We have just completed our first week of photography on âThe Prince and Me 4.â The production is going really well except for a slight mishap on the set the other day. It was Friday the 13th. The sun was shining and there was not one cloud in the sky. However, it suddenly became very windy. In fact, so windy that a funnel cloud formed and lifted the lunch tent about fifty feet into the air. The tent dropped and it was suddenly very calm again. A rather small, but dangerous tornado had landed on our set.
This would have been a very interesting occurrence except for the fact that there were still people in the tent eating lunch. We immediately ran to the tent and dug out about four people who were rushed by the set paramedics to the hospital. In the end, no one was seriously injured. However, it was a scary 20 seconds or so. Thatâs right. It was only about 20 seconds.
The next day, the Thai crew decided that we had not asked the spirits for a proper blessing for the shoot, so we had a Buddhist ceremonial prayer session that lasted about twenty minutes before shooting. Nothing major happened that day, so I guess it worked!
Somehow, this is what I feel we need politically in this country. We are in the middle of a major economic crisis and there is no one praying to God or any gods whatsoever about how to get out of this mess. The only thing the Obama administration can come up with is to spend money. And, boy is it spending money. By the time you read this, the coveted Obama stimulus package will probably be law. And, this is no small tornado. This is the real thing.
The current spending package amounts to approximately 780 billion dollars which thankfully is substantially less than the 925 billion dollar package that was passed in the House and the 870 billion dollar package that was passed in the Senate. But, according to Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell, âA stimulus bill that was supposed to be timely, targeted and temporary is none of the above. And this means that Congress is about to approve a stimulus package that is not likely to have much stimulative effect.â
The general consensus is that the Democrats picked a number in the area of one trillion dollars and then just randomly figured out ways to spend the money. The vote was almost exclusively on party lines. In fact, had three Republicans in the Senate chose to follow their colleagues, then the package would not be going to the president for signature. The Senate vote was 60-38. The House vote was 246-183. Not one Republican voted for the bill in the House. In fact, approximately 10 Democrats had the guts to go against the President and voted âno.â Itâs a real shame that the three Republicans in the Senate did not have the same guts as those ten House Democrats.
Senator John McCain, appearing on CNNâs State of the Union this weekend stated Obama has gone against his campaign promise to be bi-partisan. McCain feels that this is the main reason why this stimulus package had almost no Republican support whatsoever. McCain states that this was a âbad beginning because it wasnât what we promised the American people, what President Obama promised the American people â that we would sit down together.â
This bill is supposed to either create or save jobs. In fact, Obama was selling it as a major infrastructure initiative. Letâs build roads and bridges and put people to work. Sounds like the âNew Dealâ right? Wrong. Only 48 billion or about six percent of the bill will go to infrastructure. And, a big chunk of that is for a high speed railway between Las Vegas and Los Angeles. This sounds like a good idea, except for the fact that Senator Harry Reid from Nevada who is up for reelection in two years pushed this piece of pork into the bill in order to keep his constituents happy. So much for the lack of earmarks.
Individuals will receive a $400.00 check from the government and joint filers will receive an $800.00 check from the government. Again, this is supposed to stimulate spending and get the economy on track. Letâs analyze this a minute. How much exactly is $400.00 per person? Well, letâs see. Itâs about $7.69 cents a week. Wow, thatâs going to really help the average consumer. Maybe, they can buy an extra six pack. At least, Joe Six-Pack will be happy, and, of course, those who have shares in Coors and Anheuser-Busch.
In addition, Mr. Obama and the radical leftists are getting their way by creating a new welfare state. The rather large sum of $7.69 per week is being given as a handout to, not only citizens who pay income taxes, but also to those who do not pay income taxes at all. Wow, a true $400.00 free lunch! Just what I voted for last year. Oh, wait; the people that voted for Obama wanted a free lunch and a lot of free things. Maybe, they will get them all. Of course, people like me and my friends will pay for it.
I do not want to seem cynical about these things, but the âdo nothingâ Congress, just passed a âdo nothingâ bill that will be signed by a âpragmatistâ president that will succeed in doing nothing to stimulate the economy. President Bush doubled the National Debt in eight years. President Obama just added another ten percent in less than one month. Not a bad record for the âbest president ever.â
You may ask, why I just said, the best president ever. Well, I will tell you. I was sitting on the set yesterday and one of my crew members was Skyping with a typical leftist resident of Southern California. When my crew member asked what was going on in the world as we have no access to news from the set, the person on the other side of the line said, âWe have the best president ever. Heâs doing everything right.â
I mean, come on! How can anyone with any level of intelligence make a comment like that with a straight face. As Iâve stated before in this column, I wish the new President all the best and hope and pray that he is successful, but the best president ever after four weeks? This is just an example of the blind love that certain people in our country have for this man. It is beyond ridiculous.
Oh, and by the way, the best president ever would not be having such a difficult time picking a Commerce Secretary. So, far he is 0 for 2. Who will choice number 3 be? Of course, he could never be worse than choice number 2 who voluntarily withdrew his appointment because he did not agree with the President on the stimulus package or the economy. I wonder if any vetting was done at all by the Presidentâs administrative staff on that decision?
Speaking of the best president ever, the London Times ran an article on October 31, 2008 just days before the election ranking the US Presidents according to their panel of experts. Of course, the top two were Abraham Lincoln and George Washington. No surprise there, right? However, letâs discuss two other presidents that they ranked very highly.
Number six is Dwight Eisenhower and number twelve is Lyndon Johnson. I remember growing up in the sixties and seventies and one thing I can say for the record is that both of these men were not considered good presidents at that time. In fact, Eisenhower was considered one of the worst presidents ever. As for Lyndon Johnson, he was hated more than George W. Bush is hated now. By the way, the London Times doesnât like Mr. Bush much either. They have him ranked at 37. I strongly suggest all of my readers take a look at this poll. It is quite informative, although I admit I disagree with their positions, especially their ranking of John Kennedy. You can read it at http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/world/us_and_americas/us_elections/article5055404.ece.
As for their feeling for George W. Bush, maybe time will tell and he will go from number 37 to somewhere in the neighborhood of number 15 in the next forty years or so
. Unfortunately, I will probably not be here to see it.
My thoughts on the economy and supply-side theory in increasing revenue to the government are more intellectually analyzed by Amity Schlaes who writes for Bloomberg.com. She published an article on February 6, 2009 which was forwarded to me by Arthur Brown of Los Angeles, California. The article, entitled, âObamaâs Gift to GOP is Challenge to Supply Sidersâ. In this article, Ms. Schlaes says that the GOP should be doing some serious thinking right now as Obamaâs plan will probably not work. She also seems to agree with my analysis that the only way out of this recession is through time.
You should also all read, âA Black Womanâs Viewâ by Anne Wortham which can be found at http://www.lewrockwell.com/orig9/wortham1.html. This article expounds an interesting viewpoint on the historic election of President Obama. I feel that this article is interesting reading although I do not agree 100% with its content.
Well thatâs about if for this week. Iâm back off to the set to begin week number two. Hopefully, there will be no more tornados either on the set or in our political world. Have a great week!
Â© 2009 by Frank T. DeMartini â All rights reserved. Permission to be quoted will be given freely upon request.