Many of us as we try to take in the rush of events over the last 100 days of Obama and his administration wonder if this President even likes America!
Our foreign policy is sending negative messages to Israel and almost promises to come to a total breakdown when Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu meets with Obama later this month. Israel is worried about the Iranian threat which promises Israel's destruction. Obama doesn't see it that way. He is interested in opening negotiations with Iran by solving the Palestinian problem. Obama is clearly not pleased with Israel.
Obama, as Joan Swirsky points out in her new article, showed his disdain for America as he made his European tour telling the French that America " has shown arrogance, and has been dismissive,even derisive" toward Europe. Obama even told the world when he was in Turkey that 'America is no longer a Christian Nation'. Swirsky also quotes historian Victor David Hanson on what he noticed was peculiarly absent from Obama's Apology Tour:
"Historian Victor Davis Hanson also noticed something odd about Obama’s apology tour. “Despite this fresh climate of atonement, there was a complete absence of a single apology from any other foreign leader...not a word came from Britain about colonialism...nothing from Germany on the Holocaust...not a peep from France about Algeria or Vietnam. Turkey was mum on the Armenian killings...Russia said nothing about the 30 million murdered by Stalin...Nothing came from China about the 70 million who perished under Mao...Mr. Medvedev said nothing about Putin’s brutish rule...We saw no concrete evidence of any help — or hope and change — from any foreign leader. Zilch.”
At home we have Obama and our spending Congress attempting to blame every evil of our economy on Capitalism instead of the real culprit: government regulation. How do we cure the problems? With more government regulation from a Congress who backed mortgages that never would have existed in a free market if it hadn't of been for an interfering government.
We have in office an economic dictator that promises to oversee every aspect of our economy.
With a democratic party that sold out to the far left, and an ineffective republican party, there is only one true "glimmer of hope" remaining, and that is the American citizen who isn't accustomed to tyranny.
Regardless of what the "experts" are saying, the recent economic crisis means that capitalism as we know it is dead. While congress debates where billions of U.S. treasury dollars are going to be spent in the name of saving the economy, this massive intervention in the economy spells the end of the "free market". Government bailouts of financial institutions have already given the government unprecedented control over private institutions. It remains to be seen how the government will use that control, as a major problem is that those very institutions have been injecting huge amounts of money into politicians campaigns that it becomes somewhat like the fox guarding the henhouse.
It is inevitable that the government take a bigger role in managing our economy. For too long we have left that to the private interests. Robert Reich, President Clinton's former labor secretary, notes in his recent book Supercapitalism that in the past, the people who ran the major corporations in the past had managed the economy. However, in recent years the control of the corporations has moved to the shareholders and Wall Street, who demand increasing shareholder value at any price. This really changed the dynamics of the economy forcing corporations as well as investors to take a very short term view of their investments causing whatever discipline there was in the economy to break down. Now it is the job of the government to impose some discipline on our economy. But is the government up to the job?
I don't believe so. There is so much money going into campaigns that politicians are more than ever forced to dance to the tune that their big contributors play. Until we get the money out of politics by creating mandatory publically funded election campaigns, we won't be able to get a government that really represents the voter's interests.
But back to capitalism and the bailouts. The big discussion this week is whether to give a bailout to U.S. auto manufacturers. Here is a chance to give the power to the people. The government should force the ailing automakers into bankruptcy. Then the government should buy these companies and turn the ownership of the factories over to the employees. It would be interesting to see what kind of employment contracts we would see in Detroit if the employees themselves owned the factories they worked at. This isn't my idea though. It's an idea I heard from economist Ravi Batra who is a professor of economics at Southern Methodist University, author of The New Golden Age: The Coming Revolution Against Political Corruption and Economic Chaos and Greenspan's Fraud. He's been predicting the demise of capitalism for 20 years and is a big proponent of "economic democracy".
The idea of employees owning their own factory is not new either. There is an excellent example at Springfield ReManufacturing Corporation where employees of an International Harvester factory bought the factory rather than have it shut down and lose their jobs. Over the years SRC has been so successful that they have become a model for employee owned businesses.
We are going to have to do some more thinking "outside the box" in order to fix our economy.
"Everyone of us is a full human being deserving of our respect and our rights," ...quote Bill Ayers on Nov.17, 2008. Outrageous, isn't it? We will hear a lot more from Ayers and his ilk. Erase the fact he had a friendship of some to degree with Obama. This terrorist finds no shame in having a book signing in Washington this evening with a re-issued edition of "Fugitive Days." Mr.Ayers has benefited plenty from this capitalistic republic...Redwine
Domestic terrorist William Ayers spoke about his “brush with celebrity" and the criminal acts he committed as an anti-war activist with Georgetown Law School Students Monday afternoon. That "celebrity," of course, is President-elect Barack Obama whom Ayers worked with on social justice issues in Chicago. This relationship became a major point of contention from the GOP during the presidential election. "I can't watch the crap," Ayers said of the media's attention to their friendship. "And I certainly can't watch anything about myself." Ayers encouraged the audience to clap to celebrate Barack Obama's election, calling his November 4 acceptance speech "an extraordinary event" that was "not only unforgettable, but inevitable." He described the feeling in Grant Park on Election Night as "overwhelming joy and a large dose of relief." He spoke on a variety of current events, saying it was time to "get rid of the insane metaphor of the war on terror" to close Guantanamo Bay, to "fight for gay rights in California and everywhere else." During the question and answer session of the event a student who identified himself as someone pursuing a career in the military asked Ayers "Do you wish harm on me? Do you wish to kill me?" The student, named Luke, told Ayers it was a "disgrace" he was allowed to speak on campus. "It's not a sad comment on the university to allow me to speak here," Ayers answered. "You cannot move forward as a society unless you engage in a dialogue with people you disagree with...you have to be willing to accept there are a range of opinions across the board." Ayers said it would be a "disaster" for the university to sanction student groups from allowing him on campus. He said most of his opposition was comprised "mostly of middle-aged men who are ventilating on their computer in their mothers basements who are sweating profusely." (The event was hosted by Georgetown Law National Lawyers Guild as a part of the groups “progressive speaker series.” A National Lawyers Guild organizer introduced Ayers as a person who has “maintained his commitment to social justice in different ways, in different contexts.”) As for the charge about him being dangerous Ayers responded, "If you ingest way too much Fox News you are going to be confused by a lot of things." He said former GOP vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin's charge Obama "palled around with terrorists" was a "lie on every level." "I am a little bit stunned that the grown up media didn't put an end to and that was the guilt by association," he said. "It doesn't matter who you talk to." Ayers denied ever committing any terrorist acts. "Not only did I never kill or injure another person, but the Weather Underground in its six years did not injure or kill another person." He said he did things that were "certainly illegal, but to call it terrorism stretches the door to mean anything you don't approve of." He expressed no remorse of his actions. Of the extreme, violent actions he and his colleagues committed Ayers said, "I don't think anyone was brilliant and I don't think anyone was horrible. Each one did what they did." Rather, Ayers said US actions in Fallujah and Vietnman were acts of "terrorism." Ayers was booked to discuss his forthcoming book “Race Course Against White Supremacy” authored with his wife Bernadine Dohrn, whom he described as "cute" for visiting with convicted inmates for their research. Security was high at the event, with police guarding all exits. Roughly 80 people attended. Two male students Austin Tice and John Masslon, stood in the back of the room with their backs turned to Ayers in silent protest of the speech. The men were among several members of the audience who were angered Ayers was speaking on campus.
Ayers opened his discussion by talking about the serial killer John Wayne Gacy. Ayers said he was disturbed by the media hysteria celebrating his court-ordered execution. “There was something about it that was sickening to me, there was something about the glee….what were we being happy about?" This, he said, is part of what inspired him to begin opposing capital punishment.
Ayers called for a more "balanced view of justice."
"Everyone of us is a full human being deserving of our respect and our rights," said the man who helped plan the bombings of several federal buildings.
This is the second major appearance Ayers has granted, breaking his silence since Barack Obama was elected president. In a reissued edition of his tome, “Fugitive Days” Ayers describes the President-elect as a “family friend.” Last Friday, Ayers granted an interview to Good Morning America to discuss his reissued book
Ayers is also scheduled to attend a book signing at a liberal Washington bookstore and bar, Busboys & Poets, Monday evening.
Conservatism's current intellectual chaos reverberated in the Republican ticket's end-of-campaign crescendo of surreal warnings that big government -- verily, "socialism" -- would impend were Democrats elected.John McCainandSarah Palinexperienced this epiphany whenBarack Obamatold a Toledo plumber that he would "spread the wealth around."
America can't have that, exclaimed the Republican ticket while Republicans -- whose prescription drug entitlement is the largest expansion of the welfare state since President Lyndon Johnson's Great Society gave birth to Medicare in 1965; and a majority of whom in Congress supported a lavish farm bill at a time of record profits for the less than 2 percent of the American people-cum-corporations who farm -- and their administration were partially nationalizing the banking system, putting Detroit on the dole and looking around to see if some bit of what is smilingly called "the private sector" has been inadvertently left off the ever-expanding list of entities eligible for a bailout from the $1 trillion or so that is to be "spread around."
The seepage of government into everywhere is, we are assured, to be temporary and nonpolitical. Well.
Probably as temporary as New York City's rent controls, which were born as emergency responses to the Second World War and are still distorting the city's housing market. The Depression, which FDR failed to end but which Japan's attack on Pearl Harbor did end, was the excuse for agriculture subsidies that have lived past three score years and 10.
The distribution of a trillion dollars by a political institution -- the federal government -- will be nonpolitical? How could it be? Either markets allocate resources, or government -- meaning politics -- allocates them. Now that distrust of markets is high, Americans are supposed to believe that the institution they trust least -- Congress -- will pony up $1 trillion and then passively recede, never putting its 10 thumbs, like a manic Jack Horner, into the pie? Surely Congress will direct the executive branch to show compassion for this, that and the other industry. And it will mandate "socially responsible" spending -- an infinitely elastic term -- by the favored companies.
Detroit has not yet started spending the $25 billion that Congress has approved but already is, like Oliver Twist, holding out its porridge bowl and saying, "Please, sir, I want some more."
McCain and Palin, plucky foes of spreading the wealth, must have known that such spreading is most of what Washington does. Here, the Constitution is an afterthought; the supreme law of the land is the principle of concentrated benefits and dispersed costs. Sugar import quotas cost the American people approximately $2 billion a year, but that sum is siphoned from 300 million consumers in small, hidden increments that are not noticed. The few thousand sugar producers on whom billions are thereby conferred do notice and are grateful to the government that bilks the many for the enrichment of the few.
Conservatives rightly think, or once did, that much, indeed most, government spreading of wealth is economically destructive and morally dubious -- destructive because, by directing capital to suboptimum uses, it slows wealth creation; morally dubious because the wealth being spread belongs to those who created it, not government. But if conservatives call all such spreading by government "socialism," that becomes a classification that no longer classifies: It includes almost everything, including the refundable tax credit on which McCain's health-care plan depended.
Hyperbole is not harmless; careless language bewitches the speaker's intelligence. And falsely shouting "socialism!" in a crowded theater such as Washington causes an epidemic of yawning. This is the only major industrial society that has never had a large socialist party ideologically, meaning candidly, committed to redistribution of wealth. This is partly because Americans are an aspirational, not an envious, people. It is also because the socialism we do have is the surreptitious socialism of the strong, e.g., sugar producers represented by their Washington hirelings.
In America, socialism is un-American. Instead, Americans merely do rent-seeking -- bending government for the benefit of private factions. The difference is in degree, including the degree of candor. The rehabilitation of conservatism cannot begin until conservatives are candid about their complicity in what government has become.
As for the president-elect, he promises to change Washington. He will, by making matters worse. He will intensify rent-seeking by finding new ways -- this will not be easy -- to expand, even more than the current administration has, government's influence on spreading the wealth around.
"The best remedy for those who are afraid, lonely or unhappy is to go
outside, somewhere where they can be quiet, alone with the heavens,
nature and the Divine. Because only then does one feel that all is as it
should be and that the Divine wishes to see people happy, amidst the
simple beauty of nature."
Edna St. Vincent Millay
My candle burns at both ends;
It will not last the night;
But ah, my foes, and oh, my friends—
It gives a lovely light!