Wednesday, January 18, 2006
  Bush Explains the New Pharmacy Plan
'I don't really understand. How is the new plan going to fix the problem?'

'Because the -- all which is on the table begins to address the big cost drivers. For example, how benefits are calculated, for example, is on the table. Whether or not benefits rise based upon wage increases or price increases. There's a series of parts of the formula that are being considered. And when you couple that, those different cost drivers, affecting those -- changing those with personal accounts, the idea is to get what has been promised more likely to be -- or closer delivered to that has been promised. Does that make any sense to you? It's kind of muddled. Look, there's a series of things that cause the -- like, for example, benefits are calculated based upon the increase of wages, as opposed to the increase of prices. Some have suggested that we calculate -- the benefits will rise based upon inflation, supposed [as opposed?] to wage increases. There is a reform that would help solve the red if that were put into effect. In other words, how fast benefits grow, how fast the promised benefits grow, if those -- if that growth is affected, it will help on the red.'

Now, I don't know about you, but after that explanation everything is crystal clear to me. If you still have questions, I suggest you email President Bush. I know he will be only to happy to go through his talking points in greater detail.
Thursday, January 12, 2006
  Declaration of Independence
Once upon a time in a galaxy far, far away there was an evil tyrant by the name of King George who sorely oppressed the people of a young and peaceful land. The people did rise up and declare that they were mad as hell and they weren't going to take it any more.

To be sure that King George got the message, they wrote it down in a little work called "The Declaration of Independence of the Thirteen Colonies." Oddly enough, what goes around, comes around which means that when people forget history, they are doomed to repeat it. Thus, we find ourselves in exactly the same situation as the one that inspired that great Declaration and lead to the American War for Independence. If you don't believe it, just read the following lists of complaints against King George contained in the original Declaration of Independence and compare it to the last five years under our King George.

The Declaration of Independence of the Thirteen Colonies
In CONGRESS, July 4, 1776

The unanimous Declaration of the thirteen united States of America,
When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. --That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, --That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security. —Such has been the patient sufferance of these Colonies; and such is now the necessity which constrains them to alter their former Systems of Government. The history of the present King of Great Britain [George III] is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations, all having in direct object the establishment of an absolute Tyranny over these States. To prove this, let Facts be submitted to a candid world.

He has refused his Assent to Laws, the most wholesome and necessary for the public good.
He has forbidden his Governors to pass Laws of immediate and pressing importance, unless suspended in their operation till his Assent should be obtained; and when so suspended, he has utterly neglected to attend to them.

He has refused to pass other Laws for the accommodation of large districts of people, unless those people would relinquish the right of Representation in the Legislature, a right inestimable to them and formidable to tyrants only.

He has called together legislative bodies at places unusual, uncomfortable, and distant from the depository of their public Records, for the sole purpose of fatiguing them into compliance with his measures.

He has dissolved Representative Houses repeatedly, for opposing with manly firmness his invasions on the rights of the people.

He has refused for a long time, after such dissolutions, to cause others to be elected; whereby the Legislative powers, incapable of Annihilation, have returned to the People at large for their exercise; the State remaining in the mean time exposed to all the dangers of invasion from without, and convulsions within.

He has endeavoured to prevent the population of these States; for that purpose obstructing the Laws for Naturalization of Foreigners; refusing to pass others to encourage their migrations hither, and raising the conditions of new Appropriations of Lands.

He has obstructed the Administration of Justice, by refusing his Assent to Laws for establishing Judiciary powers.

He has made Judges dependent on his Will alone, for the tenure of their offices, and the amount and payment of their salaries.

He has erected a multitude of New Offices, and sent hither swarms of Officers to harass our people, and eat out their substance.

He has kept among us, in times of peace, Standing Armies without the consent of our legislatures.

He has affected to render the Military independent of and superior to the Civil power.

He has combined with others to subject us to a jurisdiction foreign to our constitution and unacknowledged by our laws; giving his Assent to their Acts of pretended Legislation:
For Quartering large bodies of armed troops among us:
For protecting them, by a mock Trial, from punishment for any Murders which they should commit on the Inhabitants of these States:
For cutting off our Trade with all parts of the world:
For imposing Taxes on us without our Consent:
For depriving us, in many cases, of the benefits of Trial by Jury:
For transporting us beyond Seas to be tried for pretended offences:
For abolishing the free System of English Laws in a neighbouring Province, establishing therein an Arbitrary government, and enlarging its Boundaries so as to render it at once an example and fit instrument for introducing the same absolute rule into these Colonies:
For taking away our Charters, abolishing our most valuable Laws, and altering fundamentally the Forms of our Governments:
For suspending our own Legislatures, and declaring themselves invested with power to legislate for us in all cases whatsoever.

He has abdicated Government here, by declaring us out of his Protection and waging War against us.

He has plundered our seas, ravaged our Coasts, burnt our towns, and destroyed the lives of our people.

He is at this time transporting large Armies of foreign Mercenaries to compleat the works of death, desolation and tyranny, already begun with circumstances of Cruelty and perfidy scarcely paralleled in the most barbarous ages, and totally unworthy the Head of a civilized nation.
He has constrained our fellow Citizens taken Captive on the high Seas to bear Arms against their Country, to become the executioners of their friends and Brethren, or to fall themselves by their Hands.

He has excited domestic insurrections amongst us, and has endeavoured to bring on the inhabitants of our frontiers, the merciless Indian Savages, whose known rule of warfare, is an undistinguished destruction of all ages, sexes and conditions.

In every stage of these Oppressions We have Petitioned for Redress in the most humble terms: Our repeated Petitions have been answered only by repeated injury. A Prince whose character is thus marked by every act which may define a Tyrant, is unfit to be the ruler of a free people.

Nor have We been wanting in attentions to our British brethren. We have warned them from time to time of attempts by their legislature to extend an unwarrantable jurisdiction over us. We have reminded them of the circumstances of our emigration and settlement here. We have appealed to their native justice and magnanimity, and we have conjured them by the ties of our common kindred to disavow these usurpations, which, would inevitably interrupt our connections and correspondence. They too have been deaf to the voice of justice and of consanguinity. We must, therefore, acquiesce in the necessity, which denounces our Separation, and hold them, as we hold the rest of mankind, Enemies in War, in Peace Friends.

We, therefore, the Representatives of the united States of America, in General Congress, Assembled, appealing to the Supreme Judge of the world for the rectitude of our intentions, do, in the Name, and by the Authority of the good People of these Colonies, solemnly publish and declare, That these United Colonies are, and of Right ought to be Free and Independent States; that they are Absolved from all Allegiance to the British Crown, and that all political connection between them and the State of Great Britain, is and ought to be totally dissolved; and that as Free and Independent States, they have full Power to levy War, conclude Peace, contract Alliances, establish Commerce, and to do all other Acts and Things which Independent States may of right do. And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes and our sacred Honor.

The signers of the Declaration represented the new states as follows:

New Hampshire
Josiah Bartlett, William Whipple, Matthew Thornton

John Hancock, Samual Adams, John Adams, Robert Treat Paine, Elbridge Gerry

Rhode Island
Stephen Hopkins, William Ellery

Roger Sherman, Samuel Huntington, William Williams, Oliver Wolcott

New York
William Floyd, Philip Livingston, Francis Lewis, Lewis Morris

New Jersey
Richard Stockton, John Witherspoon, Francis Hopkinson, John Hart, Abraham Clark

Robert Morris, Benjamin Rush, Benjamin Franklin, John Morton, George Clymer, James Smith, George Taylor, James Wilson, George Ross

Caesar Rodney, George Read, Thomas McKean

Samuel Chase, William Paca, Thomas Stone, Charles Carroll of Carrollton

George Wythe, Richard Henry Lee, Thomas Jefferson, Benjamin Harrison, Thomas Nelson, Jr., Francis Lightfoot Lee, Carter Braxton

North Carolina
William Hooper, Joseph Hewes, John Penn

South Carolina
Edward Rutledge, Thomas Heyward, Jr., Thomas Lynch, Jr., Arthur Middleton

Button Gwinnett, Lyman Hall, George Walton

For additional information about the Declaration of Independence, see these sites:
National Archives and Records Administration: Declaration of Independence
Library of Congress: About the Declaration of Independence
Wednesday, January 04, 2006
  Bees and Illegal Aliens
If you don’t want to attract bees, keep the lid on the honey jar. Professor Bill Hing, in his January 2, 2006 editorial in the Chicago Tribune linked to by Buzzflash, states "If anti-immigrant forces in Congress had their way, illegal immigration would be a crime punishable by death."

This is a harsh statement about a body that has so far shown no real guts for actually stopping or controlling the flow of illegal aliens that cross our southern border. The bill he refers to sponsored by Rep. James Sensenbrenner (R-Wis.), that was passed in the House will be watered down in the Senate - as usual - to make ineffective the so-called increased enforcement against employers who hire undocumented workers - and there is the real problem.

Professor Hing blames "anti-immigration laws" for causing the deaths of people trying to enter this country illegally because "their entry choices were shifted to treacherous terrain--the deserts and mountains."

He goes on to site numbers that seemly back his argument; "In 1994, fewer than 30 migrants died along the border; by 1998, the number was 147; in 2001, 387 deaths were counted; and in the last fiscal year, 451 died." What he leaves out of these numbers is the corresponding increase in the number of people illegally crossing the southern border since 1994. He says of the people who cross the border illegally "In a sense, they do not have a choice." This is his prelude to the often heard jobs-are-going-begging argument.

He says "... jobs are plentiful here [in the US] because a variety of industries rely on low-wage migrant workers." At this point, I would ask Professor Hing to first get his nomenclature straight; we are not talking about "migrant workers." A migrant is someone with legal standing. What we are talking about is "illegal aliens"; people who have openly broken the law to gain entry into our country and now resides here illegally.

Secondly, industries in the United States who have become addicted to exploiting the labor of illegal aliens paying low wages and furnishing poor and dangerous work conditions should not be rewarded by giving these industries greater access to a larger work force ripe for exploitation. These industries should be made to answer to the letter of the law. It is illegal to hire illegal aliens in this country. Any company found guilty of doing so should be heavily fined and the executive officers should face prison time.

Professor Hing and others may argue that if some industries had to bring up working conditions and wages to attract American workers, they would go out of business. My response to that is, "Too bad."

If I am a merchant in this country selling any type of merchandise and I find that I can no longer make a profit by buying my product wholesale, adding value and then reselling it, I have some choices to make. I can a.) go out of business; b.) change my business to increase efficiency; c.) take my business to another country; d.) pass the increased cost to the consumer, or, finally; e.) I can charge it off against the bottom-line. Traditionally, with the exception of "c", American companies have chosen a combination of all the above.

What they don't do is smuggle in raw product across the border from another country to keep up the bottom-line. Other producers of the same product would cry “foul” and there are numerous laws in place with harsh penalties to prevent such unfair advantages.

Recently, Delphi CEO Steve Miller callously pointed out that labor is just another raw material. Every working person in this country is a merchant of that material. Why should we stand by while our stock-in-trade is cheapened by goods smuggled into this country illegally?

Yes, I recognize that the world is just one huge market place now but I also recognize that the world is not one huge level playing field. If it were, the United States would have universal health care like all other major industrialized nations, Chinese currency wouldn't be pegged to the US Dollar to insure that the trade deficient remains in their favor and US farmers wouldn’t be getting farm subsidies, 80% of which go to three corporations, so they can undercut prices on the world market and force local farmers out of business – including Mexican farmers - since the signing of NAFTA. Now these farmers swell the ranks of Mexico's unemployed because they can no longer compete with our giant government-subsidized farming industries.

So, Professor Hing, if you really want to stop the deaths of people who have chosen of their own freewill to break our laws and cross into our country illegally, put the lid on the honey jar and the bees will stay away. Stiffen the penalties and fines for hiring illegal aliens until it becomes unprofitable. It is already illegal, immoral and just plain un-American.

Oh, and if you really need something to bitch about, consider starting with NAFTA.
Tuesday, January 03, 2006
  Saving this Presidency… Why Bother?
by Nathan J. Muller
Co-founder -

Political analysts and news media have opened a new line of inquiry - assessing the state of the presidency and pondering the question, "Can it be saved?" This begs a more fundamental question, "Why bother?" After all, George Bush has done more to damage our security, to destroy the middle class, and to deepen divisions in society than any other President within living memory. Saving this presidency merely promises more of the same. And if you think you've seen everything this man is really capable of, you're in for a big surprise…

In recent weeks, political analysts and news media have opened a new line of inquiry - assessing the state of the presidency and pondering the question, "Can it be saved?"

This begs a more fundamental question, "Why bother?" After all, this Administration has done more to damage our security, to destroy the middle class, and to deepen divisions in society than any other President within living memory. Saving this presidency merely promises more of the same.

The track record of this President is more than abysmal; it is an unrelenting assault on the middle class as if it were a pandemic needing swift eradication by any means necessary. But the beltway babble is all about saving the President's legacy, not in stopping the damage to done to countless Americans.

Middle class carnage

Topping the list of treasonous acts committed by this President is his stubborn insistence on leaving our southern border open to the invasion of 3 million illegal aliens annually, along with terrorists, human traffickers, drug smugglers, cold-blooded killers, gangs, and child predators. Saving this presidency would merely invite more of the same, but under the guise of a "guest worker" program that looks too much like amnesty.

Saving this presidency means more callous disregard for the plight of the working poor, elderly and disadvantaged. While this President approved a $6 billion subsidy to the nation's largest oil companies at a time when those companies posted record profits, the legislation did not offer help to the poorest consumers whose heating oil bills this winter will skyrocket by 28.5%.
George Bush continues to lead the assault on the middle class by scaling back college tuition assistance programs, cutting back on Medicare, and changing the rules for declaring bankruptcy to make it impossible for people hit with catastrophic health care costs to rebound. Next in the crosshairs: elimination of the tax deduction on home ownership.

And if you want the true measure of the man, it was Bush who callously suspended the Davis-Bacon Act during cleanup efforts along the Gulf Coast after Hurricane Katrina. This encouraged contractors to hire cheap foreign labor, which deprived residents of a decent wage when they desperately needed work to rebuild their lives.

The Bush Administration's trade policies are responsible for sending American jobs to cheap labor markets overseas and for importing more foreign workers into this country who take away jobs Americans already have. It is this Administration that sees the United States of America as a mere market, with its citizens subject to the whims of Big Business. The result: pension plans, health insurance, job training - all are being phased out.

Mindless globalization

In this President's mindless pursuit of globalization, entire industries are being lost forever, along with the good paying jobs of middle class Americans that once provided a stable tax base for schools, law enforcement and social welfare programs.

The textile and steel industries are pretty much gone, while technical and professional work is routinely shipped off to India. Now we see blue chip manufacturing jobs being lost to cheap labor markets like China, illustrated recently by the huge layoffs at General Motors and auto parts maker Delphi.

Next in line to be exported are emerging technologies as well as scientific and medical research. And for the first time, the United States is now a net importer of food products, making Americans increasingly dependent on other countries for agricultural products.

With the President's job performance ratings continuing to plummet, it is clear that most Americans -- 65% at this writing -- think George Bush is out of step with their concerns and priorities. Most Americans do not like the direction in which our country is headed. The weakness of this President is appreciated by other governments, which have demonstrated eagerness to exploit the situation.

During Bush's recent two-day trip to China, it was plain even to the Communist regime that he is so weak that there was no need to concede anything during hours of high-level negotiations. The result: Bush once again failed to win concessions from Communist China that could have saved U.S. jobs, eased a lopsided trade imbalance, and strengthened national security. The Chinese outmaneuvered Bush on the issues of currency revaluation, religious freedom and human rights. On Taiwan, China did not budge from its long-held opposition to autonomy for the rogue "province."

About the only thing Communist China agreed to do was put greater effort into clamping down on copyright infringement, like it has so many times before. The Administration can then parade this achievement as a foreign policy success. The Chinese know all they have to do is say the right words on intellectual property protection and we will go away. Meanwhile, it operates over 3,000 sham companies in this country whose primary mission is to steal technology innovations.
The new "community"

If you think you've seen everything Bush is really capable of, you're in for a big surprise…
Bush now wants to meld the U.S., Canada and Mexico into a "community," the boundaries of which would be defined by a common outer security perimeter. As described by the Council for Foreign Affairs in a 70-page paper entitled, Building a North American Community, within this new unified North America there would be the free movement of people and products. In other words, the free market would decide where people live and work.

The goal of this new arrangement is to "guarantee a free, safe, just, and prosperous North America." When you peel away all the glad-wrap, however, we're left with the stark reality that more Americans will have to work for paltry wages because big corporations will enjoy unfettered access to all the cheap labor they could ever want. Assuming all parties agree, this plan is supposed to go into effect as soon as 2010.

Clear and present danger

In his reasoning, posture, gestures, attitude and character, President Bush has revealed himself as a total fraud. The best Congress can do to serve all Americans is to keep this man bottled up for the next three years - stopping new initiatives at every turn. Only through political isolation can this man be rendered powerless to do more harm.

Then again, we can't really trust Congress to do the right thing anymore either. It seems neither party will be totally satisfied until they have reduced this nation to a squalid third-world existence, dependent on other nations for manufacturing, textiles, agriculture, technology and critical pharmaceuticals.

Only impeachment could create the possibility for corrective action, but neither the Democrats nor Republicans in Congress want to offend the Hispanic community or staunch the campaign contribution spigot of corporations that thrive on cheap labor.

Saving this presidency would mean the worst assaults on America's middle class are yet to come.

Nathan Muller is co-founder of For the Cause and the author of 26 books and numerous articles on political, regulatory, legal, management and technology issues. He is a frequent speaker at seminars and a guest on radio talk shows. He can be reached at this
email address email address.

This article is reproduced by permission of the author and For the Cause -
Samizdat: an underground system for the circulation of forbidden works of literature and political criticism in the Soviet era of Russia.

Location: Arkansas, United States

Angry, angry, angry ... but still, any day above ground is a good day.