Saturday, May 29, 2010

A Vision for You

The two greatest resources of America are its people and its natural resources. Both have come under attack from conservatives whose only motivation appears to be the accumulation of wealth and the creation of their personal fiefdoms. Education must be a priority and natural resources must be managed and preserved. The gonads-to-the-wall approach must be regulated. Extrapolation of raw materials must be regulated and education must be subsidized. The quick-buck tenor ultimately only benefits the super rich and hurts the future. Isn't it ironic that Bush is out of office but his final actions as president (ending environmental and oil drilling regulations), gravely are impacting the country today.

The conservatives who complain about taxation and the fact that 45% of Americans pay no federal tax perhaps should lobby for unions and increases in minimum wage and labor laws. Then more will share, on paper,  in the cost of our democracy.

With moderate growth, a rethinking of our value system , increased regulation of the harvesting of raw materials,  greater subsidies to education on all levels including  craftsmanship and life skills, and the institution of  law designed to protect average John and Jane, not solely the wealthy, America can persevere. Truth, justice and the American Way will continue. But always remember when you hear the reactionaries rant: "The greatest trick the devil every played was making you think he didn't exist!"

When voting in future elections, we must not forgive and never forget. A simple litmus test is to ask your local, state, or federal representative if he or she supported the Bush Cheney ticket. If they reply: "Well kind of", or, "On some issues", or "Yes but I was wrong", tell them THEY ARE FIRED! The future of America depends on this.

Finally, Will, poor and lame, says, next time you go to your doctor, take a live chicken if you have access to one.

Separation of Church and State

Though the American Revolution was a political revolution based primarily on economic issues, a component of  the "change" was religious freedom. Many were unhappy with the Church of England. Though they didn't always see eye to eye, and weren't always treated fairly, the population of the Thirteen Colonies was made up of  Episcopalians, Congregationalists, Quakers and Shakers, Lutherans, Moravians, Presbyterians, Baptists and Methodists, and Catholics and Jews. And probably some atheists and agnostics. A majority of the population was able to unite for a common cause without requiring all others to accept the beliefs and constructs of their particular religion less they not receive the "blessings of liberty." America was formed as one nation under God, with the key being a God of the individual's understanding.

Thomas Paine, who was a key figure in the birth of our country,  wrote and spoke with the fervor of an old fashion preacher. He said this about religion: "I strenuously support the right of every man to his opinion however different that opinion might be to mine....The most formidable weapon against errors of every kind is reason. I have never used any other, and I trust I never shall. All national institutions of churches, whether Jewish, Christian or Turkish, appear to me no other than human inventions set up to terrify and enslave mankind and monopolize power and profit."

I am a deeply spiritual person and I do believe in God. But I cannot help but notice that some are using their religion, either sincerely or falsely, to justify the exploitation of many,  mask their true motives and greed, and destroy the fabric and jeopardize the future of this country.

Friday, May 21, 2010

The BIG Picture

In this country, with the emphasis and focus on the rights of the individual, it is hard for many to see the big picture; that is the consequences and effect of their actions on others. In their pursuit of happiness, many inadvertently are destroying the social fabric, as well as the environment, that allows them that pursuit. To rationalize, advocate, and practice behavior that is contrary to the laws of science and academic discipline is just plain crazy.

I recently read a report observing that the world population is starting to level off. Within 25 years the average family worldwide will consist of 2.5 children. For whatever reason this is happening, those familiar with Malthus will cheer this as a small part of the Revolution of Sanity.

A major problem in our culture is that too many Americans have an appetitional structure that far exceeds their worth to the planet. Another problem is that much economic activity is based on business school models that assume exponential growth. Alan Greenspan understood this when he told Congress that the 1.3 million illegal immigrants had a profound positive impact on our economy during the Bush Administration. In layman's terms, they work cheap and are undiscerning consumers.

The point is that if population is leveling off,  we will have a decline in demand. Robots and I pods don't buy anything. We had better start working on some new models as well as realistic expectations; and advocate more productive, proactive lifestyles void of shallow vain endeavors. It is lunacy to claim that high taxes are to blame and we can keep going.

The oil spew continues today. And it is crazy that some politicians, including Joe Lieberman, are amending their position on off shore drilling to give coastal states the final say, but at the same time relaxing regulations on drilling. Don't they see the big picture? The slick from the gulf is already impacting North Carolina and could possibly effect the entire Northern Hemisphere. We have no idea of the long, or short term effects of the dispersants used to deal with this catastrophe.

Finally, and you couldn't make this stuff up, in Florida Rick Scott is running for governor as a maverick, an outsider. His company, Columbia, HCK, pleaded guilty to Medicare and Medicaid fraud and paid a 1.7 billion dollar settlement, the largest fraud settlement in US history at the time. To steal from Medicare and Medicaid is to steal from Americans and constitutes an outright attack on the future of America. Scott, a modern day carpetbagger hopes to ride Jeb Bush's coattails with support from the UnTea Party.

Death of a Salesman

Over the last few decades, manufacturing jobs rapidly have declined in America. And, as a result, America has become a nation of salesmen. We sell each other goods and services that are predominantly manufactured and produced overseas and, more often that not, financed by global institutions. It's a good thing that the manufacturers subsidize our consumption by buying our bonds. But then again this puts us in a precarious position, doesn't it?

With the computer, cell phone, and a whole array of other technological advancements, productivity and competition have soared. And with this greater competition, compensation and quality of life go down. The numbers just aren't there. Even the great Goliath Walmart recently expressed concern over increasing demand for its products.

The tragic thing is that the environment is changing faster than the understanding and beliefs of many.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010


Lack of regulation and corporate greed have caused the greatest economic/environmental disaster in my lifetime; the magnitude of which we will all know shortly. As the oil spews, it is apropos that  red states will be the first to have their beaches fouled and their economies damaged. I picture with bemusement what the sociopaths will say to each other behind closed doors. Will they dare cry out loudly for federal assistance? Or will they ready their private jets for Dubai?

Part of the gift of being an American, is that we can exchange ideas and debate issues freely. The First Amendment guarantees us all that right. However, an individual or corporation cannot disseminate information that causes substantial public harm. Nor can individuals or corporations or politicians deploy policies that knowingly destroy the fabric of this country. For that is treason!

The greatest way to destroy a country is to disable its economy. In only eight short years, George W. Bush and Dick Cheney may have accomplished it! Only time will tell.

Sunday, May 2, 2010


Recently I was talking to the 10-year-old daughter of a friend of mine. She walked over to me and tugged on my shirt and said, "Bill, mommy says that you are liberal. And liberals are bad...."
I thought for a moment, and reflected. It has been a long time since I considered myself a liberal. A conservative democrat maybe, but a liberal noo. I am for fiscal responsibility, cuts in spending, and the perpetuation of freedoms and opportunities for all citizens.
I asked Melody why she thought liberals are bad and she responded, "Because they take money from peoples' paychecks and they're the reason mommy's hours were cut at work." I gave Melody a hug and led her over to my fish tank, so she could tap on it and annoy the fish; though hopefully not nearly as much as she had disconcerted me.

In the course of my life I have come to understand that all people have different aptitudes and abilities; and are capable of those aptitudes and abilities at different levels of expertise. To the point, many people are not capable of understanding 13 Bankers, and I try not to communicate on that level. I care very much for Melody and her mother but I was unnerved by their vehement stance on a position that they have no understanding of. Where do they get this stuff?

In retrospect the "conservative" Bush administration stultified the American public with its terror warning system. Government grew by leaps and bounds, but to this day nobody is sure what the new bureaucracy did or what, if anything, was accomplished. The three pronged approach of tax cuts- allowing the wealthy to shirk their responsibilities, deregulation- that allowed the derivative debacle and housing bubble to occur, as well as an all out economic attack on American consumers in general, and plunder- obscene deficit spending and rip-off that perpetuated the illusion of prosperity for almost a year after our country had entered the worst economic crisis since the great depression, was downright un-American.

This "conservative" trident sent our economy into a tail spin. I will explain to Margret that when you cut taxes and destroy the economy,  less money is collected by the government because people and businesses earn less money and the deficit goes up and the ramifications are especially hard on simple folks like her and me.

What is even more appalling than the assertive incompetence of many American citizens, is the Un-American disrespect for the American President. Never in my lifetime have I seen so much hate, verbal assault and disrespect for a president. Obama ought to be applauded for his patience and coolness. I afraid that if he gets the economy going, they're really going to hate him. When I was a boy, there was a bumper sticker that stated: America, Love it or Leave It. Perhaps this slogan should be revived and distributed at tea parties and radio stations.