Thursday, February 25, 2010

The Pete Morin Editorial Review--Issue #43

Political Theater

The political theater that took place in Washington today concerning the healthcare summit was nothing more that, just political theater. President Obama had no intention of 'listening' to Republican ideas on healthcare legislation. In fact, he let it be known that the time for 'baby steps' was gone. Comprehensive, reform based legislation would now go forword.

What we will see in the coming days/weeks will be a Democratic Congress force passage of healthcare legislation by a simple majority vote. Now, this tactic, called reconciliation, has been used on numerous occasions in the past, but it must be noted that it has NEVER been used on a piece of legislation this massive. Passage of a healthcare bill will encompass controlling 16% of the US economy. Even Senator Robert Byrd, considered by many to be an expert with regard to this tactic, believes that it should be used very carefully lest the process become partisan and unworkable.

In any event, the cameras rolled, the president spoke(a total of 119 minutes), the representatives spoke(a total of 114 minutes for Democrats and 110 minutes for Republicans) and literally nothing was resolved; only that which we already know--Democrats will force a vote in the Senate.

All of this reminds me of the movie 'Little Big man' starring Dustin Hoffman. It recalls the life of Jack Crabb, an 120 year old former Indian fighter, who recounts his life to a student doing a piece on the old west. The most defining moment comes when Crabb tells General Custer to go down into Little Big Horn if he has the guts. "You go down there, General. You go down there if you got the Guts." General Custer thinks about it for just a moment and then tells his aids that Crabb must really want him not to go down there because he told him the opposite. Of course, Crabb knew that if Custer went to the Little Big Horn he and his men would be slaughtered. Custer went down--Custer got slaughtered.

What does this have to do with healthcare legislation? Just this--"You go down there, Mr. President. You pass this bill if you got the guts." The democratic Congress and the President, I believe, will be issuing their own death sentence as to majority rule. They will be destroyed in November by an electorate that will remember the hubris and arrogance possessed by these power hungry fools. "You go down there, Mr President, Mr. Reid, Ms. Pelosi. You go down there. I'll enjoy the spring and summer as I always do, but I'm really going to enjoy the fall; the fall of the Democratic Party." The Democrats would be wise to do the opposite.

Political theater--get your popcorn ready!

Click on this link for ideas on real healthcare reform.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

The Pete Morin Editorial Review--Issue #42

Counterfeiting, Inflation & Fraud

Just about everyone I know would like to have more money. Why? Because it makes life a lot easier to handle. We can purchase whatever we need, go on vacation, enjoy life's many luxuries and just plain have a great time.

One of the ways to achieve these ends is to print our own money. Except-it's considered a crime and you can end up in prison for a very long stretch of time. Societies and governments do not treat counterfeiters kindly.

Exactly why is counterfeiting wrong? Think about it carefully. There are probably two reasons that come to mind.1) It's a form of self-enrichment not sanctioned by the state, 2) It debases the money supply; in other words, it causes all the authentic money in circulation to be of lesser value and this the government does not appreciate.

Next, we turn our attention to inflation. Just what is inflation? The official designation is "too much money chasing too few goods." We get too much money because government decides to print, or borrow additional currency. Many times in our past history we've seen government inflate the money supply for one reason or another usually with disastrous results. Some of the more egregious examples have been Brazil and Argentina very recently and Germany in the 1920's. Germany is a particularly striking example because it helped bring about the rise of Adolf Hitler and World War II.

The above examples show a similarity; creating more money makes the currency already in circulation less valuable. So a basic question begs to be answered. Why is it NOT criminal for governments to print excess money? What special consideration should government have for making all our money just a little less valuable. The ostensible reason, or purpose, is that the government is responding to a societal need; usually by people who have little resources, or money and, therefore, must relie on elected officials to procure funds for them. Consequently, we end up with programs that do nothing more than transfer wealth from one segment of society to another; theft by another name.

Wikipedia defines Counterfeit Money as "(c)urrency that is produced without legal sanction of the state or government to resemble some official form of currency closely enough that it may be confused for genuine currency. Producing or using counterfeit currency is a form of fraud." I contend that it makes no difference if there is a 'Sanction", or not, to the production of currency. When government intentionally devalues, or debases, the money supply it is committing a form of fraud. Essentially, it is reducing the value of money people have on hand. It reduces the value of pension funds, retirement funds and any other cash fund consumers, or savers, may have on hand. It considers it beneficial to pay obligations in cheapened dollars. To those owed the debt, however, it is nothing less than a disaster; their wealth reduced from what it was previously.

All this our government has done and is now doing at a frenetic clip. We will soon wake up to an inflation rate greatly increased and our purchasing power greatly reduced. It may already be too late to turn from this disastrous course, but the very least we can do is elect individuals to Congress who understand the implications of unsound money.

Counterfeiting, inflation and fraud are symptoms of a bankrupt nation, but more than this, they're symptoms of a nation in dire need of genuine leadership. Let's hope there are a few conscienscious citizens able to understand our predicament and a true leader emerge to bring sanity to a very precarious time in our history.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

The Pete Morin Editorial Review--Issue #41

People & their Government

I don't believe there has been a more influential individual on my attitude towards government and freedom than Mark Levin.

The Mark Levin radio show is chock full of essential information for those concerned about the direction our government has taken with respect to personal freedom and the rule of law. An acute understanding of the founding of the nation and its great Constitution are an absolute must if we are to preserve our freedoms, not only for today, but in the future as well. Every evening Mark drives home the idea of the civil society and how imperative it is that we respect the limits imposed upon our government as expressed in the Constitution. If we would over-ride these limits, then what limits should be placed on government; where should the new line be drawn as to what a government can do to its citizens?

The Constitution is often referred to as "living document" by those who wish to bring its meaning to a more modern interpretation. By doing so, legislative and judicial activists hope to redefine man's relationship with the Constitution. In a sense they hope to redefine the document in a subjective light. In truth, nothing could have been further from the aims of the founders. The document they hoped to forge was intended to be an objective one; its narrow aim being to clarify what a government's enumerated powers were with respect to the citizenry and the relationship of the citizen with his government. All other powers would be retained by the states or the people respectively.

Today, however, we live in a country where respect for limited power has no meaning. The current Congress has attempted to pass legislation that completely disregards, or tramples on, states rights. Their reason for trying to pass any legislation seems to come from the necessary and proper clause of the Constitution. Such a belief, however, is completely unfounded. The Necessary and Proper Clause refers to those powers granted to the Federal Government and enumerated, as such, within the document itself; not to any new found power. The framers intended for any new power to be enacted through the amendment process and not by legislative diktat.

So, if you want a true understanding of the value and greatness of our founding document, I suggest you listen to Mark Levin. He, better than anyone, can give you insight into its timeless attributes. Our Nation's very existence will depend on whether or not we understand its meaning and bear true faith and allegiance to it.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

The Pete Morin Editorial Review--Issue #40

Cats, love & goodbye

The date of October 19, 1990 will be one day that I will never forget. Sue and I were hosting a small get together for the people who had helped re-do our basement into a little slice of paradise. We had just finished having a hot tub installed in a small room that also had a stereo and tv for relaxation. There was much more to celebrate and shortly I would present Sue with a present that would endure for years.

It had been three years since our two Siamese cats, Kenny & Cumby had been euthanized and it had been difficult for both of us to conceive of ever having cats enter our lives again. Now seemed like just the perfect time to spring a surprise on Sue that I had been thinking about for some time. That day, after work, I went to a breeder in West Springfield and brought home two of the most beautiful little puff balls of Siamese love that one could imagine and ensconced them in a box in an upstairs spare bedroom.

When the party finally wound down, I mentioned to Sue that wouldn't it be wonderful to have kittens messing up our lives again. She looked at me quizzically as I hinted there may be something she would want to see in the upstairs bedroom. You have never seen a person fly up a set of stairs as did Sue at that moment. As she opened the box and beheld her new found kittens a surge of happiness and pure joy enveloped us both. She would name them Ginger and Nutmeg(forever to be known as 'Meg'). It was a sweet moment to be cherished in pictures and memories.

Ginger & Meg would spend their time romping about the house then collapsing as kittens do to recharge their batteries to set off on new search and destroy missions. This we didn't mind--they were companions and friends as all our pets have been. Their rejuvenation, character and sibling rivalry made little inconveniences seem as nothing.

In time, as we moved from one house to another, they graced our new abodes with a familiarity and skill that made them seem like members of the family. They even accepted Skippy, our bookstore cat, with ease and comfort. Their presence in our home seemed as if to be a constant--never to change, but there as we knew they would always be.

The span of time, however, doesn't stop for people or pets and doesn't much care for the consciousness of the here and now. Meg was Sue's cat spending evenings curled up on her lap and nights snuggled warmly in Sue's bed. Ginger had grown used to my lap and the warmth of my side of the bed. They were a joy to us that money could never buy.

We saw illness and old age in Meg first.This malady for cats that eventually strikes all felines as they progress through the years is kidney failure and this too would take Sue's dear friend in July, 2007. Sue's loss, and mine no less, was devastating to her for Meg was a true companion. She was part of Sue and would be so no matter the passing of ages. Ginger would be the same for me. I could not imagine not having her by my side.

As it is with all things, to comply with the circle of life we must all submit; Whether it be human, or feline. And so it is, on this beautiful sunny day, February 11, 2010 my beloved Ginger, my Pa-Putty Cat, entered her timeless sleep. I shall cherish the time I had with her. I am at peace knowing I helped my little friend overcome her earthly bond. She soars now, a spirit free to keep my memories of her next to my heart, forever.

Goodbye, sweet cat. For I will never forget you.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

The Pete Morin Editorial Review--Issue #39

A nanny Nation

Whenever I feel a moment of unrestrained raw emotion I pick up a copy of that bastion of liberal thought, The Nation.

The February 1st copy has a comment by Bernie Sanders. You've heard of Bernie. He's the only avowed socialist senator in the US Congress. Bernie usually votes with the liberal elements of the Senate, but in this comment section he's making sure that his followers know exactly who's to blame with the Congress NOT passing healthcare and other legislation. "In my view, the Democrats--including the president--have absurdly continued to stumble along the path of "partisanship" at exactly the same time the Republicans have waged the most vigorously partisan and obstructionist strategy in recent history." Now, Bernie, let's get real for just a second. As you, and other liberal types, are fully aware the Democrats in the House have passed both Cap & Trade and Healthcare legislation. The Senate, however, has passed nothing. And why not Bernie? I know you blame the "obstructionist" Republicans, but didn't the Democrats have a supermajority? You know what a supermajority is, don't you Bernie? That's right, you fool, they can pass whatever legislation they want without fear of a filibuster. The Repubs didn't have the votes, you liar! The Senate couldn't get the job done because not even members of your own party could swallow your socialist, nanny state crap, BERNIE!

No matter what evidence Bernie is presented with, it's doubtful that he could muster the intestinal fortitude to say that socialist programs aren't a winner in the United States. He states bravely in his final comment that "(w)e can learn from the past. The last time our nation faced economic challenges as great as ours, Franklin Roosevelt embraced progressive social policies and major financial and economic is the time to remember that lesson." Sorry to rain on your socialist parade, Bernie, but embracing progressive policies actually made the depression WORSE! Check it out folks if you don't believe it. After 5 years of wonderful 'progressive' legislation the country was still mired in a severe recession with unemployment at 18%.

So, if you want a good laugh and can take a great amount castor oil, I recommend reading The Nation. It'll keep you amused for weeks at a time.

Sunday, February 7, 2010

The Pete Morin Editorial Review--Issue #38

The Green Police

Anybody notice that super bowl commercial that was aired with about four minutes left? It happened just before the interception by Porter that put the Saints up by fourteen. Audi, the automobile company, presented its 'green' idea of what a car should be like in our climate changing world. Evidently, Audi was proud of their compliance with the current green mania, but there's a darker side to their message.

Notice the people who weren't acting in the best interests of the planet and the repercussions they endured. A couple in a hot tub were arrested for having their water temperature too high. Another individual was arrested for using a styrofoam cup. Incandescent lightbulbs are no longer acceptable and can get you incarcerated. Green police were checking trash receptacles for offending materials. That's right, GREEN POLICE were checking everything people did to see if they were despoiling the planet.

Were I the Audi automobile co., I wouldn't be so smug about conforming to what the GREEN POLICE wanted. Do we really want to live in a society that has to conform to what the GREEN POLICE desire. Just who are the GREEN POLICE? They're statists; nanny state lovers determined to snuff out any individuality with a vengeance. Regular folks should be disgusted with the pandering that corporations are willing to do to make themselves appear to be in compliance with very questionable science.

All this may seem a little extreme, but considering what people have to endure from the politically correct crowd, it may not be beyond the pale. Wake up America. Punish Audi--punish those arrogant politicians who want to restrict citizens freedom to live their lives as they see fit.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

The Pete Morin Editorial Review--Issue #37

In search of an honest Democrat

The United States of America is in serious trouble. Some portion of the 52% of Americans who voted for Barack Obama have got to be wondering just what they've purchased when they put him in the white house. At least I certainly hope so. Last years federal budget had a shortfall of $1.4 trillion and this years is expected to be approximately $1.6 trillion. Does anyone believe we'll survive this spending binge intact as a nation? Can our children and grandchildren expect to lead better lives following this spending debacle?

In one of my earlier blogs I mentioned the Cloward-Piven strategy first articulated around 1970 by two professors at Columbia University by the same name. This strategy was intended to stress the Capitalist system to the breaking point by making the population totally dependent on the Federal Government. You can do this by devaluing the money supply, expanding government spending, driving a wedge between producers and non-producers and creating large new government programs. The subsequent expansion of governmental power would overwhelm the free market system and force the people to seek refuge in a command economy. Barack Obama is presenting just such a strategy in America today. Spending by the government is reaching unheard of levels with deficits that cannot possibly be sustained. Once joblessness and inflation hit the economy(similar to stagflation in the 1970's) the populous will demand that government take control of the rapacious private sector--at least that's what Obama hopes will take place. He can then ride to the rescue and completely annihilate any vestiges of a free market that may survive.

Where does this lead us and what place does a representative government have in such an atmosphere? The first part of the question leads us to a command economy where all economic planning is done centrally, i.e. by government itself. The second part of the question is more difficult to answer since it invokes the title of the essay. Just where are the honest Democrats? Where are those individuals who believe in freedom and the free market hiding? Where have they gone and how could they support such a fiendish takeover of the democratic process in a constitutional republic. The answer could only be that they are hesitant to oppose Obama for fear of losing their privileged positions of government power. They are too concerned with maintaining power and privilege. They are willing to sacrifice the republic for their own aggrandizement. In other words, they're cowards; pusillanimous, pathetic cowards.

When, and if, any history is written about this period in American history it will not be kind to those who stood by and did nothing to stop the destruction of property rights, freedom and the democratic process. NOW is the time for HONEST Democrats to step forward and question what this radical president is doing to the nation. Waiting any longer only exacerbates the problem of reversing course and saving our liberties.

To the rest of you--1, 2, 3 hold your breath.

I've changed the name of my blog to the "Editorial Review". The News Service name worked only as a satirical label. I may continue to write in that vein, but seriousness has its place.