Monday, November 22, 2010

The Presidency Is Not Too Big, The President Is Too Small

In keeping with the fact that the company that publishes Newsweek was so deeply in debt that it was recently sold for $1, (and it's content consistently indicates that may well have been an overpayment) it continues to plumb the depths of the unseemly "Obama love" that likely contributed to its financial predicament in the first place:

Enough with the "Obama/god/messiah" analogies already, they've long since become insipid and annoying in the extreme!

Aside from the fact that Obama is pictured as the Hindu deity Shiva ("Destroyer of Worlds"), it postulates the old saw that "the modern presidency" may be too big.  As for his comparison with Shiva, I'll leave that to those more familiar with Hindu religion and/or mythology than I.

The last time I recall hearing this theory was during the last truly dreadful presidency; that of President Carter.  Abjuring the Shakespearean  adage ""The fault, dear Brutus, is not in our stars, but in ourselves...", Newsweek, instead, revives the rickety theory that the office, itself, is at fault.

In fact, the presidency has grown over the the last two centuries.  Some would argue that its growth has been outside its constitutional prescription, but that is a topic for another conversation, as is the out-sized growth of the government itself.  Yes, the presidency has grown, but so as the apparatus of the presidency itself.  We have an increasing number of "cabinet" officials whose job it is to manage the various departments of government and report directly to the president.  These offices are designed as a "corporate structure" in which the president chooses "department heads (with Senate confirmation) to oversee the running of the various departments, each of which have a web of structure unto themselves.

The number of these cabinet offices have steadily increased over the last century, keeping pace with the (alas) staggering growth of the federal government, thus enabling presidents to delegate mundane, daily operations to (hopefully) competent individuals.

The president serves as a CEO who comes to office with a specific vision as to what he/she wants the government to do or be and installs people to turn this vision into reality.  As these various cabinet officials are chosen by, and report to the president, he/she is directly responsible for their actions.

The presidency is not a job for the ordinary person; it is a job for the extraordinary person.  In the end, it's all about perspective.  The overwhelming number of people who have held this office have proven themselves to be the extraordinary people required by the office, even during the most dire of times.  On the other hand, some people who have found themselves unequal to the task have either withdrawn or their deficiencies have been duly noted, and acted upon by the electorate.

It's not that the office is too big; some who occupy it are just too small.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

This Is Unacceptable

For more than nine years, airline passengers have faced increasing inconvenience and indignities at the hands of airport security, and now it has come to this.  

Security is one thing, searches like this are quite another.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Uh, How About Thinking For Yourself?

Obama led House Democrats right into the political "Little Big Horn" of November 2010, and they barely held control of the Senate. So now, to whom are Senate Democrats looking for guidance? Yeah, Obama.
Dems Frustrated With White House Over Tax Cuts

Senate Democrats remain divided on how to move forward on extension of the 2001 and 2003 Bush-era tax cuts, and some are pointing the finger of blame at the White House, frustrated at what they see is a lack of guidance or ambiguous guidance coming from the president and his top aides.From a post-election news conference to a "60 Minutes" interview to comments from senior White House adviser David Axelrod, Democrats are scratching their heads trying to figure out what the leader of their party really wants them to do.

"The players on the field want a game plan," said one senior Democratic congressional aide who requested anonymity to be candid about caucus sentiment. "There's an increasing frustration from members that there is not a plan...There is just tremendous frustration. I mean, where are they?"

The aide noted that Senate Democrats, meeting behind closed doors Wednesday and most likely Thursday, intend to discuss the tax cuts, but there is one notable absence.

"Where is the White House? There's no one here talking to us today or tomorrow," the aide fumed, noting that former White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel would have been here. "Geithner says it's quote quite likely that we'll get this done. That sounds nice, I could say that, too, but what do they want done?"
Perhaps the best choice would be to listen to "The People" a habit that seems to have been lost among Democrats of late. Yes, Obama is the "Leader of the Party", but he's not an emperor, and if he is, he has no clothes.

The only option is to follow their "political gut"; at least for those who have not already sacrificed this organ on the altar of Obama.

Let’s Talk About Privatizing Social Security

From its inception, Social Security has been nothing more than a pyramid scheme that does no more than transfer funds from one generation to the next. It does not create wealth or encourage savings or responsibility; it places retired people on nothing more than another mismanaged government program. At least 12.4% of the wages of every American is being funneled into the massive government bureaucracy that sinks deeper by the day.

This program doesn’t give people “security” at all; it puts all of us on welfare.

Imagine if that money were actually yours, and was being invested in a personal IRA, of sorts. Contrary to what those who wish to keep Social Security as a government program say, financial markets have risen steadily over the long-term. Yes, there are peaks and valleys but when these markets are measured in decades; they are a remarkably safe and profitable repository.

I’ve done some rudimentary calculations on a spreadsheet concerning what could be achieved if the money that is currently being shoveled into the system were actually invested as an IRA and benefitted from compounding.

First, Social Security takes 12.4% of your earnings (6.2% from you and 6.2% from your employer). Let’s raise that to 13% (6.5% from you and 6.5% from your employer). This represents a modest 0.3% increase that, I believe, would be well worth it.

Now, let’s start with a 21 year-old individual, beginning his working career at a somewhat low-paying job that pays $25,000 per year, with 6.5% of that going to his/her account and his her/her employer contributing the other 6.5%, for a total of 13% per year.

To make this conservative, suppose this individual stayed at this low-paying job and received an average 1% increase per year (beginning at $25,000 and ending up 45 years later at $38,733). I think that one would agree that this is close to a worst case scenario for most.

Suppose this money were invested in an account that netted an average 6% per year (for the purposes of simple spreadsheet analysis, I added each year’s amount to the cumulative amount and multiplied it by “1.06”). Actually, this is a fairly conservative expectation for long-term investments.

At the end of 45 years of work, this individual has $840,566 on which to retire.

Then suppose that this individual, at 65, proceeds to retire. He/she is restricted to a payment of 80% of their last year’s income (in the case of this individual, they made $38,733, so their first year’s retirement income would be $30,986). That said, each year this individual would receive a 3.5% increase in their annual retirement income to accommodate for inflation. The balance in the account, of course, continues to grow at a rate of 6% per year, after the payment is made.

This individual lives a long life and dies at the ripe old age of 100. That year, he/she has an annual retirement income of $99,803 (it’s been going up 3.5% per year), he/she has been paid a total of $2,065,984 over the course of their 35 years of retirement, and bequeaths $140,833 (the balance of the account) to a designated survivor.

Yes, I made a lot of assumptions and these calculations were done on a spreadsheet. In addition, it does not consider how disability would be handled or any of the other various functions of Social Security. One must also consider how we transition from the current “transfer payment” system we currently have to one that actually creates wealth and financial security.

All of that said, this is designed to begin the conversation, and it’s a conversation that’s desperately needed.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

What The Hell Happened?

As a Boomer, life was great in the 80s and 90s, now I look back on it as if it were a dream, wondering “how did it all go so badly, so quickly?”. Alas, the 90′s were a mirage. Everyone (including myself) was trading stocks online finding that you could actually make some money with little effort. Business was good, jobs were plentiful and promotions and raises happened like clockwork.  It seemed that it would never end, but we didn’t know that we were building on sand; not only as individuals, but businesses as well. All it would eventually take was a tremor to bring it all down.

On 9/11, the tremor came. The ripples that went through the economy revealed the shallow, and speculative nature of our “bubble economy” and those ripples became waves that toppled the castles of sand that we thought was a stable economy. The upshot for me was that a 30 year career was ended by downsizing in 2004 and, at 50, I had to compete with much younger people who had not yet built a “lifestyle” based upon the “arc of continued success”. The arc, unfortunately, was an assumption based upon what proved to be a flawed vision of the American Dream.

Yeah, I made it for a few years, starting over in a new industry and using what I had left of my youthful ambition, combined with a bit of wisdom and experience. Nothing turned out as planned but, in the end, due to having saved some and resisted the urge to overly indebt myself, I’ll likely be OK.  Some of us, however, will not.  Shattered dreams litter the landscape as testament to misplaced trust in those willingly and maliciously betrayed it.

I curse those politicians, of both parties, and latter-day robber barons who chose expediency and unrealistic growth projections, funded by debt, over long-term solidity. Their American dream has been realized by way of exorbitant salaries paid for trashing the companies that paid them, while many of ours lat asunder. I curse the boards of directors who paid these scallywags, and the politicians that put the good of their own careers ahead of that of the American people and the American economic system. There’s a lot of cursing to go around, and it goes back for more than a half a century.

America's mistake has been in thinking only about the present as though the future “will just take care of itself”. We’ve kicked so many cans down the road, for so long, that those cans are now confronting us as past-due bills owed by generations not yet born.

A perfect example is Social Security. 60-70 years ago we knew that, eventually, the big chunk of humanity called the Baby Boomers would eventually retire. We went to school and there was a building boom of new schools and, thereafter, we impacted American society with every stage of our lives, just by the sheer numbers of us.  Would not retirement and the need for adequate Social Security have been a reasonable assumption?

Decades ago, plans should have been made, but no, the big chunk of money that was being reaped from our paychecks was being squandered on other things. It was like taking what you have in your 401K and buying a Corvette at 35, then wondering where your retirement went when you're 65. That thinking, coupled with absolutely ignoring the fact that Boomers were a time bomb, with the full knowledge of when it was going to explode, is political malpractice of the first order.

Systemically, at the political and corporate level, short-term thinking may well be the most significant reason for our current problems. Politically, it’s all about getting elected, and in the private sector, it’s all about having a better year than the last.

The solution? Well, one would like to think that staring into the abyss would teach us a valuable lesson, but I’m not convinced. Once the “crisis” has been averted, people tend to just fall back into their old habits rather than thinking about the systemic failures that created the crisis in the first place. 9/11 is a perfect example of that.

Some real suffering in the present as a result of the political and corporate failures of the past may well do the trick. Experience is a strern, taskmaster of a teacher, but she’s effective. After the Depression, there were a lot of lessons learned, by some, on a personal level. Politically, however, it saddled us with a burgeoning welfare mentality that has grown into the unmanageable beast we have today. Alas, FDR saw it as an opportunity that does not come often and he seized upon it. If we continue down the road that we are currently traveling, that same malevolent “opportunity” may well avail itself again, and I can only hope that it can be used to make real changes and not repeat the same mistakes.

We need only look to places like Allentown, PA, Detroit and Lansing, MI, to see the ruins of a once great industrial power laid to waste by incompetence and greed at the corporate level, and short-sightedness and expediency at the political level.

Internationally, the once great leader is no more than a follower, being lectured by nations who, just 70 years ago, we decimated in war, then rebuilt into prosperous nations. The irony is that their lectures are sound and their message is correct, but it's falling on deaf ears.

WE, and our insatiable thirst for “easy money” has done what no nation has been able to do in our history; it has reduced us to our knees. Many, such as myself, were raised by parents who weathered the Great Depression as well as World War II. They told us there was “no free lunch” They told us that the quest for “easy money” was a fool’s errand. But we didn’t listen, we just didn’t listen.

We’re listening now.  Or are we?

Monday, November 08, 2010

About Peat

I'm from Louisville, KY. As such, I had never given peat much thought; that is until my wife and I had occsion to visit Ireland, where peat is really an important part of life.

This is a true story about my education in, uh, peat.

As I said, m wife and I were in Ireland. We rented a car and toured the island for about 10 days. We’d pass through the countryside where they still have the little country houses with thatched roofs and a short wall around the perimeter. I noticed these black blocks that I simply could not identify, nor could my wife.

Well, we went on some sort of tour of a castle, and I took the occasion to ask the guide about the curious black blocks that seemed to be everywhere.

Incredulously, he said “it’s peat”.

“Peat?” I said. “What’s peat?

“It’s peat!” He exclaimed. “My God, man, don’t ye know what peat is?!"

“No, I’m afraid I don’t” I replied, “could you explain? Where does it come from?”

Becoming more exasperated by the moment, he said “It’s PEAT, it comes from the PEAT BOG where it’s cut out o' the ground!!!”

Then I asked “So, what, exactly do you do with this peat?”

At this point, he seemed to be gasping for air, and replied “YE BURN IT IN THE FIREPLACE! HOW COULD YE POSSIBLY NOT KNOW THAT! WHAT DO YOU BURN IN THE FIREPLACE IN AMERICA?!?!”

I replied “We burn logs, you know, firewood”.


“Thank you very much” I replied, “Yes, that clears it up nicely”

Hats Off to Weston, MO!

Sometimes people stand up when the authorities cannot, and this is one of those cases. The exerable Fred Phelps and his hateful drones of Westboro Baptist Church in Topeka, KS are nothing less than a dangerous and disgusting side effect of First Ammendment rights.

There are ways around the allowance of these lowlifes from excercising "their rights" and it would appear that Weston, MO has found the perfect way.

May this practice spread!

Residents of Missouri Town Block Protesters From Picketing Soldier's Funeral

Members of a small Missouri town banded together Saturday to block a controversial pastor and members of his Westboro Baptist Church from protesting the funeral of a fallen U.S. soldier, reports.

Hundreds of residents in Weston, Mo. -- as well as people as far away as California and Australia -- rallied in support of Sgt. First Class C.J. Sadell, who died from injuries suffered during a surprise attack in Afghanistan.

The residents sought to block Fred Phelps, leader of the Westboro Baptist Church in Topeka, Kan., and his followers from picketing Sadell’s funeral, according to the station.

Phelps' church has been the subject of intense criticism for holding more than 44,000 pickets at funerals and other events – including the services of fallen service members.

Citing their First Amendment right to protest, Phelps' followers say they use funerals as an “available public platform” to “deliver the message that there is a consequence for sin.” Phelps is openly opposed to homosexuality and all government policies they he says supports homosexuals.

"We got everybody here early so we could take up all the parking spots," Rebecca Rooney of Weston, Mo., told "We did that so Mr. Phelps wouldn't have a contingency that was really close."

"I'm glad they left, but I'm sad they came," she said.

Sadell, who leaves behind a wife and two sons, was stationed in the Arif Kala region of Afghanistan when his unit was ambushed on Oct. 5. Five soldiers were killed in the attack and Sadell was badly injured.

The 34-year-old died from his injuries on Oct. 24.

Thursday, November 04, 2010


Unemployment in San Francisco is something like 10%, and California is, as a whole, quickly going broke. Not only did California exhume Jerry Brown for another stint as Governor, one of their largest cities has chosen to busy themselves by pinpointing dangerous social ills.

Those damnable Happy Meals simply must go!
San Francisco bans Happy Meals

Enemy of The State
San Francisco's board of supervisors has voted, by a veto-proof margin, to ban most of McDonald's Happy Meals as they are now served in the restaurants.

The measure will make San Francisco the first major city in the country to forbid restaurants from offering a free toy with meals that contain more than set levels of calories, sugar and fat.

The ordinance would also require restaurants to provide fruits and vegetables with all meals for children that come with toys.

"We're part of a movement that is moving forward an agenda of food justice," said Supervisor Eric Mar, who sponsored the measure. "From San Francisco to New York City, the epidemic of childhood obesity in this country is making our kids sick, particularly kids from low income neighborhoods, at an alarming rate. It's a survival issue and a day-to-day issue."

I must say that I have no idea of what "food justice" actually is, but then again, I'm neither a San Franciscan nor a Californian. I am, however, pretty sure that "Happy Meals" are not one of those pressing issues of our time.

Normal people don't live on "Happy Meals", or at least they shouldn't. It's a little treat for the kiddies. As for the "childhood obesity" problem, particularly in low "income neighborhoods", if one is feeding their kids "Happy Meals" on a regular basis, they have more disposable income for fast food that most Americans.

There are a lot of foods out there that are "bad for us". How about that frozen, sugar-laden, congealed fat treat known as Ice Cream? Well, I don't see them banning that any time soon, even though kids absolutely love the stuff.

Liberals are wont to call Conservatives "authoritarian", yet it seems like every time a government brings out the "banning stick", it's a Liberal government. The people who just delight in using laws to enforce their vision of how you should live, are liberals.

Californians, and San Franciscans, can do what they like. They're the ones that have chosen to elect a board of supervisors that feels an obligation to protect you, and your children, from "Happy Meals" under penalty of law.

Just understand who really means to control your life, who have so little respect for you that they will make your decisions for you. It's not Conservatives, my friends.

Is This Trip Really Necessary?

I'm all for taking every necessary step in protecting the President of the United States, but isn't there a point where the steps become so ridiculous that one must examine if it's really worth it?

New Delhi: The White House will, of course, stay in Washington but the heart of the famous building will move to India when President Barack Obama lands in Mumbai on Saturday.

Communications set-up, nuclear button, a fleet of limousines and majority of the White House staff will be in India accompanying the President on this three-day visit that will cover Mumbai and Delhi.

He will also be protected by a fleet of 34 warships, including an aircraft carrier, which will patrol the sea lanes off the Mumbai coast during his two-day stay there beginning Saturday. The measure has been taken as Mumbai attack in 2008 took place from the sea.

Arrangements have been put in place for emergency evacuation, if needed

Obama is expected to fly by a helicopter -- Marine One -- from the city airport to the Indian Navy's helibase INS Shikra at Colaba in south Mumbai.

From there, he will drive down in Lincoln Continental -- the Presidential limousine -- to the nearby the Taj Hotel.
Two jets, armed with advanced communication and security systems, and a fleet of over 40 cars will be part of Obamas convoy.
Around 800 rooms have been booked for the President and his entourage in Taj Hotel and Hyatt.
The President's "entourage" will consist of some 3,000 people, and the trip is expected to cost $200 million per day. I strongly suspect that the 34 warships are not included in this price tag. Do the math.

So, what does the United States hope to gain from this trip? Well, Reuters says "Obama India's visit may be more style than substance":
NEW DELHI (Reuters) - A weakened U.S. President Barack Obama visits India this week to counter perceptions he has relegated the Asian power behind rivals China and Pakistan, but he may struggle to seal deals to help usher in billions of dollars of business.

Economic ties are booming but Obama's visit from Saturday to Monday may fail to live up to President Bill Clinton's 2000 trip that helped break the diplomatic ice, or President George W. Bush's visit in 2006 when a civil nuclear deal was hailed as a landmark in ties.

Obama's drubbing in the mid-term elections may also tie his political hands when it comes to bold policy moves on India as growing worries emerge that outsourcing in cities such as IT hub Bangalore is worsening mass unemployment in the United States.

It was a sign of the times that Obama told the Press Trust of India that India should open up its markets to U.S. companies, a stance that may dominate a 10-day trip of Asia aimed at boosting U.S. exports and jobs, crucial for his presidency's fate.

"Obama is going to be too preoccupied domestically, and you won't see a more aggressive foreign policy going forward," said Amitabh Mattoo, professor of international politics at Jawaharlal Nehru University.

"On his upcoming trip, I think that the best India can hope for is a consolidation of the relationship established under President Bush."
So,"ties are booming" and "outsourcing in cities such as IT hub Bangalore is worsening mass unemployment in the United States", and the trip is "aimed at boosting U.S. exports and jobs".

The average Indian exists on less than $2 per day which is exactly why U.S. companies are outsourcing jobs there. So, again, what is the upside to us? I still don't see it. Again from the Reuters piece:
A bilateral trade boom has seen total flows treble to $36.5 billion in goods in the decade to 2009-10, but the United States slipped from number one to three in India's trade partners. India lags China, the United States' third-biggest trading partner.

Washington faces a host of hurdles, including Indian worries that signing defense pacts -- which are necessary for the U.S. arms sales to go through -- may land New Delhi in a wider entanglement with the U.S. military.

The civil nuclear deal with the United States was signed to great fanfare, but it struggled through parliament and now the accord has sparked criticism that U.S. companies in the sector will be discouraged to invest due to high liabilities.

Obama has already played down ending a ban on U.S. exports of dual-use technology, telling the Press Trust of India it was "very difficult and complicated" to meet Indian expectations.

Obama may offer some support for India's place for a permanent seat on the U.N Security Council, but he will likely step short of a full endorsement.

"It will be the opportunity to consolidate all that we have built in the past decade," Foreign Secretary Nirupama Rao was quoted as saying in the Indian Express. "We are not in a stage in our relationship for dramatic breakthroughs and big-bang."

For its part, India will be wary of perceptions it is putting its eggs into one U.S. basket despite Obama's personal ties with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh. Any sign of India's sovereignty being undermined can rally political opposition against Singh.

Singh leads a coalition of fickle regional allies and his Congress Party has had its roots in statist and non-alignment policies since independence in 1947, policy vestiges that still remain among some of its most powerful politicians.
After being thoroughly repudiated by the American people, President Obama heads to India, hat in hand, in an effort to restart the American economy with the assistance of an impoverished country which is clearly unwilling to give that assistance. Furthermore, even if they were, American companies are reluctant to invest, due to the unfavorable climate. A climate that is highly unlikely to change.

The sad part is that the India portion of the trip comprises only two days of a 10 day excursion of Asia. The rest of the trip will be spent in basket case hell holes that make India look like Japan.

Maybe, just maybe, President Obama's time (and our money) would be better spent in developing a coherent strategy, with the Republicans, for getting the American economic house in order. In two months, a reshaped Congress will be seated and there's every indication that they intend to hit the ground running; in the interim, the American people expect, and deserve, that those two months be spent planning for that eventuality.

Wednesday, November 03, 2010

About Last Night

Some very valuable lessons were learned last night and I have no doubt that they are being taken to heart on a number of fronts.

The Tea Party succeeded by, for the most part, finding the pulse of America. They realized that they can give voice to many people who felt they had none, and have a major influence on elections.

The GOP, whether they want to admit it or not, are well aware of the influence of the Tea Party and are realizing that they are a double-edged sword that must be handled carefully. Politicians are, at their roots, politicians, and this morning they are examining what worked and what didn't. What they are finding is that there is a new "interest group", the People, and their voice is the Tea Party - this is a marvelous tool that can be used to bring them back to their core principles, or discarded, and used against them. I would see the former as being the choice of the pragmatic as it is the shortest distance between two points. Trust politicians to choose the easiest course.

The Democrats are wondering why their "50 year majority" evaporated in only 24 months, and they can look no farther than the White House. Those who are left will try to push Obama to the center in an effort to salvage what's left of their careers, yet they will find it a hard sell; Obama's no triangulator, he's a hard left ideologue. Even if he moved to the center, it would be seen as acquiescence to the Republicans, and the Republicans win the philosophical battle and, in the process, Obama loses his base - the far left. If he doesn't, he tends to lose the majority of the American people.

While all of this is being played out, the Republicans will be grooming their bench, which has become quite deep, for the battles that loom ahead. The Democrats, in contrast, are beginning to look a bit frayed and long in the tooth. The talk of Hillary as some sort of savior of the party underscores the desperation that they must be feeling right now.

My oh my, how fortunes can change in only two years. We must, however, be ever mindful that they can change back in an equally short period of time.

Monday, November 01, 2010

So, Where Do We Go From Here?

Assuming that tomorrow will bring the tsunami that is being predicted, it's not too soon to talk about what we will do with our new majority.

I think that Republicans need to focus on what we will do, rather than what we won’t do. It completely neutraizes the “party of NO” meme and people tend to react far better to positive messages than negative ones.

We also need to be of good cheer while highlighting the defficiances of the left, what comes to mind is Reagan’s “there he goes again!” retort, that came across as good spirited and friendly debate while reminding people that the Dems are offering nothing but warmed-over “same old crap”.

Reagan is a perfect model that we need to emulate. We needn’t mobilize against Obama personally, but ideologically; relentlessly reviewing the past two years with indesputable facts and figures, while always offering doable alternatives.

Put them, and particularly Obama on the defensive, again, with good humor, armed with the truth, and allow Obama’s legendary petulance to show through for all to see.

People are tired of the dirt, the lies, and the broken promises. They are looking for a light at the end of the tunnel, they long to be inspired…hell, I long to be inspired.

The reason that Reagan is still popular to this day is that, regardless of his treatment by the media, he inspired people and even his political foes found it very difficult to dislike him. In the end, politics has a huge personal element. Reagan found a way to circumvent the media and and appeal to each American with charm, as well as logic.

Reagan is gone, but he has left us a roadmap of how it is done.

"I Have a Dream" As Well

No major change is made without a certain amount of pain and suffering, and God knows we have all had our share, not only at the hands of Obama, but at the hands of those who would maintain blacks as the perennial underclass. Blacks have been at the forefront of the pain and suffering and I would think, at some point, they would be tired of it.

The growing black middle and upper class must feel particularly embarrassed to be portrayed as a race always in need of assistance, unable to think for themselves, and the focus of the race industry headed up by the Jesse Jacksons and Al Sharptons of the world.

Over the years, we have seen blacks rise to the top in the corporate world, we have seen black congressmen, senators, SecStates and now a black president, yet blacks are still condescended to. Black children who choose better, and attempt to walk in the footsteps of these numerous role models, and attempt to raise themselves up are accused of “acting white”, and black on black crime continues unabated. None of this is the fault of whites trying to “keep them down”, it’s the fault of the liberal race industry who are in dire need of an eternal underclass as a constituency.

At some point, blacks will come to the conclusion that they have been duped for generations, at some point they will determine that “the fault lies not in our stars, but in ourselves.”

Perhaps the election of Obama, while painful and destructive for us all, may bring about that seminal moment. Two years ago he was revered as a god, and two years hence, people are in worse shape than they were before. Their beloved Democrats, led by a black man, have had free rein for two years and the “Hope” and “Change” has become despair and more of the same. Their lives have not been magically transformed, and their savior has been revealed as a charlatan.

Maybe, just maybe, blacks will come to see that salvation does not come from “benevolent” Democrats but rather, it comes from in one’s self. Perhaps blacks will finally cast off the chains of “black leaders” and come to realize that King was correct when he asserted that what matters is ‘not the color of one’s skin, but the content of one’s character’.