Saturday, November 15, 2008

Obama Should Meet Russia's Putin First

Foreign policy is going to be a very big deal in the new Obama administration and one of the lingering problems from the post Cold War period is our relationship to Russia. So you thought the Cold War ended back in the early '90's with the fall of the Soviet Union? So did I.

But something happened in Russia on the path to freedom as the world's other superpower was going through a meltdown with the collapse of Communism. Along came the USA promising all kinds of help if only Russia would become a democratic nation with free elections and free press.

This is a country whose people had lived under the protective dominance of Communists or Tzars for over 1000 years. A nation that stood by helplessly as over 62 million of their own people vanished at the hands of their leader Joseph Stalin. People dependent on a system that provided for them from cradle to grave.

With our encouragement they held elections, privatized much of their society and commerce, and started to charge through taxes for all the services people had grown to expect. The result, it took ten years to nearly destroy the once proud people, to reinvigorate the shell of the Communist party, to discover much of the privatization only put ownership of their industry and resources in the hands of professional thieves and to pretty much demonstrate that democracy was a long ways away.

So all the reforms started to be undone and the county put back together and suddenly a new Russia emerged under the firm guidance of President Vladimir Putin. What is our response to the revitalization of a major player in world affairs? The Bush administration decides to infuriate the new Russia by encouraging the former East European members of the Soviet Union to join NATO, a defense alliance of countries bribed by America through foreign aid.

Didn't Bush people know the Cold War was over? About 20 years ago, when his dad was president, the Soviet Union dissolved and the Cold War ended. Why did the kid treat Russia 20 years later as an adversary rather than a friend? Then we complained about the loss of rights in Russia, suppression of the media and the control of huge oil reserves.

When oil producing nations aided in driving the price of oil through the roof Russia helped keep the price from destroying the world by increasing production and ignoring OPEC efforts to control the world oil supply thus maintaining record prices. How do we reward our old friends? Over strenuous objections from Russia Bush decides we need a missile defense shield built in Chekoslavakia aimed at the Russians. Our current satellites can read cigarette packs from outer space, what is the point of a defense shield in Eastern Europe except to upset Putin.

Well we certainly did upset Putin and he invaded Georgia, a move we also attacked. Somewhere along the line our leaders forgot that the people of Russia are our friends, not enemies. We forgot that Russia once saved the USA from extinction in the Civil War without ever asking anything in return. A desperate plea for help from President Lincoln resulted in Russia stopping England and France from attacking the seriously weakened Union Army as it was being driven far north by Lee's Army.

Now we have a new president. He has also ignored our fractured relations with Russia and kissed up to the traditional allies of the USA. Let us hope he has the insight and wisdom to stop what Bush began, chest-thumping in the face of the Russians, and will sit down for meaningful discussions with a friend and ally from long before the days England and France decided to be our friend.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Letter to the Editor

Seems Anonymous has decided to write again this time in defense of the internet. Now since I normally let all responses stand without comment I shall change from past practice since there is a clear misunderstanding on the part of Anonymous as to what I know.

Anonymous said:

You shouldn't be so tough on Internet advertising: this blog you spread your message on is given to you for free as a result of it. Just several years ago you would have had to pay to host an expensive server and rent a domain name to get your message out. Not to mention that Google has taken on the likes of Microsoft with their free suite of Google Doc publishing tools. Yeah, they even let you store your created documents on their servers also for free. And if you choose you can do all this in complete anonymity. Google and Internet advertising, albeit annoying, has changed the world for the better.

Nothing is free on the internet. I refuse constant attempts by Google and others to insert their advertising and that of their millions of advertisers. Any day they will require it and I will lose the ability to give you an ad free source of information. I have my own domain names and servers in place for the day the intenet is no longer free which will be very soon. Besides, we all pay to access the "free" information. There is no free distribution of my stories on the internet either by Google or anyone else. In spite of the fact I am a long time registered journalist any distribution of the stories short of extremely hard work and constant networking is at a very high cost as the Googles of the world along with the internet media refuse to run stories without payment. Just posting on the internet gets one nothing, including exposure.

Automated banking? Are you talking Internet banking? Just think about all those dummies recently standing in line to get their money out of failed banks. The fools should have been sitting at home moving their dough to safer institutions with their mouse and a few clicks.The biggest injustice we face hasn't changed, it's the use of media companies to further political agendas. At least the Internet is helping anyone who chooses to do so to harpoon those institutions.

You know those dummies standing in line at banks, well they got every cent they had deposited. The bigger dummies on the internet lost about $500 billion to fraud directly or indirectly related to the internet and credit cards last year. The cell phone users were losers as well with over $20 billion in losses. And even ATM machines were looted by hacking bank records to the tune of billions of dollars. If you add the other ramifications of identity theft from the internet the losses could be approaching a trillion dollars and guess whose internet, credit card and cell phone fees are adjusted to cover the losses, you!

Don't like what others say? Start a newspaper and put it in everyone's mailbox. The County Times should come to mind. Finally, some food for thought. No better tool has ever existed to expose corruption and find the truth than the Internet. Everything is archived and searchable. You've got the library of the world right at your desk 24/7. Just imagine how it would have changed your life had it been there in your youth.

The problem with the internet is there is no test of truth to what is posted. When it was originally started it was as a research tool with real institutions verifying the information. Now anyone can say anything with no relationship to truth and the gullible public believes much of what is posted. Just look at the vicious campaign rumors about both Obama and Palin that never went away, even after the truth had been established. As an entertainment tool the internet is great. As a source of truth it has led to the destruction of journalism as a source of true information and that is a sad commentary on life in general.

I was a newspaper reporter for a real newspaper and we had to have multiple sources, survive editing and fact checking and be able to capture the public attention before our stories were even published. Too bad such standards are not possible on the internet.

Finally, if the internet was such a valuable tool to protect us from corruption why is fraud and corruption using the internet and electronic trading, swaps and derivatives thriving, why did it just cost trillions of dollars in losses to unsuspecting people throughout the world, why has it destroyed our economy, and why can't anyone stop it?

Jordan Christopher

Thursday, November 06, 2008

The Economic Meltdown - Where do we go from here?

If you were a regular reader of the Coltons Point Times or previous work by the editor you would be a lot richer than you are today. Since the '70's we have predicted the economic, stock market and housing fluctuations, trends and crashes with unusual accuracy from the oil manipulations of the '70's and 2007 and 2008 to the real estate mess in the early '80's and 2007, from the dot com meltdown of 2000 - 2002 to the interest spiral of the late '70's.

For years we have warned you of the conflict of interest of the "industry analysts" employed by Wall Street to influence stock prices. We listed the billions of dollars in fines paid for fraud and corruption in the financial and pharmaceutical industries and watched with awe as Congress passed the $700 billion bailout to save the same firms. Over and over we warned that there was nothing "free" about our free market system that is being manipulated by sources far more powerful than our government.

Wall Street and Madison Avenue, the financial and advertising centers of the universe, have joined forces to brainwash and spoon feed the American public with seeds of greed, obsession with materialism and disregard for laws and authority. Here we are today, a new president, a Democratic congress, and an inspired electorate yet the same architects of our current economic chaos are firmly in control of both the present and new administration.

Nearly a trillion dollars in bailouts have already been approved by Congress and our new president, a second multi-billion dollar bailout will be approved before Obama is even sworn in as president. House Speaker Pelosi is meeting today with the auto manufacturers and union leaders to decide on a second 25 billion dollar bridge loan. Barney Frank has promised just about everything to everyone while Pelosi is treating the Treasury as an endless pit of money and our new president may not even have a voice in what takes place.

Make no mistake, Madison Avenue convinced us we must have everything and Wall Street served it up through the maze of financial tricks of the trade and no one bothered to ask do we really need all this stuff. No one bothered to wonder why car companies were making more money off repairing your new car than selling it as "planned obsolescence", in other words making cars that would break down, became a bigger profit center.

Our FDA has turned its head to the proliferation of new drugs from an industry used to charging about 10 to 20 times the fair market value for prescriptions. Tens of billions in fines have been paid by the same pharmaceutical firms for fraud, price fixing, and bribes to doctors and hospitals. Yet Congress wants to expand our already broken and highly corrupt health industry to provide unnecessary medical care and drugs to everyone.

Many consumer product companies are in serious trouble because people did the only thing they could to survive the financial disaster, they stopped wasting money and started saving what little they had left. That is a very good thing but will extend a recession for those interested in bailing out Wall Street. Our media became dependent on advertising dollars that no longer exist so watch for television, radio and cable stations and networks dependent on advertising to start going under.

Our internet firms like Yahoo, Google, E Bay and millions of small businesses on the net will see their value collapse even more as the ad money dries up and as people realize that internet advertising really is the most over-valued method of reaching people with an undiluted message. Credit card fraud, cell phone fraud and identity theft flourish as a result of the internet and the failure of anyone to protect the consumer from such predators. Automated banking will be the next victim of the internet.

Entertainment companies including the record industry are operating with a broken business model and have had to resort to corruption to make money. The five largest record companies in America have paid tens of millions of dollars in fines recently for bribing radio stations to play records and now over 600 radio stations are under investigation for corruption. The record industry is beyond fixing and must collapse.

Many of the very industries our Congress is saving have no business in a free market economy where innovation, quality, service and competition are supposed to be the dominant attributes. Right now we reward fraud, corruption, greed and unfair business practices. How long is the American public going to continue to support the industries with their money and support their protectors (Congress) with their votes? The day of reckoning is at hand.

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

A Day For The Ages - Obama & Lincoln


Abraham Lincoln - 16th President

Barack Obama - 44th President

Just 23 days after he takes office as the 44th President,
on February 12, 2009, Barack Obama will celebrate the
200th anniversary of the birth of Abraham Lincoln, a fellow
president from Illinois whose dream that all people are free
was fulfilled with the historic election of Obama. Lincoln sacrificed
his life so that Obama could serve. Here they are both sitting before
the Illinois Statehouse where both began historic political careers.
Image created by The Coltons Point Times.

Barack Obama - Abraham Lincoln - The Dream Fulfilled

On February 15, 2008 while analyzing the results of the Super Tuesday primaries, the Coltons Point Times became the first newspaper on the internet or in print to officially declare Barack Obama the next president of the United States, nine months before the vote that would confirm him on November 4. Click on the following link to see the full story.

Friday, February 15, 2008

One month later, long before the end of the primary season and before Obama had won the Democratic nomination from Hillary Clinton a second story detailed how Obama would win the general election.

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Tonight history was made and tomorrow Barack Obama begins a difficult quest as the 44th President of the United States fulfilling the dream of the 16th President also from Illinois who dreamed all people would be free and all Americans would have equal opportunity.

Now Obama carries the hopes of a nation and the hopes of a world on his shoulders. May the hand of God guide him and may the wind be at his back as he becomes president of all the people and leader of the greatest nation on Earth.