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Preface

Just being angry does not cause change.   

And causing change does not necessarily cause improvement.

Become informed. Cause improvement.

  

Political crookery in the United States and the catastrophic global economy are common knowledge, but Golden Rule or $Greedy Rule$ provides a keen awareness by showing the common denominators of the many problems, defining the solutions, and describing the how-tos to correct the problems.

 

When the people lead, the leaders follow.

(BackboneCampaign.org slogan)

 

   

 
Golden Rule is a current affairs/politics book. Actually, books cannot be current because of the inherent time gap between finishing the book and getting it printed and into the marketplace. The book was mostly finished before the 2008 Elections. Since that time, much has happened regarding the U.S. domestic situations and international situations. The Preface succinctly bridges the gap between summer 2008 and spring 2010.
 
However, one can readily see that the timeliness of the material is not the most important aspect of the material—the principles involved are the most important aspects of the material and remain constant from time to time: from the time of events included in the referred-to books that were published around 2004, to events leading up to the 2008 Elections and to spring 2010. Principles do not fade away. Golden Rule uses the facts of yesterday and today to illustrate principles and to recommend how to deal with those principles, thereby providing recommendations that are timeless.
 
I could have written a scholarly book, but I chose to write a reference book, one that will be as useful ten years from now as it is today. For example, chapter 11 gives a thorough explanation of the abuse and misuse of the following terms: terrorism, the Axis of evil, and patriotism. The abuse and misuse of those terms and others will not stop anytime soon.
 
Do you just learn what is going on, or do you learn from what is going on? To use our knowledge intelligently, we must understand and remember the underlying principles involved.
 
 
In the body of the book, one can see that I berated the Bush/Cheney administration for pushing the United States into the Iraq War, favoring Big Business at the expense of the populace, threatening to invade Iran, camping out in Iraq until Big Oil gets the deal it wants with the Iraqi oil, and trying to force our so-called democracy onto those two nations and other nations.
 
 
It appears that at least one of my predictions has already materialized: Exxon has won a piece of the Iraqi pie. The following is from the November 20, 2009, issue of The Week:
 
“For the first time since the start of the Iraq war, a U.S. oil company has been awarded drilling rights in Iraq, said Gina Chon in The Wall Street Journal. Exxon leads a consortium that has been awarded a contract to boost production at the already-pumping West Qurna-1 oil field in southern Iraq....”
 
What is different between the Bush/Cheney administration and the Obama administration? Not much. In the April 2008 issue of The Hightower Lowdown newsletter, Hightower lists the 3 biggest hits to the economy. They are, in part, the following:
 
  1. Bush’s tax cuts for the rich have reduced annual tax revenue available for public needs by $300 billion each year.
  2. Bush/Cheney’s occupation of Afghanistan and Iraq has cost $700 billion according to the Congressional Research Service. Nobel Prize-winning economist Joseph Stiglitz says the tab is well over $2 trillion when you add rehabilitation for injured vets.
  3. Bushites have finished off the deregulation of banking that began in earnest during Bill Clinton’s presidency.
Well, it looks like President Obama is doing the same thing as the Bush/Cheney administration, plus some. Since Obama took office in January 2009, Obama and the Democratic Senate have promoted financial bailouts for Big Business and Wall Street in addition to what the Bush administration had done, putting the nation more deeply in debt.
 
Obama’s catering to the Right is not improving life for the populace. In an interview on the Basham & Cornell Talk Radio Show (AM 1230 KLAV, Las Vegas, NV) on October 30, 2008, Vincent Bugliosi (famous prosecutor and author of The Prosecution of George W. Bush for Murder) said. “The Left is always catering to the Right, but the Right never caters to the Left.” Will the Left ever learn, or are dishonesty and lack of resolve by the Left the real problems?
 
 
In the book, I refer to the above type of corporate welfare as Uncle Sugar. As a result of Uncle Sugar, Wall Street and the banks have bounced back at the expense of the taxpayer, but nothing has been done for the taxpaying workforce—unemployment is around 10% and rising. Oil prices are rising and gasoline prices are rising—both at the discretion of Big Oil and Wall Street—no government control, i.e., no Uncle Sam, just Uncle Sugar for the corporations.
 
 
The following quote is from the article, “Bonuses Climb on Wall Street,” in the February 24, 2010, issue of the Sarasota Herald-Tribune:
 
 
“Wall Street bonuses climbed 17 percent in 2009 to $20.3 billion as many of the investment banks that were bailed out at taxpayer expense reported blowout profits.”
 
I am fuming. I am seeing red again. The following, in the March 8, 2010, issue of the Sarasota Herald-Tribune, is another example of what the media and various administrations do to promote what Big Oil, Big Business, and Wall Street want:
  
Energy officials see $3-plus gasoline prices
 
The energy department has not changed its mind about higher gasoline prices. It still expects pump prices to climb past $3 per gallon as more motorists hit the road in the spring and summer driving seasons. In its monthly short-term outlook report, Energy Information Administration said that for the full year, the national average should be about $2.84 per gallon, up from $2.35 per gallon in 2009.”
 
If the above were honestly presented, the heading would have read, Wall Street and Congress officials see $3-plus gasoline prices.
 
Yes, that is just another example of the head games that Wall Street gets away with in order to boost the stock market—at your and my expense. We are expected to just take it on the chin that we must be satisfied with a staycation again this summer because we cannot afford to drive anywhere—for the benefit of that casino on Wall Street. And many people do just take it on the chin simply because the media says it is going to happen. Please do not be so complacent—so easily controlled. Don’t just feel the anger—write your congresspersons.
 
Remember your staycation when you vote this fall. Congress is responsible for the control or lack of control of Wall Street and Big Oil. We have no hope except our vote. Use it wisely.
 
 
The politicians refer to our economic situation as a recession because they do not want Main Street (the people) to realize that the United States is in a depression—that would look worse for the politicians and they might have to do something worthwhile for the people for fear of not being reelected. Certainly Main Street is in a depression, while Wall Street is in euphoria, with its bailouts.
 
Maybe the White House is taking the average: (Depression of Main Street + Euphoria of Wall Street) divided by 2 = Recession. I am not impressed by the White House’s choice of words—a recession. A lemon by any other name is just as sour.
 
I am depressed and so are millions of others, especially those who cannot put food on the table or get needed healthcare. The main difference between the 2010 depression and The Great Depression is that in the 2010 depression the people of Big Business and Wall Street see no need to bail out through the high-rise office windows—they bail out through taxpayers’ dollars.
 
Washington will do whatever our society tells it to do.
 

When the people lead, the leaders follow.

 
 
Are you old enough to remember when we were treated like citizens and really meant something, more than a vote, to our representatives and senators? Do they now represent us as though we are citizens or as though we are consumers? Read the content and decide what we really matter to our representatives and senators who supposedly represent us.
 
 
In the content I talk about Toyota’s being a customer-oriented car manufacturer, with that being the reason that it moved into the number-two position in the United States in 2007 in gross sales, behind General Motors; however, Toyota made record profits in 2007 while General Motors made record losses. Since that time, Toyota moved into the number one spot in gross sales. In the meantime, General Motors and Chrysler went bankrupt and are now being run by our government.
 
In February and March 2010, the daily TV news reported that Toyota had a string of serious safety problems, and there were Congressional hearings on TV. Did Toyota cause those problems, or has there been chicanery, such as sabotage? Time will tell.
 
Even if Toyota is genuinely responsible for all that is claimed, how different is that from the U.S.-company-manufactured cars that are on recall for safety problems? The U.S.-company recalls should be thoroughly aired so that we can get an honest perspective of the Toyota problem. It also would be interesting to learn how accommodative the U.S. companies are in servicing recalls, compared to Toyota’s accommodativeness—free loaner cars and so forth.
 
 
Obama talked, talked, talked, and continues to talk about alternative energy programs that will put people to work, but that has not happened.
 
 
Apparently President Obama wants to flap both wings, but his spinal deficiency prevents Left Wing movement.
 
Obama’s dazzling campaign rhetoric continues into his presidency, but it is time to stop the rhetoric and get things done. He has preached hope, but you are the only hope that you can rely on. If you do not do what you know must be done, your hope will be in vain.
 

When the people lead, the leaders follow.

 
 
It was befitting, and I thought fortuitous, that the movie on TV on the night of President Obama’s 2009 inauguration was The Rainmaker, a story about a medical insurance company that was brought to its knees for its fraudulent activity of greed at the expense of the health and life of the insureds.
 
On C-SPAN TV, May 12, 2009, with regard to healthcare, President Obama said, “There is no silver bullet.” Wrong! There is a silver bullet for healthcare. It’s called single-payer, which requires resolve (guts) to get.
 
However, shame on Obama for his slackness—he has failed to effect single-payer healthcare or any other meaningful healthcare. He has not shown the needed resolve. Apparently his advisors are extremely Right Wing.
 
Just as U.S. Representative Dennis Kucinich described the healthcare reforms proposed by all other Democratic presidential candidates in the 2008 campaign (nothing proposed by the Republicans) as a bunch of smoke-and-mirrors, so is the Obama healthcare plan.
 
At the onset of that healthcare reform proposal in 2009-2010, the majority of the population favored that smoke-and-mirrors plan, but by February 2010, Obama and the Democratic Congress had watered it down so much in trying to get agreement from the Republicans that the majority of the population then disapproved it. The inadequate plan, if approved, means that the insurance companies will get millions more in customers and billions more in premium dollars, largely paid by tax dollars.
 
What a tragedy! Man, am I disappointed! Today is March 17, 2010. Day before yesterday, President Obama gave Representative Kucinich a ride on Air Force One to convince Kucinich to change his No vote to a Yes vote for the watered-down healthcare bill: it includes a health-savings-account (HSA) feature (which is a savings account for those who have enough money to invest in savings—a savings not necessarily used for healthcare); and it does not include a public option (which would be government-controlled price competition for the private-insurance industry). Kucinich announced today on TV that he has changed his vote to Yes, which is a vote for the smoke-and-mirrors healthcare plan that he warned us about.
 
Kucinich was one of the few politicians that I had confidence in—a representative who truly represented the people. With that switch of his vote, he was not representing the people: he was representing himself and his party. I read and heard the justification for his changed vote, but I was not impressed. See chapter 9, Prostitution in Congress.
 
 
You can be a bench warmer and be on the winning team, but for fans to see you and applaud you, you must perform, whether you win or lose: the key point in evaluating politicians is our being aware of their efforts to do what is right, regardless of the outcome. We are not looking for bandwagon riders—the streets are full of those. See chapter 34, Who Should Get My Vote? Also, see chapter 4, Marketing—Unscrupulously, and the subheading, Marketing with Sex, and Prince Valiant.
 
 
(See http://www.snopes.com/politics/soapbox/reese.asp)
There are 545 people who control the United States and what happens in it and to it and to its citizens: one president, 100 senators, 435 representatives, and 9 Supreme Court Justices. The 545 people choose to blame the bureaucrats, the special interests, and the lobbyists, but those entities have no legal authority. The 545 establish the bureaucrats and control the bureaucrats, the special interests, and the lobbyists to the degree that the 545 choose.
 
What exists in our country is what those 545 want to exist. We, the voters, can choose to vote out the incompetent, self-serving incumbents, or we can expect to see no change or worse. Do not think that things cannot get worse.
 
 
Who has definitely profited from NAFTA, the Mideastern wars, globalization, and the recent bailouts? Big Business and the wealthy. And where is the trickle-down profit for the people? It is the economic crisis we are in—a depression.
 
The implementations of the above decisions were done swiftly because of the resolve of Congress to please Big Business. Why then can we not get single-payer healthcare and jobs for the people swiftly? The reasons commonly given are that it costs too much, such things must be waded into, too much government control, and healthcare is not a right—it is something that you must earn, but Big Business failures can be bailed out in four days.
 
The overall reason that we do not have single-payer healthcare and more jobs is that our Congress does not have the resolve to do it—on both sides of the aisle.
 
We must correct that problem by what we do at election time—vote them out on both sides of the aisle, even if your congressperson did something personal for you, such as pave the street in front of your house. We need some good national and international decisions for the good of the masses, not just decisions for the good of Big Business who can put the politician back into office with its large campaign contributions and other favors.
 
 
The books, The Best Democracy Money Can Buy and Don’t Think of an Elephant, mean just as much today as they did in 2004 when published; likewise, Golden Rule teaches awareness and provides the sources and guidelines to become a well-informed and cautious citizen/voter—issue after issue, election after election.
 
In addition to the convenience of the expanded table of contents already mentioned, the extensive annotated Sources, in the back, are easily accessible (Take a look), which is a plus for anyone interested in knowing where to find information of a day-to-day interest or in researching similar topics. Golden Rule is truly a self-help reference book.
 
There are many good books out there attempting to accomplish the same thing that Golden Rule is designed to accomplish, that is, to get our country back. The back matter assists you in finding what you need to know, and the body of the book provides assistance and precaution in interpreting and using what you read and hear.
 
Don’t Think of an Elephant keys on the importance of language awareness—Golden Rule enhances that awareness with real, live examples.
 
When you have finished reading Golden Rule, you will be armed to do the following:
 
  1. Think independently from the establishment.
  2. Identify hype more readily—terms such as Axis of evil, patriotism, and terrorism.
  3. Recognize that terms such as democracy, values, entrepreneur, trickle-down, and altruism are used to exploit nations, you, and me.
  4. See through the nonsense of the U.S. Supreme Court’s giving personhood to corporations (When have you heard the White House tell, or even ask, Big Business to be patriotic?)
  5. Be more objective in selecting your favorite political candidate.
  6. Convince yourself and others that When the people lead, the leaders follow.
The next autocratic Supreme Court decision I expect to see that highly favors Big Business is the curtailing of access to the Internet: the Internet somewhat equalizes the campaigning field—that was evident in the 2006 and 2008 campaigns. Be aware.
 
 
As I mentioned in the content of Golden Rule, I am a registered Democrat. Until 2003, I was a registered Republican. When I began writing the book, I leaned toward the Left, but as I wrote I began leaning more toward the Center. I think that the sequence of events in the book and Preface, considered collectively, and its apparent effect on me will convince you that I am a realist and a Centrist.
 
After writing the above paragraph, I registered as an Independent on March 24, 2010. It makes sense for me to be an Independent—I never vote a party ticket. By the way, that option should not be on the ballot—punching just one button to vote for the party. A single punch for the party ticket requires less thinking, while more thinking is what we seriously need to do.
 
What an encouraging coincidence regarding my registering as an Independent! On the next day, March 25, 2010, the Sarasota Herald-Tribune contained an illuminating article, “Tea for the Radical Center,” by Thomas Friedman of the New York Times. Whereas I do not agree with half of what Friedman says is the platform of the radical center, I am really encouraged by the possibility of “alternative voting,” which Australia is doing already.
 
In the content of the book, I expressed the dilemma of a voter who casts a vote for a third-party candidate. For example, if a Democratic voter really favors an Independent candidate and votes for that candidate, but the Independent does not win and the Democratic candidate does not win, then the guilt sets in on the Democratic voter: that vote, not for a Democrat, might have helped to elect the Republican. And the reverse of that major-parties situation would apply as well—the Republican’s vote for an Independent could help elect a Democrat.
 
When alternative voting becomes a reality in the United States, we can vote for our first choice and second choice when there are three candidates or more. If our first choice does not win, our vote automatically shifts to our second choice. What a godsend! There would be no more concern about the possibility of wasting votes and thereby helping to elect the least-desirable candidate.
 
Let’s go all out for alternative voting. That ranks right up there with public campaign financing.

 

 The more traditional you choose to be,

the less thinking required.

 
 

 

 

Variation in tenses occurs in the content because I wrote parts of the book at various times over several years, sometimes referring to future events, some of which have come and gone. Part of the updating was done in the content and shows the dates of the updating. In order to wrap up Golden Rule with current details and get the book to press, much of the updating has been done right here in the Preface.


 
Remember and Forget
What if each of us could say at the end of each day,
I remembered the needy and forgot to be greedy?


 
 

I wish you much pleasure in reading Golden Rule. I had you in mind when I wrote it.



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