Monday, October 13, 2008

Weak Presidents Equal Dead Americans

When America elects weak or perceived to be weak presidents the results are either direct or indirect attacks on Americans, American interests overseas or attacks on the homeland and America is about to elect the least qualified President in modern times.

The first major attack that changed the world came when Iranian fundamentalists realized that President Carter had thrown the Shah of Iran under the bus and left him high and dry. Not satisfied to just overthrow the Shah, they went further than Carter expected and seized the US Embassy changing American policies in the region for decades to come which included supporting Saddam Hussein and providing him with chemical weapons and financial support so he could defeat the Iranians.

President Clinton was the next weakest President to come along and almost immediately after watching President Clinton order the immediate withdrawal of US forces from Somalia in the wake of a perceived battle field loss now known as Black Hawk Down, Al Qaeda was formed and began attacking American interests in America (World Trade Center 1993, Saudi Arabia (Khobar Towers 1996, Africa (Kenya and Tanzania 1996, twin bombings of US Embassy’s) and the Middle East (Yemen 2000 attack on USS Cole) all of which resulted in 54 American dead, 1081 US wounded, 246 local nations dead and 4372 local nationals wounded. It’s clear today that President Clinton’s failure to respond aggressively motivated Osama Bin Laden to escalate and order the planning and training necessary to implement the attacks now commonly referred to as 9-11.

It should be noted that the planning and authorization of the plan and the implementation of the training program began before President Bush was even nominated by the Republican Party. The controversial election in 2000 and President Bush’s perceived lack of foreign policy experience ensured that the final attack plan would be approved in March 2001. What Bin Laden didn’t expect after 8 years of being ignored by the Clinton administration was the massive and overwhelming response. The fact that American interests have not been successfully attack in any meaningful way since September 11th 2001 is a testament to the changes in America’s posture and continued offensive actions around the world and proof positive that groups like Al Qaeda can only be dealt with by force of action and not words and rhetoric.

The polls are telling us that with 3 weeks to election-day Senator Barrack Obama is going to defeat Senator John McCain and become the least qualified American President in modern history in the middle of 2 major ongoing wars and an economic crisis at home. History tells us that our enemies will use this opportunity not to reward us with kindness but will at the first chance they get seek to attack us both at home and abroad.

While there are some very obvious threats awaiting the next President in the form of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars, the seemingly never ending on again off again North Korean nuclear program, Iran’s nuclear ambitions, Israel and the two rival Palestinian factions and a cranky Venezuela there are also several other major threats developing that the next President will surely have to deal with.

First we have a growing Asian giant in China, which is quickly becoming an economy powerhouse and is moving quickly throughout Africa to prop up dictators and elected dictators to secure oil and mineral resources needed to continue to grow at record paces all the while upgrading their militaries equipment and skill sets to a level that may soon be able to compete with the west.
Russia is awash with oil wealth and a new found sense of nationalism that seems to have invigorated the sleeping bear that was Russia in the late 90’s and first few years of the new millennium. Recently Russia began to assert itself by announcing military exercises with Cuba and Venezuela and the reequipping of Venezuelan military. They’re also poised to ink a deal Bolivia to upgrade their militaries hardware and provide trainers. Russia has been testing missiles and also selling large amounts of weapons and ammunition to African countries and former breakaway republics that are less than thrilled with the amount of time and effort democracy and the free market economy take.

Israel may be a wildcard that cannot be bought off with some Patriot missiles or Apache attack helicopters when Iran gets closer to having either a nuclear weapon and or a delivery system. The Israeli Air Force has already been training and rehearsing a preemptive strike similar in nature to the one launched in the early 80’s against the Iraqi’s to destroy a reactor and the recent strike against the Syrians to destroy a nuclear production facility.

With so much on our plate now and the potential for even more world instability in the coming years America needs to not only think long and hard about electing an inexperienced President but also an ideologue that believes that appeasement and negotiations will bring peace while recent history clearly tells us otherwise.

When America elects weak presidents American die, it’s that simple.

Saturday, October 04, 2008

What politicians won't say about the Mortgage Meltdown

What the politicians won’t say to you about the mortgage meltdown is simply that it’s your fault. Plain and simple, it was your fault, but they can’t say it because you not only don’t want to hear the truth, you want to be appeased not to mention that whenever a politician (normally mistakenly) tells them the God’s honest truth (after he’s roasted in the MSM) you turf him out of office.

Let’s look at this mess and go back to the beginning…which for me is found in the late 90’s when the Democrats came up with the idea of helping poor visible minorities move to the middle class by making it easier to buy a home. The idea being that the white middle class was developed in the late 40’s or early 50’s when people began to buy a home as their bedrock investment which has ensured that when these folks die their children who are also in their own homes can pay them off and pass along the profits to their kids and so on and so on. Seemed like a good idea on the surface but what began as a responsible program demanding 10% down with sufficient proof of employment and an appropriate formula that lets you know what size of mortgage you can safely handle quickly began to drop off the safeguards, the down payment dropped from 10 to 5 to 0%, then came sub-prime rates and finally interest only payments.

Now I’ll conceded that the sales people that were selling these mortgages played into the greed of the people buying them by ignoring their real economic situation and provided them with larger mortgages than was responsible to do so, but why were these people looking at 2500 sq foot homes at $400,000 when their personal situation clearly showed a starter home was appropriate and that’s where we really got off track. Up until the late 80’s people seemed to understand that you started out with a small home, a used car (just one per family) and unless you got your furniture as a wedding gift you only bought what you could afford, but then came the large furniture box stores saying don’t pay a cent for a year and people loaded up with the best of everything.

So what really happened? Why is this a crisis, because people got greedy and tried to hit a home run with a nice house, 2 cars and the best electronics and furniture while putting all the costs off and ignoring the idea of putting a little aside each month so when the time came they pay off the majority of the expenses. The doubled down on the housing market maintaining the greatest growth rate in history and were shocked when the bubble popped as ever other bubble has popped in market history.

Politicians need to get out of the way and stop using the private sector to play their social engineering games (read Congressman Barney Frank). The reason so many white middle class families came out of the 40’s is because they used the GI bill effectively and worked their way up. It wasn’t a hand out, they fought and they were rewarded.

Today’s generation wants the big handout without doing the heavy lifting and the democrats looking for votes played them with false promises. I have no problem with helping visible minorities get a leg up and own a home thus helping them move their families slowly up the economic ladder but it has to be within a proper framework. A minimum of 10% down, the rest insured by a government agency (you pay a premium folded into the mortgage payment) and a formula that ensures people only get a mortgage based on what they can pay back. It does no good to provide the illusion to people that the market can save them if they can’t make their payments it does no good to trick them into believing they can have a Cadillac when a Chevy will do. It’s time to demand that people become accountable again. Stop blaming the politicians for your ills and start taking responsibility for you. They can’t fix what you broke nor can they honestly talk about it if they believe they’ll get fired for telling the truth.

More regulation is not the answer, more personal responsibility is.