Thursday, December 24, 2009
I hope all of you have a wonderful Christmas and New Year.
Don't worry, I will be back to give them Hell in 2010. Until then, stay safe and enjoy the time with your loved ones.
Monday, December 21, 2009
Maybe the White House will text the hosts tomorrow morning informing them to deny this report
As a side note, what does it say about this administration when the liberal Ed Schultz is complaining that the administration he supports cannot take criticism.
Hat tip to Brian Maloney
Friday, December 18, 2009
Look into my eyes, what do you see?
The cult of personality
I know your anger, I know your dreams
I've been everything you want to be
I'm the cult of personality
Like Mussolini and Kennedy
I'm the cult of personality
cult of personality
cult of personality
Neon lights, A Nobel Price
The mirror speaks, the reflection lies
You don't have to follow me
Only you can set me free
I sell the things you need to be
I'm the smiling face on your T.V.
I'm the cult of personality
I exploit you still you love me
I tell you one and one makes three
I'm the cult of personality
Like Joseph Stalin and Gandi
I'm the cult of personality
The cult of personality
The cult of personality
Neon lights a Nobel Prize
A leader speaks, that leader dies
You don't have to follow me
Only you can set you free
You gave me fortune
You gave me fame
You me power in your God's name
I'm every person you need to be
Oh, I'm the cult of personality
I'm the cult of
I'm the cult of
I'm the cult of
I'm the cult of
I'm the cult of
I'm the cult of
I'm the cult of
I'm the cult of personality
Who would have thought that lyrics written in 1988 could be so prophetic about the situation we are in now.
If you want something really interesting, read Wikipedia's entry on what the definition of a cult of personality is. It will send shivers down your spine
Monday, December 14, 2009
In an article by David Nicklaus, in the Post Dispatch, David points out the fallacy of this program backed by Lacy Clay
Rep. William Lacy Clay, D-Mo., says he has a way to bring some of the 9 million unbanked American households into the financial mainstream. He has signed on as a co-sponsor of the Bridging Bank to Recovery Act, which would set up a new type of financial institution to serve people who currently don’t have a bank account.
That’s right: a bank for people who avoid banks. Clay says in a news release that he was spurred into action by a recentFDIC report which showed, among other things, that 31 percent of African-Americans in St. Louis are unbanked. In a news release announcing his support for the bridging-bank bill, Clay says:
Until we fully address this gross disparity, minority consumers will be condemned to a life of debt, financial exploitation and little or no access to affordable credit. … Access to a bank account and financial literacy are central to financial freedom.
The bill doesn’t really explain how the new institutions will differ from credit unions, which also have non-profit status and tend to have accounts that are affordable for low-income people. Many credit unions and banks also have outreach programs to help people improve their credit scores and learn how to manage a checking account. The FDIC study found, though, that the No. 1 reason for being unbanked is anobvious one: People just don’t think they have enough money to have a bank account. That will be a tough one to overcome.
The bridging-bank bill, introduced by Rep. Joe Baca, D-Conn., requires its special-purpose institutions to have minimum capital of $10 million. It doesn’t say where the money would come from.
It seems to me that this concept ignores a basic rule of banking, which is diversification of risk. A bank or credit union with a broad base of business can afford to make an effort to servie in low-income areas. That’s the principle behind the Community Reinvestment Act. If, however, a bank is only allowed to serve people who are struggling, the bank itself is likely to struggle. If that happens, the bridging bank could become a bridge to nowhere.
Of course Clay is for it. It makes no sense and no one can figure out how it will work. Maybe he will work with his friends in the Rent to Own and Payday Loan industry to run this.
Thursday, December 10, 2009
Tina said it well, when she said
This statement really pinpoints the problem with Obama. Candidate Obama could make grandiose promises and foolishly could believe he could make them come true. Now President Obama makes grandiose promises but knows he is just being a snake oil salesman.
I have come to the conclusion that the real reason this gifted communicator has become so bad at communicating is that he doesn’t really believe a word that he is saying. He couldn’t convey that health-care reform would be somehow cost-free because he knows it won’t be. And he can’t adequately convey either the imperatives or the military strategy of the war in Afghanistan because he doesn’t really believe in it either.
Words drip like honey from his mouth when he is giving a speech. As someone who studied communications, he is a marvel to watch and listen to. That said, the trained ear knows what to listen to and how to listen. It is what he isn't saying. Much like in Obama's healthcare speech to Congress in September, he said
...under our plan, no federal dollars will be used to fund abortions, and federal conscience laws will remain in place...But what he did not say, is that I will veto any plan that is brought before me that funds abortions using federal dollars. The thing is, Obama has not created or written a plan. He is letting Congress do it all and coercing those who fight it. This way, he can get credit for healthcare reform from those who want it and blame Congress for those who are unhappy with it. He new full well that abortion would be a part of it, but he wordsmithed the speech, like any good lawyer, to be as clear as fog.
It seems to me that Obama is more worried about being a politician than he is doing the right thing. Looking at past presidents, like them or not you could say the following:
- With Carter, you had caring. He was far from the best president but he did care
- With Reagan, you had courage of conviction. Some would say he went to far to carry out those beliefs, but he had it.
- With Clinton you had feeling. Clinton really did have a passion for what he believed in. I disliked many of his policies, but you did get a sense that he was doing them for what he felt were the right reasons.
- With W. Bush you had principals. There are many who do not agree with those principals, Bush always showed integrity.
What do you have with Obama? Other than marvelous words, where is the substance of character. Will Obama's legacy be one of the ultimate politician?
Saturday, December 5, 2009
This is just one of many emails I receive. I have talked and emailed with local businessmen who are afraid to speak out against Clay and even local county officials who represent North County because as one person told me, "you are the only one covering it. Until more people start talking, no one at the Post or anywhere else is going to pick this stuff up."
I know Russ Carnahan is an easier target than Clay, but that does not mean we shouldn't try. Lacy Clay continues to run uncontested. He is able to do so, because no one is willing to stand up and show the community that he is not a representative of them. No, instead he is the child of a Congressman who was raised and schooled, mostly, in the DC area and did not come to St. Louis until he wanted to start his political career. As a politician, he has done nothing but ride on the coattails of his father and pretend to take care of his constituents, when in reality he is doing nothing but trying to suppress them. Why not go after both Clay and Carnahan? If we can show the community that Clay is vulnerable, someone will take the chance to run against him and have a chance at winning. Let's not just give up because it is hard.
I know I will continue to go after any politician, Democrat or Republican, who does not represent the people and continues to do things in their own personal interest. Is there any other blogger, reporter, or commentator who is with me?
Sunday, November 29, 2009
I just wanted to let everyone know I am going to be taking a break for a week or so. I want to spend some time with the family as well as rebuild my PC and load Windows 7 (wish me luck).
I will jump on if anything big breaks, but in the meantime enjoy your loved ones and the season. Remember all that is good and do not get caught up in the commercialism of the Christmas season.
I will be back soon.
Middle Class Joe
Tuesday, November 24, 2009
- Albert be penalized next season by being allowed fewer strikes with each at bat?
- opposing pitchers have a larger strike zone against Albert so it was more fair?
- Albert be forced to let the opposing team know when he was going to steal a base so they have a better chance to pick him off?
- Albert be forced to share his bonus he gets from winning the award with other teams that do not have award winners?
- other teams force the Cardinals to make Albert sit out at least 1 game per series so they have a better chance to win?
After all, Albert worked hard to become the unanimous MVP choice for the National League. It is only fair that his hard work be held against him so that opposing teams have a better chance to win when he plays.
Of course, that is not the case. In baseball, much like many sports, each team is given a set of rules that they must follow. Those rules are applied equally, no matter the team or the market size. Some sports have a salary cap, others penalize those who spend too much. At no time is success punished. In fact, those teams and individuals who work hard, are rewarded with various awards and trophies. What happens then, other players and teams work hard so they can reap similar accolades. The teams that try hard and win are rewarded by their fanbase when they purchase tickets, jerseys, etc.
When it comes to business men and women, it seems like those that achieve are penalized. The current administration and Democrats want to excessively tax those who succeed. They want to make the people who work hard and are succesful, pay for those who don't. Rather than reward those who are succesful with tax breaks which stimulate growth for the individual business but the economy, they want to burden them with more taxes and forced benefits. Throw on top of that the desire by some to force unionization, which drives up costs and lowers profit. Why would anyone want to succeed?
Maybe the government, especially the Democrats, need to take a page from professional sports and set the rules and then but out.
Sunday, November 22, 2009
I sat here this week, working on some research and watching the news. Constantly I would ask the question why? Why does the government see fit to punish the successful? Why does the government see fit to reward the lazy? Why does the government meddle in affairs that have nothing to do with them? Well, you get the point. These were questions that poured through my head as I researched our local politicians and some of their positions. This past year, it has been getting bad at an exponential rate. Then last night, I saw the Senate and how they paid off one senator to reach the necessary 60 votes.
After seeing and hearing all of this, I thought to myself, is it time for Atlas to shrug. Is it time for those with wealth to go on strike? Would the government finally get the answer if they did? Next year we have another set of elections and I look out our current candidates and wonder, is this it? Will these men and women do what is right for us, or for them? Will they do what is right to create smaller government or will they kowtow to those that will not and do not have or attempt to offer anything to business or society?
Over the past few weeks, I have taken to reading the comment sections of some articles on websites such as ABC.com, USAToday.com, NYTimes.com, etc. I have seen comments made referencing Atlas Shrugged that almost seemed like communication from one another. Maybe it is already happening, or maybe it is just people trying to make a point. I don't know. What do you think?
Thursday, November 19, 2009
The USO has setup a program for soldiers overseas to get pre-paid phone cards. For a small donation, you can help the USO give a soldier a 30 minute or more pre-paid phone card. This is a worthwhile cause that is well worth the money.
Please click HERE and give what you can. What better way to give thanks to those men and women overseas than let them talk with their families back home.
Friday, November 13, 2009
I then saw that Lacy Clay was adamant that this amendment not pass and wondered why. As I always do, I began investigating this and what I found floored me. What I am going to talk about here is a lot of educated speculation and leans on multiple sources here, so come along with me if you will.
Based upon current population models, it looks like Missouri will lose a representative. Now, this is where the state politics of this get interesting. If Missouri loses a representative in the house, the state legislature and governor will redistrict the state. If you look at the state government, you have a GOP controlled House and Senate and a Dem Governor. Historically speaking, this type of split tends to lead to favoring incumbents and keeping historical strongholds. For more information on this, I suggest you Google redistricting as there are some very interesting sites out there (As a side note, I found that there are some people whose hobby is to create formulas and create redistricting maps. This is where I was able to get a lot of my information).
Based upon some of these models, if Missouri were to lose a representative in the House, all things seem to indicate that the one to be removed would be the current 3rd district. Based upon the models that some people are coming up with, Lacy Clay and the 1st district would expand out into more of the county and south city eating up part of the 2nd and 3rd district and the 2nd district would take over the remainder of the 3rd district and possibly some of the northern areas of the 1st district near northern St. Charles county. Now, if this were to occur, these changes would not go into effect until the 2012 election, but it could potentially pit Russ Carnahan, should he retain his district against Todd Aiken. While Jefferson County and south city tend to vote Democrat, Aiken would probably win as he would retain West County, St. Charles and possibly gain part of North County. That said it would probably mean a tough fight for anyone wanting to run for the 2nd District. To get a good idea of what I am talking about, go to Swingstate.com and do a search within the site for some MO projections. This is just one of many sites that have projections like this. The lines may change but the outcome seems to be universally the same, MO loses a seat. That is....
If Missouri is able to somehow prove population growth or at least no decline, Missouri may be able to keep the 9th seat. Lines will still be adjusted for population, but for the most part things would stay the same. So how does one work to keep MO population in check and help retain a Democratic seat within the House. To that I quote Lacy Clay's biography page on his website.
Congressman Clay is the Chairman of the House Subcommittee on Information Policy, Census and National Archives, which regulates the federal government’s information and privacy standards and also oversees the operations of the Census Bureau. One of Congressman Clay’s primary goals as chairman is to work with the Census Bureau to eliminate the undercount of African Americans, Hispanics and other minorities from the upcoming national census in 2010.
Nowhere does he say legal immigrants or citizens. What Lacy Clay wants to do is to count illegals in the city and outlying areas so that it can help save a House seat. Lacy Clay is not the only one that needs illegals to save seats. You see, population is decreasing in the North, Northeast and Midwest. Even though some of the major cities of the United States are in the North and Northeast (Boston, New York, Detroit, etc.) people are moving south. Based upon some projections by groups like POLIDATA, areas that tend to Republican will pick up many of the seats that Democrat states will lose. Here is a graphic that will better explain it.
Based upon this map, the GOP would have substantial gains in the House, helping to lower the current Democratic majority. The Democrats know about it and are very worried about this. Quietly they have already been talking about it as witnessed by this article written in December of last year. So how do you keep this from happening? How can the current Democratic majority keep a new wave of potential Republicans from coming into power. They count illegals. By counting illegals as citizens in the 2010 Census, the Democrats may be able to save some seats in California, Massachusetts and New York. This may work against them in Texas and Florida, but it seems it is a risk they are willing to take. Plus counting illegals in Texas and Florida, even if redistricted to give Republicans most if not all of the new districts, will give Democrats a chance at some of these new districts since it may thin out the Republican domination in areas. Why else would the Democrats want to work with a corrupt organization like ACORN to help with the census.
Now, as I said, this is all speculation, but it is an educated guess as to what is to come. 2012 is very important to both parties. It could be a change in the balance of power in the House, which could carry over into the White House. It's something to start thinking about. What do you think?
Monday, November 9, 2009
- What happened to waiting 72 hours before voting on bills. Wasn't it Nancy Pelosi who complained about rushing bills to a vote? I do not care what side of the aisle you are on, all bills should wait 72 hours before a vote. This was not a national security or wartime issue.
- So, if, and that is a big IF, healthcare gets to Obama's desk and he signs it, how long will it be before it goes before a Federal Court on the basis that it is unconstitutional? To see my opinions on this, click here.
- Do you know how your Congressman and Senator will vote if the UN Rights of the Child treaty comes up for ratification? If you are not familiar with this, you should be. Read more here. The President has already stated he is for it.
- Is Fox News and the Murdoch news empire becoming the new leader in making and leading news? Just something to think about.
- This is old news, but was recently brought up to me, why is it OK for the US to aide Brazil in offshore drilling in Brazil, but not assisting US companies in drilling offshore of the US?
- Will easing the creation of nuclear power plants be enough to get some Republicans to vote for Cap and Trade regulation. Just a thought, just because it gets easier does not mean environmental fascists will not file junk lawsuits to try and block the building of them.
- Have you ever noticed that the government, which is made up of a lot of lawyers and trial lawyers, does a damn good job of protecting trial lawyers? Just a thought.
- And finally, this is a sign I saw this weekend at a car wash in Hazelwood, MO off of Howdershell Rd. I am contacting the owner to see if I can do a quick interview to get his thoughts, as a small business owner, on Cap and Trade, Healthcare and Lacy Clay. If you are in Hazelwood, stop by and get your car washed and support this small business.
Friday, November 6, 2009
To spread this message, they manipulate the media to ask questions that are only pro V.
It is eerily similar to the election last year.
At the end of the episode, one of the characters says
“They Are Arming Themselves With the Most Powerful Weapon Out There.....Devotion"
Some in the media, even in Chicago, are already calling it an allegory for last years election.
Remember, I said a couple of weeks ago, the media will only put up with so much before they revolt. It was reported back in August that the producers were doing some reshoots and touch ups. It makes you wonder if some of this is a part of it?
Thursday, November 5, 2009
"has asked Attorney General Eric Holder and the Civil Rights Division of the U.S. Department of Justice to conduct a swift inquiry into an alleged incident of racial discrimination against six Washington University students at a Chicago restaurant/nightclub last week."Of course this is in relation to an incident that occurred in a Chicago nightclub where two black students were not allowed to enter due to an issue with their low hanging pants even after they offered to correct the issue and once a white student was allowed to enter after correcting the issue. I am not here to advocate the Chicago nightclub. What they did was wrong.
My question to Lacy Clay is this. Where were you when Kenneth Gladney was beaten by SIUE members at a rally. Where was your rage when a black entrepreneur was attacked for voicing his opinion and selling his wares. In the case of the Washington University students, you said
"In this day and age, it is imperative that action be taken to rebuke those in our midst who continue discriminatory practices and policies."Does this not hold true for Kenneth Gladney? Does Mr. Gladney not receive the same protection as a black conservative entrepreneur?
And then there is Francine Katz who is claiming that AB is discriminatory towards women. Where is Lacy Clay's rage when Ms. Katz claims discrimination in the workplace. Why isn't he calling for the Justice Department to look into discriminatory practices at a publicly traded company? Is it because Francine Katz is a white woman? Is it because AB has supported via campaing contributions to Democrats like Russ Carnahan?
Lacy cannot claim that he is not getting involved or making statements in the case of Gladney or Katz due to it being an active lawsuit/investigation since a settlement was not made until October 28th and Lacy made his statement on Oct. 27th.
This is just Lacy Clay using race to make an issue larger than necessary. These young men had everything under control and Lacy had to step in and escalate it. I guess, Lacy will only help you if he thinks you are part of his voting block.
Sunday, November 1, 2009
Let me start off by saying, I do not blame the media on this one. While we all know that the media is the lap dog of this administration, they are covering a story, pure and simple. In this case, the government is feeding the story to the media.
Anyway, so I have to wonder, why is this such a big deal. The H1N1 flu is similar to the standard flu types that we have all experienced. You get the muscle aches and fever. In some cases you do get some of the stomach issues. The additional thing with this strain is that in some cases you get a cough, kind of like a chest cold. If you are the type of person that is prone to bronchitis or pneumonia, then it could turn into an infection and lead to some real issues. As with any type of flu, as long as you get your rest, drink plenty of fluids, take Tylenol for the fever and aches and pains you should be fine. As always, don't just trust me, consult your medical professional as not everyone will react the same way. In our case, we were able to deal with this without the intervention of a doctor and without prescription medication.
One evening, after the kids were in bed, my wife and I were sitting on the couch recovering from the day and still recovering ourselves. We were watching the news and hearing all of these government officials talking about the Swine Flu and how this is a national emergency and how there were all of these deaths. My wife looked over at me and said, "This is such bull sh!t. It was not anything worse that any other flu I've had." I looked at her and said, "It's because the administration wants a win."
You see, here is the thing. The Obama administration does not look really good right now. The shine and luster is fading away. This man who claimed he was going to bring hope and change has not really done either. Add to that a Congress that really cannot seem to do the right thing to save their lives, and you have a very wary American public. So what do you do? You pull a page out of the movie "Wag the Dog". What the administration is doing is trying to get everyone in a panic. If you get everyone freaked out of H1N1, then you have their attention. You then get everyone from the head of Health and Human Services to Elmo, telling you how to cough into your sleeve and to wash your hands. Once you have everyone's attention, you then show all of the wonderful things the government, i.e. this administration, is doing to protect you from this "pandemic". There still has to be deaths to keep people's attention, so the government supplies those numbers as well as the number of people believed to be infected. Then, once everyone has received the vaccination and the number of infections and deaths related to this go down, we will hear how the government stepped in, rushed a vaccine, kept the public informed and saved the day.
With this, you have just built trust. Now that you have built said trust, they can then start asking for you to trust them with a "public option" or "cap and tax" or any number of things. Folks, lets get some things straight, many of the numbers they are handing out are based upon assumptions. Except for deaths, the tests that are being done to test for the flu are not testing specifically for H1N1, the are just testing for the flu since this is the dominant strain right now. The CDC admits this. Add to that, that many of the people who have died from this flu, have done so due to pre-existing conditions or due to not seeking doctor's care.
I will say right now that much like any illness, H1N1 is no laughing matter and should not be taken lightly. Anyway that gets sick from this or any type of flu should take care of themselves and see the advice of a medical professional if necessary. If you feel you need to, call or see your doctor, go to an urgent care facility or just go to your local Walgreens Take Care clinic. That said, do not let the administration turn this into something they can use for political points. Call their bluff if necessary. The blogs and the media are already talking about how this is going to be so much worse for the uninsured. Don't' believe me, just google "H1N1 uninsured".
Friday, October 23, 2009
The Obama administration has not been shy about using the media to propel their message. It has been that way since he was candidate Obama. In fact, other Democrats complained about how the media was not asking him the hard questions and not being balanced in their reporting. It was so apparent SNL even did a skit based upon it. Once he was elected, it did not really change. Except there are a couple of problems:
- Talk Radio
- Fox News
Obama cannot control those three entities and the work they are doing is causing problems for this White House. So rather than engage and retort them, like most administrations would, Obama has instead started working to circumvent the system to quiet dissenters.
Let's go through this and look at how the White House is dealing with this.
This may be one of the most difficult issues for the administration. It is not easy to limit speech and that is exactly what they would have to try and do. The power of bloggers was truly showcased when Dan Rather was put in his place when he attempted to defame President Bush. Since then, blogging has become a way for many people, including yours truly, to report and and analyze the events of the day without having to belong to a newspaper or television organization. Obama took advantage of the power of the Internet to get himself elected. Since that time, it has been many of the bloggers who have risen up to become a political movement of their own and created the Tea Party. Add to that the far left bloggers who are unhappy with Obama not being progressive enough in their mind and you can see that Obama has a blogger problem. So what are they to do? This starts with FTC cracking down on bloggers for payola schemes. This seems obvious, bloggers are going to have to let people know that they were given a product or were paid to promote an item in their blog. While this is the ethical thing to do, the interesting part of this is that it paves the way for the government to force ISP's and providers to provide private information of bloggers. There is not litmus test for this either. If I, as a blogger, am given a book on politics in the digital age by the author and I Tweet or post that I am reading this book, the FTC has a right to come after me if I do not disclose that I know the author and they gave me the book. Even if I did not run out and tell everyone to go out and buy this book, the FTC can come after me. Add to this the recent court case where a Manhattan federal judge has ordered Google to tell a model the name of an anonymous blogger so she could sue them for libel. We are in very dangerous waters here. Some people, like myself, have to stay anonymous so that we may keep our jobs or to keep our families from harms way. In these cases, the government has begun paving the way to remove the anonymity and pressure those that we are speaking of.
In addition, the administration has used their own Internet savvy to try and counter the bloggers. Locally here we have the FiredUp Missouri blog which is one of many Democratic controlled blogs that are made to feel like the authentic blogs like yours truly, Jim Hoft of the Gateway Pundit and Sharp from Sharp Elbows have created. BTW, hat tip to 24th state on all the good work he has done researching FiredUp's links to Robin Carnahan's office. Barack Obama himself has used his own website to transform from a campaign website to one that pushes for organizing support for his plans. In addition, Dana Loesch has found some great stuff on how serve.gov was linking to groups like Acorn. Since the administration cannot completely stop their critics, they crowd the market with spokespersons perpetrating to be regular folk and linking back to their supporting organizations.
This is where things start getting uglier and more apparent. Candidate Obama came out and said that he was against the "Fairness Doctrine". That sounds great, but listen to what his surrogates are saying. Mark Lloyd, the FCC diversity "czar" was quoted as saying, "Unless we're conscious of the need to have more people of color, gays, other people in those positions, we will not change the problem. We're in a position where you have to say who is going to step down so someone else can have power." These statements were made in regards to talk radio hosts and ownerships. Lloyd's solution in a report entitled "The Structural Imbalance of Political Talk Radio" and a subsequent essay, "Forget the Fairness Doctrine", he calls for he called for "equal opportunity employment practices," "local engagement" and "license challenges" to rectify a perceived imbalance. "Nothing in there about the Fairness Doctrine," he wrote. He continues by saying, "The other part of our proposal that gets the 'dittoheads' upset is our suggestion that the commercial radio station owners either play by the rules or pay. In other words, if they don't want to be subject to local criticism of how they are meeting their license obligations, they should pay to support public broadcasters who will operate on behalf of the local community." So instead of mandating equal time, he wants to make stations pay to allow commercially successful free speech.
Implementing a program like this would be no less than bullying media outlets to either pay for play or support the likes of "Air America". Never-mind that the government already supports National Public Radio but under Lloyd's plans, media outlets could be forced to pay for government favorable views. If you want to know more about Lloyd and his interesting interactions, check out this transcript from Glenn Beck.
This one kind of blurs between talk radio and FNC since many of the opinion shows are hosted by people who are part of the conservative talk radio movement. That said, let's talk about Fox News and the Fox News Channel. Within recent weeks, the Obama administration has made it clear that they are going to go after their opponents. They have publicly statedthat they are going after their critics. In the case of Fox News, the news channel itself has been fair in their reporting, showing both sides of the issues. That said, the administration takes issue with FNC's opinion shows that lean anywhere from Libertarian to hard right, with Greta Van Susteren being probably the only center to left of center opinion show. The Obama administration hates that. They would prefer to have everyone emulate MSNBC and the New York Times. Why else would it be that Barack Obama met privately with a group of commentators from these two groups to talk about the media.
What the administration is trying to do is paint Fox News as not a news outlet, but an opinionated news forum, therefore not worthy of being considered in the same vain as network news, including MSNBC and CNN. They are attempting to pressure other news organizations from allowing Fox News into the White House press corp and not reporting on news items broken by Fox News. In addition, the administration has banned all officials from appearing on Fox News shows and recently tried to keep Fox News from interviewing the "Pay Czar" when he was made available to the White House pool.
While Fox News is the most apparent act of the administration, all three are a scary attempt to control the free press. Any J school student at Mizzou will tell you that the press has long been seen as the fourth establishment, there with the Presidency, the Congress and the Supreme Court. While the press does not have federal power, they do have the power to keep these entities honest. They are also taught the history of other governments who have attempted to silence the press and the ways that they go about that. Even though the press has become a business whose model is changing, they all still respect the sanctity of the First Amendment and of free speech. There is a reason that some professors make every student learn, word for word, the First Amendment. Knowingly or not, the Obama administration is taking their leads from the likes of Hugo Chavez, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and even Adolf Hitler. Secretly, the press is not happy with the way they were manipulated by candidate Obama, as explained by Anita Dunn.
Obama is asking the news organizations that he favors to enter and engage a slippery slope that they do not want to go down. They no full well that if they act in concert with this president, it will set a dangerous precedent for the future. In addition, much like it has happened with other countries, they know what happens when the president starts bullying the press. These issues are not a matter of national security so the administration does not have a leg to stand on. While the pundits who back Obama will continue to do so, they may lose some of their zeal. Most Democratic strategist think this is a bad idea. Many in the print press, who dislike Fox News, think this is a bad idea. This is not going to end well for the administration. It may cost them some seats in 2010 and will probably cost someone their job if not the entire presidency in 2012.
UPDATE - On Thursday 10/29, Glenn Beck did an outstanding show covering many of these things and much more. It was well worth a view. You can watch them over at the P/Oed Patriot's website here.
Wednesday, October 21, 2009
Currently, Vitter's amendment has stalled an appropriations bill to fund the census, but barely. Of the 60 votes needed to push the bill through without the amendment, it only received 56. The problem with that 56 is that 3 Democrats were out absent from the vote and Harry Reid voted against ramming the bill through.
So what does this all mean? Well, it means that Harry Reid could be really concerned about his election chances next year. He is in what is appearing to be a tight race for his Senate seat. He is from Nevada which has a large illegal immigration issue and could be fearing repercussions of constituents who may not approve of him giving legal representation to illegal aliens.
Now, why would Clay be so gung ho to back this measure? It could be because north St. Louis city and county have a decent size immigration problem of our own. Unless you are in union circles you may not hear about the problems arising from Cuban/Latino and Bosnian immigrants, both legal and illegal, coming into St. Louis. These immigrants are working for cash and are being employed in construction, day laborers and flooring to name a few. In fact, the St. Louis business journal did an article which highlighted the hiring of Bosnians in hotels. The unions are not happy with this as a whole as many of these workers are non union and work for much less money and are willing to work more hours and even weekends (this is not a union debate just a statement of fact).
Clay knows that since he is the only guy in town as far as the north St. Louis city and county, he can afford to disgruntle the unions as they have no where else to turn. In addition, if illegal immigrants are counted in the upcoming census, it can help to concentrate his north city and outlining area base. In addition, Clay knows that by allow illegal immigrants to be counted in the upcoming census, it will help the Democrats retain control of the house.
Once again, this is a purely partisan move that has nothing to do with counting those who live in the US. Vitter's amendment will still count everyone living in the US, but will also allow those who are here illegally to be filtered out of the population numbers used to determine representation. His amendment makes total sense, which could be why Lacy and the other Democrats are against it. They claim that this amendment is discriminatory which is a completely bogus argument. They also claim that this will delay the Census’ start and cost hundreds of millions of dollars. This may be true since several million of the questionnaires have already been printed and addendums would have to be added.
The fundamental question really comes down to this. Do illegal immigrants, non US citizens, deserve representation in government. This all goes back to the question "how do we handle illegal immigration?" This just reinforces the concept that the Dems would rather do nothing.
Sunday, October 18, 2009
These contributions intrigued me since Lacy Clay is a co-sponsor of H.R. 1214, The Payday Loan Reform Act of 2009. This bill aims to "establish additional payday loan disclosure requirements and other protections for consumers, and for other purposes". You would think that these companies would do anything they could to keep restrictions from coming into place. That is, until I did more research.
If you go back several years, it appears that Illinois Rep Luis Gutierrez was working on severely crippling if not killing the payday loan industry. The belief was that this industry was/is operating on a predatory lending premise and creating a viscous cycle of lending allowing these companies to make exorbitant amounts of money by repeatedly extending the lending cycle beyond the original terms of the agreement while continuing to charge the already high fees and interest rates. Customers who could not pay the entire loan amount back with their next paycheck, usually within two weeks of the loan, are extended another two or more weeks at the same interest rates and sometimes additional fees.
It is easy to see why a Democrat like Rep Gutierrez would be working to severally limit and/or regulate this industry considering the demographic he serves. Well, then comes Lacy Clay who sends a letter to Rep Gutierrez requesting he withdraw a proposed amendment back in 2005.
Afterwards, Lacy began working with Gutierrez to create a new bill. This new bill is much weaker than the original with many loopholes. Gutierrez himself admits that this new bill is not as strong as desired but was made weaker due to the influence of the payday loan industry and their campaign donations.
Tuesday, October 13, 2009
The reason I bring this up is because Lacy is the co-sponsor of H.R. 1214, The Payday Loan Reform Act. So why would Lacy Clay receive and accept several campaign donations from companies that his bill would hurt.
To quote the bard, "Something Is Rotten in the State of Denmark" or in this case Washington DC/St. Louis.
I'll keep digging into it and update this post.
Friday, October 9, 2009
"a new climate in international politics"
Wednesday, October 7, 2009
Anyway, I watched this interview online and I have to say that before Glenn even gave any type of explanation I agreed with him. The best thing that could have happened not just for the Republican party, but for America, was the election of Barack Obama. Why is that you may say, well let me tell you.
- No longer will Pelosi and Reid be able to blame everything on Bush and the Republicans. Anytime something went wrong it was the Republicans fault. Never mind the facts that Bush and many Conservatives tried to end the sub-prime mortgage practices and were blocked by filibustering Dems like Obama. They are being exposed for their hypocrisy and their failed policies. A failure of this magnitude will really make people think when they vote again in 2010 and 2012.
- This was a splash of cold water to the Republicans. Let's face it, the Republicans got lazy and were really shifting away from the core beliefs. Many in the RNC became to worried about appeasing the left, instead of taking care of the issues and doing what's right. They also became drunk with power and started participating in some massive pork spending. Losing in 2006 and 2008 has made the RNC have to refocus and find their identity. The question really becomes, will that identity be centrist right, conservative or somewhere in the middle.
- In one 2 - 4 year period, this could create some drastic changes in the House and Senate that would not have happened. Pelosi and Reid are both going to have to run against serious challenges in their home state. Both could wind up losing their seats along with a slew of others including St. Louis' own Russ Carnahan. Add to that the people that work for and with Pelosi, Reid and Obama, people like Van Jones, are being brought to light.
- The Democrats have overplayed their hand and showing their real far left agenda. People are seeing this and are not feeling comfortable with what they are seeing. Barack Obama has an approval rate between 48-52% and the Congress as a whole has an approval rating of 21%.
- More people are standing up and becoming active in politics. This is potentially one of the most dangerous aspects to the Democrats. Their refusal to listen and in some cases brazen disregard for their constituents has led many people to stand up and become politically active. Do you think there would be a strong Tea Party movement if McCain were elected. I do not. The activist agenda that is in play right now would not have happened and many people would still be sitting at home, quietly simmering in anger at the government.
So yes my friends, it is a good thing McCain was not elected. Are we hurting, yes. That said, in the end we will be better for this pain. Sometimes you have to walk through the desert to get to the promised land. Now, if we could just bring back Ronald Reagan.
Tuesday, October 6, 2009
Have you noticed how the media, the group that did everything they could to get Barack Obama elected, are slowly starting to turn on him? More and more we are hearing the media, and I am talking about more than just Fox News, start to reference his inability to bring about the change that was promised. We are hearing complaints that the transparency that was promised is not there and we are hearing criticism that he is not as good as advertised.
Just take, for example, this excerpt from last week's Newsweek editorial from Howard Fineman
Obama can seem a mite too impressed with his own aura, as if his presence on theThis is not a glowing review of the president by any stretch of the imagination and Newsweek is a far stretch from the National Review.
stage is the Answer. There is, at times, a self-referential (even
self-reverential) tone in his big speeches. They are heavily salted with the
words "I" and "my." (He used the former 11 times in the first few paragraphs of
his address to the U.N. last week.) Obama is a historic figure, but that is the
beginning, not the end, of the story.
Even Jon Stewart and SNL has had some recent digs at Obama. Just look at this from last weeks Saturday Night Live
Now, I am in no way of saying that the media is abandoning Barack immediately, but I think they are starting to get a sense that this ship is taking on water. Sure, they will do their best to act as his personal bilge pump but believe me, they are going to start hedging their bets.
It's just something to start thinking about and watching for.
Thursday, October 1, 2009
The Association of Progressive Rental Organizations or APRO is a group of rent to own businesses and their associated political action committee. According to their own site they are...
"the international voice for the rent-to-own industry founded in 1980. APRO isSo basically this is a group of companies like National Rent to Own and Aaron's to name a few. Knowing this, I had to start asking myself, why would they donate $5000 to his re-election campaign. What makes Lacy Clay so important to them.
the nonprofit trade association advocating and representing the rent-to-own
industry before the U.S. Congress, Internal Revenue Service, state legislatures,
the courts, media and the public."
In March 2007, Clay introduced H.R. 1767 the Consumer Rental Purchase Agreement Act. This bill did not make it through and was reintroduced as H.R. 1744 in 2009. On the surface, the law reads as a consumer protection act, requiring rent to own companies state their rental policies etc. I started thinking, why would APRO be so supportive of this law. In essence, H.R. 1744 would establish a federal law that makes rent to own a self-terminable lease.
OK, so what. We need a federal law to establish rent to owns as a self terminable lease? Why? And as I dig more into this, why do I find out that the APRO:
- Had their annual convention in Lacy Clay's distrinct in downtown St. Louis in 2008 at which time they had Lacy Clay as a key note speaker. It should be noted that Lacy's wife, Ivie, is a director for the St. Louis Development Corporation which is charged with bringing commerce to the St. Louis region.
- Donated 28 new computers to Imagine Middle High School College Prep on North Jefferson Avenue in downtown St. Louis.
- Donated $50,000 worth of cash and products to the Congressional Black Caucus Spouses Education Scholarship Fund. Of course we know that Lacy is and his father was the chairman of the Congressional Black Caucus.
- Sponsored the William L. Clay Scholarship and Research Golf Tournament for $14,000. As we know, Lacy is the chairman of the board for this fund which was created in honor of his father.
So as I did into this, and there is not a lot out there on this bill. So I sat down and read the bill (HR 1744) and found:
- It sets the Federal Trade Commission as the governing body of rent to own businesses and requires state attorney generals to provide written notice to the FTC before any action can be taken. In addition, it allows the FTC to intervene in any and all cases. Gosh, maybe it is just me but doesn't that seem like overkill. Why wouldn't we want a state attorney to be able to prosecute a rent to own business? Why would we want to make it a federal case?
- It sets a standard that if a state law is considered inconsistent by the Federal Reserve based upon submission of an "interested party" the law does not have to be followed by the businesses in that state.
- It nullifies any state law that regulates a rental-purchase agreement as a security interest, credit sale, retail installment sale, conditional sale or any other form of consumer credit, or that imputes to a rental-purchase agreement the creation of a debt or extension of credit.
- It nullifies any state law that requires the disclosure of a percentage rate calculation, including a time-price differential, an annual percentage rate, or an effective annual percentage rate.
So why would Lacy Clay want to do all of this for the rent to own industry in St. Louis. For someone who claims to be concerned about the welfare of his constituents, this does not look like it has any benefit to them at all. When you consider that based upon APRO's own data, 97% of their client base makes under $75,000 a year and a little over 65% have the equivalent of only a high school degree or less, you would think he would want to do anything he can to protect these people. Apparently not.
Once again, this just goes to show you that Lacy Clay is not looking out for his constituents. He is looking out for himself and his personal interests. Who knows where else this interesting relationship goes. As always, I will continue to dig.
Friday, September 25, 2009
Why is it that the Democrats will not endorse the Wyden-Bennett amendment which will do what the President committed to and allow people freedom of choice of their health care plan?
How many "Czars" does Obama need? I am all for delegation but isn't 34 a little much?
If Michael Moore hates capatilism so much, why is he worth over $50,000,0000? Isn't it capatalism that helped him make all of his money?
What would our country be like if the Democrats of today were in the Senate and House back in World War II? Would they have demanded we get out because the war was going on to long and too many people were dieing?
Do you have any additional thoughts?
Tuesday, September 22, 2009
Lacy Clay was born in St. Louis but not raised here. He was raised outside of DC while his father served as the Congressman for St. Louis. Everything Lacy has done has been geared towards being a professional politician. Other than go on expensive “fact finding” trips and tour the region, we see little action from him that benefits the St. Louis area.
Where was Lacy Clay when American Airlines started laying off St. Louis employees. The only thing we heard was a press release talking about how he wants “to do everything possible to help the employees who are directly impacted by this decision.” We have not really seen anything come from this. In fact, American has continued to cut flights and services here in St. Louis. To make matters worse, in 2008 Lacy Clay endorsed American creating a Chicago to Beijing route. Why endorse the creation of a nonstop flight from already busy O'Hare when St. Louis could readily handle this operation? Could it be because American Airlines PAC has donated a total of $6000.00 to Clay’s re-election campaign since 2002?
Where was Lacy Clay when Ford was threatening and then closed the Hazelwood assembly plant? Yes, he was appointed by Gov. Bob Holden to a committee to keep the plant from closing, but we know nothing ever came from that. In fact, it was only after Clay’s inaction and the Ford plants closure that Clay’s campaign received a $1000 donation for his 2008 re-election campaign. Additionally, it was only after President Obama was elected that Clay elected to do anything to try and support local auto manufacturers. It was after Obama’s win in the presidential election that Clay endorsed the bridge loan for the US auto industry and more recently praised the “Cash for Clunkers” deal. Of course we know that “Cash for Clunkers” really benefited the foreign manufactures more than those in the US. Ford was the only company to make the top 5. GM and Chrysler were non existent.
Let’s be honest here. Lacy Clay is an extreme liberal who would love nothing better than to see nearly every job fall under organized labor and have most industries nationalized. His backing of cap and trade and his refusal to support President Bush’s efforts to end the Federal ban on offshore drilling show partisan politics at its best. He demands green energy but at the cost of current jobs. Of course his answer is to have these individuals and families become more reliant upon the government. In addition, Lacy Clay does nothing to help those and represent those of us who are not North St. Louis city dwellers. When we were at risk of losing the Ford plant and the hundreds of jobs that are associated with it, where was he? When American Airlines began cutting St. Louis staff, where was he? During his time in office, Clay has done little more than promote a yearly jobs fair, push jobs financed through Federal spending and increasing unemployment benefits. Read his own press releases and you will see this.
That is not what North St. Louis County and City need. We need someone who is going promote both white collar and blue collar jobs. We need someone who is going support and pass laws to lower our taxes and make it easier for every one of us to live our life to the fullest without government being a part of it. We need someone with a proven track record for creating jobs and slashing expenditures. We need someone who has done more than be a professional politician. We need to quit looking at his race and the fact that his father held this seat up until his retirement in 2000. Too many times people continue to give up and assume that it is a no win scenario. It is not. This is not a black or white thing; this is not a Republican or Democrat thing. This is a, we need someone who can truly work for their constituents thing.
Friday, September 18, 2009
I believe that requiring healthcare is a major infringement on our rights. In addition, penalizing someone for not having healthcare is an infringement on my rights. I believe that the US Government requiring to know whether or not I have healthcare not only goes beyond Article 1 Section 8 of the Constitution, but also goes against my right to privacy. The federal governement has the right to census, but no where does it state that it has the right to know my level of health care coverage. I should have the choice whether or not I have healthcare.
If you want to be well armed in this debate, I recommend you read an article in WSJ by David B Rivkin JR and Lee A. Casey titled Mandatory Insurance Is Unconstitutional. Of all the articles and pundits I have heard on this subject, this one is probably the most succinct and the easiest to read.
Thursday, September 17, 2009
On this "birthday" let us think of all that is good that this document has brought us. For this day, let us set aside partisan politics, as hard as it might be, and celebrate the US Constitution.
Monday, September 14, 2009
I have held off on writing this entry for awhile because I was afraid that posting it would make me seem like some fringe lunatic. The problem is, the more digging I have done, the more I begin to believe it.
Rather than me convince you, just ask yourself this:
- Is it coincidence that George Soros, a huge Obama supporter, made millions off of his investment in Brazilian oil companies thanks to Obama's pledge to invest in offshore drilling in Brazil.
- Is it any coincidence that GE is working closely with the White House to craft carbon "Cap and Trade" bill. Consider that GE is the largest producer of wind turbines in the world. They are also one of the largest producers of turbines and equipment used in hydroelectric electricity generation. Add to that GE's hands off approach in adjusting the format of the extremely liberal MSNBC even though it is bleeding ratings even compared to CNN.
- Is it any coincidence that two of Barack Obama's advisers are Bob Rubin and Jon Corzine. If you do not know who they are, they are the chairman of Citibank and the former chair of Goldman-Sachs and now governor of NJ. Now didn't those two companies get some bailout money from the government shortly after he took office.
- Is it any coincidence that ACORN, a community activist group, received millions of taxpayer dollars to "help those in need" and to assist with the upcoming census. It is only after being caught on tape that they were removed from consideration for assistance with the census.
- Is it any coincidence that Barack Obama has several connections to people who most of society would consider to be radical. Just look at the people he has worked with (Bill Ayers), prayed with(Jeremiah Wright) and had as a member of his cabinet (Van Jones). For even more detail, go to this link for even more detail of some of his radical affiliations. Hat tip to Diamond Tiger for all of the great research.
Barack Obama's idealism lets him see the best in people. He sees people for their good and potential. Because of this, he does not think that people are lazy or that people use others. He thinks anyone who is poor or downtrodden is there because of bad circumstance and not because they are lazy or not willing to work. This kind of attitude attracts opportunists and radicals and that is exactly what happened. People saw this attractive young man with a great story who people were drawn to and decided to take advantage of it.
So now you have this great guy who is in the Senate and made a big splash with a speech at the 2004 Democratic National Convention.
Two years later, you have a Republican president with unfavorable ratings, the Democrats coming in strong in both the House and the Senate and the public wanting change. This bode well for those progressives that wanted to take advantage of the situation. The rest, as they say, is history.
So where does this leave us? Barack Obama is seeing the country revolt over his policies. His friends and acquaintances are seeing additional money roll their way, their policies they have long advocated put into action and their companies bailed out. It seems the longer he is in office, the more questionable associations we see.
Is Barack Obama an idealist who is being used by powerful businessmen and progressives or is he a progressive politician with a 60's progressive agenda? So, what do you think, am I over thinking this or is there something to this?
Saturday, September 12, 2009
Let me introduce myself. I go by Middle Class Joe and I am a North County blogger at http://middleclassmadashell.blogspot.com/. I was just made aware that your sight was having some issues so I am resending you this letter in hopes that you will respond.
I have some very simple questions for you that I would like answered. Seeing as your my representative, I want to ensure that you are representing me and the many people like me in North County and not just my peers in the city.
OK, to the point, here are my questions:
Question 1. We have already lost the Ford plant and many jobs at and around Lambert due to cutbacks at American airlines. I read on your press releases that you backed the "cap and trade" bill. Are you not worried about how this bill will effect industry in St. Louis, especially some of those companies in areas you represent like Boeing and if this bill is so needed, then would you be willing to sponsor an amendment to any future bills or sponsor a new bill that would require the Federal Government be held to the same standard for carbon output as all companies? Please explain your answer in detail.
Question 2. You released a statement stating that you support President Obama and would prefer a public option. My question here is simple. Would you be willing to sponsor an amendment to require that all government employees including current and retired Congressional and Senate members be required to give up their current healthcare plan and move over to the public option should one be created? It is my belief that if the public option is so good, it should be good enough for everyone up to but not including the President and Vice President. My fear is that many companies
will see that the 8% payroll fine will be cheaper to pay than to carry healthcare benefits, therefor forcing more people to lose their insurance and have to go to a public plan.
Today is 9/12. 8 years ago today, it did not matter if you were a Republican or Democrat. The only thing that mattered was you were an American. At this time we threw out partisan politics and worked together to throw aside our differences to come to a fair consensus on the issues. I believe we are in need of that type of
I am a fair person. As I see it, you are my elected representative and I have a right to know what and how you are thinking. Even if I disagree with you, at least we can have an honest debate. Maybe you can show me where I am wrong, and maybe I can show you where you are wrong. We have to be willing to listen to one another.
That is something that is not occurring anymore. Right now, I am offering an olive branch.
I look forward to reading your response.
What do you think?
Friday, September 11, 2009
Transcript of President Bush's address to a joint session of Congress on Thursday night, September 20, 2001.
Mr. Speaker, Mr. President Pro Tempore, members of Congress, and fellow Americans, in the normal course of events, presidents come to this chamber to report on the state of the union.
Tonight, no such report is needed; it has already been delivered by the American people.
We have seen it in the courage of passengers who rushed terrorists to save others on the ground. Passengers like an exceptional man named Todd Beamer. And would you please help me welcome his wife Lisa Beamer here tonight?
We have seen the state of our union in the endurance of rescuers working past exhaustion.
We've seen the unfurling of flags, the lighting of candles, the giving of blood, the saying of prayers in English, Hebrew and Arabic.
We have seen the decency of a loving and giving people who have made the grief of strangers their own.
My fellow citizens, for the last nine days, the entire world has seen for itself the state of union, and it is strong.
Tonight, we are a country awakened to danger and called to defend freedom. Our grief has turned to anger and anger to resolution. Whether we bring our enemies to justice or bring justice to our enemies, justice will be done.
I thank the Congress for its leadership at such an important time.
All of America was touched on the evening of the tragedy to see Republicans and Democrats joined together on the steps of this Capitol singing "God Bless America."
And you did more than sing. You acted, by delivering $40 billion to rebuild our communities and meet the needs of our military. Speaker Hastert, Minority Leader Gephardt, Majority Leader Daschle and Senator Lott, I thank you for your friendship, for your leadership and for your service to our country.
And on behalf of the American people, I thank the world for its outpouring of support.
America will never forget the sounds of our national anthem playing at Buckingham Palace, on the streets of Paris and at Berlin's Brandenburg Gate.
We will not forget South Korean children gathering to pray outside our embassy in Seoul, or the prayers of sympathy offered at a mosque in Cairo.
We will not forget moments of silence and days of mourning in Australia and Africa and Latin America.
Nor will we forget the citizens of 80 other nations who died with our own. Dozens of Pakistanis, more than 130 Israelis, more than 250 citizens of India, men and women from El Salvador, Iran, Mexico and Japan, and hundreds of British citizens.
America has no truer friend than Great Britain. Once again, we are joined together in a great cause.
I'm so honored the British prime minister has crossed an ocean to show his unity with America.
Thank you for coming, friend.
On September the 11th, enemies of freedom committed an act of war against our country. Americans have known wars, but for the past 136 years they have been wars on foreign soil, except for one Sunday in 1941. Americans have known the casualties of war, but not at the center of a great city on a peaceful morning.
Americans have known surprise attacks, but never before on thousands of civilians. All of this was brought upon us in a single day, and night fell on a different world, a world where freedom itself is under attack.
Americans have many questions tonight. Americans are asking, "Who attacked our country?"
The evidence we have gathered all points to a collection of loosely affiliated terrorist organizations known as al Qaeda. They are some of the murderers indicted for bombing American embassies in Tanzania and Kenya and responsible for bombing the USS Cole.
Al Qaeda is to terror what the Mafia is to crime. But its goal is not making money, its goal is remaking the world and imposing its radical beliefs on people everywhere.
The terrorists practice a fringe form of Islamic extremism that has been rejected by Muslim scholars and the vast majority of Muslim clerics; a fringe movement that perverts the peaceful teachings of Islam.
The terrorists' directive commands them to kill Christians and Jews, to kill all Americans and make no distinctions among military and civilians, including women and children. This group and its leader, a person named Osama bin Laden, are linked to many other organizations in different countries, including the Egyptian Islamic Jihad, the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan.
There are thousands of these terrorists in more than 60 countries.
They are recruited from their own nations and neighborhoods and brought to camps in places like Afghanistan where they are trained in the tactics of terror. They are sent back to their homes or sent to hide in countries around the world to plot evil and destruction. The leadership of al Qaeda has great influence in Afghanistan and supports the Taliban regime in controlling most of that country. In Afghanistan we see al Qaeda's vision for the world. Afghanistan's people have been brutalized, many are starving and many have fled.
Women are not allowed to attend school. You can be jailed for owning a television. Religion can be practiced only as their leaders dictate. A man can be jailed in Afghanistan if his beard is not long enough. The United States respects the people of Afghanistan -- after all, we are currently its largest source of humanitarian aid -- but we condemn the Taliban regime.
It is not only repressing its own people, it is threatening people everywhere by sponsoring and sheltering and supplying terrorists.
By aiding and abetting murder, the Taliban regime is committing murder. And tonight the United States of America makes the following demands on the Taliban:
-- Deliver to United States authorities all of the leaders of Al Qaeda who hide in your land.
-- Release all foreign nationals, including American citizens you have unjustly imprisoned.
-- Protect foreign journalists, diplomats and aid workers in your country.
-- Close immediately and permanently every terrorist training camp in Afghanistan. And hand over every terrorist and every person and their support structure to appropriate authorities.
-- Give the United States full access to terrorist training camps, so we can make sure they are no longer operating.
These demands are not open to negotiation or discussion.
The Taliban must act and act immediately.
They will hand over the terrorists or they will share in their fate. I also want to speak tonight directly to Muslims throughout the world. We respect your faith. It's practiced freely by many millions of Americans and by millions more in countries that America counts as friends. Its teachings are good and peaceful, and those who commit evil in the name of Allah blaspheme the name of Allah.
The terrorists are traitors to their own faith, trying, in effect, to hijack Islam itself.
The enemy of America is not our many Muslim friends. It is not our many Arab friends. Our enemy is a radical network of terrorists and every government that supports them.
Our war on terror begins with al Qaeda, but it does not end there.
It will not end until every terrorist group of global reach has been found, stopped and defeated.
Americans are asking "Why do they hate us?"
They hate what they see right here in this chamber: a democratically elected government. Their leaders are self-appointed. They hate our freedoms: our freedom of religion, our freedom of speech, our freedom to vote and assemble and disagree with each other.
They want to overthrow existing governments in many Muslim countries such as Egypt, Saudi Arabia and Jordan. They want to drive Israel out of the Middle East. They want to drive Christians and Jews out of vast regions of Asia and Africa.
These terrorists kill not merely to end lives, but to disrupt and end a way of life. With every atrocity, they hope that America grows fearful, retreating from the world and forsaking our friends. They stand against us because we stand in their way.
We're not deceived by their pretenses to piety.
We have seen their kind before. They're the heirs of all the murderous ideologies of the 20th century. By sacrificing human life to serve their radical visions, by abandoning every value except the will to power, they follow in the path of fascism, Nazism and totalitarianism. And they will follow that path all the way to where it ends in history's unmarked grave of discarded lies. Americans are asking, "How will we fight and win this war?"
We will direct every resource at our command -- every means of diplomacy, every tool of intelligence, every instrument of law enforcement, every financial influence, and every necessary weapon of war -- to the destruction and to the defeat of the global terror network.
Now, this war will not be like the war against Iraq a decade ago, with a decisive liberation of territory and a swift conclusion. It will not look like the air war above Kosovo two years ago, where no ground troops were used and not a single American was lost in combat.
Our response involves far more than instant retaliation and isolated strikes. Americans should not expect one battle, but a lengthy campaign unlike any other we have ever seen. It may include dramatic strikes visible on TV and covert operations secret even in success.
We will starve terrorists of funding, turn them one against another, drive them from place to place until there is no refuge or no rest.
And we will pursue nations that provide aid or safe haven to terrorism. Every nation in every region now has a decision to make: Either you are with us or you are with the terrorists.
From this day forward, any nation that continues to harbor or support terrorism will be regarded by the United States as a hostile regime. Our nation has been put on notice, we're not immune from attack. We will take defensive measures against terrorism to protect Americans. Today, dozens of federal departments and agencies, as well as state and local governments, have responsibilities affecting homeland security.
These efforts must be coordinated at the highest level. So tonight, I announce the creation of a Cabinet-level position reporting directly to me, the Office of Homeland Security. And tonight, I also announce a distinguished American to lead this effort, to strengthen American security: a military veteran, an effective governor, a true patriot, a trusted friend, Pennsylvania's Tom Ridge.
He will lead, oversee and coordinate a comprehensive national strategy to safeguard our country against terrorism and respond to any attacks that may come. These measures are essential. The only way to defeat terrorism as a threat to our way of life is to stop it, eliminate it and destroy it where it grows.
Many will be involved in this effort, from FBI agents, to intelligence operatives, to the reservists we have called to active duty. All deserve our thanks, and all have our prayers. And tonight a few miles from the damaged Pentagon, I have a message for our military: Be ready. I have called the armed forces to alert, and there is a reason.
The hour is coming when America will act, and you will make us proud.
This is not, however, just America's fight. And what is at stake is not just America's freedom. This is the world's fight. This is civilization's fight. This is the fight of all who believe in progress and pluralism, tolerance and freedom.
We ask every nation to join us.
We will ask and we will need the help of police forces, intelligence service and banking systems around the world. The United States is grateful that many nations and many international organizations have already responded with sympathy and with support -- nations from Latin America to Asia to Africa to Europe to the Islamic world.
Perhaps the NATO charter reflects best the attitude of the world: An attack on one is an attack on all. The civilized world is rallying to America's side.
They understand that if this terror goes unpunished, their own cities, their own citizens may be next. Terror unanswered can not only bring down buildings, it can threaten the stability of legitimate governments.
And you know what? We're not going to allow it.
Americans are asking, "What is expected of us?"
I ask you to live your lives and hug your children. I know many citizens have fears tonight, and I ask you to be calm and resolute, even in the face of a continuing threat.
I ask you to uphold the values of America and remember why so many have come here.
We're in a fight for our principles, and our first responsibility is to live by them. No one should be singled out for unfair treatment or unkind words because of their ethnic background or religious faith.
I ask you to continue to support the victims of this tragedy with your contributions. Those who want to give can go to a central source of information, Libertyunites.org, to find the names of groups providing direct help in New York, Pennsylvania and Virginia. The thousands of FBI agents who are now at work in this investigation may need your cooperation, and I ask you to give it. I ask for your patience with the delays and inconveniences that may accompany tighter security and for your patience in what will be a long struggle.
I ask your continued participation and confidence in the American economy. Terrorists attacked a symbol of American prosperity; they did not touch its source.
America is successful because of the hard work and creativity and enterprise of our people. These were the true strengths of our economy before September 11, and they are our strengths today.
And finally, please continue praying for the victims of terror and their families, for those in uniform and for our great country. Prayer has comforted us in sorrow and will help strengthen us for the journey ahead. Tonight I thank my fellow Americans for what you have already done and for what you will do.
And ladies and gentlemen of the Congress, I thank you, their representatives, for what you have already done and for what we will do together.
Tonight we face new and sudden national challenges. We will come together to improve air safety, to dramatically expand the number of air marshals on domestic flights and take new measures to prevent hijacking.
We will come together to promote stability and keep our airlines flying with direct assistance during this emergency.
We will come together to give law enforcement the additional tools it needs to track down terror here at home.
We will come together to strengthen our intelligence capabilities to know the plans of terrorists before they act and to find them before they strike.
We will come together to take active steps that strengthen America's economy and put our people back to work.
Tonight, we welcome two leaders who embody the extraordinary spirit of all New Yorkers, Governor George Pataki and Mayor Rudolph Giuliani.
As a symbol of America's resolve, my administration will work with Congress and these two leaders to show the world that we will rebuild New York City.
After all that has just passed, all the lives taken and all the possibilities and hopes that died with them, it is natural to wonder if America's future is one of fear.
Some speak of an age of terror. I know there are struggles ahead and dangers to face. But this country will define our times, not be defined by them.
As long as the United States of America is determined and strong, this will not be an age of terror. This will be an age of liberty here and across the world.
Great harm has been done to us. We have suffered great loss. And in our grief and anger we have found our mission and our moment.
Freedom and fear are at war. The advance of human freedom, the great achievement of our time and the great hope of every time, now depends on us.
Our nation, this generation, will lift the dark threat of violence from our people and our future. We will rally the world to this cause by our efforts, by our courage. We will not tire, we will not falter and we will not fail.
It is my hope that in the months and years ahead life will return almost to normal. We'll go back to our lives and routines and that is good.
Even grief recedes with time and grace.
But our resolve must not pass. Each of us will remember what happened that day and to whom it happened. We will remember the moment the news came, where we were and what we were doing.
Some will remember an image of a fire or story or rescue. Some will carry memories of a face and a voice gone forever.
And I will carry this. It is the police shield of a man named George Howard who died at the World Trade Center trying to save others.
It was given to me by his mom, Arlene, as a proud memorial to her son. It is my reminder of lives that ended and a task that does not end.
I will not forget the wound to our country and those who inflicted it. I will not yield, I will not rest, I will not relent in waging this struggle for freedom and security for the American people. The course of this conflict is not known, yet its outcome is certain. Freedom and fear, justice and cruelty, have always been at war, and we know that God is not neutral between them.
Fellow citizens, we'll meet violence with patient justice, assured of the rightness of our cause and confident of the victories to come.
In all that lies before us, may God grant us wisdom and may he watch over the United States of America. Thank you.