Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Undercover Bailout

The media is falling all over itself to report on every minutiae of the so-called Wall Street "bailout bill" and its rejection by Congress yesterday.And why not? The media’s breathless coverage of the bill has produced a furious backlash by the public and hysteria on Wall Street in a self-justifying feedback loop that makes the media attention seem merited.

The startling truth which the controlled corporate media is not reporting, however, is that a bailout is actually taking place right now, completely out of the public spotlight. This program has already pumped trillions of dollars into Wall Street (compared to the mere $700 billion proposed in the legislation that the media is focusing on) to help prop up the faltering investment banks and promises to pump in even more, every dime of it to the detriment of the taxpayer though the public will have no stake in its success. Why, then, is this program not being talked about in the media?

Slipping under the radar last week amidst the hullabaloo in Washington over the bailout bill was this story noting that in the past week alone, the Federal Reserve had pumped an astonishing $188 billion per day into the system in the form of emergency credit. This means that in just four days, the Fed injected as much money into the system as the entire $700 billion bailout proposal. After the proposal was rejected, the Fed responded by immediately announcing it would pour another $630 billion into the global financial system.

The Federal Reserve, of course, is America’s central bank and although the above story conjures the reassuring image of a national bank lending out some of its vast reserves to help Wall Street weather the storm, the fact is that the Federal Reserve is not Federal and has doubtful reserves. In fact, the trillions of dollars that have been lent to the banks in the last few weeks were created out of nothing by the privately-owned Federal Reserve. When the Federal Reserve "lends" money to a bank through repurchase agreements (repos), credit auction or other method, it is not actually lending out money from its vaults. It is simply creating the money it "lends" out as electronic credits created in the recipient banks account. It is literally money out of thin air.

That the general public is on the hook for this money created out of nothing is not an exaggeration. It is paid for in a dimly-understood mechanism often known as the "inflation tax."

Inflation is nothing more than an indication that the ratio of money to products that can be purchased with that money has been increased. Since the overall number of dollars has gone up without any corresponding increase in economic production (as happens when the Federal Reserve creates money out of thin air), the value of each individual dollar goes down. That means that the value of the money in each individuals’ bank account (not to mention their pension and social security dividends) can be reduced simply by the flick of a pen of a Federal Reserve paper-pusher. (Unless of course that individual just happens to be a billionaire investment mogul or a Vice President who can divest themselves of U.S. dollars in time for this inflation not to affect them.) This is sometimes known as an inflation tax because its overall effect is the same as if the government came in and took that value out of the individuals’ bank account. Watch Ron Paul explain the inflation tax in the video below:

The most insidious part of this inflation tax is that the inflation does not begin until the new money begins to circulate in the system. In other words, the first person (or, more likely, giant corporate conglomerate) to use the money receives its full value, while those at the bottom of the pyramid retrieve the diminished returns of a devaluing dollar.

Why, then, is the public not furious about this stealth bailout, now taking place at the blistering pace of nearly $1 trillion a week, and all to the taxpayer’s detriment? The obvious answer is that the media is not whipping the public into a frenzy about it, instead focusing its attention on a $700 billion program and allowing the public to feel like they scored a blow against Wall Street when the program gets rejected. If so, it’s time the public got wise to how the system is really being run by and for the benefit of private bankers and at the expense of the average taxpayer. Otherwise, the fleecing of the public will continue unabated even as the public thinks they’ve won the battle. Wake up folks!!!

Corbett, J. (2008, September 30). Bailout by Stealth. The Corbett Report. Retrieved September 30, 2008, from http://www.infowars.com/?p=4977.

I cross-posted this at Tyranny Watch.

Decision 2008

Want to see where Barack stands?  May be hard to tell from debates and such, so here's a survey of questions to answer and then guage yourself against him.  

I disagreed with Obama on 92% of his positions, and actually would have been closer to 100% if I wasn't so sure that abortion rights should be decided by the states and not the Federal Government.   Looks like it's McCain for me

Take the test and report in your results.  

H/T to Fort Wayne News for the link.  Looks like Dan at Ft. Wayne News is even more conservative than I.  Big Surprise! 

Kudos to Pete Visclosky

The Indiana delegation voted 6-3 against the bill. Democrats Joe Donnelly and Brad Ellsworth and Republican Mark Souder voted to support the bill, while it was opposed by Democrats Andre Carson, Baron Hill and Pete Visclosky and Republicans Dan Burton, Steve Buyer and Mike Pence. Thanks to all those who opposed this awful bill!

A great quote yesterday from Rep. Pete Visclosky, Democrat:

"We are now in the golden age of thieves. And where I come from we put thieves in jail, we don't bail them out."

Go Pete!

Source: http://www.wsbt.com/news/election/2008/29902884.html

Monday, September 29, 2008

Bailout Vote Fails

And I'm glad. Hooray for liberty! Now hopefully Congress can keep it from getting passed. These CEO's and CFO's should be prosecuted, not bailed out. The free market can solve this much better than socialism!

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Ron Paul Called the Housing Collapse in July, 2002. He Said That the Fannie and Freddie Would Be the Cause

From Hoosiers For Fair Taxation:

The bankruptcy of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac caught the government by surprise. That is because the government -- meaning the experts at Treasury -- do not understand Austrian School economic theory. Ron Paul does. Here is what he said on July 16, 2002. It shows how a promise of a $2 billion line of credit resulted in the transfer of $5 trillion in mortgages, with 20% of them bad, to the government. Henry Paulson did this on his own authority on Sunday, September 7, 2008. Congress rolled over. It always does.

If the government had passed Paul's bill, it would not be in a crisis today.

Mr. Speaker, I rise to introduce the Free Housing Market Enhancement Act. This legislation restores a free market in housing by repealing special privileges for housing-related government sponsored enterprises (GSEs). These entities are the Federal National Mortgage Association (Fannie), the Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corporation (Freddie), and the National Home Loan Bank Board (HLBB). According to the Congressional Budget Office, the housing-related GSEs received $13.6 billion worth of indirect federal subsidies in fiscal year 2000 alone.

One of the major government privileges granted these GSEs is a line of credit to the United States Treasury. According to some estimates, the line of credit may be worth over $2 billion. This explicit promise by the Treasury to bail out these GSEs in times of economic difficulty helps them attract investors who are willing to settle for lower yields than they would demand in the absence of the subsidy. Thus, the line of credit distorts the allocation of capital. More importantly, the line of credit is a promise on behalf of the government to engage in a massive unconstitutional and immoral income transfer from working Americans to holders of GSE debt.

The Free Housing Market Enhancement Act also repeals the explicit grant of legal authority given to the Federal Reserve to purchase the debt of housing-related GSEs. GSEs are the only institutions besides the United States Treasury granted explicit statutory authority to monetize their debt through the Federal Reserve. This provision gives the GSEs a source of liquidity unavailable to their competitors.

Ironically, by transferring the risk of a widespread mortgage default, the government increases the likelihood of a painful crash in the housing market. This is because the special privileges of Fannie, Freddie, and HLBB have distorted the housing market by allowing them to attract capital they could not attract under pure market conditions. As a result, capital is diverted from its most productive use into housing. This reduces the efficacy of the entire market and thus reduces the standard of living of all Americans.

However, despite the long-term damage to the economy inflicted by the government's interference in the housing market, the government's policies of diverting capital to other uses creates a short-term boom in housing. Like all artificially-created bubbles, the boom in housing prices cannot last forever. When housing prices fall, homeowners will experience difficulty as their equity is wiped out. Furthermore, the holders of the mortgage debt will also have a loss. These losses will be greater than they would have otherwise been had government policy not actively encouraged over-investment in housing.

Perhaps the Federal Reserve can stave off the day of reckoning by purchasing GSE debt and pumping liquidity into the housing market, but this cannot hold off the inevitable drop in the housing market forever. In fact, postponing the necessary but painful market corrections will only deepen the inevitable fall. The more people invested in the market, the greater the effects across the economy when the bubble bursts.

No less an authority than Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan has expressed concern that government subsidies provided to the GSEs make investors underestimate the risk of investing in Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.

Mr. Speaker, it is time for Congress to act to remove taxpayer support from the housing GSEs before the bubble bursts and taxpayers are once again forced to bail out investors misled by foolish government interference in the market. I therefore hope my colleagues will stand up for American taxpayers and investors by cosponsoring the Free Housing Market Enhancement Act.

Congress did not pass this bill. The result is the worst economic catastrophe since the Great Depression, which Paulson now admits.

Congress and the media do not remind the voters of what Paul said would happen and why.

The taxpayers are at least a trillion dollars more in debt today than they were on September 6, 2008. This will get worse before the month is over.

The nationalization of Fannie and Freddie will make the housing market worse. Here's why: http://mises.org:80/story/3110.

Ron Paul is a lot smarter than people want to admit. The MSM would like to demonize him, but that's because he clearly exposes their folly!

Friday, September 26, 2008

Prestigious Group of 192 Economists - Including Nobel Prize Winners - Slams Bailout

I saw the list over at George Washington's Blog. The listed group of prominent economists, including numerous Nobel Prize winners, have written a letter slamming the bailout proposal. See the list by clicking here. See the letter by clicking here.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Attend Sept 30th panel at Valpo Univ on Credit Crisis

Valpo Univ Panel on Credit Crisis

I'm going to try and attend this, perhaps even live blog. By the 30th the Congress and President will have made up their minds on the plans being discussed today, but the long term implications will fall to the new President and Congress to manage. I'm sure hoping it's John McCain and that the Senate goes 50-50 so they are deadlocked and can't create more regulations.

Valparaiso, Ind. -- A panel of Valparaiso University business, economic and legal experts will discuss the ongoing crisis afflicting Wall Street and Main Street America and the government’s bailout plan on Sept. 30.

The panel discussion, which will address how the financial crisis and government efforts to bailout financial institutions on the verge of bankruptcy may impact the American public, will take place from 6 to 8 p.m. in the Christopher Center Community Room. The event is free and open to the public.

Speaking are:

● Bruce MacLean, director of graduate programs in management. He is an entrepreneur with more than 35 years of executive management experience in large multinational corporations and medium-sized domestic corporations. MacLean founded the start-up education and training technology firm World Class Communication Technologies in 1989

● Alan White, assistant professor of law. He is an expert on
predatory mortgage lending and mortgage foreclosures who recently testified to the U.S. House Committee on Financial Services on the government's response to the foreclosure crisis. White is serving a three-year term as a member of the Federal Reserve Board of Governors Consumer Advisory Committee and in 2004 he was named National Association of Consumer Advocates' Consumer Attorney of the Year.

● Dr. Virginia Shingleton, chair of the Department of Economics.
Her research interests include labor market analysis and the influence of health benefits on labor market participation of various ethnic groups and races. She has been an officer in the Midwest Economics Association.

● Dr. Paul Newsom, associate professor of finance. His research
focuses on asset pricing models, and he won the Distinguished Research Award for his paper “An Aggregate Investigation of the Demand for Home Equity Credit” at the 2005 Allied Academies Conference, as well as the Best Paper in Financial Education at the 2006 Midwest Business Administration Association conference.

Serving as moderator for the discussion is Dr. Jaishankar Raman, associate professor of economics. Those attending the discussion will be invited to ask questions of the experts.

Sponsoring the panel discussion are the University’s chapters of Students in Free Enterprise, Delta Sigma Pi and Delta Epsilon Chi.

Source: Valparaiso University

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Who Am I?

Who Am I?

I am under 45 years old,
I love the outdoors,
I hunt,
I am a Republican reformer,
I have taken on the Republican Party establishment,
I have many children,
I have a spot on the national ticket as vice-president with less than two years in the governor's office.
Did you guess?

I am Teddy Roosevelt in 1900. He later became President when McKinley was killed!

I guess he didn't have enough experience, either.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Will you be traveling by car or by boat in NWI?

Wow! We got hit with some rain. It took me almost an hour to get home the other day, and I was within a mile of my subdivision! Why? Because two of the only ways to get in were flooded, so I had to take Route 30 to get in a back way. The only problem is that Route 30 was backed up and hardly moving.

Later last night I got a call from my grandma in Munster, saying she got an evacuation order because the river was cresting. So I (somehow) managed to get to her house via back roads without turning my little Honda Accord into a glorified canoe. We then proceeded to load all of her prized possessions into my car, my mom's van, and my brother's truck. Wow. Imagining having to pack up everything you value in less than an hour because you know the water is about to ruin everything else. We tried to raise the furniture onto bricks and take everything off of the ground as well. My grandma, along with her neighbors, mostly elderly, were beside themselves. One of her neighbors is in her late 80's and can't walk. Very sad. By the time we finished loading up my grandma's stuff, the city made us leave.

It was night time when most of this occurred, so I couldn't get good photos, but I took photos of my backyard, Meijer's, Sedona, and Mesa Ridge subdivisions in Merrillville earlier in the day. Here's a little bit of what we experienced, click on any image to see it enlarged:

Those are trees in that lake, not shrubbery. They are almost all the way submerge. Notice the water level on the fence line.

Up-close of the submerged trees.

Care to go shopping at Meijer's anyone?

Now how exactly did you want me to get out of my neighborhood again?

Share your stories and email your photos to nwiconnect@gmail.com and I'll post them here! How did you fare through the storm?

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Remembering 9/11

Today is Patriot Day, a day to remember those who lost their lives in the tragedy on September 11, 2001. When I was little, my mom used to comment about how she can still remember exactly where she was and what was happening when Kennedy was shot. I used to figure that was simply because she was a woman (no offense intended). It's true though, when an event is associated with a strong emotion, that event is burned into our memory and we can recall it. Most things in womens' life are bonded with strong emotions, and thus they tend to remember EVERYTHING. The same thing happens with us men, we just typically don't care about much, so we don't remember much. See The Tale of Two Brains for a funny lesson on how men and women remember things.

But I no longer chalk it up to gender. I can remember EXACTLY what I was doing and where I was when the trade center was hit by the first plane. I was in my junior year of high school, and I was in the media lab watching it on television while printing out updates for teachers in the school. That was also when I first decided to join the military. It took me two years to finally join the Army, but I did (and am still serving). It's something few of us will ever forget. If you'd like to attend a memorial event about it today, the Times reports several options. Here are a few notable ones:

Hammond: Resident Herb Lewis will host a memorial service at 6 p.m. at his home, 3015 173rd St. The Hammond Fire Department will attend.

Munster: The Veterans of Foreign Wars, Munster Post 2697, will conduct a Freedom Walk and sunset ceremony about 6:50 p.m. at the Edward Robinson Community Veterans Memorial, near the intersection of Calumet Avenue and Superior Street.

South Haven: American Legion Post 502 will host a service at 7 p.m. at the post, 429 W. County Road 750 North. The South Have Fire Department, Porter County Sheriff David Lain, Portage Township Trustee Joyce Webster, Porter County Pilots Association and the South Haven Legion Honor Guard will be in attendance.

Several cities, including Crown Point, Valparaiso, Schererville, etc. hosted memorials this morning or early afternoon. I didn't post those because I am writing this post around 2pm. The memorials posted are still relevant for this evening. God bless America!

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Change We Can Believe In?

Since the Democrats took over Congress, they have delivered the change they promised.

So what has changed since the Democrats took control of Congress in 2007?

Consumer confidence has dropped from -2 in January, 2007 to to -50 in August, 2008, the lowest in 20 months.

Gasoline prices in January, 2007 were under $2.20 per gallon then peaked at over $4.10 in the summer of 2008, retreating recently to $3.70 per gallon in August; still a 68.18% increase.

Unemployment stood at 4.7% in March of 2007. In September, 2008, the Associated Press reflected America's frustration by reporting, “The nation’s unemployment rate bolted above the psychologically important 6 percent level last month for the first time in five years.”

Home values have dropped. The National Association of Realtors reports in its Median Sales Price of Existing Single-Family Homes for Metropolitan Areas that the average home valued at $221,000.00 in 2006. In 2008 home values dropped to $196,100.00 before recovering some ground to $206,500.00, a 7.02% in drop in what has historically been a safe investment. [source] Bloomberg reported that "Home prices in 20 cities dropped 15.3 percent in April from a year earlier," in June of this year.

Even the World Socialist acknowledged that "Nearly 1.3 million homes—or more than one percent of all US households—were in some phase of foreclosure in 2007." The the paper stopped short of blaming the Democrats' socialist agenda.

RealtyTrac, the Real Estate online-marketer, added that the number of homes receiving default notices, auction sale notices and bank repossessions rose by 75 percent. By the end of 2007 foreclosure filings reaching 215,749, up 97 percent from December, 2006.

Obama says we need more change.

What do you say?

Change We Can Belibe

Saturday, September 6, 2008

McCain Camp Rescues Discarded Flags from Democrats

With McCain having prior service in the military, and with McCain and Palin both having children currently serving in the armed forces, they take the flag seriously and know that "these colors don't run." But if you're a Democrat, apparently it's OK to throw your flag away. I suppose "green living" excludes littering flags. Why not re-use them, even if you donate them to a local 4th of July Parade Committee? But have no fear, the McCain Camp showed some respect for the flags.

McCain supporters said the flags were discovered by a vendor at Denver’s Invesco Field after the conclusion of the Democratic National Convention. The vendor supposedly found trash bags full of flags in and near garbage bins, and turned them over to the McCain campaign.

Boy Scouts were sorting through 84 bags of flags in Colorado on Saturday, before a McCain supporter had veterans distribute them to the audience.

“We want to find good homes for these flags,” radio host Dan Caplis said at the rally, adding that whatever flags remained would be placed at memorials throughout Colorado.

Audience members, who booed when Caplis announced that the flags were left in Denver, waved the flags and chanted “U.S.A” before McCain arrived at the rally with his running mate, Sarah Palin. [Having listened to this on YouTube, I wasn't sure if this was a U.S. vs. Russia Hockey game or a speech...]

Damon Jones, spokesman for the Democratic National Convention Committee, released a statement saying McCain should applaud the fact that thousands of American flags were “proudly waved” at their convention.

“But instead his supporters wrongfully took leftover bundles of our flags from the stadium to play out a cheap political stunt calling into question our patriotism,” he said....

Obama said Friday that Republicans are trying to make the election a personality contest, and that “what they’re really saying is ‘we’re going to try to scare people about Barack....' Read more at Fox News...

But isn't that what Obama has made it the entire time? In reality, he's just upset he is losing the personality contest. That's really all this election is becoming anyways, a popularity contest. Obama himself admitted he doesn't have enough experience to be president:

Barack Obama direct quote: “I will NOT run on a National Ticket in 2008 because I won’t have enough experience by then.”

EVIDENCE – Senator Obama announced his intent to run for President of the United States in February, 2007. He is currently still in the race for the Nomination of the Democratic Party, for President of the United States (April, 2008). SOURCE 1, SOURCE 2, SOURCE 3

COUNTER CLAIM - Senator Obama is entitled to change his mind.

REBUTTAL - The Senator certainly is entitled to change his mind, but changing his mind is not what the argument is about. It is about his unequivocal statement that he would not run on a National Ticket in 2008, specifically because he would not have the appropriate experience needed (”some people may be comfortable doing that, I am not one of those people”) SOURCE. He is currently running for the top slot on the National Ticket for the Presidency of the United States (April, 2008).

Hmm, there you have it straight from the horse's mouth!

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Obama to be served lawsuit today challenging citizenship

America's Right, the blog that broke the story that long time Democrat Phil Berg filed a lawsuit challenging Obama's legal citizenship, says that Barack Obama will be served today. I wonder if the MSM will jump right on this story. They are trying to keep this a secret though it seems! From America's Right:

While the original summons was accepted ten days ago by the U.S. Attorney's office on behalf of the Federal Election Commission, also a named defendant in Berg's suit, proper service never reached the Democratic National Committee or Barack Obama's agent for service. Today's procedure will ensure that proper service is made, but the reasons behind the procedural hiccup remain a mystery to everyone involved.

"For whatever reason, Sen. Obama never received the summons," said Berg over the telephone this afternoon. "The court mailed everything out on August 22nd."

Be sure to read the reader comments on the story. Obviously many political insiders are reading. Some are pointing to an October surprise from the Clintons.

Hat tip to Hoosiers For Fair Taxation for this story!

Luke Puckett 2nd Congressional District Indiana on Sarah Palin

For Immediate Release
August 4th, 2008
Contact: Brian Sikma
Communications Director - Luke Puckett for Congress in Indiana
South Bend, IN-The morning after Alaska Governor Sarah Palin accepted the Republican Vice-Presidential nomination, local Congressional candidate Luke Puckett praised the speech and offered some insight into who this new face on the national scene is. "Last night the American people got their first good look at who Sarah Palin is and what she will do as their Vice President," Puckett said. "Having met Governor Palin earlier this year when I was in Alaska, I can tell you that what the American people saw last night in public is the same person that she is in private."
Puckett continued by saying "Governor Palin's message last night was very simple: a McCain-Palin administration will focus on keeping taxes low and lowering them further where possible, strengthening our national security and our economy by making our nation energy independent, and standing up for the American dream by insuring that government never grows so powerful as to overshadow the promise of opportunity."
"The contrast between Senators Obama and Biden and Senator McCain and Governor Palin could not be more stark," Puckett remarked. "Last night Governor Palin proved that she not only has more executive experience than the entire Democratic ticket combined, but she also showed that she and her running-mate understand that the people of this great country are its greatest resource and they aren't waiting around for some new government program to get things done."
Note: Mr. Puckett is available for comment to your organization on this topic beyond the statements made in this press release. Please contact Brian Sikma at the information listed above to schedule an interview with Mr. Puckett.

Google Chrome vs. IE8

How does Google Chrome compare to the Internet Explorer 8 (both still beta)? snydeq of Slashdot writes, "Google Chrome and Internet Explorer 8 herald a new, resource-intensive era in Web browsing, one sure to shift our conception of acceptable minimum system requirements, InfoWorld's Randall Kennedy concludes in his head-to-head comparison of the recently announced multi-process, tabbed browsers. Whereas single-process browsers such as Firefox aim for lean, efficient browsing experiences, Chrome and IE 8 are all about delivering a robust platform for reliably running multiple Web apps in a tabbed format in answer to the Web's evolving needs. To do this, Chrome takes a 'purist' approach, launching multiple, discrete processes to isolate and protect each tab's contents. IE 8, on the other hand, goes hybrid, creating multiple instances of the iexplore.exe process without specifically assigning each tab to its own instance. 'Google's purist approach will ultimately prove more robust,' Kennedy argues, 'but at a cost in terms of resource consumption.' At what cost? Kennedy's comparison found Chrome 'out-bloated' IE 8, consuming an average of 267MB vs. IE 8's 211MB. This, and recent indications that IE 8 itself consumes more resources than Vista, surely announce a new, very demanding era in Web-centric computing."

Palin's Speech

Watch and listen to the speech on YouTube below or...

Here is the full text transcript of the speech:

Mr. Chairman, delegates, and fellow citizens: I am honored to be considered for the nomination for Vice President of the United States...I accept the call to help our nominee for president to serve and defend America. I accept the challenge of a tough fight in this election... against confident opponents ... at a crucial hour for our country.

And I accept the privilege of serving with a man who has come through much harder missions ... and met far graver challenges ... and knows how tough fights are won - the next president of the United States, John S. McCain.

It was just a year ago when all the experts in Washington counted out our nominee because he refused to hedge his commitment to the security of the country he loves.

With their usual certitude, they told us that all was lost - there was no hope for this candidate who said that he would rather lose an election than see his country lose a war. But the pollsters and pundits overlooked just one thing when they wrote him off.

They overlooked the caliber of the man himself - the determination, resolve, and sheer guts of Senator John McCain. The voters knew better. And maybe that's because they realize there is a time for politics and a time for leadership ... a time to campaign and a time to put our country first.

Our nominee for president is a true profile in courage, and people like that are hard to come by.

He's a man who wore the uniform of this country for 22 years, and refused to break faith with those troops in Iraq who have now brought victory within sight. And as the mother of one of those troops, that is exactly the kind of man I want as commander in chief. I'm just one of many moms who'll say an extra prayer each night for our sons and daughters going into harm's way.

Our son Track is 19.

And one week from tomorrow - September 11th - he'll deploy to Iraq with the Army infantry in the service of his country. My nephew Kasey also enlisted, and serves on a carrier in the Persian Gulf.

My family is proud of both of them and of all the fine men and women serving the country in uniform. Track is the eldest of our five children. In our family, it's two boys and three girls in between - my strong and kind-hearted daughters Bristol, Willow, and Piper. And in April, my husband Todd and I welcomed our littlest one into the world, a perfectly beautiful baby boy named Trig. From the inside, no family ever seems typical.

That's how it is with us. Our family has the same ups and downs as any other ... the same challenges and the same joys. Sometimes even the greatest joys bring challenge.

And children with special needs inspire a special love. To the families of special-needs children all across this country, I have a message: For years, you sought to make America a more welcoming place for your sons and daughters.

I pledge to you that if we are elected, you will have a friend and advocate in the White House.

Todd is a story all by himself. He's a lifelong commercial fisherman ... a production operator in the oil fields of Alaska's North Slope ... a proud member of the United Steel Workers' Union ... and world champion snow machine racer. Throw in his Yup'ik Eskimo ancestry, and it all makes for quite a package. We met in high school, and two decades and five children later he's still my guy.

My Mom and Dad both worked at the elementary school in our small town. And among the many things I owe them is one simple lesson: that this is America, and every woman can walk through every door of opportunity. My parents are here tonight, and I am so proud to be the daughter of Chuck and Sally Heath.

Long ago, a young farmer and habber-dasher from Missouri followed an unlikely path to the vice presidency. A writer observed: "We grow good people in our small towns, with honesty, sincerity, and dignity." I know just the kind of people that writer had in mind when he praised Harry Truman.I grew up with those people. They are the ones who do some of the hardest work in America ... who grow our food, run our factories, and fight our wars.

They love their country, in good times and bad, and they're always proud of America. I had the privilege of living most of my life in a small town. I was just your average hockey mom, and signed up for the PTA because I wanted to make my kids' public education better. When I ran for city council, I didn't need focus groups and voter profiles because I knew those voters, and knew their families, too.

Before I became governor of the great state of Alaska, I was mayor of my hometown.

And since our opponents in this presidential election seem to look down on that experience, let me explain to them what the job involves. I guess a small-town mayor is sort of like a "community organizer," except that you have actual responsibilities. I might add that in small towns, we don't quite know what to make of a candidate who lavishes praise on working people when they are listening, and then talks about how bitterly they cling to their religion and guns when those people aren't listening.

We tend to prefer candidates who don't talk about us one way in Scranton and another way in San Francisco. As for my running mate, you can be certain that wherever he goes, and whoever is listening, John McCain is the same man. I'm not a member of the permanent political establishment.

And I've learned quickly, these past few days, that if you're not a member in good standing of the Washington elite, then some in the media consider a candidate unqualified for that reason alone. But here's a little news flash for all those reporters and commentators: I'm not going to Washington to seek their good opinion - I'm going to Washington to serve the people of this country. Americans expect us to go to Washington for the right reasons, and not just to mingle with the right people.

Politics isn't just a game of clashing parties and competing interests. The right reason is to challenge the status quo, to serve the common good, and to leave this nation better than we found it.

No one expects us to agree on everything.

But we are expected to govern with integrity, good will, clear convictions, and ... a servant's heart.

I pledge to all Americans that I will carry myself in this spirit as vice president of the United States. This was the spirit that brought me to the governor's office, when I took on the old politics as usual in Juneau ... when I stood up to the special interests, the lobbyists, big oil companies, and the good-ol' boys network.

Sudden and relentless reform never sits well with entrenched interests and power brokers. That's why true reform is so hard to achieve. But with the support of the citizens of Alaska, we shook things up.

And in short order we put the government of our state back on the side of the people.

I came to office promising major ethics reform, to end the culture of self-dealing. And today, that ethics reform is the law. While I was at it, I got rid of a few things in the governor's office that I didn't believe our citizens should have to pay for.

That luxury jet was over the top. I put it on eBay. I also drive myself to work.

And I thought we could muddle through without the governor's personal chef - although I've got to admit that sometimes my kids sure miss her. I came to office promising to control spending - by request if possible and by veto if necessary. Senator McCain also promises to use the power of veto in defense of the public interest - and as a chief executive, I can assure you it works.

Our state budget is under control.

We have a surplus.

And I have protected the taxpayers by vetoing wasteful spending: nearly half a billion dollars in vetoes. I suspended the state fuel tax, and championed reform to end the abuses of earmark spending by Congress.

I told the Congress "thanks, but no thanks," for that Bridge to Nowhere.

If our state wanted a bridge, we'd build it ourselves. When oil and gas prices went up dramatically, and filled up the state treasury, I sent a large share of that revenue back where it belonged - directly to the people of Alaska. And despite fierce opposition from oil company lobbyists, who kind of liked things the way they were, we broke their monopoly on power and resources.

As governor, I insisted on competition and basic fairness to end their control of our state and return it to the people.

I fought to bring about the largest private-sector infrastructure project in North American history. And when that deal was struck, we began a nearly forty billion dollar natural gas pipeline to help lead America to energy independence.

That pipeline, when the last section is laid and its valves are opened, will lead America one step farther away from dependence on dangerous foreign powers that do not have our interests at heart. The stakes for our nation could not be higher.When a hurricane strikes in the Gulf of Mexico, this country should not be so dependent on imported oil that we are forced to draw from our Strategic Petroleum Reserve.

And families cannot throw away more and more of their paychecks on gas and heating oil. With Russia wanting to control a vital pipeline in the Caucasus, and to divide and intimidate our European allies by using energy as a weapon, we cannot leave ourselves at the mercy of foreign suppliers.

To confront the threat that Iran might seek to cut off nearly a fifth of world energy supplies ... or that terrorists might strike again at the Abqaiq facility in Saudi Arabia ... or that Venezuela might shut off its oil deliveries ... we Americans need to produce more of our own oil and gas.

And take it from a gal who knows the North Slope of Alaska: we've got lots of both.

Our opponents say, again and again, that drilling will not solve all of America's energy problems - as if we all didn't know that already.

But the fact that drilling won't solve every problem is no excuse to do nothing at all. Starting in January, in a McCain-Palin administration, we're going to lay more pipelines ... build more new-clear plants ... create jobs with clean coal ... and move forward on solar, wind, geothermal, and other alternative sources.

We need American energy resources, brought to you by American ingenuity, and produced by American workers.

I've noticed a pattern with our opponent.

Maybe you have, too.

We've all heard his dramatic speeches before devoted followers. And there is much to like and admire about our opponent.

But listening to him speak, it's easy to forget that this is a man who has authored two memoirs but not a single major law or reform - not even in the state senate.

This is a man who can give an entire speech about the wars America is fighting, and never use the word "victory" except when he's talking about his own campaign.

But when the cloud of rhetoric has passed ... when the roar of the crowd fades away ... when the stadium lights go out, and those Styrofoam Greek columns are hauled back to some studio lot - what exactly is our opponent's plan?

What does he actually seek to accomplish, after he's done turning back the waters and healing the planet? The answer is to make government bigger ... take more of your money ... give you more orders from Washington ... and to reduce the strength of America in a dangerous world. America needs more energy ... our opponent is against producing it. Victory in Iraq is finally in sight ... he wants to forfeit.

Terrorist states are seeking new-clear weapons without delay ... he wants to meet them without preconditions.

Al Qaeda terrorists still plot to inflict catastrophic harm on America ... he's worried that someone won't read them their rights? Government is too big ... he wants to grow it.

Congress spends too much ... he promises more. Taxes are too high ... he wants to raise them. His tax increases are the fine print in his economic plan, and let me be specific.

The Democratic nominee for president supports plans to raise income taxes ... raise payroll taxes ... raise investment income taxes ... raise the death tax ... raise business taxes ... and increase the tax burden on the American people by hundreds of billions of dollars.

My sister Heather and her husband have just built a service station that's now opened for business - like millions of others who run small businesses. How are they going to be any better off if taxes go up? Or maybe you're trying to keep your job at a plant in Michigan or Ohio ... or create jobs with clean coal from Pennsylvania or West Virginia ... or keep a small farm in the family right here in Minnesota.

How are you going to be better off if our opponent adds a massive tax burden to the American economy? Here's how I look at the choice Americans face in this election.

In politics, there are some candidates who use change to promote their careers. And then there are those, like John McCain, who use their careers to promote change.

They're the ones whose names appear on laws and landmark reforms, not just on buttons and banners, or on self-designed presidential seals. Among politicians, there is the idealism of high-flown speechmaking, in which crowds are stirringly summoned to support great things. And then there is the idealism of those leaders, like John McCain, who actually do great things. They're the ones who are good for more than talk ... the ones we have always been able to count on to serve and defend America.

Senator McCain's record of actual achievement and reform helps explain why so many special interests, lobbyists, and comfortable committee chairmen in Congress have fought the prospect of a McCain presidency - from the primary election of 2000 to this very day. Our nominee doesn't run with the Washington herd.

He's a man who's there to serve his country, and not just his party. A leader who's not looking for a fight, but is not afraid of one either. Harry Reid, the Majority Leader of the current do-nothing Senate, not long ago summed up his feelings about our nominee. He said, quote, "I can't stand John McCain." Ladies and gentlemen, perhaps no accolade we hear this week is better proof that we've chosen the right man.

Clearly what the Majority Leader was driving at is that he can't stand up to John McCain. That is only one more reason to take the maverick of the Senate and put him in the White House.

My fellow citizens, the American presidency is not supposed to be a journey of "personal discovery."

This world of threats and dangers is not just a community, and it doesn't just need an organizer. And though both Senator Obama and Senator Biden have been going on lately about how they are always, quote, "fighting for you," let us face the matter squarely. There is only one man in this election who has ever really fought for you ... in places where winning means survival and defeat means death ... and that man is John McCain.

In our day, politicians have readily shared much lesser tales of adversity than the nightmare world in which this man, and others equally brave, served and suffered for their country. It's a long way from the fear and pain and squalor of a six-by-four cell in Hanoi to the Oval Office.

But if Senator McCain is elected president, that is the journey he will have made. It's the journey of an upright and honorable man - the kind of fellow whose name you will find on war memorials in small towns across this country, only he was among those who came home. To the most powerful office on earth, he would bring the compassion that comes from having once been powerless ... the wisdom that comes even to the captives, by the grace of God ... the special confidence of those who have seen evil, and seen how evil is overcome.

A fellow prisoner of war, a man named Tom Moe of Lancaster, Ohio, recalls looking through a pin-hole in his cell door as Lieutenant Commander John McCain was led down the hallway, by the guards, day after day.

As the story is told, "When McCain shuffled back from torturous interrogations, he would turn toward Moe's door and flash a grin and thumbs up" - as if to say, "We're going to pull through this."

My fellow Americans, that is the kind of man America needs to see us through these next four years. For a season, a gifted speaker can inspire with his words.

For a lifetime, John McCain has inspired with his deeds.

If character is the measure in this election ... and hope the theme ... and change the goal we share, then I ask you to join our cause. Join our cause and help America elect a great man as the next president of the United States.

Thank you all, and may God bless America.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

What really needs to happen to educate?

Republican National Convention

MINNEAPOLIS - As one might expect, the contrast between an education panel hosted by the conservativeAmerican Solutions and one hosted by the National Education Association (NEA) is stark. At the downtown Minneapolis Club this afternoon, the Republican Main Street Partnership co-hosted “An Education Forum on 21st Century Skills” with the NEA. Rep. Mike Castle (R-DE), co-founder of RMSP, headlined the event, but NEA executive director John Wilson did most of the talking.

Like this morning’s American Solutions session, Wilson opened by talking about how the future of the United States depends on preparing our children to compete in a global marketplace against India and China. Also like the American Solutions panel, there was strong agreement that the U.S. had a 20th century 

Excerpted from the Foundry

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Google Chrome Delivers Promises

So far I've enjoyed the new Google Chrome browser, and haven't had any issues. It's very clean and simple, just like the Google homepage. Here is a screen shot of my new tab page.

Check it out for yourself!