City Slickers

Photo above: City Slickers III. Wind River area, Wyoming. Son Matt, Brother Dave, Son John Paul, Me J.P.

Small Talk

SMALL TALK: View the story of the air rifle that doubled the size of the United States. Fantastic bit of 2nd Amendment history re: Lewis and Clark.

See at:

Spot Gold

Thursday, September 30, 2010

U. S. Attacks Iran!

According to Iran’s chief computer security secretary, Mahmoud Alyaee, Iran’s industrial computer system has been under devastating attack for several months. A computer virus, called Stuxnet, has infected thousands of computers, leading to severe disruptions in their industrial complex, specifically  their nuclear program. They have been unable to control this virus, and have secretly offered huge rewards to anyone who can rid their computer systems of the malware.

Reliable sources attribute the attacks to the U. S. with cooperation from Israel. If so, think of the mischief we can apply to that rogue country. Can the power grid be next? How about the banking system? The possibilities are endless. According to the same sources, President Obama is fully behind this cyber war attack, and is using the potential threat as the “big stick” in the carrot and stick diplomatic efforts to rein in Iran’s ambitions. Good for him.

That the U.S. has developed this capacity is the good news. The bad news is that the bad guys are working just as hard to wage cyber war against our systems. Lets hope we stay ahead in this particular form of warfare.

For the full report, click on the title above to go to the source web site at         

Thanks to Aram for this heads up.


Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Silly Willie

What on Earth is ex-President Bill Clinton up to? While George H.W. Bush and George Bush II maintain a respectful silence as befits ex-Presidents, Bill Clinton is taking a page out of Jimmy Carter’s playbook and running off at the mouth as chief finger wagger in charge. It must be a Democrat thing--in or out of office they have to have to keep yapping. Just recently Clinton was reverting to form by snidely referring  to Republican women as looney wing nuts. Is he crazy,  knowing he is going  to piss off a significant number of American women by his remarks?  Crazy like a fox, he be.

It seems to me that the more the Democrats get clobbered this November, the better Hillary’s prospects are to rescue the Party from the Obama/Pelosi/Reid disaster. Could it be that her rascal husband is actually campaigning for the defeat of Democratic candidates while appearing to be a loyal supporter?

Machiavellian , I know, but that is the way my mind works.


Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Conservative Blogs Central: O'Donnell Is Going To Win

Conservative Blogs Central: O'Donnell Is Going To Win

Gold Spikes Thanks To Obama, Pelosi, and Reed

The price of gold shot up this morning to over $1305. Gold has been steadily moving upward for the past year, and is now accelerating. There can be only one reason for this rise: investors are scrambling to find a safe haven for their money as the fear of economic collapse grows. Why the fear?

Obama and his two stooges in Congress.

Their liberal agenda has moved this country on a non-sustainable path of reckless spending and entitlements. They are printing money at a record pace to fund this extraordinary growth in government. Left unchecked they will bankrupt the country--and I am beginning to believe the Chicken Little’s who have been warning that this has been their goal all along. Bankrupt the country, then start anew with a fresh slate that would impose their vision of social order.

If the dollar collapses, the whole fiat currency system of the world will collapse in turn. Watch the price of gold carefully--the smart guys are on to the game.


Sunday, September 26, 2010

Jupiter Tonight

Jupiter will be on display this evening, the brightest object in the sky save the Moon. It is currently as close to the Earth as it is going to be for the next 50 years, around 368 million miles away on the other side of Mars. It is some 11 times the size of the Earth. Look for it to rise tonight a bit south of east, ahead of Moonrise. With a pair of binoculars, you should be able to pick out four of its largest moons. I'm going to attempt to capture some closeups with my 10" telescope this evening, and with any luck, will have good "seeing" and be able to post a picture or two.


Friday, September 24, 2010

High Noon at Denny's

Seems like someone was asked to leave a Denny's restaurant because he was carrying a weapon on his hip lawfully in an open carry state. The Denny's manager cited a Denny's policy that open display of weapons by someone other than law enforcement was not allowed.

This kicked off a  lot of chatter on the internet concerning open carry of firearms. I live in an open carry state, and fully support the right of citizens to openly carry a firearm. I own firearms, and fully intend to use them in protection of self and family if required.

That said, I find open carry in an urban setting rather ostentatious and in your face. If one is truly concerned about one's safety, then pack heat with a concealed weapon permit. To protect our Constitutional 2nd Amendment rights to keep and bear arms it is not necessary to display a weapon on your hip anymore than it is required you grab a soapbox and exercise your 1st Amendment rights by speaking in a public park. The rights still exist whether exercised physically or not.

Open carry while hiking, camping, fishing or other rural or remote activities makes good sense. Making customers uneasy in your local eatery is just plain dumb.


Thursday, September 23, 2010

Hope This Ad Goes Viral

Click on the title. Or go to


Bell, Book'em Danno

So I’m watching the news last night, and then read about it in the Wall Street Journal how those thugs from Bell, California have been indicted for raiding the public treasury. And I say to myself, how on earth did the idiot citizens in that small town allow that to happen? Was not anyone minding the store?

Then I got to thinking--when was the last time I attended a city council meeting?  About twenty years ago, probably more.


Guess I’m one of those idiot citizens.


Wednesday, September 22, 2010

What Tea Party?

I don’t know a single person who is active in the Tea Party movement. I have yet to carry a banner, or wave a flag, or attend a town hall meeting. On the other hand, I don’t know a single person of my acquaintance who does not subscribe to what the Tea Party folks stand for: Smaller government, less taxes, less spending, reduce the debt, balance the budget, and in many cases, throw the bums out who got us into this mess in the first place.

I know this is anecdotal evidence, but it seems to me that for every active Tea Party member there are ten, maybe twenty, hell maybe even one hundred citizens lurking in the shadows with the same views. I think that is the real power of the movement--aside from the active ones who are raising Cain, that there is a huge, ticked off electorate who will make themselves heard come November. We are mad as hell and we are going to be heard loud and clear.

How else can you explain the stunning losses to the liberal agenda in Virginia, Massachusetts, New Jersey, Alaska, and Delaware? Conservative voters seemed to come out of the woodwork. I personally think we haven’t seen anything yet.

All it took was nearly two years of an Administration and Congress completely out of sync with the folks in Flyover County.  Its about time.


Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Money, Money, Money, Its a Rich Man's World

Economics and economic policies have always been way over my head. That is, until I started thinking about them from a kitchen table perspective and doing a little research. You may have noticed I included a quote box over to the right, showing the price of gold and silver. Here’s why.

Think of the United States as a giant corporation. It provides goods and services to all of its shareholders (that’s us, folks). It is a not-for-profit corporation that issues shares to the shareholders in the form of dollars. Every dollar we own is a share, and they are easily traded on a day to day basis for the things we need. The US Treasury makes sure there are enough of these shares floating around to satisfy their demand.

Now, suppose a regular Corporation wants to raise some additional cash. They decide to issue some more shares. Of course, when they do that, the value of all the shares decreases by some factor. In stock market terms, the shares are diluted, which is a fancy way of saying each share is not worth as much.

The giant corporation called the U.S. Government is constantly issuing new shares, keeping the Treasury’s printing presses humming. From September 2008 through August 2010, they increased the supply of dollars from  1458.5 billion to 1745.6 billion, a whopping increase of over 19%. Put another way, each dollar has been diluted by 19%. Put yet another way, the dollar in your hand has decreased in value. But it is not quite that simple, because I have only used the M-1 supply figures, that only include currency and demand deposits like checking accounts. A more complete picture emerges when you look at the M-2 supply figures, which include M-1 plus a whole slew of other cash holdings. Using M-2, the dilution drops to around 9.6 %, much better, but still nearly a 10% loss in two years.

In the same period, the value of gold has gone from around $725 an ounce to about $1250 an ounce. This is a 72.4 % increase in the value. So what would you have preferred to hold over the past two years--dollars that have  been diluted nearly 10% or gold that has shot up over 72 percent? I imagine you have heard the derisive term applied to those who accumulate gold as being “gold bugs.” Looks to me like those folks are on to something. 

September 16, 2010


Monday, September 20, 2010

A Dose of Reality

A recent article in the Washington Times of September 14th was written by the following authors:

R. James Woolsey was director of central intelligence under President Clinton. Andrew C. McCarthy was the assistant U.S.  attorney who prosecuted the perpetrators of the first attack on the World Trade Center. Lt. Gen. Harry E. "Ed" Soyster was director of the Defense Intelligence Agency from 1988 to 1991. Their full report is available online at 

These guys are not lightweights, nor are they alarmists--but they do illuminate the reality of the nature of our opponents. 

View article by clicking on the title above or the link below.                   

These concerned Americans make a compelling case. Wake up, America!


Saturday, September 18, 2010

The Most Dangerous Man in the World

Many believe that Osama bin Laden qualifies for that role. Others point out the ravings of Iran’s Mahmoud Ahmadinejad put him at the top of the list. Somewhere, a Taliban leader is vying for that position. But these guys are amateurs when it comes to dangerous men. The most dangerous man in the world today is...

 Mr Barack Hussein Obama.

He presents a clear and present danger to the world as a whole because he is busy taking apart the country that has provided the institutions, leadership, and clout that have, if imperfectly, kept the world’s nations from tearing each other to pieces over the past sixty or so years. 

In the space of less than two years, he has

1. Denied that world leadership role and apologized for the way we exercised that leadership in the past.
2. Taken over 2/3ds of our classic Auto industry by illegal means.
3. Taken over several of the world’s largest banking institutions.
4. Taken over the entire U.S. Health industry.
5. Taken over the entire U.S. Housing industry by nationalizing Fannie and Freddie which control nearly 100% of mortgages.
6. Taken over the entire U.S. Financial institutions via the Financial Reform bill.
7. Controlled the entire Energy sector by bureaucratic fiat when his Cap and Trade legislation stalled in the Senate.
8. Piled government debt upon government debt to levels that approach that of Greece, setting up our country for financial collapse.

The list goes on and on. Harassment of States who dare assert States Rights. Denigration of political opponents on a daily and personal basis. Playing the race card at every opportunity. Advancing class warfare at every turn.

We have to put some restraints on this guy before he completely destroys our country. The only way to do so is by electing those who will stand up to him, his administration, and his pit bulls in Congress. If we cannot restrain him,  just imagine what this dangerous man can do to us in the next two years. And he will, if we don’t act now.


Thursday, September 16, 2010

Simple Pleasures for Simple Folks

Earlier this year, my two sons, my brother, and I found ourselves sitting around a campfire in the high country of Wyoming. (See Four Horsemen, above) The end of a perfect day of fishing. The riding and pack horses were set out to graze in the beautiful alpine meadow that surrounded our campsite. We got to talking politics, as we often do, slowly sipping some nice whiskey cut with ice cold mountain stream water. Our guide, a thirty-something young man whip thin and tough as shoe leather was enjoying our ramblings. Of course, we were bitching about the sorry state of politics. We got on the subject of California and the economic crisis facing that state, and how someday it may implode from its own left wing insanity.

I asked our guide a theoretical question, “What if everything goes to hell in California and the gangs and other low life bums from Los Angeles come looking for food here in Wyoming?”

After a moment’s contemplation he answered, “Well, I guess we would just shoot them.”

Man, do I ever love living in Flyover Country.


Wednesday, September 15, 2010

A Theory of Everything

As an amateur astronomer, I closely follow the discoveries made almost daily by the professional and amateur astronomers world wide. Great strides are being made in understanding the breadth and scope of our universe, and with each discovery comes hundreds of new questions to be answered. Fun stuff, if you are a geek. Scientists have pretty much nailed down the age of the universe, based upon residual radiation left over from the Big Bang, to exactly 13.7 billion years. Due to some very sophisticated telescopes and probes (like the Hubble) they have also discovered our universe contains billions of galaxies, each with billions of stars and a good indication of billions of planets revolving around those billions  This is about the point where my mind ceases to be able even to imagine the numbers and the space involved. So I just say that we have billions upon billions upon billions which simply translates to “gazillions” and “mega gazillions” of pieces of matter floating around the universe.

And I begin to wonder, with all those mega gazillion places in the universe, why God picked our little mote of dust to create us in his own image? Why this particular piece of real estate in a rather ordinary spiral galaxy, somewhere our on a remote arm, in a pretty ordinary Solar System containing a pretty average star? Just lucky I suppose, considering the fact that we discovered our one God only several thousand years ago. Before then,  human beings were quite satisfied by having multiple gods, like the Sun god, the god of the oceans, of fire, of water, of the north wind, etc . With the advent of a monolithic God as opposed to multiple gods a strange thing occurred. Seems like the minute we discovered the one God,  he started talking to us. So Moses gets the Ten Commandments, then God sends his own son Jesus to teach us tolerance and salvation, and since that didn’t seem to work very well, he talks to Mohammad and sets up an even more specific way of following what God wants us to do. And strangely enough, human beings have been killing one another ever since over which prophet was right.

Of course, I have a theory about what is going on here. Ever since Einstein, scientists have been searching for  “The Theory of Everything”, which can explain our Universe in a single mathematical formula. It is a complicated problem, because we keep discovering things about our Universe that were unknown just a few years ago. For instance, it now turns out that all that mega gazillion “stuff” we see out there is only about 4 % of the Universe. The other 96% is something the scientists call “dark matter” and “dark energy”  because they haven’t a clue as to what it is. It is a thorny problem, but I am sure they will figure it out someday. And when they do, I think we will finally know who God is--he is the energy that glues this universe together. That’s my theory, and is probably as good as any out there. In the meantime, I wish God would quit talking to our prophets.


Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Flyover Finances

What scares the crap out of the average Flyover American is the size of the debt Obama Wan Knobi and his gang in the House and Senate are piling on the taxpayers of our country. Everyone is unhappy with the economic situation, really unhappy, but most believe that like times in the past, we will grow our way out of this recession if we don’t spend ourselves into oblivion first. So from the kitchen table, here’s a layman’s view of how to solve the debt problem.

First of all, forget for now taking on the massive unfunded Ponzi schemes known as Social Security and Medicare. Those will eventually have to be dealt with, but not in the current economic recession. Save those for later when we have a Congress and Administration with enough bi-partisan courage to tackle those looming catastrophes. First things first.  As Secretary of State Clinton recently said in so many words, “We need to get a handle on this debt.”

So here is my naïve plan.

1. Introduce and pass a Balanced Budget Amendment with minimal loopholes. Real emergencies only, like war or national catastrophes.

2.Freeze ALL government spending at the current level. Increases to the budget can only be based upon projected income for the next budget year. Freeze government hiring--the bureaucrats are making good money, let them earn it by working harder with less.

3. Institute a National 2% sales tax, with revenues ONLY to be used to retire the current national debt. Once the debt is paid off, the National sales tax automatically expires.

4. Immediately apply all unused TARP monies as a show of political determination to actually do something about reducing debt.

I honestly believe that if our leaders would take the tough actions necessary to stop this runaway train, the American people would get behind them and pull this country out of this recession.

And, while I am dreaming, Congress should pass, and the President should sign, a law that limits all Congressional bills to 200 pages or less.


Monday, September 13, 2010

The Bigots of Flyover Country

I love it when a writer much, much more accomplished than I manages to take what I've been mulling over and captures the very essence of what has been gnawing at me. See if you agree with him--by the way, I have set up this blog so that anyone can comment at anytime. My thanks to Aram for passing this on.

To view the article, just click on the title bar "The Bigots of Flyover Country"  or copy and paste the URL below.


Sunday, September 12, 2010

The Nation of Islam

President Obama called for religious tolerance on 9/11, and everyone knows that he was specifically referring to Islam on the day we as a nation remembered that murderous attack. And of course, he is absolutely correct when he says our country was built upon tolerance toward all religions, and that we cannot lose sight of those values in these troubling times. The only problem is that Islam is much, much more than a religion. It is a all encompassing blueprint of governance. In Islam, there is no dividing line between the spiritual and the secular. There is no separation between Church and State. They are one and the same, with a complete justice system integrated within. It is as if the Bible, the State, and the Constitution were rolled together in one book, the Qur’an  So although we should be tolerant of Islam as a religion, does it follow we should be tolerant of an Islam that professes mankind will only achieve true peace when Sharia law has been imposed world wide? I think not.

I urge you to check out an excellent presentation on Islam at


Saturday, September 11, 2010

He Just Doesn't Get It

Today was not the day we wanted to hear a professorial lecture on religious tolerance. Fine words, even stirring words, well delivered.  Obama is like a fine actor with a good script but with horrible timing. Why is it that he is so out of touch with us folks in Flyover Country? Is it because his inbred elitism impels him to educate us for our own good, even though his manner engenders deep resentment? Nobody likes to be talked down to, and the American person in the street is a lot more savvy that Obama seems to imply. Today was his chance to really connect with the American people. He blew it.  Today was the day to remember those who were lost and the heroic actions of countless American citizens. Save the tolerance speech for another day, because talking about tolerance only reminds us of the intolerance manifest in the 9/11 attack.

JP and Ann

Did You Know?

That the Democrat Party started out as the Republican Party? James Madison and Thomas Jefferson got it underway in 1791. The current GOP was started in 1854. I learn something every day.

Source: Richard Brookhiser, "The Wall Street Journal", Sat/Sun Sept 11, 2010, page A13

Friday, September 10, 2010

9/11 Nine Years Later

On the eve of 9/11, I cannot watch again the horror of Islam’s attack on our country nine years ago as it is recapped on the major news networks. Yes, Islam’s attack, born, nurtured, and financed by the followers of a religion that was founded on conquest and submission. I simply do not buy that crap that Islam is a religion of peace.  I’ll never forget the images of the “street” in the Arab world rejoicing in the murderous attack on our country. Nine years later, the master planner of this attack resides comfortably in one of our military prisons, still waiting for his day in court as the political class count the number of angels on a pinhead. I have heard that this asshole wants to achieve martyrdom. I’d be more than happy to oblige his wish. I’d shoot that bastard in a heartbeat. As my friend Therrien says, “We are in a culture war, and better wake up to that fact sooner than later.” Let’s cut out the PC crap--Islam is a medieval religion designed to ensure the supremacy of the male and the subjugation of the female. As the rotten Catholic Church went through the cleansing of the Reformation, so does the religion of Mohammad need its own reformation to bring it into the modern world. Until that time, we are dealing with idiot religious fanatics who will never listen to the voice of reason or tolerance.


Will She, or Won't She?

Yesterday, Dick (The Toad) Morris wrote that Hillary's speech about the adverse affect of our rising debt load was the opening speech in her campaign for President. I've got news for Richard. Hillary never quit campaigning. The pundits and talking heads heaped tons of praise on Obama for his political astuteness in neutralizing Hillary by bringing her into is administration. But Hillary knew what she was doing. She is at the center of the world stage, is fully engaged in advancing the cause of the U.S., and is displaying her competence and experience. Are there any potential front runner Republicans with as much positive and national exposure?                               

What is interesting is the timing of her speech, which is a thinly veiled attack on the policies of the Obama administration. Could it be that like  sharks that smell blood in the water, that her and her charming rascal of a husband see a huge defeat for the Congressional Democrats this November? One so deep that it drags the Obama presidency to the point where the Democratic party starts to cast about for a winner in 2012? Will Pant Suit diplomacy pay dividends in 2012? It will be interesting to watch how this plays out.

By the way, have you noticed the new hair style? She is really looking good lately. One thing to watch for in media coverage is the contrast between Hillary and Sarah Palin. With Sarah, we get the just below stage level shots of her striding purposefully with those good looking legs and stylish hemline. With Hillary, we get mid torso up framing. I wouldn't be surprised if Hillary's staff controlled the photo op framing as best they can.


Thursday, September 9, 2010

Life Is Pretty Simple

Life is pretty simple when reduced to the basics.  Survival demands only food, water, shelter, and safety of being. In order to ensure these basic needs, humans have organized their activities. These organizations range from the simple (Clan, Tribe) to the complex (Kingdoms, Confederations, States, Nations, Empires). Every organization has a common thread--the members of the organization select directly or indirectly a leader or group of leaders to run the organization for the supposed benefit of all. In doing so, the people subordinate their individual needs to the needs of the group as a whole. It is the shape of the organization that determines the degree of subordination.

When we had simple organizations like clans and tribes, the degree of subordination was quite small, since survival depended on mutual cooperation of a small number of people. However, as populations grew and more complex organizations were required, the degree of subordination grew apace. For example,  King and Serf; Emperor and Subject; Despot and Peon. Those organizations pretty much dominated mankind. Until a couple hundred years ago.

About that time, a group of men decided they would try an entirely new idea in organization. It was a very, very radical idea--that the organization would be subordinate to the people. They wrote up its charter and called it The Constitution. After a lot of wrangling, they cobbled a nation together under this unique organizational model. It has worked pretty well until just recently.

The organization that was developed to put this great Constitution into action is what we call Government. Somewhere along the way, the idea that the Government was subordinate to the people has been diminished. In the past couple years, thanks to a group of leaders who pay lip service to the Constitution but take numerous actions to increase the power of the organization over the people, the social contract is more and more in favor of the Government.

Come November, what organization are you going to vote for?


Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Why Is Everyone So Upset?

I keep having the same conversation everywhere I go. On a golf course in Arizona. At a softball tournament in Palm Springs. At a hotel breakfast in Omaha. At a softball diamond in Kansas City. At a wedding near Santa Barbara. They all go something like this: Some old guy says, “The U.S. is going to hell in a hand basket.” And I say, “Well, that’s what every generation of old guys says.”
     “No, this is different. The current administration is driving us right off a cliff.”
     “You mean Bush isn’t to blame?”
     “He started it, but that &8%^^ now in office is turning this country into a European style Socialist system.”

About this point in the conversations I indicate that I am in full agreement except I think that we have already gone off the cliff. I also keep hearing, “I’m mad as hell and I am not going to take it anymore.”

Since I keep hearing this everywhere I go, I got to wondering if it was just an age related, flyover country, redneck reaction to an administration that is moving a bit too fast for us old folks. Problem was, these folks were all college educated professional types who had risen to the top of their professions before retiring. Then I started hearing the same thing from my daughter’s 40s and 50s crowd. They are mad as hell too.

And they are going to vote this coming November.  Old and not so old.

Give you three guesses who they will not be voting for.


Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Common Sense From Fly Over Country

Why would the big bankers like Wells Fargo and B of A make "risky" loans to Small Business, when the Fed will loan them money at or near 0% interest rates and they can buy government backed Treasury Notes paying around 3% interest? A no-brainer for big bank managers.

Thank you Mr Colosimo for this common sense observation.

"The Mess I Inherited, and other 'suspended beliefs'"

Here is an interesting take on some of the rhetoric filling the airways. Thanks to Tom House for passing it on.
The following by Thomas Sowell of the Hoover Institute:

Thomas Sowell
Political Fables

President Barack Obama boldly proclaims, "The buck stops here!" But, whenever his policies are criticized, he acts as if the buck stopped with George W. Bush.

The party line that we are likely to be hearing from now until the November elections is that Obama "inherited" the big federal budget deficits and that he has to "clean up the mess" left in the economy by the Republicans. This may convince those who want to be convinced, but it will not stand up under scrutiny.

No President of the United States can create either a budget deficit or a budget surplus. All spending bills originate in the House of Representatives and all taxes are voted into law by Congress.

Democrats controlled both houses of Congress before Barack Obama became president. The deficit he inherited was created by the Congressional Democrats, including Senator Barack Obama, who did absolutely nothing to oppose the runaway spending. He was one of the biggest of the big spenders.

The last time the federal government had a budget surplus, Bill Clinton was president, so it was called "the Clinton surplus." But Republicans controlled the House of Representatives, where all spending bills originate, for the first time in 40 years. It was also the first budget surplus in more than a quarter of a century.

The only direct power that any president has that can affect deficits and surpluses is the power to veto spending bills. President Bush did not veto enough spending bills but Senator Obama and his fellow Democrats in control of Congress were the ones who passed the spending bills.

Today, with Barack Obama in the White House, allied with Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi in charge in Congress, the national debt is a bigger share of the national output than it has been in more than half a century. And its share is projected to continue going up for years to come, becoming larger than national output in 2012.

Having created this scary situation, President Obama now says, "Don't give in to fear. Let's reach for hope." The voters reached for hope when they elected Obama. The fear comes from what he has done since taking office.

"The worst thing we could do is to go back to the very same policies that created this mess in the first place," he said recently. "In November, you're going to have that choice."
Another political fable is that the current economic downturn is due to not enough government regulation of the housing and financial markets. But it was precisely the government regulators, under pressure from politicians, who forced banks and other lending institutions to lower their standards for making mortgage loans.

These risky loans, and the defaults that followed, were what set off a chain reaction of massive financial losses that brought down the whole economy.

Was this due to George W. Bush and the Republicans? Only partly. Most of those who pushed the lowering of mortgage lending standards were Democrats-- notably Congressman Barney Frank and Senator Christopher Dodd, though too many Republicans went along.

At the heart of these policies were Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, who bought huge amounts of risky mortgages, passing the risk on from the banks that lent the money (and made the profits) to the taxpayers who were not even aware that they would end up paying in the end.

When President Bush said in 2004 that Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac should be reined in, 76 members of the House of Representatives issued a statement to the contrary. These included Barney Frank, Nancy Pelosi, Maxine Waters and Charles Rangel.  (I think it was Maxine Waters who said at a hearing on Fannie and Freddy, "If it ain't broke, don't fix it." This was a few years before it went Tango Uniform and we taxpayers inherited the horrible debt of toxic loans.  JP)

If we are going to talk about "the policies that created this mess in the first place," let's at least get the facts straight and the names right.

The current policies of the Obama administration are a continuation of the same reckless policies that brought on the current economic problems-- all in the name of "change." Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac are still sacred cows in Washington, even though they have already required the biggest bailouts of all.

Why? Because they allow politicians to direct vast sums of money where it will do politicians the most good, either personally or in terms of buying votes in the next election.

Thomas Sowell
Thomas Sowell is a senior fellow at the Hoover Institute and author of The Housing Boom and Bust.

The only time we are truly safe is when Congress is not in session.

Fly Over Feedback: A Country of Givers

Fly Over Feedback: A Country of Givers: "U.S. foreign aid this year is around 53 Billion dollars. That amounts to about $173 for every man, woman, and child in the U.S. population. ..."

By the way, Egypt and Israel receive the lion's share of this largess.


A Modest Proposal

I seem to recall that the cold war ended some time ago. The USSR kinda imploded and fell apart all on its own, with a little help from Nancy's husband. Good Lord, even countries such as Albania, Croatia, The Czech Republic, Estonia, Poland, and other old eastern bloc nations belong to NATO! For goodness sake, what is the world coming to? But then I read in yesterday's Wall Street Journal that  we still have FIFTY TWO THOUSAND THREE HUNDRED AND THIRTY TWO   United States Troops still stationed on Germany. As we old pilots used to say in the old days, "WTF, Over!"

Why on Earth do we still have 52,332 troops stationed in Germany? Germany seems to be getting along all on its own for a long time now. The Marshall plan did its work. The Evil Empire crumbled. What are we defending in Germany anymore except pumping money into their local economy and keeping the resorts in southern Germany solvent?

So I have a modest proposal.

Redeploy the 52,3322 troops back to the United States, specifically to the southern borders of California, Arizona, New Mexico, and Texas. If we can afford to keep them in Germany, we surely can afford to keep  them stateside. Don't like that idea? How about the 35,562 we have stationed in Japan? Or, maybe the 30,000 in Korea? I'm sure that 100,000 troops could probably seal our border to the south. Aw heck, probably 10,000 could do the job.

Problem solved.



“Politicians are like diapers.  They both need changing regularly and for the same reason.”

A Country of Givers

U.S. foreign aid this year is around 53 Billion dollars. That amounts to about $173 for every man, woman, and child in the U.S. population. Or, for a family of five, around $863.  Thank you, America, for your generosity. The rest of the world must be truly appreciative. Do you feel  the love?