Duke Power Employees Association

On September 3rd, I was privileged to have lunch and speak to the Duke Power Retired Employees Association. Topics ranged from Healthcare, Pharmacy, Drugs, Legislation, and you guessed it, Gov. Sanford.

I appreciate the invitations from the host an thoroughly enjoyed the event.

They meet on first Thursdays at the Boulevard Baptist Church Activities Center.

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Organizational Meeting for The Anderson County Young Republicans

The Anderson County Young Republicans will hold their first meeting Thursday, October 1st at Main Street Deli located at 305 S. Main Street. The organizational meeting will begin at 6:30 p.m. with dinner being served at a cost of $10 per person. The guest speaker will be State Representative Michael Thompson who represents District 9 in Anderson.

The purpose of this group is to support the principles, objectives and platform of the Republican Party and to work to elect Republican candidates. To become a member you must be between the ages of 18 – 40. Associate memberships are also available to anyone outside this age group. Single membership dues are $10 per person or $15 per couple for one year . Associate dues are $15 per person.

For additional information or to RSVP for the meeting please call either Anna Cochran at 314-5872 or Drew Gilmer at 934-9273.

steamroller sez: steps that lead to depression

Here are the reasons to understand the steps that lead to the depression dungeon – he who has ears, let him hear

1-SHIFT AWAY from a USDollar denominated world.

2-Money creation without wealth creation, and credit growth, colossal irresponsibility of major central banks.

3-The last, desperate attempt by the US Federal Reserve to be the global bank and its international rejection along with insolvency of lesser banks including Saudi banks which are beginning to topple as they traded their natural resource (oil) for worth-less paper.

4-Ruined global monetary system from the complete corruption of money itself.

5-Coerced USTreasury Bond by acceptance of Wall Street corruption and past bond fraud and debt rating agency collusion without prosecution.

6-Proliferation of OTC derivatives over $1 quadrillion in value with no prospect of resolution, no hope of regulation, and deep corruption.

7-Recognition of a financial syndicate having taken control of the USGovt finance realm, that involves privileged official channels of funds and widespread bond counterfeiting

8- Dishonor of financial contract law, convenient lapses in financial market integrity, and constant manipulation in those financial markets.

9-Expectation of colossal price inflation just over the horizon due to lotsa paper currency and no new production.

10-Bank system meltdown in the United States and United Kingdom, likely to result in bank holidays and closings, useful for a forced Bank Consolidation.

11-Ongoing economic disintegration and the decline of global trade due to isolation, organized labor demands, more unemployment.

12-Trend toward commodity stockpiles, of which gold is the financial commodity element and crude oil is the industrial commodity core element.

13-Many pockets of armed conflict, military war, and possible nuclear events, as chaos spreads and nations desperately exploit the confusion.

Mallory Factor: what our debt may lead to

We should be having discussion on this information way more often than we are.

By Mallory Factor Published with the author’s permission by The Palmetto Times 24 September 2009

Chairman McCotter, Members of the Republican Leadership, and Members of the Republican Policy Committee, thank you for the opportunity to be here this evening.  I am both honored and humbled to be able to present to you this evening.

President Ronald Reagan once said: “We don’t have a trillion-dollar debt because we haven’t taxed enough; we have a trillion-dollar debt because we spend too much.”  While true in 1982, it is more true now. And for reasons that I will discuss tonight, the implications of our deficit will be very far reaching — affecting our foreign policy, standard of living and even our fundamental way of life.

Federal spending and subsequently our deficit are surging at a pace not seen since World War II. However, because of accumulated surpluses, we didn’t truly become a debtor nation until 1985. Now we are a debtor nation of over $11 trillion dollars, much of it held by foreign nations.

I agree wholeheartedly with Budget Committee Ranking Member Ryan when he says that these deficits, if left unaddressed, will continue to weigh on our budget each year and will threaten our ability to make sound decisions for future government spending.  But there is an even darker side to our growing deficit that has not yet received much attention — the geopolitical significance of our growing national debt. And this is the subject that I would like to discuss with you tonight.

In the emerging world order, global dominance is no longer decided by armies and aircraft, but by greenbacks and Euros, Rubles and Reminbi. Countries are now projecting power with their economic might — and in new and innovative ways.

While the global stage may appear complex there are really just two basic types of players on it: creditor nations and debtor nations. Who are they?  Creditor nations are oil-rich Islamic states such as Saudi Arabia and Kuwait and resource-rich states such as China and Russia who have developed huge holdings in Western currency, debt, and industries. And the Debtor nations are us — Western governments who have slipped deeper and deeper into debt.

Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, China, and Russia are not richer than the United States or other Western nations, but they are now the creditors of these Western nations. They are becoming our lenders because they are channeling their capital into holding our currency, debt and more recently, owning our corporations through sovereign wealth funds. A new relationship is emerging, one that undermines the West.

There is something else striking to pay attention to. The debtor nations are Western democracies and the creditor nations are autocracies. Because our creditors are autocracies, they continue to amass excess international reserves instead of spending capital to improve the lives of their people.

Nations need some foreign currency reserves. But several non-Western nations are holding dollars and U.S. Treasuries in amounts that are far in excess of those needed to support their own currency or provide stability. And recently, creditor nations are no longer satisfied with Treasury bill returns. These nations are now also channeling excess foreign reserves into sovereign wealth funds and other financial vehicles which make direct investments in our companies, assets and infrastructure.

Whether these nations invest in T-Bills or our companies, the truth remains that becoming another nation’s major investor and creditor is a very effective way of achieving influence over them.

Given their growing economic might, the new “creditor nations” will have the power to further their geopolitical ambitions by using a powerful weapon of international diplomacy and warfare: economic statecraft. When a country uses the strength of its economic relationship to influence a weaker country’s foreign and domestic policies, alliances and actions, economic statecraft is at work.

Traditional wars will not go away, but their beginnings and outcomes will be determined by economic rather than military might.

The fact is that by borrowing so extensively from other nations, we have already significantly compromised our ability to promote democracy, the rule of law, human and civil rights reforms, and environmental policy.

Please allow me to discuss one creditor nation in particular to underscore the statements I just made. And this nation is China. …

At the opening ceremony of the historic Olympic Games in Beijing last summer, one billion people around the world viewed the glory and pageantry of China’s carefully designed and choreographed spectacle. China’s 5000 year history was presented in an astounding display of technology and artistry that was seven years in the making. The technical demonstration was unprecedented — an LED screen 147 meters long and 22 meters wide at the center of the display and tiny LED beads adorning the costumes of the performers. The artistic marvels that the performers and technology were able to achieve together thrilled us all.

As I watched, however, I began to feel a growing unease. The beauty of the display could not chase away the sense that I was seeing the future. It was shocking and new.  While I appreciated the beautiful images on the huge LED screen, I realized: America does not possess the technology to produce LED screens as large as the one I watched. Nor have we been able to put on a performance that technologically spectacular. The incredible precision of the drummers and martial artists, moving as an army of one, showed us the Chinese people’s ability to channel their individualism into the triumph of the whole.

Something had been happening in China — something of which the United States had not been fully aware. Until that moment, I had not grasped this startling fact: China has been slowly and quietly supplanting the United States as the most important nation on earth. With the flash of light and color and the power of its mass pageantry, China was showing us a future in which non-Western nations would awe us with their technological and economic might. And they were showing us all of this without one hint of traditional military muscle.

Anyone who does not believe that China has a far reaching geopolitical agenda should look at their former leader Deng Xiaoping’s “24 character” strategy. Deng developed this policy in the 1990s to bring China back to the prominence and power on the global stage which it had enjoyed for centuries. His policy consists only of 24 Chinese characters, and continues to be quoted — and followed — by the current Chinese leadership. It is as follows: “observe calmly; secure our position; cope with affairs calmly; hide our capacities and bide our time; be good at maintaining a low profile; and never claim leadership.”  Take note: people have become Speaker of this body by following a similar strategy.  And it is a policy that the United States could learn from, too. China has been “biding its time,” and is now successfully regaining its stature and global position.

The Economist reported recently that “roughly 300 million people in China live on less than a dollar a day” and at the same time, China was adding about $1.25 per Chinese citizen per day to its international reserves.[1] China holds well over 1.5 trillion dollars of our currency and debt.

And as our creditor, the Chinese have begun to flex their economic muscle. The head of China’s new $200 billion sovereign wealth fund recently warned us that China’s fund will not invest in countries that in its opinion use “national security” as an excuse for protectionism. His comments are clearly intended as a warning to America not to place limits on foreign investments in its companies. It is the type of directive that we can expect more of from China and our other creditors in the future.

But there are strong signals now from Beijing that China may think investing in the United States and Europe is not sufficiently economically attractive to continue at this pace.

And our major creditors increasingly have the power to literally destroy our economy without destroying their own. They can do this simply by refusing to buy our Treasuries, agencies and currency, or worse, by dumping them on the world market. Though the dollar has been the world’s reserve currency since World War II, it may not continue to be so forever. And if this changes, the demand for our dollars and T-bills will crash.

Without enough demand for our debt, the United States would have to either offer huge interest rates to entice the remaining market into purchasing our debt or print more money leading to a crashing dollar and massive inflation.  Although each of our creditors would suffer from the decline in value of our debt and currency, they would suffer less than we would — this is why I call this strategy the “nuclear option”.

The “nuclear option” allows the creditor nation to present its debtor nations with terms under which lending will continue. For example, China could press the United States to buy Chinese goods over the goods of other nations or could require us to open up our markets on terms unfavorable to the United States. China could use its economic influence over the United States to curb our support for Taiwan or other allies.

Even the United States’ support for Israel will not be off the table as the United States seeks more and more capital from nations which do not share our foreign policy objectives or even our view on fundamental human rights. We are so vulnerable to our creditors, not only because we owe them so much now but also because we need to continue borrowing from them. At some point, our nation could be forced to set aside our foreign policy goals and even our ideals because the leverage of our creditor nations over us will be too great.

Many of our nations’ financial institutions have significant ownership by sovereign wealth funds. Even if the non-Western creditor nations do not overtly try to impose their agendas on US companies, foreign-owned US firms will naturally start to adapt their own corporate culture to the sensitivities of their owners. These companies may decide to observe certain religious or cultural restrictions on behavior that would offend their owners or refrain from making investments in businesses that would not seem appropriate to their largest shareholders. And these changes will affect our American way of life.

Sovereign wealth funds claim that they will be passive investors and have no role in corporate governance over the companies in which they invest. That is what they say now, but American pension and investment funds have frequently imposed political views on their investment decisions and their decisions as shareholders as well.  Examples abound of our funds divesting from South African companies, from tobacco and alcoholic beverage companies, from companies that do business in Iran, and from companies perceived as harming the environment. Similarly, sovereign wealth funds can be expected to impose their own cultural and political agenda on both their investment decisions and their decisions as shareholders of Western companies.  And we should expect sovereign wealth funds to invest in and extend their influence over not only our financial institutions, but also our core businesses, media and lifestyle companies — such as Google, News Corp., Microsoft and Apple.

In the past, the United States would have worked to bring change to these autocracies that are now our creditors. But now our position as a debtor nation will make it increasingly difficult for the United States to promote democracy abroad, to advocate for the rule of law, to demand human rights reforms, to set global environmental standards, to sanction rogue nations, or even to provide assistance to our traditional allies. Many of our national security objectives will need to be laid aside as we compete to attract and retain foreign capital.

And if the United States is still the most powerful military nation on earth, it is not likely to remain so for much longer if we continue to increase our national debt. Only a nation with a strong economy can afford to spend resources on both maintaining a strong military and investing in the research and development of new weapons systems and defense applications.

A state does not need a dominant military in order to influence global politics — just lots of money. But military superiority may soon follow. A nation with excess capital can spend money on the best technology and training, whether developed internally or purchased abroad. For example, China is rapidly developing technologically advanced blue water navy that will be capable of challenging the U.S. fleet. And Russia has developed planes, the Su30 and Su35, each of which can take out five of our F-15s before our aircraft can even spot them.

The perils of being a debtor nation at the mercy of one’s creditors are as evident today as in the 1950’s when the United States employed economic statecraft against its now-stalwart ally, Great Britain. Britain had recently occupied the Suez Canal Zone, together with France and Israel, in response to Egyptian President Nasser’s decision to nationalize the Canal Zone. And they had no intention of returning it to Egypt — until the United States demanded otherwise.

At that time, Britain depended on U.S. support to maintain the pound’s peg to the dollar. Thus, as Britain’s most important creditor, the United States simply demanded that Britain comply with a UN General Assembly resolution that called for Britain, France and Israel to withdraw from the Suez or we would drop support for the Pound.  As expected, within weeks, Britain withdrew from the Canal Zone, and put the Canal back into the hands of the Egyptians.

China’s influence over its debtors’ foreign policy is growing. In 2008, the UK government stopped advocating for a free Tibet and formally recognized the legitimacy of Beijing’s direct rule over Tibet. And we are responding to their pressure also — on a recent trip to China, Secretary Clinton stated that the U.S. would still press China on human rights issues, but she wouldn’t allow our pressing on these issues to interfere with “the global economic crisis, the global climate change crisis and the security crisis.” The Washington Post noted recently, “Pelosi Mum On Rights Before Trip to China”. The political reality is very simple — it is hard to press for human rights in China when we need to be concerned about maintaining Chinese investment in our economy.

The answer is simple and yet extremely difficult to achieve:  The United States needs to stop increasing our deficits. We need to bring them down, reduce our foreign borrowing and improve our global economic standing.

And, if we are not able to change the trajectory we have begun, then what? At some point, America will have a melt-down. The world will lose confidence in our currency, debt and markets. And it will be too late to change course.

At that time, we will face great uncertainties on the domestic front. Our current reduced level of consumption — cars, electronics and consumer goods — will no longer be possible on a national scale or a personal level. We will face pressures from abroad which will change our own way of life — in small ways at first and then, in big ways. This will lead to many unforeseeable changes in our business practices, our domestic policies and our alliances.

We are already learning that we cannot impose our views on democracy, civil rights, environmental policy, and a fair legal system on other sovereign nations. At best, we may be able to preserve and defend these principles at home. And it will not be the US anymore that will be speaking softly and carrying a “big stick.”

I ask you, as members of Congress, to start a public debate on the consequences of our national debt and spending — to save our country and our way of life. You need to explain on Main Street, on Wall Street, at town hall meetings and in your halls of Congress why we have to rein in our spending and decrease our deficits now. Looming debt has made increases in spending simply impossible to consider and yet, the Democrat-controlled Congress seems to be throwing America even further into the abyss by its rampant over-spending. If you voice your concerns and bring this message to the American people, we can still turn this around and preserve the pact that America made with its citizens long ago: life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.

Again I want to thank Chairman McCotter and the members gathered here tonight. I greatly appreciate the opportunity to participate in this dialogue with you. I would be happy to answer any questions you might have.

Mallory Factor, a Charleston resident, is a financial consultant and the co-founder of The Monday Meeting, a New York-based monthly gathering of economic conservatives and corporate leaders. Mr. Factor is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations. He also serves as a Fox News Channel Contributor.

Ronald Reagan: operation coffee cup

From the 1961 Operation Coffee Cup Campaign against Socialized Medicine as proposed by the Democrats, then a private citizen Ronald Reagan Speaks out against socialized medicine. There is no video …

Wife of scandal-plagued S.C. governor plans memoir

(Anderson Independent Mail)Associated Press NEW YORK — The wife of South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford is writing a memoir.

Ballantine Books, an imprint of Random House Inc., said Tuesday it will publish Jenny Sanford’s “inspirational memoir” in May 2010.
The publisher says Sanford “will grapple with the universal issue of maintaining integrity and a sense of self during life’s difficult times.”
The book is currently untitled, and financial terms were not disclosed.
Mark Sanford was once a rising star in the Republican Party. He acknowledged in June that he had a yearlong affair with an Argentine woman he called his soul mate.
Jenny Sanford moved out of the governor’s mansion in August, but she and her husband have said they’re trying to repair their marriage.

“stimulus” oversight

Now that the “stimulus” is stimulating nothing but our great-grand-childrens’ debt, here’s a message from the Comptroller and a link to the website tracking the funds (er falsely printed money). www.stimulus.sc.gov/

Regardless of one’s personal opinion on the “stimulus” bill recently passed by Congress, one thing is clear: If this federal spending is to have a chance at getting our economy moving again, the funds must be spent with clear direction, accountability and transparency. The good people of South Carolina must have confidence that the money is being used as it is intended — because every dollar that is misspent is a dollar that won’t be helping to put South Carolinians back to work.

This Web site aims to keep South Carolinians as informed as possible. I hope you find this information useful and this Web site helpful.

Richard Eckstrom's Signature

here’s my plane travel

In a recent story on WIS-TV, Kara Gormley asks:

Both the House and Senate have their own ethics committees; raising the question. “Are the legislators who use the plane willing to investigate themselves and expose any wrong doing?

Well, yes. Here’s my use of state aircraft. On Thursday morning, June 8 2006, I accompanied the Governor and a staff member from Columbia to Myrtle Beach.

The purpose of the flight was for him to sign S. 1267 “Jessica’s Law” at the Children’s Recovery Center. I was invited because I authored the death penalty provision for child rapists.

We then flew to Charleston. He went to an announcement. I hitched a ride by car back to Columbia with a friend.

The plane we flew on was an older plane owned by DNR (Department of Natural Resources). I was told the Governor chooses to fly this plane quite often since it was much cheaper to operate.

tell ‘em Tom!

This is from fellow conservative, Sen. Tom Davis (R-Beaufort).

I rode to DC with my constituents because I believe our federal government has embarked upon a course of action that is deforming the relationship between Americans and their government.
There is hope; no need to throw in the towel just yet. As Adam Smith said, “there is a lot of ruin in a nation,” and a country has to travel long and hard in the wrong direction before the damage becomes irreversible. But too many people fail to even realize we have taken a wrong turn.
Our elected officials have failed us, and there’s plenty of blame to go around. I am angry not just with the current administration and governing parties in Congress, but also with Republican leaders who have in recent years voted for massive new entitlements. That said, however, the Obama Administration has certainly stomped on the accelerator.
If you share my concerns, or if you simply like participating in lively political debates, I invite you to become a “friend” of my Facebook page, where I periodically post stories of interest (well, at least of interest to me!). You can also follow me on Twitter.
Tom

got a blackberry storm, a mac, and verizon wireless?

blackberry-stormI just figured out how to connect to the internet by “tethering” with your blackberry storm. There’s a few required steps:

-On the phone, turn on the Bluetooth, add device in “listening” mode.

-On mac, open the Bluetooth Preference, select “Setup New Device”. You’ll be given a passcd

-Advanced options:

phone Vendor: other

check “enable error connection

dial mode “Ignore dial tone”

“ppp” tab check everything except “prompt for password after dialing”

Click “ok” then when box closes click “apply”

Username: your phone number@vzw3g.com

Password: vzw

Phone Number: #777

click connect

You need to have the “tethering” feature on your account. Also, if you don’t have unlimited data, you need to be careful on who much time you spend on the web or you may get a charge on your bill.