American-Flag1While most people agree ISIS must be defeated at all costs, there is a wide opinion gap with respect to the incoming Syrian refugees, and an even wider gap on foreign policy and preventive medicine.  The Paris attacks have shifted the focal point of presidential debate and the people’s juxtapositions in the arena we call Decision 2016 from the economy, labor practices, and minimum wage requirements, to counterterrorism and concrete foreign policy.

There are many reasons why I, as loyal as I am or claim to be to the Republican Party, will never be a Trump supporter.  He was floundering in the polls and Carson and Rubio were rising before the Paris attack.  After the massacre, Trump has a commanding lead again.  In the aftermath of a horrific tragedy in the world, the Low Information Americans want to hear somebody talk tough and that is exactly what The Donald is doing right now.  Details to his suggested policies suggest they torture us so we have the right to torture them.  That defies every principle America was founded on and although we could possibly be a safer place, America would forever lose its identity as the world example for freedom and human rights.  The Bible says and eye for an eye, but we cannot blind everyone and sustain as an operable nation.

Ironically, the politician who makes the most sense about how to handle ISIS is President Barrack Obama.  But why is that?   Like the man with nothing but the shirt on his back, there is a principle for human existence that reads go ahead and risk everything if you have nothing to lose.  If the Office of President of the United States were not restricted by term limits, Obama would run for a third term and would take a far more aggressive approach to screening refugees and other immigrants.  He would never issue an executive order to defer deportation of illegal Mexican immigrants in his first term as it would jeopardize the re-election to the second term.  He broke a promise to get all troupes in Afghanistan home before his term expires, and unfortunately, he made the right decision.  But he is in the penultimate year of his presidency and has nothing to worry about broken promises and unpopular policies now because he had no option to run for a third term and he has nothing to lose.  Hilary Clinton and ten Republicans are shackled to the rhetoric in their respective party platforms; otherwise they cannot get elected or nominated by their party.

As for the exoneration of George W. Bush, I am referring to the shift from the age old foreign policy of second strike only to the use of a pre-emptive strike.  George W. Bush picked Iraq, in retrospect, the wrong nation.  But the rise of ISIS, the threats to the United States, and the way they use technology and social media not available to Adolph Hitler, Hideki Tojo, or even Ayatolla Ruhollah Khomeini as recently as 1980, the pre-emptive strike seems to have public opinion on its side, unlike in 1941 when Franklin Roosevelt waited for Pearl Harbor to send American soldiers to World War II.  Vladimir Putin is doing that right now and although it took a tragedy, France is on board with us and Belgium, Germany, and Great Britain should follow suite shortly. I can remember less than ten years ago when we had to call french fries freedom fries due to France’s indifference to our 9-11 attacks.  Yes, it seems one-sided, but that is the price we pay to be the world’s super-power.

In so far as the topic of conversation has shifted from the homeland to the world, let us not forget the importance of balancing the budget.  Going forward, it is the only way we can maintain our strength in the world.  As Warren G. Harding once said, it is good to drink from the fountain inherited to us from our Founding Fathers.  Drink from the fountain to inherit their wisdom, but not emulate them to the letter as, with all due respect to George Washington, we cannot go back to the policies of isolationism and no permanent alliances.  But we must be careful never to sacrifice liberty for security; another Founding Father, Thomas Jefferson, warned us of that.

La Tour EiffelI spent some time in Paris, France in the summer of 1977.  I saw it in all its beauty and splendor that makes it a favored tourist destination.  I studied junior high school French and after eighth grade graduation, selected classmates got to take this trip.

I was fourteen years old with my fifteenth birthday taking place in the City of Lights.  Thirty-nine years ago was the last time I saw Paris.  At one time, I longed to go back there although it never worked out.  Now if I had the chance I would probably pass.  Not going back is the only way I can preserve the memories of Paris in 1977.  It is not the same place; just turn on the news.


The last time I saw Paris
Her heart was warm and gay
I heard the laughter of her heart
In every street cafe

The last time I saw Paris
Her trees were dressed for spring
And lovers walked beneath those trees
And birds found songs to sing

I dodged the same old taxicabs
That I had dodged for years
The chorus of the squeaky horns
Was music to my ears

Oh, the last time I saw Paris
Her heart was warm and gay
No matter how they changed her
I’ll remember her ah that way.

Here’s to you, Paris, France, and the fond memories you have given me

American-Flag1If America is a boulevard of broken dreams, and two political parties, fifteen presidential candidates, and nation of political junkies blowing head gaskets in their minds to produce opinions all want to repave the boulevard and restore this great nation to its lofty status.  I am no exception and in the wake of the two debates, the eight elite Republicans on Tuesday night (11/10/2015) and the three Democrats last night (11/14/2015), my puny little brain is in hyper drive.  Nobody wants to repave the boulevard more than I do is it is this very boulevard that serves as the highway to the forgotten American Dream.  But the dream remains out of reach if we only pave parts of the boulevard.

One of the hot topics that was brought up at both debates is the issue of raising the minimum wage, an issue I believe my fellow Republicans did not get right.  In addition, the Democrat opposition failed to complete the square, as it were.  I believe in raising the minimum wage for two reasons, one of which is it is long overdue.  I have mixed feelings as to whether or not we should jump all the way to fifteen dollars an hour; ten dollars an hour in North Carolina goes farther than fifteen dollars an hour in Connecticut right now.  It seems to me as we should maintain the status quo of having the federal government set a minimum standard and leave it up to each state to determine if the federal standard is high enough or if they need something higher; it is simply time to raise that minimum standard.  If I were a state governor facing a huge budget deficit with a realization that budgets cannot not should not be balanced on the backs of the taxpayers and did not want to throw the baby out with the bathwater and attempt to balance on the backs of corporations who could simply move out of state taking the jobs with them, I would want a minimum wage that guarantees a paycheck twenty percent higher than what welfare pays.  It is difficult for a welfare recipient with a family to support to take a job that pays lower than what he or she is receiving on the dole.  But if any full-time job paid no less than twenty percent of welfare and the biggest transition from welfare to work since the welfare state was established in the 1930s, the money [my] state would save in welfare payments could be reinvested in paying down the deficit without any imposition to either the corporation of the working [man].  But it will only work if it is part of a complete labor and welfare reform package.

Democrats use Seattle, Washington as a prime example to make their point.  The city of Seattle raised the minimum wage to fifteen dollars an hour and their economy is booming.  What they neglect to mention is the economic boom is not due to an increased minimum wage; but an increase in tech jobs from tech companies located in that area such as Google and Microsoft and it is because of those six-figure and near six-figure tech jobs that allows the state of Washington and the city of Seattle to aid the lower classes with a generous minimum wage.  The same would not work in a Southeastern state like North Carolina were the crux of the economy is agriculture and manufacturing and in Connecticut, the state that needs it the most, the minimum wage is becoming superfluous with companies leaving the state.  Employers only have to pay minimum wage if the hire you and if there are no employers to hire, you know the score.

I believe a minimum wage increase has to be part of a complete labor and welfare reform package.  Suppose are earning minimum wage in a state with a minimum wage of ten dollars an hour and you are working forty hours a week.  The legislature votes for a bill that would raise it to fifteen dollars in hour and the governor signs it into law.  The company you work for has no choice but to raise your hourly rate from ten to fifteen, but suppose the company redefines the minimum full-time work week as a thirty hour week?  You are back to square one and still cannot support yourself and your family.  Minimum wage without minimum hours creates a dog chasing its tail scenario.  And when it comes to unskilled labor and menial jobs, fifteen dollars and hour may be too big an investment if the employee has to be dismissed for poor performance.  As a viable alternative, I suggest the 35-35 rule.  I had the good fortune through a friend of my father’s to meet a man named Ralph Kiner shortly after I graduated college.  Ralph Kiner was a hall-of fame baseball player playing most of his years with the Pittsburgh Pirates, and then a broadcaster for the New York Mets for over fifty years.  Kiner was also a student of the game of baseball as I am and could tell stories of Ty Cobb and Babe Ruth from literature, memorabilia, and conversation with his elders and mentioned the minimum salary for a major league baseball player before World War II was $6,000 a year, but that an major league owner was only obligated to pay the full $6,000 if the player was on the roster the entire six months of the season; otherwise only had to guarantee $5,000.  This is the essence of my 35-35 rule.  The first thirty-five refers to a minimum work week of 35 hours, which can be a little more one week, a little less another.  I multiply this thirty-five by fifty, indicating working fifty out of a fifty-two week year and come up with the number 1,750 hours a year.  I would keep the hourly rate in the ballpark of $9.15 as a reasonable compromise.  However, I would guarantee no full-time employee earns less than $35,000 a year.  On the employee’s first paycheck after his or her one year anniversary on the job, there would be an additional subsidy on that check that would cover the difference between $35,000 and the total money earned from the hourly rate under the condition that the total hours worked for the year was 1,750 or more (35X50).  States that choose to have minimum wages and minimum full-time hours that would allow the lowest wage earners to earn more than $35,000 hourly would be exempt from this subsidy requirement.

At the Democrat debate, they also brought up college tuition and the student loan crisis.  All three candidates suggested tuition-free state colleges to eliminate our youth graduating with a lifetime of debt from the inability to pay student loans, especially in a deficient job market.  This is another illustration on why a complete package is required.  Even a tuition-free education at a school like the University of Connecticut at Storrs can still leave behind a lot of debt as the pupil would still be responsible for room and board and other incidental expenses if there is no employment or higher-paying employment after graduation.  And waiving all the expenses will bankrupt the state college system in any state.

Free college without complete education reform at the primary and secondary levels (K – 12) will not result in the expected benefits.  You cannot compare us with Great Britain as long as America continues to produce academically-deficient pupils.  A typical standard in effect in most institutes for higher learning is the requirement for a grade point average (GPA) of 2.0 (out of 4.0, usually a C-grade is two quality points).  If a pupil’s GPA drops below that 2.0 mark, a typical remedy is a tool called academic probation which gives the pupil the next semester to raise that GPA back to 2.0 or higher.  For most colleges and universities, academic probation is more desirable than immediate dismissal because the institute continues to receive tuition money from the probationary student.  A free-college system would shift the onus to the institute itself, academic probation can get too expensive, and colleges will change the rules and if the GPA odometer slips one one-thousandth below 2.000, automatic dismissal with no second chance. I am not sure we should be that ruthless, but such a system could work if we create a system where every high school graduate is academically complete.  But if we continue to hand diplomas to the academically deficient, look to your left, look to your right—one of you won’t be here next semester will transform into look to your left, look to your right, two of you won’t be here next semester.  If we only graduate one-third of our nation’s youth, we will face the biggest skills gap in the history of this country.  Economic booms and recessions come and go.  But no economic growth can correct a stagnant or declining job market due to skills gaps.  With an education reform package that works, I think a better system than tuition-free college is tuition-reimbursed college.  I would have my state colleges continue to charge tuition and I would work with the legislature and the college presidents to ensure reasonable figures.  I would reimburse ninety-percent of four years worth of tuition paid to those who graduate and that ninety percent reimbursement check would pay off seventy percent of the student loan—the other thirty percent can be paid in a reasonable length of time through employment so long as job creation incentives are in place.  Extra semesters would be an out-of-pocket expense and those who do not graduate would not be eligible for reimbursement, but with less than four years worth of debt, a livable minimum wage scenario in place having a domino effect on the better jobs not requiring a college degree paying more than they do now would allow those loans to be paid as well.  But it will only work if we look at complete reform packages, not randomly legislating parcels such as the only the minimum wage and only college tuition.

These are two examples of how we can repave the entire Boulevard of Broken Dreams and ensure the route to the American Dream is passable without any road blocks or detours.  It is through the wisdom of both political ideologies and implementing from the side slightly right of center that can get the job done.  Let’s pave the boulevard with rock-solid pavement and the realistic goals of good hard-working Americans; not just on good intentions that ultimately pave the road to the one place nobody wants to go.

Republican ElephantI apologize to my followers for being idle all this time but I did hit some hard times with serious injuries to myself and to two members of my family.  I hope I can resume and stimulate your interests.

One pet peeve I have is that the campaign season starts way too early.  Candidates from both parties are campaigning and debating in the odd year (2015) before the local elections (some states elect governors in odd years too) take place.  I did not want to say too much prior to Tuesday, 11/3/2015 anyway because it plants a seed in too many people to disregard local politics and local elections as the big prize is blasted all over both traditional and millennial media.  Mayors and selectman are very important to our system too.

As a resident of Oxford, Connecticut, Bridgeport, the Nutmeg State’s largest city, is also my closest major city.  It has more than its share of issues with welfare, transportation, and crime.  A man named Joe Ganim was recently elected mayor of Bridgeport who had been the city’s patriarch in the 1990s as well.  He had served a seven-year jail sentence for corruption and fifteen other counts.  I know how it works; the people spoke out and chose this man.  Or did they?  Voter turnout in Bridgeport a couple of Tuesdays ago was less than twenty-five percent.  Remember that public service ad where they show a bag of leaves being carted off by a sanitation truck announcing Bag Of Leaves got elected and the closing message: if you don’t vote…  If schools, crime, and planning and zoning with respect to what gets built in you city or town, you need to be just as concerned with your local government if not more as your state and national governments. For that reason, I waited until after my local elections to really take an interest with full steam ahead.

On this Veterans’ Day, Wednesday 11/11/2015, I am scouting out the Republican candidates but I am not endorsing anyone at this time.  As I have mentioned before, Connecticut is typically a late-primary state hosting primaries after so called Super Tuesday.  It is unlikely there will be eight to twelve candidates still in the race on my primary day.  I am willing to share with you some observations from debates and other political messages and pundits.

First of all, I am not a Trump supporter.  Building a wall on the entire Mexican border, sending Mexico the bill, and then rounding the illegals in a fashion equivocal to Nazi Germany rounding up the Jews not only makes no sense, but is totally inhuman and we will be perceived by the good nations of the world as the most brutal people on Earth.  Not to mention how he feels about women, Muslims, and debate moderators; not the man you want in charge when that four a.m. phone call occurs.  If the general election in November 2016 is between Donald Trump and Hilary Clinton, although I would probably be throwing my vote away, I would have to do a write-in candidate.  And since at the first debate, all the candidates pledged to not run as a third-party independent, I would have to find someone outside the field.

Another qualm is I am very dissatisfied with both the formatting and refereeing of these debates.  RNC Chairman Reince Priebus really liked this last one and it was probably the best one yet.  But the first question asked was about the minimum wage and only Donald Trump, Ben Carson, and Marco Rubio got to answer—then other candidates got other questions.  There should be a less is more adjustment.  Less questions, every candidate answering every question, more substance in the answers.  There are no Republicans running that favor raising the minimum wage, but they all could have had different reason and different concerns that the American people are entitled to hear.

I give a lot of credit to Ben Carson.  I have my differences with him.  But while the field is so large, putting the focus on Carson, the man and less on the issues is a good strategy.  As a republic or representative democracy, we the people do not vote on bills and make policy—we elect people to do it for us.  One person’s personal politics is one of many threads of that person.  Before we over adjudicate political beliefs and ideologies, we must first like (or at least tolerate) the person as a whole.  The part of the human brain that regulates our social side is not equipped with a line item veto, as it were; we must accept a person as a whole person and like or dislike the whole person.  A person who stands for everything we stand for politically that demonstrates he (or she) is untrustworthy, immoral, and/or unkind is not right for the job and if we have to compromise our political views to get a good man or woman, so be it.  Ben Carson has more skeletons in his closet than originally assessed and uncovered, but a neurosurgeon who has never held public office came out alright.  This does not make him the best choice for the nation’s highest office, but I cannot dismiss him as a viable candidate at this time.

One unofficial highlight of the debate is it was Jeb’s last stand.  Although he was more dynamic in this one than in the previous debates, he still fell short of reviving a serious drive toward the goal.  He wants to separate himself, from his brother, Dick Cheney, and the mistake in Iraq.  But just cannot get past the quip that blood is thicker than water.  He will not discuss flat taxes, job creation, or issues that make push him too far center for the mainstream Republican and hence, the mainstream Republican voter.

I saw it in Jeb the most, but in Fiorina and Kachich as well, too eager to attack Hilary Clinton.  Sure, we all want to stop Hilary from getting elected.  Facing Hilary in the general election is facing the other league champion in the World Series.  This is the League Championship Series for Republicans (as well as Democrats if you still believe Bernie Sanders has a chance), and only the pennant winner gets to play in the World Series.  With eight candidates on stage and no moderate to speak of, there is no contrast among them and they want to talk like they are all the nominee and provide anti-Hilary dissertation.  This takes me back a discussion of the person.

I was most impressed by Marco Rubio.  He has done the best job articulating the conservative ideology we are trying to elect and has minimal skeletons in his closet.  There is an issue with missing too many senate votes, but even the Founding Fathers were not perfect.  Rubio also understands what it is like to be poor and is a voice for the poor and middle-class that believe government entitlements are not the answer.  He also handled criticism from competition Rand Paul.  Rand interrupted claiming Marco is not conservative enough because Rubio’s plan includes an increase in defense spending, as did that of the great Ronald Reagan, who is to this day the benchmark for post-World War II, post Viet Nam War, and twenty-first century compassionate conservatism.  Rand Paul would have been right if he had lived before World War II, before NATO, in an era where the advice of George Washington to maintain isolationism and have no permanent alliances were in vogue.  But in the unstable world of which we are part of, and the post Soviet Union era in Russia, anyone who gets elected president, liberal or conservative, Democrat or Republican, will inherit a world where the United States of America, the nation such president will be empowered to govern, is the only Super Power in the world.  You cannot change that by simply posting a sign at every port, airport, and oceanfront SUPER POWER FOR SALE—we don’t want the responsibility anymore.  Though Paul may be on point that continued increases in defense spending can make balancing the budget like draining the bathtub with the water running, defense spending is a necessary evil and the military is the one institution the federal government is constitutionally obligated to fund and foster.  The question with Marco is Can he play with the big boys?  Rand Paul’s interruption may just be a flash in the pan, but his biggest competition comes from Donald Trump, Ben Carson, and Ted Cruz.

Until we get to the Iowa Caucus and the campaign season is in full swing, let’s just sit back and have some fun with this.  And let’s decide how we feel about each person as a whole.


American-Flag1A majority of Republicans in Washington would like to invalidate President Obama’s executive order on immigration, not only because they disagree with it in politics and in principle, but because they feel the president circumnavigated the Constitution and governed by fiat.  While John Bohner and Mitch McConnell have a valid point, that the president may exceeded the limitations of executive power, not all Republicans practice what they preach.  When former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich was campaigning in 2012, he said one of the first things he would do if elected and sworn in at high noon on 01/20/2013 is to sign an executive order repealing “Obamacare,” i.e., The Affordable Health Care Act.  While Gingrich’s proposed executive order may differ the one Obama implemented on the basis that Mr. Gingrich believes Obamacare is unconstitutional and both the Affordable Health Care Act and the executive order would be subject to judicial review, it is important that any future Republican president realize that if he or she elects to use executive power for any reason, he or she will be subject to the same scrutiny Obama faced on the day he used his and that the same rules apply regardless of party or philosophy.

Electing a Republican president and a two-thirds or greater majority to both houses of Congress will correct anything in Washington, and subsequently the nation, unless one other action takes place.  Getting back to the old Schoenhaus Theorem and the Calculating Lemma based on what financial state the Federal Government would be in if a reset button labeled 1789 were pressed and the Federal Government were reduced to what it was in the days of our Founding Fathers, the required mathematical formula to make the lemma work would be in the Tenth Amendment, the last of the Bill of Rights, ratified in 1791.  With proper enforcement of the Tenth Amendment, a balanced budget and the preservation of a free country for future generations is attainable with a more limited federal government, without the needy left in the dust.  What does the Tenth Amendment state?

The Tenth Amendment states that all federal powers should be limited to only those delegated to the Federal Government by the states or by the people.  In a nutshell, it is the formal statement that defines states rights and state sovereignty.  James Madison, out fourth president and co-author of The Federalist Papers, the papers that laid the basic building blocks for our Constitution, opposed the Tenth Amendment and thought the states acted to quickly and haphazardly when ratifying.  It was the failure of the Articles of Confederation that led to the 1789 Constitution that made us the United States of America and  Madison feared the Tenth Amendment was the extra exit door that could take us back to the concept of confederation undoing the original intent of the Constitution: …in order to form a more [perfect] union

As a result, applying the Tenth Amendment to the required calculation to make the Schoenhaus Theorem work is no straightforward formulaic.  Albert Einstein was able to take volumes of calculations and simply relativity to the omnipotent e = mc2 because he found one constant that relativity could be measured against, the speed of light, represented by the letter c in the equation.  In an inexact science, I am not expecting to find such a reliable constant.  What is important is that 536 people in Washington, the president, one-hundred senators, and 435 congressmen understand that the source of their power is the states and the people, not the party platform.  That they also understand that republic; or representative democracy was chosen over running the nation as one supersized New England Town Meeting will require them from time to time to make unpopular judgment calls without being led into temptation to overuse or abuse such power, and that the people who elect their representatives understand the words of Mick Jagger; you can’t always get what you want. 

Enforcement of the Tenth Amendment to the letter will allow each state to have minimum wage and other labor laws consistent with the commerce environment the state defines itself.  Agrarian states, industrial states, hybrid states, and combined aggregate states can tailor make the laws compatible the corporations, family farms, and small businesses that dot their respective landscapes and get the right workers at the right wages.  It would also allow states to make their best decisions on highway speed limits, to collect tolls or not, and how such best be implemented.  For example, while tolling by the mile and collecting at the exits works in states like Massachusetts, New Jersey, and Florida where exits can be 20 to 50 miles apart, it would be a disaster in Connecticut, especially on Interstate 95 from Greenwich to New Haven where many exits are less than a mile apart.

Where Madison’s point is well-take is with respect to global issues where laws and policies in one state can affect another.  A prime example is environmental laws.  The Atlantic coast covers several states between Maine and Florida and if ocean dumping laws were left to the individual states and a given state chose not to have such laws, pollution form that state will affect all others along the coast.  The result is the necessity for ocean dumping and other environmental preservation laws be federal.  The most historical tribulation challenging the Tenth Amendment took place in 1913 when the Federal Reserve System began and some states wanted to accept only gold (or silver) certificates.  The concept of states’ rights would break down if each state were permitted to have its own currency.  Like all constitutional amendments, the Tenth Amendment has its limitations and must be used properly within its boundaries.

The most important thing the Tenth Amendment defines is the direction of through-put for how government works at all levels.  It states that all federal power is limited to that delegated by the states or the people.  Each state is represented in Congress by two senators and one or more congressmen depending on the size and number of districts.  The people residing in a given state tell their representatives what needs to be done and if it need be the law of the land, they draw up bills, vote on it, and submit to the president for signature or veto.  The representatives are not allowed to make bills without checking with their constituents first except in the most extreme situations where life and liberty as we know it is at stake.  If ocean dumping in South Carolina were adversely affecting marine life on the coast of Maryland, and South Carolina were unwilling to adapt a state statute, Maryland residents would write their congressman requesting federal standards for clean water.  In so far as it means more federal regulation, it will be deemed acceptable if a greater good for the American people is achieved.

The issues that make the Tenth Amendment seem like an albatross are environmental issues, any resurrection of Jim Crow in the South, and entitlements such as the welfare state, which for better or for worse, cannot be abolished immediately and states cannot take on such departments currently handled at the federal level since states have debt issues of their own.  The best mechanism to enforce the Tenth Amendment is how federal aid money is distributed.  The Feds simply deny states federal aid money when they don’t comply with any act of law that must be implemented and enforced globally.  In 1974 when then president Richard Nixon used executive power to handle the energy crisis; when he experimented with year-round daylight savings time and mandated 55 mph speed limits on all limited access highways until the Clinton administration repealed the act in 1997, no federal mandates were issued with respect to either event.  States who did not lower their speed limits or turn their clocks ahead would be denied federal aid and therefore he achieved 100% compliance.  While the deficit was significant in 1974, it was not $18 Trillion as it is now.  Using denial of federal aid to enforce laws and executive actions in compliance with the Tenth Amendment is difficult to achieve if the Federal Government has no money to aid the states in the first place.  When it comes to an inexact science such as this, the calculating lemma that supports the Schoenhaus Theorem is not simply number crunching such as e = mc2 or simple interest = principle X rate X time.

When I came of voting age in 1980, I always believed in states’ rights.  Under the guidance of Ronald Reagan, who I believe to be the greatest president of the second half of the twentieth century, the Republican Party was the States ’ Rights Party and the rival Democrats were the big government party.  While the Republican Party remains the spending cut party and the Democrats the tax party, America no longer has a true states’ rights party; and that is what it needs the most.  If house and senate Republicans were all truly opposed to Obama regulating Health Care by fining via the income tax to those uninsured, they would have used the Tenth Amendment and give the states jurisdiction.  But to admit to the fact that the answer is in the Tenth Amendment would limit their power; the power they do not want to sacrifice.  This is what broke Washington; the fulfillment of the prophesy of John Locke: power corrupts; and absolute power corrupts absolutely.

While Republican conservative philosophy is the best weapon we have to achieve a balanced budget in our lifetime, we cannot let one side control all the political power in this nation.  If we are to remain a government of the people, by the people, and for the people, we need to enforce the Tenth Amendment, at least to the best of our ability.



American-Flag1I was three years old when the march on Selma, Alabama, now the subject of a major motion picture as well as round table discussions on public affairs programs has taken place and drastically changed the landscape of registered voter rosters across the nation.  Forty-four years later America elects its first African American president and although I disagree with his politics and he has fallen short in the leadership department, he is the Jackie Robinson of American politics, nobody can take that away from him, and skin color is no longer a criterion for either party or either political philosophy for electing a president or to any predominant office.  But when we see police departments in Ferguson, Missouri and Staten Island, New York behave toward perpetrators of color in a deadly fashion, we are reminded we still have a long way to go.  The young African American men slain by Caucasian officers were far from sainthood, but that is no excuse for how the respective police departments handled it and that we have not fully fulfilled the dream of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Alas, on Judgment Day, on the eleventh hour of mankind’s existence on planet Earth, there will be bigots somewhere, not only in the United States, but in foreign lands as well; in lands ruled by tyranny and oppression where there is nothing the common man can do.  America, for what it is worth, albeit its lofty status as the greatest country in the world is rapidly deteriorating, is still the freest country in the world and with freedom of choice, there is always hope.  Is there anything we can do?

Well for one thing, I find it shocking and appalling that the now famous Edmund Pettus Bridge, the bridge into Selma crossed by millions of protesters greeted by billy clubs and tear gas is to this day, the Edmund Pettus Bridge.  Who was Edmund Pettus?  A Confederate general, KKK, and one of the biggest racists that ever lived.  According to Wikipedia:

Edmund Winston Pettus was an American lawyer, soldier, and legislator. He served as a Confederate general during the American Civil War, during which he was captured three times. After the war he led the Alabama Ku Klux Klan and was a U.S. Senator.

I believe the time has come to rename this now famous crossing something like the Civil Rights Memorial Bridge.  A plaque can be placed at the entrance to the bridge telling visitors the truth about Edmund Pettus so future generations know and the evolution of mankind to accepting that all men regardless of race, creed, or religion are created equal and are all entitled to the inalienable rights bequeathed unto us by our creator and hence, the reason for the [proposed] name change.  Like the confederate flag, it is time to put aside icons of slavery, the KKK, and Jim Crow segregation behind and be one nation, under God, indivisible, and the freest country God ever allowed this planet to see.

Let us keep in mind that by the middle of this (twenty-first) century, the Caucasian race will no longer hold the majority and any remnant of a white supremacist still allowing his or her personal prejudices to dictate how life will be lived is going to be in for a rude awakening the day the majority baton is shifted once and for all.

Another thing all of us eighteen years of age and older can do is exercise our right to vote.  That is, after all, what Selma was all about.  As monumental as the election of Barrack Obama, the first African American president of the United States was elected, it has brought about some complacency among eligible adults of all races.  In the last election, only 36% actually showed up at the polls.  Blood was shed in the American Revolution for the right to vote out tyranny and oppression (George III) and supreme sacrifice was made in Selma to ensure men and women of color the same rights.  Naturally, I am relieved that we do not have to go through what the first African American voters in southern states did when buses and other vehicles that took them to the polling places were vandalized, unpassable literacy tests to African Americans at the time, and all the other hellish deeds performed by bigots and white supremacists did to maintain their beliefs on racial inequality, but it is equally important we never forget and we realize, equality and civil rights, like all other good on this Earth, is a journey, not a destination.

We will see in our lifetime, the first woman president and if Florida’s Marco Rubio decides to give it a shot, the first Hispanic American as well.  They are going to face the same tribulations Barrack Obama faced in his two terms as leader of the free world where people in Washington are more interested in a man of color failing than doing what is best for the nation and its people.  The same people do not want a woman or a Hispanic to succeed either; even a member of their own party.  What can we do about it?  Vote.  Vote out the inhibitors and vote in the enablers.  If you are a party loyalist like me to the Republican party, send a message to those in the party who [you] feel are not keeping up their end of the bargain.

We must always fight the war on bigotry and hatred and protect civil rights, but we must all stop fighting the Civil War in our minds.  The American Dream I blog about frequently is for all Americans of all races, creeds, and religions and it cannot move forward if it is stuck in an era where skin color mattered.


Republican ElephantPresident Obama is now proposing a higher education reform bill that would allow two years of community college free for those who work and get the grades.  I am not in solidarity with Republican conservatives who are opposed to education reform in this country.  Granted, the sixty-four [trillion] dollar question is how do we pay for it.  Nonetheless, it is an absolute necessity we do it if America is going to have a future, not only competing, but existing in the world economy.  However, I do not believe Obama’s choice of the community colleges is the right vehicle.

Reforming higher education without first reforming primary education (K-12) is an exercise in futility, a waste of taxpayer’s money, and will contribute further to growing the multi-trillion dollar deficit with no return on investment.  Although a more expensive proposition and a bigger burden on the deficit, I would be willing to eat some Republican party crow and support the plan if and only if it were part of complete education reform package starting with our five-year olds entering kindergarten with an assurance they can read, write, and do basic arithmetic.  You cannot teach pre-calculus mathematics to someone who can’t comprehend algebra, geometry, or even basic mathematics.  Mr. Obama’s main objective is to allow the economically underprivileged to get a two-year financial head start, and then transfer to a four-year college or university and only pay for the last two years.  This can only work on pupils properly educated at the K – 12 level that have learned everything required of them in thirteen years of primary education and be able to produce test scores that are a true barometer of their potential.

Another reason the community colleges are not the best vehicle are what they have become as a result of the failure of our primary education system.  They have become remedial havens to attempt to bring those who slipped through the cracks up to a respectable level of literacy and mathematical competency.  This may work for someone who failed at the high school or even junior high level, but two years is not enough if the failure began in grade school.  Furthermore, community colleges could not stay financially afloat if they have to order both remedial and two-year college level courses with less than half the students paying customers.  And if the “freebies” are all being subsidized by the federal government, never mind your great great great grandchildren, we will be deep in debt until Jesus returns or the apocalypse, depending on your belief system.

Finally, pushing our youth through the collegiate assembly line with no job for them when they graduate will turn The American Dream into a bottle of Dr Hood’s Snake Oil, or as Charles Dickens’s Mr. Scrooge would say, a humbug.  For those of you not up on your Dickens or were ever curious the first time a parent or teacher read A Christmas Carol to you, humbug is old English slang for something deceptive.  Before his reformation at the end of the book, Mr. Scrooge believed Christmas was the notion you should be merry on December 25th is merely a source of false hope for the future.  It would be the worst tragedy known to man if The American Dream were to deteriorate to that.  Instead of traveling in the dingy we call a community college, let’s put our children into the yacht; a world-class primary education, and let’s make sensible spending cuts with respect to the most superfluous entitlement.  Let’s build a world-class economy and balance the federal budget and pass on to the next generation the same American Dream our Founding Fathers intended and many Americans enjoyed in the twentieth century.  Let’s make twenty-first century America the world model for economic growth and job and business ownership opportunities in the free world, unsurpassed by any other nation in the world.  After all, they are the only next generation we have!




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