June 2009

On the issue of the detained at “Gitmo” …

Tired of hearing America being called a bully-nation because we incarcerate people for no apparent reason?

Are you worried we are defining ourselves as a nation because we allow it and don’t take to the streets screaming loud and hard about our civil liberties from being trampled upon?

Then read on. I throw out a few options below.

Trial? Good idea. Some have suggested that we get on with it and hold the Nuremberg-style trials so we can find them guilty and send them out back behind the port-a-potty and deliver the capital punishment they deserve.

Let them go? Nope. They’ll be back on the battlefield to dole out more terrorism. One only has to look at the history associated with that policy to know there is little chance of any other outcome.

Keep them in jail? Hmmm. They do offer a source of intelligence which may lead to arrests before something bad happens. Perhaps one of them may lead us to other valuable information. In the meantime they don’t have it so bad while they are detained; they get to pray to Allah three times a day, play soccer and eat three squares a day.

Granted I’m painting a broad picture here, but the options are few. And yes, I hear the argument; that these people deserve trial and “indefinite” incarceration is viewed as immoral and it serves somehow to define America in a negative way.

As I see it, we are being defined in a positive way and we will be seen as saving the innocents from the actions of this human swill in the event we let them go.

Taking a larger perspective on the issue, Islam isn’t just another religion. We’re not just dealing with a small band of David Koresh style fanatics. Islam is a fascist ideology which turns its followers into drones who can’t wait to blow themselves up while taking scores of people with them – all in the name of Allah. It is in the Quran. I’ve read it.

America has failed to understand what it is we are actually dealing with. They will not stop until the world has succumbed to Islam.

My only hope is that America wakes up to the realities of what we’re dealing with. To do that we have to put down the idea we can just walk up to one of our captives, hand him a cookie with a glass of milk and asking him nicely where he placed the bomb with the hope he tells us before it goes off.

My other hope is that if the bomb does go off, it strikes a personal chord with those who believe we can reason with these people. Maybe then they’ll get it.

One final question; if you find yourself among those who are concerned about the enemy’s well being and are willing to take to the streets in protest against their “arbitrary” incarceration, would I have found you among the protesters in Olympia protesting military cargo shipments?


Let the meltdown begin

The Community Reinvestment Act (or CRA, Pub.L. 95-128, title VIII, 91 Stat. 1147, 12 U.S.C. § 2901 et seq.) is a United States federal law designed to encourage commercial banks and savings associations to meet the needs of borrowers in all segments of their communities, including low- and moderate-income neighborhoods. Congress passed the Act in 1977 to reduce discriminatory credit practices against low-income neighborhoods, a practice known as redlining. The Act requires the appropriate federal financial supervisory agencies to encourage regulated financial institutions to meet the credit needs of the local communities in which they are chartered, consistent with safe and sound operation. To enforce the statute, federal regulatory agencies examine banking institutions for CRA compliance, and take this information into consideration when approving applications for new bank branches or for mergers or acquisitions.

Where did this bill get started?

The CRA was passed as a result of national pressure to address the deteriorating conditions of American cities particularly lower-income and minority neighborhoods. Community activists, such as Gale Cincotta of National People’s Action in Chicago, had led the national fight to pass, and later to enforce the Act.

Hmmm… community activist. Rings a faint bell.

And who signed this beautiful piece of legislation into law?

The original Act was passed by the 95th United States Congress and signed into law by President Jimmy Carter in 1977.

A democrat. Who woulda thunk?

…and the effects?

Some economists, politicians and other commentators have charged that the CRA contributed in part to the 2008 financial crisis by encouraging banks to make unsafe loans. Others however, including the economists from the Federal Reserve and the FDIC, dispute this contention. The Federal Reserve and the FDIC holds that empirical research has not validated any relationship between the CRA and the 2008 financial crisis.

You can read the time line of events here.

Obama administration officials, fearing a battle with Congress that could stall plans to close the U.S. prison at Guantanamo Bay, are crafting language for an executive order that would reassert presidential authority to incarcerate terrorism suspects indefinitely, according to three senior government officials with knowledge of White House deliberations.

Such an order would embrace claims by former president George W. Bush that certain people can be detained without trial for long periods under the laws of war.

There are lessons here for all who are quick to criticize America’s policies. First, too often we do not know about the underlying reasons which serve to form many of America’s policies. Second, we often fail to appreciate the demands of leadership while in the pursuit of doing what is best for America. Third, we should think more about the problem and ask ourselves what we would do when faced with the hard decisions. This act alone will cause the critic to read more.

The Bush administration, like them or not, understood the forces in this world which are collectively acting to literally destroy America. Believe it or not, but if you don’t then you are part of the problem.

Mr. Obama is now getting a bitter taste of the realities of the world. For America’s sake, I hope he drinks long and hard.

“Property is the fruit of labor…property is desirable…is a positive good in the world. That some should be rich shows that others may become rich, and hence is just encouragement to industry and enterprise. Let not him who is houseless pull down the house of another; but let him labor diligently and build one for himself, thus by example assuring that his own shall be safe from violence when built.”  “Reply to New York Workingmen’s Democratic Republican Association” (March 21, 1864)

“What is conservatism? Is it not adherence to the old and tried, against the new and untried?” Lincoln’s Cooper Institute Address, February 27, 1860.

“We all declare for liberty; but in using the same word we do not all mean the same thing. With some the word liberty may mean for each man to do as he pleases with himself, and the product of his labor; while with others, the same word may mean for some men to do as they please with other men, and the product of other men’s labor. Here are two, not only different, but incompatible things, called by the same name – liberty. And it follows that each of the things is, by the respective parties, called by two different and incompatible names – liberty and tyranny.” “Address at Sanitary Fair, Baltimore, Maryland” (April 18, 1864)

America will never be destroyed from the outside. If we falter and lose our freedoms, it will be because we destroyed ourselves.

Any people anywhere, being inclined and having the power, have the right to rise up, and shake off the existing government, and form a new one that suits them better. This is a most valuable – a most sacred right – a right, which we hope and believe, is to liberate the world.

Don’t interfere with anything in the Constitution. That must be maintained, for it is the only safeguard of our liberties.

Let us then turn this government back into the channel in which the framers of the Constitution originally placed it.
July 10, 1858 Speech at Chicago

Don’t interfere with anything in the Constitution. That must be maintained, for it is the only safeguard of our liberties. And not to Democrats alone do I make this appeal, but to all who love these great and true principles.
August 27, 1856 Speech at Kalamazoo, Michigan

I don’t believe in a law to prevent a man from getting rich; it would do more harm than good. So while we do not propose any war upon capital, we do wish to allow the humblest man an equal chance to get rich with everybody else.
March 6, 1860 Speech at New Haven, Connecticut

You might be a socialist if you:

  • want to establish a fundamentally different society from the one that currently exists (in progress)
  • want to abolish capitalism (in progress)
  • place the means of production under the collective ownership of the people (UAW @ Government Motors)
  • want to achieve a high degree of economic and political equality (financial system reform)
  • believe capitalism exploits the working class

Jews aren’t the only segment of American society concerned about Barack Obama and his apparent willingness to throw Israel under the bus. This American is concerned that after Israel, he may throw America under that same bus.

I rest at night (albeit lightly) only because I gain a little bit of peace from the fact I did not vote for Barack Obama. My reasons for not voting for him comes more from personal efforts to do a little bit of research about him during the early days of his campaign and less from sound-bites provided by TV and radio. This research, coupled with a willingness to let the facts speak for themselves allowed me to assess his character and values as many know them to be today – only after the election.

My findings allowed me to see him as the socialist many are only now calling him. I saw a man whose character and values were formed and influenced by a 20+ year association with the Rev. Wright, an obvious racist and anti-Semitic, along with Bill Ayers and others of his ilk who harbor anti-American sentiment.

His background and early upbringing have given me cause to suspect his allegiance to America. This has since become painfully clear after hearing his recent speeches given abroad.

His experience with and knowledge of fiscal matters is showing to be abundantly weak. The motley collection comprising his cabinet have roots in Chicago politics and are tainted by the same. There have been jokes made of the fact that some members of his cabinet avoided paying taxes only to have them miraculously paid once they had been selected for the cabinet position. This has been drolly described as Obama’s earliest efforts in fiscal responsibility. To date, it’s been his best shot at it.

I could go on describing the weaknesses of this president including his naivete on foreign matters which will undoubtedly serve to be dangerous for America, but I will instead point to a missed opportunity for a great op-ed piece which can be read here. http://www.afa.net/youscareme.asp

In the end, it should be clear that we can never take our awesome responsibility to vote lightly; that our vote carries with it supreme consequences. It should also be clear that we have repeated history here.

We have rushed headlong for change, anxious to distance ourselves from a president who guided America out from the shadows of the events of September 11, 2001, only to be placed under a darker shadow of fiscal disaster for the nation.

One only has to look back upon the Ford-Carter election of 1976 and to reflect upon the psyche of America in the wake of Watergate to learn we have missed yet another opportunity to prevent history from repeating itself.

Live and learn can’t even be applied.