State of the Sphere…

Thirdsphere that is.

I haven’t posted much partly because work, school, and life in general have been hectic. Partially because I honestly haven’t felt like blogging about what’s happening in the world, let alone the United States and its current socio-economic political insanity.

I started watching the Presidential candidate races giving up on the Democrats early on as it’s a given they’ve already sold out to Hillary Clinton without giving the American people a true choice of candidates.Sorry won’t be voting for that hypocrite just because she’s a woman. A similar argument was made with Obama’s campaign (e.g. you were racist if you voted against him because you disagree with his policies) just this time you’re a misogynist or a self-hating woman if you don’t support Hillary.

On the flip side the Republicans have too many candidates most of which are so right wing even the party base doesn’t like them or (in a few cases) too reasonable (read: moderate) for the party to vote for.

So into this fray walks Donald Trump and sadly it looks like he may well be the next Republican Presidential candidate. Why is popular? My guess would be that though he started off as a joke to me (and really I do still see him that way) he has struck a chord with Americans tired of watching the elected officials projecting weakness and indecision to the world and selfishness, greed, and obstructionism at home. Trump may be a arrogant ass but he’s perceived as confident, assertive and strong when compared to the other politicians in the race.

We’ll see how this election goes, but for now I’m betting on a D.Trump v H.Clinton presidential contest. Who do I think would win such a match up? Trump, but just barely and largely due to the long political shadows around Clinton.

 

Obama’s Supreme Court Comments

I’ve been considering President Obama’s comments about the Supreme Court potentially overturning ObamaCare deciding if he was serious or making the usual political hay politicians are wont to do when they think a ruling bu the judiciary will not be to their benefit. I’ve come to the conclusion it was  a bit of both. The fact that it was a bit of both only reaffirms my belief that Obama does not understand how the U.S. Constitution and the government derived from it works.

President Obama claimed that it was unprecedented for the SCOTUS to overturn “a law that was passed by a strong majority of a democratically elected Congress.” Obviously the President has conveniently forgotten that last two hundred years or so in which the SCOTUS has acted as a judicial review of laws that may infringe upon, if not outright counter, the framework of the Constitutional government and Bill of Rights all Americans live under. That hardly makes the SCOTUS overruling laws passed by a majority of Congress unprecedented.

Disturbingly, President Obama tried to imply that the number of votes that passed ObamaCare somehow makes it exempt from challenge or judicial review; that the Legislature and Executive branches of the Federal Government were above any and all judicial process. That is the mindset of would be dictators, not democratically minded politicians. The President clearly does not understand that the United States is a Federal Republic in which democracy exists, but the “mob rule” is not allowed to trample those that were in the minority of a vote. This attitude is a primary reason the Founders established our three-part government: to establish checks and balances that prevent any part of the triad from being able to usurp control of the nation for their own ends and rule without restraint.

So I am left wondering:

  1. Was Obama playing politics, trying to stoke up furor amongst his base and the radical left?
  2. Does Obama truly believe the Executive and Legislative branch can make laws without allowing for redress by the public via judicial challenges and review?

As to playing politics, I have no doubt that is exactly what Obama was doing. Unfortunately all he did was harden both sides and perhaps alienated those on the fence concerned that this was an indicator for Obama’s nascent desire for greater power via larger government and perhaps even attempting to intimidate the SCOTUS into submission to his policies.

Does Obama believe the Executive and Legislative branch can rule without public redress? I believe he does. He’s always been a man who supports expansive overarching government.

However, in his support for big government, he has forgotten that since pretty much the founding of the United States the public has always had the right to challenge laws thought to be unfair, discriminatory, or otherwise detrimental to individual liberties, rights, and freedoms. The President forgot something important about the founding of this nation: the Revolution was in part response to the rulers (King George and his court) refusing to acknowledge the legitimate grievances of their subjects in the Colonies.

Curiously, Obama has no complaints about prior “judicial activism” of the SCOTUS. Perhaps he needs a reminder of just a few  important decisions resulting from SCOTUS rulings:

  1. Miranda rights.
  2. Abortion rights.
  3. Contraceptive rights.
  4. Desegregation.
  5. Ruling anti-miscegenation laws unconstitutional. (I.e. Allowing marriage between races)

While I feel the SCOTUS has made several severely flawed decisions, especially of late, and no longer believe they always make the correct, let alone truly constitutional decision, I’ll take the opinions of the Justices musings over that of a blow-hard politician, even if he is the President, any day of the week.

Commentary: Obama’s “Buffet Rule”

Basically Obama is trying to stir up class warfare once more out of fear that he may lose the 2012 Presidential election by attempting to pit the “poor and middle class” against the “rich”. Somehow he thinks dividing Americans will save him a damaging Presidential campaign and that he’ll not have to explain the many failures and lack of leadership over his first term. The days of “Blame Bush” died with the 2010 midterm elections. It’s time for the President to take responsibility for actions and stop wasting time deflecting his poor decisions and policies on to others. If he can’t do so, then he doesn’t deserve to be President of the United States.

Obama Calls On Congress To Pass ‘Buffett Rule’ Tax

“We don’t envy success in this country. We aspire to it,” Obama said in his Saturday radio and Internet address. “But we also believe that anyone who does well for themselves should do their fair share in return, so that more people have the opportunity to get ahead – not just a few.”

‘And how exactly does the government taking successful peoples money and blowing it on failed government projects and stimulus either “fair” or give people “the opportunity to get ahead”? This just show’s Obama’s neo-socialist views that government can create jobs and prosperity through taxation.

While the plan would force millionaires and billionaires to part with more of their money, Congress’ Joint Committee on Taxation estimated that if enacted, legislation reflecting Obama’s proposal would collect $47 billion through 2022 – a trickle compared with the $7 trillion in federal budget deficits projected during that period.

More evidence that this is simply Obama trying to stir up a rabble and ignite the extremist left-wing base of socialists and communists into getting out to support him while trying to imply anyone who is “rich” is somehow evil and bad for America. How about the government truly cut unnecessary spending, something Obama has no interest in since he obviously thinks someone else should have to pay for everything. This is extremely hypocritical considering how Obama uses none of his own wealth to assist his poorer family members, both in the U.S. and elsewhere.

Obama also renewed his call for ending tax cuts for taxpayers earning more than $250,000.

Read that as small business owners, you know the people who pretty much drive local business across this nation. So we clearly see Obama lies when he says he supports small business and then turns around and labels them “rich” in order to tax them. From my perspective someone who make $250,000 from their business is not “rich” whatsoever. I also don’t see how punishing them for being successful through taxation will help others have an opportunity to get ahead unless Obama thinks putting business out of work somehow opens up opportunity. That sort of thinking is simply asinine.

They should call the “Buffet Rule” the “buffet rule” because it isn’t about “fairness” it’s about fat government pigs wanting more taxes to waste on their pet projects while American’s suffer declining quality of life by these same pigs efforts to undermine commerce, opportunity, liberty, and freedom in the United States. Fortunately the so called “Buffet Rule” has about zero chance of passing in Congress, at least for now.

Occupy Wall Street: Some Thoughts on Perception and Focus

Occupy Phoenix prostesters demand release of those arrested

Reporters and protesters on the scene saw an estimated 40 people detained at Margaret T. Hance Park just north of downtown Phoenix. In a Sunday morning news release, Phoenix police said 45 arrests had been made for criminal trespass, a misdemeanor.

If they were arrested for violating the law then the Occupy Phoenix protesters have no right to complain about the police enforcing the law. The article clearly states, and isn’t disputed by any other reports I’ve read from Occupy Phoenix participants and supporters, that the protesters were informed of the regulation and chose to refuse to obey it. If anything all indications are that the police and protesters were cooperating nicely with one another throughout the day and early evening.

When the Occupy Wall Street protests started I had no problem with them. They did have legitimate points about the banks manipulating parts of the economy into collapse by fueling speculation on oil and commodities, as well as how these same banks profited from foreclosures and tax payer bailouts, the undue political influence that corporations have been given over the voice of the people (the Citizen’s United Supreme Court ruling), and the return of stricter oversight and regulation (such as the Glass-Steagal Act). These are among the same issues that brought so much attention and popular support to the T.E.A. Party before it was hijacked by special interests.

Unfortunately I now see OWS as being hijacked as well as they have a growing litany of complaints that are more akin to Marxist-Leninist socialist/communist dogma and anarchy than legitimate complaints. Among the demands I’ve heard/read around the news and internet (some good, some bad):

  1. Free college education.
  2. Forgiveness of all student loans.
  3. Forgiveness of all mortgages.
  4. Protect unions
  5. Stop outsourcing
  6. End the War on Drugs
  7. Education reform
  8. End capital punishment
  9. Equal pay
  10. REX 84 repeal
  11. Re0investigate the 9-11 attacks
  12. Ending American Imperialism

Now these are all well and good, whether you agree with them or not, but many of the demands now have little to nothing to do with the direct complaint that the leaders of the financial industry were not held to account for their industries actions, not were the regulatory commissions and the government officials (elected and bureaucratic) that created the conditions that led to the collapse of the U.S. economy. Worse, OWS is targeting the wrong crowd: the bankers rather than the politicans in Washington D.C. Another major flaw to some of the demands are when the issues are self-inflicted such as personal debt due to individuals choosing to spend beyond their means by choosing to have credit cards, student loans, and mortgages. In those cases, sympathy for their cause is lost by generations of Americans who’ve taken responsibility for their debt and worked through it regardless of whether financial times were booming or, as now, a bust.

Worse, when you add in their top speakers at the assorted rallies are avowed anti-capitalist, communists, socialists, and anarchists it makes it neigh impossible for the common American citizen to feel any connection with them. Then comes the perceived hostile environment of the OWS protesters towards the media, the wealthy, or anyone else they view as the “enemy” (usually anyone who questions their intent). Add to it those extremists amongst OWS who seem to be trying to incite violent clashes and disrupt the general public and you’ve a recipe for failure.

If OWS wishes to get the support of the people they need to focus their message back on issues that the average American is concerned about instead of the demands that are perceived as either socialist/communist dogma or whining by liberal elitists upset over the rejection of their agenda by the public. Do as the T.E.A. Party did before it was corrupted by the right wing elements of the nation. OWS protesters needs to reject the extremists among them, the general hostility they have towards anyone not deemed “one of them”, and the radicalization; focus back on issues all Americans can agree on: the lack of oversight by the government, the corruption of the political and financial system and the ways to correct these problems.

Engendering class, social, economic, and ideological warfare will not win the day, only inclusion, respect, genuine dialogue and genuine cooperation will result in success. Look to grow and build, not redistribute and destroy.

So, those are just some of my rambling thoughts on Occupy Wall Street and Occupy Phoenix. Take them for what you will.

Food Police

Gov’t Seeks to Limit Junk Food Ads to Kids

I’m not surprised the food police want to expand their nanny state socialism on the United States in the name of the “public good”. The food industry goes along with these “voluntary programs” hoping to stave off full blown government control but are only fooling themselves. Just ask the oi, gas, and other energy producers. They’ve made concession after concession on top of the regulations and still the government does all it can to cripple those industries. The result: higher prices and a crippled economy.

The food police believe they know better than everyone else how to live and eat, but more importantly believe they have the right to dictate to any and everyone how to eat. It’s nothing new, of course, and are merely a symptom of a problem that needs to be eliminated from this nation’s governing officials: the nanny state dictatorship mentality. Americans need to start thinking for themselves, assert their own authority as citizens, be responsible parents to their kids instead of trying to be their friends, and educate themselves about nutrition from unbiased sources free of special interest groups pushing whatever agenda they are after.

Omnibus Bill Bungling

And now we come to annual government bungling Omnibus Bill in which massive amounts of taxpayer money is misspent, misappropriated, and absconded with by the assorted thugs and criminals in Congress to their pet projects, supporters, and cronies.

Said to be in the bill:

  • 2% payraises for federal civilian employees. Meanwhile, millions of Americans either have no jobs, are in underpaying jobs, or can expect little to no raises while the government taxes them to death to pay for “needed” regulations that will lead to further unemployment and the fleeing of businesses from the U.S. to more economically friendly nations.
  • Require agencies to determine if federal employees can do it cheaper than contractor. Normally I’d say it was a good idea but with the socialist thugs in the bureaucracy the incentive is going to be to push for socialist (e.g. government run) expansionist policies in order for these agency heads to keep their jobs.
  • Cutting funds for imprisoning illegals that commit crimes. How exactly does this help America? Oh yeah, it does not. It’s a sellout of America to the illegals and their criminal supporters.
  • Increasing foreign aid. The country is broke but we can still send money to foreign nations (who claim to hate the US anyway) instead on help our own citizens. It’s simple really. If you don’t have money, you don’t spend money on luxuries. Foreign aid is a luxury at this point.

Start Regime Change: 11/2010

News Round Up

U.S. decision can’t wait for Afghan legitimacy: Gates | Reuters

The overriding question is not, “how many troops you send, but do you have a credible Afghan partner,” Emanuel said, adding it was important the election outcome be seen as legitimate and credible.

An interesting comment that highlights Emanuel’s silly statist notion that the government are more important than the people. That and proving he’s an idiot for trying to blur the truth about Afghanistan: it’s a war against the Al-Qaeda and their allies, the Taliban. Besides I think there’s actual progress in Afghanistan since Karzai agreed to a new round of elections, something that would not have happened under Afghanistan’s many assorted dictators of the past generations.

House panel redraws credit agency bill | Politics | Reuters

Draft legislation in the U.S. House of Representatives to rein in credit rating agencies has been redrawn to drop a provision mandating across-the-board repeal of U.S. laws requiring the use of credit ratings.

Just more proof on the complete failure and corruption of our government. Why does the repealed language have to be reinstated into a bill after it was stripped out if there was not anything wrong with it in the first place? Just typical games and corruption. The whole credit ratings system has become one giant scam.

NATO a corpse, fumes former Canada military boss | International | Reuters

At least it’s still somewhat more relevant than say…the United Nations. Not that the General doesn’t have a point about NATO’s problematic members that want all the benefits but none of the responsibility nor the burden such responsibility entails.

Vatican welcomes Anglicans into Catholic church – CNN.com

Interesting though I can not help but wonder if Roman Catholics are going to start questioning why these new “converts” will be allowed to operate under a different set of rules for Anglican priests regarding marriage versus Roman Catholic priests. Seems odd, but the RCC will work it for themselves.

Senators McCain and Kyl on Wrong Side

I’m disgusted that Arizona Senators John McCain and Jon Kyl voted against the Franken Amendment. The Franken amendment was very simple, clear, and quite fair: Haliburton, or subsidiaries, (and any other similar contractors) would receive no federal funds if they require employees or subcontractors to sign mandatory arbitration clauses (e.g. sign away their right to bring their case before a court). This is quite reasonable given Haliburton and its subsidiaries problems with employees being raped, assaulted, discrimination, and otherwise harassed by their co-workers and employers and then being denied justice or evn a hint of impartial review.

I want to know why the Senators from Arizona seem to condone these illegal activities? Why are they trying to protect such abusive companies? If they voted against it simply because a Democrat made the amendment then I am disgusted with their partisanship. If they voted against it because they are protecting Haliburton and others, then they are complete idiots. Such actions as these make me wonder if both are simply “good ol’ boy” misogynists.

Fortunately the Franken amendment passed anyway.

FTC To Regulate Bloggers

FTC Publishes Final Guides Governing Endorsements, Testimonials

Overall, I’m not surprised that the FTC imposed these new rules on the internet given the ever increasing number of dishonest bloggers and companies exploiting blogging and bloggers to hype their shoddy products. So in many ways these new rules were inevitable, especially with the Federal Government’s current dictatorial nanny-state mentality.

I have no problems with the parts requiring full disclosure if a blogger receives some sort of gain from a review or recommendation. I also like that they got rid of the “results not typical” garbage that’s been used in advertising for so long. Unfortunately our government has a history of trying to insert bureaucracy into the internet and suppress individuals in the name of protecting the public which is what I fear is the real intent of the change.

I suspect it will now also hurt professional post-for-pay bloggers, legitimate or otherwise, assuming the FTC can somehow manage to read each and every single blogpost on the web every single day. Yeah, didn’t think so. Which is where my concern comes in that it will be used as a tool by the government to silence the opposition who writes something the FTC or Federal Government (or elements thereof) doesn’t like.

My other concern is the hypocrisy behind the new rule which doesn’t apply to corporations so that consumers learn the truth of which company owns which other companies or have exclusive deals with them. After all, if the FTC (and by extension the entire Federal Government) consumer protection is what they’re after then full disclosure should be disclosed by all from the smallest blooger to political campaigns to multinational corprorations. Ghost bloggers are bad enough, but federal chicanery disguised as protecting the public good is worse.

Race Baiting And Baucus-ObamaCare

Race Baiting

Sigh. I see a Obamacare supporters, such as Jimmy Carter, once more trotting out the old worn out myopic BS about if you disagree or oppose Obama or the Democrat’s health care “reforms” you’re a “racist” once again. Some are better at hiding their race baiting tactic by inferring that while only some opposed to Obama are “racist” yet somehow those fringe “racists” are driving the anti-big government movement growing in the United States. Obviously that argument make no logical sense. Such pathetic attempts to ignore the valid concerns citizens have about these “reforms” have failed in the past and will fail again but it gets very annoying when such outlandish statements are tossed around in an attempt to quash dissent by attempting to embarrass the opposition into silence.

I submit that those who claim such notions are in fact themselves race baiters and instigators of class warfare unable or unwilling to defend their plans on their own merits. Why else play upon something that has little to nothing to do with the health care debate in this nation? So go ahead and insult the citizenry, further alienating them and goading them into an even stronger anti-big government sentiment. Such harmful antics on the part of the DNC and their ilk will do nothing but further harm their cause.

So let’s ignore the race baiters and their obvious attempts at diverting attention away from the real issues and have an honest, genuine discussion on the merits. If a plan has no merit, then kill it. Period.

So on that note:

1. Obama needs to stop wasting time campaigning and start governing, like a President is supposed to do. It’s his hands off approach that largely helped cripple his health care plans, second only to the insanely large government expansion and intrusion into people’s lives. So quit screwing around and ignoring his work and get back to dealing with the country’s problems. If he can’t multitask as President then everything he does will end in failure. The Presidency is all about multitasking.

Baucus-ObamaCare

2. Sen Baucus had a rather strange presser about he and the so called Gang of Six’s compromise health care plan. Problem is, Mr. Baucus was throwing around numbers from the ether given that the plan actually hasn’t even been written or evaluated by the CBO. The so called Baucus Plan is claimed to include the following:

  • $856 Billion over 10 years price tag. A number that is meaningless given the plan has not been written so cannot be evaluated. Suspicous point #1.
  • No “public” option, but call for co-ops. No clarification on these alleged co-ops would be founded or operated nor if it would backdoor the “public” option into existence. Suspicious point #2.
  • State based exchanges but then later provides from national plans with uniform benefits. Why not have this from the start? Suspicious point #3. Add to this four minimum benefit plans through the exchanges. Who would create these plans, the government? If so, that’s still imposing a government run health care systems that would drive up costs as insurance companies raise rates to deal with government imposed plans.
  • Insurance companies no longer allowed to deny based on pre-existing conditions starting 2013. Why not immediately? Suspicious point #4.
  • Require all U.S. citizens to obtain health care coverage. Suspicious on several points: government intrusion into citizens lives and corporate welfare in the form of coerced participation. What happens when states like Arizona pass laws and State constitutional amendments (as is likely to happen) guaranteeing the citizens their right not to choose to have health care coverage or be forced to do so by the government?
  • Imposing a punishment of a fine, ranging from $750-$950 for individuals, on those unable or unwilling to obtain health care coverage. A de facto tax on the middle class and poor. Opposed on two points: taxing the poor and middle class and corporate welfare are ensured by this provision.
  • A tax of 35% on insurance plans above $8,000 for singles for self-insured and group-market plans. So in otherwords, if you can afford better coerage your health insurance company gets punished for it. This again will also raise insurance rates on all Americans as the companies pass on the taxes to the consumer.
  • Health insurance companies would be forced to pay an annual fee of $6 billion starting in 2010. Another increase in rates for consumers.
  • Pharma would only have to pay $2.3 billion. Sounds okay until you remember the Obama administration cut a deal allowing Big Pharma to basically charge what they want and get government protection in keeping out cheaper competitors and generics from the market.
  • Medical device makers charged a fee of $4 billion. Again raises medical costs for everyone across the board from consumers to hospitals to insurance companies. Will likely stifle or even cripple new medical technology like improved artificial limbs. How does this help the public or keep medical costs down?
  • Clinical laboratories pay a fee of $750 million. Again, how does this keep costs down? Making laboratories more expensive to run will not improve them.

If these points are truly in the Baucus plan then it too needs to be killed instantly in the Senate. It’s clearly another massive tax and spend program with the added goal of crippling health care in this country and imposing government into citizens lives. Why else go after medical device manufacturer and laboratories? Why the egregious taxing of the poor and working class simply because they don’t feel the need for coverage? Why tax insurance companies for providing so called “cadillac” plans for those who can afford it and want it? Why have a federal requirement for insurance? Is a Federally imposed mandate for insurance even Consitutional? Why a delay in ending insurance companies from denying coverage for pre-existing conditions? There are simply too many questions and bad ideas in this proposal.

This is obviously just another statist, big government bill that accomplishes nothing more than expanding government tax revenues at the expense of the citizens while crippling the medical industry in this nation. I see nothing that would address the real problems of increasing costs. Instead I see only a plan that will balloon costs while allowing a small percentage of companies and government bcked groups to reap huge profits of the backs of the American people while further diluting the medical care in this country.

Is it really too difficult for our so called leaders in Washington to simply do it by the numbers? Take one small problem, fix it, move on. Rinse. Repeat. You don’t tear a house down when all you need to do is paint a room. So why destroy the health care system in America when a little tweaking will do? If these Senators and Congressmen don’t get that, they really need to be voted out and replaced with people who do get, like people who live in the real world.