Thursday, July 30, 2009

America Commits Suicide

Is It Any Wonder?

Out of the rubble of WWII one nation emerged intact and whole. Only America’s Pearl Harbor, a naval base on a small pacific island, suffered the ravages of a war that left much of the developed world smoldering.

The United States had the luxury of converting the might of its intact industrial infrastructure back to civilian purposes. While expending a tremendous amount of capital rebuilding Europe and Japan the U.S. faced little economic competition from them or the rest of the world – at least until the 1960’s. Just as significant and ultimately more important was the simple fact that the U.S. had the largest contiguous, single language, interconnected market the world had ever seen.

By the 1950’s America had a telephone network that stretched from sea to shining sea. Television and radio networks blanketed the lower 48. An ambitiously planned interstate highway system was being built that would connect the most remote desert plain to the largest city with a ribbon of nonstop concrete. Commercial air travel began to rival commercial rail travel. Businessmen and entrepreneurs came out of the woodwork to build, buy and sell everything a young suburban family could dream of. Every family had a car and some had two. Most important of all the super markets had food aplenty. Life in the USA was grand.

Begs the questions: Is it any wonder America prospered? Was it destined to go on forever?

Nothing lasts forever. The question of what happened to the United States of America will not be answered by anyone alive today, but we are living in the beginning of the end. Death will not be the result of old age, neglect or murder; it will be due to suicide.

Historians, sociologists will and social psychologists will write volumes on the pathologies that led the most successful nation the world had ever seen to slit its own throat.

Americans have a right to know – regardless if we care or not – why we killed ourselves…

Reason #1 Bread – (Victims of our own success)
Some people look to July 20th 1969 as the very pinnacle of American greatness. I’m not so sure. It was the day man walked on the moon for the first time. The success of the moon challenge was a modern marvel but did it represent the climax of our culture? Did it surpass our amazing farming and food distribution systems? Did it exceed the breadth and scope of the Internet? Did it trump the boundless entrepreneurial drive and ambition to create something out of nothing?

The reasons for the success of America were as diverse as the constituents that made up our melting pot. When people who came from all over the world were allowed by the powers that be to individually pursue their own happiness and keep the fruits of their own labor great things were bound to happen. So, in the end, America became fat and happy. The endless toil of mere existence that was and still is true for most of humanity was eradicated by the success of the American system. For God’s sake there were some 40 types of toothpaste to choose from – is that success or what?

Slowly, incrementally a mentality developed that no one should ever fail, no one should ever suffer, and where there was failure and suffering the government would step in and make it right. This was the cancer of good intentions. Cancer indeed.

Reason #2 Circuses – (Navel gazing/media/entertainment)
Fat and happy… When too many people are too comfortable ambition becomes the victim. Slowly but surely we became a nation of spectators not doers. CD’s DVD’s cable television, Internet access, reality TV (ex: American Idol), ultimate fighting, NFL, MLB, NBA, NHL, March Madness and even, God forbid, soccer were available 24/7 for our pleasure. We’d sit on the couch munching on chips while swooning over Brittany, Paris, and Michael, enrapt in the mystery of the latest missing child and bemused by the latest philandering politician. All this while the powers that be in public office and corporate boardrooms robbed us blind.

Worst of all the utter crap some called entertainment was exported around the world as a quasi ambassador of “America” showing one and all our very best face. Here in our homes, NBC, one of the dominant media conglomerates, offered story after story of how terrible it was to live and suffer in America. Nine of ten stories on the nightly newscast featured just another reason we should’ve been appalled or apologetic for being Americans. Every night the message to America was – you are the Land of the Unfair, Home of the Arrogant.

Reason #3 Man in the Mirror – (Self loathing)
Sometimes I think Americans are all Minnesota Vikings fans. There are none more self loathing than Minnesota Vikings fans. No matter how good the team plays, no matter how many touchdown passes the quarterback throws they’re all bums. They’ll never win the big one, ever.

With the media, the universities and most social organizations controlled by the leftist movement America never did anything good, ever. America was arrogant, wasteful and greedy. As long as the evil Christian white man breathed America was the source of all the world’s problems. It’s true, yeah, just ask any college professor at the time…

Had you ever heard the phrase “food is the root of all evil”? No, that’s silly, food is a necessity, we all need it. The phrase is “money is the root of all evil”. Well, it’s actually the “love” of money that is the root of all evil. Money is a necessity too - we all need it. America was all about the almighty buck and there was nothing wrong with that. Making money, profiting from hard work, from buying and selling, from loaning and collecting is all good and should not have been looked down upon. Because of the excesses of the few we were all trained to hate capitalism. Yet, capitalism was what delivered unto us all the riches we had. When we hated capitalism we hated America.

Once capitalism and Christianity were discredited and political correctness was thoroughly entrenched it was open season on the very foundations of America. Self loathing became fashionable, a fad that never died.

Reason #4 Absolute Power – (Corruption)
Corruption is not a uniquely American thing, it’s a human thing. It is the thing that has brought down most emperors and empires. It brought down America. I suspect corruption in one form or another had always existed in this country. The difference in the twilight of America was that those who wielded power in the public spotlight didn’t even care to hide it anymore. In fact, cheaters and con artists were often treated as some kind of folk heroes. Those who wielded the real power lurked in the shadow of the cover these celebrity crooks provided. Politicians in powerful positions in Washington represented their contributors and “special interests” while they publically blamed those same interests for the nation’s problems. It was downright Orwellian, and/or Marxist (as in the Marx Brothers).

Corporate officials at the highest levels dismissed any vestiges of national allegiance in order to maximize the quarterly numbers even when it meant the economic destruction of their very own neighborhoods and cities. Due to regulatory rules, tax rules and “rules” of Wall Street the businessman who followed the laws of the jungle often had no choice in the matter. Yet these same self proclaimed capitalists deftly worked over their political contacts in government and created the rules that stacked the deck against their competition which, ultimately, dissected America’s manufacturing sector. The average Joe either had to navigate the changing tides and re-educate themselves for new types of jobs or get washed out to sea.

Yet, perhaps the most devastating corruption came with a thick accent. Immigration laws and rules that were ignored by governments and employers so that one could get votes and the other could get cheap labor devastated entire cities and industries. Politicians loved to point out that these jobs taken by people who came to the U. S. illegally and continued to break American laws were the jobs Americans wouldn’t do. Pure poppycock, of course. The final blow came when it became illegal for American civilians to defend the nation’s borders when the constitutionally bound authority – the Federal government - refused to do it.

Reason #5 Do Not Resuscitate - (RIP U.S.A.)
There’s really nothing left to say except move over Great Britain, make some room on the bench…


Friday, July 17, 2009

Shell Shocked and Scared

The wealth creators, the entrepreneurs, the bankers, the industrialists and the average person without blinders on are literally shell shocked and scared by what the current government is doing.

The speed at which the Obama Administration and the Democrats in Congress are attempting to remake America is causing those with the money and the resources to create wealth, and therefore jobs for the rest of us to recoil. Recoiling suggests they will strike back- possible, I guess. More likely, however, is the real possibility of the rich retreating down a hidey hole much like Ayn Rand predicted in her masterwork "Atlas Shrugged".

Cap and Trade to control energy use, Health Care "Reform" to control one seventh of the economy, corporate takeovers scuttling 200 years of bankruptcy laws to pacify the unions, attempts to exert undo control over the financial system with government money, the appointment of unelected, unconfirmed "Czars" that have unsanctioned power are just a few of the shocking steps taken by the Obama government and its Congressional cohorts in just the past six months.

The real danger is the people among us who blithely go through their lives with a business as usual attitude that either don't understand or don't believe what their eyes are telling them. Nothing about what Obama and this Congress is doing is business as usual.

The proposed federal spending coming out Washington is breathtaking. When confronted about it the tax the rich mantra is trotted out. There just aren't enough rich people to pay for this. It's almost as if this administration and the leadership in congress wants the America we know to crumble as opposed to starting where we are and making it better.

It's so hard to tell what is right what is wrong - which way is up, which way is down. Who is lying and who is telling the truth??? The last administration was certainly full of half truths and lies while pandering to the rich and powerful and pulling the wool over our eyes, right? Who's to say? If the $700 billion TARP program wouldn't have been hustled in (hustled in both senses of the word) that the global financial system would have completely collapsed. Certainly true, right? The massive inter-bank loans and transfers that happen every day while we go about our mundane little lives are the grease that make the world economy work and were in jeopardy of suddenly failing us... Or were they? The TARP prgram was passed and implimented and the financial system didn't collapse. Then it worked, right? Was it just what the doctor ordered or a massive scam - the largest theft in human history?

Now this administration tells us that in order to fix our health care delivery system we have to destroy what we currently have - even though most of us like the heath care insurance we already have. Wait, but, they say we can keep what we have, or can we? Or is this the most massive power grab in history? Read the writing on the wall...

We are told in order to create jobs and jump start the economy we have to use government stimulus. Someone has to take out loans and spend money - this is a "truth", a fact. But when billions are spent on pet projects and congressional pork as well as social programs instead of wealth enhancing infrastructure and genuine tax relief for private sector job creators we have been duped - again.

People were not happy with Bush, particularly with the war in Iraq. Curiously, Obama has changed nothing in Iraq that wasn't already in place. No one was calmoring for the dismantling of the U.S.A. among all the "Hopey Changey" rhetoric. The hope was that Obama would be a change from Bush -well he is, in many ways. Yes, he is a man who can string more than 2 sentances toghether, that's a change. However, more and more people don't like what they're hearing. The rest of us don't like what we're seeing.
God save the U.S.A.


Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Sum Sum Summertime...


After another insufferably long and cold spring summer is actually here. Vacation time is nigh. This year our plans for another BWCA trip were scuttled. So... My brothers and I decided to go the state park route and it turned out to be a good decision. The weather gods smiled upon us - it rained at night but was gloriously bright and sunny during the days. Although it never got really hot it was quite pleasant all in all.

We played boccie ball, bean bag toss and a very competitive cribbage tournament. Winners cheered and the losers, of course, were robbed...

Perhaps the nicest aspect of northern Minnesota's Lake Bemidji State Park is the fine beach. Many hours were spent here playing in the sand and watching the kids getting pulled behind the boat in an activity we call "tubing". For once the cool temperatures and the dearth of rainfall this year has produced a distinct advantage for us campers - very few mosquitoes!

I found time to make one nature walk - I had intended to tour all the trails the park had to offer but it seems I was a bit lazy this year - I had a very good Stephen Hunter book along. Anyway, the first thing I noticed was one of the original White Pines - one that had been spared Paul Bunyan's axe.

As I moved along on the nature walk I came across a rather unremarkable body of water. Just as I was turning to walk away I saw the sunlight dancing on the water. I turned the camera toward it and snapped a few shots fully expecting them to be a waste of bits and bytes quickly to be deleted when I saw them on the computer.

Whoa Nelly... Check out the coolest picture I've ever snapped!

My quest on this nature walk was to find a particular wild flower. I failed. What I found was beautiful and impressive but the Showy Lady Slipper eluded me.

Purrrrty, aint it?


Monday, July 06, 2009

Greedy Pigs, All of Them

Bruce Bialosky asks "Where Will They Stop?" in his column today. He's referring to state governments confiscating unused gift card value as their own. By what right does the government have taking the unused value of gift cards from the issuer and even the receiver of the gift? These greedy pigs will stop at nothing, what's next my unused savings in my savings account at the bank?

Honestly, when the government starts to act like that you have to believe that we are not in the land of free anymore. Nearly $6.8 billion in gift cards per year go unused. I am as guilty as the next guy... Often they go into my wallet and never see the light of day - even though I have subsequently visited the retailer multiple times. I'm an idiot. But does that mean the government gets the largess of my idiocy? Why not the retailer or the issuer?

There are those who will scold us for complaining until we're all blue in the face, but if we keep electing the same greedy pigs time after time we ought to shut up and take it. I reject this assertion. I do not cast my vote to re-elect these thieves - and besides is anyone truly informed about this type of legislation before it's too late. You know these cowards slip this stuff in to larger bills in the middle of the night when our attention is focused on American Idol and Britney Spears. Where is the media? Right, oh right, American Idol and Britney Spears.

As of today it seems I am safe here in the land of 10,000 lakes, my state government has yet to pull this one out of there bag of tricks. Shhhh! Don't give them any ideas!


Friday, July 03, 2009

Welcome to the Federal States of America

dateline January 20th 2017
by Shythead Askis-Phoole

Those old chants heard at international sporting events seem so quaint now. Shouting USA, USA, USA is as archaic as it was arrogant. The contemptuous but pervasive thoughts of American exceptionalism are thankfully behind us now. In the words of the late great racial and gender neutral ambassador of hope and love, Michael Jackson, We Are the World now. Gone are the self-centered notions of rugged individualism and personal liberty as a more enlightened and inclusive sentiment spreads across the nation. This is the day the world rejoices the awakening of a grand new era of world peace. The tyranny of the lone Super Power, the sins of the Great Satin, the putridness of the ugly American is finally dead. Welcome to the Federal States of America.

Thanks to the brave leadership of President Barack Obama the secession of Texas did not result in the ugliness of war. Obviously the farsighted wisdom of total disarmament along with drastic defense cuts proved that war is not the only answer. Our southern brothers and sisters now cut off at the Texas/Mexico border can be rest assured that safe passage to the sanctuary and benefits of the FSA are guaranteed. When the border fence around Texas is complete then and only then will Americans and Mexicans be free of the threat of gun trafficking and violence. The nation awaits that day with a quiet determination and the assurance that the repeal of the 2nd amendment was a complete success. As an upbeat sign the Czar of Hope has reported that violence at food shelf and food distribution centers is down by 30% over the same period last year.

Nearly everything is turning hopeful on this inauguration day as President Barack Obama begins his third term. Unemployment figures fell to 22% after peaking at 33% three years ago. The President agrees that his program to add millions of Federal workers is having a positive effect, but he will not be satisfied until all who seek work have the aid of a government jobs program. The Czar of Finance has declared that the bold enactment of the Fair Deal Finance System on Wall Street and main street has been a unqualified success despite complaints that the new system is actually a poorly disguised version of the much maligned Shariah-Compliant finance model.

Today the Czar of Health presents a report that the average wait times for access to a primary care physician is now under 19 weeks. The goal of 12 weeks is within sight, officials have promised. Awaiting more good news on the health front the Czar expects a new report to show that the shortages of insulin and flu vaccine have waned and subsequently the death rate among diabetics and swine flu sufferers will fall accordingly. Also, the AARP, which is now an agency of the Federal government, has conclusively disputed erroneous reports that health care rationing is responsible for the precipitous fall in life expectancy figures.

On this historic day we are witness to a President celebrating a third inauguration, something that hasn't been seen since President Franklin Roosevelt served a grateful nation 77 years ago. The process that saw the repeal of the 22nd amendment took a remarkable turn as the economy stabilized after plunging a frightened nation into heretofore unseen depths of economic depression. Under Barack Obama's courageous stewardship the nation adjusted to high energy costs and sustained oil shortages and a grateful Congress mustered the required votes to overturn the 22nd amendment that allowed him to run for and win a third term.

To be sure, not everyone is satisfied with the current leadership in Washington D.C. The President's detractors, while numbering in the tens of millions, again fell short at the ballot box in November despite poll numbers that indicated a contrary outcome. Congress has indicated that no official investigation into voting irregularities will be undertaken. Once again the New York Post Online and powerful conservative political clubs vow to press on with their quest to investigate both the recent election and the events that led to the repeal of the 22nd amendment. This humble correspondent can only say that this is America - it's a free country - knock yourselves out. The rest of us feel a great amount of gratitude for the President and embrace the overwhelming fairness of Federal oversight of our day to day lives that has replaced the uncertainty and inequity of life in the former USA.