Sunday, December 7, 2008

Asleep At The Wheel - Wake Up America

From this previous Presidential election we can conclude the following:

Approx 64 million people said yes to Barack Obama’s and no to John McCain’s campaign message.

Approx 57 million people said yes to John McCain’s message and no to Barack Obama’s message.

With approx 300 million people in the United States and 200 million being eligible to vote….we’re seeing 80 million people not saying anything.
Now I’m sure some of these did not see a message that resonated with them enough to support a candidate, but then there are so many who just do not vote.
Add on top of that the large amount of new voters who were drawn out and the number is rather staggering.

With the majority of the media this campaign season being so one sided and international media also being so one sided it is very tough to get a clear picture of each candidate without taking the time to do your own research.

When speaking with my brother who lives overseas after the election he stated he thought Barack Obama was the best candidate. When asked how he came to this decision from so far away he stated because ‘McCain is a finger on the trigger, ex war hero who has just towed the line with Bush’.

Naturally I was taken back by this so I delved a little further.

‘Have you ever heard of William (Bill) Ayers?’ I asked
‘Have you ever heard of Jeremiah Wright?’ I asked
‘No’ again was the answer.
‘How many planes has McCain crashed in his lifetime?’
‘Five’ was the answer
‘How much has Palin spent on clothes for the campaign?’
‘It was over $150,000’
‘Did you hear about her banning books in an Alaskan library?’
‘Oh yeah we heard about that’.

Naturally I was shocked. Not because of the obvious one-sidedness of the British media but the fact my own brother had fallen victim.

Living in the US and being subject to all forms of media (TV, radio and Internet) with this campaign I’d been open to all sides. In the UK you only really have the news media to go on.

Again using the UK as an example I found a man online who was told to take down his Union Jack (British flag) because some minorities in the area were offended and had complained. Now I know the UK has changed with the incoming minorities and the traditional culture being severely diluted…..but this is just ridiculous.

How these people in the UK are not revolting over being told they cannot fly their own flag is beyond me.

This all boils down to change. We’ve heard it a lot in the last months in the good ol’ US of A….but what’s it all about.

Well obviously the UK has changed….and for the British people it appears this change is not good for them and their values and culture. But this change has not happened overnight…this has been small gradual change.

You get the occasional person who is upset at something but rarely speaks out so it seems, thus it continues. Tiptoeing onward and upward until you look back and cannot recognize what it used to be like.

Coming back across ‘the pond’ as we call it, the US is heading in the very same direction.

Granted the country is still much younger, change is still happening and I believe it is not for the better (regardless of what those elected officials say).

I asked someone (who shall remain nameless) during the primaries what they thought of Obama as he was a relative unknown.

‘He’s an Arab!’ was the response.

No matter what proof I stated the only response I got was ‘He’s still an Arab!’

It has been proven time and time again that a large portion of the population do not understand the basic functions of government and who was indeed running in the campaigns. This is either through a lack of active involvement or just a lack of caring as politics was something they were never involved in. They hear one rumor (regardless of its truth) and that’s their opinion.

However what is most troubling about this group of people is that the Obama campaign was able to draw them in, still without an understanding of the campaign and the government.

A fantastic study was done during the closing weeks of the election and details can be found at

Be it the Republicans or the Democrats who draw in these new voters it is very dangerous to vote while not fully understanding why you are doing it. Not dangerous to the individual, but dangerous to the country.

In the US you can live life, go to work and watch TV without coming across politics.
Not just Presidential politics either, but local and state politics as well.

Unless it’s a scandal worthy of regular news there is not much coverage on regular TV.

Too many Americans are (as I like to call it) ‘asleep at the wheel’. A voice is only heard when it effects them directly.

For years this country has not had an energy policy. The US continues to import more and more oil thus relying on foreign nations. This has not only been dangerous but damaging to the US economy by sending huge sums of money overseas.

However not until gas prices started hurting the average person were large amounts of voices heard.

Action could have been taken decades ago but the masses remained silent as they were not directly affected.

Now cries were heard, the offshore oil drilling ban was lifted and thanks to a looming recession the price of oil has plummeted from $150 to under $50 a barrel.
Still there are a huge majority of people who do not understand where the US gets its oil from. A poll conducted by shows that many people while upset over the recent high energy prices still do not have a firm grasp on the reasons for it and where the US in fact gets its oil.

And what do politicians want to do? Reinstate the offshore oil ban and put more taxes on the price of gasoline.

An energy policy would help solve this issue from returning in the future, but where have the majority of voices gone? Back to their lives as they are no longer being bled dry at the pumps. While the issue remains unresolved…..the ‘huge’ voice has been lost.

Come summer 2009….the prices will be back up and people will once again cry out.

Why is this?

Why do so many Americans not care until it’s too late?

Why does it take so much for the majority of people to act?

Are they just lazy? Do they not care? Are they so wrapped up in their lives to bother?

It’s a troubling and unanswered question which will affect the future of this great nation.

Another current issue is the economic crisis.

Money has been so readily available that in 2007 the US as a whole spent more than it earned. The traditional ‘if you can’t pay cash you can’t afford it’ has long since vanished.

People as young as 18 are able to borrow almost obscene amounts of money with very little proof of being able to pay it back.

Sign up for this credit card and get a free t-shirt.

It doesn’t matter that you have no income….we use your parents as backup.

It all comes down to not being able to afford the item itself, but to afford the payments.

Normally a $50,000 car is out of reach, you’d never have that kind of money laying around. But $400 a month for however many years…..that’s doable.

This then expanded in the 1990’s to lending for houses.

It’s OK that you can’t afford the house under the ‘conventional’ means of borrowing money. We’ll lend you more than the house is worth at a special rate because even if you default the government will back up the mortgage. Enter Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.

What they either failed to tell the borrower or the borrower was so dazzled at the prosperity of owning a home that they didn’t care was that the payments will increase after 5 years.

To me its just common sense…..if they can’t afford the house by conventional means then what’s going to happen when the payments adjust?

And even with government backing, what’s going to happen when everyone or even a small majority who has these loans defaults?

Now this housing crisis can be traced back to the Democratic Party and the Community Reinvestment Act started by Carter and revitalized by Clinton.

Both Bush and McCain in the last 5 years signaled the warning bells of the coming disaster but nothing was done and now the Democrats are pointing the finger at ‘Bush’s failed economic policies’

Granted more could have been and should have been done, but once again the masses asleep at the wheel hear Bush being blamed and that’s it….its his fault.

Thus those uneducated people all fall on the side of Obama without knowing the truth and of course…..why should they tell them the truth?

Come back to less than a month ago and to ‘solve’ this economic crisis the government is bailing out private industries.

Investment companies with so many of these dodgy mortgages on the books – they need a bailout otherwise they’ll fail and cause more havoc.

The big 3 auto manufacturers who lost sales due to the high gas prices are on the verge of failing – they need a bailout otherwise they’ll fail and cause more havoc.
CITI Bank who has so many of these dodgy mortgages on their books is failing – they need a bailout otherwise they will collapse.

This bailout bill offering a total of $700 billion of tax payer money was signed in to avert this huge crisis. If this was not put through immediately the whole economy would collapse. Congress goes on a two day vacation between this speech and the votes however, figure that one out.

Over a month and over $1 trillion later the stock market is still in roller coaster mode, more industries are coming to Washington with their hands out and we the tax payer are on the hook for these enormous amounts of money.

Not only that, but congress has now pledged over $7 trillion to save the economy.

Where was the vote on that?

Where are the voices from the masses?
Well people are not directly being affected. Taxes have not gone up to cover this money and people are not being forced to spend much more in their day to day lives. Now when it comes to our children and our children’s children… loud will their voices be?

There are much more efficient ways to resolve this crisis created by government. But government appears to just be throwing money at the problem.

Its OK, it’s not their money…..they don’t have to pay it back…we do. They’re just printing more. Where are the voices?

When it comes to those asleep at the wheel losing their jobs….who will they blame?

Blame Bush…it happened on his watch.

Blame Obama…..but he just inherited it from Bush.

What do you think the one-sided media is telling those people?

If they knew the truth… you think they would have voted the way they did?

How are they going to learn the truth when all they get is one side?

What is going to happen if we all just sit back and let ‘someone else’ deal with the problem?

Well right now that someone else is the US government.

This economic crisis was caused by government, they are now being left to fix the problem they caused and they are grabbing power and nationalizing industries in the process.

If your house was burgled, your possessions stolen and you knew who stole them, would you let that person head up the investigation? Of course not.
But those who knew what was happening in the mortgage industry, said to the American people (many with their life savings invested in these companies) that everything is fine are the ones now saying they are solving the problem.

Frankly I don’t trust them and you shouldn’t either.

Once again government is not the answer.

The government manipulated the free market system, they have literally destroyed the free market system and they are now spending trillions on dollars to solve the problem they say is the fault of the free market system.

We need to wake up.
If you’re asleep at the wheel too long….the vehicle will crash.
...and we're already a long way off the road.

-Tony Leach

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