Some people are hoping that President Obama's plan will get the economy out of the doldrums and start providing jobs for the unemployed. Others are hoping that the Republicans' plan will do the trick. Those who are truly optimistic hope that Democrats and Republicans will both put aside their partisanship and do what is best for the country. Almost nobody seems to be hoping that the government will leave the economy alone to recover on its own. Indeed, almost nobody seems at all interested in looking at the hard facts about what happens when the government leaves the economy alone, compared to what happens when politicians intervene. The grand myth that has been taught to whole generations is that the government is "forced" to intervene in the economy when there is a downturn that leaves millions of people suffering. The classic example is the Great Depression of the 1930s.
Votes in a republic must be counted honorably or elections are worse than useless. Political machine after the Civil War learned the tools for stealing votes en masse. Immigrants not conversant in English, and leaning upon the largess of local governments for a wide range of help, could be instructed how to vote and be trusted to do so. The rise of voter blocs, in which certain groups of Americans could be reliably expected to vote for certain political parties, made the legitimate function of elections — creating uncertainty about who will hold office — weak. Moreover, when elections are bought or are stolen, then the “winner” can claim not only to hold the political offices that his gang won in the election, but also can don the mantle of that vague and potentially dangerous title “champion of the people” (or something like that). And the artificial creation of a democracy in our nation, rather than a republic, has inured us to the myth that the majority can determine right and wrong.
The CNN/Tea Party Express presidential debate September 12 featured a staple question of the Ron Paul candidacy — the Federal Reserve Bank — but didn't give Representative Paul a chance to weigh in on the nation's central bank. When a Tea Party member asked a question about whether the Federal Reserve should be audited, Paul was not asked to comment on the question. Paul is the author and primary sponsor of the main Federal Reserve Audit bill, the Federal Reserve Transparency Act (H.R. 459) in the House. His son, Senator Rand Paul (R-Kentucky) is the sponsor of the Senate version of the bill (S. 202). Paul's bill won every House Republican and many Democrats as co-sponsors during the last Congress, and he has 176 co-sponsors for his bill thus far in the current Congress, including fellow presidential candidate Michele Bachmann of Minnesota.
The CNN/Tea Party Express debate continued to expose the difference between Texas Representative Ron Paul and the rest of the Republican field on the issue of America's multiplying foreign wars. An audience member asked the candidates if any defense spending cuts should be considered. Newt Gingrich began the foreign policy and military-spending discussion with an alarmist and unrealistic statement that "I think we are at the edge of an enormous crisis in national security. I think that we are greatly underestimating the threat to this country. And I think the day after we celebrated the 10th anniversary of 9/11, we should be reminded exactly what is at stake if a foreign terrorist gets a nuclear weapon into this country." Of course, only a handful of nation-states have nuclear weapons of any kind. And the ability to make easily transportable nuclear weapons is perhaps limited to the United States, Russia, and Britain.
Texas Governor Rick Perry continued to take fire from his rivals in the September 12 CNN/Tea Party Express debate on the issue of mandating Gardasil injections for 12-year-old girls by executive order. And the Texas Governor defended legislating by executive order. Fellow Texan Congressman Ron Paul, who is a medical doctor, said the worst part of Perry's decision was not the medicinal part of the decision but how he ignored the legislative branch in mandating the STD inoculation designed to prevent cervical cancer. "That is what is so bad," Paul stressed. "I made a promise that as President I would never use the executive order to legislate." Paul added: "Some executive orders are legal. When the President executes proper function of the presidency, like moving troops and other things, yes it's done with an executive order. But the executive order should never be used to legislate."
When President Barack Obama signed the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act into law in 2010, he surely did not foresee the resistance with which his new law would be met. States have lined up to sue the federal government over the law. Some have introduced legislation nullifying ObamaCare or have refused federal grants for setting up its mandated insurance exchanges. One might expect such resistance in more conservative states such as Oklahoma and Florida — but in New York, a state that went nearly two-to-one for Obama in 2008 and has a popular Democratic Governor? It’s true. According to the New York Times, Republicans in Albany are doing their level best to see to it that the Empire State does not accept federal grants to establish an insurance exchange — despite the fact that failure to set up an exchange could precipitate federal intervention to create one and deprive the state of federal dollars to get it started. The Newspaper of Record recaps the situation thus:
Former FBI agent Ali H. Soufan remembers being at the American embassy in Yemen on September 11, 2001 when, a few hours after the terrorist attacks on New York and Washington, a CIA official finally produced material, including photographs of two of the hijackers, that the FBI had requested months before. "For about a minute I stared at the pictures and the report, not quite believing what I had in my hands," Soufan has written in his just-released memoir, The Black Banners: The Inside Story of 9/11 and the War Against Al Qaeda. "My whole body was shaking." Had the material, documenting an al-Qaeda meeting in Malaysia in January 2000, been combined with information from the investigation in the bombing of the U.S.S. Cole that same year, he believes, the suicide mission to hijack airplanes in the United States and fly them like missiles into key commercial and government buildings might have been discovered and thwarted.
Those who are impressed by words seem to think that President Barack Obama made a great speech to Congress last week. But, when you look beyond the rhetoric, what did he say that was fundamentally different from what he has been saying and doing all along? Are we to continue doing the same kinds of things that have failed again and again, just because Obama delivers clever words with style and energy? Once we get past the glowing rhetoric, what is the president proposing? More spending! Only the words have changed — from "stimulus" to "jobs" and from "shovel-ready projects" to "jobs for construction workers." If government spending were the answer, we would by now have a booming economy with plenty of jobs, after all the record trillions of dollars that have been poured down a bottomless pit. Are we to keep on doing the same things, just because those things have been repackaged in different words?
It is now possible to see why it has taken so long to restore the area where the two giant World Trade Center towers stood. Because there were so many factors to consider in rebuilding the area, decision-making became incredibly complex. But once decisions were made, the rebuilding projects could proceed. Architects, designers, and contractors got to work. The building originally called Freedom Tower (now renamed One World Trade Center) will be the tallest building in America at 1,776 feet. Two smaller towers are also being built. The memorials for the nearly 3,000 people who were murdered on September 11, 2001 have been completed. The museum, beneath the memorials, is in the process of being built as well as the transportation center at the site. In other words, this site will become the chief visitor attraction in the nation, second only to Washington, D.C. It will enshrine everything that took place on that fateful day when so many lives were taken, so much property destroyed, so many responders scarred with lung problems, having breathed in the incinerated dust as they tried to rescue whomever they could rescue. 343 firefighters and 37 police officers from the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey were killed that day by the collapsing towers.
A few weeks ago, I had what seemed to me a small medical problem, so I phoned my primary physician. However, after we discussed the problem, he directed me to a specialist. After the specialist examined me, he directed me to a different specialist elsewhere. When I was examined and tested in the second specialist's office, he immediately phoned a hospital, asking to have an operating room available in an hour. No more than 5 hours elapsed between my seeing the first specialist and the time when I was on an operating table. This was quite a contrast with what happens in countries with government-run medical systems. In such countries, it is not uncommon to have to wait days to see a physician, weeks to see a specialist and months before you can have an operation. It is very doubtful whether I would have lasted that long.