Through some effort, I’ve mostly avoided politickin’ on the blog. Till today. I got a little rant going because of an email (below for your edification) from my Democrat-To-The-Death cousins. It’s supposed to be witty; maybe at another moment in time, I could shake my head and hit delete like I usually do. But I can’t let it go. Not only is it moronic and insulting, it’s intended to divide rather than educate or unify, perhaps persuade. McCain-esque in its arrogance. (Yeah, take that.)
The U.S. economy, hence its citizenry, is suffering and it looks to get worse before it gets better. Jobs are disappearing, inflation and foreclosures are booming. The "incentive" is likely spent and of no real help. Why do people waste time adding insult to injury? Because they don’t feel their neighbor’s pain, is all I can think. The times, they are not a-funny.
Both parties have given the U.S. both excellent and deplorable presidents. If the charming and personable Church Lady were running as a Democrat, ought we vote for her on that basis alone? Of course not. The person makes the party.
Obama and McCain are the new Republicrats: essentially members of the same party. The only substantial difference between them is that Obama is not a smirking, arrogant warmonger, my friend. He has that going for him. Otherwise, both are for increased gun control. Both appeal to socialist ideals. Both will keep us in Iraq. Neither understands money or inflation, and both are big spenders. While McCain is racking up the trillions in Iraq for the next 100 years, Obama will do so there until we can "prudently" withdraw – slowly and expensively, no doubt – and on social programs in both countries. We can’t afford any of it.
We have bigger problems right now than which party’s shit don’t stink. The recession snowball is pounding down the slopes. The U.S. must stop spending. Stop spending and stop printing money. No more federal programs, at least no new ones. Stop spending money overseas on other country’s problems. Stop "spreading democracy," bring our troops home. All the troops. Let them spend their U.S. paychecks on U.S. soil with their families.
President Eisenhower (R) said, as poetically as Obama would have, "Every gun that is made, every warship launched, every rocket fired signifies, in the final sense, a theft from those who hunger and are not fed, those who are cold and not clothed. This world in arms is not spending money alone. It is spending the sweat of its laborers, the genius of its scientists, the hope of its children."
Republicans didn’t get us where we are all by their lonesome. Eisenhower is famous for keeping the U.S. in a prolonged peace. As opposed to Kennedy and Johnson who escalated the Vietnam war beyond all reason. Or Clinton who bombed the snot out of Kosovo to divert the world’s attention from his bidness. Oh, and for oil, of course, just like the Georges, I and II.
Read the book Addicted to War (online and free). And here’s an excellent article on how we’re doing right this minute.
Eisenhower warned us: "we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military-industrial complex… Only an alert and knowledgeable citizenry can compel the proper meshing of the huge industrial and military machinery of defense with our peaceful methods and goals, so that security and liberty may prosper together." So far, we’ve ignored every word.
My man Ron Paul (R) not only understands money and that continued uncontrolled printing of it will bring the U.S. to its knees, he was the only candidate who promised to take us out of Iraq immediately. Not just because of his foreign policy but because the war is breaking the bank. He was the only candidate who, consistently and at every opportunity, voted against the war and all its spending. In fact, he has the most consistent voting record of any politician ever. He votes one way: constitutionally. Fortunately, he is continuing the campaign to bring the U.S. back to its senses. I’m in.
Always one to examine my motives, this surprised me: if Ron Paul, by some incredible miracle, became the 44th U.S. President, we would move back to the states. The times would be too exciting to miss. That was a wow moment. Sad in its truthiness, but that can’t be helped.
The biggest indicator of what a man will do is what he has done. History reveals McCain and Obama as big on compromising ideals. Neither has shown they have a clue how to mesh for peace and prosperity. God help them.
Original email: To be a good Republican one needs to believe…
- Jesus loves you, and shares your hatred of [deleted – I can’t even bear to read it here] and Hillary Clinton.
- Saddam was a good guy when Reagan armed him, a bad guy when Bush’s Daddy made war on him, a good guy when Cheney did business with him, and a bad guy when Bush needed a "we can’t find Bin Laden" diversion.
- Trade with Cuba is wrong because the country is Communist, but trade with China and Viet Nam is vital to a spirit of international harmony.
- The United States should get out of the United Nations, while our highest national priority is enforcing U.N. resolutions against Iraq.
- A woman can’t be trusted with decisions about her own body, but multinational drug corporations can make decisions affecting all mankind without regulation.
- The best way to improve military morale is to praise the troops in speeches, while slashing veterans’ benefits and combat pay.
- If condoms are kept out of schools, adolescents won’t have sex.
- A good way to fight terrorism is to belittle our longtime allies, then demand their cooperation and money.
- Providing health care to all Iraqis is sound policy, but providing health care to all Americans is socialism. HMO’s and insurance companies have the best interests of the public at heart.
- Global warming and tobacco’s link to cancer are junk science, but creationism should be taught in schools.
- A president lying about an extramarital affair is an impeachable offense, but a president lying to enlist support for a war in which thousands die is solid defense policy.
- Government should limit itself to the powers named in the Constitution, which include banning gay marriages and censoring the Internet. [Uh, like WHERE?]
- The public has a right to know about Hillary’s cattle trades, but George Bush’s driving record is none of our business.
- Being a drug addict is a moral failing and a crime, unless you’re a conservative radio host. Then it’s an illness and you need our prayers for your recovery.
- Supporting "Executive Privilege" for every Republican ever born, who will be born or who might be born (in perpetuity.)
- What Bill Clinton did in the 1960’s is of vital national interest, but what Bush did in the 1980’s is irrelevant.
- Support hunters who shoot their friends and blame them for wearing orange vests similar to those worn by quail. Friends don’t let friends vote Republican.
Friends don’t let friends sent completely moronic and offensive emails like this.
The entire list would be funny if you can forget for a moment that each thing is pretty important and has ramifications that are not evident now but will eventually hit the fan (or has already)……..and will splash us all
It appears you may be staying in Costa Rica for a long while if returning to the States depends on a political improvement. I think Obama and the democrats will be some improvement, but it is pretty much a matter of just another group of paid politicians with only a slightly different agenda.
I would not want to see Paul in office either. Government does have legitimate functions regarding the health and well being of citizens and Libertarians are too willing to leave people free to do a lot of mischief….and given the freedom..they WILL. I am not a great believer in the goodness and kindness of people. There is damned little historical evidence to back that up.
Do you still follow the circus that is happening here? I hope that when I leave this place for good for Costa Rica, I will be able to turn off the switch and focus on more mundane matters, such as how to deal with the things you talked about in your previous post.I no longer care what happens to this country. It is a lost cause and in steep decline and to concern myself for it makes no sense. It would just be a frustration.
I agree, Wolfie. We will all be splashed…
I did follow the race just because I’ve been so inspired by Ron Paul. Now, except for Paul’s continued campaign to spread the message of getting back to the Constitution, I will turn it off completely. Easy to do here: no headlines in your face and since the news doesn’t really give you news anymore, just opinion, easy to turn that off, too. It’s lovely. Because, you are right: it is an exercise in frustration. “Another group of paid politicians with only a slightly different agenda.” Yep.
I found the lack of media coverage of Paul’s campaign to be remarkable. The first candidate in years who doesn’t rephrase his oppenents’ positions. I remember watching the Gore-Bush debates and thinking ‘how are they really different?’ My main issue with Paul is his pro-life stance. He’s supported way too much pro-life legislation for my comfort. Bob Barr doesn’t have a chance, but if he’s really changed from being a strict conservative he could be a reasonable choice. The big ‘if’ is whether he’s being honest or whether becoming libertarian is politically expedient. I will say this for Paul: he’s a known quantity, with a pretty consistent voting record for many years.
The media non-converage was chillingly obvious. It was the first time I was really paying attention to the media bias in the states. Who do they work for, do you suppose? Big military, big pharma, big advertisers. Journalists are no longer “independent” thinkers, reporting news. They are dancing to the company band, doing everything they can to keep their jobs.
Abortion rights is the one issue on which I disagree with Paul. But here’s the thing: he would not vote on a federal level to make it illegal. He would take it out of the federal arena completely which needs to happen. It is a state’s decision to keep it legal or not, not the Fed’s. There are likely states who would then make it illegal, but there are plenty (and I believe more) states that would keep it legal.
As President, Paul would not be voting on whether or not to keep abortion legal at all! Your state legislature would.
Overturning Roe vs Wade needs to happen to take the abortion issue out of federal hands and give it back to states. It’s not a federal decision to make, it’s a state decision.
Keeping as much legislature out of Federal hands and in state’s and cities hands keeps our government local, where we can touch it and keep it manageable. This is one of the main themes of the Constitution: keep your government local. Centralized government – like King George’s – is a powerful, unstoppable force… It’s why we should deeply fear and oppose all attempts at a One World Centralized government. Which the powers that currently be are moving towards. Very scary.
It’s not just abortion that should come out of Fed hands: it’s pretty much everything but roads and defense. Everything else should be in state and/or city hands.
The reason Paul is not speaking at the GOP convention as he had planned to do all along, even though he was a legitimate candidate, is because his party refused to allow him to. That floored me, although a little Pollyanna to be floored… It’s their party, I guess. So he’s having his own party.
Life has definitely turned more difficult in the US. Its in every conversation – gas, food, job security. Its just part of the cycle, in some ways payback time for past year’s irresponsibility. I am indifferent about it, everyone threw common sense out the window, I feel in some way I should be able to benefit for keeping mine.
Life is good, always look at the silver lining, the bright spot, glass half full. Keep your common sense, take a bit of risk and we’ll come out in good shape.
“It’s not just abortion that should come out of Fed hands: it’s pretty much everything but roads and defense. Everything else should be in state and/or city hands.”
I strongly disagree.
The public health should be a federal responsibility as well and NOT a state or city charge. Contagious diseases don’t obey state lines any more than tainted foods do.
Either you believe we all sink or swim together, or you don’t. And if you don’t hold to this cohesive belief, in today’s fragmented America, be prepared for a swift, permanent and thoroughly debilitating crash. Libertarian rules at this stage would be the slitting of the throat of the country as opposed to the slow smothering death it will probably get from republican rule.
“I am indifferent about it, everyone threw common sense out the window, I feel in some way I should be able to benefit for keeping mine.” If the feds keep up the drive to bail everyone out, you who kept your wits about you will pay for those who did not. Pathetic. All the politicians on both sides of the aisle are gung-ho on this plan. Except Paul, of course. Everybody else is buying votes with your money.
I must have sounded so angry and bitter… Even Hal said so; I didn’t realize it. It’s true, I am sad about the state the U.S. is in. My two very best friends in Key West are losing everything and, as soon as their bankruptcies are completed, will have no money and no assets at 53. Starting over. Fifty three is young in so many ways, but damned old to be starting over. I can personally attest to that. I try to be indifferent and up-beat to the U.S. problems, but I’d have to not talk to my lifelong friends in Key West to stay that way.
It helps being here!!! MY glass runneth over. I am very lucky and very grateful for all I have. So glad to be here and not having to live thru the hard times there.
And James: how do you think the U.S. got into the mess it’s in? Are you really going to blame Republicans alone???? Please. Obama is likely to win the election (unless the U.S. is really and truly not ready for a black President and will instead elect an arrogant puppet with one foot in the grave which will make me even more glad to be here) and you’ll get to watch first hand how a Demolican can effect a “slow smothering death.” The only difference between Obama and McCain is how they are going to go about it. They will both break the bank.
I have absolute 100% faith in my fellow human beings, not counting politicians. Goodness and kindness is not heavily documented in history books. But it’s all around us.
I’m not comfortable with the legality of abortion ever being in states’ hands. A Bible belt state is unlikely to make a decision based on common sense, though I’m sure they’d try their best to ameliorate the religious rhetoric. With a conservative Supreme Court, Roe v Wade being overturned is a possibility. And it really comes down to believing that half the population of a state is too dumb or incapable about making a decision for themselves. It’s blatantly sexist. (I wonder how Sandra Day O’ Connor feels now…)
I’d also agree with James, to an extent, about healthcare. Though not about diseases and excessive vaccinations, but just keeping people healthy. Perhaps that’s influenced by the obscene cost of healthcare here, but I think society as a whole is better off when people are not sick and desperate. I wonder what CR would be like if all the families living on $500/mo had to worry about paying for their basic healthcare as well? Desperation would certainly drive more people to crime.
I’d say pure libertarianism is utopian. Of course, I can just start a Social Libertarian movement, if it hasn’t been started already 😛
The Democrats will mess things up as well. There is only ONE political party in the U.S. with two wings, the Republican and the Democratic wings. The Dems are just a little more populist oriented..not much, though. American politics is an embarrassment to me. I am ashamed to claim citizenship.
I feel a little embarrassed when I am traveling and must identify myself as an American. In Costa Rica, I feel like I am walking around with a big tattoo of the stars and stripes on my forehead and I don’t like it. I wonder what the average Tica at the pulperia counter thinks of me as an American. Does she assume I am a selfish, rich, exploiting, spoiled S.O.B.? They are so polite and so concerned with the business of “quedar bien” with others that they would never show any contempt if existed.
Arp, making allowances is how the U.S. got in the shape it’s in. Once you make allowances for some decisions staying with the Fed (and further away from the people), all decisions are up for grabs. Government is a power sucker: give it a little, it wants more. Power is money, money = stuff, college for the kiddies. I’m willing to risk some states making abortion illegal to get the power back to the people and out of a centralized government.
Dumb people work hard, they pay their taxes, they have as much right to make voting decisions as smart people. And look where the really smart guys like Cheney and Clinton have gotten us. I’d like to give dumb people a chance. They could not do worse.
If government stayed out of healthcare, it would be affordable. If anyone who wanted to could become a doctor, prices would come down. If the government disbanded the FDA got out of approving pharmaceuticals, prices would come down. The government’s involvement in a thing makes it more expensive and less available.
Government can’t solve problems. A government should do as little as possible and allow me the freedom to solve my own problems, allow me to keep my money in my pocket. Bottom line, there’s a price to pay for everything. I’d prefer to pay the price of a Libertarian utopia.
James, it wasn’t until living here that I really started to understand how the rest of the world sees U.S. citizens. They like us ok, but, you’re right: we got a reputation to overcome…
Sara, we already tried letting dumb people run things…George Bush got elected didn’t he? How have things been going lately with him running things for the dummies who voted him into office AND for the rest of us?
I will agree with your basic premise that government is bad only IF it is true that most citizens are too stupid to avoid being taken advantage of by the governments they elect.
Emperor George II as my husband likes to call him is such a moron. I’m too ashamed to watch him on TV and fascinated at the same time. Being present when he makes up a new word like decider would be priceless.
But he wasn’t the President. He just wore the nametag. He was the puppet: Cheney ran the country. And Rockefeller. Those guys are too smart – like evil smart – to show their faces as the responsible ones. McCain could be our next puppet.
I found a great website: http://www.brasschecktv.com. Watch the “McCain: Lost in Space”… it’d funny if it weren’t so scary.
I have to chime in on this one. All politicians are politicians for one thing. POWER. What ever is going on in the U.S. is historical. This is history folks. The fall of an empire and the whole world is going to be shook up with it. It is going to be very interesting. You can run but you can’t hide. Everyone and everywhere will be affected. As far as Democracy goes it has been dead for years except as a fantasy in our minds. Also as far as the glass being half full or half empty when it gets to that the glass is to big.
Yup, historical is the word I would use as well. I don’t know how much more insulated I will be in Costa Rica. My lively hood depends on the stock market right now and will depend on Social security and the market to some extent once in CR. Both of those institutions can hardly be immune from any looming disaster which may come about in the next 5 years.
And anyone who is dependent upon the Costa Rican economy will also have to be affected drastically. There is no way anyone living in Tico-land is going to avoid getting some of the stinky stuff splattered on him once it hits the fan up here.
This is serious stuff. We sit here calmly discussing something which will most certainly knock all of us down and hard. Sort of like watching the car crash in slow motion from the passenger seat. Could Ron Paul save us? Not now. It’s too late for any one to save us even if that person had the right ideas and policies..and I don’t think Mr. Paul does anyway.
Gotta agree with you, Laffingbear…
You, too, James. Nothing could stop that snowball now. But Ron Paul does have the fix. It’s not a pretty fix, it’s not popular, but he’s the only one who understands money. Betcha $5. If we have it then…
Sally – I see, and agree with, most of your points. Perhaps all, if I can accept the possibility of different laws in different parts of the country. I know with the checks and balances, one man should not have the influence to overturn, say, Roe v Wade. Especially one who would presumably respect the checks and balances, certainly more than recent administrations.
btw – there’s some awful news of political & legal shenanigans in the NYC area today. The US supreme court sided with developers in allowing them to use eminent domain to take property from civilians to … build luxury apartments & a new stadium in Brooklyn. All because of theoretically more tax revenue. That’s the #&%*#^ greater good – more tax revenue. Obviously this decision wouldn’t be possible if the IRS didn’t exist…
I try to not dwell on things I have no control over, but rather think of how to take advantage of any opportunity it might present. Everyone talked about oil at the start of the Iraq war (by emperor George II), instead of trying to make money of it. Well, oil and oil related stocks would have easily returned you 15X your investment in 6 years. Put this in perspective, to double (2X) your cash in a bank account at today’s interest rate, it would take fourteen years.
Spoken like a true capitalist Carpe. Fiddle while Rome burns. You will probably needing wheel barrows to haul it around. Tough to eat paper though. Also tough to eat an ounce of gold. Think about trading beads.
Ok, Arp, you are coming around. There’s hope! And that eminent domain crap… property rights was the number 1 issue for the Founders. The Issue. Second was taxes. There is nobody but Ron Paul who sees this as the load of crap it is. If he’s not just another politician talking, if he really intends to walk the walk – which he has been – he would put a stop to that nonsense. Alas, none of the other guys will. They will turn a blind eye.
I’m with Carpe: wish I’d been unemotional enough to buy oil stocks. As it is, we bought gold and thank God. Beads could be next… as the economy slides the slope of hope, owning gold could be outlawed. They did it once…
Yeah, Carpe..I have been doing a little day trading off the oil price spikes but this is not a good thing in the long run. Right now, oil stock prices have scared a lot of money out of the market and stocks are trading sideways. The end story is going to be a possible crash and burn economy and even the oil stocks will be of no use to you.
I am not at all saying oil/energy is what you should be putting your money in right now, it might actually be too late, who knows?? but risk-rewards tells me stay on the sidelines. I was merely stating an example.
Just talking to a friend of mine about the tougher life in the US right now and he asked me how I do it avoiding these crash and burn cycles. I simply said use your common sense and avoid the fads and mania. This is the same guy I repeatedly warn about the stock market bubble in the late 90’s, real estate bubble right after, warned him about inflation and told him to buy gold at $500. Each and every time (as I expect) he never listens. But in some ways, I am glad he does not as do most people. Without them, opportunities does not present themselves more clearly. I will give a million dollar advise here (I want 25% if you do make a million – I trust you all to send me the check). Look at the current events/trends, be it chaos or prosperity, look at what industry would benefit the most (its all a cycle, what’s hot now is not what would be hot next year). After you have identified this, ACT and invest money in it. Forget about it and wait two-three years.
Just remember, even in the most trying of times, somebody was making a bundle of money. But like most who walk the earth, its not something they would pursue. Might sound self-centered, but that is the exact reason it rewards the few that do.
Anybody can make money by timing the market over a long period. That is a known and demonstrable fact. You don’t even have to aim well, just close your eyes and throw the money in a general direction contrary to the current cycle. For market players with at least a 10 year time frame, no prob….hell, you could even buy US real estate right now and probably make a reasonable return by 2018.
But the problem is that people are not designed to live their lives in such long breaths of time. Nor can we live in the absolute present like our dogs. We live within a particularly uncomfortable time frame of months, weeks and days. And we compete with nature and each other within that time arena.
The lesson of the old fable of the tortoise and the hare is that we should be more like the tortoise and keep a steady, constant pace,..a more extended view of time rather than live within shorter time frames like the hare. The problem is that the tortoise cannot change his shell and the hare cannot change his skin. We are what we are and we have to make do with that. We are more like the hare.
So I play the oil on a daily basis…buy and sell same day..in and out.For the time being, a perios of months, I am waiting in a 75% cash position, jumping in and out on a daily basis when the market warrants it. For the long haul, I am waiting to see which way the wind blows towards the end of the year. I am living within the human time frame. It is easier for me.
Too hysterical to day trade… I’d be desperately broke. I admire those who can do that. I like contemplating the next bubble. There’s gonna be one. The question is: when I figure it out, will I share it?