Monday, August 31, 2009
Right in the capital of "tolerance and diversity" we have bigots that are not taught any respect whatsoever by their single teen mothers whom WE THE TAXPAYERS have been supporting from day ONE... how long is this going to go on?
You tell me. No need, ...I know the answer.
Sunday, August 30, 2009
Saturday, August 29, 2009
Friday, August 28, 2009
Picking his way through the Soviet archives that Boris Yeltsin had just thrown open, in 1991 Tim Sebastian, a reporter for the London Times, came across an arresting memorandum. Composed in 1983 by Victor Chebrikov, the top man at the KGB, the memorandum was addressed to Yuri Andropov, the top man in the entire USSR. The subject: Sen. Edward Kennedy.
continue reading here: Forbes.com
...don't be fooled by what the Government-Media-Complex is telling you.
And this story has been checked and re-checked for accuracy and truth.
They're not much happier about a revised version that aides to Sen. Jay Rockefeller, a West Virginia Democrat, have spent months drafting behind closed doors. CNET News has obtained a copy of the 55-page draft of S.773 (excerpt), which still appears to permit the president to seize temporary control of private-sector networks during a so-called cybersecurity emergency.....
Thursday, August 20, 2009
Wednesday, August 19, 2009
How ethics disappear
Gosh, what a surprise: A committee of their fellow senators has decided that Chris Dodd and Kent Conrad did nothing unethical when they took out loans from Countrywide Financial on the kind of favorable terms not available to us mere mortals without their financial or political standing – or a personal connection to the head of Countrywide.
The very Select Committee on Ethics did recognize that the whole deal looked bad, and gave its colleagues a gentle pat on the wrist for creating "the appearance that you were receiving preferential treatment based on your status as a senator." But in the end one hand washed the other, if not very well.
The senators on the committee have a point: This VIP program – called Friends of Angelo after Angelo Mozilo, the head of Countrywide at the time – wasn’t restricted to U.S. senators; it seems to have been open to a wide, bipartisan range of politicians with pull as well as anybody Angelo Mozilo took a liking to. To name a select few:
A former secretary of housing and urban development (Alphonso Jackson), a former secretary of health and human services and later university president (Donna Shalala), a former assistant secretary of state and still diplomat (Richard Holbrooke), an adviser to Barack Obama’s presidential campaign (James Johnson) and so prominently on.
How else could these preferential loans appear but improper? Could it be because they were improper, ethically if not legally?
The surest way to lose the very basic and maybe first definition of ethics – obligations beyond the law – is to treat ethics as only a branch of the law rather than a separate realm above it. Which is why the phrase, "ethics law" is something of an oxymoron. Just because something is legal doesn’t make it right.
When a member of the U.S. Senate is told he’s getting a favor, like a point off his interest rate, that ought to be enough to raise a warning flag – and keep him from accepting the deal.
Countrywide cast a wide net for its favoritism, but just how wide may never be known. It seems the chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee (which may prove another oxymoron because it doesn’t seem all that interested in either oversight or reform) is refusing to issue a subpoena for Countrywide’s records of just who got these VIP loans and why.
The chairman of the committee, it turns out, is one Edolphus Towns, a Democratic congressman from New York, who himself received a couple of loans from Countrywide. What a coincidence.
Chairman Towns denies getting any special treatment, but without a look at Countrywide’s records, how can the public be assured of that? If the congressman has nothing to hide, why isn’t he going after the records that would vindicate him? Somehow we don’t expect him to answer such questions till, like Sens. Dodd and Conrad, public pressure forces him to.
Lest we forget, Sen. Conrad tried to brazen out this scandal at first, declaring: "I never met Angelo Mozilo. I have no way of knowing how they categorized my loan. I never asked for, expected or was aware of any special treatment. ... From what we have been able to determine, it appears that we were given a competitive rate."
Only later did it emerge that the senator had spoken with Angelo Mozilo by phone about getting a mortgage. The loan officer at Countrywide who was in charge of such loans testified that both senators knew very well they were getting special treatment. Indeed, that it was standard practice to tell recipients of such loans they were getting a preferred rate.
Well, sure. What’s the point of doing influential people a favor if they don’t know about it? Let it be noted that Countrywide didn’t just give Sen. Dodd a VIP loan; it also contributed some $20,000 to his political campaigns.
Sen. Dodd now has acknowledged that he should have leveled with the public sooner about his relationship with Countrywide – "I think (my silence) contributed to people’s cynicism and distrust that maybe I wasn’t telling the truth...." Ya think?
What is most obviously missing from both these senators’ approach to ethics, or rather their avoidance of it, is their neglect of what may be the most basic, and is surely one of the first, ethical injunctions ever recorded: Build a fence around the law, said an ancient sage. That is, don’t even come close to stepping over the line. Or appearing to.
Something else seems to have escaped these two U. S. senators – namely, that they are U.S. senators. Which means their getting a loan at a preferential rate through the head of a corporation like Countrywide, which was very much dependent on favorable treatment by the government before it came crashing down at great expense to the taxpayers, is quite different from a private citizen’s getting a mortgage at the same preferential rate.
Why? Because the private citizen is in no position to return the favor through political influence. Which is why the ethical standards expected of public officials are higher. Or at least should be. That crucial distinction used to be well understood. I’m not so sure it is now.
Paul Greenberg is editorial page editor of the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette. E-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Tuesday, August 18, 2009
Wednesday, August 12, 2009
Monday, August 10, 2009
Friday, August 7, 2009
Obama: A Modern Day Roman Plebeian Tyrant
By Frank S. Rosenbloom, M.D.
Many comparisons have been made between the Roman Empire and the United States. The Roman Empire was the most powerful civilization on Earth. Similarly, the United States, for now, is the sole remaining superpower. However, with the good comes the bad and the decline and fall of the Roman Empire has been compared to the decline and pending fall of the United States. We often forget the fact that the Roman Empire was preceded for 450 years by the Roman Republic, which arose in 509 B.C. with the overthrow of the Roman monarchy.
Of course, there's an interesting correlation with the American Revolution, which also overthrew government by monarchy. Rome was structured around a strong constitution, though little of it was written down. The early years of the Republic were marked by political power held by a strong aristocracy descended from earlier royalty. In a series of events very similar to developments in our own country, the republic devolved into rule by a series of popularly elected political elites who circumvented the constitution for political purposes.
The Roman constitution was a powerful code designed with a complex system of checks and balances and served as a model for our own Constitution. The purpose was not to establish a simple democracy, but a representative form of government, which was, by the rule of law, resistant to the whims of the majority. But, as the society "advanced," professional politicians began promising rewards in exchange for votes.
Initially, two consuls, or highest magistrates, were elected for one year terms. The main deliverative governing body, the Senate, (the model for our own Senate), was comprised of Patricians, members of society with ancestry derived from royalty. The Plebeian Council was composed of representatives of lower societal rank who met in tribal councils and appointed Tribunes, who had veto power over the Senate. Over time, through a series of popular reforms, decisions made by the Plebeian Council would have the full force of law. Plebeians soon began occupying the Senate in a movement to bring "change" to the system of government.
Around 200 B.C. there was an economic crisis, similar to the one we are experiencing today. The plebeians, especially farmers, found themselves unable to afford their homes and they demanded a bailout from the government. When the Senate refused, an uprising occurred, resulting in increased power for the popularly elected Plebeian Council. The country was then essentially controlled by new Plebeian political elites who were, however, mostly concerned with their own power and not about the problems of the people who elected them.
As common Plebeians fell further into debt, unemployment rose and farmers could no longer sell their produce, resulting in widespread bankruptcy. People began voting for politicians who promised bailouts. Populist leaders emerged who promised "change." The final decades of the Roman Republic saw an eerily familiar increase in the dependence of the average Roman citizen on their government, along with tax increases to pay for government programs. The Republic had slowly devolved into a democracy wherein people voted themselves benefits they had not earned. Sound familiar?
In 133 B.C., Tiberius Gracchus was elected as a Tribune. In a move that would be considered "Obamanesqe," he attempted to "spread the wealth" by proposing a law that would have limited the amount of land any particular individual could own and redistributing land to the poor. He was later murdered but his brother was elected and continued to support populist policies that circumvented the constitution. A new political party, the democratic "Populare" party, gained power. They regularly broke the law in the name of democracy. In a final attempt to reestablish constitutional rule and strengthen the Senate, Lucius Sulla, a member of the conservative "Optimate" party, took control as dictator, passed laws to strengthen the constitution and the Senate and then resigned.
Another populist movement (like Acorn) arose in about 65 B.C. to address the problems of the poor. When they were unable to pass all of their reforms legally they began using illegal methods. Eventually, Julius Caesar, a "Populare" politician, was installed as perpetual dictator in 44 B.C., influenced by his greatness as a general and his distribution of benefits, like food subsidies to the population and free land to his former soldiers. He began appointing officials some today would call "czars" (named today after Russian Czars, a word derived originally from the word Caesar) that would not have to be approved by the legislature, but his tenure was cut short by assassination. After Mark Antony was defeated by Octavian at the Battle of Actium in 31 B.C., the Senate gave Octavian extra-constitutional powers in 27 B.C., effectively terminating the Roman Republic forever.
The summary above is a short synopsis, not a complete history. However, the parallels are unnerving and we can easily see the chilling similarities.
Aristotle warned: "Republics decline into democracies and democracies degenerate into despotisms." The Federalist papers show us that the founding fathers understood this all too well. Just as the Roman Senate became more "democratic", so to our own Senate changed from being indirectly elected to direct popular election in 1913. We were founded as a republic partly because democracies become weaker as they grow whereas republics can become stronger.
Yet we elect populists, like Chairman Obama, whose unaffordable promises and unconstitutional actions, after the manner of Tiberius Gracchus, Caesar, and Octavian, will be recorded in history as the beginning of the end of our republic. We slip further into a "democracy" of dependence on government and control by it. Inevitably, we too will degenerate into despotism and tyranny. This has already begun. From antiquity through the present, great thinkers like Aristotle and our founding fathers have warned us of the dangers of repeating the mistakes of prior civilizations. Those who survive us will learn how the selfish majority, at the behest of power hungry political elitists, accepted subjugation in exchange for benefits and thereby sowed the seeds (or acorns) of our destruction.
Barack Obama: Plebeian politician to Senator to Dictator wannabe. The USA: republic, to democratic dictatorship and then despotism. It not only can happen, but it will, unless we learn from history and prevent its repetition.
[A note of thanks to Prof. Stephen S. McRoberts for clarifying the nature of the Senate and Plebeian Council - editor]
Page Printed from: http://www.americanthinker.com/2009/08/obama_a_modern_day_roman_plebe.html at August 07, 2009 - 10:14:26 PM EDT
Sunday, August 2, 2009
Published: July 31, 2009
WASHINGTON — Behind Democrats’ struggle to pay the $1 trillion 10-year cost of President Obama’s promise to overhaul the health care system is their collision with another of his well-known pledges: that 95 percent of Americans “will not see their taxes increase by a single dime” during his term."....
...are you people waking up from your dreaming yet??
in the political discourse.
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