Libya

The uprising in Libya is both surprising and heartening. Surprising because the Gaddafi dictatorship has been so effective in maintaining its power through fear and oppression for so long and heartening to see the people realize they no longer have to be downtrodden by the so called leaders of the nation.

Will the protesters be successful in Libya as others have in Tunisia and Egypt? That remains to be seen, but I hope so. Like all people living in repressed regimes around the world, they deserve better than to be ruled by uncaring despots.

Sic Semper Tyrannis.

Commentary: Obama’s proposed budget

I’ve read and looked over several articles on Obama’s proposed budget plan and find it overall somewhat lacking and far from adequate to addressing the budgetary problems the nation is facing. Ultimately the entire government structure of this nation is at fault for the mass debts and deficits and no party can claim innocence in bringing about the problem. Worse though is the continuing attitude of our elected leaders that they can simply spend U.S. taxpayer’s money on unneeded and unnecessary projects that could (and should) either be eliminated or deferred until such time as the nation is in better economic standing.

Among the problems:

1. $1 Trillion over 10 years saving is laughable considering Obama’s hand in racking up the highest yearly debt and deficit in a single year of his Presidency already outstrips this number. Combine that with the corporate welfare the government gave the likes of Wall Street and the U.S. auto industry and it becomes patently ludicrous to think such measly cuts will accomplish anything.

2. Rail lines. I love the idea of high speed rail road lines but the nation honestly does not need them, they are not a top priority in the sea of issues this nation is dealing with. At this point, they are a luxury. Obama wants to keep spending money on unnecessary rail projects. Updated rail lines may seem necessary to some, but for the vast majority of Americans there is no use for this mode of transport. These rail lines can wait until there is a time that allows for their creation by the government. Better still, let private investors and companies take over the railroad system. Knowing that AmTrack is a failure as a business, why should more American taxpayer money go into another unnecessary government funded project that will provide little to no benefit while continuing to expand the deficit an debt. For me, this is considered pork project. Save it for when the country is flush with money, not drowning in debt.

3. $500 million spent to implement ObamaCare. My opposition to ObamaCare and the reasons why (both politically and fiscally) are I believe well known by readers of this blog. Add on top of this Medicare reimbursement rates being cut to doctors.

4. While claiming to want to expand green energy, alternate fuels and more environmentally friendly alternatives it proposes to cut the EPA. While I have no love for the EPA and the fascists that now run it, cutting funding to hydrogen and fuel-cell development doesn’t make sense even as it continues electric vehicle plans. Obviously one lobby got the President’s ear at the expense of another even though both are considered part of the alt-fuels movement.

It’s difficult but all spending needs to be cut to bare minimums to until the debt and deficit are eliminated, not be “reduced” or “controlled”, but eliminated in its entirety. That goal may take decades to achieve, but better to get it done, and get rid the fiscal irresponsible activities it encourages, than suffer even more greatly by ignoring the problem. It’s the only sure way to save the nation from economic catastrophe. Our government officials need to take a hard line position on spending by sticking to the basics and eliminating all else until better economic times and fiscal responsibility prevail. Until then nothing will change as the politicians continue to bungle the nation’s economy and debt.

Ideas to get started with:

  • Across the board 10% cuts to all programs.
  • Across the board 10% trimming of Federal employees. Alternatively, mandatory reduction of all Federal employee salaries and benefits to that of private employee and implementation of a merit based system that eliminates ineffective workers and rewards hard working diligent government employees.
  • Reducing Defense Spending to 15-20% of overall budget.
  • Freeze all non-humanitarian aid packages.
  • End the tax benefits of U.S. companies sending American jobs over seas. Better still, raise their tax rates to 5-10% higher than those keeping jobs in country to encourage outsourced companies and jobs to return to the nation and grow the economy and jobs.
  • Look into creating a new SS system that guarantees the benefits of retirees while creating a new system for the younger generation similar in nation to those adopted in other nations, ala Brazil, et. al.

Egyptian Uprising Aftermath: Now What?

Uprising will only become a revolution when demands of protesters are met – The Irish Times – Tue, Feb 15, 2011

The Egyptian revolt is not yet a “revolution”. It remains a mass uprising against a military regime that has been in power since the monarchy was overthrown in 1952. The uprising will become a revolution only if and when the demands of the democracy movement are met. These include an end to military rule, lifting of the emergency laws imposed since 1981, and free and fair multiparty elections. If these objectives are attained, Egypt will have staged a real revolution and secured democracy for the first time in its 7,000 years of history.

All of this is true. The trouble, as usual, lies in the details as that nation decides how to proceed and what ultimately their goals are among the sometimes diametrically opposed factions. From a purely observational standpoint, it appears the all agree in theory to a democracy. The problem is what sort of democracy? A pure democracy where majority rules regardless of a minority’s opinions? A European style parliament the Mubarak regime merely aped while crushing oppositions parties access? A U.S. style Republic? Or something entirely different? It’s a lot of choices to wade through and decide on.

My hope is that the Egyptian people will pick a system and creates a constitution that will protect the rights of all of it’s citizens while providing equal protections, rights and representation to all without bias towards gender, religion, economic status, or race. Equally it is my hope they chose a government severely limiting the state imposing itself on the people and industry so that freedom and prosperity may be allowed to take and flourish for all Egyptians, not a small select few.

Commentary: Turn Off National Anthem Article

Time to Turn Off National Anthem Before Sports Events — FanHouse

I personally find Mr. Blackistone’s article ridiculous and honestly offensive. It appears Mr. Blackistone has confused the “Star Spangled Banner” being about politics rather than a song about a nation. It seems to me it is more the author’s own bias and political opinion getting in the way rather than something that  has become traditional being meaningless. Traditions rarely are ever meaningless except to those who do not value, let alone, respect traditions even when they may disagree with said traditions.

Perhaps I’ve gotten too old or too conservative over the years, but I don’t see the author’s point as to why tradition should be tossed aside? All I see here is an other self-righteous fool wanting to eliminate something they find objectionable for no other reason than that they don’t like it. All Mr. Blackistone does is come off as an arrogant douche bag.

Egypt Strikes, Suleiman Warns

Strikes Erupt as Egypt Protesters Defy VP’s Warnings

“The culture of democracy is still far away,” he said.

A rather telling comment about the dictators who’ve run Egypt for decades. Funny how when they were in power, they claimed Egypt was a democracy. And now that their dictatorship is threatened, they say Egyptians aren’t ready for democracy. Given this attitude, the protesters are right to be concerned that Mubarak and his cronies have no intention of making any concessions to protesters nor allow genuine democracy to come to fruition in Egypt. Suleiman further undermines he and his fellow autocrats believability (what little remains of it) with vague threats of martial law and cracking down on the protesters who, in turn, become more determined in the face of threats.