Monday, July 27, 2009

It Is Broken, Let’s Fix It!

North Dakota state quarterImage via Wikipedia

Our government is broken. The house and senate do not represent the people anymore. They are unwilling and unable to put the electorate first because of the obligations they have to the special interest groups.

In 2008 some 15,000 lobbyist spent close to 3.3 billion dollars to win influence with the house, senate and various government agencies. It is no wonder we cannot get term limits passed.

None of the pigs wants to leave the trough. You could probably drag the average congressional representative or senator through a knothole backwards quicker then you could get them to abandon the swill fed them by special interest groups.

According to, the health care lobby spent over 480 million dollars in 2008 to buy influence on Capitol Hill. These figures are disgusting and revelatory of how impossible meaningful healthcare reform is going to be.

Elected office in this country has become an entitlement to the incumbents. Their so-called public service is a thinly veiled attempt to perpetuate their own self-aggrandizement while they continue to amass wealth and influence at our expense.

The latest imbroglio to raise my ire was reported by the Associated Press today. It seems that Chris Dodd and Kent Conrad both democratic senators from Connecticut and North Dakota respectively are guilty of accepting preferential treatment from Country Wide Mortgage.

These so-called gentlemen have repeatedly denied any wrong doing or intentional malfeasance related to the mortgages they received from Country Wide. The AP storey makes it clear that their default position when caught with their hands in the proverbial cookie jar is to look everyone in the eye and lie about it.

It will be interesting to see what the various ethics committees will finally conclude in terms of public censure. Even more interesting is how any sane voter could expect someone with the morals of an alley cat to represent their best interest. Unfortunately too many of our current representatives have anything but our best interest at heart.

Under our current laws allowing the purchase and sale of influence, the use and abuse of power and the revolving door between Capitol Hill and K Street we poor voters do not stand a chance. Our government is no longer of and for the people. It is of and for the special interest groups, lobbying firms, PAC’s and 527’s.

It is disheartening to realize that Harry Truman was the first president to try to implement healthcare reform. That was over 60 years ago. The healthcare lobby did not want reform then and they certainly do not want it now. For six decades, they have used the same tactic to forestall meaningful reform. They delay, stall, obfuscate and use scare tactics to keep it from happening. They also commit what is tantamount to bribery of the house and senate.

As bad as it is, we are getting the government we deserve. As long as we are willing to put up with the malfeasance, incompetence and turpitudes that exemplifies our elected officials nothing will change.

In the words of the immortal bard, if it’s to be it’s up to the collective we.
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Sunday, July 19, 2009

What's the Real Story?

Adolf Hitler, head-and-shoulders portrait, fac...Image via Wikipedia

To be sure, there is a plethora of newsworthy stories today. The world abounds with people and events that have the potential to change our lives. Friends and foes alike demand our attention to detail across the globe. From Iran to North Korea, from Israel to Russia and from China to Afghanistan there is no dearth of critical potentialities capable of changing our everyday lives.

Here at home there is healthcare, global warming, crime and a whole host of other pressing issues to consume our time and attention. Our leaders have enough on their plates to keep them busy for a very long time. The daily grind of our lives makes it difficult to assimilate even the superficial basics let alone the intricacies of most of these pressing problems.

In the swirl of earning our daily bread and the rush of life’s challenges, we trust that those we have elected to handle the nations business are doing so. Though only a very small percentage of us vote and of that number, it is anybodies guess how many are actually well informed and thoughtful regarding their choices. However, this is not a treaste or encyclical on voting.

Let us assume that most citizens are comfortable trusting their government to keep the country’s best interest at heart. In the way of trust but verify there is always our free and unfettered press to inform us. Or is there?

To be sure, today’s papers, TV shows and radio news programs are chock full of interesting and vital information on a variety of important topics. Even with the, in my view, unwarranted attention paid to inane topics and even less noteworthy celebrities whose accomplishments are nil, the media generally does an adequate job of keeping us informed. Unfortunately, though that is not always the case.

My last post was about the story broken originally by Jeff Sharlet in Harpers Magazine in 2003 and followed by his book The Family in 2008. Rachel Maddow has run a couple of interviews with Sharlet prompted by the recent indiscretions of Governor Sanford, Senator Ensign and former Congressman Pickering who all have ties to the house owned by The Family at 133 C Street in Washington DC. Other then these two there has been precious little commentary on the real gravitas of this story.

The Washington Post ran an article by Manuel Roig-Franzia. It is a rather benign piece focusing on the marital infidelities of Governor Sanford and only peripherally mentioning the secretiveness of the organization behind the house. Seemingly, with our voracious appetite for the salacious and titillating we have passed by the real story.

The Family and its minions have done an incredible job of public relations. As far as anyone knows, the house on C Street is a low cost refuge for Congressman, Senators and other influential members. It is registered as a church for tax purposes and is portrayed as a house of prayer. Prayer to whom and for what is the question we should be asking.

Doug Coe the leader of The Family since 1969 is an ardent admirer of Adolf Hitler among others of history’s criminals that are more heinous. He postulates that Hitler knew how to amass and use power. He also frequently opines that to those selected by Christ the rules of society do not apply. The so-called elect are entitled by right of being chosen to ignore societal rules and regulations.

He teaches that mainstream Christianity is passé and that he and his ilk are the new Israel, entitled to all the money and power they can acquire regardless of legalities or means. The masses in his philosophy are only entitled to the dregs of his largess and the remnants of his appetites. He espouses a form of trickle down economics that is truly arrogant and repressive. Nevertheless, even his lust and thirst for power, influence and control of current events is not the real story.

The real story is that this semi secret society hiding in plain sight as a Christian Prayer Group is anything but. The group undoubtedly has different levels of inclusion, knowledge and affinity among its membership. Very disturbing is the fact that so many powerful and elected representatives of our government are included on its membership roles.

Even more disturbing is the foreign dictators and representatives of repressive regimes it is known to have contact with. Yes, the real story is what we have yet to learn about this association of powerful and influential men who think their inability to satisfy their wives is a sign of demonic possession.

Any slight amount of internet research on these people and their organization raises more questions then it answers. I hope that the mainstream media will follow where Jeff Sharlet and Rachel Maddow have led. I hope that they ask the hard questions and demand some accountability from these people about their personal beliefs and political agenda.

I also hope that the American public will demand answers from their duly elected representatives. We deserve to know why any member of our government would join a church that admires anything to do with Adolph Hitler.

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Friday, July 17, 2009

The New World Order

'CoverCover via Amazon

The New World Order

In Washington DC, there is a house on C Street NW just a few blocks from the Capitol. A group that calls itself The Family apparently owns it. This has only recently come to my attention through the national prominence of the residents and the news worthiness of the marital infidelity of three of them. Their moral turpitudes and peccadilloes aside, this is a very troubling group of power hungry self-styled illuminati. They hide behind a pseudo religiosity loosely based on their supposed admiration of Jesus Christ.

Governor Mark Sanford of South Carolina made a passing reference to having sought counseling on C Street in Washington DC recently during one of his rambling and barely coherent confessions of a dalliance with an Argentine lover. It seems he is not the only past or present resident of the C Street house whose private morality does not jive with his public professions of faith and family values.

Senator John Ensign, Republican from Nevada and a resident of C Street, when in DC, was recently embroiled in an affair that cost his parents over ninety thousand dollars in hush money. His mistress was a campaign worker, as was her husband. Ensign fired both of them when it became apparent that the affair was going to become public knowledge. No doubt, he regrets his parent’s money was insufficient in buying either discretion or silence.

Then there is the good ole boy Chip Pickering, former Congressman from Mississippi. Pickering is also a former resident of the C street house currently ensconced in a marital fiasco. His wife has reacted to his filing divorce proceedings by counter filing an alienation of affection lawsuit against his mistress. The ex-congressional representative currently works for the company owned by his mistress’s father. All in all a cozy arrangement for everyone but the wife and children left behind.

It is not the predilection for publicly affecting a persona of Christian conservative values while privately embracing personal immorality, which is the most disturbing connection between these three. Neither is it the fact that they were residents and roommates in this so-called church. It is rather their membership in The Family.

In doing a little internet research I find that The Family was outted by Jeff Sharlet writing for Harper’s magazine in 2003. He also published an insiders expose last year titled The Family, the Secret Fundementalism at the Heart of American Power. It is incredible though that they have avoided more attention from then until now. The mainstream media other then Harper’s magazine has ignored them until recently. Only the blatant immorality and public exposure of Messer’s Sanford, Ensign and Pickering has shined the light of journalistic inquiry onto this old and purposely under the radar fellowship.

The organization in various guises has been around since 1923 when one Abraham Vereide conceived it. Vereide opposed President Roosevelt’s New Deal agenda. He also postulated that Seattle, where he lived at the time, was in danger of being dominated by socialist politicians.
To fend off these calamitous and catastrophic consequences of Godless secularism he joined forces with some influential Seattle business leaders to form prayer groups. From that humble and paranoid beginning has sprung a world wide organization of self styled power brokers who have quietly influenced business and political events both known and unknown.

In 1935, he received another revelation from God. This one fleshed out his vision of how the prayer groups should be organized. It also refined the religious philosophy they would embrace. Over the years, the group has evolved into a movement believing in the superiority of its membership as the elect and chosen of Jesus Christ. They espouse a trickle down economic model that accrues wealth and power to them by right and the residue to the masses Vis a vie their charitable benevolence.

Their current leader since 1969 is Doug Coe. Coe in his sermons says that throughout history the leaders who understood the gathering and use of power best were men the ilk of Hitler, Pol Pot and Genghis Kahn. He speaks of a need to hate your parents, siblings, employers and neighbors in order to perfect your commitment to and covenant with Christ.

The group apparently counts among its membership some of the most powerful and influential members of various worldwide governments and industrialist. Among one of the more disconcerting things about the influence this group wields is its sponsorship of the National Prayer Meeting. This meeting is attended every year by three to four thousand of the world’s political, religious and business leaders. The President of the United States traditionally speaks at the meeting.

Among things that go bump in the night and scare people this group surely is one of the potentially most malevolent. The propensity to accrue power as though it is due you by some deity’s Divine Will precludes any empathy for the rights of others not so blessed. In today’s macro, political and economic environment the potential for a group this powerful to start changing the political and democratic landscape is potentially horrific. It certainly does not reek of benign leadership.

As an American citizen, I want answers from those members of our elected government who are affiliated with this group. I think we are entitled to an explanation of their affinity for the kind of philosophical teachings this group embraces. If enough of us ask for accountability and demand answers, we will at least expose the current known members’ rationale for their memberships.

Because of the supposedly religious nature of this group, it will be hard to find a political or journalistic organization with the will to ask the hard questions. Demanding accountability from God’s own chosen members of the new Israel is tantamount to demanding that God be answerable to his subjects. Even though this group’s philosophy is antithetical to mainstream Christianity its influence and power are considerable.

That said if this story scares and concerns you half as much as it does me you need to take action. Write your congressional representatives and senators and ask if they are members and if so why. If they are not you might suggest they support a congressional investigation into the group’s influence peddling and foreign relations policies and actions. Remember that in the end we get the government that we demand and deserve.

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