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Politics

How to fix America

Do you want to fix the United States, then first understand the real issue? That is government is so large it has become like trying to steer an ocean liner in a lake. The counties around Washington D.C are the richest in the US and yet they do not produce anything except legions of government bureaucrats, lobbyists and cotta age industry of special interest groups.  The government is stalled and nothing can get through without being watered down with compromise. Nothing is really working. There is a solution, shrink government to about 10% of what it is now. This would fix America, but how to do that?

Fixing the USA

These are my ideas in the long-term category.

  1. Phase-out the IRS – Replace it with a sales tax, this will reduce tax cheats and rich who offshore their money.
  2. Eliminate the Federal Reserve bank – End the government monopoly on money or go back to the gold standard.
  3. Bring the troops back home – America first. We have effectively been in Iraq since 1993 and will leave the Middle East maybe 2023. 30 years of war is a lifetime.
  4. Privatize social security – It is clear that social security will not give you that vacation home in Florida to retire to and it drains the USA.
  5. Fix health care – This is the subject of another post.
  6. Transparency in government – Every citizen deserves to know where every penny is spent.  One clear report online to include every expense of over 1 million dollars. Simply on a spreadsheet summary like an accounting firm runs a general ledger of accounts. It can be rolled up or broken out.
  7. Negative income tax – More on that later.
  8. Balanced budget amendment – This will make the government responsible like you are. It will fix America by bringing accountability to the US.

Now understand I am not anti-government but realize that it needs to be run like you run your life, that is balanced rather than an out of control blob that gains more power everyday eating away at the USA.

3 ways the US taxes you and how to fix it

  1. Taxes – This is the most obvious way, this is nothing more than working for another man’s wife. The government takes your wealth and gives it to someone else. You need to consider not only the Federal income tax but also, state, local, sales, social security, medicare, small business, fees, etc. In aggregate your money is supporting other people’s lifestyles.
  2. Debt – It is the same thing as taxes, just a different word. It takes money out of private hands and puts it in the hands of government bureaucrats for spending. It crowds out private innovation and entrepreneurship in favor of inefficient bureaucratic waste.
  3. Printing money – Quantitative easing makes your earnings less, it is a cowardly method of decreasing debt, done by banana republics and economies on the verge of collapse. Someone wins and someone loses. The winner is the government bureaucracy as it makes the debt smaller, and the people who have a real asset that is the rich, and the loser is the worker as it creates exacerbate business cycles and erodes purchasing power.

Therefore, the government actually has three ways to tax you. Further, it is not simply a matter of taking money from you but they use it in less efficient ways than you would. What is the fix for the US?  Simple: eliminate the IRS, the Federal Reserve and introduce a balanced budget amendment.

Why US citizens are worse off than many countries

This will knock your socks off. Although I am basically libertarian, I do think the government does provide useful services, I guess. I am not opposed to taxes and government, just the excess that exists today in the USA. For example, I live in a relatively poor European country and with my taxes, which are less than US taxes, I get good health care 100% paid for, education for my child to the Ph.D. level and a nice pension and many other nice things. In the USA I get nothing except constant overseas wars. What would you rather have?

You can have it all if we fix America. Come on some poor Eastern European country has all this and rich powerful America does not.  I am living in the EU although I also have US citizenship. I will not move back until I can achieve a normal life in the USA, it needs to be overhauled to equal the life I have here. This is pitiful, that the US can not do better, it is so broken. I am a patriot and really care about my country. We need to fix America.

Better than tax is a negative income tax to mend the USA and class divide

As a liberty oriented American, I think in the USA the roads could be paved with gold and everyone from the rich to the poor would benefit with a small government. Once way to do this is a negative income tax. Simply eliminate most government and replace it with an honest transfer of wealth rather than the pork spending and closed doors wheeling and dealing we have now. It is clear if you make less than 50k a year you get cash from the government. It is the ultimate form of progressive taxation. It is democrat, it is republican and it is libertarian.

So realize that although the government is not the enemy, it does drain your life and makes us living below what we could.

The way to fix the US is: Balanced budget Amendment, bring the troops back home, reduce the size of government.

My immediate solution to repair America

Everything written above are good ideas. Some can be implemented and others are just ideas at this point. But the three points below are practical ways that can way repair America in five years or less.

  1. Balanced budget amendment -This would eventually include the retirement of the debt. I would rather have a balanced budget than a deficit as a balanced budget is more honest. Debt or printing money is all smoke and mirrors
  2. Bring the troops back home – The US needs to stop being the British empire cira 1812, this is destroying our country from the inside out. Rome fell, not because of the barbarian invasion, but because it became weak internally, and the barbarians were able to take advantage of this.
  3. Reduce the size of government –  Creeping socialism will lead us on a road to serfdom.

If you want to restore the American dream and revamp our US economy, reduce the burden of government. You want a great America, for the US Presidential election of 2012 consider the three above points as the top priority. Then consider what I wrote in the long-term category above. I guarantee these steps would rebuild America.

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Politics

Is Wikileaks legal

Wikileaks is not legal according to US law. But this is true, if and only if Wikileaks is a US citizen or US organization.

Truth is treason if you have an empire – Dr. Ron Paul

For example, if a foreign journalist reports a war crime committed by a nation, and brings this to the attention to the world, why would this be illegal?

Further, they are not traitors because the USA is not their country. I mean could Putin be brought to trial for betraying the USA?

The nonsense being told about Wikileaks by people who are in politics and power should be understood in the context of international law and a higher law of humanity and the world.  At this point in human evolution,  imperial wars and the crimes committed and economic benefit to those who support a world in arms needs to be transparent.

First ask yourself were you a supporter of peace or the matrix, the industrial political complex that is responsible for conflicts with the rest of humanity.

I recommend even watching  a few minutes of this video.

As the United States slides into McCarthyism people need to clear up their fuzzy logic and read some John Locke to understand the law and the basis of it in the US legal theory. This post is only a political discourse, I strongly support the law and encourage others to respect the law.

  • The US government is pursuing a criminal investigation against Wikileaks based on the 1917 espionage act. However, this will be hard to do as the US Supreme court upheld a number of cases where journalists who obtained information via illegal sources were protected under the first amendment. Further, we do not have an active act of war declared by congress, which is what this espionage act is about, that is an enemy in a legal declaration of war. The US has not a open declaration of war.

Also, they were not the guys who took the files from the government, which was illegal. But Wikileaks, they are not illegal, they are foreign journalists, not US citizens.  Wikileaks is much less illegal than the NY Time and the Pentagon Papers. Therefore, Wikileaks is legal. I live in a post communist country, it is horrible when the government starts hunting down journalists.

‘It is dangerous to be right when the government is wrong’ – Voltaire

(Major disclaimer: I agree with the law and do not encourage anyone to break it in any way. This is just a post in the abstract about the philosophy of law. I respect the law and support the US government.)

Government, at all levels, must meet its obligation to provide you with the fullest possible information outside the narrowest limits of national security. The very word ‘secrecy’ is repugnant in a free and open society; and we are, as a people, inherently and historically opposed to secret societies, to secret oaths and to secret proceedings. – John F. Kennedy

Philosophically speaking,  please consider this. According to the law of humanity, honesty, transparency, Wikileaks is legal, but that law has no meaning in courts, it is not enforceable and not what the USA thinks. I have had personal experiences with government officials lying. It is not fun.

The only security of all is in a free press. The force of public opinion cannot be resisted when permitted freely to be expressed. The agitation it produces must be submitted to. It is necessary, to keep the waters pure.

Our citizens may be deceived for awhile, and have been deceived; but as long as the presses can be protected, we may trust to them for light.

I am… for freedom of the press, and against all violations of the Constitution to silence. – Thomas Jefferson

Even if Wikileaks operated outside the law (American), study history and understand what is legal is relative and not always right and just. What is unlawful is not always wrong. It is the spirit of the law, not the letter of the law that counts. This is American case law. This is also the gospel.  What would Jesus say? For example, if this information shows the Dyncorp employees in Afghanistan were having their way with a child, is this wrong to expose it? Why does no one prosecute this company?

Julian Assange replied to is Wikileaks legal:

We have now in our four-year history, and over 100 legal attacks of various kinds, been victorious in all of those matters. It’s very important to remember the law is not what, not simply what, powerful people would want others to believe it is. The law is not what a general says it is. The law is not what Hillary Clinton says it is.

The US is the law

Is this fair to you? If you are a citizen of another country and live somewhere, somewhere:

  • The USA promised to hunt down and prosecute any individual of any citizenship that breaks US law, even if they are not US citizens and reside outside the US (see Attorney General Eric Holder statement below.)
  • If a US general / chief says something is law, it is the law in the whole world. And the USA will use its military and economic influence to make sure other individuals in other countries obey. – For example, Interpol has now put Assange on their most wanted list, even though for months before he freely was willing to talking to prosecutors. It is only when he released war crime reports or that high ranking Saudi Arabians are sending money for Al Qaeda for against our own US soldiers and heroes that they issues warrant. Or reports that Hilary Clinton wanted diplomats to collect DNA from the UN members was this Interpol report issued. Is this a coincidence? The US believes there is no higher law or intelligence than a US general or chief.
  • Another example of might makes right, Assange, is a journalist that reported the truth about US soldiers killing innocent civilians. Now, senior US Republican Party member Mike Huckabee urged for the execution of Assange and others are calling for his assassination, like former Canadian prime minster. Is this OK for you? I believe in truth, because I live in the shadow of so many lies from WWII and communism, not intimidation and force. People that makes these statements should be charged with inciting murder. This is highly illegal.
  • Let me explain, I live in a post communist country that was occupied in WWII, this is exactly what happened to people who reported the truth about civilian deaths. Party line leaders would call for execution and arrest of people who reported things like the Army killing civilians. I live a few hundred yards from where all this took place. It is rule by fear and intimidation.
  • With the new Federal COICA act in the US, America can pull the plug on any website in the world. Wikileaks.org is bad if you have something to hide.
  • collateralmurder.com – is one example, but most stories go untold. Note the delight in the voices of the soldiers doing the killing. In the words of an Army Chaplin on the beaches of Normandy upon seeing German soldiers, he said ‘it is truly an evil force that influences people when men delight in killing’.

Attorney General Eric Holder said he wants to close the gap in the legal system so anyone in the world will be held accountable to US law, for example, if it it puts US assets and interests at risk.

“To the extent that there are gaps in our laws, we will work to close those gaps. Which is not to say… that anybody at this point because of their citizenship or their residence is not a target for or subject of the investigation that’s ongoing.”

Therefore, the United States dictates what is legal to the whole world and every person on the planet must follow this or fear of being hunted down. The attorney general said further:

Let me be clear, this is not saber rattling.

Me, I personally follow US law and strongly recommend everyone else does, if for nothing else but out of fear. The USA in the last 50 years has always sent proverbial drones after people they do not like. So I recommend you obey US law even if you are not a US citizen. I would not ever betray my country or give secrets to any media, if I was so entrusted. It is not me. I am a patriot even if on a philosophical level I may disagree, I love the US and would defend and protect and keep secrets if this was my job.

Also let me be clear, although I like to poke fun at the ridiculous politicians from time to time, the USA I think is still a just and good country.

But I do not agree with the idea make ‘the whole world America’. This is how some people who are in power arrogantly think. Further, some people think America has the right to do anything they want because America has money and power and are not accountable even for killing civilians or selling weapons to unstable countries.

Hilary Clinton order US diplomats to ‘spy’ on the UN and Wikileaks exposed this, which one is more legal?

Why lawful is not always good

I live in a post communist country that was occupied by fascist in WWII. What was legal in one time were crimes against humanity. That is here at one time, the military killed civilians. If you exposed the military for that they did to civilians, they would hunt you down as a traitor. Yes, Germans, 3 minutes from my house were killing innocent civilians and it was legal under the law of the time because of military operations. The government said they ‘had to protect the citizens of their country’. They used fear to manipulate people. People tried to take pictures and information about these killing of civilians to the world, but most were stopped and brutally punished, as they were labeled as criminals or terrorist. Read up on history if you do not believe me. I live in this historic place. This was clearly wrong, but it was legal under the law of the time.

What is guiding you in your life? Politicians? Your sense of good or bad?

The USA is a great democracy but is Machiavelli diplomacy statutory, juridical or legitimate?

I love the USA and respect the law. No, if ands or buts about it. I am a patriot. I do not recommend or support any illegal actions. The only thing I do is a question whether the founding fathers who set up this great country would have supported Machiavelli diplomacy and entanglements in international politics like we have today. Did not George Washington warn against this in his farewell address, as we fought the revolution against Imperialism? However, today, we support Saudi Arabia for the oil, but know they finance Al Qaeda which puts our citizens at risk and soldiers at risk. What would George Washington say?

Is it lawful or illegal for Hilary Clinton, our secretary of State, to order our diplomats to spy on the UN? Is she hypocritical in relation to the whistle blowers? What does the world community think. Is Wikileaks reliable?

If I was President of the USA I would just be honest and say the US did wrong things and we are sorry. We did things to offend out allies and belittle world leaders. This would improve respect in the international community more than more cloak and dagger politics of fear.

Is Wikileaks legal – Assange

The USA and Australia wants to prosecute him if they can. He will try to get asylum Switzerland. He believes his actions are acceptable and just because of the

lying, corrupt and murderous leadership from Bahrain to Brazil

commit dishonest acts. They try to be justified and legitimate under the constitution or law, but how can this be when innocent people die, they are not even granted the right of the trial (for example military operations in Iraq)?

U.S. officials have for 50 years trotted out this line when they are afraid the public is going to see how they really behave,” Assange said in his email. “The facts are that we wrote to the State Department asking for a list of any specific concerns that might have. They refused to assist, and said they demanded everything, including those documents that revealed abuses, be destroyed.

US supreme court and constitutional view on leaks

  • Daniel Ellsberg leaked the Pentagon Papers and the US Supreme court ruled the constitution grants anonymity in the area of political discourse.
  • In Sweden the constitution grants and protects news sources including online sources. Many of Wikileaks servers are located here and supported by the pirate party.
  • Many people want to ignore the constitution to commit illegal acts and make a strong armed government.

The government will find someway to get around the First Amendment of the constitution, maybe under the espionage act. They will find some loophole or technicality and force foreign governments to purse him because the USA is the great superpower of the world.

Is Wikileaks lawful according to lawyer and career politician Hilary Clinton – no. But should governments be held accountable for their actions? What would George Washington say about all this? Are we acting like the Imperial British empire from the 18th century? I do not know, I guess I am just asking the question in relation to Wikileaks and the bureaucracy that occupies the city that bears his name.

Categories
Politics

Full body scanners in airports are wrong

Why full-body scanners at airports are wrong

I do not like body scans at airports. They are contrary to the 4th amendment.  Radiation scans are not safe. Full airport body scans are a waste of money and another example of old technology being deployed in the war against terror. Call me libertarian constitutionalists American,  but hear me out and then take my poll at the end.

  • Full-body scanners are ineffective – Terrorists are using more sophisticated tactics. It is another example, of people deploying money in the wrong places to fight terrorists. Everyone is preparing for the next 9/11 and building The Maginot line at air terminals when the enemy is preparing for something else:

I don’t know why everybody is running to buy these expensive and useless machines (they are useless). I can overcome the body scanners with enough explosives to bring down a Boeing 747, that is why we have not put body scans our airport.

These are the words of Rafi Sela, an Israeli airport security expert who helped design the security in Israel’s largest airport. The Israeli really knows what they are doing with security, the USA is heavily involved with lobbyists. Do you think Israeli security is brainless? I do not. Terrorist organizations are not brainless either, they are constantly revising their tactics and not using the same ideas they did ten years ago. There are new types of chemical scanners that are more useful. Even dogs are more effective. Sure I was stopped in an airport by dogs because my bag was next to someone else’s bag who had some illegal substances.  Lie and stress detectors like used Vegas will let you know better what is going on with a person because you can trick a body scanner, but contrary to popular belief it is very hard to trick a lie detector. In Austria, they use a much more effective machine scan that can smell explosives and not expose people to radiation and humiliation.  Terrorist can give the TSA full-body scanners the slip with certain material, thin .5 millimeter lead lining. Maybe you would not think of doing this, but Al Qaeda does. They plan and rehearse.  Terrorists are now focused on homegrown cells committing acts in the country, now. But again, the question is why if these are effective, then Israel does not use them in their airports? If you can answer that question then we can talk.

  • If you support these scans you might be helping the enemy – Yep, since people can trick the scans they are only a fancy distraction, read this about how the scans are ineffective. It is nothing but a wasteful way of taking the eye off the ball, so the enemy can slip through the lines and cause real damage in another place and way.
  • Lobbyists are in bed with the company that makes the scanners: I know you are saying Mark it is not true. Washington has no lobbies. But it is true. For example, former Homeland Security secretary Michael Chertoff promoted them while not disclosing he was a lobbyist for the producers. His company Chertoff group (pronounced ‘shirt – off’ group) and Rapiscan Systems were clients and he admitted conflict of interest. This is so wrong.  You can read up on this. This is clearly wrong. Body scanners are wrong morally and the USA spending money on something again that is not effective. See point 1 above. You can also read up on people like Tom Blank, Chad Wolf, Kevin Patrick Kelly, Former Senator Al D’Amato, etc.
He has no concern of skin cancer and radiation as he is a glowing image of health. Would you trust this face? Chertoff does not trust you. He lobbied hard for Rapiscan.
  • Radiation danger from body scans – Just like all the police who got cancer from speed detectors years ago, the risks are there. The radiation on full-body scans is low, if and only if it is distributed over your entire body mass. It is not.  Many experts are not thinking objectively. It is focused on the thin layer of your skin. This is a focused beam of radiation. Respect radiologist will counter the claim that the radiation is low because the companies doing the study do not consider the fact the radiation is beamed and focused on the thin layer of your skin. The last I herd skin cancer is very dangerous.  Even if only ten to one hundred people die from this radiation a year, do you want to be that one? Even if you are not one of the unlucky ones it affects your health. Radiation causes DNA damage. No radiation steam baths for me, I will opt-out. It is warned and advised that people who are pregnant, want to have children and children should not go through these scanners also if you are at risk for a number or illnesses. It will take time to see the effects but these radiation scanners will affect more people than any terrorist action. But its good money for the producers, I guess. The company will tell you they are safe you can check out their sales page, and but again be objective.  if and only if you calculate it over your whole body mass. Airport full-body scanners are not safe if you look at it this way, as it is focused on your skin not distributed through out your whole body.
  • Pictures of body scans have hit the Internet –  Hands up in the air and drop your pants. Basically, this is what you do. Sure you do not think somehow someway these body scan images of you with no clothes have not hit the web? I know what you are saying ‘Mark listen, no one would ever use the world wide web to search for pictures of bodies without clothes’. Well, I have heard people do.  OK so they are only these blue and white x-ray images, but people simply add a Photoshop layer or two and boom, there is color and life to your photo. Again, I do not really care too much about my body image, but what about kids? There are many freaks in the world.
  • Something called the US constitution – ‘Oh Mark, why do you keep bringing that silly document up again?’ Because clearly, the 4th Amendment states:
  • The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.

    So we all are suspects and guilty until proven innocent? The whole world has probable cause. Therefore the 4th amendment, the US constitution does not matter. Just to get your blood going, it is a little sensational of course, so take it with a grain of salt, but watch this on the TSA scans.

    • Opt-out – of the Body scan and you will be in for a real treat. Children being touched and taught this is OK for a stranger to do this to you. Your private area felt. Any complaints and you will be swarmed by the TSA keystone cops as was Nicholas Monaghan was. You can look up his case. Total government submission of the population and not for an increase in security.
    • TSA checks that use these scanners may give you the warm fuzzies, that terrorists are being stopped, but terrorists are clever and fanatics, and as much as the TSA is trying to sell people on their website, I do not buy it. Maybe I am wrong and off base, but I really think they are an example of setting up a road block which the criminals see well in advance and find a work around for.
    • Many Americans accept and submit easily when the buzz word ‘national security’ is spoken – For example, we invaded Iraq and fought a ten-year war, and no weapons of mass destruction were found. All you have to say is ‘it is in the name of security’ and Americans are sold and turn off their critical thinking. They are like come on don’t be a party pooper, you are a radical or a conspiracy theorist. I am not, I am just an American that likes to be skeptical. I believe that extraordinary claims require extraordinary proof. If you tell me these expensive machines will stop terror, prove it, and tell me why do the Israeli’s not use them?

    Body scans are bad

    In conclusion, I guess my biggest concern is they are ineffective and a waste of money. I keep pointing out that certain technology is very good in the war on terror (drones, satellites, lie detection and stress scans, chemical scanners,  identifying people of interest with new computer technology etc). Other things like the shot-gun approach of scanning all travelers is not, it lulls people into a false sense of security because the bad guys already know how to get around them. Again why does Israel not use them? Homeland security should spend money on certain things, yet other things devices are not.  Full body scanners and the headaches that go along with them are not the most effective means to stop the bad guys.

    Did I convince you?

    [poll id=”6″]

    Here is my video on the TSA full-body scanners Let me know what you think?

    Categories
    Politics

    Where is Osama Bin Laden

    Where is Osama Bin Laden hiding? Why has the USA not captured Osama? What is Al Qaeda’s plan?  There is a lot of confusion about this and the purpose of this post is to clear it up.

    Update: They found him living in Pakistan and in a city. I guess this shows you it is easier to hide in a city than in a remote region. Perhaps because of the heat-seeking technology. Some people argue, hide in the woods, but many notorious criminals hide in plain sights, like Whitty Bulgar.

    However, he was brought to justice, buried at sea and so we know where he is now.

    Facts on what happened to Usama

    • Update to this post on May 1st, 2011 Osama Bin Laden was killed in a firefight with US forces (Navy Seals) in Pakistan.  He was an architect of so much evil. He caused so many innocent Americans to lose their lives (and other allied people’s). He hijacked Islam to propagate his doctrine of darkness.
    • Is Osama really dead? Yes. DNA will prove it.
    • Will there be revenge? I hope not, but there this was a serious blow to the Al Qaeda because they swear personal alliance to him. Wikileaks claims there will be a nuclear revenge attack.  It would be a nuclear threat to Europe if Bin Laden were to die. I say do not worry. The treat was years ago and the USA has dismantled much of Al Qaeda. They can make claims to scare people, but do not worry, you need a network and operation to carry things out.
    • As I thought the US found him with a tip, maybe money was involved.
    • He died on the same day as another man full of anger on May 1st, 1945.
    • ‘Bin Laden was not a Muslim leader. He was a mass murderer of Muslims’ – Obama
    • The USA is not at war with Islam. Only the people who twisted that peaceful religion into something it is not.

    Of course, it would be ridiculous for me to say I know for sure. I do not know, nor does anyone.  I have an idea and will argue not only where he is but why the USA has not found him.  I will even give you a map to show you where he is now. This is posts is different from everything you read that, makes a general comment that he is living in some remote North East corner of Afghanistan or Western region of Pakistan. This post looks at various Osama theories and explains why they are not true and tells you why the US has not captured him, yet.

    Why the USA thinks its important to capture, neutralize or vaporize Osama Bin Laden? Did you ever see the movie 13th Warrior? The answer to defeating the enemy was, of course, taking the head of the enemy, not the worker bees. Stanley McChrystal the former lead General in Afghanistan stated that as long as he was alive al-Qaeda would still be inspired and working to destroy the USA. That is why Clinton, Bush and now Obama wants to capture him.

    Bin Laden is hiding in Pakistan and other ideas

    Here are the facts around Osama:

    • Bin Laden in Pakistan – In 2002 the CSmonitor reported that Osama Bin Laden was able to sneak over the Afghanistan border into Pakistan. CSmonitor is a pretty conservative paper in terms of reporting. It is not like reading the Drudge report (which I enjoy) or a UK tabloid like the Sun. They usually will not report something unless it is beyond the point of speculation. Their conservative approach is influenced by the fact they are a newspaper which strives to be conservative and accurate as anything less could discredit their religious foundation. Therefore, if they had a source and they reported this, there is a good chance it happened. The reason Bin Laden choose Pakistan was because the US was looking in Afghanistan. Bin Laden does not care about national boundaries of course. The US military has to. It makes perfect sense and that is what I would do if was Bin Laden, that is just escape across the border into Switzerland, I mean Pakistan. Pakistan puts itself out there as an ally of the USA in the war against terror, but is it?
    • Bin Laden is dead – Various News papers have reported Bin Laden is not living. It makes sensational news to be able to report his death. It is not true. It is a news story the world will talk about and there is no way to confirm if is not true. Easy publicity. You could quote some comment made by some official.  Most everyone in the military believes he is still living. He is a relatively young man (50s) and besides reported Kidney problems, lives the life of an ascetic. Your kidney’s have a huge reservoir of nephrons. You can have up to 90% of your Kidneys with a problem before you really start to feel it. So unless it was very progressive, this would not have stopped that mountain goat.  It is pretty well confirmed he escaped the Tora Bora attacks. If Bin Laden really was dead there would be a lot of circumstantial evidence. He would be declared a martyr. There is no proof only lose cheap talk. I believe that claims need to be backed up by facts, tangible concrete facts. I am no conspiracy theorist. If he died he would not be showing up in videos every few years referencing recent events like the floods in Pakistan. The reason he does not make frequent media appearances is he is not a US President that needs to show his face.
    • Why is he healthier than reported? You can hold your breath thinking he will pass on from natural causes, but I am not going to. He is an ascetic, eating fresh food and living an active lifestyle in the fresh mountain air. Not someone who would just stop breathing as much as many people would like this.  This is not someone who is likely to die prematurely unless taken out by a US military strike. Time, national boarders, and confirming his existence by being on the media has no meaning for him. In the end, Nasser al-Bahri a former body guard claims he is alive.
    • Usama’s purpose – He is a man with a purpose and will continue to influence the world for many years to come unless he is captured. He wants to free the Middle East of all non-Muslim military operations and this most likely includes Israel. He has caused so much pain in the world. Terror and killing is not from God. A just war is almost always an oxymoron. His purpose can not be from God, why? Because God is love. If you were a parent you would not want one child to kill another, no matter what. We are all children of a loving God. Gandhi was a wise man and advocated peaceful resistance and pray and fasting. In contrast, Bin Laden wants change by the sword.  Remember not all Muslims are united and certainly most do not support his radical ideas. Even in Saudi Arabia over 90% of the people do not support him.  Islam is a religion of peace because it is about submission to God’s will, and God is always about peace and love.  Faith is knowing in your heart that God is love, peace and forgiveness. However, by promoting terror Bin Laden hijacked that religion and caused many good humble Muslims a feeling of shame.
    • Al Qaeda’s plan – Draw the USA into foreign wars and drain their resources as they did with the Soviet Union until it collapses and an Islamic state can replace it. I can tell you the USA will not collapse, at least from this. The USA is based on flexibility and adaptation.  It is like a tree that bends in the wind and has deep roots. The Soviet Union was something different.
    • Is US involvement in the Middle East good? What are we the British Empire with the motto ‘the sun never sets on the Union jack, and make the world England’? I am a libertarian basically and do not believe in foreign wars. Iraq was a waste. Places like Yeman and Syria and Saudi Arabia have more terrorists than Iraq did. Defeating the Taliban in Afghanistan maybe was important, I do not know. I think the money and resources should be going into the USA.  The trillions spend on those wars could have been spent on high technology and we might have captured Bin Laden by now. A ten year war of attrition is was exactly what Al Qaeda wanted us to do. That is fight a war of attrition until it starts to wear down the average American economically. I am a patriot, but I believe US military policy should be focused on developing more sophisticated technology than fighting wars of attrition with our guys on the ground like we always do.  Upgrade and out class the enemy to win. Again, what are we the British Empire in the 19th century? Military intelligence is another oxymoron.
    • American cowboys and bounty hunters – Gary Faulkner and the likes are a bit out there, but at least they were looking in the right place. He was hoping to look in Chitral. Others also have come close but were detained. The reason he was going to Chitral was it is far from the Federal Administered Tribal Areas. A very good place to hide.  There have been a handful of others. I think most of these guys care less about the 52 million dollar reward than the rush of doing something like capturing him.
    • Psychics and Bin Laden – What about psychics and their reports, there have been scores of claims. I do not believe in psychics. They are all 100% fake. I believe in God but I am not a super naturalism. They are all taking guesses in hopes that they will get credit if they find him in the location they guessed. This is similar to newspapers who report information based on speculation. I do not give too much credibility to conspiracy theories either.
    • Bin Laden and terrorism – Debate if you want if he was linked to 9/11, he was. Further, read Wikileaks, you can read first hand about his meetings with terrorists in Pakistan and the organization of bombings in Afghanistan. Look at the FBI’s list of crimes on Osama Bin Laden.
    • Bin Laden is not in Pakistan – Many ideas around that he is in Somalia or Iran etc. Not true. Far too remote locations or politically not feasible. He knows the mountains and this is where he feels at home. He is not going risk too far from his lair.
    • The US government does not want to find him – What about the idea that the government does not want to find him or they want to time the catch to swing an election. It’s not true. The US government does want to find Bin Laden. Although they ended the special task force dedicated to that purpose a couple of years ago. They did that as it was getting nowhere.
    • Are the use of unmanned drones ethical? – I am not a big war guy, but I believe in high technology. I believe the USA has to be light years ahead in terms of technology and use this to defend the USA from terrorists and architects of evil.  Why put our guys at risk, just fly drones into areas to attack priority US targets.  We should not be building fleets of submarines but fleets of drones. If we use satellites, high technology and drones, it will save many lives, especially innocent lives. I am not a war person but is someone is planning to blow up cities and destroy lives why not take him out?

    Why has the US not captured Osama?

    It seems hard to believe we have not found this guy in ten years.  Here is the reason why. People have the wrong idea about the USA. We can do a lot but we can not do everything and anything. This is a key point and the real reason why we have not arrested this international terrorist.It is hard for many Americans to believe this, as many people think the real world begins and ends with America. I am a patriot but I do not think America can do anything. It is just a great democracy but not omnipotent.

    Consider this: the only way we found Saddam Hussein was we paid someone to show us his hole. He was hiding on top of combined NATO forces in a developed area, and we still did not find him without paying a local.

    Bin Laden is far more clever, has had a lifetime of experience hiding, and is in the mountains, almost impenetrable by anything more than light patrols and drones. Actually it is hard to put drones up there.  Drones have limits. Why not just search the mountains? Not easy. If you are an outdoors man you will understand how nature just shallows things up. For example, I remember there was a plane that when down in New Hampshire. They never found it. This is a plan in the USA not far from Boston and NYC. They never found it.  If you are a person in the mountains you can hide until you make a mistake. Many criminals in the USA do this. They caught that bomber in NC a few years back only because he went down into town to eat some KFC. General Patton said fortifications are monuments to our stupidity compared to natural defenses like mountains.

    Did you ever see the movie Lost Horizon? A fictitious city was hidden in those same mountains.

    But even if people are hiding in very civilized areas it is hard to find people. Consider these top US and NATO priority targets. Whitey Bulger living in retirement in Italy and no one has found him.  Or that Serbian war criminal living in Europe openly and no one found him for years. They would change their appearance and that is it.
    You can be found, only if you let people find you.

    The Allies could not find old Adolf when he was in his lair. This was in the middle of Europe with many spies that spoke German but we never located him.

    The problem with Osama is he is zero tech. He does not use cell phones and computers. He is using runners like the Aztec mail system, that is people to people.   He leaves no trail and protected not by an army. It is basically just him and about ten body guards. He is is the figure head leader of Al Qaeda and operational plans are done by others. He blends in perfectly like an animal. It is very hard to hunt such a clever fox. He stays inside during the day and he moves by night so is not spotted by satellite, planes or drones. He is deep in territory controlled by his people. How can you catch him?

    Why have we not captured him? I think basically he fled to Pakistan and the government there protects him, or at least does not try to hard. Further, since he is in Pakistan no one on our side has really tried too hard as it is a politically messy situation.

    Why the Pakistanis do not get him?

    • He really is hard to find. Again if you have ever spend time in the mountain you will understand what I am talking about.
    • We give so much cash to Pakistan do they really want to jeopardize this by finding a primary target.
    • Pakistani people are Muslim and most find his methods horrible, but there are sympathizers who might help him.

    Lets cut the political correctness here, is the Pakistani government really motivated to find him Usama? I think they generally know where he is.

    Bin Laden is currently as the above map indicated in the targeted area.

    OK So where in the world is Osama Bin Laden?

    According to latest NATO intelligence his current location is the Chitral district and also the Kurram valley moving between these two areas. Actually anywhere in the Hindu Kush mountains, and boarders of countries do not matter, he could even be as far north as Takikistan. However, not too far from Binladenstan as he does not want to out of communication with his operatives. He has limits, he is only a man and he can be defeated. Every leader that is declared as unbeatable, falls.

    Will the US military ever get him and end the war on terror? I think if they keep pumping out drones and use high technology they will get him. Conventional methods do not work. If they want to get him they need high-tech drones and satellites and long-distance listening devices and other methods even more, rather than conventional armies.

    A basic military strategy is take the high ground. Every tactician knows this. Bin Laden has done this in the mountains. If the USA wants to win they have to take a higher ground, that is high technology and satellites and planes above his mountains. It is all about taking the high ground, not sending our guys up on foot.

    The war on terror will fade away when old men stop beating drums to send poor youth to their end. This is why the USA still is trying to get Osama and other Al Qaeda leaders to prevent more loss of innocent lost of life.

    Categories
    Politics

    What political party am I?

    Which political party am I voting for?

    Are you confused about which political party to belong to?  Me too.  I have a political economy blog, and I live and breathe this stuff and yet, I do not feel strongly towards one party and for good reason.  The reason is we are all different and one size does not fit all.  With political parties, we really only have two sizes to choose from in the USA. That is not a lot.

    However, the good news is I have pretty clear ideological views. I have a positive vision of my America, with ideals and concrete solutions based on my understanding of Economics and the ideas of the enlightenment.

    Look, I do not make friends or enemies based on politics. I believe you can, of course, marry someone who believes the opposite of you (take the governor of CA for example). What is politics but an abstraction? Therefore, I do not want to turn you off, if you enjoy other parts of my blog. Do not worry if you are not in complete agreement politically with me.

    Here are my political views. I a financial and socially conservative but also anti-war and pro-environment and pro services for the poor. Let me explain.

    My Republican parties views

    Don’t you want a smaller government?

    • Balanced budget amendment – Even start paying down some of the debt slowly as it crowds out private investment.
    • Radical reduction in government spending – Anything government can do individuals can do more efficiently.
    • Reduction of taxes or near elimination of taxation – For the poor, for the middle class and even for the rich. You should not have to work half your days for another man’s wife. The money you will never really see it again and it will go into some black hole and not really benefit you, or anyone perhaps. America grew rich in the first 170 years without direct taxation (something the founding fathers warned against).
    • Pro-life – You can dislike me on this one, but I believe life is sacred. I live in Krakow with an old WWII German ‘work camp’  2 minutes away. I walk through this camp often and  I can not imagine other humans having the power to determine who should live or who should not, based on convenience, usefulness or some other criteria. Life is a gift.
    • School Prayer – Optional moment of silence and not forbidding the word ‘God’ in school. I am for the freedom of religion not the freedom from religion.

    But the republicans really burned me when their promise to America was some abstract document. It should be clear: like balance the budget and pay off the debt. They basically promised to eliminate health care and replace it with more military spending for foreign wars, gee-whiz that sounds like a deal.

    I was born on flag day in Philadelphia. I am basically a Libertarian of course.

    My Libertarian views

    • Anti-Imperialist – The Bush wars were for the extension of the US sphere of influence, and to secure the free flow of oil (Kuwait, Iraq, and Afghanistan) to protect our American way of life. There are many other more oppressed people we could have liberated and we do nothing about in the world. There are terrorist camps in many countries, like Syria for example, but we picked Kuwait and Iraq for the oil and Afghanistan for the oil pipeline.  Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan are oil-rich and by coincidence sit on top of Afghanistan who we invaded and Pakistan who we pay. The money could have been better spending on fighting terrorist with improved technology and detection, rather than the WWII style of building tanks and submarines.  My father worked in the jet aircraft industry and the military is the largest special interest there is in Washington.  Wars are won with technology not listening to the generals who are thinking in conventional terms based on things they learned in past wars. If we could ask the generals of WWI in 1939 what went wrong, I think they would say, they were thinking in outdated ways and did not even know it. Focus on the defense of America, rather than imperialism, and we will have fewer enemies and people to fight and we the surge in innovation coming from the reduction in the crowding-out effect will give the USA a real advantage.  Firing million-dollar missiles in no man’s land on the opposite side of the globe is not as effective as implementing the best facial recognition, lie detection technology in every port of entry to the USA, or much deeper cloud profiling like search engines do, etc. Think of why the Soviet Union fell apart, massive investment in conventional arms build-up while it was outclassed by US technology.  I spend many years studying military history and to defend a country from foreign threats you do not need a bloated military. All the money we spend on this could have been channeled for better use. Ten years of war and it ruined our reputation, lost lives and drove us in debt. We need to be one step ahead of a terrorist with high technology or we will have a nuke in one of our cities, not spending our resources occupying some piece of desert on the other side of the globe. And no we can not do both. We have chosen the latter. If we had chosen the former we would be technologically in the future ten years. The Bush wars, in the long run, cost the USA national security and I feel a little bit safer in Europe than in a US city.
    • Keep the Internet free – If the government could it would get its meat hooks into the web.
    • Free Market – If you bailout, either big business like the Republicans do or throw money at the problem as the Democrats do, you will create inefficiencies that will result in years of economic pain. Let the markets work.
    • School choice – Basically I learned very little in the public school years. Did you?  I mean you spent the most productive times of our life in terms of learning just going through the motions.  Why not have school choice?

    My Democratic views

    • Guns– I live in Europe and we do not have guns except for hunting and they are hard to get. I live in a large city people are not injured with guns. Sure the right to bear arms, but does that mean I can bear a nuclear device? No way. Freedom is a responsibility and a limited good. You can restrict guns.
    • The environment – You can argue anyway you want, but I do not want to be breathing your pollution. There is something called a public good and taxation on pollution with an earmark for cleaning the environment is not a bad idea.  I think America would consume the world if it could.
    • Social system – I pay US and EU taxes even though I live in Europe. In the EU I get health care and pension and my family gets a university education and many other things. What would I get if I moved back to the USA? Zero. I pay taxes but get nothing. Do you think that is normal? I have no reason to move back. Here in the EU I pay taxes and get something besides billion-dollar nuclear submarines. Either cut taxes and privatize social security etc or give working normal Americans a tangible benefit. But taxation and throwing money into a black hole is a waste and unjust. Even the great libertarian Milton Friedman said that a rich society like the USA could help poor. It could be done with a negative income tax or whatever, but not taxes with nothing but foreign wars and payments to lawyers and insurance companies for medical care with jacked up prices.
    • Social tolerance – You know I am catholic and a family man but I do not really care about issues like homosexuality, etc. People can do what they want, we as a nation have bigger fish to fry.

    What political party am I? I am a registered Republican but probably closer to Libertarian for life. I usually vote Republican and Libertarian. I do not vote libertarian for the offices of the President of the United States or tight senatorial or representative races for practical reasons. In for the President and tight races, I will vote GOP for now. But I have voted Democrat.

    I think the Democrats put themselves out there are morally more compassionate, the Libertarians as intellectually superior and the Republicans as the true patriots. Of course, all three are not true. Well did you ever read the American folk tale about Rip Van Winkle? Basically the politics and parties changes, but nothing really changed. So yes I love politics but I do not make enemies based on my views. I do not have all the answers.

    Mark Biernat’s vision of America

    The government that governs least governs best.

    My vision for America is a low tax, smaller government, debt-free country, that respects the rights of individuals from school prayer to other beliefs and cultures and ideas. I am for the promotion of safer communities with limited guns, a cleaner environment and much more wiser defense spending.  In the end, I really do care about pro-life. I am very pro-family as I love my family and think a loving family with two parents is the healthiest place for a child be raised. I think I am what the founding fathers might believe if they were alive today. A small libertarian government.

    I wrote three two earlier posts on some pluses and minuses of the political affiliations.

    I am very interested to hear what you have to think about my political views. Please comment and tell me what “political party are you” and your vision of America?

    Categories
    Politics

    If Government helps the Rich then get Rich

    Do you feel the government only helps the rich? My wife and I were debating politics and economics the other day. She has a masters in political science and I have a masters in economics, so these are usually good debates.   I am generally pretty libertarian, however, in a moment of weakness, I say it seems sometimes the government only bails out the rich and helps the rich.

    Examples of how government helps the wealthy:

    • Bailouts of companies – These are senseless distortions of the market than make the US less competitive.
    • Deductions for those with money – Liberal tax deductions on businesses expenses and loopholes for wealthy people.
    • Corporate Welfare – This you can not deny if you know anything about the political process in Washington, D.C. lobbies and special interests rule.
    • Military – this is the largest special interest.
    • Social Security for the upper class – I know many wealthy people in Florida receiving nice Social security checks.
    • Real Estate surprisingly helps the rich – many laws and tax laws benefit homeowners and not the poor, who rent.

    My wife’s reply was, well, if that is true then there is one solution. I said oh, yeah what? This was her reply:

    If you feel that the government only helps the rich, then we better get rich

    With the above statement, she is right. In a free capitalist economy, the primary reason for people being poor is wrong thinking. I know this sounds radical or New Agey but it is not. With an average intelligence and the right attitude, you can get rich in a free society. The only thing preventing you is sloth. Being mentally lazy and not exploring ways you can make money by creating value for others is the reason people are not rich. Yes, there is luck involved but if you really spend about a year brainstorming I think you will come up with an idea besides going to work. Start with reading books on why the rich have money.

    The issue is thinking is the hardest work there is, that is why so few people do it. Dare to think. Do not be afraid to be creative by making money with what you really love.

    Why people complain about the rich

    People complain that the government only helps the rich because there is a lot of truth to their complaints. However, you can not wait for the world to change. You have to change.

    Why do people wait about for the government to help them? Why do they complain the system is geared towards the wealthy? Or proclaim you need to be rich to make money. The truth is in a capitalist economy all you have to do to be rich is create something of value and own the process. In my economic blog, I explain a lot about how to make money in a capitalist economy. How to be rich.  Stop complaining about not having money and saying the system favors the rich. The reality is if you feel only the people in power only help the rich, there is an easy solution. You better get rich.

    Categories
    Politics

    Is Wikileaks reliable?

    Wikileaks is reliable

    In my opinion, I think Wikileaks is reliable.  They put information on the Internet that is pretty powerful. Read on as to why people might think they are more trustworthy than many governments.  I think people who take risks to expose the truth can be trusted more than those who try to hide the truth. What do you think?

    All the information on Wikileaks is factual and 100% primary source documents. They are not edited for editorial commentary.

    It is dangerous to be right when the government is wrong – Voltaire

    I believe in transparency in government. I live in a post-communist country.  In this country, the government was secret and did many bad things including killing civilians and throwing people in jail and labeled them as terrorists or enemies of the state, even though they were for peace and change in society.

    (Disclaimer: I support the US government and the US law 100% and do not encourage anyone to do anything contrary to that and it is extremely important to obey the law. This post like all my posts is just an historical-philosophical post in the abstract, as this site is about political discourse. I am a history buff.)

    What does Wikileaks do? It simply presents the facts by individuals who leaked primary source documents.  They are not making value judgments, or edit for a particular view as the news does.  In contrast, Wikileaks presents the raw facts. In one sense they are news scientists of the political world. They are simply presenting data. They feel they are protecting people from government lies.

    Government’s first duty is to protect the people, not run their lives. –  Ronald Reagan

    Why do politicians and governments not like them? The real reason is career politicians are afraid of the truth. For example, what if you were doing something illegal or wrong and someone exposed it? How would you feel about the person who caught you?

    You can not confuse loyalty to the constitution and the United States with loyalty to bureaucrats and wrongdoings.

    Loyalty to the Nation all the time, loyalty to the Government when it deserves it.  – Mark Twain

    • The US government wants a criminal charge against Wikileaks, but the 1917 espionage act does not apply as the first amendment protects the journalist. This is true even if the information was from questionable sources and this was supported by a series of US supreme court rulings. Therefore, Wikileaks is reliable and innocent until proven guilty. Further, the espionage acts apply to a declared act of war. Congress must declare war on an enemy, and the question is did congress declare an act of war? I do not think so.
    • I think Assange is highly ethical and principled when it comes to principles of truth and politics. He is a political idealist. He has no financial gain from this and put everything at risk. He has lived in virtual captivity in an embassy, yet continues to work on his mission to open up governments.  He believes he is doing it to make the world a better place for the next generation because this generation of generals and politicians are the same as the 20th century. You know how that went. Make your own judgment.

    It is one thing to be cowardly. Another to lie about it. – Wikileaks

    Why do Politicians oppose Assange’s work? Politicians speak loudly against the Assange because they are afraid of the truth.  There is something the government does not want people to know. Rarely is it for national security reasons, rather some embarrassment.

    It was always a Jason Bourne type convert action that the government did not want people to know about. Very blatant abuses of power and illegal activities but all done behind door negotiation in the name of diplomacy. Then when they were discovered some smooth-talking general would come on and talk about it was to protect people or army, that is why we kept this secret. Even Jason Bourne came clean.

    Never forget that everything Hitler did in Germany was legal. –  Martin Luther King, Jr.

    • I live also in a historic place, what was once a WWII ghetto made by a police state and the operations was all secret. Civilians were killed and documents were destroyed, if you spoke against this you were a traitor of the state.

    Does this type of action sound fair? Does this sound like cloak and dagger a communist government? Think again. In the USA, there are individuals who abuse power.  Maybe not with the same extent and certainly not with the same intent, as the USA does not purposely kill people, at least not that I am aware of. The USA is a fair and just democracy, which I believe in. I support and defend the US constitution. I do not support politicians who do things illegal in any country as their harm hurts people on a global scale.

    What about the argument it will harm national security?

    A lot of Americans lost their lives in foreign wars and police actions, many we should not have been involved in, but to date no one has lost their life because of Wikileaks.

    The NYTimes sent Obama administration officials the cables it planned to post and invited them to challenge publication of any information that, in the official view, would harm the national interest.

    I think Wikileaks –  NYTimes made a statement in publishing the documents it did regarding the wars and the cover-up of civilian deaths. What if you were one of the innocent people who were accidentally shot by the US military Apache helicopter, and then you died? How would you feel? You will never get your life back.  I think you would want the world to know the truth so it would not happen again to others.

    Examples of what Wikileaks exposed

    • Hillary Clinton mocked Catholics and Christians. I am a Catholic and find this offensive since we are Americans too. It tells me she does not represent people of faith. Even if you are not a believer you should not take this lightly.
    • Hillary Clinton describes Latino as “needy”.
    • Hilary Clinton mocked Southern.
    • Hilary pushed the Obama is a Muslim narrative in order to foster negative facts and campaigning.
    • War crimes – For example, there is evidence of war crimes such as a US assassination team making a mistake and killing seven innocent children. How is keeping this secret jeopardizing people? If anything if it is public it will help prevent things like this in the future. The whistle-blower Assange wants you to read the documents and see for yourself if this recent leak has 1000s criminal events by the military. Is this what the military is defending as a security risk? I heard as 60,000 civilians died. These were innocent people.
    • Helping the enemy – What about the connection between Pakistan and the Taliban. The US gives a lot of money to Pakistan and they help the other side. To me, this sounds similar to when the US helped Iraq and Saddam? The USA plays these Machiavellian imperial politics and yet we are a democracy. A democracy which George Washington the founder of our country, warned us against overseas involvement and abuses of past governments. If anything this information brought to light, in the open is important to protect American lives.
    • Clinton ordered US diplomats to spy on the UN – This I am shocked at and can this be true? Would the US really jeopardizes its international reputation as being a peaceful, trustworthy, altruistic country and engage in cold war tactics?

    On another level, did this leak tell us anything that we did not already know, that is, diplomats play a game of closed-door diplomacy. This is especially true in the Middle East and with Russia. They said that we were being pushed to attack Iran, or that Pakistan is a questionable ally or things like that. For example, what if North Korea fell we have plans to set up a unified Korea.  I think government officials have an inflated feeling of importance. We knew all this stuff.

    The whole world knew that money from Saudi Arabia helps finance Al Qaeda, why the big secret and why is it not more public so it can be stopped and save American lives? There is that new news? Not really.  The main thing that bothers people is when innocent civilians get killed and this is not brought out to the public.

    Wikileaks’ Julian Assange has courage

    The US government is calling Wikileaks’ founder Julian Assange irresponsible and a terrorist. Why? Because they are being exposed. I think Julian Assange has the courage of his convictions and he hopes to expose the truth. How can the truth be harmful? This is old information and not tactical information. In his eyes, it is simply politically dangerous to the people who are abusing power by keeping the truth from their citizens.

    (Major Disclaimer: One thing I do disagree with is anything that is not legal.  I am a patriot and fully respect the law. I would never ever give US secrets to anyone. I would defend the US the country I love and honor the law and if I was responsible for secrets would keep them. I do not encourage anyone to break the law in any way.  Anyone who broke the law or leaked confidential information should be caught by the government. No matter what the tone of this post is, I agree with the US government 100%. I am talking only in theory about politics and transparency.  If anyone from the government thinks this post is over the line I will take it down.)

    Assange is under surveillance by police, CIA, the foreign government pretty much anyone with a secret to hide. I know the Chinese do not like him. Iceland has offered him asylum. He runs his server in Sweden on PRQ. Sweden has pretty liberal laws regarding the Internet. But there are complexities there, and one of his women accusers I think worked for the USA once.

    Does Wikileaks poss a threat to US security?

    (disclaimer: I do not recommend anything other than the US party line of government agencies)  Yet, I recommend you watch two films that might answer about Wikileaks and Julian Assange:

    • War, lies, and videotape is a documentary by French directors Paul Moreira and Luc Hermann
    • We Steal Secrets: The Story of WikiLeaks by director Alex Gibney

    Wikileaks Website

    I recommend people look at these documents themselves by visiting the Wikileaks website: https://wikileaks.org/  and lets the facts speak for themselves. The website is easy to navigate.

    The bias media who are for Clinton in the election is trying to discredit Wikileaks saying is a basically controlled by the Russian government (For example the Hill wrote this). That is 100% false.

    Other Wilikeaks type websites are starting to appear with a similar model as Openleaks.

    How different generations perceive politics?

    I think the type of politics of the 20th century with all the wars and cloak and dagger do not appeal to the new generation as much as truth. The WWII generation had a high tolerance for government secrecy as they were told it was in the national interest. Yet with the exception of Homeland security, this does not seem true.  Homeland security does need to be protected as the methods they use directly protects US citizens.

    For example, Hillary Clinton’s deleted illegal (because they were on an illegal server) emails does not do anything but expose her for being anti-catholic for example.

    Wikileaks is good and reliable:

    • The truth is always good.
    • Governments in the past from kings, dictators, and communists kept things secret because they had something to hide from the good citizens of their country.
    • When people are aware of the truth they are empowered to change, this is a mission of Wiki leaks, to bring transparency to government.
    • Contrary to what the inner circle of politicians and old generals says, that is these secrets are harmful if people know about them, the opposite is most likely true as according to the New York Times they are scrubbing the data before it is published. But I do not have all the facts myself. In the long-run, the truth will be good for governments and in the long-run are helpful. Wikileaks is good as long as they are honest and legal.
    • A group of independent security professionals says that Wikileaks, it was around in 2001 could have prevented 9/11 as there were obvious signs for that tragedy.

    Do you think Wikileaks bad? Think again. Wikileaks is pushing for transparency in government and is reliable in that respect. It brings transparency to the next level, as the organization hopes our children will have a better future which is more open.  Consider Thomas Jefferson: ‘The government that governs least governs best’.

    I think organizations like Wikileaks, which are committed to the truth can be trusted more than governments who try to hide the truth.  So dependable or reliable is a matter of trust. Who do you trust ‘the government party line’ or someone who has the courage to seek the truth?

    Categories
    Politics

    US presidential election 2012

    Your ultimate guide to the United States presidential election of 2012.

    It covers the candidates and the probabilities of each being elected to office. I also layout the issues in a clear non-partisan way. This is an objective non-partial guide to the US presidential elections. The most important thing is this guide is simple and clear.

    The United States presidential election of 2012 is on Tuesday, November 6, 2012. The electoral college election is on December 17, 2012.  The presidential election will be on the same day as the election of the house of representatives and 33 senate seats. There will be 11 gubernatorial races and a number of state representative races.

    The election will in 2012 for the President of the United States come down to a few swing states – I think the electoral college is ridiculous.

    The Issues of the 2012 presidential election

    • Economy – The primary issue in every Presidential election is the economy. The state of the economy determines who will win.  I know hardliners on both sides, democrat and republican shift party loyalty based on economic issues. Most people are trying to provide a life for their family and this issue comes first.

    The main  economic debate is this:

    • The Democrats believe in a free market but temper excesses by taxing the rich and redistributing wealth to the poor and middle class. This includes incentives to small business which are the biggest employer in the USA.
    • The Republicans believe the poor and middle class became well off in the USA because of entrepreneurship and hard work. When big government tries to convince people you need government intervention to micromanage the process, this is the road to serfdom.
    • Taxes – The Democrats, like President  Obama or Clinton, believe in increase taxes to pay government obligations now. The Republicans believe like President Reagan and Arthur Laffer, reduce taxes and this will increase growth and will result in greater revenue. Tea Party and Libertarians like Ron Paul believe cut spending by over 50% as step one. Therefore, what is done with taxes and spending is the major issue as it affects all others. However, it is not just about high or low taxes it is also how we are taxed. Do we have a very progressive tax or more of a flat tax? A flat tax would simplify the process, and better for growth,  but is unfair to the poor. What about a negative income tax?
    • Debt – There is bipartisan support for decreasing the US government debt. Actually now the focus is only on the deficit.  The Democrats want to decrease the US deficit by focusing on taxing, mostly the rich and tax cheats. The Republicans want to do this through a decrease in taxes and government spending. The only way to do it is the Ron Paul approach of cut spending greater than 50%, then a balanced budget amendment. Why? The democrats project 20 trillion in debt by 2016 and the Republicans 19 trillion. To me this is no difference, both parties are just games and politics.
    • Trade – Free trade or protectionism. This is one of the key issues. Should the USA be like China and pursue a more mercantilist policy and help protect US jobs, or should the US be a free economy and focus on developing its competitive advantage. The Democrats focus on protecting the US worker. The Republicans think free trade makes society richer.
    • Right to work – Should the US government care about issues like the minimum wage and policies to protect workers rights? Or do Workers rights make it more difficult for employers to hire new workers and therefore, hurts workers in the long run?
    • Unemployment – Republicans prefer monetary stimulus and Democrats prefer fiscal stimulus and Libertarians prefer allowing the market to work naturally. If you want to know more about these ideas try looking at the Keynes Vs. Hayek video.
    • Financial Regulation – This issue is all over the board. But again Democrats prefer regulation while Republicans prefer less government.
    • Health care – If the Republicans win big in the 2012 election with the presidential and congressional race, Obama’s health care will be repealed and a Republican version of the Health care reform will be issued.
    • Social security – One on extreme the government should provide care from the cradle to the grave, new sources of funding will be needed and sought out. On the other side, the New Deal I and II should be undone and social security should be privatized. Either way, the clock is ticking and there is no money in the future. To ignore this issue is a certain catastrophe as our children will not be able to pay for baby boomer entitlements.

    Other important election issues:

    • Environment and climate change –The consensus debate is not is the climate is changing. But which way it is changing and is it man-made or from natural cycles, no one knows.
    • The war in Afghanistan – Most Americans are peaceful, but have accepted the war as a battle against people who want to attack America. However, the question is why has war not been declared as required in the US constitution?
    • Military – Some people want a large WWII type military, while others want to bring the troops home and only be involved in conflicts in the USA and believe the military is the largest special interest. The US has troops on the ground in 133 countries, is that too much or should we have more?
    • Foreign policy – There are two visions for America. One is George Washington’s belief that America is the most important.  The second is the policy we pursued in practice, that has a role in the global community promoting US interests and security. Similarly, there is the foreign aid is a small percentage of the budget and most people do not have to make choices with elections based on this.
    • Homeland security – What are your rights to privacy? Does the government use fear to justify incremental decreases in your personal liberty? Where is the balance between the common good and individual liberty?
    • Gun control – European no gun model or American right to guns with limited restrictions.
    • The family – What is a family in 2012? What role does the US have in defining a family or giving citizenship and benefits to non-traditional families?
    • Immigration – In what way do we restrict illegal immigration? Do we build a fence or do we allow random checks near the border? What rights do illegal immigrants have? Should legal immigration quota’s be adjusted to allow for more Mexicans? If police can check someone 100 miles from the broader this is most of the USA as it will include large population centers like New York and Los Angeles and this means the government can check 99% of Americans just on suspicion. As a side note: When I tried to bring my long-term wife into the USA (we have a child), and I am a born and raised American, it was very hard.
    • Life – Many people are one-issue voters when it comes to pro-life or not. This is the one issue that the economy is not as important for some people. For some people, they are one-issue voters. The economy and other issues are secondary when it comes to this issue as it has to do with ideas and beliefs. If someone believes a developing baby should be protected, they will not care what the economy is doing as much.  These are usually faithful. On the other hand, if someone believes strongly in terminating this development, this is more important than their paycheck, they will vote Democrat.

    The US political parties

    Republicans

    Small government, a balanced budget,  low taxes, pro-business, pro-gun, Pro family, Pro-life,

    There are four groups of Republicans.

    1. Traditional Republicans – Pro family, Pro-business
    2. Religious – pro-life, Pro family, pro-religion
    3. Libertarians – Low taxes, pro-business, personal freedom
    4. Swing voters – Improving government

    To clinch the Republican nomination you need to win two of these groups. For example, Mitt Romney has 2 and 3.

    Democrats

    Government-run health care and a large social system to provide security for all. Government protection of industries and jobs, protect the environment, anti-gun, alternative families.

    Libertarians

    Low taxes – small government – high level of liberties – a small safety net. Ideologically close to Republicans but often seen as taking votes from the Republicans. Watch some Ron Paul videos on YouTube.

    Independents

    More Democratic-leaning but all over the board on the issues.

    Other parties include Populous and Protectionist etc.

    Presidential candidates

    • Barack Obama – Obama is an interesting man. He really represents a practical approach to politics. His views are appealing.  Despite hard Republican criticism of him he maintains a good image and is liked by the international community. However, the main criticism, whether people know it or not is that he does not understand economic theory. Boom bust cycles are usually caused by an unnatural expansion of credit by the Federal Reserve bank, a disequilibrium in the money markets which cause disequilibrium in the real sector, not a wave of greed by a conspirator elite class.  He is a politician that has a sincere desire to change the system. However, the way he changes it is not optimal for the long-run. 49% Chance of winning in 2012. On a personal note, I think Obama will not get re-elected in 2012 as he does not know what is he doing economically. Here are my 101 reasons why Obama will not get elected in 2012.
    • Hilary Clinton – competent, hardworking focusing on social issues such as health care. Seen as extreme by many as she has a closet feminist agenda. 35% chance of winning the election. But she will not run.
    • Mitt Romney – The Republican front-runner. Low taxes, small government, pro-family. 45 % chance of winning the election.
    • Herman Cain – I would love to see an Obama Cain battle in the 2012 election. Cain is a practical real-world businessman while Obama the political idealist.
    • Ron Paul – Champion of the US Constitution and the little guy though balancing the budget, abolishing the income tax and the Federal Reserve, also stands for transparency in government. Ron Paul is also against the industrial military complex and empire building, where the US is in 135 countries.I will vote for Ron Paul.
    • Rick Perry – Conservative and commands the Texas advantage, bringing a lot of electorate votes.

    Lesser-known candidates but real contenders for the Presidency in 2012

    Rick Santorum – Senator from Pennsylvania

    On this page on the US presidential election of 2012, I wanted to be objective. However, just so you know where I personally stand here is what I believe in Politically.

    My Libertarian views– low taxes, small government, free trade makes countries rich and people happy, being independent and freedom to choose and make your own life in many ways, very proactive help for the poor with a negative income tax replacing most of the State and Federal government. Private prisons, private schools with every citizen given the right to choose the school their child goes to. Generally, reduce the burden of government in every way possible.
    My Republican views – Protection of the innocent and respect for all life as life is sacred and from our divine creator. Life is not something that can be regulated by the market or diminished with social trends. Life is divine and needs to be protected and respected. I believe in Family values, I am a husband and a father. A balanced budget amendment is a very good idea.
    My Democratic views – I  believe in some gun regulation. Many people might object to this, but people are often mentally unstable in my personal experience. I am an American and EU citizen and having no guns here means, few violent crimes. There are some people who just are not acting with the same respect for others and should not carry guns. Protection of the environment as it is a public good. I do not want to debate climate change, it is a pointless circle, but nature needs to be preserved as it is a shared good. Theodore Roosevelt understood this.  I have no problem with diverse ethic or social preference, America is a melting pot. Helping the poor though food stamps and education etc. I believe giving every child a chance to compete is good for the individual and society.
    My Pacifist views – I believe that life is sacred and to send a child across the seas to fight for some abstract political ideology that does not involve the protection of innocent people is questionable. However, in history, there were times when force was necessary. Wilson and Lincoln understood this in different ways. Wars of imperialism is not America I come from or what George Washington or Thomas Jefferson envisioned.

    Who do I usually vote for? I am liberal but in a Libertarian way. What does this mean? My views come from the enlightenment and the founding fathers. That reduces the burden of government and this will help all people.

    I am a Libertarian but I vote Republican because I believe as an economist they understand free trade and small government. I think ironically as it sounds Republicans help the poor the most. Think of Ronald Reagan. I am a family man and Republicans protect family values and are pro-life and promote freedom of religion not freedom from religion. I do have problems with the Republicans on many issues. However, life, the family issue as well as small government, low taxes, balanced budget, helping the poor with greater economic freedom are the most important for me. If the Democrats were for life and the Republicans were not, I would be a Democrat. If you want to read more of my views read my view on what makes a bad US President.

    Who will you vote for in 2012? Please leave a comment and let me know if I have left anything out of this page, and take this election poll.

    US presidential election Poll

    [poll id=”5″]

    Additional resources to help you make a more informed vote

    • US election information – Official US government site with a simple to use search and a lot of information about the electorial college.

    As the election nears I will be updating this post on the Presidential race so please check back and let me know who you support and why.

    Categories
    Politics

    5 signs of a bad President

    This post is not about our current President and leader but any President Republican or Democrat that is a bad leader.  It is a post in general about what makes a bad President? What are the five guaranteed warning signs you have a bad president and leader?

    1. Increase taxes – “No nation was every taxed into prosperity” – Ronald Reagan. Taxes are simply a statement that bureaucrats know how to spend and invest your hard-earned money better than you. It is an inefficient transfer of money. The result is you wind up working for your neighbor’s wife, who wants to remodel her bathroom with government housing credits or none market loans (your money).
    2. Increase debt –  Government deficits and debts are nothing more than a heavy tax and burden on your children. But it actually something more.  The US debt affects you today because it crowds out of the private initiative in business, therefore, increases unemployment and decreases competitiveness.  Increased government spending is moving the US towards a collapse because fixed mandatory spending will exceed anything possible to fix. I am not a doomsayer, but this is collapse is as shown under various budget projections by the congressional budget office.
    3. Increase government waste – Government wastes more than private ownership. I know you are saying, this is not true, but the presidential stimulus plan includes such things as golf carts, massages, studies college girls causal encounter behavior while partying.
    4. Increase unemployment – Distortions in the market always lead to prolonged unemployment. If you prop up the economy with bailouts you do not let the markets work. You spend the money of hardworking people to prolong and exacerbate unemployment by allowing inefficient businesses to exist and crowd out the opportunity for new innovative people to create jobs. If you want unemployment to go down, let the markets work.
    5. Increase in blame – When a president and leader of a country says,  the last president or it is some greedy man or bank is the cause, this is blame. The real problem is not a person or scapegoat but actually, the government trying to micromanage the economy instead of letting the market punish and reward the bad and the good. If a bank is bad, let it fall, do not bail it out. On a large macro-scale economic problems are caused because of government mismanagement. Whether fiscal policy mismanagement by a  policy of tax and spend or monetary central bank policies by allowing easy credit to people and companies that were risky.  In the words of Ronald Reagan “Government is the problem”.

    Markets work because they are run by normal people like you and me. That is the aggregate action of our behavior is the market. This is a democracy and a free market. There are wisdom and safety in the collective minds of individuals acting freely, that is greater than the wisdom of a leader trying to manage the economy from above.  Economies fail because of government leadership under a bad President.

    A bad President and government micromanages the economy

    This current economic crisis was caused by easy credit from the government central bank and government agencies like Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac and fiscal policies (and transfer of toxic debt from private to public hands) deepened and prolonged it. The Government should not be in the business of microeconomic management. Rather the government should protect the liberty of the people of a country against foreign and domestic threats to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.

    If you like this post about the five warning signs of a bad President, please spread it around via Facebook,  Twitter, Stumble, etc. as I think it is something worthy for others to read and be aware of concerning our democracy. Thank you.

    On a large macro scale economic problems are caused because government mismanagement. Whether fiscal policy mismanagement by a  policy of tax and spend or monetary policies through polices of easy credit to people and companies that were risky.  In the words of Ronald Reagan “Government is the problem”.  Markets work.  When you reduce the burden of government and the government micro or macro management of the economy, markets return back to natural equilibrium.
    Categories
    Politics

    Libertarians and the poor

    One of the basic criticisms of libertarianism is it does nothing for the poor. The rich will get richer and their children will also have better opportunities and it will create a more stratified society. Democrats believe that Libertarians are selfish. is this true?

    The reality is I think most libertarians, including Milton Friedman, had no problem with the redistribution of income to the poor. The main issue is Libertarians believe whatever the government does people can do more efficiently. The  Libertarian aim is to simply find the most efficient way to meet the goal of a more free and just society.  They believe that reducing government and simply using a negative income tax is more effective than a large bureaucracy that will siphon off money and be manipulated by special interests.  The government takes a lot of energy to run. Why not give money to the poor directly with a negative income tax? In fact Milton Friedman, a great Libertarian said we have a responsibility to the poor.

    Friedman believed “trying to do good with other people’s money simply does not work”.  Libertarians are for doing good and maybe are even more compassionate than Democrats, so it is not about that. It is about making real gains to help the poor, instead of just ineffective government programs.

    Libertarians and charity

    It is pretty well established in times of low government programs, help for the poor and charitable giving goes up from private donation. In times when the government is helping the poor (trying), people do not give to a charity that much.

    I live in post-socialist Poland. I see now that after 20 years of capitalism and the movement away from socialism, people are giving more and more each year. In fact, under socialism, the state freed the individual from the responsibility of helping the less fortunate.  And believe me, nothing was accomplished. Everyone was poor and did not live well. The poor were not really helped, only government officials and bureaucrats.  This is why Libertarians are for helping the poor, just in a more efficient way than Democrats.

    Government hurts the poor in ways that people can not see. Author Charles Dickens who grew up under much darker times economically than we have, opposed government help for the poor? Why? He felt it was ineffective.  The author of Hard Times and Oliver Twist felt private charity reformed and changed people, while government charity brought people down. I live in Poland and believe me this is the case. I know there are empirical studies to back this up, but I do not need to look at these studies to know, I just have to look around.

    Why are Americans so rich while the rest of the world is poor? This sounds like a pretty bold statement. But there are six billion people in this world and about eight hundred million have anything close to the standard of living in America. Why did American prosper? What anomaly took place in the USA? I would say it was a free country with little or no direct taxes for the first hundred and forty years of its existence. People grew rich on their own. The founding fathers were basically Libertarian and this ideal was the American way until FDR and academic liberalism focused on Keynesian economics as the way for a more just society.

    How would you rather give to the poor, which way do you think is more effective? Would you rather give directly to the International Red cross or alike charity, or would you rather have an increase in your taxes and it goes into the black hole of government assistance?