Sunday, January 30, 2011

Bankrupt Britain - The Next Third World Country

There are few today that would argue with the fact that Britain is bankrupt. The bankers are undoubtedly to blame for that, but in truth UK was bankrupt before the infamous credit crunch. Years of pillaging by a previous governments have left the next generation with a mountain of debt to bear.
When I first arrived on the fair shores of England it soon became evident to me that the country was living far beyond its means. Now I'm certainly no clairvoyant but it didn't take rocket science. Debt was dead easy to get. I was inundated with credit card offers, many who were earning well below my level were taking two holidays a year, new cars, home improvements; it was obscene. Now the chickens have come home to roost.
Five years ago I made the statement that Britain was in danger of becoming the next third world country. Needless to say it was not very well received. However the truth does not cease to be the truth simply because it's unpalatable.
Now I have had the dubious honour of having lived in a country with a thriving economy that was systematically wrecked until it became one of the poorest nations in the world. There is an established blue print that most of Africa has followed on the road from prosperous to treacherous, and I can see the same slow but certain degradation in UK.
The first thing newly independent African nations do, almost without exception is to build a huge sports stadium as a statement to the world of their new found independence. I look at the millions being poured into the 2012 Olympics and wonder whether the same mindset is driving the decision-making process. I have nothing against the Olympics, and I wish our athletes well, but after the event we will be left with under utilised high maintenance facilities that will drain the public coffers for decades to come. This at a time when long-established sports facilities country-wide are being forced to close due to lack of Government funding. These facilities serve the wider community, not only helping to fight the national scourge of obesity, but keeping kids off the streets who would otherwise be up to mischief.
The second milestone on the road to third world status is corruption. Human greed kicks in. We need only look at our esteemed politicians and the ongoing expense scandal to confirm we are well into this phase. They have put UK Plc. into administration. How previous prime ministers who have presided over the destruction of a nation can tour the world getting paid huge fees for imparting the self-same formula to other leaders is beyond me. Why would anyone want to listen to them?
Then there are of course the bankers; another bunch of scoundrels who have seriously endangered the continued existence of UK Plc. with their reckless incompetence by playing with our money and getting paid six figure bonuses for their efforts. Last night I watched some bank chairman smilingly admitting that bankers are paid far too much, that most are really quite mediocre, yet the powers that be shrug their shoulders.
We're now entering the third phase. After corruption comes the collapse of public services, notably health. Now I haven't been following the ins and outs of the new NHS reforms, but it appears evident that it's a huge gamble; too much too quick with too little planning. Time will tell how it pans out. However with or without the reforms we still have super bugs and high hospital mortality.
The fourth phase is high inflation. Inflation is now on the rise; 3.7% and rising, driven up by the high price of essential commodities like oil and food.
The fifth phase, currency devaluation, follows hot on the heels of inflation. The euro is currently under severe threat and Europe wants Britain to use the pound to prop it up. The US dollar as a world currency is under threat.
Finally comes rampant unemployment. Unemployment, especially amongst the youth is now 20%. Where to from here? This leads to a disenchanted electorate and change inevitably follows. At this point in Africa leaders abandon democracy and turn into dictatorships as the only method by which they can retain power.

Congressman Paul Ryan: Ready to Reply to State of the Union

Rising Star
One of the rising stars of the Republican Party is Paul Ryan from Wisconsin. He made a historical television appearance when he and other Republicans were invited to the White House for a discussion on the Health Care Bill. Ryan came prepared with the 2000 plus pages of the bill and notes about many of its policies. The interesting exchange between himself and the President fell just slightly short of confrontational.
Birth Order
If we look at his birth order we find he is a Four/Only Double birth order. Of his three older siblings the closest in age to him is five years older. His father died when he was 16 years old and he was the last child living at home with his mother. As he has said, "It was just the two of us, since my siblings were off in college." As the fourth born he is the true baby in the family but since he spent so many years home alone with his mother he added the power of the Only child to his birth order
Double Birth Order
He realized early in life that you have to work for whatever you want. As the baby in the family this is a very unusual position for the fourth born with no older siblings to help him. All the added power and characteristics of the Only child has been a great benefit. He is well liked and that goes along with his fourth born characteristics but he can also be in your face having no fear of those older or those in power. This is what he gets from the Only side of his Double Birth Order. Look for further confrontations as he can make those in power very uncomfortable. He may be one of the younger congressmen but don't be fooled by his age. We should be seeing a lot more of him in the future.
Reply to the State of the Union
As the Chairman of the House Budget committee he has been selected to respond to the President's 2011 State of the Union address. Don't expect him go easy on President Obama. He will be in your face as a number Four but polite like an only child.

The Difference in the Political System Structure Between Nasser and Sadat

The Egyptian revolution of 1952, which was a coup d'état made by young military soldiers who named themselves "The free officers", it was initially aiming to over throw King Farouk. However, thing ran more smoothly than the free officers thought, they made more political change that just overthrowing the king, they abolished the monarchy and established the republic, and ended the British occupation of Egypt. The free officers, who were headed and founded by colonel Gamal Abdel Nasser, chose Mohamed Naguib to be the first president of the Egyptian Republic. However, his reign did not last long due to disagreements with Nasser which lead to his forced removal from office, and put in house arrest. Nasser took power in 1956, the people cherished Nasser, as they saw him as one of them; under his leadership he nationalized the Suez Canal, this even made him more charismatic and loved by the people.
After Nasser's death in 1970, his vice president, Anwar El Sadat took over the power and became the third president of Egypt. Most of the people were disappointed by Nasser's death, and did not think of anyone else who can rule them. So, in his first speech as a president, Sadat promised the people that he will continue what Nasser had started and that he will follow his path. However, later, Sadat took a different path than Nasser's. Sadat is well known for launching the 1973 war against Israel, and for signing a peace treaty with them after the war, which lead to the return of all Egypt's territories which were occupied by the Israelis under Nasser's era. Nasser's and Sadat's regimes are one of the most important in the modern Egyptian history. Their different characters played a great role in shaping the Egyptian political structure, as both of them had absolute powers as presidents. The base of the political structure did not change from Nasser to Sadat, the regime was still authoritarian with absolute power to the president, and however, each one of them used his absolute power in a different way that resulted in a big difference in the political structure of the country. In this essay I will illustrate Nasser's and Sadat's structure of the political system and to what degree they differed from each other.
Gamal Abdel Nasser was the leader who was almost worshiped by his people. He was incredibly charismatic and had a direct relationship with the Egyptian people. He used to always give public speeches that were very emotive and touching. He succeeded to build a common ground between him and the people, in his speeches he always referred to them as his "fellow citizens". Nasser managed to remove the gap between the ruler and the public; this improved his credibility and his legitimacy to the Egyptian nation. Moreover, Nasser was a down to earth, simple person. He did not live in a palace or in a luxurious villa; he had a modest small house. According to the movie Nasser 56, he refused to build a pool for his kids, as he declined to gain any benefits from his position. Nasser gave the low class jobs, houses, health insurance, free schools and land. In addition to, in the 1964 constitution he assigned half of the national assembly seats to peasants and workers. In his political decisions, Nasser used to consult and put into his consideration the opinions and comments of his cabinet; before taking the decision of nationalizing the Suez Canal, Nasser made numerous consults. The political system structure under Nasser was based on the socialist political ideology. Nasser was a socialist; he founded the country's sole political party: The Arab Socialist Union. He was a pan Arab nationalist; he made a short lived union with Syria.
Under his reign, he reformed the economy and made an agrarian reform by distributing land to the peasants. He initiated a centrally planned economy; he had a major nationalizing program that nationalized all the chief sources of income to the country, making the state the largest employer. Although the revolution promised a democratic rule, Nasser was an authoritarian dictator. He attempted to lay the groundwork for democracy, however, democracy is still absent in Egypt till our present day. Nasser owned a monopoly of power, when Nasser noticed the amount of control Abdel Hakim Amer; the chief of the armed force, Nasser striped Amer of his position and appointed himself the chief of the armed force. When Nasser became president, he aimed to put an end to all oppositions, he got rid of all the parties and abolished the Muslim brotherhood, and he established the only party The Arab Socialist Union.
As a result of having absolute power, there was no any legal legitimacy, the president can change the constitution whenever he likes, he changed the constitution 5 times, Nasser made a legal constitutional frame work to maintain and increase his powers. The coercive apparatus had a great role in Nasser's regime which was known for extreme torture for prisoners who might even be imprisoned for no charges. In his era, army soldiers were given the top policy management roles instead of politicians or diplomats. In 1956, after a lot of researches, reasoning and considering the risks, Nasser decided to nationalize the Suez Canal, this is one of the main decisions that people admire Nasser for. Nasser allied with the Soviet Union because he believed that in order to develop the country; it must have a proper army with good arms. Later in 1976, Israel attacked Egypt and took over territories, this incident led to the resignation of Gamal Abd El Nasser, soon after; people demonstrated and rejected the resignation, so Nasser decided to postpone his decision. Despite the Israeli victory in the 1976 war, Nasser succeeded to become a symbol of Arab victory and dignity, even though he could not do all what he promised but people were satisfied that he at least tried. In 1970 Nasser died in office and Anwar el Sadat became the President.
Anwar El Sadat, third president of the republic, was one of the free officers. Sadat's presidency was considered widely among the people that it is going to be short lived, and they assumed that he is merely a puppet of the former president Nasser who is controlled by Nasser supporters. Sadat surprised everyone by taking serious political actions that retained his powers as a president and enabled him to emerge as an independent leader. Sadat was a cunning and clever person, many incidents show that he had a decisive character by which he can reach unattainable goals, and two of these incidents are: his escape from political prison before the revolution, and the tactics of 1973 war that has depended on deceiving the enemy. Unlike Nasser, Sadat initiated a gap between him and the people, he didn't make public speeches, and he preferred talking to groups of people and especially the parliament.
Sadat didn't care to justify his actions, while some actions really needed justifications because they were refuted and considered bizarre, to the people; he can occasionally justify it to individuals who have the capability of seeing and asking him. Another notable difference between Sadat and Nasser, Sadat addressed the nation as his sons, he was playing the role of the god father and he believed that he is more knowing than anyone else. This can be noticed in his decision taking, he was a sole decision taker, and he rarely took advice or a consultant from his cabinet, even in the most serious decisions. For example, everyone was surprised when he stated that he was ready to go and negotiate with the Israelis in the Knesset. Sadat was so full of himself and arrogant, he gained tremendous self confidence after the 1973 war, and the nation considered him a hero. Sadat's ideologies were totally different than those of Nasser.
He was more western oriented he drifted away from the Nasserism by establishing a multiparty system and initiating a liberal economy and the open door policy (Infitah). He changed his political party from the Arab Socialist Union to the National Democratic Party. One of the focal differences between him and his Nasser is that Sadat is far less Arab Nationalist; he was more focused on the well being and the liberation of his own country that he signed a peace treaty with Israel after the 1973 war. Sadat was not in good terms with the Soviet Union, he expelled the soviet actors from Egypt before the 1973 war; however the soviet kept on equipping the Egyptian army with weapons and equipments throughout the war.
After the war Sadat was seen as a hero to the Arab world, but not for a long time, after he declared that he is ready to make peace with Israel, he was seen as a traitor by most Arab countries. Later, Sadat established relations between Egypt and the United States in order to negotiate for getting back Egypt's occupied territories, and he succeeded, and one of his famous quotes were " Russians can give you arms, but only the united states can give you a solution" (Simpsons Contemporary Quotations", p.14).
Nasser established a base political structure during his regime that Sadat inherited. Both regimes were authoritarian and shared the same policies that give the president absolute power and control over the country. What has not changed in both regimes are the monopoly of power to the president, the lack of legal legitimacy, the dependence on the coercive apparatus to eliminate opposition, manipulating the constitution to suite their practice of powers and the one dominant party, even though Sadat reinstituted the multiparty system, other parties acted like pressure groups. However, since the president has absolute power, then the personality of the president is a big deal in shaping the political structure.
As noticed, Sadat was really different in character than Nasser, thus the political system. As Sadat took over the presidency, he started his "Correctional Revolution", he started by purging Nasserites members in the government and security forces, and replaced them by professional diplomats and politicians. In addition to, changing the paths of foreign -domestic policies, economy and ideology; plus the imprisonment of many political forces including many Islamists. Nevertheless, there was more political freedom under Sadat; he took another step towards democracy. The multiparty system gave more space for opposition, which was extinct in Nasser's era. Sadat also gave the press more freedom, unlike Nasser who nationalized and controlled the press.
After 1973 when Sadat launched the Infitah, which is the open door for private investment which encouraged domestic and foreign investment in the private sector and ended the domination of the economy by the public sector, created a wealthier more successful upper class and a smaller middle class, however, negative and violent protests happened after Sadat decided to cut subsidies over basic food supplies, these protests forced Sadat to go back on his decision and reinitiate the subsidies. The Egyptian foreign policy witnessed a dramatic change under Sadat, from the expulsion of soviet actors, to the alliance with the United States. The most important point of change is that Sadat shifted Egypt from the policy of confrontation towards Israel, to a peaceful accommodation through the negotiations that took place after the war of 1973. This change in policy had three critical influences over the modern Egyptian history:
(i) Egypt got back all occupied territories that were overtaken in 1976
(ii) Egypt declared the country of Israel
(iii) Most Arab countries cut relations with Egypt, and Egypt was dismissed from the Arab league.
Finally, the last notable change in the structure of the political system is the long term alliance with the United States, which is still present until today. One of the main benefits of this alliance is that Egypt became one of the top recipients of American aid.
In conclusion, Nasser created a base political structure that has not changed, but it enables the person in power to have full control over the state. The strong base that Nasser built makes the person in power able to build his views and ideologies over it. And that is what happened, Sadat shifted Egypt's path, and we are still living the consequences, but what Sadat has fulfilled was founded on Nasser's base. And what can be concluded is that Nasser built the base of dictatorship in Egypt, and Sadat relied on it. So I can argue that the political system has changed under Sadat, but the form of government remained the same.

Why You Need a Written Campaign Plan

We have all heard the quote "Failing to plan is planning to fail." There may be no other time when it is more true than in campaigns, and yet a large number of candidates never bother to put together a written campaign plan.
Studies indicate that most campaigns without an official campaign plan fail. When there is no written, concrete plan to refer to it sets the campaign up for failure. It becomes very easy to get sidetracked, and not follow through on essential products.
Campaign plans offer several benefits that are essential to keeping the proper focus. It will help create a timeline and benchmarks that will provide a check and balance system. It should answer the tough questions ahead of time so those situations are already dealt with before they arise. It will give structure and job descriptions to the campaign staff and volunteers. It will lay out the strategy, message, and tactics the campaign intends to utilize.
Make sure that you bring together a team of advisors to help you create the plan and brainstorm the creative portions. There should be at least one professional advisor on this team, and preferably that person would be able to steer you on what subjects need to be addressed.
You have to be ready to be very honest about your strengths and weaknesses as well those of your opponent (s). You have to be realistic about fundraising and budgeting expectations and goals. But most of all you should do it as soon as possible. Creating the plan early will help you to focus and start reaching for the milestones that much sooner.
Don't worry about the plan being perfect, it is certainly up for adjustments as circumstances change. Getting the plan written and committing to implementing that plan may be the most important step in your journey to the ballot box.

Peace In Our Lifetime? Maybe - Take a Look at the Data

Much to the chagrin of my end times religious friends who remind me that "wars and rumors of wars" is a sure sign of the apocalypse, there are fewer wars in the world. Not only are they fewer but since the bloody turn of the 19th/20th century, war as a tool to solve problems has been trending downward, rather dramatically.
Yep, it's true.
Make no mistake, there ARE wars in the world as we speak - the Afghanistan conflict, Iraq, Palestine, Sudan, Burundi, Somalia and let's not forget about Columbia. But the onetime regular tool of conflict resolution - fought between two, uniformed, state-sponsored armies - is on the way out. The news gets better. Not only are the big nasty fights that defined World War I and II are gone, but there has also been a significant decrease in the number of civil wars in countries around the world since the early 1990s. This is the news coming from a number of organizations that pay attention to these kinds of things, including the prestigious University of Uppsala Conflict Data Program in Sweden. What we have left are the vestiges of war-like behavior - guerrilla campaigns, insurgencies and terrorism. But then, even terrorism has been trending down, despite the popular media feeds that would make you believe just the opposite. Acts of terrorism have been trending downward since the height of bombings against people in the mid 1980s. During this period of time, the Jewish Defense League, Eco Terrorists and the Columbian Popular Liberation Army were active and deadly. While there were more people killed in the 9/11 tragedy, the trend of terrorist acts have been trending down significantly. These are the latest findings from the FBI National Counterterrorism Center.
Another clear sign that war doesn't have the same power in our lives that it used to: fewer people are dying. According to researcher Milton Leitenberg of the University of Maryland, from 1900 through 1950 over 3.8 million people were killed each year because of wars and conflicts. In 2008, 25,600 people were killed (both soldiers and civilians) total. Not only are there fewer conflicts, they kill fewer people.
Of course, all of this is cold comfort for those who have suffered under the cloud of armed conflict, but make no mistake - there is a change in the way humankind looks at armed conflict, and it bodes well for that dream of world peace that seemed virtually impossible just a few years ago.
How did this dramatic development escape us? Why are we not dancing in the streets?
I'm a J-School graduate, and my professor, Dr. Robert Brown, used to remind me of a basic truth about the human condition: we are instinctively wired to seek out and pay attention to threats to our survival. Call it a gift from our early days on the plains of Africa, but this survival technique helped us escape the saber-tooth tiger and all of the other dangers that threatened our very existence as a species. We still have that programming. So while there may be news about wonderful developments happening around the world, we only pay attention to the ones we perceive as a threat. There is a reason why the dooms day talk show hosts do so well --- as long as they wrap their rhetoric in threats to your survival and your way of life, your instinctive brain sees that information in the same way it sees a Saber tooth tiger, thus the guy who talks about your country going down hill in a handbasket is going to get more attention than the guy who talks about the great things that are happening. The dooms day people have a genetic advantage on their side, not necessarily their glittering personalities. In addition, it's been estimated that ½ of 1 percent of the world's population are doing terrible things. That means the remaining 6 billion people are doing the right thing, yet who commands all of the attention?
I travel extensively around the world, and I have friends that I maintain regular contact with in 15 different countries. The new social media is making it even easier for this to happen. My experience used to be considered exceptional, but now, more than ever, we are connecting with people who live thousands of miles away. Why would we ever want to go to war with someone we're sharing our personal photos and experiences with?
When peace activists, beauty pageant contestants and little children would talk about world peace, it always seemed more like a hope than a possibility. Now, the numbers show that possibility is within our reach.
I am not so naïve as to believe there will not be wars in our future. What I'm saying is that the data is giving us evidence to know that wars are not necessary. People have to choose war.
Chet W. Sisk is author of the new book "Think This, Not That: It's Time To Update Your Conventional Wisdom". He is also founder of the Quality Foods For Everyone program with Whole Foods to bring organic foods to homeless shelters across the US.

NATO Intervention In 1999 In Kosovo Was The Right Thing To Do

The recent report by Dick Marty presented to the Council of Europe (CoE), in which he accuses the Kosovan Liberation Army (KLA) leaders of being involved in organized crime during and after the 1998-99 war, has acted as an impetus for a number of cover stories across international newspapers. The most damning accusations are related to alleged removal of organs from Serb prisoners captured during the war.
Despite the fact that the report presents no concrete evidence that supports the damning accusations, it seems that this is sufficient for certain diplomats to start questioning the morality of NATO intervention in 1999. The lack of evidence, the lack of plausibility, the anti-Albanian connotations and the fact that the accusation coming from Dick Marty seem like a 'copy & paste' job from the Serbian intelligence agency BIA and scandalous made up accusations coming from Serbian prosecution, are another matter that won't be treated in this article.
Even if the accusations regarding the organ removal and murder of prisoners are true, in no way should it bring into question the morality of NATO intervention in Kosovo. Let us not forget the crimes that the Serbian forces, under the command of Milosevic, were committing against the Albanian population at the time. It is an undisputed fact that the NATO intervention put a stop to the conflict which was beneficial for both sides, Serbs and Albanians. Had NATO not intervened, we would have had another ongoing 'Palestinian-Israeli' type conflict in the heart of Europe. Had NATO not intervened, Milosevic would have succeeded in completing his ethnic cleansing plans of getting rid of 2 million Albanian habitants in Kosovo who would probably still be living in camps in Albania, Macedonia and other countries in the region. No doubt this would have led to an ongoing armed struggle by Albanians to reclaim the lost land.
The effect of an ongoing armed conflict in Kosovo lasting for years, would have been felt across the volatile region and even the rest of Europe. For once, humanitarian military intervention was justified and the right thing to do.

Illogical Approach To Snow Removal

Why is it that some municipalities do such a far better job clearing away snow and ice after a storm than others do? We always hear that some areas are much more used to getting snow, so are better prepared. But, if we hear that every time there is snow, year after year, winter after winter, wouldn't it make sense that government agencies that do not do such a good job would learn something from those that do?
Keeping in mind that there are financial and space restrictions to snow removal, I have prepared a short list of items that all municipalities can and should do, if they really wanted to do a better job:
1. Equip all municipal vehicles that are capable, with plows.
2. Anytime there is more than a couple of inches of snow, make sure that "chains" be placed on the rear tires of all buses, trucks, etc., so that they will not get stuck, they will have a far less chance of skidding and slipping, and they can be a help rather than a hindrance to the snow removal process.
3. Have sand placed on as many roads as possible early on during a snowstorm, so that less sticks to the roads, and whatever sticks is easier to plow and remove.
4. Prioritize roads into primary, secondary, tertiary, etc. status, and clear the roads in that order. This does not mean ignoring those roads that are lower priority, but simply that the initial emphasis should be on the primary roads.
5. Declare a snow emergency, and require that, in as many cases as possible, there be no parking, so that the roads can be thoroughly cleaned and plowed. When this is not done, plowing becomes very limited, those cars then clean themselves out making the roads even more limited, and the situation becomes compounded. On primary roads, and on roads that have more than one lane in each direction, it is not okay to only clear one of the lanes. It is one thing to initially do that, but the plowing should be expanded. Tickets and towing should be used with any violators.
6. When the storm ends, plows should immediately be sent to widen roads. There is nothing as dangerous as lanes that all of a sudden disappear.
7. There should laws that are enforced that private plowing should not be permitted to obstruct public plowed roads. Violators should be stiffly fined.
8. Homeowners and storekeepers should be mandated to clear their sidewalks within a maximum of two hours after the end of the snow, when it occurs during business hours, or by the start of business the next day when it is not during that period. These rules must be enforced.
9. After plowing is done, and before it gets far colder overnight, roads should be sanded to prevent dangerous icing.
10. Municipalities must have detailed plans and contingency plans, and these must be made public.
These suggestions are simply the beginning of what could and should be done. Granted, snow removal is costly, but so is the cost of injury due to safety related injuries. How about the economic impacts of not sufficiently clearing roads, and the impacts on business, education, government, etc.
It is not a matter of how much money is spent. It is having a plan, doing a better job, having and enforcing codes and laws, and using some common sense. I guess that's why they say that common sense is often not very common!

My Manifesto Item 2 - Ditch Trident

Here's another no brainer in my humble opinion-The Trident project. Millions, or is it billions spent on keeping nuclear submarines at sea to protect the country from this invisible threat. A little like the fabled weapons of mass destruction story that America spun used as the basis for invading Iraq this imminent threat of destruction is used by the powers that be to justify having this defence capability.
Now we all know about boys and their toys, and I have no problem with that if the country can afford it. However when financial hardships result in us leaving families with special needs children to fend for themselves without assistance, to cut down on police and fire services, cut teachers in schools, nurses in hospitals, staffing of social services in order to build some super cyber torpedo one must draw the line. Like the non rehabilitated alcoholic the politicians know that the cupboard is empty but decades of unrestrained spending has created a habit that is hard to change and they just can't help themselves.
One minute we're going ahead with Trident, and the next we're scrapping perfectly good aircraft carriers. However don't despair. They are soon to be replaced with new ones at a cost of a few more billion. There is one minor catch, the classic good or bad news scenario. Once we pay for the aircraft carriers we can't afford any aircraft to equip them with. In the meantime our troops are fighting the Taliban in Afghanistan with inadequate weapons, inadequate vehicles and inadequate supplies. Is it just me who doesn't get it? Maybe.
Mr Cameron goes on and on about tough choices having to be made, and in that respect at least I agree, but the really tough choices are swept under the carpet. Could it be that big money is influencing the decision making process.
With apologies to my British colleagues I do wonder why anyone would want to invade Britain in the first place. Could they be after the integrity of our political system, or maybe the professionalism of our bankers. They can't be after treasure as we're told the barrel is empty. Mining has closed down and manufacturing has moved to Asia. So as Kojak would say "What would be their motive?"
Add to this the fact that we have the best defence system ever devised-the British weather Item 2 on my manifesto is definitely - Ditch Trident.

My Manifesto Item 1 - Ditch Foreign Aid

Having taken a good hard look at our political leaders responsible for stewardship of the country and the manner in which they conduct themselves I have reached the conclusion that I have forgotten more about integrity than they have ever learnt. So I'm compiling my manifesto for when I run for parliament.
In no particular order of importance the first item on my list is "Ditch foreign Aid." In a country that is totally bankrupt having to put its citizens through untold misery to balance the books I cannot fathom why the UK continues to fritter away huge amounts of its total GDP on foreign aid. I have news for the leaders. The UK is liked nowhere in the world that I have visited. The USA doesn't like us, as witnessed my Mr Obama ditching Winston Churchill's statue from his office, the former colonies don't like us, and Africa certainly doesn't like Britain. So why are we so hell-bent on giving them money? It comes back to two things; The virus more deadly than the black-death called political correctness and the UK's fantasy that it still owns an empire and is a major player in world affairs. Truth be told the economies of the very people we give aid to are probably better off than our own.
I understand that there is a spiritual element the rich helping the poor and all that but we're certainly no longer the rich. I have seen aid in action in Africa. The truth of the matter is that very little of the aid that is sent ever finds its way to the intended destination. It is commandeered in transit by fat corrupt politicians who care nothing for their fellow-man, and is either exported elsewhere, or sold at exorbitant prices to the very people who should have received it for free. I was once talking to a senior official of the World Bank. He told me that if 40% of the aid sent to Africa reaches the final destination they consider that a success.
I know it to be true. As a pig farmer 70% of the input cost is feed, and farmers are constantly scouting around for cheaper source of supply. I knew a farmer who fed his pigs on "Freedom from Hunger" campaign meal for months. The meal had been left in the open for months at the mercy of the elements, and had turned a walnut brown. In Africa "past sell by date" has a very different meaning to the UK. This meal was however way beyond human consumption. I couldn't help thinking of all those well-intentioned kind people who thought that their donations were going to help Africa's poor.

Democrats' New ObamaCare Defense: Repeal Is Unconstitutional!

This week the newly majority Republican House of the 112th Congress will vote on repeal of the 2010 Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, also known as The Albatross Around Democrats' Necks.
Republicans have named their bill the Repealing the Job-Killing Health Care Law Act, proving again that Republicans are more likely to give their legislation names that are corny, contentious, and accurate, whereas Democrats are more likely to give their legislation names that are slick, mollifying, and deceptive.
Pundits expect H.R. 2 to easily clear the House, where ObamaCare narrowly passed 219-212 last March, before the great Republican Reckoning of November 2010. In that election, not only did Democrats lose a net 63 seats to Republicans, but the remaining Democrat flotsam left after the tsunami realized they ought to consider switching their votes unless they want to be swept away in November 2012.
In an insightful analysis, The Weekly Standard reported that in swing districts, just 28% of sitting House Democrats who voted for ObamaCare held onto their seats in the 2010 elections. In contrast, 57% of sitting Democrats in swing districts who voted against ObamaCare kept their seats.
If all House members still in office after November's election vote the way they did last spring, all newly sworn in Republicans vote to repeal ObamaCare, and all newly sworn in Democrats vote not to repeal ObamaCare, the House would vote for repeal by 255-180-a margin more than 10 times as large as the one by which ObamaCare passed. That's assuming no newly sworn-in Democrats-none of whom are saddled with a prior vote for ObamaCare, some of whom campaigned on the idea that they would have opposed it-will vote to repeal it.
Obama, Harry Reid, Nancy Pelosi, and the rest of the Democratic leadership have alternately been laughing at and warning against the repeal effort, which they claim is both pathetically useless and grievously dangerous.
Reid announced that Congressional Republicans "have to understand that the health care bill is not going to be repealed... [They] should get a new lease on life and talk about something else." White House Spokesman Robert Gibbs smirked that the repeal effort "is not a serious legislative effort."
Meanwhile, Obama has insinuated that repeal would be a grave mistake that would send the nation "backward." Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius cautioned that repeal could cause 129 million Americans with preexisting conditions to lose their health insurance-a ludicrous claim promptly deconstructed by the Cato Institute. (New ObamaCare slogan: "If you liked your health insurance, you can't unkeep it!)
Pelosi plans to march a parade of living-in-their-parents'-basements twentysomethings in front of Congress to talk about the wonders health care reform has already worked for them. The Nation editor Katrina vanden Heuvel wailed to Ed Schultz on MSNBC, "The Democrats need to tell real-life stories. They need to bring people into this process and blanket this country with tales of those whose lives have been improved."
Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee declared that repealing health care is "unconstitutional." (Now there's some irony for you!)
Lee's reasoning is that repeal would involve "denying someone their life and liberty without due process" and asks, "Can you tell me what's more unconstitutional than taking away from the people of America their Fifth Amendment rights, their Fourteenth Amendment rights, and the right to equal protection under the law?" (How about taking away their right to an education that includes a basic understanding of the Constitution?)
Now, even the bill's authors are admitting that ObamaCare may not reduce costs as planned and that the government might eventually have to go the way of Massachusetts via price controls and increased taxes, or Tennessee via massive dumping of patients from its rolls.
Yes, it's true that even after the House repeal bill passes, Reid is likely to refuse to bring H.R. 2 before the Senate, where it probably wouldn't pass anyway, and certainly wouldn't pass with the 2/3 majority needed to override Obama's veto.
But Republicans are expected to take over the Senate in droves and bolster their House majority in 2012, at which point they would have the votes to repeal ObamaCare. By then, they wouldn't need 67 votes in the Senate if a Republican president is elected.
In the meantime, House Republicans plan to defund ObamaCare step-by-step via the appropriations process.
Twenty-six states-a majority-are now suing the federal government over the constitutionality of the individual mandate and other ObamaCare provisions. Democrats previously ridiculed the possibility of challenging ObamaCare in court, but they're not laughing now.
The House vote is the first step on the legislative track toward derailing this heinous legislation. Congress may not even end up being the route by which it is eventually immobilized. But the momentum to abolish this bill is unstoppable.

Justice Rivera-Soto Will Not Seek Reappointment to the Court

On January 3, 2011, New Jersey Supreme Court Justice Roberto Rivera-Soto advised Governor Chris Christie that he would not seek reappointment to the Court when his term expired on September 1, 2011. This announcement is the latest event arising from Governor Christie's refusal to renominate Justice John Wallace for tenure to the Court when his term ended in May 20, 2010. Breaking from tradition, Governor Christie was the first New Jersey Governor in 63 years to refuse to renominate a sitting Justice. This position was consistent with Governor Christie's campaign pledge to "reshape" the Supreme Court.
After refusing to renominate Justice Wallace, Governor Christie nominated Anne Patterson to fill the vacant seat. The Senate President has refused to entertain Ms. Patterson's nomination until May 2012, the date Justice Wallace would have reached the mandatory retirement age if he had been reappointed to the Court. Due to the vacancy caused by Justice Wallace not being reappointed, Chief Justice Stuart Rabner temporarily appointed Judge Edwin Stern (the senior most Appellate Division Judge) to fill the vacancy. Despite previously participating in cases with Judge Stern, Justice Rivera-Soto announced on December 10, 2010, that he would abstain from future participation in cases before the Court while Judge Stern sat on the bench. It is Justice Rivera-Soto's position that the appointment of Judge Stern to the Court violates the State Constitution.
After Justice Rivera-Soto's announcement there were calls from the state legislature that he either resign or be impeached. In response to Justice Rivera-Soto's announcement, Governor Christie issued a statement advising that he will not name an appointee to fill Justice Rivera-Soto's seat until the nomination of Ms. Patterson is entertained.

Mental Health Care Disparity

A few weeks ago, the Arizona tragedy renewed calls to tone down heated political rhetoric. Standing by previous arguments in favor of this action, the shooting also opened up for debate the way our country invests in mental health services. While we do not yet know whether the shooter suffered from schizophrenia or another illness, it's time that mental health takes its place on the national agenda.
Many argue against investments in these services by saying it is a private problem. Clearly it is a struggle that individuals deal with in their own way. However, tragedies like the one in Arizona and across the country demonstrate why we must take the problem seriously. Many public problems rise from mental health diseases, such is decreased productivity at work, lower participation in civil society, and in some cases even tragic occurrences like suicide, self-injury, or crime. It is an obvious investment if we are able to address these problems and prevent the negative societal effects that are attributed to mental illnesses.
Others argue that mental health is not a defined science, or that it is less important than other investments we must make. It is true that we cannot devote all our resources to the issue of mental illness, just as we could not to any other program. However, investing in projects that pay for themselves or even beyond the original investment are the types of spending we should engage in. The economic and societal benefits make mental health a top-notch investment. Envision the innovation and work potential that one fewer case of a mental health disorder could produce. A man or woman who cannot go to work, start their own business, or take care of their own family could then contribute to society after receiving the necessary services. Even if we do not entirely understand mental health treatment, the investment in alleviating these problems is well worth the initial cost.
Like other government health programs, services should be offered to those who most need them and cannot afford them otherwise. An increase in funding for mental health services would begin to eliminate the disparity between physical services and mental services, not just in the government health care system, but our overall health industry. Mental health is a service that is unaffordable for many Americans (despite the demand), rising partially from its lower availability (supply). With a substantial portion of the population exhibiting symptoms of mental health diseases, it is an investment we must make for the common good.
There are others who say that we cannot afford government funding for mental health services at this time. It is true that our budget crisis is beyond comprehension for most Americans (and especially for our politicians). But by diverting funding from wasteful programs into a meaningful attempt at reducing mental illnesses, the investment will pay off in increased economic and social output and a lower risk of tragedies like the one in Arizona.
These are seriously trying economic and political times, and any major investments should not be taken lightly. However, the investment in mental health offers clear returns for the money. This is not meant to outline a system of health care; that debate is taking place in Washington already. Rather, we need to enter into the political agenda a serious discussion about how we care for those with mental illness and begin to tackle a serious problem facing our nation today.

A New Appreciation For Partners

No president since Franklin D. Roosevelt has enmeshed himself as deeply and as quickly in the nation's economy as Barack Obama. Tonight the president will tell us he is ready to share credit, and responsibility, for the results.
It brings to mind the signs that are often posted in souvenir shops: "If you break it, you bought it."
Obama did not break the economy. The bursting of the housing bubble in 2007, followed by the financial crisis in 2008, created a toxic business environment well before he took office. But his administration's aggressive and expansive agenda of new laws and regulations, and his "us-versus-them" approach to the business community during his first two years in office, have given him political ownership of whatever happens next. The president has repeatedly signaled, since his party's "shellacking" in the November elections, that this is something he would prefer to avoid.
Obama got off on the right foot by coordinating with his predecessor's Treasury on the Troubled Asset Relief Program to keep the global banking system from collapsing. His $800 billion stimulus program was more of a mixed bag, with a lot of useless spending combined with some constructive steps, notably support for struggling state governments to keep them from immediately adding to the nation's burgeoning unemployment rolls. Imperfect as they were, these two programs created conditions that allowed the economy to begin expanding again during the president's first year in office.
If only Obama had stopped there, tonight's State of the Union address might include a report on healthy growth in output, increasing consumer and business confidence, and the prospect of better times ahead.
But the new president did not stop there. To protect jobs in the Detroit-based auto industry, he steamrolled lenders (whom he disparagingly called "speculators"), pushed a "cash for clunkers" program that called for the mass destruction of perfectly good vehicles, and dispensed billions in government money to people who, for the most part, would have bought vehicles anyway. The result was a temporary spike in car sales at the cost of needless government debt and a reduction in the nation's stock of serviceable cars and trucks. It also signaled that this president, so solicitous of those who contribute their labor to the country's progress, has much less regard for those who contribute their savings.
He reinforced this message through repeated intrusions in the housing industry. His administration's flailing attempts to keep people in homes they could not afford, or which they could afford but chose not to pay for, kept prices from reaching a sustainable equilibrium, so he likewise subsidized people to buy homes they often would have bought anyway. Housing demand evaporated along with the incentives, and the market's return to normal supply-and-demand pricing has been set back by years.
Meanwhile, Obama's team is about to miss a Jan. 31 deadline to submit recommendations on the future of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, the crippled relics of the "house prices never go down" mentality that have already cost taxpayers close to $150 billion, with no end in sight.(1)
Autos and housing are not the only industries that Obama has made concerted, if misguided, efforts to help. He has pushed initiatives ranging from solar power to ethanol to high-speed rail, all of which make much more sense politically than economically. Eager to restore American manufacturing, the president has lately become an advocate for free trade agreements (which languished in his first two years) and appointed General Electric chief Jeffrey Immelt to head a revamped economic advisory panel.(2)
But playing favorites is not a good way to engender broad confidence. Across the vast sweep of the nation's businesses, executives and entrepreneurs look at Obama and see a politician who depicts them as "fat cats." It is only slowly dawning on this president that you can't demonize people and then expect them to trust that you are trying to help them succeed.
Having fired well over $1 trillion in deficit-fueled ammunition at the economy in his first two years, the president now wants to persuade businesses to spend a lot of the $2 trillion in cash reserves they have stockpiled. Businesses, however, face an onslaught of aggressive regulation from Obama appointees, on everything from union organizing rules to the amount of ethanol in gasoline. The president's signature initiative, the health care overhaul, creates a statutory obligation for many businesses to insure their employees after 2013, while offering little assurance that insurance costs can be brought under control. He pried $20 billion from BP and its shareholders last year without any reasoned connection between that amount and the Gulf oil spill, without resolving the company's potential civil and criminal liability, and without any hint that the law gave him any right to the money.
As a president who literally talked his way into the White House - he never had responsibility for meeting a payroll or balancing a budget before running for president - Obama understandably seems to believe that he just needs to find the right combination of words and symbolic actions, like appointing a new White House chief of staff, to persuade business owners that he sees them as more than society's cash cows.
After two years in office, however, a president is measured by deeds rather than words. Obama's deeds thus far have not shown that he has any real sympathy for the creative process of building an enterprise that sustains itself through the willing patronage of its customers, rather than the enforced collection of taxes and fees.
Obama will look to set a new, bipartisan tone in his address to Congress tonight. Polite and well-reasoned political discourse is always welcome. But I don't think it is enough to persuade businesses that national policy is on a prudent, predictable and sustainable course. Oratory put Obama in the White House, but now that he is there, his actions do his talking for him.

Why They Detest Sarah Palin

You can always tell who the Left in the United States is afraid of by who they want to squash. Sarah Palin is the current favorite of theirs. Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, and Glenn Beck are also favorites. Recently, though, for four days the Left accused Mrs. Palin of inciting the Tucson massacre, and their evidence was a fairly benign map "targeting" several Congressional candidates. Then when she actually went to defend herself using a medium that was quite non-traditional - YouTube - they said she was making the issue all about her! How Catch-22 of them. Damned if she does and damned if she doesn't.
It's obvious that the Left (including the alphabet media - ABC/CBS/NBC/CNN/PBS/MSNBC and to a lesser extent FOX) is terrified of the former governor from Alaska. But why? Several reasons come to mind. I think they are terrified of her first and foremost because of her youngest son, Trig. The Left in this country and around the world would have aborted Trig because he wasn't perfect. The least tolerant among us, though they claim differently, would have snuffed out Trig's life inside the womb because he had Down Syndrome, and his parents knew about his "imperfection" before he was born. To the ardent pro-choice elitists, it was clearly the "wrong" choice for the Palins to make. To the Palins, though, it was the only choice to make.
Another big reason they hate her - and I do not use the word 'hate' lightly - is that she resonates with the American people. Period. Flyover country gets her completely. She has a relatively happy family, good life in Alaska, good career on the public speaking circuit, the backing of millions of Americans, and an opportunity to stir things up in both major political parties in America. Is Sarah Palin perfect? No. Are the Palins perfect? Again, no. Then again, are any of us perfect?
Time and again Sarah Palin has silenced her critics. Some journalists are even calling for a "Palin-Free" month beginning in February. I doubt that will last long. They just can't help themselves.

Prime Minister Gillard Deprecates the Brutal Moscow Airport Assault

It was just last year when the issue on possible terrorist assaults became a common topic in the news, in newspapers, in televisions and in the web. Because of this, travel advisories began to spread worldwide, to give warnings to people, to stay away from the danger spots or critical areas. Just recently, an incident that could be associated with the 2010 bombing threats has happened in an airport in Moscow, Russia.
Another brutal terrorist assault has occurred at Moscow airport, a terrifying incident that killed at least 35 people and wounded over 140 people. The atrocious bombing happened at the busiest airport in Russia, at the Domodedovo Airport.
Just like the other Australians, the Prime Minister Julia Gillard also revealed her condemnation on such brutal terrorist assault, which has caused death and injury to several innocent people.
In behalf of Australia, Gillard also extended her condolences to Russia, particularly to the families of all victims. To her, this incident is a manifestation of an 'appalling and indiscriminate act of violence.'
Meanwhile, the officials of DFAT (Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade) in Moscow are now working hard to find out if there are any Australians held up in the blast.
In the initial reports, many of those who were killed in the blast are foreigners including a Briton. Because of this, DFAT has recommended all concerned families and friends to attempt making direct contacts to anyone they feared might have been in the location, the moment that bombing had occurred.
The department also advised those who were not able to contact them and still hold concerns to contact the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade on 1300 555 135, a 24-hour Consular Emergency Centre.
The Russian authorities keep warning everyone on the possibility of further terrorist assaults in Moscow and in line with this notice, DFAT is advising all Australians in Russia to take precautions at all times.
Emergency hotlines are also established for all concerned people seeking information about their families and friends in Moscow.
Defense Minister Stephen Smith also commented on the incident and considered it a 'terrible atrocity', a feature of modern life.
According to an Australian man named Ben, he was just about to get into the arrival hall when the blast happened. The blast was loud and strong enough to alert everyone in the site. Many did not realize at first that it was a terrorist assault. But after the incident, Moscow authorities had confirmed that it was indeed a terrorist attack, particularly, a suicide bombing that happened.
The latest bombing incident in Moscow airport is now a buzzing issue in various news outlets -- in televisions and in the web. What happened should serve as a reminder to everyone that terrorists do exist and now on the move to spread vicious assaults in critical places, not only in Moscow, Russia but also in other countries across the globe.

Crime and Politics

The words that 'politics are the last refuge of scoundrels' is very much true in the Indian political system. There is a possibility that it might be the first home for many rather than being the last resort for many hard lined criminals. Politicians apart from a few handfuls are no longer interested in the working and betterment of the nation. Most seem purely motivated by personal greed and the harvesting of criminals under their command to cause mayhem in the country.
Criminals' behavior thrives on anti-social elements and to keep the police at bay they need politicians, who in turn are willing to oblige thee in order to use them for notorious activities such as causing troubles to the representatives of the opposition parties or creating problems in their locality of working in order to curb it off later themselves and win votes from the simple public masses. The police and bureaucrats too need political patronages in order to get decent postings and promotions, thus the core line of decisions lies in the hands of our politicians. This results in a type of symbiotic relationship amongst the bureaucrats, politicians and the police.
Organized crimes take advantage of the loopholes in our judicial and law system. The inability of the system to deal with extortion, prostitution, drug sell, gambling, illegal child labour, sex rackets and hooliganism has resulted in the proliferation of organized crime in the country.
The stated earlier the line of control lies with the politicians. If they are taken care of, the criminals won't be able to enjoy freedom nor will the tainted police officers or bureaucrats will be able to roam around freely without any tension of getting caught. The tainted politician is like the boss of the remaining two, remove the boss the subordinates will fall automatically. All across the globe strict actions are taken to detect any tainted politicians present in the system and swift actions are taken to remove them from the service immediately.
But in India these unworthy citizens of nation have a continuous tendency to jump back to power. It has been observed that many a times the corrupt politicians even after being jailed for their crimes have returned to power that too by winning huge votes often through questionable means. But India's governance is such that neither any care is taken to get rid of them nor any investigations are made. Even if any Investigation Panel is formed, it goes round running in circles for a few years and after that the case is closed.
End of the day it is the voter's decision which matters, often these corrupt politicians play with these illiterate voters' minds and cause them to believe something which is not a reality, which is a direct mockery of India's democratic form of governance. A Committee overseeing the ethics in the Parliamentary Politics should be established, and the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) should be made more powerful and directly linked to the President or the Prime Minister of the nation so that the true sons and daughters of the nation are not forced to alter their findings.

Gracious God How Sweet The Sound of Elections In Ireland

Things come to those who wait and now whoopee an election has been declared for 11th March 2011 and the celebrations have begun. Ireland and the Irish people shall collectively pray that our wee country shall elevate appropriate leadership to represent the people on the way forward towards success.
A dominant question the electorate has to consider is the level of the genuine intelligence candidates possess with the hope that they shall not be impressionable by the sudden introduction to impressive power. At least one candidate, Paul Somerville, is showing excellent aptitude indicating that if there are at least one hundred like-minded candidates then perhaps Ireland has excellent possibilities, maybe even a triumph or two or three...
Treason and terminal destruction are words being used to describe the lack luster government led by Fianna Fail and Brian Cowen and Mary Coughlan et al. A real sense of relief is tangible throughout the opposition parties and independents who are aiming to possess significant posts when the results are declared on the 12th March 2011. One thing we know for sure and that is not one single member of the government can be trusted to tell the truth as many have waylaid integrity while lying to their teeth with a smile straight into the cameras, now is that a nice thing to do to ones fellow country people or what.
Fianna Fail may have actually reaped greater successes in election results should they have chosen to go to the polls late last year instead of it being forced upon them currently. However, as they were not willing to listen to anyone their annihilation is imminent and may the rivers not flood with their memories being washed away to oblivion.
Freefall followed by farce is how today's events have been described and this is a consequence of a group of people, the government who are delusional behaving with erratic incomprehensible actions. Now normally when someone is behaving thus so they would be prescribed to undergo psychiatric evaluation but when politicians behave thus so we are helpless to do anything. Thankfully in this case anyway Fianna Fil are in coalition with the Green Party and an election has resulted and now we shall plan ahead with enthusiastic vigour.
Fianna Fail like the Catholic Church have proved they are a law into themselves thus they decline to listen. Moral considerations and propriety are attributes not present within any member of government because none have said in public about their disapproval of any behaviour approved by the cabinet. In essence then all the current government representatives have nailed their own coffins shut because of their pack of loyalty to the people who elected them.
Ireland has the best potential possible to draw a new line in the sands of change before the tide washes away the damages of the current government. It is necessary that all eyes will be paying absolute attention on the candidates possessing the most relevant attributes thus the electorate shall elect according to common sense instead of misplaced loyalty.
These are the facts: a) over 150 billion in debt; b) over 100,000 emigrating over the next two years unless changes invoke job opportunities. C) 455,000 unemployed and growing. D) Lack of confidence in future economic success within the near future. E) The political system is a sham and in fact it is in an abominable state. F) The banking system is in a similar catastrophic situation and if we desire to improve our credibility on the world markets we have to address all the shortfalls without exception and desist with putting those changes on the back burner. G) The tax system has so many loopholes it is like a sieve requiring more than a band-aid to eliminate those loopholes that are not conducive to a thriving economy.
Now on the plus side we have a) exports are on the increase continually thank God. B) Growth is projected to be quite positive but it is riding on the successes of the export trade.
With all these things in mind we have an idea of the capabilities Ireland requires in order to squirrel away the debt and restore confidence on the world wide stage. Irish politicians need to remove their heads from the dark side where the sun does not shine and allow enlightened illuminating wisdom to weigh in eliminating high unemployment and other crisis that are dragging us down into the continental shelf.
PS: Vincent Brown on TV3 was interviewing two representatives of the government and his line of questioning induced such fiery responses especially from Conor Lenihan giving rise to a question what is he hiding that caused such an angry response. Oh, what webs we weave when... and so on and so forth and something about apples not falling far from the tree ahem..maybe he did not the association of the tree. Actually by losing his composure he proved he lacked the leadership qualities that are the hallmarks of outstanding leaders. Oh well!
PPS: is it possible for other subjects like Dil reform and Public Office compensation reform to be included as subjects to be voted on in the forthcoming elections. After all why elect people who are going to be excused soon after the new government assumes office that is of course based on the premise that they are actually serious about reform.

Obama's Catch-22's

The essence of the inescapably insane logic confronted by Capt. Joseph Yossarian in Catch-22 was that if he didn't want to be killed he had to be sane and since he was technically sane he had to continue to insanely risk his life. Catch-22′s in the Obama administration may not necessarily involve life and death situations but they are nevertheless comparably insane.
Under duress from the new, business-friendly Republican majority in the House and from one of his nemeses, the United States Chamber of Commerce, the business-unfriendly president has ordered a review of regulations that place "unreasonable burdens on business," regulatory burdens the USCC has labeled a "tsunami."
So far, so good. Less government always means better government, as Jefferson believed.
Then, lest he erode his leftist support which would much prefer the government control and conduct all business in America, the president dropped his catch-22 executive order bombshell which seeks "the right balance." That balance between the tsunami of government regulations and a free market would necessitate more government regulations.
While vowing "to remove outdated regulations that stifle job creation and make our economy less competitive," which overlap and are "just plain dumb," he also admitted that new regulations will be needed to, umm, regulate the lack of regulation.
Why it has taken Obama over two years to notice that stifling, overlapping, and dumbness wasn't made very clear.
President Obama's Democrats, the reputed Party of the Common Man, which just happens to have far more common man multi-millionaires in Congress than does the aristocratic Republican Party, always have our common backs and they clearly had our backs and homes in mind when they were dealing with the banking/mortgage crisis.
As reports, "In February 2009, the Treasury Department announced that by modifying troubled home mortgages-i.e., reducing the monthly mortgage payments to 31 percent of their gross monthly income-the Home Affordable Modification Program (HAMP) would help 3- to 4-million homeowners who were experiencing trouble paying off their home loans."
Again, if we overlook the feds' further intrusion into America's banking after largely causing the mortgage crisis, all well and good.
Then comes that ever-pesky catch-22. The government giveth and the government taketh away: "Under President Obama's program intended to help struggling homeowners avoid losing their property, more borrowers have had their trial reduced payment loans cancelled than have received permanent modifications, according to the Government Accountability Office."
Some tedious but pertinent stats of the many incorporated in that CNS report: "From the beginning of the federal program in April 2009 through November 2010, 1.4 million loan modifications had been made under HAMP on a trial basis, the GAO said. However, of those, 729,000 trial loan payment reductions were cancelled. Fewer than 550,000 were converted to permanently modified loans."
The inexorable bottom line: Most, not all but most, of those mandated mortgage modification offers were extended to people who had bought houses on the cheap. The bitter truth is that, for the most part, they were people totally unqualified as yet to buy into the American Dream of home ownership.
They had foregone the requisites accepted by many Americans of repetitive franks and beans and some personal deprivations in order to save for a home of their own in large part because Barney Frank and Chris Dodd had deemed them "entitled." Obama elaborated on that entitlement by effectively ordering banks to give them another shot at the prize.
Catch-22′s are fairly common in life and we all are Capt. Yossarians on occasion. However, when government gets involved in "Gotchas!" by over-regulating our lives and making promises it can't fulfill it leads to confusion and anger-which may be the ultimate goal of the Obama administration.

Jon Huntsman's Potentially Potent Presidential Candidacy

Republicans considering a run for President are slow to make anything official. Each one is eyeing what the others are doing. With the exception of Mitt Romney, Tim Pawlenty, Gary Johnson, Fred Karger, Herman Cain, and even Rick Santorun, more than a dozen others are considering how the possible candidacies of people like Sarah Palin, Haley Barbourand Mitch Daniels, could effect their own chances if they ran and determining whether they will run or not run.
A handful of others like South Dakota Senator John Thune, and Texas Governor Rick Perryare waiting till all the dust settles in an attempt to see if the field finally assembled contains a solid candidate that has a real shot of beating President Obama. If no such clear fronrunner appears, they could be banking on shifting the focus to them with a late entry into the race. One name that fits into this category and could throw a monkey wrench into the plans of everyone else is Jon Huntsman.
The former Utah Governor turned Ambassador to China is a deep pocketed statesman with an ability to hammer together an attractive campaign and the resources to finance it. He brings to the table a level of experience that few others in the emerging GOP field can attest to.
Some figures like Mitt Romney have been traveling abroad trying to enhance their foreign policy credentials. Sarah Palin is planning a trip to Israel in the near future. Others like Haley Barbour have been highlighting his state's negotiations which have attracted foreign corporations to set up shop in Mississippi. But John Huntsman need not work hard at trying to pump up his foreign affairs experience. Not only is he currently the diplomat charged with maintaining relations with China, one of the most important and consequential players on the international stage, under President George W. Bush, he was the ambassador to Singapore and before that, under President George H. W. Bush, he was a U.S. trade representative specializing in Asia.
These three experiences help provide Huntsman with almost unsurpassable credentials in a number of critical foreign matters. In the eyes of many, including President Obama who called upon him to be Ambassador, Huntsman is considered the single most knowledgeable public figure on China in the nation. Such knowledge can make him uniquely capable of positive global influence. Think that is an overstatement? If you understand that the United States and China are the world's two greatest economies, have the world's two largest militaries and are the world's two largest energy and carbon users, you can begin to see that Huntsman's experience, knowledge and Asian relationships do indeed afford him the opportunity to address challenges that have global impact.
In addition to having some very close ties to, and intimate knowledge of, an area of the world where China plays a critical role in regional stability among imp[ortant players such as Japan, and North and South Korea, as a former trade representative to the region, Huntsman also has invaluable experience and knowledge in an area of great economic importance to the United States. The burgeoning Asian markets offer the U.S. a challenge that we must meet. In 2008, Mitt Romney's campaigned on the issue. He consistently stressed the importance of insuring that we remain competitive enough to tap into the fast growing Asian markets and economy. If anyone has a leg up on this issue of great economic importance, it is Jon Huntsman.
But moving off the International stage and in to the domestic arena, here too Jon Huntsman has accrued a record that demonstrates an ability to effectively address the problems and hot button issues that we face here at home.
During his four and a half years as Governor of Utah, Jon Huntsman established a reputation as the nation's most popular governor. Almost a year after winning reelection to a second term, and accepting President Obama's appointment as Ambassador to China, Huntsman left office with a remarkable 86% approval rating. Even Democrats were sad to see him leave office. On his last day in office, David Litvack, Utah's Democrat House Minority Leader, said of Huntsman, "I think it's a day that is, in some respects, very solemn, Litvak added, "To lose a type of leader like Gov. Huntsman, even as he goes on to great things in his new position, is definitely a loss for the state of Utah."
In just the first two years in office, Huntsman had already achieved major tax reform, reduced the state's sales tax on food and brought about a reduction in the income tax rate to a mere 5 percent. Other significant accomplishments included a focus on economic development by recruiting new business and talent to Utah while also growing those businesses that already existed. This led to a booming economy. The Governor also turned Utah into a state with a booming tourism industry. In the area of education Huntsman produced record levels of funding that were used to provide future generations with an education that emphasized early learning and training in growing industries like engineering and technology.
Putting together Huntsman's pro-business and low tax record, with his trade and foreign affairs experience, as well as his ability to appeal to Democrats and the fact that he can claim a certain level of bi-partisanship as a Republican playing an important role in a Democrat Administration, and what you have is a candidate who is well positioned to run a campaign that could appeal to much of the American electorate. Indeed many conclude that President Obama tapped Huntsman to be the envoy to China in an attempt to avoid having to run for reelection against him in 2012.
But if Jon Huntsman chooses to take a ride down the road to the White House, he will find that the first few miles will be quite bumpy. While Huntsman could do well in a head to head match up with the President, getting to that point by winning the Republican nomination may not be that easy.
While the former Governor remains popular in his state and even has him beating long serving Utah Senator Orin Hatch in a hypothetical primary, he has taken some positions which even Utah Republican are uncomfortable with. Shortly after he announced that he would not be seeking a third term as Governor, he came out in support of civil unions, something he opposed when he first ran for Governor in 2004. He also came out in support of measures that allowed two unmarried, co-habiting adults to sign joint-support declarations to gain inheritance rights and medical-decision making rights for one another. In addition to that, Huntsman lent his backing to a bill that outlawed employment and housing discrimination for gays, lesbians, bisexuals and transgender people.
Of course the rise of the TEA Party movement could possibly help Huntsman here. For the most part, the TEA Party movement is less concerned with bedroom issues and more concerned with getting the government out of the bedroom. If Huntsman can tap into such support from an infusion of TEA Party voters in Republican primaries and caucuses, he could benefit by offsetting the segment focused on the controversial issues of gay marriage and rights.
Interestingly, aside from his change of mind on alternative lifestyle issues, Huntsman has claimed for the record, that the GOP needs to moderate its positions on not only gay rights but immigration and the environment as well. He claims that if the Republican Party intends on attracting young people and remaining viable in the long term, this is a must.
This could be a hurdle hard for Huntsman to overcome among the religious right base of the Party, especially in early nomination contest like Iowa and South Carolina, where the evangelical vote is disproportionately influential. And a failure to oppose any cap-and-trade-like environmental policies or a refusal to take a hard-line position on securing the border, could be the death knell of his candidacy among even more moderate Republicans.
To a degree, some of Huntsman's positions on things such as gay marriage, could be seen as somewhat Libertarian based, a factor that if he doesn't go too far to the left on immigration and the environment, could make him one of the few mainstream candidates with the ability to appeal to that base and draw some votes away from possible bottom tier candidates like former New Mexico Governor Gary Johnson and Texas Congressman Ron Paul.
But then there is still one more problem that Huntsman may encounter. It is the same one that Mitt Romney continues to have to deal with. Both are Mormons. In addition to having to deal with apprehension over his religion by a segment of voters mainly within the South, there is the risk of Romney and Huntsman splitting the tight knit Mormon vote in places like Utah and Nevada, where the Mormon vote is significant.
All things considered, a Huntsman candidacy would be potent and if it comes to fruition, it will have a profound effect on the race for the Republican presidential nomination. If he were to run, he would be formidable and even though he would face some tough challenges, competing against him will be equally as challenging for his rivals. Huntsman is warm, articulate, impressive, cordial and extremely charming. Put it all together and what you have is someone who can not be easily written off.
Right now the big question is whether or not we will be hearing news of Huntsman's resignation as Ambassador to China. Without one of those within the next 2 to 4 months, the growing field of potential Republican candidates, and President Obama, can take a sigh of relief.
Anthony Del Pellegrino is a Republican political consultant and the editor of White House 2012 and POLITICS 24/7.

Voting On Election Day: Where Do I Go To Cast My Ballot?

Your ability to vote in elections is one of the greatest freedoms that we have in this country, and choosing public representatives from a list of candidates on the ballot is something that not every citizen in the world has the luxury of doing. If you aren't a registered voter and are old enough to do so, then you should make a point of making your voice heard by taking part in local elections.
For people who are new to voting, however, the process of registering and then finding the polling place where you need to cast your ballot on election day might be a bit confusing. Luckily, almost every state in the union has made it very easy for you to register to vote, and you should have no trouble doing it as long as you are at least 18 years of age and you are not a convicted felon.
In fact, in most states it is as easy as going to your local DMV or bureau of motor vehicles to get a voter registration card to fill out. Take care, though, because in most states you are simply not allowed to register to vote on election day. There is usually a cut-off point for new registrations that is several weeks or months before election day, depending on where you live.
There are usually two different ways that you will be able to cast your vote on election day: either through the mail in what is called "absentee" or "provisional"voting, or by going to your local polling place to cast your vote in person. To find out where your local voting poll location is, contact your county board of elections, city hall or another entity with political information.
In most cases, your voting location will likely be located at a church, school, recreation center or other public venue. After you have cast your vote, tell the rest of the world how proud you are for having taken part in such a great privilege by wearing an "I Voted" sticker or bragging about it on social media sites. You'll be making our country an even greater place to live for future generations!

Top 10 Political News of 2010

2010 had been an eventful year for America. The Obama administration continues to be tested, Democrats and Republicans made triumphs and compromises, and the Tea Party Movement continues to grow stronger. Here's a review of the top 10 news of 2010.
1.  Health Care Reform is Signed into Law
Democrats spent a big part of 2009 attempting to pass a comprehensive health care reform. On March 22, 2010, they finally rallied together and the reform was passed with a narrow margin. It was signed by the President four days later. Called the ObamaCare, it is undoubtedly the most significant health care reform in decades.
2.  Sarah Palin Mania
The former Vice-President candidate has become the most visible Republican in the country. Since 2009, Sarah Palin has refined her ability to generate media attention and popularity and has become a considerable political clout. She made headlines both in a positive and negative light, and comes only second to Obama for being the most followed American politician today.
3.  Afghanistan
In 2010, America lost the lives of 497 soldiers in the war in Afghanistan. However, the story failed to gather the appropriate public attention. This news is definitely important, but it seems the significance is lost to an American public that's already too tired of the conflict and the continuing loss it brings.
4.  The Bush Tax Cuts
Amidst criticisms from the progressives, President Obama reached a compromise with Republicans to extend tax cuts for the wealthy for an additional two years. In return Obama received a 13 month extension of unemployment benefits and a number of provisions.
5.  SB1070 Controversy
After the Arizona Legislature passed the controversial illegal immigration enforcement bill SB1070 in April, the Obama administration sued the state before the new law could be enacted, contending that the legislation encroached upon the federal government's jurisdiction to control the state's pesky illegal immigration problem.
6.  The Continued Decline of the U.S. Economy's
"Jobless recovery" became a popular term around mid of 2010, but the so-called economic recovery didn't feel like a recovery at all. The federal government may infuse a lot of cash to the economy, but it hasn't done anything to convince Americans that the recession was over. A weak housing sector and continued high unemployment rate is more than enough evidence to the contrary.
7.  The High Unemployment Rate
One of the biggest top 10 news of 2010 was the continued efforts by Democrats to make unemployment benefits last, which has forced Republicans to concede extending the federal benefits plan incrementally throughout the year. In exchange, Republicans get to extend the Bush Tax Cuts across the board.
8.  Republicans Take Back the House
Republicans gained the majority in the House of Representatives. Their win in the 2010 midterm election will grant the GOP increasing power with which to barricade President Obama over the next two years.
9.  The Tea Party Movement's Influence Grows
Delaware Republican Christine O'Donnell's win in the state's Senate primary election caused everyone to consider the Tea Party Movement as a considerable and growing force in American politics. As the Tea Party continues to gain power in 2011, most conservatives believe the mainstream GOP will be forced to embrace it. If not, party leaders may very well see a shakeup of revolutionary proportions.
10.  Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill
The Gulf oil spill can't miss being in the top 10 news of 2010. Dominating the news for well over four months, it easily caused great political and economic repercussions to the whole country. The tragedy caused President Obama to face claims of inadequate response and has similarly damaged Republicans who made a number of verbal gaffes during the crisis.

Shift in Federal Housing Policy Concerns Some Advocates

The U.S. Federal Government, in an effort to help homeowners and communities hit hard by the housing crisis, is shifting some of its funding towards programs like the Sustainable Communities Initiative. The initiative is ambitious, and could potentially benefit a number of communities, but some housing advocates worry that rural areas will receive little or no help.
The Sustainable Communities Initiative has a three-pronged approach: energy, housing, and transportation. Grants are awarded for sustainability plans that increasing public transportation access, provide affordable housing, and reduce energy consumption. The overarching goal is "to better connect housing to jobs," according to the HUD website.
It sounds like a great idea, and many communities are already vying for the $100 million in grants that will be awarded through the program. But rural communities and low-population areas like Vermont have discovered that they just can't compete. The regulations and standards of the Sustainable Communities Initiative are hard for rural areas to meet; these areas may have excellent plans for developing sustainable communities but they don't meet median-income or population density requirements.
The Sustainability Initiative requires applicants to include plans for mixed-income/mixed-use communities. The plan has to include, among other things, affordable housing. Lower overall population (in places like New Hampshire) means a lower poor and low-income population, making adherence difficult.
Similar concerns have been voiced about the Neighborhood Stabilization Program 2. This program sought to address foreclosure problems, and many low-population areas simply didn't have the foreclosure numbers needed to qualify, despite the fact that foreclosures are at an all-time high.
HUD Secretary Shaun Donovan has pointed to rural innovation funds included in his department's budget as evidence that HUD programs aren't biased towards urban areas. But that's little consolation for developers, local government officials and community leaders in rural and low-population areas. Nor does it provide much comfort for residents who need help getting into or keeping a home.

New York's New Housing Marketplace Plan

In 2003, New York City's Mayor Bloomberg announced the creation of the New Housing Marketplace Plan (NHMP), the goal of which is to make at least 165,000 affordable housing units available by 2014. Some of those units will come from remodeled, existing structures. Others will come from projects like Hunter's Point South, which is - so far - the most ambitious project undertaken as part of the NHMP.
Plans for New York City's largest housing development project since the 1970s are moving forward. The project is called Hunter's Point South, and it includes a total of 3,000 housing units.
The New York City Department of Housing Preservation and Development released a Request for Proposal late last year for several phases. The first two sites to be developed will include a new school, about 22,000 square feet of retail space, lots of parking, and about 1,000 housing units. About 600 of those units will be affordable housing for families with incomes ranging from $63,000 to $130,000 (for a family of four).
Until last summer, the 30-acre site being used for Hunter's Point South belonged to the New York State Economic Development Corporation. Several plans for developing the site had been considered and scraped over the years until it was finally purchased by New York City for $100 million. Previous plans included making it the site of New York's Olympic Village for the 2012 Olympics. Unfortunately, the honor hosting the 2012 Olympics fell to London, England.
The site was being prepared for construction at the end of last year. Development of the infrastructure is expected to start early this year.
To date, the New Housing Marketplace Plan has resulted in the creation of over 100,000 affordable housing units and is considered one of the most effective in the United States.

Temporary Income Tax in Illinois

When does the madness stop or is it just starting?  The Illinois State Legislature is playing Obama Poker with their citizens.
I have family members in Illinois that will be affected by the proposed massive tax increase passed by the state House of Tuesday, January 11, 2011. Individual income tax is expected to increase to 5% from 3% and corporate tax to 7% from 4.8%. (For all those who cut Algebra class, that's an additional $1,000 tax on $50,000 income.) I believe this is expected to be a "temporary" tax increase to help the state get out of a $13 billion deficit. It is expected to pass early today in the Illinois Senate. Maybe my family will finally decide to move closer to home?
Living in Pennsylvania I am well aware of "temporary" tax increases. One of our most publicized taxes is the Johnstown Flood tax in response to the 1936 flood. It was created to help clean up and aid the affected flood victims. Initially the tax imposed a 10% duty on all alcohol sold in the state. In 1963, the tax increased to 15% and then 18% in 1968. Additionally, we also have to pay our state sales tax of 6% on top of the Johnstown Flood tax. Approximately 75 years later, the "temporary" tax collects around $200 million annually that goes into the general fund. It is no longer used to help the victims of the flood. I am curious though, how many of the victims affected by the Jamestown flood are still alive today?
If I was a descendent of the Jamestown flood victims, I would demand restitution to get what is rightfully mine. Why not? It's not my fault that my ancestors choose to live on a well-known flood plain especially since it only happened in 1894, 1896, 1907 and 1924.
Good luck, Illinois. There is nothing "temporary" about tax increases. Learn to cut spending and take a serious look at the growing entitlements that risk bankrupting your state. Just to let you know, Governor Brown (D) of California is proposing to extend the "temporary" sales and income taxes and cut services to help get them out of their own entitlement quagmire. I suppose that California will be playing Obama Poker soon too.

New Jersey Legislation May Eliminate Council on Affordable Housing

Last year, a New Jersey State Senate bill was adopted that would accomplish two things: 1) abolish the state's Council on Affordable Housing (COAH), and; 2) eliminate affordable housing requirements. Supporters of the bill say COAH rules are too complicated and haven't increased low-income housing like they're supposed to. Housing advocates, however, say both the regulations and COAH itself are needed to ensure adequate housing is developed in the state.
Numerous lawsuits regarding COAH regulations have been filed over the years; the result, many people say, of regulations that have become too complicated. In 2008, COAH adopted several "third round rules" including the calculation used to determine how many affordable housing units were required in any particular municipality. An Appellate Court ruling on last fall struck down 22 of those rules. Opponents of COAH say the ruling proves that the Council has become ineffective and cumbersome to housing development.
The primary complaint against COAH rules is that its low-income housing ratio requirement drives development, rather than development guiding the regulation. Each year, COAH tells municipalities how many affordable housing units they're required to develop, based on a variety of factors. Once those figures are released, developers are allowed to build market-rate and affordable units at a four-to-one ratio. The rule doesn't take into account over-development or overcrowding issues.
The battle over COAH and New Jersey affordable housing rules has continued into the new year. The New Jersey legislature recently approved the bill abolishing COAH, but Governor Chris Christie has said he will veto it. No final decision has been made regarding COAH or New Jersey rules regarding affordable housing development.

Oldham East And Saddleworth By-Election Result No Cause For Alarm

The Oldham East by-election result is not a reason for the Coalition to panic.
Many people will recall that shortly after Tony Blair came to power in 1997 with a landslide a by-election was held in Uxbridge West London.
The Conservative party who had just kept the seat at the general election saw their vote increase by some 7%.
As a pointer as to what may happen during the course of Parliament or at the next general election it was,meaningless, as at the next general election held four years later in 2001 Labour won rather convincingly.
If anything can be learned from political history it is simply that one should not rely at all on the outcome of a by-election particularly one which is held very early in the history of a parliament.
The succesful labour result at Oldham East and Saddleworth has been interpreted by many as confirmation of the choice of Ed Miliband as the party leader.
The result for Labour is that it retained a seat that it had won at the General election, a defeat would have been an utter disaster, but this result does not in any way secure Ed's leadership in exactly the same way that the Uxbridge result had not secure the leadership for our current foreign secretary William Hague.
Liberal Democrat Elwyn Watkins failed to take the Oldham East and Saddleworth seat, despite the sitting Labour MP Phil Woolas having been disqualified for lying about his opponent in the 2010 General election.
The Labour party election campaign was supervised by the Shadow education secretary Andy Burnham, who stated that Ed Miliband's decision to visit the constituency three times was a a determining factor for the victory.
Andy Burnham stated "While Ed was in the hills in Saddleworth, Tory ministers were on the skiing slopes in Klosters". Well I think he may be referring to George Osborne the Chancellor of the Exchequer and to be quite frank if I had his problem in sorting out the mess left behind by 13 years of Labour gross financial errors combined with their light touch of regulation of the banks I would be taking a well earned holiday as well!
Whilst Andy Burnham is sniping at Tory Ministers he fails to elucidate on the whereabouts of The Hon Member for South Shields Ed's brother David. There have been many suggestions that David Miliband may become the vice chairman of Sunderland Football Club.
Miliband senior has started a Limited liability company "The Office of David Miliband Ltd" following in the foot steps of Gordon Brown who with his wife has formed "The Office of Gordon and Sarah Brown Ltd" this all looks like people who have no real interest to serve their constituents but to use the gift of being in Politics to make money and gain influence from their various connections that they made whilst in power and that of course is what Tony Blair has been doing.
It has even been suggested that Miliband senior has approached the BBC with a number of programme ideas for Television. I do not know what titles he may have in mind but I suppose one could be "The Brothers" or a variation on those lines.
Michael Portillo made a good move into Television after he lost his seat in 1997 but he has real Gravitas and Charisma unlike the Miliband Brothers who appear to be more like androids than a TV personality or indeed a Prime Minister in Waiting!

Ireland Recuperation and Healing

Now that Brian Cowen of Fianna Fail has approved the election in March 2011 Ireland has an opportunity not to live with an open wound any more. Yes, there is a humungous amount of anger but it shall not serve us to allow that anger to go out of control like a brush fire. 'Deliver me Lord from lying lips and deceitful tongues.' Psalm 120(119):2.
It is now time for Ireland to grow and put the damage behind by listening to the prescription of achievements already under our belt and how we may expand on them to achieve even more abundant glories. We have been whipped and down trodden before and we have always triumphed thus all this recent history just means we were caught napping and trusted the wrong people.
Now that we are aware of how not to do things let us listen to people like Paul Somerville and others like him awaiting in the wings for their voices to be heard. For us though we have to make political Ireland bigger than the noise of previous governments. We have to listen to our global partners and find out what works and what is needed then we go ahead and build accordingly.
Of the numerous unemployed skilled workers lining the queues, we have to figure out a way to navigate their expertise into other spheres, and while the transition may not be immediate, it shall assure longevity of employment. When small farming was no longer viable for many families to survive on, people diversified. When cottage industries had to close, we diversified and now we shall diversify again. We have a brilliant export market to sustain us and build upon so come now let us wear our thinking hats and commence creating.
Alternative energy is one area where we may reap the rewards of employment that is required for our hungry workforce and it means we have to be open to the myriad avenues encompassed within the alternative energy genre. We have an excellent climate for algae production and through decades of research already accomplished, we do not have to start from scratch.
With oil prices rising like a tsunami it shall behoove us to investigate the full throttle of possibilities of alternative fuels because gasoline or diesel at €1.38 per litre is unsustainable in any economic climate. We have the potential to produce fuel at less than €1/gallon if we hop aboard the alt-fuel train right now. This is not a pipe dream it is based on sound research of tried proved and tested methods, it does work.
We necessitate independence from the oil producing countries and with algae production we may attain that freedom. Not only that, but we have the benefit of sister industries similar to the spectrum of possibilities that traditional oil enjoyed. Electric cars are fine and dandy for small journeys and with the ready availability of petrol and diesel from algae, we need not be overly concerned about losing the automobiles and other automotive industries that comprise our current economy.
We know because of technology the global wind market is set to propel by 155% to 2012 but the magic of wind will not save the millions of jobs that depend on oil derivatives. One cannot hold energy in ones hands and say well now let me think what can I make today from your resourcefulness?
Hmmm the answer would be nothing and so in order to prevent mass unemployment and a worse depression than we have ever known we need an alternative. Thus to debate the inconsistencies of alternative energy without offering a clearer solution would be a superfluous waste of time and so it shall benefit us to investigate the successes others are reaping from algae.
Under optimum growing conditions, macro and micro-algae are reported to produce over 165,243/litres/hectare/year on non-competing agricultural land. If you scale that to the demands of Ireland it would equal total freedom from fossil fuels while contributing to employment on a grand scale.
Healing of societal woes shall be commensurate with the confidence our government induces within the population thus if employment through alternative industries is enthusiastically embraced the healing process will be sooner rather than later. Let us pray that divine providence shall guide our electorate who has received sustenance through enlightened canvassing. Let the prayers continue with the process by electing those officials who showed the most promise. God bless!