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The Patriot Act, Big Brother is Watching You

May 29, 2011
The Patriot Act
The Patriot Act

Generally, I don’t agree with most politicians simply because you can’t trust anything they say, but this week I have to agree with Senator Rand Paul of Kentucky.  When we hear the word “patriot”, images of our fore father’s struggle to give birth to a new nation come to mind, these images include the ideas of freedom, independence, and basic human rights.  Since 2001, the word “patriot” has been used as an acronym to strip the American people of freedom, independence, and basic human rights.

             The USA PATRIOT Act (more commonly known as the “Patriot Act”) is an Act of the U.S. Congress that was signed into law by President George W. Bush on October 26, 2001. The title of the Act is a contrived three letter initialism (USA) preceding a seven letter acronym (PATRIOT), which in combination stand for Uniting and Strengthening America by Providing Appropriate Tools Required to Intercept and Obstruct Terrorism Act of 2001. The Act dramatically reduced restrictions on law enforcement agencies’ ability to search telephone, e-mail communications, medical, financial, and other records; eased restrictions on foreign intelligence gathering within the United States; expanded the Secretary of the Treasury’s authority to regulate financial transactions, particularly those involving foreign individuals and entities; and broadened the discretion of law enforcement and immigration authorities in detaining and deporting immigrants suspected of terrorism-related acts. The act also expanded the definition of terrorism to include domestic terrorism, thus enlarging the number of activities to which the USA PATRIOT Act’s expanded law enforcement powers can be applied.

            Rand Paul wasn’t trying to abolish the Act, he simply wanted it re-written so certain limits would be placed on enforcement agencies abilities to invade the private lives of the average American citizen.  Rand Paul lost his battle to have the Act changed and to protect the privacy of the American people.

            Just before the midnight deadline on May 26, 2011, President Barack Obama signed a 4-year extension of three key provisions in the USA Patriot Act: roving wiretaps, searches of business records (the “library records provision”), and conducting surveillance of “lone wolves” — individuals suspected of terrorist-related activities not linked to terrorist groups.  Obama “autopens” Patriot Act extension into law – CBS News

            On the surface, this Act sounds good, it’s being used as a tool to fight terrorism and if we could trust our government not to abuse its power then it would be good.  Our government has a long history of not being able to contain its power over its own people.  This Act gives power to too many agencies (CIA, FBI, Homeland Security, Treasury Department, State and local law enforcement, and even foreign governments) for it not to be abused somewhere along the line.

            Some provisions of this Act require banks to report to the government if you open or change an account so that it may be monitored for suspicious activity.  Another provision allows the government to monitor which books your children check out at your local library because they may be a domestic terrorist.  This type of information can not only be gathered by our own government, but foreign governments as well. 

            You don’t have to be a terrorist to be monitored, maybe you have a Muslim name, maybe you made the no-fly list by mistake, or maybe you operate a blog speaking out about problems in American government.  All it takes is for someone to suspect you for any reason, the same way that people were indicted by Joseph McCarthy in the 50’s for being suspected of Communism.

            This is the same type of government oppressions that caused our fore fathers to take up arms against their government and give birth to a new nation; a nation where people would be free to live private lives without fear of government intervention.  The idea of terrorism is not to over through a government directly, terrorism is designed to cause fear and panic in people thus forcing a change in the way they live.  Terrorists have succeeded in giving our government an excuse to take away some of our rights; rights that were fought for in the American Revolution and are given to us by the Constitution.  Terrorists hate Americans because we are a free people, they don’t want us to be free, they want us living under the same iron fist they use in controlling people in their own countries and they are succeeding.  They are giving our government the tools to protect us from our own liberty.

Those who would give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety.

Benjamin Franklin

            Be very careful of all that you do because George Orwell’s “1984” is becoming a reality, just thirty years late, and Big Brother is watching you.

Big Brother


Censorship, The Lose of Our First Amendment

May 24, 2011
Meark Twain Censored

The censored Version


Huckleberry Finn, The Censored Version


Censorship in the Land of the Free.


The title of this blog is, in itself a contradiction. No one is truly free if their thoughts are suppressed or dictated by the standards of another.  The “founding fathers” of American democracy knew this by experience. That experience was a principle reason for Article 3, Amendment 1 in the Bill of Rights, which states:

                        Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion,                      

 prohibiting the free exercise thereof, or abridging the freedom of speech,

or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.

            In order to fully appreciate the inherent right given to us by the Constitution and the Bill of Rights, we need to know what censorship is. By definition, censorship means “to examine in order to suppress or delete anything considered objectionable”. The root word, “censor”, is defined as “an official with the power to examine literature, mail, etc. and remove or prohibit anything considered objectionable”. Notice the words in those definitions, “suppress”, “remove”, and “prohibit”. These are the very same actions that the Bill of Rights gives us protection from. Also, take notice of the word “official”. If Congress can make no law prohibiting the expression of thought, then who is this official? The United States does not have a Department of the Censor because it is expressly forbidden by the Bill of Rights. There are no provisions anywhere in the Constitution for censorship.

            Our “founding fathers” were wise men. They had foresight into the needs of this country and what it would take for men to be free. This knowledge was based on their dealings with a tyrannical government. Samuel Adams and John Hancock both had warrants of treason against them for speaking out against England. Thomas Paine, author of “Common Sense” pamphlet, was placed in jail in France for writing against the monarchy and his writings were banned in England. Thomas Jefferson, the principle author of The Declaration of Independence said, “I am opposed to any form of tyranny over the mind of man.

            Some would say that we shouldn’t rely on the ideas envisioned by our “founding fathers”. They lived in a past that is not relevant to the present. This type of thinking would also deem the Constitution irrelevant. It was conceived almost two hundred-twenty years ago and some believe that it should be updated to fit the times.  These are the same people that would squeal to high heaven if a single one of their constitutional rights, that they hold dear, were removed. Our choice would be to allow congress and Barrak Obama to revise a document that has stood the test of time. As for myself, I would trust the slave owning Jefferson and the promiscuous Franklin over any liberty stealing politicians of today.

            It wasn’t just our “founding fathers” who had problems with censorship. History is littered with so called “officials” who wanted to control the thoughts and actions of others. Socrates was convicted and forced to drink poison because his teachings were poisoning the minds of youths. For many governments this type of thinking has been the answer. They seek to destroy the source of any ideas that may conflict with their own.

            Many countries have taken steps to ensure that their citizens had no subversive thoughts.  In 1933, Adolf Hitler and the Nazi youth sponsored the burning of any and all books with “un-German” ideas. Any books written by a Jew, a communist, or humanists were burned, along with books written by Freud, Einstein, Jack London, H G Wells and many others. Ironically, a hundred years earlier, a German poet, Heinrich Heine, had stated “Where books are burned, human beings are destined to be burned also”. He was proven right by the mass exterminations of any that were not considered to be of the ideal “Arian Race”.

            Germany is not alone in its burning of books. There have been some instances in this country, even though rare. In 1873, Anthony Comstock convinced Congress to pass The Comstock Laws, making it illegal to transport or deliver any material considered to be “obscene or lascivious”. This included any literature or devices pertaining to birth control. Comstock claimed to have burned one hundred-sixty tons of “obscene” material and to have caused over 3000 arrests. Most of these laws have since been deemed unconstitutional, but we still have a few Federal Anti-obscenity Laws.        

           Even today, books are not safe from the judgmental ideas of the few. The American Library Association carries a list of books that have been challenged due to their content. These are not books written by radical extremists. The list includes authors that are considered literary geniuses, such as Mark Twain, Ernest Hemingway, and William Faulkner. Also included in this list are popular writers of today such as Stephen King, J.K. Rowling, and R.L. Stine. These authors have been placed on this list for various reasons, Twain (racism), King (vulgarity), and Rowling (witchcraft), just to name a few.

            Generally, these books are on this list for ridiculous reasons. Mark Twain’s use of the word “nigger”, in the book “The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn”, prompted him to be on this list and he has been labeled as a racist. It needs to be realized that this book was published in 1885 and is set twenty years before the Civil War. At that time, the word “nigger” was acceptable in society, and the term “African American” would not have had the same impact in the story. Anyone who has read this book would realize that Twain was not a racist. The story is about a white teenager and a black man trying to escape injustice and oppression by seeking freedom, which they do in the end. The real tragedy about this book being on the list is that it’s there simply because Twain was a white man that used the “N” word. Had Twain been black, this book may not have made the list. It probably would have been praised as a great work of an abolitionist. Racism is a doubled sided coin and often the term is used only when it benefits the user.

            The people who place these books on the list are few in number, but they speak the loudest. They truly believe they have a moral obligation to protect society’s virtues. Even though they are few in number, there are still fewer who are willing to take a stand against them. It’s easier to stand back and laugh at these zealots than to step up and confront them. But, while we are laughing, they are stripping us of our freedoms. Even libraries and school boards are refusing to order books that might be controversial just to avoid any confrontations.

            When asked, these zealots are appalled by the thought of children being exposed to the world’s immorality and believe they can stop it by stripping it from the world. If they truly want to save the children, they need to use their influential voice to strip the world of the immoralities of war, hunger, disease, and physical and sexual abuse.

            Censorship in most forms is wrong. It restricts the freedom of thought and expression. It places limits on the material we are allowed to ingest, thus restricting our ability to make a sound judgment based on all the facts. Censorship also removes the public’s right to decide what the truth is.  Censorship is propaganda used to sway the mind of individuals. This type of propaganda has been used by many countries during times of war to control the thoughts of others.

            If censorship was allowed in this country, what would be the limits? Would our favorite magazine be pulled from the shelves because someone did not like its content? Would they start editing the Bible because it offended someone? Don’t laugh, it’s already happening. Many churches have removed hymns from their songbooks because of offensive words, such as the hymn There’s Power in the Blood.

            It is understood that you cannot expose children to everything; their levels of maturities are different. It is not advisable to allow children at the age of six to read about puberty when they have no understanding of the word. But, you shouldn’t remove it from children of fourteen, who are struggling to understand the changes occurring within their bodies and the feelings of being alone with these changes. Mark Twain (the racist), once said “Censorship is telling a man he can’t have steak just because a baby can’t chew it”.

            The fact that government can not and should not be responsible to censor has been established. It has also been established that the few can not and should not regulate for all. But, who is to monitor our children and their selections of reading material? One answer would be parents! Now, I know that is hard to accept. In this day and age, it’s hard enough for two people to live together and survive with the way the economy is. The added burden of trying to guide children has become too much for most parents. It’s more convenient just to be the biological producer of children and allow others to raise these offspring. The real parents of today are our children’s peers, their schools, the television, and the computer. But, parents should and must take responsibility for raising their children. Their minds need guidance, but it is not the responsibility of the government to supervise this guidance. No school or library can know what each parent deems as appropriate. No one else should decide what is appropriate for our children except us as parents. This would mean monitoring what our children access on computers, monitoring what they see on television, and monitoring what they select to read.

            Again, it is understood that today it is difficult to monitor all of our children’s activities, and some compromises may be necessary. Age appropriate material may help alleviate the problem. Age appropriate material is not censorship; it is still available to the public at large, but not available to under-age children. Making age appropriate material has worked for movies and somewhat for television. Maybe this could be the answer for schools and libraries. It might even appease the zealots and offer some relief for parents.

            At the same time we are monitoring our children, we should remember that their minds crave imagination and creative thought. When you remove literature such as Harry Potter, you are removing their dreams, their right to envision the improvable that might be possible. Even though not a child, Martin Luther King had a dream and a censor put a bullet into that dream. That dream was able to live on because of the freedom of expression. Don’t let them put a bullet into our children’s dreams.

            Whatever the solution may be, it is important for everyone to be involved in the decision, not the few and definitely not the government. To get involved, contact your local library or The American Library Association. They sponsor “Banned Book Week” every year during the last week of September.

            Remember, just as Benjamin Franklin said, “If all printers were determined not to print anything till they were sure it would offend no one, there would be very little printed”.

A Burden on the American Taxpayer, The Career Politician, Part IV

May 22, 2011
Sign from Tax Day Rally

We should be pissed off


            Welcome to part IV of The Career Politician, this will be the final part in this series.  I hope that you have been following along with my posts, if not; I suggest that you read my prior posts first.  In this part, I plan on covering congressional salaries, benefits, and perks that are all paid for by the American taxpayer.  As always, I invite you to leave a comment at the end of my blog letting me know your thoughts on the subject.  You can also subscribe by email and you’ll receive a notice each time that I post a blog, the button to subscribe is on the right in the sidebar.  Be sure to share my website on Facebook and Yahoo.  I really appreciate all of you that have taken the time to read my posts.  Now on to the meat and taters of my post:

            I don’t believe anyone would argue the fact that our legislators are well paid, but most people don’t realize how well. The average rank and file member of congress gets an annual base salary of $174,000, and the Speaker of the House has a base of $223,000, the same as Supreme Court justices.  When you consider that we have 9 Supreme Court justices, 435 Representatives and 100 Senators, the American taxpayer is charged just over 95 million dollars a year just to support their salaries.  These salaries increase every year due to an annual cost of living adjustment (COLA).  This is just the icing on the cake; it’s what is under that icing that leaves a sour taste on the taxpayer’s palate.

            Contrary to popular belief, politicians do pay into Social Security, just like the rest of us, and have been since 1984.  It’s the other pension plans that are the most lucrative to them.  Since 1984, members are covered by the Federal Employees’ Retirement System, in which they contribute 1.3 per cent of their salary and pay 6.2 percent to Social Security.  There is also a special thrift-savings account, similar to a 401K that comes with a one-to-one match, meaning that for every dollar they contribute, the government contributes a dollar, this can be for as much as 5 percent of their salary. These pension benefits are two to three times more generous than those offered in the private sector for similarly-salaried executives. Taxpayers directly cover at least 80 percent of this costly plan. A member of congress can be fully vested in as little as five years and receive 100% of their retirement benefits.  To date there are nearly five hundred retired members of congress, many of which are receiving over $60,000 a year in retirement payments.  Congressional pensions are also inflation-protected, a feature that fewer than 1 in 10 private plans offer. 

                Current and retired members of congress also enjoy what is considered to be the “Rolls-Royce” of health care plans  Co-pays for this plan can be as low as $5 and prescriptions as low as $10.  The average cost to federal employees under this plan is $1034 per month, of which $700 is paid directly with taxpayer dollars and the employee is responsible for the rest, but since taxpayers directly pay their salaries, in essence, we pay the entire amount of their health and retirement.

            There are too many benefits that cost taxpayers millions of dollars to list separately here, so I’ll just list them and this is by no means a complete list:

  • Free outpatient care at military hospitals such as Bethesda Naval Hospital.
  • A 2 to 4 million dollar yearly budget for office administration.
  • A furniture expense account.
  • Franking Privileges, which are subsidized mass mailings for incumbents.
  • Free parking at Washington area airports.
  • Free income tax preparation.
  • Special tax breaks for maintaining a second residence.
  • They receive a week for federal holidays, where most Americans get a day.
  • Free Congressional Research Service, so they don’t have to pay for legwork.
  • Free members only gym and pool.
  • Free members only dining room

            Is it any wonder why politicians stay in office for so long? All of their needs are covered by the American taxpayer and we still give them a salary.  Benjamin Franklin had the right idea; he proposed that elected government officials not be paid for their service.  George Washington believed that eight years in office was long enough for anyone, after that, someone else should have a try at it.

            American taxpayers and American government would be better served by benefits for Members of Congress that look more like incentives than perks Enactment of proposals for a defined-contribution pension plan, a scaled-back franking privilege, and a pay level tied to government efficiency, and a term-limit Constitutional amendment would help to restore balance to a system plagued by the trappings of office. 

            Career politicians continue to rape the American people of our rights while they steal from our wallets and we do nothing because we can’t stand together and make the changes that need to be made.  Americans are more than willing to lay down their lives defending themselves from a foreign enemy, but when it comes to defending our rights at home we have become the land of the weak and the home of the chickensh!t.  Most of you, who read this blog post, won’t even take the time to voice an opinion on here by leaving a comment and if you’re not willing to let your voice be heard here, how in the hell do you think your voice is going to be heard in Washington!

Political Term Limits, The Downfall of The Career Politican, Part III

May 19, 2011
Franklin Roosevelt

I don't like term limits


Welcome to part III of The Career Politician.  I hope that you have been following along with my posts, if not; I suggest that you read my past two posts first.  In this part I plan on covering term limits and the problems they cause.  I’ll try to stay on the beaten path this time; I have a tendency to stray just a little.  As always, I invite you to leave a comment at the end of my blog letting me know your thoughts on the subject.  You can also subscribe by email and you’ll receive a notice each time that I post a blog, the button to subscribe is on the right in the sidebar.  Be sure to share my website on Facebook and Yahoo.  I really appreciate all of you that have taken the time to read my posts.  Now on to the meat and taters of my post:

            Term limits are already imposed on some public offices, the President, Vice-President, and State Governors and for the same principles it is equally imperative for all our legislators, even high judicial seats should have term limits.  The power these people have over laws that govern and affect the lives of every American is substantial and should be limited to allow for new and fresh ideas.  Instead we elect the same politicians, year in and year out, just because we are familiar with their name or they haven’t been caught doing us any grave injustice.  With this, we end up with the same tired old platforms and rhetoric.  We expect things to change within our government without changing the legislators that lead us.  We like to blame politicians because policies in our government aren’t changing, but actually the fault lies with us for not electing a different person to that office.  Term limits would force these changes to happen, and we all know these changes are past due.

            An eight year term limit seems to work well for presidents and governors, why not have the same limits for senators and representatives.  Senate terms could be limited to two 4 year terms and representatives could have four 2 year terms.  If you can’t make a change in eight years, it’s not likely that you ever will.  Of course to be fair, these limits would only be imposed to those particular offices, they would still be free to run for other offices, such as governor or president.  We could even allow for a representative to later run for senate and then on to governor or president.  This could allow for the politician to remain in some public office for as much as twenty-four years.  That is plenty of time for the career politician to live off the toil and sweat of the American people.

I think we have more machinery of government than is necessary, too many parasites living on the labor of the industrious.

Thomas Jefferson

These same limits should also be applied to high judicial seats such as Supreme Court Justices.  These people are appointed by presidents, approved by congress, and then rule over the laws of the land for the rest of their lives.  These people don’t guard the letter of the constitution as it was written, they try to interpret it, allowing their opinions and biases form their rulings.  Their beliefs rarely change and they are not accountable to the American public because they are not elected.  This is exactly the reason why term limits should be imposed on high judicial seats.

You may think that term limits are not really a problem, no politician remains in office that long.  Well, let’s just take a look at that.  Within this past century there have been over 50 senators and representatives that have served over 35 years each in office.  I’ll give you the top five senators:

  • Robert Byrd                                     51 years          176 days
  • Daniel Inouye                                 48 years         136 days
  • Strom Thurmond                           47 years         159 days
  • Ted Kennedy                                   46 years         292 days
  • Carl Hayden                                     41 years          305 days

But even these don’t hold a light to John Dingell, Jr., representative from Michigan.  He has been in office continually for 55 years, 157 days.  And to top it off, he took over the office when it was vacated by the death of his father, John Dingell, Sr., who held the seat for twenty-two years.  So in Michigan, there has been a Dingell in office since 1933.  This is not a career, it’s a family dynasty.

No man should be in public office who can’t make more money in private life.

Thomas E. Dewey

One of the problems with Americans is that we expect everyone else to change without having to make any changes ourselves.  How can we expect our government to change if we are not willing to make a change?  We are all about comfort, it’s easier to listen to the lies of politicians and re-elect an incumbent (because we are comfortable with them) than it is to investigate who is actually the best person for the job.  This just creates a burden and expense on the American taxpayer.

In part IV, I’ll reveal the cost of career politicians on the American public.  A new post will be available Sunday, May 22.  If these posts don’t sway you into believing that it’s past due for a change in our government then nothing will.  Once again, thank you for your time and feel free to click that “Leave a Comment” button; I would appreciate your insight.


Legal Bribery in American Politics, The Career Politican, Part II

May 17, 2011
Money Changing Hands
Legal Bribery


            In my previous blog post, I began ranting about the problems of having “career politicians” in office.  This is part II of a series on politicians and corruption in American government.  I will try to make each part a stand alone post, but it is probably best to read this series in the order that it was written.

            When a politician is elected to office, sometimes even before, they are inundated with people and businesses that want to try to influence how they will vote on certain bills and issues.  Of course these people want the politician to vote in a way that is beneficial to their business or cause.  Beginning with the Industrial Revolution, American businesses saw tremendous growth in demand for products and the profits that that demand created.  No longer having time to meet with politicians one on one, these business owners hired liaisons or “lobbyists” to do their bidding for them.

            Webster’s New World dictionary defines a lobbyist as “one who tries to get legislators to support certain measures”.  In order to get what they want, these lobbyist need to offer the politician something that he wants.  What do all politicians, especially career politicians want?  They want to be re-elected and that takes money and votes.  So a lobbyist will propose that if a politician backs a certain measure, the company he represents will make a campaign contribution to that politician election fund.  Now, no matter what promises he made to the people that elected him, he has sold himself to a corporation and represents their interest, not the people.

     Power is a drug on which the politicians are hooked. They buy it from the voters, using the voters’ own money.

         – Richard J. Needham

            To complicate matters even more, we have politician A, who now represents corporation A and politician B representing corporation B.  Both politicians need to get their corporate bills passed, so they need additional support.  A says to B, “I’ll support your bill if you support mine.”  Both bills get passed, so the corporations got what they wanted; the politicians got campaign money, so they got what they wanted.  The people are the only ones that didn’t get what they wanted, and they were the ones that elected the politician in the first place.

            Money is not the only way to influence a politician; some can be bought with sex.  It has happened many times and a few politicians have been caught, but very few.  Voter influence is another way to buy a politician.  The corporation that I work for is union and on some vehicles in our parking lot are bumper stickers that state “U@W supports Obama”, this doesn’t guarantee the union members will vote as the union suggests, but it’s highly likely because union members support their union just as they expect their union to support them.  In order to get this support, a politician has to be able to offer something in return, ie, something that will benefit the union.

            This is the heart of our dysfunctional government.  These politicians lie to the American people, to get elected, filling them with false hopes of a brighter future.  Then prostitute themselves for money, sex, and votes.  This is nothing more than “legal bribery” in our political system and the worst part may be that the Supreme Court has sanctioned it.

    Politics is supposed to be the second oldest profession. I have come to realize that it bears a very close resemblance to the first.

         – Ronald Reagan

            I believe that all lobbyists and special interest groups should be illegal.  They have no basis or right for their existence except for the greed of the corporations they represent.  Any person or group offering a politician money, sex, or votes should be immediately imprisoned and the company they represent should be made to pay a fine that goes to reduce our deficit.  Any politician caught accepting a bribe from a lobbyist, should be removed from office and imprisoned for violating the trust of the American people.

            I realize that we probably can’t get rid of campaign contributions completely, but they should have a cap; whether corporate or private they should have a $250 maximum limit.  Anything above this limit should be considered bribery.  This money then should go into a federal campaign fund.  Also, to level the playing field for anyone to run for office, no candidate should be allowed to use their own money to campaign with.  This violates our constitutional principles of equal opportunities for all people in our nation.  If a candidate qualifies for federal campaign monies, then that is what should be used to run for office.  Otherwise, the candidate should hit the campaign trail just like everyone else has for the last 200 plus years.

           Whether you agree with my views for not, I invite you to leave a comment.  Tell me your ideas to improve our government system.  If you like my blogs, subscribe by email in the sidebar on the right, you’ll receive notice by email when I post, not spam.  Be sure to tell your friends about this site.

Becoming Rich in America, The Career Politician

May 15, 2011
Davy Crockett in congress
Courtesy of Walt Disnet Studios

            Prior to the 1960’s, if you wanted to become wealthy, you were told to work hard.  In the 70’s and 80’s, the quickest way to fortune was to invest in real estate.  Today, the fastest route to fame and fortune is to become a career politician.  As soon as you let it be known that you are running for a public office, no matter how bad your platform is, someone is going to want to contribute to your campaign.  They know that by sliding a little money in your pocket, if you get elected, they’ll have you in their pocket.  The farther up the political ladder you move, the more money you can make.

            Our state and federal governments are loaded with career politicians who have never known what it’s like to put in a hard day’s work.  They come from wealthy families that don’t have to struggle to pay bills or put food on the table. Do you honestly believe that a career politician, such as Ted Kennedy, knew what life is like for the average American?   Yet we elect these people over and over again to represent us, because they tell us that they understand what we are going through and they will make a change in government.  What they neglect to tell us is the changes they have planned is for their benefit, not ours. 

Whenever a man has cast a longing eye on office, a rottenness begins in his conduct.

Thomas Jefferson

             Politicians will not serve the common people of this nation until they are common people of this nation. Politicians are rich to begin with or else they could not afford to run as an “effective” candidate. They do not relate to common people and speak only in euphemistic idealism and platitudes of popular ideals. None of which they have any intentions of following through with.  They have no idea what it is like to be a common American.

            “By the people, for the people”; our founding fathers tried to create a form of government that would be a representation for all the people, by all the people.  They envisioned true citizen legislators that would come from all walks of life, not just the wealthy that could afford to be elected representing those that couldn’t.  These citizen legislators were meant to serve their time in office, and then return to their normal lives.  A perfect example of this scenario would be the legendary American frontiersman, Davy Crockett.  A courageous American from the frontier of Tennessee, who served the people of his state as a congressman, then returned to the frontier and voluntarily gave his life for the freedom of another territory, Texas, simply because it was the right thing to do.  This was a true citizen legislator.  How many of our politicians today would be willing to leave office and fight for Libya’s freedom?

            Serving your country should be an honor, not a career, unless you‘re a soldier.  We need term limits for all politicians, because apparently Americans are not smart enough to realize that things won’t change by putting the same politicians in place year after year.  We keep making the same mistakes by re-electing the same people, but expect a different outcome.

            The time has come for us to get control of our incredibly dysfunctional form of government and set the things straight.  This will require an effort equal to what happened in Egypt and Tunisia, and trying to happen in Libya. Until we have common people in the legislature and running the government, we are never going to solve the problems in this country.  Real change will only happen if and when we make it happen. 

Any people anywhere, being inclined and having the power, have the right to rise up and shake off the existing government and form a new one. This is a most valuable and sacred right – a right which we hope and believe is to liberate the world.

Abraham Lincoln



            This is Part I of a multi-part blog about the problems in America forced upon us by career politicians.

             If you have any ideas or comments, please post them by clicking the “Leave a Comment” button.

Being Politically Correct in America, Illegal Aliens vs. Undocumented Immigrants

May 12, 2011
Border Crossing Signs
Courtesy of Greenberg Art

     We live in a country where our freedom of speech is protected by the first amendment, at least to a certain extent. We can say or write anything we want as long as we don’t offend anyone. The art of manipulating words to be less offensive, without changing the meaning is called being “politically correct”. Notice what I just said, the words are different, but the meaning is the same. In the play, Romeo and Juliet, William Shakespeare wrote, “A rose by any other name would smell as sweet”. The word that you choose to use doesn’t change the meaning, if you meant it to be offensive, then it’s going to be offensive to someone. That’s why politically correct words are always changing, because someone is going to be offended, it’s inevitable.

     Americans are the worst about needing to be politically correct. We are a multi-cultural society and we walk around on eggshells in fear that someone is going to be offended by something we say or do. I’m sure that something that I have already said has offended someone. One of the biggest reasons that we fear being offensive isn’t the offense itself, it’s what comes afterwards. Civil rights groups monitor the internet, TV, and newspapers on a daily basis, just waiting to slap a lawsuit on an organization or individual that violates human rights or causes an offense. It’s not that they really care about rights violations, at some point, someone was just smart enough to realize that they could make money off of it, “Hey, let’s sue”. If they don’t win, it doesn’t matter, because they gained the publicity, which will cause more people to come to them, meaning more lawsuits, hence more money.

     Recently, civil rights groups have sought to change the term “illegal alien” because it is offensive to individuals who have slipped through our borders and want to remain here without becoming a productive member of the American society. Let’s take a look at the term “illegal alien”, the word “alien” simply means, not of this place. A plant or an animal can be alien to a certain climate, just as a foreigner can be alien to America, nothing offensive there, just a statement of fact. Now let’s look at the word “illegal” in reference to immigration, which simply means not legal; a person that is in this country and not going through the process to become a legal citizen. Civil rights groups say that the term “illegal alien” is demeaning and therefore against a person’s constitutional rights; they want the term changed to “undocumented immigrant”.

     Let’s stop the presses and back the hell up, I don’t give a damn what you call it, they immigrated to this country from someplace else (alien), and they are undocumented (illegal). As far as rights, the United States Constitution was written to protect the rights of American citizens, not foreign nationals that happen to be hiding in this country and living off of programs designed to provide for the underprivileged American. If they want rights and don’t want to be called “illegal aliens”, then go through the process of becoming documented to obtain those rights. That doesn’t mean, slip across the border, screw around and become pregnant. Then live off of welfare, food stamps and WIC that is provided by American taxpayers just so you can have an anchor baby (delivery paid by the same taxpayers) and instantly you have an American baby that protects you from deportation.

     This almost sounds like I hate foreigners, which is not the case, somewhere along the lines, my family immigrated to this country. I have no problem with anyone who wants to come to America. I just want them to do it the right way. Announce your presence, start the process, learn the language, then learn the language (that’s not a typo), and become a viable, productive, taxpaying citizen. Then you can have all the rights and privileges of every other American, until then, don’t cry because a couple of words hurts your feelings.

     I believe that one of the biggest problems in this country today is that we pussy-foot around issues that are important because we don’t want to rock the boat.  I say, to Hell with the boat America, it has a big hole in it and it’s sinking fast. We had better learn how to swim or this nation is going to drown. The longer we sit back and not let our voices be heard, just gives that much more time for our rights and freedoms to be stripped away from us. It’s time to Stand Up America, Come Together, and Take This Country Back!!

     If you have any feelings about this post, let me hear it, click the “leave comment box”.

Open Your Wallets America, Fannie Mae Needs Another Bailout

May 10, 2011
Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac

Artwork by Robert Reich


     On Friday, May 6th, Fannie Mae asked Uncle Sam for an additional $8.5 billion in aid to help cover their first quarter losses, which amount to $8.7 billion.  They attribute these losses to risky mortgages they purchased between 2005 and 2008, in other words, bad business practices.  “We expect our credit-related losses to remain elevated in 2011 as we continue to be negatively impacted by the prolonged decline in home prices,” President and CEO Michael Williams said in a statement.  Home prices declined 1.8 percent, on average, in the United States during the first quarter of this year.  This decline led to more foreclosures and homeowners abandoning properties that were worth less than they owed on their mortgages.

      The bailout of Fannie Mae is this most expensive bailout of a single company in U.S. history, nearing $100 billion.  Along with the bailout of its sibling company Freddie Mac, the government expects the entire rescue to cost taxpayers about $259 billion.  Who are Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac?  Their names sound like a sweet old couple puttering around our neighborhoods helping everybody out, their helping everybody out alright, helping everybody out of their money.  In reality, they are nothing more than an investment company that buys home loans from banks and other lenders, packages them into bonds with a guarantee against default and sell them to other investors around the world (just a nice way to say selling our property to other countries).

      When property values drop like in the first quarter of this year or homeowners default, either by foreclosure or abandonment, because of the no default guarantees, Fannie and Freddie must pay their investors for the losses.  Because of buying risky mortgages, their no default guarantee, and the government bailout, the American people are now paying for their losses.  Wouldn’t it be nice to know that you could start a business and if it began to lose money, someone else would pay your bills?  I don’t remember the government asking me permission to use my money to bailout anyone, I don’t remember it being on any politician’s agenda when he ran for office, so how did I get stuck with the bill?  The same way we get stuck with most things we don’t want or need to pay for.

      Why is the government so interested in bailing out these two companies?  Because of their size, together Fannie and Freddie own or guarantee about half of all mortgages in the U.S., nearly 31 million home loans worth more than $5 trillion.  Along with other federal agencies, they backed nearly 90 percent of all new mortgages over the past year. Ninety percent, that’s hitting pretty close to a monopoly, which the government is suppose to be dead against; remember they broke up Bell Telephone and recently drug Microsoft before congress.  Then again, I guess it’s useless to drag yourself before yourself, meaning that since Fannie and Freddie are now government controlled, the government would be placing itself before congress.  It is a little ironic that a company accused of mismanagement is now controlled by another entity that is infamous for mismanagement.   

             It’s kind of confusing, all I know for sure is that I’m sick and tired of seeing my tax dollars go to major corporations to bail them out simply because they mismanaged things in the first place.  Especially when they use that bail out money to award their corporate officers outrageous bonuses.  This is what it boils down to, if you have a mortgage and are paying taxes, you are actually paying for two houses, but in the end, you are only going to own one.

             Of course, let’s be fair, Fannie and Freddie are suppose to pay that bail out money back with interest.  If and when they do, I don’t believe that Uncle Sam is going to send the American taxpayers their share of that collected interest on our money along with a thank you note.

             If you are tired of seeing our tax dollars being used to pad the pockets of major corporations, let someone know how you feel.  On the contact page of this blog are the names, addresses, and website links to President Obama and the Senators from every state; use them.  Also, this is a blog site, it’s meant for you to comment about what I wrote so that we may share ideas.  Whether you agree with me or not, let me know.

For The Mothers of The American Soldier

May 8, 2011

Roses for Momma

Mother’s Day – In honor of Mother’s Day, I thought it fitting to pay a tribute to our dear mothers instead of griping about politics, terrorism, or the way of the world.  These marvelous women, who carried us through pregnancy, suffered through labor, and nurtured us through childhood, deserve to be honored every day not just on the second Sunday of May.  Mothers are special people who made a decision to give up the lives, bodies, and sometimes their minds, just so they could bring other lives into the world.  Nothing can compare to the look of joy on a mother’s face as she gazes upon her newborn child for the first time.

            In 1870, Julia Ward Howe wrote “Mother’s Day Proclamation”, which was an early call for a Mother’s Day celebration.  The Proclamation was tied to her feminist belief that women had a responsibility to shape their societies at the political level.  After this Proclamation, Ann Jarvis founded five Mother’s Day Work Clubs to improve health and sanitary conditions.  Two years after her death, her daughter Anna Jarvis began a campaign to make “Mother’s Day” a recognized holiday in the United States.  In 1912 she trademarked the phrases “second Sunday in May” and “Mother’s Day”.  She was specific about the location of the apostrophe; it was to be singular possessive, meaning that each family should honor their mother, not plural possessive commemorating all mothers in the world.  In 1914, Woodrow Wilson signed the law making the second Sunday in May, Mother’s Day, an official holiday in the United States.

            All mothers are special in their own right, but there is a special group of mothers that stand out, perhaps a little higher than the rest.  These are the mothers that give up their sons and daughters to the service of their country.  These mothers are so special that they are willing to lay the lives of their beloved children at God’s feet in sacrifice of their country.  Sometimes these sacrifices are not just for the rights and freedoms of Americans; sometimes it becomes necessary to protect the rights and freedom of people in other countries.  Why are they willing to risk the lives of their children for others; simply because it’s the right thing to do.  How strong these women must be to turn loose their child’s hand never knowing if they will hold it again.

            To the sons and daughters, on foreign soil so far from your mothers today, fighting and dying in servitude to your country, you have my undying gratitude.  To the mothers that have given their children to defend the ideals of this great nation, you have my appreciation.  Lastly, to the mothers that lost children in any conflict, yours is the ultimate sacrifice, and rest assured they will not be forgotten by the people of this nation.

            I would like to dedicate a poem to the mothers, who will never again celebrate the love of their child on Mother’s Day.

The mother of a soldier
— hats off to her, I say!
The mother of a soldier
who has gone to face the fray;
She gave him to her country
with a blessing on his head —
She found his name this morning

in the long list of the dead:
Killed – her only son,
while leading the rest,
A Bible in his pocket
and a portrait on his breast!

The mother of a soldier
— she gave him to her land;
She saw him on the transport
as he waved his sun-browned hand;
She kissed him through the teardrops
and she told him to be brave;
Her prayers went night and morning
with her boy upon the wave.

The mother of a soldier —
her comfort and her joy,
She gave her dearest treasure
when she gave her only boy;
She saw the banners waving,
she heard the people cheer;
She clasped her hands and bravely
looked away to hide a tear.

The mother of a soldier —
ah! Cheer the hero deed,
And cheer the brave who battle
‘neath the banner of their creed;
But don’t forget the mothers,
through all the lonely years
That fight the bravest battles
on the sunless field of tears.

Nay, don’t forget the mothers —
the mothers of our men,
Who see them go and never know
if they’ll ever come back again;
That give them to their country,
to battle and to die,
Because the bugles call them
and the starry banners fly.

The mother of a soldier —
hats off to her, I say!

Whose head is bowed in sorrow
with its tender locks of gray.
She gave without regretting,
though her old heart sorely bled
When she found his name this morning
in the long list of the dead:
Killed – her only son,
while leading the rest,
His dear old mother’s portrait
clasped upon his hero breast!

~by Folger McKinsey~



PS: To my mother, I LOVE YOU!

Uncle Sam’s Deep Pockets Unaffected by Pakistan’s Threats

May 5, 2011


American Money


     IMPORTANT MESSAGE FROM PAKISTAN TO THE UNITED STATES: “Stay the hell out of our country, but keep sending us American jobs and all that wonderful foreign aid”. Pakistan’s military gave us a stern warning today that they would not stand for another raid like the one that brought down Osama Bin Laden. They say that they are worried it would set a precedent for other countries to invade their sovereignty. They also wanted to minimize the American military presence in their country; that’s the 275 American soldiers that are training their military. Read more: Pakistan’s army warns US not to stage more raids. I’m not sure if that threat was meant to scare us; after all, we flew in and spent forty minutes killing Osama and collecting evidence before their army could travel a few hundred yards from their base to Osama’s compound. Then flew completely out of the country before they could get a jet off the ground.

     The search for Bin Laden has been going on for almost a decade. For six of those ten years he lived in Pakistan, in a one million dollar compound, in a middle class neighborhood. A compound with eighteen foot high walls, barbed wire at the top, no incoming telephone or internet wires, and no trash pick ups allowed. A compound just a few hundred yards from a military academy (their version of West Point) and a two-hour drive from their capital city. Even though supplied with information from our CIA and billions of dollars in foreign aid to fight terrorism, they had no idea that he was hiding there. Something smells a little fishy to me, it’s either their pack of lies or Bin Laden’s rotting corpse at the bottom of the ocean.

     The Obama administration has requested three billion dollars in foreign aid to Pakistan in the fiscal year 2012, along with $2.3 billion in funding to boost that nation’s counterterrorism capacity. That’s more than any other country in the world other than Afghanistan. This seems like a waste of American Taxpayer’s hard-earned money if you ask me. Pakistan has been receiving $1.3 billion annually in foreign aid from the United States for more than a decade. That’s not counting the billions of dollar that the American people have lost due to the outsourcing of their jobs, so corporations could make more profit. The only thing that this has bought us is more Anti-Americanism.

     Since World War II, the United States has been freely handing out taxpayer money in foreign aid to countries that don’t really appreciate it and have no intention of ever paying it back. In 1990, the United States government forgave 17.1 billion dollars in foreign aid debt. This money doesn’t just go to third world countries where people are starving, in 2004, the United States gave away over $39 billion to 150 different countries, and 38% of that went to the Middle East (money from the sale of oil wasn’t enough to fund all the terrorist activities). In the past, even Russia has been a recipient of taxpayer money, $1.41 billion in 1994.

     It is long past due that the American taxpayers demand a stop to their money going to countries that despise us. That money could be put to good use here at home, and I don’t mean to bail out banks or automotive manufacturers. It could be used to bail out the average American who is quickly sinking in the dismal abyss of our own economy. It could be used for schools, roads, and other projects, which would create jobs and reduce unemployment. It could be used as benefits for the long-term unemployed, who have now lost just about everything. Greed and wasteful spending by corporations and our own government is the major reasons behind our economic situation.

     Its time America, to get off your collective asses and demand a change from our elected politicians. And, if they can’t or won’t make the changes they promise, then let’s hold them accountable by not re-electing them.


Uncle Sam Carries the World

Uncle Sam Carries the World

     As a closing, I would like to leave you with something that is floating around Facebook, I don’t know it’s author, so I can’t cite it.

So Bin laden is standing before God waiting to hear his punishment, when God gets a tap on the shoulder. There behind him stand 343 firemen, 72 police officers, one K9 officer, 3,000 American citizens & over 5,000 soldiers. “Don’t worry God, we got this!!!”

  Have a different opinion, view, or just like my post……leave a comment!!