This was a firewall between retail banking and investment banking. Investors want a certain amount of risk. Taking risks can lead to windfall profits. Yes, you can lose your shirt, but heretofore, people who played in the investment markets, were the wealthy and only played with money that they could afford to lose.
With Glass-Steagall out of the way, suddenly people’s mortgages became investment instruments. Retirements became pension funds tied to the success or failure of your corporation. The middle class was built on home ownership. The majority of people’s wealth was in their homes. These homes were then passed down to their children giving them a leg up into the middle class.
For God’s sake! Don’t pass that wealth on to your children!!!
I can remember when ARMs – Adjustable Rate Mortgages – became all the rage. People were encouraged to re-finance their homes, take their equity out and spend it. Now they’re pushing “Reverse Mortgages,” Can’t have the “middle class” passing their wealth to the next generation. They might actually become really wealthy! You surely don’t think the collapse of the housing market was accidental do you?
STEP TWO:Cut the tax revenue coming into the United States
Click for full size.
The Bush era tax cuts, which the Republicans made permanent, are what has caused our national debt to sky rocket. Under Bill Clinton, we balanced our budget and had begun paying down our debt such that had we followed through, our entire national debt would have been paid off by the year 2010. Our nation would have been debt free!Once debt free, we could kiss the Federal Reserve goodbye! However, as I recall, the GOP simply hated Bill Clinton. Matter of fact, they impeached him! If the future of their grandchildren were truly as important as they’d like to pretend… They would have embraced Bill Clinton’s policies and remained on track to America becoming debt free. Bill Clinton left George Bush a $1.9 trillion dollar budget surplus.
STEP THREE:Burn through the national savings account.
George Bush went on a spending spree along with the congressional Republicans that would make a drunken sailor blush. Yes, we were attacked on September 11, 2001. I won’t go into the plethora of facts that make the official story absolute nonsense, but let us examine our response.
First, “Terror” is not a person. It is not a nation State. It is not an organization such as Al’Qaeda. Terror is a TACTIC.You cannot wage war on a tactic.Of course, caught up in the fervor of blood lust with our thirst for revenge, very little critical thinking was going on back then. We went into Afghanistan – which made sense – but, when we had the chance to capture Osama Bin Laden and decapitate the head of Al’Qaeda, we let him escape in order to rush into Iraq which had absolutely nothing to do with the attacks on the United States. Al’Qaeda wasn’t even in Iraq until they followed us there.
Remember how we effectively cut our income by giving tax cuts to the top 1%? By launching two wars simultaneously, we were burning through billions of dollars a day and there was no revenue stream incoming to replace our outgo. Thus we simply threw everything on the national credit card. In point of fact, George Bush didn’t even include the costs of these wars as a budget item. What could possibly go wrong???
He is a better painter than he was a President… And his paintings suck!
The only thing that did go wrong was George Bush’s timing. I am firmly convinced that the plan was to mortally wound the United States and then let a Black President preside over its demise and of course take the blame. Things came to a pimple just a bit sooner than Bush had planned thus the TARP bailout was on his watch. Yes, that’s right. It was George Bush who signed the TARP bailout, Republicans rail against. If only things had taken a few more weeks to come together, George would have been back in Crawford Texas painting his water colors and acrylics, pretending no involvement.
The media propaganda has been working hammer and tong to rewrite history such that even now, most Republicans and TEA Party nit wits will argue vociferously that President Obama was responsible for the TARP, Of course, history – and spelling – were never really their strong suits.
We Are In Much Better Hands Than We Should Be
Let Detroit Go Bankrupt!
So, here we are. What they never counted on was President Obama being as competent as he is. Remember Mitt Romney’s article, “Let Detroit Go Bankrupt?” Can you imagine having a President who would so cavalierly recommend the total destruction of an industry? Let us forget for a moment the human impacts of his advice. We all know that Mitt was born without a soul. Think for a moment what it would mean to the safety and security of these United States if we lost our manufacturing base.
If we have to have our weapons of war, manufactured and shipped to us, this creates a logistics problem and a critical supply line that could be cut by an enemy we were at war with. No need to bomb over here. Just bomb the factories that are producing our tanks, planes and other weapons of war in the various nations we’d be forced to buy them from. Think having a shotgun for home defense, but storing it at your neighbor’s house.
During WWI and WWII, it was our automotive manufacturing facilities that were tooled up and re-purposed to produce the Tanks, Jeeps, Half-Tracks, Heavy Trucks and fighter planes that helped us to win the war. The big foundries that were producing engine blocks began producing armor plating, hull sections for ships and submarines, and a host of other items we don’t even think about. Our automotive industries and their manufacturing capabilities are crucial to the safety and survival of this nation. Any person who doesn’t know this, shouldn’t be President.
Other than the Bush tax cuts, the next biggest drain on our budget is health care costs. I don’t want to live in a 3rd World Nation where people are left to die on the side of the roads. I want people around me to be healthy. My health and well being depend on it. So do yours. However, equally important is the fact that our population is greying, getting older. Older people require more and more medical attention. The question is not whether we’re going to pay for this, the question is how do we get the best service while keeping our costs down?
Let me share with you something from my own personal experience. A year or so ago, I had to have vein surgery to correct some varicose veins in both of my legs. Thus I had to have two surgeries. One on each leg. We spaced these about 4 weeks apart.
The bill for each leg was roughly $16,000 dollars or $32,000 for both. Mind you, this is routine outpatient surgery. I did not spend the night in the hospital either time. Of that total $32,000 my surgeon who actually performed the surgery, his two surgical nurses who assisted him and the Anaesthesiologist who put me to sleep and woke me back up, combined they got a total of a little over $5,000 dollars in total for both procedures. Where did the other $27,000 go? The Hospital received that for renting out it’s surgical suite for less than 4 hours.
What did I use in that suite that amounted to $27,000 dollars? Since I saw the inside of the suite twice, I can tell you that the lights were the same each time, the stainless steel table was the same, the monitors and equipment were the same. Nothing had to be replaced between operations. So what exactly cost $27,000 dollars? That’s $6,750 per hour. Just like a gas station attempting to explain why the price of gas jumped 60 cents in 24 hours, the Hospital will try and explain the cost they’re charging those of us who can pay. You know? The ones of us with insurance. Their explanation is, we’re paying for all those people who do not have insurance. The ones who are treated in the Emergency room and never pay their bills.
It is a vicious circle. Insurance Companies raise your premiums because hospital costs keep rising. Hospital cost keep rising because people who’s only option is to use the “Emergency Room,” often cannot pay their bills. So, ultimately who is paying for people not having health insurance? You are. Just because you don’t see it as an itemized figure on your bill, doesn’t mean it is not there.
We need to address this and we’ve known since the 40’s we’ve needed to address the rising cost of health care. When people don’t pay their hospital bills, the hospital corporations write those off as losses on their income tax statements. In essence, they are double dipping. They’re claiming a loss to the federal government, while raising their rates to cover that loss through each paying customer. It is a sweet system… if you’re a hospital.
To save America we need to simply reverse what has been done to her. Regulate the banks. Get rid of the Bush tax cuts. The 1% were doing just fine under the Clinton era tax rates and we need to fix health care so that people can protect their income. It is just that simple.
Humanity has been a work in progress. Within our DNA we carry the history of human evolution. It is ironic that those who purport to know so much about the moment life begins, are usually profoundly ignorant, or simply ignore the graphic and irrefutable evidence of embryonic development. Those who have studied fetal development have noted the stages of human evolution displayed at the various stages of development.
Within each human being there exists the reptilian brain upon which the higher functioning brain sections reside.
At an early point we look like the first “Lung Fish” that crawled up on to dry land from the primordial seas. We have gills which shrink, become vestigial and eventually disappear. We have tails which shorten and are absorbed and become our lower spines. These are the gross stages which can be observed as we develop. Similarly, our brains develop in stages. However, instead of the early prototype brain being absorbed or changing… it is still present in every human being. Although it serves it’s purpose, I propose that the more evolved a person becomes, the less prevalent that purpose in day to day human interactions.
Why The Reptilian Brain?
At one time in human evolution, millions of years ago before we became primates, our survival depended upon, finding something to eat, knowing how and when to defend ourselves or fight, knowing when to flee danger and of course, procreation. This was the sum total of our existence. We still see this behavior in crocodilians today.
Finding food while NOT becoming food was crucial. The Reptilian portion of our brains made this possible.
To find food you have to be able to learn to recognize food. Pattern recognition is critical. In Africa there are rivers where wildebeest cross at certain times of the year during their migrations. Without the ability to tell time or know dates on the calender, crocodiles gather at these sites at the appointed time to get a meal. They have learned to recognize patterns and thus, they collectively engage in what might well be considered a feeding ritual.
Except when mating or engaging in a group feeding ritual, adult crocodiles are extremely territorial. There are reasons for this. A crocodile doesn’t want any competitors poaching in it’s territory. When it comes to mating, the issues are similar. The bigger, stronger males are the ones who pass their genes on to the next generation. For the reptilian brain, that is what it’s all about.
Reptilian Brain In Humans
The reptilian part of the human brain contributes in varying degrees to common forms of human behavior. Obsessive-Compulsive behavior has it’s root in the reptilian part of the human brain. Rituals, mysticism and superstition – religion – also has it’s root in the reptilian part of the human brain. It is interesting that in many religious traditions, serpents figure heavily. Conformity, adherence to traditions, reticence to break out a mold or rut and all forms of deception are the product of the reptilian part of our brain.
Most married couples didn’t meet in a Bar. Yet, this hunting preserve is idolized by the reptilian brain in the human mating ritual.
Whereas on the one hand, the reptilian part of our brain tends to simplify things in as much as once you’ve found something that works, why change it? On the other hand, when some pattern of behavior or some approach becomes obsolete, it is that reptilian portion of our brain that impedes progress by making it difficult to adapt and adopt a new sequence of behavior which may be more productive. Take a fisherman for example who has success at a particular fishing hole. He will return to that spot frequently. Even though the fish he catches get smaller, fewer and further between, he will continue to fish his spot and simply chalk it up to the fish not biting.
When you hear the expression, “creature of habit,” that is the reptilian brain at work. Don’t get me wrong, the reptilian portion of our brains has made profound contributions to our survival. However, it will only take us so far. Our ability to adapt and change to new circumstances and situations has been even more important. You may have relied on agriculture as a food source, but when the ice age hit, you had to be able to become a hunter. You may have had to relocate to a warmer latitude. Those who were unwilling to adapt to new circumstances, didn’t make it.
Reptilian Thinking In The GOP.
Michael Steele – The first Black chairman of the Republican National Committee. Elected to this position immediately following the election of President Obama. He actually did an excellent job.
One of the most remarkable things about President Obama’s presidency – other than revealing the latent racism that still exists in our nation – was, it has almost been like an MRI on how Republicans think, operate and sell their agenda to their faithful. When President Obama was elected, for the first time in history the Republicans elected a Black person – Michael Steele – to be chairman of the RNC. It was almost… no, it was exactlylike they said, “we need a Black guy too!”
Notice the mysticism and superstition contained in their decision? In their minds, they were beaten by a “Black Man,” so what did they do? They rushed out and got themselves one hoping to counter President Obama. Did they think the Democrats had their own “Black Magic” and they needed “Black Magic” of their own to counteract the spell? Sound silly? Perhaps. However, when you look at the racism that has flowed from the Republicans since the election of President Obama, what else could it be?
Their reptilian thinking has created what can only be called a reptilian agenda or strategy. Even though Michael Steele actually did an excellent job, he won back the House of Representatives, increased the number of Republican governors and made advances in the Senate, he had to go because he was different. He wasn’t like them. He didn’t fit the standard Republican pattern. This adherence to patterns is another symptom of the reptilian brain at work.
Mysticism And Superstition
This piece of wisdom, written by Kentucky High School teacher Kendra Baker, greeted her students when they came to class. It was written at the top of her “white board.”
The Republicans in this past election appealed to the “Religious Right” like never before. Franklin Graham came out and endorsed a Mormon over a Christian. In all his years, meeting with Presidents from both parties, Billy Graham, Franklin’s father neverendorsed a Presidential candidate. Televangelist were out in force. Pat Robertson, Kenneth Copeland, John Hagee to name but a few, were warning of God’s judgement should President Obama be re-elected. They did everything they could to drive their faithful into voting Republican. You could have called it, “The God Wants You To Vote Republican Campaign.”
Elections??? God’s too busy protecting those crazy Appalachian Snake Handlers… Or NOT!! Turns out one of their Pastors died… you guessed it. He got bit by one of those snakes who’d simply had enough!
Clearly there is no deity, all powerful or otherwise, who is the least bit concerned with our elections. If one presupposes an all powerful God who takes an interest in human political affairs, it also follows that there is nothing we as humans could do to change or prevent whatever outcome He/She/It has already pre-ordained. You cannot out vote God. If you could, then God wouldn’t be much of a God now would he? Yet because of this Reptilian form of reasoning, millions of people believe that their God is somehow interested in and watching their vote. Doesn’t God already know how everyone is going to vote and who is going to win any and every election? If those results were contrary to His purpose, wouldn’t God change things?
Obeisance To Precedent
If you will remember, in 2000 when George Bush ran for President, his chief opponent in the GOP primaries was none other than John McCain. Their battle actually became quite nasty. The allegation was floated that John McCain had a “Black Baby.” The truth was, he and his wife, Cindy McCain had adopted a little girl from a Bangladesh orphanage run by Mother Teresa. They named her Bridget and of course she had dark skin.
Once racist smell blood in the water, they won’t let it go. The dirty tricks of Karl Rove came back to haunt John McCain and his family in 2004. Below the picture is a bumper sticker showing Bridget with Sarah Palin’s special needs child.
This whispering campaign started by Karl Rove was executed in the form of a phony telephone poll. The question was asked, “would you be more likely or less likely to vote for John McCain if you knew he had fathered a Black child out of wedlock?” Note, they never said he did, but the implication was there and it appealed to the latent racism inherent in the Republican Party. All they had to do was notice the little dark skinned girl out with him on campaign stops and put two and two together and of course… reach the wrong conclusion, but it was the conclusion Karl Rove and company wanted them to reach.
Personally? There are certain lines you simply cannot cross with me. When you target my children, you’ve made an enemy for life. Not only did the Bush campaign attack John McCain’s children, they put forward the suggestion that Cindy McCain was a drug addict and that John McCain had left his crippled first wife for Cindy.
In 2004, when Bush was running for his 2nd term, his opponent was John Kerry. Prior to picking Senator John Edwards as a running mate, there was this notion of a dream ticket floating around. That ticket would have involved the unprecedented combination of a Democratic Presidential candidate with a Republican Vice Presidential running mate. Whom was this supposed running mate being whispered around? None other than Senator John McCain. After the outright nastiness of George Bush, Karl Rove and the Republican Party with their personal attacks on McCain’s wife and children, there were signs that John McCain was growing increasingly disenchanted with the GOP. In my opinion, this unprecedented combination of a Democrat and a Republican running together would have been an unbeatable ticket.
Some when selling their soul to the Devil, sign their contracts with their own blood. Others do it with a hug.
Clearly someone in the Bush campaign must have come to a similar conclusion. John McCain was called to a meeting. The end result was at a rally in Florida, he came on stage with George W. Bush and gave him the hug that shocked the American political system. At that point, I lost all respect for John McCain and saw him for what he truly was. A man who would sell his soul for political gain. In hugging Bush, he became the anointed one to run at the head of the GOP ticket in the next election. Which is exactly what he did, and with the blessings of the GOP.
Responding to Partial Representations
President Ronald Reagan
The deification of Ronald Reagan is an excellent example of responding to partial representations. When you ask Republicans why they’re so enamoured with Ronald Reagan, you’ll get very similar results no matter whom you’re asking. “He defeated the Soviet Union and won the ‘Cold War.'” “He was the great communicator.” Some who are more sophisticated politically might say, he made America stronger by increasing military spending.
What you won’t hear about is, he ended the “Windfall Profits Tax” on the oil companies that kept oil prices under control. You won’t hear that he cut funding to education, enacted policies to end collective bargaining and break up unions or that he broke up the air traffic controllers union. Indeed, many of the problems we’re facing today have their genesis in the Reagan administration. Even as bad as I think Ronald Reagan was, if he were running for President today on the GOP ticket, he could never make it past the TEA Party. He was too much of a moderate by today’s standards.
Did he defeat the Soviet Union? Depends on how you look at it. By increasing military spending, he forced the Soviets to try and keep up. He in essence caused them to spend themselves into oblivion. He may have done the same to us. It has just taken longer for us to collapse. Under Ronald Reagan, our national debt took off like a sky rocket. Where were all the Republicans back then? No talk of saddling our children and grandchildren with debt. As certain Jews are supposed to have said when Pontius Pilate said of Jesus, “I am innocent of the blood of this just person.” “let his blood be on us and our children.” So then did the Republicans say, let this debt be on us and our children.
Today however, the story is a bit different. Now that the Democrats are in charge and oh my GOD! They’ve elected a Black President, the Republicans have suddenly become concerned with the debt on the national credit card! Would have been nice if they’d shown some concern before we put two wars on it without the least concern for budgeting.
All Manner Of Deception
“Above all, don’t lie to yourself. The man who lies to himself and listens to his own lie comes to a point that he cannot distinguish the truth within him, or around him, and so loses all respect for himself and for others. And having no respect he ceases to love.”
― Fyodor Dostoyevsky, The Brothers Karamazov
This last election was simply a symphony of deception brought to us by the Republican Party and their propaganda machine. Rather than increase their chances of winning, in the end it doomed them miserably. I do believe the lie that drove the final nail into Mitt Romney’s coffin was his lie about Jeep being moved to China. That was simply a bridge too far. When the Automotive Executives from both GM and Chrysler took out full page ads calling him a liar, he was finished. Like a beheaded chicken, he was still flopping around, but he was dead.
“Mitt Romney is like a well lubed weather vane.” __Jon Huntsman
Mitt Romney’s Strategy? Lie his way to the White House. Results? FAIL!
The thing about Mitt Romney, is he would lie when the truth would have done just fine. So immersed was he in his reptilian brain, he simply forgot about or ignored the fact that anyone with access to the Internet, could pull up a video tape of him taking a position exactly opposite to whichever position he was putting forth at the time. You almost wanted to scream at the television and say, “YOU KNOW WE HEARD YOU SAY JUST THE OPPOSITE LAST WEEK???” Mitt Romney’s campaign redefined surrealism. I should have known when he said, “he was a severely conservative Republican Governor…” we were in for one helluva ride!
Massachusetts is a liberal State with “moderate” leanings. A “severe conservative” couldn’t get past the primaries let alone actually become governor. However, once we cut all ties to the truth, one can say anything I suppose.
In true reptilian fashion, the Republicans dusted off the exact same attacks they used against President Obama in the last election. They worked so well of course? We heard again that he was born in Kenya, he was a secret Muslim, he was a socialist. I suppose no one ever told them that embracing Islam which is theocratic and embracing socialism, is rather hard to do. But hey! It sounds good as a smear.
WARNING!!! Viewing can be hazardous to higher cognitive functioning.
The Republicans kept their televisions tuned to FOX and their radios tuned to Rush Limbaugh and of course they had no clue as to what was happening in the “real world!” You know? The one the rest of us live in? Like one big liars club, they lied to themselves over and over until they all believed it. I personally cannot watch FOX for more than 30 seconds. FOX kills brain cells and I have none I’m willing to part with.
The Clown Prince of Republican Propaganda!
Rush Limbaugh is on the radio almost everyday peddling the same worn out lies like a mother bird feeding her baby birds their daily dose of worms. Just like baby birds Republicans squawked with their mouths agape until they got their fix. One lie after the other. No basis in reality. In many cases, no basis in logic. Here’s an example. The Republican platform claims to be “pro-life.” They’re really pro-fetus. Why? Because they’re absolutely against any of the programs that give an impoverished child a shot at having a productive and successful life. They’re against welfare, WIC, food stamps, head start programs, funding early childhood education, you name it. By all means, have the baby… but once it gets here, you’re on your own!
It seems to me to be a no-brainer, if you want to cut down on abortions, you need to make access to contraception freely available. But no! Not our Republican party! If you give women access to contraceptives, they just might have sex for – oh my gosh! – FUN! Can’t have any of that! Again, no logic.
The depth of their deception was clearly evident in the run up to this election. Republican pollsters were predicting a blow out for Mitt Romney. Everybody who watched FOX News was supremely confident that Mitt Romney was going to win by a large margin. Mitt Romney was so confident, he hadn’t even prepared a concession speech. He was simply awaiting his coronation.
Not only did he lose, he lost by a larger margin than the win FOX News had been predicting. This is what happens when reptilian thinking meets up with a society that requires and demands higher brain functioning. The paradigm shifts so much that adaptation is required. Billionaires threw good money after bad on the theory – it used to be true – that money can buy an election. They were wrong. The paradigm has shifted. Voter suppression efforts that had been so successful in the 40’s, 50’s and 60’s didn’t work. The paradigm has shifted. The “dog whistle” pitched messages of racism and “States Rights” that had proved so successful in the past, didn’t work. The paradigm has shifted. To the Republicans I say, IT IS TIME TO EVOLVE… or become extinct. I’d be happy either way.
Those of us who’ve been paying attention to our electoral process have noticed some very disturbing trends and subsequent anomalies. I am probably giving some indication of my age, but I grew up in the era of real voting booths, curtains, tabs and levers.
One of the most important levers you will ever pull.
I remember as a child holding my mother’s hand in a voting booth and watching her flip the little tabs and then pull the lever which opened the curtains and registered her vote. My personal belief is that all parents should take their children to vote with them. It is good training and exposes them at an early age to the most important of our civic responsibilities.
I am not a technophobe. I fully appreciate progress and the role technology plays. Our population is growing, more and more people are voting and we still expect to know the outcomes of our elections on election night. The notion that we could count these votes by hand and still have timely results has become an unreachable proposition.
Using computers to record and count the votes makes receiving timely results easy. If properly deployed, you could know the final count from any precinct the moment the last person in line votes. Computers are machines, they’re non-partisan and they’re extremely efficient crunching numbers.. or are they?
Computer Scientist Ed Felton uncovering a computer flaw in a New Jersey voting computer.
The facts are, computers have vulnerabilities too. For one, they will do whatever they’re programmed to do. If the person programming them is partisan, computers can be programmed to return partisan results. Computers can also be hacked. They can be given a virus which rewrites their code. I can look at another human being and tell if something is wrong with them. They may appear feverish, sluggish, their speech may be slurred, their eyes may be red. There are thousands of subtle signs we pick up allowing us to know that one of our fellow human beings is just not right. Computers? Not so much.
A computer can be programmed to switch votes to any candidate a programmer, hacker or virus writer chooses and the persons casting their votes would be none the wiser. In many jurisdictions which have now gone to all electronic voting, they have also passed laws mandating the destruction of the paper trail. Those places that use paper ballots where you darken in a circle beside your choice, feed them into an optical scanner, many of those jurisdictions have passed laws mandating the immediate destruction of the paper ballots. The question is why?
This has always been the hard reality of democracy.
In the words of Joseph Stalin, “those who vote decide nothing. Those who count the votes decide everything.” The way things work today is, you cast your vote either using a “touch screen” computer system or a paper ballot you’ve filled out and fed through an optical scanner. At the end of voting those electronic votes are sent over the internet to a central computer where the votes from all the precincts are tabulated and the election results are published.
Sounds simple enough. However, there are problems. As I’ve pointed out, what if some or all of the precinct computers… or, for that matter, the main frame computer doing the final tabulations gets hacked or gets a virus? What if the data is intercepted and changed while being transmitted to the central computer?
Manufacturers of these voting systems have gone to great lengths to assure the public of the security of their systems.They have lied! Bev Harris of Black Box Voting.Org has gone to great lengths to highlight and document these problems. No matter whether you are a Democrat, Republican, Conservative, Liberal, Libertarian or Independent, your vote matters and your vote should count. Our democracy is no stronger than the confidence our citizens have in our electoral process. How difficult is hacking some of our voting machines? Would you believe me if I told you it was so easy a Chimpanzee could do it?
If this disturbs you? It damn well should! What Baxter the Chimp just did was edit or alter the audit log on a Diebold GEMS voting system. Why is this important? According to Diebold for one, this is supposed to be impossible. Clearly a flat out lie. For two, this is one of their security selling points. They claim that should anyone attempt to alter the results of the votes, it would be caught in their audit log. Thus if you could edit the audit log, you can go in and change votes at will, then go back to the audit log and delete any evidence that you’d done anything. Think, stealing the “Hope Diamond” and replacing it with a cubic zirconium replica. The guards, the people filing by the display case would never know the difference.
The Man In The Middle Attack
Suppose you and I were working for an advertising agency and we were competing for the same client. However, unbeknown to you, I had hacked both the email account of the client and your email account. Not only could I read the mail going back and forth between you, I could intercept it and change it.
Bilateral communication between the server and the victim is actually being routed through a third party, unbeknown to either of them.
Imagine if the client sent an e-mail inviting you to a lunch meeting at “Joe’s Bistro” at 1pm. I intercept his e-mail and change the time to 3pm. You get an email you believe to be from the client inviting you to a luncheon meeting at 3pm. I show up at 1pm, close the deal and steal the client. You show up at 3pm and of course, the client is not there. This is a minor variant of the “Man In The Middle” attack. It is very powerful and difficult to detect.
Now let’s apply this to electronic voting. Suppose I have a server set up in… I don’t know, let’s say Tennessee. I hack into your voting system and reroute all precinct votes to my server in Tennessee where I massage them and then send them on to your “voting central” computers. You believe you’re getting them directly from your precincts when in truth, they’re coming from my servers in Tennessee.
The beauty of this approach is, I don’t have to hack any of your voting machines. I merely have to hack into your network or your routers. In so doing, I’ve compromised all the computers in your network from a safe distance and if I do it right, I’m going to be difficult to detect and trace. Has anything like this ever happened? As it turns out, yes it has. There is evidence it happened in 2004. Thom Hartmann gives a very clear presentation on his radio progam.
Those of us who remember watching the election returns back in 2004, may recall that fateful night when it appeared that Kerry was winning. Then suddenly the numbers shifted and the news agencies calling the election simply attributed the sudden change in numbers, to uncounted precincts dumping their numbers all at once. We had no idea that the servers had gone offline for better than 60 seconds. Some of us, had we known, may have become suspicious back then.
Did Karl Rove Try To Steal The 2012 Elections?
I thought about this one long and hard… well, for about 10 minutes, before the evidence convinced me. I was not at all surprised by the election results because I do not get my news from Fox News, and I follow Nate Silver’s 538 blog. Nate has been the most accurate pollster out there for the past several election cycles. If I know this, Karl Rove and the rest of the Republican political strategist certainly know it as well. This brings me to my first point.
Come to find out, on the night of the election, Mitt Romney had not even prepared a concession speech. Yes, I know everybody believes they will win, however prudence demands that we prepare for all eventualities. You cannot become successful in business and rise to the top of the corporate arena without understanding fully how to implement a “Plan B” in the event your first plan doesn’t pan out.
It bothered me that Mitt Romney was so sure of winning what in his own words, he admitted would be an extremely close race, yet he did not prepare a concession speech. This really surprised me. Did he know something, none of the rest of us knew?
When I saw Karl Rove begin stuttering and disputing the election results for Ohio, this clinched it for me. There were two things to note about this. The first is, Mr. Rove seemed to have no problem with the returns in Florida or any of the other States for that matter. Why Ohio? As it turns out, President Obama could have lost both Ohio and Florida and still won the election. Given these facts, why would Mr. Rove nearly lose his composure over Ohio? If everything is fair and in the hands of the voters, why would you dispute the results unless, you believed you had some form of control over those results? Perhaps the truth is finally coming out?
Enter The Hacker Group Anonymous
There exists a group of elite hackers who goes by the name “Anonymous.” Nobody knows who they are. They seem to be distributed world wide so nobody knows where they are. The term “Hacktivist” was invented for Anonymous. It is beyond the scope of this piece to regale you with tales of their exploits, but suffice it to say, they’ve got skillz!
After the election, the following letter was released, presumably from the group, “Anonymous.”
This is a letter supposedly released by Anonymous following the elections explaining what they did and why.
Our Elections Affect The World
Whom we elect to the office of President of these United States, affects the World. Is there any doubt had Al Gore prevailed and George W. Bush not been appointedPresident by a U.S. Supreme Court, stacked by his daddy or if John Kerry had been elected, that our world would be different? With intelligent, competent leadership from a United States President, we would not have had an economic meltdown. Our housing market would not have crashed, causing world wide repercussions.
The integrity of our electoral process is not just of concern to each United States Citizen, our election outcomes also affect the rest of the world. Did Anonymous protect our elections? Personally, I believe they did. They identified the problem in advance, – October 22, 2012 – they posted a YouTube video announcing their intentions to prevent any attempted election fraud.
We know the night of the election, Mitt Romney and his wife Ann were nearly in “shell shock.” If I didn’t know that Mormons abstain from liquor, I would have bet that Ann Romney had one drink too many. I base this on the way she was moving when she finally joined Mitt on stage that night. She had that doe in the headlights look in her eyes.
Mitt had the foresight to have his transition website up and running, but no concession speech? Really? That showed a supreme amount of confidence in what should have been an unknowable outcome. When you add in Karl Rove’s reaction to losing Ohio, it all fits the claims of Anonymous. Karl Rove thought he was flipping a coin with two heads. He was smug as he called “heads.” When the coin came up tails, you could have bought him for a penny.
I am not a religious man, but in this instance I will have to say, “thank God for Anonymous.” I’m glad they were flying cyber- cover for this election. In a democracy, we say that people get the government they deserve. That is only true if their elections are untainted. Getting a government I deserve, I can live with. Getting a government given to me, is intolerable.
The lessons of this election? RACISM NO LONGER WINS ELECTIONS! You cannot simply play to white people and ignore all the other groups in our multicultural nation. Non-racist white people are cool with this because they see themselves as Americans FIRST. They embraced their brothers and sisters of all races and sent a powerful message to the less enlightened. WE ARE ALL IN THIS TOGETHER! We must never forget this simple truth.
Mitt Romney believed he did not have to release his tax returns. He believed he did not need to give any specifics on anyof his plans to actually fix the economy. He did not lay out any foreign policy agendas. He promised 12 million new jobs – ironically the same number economist forecast would be created if we simply continued on the path we’re on – but gave no specifics as to how he would create these jobs. He said he would repeal “Obama Care,” – a program growing more popular by the day – without saying what he’d replace it with… if anything!
He promised a $5 trillion dollar tax cut. Again no specifics about how he would actually achieve this figure or how it would be paid for. Evidently the”peasant class” doesn’t need to know these things?
Mendacity aka Lying!
Mitt and the truth evidently are not even passing acquaintances. I’ve been around for 55 years now and I’ve seen a few election campaigns. I am familiar with the fact that lying and politics is like ham and eggs, peanut butter and jelly or smoke and fire. When you see one, you assume the other is in the immediate vicinity. However, Mitt Romney’s campaign took things to a whole other level! In fact, there is strong evidence it may have been the “bridge too far,” “the straw that broke the camel’s back.”
In 2008 when our economy was in free fall and our automotive industries were on the verge of collapse, Mitt wrote an “Op-Ed” entitled “Let Detroit Go Bankrupt.” Without going into the mechanics of the theory of how in certain cases, bankruptcy could be a good thing. I will say, for there to be any chance of a bankruptcy leading to a positive outcome, there has to be some entity out there willing to buy the distressed company, reorganize it and take on it’s debt. Suffice it to say, there were noentities capable of doing this for our automotive industries. Thus, what Mitt was proposing would have been the total end of the American automotive industries. Not just the “Big – 3,” but all the other industries that support and rely on our automotive industries. Put another way? He was proposing manufacturing Armageddon for the United States.
Fortunately, President Obama took a different approach and the United States Government stepped in to save our Automotive industries. Mitt’s big lie came into play when he attempted to take credit for what happened by pretending that what the President did was exactly what he was suggesting. No it wasn’t!Mitt never suggested that the Government bail out the Automotive industries.
The lies continued. When our embassy in Libya was attacked, Mitt tried to get as much mileage as he possibly could from it by claiming that the President – yeah, the same President that killed Osama Bin Laden – was either too inept or trying to cover up something, to call it an “act of terrorism.” I’m not sure what he was trying to get at. Perhaps he was trying to say that the President has been faking it with regard to our successes taking out Al-Qaeda’s leadership? Nevertheless, he was severely embarrassed in the 2nd Presidential debate when he was “fact-checked” in the middle of his lie. Turns out there is video tape of the President calling the attacks terrorism the very next day in a “Rose Garden” press conference.
Mitt’s most egregious lie had to be his “Hail-Mary” pass at the end of his campaign where he claimed that Chrysler was secretly going to move the production of Jeeps to China. He released television and radio ads to this effect based on – far as I can tell – absolutely nothing! What he did was force Chrysler to weigh in and call his ads a lie!
This years October surprise was delivered – if by anyone – God! Although tragic, Hurricane Sandy revealed all the lies the Republicans have been telling. The American people saw a President extend his hand in a bi-partisan way to a Governor who was one of the leading attack dogs for the Mitt Romney Campaign. Governor Christie did not have the luxury of playing partisan politics and showed himself to be grateful and appreciative of the Presidents competent handling of the disaster.
A Real President
One of the many lies told by certain Republican nitwits was that the President – who’s mother was white – doesn’t like white people. The American people saw our President holding and comforting a white lady who’d lost everything in the storm and promising her that he personally and the Federal Government would be with her and all those who suffered catastrophic loss, every step of the way until they recovered. This is the way things should be and the way they’re supposed to work.
Ironically, during his primary campaign, the question of FEMA and “Disaster Relief” came up. Mitt’s Response? “We should do away with FEMA and send it back to the States and if possible privatize it. As you might imagine, Hurricane Sandy put Mitt’s position on FEMA front and center. Instead of giving a response or answering the questions, Mitt chose to duck, avoid and ignore the questions of the American People. Evidently, In Mitt-land, we don’t deserve any answers from his majestic presence.
I’M THE WHITE GUY!
When you add it all up. The only real argument Mitt Romney’s campaign delivered was, vote for me, I’m white and wouldn’t you really rather have a white president? That message may have been enough 10 years ago. However, America is different. It is more mature. It is definitely more brown and we are much more sophisticated. You can no longer simply assume that because someone is white, they share your views on race.
I am pleased to report, we have finally reached the place where many white people are not only put off by racism, they’re not afraid to call other white people out for it! If I must say so, the future of our nation is looking very bright indeed. When we all come together, there is absolutely nothing we cannot achieve.
As I write this, we are in the middle of an unfolding natural disaster the likes of which most have never seen. A few hours ago, “Hurricane Sandy” made landfall off the coast of New Jersey. To give you some perspective on the size of this storm, it would take a jet liner 2 hours to fly from one end to the other. As is our custom, some have named it “Frankenstorm.” It is a monster of a storm to be sure. Ironically, this type of storm is predicted and fits perfectly within the oft denied “Global Warming” model of climate scientists. Thus far there are 8.2 million power customers without power.
This is the only light some people have right now.
New York is flooded. Public transportation has been suspended and the Subway’s have been shut down due to the tunnels being full of salt water. Wall Street was closed today and will be closed tomorrow as well. The American marketplace, the engine of our economic system has been suspended while we all listen to a sermon from “Mother Nature.” All our technology, ingenuity and current “know-how,” has been placed in it’s proper perspective by a power greater than ours.
Power Company Truck – Ice Storm
Every State in the path of this monster is experiencing power outages and devastation from high winds and flooding caused by driving rains. It gets worse. A dip in the Jet Stream has allowed a blast of Arctic air from Canada to come down to join the party. Where the moisture meets the cold, you have extremely heavy snowfall and ice formations. Because this storm has hit at a time when leaves are still on the trees, we’re now looking at even more devastation from trees icing up and limbs breaking. The limbs falling on power lines is bound to increase the number of power outages exponentially.
Power Outage and it’s growing
It would be folly at this point to attempt to project the extent of the devastation we’re facing. Thus far at least 48 people are reported as casualties of this storm with more reports coming in. We do know that a hospital’s generators failed. As yet we have no idea what ramifications this may have caused. We are being reminded in the most fundamental way of how truly fragile our technology based society actually is. You turn on the faucet without ever considering that somewhere there is a pump driven by an electric motor, pumping that water into your home. If the power goes down at the pumping station, nothing but a distressing gurgle will flow from your faucet.
We no longer have “ice boxes,” what we have are refrigerator/freezers. Unlike our ancestors who had to spend a good portion of each day, either hunting, gathering or harvesting what they were going to eat each day, we now avail ourselves of supermarkets and grocery stores and buy food for the week. We store it safely in our refrigerators freeing up the hours in our days to pursue careers and other endeavours. When the power goes out, the clock starts ticking and that food we counted on is at risk of being lost. When the power goes out, the most disturbing thing is the absolute silence. You live each day surrounded by that 60Hz hum. You’ve become so accustomed to it, You don’t even notice it. That soft background hum is like the soundtrack to our lives. When it’s gone, the silence is deafening.
The Myth Of Self-Sufficiency
Dave Canterbury of the Pathfinder School. He’s no fool! He teaches survival but it’s a business. He gets paid to teach people how to rough it.
Most evenings, I listen to a radio program called, “Coast to Coast with George Noory.” The show covers a wide range of topics with an ever growing number of guests. There are a few guests who have become “regulars.” Depending on the news du jour, there may be a segment with a guest who’s written a book or has a website dealing with the particular hot topic of the day. Needless to say, tonight there were several guest who are into self-reliance and preparedness.
Survival Lean-to Shelter made from brush. If it comes down to this, you’ve got a lot of problems.
Back in the early 90’s I wrote a piece for a Usenet news group on being a survivalist. It was entitled, “The Realities of Being a Survivalist. (Getting Past the Bug-Out Mentality.)” Much to my surprise it is still around and referred to from time to time. It was written around the time the movie “Red Dawn” was in a lot of people’s minds. Many people had the mindset, that in the event of TEOTWAWKI – The End Of The World As We Know It – the thing to do was grab your “Bug Out Bag,” your guns and head for the hills. Live off the land, hunt and forage for food and survive like a hero from a Mad Max movie.
Sounds exciting, but it’s not very realistic. The gist of my article pointed out many of the fallacies of that type of thinking. For one, I’m not at all interested in running around in the woods with a bunch of other armed people all hunting for that same damn deer. My suggestion was to make your own home your survival retreat. Yes, I preached self-reliance. Food stores, water, a backup generator, certainly the ability to protect yourself and your family, with the added admonition of giving some thought to where you were living and relocate now to a safer, more strategic location. You probably wouldn’t want to be in the heart of a metropolis in the event of a crisis. We’re seeing some of the problems with this unfolding right now.
Desperately Needed Food Supplies
There are a lot of people in New York. In a day or so, they’re going to need access to food and fresh water. With transportation shut down and limited, bringing supplies to that many people is going to present a problem the likes of which may rival or surpass the problems caused by Hurricane Katrina. One thing in favor of the denizens of New York, the administration of President Obama is much more competent than that of George Bush. Nevertheless, it may be weeks or even months before New York and the rest of our eastern seaboard is back to normal.
Nobody ever thinks about toilet paper. How much do you have stored up?
Yes, self-sufficiency is good. Having supplies on hand is a great idea and everybody ought to have enough on hand to last at least 72 hours without assistance. A week or two would be even better. However, let’s be realistic. We cannot maintain our quality of life on our own. “No man is an island.” Even if you have a generator, eventually it is going to run out of gas. With the power out, if you can make it to a gas station, those pumps will not be working. How much food can you store? Toilet paper? How long can you stay or would you want to stay if you could not flush your toilets? Is it winter? How long do you think it will take for your apartment or home to reach the same temperature as it is outside? Is it summer? How long can you go without air conditioning? Excessive heat can be just as dangerous as freezing cold.
Ayn Rand High Priestess of the Virtue of Selfishness. Darling of Paul Ryan and Guru of the Republican philosophy
The Republican ideology of the virtue of selfishness begins to fall short when faced with the reality of the survival of a society. For years now the Republican mantra has been, “Government is the problem.” They’re right! Bad government is the problem. They fail to make this distinction. There is a reason human beings invented government. We exist today and have achieved what we’ve been able to achieve, even with all the setbacks and missteps, because we learned that working together in a coordinated fashion increased our chances for survival.
It was a hard and rugged life out on the frontier. There was nothing glamorous about it.
Species who’s survival strategy focused purely on distinct individual achievement are no longer here. They’ve gone extinct. Wolves hunt in packs, whales swim in pods, fish swim in schools, bees, ants and other insects have hives and colonies. The coordinated efforts of a group increases efficiency and effectiveness. In our recent history, early 1800’s, the era of the self-reliant outdoors-man, frontiersman, the average lifespan was just 40 years old. Think about that for a moment. You reached 40 years of age and died of the natural cause of old age. Why? Life was hard. It was brutal. It was dangerous. Your caloric intake was low. You suffered from malnutrition. You died.
The things we enjoy today and take for granted come to us because we’ve learned to work together much more efficiently than at any other time in our recorded history. We have become a society of specialists. We make the education of all our children mandatory. Not just the aristocrats or plutocrats. Allour children. Why? Because genius and innovation are not the exclusive province of the privileged and wealthy. We develop all minds both male and female.
We realize that you cannot be a productive, contributing member or society if you’re tethered to your home, armed to the teeth to repel thieves, robbers and invaders. Thus, we have professional police officers and if need be a military. You do not have to rely on folk medicine and remedies handed down by your family traditions. We have hospitals, emergency care facilities and emergency response personnel. They are specifically trained to quickly and efficiently respond to all medical emergencies.
Gas main exploding in a residential neighborhood.
Should some disaster strike, or your home or business catch fire, we have professional firemen and first responders. In times past, should your home or business catch fire, or some natural disaster befall you, you were largely on your own. To be sure, some of your neighbors may have come to help after they saw to their own needs, but professionals with equipment they were not! Because of our combined efforts – coordinated by Government – to care for and meet the needs of everyone in our society, we have experienced progress heretofore unknown in recorded human history.
Climate Change Anyone?
Notice a trend?
The Lunacy in the way the Republicans and the so called conservative movement, have dealt with the issue of “Global Warming” has been simply appalling. They have treated this issue as though the planet is sick and you can go shop for a doctor until you find one that will give you the opinion you want to hear. Scientist after scientist has sounded the warning. “We’re in serious trouble if we don’t do something now.” “We’re nearly at the tipping point.” I’m sure you’ve probably heard all the warnings. They haven’t exactly been keeping things a secret. The prescription has not been that severe. Reduce our use of fossil fuels. Invest in more wind and solar. Incorporate hydro-electric wherever possible. Develop wave powered tidal generators. Increase batter efficiency. Increase fuel efficiency standards in automobiles to bridge us over.
What the Republicans did was turn to their own scientist – most on the payrolls of the energy industry – who say, “Global Warming” needs to be studied more. Or, “we’re not sure how much of this is caused by man.” Really? You’re kidding me right? It’s like that commercial that says, “4 out of 5 dentist agree…” and they turn to that 5th dentist for advice. We simply cannot afford this.Too much is at stake. Remember the GOP convention where they were chanting “Drill Baby Drill” as though it were some Buddhist Mantra? I want you to hold that in your mind and hear it as you look at the devastation caused by Hurricane Sandy.
Two huge lies. The first is, that the global supply of oil determines your price at the pump. The price per barrel is set by oil speculators who are trading oil futures like Day Traders trade “penny stocks” on the Stock Market. It’s pump and dump. They don’t give a damn about consumers, they’re in for he quick kill and you pay for their profits.
Coming to a National Park Near You?
Lie number two: We can drill our way to lower energy costs. The United States has a little over 2% of the World’s proven oil reserves. We consume roughly 20% of the World’s oil. Do you see a problem? I do. Simply put, if we were at peak capacity we’re not able to produce as much oil as we consume. It’s like being behind on your mortgage and coming up with the brilliant idea that going through you couch cushions looking for change, will solve your problems. The humor is muted by the tragic reality. You’re going to lose your home. If you were lamenting to me that you were facing foreclosure and I asked you if you’d checked your couch cushions for change, I’m pretty certain you’d have to suppress an impulse to bust me in my eye. Hell! I wouldn’t blame you if you did! I have the same impulse whenever I see or hear a Republican talking about “drill baby drill.”
The reality is, our planet is heating up. How many “100 year storms” have we had in the past decade? They’re coming almost every two years now aren’t they? Coincidence? I don’t think so. To those who lamely try to make the argument that “Man” is not involved, look at it this way. If you were coming down a mountain and you tapped your brakes and they went all the way to the floorboard, what would you do? Would you throw your hands in the air and say, “oh well, there’s nothing I can do. Might as well floor it and go out in a blaze of glory?” Or would you down shift and try the emergency brake? Would you look for a place to drag your car along the side of the mountain to slow and stop it?
The Republican Lie
Republicans have as one of their confessions of faith, “Government is the problem.” “We want Government so small you can drown it in a bathtub.” What about now? When disasters strike like Hurricane Sandy, Hurricane Katrina, Mt. St. Helens erupts, Earthquakes, God forbid, Yellowstone’s super Caldera lets loose, you’re going to want Government there with all the resources necessary to return our lives to some semblance of normalcy. this is why we pay taxes. This is why whom we elect is so critically important!Everybody complains about taxes… until their home is under 6′ of water or on fire. When your child gets lost in a National Park while you’re out on a picnic, you couldn’t afford the cost of the search and rescue effort that the government – we the tax payers – will mount to reunite you with your child.
Irony – It’s a Bitch isn’t it?
If your home is on fire, you don’t want the fire department to show up with a clipboard and ask you, “will this be cash, check or charge?” Same thing if you were having a heart attack. These things we take for granted, are the very services that cause people to want to live in our country. No matter whom you are. No matter what you’ve done. If you’re in trouble, society will come together to save your life and help you get back on your feet. We call it “Our Social Contract.” It is what makes us Americans. There is a cost associated with this contract and we cover this cost by paying taxes.
Ever hear the phrase,”all roads lead to Rome?” There is a reason for that expression. The Romans knew that to build and maintain an empire, they needed to be able to quickly move and supply their armies to any location within their empire. Thus they built roads. These roads made marching easier and faster. They made it possible for wagons with supplies to accompany their armies. People spend a lot of time talking about the Roman phalanx, armament and use of the short sword to explain their military success. True their tactics and use of equipment played a large part, however the most important part in my opinion were the roads they built that increased their logistic efficiency and made it possible for reinforcements to quickly arrive on the scene of a conflict.
Collapse of a bridge in Minneapolis in 2007
At one time, we knew this. At least we acted as though we did. We spared no expense to connect our country, first with rail lines and with the invention of the automobile, our interstate highway system. Our roads made commerce possible and caused towns and cities to spring up and grow along these thoroughfares. Power lines, roads, rail systems, bridges all these things make up parts of our infrastructure. If we do not maintain them, they will crumble and fail. It always costs more to rebuild something than it does to maintain it. Don’t like paying taxes? Think about this the next time you’re crossing a bridge. Saving money can be expensive.
When Katrina struck, the Levees broke.
How expensive? Hurricane Katrina really wasn’t all that bad by the time it came ashore. It had greatly weakened. The problem was the levees. They knew there was a problem with the levees and in fact money had been set aside to address this problem. However, instead of that money going to fix the levees, because of decreased revenue caused by cutting taxes, that money went to take care of other things. A levee is sort of like a parachute. You can fly 1,000 times and never need one. However, when you do, you need it to work. Again, infrastructure like those Roman roads, gets ignored until it crumbles or is no longer there.
Privatizing Profits, Socializing Costs
David Cay Johnston – Author of “The Fine Print.”
In his book “The Fine Print,” David Cay Johnston lays out how we’ve arrived at our sorry state of affairs. We have deified the private sector to the point we damn near worship corporations as gods. We have allowed such aphorisms as, “the business of America is business,” or “what’s good for business is good for America,” to filter into our collective psyche. We accept these pronouncements as divine truth. We do not question them or actually analyze them. Perhaps we should. First of all, the government of the United States is not nor should it be considered a business. When the Constitution speaks about “promoting general welfare,” it is not talking about corporations or business interests. It is talking about the welfare of the citizens. Quite often what is best for corporations is terrible for citizens.
To paraphrase Sherlock Holmes, “the game is afoot!” It has been afoot for quite awhile now. Step one in the game plan? Promote the idea that taxes are bad and that they’re too high. This part is easy. When you tell people they’re paying too much, who is going to disagree? Everybody has been convinced that paying more for something than you have to is a sign of a mental defect.
Step two in the game plan? Convince the State that the “private sector” can provide the same services cheaper and more efficiently. Has anyone ever studied this leap of faith? Yet, because you’ve got the citizens up in arms over paying taxes, this suddenly looks like an attractive alternative. Utilities which used to be owned by the commonwealth have been turned over to private companies. Of course, they’re going to need some assistance and incentives in the way of tax abatements, but hey! It’s off the State’s books. Did you catch that? “tax abatements?” What that means is these companies won’t be paying State income taxes. Thus, the revenue of the State has just been decreased. The State also has lost control over vital parts of our infrastructure.
Here’s what this means. One of the reasons Hurricane Sandy has caused over 8 million people to be without power, is because, power lines have been knocked down by the high winds of the storm. There is a really simple solution to this. Bury the damn lines!Because power companies are now privatized, they’re not interested in incurring the cost of burying the power lines. What’s in it for them? If they cannot justify the cost – translation: make a profitburying the lines – it’s not going to happen. Had the power lines been underground where they should be, our power grid would have been largely unaffected by Hurricane Sandy.
Isn’t it interesting that Mitt Romney wants to get rid of FEMA?Right now when people’s lives and the restoration of their property hangs in the balance with FEMA standing between them and total unrecoverable loss, Governor Romney wants to get rid of FEMA. Hear him in his own words.
Just as he showed abysmal judgement when it came to – in his words – “Let Detroit Go Bankrupt!” Drawing from the same arid well of wisdom, he has prescribed doing away with FEMA. I don’t know how to say this any other way… but the man is a dangerous idiot!
Hurricane Sandy Destroys Republican Ideology
I am not a religious man, but it seems that some form of divine intervention may have occurred. “October Surprise?” This one may have come from higher up than we’d like to consider. For the past four years, Republicans have been trying to paint President Obama as divisive, partisan and refusing to work with Republicans. The reason they’ve been so successful in selling this nonsense is that their base only watches FAUX News. In point of fact, President Obama has alienated his own progressive base by reaching out to Republicans.
The Affordable Care Act called “Obama Care,” went before the U.S. Supreme Court over one issue. That issue was “the individual mandate.” The “individual mandate” was a Republican idea. Republicans have added “poison pills” to Bills and proposed them. When President Obama has said, “okay, we’ll do it your way,” they then turn and vote against the very Bills they’ve written and proposed.
President Obama with an extremely grateful Chris Christie, Governor of New Jersey
The devastation caused by Hurricane Sandy has made it necessary for Republican ideologues such as New Jersey Governor Chris Christie to have to put aside partisan politics and seek Federal Aid from the President of these United States. Right about now, Chris Christie is damn glad that Barack Hussein Obama is the President of these United States. He has been effusive in his praise of our President. One can only imagine how things might have been had the Republicans acted like grown-ups from day one and participated in governing instead of collecting tax payer checks for doing nothing?
The Monk, Monastery, Basket and Rope
A traveller visiting an ancient monastery was surprised to discover that the only access was by an elevator up the side of the cliff in a basket pulled up by a rope. As he rode up he noticed that the rope was frayed. He turned to the old Monk and asked how often they replaced the rope? The Monk replied, “each time it breaks.” This describes the way we currently handle business.
Rather than raise taxes and spend the money maintaining, repairing and improving our infrastructure, we will wait until it breaks. Had the levees in New Orleans been fixed and maintained as they should have been, the flooding from Katrina would have been minimal. The loss of life would have been greatly decreased. If our power lines were buried underground as they should be, we’d have very few power outages.
Had the Republicans extended their hands in a willingness to work with our President, instead of coming to him in their time of need, imagine what things would be like today.
First let me say by way of disclaimer, I am a devout Agnostic. You might say, “then you have no dog in this fight?” In one sense, that would be true. However although I do not subscribe to any system of belief, I live in a country where those in government not only do subscribe to systems of belief, but invite us to form opinions regarding their integrity and fitness for office based on their particular brand of faith. Since we are invited to use their professions of faith as a measuring stick for their fitness to lead us, it is only fair that we oblige them and examine, not only their beliefs, but how ardently they adhere to those beliefs. Likewise when people with the title of Evangelist share their faith with us, it is not beyond the pale to observe and examine their actions to determine if they actually believe in what they’re selling.
When Racism Trumps Christian Faith
Strange Bed Fellows Indeed
This past week “Evangelist to the Presidents,” Billy Graham and the heir to his ministry, Franklin Graham sat down with Governor Willard Mitt Romney. Mr. Romney is running for the office of President of these United States, so on the surface there is nothing strange or unusual about their meeting. Indeed the 93 year old Rev. Graham has met with every President since Eisenhower. What is unusual is what happened following that meeting.
On Rev. Graham’s website at that time there was a list of religious groups he considered to be “cults.” Mormonism was on that list along with Jehovah’s Witnesses, The Church of Scientology and others. Following that meeting, Mormonism was removed from that list. Why? What happened? What changed? When things seem unusual, it is often best to dig a little deeper. First, we need to take a step back and get a perspective on some things.
Moses Brings Down the Ten Commandments
Christianity has been a “no compromise” religion. If you trace it back through it’s roots in Judaism, the Christian God wrecked genocide on groups of people who did not believe in or worship him. The Old Testament of the Bible is rife with wars of aggression being waged against people for whom there was precious little mentioned in the way of provocation. You must remember, if you believe the whole “10 Commandments” thing with Moses, a mountain and God, the “10 Commandments” were given to the Jews, not the rest of the world. Thus, to punish people for not living up to a law they were never given in the first place, seems a bit peculiar does it not?
The Walls of Jericho Coming Down
It would be sort of like driving through a town in your shiny black truck, being stopped by the police, pulled out of your truck and then summarily shot! Why? Because driving a black colored vehicle is a crime punishable by immediate death in the town you’re driving through. Might have been nice to have known that before hand wouldn’t it? Remember the famous battle of Jericho? You know? Probably heard about it in Sunday School? People marched, trumpets blew, walls came crashing down, slaughter ensued… What did those people ever do to deserve what happened to them? If we’re going by the Biblical accounts, not a thing.
Fast forward in time to the “Middle Ages.” You have the Crusades. If you drill down an actually analyze the issues, Saladin the Muslim Sultan of Egypt and Syria was an admirable person. He had no problem with Christian pilgrims coming to the “Holy Lands.” The problem was, the Roman Catholic Church simply could not abide the fact that Jerusalem was being controlled and run by people who were not Christian. Never mind the fact that the sites they considered holy were not being defiled but were equally revered by the Muslims. They had to go to war. Thousands of innocent people – civilians if you please – lost their lives for no good purpose. The wounds inflicted during the “Crusades” still haunt us today and influence the relationship between Islam and the West. Why all the bloodshed? Muslims believed differently than Christians. Same God. Same patriarchs but a different spin on things. Christians, Jews and Muslims all claim to worship the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. Odd that with so much in common, they simply cannot get along.
Thirty Years War
European Involvement in Thirty Years War
Fast forward again to the “Pre-Colonial” period. One of the longest lasting and most destructive wars in recorded history was what is known as the “Thirty Years War.” This was a war between Catholics and Protestants. It involved most of Europe at one time or another. Again, same God, same basic beliefs, but because one group had a different spin on things, they had to go to war and people had to die. The cost in lives and resources was tremendous.
Indeed, all the denominations we have today, your Baptist, Methodist, Episcopalian, Lutheran, all of them Protestants, could be said to have had their genesis in the “Thirty Years War.” It was this war that helped to solidify the lines as it were and the differences between these groups. The question I continually ask is, “how can all these people, reading from the same book, the “Holy Bible,” all come away with something different?
[KJV] Galatians 1:8
But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed.
No, these are not really them. This is an artists depiction of what they might have looked like had they actually existed.
Mormonism in the grand scheme of things is a brand new man made religion with little to no basis in reality. It lacks the historical context that the other religions point to. Other religions regardless of how they interpret the archaeological data, at least have archaeological data they can point to. Mormonism does not. Those “Golden Tablets” supposedly delivered to Joseph Smith by the “Angel Moroni?” Well, supposedly they were taken back to heaven. Thus, they don’t exist. Even before they were magically transported back to heaven, you couldn’t see them if you were not a truebeliever. I don’t mean they wouldn’t let you see them. I mean you could be looking directly into the box they were supposed to by lying in. Only those who trulybelieved could see them. A delusion induced hallucination by any other name.
Mythical Battle Between the Lamanites and the Nephites
There is no archaeological evidence for any of the supposed battles claimed to have occurred between the “Lamanites and the Nephites.” No weapons, arrowheads, swords, shields all the things that we find from the sites of battles many thousands of years more remote in their historical context. What’s worse is, the science of DNA disproves the seminal Mormon claim that the Native Americans are actually descendants of lost tribes of Jews. Of course, Joseph Smith didn’t know about DNA or the science of genetics when he was making up his religion. Who did back at that time? He had absolutely no idea that a time would come when with just a simple cheek swab, we could pinpoint a person’s ancestry to almost any point on the globe. Not only that, but using DNA you can pull out all the different ethnic contributions that make up who you are.
We know that this never happened
The bottom line? The Native Americans are in no way, nor have they ever been related to Semitic people. Thus, they’re not some lost tribe of Jews. Of course, one never asks, how exactly do you lose a tribe of people? Has this put the lie to Mormonism? Of course not! Some people simply do not want to be confused with facts. When it comes to Judaism, Christianity and to some extent Islam, much of their lore is simply uncheckable. Can we prove that Abraham existed? No we cannot. We also cannot prove that he did not exist. Science and archaeological evidence strongly suggests it is all a myth, however the events occurred so far back in time that we can never be absolutely certain as to what happened.
The differences between Mormonism and orthodox Christian teachings, is simply staggering. Put another way, wars have been fought and thousands of people have died over disputes in theology that look specious by comparison. Christians teach that Jesus is the only begotten son of God.Mormons teachthat not only did God have other sons, Jesus and Lucifer are in fact brothers. Thus all humanity is caught up in a family dispute over a difference of opinions.
Poor Joseph, God would have been a hard act to follow.
Christianity teaches that God is a spirit and those who worship him, worship him in spirit and in truth. Mormonism teaches that God has a physical body with which he enjoys endless celestial sex with his numerous wives. Christianity teaches that Jesus was born of the “Virgin Mary” who conceived through a move of the “Holy Spirit.” Mormonism teaches that God – Elohim – came down in a physical body and had sex with Mary. Of course, if she were a virgin, she wouldn’t have been after that.
Had Joseph Smith been around during the Inquisition his theology would have received a warm reception.
The most staggering problem with Mormonism and in essence, what ought to be the deal breaker for even serious consideration as a religion is this fundamental error in logic. According to Mormonism, Elohim was born a human being to as yet unknown, unnamed parents who were of course gods. Elohim was elevated to God status following his death because of his adherence to the teachings of Mormonism.Did you catch that? How could Elohim the supposed creator of this Universe and this planet have followed the teachings of Mormonism when Joseph Smith had not been born and of course had yet to invent Mormonism? You say it was given to him by the angel Moroni? Where did Moroni get it? The whole scam… er, schemefalls apart with the application of a few very simple questions. Had Joseph Smith lived during the time of the Inquisition – damn shame he didn’t – he would have been summarily burned at the stake.
When Racism Trumps Christian Faith
“In the face of a common foe, traditional enemies will unite.”
So what on earth could have bridged the gap between Christianity and Mormonism? Who could have brought these two diametrically opposed theologies together? Who is the “unite-er and not the divider?” Who on this planet has the power to upend 2,000 years of Christian beliefs? Beliefs held so strongly that people have been willing to die for them? Whom could possibly do this?
President Barack Hussein Obama 44th President of the United States
There is but one man on this planet with the power to perform such a miracle. His name? President Barack Hussein Obama. Yes, his very presence, his very existence has caused racist white people so much distraught that possibly for the first time in recorded history, they’ve stopped fighting one another over the basis of their theological differences and have come together in unity to fight against the very thought of our first Black President having a second term in office. This phenomenon is one that should be studied for years to come. It should be of interest to political science students and theologians as well. When you look back over recorded history and realize how many wars have been fought and blood spilt over such minor issues as to whether or not one group had their baptismal formula correct or whether or not one needed to be fully immersed in water or simply have water poured over one’s head.
“I am not at all bothered by the fact that Mitt Romney is a Mormon.”
The history of religion has been fraught with one war after the other over what a disinterested 3rd party would consider minor points of doctrine. After all, they all read from the same book, believe in the same God, who cares what comes first in a worship service? This is what makes these current events so damn miraculous! The differences between Mormon theology and Christian theology are not at all small. They’re huge! So, when Franklin Graham says he’s not at all bothered by the fact that Mitt Romney is a Mormon, there must be something else, some power working behind the scenes that can warp the very fabric of theological reality.
Racism has always been a part of Christianity
Our first clue to this mystery probably has to do with the fact that in spite of the fact that President Obama spent over 20 years in a Christian church, was baptized, there, married there, had his daughters Christened there, a portion of this nation still believes him to be a Muslim. In point of fact, there would be nothingwrong with him being a Muslim, but why do they insist on making him something he is not?
Islam is considered by many white people to be a religion for dark skinned people. Thus if they’re already racist, it carries a connotation when mentioned.
Islam is considered to be a religion for and of dark skinned people. When you say the word Muslim, in many white people’s minds, the word “Black” is inserted in front of it. Thus, Muslim becomes “Black Muslim.” The reality is, people of allraces practice the Islamic faith. However, to know this, you’d actually have to study a bit and become familiar with what Islam is. There are approximately 1.6 billion Muslims in the world today. You would think with that many people practicing a system of belief, you might want to know a little about what it is they believe.
Christian pilgrims participating in a group baptismal ritual in the river Jordan. Of course they’re white people, but as with Muslims, they could have well been any race of people.
There are a little over 2 billion Christians in the world. The difference in those numbers is actually negligible in the grand scheme of things. When you have a billion people on the planet who think anythingis important, it might be a good idea to become familiar with it. It is not so much what we say, not so much what people hear, the important things is what happens in their minds when they’re processing our words. Just as Islam is considered to be a religion practiced by dark skinned people, so too is Christianity considered to be the religion of white people. If I say to you, “he’s a good Christian man” when describing someone to you whom you’ve never met, what image pops into your mind? What race of person are you seeing? By the same token, if I were to describe someone as a good practicing Muslim, what image pops into your head? What is the race of the person you’re imagining?
The same is particularly true for Mormonism. If I told you to pick the Mormon out of a crowd, you would begin looking for a white person. Believe it or not, there are Black Mormons, nevertheless when you think of Mormons you do not consider Black people as being Mormon. The perception of a Mormon is a white male with no facial hair, wearing a white shirt, black slacks and a neck tie. If we were going to go all in on the stereotype, you’d be looking for a bicycle nearby. This is the image many people have of Mormons. At some point you were presented with it, probably can’t remember when or where and it’s been reinforced over time. Thus when you hear the word Mormons, that memory is automatically triggered.
Mormon Sister Wives
Of course there is the other popular image and that is of a group of women – “sister wives” – all with their hair similarly arranged, uncut, wearing shapeless, straight dresses that could easily be made at home. These are images which automatically come to mind whenever we’re presented with certain triggers. Is this true? Is this factual? It doesn’t matter. We operate from our perceptions. Racism flows from our perceptions. Our perceptions is where latent and often overt racism resides.
When Franklin Graham opines that President Obama may secretly be a Muslim, on what does he base his opinion? President Obama is rather fond of beer. Muslims like Mormons abstain from alcoholic beverages. President Obama is married to only one woman and has only been married to one woman. Many Muslims around the world just as do many Mormons, practice polygamy. President Obama believes the same gospel Franklin’s father has been preaching for over 63 years. Mitt Romney does not. Yet we now find these two as the strangest of bed fellows. Why?
It is clear that racial hatred long buried and obscured by the façade of Christianity has revealed it’s self at last. For your racial hatred to be so strong it will allow you to embrace with open arms what heretofore on your own website you called a cult. It must be strong indeed. Let’s be clear. Prior to this unholy alliance, had you asked either of the Grahams if there would be any Mormons in heaven, without hesitation they would of told you unequivocally no!Further they would have told you that anyone teaching the false gospel of Mormonism was leading people straight to hell and imperilling their immortal souls. If this is suddenly no longer true, then perhaps we ought to question the entire gospel the Grahams have been preaching all these years. Were they only in it for the money?
If you want to know what Mormons believe and teach, watch the following video presentation prepared by ex-Mormons based on their own documentation. If after watching this you conclude that people who sincerely believe the Christian message as outlined in the Bible, can embrace Mormonism as just another branch or denomination of the Christian faith, then all bets are off and we need to dispense with the Bible because it’s become meaningless psycho-babble.
There is more than one way to “Rope-A-Dope.” Sometimes you do it by giving him enough rope to hang himself. Tonight We saw Mitt Romney, tie his own noose, place it over his own head, tighten it and take a flying leap into oblivion. Mitt, we hardly knew ya… No really! How can you know a man, who can reverse himself 3 times in the course of one sentence? In tonight’s debate, it finally caught up to Mr. Romney and just between you, me and the doorpost? I don’t think Mitt was very happy. It was a long night on Long Island at Hofstra University for Mitt Romney.
First Debate Revisited
One of the conversations I had repeatedly following the first debate was to reassure concerned Democrats regarding President Obama’s apparent lack luster performance. First I have always maintained that President Obama has been playing Chess while the Republicans were playing Checkers.
If you want to catch an Eel, you first have to put sand on your hands. Mitt Romney has been one slippery Eel. The genius of Mitt Romney’s campaign has been their ability to get so far without ever having to commit to anything! President Obama had to first make get Mitt to take an actual position. Heretofore, Romney has in essence been blowing smoke on all the issues. In a conversation following the previous debate, I asked the person with whom I was talking, “you just listened to Mitt Romney for an hour and a half, can you tell me even one position Mitt has?” After a moment of thought, he admitted that he could not. That has been the problem.
Getting a straight answer on Mitt’s policies is like trying to enter a rapidly spinning revolving door.
Getting to Mitt is like trying to enter a rapidly spinning revolving door. Attack his tax plan, the plan he’s been running on for the past year and a half, Mitt says, “that’s not my plan!” He smugly points out, “he has only suggested what he mightdo.” The real plan will be put together with a congress that is as yet unelected. Look at it this way, If you went to see your doctor about a problem and the doctor told you that you needed an operation, wouldn’t you want to know the details? If the doctor told you he was going to cut you open and figure things out once he took a look, I suspect you’d get up and go looking for a second and third opinions.
Mitt has actually gotten a lot of mileage by not taking an actual position on any of the issues. It makes it extremely easy for him to tailor his message dependent upon which group he’s talking to. Before you can knock him down, you’ve got to get the real Mitt to actually stand up!
Debate Moderator Candy Crowley
It would be fair to say that the debate moderators have grown weary of Mitt Romney’s tactic of taking control of the debates. He got away with it during the Republican Primaries and had a great measure of success in his first outing against the lamentable Jim Lehrer. He comes off as a whiner. He complains about the order, who’s turn it is to speak… except when he wants to rebut a point that went against him. Then of course, “he must be allowed to respond.” Actually? No Mitt, you don’t get to explain it all away when you get caught in a lie. In my opinion, debate moderator Candy Crowley did an excellent job of containing Mitt’s antics.
Mitt, lying is not patriotic
President Obama had to walk the proverbial tight rope. Let us call a spade a spade. We live in a racist country. White people fear “the angry Black man.” His delivery had to be pitch perfect. He had to push back and cut Mitt’s throat with a smile firmly fixed on his face. He did just that. The difference between this debate and the last debate? President Obama called Mitt on each and every lie. Mitt simply didn’t know what to do. He began speaking condescendingly to Candy Crowley, he even went so far as to heckle the President in the middle of one of his answers. The American people saw Mitt unravel right before their eyes.
On The Substance
There were many topics covered I’ll give you a few of the highlights. Mitt Romney attempted to make points on oil production. His complaint was that the President’s administration has taken away oil drilling rights on public lands. Personally? I’m not real enthusiastic about oil derricks popping up in our National Parks, Nevertheless, this was yet another lie Mitt got caught in. In fact, it came back to bite him in the ass.
Coming to a National Park Near You?
Yes, the Obama administration has removed drilling rights. These rights were bought up and being sat on for years and not being used. Oil companies were in essence just squatting on our public lands. What the Obama administration did was take those drilling rights and re-let them out to companies who were willing to actually use them now. That of course is fundamentally different than the impression Mitt Romney was trying to portray.
Mitt Romney attempted to get some mileage by comparing the cost of gas today to the price it was when President Obama first took office. There were a couple of lies contained within this poison pill. First, if you buy into the supply and demand model of pricing, you would have to agree that the greater the supply, the less the demand, the lower the price. As it turns out, our oil production is at an all time high. Our demand is actually down. Yet, the price at the pump is high. The dirty little secret is, oil is considered a global commodity. The oil we produce here in the United States, goes directly onto the global market where it is mixed into the global supply. Since we only have 20% of the known global oil reserves, we simply cannot pump enough oil to have much of an effect on oil and gas prices.
President Obama turned the tables on Romney by pointing out that when gas prices were at $1.86 per gallon, our economy was in full meltdown. He then pointed out, that we could in fact get back to those prices simply by following Mitt Romney’s policies back to an economic collapse. The audience nearly cheered!
One of the other topics which I thought extremely important concerned “Women’s Issues.” President Obama pointed to his record on “Women’s Issue.” The first bill he signed after being elected to office was the “Lilly Ledbetter Act.” He pointed out how his”Affordable Care Act” covers women’s health care issues. He addressed the Republican plan to de-fund Planned Parenthood.
Really Mitt? You asked for a binder full of women?
Mitt Romney’s response was to tell some story from his days as Governor of Massachusetts. According to Mitt, he noticed the dearth of women represented in his cabinet and asked them to bring him a binder full of qualified prospective females to add to his cabinet. This rang hollow to me. Mitt is asking us to believe that he made it all the way to the Governor’s office before it occurred to him he ought to have female representation on his cabinet? A person who deals from whom they really are, has no need to worry about optics. Be who you are and the optics will take care of themselves.
The Libyan Incident
This issue may have been the end of Mitt Romney’s hopes at winning this election. Before the facts were in Mitt leapt out front to criticize the President’s administration. Before the bodies had been recovered. Mitt Romney was using this tragedy for political gain. On this night, he ran head long into a “hay maker” from the President.
The President’s Personal Punching Bag
Mitt Romney thought he was about to deliver a political kill shot. His criticism has been that the Administration was – for reasons unknown – trying to cover-up an act of terror against an American embassy which cost the life of an Ambassador and 3 military service personnel. Unfortunately for Mitt, he got “fact checked” right in the middle of the debate by not only the President but by the debate moderator. As it turns out there is video tape of the President of the United States, with Secretary of State Hillary Clinton beside him, in the “Rose Garden” calling what happened… “An Act of Terror.” Caught in a lie and embarrassed on national television with 65 million people watching. Poor Mitt. The President turned Mitt into his personal punching bag.
Things were already going down hill, but it was like the brake lines were suddenly cut. Mitt never recovered from this blunder. It was a telling moment. We got to see not only his character but the risk of having someone in charge who does not take the time to research an issue and know what he’s talking about before taking a position.
This was yet another issue that hit Mitt right between the eyes. During the Republican Primaries, vowing not to sign the “Dream Act” may have garnered some points, but this is the General Election. Mitt tried to lie away his “Self-Deportation” comments, but the President held his feet to the fire. Mitt tried to distance himself from his statement that “Arizona’s Papers Please Law” should become the model for the nation. Mitt tried to explain that he only supported the “E-Verify” portion for employers. President Obama pointed out that Mitt’s advisor on immigration issues is the same person who wrote the “entire” Arizona bill. Mitt had nothing to say. Latinos are neither stupid nor naive. They do vote.
In the last debate, I gave President Obama the win on substance and Mitt Romney the win on style. The problem is, you really can’t lie your way to a win. That’s not debating. This debate was like night and day. President Obama called Mitt on each and every lie and pushed back hard. He tied Mitt to his positions and then used him like a punching bag. You could tell Mitt was getting frustrated because he kept appealing to the Moderator. I really expected him to say at any minute, “Candy save me!!!” No help was forthcoming.
You could tell who won at the end of the debate, by observing the dynamics of the crowd, the pundits in the spin room and how long they hung around. Mitt was up and out as soon as possible. President Obama stayed around to take pictures with fans, sign autographs and greet the public. Mitt gathered what was left of his dignity and limped off the field of combat.
In case you missed it? Here’s the complete debate for your viewing pleasure.
n. pl. psy·cho·ses (-sz)
A severe mental disorder, with or without organic damage, characterized by derangement of personality and loss of contact with reality and causing deterioration of normal social functioning.
Psychosis – A Peek into the mind of Mitt Romney
The more you see of Mitt Romney, the more apparent it becomes that something is just not quite right. At first I couldn’t quite put my finger on it. He presents a very polished package. Someone called him, “the Presidential candidate from central casting.” If you were shooting a movie that called for someone to play the role of the President, if Mitt Romney showed up at the auditions, he’d be a “shoe in.” Perhaps that’s just it! It’s as if he’s playing a role. What are his positions? Depends on the script of the day.
Anorexia – Psychosis
A “layman’s” definition of psychosis is that state of being when your subjective reality does not align with objective reality. We sort of define objective reality as what you bump into while walking around with your eyes closed. Subjective reality is often defined by how you process objective reality in your mind. For instance, someone who is anorexic looks in their mirror and sees an obese person looking back at them… even though they only weigh 95 pounds. That is a rather obvious psychosis.
Some psychoses are not nearly so obvious. To be sure, the mental health field delineates and categorizes them based on various other headings related to treatment methodologies, how they manifest and a host of other areas beyond the scope of this discussion. Our working definition will focus on that schism between objective and subjective reality.
What do we really know about Mitt Romney? Actually precious little. Except for the broad overview of his life, there are only two records we can be fairly certain of. We have an idea of what he did at Bain Capital and we have a record from his time as Governor of the State of Massachusetts. The rest is anecdotal as supplied by Mitt. Unfortunately, it has become apparent that Mitt and the “truth” may not even be passing acquaintances.
Mitt Protesting FOR the Vietnam War
We really know more about his father, George Romney’s history than we do Mitt’s. We know he was given a million dollars at his birth by his father. I’ve also heard it was 100 million. We know he sat out the Vietnam war in France supposedly doing “missionary work” for the Mormon Church. We know he fully supported the Vietnam war going so far as to participate in counter protests. We know he holds a law degree and an MBA from Harvard. We know he is a “Bishop” in the Mormon Church. These are things we know… or think we know.
The reality is, what we have is a broad overview of Mitt Romney. It is much like reading the blurb on the back of the dust jacket of a book. Far too often, the synopsis on the back of the book exceeds the content contained between its covers. When it comes to someone running for the office of President, we need, demand a good deal more information. Given the number of people Mitt would have to of interacted with over his personal and professional life and careers, it has not escaped my notice that there are precious few people who have deigned to offer commentary on their experiences with Mitt, either growing up, in school or in business.
The most notable account we have of “Mitt the early years,” involves an act of viciousness which stretches the very definition of bullying. The incident concerns a young man at a boarding school Mitt was attending. This young man wore his hair in a manner Mitt found objectionable. Though unsaid, the flavor of incident implied that this youth may have been Gay. In any event, Mitt gathered a group of his friends, ran this kid down and forcibly cut his hair.
Although this incident occurred in his youth, it does give insight into his character. By the time you reach high school, your sense of right and wrong should be thoroughly developed. This pattern of preying on the weak would manifest time and again, later in his life. Indeed this philosophy became the business model for Bain Capital.
From what we’ve been told and what we can reasonably deduce Mitt enjoyed a life of privilege. Money, status and power were his by birthright. He enjoyed the best that money and power could afford. As the result of this it is apparent that he developed a sense of entitlement. In particular there was the world he lived in, the circles he moved in and then there was the rest of the world.
Consider his counter-protest in favor of the Vietnam war. Nobody in Mitt’s family as far as we know, ever served in the military. Mitt had no intention of going to Vietnam himself. Everyday the news showed the bodies of service men being returned home. There were people who had been to Vietnam, returning with missing arms and legs. Yet with the body count rising on a daily basis, Mitt Romney who could easily have volunteered, was taking issue with those students who were against the needless carnage of the Vietnam war.
In essence, Mitt was all for others sacrificing and dying for the Country, but not so much that he would risk his own life serving. When asked about this, I believe his statement was words to the effect, that he had more important things to do. There were a lot of young people who had more important things to do. However, they lacked the money, power and connections to avoid the draft by hanging out in France. Most people would have had that inner voice telling them, in a matter of life and death, such as war is, that the least you could do is remain silent.
Clearly to Mitt, the war was something to be fought and died in by those lessor than he. Privileged people such as himself, were above sacrificing and risking their lives. Only someone suffering from psychosis could compartmentalize the realities of the Vietnam war such that they could support the war, while refusing to participate in it. Personally, I find the insight this yields into Mitt’s character extremely disturbing. Empathy is extremely important for healthy human interactions. The inability to place one’s self in the shoes of another is a symptom if not the definition of a sociopath. Serial killers are sociopaths. They are incapable of being moved by the pain and suffering of others.
Connecting the dots
It might be easy to dismiss these types of events as isolated instances of bad judgement… but they keep occurring. You can draw a straight line from his bullying, to his view – paraphrasing – that war is great for the peasant class, but not for him, to the business model of Bain Capitol, to his comments about the “47%.” Even strapping the family dog to the roof of his car is evidence of a lack of empathy. When you cannot understand how others – even creatures – feel, your only true concern is what is best for you. Your focus becomes your own convenience. I submit, people who exist in this state are dangerous to be around. They are incapable of feeling responsibility for the welfare of others.
Mitt’s ability to lie at the drop of a hat is further symptomatic of this type of pathology. My suspicions are, he could easily pass any polygraph test because he has no compunction against lying. These are not the 1950’s. Not only are most interviews by public officials video recorded, they’ve got this thing known as “YouTube.” You could spend a day watching Mitt debate himself. When it was politically expedient to be “Pro-Choice,” Mitt told a heart wrenching story about his sister-in-law who had died because of a botched, back-alley abortion. Had abortions been legal, she might still be alive today. Of course now that it is no longer politically expedient for him to be “Pro-Choice,” he’s now all for the overturning of “Rowe v. Wade” and promises to appoint Supreme Court justices who would.
The very subject of abortion evokes an extremely visceral reaction in those who oppose it. It’s not like waking up one day and deciding you like chocolate ice cream instead of vanilla. People have been murdered over this issue. The fact that Mitt can so easily change his position indicates not only a lack of character, but the inability to empathize with either side. He has no dog in the fight so – as Jon Huntsman so aptly put it – “like a well lubed weathervane,” Mitt switches according to the direction of the wind wherever he happens to be.
Of water heaters, ironing boards and tuna fish
Most of the outrageous things that have come out about Mitt Romney and his family have not been the result of investigative journalist going through their trash or putting them under surveillance. Most of it has come directly from Mitt or Ann Romney in interviews. The story about the dog strapped to the roof, that was from Mitt recounting a story he thought would be funny. I believe he foresaw our reaction going a different way. Anyone who loves animals simply cringed in horror and were dumbfounded with amazement that:
He did it in the first place.
He thought it was funny.
He would actually tell anyone about it.
In her efforts to kick their “common folk credentials,” Ann Romney spun some incredible – dare I say ridiculous – tales as well. “Rule of Thumb,” trying to sound like you’ve experienced “hard times,” is extremely offensive to those who actually have. When you’re married to a man who was born with millions of dollars, if you really want to try and pull off a “hard times” story? You’ll do much better going back into your own life before you met your husband.
I simply shook my head when Ann recounted her and Mitt having to rough it in one of their son’s unfinished basements. The story of eating tuna fish, using the ironing board as a table and using a door stretched across two saw horses for a desk… even that didn’t work. Why? Poor people have no use for desks! As I listened to her further efforts to humanize Mitt by relating a story to show how “cheap” – her words – he was, immediately I saw the similarities with the movie, “The Coneheads.” These people simply had no clue how normal people live, thus they were making things up out of thin air!
When Ann Romney recounted how Mitt would turn off the water heater each time they left home – she didn’t mention they were going to one of their other homes – I said to myself, who on earth does that? Really getting into the spirit of things, she then related how upon their return they’d have to take cold showers until the water got hot again. Were they on some sort of a forced schedule? From cold water to hot water only takes the average water heater about 45 minutes max. She put the icing on the cake by telling her audience that “Mitt said that a cold shower was good for them.”
The therapeutic value of cold water notwithstanding, She really made her husband into kind of an Ass! What type of man, who is worth millions, does these types of things to the people he claims to love? I love my wife and there is no way I’d have her eating tuna fish, like cat food from a can off of an ironing board in an unfinished basement. If Mitt will do these types of things to his own flesh and blood, what wouldn’t he do to you? He claims to love them. He doesn’t even know you. Perhaps this is why he found it so easy to destroy perfectly good companies, break them apart, send jobs overseas, rape the pension funds and fire the workers?
He as much as said the same to Jim Lehrer the night of the debate. Flippantly and with his famous smirk on his face, he told Jim that if he were elected, he and “Big Bird” would be looking for work. No thought about the actual human consequences. Rather than even consider raising the taxes on millionaires and billionaires, like the bully he is at heart, he goes after whomever he perceives to be weak and or vulnerable. Wall Street? Leave them alone. Sesame Street? Gut ’em! The Public Broadcasting Corporation hasn’t caused one family to lose their retirement or get their home foreclosed on. Wall Street on the other hand damn near brought the World to it’s knees. Good looking out Mitt!
Mitt and the Brown people
Because Mitt has truly been like a “well lubed weathervane,” taking his word on some position he is claiming at the time, doesn’t really seem prudent. We’ve pretty much established that he will say and do anything to achieve his ends. Thus, oft times we find more truth in studying the forces and institutions that contributed to shaping whom he has become.
What are the odds?
Central to Mitt’s narrative has been his Mormon faith. The problem is, when you look at the teachings of Mormonism you begin to understand why a Mitt Romney campaign rally simply does not look like the America most of us are familiar with. Mitt is surrounded by a sea of white faces. Yes, recently they’ve grabbed some Black and Brown people from somewhere and tried to position them in such away they’d be seen in the background pictures, the truth is, it’s all a set up fake. I saw one Romney rally where the hired minority didn’t even stay for the entire rally. He was standing over Mitt’s shoulder one minute and gone the next! Just long enough for a couple of photographs.
The fact that Mitt has no clue about minorities was further evidenced by him appearing in “Brown Face” on Univision. Really Mitt? You think the only thing we care about is who’s skin tone is similar to ours? Indeed this is a classic case of projection and says so much about the psyche of racist white people. For them, skin color is all they see. Thus, they – Mitt – simply assumed that Brown people would respond similarly. “Wait until they get a load of me!” “A little touch of spray on tan, and I’ll have them eating out of the palm of my hand!” As it turns out, not so much.
The problem stems from the teachings of the Mormon Church. According to Church teachings, Black and Brown skin is the result of a curse from God. If you were raised from an early age believing this, how might such a belief affect your opinions and shape your dealings with people you were taught to believe were cursed? The following short video presentation lays these teachings out.
Banned Mormon Cartoon
Yes, I know Mitt recounted his reaction to hearing about his Church’s change of position regarding Black people. How he wept to the extent he had to pull over. I suppose it is equally fair to wonder, was he weeping for joy or weeping in dismay? Given his proclivity for coming down on both sides of every issue, we may never know.
Cracking under the pressure?
The problem with lying is, when you lie, you are really attempting to push a fabricated false reality off onto someone else. This actually requires some effort. You must remember the details and maintain the façade in order to sell it. The more lies you tell, the more this pressure mounts. At the rate and levels Mitt has been lying, the pressure is starting to show. Watch his eyes and watch his head movements.
What is Ann Romney trying to tell us?
“My biggest concern should Mitt be elected, is for his mental well being.”
In an interview given to KTVN in Reno Nevada on 27 September 2012, Ann Romney made this startling admission. What a peculiar thing to say. She’s not worried about the physical strain of the job. She’s worried about whether or not he could take the mental strain. Think about this for a moment. Ann Romney knows Mitt Romney better than anyone currently living on this planet.
Does he look well?
Given our rather bloody and violent history, one might think most women would be concerned for their husband’s physical safety. “I hope the Secret Service are as good as they say they are.” This would have been an expected response. Even something like, “my biggest concern would be that his policies take affect as soon as possible so we can turn this country around.” Even though I’m rather fond of the direction we’re heading, that response would have been a politically cogent response. But no, “speaking off the cuff” – aka from her heart – the very first worry she expresses is for her husband’s mental health. Hell! Now I’m concerned… even more than I already was!
We know the office of President of these United States is possibly the most intense, complicated and stressful job on this planet. All one need do is look at how our Presidents age before our very eyes. Chris Christie need not apply. He’d drop dead of a heart attack or a stroke within 6 months.
The Nuclear Football
Why is the President’s mental health so important? Along with all the daily stress of domestic and foreign events, at all times next to the President is a uniformed military officer carrying a black satchel. In this satchel is the power to alter the face of this planet or destroy it. I’m talking about the “nuclear football.” This is one of the things that brings a new President down to earth. It is a cold, hard and terrifying reality. Wherever he – or possibly she – goes, like a black shadow it follows them. Even when you see the President and First Lady out enjoying a romantic dinner, just out of camera range is a military officer standing nearby holding the fate of the world in his hands. It is an ever present and constant reminder of the seriousness of the job.
If Ann Romney is concerned, we should be too. The office of the Presidency of these United States is not some trophy you feel you’re owed. It is not the icing on the cake for an over padded résumé. You hold in your hands, not only the lives of every American, but the billions of lives around the globe. It would be nice to know that the person holding those lives, was a person who actually gave a damn! More importantly, it would be nice to know that their mental health was not in question and that their word actually meant something.
Have you ever taken a tumble, got back up, shook yourself off and felt just fine? Then a few days later you realize you must have twisted something? Perhaps you were in a minor “fender bender” and made an assessment of yourself and determined you were unscathed, then a few days, sometimes a week later you were at the doctors office being treated for back spasms or an aching neck? Often it takes a few days to fully comprehend the results of an event.
“Thrilla in Manilla”
As a child I remember “The Greatest.” Back before the days of Cable television, HBO, Pay-Per-View, we used to listen to Cassius Clay and then Muhammad Ali’s fights on the radio. Many of my readers may be too young to remember those days when we’d all huddle around the radio listening to Howard Cosell call the fight. We all developed a love hate relationship with Howard. He was so biased against Ali in how he called the fight that it became hilarious. Muhammad would be taking a terrible beating… right up until he knocked his opponent out.
Ali – Frazier
We could hardly wait until Saturday afternoon when ABC’s “The Wide World of Sports” came on, and we could watch it for ourselves. We were crestfallen when Muhammad refused to go to Vietnam. We understood his principal, and as the Black Community we had his back. Many of us had lost loved ones and also disagreed with the war and why it was being fought. When the boxing commission stripped him of his title we were further disappointed but we understood.
After 3 years when they gave him back his license – something to do with the money they were losing – we all eagerly anticipated him regaining his crown. The man currently holding that crown was “Smokin Joe Frazier.” Back then, most of us did not realize that he and Muhammad Ali were actually close friends. Muhammad got back to training and after a few preliminary bouts, a title match was confirmed. Almost every radio in the Black Community was tuned to the fight that night. It was to be the night that Ali reclaimed his glory and won back the title wrongfully taken from him by lawyers. Nobody and I mean nobody could take it from him in the boxing ring!
The fight went the full 15 rounds – that’s what they fought back then – and at the end, Joe Frazier was declared the winner by decision. We were dumbfounded and outraged. When they showed the fight on Wide World of Sports, we could see that the fix was in. Muhammad Ali clearly won the fight but they couldn’t give it to him because of all he represented.
After the fight, Joe Frazier was nearly unrecognisable. Both eyes were swollen shut. His lips were puffy and swollen and he had to spend two weeks in the hospital recovering. Muhammad looked none the worse worse for wear. A couple of bruises but he was giving interviews the next day. He was seen out at dinner and looking forward to the rematch. I submit, if you’re in a fight and you put your opponent in the hospital for a couple of weeks, and you walk away virtually unscathed? I don’t care what anyone says, you won that fight!
On 3 October 2012, Mitt Romney and President Obama met in Denver, CO for their first in a series of 3 debates. Although it should come as no surprise, I’m fully in the tank for President Obama. However, I tried to put my biases aside and listen as though I were an undecided, independent voter still trying to make up my mind. Of course there are some caveats to this. For one, I’m somewhat of a Political “wonk.” I’m retired and I watch the news all day long. My television pretty much stays on MSNBC. Thus, I am not like a casual viewer, unfamiliar with events.
Early on in the debate it became apparent to me – yeah I counted Mitt’s prepared, canned “zingers” – that Mitt was swinging for the fences, fighting for his political life and the truth was the first casualty. During the Republican primary debates, Jon Huntsman referred to Mitt as a “well lubed weathervane.” I saw what he meant. Essentially, President Obama was debating a “brand new Mitt.” Everything he’d said, every
position he’d taken over the previous 18 months meant nothing.
If you were paying attention, you should have noticed Mitt catch himself. He almost let the cat out of the bag. When the subject of his healthcare plan was being discussed, Mitt turned smugly and disavowed it, coming just short of saying, you can’t discuss my health plan because I haven’t told anyone what it really is.
When pressed on his 5 trillion dollar tax cut – that is what it would amount to if you cut everybody’s taxes by 20% – Mitt denied the figure amounted to 5 trillion dollars. This is a relatively simple math problem. He had no answers other than to say his plan was deficit neutral. How? Why? “Because he said it is.” How will you pay for it? “I’ll pay for it by closing loopholes.” That sounds nice until you give it some thought. The problem of course is, there are not that many loopholes. 5 trillion dollars is a lot of money. When pressed, on whether he would take it out of the military budget his answer was “no.” In fact he plans to increase military spending.
I’m a grown ass man. I don’t accept, “trust me” any more. I need to know what it is exactly you’re going to do. Will you take away the home owner’s deduction? Mitt danced, dodged and said nothing. He did it with flair and conviction, but I’ve heard “corporate speak” before and can cut right through it. My vocabulary is at least as big as Mitt’s and I actually understand it when you say you’re going to blow smoke up my ass. You can call it incense enema therapy but I know what that means.
Mitt criticized the President on his alternative energy programs then in the next breath proclaimed that he was going to make America energy independent. Again with the smoke and mirrors! I was simply stunned when Mitt proclaimed he did not know corporations were given a tax break for shipping jobs overseas. I understand that people lie for various reasons. Actually I’ve come to expect it. All I ask is that you make it a good lie. Make it believable. Make it entertaining. When you don’t, you’re calling me stupid and I tend to get offended.
All together, Mitt told 27 lies in 38 minutes. Not too shabby. I’m not sure if that’s a record, but it at least deserves an honorable mention. President Obama stuck closely to the facts. To be sure any time you put forth a concept there may be other ways to approach it. Yet, the so called fact-checking sites had an extremely difficult time finding much President Obama said to be incorrect. I suppose the question is, can you win a debate by simply lying about everything? Can you lose a debate by being honest?
The point of a debate is for two opponents to set forth their best arguments and pick one another’s arguments apart. The operative word here is bestargument. If we’re just going to make it up as we go along, we’re really having a competition in creative story telling. Ricky Gervais should run on the Republican ticket and reprise his role from “The Invention of Lying.” He’d be a shoe in.
It seems there wereat least 3 audiences watching the debate that night. The Republicans who thought that Mitt Romney simply mopped the floor with President Obama. The Democrats who were disappointed that President Obama did not put Mitt in check and call him on his lies. Then there were the pseudo-Independents who were actually trying to hear something informative. As you might expect, the reactions of all three groups were somewhat different.
Immediately following the debate, a poll was conducted of 100 people. I found the results interesting. 46 of them said that Mitt Romney clearly won it. 22 said President Obama clearly won the debate. I figured these two groups were probably fairly partisan in their views. 32 called it a draw. What does this mean? Remember this was prior to all the fact checking.
President Obama as the incumbent is like the champ. To take his title you must knock him out or beat him so decisively there is no question in the minds of the judges. The fact that 54% of those polled did not believe Mitt won the debate means that Mitt lost. At least with this group of people polled.
Does style win over substance? That depends on whether you want a President from “central casting” or a President who will perform competently? I for one am not in the market for incense enema therapy. Another real question which springs to mind, deals with a possible strategy being employed by President Obama.
Following the debate, Democratic Pundits were running around with their hair on fire saying, “why didn’t President Obama hit back?” “He didn’t even bring up the 47% comments!” “You’d do that on a bet!” A couple of things. First, Mitt Romney was expecting that. He was hoping for it. An estimated 70 million people were watching the debate. Mitt Romney was all prepared to offer his “mea culpa” and present his explanation with an apology. He didn’t get that opportunity. The evidence is, Mitt went on the Hannity show and gave his carefully practiced remarks. The difference of course is, Hannity has a much smaller audience. Those who watch Hannity are already going to vote for Mitt anyway. Thus, not bringing it up frustrated Mitt’s plans.
While the President may not have had the opportunity to get as much practice in as Mitt – he is running this nation after all – his advisors had thoroughly studied Mitt and probably predicted he would sprint towards the center by disavowing his previous positions. Since most people do not watch politics all day long, They needed to get Mitt to commit to his positions. They put the buckets with quick set concrete in front of Mitt and he stepped right in. In the next debate he gets pushed off the pier.
There was an unexpected added bonus. Jim Lehrer was manhandled and pushed around so badly by Mitt Romney, all subsequent moderators will now come loaded for bear with all their fact checking done. When you want to catch an Eel, you’ve got to put sand on your hands or it will slip right through your fingers. Mitt is one slippery Devil. This concludes my post debate wrap up until the next time.