US National Debt

Today, the U.S. national debt is $15.477 trillion and rising. You have to wonder how stupid the President and the Congress thinks the voters are. As we acquired this debt, the politicians made promises that this or that bill would stimulate the economy and meet a need. Obviously, they lied. They were wrong. They acted in bad faith or they were downright stupid. Either way, they should be booted from office. We are in considerably more debt than when Obama took office, and we have no hope of reducing the national debt any time soon. He has nothing to show for his trillions of dollars in spending.

When evaluating candidates, consider how they and their predecessors lied and lied and lied some more as they spent taxpayer money on “feel good” projects. These politicians could come up with rationalizations to spend several billion dollars in their sleep. I expect that, as the Presidential campaign heats up, Obama will fly at great taxpayer expense around the country. He will tell this or that group of voters how he will spend taxpayer money to improve their lot. A bribe is a bribe is a bribe.

Voters should be smart enough to see through his corrupt tactics. May they be so intelligent.

 

May 30: Work

May 30

Work

416.
If you owe the bank $100, that’s your problem. If you owe the bank $100 million, that’s the bank’s problem.
~J. Paul Getty

417.
Inflation is when you pay fifteen dollars for the ten-dollar haircut you used to get for five dollars when you had hair.
~Sam Ewing

418.
Never confuse the size of your paycheck with the size of your talent.
~John Maynard Keynes, (1883–1946), British economist

 

Record Law Firm Bankruptcy

Reuters reports that the crippled law firm of Dewey & Leboeuf LLP filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection Monday night and will seek approval to liquidate its business after failing to find a merger partner, marking the biggest collapse of a law firm in U.S. history.

In the movie Wall Street, Gordon Gekko, played by Michael Douglas, said, “Greed is good.” Greed is not good, Mr. Gekko. Greed kills.

There is the long-shot chance that politicians, many of whom think they were elected to spend as much of their constituents’ money as possible, will learn a lesson from this record collapse. The law firm paid compensation to its employees that was too high, put too much money into retirement plans, and ran up unsustainable debt. If that sounds like any country you could name, you are on the right track.

I will bet that the law firm partners had the “it can’t happen here” attitude, just as many of our Representatives, Senators, and President do. Don’t kid yourself. When the money runs out, and it already has, a collapse in some form has to come. Raising the debt ceiling so the country can print more money only delays the inevitable. In the meantime, it would be better to learn from the mistakes of others, such as the law firm of Dewey & Leboeuf LLP, than to continue to make the same mistakes that they have made.

 

Due Process of Law

Article 1, Section 8, Subsection 5 of the Nevada Constitution provides as follows: “No person shall be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law.” When a judge or Justice becomes so biased or prejudiced–whether because of prejudice, bias, campaign contributions, political rivalry, or any other cause–to give due process to people, the judge or Justice should recuse herself from the case or step down from the bench.

We can’t afford to marginalize exceptional people

My wife and I had lunch with Carol Perry several weeks ago. Carol has great insight into the world financial crisis. Her column states the facts about European socialism.

 

We can’t afford to marginalize exceptional people
By Carol Perry
Have you grown weary of the crisis in Europe?

It has greeted me almost every morning for two years as I turn on CNBC. At least once per month the Eurozone is in dire straits. The PIIGS (Portugal, Ireland, Italy, Greece and Spain) are paying more and more to borrow, and Greece is surviving on traunches of charity doled out by wealthier member nations each quarter.

What is the point?

Greece should have never been in the Eurozone. It cooked the books thinking that the euro would be good for the Greek economy. I guess no one bothered to check the balance sheet (debt to GDP). I am not sure why. The recent elections in France and Greece indicate that austerity is not too popular and that France may attempt to spend its way out of recession. We all know how that works (or doesn’t, rather); we are 16 trillion in debt ourselves.

In spite of all this, Germany is determined to save the euro and will most likely give Greece its June tranche payment. This seems like throwing good money after bad since the Greeks have no growth. Many are not even working or are on strike. Others refuse to pay taxes. They cannot even form a coalition government, so why is the Eurozone determined to continue to float Greece?

There is the fear that a Greek default would start a domino effect in Europe, destablizing Spain, Portugal, Italy and Ireland. This is a real concern because these peripheral countries are already on the brink, barely able to service debt. Without devaluation of the euro, it would be difficult to restore faith in the zone and Europe could fall into a deep recession or possible depression. The truth is that only Germany has positive GDP, and Germans have already put cost-cutting measures into play.

While the German taxpayer is not too happy, there are none of the riots and whining coming from other European nations that have become completely socialized. Nations that retire workers in their 50s or 60s. Nations that offer eight weeks’ paid holiday along with free medical and other services. You may think that it sounds nice getting all those perks, but there is no free lunch. Their people pay dearly, and now they are faced with paying much more to keep this structure intact.

All this reminds me of Ayn Rand’s last novel, “Atlas Shrugged,” where many of society’s most productive citizens start refusing to be exploited by increasing taxes and regulation. The most productive minds of the world essentially go on strike and disappear. These minds of the world hope to demonstrate that a world where a person is not free to create is doomed. Civilization cannot exist if every person is a slave to their government.

Europe is an example of failed social policy as it does not acknowledge or reward the exceptional, but rather makes everyone exceptional to equalize society. If everyone is exceptional, then no one really is. Let us look at this lesson before we decide to go down the same path. The greatest minds of the world are here because they are rewarded for taking a chance. Do not demonize them for their rewards. These are the very people who employ most of us. If they are gone, that leaves only the government to supply jobs, and someone must pay for all of this.

I prefer that it not be me.

• Carol Perry is a retired financial adviser and has been a Northern Nevada resident since 1983. She can be reached at Carol_Perry@att.net.

Seven Biblical Reasons Why Christians Should Support Israel


Seven Biblical Reasons
Why Christians Should Support Israel
By Pastor John Hagee
Everything Christians do should be based upon the Biblical text. Here are seven solid Bible reasons why Christians should support Israel.
1. Genesis 12:3 “And I will bless them that bless thee and curse him that curseth thee; and in thee shall all nations of the earth be blessed.” Point: God has promised to bless the man or nation that blesses the Chosen People. History has proven beyond reasonable doubt that the nations that have blessed the Jewish people have had the blessing of God; the nations that have cursed the Jewish people have experienced the curse of God.
2. St. Paul recorded in Romans 15:27 “For if the Gentiles have shared in their (the Jews)
spiritual things, they are indebted to minister to them also in material things.”
Christians owe a debt of eternal gratitude to the Jewish people for their contributions
that gave birth to the Christian faith. Jesus Christ, a prominent Rabbi from Nazareth said, “Salvation is of the Jews!” (St. John 4:22) consider what the Jewish people have given to Christianity:
a) The Sacred Scripture
b) The Prophets
c) The Patriarchs
d) Mary, Joseph, and Jesus Christ of Nazareth
e) The Twelve Disciples
f) The Apostles.
It is not possible to say, “I am a Christian” and not love the Jewish people. The Bible
teaches that love is not what you say, but what you do. (1 John 3:18) “A bell is not a bell
until you ring it, a song is not a song until you sing it, love is not love until you share it.”
3. While some Christians try to deny the connection between Jesus of Nazareth and the
Jews of the world, Jesus never denied his Jewishness. He was born Jewish, He was
circumcised on the eighth day in keeping with Jewish tradition, He had his Bar Mitzvah
on his 13th birthday, He kept the law of Moses, He wore the Prayer Shawl Moses
commanded all Jewish men to wear, and He died on a cross with an inscription over His head, “King of the Jews!”
Jesus considered the Jewish people His family. Jesus said (Matthew 25:40) “Verily I
say unto you, Inasmuch as you have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren
(the Jewish people . . . Gentiles were never called His brethren), ye have done it unto me.”
4. “Pray for the peace of Jerusalem, they shall prosper that love thee.” (Psalm 122:6) the scriptural principle of prosperity is tied to blessing Israel and the city of Jerusalem.

 

5. Why did Jesus Christ go to the house of Cornelius in Capernaum and heal his servant, who was ready to die? What logic did the Jewish elders use with Jesus to convince Him to come into the house of a Gentile and perform a miracle?

 The logic they used is recorded in Luke 7:5; “For He loveth our nation, and He hath built us a synagogue.” The message? This Gentile deserves the blessing of God because he loves our nation and has done something practical to bless the Jewish people.

6. Why did God the Father select the house of Cornelius in Caesarea (Acts Chapter 10) to be the first Gentile house in Israel to receive the Gospel? The answer is given repeatedly in Acts Chapter 10. 

Acts 10:2 states: “a devout man, (Cornelius) and one that feared God with all his house, which gave much alms to the people, and prayed to God always.” Who were the people to whom Cornelius gave these alms? They were the Jews! 

Again is Acts 10:4: “[T]hy prayers and thine alms are come up for a memorial before God.”
Again in Acts 10:31 “[A]nd thine alms are had in remembrance in the sight of God.”
The point is made three times in the same chapter. A godly Gentile who expressed his
unconditional love for the Jewish people in a practical manner was divinely selected by
heaven to be the first Gentile house to receive the Gospel and the first to receive the
outpouring of the Holy Spirit.
These combined Scriptures verify that PROSPERITY (Genesis 12:3 and Psalm 122:6),
HEALING (Luke 7:1-5) and the OUTPOURING OF THE HOLY SPIRIT came first to
Gentiles that blessed the Jewish people and the nation of Israel in a practical manner.
7. We support Israel because all other nations were created by an act of men, but Israel was created by an act of God. The Royal Land Grant that was given to Abraham and his seed through Isaac and Jacob with an everlasting and unconditional covenant.
(Genesis 12:1-3, 13:14-18, 15:1-21, 17:4-8, 22:15-18, 26:1-5 and Psalm 89:28-37.)

 

Iran plays cat and mouse as it develops nuclear weapons

“It certainly creates an impression that the only thing that they’re about is developing a nuclear weapons capability,” Ross said in an interview with CBS News.

If Obama won’t get moving, the Israelis will. We cannot have an Iran with nuclear weapons.

“When you see a rattlesnake poised to strike, you do not wait until he has struck to crush him.” ~Franklin D. Roosevelt

Due Process of Law

Article 1, Section 8, Subsection 5 of the Nevada Constitution provides as follows: “No person shall be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law.” When a judge or Justice becomes so biased or prejudiced–whether because of prejudice, bias, campaign contributions, political rivalry, or any other cause–to give due process to people, the judge or Justice should recuse herself from the case or step down from the bench.

 

Seven Biblical Reasons Why Christians Should Support Israel

Seven Biblical Reasons
Why Christians Should Support Israel
By Pastor John Hagee
Everything Christians do should be based upon the Biblical text. Here are seven solid Bible reasons why Christians should support Israel.
1. Genesis 12:3 “And I will bless them that bless thee and curse him that curseth thee; and in thee shall all nations of the earth be blessed.” Point: God has promised to bless the man or nation that blesses the Chosen People. History has proven beyond reasonable doubt that the nations that have blessed the Jewish people have had the blessing of God; the nations that have cursed the Jewish people have experienced the curse of God.
2. St. Paul recorded in Romans 15:27 “For if the Gentiles have shared in their (the Jews)
spiritual things, they are indebted to minister to them also in material things.”
Christians owe a debt of eternal gratitude to the Jewish people for their contributions
that gave birth to the Christian faith. Jesus Christ, a prominent Rabbi from Nazareth said, “Salvation is of the Jews!” (St. John 4:22) consider what the Jewish people have given to Christianity:
a) The Sacred Scripture
b) The Prophets
c) The Patriarchs
d) Mary, Joseph, and Jesus Christ of Nazareth
e) The Twelve Disciples
f) The Apostles.
It is not possible to say, “I am a Christian” and not love the Jewish people. The Bible
teaches that love is not what you say, but what you do. (1 John 3:18) “A bell is not a bell
until you ring it, a song is not a song until you sing it, love is not love until you share it.”
3. While some Christians try to deny the connection between Jesus of Nazareth and the
Jews of the world, Jesus never denied his Jewishness. He was born Jewish, He was
circumcised on the eighth day in keeping with Jewish tradition, He had his Bar Mitzvah
on his 13th birthday, He kept the law of Moses, He wore the Prayer Shawl Moses
commanded all Jewish men to wear, and He died on a cross with an inscription over His head, “King of the Jews!”
Jesus considered the Jewish people His family. Jesus said (Matthew 25:40) “Verily I
say unto you, Inasmuch as you have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren
(the Jewish people . . . Gentiles were never called His brethren), ye have done it unto me.”
4. “Pray for the peace of Jerusalem, they shall prosper that love thee.” (Psalm 122:6) the scriptural principle of prosperity is tied to blessing Israel and the city of Jerusalem.

 

5. Why did Jesus Christ go to the house of Cornelius in Capernaum and heal his servant, who was ready to die? What logic did the Jewish elders use with Jesus to convince Him to come into the house of a Gentile and perform a miracle?

 The logic they used is recorded in Luke 7:5; “For He loveth our nation, and He hath built us a synagogue.” The message? This Gentile deserves the blessing of God because he loves our nation and has done something practical to bless the Jewish people.

6. Why did God the Father select the house of Cornelius in Caesarea (Acts Chapter 10) to be the first Gentile house in Israel to receive the Gospel? The answer is given repeatedly in Acts Chapter 10. 

Acts 10:2 states: “a devout man, (Cornelius) and one that feared God with all his house, which gave much alms to the people, and prayed to God always.” Who were the people to whom Cornelius gave these alms? They were the Jews! 

Again is Acts 10:4: “[T]hy prayers and thine alms are come up for a memorial before God.”
Again in Acts 10:31 “[A]nd thine alms are had in remembrance in the sight of God.”
The point is made three times in the same chapter. A godly Gentile who expressed his
unconditional love for the Jewish people in a practical manner was divinely selected by
heaven to be the first Gentile house to receive the Gospel and the first to receive the
outpouring of the Holy Spirit.
These combined Scriptures verify that PROSPERITY (Genesis 12:3 and Psalm 122:6),
HEALING (Luke 7:1-5) and the OUTPOURING OF THE HOLY SPIRIT came first to
Gentiles that blessed the Jewish people and the nation of Israel in a practical manner.
7. We support Israel because all other nations were created by an act of men, but Israel was created by an act of God. The Royal Land Grant that was given to Abraham and his seed through Isaac and Jacob with an everlasting and unconditional covenant.
(Genesis 12:1-3, 13:14-18, 15:1-21, 17:4-8, 22:15-18, 26:1-5 and Psalm 89:28-37.)

 

Obama doesn’t “get” capitalism

 

Tim Stanley
Dr. Tim Stanley is a historian of the United States. His biography of Pat Buchanan is out now. His personal website is www.timothystanley.co.uk and you can follow him on Twitter @timothy_stanley.
Obama’s attack on private equity is hypocritical, shallow and a big mistake

There’s a good chance that Mitt Romney’s career at Bain Capital will become the defining issue of 2012. As Joshua Green at the Boston Globe writes, Bain is all about Romney’s election-winning claim to real world experience of creating jobs (Mitt puts the figure at around 100,000). Therefore, it’s imperative that Obama challenge that record and produce a counter-narrative: “Obama’s reelection, in other words, hinges on discrediting Romney as a viable alternative. That means going after Bain and private equity.”
Given that the very words “private equity” send a shudder down the spine of anyone in employment, that sounds like a smart move. We all instinctively despise the champagne and braces brigade who head up private equity – grease-haired upstarts just two years out of college who think they can save a business by changing the wallpaper and sacking everybody. Yet despite the profound cultural appeal of denouncing Bain as a “vampire” organisation, Obama’s gambit has received a poor reception across the press. Why?
For starters, the political influence of private equity groups like Bain extends well into the Democratic Party. One of Obama’s own campaign spokesmen, Federico Pena, works at Vestar Capital Partners. According to this report, Vestar has “laid off 1,000 workers from Del Monte this month, closed three factories and laid off 540 people at Solo Cup Co., and fired another 500 workers at BirdsEye food-processor in 2006.” And Pena isn’t the only “vampire” that Obama takes money from. In 2008, he received almost twice as much private equity cash as John McCain did – roughly $3.5 million.
Within the wider economy, the record of private equity is a great deal more beneficial than Obama’s attacks suggest. Firms like Bain borrow to acquire failing companies, streamline them, rebrand them, then sell them on at a profit. In the 1980s these “bloodsuckers” gained a reputation for asset-stripping – reducing the payroll down to a skeleton staff then selling off the company’s assets. Mitt Romney’s choice of career is not dissimilar to that of Gordon “Greed is Good” Gekko.
But the historical panic over the destructive capacity of private equity is misplaced. In most instances, it was in the investing firm’s interests to save rather than strip a business. In many cases, private equity was actually motivated by a benign desire to rescue family and industrial businesses from outdated ideas and practices. Bain points out that, “Despite political attacks that emphasize the few companies that have struggled … revenues grew in 80 percent of the more than 350 companies in which we have invested.” A survey of roughly 3,200 companies bought out by private equity firms between 1980 and 2005, found the companies lost jobs at a rate that was only one percent higher than comparable businesses. But those companies were also more likely to open new branches or see an upturn in profits. Crucially, their new found profitability often led to the creation of new jobs. Rebirth from wreckage; order from chaos. Private equity is very Zen.
And the moderate, pro-business wing of the Democratic Party knows it. That’s why Senator Mark Warner has defended Bain and why Mayor Cory Booker of Newark called Obama’s attacks on the firm “nauseating.” To quote Booker, “I live in a state where pension funds, unions and other people are investing in companies like Bain Capital. If you look at the totality of Bain Capital’s record, they’ve done a lot to support businesses, to grow businesses.” Booker is right. Roughly 60 percent of moneys that private equity receives are from pension funds, endowments and foundations.
In short, the anti-Bain agenda suggests that Obama “doesn’t get capitalism.” His administration has placed an emphasis upon government-led bailouts that have the aura of the command economy (Solyndra, high-speed rail, Chrsyler, General Motors). Because these operations are directed by social need rather than profitability, they’ve largely failed (automobiles are a notable exception). In contrast, Romney’s experience tells him that key to creating jobs is a mix of pleasure (investment) and pain (streamlining). For a country saddled by debt – a nation that must reform its welfare, tax and regulation systems simply to survive – the private equity model might actually prove more attractive to the enlightened voter.