Saturday, October 25, 2008

Barack Obama's Tax Myth

McCain Early Morning Memo

"Sen. Barack Obama claims that if only we let him raise taxes on a measly 5 percent of 'working Americans,' he could do great things.

Well, that sounds just peachy. Tax the rich, give to everyone else. Except there's one little detail the national media don't seem to like pointing out. The math doesn't add up.

Numerous organizations, including the Associated Press, have noted that Obama's proposals spend hundreds of millions of dollars more than his tax hikes raise. What is less well known is that Obama's tax plan itself sends out of Washingto n far more than it brings in. Obama's campaign twice admits that in the wording of the tax plan (Read the Full Article Here).

- The New Hampshire Union Leader
Only One Presidential Candidate is Tested and Ready to Lead

Joe Biden recently said that Barack Obama would be tested by some type of serious crisis during his first six months as president. When Senator Obama was asked by CBS about Biden's comment, he said that his presidential campaign has provided him with plenty of tests.

In these difficult times, the American people need a president who has been tested and has shown steadiness in crisis; not a president whose greatest test was a political campaign. John McCain has been tested at every turn in his life and has shown tremendous resolve and leadership. He is the president we need.

From McCain Early Morning Memo


Biden compares Obama to JFK. I was very young when JFK was elected, and wasn't interested in much more than playing Barbie with my friends. I had to do some research to find out just what events happened when.

The Bay of Pigs invasion happened within six months of JFK moving into the White House.

According to Wikipedia:

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The Cuban Missile Crisis was a confrontation between the United States, the Soviet Union, and Cuba during the Cold War. In Russia, it is termed the "Caribbean Crisis," (Russian: Карибский кризис, Karibskiy krizis) while in Cuba it is called the "October Crisis." The crisis ranks with the Berlin Blockade as one of the major confrontations of the Cold War, and is often regarded as the moment in which the Cold War came closest to a nuclear war.

In Havana, there was fear of military intervention by the United States in Cuba.[1] In April 1961, the threat of invasion became real when a force of CIA-trained Cuban exiles opposed to Castro landed at the Bay of Pigs. The invasion was quickly terminated by Cuba's military forces given that promised American air support never arrived. President John F Kennedy canceled air support as the invasion had already commenced due to last minute obtained knowledge which indicated the Soviets had stationed nuclear armament in Cuba.[citation needed] Castro was convinced the United States would invade Cuba.[2] Shortly after routing the Bay of Pigs Invasion, Castro felt more comfortable to finally declare Cuba a socialist republic and a Soviet Satellite state, and began to modernize Cuba's military with direct Soviet funding.

The United States feared the Soviet expansion of communism or socialism, but for a Latin American country to openly ally with the USSR was regarded as unacceptable, given the Russo-American enmity dating from the end of the Second World War in 1945.

In late 1961, Kennedy engaged Operation Mongoose, a series of covert operations against Castro's government which were to prove unsuccessful.[3]. More overtly, in February 1962, the United States launched an economic embargo against Cuba.[4]

The United States also considered direct military attack. Air Force Gen. Curtis LeMay presented to Kennedy a pre-invasion bombing plan in September, while spy flights and minor military harassment from the United States Guantanamo Naval Base were the subject of continual Cuban diplomatic complaints to the U.S. government.

By September 1962, Cuban observers fearing an imminent invasion would have seen increasing signs of American preparations for a possible confrontation, including a joint Congressional resolution authorizing the use of military force in Cuba if American interests were threatened,[5] and the announcement of an American military exercise in the Caribbean planned for the following month (Operation Ortsac).

The climax period of the crisis began on October 8, 1962. Later on October 14th, United States reconnaissance photographs taken by an American U-2 spy plane revealed missile bases being built in Cuba. The crisis ended two weeks later on October 28, 1962, when President of the United States John F. Kennedy and United Nations Secretary-General U Thant reached an agreement with the Soviets to dismantle the missiles in Cuba in exchange for a no invasion agreement and a secret removal of the Jupiter and Thor missiles in Turkey.

Kennedy, in his first public speech on the crisis, given on October 22 1962, gave the key warning,

It shall be the policy of this nation to regard any nuclear missile launched from Cuba against any nation in the Western Hemisphere as an attack on the United States, requiring a full retaliatory response upon the Soviet Union.[6]

This speech included other key policy statements, beginning with:

To halt this offensive buildup, a strict quarantine on all offensive military equipment under shipment to Cuba is being initiated. All ships of any kind bound for Cuba from whatever nation and port will, if found to contain cargoes of offensive weapons, be turned back. This quarantine will be extended, if needed, to other types of cargo and carriers. We are not at this time, however, denying the necessities of life as the Soviets attempted to do in their Berlin blockade of 1948.

He ordered intensified surveillance, and cited cooperation from the foreign ministers of the Organization of American States (OAS). Kennedy "directed the Armed Forces to prepare for any eventualities; and I trust that in the interest of both the Cuban people and the Soviet technicians at the sites, the hazards to all concerned of continuing the threat will be recognized." He called for emergency meetings of the OAS and United Nations Security Council to deal with the matter.[6]


Of course, there is much more about the Bay of Pigs invasion and the Cuban Missile Crisis and I urge you to go to Wikipedia to read more about this time in our past, you need to read about this time in our past. You need to follow the links provided to understand all the aspects of the events. You need to understand the past to understand the allegations that Biden makes. Where hard decisions will have to be made, but we, as citizens may not like or understand. I'm not suggesting that whatever Biden is trying not to say, has anything to do with Cuba. What I am saying is that unless we understand the past, our history, we stand to repeat it in the future.

As I said, I wasn't much interested in politics or even world events, but a child of seven does notice troop trains, loaded with hundreds of soldiers traveling down the railroad next to Highway One in Miami. A child of seven sees what resembles a huge bowling pin traveling down that same railroad and first hears the words "Polaris Missile". We lived for weeks and months with wave after wave of planes taking off from Homestead Air Force Base, home of the Strategic Air Command. Planes were taking off and landing twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week.

During the spring of 1962, my family went to Key West to watch my brother pitch in a high school game pitting Miami Palmetto HS against Key West High. On the way down, we saw warship after warship on the Atlantic horizon. Even the blimp base where the Miami Zoo now stands, was active, after several years of seeing only the occasional airborne blimp. We lived in the middle of things, in our subdivision. The blimp base was about two miles west and Homestead AFB about ten miles south east.

We had been to Key West several times since moving from Western Pennsylvania to Florida in 1959. When we visited, we always went to the Naval Base in Key West where we could actually go on some of the ships and submarines that were in port. We talked to the sailors who were so friendly and always anxious to talk to someone from their hometown. On this trip, the base was locked down from civilians, as I recall. Key West was swarming with Naval personnel. More than were normally stationed there. The Coast Guard had boats patrolling up and down the coast, from Key West probably up the entire Eastern Seaboard. I later learned the government was concerned about a Russian invasion.

I remember being that child of seven, and hearing the worry in my parents voices. They tried to keep me shielded from what was going on. They didn't know whether the world was going to end or maybe just end as we knew it. The considered sending me and my brother to an aunt and uncle in Pennsylvania until it was safer in Miami. Then, they realized that because of the range of missiles from Cuba, we were probably safer in Miami than our relatives in Pennsylvania. Of course, being that child of seven, I didn't understand much of what was going on in the world. I only understood that my parents were worried.

This was the age of the Cold War, bomb shelters, and the "drop and roll" exercises in schools in the event of an atomic bomb being dropped on the US. We now know that "drop and roll" wasn't going to save our lives in the event of a nuclear bomb, but it was something to give us hope that we could do something, even if it was only psychological.

I don't ever to live like that again. I don't want anyone in the United States to experience that life. It was a very frightening time. Then, we only worried about the Russians invading or "nuking" us. Now more nations have nuclear weapons, and some are nations that don't have any liking for the US, and a theology that causes them to think it was a good thing to kill themselves in the name of Allah.

It is almost treason to suggest that JFK was anything but nearly God-like, but he made some unfortunate decisions early in his presidency. I think he may have gone on to be a great president had he been able to have a second term, but he was cut down before his time.

I am not suggesting that Obama will be assassinated, I would never want that to happen to Obama or any other president. I am suggesting that Obama does not have the character or the background to make the decisions he may be faced with making. What hard, tough decisions has he made that give him the experience to undertake what Biden is suggesting?

Obama has no executive background. Obama's background is a community activist, a lawyer, a state senator and 143 days as the junior senator in the national Congress. I have to believe that he has only the best of intentions for the citizens of the United States. One thing he does have in his favor is that is is a Washington outsider. He hasn't spent enough time in Washington to become a Washington insider. Sure, he's the head of a large organization, but does he really run the organization, or does he have good people running it for him? He has the responsibility, but does he make the decision? I can't believe he does. There are just too many decisions, both hard and easy, that must be made. When would he have the time to campaign?

Are good intentions and not being a Washington insider enough to trust our lives and our country to such an unseasoned man? Only you can make that decision.

I already made mine.
Palin Thwarts The Gas Cartel
By INVESTOR’S BUSINESS DAILY | Posted Tuesday, October 14, 2008 4:20 PM PT

Energy: Iran resurrected its idea of a “gas cartel” to control gas markets like oil. But even if it succeeds, the U.S. won’t be vulnerable. If you wonder why, look to the governor of Alaska.

That’s right, Gov. Sarah Palin took a powerful preemptive step in August to shield the U.S. from a coming gas cartel. Palin’s effort to create the Trans-Canada Alaska gas line — which would provide a vast new trove of natural gas each day to the U.S. — effectively nullifies the emerging gas cartel’s potential impact on America.

If OPEC strikes you as a bad group, the new cartel for natural gas, led by Russia and Iran, will be even worse.

Russia has made standoffish statements about the plan, but won’t repudiate it. “A gas OPEC is an interesting idea,” then-President Vladimir Putin declared last year. Based on Russia’s moves since, the Heritage Foundation’s Ariel Cohen believes it’s a stealth move from the Kremlin to keep buyers unperturbed as the cartel slowly forms.

He’s right. This week in Tehran, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad quietly drew up the organization’s charter and will take it to Moscow next week.

One reason for the West’s complacency is the difficulty in founding a gas cartel. The natural gas market isn’t like the oil market, which trades at one price all over the world and can ship its product almost anywhere.

Most natural gas sales, by contrast, depend on pipelines and 20- or 30-year delivery contracts for pricing, both of which make price manipulation difficult.

In 10 years, that’s likely to be different. The market is changing fast. Global trade in liquified natural gas, or LNG, which requires no pipelines, will grow sharply. The U.S. will see a 58% increase in LNG imports in just two years, according to the Energy Department.

As the U.S. uses more natural gas, Iran’s Gas Exporting Countries Forum is taking off.

Instead of the tough task of controlling prices right away, the group will first gain control of reserves through state firms in 14 countries, including hostile states such as Venezuela and Bolivia.

The next step will be “cooperative” ventures to strengthen the network. The final goal is to control production.

It’s nothing but a scheme to carve up monopoly spheres of influence that can tell customers whom they can buy from. That will kill competition and create incentives for meddling. Russia, which readily cuts off gas to neighbors over political d isputes, has signaled that it will keep using gas as a political weapon.

That bodes ill for the global gas market, and some nations may become vassal states if the cartel dynamic kicks in.

As for U.S., already fairly self-sufficient in natural gas, we will be in a more solid position to defy the coercion. Palin’s pre-emptive step to foil Ahmadinejad’s scheme is in the Alaska gas line. In an Amazonian move, Palin effectively beat back the ambitious petrotyrants 10 years early with her $40 billion, 1,715-mile gas pipeline across Canada that will bring 4.5 trillion cubic feet of gas a day — nearly one-fifth projected needs — to the lower 48 within a decade.

Almost entirely off the news radar, Palin mowed down 30 years of legislative squabbling in the Alaska statehouse and then triumphantly signed off on the pipeline in August, stating her aim was energy independence.

“Alaska should be the leader of an energy policy that gets us there,” she told IBD over the summer.

Her swift response mirrors her strong support for drilling for oil and gas in Alaska’s Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. Asked about forecasts that its oil could take 10 years to come to market, Palin told IBD that planning was critical to energy security.

“You have to consider that if we’d started (drilling ANWR) five years ago, we wouldn’t be in this position right now,” she said.

Her gas line shows the same foresight, this time aimed a t neutralizing enemies that will otherwise grow in strength. Palin’s pipeline will be a critical strike for energy security against petrotyrants intent on extending their influence. It will come online at precisely the moment the gas cartel could develop into a power.

This isn’t to say petrotyrants will go away, that the U.S. won’t be in the crossfire. U.S. self-sufficiency in natural gas will be roughly equivalent to Brazil’s in oil. The South American country which sees few problems from petrotyrants in the wake of its oil independence based on its willingness to drill. The U.S. likely will have the same strength in natural gas.

Energy security is a peculiar concept. Conventional wisdom holds that the U.S. has too few resources to bother drilling. But a nation need not have massive oil reserves for independence; all it needs are competitive alternatives — such as natural gas. Heading off the gas cartel is an important move, and Palin deserves recognition.

Palin’s foresight is a major contribution to U.S. energy security that will reverberate well beyond the election, no matter how it turns out.
Secret Service visits Lufkin woman after 'death threat' allegation from an Obama campaign volunteer

Monday, October 06, 2008

A Lufkin woman received a surprise visit from the Secret Service last week because of a "death threat" comment she reportedly made about Sen. Barack Obama to a campaign volunteer asking for her support of the presidential candidate.

Two federal agents arrived at Jessica Hughes' home Thursday to ask her if she said, "I will never support Obama and he will wind up dead on a hospital floor."

Hughes said her words were deliberately twisted by a volunteer who was apparently unhappy Hughes was rude during a phone conversation the two had. The Lufkin mother, a Republican, said she received a call on her cell phone Wednesday from a woman with the Obama Volunteers of Texarkana.

"She asked if I was an Obama supporter, to which I replied, 'No, I don't support him. Your guy is a socialist who voted four times in the state Senate to let little babies die in hospital closets; I think you should find something better to do with your time.' (And then) I hung up."

(Hughes is referring to a "born alive" Illinois bill that did not pass in the Illinois state Senate in 2005 and had previously been opposed by Obama because he said it undermined Roe v. Wade, according to, a non-partisan organization. A federal version of the bill, which Obama said he would have supported, passed by unanimous consent and was signed into law by President George W. Bush in 2002.)

Obama Campaign Communications for Texas director Josh Taylor declined to comment Monday, refusing to answer any questions and referring the matter to the Secret Service, which he said is conducting an investigation. A message left with a Secret Service agent in Houston was not immediately returned.

Hughes said she was surprised to see two Secret Service agents at her door, and upset to learn that the conversation she had with the volunteer apparently had not been recorded.

"I find it hard to believe that (campaign volunteers) don't tape these calls. They call people unsolicited and they aren't monitoring the calls or recording them? I think that is absolutely ridiculous," she said.

"I mean, how often must this happen — that someone is rude to a volunteer that they don't want to talk to?"

Hughes said she wants to file a countercomplaint against the volunteer.

"She has made a charge that will follow me the rest of my life," she said.

"I find that repugnant and violating — that some person got her undies in a bundle because she didn't like what I had to say."

Find this article at:
Socialism - Part 4

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Chinese socialism

In 1949, the Chinese Revolution established a Communist state in China. Criticizing the invasion and trade embargo of the young Soviet state, Bevan wrote "At the moment it looks as though the United States is going to repeat the same folly in China... You cannot starve a national revolution into submission. You can starve it into a repressive dictatorship; you can starve it to the point where the hellish logic of the police state takes charge."


In 1951, the Socialist International was refounded by the European social democratic parties. It declared: "Communism has split the International Labour Movement and has set back the realisation of Socialism in many countries for decades... Communism falsely claims a share in the Socialist tradition. In fact it has distorted that tradition beyond recognition. It has built up a rigid theology which is incompatible with the critical spirit of Marxism." In the postwar years, socialism became increasingly influential throughout the so-called Third World. Countries in Africa, Asia, and Latin America frequently adopted socialist economic programs. In many instances, these nations nationalized industries held by foreign owners. The Soviet Union had become a superpower through its adoption of a planned economy, albeit at enormous human cost. This achievement seemed hugely impressive from the outside, and convinced many nationalists in the former colonies, not necessarily communists or even socialists, of the virtues of state planning and state-guided models of social development. This was later to have important consequences in countries like China, India and Egypt, which tried to import some aspects of the Soviet model.

The last quarter of the twentieth century marked a period of major crisis for Communists in the Soviet Union and the Eastern bloc, where the growing shortages of housing and consumer goods, combined with the lack of individual rights to assembly and speech, began to disillusion more and more Communist party members. With the rapid collapse of Communist party rule in the Soviet Union and Eastern Europe between 1989 and 1991, the Soviet version of socialism has effectively disappeared as a worldwide political force.

Social Democracy in power

In 1945, the British Labour Party, led by Clement Attlee, was elected to office based upon a radical, socialist program. Socialist and Communist parties dominated the post-war French, Italian, Czehchoslovak, Belgian, Norwegian, and other, governments. In Sweden, the Social Democratic Party had held power since 1932; Labour parties governed Australia and New Zealand. In Germany, the Social Democrats lost in 1949. In Eastern Europe, the war-resistance unity, between Social Democrats and Communists, continued in the immediate postwar years, until Stalin imposed "Communist" régimes.

At first, Social Democracy held the view of having begun a serious assault against Want, Disease, Ignorance, Squalor, and Idleness, the five Giant Evils afflicting the working class, identified by the British social reformer William Beveridge; however, from the Labour Party's left wing, Aneurin Bevan, who had introduced the Labour Party’s National Health Service in 1948, criticised the Attlee Government for not progressing further, demanding that the main streams of economic activity are brought under public direction with economic planning, criticising the implementation of nationalization for not empowering the workers, in the nationalised industries, with democratic control of operations.

In Place of Fear, the most widely read socialist book of the period, Bevan begins: A young miner in a South Wales colliery, my concern was with one practical question: Where does the power lie in this particular state of Great Britain, and how can it be attained by the workers?

The Frankfurt Declaration of the re-founded Socialist International stated:

"1. From the nineteenth century onwards, Capitalism has developed immense productive forces. It has done so at the cost of excluding the great majority of citizens from influence over production. It put the rights of ownership before the rights of Man. It created a new class of wage-earners without property or social rights. It sharpened the struggle between the classes.

Although the world contains resources, which could be made to provide a decent life for everyone, Capitalism has been incapable of satisfying the elementary needs of the world’s population. It proved unable to function without devastating crises and mass unemployment. It produced social insecurity and glaring contrasts between rich and poor. It resorted to imperialist expansion and colonial exploitation, thus making conflicts, between nations and races, more bitter. In some countries, powerful capitalist groups helped the barbarism of the past to raise its head again in the form of Fascism and Nazism."

— The Frankfurt Declaration 1951

The post-war social democrat governments introduced social reform and wealth redistribution via state welfare and taxation. The new U.K. Labour Government effected the nationalizations of major public utilities such as mines, gas, coal, electricity, rail, iron, steel, and the Bank of England. To wit, France claimed to be the world's most State-controlled, capitalist country.

In the U.K., the National Health Service provided free health care to all of the British population. Working-class housing was provided in council housing estates, and university education available via a school grant system. Ellen Wilkinson, Minister for Education, introduced free milk in schools, sayining, in a 1946 Labor Party conference: Free milk will be provided in Hoxton and Shoreditch, in Eton and Harrow. What more social equality can you have than that? To wit, Clement Attlee's biographer says this contributed enormously to the defeat of childhood illnesses resulting from bad diet. Generations of poor children grew up stronger and healthier, because of this one, small, and inexpensive act of generosity, by the Attlee government.

In 1956, Anthony Crosland said that 25 per cent of British industry was nationalized, and that public employees, including those in nationalised industries, constituted a like percentage of the country's total employed population.[42] Yet the Social Democrats did not seek ending capitalism; national outlook and dedication to the “post-war order” prevented nationalization of the industrial commanding heights, as Lenin put it. In 1945, they were denominated socialist, but, in the U.K., Social Democrats were the parliamentary majority, The government had not the smallest intention of bringing in the ‘common ownership of the means of production, distribution, and exchange’ as written in Clause 4 of the Labor Party Constitution;
nevertheless, Crosland said Capitalism had ended: To the question, ‘Is this still capitalism?’, I would answer ‘No’. In 1959, the German Social Democratic Party adopted the Godesberg Program, rejecting class struggle and Marxism.

In 1980, with the rise of conservative neoliberal politicians such as Ronald Reagan, in the U.S., Margaret Thatcher, in Britain, and Brian Mulroney, in Canada, the Western, socialist welfare state was attacked from within. As Education Secretary of the Conservative Government, 1970–1974, Margaret Thatcher abolished free milk for school children; thus, monetarists and neoliberals attacked social welfare systems as impediments to private entrepreneurship at public expense.

In the 1980s and 1990s, Western European Socialists were pressured to reconcile their collectivist economic programmes with a free-market-based communal European economy. In the U.K., the Labour Party struggled much; its epitome is Neil Kinnock’s passionate and public attack against the Party's Militant Tendency at a Labour Party conference, and his repudiation of the demands of the defeated striking miners after a year-long strike against pit closures. In the 1990s, released from the Left's progressive pressure, the Labour Party, under Tony Blair, posited policies based upon the free market economy to deliver public services via private contractors.

In 1989, at Stockholm, the 18th Congress of the Socialist International adopted a Declaration of Principles, saying that Democratic socialism is an international movement for freedom, social justice, and solidarity. Its goal is to achieve a peaceful world where these basic values can be enhanced and where each individual can live a meaningful life with the full development of his or her personality and talents, and with the guarantee of human and civil rights in a democratic framework of society.

The objectives of the Party of European Socialists, the European Parliament's Socialist Bloc, are to pursue international aims in respect of the principles on which the European Union is based, namely principles of freedom, equality, solidarity, democracy, respect of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms, and respect for the Rule of Law. Today, the rallying cry of the French Revolution – Equality, Liberty, and Fraternity – now constitute essential socialist values.

In 1995, the British Labour Party revised its political aims: The Labour Party is a democratic socialist party. It believes that, by the strength of our common endeavour we achieve more than we achieve alone, so as to create, for each of us, the means to realise our true potential, and, for all of us, a community in which power, wealth, and opportunity are in the hands of the many, not the few; famously, Cabinet minister Herbert Morrison said, Socialism is what the Labour Government does.

find it here

I thought a few lessons on Socialism would be a good thing. The above is copied directly from the Wikipedia page on Socialism. I did remove the footnote indicators. The links provided on Wikipedia did not translate (of course), and there are a lot of them! So I elected to not spend an hour or more adding all the links. I suggest you go to Wikipedia (link provided) and read it yourself.

Friday, October 24, 2008

"Well, the first thing I'd do as President is sign the Freedom of Choice Act. That's the first thing that I'd do."
- Barack Obama

Dear Fellow Conservative,

Overturn partial birth abortion bans . . . scrap parental notification laws . . . eliminate bans on taxpayer-funded abortions -- that's what the Freedom of Choice Act does.

Quite simply it is the most radical pro-abortion law ever concocted.

And liberal Democrat Senators can't wait to vote for this reckless law.

Right now, far-left liberals are pouring millions into Senate races to hand Barack Obama an unstoppable liberal supermajority to rubber-stamp his far-left agenda. If they achieve their goal, it will be impossible for conservatives to stop them.

The stakes in this election extend well beyond radical pro-abortion laws:
  • Crushing new taxes on families and small businesses
  • Staggering new government spending
  • Outrageous paybacks to Big Labor bosses
  • Liberal censorship of talk radio
Senator Orrin Hatch
Vice Chairman,
NNational Republican Senatorial Committee
Obama's Social Security Plan for Illegals

By Obama's own count there are 12 million illegal aliens in the U.S. and he wants them all getting government benefits.

Obama has stated he also wants to give each and every one of them amnesty and citizenship.

As for them learning English, he has stated he thinks American kids, your kids, should learn Spanish.

There is no doubt this man is the most radical leftist ever nominated by the Democratic party.

The National Republican Trust PAC.
Not authorized by any candidate or candidate’s committee.
2100 M St. NW Suite 170-340 Washington, DC 20037-1233
Socialism - Part 3

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The Revolutions of 1917–23

Vladimir Lenin (background) and Joseph Stalin.

By the year 1917, the third year of a ninety-day war, the patriotism propelling the First World War metamorphosed to political radicalism in most of Europe, the United States (cf. Socialism in the United States), and Australia. In February, popular revolution exploded in Russia when workers, soldiers, and peasants established soviets (councils) wielding executive power in a Provisional Government valid until convocation of a Constituent Assembly. In April, Lenin arrived in Russia from Germany, calling for All power to the soviets. In October, his party (the Bolsheviks) won support of most soviets while he and Trotsky simultaneously led the October Revolution. On 25 October 1917, at the Petrograd Soviet, Lenin declared "Long live the world socialist revolution!"

On 26 October, the day after assuming executive power, Lenin wrote Draft Regulations on Workers' Control, which granted workers control of businesses with more than five workers and office employees, and access to all books, documents, and stocks, and whose decisions were to be "binding upon the owners of the enterprises". Immediately, the Bolshevik Government nationalised banks, most industry, and disavowed the national debts of the deposed Romanov royal régime; it governed via elected soviets; and it sued for peace and withdrew from the First World War.

Despite that, the peasant Socialist-Revolutionary (SR) Party won the Constituent Assembly against the Bolshevik Party, who then acted resolutely the next day. The Constituent Assembly convened for thirteen hours (16.00 hrs 5 Jan – 4.40 hrs 6 Jan 1918). Socialist-Revolutionary Leader Victor Chernov was elected President of a Russian republic; next day, the Bolsheviks dissolved the Constituent Assembly. The Bolshevik Russian Revolution of October 1917 engendered Communist parties worldwide, and their concomitant revolutions of 1917-23. Few Communists, then, doubted that the Russian success of Socialism depended upon successful, working-class socialist revolutions effected in developed capitalist-economy countries; thus, in 1919, Lenin and Trotsky organised the world's Communist parties into a new international association of workers – the Communist International, the Comintern, also denominated the Third International.

In November of 1918, the German Revolution deposed the monarchy; as in Russia, the councils of workers and soldiers were comprised mostly of SPD and USPD (Independent Social Democrats) revolutionaries installed to office as the Weimar republic; the SPD were in power, led by Friedrich Ebert. In January of 1919. the left-wing Spartacist Putsch challenged the SPD government, and President Ebert ordered the Army and Freikorps mercenaries to violently suppress the Workers' and Soldiers' councils. In the event, Communist leaders Karl Liebknecht and Rosa Luxemburg were captured and summarilly executed. Also that year, in Bavaria, the Communist régime of Kurt Eisner in Bavaria was so suppressed. In Hungary, Béla Kun briefly headed a Hungarian Communist government. Throughout, popular socialist revolutions in Vienna, Italy's northern industrial cities, the German Ruhr (1920) and Saxony (1923); all failed in spreading revolutionary socialism to Europe's advanced, capitalist countries.

In Russia, Socialist circumstances were desperate; in August of 1918, assassin Fanya Kaplan shot and wounded Lenin in the head, rendering him moribund. Earlier, in June, the Soviet Government had implemented War Communism to manage the foreign economic boycott of Russia, and invasions by Imperial Germany, Imperial Britain, the U.S., and France, interfering in the Russian Civil War beside royalist White Russians; to control starvation, private business was outlawed, strikers could be shot, the white collar classes were forced to work manually, and, from the peasantry, they required grain for workers in cities.

By 1920, as Red Army commander, Trotsky had mostly defeated the royalist White Armies. In 1921, War Communism was ended, and, under the New Economic Policy (NEP), private ownership was allowed for small and medium peasant enterprises; industry remained State-controlled, Lenin acknowledged that the NEP was a necessary capitalist measure for a country mostly unripe for Socialism, thus, the existence of NEP businessmen and NEP women (NEP Men) flourished, and the Kulaks gained capitalist power as rich peasants.

In 1923, on seeing the Soviet State's greatly coercive power, the moribund Lenin said Russia had reverted to a bourgeois tsarist machine . . . barely varnished with socialism.[30] After his death (January 1924), the Communist Party of the Soviet Union – then controlled by Joseph Stalin – rejected the theory that socialism could not be built solely in the U.S.S.R., and declared the Socialism in One Country policy. Despite the marginal Left Opposition's demanding restoration of Soviet Democracy,[31] Stalin developed a bureaucratic, authoritarian government, that was condemned by Democratic Socialists, Anarchists, Trotskyists, et alles, for undermining the initial Socialist ideals of the Bolshevik Russian Revolution.

The inter-war era and World War II

Joseph Stalin

The Russian Revolution of October 1917 brought about the definitive ideological division between Communists as denoted with a capital "C" on the one hand and other communist and socialist trends such as anarcho-communists and social democrats, on the other. The Left Opposition in the Soviet Union gave rise to Trotskyism which was to remain isolated and insignificant for another fifty years, except in Sri Lanka where Trotskyism gained the majority and the pro-Moscow wing was expelled from the Communist Party.

In 1922, the fourth congress of the Communist International took up the policy of the United Front, urging Communists to work with rank and file Social Democrats while remaining critical of their leaders, who they criticized for "betraying" the working class by supporting the war efforts of their respective capitalist classes. For their part, the social democrats pointed to the dislocation caused by revolution, and later, the growing authoritarianism of the Communist Parties. When the Communist Party of Great Britain applied to affiliate to the Labour Party in 1920 it was turned down.

Socialism after World War II

In 1945, the world’s three great powers met at the Yalta Conference to negotiate an amicable and stable peace. UK Prime Minister Winston Churchill joined USA President Franklin D. Roosevelt and Joseph Stalin, General Secretary of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union's Central Committee. With the relative decline of Britain compared to the two superpowers, the USA and the Soviet Union, however, many viewed the world as "bi-polar" – a world with two irreconcilable and antagonistic political and economic systems. Many termed the Soviet Union "socialist", not least the Soviet Union itself, but also commonly in the USA, China, Eastern Europe, and many parts of the world where Communist Parties had gained a mass base. In addition, scholarly critics of the Soviet Union, such as economist Friedrich Hayek were commonly cited as critics of socialism. This view was not universally shared, particularly in Europe, and especially in Britain, where the Communist Party was very weak. In 1951, British Health Minister Aneurin Bevan expressed the view that, "It is probably true that Western Europe would have gone socialist after the war if Soviet behaviour had not given it too grim a visage. Soviet Communism and Socialism are not yet sufficiently distinguished in many minds."

find it here

I thought a few lessons on Socialism would be a good thing. The above is copied directly from the Wikipedia page on Socialism. I did remove the footnote indicators. The links provided on Wikipedia did not translate (of course), and there are a lot of them! So I elected to not spend an hour or more adding all the links. I suggest you go to Wikipedia (link provided) and read it yourself.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Socialism - Part 2

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

International Workingmen's Association – First International

Socialists made varying interpretations of The Communist Manifesto.

In 1864, the International Workingmen's Association (IWA) – the First International – was founded in London. Londoner Victor le Lubez, a French radical republican, invited Karl Marx to participate as a representative of German workers. In 1865, the IWA had its preliminary conference, and its first congress, at Geneva, in 1866. Karl Marx was member of the committee; he and Johann Georg Eccarius, a London tailor, were the two mainstays of the International, from its inception to its end; the First International was the premiere international forum promulgating socialism.

In 1869, under the influence of Marx and Engels, the Social Democratic Workers' Party of Germany was founded. In 1875, the SDW Party merged with the General German Workers' Association, of Ferdinand Lassalle, metamorphosing to the contemporary German Social Democratic Party (SPD). Since the 1870s, in Germany, Socialism was associated with trade unions, as the SPD constituted trade unions, while, in Austria, France, and other countries, socialist parties and anarchists did like-wise. That ideologic development greatly contrasts with the British experience of Socialism, wherein politically-moderate New Model Unions dominated unionized labor from the mid–nineteenth century, and trade-unionism was stronger than the political labor movement, until appearance of the Labour Party in the early twentieth century. The first U.S. socialist party was founded in 1876, then metamorphosed to a Marxist party in 1890; the Socialist Labor Party exists today. An early leader of the Socialist Labor Party was Daniel De Leon who had considerable influence beyond the United States as well.

Socialists supported and advocated many branches of Socialism – from the Gradualism of trade unions to the radical Revolution of Marx and Engels to the Anarchists emphasizing small-scale communities and agrarianism; all co-existing with the most influential Marxism and Social Democracy. The Anarchists, led by the Mikhail Bakunin, believed Capitalism and State inseparable, neither can be abolished without abolishing the other.

The Second International

As the ideas of Marx and Engels gained popularity, especially in Central Europe, Socialists united into an international organization, and founded the Second International in 1889, the centennial of the French Revolution; from 20 countries, 300 socialist and labor union organizations sent 384 delegates. The Second International was denominated the Socialist International with Friedrich Engels its honorary third-congress president in 1893.

In 1895, Engels said there now is a single, generally recognized, crystal clear theory of Marx and a single, great international army of socialists.

Despite being outlawed in Germany by the Anti-Socialist Laws of 1878, the Social Democratic Party of Germany masterfully used the limited, universal, male suffrage available to exercise the electoral strength necessary to compel rescindment of the Anti-Socialist laws in 1890. In 1893, the SPD received 1,787,000 votes, a quarter of the votes cast. Before the SPD published Engels's 1895 introduction to Marx's Class Struggles in France 1848–1850, they deleted phrases felt too-revolutionary for mainstream readers.

Karl Marx believed possible a peaceful, socialist transformation of England, despite the British Aristocracy and Ruling Class revolting against such a popular victory. Whereas the United States and Holland might also effect peaceful transformations, not France; Marx thought it had perfected . . . an enormous, bureaucratic and military organization, with its ingenious State machinery that required forcible deposition; nevertheless, with Karl Marx only eight years dead, Engels said it was possible to achieve a peaceful, socialist revolution in France.

World War I

When World War I began in 1914,most European socialists supported the bellicose aims of their national governments. The British, French, Belgian, and German social democratic parties discarded their political commitments to proletarian internationalism and worker solidarity to co-operate with their imperial governments.

In Russia, N. Lenin denounced the Europeans' Great War war as an imperialist conflict, and urged workers, worldwide, to use the war as occasion for proletarian revolution. The Second International dissolved during the war; Lenin, Leon Trotsky, Karl Liebknecht, and Rosa Luxemburg, and other anti-war Marxists conferred in the Zimmerwald Conference in September of 1915.

find it

I thought a few lessons on Socialism would be a good thing. The above is copied directly from the Wikipedia page on Socialism. I did remove the footnote indicators. The links provided on Wikipedia did not translate (of course), and there are a lot of them! So I elected to not spend an hour or more adding all the links. I suggest you go to Wikipedia (link provided) and read it yourself.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Joe the Plumber Fights Back - Part 2

The Mike Huckabee Show - Fox
Saturday at 8:00 pm
Joe the Plumber Fights Back - Part 1

The Mike Huckabee Show - Fox
Saturday at 8:00 pm

Sprint to join rivals in cutting termination fees

KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Following its rivals, Sprint Nextel Corp. will soon begin trimming the fees customers face for canceling their cell phone service early.

Chief Executive Dan Hesse said Tuesday in an interview with The Associated Press that Sprint could start lowering the early termination fees as soon as December, once the company updates its billing software. The fee of $200 or more is charged to wireless subscribers who end their service before their two-year contract ends.

The new policy would reduce the fee slightly for each month a subscriber stays with the plan. Competitors AT&T Inc., Verizon Wireless and T-Mobile USA already prorate their fees.

A California judge this summer said such fees likely violate state law and ordered Sprint to reimburse customers more than $73 million. Days before that ruling, Verizon Wireless agreed to settle an identical lawsuit for $21 million.

Wireless companies say the termination fees are necessary to recover the cost of cell phones, which are typically subsidized under long-term contracts, and to defray the costs for signing up new customers.

Consumer groups, however, say the fees are unreasonable and are intended to discourage customers from jumping ship to another carrier.

The wireless industry has asked the Federal Communications Commission to regulate the fees and prevent other state class-action lawsuits from going forward. FCC Chairman Kevin Martin this summer discussed a preliminary plan that would call for wireless carriers to prorate the fees, but that plan hasn't gone anywhere since then.
McCain reminds Biden he's been tested in crisis
Associated Press
October 22, 2008

HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) -- Republican John McCain told voters in this key electoral state Tuesday he was personally tested by the same kind of crisis that Democratic vice presidential nominee Joseph Biden warned Barack Obama will almost certainly face if elected president.

McCain recalled being ready to launch a bombing run during the October 1962 Cuban Missile Crisis, which Biden said over the weekend tested a new President John F. Kennedy and was the template for the kind of "generated crisis" the 47-year-old Obama would face within six months of taking office.

"I was on board the USS Enterprise," McCain, a former naval aviator, said in the capital city of Harrisburg. "I sat in the cockpit, on the flight deck of the USS Enterprise, off of Cuba. I had a target. My friends, you know how close we came to a nuclear war."

As the crowd of several thousand began to swell with cheers and applause, he added with dramatic effect: "America will not have a president who needs to be tested. I've been tested, my friends."

Biden told two fundraising audiences in Seattle over the weekend that he expected world figures to test Obama early if he wins the election in two weeks.

"He's gonna need you -- not financially to help him -- we're gonna need you to use your influence, your influence within the community, to stand with him," Biden said.

Biden predicted Obama would fare well because he's "got steel in his spine." In citing the Cuban Missile Crisis, though, he evoked a historic event in which McCain played a part.

"The Enterprise, sailing at full speed under nuclear power, was the first U.S. carrier to reach waters off Cuba," McCain wrote in his memoir, "Faith of My Fathers." ''For about five days, the pilots on the Enterprise believed we were going into action. We had never been in combat before, and despite the global confrontation a strike on Cuba portended, we were prepared and anxious to fly our first mission."

He added: "Pilots and crewmen alike adopted a cool-headed, business-as-usual attitude toward the mission. Inwardly, of course, we were excited as hell, but we kept our composure and aped the standard image of a laconic, reserved, and fearless American at war."

McCain spent all day Tuesday in Democratic-leaning Pennsylvania, worth 21 Electoral College votes, before heading Wednesday into New Hampshire, a formerly reliable GOP state which Obama has made competitive this year. Though it has only four of the 270 electoral votes needed to win the presidency, New Hampshire could swing the election under some voting models which predict a very close Electoral College split.

The 72-year-old McCain regularly questions whether Obama -- a first-term senator -- has the experience to be president. He also questions whether the Illinois Democrat has the character to stand up to his own party and to stick with his core philosophical views.

In a region experiencing World Series fever, McCain underscored his argument by noting Obama had expressed support for both teams playing in the upcoming baseball championship.

Standing just miles north of Philadelphia, whose Phillies will represent the National League starting Wednesday against the American League champion Tampa Bay Rays, McCain noted Obama has identified himself with both teams while campaigning in their two politically important home states.

Obama said over the weekend in Philadelphia that while he was a Chicago fan, "Since the White Sox are out of it, I'll root for the Phillies now." On Monday in Tampa, Obama was introduced by a Rays pitcher and said, "I've said from the beginning that I am a unity candidate, bringing people together. So when you see a White Sox Fan showing love to the Rays -- and the Rays showing some love back -- you know we are on to something right here."

McCain told employees at TCI Millwork Inc. in Bensalem: "Now, I'm not dumb enough to get mixed up in a World Series between swing states. But I think I may have detected a little pattern with Sen. Obama. It's pretty simple really. When he's campaigning in Philadelphia, he roots for the Phillies, and when he's campaigning in Tampa Bay, he 'shows love' to the Rays."

As boos echoed through a cavernous warehouse, he added:"It's kind of like the way he campaigns on tax cuts, but then votes for tax increases after he's elected."

McCain ended his day with a rally at Robert Morris University in Moon Township, just outside Pittsburgh. He tried to criticize Obama for saying in April that working class Pennsylvanians "cling" to guns and religion when their economic fears rise and Rep. John Murtha, D-Pa., for saying last week that some of his Western Pennsylvania constituents are racist. But McCain drew mostly silence as he fumbled the remarks several times before getting his point right.

"Sen. Obama's supporters have been saying some pretty nasty things about Western Pennsylvania lately. And you know I couldn't agree with them more. I couldn't disagree with you. I couldn't agree with you more than the fact that Western Pennsylvania is the most patriotic, most god-loving, most patriotic part of America. This is a great part of the country. My friends, I could not disagree with those critics more," McCain said.