Monday, January 26, 2009


"Minerva shows ordinary citizens' uprising against elite leaders." Chun Sang-Chin, sociology professor, Sogang University in Seoul.

A middle aged unemployed Korean man has been identified as the financial prophet Minerva. A blogger who has eerily predicted the financial catastrophes of the last several years. After urging his readers, in the hundreds of thousands, to abandon the Korean Won and buy US dollars, he was arrested and charged with 'spreading false rumors damaging to the government's reputation in the world financial market'.

Can we arrest President Obama for damaging the government's reputation by appointing a known tax dodger as Treasury Secretary? Because someone is an insider does it make him the best person for the job? Certainly the great potential of every human life is apparent as we find a seemingly simply man able to comprehend world financial markets. A man sharing his gift freely, trying to help his fellow man avoid financial pitfalls.

Minerva points to a door long open that many have been ignoring or misusing. The great potential of the Internet to "change everything." A forum for the common man, that sees the world more and more as a single community, in contrast to the entrenched forces of government that are mired in the divisions and proclivities of the past. Governments looking to shut down voices they feel threaten their standing, on the Internet or otherwise.

Left wing-nut bloggers have known the potential for some time with a network of sites all feeding off each other, creating a false impression of legitimacy. My wife often searches blogs for recipes and topics that interest her. Postings by other women for the most part. She commented to me the other day that many of the bloggers are Mormons. I try to find the most informative and responsible links for my own blogs and have started questioning my visiting and posting on blogs I don't agree with. Does it do any good? Am I just giving them a false relevance? I try to visit and link to sites that are professional, responsible and/or run by people I find truly knowledgeable on a topic.

We all share in what happens on the Internet. We give the Internet its character or lack thereof. Minerva was thought by many to be a government insider or someone well seasoned in the markets, perhaps a retired professor. This impression may have been misleading, but revealing his identity, history and motives should be enough to put the proper perspective on his posts. (if you don't know who I am, you don't care) To prosecute someone for sharing a passion, for seeking to help his fellow man, on the Internet is a danger to us all. An assault on all our freedoms. A door that shouldn't be opened.

Friday, January 23, 2009

De'ja' Vue

Here is a description of the 'Reconstruction Finance Corporation.' Or there is always Wikpedia if you prefer.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Thank You President Bush

Many thanks to our former President for his selfless devotion and love of nation. For eight years of integrity and goodwill.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

A Lazy Saturday

One recent lazy Saturday (U.S. time), as I putzed around the house, I overheard much of a documentary on Harry S. Truman and found the similarities with Barack Obama, our President Elect, striking. … Huh? Truman and Obama? But everyone is comparing President Bush with Truman and President Elect Obama with Abraham Lincoln. And I had to hear this ineptitude not only on our own public radio, but the BBC.

If you want to compare anyone with Abraham Lincoln it should be President Bush. They say President Bush will rise in stature as time passes just as Truman did. Well the comparisons end there. In fact, the same most likely would have been said of Abraham Lincoln if he had not been assassinated. While President Bush is criticized for his supposed violations of civil liberties and handling of the war in Iraq, he is a saint and genius compared to Abraham Lincoln. The suspension of habeas corpus was just one of Abraham Lincoln’s acts of suppression on the citizenry. Failed military campaign, after failed military campaign, jeopardizing our union, was only turned around when Abraham Lincoln appointed a commander, General Grant, who was willing to bring a blood lust scenario to the entire breadth of the war. Doing whatever it took to bring victory.

Truman was originally a Senator, and though Roosevelt’s Vice President kept completely out of the loop. With little knowledge or experience, he was thrust into making one of the most momentous decisions in history. The use of the atomic bomb, judged as ultimately saving untold numbers of casualties, certain if the war had continued.

President Elect Present Obama also enters office with little experience and in the midst of a war. His resolution seems clear for Afghanistan, but what happens afterwards? The strategy in Afghanistan is already being implemented under President Bush. And much like the use of the atomic bomb, nearly a forgone conclusion.

Truman also entered under economic turmoil. Now some try to claim it was the mass government investment, during the great depression and war that rescued the economy. They ignore the post war labor unrest. The demand for much higher wages after the deep sacrifices that made the war effort possible. The lack of housing for our returning soldiers, sailors and Marines. If the manufacturing capacity of the rest of the developed world had not been destroyed, could America have experienced the prosperity some try to attribute to the government?

The Truman Doctrine and Marshal Plan opened the era of the cold war and stifled communist expansion. Obama’s position with the terrorist Islamo-fascist threat and our supposed (world) economic crisis looming parallels Truman. As President, Obama's policy decisions in these regards will be the main determinant of the lasting legacy of his Presidency.

That, and how he deals with the unexpected. What will be President Elect Obama’s Korean War? That crisis that brings him under severe criticism (if that will even be allowed in Obama’s case) and political influences running contrary to the right course of action. As the million Chinese volunteers were depleted and Ridgeway could advance nearly at will on the Korean peninsula if allowed, Truman whimped out to political expediency. Condemning millions of North Koreans to death and leaving us with one of the greatest threats to peace and more recently nuclear proliferation. I truly hope our soon to be President Obama realizes the magnitude of the consequences of his decisions.

Now… how is President Elect Obama like President Lincoln? I guess I am just not as smart as those fancy journalists.

Monday, January 12, 2009

'The Shell Game' or 'The Price of Liberty?'

A local Talk show host, Mark Belling, in his weekly column of January 7th wrote a piece on the rise of local taxes. So much for the Obama tax relief for the middle class since most of these taxes hit people of lower income harder than anyone else. They include:
-raising the cigarette tax (again)
-a hospital tax
-a gas tax
-a junk food tax
-an increase in the local sales tax (1% increase proposed)
-an increase in state income tax
-an increase in fees across the board (not to mention new fees)

The state gasoline tax until recently went up automatically without a vote every April 1st. Yes April Fools day. The Governor took credit for stopping the atrocity, but now claims it was a great wrong that he will right by reintroducing increases in the state gasoline tax. This is the same Governor, Jim Doyle, that went before Congress pleading for funds to cover a deficit, lamenting the loss of several thousand state jobs. Well he promised to cut three times as many jobs during his last campaign. He also promised he would not run again but the media, about nine months after the election, started writing about his run in the next election without any prompting, at least that the public could see. And it has been taken for granted ever since that he would run.

The property taxes on my home have more than doubled in twelve years. And my property values continue to increase, yearly, as far as the city assessor is concerned, despite the market crisis. My water bill has risen over 50% over the last 7 years and fees for snow removal, formerly covered by traditional taxes, added to it. Vehicle registration fees have risen and they introduced a tire tax.

My Alderman, Micheal Murphy, sent me the revenue figures for 1999 and 2008. Based on information that came with my property tax bill 'fees', 22% of revenue in 1999 ($900.8mil) produced $198.2 mil of revenue. In 2008, 32% of revenue ($1.285bil.), they produced $411.2 mil. When running the numbers on residential property taxes the numbers are nearly as bad. No revenue increases from commercial property taxes though. That is because tax policy has been driving business out of the state far before any supposed financial crisis.

Of course we have the Federal Government to bail us out from our deficit and to lift the burden from the middle and lower classes. To produce new jobs. Which is the whole essence of a shell game. The promise of profit without having to produce anything. What does government produce?

Nothing! The more resources the government collects the less we all have. It really is that simple. President Elect Obama has called for a stimulus package to improve our roadways and upgrade our education infrastructure. At the same time he has called for an end to ear marks. Several have already pointed out that that is what his package is, a collection of projects formerly funded as earmarks.

Our roadways in Wisconsin while suffering in some areas are overbuilt in others. There was a time where they didn't need federal funds for our roads outside of the interstate system. Light rail advocates keep a proposal alive that will increase the tax burden on the area and is just not needed. Most people travel less than 25 minutes to get to their jobs. Our education system has continually failed to bring results despite ever increasing levels of investment. Now the system in Milwaukee is bankrupt after building projects that were not needed. Much as many of the projects President Elect Obama wants to fund will not really be needed. Yet the demand for more tax dollars ever increases, the promised results never appear and there is no room for cuts... well ... except for school vouchers. But that is the goal of any tyranny, to control the education system. But now I'm getting ahead of myself.

My wife and I run our own businesses. Tax freedom Day for us is well past April since we have to pay the full burden of the self employment tax (social security) about 15%. We have to wonder if social security will even be available when we retire, which may be at 80 by that time. Yet those in the public sector are able to retire at 55 with full pension if they get in 25 years. And for those in the education system here in Wisconsin, they can then move to another school district and work there while still collecting their pension. And it looks like the government may very well pick up the UAW pensions that keep the big three from being competitive.

We pay all our bills, usually with some crisis wiping out all the headway we make against our debt every so often. And we have plenty of debt. Yes, we benefited from the lax lending practices of the past. Of course the bid on our house was only $30,500. As those who mismanaged their funds in the big financial institutions get bailed out the relief is extended to those who fail to pay their bills. I guess I'm just a schmuck for not letting myself shirk my responsibilities. And we don't take food stamps or other aid. I believe I have a responsibility to the greater community and that it would be a misuse of funds. But we can always declare bankruptcy just as any other company or individual could.

I do take medical relief, though we put quite a few dollars into the system every year, one of the reason for our debt. I try to find out how much I will be billed for doctor ordered tests (I am uninsurable) and can never get an answer even if, when where and what will be done are clear. I hear that some tests cost anywhere from $600 to $3,000 depending on where you are. Of course one of the reasons for the high costs are rules and regulations dictated by the government and the mass of paper that needs to be processed to conform. And that cost will sky rocket if the government takes over health care. .... Producing?

If government takes over health care how many of us will 'not' be on the government dole? The thought brings to mind movies such as "Logan's Run" or "Soylent Green." Already in England and other national health care systems patients are being designated as not worth the resources to be treated. A culture of death that began with the legalization and 'promotion' of mass abortion.

And it brings us to the ultimate shell game. The idea that we have a two party system. We have a one party system with rogues spread though out, mainly in the republican party (they're called conservatives). When the majority of all voters are depending on the government (which produces nothing) for their livelihood is it any wonder that the republicans have become as big of spenders as the democrats? Not just government jobs but the majority of construction, research, arts and now our financial institutions and automakers are dependent on government funds in someway. And the sucking sound just gets louder.

Every communist/socialist system exists as a single party system to hold control over its population. The education system used to indoctrinate and monitor the society. As our political class holds more and more control over the lives of the population tyranny is not far behind. As everyone grabs for their own piece of the pie they are blind to the reality that the pie is destined to get smaller and smaller. And the availability of resources (there will be no real prosperity) will be confined to a smaller and smaller ruling class that already realizes it cannot tolerate dissent.

Happy Birthday to Rush Limbaugh.
Happy anniversary to my wife.
Happy Birthday to my brother.