Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Restoring Fiscal Prudence in Government

President Obama and congressional Democrats have already let it be known that they will refuse to negotiate when it comes to raising the debt ceiling as, yet again, we're about to run out of borrowing authority.  Their position is that Congress must ensure the full faith and credit of the United States by doing whatever is necessary to ensure we pay our bills...and, after all, it's Congress that voted to spend the money in the first place.

I can see their point.

The way to stop the perpetual borrowing and spending of our federal government is not for politicians to fight debt ceiling increases.  Instead, politicians need to fight against new and increased spending that results in the need for debt ceiling increases.  If we quit spending irresponsibly, we'll get to the point we don't need to borrow and can actually start paying down our debt while still "investing in America" (gag).

We've got to start prioritizing where our money goes, just like any other person, family, business or entity that is out of money and has maxed out the credit cards.  This isn't a hard concept for most people to understand.  Many people, especially over the last several years, deal with this problem every single day.  They can't just shit money when they run out.  They can't just go demand a raise from their employer "or else".  They can't walk into their bank and approve their own credit limit increases.  They have to cut back on some things, eliminate others, and determine priorities for what's left.

And that's what our federal government needs to do.

The problem is to the point where absolutely everything in the budget needs to be looked at and right-sized in terms of funding.  We are pouring way too much money into things that should be a low priority - if even a priority at all - and we're not spending enough on things that are critically important.

This is an excellent website that tries to consolidate a lot of information about our finances into easy-to-understand graphics, charts, and explanations.  The biggest takeaway for me is that the U.S. Treasury is our third-largest budget item behind defense and HHS.  The lion's share of that item is interest payments.  It's money we're flushing down the toilet for which we get NOTHING in return.  It's not unlike making a credit card payment of $200, with only $35 of that going towards the outstanding balance.  The other $165 is interest.  Many of us do what we have to do in order to not be in a situation where we're paying $165 in interest for every $200 we pay on our debt, so why should the government think that's OK to do with our tax money?

The 2014 budget assumes revenues (taxes) of $3.03T, spending of $3.77T, with a big fat deficit of $744B to add to the total debt of $17.3T. 

To put this in terms most people can wrap their heads around, it's like making $30,300 a year, but spending $37,700...adding $7,400 per year to your total debt of $173,000.

No bank in its right mind would lend you money if that's how you roll.  Ever.  And we, as the "bank" for the federal government, should demand an end to this kind of irresponsible, imprudent, and UNACCEPTABLE spending.

Here is Sen. Tom Coburn's "Wastebook", which contains a yearly sampling of idiotic spending by our federal government.  While the amounts look small against a multi-trillion dollar budget, it adds up quickly.  I personally work for a company who, several years ago, literally removed every third light bulb in all of its offices.  I don't remember the exact amount saved, but it was in the millions of dollars.  It goes to show that cutting out even little tiny bits of fat across the board can go a long way.

Besides unscrewing lightbulbs, here are a few suggestions on how we can get our fiscal house back in order:

First, eliminate all spending that even remotely resembles anything in Coburn's Wastebook.  Not a sampling of it, ALL of it.  Close the unoccupied buildings and sell them.  Bring back the equipment from the sandbox and either sell it, or replace the old, tired crap that our military units have to train with.  No more studies concluding that wives need to calm down.  Let Africa study the penis-washing habits of Africans, with African money.

Next, yank all "aid" to foreign countries.  Most of them hate America anyway.  We have plenty of Americans on welfare here, we don't need foreigners hanging off our teat too.  Let the great and wonderful United Nations handle all that nonsense.  And while we're at it, dial back our funding of that anti-American organization and kick its ass off American soil.  That alone would free up about a billion dollars worth of New York real estate.

Now, quit footing the bill for illegal aliens.  If they aren't subsidized, many will leave.  If they have anchor babies/wives/family members that are citizens or enjoy legal status, those people can choose to stay, or they can choose to leave with the illegal alien.  It's not our fault your beloved illegal broke our laws.  It's his.  Take it up with him and don't come whining to us about his criminal stupidity.  And for crying out loud, don't reward illegals with amnesty.  We would end up spending trillions more if we legalize these foreign lawbreakers.

By now we're making some progress.  But not enough, fast enough.  Here are a few more suggestions to rapidly get the balance sheet where it needs to be:

Get rid of bloat.  The IRS is unnecessary; there are numerous credible proposals for tax system reform floating around out there (such as the Fair Tax), and many of them don't include the need for a bloated, weaponized bureaucracy like the IRS.  Goodbye, Department of Education.  Adios, Department of Agriculture.  See ya, Department of Labor.  This stuff, if even necessary, belongs in the states.


After all of that, we should be in pretty good shape.  But if not, we'll yank funding of nice-to-have items like arts and research for a year or two, and use that money towards our debt.  The arts are nice to have, but when it comes to adequately funding the VA or subsidizing Les Miserables performances all over the country, the former comes first.  As for funding research, Susan G. Komen and the March of Dimes will have to suffice for awhile.  It won't be the end of the world.

Now, we get our house in order.  First, pass a balanced budget amendment to the Constitution.  Every state is bound by law to balance its budget, and so should the federal government.  Eliminate earmarks by forcing lawmakers to keep bills specific in scope with all spending directly related to the bill's specific purpose - and each bill must include specific Constitutional justification to be considered.  Take the keys to Social Security away from the federal government and hand them over to an independent organization overseen and audited by a rotating group of five states' attorneys general. 

Narrow the mission of our military forces to focus solely on foreign threats to the United States and our allies that we're obligated by treaty to defend, draw down accordingly, and shift 50% of the saved money to the VA while using the other 50% to increase pay and benefits to our remaining troops and their families so none of them, down to the lowest-ranking private, are on food stamps.

Audit the Federal Reserve at random intervals, and do the same with each remaining cabinet department.  The DoD alone lost $2.3 trillion dollars, along with several billion more in equipment.

Last but not least, install real accountability, with the states providing oversight of the federal government, as it should be.

Will all (or any) of this work?  Who knows.  I think there's a not-insignificant amount of corruption and cronyism in government, and I think that's where a lot of money disappears to.  With the government as large as it is, with so many moving parts and overlapping jurisdictions and responsibilities, the scale of imprudence is less disturbing than the utter lack of interest in meaningful reform.  Just shrinking the behemoth by doing away with nonessential cabinet departments would go a long way towards getting things turned around.

Monday, January 27, 2014

Two Wrongs Don't Make a Right

When citizens of a foreign country enter the United States, they do so in one of two ways: the right way or the wrong way.

The right way is the way that millions upon millions of Americans and their forefathers got here.  They arrived legally, understanding that the American dream they sought could not be realized until they weaved themselves into the fabric of America.  Working hard.  Learning the language, the customs and the traditions.  Integrating themselves into their neighborhoods and society at large.  Embracing their new country.  They want to be here, they want to be Americans, and they want to assimilate and contribute not just in the workforce, but to society as a whole.

The wrong way is to sneak into the country illegally.

When people run across the desert in the dark of night, swim across a river, or overstay a visa, their very first action here is one of utter hostility towards our nation.  Contempt for the rule of law.  This is not a nation of men, but a nation of laws.  (President Obama may not agree, but I digress...)

The vast majority of people that come here, both legally and otherwise, do so because America has so much to offer.  Even now with a slow economy and tough job market, America is still a land of opportunity for all.  "Poor" in America would be considered rich beyond comprehension to a vast number of people outside of our borders.  Make no mistake...America is far from perfect, but we didn't go from nothing in the 1700s to the sole world power 300 years later because we weren't doing things right.

The difference between those that come here legally and those who don't is fairly simple.  Illegal aliens want to take advantage of all America has to offer, but have no desire to reciprocate.  They have no use for things like learning the language.  They don't give a damn about weaving themselves into the fabric of America.  They don't care about the country or its society.  A study cited by the New York Times found that only 40% of illegal aliens pursued citizenship after being granted amnesty in 1986.  In short, most have no use for anything but a way to make money to send home to their families in the countries to which they remain loyal.  They want amnesty so that it's easier to do so.

This doesn't necessarily mean getting a real job, either.  Many illegals came here with heavy loads of narcotics on their backs from the drug cartels south of the border.  Others joined Latino-oriented street gangs such as MS-13 and are part of the cartels' distribution network.

The only group of illegal aliens that I have any sympathy for are those that were young children when their parents brought them here illegally.  They didn't have a choice in coming here, and as they get older they are being told they can't fully participate in the only country they have ever known.  The parents of these children deserve special punishment for subjecting their kids to the challenges they are facing today.

Since what was to be the "last amnesty" passed into law in 1986, granting a mere 3 million people legal status in this country, we have been besieged by 10 million more illegal aliens.  This is because the border was utterly ignored in 1986.  However, today our politicians boast that the border is as "secure as it's ever been", but he presence of these additional 10 million illegal aliens prove that "secure as it's ever been" is wholly unacceptable.  We're right back where we left off in 1986, but with four times the number of illegal aliens for taxpayers to support and our government to deal with.

Anyone with a lick of sense should be able to connect the dots and see what kind of impact 12 million newly legal workers would do to the job market not only for American citizens, but also those immigrants that respect the rule of law and endured the process to come here legally.  You think it's tough finding a job today?  It will be twice as hard if another amnesty bill is passed.

There is already a "pathway to citizenship" available to those here illegally.  It's called applying for citizenship and waiting your turn just like millions of legal immigrants have already done.  Meanwhile, as far as I'm concerned, illegals in this country today can "live in the shadows" (seriously?) and deal with the challenges that are inherent in choosing to be here illegally.  Why should they get special consideration?  

The pro-amnesty idiots love to talk about "fairness".  I think it would be amusing to watch them peddle their amnesty nonsense to a family that waded through tons of red tape and waited years to get here about what's "fair" and what's not.

It is wrong to cross our border illegally.  It is even more wrong to reward those who did with legal status.  Two wrongs don't make a right.  Any immigration reform bill absolutely MUST deal with border security first; anything short of that is 100% unacceptable.  It's colossally stupid to bail the water before plugging the hole.

Thursday, December 19, 2013

An Open Letter to A&E

Dear A&E:

It has been widely reported that you 'suspended' Phil Robertson, a star of Duck Dynasty, for discussing his religious beliefs.

Tell me, would you suspend a homosexual for bashing people that believe in traditional marriage?  Of course not.

Would you suspend a Muslim for talking about HIS religious beliefs?  Of course not.

Would you suspend a non-religious person for expressing anti-Christian views?  Of course not.

I'm curious, what kind of mental illness would lead someone to scuttle his network's - indeed, all of cable's - top rated show of all time, simply because one of its stars talked about his Christian faith and beliefs?

I'm "disappointed" that you chose to take this action.  Surely, you've discovered over the last 24 hours that the VAST majority of people interested in what's going on here disagree with your action.  Know that we are demonstrating our disagreement by boycotting your channel, and undertaking a massive effort to ensure that companies that advertise on your network are painfully aware of our displeasure.

I'm "disappointed" in your lack of tolerance - I thought diversity was supposed to be a GOOD thing.  I guess only when it's diversity of ideas that conform to the trendy, politically correct ideas of the day.  Homosexuality is en vogue, while Christianity is not.

No matter what anyone says, the fact is that this IS a majority Christian nation, born of Judeo-Christian principles, and that will never change.  By the way, I'm agnostic, and have no use for religion of any flavor.  I simply don't deny our nation's history, and will not abide your hostility towards people who don't get in line with the celebration of homosexuality.

If you believe Phil Robertson is a bigot, then you must also believe a majority of Americans are bigots.  As demonstrated by your intolerance, hostility - and most of all, your actions - A&E has proven to be the real bigot here.
 
With contempt,
A "disappointed" former viewer

Saturday, October 26, 2013

The Necessary Civil War

"[They are] lemmings with suicide vests…They have to be more than just a lemming. Because jumping to your death is not enough."

"I was correct in my analysis, and I'd say a lot of those folks were not correct in theirs."

"Barack Obama set the trap. Some congressional Republicans walked into it. As a result, the president is stronger, the GOP is weaker, and Obamacare is marginally more popular. ...  It's time Republicans remembered that bad tactics produce bad outcomes."

"If anybody should be kicked out, it's probably those Republicans—and not Speaker Boehner—who are unwilling to keep the promises they made to American people."

As you've probably figured out, these are recent quotes by politicians.  All of them are Republicans talking about...other Republicans.

No matter your political views, if you've been paying any attention at all you know that there have been some epic battles in Washington lately. While some have been between Republicans and Democrats, the worst have been within the Republican party between the establishment politicians who shy away from rocking the boat and the rabble-rousers known as the Tea Party caucus.

The emergence of the Tea Party movement began during Bush's final years in office, as voters and pundits began to frown on his push for taxpayer bailouts of big banks and the auto industry, a nearly trillion-dollar stimulus package in the form of government spending, and encouraging lawmakers to pass yet another amnesty for another 12 million illegal aliens.

The movement gained momentum during the run-up to the 2008 general election, fueled by a segment of the Republican electorate furious that the party could find no better representative than John McCain to run against the Democrats' rock-star candidate, Senator Barack Obama.  Predictably, McCain was handily beaten on Election Day despite an inexperienced but conservative Sarah Palin balancing out the ticket.

Facing at least two years of one-party Democrat rule, conservative voters had reached the end of their rope.  They were sick of watching both parties spend our tax dollars like drunken sailors and growing the scope and reach of the federal government while ignoring fundamental Constitutional responsibilities to ensure the rule of law and to keep our borders secure.

Stories of angry conservative voters venting their anger at their representatives at town hall meetings started emerging.  New faces began to appear on the political landscape.  Men and women that shared the sentiment that the Republican party had lost its way and needed an overhaul.  America was introduced to Marco Rubio, Ted Cruz, Scott Walker, Bobby Jindal, Michelle Bachmann, Mike Lee, Chris Christie, and others.

The successes started piling up immediately.  In a nasty Wisconsin fight, newly-elected Gov. Scott Walker beat back the powerful teachers' union in order to restore some fiscal sanity to his state's public education programs and prevailed in a subsequent recall election.  Chris Christie was elected to govern liberal New Jersey, where he also claimed victory against unions there.  In Texas, former Solicitor General Ted Cruz faced the state's not-unpopular David Dewhurst in a primary election to the U.S. Senate and rode his message to victory, easily beating his Democrat opponent and running on Tea Party principles of smaller, Constitutional federal government, less spending, and a strong free market (note the lack of anything even remotely related to race or ethnicity).

The establishmentarians took notice.  Some Republicans cautiously began shifting their positions to align with the Tea Party while others bet that the status quo and going-along-to-get-along would look better to voters...many of whom had been disgusted with Congress for many years for its ineptitude in moving the country in the right direction.

The 2012 general election proved to be another disaster.  The Republican nominee, Mitt Romney, lost the election in spectacular fashion.  It would be another four years of Obama, with Republicans holding on to a slim majority in the House.  It seems the lessons of 2008 and 2010 had not yet been learned.

In September of this year, the government was running out of money to operate and was quickly approaching the limit of its authority to borrow money.  This was the fight that the Tea Party had been salivating over for years.  It would use these two critical items to extract concessions on Obamacare from the Democrats during negotiations.  Since Republicans controlled the House, from which spending bills originate, they would craft bills that granted the necessary continuing budget resolution and a temporary increase to the debt limit while removing any funding for Obamacare.

The president would have none of it.  He indicated that there would be no negotiations on the continuing resolution or the debt ceiling.  Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid declared the House bill dead on arrival in the Senate, as he would do with every single bill floated by Republicans.

As days went by, Democrats stuck to thier guns and refused negotiations with Republicans and cracks began to appear in the Republican resolve.  Ted Cruz stood before the Senate pleading his case for 21 hours straight in a futile attempt to garner enough support to force negotiations.  The Democrats held firm as more and more Republicans waved white flags, ready to acquiesce to all of Obama's demands. 

The deadline for the continuing resolution came and went, and the government "shut down" (about 13% of it, anyway).  As barricades went up at national parks and monuments across the country, the Democrats kept pounding away by ensuring the mainstream media carried the narrative that Republicans were responsible.  The ignorant public bought it just like Dems counted on them doing.

More Republicans folded like dollar store card tables.  Hoping to be seen as trying to restore normalcy, they, too, scrambled for every camera and microphone they could find in order to blast the Tea Party strategy.  More bills were floated with fewer and fewer Republican demands, until more than two weeks after the shutdown, the Democrats claimed victory while the Republicans walked away with their asses in their hands, and without a single concession.

The Great Republican Implosion of 2013 will go down in history as one of the greatest political embarrassments of all time.

I was disgusted.  How could this happen?  How could Republicans have pissed away such a golden opportunity?  How could they have allowed the narrative that it was their fault to go unchallenged?  After all, it was Obama and the Democrats that steadfastly refused to negotiate.  13 separate proposals to end the standoff were drawn up by Republicans that were all shot down by Democrats.  The president refused to have his signature legislation, which is still unpopular with the majority of Americans, impeded in any way.  And Republicans caved.  The battle was senselessly lost.

But, the war goes on.  It's a war for the future of our nation.  Republicans MUST be the party of  Constitutional governance, fiscal responsibility and the Rule of Law...nobody else is going to do it!  Our country simply cannot continue on its current path.  Every taxpayer in America owes nearly $150,000 for his share of the national debt.  That's absolutely insane, and with recent census data showing that there are more people dependent on welfare than are in the workforce, the trajectory is only getting worse, and in a hurry.

Make no mistake, this Republican civil war is an absolute necessity.  We can only hope that it is over soon and the party emerges with strong Tea Party principles as its platform.  I think the only way that can happen is to reverse the trend of ignorance and apathy among the electorate.  Democrats desperately need people to be ignorant in order to advance their agenda, and they use their friends in the media to make sure they control what people hear. 

In addition to Tea Party principles, the Republican civil war absolutely must produce a better messaging strategy, and it needs to identify someone that can deliver that message in a way that resonates with voters.

Without a Republican party makeover that changes hearts and minds of voters, the next American Civil War will be fought not with rhetoric, bills and political capital, but with guns, tanks, and bombs.  I hope that isn't necessary, but if you think we needed hope and change before, we REALLY need it now.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Thoughts on Obama Gun Control Speech

Earlier today, President Obama announced 23 executive actions he is taking, and additional steps he is pressing Congress to take, in response to the Sandy Hook tragedy.  Not surprisingly, they are all largely focused on guns.

Below is a transcript of his speech (in italics), with my thoughts.

Good afternoon, everybody.  Let me begin by thanking our vice president, Joe Biden, for your dedication, Joe, to this issue, for bringing so many different voices to the table, because while reducing gun violence is a complicated challenge, protecting our children from harm shouldn't be a divisive one.

Now, over the month since the tragedy in Newtown, we've heard from so many.  And obviously, none have affected us more than the families of those gorgeous children and their teachers and guardians who were lost.  And so we're grateful to all of you for taking the time to be here and recognizing that we honor their memories in part by doing everything we can to prevent this from happening again.

But we also heard from some unexpected people, in particular I started getting a lot of letters from kids. Four of them are here today, Grant Fritz, Julia Stokes, Hinna Zeha, and Taejah Goode.  They're pretty representative of some of the messages I got.  These are some pretty smart letters from some pretty smart young people.  Hinna, a third-grader -- you can go ahead and wave Hinna, that's you.  Hinna wrote, ``I feel terrible for the parents who lost their children.  I love my country, and I want everybody to be happy, and safe.''
Mr. President, do you really believe that these 3rd graders decided to write you letters all on their own, with opinions they crafted of their own free will, without any prodding or coaching by their teachers and/or parents?  Or are you shamelessly using these children as props to further your political agenda?
And then Grant, go ahead and wave Grant, Grant said, ``I think there should be some changes.  We should learn from what happened at Sandy Hook.  I feel really bad.''  And then Julia said -- Julia, where are you?  There you go.  ``I'm not scared for my safety, I'm scared for others.  I have four brothers and sisters, and I know I would not be able to bear the thought of losing any of them.''  And these are our kids.  This is what they're thinking about. 

And so what we should be thinking about, is our responsibility to care for them, and shield them from harm, and give them the tools they need to grow up, and do everything that they're capable of doing.  Not just to pursue their own dreams, but to help build this country.  This is our first task as a society, keeping our children safe.  This is how we will be judged.  And their voices should compel us to change.
If you believe our first task as a society is to keep our children safe, how exactly does cheerleading abortion while ensuring tax dollars fund the killing of children every day square with that belief?  How does robbing our children of their future - by saddling them with tens of thousands of dollars in debt before they are even born - square with your statement about our first task as a society?
And that's why last month, I asked Joe to lead an effort, along with members of my cabinet, to come up with some concrete steps we can take right now to keep our children safe, to help prevent mass shootings, to reduce the broader epidemic of gun violence in this country.
Gee whiz, Mr. President, it sure seems that these "concrete steps" your vice president came up with will only affect law-abiding citizens.  You know, those folks that pose no danger to children, and don't perpetrate mass shootings, and aren't part of this "epedemic of gun violence" you are speaking of.  I know you want to be clear, so please help us understand how they will prevent mass shootings and reduce gun violence.
And we can't put this off any longer. 
Of course we can't.  We can't let this "crisis" go to waste, can we, Mr. President?  That was the advice from your former chief of staff, Rahm Emanuel, who ironically now presides over the city with the most gun violence in the country.
Just last Thursday, as TV networks were covering one of  Joe's meetings on this topic, news broke of another school shooting, this one in California. In the month since 20 precious children and six brave adults were violently taken from us at Sandy Hook Elementary, more than 900 of our fellow Americans have reportedly died at the end of a gun -- 900 in the past month.  And every day we wait the number will keep growing.
So, Mr. President, how many of those 900 shooters would have been stopped if this package of gun restrictions had already been in place? (Zero.)  How many of those 900 shooters are law-abiding citizens...the only ones affected by your proposals? (Whoops! None.)  How many of these 900 shootings occurred in Chicago, where you were a rockstar community organizer and where they have some of the toughest gun laws in the nation, but the highest murder rate?  (Most of them.)
So I'm putting forward a specific set of proposals based on the work of Joe's task force.  And in the days ahead I intend to use whatever weight this office holds to make them a reality. 

Because while there is no law or set of laws that can prevent every senseless act of violence completely, no piece of legislation that will prevent every tragedy, every act of evil, if there's even one thing we can do to reduce this violence, if there's even one life that can be saved, then we've got an obligation to try.
Freedom and liberty for innocent, law-abiding citizens be damned, right Mr. President?  There are countless, more effective ways to go about "reducing the violence", but those things don't jibe with your political, anti-gun agenda, do they?
 And I'm gonna do my part.  As soon as I'm finished speaking here I will sit at that desk and I will sign a directive giving law enforcement, schools, mental health professionals and the public health community some of the tools they need to help reduce gun violence.

We will make it easier to keep guns out of the hands of criminals by strengthening the background check system.  We will help schools hire more resource officers if they want them, and develop emergency preparedness plans.  
What if some schools don't want more resource officers, Mr. President?  Wouldn't they be putting children in danger by rejecting your "wisdom"?  Will they be punished if they don't accept this "help"?  After all, you are punishing every single American today by urging Congress to infringe on our right to keep and bear arms. 
We will make sure mental health professionals know their options for reporting threats of violence, even as we acknowledge that someone with a mental illness is far more likely to be a victim of violent crime than the perpetrator.
Mr. President, everyone that has ever gone on a killing spree is mentally ill.  Sane people don't shoot up schools.  Most Americans are beginning to think you are suffering from mental illness as well, because that last statement of yours was effectively excusing the actions of the mentally defective young man that killed all those kids.
 And while year after year, those who oppose even modest gun safety measures have threatened to de-fund scientific or medical research into the causes of gun violence, I will direct the Centers for Disease Control to go ahead and study the best ways to reduce it. And Congress should fund research into the effects that violent video games have on young minds.

We don't benefit from ignorance.  We don't benefit from not knowing the science of this epidemic of violence. 
Frankly, Mr. President, it doesn't take a scientist or a million-dollar study to understand that law-abiding gun owners don't massacre children.  It doesn't take a doctor to know that criminals and psychos don't care about laws, don't think twice about murdering others, and will not be fazed by all of this silliness you are announcing today.  Furthermore, it seems that you DO benefit from ignorance, seeing as how you were recently re-elected by hordes of ignorant Americans.
These are a few of the 23 executive actions that I'm announcing today, but as important as these steps are, they are in no way a substitute for action from members of Congress.  To make a real and lasting difference, Congress, too, must act, and Congress must act soon.  And I'm calling on Congress to pass some very specific proposals right away. First, it's time for Congress to require a universal background check for anyone trying to buy a gun.

The law already requires licensed gun dealers to run background checks, and over the last 14 years that's kept 1.5 million of the wrong people from getting their hands on a gun.

But it's hard to enforce that law, when as many as 40 percent of all gun purchases are conducted without a background check.
I applaud this step, Mr. President.  But whoever told you that 40% of all gun purchases are conducted without a background check is lying to you.  Gun shows have no loopholes allowing the sale of firearms without a background check, and I'm quite certain that 40% of gun sales do not occur between private individuals.  I would recommend hiring staffers that won't make you look as foolish as you did today while regurgitating blatantly dishonest "facts" from your teleprompter.
If you want to buy a gun, whether it's from a licensed dealer, or a private seller, you should at least have to show you are not a felon or somebody legally prohibited from buying one.  This is common sense. And an overwhelming majority of Americans agree with us on the need for universal background checks, including more than 70 percent of the National Rifle Association's members according to one survey.  So there's no reason we can't do this.
Again, background checks are fine and dandy, Mr. President.  I'll be interested in hearing how your administration or Congress proposes that individual private citizens conduct background checks on people that want to buy a gun from them - or how you plan to prove that background checks have or have not been completed prior to a private individual sale.  I suspect this will require some sort of gun registration scheme, which will never become law.  But I wish you and Congress good luck trying to get that going. (LOL!)
Second, Congress should restore a ban on military-style assault weapons, and a 10 round limit for magazines.
Why should Congress do that, Mr. President?  "Military-style assault weapons" owned by law-abiding citizens will never be used to assault anyone.  They will only be used for recreational and sporting purposes, and to defend against criminals - or a tyrannical government, which is the entire purpose of the Second Amendment to the United States Constitution.  Did your woefully moronic staffers explain to you that "military-style assault weapons" are deemed such because of mostly cosmetic differences?  Please have them explain to you how one rifle with a pistol grip is more deadly than the very same rifle without a pistol grip, so that you can explain it to the American people. Where magazines are concerned, are you saying it's OK if 10 children are killed, but not OK if 30 are killed?  You do realize, of course, there are literally millions of 30 round (and up) magazines currently in circulation, do you not?  In fact, one company that manufactures these magazines, Magpul, has a backlog of over one million magazines ordered as of this writing.  That's just ONE company, Mr. President.
 The type of assault rifle used in Aurora, for example, when paired with high capacity magazines has one purpose:  to pump out as many bullets as possible as quickly as possible, to do as much damage using bullets often designed to inflict maximum damage. 
Actually, Mr. President, the guns to which you refer are fully automatic weapons which are already banned for everyone except law enforcement, the military, and special federal license holders.  But I digress...let's not let facts get in the way of your ideologically-driven spin.
And that's what allowed the gunman in Aurora to shoot 70 people, 70 people, killing 12.  In a matter of minutes.
Almost all handguns fire bullets at exactly the same rate as the guns that you want to ban.  One bullet with every trigger pull.  Why not ban them too, if your motives are pure?  I guess you and your buddies will get around to banning those eventually too...right, Mr. President?
Weapons designed for the theater of war have no place in a movie theater. 
Again, Mr. President, guns designed for and used in a theater of war are fully automatic, and already banned. 
A majority of Americans agree with us on this.  And, by the way, so did Ronald Reagan, one of the staunchest defenders of the Second Amendment, who wrote to Congress in 1994, urging them -- this is Ronald Reagan speaking -- urging them to listen to the American public and to the law enforcement community and support a ban on the further manufacture of military-style assault weapons.
Mr. Reagan, while the greatest president in modern times, was not infallible.  He also granted amnesty to millions of illegal aliens, which served as an incentive for even more illegal immigration as we've seen in the years since.
And, finally, Congress needs to help, rather than hinder, law enforcement as it does its job.  We should get tougher on people who buy guns with the expressed purpose of turning around and selling them to criminals.
You mean, like the ATF did during the Fast and Furious operation, where nobody of consequence was held to account after ATF agents helped hundreds of guns get across the border and into the hands of cartel criminals?  Why do you believe that your attorney general and those that report to him should be given preferential legal treatment not afforded to other Americans?  Do you believe the people in your administration are exempt from following the laws the rest of us must follow?
And we should severely punish anybody who helps them do this. 
I couldn't agree more.  When will Attorney General Eric Holder be fired? (He won't.)
Since Congress hasn't confirmed a director of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms in six years, they should confirm Todd Jones, who will be -- who has been acting and I will be nominating for the post. And at a time when budget cuts are forcing many communities to reduce their police force, we should put more cops back on the job and back on our streets.

Now, let me be absolutely clear:  Like most Americans, I believe the Second Amendment guarantees an individual right to bear arms.  I respect our strong tradition of gun ownership and the rights of hunters and sportsmen.  There are millions of responsible, law-abiding gun owners in America who cherish their right to bear arms for hunting or sport or protection or collection.
No, Mr. President, you don't believe in the Second Amendment.  Based on your actions today, you believe that Americans have too much freedom and liberty, and Americans' right to keep and bear arms must be infringed.  What part of "shall not be infringed" do you not understand?  You believe in penalizing law-abiding Americans for the actions of mentally defective psychos.  Not only is that un-American, it's just flat stupid.
I also believe most gun owners agree that we can respect the Second Amendment while keeping an irresponsible, law-breaking few from inflicting harm on a massive scale.  I believe most of them agree that if America worked harder to keep guns out of the hands of dangerous people, there would be fewer atrocities like the one that occurred in Newtown.

That's what these reforms are designed to do.  They're commonsense measures.  They have the support of the majority of the American people.
Mr. President, with all due respect, please explain the brand of "common sense" you are using when your answer to wackos shooting up schools is to infringe on the rights of innocent, responsible law-abiding citizens.  Please explain how it is "commonsense" to blame inanimate objects. Please tell us how it's "commonsense" to ignore the problem of mentally deranged people receiving inadequate care and supervision.  Neither sane, law-abiding citizens nor guns are the root cause of wackos shooting up schools.  Real "commonsense measures" would focus on the root causes of these tragedies.
And yet that doesn't mean any of this is going to be easy to enact or implement.  If it were, we'd already have universal background checks.  The ban on assault weapons and high-capacity magazines never would have been allowed to expire.  More of our fellow Americans might still be alive, celebrating birthdays and anniversaries and graduations. 
Of course it's not easy to implement your politically-driven, tyrannical gun-grabbing schemes, Mr. President.  You see, our Founding Fathers foresaw people like you trying to do things like this.  Thankfully, they ensured America is governed in a way that helps prevent tyranny by dividing power among three branches of government. Your actions and aims are tyrannical, and will not pass muster among We the People or among the other two branches.
This will be difficult.  There will be pundits and politicians and special interest lobbyists publicly warning of a tyrannical all- out assault on liberty, not because that's true, but because they want to gin up fear or higher ratings or revenue for themselves.  And behind the scenes, they'll do everything they can to block any commonsense reform and make sure nothing changes whatsoever. 
Another reason all this is so difficult, Mr. President, is because it is obvious to reasonable people that many of the things you want to do will not help to address the problem.  Instead, your aims are misguided and go against the very foundations upon which this nation was formed.  History has shown what happens when governments disarm the people.  From Austria to Britain, from Poland to Russia, it has never turned out well. We do not want to block real commonsense reform when it is effective and necessary. However, we vehemently reject nonsensical, tyrannical political agendas cloaked as "reform" such as the steaming pile of idiocy you were peddling today.
The only way we will be able to change is if their audience, their constituents, their membership says this time must be different, that this time we must do something to protect our communities and our kids.
We agree something must be done. This misguided, ideological "solution" you are peddling will not work, Mr. President. Numerous studies done by people across the entire ideological spectrum showed the same conclusions - the previous assault weapon ban simply didn't work.  At all.  One need look no further than the FBI's Uniform Crime Report to see that crime of all types continued to decline despite gun ownership nearly doubling, after the assault weapon ban expired.
I will put everything I've got into this -- and so will Joe -- but I tell you, the only way we can change is if the American people demand it.  And by the way, that doesn't just mean from certain parts of the country.  We're going to need voices in those areas and those congressional districts where the tradition of gun ownership is strong to speak up and to say this is important.  It can't just be the usual suspects.  We have to examine ourselves in our hearts, and ask yourselves what is important?  This will not happen, unless the American people demand it.  If parents and teachers, police officers, and pastors, if hunters and sportsman, if responsible gun owners, if Americans of every background stand up and say, enough.  We've suffered too much pain, and care too much about our children to allow this to continue, then change will -- change will come.
That's what it's going to take.  You know, in the letter that Julia wrote me, she said ``I know that laws have to be passed by Congress, but I beg you to try very hard.''
I know that you believe the majority of Americans are ignorant and apathetic, Mr. President.  I don't disagree.  However, I am willing to bet that many apathetic Americans own guns, and won't be so apathetic when it comes to their gun rights.  The majority of American people will not be demanding that the federal government curtail their rights.  It simply won't happen. Incidentally, when did third-graders learn about the functions of the three branches of government, anyway?  (They don't...it was another coerced letter.)
Julia, I will try very hard.  But she's right.  The most important changes we can make, depend on congressional action.  They need to bring these proposals up for a vote, and the American people need to make sure that they do.  Get them on record.  Ask your member of Congress if they support universal background checks to keep guns out of the wrong hands.  Ask them if they support renewing a ban on military-style assault weapons and high-capacity magazines.
And if they say no, ask them why not?  Ask them what's more important?  Doing whatever it takes to get a -- an A grade from the gun lobby that funds their campaigns?  Or, giving parents some piece of mind when they drop their child off to first grade?
Intelligent, rational people know the difference between feeling safe and being safe.  Those who believe in American principles aren't waiting for government to provide for their safety and that of their families.  It might be a feelgood, emotional reaction to ban those scary guns, but reasonable people know that criminals and psychopaths don't give a damn about laws, Mr. President. I'm confident that many, many politicians, citizens and others will proudly stand up and go on record against your proposed usurpation of our rights, freedoms, and responsibilities to protect ourselves and our families with whatever tools we see fit.
This is the land of the free, and it always will be.  As Americans we are endowed by our Creator with certain unalienable rights that no man or government can take away from us.  But...
No, Mr. President, there is no "but" at the end of that statement.  Ever.
...we've also long recognized, as our founders recognized, that with rights come responsibilities.
Along with our freedom to live our lives as we will comes an obligation to allow others to do the same.   We don't live in isolation.  We live in a society, a government for and by the people. We are responsible for each other.
So, in other words, you don't believe the American people are responsible enough to keep and bear certain types of guns...but we are responsible enough to keep and bear others?  No matter the model or the features, Mr. President, all guns are inanimate objects and do not wreak havoc by themselves.  Law-abiding Americans could possess missiles, tanks, and fighter jets, and society would be no less safe than it is today.
We have the right to worship freely and safely; that right was denied to Sikhs in Oak Creek, Wisconsin.  The right to assemble peacefully; that right was denied shoppers in Placimus, Oregon, and moviegoers in Aurora, Colorado.
That most fundamental set of rights to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness, fundamental rights that were denied to college students at Virginia Tech and high school students at Columbine and elementary school students in Newtown; and kids on street corners in Chicago on too frequent basis to tolerate; and all the families who never imagined they'd lose a loved one to -- to a bullet, those rights are at stake.  We're responsible.
Yes, we are responsible, Mr. President.  Not "we" as in the government, but "we" as in We the People.  We have allowed our society to degrade and decay to a point that personal responsibility is a novel concept while relying on somebody else, mainly government, to tell us what is right and wrong, what we need, and how to live has become normal.  We the People need to reverse this trend and take more responsibility for ourselves, our children, and our safety.  We cannot ignore mental illness and hope it goes away on its own.  Those of us with guns can't be lackadaisical with their security so that they fall into the wrong hands.  That is not your responsibility as president...it is ours, and ours alone.  With all due respect, you need to study the Constitution and rethink government's role in our great nation.  It has expanded far beyond the limits our forefathers set for it, and for America to be great again, your government needs to shrink back into the shadows and let We the People manage our own affairs.
You know, when I visited Newtown last month I spent some private time with many of the families who'd lost their children that day. And one was the family of Grace McDonnell. Grace's parents are here.  Grace was seven years old when she was struck down, just a gorgeous, caring, joyful little girl. I'm told she loved pink.  She loved the beach.  She dreamed of becoming a painter.
And so just before I left, Chris, her father, gave me one of her paintings.  And I hung it in my private study just off the Oval Office.  And every time I look at that painting, I think about Grace, and I think about the life that she lived and the life that lay ahead of her.  And most of all, I think about how when it comes to protecting the most vulnerable among us, we must act now, for Grace, for the 25 other innocent children and devoted educators who had so much left to give; for the men and women in big cities and small towns who fall victims to senseless violence each and every day; for all the Americans who are counting on us to keep them safe from harm.
Let's do the right thing.  Let's do the right thing for them and for this country that we love so much.
I really want to believe that your motives are pure and you really do believe you're doing the right thing in responding to the Sandy Hook tragedy, and those tragedies that came before it.  Unfortunately, the chasm between your approach and one that makes sense to me and millions of others of the same mindset is so wide that it's impossible not to suspect darker, ulterior motives that require the squelching and oppression of American freedom and liberty.  There has been little you've done while in office to convince me that you honestly and truly want the best for America and We the People.  Show us, Mr. President, that you are not the aspiring tyrant that you appear to be.   
Meanwhile, any guns and/or accessories that I may or may not have, that may or may not be impacted by any potential ban being considered in Congress, will never be listed on any government registry, nor will they be collected by any government agents. 
Ever. 

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Government Isn't the Answer

On Friday December 14, a mentally defective young man started his day by shooting his mother repeatedly and heading to an elementary school in Connecticut where he forced his way inside and massacred 20 young children and six adults before taking his own life.

Their little bodies weren't even cold before politicians, cable news hosts, Hollywierdos and others began calling for more gun control, gun bans, and even confiscation of guns from law-abiding citizens.  They couldn't wait to use the blood of innocents to promote their political agendas and loudly proclaim their ignorance in front of the nearest camera, microphone or Twitter account.

It absolutely baffles me when this is the typical response to some deranged or mentally ill wacko going on a shooting spree.  Guns are never the root cause for murder.  And they never will be, no matter how hard people wish they were, or how many ignorant people think they are.

I've been on this Earth for over 40 years, and many things have changed in that time.  However, one thing that has changed relatively little is government.  Aside from a sustained, consistent effort to expand its powers and consequently, spend more of our money, government hasn't really changed a whole lot.  We get idiots in office, then we get some good people, then more idiots, and on and on.  Each push their agenda and do their thing.  The pendulum is perpetually swinging back and forth.

The things that have changed over that time began at home.  Every parent I know proudly proclaims that they are determined to make sure their kids have it better than they had it.  While their intentions are good, many times their definition of "better" translates to "easier".  "Easier" results in kids not learning life lessons early enough, and leads them to believe that it's normal that someone else will make sure they get what they want and need while protecting them from all things bad.

Society, too, has changed.  When I was a kid, I ran the neighborhood unsupervised all evening, doing stuff kids do.  We built rickety ill-designed ramps with scrap wood and jumped our bikes off them without a helmet.  Sometimes we crashed, but we dusted ourselves off, learned from it, and made appropriate adjustments.  Now, kids aren't allowed out of their parents' sight because the perception is that the world is a darker place than it once was...never mind that crime data shows otherwise.  News has always been about sensationalism, and with the dawn of the 24-hour news cycle it seem all we hear about is murder and tragedy.  We hear about it a lot more, but it isn't happening a lot more.  In fact, according to FBI Uniform Crime Reporting data, the violent crime rate is lower nationally than it has been since 1973, and continues trending downward.

So many things prevalent in society today were unthinkable 30 years ago.  Back then, we had Space Invaders, Donkey Kong, Duck Hunter, and pinball games.  Today we have Grand Theft Auto which glamorizes assault, rape and murder...we have Ghost Recon and Call of Duty, featuring all the blood, guts and gore imaginable.  When I was a kid, my parents were uncomfortable with me being exposed to the humor of Statler and Waldorf, the two grumpy old guys in the box seats from the Muppet Show.  Now, kids can flip on the TV and see a transvestite space alien hitting on an underage boy on American Dad, and the never-ending sexual perversion including babies and animals being depicted on Family Guy.

In schools, leftists and militant athiests have ensured kids won't be hearing a peep about Christianity, God, or moral values, but kids can head on down to the library and pick up a copy of Heather Has Two Mommies for their summer reading list. If they're in San Francisco during the right time of year, they will likely run into gay men fellating each other on the street as their friends walk around wearing nothing but leather bondage gear during the Folsom Street Fair.  Meanwhile, back at school, we're adjusting expectations by race and everyone is being told they are special.  They're taught that fairness is when government confiscates the wealth of the earners and gives it to the takers.  The wars in Korea, Vietnam and the Middle East are used in history class as examples of America being a big part of what's wrong with the world.

Kids don't have a positive male role model, such as a dad or another family member, around as much as they did 30 years ago.  The nuclear family, once thought to be idyllic, is no longer the majority in our society and indeed, is no longer even a goal for most people.  Kids are growing up with single mothers, and they might see their dad once a week for a day or two if even that.  Many have never even met their fathers.  And there is no longer a social stigma where single parenthood or absent fathers are concerned.

I'm not saying that playing Call of Duty caused this tragedy, and I'm not saying that prayer in schools would have prevented it.  I'm also not saying it was caused by a kid reading a book about lesbians or that single helicopter parents are to blame.

What I'm saying is that sometimes, the sum is greater than its parts.  Some parts of our society are better today than they once were.  Some are worse, such as the political correctness that we're all forced to deal with these days. Merry Christmas, anyone?  Other parts, that taught our kids about the realities of life...about personal responsibility, individual accountability, success and failure, the value of life...are not there at all like they once were.

Gun ownership has increased steadily over the last 30 years.  Today the ratio of guns to people is approaching one-to-one, according to estimates.  Yet, as I previously mentioned, the violent crime rate is decreasing.  But as Rush Limbaugh noted on his show today, we have a lot of "low-information" people in this country (formerly known as morons and idiots).  They applied about three nanoseconds of thought to the tragedy that happened last Friday in Connecticut and decided it was the fault of inanimate objects - guns.  Sen. Dianne Feinstein of San Francisco has already authored a gun control bill for debate when Congress convenes again after the holidays.

The same government that thinks it is smarter than we are is blaming an inanimate object for the actions of a mentally ill person. 

There is no better proof that government isn't the answer.

Government stepping in to restrict the rights, freedoms and liberties of people that didn't do anything wrong isn't the answer.  It's not the answer to what happened in Connecticut, Colorado, or anywhere else a psycho picked up a gun and went on a shooting spree.

We the People are the answer.

If you have children, raise them to be right.  If you don't know how to do that, find out.  Ask your relatives, your friends, the church if you go, or any number of available resources for parents.  Teach them the value of life.  Teach them right from wrong...teach them to be responsible and accountable for their actions.  Teach them to be independent...to dig deep when the going gets tough, rather than blaming others and looking to government for solutions.  Teach them boundaries, and teach them kindness and respect for others.  Don't allow video games or TV to be their babysitter for hours, days, months, years on end.  Be a parent.

If your child is mentally ill, don't just do what you can for them and hope for the best, as this man's mother apparently did.  It's your responsibility as a parent - and a member of society - to ensure they get the help and attention they need so they don't hurt others when they act out.  If you aren't fully prepared to dedicate your entire life to your child, then you need to give them up to someone that would do ANYTHING to dedicate their lives to a child they can't have themselves.

The American way isn't to look to government for the solutions to our problems.  More often than not, government isn't the answer.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Transformation Complete

Back in 1787, Benjamin Franklin was leaving Independence Hall at the close of the Constitutional Convention when he was asked, "Well doctor, what have we got?  A republic, or a monarchy?"

"A republic, if you can keep it", he replied.

A most prescient answer.

I've written and rewritten this several times talking about why the election being called for Obama was the death knell for America, but I feel like it's an exercise in futility.  The majority of Americans don't care.

The majority have turned their backs on the ideals, principles and virtues that made America exceptional and great.  The people have rejected the Declaration of Independence, and view our Constitution and Bill of Rights with contempt.

Make no mistake about it: Barack Obama's fundamental transformation program was wildly successful.

Four more years of rule by fiat, gross mismanagement of tax revenue, utter lack of transparency, hostility toward the free market, success and wealth.  Four more years of high unemployment, a rapidly expanding government, increasingly higher taxes and spending, and eroding freedom and liberty.  Four more years of an impotent border security apparatus, four more years of coddling illegal aliens, and four more years of pushing disincentives for people to provide for themselves.  Four more years of fraud, deceit, theft, murder and sedition perpetrated by our federal government.

And with a big fat stamp of approval by We the People.

In fact, with the change in demographics resulting from yet another amnesty coupled with Obama's appointment of a few more liberals to the Supreme Court and the legal precedent that Obamacare sets, it will be much longer than four more years. 

Call me pessimistic, but I don't see any chance of our nation being led by those who respect our country's founding principles and the Constitution, ever again.

I don't hate Obama or blame him for any of this.  He's just doing what he does.  What disgusts me is the willful ignorance and/or stupidity of the American people.  It wasn't even a year ago when I noted that we're still a majority conservative country, but clearly I was mistaken.  The majority want the government to be their nanny and moral compass, and they support its unconstitutional path and expansion to that end.

Since the election, people in all 50 states have filed petitions for peaceful secession.  It's another exercise in futility but I sure can't blame them.  I know I sure don't want to live in a country full of ignorant, apathetic dimwits like this one.

And frankly, I wouldn't mind one bit if the secessionist movement in Texas got off the ground and gained real traction.  My hope is that it would be a peaceful divorce, but I'd take it either way.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Crystal Clear Clarity

"Let me be clear..."

I don't know about you, but I'm sick and tired of hearing Obama preface nearly everything he says with that phrase.  Instead of just talking about being clear, Obama would do well to actually BE clear.

The man is a gifted orator.  His speeches were once eloquent and inspirational...and in my opinion, they were a significant reason Obama was elected in 2008.  Obama's themes of "hope" and "change" resonated with the majority, many of whom had grown weary of George W. Bush.

After having assumed the very real responsibility and accountability of the presidency, the novel ideas of "hope" and "change" borne from Obama's community organizing days quickly evaporated as he struggled to be clear in reporting to Congress and the American people.  His spin doctors had to work overtime preparing his speeches for the TOTUS (TelePrompTer Of The United States), and Obama was unable to provide clear explanations or take responsibility for his rapidly mounting failures. 

To quote Shakespeare, his speeches became "...tale[s], told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing.".  The only thing clear was the lack of clarity.

He tried to excuse his incompetence by blaming others and whining about having "inherited" this economy. 

To be sure, he did inherit the economy - but he wanted to inherit it.  He fought hard day in and day out for months trying as hard as he could to inherit this economy!

For two years - half of his term - his Democrat party controlled both houses of Congress.  This is a Democrat president's dream, and essentially allowed Obama to deploy his agenda for America with relatively little resistance.  This was the best opportunity for him to kick off his "fundamental transformation" of America...and kick it off he did.

Obama's first term lowlights include increasing the debt more than every single president in history combined.  He promised to cut the deficit in half, but instead he tripled it.  He took over healthcare, nationalizing an industry that represents 17% of the economy. 

He lined the pockets of the UAW while leaving GM investors with nothing and taxpayers with billions in losses.  He prevented the purge of illegal aliens while refusing to secure the border.

He has trampled upon religious liberty by forcing religious institutions to pay for contraception and he has ensured that taxpayer money will fund abortions. 

After taking credit for the killing of bin Laden, his idiot VP endangered our special operations warriors. Obama blamed an American for attacks on our Libyan embassy and the killing of our diplomats rather than blaming extremism and terrorism.

Eric Holder, Obama's attorney general, is directly responsible for countless deaths associated with the "Fast and Furious" operation, and actively fights against efforts to combat voter fraud by filing suit against every state that passes voter ID laws.  He also helped Obama ensure illegals enjoy a comfortable stay in America by suing Arizona in response to its efforts against illegal immigration.

Obama talked a lot about jobs, but the unemployment rate kept climbing and has never fallen below the level it was when he took office. 

In January of 2009 when Obama was inaugurated, the average price of gas was $1.84.  Today it is $3.69.

Now at the end of his first term, there is real clarity.  Barack Hussein Obama has clearly failed as President of the United States.  If you or I were to perform at our jobs the way Obama did at his, we would have been fired a long time ago.

We are not better off than we were four years ago.  It would be impossible for a reasonable person to conclude otherwise.  I simply can't wrap my head around the fact that once again, even after all these miserable failures, there is so much support for Obama.

Let me be clear: Obama has got to go!

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Obamacare: Symptom of a Disease

"After having thus successively taken each member of the community in its powerful grasp and fashioned him at will, the government then extends its arm over the whole community. It covers the surface of society with a network of small, complicated rules, minute and uniform, through which the most original minds and the most energetic characters cannot penetrate, to rise above the crowd. The will of man is not shattered, but softened, bent, and guided; men are seldom forced by it to act, but they are constantly restrained from acting. Such a power does not destroy, but it prevents existence: it does not tyrannize, but it compresses, enervates, extinguishes, and stupefies a people, till each nation is reduced to nothing better than a flock of timid and industrious animals, of which the government is the shepherd." - Alexis de Tocqueville

De Tocqueville was clairvoyant, but I would argue that - especially after this week's United States Supreme Court rulings - our nation's government IS forcing men to act, it DOES destroy, and DOES tyrannize.

Today, the United States Supreme Court ruled that Obamacare and its individual mandate passes constitutional muster, as a "tax" (never mind that Obama himself vigorously denied - and, inexplicably continues to deny - that the individual mandate was a tax).  Because of this, there will be $500 billion in new or increased taxes on everyone (mostly the poor and middle class) over the next 10 years, while also adding $1.76 trillion to the national debt.

So much for Obama's promise not to raise taxes on anyone making less than $250,000 a year.

 According to the Court, it's perfectly constitutional for the federal government to force people to buy health insurance, and levy a punitive tax if they don't do so.  That's right, folks...for the first time in history, the Executive, Legislative, and Judicial branches of the federal government of the United States of America have come together to impose and uphold a tax - on simply being alive.

To put this in perspective, if you're in the service industry as many of my friends are, making $30K per year and don't have health insurance, you MUST A) pay your contribution for the insurance that your employer offers, B) find and pay for your own insurance, or C) pay a $695 penalty for not having insurance, and go on the government dole for your healthcare.

No matter what, you're going to pay.  That's the law.  Obama's "fundamental transformation" in action.

Another portion of this ruling dictates that small business owners must provide health insurance if they have 50 or more employees, or face fines.  Whether they start offering health insurance or pay the fine for not doing so, they will have to incorporate these new expenses into the cost of doing business.  To offset these new costs, they will have to raise prices and/or lay off employees.  Neither of those are good for the economy, and one of those is especially bad for you, the employee.

Government, through tyranny, is forcing people to act against their free will. The spending needed to enforce this tyranny and enact this legislation will dramatically speed our progress towards financial destruction.

This legislation flies in the face of freedom, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.  You know, those things this nation was founded upon.  When a government can dictate to people what we must spend our money on, and there is no alternative, there is less freedom.  There is less liberty.  Our pursuit of happiness has been restrained, limited, curtailed.

Liberals will applaud and cheer this ruling, because they'll say it's for the common good and it saves the country money.  How is the destruction of the country "good"?  How is taking healthcare decisions out of the hands of We the People "good"?  How does adding 30 million people to the government dole, and building the additional bureaucracy necessary to enforce Obamacare provisions going to save anybody any money?  (It won't.)  How is putting the government in direct control of 18% of the economy "good"?  (It's not.)

It's scary how diabolical liberals are.  They take advantage of the ignorant and reap the fruits of their lifelong brainwashing (see my last blog entry) in order to advance their ultimate agenda of fundamentally transforming America into a socialist utopia even worse than Greece, Spain, and other countries currently swirling down the toilet of financial ruin wrought by socialism.  They are winning, and America is losing.  The Founding Fathers are rolling in their graves.

America is sick, and it took a turn for the worse today.  Help cure our great nation by kicking the disease known as Barack Hussein Obama out of office in November.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

The Strength of Conservatism

It's not often you see or hear anyone openly praise or advocate socialism, Marxism or communism in America, but I respect those that do.

No, I don't have a crack pipe in my hand, and I haven't been hitting the bong.  The thing is, I respect those who stand up for what they believe in, and who don't try to hide it.  In my opinion, integrity is one of the most honorable traits one can possess.  I may disagree with the idealism, but that's another issue.

Today, I read a couple of stories that got me thinking about fundamental differences between liberals and conservatives, beyond the relatively obvious.  One was about a teachers union member videotaped praising Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels while expressing his desire to see a socialist revolution here in America.  The other was about a New York Times writer that expressed surprise and offense at another newspaper openly promoting conservatism.

Since the founding of America, there have been liberals and there have been conservatives.  The liberals, while suffering from that mental illness known as "liberalism" are, by and large, actually somewhat smart.  They came up with the strategy of infiltrating our schools and the media, two of the most influential institutions in American society.  They mold and shape impressionable young minds at school, and continue that subtle influence through the way they "report" the "news" in the mainstream media.  A shrewd strategy, to be sure.  One that would be nearly insurmountable on paper.

But the liberals, who still believe we are all too dumb to make it through life without their infinite wisdom and firm guidance, didn't count on We the People being intelligent and exercising independent, critical thinking skills.

Despite being subjected to sixteen-plus years of leftist indoctrination during our primary and secondary "education" and constant bombardment of liberal slant in the media, more than half of Americans repudiate liberalism.  And the vast majority want no part of socialism, Marxism, or communism.

There is a reason that you never hear liberals refer to themselves as "liberals" or their ideas as "liberalism".  There is a reason that 70 members of Congress don't openly share that they are members of the Democratic Socialists of America, an organization that subscribes to the same philosophies espoused by the likes of Lenin and Marx.  There's a reason Nancy Pelosi condescendingly stated that "we need to pass the bill so you can see what's in it", when referring to the deeply unpopular Obamacare legislation.  There is a reason that liberals use terms such as "social justice" instead of "government-sponsored discrimination", and "going green" instead of "capitalism sucks balls so we need to micromanage and punish the free market under the guise of imminent planetary doom".

It's the same reason that the Occupy Wall Street morons wear masks and bandannas to cover their faces much like Hezbollah and al Qaeda members do.

They're cowards, and they're wrong. 

Liberals know their idealism runs afoul of the founding principles of the United States of America, so they are too cowardly to openly own it.

It's commonplace for conservatives to use the words "conservative" and "conservatism", and identify themselves as "conservatives".  Those with scruples and integrity don't have to hide their beliefs or their agenda.  They don't have to hide their faces, and they don't need stealthy indoctrination strategies to achieve their goals.  Good people doing the right things never have to hide anything.  They put it all out there and let the people decide, instead of believing that the people are too stupid to make the "right" decisions for themselves.

Terrorists, with their roadside bombs and human shields, are cowards.  Occupiers that push cops off their motorcycles and smash store windows while wearing masks are cowards.  Liberals that don't own up to their idealism and agenda (are you listening, New York Times and NBC?  Are you listening, college professors?) are also cowards.  They hide and deceive and lie because they know they are WRONG.

After all, if the left was right, they wouldn't call it "the left".

We can only hope that Americans will continue to use their independent, critical thinking skills when it comes to the direction of our country.  People need to turn off Dancing with the Stars and turn on to what's going on around them, before it's too late.

Fortunately, conservatism is strong and stands on its own merits.  Its application requires neither stealth nor indoctrination, because it is right.

Just ask our Founding Fathers by way of reading our Constitution.