Monday, August 23, 2010

New blog link

Well, I got bored doing nothing so I'm doing a little blogging over at Spellchek. It's geared a little different. Lots of music, cars, sports and whatever catches my eye at the moment. Oh yeah, some blowin' off steam on political rants will be there as well.

Friday, May 21, 2010

Mission Accomplished!

The Observer was born on December 4,2008.After 336 posts,it will now be put out to pasture.

A little background.I created this blog to essentially be a diary.In the fall of 2008,I found myself a bit overwhelmed as to what was happening with the economic meltdown.For far too many years,I did as so many others do.Just live each day whistling dixie without a care about global events.Workin' and playin' and raising a family.Ignorance is only bliss to a certain point.

I remember being mystified as to what was happening when the economic 911 hit that year.How could our entire economy implode almost overnight?Of course,when you rely on the mainstream news for your info,you have no chance of ever understanding what's really happening.

So,I dedicated myself to researching what happened.It starts with understanding the Constitution and a whole new world opens up after that.It quickly dawned on me that I had alot to learn.That led to finding a way to take notes on what I was learning and the result was the Observer.A perfect way to put your thoughts and opinions down.

I'm certainly different compared to the average blogger out there.Most are committed to gaining as many followers as possible,while this never motivated me.I didn't want to get stuck in that trap of always being concerned with site traffic and how to get my blog linked to yet another.Kinda like betting on sports.It takes the fun out of it for me when I'm watching the end of a game only concerned with the final score beating the spread.

Again,I realize I'm not the norm here and I don't have any problem with those that have different motivations for blogging.The point is that I accomplished what I set out to do.I have learned much and got to throw out my two cents on a variety of topics.

I haven't yet decided where I will go from here.I'm looking at creating a new blog that will focus more on in-depth,magazine style investigative reporting.Lord knows,there are more than enough bloggers out there covering current events.Fact is,I simply don't have the time to keep up posting on any type of regular basis.Certainly,I could keep on posting my opinion on the endless opportunities provided by Obama and his charade.I just think I would prefer to explore other avenues at this point.

So,thank those of you who have linked or commented in the past.Much appreciated.A very special thanks to Steve at the Motor City Times.He has gone way above and beyond in linking to my blog without reciprocity since the beginning.I encourage everyone to check him out everyday as he does a great job of linking and posting on topical events.I will post a link here when I decide on what's next for me.

No more to come!

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Dio-did he choose Heaven or Hell?

Heavy metal heavyweight Ronnie James Dio is dead from stomach cancer at age 67.Here is the link to the story.

Here is a sampling of his hits.

More to come...

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Austerity in America

Austerity.One of those words you probably had to look up in the dictionary until recently.The Greek financial crisis has made it a household word lately.In short,it means that once a countries debt to GDP ratio exceeds a certain limit,their bond rating is cut forcing them to adopt strict measures of higher taxes,reduced spending,and diminished entitlements for its citizens.

It also means that the citizens pay the price for irresponsible government spending since that is what gets a country into this position to begin with.Usually,it leads to violence such as is occurring in Greece today.The main reason is because government employees and unions are forced to accept reduced pay,pension and health care benefits to help balance the budget.You then get the resulting strikes and protests leading to things like burning banks.

It's coming to your neighborhood.Write it down.Guaranteed.Checks in the mail.You can't stop it.The reason you can't stop it is that you can't stop your government from continuing their irresponsible spending policies.Drunk with power,they simply cannot stop themselves from spending our taxpayer dollars to save us from ourselves.

What can we expect to see and when?You can relax somewhat as it won't happen this year as an election is upcoming in November.However,December 1st is the deadline date for the Obama commission set up to find ways to reduce the debt.This is the out for Obama.The recommendations will come from the commission and poor Obama will merely be acting on their suggestions.Here are a few things you'll see.

•Extend the retirement age for social security benefits.
•Cut Medicaid and Medicare services and reimbursements.
•Institute a valued added tax (VAT) - a national tax applied to every economic transaction in the country.
•Require all wage earners to deposit a minimum of 2% of their pay into mandatory savings accounts.
•Require a percentage of the funds in IRA's, 401K and new mandatory savings accounts to be held in US Treasuries. (As the smart money bails on US Treasury auctions, Americans will be forced to buy their own toxic debt.)

The key point is this.Spending cuts will be borne by the poor because they are the segment of society receiving the bulk of benefits.There will be a huge public backlash as we are now seeing in California.The same thing happens when tax cuts are announced.They are always promoted as tax cuts for the rich.Reason being is that these are the people who pay the bulk of the taxes so of course they benefit the most from any tax cuts.

Greece is a walk in the park.We would only need to shut down the federal government for a portion of one day to reduce spending enough to cover the Greek debt.If you'll remember,we already did that over the winter when a snowstorm forced D.C. to halt.We like to deal in debt in the trillions rather than those pesky billions.

It's too late.The train has left the station.Our debt is too great.Our spending is insatiable.The census bureau predicts we will add another 100 million citizens by the year 2050.Amnesty is on the table today to add millions of illegal immigrants.Does anyone think that the number won't explode from the reported 12 million once the illegals get wind of amnesty passage?

You can just plod along with your head in the sand if you think this will never happen here.Not in the greatest country in the world,right?If you aren't ignorant to what's coming and have the means,please take the time now to make preparations.Once the violence starts,martial law will be sure to be enacted at some point.Then your options will be eliminated.You'll also have to watch your back every minute as your neighbors who are worse off than you will be faced with desperation.No one is safe in that scenario.More to come...

Monday, May 10, 2010

The State of Europe

It is now official.The European Union has now morphed into one single entity with 27 individual states.Sort of.With the actions taken over the weekend by the Eurozone to prop up the Euro,the European currency,they have effectively set up a national government structure not unlike our own.

In effect,the former individual countries of Europe had their own unique identities which are no no different than traveling from Ohio to Kentucky.You've merely crossed a state line,big deal.Of course,they will vehemently deny this is the case.It will take many years,and probably decades,for this to simply be accepted.

What you will see are transformative changes that all 27 members of the EU must accept or face being shut out from the permanent bailout fund now in place.Even though Germany was in the strongest position financially today,they also caved in so as to not waste the last half century's work in building up the Euro.

In essence,a new superpower has been born.The GDP of this new superpower is over $16 trillion dollars,making it the largest in the world.The U.S. now plays second fiddle at around $14 trillion.Europe has over 500 million citizens.

You may say,wait,what is the Eurozone?It comprises 16 member countries that use the Euro as their primary currency.These are the members that voted on the bailout package of nearly $1 trillion dollars over the weekend.What you'll see occur,however,is pressure for the other members of the European Union to fall in line and adopt the Euro.That's why I say this will take years or decades to fully implement.The European Union has already been evolving in this manner since its inception in 1993.The Eurozone will now follow suit.

What does this mean?Nothing good.But that will come later,probably years.But the groundwork has now been laid to expand the same bubble/bailout mentality across the entire continent of Europe as we have here in the United States.Meaning the crashes will be even larger with no one left to bailout the State of Europe.Also meaning the crashes from either side of the pond will be catastrophic as our global economy is now more intertwined than ever before.Hang on for the wildest ride the globe has ever seen.

Some will question whether Europe has now moved toward a more federal,state structure like the U.S. or if the Euro will crash.Take it to the bank that the Euro will crash.Will it be this year or many years no one knows.But the EU has taken the first necessary step to guarantee its demise.

However,today we will hear nothing of the sort.The stock markets will soar across the globe.Economists will crow about this being long overdue and that Europe is finally standing fully behind its Euro.No one can predict accurately when it will all come crashing down.We have history as our guide to illustrate the exact mistakes that will occur as the era of printing press fiat money has now come to the Euro.More to come...

Michigan Senate GOP ready to cave on school pensions

For the usual top notch reporting on financial issues in the state of Michigan,where do you go?The Michigan Capitol Confidential,of course.

Analysis: Senate GOP Fumbles, May Approve $25.9 Billion Taxpayer Liability to Satisfy MEABy Jack McHugh | May 10, 2010
Negotiations are continuing between the Republican majority in the Michigan Senate and House Democrats on a modest school pension reform proposal recommended by Gov. Jennifer Granholm to help balance next year's budget. Late reports suggest that GOP Senators may be ready to surrender on one particular demand from the Michigan Education Association that could load a new $25.9 billion liability onto taxpayers.

That's the amount the state would have to set aside to cover future school employee health care benefits under a union-supported provision. Unlike pensions, these benefits can be altered at will by the state and so under current law are not considered enforceable obligations. The MEA is demanding the law be amended in a way that, in effect, would convert them into real liabilities on the state.

Senate Republicans dealt themselves a weak hand for these negotiations beginning in March, when they took up their own version of Gov. Granholm's proposal. As described in Capitol Confidential at the time, several GOP Senators who have been recipients of MEA campaign cash and endorsements caused the removal of several reforms recommended by the Governor but opposed by the union.

This was unfortunate, because the measure cannot become law unless it is also approved by the MEA-friendly Democrats who control the House. Anticipating tough bargaining to come, rather than "negotiate with themselves" the Senate majority should have been staking out the strongest possible bargaining position. By doing just the opposite, GOP Senators ensured that the ultimate price for any reform would be much higher. Perhaps so high that the final bill is not worth adopting.

That's what appears to be happening now. In the words of Senate Majority Leader Mike Bishop, House Democrats have received their "marching orders" from the experienced teacher's union negotiators. Predictably, they not only tossed out all but one of the proposed reforms, but also loaded up the measure with "poison pill" anti-reforms. (See sidebar below for a full list of each side's provisions.)

Some of these House additions were "throw-aways," bargaining chips the MEA didn't really expect to get but could nevertheless use to cancel out something the other side wanted. A provision to force charter schools to enroll their employees in the underfunded defined-benefits pension system probably was one of these.

Other items appear to be real demands that carry huge long-term price tags, especially the one converting the non-obligation of retiree health benefits into an enforceable obligation and genuine taxpayer liability. As the process has unfolded it has become apparent that this is the real "pound of flesh" the MEA is demanding as the price of a modest 3 percent increase in employee pension contributions, which was the centerpiece of Gov. Granholm's original proposal.

The MEA is probably the most politically powerful special interest in this state. It all but "owns" the Democratic majority in the state House, and has a partial stake in the Republican-controlled Senate majority caucus as well. The union is also a world-class bargaining-table champ, for decades having rolled-over the amateur school boards of Michigan's 551 school districts, securing fringe benefits that far exceed private sector norms, and salaries that now make our teachers the highest paid in the nation relative to the income of the state taxpayers who support their salaries.

Compared to the MEA's bargaining savvy, the political careerists who comprise the Senate Republican caucus are relative amateurs at this game. That would explain late reports suggesting that they may now be negotiating the terms of a surrender of the state's flexibility in altering retiree health benefits — a provision that was not part of Gov. Granholm's original proposal.

GOP Senators will probably challenge this characterization, but statements suggesting that the measure will probably get more votes from Senate Democrats than Republicans undercuts their denials.


Sidebar: Blow-By-Blow of Pension Reform Negotiations

January 29: Gov. Jennifer Granholm proposes a modest pension reform package for school employees that includes:

•Increase of 3 percent in employee pension contributions
•Boost by 6.6 percent the cash pension benefits of eligible employees who retire this summer (which saves money [in the short term] by replacing high-salary veterans with [initially] lower-paid new hires)
•Prohibit employees from accumulating more than 30 years of service credit toward the calculation of their pension allowance, starting on Oct. 1, 2010
•Eliminate post-retirement vision and dental coverage for school employees who retire after Oct. 1, 2010
•Increase the retirement age for newly-hired school employees (but not replace the traditional "defined benefits" system with a defined-contribution 401[k] one)
March/Early April: Senate Republicans initially favor a substitute that contained all the governor's provisions except for the 6.6 percent early retirement "sweetener." However, as described in the April 2 Capitol Confidential, several GOP senators who have been the beneficiaries of MEA campaign cash and endorsements balked (see "School Pension Reform Stalls in Senate"). After weeks of "negotiating with itself," Senate Republicans finally agreed to, and the Senate passed, a bill that contained the following (bold print indicates rejected items or new demands):

•Increase of 3 percent in employee pension contributions
•NO 6.6 percent boost in cash pension benefits for eligible employees who retire this summer
•NO cap on the number of years employees can accumulate pension-boosting service credits
•NO elimination of post-retirement vision and dental coverage
•Increase the retirement age for newly-hired school employees
April 27: House Democrats reject the Senate version, and with just one Republican vote, pass one with the following:

•Increase of 3 percent in employee pension contributions
•13.3 percent boost the cash pension benefits of eligible employees who retire this summer
•NO cap on the number of years employees can accumulate pension-boosting service credits
•NO elimination of post-retirement vision and dental coverage
•NO increase the retirement age for newly-hired school employees
•Reduce the eligibility standard for the early retirement pension enhancement
•Force all charter school employees into the regular schools' defined benefit pension system, requiring charter operators to pay assessments that could force many to close their doors •Also force outside contractors who provide non-instructional services such as transportation, custodial and food services into the defined benefit pension system
•Allow some of the teachers who retire early to "double dip," collecting both a monthly pension and a paycheck for part-time work in the schools •Deposit the increased employee pension fund contributions into a segregated "irrevocable" trust fund to be used exclusively to pay retiree health benefits (rather than use the money to reduce school district contributions or bolster the underfunded pension fund), and declare these benefits to be contractual obligations
April 27 to Present: The Senate promptly rejected the House-passed version, and both sides appointed members to a conference committee to work out the differences. The current state of play is a moving target, but the latest reports indicate that the House has dropped the charter school provision, and is willing to dicker on the size and scope of the early retirement pension enhancement, but is fighting for health care prefunding and forcing third party school service contract employees into the pension system.

The Senate is also willing to dicker on the early-out pension enhancement, and may surrender on the health care trust fund in return for language stating that "in the aggregate" school retirees do have a contractual right to health care benefits, but not as individuals. What effect the distinction would make is unknown, besides assuring class action lawsuits rather than individual ones in the event of any benefits "haircuts." Either way, taxpayers would be on the hook for a new $25.9 billion liability.

More to come...

Sunday, May 9, 2010

BP box epic fail!

So,the BP box didn't work.Explanation?Ice crystals formed making it bouyant.Hmmm,I'm not buying.How about you?Let's see,the water temperature at the wellhead is 42 degrees farenheit.Seem cold enough for ice crystals?Doesn't seem like it,but I'm not a scientist and don't play one on tv.

What I do know is that there is extreme pressure down there.The water pressure is 2300 pounds per square inch.The oil pressure in the well itself coming from the macondo oilfield is estimated at 135,000-165,000 p.s.i.,with an estimated 1.8 billion gallons of oil still there.

BP is on record stating that a worst case scenario could result in a daily release of 6.8 million gallons of oil.Daily!This is if the 24 inch wellhead completely fails and it is being sanded away internally every minute of every day.The official estimate right now is still 210,000 gallons per day.How much is that?About an olympic sized swimming pool every 3 days.

If the worst case scenario plays out and we see the full 6.8 million gallons per day,we're in for about 264 days of that until the oilfield runs dry.That's about the end of January,2011.Again,this is the worst possible scenario and assuming they can't come up with any solution at all.

The explanation just sounds fishy to me.Oil is being ejected from the broken wellhead at 135,000 p.s.i. and they're saying that slushy ice crystals are accumulating at the top of the oil box?So much that it is floating?A box weighing over 100 tons?Wouldn't you think that pressure like that would simply blow any slush to Kingdom Come?I don't think we're being told the whole story here.More to come...

Friday, May 7, 2010

Reality or illusion?

Reality today is merely an illusion.What used to be now means something different.Take unemployment.The rate increased in April to 9.9% and the President is quick to claim success.Here's to the new norm-cheers!

How about racism?It used to be sitting at the back of the bus.Today it is attending a rally protesting high taxes and wasteful government spending.Cheers again!

How about patriotism?Displaying the American flag was traditionally a source of great pride.Today it is reason for discrimination.Sorry,can't cheer that one.

All I can say is this.If the events unfolding today don't make your blood boil as a freedom loving American,then you are getting your just desserts.Reaping what you sow.As voters,when we are so reckless as to not do our homework before electing people who are anti-American and only wish to destroy what this country was built on,we pay the ultimate price.

Maybe you haven't experienced the types of events referenced above,but you will.It's spreading like cancer and will eventually affect all Americans.Wake-up and get off your ass before it's too late!Tomorrow is too late.Get involved today.You're already on the computer if you're reading this,so start contacting those elected officials.You could start with Ron Paul's Audit the Fed bill which the Senate is attempting to trash as I write this.Stop them!More to come...

Market manipulation?

It was a wild ride on the markets yesterday to be sure.A 1,000 dive on the Dow in about 20 minutes time and then a 650 point recovery to close.The unofficial explanation to this point has been a trader error.Somebody fat fingered a computer key and sold off shares in the billions instead of the millions is the story as it was first floated out there.

Not so fast.It turns out that it was more involved than just a slip of the finger.Check out this link from CNBC that explores it a little further.

No one is claiming to have the reason yet as there are more questions than answers.I hope we aren't left hanging in the breeze like the last time this happened.Could this be a hacker attack?Remember Sept. 11,2008?That was the infamous run on the banks that triggered the economic collapse and created the TARP monster.

It was an electronic run on the banks that saw $550 billion withdrawn from U.S. banks by 11am before the feds stepped in and stopped it.It is claimed that it would have gone all the way to $5.5 trillion had it run its course.

Yet,even today,we have no clue who was behind it.At least officially.There are lots of conspiracy theories floating around,but no official explanation and no one in government has any interest in investigating it.

So lets see how this plays out over the next few days.Hopefully,not just another unsolved mystery.More to come...

Thursday, May 6, 2010

PIIGS are on the spit!

The Greece debt crisis has continued its global influence causing the Dow to plunge nearly 1,000 points in a matter of minutes.Now,it's likely that a trading error will be found to be the cause of such a violent sell-off,but it doesn't change the bottom line.The U.S. stock market is not reacting to the threat on the Euro currency as much as they are issuing a referendum on our own governments debt problems.The simple fact is that Obama is a systemic risk to our nation.His reckless spending,on purpose no less,with the goal of increasing taxes later to pay for it,is seen on a wide scale as unsustainable.

The PIIGS,as they are known,are Portugal,Italy,Ireland,Greece and Spain.Of the 27 members of the European Union,this group as a whole has the worst debt to GDP ratio.The austerity measures put in place today in Greece are being violently rejected by the citizens of Greece.Get used to seeing it.It's coming soon to a neighborhood near you.

The people are revolting because they are expected to bear the burden of their governments decades of poor fiscal policies which led to the debt crisis.Sound familiar?Well,it certainly should as we have followed the same path here in America and will soon have our chickens home to roost as well.Greece isn't even the worst in the EU as the U.K. is now surpassing them.We have our version here at home in the form of California.

The alarms have been sounding for some time now by hordes of people.Yet,our government doesn't hear them.They see green shoots and a recovery fueled by the Obama stimulus package.Rational analysis of our economy and debt situation can only lead to one conclusion and that is one of a severe crash ahead.

Freddie Mac announced today they will need another $11 billion dollar bailout with even more already forecast down the road.We are now on the hook for over $100 billion in bailing out Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.

These events are only a sampling of what the future holds.What is sure is that our government will label all of it as 'unexpected' and that no one saw it coming.Worst of all,they will be there as the savior ready to extend a helping hand in exchange for what's left of your liberty.More to come...

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Being PC will get us killed

This is the picture of a white,middle aged,right wing extremist teabagger.No really,it is.Just keep looking at it long enough and you'll see it.At least that must be how it works for the political left in this country because they so dearly wanted this guy to be their straw man.He is Faisal Shahzad,the terrorist who nearly blew up Times Square.

See,they're having a hard time actually locating the real person that fits their profile of a tea party activist.They know he's out there right now plotting to blow up Americans.Racist,violent,extremist.The lefts WMD-a white,middle aged dude.Just like Bush in Iraq,they are acting on bad intelligence.Unfortunately,it's their own bad intelligence that is leading them astray.

Take the immigration stink in Arizona.On the surface,a rather simple scenario.The Feds already have the law in place with the INS tasked to enforce it.Arizona has simply extended the enforcement authority to the state and local level.The Feds were failing in their job to enforce it,so the state took matters in their own hands to see that they have the legal authority to enforce the federal law.

The opposition might want to be careful what they wish for.As they attempt to magnify the issue on a national scale with their violent rallies,they are essentially opening a Pandora's box.If they succeed in overturning this Arizona law,they are succeeding in getting the feds to agree that states do NOT have the legal authority to enforce federal law.

Think about that for just a minute.What a precedent to set.States are not allowed to enforce a federal law.Imagine the implications.For example,trucking regulations.Time allowed behind the wheel.No longer would states be able to enforce this.The left acts on emotion.This is what drives them.They don't always think things through.

In their zest to wish to appear as standing up for the little guy,they make misguided decisions.Gitmo is just another example in this.They have no long term idea of how to address these important security decisions facing us.

Think back to the cold war.MAD.Stands for mutually assured destruction.This is what kept a superpower with nuclear capabilities that match our own in check.They knew they couldn't pull the trigger,because it would result in their own extinction.Not much to gain with that philosophy.

Now we are faced with the constant threat of terrorism.You never know when or where it will happen.It may be large scale like 9-1-1,or just a small,backpack bomb in a subway station.What is our response?Political correctness.No profiling.Don't offend anyone who may possess the same skin color or race or religion,etc.

Terrorists operate under this umbrella of freedom provided by our government and the skewed logic of the left in this country.Until we realize this and correct it,they will continue unimpeded to do as they wish.You could increase the Dept. of Homeland Security 100 times and it wouldn't matter.Not with those type of built-in handicaps.

Profiling is what police work is based on.Serial criminals are caught in this manner.We have 308 million people in this country.If you had to start with a clean slate of 308 million suspects for every criminal activity,you would never catch up to any of them.

Profiling is imperative in narrowing down the likely suspects in order to quickly apprehend them before they can act again.If we must consider granny to be just as likely a suspect as a radical Islam jihadist,then we are screwed.The time wasted tiptoeing around political correctness regulations will insure that the actual criminal will have more than ample opportunity to get away.

Organizations like the ACLU are directly to blame for the success of the terror organizations.They are the enablers that allow them to operate safely.You must separate profiling from racism as this is basis of their claim.

No one wants to go back to the days of being sent to the back of the bus because of your race.Nor do we want it to play in role in hiring decisions or other things of that nature.That's pure racism and it shouldn't be tolerated.

However,profiling plays a necessary role in effective security.Call it a necessary evil if you must,but without it,our defense against terrorism is neutralized.We will always be responding to a terrorist action rather than preventing it.Human traits and behavior patterns are reliable indicators of people.It may,in fact,be culture or religious views that are driving those behavior patterns.It is irrational and irresponsible to not take these factors into account when fighting terror.Lives are at stake.Innocent lives.

Recent events clearly illustrate this.The Times Square bomber absolutely was successful.No,his bomb didn't detonate,but he had it in place and had set the fuse and left the area successfully.The Christmas day airline bomber in Detroit was exactly the same.Only their ineptness saved us from disaster.Richard Reid,the original shoe bomber was another and there are many more examples to choose from.

All left a trail that was exposed after the fact.Had our security forces been allowed to use their instincts along with the capabilities our modern technology makes available,we would have a far better chance to prevent these incidents from becoming near misses.More to come...

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Could this be the 'big one' Katrina only hinted at?

I just reviewed my post from last Sunday entitled "Dumb Economists".At the end I wondered what the unknown factor would be that would trigger the economy to plunge over the cliff.I think the gulf oil disaster just may be the answer.

Little by little,we are finding out more about the true scale of this disaster.Unless they pull a rabbit out of their hat in short order,it appears we are witnessing the greatest environmental and subsequent economic disaster of our time.Check out this link for a possible outcome- always,we must consider the source as people have agendas and may simply be trying to furthur their own cause which in this case is alternative energy,but it certainly is eye-opening.

Fear mongering?Not when the sources are scientists,not conspiracy theorists.There certainly is no consensus on the release rate of the crude oil.Estimates range from 5,000 barrels a day and up.There is a very real possibility that the sand mixed with the crude is disintegrating the well casing under fantastic pressure.If the wellhead blows,the open well may release an estimated 100,000 barrels per day.That's 4.2 million gallons per day!

It's estimated that drilling the relief well to intersect the well casing to seal it underneath the seabed will take months.What is clear is that no matter how or when or if they seal it,the damage will be astronomical.Some projections are already out for $100 a barrel oil by the end of the week.I've also read that current demand only dictates oil in the $60 a barrel range,so a supply shortage can be absorbed for some time.Take your chances.

It simply doesn't take wild speculation to see that even moderate consequences from this will result in long-term detrimental effects on commercial fishing and the very sensitive biology of the gulf coast.Ocean currents may even spread the problem globally just as how a volcanic ash fallout can traverse the entire globe.

Here is another link to a story that contains many photos of the accident-

We are set-up for a chain reaction event that could deliver a kick to the fragile economy that it can't absorb.Still early and much is only speculation,but we may see a drastically different landscape by Memorial Day.The Memorial may be for our economy.Let's hope this entire event is overblown as is often the case,but the fact is that after 20 years Alaska is still dealing with the after effects of the Exxon-Valdez disaster.More to come...

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Bail or let fail?

Systemic risk.Too big to fail.Too small to bail.All buzzwords since the financial crisis began.Not as clear cut an issue as it may seem.

The cause of the crisis is clear cut.Loose monetary policies by the Fed for decades along with government enabling thru it's regulatory policies are what laid the groundwork.Investors simply walked right through the open door with the irresistible urge for seemingly unending,easy profits and we have our bubble/burst cycles.

The issue is how to deal with these scenarios in the future.Government is not going to stop meddling in private industry and it's policies of picking winners and losers.The Fed still has a deathgrip on monetary policy that will continue fueling the bubble cycles.In short,we are destined for a repeat of the crisis and it will be worse with each cycle if we don't completely implode on the next one.

The consensus amongst clear thinking people is that we would be better off without TARP and should let capitalism work by allowing businesses to fail.Agreed 100%.Where I part ways with most people is how to proceed when the government has created such a large scale problem.The so called systemic risk.

Take any particular business with a poor business model.Eventually it will fail.This is good.Let it fail and allow the market to work when other companies and investors move in to salvage any worthwhile remnants left over from the crash.Capitalism at work.

However,the government throws a monkey wrench into the formula.They involve entire industries in engaging in poor business practices.The housing market is the perfect example with the packaging of risky mortgages into financial instruments.All part of the master plan to create systemic risk on such a large scale.This creates the dilemma.You're not simply allowing a company to fail,you're allowing an industry to fail.Capitalism is not designed to work in this manner.

Capitalism supports letting a poorly run business fail and then having another succeed in it's place.The strong survive.But you can't do that with an entire industry.No one really knows what would have happened without TARP.But we can speculate.

The domino effect would have most certainly come into play.It's unavoidable due to the structure of the derivatives market.Mortgages were packaged together and resold in slices.Sometimes they were even sliced up more and resold again.You end up with a whole chain of investors dependent upon the homeowner making their mortgage payment.The fallacy was that housing would just continue to appreciate endlessly making these seem very safe investments.

This is why so many municipalities bought them.Municipal bonds are considered about the safest investment you can make.Little did the common investor realize that the bond they owned was built on such a shaky foundation.

This is the problem had we just sat back in Sept. of 2008 and let the chips fall where they may.A massive,global chain reaction crash due to the intertwined financial instruments would have brought down entire industries.I don't think anyone really disputes this.

The comparison is between what-ifs.Would we have been better off with a steep crash that allows the garbage to flush out all at once?Are we better off with the taxpayers on the hook for the TARP funding?Or is there a 3rd alternative as we are once again progressing toward another bubble burst cycle?

The best solution would be to elect an administration and Congress that would simply step aside and let the free markets work.However,that's not in the cards anytime soon.Even if you elect Ron Paul,he would have massive hurdles to overcome in the form of the entire progressive left opposed to such policies.

The fallout from allowing such a large scale crash is unknown.We already know the credit markets would freeze up.This would kill many businesses alone that rely on credit access for payroll.You would,of course,have massive unemployment with so many businesses going bankrupt.Factor in the state and local municipalities that had invested in the derivatives markets.

Remember,unemployment is key.People stop working and the trickle down is wide.Consumer spending drops.Tax collections drop.Defaults and foreclosures increase.It's all an intertwined web that feeds on itself.

Not only do you have the shareholders of the failed companies losing everything,but the bondholders take a huge hit.If it's a bank,the FDIC only insured up to $100k at that point so those depositors in excess of that would have lost their money as well.

I don't see where it's possible to limit the effects to just the frontline businesses that would go bankrupt.There is simply too much weaved into the mix that is collateral damage.Again,all speculation and nobody knows just how far the entire economy would have fallen.

TARP is not the answer.The pending financial reform is certainly not the answer.Bean counters like to look at numbers in a black and white world.Economists solutions to this problem seem to be in the same vein.They don't properly factor in things like human behavior,or in this case,politics.Far to many politicians aren't concerned with the free market,only power and getting re-elected.

There are more that want the Fed dictating policy than do not.There are more that want government to have a bigger role in private markets.Thus,the problems created by the bubble cycles are sure to continue.

The holy grail here is to find a system that somehow accommodates both capitalism and politicians hellbent on destroying it and somehow protecting the common man who takes the brunt of the fall every time.It doesn't exist and I've never even heard it proposed.For now,simply more of the same.More to come...

Friday, April 30, 2010

Al Gore should thank BP

Al Gore must be beside himself with joy.He has been the punchline of jokes for months now with global warming being fully exposed as a fraud.He's been getting ambushed for interviews and resorted to throwing critics out of his speeches despite the bad press.

Once in awhile,even when things look their bleakest,you get a gift.Enter the BP oil rig disaster.This has the look of infamy.The reports are now shifting to underestimating the full impact.The Exxon Valdez spill in Alaska is about to get knocked off its throne as the worst environmental disaster in our nations history.

The environmentalists have to be just ecstatic.They needed something huge to get the climategate scandal off the front page and they got it.The White House has already made clear that their recently announced plans for exploratory offshore drilling off the U.S. coast are in jeopardy.

It's too early to tell yet which direction they will go.Do they simply take advantage of the disaster to implement ever greater federal regulation over the oil drilling industry?Or do they go all in and use it to push climate change and replace fossil fuels with green alternatives?

Either way,it will result in higher energy costs for the consumer.Take that to the bank.Obama is already trumpeting that BP will pay for all of the clean-up,even though Transocean operates the rig and was also in charge of the safety measures.This includes the blowout preventer which failed.

The conspiracy theorists are already at full steam ahead trying to tie the Rainbow Warriors to this event.The first lawsuit was already filed just 36 hours after the fire started.The investigations will take years and the insurance payouts probably decades.I've no doubt that BP has been added to Al Gore's Christmas card list.More to come...

Monday, April 26, 2010

Quest for power

Power.A word with different meanings to different people.To elected officials,it is the ultimate intoxicate.They become subservient to it's draw.An irresistible quest for more.Virtually no one is immune to it in the public sector.It defines them and their actions.It aids us in understanding what motivates these people.

Particularly,these days when we see our elected officials making rash decisions and setting policy that absolutely flies in the face of what their constituents desire.It explains why the person we elected,and possible even knew personally,goes off in another direction once in office.

Today it's Obama.He's merely the current occupant of the throne.His critics,and I am most definitely one of them,tend to underestimate him.Just discount him out of hand as a community organizer who has never held a real job.However,he has a unique set of qualifications to fill a niche.It worked in 2008 and to what extent it can again in 2012 is the $64,000 question.

It is vitally important to understand the role of power as a motivator.The man on the street and the expert alike can be easily confused by events that occur if you don't factor this in.Especially when attempting to decipher the policies of the Obama administration.

It's not the money.While money is no doubt a huge motivator,it's what money brings along with it.Power.Influence.A means to an end.Once you become wealthy and lack for nothing in material goods,people find that empty feeling that money can't fill.Thus the term,money can't buy happiness.I know,people without money say they would still like to die trying,but it's usually true for those with it.

Power is a true lust.A lust in meaning that it can't be fulfilled.There is no lasting value.Once you get it,you always lust for more.An unquenchable desire.There is no lasting satisfaction from obtaining it on a temporary basis.Kind of like pistachios.I mean,who can eat just one?

This is the driver for the Obama agenda.It is behind all of his policies.Everything is designed to create a dependency nation who will perpetually re-elect the same party thus keeping the flow of power going.To those who have studied his influences,it's crystal clear.

It's easy to see when you review his track record.Every major issue has focused on it.I see so many people whether on the street or on tv who discuss what he does and question his motivations.Why would he intentionally make us weaker?Why would he keep spending money we don't have?Why does he focus on this issue when millions of Americans are out of work?

The quest for power answers all these questions.People spend far too much time deciphering the details while leaving out this core driver.Take the stimulus.Maybe you ask why money is going to a seemingly unimportant project that won't create any jobs.But take another look at it.Does it go to reinforce public sector jobs?Union jobs?An environmental cause?

It becomes quite clear at that point.Spend money in areas that will support those who support his party thru financial means or in other ways.If you lose focus on the quest for power,than you find yourself just wondering if he's listening to the wrong advisors or is somehow just misinformed.No,he's doing exactly what he wants to do.

Many people will simply discount an idea like that out of hand.They'll never believe that he could do things that don't have our best interests in mind.Those type of naive people are lost.If you can't keep an open mind,you are doomed to suffer the consequences.

This has nothing to do with race.No big conspiracy theory of Obama meeting in the dead of night with secret societies plotting the takeover of the world.Just an observation of human traits.One of our great weaknesses as a race.We are extremely susceptible to motives of greed,lust and power.

Now look at health care.At the stimulus.At financial reform.At immigration reform.At cap and trade.It all makes perfect sense.All programs designed to make government bigger and stronger and make us more dependent on it with the payoff being that we will remember on election day who did the most for us.

We are more socialist today than we were in 1947 with the New Deal in place.Milton Friedman,the great economist,also holds this position.The New Deal planted a footing,which is still firmly in place,upon which we are building upon now.Government regulation has never in history been higher.There have never been more social programs in place.Both are growing everyday.

This is why I say we seem to underestimate Obama.He knows the best way to accomplish his agenda is by deception.Spend money first,then leave higher taxation as the only alternative to pay for it.Provide government assistance to all for nearly every conceivable reason,knowing that we can't turn away from that assistance later.

Equality for all.Fairness for all.Opportunity for all.Save the planet.All rallying cries that people can't take exception with.If you do,you become an easy mark for ridicule.The thinking has always been that he will over-reach.That he will attempt to grab too much power too quickly and that this will be his downfall.

Don't fool yourself any longer.The quest for power is unquenchable.The lengths that man will go to keep it are extreme.Don't underestimate the threat to your freedom and your way of life.Obama is taking to the highest level yet.He has mastered the art of deception and knows how to play us against each other.While we concentrate on the battles amongst ourselves,he is slowly but surely winning the war.More to come...

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Dumb economists

The glass half full or half empty?Which camp are you in?I'm referring to the supposed economic recovery we are experiencing.Most people are getting off the fence of 'I dunno' and taking one side or the other.Either you buy into the green shoots being offered up daily by CNBC business reporting and the White House economic advisors or you see thru the false numbers and are just waiting for the crash.

I am firmly in the latter camp.I don't buy it for a second.Things happen for a reason but unfortunately some of us remain blinded by the power of positive thinking.It just has to get better.America has always come back.We have,by far,the largest and most resilient economy the world has ever seen.Now this is true without a doubt.But it doesn't happen in spite of itself.

Economists should all be forced to take courses in human behavior.Most simply make no accounting of our traits in their black and white world of number crunching.That's why people like Gerald Celente have been able to outperform their forecasts on a regular basis.His 'Trends Research Institute' is obviously a for profit enterprise designed to make money from us.But it must have the track record to be viable.That's why they weight trends so heavily.They factor in how humans act and react into their forecast modeling.

Housing still remains at the core of misunderstanding.The genesis of the bubble is still heavily debated.Was it the Community Re-investment Act developed under Jimmy Carter in 1977?Was it the greedy,evil bankers?Was it the greedy,evil consumers buying more house than they could afford?Should we blame the Republicans?The Democrats?The government?Do some googling and you will find support for all of these.

As is almost always the case with these things,you will find it's a combination of events.One thing may trigger it,but it usually takes a sequence of events to occur for it to run it's course.The housing bubble is no different.I believe all of the above listed played a part.They all must do their part in generating the perfect storm required to bring down such a resilient economy as we have here in America.

You needed the government manipulation of regulations to enable it.Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac were primary in this.You needed the bankers to play along and we saw the credit derivatives markets play their key part.Of course,the consumers were an easy mark.Offered a chance to get much more house they could afford,their mentality was whatever,if the banks are dumb enough to give it to me,I'll take it.

There were lots of factors.I only mention a few key ones.And they all had to occur just right for the bubble to inflate.Then you had the key events in the summer of 2008.As we now know,the economy had already slipped into recession in December of 2007.But it took the pressure on consumer prices to trigger the bubble to burst.Oil prices spiked and we had gas prices over $4 a gallon.

We had one other event not often mentioned.George Bush implemented his ethanol mandate which forced the cost of corn to skyrocket.That's when we found out that,just like oil,it's in a vast cross section of products.Not just food.We saw retail prices of food and these other products reliant on corn skyrocket in price.

You had the one-two punch of high oil prices and high food prices,as well as the various other products with those ingredients,put tremendous pressure on our purchasing ability.This just happened to occur at the same time we had so many mortgages starting to reset.Either in the form of ARM's resetting or balloon payments coming due from the avalanche of risky loans sold a few years earlier.

Once people started to miss a couple of house payments because the cost of retail goods were skyrocketing,it didn't take much to collapse the flimsily designed credit derivative market built on the basis that housing values would never decline.

There is one other event that occurred that has never been explained nor really even investigated.It was the electronic run on the banks of September 11,2008.The financial 9-1-1 and it is now just a footnote in history.Who was behind the $550 billion dollar run that morning?It was 11 am when the fed took action to snuff it out or it would have resulted in an estimated $5.5 trillion dollar run by the afternoon.

Remember,it was the severity of this crisis which laid the groundwork for TARP.This bank run was the defining event which triggered the stock market crash and the start of the immediate crisis requiring urgent action model we now seem to follow with every piece of legislation.There are no answers and nobody is officially even looking.

Today,we have a strong run up in stocks.We also have a consumer buying surge.These fly in the face of the other factors out there like the persistent high unemployment rate.The stock rise has generally been attributed to businesses becoming more lean and productive.They have trimmed staff to the bone as well as inventories.Refilling those inventories has created a false sense of demand.Better earnings reports are the results of becoming leaner and more productive.We are at the end of that cycle where productivity gains have maxed out.

Consumer spending is also false.The foreclosure world has completely evolved.Once a stigma that no one wanted to be attached to,it is now openly embraced and maybe even a badge of honor.People brag to their friends about walking away from their mortgages and sticking it to those greedy,evil banks.They pocketed months of mortgage payments before being forced out of their homes and this has lead to a surge in buying goodies like electronics and other convenience items.Not only that,even casino profits are up as people use the last of their unemployment money or stashed mortgage payment money to try to escape with a big win.

People signed onto those big,fat mortgages they shouldn't have ever qualified for and then took out home equity loans to buy cars and other big ticket items.Now we have strategic defaults where people are gaming the system for maximum gain.They stay current on their credit cards while blowing off the mortgage payments.

The stock surge is not false.Businesses have shown a better bottom line for the above reasons and the market is simply responding to that.It is setting itself up for the fall,however,due to the reasoning behind the improved profits.Demand has not increased overall.Businesses are not growing accordingly.Once productivity and efficiency peak,the earnings will have run their course and the end will come.

You simply can't take the numbers at face value.We see a reduction for a week in jobless claims for unemployment and then we hear it's all better and the recovery is underway.The numbers rise at all and it's 'unexpected'.The unemployment rate decreases and the Obama stimulus is working.If it stays flat,then the rebound is going to take a long time.

We always get a short-term reaction to events.One must look long-term to see clearly.The government intervention programs are slowing or ending.The stimulus money is nearing an end.The government mortgage programs and bond buying are slowing.A cash crunch is a very real possibility soon.The foreclosure crisis is far from over.And the debt bubble is ever growing.The derivatives market is the largest in the world at over $600 trillion and it is also growing again.

I can't predict when the real crash will occur.Nobody can with certainty.But you can read between the lines and see that it is coming.Probably another as yet unknown factor will be the trigger for it.Choose your side wisely.It's great to be a positive thinker,but don't do it without good cause.Unless you can substantiate why you discard all of the data showing what is ahead,protect yourself now while you still can.More to come...

Friday, April 23, 2010


Once upon a time the Democrats would at least attempt deception with their motives.These days,the election of Obama has emboldened them to throw caution to the wind on a regular basis.Right out in the open for all to see.

Take the GM 'Bailgate" scandal.Yes,I'll take credit for inventing that term.Withdraw a few billion from one TARP escrow account and give it right back to the government.Then announce with great fanfare that you have paid back your loan 5 years early.

Now this is transparency,the kind we were promised when Obama took office.You can see thru this scam a mile away.No Congressional investigation required.I would think they should have waited until late October to pull this rabbit out of their hat for maximum election value.Too bad for them as it's already been exposed.

Since the government owns them,you'd think this would really tick off the taxpayers.They are using taxpayer money essentially to run the national ad blitz to commit fraud and lie to the American people about paying off the TARP loan.Sorry,taking money from one TARP account and depositing it another doesn't cut the mustard.

Certainly many Americans are familiar with this technique.Call it payment juggling or whatever,we like to use the Mastercard to pay off the Visa bill all the time when we get behind on the bills.Unfortunately it always catches up to you.

The fact is that anyone can see that GM is still losing money every quarter.You can't pay your multi-billion dollar TARP debt when you can't turn a profit.And when you still owe $45.3 billion to the Feds,how is it that you can claim that you paid off your debt in full?Stock that hasn't even been offered for sale yet is just a paper tiger.More to come...

Monday, April 19, 2010

Foreclosure avalanche underway

You ain't seen nothin' yet.Think the worst is over?Buying into the green shoots b.s. being spewed by the White House and the major economists?Sucker!

So many people have gone over these numbers and charts,yet some people just refuse to face the hard data out there.Just look at them again and live in denial at your own peril,at least if you're an investor.

Bank of America has been unloading an average of 7,500 foreclosures onto the market each month.They now plan to really ratchet it up.All the way up to 45,000 per month by the end of this year.That's a 500% increase!Wow!

That's only one bank.JP Morgan Chase is planning on perhaps doubling their contributions as well going from 23,000 to between 33,000 and 45,000 by the end of the year.

Home prices have dropped again,down 3.9% in the last quarter,the first drop in 9 months.The February foreclosure rate of 3.31% has increased over 50% in the last year.

There are currently 8 million homeowners behind on their mortgage payments.Take the existing foreclosure inventory on the market,add in the planned huge upswing in inventory being added to the market by the end of the year,and further factor in the 8 million potential future defaults and you have the recipe for a total collapse of the housing market.

At the end of this month,Bernanke will end the quantitative easing program that dumped over a trillion dollars into the market to stabilize the losses.The number of ARM resets will spike up again this summer and also again next summer leading to even more defaults.

With unemployment remaining high,there is just no prospect of staving off the avalanche underway of defaults flooding the market.The numbers don't lie.More to come...

Friday, April 16, 2010

Tea partiers should thank Obama?

In fact,that's what he claims.He believes that he is responsible for cutting 95% of Americans taxes and so we should thank him.I'm from Michigan and a new report from the liberal Citizens for Tax Justice organization supports his claims.In Michigan,they even up the ante claiming that 99% received a tax cut.Here is the link.

I thought I would do a comparison of my own taxes to test his theory.Obviously I'm not going to divulge any specific information,however,I can report percentages.I'm actually a very good candidate because very little has changed in my tax situation over the past two years allowing a fair comparison.

My gross income increased $373 from tax year 2008 to 2009.I know,I'm happy it went up at all.Point is,just a minimal change.I had no life changing events or anything of significance that would affect my deductions or exemptions.The tax rates didn't change,so the only "x" factors are tax credits.

I tried to find the fairest way to compare one year to the next.I decided to simply take my gross pay less social security withholding,medicare withholding and federal income tax withheld.I didn't factor in any benefits I have money withheld for,any state withholding,or any investments.I only want to compare federal taxes as these are what Obama is basing his claim on.I received the $800 Obama 'making work pay' credit for families.I looked for a way to take into account all federal giving and taking of my income and discounted everything else.

So,I took my gross less the 3 federal withholdings and added in my tax refund.That's it.Very simple and only takes into account federal factors.I found that my income increased $373,yet my net take home decreased $895.That's the bottom line.My taxes went up.Guess I'm part of the 1% claimed by the report.This includes the $800 Obama 'gift'.So,for the record I can say that my taxes did indeed go up under Obama even after his increased tax credits.So get out of my face,dude.More to come...

Thursday, April 15, 2010

A simple question

I've been watching some of the financial reform back and forth.Pretty dry stuff,but extremely important to our country.

Now,we were told that if Bush/Obama hadn't stepped in with the TARP bailouts that the financial industry would have imploded bringing down the global economy with it.We had banks that were too big to fail.Conclusion?-bailing out banks that are too big to fail is a good thing.

Today,we are told that Chris Dodd's financial reform bill is designed to prevent these banks from ever being bailed out again at the taxpayers expense.That it will be a foolproof way to prevent it from ever re-occurring.Conclusion?-bailing out banks that are too big to fail is a bad thing.

Here then is a simple question.If the Bush/Obama TARP bailouts are what saved the global economy from a meltdown,why would we now pass legislation to prevent us from saving it in the future?Just askin'.More to come...

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Duck and cover

Yes,friends,it's time to dust off those old public service announcements and begin anew our training lessons on what to do when the nuclear bombs come raining down.Our illustrious President has made it clear that all the bad guys need to do is make it appear as if it was launched from a country on the Obama 'do not retaliate list' and we will just sit back and take it lying down.Or in the fetal position.

It's too bad all of the newspapers are going out of business because according to the video you merely need to cover your face with one and you will be protected.More to come...

Sunday, April 11, 2010

The entitlement trap

Entitlements are a very divisive issue amongst the parties.To compound the problem,they are defined in different ways.The public gets stuck in the middle as usual with lots of spin and misinformation provided to keep our eye off the ball.

The usual thinking is that democrats like lots of entitlements under the guise of helping people and that republicans are opposed to them due to the cost.That's on the surface,but it's really more complicated than that.

Democrats like entitlements because they mean power.Pure and simple.Creating the dependency nation is their long term plan for power and perpetual re-election.They try to sell it as compassion,as caring for the needy and less fortunate.To not support it is deemed to be political suicide because you become an easy target as wanting granny to die,to be racist and to generally be opposed to the little guy catching a break.

Republicans oppose entitlements as being fiscally irresponsible.We're broke and can't afford it.They view it as wealth redistribution.Stealing from the rich and giving to the poor.Why should anyone else be entitled to the fruits of my labor?They believe that every single citizen should pay taxes.Everyone should have a stake in our society.Even the poor should pay something,albeit much less than those with the means to pay more.

What qualifies as an entitlement?Most people would say social security, medicare/medicaid and welfare.It's not that simple.Social security on it's face is not an entitlement.You have been contributing your entire working life thru payroll deductions to your theoretical personal account.When you retire,you then pull those funds back out of the system.Sounds good so far.You paid in and now you merely get your money back.True unless you live too long.Once you go beyond the tipping point and outlive your contributions,you still continue to receive benefit checks.This is the point where you crossover and become a burden to society and thus are receiving an entitlement.

Medicare and medicaid are set-up in a similar fashion.If you were to somehow be the model of health and die at a nice early age,you may not ever have any claims against medicare or medicaid thus not becoming a recipient of an entitlement.For the vast majority of Americans,this is not the case.Old age dictates that our bodies need a whole lot of maintenance and our claims on the system easily surpass what our payroll contributions were during our working life.

Unemployment is similar to social security.Both the employee and the employer contribute to the trust fund which is then withdrawn when we become unemployed.However,Congress keeps extending additional benefits for the long term unemployed at which point you become a burden on society because you are taking out more than you and your employer ever put in.

So it's not a clear cut case on entitlements.It's dependent on individual situations and usually determined by longevity.The bottom line is if you are receiving something you didn't pay for at the expense of others,it's an entitlement.

The problem comes in the form of the argument presented by the two main parties.Republicans argue that never ending free lunches dis incentivize the public.If you always know that you can get something for nothing,you lose interest in doing anything about your situation.Particularly as you are 'penalized' for trying to do so.

For example,as you make more money,you pay a higher progressive income tax.You may lose those free lunch entitlements such as the earned income tax credit or other similar credits that you received when you made less money.You can actually end up with less money in your pocket after taxes minus those entitlement credits.This kills the will of someone wanting to move up the ladder.Why should they do it if they get penalized to do so?Why work harder for less?

Republicans argue that is inherently unfair to redistribute wealth and equally unwise to encourage long term dependency by the structure of entitlements.People who have had a bad break,lost their job,developed an expensive medical condition,etc.,all can get into the situation where it is too difficult to pull themselves out of it and easier to stay where they are.Responsibility and self-reliance are simply taken out of the equation.

This is the difficult selling point.How do you convince the public that they are better off with a system that only provides temporary help to those that really need it and force you back off it as soon as possible so you again become productive,self-sustaining,and not a burden on others?The problem is that most would agree with this only when they aren't in that situation.When they are,their perspective changes and they think it's not so bad taking some from those more fortunate.Until they fall into the trap and realize it's far more difficult to cross over the hump to get back out.

Democrats realize this perfect storm many years ago and have been playing it to their advantage for just as long.Obama is simply taking it to the next level.He can see the finish line in sight.He has several plans playing out right now.Health care was only one part.Amnesty for illegals is upcoming.The VAT tax is another designed to stress the economy even more to generate more dependency.He'll also go after card check to increase union membership.

Democrats are simply using the entitlement mentality to their advantage.They are better students of the human psyche than republicans.They know republicans haven't developed a sufficient argument to offset their claims of compassion.They have the system rigged so that once you descend into a dependency state,it's very difficult to get back out.It can be riskier or just less rewarding to get over that hump.

This is the challenge facing the country.Continue on this path and America will be destroyed without question.We can't afford it and history is littered with failed examples of socialism.The creation of a dependency nation has been a long,slow crusade by design.To sap the can-do spirit of American that created this nation doesn't happen overnight.The time was when we would not lay down in the face of adversity and accept the easy way out.It in fact was frowned upon.

It has taken this long to get us staged if you will into a mode of acceptance.That it is socially acceptable to be in a position of relying on government for our daily needs.I have stated previously that the republicans will need a salesman to reverse this trend.They can no longer simply claim conservative values and self responsibility and expect that to resonate with the masses that have fallen into the trap.What do they care about deficits and debt when they are in the dependency state?That's somebody else's problem.

Whoever it is that has the ability to connect with these people and show them a way out must be a good salesman.They must also have great political savvy to be able to manipulate Congress into reforming entitlements.The system must be altered to provide incremental steps of progression so as not to penalize those that want out.And to not provide the comfort of endless free lunches to those that don't want out.Some will take advantage on their own to get out.Some must be forced out.Then you only have a safety net left for those that simply can't get out.More to come...

Thursday, April 8, 2010

America is dying

The Founding Fathers warned us that times like these would try us.They recognized even then what so many of us can't recognize today as it's happening right in front of us.

Liberty has a price.It's over 233 years of blood,sweat,tears and eternal vigilance.We owe not only our gratitude to those that provided us our freedom,but also commitment to protect and secure it for all time.

Freedom needs to be exercised.We should enjoy it's fruits everyday by living our lives the American way.Freedom has no value if we don't utilize it.Passively sitting back and watching it erode is unforgivable.Too many have given all to provide it.Ask yourself-are you doing all you can to both live it and protect it?What more can you do?Today,right now!Don't hesitate or it will be gone forever!More to come...

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Detroit must go bankrupt

The CRC has released it's report on the fiscal condition of the city of Detroit.You can read it here.

The state of Michigan certainly can't bail the city out and the feds aren't going to pony up the money either.Besides,this would be the worst possible outcome.Just as it was with bailing out the big banks in 2008.I am certain that this country could be well on it's way to a true economic recovery if we hadn't.The fallout would have been more severe in certain segments immediately after letting those banks fail.However,the recovery would be real afterwards rather than the false recovery we are now seeing.

Detroit is in that same position.The fiscal policies of the city must be thrown out to allow any reorganization to have a chance at success.Everything about the way the city does business needs to be overhauled.The unions will heavily protest it because they stand to lose the most.However,a new budget based on tax revenues that will continue to shrink for several more years is the only thing that makes any sense.

If you don't do this now and simply try the standard old,band aid approach,the city will never survive.Just throwing some more money at it won't work.The citizens of Detroit will hopefully realize that this is their one and only chance to get this right and have any hope of resurrecting the city in the future.More to come...

Free will and rights

These two subjects may seem completely different,yet they tie into together nicely.Do we really have free will?What are our natural rights?Well,they come from the same source.I,as a Christian,believe in God as the Creator.Certainly,many of you may not.That is not the intent of this post.Sorry,you'll have to stick with my beliefs for this one.This is not intended to influence your choices in life,only to illustrate how intertwined the two are.

I have had this discussion in various forms with many different people over the years.Suffice it to say that no one has ever given me a credible alternative to what I believe.I believe that we do not truly have free will.Freedom to completely make the decisions in our lives without bias.Good or evil.Many believe we do.That you decide the course of your life here on earth.

I say if you believe in God and the bible as scripture,you cannot also hold the view that you have true,free will.God has a master plan for all of his domain.The entire universe and it's inhabitants.The human race has a pre-determined destiny.Our fate is set in stone.Down to the minute.How,when and where.Unfortunately for us,only God knows these details.No one else knows the end date despite many who claim they do.

With this in mind,the only way this is possible is for God to have complete control of every facet of his universe.There cannot be any unknown factors which may alter the endgame.For any of us to have the ability to execute free will and impact others would jeopardize this.A madman could instigate a nuclear war triggering a world ending scenario.

The fact is that your actions impact others.For every action,there is an equal reaction.Simple physics.This is why I don't believe it is possible for free will as I could forever alter destiny for myself and others based on my actions.I believe we are simply allowed to think that we are making these choices on our own thus believing we have free will.Think about it.God had the ability to create all of this.It's on a scale we can hardly comprehend and so much of it we cannot.He could certainly have allowed us to feel as though we are 'in charge' of our lives.

The only way to guarantee an outcome at a predetermined time and place is to have complete control.So feel free to continue on with your beliefs.If you disagree,well I believe that was intended as well.By the way,you absolutely should continue on living your life and doing what you believe to be the right thing.Just do so in the knowledge that you are simply fulfilling your role in a much larger plan.

With the debate over health care,the question has been raised if it is a right.Clearly,it is not.Similar to free will,a right executed by one individual cannot infringe on another individuals ability to execute their right.In the case of free will,if I shoot you dead,I have eliminated any choice you have negating it.In the case of a right,the only way I get guaranteed health care is for another person or more to pay for it.That infringes on their life meaning it simply cannot be a right.

Opportunity is often confused with a right.We have many opportunities afforded to us by the fact that we live in a free country.But they are just that,opportunities.No guarantees of success.Our rights are extended to us by God meaning they cannot be taken away.Health care can be taken away.As are many things we want every person to have based on moral and ethical grounds.

Studying this led to me to another conclusion which baffled me for years.It's commonly thought that we must ask for salvation to get to Heaven.If you don't,you don't get in.I wondered than how do people in unique situations ever get to Heaven.Say a child who dies immediately after birth.Someone born brain dead.Retarded.Deaf.Some mental capacity which limits them.What if they live in a very rural area without a church?You can think of many scenarios where one may never hear the word of God in their life.

My conclusion was that we are all born going to Heaven.You can only screw it up.This is the only way to explain how these people can still go despite having never heard the word of God.If you do hear it and reject it,you go to Hell.Very simple.

That's why I tie all this in together.There are only a few things guaranteed to us at birth.These rights are permanent and indisputable.If I exercise my right,I in no way will infringe on yours.Free will is a myth.Life will present us with many choices.We decide in our minds which path to take,yet a higher power is guiding that choice unbeknowst to us.

Some of us do have a true choice to make in life.Whether or not we accept the word of God.This is a real choice,true free will if you will.It is a right in that God has guaranteed us acceptance into Heaven if we accept His word.More to come...

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Bubble trouble

If you've watched any mainstream news outlets recently,you've heard it proclaimed that the recovery is fully underway.That the "Great" recession ended in June of 2009.The stock market is marching relentlessly forward.That housing has bottomed.That unemployment has bottomed out and that we are now adding jobs again.

Sounds pretty darn good.To be fair,most of these reports are tempered with the statement that "we have a long way to go".Those on the left point to the Obama stimulus and the actions of the Federal Reserve as the reasons for the recovery.

The reasons for the recession have been discussed and debated like no other before.We have a whole nation of "experts" now on economics.The blame for the recession doesn't follow standard partisan lines.Some blame the federal government regulations,some blame the evil,greedy corporations,some blame irresponsible consumers.Most blame some combination of these.

Why is it then that so many refuse to believe what they are seeing today?Armed with their crash course knowledge of economics and why the meltdown occurred hasn't translated into recognizing the building of the next crash.The American spirit has always been a can-do attitude and one of optimism.It's an intangible that this country was built on.However,it also can blind you to reality.

People love to buy into the logic of 'if we had just done a little bit more'.A little more regulation.Invest a little more here and there.That this time we will get it right because we have now have hindsight to teach us.Yet we react in the same predictable manner which allows the boom/bust cycles to continue perpetually.

We must keep in mind that all bubbles don't need to burst to have a negative effect on the economy.Just like a boil on your skin,it's painful as it expands,but if it doesn't get infected it may just drain on it's own without breaking.

The bubbles that we have are almost always created by government policy which allow and enable them.Consumers and borrowers than impact the size of the bubble.Certainly,these are generalizations and there may be many complicated factors as to how big and how long a bubble exists.

But the point is that they are dynamic.They impact the economy at varying levels over time.Some get too big and burst causing a dramatic crash.Some don't reach the point of bursting and instead act as a drag,or anchor,on the economy.We are seeing both play out today.

Remember,this minor recovery was also predicted a long time ago.It's going essentially as predicted.Read Harry Dent's "The Great Depression Ahead".All of this was foretold from the crash to the minor recovery we're seeing today,to the eventual big crash to come.

Again,no surprises here.Yet,so many are now beginning to wonder,is it real?Is the Obama stimulus really starting to work?Such poor students of history we are.The spike in temp hiring from the census was projected.The peak in worker productivity as well which means as we regress from being pushed to the extreme and everyone being as productive as possible,more hiring MUST occur to fill in the gaps.That will,however,be at the expense of net profits as payroll will increase.This will be a future drag on the economy.For every action,there is a reaction.

You will also see the part-time workers,the temporary workers and the people who quit searching for work drag down the unemployment numbers for a long time.All of those people want to return to full time employment and will stunt any new job creation.

Just keep a wary eye toward all of the "positive" economic news sure to come spilling out of Washington with the mid-term elections upcoming.It will sound much better than it really is.Remember,you were warned ahead of time just like before.More to come...

Friday, April 2, 2010

Jobs report falls below expectations

The March 2010 unemployment numbers are out.The rate is unchanged at 9.7%.Now it's time to tweak the numbers to your political advantage.The report shows a gain of 162,000 non-farm payroll jobs.This is the number the left will promote.

Included in that are 48,000 census jobs.Temp help services added 40,000 jobs.Combined,that means 88,000 temp jobs leaving 74,000 real,full time jobs created.This does not keep up with the 100,000+ required each month for our expanding birth rate and immigration requirements.In other words,adding over 100,000 new full time private sector new jobs each and every month is the baseline for job growth.

The key numbers you won't see promoted so much are the alternative measures,mainly the U-6 underemployment number which ticked up to 16.9%.You also won't see the number that fall off the survey as it only includes the last 4 weeks.When you have exhausted your benefits and are no longer actively seeking work,you essentially don't exist anymore,at least in the world of the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

The numbers fell short of analysts projections for job growth,but there will be 2 revisions to come before the final numbers are out.Regardless,they are well below what they should be at this stage of a recovery and don't bode well to support the administrations efforts at job growth.More to come...

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Worker time bomb battle brewing

There is a brewing battle that promises to be very divisive and may lead to some very unfortunate circumstances.It's the public vs. private worker.As public employee employment continues to rise at the expense of the private sector workers,this is a powder keg waiting to ignite.

The national unemployment rate is still near 10% officially.The actual number is much higher when you include workers who have stopped receiving benefits,or stopped looking for work,or are underemployed.There is frustration mounting when these people see expanding government workers who are paid by taxpayers,including those unemployed private sector workers receiving benefits.

It's an extension of the haves/have nots class warfare.Like the scab workers that cross union picket lines to work for less money.Only in this case,they are making even more money as the gap between private sector and public sector compensation is rapidly widening.

State and local municipalities,cities,and townships are all starting to be pinched.Public pensions are vastly underfunded and will break the backs of budgets across the country.This year will start the expected avalanche of bankruptcies as the stimulus bailout funds will no longer prop up the budgets.

This is the trigger for the other shoe to drop that will send this country back into recession as the domino effect will spread.Obama has been ignoring the economy and the jobs issue since he took office.Instead we focus on the stimulus,which is just a slush fund of political payoffs and band-aid budget fixes,health care and climate change.

The federal reserve is also promoting the theory of buying time until everything just gets better on it's own.The results from these policies of ignorance promise to be catastrophic to our country.The uncertainty of late 2007 when the banking world was about to melt down will be replaced with the certainty this time that all of the toxic garbage must be flushed out.It won't be pretty.

I'm afraid that those public sector workers will be targeted as the private sector looks on with envy while their struggles go on and on.Watch your back if that's you because desperate people will want heads to roll and if you still have a job you will be viewed as part of the problem.Elections have consequences.Socialism has consequences.More to come...

Monday, March 29, 2010

Anything but the economy

Healthcare?Done.Or not,since Obama chooses to taunt the GOP to "go for it" and make repeal the central focus of the mid-terms.So we'll keep arguing.

Next step?A surprise visit to Afghanistan.All of a sudden,the war is a priority again.What's going to be next?

The pattern we're seeing is anything but the economy,stupid.Obama does not want to make it a focal point so we will see a variety of issues rise up to center stage.When you have no plan and no answers,you must try to divert attention elsewhere.

When the federal government enacted the legislation that allowed the housing bubble to balloon,most of us were not cognizant of what was happening.In fact,we got our re-assurances from the Barney Franks of the world that Fannie and Freddie were doing just fine.Everyone knows different now and we've been able to determine that the government created,allowed and encouraged it.

The left will claim the opposite.That it was simply the greedy banksters.No blame goes to the government or the irresponsible homeowners.Standard lefty reasoning.

Now we've been able to witness first hand the genesis of the next great bubble.The dependency bubble.The Obama health care debacle will create the single largest expansion of the population that will depend on government wholly.They will not be able to progress out of the trap laid because earning more income will reduce their subsidies making it pointless to try.

Unemployment is moving in the same direction with literally years of benefits now available which totally disincentives one to dig their way out of their hole.Why get off the gravy train when it's free and seemingly never ending?

All of these will pale with what is waiting in the wings.Cap and trade and the VAT tax.Far worse than health care.Health care is one sixth of the economy.Cap and trade will affect at least 99% of what industry produces.We will all pay,including the poor,with higher prices.The VAT tax will have a similar effect as it will be simply tacked on top of the sales tax rather than replacing it as it was designed to do.

Once our costs of goods and services gets fantastically more expensive,many more will join the ranks of the dependency nation.Throw in the millions of illegals that Obama will grant amnesty to as also going straight to the dependency crowd and we will have the majority of our population depending on our government for all of their basic needs.

Try to find enough conservative candidates who will have to sell self-reliance,responsibility and accountability to that crowd that is on the gravy train.Not going to happen.When we hear that these next election cycles are the most important in the history of our country,it is not overstated at all.We are already well past the tipping point on dealing with the debt.We sit on the tipping point of our liberty.What will you do to make a difference?More to come...

Saturday, March 27, 2010

U.N. doesn't believe health care is a right

I was researching the case for health care being a right and came across this declaration of universal rights from the United Nations.

Whereas recognition of the inherent dignity and of the equal and inalienable rights of all members of the human family is the foundation of freedom, justice and peace in the world,

Whereas disregard and contempt for human rights have resulted in barbarous acts which have outraged the conscience of mankind, and the advent of a world in which human beings shall enjoy freedom of speech and belief and freedom from fear and want has been proclaimed as the highest aspiration of the common people,

Whereas it is essential, if man is not to be compelled to have recourse, as a last resort, to rebellion against tyranny and oppression, that human rights should be protected by the rule of law,

Whereas it is essential to promote the development of friendly relations between nations,

Whereas the peoples of the United Nations have in the Charter reaffirmed their faith in fundamental human rights, in the dignity and worth of the human person and in the equal rights of men and women and have determined to promote social progress and better standards of life in larger freedom,

Whereas Member States have pledged themselves to achieve, in co-operation with the United Nations, the promotion of universal respect for and observance of human rights and fundamental freedoms,

Whereas a common understanding of these rights and freedoms is of the greatest importance for the full realization of this pledge,

Now, Therefore THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY proclaims THIS UNIVERSAL DECLARATION OF HUMAN RIGHTS as a common standard of achievement for all peoples and all nations, to the end that every individual and every organ of society, keeping this Declaration constantly in mind, shall strive by teaching and education to promote respect for these rights and freedoms and by progressive measures, national and international, to secure their universal and effective recognition and observance, both among the peoples of Member States themselves and among the peoples of territories under their jurisdiction.

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Article 1.
•All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights.They are endowed with reason and conscience and should act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood.
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Article 2.
•Everyone is entitled to all the rights and freedoms set forth in this Declaration, without distinction of any kind, such as race, colour, sex, language, religion, political or other opinion, national or social origin, property, birth or other status. Furthermore, no distinction shall be made on the basis of the political, jurisdictional or international status of the country or territory to which a person belongs, whether it be independent, trust, non-self-governing or under any other limitation of sovereignty.
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Article 3.
•Everyone has the right to life, liberty and security of person.
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Article 4.
•No one shall be held in slavery or servitude; slavery and the slave trade shall be prohibited in all their forms.
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Article 5.
•No one shall be subjected to torture or to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment.
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Article 6.
•Everyone has the right to recognition everywhere as a person before the law.
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Article 7.
•All are equal before the law and are entitled without any discrimination to equal protection of the law. All are entitled to equal protection against any discrimination in violation of this Declaration and against any incitement to such discrimination.
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Article 8.
•Everyone has the right to an effective remedy by the competent national tribunals for acts violating the fundamental rights granted him by the constitution or by law.
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Article 9.
•No one shall be subjected to arbitrary arrest, detention or exile.
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Article 10.
•Everyone is entitled in full equality to a fair and public hearing by an independent and impartial tribunal, in the determination of his rights and obligations and of any criminal charge against him.
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Article 11.
•(1) Everyone charged with a penal offence has the right to be presumed innocent until proved guilty according to law in a public trial at which he has had all the guarantees necessary for his defence.
•(2) No one shall be held guilty of any penal offence on account of any act or omission which did not constitute a penal offence, under national or international law, at the time when it was committed. Nor shall a heavier penalty be imposed than the one that was applicable at the time the penal offence was committed.
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Article 12.
•No one shall be subjected to arbitrary interference with his privacy, family, home or correspondence, nor to attacks upon his honour and reputation. Everyone has the right to the protection of the law against such interference or attacks.
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Article 13.
•(1) Everyone has the right to freedom of movement and residence within the borders of each state.
•(2) Everyone has the right to leave any country, including his own, and to return to his country.
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Article 14.
•(1) Everyone has the right to seek and to enjoy in other countries asylum from persecution.
•(2) This right may not be invoked in the case of prosecutions genuinely arising from non-political crimes or from acts contrary to the purposes and principles of the United Nations.
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Article 15.
•(1) Everyone has the right to a nationality.
•(2) No one shall be arbitrarily deprived of his nationality nor denied the right to change his nationality.
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Article 16.
•(1) Men and women of full age, without any limitation due to race, nationality or religion, have the right to marry and to found a family. They are entitled to equal rights as to marriage, during marriage and at its dissolution.
•(2) Marriage shall be entered into only with the free and full consent of the intending spouses.
•(3) The family is the natural and fundamental group unit of society and is entitled to protection by society and the State.
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Article 17.
•(1) Everyone has the right to own property alone as well as in association with others.
•(2) No one shall be arbitrarily deprived of his property.
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Article 18.
•Everyone has the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion; this right includes freedom to change his religion or belief, and freedom, either alone or in community with others and in public or private, to manifest his religion or belief in teaching, practice, worship and observance.
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Article 19.
•Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression; this right includes freedom to hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers.
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Article 20.
•(1) Everyone has the right to freedom of peaceful assembly and association.
•(2) No one may be compelled to belong to an association.
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Article 21.
•(1) Everyone has the right to take part in the government of his country, directly or through freely chosen representatives.
•(2) Everyone has the right of equal access to public service in his country.
•(3) The will of the people shall be the basis of the authority of government; this will shall be expressed in periodic and genuine elections which shall be by universal and equal suffrage and shall be held by secret vote or by equivalent free voting procedures.
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Article 22.
•Everyone, as a member of society, has the right to social security and is entitled to realization, through national effort and international co-operation and in accordance with the organization and resources of each State, of the economic, social and cultural rights indispensable for his dignity and the free development of his personality.
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Article 23.
•(1) Everyone has the right to work, to free choice of employment, to just and favourable conditions of work and to protection against unemployment.
•(2) Everyone, without any discrimination, has the right to equal pay for equal work.
•(3) Everyone who works has the right to just and favourable remuneration ensuring for himself and his family an existence worthy of human dignity, and supplemented, if necessary, by other means of social protection.
•(4) Everyone has the right to form and to join trade unions for the protection of his interests.
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Article 24.
•Everyone has the right to rest and leisure, including reasonable limitation of working hours and periodic holidays with pay.
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Article 25.
•(1) Everyone has the right to a standard of living adequate for the health and well-being of himself and of his family, including food, clothing, housing and medical care and necessary social services, and the right to security in the event of unemployment, sickness, disability, widowhood, old age or other lack of livelihood in circumstances beyond his control.
•(2) Motherhood and childhood are entitled to special care and assistance. All children, whether born in or out of wedlock, shall enjoy the same social protection.
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Article 26.
•(1) Everyone has the right to education. Education shall be free, at least in the elementary and fundamental stages. Elementary education shall be compulsory. Technical and professional education shall be made generally available and higher education shall be equally accessible to all on the basis of merit.
•(2) Education shall be directed to the full development of the human personality and to the strengthening of respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms. It shall promote understanding, tolerance and friendship among all nations, racial or religious groups, and shall further the activities of the United Nations for the maintenance of peace.
•(3) Parents have a prior right to choose the kind of education that shall be given to their children.
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Article 27.
•(1) Everyone has the right freely to participate in the cultural life of the community, to enjoy the arts and to share in scientific advancement and its benefits.
•(2) Everyone has the right to the protection of the moral and material interests resulting from any scientific, literary or artistic production of which he is the author.
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Article 28.
•Everyone is entitled to a social and international order in which the rights and freedoms set forth in this Declaration can be fully realized.
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Article 29.
•(1) Everyone has duties to the community in which alone the free and full development of his personality is possible.
•(2) In the exercise of his rights and freedoms, everyone shall be subject only to such limitations as are determined by law solely for the purpose of securing due recognition and respect for the rights and freedoms of others and of meeting the just requirements of morality, public order and the general welfare in a democratic society.
•(3) These rights and freedoms may in no case be exercised contrary to the purposes and principles of the United Nations.
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Article 30.
•Nothing in this Declaration may be interpreted as implying for any State, group or person any right to engage in any activity or to perform any act aimed at the destruction of any of the rights and freedoms set forth herein.

No mention of health care being a right.In fact,article 17(2) states that we should not be arbitrarily deprived of our property.Are you reading this,President Obama?No taking of my property (wages) to pay for an others health care.While I in no way agree with this declaration or the U.N.,it's just interesting to see that even the U.N. doesn't support Obama ideology either.More to come...