Obama’s Desecration of the Time-honored Ship Naming Tradition

I doubt that any president in American history has made more of a mockery of our military than President Obama. The greatest defense force in the history of the world has in less than eight years been turned into an instrument of his uber-liberal agenda, a test bed for despicable social experimentation, and a paper tiger unable to effectively defend our great nation. Now, he is determined to name our formidable new Navy ships in honor of controversial dissidents and social activists rather than national heroes.

The Secretary of the Navy, Ray Mabus, an Obama appointee, has the authority to name new Navy ships. For over two centuries, ships of our venerable Navy have been named in honor of war heroes, famous battles, presidents, states, cities, and on rare occasion government civilians who have supported the Navy in some unique manner. Now, Mabus, obviously with Obama’s encouragement, has announced that the latest new ships will be named to honor Harvey Milk, Medgar Evers, Cesar Chavez, and Gabrielle Giffords.

So, what were the contributions of these “Great Americans?” Harvey Milk was one of the first openly gay men to be elected to public office in California. He was assassinated soon after being elected. Medgar Evers was a slain civil rights leader. Cesar Chavez was a civil rights labor leader who described his service in the Navy as “the two worst years of my life.” Gabrielle Giffords is a Congresswoman who made a courageous and remarkable recovery from an attempted assassination. She did nothing significant in support of the military. I’m not disparaging their efforts, but there are four brave, deserving, iconic heroes of freedom out there whose names should be on the hulls of beautiful ships, but are being replaced by these social activists.

Since Obama assumed the White House, the military has been subjected to forced acceptance of openly gay members, gay marriages among members, openly transgender members, women placed in virtually every combat mission position, religious persecution of Christians, soldiers placed in forward combat without the requisite rules of engagement, weapons systems without sufficient logistics support, budget cuts to the bone, and the list is endless. And now, our nation’s finest sailors and marines will be forced to serve on vessels that bear the name of socialist-leaning activists who have little, if any, regard for the military.

I am confident that, if a poll were taken on this issue, over 90% of Americans would be insistent on continuing to name our great ships after honorable heroes who have sacrificed for our country. But, I expect our president and the Navy Secretary to continue their arrogant nose-thumbing to the citizens as they push their progressive agenda through helpless men and women of the armed services just because they can.

I have written my Congressman asking him to sponsor legislation to place sensible parameters on the naming of any military weapons system. I urge you to do the same. Please share this post with those who may not be aware of this deplorable practice.

How the Fed Money Policy Affects Your Life

The Federal Reserve System influences more of your life than you might think. Prices, interest rates, investments, and savings–major determiners of your quality of life–are largely controlled by the Federal Reserve Board Chairperson and her board of governors. And, they’re meeting next week to make a big decision about your future.

Janet Yellen is Chairperson of the Fed (for short). This is one of the most powerful positions in America. She, along with her seven Board of Governors in Washington, D.C., plus 12 Federal Reserve District Banks in major cities across the country and over 2900 member banks make up the central banking system of America.

Technically not a government agency and supposedly non-partisan, the Fed does four things that affect you every day:

1. Conduct monetary policy to influence the level of money and credit conditions

2. Regulate banks to protect consumers

3. Maintain stability of the financial system and markets

4. Provide financial service to include the nation’s payments system

The Fed function that affects you and me most is number 1. When America is in an economic recession, much of the remedy is to get more money flowing in the economy, so more consumers can buy more things, which increases production, which increases employment. Conversely, when inflation sets in, the Fed takes money out of the flow, so consumers will slow down their buying causing prices to go down. These actions are accomplished in a number of ways. The Fed, as the central bank, loans money to member banks for loaning out to businesses and consumers. All banks have to maintain certain reserves or percentage of deposits that can’t be loaned out. The Fed sets these reserve rates to either increase or decrease money available to loan. The Fed also buys and sells government securities (treasury notes and bonds) based on the need to heat up or cool down the economy. They buy securities from citizens at a premium to infuse money into the economy, and they sell securities to citizens at a discount to extract money from the economy. Finally, and this impacts most of us individually and directly, the Fed sets the discount rate, or interest rate, that they charge banks for reserve money. This ultimately determines what interest you pay on everything from credit cards to car loans to mortgages.

This rate has been as high as 20% in 1980 when inflation was rampant to .25% in 2008 when recession took over. It has been between .25% and .50% since 2008 going years without an increase. Last December the Fed raised the interest rate by 25 basis points, or .25%, placing it at .50% for the first time since 2006. Ms. Yellen is hinting now that the economy may be progressing enough to warrant another increase. On September 21, her Board meets to make that decision. There is political pressure during an election year to raise the rate, since that signifies a less recessionary economy.

Whatever happens next Wednesday, I think it’s very probable that the interest rate is going to start going up at regular intervals. And, it should, since it has been artificially low for years as the Fed has manipulated it to keep us from deeper recession. It’s been nice to have low rates on cars, houses, etc., but it is not letting the economy work naturally. The up side of higher rates is that our investments–stocks, IRA’s, 401K’s–will be more fun to watch. It all influences your quality of life, so watch it with interest. You will see plenty of news reports over the next few days speculating on whether the rate will move. I’m wanting to see a series of small, incremental increases over the next year. What do you think?

Please “like” and “share.”

Labor Day Is More Than a Day Off

Yes, Labor Day is a time to take off from work and relax. We need that, so soak it up. However, this brief annual respite should also be a time of reflection and introspection–a time to think about labor in general. Each of us needs to celebrate the blessing of being an able, productive part of a thriving country. The holiday was enacted with that in mind.

As trade unions and labor movements grew in the late 1800’s, special opportunities to honor workers began to spring up in various spots. There was a big parade in New York, a state holiday in Oregon, etc. After 30 states had adopted an official Labor Day, President Grover Cleveland signed into law in 1894 the present holiday observance celebrated on the first Monday in September of each year.

This recession we are still trying to recover from has been brutal on employment. It has certainly given us perspective about labor. With double-digit unemployment for much of the past nine years, millions of Americans lost their jobs and were unable to find other work. Unemployment is a vicious cycle. Production drops because consumer demand decreases. When commerce slows, businesses lay off workers. Laid-off workers cannot buy sufficient goods and services, so production decreases more. The economy’s downward spiral grows steeper. The government steps in and offers extended unemployment which means higher unemployment insurance premiums for producers. This reduces production even more. Businesses lose, but it’s the workers who are hurt most in out of control recession.

That is why it is so important that we get unemployment to a manageable rate. That only comes with renewed economic growth. The unemployment rate is the percentage of the labor force that does not have a job. The labor force is defined as working-age adults who are employed or are actively looking for a job. Economists believe that an unemployment rate of 4% to 5% is natural and sustainable. There has to be some unemployment that accounts for those people between jobs. America is presently at 4.9% unemployment.

I believe the American workers–blue and white collar–comprise the greatest asset our country has. They are more important than our military, our natural resources, or our form of government. The work energy of our nation that produces the highest GDP of any nation in the world is our ultimate strength. That national energy is a direct result of the current 160 million people in our labor force who demonstrate a phenomenal work ethic every day of the work week. In spite of a few examples to the contrary, American workers are the best found anywhere. We must make full employment one of our highest priorities.

That is what we should be meditating on this Labor Day. There is much improvement still needed in the workplace, and we should be educating ourselves and endeavoring to improve constantly. But, let’s just use this three-day weekend to savor and celebrate the special gift of productive labor. After the long recession, let’s rededicate ourselves to our opportunity to work and value the work of others.



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