Archive for the ‘National Nonsense’ Category

IN HONORING OF THOSE WHO LEFT

Friday, September 30th, 2011


September 30, 2011

Good news and bad news.


First of all–the good news.  I’m back.  After 19 months of a rewarding job with a very busy tempo–I should be able to share with you a few thoughts on a more regular basis.  There’s more I’ll talk about later but for now, I’ll try to keep it light and Easy.


Driven by recent federal spending cuts for the Department of Defense–in particular the Air Force–a myriad contractors were laid-off from their positions at Air Force Global Strike Command (AFGSC).  Which is also the bad news.


In the shadow of unprecedented federal spending, defense spending is being cut while a global war, albeit one renamed “Overseas Contingency Operations,” also known as OCO (pronouced Oh Ko) continues to rage.  At the same time, our enemies are mustering capabilities against us, in part fueled by our national spending.


What was light about that?


How about, “due to the gutting of the MAJCOM and the dismissal of the proprietors of corporate knowledge and expertise, we have invented a new way of honoring those who are no longer with us:

 

Flying the Flag at one-third staff .”


There’s an Easy solution to this protocol Challenger–just get it right next time.


It just makes sense.

 


PRESIDENTS DAY IT IS NOT

Monday, February 15th, 2010

I opened The Times this morning and noticed on the editorial page a section dedicated to “Presidents Day,” where three little darlings from a local first-grade displayed letters to Mr. Obama.  Their smiling faces accented their prose of acclamations for his awesomeness.  The editor’s note explained how in recognition of President’s Day, the little children were assessing the current occupant of the White House.  It’s a testament to the sad state of the education our nation’s children get from our tax-payer funded schools and of the press when there’s no such thing as a Presidents Day or a President’s Day, either in the official Federal or the Louisiana holidays.


Federal law (5 U.S.C. 6103) establishes the following public holidays for Federal employees.


Louisiana Revised Statute 1:55 declares days of public rest and legal holidays for State employees.


The Louisiana and the Federal holiday observed on Feb 15, was Washington’s Birthday.  Though it shouldn’t be, it’s all a little confusing even for those of us not at the mercy of first-grade teachers.

The father of our country was born on 11 February 1732 of the once-used Julian calendar, but when England and her colonies adopted the Gregorian calendar in 1752, George Washington birthday became the equivalent date of 22 February.


Later, George Washington led a small group of farmers, trappers, fishermen, and merchants to defeat the most powerful military on the planet at the time, which made it possible for the founder fathers to write the Constitution.  Then without seeking office, he became our first President.  Without George Washington, there would never have been an Abraham Lincoln, a Roosevelt, a Ronald Reagan, and certainly no Barrack Hussein Obama living at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.  Washington was the greatest American, and excepting for a certain deity, arguably the greatest person that ever lived.

Certainly our great republic would desire honor such a life as his.  On 22 February 1832,  Congress adjourned in respect of his memory and in commemoration of his birth.   Thirty years later, the mayor of Philadelphia read aloud Washington’s Farewell Address to a group of citizens.  Eventually, it became a tradition in many places across America to read it aloud every year.

Every year since 1896, the Senate has observed Washington’s Birthday by selecting one of its members, alternating parties, to read the 7,641-word statement in legislative session.  Delivery generally takes about 45 minutes.  The extremes range from 39 minutes to  68 minutes.  In 1956, Minnesota Senator Hubert Humphrey wrote that every American should study this memorable message.  “It gives one a renewed sense of pride in our republic.  It arouses the wholesome and creative emotions of patriotism and love of country.”

Back in 1880, Washington’s Birthday was first a holiday for government offices in the District of Columbia, then expanded to all federal offices in 1885 as the first federal holiday to honor an American.  Back then they used his actual birthday, February 22.  In 1968, the Uniform Monday Holiday Act, moved it to the third Monday in February.

Then in 1971 a newspaper spoof reported President Richard Nixon proclaimed one federal holiday, President’s Day, to honor all past presidents.  Past presidents–interesting how in 1971 we were not so presumptuous as to suggest, even in jest, that we should have a day to honor our sitting president–that was something Americans avoided.  Thought it was common, even mandatory in places like the USSR, China, North Korea, and a hodgepodge of dictatorships around the lesser-developed nations of the world–it was not the America way, not even from Nixon. Nevertheless, some legislators have occasionally attempted to support federal law to make the changes, which were once attributed to Nixon, but none of it has ever managed to clear subcommittee.

I thought I’d provide a link to Washington’s memorable message, but then I reconsidered.  The chances of you going to another site to read a document for 45 minutes, are pretty slim.  And since it’s a document that is part of your heritage as an American, you should be offered the most easy access to it as possible.  I’ve posted it below my tag-line.  Feel free to read as much of it as you’d like, you won’t even have to click the mouse again.

If I’m on target maybe a first-grader will read it and learn what they should have learned in our tax-payer funded schools, or possibly even an editor from The Times, or else-where, might read this and then not make the same embarrassing error in future years.


But even if they don’t, at least you’ll get a chance to read the 7,641 words the father of our nation prayed would sustain us, as he was about to leave public office, 214 years ago.


It just makes sense.



WASHINGTON’S FAREWELL ADDRESS

TO THE PEOPLE OF THE UNITED STATES

Friends and Fellow-Citizens: The period for a new election of a citizen to administer the executive government of the United States being not far distant, and the time actually arrived when your thoughts must be employed in designating the person who is to be clothed with that important trust, it appears to me proper, especially as it may conduce to a more distinct expression of the public voice, that I should now apprise you of the resolution I have formed, to decline being considered among the number of those out of whom a choice is to be made.

I beg you at the same time to do me the justice to be assured that this resolution has not been taken without a strict regard to all the considerations appertaining to the relation which binds a dutiful citizen to his country—and that, in withdrawing the tender of service which silence in my situation might imply, I am influenced by no diminution of zeal for your future interest, no deficiency of grateful respect for your past kindness, but am supported by a full conviction that the step is compatible with both.

The acceptance of, and continuance hitherto in, the office to which your suffrages have twice called me have been a uniform sacrifice of inclination to the opinion of duty and to a deference for what appeared to be your desire. I constantly hoped that it would have been much earlier in my power, consistently with motives which I was not at liberty to disregard, to return to that retirement from which I had been reluctantly drawn. The strength of my inclination to do this, previous to the last election, had even led to the preparation of an address to declare it to you; but mature reflection on the then perplexed and critical posture of our affairs with foreign nations, and the unanimous advice of persons entitled to my confidence, impelled me to abandon the idea.

I rejoice that the state of your concerns, external as well as internal, no longer renders the pursuit of inclination incompatible with the sentiment of duty or propriety and am persuaded, whatever partiality may be retained for my services, that in the present circumstances of our country you will not disapprove my determination to retire.

The impressions with which I first undertook the arduous trust were explained on the proper occasion. In the discharge of this trust, I will only say that I have, with good intentions, contributed towards the organization and administration of the government the best exertions of which a very fallible judgment was capable. Not unconscious in the outset of the inferiority of my qualifications, experience in my own eyes, perhaps still more in the eyes of others, has strengthened the motives to diffidence of myself, and every day the increasing weight of years admonishes me more and more that the shade of retirement is as necessary to me as it will be welcome. Satisfied that if any circumstances have given peculiar value to my services, they were temporary, I have the consolation to believe that, while choice and prudence invite me to quit the political scene, patriotism does not forbid it.

In looking forward to the moment which is intended to terminate the career of my public life, my feelings do not permit me to suspend the deep acknowledgment of that debt of gratitude which I owe to my beloved country for the many honors it has conferred upon me, still more for the steadfast confidence with which it has supported me and for the opportunities I have thence enjoyed of manifesting my inviolable attachment by services faithful and persevering, though in usefulness unequal to my zeal. If benefits have resulted to our country from these services, let it always be remembered to your praise and as an instructive example in our annals that, under circumstances in which the passions agitated in every direction were liable to mislead, amidst appearances sometimes dubious, vicissitudes of fortune often discouraging, in situations in which not unfrequently want of success has countenanced the spirit of criticism, the constancy of your support was the essential prop of the efforts and a guarantee of the plans by which they were effected. Profoundly penetrated with this idea, I shall carry it with me to my grave as a strong incitement to unceasing vows that Heaven may continue to you the choicest tokens of its beneficence; that your union and brotherly affection may be perpetual; that the free constitution, which is the work of your hands, may be sacredly maintained; that its administration in every department may be stamped with wisdom and virtue; that, in fine, the happiness of the people of these states, under the auspices of liberty, may be made complete by so careful a preservation and so prudent a use of this blessing as will acquire to them the glory of recommending it to the applause, the affection, and adoption of every nation which is yet a stranger to it.

Here, perhaps, I ought to stop. But a solicitude for your welfare, which cannot end but with my life, and the apprehension of danger natural to that solicitude, urge me on an occasion like the present to offer to your solemn contemplation, and to recommend to your frequent review, some sentiments which are the result of much reflection, of no in- considerable observation, and which appear to me all important to the permanency of your felicity as a people. These will be offered to you with the more freedom as you can only see in them the disinterested warnings of a parting friend, who can possibly have no personal motive to bias his counsel. Nor can I forget, as an encouragement to it, your indulgent reception of my sentiments on a former and not dissimilar occasion.  Interwoven as is the love of liberty with every ligament of your hearts, no recommendation of mine is necessary to fortify or confirm the attachment.

The unity of government which constitutes you one people is also now dear to you. It is justly so; for it is a main pillar in the edifice of your real independence, the support of your tranquility at home, your peace abroad, of your safety, of your prosperity, of that very liberty which you so highly prize. But as it is easy to foresee that, from different causes and from different quarters, much pains will be taken, many artifices employed, to weaken in your minds the conviction of this truth; as this is the point in your political fortress against which the batteries of internal and external enemies will be most constantly and actively (though often covertly and insidiously) directed, it is of infinite moment that you should properly estimate the immense value of your national Union to your collective and individual happiness; that you should cherish a cordial, habitual, and immovable attachment to it; accustoming yourselves to think and speak of it as of the palladium of your political safety and prosperity; watching for its preservation with jealous anxiety; discountenancing whatever may suggest even a suspicion that it can in any event be abandoned; and indignantly frowning upon the first dawning of every attempt to alienate any portion of our country from the rest, or to enfeeble the sacred ties which now link together the various parts.

For this you have every inducement of sympathy and interest. Citizens by birth or choice of a common country, that country has a right to concentrate your affections. The name of American, which belongs to you in your national capacity, must always exalt the just pride of patriotism more than any appellation derived from local discriminations. With slight shades of difference, you have the same religion, manners, habits, and political principles. You have in a common cause fought and triumphed together. The independence and liberty you possess are the work of joint councils and joint efforts—of common dangers, sufferings, and successes.

But these considerations, however powerfully they address themselves to your sensibility, are greatly outweighed by those which apply more immediately to your interest. Here every portion of our country finds the most commanding motives for carefully guarding and preserving the Union of the whole.

The North, in an unrestrained intercourse with the South, protected by the equal laws of a common government, finds in the productions of the latter great additional resources of maritime and commercial enterprise and precious materials of manufacturing industry. The South in the same intercourse, benefitting by the agency of the North, sees its agriculture grow and its commerce expand. Turning partly into its own channels the seamen of the North, it finds its particular navigation invigorated; and while it contributes, in different ways, to nourish and increase the general mass of the national navigation, it looks forward to the protection of a maritime strength to which itself is unequally adapted. The East, in a like intercourse with the West, already finds, and in the progressive improvement of interior communications by land and water will more and more find a valuable vent for the commodities which it brings from abroad or manufactures at home. The West derives from the East supplies requisite to its growth and comfort—and what is perhaps of still greater consequence, it must of necessity owe the secure enjoyment of indispensable outlets for its own productions to the weight, influence, and the future maritime strength of the Atlantic side of the Union, directed by an indissoluble community of interest as one nation. Any other tenure by which the West can hold this essential advantage, whether derived from its own separate strength or from an apostate and unnatural connection with any foreign power, must be intrinsically precarious.

While then every part of our country thus feels an immediate and particular interest in union, all the parts combined cannot fail to find in the united mass of means and efforts greater strength, greater resource, proportionably greater security from external danger, a less frequent interruption of their peace by foreign nations; and, what is of inestimable value! they must derive from union an exemption from those broils and wars between themselves which so frequently afflict neighboring countries not tied together by the same government, which their own rivalships alone would be sufficient to produce, but which opposite foreign alliances, attachments, and intrigues would stimulate and embitter. Hence likewise they will avoid the necessity of those overgrown military establishments, which under any form of government are inauspicious to liberty, and which are to be regarded as particularly hostile to republican liberty. In this sense it is, that your Union ought to be considered as a main prop of your liberty, and that the love of the one ought to endear to you the preservation of the other.

These considerations speak a persuasive language to every reflecting and virtuous mind and exhibit the continuance of the Union as a primary object of patriotic desire. Is there a doubt whether a common government can embrace so large a sphere? Let experience solve it. To listen to mere speculation in such a case were criminal. We are authorized to hope that a proper organization of the whole, with the auxiliary agency of governments for the respective subdivisions, will afford a happy issue to the experiment. It is well worth a fair and full experiment. With such powerful and obvious motives to union affecting all parts of our country, while experience shall not have demonstrated its impracticability, there will always be reason to distrust the patriotism of those who in any quarter may endeavor to weaken its bands.

In contemplating the causes which may disturb our Union, it occurs as matter of serious concern that any ground should have been furnished for characterizing parties by geographical discriminations—northern and southern—Atlantic and western; whence designing men may endeavor to excite a belief that there is a real difference of local interests and views. One of the expedients of party to acquire influence within particular districts is to misrepresent the opinions and aims of other districts. You cannot shield yourselves too much against the jealousies and heart burnings which spring from these misrepresentations. They tend to render alien to each other those who ought to be bound together by fraternal affection. The inhabitants of our western country have lately had a useful lesson on this head. They have seen in the negotiation by the executive—and in the unanimous ratification by the Senate—of the treaty with Spain, and in the universal satisfaction at that event throughout the United States, a decisive proof how unfounded were the suspicions propagated among them of a policy in the general government and in the Atlantic states unfriendly to their interests in regard to the Mississippi. They have been witnesses to the formation of two treaties, that with Great Britain and that with Spain, which secure to them everything they could desire, in respect to our foreign relations, towards confirming their prosperity. Will it not be their wisdom to rely for the preservation of these advantages on the Union by which they were procured? Will they not henceforth be deaf to those advisers, if such there are, who would sever them from their brethren and connect them with aliens?

To the efficacy and permanency of your Union, a government for the whole is indispensable. No alliances, however strict, between the parts can be an adequate substitute. They must inevitably experience the infractions and interruptions which all alliances in all times have experienced. Sensible of this momentous truth, you have improved upon your first essay by the adoption of a Constitution of government better calculated than your former for an intimate Union and for the efficacious management of your common concerns. This government, the offspring of our own choice uninfluenced and unawed, adopted upon full investigation and mature deliberation, completely free in its principles, in the distribution of its powers uniting security with energy, and containing within itself a provision for its own amendment, has a just claim to your confidence and your support. Respect for its authority, compliance with its laws, acquiescence in its measures, are duties enjoined by the fundamental maxims of true liberty. The basis of our political systems is the right of the people to make and to alter their constitutions of government. But the Constitution which at any time exists, until changed by an explicit and authentic act of the whole people, is sacredly obligatory upon all. The very idea of the power and the right of the people to establish government presupposes the duty of every individual to obey the established government.

All obstructions to the execution of the laws, all combinations and associations under whatever plausible character with the real design to direct, control, counteract, or awe the regular deliberation and action of the constituted authorities, are destructive of this fundamental principle and of fatal tendency. They serve to organize faction; to give it an artificial and extraordinary force; to put in the place of the delegated will of the nation the will of a party, often a small but artful and enterprising minority of the community; and, according to the alternate triumphs of different parties, to make the public administration the mirror of the ill concerted and incongruous projects of faction, rather than the organ of consistent and wholesome plans digested by common councils and modified by mutual interests. However combinations or associations of the above description may now and then answer popular ends, they are likely, in the course of time and things, to be- come potent engines by which cunning, ambitious, and unprincipled men will be enabled to subvert the power of the people and to usurp for themselves the reins of government, destroying afterwards the very engines which have lifted them to unjust dominion.

Towards the preservation of your government and the permanency of your present happy state, it is requisite not only that you steadily discountenance irregular oppositions to its acknowledged authority but also that you resist with care the spirit of innovation upon its principles, however specious the pretexts. One method of assault may be to effect in the forms of the Constitution alterations which will impair the energy of the system and thus to undermine what cannot be directly overthrown. In all the changes to which you may be invited, re- member that time and habit are at least as necessary to fix the true character of governments as of other human institutions, that experience is the surest standard by which to test the real tendency of the existing constitution of a country, that facility in changes upon the credit of mere hypotheses and opinion exposes to perpetual change from the endless variety of hypotheses and opinion; and re- member, especially, that for the efficient management of your common interests in a country so ex- tensive as ours, a government of as much vigor as is consistent with the perfect security of liberty is in- dispensable; liberty itself will find in such a government, with powers properly distributed and adjusted, its surest guardian. It is indeed little else than a name, where the government is too feeble to withstand the enterprises of faction, to confine each member of the society within the limits pre- scribed by the laws, and to maintain all in the secure and tranquil enjoyment of the rights of person and property.

I have already intimated to you the danger of parties in the state, with particular reference to the founding of them on geographical discriminations. Let me now take a more comprehensive view and warn you in the most solemn manner against the baneful effects of the spirit of party, generally.

This spirit, unfortunately, is inseparable from our nature, having its root in the strongest passions of the human mind. It exists under different shapes in all governments, more or less stifled, controlled, or repressed; but in those of the popular form it is seen in its greatest rankness and is truly their worst enemy.

The alternate domination of one faction over another, sharpened by the spirit of revenge natural to party dissension, which in different ages and countries has perpetrated the most horrid enormities, is itself a frightful despotism. But this leads at length to a more formal and permanent despotism. The disorders and miseries which result gradually in- cline the minds of men to seek security and repose in the absolute power of an individual; and sooner or later the chief of some prevailing faction, more able or more fortunate than his competitors, turns this disposition to the purposes of his own elevation on the ruins of public liberty.

Without looking forward to an extremity of this kind (which nevertheless ought not to be entirely out of sight) the common and continual mischiefs of the spirit of party are sufficient to make it the interest and the duty of a wise people to discourage and restrain it.

It serves always to distract the public councils and enfeeble the public administration. It agitates the community with ill founded jealousies and false alarms, kindles the animosity of one part against another, foments occasionally riot and insurrection. It opens the door to foreign influence and corruption, which find a facilitated access to the government itself through the channels of party passions. Thus the policy and the will of one country are subjected to the policy and will of another.

There is an opinion that parties in free countries are useful checks upon the administration of the government and serve to keep alive the spirit of liberty. This within certain limits is probably true— and in governments of a monarchical cast patriotism may look with indulgence, if not with favor, upon the spirit of party. But in those of the popular character, in governments purely elective, it is a spirit not to be encouraged. From their natural tendency, it is certain there will always be enough of that spirit for every salutary purpose. And there being constant danger of excess, the effort ought to be by force of public opinion to mitigate and assuage it. A fire not to be quenched, it demands a uniform vigilance to prevent its bursting into a flame, lest instead of warming it should consume.

It is important, likewise, that the habits of thinking in a free country should inspire caution in those entrusted with its administration to confine themselves within their respective constitutional spheres, avoiding in the exercise of the powers of one department to encroach upon another. The spirit of encroachment tends to consolidate the powers of all the departments in one and thus to create, whatever the form of government, a real despotism. A just estimate of that love of power and proneness to abuse it which predominates in the human heart is sufficient to satisfy us of the truth of this position. The necessity of reciprocal checks in the exercise of political power, by dividing and distributing it into different depositories and constituting each the guardian of the public weal against invasions by the others, has been evinced by experiments ancient and modern, some of them in our country and under our own eyes. To preserve them must be as necessary as to institute them. If in the opinion of the people the distribution or modification of the constitutional powers be in any particular wrong, let it be corrected by an amendment in the way which the Constitution designates. But let there be no change by usurpation; for though this, in one instance, may be the instrument of good, it is the customary weapon by which free governments are destroyed.    The    precedent    must    always    greatly overbalance in permanent evil any partial or transient benefit which the use can at any time yield.

Of all the dispositions and habits which lead to political prosperity, religion and morality are indispensable supports. In vain would that man claim the tribute of patriotism who should labor to subvert these great pillars of human happiness, these firmest props of the duties of men and citizens. The mere politician, equally with the pious man, ought to respect and to cherish them. A volume could not trace all their connections with private and public felicity. Let it simply be asked where is the security for property, for reputation, for life, if the sense of religious obligation desert the oaths, which are the instruments of investigation in courts of justice? And let us with caution indulge the sup- position that morality can be maintained without religion. Whatever may be conceded to the influence of refined education on minds of peculiar structure, reason and experience both forbid us to expect that national morality can prevail in exclusion of religious principle.

It is substantially true that virtue or morality is a necessary spring of popular government. The rule indeed extends with more or less force to every species of free government. Who that is a sincere friend to it can look with indifference upon attempts to shake the foundation of the fabric?

Promote then, as an object of primary importance, institutions for the general diffusion of knowledge. In proportion as the structure of a government gives force to public opinion, it is essential that public opinion should be enlightened.

As a very important source of strength and security, cherish public credit. One method of preserving it is to use it as sparingly as possible, avoiding occasions of expense by cultivating peace, but remembering also that timely disbursements to prepare for danger frequently prevent much greater disbursements to repel it; avoiding likewise the accumulation of debt, not only by shunning occasions of expense, but by vigorous exertions in time of peace to discharge the debts which unavoidable wars may have occasioned, not ungenerously throwing upon posterity the burden which we ourselves ought to bear. The execution of these maxims belongs to your representatives, but it is necessary that public opinion should cooperate. To facilitate to them the performance of their duty, it is essential that you should practically bear in mind that towards the payment of debts there must be revenue; that to have revenue there must be taxes; that no taxes can be devised which are not more or less in- convenient and unpleasant; that the intrinsic embarrassment inseparable from the selection of the proper objects (which is always a choice of difficulties) ought to be a decisive motive for a candid construction of the conduct of the government in making it, and for a spirit of acquiescence in the measures for obtaining revenue which the public exigencies may at any time dictate.

Observe good faith and justice towards all nations; cultivate peace and harmony with all; religion and morality enjoin this conduct, and can it be that good policy does not equally enjoin it? It will be worthy of a free, enlightened, and, at no distant period, a great nation, to give to mankind the magnanimous and too novel example of a people always guided by an exalted justice and benevolence. Who can doubt that in the course of time and things the fruits of such a plan would richly repay any temporary advantages which might be lost by a steady adherence to it? Can it be, that Providence has not connected the permanent felicity of a nation with its virtue? The experiment, at least, is recommended by every sentiment which ennobles human nature. Alas! is it rendered impossible by its vices?

In the execution of such a plan nothing is more essential than that permanent, inveterate antipathies against particular nations and passionate attachments for others should be excluded and that in place of them just and amicable feelings to- wards all should be cultivated. The nation which indulges towards another an habitual hatred, or an habitual fondness, is in some degree a slave. It is a slave to its animosity or to its affection, either of which is sufficient to lead it astray from its duty and its interest. Antipathy in one nation against another disposes each more readily to offer insult and in- jury, to lay hold of slight causes of umbrage, and to be haughty and intractable when accidental or trifling occasions of dispute occur. Hence frequent collisions, obstinate, envenomed, and bloody con- tests. The nation, prompted by ill will and resentment, sometimes impels to war the government, contrary to the best calculations of policy. The government sometimes participates in the national propensity and adopts through passion what reason would reject; at other times, it makes the animosity of the nation subservient to projects of hostility instigated by pride, ambition and other sinister and pernicious motives. The peace often, sometimes perhaps the liberty, of nations has been the victim.

So likewise, a passionate attachment of one nation for another produces a variety of evils. Sympathy for the favorite nation, facilitating the illusion of an imaginary common interest in cases where no real common interest exists and infusing into one the enmities of the other, betrays the for- mer into a participation in the quarrels and wars of the latter, without adequate inducement or justification. It leads also to concessions to the favorite nation of privileges denied to others, which is apt doubly to injure the nation making the concessions, by unnecessarily parting with what ought to have been retained and by exciting jealousy, ill will, and a disposition to retaliate in the parties from whom equal privileges are withheld. And it gives to ambitious, corrupted, or deluded citizens (who devote themselves to the favorite nation) facility to betray or sacrifice the interests of their own country without odium, sometimes even with popularity, gilding with the appearances of a virtuous sense of obligation, a commendable deference for public opinion, or a laudable zeal for public good, the base or foolish compliances of ambition, corruption, or infatuation.

As avenues to foreign influence in innumerable ways, such attachments are particularly alarming to the truly enlightened and independent patriot. How many opportunities do they afford to tamper with domestic factions, to practice the arts of seduction, to mislead public opinion, to influence or awe the public councils! Such an attachment of a small or weak towards a great and powerful nation dooms the former to be the satellite of the latter.

Against the insidious wiles of foreign influence (I conjure you to believe me, fellow citizens) the jealousy of a free people ought to be constantly awake, since history and experience prove that foreign influence is one of the most baneful foes of re- publican government. But that jealousy to be useful must be impartial; else it becomes the instrument of the very influence to be avoided, instead of a defense against it. Excessive partiality for one foreign nation and excessive dislike of another cause those whom they actuate to see danger only on one side, and serve to veil and even second the arts of influence on the other. Real patriots, who may resist the intrigues of the favorite, are liable to become suspected and odious, while its tools and dupes usurp the applause and confidence of the people to surrender their interests.

The great rule of conduct for us in regard to foreign nations is, in extending our commercial relations, to have with them as little political connection as possible. So far as we have already formed engagements, let them be fulfilled with perfect good faith. Here let us stop.

Europe has a set of primary interests, which to us have none or a very remote relation. Hence she must be engaged in frequent controversies, the causes of which are essentially foreign to our concerns. Hence therefore it must be unwise in us to implicate ourselves, by artificial ties, in the ordinary vicissitudes of her politics or the ordinary combinations and collisions of her friendships or enmities.

Our detached and distant situation invites and enables us to pursue a different course. If we remain one people under an efficient government, the period is not far off when we may defy material injury from external annoyance; when we may take such an attitude as will cause the neutrality we may at any time resolve upon to be scrupulously respected; when belligerent nations, under the impossibility of making acquisitions upon us, will not lightly hazard the giving us provocation; when we may choose peace or war, as our interest guided by justice shall counsel.

Why forgo the advantages of so peculiar a situation? Why quit our own to stand upon foreign ground? Why, by interweaving our destiny with that of any part of Europe, entangle our peace and prosperity in the toils of European ambition, rival- ship, interest, humor, or caprice?

It is our true policy to steer clear of permanent alliances with any portion of the foreign world—so far, I mean, as we are now at liberty to do it, for let me not be understood as capable of patronizing in- fidelity to existing engagements (I hold the maxim no less applicable to public than to private affairs, that honesty is always the best policy)—I repeat it therefore, let those engagements be observed in their genuine sense. But in my opinion it is unnecessary and would be unwise to extend them.

Taking care always to keep ourselves, by suitable establishments, on a respectably defensive posture, we may safely trust to temporary alliances for extraordinary emergencies.

Harmony, liberal intercourse with all nations, are recommended by policy, humanity, and interest. But even our commercial policy should hold an equal and impartial hand: neither seeking nor granting exclusive favors or preferences; consulting the natural course of things; diffusing and diversifying by gentle means the streams of commerce but forcing nothing; establishing with powers so disposed—in order to give to trade a stable course, to define the rights of our merchants, and to enable the government to support them—conventional rules of intercourse, the best that present circumstances and mutual opinion will permit, but temporary, and liable to be from time to time abandoned or varied, as experience and circumstances shall dictate; constantly keeping in view, that it is folly in one nation to look for disinterested favors from another—that it must pay with a portion of its independence for whatever it may accept under that character—that by such acceptance it may place itself in the condition of having given equivalents for nominal favors and yet of being reproached with ingratitude for not giving more. There can be no greater error than to expect or calculate upon real favors from nation to nation. It is an illusion which experience must cure, which a just pride ought to discard.

In offering to you, my countrymen, these counsels of an old and affectionate friend, I dare not hope they will make the strong and lasting impression I could wish—that they will control the usual current of the passions or prevent our nation from running the course which has hitherto marked the destiny of nations. But if I may even flatter myself that they may be productive of some partial benefit, some occasional good, that they may now and then recur to moderate the fury of party spirit, to warn against the mischiefs of foreign intrigue, to guard against the impostures of pretended patriotism—this hope will be a full recompense for the solicitude for your welfare by which they have been dictated.

How far in the discharge of my official duties I have been guided by the principles which have been delineated, the public records and other evidences of my conduct must witness to you and to the world. To myself, the assurance of my own conscience is that I have at least believed myself to be guided by them.

In relation to the still subsisting war in Europe, my proclamation of the 22d of April 1793 is the index to my plan. Sanctioned by your approving voice and by that of your representatives in both houses of Congress, the spirit of that measure has continually governed me, uninfluenced by any attempts to deter or divert me from it.

After deliberate examination with the aid of the best lights I could obtain, I was well satisfied that our country, under all the circumstances of the case, had a right to take—and was bound in duty and interest to take—a neutral position. Having taken it, I determined, as far as should depend upon me, to maintain it with moderation, perseverence, and firmness.

The considerations which respect the right to hold this conduct it is not necessary on this occasion to detail. I will only observe that, according to my understanding of the matter, that right, so far from being denied by any of the belligerent powers, has been virtually admitted by all.

The duty of holding a neutral conduct may be inferred, without anything more, from the obligation which justice and humanity impose on every nation, in cases in which it is free to act, to maintain inviolate the relations of peace and amity towards other nations.

The inducements of interest for observing that conduct will best be referred to your own reflections and experience. With me, a predominant motive has been to endeavor to gain time to our country to settle and mature its yet recent institutions and to progress without interruption to that degree of strength and consistency which is necessary to give it, humanly speaking, the command of its own fortunes.

Though in reviewing the incidents of my administration I am unconscious of intentional error, I am nevertheless too sensible of my defects not to think it probable that I may have committed many errors. Whatever they may be, I fervently beseech the Almighty to avert or mitigate the evils to which they may tend. I shall also carry with me the hope that my country will never cease to view them with indulgence and that, after forty-five years of my life dedicated to its service with an upright zeal, the faults of incompetent abilities will be con- signed to oblivion, as myself must soon be to the mansions of rest.

Relying on its kindness in this as in other things, and actuated by that fervent love towards it which is so natural to a man who views in it the native soil of himself and his progenitors for several generations, I anticipate with pleasing expectation that retreat, in which I promise myself to realize without alloy the sweet enjoyment of partaking in the midst of my fellow citizens the benign influence of good laws under a free government—the ever favorite object of my heart, and the happy reward, as I trust, of our mutual cares, labors and dangers.

GEORGE WASHINGTON
UNITED STATES
19th September 1796

Rejected Sacrifice

Friday, October 2nd, 2009

Embarrassing.  The mortal king, openly worshipped by some to the ire of many others, failed to deliver

No, I’m not talking about the failure to deliver on his promise,  “When there is a bill that ends up on my desk as the president, you the public will have five days to look online and find out what’s in it before I sign it.”  He failed there on his first day in office on 20 Jan–he signed the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Restoration Act just two days after its passage.  He later signed a second bill just three hours after Congress passed it.  Then again, on 17 Feb, he signed the $787 billion economic-stimulus bill one business day after it passed Congress.

And no, I’m not talking about his failure to “eliminate capital gains taxes for small businesses and start-ups.”   However, the $787 billion economic-stimulus did reduce them.  Of course, we all know reduction does not equal elimination.

And no again. I’m not talking about his failure to provide new American jobs tax credit.  He promised it to be a $3000 refundable tax credit to existing businesses for every additional full-time U.S. employee hired in 2009 and 2010–it never happened, never will.

The same is true for his failure to provide a hiatus on 401(k) penalties, to eliminate earmarks such as the billions of dollars included in the economic-stimulus, to end the war and bring all the combat troops home by May 20, 2010, to sign the Freedom of Choice Act, to make the first $4000 of college education completely free for Americans, to have “the most open and transparent government in history,” and for that matter–”to preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States.”

Maybe that was a cheap shot, but only if all Americans know the Tenth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution decrees:

The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.


The seemingly ever-increasing number of czars–up to about 32 as of this article’s posting–are clearly prohibited via the Tenth Amendment.  Each of Obama’s czars gets paid $172,000 a year and has a staff with offices and supporting budgets.  Does the expense total to millions or billions of dollars?  We don’t know, but the monetary degradation on America is just the down payment for what they will ultimately cost us.

Those who seek to defend this anti-Constitutional practice most often resort to citing previous administrations, as far back as FDR, which are guilty of the same sin–albeit on a lesser scale.  In retrospect, they allowed the camel’s nose to get under the tent.  Still that’s no reason to allow the flea-laden camel to wear your pajamas and dance with your children.

So what was the recent failure to deliver I was talking about at the beginning of this article?

The Olympics–the International Olympic Committee (IOC) eliminated Chicago early in the consideration for the site of the 2016 games.  The winner is:

Rio de Janeiro.

In 2016, the world will be treated to view the unfolding drama of those famous games against the backdrop of the rich culture and beauty associated with Rio and Brazil.  I look forward to it.

By now most everyone has heard of Michelle Obama’s characterization of her jaunt to Europe with her husband and Oprah Winfrey as a “sacrifice” on her behalf for the children of Chicago and the United States.  Considering the result of the “sacrifice”–the Presidential advisors need to review the requirements of a sufficient sacrifice.  In addition, the word “sacrifice” needs to be dropped from her speech-writers’ list of authorized words.

For a quick lesson on sufficient sacrifices, we can look at Hebrews chapter 9:

Neither by the blood of goats and calves, but by his own blood he entered in once into the holy place, having obtained eternal redemption for us.  For if the blood of bulls and of goats, and the ashes of an heifer sprinkling the unclean, sanctified to the purifying of the flesh:

How much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without spot to God, purge your conscience from dead works to serve the living God?

And for this cause he is the mediator of the new testament, that by means of death, for the redemption of the transgressions that were under the first testament, they which are called might receive the promise of eternal inheritance.


In summary, a trip to Europe on Air Force One and doing some shopping in Copenhagen is not a sacrifice–not even close.  And that would be true even if the IOC had bent their knee to Obama, which they didn’t.

With the United States experiencing record high unemployment, a sky-rocketing national debt, fog and friction in the war formerly known as the Global War on Terror, terrorist-sponsoring nations developing nuclear weapons and the means to deliver them to our allies and to us, and emerging civil unrest at home–we need a President who will to the best of his ability use his time and energy to preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States.  In other words, we need the person we’re paying $400,000 a year plus perks to do his job.

Mmm, mmm, mmm.

It just makes sense.

When Do You Have Rights?

Saturday, July 18th, 2009

It appears the United States has slid so far to the left that you may be considered “a right-wing extremist” if you believe you have unalienable rights. At the rate we’re going, even reading this column may put you in that category in the next year or so. If your unalienable rights have been alienated–who’s responsible?

Since unalienable rights–those mentioned in the Declaration of Independence, and later explained to some degree in the United States Constitution–are given to humans by their Creator, nobody–except their Creator–can take them away.

That doesn’t mean you’ll always be able to enjoy your rights. People can infringe your rights by undermining your free exercise of them, and you can lose them another way. You can forsake them–willingly give them up–but heed this warning: once surrendered, rights can only be regained at great cost.

Since our founding fathers are long since gone, they can’t be asked how much it cost them to regain our rights, those who haven’t already done so will have to read a history book to find the answer–while that’s still legal. If you’re curious about what those rights are, you can read the two sacred documents mentioned above–until that act is eventually outlawed.

Okay, since we have just celebrated the 4th of July, I’ll include some of it here:

“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed.”


Wonderful words. Who could argue with them?

Wouldn’t the Nazis? Well, sure–but we defeated them decades ago.

Wouldn’t the Communists? Definitely, but we won the Cold War.

What about your local police? Say it ain’t so!

Remember hurricane Katrina–the storm that struck New Orleans in 2005? Much attention was given by the mainstream news services about the federal governments inability to make up for the state’s inadequacy and the city’s corrupt ineptness when it come to protecting the people. A little attention was given to the roving street gangs and the heavy crime and looting that followed the natural disaster. But there was another story that received almost no scrutiny.

Once the local police finally went into action, they spent a lot of time collecting guns from the citizens. The stated goal was to disarm everyone. However, it proved easier for the roving bands of police to collect guns from the people trying to live in what was left of their homes than it was to hunt down the more illusive street gangs.

That was some time ago and you might not have paid much attention to it them. If you want to see videos of the police tackling old ladies in their homes and taking their self-protection pistols–take a look at this YouTube video.

It seems unbelievable.

All of us would like to brush-off the Katrina aftermath circus as one-time exception to the American experience. But the problem isn’t constrained to New Orleans and there are more recent examples that should concern most Americans.

Last weekend statements made by a Louisiana elected-politician, shocked me into connecting a few isolated events. You can read the entire transcript here, but here’s a quick summary:

A middle-aged man with a montage of pro-gun bumper stickers on his pick-up truck’s back window was pulled-over for “failure to use a turn signal” and questioned while standing in the street next to the truck in Shreveport, Louisiana. The officer first question was if he had a firearm, which the driver admitted. The officer then entered the vehicle, without warrant or permission, searched for, and confiscated the citizen’s firearm.

Robert Baillio, the truck’s owner and driver, later complained to Mayor Cedric Glover that his second Amendment right to bear arms had been violated. However, it seems to me it was more like an unreasonable search and seizure, which is a violation of his fourth Amendment rights.

Article IV. The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated; and no warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, support by oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.


Even if the officer had sought a warrant, I have difficulty understanding what the probable cause associated with “failure to use a turn signal” that permits an officer to search and seize things from a citizen’s vehicle?

Mayor Glover explained to Mr. Baillio that once he was stopped by the officer he no longer had rights–they had been suspended. He went on to explain that “Upon graduation from the police academy, every officer is told they have the power to suspend [a citizen’s] rights.”

Where does that power come from? Is there a local ordinance, state law, or federal law that overrides the Constitution? If so, how can any law usurp the “supreme law” of the land?

The officer returned the firearm to Mr. Baillio, and did not issue him a citation for anything. The video showed the officer to be basically respectful of the driver, except for the unreasonable search and seizure, which can be viewed here.

Then there was the recent case of a Louisiana state trooper being arrested for aggravated assault, simple battery and false imprisonment of District Judge Lewis Sams after a traffic stop outside the courthouse.

The trooper saw the judge driving without a seatbelt, which has recently been legislated to be a crime. So he pulled in behind the judge with his lights on. After checking the standard license, registration, proof of insurance he told the judge of the violation. The judge told him to write the ticket. Then the officer asked him where he was employed.

According to the transcript of the Mayor Glover’s conversation with Mr. Baillio, “citizens must answer all of an officer’s questions truthfully–or they’re committing a crime.” I guess that old “you have the right to remain silent” only applies to actual criminals and terrorists captured on the battlefield in the war on terror–no wait, that’s called ‘overseas contingencies’ now.

The judge told him, but when asked to show further identification he refused. An argument ensued, the officer drew his Taser, threats were issued, and the judge was eventually bounced off the hood of the patrol car during his arrest.

Yes, there were witnesses.

But this seems a little confusing. If an officer has the power to suspend the rights of a citizen, how could the state trooper be guilty of any crime? After all, people with no rights, have no rights. Right? Evidently, the answer is, “Wrong.”

The judge disagreed. It turned out the judge was proficient in using the law to defend his rights. The trooper was arrested and is reported to be on paid administrative leave. Was this just an isolated incident? Would this have turned out differently if the judge hadn’t been a judge? What if he were … you? Or one of your children?

My grandpa once told me that we should learn from the mistakes of others.

So far we’ve learned not to put pro-gun stickers on our trucks and if you’re a judge you can stand up for your rights, but if you do, you can expect to be roughed up and bounced off a patrol car’s hood during your arrest (a.k.a false imprisonment).

A few years ago during a Mardi Gras parade in Shreveport, someone put up a huge US flag, which blocked the view of many citizens. Because of complaints, an ordinance was issued to ban such large banners and flags during parades. However, officers wound up being briefed to ban all US flags. Thus the police, wearing their badges and guns ordered people to take down flags (even the little ones on sticks), put away chairs with Americana decorations, and even change tee-shirts that had pictures of US flags.

So many complaints were made in the days following the parade that the city reported there had been a miscommunication and it wouldn’t happen again.

But think about it.

If the citizens had refused to remove their small flags, what would have happened to them? Would they have been tased, pepper-sprayed, beaten, and/or arrested?

If so, for what crime?

Maybe for failure to comply with an officer’s instructions–an officer who has been told he has the power to suspend your rights. Do citizens really have to do everything an officer tells them to do? Really? Something is very wrong with a society that allows even the lowest qualified law-enforcement officials to single-handedly, suspend the rights of citizens.

Maybe you don’t own a firearm. Maybe you don’t display the flag or wear teeshirts with red, white, and blue colors. Maybe you and your family don’t go to parades. Maybe you think you’re safe. Think again.

Let’s suppose all officers actually had the power to regulate the rights of citizens–just like they’re told they can in Shreveport as they graduate from the police academy. What if they stopped your car because you didn’t use a turn signal or you have a bumper sticker that expresses an opinion they didn’t like?

What if they took your cell phone? Since some people send porn pictures over their cell phones, it is possible that you could have obscene pictures on your phone. The police could just flip through your files and make sure you’re not breaking the law. He could also check to see if you were talking or texting while driving–that is a crime in some places. After all, your rights have been suspended. Right?

Why should the police have to wait for you to get in your car? They could stop you in stores and shopping malls, maybe even in the theater to check your phone. Have you been recording some of the movie–that’s a copyright violation. Better check. Just to make sure.

Why stop there? Why not just a simple pat-down of people as they’re walking around? After all, they can suspend your rights, and some people may be carrying drugs, guns, or stolen material.

Don’t worry, you can have your phone back when you bring your purchase-receipt down to the station. You saved it, didn’t you?

Let me see your papers!

Come to think of it, why should the police have to wait for you to leave your home? A lot of people might have porn on their home computers, or guns in their attics–guns they don’t have receipts for. Maybe a few old guns have been passed down for generations in your family–why should you have those? You might use them for a crime. Maybe they need to be inspected to make sure they’re safe. What’s wrong with that?

While they’re there, they probably need to go through your files to make sure you’re not cheating on your taxes. They could check your computer to see if you’ve been dealing in interstate commerce via Ebay or Craig’s list and then they could check your 1040 to make sure you claimed the income. Wouldn’t want to let tax-evaders get away. While they’re at it, they could sniff around to see what else you’ve been up to. Law abiding citizens should have nothing to worry about. Right?

Imagine the crimes they could catch you and your neighbors doing if they just suspended your rights and searched your homes. You wouldn’t want to stand in the way of law enforcement would you?

After all. They’re there to protect you.

I’ve always had high regard for police officers. They do a vital, tough, and often times dangerous job. Unfortunately, young police officers, like young soldiers, tend to do what their superiors tell them to do–even in America.

And in a police state, the police do what ever they want to do.

“…That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed.”


Young police officers, like young soldiers, need competent leaders telling them what to do. Those leaders need to know they only have power from the consent of the governed. They also need to know the Constitution is the supreme law of the land. The electoral process is the best way to ensure our government is filled with elected-officials who will remain true and faithful to protecting the Constitution against all enemies–foreign and domestic.

Americans have rights all the time.

It just makes sense.

Obama’s Passport

Wednesday, July 1st, 2009

I received an interesting email from a friend today. It revisits the question of Obama’s citizenship. Before you hit the delete key or the next button, I’ll assure you that this is more than a discussion about the series of lawsuits demanding proof of his citizenship be presented in court–at least something more than the photoshop image of what a 1961 Hawaiian birth certificate might look like–but doesn’t when compared to other birth certificates of that era. I even checked out Snopes.com before writing this article–they got nothing!

Some people such as Philip Berg are still ringing that bell, but did you know that each state has a sworn government official who’s job it is to verify a person is qualified to be on a ballet before they’re placed there.  If the Obama machine didn’t shown a valid birth certificate to those people, then we have at least 50 anti-constitution activists in positions of power.  I suspect a birth certificate that appeared to be authentic was presented where it was required.

But what if it was a fake?

And not just a cheap fake–like what was posted on the “elect Obama” web site–but one that was good enough to fool all of the officials in 50 different states–and you know that there is no way that all of them are controlled by Democratic Party activists.  Would there be anything other than hear-say evidence about who was where when he was born?  Well, it seems the answer to a single question might be more important than “seeing” a birth-certificate that has already fooled experts.

What passport did Barack Obama use when he was shuttling between New York, Jakarta, and Karachi?


The email gave a little background information using a question and answer format:

How did a young man who arrived in New York in early June 1981, without the price of a hotel room in his pocket, suddenly come up with the price of a round-the-world trip just a month later? And once he was on a plane, shuttling between New York, Jakarta, and Karachi, what passport was he offering when he passed through Customs and Immigration? The American people not only deserve to have answers to these questions, they must have answers. It makes the debate over Obama’s citizenship a rather short and simple one.

Q: Did he travel to Pakistan in 1981, at age 20?


A: Yes, by his own admission.

I found some discussion on this subject here and here and here.


Yes, he went there. He used the trip as an example of his international experience.

Q: What passport did he travel under?

A: There are only three possibilities. 1. He traveled with a U.S. passport, 2) He traveled with a British passport, or 3) He traveled with an Indonesian passport.

Q: Is it possible that Obama traveled with a U.S. passport in 1981?

A: No. It is not possible. Pakistan was on the U.S. State Department’s “no travel” list in 1981.

Conclusion: When Obama went to Pakistan in 1981 he was traveling either with a British passport or an Indonesian passport.

If he was traveling with a British passport that would provide proof that he was born in Kenya on August 4, 1961, not in Hawaii as he claims.

And if he was traveling with an Indonesian passport that would tend to prove that he relinquished whatever previous citizenship he held, British or American, prior to being adopted by his Indonesian step-father in 1967.

Whatever the truth of the matter, the American people need to know how he managed to become a “natural born” American citizen between 1981 and 2008. Given the destructive nature of his plans for America, as illustrated by his speech before Congress and the disastrous spending plan he has presented to Congress, the sooner we learn the truth of all this, the better.

I found an intriguing remark on “dailymusings” as it contends that Pakistan was “banned” from travel.

But I’ve been having some trouble finding “banned countries.”  The state department does have a list of travel warnings–but you can still go to them.  Even with Cuba there are legal ways you can still go there.

So I’m not so sure if the statements about Pakistan being “banned” from travel in 1981 are correct.  You’d think Snopes.com would have posted this by now.

Back during the election of 2008, there was a big deal made about people “snooping” in passport records of the three front running candidates.

Obama called for an investigation into the matter.  Somebody even said the FBI was doing just that.  Interestingly enough, we haven’t heard much about that investigation since.  What were those unnamed folks looking for?  Why would they do that?  What happened to them?

Reportedly the two State Department employees peeked at passports file under the motivation of imprudent curiosity, were fired and third employee was disciplined.  And that was it.

It seems that if somebody had found evidence that Obama had traveled on foreign passports when he was young, that would have already been made available to the American public.

Maybe some Americans believe that if Obama could just be proven to be an illegal candidate for POTUS, he would be removed from office and we could go back to an America that doesn’t have $1.8 trillion deficit, and printing billions of dollars to buy up the auto manufacturers and banks, and moving towards government rationing of our medical care.

Maybe some Americans believe that if Obama could just be proven to be an illegal candidate for POTUS, he would be removed from office and we could go back to an America that doesn’t have $1.8 trillion deficit, and printing billions of dollars to buy up the auto manufacturers and banks, and moving towards government rationing of our medical care.

Hello?

This is bigger than who the President is.  The ideology of “more power to the government” is being driven home by a massive majority in the House of Representatives–led by Nancy Pelosi–and a super majority in the Senate, with yesterday’s addition of Minnesota’s Al Franken, led by Harry Reid.  Having a POTUS who supports and signs their bills is just an enabling factor.  Joe Biden would follow suit.

These people were voted into office.

If enough people aren’t happy with the spiral America has entered, then the solution is to win back the legislative branch in 2010.  We the people can constitutionally replace the entire House of Representatives every two-years if we want to, along with a third of the Senate.   In a couple of elections, a super majority for a new ideology could be in place to reverse the process that has put us where we are today.

As long as our Constitution remains the supreme law of our land, we can take back our government and our country.  We can do it peacefully, constitutionally, without fakery, and we can do it pretty quickly if we vote with our brains.It just makes sense.

How’s This Direction Working For You?

Friday, June 26th, 2009

How’s This Direction Working For You?

June 26, 2009


“Tonight is a great victory for the American people.  Today they voted for change and for the Democratic Party to the take the country in a new direction,” is what Nancy Pelosi said following the Congressional upset election in 2006.  Since that night, we’ve seen a lot of change but I’m not sure this was the direction we wanted to go.

Unemployment has more than doubled since the Democratic Party leadership has taken our country in a new direction–from 4.5% to 9.5%. 


They managed to convince President Bush back in October 2008 that a “bail-out” package of $700 billion was needed to prevent the economy for collapsing. Then eight days after the Obama administration took control, the Democratic Party leadership was able to pass a “stimulus package” of another $787 billion, mostly before anybody read it. But even with that spending, unemployment still continues to increase at an alarming rate.


You probably remember how during the last few years of the Bush administration, many people complained about our deficit spending. And deficit spending is bad, as each year’s deficit piles on to the collective national debt, which is now reported to exceed $11 trillion. That’s a difficult number to grasp, though we Americans are getting more used to such numbers. Here’s what that looks like: $11,000,000,000,000. That’s still hard to understand.

Okay, how about this, if you had $11 trillion in your mattress when Jesus was born in Bethlehem and then you spent $14 million every day until now, you’d still have over $730 billion left to spend. That’s a lot.

Of course, we should all know that the legislative branch controls the budget. The President is limited by the Constitution to merely suggesting and then either approving or vetoing the budget which Congress votes to approve. Thus, it directly affects the American tax-payers when Congress approves extreme spending. Here’s what has happened to the deficit since Pelosi and Reid took control of Congress.


Economics can be confusing to most of us, but as a historian the way I understand it is that they have a theory, which is based on the idea that if they can create enough deficit spending it will make the economy recover. Before we completely denigrate that theory, we should understand that it is supported by the statistics from the depression, World War II, and the years that followed the war.

America went into extreme debt in order to fight back fascism and the leftist oligarchies of Germany and Japan. Following the war, under the weight of all that debt the economy dipped and then recovered. However, the idea that the debt made the economy recover ignores the fact that just about anybody who could work, did work during that time. American factories spit out tanks, airplanes, beans, and bullets as fast as possible during the war and then transitioned to cars, trucks and washing machines after the war. While it wasn’t the smoothest process imaginable, I believe the recovery was sparked by productivity (along with the absence of war) and not by bail-outs, pay-offs, and unemployment.

This day, an outnumbered minority of our honorable representatives have been desperately trying to keep Pelosi’s majority from passing a huge national energy tax. The result of which is believed by some to raise electricity prices, increase gasoline prices, and ship American jobs overseas to countries like China and India. In the process it will create another cluster of agencies that will redistribute trillions of dollars that rightfully belong to working-class Americans.

As I write this article, the battle to stop Pelosi’s energy tax may already be lost. Either way you need to take notice as unemployment continues to rise, and deficit spending continues to dwarf anything done by previous administrations, and as your hard-earned dollars are increasingly taken from you to be given to those with their hands out so that you can remember how your Representatives in Congress have voted.

If all this looks good to you, then smile and be happy.

But if you think the government has over-stepped its constitutional limits–you’d better make sure you vote with your brain in 2010. Regardless of party affiliation, we need representatives in government who do the right things because we may soon discover that we really can dig a hole so deep that we can’t get out of it.

As far I have read, no nation has ever taxed and spent itself into prosperity.

It just makes sense.

Directional Extremism – 11 Jun 2009

Thursday, June 11th, 2009

By now you’ve heard most of the story about the 88 year-old shooter that killed Stephen Tyrone Johns while he was on duty as a security guard in the Washington DC Holocaust Museum.  If you’re like most people, you’re sadden at the loss of yet another productive American citizen and sickened at the reports of the shooter’s hatred for so many people.  Depending on where you get your news, you might also be confused over some misleading references to the shooter representing right-wing ideology in America.

Adding to the confusion, is a fundamentally flawed statement in the Homeland Security report on alleged “Rightwing Extremism” inside of the United States.  There were 50 uses of the term “rightwing” in the report.  It even used the term as a single word, instead of the the grammatical correct hyphenated term right-wing.   No references were made to “left-wing extremism,” leaving some to wonder if the report might condone that side of the argument.  Of course even suggesting such a thing might be classified as blasphemy in the near future, so I won’t go any further with that line of reasoning.

Are we really to believe neo-Nazism is right-wing?

If so, that would make the Nazi regime of Hitler’s Germany a right-wing government.  If true, then on the extreme right of the concept of government theory, you have Hitler and the SS running everything.  The rest of us would work as slaves in government-owned factories and fields and have to put up with soldiers banging on our doors at night only to be hauled off to the concentration camp–where we’d die.

So what is the opposite of that?  The communists?

If so, on the extreme left of the concept of government theory, you have Stalin and the KGB running everything.   The rest of us would work as slaves in government-owned factories and fields and have to put up with soldiers banging on our doors at night only to be hauled off to the gulag–where we’d die.

I don’t see a nickel’s worth of difference between those two systems, unless you happen to be a member of the small group that is controlling everything and everyone else.  Which means the popular notice of left and right must be flawed, as the two should be in contrast to each other.

Here’s something that makes much more sense.

Government theory is all about how much power the government has.  The more power the government has, the less power or rights the people have.  On one extreme, government has all power.  On the other extreme, government has no power–or doesn’t exist at all.  That’s also called anarchy.

In theory, anarchy could be a nice thing.  No taxes, no police, no rules to get in your way–every man doing what he things is right.  If everyone were just like Jesus, that might work out pretty good.  But humanity is wrought with selfish behavior–striving to advance oneself over others.  In total anarchy, only the strongest men could retain their property, which would soon be countered by less strong people teaming together to take what they wanted.  Eventually the land would be littered with myriad teams or gangs all striving for their collective superiority over the other groups.  Chaos and mayhem–anarchy is a bloody unproductive state in practice.

So with anarchy at the extreme right, what’s at the extreme left?  Government with total power, of course.

If a single person were powerful enough to control everyone else–that would be extreme left–but with millions and billions of people on earth, nobody is that powerful.  It wouldn’t even work with a small region of several thousand people.  No, the king has to have an army.  That army could consist of knights sitting at a round table or goose-stepping storm troopers–but a king without his army is a pathetic sight.

Throughout history, most kings have had some collection of advisors to assist them in their rule of the masses.  They might be family members or just ideological partners–but loyalty is generally the primary selection criteria.  Kings use a variety of job titles: Potentate, Chief, Czar, Leader, Lord, Master, Commander, Seignior, President, Chairman, Chairwoman, Big Cheese, Skipper, or any other of a multitude of “I’m-the-boss-of-you” sounding titles.  All those various titles only serve to confuse people who are trying to make sense of the left and right of things.

When a relatively small group of people control all or even most all of the power over the people it is called an oligarchy.  If you are not part of the oligarchy, you will be most severely punished by those who control the power if you should oppose any decision they make. The irony is, you don’t even have to oppose the seat of power to be oppressed by it–they have the option of abusing you at their whim.

To the right of an oligarchy, is a democracy–rule by the majority.  In theory a democracy sounds pleasant, but in practice that would only be true if you were part of the majority.  The majority can vote to take the minorities possessions or even their lives.  If the only thing that establishes right is a majority–you basically have mob rule, albeit a majority mob.  Democratic principles are good, but a system of laws that protect the rights of all people is necessary if the people are to really enjoy freedom.

Which brings us to a republic, which is more than just a government controlling the people, it is a state in which supreme power is held by the people and their elected representatives.  In the great American experiment, the wonderful document called the Constitution spells out just how much power the government is allowed to control.  The rest of the power is supposed to remain with the people.

Some people argue that twenty-first century America is violating certain restrictions of the Constitution, but few people are wanting an America without a central government–the ones who advocate anarchy could correctly be labeled “right-wing extremists.”

The Constitution’s governmental concept is left of anarchy but well right of a direct democracy or an oligarchy.  Some say the Constitution is well right of our current practice and that we’re plunging into socialism.

What’s socialism?

Socialism is the Marxist theory that declares all means of production, distribution, and exchange should be centrally controlled.  The theory is that individuals won’t be able to hoard great wealth if the governing oligarchy has control.  The reality is that the oligarchy hoards the wealth and the people suffer.  You’ve seen the term used in some now defunct oligarchies.

The National Socialists (Nazis) were about a specific people-group’s oligarchy controlling all means of production, distribution, and exchange first in Germany and then hoping to spread across the world.  They were thwarted by America and her allies during World War II.

Remember the USSR (a.k.a Union of the Soviet Socialist Republic)? Soviet Communism was about world conquest by any means, most in order for their oligarchy to control all means of production, distribution, and exchange.  They also were thwarted by America and her allies during the Cold War.

Somehow the Nazis and the Communists were labeled right and left in attempt to suggest you had to go one way of the other.  History shows the two groups didn’t get along very well, but of course each side was fighting for total control.  Unless you were part of their small oligarchy, each of the systems were oppressive–each were extreme leftists.

So what would you call a person, regardless of their age or veteran status, who believes a small group of people should control all power, disregarding the concept that all men are created equal, and also believes he has the right to ignore the Constitution of the United States?

Wouldn’t that be–left-wing extremist?

It just makes sense.

Tea Party

Saturday, April 18th, 2009

Tea Party

April 18, 2009

Tax day. That’s what we’ve learned to call April 15, but we really know that taxes hit us every day. It’s April 15 when those dreaded 1040 are due to the IRS, or it’ll cost us even more money. Our income is taxed and everything we spend our post-tax income on is taxed again through a complex web of visible and hidden taxes. This April 15 a lot of people assembled all over the country to express their concern about out of control taxes.

While the concept of maybe attending a Tea-Party had interested me for a while, it wasn’t until I saw the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) report that identified a new type of terrorists–the right-wing terrorist–that I knew I needed to go.

Recently the DHS had said they preferred to call terrorism “man-caused disasters” and I satirically suggested that terrorists would then be called “disaster-engineers” in keeping with the kinder words of referring to the most heinous members of the human race. But now I see no restraint in using the T-word.

The report suggests that “right-wing extremists” are potential terrorists. Those people are described as basically anyone who believe abortion kills babies, or that the 2nd Amendment affirms the right to bear arms, and a group of right-wingers that need particular watching are veterans.

Veterans? What the freedom-snatching kind of conclusion is that? Veterans?

Do they mean those men and woman who have offered up their lives to defend the rest of us–those veterans? The same people, whom on November 11 of each year we have a national holiday to honor their service? Those same honorable heros are supposed to be suspected terrorists? All of them?

Why would anyone suggest that?

Could it be because most Americans hold veterans and the military in high esteem? Could it be that the military and it’s veterans need to be taken down a notch or two in the public eye before they begin whatever it is that follows out-of-control tax and spending? I don’t know. Your guess is as good as mine.

But how could anyone draw a connection between veterans and terrorists?

Well, according the DHS report, veterans have received training that would enable them to do something like Timothy James McVeigh did. Remember him?

McVeigh was the guy that was eventually executed for for the bombing that killed 168 people in the Alfred P. Murrah Building in Oklahoma City. He was a veteran. See the connection yet? Me neither.

He did well as a gunner on a Bradley Fighting Vehicle during the 1991 Persian Gulf War, but then washed out of Special Forces training in December of the same year. After he left the service he failed at everything else. No girlfriend, no job, and followed the gun show circuit selling white-supremacist literature until he completely slid off the deep end. For some reason he thought it was his calling to violently overthrow the US government.

Does that sound like the typical veteran to you?

All veterans reading this column will immediately feel a bit insulted to be compared with McVeigh. For the folks who didn’t make the cut to become a veteran, that is because all veterans took an oath to support and defend the Constitution of the United States, which is the document that allows our government to legally exist. And since veterans are not released from their oath to God when they are discharged–it means McVeigh violated his oath.

And there were other veterans. What about Oswald? You know, Lee Harvey Oswald. Yeah he was a veteran and he killed Kennedy. You know, John F. Kennedy, who was a veteran. Oh yeah. Hmmm. Maybe not all veterans are terrorists.

Some veterans might actually be productive Americans. Americans like Alan Alda (Army Reserves), Tony Bennett (Army), Jim Blackwood (Air Force), Andy Bloom (Air Force), Johnny Carson (Navy), Ted Duncan (Air Force), Clint Eastwood (Army), Reed Estrada (Air Force), Malcolm Forbes (Army), Jim Johnson (Air Force), Rocky Marciano (Army), Vern Moore (Air Force), Montel Williams (Navy) Dave Thomas (Army), Chuck Norris (Air Force) Bill Cosby (Navy) Drew Carey (Marine), Ben Quintana (Air Force), Bob Goss (Air Force), Britt Larson (Air Force), Doug Barnard (Air Force), Steve Harper (Air Force), Ed Miller (Air Force), James Obsborne (Air Force), John Mitchell (Air Force), John Farese (Air Force), Dudley Woods (Air Force), Mel Bowen (Air Force), Moses Winston (Air Force), Pat Travnicek (Air Force), Paul Hill (Air Force), Scotty Briscoe (Air Force), Shawn Riff (Air Force), Steve Hollis (Air Force), Mark Maryak (Air Force), Donald Davitz (Air Force), even Charles Sutherland (Air Force) … and millions others.

No. Being a veteran did not transform McVeigh into what he became. It must have been something else.

It seems some people can find similarities and proof where they want to find them. For instance, I noticed on McVeigh’s mug-shot that he was a tall man–over six foot-two. Did you know that his parents were divorced when he was young–only ten years old.

To make the assumption “tall men whose parents were divorced when they were young might be terrorists” would be stupid. Most readers might have heard of people who fit that description–some of those people hold high-level elected office.

It is just as stupid–no, it is more stupid–to declare someone might be a terrorists because they are a veteran.

As a 32-year veteran, I can tell you with reasonable confidence that the soldiers, sailors, Marines, and Airmen who are protecting you while you sleep tonight are not being taught how to make bombs out of rented trucks, fertilizer and motor-fuel. And as far as I know, there is no program anywhere to train tall men, whose parents were divorced at a young age, to do the same.

Military service to our nation does not produce terrorists.

Of course the Tea-Parties across American were not about the DHS report, they were about a out-of-control tax and spend policy and practice. But isn’t it interesting how seemingly unrelated events can produce similar motivations? Anyway, let me tell about the Tea-Party I went to in Bossier City.

Since my taxes were already mailed off to Uncle Sam–after I got off my 10-hour work day on April 15–I headed down to the Bossier City Civic Center’s green. Having never attended a demonstration of any sort, I really didn’t know what was going to happen. It shouldn’t have surprised me that convenient parking was no where to be found as I joined about 5000 small-business owners, working tax-payers, families, and even college students from all around Bossier and Shreveport. They were regular people–white, black, Hispanic, young, old, male, female, tall, and short–who like me, had just finished the working activities of their day and then came out for a couple of hours to show their concern.

In case you didn’t make it to a Tea-Party, I posted a few videos on You Tube for you. The links are below.

After assembling, we sang the National Anthem. If you view this 2 minute 18 second video, I think you’d agree that everyone there was just regular people. Lots of flags. Seemed more patriotic than anything else.

Following that those assembled recited the Pledge of Allegiance lead by a local 6th grader.

Then State Representative Jane Smith gave the invocation. We all prayed for our elected officials, for our country, along with thanking God for all our blessings.

Many speakers were there to motivate the attendees to lawful pro-active action. One of these speakers was Mr. Royal Alexander, who was defeated in the 2007 general election to District Attorney for the sixth Judicial District. He commented about the illegalities of the government writing checks with no funds to cover them.

The keynote speaker was Congressman John Fleming of the 4th district of Louisiana. He explained some of the reasons the radical tax and spend policies are being passed in Congress.

Since the first round of Tea-Parties have ended, much of the national media has used crude humor and mockery to denigrate the respectable citizens who lawfully assembled that day. How many people are we talking about here?

Nobody really knows, but guesses are everywhere. Somewhere between 15,000 and 20,000 showed up in Atlanta, our group was considerably less, about 5000. Some reports say there were less than 350 Tea-Parties, but that conflicts with data I had seen on one web site, which stated that as of early April 15, there were over 2000 Tea-Parties scheduled. If only half of those actually took place, and if only half as many people as we had in little Bossier City attended each one of them, that would add up to 2.5 million concerned citizens assembled across America.

That’s a lot of people to denigrate.

So is this a one-time fling or the beginning of a movement? And if it is a movement, what is supposed to happen?

This is what I think. We don’t need another political party. Americans need to take back the two parties we already have–the Democrat Party and the Republican Party. Those two parties can be used to balance our national policies between the two extremes of our Constitutional Republic’s existence. We do not need to dissolve into anarchy anymore than we need to be oppressed by a self-serving oligarchy.

Anarchy is the extreme right–no government. It’s where everyone does according to what they believe is right. In other words, it’s a riot with no police. At its worse, it looks a lot like the corner of Florence and Normandy on April 29, 1992.

An oligarchy is the extreme left–a government with all the power invested into a dominant class or party. It’s the most common form of government throughout history. Sometimes words like “socialist” or “communists” are used to describe them–but at the heart of things–the interests of a small group take priority over everything else. Even a monarchy quickly transforms into an oligarchy, because a king without his army is lost.

The only choices of government-types in the middle of those extremes are a democracy and a republic. A democracy sounds good, but a majority can quickly become a mob if the majority wants something the minority possesses. A republic is what Americans have lived in since the beginning. It is based on law. The Constitution is designed to protect the people by limiting the power of the people operating the government.

That is the reason why some people get very upset when they perceive that some policies and practices may be violating the Constitution. Once the Constitution becomes null and void, our nation will quickly slide into an oligarchy. Which is either where we’re currently headed or arguably by a few where–we’ve arrived.

In each of the great oligarchies of the past, the ruling party used the power of swords, bayonets, or guns to take-over the business pursuits of the majority of the people. By controlling the economy and then the physical activity of their subjects–the oligarchies’ ruling class maintained their power. Today, we call that nationalization. Under the guise of the government’s sovereignty the ruling party takes what they want and does what they deem best with the fruits of the peoples’ labor. Looking back, it was a bloody mess that simply highlights the evil of their leaders while their subjects suffered. Anybody want to argue that the Communists of the former USSR were good for most people that lived there, or that the Nazis of the Third Reich were well-meaning, or that Khmer Rouge only wanted the best for the people? I didn’t think so.

Today, the power of the dollar is being wielded to take-over banks and manufacturers–the business pursuits of the majority of the people. Out-of-control tax and spend policies threaten to undermine the rights of the people. What would our founding fathers have said about this?

At the close of the Constitutional Convention in Philadelphia on September 18, 1787, an anxious crowd assembled outside awaiting the results. As Benjamin Franklin emerged from the adjourned convention, a woman was reported to have asked him: “Well Doctor, what have we got, a republic or a monarchy?”

“A republic, if you can keep it” responded Franklin.

Never before has that prophetic statement rang more true. Some of us might argue that in light of the current national policies and plans that seem to be determined to tax the United States into oblivion–it’s already too late. Maybe if Franklin were alive today, he would say, “You have a republic if you can salvage it.”

Yes, we can. We can salvage our republic by taking back both of our political parties. In 2010 we can replace every representative who has voted for this madness with people who promise to overturn it. Then if they don’t do what they say, we can replace them with new people in 2012. We still have the power of the ballot. As long as our Constitution still stands as the law of land, we can do things in a civilized manner. We’re still citizens and not subjects–at least not yet.

We the People, can do this.

As one sign at the Tea-Party read, “You can’t fix stupid, but you can vote it out.”

It just makes sense.

The End of the GWOT

Saturday, April 11th, 2009

My personal life is much too depressing to talk about for now … next month should set a new high in panglossian delight … so I’ll just add some political commentary to make you aware of my continued existence–enjoy:

It’s over–well, almost. The Global War on Terror is now called “Overseas Contingency Operations,” which can be a little confusing to some of us. After all, we’ve been using initials to talk about things for a while. Everyone probably already knows about WWI and WWII but what about the O-wars?

The first one was OAF, remember that?

That was Operation Allied Force, where the US provided most of the muscle and all the backbone to stop the murder of Muslims by the Miloshevich-led Serbs. Remember how that ended?

After airpower defeated the Serbian military and was allowed to retreat, Miloshevich wound up being charged with crimes against humanity. However, he died of heart problems before a verdict was delivered.

What vowel comes after A? Here’s a hint–E. OEF was the next O-war.

Operation Enduring Freedom, is where America resisted the temptation to kill everyone after the bold terrorist attacks of 9-11. At first, it was called Operation Infinite Justice but the Bush administration changed the name when they were told it was offensive to Muslims.

Then OEF was subdivided into several sub-OEFs to deal with multi-geographical areas: Afghanistan, Philippines, Horn of Africa, Trans Sahara, Krygyzstan, and Pankisi Gorge (a.k.a. Georgia). The last two ended in 2004, but you don’t hear much about them in the press. Oh, did you think it was only in Afghanistan? I guess the collective press might have been confusing, but it is a global war, remember?

What vowel comes after E? I’m sure you know. I. The third O-war was OIF.

That was Operation Iraqi Freedom, sometimes called the War in Iraq–which just caused more confusion. At the end of it all, Saddam Hussein was tried and hung by his own people. Even with the tyrant dead and gone, a lot of fighting continued inside of Iraq–mostly terrorists killing Iraqis–but many Americans died also–albeit not in toe-to-toe fighting, but from a variety of suicide-terrorist attacks, called “homicide bombers” presumedly not to offend the people who wanted us dead. Anyway, Iraq is doing fairly well after all the American and other folks that have helped them. We’ll be leaving in less than 18 months–except for the 50,000 that will remain behind forever.

So now, Barack Obama has directed everyone to use the term “Overseas Contingency Operation” which I guess could be shortened to OCO. I guess that sounds better than OOF–which would have fit nicely in the series of O-wars–but OCO is what it is. But this is not all that has changed.

Janet Napolitano, our newly appointed Homeland Security Secretary, doesn’t like the word terrorism. She prefers to use “man-caused” disasters. Was the term “terrorism” offensive to the causers of disasters? I don’t know.

So who are the people who cause man-caused disasters? Disaster Engineers?

So we’ve got disaster engineers causing man-caused disasters in the OCO but we are trying our best not to offend anyone or to sound arrogant while we go about winning this war. Someone told me that recently Barack Obama apologized for American arrogance and announced that “America was not a war with Islam.” I must say, I’m a little confused.

Wasn’t OAF about Americans saving Muslims? Hasn’t OEF liberated Muslims in many places? Didn’t OIF result in the removal of a brutal tyrant in Iraq and then giving the country back to the Muslims who live there? Why would Barack Obama’s speech writers think he needed to make such an announcement? I don’t know.

On a completely unrelated note–within a few hours of the North Koreans launching an illegal missile, the US government announced that we’re going to defund our most promising anti-missile technologies. And we’re going to release all the disaster engineers at Gitmo, maybe even inside the US, because their home countries might be mean to them. Wouldn’t want that to happen.

With the advent of OCO, it might mean the GWOT is over. If it is over, what happened?

It’s easy enough to figure out if you look at the facts. We’re disarming, we’re releasing our prisoners, we’re trying not to offend anyone, and we’re not taking action against other countries that violate international law. Have you figured it out yet?

Yep, that’s it–we surrendered.

It just makes sense.

Invasion of the Freedom Snatchers

Saturday, March 21st, 2009

Do you remember the movie The Invasion of the Body Snatchers?  Based on a novel by Jack Finney, it was a 1956 movie starring Kevin McCarthy and Dyna Winter, and then remade in 1978 starring Donald Sutherland and Brooke Adams.  The classic thriller showed people in a small town being replaced with alien clones that morphed out of plant-like pods while their victims slept.  The aliens were exact physical copies of the unfortunate humans whom they killed and then disposed of.  The three defensive techniques used by the humans included running away, trying not to sleep, and when they could find them–killing the aliens while they were still in the pods.  As the story progressed, due to sheer numbers the pods were increasingly successful.

After the aliens successfully entered society, they worked together in their apparent mission to spread additional pods around the world to supplant the entire human race.  The movie was dark and spooky, mostly because it seemed like the aliens were winning and the movie left us hanging as to the ultimate fate of mankind.

Stranger than fiction, there is another invasion going on right now.

Former member and founder of the Black Panther Party, Rep Bobby Rush (D-IL) has introduced a bill to the House Judiciary Committee, which is chaired by Rep John Conyers (D-MI).  If his bill should morph into a law it will supplant enough of the Constitution to alter our way of life forever.

If HR 45 becomes law it will negate the second Amendment by transforming the right to keep and bear arms into a privilege controlled by the government; it will negate the fourth Amendment by permitting government gun hunters to raid any home in search of any unauthorized firearms; it will negate the fifth Amendment by depriving gun-owners of their property without due process of law and without just compensation; and finally, it will further negate the already shredded tenth amendment which at one time limited the powers of the Federal Government.

Can you imagine what will happen when the gun-collection police force goes out to collect everyone’s guns? What will you do?  What will your neighbors do?

Regardless of how you feel about gun-control, you need to understand the threat when Constitutionally subversive bills are introduced into our legislative system.  The Constitution is designed as the supreme law of our land.  Within the margins of that freedom-inspired document is Article V, which spells out the provisions by which amendments can be proposed and ratified.

Yes, it requires serious effort.  Changing the Constitution is a serious business.

To help us understand why we don’t want Congress to make laws that supplant our freedoms and rights affirmed by the Constitution, lets play the same scenario using another right that you might be more fond of, let’s say your right to free speech.

What if some congressman submitted a bill that required all citizens to have a federal license before they could legally own a computer?

The bill could be justified by stating that too many young people are being hurt by hateful words posted on the internet or in emails–an undeniable truth.  Sponsors of the bill could claim that hate-speech kills–we need to protect our children.  To foster public support, they could say that anyone who opposed the bill must want to hurt children.

Once the bill became law, anyone wanting a computer would be investigated by the Attorney General’s office to make sure they weren’t mentally ill or prone to say hateful things.  Their library records, TV viewings, and anything they might have ever posted,  emailed, or read would be reviewed to make sure they met the high standards of the Attorney General.  What would be wrong with that?

Well, to begin with it is prohibited by the Constitution.  You see, the Constitution is supposed to limit the power of the government.  When government gets too powerful you get things like restrictions on owning typewriters as in Hitler’s Germany, the Gulags as in the former USSR and things like, well things like H.R. 45.

If “we the people” believe the Constitution needs to be amended, there is a legal process to do that.  That process is not via a bill. Elected officials are supposed to be stewards of our great nation.  We did not put them in their offices to wage war on our freedoms.  The Freedom Snatchers need to be stopped.  Start today by attacking the pod known as H.R. 45.

Let your congressional representatives know how you feel.  You don’t have to say much, just tell them in your own words that as your representative they need to oppose H.R. 45 (Blair Holt’s Firearm Licensing and Record of Sales Act of 2009).  If your representative doesn’t listen to you, you owe it to yourself and your children’s future to vote them out of a job on the next election.

If you’re not sure how to contact your representative, use this link to help you find them.

Don’t give into these dark and spooky attempts to snatch your freedoms. For the time being, our Constitution is merely shaken and not completely broken, if we all do what we can to preserve, protect, and defend it we won’t be left hanging as to the fate of mankind.

Abraham Lincoln said America was mankind’s last great hope.  H.R. 45 is anti-Constitutional and thus un-American, it must be stopped.

Don’t be caught sleeping this time because when our Constitution is supplanted there will be no place left for any of us to run.

It just makes sense.

Somebody Check the Gages

Saturday, March 7th, 2009

Most people will agree that pilots are amazing.  The flying public trust them ever day to take them safely to where they want to go.  The rest of the people trust the pilots not to drop an airplane on them.  When that trust is violated, and a pilot fails to keep his passengers and the people below his aircraft safe, it is not only a tragedy–it is a surprise.

It is a surprise because we trust pilots to do their job.  They can do their jobs because pilots trust their gages.

Yes, the gages.  Those wonderful gages that tell a pilot what the airplane is doing–even inside a cloud–is the reason pilots appear to be almost super heros to most people.  Early in their training, pilots are taught to trust their gages over their feelings–often referred to as “the seat of the pants” feelings that everyone else trusts to help them live their lives.

Two-dimensional thinking and “seat of the pants” feelings killed many of the pilots at the beginning of the twentieth century.  Over the ages, we learned from their mistakes.  And we developed certain technologies to help us over come those same traps that await us all, if we only trust our feelings over quantifiable indicators of safe progress.

Pilots who are fully qualified are often referred to as Instrument Pilots, those are the only pilot who can legally fly aircraft in all weather conditions.  Fair weather pilots may enthusiastically entertain non-pilots with great tales of aviation exploits, but it would be dangerous indeed to allow such a pilot to take you into a cloud.

We’re in cloud of a different sort today.  A cloud of fiscal confusion and great economic downturn.   The federal government, controlled by a Democrat Party Senate, House, and President are spending American taxpayers money faster than it can be produced.  The numbers are stultifying.

Before the November 2008 election, the Democratic Party controlled Senate and Congress voted in a $700 billion “bail out” for Wall Street.  President Bush, a Republican President finishing up his second term, did nothing to stop it.  His “uniter not a divider” doctrine of politics gave the liberal Legislatures free reign on American taxpayers.

If you remember, John McCain suspended his campaign to go back to Washington to work the economic crisis.  It was there that he was politically assaulted by Democrat Party leadership (Obama, Reid, and Pelosi).  Their political tactics helped convince the voting public that America needed to vote Barrack Obama into to office.  After all, we’ve been taught that “It’s the economy, Stupid.”

If the economy is doing well, most Americans are usually satisfied with the government.  Oh, there might be little bumps and turbulence during the trip, but if we arrive safely and on time, we soon forget what it was we were complaining about.

When the stocks markets closed on an up-swing on 4 November 2008, several news sources said it all about America’s confidence that Barrack Obama was going to win.  The Dow Jones closed at 9625, the NASDAQ closed at 1780, and the S&P closed at 1006.  Of course the markets had been higher back in November of 2006.

Back then the Dow Jones was 12,106, the NASDAQ was 2369, and the S&P was 1364.  What happened after that?  Well, the Democrat Party won the mid-term elections on a call for change to the so-called “failed Bush policies” and we were saddled with Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid as our legislative leaders.

For the record, the Constitution gives budgetary power to Congress–they are the money folks.  The President can either go along with them or oppose them, but they ultimately decide the status of all spending bills.

Now, we really can’t blame Barrack Obama for any failed economic polices from 2006.  Or can we?  Did you know he was a first-term Senator during that time?  While he supported the Pelosi/Reid economic bills, he wasn’t part of Congressional leadership.  So, we should probably give him the benefit of the doubt for that time.

But what about since the election?  There are so many spending bills getting cycled through congress–billions and trillions of dollars–it is hard for a regular guy to keep track of them.  But it is fairly easy to look at some economic indicators.

        Nov 6, 2006        Nov 4, 2008        Mar 5, 2009
DJIA        12,106            9,625                6,595
NASDAQ       2,369            1,780                1,299
S&P          1,364            1,006                  682

Since the Democratic Party took control of both houses of Congress, the Dow and the NASDAQ have dropped over 45% and the S&P is down 50%.  However, well-over half of that collapse has occurred since the 2008 Presidential election.  Is that change you can believe in?  Here’s a “gages-presentation” of the national economic degradation since the 2008 election:

 

How about your personal economic degradation over the last two years? How’s your IRA or TSP or 401K doing?  If it is down less that 45% over the last two years, that means your account managers are beating the national averages.  How’s the market value of your house holding up?  And the jobless rate was just released–8.1%–that is the highest rate since 1983.  If you’re one of those 12.5 million people, it probably doesn’t make you want to celebrate very much.

Certainly the market and economy will turn around, right?  After all, how low can it go?

Which reminds me of a story that the scotch-sipping, cigar-smoking comedian Ron White once shared.  According to the story, he was on an airplane that lost an engine. His pilot announced that while the aircraft could no longer maintain altitude, the plane’s remaining engine would extend their glide distance.

The guy sitting next to Ron asked, “How far will one engine take us?”

Rod said, “All the way to the crash site.”

Insanity has been described as doing the same thing over and over again, while expecting different results.  Failed policies don’t turn into best practices just because you increase the amount you spend on them.

Something has to be done about the death-spiral our economy has entered into with run-away government spending and the unprecedented levels of nationalization of our once capitalistic system–before we reach the crash site.

It just makes sense.

Constitutional Quirk or Cheat?

Friday, February 27th, 2009

Some members of our Congress are once again attempting to override the Constitution of the United States. The argument in their quest to cheat the Constitution is based on what they call a “quirk of constitutional law” which treats Washington, D.C. like it is not a state. Alarmingly, sixty-one of our Senators have agreed that our Constitution is wrong.

Article One of the Constitution allows states to send duly qualified and chosen members to the House of Representatives and the Senate. The District of Columbia was created by territory lawfully ceded from states in order to establish a district under the control of Congress.

As most folks already know, Washington D.C. has never been a state–thus the smart people reading this already know why D.C. does not have Congressmen and Senators voting to change the nation’s laws.

Nevertheless, I will continue before I make my point. I have discovered that it is far easier to write, than it is to speak, with one’s tongue in his cheek.

When James Madison wrote in the Federalist Papers that every imaginable objection seems to be obviated, he thought he had explained it well enough. But in a world where everything seems to be subject to redefinition, maybe he was wrong.

What?

Maybe he was wrong. Maybe districts and territories should have the same rights as states. If so, where would that apply?

If Washington D.C. was given States’ rights we would get two new Senators and then Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton would become a full fledged voting Congresswoman.

Washington D.C. already has a Congresswoman? But the Constitution says …

We’re not talking about what the Constitution says or doesn’t say, at least not since the third paragraph above. This entire discussion is assuming the Constitution is wrong. Right?

Okay, here we go again.

If Washington D.C. gets States’ rights, then why not Puerto Rico? Puerto Rico is filled with American’s that fight our wars and do great things. Just because they’re not a state is no reason to deny them Constitutional States’ rights, is it? Once we do that, we’ll add two more senators (making it 104) to help make our nations laws better and more fair for everyone.

And if Puerto Rico gets states’ rights, then why not the Northern Mariana Islands, the United States Virgin Islands, and American Samoa? There would be no reason to deny them states’ right also–thus the number of senators would increase to 110. Seems fair and it’s not too much of a change–only 10%.

But wait, there are other territories: Baker Island, Howland Island, Jarvis Island, Johnston Atoll, Kingman Reef, Baj Nuevo Bank, Serranilla Bank, Midway Islands, Navassa Island, Wake Atole, Palmyra Atoll ….

What? Most of those places don’t even have a population, why should they have States’ rights?

But they are territories, and if some territories get state’s rights all of them should have it, right?

Well, maybe not, I don’t know. We can’t get help from the Constitution because we already know it is wrong.

How about if we try using logic?

Because states’ rights is all about people, not necessarily the territory or land associated with it–though that counts for something. We shouldn’t give a lump of dirt States’ rights. Okay, but it seems discriminatory.

Maybe we can look at the Constitution for some help here.

Then let’s go back to Article 1 Section 8 and look at those authorities of Congress:

To exercise exclusive Legislation in all Cases whatsoever, over such District (not exceeding ten Miles square) as may, by Cession of particular States, and the Acceptance of Congress, become the Seat of the Government of the United States, and to exercise like Authority over all Places purchased by the Consent of the Legislature of the State in which the Same shall be, for the Erection of Forts, Magazines, Arsenals, dock-Yards, and other needful Buildings;


So that sounds a lot like military bases. Using the same logic, all those Federal properties known as military bases need states’ rights too, right?

Some people might argue against that by saying, “The folks in the military are not allowed to hold public office. None of those military people have a right to states’ rights. The bases were bought and paid for with public money.”

Well, so was Washington D.C. and certainly the wives and families of those military people need their rights too. Using the same logic as we did in passing out States’ rights to all the other non states, each military bases should be given States’ rights. The spouses of the military that live there could be elected to hold offices in the Senate and the House of Representatives.

Let’s see that would bring the number of Senators up to … about 750–give or take a few. Most of the new Senators would be the wives and husbands of the brave, the few, the defenders of freedom. I wonder how that will affect the amount of taxes being levied on Americans. Even more, I wonder how that will affect military pay raises and the defense budget.

One thing is for sure, if we do this, we’re going to need a bigger capital.

Or better yet, maybe our elected officials, who have taken a oath to preserve, protect, and defend the Constitution, should reconsider any act that will not preserve the Constitution of the United States.

We have a multi-partisan assault on our Constitution. Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah), Sen. Joe Liberman (I-Con) and Sen. Harry Reid (D-Nev) are only three of the sixty-one Senators who are supporting giving States’ rights to a non-state. If they believe the Constitution is flawed, they should sponsor an amendment to the Constitution to change it. Then, at least, the states get some say in the process that will degrade their exclusive status given to them by the Constitution.

Constitution cheating can’t continue — unless we the people permit it–we’ve got to stop this.

It just makes sense.