Sunday, July 25, 2010

Jobs for Americans and Preservation of the American Way

The most important issue in the upcoming elections, for many Americans, and all citizens that are concerned with preserving the American Way, is the creation of jobs for Americans. As a result of the practice of failed policies and erroneous thinking by previous administrations over time, America is in trouble. And there are no simple solutions. But it is certain that if we continue to implement the same failed policies and propagate the same "logic", we are doomed.

For everyone that truly cares about this country, this issue transcends party lines. And the blunders and flawed ideologies are not exclusive to any one party or administration. My father, who was a conservative man in most regards, almost to the point of being a martinet, once told me that the greatest way to predict future behavior is to look at past behavior. If we look at the record and compare the two most recent administrations we see a startling contrast on this issue. During 8 years of Bill Clinton, 23 million jobs were created and the growth of government was held in check. During 8 years of George Bush 5.8 million jobs were created and federal employment skyrocketed. It should be noted that the Clinton administration is credited with the longest period of peace-time expansion in American history. And I hope the pundits will forgive me for not including the jobs created in India, Bangladesh, Panama, and Mexico during the Bush administration in the numbers.

The lives of most Americans are engrossed in family, friends, avocations and jobs, if they're lucky enough to have one. This makes it difficult for the average person to become a truly discerning voter. I hope that an issue that so deeply impacts the lives of people changes this.

Politicians are essentially "vote getters". Some enter politics with good intentions and find they must make compromises to bring about positive change. Others enter politics for wealth and power, that is to enrich their constituents. For most it is a career. Our recent presidential election had "mavericks and outsiders", playing on the public's disdain for the Bush administration. In actuality the race was between a young politician with limited experience, hence he wasn't beholden (much) to special interests, and a career politician; and a career politician, that claimed he was a maverick, and a nincompoop, that governed a state small in population and large in black gold.

In the State of Florida, we have a true outsider running for office and his campaign and ideas are truly refreshing. A candidate of this caliber does not come along often. I would not call him a maverick because he is not bucking anything. He is focused and his vision is beyond the muck. His policies are concrete and make sense. He understands that the future of middle class American depends on nurturing small businesses in Florida, and across the country. Like our Founding Fathers, he also believes in freedom and justice for all. Jeff Greene represents a real opportunity to get Florida going in the right direction and, at the same time, serve as an example for the rest of our troubled country.

Sunday, June 13, 2010


Just imagine if George Bush had privatized Social Security before the derivative market collapsed. In fact, as a didactic exercise, imagine if there was no government at all! First, a majority of the senior population almost immediately would vanish like smoke in the wind. Without benefits and subsidies and social services and police protection, they would cease to exist. And, for an economy that depends on consumption for 70% of it's juice, this would be apocalyptic.

The wealthy would have to form coops and fund armies to protect the borders from countries that have governments. They would have to fund highways and build and maintain airports for their private jets. They would also have to fund medical research, since they would be the only ones with access to health care. They would also need domestic armies to protect themselves from insurgents that would be sharpening guillotines. They would have to spend most of their wealth just to protect themselves both internally and externally. And there would be no patriotism. The only "allegiance" would be to the coin of the realm. Life would be "nasty, brutish, and short."

The institution of slavery would almost certainly return. This scenario obviously would not accommodate democracy in any form. And I believe, though I could be wrong, this is not what the founding fathers had in mind and what American history teaches us.

Imagine if Rick Scott, the economic pedophile, didn't exist. Imagine if commentators like Beck and Limbaugh; self-proclaimed entertainers that have done nothing in their lives to better this country or its people, didn't exist. Like the well at the bottom of the gulf, they spew toxicity, only in the form of hate propaganda and misinformation. They impede progress (look this word up in the dictionary), and make millions doing it thanks to liberty afforded by our government and the fear and selfishness of some Americans.

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.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Tea Party, Taxes and Terror

The fundamental issue of the original Boston Tea Party in American history, was taxation by the British Parliament on tea consumed in the colonies. Colonists objected to the tax because they believed it violated their right to be taxed only by their elected officials. At that time, colonists were not allowed to vote for members of Parliament. Their battle cry was: "No taxation without representation." Our constitution gives the Federal Government the right to levy taxes in order to "provide for the common defense, promote the general welfare and secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity." The current tea partiers have the right to vote for the president and members of the congress, unless they have blown up a federal building or committed some other heinous crime. The issue is not whether they are obliged to pay taxes or not.

In addition to the right to vote, contemporary tea partiers have the right to refuse government benefits, decline Social Security Benefits, refuse to congregate in parks that are funded and maintained by the government. They can make huge donations to Black Water. Decline to travel on highways. The list goes on and on. It should be noted that current tax rates are the lowest they have been in 50 years. And current American tax rates are the lowest among industrialized countries. Nobody likes to pay taxes, but the freedom and quality of life that we as Americans have, has a price. No democracy without responsibility.

The fringe element of the tea party is another matter. An armed march on the anniversary of the Oklahoma City bombing  by a militant group, is bordering on sedition. Anyone that doesn't view the actions of McVeigh  as "right there" with the bombing of the twin towers has got a screw loose. Janet Napolitano may want to institute the previous administration's ingenious color code warning system to protect the American public from this threat of domestic terrorism.

It's bedtime for Bonzo and the insanity in American Politics.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

People Are What They Do! Not What They Say They Are.

The reactionary conservative movement in America is taking on a persona that reminds one of a bad science fiction movie. Their claims and analyses are rooted in convoluted logic, manipulated data, dishonesty and outright lies. During the tail end of the Bush years, our economy was in free fall. The stimulus mediated the fall and the markets have rebounded nicely. Recently there was an uptick in the unemployment figures and, unlike during the great depression, we didn't get to a 35% unemployment rate. That is a success. Let's hope the rebound helps more American citizens soon.

The Health Care Bill, over time, will reduce the cost of care by requiring insurance companies to provide preventive care and increasing the size of insurance pools. With preventative care over a lifetime it is not inconceivable that future retirees will be healthier and require less from Medicare and Medicaid. And, at least at the present time, the market dictates that the the greater the size of the pool, the less the cost to each individual in the pool. Most importantly, the bill will lead to a healthier, more productive workforce and a stronger America. But then these objectives are not a part of the conservative agenda.

The reactionary conservatives religiously practice behaviors that they profess to be against. They are like wolves in the clothing of sheep. The reactionaries cry for their "pound of flesh" for every transgression of anyone that opposes their regime yet they absolve themselves from the same moral/legal laws. One can only wonder what Barry Goldwater (a person that many of them may be unfamiliar with) would say? Remember that Gingrich was having an affair when he lead the Clinton impeachment hearings and his K Street Gang took pillaging to a new level. And Bush "went to town" procuring Clinton's surplus. The rules of the game are not for them.

What is truly beyond my comprehension, is that their spokespersons and the media that support the movement express that none of this matters. What they do and say doesn't matter because it's only entertainment. Though it probably won't happen in my lifetime, if the reactionary conservatives gain power, Americans better get ready for Mad Max in the Slums of Calcutta. Now, how's that  for entertainment?

Sunday, April 11, 2010

None Dare Call It Treason

Conservative advocations of late are aimed at fortifying the economic aristocracy and turning  America into a modern version of feudalism. The policies of cutting taxes for the wealthy, plundering the public coffers, and creating huge government debt, without giving significant benefit to society at large; and by doing so reducing the quality of life and chance of economic mobility for the vast majority of American citizens, is akin to an attack on democracy and tantamount to treason.

Let's look at the record. Put simply, Clinton's economic policy, unlike Bush's, sought to restrain government spending, lower budget deficits and open trade with capital infusions from the government. Also, Clinton severely reduced the welfare system. Most importantly, he fundamentally understood that some economic equity was necessary to preserve democracy.

Obama inherited two wars and the scariest financial crisis since the great depression. Though he initially deviated from Clinton's policies "to avert the end of the world", his long term plans are remarkably similar. Let him keep working. Note: Obama did not nationalize the banks. He "capitalized them" and is now pulling the money out.

The party of just say "No", just can't wait to get in power again so it's members can just get their hands in the cookie jar again, all the while cutting taxes, responsibilities and obligations for their wealthy constituents. Again, the record, Palin, the Caribou Barbie was quite effective at bringing federal dollars to her home state. Alaska ranked third among all states and received an almost 2:1 return on federal taxes paid. Pork Barbie?

To paraphrase Warren Buffet, for our democracy to survive, it requires responsibility and obligation. The reactionary conservatives denounce big government but they fight so hard to get control of it. A return to their policies will kill the economy, hope, and the Spirit of America.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Rights of the Individual

The American Constitution guarantees the rights of the individual but not to the point that select individuals can destroy the lives of entire segments of the society. You see, they are guaranteed rights too. The founding fathers were pompous white farmers, and they were brilliant men. Like most brilliant men they realized that they would make mistakes and not foresee all states of affairs . There lies the brilliance in our Constitution; its flexibility to adapt to changing realities. Anyone with a smathering of knowledge of American history could cite the Sherman Anti-Trust Act, the 19th Amendment, the draft and the abolition of slavery as examples of change.

The housing boom in this country was a result of deception and bad economics. The wealth that was created was not real and is being "paid back" today by the American people. And the jobs that were created during this time of "irrational exuberance" are gone forever. A few individuals did make a lot of money. But at what price? It is no wonder that Bill Gates and Warren Buffet, creators of real wealth, jobs and prosperity supported Obama.

I truly hope it is not the case, however it is possible that America may not recover quickly from the damage done during the Bush years. But it is certain that if we continue down the same path that got us into this mess, America, as it was conceived by the founding fathers, and as we know it, is doomed.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Free Market Renaissance

Do politicians understand simple economic realities? Or are they so morally and spiritually bankrupt that all they are capable of is being lap dogs for the special interest groups? During W's tenure, with regulation thrown out the proverbial window, economic models presupposed that the average citizen could afford to spend 60-70% of their income on a mortgage; and if they couldn't somebody, who could, would come along and buy the property. And property values would continue to rise, or at least not fall. There was no need for "truth in lending", or honesty in ratings, or regulation of any sort because the market would police itself. Well, it did.

At the same time this Free Market Renaissance was going on; now remember the 60-70%, the Bush Administration, through it's policies, was waging war on middle class America. There was, and continues to be, strong anti-union sentiment among conservatives in this country. The prevailing thought was/is that American workers are overpaid and under worked. The solution was the exportation of jobs and a slander campaign against unions. The rights of workers in this country were diminished and it was deemed unpatriotic to expect overtime pay or benefits or even a fair wage. Note: America has the highest relative poverty level of any industrialized country. The middle class, the backbone of the America Way, is shrinking! Bush implemented 1/2 of Nixon's policy of wage and price controls and effectively picked the pockets of the American people.

Am I crazy? Am I a socialist? Is this insane? Those scholarly journalists at Fox, the Jerry Springer of news casting, are calling for the same failed policies. Thought their lawyers, they have sweet employment contracts, yet they denounce union contracts and middle class rights. The tea party citizens may be victims of the rhetoric, as so many of them collect government benefits. One definition of insanity is to do the same thing over again and expect different results!