"The most significant threat to our national security is our debt," Admiral Michael Mullen, Chairman, Joint Chiefs of Staff, August 27,2010


Thursday, January 26, 2012

President Petraeus or President Mullen

The purpose of this article is to start the movement toward nominating either Retired General David Howell Patraeus (currently head of the CIA; 59 years old) or Retired Admiral Michael Glenn Mullen (retired in September 2011 as Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff; 65 years old) as the Republican candidate for President of the United States. We present our case for such action below.

First, we would have no problem with either man running as a Democrat in the November 2012 general election for president. It is just that we have seen/heard/experienced no suggestion or movement from the Democrats toward even considering anyone else except the incumbent to be their candidate. So, we will address the Republicans with the stipulation that we would encourage either man to run as a Democrat, if that is their preference, but we fully understand why that route could be difficult or impossible.

So, our case for either General Petraeus or Admiral Mullen is as follows:

1. The country is wallowing in an undisciplined state of expectation, entitlement and debt. Remedial discipline is required and the best training ground in America today for the concept of discipline and the everyday application of getting the job done with what is available is the military. They have a budget and a task. They don’t have a union. They believe in sacrifice. As a matter of fact, they pride themselves on sacrifice. They are disciplined.

2. We have seen/listened/experienced to the Republican candidates for the presidency. All good people we are sure. But nary a one of them up to the task at hand. Neither is the incumbent.  There is no likelihood of any one of those individuals being able to discipline America to a level of sacrifice, frugality, hard work and law abidance that is required to get our fundamentals back. They simply don’t have it in their experience or training.

3. America needs a proven leader. Someone who will set goals and let the rest of us know what our role is in the new disciplined scheme of things. That is what a military leader does daily; it is what they think about at night and it is what they convey constantly to their command structure. 24/7.

4. For 20 years America has suffered under the leadership of very weak men. Not one of them a disciplined individual. Not one of them was able to set a simple, defined course for the country. Each, in their own way, danced around the issues of the day – massive debt build up because of a suicidal inability to live within our means; routine violations of immigration laws; federal and state financing of irresponsible personal behavior by large segments of the population and a complete bias toward special interest favors and positions over the economic strength of the nation.

5. It makes no difference if we create a great society with more protections for special interests and protected classes of people if we cannot develop, design and manufacture vital products here at home. It makes no difference if every minority; every old person; every handicapped individual and every other citizen with a special need – real or imagined gets their own bureaucrat to look out for them if they cannot find a job. It makes no difference how many unions the country creates to look out for the interests of teachers; of police and firemen; of administrative government employees, if the children are not being successfully educated; the citizens are not being protected and served and the roads and bridges are not being built and public transportation is not running on time.

6. So our task is to find a proven leader; someone who has done the job; who is not so egomaniacal that we cannot foresee what new forms of problems his psyche will bring us and someone who actually demands real respect for the office of president and knows his way around both congress and the halls of foreign power.

7. America needs to focus on outcome and on results. Not on societal causes; not on feel good measures and not on activities and ideas that feed the Hollywood media machine; the Sunday talk shows and appeal to wealthy supporters with personal agendas (Newt Gingrich has a huge problem with this latter issue.)

8. It seems the one thing most Americans agree on is that the best, brightest and most disciplined Americans are those who volunteer for our military services. It is no leap of faith to then look to the best of that group; those who attain positions of responsibility and leadership within the military, to also bring their special talents to our most pressing needs and problems. Yes, we know that Mullen and Petraeus have and are serving but we also know that through their arteries flow the blood of commitment, discipline and service and we need them now more than ever in the top leadership job. We always say go to a busy person; go to a talented proven person to get the job done. America cannot risk the presidency for four more years on a hopeful possibility. We need a leader now.

9. Michael G. Mullen and David H. Petraeus are proven leaders and fully vetted individuals.

10. What happens if both want the job?

We should be so lucky.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Debates and Speeches - A Citizen Questions

Here are some questions that have been on our mind for some time –

Does a media conglomerate (TheFundamentals calls these companies “Hollywood”) have the right to hold a presidential debate (primary or general election) and interrupt it with commercials? In effect we are asking if it makes sense for a media conglomerate to produce and present a forum which is an essential part of a democratic process and make money off it.

At present, the answer is, obviously, an overwhelming Yes. Because it is occurring. Is the next step to commercialize tonight’s state of the union address as being presented by Frito's or General Motors (of course, there is some truth to the latter sponsorship?)

We find that there are many things occurring that are not right; that simply do not make sense. Not the least of which is the massive debt built up by the current president and congress and his predecessor and congress.

Which brings us to the next question.

Why isn’t the moderator(s) who is a paid employee(s) of the media conglomerate (Hollywood) asking the republican primary candidates about the massive debt buildup and their specific commitments to levels of debt in the future, if they were to become president? They are not bashful about asking the candidates about gay rights or their own personal behavior? Or a series of other questions that require some thought and analysis from the candidates. Why don’t these media employees wish to focus on debt? Could it be that their employers actually benefit from high levels of government debt?

At least we can be certain that the president will directly address debt tonight and be very specific in setting goals for all of us that will limit future debt increases inasmuch as his own military chief has told us that the debt of our country is our number one national security threat.

Here are some other questions that might be posed. Why should a prospective employee of any employer be required, in the United States, to join a union in order to be employed? Isn’t that, de facto, a restriction on any citizen’s freedom? And isn’t that restriction particularly onerous because it impacts their ability to earn a living? Does that make sense? We thought free and open employment was actually a concept that the federal government supported? We have an EEOC but no agency that says a person should be able to work anywhere with no conditions. Given Mr. Obama's laser focus on jobs, we are also sure he will address this "right to work" issue.

Or how about this question which gets back to the debt issue? “Should any congress or any president be able to create debt for any spending program that will benefit current citizens and leave the debt for citizens who are not even born?” As we recall, when a person dies, by law, their debts are not conveyable to their heirs. Isn’t that a legal concept that is being violated by the current congress and president and upheld by the judges who do not even address the situation? As a matter of fact and law, aren’t the debts of a deceased either paid from that person’s estate or extinguished? Ergo, why should a newborn arriving in 2012 have any legal responsibility for debts created in 2011 or before?

Here is one more question – the current supreme court docket (which is their agenda of cases to be heard) includes cases about tracking citizen’s automobiles (US v. Jones); about government involvement in employment decisions in religious organizations (Hosanna et.al. v. EEOC) and about a prisoner’s health care in a privately run institution (Minneci v. Pollard.) But nothing about debt? What is the greater threat to America? Debt or tracking a citizen’s car? Debt or meddling in whom a church gets to hire or fire? Debt or prisoner health and legal remedies? Are we the only ones who think it may make sense for the court to prioritize addressing massive and destructive levels of debt before lesser issues?

Last question/comment. What does government of the people, by the people and for the people really mean? Does that mean that the people can only address any of the questions raised in this essay through their representatives and the courts set up by these representatives? What if their representatives and the courts set up by these representatives don’t deal with these issues? Then what? Doesn’t that mean that the government is not of, by and for the people? What do you do when the government is not of, by and for the people?

Thursday, January 19, 2012

A Bailout for Hollywood

Hurray for Hollywood. The Golden Globes. The Kardashians. Rap Noise, er, we mean music. 60 Minutes promoting books published by a sister company. Locked up movie distribution deals. $15.00 for a box of popcorn and two soft drinks. Comcast now owns NBC. Gee, can’t think of any reason why this Hollywood gang would want to lay low and not draw attention to their situation, huh? Remember the good old days when you got to buy an album full of really good music just to get one song? What changed that situation? Can you imagine (thanks John Lennon) a time when you might just pay the cable company for the shows you watch and not have to buy an expensive package of crap programming that is also commercially sponsored?

It’s a funny thing how the Hollywood media (movies, TV, news shows, magazines, newspapers, network debates) goes after Wall Street and banks and other successful companies but they never focus on themselves. Why is that? Why does Hollywood get all this protection – first amendment; virtual monopolistic distribution schemes; shared ownership of all forms of entertainment and news and opinion forming techniques? Why are they not being regulated? After all they are calling for the regulation of the Internet aren’t they?

You may have gotten a little taste this week of how to play by the rules in the information age. Particularly if you believe that it is better to feed certain information to the public and deny certain information to the public (networks and newspapers.) Or at least feed certain information to the public with a certain version of facts or the right person presenting certain facts or some large breasted nubile actress doing something in the background when an uncomfortable piece of information is being presented. Or some bonehead like Bill Maher or John Stewart making money off failed sophomoric humor to sycophantic audiences. That crap needs protection? We think it needs a good flushing.

Hollywood thinks their crap, their product, their content, their productions; their artistic accomplishments are something really special and should be protected by the federal government. After all it is their property right? And their first amendment right; you know, that freedom of speech business.

Who else gets to use their property exactly as they please and then gets to ask the government to guarantee their ongoing right for self control use of their property ad infinitum? Do you? Most people we know own property (real) but they have to seek government approval if they want to do anything on it. They have to pay for this approval too and then, after all this is tended to, they gets to wait for a government employee to come and tell them if they did it right. If you buy a car it comes with all sorts of government rules and features and mandatory add-ons. True of almost anything one buys. It is all controlled by the government; somewhere, maybe locally; maybe in Washington.

Isn’t it time for Hollywood to get the same treatment of their property? Hollywood has a free hand to distort more facts and play on more emotions than a busload of progressive politicians could ever even conceive in their wet dreams. They produce crap and feed nonsense to children and place weird ideas in the young minds of a world without discipline and without responsibility as long as it feels good and it gets a laugh or two. Why isn’t government licensing Hollywood property? Adding some add-ons? You know, some measures for the public good?

Hollywood is promoting legislation that will prevent search engines from even mentioning a web site that is deemed to be a violator of any Hollywood content. Do you want government screening the search results produced by Google and telling them which sites they can present to the user? Our position: absolutely NOT. If government wants to get into the information control business we suggest they start with Hollywood and start regulating what Hollywood produces and the “art” that fills our TV screens, our radio programming; our movie screens and our library book shelves. Let’s start with a simple truthfulness test and let government regulate them. If it’s truthful it can be distributed. If it’s not it must stay in the can. Hollywood is a blight on the fundamentals of a free society. It dominates the media world. It constantly spins, distorts and distributes propaganda all under the freedoms of the first amendment. But when another form of information distribution comes along, Hollywood hires the lawyers and the lobbyists and former senators and says “shut them down.”

Here is the skinny on the crap laws Hollywood is promoting.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:SOPA_initiative/Learn_more

Here’s the defense as published in the Wall Street Journal which supports this government regulation crap. (Interesting isn’t it how the WSJournal wants freedom in all other businesses except its own and there it supports federal intervention in the information business. Can you say “hypocrite?”)

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052970203471004577142893718069820.html?mod=WSJ_Opinion_LEADTop

Here is the Heritage Foundation’s well presented position on these topics:

http://blog.heritage.org/2012/01/18/morning-bell-an-internet-blackout-over-sopa-and-pipa/?utm_source=Newsletter&utm_medium=Email&utm_campaign=Morning%2BBell

Last point. Here is the position of TheFundamentals. If you can go to a library and check it out it should be available free on the Internet. If you don’t want people accessing your content then don’t sell it/make it available to a public library. After all a lot of poor people can’t afford $15.00 for a box of popcorn and two soft drinks on top of paying for the crappy movie.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Who in their right mind ...

... would want this job?
Are you nuts?  Out of your mind?  You got to be kidding.  You want me to run for president of the United States?  Are you crazy?
There was a time when running the country was not necessarily easy but at least there were accepted fundamentals that set limits on what anyone -  president, senator, governor, police chief; anyone, could do.  Those limits are all gone.
We know; we know, the media and the politicians in power and all their hired bureaucrats would have you believe that we now live in such a better place; so many safeguards; so many benefits and safety nets; so much technology and conveniences and we owe it all to this wonderful combination of democracy and progress and, to no small extent, public service.  If you doubt this conclusion, just watch who the media glorifies and who the politician’s credit. 
Here is a short list of the problems and issues facing anyone who becomes the next president of the United States:
1.    So much debt that even a small increase in interest rates – one or two percent, will render the country incapable of meeting its obligations.
2.    A looming trade war with China.
3.    Dominance of the military industrial complex in demanding almost one third of all the tax monies collected annually for their adventures in foreign lands.
4.    Huge segments of the population without any skills usable in the workplace; more coming in every day, legally.
5.    Unaccounted for millions of illegal aliens demanding legal and political rights.
6.    One half the population depending on the government for sustenance while federal government revenues decline and their expenses skyrocket.
7.    A health care system that costs 2 – 3 times more than anywhere else and produces no consequential results for the inflated costs.
8.    An education system that benefits its unionized employees at terrifically inflated cost levels and has failed those students who need it most.
9.    More citizens working for governments at all levels than ever before and fewer citizens working in wealth creating jobs than ever before.
10. Investors with capital who routinely choose to invest overseas where the environment is receptive and returns are predictable.
There is no one politician on the face of the earth who can deal with, much less correct, this situation.  It is out of control.  The limits on everything have been abandoned; the greed of individuals and groups of individuals; we call them protected classes and special interests, have placed their out of control demands ahead of any national interest or any common good.  Politicians try to deal with their demands; placate them to keep the lid on their forces.  The result is segments – unionized public employees, pensioners, minorities, subsidized businesses, trial lawyers and more citizens than at any time in history receiving either a check or a reimbursement of some sort from some government somewhere in the land or some special consideration – a law or a regulation or a judgment or a zoning ruling or something from some authority being enforced by some government employee in your neighborhood.
No limits.  If someone wants it and they can holler loud enough and long enough they will get something; some form of control or protection or tax or fee or rule. 
No limits.
How can you run something when there are no limits?
You simply can’t.  We see it now with the present president.  What can he do?  He has his own ideas about what he wants to do and a good 50% of the people see his plans as possibly giving them something for nothing.  Why not support him?  Get it while you can seems to be his overriding philosophy.  He never talks about limits.  Even he says things are getting worse.
We don’t hear much from the opposition candidates about limits either.  Apparently the highly paid consultants don’t think that one word should enter their vocabulary much less show up in a speech or a debate.  Someone, somewhere should ask them about the LIMITS they will place on government.
Without limits you have nothing.  Without caps on spending, debt, taxes, laws, controls, rules; you name it, you have no democracy.  You attract the people who want something for nothing.  You drive away the people with money to invest. 
The country started because enough of its citizens wanted limits placed on an out of control government.  We have gone full circle; accelerating the last 50 years to complete the trip.  Any government without limits becomes promiscuous and abusive.  And there is no government capable of maintaining limits on itself; they must be imposed from without.
A smart candidate will try to set some limits locally; in his/her backyard where it may still be possible to get 51% of the citizens to see the value in setting limits.  If we can get enough states and cities to set limits it may carry over to Washington DC.  It will not come from Washington DC.   Our principal and ongoing critique of Mr. Obama is that he never stuck with anything long enough to see it through.  Illinois and Chicago have lots of problems, including some similar to those described above.  Obama did nothing to address much less solve those problems.
We think Chris Christie understands this simple fact but we will withhold judgment for some time.  Christie could not make a dent in any of the ten problems/issues listed above.  He has a chance in his own backyard.  Let's wish him well.  He was smart to take a pass and focus on New Jersey. 

Ohio started to set some limits and then a very selfish group used the political process to stop this progress.  They put it to the voters who actually voted in, just one year earlier, politicians who started to set limits.  What did the voters of Ohio do?  Did they support the politicians taking the heat for setting limits?  Not a chance.  They folded.  In the privacy of a voting booth where the selfish government employees cannot exercise their intimidation skills, 61% of the Ohio voters collapsed and folded.

Believe it or not, a Democrat governor and a Democrat legislature in the state of Rhode Island finally said enough to the public employee unions and passed, by a pretty good margin, some sensible limits on just how much money can be extorted from taxpayers to enrich unionized public employees.  It just may be that the ultimate hope for this country will be Democrat politicians saying "enough" to their public employee supporters.  An interesting variation on the concept that "only Nixon could go to China."

In the meantime, who in their right mind will take on the task without overwhelming support from the citizens?  In the Democrat Party, the majority party, only one person is seeking the job.  A few more in the minority party.

You gotta be nuts.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Afraid of Guns?

If you haven’t read this essay it is worth a few minutes of your time.  It is about a logical and thoughtful explanation of freedom and guns.  It is not particularly emotional and most certainly not partisan.  It is just a logical look at the need for common sense, discipline and the implicit limits that a gun provides.  After you have completed it please read on and we will explain why we present this essay on our pages which deal mostly with fiscal responsibility and living within our means.

"The Gun Is Civilization" by Maj. L. Caudill USMC (Ret)

Human beings only have two ways to deal with one another:
reason and force. If you want me to do something for you, you have a choice of
either convincing me via argument, or force me to do your bidding under threat of force. Every human interaction falls into one of those two categories, without exception. Reason or force, that's it.

In a truly moral and civilized society, people exclusively interact through persuasion.  Force has no place as a valid method of social interaction and the only thing that removes force from the menu is the personal firearm, as paradoxical as it may sound to some.

When I carry a gun, you cannot deal with me by force. You have to use reason and try to persuade me, because I have a way to negate your threat or employment of force.

The gun is the only personal weapon that puts a 100-pound woman on equal footing with a 220-pound mugger, a 75-year old retiree on equal footing with a 19-year old gang banger, and a single guy on equal footing with a carload of drunken guys with baseball bats. The gun removes the disparity in physical strength, size, or numbers between a potential attacker and a defender.

There are plenty of people who consider the gun as the source of bad force equations. These are the people who think that we'd be more civilized if all guns were removed from society, because a firearm makes it easier for a [armed] mugger to do his job. That, of course, is only true if the mugger's potential victims are mostly disarmed either by choice or by legislative fiat--it has no validity when most of a mugger's potential marks are armed.

People who argue for the banning of arms ask for automatic rule by the young, the strong, and the many, and that's the exact opposite of a civilized society. A mugger, even an armed one, can only make a successful living in a society where the state has granted him a force monopoly.

Then there's the argument that the gun makes confrontations lethal that otherwise would only result in injury. This argument is fallacious in several ways. Without guns involved, confrontations are won by the physically superior party inflicting overwhelming injury on the loser.

People who think that fists, bats, sticks, or stones don't constitute lethal force, watch too much TV, where people take beatings and come out of it with a bloody lip at worst. The fact that the gun makes lethal force easier works solely in favor of the weaker defender, not the stronger attacker. If both are armed, the field is level.

The gun is the only weapon that's as lethal in the hands of an octogenarian as it is in the hands of a weight lifter. It simply wouldn't work as well as a force equalizer if it wasn't both lethal and easily employable.

When I carry a gun, I don't do so because I am looking for a fight, but because I'm looking to be left alone. The gun at my side means that I cannot be forced, only persuaded. I don't carry it because I'm afraid, but because it enables me to be unafraid. It doesn't limit the actions of those who would interact with me through reason, only the actions of those who would do so by force. It removes force from the equation... and that's why carrying a gun is a civilized act.
 
Ask yourself who will oppose the logic of the above essay.   Who will either dismiss its logic or simply not read it?  Refuse to even consider it?  The answer, of course, are those who are taken with the concept of a benevolent state looking out for the interests of its citizens.  A large state.  A generous state.  With many facets; many outreaches; many really good people and programs and ideas.

Who else might you find in that camp? 

The state bureaucracies, of course.  The bureaucracies wish to be the only ones with guns.  They don’t like citizens with guns. They like unfettered access to the power.  They don't like citizens to have equal power much less greater power because of their numbers.

Now ask yourself who promotes generous government programs with large budgets?  Who thinks there is always room for one more tax idea or a few more percentage points added to the existing tax programs?  Who thinks if you can’t tax to support the programs you can always borrow.  Who doesn’t seem to be concerned about debt?   The state and its bureaucracies, of course.  (By the way, please note that our masthead now includes the most significant pronouncement to come from an American military leader since George Washington told the congress to cool it, he didn’t want to be king (serve for life.)

So here is a thought you may wish to consider.  Your right to a gun has nothing to do with killing or hurting someone.  It has to do with not killing and not hurting someone because it has to do with your ability to function without fear or with, at least, limits on fear.  The same is true of debt.  If you are burdened with debt you live in fear.  If you are debt free there is no debt fear.  The same people who want you to walk the streets in fear of bad guys and bullies and bureaucrats also want you to carry a large burden of debt fear.  It is just one more form of control – flowing to them and away from you.

Vote for anyone who will lower debt. They will also support your right to have a gun.  Don’t vote for anyone who plays on fear.  That is our modest suggestion.  Thank you.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

The Diane and George Show

Every once in a while, it is necessary to remove the voluntarily imposed decorum of political correctness (PC) and proper upbringing and just plain write it as it is. So it is today. If you can’t handle the truth, as seen by this one person, please do not read on.

Is Diane Sawyer the silliest woman ever to moderate a presidential debate or preen and prater on national TV with an agenda that has to make her the darling of her group? Of course not. She has way too many challengers to lay claim to such a prestigious title. To name a few: PBS would offer their three silly women – Gwen Ifill, Margaret Warner and Judy Woodruff, all equally capable of combining a superficial knowledge of topics briefly investigated by the writers at PBS and carefully read off the prompter during a news cast. ABC or NBC or CBS would offer their carefully groomed females – Katy Couric, Leslie Stahl, Oprah Winfrey, Ellen DeGeneres, Barbara Walters, Whoopi Goldberg and on and on. They show up over and over again, each vying with the other to be authentic silly women. An inch deep and a mile wide. With trumped up backgrounds magnifying minuscule moments of distant witness, not participation, to great and glorified treasures of mythology of their and their writers own making. These are the heroines of America. They make the lists of the most influential, or most important or most ______ (you fill in the blank) and then they attend the dinners and the award shows and the testimonials and the mythology builds. Heck, we bet some of you even fall for it once in a while.

Is George Stephanopoulos the most effeminate, silly man ever to moderate a presidential debate or preen and prater on national TV with an agenda that has to make him the stud of his group? Of course not. He has way too many challengers to lay claim to such a prestigious title. To name a few: PBS would offer Tavis Smiley, Paul Solman and Cornell West but there are, oh, so many more. Just to name a few - Fox news has Chris Wallace and Bill O’Reilly and Hannity; the others offer up Keith Olbermann, Rush Limbaugh, Chris Matthews and Gene Robinson; the big networks have the greatest softball tossers ever – Steve Kroft and Anderson Cooper, Bob Schieffer and David Gregory, Brian Williams and ________ (add in your favorite.) They too preen and prater, magnify and promote their impact; their experience; their insight while they sell colored sugar water and erectile dysfunction tablets; nonsense from the large oil companies and car companies about their societal impact and concerns and, what really galls us, watered down beer from two massive foreign owned brewers that tastes as if it has passed through the horse a few too many times.

So, this is America and these are our debate moderators/spokespeople (oops, a little PC just snuck in there. Sorry.) What does any of this nonsense have to do with the issues facing America; the self imposed destructive habits (see Mullen quote at top of page) that now dominate the bureaucratic management of America and who America might turn to for leadership to possibly correct the massive problems of our own making?

You can have the lot of them. Not worth the fertilizer they will ultimately become. Just be grateful that they do serve a good purpose. One good purpose. Just as Ted Kennedy served to show America what a good man is not; so to do these silly people remind us daily of what each of us needs to constantly strive to not become and to remind us to get off our fat behinds and fight to save this country of ours that was founded by regular men and women who would not have bothered to break wind in the proximity of these silly people.