Beers with Herman Cain

It’s pretty much impossible not to like Herman Cain. He is the antithesis of a standard politician. Straight talker. Gets to the point. Speaks in specifics rather than generalities. Seems like the kind of guy you’d sit on your front porch having a beer with and listening to the ballgame. Yet he’s the CEO of a major corporation and is being taken more seriously each day as a legit contender for the GOP nomination.

Clearly, this has become the anybody-but-Romney campaign. Bachmann and Perry have had their moments in the sun and fallen back. Ron Paul wins straw poll after straw poll, yet never garners serious consideration. Heck, even Trump got his fifteen minutes. Now it is Cain who has benefited from a favorable Florida poll and some good debate performances to take over the headlines. This brings up the obligatory “is Herman Cain the true conservative the GOP has been searching for?” questions. The answer in a word? No.

Everyone knows by now that Cain was a former Kansas City Fed Chairman. He supported TARP and he is against an audit of the Fed. That’s enough for me right there to reject him. The Federal Reserve has played the CENTRAL role in the destruction of our monetary system since its creation in 1913. Their policies have enabled our boom-bust cycles. Clearly they have failed in their mandate to achieve full employment. They have certainly provided endless liquidity to the credit markets for the other half of their dual mandate.

Credit market liquidity has been an abject failure. Everything the Fed does is geared toward rewarding the big banks, including foreign central banks. Crony bailout-ism if you will. They have essentially ignored small business. Is it any wonder than why we still have 9% unemployment and a stalled economy? Rather than getting into a diatribe exposing the Fed, I merely wish to highlight the extreme need for America as a whole to see the pivotal role the Fed has played in the run-up to our current dilemma. An audit is absolutely crucial and Herman Cain doesn’t want one because he is one of them.

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Bearack Obearma

Animals
that formerly were self-sufficient are now showing signs of belonging to the
Democrat Party. They have apparently learned to just sit and wait for the
government to step in and provide for their care and sustenance. This photo is
of a black bear in Montana turned Democrat. He’s nicknamed Bearack Obearma. It
is believed that he has become a campground
organizer.

Thanks to a reader for sending this in.

More proof of why we really fight on in Afghanistan

A previous post here at Spellchek delved into the real reason we continue to fight the seemingly never-ending war in Afghanistan. The reason is access to raw materials, in particular rare earth minerals, in order to mitigate the Chinese world market domination. Currently, China exports approximately 95% of the world’s rare earth minerals consumption. This is not to say that Chinese mines contain 95% of the world’s supply of rare earth minerals, they don’t. They contain approximately 37% with the U.S. reserves pegged at about 13%. These numbers are very dynamic as they are based upon proven reserves globally and there are many more in existence not yet factored in. This is where Afghanistan fits in.

The United States Geological Survey has just released a new report reflecting a substantial reserve of rare earth minerals. It is, in fact, located in the Helmland Province of Afghanistan which, not coincidentally, is the exact area of the worst fighting that has occurred in the country. Here is a quote from the news release.

The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) estimates at least 1 million metric tonnes of rare earth element resources within the Khanneshin carbonatite in Helmand Province, Afghanistan. This estimate comes from a 2009-2011 USGS study funded by the Department of Defense’s Task Force for Business and Stability Operations (TFBSO).

Hmmm, interesting. The TFBSO. A DOD department directed at business and stability operations. What, pray tell, could a DOD dept. have to do with business? Created in 2006, here is a quote from their website concerning the reason for their existence.

Since 2006, TFBSO’s mission has been to reduce violence, enhance stability, and restore economic normalcy in areas where unrest and insurgency have created a synchronous downward spiral of economic hardship and violence.

We do this by developing economic opportunities through a range of efforts, including the encouragement of private investment, industrial development, banking and financial system development, agricultural diversification and revitalization, and energy development, among other initiatives.

Now, as I recall, we went into Afghanistan not to nation build, but to seek retaliation for “the people that knocked these buildings down”. Of course, George Bush was referring to Al-Qaeda at the time and, in particular, Usama Bin Laden, now deceased and hanging out with the fish. Mission accomplished, wouldn’t you say?

This is not a conspiracy article. I’m not suggesting, as some do, that Bush was behind 9-1-1 and all that followed so as to provide a reason to occupy Iraq for oil and Afghanistan for natural resources. But I would suggest that your government constantly takes into account all geo-political events in formulating its policies both foreign and domestic. Our economy is of primary importance to our position of global strength. Allowing a country, any country, to dictate world supply of a high commodity product, or range of products, is without question a liability and a weakness.

The fact that a third world country such as Afghanistan is sitting on a wealth of natural resources does not go unnoticed. Opening up that supply to the global markets thus diminishing the stranglehold that China holds on the rare earth mineral market is a national security objective. In fact, the slogan of the TFBSO is “enabling security through economic opportunity”. You can read more here.

I contend that a lightbulb went off at some point that saw opportunity. That’s always been my belief concerning some very suspect policies the U.S. has employed over the decades. Why are we doing this? That’s a fair question particularly when the stated objective has been achieved in eliminating Bin Laden. Today’s objective is no longer retaliation for 9-1-1, rather it is simply taking advantage of the situation we’re in and promoting national security through economic means. Research the TSBSO website yourself and tell me any other conclusion makes more sense. We’re in Afghanistan for the long run, count on it.

 

Was Ford entirely above the bailout fiasco? Depends upon your point of view

Makes you feel all warm and fuzzy about Ford? Just a reminder that a part of Ford did get bailed out. Their financing arm. Depending upon your point of view, you could say it’s not the same thing as it wasn’t their manufacturing arm like GM and Chrysler, although GMAC was also bailed out. Maybe so, but it’s still Government picking winners and losers in the marketplace. I’m not sure how many people are willing to separate the two. Who’s to say that if the Feds didn’t bail out Ford credit, that would have dragged down Ford overall enough that their manufacturing arm would have also taken the bailout? All speculation, but I don’t know that I would try to draw too much attention to myself if I were Ford as it may shine the spotlight back on themselves as the vast majority of people have no idea that any entity of Ford took any sort of bailout. Here’s a link to the story I posted last year.

Rick Perry is wrong – SS is not a ponzi scheme

The headline statement may come as a surprise to any who have read posts here at Spellchek previously. However, I disagree with Rick Perry’s statement for a different reason than his opponents who will utilize the stale Republicans want to kill old people line. SS isn’t a ponzi scheme because it is merely a tax scheme. That’s not an opinion, that’s fact. The Supreme Court has ruled on it and the White House legal counsel has clarified it.

Your run of the mill ponzi scheme takes new investor money to pay out to old investors on occasion allowing the scheme operators to skim off money for as long as they can keep the illusion above water. Social security is completely misunderstood. It is not an entitlement program. It is not a social insurance program. It is not a retirement program. It is nothing but a revenue raising scheme for the Federal Government. Merely a tax. A tax in which the receipts go into the general fund free for Congress to reallocate in any manner they see fit.

The trust fund and the well advertised IOU’s are nothing more than accounting gimmicks. The facts are that you have absolutely no “right” to a return of your “contributions” that have been confiscated from your paycheck over the years.  You can read the Supreme Court ruling on this issue in Flemming v. Nestor. Furthermore, you can read the case of Helvering v. Davis to understand the fact that social security is nothing more than a tax.

This is why administrations past and present don’t act on social security “reform”.  It is used as a political football when it appears advantageous to each party, thus the title of this post. But neither party has any concern to “reform” it because they understand what the program really represents – a continuous revenue source for the federal government spending machine. Sure they pay out “benefits” to retirees. But it is done as a redistributive tax. And at some point in the future we will undoubtedly see the retirement age raised. This will be promoted as necessary to keep the program solvent.

In fact it’s worse than it appears. You’ve been paying in your 6.2% deduction from your salary all along while your employer has had to match it as well. That means you’ve had a 6.2% pay cut. Employers don’t eat these costs, they are passed along. In this case, an employer has “X” number of dollars to allocate to employee compensation. Out of that comes your salary and your benefits. Any taxes imposed on the employer on your “behalf” are subtracted from this pool. They could pay you a higher salary were it not for taxes such as these.

So the discourse will continue to be how do we save social security? Raise the retirement age? Reduce benefit payouts? A means test? Will the program even be around in 2050? Of course it will, it’s a money-maker. Do you really think Congress would voluntarily discard a revenue raiser? They will no doubt enact “reforms” in order to balance the books as it were. But the fact remains that this is nothing more a tax scheme, not a ponzi scheme.

Just like Obamacare, the White House had to declare that this was nothing more than a tax to keep it Constitutional. With Obamacare, they can’t force people to purchase an insurance policy involuntarily. So in the court of law they declare it a tax. Not in the court of public opinion. The media will still report it as healthcare. SS was the same scenario. In 1937, they had to declare it a tax in court. Yet, all these decades we’ve been led to believe we really had our own shoebox in the Treasury vault holding our contributions over the years.

Sorry, but the shoebox doesn’t exist. The trust fund and the “IOU’s” do exist, but they are nothing more than a paper tiger. You have no “right”, no entitlement, no insurance policy, nothing waiting for you. That’s a fact. Still not convinced? Perhaps you’ll believe a distinguished columnist and economics professor named Walter Williams.