Thursday, August 27, 2009

Ted Kennedy Rest In Piece

Senator Edward Kennedy died yesterday. And I didn't blog it. I figured that too many other news sources would be reporting the good senator's death and so also figured that another blog post would simply be lost in the crowd. But today, I have to comment on his death and how it might affect all of us in the united states. For example one has to ask will there be another senator arise to take his place as the “Lion of the Senate”? Or perhaps, is it possible that a conservative politician could step into his shoes? All these realities have to be measured by the Senate and by what's going on to day here in America. Mr. Obama, commented that senator Kennedy was the greatest Senator of this century. I don't know that I agree with that. The reality is that no one can predict exactly how his loss will influence the way the senate conducts their business.

Since the democrats are in power, his loss will not create a vacuum that has to be filled in immediately. But I do foresee that other, more liberal, politicians will step up to take his place and try to use his name and fame to further their own positions.

There will come a time when the Kennedy name is no longer dynastic within American politics and I think today might be the day that starts. In many ways the Kennedy's are considered to be America's first family. Obviously since we don't have a monarchy or a royal family the analogy is not quite apt. But, in my entire life I cannot think of a time that there was not a Kennedy on the national scene and doing things that they believed were the right things to do. So no matter how much I disagree with the good senators policies and procedures, I really do hope that he will rest in peace.


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Thursday, August 20, 2009

Health Care Debate Still Raging

Depending on who you listen to the health care reform initiative is either dead, on life support, or strong as an ox. Amid charges of socialism there appears to be a huge divide on what Americans want. Some, such as the organization known as CREDO are up in arms that a public option might be off the table. Folks from both sides are accusing the others of lying.

The Reality Check: Any mandatory program that takes your hard earned dollars is theft by government. And, just because it's been done in the past by the income tax and social security doesn't make it right.

Speaking of "doing it in the past doesn't make it right today".... Anyone notice how it was perfectly patriotic when GWB was portrayed like this?

The Associated Press: Rep. Frank lashes out at protester for Nazi remark: "Rep. Frank lashes out at protester for Nazi remark

(AP) – 4 hours ago

DARTMOUTH, Mass. — Rep. Barney Frank lashed out at protester who held a poster depicting President Barack Obama with a Hitler-style mustache during a heated town hall meeting on federal health care reform.

'On what planet do you spend most of your time?' Frank asked the woman, who had stepped up to the podium at a southeastern Massachusetts senior center to ask why Frank supports what she called a Nazi policy.

'Ma'am, trying to have a conversation with you would be like trying to argue with a dining room table. I have no interest in doing it,' Frank said.

Frank noted that her ability to deface an image of the president and express her views 'is a tribute to the First Amendment that this kind of vile, contemptible nonsense is so freely propagated.'"

In another perspective, the President is reaching to religious leaders and deploring the lies and false statements of his opponents. But, take a look at the emphasized text in the next two excerpts. Who is lying?

Obama Calls Health Plan a ‘Moral Obligation’ - "Obama Calls Health Plan a ‘Moral Obligation’

WASHINGTON — President Obama sought Wednesday to reframe the health care debate as “a core ethical and moral obligation,” imploring a coalition of religious leaders to help promote the plan to lower costs and expand insurance coverage for all Americans.

“I know there’s been a lot of misinformation in this debate, and there are some folks out there who are frankly bearing false witness,” Mr. Obama told a multidenominational group of pastors, rabbis and other religious leaders who support his goal to remake the nation’s health care system."

Obama camp deploys more fake doctors – Could there be other falsification about healthcare reform?: "Obama camp deploys more fake doctors – Could there be other falsification about healthcare reform?
August 19, 6:09 PMPittsburgh Conservative ExaminerJosh Geldrich

First, pediatrician Roxana Mayer turned out not to be a doctor, but actually was an Obama campaign delegate and now a real estate saleswoman claiming to be a physician asks Barney Franks softball questions on healthcare reform.

At a town hall in Massachusetts operated by Representative Barney Frank , Ms. Sheila Levitt of Newton MA, claiming to be a doctor, asked Barney Frank some rather soft-ball questions about the controversial healthcare plan.

Only one problem, Sheila Levitt isn’t registered or listed with the Massachusetts Board of Registration on Medicine."

Reality Check: Both sides are ratcheting up the hysteria factor. Right now, the majority of Republicans are opposing health care reform simply because it is a Democrat program. If both sides wanted to truly reform health care in line with the Constitution, they would start with tort reform and eliminate mandatory participation. In other words, butt out for the most part.


Saturday, August 08, 2009

The Votes are 68 to 31 to Confirm Sotomayor

Sotomayor is in. We knew it was a sure thing given the majority voting numbers. Now, she is one of the untouchables. What I find interesting is the focus of the media coverage. Take a look at the opening paragraph from this Washington Post Article.
Senate Votes 68 to 31 to Confirm Sonia Sotomayor to Supreme Court - "The Senate, in a vote laden with history and partisanship, confirmed Sonia Sotomayoron Thursday as the 111th justice and the first Hispanic to serve on the U.S. Supreme Court."
Here is what jumps right out at me.
  • At 68-31 it was pretty much a party line vote.
  • The focus is on her race/ethnicity rather than her record.
I don't see this as a win or loss for anyone. She's a liberal replacing a liberal. So, the balance of the court really isn't affected. Hopefully all the racial bs will stop in due course.

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Thursday, August 06, 2009

I Want You: To Report Your Fellow Citizens

Here's an excerpt from the letter Senator John Cornyn, R-Texas sent to the President.
I write to express my concern about a new White House program to monitor American citizens' speech opposing your health care policies, and to seek your assurances that this program is being carried out in a manner consistent with the First Amendment and America's tradition of free speech and public discourse.
It goes on to say:
Yesterday, in an official White House release entitled "Facts are Stubborn Things," the White House Director of New Media, Macon Phillips, asserted that there was "a lot of disinformation out there," and encouraged citizens to report "fishy" speech opposing your health care policies to the White House. Phillips specifically targeted private, unpublished, even casual speech, writing that "rumors often travel just below the surface via chain emails or through casual conversation." Phillips wrote "If you get an email or see something on the web about health insurance reform that seems fishy, send it to"
Spin it any way you want it comes down to two points.
  • The .gov just asked you to inform on anyone who is opposed to the health care reform as envisioned by Obama.
  • If the Bush admin had done this the opposition would have been howling at the moon.
An excerpt from the official response. Read it all and draw your own conclusions. I will be contacting my Reps and extending Kudos to one and asking the others why they are not howling at the moon. It likely won't do any good, but one can hope right? You need to strongly oppose this on the principle of "It aint none of the governments business".
'Nobody Is Collecting Names': White House Responds to Charge It’s Monitoring Speech of Health Care Reform Opponents - Political Punch: "As ABC News’ Rick Klein was first to report, Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas, was quite taken aback by White House Director of New Media Macon Phillips’s request that if citizens “get an email or see something on the web about health insurance reform that seems fishy,” they “send it to'"

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Wednesday, August 05, 2009

Midweek Review

Here it is the middle of the week already. And, if you string together some of the news stories you can see some trends.
Clinton May Pave Way for Talks With Spotlight on Kim (Update3) - "The success of the former U.S. president in securing the release of reporters Euna Lee and Laura Ling eases strains created by North Korea’s nuclear and missile tests and the regime’s refusal to return to negotiations, former U.S. officials said."
I want to give Former President Clinton props for getting the young ladies out of the NK. I don't think much of his character. And I wasn't a fan of his in office. But, he went in and did what needed doing to bring the women home. I hope they learned from their experience. And I'm really happy for thier families sakes. Good Job Mr. President.

Sotomayor worthy of high court? Senate set to continue debate - "WASHINGTON (CNN) -- Debate is scheduled to continue Wednesday to determine whether federal Judge Sonia Sotomayor will become the nation's first Hispanic Supreme Court justice.
If confirmed, Sonia Sotomayor would be the nation's first Hispanic on the Supreme Court and it's third woman.
As the Senate considers her nomination, hundreds of supporters of Sotomayor are expected to rally at Upper Senate Park in Washington."
We know that her confirmation is a lock. And I'm glad to see that at least her supporters are getting out there and making noise on her behalf. I'd like to see more dogfighting though. I'm not a fan of mudslinging in general, but the opposition has accepted the inevitable and rolled over. Instead they should go down fighting. Her appointment is so important that a microscope on her judicial career is warranted.

Obama to announce $2.4 billion in electric vehicle grants - Drive On: A conversation about the cars and trucks we drive - "The goal of getting the U.S. solidly back into the race to become the leader in the production of electric cars gets a boost today. President Obama is headed for Indiana this morning where he will announce $2.4 billion in funding for electric vehicle manufacturing.

Of the total, about $400 million of the total will go to buy thousands of plug-in hybrid and all-electric vehicles for demonstration projects. Another $1.5 billion will go to trying to foster an advanced vehicle battery industry in the U.S. And the remainder, about $500 million, will go to makers of electric drive components, power system and the other parts needed to make electric vehicles."

This bugs me. Grants are all well and good from private entities. But not the .gov. I'd far rather see loans instead of grants. At least then there is a chance of getting something back into the treasury. Plus, this program comes from the stimulus which is anti-Constitutional at best. The bottom line is that most Americans won't buy an electric car unless it is sexy. If I were in the Oval Office and just had to satisfy political reality by throwing cash at something related to transportation I'd throw it at mass transit. Less gas guzzlers, and a chance to remove a bit of gridlock as well. Of course, in the perfect world the .gov would obey the letter of the constitution and stay out of it except perhaps in an advisory role.

The Associated Press: 'Clunkers' rebates look likely for another month: "WASHINGTON — The Senate has cleared the way for a vote extending the 'cash-for-clunkers' program, which offers car buyers rebates of up to $4,500 for trading in their gas-guzzlers for new, higher-mileage models, setting aside Republican opposition to the plan.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said Wednesday he had several very good conversations with Republican Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., and there is 'a significant majority' that wants to move forward with the legislation."
You have to credit the Democrats for being aggressive. As the minority they fight delaying actions that stop, stall, or otherwise try-to-block whatever doesn't fit thier ideology. As the majority, they pay lip service to bipartisanship and then steamroll the opposition. You can't help but respect the folks for playing hardball.

What to do? Call or write the key legislators and let them know that the programs are not in Americas best interests in the long term. In the short term try to convince them that mass transit is more important than privatly owned autos. In this case, Mass Transit isn't only subways and busses in the metro areas. Mass Transit as far out into the suburbs and even fringe rural areas would be good. Mass Transit of Goods within the cities or from city to city would be great.

Thanks for reading, have a good 2nd half. - Phil

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Tuesday, August 04, 2009

Obama's Middle Class Tax Hike?

I got this in an email this morning. Since I am babysitting my two adorable grand daughters I didn't get to really look into it. Here's the excerpt:
"We should reduce the tax burden on working people. The middle class...needs a government that is working to create jobs and opportunity."

This was President Obama on April 15 reinforcing his pledge to not raise taxes on the middle class, and to focus on job creation.

But on Sunday, Obama's advisors began laying the groundwork for a middle class tax hike that will end up killing more jobs.

Failing to defend President Obama's pledge not to raise middle class taxes, White House economist Larry Summers said "it is never a good idea to absolutely rule things out no matter what." This was echoed by Treasury Secretary Geithner, saying the administration is "going to have to do what it takes" to decrease the deficit.

I guess I will have to admit that my personal makeup causes me to have an automatic gag reflex when the pols begin to speak. If the rest of the McUSA family even notice this, I will be surprised. We'll into more detail after the jump.

The first problem I have is that I don't think it is a function of the feds to create jobs. I think it is the function of the feds to stick to the mission statement of the constitution and get out of my way. I guess I am just approaching old fogey-ism but I think my efforts get me nothing, but my results should be able to garner everything.

On the quote by Summers and Geithner, I am not surprised. Many a great leader has used his or her subordinates to do the dirty work. This tactic is used literally from bedroom to boardroom to briefing rooms in the pentagon and is right at home in the oval office. This allows Mr. Obama to remain above the fray. If he gets called out, then he has several learned advisers whispering into his ear that he can blame.

Folks, any tax is theft. If someone takes your money without your consent and has the ability to enforce the taking with force..... hence theft. But, the government must operate. In order to operate it must have money. It's a vicious circle and there is only one way to break it.

Eliminate all Taxes that are not voluntary or pay per use. Start with all variants of the Income Tax. Enact the Fairtax and if needed a National Property Tax. Keep the gas tax as it is a voluntary pay per use. Heck, even though I oppose the double standard keep the vice taxes as well. The point is that no matter your ideology or political affiliation you, and only you, should decide what taxes you pay. The Vice President might think it's patriotic to pay more taxes. I think it's bunk.

Do these five things and you can help to make a difference.
  1. Join
  2. Join the local fairtax group in your area.
  3. Notify your Member of Congress that (no matter the political ideology) you support a fair, voluntary, inclusive method of taxation. If you want to be a [insert label] that's fine. Labels don't change the reality check that all realists can see: Our income tax is corrupt, broken, bloated beyond measure, and the agency that services it needs to be hauled down a notch.
  4. Notify the members of the House Ways and Means Committee that you want open hearings discussing the pros/cons of the fairtax v. the income tax.
  5. Talk to your friends and neighbors and get them to do it as well.

Fact is that if only you and I do it, it won't get done. But, there is a slim hope that if one in ten Americans do it, it might get done. Right now, I'll settle for might.


Monday, August 03, 2009

Local Blogger Introduces Animal Farm 09

The Motto of my Blog is stated at the top banner and again in the bottom of the posts. Face the Facts, Get Involved, Make a Difference. FTFGIMAD is more than a catch phrase. Your label (lib, con, neolib, neocon, godless commie, pinko-pansy-communist-bedwetter etc) is your personal philosophy or core values. Being a realist means that you actually face the facts as they are (being reality based) and use your core values to try to attempt change. Here is a blog post from a guy in Lubbock Texas (just up the road from me) who professes to be a liberal and isn't afraid to slam the local government and quote a "conservative". Good to go dude.

Unofficial Lubbock Blog!: Fair and balanced...: "Yeah, I'm a 'liberal' but I'm a lot more fair and balanced than Rupert Murdoch's media whores (FOX)-- I'm posting a link to a column written by a CONSERVATIVE because there is too much truth in it to ignore. I've also got to admit that I'm disgusted by the Democratic majority and not very happy with the Obama administration (I hoped for some pure radicalism and I'm getting Bush-Lite). Here is the link:

This is a good read."
This is an excerpt from the link shown above. When you read it, do some comparisons with history. It doesn't matter what label you choose to crown yourself with. The loss of your civil liberties in the name of (fill in the blank) is egregious (that means bad for the 8th grade dropouts) in the extreme (very bad for the 9th grade dropouts).

"Animal Farm - 2009" by James Quinn. FSO Editorial 07/27/2009: "The United States has gradually degenerated from a Republic based on individual liberties to a socialized oligarchy run by an exclusive few. The country was founded upon the platform of individual rights. We declared our independence from Great Britain because of excessive regulation and taxation. Americans fought for the right to live their lives free from the subjugation of an overbearing governmental body. The Founding Fathers declared our independence with these immortal words:"

You're gonna have to read the rest on your own. Remember, Silence is Consent.
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Friday, July 31, 2009

Three Reasons Why We Must Print Money

Not a week goes by that some .gov program doesn't either make it big or crash and burn. Looks like this weeks billion dollar news maker is the clunker. Essentially they have already exhausted the money. Never fear though, we can just print more. After all what is more worthy than the government going deeper into debt by encouraging her citizens to follow that example and BUY NOW, TAKE ADVANTAGE OF THE GOVERNMENT MONEY. I'm sure there was a better way and of course the .gov didn't do it. Is there a clunker czar we can call?
Cash for clunkers undergoes review | Lubbock Avalanche-Journal:
"WASHINGTON — The White House said Thursday it was reviewing what has turned out to be a wildly popular “cash for clunkers” program amid concerns the $1 billion budget for rebates for new auto purchases may have been exhausted in only a week.

Transportation Department officials called lawmakers’ offices earlier Thursday to alert them of plans to suspend the program as early as today. But a White House official said later the program had not been suspended and officials there were assessing their options."
And now, from the people who laid an ex post facto punitive tax on bonus monies... I suppose that in DC this is proactive. By limiting how much you can make they won't have to dash the constitution on the rocks with egregious tax and theft violations. No wonder my investments are low.
Executive pay limits advance in U.S. Congress | U.S. | Reuters:
"WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Eye-popping Wall Street bonuses could be banned by the U.S. government if pay packages are deemed to encourage 'inappropriate risks,' under a bill approved on Friday by the U.S. House of Representatives.

The bill would allow regulators to prohibit incentive-based pay packages at large financial institutions if the packages are found to induce excessive risk-taking. Institutions with assets of less than $1 billion would be exempted."
Then of course we have a bill that no one will read except the bureaucrats that implement it. Amazing. Has the government never heard of minimization? Nope. They never met a program they couldn't bloat. I hear from my son, an insurance worker, that health insurance workers jobs are at risk. I wonder why?
Like Sausage-Making, Reforming Health Care Is a Messy Business -
"The bill, a work in progress called H.R. 3200, is already phone-book thick. The latest amendments this week swamped Room 2123 of the Rayburn House Office Building, home turf of the Energy and Commerce Committee. Some 250 amendments had appeared by Wednesday night, and the number jumped to 350 by Thursday afternoon. The amendments filled 39 file boxes on chairs, under desks and in the aisles."
So now my friends the question becomes: What are we going to do about it? Those are the facts. Isn't it time to get involved? Thanks for reading.


Thursday, July 30, 2009

Beware of Labels

One of the resources I post discussion on is Whitehouse2. I do it mainly because arguments don't normally degenerate into tirades of "you liberal pig" or "you conservative swine". One of the posters over there is Recluse. He or She is bright and can carry on a discussion by actually making his points as well as his point of view.

WH2 is based on the premise of Priorities for the nation. Each "thread" is written in a manner that makes it an action item. The members support it or oppose it. They post talking points, documents, statistics, and discussions. It is linked to By entering your zip code information you are linked to the pages of your federally elected officials. That means that Senator Umptyfratz of the great state of confusion can go to his page on HC and see which WH2 members are actually his constituents in the real world and what thier priorities for the nation are.

Anyway, Recluse posted "Thank a Liberal" as a document under the priority Restore, Uphold, and Defend the Constitution.

It falls in line with other famous posts on the net such as "thank a
soldier, thank a teacher, thank a dog-catcher. It is designed to make
you think. And it succeeds in several areas. For me, it makes me think
about how politics is consumed with labels. You are pigeon holed and
stereotyped and may God in his heaven pity you if you don't follow the
party line.

Joe’s bacon is safe to eat because some girly-man liberal fought for laws to regulate the meat packing industry

If you have not died in a heat wave, drought, hurricane, flood, wildfire, or other climate change disaster, and like the idea of your children and grandchildren not living in desert wastelands, thank a liberal.

Personally, I choose the label of Realist. I have plenty of opinion and philosophical differences with our system, but I consciously try to add a reality check to keep me honest. I don't see most of those improvements or changes in Recluses' post as what we label "liberal" in nature. In my opinion they more accurately fit the definition of the word "Radical". And, like most causes there is a time that the cause is fixed and needs to be honorably retired.

Some of the referenced programs in the post include Unions, the Rural Electrification Administration, and the FDA to name three. Do you notice that each has either outlived their useful lifespan or has morphed into a huge lumbering bureaucracy? I don't have a problem with progress. I like indoor plumbing and light switches. What I don't like is non-productive government agencies that suck our tax dollars into a black hole that Captain Kirk couldn't escape from. I'm also not too thrilled with organizations that would force a worker into their ranks, and force him to pay into their campaign coffers whether he supports their causes or not.

Right now the cause of the day is Health Care Reform. Eventually I hope that no one actually writes "If you enjoy waiting in line twelve months for an ultrasound..." or "If you enjoyed being told that you are too old for a lifesaving drug....." and they end it with "Thank a Liberal".

Here's the reality check. Beware of labels unless you apply them to yourself. Any label another puts on you is designed to force you into their mold. Thanks for reading.


Thursday, July 23, 2009

It's Tom Sullivans Fault (just kidding)

I can't believe how big a stink is being made over the Gates issue. I blame it on Tom Sullivans radio show. Just Kidding. I was listening yesterday and was frankly surprised at the amount of time the story got. I was even more surprised at the number of people who truly think the issue and arrest are racially motivated. Gates and others who see racism behind every action they don't like need a reality check. So, here goes.

  • Screaming about it being racist doesn't make it so.
  • Mr Obama should not have commented on it since it isn't a Presidential concern and his opinion of the police is not relevant anyway.
  • Racism as an institution is gone. See the civil rights act, various hate crime legislation, societal disapproval, and the number of successful lawsuits over the last forty years.
  • There are individual bigots and racists. They come in all skin colors and genders. We have a name for them. It starts with an "A" and rhymes with Bass (as in the fish).

I heard the police officer isn't going to apologize. Good for him. Oh, and if you want to listen to a talk radio show that doesn't normally devolve into bad manners, give Tom a shot. The link to his show is the one above and gives you plenty of options.

Monday, July 20, 2009

If We Can Put A Man On The Moon

Forty Years ago today man walked on the moon. All over the nation people are celebrating that achievement. I'm not. Instead I am mad as hell. Click the read more link to learn why.

If I've heard it once I have heard it a million times, "We can put a man on the moon... but we can't (insert gripe here)". For me, that gripe just about sums it up. I grew up on playgrounds where we were astronauts. No one doubted that by 2000 we'd have cities in space and a base on the moon.

In the world of tomorrow power was cheap and beamed from satellites. Everyone understood basic science. Air cars (remember the Jetsons?) were the norm and vacations to the moon were routine. Instead we are in yet another energy hostage situation and our kids are not exactly breaking records in the math and science literacy category.

Who's to blame for this mess? Folks it's a 50/50 deal. The .gov gets half the blame for not pursuing a government/industrial partnership which could have lowered the infrastructure costs enough to allow private enterprise into the picture without taxpayer subsidies. By now, such a system would have paid for itself and free enterprise use of space would be a given. We shouldn't be mining coal. We should have the united mine workers gutting the asteroid belt.

The other half of the anger goes to you, me, and our parents for not pushing space flight and exploration to the point that the .gov had to listen. If Congress really wanted a balanced budget, we'd have one. If Congress really wanted to get the big government out of the space business in favor of private enterprise, we would have. Instead Uncle Sugar has a lock and NASA has no budget to speak of.

So yeah, instead of celebrating the achievement I am pissed off that we in fact didn't take it any further.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Is Freedom in Irans Future?

It's been a long month and a lot of things have happened. I'm watching the Iran situation unfold just like a lot of you. The way I see it, if there is a moral need to promote anything it would be worldwide liberty. The people of Iran and China (to a lesser extent) need to know that America stands with them on the issue of increased personal liberties and the decrease of oppressive governments. It isn't left or right wing. It is right and wrong.

That doesn't mean we have to invade Iran. It does mean that the person sitting in the oval office needs to stop waffling and answering in sound bytes. He needs to place the entire state department on the task of applying pressure to exploit the cracks in the Iranian facade.

Thursday, June 04, 2009

States Rights Revisited

There is a growing movement afoot called the Patrick Henry Caucus. If you read my blog with any kind of regularity then you know I advocate a smaller fed and a more independent state. And, within my state of Texas I like our state government and it's general relationship with the local government. Nothings perfect, but it is a dang sight better than the Fed/State relationship.

A group of State Legislators appeared on Mike Church's talk radio show and advocated getting together and creating "Tenth Amendment Resolutions". One of his guests, a Dr. Kevin Gutzman, author of Who Killed the Constitution? suggested that ten or fifteen states band together and simultaneously introduce legislation to say "We are not taking any Federal funding related to the No Child Left Behind law."

I like the idea. But something was nagging at me. So, I double checked my own trusty Constitution. Look at Art I, Sec 10. I think that Dr. Gutzmans' idea would be invalidated by the courts. Check it out and tell me what you think.

Section 10 - Powers prohibited of States

No State shall enter into any Treaty, Alliance, or Confederation; grant Letters of Marque and Reprisal; coin Money; emit Bills of Credit; make any Thing but gold and silver Coin a Tender in Payment of Debts; pass any Bill of Attainder, ex post facto Law, or Law impairing the Obligation of Contracts, or grant any Title of Nobility.

No State shall, without the Consent of the Congress, lay any Imposts or Duties on Imports or Exports, except what may be absolutely necessary for executing it's inspection Laws: and the net Produce of all Duties and Imposts, laid by any State on Imports or Exports, shall be for the Use of the Treasury of the United States; and all such Laws shall be subject to the Revision and Controul of the Congress.

No State shall, without the Consent of Congress, lay any duty of Tonnage, keep Troops, or Ships of War in time of Peace, enter into any Agreement or Compact with another State, or with a foreign Power, or engage in War, unless actually invaded, or in such imminent Danger as will not admit of delay.

The part I am concerned with is the "No State shall, without the Consent of Congress,...enter into any Agreement or Compact with another State".

I'm a literal minded guy. So I read that exactly as written. No one can tell me that it is to be interpreted to apply to military actions either since the "lay any duty..." is in there. But since I am not (don't tell my wife) perfect all opinions would be welcomed.

Sunday, May 31, 2009

The Un-United States? Not Hardly

If you follow political blogs and listen to talk radio you are inundated constantly with the mantra that the country is divided. The Republican Party is known as Repugs. The Democratic Party has been called the Demonrats and worse. If you immerse yourself in the shouting match on the internet you must be convinced that civil war is only moments away.

Well folks, you would be both right and wrong.

The fact is that by measurable standards a large percentage of the American people simply don't care about politics any further than it affects them personally. I call this the WIIFM effect.

This table shows the voter turnout for the elections from 2000 to 2008. It is a subset of the voter turnout stats going back to 1960. Take a look at the numbers. Look at the years where voter turnout exceeded 50% and correlate that to the major events of the time.

Year Voting-age
Voter turnout Turnout of voting-age
population (percent)
2008* 231,229,580 NA 132,618,580* 56.8%
2006 220,600,000 135,889,600 80,588,000 37.1%
2004 221,256,931 174,800,000 122,294,978 55.3
2002 215,473,000 150,990,598 79,830,119 37.0
2000 205,815,000 156,421,311 105,586,274 51.3

But, remember that tables and stats can be misleading. Take 2006 for example. Of the 220,600,000 potential voters only 135,889,600 or 61% actually registered. The turnout was 80,588,000 or 36.5%. I don't know how the source came up with 37.1% but that illistrates that the measuring process can be corrupted as well. To continue, of the 135,889,600 registered voters, 80,588,000 actually got out and voted. That is 59% of the registered voters.

So, in '06, when the pendulum began to swing back to the left only 61% of the eligible population bothered to register to vote. And of that 61% only 59% of them actually voted. If that were congress they would not have been able to break a filibuster.

It boils down to sixty-three and a half percent of the voting age population simply didn't care enough to vote. And of the ones who at least cared enough to register, almost half of them decided on election day that it just wasn't worth it.

Voters need an incentive to get out there. In '08 there was a higher percentage of turnout. Using the candidates promises and the debates, the WIIFM principle pointed to bigger government and less personal initiative. It also pointed to a population grown weary of an ongoing war. And, just to historically accurate it validated the electoral trend of removing the war-leaders when the public decided they'd had enough.

So, don't despair. On any given day it's just the extremists on both sides being loud and everyone else simply doesn't care.

Your mission, if you choose to accept it, is to get involved and make a difference. If not you, then who?

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Thursday, May 28, 2009

Tuesdays' Economy and Other News

Actually, let's go to the "other news" first. It's funnier that way.

Biden Bombs Barack: Potentially Explosive Joke is a Dud.

We all like to take potshots from time to time at other peoples expense. There are jokes for Lawyers, Mortgage Bankers, Accountants and Plumbers. But what if your target is both your boss and the President of the United States?

Vice-President Joe Biden was delivering the commencement address at the US Air Force Academy in Colorado when a gust of wind blew his teleprompter down. Not one to miss an opportunity to redirect a potential negative Biden quipped, "What am I gonna tell the president? I'm gonna tell him his teleprompter is broken. What will he do then?"

The Cadets laughed and apparently cheered the joke. Mr. Obama is known for great oratory and sticking like glue to the script supplied by "Teleprompter One". Hopefully the man holding the office of President will not attempt to command detonate Mr.Bidens sense of humor. And hopefully the men-in-black were not taking names of which Cadets laughed and cheered.

Moore on Moore: Woman Who Attempted to Shoot President Ford Free on Parole.

More (pun intended) after the Jump

Sara Jane Moore, the failed assassin of Gerald Ford in 1975, has been set free on parole. In an interview she has said that "it was wrong". Well duh sweetheart. If you had thought of that in '75 you would not have spent birthdays from 46 to 77 (or is it 80)in the slammer. A realist could have told you that assassinations of heads of state rarely solve what you see as the problem. Check out her interview here.

GM Likely to be Bankrupt on Monday: No Loans, No Credit, No Firm Deal (Yet)

General Motors is being touted as too big to fail. Unlike the little guys (that's us folks) or Small Business, the .gov is moving heaven and earth to get bondholders to accept valuable assets and stock. We can look forward to the fed likely owning 70% of the auto giant and allegedly intending to take it public again in 12-18 months.

If this were you and I, we'd already be facing foreclosure or debt consolidation loans. The problem is that no one is going to want to extend credit to anyone. Common sense tells us that if the .gov were backing consolidation loans or refinance offers to taxpayers there would be public outrage.

Now since the .gov is heavily into borrowing itself, regulating credit card company policies, and considering allowing Congress to be the bank regulator: We are going to be in a fine mess. But there's nothing to worry about. The stimulus package is going great, just ask the cops in Ohio.

Here is the real deal from a realist. Credit is going to be harder for us as individuals to get. Credit is going to be harder for us as a nation to get. Interest rates are going to rise as secured bond holders worry about Presidential Intervention on the Corporate Debtors behalf.

Don't expect Mr. Obama to forgive your student loan debt. Instead watch out as our individual tax debt increases to pay for the economic insanity.

Foreclosure on the Governator: CA Hoping for Federal Bailout.

GM isn't the only victim of gross financial mismanagement and crushing debt. California (the State) is as well. According to the Governator they have about four weeks worth of cash left. Essentially as CA attempts to raise revenues, they want the Fed to back up their loans. When or if the fed does just that, will China be our lender?

The Bottom Line:

With the fed in control of banking, poised to take over the auto industry, and possibly co-signing for a so-called sovereign state how can anyone say we are not moving toward a socialist society?

Your freedom to succeed is being eroded via three great motivators.

The first motivator is "being taken care of" by your [insert authority figure here]. Too many people are all to happy to turn over their problems to the government looking for an easy solution. The problem is that when the government fixed it for you, the freedom to make those decisions went away for everyone else as well. Freedom, Independence, and Liberty are entwined. Hurting one hurts them all.

The second motivator is the fear of success. In today's America if you succeed you will be penalized. Your tax debt will go up. You will be demonized by special interest groups. Why should we strive to create a successful life experience only to be punished for it unless nominated to the supreme court.

The final motivator is that you really are in this by yourself. Realistically you cannot fight city hall unless you form a team. So long as the government keeps you isolated in dependence on them you cannot organize. So long as American philosophy, history, and government are not taught at school you don't even know the extent of the damage.

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Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Sonia Sotomayor: The Right Choice for the Supreme Court?

There's one person who has alienated parts of his base as reality collides with his stated agenda. Now, Mr. Obama has nominated an Hispanic Woman to be the next USSC Associate Justice. Is this a payback for the folks who felt let down by his first hundred odd days?

Sonia Sotomayor is currently a sitting judge in the appellate court system. She went to the right law school and has punched all the right tickets. But is she the right woman for the job?

Mr. Obama stated:
"First and foremost is a rigorous intellect, a mastery of the law, an ability to hone in on key issues. . . . Second is a recognition of the limits of the judicial role . . . that a judge's job is to interpret, not make law," he said. "Yet these qualities alone are insufficient. We need something more."

What's also needed on the high court, the president said, is "experience that can give a person a common touch and a sense of compassion, an understanding of how the world works and how ordinary people live."

Not much to go on there. The only error in the soundbyte is that a Judge isn't supposed to interpret the Constitution or any law arising from it. A judge is supposed to apply the law as written. I hope that during the Judge Sotomayor's confirmation process, that is brought out quickly and often.

I'm afraid that I don't know of the lady enough to oppose her. But, one of the first things I found when googling her for quotes is...

I would hope that a wise Latina woman with the richness of her experiences would more often than not reach a better conclusion than a white male who hasn’t lived that life.


This month, for example, a video surfaced of Judge Sotomayor asserting in 2005 that a “court of appeals is where policy is made.” She then immediately adds: “And I know — I know this is on tape, and I should never say that because we don’t make law. I know. O.K. I know. I’m not promoting it. I’m not advocating it. I’m — you know.”

Both quotes strike me as a person who has an inflated sense of her own importance in the world. Hopefully, as time goes on I will be proven wrong.

Monday, May 25, 2009

The Realist: Bush, the Worst President Ever? Not.

Even after Obama was elected people are still filled with hatred over the two terms of President George W. Bush. Those people with any intellectual honesty will admit that historically speaking there are many others to fit the bill.

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Sunday, May 24, 2009

Bush, the Worst President Ever? Not.

Americans with partisan political views never cease to amaze me. Even after Obama was elected people are still filled with hatred over the two terms of President George W. Bush. Yet, when viewed historically, Bush can't be considered the worst president ever by anyone who is intellectually honest. Let's look at some other candidates.

The creation of the Department of Homeland security was in full accord with the Constitution. Other "homeland security" measures taken by previous presidents are not. How would you feel today if an ethnic minority, say young men of middle eastern decent, were targeted? What if 110,000 of them were excluded from an entire coastline? And, what if they were placed in camps under the watchful eyes of the US Army? Lest we forget, FDR did just that with Japanese Nationals, and Americans of Japanese decent. (Japanese American internment - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia)

Or, for those interested in the rule of law and the Bush administration, how about the suspension of the privilege of Habeas Corpus? President Lincoln, the Great Emancipator, did just that as he marched troops into Maryland on multiple occasions.

Imagine if todays President did such a thing. How great would the outcry be if elements of the Minnesota National Guard were sent to Texas to ensure the outcome of a statewide election? What if they arrested anyone critical of the government? What if those people were imprisoned without trial on an island in New York? President Lincoln did all of these things in Maryland and across the Union and yet he is hailed as one of our greatest Presidents of all time. (Abraham Lincoln and Maryland - Abraham Lincoln's Classroom; Teaching American History in Maryland - Documents for the Classroom - Maryland State Archives; The American Gulag by Thomas DiLorenzo)

And, since we are a nation that will judge our politicians as much by what they say as what they do, consider this. George Bush is often vilified because he commented that a dictatorship would be easier. Or, let's not forget the pronunciation wars over the word “nuclear”. What would we say and think if he threatened to summarily execute anyone not in compliance with the law?

President Jackson was furious over South Carolina's attempt to nullify a federal tariff in 1850. He was so angry that he “threatened to lead an army to South Carolina and hang any man who refused to obey the law.” (Henry Clay - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia)

Partisanship is subjective. But, before we condemn a person to the trash heap of history, let's look at history first.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Tuesday's Spy Report

Today's free time is limited so I have three things to ask and share. Comments are always welcomed since you just can't tell if anyone is reading this stuff. Here goes.

Thing One: Why aren't the constituents of Madame Speaker calling for her head on a platter? Or if not her head, her resignation? I don't get it. There is no way for citizens to recall a Member of the House of Representatives. And, if you think she will be impeached for lying, then you are not a Practicing Realist. What I don't get is why her district at least isn't up in arms. I guess being a sheep is better than being a sheep dog. One thing we need in this country are more statesmen and less politicians. Which leads to thing two...

Thing Two: Sent to me via email by Secret Agent Jimmy the Greek (not his real name of course) knowing full well that the internet is covered in monitors and Big Gubmint Stoolies. But, you can't keep a good citizen down. JTG risked life and broadband to help remind us all of how things ought to and can be. The Patrick Henry Caucus.

Thing Three: My good friend Jimmy Margarita of Buffetville noted in an email sent under the guise of a mild mannered message that our new AG still doesn't get it. The part of the quote is "shall not be infringed". Excerpted from the highly classified email:

This takes literally 2 clicks to complete. Please vote on this gun issue question with USA Today. It will only take a few seconds of your time. Then pass the link on to all the pro gun folks you know. Hopefully these results will be published later this month.. This upcoming year will become critical for gun owners with the Supreme Court accepting the District of Columbia case against the right for individuals to bear arms.

First - vote on this one. Second - send it to other folks and ask them to VOTE! - then we will see if the results get published. Vote in the USA Today poll - click on the link below. The Question is: Does the Second Amendment give individuals the right to bear arms ?


In all seriousness, both of the emails were real and the senders names remain private property, theirs. But, if we are not vigilant, private property and privacy may well go the way of small gubmint and fiscally sane policy. Shortly thereafter we may also lose out on the land of the free and the home of the brave.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Liar, Liar, Pants On Fire

Oh wow. The Republicans and the CIA have taken off the gloves and are going after House Speaker Madame Nancy Pelosi. Heh. Could not have happened to a nicer lady at that. Who says equal rights are not here and now?

If I sound gleeful it's because I have been saying for as long as I have been blogging that all pols are corrupt to some degree. All pols lie like a dog in sunshine. Anyone who is a realist instead of a partisan understands and tempers their political view with that.

Madame Speaker hath been speaking with a forked tongue concerning the enhanced interrogation techniques used by the CIA. She was vocal, public, and vicious. She wanted to publicly charge and then try officials from the previous administration who allowed, condoned, authorized, or rationalized these techniques.

Now the story is out that she was well aware of not just generalities but of specifics going back to 2002. Of course she has said "uh uh, not me, I didn't know" in about fifty different dialects of polspeak (aka CYA). But, rather than keep secrets, the CIA is leaking them on the good speaker. Former Speaker of the House Gingrich chimed in his two bits by ripping off a bloody bit of Madame Speakers hide as well.

"I think she has lied to the House, and I think that the House has an absolute obligation to open an inquiry, and I hope there will be a resolution to investigate her. And I think this is a big deal. I don't think the Speaker of the House can lie to the country on national security matters,” Gingrich said.

He continued: "I think this is the most despicable, dishonest and vicious political effort I've seen in my lifetime."

"She is a trivial politician, viciously using partisanship for the narrowist of purposes, and she dishonors the Congress by her behavior."

"Speaker Pelosi's the big loser, because she either comes across as incompetent, or dishonest. Those are the only two defenses,” Gingrich said. “The fact is she either didn't do her job, or she did do her job and she's now afraid to tell the truth.”

Once again, the way to catch a pol in a lie is to watch their lips. If they move, you got em.

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Tuesday, May 05, 2009

Newsbytes for Cinco de Mayo

Cinco de Mayo is a minor Mexican holiday that has caught on big here in the USA. There is other stuff going on in the Land of the Free and the Home of the Brave. Let's take a fast look, and then go whack a pinata or two.

The Almighty Fed in the form of Mr. Obama has pretty much decreed that business in the USA will run on the Chicagoland model. In a recent speech, Mr. Obama decided that paying higher taxes was the price to avoid villification if you were a corporation that earned money overseas. Now, I ask you; Why should anyone pay taxes on income earned outside the country that doesn't make it into the country?

In his speech, he talked about "dodging responsibilities while ordinary Americans pick up the slack". I have a question for him, his dunderheaded advisors, and the average guy that is also paying taxes. Does anyone really think that raising taxes is going to stop avoidance or evasion? Keep Reading Please. It gets better from here.

In that same press conference I think it was Treasury Secretary Tim (Avoid the Taxman) Geithner who talked about adding five or six hundred IRS agents to the payroll. That's just what we need, more government employees in an agency that could be cut down to a minor office within the Treasury Department if the Congress had a lick of sense.

For those folks who just haven't gotten it yet.... If the USA switched to the Fairtax we would be far better off. There is no avoidance. You pay your tax at the point of sale or service. No loop holes. No more public embarrassment for our officials who have to stumble through confirmation hearings trying to explain their own tax problems away. But, the Realists among us know that our Congress and the White House owe too many of their handlers favors that can only be repaid by ravaging the tax code.

And, to add further insult to injury, the people who are "picking up the slack" according to Mr. Obama are being set up to hang by that rope next April 15. You see, the government is overpaying some people the "make work pay" tax credit.

If you:
  • Are Married and both you and your spouse work -or-
  • You personally work two jobs (In today's economy how many fall into that category?) -or-
  • Are a Retiree having taxes withheld from your pension payments -or-
  • Social Security Recipients with jobs providing taxable income

There is a really good chance that you will be "overpaid" by hundreds of dollars thanks to flawed withholding tables introduced by the above mentioned "tax credit". So, look for a lower refund next year or having to pay. I personally fall into the first three of the four groups. How do you fit in?

All this can be found here. And from that source two major quotes just jump right out and slap me in the face.

The Internal Revenue Service acknowledges problems with the withholding tables but has done little to warn average taxpayers.

Obama has touted the tax credit as one of the big achievements of his first 100 days in office, boasting that 95 percent of working families will qualify in 2009 and 2010.

The message I get from the above is that the IRS, at Mr. Obama's order, knowingly rushed to implement these flawed withholding tables. They are aware of the problem and are not making an attempt to warn people about it let alone actually correct it.

Thanks Mr. Obama. This is truly change I can believe in.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Specter and UAW Coming Out of the Closet

It's Official Folks. The right honorable Senator Arlen Specter has stopped wearing a disguise and gone public with his secret. He's a democrat. And, of course, it's been all over the news stations today.

So, freakin what? He was a democrat once before and switched to being a republican. The reality is that Specter switched sides because he was going to lose in the R-Primary in PA. As a (D-PA) he will likely win reelection for the sixth time. Any other platitudes are simply noise designed to distract you from the central theme in personal politics today. SEMPER ME.

Realists the world over know that the politicians single soul consuming mission is to get re-elected. Realists understand that timing is everything. It doesn't matter what party is in power we will always get the government we deserve even when it obviously isn't the one we need.

At least now, with the magical 60 votes within spastic clutching reach, there is no way the guys with (R - ??) can be blamed. The Republican party blew it, got spanked, and today was properly neutered.


And in other news today in spite of being overshadowed by the Specter saga...... The Fed now owns or will own 50% of General Motors. And..... as an added bonus the UAW gets 38% of GM and 55% of Chrysler.

Does anyone remember when Bill Gates was the bad guy because he was able to run Microsoft in an efficient and profitable manner?



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Thursday, April 16, 2009


Considering the news lately there really isn't much to blog about if you are a working stiff. So, for those who found the time to "Tea Party", that is great. Hang in there. Obviously you got under CNN's skin. That alone made it all worthwhile.

I do have one news question though. I wonder why Pirates are kept alive? We captured one. He should have been shot out of hand and dumped overboard. Some don't like that thought. Well, I am right and you are wrong, end of story. That is Andrew Wilkows tag line on Sirius and it is spot on. Pirates are nothing more than a subset of the vermin classed as terrorists. Kill em all, and if/when their relatives join the family business kill them too.

Finally, Tom Sullivan had a great comparison to all the tax and spend madness. He said it was equivalent to someone borrowing a hundred bux and then buying you a ten buck lunch and expecting you to be grateful. Awesome.

Well it's back to job one, job two, and the search for hidden online millions :)

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Mortgaging Our Grandchildren

Everyone is still up in arms about AIG and the bonus babies. In fact our Congress responded to the outrage in typical fashion. First, they totally failed to mention that they specifically authorized the bonus money to be paid. Then, in the cover our ass move of the year, they decided that punishing the people who legally earned that money was in order. But it's ok, I have relaxed. I no longer fear the erosion of liberty at the hands of an incompetent Congress and Executive. Instead, I will simply watch as my nation becomes an impoverished 3rd World Nation within my lifetime.

Read on to see just how bad it is.

According to ABC News the bailout is up to $7,500,000,000,000. That would be Seven and one-half TRILLION dollars. But the news is all over a paltry how many millions in AIG bonuses got paid out. Or, it's about the housing crisis. I don't fault Obama for not solving all of this. But I think it's important that you get just how big a number 7.5 trillion dollars is.

To be frank, most of us cannot picture a number that big. Because of that we are outraged over peanuts while the truly big numbers are ho-hummed. So, I will try to break it down for you.

Working from right-to-left we'll show you just how big this number really is and how it applies to Mr. And Mrs. J.Q. TaxpayingCitizen. Off we go:


This is 7.5 Trillion.


This is the last two zeros, the "ones" and "tens" positions. This number represents a significant number of Americans hourly wage. The median hourly wage in Texas is $13.76 per hour according to the BLS.


This is the last three zeros, the "ones", "tens", and "hundreds" positions. This number represents what many Americans receive for a regular work week. This number represents what a reasonably priced television would cost. Or, you can look at it as a car payment.


This is the last four zeros, the "ones", "tens", "hundreds", and "thousands" positions. This number normally represents an average family income for a month. Think of all the money you make in one month of solid work. Think of the time you invest to get this many zero's. Now look at how many zeros are still to the left of your number.


This is the last five zeros, the "ones", "tens", "hundreds", "thousands", and "ten-thousands" positions. This number is most Americans annual income. All that work for a solid year of your life gets you to the fifth zero from the right. Your sweat, your taxes, your time. And there are still how many zeros to the left of your year?


This is the last six zeros, the "ones", "tens", "hundreds", "thousands","ten-thousands", and "hundred-thousands" positions. If you are among the very top wage earners or salaried employees, you might hit this many zeros in exchange for a year of your life. More likely, you will not, but you can take heart that the cost of the average home will place you in debt to that level. Well Done!


This is the last seven zeros, the "ones", "tens", "hundreds", "thousands","ten-thousands", "hundred-thousands", and "Millions" positions. Woo Hoo! We are now well above the 95th percentile in annual income. We are well above your debt level. We are entering lottery jackpot territory. Of course in today's inflated world, it's a small jackpot and Uncle Sugar's cut (income tax) will remove a zero just to keep you in your place. But, realistically, this number can also represent your entire life. Think about working from 18 to 80. On your deathbed let your greedy kids add up all the money you earned. You might fall into this category. Now, look at how many un-highlighted zeros we have to go on our quest to put it all in perspective. Does the sheer size of that number begin to scare you yet?


This is the last eight zeros, the "ones", "tens", "hundreds", "thousands","ten-thousands", "hundred-thousands", "Millions", and "Ten-Millions" positions. This is medium lottery jackpot turf. In this rarefied area not even the taxman can cut you so deep that you won't be rich until you die. Well, they could. But it would take an act of Congress deciding to punish the lottery winners like they punished the AIG bonus babies. Does the term "Ex post facto" law and unconstitutional mean anything to you?


This is the last nine zeros, the "ones", "tens", "hundreds", "thousands","ten-thousands", "hundred-thousands", "Millions", "Ten-Millions", and "Hundred-Millions" positions. This is so far above the normal person that only a huge lottery win will get you there. You, your children, and likely even your grandchildren could work from the age of 18 to 80 and die without all of you adding up to this. Just the interest from this figure would pay your entire debt for life and allow you to send all your dependents to college. The number is so big that most of us cannot form a mental picture of "One hundred million automobiles" in a row. And, there are still more zero's to the left.


This is the last ten zeros, the "ones", "tens", "hundreds", "thousands","ten-thousands", "hundred-thousands", "Millions", "Ten-Millions", "Hundred-Millions", and "Billions" positions. You and I are so far out of our league that we cannot comprehend how we'd live our lives with that kind of money.

According to Forbes magazine:
For the first time ever, the tally of the world's billionaires crossed into four figures, reaching 1,125.

So, in a world population of 6,706,993,152 only 1,125 hit that mark. I'm not going to do the math for this. But I think you get my point.


This is the last eleven zeros, the "ones", "tens", "hundreds", "thousands","ten-thousands", "hundred-thousands", "Millions", "Ten-Millions", "Hundred-Millions","Billions", and "Ten-Billions" positions. Of the 1,125 Billionaires on the entire planet of 6.7 Billion (notice the contraction so the number doesn't scare you) only 35 have crossed to this level.


This is the last twelve numbers, the "ones", "tens", "hundreds", "thousands","ten-thousands", "hundred-thousands", "Millions", "Ten-Millions", "Hundred-Millions","Billions", "Ten-Billions", and "Hundred-Billions" positions. None of our top 35 even made it half-way to this figure. Imagine that, our number is so big that no one person on the entire planet has that much wealth. But, your government does. And they do it by making sure you and I with our 4-5 zeros pay every cent in taxes they can intimidate out of us. If that doesn't scare you, how about this. The highlighted number is only 1/14 of the remaining number 7. No human can comprehend this. Nothing but a computer can do the math because you and I would be wrapped around the axle trying to understand such a sum.


This is all the numbers, the "ones", "tens", "hundreds", "thousands","ten-thousands", "hundred-thousands", "Millions", "Ten-Millions", "Hundred-Millions","Billions", "Ten-Billions", "Hundred-Billions", and (finally) the "Trillions" positions. This is twice as much as we paid for the entire second world war and the reconstruction of Europe. It represents $1,118.23 for every man, woman, and child alive on the entire Earth today. Or, it could be $24,685.29 for each of the 303,824,640 men, women, and kids in the USA alone.

This means that an average family of Mom/Pop and the two kids are worth $98,741.16 in bailout money. After all the numbers shown above, we are down to the five digits that can pay off my home.

It's too bad that Congress has decided to award all that cash to mismanaged business that were over-regulated, over-taxed, and generally driven into the ground.

Personally, I think they ought to cut you and I a check and we will boost the hell out of the local economy by eliminating our house debt, then using the addition four digits of extra cash to eliminate the rest of our debts in a matter of months.

Imagine the stimulus if we took our three digit a week take home pay and could do as we dang well pleased.

Now, do we all get it?

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Obama Backs Off "Bill the Veterans" Proposal

Well, the best news I got today came in the form of a comment from Skippy-San on the "Not my President" post. He wrote to say that Mr. Obama has backed off of his bill-the-veterans scheme. So, I wanted to say thanks to Skippy for alerting me to the change.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) was the first to announce Wednesday afternoon that the president won’t pursue such a proposal.

She told veterans that Obama decided to scrap the proposal “Based on the respect that President Obama has for our nation’s veterans and the principled concerns expressed by veterans’ leaders.” - Source

So I have to take my hat off, exposing my ever growing bald spot, to the Democrats, Republicans, Leftists, Rightists, and of course Mr. Obama for getting off this dead horse. Well Done Folks.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Conspiracy Theories?

The House of Representatives has taken it upon themselves to openly punish political opponents via taxation. Today:
The House, responding quickly to public outrage over the bonuses after the giant insurer received up to $180 billion in U.S. aid, voted 328-93 to approve a 90 percent tax on bonuses for certain executives at companies getting government aid. -- Source
I wish I could cite the bill number, but the story didn't say. And a search of the word "bonus" in OpenCongress pulls six bills purporting to amend the tax code. AIG gets fed money and uses it to pay big bonuses. The people get pissed off. But, for some reason the people are not pissed at the fed for allowing it in the first place. And those same people cannot see the individual rotting at the root structure of the tree of liberty. Why? No one can see the tree for the forest of a congress that needs to get reelected?

Why am I pissed off? Why am I afraid that Mr. Obama and the Democrat Congress are in collusion to strip my country of the things that make us unique in the world? Why do I fear Eurofication? Please, Read on and Please Comment.

I am afraid because Mr. Obama has betrayed the special trust and confidence that should be held between the US Military & Vets and thier Commander-in-Chief. As mentioned in the previous blog post "Mr. Obama is Not My President" he is openly supportive of abrogating the US Governments moral responsibility to care for and pay for the care of her veterans with service connected disabilities.

I am afraid because HR45, Blair Holt's Firearm Licensing and Record of Sale Act of 2009 will impose licensing of your second amendment rights from sea to shining sea. Once that is done, what will be licensed next? Your religion? Maybe the right to peaceably assemble? Perhaps the Free Press. Pravda anyone?

I am afraid because a punishment tax is about as King George III as you can get. When the majority of the House is so afraid of voter backlash that they immediately rush to impose a tax.... So much for moral courage. Apparently the fact that such an action is unconstitutional is merely another unique Americanism to be swept away.

Don't take my word for it. Instead read what Techlaw says.

Definition: A legislative act that singles out an individual or group for punishment without a trial.

The Constitution of the United States, Article I, Section 9, paragraph 3 provides that: "No Bill of Attainder or ex post facto Law will be passed."

"The Bill of Attainder Clause was intended not as a narrow, technical (and therefore soon to be outmoded) prohibition, but rather as an implementation of the separation of powers, a general safeguard against legislative exercise of the judicial function or more simply - trial by legislature." U.S. v. Brown, 381 U.S. 437, 440 (1965).

"These clauses of the Constitution are not of the broad, general nature of the Due Process Clause, but refer to rather precise legal terms which had a meaning under English law at the time the Constitution was adopted. A bill of attainder was a legislative act that singled out one or more persons and imposed punishment on them, without benefit of trial. Such actions were regarded as odious by the framers of the Constitution because it was the traditional role of a court, judging an individual case, to impose punishment." William H. Rehnquist, The Supreme Court, page 166.

"Bills of attainder, ex post facto laws, and laws impairing the obligations of contracts, are contrary to the first principles of the social compact, and to every principle of sound legislation. ... The sober people of America are weary of the fluctuating policy which has directed the public councils. They have seen with regret and indignation that sudden changes and legislative interferences, in cases affecting personal rights, become jobs in the hands of enterprising and influential speculators, and snares to the more-industrious and less-informed part of the community." James Madison, Federalist Number 44, 1788.

Supreme Court cases construing the Bill of Attainder clause include:

  • Ex Parte Garland, 4 Wallace 333 (1866).
  • Cummings v. Missouri, 4 Wallace 277 (1866).
  • U.S. v. Brown, 381 U.S. 437 (1965).
  • Nixon v. Administrator of General Services, 433 U.S.425 (1977).
  • Selective Service Administration v. Minnesota PIRG, 468 U.S. 841 (1984).

See also, SBC v. FCC.

I am afraid because suddenly, after the election of course, the congress wishes to un-term-limit the office of the president. Amazingly, according to history, the last un-term-limited President was famous for rounding up American citizens of Asian decent and placing them in interment camps guarded by the US Army on American soil. So, it can't happen here right? Sure thing President-for-Life (fill in your blank).

How many other dangers are lurking in the Congressional minefield that we don't know about?

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Mr. Obama is Not My President

In the Marines you have paygrades such as E1, E2, E3 etc. Then you have ranks. An E5 for example is a Sergeant. In the Navy an E5 is a Petty Officer 2nd Class. Among Marines if you call someone an E4, you are essentially saying that the person isn't a "real" Corporal. They are drawing E4 pay but not living up to the high expectations of the rank.

Well as of today, Mr. Obama is no longer my President. He may hold the title, and he may draw the pay, but he's about as Presidential as Jane Fonda during the Vietnam War.

Mr. Obama is starting to push a plan to have private insurers reimburse the Veterans Administration for treatment accorded to service connected disabled Vets. This is dereliction of duty of the highest order for the so-called Commander In Chief. This nation has a moral obligation to provide care for these vets. This action is dishonorable on so many levels.

Mr. Obama is collaborating with Congress to reward mismanaged banks and failing auto companies with billions of dollars. But, he wants to kick our vets in the balls by telling them that their insurance has to foot the bill for their treatment. Obviously he is not overly appreciative of the sacrifices made by these men and women. Nor has he considered how many of them will be instantly uninsurable or unemployable.

He needs to learn and apply the Leadership Traits and Leadership Principles that all Marines learn. Then, maybe, just maybe, he will begin to understand why vets like me are outraged at even the proposal of this travesty.

Until such time as a public revolt against this egregious act of disrespect causes him to publicly recant..... he isn't worthy of the paycheck he's cashing. He will simply be known as Mr. Obama.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Presidential Update: Day 50

I almost titled this post "Hawaii Five Oh" since Mr. Obama is from Hawaii and he's been in office about fifty days. I am trying to remain upbeat and positive about his presidency but it is getting harder to do so.

For starters he has presided over the bailout. I know that GWB started it. But, nothing in the world requires the sitting pres to keep it going. It really seems to me that the true leader of the .gov is Nancy Pelosi. I mean, she is telling the Senate that they better not mess with certain bills.

Right now, HR45 AND HR25 are sitting in committee. I am afraid that 45 will pass and 25 will die in committee yet again. Right now we have a 410 Billion dollar Omnibus that is so pork laden that even the hogs are embarrassed. So much for draining the swamp eh?

Folks, I understand that stimulus is supposed to help. I get that the economy needs a shot in the arm. But let me ask you how you feel about saddling your kids and grandkids with debt. I would suggest that you check your congress critters closely. Our elected officials now have a free reign to tax, spend, and tax again without fear of Hawaii Five Oh's intervention. Think about that.

Sunday, March 08, 2009

Obama's Tax Code...

We are barely one month away from Tax Day. Yet, the Congress with President Obamas open support is still messing about with the tax code.
H.R.1317: To amend the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 to provide a tax credit to individuals who pay their mortgages on time. - Source

If you were to look here you would find about 300+ bills with the words "revenue act of 1986" in them. My question to the class is thing: How many of the bills fall within the guidelines set by the enumerated powers? Please read on.

President Obama continues to be very nuanced and is actively courting a press that is openly in love with him. That's great, we saw it with Bull Clinton back in the 90's and we'll see it again. My beef with both the President and the Media is that each is hammering a negative message about the economy instead of pumping up the positive. If you tell enough people that things are bad, they are going to hunker down and stop spending money. And, if you have any ties with the local small businessmen, you know I am right.

Once again we are calling on the President and the Congress to stop the Anti-Constitutional use of tax monies found in the stimulus package, the changes again to the income tax code, and the earmarks. It is time to lead by example instead of perpetuating a class war by demonizing the very wealthy. It is time to lead by example by passing the fair tax instead of modifying the tax code again, and again, and again.

Sunday, March 01, 2009

A Month of Sundays

The President has been in office now for over a month. So far I am not impressed. I have to say that there are some fundamental flaws in how he's doing his job.

The most egregious flaw is that he's set an absolute timetable for the withdrawal
"Let me say this as plainly as I can: By Aug. 31, 2010, our combat mission in Iraq will end," Obama said, adding later, "We seek a full transition to Iraqi responsibility for the security of your country."

of troops from Iraq. Now all the enemy has to do is lie low. I sure hope the Iraqis left behind can live with our decision.

Of course, while he says he supports the second amendment, he has failed to denounce HR45. This bill was the was the topic of my last post. It's in committee now. But I promise that if any of my guys vote for this...... their contracts won't be renewed on the next mass hiring day.

Then there is the stimulus package he signed. This is a half and half scenario. Half the blame goes to Congress for a billion dollar a page boondoggle. The other half of the blame goes to him for signing it. I'd like to know to whom and how it will be disbursed? If we are simply going to continue handing big checks out to failed companies ...

Speaking of a real economic stimulus, there is tax reform. Here we are going into the tax season full tilt and Mr. Obama has not openly endorsed the Fairtax. HR25 was just reintroduced and has 44 co-sponsors. By not endorsing the bill, the President has shown that he supports politics/corruption as simply "business as usual".

So much for change I can get behind. The only change I have left is a couple of nickles I found on the street before the taxman came.

Sunday, February 08, 2009

Gun Control - HR 45 Will Dilute Your Liberty

I received an email the other day that detailed a new Gun Control bill that was introduced in the House of Representatives on 6 Jan, 2009. The provisions of this bill are scary to say the least. I strongly urge any US Citizen to oppose this bill. You must call your Representative and your Senators. You must write to the President. If all else fails you must secure your weapons out of the reach of the authorities. If all else fails you must be prepared to face your friends and neighbors and hope that they think as you do. I normally am a law and order type. I normally see the benefit of most law. But in the case of H.R. 45 I cannot support it. And if it becomes law, I cannot obey it. Please read the rest of this post and see for yourself the highlights of this bill that are poised to dilute your liberty.

H.R. 45 is titled; To provide for the implementation of a system of licensing for purchasers of certain firearms and for a record of sale system for those firearms, and for other purposes.

The title alone tells me that there will be a uniform national gun license and a national tracking system. Before we get into the specifics of the bill please use your imagination to think about how your privacy must be compromised in order to create a national license and tracking system.

I hope your attention is focused now. In the table that follows, the items on the left are the allegations I read in the email sent to me. On the right are the citations from within the body of the bill itself. I found all but two. Since I am a literal reader, you may look closer and find what I missed.

The upshot of this is that the federal government will mandate what firearms they wish to regulate. The regulated arms are the most likely to be used during any form of insurrection. The regulated arms will make confiscation easy. The 2nd Amendment states "...shall not be infringed." You are now the judge.

There will be no more editorializing on my part. From here on in, it is up to you to use your own judgment to decide if this is dangerous legislation or not. Thank you for reading, and thank you for forwarding this to anyone who may care.

Relevant Point From the Email I Received
Source From HR45
You will have to carry a photo ID firearms license.Section 102 Page 7 Line 10
A training class is required to be licensed.Section 2 Page 4 Line 10 (implied), Section 2 Page 4 Line 18 (implied), Section 102 Page 8 Line 5
Disclosure of your storage method is required for license.I didn't find this one. Page 8 line 9 requires that you know how to store firearms. I tend to read things literally and thus may miss what the email author caught. It might be there. Check it out.
A thumb print is required for license.Section 102 Page 7 Line 17
Every sale recorded by the federal government.Section 2 Page 4 Line 15 (implied), Section 402 Page 22 Line 9 (strongly implied)
If you move, and don't tell the Attorney General within 60 days, you are a criminal.Section 304 Page 18 Line 21
If a firearm is stolen and you don't report it, you are a criminal.Section 303 Page 18 Line 6
There will be no grandfathered firearms. If you do not obtain a license and report every firearm you currently own, you are a criminal.I didn't find this. I find several discussion of "qualifying firearms" which are defined on page 5 line 8. Again, I read things literally. Read it for yourself and let me know.
There will be a license fee and a fee for the "services" provided at purchase time.Page 9, Line 25
Licenses must be renewed every 5 years.Page 11, Line 11