Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Think, don't panic

The term "influenza" refers to illness caused by influenza virus. This is commonly also called "flu", but many different illnesses cause "flu-like" systemic and respiratory symptoms such as fever, chills, aches and pains, cough, and sore throat. In addition, influenza itself can cause many different illness patterns, ranging from mild common cold symptoms to typical "flu" to life-threatening pneumonia and other complications, including secondary bacterial infections.

Uncomplicated influenza gets better with or without treatment, but may cause substantial discomfort and limitation of activity before getting better. Complications of influenza can include bacterial infections, viral pneumonia, and cardiac and other organ system abnormalities.

Use of antiviral drugs does not eliminate the risk of complications, and some complications can be life-threatening. In addition, influenza viruses can become resistant to specific anti-influenza antiviral drugs, and all of the drugs have side effects. My son, Karel caught a virus when he was a year old, it was hemophalus influenza, that caused a bacterial meningitis. During the illness his life was in danger, but the drugs used to cure him, caused lasting neural deafness and epilepsy.

I think we should take normal precautions, but review the panic response of the 1976 epidemic and the rush to vaccinate. More people died and suffered paralysis from the vaccine, then from the virus. Only 1 person at Ft. Dix actually died from the 1976 swine flu epidemic. Check out the Natural Remedies as well, and the stuff your Grandma used to tell you about washing your hands, sharing utensils, plenty of fluids.

Common Sense

If there's one thing that Audacity lacks, it's common sense. Who schedules a photo op of a jetliner escorted by fighter jets over Manhattan, post 9/11? Who keeps floundering banks and companies afloat with money borrowed from taxpayers who are facing foreclosure and layoffs themselves? Who starts a policy investigation on torture when you still have soldiers in harms way? Who passes massive new entitlement programs during the beginning of a depression? Who refuses to answer basic questions of identity, eligibility, college and service background when running for the highest office in the land? What have we, the People gained by the TARP and stimulus money being spent? What have we, the People gained by investing public money into GM and Chrysler? Shares have dropped 93% of it's value, brands and plants are discontinued, layoffs are happening, and they may still file for bankruptcy and not pay any of it back. What kind of idiot economists are supporting this? How can we undermine the current intelligence agencies or focus security forces on policy skeptics?

Won't it be fun to watch how Merrill Lynch, BofA and treasury conspired to defraud the shareholders and the taxpayers by misrepresenting values and transaction details?

What is wrong with these people, that they aren't accountable to anyone? This unholy alliance between the banks, wall street, unions, fringe left groups and elected officials has got to STOP!! This is criminal, fraudulent behavior, and it's being perpetrated by those who've been given our trust. This has to be investigated, criminal charges need to be filed, and they need to be put out of office!

Had we been more protective of the free market, there would be no talk of bailouts. So, really... what's the worst thing that could happen if we would have let the banks fail? People would be losing money; international banks would be hurt; foreign countries would be angry at us. Did $700B stop any of that? Wait, which people lost money? Were they protecting a specific GROUP of people? Didn't George Soros say this was great for him personally? Who else has benefited? Let's follow the money in and out of the war chests of our elected officials. I would like some heads to roll.

Friday, April 17, 2009

H.R.1586 - A Blatant Abuse of Power

I'm upset with all the bailouts. It's obvious to me that Washington politicians, banks and wall street have a special relationship that is being preserved through these bailouts to banks. I'm convinced that international bankers needed to cut their losses and pressured Washington to underwrite the bailout. There is no reason for Americans to put up with this. Free markets are free to succeed and fail. The regulations that needed to be in place to protect individuals from fraud didn't exist, so Main Street is left to take their losses and start over, but Banks who perpetrated the outrageous risky paper gets a pass... that is unacceptable.

It's also obvious in the latest AIG fallout, regarding bonuses, that they were allowed in the original legislation. That's a shame, but further proof that unholy alliances exist in Washington. Senator Dodd should be recalled for changing the wording in the legislation that allowed it. However, in typical response to getting caught cheating, congress now wants to publicly fix this, and they come up with a new TAX.

H.R.1586: To impose an additional tax on bonuses received from certain TARP recipients.

This to me is worse than the first mistake and is a blatant abuse of congressional power, to change the tax code to go after AIG bonuses. Regardless of the fact that Senator Dodd changed the legislation to ALLOW these bonuses; regardless of the fact that public sentiment is outrage over the AIG bonuses. What I don't get is that these REPUBLICANS in the house FAILED to see the unconstitutionality and the blatant misuse of power... they voted in favor of the bill. It's obvious we can't trust either party to uphold the constitution. Maybe we need to send them all pocket constitutions.

I recognize a few people here, and I thought they were conservatives. I guess that's not enough to ensure that they might also be defenders of the constitution. I'm convinced that I may never vote a major party player again. IF they represent you, you may want to ask them what LAW did the AIG executives break? and, what part of the constitution gives them the authority to go after a specific group of people using the TAX CODE.

Rep. Robert Aderholt [R, AL-4]
Rep. Rodney Alexander [R, LA-5]
Rep. Joe Barton [R, TX-6]
Rep. Judy Biggert [R, IL-13]
Rep. Brian Bilbray [R, CA-50]
Rep. Gus Bilirakis [R, FL-9]
Rep. Roy Blunt [R, MO-7]
Rep. Mary Bono Mack [R, CA-45]
Rep. John Boozman [R, AR-3]
Rep. Charles Boustany [R, LA-7] - abstain
Rep. Henry Brown [R, SC-1]
Rep. Virginia Brown-Waite [R, FL-5]
Rep. Vern Buchanan [R, FL-13]
Rep. Ken Calvert [R, CA-44]
Rep. David Camp [R, MI-4]
Rep. Eric Cantor [R, VA-7]
Rep. Anh Cao [R, LA-2]
Rep. Shelley Capito [R, WV-2]
Rep. Bill Cassidy [R, LA-6]
Rep. Michael Castle [R, DE-0]
Rep. Ander Crenshaw [R, FL-4]
Rep. John Culberson [R, TX-7] - abstain
Rep. Geoff Davis [R, KY-4]
Rep. Charles Dent [R, PA-15]
Rep. Lincoln Diaz-Balart [R, FL-21]
Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart [R, FL-25]
Rep. John Duncan [R, TN-2]
Rep. Vernon Ehlers [R, MI-3]
Rep. Jo Ann Emerson [R, MO-8]
Rep. John Fleming [R, LA-4]
Rep. James Forbes [R, VA-4]
Rep. Jeffrey Fortenberry [R, NE-1]
Rep. Rodney Frelinghuysen [R, NJ-11]
Rep. Elton Gallegly [R, CA-24]
Rep. Jim Gerlach [R, PA-6]
Rep. Robert Goodlatte [R, VA-6]
Rep. Brett Guthrie [R, KY-2]
Rep. Dean Heller [R, NV-2]
Rep. Walter Herger [R, CA-2]
Rep. Timothy Johnson [R, IL-15]
Rep. Walter Jones [R, NC-3]
Rep. Mark Kirk [R, IL-10]
Rep. Leonard Lance [R, NJ-7]
Rep. Thomas Latham [R, IA-4]
Rep. Christopher Lee [R, NY-26]
Rep. Jerry Lewis [R, CA-41]
Rep. Frank LoBiondo [R, NJ-2]
Rep. Donald Manzullo [R, IL-16]
Rep. Michael McCaul [R, TX-10]
Rep. Tom McClintock [R, CA-4]
Rep. John McHugh [R, NY-23]
Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers [R, WA-5]
Rep. John Mica [R, FL-7]
Rep. Gary Miller [R, CA-42] - abstain
Rep. Candice Miller [R, MI-10]
Rep. Jerry Moran [R, KS-1]
Rep. Pete Olson [R, TX-22] - abstain
Rep. Thomas Petri [R, WI-6]
Rep. Adam Putnam [R, FL-12]
Rep. George Radanovich [R, CA-19] - abstain
Rep. Dennis Rehberg [R, MT-0] Aye
Rep. Dave Reichert [R, WA-8] Aye
Rep. David Roe [R, TN-1] Aye
Rep. Michael Rogers [R, AL-3] Aye
Rep. Harold Rogers [R, KY-5] Aye
Rep. Michael Rogers [R, MI-8] Aye
Rep. Dana Rohrabacher [R, CA-46] Aye
Rep. Thomas Rooney [R, FL-16] Aye
Rep. Peter Roskam [R, IL-6] Aye
Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen [R, FL-18] Aye
Rep. Edward Royce [R, CA-40] Aye
Rep. Paul Ryan [R, WI-1] Aye
Rep. Jean Schmidt [R, OH-2] Aye
Rep. Aaron Schock [R, IL-18] Aye
Rep. John Shimkus [R, IL-19] Aye
Rep. Christopher Smith [R, NJ-4] Aye
Rep. Lamar Smith [R, TX-21] Aye
Rep. Mark Souder [R, IN-3] Abstain
Rep. Clifford Stearns [R, FL-6] Aye
Rep. Patrick Tiberi [R, OH-12] Aye
Rep. Michael Turner [R, OH-3] Aye
Rep. Frederick Upton [R, MI-6] Aye
Rep. Greg Walden [R, OR-2] Aye
Rep. Zach Wamp [R, TN-3] Aye
Rep. Rob Wittman [R, VA-1] Aye
Rep. Frank Wolf [R, VA-10] Aye
Rep. Donald Young [R, AK-0] Aye
Rep. C. W. Young [R, FL-10] Aye

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Tax Day Tea Parties

I wholly support the tea parties that are being organized all over the country this year. The next biggest tea party day will be tax day of course, and I assume there will be more civil protests near the 4th of July.

Although these are grass roots protests, the first, following the chatter inspired by Rick Santelli’s magnificent rant and the support it inspired. Most of the organizers are being cautious about being partisan and some aren't allowing any politicians to speak or use the occasion as a forum. I think the goal is to find the core of what we believe, and none have done it better than Glenn Beck and Fox News. They'll be attending 4 tax day tea parties in Sacramento, the Alamo, Atlanta and Washington DC. I'm hoping also that we can have some real discussions about our 'core' principles that can beyond the tea parties and lead to some real reform.

What would real reform mean, and can people be as united on the basics? For me real reform isn't just band-aids on the status quo. We the people, really need to form a more perfect union. Did you know that one president tried. President Reagan's effort to re-establish the proper role of the federal government through this Executive Order on Federalism was revoked in 1998 by Bill Clinton's new EO 13083, which largely re-justified the excessive unconstitutional role the federal government has assumed since the time of Franklin Roosevelt.

Can we, after this massive outpouring of patriotism, really rally behind..individual liberty, the restoration of constitutional limits on government and the judiciary, and the promotion of free enterprise, national defense and traditional American values? If we can, we may not be happy with any of the two party candidates.

What next? I think it's important that if we can find solidarity on individual liberty, the restoration of constitutional limits on government and the judiciary, and the promotion of free enterprise, national defense and traditional American values then we have a chance to impact the direction of our government in the next election cycle. The problem, finding candidates. The GOP and the Libertarian Party has attached itself to many of the tea parties. Will we find enough candidates to replace congress and make change?

Friday, April 10, 2009

Reason & Religion

I love Ayn Rand. As a witness to communism and a defender of Democracy and Capitalism, there is no greater voice. Christians may not understand her objectivism, and her foundation tries to argue religion vs reason with Reason winning, and religion being an evil. I don't really argue with that either, since I'm not a very religious person. Consider this, a writing about Objectivity.

Objectivity is both a metaphysical and an epistemological concept. It pertains to the relationship of consciousness to existence. Metaphysically, it is the recognition of the fact that reality exists independent of any perceiver’s consciousness. Epistemologically, it is the recognition of the fact that a perceiver’s (man’s) consciousness must acquire knowledge of reality by certain means (reason) in accordance with certain rules (logic).

This class of theories holds that the truth or the falsity of a representation is determined solely by how it relates to a reality; that is, by whether it accurately describes that reality. As Aristotle claims in his Metaphysics:
"To say that [either] that which is is not or that which is not is, is a falsehood; and to say that that which is is and that which is not is not, is true"

I still don't disagree with that, and wish that secular scientists would remind themselves of it a little more often. I often tell my grandchildren that what they believe doesn't matter, there is a truth that is true whether you believe it or not. Belief in something doesn't make truth more true, nor can it make a falsehood the truth.

To me, reason was how I determined what was true, faith is my belief in what is true, and religion is how I choose to live out my faith. (again, I'm not a very religious person...so I don't live out as close to my faith as I would like, but that's not to be confused with double-mindedness.) To do less would be living a lie. (yes, yes, I'm often guilty of that, too, but it in no way is a reflection of what I believe.)

That brings me, however to the objectivist. A reasonable case for atheism in that the ONLY basis to determine TRUTH is observation and reason.
This means that although reality is immutable and, in any given context, only one answer is true, the truth is not automatically available to a human consciousness and can be obtained only by a certain mental process which is required of every man who seeks knowledge—that there is no substitute for this process, no escape from the responsibility for it, no shortcuts, no special revelations to privileged observers—and that there can be no such thing as a final “authority” in matters pertaining to human knowledge. Metaphysically, the only authority is reality; epistemologically—one’s own mind. The first is the ultimate arbiter of the second.
By their own admission there are shortcomings to this. By definition they build a box of rules that won't allow for "special revelation" and they claim that the only authority is "reality", but what they mean is man's perception of reality, because let's face it if you don't have all the facts, then it's logical to think that you may not stumble upon the truth, let alone the whole truth. By their own definition of reality, they limit truth to their perception of reality.

I find it almost amusing and in direct conflict with Aristotle's simple statement. If you want to be bound by the limitations of the human condition and put yourself in a dark box, it would be easy to see why they'll never be illuminated. Their reality will remain dark and box like. I don't choose to limit my understanding of things to the human condition.

Truth is truth whether you believe it or not, on that we can agree.