Home again

I am thrilled to be back at CHB. Put down your rocks; politics is no longer my focus for survival.

My background is simple and at an early age, walked away from the family religion and I took a long hard look at their political positions too. In those days both political parties had firm agendas and it was a simple matter of choosing the party of individuals over a party of the masses. Today the government has taken the authority to choose for us that which we find impossible to understand.

There appears to be no one position on any subject that is agreeable to Americans. This is not new but today we have the ability to state our opinions. In my opinion CHB has the ability to offer our opinions rationally and politely. It took me years to understand the value of this offer.

Is CHB apolitical or multi-political? Richard Kane asked this question and I would like to use it if I may to open discussions on how we all can help understand the mess we all see today.

Veterans Health Care is a top priority and should be discussed with suggestions on how to bring this problem to a close. Our own health care problems are too expensive and there should be two opinions on how to approach the situation. We are a partisan Government with one side taking a look at the other before we explode into wars on the streets.

We have no input on how we handle the wars in the Middle East. Our representatives are running for reelection and are all over the place on what is the right and rational thing to do. I fear we are too late to even try for a Constitutional government and it will be up to the next generations to either pull us out of the status quo or give up and allow the giant Corporations and Banks to give us what they decide.

Our work begins at home and here at CHB.


  1. almandine

    Hey Jim –

    Argumentative is not the worst moniker I can think of and it’s I guess just the price I have to pay for being data-driven. Identifiable cause and effect is my goal. The difference I see between us is that I’m more libertarian… I would indeed get rid of much govt… but increase the voice, activity, and responsibility of the citizenry in compensation. We do indeed need to start over with govt if we ever are to have a chance at liberty and prosperity again. The current system will continue to enslave us more and more as we go. The problem is that there are few that can think big enough to unleash us from our morass.

  2. Jim C

    Sandra Sandra Sandra , you always refer to ” the government ” as if it’s some foreign entity that’s dropped out of the sky ! My dear Sandra , it ain’t , it’s us , like it or not we elect these statesmen or clowns , depending on your poiint of view . If we don’t like what their doing then we vote them out , a least that’s the idea . The problems begin when totaly self interested , selfish or just plain corrupt individuals or special interests infiltrate the system and distort it in their favor . The present tax system is a perfect example . Everyone complains mightly about the length and complexity etc as if it’s some proof of governments incompetence . The reason the tax code is so complicated is because special interests have been using their bought and paid for access to write it in their favor for years . The answer is to keep private and corporate money out of the system period , the government should represent the electorate which is the majority , not a small powerful minority as it does now . Shrinking the peoples voice yet futher is certainly not the answer . That is unless the question is how best to install a feudal system . The idea of simply turning multinationals loose to work their free market magic is just nuts . At least if we hate what the government’s doing we can head to the polls and vote the bums out . Once you allow these corporate powers to take control you have no such option . Most of the horrors you refer to in the second half of your post are the result of religious fanatics , the powerful military industrial complex etc , not a representive government , the dismantling of such is the problem . Sandra , Orwell was discribing fascism , not a democratic republic . what he invisioned was true unbridled corporate fascism , or ” Atlas Shrugged ” , the sequel if you will . As far as the financing we now spend 51% of our budget on the military . We spend more on the military than every other country in the world combined , perhaps we could cut that in half . We would then have a military that is only the size of the ten next largest countries , I believe we could fend off Canada and Mexico with that , don’t you think . We could also emulate the rest of the modern world and get the profit motive out of our healthcare system , that might help also . Do you really believe that getting the government off the backs of corporate power by yet futher deregulating them would be a good idea Sandra , really , do you ? If you do reread Orwell again , then think about what the picture he’s painting describes ( hint ) it’s not a representive democracy . Oh , as far as Almandine and myself agreeing , oddly enough we generally do . I think he’s just argumentative , but I’m sure he’ll disagree .

  3. Jim C

    This is great , so nobody knows who is responding to who or what ? If there is such a thig as a classic thread , this is it .

  4. Sandra Price

    I have done some thinking about this subject of corruption in our government and in our corporations. The core of the corruption comes straight from our Congress. Many of our corporations gained from paying the members of Congress for favors that allowed the corporation to gain in government contracts. It also allowed the Wall street honchos to run over the laws set by the Securities Exchange under Federal control. It is deeper than that but let’s discuss how we clean up the source of the problems.

    It is more than time for the voters to take a stand against this Congress accepting money from corporations and changing laws and contracts for their benefit.

    This has gone on long enough. We cannot ask congress to change their operations as it has become so spread out over the system that creating new laws has become redundant.

    At this time the Congress is eager to write more laws controlling the people than themselves.

    griff, you are correct and the corporations/congress must be stopped before all small businesses are sucked up into the mess.

    The voters are the only solution to this destruction of America. I had hoped the internet would be the tool for correction but it followed the anger of the people and became an arena instead of a tool.

    CHB has remained above the fray and we must work as a team to work against the corruption. Both political parties are consumed with fund raising from the corporations and there is the problem. Voting for one party or another simply changes the labels, not the source of corruption.

    Has this become so out of control that only a third party can stop it? If we don’t do something, it is all over folks!

  5. griff

    And how do those corporate titans prevail but through government proxy?

    Until 1999 there was no such things as derivatives or collateralized debt obligations. Our government created them, or more accurately they legalized their creation at the behest of Wall Street.

    Before 1992 we were an industrial superpower. With the passage of NAFTA and GATT – once again a product of corporate lobbying – our industry has been decimated and moved offshore.

    Our government and corporate power are one in the same now. There is no distinction between the two.

  6. Kent.Shaw

    I think it is the nature of governments in general to gradually usurp more and more power for themselves, and finally they become the rulers of the population rather than the servants. We reached that point in this country decades ago.

    Kent Shaw

  7. curmudgeon

    An alternative?
    A third party, or none of the above vote on the ballot to allow for secession. Sovereign States, for convenience of government structure.
    A return to confederation.
    The legal and physical infrastructure is in place.
    Federal Government for monetary and defense, possible, but not necessary.
    Simple, and power to the people.
    All without destruction, anarchy or violent revolution.

  8. almandine

    I think you must be responding to me, so look again. I replied above to Jim, not you. And no personal attack either. I talked about the size of govt and free markets. How could that attack you?

    Nor did I say anything about investors following rules. No bomb dropping and no running.

    Maybe you’re arguing with Jim?

  9. Sandra Price

    All right, then explain what you mean when attacking me on a downsized government. Or do you want the government to have only half the size? twice the size? I would agree with you that the people who own the corporations and those who invest in the corporations cannot follow the rules. What is the answer?

    Our capitalism is over. The Corporations and Board of Directors have no claim in honesty or integrity so do we end up buying our products from foreign nations? I’m more than willing to learn from both of you on what would be the best way to make our products home and invest in them for a profit.

    Don’t drop a bomb on me and run away….

  10. almandine

    “You are both united in the belief that our government needs the control over the people to play honestly.”

    NO! You misread my posts Sandra.

  11. Sandra Price

    Jim and Almadine. You are both united in the belief that our government needs the control over the people to play honestly. I do not! I had more respect for the American people to make their own choices and decisions but America has changed.

    We now have women selling their little girls to a prostitution ring. The little girls end up dead and the mother dissolve in tears. There are too many of these cases reported for me to believe that woman actually love and adore their own children.

    I see the religious right marching to keep their own sons and daughter in a war that wins nothing for either side. These are nothing but human sacrifices for some God who demands we destroy Islam.

    The America of today is a sewer of revenge, destruction and cutting others. There is no way in hell that America can suddenly be honest, ethical with even a hint of the common good.

    You tell me how much government you two want and how you plan on financing it. Building a large government will issue new laws that come directly out of George Orwell. That is our future. Does this please you? It horrifies me!!

    How many more prisons will you insist on building before you see a Tyranny develop?


  12. almandine

    I’ll go you one better Jim and use a crystal-clear example from our own history: The Panic of 1819, another war-driven, real estate bust spawned by monetary devaluation and cronyism.

    Analysis of that event (America’s first great economic crisis) doesn’t directly address small v large govt, as such, although our govt then was miniscule by comparison with today. It does have to do with governing, however, and allows outcome comparisons of deliberate govt inaction in response to that crisis with the active responses by govt to the Great Depression and this current govt-botched economic fiasco. It is instructive regarding the ability of govt to make fiscal matters better or worse through “doing something or nothing”.

    A short book with the title, The Panic of 1819, authored by Murray Rothbard (who also wrote America’s Great Depression), fully recounts the history and provides insightful analysis.

    I don’t drive by, Jim, but sometimes it doesn’t take long to get the whole picture.

  13. Jim C

    Sandra , so you don’t believe the federal government should be involved in collecting taxes for the over all good of the community and upkeep of the commons , just curious ? You do understand that the dishonest government you speak is generally the result of lack of regulation and the influx of private money and influence . You are correct about the 18th amendment to a point . But the 18th was implemented while we were at war pushed by a group of puritanical zealots , the guys were none to happy about it when they got home . The amendment and the Volstead act were both shoved down our throats by religious fanatics who took advantage of the turmoil . It was repealed by the 21st amendment showing that the will of the people will eventually be served by representive government , our drug prohibition should meet the same fate . It’s also hard to ” take control of our own lives ” if the heel of corporate greed is planted firmly on your families throat , history proves that repeatedly . It isn’t your government that is a threat to your family Sandra , it’s the forces of callous greed and corporate tyranny that are attempting to usurp it with the power of wealth and privilage .

  14. Jim C

    You’re correct Almandine , small government is easier to control , by the corporatists and would be aristocrats that is . That is exactly why said groups lobby so mightily for just that . What you poor misguided small government let the markets rule types don’t understand is that when such a system is in place greed and self interest for the rich and powerful rules and the public interest is non existant . As far as your commment about being easier to hide misdeeds in a bucket , again , correct , it’s much easier for big business and big money to hide their misdeeds if they are a haystack and the government is the needle . All one has to do to understand that point is look at what happens when regulatory agencys are cut and shrunk in funding and scope . Perhaps you could actually offer a counter to my point rather than vague ideological drivel about my missing it . So I’ll be waiting patiently for some actual examples of just where and when such a system of small government versis big business has ever been a utopia for the public interest . Please explain how my ” history of free markets ” misses the point since I wasn’t aware I gave one , I simply offered a couple of examples which most people are both aware and can relate . Would you like more ? I’ll tell you what , I’ll give you examples of where your hands off , small government ( or rather corporate controlled government , because that’s to where such systems evolve ) ideology has failed miserably if you will give me examples where it’s been a smashing success , P.S. I won’t be holding my breath . I would be glad to engage you in actual debate Almandine , but how about some facts we can actually discuss instead of your usual drive by comments .

  15. Sandra Price

    No Almandine, those of us who want a downsized government to not want a dishonest government. Many were raised to take control of our own lives and contribute to others who have problems. The first attempt that the government took control came with the 16th Amendment and the 18th. We are talking about IRS and Alcohol Prohibition. The voters shrugged at these Amendments and ignored the power they handed to Big Daddy. We handed the government control over our income regulations and our consumption of booze.

    In a million years, I would not have thought my government would be a threat to my family. Possibly other Americans want and need this control but I speak for those who do not.

  16. almandine

    To rail against people who want small govt is not to ratify that they want dishonest govt. The point of limited govt is that it’s easier to control, i.e., you can’t hide misdeeds nearly as well in a bucket as you can a pond.

    As for your history of free markets… it misses the point as well.

  17. Sandra Price

    Carl, your research is invaluable. I have preached on survival for nearly 50 years.

    My problem is to identify the enemy. I’ve always looked at the government as being a source of importance to keep an eye on. I am not a conspiracy person but I keep seeing the conspiracy of others wanting our freedoms and what little wealth is found.

    I distrust the GOP for their social demands and they represent a nation not made for me. The Liberals seem less offensive but are not what they claimed to be.

    Leadership quality is what we need and you sound good at analyzing our problems.

    Would it be possible to start all over with a new agenda?

  18. Jim C

    It appears to me that it’s multi national corporations , the mega wealthy and big business in general that have taken away our authority to choose by buying up and corrupting the government . What seems to be misunderstood by small government let the market rule advacates is that the government is us . If you shrink the size and scope of governments ability to balance and control the selfish and preditory nature of the unregulated market you digress to the dog eat dog law of the jungle . Throughout history when business interests and greed have been allowed to rule the day it has been a disaster for the citizenery . Only when the people rise up and say enough to corporate and plutocratic domination is the governments role of being the voice and advacate for it’s citizens restored . This has been shown from the French revolution to our own revolution . Most don’t understand mostly because of selective historical memory that the Boston tea party was a revolt against The East India company which was in bed with the British throne . It was the corporate powers in Britain who lobbied for unfair tax , trade and industrial policies with the colonies , that was the impetuous for the revolution . The British royal family had a large financial interest in the East India company and thus served their interests , early fascism at work . We have a similar problem today , to see this one only has to check who’s buying our politicians and what their getting for their money . So no , small government isn’t the answer , honest government that isn’t bought and paid for by special interests is .