Archive

Monthly Archives: January 2013

Republican ElephantLast week, Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal (R) has told the Republican Party to stop being stupid.  Jindal has good conservative views in both domestic and foreign issues.  Why would he bash his own party?  Not sure stupid is the right adjective.

I still believe in the Republican conservative ideals and vision for the future of America.  There is nothing stupid about a limited government approach to a balanced federal budget; to work against achieving that is stupid.  And I don’t think Mr. Jindal has moved 180o either.  A better compound adjective to describe the current status of the Republican Party is stuck in neutral.

The facts are the Republicans lost over sixty-percent of non-Caucasian voters and America is reaching the racial tipping point where the white or Caucasian race will no longer be a majority.  Two things went wrong.  First, the way the Grand Old Platform was presented to them turned them off.  Second, policies on immigration intimidated too many of them.  The latter is a difficult issue to address as difficult choices have to be made and…you just can’t please all the people all the time.  But to address the former and to tie in issues of racial and ethnic groups that are still minorities at this time, do you really believe immigrants, legal or illegal, came to this country to be bonded to the slavery of the welfare state?  Do you think it is any person’s dream to live on entitlements?  If all they wanted was hand to mouth living, they could have stayed where they were.  Most of them escaped the tyranny and oppression of their native land to live in a free country and pursue their dreams.  If I were an immigrant, even if I were here illegally, I would be insulted by the entitlement society.

The biggest mistake Mitt Romney and the Republican machine that got him the Republican nomination is Mr. Romney’s unwillingness to appeal to various and sundry demographics.  He told 47% of Americans he didn’t like them.  Obama did not defeat Romney, Romney defeated Romney.

The first President Bush made reference to a kinder, gentler America.  The Republican Party must keep its ideals, its conservative viewpoints, as they are essential in rebuilding America.  But the party needs a kinder, gentler way of presenting it to the masses.  It needs to reach out to the racial, ethnic, and other groups, who will be the majority before the halfway point in this century, that limited government is just as much for [you] as it is the so-called Caucasian wealth that is most attracted to the party.   [We] need to promote the original American political platform, as it were, where anyone born into any class can overcome adversity and live the American Dream.  We need to stop giving the poor fish so they eat for one day and give them fishing poles and worms so they can eat for the rest of their lives.

Once we establish that we are not stupid, we must now address ignorance, the prelude to stupidity.  As is have blogged before, to exist and prosper in a limited government society, one needs to be self-governing, as Hamilton and Madison spoke in The Federalist Papers, the documents that led to the development of our current constitution.  In order to be self-governing, one must be highly educated, or at least educated enough to be able to provide for oneself.  Our educational system needs to be revamped and reformed, undoubtedly.  But it must go beyond reading, writing, and arithmetic and help a child for the thirteen years he or she will spend in a school system or private school, the basics needed to survive without government entitlements and to build their dreams and set them on a path to do just that.

Mr. Jindal, if you and Marco Rubio are destined to be the new face of the Grand New Party in 2016, you must not abandon your conservative ideals, they are not stupid.  Since you are both non-Caucasian, you can reach out to the distraught minority groups and sell on limited government as the expressway to the American Dream.  You already have us.

Advertisements

PresidentialSealToday, 1-20-2013, President Barrack Obama will take his second oath of office commencing his second term in office.  A ceremonial repeat will take place Noon tomorrow due to the fact that Inauguration Day falls on a Sunday.  Tomorrow’s oath will be followed by a speech.

Of all Inauguration Day speeches, the benchmark to this day is the one made by John F. Kennedy on 1-20-1961, “Ask not what your country can do for you; ask what you can do for your country.”  Although as a Republican, I would have major differences with his policies as I do with the current president’s policies, I have to admit, even The Great Ronald Reagan, one of the great orators in our time, could not top the afore mentioned rhetoric.

As we prepare to push the political reset button in Washington, D.C. and deal with stopping draconian spending cuts, decision on the debt ceiling, and foreign affairs of the day, let us note the one flaw in Mr. Kennedy’s rhetoric.  Let us note who is actually in control.  The correction would be as follows.

Ask not what your country can do for you;
Ask not what you can do for your country;
Ask what God would like you to do for your country.

Amen.

American-Flag1I recently ran across an online ad claiming the PC (personal computer) has become obsolete.  The future is in tablet computing working off of the cloud.  Looks like we are headed that way, but it will be a while since, although the cloud is an excellent computer, there are still privacy issues.

About a day before I saw the ad, I was having a water-cooler discussion at work about gun control legislation and that my biggest fear about going overboard with gun control is the precedent associated with brain surgery on the original ten Bills of Rights and posing the question, “Is free speech next?”   According to my coworker, a good part of free speech is already dead.

The examples pertained to the concept of political correctness and that this new requirement to be politically correct inhibits our use of the First Amendment rights to the fullest.  And the fact that there is no reciprocity.  We have to be politically correct when we speak out against Islamic extremists.  OK, not all Muslims are bad; I never condemn a whole group of people for the actions of a few.  But those who despise us do not follow this protocol called political correctness.  I would rather have a war with words than a war with weapons.  I don’t like pornography on the Internet either; but I have no rationale to offer for banning it without inhibiting free speech; it is simply the price we pay to have free speech.  As a God-fearing person, I know Satan cannot make me peruse it.

When Alexander Hamilton and James Madison wrote The Federalist Papers, they used the term “self-governing” on many occasions.  They described the early American people as self-governing individuals and through self-governing, [we] grow to understand the corresponding responsibility with every freedom and relate it to our own morality and religious beliefs.  Truth be told, a self-governing society is a knowledge-based society.  One’s knowledge base comes from one’s education.  The deterioration of our educational system has resulted in two going on three generations of citizens incapable of self-governing.

Long, long, ago, during a time of depression (Great Depression of the 1930s), yet a strong morality (most of those who had it rough did not resort to a life of crime), Franklin Roosevelt started welfare.  The first welfare recipients were not the lazy and the underprivileged, but those who worked hard a decade or two earlier that lost it in either the stock market crash, the global Depression, or both, and had no other means of support.  Assuming one generation is thirty-three and a third years, we are just starting the third generation, that is the second generation of children born into the welfare state and know no other way of life.

I hear from liberals how a nation as big as America is obligated to take care of such people.  Obligated?  Our Founding Fathers would spin in their graves.  But how can America lead by example if it cannot find answers to a $16 Trillion debt.  A generation cannot give up the security, even if it means they must accept a life sentence to hand-to-mouth feeding.

While our representative democracy or republic cannot get the two sides if its representative body together, it makes no difference whether or not one or more solutions exist.  If they cannot agree on any one solution, the problem won’t get solved anyway.  God forbid, a dictator could pick one solution and say this is it and that’s it period.  This is the scariest thing of all.  Have egos and competitiveness evolved to the point that our republic can no longer stand?  Is a free country obsolete?  Has freedom become our doom?  Not yet.  But America must act fast.

American must get educated and build the knowledge-base of the self-governing person described in The Federalist Papers.  And I am not just talking about reforming our schools—even adults who have been through school need to enhance their life-long education process.  We need to put trust in God as our motto states and build the strongest moral fibers possible.  We must define every freedom with a corresponding responsibility.  Once we do this, we can live and prosper in a limited government society.  But if we don’t act fast, free countries will be obsole

GPSHas America lost its ability to solve its problems?  My favorite way to answer that has always been “No, there are solutions out there.  It’s getting our elected officials to agree on one solution.”  I always believed vindication came by seeing the two major political parties unable to agree on anything.  But suppose they did come to an agreement.  I throw out the caution flag; just because both sides reached across the aisle, agreed, and passed bipartisan legislation, doesn’t mean it works.  We avoided that Fiscal Cliff with a piece of legislation on 1-2-2013 that raised taxes only on incomes $400,000 and bigger.  We took a broken clock, put the big hand on the twelve, the little hand on the five, and posted a sign under the face reading It’s 5:00 Somewhere.  The clock still does not work.

Down the road, we are headed for two more cliffs with no bridges in place right now.  Though the last hurrah for the Congress that exited on 1-2-2013 warded off tax increases for lower and middle class Americans, those draconian spending cuts to both entitlements and the military can still go into effect on March 1st if this new Congress, many of the same cast of characters and the balance of power virtually unchanged, will go take place.  Then the real deep cliff on March 27th; the decision on the debt ceiling.  This is what you could call a Catch-22, conundrum, or just plum unsolvable.  On the one hand, if we raise the debt ceiling, we are headed toward recession with a deficit on the way to $20 Trillion and no hopes of paying it off by the year 2050.  The Federal Reserve will print more money, the dollar will devaluate, companies will lay off employees and many will not survive themselves.  On the other hand, default, national bankruptcy, and the entire world will be in recession, if not depression, for the next hundred years.  Greece, for better or for worse, is a small portion of the world economy.  But if America goes bankrupt, the world capital of free-enterprise, still the wealthiest country although watch out for China, and although weak in producing, strong in consuming; the greatest consumers on Earth; every nation in the world will have been bequeathed with the reality that it can happen to any nation in the world.  We cannot afford to do either, but on March 27th, we must and will do one or the other.

I have said before the first cliff, none of the plans, Democrat, Republican, or bipartisan, slanting to the ninety-nine, slanting to the one, or striving towards equitability, do not recognize the real problem.  Debt.  None of the tax increases, spending cuts, or combinations at best raise $4 Trillion in capital.  Make a payment of $4 Trillion to that proverbial credit card with a balance of $16 Trillion and next month you get a bill for $12 Trillion plus some accrued interest.  Either or both sides made their sacrifices and did not get a balanced budget in return, still very much in debt.

In conclusion, America either has or is on the brink of losing its ability to solve problems.  And it doesn’t matter who the cast of characters in Washington, D.C. are; there is just no solution.  We need to put all politics, not just politics as usual aside and seek a divine solution.  Our motto is In God We Trust.  In Matthew 19:26 it does say But Jesus beheld them, and said unto them, With men this is impossible; but with God all things are possible.  Our Founding Fathers were very Godly people and America just may have reached this very turning point.  We must bring God back to America and make sure he is always welcome and that we seek his guidance.  Supposedly, The Great Recession began in 2008, less than seven years ago; seven years from 2008 will take us to 2015—a year before the next presidential election.  Take warning all—2008 could have been the start of that seven-year tribulation period before Armageddon and Judgment.  We won’t know until Campaign-16 commences.  I do not wish to scare anyone out of their flesh, I just want to let you know America right now is under a red sky in the morning, and we must all take warning.

 

 

baseballHOFFor the first time since 1997, nobody was selected for the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, New York.  The best players are paying a penance for steroid use and the non-steroid players were not good enough and did not get 75% of the vote.  There will be no induction ceremony this August in Cooperstown.

Being a big-time baseball fan, I should be sad.  But for everyone involved in baseball, right down to the simple fan, we have nobody to blame but ourselves.  Players insisted on cheating the game—the best players in the game made this decision.  Fully aware of the long-term health consequences of anabolic steroids, they took a chance to be even better than their natural God-given talent for more money and more glory.  This is not to say average players didn’t try it, but average players don’t make the HOF anyway.  Steroids enhance performance, but they do not give a man talent he doesn’t have.  The owners condoned it because it made them money.  They wanted testing ten years before the testing actually went into effect, but the Players’ Association offered them other things that put money in their pockets in return for no testing.  Managers, coaches, team physicians and trainers swept it under the rug.  And us fans paid to see the home runs, base hits, stolen bases, 100 mph fastballs striking out batters, and everything else that made the games of the era more exciting.

We’ll never know if Barry Bonds was capable of 767, or even 755 (Hank Aaron’s final home run total) without steroids.  The only way the game can be repaired is when a player, tested constantly and always reporting clean, hits number 768.  You can say the same for the achievements of Roger Clemens and all the others, but I single out Bonds because he is the superlative.  We keep the all time hit leader, Pete Rose out and the all time home run leader, Barry Bonds out, for two different sets of reasons, nonetheless, the superlatives in two major categories are singled out of the most prestigious sports HOF in the world.  And taking Mike Piazza as a substitute is not a substitute.  I am a big-time Mets fan.  Mike Piazza was a very good baseball player, but at best, a minimal hall of famer.  Barry Bonds and even Sammy Sosa were that much better at the bat.  So if you omit Bonds, Sosa, and the rest of the Steroid Kids and take Piazza, you are abolishing standards and making selection to the world’s most prestigious HOF completely arbitrary.  This will do it just as much damage, if not more, than taking the allowing the Steroid Kids in in-spite of the fact they cheated the game.

While baseball waits for the so-called steroid era to pass, its HOF should take care of unfinished business.  Gil Hodges is not in the Hall and should be.  The Veterans’ Committee should get him back on the ballot and induct him—let Gil Jr. make a speech and get his plaque and jersey in the glass locker.  Gil comes to mind, but I’m sure there are some others of the bygone era, living and deceased, that we can induct and then move on.

As for the Steroid Kids that produced HOF numbers, wait until their death, then induct them the very next induction ceremony.  This way we close the book and they get in, but they don’t have the benefit of living to see their induction.  Do the same with Pete Rose, Rose harmed the game, but he can’t harm the game dead.  We can finally give Shoeless Joe Jackson his due; the only problem is he has long passed on and he and his wife had no children so there would be no a next of kin to accept—some baseball historian who never saw him play would have to speak on his behalf.

Somebody should be inducted every year, I agree.  But all of us including us fans have to pay a penance right now.

Republican ElephantWhile a bipartisan deal to avert going over the 1-1-2013 fiscal cliff is in the rearview mirror now, there are two far deeper cliffs down the road.  The first one is on 3-1-2013 where, although massive tax increases to those making under $400,000 have been averted, the draconian spending cuts, which include the military, go into effect.  And 3-27-2013, the deadline for a decision on the debt ceiling, which will either result in the deficit climbing to an insurmountable number or the bankruptcy of the greatest nation God ever allowed on Earth.

All sides agree both tax increases and spending cuts have to be in the equation, and spending cuts without entitlement reform are nothing but eye wash.  But to actually balance the budget and still maintain a standard of living that separates us from the rest of the world, other issues have to be addressed as well.

Currency Stabilization: I have said over and over, permanent fiscal sanity cannot be reached in an environment while the only form of currency is the Federal Reserve Note.  Its value, or lack thereof, is solely determined by how much is in circulation and whenever we get in a jam, we simply print more, further devaluating it.  Without one penny of additional spending, the devaluation process alone raises the deficit.  We must put forty percent of our currency back on the gold standard and require a 60:40 ratio be maintained.

Privatization: Entitlements that are deemed necessary to meet both our requirements as humane citizens and our constitutional commitment stated in the preamble as to promote the general welfare (the word welfare in 1789 was not a reference to the welfare state created in 1933) need to be turned over to the private sector A.S.A.P. if at all possible.  Giving government contracts to one company and rewarding them by exempting the one company from corporate taxes is desirable over a voucher system at this time.  This will ensure Social Security and Medicare will at the very least, be there for those for whom it is too late for traditional savings and in some form for future generations as well.

Departmental Consolidation: Many services provided by the federal government in the form of entitlements, as well as some others, can be retained, maintained, and re-funded by simply reducing the payroll in Washington, D.C. by having larger departments handling more services.  The best example is what Dwight Eisenhower did with the military in 1954.  The military was once divided into two departments, The Department of War, and The Department of the Navy.  The two departments were merged forming what we know today as The Department of Defense.  Short of privatization, Social Security, Medicare, and I will throw Medicaid into the mix for now, could be consolidated into one department, perhaps The Department of Humane Services, where all three services continue, but with all three departments merged into one, with a governing bureaucracy of only one-third as many federal employees.  The money saved on the two-thirds in salaries can be reinvested into this new department to enhance all three services.  The Three E’s is another good example.  Education, energy, and the E.P.A. can be consolidated to one department.  We need educated people to develop alternative energy sources that are environmentally friendly.

Entitlement Usage Rules: Using Social Security as an example, let us consider those whose pensions are large enough to live on without any additional government help.  Since we have decided we must tax according to income class and wealthier should pay more, let us consider wealthier Americans recycling their unneeded Social Security earnings for those who were unable to retire with adequate pensions and rely on Social Security.  This does not qualify as any form of socialism because revenue for Social Security is tax-based.  The money withheld from your paycheck is not given back to you dollar for dollar when you retire—it goes into a general fund and is appropriated and distributed.  President George H.W. Bush suggested something called the Portable Pensions Act, which never got off the ground.  This would have made it law that if you change employers (voluntarily or involuntarily), and your new employer does not or is unable to offer an equivocal pension, the new employer would be required to work with your former employer’s pension plan for contributions, at least from payroll deduction.

Government Contraction: While every state having two senators is constitutionally mandated, the number of congressmen in the House of Representatives is supposed to be in line with the nation’s population.  Every ten years, we take a census and when the results are in, reapportionment is considered.  But somehow, they manage to maintain 435 congressional districts; one state loses a district, another state gains one.  There were not 435 members of the House of Representatives in 1789 when we were a thirteen state league.  With the baby boom behind us, and generations X and Y carrying a much smaller population, and generations to follow most-likely as small or smaller, we need to consider a downsized House of Representatives.  The salaries saved will make a big dent in the deficit.  The problem with this is the earliest it could be done is 2021; we have to take a census in 2020, then run one more
presidential election with an electoral map based on the 2010 census, then put forth such a plan for reapportionment that includes contraction, not just redistribution.  Not sure we have another nine years to get the budget balanced.

Limited Government Future: Once we have a balanced budget, we need a long-term permanent plan for a limited government society.  You can’t just balance the budget and bring back everything you cut and start spending again—American will go right back into debt.  And since the Constitution prohibits the Federal Government from operating as a for-profit entity, unlike states, counties, and municipalities, the Federal Government cannot have a rainy-day fund as this is considered profit it is held.  Surpluses must be given back to the American people; let’s not repeat history; let’s use it wisely to create opportunities so Americans do not need entitlements.  Most Americans would prefer this anyway.

Economic Growth: Booms and recessions are inevitable no matter how America acts politically at any given time.  But what we can do is bring back manufacturing jobs to America, and provide more opportunities for college graduates to build careers in their fields of study in their own small businesses.  The latter involves policies and tax codes conducive to a small-business friendly nation.  The former involves working with both the working class and the owners of companies that manufacturer to bring the cost down so that it can be both profitable to the owners who cut the paychecks and such jobs can be created that pay decent wages.  I don’t see how we can accomplish this with a $16 Trillion deficit.  The government has to invest in a lot of things, but has nary a penny to invest at this time.

We can’t start on Pennsylvania Avenue.  We can’t start on Wall Street.  We can’t start on Main Street.  So let’s start on Elm Street and Morning Glory Circle.  Let’s inform our children that they will most-likely not have the same entitlements and let’s get them saving.  Let’s encourage career development by personal business ownership by selling the notion to our children and grandchildren that taking ownership of such a business is taking ownership of your life.

God Bless America!

stupidityOkay for now, we avoided the Fiscal Cliff albeit we still must address spending cuts and entitlement reform if there is any hope for American to balance the budget.  It is amazing that politicians at the local, state, and federal level cannot solve or agree when it comes to important problems, such as debt, unemployment, and the like; yet state legislatures seem to find plenty of time to pass stupid laws.  Here are some examples.

#5: Illinois: taxicab drivers can now charge customer a $50 cleanup fee for vomiting in a cab.  Okay to deter drunks; I can’t say I blame cab drivers.  But most vomiting is involuntary.   A patron could ride with a baby that just has a sour stomach.

#4: Kentucky: it is illegal to release a wild hog into the wild.  Isn’t a wild hog a wild animal by definition?

#3: Virginia: if you show up to vote without your driver’s license, you can use a concealed weapon permit as an alternate ID card.  Hmmm.  I thought we need to make it harder for random shootings in public places.  If they have a concealed weapon permit there is a fair chance they have the concealed weapon on them too.

#2: Colorado: legalization of recreational marijuana.  I don’t think I need to comment on the health aspect at this time.  As the Christmas season winds down, if you remember the airing of the old Rankin-Bass Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, Rudolph was denied asylum on The Island of Misfit Toys because …unlike a play thing, a living thing can’t hide from his problems on an island.  I guess Colorado is not the place for creative problem solvers.

#1: This one takes the cake: Illinois: motorcyclists can lose their licenses for two years if they pop wheelies; however, they can legally run red lights.  Okay, popping wheelies is dangerous no matter what, but motorcycles being allowed to run red lights, with the light green in the other direction charging cars going at full speed…this is very dangerous.  This is insanity at its best.  Not to mention what it is going to do to both automobile and motorcycle insurance rates!  Interesting enough, Kansas and Georgia have similar laws on the books.  This is the stupidest law yet!

So we can’t get a balanced budget, but we have time to think of these stupid laws.  Ask yourself what are you paying (through your taxes) your elected representatives to do?  And they want to balance the budget on the backs of taxpayers?  Taxpayers of America, the most fundamental definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.  Think about who you are voting for over and over again!