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The world suffers from a leadership vacuum which will be all too evident at this weekend's G-20,...

The world suffers from a leadership vacuum which will be all too evident at this weekend's G-20, William Pesek writes. "There’s a sense that the world’s problems are too formidable to fix... What we need is an adult or two in the room to make sure leaders tackle the big challenges of our day. Good luck finding any."
Comments (129)
  • If U Say So
    , contributor
    Comments (348) | Send Message
     
    Big challenges of the day: How to market non-existent results to constituents back home, and what party to attend?
    25 Jun 2010, 06:39 PM Reply Like
  • Tom Au, CFA
    , contributor
    Comments (6775) | Send Message
     
    The last time around, the "adult" was Winston Churchill. We should be so lucky this time.
    25 Jun 2010, 06:46 PM Reply Like
  • dividend_growth
    , contributor
    Comments (2878) | Send Message
     
    Churchill's reputation before 1940 was that of an incompetent alcoholic without principle: he failed miserably at the Battle of Gallipoli, and he switched parties several times.

     

    When he replaced Chamberlain in 1940, FDR's first reaction was "that England didn't have anyone else beside that alcoholic?".

     

    Even though Churchill led England to the victory in WW2, he was still thrown out of 10 Downing Street in 1945's election. British people seemed to prefer that nobody Clement Atlee over the great war hero Churchill back then.

     

    Only much later did people begin to worship him.

     

    ----------------------

     

    But it's common for people to take a romantic view of past characters, while bashing current authorities and institutions mercilessly.
    25 Jun 2010, 11:00 PM Reply Like
  • Michael Clark
    , contributor
    Comments (8362) | Send Message
     
    Hitler created the need for FDR, Churchill, Stalin (what?), Mussolini...a lot of strong leadership designed to stop the Principle of Evil.

     

    We will get our Hitler again, although we probably won't recognize him very quickly. Then, again, maybe we will.

     

    Who was America's greatest leaders? Washington, Jefferson, Lincoln. Great leaders appear when the party is over and a country begins to fight for its life again.
    26 Jun 2010, 04:57 AM Reply Like
  • Tom Au, CFA
    , contributor
    Comments (6775) | Send Message
     
    Churchill (who was half American, BTW, on his mother's side), was a bit like our Lincoln. "Failed" at just about everything he did, except for the ONE BIG THING on which the fate of the world depended.

     

    And FDR would have done well to note Lincoln's comment about Ulysses S. Grant: "What kind of whiskey did you say he drinks? Send a barrel to all the other generals...I can't spare that man. He fights!"
    26 Jun 2010, 01:17 PM Reply Like
  • montanamark
    , contributor
    Comments (1434) | Send Message
     
    what a complete load of crap and defamation. He was, and is, widely regarded (around the world) as one of the greatest war time leaders and saved England from its liberal defeatism. He was renowned as a historian, writer, artist and a great orator. He rec'd a Nobel for Literature and served in the Army. You also mislead about his later years. Yes he lost an election after the war but you fail to mention he re-won Prime Minister in 1951. When he died he was given a state funeral that had one of the largest worldwide audiences.
    For you to extol the "current" corrupt, incompetent and arrogant leaders is a joke.
    26 Jun 2010, 04:59 PM Reply Like
  • montanamark
    , contributor
    Comments (1434) | Send Message
     
    responding to d-g
    26 Jun 2010, 05:42 PM Reply Like
  • Michael Clark
    , contributor
    Comments (8362) | Send Message
     
    Funny you mention Grant and Churchill in the same breath. Grant, like Churchill, failed at everything, until he was given command of the Union Army -- then he blossomed. We all have a destiny -- when we try the wrong doors, they don't open up.

     

    Grant's door opened up as a general, not so much as a president.
    27 Jun 2010, 03:31 AM Reply Like
  • ebworthen
    , contributor
    Comments (2811) | Send Message
     
    FDR couldn't fit in Chruchill's shoes if God himself helped him attempt it.
    27 Jun 2010, 05:17 AM Reply Like
  • Duude
    , contributor
    Comments (3358) | Send Message
     
    “ ..... Stalin is not that kind of man. . . He doesn't want anything but security for his country, and I think that if I give him everything I possibly can, and ask nothing from him in return, noblesse oblige, he won't try to annex anything and will work with me for a world of democracy and peace. ”

     

    —Franklin Roosevelt

     

    FDR was an idiot, but had the strength of American forces. Churchill had guts but the British forces were decimated by the end of WWII. Then British voters rewarded Churchill with a loss at the hands of the Labour party.
    27 Jun 2010, 12:30 PM Reply Like
  • Tom Au, CFA
    , contributor
    Comments (6775) | Send Message
     
    Grant was a great general. But unlike Washington, he was not a great President. (Eisenhower was an intermediate case).

     

    But all three were creatures of the same day and night cycles.
    27 Jun 2010, 02:06 PM Reply Like
  • Tack
    , contributor
    Comments (12770) | Send Message
     
    What we need is less centralized, top-down, government-led planned "solutions," and more market freedom and private-sector incentives.
    25 Jun 2010, 06:51 PM Reply Like
  • grenard1000
    , contributor
    Comments (26) | Send Message
     
    Tack, think for a minute about what you are stating. You use the phrase "private-sector incentives".

     

    Your use of the word "private sector" implies that the private sector were somehow inherently efficient while government employees are not smart and hard working. This is simply an idiotic axiom that you are repeating without critically reviewing or otherwise bothering to find any data in support of.

     

    Your use of the word "incentives" also implies that the government needs to provide incentives to the private sector. Thats hypocritical. You either want a free market (i.e., free from government interference) or you do not. Please stop asking for incentives from the rest of us and then pretend you are pulling yourself up by your own bootstraps. If you got a little education and applied yourself to a reasonable argument for a change, you might be able to free yourself from these dense uses of the english language.

     

    Look at the military for instance. Out of a US $800b budget it is fairly well known that a full 70% of that goes to so called "private contractors". One of these private contractors is the security company formerly known as Blackwater. Blackwater employees are paid 3 times as much as our military personnel. This does not include the millions paid in profits to their senior management and shareholders. Also employees are free to rape and pillage foreign populations without recourse.

     

    Do you have any data whether Blackwater employees produce more dead enemies than our own military personnel does? Is this what you want to provide incentives for? Do you think this is saving taxpayer any money over using US regulars? Is this helping our international reputation? Reasonable people conclude that most of these "private contractors" are very inefficient and even damaging to the USA. If you think this is what the economy needs more of, I would have to conclude you are an extremely dull person.
    25 Jun 2010, 07:43 PM Reply Like
  • enigmaman
    , contributor
    Comments (2686) | Send Message
     
    Tack short and directly to the point, bulls eye!
    25 Jun 2010, 09:37 PM Reply Like
  • zorrow
    , contributor
    Comments (848) | Send Message
     
    You're half right, it's Bull.
    25 Jun 2010, 10:56 PM Reply Like
  • positivethoughts
    , contributor
    Comments (1812) | Send Message
     
    I hope the 9 people who put negative ratings on Tack's comments identify themselves. Who on earth would disagree with the need for less government. It was the everyday private citizen who spent the world trillions into debt.
    26 Jun 2010, 02:09 PM Reply Like
  • positivethoughts
    , contributor
    Comments (1812) | Send Message
     
    Well, I guess you were one of the individuals who gave tack a negative point.
    26 Jun 2010, 02:10 PM Reply Like
  • positivethoughts
    , contributor
    Comments (1812) | Send Message
     
    should say "It wasn't the everyday private citizen who spent the world trillions into debt."
    26 Jun 2010, 02:23 PM Reply Like
  • Archman Investor
    , contributor
    Comments (2354) | Send Message
     
    I myself did not give Tack a thumbs down.

     

    Thumbs down rating for Tack's post were probably from 2 types of people.
    People who cannot stand any sort of truthful comments about our government or economy, for they only want the stock market to be a manipulated Ponzi scheme that the bankers control (think former Wall Streeters, Bond traders, asset gatherers)
    The other people who probably gave Tack thumbs down are all the civil servant, entitlement welfare workers who only want and know the status quo. Smaller, more responsible and fiscally conservative government means an attack on all this government welfare, unions, etc, that are rotting our country from within and cannot be paid for.
    26 Jun 2010, 05:49 PM Reply Like
  • grenard1000
    , contributor
    Comments (26) | Send Message
     
    A race to the bottom. Start your engines.
    26 Jun 2010, 08:20 PM Reply Like
  • grenard1000
    , contributor
    Comments (26) | Send Message
     
    Zorrow, you are correct. For that you earned a "thumb-up" from one sympathetic consumer of your information. You may agree that firing government employees and hiring private-sector companies who cost triple and take twice as long to perform a task is a foolish trade-off for citizens.

     

    Beyond this I simply do not understand how austerity measures will decrease the general unemployment rate. And I have not heard any of the skeptics tackle this problem yet.
    26 Jun 2010, 08:58 PM Reply Like
  • zorrow
    , contributor
    Comments (848) | Send Message
     
    Libertarians are idiots. There has always been and will always be government of one sort or another. It will be either: (a) representative government or (b) Fascism,or Feudalism.
    There's no in between. In between are brownshirts or Paris mobs, and that's all that can be said for Libertarians and teapot Heads party. You're just a transition point, a symptom, nothing more.
    27 Jun 2010, 12:55 AM Reply Like
  • Michael Clark
    , contributor
    Comments (8362) | Send Message
     
    I didn't 'negative thumb' Tack. But I think his ideology is only a half-truth. I don't think ideologies (ANY ideologies) work. Ideologies are one-eye blind.

     

    The government is half-responsible for our problems; and 'the private sector' is half-responsible. I don't think I want MORE freedom for Goldman Sachs and Bank of America and AIG and Countrywide Credit. Those are the 'private sector' bastards that cheated and lied and got us into this mess.

     

    I think the government sector should cut down the private sector orchard and we should start over again. We need a good pruning of the private sector, one the so-called financial reform bill didn't really do.
    27 Jun 2010, 03:37 AM Reply Like
  • Michael Clark
    , contributor
    Comments (8362) | Send Message
     
    Unions? Unions are still the enemy? My God, man, are there any powerful unions in the US anymore? Wages have been going down for 20 years. In the end we'll have our Rockefellers and Buffets and everyone else will be making minimum wage down at the local McDonalds. Is that the world you want?
    27 Jun 2010, 03:40 AM Reply Like
  • TeresaE
    , contributor
    Comments (3041) | Send Message
     
    Funny, government sector, especially the UNIONIZED or tenured academics haven't experienced this reality that has socked the rest of us.

     

    Wake UP. The unions get more and more (yes, many union employees of crappy unions are being screwed, but their bosses continue to get more and more) while the rest of us are paying for it.

     

    Do you realize that the percentage of Federal employees whom make more than $100k per year (for life, with nearly free health insurance that they won't be paying taxes on) has dramatically INCREASED during this "recession?"
    1 Jul 2010, 11:22 PM Reply Like
  • Wyatt Junker
    , contributor
    Comments (4503) | Send Message
     
    "Your use of the word "private sector" implies that the private sector were somehow inherently efficient while government employees are not smart and hard working."

     

    The private sector can go out of business. Now, show me the incentive the DMV has to streamline its 'business model' and where exactly is that customer service desk again?

     

    I printed up your entire post. Then shredded it. I will use it for packing material to carefully protect my future turds.
    20 Nov 2011, 11:14 AM Reply Like
  • Wyatt Junker
    , contributor
    Comments (4503) | Send Message
     
    Austerity is a token media word and part of their agitprop against shrinking the size of government. Seems you took the bait. Not surprised.

     

    'Austerity' is good. Anything that will shrink the public sector is good. Anything that will reduce the number of public welfare 'employees', both state and federal is good. Anything that will allow private citizens to keep more their own personal private property is good.

     

    Everything else that you post = bad.
    20 Nov 2011, 11:17 AM Reply Like
  • Wyatt Junker
    , contributor
    Comments (4503) | Send Message
     
    Check your facts again, Michael. The SEIU is huge. While public union membership has been reduced in the so-called 'private' sector it has ramped up hugely in the public sector ever since it was first allowed. You don't know what you're talking about, again.
    20 Nov 2011, 11:21 AM Reply Like
  • Wyatt Junker
    , contributor
    Comments (4503) | Send Message
     
    That's not the point of the libertarian. They want a fiscal reduction in the role of government at all levels but don't give a rip about social issues. You're describing anarchists, which I'm more closely related to, but am a minarchist. I want a return to Constitutionally authorized political behavior.
    20 Nov 2011, 11:23 AM Reply Like
  • ColdLogic
    , contributor
    Comments (81) | Send Message
     
    Why not go the full way though? Even the constitution was a few people in a room writing a contract that couldn't legitimately bind anyone but themselves. Lysander Spooner's book "No Treason: The Constitution of No Authority" makes the best case for anarchy, which is that nobody can bind others into contracts. Let's definitely strip govt down to only interfering when violence or fraud occurs, but then we might go the full distance and ask "who are these people who use force to take our money without providing us equivalent value?" Even at the basic core of constitutional services, government is still a group of people who steal from everyone... in order to protect us from thieves.
    20 Nov 2011, 02:30 PM Reply Like
  • Wyatt Junker
    , contributor
    Comments (4503) | Send Message
     
    You either abide by the 10 commandments or be cursed by the 10,001.

     

    ~ Mamonides

     

    The problem is that today's designer americans have quaffed the bargain with Mestopholes and accepted endless external laws and their insidious permutations by bureaucrats in exchange for a common, more simplified internal moral code which is now called passé by their media overlords.

     

    The problem can be found here, as all empires have empire-death built into them from the start once the internal moral code is swapped for the neato, look-at-me peer pressure of our more polished(and legal) political glorywhores and brats who coo us into believing the lie that we actually need them. We don't.

     

    1 Samuel 8

     

    Israel Asks for a King

     

    1 When Samuel grew old, he appointed his sons as Israel’s leaders.[a] 2 The name of his firstborn was Joel and the name of his second was Abijah, and they served at Beersheba. 3 But his sons did not follow his ways. They turned aside after dishonest gain and accepted bribes and perverted justice.

     

    4 So all the elders of Israel gathered together and came to Samuel at Ramah. 5 They said to him, “You are old, and your sons do not follow your ways; now appoint a king to lead[b] us, such as all the other nations have.”

     

    6 But when they said, “Give us a king to lead us,” this displeased Samuel; so he prayed to the LORD. 7 And the LORD told him: “Listen to all that the people are saying to you; it is not you they have rejected, but they have rejected me as their king. 8 As they have done from the day I brought them up out of Egypt until this day, forsaking me and serving other gods, so they are doing to you. 9 Now listen to them; but warn them solemnly and let them know what the king who will reign over them will claim as his rights.”

     

    10 Samuel told all the words of the LORD to the people who were asking him for a king. 11 He said, “This is what the king who will reign over you will claim as his rights: He will take your sons and make them serve with his chariots and horses, and they will run in front of his chariots. 12 Some he will assign to be commanders of thousands and commanders of fifties, and others to plow his ground and reap his harvest, and still others to make weapons of war and equipment for his chariots. 13 He will take your daughters to be perfumers and cooks and bakers. 14 He will take the best of your fields and vineyards and olive groves and give them to his attendants. 15 He will take a tenth of your grain and of your vintage and give it to his officials and attendants. 16 Your male and female servants and the best of your cattle[c] and donkeys he will take for his own use. 17 He will take a tenth of your flocks, and you yourselves will become his slaves. 18 When that day comes, you will cry out for relief from the king you have chosen, but the LORD will not answer you in that day.”

     

    19 But the people refused to listen to Samuel. “No!” they said. “We want a king over us. 20 Then we will be like all the other nations, with a king to lead us and to go out before us and fight our battles.”

     

    21 When Samuel heard all that the people said, he repeated it before the LORD. 22 The LORD answered, “Listen to them and give them a king.”

     

    Then Samuel said to the Israelites, “Everyone go back to your own town.”
    20 Nov 2011, 03:26 PM Reply Like
  • nyuszika45
    , contributor
    Comments (633) | Send Message
     
    There is a difficult truth which 'the people' may not be willing to accept and that is the current situation, for all our moaning about government (as I desire it 'round 'bout the size of Calvin Coolidge's administration), is ultimately our responsibility and our fault if it isn't working. We didn't watch, we didn't go berserk with the repeal of Glass Steagal, we sat back, watched the Super Bowls, ogled the girls, were entertained by Billy Clinton's bucolic charm, enjoyed things, and generally forfeit our responsibility, much as Ben Franklin feared when the Republic was begun.
    The problem with a democracy is an element that has not been popularised as its enantiomer "victimhood" has been and that element is the responsibility which goes with representative governance. Oh, we all have more "rights" than you can shake a lawyer at, but responsibilities? The media, that source of government approved information these days, does not seem to stress that issue as people have proven to be relatively reluctant to belly-up to the bar of honest self-accountability as much as they enjoy the fruits of the "rights" which come with the large, but virtually invisible price tag. However, the unpaid balance of this spending largesse accumulated through ignoring this dimension looks curiously like the mounting national debt, or so I would draw the illusion.
    21 Nov 2011, 10:32 AM Reply Like
  • Wyatt Junker
    , contributor
    Comments (4503) | Send Message
     
    "18 When that day comes, you will cry out for relief from the king you have chosen, but the LORD will not answer you in that day.”

     

    Human nature is an interesting thing. They bitch before and they bitch after. They bitch when life was good and complain when it gets worse.

     

    And when they are warned about their own impending choice(I am reminded of Chris Matthews now rejection of Obama prior to his adoration). Well....

     

    "19 But the people refused to listen to Samuel. “No!” they said. “We want a king over us. 20 Then we will be like all the other nations, with a king to lead us and to go out before us and fight our battles.”

     

    The peer pressure and the need to belong runs deep.
    21 Nov 2011, 10:43 AM Reply Like
  • Michael Clark
    , contributor
    Comments (8362) | Send Message
     
    The last time I looked, Wyatt, the SEIU didn't really do that well for its workers. They were underpaid in terms of clerical support pay vs the private sector almost everywhere -- they did have a pension plan, so that was they were 'made up for the wage shortfall'.

     

    The unions didn't cause the crash of 2001 and 2008: check your facts. Interest rate overmanagement to project an illusion of economic growth was what turned out the lights, not the unions. And, of course, interest rate policy at the Fed was driven by Greed on Wall Street: WE NEED MORE AND MORE ALL THE TIME!
    22 Nov 2011, 10:31 AM Reply Like
  • Economic Analyst
    , contributor
    Comments (2379) | Send Message
     
    Classy. Very classy.
    25 May 2012, 11:52 AM Reply Like
  • youngman442002
    , contributor
    Comments (5131) | Send Message
     
    "What we need is less centralized, top-down, government-led planned "solutions," and more market freedom and private-sector incentives. "

     

    You will never get in front of a microphone if you let someone else do the right thing....a Politician lives on microphones, cameras, and perks
    25 Jun 2010, 07:05 PM Reply Like
  • The Geoffster
    , contributor
    Comments (4010) | Send Message
     
    Too many sheeple want to be herded and too many politicians want to be the shepherd. If only the U.S. Constitution had been honored and idealists hadn't messed with the formula, maybe we wouldn't be in this mess and wouldn't need a leader to fix it. But the sheeple want leaders to take them to the promised land and give them nourishment. Never mind that they forfeit their liberty in the bargain.
    25 Jun 2010, 07:34 PM Reply Like
  • frosty
    , contributor
    Comments (689) | Send Message
     
    Whoever you are, you sound like an adult. Perhaps you will step forward and solve all the world's problems. They don't really sound that difficult if all we need is a few adults.
    25 Jun 2010, 07:38 PM Reply Like
  • grenard1000
    , contributor
    Comments (26) | Send Message
     
    I agree frosty. We are facing some serious problems of monumental proportions. The climate, energy, water, over-population, corporate greed, education, the economy, etc. If a few adults could solve it I would say they must be super-humans. When are we going to stop looking for heroes to rise up and save us? We are our own saviors in the final analysis.
    25 Jun 2010, 08:07 PM Reply Like
  • positivethoughts
    , contributor
    Comments (1812) | Send Message
     
    No water problem - 70% of world's surface is water - military already uses current technology to de-salinate it. Over time, this will get very cheap. Furthermore, we already are developing technology to pull drinking water from the surrounding air - for use in places such as inland Africa - again cost and reliability will come down before water scarcity ever becomes an issue.
    26 Jun 2010, 02:14 PM Reply Like
  • grenard1000
    , contributor
    Comments (26) | Send Message
     
    Desalination strikes me as an energy intensive activity which will add to the environmental degradation we are already experiencing from internal combustion and electricity generation, the two largest anthropogenic sources of green-house gases.

     

    I am really gaining popularity on this website now.
    26 Jun 2010, 09:04 PM Reply Like
  • Michael Clark
    , contributor
    Comments (8362) | Send Message
     
    I agree with Grenard. No easy solutions. No ideologies to simply things. Certain principles we need to help guide us. But BIG Government is BAD and BIG Business is GOOD is not the principle I want to follow.

     

    Big Businesses' principle is pay the worker as little as possible and raise the prices as much as possible. I don't think that's the future I want. Greed is not a moral principle that will lead us out of this morass. We need MORE Soul in our society, not less -- and Greed by definition eliminates the Soul.
    27 Jun 2010, 03:43 AM Reply Like
  • TeresaE
    , contributor
    Comments (3041) | Send Message
     
    Funny, wasn't it these same adults that actually created the mess we are in now?

     

    Saddest thing is that instead of the majority standing up and saying, "QUIT HELPING US" they stand up and say, "what you going to do to fix it?"

     

    No wonder I think things are so bleak.
    25 Jun 2010, 08:14 PM Reply Like
  • Donald Ingram
    , contributor
    Comments (3481) | Send Message
     
    T - Thats the problem - they keep trying to "fix" things!
    25 Jun 2010, 09:54 PM Reply Like
  • spald_fr
    , contributor
    Comments (2705) | Send Message
     
    I think it quite strange that these G8/G20 elites are barricading themselves from the masses with a siege mentality. H*ll, even the police on guard are wearing black ski masks to hide their identities. It's Orwellian. Like a Soviet Comintern.

     

    STOP helping us! Please.
    26 Jun 2010, 10:26 AM Reply Like
  • positivethoughts
    , contributor
    Comments (1812) | Send Message
     
    Our government is spending over $1B to host this conference. Why can't they just use GoToMeeting.com to communicate with one another, having the agreements FedEx'ed to one another after consensus and accomplish the same thing for under $250,000.

     

    Secondly, my government is promising $3B for maternal health care in Africa, but they can't seem to find any money to provide family physicians for the millions of Canadians who are without. Go figure, I work, have my money taken by the government, am refused a doctor because of 'financial constraints on the medical system', am further refused the legal ability to seek medical care in a private marketplace, and then to add insult to injustice, my government takes my tax dollars and provides health care to millions of African women thousands of miles away.

     

    That is the perfect example of why the world, with such a large government presence in all countries, is heading down the road to ruin.
    26 Jun 2010, 02:20 PM Reply Like
  • Vukephalos
    , contributor
    Comments (101) | Send Message
     
    There appears to be an historical pattern manifesting itself here. Societies appear to grow ever larger, more complex and more cumbersome until they collapse in their own hubris and inefficiencies.

     

    The good news is that a new, more efficent order emerges from the rubble. The bad news is that there is often a great deal of suffering during the process. Our good leaders at the G20 must be aware of this and, perhaps between dinner courses or over fine cognac, will mull over solutions.
    25 Jun 2010, 08:37 PM Reply Like
  • Bill S. Friend
    , contributor
    Comments (711) | Send Message
     
    I wish we could skip the chase and get to the end so the rebuilding could start.
    25 Jun 2010, 09:17 PM Reply Like
  • nyuszika45
    , contributor
    Comments (633) | Send Message
     
    "get the rebuilding to start"? Eh? You, sir, are ignoring that politicians created or invented these problems so that they could step in with (drum roll, here) "government solutions" - generally meaning more of them and less of us, both in employment and the flow direction of our money.

     

    Remember Daley in Chicago and paraphrase for reality: "we aren't here to create problems, we are here to preserve problems." The creating happens back on their own patch, often disguised as unintended (not) consequences.

     

    I'm sorry, the politicians' job definition these days consists of merely one activity: get elected or relelected, with sub-activities including not saying or doing anything meaningful for anyone but those who pay for your campaign funding.

     

    Is that a bit cynical? Look at what is going on - not the words, they are always gauged for pop audences - but the actions and results. Health care? Read: guaranteed profits for some. Financial regulation? Read: protection from the most stupid and risky decisions possible, done to max earnings so they can max political contributions and keep the same game going. Immigration? Read: troll for any voters to keep us in power.

     

    Grown-ups don't go into politics. It is a game for people who either haven't learned the practicalities of ideology or have discovered it is the only alternative to "rock star" for celebrity status since they can't sing, play an instrument, or dance too well, either.
    25 Jun 2010, 09:47 PM Reply Like
  • nyuszika45
    , contributor
    Comments (633) | Send Message
     
    Amendment: excepting, if you will, the current PM of Canada. He has actually been one of the most reasonable and common sense politicians I have ever witnessed, not that I always agree with him; but if there is ever an adult in politics, it is he.

     

    This would mean that he's be out of office in most countries, but Canada is a unique place - much of it harkening back to earlier homespun USA themes, despite the hell-bent-for-leather totalitarian multiculturalism of Toronto and Vancouver.
    25 Jun 2010, 09:52 PM Reply Like
  • Bill S. Friend
    , contributor
    Comments (711) | Send Message
     
    I would generally agree with the above statement. When I mention the end I mean the end of a two party system, the end of corporate influence, the end of selective law enforcement. I mean the end. Somewhere Americas' path was diverted from the original intent of the founding fathers and the Constitution of the United States of America. As this great nation goes into decline it would be my hope that the parasites will drop off one by one as their host weakens, only to emerge a stronger more vital country that reflects the will of the people.
    26 Jun 2010, 11:49 PM Reply Like
  • Teutonic Knight
    , contributor
    Comments (2000) | Send Message
     
    Good leaders are hard to come by; most showing up in Toronto, Ont. are bureaucrats.
    25 Jun 2010, 09:54 PM Reply Like
  • Michael Clark
    , contributor
    Comments (8362) | Send Message
     
    Remember the Hindu trinity: Brahma 'created' the world first (in 5 steps): these leaders are the creators, the 'Founding Fathers'; Vishnu 'preserved' the world next (for 7 steps); and Siva 'destroyed' the world so that we can begin again.

     

    The 'bureaucrats' are those who try to preserve what is. They specialize in the 'status quo'. They worship Vishnu.

     

    Since there are 12 steps in toto: Brahma, 5 + Vishnu, 7 = 12. This means that the first and the last are the same; in fact, the first and the last are Brahma-Vishnu-Siva fused. Sound familiar. The First and Last is the Destroyer who begins the process over again, a god, who sees Past, Present and Future.
    27 Jun 2010, 05:28 AM Reply Like
  • spald_fr
    , contributor
    Comments (2705) | Send Message
     
    We are discussing politics and international finance and you've got to bring religion into the discussion?

     

    H*ll, I'm a Yankees fan and believe they are the best sports franchise in the history of the world, especially superior to any soccer (i.e. "football") team in less developed portions of the world, such as Ghana and the UK.
    27 Jun 2010, 11:32 AM Reply Like
  • Michael Clark
    , contributor
    Comments (8362) | Send Message
     
    You think politics and international finance are unrelated to religion. You are either very young or you haven't thought very much about how the world works.
    27 Jun 2010, 01:41 PM Reply Like
  • spald_fr
    , contributor
    Comments (2705) | Send Message
     
    [Michael Clark: "You think politics and international finance are unrelated to religion. You are either very young or you haven't thought very much about how the world works."]

     

    In my seventh decade, professor. Excuse me, but how does the Hindu religion you cite above relate to the G20 leadership vacuum the article describes? Just how does that work?
    29 Jun 2010, 10:57 PM Reply Like
  • Michael Clark
    , contributor
    Comments (8362) | Send Message
     
    You have to understand that religions symbolism is about how the world works and how the cycles of time on the Earth play out in terms of human nature. It is a prophetic language in that sense.

     

    If you really ARE interested, take a look at a draft of my book, "Turn Out the Lights'.

     

    www.hoalantrangallery....

     

    Same reality, but Religion, Science and Philosophy describe it in different languages.
    30 Jun 2010, 11:38 AM Reply Like
  • nyuszika45
    , contributor
    Comments (633) | Send Message
     
    I agree. For those who are religious, much of their actions come from rationales learned therein. For many of those who aren't, much of their actions derive from avoiding postures which contradict their adopted assumptions. For those who know neither background, their actions are derived from acting in concert with their only available idol, as they see it in the mirror every morning.

     

    Everyone worships something. The choice is up to us.
    30 Jun 2010, 12:03 PM Reply Like
  • spald_fr
    , contributor
    Comments (2705) | Send Message
     
    [MC: "You think politics and international finance are unrelated to religion. You are either very young or you haven't thought very much about how the world works."]

     

    You must be right. I must have not thought very much about how the world works.

     

    Spald specifically (key word) asks you how to tie in the Hindu reference you offered as response to the lack of talented leadership at the G20 conference and you respond by tossing a book at me to read (your book, no less).

     

    From my experience, that's not how the world works. If one offers an opinion, one seeks to uplift the audience to comprehension if that audience fails to understand. Preferably in 100 words or less.
    2 Jul 2010, 08:53 AM Reply Like
  • Wyatt Junker
    , contributor
    Comments (4503) | Send Message
     
    The markets are frozen inside this channel (9500 - 10500) waiting to see what the governments will do to them.

     

    Indeed, the governments will damage them, severely. And we will all be destroyed along with them.

     

    Today we had the O'hole at the G20 encouraging the world leaders to contain and regulate the banks more as he had his new bill under his belt that he could pet like a hairless cat.

     

    The problem is that the banks aren't lending because of this A Hole's bill that clogged up the system for the last 3 months, contracting money supply in the process. Contract M2 and watch small businesses stagnate. As small businesses stagnate, unemployment only gets worse.

     

    These people are either evil or idiotic or maybe a little of both.

     

    The governments are extremely dangerous right now and are feeling the rush of their own transformative power. It will not end well.
    26 Jun 2010, 02:23 AM Reply Like
  • anarchist
    , contributor
    Comments (1221) | Send Message
     
    So why is it that there are no "adults" in the room. As most of the comments here agree politicians are the problem but why? I can't speak for the rest of the worlds leaders but in the US the campaign system is broke, corrupt and gives us the same menu every election, no new ideas only people who are bought and paid for by the corporate contributions, people whose time and efforts are consumed by the need to raise campaign money. The US needs public sponsored campaigns giving new people an opportunity to express new ideas and to break from corporate ownership of the election process.
    26 Jun 2010, 08:50 AM Reply Like
  • Cincinnatus
    , contributor
    Comments (3355) | Send Message
     
    In fact there is more and better information available now then there ever has been for those that care to look. The problem is not the campaign system, the problem is an electorate that has been dumbed-down through the government education bureaucracy and is lazy and disengaged from how they are governed. Greatly contributing to this is a tax regime that exempts fully half of those with income from any tax liability to pay for government, and is highly skewed to the top 5% or so of taxpayers paying for most of government.
    26 Jun 2010, 05:10 PM Reply Like
  • Michael Clark
    , contributor
    Comments (8362) | Send Message
     
    The problem with the electoral system today in the US is that it's so expensive that one needs to be a millionaire or be a whore of the millionaires in order to get elected.

     

    We also tend to believe that only lawyers should serve in government (since government is about passing laws) -- but lawyers are the second-biggest crooks in our society (being the lackeys of the biggest crooks, the ones who buy their expensive services so they can break the laws and not go to jail) so we end up electing crooks whose goal is to feather their own nests. Lawyers, also, are the millionaires.

     

    We don't need elections to last years. We could have every primary on the same night of the year -- all this traveling across the country from state-to-state just costs money and makes candidates whores to the rich. With our current state of technology we can elect people quickly and relatively inexpensively.

     

    Simplify. Look for quality of character in candidates. Try to get past the surface smarm of the false wholesomeness that Americans seem to love. It's this same quality that Evangelists use on Americans to make millions while they perform every perversion on the face of the earth, then cry to the American people begging forgiveness. Smarmy natures mean deceit, falseness, evil, duplicitness (see John Edwards in the dictionary next to 'smarmy' -- and Jim Baker).

     

    Proclaimed, projected 'morality' is confused with substance -- being a 'good man', being 'one of us', does not get us the best leaders most of the time. It usually gets us a used-car salesman with higher ambitions for himself and his family. Get beyond the image of things, to the core. Very hard, but you can't have good leaders if you want to live on the shiny surface of things. Great leaders are often imperfect human beings -- and our reliance on the surface image, the superficial plastic glow, means that depth of character is often confused for 'strangeness', a 'foreign' quality, while 'commonness' is often confused for 'comfort', for 'liking him as a person'.

     

    What all great leaders have in common is depth: depth of vision, depth of understanding, depth of character, compassion, anger, decency. If you admire superficiality as a culture -- the shiny surface of things, the smile, the laughter, the happy ending only -- you will always have false leaders, with no depth. The Hollywood ending (avoiding facing the tragedy inherent in life) does not produce genius -- it produces a false, extended childhood -- and leaders who smile and tell us everything will always be good, while they rake in money for themselves and forge alliances with the devils of the society. Lying, cheating and stealing with a smile is very easy, especially when you are taught that this is the secret of success, as lawyers are -- this is the essence of our current legal system.

     

    Superficiality is the enemy of a great culture. Ingest a little tragedy as a culture -- understand that we are both light and darkness, joy and sorrow, heroism and failure -- let Disneyland go. Depth of understanding is what Nature requires before she provides us with rebirth.
    27 Jun 2010, 05:40 AM Reply Like
  • Genesis
    , contributor
    Comments (149) | Send Message
     
    Very insightful comment, Michael! Too bad people need to have the obvious explained to them, and even then many don't get it.

     

    What we have is a lot of sheep, and they don't want a shepherd who actually thinks he is smarter than them cause that would hurt their self esteem. What they tell themselves is they are afraid the smart guy might be an elitist even if there is little actual evidence of that. They look for someone they would feel comfortable having a beer with. With all their great wisdom, they usually end up with Ivy League-educated elitists trained in the art of acting, er, politics. The voters don't question why some candidates are much better financed than others.

     

    Congrats on making it to the top 20! Not sure how long you've been there.
    27 Jun 2010, 11:20 PM Reply Like
  • Michael Clark
    , contributor
    Comments (8362) | Send Message
     
    The Top 20 just means you spend too much time on this site I'm afraid. Making too many comments.
    29 Jun 2010, 02:19 AM Reply Like
  • Duude
    , contributor
    Comments (3358) | Send Message
     
    For most participants the G-20 will be just an alcohol-influenced black-out spectacle that will end with leaders flying back to their home countries in search of the headline news they may or may not have made but can't remember. This is the dog and pony shows to end all dog and pony shows.
    26 Jun 2010, 09:24 AM Reply Like
  • Archman Investor
    , contributor
    Comments (2354) | Send Message
     
    As the ole song said:
    "Don't worry. Be happy."

     

    Just open the newspaper and see the truth of why things are as bad as they are:

     

    The long lines at the Apple store for the latest I-Phone.
    And in that line? The majority of Americans who are earning between $9.25 and $15 an hour, thinking that they are important because the keep buying the latest gadgets.

     

    Each and every day we get confirmation that the top 10% of our country controls and owns 90% of its net worth.

     

    Each day we get confirmation of how people confuse "looking important" with actually "being important". Everything is this country is one big TMZ celebrity associated web site.

     

    Known fact: The nations #1 employer of the population: Wal-Mart.
    Where the average employee earns just $10 / hour.

     

    The massive government sponsored dumbing down of our country has been 100% successful on every level. I am almost astonished that it really worked. But it did.

     

    Politicians have no incentive to change a thing. Why should they? The people seem more than happen to live a life of complete and utter mediocrity or outright poverty.

     

    Food stamps? OMG that is so 'en vogue! (Ever see the average food stamp recipient? Their cars are pretty hot and of course they are very busy on their I-phones, checking their Facebook accounts as they are on the check out line)
    On unemployment? Wait. People actually still work for a living?
    On disability? Throw yourself under a bus. Try it. Why not? It hurts at first but once you're all better, you can sip Mohitos by the pool all day.
    No net worth? Not a problem. Those who have will be forced at gun point to hand over all theirs.

     

    The only way things are going to change, is when the majority of people have had enough, want things to change.
    26 Jun 2010, 10:21 AM Reply Like
  • Teutonic Knight
    , contributor
    Comments (2000) | Send Message
     
    Another plausible reason to explain why there is such a vacuum of leadership unlike what it used to (e.g., Winston Churchill) is that the Main Stream Media (MSM) had been poisoning the minds and brains of the present and next generation.

     

    When you see tons of leadership programs being offered by the Ivy League Colleges across the country, you know what? Leadership is like what you see on TV exemplified by the Dancing With The Stars (DWTS). [Not Distinguished Member of Technical Staff (DMTS)].

     

    Leadership = Self-Promotion + Contrive + Sales + Milking + Plundering

     

    One may want to ask a legitimate question: If the Ivy League Colleges are producing so many leaders from their Leadership Programs, years after years, then how would our country be still in such economic, social, political, environmental, and military dire straits?

     

    There is something wrong there, obviously.
    26 Jun 2010, 11:22 AM Reply Like
  • nyuszika45
    , contributor
    Comments (633) | Send Message
     
    You're assuming that the "leadership" taught therein is consistent with your view or that of anyone not of "The Establishment". To assume that the current (small L) leadership is not doing what it is directed to or thinks it ought to do is akin to Muhammed wondering why the Jews of Medina didn't join him in his religious quest.

     

    All right, maybe not that severe - but they may be completely successful in their universe while we see it otherwise. After all, who says the "problems" we recognise are not the "solutions" devised by those "leaders" for their purposes?
    26 Jun 2010, 09:13 PM Reply Like
  • Teutonic Knight
    , contributor
    Comments (2000) | Send Message
     
    Not with $!5T in the hole and growing, current account and trade deficits $B /yr since 1991, unemployment at ~ 10% and underemployment at another ~ 5%. I am not Ivy League educated and had not attended any Leadership Programs but I am not illiterate to read those numbers. Wake up and look at the facts.
    27 Jun 2010, 12:03 AM Reply Like
  • Michael Clark
    , contributor
    Comments (8362) | Send Message
     
    One thing the MSM does is it pretends to do our thinking for us -- it encourages us not to think for ourselves, to be part of the herd. We'll tell you how to think. We'll tell you what's really going on.

     

    All media does that, Small Stream Media also. But MSM is owned by the very richest people in our world, people who don't really want anything to change. These are the people Ben Bernanke is trying to protect, the people Greenspan protected, the people whose club Obama is desperate to join, not reform -- at least it seems that way. People with whom the Bushes all partied.

     

    The rich ARE different. They want it ALL. And they want to keep it all. How do they do this? They create a 'reality' which we all support even when it stops benefiting us.

     

    In America, today, all of our leaders have to be consecrated by the media. They have to be popularized by the media. In America, being 'popularize' by the media means becoming rich. Our leaders are all fascinated by how they look on television. Nothing is real unless we see it on television first.

     

    Myopia is a form of Narcissus watching television and falling in love with the images he sees.
    27 Jun 2010, 04:08 AM Reply Like
  • anarchist
    , contributor
    Comments (1221) | Send Message
     
    The MSM is "us", that is they give the U.S. new consumer what they want-entertainment, it sells.
    27 Jun 2010, 09:57 AM Reply Like
  • Teutonic Knight
    , contributor
    Comments (2000) | Send Message
     
    Michael

     

    Thank you for these insights.

     

    I only wish that William Shakespeare is alive today to write another one of his Great Tragedies - - - one perhaps to be the Greatest of all Great Tragedies.

     

    TK
    27 Jun 2010, 09:01 PM Reply Like
  • Michael Clark
    , contributor
    Comments (8362) | Send Message
     
    TK: Me too. Maybe in 1,000 years Shakespeare will be writing tragedies about the American Empire.
    28 Jun 2010, 02:33 AM Reply Like
  • Teutonic Knight
    , contributor
    Comments (2000) | Send Message
     
    anarchist

     

    You missed my point.

     

    Using sales techniques to drive revenues is America's strength. Politicians and so-called political leaders relying solely sales pitching and image building to get elected breeds C O R R U P T I O N.

     

    $15T national deficit + annual account deficit + annual trade deficit + 10% unemployment +10% underemployment is testimony to their deeds.
    28 Jun 2010, 10:08 AM Reply Like
  • Tom Au, CFA
    , contributor
    Comments (6775) | Send Message
     
    Here's more about Churchill:

     

    seekingalpha.com/insta...
    29 Jun 2010, 12:24 PM Reply Like
  • gretel
    , contributor
    Comments (305) | Send Message
     
    Michael Clark, yes we will have a other Hitler ! He will quietly come along . Is it so hard to look at History and notice that the once with the POWER and MONEY have not learn t much from it ? Since Dick Cheney will not much longer be around there will be one less money hungry crook in the World ! We spent Billions on Blackwater for very little, lawyers turn FACTS in to Fiction in just about any Curt room in the Country and sue any school who wants to keep discipline in the class room's . Why do we need 85% of the world lawyers because they spent Millions so the CROOKS in DC make more Laws and a simple divorce costs a small fortune . In general America is fat and not very smart ,ask anybody about the population of the USA and the World you will get a big "silence" or a plain stupid answer . So GS and Co the and the rest of the Banksters with there Senators in tow will suck this country dry and when is nothing left History will be back in full force. There is nothing more dangerous than IGNORANT PEOPLE . Yes my English is great .
    You all have a nice day !
    26 Jun 2010, 01:49 PM Reply Like
  • Michael Clark
    , contributor
    Comments (8362) | Send Message
     
    Gretel: I'm not sure this is just an American problem. I don't see much leadership anywhere. And I doubt that Hitler will rise up in America, although we have many Hitler-wannabes here.

     

    I agree about lawyers. Why do we have so many lawyers. Because we have so many crooks. Lawyers live off a crooks like cockroaches live off of trash and crumbs. No question.

     

    Are Americans 'smart'? Are they less 'smart' that Europeans? Or Latin Americans? That's a hard call. People everywhere like comfort. They'll usually follow the leaders who make them comfortable. All humans in every country labor under Nature's illusion, that the right wing sees the world accurately, or that the left wing sees the world accurately. If you have an ideology, you only see part of the world, and you fuel this vision with your emotion. You are 100% smart for the small world you see -- but you are 0% smart for the larger worlds you don't see.

     

    Leadership, by definition, I would think, implies the largest vision. "Follow me!" the leader says. "I know it's dark. But I can see in the dark!"

     

    Why have our leaders failed us? I think it's more about the world turning dark on them. It has become Night. None of the tricks they used to follow are working any longer. They can't see where to go. Some say "follow Keynes"; some say "follow the Austrians". Some say: "We are libertarians. We follow no one." Others say: "We need another Hitler!"

     

    Strong leadership is a double-edged sword. Some leaders lead you to Heaven (remember Moses, for instance, who led his people to the Promised Land but did not enter himself); others lead you straight into Hell (Hitler, for instance; Pol Pot; Mao Tse Tung). If you need a scapegoat, to make your ideology work, then you might be heading to hell.
    27 Jun 2010, 03:57 AM Reply Like
  • anarchist
    , contributor
    Comments (1221) | Send Message
     
    No one is talking about our most recent "Hitler wannabe" G.W. Bush. He and his administration, for all practical purposes, suspended the constitution. They told lies and cherry picked facts to galvenize the publics hate and fear to go to war to protect their puppet masters the corporations. They encouraged us to spy on one another in the guise of patriotism and suppressed dissent calling it was "helping the terrorist". Not wearing a flag in ones lapel was considered unpatriotic. Racial profiling became the norm. Homeland security was created to monitor everything and everybody. Had G.W. had another term we would probably have seen gulags in the U.S. instead of just Guantanamo, Iraq and other secret foreign locations.
    27 Jun 2010, 10:15 AM Reply Like
  • Wyatt Junker
    , contributor
    Comments (4503) | Send Message
     
    You mean Billy Jethro Clinton, right? Echelon? Carnivore?

     

    Wake up.

     

    You've been spoonfed baby food at the cliche farm.
    20 Nov 2011, 11:27 AM Reply Like
  • zorrow
    , contributor
    Comments (848) | Send Message
     
    Two points of view of Shay's rebellion. I like Washington's. Libertarians would probably like Jefferson's comment.

     

    Thomas Jefferson, who was serving as an ambassador to France at the time, refused to be alarmed by Shays' Rebellion. In a letter to a friend, he wrote that "a little rebellion now and then is a good thing. The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants."[17] In contrast to Jefferson's sentiments George Washington, who at the time was urging many through letters about forming a better and more energetic national government through the union of the states, in a letter to Henry Lee wrote in regards to the rebellion, "You talk, my good sir, of employing influence to appease the present tumults in Massachusetts. I know not where that influence is to be found, or, if attainable, that it would be a proper remedy for the disorders. Influence is not government. Let us have a government by which our lives, liberties, and properties will be secured, or let us know the worst at once."

     

    Soon after we had a Constitution instead of the "Articles of Confederation". So in my opinion, the Constitution was a move torward's more government and more order (not Libertarian crap)..
    27 Jun 2010, 01:49 PM Reply Like
  • nyuszika45
    , contributor
    Comments (633) | Send Message
     
    No, not in spirit, not "more" government, but a more centralised, balanced approach to government that would be able to build a cohesive country, set foreign policy on a national level and deal with the expected conflicts between the strongly partisan states of which it was composed. It is a a composition for "We, the people..." not "Us, the government...".

     

    In respect of the vision of the founding fathers, we have strayed so far as to just as well elect George IV as president. Oh, we did? sorry. No, I'm not referring to George II.

     

    We have now transmogrified from Jefferson's dream to Hamiton's ideal - not exactly a change that is welcome amongst the circles of those that prefer Liberty. Statists, however, love the trend and accomplishments to date and are looking for more to come. I belong to the former camp and sorely miss the eloquence of financial stewardship with integrity.
    28 Jun 2010, 12:20 PM Reply Like
  • zorrow
    , contributor
    Comments (848) | Send Message
     
    Rule of law ,means rule of government. No government means no law. It is not a question of how big or how little government should be. Government should be big enough to handle all the cooperative activities that mandate cooperation among individuals. That's very expansive. Think about it. Do you want to work things out with rapists and drug dealers on your own, or do you want law and order? Do you want some self appointed non government mandated gang to have power over you and your family; or duly appointed officials of an elected government. There is no "in-between" it's one or the other. And that's why I say Libertarians are idiots.
    28 Jun 2010, 12:40 PM Reply Like
  • TeresaE
    , contributor
    Comments (3041) | Send Message
     
    How about Rules of Society?

     

    When I was young, life was better because my neighbors took matters into their own hands.

     

    You behaved badly at their home, you got your butt paddled and weren't invited back.

     

    Now we call in counselors, and cops.

     

    We need LESS government and MORE personal accountability.

     

    Libertarians believe in the Constitution and the RIGHT to take care of yourself.

     

    You believe the government is the only one that can take care of you. How's that working for you so far?
    29 Jun 2010, 10:59 AM Reply Like
  • Tom Au, CFA
    , contributor
    Comments (6775) | Send Message
     
    I think it was Abe Lincoln who first said, "A government that is big enough to give you everything you want is strong enough to take away everything you have."

     

    But try telling that to the POTUS.
    29 Jun 2010, 11:06 AM Reply Like
  • Teutonic Knight
    , contributor
    Comments (2000) | Send Message
     
    The federal government has room for a 30% downsize easily with improved efficiency. This would probably come along after the Dow hits the 3700 mark you projected sometime ago (or even much lower in reality).
    29 Jun 2010, 11:14 AM Reply Like
  • Silentz
    , contributor
    Comments (708) | Send Message
     
    Nice strawman. I think you're (intentionally or otherwise) confusing Libertarians with Anarchists. No correct thinking Libertarian has ever advocated for getting rid of government altogether. That would be utterly ridiculous. The overwhelming majority of Libertarians would like for our Federal government to simply stay within the bounds of the Constitution, and leave the rest of the details up to the states.
    29 Jun 2010, 12:35 PM Reply Like
  • nyuszika45
    , contributor
    Comments (633) | Send Message
     
    I would never call myself a Libertarian (I have seven children), but the idea of a limited central government and more locally significant decisions made at the local level is about right.

     

    The problem we face is that so-called anarchists appear to be disguised statists with violence in their eyes... as they have been for decades.
    29 Jun 2010, 02:26 PM Reply Like
  • zorrow
    , contributor
    Comments (848) | Send Message
     
    I don't mind people suggesting cuts. At least that's something specific. What you usually get from Libertarians is "government is too big, and bad". Rush Limbaugh and Glen Beck have not suggested one specific cut since they have been ruminating. Neither have the Tea party people. They're just complainers with no specific ideas. Usually something like "we should abolish social security". Idiots. What are the "rules of society" without an enforcement arm. Did the "rules of society" protect the people in the Gulf? Di the "rules of Society" stop the banks from issuing phony mortgage paper? Libertarians are like parasites who are hosted by an elected government, your property, the safety of your loved ones, your rights, all protected by the other taxpayers; but have no interest in preserving the host. Libertarians should move to Mexico. They would like it there. All the drugs and violence and chester Molesters, they want, all running free.
    29 Jun 2010, 03:23 PM Reply Like
  • zorrow
    , contributor
    Comments (848) | Send Message
     
    You're right. We can start by leaving Missippi, Louisiana, Alabama, Texas and Florida to their own devices in dealing with the oil spill. No federal money, no hated government assistance . They want to be their own country anyway. Of course most of the people in those states wouldn't agree with that presciption, because most of them are not Libertarian idiots, despite what some of the tea pot politicians (Ron Paul) think.
    29 Jun 2010, 03:35 PM Reply Like
  • Cincinnatus
    , contributor
    Comments (3355) | Send Message
     
    Sounds like a plan. No doubt they can manage both the environment and the oil industry better than the feds have. They have the incentive to do so. They could also use the oil tax revenues from what would then be their territorial waters.

     

    I'm surprised you're advocating this Zorrow. You always seem to be the covetous, "I want what my neighbor has" type. Refreshing to see you embrace self-determination.
    29 Jun 2010, 05:52 PM Reply Like
  • nyuszika45
    , contributor
    Comments (633) | Send Message
     
    It was Jefferson.
    30 Jun 2010, 11:33 AM Reply Like
  • Teutonic Knight
    , contributor
    Comments (2000) | Send Message
     
    Like a Great Big Tree totally growing out of bounds, it needs to be pruned down, trimmed down on all sides, branches cut, roots axed, and even dynamited. The 30% cut is only a ball-park figure. Start with 10, then another 10, then another 10 and see the results.

     

    After the downsize, the tree will become more healthy and then return to graceful growth of new and youthful branches. But we must act NOW and SOON!

     

    "The Answer to your suggestion and question, my friend, is blowing in the wind" - lyrics from a hit song.
    1 Jul 2010, 11:07 PM Reply Like
  • Wyatt Junker
    , contributor
    Comments (4503) | Send Message
     
    It goes back to Lincoln who expanded the role of the federal government at the expense of the states. Ever since we've been enslaved to DC.

     

    The States should have the power to do a lot more. Washington by contrast should just be a symbolic reference and its 'employees' should only have pinky fingers, all their other fingers cut off, when they write bills.
    20 Nov 2011, 11:30 AM Reply Like
  • Michael Clark
    , contributor
    Comments (8362) | Send Message
     
    Wyatt:

     

    We're stuck in the middle of the "I Want To Be A Great Empire" roller coaster ride. During this ride, everything gets bigger and bigger: businesses, governments, armies, egos, debt load.... We can't go back to the beginning -- the small government and small business and small army -- until we complete the ride. It won't be much fun. We have already had the fun part. We still have the suspension of a democratic government, emperors running amok, more foreign war, more tyrants abusing power, the appearance of a messiah, the impending invasion by angry goths.... We can't go back to the ideal "Small is Beautiful" just yet -- not until we are pushed there by historical necessity.

     

    Read the history of Rome. That seems to be our shadow-system.
    22 Nov 2011, 10:40 AM Reply Like
  • nyuszika45
    , contributor
    Comments (633) | Send Message
     
    Given the spate of disaster predictions inundating us these days due to The Fed, China, Global warming [sic], the Islamisation of the west, low birth rates, high illegal immigration, corrupt banks (well after the repeal of Glass-Stegall what did you expect?), corrupt government... and so on, the likelihood of a proper sized government is nil unless it is brought about by realisation of bankruptcy and the inability to print enough money to fill those wheel-barrows reminiscent of post WWI Germany. Unfortunately, the more likely story is the continued corporatisation of the government, i.e., note the corporate mediated internet censorship bill currently making its way through the houses of Congress, which will spawn enough bureaucrats until the party in power has enough bodies in its employ to remain so forever. One commentator already did the maths and has asserted that the employees' votes plus those of probable immediate family members and a few of the non-communal family members plus the unions is sufficient to guarantee this today. However, the UK had a larger governmental footprint and was never able to pull this off.
    I suspect that not only must there be a virtual revolution amongst the populace, but an elimination of private funding of elections in order to ever see any size of US government smaller than the Gargantua we have today.
    Of course, what might be left after the much rumoured, expected, and filmed 2012 cataclysms, even if they do not become the second Great Flood, might go some length toward paring things down to size. However, one doubts that this is the driving force many folks desire in our preference for governments which cost under 5-10% of GDP.
    23 Nov 2011, 12:03 PM Reply Like
  • Wyatt Junker
    , contributor
    Comments (4503) | Send Message
     
    FDR.

     

    LBJ.

     

    They paved over the Constitution.

     

    Now everyone just walks over it, hidden under 6 feet of concrete.
    23 Nov 2011, 12:14 PM Reply Like
  • Michael Clark
    , contributor
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    Silly comment. The Constitution was desgned as a living document mean to change as the times change. The idea that every liberal idea or program is 'against the constitution is ludicrous. What have you been smoking, Wyatt?
    24 Nov 2011, 04:32 AM Reply Like
  • Wyatt Junker
    , contributor
    Comments (4503) | Send Message
     
    Living, breathing, defecating.

     

    Maybe you should nickname it too if its so human. Call it Bojangles or Sparky.

     

    Naw. Sorry MC. Its a clear cut document written in simple, plain language, the gist of which is to limit the clearly enumerated powers of government to their respective roles.

     

    Sure the left has perverted it into a 'living, breathing' document along with their cohorts, the courts, to the point where now the constitution is so diluted its not even relevant anymore. Today it means whatever you want it to mean or however you wish to pander to a specific electoral outcome. It means everything and anything and nothing at the same time. Perfect example is the 'general welfare' clause. Piss poor literary exegesis. They can pull it off though. Why? Because most of their voting base has no basic recollection of American history.

     

    Perhaps that was their point the entire time, eh?
    24 Nov 2011, 12:00 PM Reply Like
  • Michael Clark
    , contributor
    Comments (8362) | Send Message
     
    Wyatt: If you want a democracy, then you have to tolerate your poliitical adversaries having power also -- you must tolerate the sharing of power with those damn liberals. Othewse, get rid of the democracy and assume totalitarian powers of the right because you know you are absolutely 100% right. Get rid of the damn constitution which is just getting in the way now. Or do you think the writers of the constiitution really wanted slavery and women without rights to endure for an eternity? Damn liberals -- really ruined a good thing for white American male property owners.
    24 Nov 2011, 12:20 PM Reply Like
  • Wyatt Junker
    , contributor
    Comments (4503) | Send Message
     
    First off, I'm a classical liberal (like the founders) which would be defined today as a hard right conservative. The left has stolen a simple term that they don't believe in let alone understand.

     

    Liberal from root word derivative of liberty(ie freedom). Even Merriam's has perverted it now to today's colloquialism. A cheap bastardization of historical ignorance.

     

    The Constitution was written to keep a boot on government's throat. NOT the other way around to ever expand it through some false 'ever expanding' of powers idea discovered by today's left making it a living, breathing, farting, alzheimer patient.

     

    Do some research. The (old) republican party was the freedom movement that fought to end slavery. The democrat party were the resisters from the old south. You've bought the left's cliff notes and it makes you sound foolish.

     

    As far as voting rights, I think they should be limited to tax payers only. If the government is going to ever increase their erosion of property rights through unrepresentative taxation, then the only ones who should have the franchise are the ones who pay the damn bills. Pretty basic common sense. You disagree?
    24 Nov 2011, 12:43 PM Reply Like
  • nyuszika45
    , contributor
    Comments (633) | Send Message
     
    Sorry, it is the totalitarian powers of the Left, currently in existence, which are not acceptable. Not a President since Abraham Lincoln, the first to use the Constitution to legalise his administrative hegemony, has fully returned the document to its principals. However, living and working with and under immutable principals is not a hallmark of the secularists, as fashion and profitable moral flavour of the week posturing appear more pervasive in that milieu.
    And, I'm not sure the term "liberal" is as apt as "progressives", the one used prior to the whitewash change in the late 40's and early 50's. At the time of the Constitution, the Founding Fathers were Liberals and I find none of their respect and reverence for generation spanning principles relevant to the so-called "liberals" of today.
    24 Nov 2011, 01:00 PM Reply Like
  • Michael Clark
    , contributor
    Comments (8362) | Send Message
     
    You and Wyatt seem so backward-looking, trying to define 2011 politics by 1776 intentions and definitions. Why not go back further, to the Pefect World we had back in the Roman Era, or even earlier? Those young-uns have ruined everything with their fancy values and their new-fangled ideas. Why can't the world be llke it was when I was a kid, when the definition of a progressive or a lover-of-liberty wasn't confused with this new perversion of liberalism.

     

    Sorry, guys: the 1770's aren't coming back. Our founding fathers wanted a government and a sociey that could respond to change; if they didn't they would have fought to sustain the monarchy. The right thinks the left is the monarchy that has to be defeated; the left thinks the right is the monarchy that has to be defeated. That is good. That's what a democracy is.

     

    A society can LOOK back; but if it tries travel back it's dead.
    25 Nov 2011, 12:26 PM Reply Like
  • Wyatt Junker
    , contributor
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    You need a nice refresher course from Orwell it seems. Words matter, but not to you.

     

    Its why I find the Center for 'American Progress' such a hilarious misnomer. Everything they stand for is retrograde, not progress. In fact, socialism is retrograde. Look at Europe. And why is it dying? Is that ... progress? Its cathedrals are dead museums. There is no more social cohesion, no common belief system, no core values. Its a dead culture. Of course the welfare state is going to rise up. That's what replaces a common faith when that faith dies. And it bankrupts the society every time.

     

    To you, Michael, backwards is forwards. To you, Michael, down is up. To you, Michael, slavery is freedom.

     

    You are the comic book character in 1984.

     

    The only way for our society to be saved is to go back to what this country was founded on, a limited government, if we are to survive. That's what the markets are all saying. Wake up. Governments have all grown too large. Governments have all become much too corrupt in their power lust. The simplicity of doing things for yourself and relying on no one just isn't popular anymore. That's our main problem. And that's what's causing us to reach insolvency faster than any other cause.

     

    You call all these things 'good things'. I call them evil. If that's too harsh a word, other derivatives are; lazy, destructive, complainers, victims(self made/self promoted), dependent, helpless, uncaring, numb and lost. These are what people look like who have lost their faith. America has lost its way.

     

    The only way to progress is to revisit what we one were, what we used to be. I'm not sure its possible. In that sense you are right. But there is no other choice. What you are saying is that default and dissolution are inevitable. That may be as is the case in all societies. But unlike you, I don't call it a good thing. I call it for what it is. A lack of faith = empire destruction. No social cohesion. No social responsibility. No caring for the common good since there is no 'common' idea or notion and again, these young kids look up and ask, 'What is 'good'?'

     

    And that lack of clarity is ultimately the problem. Social norms become arbitrary, subjective and cheap. And we require an endless interpretation to enunciate those social norms as we complicate them to ridiculous levels of irrelevance. And that's what lawyers are for and courts and judges who are all just bought agents of the subjective left. When you can't abide by the 10 commandments, you are cursed as a slave to abide by the five million fifteen.

     

    And why do we reinterpret the simple? So that we don't have to follow the simplicity of the Constitution. When we can get around it, we can do anything we want. So, make it a 'living, breathing' document because society has changed. Don't force society to change. Force a document to change. Complicate it. Put words in there that aren't. Make 'general welfare' mean anything and everything. Make it mean transfer payments, make it mean a progressive income tax system. Make it mean Obamacare. Make it mean General Motors. Make it mean 99 weeks of unemployment. Make it mean anything Nancy Pelosi wants it to mean.

     

    That's your living breathing idea.

     

    And its a joke.
    25 Nov 2011, 12:52 PM Reply Like
  • jhooper
    , contributor
    Comments (5349) | Send Message
     
    Well said Wyatt.

     

    Social welfare/warfare states whether called socialist, communist, fascist are all just different masks for the same face, the face of looters. Even with solidarity, the looters destroy productivity, and when debt can no longer produce new productivity and consumption has burned through capital, the standard of living declines and the people must undergo austerity. When this occurs, they always wind up resenting each other and a break up is the outcome (USSR, and now the EU).

     

    Going back in time to some utopia that has never existed is no the argument here, but the real goal is going back to a path that leads to a future of freedom.
    25 Nov 2011, 01:06 PM Reply Like
  • kcr357
    , contributor
    Comments (557) | Send Message
     
    I agree, j. Society has gotten to the point where certain things are unfit for a human being to do-pick fruit and veggies, replace a roof, be a farmer, etc...Tell a lefty you want to deport all the illegals and 9 times out of ten they will ask, "Who is going to mow your grass, harvest your food, .....". The thought of an American doing this work is an abomination; even though everyone needs to eat and have a roof over their heads, none of them are willing to do those things. Society has to readjust to reality, it's not optional and will happen whether we want it to or not. The next decade or two will be very interesting.
    25 Nov 2011, 05:56 PM Reply Like
  • Michael Clark
    , contributor
    Comments (8362) | Send Message
     
    The only way for our society to be saved is to go back to what this country was founded on, a limited government, if we are to survive. That's what the markets are all saying...
    ___

     

    First of all, I don't think the markets are all-wise. People with money don't like something and won't 'buy' it, so the society needs to follow the rich or else? If that's the logic we want to follow, then elect Donald Trump the new emperor and go steal oil from Iraq and Kuwait.

     

    No thanks. It's ok if the markets don't like something. I don't think the 'markets are God's law' really works, since God's Son essentially said that following the markets was following the Devil.

     

    The only way to go forward is to go back, you say. Sounds like a counter-reformation to me. Hitler wanted to go all the way back to medieval German mythology.

     

    Society clearly is changing and has been changing -- and the laws of the society also have changed. To rigidly refuse to change because the past is better than the future is the glory of old men and the epitaph of the society, for that condition is called rigor mortis.

     

    You want to force society to go back to a 200-year old reality? With slavery and all the wonders that went along with the 'perfect world' of 1776? Abolish history? I think you are missing the point of Orwell, Wyatt.

     

    Who abolishes history? Those who reject human imperfection: the totalitarians. The left and the right are both potential totaltarians unless balanced by their opposites, the other potential totalitarians.

     

    What is the anecdotal defnition of a totalitarian? When he begins to lose an agument, he begins slurring his opponent with insults so that people will not notice he is losing his argument.
    26 Nov 2011, 11:00 AM Reply Like
  • nyuszika45
    , contributor
    Comments (633) | Send Message
     
    Aside from meaning the supremacy of the state above ALL individual liberties, rights, concerns, lives, etc., statism, as first referenced by the then Pope about Mussolini's Fascist Italy, requires that things change as "the state" needs them to change to enable "the state's" goals, whatever those might be at the time as such needs shift the mechanisms of "the state" to accomplish whatever "the state" defines as its needs. And who decides this change of direction and priorities? Not the people comprising the populace, but those who head "the state"; after all, "they know best" (they will tell you), but, curiously, they won't tell you why or how they can make this assertion. You just have to take it on faith that what they say is true, they might say. Actually, it is irrelevant what you, the populace, think as "the state" will do what it wants irrespective of your thoughts, disagreements, or life.

     

    Such must already be the case if the current president of the US can order the murder of citizens without due process. Under those old fogeys of Mr. Clark's thoughts, the Founding Fathers, the Rule of Law and (apparently outmoded) principles of honour disallowed such totalitarian activities. Given the ability of the state to murder as it likes, I guess Mr. Clark has his brave new world.
    26 Nov 2011, 11:00 AM Reply Like
  • Michael Clark
    , contributor
    Comments (8362) | Send Message
     
    I think we have to go forward to the future rather than back to the future. That's where imagination comes in and trumps memory, where vision of the next world trumps a longing for a second childhood.

     

    As the day flows into the night and the night flows into the day, the future will flow out of the present and won't look very much like the past except in th marketplaces and in the graveyards.
    26 Nov 2011, 11:06 AM Reply Like
  • Michael Clark
    , contributor
    Comments (8362) | Send Message
     
    Reality will fix all that. Sometimes the only thing a society needs to wake it up is a real dose of pain and fear.

     

    The only thing a human being cannot endure is perpetual prosperity.
    26 Nov 2011, 11:09 AM Reply Like
  • Wyatt Junker
    , contributor
    Comments (4503) | Send Message
     
    "First of all, I don't think the markets are all-wise. People with money don't like something and won't 'buy' it, so the society needs to follow the rich or else? If that's the logic we want to follow, then elect Donald Trump the new emperor and go steal oil from Iraq and Kuwait." - MC

     

    If I could I would have elected Steve Jobs over the ridiculous community organizer we have now. Mr. Jobs was very efficient. He believed in relentless innovation, customer satisfaction, overseas sweatshops to keep profits high for shareholders, and trendy macrobiotic diets. A bit pretentious, but that's acceptable compared to the weirdo we have now as TOTUS. I also would have voted for Carnegie, Ford, Rockefeller or Heinz over FDR, LBJ, Carter or Clinton. No question. And Trump? Look at how he brought back the gentry into broken neighborhoods and raised the tax base back from the dead. No public money required. At least he's not touting the benefits of welfare. At least he's not stealing from the taxpayer to do what he did. He almost went bankrupt twice and made it all back without incurring public accountability, something our cheap suits in DC could learn.

     

    Give me a pig farmer for president any day of the week over the 535 mostly professional lawyer class of clowns we have now.

     

    "No thanks. It's ok if the markets don't like something. I don't think the 'markets are God's law' really works, since God's Son essentially said that following the markets was following the Devil." - MC

     

    Show me where He said that. Love of mammon is one thing, but Paul's counsel to work with one's own hands or to not eat is pretty sound and the epitome against all out statist freebie welfare. As a tent maker with bleeding hands, he wasn't a televangelist either. Or are you referring to when Jesus drove out the kiosk market in the temple? He didn't drive them out in the non-temple. Just the temple. Big difference.

     

    Perhaps you just have never read any basic Calvinism. Free will is not ursurped by God. God is not a dictator. He didn't create blow up dolls or robots. He valued free will and choice over central command and control ideology. Washington would make God very angry.

     

    As for free markets, sounds to me like Jesus was also very anti-union:

     

    "For the kingdom of heaven is like a landowner who went out early in the morning to hire men to work in his vineyard. He agreed to pay them a denarius for the day and sent them into his vineyard. About the third hour he went out and saw others standing in the marketplace doing nothing. He told them, “You also go and work in my vineyard, and I will pay you whatever is right.” So they went. He went out again about the sixth hour and the ninth hour and did the same thing. About the eleventh hour he went out and found still others standing around. He asked them, “Why have you been standing here all day long doing nothing?” “Because no one has hired us,” they answered. “He said to them, “You also go and work in my vineyard.”

     

    When evening came, the owner of the vineyard said to his foreman, “Call the workers and pay them their wages, beginning with the last ones hired and going on to the first.” The workers who were hired about the eleventh hour came and each received a denarius. So when those came who were hired first, they expected to receive more. But each one of them also received a denarius. When they received it, they began to grumble against the landowner. “These men who were hired last worked only one hour,” they said, “and you have made them equal to us who have borne the burden of the work and the heat of the day.” But he answered one of them, “Friend, I am not being unfair to you. Didn’t you agree to work for a denarius? Take your pay and go. I want to give the man who was hired last the same as I gave you. Don’t I have the right to do what I want with my own money? Or are you envious because I am generous?” So the last will be first, and the first will be last. (Matt. 20:1-16)"

     

    Jesus didn't believe in the power of the mob. I know, right! Who would have thought? It was only a mob that murdered Him, right?

     

    Jesus sounds like Hoffa's government sponsored tactics of today were on His hit list.

     

    "The only way to go forward is to go back, you say. Sounds like a counter-reformation to me. Hitler wanted to go all the way back to medieval German mythology." - MC

     

    Hitler was a joke. He borrowed the old Volk lore culture because he knew it would be easy to rally around, using the Teuton icons. Similar to Obama's Orb if you ask me. Dictators like symbols.

     

    But, you fail. Sorry, you invoked Godwin's law first. I guess that means you lose now.

     

    "Society clearly is changing and has been changing -- and the laws of the society also have changed. To rigidly refuse to change because the past is better than the future is the glory of old men and the epitaph of the society, for that condition is called rigor mortis." - MC

     

    There's a lot of the past that is better than the present. And there's a lot of the present that's better than the past. Time is irrelevant. What is relevant is what works. Limited government is what works. Its what this country was founded on, what makes it strong and the economy dynamic and vibrant. The bigger government gets, the smaller its growth becomes. If you think 24 - 26% of public spending is good in relation to the overall economy, unemployment will remain high because of it. I prefer public spending to be much lower, say 15 - 18% and employment to be higher. We just have a different belief system.

     

    "You want to force society to go back to a 200-year old reality? With slavery and all the wonders that went along with the 'perfect world' of 1776? Abolish history? I think you are missing the point of Orwell, Wyatt." - MC

     

    I'm pretty sure Lincoln took care of that one. Might want to check the history books. I'm also pretty sure that over 600,000 dead bodies after the CW were a resounding rebuttal of and a testament against a racist America, considering that slavery was accepted worldwide at the time and was imported from Africa and Europe. By contrast, America stood out as noticeably different. Tell that to Al Sharpton or Jesse.

     

    "Who abolishes history? Those who reject human imperfection: the totalitarians." - MC

     

    Those who reject human imperfection? Who's doing that? The Constitution was written with an admission of human imperfection built into it. It was understood that with humans in government, power corrupts and unchecked power corrupts completely. That's why the Constitution created 3 separate but equal powers to check each other. Those who reject that notion are the totalitarian left. Perhaps that's what you meant to say, but I'm glad I could clarify it for you and any others here who wish to read it.

     

    "What is the anecdotal defnition of a totalitarian? When he begins to lose an agument, he begins slurring his opponent with insults so that people will not notice he is losing his argument. " - MC

     

    Come on MC. Nothing wrong with an insult or two. Iron sharpens iron, right? And I think you know I already like you, which is why I take the time to respond.
    26 Nov 2011, 04:18 PM Reply Like
  • Michael Clark
    , contributor
    Comments (8362) | Send Message
     
    Wyatt: I like you too. I will take time to answer item by item tomorrow. But please don't confuse Jesus with Paul. It's like confusing John Lennon with Paul McCarthy. I will write mor morrow. Too late tonight and my keyboard is fritzing (no insult to Germans). Steve Jobs dies, and his keyboards freak out!
    27 Nov 2011, 12:04 PM Reply Like
  • Michael Clark
    , contributor
    Comments (8362) | Send Message
     
    If I could I would have elected Steve Jobs over the ridiculous community organizer we have now. Mr. Jobs was very efficient. He believed in relentless innovation, customer satisfaction, overseas sweatshops to keep profits high for shareholders, and trendy macrobiotic diets. A bit pretentious, but that's acceptable compared to the weirdo we have now as TOTUS. I also would have voted for Carnegie, Ford, Rockefeller or Heinz over FDR, LBJ, Carter or Clinton. No question. And Trump? Look at how he brought back the gentry into broken neighborhoods and raised the tax base back from the dead. No public money required. At least he's not touting the benefits of welfare. At least he's not stealing from the taxpayer to do what he did. He almost went bankrupt twice and made it all back without incurring public accountability, something our cheap suits in DC could learn. WJ

     

    No question Steve Jobs was good AT WHAT HE DID. The key is the highlighted part. Because he was good at running a computer company does not mean he would be a good architect. Leo Tolstoy was good at being a novelist. Does that mean Russia should have made him the Tsar? Not so sure.

     

    Same applies to Donald Trump. He is good (sometimes) at manipulating people in the real estate market, getting his profit. But getting a profit is his only motive apparently. Getting a profit is not the sum total of what governing is about. He also wants to get America its profit by fighting wars with Iraq and Kuwait -- where would that end? -- to steal oil from them. Is military will and morality the same thing? I don't think our founding fathers would go along with that kind of scam: since we don't seem to be creative any longer, and all our glorious Wall Street risk-takers are now bankrupt or in prison, let's just use our military to steal resources from anyone weaker than we are. Not where I want America to go.

     

    Give me a pig farmer for president any day of the week over the 535 mostly professional lawyer class of clowns we have now. WJ.

     

    I'm not sure I want lawyers running my government either. I think there are other ways to get there, however, than by canvassing for pig farmers -- wasn't Jimmy Carter's brother a pig farmer? Careful what you wish for.

     

    Show me where He said that. Love of mammon is one thing, but Paul's counsel to work with one's own hands or to not eat is pretty sound and the epitome against all out statist freebie welfare. As a tent maker with bleeding hands, he wasn't a televangelist either. Or are you referring to when Jesus drove out the kiosk market in the temple? He didn't drive them out in the non-temple. Just the temple. Big difference. WJ

     

    As I say, modern Christianity's view that power and wealth in the world is Jesus's gift are mistaken. Remember Jesus in the wilderness. Satan tempted him by offering to give him power over the Earth, wealth, pleasure... Christianity became Paul's religion, not Jesus's religion. And Rome became the servant of Satan, judging from Jesus' wilderness experience. "You have to be practical, realistic." This is what Satan whispers to the human soul when he's trying to decide which rode to take. The spiritual path is never practical. Pragmatism IS the deal with Satan (with Saturn).

     

    Perhaps you just have never read any basic Calvinism. Free will is not ursurped by God. God is not a dictator. He didn't create blow up dolls or robots. He valued free will and choice over central command and control ideology. Washington would make God very angry. WJ

     

    I'm not much of a Calvanist -- I was raised a Catholic, and I've fallen away from Catholicism, but not so much as to embrace Calvinism, which seems like a manifestation of Paul to me.

     

    Jesus said: "Look at the flowers. They don't work; and God takes care of them."
    Paul said: "If they don't work, let them starve." (Parrot Phrase.)

     

    Paul is practical -- and his pragmatism leads to ruling the Earth. But ruling the Earth means you lose your place in heaven.

     

    As for free markets, sounds to me like Jesus was also very anti-union:

     

    "For the kingdom of heaven is like a landowner who went out early in the morning to hire men to work in his vineyard. He agreed to pay them a denarius for the day and sent them into his vineyard. About the third hour he went out and saw others standing in the marketplace doing nothing. He told them, “You also go and work in my vineyard, and I will pay you whatever is right.” So they went. He went out again about the sixth hour and the ninth hour and did the same thing. About the eleventh hour he went out and found still others standing around. He asked them, “Why have you been standing here all day long doing nothing?” “Because no one has hired us,” they answered. “He said to them, “You also go and work in my vineyard.”

     

    When evening came, the owner of the vineyard said to his foreman, “Call the workers and pay them their wages, beginning with the last ones hired and going on to the first.” The workers who were hired about the eleventh hour came and each received a denarius. So when those came who were hired first, they expected to receive more. But each one of them also received a denarius. When they received it, they began to grumble against the landowner. “These men who were hired last worked only one hour,” they said, “and you have made them equal to us who have borne the burden of the work and the heat of the day.” But he answered one of them, “Friend, I am not being unfair to you. Didn’t you agree to work for a denarius? Take your pay and go. I want to give the man who was hired last the same as I gave you. Don’t I have the right to do what I want with my own money? Or are you envious because I am generous?” So the last will be first, and the first will be last. (Matt. 20:1-16)" WJ

     

    Parables can be read literally. But a parable is like an act of magic: the magic is actually done by making the audience look at something else.

     

    This parable says that the highest, most evolved come last, not first. The pioneers, the foundation stone, the first to arrive, the fundament -- and the fundamentalists -- are the least evolved. The last (remember: "I am the first and the last"?) are the crown, the fruit of the tree.

     

    Jesus didn't believe in the power of the mob. I know, right! Who would have thought? It was only a mob that murdered Him, right? WJ

     

    Jesus was not murdered by a crowd. He was murdered by the angry Jewish rich who feared his reformation -- feared losing their Wall Street -- and by a cabal of Saducees who were supposed to have a monopoly on all miracles and magic acts in the kingdom. The Romans went along because they wanted peace in their colony; peace meant keeping the collaborators in place (sort of like us in Vietnam).

     

    Jesus sounds like Hoffa's government sponsored tactics of today were on His hit list. WJ

     

    Jesus was NOT a political revolutionary -- except in the sense that his spiritual revolution was threatening the religious power establishment in Jerusalem. The left wing hated Jesus because he did not want to participate in a guerrilla war against Rome. We know why the right wing hated him -- he threatened their rule by showing his spiritual magic was more powerful than was the stale old Patriarchal magic of the Jewish establishment.

     

    Jesus was a hippie, practicing free love, drug use, esoteric mysticism AND communism. Jesus resided with the poor, not with the powerful. He gave his vision to the poor, because he knew they would rise and the corrupt Father Religion would fall away.

     

    Hitler was a joke. He borrowed the old Volk lore culture because he knew it would be easy to rally around, using the Teuton icons. Similar to Obama's Orb if you ask me. Dictators like symbols. WJ

     

    Hitler was NO JOKE. He was the Devil incarnate. He invoked Teutonic myths because he knew where to find the primitive (Prime val) soul of the Germans. Hitler was a master magician. He was the destroyer in the Aryan trinity: Brahma creates -- our Republicans; Vishnu preserves -- our Democrats; and Siva destroys. Who will be our Siva? Obama is no Siva.

     

    But, you fail. Sorry, you invoked Godwin's law first. I guess that means you lose now. WJ

     

    Winning and losing. That is the Alpha-Male's reason for being. I invoke Hitler because he is a magnificent archetype of the reactionary mind that hates modernity, hates the modern idea of humanity, and finds the way to destroy the world through this attempt to resurrect the past.

     

    Who is this Godwin anyway? Doesn't he know God always wins? Even when he invokes the name Shit-Called-Gruber.

     

    There's a lot of the past that is better than the present. And there's a lot of the present that's better than the past. Time is irrelevant. What is relevant is what works. Limited government is what works. Its what this country was founded on, what makes it strong and the economy dynamic and vibrant. The bigger government gets, the smaller its growth becomes. If you think 24 - 26% of public spending is good in relation to the overall economy, unemployment will remain high because of it. I prefer public spending to be much lower, say 15 - 18% and employment to be higher. We just have a different belief system. WJ

     

    Time is irrelevant? Only when you are dead.

     

    Think of government as a star. The hotter it burns the bigger it gets. But there is no way to go back to its origins except through the long hard road of its life-cycle. The individual man, as he hits middle age, also would like to go back, to get small again, to unwind his mistakes. It can't be done. The path of time doesn't unwind, except through death.

     

    Government can pulse larger and pulse smaller. But you really don't want to have the government to get too small...because this will happen right before the goths and the visigoths invade.

     

    I'm pretty sure Lincoln took care of that one. Might want to check the history books. I'm also pretty sure that over 600,000 dead bodies after the CW were a resounding rebuttal of and a testament against a racist America, considering that slavery was accepted worldwide at the time and was imported from Africa and Europe. By contrast, America stood out as noticeably different. Tell that to Al Sharpton or Jesse. WJ

     

    Yes, Wyatt, but it was those damn liberals who wanted to abolish slavery, not the business leaders on Wall Street who only wanted to expand their profit. They supported the Civil War only if they could make money off it. The death of Americans didn't matter: what mattered was how to turn tragedy into money. Donald Trump is of the same mind, in fact.

     

    I know America didn't create slavery. It certainly juiced the market for awhile. But it has never been the stolid business patriarchs who have demanded social change, unless the established way was keeping them from profiting. It is ALWAYS the liberals -- the women's party -- that brings about social progress, such as universal education -- are you against that also? -- and abolition of slavery, child labor laws. That's the side of the ledger you say has ruined America and hijacked the constitution.

     

    Those who reject human imperfection? Who's doing that? The Constitution was written with an admission of human imperfection built into it. It was understood that with humans in government, power corrupts and unchecked power corrupts completely. That's why the Constitution created 3 separate but equal powers to check each other. Those who reject that notion are the totalitarian left. Perhaps that's what you meant to say, but I'm glad I could clarify it for you and any others here who wish to read it. WJ

     

    AND the totalitarian right also rejects the notion of equal power dispersed through 3 branches of government. In fact, as I said, the totalitarians on the LEFT and the RIGHT are a threat to our democracy. I support a balance of power and a sharing of power: Father-force (Right) runs the Day-Cycles; Mother-force (Left) runs the Night Cycles. Current Night-Cycle runs from 2001-2019. It doesn't matter so much who runs the government as long as they don't destroy the balance-mechanism by slipping into totalitarianism and civil war.

     

    Come on MC. Nothing wrong with an insult or two. Iron sharpens iron, right? And I think you know I already like you, which is why I take the time to respond. WJ

     

    I like you also, Wyatt. But I don't think insults are EVER called for. It is an attempted totalitarian bully tactic designed to reduce a rational argument to a shouting match and to turn the mob on by appealing to their lower instincts, the visceral instincts that don't reason. I don't think I've ever insulted you, Wyatt. Your calling me a comic book character from 1984 -- I don't know what that means. 1984 was the time of resurgent Republicanism. Which comic book character. I have as many sides to my nature as your have Wyatt; I don't consider you a comic book character. You wish to reduce by comic ridicule. I find it churlish, and a sign of frustration and anger. There is a time for frustration and anger, I admit. But we really don't sharpen our swords by calling each other names.

     

    You write: "Words matter, but not to you...."

     

    I assure you Wyatt, you will never meet another person in your life to whom words matter more than I. And because words DO matter, let's not sink into the populist mud of slurring and mud-slinging in our use of words. Lets keep our swords sharp by jousting with ideas, not with insults, which are too common to be elevated into a metaphor of swordsmanship.

     

    The elitism you HATE is merely a reflection of the anti-elitism you LOVE -- that is, a different form of the same spirit of elitism.
    29 Nov 2011, 01:37 AM Reply Like
  • Wyatt Junker
    , contributor
    Comments (4503) | Send Message
     
    "Jesus was a hippie, practicing free love, drug use, esoteric mysticism AND communism. Jesus resided with the poor, not with the powerful. He gave his vision to the poor, because he knew they would rise and the corrupt Father Religion would fall away."

     

    LOL.

     

    Was Zaccheus poor? What about the rich tombstone He was buried in? Or did Jesus just have rich friends somewhere, behind the scenes? The tax collectors were also a part of the 12. Jesus wore fine robes(the ones with a single stitch). Yeah, sorry, I read the Bible. That's what's in there. Is He then a hypocrite? Or are you just confused?

     

    Talk to you s'more later.
    29 Nov 2011, 06:34 PM Reply Like
  • Michael Clark
    , contributor
    Comments (8362) | Send Message
     
    Jesus probably was a member of the Essene sect; his brother was. They held all property in common and lived in the wilderness far away from Jerusalem. Jesus instructed his 'rich' friends to give up their wealth and distrbute it to the poor and join his community.

     

    I'm not saying everyone has to live that way -- but to be a true Christian, and follow Jesus, not Paul, one would have to. The hippies are/were more 'true' Christians than the moderrn Catholics and Protestants, who are more Paulians or even Romans, in their love of worldly power.

     

    When Jesus returns he will not be friends with the modern religions he finds, nor with the American Empire, which looks an awful lot like the Roman Empire of his earlier days.

     

    Matthew 6:24-34 (Luke 12:24-27): 24 "No one can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and mammon. 25 "Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you shall eat or what you shall drink, nor about your body, what you shall put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? 26 Look at the birds of the air: they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? 27 And which of you by being anxious can add one cubit to his span of life? 28 And why are you anxious about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they neither toil nor spin; 29 yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. 30 But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is alive and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will he not much more clothe you, O men of little faith? 31 Therefore do not be anxious, saying, `What shall we eat?' or `What shall we drink?' or `What shall we wear?' 32 For the Gentiles seek all these things; and your heavenly Father knows that you need them all. 33 But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things shall be yours as well. 34 "Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Let the day's own trouble be sufficient for the day.

     

    * Mammon is the name of an ancient Deity worshiped by the Sumerians. He is the God of wealth and his name translates as "property".

     

    Mark 8:36 "What shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul?"

     

    Matthew 6:19 "Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal.

     

    Luke 12:33 Sell your possessions and give to the poor. Provide purses for yourselves that will not wear out, a treasure in heaven that will not be exhausted, where no thief comes near and no moth destroys.

     

    Matthew 19:21 Jesus said unto him, If you will be perfect, go and sell what you have, and give to the poor, and you shall have treasure in heaven: and come and follow me.

     

    Acts 4:35 and put it at the apostles' feet, and it was distributed to anyone as he had need.

     

    Luke 18:22 When Jesus heard this, he said to him, "You still lack one thing. Sell everything you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me."
    29 Nov 2011, 09:23 PM Reply Like
  • Michael Clark
    , contributor
    Comments (8362) | Send Message
     
    Under those old fogeys of Mr. Clark's thoughts, the Founding Fathers, the Rule of Law and (apparently outmoded) principles of honour disallowed such totalitarian activities. Given the ability of the state to murder as it likes, I guess Mr. Clark has his brave new world.
    ___
    I don't know where you get this. Have I said I am against the rule of law and support totalitarian politics? I think you should read more carefully what I write if you want to infer such conclusions to me.
    29 Nov 2011, 09:25 PM Reply Like
  • Michael Clark
    , contributor
    Comments (8362) | Send Message
     
    I tried to edit my above post, but it didn't take. I've expanded my response:

     

    ___
    Under those old fogeys of Mr. Clark's thoughts, the Founding Fathers, the Rule of Law and (apparently outmoded) principles of honour disallowed such totalitarian activities. Given the ability of the state to murder as it likes, I guess Mr. Clark has his brave new world.
    ___
    I don't know where you get this. Have I said I am against the rule of law and support totalitarian politics? I think you should read more carefully what I write if you want to infer such conclusions to me.

     

    In fact I admire the Founding Fathers. I wish for the time when we will have gone forward far enough in our history to discover the Romantic Autumn Geniuses of our history also -- as we have already been blessed by the Renaissance Spring Geniuses. True Genius is found only in the times of balance and unity of the two opposing natures represnted outwardly by our two political parties.

     

    The Renaissance Spring and the Romantic Autumn are the two times of the fluorishing of genius in our time scheme.

     

    From my book "Two and One Half Loves":

     

    Spring and Autumn represent the Equality of Men and Women -- the androgynous nature of the Soul, an equal balance of Masculine and Feminine qualities: Reason and Imagination -- hence, Beauty, Love, Art, and Culture thrive. The "body" of this period is the city-state balanced with Nature. It is a time of both material and spiritual grace.

     

    Summer represents the imbalance of the world in favor of the Masculine Principle: Aristotlean Science, Engineering, Reason, Dry, Brittle, Austere Masculine Religion of the Sun. The focus of this season is the study and the exploitation of the knowledge of the Earth. It is monolithic and monotheistic: the One God in the Day Sky is the Sun, a Father Deity. Spengler's 'World-City', the Megalopolis, is the 'body' worn by the Cultural Summer: the ultimate expansion into the gigantic Ego Center walled off from Nature. It is a time of material plenty, but spiritual despair.

     

    Winter represents the imbalance of the world in favor of the Feminine Principle: Metaphysic, Platonic Philosophy, Art, Poetry, Moist, Supple, Generous and Tolerant Religion of Nature (the Earth/Moon). The focus of this season is the study and the exploitaiton of the knowledge of the Heavens (Astrology). This period is polytheistic: the Many Gods in the Night Sky create a literal universe of divine entities, all guided by a protective Mother. The City broken down to many villages, many small star-centers, scattered across the Earth, dominated by Nature, overgrown -- much as the body of Osiris is dismembred and scattered across the earth. It is a time of physical famine -- and famine-nests. But it is a time of spiritual plenty.

     

    Monotheistic persecution of polytheism (and paganism) is essentially Masculine suppression of the Feminine world-view. It is a kind of historical wife-beating. And when we return to our study of CODA in the next chapter, we will want to look for evidences of this historical wife-beating to make its appearance in the worlds and philosophy of the narrator. In 1983, the Sun-God is reborn. Order, based on the Day-Cycle -- orthodox, monotheistic, and Sun-centered -- will rule from 1983-2001. It will then, again, rule from 2019-2037.
    29 Nov 2011, 11:16 PM Reply Like
  • nyuszika45
    , contributor
    Comments (633) | Send Message
     
    I don't believe the imbalance, as there has been a clear imbalance developing for over a century, is necessarily framed best in those terms, Michael. While I have difficulty relating to your seasonal metaphor, I believe the periodicity is longer term than that and relates to forces more influential than the seasons, as they progress irrespective of the cultural fashions and such whimsies of man seem to run on a longer cycle.
    While the illusion is poetic, the ebb and flow of creative and inhibitive factors appears to be more spread across generational issues; and while the description of each can be couched in such seasonal descriptors, the current forces confronting us do not necessarily conform to that picture.
    However, I suspect that the circumstances which will allow a less materialistic basis for decisions and temporal "principles" will require a radical re-ordering of the current cultural platform in the western world, requiring a series of events about which speculation is less than helpful as such things often become self-fulfilling prophecies or they are acted upon with that intent.
    I'd be happy to see a world which, once again, relied on principles and decision bases which are not founded upon Machiavellian or Corporatist references to "what's in it for me", rather employing rationales based on less materialistic principles without the overriding semi-totalitarianism of the populous, overgrown, and inflexible sects of Judaism.
    30 Nov 2011, 09:58 AM Reply Like
  • Economic Analyst
    , contributor
    Comments (2379) | Send Message
     
    Great. Lay off 30% of the Government employees, so they can come and bid down labor rates by 50%, since they are likely already "retired" at 50% of scale or more, and only "need" half as much. Then we can listen to them complain all day about how much more in taxes they are paying.
    30 Nov 2011, 10:22 AM Reply Like
  • Michael Clark
    , contributor
    Comments (8362) | Send Message
     
    NYUZIKA: I am focusing on a short-term cycle -- 36 years -- and I do believe there are longer-cycles at work. The 36 year cycle seems to work however, which allows me shorter-term predictions and expectations-testing.

     

    I don't think Man really dominates Nature. I think Man appears to dominate Nature, especially during Day-Cycles, when all or most of the technological breakthroughs happen. However, when time runs out, it runs out, no matter what Man does, wants, or what kind of magic Man tries to do through monetary policy.

     

    I think the generational thinking is good -- and tends to follow the 18-year half-cycle. I think the geometry is primary however: "God is ever-geometrizing," Kepler wrote. The laws of Nature are written in geometry.

     

    I also think very generation gets half a generation of light (day) and half a generation of darkness (night). My parents got a dark first half, and a bright second half. My generation seems on track for a bright first half, and a dark second half. It's kind of hard to draw where a generation begins and ends.

     

    I draw it, using geometry: 1929; 1947; 1965; 1983; 2001; 2019....

     

    We agree that our values as a civilization could be better, less dog-eat-dog (which philosophy idealizes a society of mad and madder-dogs, not exactly what many of us are desiring).

     

    Man in the City is a giant. Man in Nature is a midget. We seem to cycle between those two poles historically. Man is getting smaller at the moment; and Nature is getting bigger. And Nature will continue to get bigger until 2019, and then the balance will swing back toward Man again.

     

    However, there is a HUGE Dark Ages out there waiting for us, like the one the Rome laughed about (and laughed-off) until the barbarians showed up at the gates of Rome. Then Man got very small, very fast.
    30 Nov 2011, 11:43 AM Reply Like
  • nyuszika45
    , contributor
    Comments (633) | Send Message
     
    By the way, thanks for noting the Sadducee resentment of Jeshua ben Joseph, as he was known in those days; as most incorrectly cite or are incorrectly directed to the Pharisees as the problematic sect with the remarkable Essene.
    24 Jan 2012, 03:40 PM Reply Like
  • zorrow
    , contributor
    Comments (848) | Send Message
     
    What do you suggest when Louisiana oil interests conflict with Florida real estate, fishing and tourist interests? What if Florida decides to extend its jurisdiction over all the rigs. Remember no feds get to intervene. Do we have the equivalent of a range war? Libertarianism is stupid because its a philosophy that depends on everything being an exception to the big government rule that benefits the Libertarian, but every exception that benefits their neighbor is bad big government. Its basically anti christian and this is a christian country. That's why the Texas worshiptoriums have tried to reinvent Christianity. But all they really have done is transformed themselves into hypocrites dancing around a golden calf.
    30 Jun 2010, 08:34 AM Reply Like
  • nyuszika45
    , contributor
    Comments (633) | Send Message
     
    You're running in circles, now....
    30 Jun 2010, 11:34 AM Reply Like
  • zorrow
    , contributor
    Comments (848) | Send Message
     
    Oh I think I'm getting close to the lack of integrity and inconsistency of those who claim Libertarianism as their credo. It's really just an "i've got mine, screw you" way of thinking.
    30 Jun 2010, 07:39 PM Reply Like
  • Cincinnatus
    , contributor
    Comments (3355) | Send Message
     
    You've exposed yourself as a close-minded ideologue, just like your Messiah. You can't imagine the world as anything else other than what it is today. There's no way we could have arrived here differently in your limited vision. If the US and Canada had been united early on (and it easily could have gone that way but for a few key events), and someone came along and proposed splitting North America at the 49th parallel and through the Great Lakes, you'd have the same mindless knee-jerk reaction, and make the same vacuous claims that it would unleash chaos and disorder.

     

    For the record, I'd propose they form their own federal government, rather than become separate sovereign nations. They all have similar interests, geography, resources, etc., so such a federal system makes sense. Base it on the current US Constitution, but actually follow it.

     

    Likewise, I think the US would be better split up into say five federal entities PacNW, SW, Central US, Gulf States, and NE & Great Lakes. Each as a separate federal system would have much greater common interests and needs - and bring the government back closer to the people of each region. The problem with the US is we've lost federalism entirely - we've got a huge central bureaucracy based on the East Coast, issuing arbitrary laws and regulations that recognize no federal limits, and that serves no region of the country well.
    1 Jul 2010, 04:13 PM Reply Like
  • Cincinnatus
    , contributor
    Comments (3355) | Send Message
     
    Zorrow, your mantra "i've got mine, screw you" is the definition of your entitlement way of thinking. It used to be that to be entitled to something you had to earn it, but for you and your "redistribute the wealth" Messiah simply wanting what others have means you're entitled to it. Hopefully the electorate in the next few elections will wake up and dump you and your Messiah into the trash heap of history.
    1 Jul 2010, 04:23 PM Reply Like
  • zorrow
    , contributor
    Comments (848) | Send Message
     
    I'm an atheist. I just stated this is a Christian country, and Libertarians are not Christians. That's why Dick Army wants Libertarian and Teapotter candidates to try and disguise their affiliation with the movement. But the election process will vet them.I hope we see the same debacle we saw when Goldwater made a run. If not I can still take comfort in the fact, that the teapotters and Libertarians are simply a way station on the road to Facism, and like the Brownshirts they'll be the first victims. Even Hitler found uneducated louts to be useless idiots.
    1 Jul 2010, 11:57 PM Reply Like
  • Cincinnatus
    , contributor
    Comments (3355) | Send Message
     
    I was referring to the messiah Obama. Classical liberalism (aka libertarianism) is a political philosophy. Whether or not one is Christian is orthogonal. I'm not sure what drives your hatred of classical liberalism, but given the irrational nature and reliance on character attacks in your posts it's clear you don't know either.
    2 Jul 2010, 02:55 AM Reply Like
  • zorrow
    , contributor
    Comments (848) | Send Message
     
    I don't hate classical liberalism. I hate Libertarianism, which is just a confusing and enticing term. I attended the first convention of Libertarians as a young man (enticed by the idea of a third party and the sound of the word). When I got there I found myself surrounded by Mattachine Society (chester molesters), Marajuana users and growers, homos, and people who thought free speech was about obscenetiy everywhere. I couldn't get out of there and take a shower fast enough.
    2 Jul 2010, 09:22 AM Reply Like
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