Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Open Season on Taxpayers...Anything Goes!

The latest perfidy on the part of an elected official, at least on the national scene, is the defection of U.S. Senator Arlen Specter from the republican to the democrat party. He was upfront about his weaseling, which had nothing to do with philosophy but everything to do about being reelected next year. His polling convinced him that Pennsylvania republicans had had it with him and that, consequently, he couldn’t even make it through the Primary Election.

In the Lexington, Ky., area, the governmental perfidy is much different in that it involves not defections from parties, but STEALING on the part of government employees from the hard-earned taxes of the people. This is actually a statewide practice documented on practically a daily schedule in the media and involves elected officials and/or bureaucrats in courthouses and municipal buildings from the Mississippi River to the horn of Pike County.

The most glaring bit of embezzling this year was perpetrated by the director of Bluegrass Airport and some of his bureaucratic cronies. He, along with at least three of these cronies, is already gone but hopefully not forgotten by the law enforcement agencies. His salary of close to a quarter-million-a-year (for a small city of 280,000) and the six-figure salaries of his partners in crime were not enough, so these tinhorn crooks hit the general airport fund for over $500,000 in personal aggrandizements in just three years, including thousands spent at a strip club.

The University of Kentucky found it necessary to fire four employees and reprimand three others the other day after more than $20,000 worth of questionable expenses was discovered. One guy managed to buy $5,381 worth of alcohol purchases in just one year, while another one of the fired thieves managed to blow nearly $1,800 of the people’s money on a Christmas party. The first guy also blew more than $2,000 for booze during a three-day trip to Las Vegas in December 2007. Liquor is a prime acquisition for state employees to the extent that one wonders if many of them are ever sober.

The latest illegal windfall was perpetrated by the CEO of the local library establishment, which is financed virtually totally by property taxes. She managed to run up a bill of some $134,000 over her five-year tenure, traveling all over the world on the taxpayers’ dime. For instance, she blew nearly $6,000 in 2007 on a trip to a “library conference” in South Africa. SOUTH AFRICA? She blew almost $3,000, also in 2007 (what a year!), on a “library conference” no farther away than Washington. Her itinerary has included trips to Norway, the Netherlands, Czech Republic, Canada and 15 states…all on the taxpayers’ money. Talk about wild vacations!

In addition, thousands have been spent by her on meals at the best restaurants (to discuss business with various and assorted VIPs, of course), gifts such as calendars (more than $8,000 for those goodies), and “special events.” The list goes on and on, but, after all, the lady only makes $137,035 a year (base salary) plus other “enhancements.” This is way out of line, over-the-top compared to other library CEOs, at least for cities the size of Lexington. Her base income without the bells and whistles is 10% greater than the governor’s.

How does all this go down? Three guesses and the first two don’t count…you got it – that almighty definer of governmental stupidity, the CREDIT CARD. These officials (20 in the library department alone) are given credit cards. Imagine…CREDIT CARDS! That’s like throwing away the keys to the bank and inviting a riot.

To whom or what are these finaglers responsible? Again, those three guesses…yeah, various boards made up of appointees who happen to be cronies of whoever the appointer is, such as a mayor, or a crony of a crony. Result: These boards have their meetings, get snowed by the perpetrators of financial fraud, make nice with everybody, sometimes have parties, etc. They DO virtually NOTHING. And why should they since they, at least for the most part, receive little other than the juicy appointment, a sort of social merit badge? In the cases noted here, the boards didn’t even perform sufficient oversight and certainly seemed to question nothing. How much time is a non-paid board member going to actually spend discharging his/her accepted responsibility? Not much!

This is what makes the taxpayer livid with resentment. The raid on the public treasury is never-ending by the hooligans who get these plums of employment while those who are trusted by their fellow citizens to watch the store are on perpetual vacation. Get this: The Library CEO was allowed by the library board to spend $17,405 over five years to just MOVE her belongings from Florida to Lexington. Why should that take five years and why should it take more than one trip? That works for everyone else. What is actually the explanation for this insult to one’s intelligence? Only the shadow knows, apparently. Disgusting! Just as the airport folks were axed, this library head-honcho should be fired!

And so it goes.

Jim Clark

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Janet, Joe & Rahm

It’s just past midnight. A conference call has been set up by Department of Homeland Security Czar Janet Napolitano with Vice President Joe Biden and President Obama’s chief of staff, Rahm Emanuel, hereinafter referenced as N, B, and E, respectively.

B: This had better be good, Janet, I was snoozing away and dreaming about Cheney shooting that bird-hunter…man, what a shot…almost as good as John Kerry’s non-shot that brought down two geese in that field when he was campaigning in 2004…hoo-hah, as Osama might say…what a joke…what a…

E: Shut up, Joe, you know Janet’s got something important on her mind, although I don’t have much time, Janet…I’m fixing up dead-fish packages to mail to three Congressmen. Why all this midnight stuff?

N: Look, guys, two Iraqi vets have moved their families into houses just down the street, and I’m afraid of what they might do if they saw me talking to you. Neither one of you’ve been in the military, and neither have I, and I’ve heard that might make them violent, like I said in that DHS summary…things like barking dogs, chewing-gum on the sidewalk might set ’em off. I’ve hired a good night-watchman, a former advance man for your campaigns, Rahm, and he eats raw meat before going on duty.

B: Sheesh, Janet! You woke me up for this? All I have to say is a good three-letter-word – NUTS!

E: That’s four letters, Joe, are you still in campaign mode or something? Next thing I hear…you’ll be wonderin’ what your e-mail number is…e-mail NUMBER…sheesh!

N: Stop it, you two. I’ve heard that some people feel threatened by an African-American president and I mentioned it in the memo. I need to know what you’re hearing.

B: I hear they fear the Jewish financial elites, like your DHS disastrous memo said…you know, rich Jews trying to collapse the economy and buy up all…

E: You want me to come over there and put a horse’s head in your bed, Joe?

B: God love ya, Rahm, I forgot you’re the best hora-dancer in the world…I didn’t mean anything…stand up there and let the…

E: The campaign’s over, Joe. In fact, it was over for you before it even started back in ’88 and got continued last year…or did you drop out before last year…ha…ha…ha…

N: Look, you clowns, this is serious business! The pro-lifers might get together with the vets and attack the abortion clinics…and I’ve gotta get ready for that. It could mean another Katrina…without the hurricane, of course. FEMA’s my bag now, too. What should I do?

B: Simple, Janet, just gin up the democrats over there in Congress – they got enough warm bodies (a lot of ’em without brains, o’ course) – over there to do away with the 2nd amendment and then all the guns would be confiscated and the baby-killers would be safe.

N: But about the real threat of a black president…is that real out there in the real world where real people do real things and…well, really, what should I…

E: Don’t sweat it, Janet! The KKK’s have all gone to ground now, ever since the word got out that I bit off the end of my finger. I didn’t, of course, but it puts the fear in the gown-gang. Besides, we’re proposing legislation against the manufacture of hoods with eye-holes and the demos on the Hill know better than to cross us…we’ll give ’em you-know-what if they cross us. Your derriere is covered! You know the new motto in the White House – BIG BROTHER IS WATCHING YOU!!!!!

N: Okay…that makes me feel better…really, really. But what about the homeless? It’s there in my DHS memo…all about the vets and the pro-lifers and the Pennsylvania Baptists recruiting all the homeless people and taking over all the bridges they sleep under in order to stop all traffic and tie-up the country. Could they do that?

B: God love ya, Janet…stand up there and tell those yahoos that the Guard will be under and on every bridge and if they even look sleepy enough to park for one night, the Guard will get that three-letter-command to FIRE!

E: Three-letter-word to fire…sheesh, Joe, that would be “fir.” Does that mean the Guard will cut down the nearest tree and beat ’em to death with it?

N: Not funny, Rahm! Anybody can mess up with spelling…you know, that word-smith thing I talked about to the press. Joe went to school in Pennsylvania and they might not even have fir trees there.

E: They didn’t have much in the way of the second-grade, either…ol’ Joe here…ha…ha… proves that. But watch what you say about trees when Al Gore is in town. He testified in Congress again and three congress-ladies passed out in fear that all the Polar Bears will be gone before her grandchildren get to see them. Big Al may demand legislation against tree-cutting soon and I’ve heard that it will make it a felony even to kill dandelions.

B: I gotta get back to my dreams, Janet. You got anything else?

E: Yeah, I’ve got a rough day tomorrow. The Big O’s having the Cabinet in to talk about what to do with General Motors. We got an offer we almost can’t refuse. Hugo Chavez has offered $3 trillion for it and even said he’d throw in Cuba, if necessary. He’ll have to take over from Raoul to do it – may even have to shoot him – but I’ve heard that Raoul would like to have a new Cadillac and might sell out the whole country, anyway, just to get one.

N: Uh-oh. D’ya hear that, guys? Somebody’s dog is barking and I’ve gotta see where that night watchman is. The vets down the street might be on the prowl, with those infra-red things that let ’em see in the dark. I gotta hang up, but if I’m not there for the meeting, Rahm, I’m all for it. I have a heavy day…got the proof from Al Gore that George Bush actually CAUSED that hurricane and begged the Rt. Rev. Dr. Honorable Ayatollah Imam Louis Farrakhan to not leak it that he also blew up the levees. John Kerry’s promised to hold hearings.

E: But he’s the Foreign Relations Committee chairman, Janet, not DHS chairman. You are, remember?

N: Yeah, but he’s declared that Lake Pontchartrain was not part of the Louisiana Purchase and still belongs to his favorite place – France. He got that word from Dan Rather, who found a secret contract written with an Air Guard 1803 quill…so Kerry can investigate, and I’d like to get rid of New Orleans anyway. Click, click, click.

And so it goes.

Jim Clark

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Whitfield Rises to the Occasion

Kentucky can be proud of Congressman Ed Whitfield, who took to the House floor this afternoon (23 April, TVed on C-Span) to make the case that the energy bill is too flawed to be passed. His arguments were telling as he backed them up with actual information, not a bunch of computer models premised on events that have not yet happened.

Very politely making his points, he explained how the president’s plans would place this country at an intolerable disadvantage in the world marketplace if Obama’s efforts are taken seriously. His argument against cap-and-trade was bolstered by the cap-and-trade efforts/results made in Europe over the last few years. This unilateral taxing of U.S. citizens could cost $1.7 trillion, according to the expert cited by Whitfield.

Whitfield cited remarks made by Obama during his recent trip to Europe regarding how this country could take a lesson from Spain in the matter of using so-called “renewables” in the business of creating energy. The fact is that the Spanish green-effort created some jobs, a primary argument by the administration, but for every one job created, 2.2 jobs were lost in the manufacturing field.

Whitfield made the point, obvious to anyone whose head is still above ground, that coal WILL be used to produce energy, no matter what the hand-wringing, climate-change (a false claim anyway) fear-mongers say about CO2. Coal is responsible for 50% of all electricity, nuclear for only 20% and all other elements for the rest. Whitfield mentioned that by 2035, the energy consumption-rate will have increased by 35% from what it is now.

Whitfield remarked that in the president’s budget (hundreds of pages) there is not even a mention of nuclear energy, much less money allocated to it, even though this is the way other countries have gone. There’s no money allocated for the spent-fuel facility at Yucca Mountain, after billions have already been spent to make this site workable. He mentioned that in France, for instance, the spent fuel is recycled, thus making less of it required for disposal, but that president Carter signed an executive order, apparently still in effect, that forbade such recycling in this country. The result is that the nuclear-energy producers have sued the government for billions, since they have contracts with the government to provide for disposal.

In short, the budget would take this country out of the global economy, meaning loss of goods and services to other countries that have no compulsion to worry about manmade climate-change, a proposition already shot-down quite effectively by U.S. scientists anyway. Manmade climate-change is the biggest hoax foisted on the American public in probably its entire history. This hoax was perpetrated in the United Nations in its last IPCC report, a report that has been shown to be so badly flawed as to be laughable.

The state and the country owe Whitfield thanks for his effort.

And so it goes.

Jim Clark

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Osama, Ayman & Mahmoud - 3 Stooges

It’s just after midnight in a cave in Afghanistan somewhere just west of the Pakistani border. Osama bin Laden, al Qaeda leader, is meeting with his deputy terrorist, Ayman al-Zawahiri, and Iran president/terrorist Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, hereinafter referenced as O, A, and M.

**O: I guess it’s somewhere around midnight…praise Allah for undercover darkness…not that I can tell by this watch left by the Russians in 1989. Its face is a picture of the American Ronald Reagan, with the second-hand flipping up his nose once every minute.

**M: Does that Russian compass still point to Lenin’s tomb…Allah be praised for any dead white man, even a butcher?

**O: No, Mahmoud, I got rid of that accursed compass, but the one I have now came from Hugo Chavez…Allah, forgive me for not noticing sooner…and it points to his palace in Venezuela as true-east. I prayed toward Caracas instead of Mecca for two weeks…and…

**A: And the American drones dropped bombs almost on top of us for Osama’s sin…Allah, forgive him…for those two weeks and drove us back over here from Pakistan where we were happy in the Swat Valley…

**M: The Swat Valley? Isn’t that where the Pakistani soldiers are fighting you, Ayman…Allah damn all Pakistanis except the Shiites!

**A (grabbing AK-47 and firing into the overhead): Except the Shiites! I’ll give you some Shiite blood, Mahmoud, your own…

**O (glaring at A): Now see what you’ve done, Ayman…dead bat entrails in my hair and rocks falling all over the place. (glaring at M) Put down your gun, Mahmoud! Ayman…Allah bless his loyalty…was just making the point that we Sunnis are taking the heat and outnumber you Shiites all over the world…it’s our turn.

**M: Well, I’ve just returned from the UN parley on race and I was outnumbered there…so there, Ayman. I know about being outnumbered but…Allah take note…I stand up for myself like I did at the race-meeting, meaning I turned it into a shouting match and accused the Israelis and Americans of being not as far evolved as Shiites…or even Sunnis…

**A: Watch it, Mahmoud! Mullah Omar’s Sunni Taliban are fighting with us…or starving with us (looks up and blows feathers out of his mouth)…Allah send food, PLEASE…so one word from Osama and…

**O: Not to worry, Mahmoud…Allah be not grieved by Ayman’s whining…tell us how the new American president, Hussein Obama, is doing.

**M: Oh hoo-hah…ha…ha…he listened on Trinidad for 50 minutes to Daniel Ortega call the USA everything from a horse’s derriere to a Kurd’s pea-brain…Allah be glorified…and responsible for every evil thing up to and including earthquakes, global warming or cooling, even the girls’ schools. He said not a word when Ortega said his people would stop fighting to get in the USA if Obama would just pay him mucho greenbacks…get that…mucho…

**O: I got it, I got it and did the Obamessiah…ha..ha…that’s what the American republicans call him…say anything?

**M: Oh yes…hoo-hah…he said the USA had been mean, had been a horse’s derriere, and apologized to every nation there, and said the USA caused earthquakes, global warming or cooling, even the girls’ schools.

**A: Is it true, as I’ve heard, that the Obamessiah plans to officially apologize to every country in the world by July Fourth, the anniversary of the day the Americans threw out the British…praise Allah for all bloodshed – make that any bloodshed that’s not Sunni.

**I don’t know about that…it wasn’t in that vision I had when I was speaking at the UN in 2005.

**O: You mean about the 12th Imam, Mahmoud, and the glorious reign?

**M: Yes, yes, of course. I’m building a mosque for his arrival…could be any time now, especially if I make the bomb and throw it at the Israeli dogs…praise Allah…all hell will break loose and we’ll have a great war and then…

**A: a-a-a-r-r-r-g-g-g-h-h-h-a-a-r-r-g-g-h-h-A-A-R-R-G-G-H-H!!!!!! WHOOPEE!!!!!

**M (covering his ears): Has that goat-bag lost his senses, Osama? Look, the latrine is flowing under your prayer rug.

**O (slapping A across the mouth): Shut up, Ayman. No, Mahmoud…Allah be not mortified! Ayman does the Dean Scream when he’s upset. It used to end “On to Wisconsin,” but Dean has changed the end to a simple “Whoopee!” He got a dead fish in the mail from Obamessiah’s chief gofer, named Rahm something-or-other, and took that as a sign he would not be around long if he opened his mouth in Washington.

**M: He’s banished…is that it?

**O: Yes, yes. He brought on the great victory for Obamessiah by not doing what the Rahm told him, so he had to go. Praise Allah, that’s loyalty in the Hussein Obama style…sorta like Saddam’s. Oh ha...ha...ha…the new president’s style…just like Saddam Hussein’s.

**M: Obama and I are supposed to meet over tea soon…no preconditions, of course. Hoo-hah! No preconditions! I’ve already laid out the preconditions and I suspect Obama will apologize for even thinking otherwise. We also have that lady-journalist as a bargaining-chip and I suspect the Obama is more like Jimmy Carter than Ronald Reagan. He’s busy now, however, with dangers at home.

**A: What dangers, Mahmoud? He’s surrounded by the Secret Service, even in the latrine.

**M: His new FEMA Head Honcho has declared that retuning veterans are a danger to society. She’s even said people who say God in public are closet terrorists. Obama himself said in the campaign that white people become disoriented under pressure and grab their Bibles and their M-16s, and go looking for immigrants…Allah be bewildered…maybe so they can do the funeral at the same time they shoot an immigrant. Oh hoo-hah…only in America.

**O: What about the government, Mahmoud?

**M: The government is taking over the banks and the carmakers…so follow the money in a bright red Cadillac…oh hoo-hah…all the way to the White House, where I’ve heard that the motto on the wall in the Oval Office is “Let them eat cake!” Oh…hoo-hah…only in America!

And so it goes.

Jim Clark

Monday, April 20, 2009

The Audacity of Damnation

The “Tea Parties” of 15 April have been judged by the mainstream media as something having to do with tax protests similar to the original tea party of 1773. This approach was easier to handle than the one actually marking these activities, namely, that remonstrance against the “change” ordered by Obamessiah was in order, such change not being the rebuilding of the economy or taxing process; rather, the effort was aimed at protesting the actions of Obama and his minions regarding the REMAKING of the government into something else not resembling a government responsive to the U.S. Constitution.

It’s just as well that the president spent most of the week out of the country…fortuitous, actually, since responding to the multiple tea parties in all 50 states had to be handled by the administration’s subordinate characters or, most especially, by its propaganda machinery known as NBC, CBS, ABC, MSNBC, CNN, and the coastal newspaper biggies like the LA Times, New York Times (both heading into bankruptcy) and the Washington Post. These entities pooh-poohed the process, all the while knowing that they actually meant something…like the first shots fired in anger vis-a-vis the election wars leading into next year.

The tea-party folks see the system of government running counter to that fashioned by the founders, as the government is in the process of taking over private enterprises, such as the banks and auto industry, though by using the money confiscated from citizens to buy its way in instead of using guns or violence a la 1773. The supreme irony lies in the fact that, after the government has bought a significant share, General Motors will almost certainly enter bankruptcy anyway. The surest way to damn almost any entity is to put the government in charge of it, which is what has happened at GM, the U.S. president even ordering up the firing of the GM president.

While the president was looking foolish overseas by sitting – as in “not walking out” – through 52 minutes of Daniel Ortega’s rant against this country, ABC’s Charlie Gibson and George Stephanopoulis were waxing gaga ecstatic over some bank’s showing a first-quarter profit and an increase in the markets. It seems that rearranging the books is largely responsible, shuffling money around within the systems, especially since the banks have taken their billions, enhanced their bottom lines…but are not loaning money, the very thing the infusion of cash was supposed to make immediately requisite.

As the markets rose (what else could they do, since they’ve lost so much), so did the unemployment rate as well as the foreclosure rate, the latter making one wonder what Obama meant by his promise to see that the government would stop the foreclosure glut by helping individuals. The “stimulus package” reflects the administration’s approach in that it makes the people subservient to governmental control in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, a violation of the Fourth Amendment. The taxpayers are not supposed to buy any of the action in private banks and manufacturing or be impacted by such. The government’s insistence that the billions already lost and the billions still in the pipeline to be lost are merely loans is laughable, since lending agencies do not own the entities to which they grant loans.

As it is, Treasury Secretary Geithner, the government’s best-known tax-cheat (or would that be Congressman Rangel) has virtual “beheading powers” with respect to any enterprise he deems ripe for government takeover. His double-talk before the media and various Congressional committees, whose members are unable to figure him out, present an opaqueness totally impenetrable by anyone but himself, if that. The fact that nothing he and his gang have inculcated is working, at least so far, seems perfectly okay.

The tea-party folks understand two things: 1) They can’t print money, and 2) If they default on loans they lose everything. They’re being told that the U.S. is borrowing money – from China, for instance – and so everything is okay. What they see are the U.S. printing presses running at over-speed in order to pump money into…where? What they know is that the government is about to pass a budget that will drown the nation in trillions of dollars of debt, with absolutely no way to repay it, thus setting the stage for an inflationary spiral of immense proportions…unless taxes are soon raised to an extent never before even comprehended or contemplated.

So…the stage is set. Bankrupting the government means the socializing of everything. This is the obvious intent of Obama…not just “change,” but an absolute “remaking.” The U.S. Constitution is no longer the foundation of the Obama government. It’s almost as if the president, when he said, “We won,” meant, “It’s in your face, America…you’re finished.” The Rev. Dr. Jeremiah Wright, who inspired Obama’s Audacity of Hope, couldn’t have said it better, except that he would simply have declaimed “God damn America.” It’s all the same…and now it is known…the audacity of damnation.

And so it goes.

Jim Clark

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

DNC Memorandum #2

From the office of Governor Tim Kaine, chairperson, 14 April 2009

***IMPORTANT!!! All staffers are to be aware of the latest bulletin from the Dept. of Homeland Security regarding returning war veterans and their proclivity for joining right-wing extremist-groups, hanging on to their M-16s and threatening everyone from homosexuals to soccer-moms. Also, it further warned law enforcement to watch out for individuals with "radical" ideologies based on Christian views and to be suspicious of anyone in cars with bumper-stickers supporting third-party candidates next year, or republicans for that matter. The new DHS motto is “Remember Timothy McVeigh and Oklahoma City 1995.” Since about 25 million veterans have been around since WWI, the OC bombing represents odds of 25,000,000-to-1 that such a thing can happen again – too risky by half. Anyone seeing a returning vet looking suspiciously at anything, even as he innocently slurps an ice cream, is to report him immediately to the DHS, DNC, FBI, CIA, DEA, NIC, NSA, BSA, and Baskin-Robbins. Anyone hearing a preacher mention the battle of Jericho or a choir singing “Battle Hymn of the Republic” is to do the same…and then dig a foxhole, even if on the freeway. A “Veteran/Christian Awareness Day” is being planned and details will be forthcoming, complete with directions for self-protection, and Michael Moore is considering a documentary on how to deal with returning veterans.

***Congressman Donald Payne of the Congressional Black Caucus has requested that all community organizers emphasize that Somali pirates DID mortar him in Mogadishu, Somalia, on his recent trip there to bring peace to the Middle East by holding afternoon teas for the pirates not actively engaged at sea practicing their craft, in order to follow the president’s position that talking will solve most problems. Mr. Payne is anxious that people not believe he made up this attack since they probably remember State Secretary Clinton’s yarn about running for her life in Bosnia in 1996 to escape the snipers gunning for her and Chelsea, while she was acting in the official position of First Lady. The rumor that Payne has requested the Silver Star for gallantry is untrue, and Mr. Payne has said he will not ask again.

***Michael Moore, senior propagandist and movie-maker, is working on a new film tentatively entitled “Tap-dancing on the Potomac,” featuring a Bo-Jangles-type entertainer/community-organizer/law-school-professor who makes it from the slums of Chicago all the way to the White House, where he exercises on the swimming pool waves instead of running around outside in short pants with a bevy of secret service agents gasping, cursing, and constantly dropping their guns. All staffers are urged to be on the lookout for further information, especially noting the poster at the bottled-water keg and non-trans-fat, non-hamburger (eating grease okay if Senator Biden does), non-hotdog, non-dairy-product-of-any-kind, non-chocolate, non-smoking (smoking okay if Obama lights up), veggie-fortified, yogurt-enhanced snack-bar and body-mass-chart, carbon-cap-graph, endangered-species-obituary-wall-chart, blue-state-map, and Bush-dart-board.

***It has been duly noted that staffers are hearing and reporting grumbling by people concerning Treasury Secretary Geithner’s non-payment of taxes-due for the two years negated by the statute of limitations. The secretary has been contacted about this and has stated that he paid-up for the two years for which he was caught and that $34,000 is quite enough. At the suggestion of the president, his staff is completing a white paper outlining why it is patriotic to pay taxes. Vice President Biden is contributing by explaining that paying taxes is more patriotic than giving to charity, but noted that despite that fact he averaged giving $369 per year over the last decade to charity, thus proving both his point and his laudatory magnanimity. As a gesture to this philanthropic cause celebre (little French there for Senator Kerry), each staffer’s pay will be docked by $369 in the next pay-period. Those experiencing the hardship risked by the vice president will be eligible for food stamps.

***The recent 5-day mission (not a spring vacation on the government dime) to Cuba by seven members of the Congressional Black Caucus was designed to further efforts to bring about cordial relations between that paradise and the U.S., sometimes referred to in the caucus as the “axis of evil,” stretching from California to the New York Island. This is in line with the president’s thinking as displayed in London (or somewhere over there) during the G-20 meeting, when he labeled the U.S. as arrogant and accused the U.S. of being dismissive and derisive regarding Olde Europe. This is the time, i.e., for eating humble pie for becoming a superpower and even having Disney-World, a frivolous waste of private money, when public money could have been used, as is the case now with the stimulus blowout, though the rumor that Geithner plans to take-over all theme-parks and fire their CEOs is untrue, unless they are partly owned by AIG, which seems to have a piece of everything in the world and is rumored to own all of San Francisco, which it is trying to sell to Hugo Chavez and Jimmy Carter.

***In keeping with his promise to make government a stimulus-driven prime employer, as exemplified in the current hiring of 250,000 people to sweep trails in the national parks, the president has just hired columnist Rosa Brooks, who moonlights as a professor of law at Georgetown University, to the job of policy-advisor to the under-secretary of defense, or something like that. In the same spirit, this will occasion at least two more jobs: under-secretary to the under-secretary of defense and an under-policy-advisor to the policy-advisor to the under-secretary to the under-secretary. Brooks recently wrote, “It's time for a government bailout of journalism.” This makes her, ipso facto, a prime candidate for a job in effecting the stimulus philosophy, especially since newspapers are going bankrupt on a daily basis. Indeed, she helped rescue the Los Angeles Times by taking this job and therefore removing from the paper a liability known as paycheck. The rumor is that another 250,000 will be hired to clean the horse-stalls in the national parks, whether there are any horses or not. As the president has ordered, all employees, even computer techies, will be given shovels, no matter the nature of their jobs.

***The president’s upcoming trip to Mexico and then to a summit meeting in Trinidad/Tobago will feature apologies for this country’s international intentional insensitivity, much like his effort during and after the G-20 meeting, where the president took the opportunity to apologize everywhere from London to Turkey and many points between, although he adamantly insists he did not – repeat – DID NOT genuflect to the Saudis. He just had a leg cramp that caught him right in front of the prince or potentate or whatever. He’s taking the apology tour early in his tenure because President Clinton waited until his last year before traveling to Africa to apologize for everything from Monica to the riots in Zimbabwe and was consequently accused of putting Africa last in his concerns, a no-no for the black vote. President Obama plans to have apologized to every country by the fourth of July (except Great Britain, of course, for obvious reasons). In the Caribbean meeting, he will apologize while surfing and snorkeling in order to enhance his credibility.

***Be careful at the republican Tea Parties on the 15th and report any known tax-dodgers to the DHS, DNC, FBI, CIA, DEA, NIC, NSA, BSA, except for those in the administration.

And so it goes.

Jim Clark

Monday, April 13, 2009

Piracy, Permission & the Black Caucus

The happiest man in Washington, D.C. is Veep Joe Biden, who promised during the campaign that the prez would be confronted with an international incident within six months of his taking office. Problem: No such incident has arisen and time was running out for a good old shootout, either verbally or physically.

Enter the Somali pirates to try to capture the Maersk Alabama only to be outfoxed by its captain, who became a hostage, exchanging himself for the safety of his crew. AT LAST – an incident to try the president’s mettle, with old Joe giving thanks during Holy Week! It was duly reported by the media that, even though the Alabama was captured on 08 April, the prez gave the order to use force on 10 April. For her part, the U.S. Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton, called for international action against piracy. Zounds! What force!!!

Not so fast. The USS Bainbridge had already been ordered to the hijacked ship’s position and arrived there on 09April. One assumes it was there to gain the release in any way it could of the civilian captain, i.e., use whatever force was necessary, such force automatically implied in its assignment without the president’s further permission to do anything, especially a day later. Does anyone actually believe the commander of the USS Bainbridge would have hesitated for a second to order the snipers to fire at any time such firing promised to be successful? Only an idiot would believe so. The so-called, Good-Friday permission was purely a political ploy.

So…old Joe will just have to wait for a more serious “testing” of the president’s mettle. Perhaps he should re-read the history of President Ford’s actions in the affair of another piracy, in 1975 – that of the Mayaguez, in which another nation was involved, thus actually testing the mettle of the president. In the Alabama affair, four men with no country’s sanction were overcome, the lone pirate-survivor being a sixteen-year-old. The pirates were actually just terrorists.

But…the president said it all not long ago when he asserted that, “We won;” however, if memory serves, he didn’t identify that “We.” Apparently, some members of the Congressional Black Caucus have identified that “We” as “black folks,” forming 13% of the nation’s population. Led by its chairperson, Congresswoman Barbara Lee, seven members of the caucus took themselves off to Cuba the other day for a tete-a-tete with brothers Fidel and Raoul Castro, the better for the nations to understand each other, though they’re only 90 miles apart.

Congresswoman Laura Richards said Fidel Castro "looked directly into our eyes," according to KCBS. Congressman Bobby Rush, founder of the Chicago chapter of the Black Panthers in the 60s, said "I think that what really surprised me, but also endeared me to him [Raoul Castro], was his keen sense of humor, his sense of history and his basic human qualities." Human qualities? Ask the political prisoners.

This is not to speak pejoratively of effecting some sort of relations between the countries. It is to say that these folks had absolutely no official standing in their trip, financed by the U.S. government – a nice warm 5-day vacation from windy Washington April. One wonders what Secretary Clinton thought of this hijacking of her territory.

Actually, the U.S. could return Castro a favor by opening the gates on the land side of Guantanamo and letting the terrorists run as far and fast as they can. Remember the Mariel Boatlift of 1980, when Castro allowed some 125,000 Cubans to flee to this country, 124,000 of them undocumented aliens. More than 23,000 of the arriving Mariel Cubans revealed to Immigration Officials previous criminal convictions. Where is Jimmy Carter when he’s needed, the Black Caucus might ask.

As if that wasn’t enough of the in-your-face stuff, Black Caucus Congressman Donald Payne took himself off over the weekend to – where else? you ask – Somalia. According to Fox News, Payne told reporters he met with Somalia's president and prime minister during his one-day visit to Mogadishu to discuss piracy, security and cooperation between Somalia and the United States.

Hillary…where are you? Payne had absolutely no official capacity, but one surmises that he might pick a better spot next time for a weekend vacation at government expense, since some mean person greeted him with a few mortar shells. Somalia’s president and prime minister have about as much power as a canary has when confronting a hippopotamus. There’s virtually no government in Somalia, in the first place, and in the second place the Navy Seals were the only avenue of deliverance for hostages. Payne merely got in the way, but he also got his 15 minutes of fame – important for any politician.

When all is said and done, Veep Joe will have to keep looking for a confrontation (maybe fomenting something with Ahmadinejad) for the prez to display his bona fides. In the meantime, maybe Obama should take that advice about the beauties at Gitmo. Now, THAT would cause a stir in Hillary’s international community, not to mention Fidel and Raoul!

And so it goes.

Jim Clark

Saturday, April 11, 2009

The Church - a Losing Cause?

It’s not unusual at this time of the year – the Resurrection Season – for elements of the media, as well as various and assorted pundits, to make news of – or sport of – religion in America, its denominations, churches and, particularly, its what-might-be-called anomalies, people or institutions or beliefs held as weird no matter how pervasive. This year is no different, the emphasis placed mostly on the fact that religion, or religious practice, is on the wane as the nation becomes either more collectively intelligent or more hedonistic or both.

The mainstream media would go for the “collectively intelligent” thing, even though, according to the polls, the media is all but held in contempt by the public, which distrusts them about as much as it distrusts the Congress. This became graphically apparent during the elections last year when that part of the media called “mainstream” (coastal newspaper biggies [now going bankrupt] and NBC, CBS, ABC, MSNBC, CNN) actively campaigned for Obama, tailoring both news-sections and editorial pages to make the case. Fox News seemed to strike a balance, though it has been labeled by many as conservative, the antithesis of the mainstreamers, which are irrefutably liberal or lunatic-fringe liberal.

Just a casual observer might opt for the “collectively hedonistic” as he observes both the society and the news organizations, not to mention the various entertainment venues. Look at any TV news program and discover that, while the men are dressed to the nines in suits, ties, etc., nearly all the time, the women news-persons are intent on showing as much cleavage as possible if behind a prop/desk and as much thigh as possible if sitting…sorta as if they stopped by on their way to a cocktail party instead of a serious news program. Modesty is out, no matter how serious the subject, and cheesecake is in.

However, the religionists have done little to enhance the seriousness to which they lay claim, thus opening themselves up to the ridicule they often receive. This is seen across the denominational board, though in different ways. The “mainline” denominations – Presbyterians, Methodists, Disciples, Episcopalians, some Lutheran – have reduced their most serious (and often hostile) deliberations to concerning whether or not men should marry men and women should marry women, in short, whether or not to account homosexuality as “normal,” notwithstanding scriptural denunciation of homosexual behavior in almost unbelievably harsh terms. The also irrefutable biological parameters are obvious.

Indeed, the sizeable denomination called the United Church of Christ – with members Rev. Dr. Jeremiah Wright, Barack Obama and Bill Moyers – officially approved of same-sex marriage years ago. Katharine Schori, the presiding bishop of the American Episcopal Church, is publicly on the record as approving both same-sex marriage and the ordination of homosexuals to ministry. The Episcopal Bishop of New Hampshire, Gene Robinson, is a practicing homosexual. All of these denominations have been declining in membership drastically in the last three decades, so one wonders if their members might think God is telling them something. Apparently not.

The so-called evangelicals and fundamentalists, fearing the loss of importance as well as membership, have gone the way of the “how the wind is blowing syndrome,” i.e., what’s selling these days? In many of these churches, especially the mega-churches, the crowd on a Sunday morning may look as if it’s on the way to the beach or the golf course and just stopped by to get in a bit of worship. The pastor/preacher, instead of dressing in his “Sunday best,” as used to be the case – a sign of entering God’s presence in only one’s best – will have on baggy pants, shirt-tail hanging out, stenciled T-shirt, and Nikes.

The mantra dictating this approach has to do with making the right appeal to the young, the notion that church must be equipped to compete fair-and-square for an adolescent’s attention, the older folks be forgotten, notwithstanding that they’ve built the church, in the first place. Thus, the beautiful pipe-organs have been shut in favor of electrified rock bands, the choirs and congregants read the words on the screen on the opposite wall (all singing the melody), and a “praise team” sporting mikes an inch from their mouths lead the worship in songs marked by words and a repetition so shallow and numbing that the angels looking on must be bored to tears.

So…at this time of the Resurrection celebration the name of the game is “fit the church into the world,” rather than “changing the world through the church.” Young people are not so dumb that they can’t see through this, but the churches have been fashioned lately by those who came of age during the “hippie-dom” of the 60s-70s and the succeeding generation. These are the folks who have corrupted education, business, social mores and thus the nation, whose motto is “I’m okay, you’re okay & if it feels good, do it.”

So…in many ways the church has joined the media, taking the course of least resistance and dwelling on the ecstasies, not the sacrifices, the result being a waning interest in and influence of…the church, just as is the case with the newsies. This is not the way of the cross, and until the church begins to reform itself its path will continue downward. When reformation gets underway, people will notice and the church will start an upward climb into validity. As of now for the most part, it’s just another part of the routine but not the most important part, as it should be.

And so it goes.

Jim Clark

Thursday, April 09, 2009

Maundy Thursday - Greater Love!

Many churches and denominations observe Maundy Thursday, holding special services commemorating the evening and night before the crucifixion of Jesus Christ, during which time he shared his last meal with his disciples, at least until after the Resurrection, and engaged in his apparently night-long prayer in the Garden Of Gethsemane, in the answer to which he discovered that the crucifixion was inevitable – God’s plan for the redemption of all people, and to which he acceded, knowing the full implications of being nailed to a Roman cross.

Among the first prophecies concerning Christ is Isaiah 9:6, wherein is noted that the child to come, among other appellations, would be called the “Prince of Peace.” The Old Testament accounts preceding Isaiah’s words and from that time forward are filled with descriptions of wars, atrocities, death, and destruction – even the carrying away of defeated peoples into slavery. It was into this same kind of Middle East turmoil that Christ was born, not into a milieu of freedom, but into slavery under the Romans, who ruled that part of the world with an iron fist – just as the Jihad-Muslims are trying to do now – and would later engage brutal crucifixion in ending Christ’s life.

In the very poignant framework of the “Last Supper,” according to Luke 22:36, Christ made it plain to the disciples that they were to secure swords for themselves, even if they had to sell some of their clothing to do so. He emphasized his instruction by comparing it to the one he gave them at an earlier time when he sent them out in an evangelistic endeavor and told them to take neither purse, bag, nor sandals, but that now they were to take those things…with the addition of a sword.

Christ spoke of peace, but perhaps in some ways that were/are quite surprising. For instance, in Matthew 10:34 Christ stated flatly that he had come not to bring peace to the world…but a sword. He intended to participate in some kind of mayhem himself, whether verbal or physical. In Matthew 24:6, Christ stated just as flatly that wars were inevitable and that his followers would suffer, be hated, and even be put to death in the midst of wars.

Soon after giving that admonition, Christ made it plain that those who live by the sword (aggressors such as today’s Islamic jihad-mongers, killers of women and children, or the Hitler Wehrmacht of the 1930s-40s, killers of 11 million civilians) would die by the sword, so he meant for his disciples to merely defend themselves and their families. Christ expected their lives to lack peace, even as his did, as remarked in John 7:1, where John explains that the Jews were in Judea to kill Jesus, so, rather than going to the Feast of Tabernacles publicly with his brothers, Jesus went in secret. He was a hunted man.

The peace that matters, however, was/is the peace of which Jesus spoke as recorded in John 14:27 (NIV): “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.” Tangible peace (that of the world), most often just the absence of war, is transitory. This isn’t the peace of which Jesus spoke. This isn’t the peace that he knew. His peace is realized within the soul of the believer and will be extant there no matter the earthly circumstances.

On at least one occasion, Christ, after fashioning his own whip, used it to lash the money-changers and physically drive them and their paraphernalia/animals from the temple. In other words, he was defending the Faith. Many theologians/preachers try to whitewash this quite vividly described act, but they fool only themselves. Contrary to how he’s often pictured, Christ was no well-coifed Hollywood-type; instead, he was tough as nails. In his mind, there were/are things worth fighting for, i.e., destroying earthly peace for a higher goal, such as freedom and a superior peace.

Emphasis is always placed on the fact that God/Christ is love, and justifiably so. However, love is also exhibited when, as Jesus would have it, a man lays down his life for others. This kind of Jesus-love was exhibited in the last century, when some 617,000 American GIs, for love of others and country, died in unsought wars, as have nearly 4,900 in this century. God help us if American men, whether Christians or not, should think and act otherwise today.

The apostle John was, of course, at the “Last Supper,” that last meal the evening before the Friday mayhem, that time when Jesus washed the feet of his apostles and thus signified that servant-hood would be the hallmark of belief, sometimes even amounting to the giving of one’s life. John was also the only apostle who stood at the foot of the cross, risking his life thereby since to do so placed him in the condemned company of Christ. This is what he later wrote in quoting Jesus: John 15:13 (NIV): “Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends.” Christ, however, laid down his life for even his enemies…for everyone, praying even as he died that his tormentors be forgiven of their wrongdoing. Maundy Thursday!

And so it goes.

Jim Clark

Tuesday, April 07, 2009

Articles of Impeachment, Anyone?

Whereas and in respect of Amendment I to the U.S. Constitution, which includes this provision: “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion…,” President Barack Obama misused his office in a speech of 06 April 2009 in Ankara, Turkey, when he made the statement that the United States “is not and never will be at war with Islam,” the clear implication being his recognition of the establishment of Islam as a state, since it is impossible for any nation to have any relationship with an abstract such as religion, including a declaration of war, for example. Congress has made no law, as per the requirement of the Constitution, respecting Islam as either a religion or a state, thus President Obama, in assuming a power deemed as the prerogative of the Congress, notwithstanding its prohibition of establishment regarding religion, is guilty of violating the Constitution in both respecting an establishment of religion and usurping Congressional power, thus making himself liable to impeachment.

Moreover, President Obama, in making this statement in the same speech: “Many other Americans have Muslims in their family, or have lived in a Muslim-majority country. I know, because I am one of them,” further violated Amendment I in not only recognizing the establishment of religion but in personally implicating himself in that violation, thus occasioning further cause for impeachment.

Whereas and in respect of Amendment IV to the U.S. Constitution, which includes this provision: “The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated…,” President Obama and perhaps the Congress are guilty of violating the Constitution, having secured 80% ownership of AIG, substantial ownership of other financial institutions as well as huge segments of the auto industry, and are in the process of establishing rules and regulations, including salaries, for the operation of those entities heretofore categorized as “private” rather than “public,” without due process concerning either shareholders or citizens and by using public monies confiscated from the citizens, thus occasioning public unrest such as that exhibited in the “Boston tea party” of 16 December 1773.

Moreover, in allowing his Treasury Secretary to state unequivocally his intention to dispose of any enterprise he and he alone deemed worthy of such action, i.e., doomed to fail, President Obama has exhibited an unreasonable permission for both search and seizure, i.e., confiscation of records leading to dissolution of said enterprises. Moreover, these actions represent a concrete threat to the security of persons with regard to their houses, which may be lost through loss of income; papers, with regard to their documents of ownership and consequent voting privileges; and effects, with regard to profits or losses.

Whereas and in respect of Amendment V to the U.S. Constitution, which includes this provision: “No person shall be … deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation,” President Obama and perhaps the Congress are guilty of violating the U.S. Constitution, having deprived the citizens of life as concerning the means necessary to existence, i.e., failing in oversight responsibilities eventuating in the collapse of the economy; liberty, as concerning severe constraints upon life-style; or property, as concerning the unfairness of bailing out some but not others as, for example, regarding mortgages and financial/automobile institutions, thus penalizing good managers by giving them nothing and rewarding bad managers by conserving both their industries and golden parachutes.

Moreover, private property has been taken for public use – now owned in part by government fiat and bailout money – without just compensation, i.e., citizens not being consulted regarding compensation, the claim being made by President Obama’s Treasury Secretary that no one knows what anything is actually worth, in making decisions. Complicit in this circumstance have been Congressional leaders Reid, Pelosi, Franks, and Dodd, as well as all those in Congress who have approved these named, illegal takeovers.

For all of these manifestations of violations of the U.S. Constitution, President Obama, as well as members of Congress who have by their votes made themselves accessories before and after the fact, i.e., mostly democrats, should be subject to Articles of Impeachment and therefore made to answer to the American people for their dereliction concerning their sworn testimony to uphold The U.S. Constitution.

Whereas, in light of the foregoing paragraph denoting the impossibility of the U.S. House in impeaching either the president, the Senate, or itself despite the obvious cause for such action, and in respect of Amendment X to the U.S. Constitution, which includes this provision: “The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people,” individuals and state governments should either call for impeachment of all of the above or take matters into their own hands.

And so it goes.

Jim Clark

Monday, April 06, 2009

Euro-Trip a Bust?

President Obama has been to Europe and has slain the malady known as “Hate-USA Syndrome,” or has he? Advertising himself as not only the listening-not-lecturing antithesis of George Bush but as that “special” American, i.e., a man of color, he has teleprompted himself into the hearts and minds of the folks in Olde Europe, proclaiming that his nation has not only been dismissive of its fellow Caucasians, but even derisive. Whew…but it played well in Berlin and Paris! Eat your heart out, Cheney!

Accompanied by a retinue of 500 people in who knows how many planes the operation of which slurped-up millions of taxpayer dollars and treated the atmosphere to enough carbon to kill half the Polar Bears, he and wife Michelle stormed the battlements of snobbery and smiled their way into what actually turned out to be a brick wall as far as any results are concerned. One can only wonder how the international participants in that that infamous G-20 Conference in London in world-depression-ridden 1933 stood each other for six long weeks. Now, as then, virtually nothing was accomplished, but at least the angst-period was much briefer.

Obama wants the Europeans to spend themselves into prosperity, just as he’s demanding here, and let the devil take the hindmost, known as the taxpayers. In their socialized countries, the Europeans don’t like that idea, though they’ve tried to some extent. It’s much easier to blame Uncle Sam; however, not to worry. The Anointed One and his gang are socializing the banks and the auto industry here, and are demanding the power to socialize any industry Treasury Secretary Geithner deems as going under. So, the Europeans should be happy to see the Americans traveling down the road toward their already achieved destination, though they’re bound to be mightily miffed vis-à-vis the stimulus legislation that urged everyone to “buy American.” The U.S. Congress is perhaps mentally-challenged, not even realizing that everything from underwear to shoes is not made in this country now.

The United States is Europe’s whipping-boy for the evil in this world. Obama didn’t help matters by exuding the image of this country as the world-leader, though he made much of this country’s failure to recognize Europe as world leader…or something like that. It doesn’t actually matter who classifies whom. What does matter is the history, replicated to some extent now as the U.S. picks up the tab for much blood and treasure in parts of the world not even close to its shores. The rest of the world profits, as it did in 1918, 1941-45, 1950-53, and 1991, as well as at other times.

So…the president asked for some more help from NATO in its accepted responsibilities in Afghanistan. He’s pouring in some 21,000 additional American GIs to go with the 38,000 already there. The NATO gang promised 5,000 troops to work as trainers for the Afghanistan police force and army. That’s better than nothing, one supposes, but some fighters would also be welcome, especially since these NATO people may not stay much past the next election. The NATO pact deems an attack on any member sufficient to require retaliation by every member. The events of 9/11 apparently were not an attack, at least in the eyes of most Europeans.

Obama, after declaring in his forever-lasting-and-continuing campaign that the surge would never work in Iraq is now employing a surge in Afghanistan. The irony is damning. The Afghan politicians haven’t helped matters by recently decreeing that a Shiite man may legally rape his wife (State Secretary Clinton was aghast…what a laugh!). This is the “Dark Ages” type of mentality that westerners neither understand nor can negate. There’s a modicum of peace in Iraq now, just as hopefully there will be in Afghanistan. The truth is that in Islamic countries – especially in which the various sects brutally kill each other with abandon in the name of religion – there will be no democracy or even lasting peace like that of more civilized countries. After all, the Baptists here don’t attack the Methodists, and vice versa.

Was anything accomplished in the swing through Europe? If one accounts the social aspects, perhaps so! The Obamas seem to have hit it off with the queen, probably better than with the prime minister. At least Obama didn’t have to endure Jimmy Carter lurking in the shadows badmouthing his presidency, as was the case when Bush or Carter traveled overseas. Goodwill is a fine thing, but only actions mean anything. It will be interesting to see how long it takes those 5,000 additions to the NATO contingent to actually make the scene…as well as how long they stay.

As for the economics…between the president and a Congress that seems hopelessly mired in non-think and led by the likes of Senator Dodd and Congressman Barney Franks – to say nothing of the wild thing…Speaker Pelosi – there seems little hope for anything better than the usual uphill battle out of recession. The difference between that and what’s happening now is in the likelihood that Pelosi/Obama and gang will try desperately to take the country socialist. They’ve made a strong beginning, perhaps good news to Olde Europe. In that process, Obama has thrown the unions under the bus, just as the democrats do the blacks during every election cycle. “Restructuring” is another word for “give-back.” Auto-workers will find out what “leveling the playing field” actually means…and they won’t like that “Yes We Can” change.

And so it goes.

Jim Clark