It’ll be Christmas in two days, and as I often do at this point in the year, I’m taking account of the preceding 12 months… Frequent readers will know that I also tend to bemoan the fact that “I don’t feel Christmasy”, or something to that effect. Often it’s trying to do too much and not looking at what’s actually important. Other times it’s the simple fact that in LA nothing slows long enough to get a decent look at what’s got value and merit…
With the year that’s passed, and the barrage of doom and gloom pouring out of the NAEM every night, I had hoped that this Christmas would at least offer a moment’s pause. It hasn’t, I’m afraid… And so I’m doing my best to get my head out of the spin and see things clearly.
I’m deeply mourning the fact that the year seams to have been stolen from us, like a pick-pocket who diverts our attention long enough to leave us robbed, but unaware. Party meanness on both sides of the fence, petty squabbling, ignoring the elephant and the donkey in the parlor, both of whom are eating the furniture.
Our country is in turmoil as most of us have never seen the likes of, and it sickens me that no one can see the light for the mud-slinging. Come on people, the campaign is over! Let’s knock off the fighting and fussing long enough to enjoy Christmas! Turn off the damned TV for a few nights, put on some Christmas music, hug your family close to you and try to forget the crap that the NAEM has been spewing!
It’s time for all of us to see the good things! Why, I’ll bet that one of your neighbors has put up some wonderful decorations! Go outside with your loved ones and look at them! Even if it’s nothing fancy, just walking by will make you feel less spun and more focused! Switch off the news and the talk radio for a while and let some music in!
Put on some spiced cider or hot cocoa, or even eggnog if you must. Eat a little chocolate, make a fire in the fireplace if you have one. Sit and do nothing, all wrapped in a blanket…
The problems of the world will wait, and you might just see they aren’t so big once you get back to them later… But more importantly, you can’t afford to lose even one day of this season wasted on nonsense when your family and loved ones are around for you to love and hold. Do that now, because that’s really what matters anyway.
Traditions that matter…
It’s been raining most of the last day and night here in LA. The air smells clean and a crisp, cool, autumn feeling is lingering. I’m rested, and for the most part recovered from the last year of silliness, glad that the election is over and I can stop talking about politics for a while.
As I reflect, it becomes more and more obvious that the empty, mindless cacophony the NAEM has been stirring is just that; meaningless in the greater scope of things. There are real and important matters far more relevant than any on TV, and that we are on the eve of Thanksgiving is the most appropriate of times to remember this.
Longtime readers of my journal will know that some of the most significant and truly important traditions in my life revolve around Thanksgiving Day and all that it signifies. I published and posted my first journal entry on Thanksgiving 2004, making this the fourth anniversary of that momentous undertaking; but that is so much less important than the two decades of remembrances of family passed on.
Growing up, my family took the celebration of Thanksgiving very seriously. Unlike so many “activists” would have you believe, as “Native Americans” (I prefer to simply say Lakota) we didn’t mark this day to remember the demise of our way of life at the hands of white Europeans (Wasichu). Rather, we celebrated the truth of the holiday; that there is so much in life to give thanks for, and the importance of family. Grandaddy would have reminded us that whining about a war, lost more than 100 years prior, was foolish. What’s important is the closeness of family, respect for neighbors and to do what is right, even when it’s difficult.
Each November, as the South Dakota landscape would begin to be covered with the pure white blankets of snow and the trees donned their winter colors, we would do what must be done to prepare for the cold months; just as our people had done since the beginning of our history. Wood was chopped and stacked, ready to warm our homes. Roofs were checked and sealed, ready for the weight of snow. Storm windows were installed to keep out the wind and keep in the heat. Grandaddy would finish making his jerky and Momma would finish setting up preserves and canning.
Sure, we could always run up to the Piggly Wiggly if we ran short, and truth is we did continue to do our regular grocery shopping. But the idea of putting up stores for the winter was tradition, and made good sense as well. And the taste of those stored foods was wonderful and full of the reminders that once, this was all our people had. Forgetting where you came from is the same as having no family, Grandaddy would have said. For the Lakota, to say a man has no family is a great insult.
But we did have family, and Thanksgiving marked our most loved and looked forward to gathering each year. A day set aside to think about what it meant to be in a family, to have blessings and plenty, and to give to those who didn’t have these things. Our family meal was always far more than we could eat ourselves; the leftovers were packed up and delivered to a local mission to be shared with folks who had no family. In our little community, many families did this, just as it was done for generations past.
And then there was the hunt. Each Friday after Thanksgiving, Daddy, Grandaddy, and I would ready our rifles, dress warmly, and go into the Paha Sapa (Black Hills) to hunt deer. When Richard, my first husband became part of our family, he too joined us. Together, as our people had since the beginning of our history, we would stalk and take our prey; not as a sport or a thrill, it bordered on a sacred thing. The life of a majestic creature, taken so that others may survive, with all thanks and respect to both the animal and its creator. And as in the old times, Grandaddy saw to it that nothing was wasted.
I remember these things each year and know that, though my blood relatives are gone on, I am not without family. Every Thanksgiving, I take those same four rifles from the safe and carefully clean and inspect them. They are retired now; never more will they be carried on the hunt, nor will they become the tool which takes one life that others may go on living. They have served their purpose, and have earned their rest, as have the ancestors who gave us our traditions.
Once that task of honor has been fulfilled, I will venture to the kitchen to join my family in preparation of far more food than we can eat. All of us will lend a hand in the making of the meal, and once we have had our fill, we’ll pack up the leftovers and take them to a local Church where they will be shared with those who have no family. Many other people will also share their family meals, and in this way, no one is really without family.
As the Lakota say, it’s an insult to say a man has no family. These are traditions that matter.
7 days that make one weak…
This is it, we’re in the home stretch, and it’s down to the wire. This time next Tuesday I may be popping corks and making speeches! More than likely though, the NAEM will be anointing their new messiah as truly the chosen one.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m not even close to throwing in the towel! Neither am I saying that McCain might not win. What I am saying is that the NAEM is already reporting that Obama has 285 Electoral votes a full week before the polls have opened! As it has been in so many other national elections, the NAEM is and will be attempting to call the winners long before the votes are even counted, let alone cast!
Of course, we will be subjected to the wrangling and finger pointing for the next seven days. We will hear poll after poll that tell us as many different things as there are pollsters taking them. It looks to be a confusing and divisive time, and I want to give all of you something solid to stand on.
When you step into the booth next Tuesday, I want you to ask yourself a few questions. Between Obama, McCain, and Dark Horse:
1. The economy: Whose fiscal policy is most likely to provide long term stability? Which of the three choices has actually had to make financial decisions on a daily basis? Which of the three is least likely to add to the out of control spending in Washington?
2. The Constitution: Which of the three will uphold and defend the Constitution against all enemies, foreign and domestic? Which will tell you to give up a little freedom to gain security, resulting in the loss of both? Which of us will stand and say, “We are America, and we don’t lower ourselves to the level of our enemies. We serve a higher standard!”?
3. Energy: Which of the three will develop America’s ability to sustain its own energy needs without playing politics and making back room deals with countries who would just as soon kill us as trade with us? Which candidate would encourage and incentivize US industry to develop alternate energy rather than try to legislate invention?
4. The war: Which candidate would re-strategize our efforts in Iraq and Afghanistan so we can eventually bring our troops home victorious while also leaving those countries strong and free? Who would require Iraq to repay our efforts in steel and blood with the billions of dollars in oil they have reaped as the result? Which of us is least likely to try to make it all better with a hug?
5. The boarder: Who is most assuredly going to secure our boarders and deal with the 12-20million illegal aliens already in the country?
I know I can’t hit all the points in this short space, but you get the idea. America is at a critical point in our history; we can either restore our place the greatest, freest, Nation ever. Or, we can continue along the broken course of corrupt politics as usual while the train flies further and further from the tracks.
Whichever course you choose, vote this Tuesday; too much depends on it.
It is officially looming just over the horizon… Two weeks and counting until “the most important election”. Funny, I don’t recall exactly what it’s the most important of. The decade? The recent past? Our lifetimes? Recorded Human history? While it is true that life in America will be effected for the long term, no matter who wins, I really doubt that this one election is the most important ever.
Come November 5th, America will still be America. We will still have the worst system in the world except for all the others. Our economy will still be down compared to better times. Our judicial and healthcare systems will still be miles from perfect. And our people will still be, for the most part, apathetic, pampered, and swayed by whatever shinny object the NAEM cares to wave in front of them.
I do have worries about what will happen if either of the populist candidates wins. Obama wants to nationalize healthcare so that no one gets good care but everyone gets bad care. He’ll tax those lousy, no good, evil, greedy businesses that employ most everyone. He’ll even give tax refunds to people who don’t pay any taxes… To quote Brian Suits of KFI radio in LA, “The rainbow powered love machines, unicorn factories, and strawberry scented welfare checks” will be forthcoming.
On the other side of the bizarro isle McCain well soon throw open the boarders and welcome all the new “guest workers” on the “path to citizenship”. He may not drop dead in office (Those McCains are made of tough stuff!), but he is likely to reach out and punch someone who ticks him off.
And now General Colin Powel has endorsed Obama, sending the NAEM into back flips and ecstatic proclamations. They find it “telling” that a “Republican” would so publically “cross the isle”. Has everyone forgotten that, despite his service in the Army and the Bush Whitehouse, Mr. Powel has long ago made clear that his politics are not in the least bit conservative? He is a staunch supporter of affirmative action and such social engineering; so why wouldn’t he support Senator Obama? They are, in fact, reading from the very same pages!
So then, what do I say we should do? I have for months now laid out my ideas and stance on how to rebuild the Greatest Nation on Earth. The United States was, and can be again, the one shining hope in the world’s turmoil; but we must return to the fundamental values and pillars that made us so great a Nation. Once upon a time the people of the world cast their eyes to our shores for the hope of opportunity. Now, they look to us in the hope of handouts. Once, Made in America was the promise of the highest standards of workmanship and quality; now we import poisoned products from China and export our jobs to India!
We have the government invading every aspect of our lives, from telling us what kind of car we should drive to regulating business to the point that none can make a profit anymore. And if any should manage to turn a profit anyway, the NAEM will be sure to tell us all how evil they are for “gouging” the working class!
The point is, while neither of the front-running candidates will “ruin” the country, neither will they restore it. Grandaddy once told me, “One man cannot ruin the country, that takes many men; that is why we have congress!” However, one person can make a huge difference in turning things around. But such a person will not come from the Washington Elite; no, such a person will have to come from a world not yet so corrupted and cynical.
So, in two weeks when you do your duty as an American and vote, make your vote count for something other than politics as usual!
A vote for Linda Dark Horse will do more than send a message; it could very well send a long needed answer to the highest office in the land.
Are you scared yet…?
We are in the midst of the greatest tug of war this country has seen in decades. The battle is not just for the hearts and minds of the American people, but for something much more important… Your viewership! That’s right, your pledge of undying love and allegiance to the god of gods, the NAEM!
Here’s how it works; our economic system is built upon a foundation of trust and confidence, without which it topples under the rush of panic and doubt. The NAEM depends on fear and panic to drive its “If it bleeds, it leads” doctrine of rating above all else. It is therefore mandatory for the media to turn every problem into a crisis, every crisis into Armageddon, and to either ignore or trivialize every scrap of good news that might pop its head above the fray!
Truth; we are in the midst of a terrible financial tailspin. However, any well trained driver knows that if you go into a skid, you steer with it, not against it. This isn’t the first, and it will not be the last time that our free market system has self corrected after being manipulated artificially. This is the inevitable cycle of things; the numbers go up, then they go down, and then they repeat… The problem isn’t the ups and downs; the problem is when outside forces (the government and the NAEM) attempt to “fix” things or to make it seem worse than it is.
We have a problem with the mortgage market, which is the natural result of the government meddling and forcing lenders to ignore common sense lending guidelines (like can this person afford this purchase), in the name of “fairness”. In the process, the lending market saw opportunity for temporary huge profits in the same manner as the Junk Bonds of the 1980’s and the margin buying that caused the 1929 market crash. As the man once said, “Those who do not learn from the errors of history are doomed to repeat them.” As with any “Pyramid” or “Ponzy” scheme, it works great, for a while; the people at the top make lots of money, and the guys in the middle make nearly as much. That is, until the entire house of cards collapses under its own weight, causing loss and ruin to everyone on the bottom.
And that is exactly what’s happened here; only now we have the 24/7 prophets of gloom and despair pointing a leaf blower at the house of cards and crying out “Who will save you from this disaster?” Where in the past it would have affected us all, to a point, the NAEM is now ripping up the solid foundations of confidence as well!
It’s like this. You put your money in the bank, but it doesn’t just sit on a shelf, waiting for you to come ask for some of it back. No bank actually has a huge room full of everyone’s money. Instead, as so well put in the classic “It’s a Wonderful Life”, “The money’s not here! It’s in your house, and your house, and yours…!” The banks lend the money out to our neighbors and businesses so they can build, and they reap a return with interest. And as long as people deposit and borrow, the system is self sustaining.
The two things that can cause a bank to fail are making bad loans, and too many depositors pulling their money out at the same time. And, of course, the first tends to lead to the second! When the depositors lose confidence in the bank, they fear the loss of their deposits and they make a “run on the bank”, such as the recent run on IndyMac. What we are seeing now, though, is an artificial erosion of that confidence; the NAEM tells us that IndyMac “may fail”, igniting a flame of fear, causing exactly that to happen as those flames devour the once solid structure.
Don’t get me wrong; IndyMac was dead wrong to play games with investor’s money. They did foolish business with risky lending in order to try and pull short term big profits. They played roulette, betting everything on one number, and lost the farm. However, it’s very likely they would have recovered in time, had Chuck Schumer and the NAEM not run out like Chicken Little screaming, “The sky is falling!”
But now, we have the biggest problem rising up. The government is riding in on its blotted gray horse to “rescue” Wall Street. AIG was given $85 billion in loans to allow its risky investment wing to stay afloat, only to need another $35 billion two weeks later! And here’s the rub… AIG’s primary business is insurance, and that part of their business is not only sound, but flourishing! The part of the ship that’s caught in the rocks and dragging the whole thing under is its sub-prime lending! They got involved in the game, and it did what it had to, it inevitably failed!
But, by artificially propping up that failure, we haven’t fixed the problem, we’ve only slapped a band-aid on a cancer that is eating the body from the inside out!
I have to admit though, I’m torn. Our system functions on the concept that business lending must occur, and must flow freely. Since there is a lag between the cost of producing a product and the profit from selling it, just as the farmers of decades past, businesses establish lines of credit by which to operate until the “crops come in”. If there is no credit, the businesses cannot produce, which means they cannot sell, which drives up prices to the consumers who have less to spend because the businesses have laid them off because they have no money to pay them… It’s a true “cycle of life”.
For that reason, it’s imperative that lenders be able to lend. To have the largest of our lending institutions fail, means there is no credit to be had, and therefore, business slows or fails. Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac are the icons of this principal, and that is why they had to be bailed out (and yes, it is a bail out). The smaller institutions who borrowed from these two where dragging them under, and that couldn’t be allowed to happen. However, when a broken part of the ship is caught in the rocks and pulling the entire ship under, the solution isn’t to try and lift the ship up! The correct solution is to cut loose the culprit parts, freeing the healthy ship to remain afloat and make repairs!
The IndyMac’s and Countrywides that sowed to the winds must be allowed to reap the whirlwind! When a business makes foolish decisions and loses its stake, it must be allowed to fail! If not, the very core of the free market system, the concept of risk and rewards, crumbles away and we have nothing but the empty promises that there are no consequences. Mommy will kiss the booboo and make it all better. And the very act of the bailout become the next layer in yet another self-perpetuating house of cards!
It’s true that Wall Street has had the worst week in decades. And, if you look at it in the terms the NEAM has put up, it’s lost “40% of its value”. I’ll be the first to say that my personal portfolio has lost nearly 20% of value compared to the same day one year ago. What’s hidden in this very skewed view is the fact that on 10/9/07, the Dow Jones was at over 14,000, the single highest point in its history! Mere weeks later it was back to its nominal volume of roughly 12,000.
In the same sense, the close today was 8451, the lowest since 2003. But, and this is a BIG but, 8451 was a HIGH back then! Even if I hadn’t invested one more dime into the market in the last five years, my portfolio would be worth no less today than it was back in 2002! In fact, it would be worth MORE! And, of course, I have invested more into my portfolio, causing it to grow, even in poor markets!
The local NBC affiliate in Los Angeles had one of its reporters, Doug Kriegle, on this evening making his report from the field. He was astounded to report that professional stock traders weren’t making panic sell-offs in the wake of the “free-fall” of the market. No, rather, these brokers were buying! They were taking advantage of a down market to make rare opportunity buys at the bottom! Where the people who listen to the NAEM and sell low after having bought high, the people using thought instead of fear are buying super low and holding for the long term!
Yesterday GM had fallen to $4.75 a share. That means an average guy with $4750 can now purchase 1000 shares of General Motors! The stock will rebound eventually, and even if it never goes back up to $175 a share as it has many times in the past, it will inevitably go back above $50. And that average guy who put less than $5000 into the market will have a value of more than $50,000, plus quarterly dividends! That equals more than a 1000% return on investment; just imagine if the value goes over $100 a share, as it has so many times before!
My point is, the volatility on Wall Street is not the demise of Main Street. But, when Pennsylvania Avenue starts screwing around with things we all will pay the price, from Martin Luther King Boulevard to Rodeo Drive. When Mr. and Mrs. Smith save their money and buy a home they can afford, they will do just fine. When they try to buy what they know they can’t afford on the promises that “everything always goes up”, they will lose what they wanted to have, and drag their neighbors down too. When businesses try to outsmart the system and put it all at risk, they will most often lose, and they deserve to suffer that loss, not be “rescued” from their own greed and arrogance.
And just like in business, when Joe and Jane Sixpack decide to live on credit rather than accepting the limits of their means, they too will eventually see their house of cards fall. Only there will be a really big plasma screen TV and a fancy car in the rubble…
A case off the bumps…?
It’s been a couple weeks since the announcement of Sarah Palin as the Republican VP candidate, and the bump in the polls has continued. The NAEM has latched on like the proverbial “Pit-bull” though without any lipstick. They don’t love her really, but they do love to hate her, and that may be even better for the McCain/Palin ticket.
There is nothing better, I’ve seen, for a candidate, or a president, then to have the NAEM fall in love with hating them. This is different than just hating them, as they do our sitting president; I’m referring to the kind of feeding frenzy that we haven’t seen since Ronald Reagan held the oval office. The sort of hysteria where they criticize and cajole every word and deed, but you can so clearly hear the love in every attack.
At this point in the campaign, I only wish they had the same level of derision for Dr. Rice and me! Would that they clamored and began to sweat as they fought to get in the next barb as they sat at news conferences, waiting to see what I’d say next. The very height of NAEM praise; the dysfunctional passion of the love that must attack its beloved!
What we have here is Rhett Butler carrying Scarlet up the stairs as she half heartedly beats her hands on his back in feigned protest. Rhett is Sarah, and the NAEM Scarlet; her bluster meaning not that she is resisting, but that she wants it more than she can let herself say…
Poetic, and far too honest for any part of the NAEM to even acknowledge.
And, of course, it has nothing to do with the issues. Personally, I have to say that neither party has supplied us with candidates who will actually fix any of the problems in Washington. Both want to open the boarders, and will at the first opportunity. Both support social programs far left of socialist, and a far cry from empowering the people to the responsibility of a free society. Both tickets reek of the insider politics of “We’ve always done it this way”.
Clearly, in direct contrast to what both sides are saying, the issue isn’t “experience”, but power, and getting and holding it. Both sides are exactly what is wrong with Washington, which is why I’m still in the race.
So, I reiterate; as the campaign descends into the politics of personal destruction, I will continue to uphold the ideals of the great experiment that was and is the United States of America. I still believe that we can be a great nation, based on the premise of freedom for each individual, harnessed to the responsibility and weight of that freedom. Of a government which is the servant of the people rather than their master. Limited government, less intervention into our personal lives, lower taxes and more accountability for where our money goes!
The carnival is in town…!
It’s been almost a month since I’ve posted here, and that’s a very bad thing for a presidential candidate hoping to be taken seriously. But the fact is, I have a problem; I absolutely hate having to think like a politician! I mean I REALLY HATE spending each day trying to say what I mean while not actually lambasting the candidate I will eventually come out in support of. I hate having to spend hour upon hour dwelling on the fact that our system is light-years off course and the Republic has been manipulated and perverted into something so far from the wondrous ideal the framers gave us.
When I decided to begin this run, I asked myself if I could sustain the mindset for a full year. I had my doubts, and frankly, I can’t keep on playing nice. I would much rather openly discuss the fact that neither of the “legit” candidates is making any sense, and that the hypocrisy meter is off the scale. For that matter, I’d rather be writing porn reviews that almost no one will ever read, but that’s another topic altogether.
But, now the carnival has pulled into town and everyone’s favorite attraction is in full operation… Ladies and gentlemen, I direct your attention to the FREAK-SHOW!
The Democratic National Convention has wrapped, and the Republicans are waiting in the wings, if only that pesky hurricane would go away. But all I can think of is how much the whole thing looks like, sounds like, and mostly smells like the parade of oddities, affectionately known as the freak-show.
I ask you to give close eye to the Woman With No Heart! See her as she takes the stage and asks you to unify and be dazzled; please forget everything she’s said about the emperor having no clothes! Now, she tells us with words cold and forced, the one who was too inexperienced mere months ago is now fully qualified and worthy.
Now cast your attention to the man with two faces! Once he was fighting mad over those who doubted the words of the Woman With No Heart, but now he proclaims that the anointed one is the one true messiah, not the woman he had heralded before.
Next, let us examine the wonders of the unchanging one who will bring us change! He’s an insider who’s been part of the status quo for decades, and yet, he will be the assistant of change that he’s never made before.
And, of course, the rock star himself; the anointed messiah of the prophetess Oprah! The master of change, hope and belief; speaking not from the arena of convention, this man needs a sports stadium to deliver his promise to make everything good and nice and happy! And to show that the masters of staging haven’t forgotten just what a spectacle this must be, they did it all on the 45th anniversary of Dr. King’s “I have a dream” speech…
But let’s not pass up the comedy on the other side of the isle. Yes, the clown who dresses like a Republican but is really the author of some of the least conservative legislation ever to threaten the land! He has experience and points to the lack of it in his opponent. His well timed pratfalls have, yet again, trumped the best staging of the straight man; he has introduced his running mate at exactly the instant to take the spotlight away and he has done so with perfection!
And last, but certainly not least, let’s not forget the perky comic relief! She’s never been seen on any national stage, and has only been doing her act for a couple years, but with just the wave of her hand she makes the messiah disappear!
The most intriguing thing about side shows and freak shows is that while most of what you see isn’t real, we believe what we’re shown because it’s fun to be tricked! And the level of our willingness to accept what we see is directly correlated to how deeply we want to believe! The true believers, more than even the hopeful, are convinced that what they have seen is real.
I will say this for Sarah Palin; She does sound like a great woman. For that matter, she sounds a hell of a lot like me; a hunter, NRA member, fiscally responsible, and willing to take on the corrupt politicos, be they Democrat or Republican! However, I have two very serious questions as to her veracity as a Vice Presidential candidate.
First, if Obama’s lack of any real experience is such an insurmountable obstacle, then why is Palin’s not? Sure, she has been a mayor of a city and the governor of a state, but the combined time served is insignificant! Her tenure as governor is even less than Obama’s senatorial seat (about equal if you consider he’s been campaigning for half of his term); a scant two years!
Second, while I admire Palin’s credentials as a mother of five, I am appalled that her youngest is a mere six months old! That’s right; the woman who would be VP is still nursing an infant! How in god’s name is she supposed to give that child anywhere near the required attention while serving as the nation’s second most powerful executive? Yeah, I know, no one with money actually raises their own children anymore, and that’s exactly the problem! No one will ever accuse me of saying women should remain barefoot and pregnant, but if you have the kids, then your first and foremost responsibility is to raise them, and there is no way she’ll be able to do that from the Old Executive Office Building.
Quite frankly, I’ve had it. While I know that in the end I’ll likely end up throwing my support behind McCain/Palin, for the time being, I am more serious than ever about making my own run for the Whitehouse! If we’ve ever needed a third party candidate, we need one now! I’ll be announcing my running mate in a week or so, though I have no illusions that my announcement will have near the timing or spotlight of McCain’s.
Please remember to check your x-ray specs at the door, and please, please, no flash photography!
What is said; what is meant…
Several weeks ago, one side of the isle was calling for the lifting of bans on off-shore drilling and the other side was dead set against it. California’s Governor Schwarzenegger decried, “Drilling won’t lower gas prices anytime soon”.
And then President Bush lifted the Executive Order banning off-shore drilling… and a funny thing happened. Within days, the price of oil began to drop on the commodities market! And it kept on dropping! And for the last couple weeks, it has continued to drop! From over $140 a barrel, to around $120; the corresponding gas prices at the pump have dropped from a record high ($4.79 in my area) to the lowest in months! ($4.17 in my area).
And now, out of the blue, the candidate on the “no drilling” side of the argument has proclaimed that he’d be willing to allow off-shore oil exploration, if it were part of a “comprehensive package” that included alternative energy and electric cars. Could someone please check my blog for the date of 6/23/08? Could anyone out there double check and see if this isn’t my energy policy? Is anyone paying attention at all?
The reality is, as we approach the actual election, rather than the party conventions, the true colors are beginning to be shown. Senator Obama is gradually moving to the “center”, in hopes of picking up more votes from the folks who rightly view him as being way to close to the extreme of his party. Jessie Jackson called him a nigger, and not in a good way, declaring he wished to remove his testicles for the way he’d been moving.
(Get pissed off at me for using the word if you want, he said it, not me. Besides, I’ve been called a prairie nigger more times than I can count. When young black men call each other nigger for profit, and the NAEM icon of “Black America”, by name Jessie, tosses it out simply because he didn’t know anyone was listening, it ceases to be a valid point.)
The candidates have begun the pandering, turning up the volume almost daily on their bow and scrape rhetoric. They speak before the National Council of La Raza, which literally translates to The Race. I ask you, if a political candidate traveled to speak to the national council for the advancement of white people, would they be seen as being open minded and inclusive? No, they would be shouted down as bigots and racists! So then, how can two US Senators seek to gain the support of an organization whose foundational statement is, “Above all else, The Race!”?
A prostitute wants your money, and a politician wants your vote; and they’re both willing to do the same thing to get it! The difference is that the prostitute is honest about her profession. Senator Obama stood up in that racist gathering and called the US Bureau of Immigration and Customs Enforcement terrorists for enforcing the laws of this country! He claimed that ICE was “terrorizing communities” with their raids.
Please tell me how can a person seek the highest office in this land, and decry the nation’s law enforcement as “terrorists” for doing exactly the job we have hired them to do, laying their lives on the line daily to uphold the law? It is unconscionable, and I will have no part in it!
Our Boarder Patrol agents are being shot at, pelted with debris, even intentionally run down by the drug dealers and coyotes with their human contraband, and the government drags its feet, allowing the murderers to go free by their inaction! All the while, former Boarder Patrol agents Ramos and Campion have been rotting in a Federal prison for wounding an illegal alien drug smuggler that the US Attorney admits was a liar on the witness stand!
Know that what I say is what I mean. I have no fringe groups to pander to, only my conscience and a very finely tuned sense of right and wrong. The very day I am sworn in as President, Agents Ramos and Campion will receive full pardons, as well as back pay and their full retirement pay! And the then, I will order a special prosecutor to investigate US Attorney Johnny Sutton for prosecutorial misconduct, abuse of his office, and conspiracy in all the subsequent crimes of the drug smuggler to whom he granted immunity and a free boarder pass in exchange for his fraudulent testimony.
Well, I have to say, I never realized just how hard running for President would be! When I started this little fore, I figured it would be fun and games, shake a few hands, kiss a few babies, Things like that.
After the last couple weeks though… WHEW! Who knew I’d have to jet all over the world finding all kinds of foreign leaders to agree with and who’s butts I would have to kiss… And who knew I’d turn out to be such a rock star, drawing hundreds of thousands, just to hear me talk?
Wait… that wasn’t me, was it…?
I’m not the one who finally took a look and was forced to agree that the troop surge I was opposed to had actually worked rather well! I’m not the one who decided that the idea of troop withdraw from Iraq would be so that I could increase the troops deployed in Afghanistan. I’m not the one who tried to act “Presidential”, attempting to speak at the Brandenburg Gate, site of JFK and Reagan’s history making visits to Germany, only to be refused.
Look, I usually don’t make direct assertions to the poor character of other candidates, but this time I just have to steer off topic and point my finger for a moment. Granted, I have never stood in the sand at a Forward Operations Base beside the brave men and women who fight the war on terrorism daily. But I have talked to many of them, and I actually listened. Rather than form an opinion on the war based on the NAEM’s nightly distortions, I sought out and found firsthand accounts of the great progress we have made.
Neither have I stood at the former Berlin Wall (Checkpoint Charlie to the folks I know). Yet I remember the words, “Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall!” and recall that an iron fist of totalitarianism was pulled asunder by the indomitable power of the human spirit and America’s determination to win the Cold War.
I have not been to Normandy Beach, nor the jungles of either Korea or Viet Nam, but I know the significance of both history, and the present!
I do recall my high school history teacher telling our young minds, “One civilization invents the calendar, and another invents weapons. And then the civilization with the weapons conquers the people with the calendar, and they have both!”
America didn’t invent science or mathematics; neither did we conquer those who did to take them for our own. Instead, America invented a society in which anyone could rise above their humble beginnings and make themselves great! Where the son of slaves could become a great scientist, as did George Washington Carver! Where a woman born in Alabama in the 50’s could become not only a professor at Stanford University, but also the National Security Advisor, and then the Secretary of State, as did Dr. Condoleezza Rice!
And knowing all this, I cannot sit back while a man, born to a teenage farm girl from Kansas and a native of Kenya; truly an “African American”, who rose from a broken home to become a lawyer and the Senator from the Great State of Illinois, attempts to throw us under the bus.
No Senator, Obama, America is not an offense to the world! Our flag, our National Anthem, our determination to remain free and defeat our enemies; none of these are shameful things! Frankly, I’m glad you have the support of the President of France. As for me, I’d rather have the resentment of the whole world, and the honor of defending America. You see, I have been to the memorial at Wounded Knee, and I have heard the voices of history shouting “Peace, without slavery!” as they road into battle. I know what it means if we lose our present fight.
That pesky CONSTITUTION…!
There is an old joke which says, “We have the worst form of government in the world; except all the others.” I find this to be ironic, partly humorous, but for the most part, untrue. It is my firmly held belief that our singularly unique and brilliantly conceived Constitutional Republic is the finest and most worthy of all forms of government, bar none!
But we must first except a few realities to truly understand just what this treasure is that is held in such low regard by far too many Americans; dare we say, the rest of the world.
First and foremost, our government is a Constitutional Republic; it is not a Democracy. The fact that so few of understand that profound difference is part of the problem. In a pure democracy, every citizen has an equal vote. That would mean every law, every government action, every decision would be subject to the vote of every citizen. Instead, the Founders realized the folly of this and gave us, instead, a representative democracy; a republic.
In a republic, the people are represented as groups, by officials, either elected or appointed. In a democratic republic such as ours, the representatives are elected by the people they are to speak and vote for (please remember that I am speaking in pure terms, dictionary definitions.). In practice, the people in a Congressional District vote for their Congressman, who then represents them in Congress. In the same way, the Senators are elected by the people of the state to represent them in the Senate. We even have the two houses, Senate and Congress, to separate the power even further!
In doing things this way, the process is simplified, and the sovereignty of the individual states is preserved. You see, The United States, unlike any other free country, is actually a union of sovereign States, joined together in common purpose. Each state has its own government, its own laws, and its own Supreme Law; be that a constitution, charter, or other form. The Federal Government exists to facilitate interstate commerce, coin money, raise an army for the common defense, and very little else.
For instance, because of Federal oversight, I can drive from my home state of South Dakota to my new home in California without needing a passport to cross State boarders. Likewise, my California Driver’s License is honored in Wyoming, Nevada, Utah, and Arizona as I progress on my trip. This, even though the driving and traffic laws of each state are different. If I get a speeding ticket in Utah, I must deal with the Utah legal system to either pay the penalty or make legal argument.
In the same way, my position as a retired Deputy Sheriff in Mead County, South Dakota grants me the privilege to carry a concealed weapon (CCW) in that state. This privilege is not recognized by the state of California, and so if I wish to carry that weapon here, I must have a separate, California CCW permit. I possess a Utah CCW as a non-resident of that state, which allows me to carry in that state, but because approximately 17 other states have sovereignty elected to honor that permit, I can also carry in those states too.
Unlike my Driver’s license and my vehicle registration, which the Federal Government requires all states to accept, my CCW is accepted or not at the sole discretion of the individual states.
“So,” you ask, “what has this lesson in Government 101 got to do with my run for President?” Simply put, I am a strict Constitutionalist. I recognize the role, scope, and power of the Federal Government is supposed to be limited to those powers dictated and specified under the Constitution, and that all other powers are reserved to the People, or the State, as specified in Article 10 of the Constitution. As President, I would work to restore the proper role of government as the tool of the People, rather than the master of the People as it has become.
We were blessed with founders who understood both the nature of man, and the threat of power. They gave us the means to keep our government from reining over the People as had the government they had fled and then revolted against. They gave us the single greatest governmental system ever conceived, and the only one to have not only survived, but to have flourished for over two centuries! They saw that America’s original form of governance, the Articles of Confederation, were deeply flawed, and so they created the Constitution, and in 1787, they ratified it. In the intervening 221 years, that document has been amended only 27 times, the first ten, known as the Bill of Rights, within just a few years.
We, as a nation have strayed from the Constitution, but we can return, and we can restore our Nation to the most free in the world. As President, that would be my guiding value; “that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom -- and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.” I believe it is our sacred duty to see that President Lincoln’s promise is kept.
Death and Taxes…
It’s been said that Americans are born free and then taxed to death. We are taxed on every dollar we earn, everything we buy, the gas to get to work and the clothes on our backs. There are taxes on our homes, regardless if we rent or own. Our phones are taxed, our lights are taxed, and if we have the bad grace to die, everything we were taxed on is taxed again before it passes to our heirs!
The Federal tax code is tens of thousands of pages, and changes every year. The stay within the law we need armies of tax preparers, tax accountants, and tax attorneys. If we run afoul, we face tax auditors, tax collectors, and even tax courts with tax judges.
Ironically, printed at the bottom of the tax forms it says, “For paperwork reduction act, see additional pages.”!
Lesson #1: The government has no money except what it takes from the people. To hear the NAEM and the politicos talk, they clearly think it’s their money! The whole point of taxing in the first place is to generate the revenue required to operate the government, so it’s no surprise the whole program is out of control! The central government, as created by the framers, was supposed to be small and have little power. Its job was to raise an army for the defense of the Union, regulate interstate commerce, coin money, and very little else!
Personally, I’m glad we have a CIA, an FBI, ICE, and most (but not all) of the rest of the alphabet soup. On certain days, I’m even glad we have an AFT. But the fact is that our Federal government has swollen and inflated until it has taken over most every aspect of our lives. It continues to grow and cost us more and more as elected officials spend more and more on pet programs, and agencies just keep growing and consuming more of our taxes.
Daddy taught me early on that my allowance was finite. One dollar was one dollar, and if I spent the whole thing on Saturday morning, it was a long time until Friday night. Sure, some of the local storekeepers would let me get a soda on account, but paying that tab left that much less the next week when that bill was due.
This is true when we’re kids, it’s true in our homes, and it’s true in our business (anyone remember Enron?). So why isn’t it true in government? We, as a nation, cannot and must not spend more than we take in.
Lesson #2: The great Ronal Reagan showed us that when you cut taxes, you increase revenue. The opposite is also true, as proven by the administrations which followed, though our so called leaders fail to grasp this. Neither can they grasp lesson #1, it’s our money, not theirs!
I propose first, a balanced budget amendment. Make it the law of the land that Congress and the President have to live by the same rules that real people do.
Second, scrap the tax code, in its entirety. Gut it, and replace the incomprehensible mess with a simple and fair flat tax; 15% across the board for every dollar over $45,000. Don’t worry, the poor will still pay no taxes, and the “rich” will still pay 80% of the total.
Third, reduce the IRS by half, as the need for useless office workers will be a small fraction of the current level.
Let’s face it; if a handful of farmers and merchants can revolt against the mighty English Empire and come up victorious, so too can we revolutionize our corrupted tax system. Taxation without representation was bad enough; taxation with representation has become far worse!
Have you seen what they’re charging for gas?!
Unlike the Washington elite who haven’t paid for their own gas since it was creeping up on $.29 (McCain) to $2.00 (Obama), I fill my own tank. Senator Obama’s last personal trip to the pumps would have been around 2003, back when we all thought $1.79 was unbearably high! Personally, I topped off the tank on my Chevy Blazer this morning, relieved to be paying only $4.59!
Everyone agrees, the price of gas is totally out of hand. When it costs an average family $10 to $30 a day just to drive to work, this can add up to more than $430 a month! Two cars? Two jobs? Well, then how about $860 a month, JUST TO GET TO THE JOB! It’s insane!
Nationally, the average median income is $45,000, or $3750 a month. Lop 25% off the top for taxes, and you’re left with around $2800; less the cost of fuel and you have about $200 from which must be paid rent, groceries, utilities, etc…
People, for once the NAEM is right, we have a bona fide crisis on our hands!
Some say it’s greedy oil companies that are gouging us. Some blame OPEC for keeping production low to bump up oil prices. Others say the government should do something to lower the price of gas. The truth is, there’s not much profit in a barrel of oil right now, and we get only the minor third of our oil from the Middle East… More than 75% of our imported oil comes from Canada and Mexico; the rest coming from such friendly places as Venezuela, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, etc… We still produce a good quantity at home, but mostly we bend over and smooch the behinds of countries who take our money and treat us spitefully.
However, the US actually has more than enough oil resources to eliminate all imports from the Middle East, Central America, even Mexico. Just what would the world look like if the good ol’ US of A bought oil from Canada, and nowhere else? What if we produced so much here that we started selling it to friendly nations at half the price charged by our enemies and frenamies (enemies who we call friends, like the Saudis)?
There is presently enough oil reserve in Alaska, Texas, and off our coasts to supply all our needs for hundreds of years. And, we can safely and cleanly harvest that oil, negating the need to ship in billions of barrels across the ocean, decreasing the risk of leakage and spills. The wilderness areas surrounding the original Alaska Pipeline today have more animals and plant life flourishing than in the years prior to the construction! The technology and hardware required to drill and transport the oil are 1000 times cleaner and safer today, and yet we sit and do nothing!
Opponents cry out that it would take ten years to see any oil if we began construction today. They also said that ten and twenty years ago, and if we’d moved then, we’d have oil today! The longer we do nothing, the longer nothing is done, and the handwringing will not fill our tanks!
It is true that conservation and alternate energy sources are needed. The less gas we consume, the less we need, and the less we depend on others. Electric cars are a nice idea, but severely limited in range and the requirement to plug in again. Hybrids are nice, but the reality of the limited space is a problem. And then there’s the price… Not too many people in that median income bracket can afford $35-50,000 for a hybrid. Sorry, Senator McCain, but offering $300 million dollars to the person who invents a better battery isn’t the answer.
Ethanol is a poor substitute for petrol fuels; it’s costly to manufacture, and without government subsidies, it costs even more than gasoline! The government mandate to produce ethanol has caused huge spikes in food costs and millions of toms of corn are diverted from the markets to be turned into fuel. On top of all that, a gallon of ethanol will only get you 2/3 of the distance a gallon of ordinary gas will! (85,000 BTU’s of energy as opposed to 115,000).
Solar and wind are options, but only partly practical; finding their best uses in private homes and farms. By adding solar panel/battery storage to homes, individuals can save as much as 80% on their electrical demand from the grid. It’s costly, and there are incentives out there, but the average family can’t afford it yet and the average renter isn’t able to access the technology for property they don’t own. We could require new construction to integrate solar/storage technologies, and that would help greatly.
Wind generation is practical to power family farms, but the fantasy of huge wind-farms powering cities has fallen flat on its face. Here in California, we have acres and acres of wind generation farms that stand dormant due to the impracticalities of operation. To say nothing of the fact that wind-farms kill thousands of birds when they’re utilized.
We have untold reserves of shale and clean coal, more than enough to supply us until cleaner, more eco friendly sources can be developed.
And, we have nuclear. It’s clean, it’s cheaper than any other source, and it’s safe. It’s so good, that France currently generates 80% of its power with nuclear energy. Across the world, nuclear power is used, but in America, less than 10%. We have the best and tightest regulatory system for nuclear technologies, and in our history, have had only one incident, more than 30 years ago. We’ve come a very long way since then!
Our choices are clear; America must become energy self-sufficient! Where there is oil, we must drill for it. Where we can conserve, we must cut back. Where we can devise alternatives, we must discover and develop them. And we must utilize our nuclear resources as the rest of the civilized world has done.
For the last year or so, we’ve been told by the NAEM that we’re in the midst of foreclosure crisis. We hear daily about how all of our neighbors are on the brink, or have already lost their homes. “Sure,” we’re led to believe, “I’m ok, but the other guy is mere moments from being tossed out into the street!” And since we are a civilized and compassionate people, we want something done about this national emergency!
Some candidates bluster that the government must intervene to protect the populace from the schemes of unscrupulous and predatory lenders who are taking advantage. Mortgage brokers, we are told, must now be licensed at the Federal level. Banks must be forced to renegotiate loans. Government bail-outs must save us from the coming deluge.
And where do I stand on the solution to this crisis? First and foremost, we’re being lied to! There is no “crisis”, families aren’t being thrown out into the streets, and Simon Legree isn’t lurking on every corner, waiting to take the family farm.
It is true that the number of defaults and foreclosures has risen dramatically, the net effect vastly over exaggerated by the NAEM! The actual percentage of homes in foreclosure is about 2%, up from a little over 1% a couple years ago. Hardly the crisis we’ve been told about!
But even so, can we as a nation sit idly by while two in 100 of our fellow Americans lose their homes? Again, we’re being lied to. It’s estimated that as many as half or more of the current crop of defaults are unoccupied houses; no one lives there! These properties were bought by speculators who hoped to be like the multi-millionaires they see on infomercials and “reality TV”. They hoped to grow rich on the artificially inflated market, buying and flipping multiple properties. When the market dropped and they couldn’t make a quick turnover, they simply walked away from the loan and let the bank foreclose, losing only their speculation capitol.
But still, one out of 100 people, who wanted only to realize the American dream of owning their own home, can’t make the payments because predatory lenders tricked them into adjustable rate loans… Once again, this is a gross exaggeration. Yes, there are some mortgage brokers who created loans based on inflated and fictitious buyer’s incomes, knowing the adjustable rates would eventually make the payments impossible. Shouldn’t the government do something about that?
In a word, no. It is precisely due to government meddling that we have the problem (not crisis) in the fist place! About 10 years ago, politicians decided that the American dream of home ownership was too far out of reach of most Americans. They decided the problem was that the requirements to qualify for a home loan were too restrictive, and so regulations were made “more fair”. Suddenly, thousands upon thousands of people who would never have qualified before became eligible for loans their incomes would never have allowed.
Their incomes hadn’t magically grown, nor had their down payment, but out of the blue saw “no need to prove income”, “no down payment needed”, and “borrow up to 125% of your home’s value” loans. Loans with artificially low starter rates and payments “less than rent” appeared. With the stroke of a pen, houses could be afforded by anyone! For a little while, anyway…
In law enforcement we have a saying: you can’t con someone who isn’t willing to believe they can get something for nothing. It’s personal greed and a sense of entitlement that opens the door, not the snake oil salesman making impossible promises.
In Southern California, the median home price has dropped from over $600,000 to under $400,000. Using the most basic of financing principles, in order to determine what a person can afford, you multiply their annual income by three. For instance, in order to afford a $400,000 house, the borrower must have an annual income of $133,000. Since the actual median income is about $48,000, then the value of a home purchased by the average American must not exceed $144,000. I don’t know about the rest of the country, but in California, a home in that price range still has wheels on it!
So, how are there so many sob stories about poor immigrants earning $12 an hour buying $600,000 homes with low starter payments which they soon find they can meet? It takes two kinds of people to make that happen… Brokers who lie and buyers who ignore reality because they want what they cannot afford. The brokers falsify the income statements to get the loan approved, and the buyers never bother to check the fine print to see what the actual payment will be.
Even so, when these people do end up in foreclosure, eventually losing their “American dream” home, they do not become homeless. The truth is, they move into an apartment that they can afford, just where they should have been all along.
It is neither the place nor the duty of the government to bail out people who bought houses they could never afford, any more than it’s should bail out people who buy a Cadillac when they can really only afford a Honda Civic. There are real consequences to living beyond our means, and the fact that many Americans continue to do so is the direct result of never having to face them. The “nanny state” mentality, in which the people are just little children who must be taken care of, cradle to grave, but the all knowing and all caring government, perpetuates the problem and makes us slaves rather than free people with responsibility for our own actions.
Markets have naturally occurring cycles, and it is the meddling hand of government that send those natural cycles into chaos. Left to the reality of free market forces, the market will rise and fall, eventually losing value when it becomes overly high. This is normal, and you just can’t “fix’ normal! In time, the market will self correct, if only government stays out of it!
Focus and direction…
Well, it’s not “official” yet, but with Hillary conceding the nomination to Obama, we now have our presumptive candidates for the Republican and Democrat tickets. That’s good, as we can now focus on where we’re going and what we want for the next four to eight years.
As usual, the NAEM will create mass sales images, and I think we’ve already gotten a taste of what those will be.
On the Democrat’s side, it will be all about “Hope and Change” with very little meat, but lots of garnish. So far, Obama has offered no substance to his pie-in-the-sky fantasy platform, and I doubt he’ll change any of that. what he will do is attempt to paint McCain as “Bush, part 3”, and therefore, not “change”.
The Republicans will dance and sing about the need for strong, experienced leadership. They’ll site the fact that Senator Obama has spent 2/3 of his political career running for other offices, and none of it in any leadership position. They’ll point out that his voting record in the Senate is punctuated with abstinences rather than any actual “progressive” action.
What none of them will say or do, is offer any real solutions; which is why I’m running third party.
In my adopted home state of California, it is estimated that $20billion dollars, roughly 20% of the state’s budget, goes to paying the cost of illegal immigration annually. This is the cost of educating and feeding (school breakfast and lunch) both the illegal children and the anchor babies of illegal parents. It is the cost of free healthcare to the thousands of illegals who walk into county hospitals everyday and will not be turned away or even asked about their status. It is the cost of trauma centers and ER’s that are shut down due to skyrocketing costs of treating illegals. It is the plummeting educational standards due to children who speak no English and whose families do not value education, dragging down the rest of the class while the teachers cater to them.
Mexico’s third largest export is people. Workers who cross into The US and work under the radar, sending back $12-15 Billion to families in Mexico. Some claim these inarguably hard working people pay taxes and buy goods, fostering our economy, but this is untrue. While some do pay some taxes, the amount is minuscule compared to the services they use. Add to that the fact that the ones who are paying taxes are doing so using stolen Social Security numbers, causing the legitimate owners of those numbers to be hounded by the IRS, and the problem becomes personal for hundreds of thousands of legal workers!
It is said that these cheap laborers do jobs that Americans refuse to; again, this is untrue. They do jobs that once paid enough that Americans could do them, but the illegals are willing to work for pennies, making the employers unwilling to pay legal workers legal wages. Add to that the fact that those employing illegals pay no workman’s comp, medical, social security, etc… and the problem continues to escalate.
Legitimate business owners cannot compete with those who hire and exploit illegal workers. How can a housepainter who has to pay his workers $8-10 an hour, plus all the insurance and bonding required to do business compete with a business that pays workers $3-5 an hour and has no overhead costs to speak of?
And what of the criminal illegals? Let’s forget for a moment that sneaking into the country is a crime, in and of itself. What about the people who come or are brought into the country and then become involved in gangs, drugs, and other forms of criminal behavior. Case in point, the gang member who murdered Jamile Shaw, an honor student and athlete, right here in Los Angeles. It happens far more often than you may know, and the cost is unbearable.
All of the 9/11 terrorists entered the country on student visas, and yet none of them showed up to school. This should have been an automatic red-flag to the system, but no one ever knew. Since then other suspected terrorists and those with links to them have been caught coming across from Mexico; and if we caught some, it stands to reason that more got through that we never found. Need I say more on that topic?
There are somewhere between 12 and 20 million illegal aliens in the US right now. There are those who say we should grant them “a path to citizenship”, since they’re already here. I couldn’t disagree more! When a person is caught illegally in the country, they should be given a choice of two options: voluntary deportation, or going before a judge to plead their case. Those who voluntarily leave may then apply to legally enter, once they are back in their country of origin. Those choosing adjudication have the chance to become legal, if the judge finds grounds, or they are deported and barred from reentering the country for a given number of years. After that time, they are welcome to apply for legal entry. Anyone found illegally reentering after adjudication should be permanently barred from returning.
The cry I hear the loudest from illegal immigrant advocates is, “We can’t split up families”. Often illegals have children that were born in the US, and are therefore automatic citizens. I believe that these families should be kept together; and so, those children can go back with the parents when they are removed from the country. I also think that the “automatic citizen” rule is a gross misuse of the constitution. That was supposed to give the rights due any white man to freed slaves, not to grant anchor status to the children of those who violate our laws for their own gain.
Without question, we MUST secure our boarders! This isn’t racism, or fear of other cultures, as some would have us believe. Rather, this is a fight for the vary survival of America as a sovereign nation. Congress has already approved the building of 800 miles of boarder fence, and yet, every day we hear about “virtual fences” and technology rather than physical barriers. This is nothing short of crazy, and I won’t stand for it! If virtual fences work so well, why is there a real fence surrounding the White House?
For that matter, why is the White House ringed with concrete barriers, as is every federal facility in the country? The answer is, in order to keep out those with bad intent; you must have a physical barrier, augmented with trained officers ready to fend off those who attempt to penetrate them.
Secondly, we must increase the number of officers patrolling and policing our boarders. There are plenty of young men and women desirous of working in Federal Law Enforcement; I say triple the size of the Boarder Patrol! ICE is understaffed, and there isn’t enough manpower to quickly round up and process known illegals; double the number of ICE agents! Customs and Immigrations Service lacks the staffing to process legal immigration applications in a timely manor, let’s cut through the red tape, waste and abuse and run the agency as if it was a real business!
Any employer who knowingly hires illegals is a criminal and should be fully prosecuted! They are exploiters of human suffering, and no better than the slave owners who profited off that system 200 years ago! All employers would need to use the E-Verify system that ALREADY EXISTS but is rarely used to any real effect today! Errors in the system could be very easily dealt with, all that’s needed is to present the same documents one would have to show at the DMV or any other office.
Until we do this, we have no “homeland security”.
What about the troops…?
America owes its very existence to the selfless sacrifice of our men and women in uniform. The freedoms and liberties we so often take fro granted were purchased blood of Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen, Marines and Coastguardsmen; many of whom made the ultimate sacrifice. They have gone, and still go, in harm’s way to give us the precious freedom that so few in this world know.
And what do we, as a nation, give these brave men and women for their services? Well, they do get a paycheck; their rate of pay keeps them hovering just over the poverty line. They have their housing paid for; I’ve been to base housing, and it’s adequate, for the most part. They have free medical at the hands of doctors who are mostly “doing time” to payback the cost of their schooling and ROTC time. Once they’ve timed out, the vast majority of them will leave the military to cash in on a lucrative private practice.
Sure some of the doctors will stay in, earning only officer’s pay. These are the dedicated exception that proves the rule though. Of course, it doesn’t hurt that military doctors are exempt from any malpractice liability.
If the service member is married or has children, the housing and medical cover those dependants too. Even if they’re deployed, the dependants are covered. That is, unless the member should die; then all benefits stop. They lose their housing, their medical, enrollment in base schools, etc… There is a life insurance paid to survivors, but that’s barely adequate to cover the costs involved with services, relocation, housing, and goes nowhere near replacing the lost income.
One package of benefits we’ve seen fit to give to veterans began back in 1944; The GI Bill. It’s been changed, improved, and dis-improved over the years, for the last 60+ years we’ve had a program in place.
Some of the benefits are good, such as matching (in varying ratios) each dollar the vet had managed to put into a college savings plan during their enlistment. The amounts vary, but the bureaucratic maze required to make use of the funds never does. One vet told me that if he’d know how difficult and limiting it would be to use this benefit, he would have just used the money for beer.
Should the soldier live to their discharge, there’s the VA. All those stories you’ve heard about how bad the VA System is, well, they’re true. A close friend of mine is an Air Force vet told me he pays for private health insurance so he’ll never have to decide if it’s worse to be treated by the VA or to die of injuries!
The point is, the greatest nation on earth owes so much more to the veterans that keep us free. The shameful treatment and failure of services is inexcusable, and one of my first acts as President would be ground up restructuring of the benefits for both active and honorably discharged service members.
I will be listing a number of these changes in the next few days. As always, if you have suggestions in this area, please contact me and let me know what you think.
The News As Entertainment Media (NAEM) has drummed the war in Iraq up as being the big problem on America’s mind (unless they want to focus on gas prices or blaming President Bush for something). All of the major candidates have their position on whether or not we should have gone to war with Iraq; some more than one! All have their talking points about how and when to end the war.
Hillary claims she was tricked into voting for the war, but now opposes it. If this is true, then she’s hardly the person we need “answering the phone”. Obama feels that it would have better served our goals to sit and talk with Husain to resolve our differences. I’ll paraphrase Ronald Reagan, Foolishness is to feed the tiger hoping he’ll eat you last; but eat you he will.
Personally, my opinion is that at this point in the proceedings, it’s irrelevant why or if we should have entered into this conflict. The fact remains we are in Iraq, and the only intelligent thing to do is deal with what is and not what should have been. The truth is that American Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen, and Marines are serving the interests of America in foreign lands. The interest of America is to have a reliable ally in the region with a democratically elected government wherein hospitals heal the sick, schools educate the children, water and electricity are reliably provided, and women aren’t dragged away to be raped and murdered at the whim of the army.
The truth is, America has and is providing these, and many other possibilities to the people of Iraq. It remains true, even if the evening NAEM tells us only how bad it is. And moreover, the enemies of America know this is true, and they hate it. They hate it as much as they hate us for being Americans and for living as free people; and no amount of talking, bargaining, wishing, or wanting is going to stop them from wanting to destroy all that America is and represents.
My people, The Great Lakota Nation, had a saying; Peace without slavery. Simply put, they understood that peace at the end of a leash was no peace they wished to endure. The cost of remaining free often was paid at the end of a lance. None of them wanted to fight if there was another way to find peace, just as no modern soldier wants to go to war if it can be avoided. Yet, when called upon to do so, they mounted their war ponies and proclaimed, “It is a good day to die!”
They also understood that entering a fight with no intention of finishing it was the worst sort of foolishness. Announcing a withdrawal date is the same as saying “We plan to quite on this day”. Our enemies, and the enemies of a free Iraq, will just wait it out and then roll on in as the shadow of our forces fade, and trample the blood of our soldiers, spilt in vein.
Every soldier’s life is precious, and every drop of their blood matters. In the five years we’ve fought in Iraq, more than 4000 of them have given the ultimate sacrifice. Every one of them was a volunteer, and every one of them understood the risk of the role they chose when they enlisted. Every one of those lives must count, and they can only count if we do not fail to finish what we started.
Much noise is made in the NAEM, comparing Iraq to Viet Nam. There is no comparison, and yet there are many. First and foremost, fewer American lives have been lost in five years in Iraq than in the first months in Viet Nam. Considering how much more efficient killing has become in the last 40 years, I think that’s remarkable! In Viet Nam, the average age of an American soldier was 19; In Iraq the average age is 23. Each and every man and woman of them is a volunteer, there is no draft. Many of them have repeatedly volunteered to return to Iraq and two or three combat tours are not uncommon. On average they are more mature, better trained and equipped, and more willing to serve in battle than their brethren of that previous generation.
The place where Iraq and Viet Nam are most closely comparable though, is the most troubling. Our young men and women who were killed and wounded in South East Asia were sold out, wholesale, by a government that ran a war on politics and the tyranny of the almighty dollar. They sent our soldiers off to fight while simultaneously refusing to support, properly fund, or allow them to do what was necessary to win.
Today, senators sneak in amendments to the war funding bills to line their own pockets and further their own agendas. They say, “We’ll approve the money for armor for the troops, as long as we can tag a pull out date to it.” Or they threaten to not fund the resupply of soldiers on the front lines if they don’t get their way. Just today it was revealed that Senators Feinstein and Craig had attached an amendment to grant amnesty to illegal farm workers to the war funding! I say this is the very lowest form of treason and as President I would never tolerate it.
Yes, I want to end the war. I want to return our troops to non-combat roles where they see their families, work their jobs, and enjoy the blessings of being Americans living without the threat of terrorist attack. And when the war is won, that is exactly what I will do, and not one day before.
One of the big issues that seems to be on the lips of every candidate over the last few weeks has been experience… “Obama lacks the experience to run a country.”, “Hillary’s got experience because she was First Lady.”, “Romney’s not experienced enough for the job.”, and “McCain’s got tons of experience within the Washington elite, and he’s a war hero!”
Frankly, I think it’s all a load of crap. First and foremost, I agree with the old adage that reminds us, politicians are like diapers; they should be changed often, and for the same reason! There was actually a time in this country, back when the ink was still a little wet on the Constitution, when political service was considered a short term position, after which a person would return to his home, farm, business, and get back to the important things in his life! The notion of a career politician was as alien to those noble framers as the idea of growing rich in public service!
Today’s politician has been groomed and prepped and must be a back-room deal maker, able to lie to your face and then sell his agenda down the river. They represent not the people who elected them, but the special interests who bankroll their lavish lifestyles and pump up their egos. They hop-scotch from office to office, climbing the ladder of power and fame until they are so far from the people they once sought to serve, if they really ever did, that they have no idea what’s really important. Former Speaker of the State Senate of California and San Francisco Mayor Willy Brown said it himself, “If you can’t take their money and then screw them, you don’t belong in the business!”
I think it’s perfect that we no longer allow a President to serve in perpetuity, like a king, immovable. I think we should impose the exact same term limits on the rest of our representatives as well! Representatives should be limited to 8 years and Senators to 12; after that, let them go get real jobs and make some sort of real contribution to society. Seriously, how many new laws do we need anyway? The actual job of the legislative branch is to make the laws by which the country is governed, and they’ve been at it for 232 years… No wonder they spend half their time schmoozing donors and the other half trying to get reelected! Maybe we should make them begin cutting the labyrinth of useless and redundant laws they’ve saddled us with before they get to enact any new legislation!
And while we’re at it, why does Congress have the power and “duty” to vote its own raises? Is there any business anywhere out in the real world in which the bosses at the top get to waste a month debating how much, and then give themselves a raise? They already get free housing, food, transportation in the most palatial of accommodations. Do they really need or deserve multiple hundreds of thousands in salary as well? Let’s repeal their salaries and see how many really are there to “serve the people” and how many are there to enrich themselves!
For that matter, should a President receive a salary to serve? These folks are already quite well to do when they arrive in office, despite what President Clinton used to say about his being unable to afford to buy a home (They seemed to do ok with that little place up in New York).
As for me, if elected to that office, I would serve without compensation. I’ve got a comfortable pension from my days as a cop, and I’ve done ok with my finances, so I’ll be able to return to my humble lifestyle without worry. And I don’t kid myself, either. I have no illusion that I wouldn’t be returning to my Culver City condo after a single term. I’d never be a back-room deal maker, and I can’t “take their money and screw them”, so I’d be the least loved Chief Executive that Congress will ever have the displeasure of trying to manipulate.
With me, and my lack of “inside the beltway” experience, I’d be actually working to better the country. Rather than trading my support for Senator Jones’s pork program so he’ll support my reforms, I’d be demanding that he do what’s right, and telling the people exactly who’s asking for favors first to do it!
Which brings me to my last point about “experienced” politicians. Last year the Congress sent to the President a budget, which he signed, containing more than 11,000 “earmarks”. Of these, the vast majority were nothing but pork; your and my tax dollars being sent to some Senator’s home state to make him popular with the locals. Here in California there was even a Federal grant given to support the Mule Museum out in Bakersfield! Now, I’m sure they have a very nice Mule Museum, and the annual Mule Days Festival is a really big shindig, but I don’t think tens of thousands of dollars in Federal money should be headed there.
A career politician once said of the American budget process, “A billion here, a billion there… Pretty soon, you’re talking about some real money!” I believe that cutting the little things, done often enough, amounts to big things being saved. If every one of those 11,000 earmarks was $100,000 (most were much more), it amounts to $1.1 BILLION! Wouldn’t it be nice to turn on the television after a long day at work and hear, “The president today cut $1.1 billion dollars from the budget without taking a penny from any social program…”? And the thing is, the President does have the power to eliminate as many of those earmarks as he sees fit! This is an Executive power I would use, and use often!
So, I may not have “experience” at being a politician, but I have the horse sense and guts to run the thing as if it mattered. As if I had to answer to the people whose money it really is anyway. As if I were serving the country, rather than growing rich, fat, and powerful off the backs of American people.
RED FOR PREZ
Hope and Change…!
There is a new rally cry being heard, all up and down the campaign trail. Hope and Change; it seems to echo from every corner and ever parapet. Hope and Change, Hope and Change. Sometimes just Change, even without the Hope. The answer to America’s multitudinous and mounting crises is Hope and Change, Hope and Change…
And that leaves us with a situation, not unlike that told of in Hitchhiker’s guide To The Galaxy; now that we have the answer, what exactly was the question? In Hitchhiker’s Guide, the answer to “Life, the universe, and everything” was found to be 42, belying the eventual question, "What do you get when you multiply 7 time 6?” (Yes, I know, the answer is incorrect, but that was, none-the-less, the answer).
For America in the year 2008, we are told the answer is Hope and Change, leaving me certain more than ever that either I’ve missed something very important, or there’s something the NAEM and the politicos aren’t telling us. I know I’ve been paying attention, so that leaves the latter. Just what in the hell was the question, and, is the “answer” even correct once we find the question?
One change that I have seen, is a new word on the political front, Electile Dysfunction; the definition being “The inability to become aroused over any of the choices for President put forth by either political party for election year 2008”. To this conundrum, I do know the question; “Isn’t there anyone out there running for President that can stir the hearts and minds of America?” (I know they’ve been trying to stir the loins of the country and failing miserably at that!)
Now that the question is known, I present the answer, verified to be correct. America, it’s time to vote for RED FOR PREZ! I am, today, announcing my intention to seek the country’s vote for President of the United States of America! Since I’ve become so terribly disenchanted with the failure of the Republican Party to actually represent Republican values, I’ll be running as an independent. I truly think that, taken in full, I can present a viable and realistic solution to the challenges that face us as Americans!
Many of you know that I had been supporting Fred Thompson, but now he has withdrawn from the race, it’s time to back a serious, focused, and truly Constitutional candidate.
I know I’ve missed the debates, but since those are only softball play time creations of the NAEM, who gives a damn anyway? In the weeks to come, I’ll be laying out my platform and intentions in a clear and concise manner. If you’re accustomed to taking everything spoken by a candidate as a lie on its face, get ready to hear some truth for a change! For that matter, get ready to hear truth, regardless of who it pisses off! I’ve never been the sort to hedge my opinions based upon how I want people to feel about me; I speak the truth as it is, and I back my opinions with reason and conviction. And unlike certain of our recent leaders, I don’t form a conviction and then cement it, unchangeable, regardless of the facts.
Am I serious? Well, I am serious about presenting some real answers to real questions. Hell, maybe we can get a write in campaign that makes the empty suits on the ballot take notice of what real Americans need and want. I do think it’s time for Hope and Change; I hope that the politics as usual will change to restoring our Constitutional Republic to the one government the rest of the world looks to for direction.
Oh, and I’ll be taking suggestions for campaign slogans, so be sure to email any you might have!