Archive for the ‘money’ Category

A Tale of Two Half Brothers: Barack & George Obama

 

…[W]hy aren’t the networks covering the fact that Barack Obama’s half-brother George lives in a 6 by 10 foot hut in the slums of Kenya?  It took a reporter for the Italian edition of Vanity Fairto locate George Obama. Obama noted that when he met his famous half-brother in 2006 “we spoke for just a few minutes.   It was like meeting a complete stranger.” George Obama also told the magazine that “I live here on less than a dollar month,”  and “if anyone says something about my surname, I say we are not related. I am ashamed.”  Obama has done absolutely nothing to help his unfortunate half-brother.

I found this story interesting, but I’m not quite sure it shows hypocrisy on the part of Barack Obama.  Maybe if they were brothers who grew up together, but they have different mothers and it appears to me that they did not meet until a couple years ago even though they share the same father.  While I disagree with many of Sen. Obama’s policies and political ideology, there is much to commend him for in his young political career.  

Sen. Obama is correct to say that no where else in the world could his story be possible.  Of course, the same could be said for Sen. McCain & Gov. Palin as well.  America is blessed beyond measure, despite her imperfections.  Her people and her Christian foundations and her work ethic have made us the most prosperous nation in the history of the world despite the current “struggling” economy and all — so I cringe when I hear politicians say things like “it’s time to chart a new course.”

Sure, we need to stop wasting our resources and end our dependence on unfriendly nations and their resources.  We need to find ways to meet the challenges ahead.  But we need not forget that America is still the envy of the world.  We have amazing freedom.  And we have become numb to our own wealth and prosperity.  People risk life and limb to reach our shores to breathe freedom’s air even if it means living in “poverty” by our own standards.  And if for one moment we might think that America is a disgrace and an embarrassment and an experiment gone terribly wrong, all we need to do is have a conversation with someone like George Obama.

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Salesman of the Year!

Barack Obama declared the other evening that, “It’s time for America to chart a new course.”  (Quite possibly the scariest words in American politics.)  And who wouldn’t buy what this guy is selling??? 

Obama promised affordable education and declared that a college education should be a birthright for every American!  Obama promised affordable healthcare for every American and that all of us will have the same top-of-the-line healthcare as members of Congress in four years!   Obama promised to take the record profits of big oil and “make” them reinvest in alternative energy sources and pay for pollution!  Obama promised good paying jobs for the jobless!  And for such a young man with little experience, Obama has done very well for himself in finding enough people to buy into the hype with their votes.

First, Obama does not seem to appreciate that education, especially higher education is something that should be earned through hard work, dedication and personal sacrifice.  What kind of a birthright is Obama talking about?  What kind of message does that send to slackers in high schools across America if the government will ensure that you get a college degree whether you’ve earned it or not?  How many excellent future graduates will then have their degrees discounted because the market is flooded and employers can’t determine whether these degrees represent any significant achievement?  Obama doesn’t understand that promising government-backed college education does not raise the bar, it lowers the bar for everyone.  Obama doesn’t understand that information, i.e. education,  is a commodity that students buy and that college education is an investment in yourself that shouldn’t be passed out to people who haven’t earned the privilege.

Second, Obama doesn’t appreciate the fact that compared to private sector compensation, full-time civil servants and elected officials in the Federal government typically make far less money in public service. One of the incentives to retain well-trained and competent employees and leaders is to provide an excellent healthcare incentive package.  The idea that EVERY American should be entitled to the same government healthcare benefits package is simply pandering for votes.  So, why work for the government anymore?  And more importantly, Obama’s plan cannot work well simply because healthcare services are limited and finite.  Anyone who has visited an emergency room lately already knows this.  If the government begins footing the medical bills of every American and disregarding the limited resources available and increasing the demand on our skilled medical professionals, we will be begging for the days of the 3 1/2 hour emergency room waiting experience.  Further, individuals will have less incentive to be proactive in maintaining their own health (quitting smoking for example) because medical bills will be a thing of the past.  (Well, not exactly, but I’ll get to that.)

Third, the evil “big oil” corporations.  Since when is actually making money such a problem in America?  I really don’t understand how people in cafes can complain about $3.75 per gallon gas while simultaneously paying $64.00 per gallon for their lattes with tipping to boot. Think about it.  We hear a lot about big, bad, American oil corporations and their outrageous profits, but Starbucks is making out like a bandit!  And Obama needs to brush up on corporate formation.  Last time I checked, it’s the shareholders, i.e. regular Americans, who actually own these companies and invest in them!  Obama promises to punish these oil companies for excessive profits, force them to reinvest in other energy sources and make them pay for global pollution.  So Obama’s policies will actually punish the investors, i.e. you and me!  So what’s the point in investing in stocks or mutual funds of American companies if the government is going to limit your opportutnities to amass wealth or save for retirement?  IT IS OUTRAGEOUS that Obama is going to take profits from hard-working, investing Americans and claim that he will help us and the economy by doing so. The government already rakes in billions of dollars with a “B” through corporate taxes and fuel taxes.  If you wish to revive the American economy, the answer cannot be found in punishing with EVEN MORE TAXES the very industries driving the economy in the first place.  Furthermore, Obama doesn’t explain why American oil companies should have to pay for global pollution but not other countries such as Mexico, India, and China. 

Finally, Obama promises good paying jobs (not good jobs) for the jobless–all 5% of them.  This can only mean one thing: raising the minimum wage.  If you haven’t already figured this out, artificially raising wages decreases the overall standard of living because prices rise as well.  You have “more” money, it just has less value.  So rather than raise the bar for everyone and strengthen the economy, minimum wages discount everyone’s dollar–all 100% of us.  Thanks, Barack!  So while a jobless person may find a new job, it won’t necessarily be worth it.  The taxes taken out of their pay check to fund American college educations, universal health insurance, global warming initiatives, and massive job programs won’t leave much after the bills are paid.  And any money left over won’t be worth investing in companies since profits are evil.  So Obama’s policies won’t be free at all.  All of us will pay much higher taxes, have much greater dependence on government and have less money and fewer opportunities for ourselves and our families.

So Obama really knows how to work a crowd and get people excited about “change” even though no one really seems to understand that change can be very, very, bad.  He appears to many as a political saviour, yet his policies only represent the tired old liberal ideas that have never worked.  Obama has the least experience of any Presidential candidate in modern times.  I ask you, “How is that change we can believe in?”

Vote for Obama! It’s easier than thinking! 

“So, That’s the Symbolism!”

The history buff in me found the following information very interesting: 

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Conspiracy theorists take note: The myths surrounding one of America’s oldest and most enduring national symbols are about to be debunked … if you believe the government, that is.

The keepers of the Great Seal of the United States, the familiar emblem on the back of the $1 bill, want you to know what it is not. It is not a sign that Freemasons run the country, it has nothing to do with the occult, and it does not contain clues to a fabulous hidden treasure.

It is rather the nation’s stamp of authority, sovereignty and power, gracing our cash and embossing the most important of documents from its home at the State Department, which has held it since the days of Thomas Jefferson, the first secretary of state.

Not that the Seal’s symbols – the all-seeing eye, the unfinished pyramid, the Latin phrases, the bald eagle clutching an olive branch and arrows and the number 13 – aren’t powerful. They are, historians say.

Yet their meanings have been misidentified, misunderstood and misrepresented almost since the Continental Congress first commissioned the Seal in 1776. It would be another six years before the original design was approved and another 128 before it evolved into its current form.

Along the way, a movement to decipher the Seal’s meaning with ancient Egyptian, mystical and otherwise other worldly explanations has gained currency.  The Internet age has seen an explosion in such conspiracy theories, many which have now been ingrained in public consciousness through the popular “National Treasure” movie franchise that serves up a combination of Masonic lore and historical myths in blockbuster Hollywood fashion. Among them:

· That the Seal proves the domination of the United States by a powerful, quasi-religious cult. The Ancient Scottish Rite of Freemasonry is a perennial favorite of conspiracy theorists as some Founding Fathers were Masons and the Seal uses several Masonic symbols.

· That the Seal draws on Satanism or polytheistic ritual to promote a universal new world order under which Earth would be ruled by a single omnipotent government.

· That repeated references to 13 – the number of steps in the unfinished pyramid, stars in the constellation over the eagle’s head, arrows in the eagle’s claw, stripes on the eagle’s shield, letters in the phrase “Annuit Coeptis” – demonstrate the power of 13 American families.

· That there are two seals: one in which the eagle’s head faces the arrows for times of war and another in which the eagle’s head faces the olive branch for times of peace.

All rubbish, according to historians, who say the Seal’s symbolism is far less ominous or revelatory than many believe.

On Tuesday, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, the Seal’s current custodian, will inaugurate a new exhibition to commemorate its 225th birthday and trace the history and evolution of the symbolism.

The Seal will remain at the State Department but the interactive exhibit is designed to travel and curators hope it will dispel the rumors and educate Americans about the real meaning of the symbols.

Among the highlights:

· That known Masons like the first U.S. president, George Washington, and Benjamin Franklin had no role in designing the final seal, which uses elements of traditional heraldry, such as the unfinished pyramid to symbolize a work in progress, arrows for war and an olive branch for peace. Masons share some of those symbols, but they have never been exclusively the domain of the order.

· That the phrase “Novus Ordo Seculorum” below the Roman numerals for 1776 at the base of the pyramid translates as “A New Order of the Ages” that began with independence and does not imply the United States will be the lynchpin of a sinister “New World Order.”

· That the words “Annuit Coeptis” (“Providence favors”) and the eye of providence that hovers over the pyramid refer to unexpected interventions of fate that assisted the colonists in creating a new country.

· That the references to 13 refer to the number of colonies that formed the original United States.

“People are just not aware of the complexity and intent of the symbolism and what our Founding Fathers were trying to do with it,” said Priscilla Linn, senior curator at the U.S. Diplomacy Center. “The hidden treasure in the Seal is the courage and presence of mind of the people who created it and created these values for the whole country.”

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