Wednesday, June 17, 2009

The PROPER Role of Government

Glenn Beck read the following letter the other day on his show. It is kind of lengthy but hits the nail on its head. I think we're all kind of feeling this way these days. Spread the letter. WE THE PEOPLE will regain control. Enough IS enough.

I'm a home grown American citizen, 53, registered Democrat all my life. Before the last presidential election I registered as a Republican because I no longer felt the Democratic Party represents my views or works to pursue issues important to me. Now I no longer feel the Republican Party represents my views or works to pursue issues important to me. The fact is I no longer feel any political party or representative in Washington represents my views or works to pursue the issues important to me. There must be someone. Please tell me who you are. Please stand up and tell me that you are there and that you're willing to fight for our Constitution as it was written. Please stand up now. You might ask yourself what my views and issues are that I would horribly feel so disenfranchised by both major political parties. What kind of nut job am I? Will you please tell me?

Well, these are briefly my views and issues for which I seek representation:

One, illegal immigration. I want you to stop coddling illegal immigrants and secure our borders. Close the underground tunnels. Stop the violence and the trafficking in drugs and people. No amnesty, not again. Been there, done that, no resolution. P.S., I'm not a racist. This isn't to be confused with legal immigration.

Two, the TARP bill, I want it repealed and I want no further funding supplied to it. We told you no, but you did it anyway. I want the remaining unfunded 95% repealed. Freeze, repeal.

Three, Czars, I want the circumvention of our checks and balances stopped immediately. Fire the czars. No more czars. Government officials answer to the process, not to the president. Stop trampling on our Constitution and honor it.

Four, cap and trade. The debate on global warming is not over. There is more to say.

Five, universal healthcare. I will not be rushed into another expensive decision. Don't you dare try to pass this in the middle of the night and then go on break. Slow down!

Six, growing government control. I want states rights and sovereignty fully restored. I want less government in my life, not more. Shrink it down. Mind your own business. You have enough to take care of with your real obligations. Why don't you start there.

Seven, ACORN. I do not want ACORN and its affiliates in charge of our 2010 census. I want them investigated. I also do not want mandatory escrow fees contributed to them every time on every real estate deal that closes. Stop the funding to ACORN and its affiliates pending impartial audits and investigations. I do not trust them with taking the census over with our taxpayer money. I don't trust them with our taxpayer money. Face up to the allegations against them and get it resolved before taxpayers get any more involved with them. If it walks like a duck and talks like a duck, hello. Stop protecting your political buddies. You work for us, the people. Investigate.

Eight, redistribution of wealth. No, no, no. I work for my money. It is mine. I have always worked for people with more money than I have because they gave me jobs. That is the only redistribution of wealth that I will support. I never got a job from a poor person. Why do you want me to hate my employers? Why ‑‑ what do you have against shareholders making a profit?

Nine, charitable contributions. Although I never got a job from a poor person, I have helped many in need. Charity belongs in our local communities, where we know our needs best and can use our local talent and our local resources. Butt out, please. We want to do it ourselves.

Ten, corporate bailouts. Knock it off. Sink or swim like the rest of us. If there are hard times ahead, we'll be better off just getting into it and letting the strong survive. Quick and painful. Have you ever ripped off a Band‑Aid? We will pull together. Great things happen in America under great hardship. Give us the chance to innovate. We cannot disappoint you more than you have disappointed us.

Eleven, transparency and accountability. How about it? No, really, how about it? Let's have it. Let's say we give the buzzwords a rest and have some straight honest talk. Please try ‑‑ please stop manipulating and trying to appease me with clever wording. I am not the idiot you obviously take me for. Stop sneaking around and meeting in back rooms making deals with your friends. It will only be a prelude to your criminal investigation. Stop hiding things from me.

Twelve, unprecedented quick spending. Stop it now.

Take a breath. Listen to the people. Let's just slow down and get some input from some nonpoliticians on the subject. Stop making everything an emergency. Stop speed reading our bills into law. I am not an activist. I am not a community organizer. Nor am I a terrorist, a militant or a violent person. I am a parent and a grandparent. I work. I'm busy. I'm busy. I am busy, and I am tired. I thought we elected competent people to take care of the business of government so that we could work, raise our families, pay our bills, have a little recreation, complain about taxes, endure our hardships, pursue our personal goals, cut our lawn, wash our cars on the weekends and be responsible contributing members of society and teach our children to be the same all while living in the home of the free and land of the brave.

I entrusted you with upholding the Constitution. I believed in the checks and balances to keep from getting far off course. What happened? You are very far off course. Do you really think I find humor in the hiring of a speed reader to unintelligently ramble all through a bill that you signed into law without knowing what it contained? I do not. It is a mockery of the responsibility I have entrusted to you. It is a slap in the face. I am not laughing at your arrogance. Why is it that I feel as if you would not trust me to make a single decision about my own life and how I would live it but you should expect that I should trust you with the debt that you have laid on all of us and our children. We did not want the TARP bill. We said no. We would repeal it if we could. I am sure that we still cannot. There is such urgency and recklessness in all of the recent spending.

From my perspective, it seems that all of you have gone insane. I also know that I am far from alone in these feelings. Do you honestly feel that your current pursuits have merit to patriotic Americans? We want it to stop. We want to put the brakes on everything that is being rushed by us and forced upon us. We want our voice back. You have forced us to put our lives on hold to straighten out the mess that you are making. We will have to give up our vacations, our time spent with our children, any relaxation time we may have had and money we cannot afford to spend on you to bring our concerns to Washington. Our president often knows all the right buzzword is unsustainable. Well, no kidding. How many tens of thousands of dollars did the focus group cost to come up with that word? We don't want your overpriced words. Stop treating us like we're morons.

We want all of you to stop focusing on your reelection and do the job we want done, not the job you want done or the job your party wants done. You work for us and at this rate I guarantee you not for long because we are coming. We will be heard and we will be represented. You think we're so busy with our lives that we will never come for you? We are the formerly silent majority, all of us who quietly work , pay taxes, obey the law, vote, save money, keep our noses to the grindstone and we are now looking up at you. You have awakened us, the patriotic spirit so strong and so powerful that it had been sleeping too long. You have pushed us too far. Our numbers are great. They may surprise you. For every one of us who will be there, there will be hundreds more that could not come. Unlike you, we have their trust. We will represent them honestly, rest assured. They will be at the polls on voting day to usher you out of office. We have cancelled vacations. We will use our last few dollars saved. We will find the representation among us and a grassroots campaign will flourish. We didn't ask for this fight. But the gloves are coming off. We do not come in violence, but we are angry. You will represent us or you will be replaced with someone who will. There are candidates among us when he will rise like a Phoenix from the ashes that you have made of our constitution.

Democrat, Republican, independent, libertarian. Understand this. We don't care. Political parties are meaningless to us. Patriotic Americans are willing to do right by us and our Constitution and that is all that matters to us now. We are going to fire all of you who abuse power and seek more. It is not your power. It is ours and we want it back. We entrusted you with it and you abused it. You are dishonorable. You are dishonest. As Americans we are ashamed of you. You have brought shame to us. If you are not representing the wants and needs of your constituency loudly and consistently, in spite of the objections of your party, you will be fired. Did you hear? We no longer care about your political parties. You need to be loyal to us, not to them. Because we will get you fired and they will not save you. If you do or can represent me, my issues, my views, please stand up. Make your identity known. You need to make some noise about it. Speak up. I need to know who you are. If you do not speak up, you will be herded out with the rest of the sheep and we will replace the whole damn congress if need be one by one. We are coming. Are we coming for you? Who do you represent? What do you represent? Listen. Because we are coming. We the people are coming.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Introduction to the Laws of Economics

To every action there is always opposed an equal reaction; or, the mutual actions of two bodies upon each other are always equal, and directed to contrary parts.- Newton's Third Law of Motion, translated from the Principia's Latin

In the politico-economic context, there is similar law at work: For every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction.

The trick – and the true art of economics or politics – is the ability to predict what reaction (or collateral damage) your action will cause. So, for example, if the government decides to borrow money to pay for its programs, it causes predictable effects on the general economy. First, the credit supply (and money supply) is reduced, as the available credit is taken up by the government, and less is therefore available to businesses and consumers. Second, because supply is affected, price is affected as well, so interest rates begin to rise. Third, to pay down that debt and the interest, the government (which produces nothing and has no ability to generate income) increases taxes to generate revenues. This in turn has the effect of further reducing the money available for investment by businesses and consumers.

All of this, of course, is quite simplistic, and many econometricians would express disdain and call it so, preferring to create complex formulae to describe and then predict these causes and effects. But it is important to remember that as Einstein once said, “the whole of science is nothing more than a refinement of everyday thinking.”

A politician, then, might retain an economist to assist in predicting the effects of a particular piece of legislation. If I raise the standards for fuel economy and emissions, what may I predict will be the result on the car industry? The economist would advise that this will require research and development, retooling, and a large expenditure of capital, and this will in turn increase the price of automobiles. He will also point out that this capital will likely be borrowed, which will have effects on money and credit supply, and the interest on that capital will also ultimately increase the cost of the car. The consumer, if he has no alternatives, will either choose not to buy, or will, if he buys, have less money available for other purchases, or for investment. If the particular automaker is already at or near the edge of being able to compete, because he has managed badly or has irresponsibly agreed to non-competitive wage and benefits levels for his workforce, then the economist would predict that this automaker will probably not recover his investment, will suffer from a non-attractive price and a corresponding lack of sales, and these factors will in turn create difficulty in repaying the capital borrowed. If, at some point, the automaker defaults or is slow in paying, there are other negative effects, all combining to make it all the more difficult for the automaker to compete efficiently. It the politician decides to insist that wages and benefits be protected at these non-competitive levels, he must know, and take into account, that this action will predictably and adversely affect the automaker’s ability to compete. If the politician also passes a law requiring the automaker not to sell at a loss, then the automaker will lose even more sales, and will lose cash flow which might have allowed the debt to be serviced in the short term, until efficiencies could be implemented to achieve a better cost structure. If he passes a law making it easy for unions to organize and grow, he has to understand that historically, increases in union membership (facilitated by their government-sponsored monopoly power) have caused a corresponding decrease in the number of jobs in the economy, by a startling 2:1 ratio. If he taxes the small business to the point of cutting its available capital, that money won’t be invested, those jobs won’t be created, that new equipment won’t be purchased, hence it won’t be produced, with corresponding effects on production inventories and, ultimately, jobs. The law always works – the art is accurately predicting what the effects will be, and balancing effects, aiming for those that are more tolerable.

Some collateral effects are more predictable than others. Whether one is a “supply-side” economist or not, it is generally predictable that tax increases have the potential to have negative effects on revenues, because the taxed parties take steps to avoid the taxes. Further, during economic contraction, there is both less profit to tax, and fewer people who are earning taxable incomes. So it was at least possible (some would say predictable) that federal tax revenue plunged, as it measurably did, in April 09 versus a year ago – by $138 billion, or 34%, according to a study by the American Institute for Economic Research. This is the biggest drop since 1981. When the economy is in recession, tax revenues go down. Six million people have lost jobs in the year ending in April, so income tax revenues are predictably down even more than the overall revenues above – by 44%. lists the annual US deficits dating from 2000 (which, along with 2001, reported surpluses), and only one since then (2008) is greater than 400 billion. Yet, the Obama government by its own estimates offers deficits of $1.75 trillion in 09, over $800 billion in ’10 and ’11, and additional $500 billion-plus deficits in each of the remaining years to 2019. And these estimates are based on questionable assumptions about growth, expecting a -1.2%, when the first quarter shows an annualized growth for ’09 of -6%! It is highly unlikely, with these revenues and the unemployment numbers, that we can expect a turnaround in 2009 that will produce the assumed growth levels. Using proper growth projections, the deficits in each year are 10% higher or more, and all those from 2014 and beyond are greater than 800 billion per year. Further, the $138 billion revenue shortfall has to be added directly to the bottom line deficit, meaning even with an economic turnaround of fantastic proportions, the deficit in ’09 will be at least $1.85 trillion.

These deficits have already hurt our ability to sell bonds, and if the recent credit downgrades of Japan and the UK are any indicator, we are facing downgrades within 5-8 years, meaning the cost of the debt will go up dramatically. Again, this is collateral damage, resulting from government monetary and fiscal policy and irresponsible legislative ambitions. Worse, it was all probable, if not predictable, yet the three key advisors for this administration – Summers, Bernanke and Geithner – all appear to believe they are smarter than the markets and can manipulate policy as necessary to correct or offset these known effects. So far it hasn’t worked. Despite spending $700 billion in TARP funds, the Treasury was showing no progress in loosening up credit markets. Most forms of credit were still unavailable, and the economy was reacting negatively world wide. So in March, rather than reassess the advisability of attempting a command economy following Keynesian principles, the Fed took another step to jump-start credit, by dropping short term rates to zero, committing to buy $300 billion in long term treasuries and $100 billion in GSE securities, and promising to buy another $750 billion of mortgage-backed securities of at least dubious value. Acting this aggressively and swiftly was an unprecedented play which meant that results were less predictable, but as our “Newton’s Third Law” makes clear, there were effects. He hoped credit would loosen as he made purchases monetizing treasuries that now total over $130 billion, for the first time in half a century. Instead, T-bond prices have continued to plunge, while interest rates are sharply higher. Treasury yields (10-year) are now climbing above 3.7%, the highest since November. That rate hurts other areas, because it helps determine mortgage lending rates. Desperate to reflate the housing market, the Fed, plunging ever farther into efforts to shore up mortgages, is now facing the wrath of bond investors. Despite half-a-trillion in mortgage security purchases, mortgages bonds have followed the same path as treasuries, with prices up and mortgage rates down.

In fact, debt buyers and bond investors are expressing concerns – the Chinese Premier in March said he was concerned about the safety of assets in US instruments. No wonder. Over $1.5 trillion of China’s $1.95 trillion in foreign currency reserves is held in US debt instruments. According to the Council on Foreign Relations, China holds $768 billion in US treasuries, $489 billion in GSE-agency bonds, $121 billion in US corporate bonds, and $41 billion in deposits. The head of China’s central bank has publicly advocated replacing the US dollar as the world’s reserve currency with the IMF’s Special Drawing Rights, beginning to shy further away from US debt. Yet, if China doesn’t buy our debt, then we must monetize it, meaning we buy it from ourselves by printing money, which results in inflation, in turn lowering the value of Chinese holdings. And if it buys the debt, it faces increasing risk, as noted above, of losses from a downgrade or default. With no apparent consideration of the collateral effects on the value of the dollar, Obama committed, apparently on the advice of Geithner, to a $100+ billion line of credit expansion at IMF (which supports, and in fact accelerates, moving to the SDR as a world currency reserve, rather than the dollar). Yet, in order to finance the deficit expected this year by the Obama administration, Treasury will have to issue at least $1.84 trillion in new debt, which doesn’t count the additional amount required if the economy rebounds slower than hoped, or worsens. And that doesn’t consider the costs of defaults in the trillions on credit that the government guarantees, or the new money to GM, or the money being requested by state and local governments. Printing money and inflating our currency won’t fix the problem either, because we still have over $14.5 trillion in outstanding Treasury, GSE and mortgage securities issued world-wide. Trying to deal with this new debt merely aggravates the problems with our existing debt. If five or ten percent of those trillions in instruments are put up for discounted sale by nervous investors, the sales that triggers would overwhelm the Fed’s proposed and continuing purchases. The US just doesn’t have enough money to “save” us. Yet, are such sales of treasuries possible? The reason these investors are nervous is fear of inflation and downgrading of credit – and our main debt-holders are already making public statements about this concern. So what do you think?

History instructs, without question, that following this economic path ultimately leads to stagnant markets, costly credit, and more failure. The USSR, with arguably the richest aggregation of natural resources in the world, did not fail because it lacked resources. It failed because it pursued a command economy, which blunted innovation, increased costs, and made markets wholly unresponsive to demand. Europe has stagnated in the last two decades not because its citizens are lazy or stupid, but because its social democratic policies squelched ambition, entrepreneurship, and productivity, while government competition for credit increased its cost, and government tax levels made the commodities necessary for growth far more expensive. These mistakes are invariably made by earnest folk who believe they have figured out the system, and are smarter than their forebears. We can only hope that Obama and his economic triumvirate are smarter than the markets, and can overcome all these pesky economic laws.

P.S. One (uncharacteristically) humble caveat: Despite my disdain for the excessively complex analyses of too many econometricians that lead them to miss the forest for the trees, the economy really IS complex, especially when it comes to timing. So while I have a high degree of confidence in the “laws” of econo-physics, I have much less confidence about the timetable when the predictable consequences of economic actions will come about. So if it takes the Obama Administration 12 years to wreck the dollar and the economy, I will admit error on the timetable but I’ll still say “I told you so.”

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

September 2001 vs. Today

Written September 11, 2008: From all the horror our country experienced on September 11, 2001, we did gain one positive: Our Nation gained pride. Pride some of us had never witnessed.

On September 10th, 2001, neighborhoods throughout the nation sported football team flags and yard decorations. By nightfall on September 11th, these neighborhoods had transformed into Old Glory sporting, candle burning memorials.

Throughout the nation, men and women said, "what can we do?"

Throughout the nation, Americans forgot about the small things, whether their neighbor was Republican or Democrat, who was black or white.

Those trivial things were gone...and for the first time in many's memory, we were all simply American.

Fast years later. Where are we?

People yelling and screaming that we're war mongers and oil fanatics.

People yelling and screaming that we ignore international affairs too much.

People yelling and screaming that we're too harsh on illegal immigrants.

People FORGETTING what it felt like seven years ago today.

People already forgetting what it felt like to be an American.

People forgetting when men and women walked out of their desk jobs and joined the military.

Where each and everyone of us stared at the tv in shock.

We have forgotten as a nation what that day felt like. Now we're more concerned with the little things (just as we were before).

Half of this nation now wants to elect a man into office that has only held a Senate position for 140 days--and has NEVER considered leaving his desk job to join the military. Half of this nation wants to elect a man into office that doesn't place his hand over his heart when reciting the Pledge. Half of this nations wants to elect a man into office who's wife stated PUBLICLY that she was not proud to be an American. What have we come to? How can this even be acceptable?

I'll never forget. I'll never falter in my pride.

And now--we have elected this man into office. This man who parades throughout the world apologizing (no reference, just goodsearch or bing it) for what America has done. Condemning this beautiful nation for it's "horrible" actions.

A week ago Monday, America experienced its first terrorist attack on soil since that tragic day in September 2001. Just as Juval Aviv has predicted--it's the first, but certainly not the last.

Shooting of Soldiers 'Warranted' By U.S. Military Treatment of Muslims

Shooter speaks to AP even after a gag order is issued...for his OWN PROTECTION.

The Associated Press reported that the man accused in his attack had said in a phone interview from the Pulaski County jail that firing the shots that wounded Ezeagwula and killed Pvt. William Long could not be considered murder because the act was warranted by the U.S. military’s treatment of Muslims.

Abdul-Hakim Mujahid Muhammad, 23, was born into a nominally Baptist family as Carlos Leon Bledsoe in Tennessee. But in Tuesday’s interview, Muhammad, who converted to Islam in college,said he attacked the soldiers “for the sake of God, for the sake of Allah, the Lord of all the world, and also a retaliation on U.S. military,” the AP reported...

Attorney Jim Hensley said he was with Muhammad almost all day. “He didn’t give the AP anything,” Hensley said, adding, “If my client has spoken with anyone, it’s without my knowledge.”

Later in the day, however, Hensley softened his stance, saying he did not think Muhammad spoke with a reporter but could not be sure.

“I don’t know what happened,” Hensley said.

In later updates, the AP reported that Hensley asked the news organization in an e-mail not to publish his client’s comments.

Jail records show that Hensley signed in to meet Muhammad at 11:41 a.m. Muhammad is in protective custody in an administrative segregation unit in an upstairs cell. He gets one hour a day out of his cell for exercise, though he can also be out to meet with his attorney.

Trying to go for an insanity plea? I'm sure our DHS will get him off of these charges somehow. We wouldn't want to offend any jihadists, now would we?

On a more positive note:

Ezeagwula said he volunteered for the recruiting program for his friends to see that there was more than one path in life.

“I wanted to show some of my peers that there’s more things out in the United States other than Arkansas,” he said.

He said he still plans to head to Schofield Barracks in Hawaii when he heals - his destination before the shooting - to become a “21 Echo,” a heavy construction equipment operator.

Sonja Ezeagwula called her son a hero.

“He was a hero before he got shot,” she said. “He was our family hero.”

An 18 year old shot and wounded, yet still willing to go back to the job that landed him the injuries. I'd say I have to agree with Sonja Ezeagwula. That *boy* is a hero.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Sad World We Live In

A true American hero. "Honored" after his death. People that do things such as below should have a one way ticket straight to hell--or an eternity of purgatory none the less.

Home of iconic New Orleans police officer burglarized after his death by Brendan McCarthy, The Times-Picayune Monday June 08, 2009, 4:58 PM

New Orleans Police Sgt. Manuel Curry's death last week of heart failure brought a wave of despair and an outpouring of support from the ranks of the city police department and the neighborhoods where Curry worked and lived.

Sgt. Manuel Curry, popular figure in Central City and Irish Channel neighborhoods and one of America's longest-serving police officers, in 2004 photograph as he was about to leave for D-Day ceremony in France. Curry participated in the famous World War II invasion. It also apparently prompted three people to pounce on a criminal opportunity.

Within hours his death Thursday morning, police say two local men and a young woman broke into Curry's home in the Irish Channel.

They rifled through his belongings, stole several guns, took money and jewelry and pills, according to a police report and his wife. Then they split.

Curry's wife of 51 years, Genevieve "Jackie" Curry, said she received news of the burglary while at a funeral home discussing arrangements for her husband's burial.

Her response: "Oh my goodness. Who would do this?"

Curry, believed to be the country's longest-serving, active-duty police officer still working full time, had never been a victim of crime before, his wife said.

In his 62-year New Orleans Police Department career, Curry had wrestled bank robbers, responded to shootings, nabbed pick-pockets and all types of sordid characters in the 6th District, a tough triangular swath that encompasses Central City, the Irish Channel and the Lower Garden District.

He was the epitome of a community policeman, spending his whole career, save for a few months, in the same district.

Yet in death he became another crime victim.

"He would have been shocked to see this," his wife said Monday. "The place looked like a hurricane came through."

Curry's colleagues from the 6th District hit the streets alongside officers from other specialized units. They worked well into the night.

Eventually, they found a witness who provided names and details of the break-in.

Robin West, 24, allegedly had served as the lookout, pacing the 2800 block of St. Thomas Street while two men pilfered the home, according to an arrest report filed in court.

Meanwhile, Eddie "E-Fat" Scott, and Kevin "K" Carr, 19, ransacked the home, the report states. Eventually the pair allegedly came out carrying Curry's belongings.

West was picked up by police at 11 p.m. Friday in the 2700 block of Fourth Street, according to court records. Carr was arrested around that time near the intersection of Aline and Annunciation streets. Both were booked with burglary.

An NOPD spokesman said Monday afternoon that Scott was still at large and that a warrant had been issued for his arrest.

Still reeling from her husband's death, Jackie Curry said the men and women of the NOPD have given her tremendous comfort.

"Let me tell you, the police worked overtime and were great," she said. "I am so thankful for them."

The burglary took place at the same shotgun house in which Curry had lived nearly his whole life. His family moved there when he was 15 years-old, his wife said. He never left.

He stayed at the house during the workweek and retired to a country home in Lacombe with his wife on the weekends.

Monday, June 8, 2009


...on a another note during my morning newspaper routines I stumbled across this story:

On the first day of hurricane season, Jessie Pullins crouched next to a dog carrier in the baggage claim area at Louis Armstrong International Airport, holding a package of beef jerky in his hand.

"Hi there, JJ," he crooned. "Welcome home, boy. Welcome home. It's been a long road, but we did it."

It had been a very long road, one that stretched from Spain Street to California, included a lawsuit and a disappearing-dog trick, and spanned nearly four years.

And then, just like that, the big black dog walked out of the crate into Pullins' arms, and the wait was finally over. "When I think of the time I missed with JJ, I feel like crying, but I'm too happy to cry," Pullins said. "Because I got him. I finally got my dog back."

It was a combination of luck, compassion and the determination of several people that got JJ (short for Jessie Jr.) back where he belonged. "Most of the people who helped me, I never even met," Pullins said.

Among the smiling faces gathered around him and his beloved Lab-Akita mix were Janet Taylor of Rancho Palos Verdes, Calif., and Mindy Bryan of Covington, two women who had worked together since July 2006 to get JJ home to New Orleans, but had never seen each other before the reunion.

"I looked at this lady and Janet's voice came out," Bryan said. The women are part of the Katrina Animal Reunion Team, or KART, a handful of dedicated volunteers from around the country who are still trying to reunite Katrina pets with their owners.

For almost a year after the hurricane, Pullins had no idea where his dog was. When he evacuated to Baton Rouge with nine adults and 11 children in two vehicles, he left JJ with plenty of food and water in an elevated part of the house he rented . "It didn't flood in my house, but when I went back to get him, I wasn't allowed back in the city," he said.

When he did get back, JJ was gone. There was a flier on the door, but the writing had faded away. "I always knew in my heart he was still alive, but I had no idea how to find him," Pullins said.

What he learned much later was that JJ had been taken from the house by a rescue group and flown to California three weeks after the hurricane.

In August 2006, Pullins went by the house where he had lived before the storm and saw another flier on the door. This time he could read the words, and his heart filled with joy: JJ had been found in California.

"But then it was just one hurdle after another," he said. "I am just so thankful that so many people never gave up."

After Taylor, the KART member from California, spotted JJ on the TV show "The Dog Whisperer," she asked Bryan, her Louisiana contact, to leave a note on the house where Pullins had lived before the storm.

"As soon as Jessie called me, that's when we started trying to get the dog back," Taylor said. "I just wouldn't give up. I always believed the animals should go back to their original owners."

When Taylor contacted Cesar Millan, the Dog Whisperer, she was told JJ had been returned to the shelter he'd come from, and when she contacted the shelter, she was told he'd been adopted.

"I thought, 'So, now what do I do?'¤" she said. Even though there was no doubt the black dog with the big head and the white blaze on his chest was JJ, the sisters who had adopted him refused to give him back.

"The whole thing was so sad," Taylor said.

She contacted Stephen Dye, a California lawyer, and he called Pullins and asked to represent him pro bono in trying to get his dog back. "When I asked him why he wanted to do this for me, he told me, 'Because it's the right thing to do,'¤" Pullins said.

In a verbal agreement, the new owners agreed to return JJ on Sept. 10, 2008. Instead, one of the sisters moved and took the dog with her. "At that point I was devastated all over again," Pullins said.

But Dye persisted, and finally, nine months later, JJ is home and Pullins, a supervisor at the Marriott Hotel on Canal Street, is one happy man.

"I've got my best friend back," he said. "Here's the thing about JJ. When I have a bad day, he's right there to give me love and let me know everything's all right." And he has no resentment toward the women who adopted JJ and wanted to keep him. "I'm not mad at anyone," he said. "Everybody falls in love with JJ. He's a very lovable dog."

He even tries to understand the motivation of rescuers who didn't want Katrina pets to be returned to their owners.

"People were misinformed. They were told we abandoned our pets, and that's a very strong word," he said. "But what happened was something we never expected. I thought I'd be back the next day."

Now, JJ sleeps beside him in his Carrollton home, and Pullins has decided they need a new plan when they go somewhere in the car. "I had him in the back, but JJ's got to move up front because he thinks he's got a chauffeur," he said, laughing.

He feels blessed to have JJ home and grateful to the many people who helped him. And he urges everyone in south Louisiana to microchip their pets so they will never have to feel as sad and helpless as he felt.

And, no matter what coming hurricane seasons may bring, he'll be prepared. "When they say 'storm,' he's going," Pullins said. "I'll never leave JJ again."

As another hurricane season comes to us--I can only pray that we've all learned our lessons. And that NO loved ones get left behind. I pray that He will protect our coasts and that we don't ever have to experience another Katrina/Rita again.

Thank You Congressman.

...I submitted a letter to Congressman X URGING him to vote against The Stimulus Bill in February, 2009.

On June 8, 2009 I received an automated email response telling me just how awesome this bill really is.

I immediately went to X's site and sent him a new letter (very similar to the one I wrote in April) under four different subject headers. Punk.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Prayer--The Truth

Now, I'm not normally one to agree with this man--he's a little too evangelical for my tastes but he certainly does outline what our true problems are in this nation and world today.

Billy Graham's Prayer For Our Nation (emphasis mine)

'Heavenly Father, we come before you today to ask your forgiveness and to seek your direction and guidance. We know Your Word says, 'Woe to those who call evil good,' but that is exactly what we have done. We have lost our spiritual equilibrium and reversed our values. We have exploited the poor and called it the lottery. We have rewarded laziness and called it welfare.. We have killed our unborn and called it choice. We have shot abortionists and called it justifiable. We have neglected to discipline our children and called it building self esteem. We have abused power and called it politics.. We have coveted our neighbor's possessions and called it ambition. We have polluted the air with profanity and pornography and called it freedom of expression. We have ridiculed the time-honored values of our forefathers and called it enlightenment. Search us, Oh God, and know our hearts today; cleanse us from every sin and Set us free. Amen!'

propaganda at its best

I was flipping through the channels on Tuesday night (because I refused to even risk me being counted as a viewer on NBC's "Obama is God" special) and came across this:

In my morning blog checks, I came across this tv ad on ALa's blog:

Before we know it--there will be commercials on our tv's that remind us "Big Brother is Watching You."

Obama's Reaction to AR Shootings

Well--it took him a couple of days but he finally issued a statement (while he's off making buddies with the Middle East) about the shooting of two American soldiers in Little Rock, Arkansas.

“I am deeply saddened by this senseless act of violence against two brave young soldiers who were doing their part to strengthen our armed forces and keep our country safe. I would like to wish Quinton Ezeagwula a speedy recovery, and to offer my condolences and prayers to William Long’s family as they mourn the loss of their son.”

To follow Michelle Malkin's example, let us remind you of what was stated when Dr. Tiller was shot and killed on Sunday:

"I am shocked and outraged by the murder of Dr. George Tiller as he attended church services this morning. However profound our differences as Americans over difficult issues such as abortion, they cannot be resolved by heinous acts of violence."

Shocked. Outraged. Abortion Doctor. One Victim.

Deeply Saddened. Two soldiers. Purposely shot. For being soldiers. Shooter was willing to shoot more.

When is Enough Enough?

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Wanted to Kill More...

**UPDATE: While visiting the DailyKos I decided to count how many posts were written about Tiller's murder since Monday morning. TWELVE times. How many times was the shooting in Little Rock mentioned? None. NONE. (Pictured: Private William Long)

While the headlining story of the murder of Dr. Tiller still occupies all major news channels, only in Arkansas does the shooting death of Pvt. Long remain on the front page.

Let's think about this. The shooter of Dr. Tiller, Scott Roeder, targeted ONE man. ONE. He walked into a packed church and aimed at one man (though he had the opportunity to injure many more). Though it is terrifying and disgusting--there was only one target.

Abdul-Hakim Mujahid Muhammad told Little Rock police that the one private killed and the other wounded should have been a far greater number..."if only more had been present."

Let us examine this real quick. One man targeted for what Roeder believed to be criminal actions (killing unborn children). Multiple humans targeted for what Muhammad believed to be criminal (enlisting in the United States Army).


How did Obama react?

Well, for the death of Dr. Tiller, he issued a statement condemning "heinous acts of violence" within hours of the incident. U.S. Marshalls were assigned to protect abortion clinics and the fingers were immediately pointed to talk radio, blogs and Fox News.

For the death of an American soldier on American soil? Silence. Even, as Michelle Malkin points out in her article, "Climate of Hate, World of Double Standards," on Tuesday afternoon--more than 24 hours after the attack--when he held a press conference to announce his pick for Army secretary. SILENCE.

This is not something to take lightly. Muhammad wanted to kill multiple people based on political and religious beliefs. Roeder wanted to kill one person based on political and religious beliefs. The two people Muhammad shot were two *boys* he had never met--never heard of--never seen prior to Monday morning. The two people Muhammad shot were shot simply because of what they were WEARING. The one person that Roeder shot may have never met Roeder personally--but Roeder sure had heard of him in the past. Yet--Roeder's actions were "heinous" and Muhammad's inspired no comment.

From KATV (in Little Rock)

This man lost his son--and our President has released NO COMMENT. God Bless America, right Mr. Prez?

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Mr. Utopia

Wow. A huge thanks to Bob A. for sharing this video on his blog. The video says enough...please, please share with your friends and family!!

Character Flaws Are Destroying Our Country

John Hawkins outlines five character flaws that are single handedly destroying our nation and I can't agree with him more (emphasis mine).

1. Lack of Personal Responsibility. Well, our President is showing us how to do that each and every day. "It's not me, I didn't do it." ...or...I tried, but couldn't do it--I should be rewarded anyway. We're starting this at early early ages now--you don't "lose" soccer games anymore. Everyone wins! Seriously--that makes me sick.

2. Short Attention Spans. The internet and immediate gratification of this world has ruined us. Our own Congress doesn't read legislation before passing it because they just "don't have time." Thank you for that Stimulus bill.

3. Excessive Self-Esteem. Well, this goes back to lack of personal responsibility, in my opinion. We tell our kids they're right and they're good and even if they do something wrong, that it is ok, rather than teaching them the value of a hard day's work. The value of losing. The value of taking responsibility. Because we've convinced our kiddos that they're perfect in every way--they have these esteems that are impossible to crush, even when they're wrong.

4. Short Term Thinking/Instant Gratification. Well, again, in my opinion, this goes hand in hand with our short attention spans. We want it now. Never mind what the consequences will be tomorrow.

5. Immorality. God is gone. The virtues and values of the Great Generation are gone. Children don't know or care what it means to respect senority. There is no chivalry. Being a southern lady, it is heartbreaking to witness this each and every day. We allow corruption in politics to occur and occur without blinking an eye. Our SECRETARY OF TREASURY failed to pay TAXES at one point in his lifetime and now gets to punish others that do the exact same.

When Will Enough Be Enough?

I know we all have radical groups--Atheist, Christian, Jews, Muslims--we all have those people that have just gone too far.

Why, just this past weekend--someone that stood for Pro-Life walked into a CHURCH and shot and killed a human being. To me--it seems to defeat the argument of Pro-Life when you kill another human being. Whether he is a good man or not--he is still a man, that our Lord placed on this earth for some purpose. I know the stories about Mr. Tiller, I know. But I also truly believe with all my heart that it is not up to us to be his final judge. That he will have to deal with our Maker for the wretched work he has done. And now--the Pro Life movement has taken yet another step back. I can feel the desperation in the air, our fellow countrymen are beginning to feel like they have no voice and our government representatives surely don't care, unless of course, the concern is the same as their own. I understand the frustration...but when is enough enough? You can't kill another human being to justify anti-abortion. Doesn't that make you no less of a hypocrite than the rotten politicians now running this country?

On Monday morning, in Little Rock, Arkansas, a tragic shooting occurred at a local Army/Navy recruitment center. The accused is Abdulhakim Mujahid Muhammad, formerly Carlos Bledsoe. It is stated he intentionally targeted military personnel. Private William Long, 23, of Conway, Arkansas died. Private Second Class Quinton Ezeagwula, 18, of Jacksonville, Arkansas was also shot, but is expected to recover.

Police say Muhammad opened fire because of his religious beliefs. He is a recent convert to Islam.

When is enough enough? Young men--whose only crime was to want to protect their nation, were shot for being at work? Remind anyone of another day, some eight years ago? We cannot sit idly by and watch our nation be run by people that don't understand what it means to be a businessman or a healthcare professional. We cannot sit idly by and let hypocrites actions represent entire social groups. We cannot sit idly by and let ONE religion dominate this world--out of fear. Enough is enough.

Heed the warnings. In an unconfirmed email circulating they are there in black and white (though Juval Aviv stated a lot of this in an interview earlier this year). Regardless of whether or not this is true--it states a lot of common sense. And if Army recruiters have been targeted in fly-over/nowhere land Arkansas--what else is to come?

The Next Terrorist Attack in the USA


Juval Aviv was the Israeli Agent upon whom the movie ' Munich ' was based. He was Golda Meir's bodyguard for some time but she appointed him to track down and bring to justice the Palestinian terrorists who took the Israeli athletes hostage and killed them during the Munich Olympic Games.

In a lecture in New York City a few weeks ago, he shared information that EVERY American needs to know but that our government has not yet shared with us. He predicted the London subway bombing on the Bill O'Reilly show on Fox News stating publicly that it would happen within a week. At the time, O'Reilly laughed and mocked him saying that in a week he wanted him back on the show. But, unfortunately, within a week the terrorist attack had occurred. Juval Aviv gave intelligence (via what he had gathered in Israel and the Middle East) to the Bush Administration about 9/11 a month before it occurred. His report specifically said they would use planes as bombs and target high profile buildings and monuments. Congress has since hired him as a security consultant.

Now for his future predictions. He predicts the next terrorist attack on the U.S. will occur within the next few months. Forget hijacking airplanes, because he says terrorists will NEVER try to hijack a plane again as they know the people onboard will never go down quietly again.

Aviv believes our airport security is a joke -- that we have been reactionary rather than proactive in developing strategies that are truly effective.

For example:

1) Our airport technology is outdated. We look for metal, and the new explosives are made of plastic.

2) He talked about how some idiot tried to light his shoe on fire. Because of that, now everyone has to take off their shoes. A group of idiots tried to bring aboard liquid explosives. Now we can't bring liquids on board. He says he's waiting for some suicidal maniac to pour liquid explosive on his underwear; at which point, security will have us all traveling naked! Every strategy we have is reactionary.

3) We only focus on security when people are heading to the gates. Aviv says that if a terrorist attack targets airports in the future, they will target busy times on the front end of the airport when/where people are checking in. It would be easy for someone to take two suitcases of explosives, walk up to a busy check-in line, ask a person next to them to watch their bags for a minute while they run to the restroom or get a drink, and then detonate the bags BEFORE security even gets involved.

In Israel , security checks bags BEFORE people can even ENTER the airport. Aviv says the next terrorist attack here in America is imminent and will involve suicide bombers and non-suicide bombers in places where large groups of people congregate. (I. E., Disneyland, Las Vegas casinos, big cities (New York, San Francisco, Chicago, etc..) and that it will also include shopping malls, subways in rush hour, train stations, etc., as well as rural America this time (Wyoming, Montana, etc.).

The attacks will be characterized by simultaneous detonations around the country (terrorists like big impact), involving at least 5-8 cities, including rural areas.

Aviv says terrorists won't need to use suicide bombers in many of the larger cities, because at places like the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, they can simply valet park a car loaded with explosives and walk away.

Aviv says all of the above is well known in intelligence circles, but that our U. S. Government does not want to "alarm American citizens" with the facts. The world is quickly going to become 'a different place', and issues like 'global warming' and political correctness will become totally irrelevant.

On an encouraging note, he says that Americans don't have to be concerned about being nuked. Aviv says the terrorists who want to destroy America will not use sophisticated weapons. They like to use suicide as a front-line approach. It's cheap, it's easy, it's effective; and they have an infinite abundance of young militants more than willing to meet their destiny.

He also says the next level of terrorists, over which America should be most concerned, will not be coming from abroad. But will be, instead, homegrown, having attended and been educated in our own schools and universities right here in the U.. S. (i.e. the arrests last week of three Americans for terrorism). He says to look for students' who frequently travel back and forth to the Middle East . These young terrorists will be most dangerous because they will know our language and will fully understand the habits of Americans; but that we Americans won't know/understand a thing about them.

Aviv says that, as a people, Americans are unaware and uneducated about the terrorist threats we will, inevitably, face. America still has only a handful of Arabic and Farsi speaking people in our intelligence networks, and Aviv says it is critical that we change that fact SOON.

So, what can America do to protect itself? From an intelligence perspective, Aviv says the U.S. needs to stop relying on satellites and technology for intelligence. We need to, instead, follow Israel 's, Ireland 's and England 's hands-on examples of human intelligence, both from an infiltration perspective as well as to trust> aware citizens to help. We need to engage and educate ourselves as citizens; however, our government continues to treat us, its citizens, like babies. Our government thinks we can't handle the truth and are concerned that we'll panic if we understand the realities of terrorism. Aviv says this is a deadly mistake.

Aviv recently created/executed a security test for our Congress, by placing an empty briefcase in five well-traveled spots in five major cities. The results? Not one person called 911 or sought a policeman to check it out. In fact, in Chicago , someone tried to steal the briefcase!

In comparison, Aviv says that citizens of Israel are so well trained that an unattended bag or package would be reported in seconds by citizen(s) who know to publicly shout, 'Unattended Bag!' The area would be quickly & calmly cleared by the citizens themselves. But, unfortunately, America hasn't been yet hurt enough by terrorism attacks for their government to fully understand the need to educate its citizens or for the government to understand that it's their citizens who are, inevitably, the best first-line of defense against terrorism.

This is the part where you, as individuals, need to read and prepare yourselves for what might come: Aviv also was concerned about the high number of children here in America who were in preschool and kindergarten after 9/11, who were 'lost' without parents being able to pick them up, and about our schools that had no plan in place to best care for the students until parents could get there. In New York City , this was days, in some cases!

He stresses the importance of having a plan, that's agreed upon within your family, to respond to in the event of a terrorist emergency. He urges parents to contact their children's schools and demand that the schools also develop plans of action, as they do in Israel .

Does your family know what to do if you can't contact one another by phone? Where would you gather in an emergency? He says we should all have a plan that is easy enough for even our youngest children to remember and follow.

To make this point about a need for a plan: Aviv says that the U. S. government has in force a plan that, in the event of another terrorist attack, will immediately cut-off EVERYONE's ability to use cell phones, blackberries, etc., because this is the preferred communication source used by terrorists and is often the way that their bombs are detonated.

If this Cut-Off Plan goes into effect, how will you communicate with your loved ones in the event you cannot speak? You need to have a plan. The government will not make a plan for you!

Monday, June 1, 2009

you could hear a pin drop...

I received this email today--and it made me smile and tear up at the same time. While our president parades around the world "apologizing" for Americans' selfish ways--I read this email and pray to our Lord that we are not punished for his narcisstic ways--at least too terribly.

When in England, at a fairly large conference, Dr. Condi Rice was asked by the Archbishop of Canterbury if our plans for Iraq were just an example of empire building by George Bush. She answered by saying, "Over the years, the United States has sent many of its fine young men and women into great peril to fight for freedom beyond> our borders. The only amount of land we have ever asked for in return is enough to bury those that did not return."

You could have heard a pin drop.

There was a conference in France where a number of international engineers were taking part, including French and American. During a break, one of the French engineers came back into the room saying "Have you heard the latest dumb stunt Bush has done? He has sent an aircraft carrier to Indonesia to help the tsunami victims. What does he intended to do, bomb them?" A Boeing engineer stood up and replied quietly: "Our carriers have three hospitals on board that can treat several hundred people; they are nuclear powered and can supply emergency electrical power to shore facilities; they have three cafeterias with the capacity to feed 3,000 people three meals a day, they can produce several thousand gallons of fresh water from sea water each day, and they carry half a dozen helicopters for use in transporting victims and injured to and from their flight deck. We have eleven such ships; how many does France have?"

You could have heard a pin drop.

A U.S. Navy Admiral was attending a naval conference that included Admirals from the U.S. , English, Canadian, Australian and French Navies. At a cocktail reception, he found himself standing with large group of Officers that included personnel from most of those countries. Everyone was chatting away in English as they sipped their drinks but a French admiral suddenly complained that, whereas Europeans learn many languages, Americans learn only English. He then asked, "Why is it that we always have to speak English in these conferences rather than speaking French?" Without hesitating, the American Admiral replied, "Maybe it's because the> Brits, Canadians, Aussies and Americans arranged it so you wouldn't have to speak German."

You could have heard a pin drop.

Robert Whiting, an elderly gentleman of 83, arrived in Paris by plane. At French Customs, he took a few minutes to locate his passport in his carry on. "You have been to France before, monsieur?" the customs officer asked sarcastically. Mr. Whiting admitted that he had been to France previously. "Then you should know enough to have your passport ready." The American said, ''The last time I was here, I didn't have to show it." "Impossible. Americans always have to show their passports on arrival in France !" The American senior gave the Frenchman a long hard look. Then he quietly explained, "Well, when I came ashore at Omaha Beach on D-Day in 1944 to help liberate this country, I couldn't find a single Frenchmen to show a passport to."

You could have heard a pin drop.