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Vol. 12 No.2
Novenber 10, 2012
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I could easily claim writer's block due to the long stretches between my postings on this site, and perhaps there is some truth in that claim. But a larger cause is that there have been so many troubling developments and trends lately, it is in my orthodox and conservative nature to think about them at length, seek out many sources of information and take my time to cogitate before forming thoughts upon the events that are worth writing about.
This "soapbox" is NOT a blog, so I feel no pressure to write daily, weekly or even monthly. I write when the muse strikes me or as a result of significant, dramatic or even sometimes sudden events. Freedom from deadlines is a delicious thing!
Such a time of significance has come again, as we Americans absorb and accept the results of the quadrennial spectacle called a Presidential Election cycle. Our incumbent president has been re-elected, which is most usually the case. As was the case 4 years ago the popular vote margin was relatively slight, about 3% or less. The electoral vote tally, because of the winner-take-all-electoral votes nature of the state-by-state presidential race seems more lopsided, but if you look at a county by county map or a congressional district map of red vs. blue a story of how close and how divided the nation has become is more evident.
Will the President's second term unite us or divide us further? I am not hopeful given the history and nature of Chicago politics. He should govern the nation, but I fear he will pander to his "constituents" and dictate or even punish those who did not vote for him. Such is the Chicago way; unfortunately, I do not think it's the best path forward for the country as a whole.
With so much uncertainty, it's hard to imagine the economy recovering significantly any time soon. Worse, policy decisions on the federal level may very well stifle any incipient recovery. There is little hope of out of control deficit spending being curtailed; the latest offer from the Executive branch involved twice the tax increases campaigned on with a simultaneous increase of spending of FOUR times the proposed revenue increase. All the while, the Federal Reserve continues the "QE" programs, which involves the Federal Reserve buying up treasury obligations from a treasury department that continues to print money at an alarming rate.
I am just a humble reader and consumer of news and information and not a Nobel laureate in Economics or a monetary expert, but the cold simple facts as I presented them above, which can be verified by any simple Google search, OUGHT to be cause for alarm for any rational thinking person.
Simply put, our country is on an unsustainable path and our newly re-elected executive branch has signaled its intention to not only stay the course, but most likely accelerate it.
God Bless the USA
Our great nation is at a crossroads, politically and economically. Our founders knew that in order to be successful there had to be a separation of state and religion, but at the same time preserved religious liberty and freedom as an essential part of our society. Today, freedom to worship is seemingly under assault everywhere you turn. Great Catholic institutions like hospitals, schools and social service organizations are being forced to provide healthcare benefits that are contrary to their religious doctrines. Public prayer is all but banned as it is an affront to atheists. A move is afoot to remove "one nation under God" from the pledge of allegiance. Merry Christmas has been replaced by Happy Holidays. The taking of human life has become a legal "medical procedure".
It is difficult to imagine God's continued blessings on a Nation that practices such insults to the creator. We are on a pathway to become a very secularized nation, without a moral compass, guided only by the disordered concept of moral relativism, without any absolute or intrinsic rights and wrongs. "But hey, that's OK for you, if that's what YOU believe."
Pray for our country. Pray for its political leadership. Pray that our nation's citizens awake from their slumber and apathy and stand again as a beacon to the world.
We have enemies and the "Global War on Terror" will be a long slog, probably as long as the cold war, maybe longer if we don't act wisely and with some sense of urgency. A case in point was the recent 'Arab spring' uprisings throughout the Mideast. While the concept of freedom and self-determination is admirable, the hands-off approach taken by our government has resulted in our enemies taking advantage of the political vacuum. Egypt, for example, is rapidly being turned into a fundamentalist theocratic state, due mainly to our inaction.
In Syria, neither side in the civil war is our friend; the rebels are funded by Iran and rally around the black flag of Al Qaeda. Yet, there are unconfirmed reports that the US is arming them through Turkish intermediaries.
It is never a good idea to arm you enemies. It is not a good idea to let popular democratic uprisings to be exploited by Jihadist movements. It is naive and dumb to expect strong-arm bullied to suddenly become populist politicians; bullies will always be bullies, unless you bloody their nose and let them know you can and will bloody it again as needed.
The Dragon freighter has reached commercialization and marched steadily towards becoming man-rated. Other systems are being refined and tested, and a new age of space access is upon us. This is only good.
The latest mars rover is pushing the scientific understanding of our neighbor and is both an inspiration and remarkable in its size complexity and functionality. Sadly, funding for future missions to mars or the other planets is succumbing to budgetary pressures and will likely be curtailed. Yet we are giving BILLIONS to our enemies (see GWOT above). This is very short-sighted and detracts from our leadership position in the sciences and engineering. Sadly, it seems our national policy is to dumb-down everything and create dependency on entitlements rather than celebrate and nurture real achievement.
The ISS continues to operate, passing the 10 year anniversary recently. It does not seem that long. It is my hope that it continues to grow, continues to be funded and continues to be an essential laboratory for research in near-earth orbit.
Nowthat you have finished my rant and rave check out the rest of the site and find something you can use. Remember, the quickest way to improve profit is saving money on raw materials.
In the meantime have a safe and joy filled Christmas holiday season!
Bob buys 30 Twinkies. He eats 26 of them. What does he have?
Diabetes. Bob has diabetes.
** What My Mother Taught Me **
1. My mother taught me TO APPRECIATE A JOB WELL DONE.
"If you're going to kill each other, do it outside. I just finished cleaning."
2. My mother taught me RELIGION.
"You'd better pray that will come out of the carpet."
3. My mother taught me TIME TRAVEL.
"If you don't straighten up, I'm going to knock you into the middle of next week!"
4. My mother taught me LOGIC.
" Because I said so, that's why."
5. My mother taught me MORE LOGIC.
"If you fall out of that swing and break your neck, you're not going to the shops with me."
6. My mother taught me FORESIGHT.
"Make sure you wear clean underwear, in case you're in an accident."
7. My mother taught me IRONY.
"Keep crying, and I'll give you something to cry about."
8. My mother taught me about the science of OSMOSIS.
"Shut your mouth and eat your supper."
9. My mother taught me about CONTORTIONISM.
"Will you look at that dirt on the back of your neck!"
10. My mother taught me about STAMINA.
"You'll sit there until all that spinach is gone."
11. My mother taught me about WEATHER.
"This room of yours looks as if a tornado went through it."
12. My mother taught me about HYPOCRISY.
"If I've told you once, I've told you a million times. Don't exaggerate!"
13. My mother taught me the CIRCLE OF LIFE.
"I brought you into this world, and I can take you out."
14. My mother taught me about BEHAVIOUR MODIFICATION.
"Stop acting like your father!"
15. My mother taught me about ENVY.
"There are millions of less fortunate children in this world who don't have wonderful parents like you do."
16. My mother taught me about ANTICIPATION.
"Just wait until we get home."
17. My mother taught me about RECEIVING.
"You are going to get it when you get home!"
18. My mother taught me MEDICAL SCIENCE.
"If you don't stop crossing your eyes, they are going to get stuck that way."
19. My mother taught me ESP.
"Put your sweater on; don't you think I know when you are cold?"
20. My mother taught me HUMOUR.
"When that lawn mower cuts off your toes, don't come running to me."
21. My mother taught me HOW TO BECOME AN ADULT.
"If you don't eat your vegetables, you'll never grow up."
22. My mother taught me GENETICS.
"You're just like your father."
23. My mother taught me about my ROOTS.
"Shut that door behind you. Do you think you were born in a barn?"
24. My mother taught me WISDOM.
"When you get to be my age, you'll understand."
25. My mother taught me about JUSTICE.
"One day you'll have kids, and I hope they turn out just like you".
* QUOTES FOR YOUR THOUGHTS
"Only a large-scale popular movement toward decentralization and self-help can arrest the present tendency toward statism... A really efficient totalitarian state would be one in which the all-powerful executive of political bosses and their army of managers control a population of slaves who do not have to be coerced, because they love their servitude. To make them love it is the task assigned, in present-day totalitarian states, to ministries of propaganda, newspaper editors and schoolteachers."
* "Sunshine is the greatest disinfectant"
Louis D. Brandeis
* "These things I believe: That government should butt out. That freedom is our most precious commodity and if we are not eternally vigilant, government will take it all away. That individual freedom demands individual responsibility. That government is not a necessary good but an unavoidable evil. That the executive branch has grown too strong, the judicial branch too arrogant and the legislative branch too stupid. That political parties have become close to meaningless. That government should work to insure the rights of the individual, not plot to take them away. That government should provide for the national defense and work to insure domestic tranquility. That foreign trade should be fair rather than free. That America should be wary of foreign entanglements. That the tree of liberty needs to be watered from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants. That guns do more than protect us from criminals; more importantly, they protect us from the ongoing threat of government. That states are the bulwark of our freedom. That states should have the right to secede from the Union. That once a year we should hang someone in government as an example to his fellows."
"Nothing so diminishes democracy as secrecy"
* "Secrecy is the keystone to all tyranny. Not force, but secrecy and censorship. When any government or church for that matter, undertakes to say to its subjects, "This you may not read, this you must not know," the end result is tyranny and oppression, no matter how holy the motives. Mighty little force is needed to control a man who has been hoodwinked in this fashion; contrariwise, no amount of force can control a free man, whose mind is free. No, not the rack nor the atomic bomb, not anything. You can't conquer a free man; the most you can do is kill him."
Robert A. Heinlein
* "In the end, more than freedom, they wanted security. They wanted a comfortable life, and they lost it all - security, comfort, and freedom. When the Athenians finally wanted not to give to society but for society to give to them, when the freedom they wished for most was freedom from responsibility then Athens ceased to be free and was never free again."
(1737-1794) English historian and Member of Parliament
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