Tuesday, August 30, 2011

New Global Taxes

(Milton Friedman`s economic model appeals much more than the Keynesian economic model of Government intervention in markets...which seems to be running on steroids in this scary day and age. This article is prefaced with the video above that cuts to the core of this philosophical issue that has become so important to our future security...and in response to this recent announcement by CEPAL, a division of the United Nations)

If it were not bad enough that most domestic governments have almost unlimited taxation authority without approval of its constituents...we now receive the news that Global taxation is on its way as well. This article published by the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC...or CEPAL in Latin America) should sound alarm bells to any free enterprise, free market thinker throughout the globe. While it is obvious there are no true free markets left in the world...those of us who continue to produce, dream and work towards individual sovereignty and self sufficiency should strongly react and prepare to fight this latest round of GLOBAL TAXATION.

This taxation is sponsored by and for the benefit of the United Nations and its various constituencies. While the UN was initially started on noble premises and to support freedom around the globe, I would suggest overall it has turned into an huge global body that represents the interests of the governments of the nations who form it and not necessarily the individuals within those nations. It has been almost powerless in the face of global conflicts and confrontations to unify and fight terrorism or statism. In fact, its policies have been very status quo for sustaining the power of statism more than individual rights for world citizens. More often than not the UN has supported socialism and world government as the solution for the ills of the world versus free markets and individual rights.

There are only five permanent members of the United Nations Security Council (Russia, the United States, China, the United Kingdom, and France), who are all nuclear powers and have created an exclusive nuclear club whose powers are unchecked within the UN. And of course, one would question if anything is "united" about those five states accept for maybe their being the 5 largest producers of global armaments that continue to fuel all global conflicts including both sides of the war on terror and against the drug trade. One could argue that the UN can`t lose a war because it has interests on both sides of the battle.

So...next step...GLOBAL TAXATION in ADDITION to the arduous taxes these member states already impose upon their citizens. Personally, I wouldn't have a problem if these nation-states wanted to appoint a percentage of THEIR domestic taxes and incomes to help "global warming" and poverty issues in Latin America or elsewhere. But no, what they are proposing is to IMPOSE new global taxes on the producers in the world who are already taxed to high heaven by those same states. They are calling it a "transaction tax", but rest assured this is just the first inch of a mile they intend to take.

So many issues arise with this proposal. Lets just focus on the Latin American portion of this agenda. ECLAC, or CEPAL as they are known here in Latin America, according to their own website...

"... is headquartered in Santiago, Chile, one of the five regional commissions of the United Nations. It was founded with the purpose of contributing to the economic development of Latin America, coordinating actions directed towards this end, and reinforcing economic ties among countries and with other nations of the world. The promotion of the region's social development was later included among its primary objectives."

Their admitted and historic basis of philosophy is that "Keynesian thought, the historicist school and the Central European institutionalists exerted a decisive influence in the Commission's early years. More recently, the focus has been on a revival of this line in inquiry, along with the new theories of international trade and industrial organization, evolutionary theories of the firm and the new institutionalism.
How comforting...

Lets dissect this for a moment. Keynesian thought is behind all these government "stimulus" programs where governments intervene in everything from markets, to currencies, to bailing out the losing large institutions that have such a poor track record of managing and maintaining themselves. How is this working so far? Has it been helpful and productive to take the moneys of the taxpayers and productive business people or corporations...and put it behind the losing entities and false financial pariahs who have run Wall Street for so long? Oh, and how about those billions that go to international relief in such places as Haiti, Afghanistan and all the other mudholes of the world? A majority of those funds end up in the pockets of the defacto rulers and/or middlemen...who represent those same countries to the United Nations! Does anyone else see this mad cycle of good money after bad and supporting losing causes?

I have news for you ladies and gentlemen...this institutional approach to governing the world and solving the economic "crisis" of the world is NOT WORKING. Money is being filtered and churned through these huge taxing authorities...and very little of it is getting down to the point of need. Sure, you see UN vehicles occasionally on the news delivering food or relief to starving, displaced people in Africa and other desolate places...but I would suggest that each truckload cost 10-20 times more per delivery than if that support was more localized or regional in its source. We truly do NOT have food shortages in this world...we just have a distribution and COST crisis...and the UN is doing little in that regard with all the billions it takes in. One reason for that may be the fact that in 1945, the UN had 51 members. It now has 193, of which more than two-thirds are developing countries. When it comes to the combined budgets of the UN, it is this General Assembly who has authority on how those funds are spent. Each member country...1 vote. That to me reads that the poor developing countries of the globe have control on the UN when they want to...just based on simple math.

A few more UN facts have to be pointed out for the purposes of this blog. Though the US has one vote of 193 members...we pay 22% of the $5 Billion budget. China pays 3.2% roughly. Russia isn`t even in the top 10...yet both China and Russia along with the USA has vetoing power over the whole UN. This whole scenario is whacked out. And now the UN wants to impose global taxes on ALL global transactions? WOW!

I encourage anyone to review-download the 2010 report from CEPAL titled "Time For Equality". While I don´t take issue with the overall philosophy of equal rights for all within a democracy and the world at large...I do take issue with the way and reasoning why institutions like this one perpetuate such a message. So much of what they say here sounds admirable and doable...yet so much of the fundamental philosophy underneath it shouts out "unprincipled equality"...such as suggesting that true democracy equals equality by way of REDISTRIBUTION. This is the fundamental error of the socialistic model. You cannot justify STEALING from the haves in order to support the have nots. Everyone has to learn to "fish". If society dictates feeding everyone equally regardless of their work ethic or entrepreneurship...history has proven that the power will go to the FEW institutional "fishing companies" who will rake their portion off the top and give the rest to the masses. Is this really an improvement over a "corporate elite" model or monopolies? At least monopolies provide REAL jobs and incentives. (no, I am not advocating monopolies...just making an illustrative point).

Where equality comes in is the right to fish...or work...in a competitive environment. Much of Latin America`s economic inequality is actually supported by "protectionism" and foreign worker quotas. No one down here wants "competition" for jobs. They want "protection" of jobs. They want jobs to be a "right", not something that is earned. They want a "status quo" they can always count on. This is just irrational in a competitive, real world. If a nation-state does not allow better educated workers to come in from the outside, they will continue to drivel on way behind the global curve. It is about competition...not rights...that limit many of these countries from thriving in today`s global economies. These markets are so controlled and protected...there can be no true incentive to change or grow with technology advancements. And when government jobs in many of these Latin countries equal 60-70% of the jobs available...there is an obvious waste and stench of bureaucracy and non productivity...since we all know that governments PRODUCE NOTHING. They simply exist to oversee the laws of the land and protect the borders. In reality, they just simply "redistribute" some of what they rake in from productive society. How can this activity require a majority of the country`s workforce? Why doesn`t CEPAL start working on THAT issue?

But no, it is easier to attack and vilify "inequality" of income especially in the private sector, than to look at the extreme wastes and instant millionaires produced by these socialistic states of Latin America. These are not TRUE democracies...and no matter how much tax you bleed out of the economic producers, you are NOT going to bring equality to these masses until you stamp out the cancer of "entitlement" and "redistribution" from your methodology. Instead, focus on freeing and equalizing MARKETS and unleashing the power of innovative INDIVIDUALS to grow businesses and create jobs much better and faster than governments can.

The pyramid of the solution is UPSIDE DOWN. The institutions like CEPAL and the UN are not going to provide the economic answers. Individuals and families are. Allowing them to tax on a global scale is NOT going to help the poor and disenfranchised. It is only going to take institutional dominance and political filtering to a whole new level of imbalance. This is "Reaganomics" in reverse. The trickle down of tax cuts...versus the "trickle down" of tax INCREASES. Governments should not be growing in size...companies and producers should. Until that changes in Latin America and beyond...you will not see more equality just because you exercised some new taxes on every transaction in the world. My God...get a grip on reality!

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Religion of Consumerism...

What is the core reason for our world`s economic mess? I´ll tell you one of the BIGGEST catalysts...CONSUMERISM.

Consumerism is the new religion of the masses. Instead of dreaming about great adventures or discovering new cultures or a cure to poverty or cancer...most of the world is focused on...CONSUMING. We consume more and more food at higher and higher prices. We consume new technology before we even understand what it is or how to use it. If everyone else has it, we need it. Brand names like Chanel, ROLEX, Mercedes, and GUCCI are all about perceived value for appearances sake so that one's image is that of success and being "cultured". Unfortunately many of the people who spend the money on these things are impostors. They don`t have the kind of money to put into those "things"...and underneath the imagery of many of these THINGS, people are not attractive and nearly or completely bankrupt. Its a sad commentary on humanity that we would be impressed with what brand of clothes or watch someone is wearing. Don`t get me wrong...I like NICE things just like the next person...but I don`t NEED them to be happy or fulfilled. Isn't that the key difference...owning things but not being owned by THEM? Some people own things they like and can afford. Others own things they can`t afford for appearance sake only. This is the religion of Consumerism.

Same issues with cars and houses. Its one thing to get a "good deal" on a luxury car or a huge house in a new neighborhood as an "investment". It is another thing to go completely on the edge financially to "own" the biggest house or newest car in your family or circle of friends. One of the biggest reasons America is on the brink of collapse financially is the majority are in hock up to their eyebrows in order to appear wealthier than they are. A very small percentage of Americans really OWN their home or car.

What is really sad is so many of these "upscale" people in our culture spend so lavishly to attract friends and admiration...to gain clout in the proverbial pecking order of society...and yet they have no class or social graces to know how to act or what to say when they "get to that level". Someone once said "you can`t buy class. You either have it or you don`t". Now I´m not sure what "having it" may mean, and it could mean a lot of different things to a lot of different people...but I am quite convinced that "it" is a diminishing quantity in modern society. You only need to see a few of today's reality shows like "Real Housewives" or "Keeping up with the Kardashians" to illustrate what I am talking about.

So who or what is to blame for our cultural demise due to consumerism? Is it the fault of advertisers/marketers who constantly bombard the airways with imagery and false promises if you only "buy this product"? Is it the "parents fault" for wanting their children to have everything they didn`t have simply for the fact of saying they provided it? How egotistical is that? What ever happened to good old fashioned "earning for the yearning" where we save and plan for that which we need first...and want last?

Here is one core fundamental that the we should do if we want to turn things around. Don`t say something is YOURs until it is completely paid for. Yea...pretty revolutionary by today`s standards...but the reality is, that WAS the standard of our grandparent`s generation less than 50 years ago. My how far we have strayed from the veritable nest! Most Americans have payments up the ying yang for homes, cars and credit card bills...and yet we really have NOTHING until it is paid for. Meanwhile many have cash reserves of less than 2 months living overhead in their bank accounts...and a growing percentage of our population dont even HAVE bank accounts. Why? Because they have NO money and BAD credit. What is the cause and effect of this? Simply put, they want everything now...and don`t want to EARN it. And the things they WANT are usually "consumer goods" that depreciate in value...usually the minute they take it out of the store or drive it out of the dealer lot.

I grew up in a religion and culture that said it is not important what you have in THIS life...but more important to store your good works for "heaven". In adulthood I never could quite understand the religious edifice complexes and fundraising drives for bigger and bigger buildings and operations for religions. In the end, this conflict of perspective and reason diverted me from some of the fundamentalist religious views I grew up with. Yet, I still like to think like Jesus when he said in Matthew 6...

I tell you not to worry about your life. Don't worry about having something to eat, drink, or wear. Isn't life more than food or clothing? Look at the birds in the sky! They don't plant or harvest. They don't even store grain in barns. Yet your Father in heaven takes care of them. Aren't you worth more than birds?

Can worry make you live longer? Why worry about clothes? Look how the wild flowers grow. They don't work hard to make their clothes. But I tell you that Solomon with all his wealth wasn't as well clothed as one of them. God gives such beauty to everything that grows in the fields, even though it is here today and thrown into a fire tomorrow. He will surely do even more for you! Why do you have such little faith? Don't worry and ask yourselves, "Will we have anything to eat? Will we have anything to drink? Will we have any clothes to wear?" Only people who don't know God are always worrying about such things. Your Father in heaven knows that you need all of these. But more than anything else, put God's work first and do what he wants. Then the other things will be yours as well.

Don't worry about tomorrow. It will take care of itself. You have enough to worry about today.
Eds interpretation of this...

The cause and effect of being "rich" without falling for the religion of consumerism is to "do Gods work". What is that? Is that going off to a monastery or theology center, taking vows of chastity and obedience to a religious order of some kind? Heaven forbid.

I think Jesus theology or philosophy was REAL simple...love God (who is life) and your neighbor as yourself. You cannot love others until you love yourself. You cannot give to others until you have acquired for yourself. YOU are in the center of this simple spiritual realm. YOUR thoughts, YOUR actions and YOUR choices.

Are we healthy physically?
If not, why not? "You are what you eat". Don`t let CONSUMERISM dictate your diet to you.

Are we healthy mentally?
If not, why not? Do you carry around emotional baggage and never thought through your reactions to the "Consumerists" around you? Get out of the peer pressure grind or feasting on media trivialities...and start thinking good, elevated thoughts. Put on a positive dream and pursue it with discipline...for YOU.

Are we healthy socially? If not, why not? Do you even LIKE the family and friends you spend all your social time with? Or, have you retreated to solitude and escapism because you have been "hurt" by others close to you? Don`t let your society determine your tastes in social connections. Chose carefully those who are in your inner circle. Its YOUR move.

Are we healthy spiritually?
And by that I don`t mean some mystical, feel good tangent as presented by our consumer society of religion. The latest fad of religion or psychology is not what you need. When you are physically, mentally and socially healthy...your God will be very real and evident to you. Spirituality is a very self oriented, in depth relationship with the source of your life. It is not dependent on consumerist, societal norms and expectations regarding how, what or whom you call God or define your faith. Yes again...its all about YOU. And how or why is that so bad...IF you are "loving God, self and others"?

The core of this approach is that we will release ourselves from the potential victim-hood of Consumerism...if we stay focused and balanced on our inner and outer selves...and in balance to the rest of the REAL world around us. Stay real, stay in love, and be good to yourself. It IS Gods will. And you dont have to see "Him" physically or have a book to tell you this.

One subpoint to this blog:

I can now hear in my imagination some of my fundamentalist friends and family disdainfully questioning my viewpoint as "humanistic" versus "of God". I would go as far to say that it is my "revelation" that Jesus...and God...are, were and always will be some form of "humanist". My definition of Humanism from the dictionary is "any system or mode of thought or action in which human interests, values, and dignity predominate". To that end I would suggest that good theology IS humanistic. My simplest reasons from a Biblical perspective would be:

According to religious tradition, from the beginning of creation, God "created man in his own image" with many of Gods traits. God is jealous...so are we. God loves and hates...so do we. God is one of "free will"...and created us to have that as well. So, in essence, Man...like God...is at the center of his own universe. Man has the potential to think, breath and act based on his own reason and will. Because of this capacity, man is largely in control of his own destiny outside of calamities or acts of "nature" outside his control...and we are in process of controlling those things as well. Man is of the highest mind in this world for solving problems and puzzles, and having "dominion" over all the other animals. Man has discovered the core scientific actions and reactions that help us cure diseases...or in a negative case, split atoms to blow up our enemies. I guess we can blame God or the Devil for these realities...but personally I think we are our own worst enemies when it comes to reason and irrational actions.

In summary, do I equate man with God or make ourselves out to be "gods"? No, but I think we are of a much higher calling in life than simply participating in the religion of Consumerism or defining ourselves by what we own...or dont.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Issues for Americas 1% Wealthiest

This short Vanity Fair article from May 2011 is one of the most impacting short articles I have read in a long while. In light of Warren Buffets op ed this past week suggesting that the USA government SHOULD tax more heavily the richest of Americans...the Vanity Fair bit titled "Of the 1%, by the 1%, for the 1%" truly lays out some supportive reasoning along with Buffets apparent willingness to gift more to the US government through higher taxes.

It has always been obvious to me in my adult life that politics, governments and big money run together especially in a democracy. Yet it has now come to the point where one questions if there is any such thing as a pure democracy as it appears that most governments are bought and paid for by various rich corporations and the "top 1%" in most any country. As the USA continues to be mired in the muck of heavy debt, lowering production expectations, and in general a downgrading of the entire culture via ineffective education standards...this article rings home to me that harder times are ahead for my home country and revolution could be just around the corner...unless by some miracle the hyper rich 1% come to their senses.

Anyone who reads much of my material understands pretty clearly that my bent is a "libertarian" mode of political philosophy. I believe in small government, lowest possible taxation and individual freedom and responsibility instead of entitlements and bailouts. Yet, because my government has floundered so poorly in managing the country economically and failed the expectations of the people for honesty and integrity in leadership...it is truly time for the wealthiest of Americans to take action towards securing their country before it is further devastated in the competitive international arena of trade and commerce. There is a strong undercurrent of justified American discontent...and the people of our country have a history of turning quite violent and passionate when put in a corner of desperation.

Without further extrapolation of my viewpoints, I will let these key statements from the article in Vanity Fair make the rest of my case:

...in our own democracy, 1 percent of the people take nearly a quarter of the nation’s income—an inequality even the wealthy will come to regret.

In terms of wealth rather than income, the top 1 percent control 40 percent.

...many of the distortions that lead to inequality—such as those associated with monopoly power and preferential tax treatment for special interests—undermine the efficiency of the economy

The top 1 percent may complain about the kind of government we have in America, but in truth they like it just fine: too gridlocked to re-distribute, too divided to do anything but lower taxes.

Much of today’s inequality is due to manipulation of the financial system, enabled by changes in the rules that have been bought and paid for by the financial industry itself—one of its best investments ever.

Virtually all U.S. senators, and most of the representatives in the House, are members of the top 1 percent when they arrive, are kept in office by money from the top 1 percent, and know that if they serve the top 1 percent well they will be rewarded by the top 1 percent when they leave office.

The rules of economic globalization are likewise designed to benefit the rich: they encourage competition among countries for business, which drives down taxes on corporations, weakens health and environmental protections, and undermines what used to be viewed as the “core” labor rights, which include the right to collective bargaining. Imagine what the world might look like if the rules were designed instead to encourage competition among countries for workers. Governments would compete in providing economic security, low taxes on ordinary wage earners, good education, and a clean environment—things workers care about. But the top 1 percent don’t need to care.

Everyone possesses self-interest in a narrow sense: I want what’s good for me right now! Self-interest “properly understood” is different. It means appreciating that paying attention to everyone else self-interest—in other words, the common welfare—is in fact a precondition for one’s own ultimate well-being.

The top 1 percent have the best houses, the best educations, the best doctors, and the best lifestyles, but there is one thing that money doesn’t seem to have bought: an understanding that their fate is bound up with how the other 99 percent live. Throughout history, this is something that the top 1 percent eventually do learn. Too late.

I think this is the realization that Warren Buffet and other wise people of wealth are starting to comprehend. If they don`t start helping the other 99% to earn a bigger share of the wealth...the 99% will eventually just TAKE IT ANYWAYS. To that end, I suggest America find a way to bring back the growth of its middle class and get people working and off the public "dole". Otherwise...the 1% is in big trouble.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Dust in the Wind

One of my favorite songs from the 70s was Kansas` “Dust in the Wind” which theme was basically how we humans are somewhat insignificant against the large backdrop of time, space and history. While I continue to hear that haunting, beautiful melody in my head, I think I have grown a bit uncomfortable with the message.

The problems and issues of our growing yet shrinking world do seem quite immense compared to our relative individual positions among the masses. We grow up in a world that pressures us to “conform” or bend with the prevailing winds of thought and culture. I would suggest these prevailing cultural “winds” tend to destroy and “blow away” all the seeds of independence and reason before they can take root in the shallow soils of life. It is pretty hard to think or see straight with all the debris of futilistic/fatalistic thinking and attitudes that whirl around us.

I find myself quite annoyed at this point in life with many of the people around me who have no sense of direction, opinion, or positive “agenda” to live for. Most people seem to plod through each day looking to secure themselves financially, taking care of the many dependents around them or looking for whatever temporary pleasure they can find to fill the void of meaning and security in their short lives. While I think it is important to “do” all those things to an extent, it is not the end-all purpose in life from my point of view. I continue to hold the belief than mankind is capable of marvelous achievements and ecstatic experiences that are only limited by our imaginations and willingness to pursue them into being. We are surround by so much negativity and nay saying in our immediate circles that we cannot breath the air of freedom and independent living that I believe we are all born to experience or at least have capacity for. I think it comes down to OUR attitudes and viewpoints of our destinies. If we THINK we are just “dust in the wind”, we will probably act upon that by flying through life in the air of contemporary thought, ambitionless and without purposeful direction. If we think we are here for a purpose…whatever we imagine that purpose to be…then I suggest taking on the challenge of sinking ourselves into the fertile soil of reason, positivity and hope. Without those things we are all destined to living as “dust in the wind”.

The harsh reality behind all of this is the ticking clock. How much time do each of us have to realize our ambitions or dreams? Do I really have time to mourn the past today as I listen to that ticking clock? Do I have the luxury of time to listen to or read sources that contradict or attempt to deflate my goals and ambitions? Do I really want to run around with the rest of the majority who think they are just “dust in the wind”? I would suggest the answer is a definite NO. To use a Biblical analogy of merit, I would rather be like a “tree that is planted by the water”…that is irremovable and strong because it has stood there through the test of time and high currents of change. Its roots are deep in its own existence. It does not give in easily to floods of despair and external pressures. The tree of an individual`s life should provide shade for the weary, shared fruit for the hungry, and a strong reference point during the floods and storms every life will bring.

I choose NOT to be “dust in the wind”…

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Extremism running and ruining our culture

This has been quite a week. First, the USA markets START their long awaited correction to much panic and speculation of where will this all end. Then the Republican "straw poll" in Iowa comes out with the Tea Party favorite Michelle Bachmann in the lead of at least Iowa Republican constituents. It would seem the extreme liberalism of Obama and company could conceivable be replaced by the extreme conservatism of Michelle Bachmann and her NEW religious right.

The only good news that came out of the straw pole for me was that Ron Paul came in a strong 2nd (27% to her 28%)...which by the way seems to glean little press as usual. It is amazing to me how media pundits latch on to the likes of Michelle Bachmann, but remain almost mum on Ron Paul whose many years in Congress and consistent viewpoints without waffling are almost as rare as Dinosaurs are today. He is the only truly experienced federal government leader running under the banner of Republican. Based on his differences with many core platform positions of the Republicans, I continue to find him unfortunately nonviable to win the Republican nomination...and I must assume he remains in that party only as an agent/voice for change and moderation of their errant extremism on many topics.

Let me state for the record that I understand the popularity of Bachmann and her appeal to Christian fundamentalists. The "Anti Obamas" are looking for the opposite matrix to Liberalism, no matter whether they make sense or not. As seems to be part of human mass consciousness, extreme positions are always more interesting and digestible than RATIONAL ones. We seem to be continually more pressured in this world to jump in one box of beliefs or political agendas or another. If people can`t clearly label or define you in societal terms, you have little chance of being heard or understood in the discourse. That is the position I unfortunately (or fortunately?) find myself in. I really don`t show up on the radar screen of any "norm" when it comes to political debate...unless someone wants a TRUE independent viewpoint of what I think is going on...and most people don`t. They only want viewpoints that support their liberal or conservative presuppositions...many of which on both sides are errant in relevance and reason.

So...will Americans run to the opposite extremes this next election towards ultra conservative views as held by Ms Bachmann? While I admit I am just now getting familiar with her platform and have never met her...here are come of her reported key viewpoints that give me pause on supporting her or the Republican platform if they go this direction (many taken from THIS article about her Iowa showing):

Michelle seems to prefer the religious totalitarianism of the "Dark Ages" to the Renaissance and "Age of Enlightenment". This says to me that she thinks we should go back to blind Papal authority and "allegiance to the King", versus reason and educated self opinions. I am quite sure she would like to edict Christianity as the official religion of our country. This is of course patently unconstitutional in my view.

She and her husband consider the late Francis Schaeffer, a protestant leader who died in 1984, to be a great "philosopher" that they base many of their views upon. I`m sorry, but theologians are rarely philosophers. Philosophy is SCIENCE. Theology is FAITH based...and in this case "fundamental". I have read Francis Schaeffer and I think he would turn over in his grave to hear he lived for a philosophy versus for his "faith".

While she calls herself a "lawyer" (yep, just what government needs...ANOTHER lawyer), her degree came from the O.W. Coburn School of Law; Michele was a member of its inaugural class in 1979. "Originally a division of Oral Roberts University, this august academy, dedicated to the teaching of “the law from a biblical worldview,” has gone through no fewer than three names — including the Christian Broadcasting Network School of Law." While I have oft been critical of President Obama, at least his law degree came from Harvard. Credentials?

She continually talks about having "heard Gods voice" and justifying even her most irrational positions based on "God told me so". I think most Americans would feel very insecure with the most powerful leader of the free world being able to base her views and judgements on the whims of her "ear to God". She is obviously anti-gay, anti immigrant, and has had very little exposure in her life to minorities or other religions. How is she going to be qualified to represent ALL Americans in this great land of diversity?

Let me say again, I understand why millions of Americans would be tempted to support and be intrigued by this Christian, white middle class rooted, Sarah Palinesque creature of political imagery. We unfortunately still live in a very segregated republic where our 50 states tend to be very different from each other when it comes to racial and economic stature. It is very difficult to find a leader in this day and age who can appeal to the broad base of diverse Americans. Yet, I am convinced that it is going to take someone of a much more inclusive and diverse background than Ms Bachmann to sincerely represent the interests of the broadest base of American ideals.

And once again, my greatest perplexity lies with the Republican party which seems so ineffectual in finding a true, broad based leader to lay out a plan for our country that really solves problems versus simply white washing the truth with broad strokes of religious or political fundamentalism. God help us if this is our best option for curing America`s many long term ills.