Sunday, November 22, 2009

The Pipe

Having worked in the financial field for a number of years, one thing I learned was a simple principle, anything to do with money is like a pipe, what goes in one end has to come out the other.

Lately, I have seen a new kind of ecomonics that claims to create money where it does not exist. For example, claims that putting more people in the health care system but actually reducing costs and lower the deficit. Clearly, the current administration has no interst in lowering the deficit. Even China, who basically owns the United States, no doubt indicated by Obama's less than friendly treatment to Tibet, has warned the president to stop increasing the debt.

Truth is that like credit cards, debt has to be paid and yes, you can print more money but all t hat does is strech the pipe, it does not actually create money. Think of four poker player who are each given chips which are valued at one hundred dollars. If each of the four players is playing for a share of a common pot, say $400, and you double each of the player chips you still only have $400 to distribute.

The $400 is like our GDP. Its not determined by how much money the government prints but what America produces and how much it gets for those products. Now government spending will also increase it but it does little to help that number to go up other than artificially proping it up with jobs. I can, for example, employ a young naive student out of college to count polar bears and prayer 5 times a day in the direction of Al Gore but that does little to help create jobs making products that are going to compete on a global market.

Look at it this way. If you put 10 liberals on an island and they sit around talking all day about everthing they need to survive but never actually do it (such as produce products), then they will starve or be killed in the next storm because they had no shelter.

Labor unions want higher wages and benefits but they complete on a global market. This can't be sustained unless you do what the goverment probably plans to do with GM which is continue to pump money into it. Besides, who wants to buy cars that run on pedal power.

There is clearly no doubt that health care could use an overhall but having worked with people in that field I would suggest somethng radical, let them figure out a solution rather than relying on starry eyed liberals who hang up pictures of Mao. The truth is that tort reform is the only real meaningfull way to reduce costs because money is wasted on doing tests which are merely defensive and trying to keep the ambulance chasing lawer away.

Reducing the number of mamograms and pap tests is called rationing. Obama knows that the easy way to reduce costs is rationing but sorry folks "he lies". Yes, that evil man who said that was telling the truth. Truth, remember that one. I think sometimes our government should try it.

Friday, November 20, 2009

The Whole Picture and the Hollow President

Many of those who may from time to time, when truly bored, read by blogs. I never really set out to be a blogger but from time to time I like to get my thoughts into words and for those who want to read them, make them available.

I suppose my tweets of twitter and even this blog itself seems a contradiction. A conservative Catholic who writes about Tangerine Dream, Pink Floyd and at the same time, Catholicism and conservatism. Perhaps, many see these as contradictions.

In my spiritual journeys in life, and there have been many, I came upon a wonderful spiritual practice, Zen Koans. Koans were written by Zen Buddhist monks to break the back of logic. To present to the mind what might seem like a contradiction to bring about the knowledge of a greater truth.

I suppose that is what I am trying to do. I like Tangerine Dream and Pink Floyd because frankly, since I was a naive young kid I loved synthesizers and electronic music. My first electronic Album was Morton Subotnicks "Sidewinder" in vinyl which I still have today and probably has thick grooves in in from being played so many times. Later in life I discovered Floyd and then much latter, Tangerine Dream. I continue my love of electronic music now by writing it myself.

As I have stated before, I understand that both of these bands are associated with a certain drug culture. Let me state again that I am extremely anti drug. I have seen the damage that drugs and alcohol do and I do not want to see anyone go though that hell on earth that is addiction.

That said, what I like about these bands is their creativity and artistry which I find sadly lacking in much music today and why I like to support new artists who follow their own drummer. I have reviewed their music on my music blog.

As for me, I also have my own drummer. I see all beauty as a reflection of God's creative work. I find sound beautiful and I know that its created by God so if it comes from the wind blowing thought he trees or the circuits of a Moog Voyager, I know that its all part of the same creation. Music is to be, a way of participating in God's creation, to praise God by praising the ability of my mind to order and structure sound to make music. Like Olivier Messiaen, who I very much take as a role model musically, I do not limit my music to what one might hear in a Church but rather, express my feelings in my music much like David did when he wrote some of the psalms some of which are to be played with harp accompaniment.

So is some of my music theological? Sure, some of the ideas I have that lead to ideas about sound that lead to pieces of music are.

So that's the "whole picture", onto the hollow president. Much of what I believe about God effects how I see the world. I believe that God gave us all freedom so we can create but create responsibly. So when I see that freedom being curtailed, I get a bit upset.

The funny thing about change is that sometimes, it does not come up to us and tell us its there. I remember when Barack Obama ran for president and how he spoke about being transparent. Truth is that he has been the least transparent president who probably has ever been in the White House. S..E. Cupp recently eluded to him being like an "empty veseel". I see him as the hollow man. In some ways, perhaps he is transparent, in that we see through him and don't see him, who he is and what he really believes.

The truth is that Obama seems to be like a puppet for a cause that is dark and sinister. Now I am sure that that makes me sound like a radical tea party person who is ignorant and wants to save the world for guns and bibles. OK, well I don't own a gun and yes, I have a bible, a few of them actually, and a Catechism of the Catholic Church which to some may make be a papist I suppose but I also have a bachelor's degree and two masters degrees so ignorant? Well, you decide.

What I see in the latest bills that seem to weigh enough to bend any table they are on, is hollow bills, transparent bills, bills that are not what they seem. it seems to be that change is not what many Americans think it is. I fear that one day we will wake up with the government controlling every aspect of our life and Orwell's 1984 or Huxley's "Brave New World" will sound like the news of the day. Net neutrality for example sounds a lot like Orwell's newspeak.

A wise man once said that those who do not learn from history are doomed to repeat it. I guess don't want to see some rather ugly periods in the 20th century repeated. For those who don't study history, you might learn from this:

and this:

which banned a lot of music.

Truth is, I like to practice my faith and make my music and yes, talk to people about God. I am not sure that I will be able to even make posts like this soon and will have people at the door coming to take me to a re-education camp. I feel the Autumn winds of change and a winter storm coming but perhaps, I have just been drinking to many tea or perhaps, that terrible book that is on my shelves is right when it says this:

"no wonder, for even Satan masquerades as an angel of light. So it is not strange that his ministers also masquerade as ministers of righteousness. Their end will correspond to their deeds." (2 Cor 11:14-15).

Perhaps with transparency also comes a certain degree of light and darkness or perhaps, I have just drunk to much tea. Perhaps, I need the government to tell me how much I can drink, after all, we have to save the polar bears don't we?

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Ft. Hood - The Three Monkeys

Many have probably seen images of the three monkeys embodied i the phrase: "see no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil". I wonder if they are however familiar with a forth monkey from the same proverb: "do no evil".

We live in strange times. What has saddened me over the last few days about the terrorist attack (yes terrorist) at Fort Hood is that so many have wanted to deny what is so obvious to me, that the actions of a militant Islamic terrorist are evil and premeditated. Instead, those like Dr. Phil would rather excuse them as a temper tantrum of a frustrated solider. Perhaps, Dr. Phil and those like him would rather give terrorists a time out and a good dose of Ritalin rather than deal with the underlying cause, evil.

Enter now the PC wing of the military who certainly should be more than aware of the evils of this world who chose to worry more about backlash against Muslims. Their fear and innaction typify the three monkeys and ignore the forth: "Do no evil". Evil that is ignored or swept under the rug in the name of political correctness is in fact an evil in itself and perhaps, at times, as great as the evil that is being denied. Consider the Jews in Germany who were sent in trains to death camps. No one protested because it was easier to shut ones eyes.

Perhaps, when a child is afraid of the boogie man it makes sense for them to close there eyes and tell themselves there is nothing to fear in the dark. The truth is that there is something to fear in the dark, the darkness of evil. Islamic radicalism is evil. Not misguided, not he product of repressed anger as Dr. Phil would have us believe but yes, evil.

The solution. Perhaps the forth monkey can tell us: "do no evil" or perhaps, find ways to do good. The truth is that along with the evil that has been perpetrated at Fort Hood, there are also stories of heroism as there were after 9/11. I have always affirmed the basic goodness of people because I have seen it time and tme again and gratefully, more than I have seen evil. Those who fear the violence against Muslims forget that it was our government that sent innocent Japanese Americans to camps during World War II and the government that dropped not one but two nuclear weapons on innocent people. Was there violence against Japanese during World War II? Yes, some because guess what, evil exists. But overall, I would rather trust in the goodness of the American people to trust that they know the difference between an innocent Muslim and and evil one and to not hide our eyes and having the courage to foil evil plots to kill people even while they do take place in the name of religion.

And as for doing good. The truth is that religion has been far more the cause of good being done in the world than evil. It is not religion that is evil but those who twist it to commit evil acts. Islam is at a turning point where it must decide if it is to join the ranks of the religions of the world that are forces for the good or be taken over by radicals who only want to hate and kill.

As for Americans, I trust in that basic goodness that happened after 9/11 and I pray that our government empowers Americans to do good and to root out evil rather than closing its eyes to the fact that yes, while they may not be a boogie man under the bed, that evil does exist and it is the right thing to do to see that it does not grown stronger. If we close our eyes and tell ourselves its not there, this is exactly what will happen. Yes Virginia, there is a boogie man and even if you close your eyes, he can hurt you.