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My friend Steven at Skalduggery.com has a video that should be required viewing for all America Bashers.  In my opinion it is beautifully done and it reinforces my view that our country is special and, it reminds me how lucky I am to have been born here.  Please take the time to click on over to skalduggery.com and watch Bill Whittle list reasons to be proud to be American.

I am reminded of the “how to boil a frog” story.   You don’t throw the frog in the boiling water since he will get burned but will jump out before he is boiled.  Instead you put him in comfortable room temperature water and just turn up the heat a degree at a time until he sleeps through his boiling.

The description below is a clear, concise display of history that shows how we are being boiled right now.  It was written as an opinion piece by Paul E. Marek in March of 2007 (though it has been attributed to Dr. Emanuel Tanay).  I think it is as true today as it was then, if not more so.

A man, whose family was German aristocracy prior to World War II, owned a number of large industries and estates. When asked how many German people were true Nazis, the answer he gave can guide our attitude toward fanaticism. ‘Very few people were true Nazis,’ he said, ‘but many enjoyed the return of German pride, and many more were too busy to care. I was one of those who just thought the Nazis were a bunch of fools.  So, the majority just sat back and let it all happen. Then, before we knew it, they owned us, and we had lost control, and the end of the world had come.  My family lost everything.  I ended up in a concentration camp and the Allies destroyed my factories.’

We are told again and again by ‘experts’ and ‘talking heads’ that Islam is the religion of peace and that the vast majority of Muslims just want to live in peace. Although this unqualified assertion may be true, it is entirely irrelevant.  It is meaningless fluff, meant to make us feel better, and meant to somehow diminish the specter of fanatics rampaging across the globe in the name of Islam.

The fact is that the fanatics rule Islam at this moment in history; it is the fanatics who march…it is the fanatics who wage any one of 50 shooting wars worldwide.  It is the fanatics who systematically slaughter Christian or tribal groups throughout Africa and are gradually taking over the entire continent in an Islamic wave. It is the fanatics who bomb, behead, murder, or honour-kill.  It is the fanatics who take over mosque after mosque.  It is the fanatics who zealously spread the stoning and hanging of rape victims and homosexuals.  It is the fanatics who teach their young to kill and to become suicide bombers..

The hard, quantifiable fact is that the peaceful majority, the ‘silent majority,’ is cowed and extraneous.

Communist Russia was comprised of Russians who just wanted to live in peace, yet the Russian Communists were responsible for the murder of about 20 million people.  The peaceful majority were irrelevant.   China ‘s huge population was peaceful as well, but Chinese Communists managed to kill a staggering 70 million people.

The average Japanese individual prior to World War II was not a warmongering sadist.  Yet, Japan murdered and slaughtered its way across Southeast Asia in an orgy of killing that included the systematic murder of 12 million Chinese civilians; most killed by sword, shovel, and bayonet.

And who can forget Rwanda , which collapsed into butchery.  Could it not be said that the majority of Rwandans were ‘peace loving’?

History lessons are often incredibly simple and blunt, yet for all our powers of reason, we often miss the most basic and uncomplicated of points:

Peace-loving Muslims have been made irrelevant by their silence.

Peace-loving Muslims will become our enemy if they don’t speak up, because like my friend from Germany , they will awaken one day and find that the fanatics own them, and the end of their world will have begun.

 

Peace-loving Germans, Japanese, Chinese, Russians, Rwandans, Serbs, Afghans, Iraqis, Palestinians, Somalis, Nigerians, Algerians, and many others have died because the peaceful majority did not speak up until it was too late. As for us who watch it all unfold, we must pay attention to the only group that counts–the fanatics who threaten our way of life.

Do you agree?

My wife and I have a very small vineyard and are Oregon’s smallest producer of Pinot Noir and Pinot Gris. We are only open 4 days a year to the public (plus private parties and by appointment) and two of those days are this coming Friday (Nov. 26) and Saturday (Nov. 27). Here is the video invitation we will send out to our email list.  It was made with a text to video program available on the web – Xtranormal.com    This video is under four minutes and is my first real attempt.  Hope you enjoy it.  Also hope you can join us for wine tasting after Thanksgiving.  

The following fits nicely with the blog post on my weekend at the Freedom Seminar.  I highly encourage you to spend the 6 minutes.  You will laugh and you will cry.  It is “scary accurate.”

This past Saturday, my wife and I spent a fascinating day learning about the Austrian School of Economics (von Mises, Hayek, etc.).  I was only superficially informed about the Austrian School and wanted to learn more.  Much of the previous reading I had done on the subject was due to exposure to the concepts in Imprimis, the free speech digest of Hillsdale College.  If you know nothing about Hillsdale College and their history with the IRS and the U.S. Government, you owe it to yourself to read about the institution and how our government fought for 10 years to control their admissions policy.

The speakers were Robert Murphy and Richard Ebeling.  Both spoke clearly and convincingly about the need to understand the direction of the current Leadership of our Economy in Washington, D.C. and the probable results of the actions being taken by Mr. Obama, Fed Chair Ben Bernanke, Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner, etc.  It is not a pretty picture.

There were many high points to the day, but I will only mention a couple, briefly.  If you want more information, you can learn about the Freedom Seminars (started 20 years ago by the owners of Columbia Food Machinery Company in Salem, Oregon).

One most interesting discussion with a fellow attendee during a break was about labels.  It is common practice to demonize conservatives, libertarians, liberals, socialists and others based on labels that place large numbers under one roof allowing commentators to ascribe all manner of evil (usually the worst traits/views of the most extreme members of the group) to all who are placed under one of the labels.  Her view was that the best way around this problem was to classify all participants in our current political debate as either Big Government/High Tax or SmallGovernment/Low Tax.  I found the classification system interesting.  It solves the problem of definition quite well.  Is Mr. X, your Congressman, a Liberal, a Socialist, a Moderate?  That might be hard to pin down since each of those labels has more definitions than Carter has Pills.  But, is he in favor of and does he vote consistently for Big Government and Higher Taxes?  That is usually a simple answer.  Whether I completely agree with the Libertarians or not, or if I even know enough about the idea to properly define it, I do know that I favor the vast majority of actions that will make our government smaller and will lower our taxes.  Nice concept.

One interesting part of the presentation was Mr. Murphy commenting on the wisdom or lack thereof of the views and commentary by Mr. Paul Krugman, the Keynesian Economist, New York Times Op-Ed columnist, self proclaimed Liberal.  Mr. Murphy thinks that Mr. Krugman is full of poop and his views fly in the face of the facts(my very polite way of expressing the opinion).  He has challenged Mr. Krugman to a Debate.  His method of promoting the debate and convincing Mr. Krugman to accept the challenge is quite clever.

Though I have only commented briefly on a couple of thoughts from Saturday, this seminar caused a great deal of thinking and a desire to ‘hit the books’ to learn more.  If all it accomplishes is to force me to read, think and study more, it will have been worthwhile.  If you take the time to try a few of the links on this page, I hope it will cause you, too, to consider learning more about the Austrian School of Economics.

Please also see the post on QE.

The House will consider a bill (H.R. 4646) during the lame-duck session that has the potential to confiscate almost all private assets.  That is a strong statement, but, it is not out of the realm of possibility.

H.R. 4646 would require that all transactions using a financial institution would be taxed at an amount of 1% of the amount of the transaction.  Chaka Fattah, a Democrat from Pennsylvania is the author and sponsor of the bill.  The effect of the bill is that  if you deposit your Christmas Bonus (remember those?) of $1,000 in the bank, a fee (tax) of 1% or $10 is collected (you only keep $990 of your money).  When you withdraw that money, whether in small amounts or in a lump, each transaction will trigger another 1% fee, or a total of $10 more.  That means the tax is actually a 2% tax.

The text of the act shows just how pervasive would be the “fee”:

(a) In General- There is hereby imposed on every specified transaction a fee in an amount equal to 1 percent of the amount of such transaction.

‘(b) Specified Transaction- For purposes of this chapter–

‘(1) IN GENERAL- The term ‘specified transaction’ means any transaction that uses a payment instrument, including any check, cash, credit card, transfer of stock, bonds, or other financial instrument.

‘(2) TRANSACTION- The term ‘transaction’ includes retail and wholesale sales, purchases of intermediate goods, and financial and intangible transactions.


If this were to pass, and if history repeats itself, just think what this could become.  Social Security was started at 1% of the first $1,400 of annual 
Income placed into the Program.  

Now 7.65% on the first $90,000 is taken by the state for your “Social Security.”  It is a sobering thought that a crazy bill like this could ever pass.

The good news is that to my knowledge, there are no co-sponsors to this bill.  The bad news is that there could be even a “1% chance” that it could pass.  It has been Introduced and it has been referred to committee.  I would suggest that you write your Congressman (see easy links in the left hand column) to show your disdain for anyone who would consider voting for such a plan, just in case it it could see the floor of the House for a vote, let alone get out of committee.

A good friend and fellow Air Force Veteran sent this to me today.  I had seen it before but am happy to be reminded of the sacrifices of our fellow veterans.  Hope you are, too.


JFK’S Secretary of State, Dean Rusk, was in France in the early 60′s when DeGaule decided to pull out of NATO.  DeGaule said he wanted all US  military out of France as soon as possible.

Rusk responded, ”Does that include those who are buried here?” DeGuule did not respond.

You  could have heard a pin drop.

•••••••••••••

When in England, at a fairly large conference, Colin Powell was asked by the Archbishop of Canterbury if our plans for Iraq were just an example of ’empire building’ by George Bush.  He answered by saying, ”Over the years, the United States has sent many of its fine young men and women into great peril to fight for freedom beyond our borders.  The only amount of land we have ever asked for in return is enough to bury those that did not return.”

You could have heard a pin drop.

•••••••••••••

There was a conference in France where a number of international engineers were taking part, including French and American.  During a break, one of the French engineers came back into the room saying,  ”Have you heard the latest dumb stunt Bush has done? He has sent an aircraft carrier to Indonesia to help the tsunami victims.  What does he intend to do, bomb them?”  A Boeing engineer stood up and replied quietly:  ”Our carriers have three hospitals on board that can treat several hundred people;  they are nuclear powered and can supply emergency electrical power to shore facilities; they have three  cafeterias with the capacity to feed 3,000 people three meals a day, they can produce several thousand gallons of fresh water from sea water each day, and they carry half a dozen helicopters for use in transporting victims and injured to and from their flight deck.  We have eleven such ships; how many does France have?”

You could have heard a pin drop.

•••••••••••••

A U.S. Navy Admiral was attending a naval conference that included Admirals from the U.S., English, Canadian, Australian and French Navies.  At a cocktail reception, he found himself standing with a large group of officers that included personnel from most of those countries.  Everyone was chatting away in English as they sipped their drinks but a French admiral suddenly complained that, whereas Europeans learn many languages, Americans learn only English. He then asked, “Why is it that we always have to speak English in these conferences rather than speaking French?”  Without hesitating, the American Admiral replied, “Maybe it’s because the Brit’s, Canadians, Aussie’s and Americans arranged it so you wouldn’t have to speak German.”

You could have heard a pin drop.

AND

THIS STORY FITS RIGHT IN WITH THE ABOVE…

Robert Whiting, an elderly gentleman of 83, arrived in Paris by plane.  At French Customs, he took a few minutes to locate his passport in his carry on.  ”You have been to France before, monsieur?” the customs officer asked sarcastically.  Mr. Whiting admitted that he had been to France previously.  ”Then you should know enough to have your passport ready.  ”The American said,  “The last time I was here, I didn’t have to show it.” ”Impossible.. Americans always have to show their passports on arrival in France ! “The American senior gave the Frenchman a long hard look.  Then he quietly explained,  ”Well, when I came ashore at Omaha Beach on D-Day in 1944 to help liberate this country, I couldn’t find a single Frenchman to show a passport to.”

You could have heard a pin drop.

Please watch this video.  Then remember that the soldiers, sailors and airmen who have sacrificed have done what was asked of them by their country.  We should honor their service, not give them lip service.

Each year at Memorial Day we honor the lives and sacrifices of members of our Military Services who have passed on. On Veteran’s Day, we honor the lives and sacrifices of those who are still with us who have served in our armed forces.  I always wonder why we can get the emotion up to honor an overpaid athlete or entertainer and yet when we see a soldier, sailor, airman or marine in uniform, we often look the other way.

I have always appreciated the slogan depicted below.  This Veteran’s Day, why not make a point to say thank you to a veteran of the Coast Guard or Merchant Marines, or Air Force, Army, Marines or Navy?

To me, two of the most significant words in the language are Responsibility and Respect.  Veteran’s Day is a good time  to show Respect for those who have taken Responsibility for Protecting our Freedoms and have sacrificed on our behalf.

As was shown again in the November 2 election, there are a lot of people who are very disappointed with Barack Obama.  And, the disappointment is great for those who put him on a pedestal and defended his every move.

Some are upset because he did not deliver on his promise of Universal Health Care.  They actually believed his Campaign Promise that he could provide quality health care to almost everyone without increasing the cost.

Many are upset because there are still prisoners at Guantanamo Bay (though the mainstream press rarely even mentions this broken promise).

Lots of folks are very disappointed that the man who promised a “post racial” society is using race to divide and conquer more than any President in recent memory. (“And if Latinos sit out the election instead of saying, we’re going to punish our enemies and we’re going to reward our friends who stand with us on issues that are important to us, if they don’t see that kind upsurge in voting in this election, then I think it’s going to be harder – and that’s why I think it’s so important that people focus on voting on Nov. 2,” he said.)

Of course, there are the millions of Seniors who voted for Mr. Obama because he promised to end income tax for seniors with incomes less than $50,000 per year.  The fact that he has never even put forth a proposal to do anything like that has many upset.  You won’t read about it in the New York Times, though.

The list of broken promises is long and many people are very disappointed in the man they chose to change things in Washington.  But it can be pretty tough, especially for a Democrat who really thought that Mr. Obama was the Second Coming, for someone to now admit to the folly of his or her vote for him.

The easiest way to save face is to be honest with yourself and others.  You were sold a bill of goods.  It is that simple. The best way to save face is to honestly acknowledge that you fell for a great marketing program and voted for an inexperienced politician who made promises intended for only one purpose, to secure the election.  The people who do that will save face with others who are honest.  Of course, not everyone has the strength to be honest with themselves.

Many continue to deceive themselves by saying that Mr. Obama would have done all these things had not the nasty Republican minority fought him all the way.  Those folks will still hold you in contempt if you honestly admit your mistake.  For they cannot allow truth to spoil their dream.

So how does a Democrat who drank the Kool-Aid save face?  I think there is a way.  It’s a bit disingenuous, like Mr. Obama himself, but I think it will work.  First you berate those nasty Racist Republicans and Tea Party types.  You say that they will never let Mr. Obama get anything done.  Then you say that, as much as you support the Brilliant, Fair, and post-racial Barack Obama, you must be practical.  If anything is to get done, it will have to be done without him at the helm.  You then say that Hillary Clinton has proven to be the hard working, wise, and loyal public servant that we need.  You rally your friends around Hillary in 2012.  Again you mutter what a shame it is that the rest of the country is not yet ready for Mr. Obama, because, with support, he could have accomplished so much.  But you are a pragmatist and it is time to move on and get things done n Washington.  So for all you disappointed Obama fans out there:  Vote Hilary in 2012.

​THE MISSING ELEMENT

THE CURRENT COLLAPSE OF THE WORLD WIDE ECONOMIC SYSTEM, ENERGY PROBLEMS, AND A BROKEN HEALTH CARE REGIME ARE A FEW OF THE FOREMOST CONUNDRUMS IN THE MINDS OF MOST OF US. THE
CANDIDATES, PUNDITS, TALKING HEADS, AND ANALYSTS HAVE
VIEWPOINTS THEY SEE AS SOME OF THE KEYS TO THE REASONS FOR THE EXISTENCE OF THESE PROBLEMS AS WELL AS POSSIBLE REMEDIES. TO NAME A FEW:

• FOR THE ECONOMY: GREATER GOVERNMENT INVOLVEMENT AND REGULATION.
• FOR ENERGY: MORE DRILLING FOR OIL, WIND DEVICES, BIOFUELS, GREATER RELIANCE ON NUCLEAR ENERGY, ETC.
• HEALTHCARE: PRIMARILY INVOLVES WAYS OF REDISTRIBUTING INSURANCE AVAILABILITIES.

THESE PROBLEMS ARE NOT SIMPLY NATIONAL; THEY ARE WORLDWIDE (WITH, FOR INSTANCE, THE ADDITION OF POTABLE WATER SHORTAGES, EPIDEMIC DISEASE, LACK OF SUFFICIENT FOOD, EDUCATIONAL DISPARITIES AND MURDEROUS REGIMES TO EXACERBATE THESE PLIGHTS EVEN MORE).

THESE HORRORS HAVE BEEN FESTERING FOR A NUMBER OF DECADES. GOVERNMENTAL FOREIGN AID, NGO’S, THE UN, THE CHURCH AND OTHERS ARE ALL STRUGGLING TO MAKE LIFE MORE BEARABLE AT ALL LEVELS. SADLY, THESE EFFORTS, THOUGH NECESSARY IN THE SHORT TERM, ARE ONLY BAND-AIDS IN THE LONGER VIEW. THERE IS, HOWEVER, ONE ELEMENT NOT SPOKEN OF BY ANY GOVERNMENT OR ANY CANDIDATE FOR HIGHER OFFICE (EXCEPT CHINA AND THEY ARE LATE IN TERMS OF THEIR ENVIRONMENT). AND THAT IS OVERPOPULATION. OVERPOPULATION THAT IS STRESSING PEOPLE, ENVIRONMENTS, THE CHILDREN THEMSELVES (SPOKEN OF AS OUR “FUTURE”), THE FOOD AND CLEAN WATER SUPPLY, ENERGY, GLOBAL WARMING AND ANY SERIOUS CONCERN ONE WISHES TO CONSIDER. BEFORE ANY OF THE READERS LEAP TO DAMN THE MESSANGER IN HOPES OF SCOTCHING THE MESSAGE, I DO NOT MEAN FORCED STERILIZATION OR SUCH EXTREMES. THERE ARE OTHER METHODS THAT SHOULD HAVE BEEN CONSIDERED BEGINNING IN THE MIDDLE OF THE LAST CENTURY IF NOT SOONER. HERE ARE A FEW:
1.) FOREIGN AID SHOULD BE TIED TO CONTRACEPTION AND CONCOMITANT EDUCATION AS A CONDITON OF RECEIVING IT.
2.) FAMILY PLANNING EDUCATION SHOULD BE ENCOURAGED AND SUBSIDIZED DOMESTICALLY AS WELL.
3.) ABORTION ON DEMAND SHOULD BE CODIFIED AND LEGALIZED IN ALL STATES.

4.) THE POLITICAL BULLY PULPIT-NATIONALLY AND INTERNATIONALLY- NEEDS OUR LEADERS TO SPEAK OUT ABOUT THE REALITY OF PROVIDING FOR EXISTING CHILDREN, NOT CREATING YET MORE TO JOIN THE RANKS OF THE MALNOURISHED AS AT ONCE BOTH CAUSE AND EFFECT.
5.) OUR OWN COUNTRY STUPIDLY SUBSIDIZES (AS A POLITICAL SOP) OVERPOPULATION BY PROVIDING TAX BREAKS AND STIPENDS FOR AS MANY CHILDREN AS A FAMILY, BY ACCIDENT OR DESIGN, POSSESSES. ONE CHILD CREDIT SHOULD BE THE NORM. IF MORE CHILDREN ARE DESIRED…ADOPT.
6.) PHYSICIAN ASSISSTED SUICIDE SHOULD BE CODIFIED AND LEGALIZED IN ALL STATES.

THESE ARE A FEW OF THE EFFORTS THAT SHOULD BE DEMANDED OF OUR POLITICIANS AS A RESULT OF LOOKING CLEARLY AT THE CATASTROPHE WE ARE FACED WITH.  A DIALOGUE MUST BE BEGUN ABSENT THE EMOTIONALISM THAT CLOUDS THE ISSUE.

A BAG OF RICE THAT FEEDS TEN CANNOT BE STRETCHED TO FEED FIFTY. SOONER OR LATER, MALNUTRITION OR OUTRIGHT STARVATION IS A VERY REAL POSSIBILITY. EVERYTIME WE INVENT SOME NEW METHOD OF INCREASING CROPS, WE DAMN THE ENVIRONMENT, FOR EXAMPLE, THE RUNOFF OF FARMING CHEMICALS INTO OUR AQUIFERS THAT POLLUTES AND KILLS THE VERY FOOD SOURCES WE DEPEND UPON. ADDITIONALLY, THE BIRTHRATE EXPLODES. THE PROSCRIPTIONS PUT UP BY RELIGIONS OF ALL STRIPES IS REFLECTIVE OF HOW BLINDED WE ARE WHEN THE CANT FROM THE PULPIT (OR THE POLITICAL DAIS) CONVENIENTLY MATCHES OUR INSTINCTUAL DRIVES.

IF WE ARE SIMPLY REPRODUCTION MACHINES, IGNORANT OF AND ENSLAVED TO, BREEDING UNTIL THE LEMMING SYNDROME DESTROYS OUR BEAUTIFUL HOME PLANET…AND US; THEN OUR MUCH PRIZED INTELLECT IS IN THE END OF NO VALUE.

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