Darrell Castle talks about how weather modification and geo-engineering are changing our world.
Darrell Castle talks about energy, the environment, and war.
Last night President Obama delivered his State of the Union address, as he is required by the Constitution to do once each year. Although he covered many different areas, he concentrated on only three: the domestic economy, which includes what he called job creation, domestic policy topics such as education and energy, and foreign policy, which includes military and defense issues.
The President told us that the nation is doing well economically and is on its way to recovery from recession. Evidence of this recovery, according to the President, is the “booming stock market.”
My response is that it is utterly ridiculous to say that we are well into recovery because the stock market is booming. Tell that news to the 43 million plus who have to use food stamps to eat. Tell that to the 15 million plus unemployed people. That number would be much higher than 15 million if the government kept honest numbers and counted the people who are no longer looking for jobs. Tell that to the millions of underemployed who used to have good jobs in manufacturing with benefits and who now work in service-related jobs with no benefits.
The President said that we can’t live in the past with regard to our economy. For example, it used to take about 1000 jobs to operate a steel mill, but now it only takes 100, so we must adjust to that reality and innovate. What he didn’t say is that any jobs in steel are being performed in Korea and other countries and no amount of innovation will change that.
What then is the answer to our economic problems? First, do no more harm with bailouts. Stop all bailouts and recover any money previously committed to bailouts that has not already been spent. Withdraw from all so-called free trade agreements such as NAFTA, CAFTA, WTO, and GATT which have been largely responsible for the destruction of America’s manufacturing base. Remove the regulations and restrictions that prevent businesses from doing business in America and from hiring the people they need to make the things that people want to buy.
Finally, the economy cannot recover until the debt and deficit are resolved through de-leveraging of debt and control of spending. Stop spending more than you take in. It is a simple concept that Americans understand but that apparently their politicians don’t. Once the debt and deficit are under control, the President should endeavor to drive a stake through the heart of the entire Federal Reserve system and return to a monetary system based on sound money principles. Stop the destruction of our currency immediately.
The President also told us that educationally we are doing well, but we can do better, so he launched a program called Race to the Top in all fifty states to replace No Child Left Behind. This is also total nonsense. The United States continues to lag behind other nations in math, science, and reading skills. Our system of education, controlled and paid for by the federal government, is a failure and should be scrapped and replaced with state and local control, with primary responsibility left to parents. There is no role for the federal government in education whatsoever.
The nation’s energy needs could be met largely by domestic production if we were to allow our own domestic sources of energy to be exploited by repeal of harmful laws that unnecessarily restrain production. Technology will now allow energy exploration and production with minimal damage to the environment. This would prevent the US government from exploring for oil in the Middle East through military force and help foster a more peaceful world.
Finally, the President talked about “shaping” a better world through strengthening NATO and rebuilding our relationship with Russia. He stated that 100,000 of our troops have come home from Iraq with their heads held high. That is also complete nonsense. It’s not his job to shape the world, it’s his job to protect and defend the Constitution and the American people. Many of those 100,000 troops didn’t come home but went to Afghanistan instead. Thousands of others did come home but in boxes or in rehab hospitals.
What then is the foreign policy answer? Issue an order to General Patraeus and the other commanders to execute an immediate withdrawal from Afghanistan, Pakistan, and Iraq. Then order a military withdrawal from the other 100 nations around the world where we have over 700 foreign bases. That would save many lives, much money, and would create far fewer enemies than we are creating now.
We simply must stop acting as if we own the world or as if we are responsible for it. That would not be isolationism but instead a lack of military domination. The US would trade with all nations who were willing to trade with us. Creditor nations would probably appreciate our new monetary policy whereby they were paid with real instead of counterfeit money.
If the President were to dedicate himself to the ideas proposed in this response to his speech, we would be well on our way to the most dynamic period in American history.
- Darrell Castle
Tennessee’s lottery scholarship program, which began in 2004 and now provides scholarship help to 100,000 Tennessee students per year is running a multimillion dollar deficit and must be cut, lawmakers say.
According to a recent article in the Nashville Tennessean, the program will run a $17 million deficit this year, which is expected to rise to $27 million by 2011.
Originally the program was designed to encourage high school students who maintained at least a B average to choose Tennessee schools. The program has been expanded several times since then to include other groups such as returning veterans, foster children, high-schoolers enrolled in college classes, students in teaching curriculums, and technical school students.
Recently the GPA requirement of 2.75 was removed so that students who could not maintain at least a 2.75 GPA could keep the scholarship. The removal of the GPA requirement pushed the program into an accelerating deficit.
Officials who oversee the scholarship program are apparently not all that upset about the looming deficits, because they expected it to be much higher, at several hundred million. There is a very healthy rainy day fund of $319 million that is raining red ink in the scholarship program right now. Lawmakers periodically raid the fund to get money for their pet projects. The last time they withdrew $70 million to make Tennessee schools more energy efficient.
Officials realize that they can’t continue to rely on the rainy day fund and they must get the program under control. Some tough decisions will have to be made about which part(s) of the program to cut. Reinstating the 2.75 GPA requirement and taking a hard line on it would be a good first start.
Unfortunately it appears that the problems in the scholarship program are not related to a decrease in gambling, because the money coming into the program would have been more than adequate had the rules of participation remained unchanged.
Tennessee’s program is not the only state scholarship program in trouble. For example, last year Michigan had to eliminate a $140 million scholarship program. The state universities were forced to scramble to replace the program with their own funds.
It is evident that, for many institutions, their own funds could be adequate to provide a merit-based scholarship fund, or at least to contribute significantly to one. Many colleges and universities have massive endowments that are sitting in accounts earning interest or sometimes being destroyed by bad investments in an economic downturn year.
Why not use some of that money to help deserving students?
By now the entire world knows about the devastating oil spill that began April 20, 2010, in the Gulf of Mexico.
The magnitude and, more importantly, the potential magnitude, of what is happening there would be difficult to overstate. However, some people may not be aware of the amazing series of coincidences that happened prior to and after the spill. Let me give you just a few examples:
1. It has been widely reported that the Deepwater Horizon exploded because Halliburton, a company once headed by Dick Cheney, did not properly cap, or cement, the well. Just eight days before the spill on April 12, 2010, Halliburton closed a deal to purchase Boots & Coots, the world’s largest oil spill cleanup organization, for $240.2 million. Now that is one lucky company.
2. The spill sent BP’s stock shares plummeting toward the bottom. But just before that happened, Goldman Sachs, despite giving BP a buy rating for Goldman clients, sold more than 40 percent of its BP shares for between $250 and $300 million.
BP’s former chairman, Peter Sutherland, is now chairman of Goldman Sachs International. In addition, Mr. Sutherland sits on the Trilateral Commission, is a former Chairman of the London School of Economics, is a UN Special Representative, was the founding director general of the World Trade Organization, and was previously director general of the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade.
3. A few weeks before the disaster, Tony Hayward, the Chief Executive of BP, sold one third of his personal BP stock and used the money to pay off the mortgage on his mansion in Kent.
What an absolutely fantastic run of luck these folks had. That is simply amazing!
President Obama Being Briefed on Oil Spill
For three weeks after the spill, President Obama refused to do anything while millions of gallons of oil and toxic gases poured into the Gulf. The White House at first approved the use of the toxic dispersal agent Corexit, then, under pressure, ordered BP to stop using it. BP refused to do so and it is being sprayed by the millions of pounds from U.S. Air Force planes today.
For 70 days, President Obama refused all offers of international aid. The Dutch, a maritime people with the largest cleanup capacity in the world, offered the use of their ships and strategy without cost, but were refused. The Russians have experienced five major blowout spills and offered their help and expertise, but were refused.
What conclusions can we draw from all this? As we’ve seen, some corporations are very lucky. The military and private security have been used to suppress news of the magnitude of the damage. People have been arrested for taking pictures of the beaches. The president is using the spill for political purposes and so are Congressional Republicans.
Was this spill deliberately caused? I don’t know. I’m not a scientist. But in the comments to my letter to Governor Jindal about the spill, it was suggested that I join the Green Party, and that I am comparable to Hugo Chavez.
My answers to those comments are that I would be a lot more comfortable in the Green Party than the Democrat or Republican Parties, and I would rather be compared to Hugo Chavez than one of the heartless, merciless corporations that we’ve been discussing.
Until next time, thanks for reading,
Darrell L. Castle
Dear Gov. Jindal:
Thank you for the remarkable degree of restraint and dignity you have exhibited in your efforts to protect the State of Louisiana from the catastrophe that is now upon it. I am not one of your constituents, but I am on your e-mail list and as such I receive periodic updates in the form of letters from you. It is to one such letter, which I received in my inbox this morning, that I now refer.
In the first paragraph of that letter you state, “Yesterday, I accompanied a team of elected officials to observe state-led dredging operations underway at the northern end of the Chandeleurs Island chain…We fought the red tape and bureaucracy for many weeks, but we prevailed in getting this segment and five others approved by the federal government and funded by BP.”
Thanks for your persistence, Governor, but I don’t understand why you felt it necessary to crawl on your knees to the federal government for permission to save your state. By your own admission you lost several valuable, unrecoverable weeks of work.
Why not just start dredging, and if BP does not agree to provide temporary funds, ask the court (where I would already have sued BP) for a temporary restraining order against use of their world wide assets and operations until they at least fund the dredging operation. There are many fine law firms in Louisiana that would take that case on a contingent fee basis, but if none meet your specifications, I would be glad to do it.
In the second paragraph, you comment on the president’s speech and state that “speeches won’t stop the oil” and that “we need the federal government to understand we are in a war to protect our way of life and we want results.”
Well said Governor, but the federal government doesn’t care about your way of life, and that should be obvious. Get on with your own business and forget about Washington, and sue them, Governor – sue the federal government, too, as they are at least partially responsible due to their negligent delays.
In the third paragraph you state, “Unfortunately, President Obama did not announce an expedited process to end the drilling moratorium as we had hoped. We remain concerned that the administration does not fully understand the devastating impact an extended moratorium will have on our people.”
Governor, isn’t it obvious that this is a purely political decision on the part of the administration? You are the Governor of Louisiana, just drill and ask the federal government for nothing else. You must protect the people who trusted their state to your charge, Governor.
In your next to last paragraph you state, “On Monday, I joined fishermen, restaurant leaders, and seafood industry officials at the Acme Oyster House in New Orleans to call on President Obama to force BP to approve our state’s seafood safety plan.”
The Acme is a fine restaurant where I’ve enjoyed many meals. I’ll miss it if it is forced out of business. Governor, why don’t you seize the assets of BP – every last one of them – within your jurisdiction? I’ll bet that would get their attention, and some action on your seafood safety plan as well.
Finally, Governor, you are a good man and obviously a very caring and intelligent one. I understand that you have a legitimate degree from Harvard. Sue them, Governor, and go after their world wide assets. I’m afraid the people of Louisiana are going to need them.
In my next letter I’d like to ask you where the Louisiana National Guard is and if you think they might be needed in Louisiana for this catastrophe. Maybe we could think of a Constitutional way for you to get them back.
Good day, Governor, and good luck,
Darrell L. Castle