Friday, September 11, 2009

Top of the Mind

In the past, I have posted articles and photos here concerning where I have been, what I have been up to, etc. Today, I would like to share what a lot of my time has been spent thinking about, especially, during the past few weeks.

Some may say it is a waste of time to concern oneself so much with something that one has little control over; however, I view it as my job, as a citizen of my country, to be concerned about what is going on in Washington and the lack of coverage and transparency that our media has shown towards the obvious corruption and undermining of the U.S. Constitution that is happening there.

I have posted the news below to this week's Common Sense Investing post, as I think it is very important to share since most of the mainstream media is not covering these HUGE stories.

When you read them, please take the time to ask yourself why hardly anyone is reporting this information and if the people in Washington D.C. are truly those who you voted for.


Noteworthy - Week of September 6th

President Obama's Green Energy Czar Van Jones stepped down at 12:01 AM on Sunday amid controversy surrounding his signing of a 9/11 Truther statement, which believes the U.S. allowed the 9/11 attacks to occur so that President Bush could go to war in the Middle East. Van Jones stated in his resignation that he was the target of a conservative smear campaign (although that it used his own words). The mainstream media had not published an article on the czar until the resignation, including the news that led to Mr. Jones' resignation. Fox News Commentator Glenn Beck had issued in-depth coverage of Mr. Jones in the weeks leading up to his resignation using clips of the Green Energy Czar, in his own words, to help his viewers understand Mr. Jones' background. As it turns out, Van Jones is a self-avowed communist, who believes that white people are poisoning minorities and, who produced a radical speech album entitled "Wartimes- Reports from the Opposition" with convicted cop killer and former black panther Mumia Abu-Jamal.

Why is it that the President handpicked Van Jones to be his advisor? Why has he selected other radical-type people as his advisors? Is Van Jones the type of person that represents America? And why did the mainstream media fail to cover or look into Mr. Jones? President Obama's senior advisor Valerie Jones said earlier this year that the White House had been following Van Jones since his early days in Oakland (when he was a well-known radical activist).

Here is a link to the video (Parts 1-5) in which Glenn Beck exposes that Van Jones had, indeed, signed a 9/11 Truther statement that, ultimately, led to his resignation.

On Wednesday, House Democrats succeeded in pushing forward the nomination of controversial Harvard law professor Cass Sunstein as the head of the White House Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs. Among Mr. Sunstein's controversial views are:
  • Animals should be able to sue their owners, with attorneys representing them, for violations of existing animal protection laws (as stated in his book Animal Rights in 2004);
  • The 1st Amendment needs to be reformulated
  • The belief in a 2nd Bill of Rights, which FDR supported, that would give Americans the right to right to an education, a right to a home, a right to health care, and a right to protection against monopolies;
  • Citizens should celebrate tax day since taxes bring liberty to a nation
The new FCC chief Julius Genachowski is coming under fire after hiring civil rights attorney, Mark Lloyd, who has been critical of corporate-owned media in the past, to promote diversity in media ownership. Mr. Lloyd has been critical of conservative viewpoints, especially in regards to talk radio, and has suggested that a fully funded U.S. network, such as the BBC in England, would give the government more power to choose what programs are aired. Other statements by Lloyd include him speaking out against the 1st Amendment and supporting Hugo Chavez's "incredible--dramatic-- revolution." Here is a video of Mr. Lloyd's words.

The role of White House Czars, which currently stand at more than 30 and are not subjected to Congressional approval or oversight, has sparked debate in Congress in light of the Van Jones controversy and President Obama's unusually high number of appointees.

On Thursday morning, a video came to light that essentially no mainstream media outlets, except Fox News, have reported about. The video, an under cover investigation into ACORN (Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now), shows a "pimp" and his 20-year old "prostitute" talking to two ACORN advisors in Baltimore, MD about a house, which they would like to setup for prostitution purposes. The couple mentions that 13 young illegal aliens from El Salvador will be coming to stay at the house and participate in the business as well. The ACORN advisors then devise a way for the duo to set up the business legally, acknowledging fully that what they are doing is illegal, and advises that the couple might be able to claim the girls as dependents but that they definitely should not claim any income that they earn.

On Friday, a similar video by the same pair was published online. This time, the under cover reporters investigated a Washington, D.C. ACORN office and had similar results there, too.

One has to wonder when (or if) the mainstream media will decide to cover these investigations into an organization with ties to President Obama, which is also receiving funding from the federal government, including up to $8.5 billion in stimulus money.

The Census Bureau announced on Friday that it had cut ties with ACORN after four employees were fired this week amid the undercover investigations in Baltimore and Washington D.C. ACORN is also being investigated for voter fraud in at least 13 states.

In other news, President Obama made his health care reform pitch before a full session of Congress on Wednesday evening. The speech was widely regarded as partisan in nature, although the President sent a message to all parties that it was time to work together to find the reform that America is looking for. Obama stated his plan would cost $900BB and money for funding would come from Medicare fraud reduction (which the President states is rampant), cost savings, and taxes.

One should question, however, why the President has not tackled the apparent rampant fraud in Medicare during his first eight months in office, especially if it could save the government millions of dollars in taxpayer revenue during the time of a financial crisis. He has tackled every other area of the economy and government, why not this one? Is it not (borderline) treasonous to fail to do so, considering the dire circumstances and uncertainty of our country?

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, citizens insured through the government grew by 1.2% last year to a total of 29% of the population or 87.4MM. Medicare, Medicaid and the Children Health Insurance Program, a federal program for children of low-income families not poor enough to qualify for Medicaid, were the main insurance groups.

Up to two million people marched on Washington D.C. on Saturday in protest of government spending, lack of fiscal responsibility and big government.

According to the stimulus bill passed earlier this year, the government plans on spending $100 million to map broadband availability-- a project some say should cost no more than $3.5 million.


The majority of the stories (and questions) posted above are not being covered by the mainstream media. Why not? I have no idea. But it scares me to the core, especially considering that they have traditionally used their 1st Amendment right to expose all type of corruption and groundbreaking news stories.

When the media avoids using its right to free speech, one that they have rarely given up, one has to assume that they are doing it for a reason. What that reason is, I have no idea, but the uncertainty of what that reason just might be is truly frightening and very telling as to just how screwed up our country has become.

Why is Fox News the only media source reporting these stories? If Bush were President, would the other media sources be reporting this news? Don't Americans deserve better than that?!

The media is supposed to keep the government in check and inform the public as to what is going on in Washington-- it's why they're allowed direct access to the President on a daily basis. Is everyone in bed with the politicians? What's wrong with this country??? And when is everyone going to finally get so enraged that they speak up and make a stand for what is right!?

Americans wanted change-- that's why Barack Obama won the election. Right? Did anyone pay attention to the things that he was saying during the election? Am I the only one who heard the communist tendencies? I would have ignored them if I weren't so cynical about what to expect from Washington or, better yet, Chicago politicians. Is THIS the change that we all wanted???

I don't think I can ever remember seeing my nation so divided. Granted, Bush tried to do that as best as he could when we went to war in Iraq--a war that few can contend was the right one (at least, for the reasons he gave)--but this is just nuts! Does anyone REALLY believe that our politicians have our best interests in mind? Am I the only one who thinks that they're trying to do such a crumby job to ensure that we find ourselves in an even worse mess than we are already in just so they can seize more power from us and bypass the Constitution even more so than they're already doing? Isn't it obvious what they really want-- to divide us even more so that they can conquer us and take away all of our rights???

We have a HUGE deficit. Why hasn't anyone proposed cost cuts in Washington? If Medicare is so corrupt and fraud is rampant, Mr. Obama, then why haven't you done anything about it in your first eight months in office? You've made it a point to tackle every other issue-- why not this one, the one which you say will help pay for your proposed health care legislation??? Why???

Americans: Is it not treasonous for the President to know about rampant fraud and corruption within the Medicare system and not do anything about it during the biggest financial crisis since the Great Depression???

Our Treasury Department is literally printing money and borrowing from our Federal Reserve to, they will say, get us out of this financial mess, yet here are millions upon millions of dollars of fraudulent claims in a federal system and no one has done anything about it yet. Why?

Is anyone asking that question of the President? If so, I certainly haven't heard it, and I've been listening. Isn't the legislative branch supposed to be a check and balance to the executive branch? Isn't the media supposed to keep both branches in check? Yet neither are. What's going on here-- really?!?!?!

China and Japan are extremely nervous about holding our debt-- in fact, I don't think there's been a week since earlier this year where China hasn't mentioned their concerns and suggested replacing the U.S. dollar as the world's reserve currency. There are already reports that U.S. dollars are not as exchangeable in Asia as they once were. Some will argue that China and Japan, which account for 45% of our foreign debt, need to keep lending us money, but the reality is that the U.S. only accounts for 25% of the Chinese economy and it's getting smaller by the day, as China begins to concentrate on building their consumer base. When they stop buying, or worse, start selling U.S. debt, the dollar will fall dramatically, just like our housing market did, except it will effect everyone this time-- everything that we buy will cost significantly higher.

Imagine the inflation of the 1970s without the turnaround of the 1980s under Paul Volcker and the Fed. If we go off that cliff, friends, the results will be horrific for all of us. Think Weimar Germany or current Zimbabwe. Granted, it might not grow into that big of a problem, but anything even remotely close to it will be far worse than any of us could have ever imagined for our families and future generations. And just because it hasn't happen ever in U.S. history doesn't mean it can't. I think we all should have learned that lesson by now. At least, I hope we have...

Have we forgotten how to ask questions in this country of our government officials and expect our representatives to say what they mean and mean what they say??? I know, politics is politics and they're all snake oil salesmen. I've felt the same ever since Bush somehow beat McCann in the 2000 Republican primary. Every college student I knew in Ohio, liberals included, were routing for McCann. Isn't it somehow ironic the man, who couldn't beat the person that everyone hated when he left office last year, was the best candidate that the Republicans could present to us eight years later?

Friends, we need to change our opinions and unite, demand answers from our representatives, and if we don't like their answers, vote them out and find someone who will represent us... and not stop looking until we find him or her. Then, when we find that person, we need to share that information with our friends and family so that he or she is able to find the support to have a chance at representing us.

Republican, Democrat, Independent, Libertarian, whatever... We are ALL Americans! It's time to look past the names attached to our representative and start looking at who the person is and decide if he or she will have the courage to do the right thing when faced with the pressures of Washington.

Where in the U.S. Constitution does it say that our government is composed of two party system?

Answer: It doesn't.

So why do we think as a nation divided by political party and trapped into thinking that we only have two political party candidates to choose from? Does anyone remember Ross Perot, who ran on reform and fiscal responsibility in 1992? It is my view that he could have won the election had he not dropped out unexpectedly. After all, he was leading the presidential election with 39% of the vote before he quit. If he can gain a near majority of the public's support, then why can't another third party candidate?

Why can't 2010 and 2012 be the reform elections that 1992 failed to bring? And why can't we be involved in politics today and in the future as much as we were then? It's our responsibility to ensure the safety and betterment of our republic! By, of and for the people, right? Not the government!

It won't be a quick change, I know. We will all have to be patient. But we have to come together and work together to debate the issues to find real solutions to real problems and then find the right people to represent us. And if that person is us, we should have the confidence that we will find enough support to overcome any obstacle! We are the most giving nation in the world and most every nation loves our citizens--it's the politicians they hate-- we will find support! We are a beacon of light to the world; I know, I've witnessed it first hand! Why the hell are we giving it away?!?!?!

I urge all of you to travel abroad and see just how lucky we have it. No other nation in the world is like us. But we are sick, very sick. We have lost complete sense of reality. Look at all of the stuff that we have and where our daily concerns and attention lay. Do you have any idea how lucky we are to live in a place so clean, so vast, so full of resources, and with a Constitution that puts the power of the land in the people's hands and not some dictator or bureaucrat?

Our country was founded by entrepreneurs who fled their land for a better life and when their monarchy tried to control every aspect of their lives, they rose together and fought against it. Those same entrepreneurs set up a government that would be run by, of, and for the people and were our first representatives.

Then, serving the public was a part-time job, with some believing that Washington D.C. was situated where it is because it was so hot and muggy six months out of the year that the politicians would want to leave the city. Now we can't get anyone to leave it and the starting pay of a representative is $174,000-- 3x more than the per capita income of a citizen in our country! What's wrong with this picture??? How can someone who represents the average citizen earn 3x more than him or her???

Now Washington is full of lawyers, lobbyists, and lifetime bureaucrats, who somehow know better than the average business owner (even though they've never been one) about running car companies, banks, schools or health care. You name it, the government seems to have some kind of say in it and thinks they can run it better than we can. Since when?!

To make matters worse, they are not even reading the bills they are signing (they're too many pages to read) and some are not even paying their taxes, including the head of the IRS Timothy Geithner, also known as the Treasury Secretary, who was appointed by the President!

It is time for us, the people, by, of, and for whom this country was established and supposed to have been run by, to take back our power from Washington! The onus is on us, not them, to ensure that this country, a republic, is run as it was written in the Constitution. The only way that is possible, is for us to get involved and stayed involved in politics. It is our country, not theirs!

Would you hire a babysitter to watch your children without first interviewing that person and running a background check on him or her? If you didn't like their answers or the information that you received, would you still hire them anyway or keep looking until you found the right person?

Is it not prudent to do the same for the people who represent us and our country?

The onus is on us to hold our representative's feet to the fire. I am confident that capitalism will prevail with regards to the media members that are giving up their 1st Amendment rights and that trusted sources will rise to the top in the form of subscriptions, advertising dollars, etc. But it is our job to ensure that our representatives are held accountable.

Let us remember why our nation rose to be the beacon of light to the world and rise together as one to take back our nation from those who are not upholding the Constitution, our rights as citizens and driving our nation down the wrong path-- the one that most all of us recognize is the wrong one!

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Shine A Light - Please Help A Friend

Family and friends,
Please help my friend Michelle and her business partner out by showing your support for their innovative idea in a national contest for small businesses-- Shine A Light. The concept is a simple but outstanding one-- artists as babysitters.

Rather than having your children sit around all day watching TV or playing video games, why not have an artist watch your children so that they can build their imagination and creative skills?

According to renowned and best seller author Daniel Pink (A Whole New Mind, Free Agent Nation and the first American business book in manga, The Adventures of Johnny Bunko), the most successful jobs in the 21st century will be ones that focus on right-brain activity-- it's very difficult to outsource creative-based thinking jobs.

Sitters Studio currently operates in New York and Chicago. The company plans to expand into L.A. in 2010 and has aspirations to develop smaller markets in the U.S. and, eventually, grow internationally.

Voting ends Sept. 13th-- vote today for Sitters Studio at Shine A Light!

Thanks in advance for your vote!

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Snow Leopard - Worth Every Penny of $29 + Tax

Gas money for a trip to the mall: $0.58.

A copy of the Snow Leopard OS X from the Apple Store: $29.

8+GB of free HD space & faster, cleaner operation after plucking my eyebrows out during the simple one hour installation time for having to pay 10.5% in sales tax: Priceless.

Although I've only had Snow Leopard for just a few hours, I highly recommend it to anyone using the Apple 10.5 OS X!

Here are some articles on the benefits and ease of installation of Snow Leopard, as well as the link to the Apple Snow Leopard site.

B&H Video in NYC issued this review of Snow Leopard.