American Kings  

Posted by LibertyCast in ,

Recently Hugo Chavez, President of Venezuela, has become electable an infinite number of times as a constitutional referendum has removed limits to the terms served by their presidential office. This has attracted a lot of attention due to his authoritarian nature. Historically, presidents in the same situation (eg, Saddam Hussein) have coerced, fear mongered, and even killed for votes to stay in power. Regardless of ethics this is a reality there and now.

But what would this have to do with America?

Nothing directly. But now, though unlikely, we may find ourselves in the same position. Rep. Jose Serrano D-N.Y. filed H.J. Res. 5. If this is passed then it will repeal the 22nd Amendment to the US Constitution making presidents electable to an infinite number of terms.

Thomas Jefferson warned that presidents not bound by term limits could use their popularity and power to become kings. We found this come to fruition with Franklin D. Roosevelt who served 4 terms! Is was through this that it is that the 22nd Amendment cam to life. We finally found out what this would mean.

With this ponder the following: 4+ terms of George W. Bush or now likely 4+ terms of Barrack Obama. If you are not a member of the standing party how will you feel with your voice being muffled for more than a decade or even a lifetime?

It is not surprising that this was filed after Barrack Obama won the election and a Democrat was in office, but this does not make it a right decision. If you would not want lifetime power of a Republican then it is equally not fair to present opportunities for Democrats. Just as we saw an empire of Bush between two members non consecutively we could see an empires out of Obama or the Democratic party in general. It has gone from being referred to the House Committee on the Judiciary and now lies with the Subcommittee on the Constitution, Civil Rights, and Civil Liberties. And now we wait from here to see what happens. I have faith that this will not come to life and will not pass.

However, if you do not want to see this do not lay quietly about it. Call your Representative and speak your outrage! Hold their re-election dependent on voting Nay if necessary.

For more information on this bill go here.

The Monthly Trivial 3  

Posted by LibertyCast in

Martin Mull: Not Just a Comedian and Actor!

Martin Mull is well known for his acting roles and especially as a comedian, but this is actually not how he got his start...

He took his education through to his Masters in Painting at Rhode Island School of Design (in affiliation with Brown University).

In recent years his art has been featuring throughout the United States and touring from museum to museum. His art works have featured at the Figge Art Museum in Davenport, Hammer Gallery in Chicago, Rena Branstern Gallery in San Fransisco and many others.

Marting Mull has an interesting and particular style. It is very reminiscent of the likes of Norman Rockwell yet uniquely bizarre and satirical in its own sensibility, critiquing modern culture. It is unfortunate there really isn't an official home for his art over the internet which could be easily accessed by all, but it can be found here and there on some gallery sites.

Check It Out At:
Rena Branstern Gallery
Hammer Gallery
Beitzel Gallery
Samuel Freeman Gallery

This Stimulus is Moving Through  

Posted by LibertyCast in ,

The stimulus package as many have already seen in the news is that it is filled with pork (or unnecessary ineffective spending), and in many ways this has been very true. It is also in the unfortunate side of politics' nature. If someone or some group is not on board bargaining mechanisms come into play in an attempt to buy someone's vote, and a lot of times this will mean that you might have the opportunity to see something you want thrown in with the bill. Under the current market conditions we are driving up the debt, and printing more money to compensate, we are devaluing the dollar and risk horrible inflation in the near future.

Economists are torn on this bill in whether it will be effective or not. The problem with this package is that we are increasing the debt on a gamble. If we don't stimulate the economy with spending it will be hard for it to turn around. The issue being confidence. Companies have lost confidence and are afraid to invest. Some at this time are willing to invest but in our condition some is not enough. Until the motive is there to invest this is going to be a rough ride.

One option for this to occur is is to let these bad businesses who made bad decisions fail. If they fail and go bankrupt they will be forced to consolidate. This consolidation will open the door for new businesses to compete in the market; recreating a competitive market will give hope back to the economy and will provide incentive to invest.

To aid in this tax incentives are a smart move. To provide tax breaks will encourage investment into the economy. In our current market we need to restore confidence before this will be effective. Bailout with billions hasn't been effective as the money is not being spent, and tax breaks will not be effective until competitive conditions occur. So again tax breaks are a very viable option to aid the economy though it is no more viable than a debt building bailout in a volatile marketplace. We have to restore economic confidence.

A Note On the Stimulus From Ron Paul:

Official Info On the Final Bill *UPDATED*:

The Final Official Bill here.

The Official Financial Assestment here. (This is not but official CBO documentation.)

Mortgage Crisis Following Up  

Posted by LibertyCast in ,

Well where should I get started?

How about that our economy is still doing bad and that banks are also doing bad, and it is questionable if and when they are going to get better. Now in a fiat based economy there are always ups and downs and it feeds on both, and in the process the market will change and businesses and laws both may also change.

So how did the market crisis get started?

Back in 1986 Congress passed law that barred interests deductions buying for individuals and families on anything other than home mortgage interest. This is code USC 26 Section 265. Now, this would be fine if they stopped with 265(a). However, they continued with 265(b) which is where they created the exception. This over time has been the beginning of bad mortgage buying habits as it became the tax preferred method for borrowing money. There is more to it than that as many options with first-time home buyer loans have encouraged the buying of loans that one could afford over time and getting loans for bigger homes that one could afford comfortably.

Now for the current problems in the banking industry. Credit Default Swaps. CDS's are essentially insurance, but through legal wording an arbitrary and unstable situation has been created. To give loans there needs to be protections, a backup in case an investment goes bad. This is where insurance has always kicked-in in the past, but to have insurance there has to be liquidated assets to cover it, as required, by law. This was seen as particularly advantageous to banks and other institutions as they did not have to have a liquid pool of money just lying around with this and could do elsewise with the money.

Here's the real kicker. Bad mortgage buying habits + no money to cover bad investments = companies pulling straight from assets to stay afloat and thus falling out from under themselves.

So this is where it has lead us. Granted Credit Default Swaps have extended beyond mortgages as it lies in almost all loan investments now, but this is a broader topic for another day. Now the question begs where do we go from here? Well they gave 800 billion to this already and economists are divided whether it will work or not. The reasoning is that if we give them money they can invest it and restimulate the economy. The problem is that confidence in the economy has been lost and the money may remain reserved in fear rather than being invested out of principle. It also doesn't help that these same companies such as Wells Fargo who have taken 25 billion of that and prepare for an elaborate trip to Vegas for its top loan officers (who could have likely been the ones issuing these bad loans). Since the public outrage Wells Fargo has withdrawn from these reservations and have called the trip off; I'm sure that we will still see more of this in our future.

So to fix the issue, USC 26 Section 265 must be ratified. It has encouraged BAD buying behavior and this needs to be corrected. Rating agencies have also been a problem here as they have been giving out better ratings than the property warrants. One solution (even though unappealing) is to allow these rating firms to be able to be sued by the issuer for negligence. These rating agencies have been too comfortable and too easily seduced due to legal protections and so something must also be done here. Granted law suits are not a great answer, however short term this will lead to either them going out of business really fast or pulling out of complex securities and simply not investing in them. This short term will at least "patch" this situation in the current crisis we are under. It is not a wise long term solution, but one of the better short term "patches" until proper mending can be devised and enacted.

Unlike many will claim and want you to believe. Deregulation has not been the problem here. It has been a combination of both government regulation and government oversight. Government oversight can be bad behavior as we have seen recently, but it has nothing to do with the deregulation of policies. Not watching and reducing control are two separate matters. What we could use as I've already talked about is the deregulation of the fore mentioned policy.

And to the prospective home buyer. Do your research and collect second opinions. Don't jump into a loan without educating yourself first and being sure you are making a wise decision. Check other agencies, look at your budget with an accountant, or even take your proposals to a real estate lawyer for review. Don't jump into any decision as dedicated as this without making a well rounded assessment of your situation and loan proposals at hand. In this current economy it is much better safe then sorry; even if you have to save and pay for a few other services to check things out beforehand.

Here is a statement made recently by Ron Paul which I find truthful:

In Memory of Abraham Lincoln  

Posted by LibertyCast in

Today is the 200th birthday of President Abraham Lincoln.

This post is in remembrance of him.

To the man that stopped a secession of the US, gave us the 13th Amendment, and other great acts of Constitutionalism such as upholding Section 9 of the US Constitution during the Civil War (proper function of habeas corpus).

Happy birthday Mr. Lincoln.

Political Parties And Your Ideology  

Posted by LibertyCast in ,

Well in response to the last post this is a good place for a follow up. So let's bring up your ideology, what it means, and which parties associate with your ideals.

First take the World's Smallest Political Quiz by The Advocates here and come back.

...Now that you've take the quiz let's look at what it means:

Government Style
Right (Conservative) = Limited Economic Regulation & Increased Social Regulation.
Left (Liberal) = Increased Economic Regulation & Limited Social Regulation.
Centrist (Moderate) = Balanced Economic & Social Regulation.
Libertarian = Limited Economic & Social Regulation.
Statist (Populace) = Increased Economic & Social Regulation.

Note that Populace views are likely the most common form of Statism in the US. An example is the State of Iowa: Iowa favors both Conservative social regulation and Liberal economic regulation. This is do to the strong traditional Christian values throughout the state as well as Agriculture and Production work that is very predominant as well. This is also why Iowa is a "swing" state as they will vote for the party that sides strongest with the issues they are most concerned with at the time.

US Political Party Examples
Republican Party (GOP) = Right/Centrist
Democratic Party = Left/Centrist
Green Party = Left
Constitution Party = Right
Reform Party USA = Centrist
Libertarian Party = Libertarian
Nazi Party USA = Right/Statist
Socialist Party USA = Left/Statist
Independent = Varies

So where did you score then on the quiz?
Do you feel that it represents your ideals fairly?

Taking this information if you want to know more about the example parties, listed, and their specific views on issues here are the sites you can find them at:

Republican Party (GOP)
Democratic Party
Green Party
Constitution Party
Reform Party USA
Libertarian Party
Socialist Party USA

Nazi Party USA (The LibertyCast does not promote, nor condone, the acts and views of Nazi Fascism.)

Independent (Independents do not have a unified site as they are independent of any party.)

Anarchism (Anarchism is another view as well. It is not displayed through the views of the quiz above. It's closest relative is Libertarianism, but this is not correct either. Libertarians want limited government while Anarchists want no government. If you took the quiz and you answered as Libertarian as possible though you feel this may not fully suit you, as you do not want any government at all, then you may be an Anarchist. Learn a little more about Anarchism through Wikipedia here.)

Genopolitics: Nature? Nurture? Both?  

Posted by LibertyCast in

This is an interesting concept and study that is being done. I was lead to this by a professor who was at Rice with the latter mentioned professor. These studies are being executed by John Alford. Others are doing these studies as well, but he is a key leader in its current development. I am not going to say much here at this time but I encourage anyone interested to look further into the sources listed below.

So the question goes... Is it nature or nurture? Are our political ideologies predisposed or not? I personally believe a bit of both: Nature sets the course and Nurture is how we choose to ride through the course.

Take a look and develop your own opinions...


It's a Day of Celebrations  

Posted by LibertyCast in ,

February 1, 2009 and it's National Freedom Day which is celebrated for the United States democratic ideals.

This holiday is celebrated February 1st in remembrance to the same day that President Abraham Lincoln signed the 13th Amendment to the Constitution of the United States.

And it's also that NFL Championship Day (XLIII) that cannot be named outright due to copyright and trademark laws. The Arizona Cardinals face the favored Pittsburgh Steelers, and honestly if I had to make an estimate on the wins I would favor the Steelers 10 points over the Cardinals for the win.

Have fun everyone!

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