Monday, January 25, 2010

Watch out 28% Democrat and 24% Republican Blocs, Here Comes the 42% Independent Steamroller!

The Massachusetts win by Scott Brown was a victory for independent voters, not the Republican Party. It was a big loss for Democratic Party politics but in no way an endorsement of the Republican Party. An insightful analysis of the voting was made by the Christian Science Monitor.

The voters were simply sick and tired of the screw-ups and ridiculous inability to govern shown by both parties. They voted for an individual candidate in defiance of party politics. This is strong evidence that the exclusive two party system is losing control. This bodes nothing but good for the nation.

It is good because the first task in rebuilding our sickened system is a massive injection of honesty and dedication into Congress. This depends on the success of two actions:

1. We continue to grow an informed and thoughtful bloc of voters who think independently of the two party system.
2. The two party system loses its almost exclusive power to govern the election process

Independent voters with no allegiance to either party will tend to support honest candidates who support the common good regardless of party affiliation. These voters will also be more aware and less tolerant of purposeful misinformation. Lies and misinformation are an inherent part of the current election process. This need not be the case. Legitimate election points and counterpoints can be made with truth. Parties that routinely incorporate half truths and outright lies in their campaign cannot be trusted with public office. Money spent on misinformation should be a negative marker to its own cause.

Political parties were not mentioned in the Constitution, and the concept was frowned upon by most of the Founding Fathers. Jefferson and Washington were especially adamant that political parties would be harmful to the nation. Loyalties develop for the party over those for the country. The parties limit creative thought, encouraging “party think” in its place. They limit the quality and quantity of candidates who are presented to the voters.

Neither party is tapping into the vast talent pool of the country. The selection process must be opened to more and better qualified people to become candidates. This will not happen as long as almost all seats in Congress are held by loyal party members.

Perhaps the system performance has finally reached the “tipping point” level of embarrassing incompetence and corruption. The Massachusetts election is an encouraging indication that the citizen has finally turned disgust into votes.

The Founders gave us a Constitution that allows the citizens to correct the government through elections. Unfortunately as it now stands those very elections are strongly influenced by those we hope to correct. This will require extra diligence. Our votes are extremely valuable. We must use them carefully and wisely. We desperately need a congress of citizen-legislators who will focus on the nation’s problems rather than a political party. This should be an important consideration before you give them your vote

Sunday, January 17, 2010

The Financial Crisis Responsibility Fee: A Possible First Step

On November 6, 2009 we made a post detailing how almost all citizens feel completely betrayed by both government and private institutions. They see that the government is acting for special interests, not the public good as required by the constitution. To restore our nation we stated that:

The citizens require a strong program that will absolutely guarantee that the psychology and ethics that led to the betrayal is completely disgraced and placed outside the American system forever. It is critical that those in the entities who were responsible for the meltdown are publically identified and punished. There must be significant retribution with large sums recovered for the people who innocently suffered. The public consequences to those that caused the situation must be adequate to prevent any thoughts of ever returning to similar behavior.

The banks however have been operating under the assumption that their only obligation toward the citizens suffering from the economic meltdown they caused is to repay the TARP funds at some point. They expected no further consequences for the misery they have caused the nation. They are reporting large profits and intend to reward themselves with record bonuses-while the rest of the nation suffers.

The announcement by the administration of its intention to impose a Financial Crisis Responsibility Fee* on banks with over 50 billion dollars in assets is the first credible indication that the necessary consequences may be coming. It could mean that the cozy financial sector/government relationship is starting to unravel under the relentless anger of the US citizens. Of course the 90 billion dollars expected to be recovered in 10 years is minuscule compared to the damage done to the nation. But at least it initiates a principle of collecting consequential damages that should deter future similar behavior. Watching how congressmen react to this bill will be a real marker for those who must be replaced.

As currently described the bill will only apply to banks with over fifty billion in assets and will be structured so that there will be a strong incentive to pay the fee from the planned excessive bonus pool. This will protect the smaller banks and prevent the large banks from simply passing the fee through to its customers. It is indeed meant to have the large banks who acted against the public good suffer additional consequences.

The drumbeat of the bank lobbyists against the bill is already underway. There will be a very aggressive effort to have it either killed or weakened with loopholes. Hopefully this will not end as a Republican versus Democrat issue. We must follow the life cycle closely and be sure that our congressman and senators understand that regardless of their party affiliation you expect them to act in the public good. Follow their statements and votes very closely. Its will be a good warm-up for the many battles we have yet to fight.

Saturday, January 09, 2010

The Big Question: How Much Incompetence Can a Great Nation Stand Before it Becomes Not Great?

Is the US running out of runway?

The previous decades have been characterized by incompetence from our elected government and private sectors that have eaten up large amounts of runway.
•Emergence of the financial sector as the nations policy leader
•Failure to develop a reasonable integrated energy plan for independence from enemies
•Disastrous trade policies that seem designed to weaken America manufacturing
•A misdirection of effort on climate change
•Ill thought out wars
•Major public policy being controlled by gullible uneducated media, alarmist environmentalists, and special interests
This has resulted in:
• A global recession
• Millions of Americans losing jobs and homes while being forced into government assistance
• Thousands of our young dying in those ill thought out wars
• A complete loss of faith by the people in both their government and private institutions
• Disastrous trade balances
• Gigantic misallocations of resources

There just isn’t much runway left!

All this has happened on our watch. To avoid the terrible disgrace of destroying a great country we must turn it around.

So what weapons do we have?
• A population with a continuing love of country and respect for freedom
• Intelligence.
• Tools our founders gave us to change the elected government.

If we use them wisely they should be enough. Let us begin by accepting certain high level truths and targets for correction:
1 First, we must acknowledge that the two party system we now have is corrupt and is failing us. There is nothing in the constitution about political parties. Both George Washington and Thomas Jefferson were among the founders who were outspoken against them. Their fear being that people would develop loyalties for their party that would override their loyalty to the country. We have seen this come true in spades! The two national parties focus on sustaining their own standing. They have passed laws that purposely limit citizen choice. Their sole control of the election process must be broken and the process re-opened to the citizens.
2. The financial sector must be placed in its proper role as a simple service to the producing sectors of the economy-not its current commanding position of control. Its current consumption of the wealth created by the country is completely out of line.
3. The government is not able to adequately manage the large sums of money being spent on major R&D projects. Climategate is but one example. The citizens must have a better view of these expenditures. The country has thousands of experienced engineers, scientists and tradesmen working in the private sector or retired who would provide an independent view as a public service-possibly organized by the professional societies. This would be an important step for the citizens to regain control of the country finances and allocation of resources.
4. The availability of education opportunities to the citizens must be greatly expanded to match the increasing need for an informed electorate.
5. The media should be distinguished for providing, facts, education, and free discussion by the public. The ownership and control of media assets by only a few corporations is not desirable.
6. The Founders went to great effort to protect the individual citizen against infringement by the government. They are well stated in the Bill of Rights. We must reaffirm these protections in all our actions.
This is just a beginning list and shows how far we have to go. Once again, can we trust the current elected government to initiate these and other steps? If not, the Founders built in the ability to replace the House in two years and the entire Senate in six.

We have to keep this great country great!

Sunday, January 03, 2010

With Global Cap &Trade and Climate Change in Free Fall Where is USA Energy Plan B?

In accordance with its standard policy of minimizing the useful information it provides to the public the mainstream media has only discussed two choices for a US energy program.

1.Lead the world in an economy killing global cap and trade system to control CO2
2.Allow civilization to be destroyed by CO2 caused climate change.

In spite of our elected government’s record for bad decisions, surely climate gate and the general impracticality of an energy policy based totally on the global control of CO2 will prevent the first option. The second is not worth discussing. But where is the plan for a third option that presents an environmentally sustainable and balanced energy plan free from the noise of global CO2 control? A plan that is directed to what is best for the USA?
We need an integrated energy plan that uses all of the technologies in their best applications and is based on quality engineering, science and economics. It must be created for the general good of the US citizens and not the result of public relations and lobbying by special interests.

After over thirty years and untold billions you would think that the Department of Energy could pull a copy of a plan like that right out of the files. They might make a few adjustments to reflect the increased domestic reserves of natural gas before publishing it widely for Congress and the public to judge. It should be open and well explained so the public can judge how intelligently their congressmen are addressing the problem. It will be a base case for risk/benefit analysis against which the demands of global CO2 control advocates could be publically judged.

Sadly, this is a fantasy. The intimidation of the media and political system by the climate change alarmists has been so complete that they could politically stop any such plan from being developed. This is another example of just how blundering these institutions are as guardians for the public good. However, climate gate has finally opened the subject for objective analysis and correction. Can we count on either institution to correct the errors of their ways and lead? Sadly again, that is fantasy B.

We must somehow change this situation.