Tag Archives: national debt

Forward to what, Obama?

Design by BKeyser

The Re-elect Obama Campaign has a new slogan:


Inquiring minds want to know: Forward to what, where?

In his opinion essay for Politico, May 21, 2012, Keith Koffler asks:

Under Obama, the unemployment rate soared above 8% and has stayed there. Forward to 9%?

Under Obama, the national debt has risen by some $5 trillion. Forward to $6 trillion?

The economy grew by only 2.2% in the first quarter of 2012. Forward to 1%?

Opposition to Obama’s signature achievement, “Obamacare,” runs roughly 10 points ahead of support. Forward to more unpopular programs? […]

The only reassurance Americans might get from being told to move “forward” is that Obama has not been clear about where he wants to go. Take a look at Obama’s campaign website. There’s almost nothing about what he intends to do during a second term.

Certainly, the president has no plan at all for reforming entitlement spending, the key to reining in the deficit and putting the economy on firm footing. As southern Europe sinks into the Mediterranean beneath its debt load, Obama will move us “forward” into a world of ever increasing red ink.

“Forward” is not just a sign of presidential hubris. It’s a Freudian slip, a revelation of the left-leaning instincts of the most liberal president this country has ever had.

The slogan is the distillation of the faith of liberals that all forward movement is progress, that new ideas, ethics and programs are enlightened because they are new; that old beliefs must always be cast off so that modern thinking can advance society into a brilliant future.

It’s the thinking that leads Democrats to believe in a nation in which everyone has health insurance, billions should be spent developing exotic fuels and everyone gets higher education.

Conservatives, by their very nature, question the benefit of “forward” — asking how much it will cost. They question whether the ideas from those prodding us “forward” aren’t going to have unintended consequences that turn visions of paradise into nightmares.

They ask whether a government that mandates utopian projects like universal health care will then start mandating something more egregious. They want to know whether the programs to perfect everyone’s lives will bankrupt the country.

The Obama campaign’s call to move “forward” will backfire — in that it inadvertently throws into relief the ideological choice that confronts the electorate. Do we, as our debt climbs unfettered into the stratosphere, continue moving “forward” with the costly plans of a liberal president?

“Obamacare’s” cost, according to Congressional Budget Office estimates when it was passed, would be close to $1 trillion. The White House declared that it had responsibly “paid for” the program with spending cuts and tax increases.

Left out was that all those savings will no longer be available to bring down the deficit. The suggestion was that “Obamacare” was cost free. Not at all.

The president continues to propose moving us “forward” with various pricey social engineering schemes — like lowering subsidized college loan rates, helping homeowners refinance at current mortgage rates and providing tax credits for investments in “clean energy manufacturing.”

Unlike President Bill Clinton, who recognized the public disenchantment with the grand plans of his first term and retrenched by signing election-year legislation to reform welfare, Obama continues to press his agenda undiluted.

Now his mistake has been distilled into a slogan more likely to repel voters than rally them.

H/t our beloved Miss May.



The Fall of America – in 12 striking graphs

A picture is worth a thousand words.

A few days ago, Jeff Gundlach gave a big presentation titled “Getting There,” to a group of investors at the New York Yacht Club.

Using a series of graphs, Gundlach showed how America got into the state in which we find ourselves. Here are some of the most evocative slides:

~Click graph to enlarge~


How’s your Financial I.Q.? Take the test!

America’s federal, state, and city governments are  profligate and irresponsible with taxpayers’ money, over-spending themselves into declared and undeclared bankruptcy, and a national debt that now exceeds America’s GDP.

But if we, the American people, are better managers of our own finances, not only would more of us realize the financial black hole government is in, we would also demand more fiscal prudence from officialdom. Alas, Hadley Malcolm reports for USA Today, April 24, 2012, that “despite the recession, most Americans still know NOTHING about their finances,” especially young people. Here are the facts:

  • Americans in their 20s hold an average debt of about $45,000, which includes everything from cars to credit cards to student loans to mortgages, according to a PNC financial independence survey released last month.
  • At the same time, Americans 18-29 year old have a much higher jobless rate of  12.4%, well above the national rate of 8.2%.
  • Financial literacy is especially needed for young Americans because they face an increasingly complex global economy that is credit-driven and puts more responsibility on individuals to plan for and manage their retirement accounts.
  • But too many young Americans are financial illiterates. A biennial survey by Jumpstart Coalition for Personal Financial Literacy found that U.S. high school seniors scored an average of 57.3% on a 31-question financial literacy exam in 1997. Ten years later, in 2008, the average score was even worse, declining to 48.3%.
  • Fewer than half of states in American make high school students take an economics class, and just 13 require a personal finance class, according to a 2011 survey by the Council for Economic Education. In those 13 states, though, the payoff is clear: Students who had taken such courses were more likely to go on to save money and pay off a credit card bill in full each month, and less likely to be compulsive buyers, max out credit cards and make late payments.
How do you think you’ll do in the financial literacy test?

Bankrate.com has a test comprised of 12 of the questions from the 31-question financial literacy exam used by JumpStart. It’s quite challenging, much harder than the Pew political IQ quiz I posted last week.

To take the Financial I.Q. test, click here!


P.S. I correctly answered 11 questions, which gives me a score of 11/12.  😀

Eye Popper of the Day

It is going to be one Hell of a train wreck.


(h/t: Neal Boortz)

Wake Up America!

We are enslaved to our debt. Wake up, America! Before it is too late…

Every man, woman and child in America is enslaved to the national debt. As an artist, I have painted my vision of the dire circumstances that surround us. Now, more than ever, each American must make a choice: we must unlock the shackles that enslave us, or will we lose our freedom. It is my hope and prayer that America will “wake up” before it is too late.

Those who are familiar with my work know that I like to use symbolism and metaphor to engage the viewer. See if you can find and decipher the many symbols in this image by visiting http://www.jonmcnaughton.com

In the painting I have intentionally hidden six keys that represent solutions that will release us from the chains of economic and political bondage. Find these keys and share them with as many Americans as you can. If we don’t “wake up” future generations may not know what it means to be free.

-Jon McNaughton, political artist

To see an interactive map of this painting, or to find the six keys, please go to http://www.jonmcnaughton.com

7 signs that you are a slave

The warning signs are all there:

  • National debt of nearly $16 trillion, which now exceeds America’s GDP.
  • An economy that continues to ail, its decreasing jobless rate due only to the increasing numbers of American who have given up trying to find work.
  • An administration that rules by fiat, via executive orders, administrative rules, and “czars” who were never approved nor confirmed by the U.S. Senate.
  • A President who still conceals many of his documents, including even his kindergarten school records, and whose birth certificate image and Selective Service registration are suspected to be forgeries according to the investigation of an elected county sheriff.
  • A Congress that passed into law a healthcare bill that may be unconstitutional, and a National Defense Authorization Act that makes it lawful to arrest and detain U.S. citizens without charge or trial.
  • A media and Black leaders who twist, exploit, and outright misrepresent the facts of a tragic shooting to inflame racial tensions.

Despite all these signs, and more, millions of Americans seem deliberately uninformed, obdurately ignorant, and blithely unconcerned about what has and is happening to our country. We call them sheeple.

Are you frustrated by the Slumber of the Sheeple?

We, the writers of Fellowship of the Mind, certainly do and have made it our quest to tell the truth and hopefully waken the sheeple.

All that is the subject of the Brandon Smith’s “Understanding the Slave Mentality,” for Alt-Market.com. He calls the sheeple’s slumber the Slave Mentality — “unconscious desire for collectivism and control”.

In the long excerpt from his article (below), Smith explains and offers 7 signs of the slave mentality. (I inserted the numbers 1-7.)

The rest of Smith’s long article is his analysis of the dismissal of anti-Obama Marine Sgt Gary Stein and whether soldiers should forfeit their constitutional free speech rights. For that analysis, go here.


Understanding the Slave Mentality

By Brandon Smith – Alt-Market.com – April 2, 2012

In the initial stages of nearly every recorded tyranny, the saucer eyed dumbstruck masses exhibit astonishing and masterful skill when denying reality.  The facts behind their dire circumstances and of their antagonistic government become a source of cynical psychological gameplay rather than a source of legitimate concern.  Their desperate need to maintain their normalcy bias creates a memory and observation vacuum in which all that runs counter to their false assumptions and preconceptions disappears forever.  It is as if they truly cannot see the color of the sky, or the boot on their face.  The concrete world of truth becomes a dream, an illusion that can be heeded or completely ignored depending on one’s mood.  For them, life is a constant struggle of dissociation, where the tangible is NOT welcome…

This is the problem that we in the Liberty Movement deal with most often in our writings and films.  Our confrontation with willful ignorance has been epic, even by far reaching historical standards.  The gains in social awareness have been substantial, and yet the obstacles are incredible.  Unprecedented.  As an activist trend, we have an almost obsessive drive to draw back the curtain so that the public has at least the opportunity to see what is on the other side.

[…] But what are the signs of this unconscious desire for collectivism and control?  What makes a slave do what he does?  Here are just a handful of explanations to consider…

1. The True Slave: The true slave is not a person who has been shackled, beaten, tortured, and made to comply under threat of death.  As long as that poor soul has the spirit of rebellion and is ever seeking freedom, they are not imprisoned fully.  The true slave is a person who enjoys their subservience, who is weighted with fear by the very idea of independence from the system, and who would actually fight and die to maintain the establishment which enslaves them.  The true slave is not able to imagine living any other life beyond his micro-managed existence.

2. The Facts Lose Value: The worst flaw of the slave is not necessarily his ability to overlook the truth, but his ability to see it, comprehend it, and then shrug it off anyway because it is contrary to his mission to fulfill his private delusions.  For the slave, the truth exists, but is no longer useful.  Lies make his universe turn, and facts are a tool to be used or cast aside at his leisure.

3. The Obsession With The Law:
The slave mentality, though illogical and psychotic, still requires a certain foundation to hold it together.  The laws of governments tend to suffice.  These laws may go completely against the force of inherent conscience, but because the slave has already abandoned listening to his inner voice of reason, this does not bother him much.  If you have ever wondered why modern tyrannies always feel the need to put their horrific enforcements in writing first, THIS is why.  Oligarchs understand that the law provides the slave with a means to rationalize his participation in the crimes of the state.  After all, if some gut-bloated bloodthirsty elitists in government etch their mad inbred ramblings into law, then we have no choice but to follow them, right?

4. The Need To Be Accepted: A slave seeks harmony not within, but without, even when that “harmony” is with a system that is designed to destroy him.  The viciousness of collectivism lay in its ability to comfort converts with atrocity.  As long as the slave feels as though he is a part of the machine, and accepted by the group, he cares not what the machine does to others.  Common arguments include; “We all have to live together, and so we must sacrifice our selfish individualism for the greater good…” or “Governments are here to protect us and we should do everything we can to make their job easier…”  Rarely if ever do they question if the system is legitimately helpful or harmful.  The system just “is”, it fulfills their need to be coddled, and that is good enough for them.  For all their talk of “unity” and the “greater good”, collectivists are for the most part deeply selfish.  They do not support or participate in the collective for the sake of others.  They do it to satiate their personal desires.

5. The Need For Control:
I suppose it’s ironic, but the average slave loves tyranny because it affords him a perceived seat at the table of power, perhaps for the first time in his entire life.  Collectivist slaves are often people who have felt weak and inadequate since childhood.  While honorable human beings fight this personal uncertainty by strengthening themselves physically and mentally, and improving upon their own character, the slave takes the easy route by joining with bureaucracy and living vicariously through its conquests.  Through the state, the hollow, cowardly, and stupid, have the ability to “show the world who’s boss”, and get revenge for a life filled with meaninglessness.

6. The Need For Structure:
An individual takes responsibility for himself, learning over time to provide his own structure which works at his pace and serves his unique needs.  A slave does not have the energy or the drive to do that, and so, he asks the establishment to tell him how he should live.  He will hold at face value the word of nearly anyone in a position of petty authority.  When confronted with those who go their own way, or who rebel against the cookie-cutter template for social participation, the slave sneers in disgust.  Independent rebellion is abhorrent to him, because the system provides him with his very identity.  To insult the fabric of the system is to insult who he is.  It’s pathetic, but common…

7. The Need For Vindication: Sometimes it is not enough for certain people to have their own world view.  The slave seeks approval for his world view at every turn, even if that world view is twisted by bleary eyed logic, and will go so far as to force others to agree with it so that they can feel safer in their beliefs.  It is natural for people to seek out others with similar views and ideals, but, it is not natural or healthy for those same people to use the government apparatus as a weapon to frighten the rest of us into submission just so they can become more confident in their ludicrous slapdash philosophies.  Slaves want a world without contradiction.  Laughably, everything they do is a contradiction.

US Special Ops are already in Syria

On March 7, I did a post, “Warmongers,” railing against three senators (John McCain, Joe Liberman, and Lindsey Graham) urging us to initiate military action against Syria in the name of human rights.

Silly me.

Turns out our military is already in Syria, in the form of Special Op Forces.

This is yet another war Nobel Peace Laureate Barack Obama got the United States in, at a time when:

  • We can ill afford another war, with a national debt of more than $15 trillion, which now exceeds our GDP.

Bryant Jordan writes for Military.com, March 9, 2012, that according to a leaked Stratfor memo published by WikiLeaks, U.S. Special Operation Forces reportedly have been in Syria since December training groups to conduct guerrilla attacks and assassinations to bring down Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. Stratfor is a Texas-based private intelligence-gathering company.

But Pentagon spokesman Lt. Col. James Gregory said he could not comment on the memo’s authenticity, and that “due to the method” in which the memo was uncovered (by Wikileaks), it “seems to be pure conjecture.” He also said that DoD does not provide information on Special Operations deployments.

The claim of American Spec Ops Forces operating in Syria is made in an internal email dated Dec. 7, 2011, from an official at Stratfor. The writer — whose email reportedly belongs to the company’s director of analysis, Reva Bhalla — recounts a Pentagon meeting where officials “said without saying that SOF teams (presumably from US, UK, France, Jordan, Turkey) are already on the ground focused on recce [reconnaissance] missions and training opposition forces.” The idea ‘hypothetically’ is to commit guerrilla attacks, assassination campaigns, try to break the back of the Alawite forces, elicit collapse from within.  (Alawite is a minority branch of Islam to which the Assad family belongs.)

Last year during a breakfast meeting of the Association of the U.S. Army’s Land Warfare Institute, Maj. Gen. Kurt Fuller, deputy commanding general of the U.S. Army Special Operations Command, said that special operators have been in the Middle East since the “Arab Spring” started, but their mission was to keep volatile situations from getting worse:

“We also keep a close eye on and can’t ignore the other unstable regions in the world, and you’ve seen them in the mix here recently, too — Egypt, Lebanon, Algeria, Tunisia, Sudan. I can tell you that just about any place you see things happening on the news we’ve got Army Special Operations forces there, and they’re doing a variety of different things to hopefully prevent and deter these things from getting worse. I’m not going to tell you exactly where our people are or aren’t. I’ll say that if it’s important to this nation we’ve probably got guys there. They may not be there now but they’ve been there or they’re going.”

During a recent Senate Armed Services Committee hearing, Army Gen. Martin Dempsey, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said the Pentagon has begun early work drawing up “options” for a military campaign against Syria, but insisted that force should be the last option for ending the bloodshed and that the U.S. must not act alone. “We can do anything,” Dempsey said. “It’s not about ‘can we do it,’ It’s the question of ‘should we do it,’ and what are the opportunity costs elsewhere.”