Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Butler on Business WAFS 1190, Atlanta, 10-31-12

My 10 minute radio segment with Alan Butler, WAFS 1190, Atlanta's premier radio station. I come on at the 28 minute mark. Topics today: EU and Obama's desperate indoctrination ad with children blaming their parents for Obama's economic failures.
I come on before Presidential candidate Gary Johnson, the governor of New Mexico. Why is he exactly running at this point as an Independent? To siphon off votes from Romney?

Monday, October 29, 2012

A Late September Day in 2012

Between the suffocating smoke wafting to the third floor of my cousin’s villa from burning egg-plants on the indoor grill, the ambulance sirens, the wild dogs roaming the streets all night barking, and the cock-a-doodle of the rooster from the chicken coop across the street announcing the start of a new day, I had no chance to sleep past 7 a.m. The rooster is a bit confused, he cock-a-doodles all hours of the day and night.

I woke up to a cacophony of sounds of a big city, so close to downtown, I could see the cathedral spires from my window and hear the bells toll. The trolley bus running up and down the street below was filled to refuse with humanity packed like sardines, going downtown to work. A mass exodus of villagers occurs every morning and every late afternoon. Driving to work is prohibited by the high price of gasoline, the lack of parking spaces, and the deliberate narrow roads and streets, built at a time when only the ruling elites were allowed or could afford to purchase a car.

I took a picture from the window of my bedroom. The skyline is very crowded by drab high-rises that dwarf my cousin’s beautiful and elegant ocre-colored villa. This section of the street has not been demolished yet to make room for more utilitarian concrete twelve story apartment buildings. I love the red roofs on the remaining homes on Malu Rosu Street. They are so cheery in an otherwise landscape of grey and pollution filth. It has not rained all summer long, it is dusty everywhere and grass, unless copiously watered, is crisply brown.

The street is eight minutes-walk to downtown yet many homes still do not have running water – the city never attached them to the water department system. A few have their own electric pumps. Every morning there is a stream of people bringing buckets of dirty water and dumping them directly into the street drain. When the drain clogs and over runs into the street, the fetid smell forces residents to call the city’s water department.

I am fascinated by my surroundings yet it is so noisy, I miss my quiet home and the solitude of my woods. Anna’s cactus is in full bloom this morning. It started opening last night. The delicate white flower stays open 24 hours and then it dies. I saw it last year when it bloomed earlier. The warmer temperatures this year must have tricked its biological clock and it opened a couple of weeks later.

The hurried urbanites on foot from the surrounding grey and dingy high-rises crowding the landscape discharge into the streets like a huge colony of ants looking for food. True to form, a large portion of the citizens’ budget is spent on food and housing. For this reason, politicians like to bribe the lower class voters with tokens of food during campaigning, luring them to the voting booth on Election Day with food as well, including free bus rides.

Not much is illegal in this country anymore, the corruption is endemic. White collar crime or traffic offenses are seldom punishable. Most people know someone who can forgive their violations for the right cash payment or bartering other types of favors. A favor is not just something you do for a close friend or out of kindness, it is commodity money, and must be returned in kind.

Driving on the highly congested roads is a hazard in itself. Drivers never stay in their lanes because they do not exist as a painted space; sometimes one lane is occupied by three cars side by side and only a native can understand the irate hand signals indicating who has the right of way. Passing takes place on the right, on the left, in-between cars, on the shoulder, and on the sidewalk. Pedestrians are fair game even in designated cross-walks. Crowding three cars in a parking space designed for one and double parking are quite common.

Cousin Ana drove us to the abundant market, full of vegetables and fruits, flowers, and busy bees buzzing the nectar oozing from crushed fruits. I bought a purple mum and candles to take to my Dad’s grave in Popesti. The gas station attendant filled our SUV with $10 a gallon Diesel. I remained silent on the way to Popesti. Memories were flooding back as landmarks flashed by – the country school where my six cousins graduated from, the creek filled with fish where we bathed in summertime. The road was blacktopped and I was riding in a comfortable car instead of the communist bus smoking oil and fumes inside for two long hours, bumping us with every pot hole.

The cemetery seemed over run with weeds in some places but the view to the valley below was spectacular. I stood on the cliff, peering into the distance, re-living my 5 km walk to the country fair with Grandma and cousin Gigi. The trek seemed endless for five year olds but the reward at the end was worth it – a ride on the merry-go-around, freshly roasted corn, and a clay whistle or toy Grandma always bought us.

Wild flowers bloomed around the dilapidated church, which had fallen into disrepair because there were not enough builders for all the construction projects after the fall of communism in 1989.  I had met an architect in Washington State earlier this year who told me that she had traveled to Romania to give pro-bono construction advice in many church projects in Maramures.

Dad’s cross has weathered so badly – he passed away 23 years ago, six months before the fall of communism. He would have loved to have seen the positive changes that took place since the demise of Ceausescu’s totalitarian regime.

I planted the purple mum and watered it copiously. The friendly owner of a house nearby lent me a shovel and gave me a bucket of water. He was playing with his little girl in the yard. I lit the candles and said a prayer in memory of my Dad’s sacrifice. It felt sad and comforting at the same time to be so close to the person who gave me life and freedom, to the places where we grew up and yet I felt such longing for my home in Virginia.

My heart ached for the unfulfilled past but rejoiced in the present. I was well enough to fly 7,000 miles to plant flowers on my Dad’s grave and pay my respects to his life cut short by the commies. America, the promised land, has given me so many opportunities that I would not have been permitted under communist Romania. Had I stayed, I would have been just another daughter of the poor and exploited proletariat. Because Dad let me go, I had a shot at a better life. I never squandered this gift.

The water well in front of the cemetery is dry now; people have their own hydro-pumps. The houses nearby are shaded by pergolas covered with grapevines laden with golden and red grapes, waiting to be picked. The crop is abundant and the grapes are especially sweet.

I took a few photographs and left my Daddy behind, alone but surrounded by such simple peace and tranquility. His resting place is sacred ground – he gave his life for what he believed in most ardently, freedom from oppression. I know he is looking over me from heaven because I escaped to freedom and I am able to carry on his legacy. I have touched so many lives in my career, he would be happy.





Mom and Dad, We're Blaming You for Obama's Failures

Voters have short memories and are easily duped by a charming smile, lies, and empty promises. Many voters lack a basic understanding of history, government, and economics.

Only an uninformed or welfare dependent American would vote for a person endorsing the repulsively obscene ad that presents a young woman urging Democrats to carefully pick their candidate in the same way they picked the guy they lost their virginity to.

The Democrat factor of desperation and indoctrination is on full display in the latest ad which uses young children, in chilling lyrics, blaming their parents for the economic failures of the Obama’s administration. The ad takes me back to the communist indoctrination I suffered under the communist regime when the absolute ruler, Ceausescu, and his wife, Elena, forced us to sing in school praises to them as our real father and mother. Our biological parents, we were told, were stupid and needed re-education.

The pro-Obama ad does not stop there; in carefully chosen rhyme, brainwashed children describe an apocalyptic future in which “sick people just die,” “the oil fills the sea,” “strip mines are fun and free,” and “the Earth is cracked/Big Bird is sacked/And the atmosphere is frying.” (

I cannot imagine a more perverted image of America in the future, described by pro-Obama liberal supporters who shamelessly use children to propagate hate and advance their Marxist and environmentalist agenda.

The outrageous song ends in, “You did your best/ You failed the test/ Mom and Dad/ We’re blaming you!” I am speechless! We live in the Hollywood make-believe world inspired by the Matrix. No wonder our schools and curriculum are dumbed down.

The truth is, intelligent and informed American voters blame this President and his failed policies. It is not mom and dad who are endangering their children’s future unless they vote again for a President who has brought America to its knees and has no economic plan to save the best country in the world, the “shining city on the hill” that we love.

As a former professor, I know firsthand the level of economic ignorance among the American population at large, even those with college degrees. The curriculum taught at most colleges is based on the interpretation of meaningless graphs that most young people cannot correlate to reality. Students’ eyes glaze over when they see graphs – how can they understand them when they have rudimentary knowledge of mathematics?

When students pursue degrees in Social Studies, Anthropology, Women’s Studies, and other fluff degrees with slim possibility of finding a job much less a six-figure job promised by eager college advisors, they are never required to take science classes or Economics. Some students are incapable of balancing their own checkbooks and have no idea how our government runs.

If you add the lack of basic economics knowledge to the lack of historical facts and American government, you have the perfect Obama voter who is ill-informed, easily manipulated, but has very strong ignorant opinions, mostly based on feelings or the misinformation fed to them on a daily basis by the main stream media, the aggressive promotional army of the Obama campaign.

The main stream media spins the truth, hides the facts, and lies in order to provide cover for and to make their favorite candidate look innocent. How can you not adore the rich Messianic power of someone who represents the interests of the poor and the downtrodden with someone else’s money?

Sadder still, most young Americans get their information from CNN, MSNBC, and comedians like David Letterman and Jon Stuart.

Informed Americans with abundant economic, historic, and political knowledge get their information selectively from a variety of sources on the web. Nobody in this category believes the liberal media.

Comedians like Jay Leno go out into the streets to expose the glaring ignorance of the average voter with basic questions of history, government, and current politics. The ignorant Democrat voters are easily persuaded that Obama’s disastrous economic policies belong to Mitt Romney, the Republican candidate. These are people who cannot recognize political figures, the offices they hold, and the platforms of their darling politicians they vote for and financially support.

Democrat voters vandalize their opponents’ signs, deposit feces on porches with Romney signs in their yards, and deface the cars of those who display bumper stickers supporting Republicans. Democrats have become the party of intolerance and cowardly hooliganism.

Obama keeps blaming Republicans and the “mess he inherited.” Many former Presidents have inherited “messes” but they tried their best to rectify the situation. Our President exacerbated a fixable situation by making it worse, infinitely worse. He failed the economy, failed to protect the American citizens, and represented the interests of the world, of United Nations, not the interests of the United States and the American people.

President Obama has tripled the deficit and did everything possible to destroy the economy and the job creators. He caused huge unemployment among the oil and coal industries, doing the EPA’s bidding and the environmentalists’ will. The price of oil skyrocketed from $1.79 when Obama took office to $4 now while blaming others for his refusal to allow drilling domestically and to approve the Keystone XL pipeline.

His own economic ignorance was on full display during the presidential debate when he stated that gas was cheaper when he became President because the economy was about to collapse. Since he “saved” the economy, oil is now $4 a gallon.

In a few days, we are going to vote. We hope the producers and the informed will outnumber the ignorant liberal voters and voters on welfare who are only interested in “free stuff” from Obama. We conservatives who believe in the free market and self-reliance will eventually stop producing “free stuff” for welfare recipients and Obama will have to take benefits away. Before you vote, ask yourself, how much worse off you are when compared to four years ago. If you give an honest answer, the choice will be clear.



Friday, October 26, 2012

Butler on Business WAFS 1190 Atlanta 10-24-12

I discuss my new book, "U.N. Agenda 21: Environmental Piracy" (ten minutes).
I come on at the 30 minute mark.

Bureaucrats of EU and Global Governance

The 27-nation European Union is hanging by a thread like a loose tooth. For months now, we have been warned weekly of impending doom and gloom if the euro is not saved, if Spain, Greece, and Italy are not bailed out by the European Central Bank and if France and Germany do not cooperate and agree to pay even more to the bankrupt southern EU membership who refuses to alter their generous socialist programs expenditures and the way they approach fiscal policy. 

The separatist voices in the EU are getting stronger. Catalonia wants independence from its own country; they are tired of paying the lion’s share of Madrid’s lavish expenditures. “When everybody was rich, nobody thought of how much it cost us to be part of Spain. But now everybody sees it,” said Oriol Pujol. This richness, of course, came to Spain in the form of easy money while the economic and construction boom took place before the 2008 housing crash. It seems that the producing citizens have a problem with this globalized economy and governance which depends on spreading the wealth.

With a Spanish unemployment rate of 25 percent, Catalonia itself had asked for a bailout from their central government in Madrid. Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy had promised Catalonia $23 billion at a time when Spain needs a bailout desperately.

Scotland and Flanders are following in the footsteps of Catalonia, wanting out of the EU.  Although the EU touts shared sovereignty, it actually discourages independence of member regions.

Richer member nations are weary of subsidizing poorer countries. EU bureaucrats want a stronger fiscal union and more centralized control over national budgets and banks, making the parliaments of member countries irrelevant and obsolete.

Lavish spending, outrageous social programs, out-of-control debt, outlandish infrastructure projects, and the mushrooming growth of bureaucracy in already burdened economies have pushed to the brink the ability of stronger economies like Germany to subsidize poorer regions or countries.

Catalonia in Spain, Baden-Württemberg in Germany, Rhone-Alpes in France, and Lombardy in Italy, a regional group that bypasses their central governments, call themselves “the four motors for Europe” because they have a combined Gross Domestic Product larger than Spain’s.

In a recent interview, Oskar Freysinger, Vice President of the Swiss People’s Party (Schweizerische Volkspartei) stressed that the European Union is imposed on nations by technocrats. In his opinion, the European Union will eventually fail because “citizens are identifying less and less with a bureaucratic anti-democratic and centralized power” like the EU. 

When asked, Freysinger emphasized that Switzerland’s adherence to EU would be an organizational, economic, and financial catastrophe. Such a membership would violate the two pillars of the Swiss Constitution, democracy and federalism, causing an increase in the value of the added tax (VAT) alone of 8-20 percent. Switzerland does not wish to be a cash machine to the debts accrued by the bankrupt southern European states.

In a widely circulated You Tube video, at the conclusion of the European Council meeting which was held on October 18-19, 2012, Nigel Farage MEP, Leader of the UK Independence Party (UKIP), Co-President of the Europe of Freedom and Democracy (EFD) group in the European Parliament made headlines with his direct speech to Herman Van Rompuy, the first full-time President of the European Council. Herman Van Rompuy is a Belgian politician of the Christian Democratic and Flemish Party. (Strasbourg, October 23, 2012)

“You are the quiet assassin of nation state democracy.” And sure enough, in your dull and technocratic way, you’ve gone about your course, but I have to say, you are even worse than I’ve thought you were going to be. I thought it was going to be a federal Europe, a federal union but now it appears, with every statement you make that you want total subjugation of the states to completely undemocratic structures based in Brussels.”  (

Nigel Farage described the atmosphere surrounding the bailouts for Greece, Spain, Ireland, and Italy when everyone in the chamber was fearing the economic meltdown; Rompuy was calm because, in Farage’s opinion, Rompuy saw the bailouts as an opportunity to take control. “The sinister troika coming in, investigating the situation, 50 officials telling puppet prime ministers what they may or may not do.” Nigel was referring to the sinister troika as the International Monetary Fund, the European Commission, and the European Central Bank.

The European Commission is the executive body of the European Union responsible for legislation, implementing decisions, upholding the union’s treaties, and daily running of the EU. There is one commissioner per member state, 27 in total, who are bound to represent the European Union and not the interests of their home state. The President of the Commission is Jose Manuel Barroso, The European Council proposes the president and the European Parliament elects him. The Council then appoints the other 26 members in agreement with the nominated President.

The European Central Bank is the monetary policy enforcer for the EU. Its main goal is price stability at 2% or below inflation rate and controls short-term interest rates. The ECB’s Governing Council makes decisions every month by analyzing economic and monetary developments in member countries and the risks to price stability, making decisions on the appropriate level of their key interest rates.

The International Monetary Fund (IMF), established in 1944 at Bretton Woods Conference and housed in Washington, D.C., had an original stated goal of stabilizing exchange rates and assisting in the reconstruction of the world’s international payment system after World War II.

The IMF describes itself now as “an organization of 188 countries, working to foster global monetary cooperation, secure financial stability, facilitate international trade, promote high employment and sustainable economic growth, and reduce poverty around the world.”

Nigel Farage acknowledges that many Council members “want Spain to take the bailout so that they too can be subjugated to this new order. Indeed, in Italy, the appointee there, Mr. Monti, is very keen for his country to be bailed out because he ‘fears the parliamentary democracy could bring down the union.’”

Farage describes the next phase as forcing those who “do not need or want a bailout to accept a bailout, to sign budget guarantees and to have the power to strike down national budgets after they’ve been through national parliaments.” This is eerily similar to some of the banks here in the U.S., forced to accept the Troubled Assets Relief Program (TARP) although they did not need it, want it, or ask for it.

“I feel that the Euro zone is now in a very dark place, economically, socially, politically, and I fear for the countries trapped inside in that prison will be there for many years to come. It is against this backdrop that the Nobel Peace Prize has been awarded to the European Union.”

“This is a divided, split Europe, with neo-Nazi parties on the rise, with violent demonstrations in the streets, and I frankly think that the award of that Nobel Prize devalues that whole organization.” Most of the Nobel prizes are chosen by academicians and scientists while the Peace Prize is chosen by a 5-member committee appointed by the Norwegian Parliament.

Farage says that the European Union does not deserve the Nobel Peace Prize. Europe should be thankful to NATO, to millions of American soldiers who served on European soil to maintain peace, yet Europeans do not say a word about it because they loathe America and everything it stands for.

Farage ends his impassionate speech with the prediction that “the big majority of the Brits want to leave the union.” Constituents are not happy with Cameron’s wishy-washy stance in the EU and a political change in the Cameron government is likely to happen as he is losing the support of millions of his own voters.

In the meantime, the European Union remains a laboratory study of global governance and economic control gone awry. The question remains, are Americans paying attention to this powerful lesson?

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Food, Voting, and Obamacare

When Michelle Obama announced her signature initiative Let’s Move in order to change, in her perception and opinion, the nation’s unhealthy diet and girth, one of the first restaurants to jump on the bandwagon was Olive Garden, followed by Red Lobster, both owned by Darden Industries. They trimmed the size of their offerings but prices stayed the same.

I made a conscious decision to personally boycott the two restaurants, not because I was against eating healthy or a smaller portion but because I did not think, it was the role of government to tell us what to eat, how much salt to use, or how many ounces of soda to consume. Many of us can stand to lose a few pounds which we can do on our own without government interference or the nanny state.

Michelle Obama also dabbled in overnight gardening at the White House although she does not hold degrees in horticulture or nutrition. Schools have changed their menus at her directive, requiring increased food expenditures, offering fresh fruit and vegetables which children promptly started throwing in the garbage or using them for food fights. High-schoolers even staged protests across the country, demanding that the old menu be reinstated. For much younger students, fruits and vegetables are still an acquired taste, particularly if parents have not introduced them earlier to their children as part of daily meals.

The Darden Restaurant Group which employs 180,000 people across the U.S. is making headlines again. In anticipation of the unfortunately named Affordable Care Act, better known as Obamacare, Darden is cutting hours for many employees in four different markets. They are not sure how much Obamacare is going to cost the company in the future. To mitigate increased cost, they are cutting employees from full-time to part-time status. By reducing their hours, Darden does not have to pay for their healthcare, forcing some employees into the government-run exchanges which are part of Obamacare. Additionally, there is a re-definition of full-time status as 30 hours of work per week.

The Darden Industries CEO, Clarence Otis Jr., has given a lot of money to Democrats. He has been an ardent supporter of Let’s Move Campaign, the signature healthy initiative of First Lady, Michelle Obama. If the company is to survive, according to the CEO, major changes must take place. The number of full-time employees must be lowered in order to avoid the $100 per day per employee penalty in Obamacare if insurance is not purchased. Darden cannot afford to offer full-time insurance benefits to all of its 180,000 employees. The Darden Restaurant Group survived so far because they received a waiver for the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) in 2010. Most waivers will expire at the end of 2012 or have already expired.

And Clarence Otis Jr. is not alone. Real estate mogul, David A. Siegel, who runs Westgate Resorts, a huge Orlando-based time share company in Orange County, an Obama leaning county, has sent a warning letter to his employees. If Obama is re-elected, there is a strong possibility of layoffs. He is not exactly telling them to vote for either candidate, however, if they vote for Obama, increased costs and uncertainty would force him to reduce staff. 

Hiring across the country has been on hold because of the entire tax structure increase. Most companies face an uncertain future about taxation for employers and employees, the overt and hidden costs of Obamacare, forcing big changes for many firms. Business confidence has been quite low in the last four years. New taxes on successful producers will leave Siegel with no choice but to cut the size of his company. His employees have been reduced already from 8,000 four years ago to 7,000 today.

“With the new Obamacare coming in and now the threat of higher taxes, it just means less money to expand our business. We are not going to fire anybody, lay off anybody, as a result of who they vote for, or who they lean towards, it’s just that I want them to know what the future holds for them and their families.” (David A. Siegel, CEO)

As the new round of Medicare cuts was to take effect in October this year, the administration found $8 billion to avoid the painful cuts temporarily under the guise of research. The $8 billion helped delay the elderly outrage at the voting booth when confronted with the shift of $719 billion over ten years from Medicare to Obamacare.

This is what happens when nationalized health care is passed in the middle of the night, without bipartisan debate, and then forced on Americans against their vociferously expressed will. As Nancy Pelosi said, “You must pass the bill to find out what’s in it.” The American people are finding out and they do not like it.



Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Illegal Aliens and Federal Benefits

Theoretically, the law forbids illegal aliens from receiving benefits reserved for American citizens with the exception of emergency Medicaid. In practice, it does not prevent any of them from applying for and receiving benefits paid for by American taxpayers who sometimes, are themselves denied benefits.

Emergency Medicaid provided in emergency rooms, although well intentioned, has been used and abused by illegal aliens as their own personal physician, resulting in the bankruptcy of many small hospitals across the nation, particularly in California.

Federal benefits distributed to illegal aliens include: grants, contracts, loans, professional and commercial licenses, retirement, welfare, WIC, disability, public housing, college education, Pell grants, food stamps, tax credits, earned income credits, tax refunds, and unemployment benefits.

The Census Bureau reports 40 million foreign-born people residing in the United States. In this category, one-third is estimated to be illegal aliens. Liberal main stream media calls them “undocumented workers,” “in the shadows residents,” or “unauthorized residents.”

According to the Pew Hispanic Center there were 11.2 million “unauthorized immigrants” in 2010.  Their in-house demographer, Jeffrey Passel, used 2008 Current Population Survey (CPS) to estimate “the number of persons living in families in which the head of household or the spouse was an authorized alien,” for a total of 8.8 million families. Liberals like to redefine illegal aliens with euphemisms that suit their agenda. Other sources publish much higher numbers of illegals.

Illegal alien families are likely to have U.S. citizen children or “anchor babies.” These families are given “mixed status” by the Congressional Research Service. Passel also estimates that one in three illegal alien children is poor. This is obvious since illegal aliens have fled their home countries mostly for economic reasons and dire poverty.

Liberals lobby Congress to deal with illegal aliens based on controversies such as demographic issues, how to treat illegal families that have “anchor babies” who are U.S. citizens, and how strict identification requirements may hurt Americans who are denied benefits.

Once a foreign national had crossed the border illegally, they have committed a crime which is not punished lightly in most countries. In the U.S. however, progressives demand that illegal aliens have due process rights, eligibility for federal assistance, educational opportunities paid by taxpayers, military service opportunities, employment rights, and pathways to citizenship. No other country in the world rewards law breaking with citizenship but the United States.

Illegal aliens, a.k.a. “unauthorized residents,” come in three categories:

-          Visitors who overstay their nonimmigrant visas

-          Foreign nationals who enter illegally (“surreptitiously” as liberals like to say)

-          Foreign nationals who enter with forged documents

-          Pregnant foreign nationals who enter illegally in the last month or trimester of pregnancy in order to deliver “anchor babies” (These foreigners have spawned organized “anchor baby tourism” in cities like New York)

 According to “jus soli,” codified in the Fourteenth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution, children of slaves born on U.S. soil are American citizens. Liberals extended this principle to the children of any illegal alien who happens to give birth on U.S. soil. Thus a new breed of families is codified by the Pew Hispanic Center as “mixed-immigration status families.” However, foreign diplomats’ children who are born on U.S. soil are citizens of their parents’ respective countries and not American citizens.

The Congressional Research Service which produces data for Congress identified another category of illegal immigrants, “Quasi-legal migrants.” In certain cases, the Department of Homeland Security issues temporary employment authorization documents (EADs) to aliens who are not authorized to reside in the United States. They can, however, obtain Social Security cards. The CRS identified several groups in this “quasi-legal” category:

-          Those with temporary humanitarian relief who have Temporary Protected Status (TPS)

-          Asylum seekers with cases pending for at least 180 days

-          Those awaiting in the U.S. the resolution of legal permanent residency process (family and fiancées of legal residents)

-          Tourists, students, and temporary workers who overstayed nonimmigrant visas with petitions awaiting to adjust status as employment-based LPRs (legal permanent resident)

The “quasi-legal” groups are often denied approval for legal permanent resident status. Twenty-five percent of asylum seekers and generally, 80-85% of LPRs petitions are eventually approved.

Special illegal alien immigrant juveniles (under the age of 21 and unmarried) who were homeless, orphans, or victims of abusive family situations are eligible for permanent legal residence and become dependents of the courts. The court grants custody of the child to a state agency, declares him/her eligible for foster care, and determines that it is not in the best interest of the child to return to his/her country of birth. Taxpayers then become de facto supporters of such children. According to CRS, since 2008, such children exceeded 1,000 each year.

“Permanently residing under the color of law,” (PRUCOL) has been used historically to give benefits to foreign nationals who are known to be residing in the U.S. yet the government has no plans to deport. “Quasi-legal” aliens fall in this category of PRUCOL.

Social Services Block Grants and migrant health center services are offered as limited exceptions within the 1996 welfare act:

-          Treatment under Medicaid for emergency medical conditions (except organ transplant)

-          Short-term emergency disaster relief

-          Immunizations

-          Testing and treatment for communicable diseases

-          Soup kitchens, crisis counseling, short-term shelters

-          HUD assistance

Although the law clearly states to the contrary, pre-natal care, treatment, and assistance under Medicaid, CHIP,  nutrition programs, and other benefits are given to illegal aliens, all funded by U.S. taxpayers.

Title IV of the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation ACT (PRWORA) of 1996 (P.L. 104-193) “established comprehensive restrictions on the eligibility of all noncitizens for means-tested public assistance, with the exceptions for LPRs with a substantial U.S. work history or military connection.” PRWORA expressly bars illegal aliens from most state and locally funded benefits.

The Department of Labor estimated $53.8 billion in unemployment benefits were paid to illegal aliens in 2002 and IRS paid $4.2 billion in refundable tax credits in 2010 to illegal aliens. Unemployment compensation overpayment of 0.51% of total was made to illegal aliens. (Congressional Research Service, “Unauthorized Aliens’ Access to Federal Benefits: Policy and Issues, Ruth Ellen Wasem, September 17, 2012)

The Food Stamp Program reported that 1.9 million U.S. citizen children (“anchor babies”) living with illegal alien parents received food stamps, or 7% of all participants. Medicaid spent $2.5 billion, $2.2 billion on treatment for the uninsured, and $1.9 billion on food assistance programs, including emergency Medicaid and school lunch programs. According to Steven Camarota, Director of Research at the Center for Immigration Studies, “Many of the costs associated with illegals are due to their American-born children, who are awarded U.S. citizenship at birth…greater efforts at barring illegals from federal programs will not reduce costs because their citizen children can continue to access them.” (Steven A. Camarota, The High Cost of Cheap Labor: Illegal Immigration and the Federal Budget, Washington, D.C.: Center for Immigration Studies, August 2004)

At a time when so many Americans are unemployed, underemployed, out of the labor force, and 47 million Americans are on food stamps because of the disastrous economic policies pursued by the current administration, should we continue to spend billions of taxpayer dollars on illegal aliens who are the responsibility of their own countries?







Sunday, October 21, 2012

High School After Communism

We never needed protection and guards in U.S. schools. The community and the local police dealt with undesirables and criminal elements. We did not have metal detectors in high school in the 70s or 80s. It is rare now that a school in the U.S. does not have some type of security, including metal detectors. In the old country we did not need security. Everyone was terrified of the police and the communist party’s swift one way ticket to a real jail far away. A communist dictatorship was certainly a strong deterrent to crime in general.

I wanted to revisit the one place that helped shape who I am today and gave me the resolve to move far away to the land of opportunity and freedom – my old high school. I knew most of my former teachers had probably passed away or were very old and long retired. I was looking for evidence that the communist indoctrination disappeared. The first positive sign was the change in the name. Gone was the communist era name, C. Dobrogeanu-Gherea – the new high school had been renamed Nikita Stanescu, honoring a famous Romanian poet.

I was surprised to see a guard booth at my old high school and a chicken wire fence. The building had been renovated last year and the concrete exterior painted a happy yellow. After 15 minutes of deliberations, trying to hold on to my professional camera which the toothless guard wanted me to surrender before I could go in, the principal met me at the door for an official tour.

Although it was 5 p.m., classes were still in session and there was a beehive of activity. Students no longer wore the ugly uniforms but casual, age appropriate clothes. A larger gym had been built as an annex to the main school.

The first stop was the faculty lounge. Ten teachers and an orthodox priest were preparing for the next class. A large icon of the Virgin Mary had replaced the “cult of personality” worshipping portrait of the former dictator Ceausescu. The principal introduced me as an alumna. In the ensuing silence, one lady volunteered, she remembered me - we graduated at the same time. As she spoke, a jolt of adrenalin surged. I recognized her voice – it was Dana Malisca, my former best friend. For twelve years, we sat in the same classes and the same uncomfortable benches, writing each other notes of boredom whenever we could, and arguing over academic things constantly. This was beyond serendipity, it was divine intervention. What are the odds that I can find my former friend after so many years during a visit late in the afternoon? I was not so much looking for people, as I looking for a place in time and evidence that the darkness I experienced was gone. And Dana teaches geography at the same high school!

Dana joined our impromptu tour. The cosmetic changes of the school did not mitigate the feel of unease and inner preservation fear that used to grip me every time I stepped inside the school. The bathrooms smelled the same and I was scared to enter. We used to wade in an inch of urine and water to go to the latrine, a whole in the cement ground with two foot rests. Now they have modern commodes and functioning sinks.

The computer lab had twenty stations of flat screen desktops. It was hot and humid like everywhere else. No air conditioning – the smart meters prevented its use. I am not sure that happened in summer time as well, it was late fall and unusually hot. The students were very welcoming and polite. As soon as I was introduced to them, they quickly started searching my name on the web.

The school added a cheerful biology lab and improved the chemistry and physics labs. Students no longer have access to the locked chemicals, which is a good thing. Dana reminded me how we accidentally set fire to the Christmas tree with the burner from the lab – we had decorated it with so much paper garland, it went up in smoke in no time. Principal Marinescu, whom we all feared, lectured us on fire hazards. He never applied physical punishment to girls who did something unacceptable or violated school standards. Principal Marinescu is 90 years old now and never misses a beginning of the school year ceremony.

I pictured the stage in the courtyard where Dana and I used to get prizes for good grades at the end of each year. We were always in strict competition. The communist party headquarters gave good students a book at the end of the year, sometimes a literary piece, sometimes a propaganda piece. We were not very aware in the beginning as to the content and intent of the gift – we were just happy to be rewarded because we had studied so hard.

We assembled in the same yard every morning for the principal’s pep talk of the day and filed into the building one by one through the back door for the usual uniform and matriculation number inspection. We had a number embroidered on our uniforms, indicating the name of the high school that we were attending and the individual numbers that we were assigned. If we ever misbehaved in public, that number was reported to the principal. Because the number was required on our coat sleeves as well, we could be reported even outside of school. If anyone was found dressed inappropriately, he/she was sent home immediately. Shaving, makeup, and inappropriate hair styles were strictly forbidden. Out of wedlock pregnancies resulted in immediate expulsion from school. I did not see any evidence now of nurseries on school premises as is the case in some school districts in the U.S.

Students who had finished their classes were milling about the courtyard casually and relaxed some talking, some exchanging homework assignments. The gate guard was checking their home passes to make sure, they were not skipping class.

The old gym still had the parallel bars and the beam where we practiced gymnastics. My knees really hurt today from the many falls I had taken off the beam. Sports were not optional and some of us were more gifted than others in gymnastics, handball, volleyball, basketball, and soccer.

Memories are flooding back, people, places, some good, many bad, and ghosts of a terrorized communist indoctrinating past. The school is modern and cheery today, the sunshine flooding through the large windows.  A tear found its way to the corner of my eye. Perhaps it is the sun; perhaps it is the repressed memories of pain and discomfort from so long ago. Maybe I am happy that the young faces around me are not subjected to the repressive life I knew.

Students are no longer required to take four hours of home economics. My former teacher, Mrs. Enescu, was not very happy with students like me who hated to sit four hours a week learning how to sew, knit, and cook. If she could only remember me, she is 94 years old and with a keen mind, I would tell her how much her counted cross stitch lessons have helped me deal with stress when I was pursuing my doctoral degree.

Women under communism were not encouraged to pursue degrees beyond high school; they were required to be good wives and mothers with a high school diploma. Few places were available for them at the university and men were favored. I’ve always wondered why liberal women think that communism will install the egalitarian utopia they seek. American women already have more freedom to choose whatever they wish to do than any other culture in the world. Communism would only bring them back to the early 20th century.

Some teachers lamented that, while things have improved tremendously, even adding religion to the curriculum, education has been watered down, de-emphasizing history to make room for the new educational model of the global citizen who no longer identifies with a distinct nationality with its own language, borders, and culture. The multiculturalism drive from the European Union comes with many grants and scholarships that are hard to turn down. The gym teacher commented in passing that the change was superficially aesthetic and that she hated the highly polished brown doors that looked like coffin lids.

I could not tell the extent of substantive change around my old high school but I was struck by the relaxed atmosphere of both faculty and teachers. Students offered respect to their teachers not out of fear but out of personal admiration for their scholarship. I left the grounds with the satisfactory knowledge that no other generation since 1989 has been indoctrinated into the hideous communist utopia.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

The Scam of Green

You know the scam of green has hit rock bottom when the Washington Post is criticizing the government’s alternative energy partnerships, grants, and subsidies and Al Gore’s $100 million fortune gained through investments in the climate change hoax. “Al Gore is 50 times richer than he was when he left the vice presidency in 2001.” (

Being the die-hard liberals that they are, the paper cannot help itself in describing Gore’s wealth as “Romneyesque” and Mitt Romney himself as a “private-equity baron.” In the liberal view, it is acceptable to gain wealth, whether honestly or dishonestly if you are a Democrat, however, if you are a Republican, you become a baron, a comparison with negative connotations, harking back to the robber-barons era.

Criticizing modern liberalism and the Democrat Party, the author condemns their green agenda and their dependence on cash from high-tech venture capitalists and lobbyists, questioning their claims that they are supporting “the little guy,” the ordinary Americans who struggle to survive in an almost 16 percent unemployment environment.

The real unemployment figures, if reported correctly and honestly, are much higher than the stated 7.8 percent by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) and the happy media supporting President Obama’s re-election campaign. The main stream media has not bothered to report that the seventh largest economy on the planet, California, had failed to report its unemployment figures on time last week and was thus not included in the BLS unemployment calculations.

Charles Lane says that it is much harder to describe “liberalism as a philosophy of distributive justice.” Quoting Andrew Jackson’s words of 1832, the author is indirectly complaining about the injustice of our Government.

I do not recall our founding fathers advocating socialist re-distribution of wealth. Liberalism is a political philosophy founded on the ideas of liberty: free and fair elections, civil rights, freedom of the press, freedom of religion, and the right to life, liberty, and property. Nobody is entitled to anybody else’s property. It was John Locke who argued that each human being has a natural right to life, liberty, and property and governments must not violate these rights. Yet liberals trumpet that an omnipotent government should be the arbiter and re-distributor of private property and wealth.

Charles Lane makes a valid point that our government does not have a mandate to choose economic winners and losers through green subsidies, grants, or tax breaks for oil and gas. However, in his progressive views, governments must pursue “the legitimate goal of environmentalism.”

I am not sure if there is a legitimate goal of environmentalism or who has mandate to pursue that goal. The majority of Americans believe environmentalism to be counterproductive to our capitalist economy and a threat to private property and our way of life.

Maurice Strong, the founder of the United Nations Environment Programme, exemplifies environmentalism gone berserk: “Isn’t the only hope for the planet that the industrialized civilization collapses? Isn’t our responsibility to bring that about? Current lifestyles and consumption patterns of the affluent middle class – involving high meat intake, use of fossil fuels, appliances, air-conditioning, and suburban housing – are not sustainable.” (Rio Earth Summit)

Questioning Gore’s “climate crusade” as being based on money and not about saving the planet, the author talks about Fisker, the manufacturer of the hybrid cars, mostly priced above $100,000, the Kharma sport model selling for $117,000. Lane believes the huge financial gain does not hurt Gore’s credibility about climate change, just the solutions he advocates.

It is not in the interest of liberals to let climate change/global warming crusade die. There is too much money, wealth, power, and global control to be gained from pushing this hoax.

The Met Office in the U.K. reported last week that 3,000 temperature readings on land and sea have shown that from the beginning of 1997 until August 2012 there was no discernible rise in global temperatures. According to the Daily Mail, “the ‘plateau’ or ‘pause’ in global warming has now lasted for about the same time as the previous period when temperatures rose, 1980 to 1996. Before that, temperatures had been stable or declining for about 40 years.”

The media reported with great fanfare six months ago figures through the end of 2010 – a very warm year because the data seemed to agree with their agenda. The reporting was disingenuous because it supposedly showed a slight warming trend since 1997. However, 2011 and the first eight months of 2012 were much cooler, erasing the warming trend. I would also argue that environmentalists constantly mix weather and climate, depending on their talking points. (

Everybody understands green energy is expensive and not feasible and cheap on a mass scale for years to come. Our huge economy and transportation need more than just wind mills and solar panels. Our economy needs natural gas, oil, clean coal, nuclear energy, and hydroelectric energy.

The New York Times reported on California’s “net metering” subsidy for solar-panel users. Consumers who can afford to install photovoltaic panels are paid by their utilities for the excess capacity of electricity and to keep them on the grid. The utilities’ costs are passed on to lower income customers. (Washington Post, Charles Lane, October 16, 2012)

Liberals are finally discovering that expensive electricity rates are bad for industry and private customers alike. The $3.4 billion from the 2009 stimulus bill spent on the Smart Grid may be efficient and profitable in energy distribution for utilities but it is very expensive for consumers, invades their privacy, and creates cyber security issues and privacy issues. Germany’s rapid replacement of nuclear power with wind and solar has increased utility rates so much that 200,000 long-term unemployed Germans lost power in 2011 because they could not afford to pay their electric bills. (

Liberals are finally discovering that much higher electricity rates through smart metering are hitting their pockets and it hurts. Progressives are realizing that the Democrat talk about “green jobs” is nothing but a con redefinition of already existing jobs. Furthermore, smart grid and smart meters, with all their negative effects on human health and privacy, are destroying the jobs of the traditional meter readers. Lane calls this unintended consequence “creative destruction” - “what makes capitalism go.” But Economics 101 teaches students that self-interest, greed, the price system, Adam Smith’s “invisible hand,” and the pursuit of profit are the motivators behind capitalism.

Lane disapproves of Gore and his partners’ rent-seeking activities. “It is to be regretted that the rich and powerful too often bend the acts of government to their selfish purposes.” He laments the fact that the United Mine Workers of America, a former Democrat core constituency, has refused to endorse Obama in 2008 and 2012. Mitt Romney has promised in Ohio that we will use our vast reserves of coal, keep the miners’ jobs, and re-open those coal mines shut down by Obama’s green energy policies.

In the end, the scam of green is affecting Democrat and Republican consumers alike. It just took Democrats four years to realize this obvious fact.





Friday, October 12, 2012

Disorder and Corruption in a New World Order

When I deplaned from my comfortable KLM flight on a late September afternoon at the ultra-modern Henri Coanda International Airport at Otopeni, Romania, I was greeted by stifling humid heat inside and out. People were milling about with sweaty brows from the lack of air conditioning use. I picked up the key and contract to my rental car and hurried outside. It was somewhat more bearable – at least there was a slight breeze.

The rental lot gate keeper required a small bribe to let me in. The employee who handed me the key to the car spent an inordinate amount of time presenting all the features on the car, treating me gingerly as if I was incapable of comprehension. I probably drove more vehicles and more years than he had imagined or I cared to admit. The VW Jetta would be my means of transportation for the next 12 days – no crowded trains, buses, metro, trolleybuses, or trams. I had spent an extra $55 on a GPS, knowing that it would be my lifeline between being utterly lost and finding where I wanted to go. Road signs, I learned the hard way last year, were scarce and incomprehensible at best. I never knew when roads ended sharply onto pastures as far as my eyes could see.

With a condescending smirk on his face, the Avis attendant allowed me to drive off, not before tipping the gate attendant again. Because remuneration is so miserly for most people, they supplement wages with bribes. Little has changed since the communist regime. And thus began my journey of discovery and reportage into the new world order of capitalism infected by neo-communism of European lineage.

Every 350 meters, the GPS voice warned me of roundabouts. After a while, I felt like I was in roundabout hell. As long as I followed the only traffic rule that Romanian drivers respected, the car already in the roundabout has priority, I was safe. As I become more comfortable with roundabouts, I realized that they saved me money, time, and Diesel. This was welcome news since gas and Diesel were $10 a gallon. Diesel Maxx, a bio fuel mixture with rapeseed oil, was almost $11 a gallon. We used rapeseed oil to cook with under Ceausescu’s regime when sun flower cooking oil was hard to find. I could have sworn my Diesel smelled like French fries.

Traffic rules were mere humorous suggestions. Only visitors like me respected or followed them. Drivers passed each other on the left, on the right, on the sidewalk, on the pedestrian median, on the tram tracks, parked wherever they wished, drove very fast and in reverse in the middle of a multi-lane street. The few traffic police, Politia Rutiera, hardly kept up with the infractors. Now and then I would see a car with a boot on or a speeding car stopped by a policeman who was writing a ticket. Most drivers get out of paying fines by offering bribes. They know someone who knows someone else and thus the ticket is voided, no lesson learned.

I finally understood the condescension of the rental lot attendant. Male drivers considered female drivers a nuisance on the road that prevented male chauvinists from reaching their destinations faster, like a fly in a fresh glass of milk, an attitude left from the communist era when women were generally not allowed to drive and few actually passed the very stringent driving test.

Stations used attendants to pump gas for patrons, especially for women. Perhaps men thought we were not competent enough to pump our own gas. I enjoyed this service immensely, not having to get my hands dirty with Diesel. I gladly paid the tip.

Drivers honked angrily and constantly at each other, leaving those driving within the speed limit in a halo of dust. The noise pollution in big cities was huge. Pedestrians were target practice for the angry, rude, and hurried drivers. The mortality rate of pedestrians was unacceptably high.

I became exhaustingly defensive and tense in my driving, watching for goats, sheep, cows, shepherds, buggies, horses, bad drivers, and foolish pedestrians darting across busy highways and roads with total disregard for their own safety.

I was driving cautiously slow in the Carpathian Mountains through endless hairpin curves, my four-cylinder Jetta struggling to climb the steep incline. The GPS’ purple image of the twisted road looked like a heart monitor in atrial fibrillation. I did not dare look much to my left or right – the huge drops made my stomach churn and gave me vertigo. Yet drivers would honk and pass me with total disregard for the double lines painted on the road or the risk to their lives and the lives of others. They were on a mission to get wherever they were going really fast. The roads were littered with smashed vehicles and upturned 18-wheelers, taking up sometimes 5 hours or more to clear the road. Forty miles from my medieval town destination, Sighisoara, the driver of an 18-wheeler had overturned his fully loaded rig, blocking both lanes, and stopping traffic for six hours. I only hope that he survived this terrible accident that he alone had caused.

Many things have improved in the lives of Romanians since the fall of communism in 1989. Capitalism and entrepreneurship are flourishing because regulatory bureaucracy is insignificant when compared to regulations in the west. But unchecked and unpunished corruption coupled with expected briberies have reached pandemic proportions.

Business is conducted on two levels – there is the legal contract for taxation purposes, and the “sub rosa” contract, hiding the real transaction. Usually, the written contracts contain lower figures in order to escape taxation. The oral, under the table contracts, during which bribes and percentages are paid to various middlemen, are really the bona fide contracts. Written contractual documents are so arcane and complex that state notaries have very lucrative offices, raking in more money than attorneys.

State owned enterprises are scavenged by various interested parties who are appointed to run them, with total disregard for public/private ownership or accountability. Those running and/or managing the plant become “ticks” that “suck” the plant’s resources to bolster their own private companies, just like they used to do under the communist regime.

Case in point, Oltchim S.A., one of the largest chemical companies in Romania with over 3,300 employees, has not paid its employees in months and is now bankrupt. The economic crisis of 2008, mismanagement and theft of resources by employee “ticks” that drained resources and sucked the lifeblood of Oltchim for their own private interests were the undoing of Oltchim S.A. Oltchim S.A. used to be the Ramnicu Vilcea Chemical Works during Ceausescu’s communist regime. It became a joint-stock company in 1990 by post-communist government decision.

According to Dan Straut, Oltchim had become a victim of the fall 2008 economic crisis when Petrom, the main supplier of inputs for Oltchim, closed its petrochemical installations. Oltchim is heavily in debt, owing 250 million euros to AVAS (the state authority) and 147 million euros in utilities. Oltchim is a major player in the Romanian economy because it produces chemicals used in 80 percent of consumer products and is a main exporter. (September 10, 2012)

While I was in Romania, the scandal and the circus that followed Oltchim’s inability to meet its payroll for six month or more and pay its creditors, placed two camps at odds on a daily basis – those who wanted to maintain the state ownership of Oltchim, promising to raise the 45 million euros needed to save it, and those who wanted to completely privatize it in order to reorganize it and weed out the waste, unaccountability, and corruption. Dan Diaconescu, a TV station owner, misled the whole country that he would raise the necessary funds to give workers their back wages and pay creditors, coming up short and empty-handed with only 3 million euros in a bag from mysterious European sources. The corruption and mystery continue.

My hotel in Brasov was hosting a Cybercrime Seminar sponsored by the U.S. Embassy, American Express, EBay, Microsoft, Western Union, MoneyGram International, and Trust wave. During discussions encouraging Romanian authorities to pass tougher laws on cyber criminals and offering help and expertise, a participating Romanian judge took umbrage with the suggestion and pointed out that foreigners cannot come into their country and tell them what to do. In other words, we like to maintain the status quo. So what if hapless Americans and westerners with money to burn are defrauded by young Romanian cyber criminals, often underage, by hundreds of millions of dollars?

It appears that old habits die hard. Sixty years of communism, theft, and abuse of power are hard to overcome even though a strange form of capitalism has taken strong roots in Romania. The shadow communism never went away and is re-emerging with a vengeance in public life with empty promises of free food, easy money, and free housing. The corruption that emerged from communism got more sophisticated and exploded on a grander scale, aided by the Internet age and the ability to travel freely and quickly across many time zones.