Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Operation Alinsky

What should we expect from President Barak Obama now that he is President?

Look no further than the 1971 revolutionary and community organizer Saul Alinsky's training manuals that so captured Barak Obama's attention as a neighborhood organizer. Alinsky's modus operandi, as a socialist, was to:

  • co-opt the language of the masses
  • affirm the masses of their plight
  • promises the masses change they can believe in is forthcoming
  • deliver to the masses new plans for their life

Alinsky said, " The Prince was written by Machiavelli for the Haves on how to hold power. Rules for Radicals is written for the Have-Nots on how to take it away"

Alinsky continues:

"Any revolutionary change must be preceded by a passive, affirmative, non-challenging attitude toward change among the mass of our people. They must feel so frustrated, so defeated, so lost, so futureless in the prevailing system that they are willing to let go of the past and change the future. This acceptance is the reformation essential to any revolution. To bring on this reformation requires that the organizer work inside the system, among not only the middle class but the 40 per cent of American families"

Barak Obama actually taught the Alinsky methods and tactics dozens of times to local Chicago neighborhoods just as Alinsky had himself organized the now famous "Back of the Yards" Chicago neighborhood.

How well has Senator Obama now President Obama employed the tactics in "organizing for mass power"?

Using the strategies above, the masses were to be infiltrated and won over. Standing firmly on principle is by far the most damaging of ideas to Alinsky. President Obama was tutored well. He has masked true intentions with fairy tale words that promise undefined change. What a perfect model for winning votes and not alienating the public?

How crafty will President Obama be in the days to come?

First, he must co-opt the language of Republicans. "Tax cuts", "unity", "economic growth", "creating jobs", etc...may be the heart of the Republican economic message. But now, Alinsky's disciple, will employ these words and phrases to insidiously comandeer Republicans.

The goal is to re-define the meaning of conservative language. Tax cuts will now mean providing welfare checks to people who didn't make any money. Economic growth means "economic justice"- taking from wealth creaters and giving to unproductive citizens. Creating 4 million jobs means fabricating government mandated jobs by paying $216,000 per job picking for picking up litter, refurbishing government windows, creating new windmills, etc...

Secondly, Senator Obama will affirm the plight of the masses. Operation Alinsky always requires embracing your enemy, not confronting your enemy. We will affirm all. We will receive all. We will accept; not reject. The Alinsky disciple will follow the revolutionary model befriending and embracing all citizens. The goal is to unify the sheep who feel lost in the American pligth. The fateful night that Senator Obama was thrust onto the American stage in 2004, the Senator raptured Americans into unity by saying, "We are not divided as red states and blue states. We are the United States....we are not Republicans and Democrats....we are Americans."

The tingly words of "change you can believe in" will spearhead the promised social revolution in America. Alinsky promised the model would work. President Obama promises to work the model.

Americans would never buy the Alinsky message if the message was spelled out clearly: social revolution, wealth redistribution, tearing down the system of power, etc....But the Alinsky model goes undected before the masses and media in speech after speech. The code words that rile average Americans into action duping them into the frenzy of voting for social revolution is nothing short of masterful manipulation.

If the messenger is charismatic enough, the masses will hang on each of his words as he embraces their frustrations (food on the table, help with kids, programs to lighten the burden). He will affirm their struggle for "economic justice", "social justice", and righting the wrongs that have placed us in dire circumstances. He will tell them that they have been victimized and that they need help. The messenger will win their trust to overtake the unnamed Goliaths in the capitalist system that have exploited the people. The Alinsky disciple stirs up the beckoning cry of the masses to march, join, unify in a romantic revolution against the oppressors of average Americans trying to feed their families. The Alinsky disciple must make sure that the masses see him sybolically as their pure sacrificial messsenger who is destined by fate to embrace the people's struggle for independence against the constraints and shackles of those who are holding them back.

Even of Republicans, President Elect Obama has affirmed and quoted their all-time hero, Ronald Reagan in talking about the America we live in. How confusing? President Obama has received, accepted, embraced, listened, empathized, and befriended bigwig conservative columnists like George Will, Larry Kudlow, Peggy Noonan, and Nina Easton. How confusing? The goal is to little by little, tear the opposition's defenses down. Two hours at dinner secluded in George Will's home, the effervescent President-elect listened and pretended to learn what social and economic conservatives wanted. Will not a couple of hours listening to Republicans soften the print articles, news columns, and television interviews that were bound to be lobbed against him?

President Obama will embrace even the political enemy with calm assurance, poise, and a smile seeking their partnership to forward his agenda. There will be no rantings. There will be no vindictive retributions in the public eye. This is not the way of Alinsky- or is it?

Third, promise the masses what they want to hear. "Change that you can believe in" is apparently lofty enough to win hearts and minds. About 200,000 Berliners fell in love with the rapture of Obama. Alinsky's methods always means telling the people that they are in trouble; but that hope is on the way. You tell the masses that they need help. And in Senator Obama's case, "Government is the only solution" to their problems. With him, they have a promise of hope. "We will lead again!"

Fourthly, once in power, deliver to the masses the new plans for their lives. The people aren't wise enough to decide what is good for them. They neeed "their brother's keeper" who will make sure from Washington that they have food, leisure time, transportation, health care, mandated jobs, government funded pensions, etc...Alinsky's disciple, who organized them, will make sure that government will do its part from cradle to grave caring for the people that should be caring for themselves. Who else could do this except the on who organized them, promises them hope, and identifies with their pain?

It was the revolutionary, Alinsky, who believed that "an intermediate end for radicals should be
democracy because of its relative ease to work within to achieve other ends of social justice.

Democracy is not good enough in the grand scheme of social revolution. It is merely a stepping stone to more utopian days when citizens don't have to worry about elections and democracy.

The Bolsheviks promised bread for the Russian masses and an end to war upon storming the Kremlin and taking power. We got the Soviets. Mao promised "The Great Leap Forward" in 1957 with collectivist policies that starved 20 million Chinese citizens. William Pitt, Prime Minister of England in 1796, promised England's poor the keys to the treasury for easing the plight of poverty resulting in the creation of even more poverty. Post WWII Europe's turn toward socialist policies floundered for forty years until Margaret Thatcher unleashed economic incentives with the rest of Europe following suit. The result were the citizens creating unparalleled wealth.

Will President Obama's "Government is the only solution" and "America is in trouble" work? He may have mesmerized the masses and won the White House with Alinsky's methods, but there is going to be an awful mess when the citizens awake from the hypnosis of "change that you can believe in."

Even so, because of Senator Obama's masterful oratory and wordsmith savvy, he awed crowds with his incantations and vocabulary blinding the many about the realities of his federal economic plans for America.

President Obama will begin re-shaping America through a slight of hand proposition. The economy needs stimulus. So why not designate specific funds toward newly formed government programs? Will these government mandated programs be eliminated upon their one time designation? It won't be likely.

President Obama's incremental approach will be "death by a thousand cuts", not a bazooka. A little money for this program and that program to stimulate the populous multiplied hundreds of times over will show government to be "the Great Leviathan".

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Wall Street Tycoons & Sunday School

It was Rudyard Kipling who wrote, "What a web we weave when we first practice to deceive".

And so the story goes...the 2008 Tronch I, Bailout Nation, Stimulus Plan I, 2009 Tronch II, Stimulus Plan II, New Deal III, etc...are but symptoms of a serial pandemic spreading through Wall Street.

Politicians are scrambling to solve problems of transparency and integrity disguised as economic problems. Consider stalwart Wall Street firms Lehman and Bear Stearns. They promised nothing was wrong. Both ended bankrupt and were bought for pennies on the dollar. Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae promised that they had no financial woes. The government rescued both. AIG appeared strong and untouchable. The government bought them out for 85 bilion dollars. Thane's Merrill Lynch promised only one trip to the discount window for money and that Merrill was through its most difficult economic patch. Merrill then begged to be bought out; Bank of America came to the rescue with the Treasury Secretary's explicit promise to back all of the toxic assets no matter how many there were. Pandit promised Citigroup was getting through the worst of its problems. Tronch I and Treasury rescue packages have left the stock bleeding under five dollars and the company fighting for its survival.

Now Apple Computer, under the cloud of suspicion concerning Steve Jobs' health, promised Jobs was in fine health. Then Apple confirms suspicions that Jobs was taking a leave of absence for six months for health reasons.

Who can blame investors from fleeing the scene and producing a 40% drop in equity prices during 2008 matching the worst year since 1931? With financial statements useless, CEO's and government officials playing the charlatans, and the prospects of success in the markets being turned into a gambling parlor, Americans are left holding the financial losses to the tune of billions of dollars.

What excactly is the problem? Its not losses, bankruptcies, or over-leveraged financial institutions. The problem is integrity and character. The day that a man's word is not as "good as gold", has arrived.

Cheating, lying, deceiving, and half-truths are ground-zero for America's 2008 Wall Street financial implosion and economic recession that is underway. When truth is discarded, the financial statements become useless. When truth is hidden, banks won't lend and people won't borrow. No one can conduct business fairly.

What is the solution? Bust the entire bunch of financial charlatans that cooked the books and lied in public about the material affairs of their public companies. Jail time, accountability, and swift accountability are partial solutions addressing those swindlers who have destroyed the 401K's, pension plans, and retirements of millions of Americans. Enron and Worldcom were not the only bad apples in the barrel. The entire Wall Street and financial system has men who continue to peddle half-baked truths about their companies.

The solution, however, is not only to swiftly house white collar crooks in pin-stripe suits. Americans must re-learn the timeless truths and great lessons of honesty, integrity, and character in their personal lives.

Bruner and Carr who wrote of J.P. Morgan's steely nerves in saving America's banking system during the Panic of 1907, record Mr. Morgan's famous verbal exchange during a Congressional inquiry:

Untermyer: Is not commercial credit based primarily upon money or property?
Morgan: No, sir. The first thing is character.
Untermyer: Before money or property?
Morgan: Before money or anything else. Money cannot buy it ... a man I do not trust could not get money from me on all the bonds in Christendom.

J.P. Morgan, the great banker, knew that without good character there could be no good commerce.
Sunday School may seem a bit archaic and aloof a solution for our sophisticated modern day financiers. But the difference between a street thief and a pin-stripe suit college graduate swindler is the amount of money that is stolen. Both are thieves. Both have the effect of destroying the America we love.

Harvard and Yale graduates may have a ticket to success. But success crumbles easily when character is not built upon the timeless of values of Sunday sermons where conscience, love, hope, and faith train us toward honesty and integrity. Today's financial leaders need no more motivation or incentives to succeed. They already make millions.

They need Sunday School and a re-learning of the 10 Commandments that makes one right with his soul before handling the public's trust and their money.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Do Any Of Them Know What To Do...???

It was Alan Greenspan, the Maestro who led America as the most powerful man on the globe, who said in the twilight of his days before Congress, that his forty year understanding of economics was faulty. Need anything else be said?

Do President Elect Obama's financial advisors including Warren Buffet, Robert Reuben, and Paul Volcker have any greater clarity concerning the great American economy? What about Bernanke or Paulson?

Earily so, the answer is no. The omnicscient masters of economics remain muted about the exact solution for deep recession or depression type scenarios.

No unfolding economy is so frightening to a central banker or politician than an economy slipping into deflation or depression. Peope stop spending. They hoarde. Prices decline swiftly. Employers cut hours, jobs, and shut down factories.

In the 1930's, this meant breadlines, Hoover Hotels, and selling eggs to make ends meat. In 2009, this means Blockbuster, McDonalds, and used cars instead of cinemas, Ruth's Steakhouse, and brand new sports cars.

Listenting to Warren Buffet's "economic Pearl Harbor" comments and Paul Krugman's doom and gloom rhetoric, one might think the "Great Mother of all Recessions" is upon us. Is America in such deep trouble that President Elect Obama should ominously report that "government is the only solution" and that failure to pass his 1 trillion dollar stimulus plan is akin to destroying the American economy?

Let it be said clearly. Bad public policy of the 1930's of hiking taxes, errecting tariffs, and contracting access to credit were the death knell of economic recovery for 12 years. Every conceivable big government program that could be invented was employed. FDR said, "Do something. And when you have done that something, if it works, do it some more. And if it does not work, then do something else."

On second thought instead of just doing something, doing something right such as employing capital friendly policies would have been far more effective than relying on the gimcrack populist policies to pull people out of recession in the 1930's? Had Morgenthau or FDR not strong-armed capitalists, business owners, entreprenuers, with excesssive government regulation including wage and price controls, capital and labor would have readjusted more efficiently and effectively to recession than with centralized planning of the 1930's. Even Morgenthau lamented years later that enormous spending and government expansion simply didn't work.

So what have we learned today? Maybe not very much. Secretary Paulson said, "We have to do something."

Six-hundred dollars to each American in 2007 to rev up the economy...A $350 billion housing plan to save housing....Bear Stearns bailout in March 2008...Citigroup, AIG, TARP I, TARP II to follow in 2008....TALF....Stiumulus I of 2009 in the amount of $789 billion, Stimulus II on the companies, insurance companies, etc...bailed out of insolvency.

Bail outs have wiffed. Markets have tanked. Confidence is waning. Obama's "Change that you can believe in" rhetoric is fast becoming fizzled soda.

President Obama, Geithner, and Summers promised that help was on its way. More spending, massive government invervention, greater regulation, and increased legislation was their intention. Such medicine which they offer as a cure will be worse than the disease of 2009's recession.

To what is President Obama beholden? Is it economic recovery for all citizens? Or is the President so entranced by the social re-engineering experiment to equalize outcomes in America, that nothing shall stand in his way?

Indeed, the beguiling of the people has taken root. The "Shining City Upon a Hill" which has endured the wacky ages of FDR and LBJ, shall once again require the citizens to reclaim their liberty when the damage is done.

Huckabee on Taxes