the Air Vent

Because the world needs another opinion

Obama – Honesty in Politics

Posted by Jeff Id on July 17, 2012

if you’ve been successful, you didn’t get there on your own. You didn’t get there on your own. I’m always struck by people who think, well, it must be because I was just so smart. There are a lot of smart people out there. It must be because I worked harder than everybody else. Let me tell you something – there are a whole bunch of hardworking people out there.

If you were successful, somebody along the line gave you some help. There was a great teacher somewhere in your life. Somebody helped to create this unbelievable American system that we have that allowed you to thrive. Somebody invested in roads and bridges. If you’ve got a business. you didn’t build that. Somebody else made that happen. The Internet didn’t get invented on its own. Government research created the Internet so that all the companies could make money off the Internet.

Being a white male businessman who started multiple companies from nothing, I couldn’t say it better myself.

39 Responses to “Obama – Honesty in Politics”

  1. WhyNot said

    I feel for you JeffID, you were born with brains and understand the complexities of conservatism and capitalism. I could give you a frontal lobotomy and make you a liberal if that would make you feel better! You might end up to stupid to understand anything, but will probably make (be given) more money.

  2. Thanks for the post, Jeff.

    The analogy I use is this: We are each born into a web of events controlled by cause-and-effect. Much later in life, we can look back over our lives and perhaps see how very little control we actually had. For example, my research career was decided by events before I was born:

    1. On 26 Dec 1934, almost two years before my birth in Wichita, Kansas – a brecciated meteorite whose dark regions consisted of compacted fine-grained dirt, with surfaces saturated with solar-wind-implanted elements – landed as a “fiery meteor” near Fayetteville Arkansas [1].

    2. On 13 July 1936 – exactly three months before I was born on 13 Oct 1936 – Noble Laureate Francis William Aston was in Japan to watch a solar eclipse. Aston had received a Noble Prize in 1922 for developing the mass spectrometer to measure the precise masses of isotopes. He had expressed the masses in terms of nuclear packing fraction (f),

    f = M/A -1 . . . . . . . . . . . eq. (1)

    A 19-year old student of unusual ability, Kazuo Kuroda, listened attentively to Aston’s lecture [2].

    Twenty four years later, in 1960, Kuroda became my research mentor, sent me to UC-Berkeley to learn the operation of one of the world’s most sensitive mass spectrometers. Kuroda gave me a piece of the Fayetteville meteorite to analyze for my PhD research.

    I later took a piece of the Fayetteville meteorite to Berkeley in 1964 and observed the first evidence of severe mass-fractionation in the Sun as mass-fractionated neon isotopes implanted by the solar wind in the dark region of the Fayetteville meteorite:

    In 2000 four graduate students and I used precise masses of isotopes to decipher the source of energy stored in the cores of atoms and stars. We used ratios of variables on the vertical and horizontal axis of a 3-D graph of all available rest mass data, “The Cradle of the Nuclides”, shown here:

    The vertical axis is

    f + 1 = M/A = Energy per Nucleon

    Thus, the seeds of my research career were planted on opposites side of the globe on 26 Dec 1934 and 13 July 1936, before I was born. The Second world war and other coincidences brought these events together in my chance meeting with Professor Kuroda in Fayetteville, Arkansas in 1960.


    1. D. P. Richardson, “The Fayetteville, Arkansas meteorite,” Popular Astronomy 43, 384 (1935)

    2. P. K. Kuroda, “”My Early Days at the Imperial University of Tokyo” pp 5-8

    Click to access PKKAutobiography.pdf

    • I apologize for failing to grasp you were quoting Obama, and for failing to close one of the bold tabs.

      Self-honesty seems to be the most formidable but most beneficial foe to conquer in the battle of life.

      It seems cause-and-effect controls ~99.99% of the universe (reality). Self-governance of our response to reality determines ~99.99% of our happiness in today’s affluent but deeply troubled society.

      Acceptance of reality is the key to successful living, a skill I am only belatedly learning.

  3. timetochooseagain said

    Why is the world such an unfair place, where only some succeed and most fail? That is what liberals believe, right? Who chooses to bestow success on just a few, since they can’t have earned it?

    All this time I assumed we must be victims of a cruel and angry God. Turns out it’s teachers.

  4. This speech alone should disqualify him from holding office in any country. The insanity is that anyone would allow such a blatant fool to hold office is beyond my understanding.

    I used to laugh at:
    – shutting down the economy to save the planet
    – mandating fuel economy
    – people who believe in central control of their lives
    – wealth redistribution as a general concept
    – paying people to stay home on purpose
    – the concept that America’s health care is worse than even Cuba
    – class warfare arguments

    They are all complete lies and fallacies. It seems that the liberals really are winning this war. Half the country pays no real taxes. Huge percentages live off of government checks through endless programs and government employees make dramatically more than private workers and DO dramatically less work. The liberal establishment has entrapped enough paid-off voters now that a huge percentage of their votes are guaranteed. They game the system to allow illegal immigrants to vote and intentionally allow rampant voter fraud. My guess is that they gain an additional 3 points just from illegal voting alone.

    What they are talking about for tax increases this spring is the single most insane and destructive act I could imagine – but it absolutely will lead to more dependance on the government and more hands out to liberal politicians. I also believe it will lead to complete economic collapse.

    What will the fools say when the economy finally dies? We don’t have to look that hard to see examples of what it looks like in tiny countries.

    • In my opinion, Jeff, this movement is not led by fools !

      That is a very dangerous, self-assuring, and self-righteous act of self-deception.

      This movement has been led since 1945 by very clever manipulators of people, like those described by George Orwell in the futuristicnovel written in 1948 and entitled “1984”.

      [“1984” was banned in the USSR when I visited there in 1980; I expect “1984” to be banned here soon.]

      Orwell had written Animal Farm describing the rise of communism in the old USSR before the Second World War.

      Orwell wrote “1984” soonafter the end of the Second World War, about the time world governments started encouraging scientists to promote and confirm deceptive models of reality [1-3], instead of continuing unbiased observations to advance new models of reality.

      The 1945 plan to control information (and people) succeeded well, mostly out-of-sight, until Climategate emails and documents were released in Nov 2009 !

      The world-wide scale of the problem was exposed by subsequent efforts of world leaders and leaders of the scientific community to “stack” investigations and “whitewash” findings, . . . after 2009.

      Here’s my summary of post-1945 developments in science and society:, . . .


      1. Hideki Yukawa, Introduction to Quantum Mechanics (1946); Introduction to the Theory of Elementary Particles (1948)

      2. Fred Hoyle, “The chemical composition of the stars,” Monthly Notices Royal Astronomical Society 106, 255-59 (1946)

      3. Fred Hoyle, “The synthesis of the elements from hydrogen,” Monthly Notices Royal Astronomical Society 106, 343-83 (1946)

  5. Alan D McIntire said

    I’m reminded of an anecdote reported by Herodotus:

    An envious opponent alleged that Themistocles attained honour not due to his own but due to his homeland’s glory.
    Themistocles replied “, nor would you have become famous, if you were Athenian”, meaning the honour he got is not JUST due to his homeland.

  6. toto said

    Er… So… How many bridges and roads did you build?

    You might want to parse the sentence again.

    It works even better with context.

    • Jeff Condon said


      You have to be nuts to think more ‘context’ either changes the meaning or somehow improves the situation. His tax plan is to raise taxes – heavily – on business as his health care bill already has. Not one single pro-business policy has come from this administration.

      As to how many bridges I’ve built, I prefer to think of it in terms of tomahawk missiles but without disclosing my income, I can say that I have contributed quite substantially to the over-bloated pile of waste we call central government.

    • Jeff Condon said

      Here’s some of my favorite “context”

      “So this week, I called on Congress to immediately extend income tax cuts on the first $250,000 of income. Now, what that means is 98 percent of Americans make less than $250,000, so 98 percent of folks would have the certainty and security that your taxes, your income taxes would not go up a dime. (Applause.) And, by the way, this is not a hypothetical. This wasn’t some campaign promise. The reason I called on Congress to act now is because if they don’t do anything, on January 1st, almost everybody here, your taxes will go up an average of $1,600.

      AUDIENCE: Booo —

      THE PRESIDENT: So we need to stop that tax hike from happening.”

      We all know that this means a MASSIVE increase on business owners who have any even moderately sizable business.

  7. Chuck L said

    We all paid for bridges and roads with our taxes. This Administration’s true colors have now been exposed for all (who are willing to look) to see. In my lifetime (I’m 58) this is the most incompetent anti-American administration I have ever seen. If Obama wins, we will all mourn the country that we have lost.

  8. Brian H said

    Because people interact and are interdependent, the government is responsible for all their achievements.

    Brilliant. Only a liberal could come up with it, much less believe it, though.

  9. MikeN said

    So Obama finally admits he didn’t earn his Nobel Peace Prize.

  10. stan said

    Everyone agrees that government serves certain functions and taxes need to be paid to support those functions. His argument, however, was that certain people need to pay much higher taxes. Nothing in his litany even addresses that argument. That John built a successful business, using the same govt provided services and infrastructure available to everyone else, doesn’t mean that John hasn’t paid or isn’t paying enough in taxes.

    The question that is before the candidates and the voters is — what is the proper rate of income taxation for various strata of earners (conceding progressive rates) given all the other taxes, fees, etc. imposed by govt to pay for its services. The fact that govt provides services is elementary and irrelevant. The fact that a high earner may benefit more from govt is also not relevant to the particular question. The high earner already bears the highest relative burden of income taxation in the country’s history.

    Obama never speaks to any factors which relate to the actual issue. Instead, he makes the argument which appears to claim that the government is the cause of individual success and the government is apparently entitled to the rewards that he thinks it created.

  11. timetochooseagain said

    In a capitalist economy, one would not have obligations to those who have provided services or goods for one’s use. One pays the price the offerer asks for their services-or one demonstrates how little one actually desires the service by not bothering. It is by forcing some services to be done through the government that you create a situation where someone “owes” another party for their services, but does not pay. Who are the greatest beneficiaries, and to whom is the most owed? The answers are, the government’s friends, and the governments enemies.

    “Socialism, like the ancient ideas from which it springs, confuses the distinction between government and society. As a result of this, every time we object to a thing being done by government, the socialists conclude that we object to its being done at all. We disapprove of state education. Then the socialists say that we are opposed to any education. We object to a state religion. Then the socialists say that we want no religion at all. We object to a state-enforced equality. Then they say that we are against equality. And so on, and so on. It is as if the socialists were to accuse us of not wanting persons to eat because we do not want the state to raise grain.”

    -Frédéric Bastiat

  12. Jeff Condon said

    David Axlerod on Romney…

    “Isn’t it ironic that the guy who sticks his millions in foreign tax havens says the president’s views are ‘extremely foreign?'”


  13. BarryW said

    “. Government research created the Internet so that all the companies could make money off the Internet”

    What blatant ignorance. The internet came out of ARPANET and had nothing to do with business. The Webbrowser came out of CERN. Business latched onto it and found out that it was profitable.

    • hum said

      Really, the first business to make money of the internet and show the way was the porn business. As a result of their quick insight that allowed them to keep customer anonimity and make money from that e-commerce was started. Although the ability to freely distribute info over the same platform has put many of those original pornographers out of business because who will pay for something they can get for free?

      • BarryW said

        Good point. So since Obama is claiming that government started the internet so companies could make money, he is actually admitting that the government promoted porn. 🙂

        • The internet is an effective deterrent from reality, just as

          a.) Chicken fencing for poultry
          b.) Barbed wire for cattle
          c.) Hog wire for swine
          d.) Internet for homo sapiens

          Homo sapiens will not realize they are controlled by:

          _ a.) Gladiator sports for males
          _ b.) Reality TV for females
          _ c.) Pornography for all
          _ c.) Games for kids

          Welcome to the new reality that George Orwell described in a futuristic novel written in 1948 and entitled as a prediction for “1984”.

          Concurrent collapse of the integrity of government science and constitutional limits on government in the aftermath of the Second World War was no coincidence.

          – Oliver K. Manuel

        • omanuel said

          As noted above, “1984” was banned in the USSR when I visited there in 1980.

          “1984” will be banned here too, if my analysis is correct. The current wave of worldwide social and economic unrest may force the United Nations and national governments controlled by the UN to “tip their hand” soon.

          With kind regards,
          Oliver K. Manuel
          Former NASA Principal
          Investigator for Apollo

  14. Phil Howerton said

    You have to understand that Obama is not talking to us. He is talking to the fifty percent of the people in this country that pay no taxes at all. These are the people who will have re-elected him, if he wins. He does not care a whit about the rest of us. He has taken the Democratic party to the abyss. And many are ready to follow him over the edge.

  15. Brian H said

    Obama, honesty, politics. Pick the word that doesn’t belong!

  16. steve fitzpatrick said

    Hi Jeff,
    There is no doubt that Mr Obama wants to substantially raise taxes on the top several percent of earners; he has never wavered from that position. It is also true that Mr Obama believes that one of the principle roles of the Federal Government ought to be greater control over individual economic decisions, and ivndeed, a much greater public role in all things considered today ‘private’, as well as a narrowing (by wealth transfer) of the differences in wealth between people.

    What I don’t understand is how much this gets you worked up. While I find his policies both misguided and economically uninformed, I accept that Mr Obama is a sincere politician of the left… These things are what politicians of the left believe in and always try to institute. If you believe, as I do, that Mr Obama’s programs and appointments do economic and social harm, then the most productive things to do are 1) help to make sure Mr Obama does not gain control of the House, 2) help Republicans gain control of the Senate, and 3) help Mr Romney defeat Mr Obama. The former are far more likely than the latter, since Mr Obama commands an almost insurmountable lead in the electoral college votes from states where Mr Romney has virtually no chance. I think a more realistic outcome in November is that Congress keeps the worst of Mr Obama’s programs from becomming law over the next four years.

    • Jeff Condon said

      Steve, it is more than just the debilitating taxation. I think that we have crossed into new territory (for the US) where the Democrats have entrapped a huge percentage of the population as permanent voters. The district borders and voter fraud of the liberal party are going to be very difficult to overcome long term. A congress which slows the process at this point is probably a bigger problem in the long run than one which jumps right in as it leaves more room for finger pointing.

      Obama has been the single worst thing to happen to this country politically in my lifetime (perhaps of all time) and all of our children will pay dearly for the dear leader. That the voter thinks what is going on even ‘might’ be ok, is what gets me worked up. It isn’t exactly a close call.

  17. OK S. said

    From Tucson

    The Collectivist Mind
    by Jonathan DuHamel on Jul. 24, 2012

    Krauthammer continues, “Obama’s infrastructure argument is easily refuted by a controlled social experiment. Roads and schools are the constant. What’s variable is the energy, enterprise, risk-taking, hard work and genius of the individual. It is therefore precisely those individual characteristics, not the communal utilities, that account for the different outcomes.”

  18. omanuel said

    The problem is this: Public funds are being used to fund the propaganda that created the problem.

    The solution is this: Cut off the use of public funds to promote false propaganda.

    The good news is this: The U.S. House just voted to pass the Audit the Fed bill by a vote of 327-98 !

    The bad news is this: Meanwhile politicians – fighting to be elected – may continue squandering public funds on unscientific propaganda while our economy collapses. Problems in the monetary system might be resolved more quickly by restoring the Glass-Steagall limitations of banking institutions.

    Economics is not my speciality, but the problem is becoming increasingly obvious. See:

  19. CDM said

    Obama’s statment was a clumsy sentence (and it certainly lends itself to out-of-context exaggeration and, heck, maybe it is some Freudian-type insight into his views), but I think you’d agree that business activity is enhanced by a functioning infrastructure, a stable and functioning legal and financial system, and perhaps a reasonably educated populace, etc. In the big picture, that is all he is saying.

    As a poster above already noted well, the question is not whether businesses benefit from these components in place around them. The question really is what is a “fair” or economically optimal tax structure to pay for the above? (And of course there are perennial gray-area questions about what is need vs want, investment vs waste, etc.) In my opinion there are reasonable arguments and basis for progressive income tax structure. The economy has done well under more progressive structures. But what is the right answer? Who knows. Past performance is not always a good predictor, but maybe for a start we could go back to 1990’s tax rates (as well as GDP-scaled spending levels) and try again.

    Sure, Obama’s tax proposals could indeed be “wrong”, but they are not novel or crazy or radical or ignorant or baseless or hidden or dishonest that I can see. In fact, those who try to characterize them as the above seem to be the intellectually dishonest ones.

    I think I owe my small [very small] “business” to an inseparable combination of factors, which include a good deal of personal initiative and some hard work, but also a lucky ability to pick up some topics easily (tempered by a frustrating inability/disinterest to learn other topics), and a pretty decent State university engineering education. (Not to mention having had parents who worked very hard and were frugal and fully financed my first college degree.) Some people do get somewhere completely alone–which is very impressive and admirable–but a person’s family background and the options available to them are huge influences on outcomes.

    That’s a long-winded way of saying I think Obama’s policies such as progressive income tax rates are not unreasonable. (Progressive taxation might even enhance economic activity, but that is a long topic for another day.)

    • Brian H said

      Re: CDM (Jul 27 18:44), “not unreasonable”, but demonstrated to be stupid and self-defeating. When faced, in debate in 2008 with the reductions in revenues from progressive tax increases, and the increase in revenues from reductions, he said he didn’t care about revenues, only about “fairness”. A fracking loon, then and now.

    • Jeff Condon said

      ” I think Obama’s policies such as progressive income tax rates are not unreasonable.”

      Progressive taxes are hardly Obama’s to own. The problem is not with progressive scaled tax though. It is with overly progressive tax such that the majority of people pay nothing while the rest foot the bill. Almost every policy change by Obama over the past 3 years was specifically designed to damage business and force more people onto government rolls. This creates more entrapped voters as those same people continue to vote themselves money and further empower the central government.

      Liberals and those not paying taxes are completely ignoring the fact that US businesses are what comprise the 1 percenters. They ignore that the huge crippling increases won’t even dent the amount of spending from this administration. They also ignore the fact that taxing the life out of business creates less revenue, not more.

      Health care changes, new regulation and the proposed tax increases are just a few of the absolute economy crushers planned for next year. Meanwhile, the level of intellectual dishonesty in the current government-media complex is astounding. That people believe it even MIGHT be ok, is even more so.

  20. CDM said

    Brian H, re taxes changes and revenue, you have restated a popular yet incorrect belief. A myth. Another example of widespread intellectual dishonesty in the local parties.

  21. CDM said

    (please forgive the typos. Posted from my phone.)

  22. Kan said

    CDM says “but I think you’d agree that business activity is enhanced by a functioning infrastructure, a stable and functioning legal and financial system, and perhaps a reasonably educated populace,”

    What is funny about this little statement is that these things always follow the demand generated by business. They never, ever successfully lead. Infrastructure always follows, law always follows, and education always follows, the lead of demand. But then you choose a weasel word – “enhanced”. Obama did not use such weasel words. He does not agree with you.

    If your small business fails, all those people and things that helped you build it – are they going to take an equal hit with your failure? Will they even notice?

    CDM says “but maybe for a start we could go back to 1990’s tax rates (as well as GDP-scaled spending levels) and try again.

    Interesting. You pick the point in recent history in which the progressive tax concept was at its minimum to start over at. Why not choose 1979 and start there? Oh, that’s right we did start in 1979, and it lead to your happy days of 1990.

    As for what Obama (and the Democratically controlled congress in 2009 and 2010) did is simple. Spend as much money as they could, then plead that the threat of insolvency requires higher taxes. Lucky for us, most of the money has not been spent yet and it can be stopped.

  23. Kan said

    I wonder how Obama’s statement would be received if he applied the same logic to the Olympics?

    “Mr. Lochtie, you did not win that gold medal yourself. If it wasn’t for the government built pools, and the water department, and the life guards, you would not have won that.”

    “Ms. Rhode, you did not earn those medals yourself. Somebody else made that happen. They built the clay pigeons you shot, they built the gun you used, that cool vest you wear – someone else made that. Somebody helped build this great American system that allowed you to mess around all day shooting fake birds all day. Somebody else made that happen.”

  24. Ventilator said

    I do not consider at all obama an honest president.He did not fulfill his commitments so i do not consider him genuine president and people will show the result in this election.

    • omanuel said

      You are right. Mr. Obama is not an honest President.

      However, Mr. Obama received a Nobel Prize, Just like Al Gore and the UN’s IPCC.

      Perhaps we have not had a President representing the best interest of the American people since President Kennedy was assassinated on November 22, 1963 !

      Richard M. Nixon was supposed to win the election on November 8, 1960 !

      An exciting three years and fifteen days [(November 22, 1963 ) –
      (November 8, 1960) = 3yr, 15 d], included these major historic events:

      _b.) John F. Kennedy was elected President of the United States on 8 Nov 1960.

      _c.) (John’s father, Joseph, was rumored to prefer Natzism over Communism).

      _d.) Eisenhower* warned of government science corruption on 17 Jan 1961.

      _e.) The USSR’s Yuri Gagarin first orbited the Earth on 12 Apr 1961.

      _f.) Kennedy responded with the Bay of Pigs invasion on 17 Apr 1961.

      _g.) John Kennedy announced US plans to win the space race with the Apollo program on 25 May 1961.

      _h.) The Cuban Missile Crisis occurred on 18-29 Oct 1962.

      _i.) President John F Kennedy was assassinated on 22 Nov 1963.

      Perhaps the Nobel Prize Committee has not given an award for honest science since Yukawa received the 1949 Nobel Prize for promoting the illusion that

      _ a) Neutron-neutron interactions are attractive, rather than the

      _ b.) Powerfully repulsive nuclear force that

      _ c.) Vaporized Hiroshima on 6 Aug 1945 and Nagasaki on 9 Aug 1945,

      _ d.) Leading to establishment of the United Nations on 24 Oct 1945

      Rest mass data for the ~3,000 different types of atoms that comprise the entire visible universe

      Are incompatible with (a), but supportive of (b) !

      Nixon did not receive a Nobel Prize, but his Secretary of State – Henry Kissinger – did.

      *Eisenhower’s warning about the corruption of government science (17 Jan 1961):

  25. omanuel said

    ABC News Flash: We probably won’t get an honest President in the 2012 election either.

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