Tuesday, December 30, 2008

I have a question

In a continuing effort to provide resources to anyone wishing to get involved in politics, here is where you can ask questions of the Obama folks. The questions are voted up or down and the most popular are supposed to get an answer.

Since taxes are a pet peeve of mine. I posted the following: "Considering how COMPLEX the tax code is, considering the obvious corrupting influence it has on elected officials/special interests, considering the violations of taxpayer privacy by IRS DATA COLLECTION; Isn't it time to explore the FAIRTAX (hr 25)?"

It's in the economy section.

I strongly recommend that you go to Change.gov questions and sign in.

Vote for questions you think deserve an answer. I tend to vote down any question that implies an expansion of an already too big government.

Get going, Get involved.
C'ya next year.

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Happy New Year

Christmas is over and I hope you had a great one. I hope that you reconnected with friends, family, and those that need your help. I also want to wish you a happy new year. I hope that you are prosperous, lucky in life and love, and active.

Active? What the hell is that? I don't care if you are exercising although that is a good thing. I want you to get involved in your local, state, and federal government. I would rather have you out and in open opposition to me than sitting at home on the sidelines. Educate your friends. Inform your elected whoever about the issues that resonate with you. Get involved. There is a new President in town come next month. Make dang sure that he and his cronies understand that you are going to hold him to some form of standards.

Finally, remember that no matter how angry you get we still live in the worlds most free country. You can still make a difference. Thanks for reading, and Happy New Year.


Tuesday, December 23, 2008

What's Your Vision For America?

Hey everyone. I want to wish everyone a Merry Christmas and a Happy & Prosperous New Year. And, if you don't celebrate Christmas specifically then I wish you the same Peace, Joy, and Happiness all the same.

It isn't often that I get excited about a web site. But, I found one that I wish I'd thought of. It is a great idea and everyone who reads this should go there.

It's called WhiteHouse 2. What you do is set your priorities for the United States. There are hundreds already there that you can browse thru, support, oppose, and rank. Additionally there is a discussion feature where you can attempt to "sell" others on why that priority should be supported or opposed. BTW, my list is here. Check it out, support it or oppose it, talk with me about it.

And you get to make your own priorities. They go into the mix and are eligible for voting etc. If you are a good writer, you may get lots of support.

Finally, you can send your priority list to the Obama Transition Team. The formatted letter will list your priorities as well as identify which ones you agree on with Obamas own listing.

Get informed, Get Involved, Get out there.
Merry Christmas, See you next week.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

More Catching Up

   I am optimistic. Things will get better even if it is a slow road instead of a direct route. Now that the election is in the bag I am going to advocate for the basics again just to keep my Senators/Representative honest.

  •    No bailout
  •    Restructure the Regulatory System to be incentive driven. If we are going to regulate and throw money at things then we might as well make it graduated and pay the folks who get into compliance the quickest. The CAFE standards right now are unworkable from what I have read. Instead let's say to them.... The first company to show us a 40 mpg average SUV that is affordable to the average buyer gets a billion dollar bonus.
  •    Enact the fairtax. It is past time to blow up the outhouse and put indoor plumbing in place.
  •    Enact the Enumerated Powers Act. If you are going to stretch the Constitution, then at least put it into words in the front end of the law.
  •    Either enact a balanced budget amendment or a line item veto for the President.

Since windmills are all the rage, I will play the part of Don Quixote.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Catching Up

Life happens. I hope everyone is doing well this Christmas season. Thanks to the downturn I am working two full time jobs and free time to blog is as limited as can be. So this is a generic look see at the last month.

For starters I oppose the .gov bailouts. So long as we have small business owners hangin on by the skin of their teeth then big business needs to suck it up. I work for a sixty something year old guy who is the nicest person I've met in a long time. He is killing himself trying to hold his business together. No bailout for him even though he's been a community icon for almost 30 years.

Even though my resume is updated, I don't have the heart to quit this guy. He is holding on secure in the hope that things will improve. He's basically conservative both fiscally and socially but is willing to give Obama a chance. Above all, he cares about the five of us working for him. We've made cuts, because the simple fact is that sometimes you have to man up and do what you have to do.

So, for the top execs of the banking and auto industries..... It's time for you to lead by example. I don't begrudge anyone getting rich. But it is hard to feel sympathy for a millionaire who gets a bonus for driving his company into the ground.

This also goes out for the unions as well. Guys, I imagine that some of you are sincerly trying to protect your workers. But right now you appear to be like the pit bull that won't let go of the bone. No one had any sympathy for the oil companies who made money and didn't ask for any. Very few are going to feel sorry for workers who appear to be overpaid. Appearances may not be reality. But appearances can have an effect on public opinion. And right now you appear to be selfish and greedy. I suggest that you tie your wages/benefits and union dues/union employee compensation to the fortunes of the company. If profits go up, so do your fortunes. If profits are down, then you take a proportionate cut.

To Congress: This is mostly your fault. Sorry guys but your committees made the conditions that led to the banking issue. Your regulations led to the auto industry being non-competitive. The domino effect is in progress and throwing money at the problem won't save it. Get rid of CAFE unless you are going to restructure it as an incentive. Get rid of your interference with labor and management. Stick to the enumerated powers and stop using the commerce clause as the one-size-fits-all excuse for meddling.

And, finally, just in case I cannot find the time....... Merry Christmas

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Election 2008

To paraphrase Yul Brenner: So let it be written, So let it be done.

Barack Obama is now the President Elect. As a realist, I will support him as President. I am not saying that I approve of his policy ideals as they are revealed today. Nor am I intending to give him a pass or a honeymoon. But I recognise the magnitude of the effort and achievement. And for whatever it is worth I offer personal congratulations.

He gets a grace period until January. Then he becomes the dog that finally caught the car he'd been chasing down the street. The question is what this dog is going to do with the car now?

Sunday, November 02, 2008

Into the Home Stretch

And their off! Rounding the final turn and moving into the final stretch our two horses are sweating profusely and straining to be the one that crosses the line ahead of the other. The jockeys are making final corrections to both animals and ensuring that they will look good no matter what.

There is a controversy, a race fan (rooting for a different horse) has asked the commission to stop the race because he thinks that one of the horses isn't a true American thoroughbred. The Commission rejected his first appeal. He is still in there swinging however as yet another commission has been contacted.

Race fans over the nation have been looking closely at the horses but appear weary of the race. Many have already placed their bets nationwide in advance of the official opening of the betting windows next Tuesday.

No matter how it goes folks, this has been one heck of a race. See you at the finish line.

Friday, October 24, 2008

25 Years Ago . . .

25 Years Ago today the US Embassy in Beirut Lebanon was bombed.

I lost seven friends in the bombing. They are going to be 19 forever.


Right Click the link and select "save as" or "save target as"

Thursday, October 09, 2008

Quick thoughts on Tuesday

McCain is weakening. He isn't hitting hard and even if the words are chosen with care I don't hear any conviction in them. He's looking like the punch drunk ex Champ trying for one more belt.

Obama surges ahead on economic issues even though his advisior is one of the fanny/freddy cabal that ran it into the ground and walked off with millions.

It's insane. And this is the best we have..........

Thursday, October 02, 2008

Oppose The Bailout No Matter What It's Called

Alright Folks, it's time to oppose the bailout. Why? Well, for starters it is your money. Why again? Should a CEO who ran his company into the ground get bailed out and be personally paid millions? Why Again? Are you getting bailed out if you fall behind and face bankruptcy and foreclosure? Why Again? Where in the Constitution is the authority granted to Congress to continually apply corporate welfare?

Get on the horn without delay. Call your Representative first. He/She is up for reelection. Let em know that bailing out Wall Street can put him on the street. Then get a hold of your Senator. Warn them pointedly that support of Corporate Welfare is wrong and that you will remember their vote. Finally contact your presidential (lower case on purpose BTW) candidate that they better withdraw support for the bailout. Let's get it done.

CNN Money Story on Golden Parachutes. The bill failed, but don't get happy yet, the new bill has em.

I hate the idea of the Government tinkering with the idea of limiting the upper end of what one can earn. But rewarding failure is just as bad. In this case, let Darwin be the guide.

Friday, September 26, 2008

The 1st Debate: Last impressions

Well the rest of the debate went as expected. It was boring and both guys doubletalked and tried to talk over each other on several occasions. The best I personally can score it is a tie. And these guys are the best we have to lead the free world?

The 1st Debate: First impressions

I'm watching the debate now. Boring. Obviously rehearsed in spite of Lehrs assertions that no one knew the questions. I want a debate where the candidate says anything he wants for two minutes and the other guy gets a minute to respond. Then switch out. The only reason for a moderator is to cut the mike at the 2 and 1 minute marks respectively.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Congressional Bailouts and Cowardice

I am so ticked off. I am sitting here trying to figure out how to type this entry without blowing a gasket. Arrrrrrgh.

I am steaming over the recent bailouts by the .gov. Nowhere in the Constitution is Congress authorised to buy up, bail out, loan, back up, cushion, or otherwise prop up failing business with my money. And to make it worse, they pick and choose who they will help or ignore.

JPMorgan Chase, Bear Stearns, AIG, Fanny Mae, Freddy Mac, and who knows who else. I'm surprised they will let Lehman Bros go bankrupt. I find it amazing that if I make a math error on my taxes, the Men In Black from the IRS will bring down the heavens to get the money with penalties and interest added. Do I get interest on the year long loan? Hell No. How about a personal bailout from SBA loans if my business fails? Not bloody likely. But if you've contributed to reelection campaigns then you are a shoe in. Just ask these guys. Read on please.

The fundamental unfairness of a capricious policy that doesn't benefit Joe Citizen is enough to make me mad. But, add to it that these bailouts didn't even get debated by Congress is just over the top. Your money has been confiscated and applied to Corporate Welfare. Congress handed the authority to the treasury secretary in a bill larded with pork. That way, they can shuffle off the blame like the cowards they are.

And Lo it came to pass:

Last night, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi started pointing her finger directly toward the other end of Pennsylvania Avenue. "The most recent bailout initiated by the Bush Administration is just another example that George Bush is a failed manager," Pelosi said after announcing hearings to investigate fraud and look at what new regulations will be needed in the future. And today, the speaker threw numerous punches at Sen. John McCain calling the presidential candidate the "greatest deregulator." Source


The next thing that has me pissed off is that every time a mouse farts the Congress gets a special prosecutor and holds enough hearings to put Court TV to sleep. But, where the hell is the criminal prosecutions of the members of Congress that benifited from monies handed out by the Mortgage Giants. It's no wonder they didn't take pro-active action. Anywhere else it is criminal negligence. In DC it is politics101.

And then there is the opposing sides that want to blame the lobbyists. So much for free speech right? I mean, citizens have a right to organise to influence the .gov right? Well, only if you are lining thier pockets. But, the last time I looked the lobbyists are not holding a gun to any congress critters head. They can say so, but they won't. Cowards and Criminals.

And then just to really peg the ol rant meter, our boy Charlie Rangel is still sitting on the House Ways and Means Committee as its' chairman. He is evading the very tax laws that he writes. If he had a shred of honor, he'd realize that he should be ashamed of himself and step down.

A pox on the lot of them.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Sunday Funnies

I used to post at dailykos. I enjoyed the idea of discussion with folks who didn't agree with me. I don't post there now, but I have to give them props for a huge apparatus that gets a lot of media time. Right now, DK is hugely anti-Palin. A poster on DK accused her daughter of giving birth to the downs baby. And now another poster is comparing her to Nazi's. Be careful when you visit. If you post, don't even be close to anti-O. That's what brought out the sharks and triggered my autoban. Kos has some thinking liberals that are worthy of discourse. But, the Nazi story is a bit much y'think? Clink the link and read more Sunday funnies.

Since Gov Palin is becoming the news story that won't go away... didja hear about the alleged banning of books? It turns out that it wasn't true.
I will be glad when the election cycle is all over. The losers can all go on the talk show circuit and their cohorts can start the next generation of conspiracy theories. Imagine if the McPalin ticket wins. God forbid they should win in Florida or Ohio. There are some people who would spontaneously combust. I can already hear the twilight zone music in the background.

And in closing let's go ahead and give you the wasted tax dollars legislation found today. It's called "For the relief of" legislation (my term) and appears to be a case of patronage by using the power of your office to circumvent the law. Check out the legislation by Rep Pastor.

Back to Football.

Sunday, September 07, 2008

... The more they stay the same

The question before us today is whether to subscribe to limited self government ala the Constitution or succumb to a creeping brand of big brother.

This argument has been going on longer than I have been alive. I was born in 1964, and even then we were debating freedom v. government. During this election cycle we had a candidate who could have set us back on the path of small government and individual liberty. But, we chose John McCain and Barack Obama.

There is no perfect candidate. No one man or woman can occupy the white house and fix everything that is wrong or going wrong. And that is the beauty of our system. With the checks and balances set up by the constitution no one can become the American Caesar.

I found this video on Mikechurch.com. Watch and listen. It's only seven minutes but it shows that the more things change the more they stay the same. The message is just as real and the need is there. No matter who you vote for, here is the best standard to hold them to.

Saturday, September 06, 2008

Presidential Qualifications (JAG Format)

Inquiry into the qualifications to hold the office of the President or Vice-President of the United States of America in the case of John McCain, Sarah Palin, Barack Obama, and Joe Biden.

  1. Per the Constitution of the United States the legal requirements to become President of the United States are: "No person except a natural born citizen, or a citizen of the United States, at the time of the adoption of this Constitution, shall be eligible to the office of President; neither shall any person be eligible to that office who shall not have attained to the age of thirty five years, and been fourteen Years a resident within the United States." Source
  2. Per the Constitution of the United States the legal requirements to become Vice-President of the United States are: "The Electors shall meet in their respective states, and vote by ballot for President and Vice–President, one of whom, at least, shall not be an inhabitant of the same state with themselves;..." and further in the same amendment "But no person constitutionally ineligible to the office of President shall be eligible to that of Vice–President of the United States." Source
  3. John McCain is from Arizona and was born in the Panama Canal Zone on 29 August 1936. Source
  4. Sarah Palin is from Alaska and was born February 11, 1964, in Sandpoint Idaho. Source
  5. Barack Obama is from Illinois and was born August 4, 1961 in Honolulu, Hawaii. Source
  6. Joe Biden is from Delaware and was born November 20, 1942; Scranton, Pennsylvania. Source
  1. That each candidate for President and/or Vice-President does in fact meet the requirements for election to the respective offices sought per the findings of fact numbered one through six above.
  1. That the sources identified above in the findings of fact section are accurate and reasonably unbiased in their statements.
  2. That a literal reading of the United States Constitution alone fails to note any other qualifications such as prior experience as a lawful criteria for election to the office of President or Vice-President of the United States. Thus we can safely assume that the lack of elaboration indicates that only those items cited in findings of fact numbered one and two respectively are to be considered when evaluating a candidates legal qualification to serve in the office(s) sought.
  1. That the question of whether each candidate is legally qualified to hold the offices to which they seek be finalized in favor of each candidate. (Opinion 1 and Assumption 1 and 2)

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Obama Survives Denver

Whew, earlier this week the feds arrested what appeared to be a hit team intent on removing Senator Obama from the ballot, permanently. A scope mounted .22 caliber rifle isn't really a great long range snipers weapon. It can hurt, it can even kill, but it has nothing like a .308 or even a .50 killing power. There wasn't enough range and apparently the would be killers had no real shot at getting thru the security setup.

Hillary and Bill did their best to look good, revise history, and give BHO a backhanded boost. I don't think it will work. Buyers remorse is going to set in and the folks who fell under his spell are going to be scratching their heads wondering what they got themselves into.

All week the DNC raked in the bux both figuratively and literally. Let's face it, Hillary was the one shot for a convention fight and she bailed out. Without a fight, what is the point of a convention? The point is that while the DNC likes to posture about ethics, the convention is also a feeding frenzy of lobbyists. So we have the single biggest money pit in Colorado and the nations largest pep rally.

Next week, the RNC gets to do their thing. The only real interest I will have in it is statistical. How much money, how many people, and what promises made that won't be kept?

At least now that the conventions are half over, we can look down the road and see the light at the end of the tunnel. Hang in there.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Sunday Funnies

Well, there is more than enough stuff in the news to create a Sunday Funnies post.

First of all, there is the persistent rumor that Hillary is setting Barack up to get the run pulled out from under him at the convention. OTOH she is also publicly telling her supporters to back him. Only the convention will tell. This is the kind of buildup that the networks wish they could get for the fall TV schedule.

Then, in the sex scandal of the week category, John Edwards had an affair and then denied he's the father of the (alleged) resulting child. I feel more for his wife than for him. I feel for the child. And I can take a bit of comfort that at least he won't be nominated. Like Bill, John is a faithless liar and obviously cannot be trusted.

Yesterday we showed the truth-o-meter. Today, we look at Polifact's Flip-O-Meter. I understand that one can change their mind over time. I even understand that one can change thier mind in response to a sudden paradigm shifting trauma. But, our pols have made flipping a high art.

On using the Strategic Petroleum Reserve. Barack Obama >>Details
On offshore drilling. Barack Obama >>Details
On offshore drilling. John McCain >>Details
On the Bush tax cuts. John McCain >>Details
On public financing of his campaign. Barack Obama >>Details

I guess that is enough for now. Remember, power corrupts, and absolute power corrupts absolutely. Never trust a pol with your life or your money. Thanks for reading.

Saturday, August 09, 2008


I love the internet. It's just like America is supposed to be. Free, unfettered by excess regulation. You are the only one responsible for your actions. You are responsible to fully defend yourself. It's great. I'm sure that within my lifetime the internet, like the wild west, will fade and a more structured model will emerge.

I don't make any bones about not supporting any of the current crop of Presidential Candidates. But, I really don't like seeing distorted stuff. I would prefer that the candidates sit down and publicly debate the issues without excess rules. I'd like to see a Q&A where the McUSA's can ask a direct question and get a reasonably direct answer. Finally, I would love to see a candidate admit that the Constitution doesn't allow him to do the things he's promising.

Here is the latest from the Truth-O-Meter:

# John McCain: "Obama voted to raise taxes on people making just $42,000."
The Truth-o-Meter says: Barely True | Obama voted for budget resolution, not taxes.
[Thursday, August 07, 2008 11:00:00 PM]

# John McCain: Barack Obama promises higher taxes on "the sale of your home."
The Truth-o-Meter says: Barely True | Only the wealthy who make big profits.
[Thursday, August 07, 2008 11:00:00 PM]

# Barack Obama: John McCain refuses to support a new bipartisan energy bill "because it would take away tax breaks from oil companies like Exxon Mobil."
The Truth-o-Meter says: False | McCain opposes taxes but hasn't commented on bill
[Wednesday, August 06, 2008 11:00:00 PM]

I have another idea: Let's have a debate on which Candidate will actually support the Constitution as written.

Until Later, Thanks for reading.

Sunday, August 03, 2008

545 People

I got this in my Email from a friend of mine. I wish I'd thought of it.

Democrat, Republican or whatever your political leaning, this should resonate for every one of us -

545 PEOPLE by Charlie Reese
Charlie Reese is a former columnist of the Orlando Sentinel Newspaper

Politicians are the only people in the world who create problems and then campaign against them.

Have you ever wondered why, if both Democrats and the Republicans are against deficits, we have deficits?

Have you ever wondered why, if both Democrats and the Republicans are against inflation and high taxes, we have inflation and high taxes?

You and I don't propose a federal budget. The President does.

You and I don't have the Constitutional authority to vote on appropriations. The House of Representatives does.

You and I don't write the tax code, Congress does.

You and I don't set fiscal policy, Congress does.

You and I don't control monetary policy, the Federal Reserve Bank does.

One hundred senators, 435 congressmen, one President, and nine Supreme Court justices - 545 human beings out of our 300 million - are directly, legally, morally and individually responsible for the domestic problems that plague this country.

I excluded the members of the Federal Reserve Board because that problem was created by the Congress. In 1913, Congress delegated its Constitutional duty to provide a sound currency to a federally chartered, but private, central bank.

I excluded all the special interests and lobbyists for a sound reason. They have no legal authority. They have no ability to coerce a senator, a congressman or a President to do one cotton-picking thing. I don't care if they offer a politician $1 million dollars in cash. The politician has the power to accept or reject it. No matter what the lobbyist promises, it is the legislator's responsibility to determine how he votes.

Those 545 human beings spend much of their energy convincing you that what they did is not their fault. They cooperate in this common con regardless of party.

What separates a politician from a normal human being is an excessive amount of gall. No normal human being would have the gall of any Speaker of the House who stood up and criticized a President for creating deficits. The President can only propose a budget. He cannot force the Congress to accept it.

The Constitution, which is the supreme law of the land, gives sole responsibility to the House of Representatives for originating and approving appropriations and taxes. Who is the Speaker of the House? He/She is the leader of the majority party. He/She and fellow House members, not the President, can approve any budget they want. If the President vetoes it, they can pass it over his veto if they agree to.

It seems inconceivable to me that a nation of 300 million cannot replace 545 people who stand convicted -- by present facts -- of incompetence and irresponsibility. I can't think of a single domestic problem that is not traceable directly to those 545 people. When you fully grasp the plain truth that 545 people exercise the power of the federal government, then it must follow that what exists is what they want to exist.

If the tax code is unfair, it's because they want it unfair.

If the budget is in the red, it's because they want it in the red.

If the Marines are in IRAQ , it's because they want them in IRAQ .

If they do not receive social security but are on an elite retirement plan not available to the people, it's because they want it that way.

There are no insoluble government problems.

Do not let these 545 people shift the blame to bureaucrats, whom they hire and whose jobs they can abolish; to lobbyists, whose gifts and advice they can reject; to regulators, to whom they give the power to regulate and from whom they can take this power. Above all, do not let them con you into the belief that there exists disembodied mystical forces like "the economy," "inflation," or "politics" that prevent them from doing what they take an oath to do.

Those 545 people, and they alone, are responsible.

They, and they alone, have the power.

They, and they alone, should be held accountable by the people who are their bosses - provided the voters have the gumption to manage their own employees.

We should vote all of them out of office and clean up their mess!

What you do with this article now that you have read it is up to you, though you appear to have several choices:

1. You can send this to everyone in your address book and hope they do something about it.

2. You can agree to vote against everyone that is currently in office, knowing that the process will take several years.

3. You can decide to run for office yourself and agree to do the job properly.

4. Lastly, you can sit back and do nothing, or re-elect the current bunch.


Charlie Reese is a former columnist of the Orlando Sentinel Newspaper.

Saturday, August 02, 2008

Obama Challenges McCain to a Duel on Taxes

Let me get this straight, Obama challenges John McCain to a duel over taxes!! Oh my freakin gawd. This will be so priceless that Master card will have to make a commercial out of it.

I am going on record to say that I hope they do it, the "duel" I mean. After all, where else can you listen to two men who are so well versed in deceiving the public? What is the deception you ask?

The first deception is the implication that any President can raise or lower taxes. This deception is used widely by both parties with both a positive and negative spin. The most common current negative example is the so-called "Bush Tax Cuts".

Anyone with a hint of education beyond using crayons knows that no President can monkey with the tax code. They can only recommend to the Congress a direction to travel. They can either sign or veto changes. And of course they can make promises they cannot keep. "Read my lips", said Bush the Elder.

So we must welcome any duels over taxes as a chance to see both candidate lie in real time. And you must remember the lies. Then you must do your own research and find for yourself that while the income tax is eminently not unconstitutional it is certainly anticonstitutional.

From there I would hope that you would recognize the evil inherent in our current income tax system. Then ytou would logically search out alternatives to it. Your search for alternatives would bring you to the concepts of abolishing the income tax.

One of those options is to simply scale back our spending and live on the income from the myriad other sources of the governments revenue.

The other option is a national sales tax.

Realistically, neither candidate will endorse any action that would modify the governments power to reward or punish via taxation. Neither would they willingly lose the money they get from the lobbyists.

So yes, let's get to the debate, then let's count the lies on both sides.

Here's a Wild one for you
Obama and McCain Tax Proposals

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Iminent Danger: S. 3268

S. 3268, the Stop Excessive Energy Speculation Act of 2008 is underway. The Imminent Danger is to your right to do as you please without the feds interference. Essentially the Senate is looking for a scapegoat and they have picked those who make their living speculating on oil futures.

Think about it. This is the United States of America. You can grow up to do anything you wish as long as you are determined. This bill may be about energy prices on the surface, but it runs deep into your civil liberties. Please click the link to read more.

Anyone who has any experience in business or industry understands that government intrusion is a fact of life. There are a myriad of government agencies that regulated everything from A to Z. Remember, most regulations are not debated. They derive from laws enacted via Congress and the President. The law may simply have a line that reads, "Congress shall enforce this law via appropriate regulation". And regulations are not debated in Congress. The President doesn't sign or veto regulations in most cases.

Additionally, this law specifically targets one group of people. Today it's the speculators. Next week it could be the race car drivers. Week after next it'll be bloggers. But, we cannot term limit the Senate huh?

BTW I don't agree with term limits. I used to. But, the point is to allow you to live your life as you please. If you want to be a politician all your life, go for it. At least they won't regulate you to death.

Just to be sure I am not simply going off the deep end, let's read what the Democratic Policy Committee says in part about this bill. I added the bold and italics.

This legislation, developed after consultation with consumer advocates, oil market analysts, and experts from the financial and airline industries, seeks to reduce the amount of excessive speculation in the oil markets. Specifically, the legislation would increase the resources and authority needed by the Commodities Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) to detect, prevent, and punish price manipulation and excessive speculation and give the CFTC emergency authority needed to rapidly implement the legislation. S. 3268 would also strengthen the amount and quality of information available to the CFTC so that the Commission can better regulate all aspects of the energy futures markets.

Take a look at the first set of italics. It openly gives you an idea of who lobbied for the bill. They are the ones with the most to gain. I can't fathom why the financial bubbas would agree to further regulation. The airline industry is a no-brainer. They get to scapegoat someone so thier passengers don't revolt.

Now the bold part. We are going to take an agency of the government and throw money at it so that it can get bigger. And we are going to increase thier authority (emergency authority no less) so they can detect, prevent, and punish price manipulation and excessive speculation. And please note the last sentence. We are going to regulate "all aspects" of the energy futures markets. I hope the other futures traders are not already saddled with this.

Look, I could go on a rant over each of the provisions.

The best thing I can ask of you is to go to the site and read it.

Then read the transcript of the current MOTION TO PROCEED.

You need to look at every law passed by Congress and answer the following questions.

Is this law authorized by the enumerated powers of the Constitution?
Even if it is so authorized, is the law preventative or punitive?
Does this law expand the governments already overbearing powers over you, the law abiding citizen?

Call or write your Senators today. And tomorrow. And the next day.

Thanks for reading.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

The Role of Media in Politics pt 3

In the first two installments discussing the role of the media in politics we covered the MSM and then talk radio. This post deals with the cutting edge of the internet.

In many ways the Internet is still in its' wild west days. For the most part it is unregulated and notorious for passing along hoax information as well as the real deal. And, as a trusted source it vies with Fox news as a non talk radio alternative.

But the internet is so vast that we cannot possibly cover it all in one blog post. So, we are going to focus on the interactivity of it and how that might have an effect on the political process.

The most obvious starting point would be the candidate or politicians official websites. I remember when the internet was new and dial up was the norm. Politicians had to be contacted by snail mail because the web presence was essentially a listing of headlines, a photo, and contact data that wasn't yet digital.

Now a politicians site is fully interactive with polls, issue areas, newsletters, email contact information, real world contact information, and often a list of instructions for services like appointments to a service academy.

The next thing is blogs just like what you are reading now. Blogs range from small and humble all the way to huge things with multiple posters.

Then there are message and chat boards. No matter what affiliation you have there will be a message or chat board catering to it. Again, some are small and some are huge.

A word on interactivity; There is no free speech. The owner of the site sets the rules and can allow or disallow your postings or comments. So if you post greatness and the site bans you... oh well there are others abounding. Heck, you can even start your own.

We'll tie it all together tomorrow.

The Role of Media in Politics pt 2

In The Role of Media in Politics pt 1 we identified the mainstream media and determined which sources appeared to be used by each political faction. The bottom line was that MSM bias is largely in the eye of the beholder. This post examines the so-called "Alternative Media" in its' talk radio incarnation.

Unlike the major newspapers and broadcast outlets, talk radio clearly favors the right wing end of the spectrum. Radio shows like Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity are broadcast nationwide to an audience of millions. Second tier shows hosted by Neil Boortz, G Gordon Liddy, and Mark Levin also have a nationwide audience but not as many outlets.

Left Wing talk radio hasn't fared near as well. The biggest attempt was the abortive Air America. It simply didn't grab a large enough market share and has filed bankrupcy and been sold. There is far more after the read more link.

According to Wikipedia:

On October 13, 2006, Air America filed for protection from creditors, i.e. bankruptcy under Chapter 11, at the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of New York.[15] Air America continued broadcasting while the finances were worked out with the creditors. The company had US$4,331,265.30 in assets and US$20,266,056.23 in liabilities. Al Franken alone was owed US$360,749.98 and Rob Glaser, founder of Real Networks, was owed the most at US$9.8 million. The filing had over 25 pages of creditors and showed that the company lost US$9.1 million in 2004, US$19.6 million in 2005 and an additional US$13.1 million by mid-October in 2006.[16][17]

This definitively shows that while liberal/left sentiment might be dominant in the mainstream media coverage hours, the right has no problem dominating the radio airwaves. Why?

The first and most openly credible reason is that more people desire to listen to talk radio dominated by a conservative theme. The evidence presented is compiled by Talkers Magazine.

They (Talkers Magazine) have compiled the 2008 Heavy Hundred listing of the 100 most important radio talk show hosts. The top six are identified as conservative hosts politically speaking and all have a national audience. The first identified liberal/progressive is Ed Shultz at number eight. To see the entire listing, click here.

The profile of the common talk radio listener pretty much tells which side of the spectrum that talk radio is dominant in as well. The mythical listener is a white male, 45-54 years old that makes between 30 and 70 thousand a year. He listens to country music and is an independent who activily votes. This guy is a football/baseball fan who self identifies as basically conservative and he gets his non-radio news from either the internet or fox news. To see the full breakdown, click here.

The other, more sinister, purported reason that right wing talk radio dominates is simply that the broadcasters themselves are conspiring to make it so. An excerpt from Truthout.org makes the case.

But if that were all there was to the phenomenon, a new report by the Center for American Progress and the Free Press on right-wing talk's domination of the airwaves wouldn't be causing as much chagrin among conservative commentators as it has. The report, (PDF), "The Structural Imbalance of Political Talk Radio," is stirring up the right-wing squawkers because its analysis flies in the face of conventional wisdom; Right-wing talk doesn't dominate AM radio because of the magical hand of a functional free market, it dominates thanks to multiple market failures. Even worse, those failures represent a strong case for better regulation of what goes out on the public's airwaves.

The report referenced is available here for download.

The bottom line is that no matter which argument you prefer, talk radio is here to stay. But there is no conclusive evidence of it actually influencing its' audience. In fact research indicates that the successful talk radio hosts mirror the core values of thier listening base. It would seem that analyzing the host would provide a clue about each set of listeners. Thus a potential candidate could actually shape his/her image to mirror the largest listener demographic.

Thanks for reading.

The Role of Media in Politics pt 1

There are interesting trends on the internet that are worth looking into. It seems as if everywhere you turn folks talk about media bias. Conservative or Liberal, Left or Right, Republican, Democrat, and Independent all agree that the MSM is against them.

The first thing we need to do is define the MSM and then we need to put a face to them. Most everyone accepts that MSM is shorthand for the major television networks as well as the major newspapers. But, who are they and how do they relate to the major political parties and thier supporters. It gets interesting right after you take the leap.

According to ebiquity the top ten MSM outlets look like this:

Again according to the research done by ebiquity the top ten MSM citations from both Republican and Democrat sources are:

The final dataset provided by ebiquity is the most interesting.

The final scoring function produces a ranked list of MSM based on preference of being linked to by either Republican or Democrat blogs. This shows some interesting results (complete list here and here):

Does anyone notice the overlap in some places?
What this tells me is that MSM bias is as much a talking point as anything else. It also shows me that bias is in the eye of the beholder.

Thanks to for sourcing this data.

Next we will look at the alternative media.

Thanks for reading.

Friday, July 25, 2008

Obama Shuns Wounded American Soldiers

Presidential hopeful Barack Obama apparently shunned visiting American Servicemembers wounded during the campaigns in Iraq and Afghanistan according to Brietbart. Now, I will admit that Brietbart is not a paragon of neutrality. However, the facts don't appear to be in dispute.

BERLIN (AP) - Sen. Barack Obama scrapped plans to visit wounded members of the armed forces in Germany as part of his overseas trip, a decision his spokesman said was made because the Democratic presidential candidate thought it would be inappropriate on a campaign-funded journey.

Interesting that he visited millions of non-voting people over several countries on a campaign funded journey. But it would be inappropriate to visit the Americans that have sacrificed the most? As they said on Star Trek: Does Not Compute.

I wonder if his visit to the non-voting nations and people means he will scrap his presidential campaign and instead run for Secretary General? After all, in that instance, the American Soldiers would not get a vote.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Regulating the Speculators

What do lottery players, stock traders, house flippers, sports bettors, real estate investors, and Miss Cleo have in common? Answer: They are all speculators of one sort or another. Meaning, they take info, money, and a hunch then they try to read the future.

Congress is talking about further regulation of folks who speculate on the futures market. I am going to go out on a limb and say that this is about as smart as trying to gargle razor blades.

While this might be construed as being within the enumerated powers (commerce clause) it certainly isn't fair, or even fair minded. The Congress is to blame for the price of gas at the pump.

Who decided that there would be virtually no new drilling in the Continental US? Who decided that you cannot drill off our own shores? Who set in place the mechanism that didn't allow new refineries to be built? Who caved to the anti-nuke crowd? Here's a hint, it wasn't the speculators.

Folks, Congress feels your pain. They feel it as a possible loss come the next election. And so, to ease your pain, they are frantically looking for a scapegoat.

Can someone give me a logical reason why we should allow congress screw up yet another market? Can anyone tell me why we would want to expand the power of the .bloat (Brazenly Large Overly Aggressive Tyranny)any further?

Below the fold are some quotes from the more insane. Just click the read more link. Thanks for reading.

Lieberman blames speculators for high commodity prices
-- Purchasing, 7/17/2008

As Congress debates regulating the commodities trading market, Connecticut Senator Joseph Lieberman told a Senate hearing on commodity speculation that speculators are to blame for much of the high commodity costs. “The steady upward climb of the cost of food and energy is not simply the result of natural market forces at work,” Lieberman said. “Speculation has passed the point where it provides stability to the commodity markets. It is now excessive and hurtful.”

Airline industry launches lobbying campaign to fight oil speculators

07:27 AM CDT on Friday, July 11, 2008

By DAVE MICHAELS / The Dallas Morning News

WASHINGTON – The troubled airline industry is launching a lobbying campaign that blames speculators for ballooning fuel prices, but the carriers face stiff opposition to their energy plan from other lobbying powerhouses and some skeptical members of Congress.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Change You Can Believe In: $119 per American 2009-2013

Well, it is wonderful to know that both Presidential Candidates are Co-sponsors of S.2731. This is a bill which allocates $10,000,000,000 per year from 2009 to 2013. It is ostensibly intended to "authorize appropriations for fiscal years 2009 through 2013 to provide assistance to foreign countries to combat HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis, and malaria, and for other purposes."

As the title said, it will cost every American $119.00 over the four year time. Isn't that special? Neither candidate bothered to ask if you would like to donate to such a worthy charity. Instead they simply decided for you. Gotta love it right?

It's not that I don't have a heart. It's that I don't believe that our government should be spending fifty billion dollars out of the country that they are not allowed to via the US Constitution.

Question for the readers or the candidates: Which of the enumerated powers authorizes the Congress to appropriate money for this purpose?

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Sunday Funnies

Welcome to the Sunday Funnies

Well now, aint this sweet:
All Things Considered, July 13, 2008 · The Latino vote promises to be vital in November's presidential election. Both Republican John McCain and Democrat Barack Obama have been actively seeking to build support with Latino organizations. Today, Obama speaks in San Diego at the National Council of La Raza, a leading Hispanic civil rights and advocacy organization.

I like how NPR calls La Raza "a leading Hispanic civil rights and advocacy organization". Kinda like calling the KKK an advocate for Christian white males.

In more important developments according to the local news, Budweiser is about to acquire a German accent. So, far I haven't found a net source. But, the writing is on the wall. Rumors have abounded for weeks. I am so glad I actually make my own beer.

This Sunday was scant on funnies. Win some, lose some.

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Federal Regulation opposing RKBA

I stumbled across an NRA site concerning some Dept of the Interior regulations designed to limit your right to carry weapons in a National Park. I am not a member of the NRA as I don't tend to join single-issue groups unless I have drank and digested their kool aid. That is because any discussion not in line with the "official" line of the group tends to be attacked instead of logically discussed.

The website asked for public comments on the issue. IF you click the "read more" link you will see the websites involved and the comments I submitted. Your comments are always welcome.

Here is the [url=http://www.nraila.org/Legislation/Federal/Read.aspx?id=4074]NRA site[/url].
Here is the [url=http://www.regulations.gov/fdmspublic/component/main?main=DocumentDetail&o=090000648053d497]commentary site[/url].

Here is my comment submitted this morning. I am not the great communicator, so while comments are welcome, please be educational on how it could have been written more intelligently.


The 2nd Amendment of our Constitution is a self evident statement. The Supreme Court recently ruled definitively that it is an individual right. I find it atrocious that there are those who refuse to see the following:

First: Limitations on the possession, transportation, or personal bearing of arms only penalize those inclined to obey the law in the first place.

Second: When you deprive someone of the right to defend themselves you must assume the responsibility to protect them. In a National Park setting, you cannot guarantee the protection of each and every individual.

Third: Requiring justification to exercise a constitutional right is wrong. Rather, the state is obligated to justify the diminishing (infringement) of the right.

Finally, as a practical matter, regulations infringing on a persons right to keep and bear arms is only enforceable after the fact. Thus, the regulation is not preventative but is punitive in nature. Punitive regulations are the antithesis of a free society.

I strongly urge that these and other regulations be removed and future regulation defaults to freedom and liberty.

I remain respectfully,

PE Gwinn
MSgt USMC (ret)

Former White House spokesman Tony Snow dies

I first heard Tony Snow on Sirius radio. I like talk radio when it is not all ranting and raving and Mr. Snow appeared to balance the commentary with very pointed and well spoken debates. I enjoyed his show immensely. I would like to offer my condolences to the Snow family and hope that in time they find a measure of peace.

Type rest of the post here

Friday, July 11, 2008

Weekly ReCap

Ya gotta love the soundbytes this week. The Reverend Jesse Jackson wants to rip Barack Obamas nuts off, and Phil Gramm tells the truth about whining. Everyone flipped out and the talking heads are chattering so loudly that it sounds like a woodpecker on speed in the petrified forest.

Speaking of talking, one of the more interesting conversations I heard over the week was on the topic of a national language. Should we mandate English as the official language of these United States?

Nope. Click the read more link and learn why...

English is already the dominant language of these United States. If immigrants (legal ones) don't want to learn English, then so-be-it. Assimilation is great, but not at the expense of free will and liberty.

The Constitution was written in English. And nowhere does it convey permission to the federal government to mandate English or any other language. Yep, that's right, it isn't authorized in the enumerated powers or the amendments. We already have enough anti-constitutional trash coming out of Washington. This we don't need.

By the way. I have no problem with the Fed declaring that English as the official language of the US Government. Meaning, all legislation is in English. All official US Government transactions, business, services, etc will be conducted in English. That can be done via appropriate regulation or possibly an executive order. But legislating English for the whole nation? That dear reader is a very bad idea.

And finally, speaking of bad ideas: Both candidates either have spoken or will speak to La Raza as they seek the Latino vote. I don't have a problem with Latinos but I do have a problem with La Raza. Just as pandering to the white vote by speaking to the KKK would be wrong, just as speaking to the Black Panthers would be wrong, so to is this.

Thanks For Reading.

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

Tuesdays' TalkShows

Monday talk radio stinks on ice. It's a rehash of the Sunday Funnies TV shows. Tuesday is a good day since I tend to be on the road all day. Today was a good day. Here are three examples.

Alan Colmes is my favorite Liberal talk show host. He's got a sense of humor, and can get sarcastic with the best of them. Best of all, he rarely goes on a rant. I don't listen to him much since his time slot kicks my butt. Since today was a long day I got to listen in. For the record Alan: I agree with leaving Iraq if thier government requests it. I think the preacher was maligned by the papers and you didn't get the target you wanted. I agree with the guy who said there were some folks in Afghanistan that need killin. I don't sit in the armchair and do the qb thing either. It was a good show, but I would be interested in knowing why you think it's evil for the oil companies to make a profit. I just can't wrap my head around that philosophy.

For the next two of today's best, just click the read more link.

In the number two slot was Cam and Company. They are a wholly owned subsidiary of the NRA and are proud to say so. They coined a term I heard for the first time today. When Obama flips the flop, they say he "BarakSteps". I like that. They were focused on the new parking lot law in Florida. Personally I am not impressed. It took a legislature to all me to keep a gun in my car when it's on a parking lot? Yeah right. Apparently Florida doesn't fully comprehend "shall not be infringed". Neither does Disney for that matter.

Todays best offering comes from Mike Church. Rather than the stereotypical conservative pounding on the desk and blaming the "libs" for everything, he held school on the Constitution. Two experts, for over an hour, calmly discussing the Constitution and how it's been sidetracked by pols of both parties. Questions were thoughtful and the answers very interesting. Excellent show. I just wish that more Americans were interested in learning about the Constitution.

Great Job All.

Friday, July 04, 2008

A Glorious Independence Day

I find it ironic that the premier national holiday is known for its date more than for its' name. We don't go about our business asking folks how they are spending December 25th. I've never been asked what day it was and by reply said "January first". We call all holidays by their rightful name except today. While it's great that folks remember the date I'd prefer that they remember the name. It was a glorious day in Texas. And our Independence Day was celebrated. Please click to read a bit more...

Today we started with a down home small city parade. Leading the parade was the United States Marine Color Guard. Then came color guards from the various law enforcement agencies, veterans groups, and civic organisations. I have to say that it was great.

We grilled hamburgers, drank beer, and told stories. Like Memorial Day, Independence Day evokes memories, some not pleasant. Our Declaration of Independence told the world in general and King George in particular that we were not going to take it.

From those words sprang the war that eventually resulted in our nation being born. But, there is another thing we need to do. We need to teach the history of the Declaration as well. To that end, I would like to recommend a three CD Historical telling of the "Road to Independence" by Mike Church. I listened to it twice today on my computer (Sirius Radio in the truck and streaming at home) and it is simply awesome. BONUS: IF YOU ARE A TEACHER YOU CAN GET THIS CD SET FOR FREE.

The Declaration of Independence set the stage for the role our states and nation play in the world today. It is right that we remember. C'ya round.

Wednesday, July 02, 2008

Clark Slams McCains Qualifications to be President

General Wesley Clark, 4 Stars, fixed his bayonet and charged straight into the teeth of McCains qualifications to be President. James Webb, Former Secretary of the Navy and a Navy Cross recipient during Vietnam as a US Marine, essentially told McCain to shut up about his military record.

I know I am not the super pundit; but am I the only one who thinks these guys not only diminished their stature regarding the uniforms they once wore by being publicly stupid?

Think about it... click to keep on reading

Don't misunderstandify me. I totally understand the stature of these guys. In my short time as an active duty Marine I knew their names very well. And, without a doubt both deserve enormous respect for what they accomplished while in uniform. But, I am not impressed with either one of them in the political arena.

Clark is factually correct. Military service of any sort doesn't qualify you to be the President. According to my copy of the Constitution you must be 35, a natural born citizen, and a resident of 14 years. That's is it. Anything else is added one voter at a time on election day. Apparently being a General doesn't get it either.

While Clark can hide behind the parsing of his words, Webb is simply stupid in this regard. Who was running on what military record when he ran for the Senate (Hint McCain wasn't the only one)a few years back? 1st Clue; His name rhymes with Webb.

McCain still assumes that guys like me are going to vote for him. He's wrong. He must earn my vote. But in all fairness his experiences are far closer to the ideal described by General Clark than are Mr. Obamas.

Both Clark and Webb learned about Honor from the finest institutions in the world. It's too bad they've forgotten those lessons.

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Sunday Funnies

In today's news there is a piece on Yahoo that wonders aloud if Bob Barr is going to be a spoiler against the GOP. My take is that I could care less if McCain is sweating bullets. In fact, I hope he is wearing depends to avoid soiling himself. If an independent who is projected to max out at 4% of the vote can influence McCain, then McCain had best get his act together. I am not trying to sling mud. But it is still up to McCain to actually earn my vote rather than assume I will vote for the lesser of two evils. There are more funnies if you click the read more link.

Now here is a story that just screams "Tell me something I don't know!". Essentially it's a black eye to the public education system. Let's think about this for a second. Who should be the best arbiter of what to teach the kids? Yep, Mom and Pop. Or, the local community. But, as usual, the fed has to be involved. Just another demonstration that government subsidized schools are substandard and anti-Constitutional.

And, no Sunday would be complete without some rag disclosing national security secrets with impunity. The first amendment is clear that the press is a free entity. My objection is with the loose-lipped-anti-American-bathwater-sucking-idiots who border on treason by disclosing classified data to the press. Our young service members would be crucified via a General Court Martial for doing this. But if you are a member of the press or a "highly placed" government official, you get over. Bit of a double standard eh?

Finaly, just to remind us that states also infringe on your liberties.... New Wash. law bans hand-held phones while driving. I understand the danger. Just like listening to the radio and singing along, we have to nip these things in the bud. Let's not penalize and hold accountable the people whose behavior actually causes an accident. Instead, let's figure out how to profit from the situation.

Gotta Jet, Thanks for reading.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

The 2nd Amendment and Schumer Picking on Cornyn

Have you ever had one of "those" days? Y'know the kind that just drag on and every event is designed by God Almighty himself just to personally frustrate you? So far that is my week. I bought an article bank and am working on getting it set up as a free information tool. Until the kinks are worked out (and there are quite a few) it's located here. BTW it is completely free to use, without sign ups or mailing lists, and I hope you benefit from it.

Please keep reading, it gets better... promise

Then, things at work went all crazy. And of course there is the news. I just got thru handing out Ape Hangers to the Supreme Court (Again) for the child rape decision. But, they got it right on the DC Handgun ban at least.

My friend asked if the four judges who voted against the Constitution in the hand gun case were getting Ape Hangers for their votes? Nope. The Ape Hanger goes to the guy who's actions do or will have a deleterious effect either on the peoples liberty or the several states sovereignty. So, by voting to keep the DC ban intact they were exercising their right to an opinion. Since they lost the vote they will have no effect on the Second Amendment today.

Then, in my email I get this missive from the Texas GOP. For a party that is supposed to be all about the rugged individualist, individual liberty, and against the revisionists in constitutional matters; This struck me as being pretty damn unManly if you will. Let John Cornyn face down Schumer on his own. Until I see him on the ten o'clock news lambasting Chuck; I aint gonna break a sweat. I mean, he should not need me to tell someone to shut the hell up right? If I was him I would be embarrassed to have the party try to get the rank and file to do battle in my name.

I get the GOP newsletter because a long time ago I was a registered Republican. Now I am an Independent since I cannot quite fit in with either party during polite society events. But like the rent or taxes, the newsletter arrives and is usually interesting reading.

Anyway this is what I got in my email today.

Texas G.O.P Calls On Chuck Schumer To Denounce Communications Director’s Racist, Insensitive Comments

Austin - Today the Republican Party of Texas called on The Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee and its Chairman Senator Chuck Schumer (D-NY) to withdraw email and blog publications attempting to ridicule a traditional Hispanic festival in South Texas, the Republican Party of Texas said today. “Any party that claims to be sensitive to minorities should know better than to perpetuate the sort of ethnic and racial assaults represented in this week’s DSCC releases,” said G.O.P. Spokesman Hans Klingler.

The ostensible target of the DSCC attack was U.S. Sen. John Cornyn, who was featured in a state GOP convention video wearing a Tamaulipeca jacket at this year’s Charro Days celebration in Brownsville, Texas. The jacket was designed in the Hispanic tradition by a local artist and businessman, Don Breeden, and was designated as the official costume of the Charro Days event.

In an email Thursday, DSCC spokesman Matt Miller denigrated the traditional Hispanic jacket, writing that it appears Senator Cornyn “raided the wardrobe closet for the Kilgore Rangerettes.” He included with his message, sent to news media, a video link to a cable show that included racially and ethnically based attempts at humor.

The comments by Miller “were out of line,” according to a Charro Days official, Diane M. Garza. In a letter to Sen. Charles Schumer, DSCC chairman, Garza urged Schumer to “repudiate the remarks of Mr. Miller, and to remind him of the need for sensitivity, integrity and inclusiveness even in the world of politics.”

The 71st annual Charro Days Grand International Parade was held this year on Mar. 1 in Brownsville.It featured dozens of floats, marching bands, and civic organizations in a celebration of Hispanic culture. Sen. Cornyn and his wife, Sandy, walked much of the parade route, shaking hands, hugging and greeting celebrants.

Film footage of the parade was included in an introductory video played at the Texas Republican Party Convention in Houston earlier this month. It has made its way to the Internet, and the video has attracted more than 75,000 views.

Earlier this week, comedian Jon Stewart on The Daily Show played sections of the video, singling out the Tamaulipeca jacket Cornyn was wearing, and adding racially-tinged comments about Sen. Cornyn’s mythical Senate opponent. The DSCC has been circulating the Stewart segment, trying to get mileage out of it.

Said Cornyn communications director Kevin McLaughlin in a statement issued today: “The Charro Days event has a long and proud history celebrating Hispanic contributions to Texas and America. It is to be expected that entertainers in Los Angeles and New York would want to take pot shots, but the DSCC should be careful in lending its name to efforts that essentially disparage an important part of our culture.”

Click here to read the letter from constituents to Senator Schumer

These guys need to read Robert Pratt's anti-wimp updates and get a clue. Schumer rates a butt kicking, but it is up to the offended party to deliver it.

Thank you for reading, I do appreciate it.

Saturday, June 21, 2008

McClellan Appears at House Judiciary Committee Hearing

In the stories-that-will-not-die department we have two comedies that are merging into one. On the one hand we have the media sensation of the former administration mouthpiece and his muckraking book. On the other hand we have our so called public servants in the House of Representatives (specifically the Judiciary Committee) holding hearings.

Scott "Show me the money" McClellan appeared before the House Judiciary Committee headed by Democrat Rep. John Conyers of Michigan. Appearing before the committee he brought with him one copy of his tell-all book and the knowledge that his 75,000 dollar advance is safely tucked away in a bank somewhere.

Obviously with partisan politics being what it is the battle lines were clearly drawn before Scotty beamed himself in. The Democrats, forgetting that Bush is not running for another term, focused on the Plame incident and tried hard for more damning information. The Republicans, angered at the obvious money grab struck Scott with epithets and derision. Through it all;
McClellan kept his poise and seemed to deflect much criticism—"character assassination," in the words of one Democrat—during about three hours of testimony. -- Source

I know that I am supposed to be objective but this case gets under my skin on two levels. First is the character of McClellan himself. He waits until the proper moment and unleashes a book timed to make money. He obviously has no sense of loyalty and apparently his character fluctuates between being on or off depending on his finances. Secondly, we have yet another case of the fed improperly meddling. This was settled at taxpayer expense via a special prosecutor. But, thanks to partisanship it simply won't die.

The only reason Conyers isn't getting an Ape Hanger is that the investigation won't hurt the average person and isn't anti-Constitutional. Instead it is merely politics as usual by someone who likely won't ever earn the title of "Statesman".

Hey Scotty ol boy, next time you wanna write a tabloid book, do it about me. I could use the publicity.

Republicans Lambaste McClellan at Judiciary Committee Hearing

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Basic Civics on the Windfall Profit Tax

Why oh why are such monumentally stupid people able to congregate in one place and make decisions that have a negative effect on me? Congress is still beating the drum on the thrice damned Windfall Profits Tax for Big Scary Oil. Please click to read the rest of the story.

Thrice Damned.

The first damning is that more taxes already tax an overly bloated system. More auditors, more paperwork, more man-hours, more of everything will be demanded. And, lest you think this is only on the private sector, it's not. The .gov will have to add folks to the rolls to administer the program. They will also have to draft more rules and regs to add to the 67,000 (give or take) pages of the tax code.

The second damning is that this sets a bad precedent following the previous bad precedent. But each bad precedent allows the government to intrude further into our lives and into business. Instead of a hands off .gov we get a bigger brother. The last WPT failed miserably. Yet, the taxmeisters just cannot learn from history can they?

The thrice damning is (drum roll please) CORPORATIONS DON'T PAY TAXES, THE PEOPLE DO!! Boy I hope someone got that. Taxes, like payroll, like machinery, like paper clips, etc etc are a cost of doing business. These costs get all rolled up and figured into the final sale price that you and I pay. So, if and when the dunderheads in the House finally get passage of the WPT, look for gas prices to go up even more.

And as a bonus damning: Your 401K or Money Market stuff has a great chance of being partially invested into oil stocks.

Question for the day. If Congress can punish the oil companies for "excess profits" and grill the CEO's regarding thier own compensation, why can't we return the favor? Look up Feinstein, Boxer, and Pelosi on google with the terms "net worth". I'd say they need to trim some of their excess profits. They can mail me a check anyday now.

Monday, June 16, 2008

Hypocrisy Thy Name is Oil

Normally, hypocrisy of this sort would warrant an APE Hanger. But, I read the legislation and cannot find a direct assault on my rights as a citizen. Instead, it merely highlights the simpleminded stupidity of our government. There is a tenet of military leadership that goes "never give an order you are unwilling or unable to enforce". Please click the read more link to get the rest of the scoop.

Our House of Representatives, by a huge margin, passed HR 2264 onto the Senate. HR 2264 is titled: H.R. 2264: No Oil Producing and Exporting Cartels Act of 2007. It even has a catchy acronym, NOPEC. Now aint that cool?

OK, I looked the bill up in Thomas and Govwatch. Both indicate that the bill actually passed in May of 07. Yet a Mark Steyn article on the topic is dated May of 08. So, I am not 100 percent certain exactly when, before or after the witch hunts of Big Oil CEO's, that NOPEC got the nod.

What I like is the blatant double standard. We cannot locate, close with, and exploit our own assets. But, we can sue the pants off of a sovereign nation who has the nerve to make their own decisions on what to do with their own stuff. Imagine that, the Royal House of Saud didn't seek congressional permission on this... Oh the horror.

Just for the record, these are the elected officials who voted NO on the bill. While they lost, they did the right thing. Ya might drop em a line so they know that you are keeping score and, for the moment at least, approve of their action.

MD-6 Bartlett, Roscoe [R] TX-6 Barton, Joe [R] CA-50 Bilbray, Brian [R]
UT-1 Bishop, Rob [R] MO-7 Blunt, Roy [R] OH-8 Boehner, John [R]
OK-2 Boren, Dan [D] LA-7 Boustany, Charles [R] TX-8 Brady, Kevin [R]
IN-5 Burton, Dan [R] CA-44 Calvert, Ken [R] UT-3 Cannon, Christopher [R]
NC-6 Coble, Howard [R] OK-4 Cole, Tom [R] TX-11 Conaway, K. [R]
CA-20 Costa, Jim [D] WY-0 Cubin, Barbara [R] TX-28 Cuellar, Henry [D]
GA-9 Deal, Nathan [R] CA-4 Doolittle, John [R] CA-26 Dreier, David [R]
OK-5 Fallin, Mary [R] FL-24 Feeney, Tom [R] AZ-6 Flake, Jeff [R]
NC-5 Foxx, Virginia [R] AZ-2 Franks, Trent [R] NJ-11 Frelinghuysen, Rodney [R]
CA-24 Gallegly, Elton [R] NJ-5 Garrett, E. [R] GA-11 Gingrey, John [R]
TX-12 Granger, Kay [R] IL-14 Hastert, J. [R] WA-4 Hastings, Doc [R]
TX-5 Hensarling, Jeb [R] MI-2 Hoekstra, Peter [R] MO-9 Hulshof, Kenny [R]
CA-49 Issa, Darrell [R] IA-5 King, Steve [R] GA-1 Kingston, Jack [R]
MN-2 Kline, John [R] CO-5 Lamborn, Doug [R] GA-7 Linder, John [R]
OK-3 Lucas, Frank [R] CA-3 Lungren, Daniel [R] FL-14 Mack, Connie [R]
TX-24 Marchant, Kenny [R] UT-2 Matheson, Jim [D] CA-22 McCarthy, Kevin [R]
CA-25 McKeon, Howard [R] CA-42 Miller, Gary [R] TX-19 Neugebauer, Randy [R]
CA-21 Nunes, Devin [R] TX-14 Paul, Ronald [R] IN-6 Pence, Mike [R]
PA-16 Pitts, Joseph [R] TX-2 Poe, Ted [R] GA-6 Price, Tom [R]
CA-19 Radanovich, George [R] AZ-1 Renzi, Rick [R] CA-46 Rohrabacher, Dana [R]
ID-1 Sali, Bill [R] TX-32 Sessions, Peter [R] AZ-3 Shadegg, John [R]
ID-2 Simpson, Michael [R] NE-3 Smith, Adrian [R] AR-2 Snyder, Victor [D]
CO-6 Tancredo, Thomas [R] NE-2 Terry, Lee [R] KS-4 Tiahrt, Todd [R]
MI-7 Walberg, Timothy [R] GA-3 Westmoreland, Lynn [R] AK-0 Young, Donald [R]

Yep, that is it. IF your rep is on the list then he or she might actually have a spine. At least in this instance they did the right thing. IF your rep aint on the list then they either voted for the measure, thus exposing a hypocritical bent, or didn't vote. The non-voters are potentially the real schemers since they can make any claim they wish depending on which way the winds are blowing.

So there it is, your government in action. Check thru the older posts. Are your guys living up to the ideals we rightfully demand of them? If not, then here is one more branch on the tree of liberty to hang em from. Get A Rope.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Basic Civics: Public Service Announcement

This is a public service announcement.

[Camera Zooms in on old Distinguished Politician talking to one of the newly elected]

[Old Pol]
Boy, Ah say Boy, come on over heah. We need to talk.

[Young Pol]
Yes Sir?

[Old Pol]
Son, Ah need your help on a bill. Can Ah count on your support at the vote?

[Young Pol timidly]
I don't know Sir, my constituants are not really for this issue....

[Zoom out and focus on the Old Pols pained, but indulgent expression as he strikes a pose]

[Old Pol]
Son, you have no worries. Your constituents won't remember this vote. That's why it was timed to take place when the new freshmen were sworn in. Let me tell you the facts of life in Congress.

[Old Pol continues] First thing you need to know is that we incumbents get reelected 96 percent of the time. So, by breaking in, your job is secure pretty much no matter what you do.

[Young Pol]
But, the uh voters in my district...

[Old Pol]
Son, don't sweat the voters. Look out of 100 folks back home that are entitled to vote only 46 Percent will actually register and vote. So you can ignore 54 people altogether. Those are the sheep that will bleat when we herd em. But they don't amount to nothing. Now, out of those 46 folks, about 20 percent are ignorant and don't even pay attention. That leaves 36 folks. Out of them, you can write off about half to party line or single issues. So, all you really need to look out for is 18 out of every hundred folks.

[Young Pol]
Wow. I had no idea. So it is all about numbers?

[Old Pol]
Yep. And as a bonus, we get the media. Folks are conditioned to get their news in thirty second increments. So, if you make your press releases right, you can control how the info is spun. But, since you are going to help me with the bill.... Ah will be around to keep you afloat till you learn how this river runs. Fair 'nuff?

[Young Pol with relief evident on his face]
Yes Sir. I'm with you. Thanks.

[Old Pol]
No sweat son. Let's get out of this back room and into some sunshine. The cigar smoke is killin me. About that committee appointment, we've got big plans for you.....

[Zoom out as the pair exit the room]

This has been a public service announcement.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Planet of the APES

In my last posting we talked about the Democrats and an APE bill that got shot down by a Republican filibuster. Well, APE is an acronym that I invented in a moment of sheer genius while listening to Sirius Radio during a Tuesday road trip.

So here it is. In keeping with the highest traditions of Robert Pratt and his Dust Storm Award and Mike Church who points out that "Liberals Say the most Damn Dumbass Things" I have identified the APE.

APE (Anti Patriot Extremist):

Those who deliberately pursue an agenda that is obviously against the best interests of the USA as a whole, or personal liberties. These are the folks that will spout constitutional platitudes without understanding that the power is vested in the States or People respectively. APEs can be identified by a yearning to control virtually every aspect of your life via ever bigger government and ever more regulations. APE doctrine holds that taxation is something to embrace and that failure to embrace being taxed indicates that you are stupid or socially awkward.

To positivily identify an APE look for any of the following:
  • A burning desire to increase taxation on the rich while investing in tax free monetary vessels.
  • A fervent belief that getting ahead is only for those of the appropriate social class and standing.
  • Frequent references to the appropriate college or university where they received anti-American indoctrinations.
  • The absolute belief that the individual is morally required to give up what has been earned to those who didn't earn it. This believe is firmly shackled to the policy of confiscation of assets if the earners don't agree with the moral requirement.

This is not an exhaustive list by any stretch of the imagination. In fact, if you like, hit the ol comment button and add your observations of APE like behavior.

Finally, beware an APE quoting the Constitution or Declaration of Independence. Just as the devil can quote Scripture, so can an APE pretend to revere the foundations of liberty in these United States.

Planet of the APEs moment for this week: Hillary Clintons abject public surrender to Barack Obama. True Americans can lose the fight. Real Americans can acknowledge the loss. But even in defeat, non-Apes won't compromise on principle and throw themselves with abandon to the other side. But this concession following such a bitter campaign merely shows that Roddy McDowell was right.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

The Politics Of Oil

The oil wars in the nations capital are heating up. The Democrats in Congress have introduced two different energy related bills that the Republicans managed to kill. The first was previously blogged in an open letter to my senators. So, right up front I want to extend my thanks to Senators Kay Bailey Hutchinson and John Cornyn. They did what had to be done in order to make sure the APE bills didn't make it. By the way, the next post will answer just what an APE is.

For those that didn't understand the significance of todays Republican filibuster, an attempt by the Senate to demonise the oil companies was stopped. They wanted to impose a "Windfall Profits Tax" on Big Oil. The problem with that is that no matter what accounting procedures you use the ultimate truth is that corporations don't pay taxes. So, the WPT would have been paid by you and I at the pump.

To fully restate the (to some) obvious: Taxes are simply an expense associated with the final delivery of the service or product. If the material or labor that goes into making a widget goes up, so does the final price. Taxes are the same way.

The current crop of Democrats in the Congress doesn't seem to get it. I can only ask: Are they always this stupid? Or is this millennium a special occasion?

What can we do about it? First, educate yourself. Then educate your friends, neighbors, family members, and co-workers. Finally, maintain a close contact with your elected officials.

Good Luck.

Tuesday, June 03, 2008

In Opposition to S. 2191

Senator John Cornyn (R-TX)
Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison (R-TX)

I am writing to strongly oppose passage in any current form of S. 2191.

This bill has taken unproven theories and elevated them to the status of holy writ and will prove to be disastrous to the economy of the United States and detrimental to our citizens fundamental liberties.

The immediate effect is to establish an even larger bureaucracy within a government not noted for being able to actually function in a swift, sure, or efficient manner. Creation of the additional agencies will be yet another step away from a republic and towards a European socialist state. In other words Senator, forget about states rights or the Constitutional mandate of a small central government where the majority of the power is wielded at the base instead of the tip.

Additionally, this bill appears to voluntarily give away our national sovereignty in regards to the International Emissions Allowances. This bill specifically subordinates our legitimate national interest to globalists and various special interest groups.

Rather than this yoke which will ship even more jobs to countries not shackled with such restrictions and administrative burdens we should be urging private industry to develop the technology to lease to the world at large. A reasonable team of dedicated conversationalists and industrial technology would create jobs and accomplish the mission.

I have no desire to pollute the atmosphere. I have no desire to take the risk that the unproven theories may prove true. Instead the Senate could take the lead in bringing together realistic experts to defend against the risk without destroying our economy, letting down the American worker, and selling our Constitution down the river.

I will look forward to your very public opposition to this bill and to those who are subverting our future. Sometimes it is better to fight the good fight and honorably lose than it is to appear pragmatic to “fight another day”. I will refer you to President Roosevelts’ comments:

“It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.”

I Am Respectfully Yours,

MSgt Phillip E. Gwinn USMC/ret
Slaton, TX

Sunday, June 01, 2008

Texas Finally Gets It Right

A bit of a while back I posted my shame that Texas has reached in and grabbed ahold of 400+ kids from their parents. I was ticked. And I have to say that I am glad that the Texas Supreme Court got involved.
SAN ANGELO, Texas -- The e-mail sent by a legal aid firm moments after a Texas Supreme Court ruling Thursday said it all - Supreme Court to CPS: Send these children home.
By a 6-3 majority, the justices agreed an appeals court was correct in deciding a district court judge erred in keeping about 450 children from a polygamous sect in state custody.
It said 51st District Judge Barbara Walther must vacate her April 18 order, made two weeks after a raid on the sect's west Texas ranch.
But key questions - when, how and under what conditions - still must be resolved, which could happen as soon as today. -- Source

But there are still a few sticking points that bother me. Please click to read more...

Even though an appeals court and eventually the state supreme court made the correct ruling, the agencies scared the hell out of me. I mean, a phone call from an unidentified caller triggered the raid. If one of my neighbors decides to make a call, who is coming to my door in the night? Fair Warning: I am trained, armed, and have the will to apply both.

And from an earlier edition of the same source (emphasis added):

Until women from a polygamous sect "unequivocally" identify their offspring, they have no standing to contest a judge's decision to remove the children from a west Texas ranch, state officials argue.
The Texas Department of Family and Protective Services contends in a court filing released today that FLDS mothers have engaged in a "conspiracy of silence" that forced the en masse custody hearings they now want to do over.
The document was filed in response to a petition filed with the Third Court of Appeals in Austin on behalf of 50 women from the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.
The state filing lists 468 children as being in custody, something a spokesman said today was a typographical error. There are 464 children in custody.
The mothers' petition, filed by Texas RioGrande Legal Aid (TRLA), sought to reunite them with their children as they work to comply with any service plan devised by the state.
But Texas DFPS argues the pleadings do not identify which children belong to each mother, which the women have "repeatedly declined to do" and calls into question their right to dispute the state action

The State removed the kids for being in danger of abuse. Obviously every parent was a suspect. And yet the state argued that application of ones 5th Amendment right to remain silent ... or am I just a nutjob with an unwarranted fear of the .gov?

Even though the court ruled that the state was wrong, conditions were imposed to get the kids back. This is about halfway down the article and continues from there.

A draft agreement released by CPS attorney Gary Banks earlier Friday said the parents could get their children back beginning Monday after showing identification and pledging to take parenting classes and remain in Texas.-- Source

This whole mess still stinks. But, it's better than before. Like it or not, the state still must comply with the Supremes. Hopefully the ongoing investigation will properly observe the affected Texans rights while getting to the truth.

Even so, I'd keep a weapon in plain sight.... just in case.

Saturday, May 31, 2008


A few questions that are bouncing about in my overactive brain housing group. Maybe y'all can help me out. IF nothing else it'll make for an interesting day of cogitation. Please click the link just below to read on...

On the 16th of May...
SAN FRANCISCO -- -- The California Supreme Court struck down the state's ban on same-sex marriage Thursday in a broadly worded decision that would invalidate virtually any law that discriminates on the basis of sexual orientation.

The 4-3 ruling declared that the state Constitution protects a fundamental "right to marry" that extends equally to same-sex couples. It tossed a highly emotional issue into the election year while opening the way for tens of thousands of gay people to wed in California, starting as early as mid-June. -- Source

And with that the nation began to debate the issue again. And so, the conundrum for this issue is: If, as the California Supreme court asserts, Gay Marriage is a fundamental right: How can Polygamy be any different? After all both states of marriage are addressed in the same portion of the Constitution.