The equivalent loss of 400,000 jobs. AND, the job rate is based on a modifier called the birth/loss. This is where the gooberment estimates how many jobs were created by the birth or loss of small businesses - too small to actually report actual numbers. Over the last almost year, this measure has been, to put it nicely, nuts. It continues to show increases in jobs in new businesses in construction, real estate and finance. Without this incredibly false increase, the joblessness rate would be almost a full point higher.

The rate of building new homes has dropped almost 2 million per year. How many people do you think that has cost them their jobs? If you said, a lot, congrats. If you said, the industry added almost 200,000 jobs over last 10 months, then you can go work for the gooberment.

Inflation understated, unemployment understated, interest rates, understated.

Oh, by the way, foreclosures and bankruptcies are climbing.

I am on the look out for good news, so far, the only good news is that Victoria's business is going to continue to get better this year.

Friday, May 09, 2008

Conservatism = Social conservatism?

I have become more and more unhappy with the idea that conservatism is defined by social issues. I have used the term traditionalist to describe those that promote social conservatism in a political realm.

Their arguments are consistently along the lines that society should not just change for the sake of changing. It is a simplistic and often useless observation. Society doesn't JUST change for the sake of changing. People didn't wake up and decide that children should be in charge, they abdicated their responsibilities over several generations.

Further, they will often suggest that long history has determined what works and we should not just toss those workable solutions - the most common time for this argument is in the area of marriage and their opposition to gay marriage. But no one is suggesting straight people have to start marrying gays, or that straight people have to get divorced.

Social conservatives have been in the GOP because they oppose the Democrat/liberal positions - NOT because they are politically conservative. Seldom do they make their arguments from a perspective of individual/constitutional rights. They use history, tradition, and very infrequently except by inference, Scripture.

If you support socially positions, great. I think you should be active in your support. Just don't call it conservatism, especially in the political arena.

Thursday, May 01, 2008

HATE and the Fruit Tree

From Powerline:

Barack Obama gave his "More Perfect Union" speech in Philadelphia on March 18 to tamp down the furor caused by the release of videos excerpts of his pastor's sermons. Obama himself had proclaimed the importance of his pastor to his life over the past twenty years in books and interviews. Both circumstantial and direct evidence demonstrated Obama's knowledge of Reverend Wright's sick and indefensible views.

Rather than forthrightly condemn them in his Philadelphia speech, Obama chose to give the appearance of transcending them. Obama reviewed American history going back to the founding, provided autobiographical reflections, and presented himself as the man come to redeem racial relations in the United States. Obama denied familiarity with the statements whose revelation gave rise to his speech and suggested that they unfairly represented the man. Obama's speech provided the larger context for understanding Wright. Here is the key passage:

Why associate myself with Reverend Wright in the first place, they may ask? Why not join another church? And I confess that if all that I knew of Reverend Wright were the snippets of those sermons that have run in an endless loop on the television and You Tube, or if Trinity United Church of Christ conformed to the caricatures being peddled by some commentators, there is no doubt that I would react in much the same way

But the truth is, that isn't all that I know of the man. The man I met more than twenty years ago is a man who helped introduce me to my
Christian faith, a man who spoke to me about our obligations to love one another; to care for the sick and lift up the poor. He is a man who served his country as a U.S. Marine; who has studied and lectured at some of the finest universities and seminaries in the country, and who for over thirty years led a church that serves the community by doing God's work here on Earth - by housing the homeless, ministering to the needy, providing day care services and scholarships and prison ministries, and reaching out to those suffering from HIV/AIDS.

As long as they were black homeless, black needy, black HIV sufferers. Our personal experience with Trinity is that it is a racist, white hating, and clearly AMERICAN hating church.

The Reverend Wright is a hater. He HATES. It doesn't really matter what he HATES, a man of God would not HATE. Would he?

Barak Obama made a fine speech about supporting the man behind the public persona, now Obama claims to have bitten into the apple from the tree of knowledge. Now that we have all seen that man, we must question, no, we must HOLD Barak Obama to his claim:

I can no more disown him than I can disown the black community. I can no more disown him than I can my white grandmother...

By their fruits you shall know them. Apparently, after 20 years of being a student of the Rev Wright, we all better acknowledge that Obama is THE fruit that has fallen not far from the tree.
And like an apple just fallen from the tree, it is just a matter of time for the rot to appear.