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Whose Terrorism is It?

It seems natural to think that the cause of growing terrorism around the country and world is the result of Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton.  The continual parade of endless slaughter worldwide is the enormous effect of a weak president and weaker-still former Secretary of State.

We wonder “why” all of the carnage comes at us like thunder and ends in enormous flashes of blinding destruction.  As a people we understand frustration.  Yet, our experience repeatedly tells us the viciousness is uncalled for.  And, intuitively we understand that failed leadership is at least partially at the root of such animosity.

Before this past week we wondered if President Obama’s administration really lacked direction and purpose.  But Dallas, and now Nice France, are seared into our consciousness.  Right now we no longer doubt either the incompetence, or, disregard which the current presidency has for human life; white, black, brown, or red.  First we presumed there was a bias in favor of the black population.  As rational people we immediately acknowledged that of course things such as race cannot be 100% overshadowed by political reasoning.  After this week a very large portion of the population perceives that somehow, for some purpose, intention is involved.

Among the apparent isolated incidents of the past few years our better selves slid into the comfort of assuming coincidences.  We, you and I, are beyond that, to where we now have no other conclusion to reach but that the national leadership is out-of-bounds either with incompetence  or deceit.

What started with this Obama administration as a grass fire of subtle manipulation has exploded into a raging inferno of mean-spirited hatred.  This administration lit and then fanned the embers of discontent.  Lack of a plan for building leaves only the perceived acomplishment of tearing down.  As the flames grew from their added fuel and rhetoric massive numbers of people felt endeared themselves to the idea that destruction was the rational course.

Stopping this cycle of anger, mistrust, hatred, blaming, and contempt can only come from you, and me.  National leaders no longer have the mental, emotional, or moral resources to stop the landslide of mutual contempt they have caused.  We must break that chain of random acts of anger, link, by link, by link.  We must act now before it is the only example humanity has remaining for future generations.

The yelling over each other must be dialed back

to conversing with each other.

Rather than finding faults, as do the politicians, you and I must return

to the foundations of our goodness.

It is within you to be civil.  It is within me to be civilized.  Our religions are founded in civilizing principles of societies. They have always been reflections of values of empowering one another, while politics have been reflections of power over one another.

The days of consuming each other must be put behind us!  Let us empower each other through comprehending each other and our great capacities.

That Is The Way I See It.

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Fishing America With Grandpa

Fishing America With Grandpa is an elementary level story which discusses the Bill of Rights, as found in the US Constitution.  Chapter Two:Independence introduces the main characters to the US Declaration of Independence.  Chapter two of my book, Fishing America With Grandpa, follows in anticipation of Independence Day 2016.

Chapter Two:  Independence.

The boat glided gracefully along the smooth surface of the lake.  Jimmy was at the wheel, while Tommy stood letting the wind race across his face as he held to the top of the windshield.  The waters were so calm that there was neither pitch nor roll as grandpa proudly watched his two young master seamen.

Having come to a full stop, with anchor drop, even though there would have been minimal drifting, the anglers cast their lines among the grassy mat just peeking above the surface along the west shoreline.

The conversation started the same as it usually did with Grandpa asking the protégés what new things they had learned in school.

Tommy piped up first.  “Grandpa, our teacher was telling us about The Declaration of Independence.  It sounded pretty cool, but I didn’t think she really knew much about it.”Declaration-of-Independence

“Yeah, that’s right, Grandpa” chimed in Jimmy.   “She wouldn’t answer any of my questions.”

“Well, now boys you two DO have a lot of questions.  Maybe she didn’t have enough time.”

Tommy got a little more serious in his tone.  “It sounded really important Grandpa.  Will you explain it to us?”

“That is just what I was hoping you would ask”, the old gentleman grinned.  The bass lines were left dangling as the eager young men hung on every world of their wise grandfather. “Let’s start by talking about our fishing trip this morning.  We had to drive from our town and our county half way around the lake to get here.  Now we have fishing licenses that we bought earlier this summer, at the little store by the dock.  The government approves the sale of those licenses.  The money supposedly goes for causes like making sure the fish supply is here for everyone to enjoy.  We can fish and take home our limited number of bass which is the same as all the other fishermen.  That is intended to be fair.”

“How would you feel if we got back to the dock and the sheriff was there asking us how many fish we caught.  Jimmy, you would proudly show him your catch and I would explain we had caught only our limit.  Then, Tommy, what if he asked where you lived.”

“I would tell him, Grandpa.  It’s the right thing to do.”

“Yes, my boy it probably is the right thing to do”, smiled the family patriarch. “When he found out that we live around the lake in a different town from the county supervisor should that make much difference?”

Both boys quickly answered a somewhat confused “no”.

“Well, when the sheriff learned where we lived I know I would not be very happy if he then told me that I had to give him one of the fish I caught, so he could give it to his county boss. How about you,” he pressed on without taking an answer? “Then we would go to the county leader and explain that the lake served all of our little towns and we should not have to give up fish simply because we didn’t vote in his city?”

He continued, “then he might say that neither we, nor anyone we ask to represent us, would get to even talk to him about what’s right.  Does that sound like the right way for you to be treated?”

This time there was a more understanding and an emphatic “no” in unison from both boys.

“I agree with you two wise young men.  It is pretty evident that you understand what is fair and right.”

“But, grandpa”, Jimmy protested, “what has this got to do The Declaration of Independence?”Grandpa and boys fishing

Be just patient for just a little longer the old man pleaded.  Then he went on with his story.

“If everybody, except the people in his town, were treated like us would that be fairer.”

“Grandpa”, exclaimed Tommy!  “Just because more people are also treated wrong doesn’t make the wrong treatment right.”  Grandpa Don beamed with pride at his grandson.  He saw some wisdom beginning to surface.

“Let me go just a little further with the story, boys.  Let’s say that there were more people in the supervisor’s town than in all the other towns together.  Just imagine if those people said we want this supervisor to be in power for as long as he wants, so they made him the ”supreme”  supervisor for all time.  I don’t think we would ever get the same amount of fish we caught as the amount of fish that people in his town caught.  Tommy, what do think?  Am I probably right? “

Tommy was thinking about it hard for a minute, when Jimmy inserted his opinion.  “I don’t think he would be likely to change, Grandpa.”

“Yeah”, Tommy quickly agreed.  “We have a teacher that sometime won’t let us go outside for recess, even if our work is all done.  She says it’s because she is the teacher and gets to make the rules different everyday if she wants.  That doesn’t ever feel like she is fair.”

“That’s just like the county supervisor”, added Jimmy.

“You boys are a smart pair.  Yes, indeed you are.”

“One last thing about our fishing story.  After a while all the smaller towns would decide together that they wanted to be a new county, with their own supervisor.  Does that sound like a good idea?  Silence ensued as both youngsters slipped into deep thought.

“Grandpa”, Jimmy finally said, “That would be a good idea if two things happened.”

Tommy jumped in “the first county supervisor would have to have a chance to act fair, right?”

“The second thing”, added Jimmy “is all the people would need to be told why we were making such a big change and promised that in the new county they would be treated better.”

“Wow!” Exclaim Grandpa Don.  “You two boys are as wise as everyone thinks you are.  But, let me tell you about the Declaration of Independence, but only if you promise to read it seven times and give me a report on what you learned.”

“During the almost three hundred years after Columbus discovered the American Continent on October 12, 1492 Britain ruled where we live.  There were thirteen states or colonies as they were called in those days.  King George, the third, was the king of England and Scotland.  He also was the ruler of the colonies.  King George and his supporters began acting like the county supervisor in our fishing story.

He treated the people of the colonies unfairly.  He did things like taking extra fish and other goods from the colonies as taxes.  He didn’t let the colonies have adequate representation (that means he didn’t let them talk to the government of Britain, just like the pretend supervisor of the county in our story).

After a long time of being treated unfairly the people of the colonies decided they didn’t want him for a king any more, but they wanted their own type of government.  They did just what you two boys suggested.  Because what was right then, is also right now, and you understand that.  The colonies declared to the world what their intentions were and why.

When the thirteen colonies voted to no longer be under a government which mistreated them they all agree together.  The Declaration of Independence says “The unanimous Declaration of the thirteen united States of America.”  Unanimous means that all the states (or colonies) agreed, through their representatives.  The representatives of the states were known as a Continental Congress.  Congress simply meant to walk together.  The states walked together in opposition to being under King George’s rule.”

‘Jimmy do you remember what you said about making a new county and what the people should do.  I think your words were “all the people would need to be told why we were making such a big change”.  That is what the thirteen colonies did.  Listen to this explanation from the Declaration of Independence:

“When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.”

‘Now, Tommy, I have not forgotten what you said either.  The King, just like the county supervisor deserves a complete opportunity to change their treatment of others.  I think your words were “the county supervisor would have to have a chance to act fair and right.”  Here is what the Colonies said in The Declaration of Independence.

“The history of the present King of Great Britain is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations, all having in direct object the establishment of an absolute Tyranny over these States.”

And also

“when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government…”

The King had been given a chance to change his behavior toward the colonists, but he didn’t.  In fact the colonies had gone to war, known and the war of independence, to assert their claim of being treated fairly.  The king chose, with support from other leaders in England, to not change.”

‘Jimmy I think it was you that also said “the people would need to be… promised that in the new county they would be treated better”.  You were very right.  But the states Declaration of Independence had more to do with how we are treated in all things, rather than just fishing.  Listen to these important words.

“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just Powers from the consent of the governed.”’

“Tommy and Jimmy”, remarked the now tired older man, “the understanding in those few words are what has made and still makes the United States of America a nation worth shedding tears of joy for, and if necessary the shedding of blood to maintain.”

“The Declaration of Independence, boys, is the single-most assertion among all the literature of the world that men are free to think and feel as they will, and to act however they may choose, so long as they do not violate the same liberty given by God to all men.”

“Tommy, you may be interested to know, if your teacher did not tell you, that the man given credit for writing the Declaration of Independence was also named Thomas Jefferson.  Jimmy, one of the men close to him was name James Madison, whom also believed strongly in the Declaration of Independence.  img_5878

Both eventually became Presidents of the United States of America, serving out their entire lives in the protection of the rights of all men.  That is why we don’t need to fear too deeply our right to fish and keep that which we have rightfully caught.

Mr. Jefferson made this statement:

img_5881“May the Declaration of Independence be to the world, what I believe it will be…the signal of arousing men to burst the chains under which … ignorance and superstition had persuaded them to bind themselves… That form, which we have substituted, restores the free right to the unbounded exercise of reason and freedom of opinion. All eyes are opened, or opening, to the rights of man.”’

Boys, you live with a curiosity to know and understand so very very much.  While other lesser men may want you to be silent I again encourage you to Fish America, and catch all that you can about what sets her apart from all other nations.

“Let’s go home”, said the precocious Tommy as he reeled in his empty line, “today was a good catch.”

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Suicidal Republicans

It is literally pathetic how some Republicans act.  I am not a Republican, so I may be jaded, but here are some questions.

To: George Will, Mitt Romney, Paul Ryan, Jeb Bush, Lindsey Graham…and the list goes on.

Who do you seriously think will be president if not Donald J. Trump?

The only realistic alternative, because of our corrupted self-serving electoral system, is Hillary Clinton.  Of the 1800 plus candidates vying for the presidency it really does come down to only Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton.  That is not even debatable!

So, is Hillary who you seriously want as president?

If she is who you want just admit it and stop blowing smoke up everyone’s skirts.

If Hillary is elected this year, history shows that there is an 83.7% chance she will be re-elected in 2020.  NO, a different Republican candidate in the next election cycle is extraordinarily unlikely to unseat her.  As proof, just look at Mitt Romney’s dismal failure in an election where Barack Obama was hated.

After eight inevitable years of Hillary Clinton do you actually seriously believe that the nation will be better off than if Donald Trump were president?  If you believe so you are stupider than you sound most of the time with your slander about Donald Trump.

Do you seriously believe that under Hillary Clinton the nation will get a “better” Supreme Court?  If you do than you are deluding yourselves into a fantasy world.  Change your names to Alice because you have jumped down a rabbit hole of abnormal reasoning.

The senate, which will be Democrat controlled by early 2017 will ratify any Judicial appointment Hillary sets forward.  Yes, it is that simple and the results WILL BE catastrophic.  You are probably whistling you way through a scary deep dark forest of wishful thinking that the Republicans can hold-off any judicial appointments for three-quarters of a decade.

Simply to go along with your delusion of obstructive legislative action, let accept the completely irrational case that the Republican maintain control of the Senate.  In just the past couple of weeks the nation has witnessed the Supreme Court fail to make any definitive decision of relevant issue.  They have been tied 4-4.

Hence, lower court rulings have remained intact.  That has provided “conservatives” with moments to dance in the streets cheering like a ticker-tape parade.  It will not last!

The political elite whose main agenda is to exercise “power over” the populace rather than “empowerment of” the people will learn quickly.  They will begin pressuring lower courts to make unconstitutional rulings. [It will happen.]

When that occurs the liberal imposer in the SCOTUS will simply “tie the vote” on any reviews of lower court decisions.  A tie vote will result in victory over the rights of the people and the sanctity of the US Constitution.

It is time for the failed Republican self-appointed judges, such as Romney, Bush, and Graham to buy some new hat racks…because their heads should be used for something better.

I began by saying I was not a Republican.  All the mental health counselors say that when a person threatens suicide…take action to get them assistance, whether they sound believable or not.  The Republican Party has some suicidal contributors threatening to lead the lemmings over the cliff.  I am here to assist by offering sound advice.

That Is The Way I See It.

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Prospective liberty

Several years ago a line in a movies stuck in my mind.  I have the sentiment correct, if not the exact phrase:

“Killing the dog because the fox ate the chicken does not make sense.”

Lavoy Finicum was murdered .  We are well past whether he was resisting arrest.  We are well past whether he posed an immediate threat to law enforcement or the public.  He was neither resisting arrest nor posing any immediate threat!

In partial consequence of his murder some two dozen civilians now languish in prison, without trial.  Among those held, with rejected pleas for adequate legal counsel and basic Bill of Rights entitlements, some were not even present at the scene of the shooting of Lavoy.

In a most suspicious series of events those incarcerations are related to resistance to central government usurpation of rights and property long before the shooting incident.  It is curious to some people, not myself, why the arrest of these people occurred nearly a year later several hundred miles from the family’s support group.

At issue is a fundamental principle:

Does the US Constitution hold to original intent and the Bill of Rights or is it a fluid document subject to the whims of each succeeding generation?

Such a question should be viewed in the light of the original authors and adherents of the Constitution.  According to Pfander and Wardon, “the Framers of the Constitution and the members of Congress who applied its terms in the early years were strongly committed to norms of prospectivity, uniformity, and transparency. (emphasis added).”

The early years consist of the “Federalist” period following the ratification of the US Constitution.  Prospectivity was an inclination of considering the long-term effect of legislative action.  The framers, ratifiers, and first twenty to thirty years of Congress tended to legislate in a manner which would be consistent for an extended period of time.

Further the originalists rather than relying on the historical merit of private bills (legislation) sought to establish prospective uniformity.  Legislation was not written to protect certain citizens, but rather all citizens equally.  The purchase of legal rights was anti-thema.

One small step for mankind away from a transparent uniformly applicable statute for the future is private enactments.  Any and all laws written and enacted to provide private benefit are factually inconsistent with the originalist’s intentions.

Laws which bless, or curse, particular individuals or classes of individuals would be abhorrent to the founders.  For example, laws giving privilege or restriction to gender, race, religion, marital status, and particularly national origin would be repugnant.

But there is another class besides those well-known ones,  which should also cause dizziness for us all.  It is the class of citizen identified here as the political potentate.  A political potentate is an elected or bureaucratic figure given a little more protection under a law…intended for equal treatment, under the law.

Without detail, but with presumptions, included among those political potentates are Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama, Harry Reid…and just about everyone else under the protective influence of the proverbial Washington DC.

Enough pontificating for now and back to the commentary at hand.  A sizable group of citizens committed to “live in peace. To live, and let live, while we provide for our families, and participate in normal community activities.” *

Bundy, along with 45+ others are being held in jail for professing their constitutional right to petition the government for grievances.  Contrary to political and main stream media accounts at no time did the group of petitioners cause any real threat to the public.  If the entire situation were examined from beginning to end, without preconceived conclusions, it was only when bureaucrats stepped-in that the risk stepped-up.

If the entire situation were examined from beginning to end, without preconceived conclusions, it was only when bureaucrats stepped-in that the risk stepped-up.

We like to believe that government intentions are always appropriate. Retrospective of Chief Justice John Dillon’s Rule governments cannot be presumed to act in the public’s best interest, simply be virtue of being elected.  Too frequently the opposite is reflected.

Under the sixth amendment (Bill of Rights) to the US Constitution defendants are entitled to a speedy trial.**  The US Supreme Court has defined criteria to determine adherence to the sixth amendment.  Yet, as in almost all legal and legislative matters convened outside of the initial Federalist Period, bureaucrats, elected officials, attorneys, have sought to twist those very rules to their own special interests (private).

Such is the case with these constitutional loyalists.  Twisting is more than lyrics by Chubby Checker.

Virtually all of the principles which this nation originally held as sacrosanct are being violated by the cadre of political potentates. Inherent innocence, liberty, “being left alone,”are a few of those violations.

Historically King James, his son Charles, and devotees to their doctrine of “divine right of kings,” caused the popular relocation from the old world to the North American continent.  Archbishop William Laud was anything but laudatory in his slaughterous actions toward Puritans.  He exercised dominion over the both the bodies and souls of men.

The great men of our history sought to abolish such meanness.  For a period it worked.  However, today we have all but returned to the “divine right of politician and bureaucrats.”  All that is left for the circle to be completed is the killing and maiming of people because of what they believe. {Wait, have I forgotten the case of Lavoy Finicum; unprovoked assassination precisely because he dared to “petition the government for grievances.”}

Ryan Bundy, with his companions in liberty, sits confined contrary to all that the Bill of Rights, because they are dogs (no insulted intended).  Ryan Bundy familyThey are being condemned to seclusion from their families and justice because they are dogs in a bureaucratic cat-fight.

Central government elected officials and bureaucrats are foxes presuming the divine right of mastery over the citizenry.  On more and more frequent occasion and with broader and broader disparagement they prevail against the people.

Yes, it is foolish for the media and the public to any longer embrace “Killing the dog because the fox ate the chicken.”

As was true when the American continent was settled, and portrayed in the Moses movies it is time “to let my people go!”  Special interest politics has swayed rational living to absurdity, and needs to become once again a closed chapter in the history of mankind.

I finish with a quote from Ryan Bundy:

“I have a bright picture of hope for our future. The Lord led us to where we are now. I believe He will bring us back home as well. I surely do miss my little ones. I believe that we will enjoy freedom again. Personally and collectively as a country, but it is going to take some work and commitment on your part. We can’t just lean back and let God do it all alone. He can, but he holds us accountable and expects us to do good works of our own free will and choice. So go and do something good today.”

That Is The Way I See It.

*Ryan Bundy, letter to Governor Herbert and other public officials at the Utah State Republican Convention 2016.
** Sixth Amendment, “In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial, by an impartial jury of the state and district wherein the crime shall have been committed, which district shall have been previously ascertained by law, and to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation; to be confronted with the witnesses against him; to have compulsory process for obtaining witnesses in his favor, and to have the assistance of counsel for his defense.”

 

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Justified Shooting???

Lavoy Finicum was shot and killed in Oregon on January 27, 2016.

Several people have offered opinions on the shooting, questioning the necessity, motivations, intentions, etc of all involved.

The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) released a video and held a news conference explaining their conduct. One comment that was offered is that the untimely death of Mr. Finicum didn’t have to happen. Blame is laid at the feet of the occupiers of a national wildlife refuge in Harney County, Oregon. Specifically stated is that if the occupiers had not been there the shooting would not have occurred.

Impetus for action

It is time to examine reality. The federal government attempted to prosecute two men under state statutes and then under federal statutes. Ultimately the federal prosecutors use the infamous Homeland Security Act to prosecute the men.
The federal government asserted that under the law the two men were committing acts of terrorism. What was the act? They lit a backfire (a fire designed to stop the spread of uncontrolled wild fires) supposedly on public land. Backfires have been used as effective firefighting tools for decades.

It should be amazing to anyone that a federal laws design to track terrorists would be used to prosecute and persecute citizens living in the middle of vacant range land. The only threat from the fire was to fire fighters who were there as part of their assignment to put out a fire that was burning before the men started the backfire.

To begin with there is no rational justification for these men to have been prosecuted under the Homeland Security Act, which has been used as a weapon to control people standing up for their rights. A personal example is a few years ago I bought an airline ticket and was double charged for it. I called the airline (a simple phone call) and asked for a correction. I was told by a clerk that he could nothing. I politely requested to speak to a supervisor and was told “No.”

His explanation was that he had authority and I didn’t need to speak with anyone else. I am not patience with incompetence. I freely admit that. I raised my voice and told him to get his damn supervisor on the phone. What was his response? “Sir, if you raise your voice to me again I will contact the HSD to report you as acting like a terrorist.”

That is what the government agencies have turned the law into; a weapon to force submission by citizens. When they use this legislation there is a presumption of guilt rather than innocence. In the prosecution of “free” citizens over a brush fire even the judge in the case recognized that the minimum sentence of five years was stupid, so he sentenced the men to much less.

The vindictiveness of the Bureau of Land Management decided to punish the men further once they had served their time in prison. Consequently these men were placed in double jeopardy and sent back to prison for three more year. Again their crime was setting a brush fire to do the job the BLM was in capable of doing.
Consequence of second incarceration.

After multiple, in other words several, similar tactics by the federal government a group of men occupied a national wildlife refuge building in Oregon. I call them occupiers because that is the term used by Mr. Finicum who was shot and killed by the national bureaucrats, (I interviewed Mr. Finicum at length two weeks ago in preparation for a news article I was writing).

People say these occupiers should not have been there. Of course like the ever present list of excuses for violations of the US Constitution the FBI started the defensive trash talk toward the men. “They never should have been there!”

The only problem with that argument is that thousand upon thousands of citizens should have been there with them. The society of the United States has failed Lavoy Finicum, the occupiers, the states…and most egregiously themselves. Said Patrick Henry “Is life so dear or peace so sweet as to be purchased at the price of chains and slavery? Forbid it, Almighty God! I know not what course others may take, but as for me, give me liberty, or give me death!”

We the people have failed!

Have we forgotten that men of character and understanding wrote the Declaration of Independence? Foolishly, we presume that Thomas Jefferson the sole author. He was not. Many other men gave input. Here is the question. Did those legislators declaring liberty from an abusive King and his henchmen bureaucrats only in their own kitchen and farmers? No, they stood bravely, IN BUILDING ASSUMED TO BE OWNED BY a dictatorial king and bureaucrats.

For some to foolishly say the occupiers ought not to have been in a government own facility (letting alone the government never should have owned it to begin with) are they also rejecting the Declaration of Independence. A day never intended to represent stuffing our faces with hot dogs and hamburgers.

Not only should the occupier have been there…thousands of citizens should have been at their sides. Today millions of Americans should be standing not simply as occupiers, but as angry voices against a government as corrupt and brutal as faced down by Thomas Jefferson, Patrick Henry, et al. I want to hear NO MORE from presidential candidates prepared to slaughter thousand in the Middle East in the name of national safety, while ignoring the slaughter of citizens at home.

The Killing Field of Oregon

In 1984 a movie was made entitled The Killing Fields. It articulated, is cinematic style, the evil perpetrated on the Cambodian people by the Pol Pot regime. It was so name for the multiple fields where millions of men women and children were slaughtered for government interests.

To imagine that a wild life refuge in Oregon is the only field where aggressive bureaucrats beat down free people is a fantasy. The road side in Oregon where a Terrorist FBI murdered as citizen is one of many many incidents. Just as in Cambodia where the killing began in a field and spread to many fields, these acts of the FBI and BLM will escalate as well. The bureaucrats will lie that it is for national security. That was case Hitler argued as he rose to power and dictatorship.

People will cry that I am an extremist by comparing our current bureaucracy to Hitler. “That not going to happen here in the United States. We know about Hitler and what to watch for.” News flash, children, Hitler used tactics of deception which the people were inexperienced with. Our national bureaucracy also uses tactics and technology as distractions that the public is unaware of. We should not delude ourselves into believing that promises equate to reality. Ostriches don’t make good citizens.

The slaughter of Lavoy

I have watched the video of the use of force by law enforcement. I watched their own 26 minute distraction, and I have listened to their “heartfelt” news conference.

Mr. Finicum, in a vehicle with other people, evaded arrest by “making a run for it.” Ultimately, he attempted to drive around a barricaded road and became trapped in a snow bank. Keep that in mind.

He then excited the vehicle with arms raised in a non-threatening manner. He is accused of reaching for a gun. Let’s examine all of that more closely.

When Finicum drove off the road into a snow bank. The SUV he was driving did not even exceed its own length in the snow before being forced to stop. That is how deep the snow was.

One popular anecdote is that he almost hit an FBI agent while driving off the road.

“As the white truck approaches the roadblock, there is a spike strip across the road but it appears Finicum missed it as he attempted to drive around the roadblock. He nearly hits an FBI agent as he maneuvers to the left.” FBI Special Agent Greg Bretzing (previously investigated for mismanagement while working in Salt Lake City).

Reviewing the video released by the FBI show an incompetent FBI agent running in front of the vehicle, as if he would stop it single-handedly. That is a fact, and the agent was a fool for doing it. Even if the snow had not been the cause of Finicum’ s vehicle being stalled a rational person would conclude that he voluntarily stopped to avoid hit the idiot racing out in front of him.  Bretzing’s feeble attempt to make his agent’s dumb actions seem like Finicum’s fault is pathetic.

It should be noted that Special agent Bretzing issued a statement immediately following the shooting.  The following day Bretzing made a second statement which was substantively different from his first statement.  In some specifics there were precise contradictions between the two statements.

It is also relevant to note that the news releases were scripted.  Bretzing who has previously been investigated for mismanagement of critical in formation of FBI cases was smooth talking and practiced in his eloquence.  Yet, the county sheriff, barely articulate (no insult intended, just the way it appeared), used almost the exact same phraseology as the Special Agent in Charge of Propaganda.

One of the more innocuous lies told by the Special agent is that those at the wildlife preserve would be allowed to leave, after checked for weapons.  That was proven to be an outright lie as some have been taken into custody.  Another question is why the two of the occupiers, one the driver of one vehicle, were not taken into custody, charged, nor will they be named.  What nefarious plans does the FBI have for them?

Factual details

As noted above Finicum was driving an SUV. The average length of an SUV is 18 feet. Finicum exited the vehicle and walked through the snow, which was deep enough to halt a the SUV, the full length of the SUV in one direction. He also walked at an angle away from the SUV an equal distance. The entire time he had his hands raised. That is a minimum of 25 feet in a surrender position.

Directly behind the SUV is an agent apparently pointing a gun at Finicum. Unfortunately the FBI video is inconveniently a little blurry, even though they were able to keep the moving objects ( at a high rate of speed according to Bretzing), in earlier segments of the video stationary and almost clear enough to read license plates. Lavoy Finicum was about 20 feet away from the vehicle.

The placement and direction of agent behind the SUV is very relevant. Lavoy drops his hands momentarily, while facing that agent. To my vantage point the agent had reaction even though some people claim that agent fired at Finicum. Lavoy again raise his hands and turns further to his left, where another officer is exiting the wooded area. Again for unknown reasons Finicum’s hand go down.  Some assert that Finicum was grasping at a wound inflicted by an over zealous officer. The agent exiting from the woods shoots him.

Within three seconds Finicum’s hand moves slightly to his chest and then there is no further movement by him, contrary to reports that he continued to reach for a gun while down.

More observations

The FBI spokesman said that Finicum was reaching for a gun. Given the angle of the shooter it would have been impossible to determine if a weapon was being reached for.  That is a blunder in the FBI narrative, or they were just being as careless with their report as they were while shooting. It is hard to keep their lies straight.

As will be shared below suspicion, without a direct threat, is an inappropriate reason for a law enforcement officer to assassinate someone. If the shooter saw him going for a gun he jumped the gun himself. Since the FBI says the gunman was on Finicum’s left side the flap of the coat on the left side would have made the killer’s view impossible. Finicum was slightly turned away from the shooter, obstructing the agent’s view even more.

The question remains as to why the agent behind the SUV, with a clearer view, never presume Finicum to be a sufficient threat to make the shot himself.  Again, some people say he did in fact take a shot.  Nothing in the the momentum of Finicum’s body suggest that is the case.  I can neither verify nor discredit the presumption.  What is obvious is that a shot from the officer in the woods cause Lavoy to immediately fall away from the shot.

Additionally, by watching the video, another agent can be seen in the road. As the agent most directly in line with Finicum he turns his back to and takes NO evasive action to avoid potentially being shot. This happens only after the sniper appears from the woods.

Nothing in the video appeared to imply any actual or eminent threat. The FBI narrative was constructed first to lay guilt.  But afterward they reviewed the video and concocted a story to fit what they had actually filmed.

Because I wanted to get an assessment of my bias (yes, I have one, if you didn’t notice) I contacted two former police chiefs who also reviewed the video.

One chief is in California, far from both Oregon and Finicum’s home. The other is in an eastern state.

One chief stated

“I too viewed the video repeatedly. The tactics used by law enforcement were designed for a triangulated shooting response at the roadblock. Not with a control and arrest approach. (Emphasis added).

Further the chief says

“If the officers had maintained an arrest and control approach, through the use of verbal commands from a position of containment, the outcome most likely would be different.

After the shooting, the officers’ actions spoke volumes. They retreated. They might use the argument, they still had a threat from within the vehicle. The officers unnecessarily exposed themselves, to begin with. They can’t have two separate arguments to justify their actions.”

What the chief and I both saw was severe negligence on the part of law enforcement.  Now, unfortunately the FBI conveniently doesn’t have, or refuses to provide, an audio of the shooting.

What we do know is that Agents wandered around for over ten minutes while a wounded man lay in the snow. The video displays a laser point on the victim’s head after he is shot and down. That is standard police procedure, while other officers approach to remove weapons and see if medical assistance is warranted. The agent’s cavalier attitude is a blatant disregard for human life.

This chief concludes with

“Summary: Poor tactics, unlawful use of deadly force, care for the injured not performed. These officers wanted a fight and from the command staff on down, they should be ashamed of themselves. Though man may not judge them and hold them accountable, God will.”

What did the other chief (speaking strictly to tactics) says

“In the video you can’t see where his right hand is at because of the angle and distance. Things happen so fast during a time like that. I saw Mr. Finicum move after being shot, and within a few seconds he stopped moving. I don’t know why they didn’t go over to him. Usually officers will move in cautiously while one is covering the person shot. The officers usually want to remove any weapon from that person for safety and check for medical needs. If it’s obvious they are dead (gross injuries) they will leave the weapon where it’s at for the investigation team.”

With respect to the timing of the response it took less that two minutes for the officers to choose to kill Finicum, who had approached them, hands-raised.  Yet when other occupants of the vehicle acted in the same manner they were literally ignored by law enforcement for three time that long.  In fact NO efforts were visually apparent of any concerns for the others in the vehicles, as law enforcement nonchalantly turned their backs to potentially armed people.

This second chief, responding to the entire scenario (not just the shooting) further says:

“The whole thing is sad, the government has over stepped their authority, that is the cause of this death. This is one of the times we question the legal authority of the stop, arrest warranty etc.”

There are other equally outrageous and egregious actions by the Federal government, following the assassination of Lavoy Finicum, which I am not at liberty to disclose. Perhaps following subsequent family new release my restrictions will be lifted.
This incident, contrary to the media and bureaucratic narrative is not a “sad situation.” This is reckless endangerment by federal officials at a minimum and intentional assassination by a terrorist bureaucracy at its worst.

That Is The Way I See It.

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The Legitimate Role of Government-Provide Security.

Governments exist to provide security for social groups.  That’s all.

Unfortunately, those who administer governments (elected officials and bureaucrats) too frequently overlook that duty and also expand their efforts far beyond that duty.

Believe it or not people are individuals.  They are not groups.

Believe it or not people do not always act in the best interest of other people.  People do not naturally have “common” interests.

Believe it or not the absence of a common interest often creates conflicts.  People will be disagreeable.

People establish governments to be the fair arbiter of conflicts and to smooth-out those inevitable disagreements.  By doing so, people place trust and confidence in their governments to do what is in the best interest of all people over time.  People in social groups seek out from among themselves those people who will understand what will be in the group’s best interest, long-term.  These chosen people are distinguished as leaders.

In order for leaders to be successful they must be dispassionate toward any particular person, including themselves.  Dispassion is not disinterest.  In fact, dispassion favors exceptional interests.  That  interest is in the entire group as a whole, both present and future.

It is just the opposite that makes a leader unsuccessful.  They become passionate about their own interests at the expense of the whole group.  They begin to make rulings that are short-sighted and about benefit to a select few. [My next blog post will explain how unruly government become the worst special interest of the whole lot of them.]

The next inevitability of poor leaders is they step beyond their role of providing security to imposing regulations. Within this scenario such leaders will force plunder among the people for the government’s benefit rather than the community’s benefit.

When leaders begin to exercise special interest and excessive regulation confidence from the people is lost.  People begin to expect special interest groups within the society will be exceptionally treated.  Consistency and constancy of confidence will evaporate.  Ultimately, people will begin to think that liberty will be regulated.  Then at last, they will resist the inevitable imposition of plunder upon them.

When a society reaches this level of dis enchantment it is the nature and disposition of nearly every person to expect the government to act in their personal interest rather than in the social benefit, either current or future.  They will expect that all others should be regulated and taxed for their benefit.

That social structure has never functioned successfully and never will.  Hence, we just witnessed major changes nationwide in the last election.  “The folks” demanded change from what was not working.  Yet, there is no offer of new policies, just an offer of new police at the helm of dysfunction.

That is the situation which our society is now living.  On nearly every subject we are led by men and women determined to use their role in government for their personal interest.  They further openly seek opportunity to segregate people into special interest groups…for short term comfort and gain.  Regulations, judgments, taxes, and bureaucrats all lean toward wasting the security of the people for an extra thirty pieces of silver.

There is much and many changes which society needs to make…if this society is to have long-term benefits.

That Is The Way I See It.

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Ramblings…About the Past, and Present

Rambling:  that is what you all get in this post.

I notice that the culture and modern morals of the United States closely resemble the culture and morals of the ancient American culture and morals, as depicted in the Book of Mormon, when they were at their worst.  Lying, deceit, hatred, destruction of people and property and generally all those things which most societies and religions consider “evil” were prevalent then…and are now.

LYING

What is reported about for a majority of our elected officials is the abundance of lying.  Some of the foolish things said by people like Sheila Jackson Lee and Nancy Pelosi I no longer believe are the simple mistakes I use to give them credit for.  What they say now is so outrageously opposite from the truth I conclude they must be outright lying.

DECEIT

President Barack Obama, Speaker John Boehner, Senate Leader Harry Reid, some of our statewide elected officials (two past attorneys general), our local state senator say one thing in carefully selected words, describe it as something different,and  mean something completely opposite to deceive a public unwilling examine them.

HATRED

Racism, a subject which most people can’t even define, is perpetuated by elected and appointed officials, the media, and far to many people.   It is seen in our unnecessary “hate crime” legislation.  Such legislation, although promoted as an attempt to “protect” people, is in essence only legalized segregation or reverse apartheid.  From the US Attorney General down to our state attorney general refuse to enforce laws that may hurt their fund-raising efforts, even though enforcement would benefit all people.  Our state senator proposes legislation to protect classes of people rather than all the people, even though he proclaims it to be for equity.  The media from the ultra liberal MSNBC to the ultimate right-wing FOX drive wedges of intolerance among people.  But worst of all, too many, far too many people express all forms of hatred toward people seeking a better life here than in their own country.

DESTRUCTION OF PEOPLE AND PROPERTY

Our streets have too many gangs and unaccountable people punching each other, stranger, and the elderly in some acts of bravado masquerading as bravery.  We see husbands and boyfriend of popular celebrities beating of their partners.  Just the other day was a story about a man throwing a baby out the window of a moving car…because he was he was upset at the bay’s mother, his girlfriend.  I ask myself, “what led a mother of a child to even be with such a person, rather than with the child’s father?”  From pole to pole, as the saying goes, the norm is killing and destruction.  I am reminded of the final scenes from the Book of Mormon.  The people were so filled anger that they howled in despair, not because of their impending doom, but because they could not return fast enough to killing and mayhem.

All of those behaviors have been taught against for THOUSANDS of years by religions and social orders of every inclination.  Yet, I hear some people openly advocating the old cultures and norms are obsolete.

In reality all that is becoming obsolete is the humanity of humans.

That is The WAY I See It.

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Answers needed, wanted.

I have a question and I hope I get some serious answers and/or comments.

At what point does someone have the authority to deprive one person of their rights and accomplishments to satisfy the desires of someone else?

I am a fussy person about words and their meaning.  I ask the above question but it frustrates me that I don’t have the words to express it more clearly.  Let me try to explain my dilemma.  “Point” is a terrible descriptive word.  By it I mean under what circumstances that may exist.  By authority I mean “control over”.    That probably does not clarify much, but I have tried.

I wanted to try to  keep the question short.  That was the best I could do at the moment.

The key, or most important aspect, to this question is what is not said outright.  What is the precise point or circumstance under which one person has right to control another?

Here is the development of the discussion.

  1. Do we or should we live in a society where there is equal protection under the law?  Let’s momentarily say “yes.”
  2. What is the precise point where I, you, or our elected officials have the authority to take money from one “rich” person and give  it to a poor person?  $50,000, $100,000, $1,000,000?  What is the precise point?
  3. Better still, who and how decides that point?

One answer I have received is “Do what is fair.”  What is fair?  Does a single 19-year-old, going to college, deserve more than a single 19 year old, not going to college?  Why?  Who sets that standard?

Does and elderly couple have an entitlement to less than a young couple?  Why?  Who sets that standard?

“There are basic human rights that everyone should have,”  is another answer I have received.  Then a list of issues like education, health care, a home, etc. follows.

Again my question is who decides what those basic human rights are?

Is it a high school education?

Is it one annual health check-up?

Is it an apartment, house, or mobile home?

Those questions are automatically followed by other equally serious questions.

What if someone does not want a high school, college, or advanced degree?  Yet, they want the benefits that come from whichever one meets their fancy, what then?

What if  someone wants a homeopathic check-up, instead of a medical certified one?  What about someone with chronic disease; should they be limited to one annual visit?

What about a family of two versus a family of six?

The question really is who gets to be judge and  jury to decide who gets what and at whose expense?

I want to know precisely.  Platitudes and lofty pontification are just dust in the wind.  Someone please give me the precise answer!

When a society, which in reality is nothing more than conglomerate of individual controllers, takes from one to give to another I would like to  know the standard it uses.

Why do I want to know that standard?  Because as the cliché’ says, “There ain’t no free lunches.”  When the individual, or a society, decides to gift something to one person…somebody pays the tab.  Who is the Master of Ceremonies, besides the thief?

I am serious when I say want someone to give me a cogent answer.  My views are pretty clear.  I seriously want others to opine.  This may appear frivolous and specious, but the truth is, it is the most relevant question that can be asked of our elected leaders.  Otherwise, they will thoughtlessly get the answer incorrect.

That Is the Way I See It.

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Immigration Solution

There are thousands of people crossing the southern border into the United States.  Surprisingly, I don’t join in with those haters that want to crucify these people upon a cross of prejudice.  Yes, I said that know that I would be view as an Obama loving liberal, which I am not.  He is the worst leader in the history of the world.

Yet, I do classify myself in two other categories;  Humanitarian and Constitutionalist.

As a humanitarian I believe every person has a right to attempt to better their circumstances.  I also believe that each of us has a responsibility to assist each other in that quest, to the extent that we are able.  That should be an individual choice with compulsion or judgement.

People seeking to come here to America, for the most part, are people who view greater opportunities here than where they come from.  Yes, on the furry edge there are those that want to sneak in to the USA solely to be disruptive. maybe even create mayhem.  I choose to believe they are few.  We should individually and collectively be guard for them.  Yet, there is no need for us all to be consumed with their intents.

I am reminded of a poem I heard some years ago, one phrase says

“He drew a circle that shut me out-
Heretic , rebel, a thing to flout.
But love and I had the wit to win:
We drew a circle and took him In !”

We talk of building wall and fences to shut people out.  We should at least talk also of bridges that welcome them in.

Am I so humanitarian that I would advocate open borders?  OF COURSE I AM NOT!  That has been, is now, and would be disastrous.  Only a fool would accuse me of such a premise.

Humanitarian does not mean carte blanche giving gifts and opening doors.  Humanitarian means first and foremost providing opportunity.  Those opportunities are no better nor any worse for one over another.  But, again, that is a choice and should not be a mandate.

Now, I move on to Constitutionalist.  This nation is a constitution of fifty states, not 49 nor 51.  Each state, despite illogical opposition, is a sovereign unto itself.  Each subscribes to a national government.  That government was never intended to rule over the states, but rather to provide equal protection to the whole of them.  That is what did and should again “constitute” this nation.

I have emphasized that this is 50 states.  I have emphasized that we ought not to be seeking to build fences, despite the wisdom of Robert Frost. In that light, and quite different from Jonathan Swift’s ideas, I too have a modest proposal.

The United States provides millions, yea, Billions of dollars annually to buy friends from around the world.  (Oh, that international affairs could be more like Facebook where the click of a key, without cost, can make you a “friend.”)  In fact one foreign president suggested a donation of a couple more billion to him could solve a problem for us.

Rather than building walls and fences, rather than trucking bullets to the border, perhaps we could simply tell foreign nations to our south an alarming thought. “The people coming here are fleeing from you there.  That implies you have an unsolved problem.  We have not created it, nor should we fund it.  You solve your problem, so that it does not create for us a problem…or all the money stops flowing toward you!”

In my naiveté I believe that shortly our borders would be “flowing with milk and honey” rather than immigrants.

Is that simplistic.  Oh, sure it is.  But the complex and convoluted ideas coming from the national elected elitist certainly are not working.

That Is The Way I See It.

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Lies, Damn Lies, and Statistics…and, Now Lawsuits

My initial reaction to a congressional lawsuit of the president was negative.  To me it was just so much nonsense.

With Speaker John Boehner and his pied piper followers come a high level of suspicion about motive.  However, when I watched the President’s rude, childish, and disrespectful response I acquiesced to give the whole thing another look-see.  I don’t think my mind has changed, but something has been solidified.

First, there is sufficient cause to impeach Obama.  That is no longer a matter of dispute.  Barack Obama should be impeached in the House of Representative and convicted by the Senate, and consequently removed from office.  That is a foregone conclusion beyond rational debate.  That is what I believe the House should do.

I also understand why the House has dillidallied around.  The US Senate, under the leadership of Harry Reid, would not do the correct thing of convicting Obama even if he were caught burning the original Declaration of Independence.  Reid and his renegades would explain it away as an accident.  Thus, a House impeachment achieves nothing when the character of the senate is also equivalent to nothing.

The House has been mildly patient in holding off with any impeach…at least until after the November elections when they will know if a bunch of Republican candidates have been able to avoid snatching defeat from the jaws of victory.  If Republicans take control of the senate, then the Republican  House could have impeachment completed and ready for the new senators to act on by their first day in office.  Joe Biden who has demonstrated mental unfitness for office could be gone by March 15, 2015.  I am not advocating that, because that would leave us with John Boehner, who would spend as much time in tanning salons as Obama spends golfing. 

But impeach is a good option to be rid of the American embarrassment called Barack Obama.

The lawsuit business is a different matter.

The lawsuit of the president is to place in the hands of Supreme Court the decision which Congress should be making.  The lawsuit is about an official declaration by the Supreme Court that the president’s powers are limited.  Congress, lacking the will to act as affirmatively as several presidents have,  is willing to place the Constitutional design of the federal government at risk.

Congress wants SCOTUS to say what they are unwilling to say, “Mr. President, stop the executive orders or we will stop the funding.”  It is not, has not, and never should be the place of the president to issues executive orders.  He should only take executive actionWITHIN THE FRAMEWORK OF APPROVED LEGISLATION AND BUDGETS!

No lawsuit or decision by the Supreme Court will ever alter that basic reality.  Congress must act affirmatively to direct the president through legislation, or remove him from office.  No other body, not even the voters, can change that FACT of life.

That Is The Way I See It.

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Presidential Culture Building

I have posted on this subject before.  I shall repeat myself.

The President of the United States is not an administrator!  He is the “Commander in Chief of the Army and Navy of the United States.”  Further, “he may require the Opinion, in writing, of the principal Officer in each of the executive Departments, upon any subject relating to the Duties of their respective Offices.”

Those are his duties in a nutshell.  Anything more is too much more.  Anything less is dereliction of duty.

The President of the United States is not an administrator!   For far too long, and excessively so under Barack Obama, the presidents have sought to be administrators.  To repeat, “The executive Power shall be vested in a President of the United States of America.”  That mean he shall execute the laws and go no further.  Accordingly, he should not deviate from the execution thereof.  Both are neither his responsibility, right, nor privilege.

The president is figure-head domestically, with eminent power internationally.  That translates to two serious roles.  I shall address the latter first.

The president should be representing the United States in all matters which affect the states in international affairs.  That does not include dalliances with nation building and the internal or even international affairs of other nations…up to the point that those affairs clearly and directly prove an eminent threat to the states.  Thus the president should be the best of diplomats which the nation can produce, not the poorest as we currently are experiencing.

Domestically the president is a culture builder.  That is about the sum and substance of it.  A lazy or inept Congress does not expand the president’s role.

As a culture builder each president has had their own style and capabilities.  Under John F. Kennedy American saw a vision of the future.  Beyond the cliché “the sky literally was the limit” of what and where we as a people could go.  Under Ronald Reagan America thrived with a culture of confidence.

Kennedy knew how to motivate people to believe in their future and hope in their heritage.  “And so, my fellow Americans: ask not what your country can do for you – ask what you can do for your country.”  We all remember hearing those words directly from him, or from a teacher along the years.  Less often heard were these words,

We dare not forget today that we are the heirs of that first revolution. Let the word go forth from this time and place, to friend and foe alike, that the torch has been passed to a new generation of Americans – born in this century, tempered by war, disciplined by a hard and bitter peace, proud of our ancient heritage – and unwilling to witness or permit the slow undoing of those human rights to which this Nation has always been committed, and to which we are committed today at home and around the world.

Let every nation know, whether it wishes us well or ill, that we shall pay any price, bear any burden, meet any hardship, support any friend, oppose any foe, in order to assure the survival and the success of liberty.

This much we pledge – and more.

Ronald Reagan was no lesser a man of culture of confidence.  Boldly he faced the world and America’s greatest adversary, Russia, and said,

“We welcome change and openness; for we believe that freedom and security go together, that the advance of human liberty can only strengthen the cause of world peace. There is one sign the Soviets can make that would be unmistakable, that would advance dramatically the cause of freedom and peace. General Secretary Gorbachev, if you seek peace, if you seek prosperity for the Soviet Union and eastern Europe, if you seek liberalization, come here to this gate. Mr. Gorbachev, open this gate. Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall!”

Now we come to today’s America, with Barack Obama as President.  He has established a culture of corruption.

As maligned as Jimmy Carter was for his failed presidency even he had moments where he was a true executive.  Obama has had none.  Jimmy Carter gave a rousing speech  wherein he said “”I want to talk to you right now about a fundamental threat to American democracy,…The threat is nearly invisible in ordinary ways. It is a crisis of confidence. It is a crisis that strikes at the very heart and soul and spirit of our national will.”  People were motivated.  Two days later he acted by dismissing his dismissive cabinet.

Yet, under Barack Obama there have been a multitude of failures.  It sounds like every department in the executive branch has found a way to offend, alienate, or deceive the American public.  The national government stinks of corruption.  That is the result of a culture perpetrated by this president.  Allow me to explain.

President don’t surround themselves with pansies.  They don’t sit in  the audience of wall flowers.  The men and women they surround themselves with are people of strong and dominating personalities.  They are the proverbial crowd that if given an inch they will take a mile.  Such powerful people must be led by an equally powerful person.  The presidency is no place for an apologist.  Barack Obama is an apologist.

Like most presidents Barack has gathered around him a gaggle of arrogant peacocks.  That may sound bad or maybe insulting.  It is seriously not meant to  sound that way.  Peacocks are fierce, protective, flamboyant, loud and proud.  They are arrogant.  By necessity the heads of departments in the executive branch MUST BE arrogant.  But they must be led.

President Obama has generated a culture of corruption by failing to lead.  He has failed to set the standards of conduct which he promised in his campaign speeches.  Those speeches were lofty and appealing to some.  However, they are now fading puffs of smoke.  And, this president’s response has been to whimper, snivel and insult.

Every department has been taken over by the person at the top (without any leadership), seeking arrogant acclaim and accolades.  Obama has permitted it to happen.  He has set no standards.  His role allows him to require of them regarding the duties of their office.  He hasn’t, and they have run amuck embarrassing both him and the nation.

He fears to offend Eric Holder, by insisting that the AG do his duty without fear or favor.  Just today he was used faint praise to defend the head of the CIA for violations of the law and lying.  He trembles at the idea that Hillary might reveal him for the incompetent person he is…if he confronts her about  Benghazi.  He has used executive orders to interfere with Congress, but no influence over the blatant lies of Lois Lerner.  He allows his flunkies to send guns into Mexico Cartels, allows hundreds of thousands of illegal immigrants to flood the border, and has no capacity to direct his Secretary of State to get a marine home from Mexico.

When confronted with a lying CIA Director he accepts the advice from self-inflated underlings to distract America with condemnation of Israel.

As much as I dislike repeating the old cliché Barack Obama is allowing the fox to guard the hen-house.  No, in reality, he is allowing foxes, wolves, and weasels to run the barnyard.

That Is The Way I See It.

 

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Hate The Sin, Not The Sinner

In my particular faith association there is a phrase that is frequently used.

“Hate the Sin, Not the Sinner.”

That conveys the idea that we should possess an attitude of grace toward all people.  I, in fact, embrace that thought.

I recently received an extraordinarily vitriolic message from someone who “disagrees” with me  about Congressman Chris Stewart.  While praising him they called me everything but a white man.  I smiled through most of the note…until I got to the part where I was accused of hating the Congressman.  Then I became annoyed.

Because I criticize him for pandering to John Boehner and lying (or being astonishingly uninformed) to his constituents my latest fan believes I hate the man.  That is just so much silliness.

Just as we are to hate the sin, but not the sinner we can also hate the policies and conduct of elected officials with hating them.

I don’t know Congressman Stewart well enough to hate or love the man.  However, after over forty years of direct experience with candidates and politicians, and over half the time working directly with the policies imposed by them I do hate some of the actions.  Pandering is just one of those actions.

Since taking office the congressman has appeared to be ill-informed.  He also panders to whoever appears to be in minority power.  John Boehner is Speaker of the US House of Representatives.  Our Congressman show all the signs of worshiping him.  I hate that.

This congressman seems like a person that leads with his finger; his finger to the political winds.  That is pandering.

Utah is a state with scant influence in either presidential races or representation in Congress.  In the bigger scheme of things “bigger is better.”  California, Texas, New York, Florida all carry far more weight than Utah.  Let’s face reality.  Unless a presidential race is a sure thing nobody waits with baited breath how Utah is going to vote.  However, when the results in California or Florida (perpetually late in announcing results-intentionally by the way) are called, then the entire election is called.

In Congress, when Ohio, California, or New York votes people say “oh!”  When Utah votes people say “So.”

This is not meant to discredit Utah.  If anything , as you will see, it is meant as just the opposite.  Here is why.

Nearly since Utah became a state, and for most of its subsequent history, this state had fire brands for members of congress.  The have been men of stature who stood up and required themselves to be heard.  Fiesty, cantankerous, even bellicose?  Yes, when a voice required to be heard.

Utahans, possibly even unwittingly, do not want to be represented by milquetoast members of congress.  Senator Mike Lee is love and respected.  Chris Stewart is tolerated because we have a death wish to support anyone claiming to be a conservative Republican.

Utahans like the leaders to be leaders.  We object to House members that choose to be caddies for John Boehner.

Does that mean Chris Stewart will be replaced? Not likely!  When your name is followed by an “R” you can be re-elected until you go to jail.  Even then you might be re-elected if the judge let you out on the one day of the week that congress actually voted.  That is all unfortunate.  John Boehner does not need another caddy, nor does he need someone to carry around his excessive supply of taxpayer purchased sun tan lotion, or boxes of Kleenex.  Stewart is happy to do any of those duties if it will get him that much more of the teacher’s pet.

He is not the only choice this November.  neither is the Democrat.

It is time to get back having a spokesman for Utah rather than a mouthpiece for the oracle of Ohio.

That Is The Way I See It.

 

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Are You Ready………………..?

It is time for radical political change in America.  It really is!

Since Obama has been elected president the federal government has become overwhelmingly despicable.  Character and accomplishment in Washington are at all time lows.  It is time for radical political change.

The Affordable Care Act (affectionately known as the Obamacarrot) was passed.  Then it has been proven that the president lied about it and his administration is too incompetent to even implement it.  The tech gurus don’t have the capacity to accomplish what many 12 year kids can do.

Drug dealers in Mexico were furnished with high-powered guns which were used to kill US Border Patrol agents.

Unemployment has remained at completely unacceptable levels.  Welfare and food stamps have escalated.  Economic hardship has never been more expansive…even during the Great Depression.

The president and thusly the entire nation has become the laughing-stock of the world.  Where we once led the world in production, we have now nearly become a third world country.

President Obama promised to close the issue on terrorist detainees, and failed to close the door.  In fact, slightly off topic, he couldn’t even manage to close the White House door to interlopers seeking paparazzi pictures of themselves at a state dinner.

Further, our very own Nero fiddled while a foreign embassy and ambassador burned.  Ok, that is overstatement.  He fiddled with his golf clubs.  I guess he was re-wrapping the grips, his only known skill.  That little venture cost four American lives.

That was the tip of the iceberg.  Hundreds have died in Afghanistan because he simply didn’t know how to get them out of that country, or in control of the situation.

All prestige the United States had in the land of the pharaohs has been lost due to this president’s buffoonery.

Thousands of lives were lost in Iraq.  Whether this nation should have ever been there will be a matter of talking head debates on CNN, MSNBC, and FOX for eons to come.  But the fact remains thousand of lives and billions of dollars in US treasure were expended in Iraq.  Just in the past few weeks all those lives and dollars were proven wasted, lost for naught, because this president would rather read the cartoon page than take the time to study national security briefings.  Another way to say that is to say, “this president is a cartoon.”

A jetliner vanishes, presumably hijacked and flown to a secluded location in the middle east to resurface again in a major attack on America or an ally.  Within a few months another plane is shot down, killing Americans in the Ukraine, as the Russian president smirks at Obama’s response.  That response was not even outrage.  It was another vacation.  One has to wonder how leaving the process of doing nothing…to do more nothing, qualifies as a vacation.

Thousand of illegal immigrants are flooding across the Southern US border, but this boy king (Obama) can’t get one decorated Marine across the border from Mexico.  That is quite surprising given the fact that he was able to trade five known terrorists for one suspected terrorist.  While Governor Perry is playing “Texas we’ll Hold’em” out, Obama is playing slapjack with Congress.  Which brings me to the real point of this post.

For all of Barack Obama’s obvious flaws as a leader, decision-maker, and human being (receiving hundreds of thank you notes from Jimmy Carter daily) he can be mildly excused.  What?

Congress, under the leadership of John Boehner and Harry Reid are even worse.  They allow congress to sit on their collective donkey posteriors passing gas to their constituents.  Congress, and specifically the House of Representatives have the power to immediately and irrevocably shut down Barack Obama’s reign of terror or reign of incompetence (whichever phrase you choose to use).  Sadly, just as Barack is preoccupied with fiddling while the nation burns, John Boehner is fiddling while he burns in a suntan parlor.

Folks it is time for the people to make the decisions that the “leaders” are incapable of making.  Three simple steps should be taken:

  1. Stop all purchasing.  Yes, all!  When the economy slows politicians take notice, because the only thing they understand is money and bribes.
  2. Use up whatever vacation and sick leave time you have by not working one day each week.
  3. Do not vote this November.  Yes, I know that sound counter productive and not in your best interest, but it is in your best interest and the nation’s best interest.  The one caveat is that you tell your congressional representative, EVERY DAY, that you intend on not voting.  Say it and mean it!

What do we demand? may be the question.

  1. Immediate accountability by all agencies of the federal government.  No more BS.  Just complete openness.  Lois Lerner has immunity from testifying against herself in a court of law, not before Congress.  She and hundred of other liars and incompetents should be fired without pension.
  2. Get into foreign affairs and finish them WITH POWER,… or get out.
  3. Immediate reduction in the federal bureaucracy, using every means available to make it happen.
  4. Demand that every member of Congress be impeached if they tell another lie.  Yes, I recognize that will leave only about three functioning members…for a while.

Either we can and will all take control, or we can continue to whine.  What is your choice?

That Is The Way I See It.

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To Act, or, Not to Act. That is the question.

I tend to friend folks on Facebook that fit the category of people who describe themselves as “conservative.”  Of course I have friended others that have the opposite point of view.  It makes no difference, really.  Why?

Because in my experience most folks on Facebook simply like to repost cutesy “memes.”  The ones I see the most of are criticism of Barack Obama, Harry Reid, and Nancy Pelosi.  Usually they are depicted lying in their native environment of ignorance.  Just pictures.

Yet, the people behind posting those pictures are at various levels of seriousness.  They truly dislike the excessive expansion of government control.

The role of the governments in the USA is to provide protection to its citizens as they (THE CITIZENS) hack their way through the jungle building paths of purpose and progress.  The popular cult of bureaucracy now views that role as obsolete.  They believe they must build the path, protect the people, keep the people off the paths, regulate how rapidly the people may, etc.

Over the years of unfettered practice the bureaucracy has come to design a mechanism of providing benefits with hidden controls over productivity.  Production is now power by the steam engine of corporate welfare.

Yet, the cartoons and complains go on, and on, and on.  As a society we are adept at howling at the moon…but wait for dinner to arrive on our doorstep.

It is frustrating to watch.  Too many people, far too many, bark from behind the safety of the closed front door and then cower when confronted with the opportunity to bite the mailman of bureaucracy and regulation.  Too often I have heard people say “I am doing my part.  See the meme I posted defaming Obama.”  The president of pandering chuckles behind his golf cart, “stick and stones; sticks and stones.”

Who is willing to actually live beyond their “sticky notes” of criticism?

I have presented this idea many times, and I will continue to do so.  “Actions speak louder than words.”

If a scant fourteen percent (14%) of the people of this nation, not a majority or even close to it, would embrace their inner voice they could change the misbehavior of the derelict domination of regulatory bureaucrats.  How?

Stop buying!  Yep, it’s that simple.  Stop buying.  Every non-essential could be left on the store shelves.  AND OH, there are so many non-essentials.

Yes, I know the weak-willed would argue about hurting the economy and local businesses.  I have heard all the arguments…at least a dozen times.  But the question remains; “Has waiting, hoping, and posting memes done ANY good, beyond assisting one to believe they are doing something?”

The answer is a resounding “NO.”

With a 14-18% decline in economic activity the Congress, even the most insane among them, would begin to tremble at the prospect.  As the old saying goes “money is the mother’s milk of politics.”  With a little spilled milk the hall of the capital would be flowing with tears.

The time is here now, not tomorrow, not November, not in 2016.  NOW!  Simply say no more buying until there is less regulation.  In the end the economy will be far stronger and the nation will be far more unified.

That Is The Way I See It.

 

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Religious Hatred???

I have watched a friend with fascination.  He, Jimi Kestin, is the Sr. Pastor at the Foursquare Gospel congregation in St. George.  He and his wife have taken under their wings a young person in need of compassion and kindness.

Yesterday, I Dana and I had the opportunity to eat at a local restaurant.  There were several people from out of town that were attending a conference here.  I engaged one gentleman in a conversation about the conference, which was a gathering of Jehovah Witnesses.  I noticed that the man and his wife had clearly adopted two children ( of different race and nativity).

Another friend is a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.  She and her husband had taken the opportunity to care for a young person from a alternate religious lifestyle.

All of these people are open, caring, supportive of others.  In conversations they each have interesting, if not provocative, viewpoint.  Yet, each is very receptive and cordial.

Their commonality is faith in Jesus Christ and His teachings.  What is particularly interesting to me is that they all seem to be making great effort to practice those teaching.

In the middle east most of the people have ancestry and/or religious orientations that date back to the times and teaching of Abraham.  In my naive viewpoint it would seem that those things which unite us, or them, should be stronger than those that divide us.

That Is The Way I See It.

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The Law of Unintended Consequences, and such.

“It was the best of times, it was the worst of times;

it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness;

it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity;

it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness;

it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair;

we had everything before us, we had nothing before us;

we were all going directly to Heaven, we were all going the other way.”

As in all times, those were the days of Robert K. Merton.  The year was 1936 and our friend had written a novel piece of non-fiction titled “The Unanticipated Consequences of Purposive Social Action.”  Thus began the formalization of the theory of The Law of Unintended Consequences.
In short this law simply means that if you don’t think about  what might happen, or don’t know what might happen, there is a reasonable chance that what you didn’t think or didn’t know will happen.  Not is not essentially where the problem exists!
The far more serious problem exist when you don’t prepare for the unexpected to happen.  Unintended consequences have their greatest impact on those with that have unintended reactions.
We frequently observe this phenomena occur with zeal among government officials.  Government officials tend to be eagerly engaged in “setting thing right.”  These are the pandering potentates of populism that rush to reorganize the kitchen because a flash in the pan of social insult.  Stated differently a little spilled oil causes them to slide mercilessly into leaving skid marks on routine social events.
I make reference to one such faux pas; the unintended consequence of seeking even greater society wide applause for being in office.
Over the years politicians have talked, argued, and pontificates about voter turnout and participation.  I believe there is a couple of reasons for that discussion.  First, and maybe foremost is that it is a safe subject.  A politician can’t be made to look too much jackass by encouraging more people to vote.  Unless, of course, that jackass is a Democrat.
The second reason is because some politicians actually believe that any participation by the electorate is better than informed participation.  “Better a posse of galloping fools, than the man who knows the truth.”
So I have set the stage for my particular bias.  Not only is it unnecessary to encourage uninformed voters, it is detrimental.
Yet, the analysis goes further than that.  Unintended consequences.
As politicians have sought to make access to voting easier I doubt it has made voting more informed.  Some statistics support my assessment.  And, as we all know, there are lies, damned lies, and statistics.
Online voting, mail-in voting, identification-less voting, etc. have been promoted and continued to be flaunted about by the vote buyers.  The unintended consequence has been a deterioration in the perceived merit of voting.  Generally, people are less inclined to vote because the value of voting has been diminished.
There is a saying I heard once those goes something like this.  Performance monitored, improves.  Performance monitored and measures improves dramatically.  The sentiment applies with easy voting.  When a person needs only put in minimal effort to vote the performance of voting will not ultimately improve.
Measuring and monitoring voting should have an element of required effort by the participant.  The intended consequence will be improved performance.
The years of unfettered and “make-easy” voting have had the unintended consequence of lessening the perceived value of voting.  Sadly, because one element that causes unintended consequences is as Sociologist Merton said;
“The two top reasons why the law of unintended consequences works, according to Merton, is that the framers of
a social change are either ignorant of possible far-reaching effects of the law or make errors when they develop a
change that don’t have the effects they desired.”
A person’s value system may also fail to make them look past their system when taking an action of any kind to evaluate how the law of unintended consequences might work.
Rather than perpetuating a theory that easier voting will improve voting, perhaps we ought to reverse course from that preconceived notion.  Make the merit of voting have a little touch of personal effort.
I suggest a modest proposal, hopefully suitable to at least Jonathan Swift.
1.  Get the government out of the partisan candidate selection process.
2.  All voting return to being required at a polling place; just dump all of the mail-in and online voting nonsense.  Both are unmonitorable and logistically measurable.
3.  National elections should be 24 hour events.  Every poll in every state opens at the same time and closes at the same time, regardless of time zone.
The emphasis on ease has failed us.  It is one of the unintended consequences.  However, the devastating outcome has been that our eager beavers of social restructuring (elected elitists) remain unprepared for the FACT that unintended consequences have occurred and thus continue spin their wheels while bogged down in the mud of self-importance.
That Is The Way I See It.
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An Independence Day Message

The consummate battle in the history of the world has been to force people to do good.

This week we are celebrating battles.  We are parading about in honor of wars won.  Specifically, symbolically, we are pumping our collective fists in the air in honor of the victories won on US soil.

Today, celebrations and speeches are echoing over the hills and dales of Gettysburg. PA.  For several straight days 150 years ago The Union was driven back.  The Rebel cause was advancing.  Then the winds shifted.  The tide of freedom rolled in upon shoreline that divided liberty from servitude.  When that tide receded it was blood red…from the blood of good men.

Of that massacre of a miniscule measure of mankind Abraham Lincoln uttered these words, always to be remembered by every American, perhaps by all the literate world, “we cannot dedicate. . .we cannot consecrate. . . we cannot hallow this ground“.

In three days we shall celebrate the 237th anniversary of another combination of immortal words, “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal”.

It should not be lost to the eye, ear, heart or mind of the casual observer that both these events declared without flinching that “we shall pay any price, bear any burden, meet any hardship, support any friend, oppose any foe to assure the survival and the success of liberty”.

There is a doctrine unknown to much of the world.  I call it the doctrine of “original pride”.  Poorly summarized in simplistic terms is says that Satan fell from grace with God because of his pride.  He had desire to force all men to be good.  Alternatively, Jesus Christ offered salvation not through force but through each person’s will.  Joshua (the Hebrew name for Jesus), of the Old Testament summed it up quite well when he said “choose ye this day whom thou will serve”.

Throughout history the consummate battle has been between choice and compulsion.

The well-known dictators; Hitler, Stalin, Lenin, Alexander the Great, King George, et al, have all professed to act in goodness to provide for their people.  In the process they have trample that eternal right of choice.  In the interest of forcing upon the people what was good they waged war against that which is truly good, the freedom to choose.  Millions of lives have lain wasted in heaps through the ages of time because one man occasionally garnered the support to oppress all men into goodness, according to their narrow perspective of goodness.

The Declaration of Independence and the battle at Gettysburg, PA are but symbols of what mankind will do “for liberty” or “for force”.  Colonist having crossed a raging ocean to choose to begin a new life of liberty proclaimed “We will not be slaves again”.  Abraham Lincoln paid the utter most farthing to say to a group of people, most of whom he never met, nor would ever meet; you shall not be mastered, but rather shall be masters of your of choosing.

Throughout our various governments today there are thousand upon thousands of people overtly or subtly saying “I shall be your master…for your good!”  These people find it convenient to oppress some so that others may benefit.  Isn’t that good?

Indeed it is not at all good! At best it is sufficient.  At its worst it is the imposition of servitude…in the “false” name of good.

It has always been, and shall always be that those who would force good upon others will ultimately force dominion upon them also.

Once shackled by oppression there is but one means of escape.  It requires a hammer and chisel.  They will beat not solely upon the chains that incarcerate but also upon the oppressor.  When one is forced to be good, if not them than the generations that follow shall beat out their liberty upon anvil of oppression.

So, then, and now, the battle is really not about “good” at all.  The battle is about the liberty to choose.

“And he shall judge among the nations, and shall rebuke many people: and they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruninghooks: nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more.

When we ALL become willing to beat our chains into plowshares we may rest assured that our swords and spears shall quickly follow course.

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The Choice

I begin with my best recollection of a quote by a highly educated man whom has spent many years in leadership.

“The choice in life in not between obscurity and fame, nor, between poverty and wealth.  The choice in life is between good and evil.”

I offer a modification of that premise for strictly social/political perspectives.

“The choice in social life is between individual liberty and servitude.”1044030_561607060544201_544391676_n

Individual liberty is present in a person that accepts authority, responsibility, and accountability for their life.  Individual libertarians profess and acknowledge that they have the sole authority to make decisions about their present and their future.  When faced with any choice, they claim that they and they alone possess the power and right to make a decision.

Further, an individual libertarian holds themself alone responsible for the outcome of the use of that authority.  When they take upon them a decision through their authority they acknowledge the they have a duty to follow through to the responsible end of that decision.  They do not have obligation to applaud others nor blame other for the outcome. They acknowledge that they and they alone hold the full weight of responsibility for the outcome.

Lastly, an individual libertarian recognizes that they are account able for the outcome of their responsibility.  They own both failure and success.

Servitude is just the opposite of individual liberty.  The authority for decisions rest outside the person and with another.  The responsibility is defined by another.  Accountability is exacted by another.

Now, in the course of life an individual libertarian may choose at various times and circumstances when they subject themselves to the authority of other.  Yet, in doing so they are exercising their authority to choose to be subject to another.  The consequence of responsiblity and accountability flow therefrom.

Framers of the Constitution and other forefather of our nation recognized virtually every generation must reaffirm the authority they will retain and that which they will surrender.  That is the essence of willing subjection.

It is only when an ad hoc government perpetuates force of authority that a people enter servitude.

We live in a time when nearly all governments operate under the presumption perpetual authority.  Rather than recognizing every man’s individual liberty governments are overbearing.  Such governments have contempt for liberty.  Now, I use the government maybe too loosely.  Governments are inanimate object of social construct.  They simply mechanism, nothing more.  The real and absolute culprit in the theft of authority are in the elected and appointed representatives.  It rest in the hearts and minds of those that will recognize every individual as having liberty…or that every man should be in servitude.

The choice in social life for every man is this, “Am I entitled to liberty, or, shall I go gracefully into the night of servitude?”

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Another poll

Here is a new poll for those who like to express their opinion anonymously.

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More with the Sunbowl

It appears much has been decided about the Sunbowl.  I am hopeful that I am wrong.  It is possible that is just a perception which certain bureaucrats want conveyed.  Yet, the people of St. George will presumably have the last word, even if it comes in November.

It is all too frequent that people reach the decision that “you can’t fight city hall”.  When in fact what actually transpires is that people get worn down and give up.

One reason people give up is because “city hall” tends to spend far more time justifying their decisions than seriously seeking public input.  That may end up being the case here, with the Sunbowl.

I read the newspaper reasonably regularly, and don’t recall seeing anything about open discussion at regular city council meetings.  I’m not saying it hasn’t been there, just that I haven’t seen it…and many other people in the city also have not seen it.  There have been “work sessions” of the city council, but they are even generally less well attended by the public than regular business meetings.

In several states there are specific legislated procedures required of municipalities to dispose of public property.  I am researching Utah Law in an attempt to determine if Utah has such restrictions.  But whether they have those restrictions or not, when a historic facility in a city is going to be dumped there should be ample time and encouragement for public input from ALL interested parties, not just a few.

I strongly encourage readers to comment and let me know if I missed the public meetings where demolition of the Sunbowl was discussed at length.

The construction of the Sunbowl was a community project, led by the Lions Club.  It was not a government project.  If it is going to be demolished, than that too should be a community decision.

Being familiar with how government projects evolve I know that many many times a concept is formulated in someone’s mind.  Then, engineers are dispatched to design the concept on paper.  From there commitments are made to defend that design and proposal as the only viable alternative.  My impression is that is exactly what happened with this three-way wheeler-dealer trade to capture tax dollars from the state… to pay for a local project.

The idea being touted is that the win-win is for everyone (everyone meaning municipal, university, and school district officials; not necessarily the interested public) will result in Hansen Stadium being used for rodeos, and the Sunbowl being torn down to build a new elementary school.  I have no disrespect for the rodeo.  I love a good rodeo.  However, the Sunbowl is not simply about a rodeo.  It is about preservation of history.

Whether at the Sunbowl (which is fine) or elsewhere the rodeo ought to have its own venue.  If it is going to moved, which has questionable merit, another location downtown is not practical.  When it becomes essential to relocate a rodeo (again highly questionable here) most cities opt for new locations away from their central business district, not onto a growing university campus football field, costing thousands of dollars annually for maintenance.  The supposition is that the money will be spent to create more bleacher space at the stadium to accommodate the rodeo.  In reality, it is a scheme to generate more seating for the routine and “profit generating” events at the stadium, with the rodeo being secondary.  It may offend some, who may very well need the offending, but this scheme is not about rodeos or multi-use venues.  It is about free money.  As is often said in politics, “if you want to know what is really going on…follow the money trail.”

With reference to the elementary school I will ruffle more feathers.  The central city district is currently highly transition residential.  There are some long time families living there and I mean them no disrespect.  However, the bulk of families with elementary age children is highly transitional.  That in no way implies they are substandard, or that they don’t merit quality elementary schools.  They most certainly do.  However, the demand for classroom space will be in constant fluctuation. The millions in other people’s dollars, contributed by the state, could be be spent on quality upgrade of the existing elementary school.  What is actually happening with the three-way deal is that the school district is trading away an existing location for educating kindergarten graduates in order to give the university a party place for potential college graduates.  Every other higher education facility in Utah, except Utah Valley, is more disbursed than Dixie State.  They function well and graduate students on a regular basis.

Putting an elementary school at the location of the Sunbowl place young reactive children at one of the widest busiest intersections, from all directions, in the city.  It is an invitation for a crisis.  I hope those that are signing off on this three-way deal are as quick to say the demise of a child is as practical as the demise of the Sunbowl.

Now, I have “heard”, in the absence of public forum, the use of a city park will be shared.  “If it happens, the city and the school district would share playgrounds (Vernon Worthen Park) and sports recreation components of the new school.”  Really?  Seriously?  Given recent events across the nation (two incidents in Utah), the most egregious being Newtown, CT (home of my ancestors), do moms really want their children sharing a park with unknown adults with unknown motivations.  What actually will happen is a tall chain-link fence will be built around wherever the school district allows the children to play (supervised by a couple teachers and a part-time bus driver).  The school district attorneys, regardless of what might be professed by bureaucratic administrators, will insist on actions to protect the bureaucracy against lawsuits…even if it also mean protecting children.  The predicted response is that the park will only be accessible during non-school hours.  All the better opportunity for someone intent of harming children to leave some dangerous element on the playground for the next day.

The dangers I mention about a shared park facility will easily be dismissed as being manageable.  That is one of my main concerns.  Every aspect of this proposal can ultimately be “managed away” through talking points.  That is at the crux of the problem.  A public decision made in secret negotiations being defended at any cost against criticism.  Rather than trying to manage away inherent problem in a bad idea, how about “throwing away” the bad idea.

This whole concept of a three-way deal is personified by the glories of “working together” which I would wholeheartedly support, if that were really the situation.  When striped of its “talking points” this three-way theatric slams head-first into one reality.  The university is the one that really gains from it.  They get more seating for THEIR sports venue.  They get more property for THEIR purposes.  It is wonderful that the university is here.  I am personally happy about that.  In fact, scampering back a few years I was at the forefront of attempts to attract a university to a city I was managing.  Yet, city governments represent the whole city, not simply a wealthy prominent segment.

It is truly time to stop pretending that destruction of the Sunbowl is the best solution.  Let’s stop pretending that an elementary school is the highest and best use of a desecrated past.  Let’s cease pretending that football revenue is more valuable for the present than the revenue of memories cherished in a monument, built by a city of volunteers rather than by expedient politicians of today.

Sixty years ago St. George leaders shouted, “It’s a good idea, let’s do it.”  Yet, today the echo back is “Is it expedient?”

Utah stands at the forefront of all fifty states boldly professing “We will honor the founding fathers”.  Yet, on a whim our representatives whimper in the shadows, “Our owner predecessors would make the same mistakes we are making, if they knew all the facts.”

Many people have contacted me since I stuck my head into this particular public noose, saying they agree.  I hope that shall not find myself to be a majority of one, when the rationalization of presumed rational men begin their long winded explanation that “every alternative was looked at, and this is the best.”

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Save The Sunbowl

Today, in St. George, I had a quaint experience.  I took my camera and went up to the 65 year city old landmark, The Sunbowl, located at approximately 150 South 400 East.

Dixie's Sunbowl 150 S. 400 East  St. George, Utah
Dixie’s Sunbowl
150 S. 400 East
St. George, Utah

Finding an open gate and no “no trespassing” sign I wandered down onto the grassy field.  There was another gentleman there, whose name I didn’t catch.  He was canvassing the terrain with a treasure hunter’s metal detector.  I’m no expert on such things, but it looked high quality.  I joked with him for a minute about finding some cowboys gold watch.

As I watched him for couple minutes I reminisced about the time I went gold panning at country carnival.

I wanted to tell him, ‘Raise your sights.  This entire place is the treasure!”  There is gold in that there bowl.

Along with my brief stint of couple of decades in municipal government management (less than a third of the lifetime of the Sunbowl) I also became a certified Main Street Manager.  What that means is I have a strong interest in historic preservation.  In fact, since I am boasting, I will confess to managing one of only four cities in Utah that received legislative set aside funding for historic preservation and facade restoration.  Additionally, in upstate New York I ran a grant program for restoration of historic buildings. In humility, I suggest that I know a little about what I am talking about.

Dixie's Sunbowl 150 S. 400 East  St. George, Utah
Dixie’s Sunbowl
150 S. 400 East
St. George, Utah

In the Sunday, June 16, 2013 Spectrum article, The Price of Preserving History, several structures were talked about being historic.  (I encourage you to read the article.)  The Sun Bowl was not listed among them.  The City of St. George owns many of the local historic structures, and preserves them.  That is laudable.  Others have been demolished over the years in favor of new stuff.

Last week I visited with mayoral candidate Jon Pike about the Sun Bowl.  In essence, I volunteered my time to assist in bringing venues to the Sun Bowl to raise funding for its necessary upgrades.  I was quite surprised when he mention that a three-way negotiation was under way to ultimately build an elementary school on the site.  According to him,

“I really think the Sunbowl is going to be replaced by a new elementary school. A three-way deal is well under way. Very difficult situation. Love to talk with you about it.”

It would be a shame to demolish a historic for another crowded elementary school site.  I oppose, for what it’s worth, such a prospect.  I hope that many residents oppose it also.

What surprises me is that none of the people I have spoken with have indicated knowledge of this “three-way deal”.  One issue that is surfacing in the St. George city council race is the need for greater transparency.  It appears that some folks believe too much is done behind closed doors.  I hope the future of The Sunbowl is not one of those situations.  The bull dozing of a landmark should have substantial public discussion. I hope candidates for city Council and mayor will agree.

Recently a project of interest to the mayor has received special presentation to the city council and, as I understand, funding in the future budget.  The project of which I speak in the corrective action necessary to restore the hill west of the city center.  For nearly half the lifetime of The Sunbowl that scar has been there.  It is now as much a landmark as it is a scar.  On one hand the city will spend resources to correct a problem it didn’t overtly create, but overlook preservation of a 65-year-old monument to the city’s past.  I believe that warrants much more open and “transparent” discussion than it has received.

Dixie's Sunbowl 150 S. 400 East  St. George, Utah
Dixie’s Sunbowl
150 S. 400 East
St. George, Utah

The Lion’s Club has focused attention on preservation of The Sunbowl.  They should be applauded.  Citizen’s are ready to step forward to assist.  I cannot speak for all but I have experience with grant writing and major event planning.  Whatever talents I may have gained from those experience are at the free disposal of the city.  There are many many other folks with far superior talents to my own that I believe would step forward if given a legitimate opportunity.

I look forward to reading your comments.

The following is an online conversation I said with Jon Pike, on Facebook.  It is intended to provide additional insight into what is transpiring with The Sunbowl.  Please do not consider it a criticism of Mr. Pike.  He graciously gave me an succinct update as to what is currently transpiring.  I wish to thank him for his openness, and cordial explanation.

“For starters, though, on the Sunbowl, the issues are several fold. DSU needs more land to expand. The school district needs to build a new elementary school in central St. George to replace an ailing East Elementary in a few years. The city likes the idea of attracting more families to central St. George. The Sunbowl, while an awesome part of our history, isn’t actually the right size for rodeo (too long), lacks sufficient parking for any large event, needs at least $2 million to do a relatively minor upgrade, and due to its outdoor nature, isn’t a good venue for concerts that get loud. So, the state has already agreed in principle to fund DSU’s purchase of East Elementary over the next two years. The school district is planning a bond election this November to enable them to build a number of new schools. Since they haven’t been able to identify any other property in central St. George, the Sunbowl is a possible location. If it happens, the city and the school district would share playgrounds (Vernon Worthen Park) and sports recreation components of the new school. The rodeo could then move to Hansen Stadium where new large portable bleachers would be purchased to turn the stadium into a better rodeo arena. The bleachers could also be used to make the stadium a better venue for high school football playoff games.

Anyway,lots of things being discussed by each of the parties involved, including the Lions Club.”

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Father’s Day

I would like to redefine “father”.  If not redefine it, at least offer a little different perspective on what it means.  As a practicing Christian (I say “practicing”, because I am not an “accomplished” Christian like so many people I know) I want to appeal to a few phrases from the bible.

In John 1:12-13 we read “But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name:
Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.

Further in 1 John3;1-2 we see, “Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God: therefore the world knoweth us not, because it knew him not.  Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is.”

Now, I will grant that I might be making much ado about nothing.

Yet, elsewhere in holy writ we see reference to “offspring”, the “seed” of, and “begotten” when speaking of literal descendents.  For my purposes here I would like to champion the idea that being “sons and daughters” encompasses doing the will of and becoming like the father.  It reaches beyond discipleship, which embraces the teaching of another person.  It is all of that discipleship, yet, it is also the absolute intent to comprehend and emulate the behavior of another.

Jesus Christ proclaimed that he and the Father were one.  He was not only a disciple.  He was the perfect emulation of His Heavenly Father.  If I may, here is a quaint analogy.  Jesus Christ was the son of God because he was the sun that shined the Love of God on all mankind.  He and God the Father were one in bringing to pass the exaltation and eternal life of man.

At a personal level those that honor their earthly father are sons and daughters because they emulate their earthly father.  They do not obey out constraint, but rather out of love, trust, honor, and confidence.  In each them, their dads are seen by others.  They are sons and daughters of their dads, not simply by birth certificate, but rather because they are like their father.  When folks that knew their biological fathers see those children they likewise see the father in those children.  It comes out, because it cannot help coming out.

Many a year ago I remember an anti-smoking commercial that showed a little boy sitting under a tree pretending to smoke a cigarette.  Then it showed his dad doing the exact same thing, sitting under a tree.  Then the commercial made a clear and simple statement, “Like Father, Like Son”.

Because this is a political blog I guess I better say something about politics.

The framers of the Constitution, and George Washington in specific are frequently referred to as the Father(s) of our country.  The question I ask is “Are we the sons and daughters of that George Washington?”  He placed nobility in public conduct above all else.  Do we do the same?  He defended the ultimate right of each man to determine his own fate, without the intrusion of the government.  Do we do the same?

President Washington is purported to have said “I cannot tell a lie”.  Are any of our recent presidents “sons” of George Washington.  Are they willing to emulate him.  Are they, or members of Congress and state legislatures, willing to sacrifice all for their honor?

Just as Christ said, “All have fallen short of the glory of God”.  Thus, we ought not to expect perfection from ourselves as sons and daughters.  However, as the apostle John said “to them (us) gave he power to become the sons of God”.  Likewise, we have the power to become the sons and daughters of the patriarchs of our nation.

Today is Father’s Day.  A dozen generations of fathers have passed since George Washington.  Dozens of generations of fathers have passed since Jesus Christ proclaimed “Be ye therefore perfect even as your Father, which is in Heaven is perfect”.  Thousands of generations have passed since God placed Adam in the garden of Eden and then asked “Is it good that man should be alone” and then instructed Adam and his wife to be fruitful and multiply.

Today is Father’s Day.  Many different values permeate society.  Moses delivered a message to the people of Israel, “honor your father that your days may be long…”

The serious question for our day is, “Whom shall we choose to be our father?”

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Innocent until proven guilty?

Today I received an email from the Utah Eagle Forum, presented as an “Action Alert”.  I am usually and generally in agreement with the Eagle Forum.  They are not the extremist organization that hate mongers would make them out to be.

However, today’s Action Alert departs from the standard high credibility for which the Utah Eagle Forum is well-known.  It comes rushing to the defense of Attorney General John Swallow.  The logic behind that race-to-defense is as suspect as the allegation they pose against those who they claim have rushed to judgement against the embattled Attorney General.

The Forum uses the convenient number of ten to list the egregious attacks on John Swallow.  Some items on that list are shallow underminings of reason at best. Others are simply flawed understandings of popular, yet misguided phrases.  I speak of the concept of “innocent until proven guilty” sentiment.

Says the Eagle Forum’s Action Alert, “Under the law, a person is presumed innocent until proven guilty, a concept apparently forgotten by the media.”  This is sound if properly understood, and not applied to a pending impeachment…which the Forum is applying it to.

Let’s begin with the obvious.  “Innocent until proven guilty” is not a phrase found in the Constitution.  The presumption that the government must prove guilt is certainly there.  It is just and sound doctrine.  But even then it applies to proving criminal accusations.  The phrase “innocent until proven guilty” was used by the courts to clarify the intent of the language of the Constitution.  Yet, even then the courts consistently have opined that a person tried must be proven guilty “beyond reasonable doubt”.  Reasonable doubt does not mean “beyond ANY doubt”.

The Free Legal Dictionary, which provides historical precedent in addition to simple definitions, states,

“The presumption of innocence, an ancient tenet of Criminal Law, is actually a misnomer. According to the U.S. Supreme Court, the presumption of the innocence of a criminal defendant is best described as an assumption of innocence that is indulged in the absence of contrary evidence (Taylor v. Kentucky, 436 U.S. 478, 98 S. Ct. 1930, 56 L. Ed. 2d 468 [1978]). It is not considered evidence of the defendant’s innocence, and it does not require that a mandatory inference favorable to the defendant be drawn from any facts in evidence.”

With respect to the indulgence in financial dalliance, of which ample accusation has been proffered, there is no need to even consider “innocence until proven guilty” in an impeachment procedure.  Impeachment is not about determining criminal innocence or guilt.  It is about evaluating credibility and social fitness for office.  There are voices of special interest that would have us deceived into believing otherwise.  But, that just ain’t so.

Neither impeachment nor public sentiment must comply with the standard of reasonable doubt or innocence until proven guilty, in determining the merits of a public servant.  To suggest otherwise would lead to depriving all people of their right of conscience.

Those voices as represented by the presumption of the Eagle Forum’s list of essentially required blindspots which states,

THE most important reason for the legislature to NOT initiate impeachment proceedings at this time is because Attorney General John Swallow has done absolutely nothing since becoming the attorney general of Utah that would justify or even suggest impeachment. Read what the Utah Constitution says about impeachment; “The Governor and other State and Judicial officers shall be liable to impeachment for high crimes, misdemeanors, or malfeasance in office.” Note that it specifies “in office.”  (emphasis added) Allegations brought prior to John’s becoming attorney general are irrelevant to an impeachment and have not been substantiated or proved by any CREDIBLE source and are currently being investigated by the FBI.”

John Swallow is relying upon the fact that he was elected by a sizable majority of the electorate.  Fair argument, although without substance.

  1. The indiscretions which he has not denied, potentially led to his having one of the largest campaign war chests in Utah history for any statewide candidate.
  2. The allegations against him were strategically hidden from public scrutiny several weeks before the election.  The result of which, if they had not be sequestered, might very well have resulted in a justified alternate outcome in the race.
  3. His conduct was apparently undenied malfeasance, although denied by those with a narrow perspective of protecting their political interests ahead of the overall social interests.  The timing of his misconduct may elude the phrase “malfeasance in office“.  But, ask the serious and relevant question does it diminish his “malfeasance FOR THE office”?  I happen to think it does not excuse him.

Further the Eagle Forum Action Alert uses strawman arguments about the costliness of impeachment.  First, the millions which they presume is pure speculation.  Second, are we to conclude that collusion in high places and continuance of corruption is less costly than cleansing the public conscience ?  Again, I think not.

Lastly, the Eagle Forum has tossed all of their apples into the bottomless basket of the FBI investigation.  Is this the same FBI that has a director that does not even know the name of his chief investigator in the most prominent case before them in fifty years?  Is this the same FBI that has failed to contact any of the parties aggrieved by the recent unconstitutional actions of the federal government.  Well, Yes, come to think of it they are the same.  It is unreasonable to rely upon the skills of an inept overreaching federal agency.  But, at least we can expect them to have the private phone records of private citizen…or be able borrow those records from the president’s campaign committee.  Oh, wait, that was an unfair assertion, …I guess.

There would be no need for an impeachment, if.  There would be no need for an investigation, if.  There would be no need for the ongoing drama, if.

If what?

If John Swallow would resign.  Nobody, except John Swallow caused the public focus on this issue.  Nobody but John Swallow is hung-up on his public financial benefit.  Despite efforts to question the integrity of his accusers, he need only look at his own long-term ongoing agenda of deception to see the cause.

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Why are you out of Jail?

I have posted this reference before, but it bears repeating.

In the play “The Night Thoreau Spent in Jail” by Lawrence and Lee, Ralph Waldo Emerson is standing at the window of Henry David Thoreau’s jail cell asking him , “Henry, what are you doing in jail”?  In response the scene closes with Thoreau answering by way of a question, “Waldo, what are you doing out of jail”?

Over the past several months we have been inundated with story after story of the intrusiveness of the government into the lives of Americans.  They have imposed on the freedom of the press.  They have imposed on the rights of children to be children by casting them out of school for pointing their fingers like a gun.  The feds have imposed on your private communications.

Here in Utah a federal judge had the gall to believe he could require a man to control his wife like some cheap piece of chattel.  On one hand the federal government declares that women have equal rights to men in society.  Yet, a judge demands that a man subject his wife to the slavery of silence.  Marriages are falling apart faster than house of cards on a windy day.  Yet, the judge in the Jeremy Johnson legal case appallingly suggests that Mr. Johnson divorce his wife.

It was not sufficient that the judge demand silence from Mr. Johnson himself.  It was not sufficient that a bumbling federal attorney can’t build a case, the judge had to resort to approving the theft of Johnson’s assets and threaten the theft of his family’s assets also.  What is next?  Will the judge rule that since the good people of St. George did not organize a lynch mob the assets of everybody in town must be confiscated by the lords and masters of Washington.  Welcome to Zion, Roy Bean!

In St. George, Dixie Ambulance operated for over a quarter of a century.  Times were always tight, but they always made the system work.  As a result of their work the emergency response doctors at DRMC gave them repeated accolades for their service to the community.  At the end of the day, what mattered most, the saving of lives, Dixie Ambulance was recognized for accomplishing its mission.  Yet, some top-heavy bureaucracy in the Utah Department of Health, Bureau of Emergency Medical Services arbitrarily decided that some other company might do it better.  That same agency is causing concern from numerous other public and private emergency response providers across the State of Utah.

When I personally sent a letter to the state legislature outlining my justified concerns with what appeared to be “political insider trading” I was shocked by the response from one leader in the state senate. {as a sidenote, financial insider trading on Wall Street can earn a person significant jail time and fines.  Yet, political insider trading by bureaucrats and elected state officials earns them another plaque of accomplishment}.  Back to my point.  When my letter of concern was received by one state senator (whom I have been told, but have not verified, receives substantial campaign contributions from the successor of Dixie Ambulance) called me on the phone.  He was so angry that his voice was trembling like a little boy reporting to his dad he broke the neighbor’s window with a baseball.  Bless his tender backside, he never addressed anything in my letter.  His objective was to point out some law that he and one of his comrades had pushed through years ago.  When he realized I wouldn’t be bullied into pacification and acquiescence he terminated the call.  I gave you the long version explaining that another elected official wagged his finger rather than lending his ear.

The list goes on ad nauseam.  Our Attorney General has been playing loose with the purse strings that buy popularity.  He explains it away with excuses that he wasn’t the AG when he was engaged in the conduct.  His posse of apologists in elected office raise the hue and cry that he is entitled to innocence until proven guilty.  Yes, he is, in a court of law.  That stricture on public sentiment has never existed.  The people are fully capable of and justified in loosing faith and confidence in elected officials.  Besides, even in a court of law, there must be sufficient stench at the crime scene to produce an indictment.  All of his defender “in the know” must be smelling something if they want a full investigation.  As Shakespeare said “a rose by any other name smells the same”, and my daddy paraphrased “A skunk by any other name stinks the same”.

I return briefly to the national scene of the crime.  The government, and all of its minions of minutia, want to track down and publicly flog a guy by the name of Snowden.  They tell us it is because he has single-handedly compromised ALL OF American security for the next bazillion years.  All of the high-ranking talking heads in Congress have raced to the various microphone to brag  that “in the public’s best interest” they have spent their hard won looting of the citizens to buy the horses necessary to have Mr. Snowden drawn and quartered.  Yippy-Ki-Yeah!

Let me drift back in history for a moment.  I am a fan of Mr. John Brown, though he lays a moldering in his grave.  One reason for my enjoying the old boy is because a great-uncle of mine rode with him on many a mission to rescue the enslaved.  He is a folk hero today for a lot of folks in the north and the south.  However, following his execution at Harpers Ferry it would have been impossible to swing a dead cat without hitting a politician ready to besmirch his character.  Just like today politicians of the lowest of lower character raced for a podium or newspaper in order to profundicate about a man they were afraid to emulate.  And emulate him they should have.

History has proven John Brown’s, unrelenting and uncompromising as he was, being questionable in his methods and obedience to the law, image stands in monument to his intolerance to a government gone putrid.

Will Snowden, a hundred years from now, prove to be worthy of a monument.  I will never know, but my youngest grandchild might.  And, I am not advocating that a stone monument be built to him.

I am suggesting that a monument in the character of a free people be erected against the tyranny imposed upon us by our current crop of politicians and bureaucrats.  There was a time when Congress was filled with farmers that grew corn, peas, beans, potatoes, and melons.  The work and moral ethic of those men has been squashed.  Today, among those in high places, we find guardians of poison ivy defending corruption like “It’s what’s  for dinner”.

We can not rely upon the physicians of public power to heal themselves.  They have become addicted to their own drug of self-indulgence.  An indulgence that prescribes there is a law to cure every evil.  A healthcare law of a million pages would be insufficient to cure their addiction of arrogance.

The only way back to “free will” is to actively abandon their and our addiction to “free stuff”.

Government passed ten thousand laws to enforce the Ten Commandments.  Yet, they would not even stop there.  They progressed on to passing a million laws to rain down Manna in the wilderness of self-indulgence.

The problem of big government, domineering government, abusive government can not be solved by those in power now.  It can only be solved by every man changing his view-point.  You may look into the room and see the four barriers that confine you.  Or, you can look out the window and finally see the opportunities in a sunrise.

Injustice abounds.  We can complacently believe that it will end of its own accord.  We can complacently believe it shall not grow regardless of how much more it is fed.  However, to believe those complacent beliefs is lying to ourselves.  Experience has proven injustice always expands in the vacuum of complacency.  The only course back to liberty is through the brooding truth of absolute conviction.

Today, the question to us, the masses of the people, is “Why are you out of jail?”

 

 

 

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You Deserve to Know…and decide.

Today the United States of America (actually the entire world) is fraught with controversy.

We are fighting over all kinds of issues.  The President spits on Congress.  Congress slaps the President.  Moralists attack homo-sexual rights activists and vice versus.  Attorney generals at both the federal and state level, acting as officers of the court…violate the rules of civility and then use the defense that they have not violated the law.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=76CpZgOKHOQ

All of the squabbling really comes down to political pandering.  I am soundly convinced that most politicians, and people, simply subscribe to the idiocy of ideology rather than to principles they seriously understand.  Political partisanship is easily attained.  What is difficult to achieve is political principle.  Principle takes actually thinking through one’s behavior.  Partisanship only requires vocal affirmation of platitudes.

On one hand we see politicians swear on their sainted grandmother’s grave that they are conservatives.  Yet, daily they act out in the same bad behavior as those dreaded “leftists”.  One issue that fascinates me greatly is how one US Senator proudly boast his conservatism and opposition to big government.  Yet, he correspondingly proposes requiring certain people, based on the national origin, to be DNA labeled “for the record”.  This same senator likewise held, and I believe still does, the record for getting the most legislation passed at the federal level.  Really?  He opposes government growth and has contributed the most to its growth.

Another local state senator that I am aware of swears he is conservative.  He spit in his hand and shook vigorously with the Republican Party to uphold conservative values.  Carefully he groveled in mock humility before the voters on bended knee, shed a tear of sincerity, and begged that them to give him the opportunity to serve faithfully, righteously, and without bias.  Then, miraculously he was transformed into a man who went hell-bent after using his influence, AS A STATIST, to browbeat members of the public he swore to serve without bias.  He is a brilliant man, as far as he can shine the light of glory upon his self-deceit.  He turns to the internet to promote his goodness and wisdom.  Then, it appears, under assumed names he applauds himself for his goodness.  Fortunately, there is some excellent albeit expensive software that can evaluate writing style.  There are three people who have virtually the exact same writing style as this man of “character beyond reproach”.

But, my focal point here is not to dwell too long on attacking men drowning in the depth of their duplicity.

My greater objective is to ask a simple question of those both “in over their heads” and those that walk the earth in humble submission to those wiser men.

“Are you willing to give up your right to make decisions for your life to another person?”

There is not a correct nor incorrect answer to that question.  But it should be modified slightly.

“Are you willing to give up your right to make decisions for your life to another person, without understanding why you do so?”

Within the answer to that questions lies the essence of liberty.

We passively submit to politicians presuming they operate under the same premise as doctors to “Do No Harm”.  We accept them as being wiser, without questioning their conduct. Yet, in their zeal they in fact create much harm.

Please watch this video regarding the Holocaust?  Some years ago I visited the holocaust museum in Washington DC.  It struck me with emotion deep enough to bring tears to my eyes when I observed hundreds upon hundred of shoes piled in bins.  They were the shoes of those that walked to their slaughter, because a society ordained a master who knelt before them.  Then those same people within a short time were brought to kneel before him.  They chose to allow another to make choices for them.

However, we are more sophisticated today.  No such thing could happen.  Today we are better people and don’t tolerate such egregious treatment.  Except when we begin to think a solution to “illegal immigrants” is cataloging their DNA.  Or, maybe when a lowly state senator can drive a person out of business under the disguise of protecting the public from some “future” problem.  Or, maybe when a state attorney general defends his errant conduct with the excuse that “it wasn’t illegal at the time”, setting himself apart from the fact that it was unethical at all times.

I am reminded of the words of a poem that depicted Nazi Germany.  Here is one version:

When the Nazis came for the communists,
I remained silent;
I was not a communist.

When they locked up the social democrats,
I remained silent;
I was not a social democrat.

When they came for the trade unionists,
I did not speak out;
I was not a trade unionist.

When they came for the Jews,
I remained silent;
I wasn’t a Jew.

When they came for me,
there was no one left to speak out.

Standing on the sidelines watching the parade march by is entertaining.  However, being in the parade watching the audience is even a greater thrill.  But, greater still, by far, is knowing that you are in the parade because you chose to be the one “to choose your course”.

So, we are back to the question

“Are you willing to give up your right to make decisions for your life to another person?”

There is no correct nor incorrect answer.  But, you deserve to know!

 

 

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Is Ethical Behavior to Hard?

Is ethical behavior by elected officials too broad to ask for?

Elect means to “choose out from” among a group.  The clear implication is that one is chosen to represent the group.  It is anticipated that the group has such confidence that the one “chosen out from” among them will consistently act in their stead as though they were each standing there themselves.

It takes some thought to digest that concept.  One that is elected is not independent of the group from which he was chosen.  In fact he is a strict representative of that group.  Now, then, the group has a rightful expectation that the elected will represent them at their best, not at his best.  Both the elected and the elector should understand that given similar circumstances (whatever they may ultimately be) any members would act the same if guided by ethics.

Thus, what then is ethics?

It is the consummate expression of preserving life, liberty, and pursuit of happiness for every man, without the initiation of coercion, force or dominion.

Ethics is not a matter of transient religious views, culture, or customs.  Ethics is a matter cooperative co-existence.

Religion, law, culture and even common decency says “do not kill”.  Yet, when violence invades life and liberty killing may in fact be the most ethical of choices.  Correspondingly, depriving a man of his right to pursue happiness may be met with extreme ethical force of resistance.

How does this relate to the initial question “Is ethical behavior by elected officials too broad to ask for?”

Ethical behavior would prevent an elected man from violating his obligation to the society which elected him to the extent he would chose never to be deceptive to his electors.  He would harbor no secrets and certainly would not invade one man’s pursuit of happiness to shower greater happiness upon another.

What is most significant is that any member of the electorate, given equal information and opportunity, to act with a full measure of ethical foundation would chose nearly precisely the same.

Elected officials should perpetually ask themselves that very question.  “IF another were given my authority and power, with an intact ethical mindset, would he do as I am presuming to do?”  The only safe and reliable answer to that question is a sincere “YES!”  Any other answer acknowledges that personal persuasions are playing a stronger role than ethical choices.

That self assessment is only “too broad to ask for” if the elected official has weakened his moral fiber to the point that ethics is a burden rather than a blessing.

Now, above I mentioned a justification of actions which are normally, and ought to be, reprehensible.  However, great men have revealed to us the idea that it is the nature and disposition of just about all men once they gain a little authority, as they presume, they begin to exercise unthical behavior.  They will seek to bear down upon other men with dominion.

When that happens they loose their strength in leadership and of being elected.  For their own sakes, as well as for the community, the society must call into question their ethics.  And, if justified they ought to be striped of authority.

Men of ethics would not oppose such sanction and course of questioning.  How do we know that to be true?  By asking that question “IF another were given my authority and power, with an intact ethical mindset, would he do as I am presuming to do?”  Making poor choices is not an essential flaw in mankind.  In fact, in some circles, men rejoice over making mistakes because it leads them to better correct their inclinations in future endeavors.

Seeking to hide the existence of poor choices is a fundamental flaw of mankind.  Not only have they erred in their ethical decisions, but violate the trust of their fellow beings far more deeply by choosing to hide their mistake in the sackcloth of intentional deceit.

Far more important in life than winning the victory is “winning the choice between being ethical and unethical” behavior.  A kind society will establish a means whereby the society may respond to the inevitable ethical flaws of its leaders.  The leaders, more than any man unelected, should desire such a corrective process.  The entire society should seek diligently for the day that such a process is no longer needed, rather than a time when it is no longer wanted.

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An Interpretation of the Intent of the Founders of the Constitution

Bear with me in a brief history of the founding of the US Constitution.  The New World, as it was known, was settled by people seeking opportunity for broader liberty and wealth.  Ultimately it was peopled by those which fell under the governorship of the English monarch, the king.  Eventually many of the settlers began to feel that king was becoming more a dictator than a benevolent protector.  After years of effort to reach equality, of treatment by the king, with their counterparts in Europe leaders such as Thomas Jefferson wrote a document called the Declaration of Independence.

In the natural course of human events the king sought to re-establish the subservience of the Colonies under his scepter of authority.  The War of Independence ensued, with the colonies being victorious.  The colonies became independent states under an agreement or pact known as the Article of Confederation.  Those articles proved to be substantially ineffective for a nation of sovereigns (individuals and states).

Presumably the best minds of the day gathered together in convention and wrote the document which preserved individual sovereignty for persons and states, while granting the nation a government strong enough to adequately protect the Union.  That document, The Constitution of The United States of America, has been deemed by many as nearly sacred, and by some as inspired by God.

In the course of time scholars and their students have perpetuated the idea that the Constitution established three distinct and equal branches of the federal government; Legislative, Executive, and Judicial.  That theory is an erroneous teaching.

The Constitution was not, and should not be considered, a solely comprehensive document.  Rather it is a progressive document.  Lest, the current anti-progressives get an immediate insult to their sensitivities clarification is in order.

By progressive it is intended to mean that the Constitution addresses issues in relative importance.  The preamble of the Constitution identifies the intent of the document and co-incidentally that of the convention: To create a stronger union of the sovereign people and states.  That is what was and is of greatest importance.  Following thereon are the definitions of the powers of that central government and its limitations.  One section progresses from the previous.

First, the intent.  Second, legislative power.  Third, executive power. Et cetera.

Just a brief clarification is needed.  This requires a quote from the Constitution.  “All legislative Powers herein granted shall be vested in a Congress of the United States, which shall consist of a Senate and House of Representatives.” Conversely, “The executive Power shall be vested in a President of the United States of America.”  Note that the president is secondary to the Congress, and, that the executive is not given legislative authority.

Now, here is a brief word about legislation.  Legislation is not law.  Congress passes legislation in the form of “Bills”.  The Founders were far more literate than much of today’s American society.  Each word was written with specific understanding, intent, and order.  They wrote with purpose, and for effect.  In today’s society we lack much of that precision of voice and meaning.  Therefore, when the Constitution uses the phrase “All legislative Powers herein granted shall be vested in a Congress” there is meaning which the Founders comprehended, and which current society overlooks.  Legislation comes from a Latin root “legis latio”,-proposing (literally ‘bearing’) of a law. It is therefore Congress that proposes law in the form of Bills.  The President does not and should not.

For a significant portion of the history of the Colonies the King of England was viewed as a tyrant.  He enacted laws which were punitive to the interests, safety, liberty, and prosperity of the colonists.  The Declaration of Independence was the culminating expression of the colonist’s dissent and objection to that abuse.

The Articles of Confederation, and consequently the US Constitution, profoundly expressed the reasonable mistrust the people had with kings.  The founders recognized and even embraced that mistrust.  In consequence they segregated the chief executive from “legis latio” power.

In protecting people and states under the new, and now more powerful, national government the Founders diminished the power of a necessary chief executive.  They declined all forms of royalty titles and inherency to the presidency by subjecting the election of a president to a wise body of electors.

They recognized through experience, both historic and personal, that entitlements to executive power would corrupt not just the president but the people as well.  They realized that a man possessed of a personality trait of entitlement to govern would ultimately lead to anger, hatred, and potentially bloodshed.  This would be brought about by the assertion of opposing forces persuading the masses of people to contend. In those contentions the laws would be perverted and many people would be corrupted.

Through careful consideration of history and known propensities of most men the Founders created a system to combat those eventualities.  They established a comprehensive, although not complex, system of establishing laws and governance.  It was initiated by wise legislators and executed by a president with a clearly restrained role.

The president’s role is limited in the Constitution.  Those limitations were intended to prevent the chief executive from corrupting either the people or the laws.  To the extent warranted, precisely, within the Constitution the president is tasked with preserving the unity of the nation.

The Founders were extraordinarily aware of the havoc that kings, presidents; dictators (et al) could create when they had the power and authority to implement laws and means of mastery over people.  Further, they knew from their experience that such a person in power could and likely would be difficult to remove from power.

They also knew that such a person would have his friends in position to keep him in power; and that he may or would disregard the role of those who had the right to propose laws.  Such a man, if given great power, in an interest in preserving himself in control, would create laws, and impose them upon the people.  Those laws would be to preserve his own interests and those of his friends.

The founder, in their wisdom, knew that those who opposed these dictates and refused to obey them would be hounded by such a president until he caused their will and liberty to be destroyed. Anyone that opposes and speaks out against him will be chased down, and, he will seek every means at his disposal to destroy them, even to the extent of killing them if he and his friends deem it necessary.

Those descriptions sound extreme, yet history has repeated itself over and over.  There has never been a generation of people where there has not been a leader with such propensities.  Mankind would be entirely foolish to contend otherwise.  Dictators have and will always be among us.  The only means of avoiding them is through diligent efforts in preventing them.

As the founders established, the people should choose legislators which are conscientious in maintaining liberty for all the people, without restraint.  Although there are always those who seek power and control over others it is not common that the majority of the people want anything injurious to others.  Yet, in all societies small groups of people do, in fact, want to have dominance and power over others. It is therefore essential that the whole population of the people engage in the electoral process.

The founders knew that an entitled royalty or a chief executive strong enough to create laws of their own accord would be detriment to the sovereignty of the people and the states.  In establishing the Constitution their debate was in how to protect the liberty of the people against the inevitability of a government that could become corrupted.  One of their primary concerns was to restrict a president that would tear the nation apart by his partisanship (placing himself and his friends above the interests of the whole nation).

Many say that the Declaration of Independence and the Constitutional government of the United States of America was an experiment in liberty.  Nothing could be further from the actual.  It was not an experiment.  American self-governance was an act of faith by wise and prudent men.

The Founders trusted the people, acting in their best interests rather than in selfish interests, to choose leaders that would be wise and prudent.  Yet, they also recognized that in the course of time the people might become momentarily swayed by the sentiment for unwarranted gain.  To that end they fashioned a government that would be complex enough to require the people to thoughtfully consider the ramifications of the proposals of men inclined to their own popularity.

Now, some two centuries and two score years later the origins of their wisdom have been squandered.  A government intended to be legislated by representatives of the people and the states has degenerated into a system of partisan quarreling.  A central government intended to minimize the power of a chief executive, without legislative authority, is now subject to the whims of a president surrounded with his hirelings in fraud.  A national government intended to have a judicial system entrusted with protecting the federalism of The Constitution has been politicized to the level of pandering to a president, while a shorted-sighted legislature, tasked with oversight, is busied being neglectful of their duty.

Not to sound like an advertisement for Fox News, but America was founded in the principle of a fair and balanced society. In reality we were not designed to be governed by a government.  Rather, we were intended to be a society governed by each man doing that which was right for all, while pursuing that which was best for them.

There is an old cliché which says “That government governs best, which governs least”.  May I boldly amend that sentiment to read “That government governs best…which needs not govern at all”?

As a people we must return to be our better selves; unselfish, serving, charitable, hard working.  Elected representative officials must return to the notion that they do not master the people, but rather simply propose necessary and essential legislation.  The President must return to understand his role is not of a legislator, but that of a leader sacrificing all else to his country.

We have turned aside from what America was by experimenting in the “sorcery of power over others”.

The watchword of our current time is and ought to be “return”.

Foreign to our nature, as it has become, we must return to the course set by the Founders.  If we fail to do so, we will fulfill the greatest fears of our Europeans ancestors.  We shall sail forward into an unknown ocean of oppression, and, surely fall off the edge of the world of opportunity.

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Guns vs Gums

Guess what?  There is a debate about gun control.  It is going on right now.  Pro-gun folks are saying “You let me have my guns, or I’ll shoot you.”  Anti-gun folks are saying “Surrender your right to guns or I’ll stab you with a knife”.

Today the President dove straight into the group of gum-flappers with his proposed edicts about gun control.  Of course, as usual, the President was speaking out on an issue without concern for its impact or relevance in the future.

President Obama has fallen on his face several time in the past four years when the issue of gun control came up.  He has had many opportunities to share his views of the importance of this issue.  Yet, for all intents and purposes he shied away from the issue.  Yet, today it is a serious and significant issue for this president.  Why?

Because it is an opportunity to be personally popular while showing no personal substance as a human being.  If this is an issue today…it was an issue last year,…and ten years ago.  Yet, he and many others in Washington DC suddenly decide that today is the day to make a stand.  Or, in other words, today is the day to flap their gums.  And, whether readers agree or not the FACT is that they are grandstanding.

Let’s examine a limited list of serious issues about gun control, beyond the significant one noted above.

Years ago, when I was young and getting started, some slob (no exaggeration-she was a true blubber butt) walked into an all-night market I was working at.  She fired her 22 caliber rifle directly at me.  Fortunately for me, she left a hole the size of the Grand Canyon in the wall behind me…rather than in me.  There was a German-made Luger under the counter.  The Luger is a semi-automatic weapon.  I was able to place my hand on the pistol and aim it directly at the robber, that without provocation fired at me first.  Now, why am I bringing this personal survival story to light?

Is a 22 caliber rifle an assault weapon?  Not in the eyes of anyone that really knows anything about guns.

I share with you the perspective of one who has stared into the hole, two inches beside his ear, in the wall that results from such a rifle.  It IS an assault weapon.  It is a damn scary assault weapon.

Here is the point.  It is impossible to define an assault weapon.  The fact is that the German Luger, by presidential definition, was more of an assault weapon than the one fired at me.  Somewhere, in some realm, the assailant understands that her aggression was the assault weapon, which just wasn’t smart to use.

It is the circumstances that define the weapon as an assault weapon.  The punk that threatened me with a knife a hundred years ago, somewhere near Baltimore, when I was a teenager understands, just as I do, that circumstances define what an assault weapon is.  I am not a tough guy, and never have been one, but I sometimes wonder if that punk grandfather ever explains to his punk grandchildren how he got that scar across his face.

Ok, enough on that point.  Suffice it to say, any weapon is an assault weapon…in the wrong circumstances.

Now onward to my second point.

I stand firmly on my protections under the 18th amendment to the Constitution.  This amendment was ratified in only one year and one month.  However, the 21st amendment repealed the 18th amendment…in less time than it took to pass the 18th (288 days).

A group of alarmists, similar to Barack Obama, persuaded several states to support the 18th amendments in stomping on the liberties of people who sinned differently than they did.  If you are not aware of what happened the 18th restricted the legal sale of intoxicating drinks  (similar to Michelle Obama’s efforts to restrict the sale of non-intoxicating soft drinks).  The 21st amendment repealed this restriction on civil liberties. Why?

The major reason is because so many people enjoyed drinking intoxicating drinks.  Ultimately, the silly 18th amendment led to substantial increases in the use of intoxicating drinks on the “black market”.  The black market led to an unprecedented increase and growth rate in organized crime.  It led to a substantial increase in alcohol poisoning through use of “moonshine” manufactured intoxicating drinks.

Here is the conclusion.  Is anyone, other than Barack Obama and his fools in Congress, actually convinced that illegal usage of “assault weapons” will go away?  The right to own guns is an American institution that no degree of legislation will ever altar.  The only thing this silliness by the president will foster is a larger “black market” for guns.  History is the proof.

Now, going beyond simple historic evidence there is another reality that exists here.  There are so many weapons already in society, including “assault weapons”, that those guns will be available for several decades, maybe even centuries.  The only difference is the price will go up and the most violent will have access to these weapons.

Barack Obama and is gang in the senate need to come into the real world.  The more he tightens his grip on the throats of good people in America, the more violent people will slip through his finger and assault the innocent.

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Crucified upon a Cross of Taxation

In 1896 William Jennings Bryan declared to the Democratic Convention “You shall not press down upon the brow of labor this crown of thorns, you shall not crucify mankind upon a cross of gold.”

There is no tax that does not affect every member of society.  The rich cannot be taxed without the poor and middle class seeing unknown fingerprints on their thin wallets.  Eventually the dollar in a wealthy man’s hand that has had a corner torn away by government will find it way into the fingers of the poor…equally of less value.  Only the foolish believe that they can give the rich a smaller glass, with which to give the poor a larger drink of water.

Before the nation today there is a fiscal fiasco.  It is an affair run by (wo)men who line their living from thinning the wallets of the wealthy.  They govern by mandating that every person’s purse have an opening at both the top and the bottom.  Unfortunately, eyesight is a nimble narrow thing.  They have neither ability nor will to see both the top and bottom at the same time.  Thus, perpetually, such men will tear the hole below wider and wider until it dwarfs the entrance above.

That is the plain and simple premise of taxation.  Drain the pond until it empties faster than it fills.

Theft by taxation is not some noble venture of those in elected office.  It not like keeping a penny found in the gutter and dishonorably kept.  It is the nature and disposition of almost every official that promotes theft by taxation to shake a man senseless until a penny falls to the gutter.  Then the man of government, believing himself to be a man of God, snatches the penny from the gutter saying “This piece of copper is my rightful property.”  Then to compound their flawed appraisal boldly declare “This tarnished copper piece shall become a silver dime when I have finished polishing it.”

Alas, they take the shiny coin and hold it high above the heads of people, boasting in their pride.  Presuming themselves to be wise beyond their reason they declare the one cent dime should be invested in worthless efforts to spend future pennies they hope to shake free of every man’s pocket but their own.  They press down upon the heads of every person, rich and poor, a false sense of value.  It is nothing more than a mockery of advantages of nobility.  Yet, in the end, long after the legislator has passed away in comfort, mankind suffers the scars of taxation.

Today I say to the Senate and the House “You shall not press down upon the brow of America this crown of thorns, you shall not crucify mankind upon the cross of taxation.”

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The White House Rapper

For about two years now I have been accusing President Obama of having a “ghetto mentality”.  Of course there are some public spectacles, like Chris Mathews, that come off their rails when I use language like that.  Simply because I use the terms “Obama” and “ghetto” in the same sentence than I must be a self-righteous racist intent on driving everyone back into slavery.  Of course such a suggestion comes only from those that are in over their depth in a kiddie pool.

Suffice it to say Barack Obama has a ghetto mentality.  Whether that comes from poor upbringing, his neighborhood, or his race is really quite irrelevant.  What remains at the end of the day is a president with a ghetto mentality.

Ghettos have existed nearly as long as mankind.  They became popular, as the phrase “ghetto” , in Europe a couple of centuries back.  The ghetto was where certain nationalities or ethnic groups lived within  cities spread across the old continent.  All too frequently they housed the poorest of the poor.  They also represented those groups of people who were generally disfavored by society because of their unique status as a racial or cultural community.

Jews were among the most prominent of Ghetto communities.  They were religiously and socially isolated because of their beliefs.  In many cases they were lower on the scale of humanity than were Negroes.  They lived in abject poverty, for the most part, being looked down on by their fellow-men.  Another group of transients, affectionately referred to as gypsies, were members of “traveling” (or more appropriate described as “chased”) ghettos.

These ghetto dwellers established their own cultural norms, laws, and even languages.  They depicted their status via their music, dance and art.

Through the course of time various ghetto cultures rose and faded away.  For example for many hundreds of years Jews were a predominantly ghetto society.  In the mid to late 1800s the perspective of Jews began to change.  Religious revivalism openned the viewpoint among many Christian groups that Judaism was in fact their theological parent.  The disdain for Jews began to melt away.  Among Eastern Europeans cultures it came slowly but into the twentieth century Jews had begun rising from their millennial dispersion to become a respected culture force.  Today they are an honored people among most nations of the world, except the Arab gypsy tribes.

During this time other ghetto societies all but vanished, including the gypsies, while other classes of people were driven into ghettos.  Economic station was the general cause of the perpetuation of ghettos.  Yet, these ghettos, like their predecessors, established their own “order”.

What is common among ghettos, old or new, is a prevailing attitude of protectionism against the outside world’s perceived abuses.  Gypsies adopted cultish mysticism as one of several means of defense.  Jews relied heavily upon the idea of being “God’s Promised People” that would one day rise to their full stature and glory.  In the modern ghettos the defense mechanisms were and are now far more militaristic.  They culturally govern by rules of violence.

In short the ghettos were then owned and now are owned by the rulers of its culture.  Even though in many cases, if not most, that which is owned is little more than decayed ruins.  The current, like the past, attitude is protection against a perceived enemy.  This protectionist ideal is still depicted via their music, dance and art.

One of the things which we see very prevalent today is that silly little thing called “rap music”.  Rap is the portrait of ghetto protectionism.  By listening to the earliest rap music there is a very common, almost obligatory, theme to the music.  That theme, for lack of a better descriptor, is “trash-talk”.  One can listen to the origins of the music style and see that the best rewarded and recognized rappers are those that trash-talk the best and most consistently about other cultures.  Trash-talk is the protectionist mentality of the ghetto.

This trash-talk is weaving its way into society in general, just as former ghetto cultures wove their way into the greater society.  In our sports, entertainment, news, writing, and politics we see trash-talk becoming more prevalent.  Nobody with any modicum of self-awareness, or awareness of our current times will deny that trash-talk is the preferred method of communicating.  Our social media systems (Twitter and Facebook, as examples) are powerful symbols of a society that has turned to trash-talk as a matter of routine communication.

Our current president is one of the most adept trash-talking personalities in the nation today.  President Barack Obama is petulant and unrefined in his use of trash-talk.  When challenged on his policies he instinctively reverts to personal salacious oratory about those questioning him.  He cannot seem to be able to deliver any message that is not about his superiority over others.  In short President Obama disrespects anything and anyone that does not defend and hold his vision and habits as sacrosanct.

Our president has a ghetto mentality.  Whether his mentality comes from adapting to a culture being swayed by universalizing of the ghetto culture, or whether it comes from his clearly poor upbringing that deprived him of interaction with multiple cultures, it is apparent in virtually all of his interactions on the national and world stage:  he lacks judgement and decorum.  President Barack Obama cannot separate himself from his ghetto mentality.

Those that call me racist for my comments would desire that I be more diverse in my thinking.  I respond by suggesting that I would desire the same from the president; someone capable of being diverse in his thinking.  As grand as it is to work ones way out of the ghetto, it is grander still to work the ghetto out of one’s way of dealing with others.  If Barack Obama wants a legacy of achievement he needs to make the personal change of ridding himself of the ghetto.

Years ago Jessie Jackson joked that if he walked on water people would say that he couldn’t swim.  Years from now the twilight of Barack Obama’s legacy will have a boomerang appearance.  No matter what he may actually accomplish, he will always be mostly known as an untrained child in the ways of mankind.

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Seeking to establish the importance of Irrelevance

Some folks believe that I am cynical towards government.  In that presumption they are mistaken.

I am a strong advocate of government doing what only governments can do in the most efficient and effective manner possible.  In fact I believe in liberal support for a government doing its duty.  A society should support and adequately fund and protect a government doing its duty to all the citizens uniformly.

However, what those folks, I referred to above, frequently focus on is that I equally chastise a government-run by people who would divide such a society into classes.  Then to make matter worse they seek to advocate violence between those classes through inequitable distribution of its protection.  Stated more succinctly elected officials classify certain people as the “haves” and the “have-nots”, then pit them against each other.

The Romans did this with the gladiators in the coliseums.  At least they had the honesty to make sport of their indignity before the masses.  What I observe is incessant lies and finger-pointing by our legislative largess in an effort to avoid their own sanctimonious salaciousness.

I have spent the tenure of my career in working with governments.  I have witnessed first hand their drive to establish personal significance by abandoning nearly any form of rationale analysis of their behavior.  I offer some examples.

In one city it was fashionable to pander to the interest of a few in order to appear open-minded.  Those advocates of mediocrity and separatist inclinations pushed responsible legislative matters, that would have served the entire community forward, into the background.  The city was strong with an effective police presence.  It neither intimidated the general public, nor tolerated deviants from festering.  Yet, today, a decade later drugs, gangs, murder, child abuse, theft, and the list goes on, have become common place.  The elected elite refused to see the course they had set out on, and they fail to see now how THEIR divisiveness of the community into special interests has produced the onslaught of these insults to the community as a whole.  They lacked vision, while pandering to their focus on viewpoints.  And, now they are reaping the whirlwind.  The police have not become worse, they have been forced aside from serving the whole, and the segments of corruption have entered into the city.

At the national level we see the same thing.  Presidents, Representatives, Senators and most recently even Supreme Court Justices have made it their mantra to worship the few at the expense of serving the whole.  Saith the Apostle Paul “And the eye cannot say unto the hand, I have no need of thee: nor again the head to the feet, I have no need of you.”  Yet, onward trudges a crazy congress and a pejorative president endlessly defending their failed frolics into separatism.  We have a president insisting that one class must be punished so that another class may be blessed.  Congress is no better.  They also promote the convoluted contrivance that somehow they and they alone can solve the maladies that exist in society.

Such an embarrassment of philandering should be scoffed at by any reasonable person.  Neither the president nor the congress can repair what they clumsily broke by their awkward interference.  Fully 60% of the business which the federal government has audaciously assumed to itself is, by the most conservative descriptive, simple pandering.  If the government as a whole or any elected representative thereof suggest that some segment of society should be treated grandly while any other is not equally so treated should be dishonorably dismissed from their role.  They fail to comprehend the nature of useful societies.

 

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A New “old” Approach

Over the past several day I have read a variety of news articles, commentaries and of course the ever-present opinions expressed on Facebook.  I have been reading about the killing of children and adults in Newtown, Ct.

Replete, abundantly, is the discussion of gun control.  That discussion is followed by accusations and assumptions about mental health.  Behind that is the argument about God not being allowed into schools.  The alternate views are praised and defamed.  Blame is laid at the feet of every special interest and cause imaginable.  In some cases it is mild.  In other cases it is severe to the point of possibly needing investigation by authorities…before another incident erupts.

As I said in a previous post it appears to me that there is a lot of hacking at the branches, and little attack on the root cause.  I will address this in a manner offensive to some, naive to others, and laudatory to a few.

To begin with the argument for gun control is understandable.  Take away the guns and the weapon of choice is eliminated, thus subverting the ability of a potential assailant to commit such heinous acts.  Seems logical, except for the fact that it will not prevent these acts from reoccurring.  In fact, when these acts do occur they will be that much more astonishing because we will have presumed safety where it did not exist.

Contrary to the argument for gun control is the argument against it.  A heavily armed and trained teacher in the kindergarten class could have and would have “made short work” of the scoundrel.  Their successful prosecution of preventive measures would be a clear message to all future assailants that they would be shot clean through.  Thus nobody would ever attempt such a dastardly deed again.  Weapons of self-defense have been successfully used for thousands of years.  Yet sadly, violence continues.  Besides, the prospect of an armed defender being in the right place at the right time is extraordinarily remote.

I shall not take quite as much time on the mental health issue.  In short it comes down to this.  One person pridefully says, ‘Because I have been trained, read a book, have experience with someone close to me that suffers for a mental health problem,  I am therefore an expert.  Listen to me…This must be a mental health problem.”  Further, they, and a host of others with even less (if possible) understanding pontificate about the need for more mental health resources.  The long and short of the “it must be a mental health problem” simply are choosing to believe that such heinous acts can only come from derangement.  They quickly reject that anyone differently motivated than themselves must “have something wrong with them”.  To me that is quite an extraordinarily prideful conclusion.

So, OK, what do I suggest?  Certainly not an all-encompassing solution to the self-centered behavior of assault.  I do offer what I believe is viable for a society steeped in a genuine desire to “fix” the problem.  Kindness!

Remember that story of the leprous general  in the bible.  He went to the prophet and said he wanted to be cured.  In short, with a touch of irony, the prophet said “go take a bath”.  The general was incensed.  Afterall, he was important.  The nerve of a prophet telling him to cleanup his act.  Fortunately, the general had a servant, more accustomed to being humble, who suggested to the big man that if the prophet had instructed him to do some “great thing” than wouldn’t he have done it readily.  Then the servant suggested that the general just go and do what he was told.  To the general’s credit he “humbled up” and was cured.

In that story lies the fundamental cause of human frailties; Pride.  It is the cause of all enmity between men.  It is the cause of all enmity between man and God.

Among the complexities of charity, which is commanded in the scriptures, exists the dimension of kindness.

Charity suffereth long, and is kind; charity envieth not; charity vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up,

Doth not behave itself unseemly, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil;

Rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in the truth;

Beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things.

I offer a solemn thought which could lead to a broader scope of repair to the fissures, cracks, and breaks in society.  Have we “tried the word of God”.  I don’t mean the try which says “God, yeah I think He is real.”  I mean the try which says “Yes, His advice makes complete sense and I AM going to do it!”

I don’t know the circumstances that led to any of the recent public displays of unreserved acts of violence.  I serious doubt anyone does or ever really will.  Yet, I am naive enough to believe that simple acts of kindness would have altered the behaviors.

Maybe it happened, I certainly don’t know, but here is what I imagine could have occurred.  A despondent person. contemplating some vile act at a mall, a theater, or an elementary school may have been walking the street the evening before or the morning of such acts.  Then, to their surprise a stranger offered a kind word, held a door, said thank you, let the person “go first” in line.  Such simple acts may have delayed their “acting out” their self-contained solutions to their despondency.  Maybe, just maybe, a caring kind gesture would give them confidence in their Godly humanity.

Now, imagine the effect upon that person, if each day for many weeks, months or years some random act of kindness was extended in their behalf.  I am sufficiently naive to believe those acts of kindness would, in fact, alter their behavior.

Now, who is willing to have the courage to extend such acts of courtesy, generosity, charity, or kindness?  This message is not new.  It is as old as God communicating His desires to mankind.  Hmmmm.  There are those words again; “man” and “kind”.  They fit together as naturally as “Please” and “Thank you”.

Ahhh.  But in my suggestion I err gravely.  Perpetual kindness in all places and in all circumstance is “no great thing”  for which a person can be recognized.

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Permissiveness of Exclusivity – The Cause of Social Slaughter

Henry David Thoreau said ” For every thousand hacking at the leaves of evil, there is one striking at the root.”

On Friday December 14, 2012 a man carrying a gun killed 27 people at an elementary school in Connecticut.  You all have heard about.  On December 11 a gunman killed two people and critically wounded one at this mall near Portland, Ore.  In July, a gunman killed 12 people and wounded 58 others in Aurora Colorado.  We all still recall the tragic news of the thirteen people murdered in Columbine.

Fifty-five people murdered, hundreds personally and immediately terrorized, thousands of family members and friends devastated for the rest of their lives, millions across the nation wondering “How did this happen?  What’s wrong with society?”

And of course the battle over gun control rages on among political elites and pseudo-sophisticates on Twitter, Facebook, and the rest of the “your wrong and I will prove it” social media websites.  “Guns don’t kill people, people kill people!”  Wahoo, we are all that much better informed now that we have been told that for the 27,000th time.

Not unaccustomed to setting myself up as an authority of things I know nothing about I will offer my opinion…as humble as it can be presented.  Keep in mind I intensely disagree with the liberality with which guns are sanctioned in our society.  It makes no sense to me, in light of all the specious arguments, that we justify slaughter in the name sport hunting.  Worse yet is the silly person that justifies hunting with the comment “I do it for the meat” or “I do it to feed my family”.  Yet, as a constitutional libertarian I whole-heartedly defend a person’s right to own, and when necessary, use their guns.  For me there is no distinction regarding the make and model.

These terrorist acts are public expressions of private assumptions about the gunman’s right to have power over others.  It comes from the permissiveness of exclusivity (pride, in laymen’s terms) in man’s constant pursuit of an expanded dominion.

In all of our social functions (politics, national origin, religion, education, business practices, entertainment, news reporting, ad infinitum) exclusivity is pandered to and promoted.  In national politics any lie is acceptable to advance a private agenda.  In entertainment (movies, books, and games) anything goes in order for the one to dominate the many, usually over something as silly as “I am angry at that person.”  Two people of faith in the same savior will come to blows over their opinion that “My God’s better than your God, My God’s better than yours.”  How about this one, that’s popular in the West and South, “This is my country, get the hell out!”

Some women may get irate at this comment, but the fall of the Roman Empire has been attributed to women getting equal rights/status.  That is insufficient.  The fall came from some members of society believing they had insufficient rights to dominate others, and those societies believed they had a duty to defend and protect such baseless assertions, just as we also now do as a nation.

Until we choose a different course, until we demand better of ourselves, our political, entertainment, media, and business leaders we can rest assured that those with legitimate universal rights will use those rights to terrorize others, assuming those rights are exclusive to themselves.

Thus, we are back again at the discussion of roots and branches.

An Old Story

Years ago a very rich man was traveling down the street.  At one point he saw a man in rags sitting leaning against a building.  He gave the man a couple of dollars and crossed the street to see what would happen.  How would the man use the money?

As he watched the man continue to beg, several of his friends passed by.  Each in turn either crossed the street or shuffled as far away as possible.  When his friends noticed the rich man they went a spoke to him.  Many commented on the “derelict” begging on the public street in that section of town.

A couple of weeks later the rich man invite all those friend to his home for a banquet.  After almost everyone had arrived a dirty beggar came through the door.  He bolted directly to food tabled snatching handfuls of everything he could reach.

All of the guest were shocked.  They scoffed and scorned.  Some derided the beggar for being too lazy.  Saddened and embarrassed the beggar ran from the mansion, knowing he had been made a joke of.

The topic of conversation centered around the “deadbeat” for a long time.

The rich man entered the hall to hear the excitement from his guests.  He was warmly greeted in his tuxedo, top hat, and expensive white gloves and cuff links.  He asked with a chuckle what happened to the beggar.

Everyone clamored around him explaining that they had “gotten rid of the interloper.”

Upon approaching the banquet table he took a fine china plate to serve himself.  Suddenly, he threw the plate to the floor where it shattered.  Then with no dignity at all be began to cram food into his pockets, both on the inside and outside of his tuxedo jacket.  He smeared greasy and sweet delicacies all over his expensive gloves.

His guests were astonished as he began yelling “Eat coat!  Eat Shirt.  Gouge yourself cummerbund. Here pockets feast for the night.”

When he was done he turned to his guests and whispered just loud enough to be heard in their stunned silence.

“My friends, I was here before as the beggar.  It was myself.  All that has changed is my clothing.  It MUST be that this banquet is for the cloth and not for the wearer.  You have honored my costume and neglect both mine and your own character.”

Then he waited a moment and added “please go home, but leave your topcoat and fashions here.  I wish to be among my truest friends.”

We are eager to condemn Donald J. Trump for his rough language, while ignoring the value of the man inside.  Perhaps it is time to set at bay those that would get caught up in the thick of thin things.  Maybe it is time for superficial appearance to take a backseat to substance.

That is The Way I See it.

Why Not Hillary.

The role of the President under the Constitution of the United States of America is almost exclusively to be the senior ambassador and commander-in-chief of the military.

The president’s role in domestic matters under the Constitution is very limited.

With those facts in mind our interest in electing a president should revolve around the extent to which the next president is capable and willing to be the senior ambassador for the United States. [Of course if your perspective is to reject the original intent of the Constitution there is no need to read further because we will be in a non-productive disagreement].

  1. A fact is that Hillary Clinton was a failure as Secretary of State worldwide.  In particular she became so disrespected in the Middle East that she served no useful purpose at the end of her tenure as SoS.  In the Middle East a woman in authority has a dynamically difficult challenge to “prove” herself among the male dominated power culture.  She became completely disregarded because of her inability meet that challenge!
  2. Another fact is that Hillary Clinton did not possess the skill set to generate respect from European and Asian regions.  She simply could not deliver a rational proposal.  Now, to be fair, her particular failing in this realm was due in part to an incompetent president (Barack Obama).  His inexperience, naivete, and administrative insecurity contributed to her dilemma.
  3. Her health issues which everyone has heard more than they wish to hear about reflect her future role as president.  Hillary for the past three years has demonstrated a secluded attitude and aptitude for public interaction.  This has been extraordinarily present during this campaign year.
    1. The speculation is that her health is much more severe than acknowledged.  Candidly, only she and her doctor know for sure.
    2. However, a top principle in hiring is “past performance is a predictor of future performance” there is just reason for all citizens to be concerned regarding restrains on her ability to perform the duties of President of the United States of America as outlined in the Constitution.

In all likelihood Hillary Clinton lacks the aptitude and physical presence to do the primary duty of the president.  She will not be able to represent the United States on the world stage.  In that failure our nation will fall even further behind other national powers as an influence in the global arena.  The timing is terrible for her to be president.

That is The Way I See It.

Hillary and Justice

Upon the seal of the US Attorney-General is the phrase

Qui Pro Domina Justitia Sequitur

who prosecutes on behalf of justice (or the Lady Justice).”

In its origin, in English Law, the phrase was translated to mean “who prosecutes for our Lord, the King (or, Lady the Queen.)”  Queen Elizabeth when first presented with Sir Edward Coke (perhaps the greatest jurist in English history) corrected the Lord Treasurer.

“It should be, Attorney-General who prosecutes for our Lady the Truth.”  Subsequently, it came to mean Lady Justice, the representation of final truth.

Lady Justice, the symbol of justice on many courthouses worldwide, is depicted in many fashions.  Adulterated over the centuries to meet particular special interest I appeal to one of the first from her origin, the Roman.

Pediment_courthouse,_Rome,_Italy
Lady Justice atop the Palace of Justice in Rome.

We generally think of three aspects of Lady Justice; Her scales of Justice, Her sword of Justice and her blindness to the perversion of justice.  Hence, the scales, sword and blindfold in many depictions. HK_Central_Statue_Square_Legislative_Council_Building_n_Themis_s

There is much more to her than these three items.  As recent as a century ago every aspect of art provided a grandly elegant statement in and of itself.  That is why art must be studied in nuance.  Lady Justice is no exemption.

  1. The scales accurately depict the sense that all evidence is weighed in the same scale, with the final balance bowing low to innocence or guilt.
  2. The blindfold suggest that Justice does not see the  injurious influence of fear or favor to class or privilege.  When the blind is removed all that remains is the tilt of the scale.
  3. The sword is doubled-sided it metes out with every swing punishment and protection with equal sharpness.

However, are there more subtleties to the image of Lady Justice?

  1. Notice her clothing, in most depictions.  Contrary to many statues of ancient Greece and Rome, which displayed the naked form, Lady Justice is most frequently fully robed.  True Justice is not corrupted subject to the depravities of a thousand forms of lust.  Justice is modest and appealed to for wisdom, not a form of worldly salaciousness.
  2. Seated to her right is daughter Dike also known as Justice and Peace.  To her left is Eunomia (Lawful Government) Lady Justice holds the law, to be defended, in her left hand behind Eunomia.  Remarkably, to our potential surprise, is the depiction of Justice at the Tehran Courthouse in Tehran, Iran. Justice_Statue_Iran  I will not go into the subtleties of that depiction, but leave that to you with an encouragement to look closely at the garb of all the characters.
  3. One last thing which I will point out in the Palace of Justice statue.  Lady Justice peers intently straight ahead.  Her gaze is steady, direct, and undistracted.  Neither power, prestige, prominence nor pecuniary benefit divert her from her from her sacred duty.

Now, who would I be if not ready with my own quips about justice.  Indeed, the very title of this article is Hillary and Justice.

There is a phrase that youth is wasted on the young.  I would coin another phrase that history is wasted on the old.  Our society has rejected history for the wisdom of tested and untested hypotheses of the young.

As one professor once told me, “We are foolish.  We think we are committing new sins.  Every sin has been committed before and probably better.”

There is nothing new or original in the conduct of Hillary Clinton, AG Lynch, Barack Obama, or even FBI Director Comey.  They are as children not quite weaned from the delicacies of deceit.  They have and are making a mockery of Justice.  They are shattering statutes of meaning into the rubble of meanness.

They dress in the immodesty of idle pandering.  Beside them sit the twins of greed and dominance.  Where once sat the dexter side of Justice is now an empty seat, while they play musical chairs on the sinister side.

The sword of Justice no longer swing in defense nor punishment…but rather is used to drive truth from the steps of justice.

They do not set their eyes firmly on justice.  Yet, instead those potentates of power see only the glitter of false gold before them wrapped in the mantle unworthiness.

Anyone who still ascended to the throne of Justice with an idea that it may be found in the likes of Hillary Clinton and the “powers that be” will ultimately be frustrated.

 

 

A little About # 3

We hear a lot of chatter about the First, Second, Ninth, and Tenth Amendment to the US Constitution.  More commonly known as the Bill of Rights.

Maybe I am simply out of the loop, but I don’t hear much about the Third Amendment.  Do you?

Amendment III (3): Housing of soldiers
No Soldier shall, in time of peace be quartered in any house, without the consent of the Owner, nor in time of war, but in a manner to be prescribed by law.

The rest of the ten amendments, enacted less than a decade after the Constitution was ratified, have been the focal point at some time in our recent past.  Number 3 is just not respected like the others.  In fact, one has to asked why it is even in the list.

Think about this little fact:  The states did not ratify the second of James Madison’s twelve proposed amendments.  That amendment would have restricted congressional pay raises.    So,…the states felt the eventual Third Amendment was even more important than controlling the ability of Congress to give itself a raise.

Following on the heels of ratifying that citizens had the right to keep and bear arms  was the categorical restriction on the central government’s right to intrude on private property.

During, and prior to, the American War for Independence the British war machine, at their leisure, could commandeer homes, farms, saloons, etc for the housing of their  troops and command centers.  No compensation was required.  Abuses of property owners was rampant.

Several states upon ratifying the Constitution did so with the caveat that the principle in the Third Amendment would be expeditiously added to the US Constitution.

The idea was that the central government would have very limited power to intrude into the lives, liberties, and property of the people.  In essence the founders (legislatures of the colonies) were declaring in the Second Amendment “we have the right to arm ourselves against invasion.”  Then they reiterated that the central government was included as being restricted from invasion or intrusion into the homes of the people.

When members of Congress stage sit-ins, and battle for the privilege of violating the Second Amendment they likewise are seeking to override the inherent right of the people to say “stay out of my home.”

Of such things we the people should be most leery.

We need not look to Nazi Germany and the other nations in the Axis of Evil to see what gun-control laws result in.  We have our very own history for examples.  It is a history that tells the tale of a people determined to be free of government intrusion.  It is a history that should be preserved, not wasted by power-hungry elected officials.

That Is The Way I See It.

 

Why I am out of Shape

I don’t mean to be insensitive, but this is how I address issues.  If apologies are needed consider them offered.

Like many of you I am obese.  That is according to various health care analyses.  I am, shame shame shame, about 45 pounds overweight.  I grace the bathroom scales at above 200 pounds, higher than the professional say I should.

Now believe it or not I am quite happy about that tidbit of fact.  You see a while back I was almost 75 pounds overweight.  According to my convoluted way of calculating things my overweight problem has improved by 46.7%.  That is dang good!

Here is my plan for greater success.

  1. I will stand at the door of several fast food restaurants with picket signs protesting their selling of greasy burgers and fries.
  2. I will also picket my favorite grocery stores demanding they cease and desist making candy, bread, processed foods…and beef jerky available.
  3. From there I will seek a court order demanding that the local gym bring their facilities right to my door, so that I don’t have to over-work in order to workout.  Now logic would dictate that they also provide someone to exercise for me.

This next one is a little more complex, but would yield the best results.  I will champion the cause of having all the manufacturers of bathroom scales redesign their products.  Everyone desiring to lose weight should be able to “re-calibrate” the scales they buy.  I, and many of you, should be able to reset our bathroom scales so that one pound is equal to 17, 18, 19, or even twenty ounces (depending on our particular demand).

Here is the idea behind it.  Let’s presume that my existing scale say I weigh 200 pound.  That is the equivalent of 3200 ounces, current standard.  However, if I re-calibrated my scales to one pound equaling 20 ounce look at the result.  Rather than weighing 200 pounds I would then only tip the fulcrum at 160 pounds.

Now not to over complicate the math but if I then converted the pounds to the metric measurement of kilograms my weight would only be approximately 72.5.  There you have it.  Without giving up one single french fry, candy bar, or ice cream sandwich I would immediately be well below my ideal weight.  In fact with numbers like that I am certain my physician would encourage me to indulge much much more.

I am suddenly free from the public scrutiny and self-control.  No more looks from squinty-eyes of the pharmacist or passive insults from my doctor that I am a slob.  And, best of all, because I now am substantially within my weight range I will automatically feel much better.

The above analysis leads me to a different subject.

It is essential that we ban all guns from society.  Thus, neither society nor individuals needs to be burden with self-control.

Although mass murder is a direct result of one person seeking control by imposing their private solution on others, banning all guns will immediately remove the burden of self-restrain.  Imagine the long-term benefits?

Eventually society will mellow-out and each member of the universal community will forget about aggression altogether.  History has proven that to us!  A few thousand years ago Cain, the gardener, whipped out his handy dandy hoe and whacked Abel until Abel was unable to be able-bodied any more.

A few family members wanted garden tools outlawed.  But not to be outdone  a few generations later people turned to rocks for a while.  Then they beat their plowshares into swords.

It got a little risky sneaking up behind folks and giving them the Lizzie Borden business of forty whacks to kill her mother.  Hence,  the protest continued as bows and arrows surfaced as the weapon for longer distance mayhem.

Well, to keep the story reasonably short bows and arrows gave way to catapults, which in turn gave way to cannons.  Now, here we are some few thousand years later with rocket launchers, bombs and armor-piercing bullets.  What next?

Mankind has not resolved his lust for mastery, but has found new a dramatic means of enforcing it.

What  is the natural conclusion to all of this?  Banning the bullet is as senseless as burning the bra. Neither stops the heart of man from lusting after what bullets and bras hide;  the lust to dominate others.

As long as people garnish dominion over others no degree of garnishing guns will alleviate destructive natures.

Hiding the weapons will have, and history has abundantly proven it, as much weight on correcting the problem as re-calibrating my bathroom scales.  It takes on the appearance of solution, yet, does not improve the situation for any length of time.

As with weight loss, mayhem and murder are not prevented by changing the scales.  It only comes through allowing others to live according to their accommodation with others.

Until the focus falls on the aggressor…there will always be hoes, stones, bows and arrows, bullets, bombs, and eventually laser, phaser, and evaporators for them to use.

As Princess Leah said in a movie long long ago, “The more you tighten your grip the more star systems will slip through your fingers.”  The more self-centered politicians try to tighten their grip on guns the more haters will slip through their fingers with bigger and badder arsenals.

The truest solution has to do with managing the mayhem of aggression, not pacifying protection through vacuous displays of outrage.

That Is The Way I See It.

 

 

 

Size DOESN’T Matter!

I listened to Rush Limbaugh braying on his radio show this morning.  As he pretended, for the sake of dollars, to be objective he was softly endorsing Ted Cruz’s hopeless attempt to become president in 2017.

One of the deceits that “El Rusbo” was promoting was his lame attempt to undermine the credibility of Coach Bobby Knight.  Limp Limbaugh was subtly making fun of Coach Knight says he didn’t know what a conservative was.  Of course, as is the case with most of the microphone mouths of public radio, Rush ridiculed without actually offering any insight.

So, what is a “conservative?”  I ask that sincerely, because my perspective of them is that they are a group of sour Archie Bunkers.  They bellow their bellicose hatred but seldom deliver on substance.  Senator Ted Cruz is an excellent example.  Since January he has said virtually nothing about what he would do.  He has offered no specific plan.  Either he has been echoing Donald Trump or trying to piss in Donald’s breakfast cereal.  But, he offers nothing.

So, let me give my perspective on the “conservative” rhetoric.

One of the hyped hooplas of this special breed of haters is “We need smaller government.”  What does that even mean beyond the rhetoric?

The size of the central government is only a reflection of how it seeks to impose the will of a special interest on the liberty of the general interest.  A reflection, nothing more.  Conservatives like Ted Cruz are no more devoid of turning to the central government to impose his will than Barack Obama or John Boehner.

Let’s take a look at one issue: Immigration.

The answer which Cruz and company shallowly promote is that every immigrant should be deported by force.  In his mindset the federal government has an obligation to round-up and deport all immigrants.

What this translates into is that the central government must become the police state, armed to the gills to identify and deport.  That should not be the role of the federal government.

The central government should establish naturalization policies that make sense rather than simply making a special interest group happy.  Those policy then become the obligation of the states to enforce.

[Please do not mistake that the last paragraph is suggesting the states are subservient to the national government in all things.  For me to suggest such a thing would be directly counter to what I am actually saying.]

The central government should not be running programs that provide benefits to non-citizen immigrants.  None!  Once states establish enforcement of national limited specific immigration policies then states, through the voice of the people, should decide on any supplemental actions/benefits.

The “size-matters” conservatives scream for national attention, regulation, enforcement.  They do not offer solid ideas to reduce the encroachment of the national government into US Constitutionally protected rights of the states.

That is the difference between conservative noise makers like Senator Ted Cruz and true Conservatives like Donald Trump.  “How so,” some may ask?  Isn’t Donald Trump the one swearing to build a wall?”

That is a valid question, although rather simplistic.

While the senator from Texas panders to emotionalism Donald Trump actually responds with suggestions to reduce the imposition of national bureaucracy.  Trump’s idea that a wall must be built is because the flood of illegal immigrants into the USA.  His consistent caveat is that the foreign government will pay the cost.

That is actually excellent reductionist theory.  Not a focus on size, but a focus on reduction of imposition…which is the real issue.

Size Does Not Matter, anywhere near as much as the scope of imposition.  Which is where the focus should be in all central government actions.

That Is The Way I See It.

Rocky: Revisited

Because I am really old I remember when the first Rocky movie came out back in 1976.  That’s 40 years ago.

One of the great scenes from that movie was the skating rink scene.  The rink was closed.  Rocky Balboa and Adrian Pennino show up to go skating.  The sign says “closed.”  Rocky asked the custodian “Does that mean its closed to everyone, or just the general public?”

Interesting question!  But it get them in to skate a few twirls.

Recent events with the Republican presidential race have reminded me of that scene.  Here is why.

Well educated people, including myself, have been consistent in stating that Ted Cruz is not eligible to be president because he is not a natural born citizen.  Of course his apologists will twist any reality to suggest that he is eligible.

The argument many of them use is that various courts have determined that the Naturalization Act of 1790 absolves Cruz from meeting that requirement.  No need to really discuss the Fact that the Naturalization Act of 1795 specifically nullifies the 1790 act.

Rebuttals of the obsolete 1790 legislation naturally (no pun intended) fall on deft ears and closed minds.

How does this relate to the scene from Rocky?

Section 1 of Article Two of the United States Constitution sets forth the eligibility requirements for serving as president of the United States, under clause 5:

No Person except a natural born Citizen, or a Citizen of the United States, at the time of the Adoption of this Constitution, shall be eligible to the Office of President; neither shall any Person be eligible to that Office who shall not have attained to the Age of thirty-five Years, and been fourteen Years a Resident within the United States.

In essence, Senator Ted Cruz asked the courts “Does that mean its applies to everyone, or just the general public?”  The implication is that he sees himself as a special type of citizen…beyond the bounds of the Constitution.

Unfortunately the lowers courts, but never the Supreme court, have nodded and winked their assent to the idea that elected bureaucrats are in fact a special breed of citizen…to whom the MANDATES of the Constitution do not apply.

Well, the skating rink scene makes for good movie making.  However, this type of dereliction of duty and promiscuity of principles leaves our nation once again on very thin ice.

That Is The Way I See It.

 

Utah “Conservatives” are Confusing

So called conservatives in Utah are confusing.

Constitution On the one hand many of them say they are very strong advocates of the US Constitution.  Yet, their behavior seems so different.  I personally don’t think many of them actually know much about the US Constitution beyond knowing it is the quaint and appropriate thing to support…as a Republican.

First and foremost the Utah Republican Party platform does not adhere to the US Constitution as adopted.  So, to claim to be Republican and an advocate of the Constitution is actually counter intuitive…if one understands both.  One is placed above the other, and I believe they habitually place the Party above the Constitution.

Of course the easiest argument for them to make is that they will reform the Republican Party and bring it back to Constitutional principles.  How is that working out for them?  With the notable exception of a few which can be counted on one hand the significant and dominate leadership of the Republican Party lean decidedly contrary to the Constitution.  That is a situation which is expanding not diminishing.  Again, how is that partisan repentance thing working out?

Now, the next situation I want to comment on is the actual content of the US Constitution.  Nine of the thirteen original colonies approved the Constitution with provisos that substantive changes needed to be changed.  f_betsy.gif Even with the well-oiled machine of the Federalist dominating the discourse during the ratification it was the Anti-Federalists that actually prevailed in raising a voice loud enough to cause those nine colonies to ratify with provisos.

The question that should really be asked is whether some of our more verbose conservatives are “federalists” or “anti-federalists.”  James Madison, Father of the Constitution, was very decidedly Federalist.  That means he wanted a much stronger national/central government.  My Utah conservative friends tout him as a small government guy.  Not So much!  But then those crazy anti common core kids also get hyped up on Thomas Jefferson.  Jefferson was one of the strongest advocates for nationalized education.img_5878

Now, lest anyone accuse me of defaming the early fathers of our nation please withhold judgement.  I am not critical of them.  I think that they were among the best and wisest men ever to live.  Yet, they had different viewpoint based in understanding.  I personally don’t see that in our generation.  I see uninformed hype for a 30 second soundbite.

Moving on.  These same conservatives hyped on hyperbole bray about how Ted Cruz is the savior of the Republican Party, if not the nation…or even the world.  He has stated unequivocally that Dr. Carson, Senator Rubio, and Governor Kasich should drop out of the presidential race BECAUSE THERE WAS NO PATH TO VICTORY ON THE FIRST BALLOT.  Now he finds himself in that position and his criteria suddenly does not apply.  One day he is ready to strap John Kasich to the mast of his Cruz ship, and the next day he is snuggling up to him like he’s the captain of the Queen Mary.

The point is that Senator Ted Cruz is inconsistent.  “Lyin Ted” may just be a little too soft of a depiction of his character.  Yet, those unstudied wordsmiths of conservatism still hang on his every word.  It is one thing to hang together to avoid hanging separately…if based on INFORMED views.  It is an entirely different stupidity to kick dirt in Judge Roy Bean’s scrambled eggs, just for fun.

If the Constitutional Conservatives can’t support Donald J. TrumpTrump2, which they should, than wisdom would dictate that “as true believers” they would embrace the Constitution Party Candidate for president.  Afterall, he is actually a Natural Born Citizen.

That Is The Way I See It.

Transgender Bathrooms

Let me open by saying that I think transgender restrooms are an invitation to potential harm.  I oppose the concept.port a potty

With that out-of-the-way here is my analysis.

Governments generally overreach with their authority.  The central (national, federal, whatever you want to call it) government is the worst offender.  The politicians in office, be they Republican or Democrat, are the perpetrators of the offensiveness.

Hence, politicians should be constrained in their ability to impose their influence on much of what they do.  That includes writing laws regarding the use of restrooms.  It simply is not the business of government to mandate access to restrooms.  Politicians, and the governments they wield against the people, should no sooner be in the restroom than they should be in the bedroom.

Further, transgender restrooms have been around for a very long time in this country.  Politicians and their special interest financiers will not admit that, but it is a fact.  Additionally, there are literally hundreds of them throughout the USA.  The concept is nothing new.

Compounding the existence of co-ed crappers is the ever-present problem of public facilities not having any restrooms.  Go to a mall or factory outlet center.  There are many restaurants, but you must, in some cases, walk long distances simply to find a central secluded restroom to wash your hands.

In the mall closest to where I live the restroom is hidden down a series of halls.  Yes, there are the traditional gender specific restrooms at the end of the hideaway.  Yet, I would not want my daughters or wife to walk that distance alone.  Why, because the chance of attack is obviously greater.

Now, throughout the world (granted not the USA) there are areas where no public restrooms exist.  Some areas of South America are, by USA standards, embarrassingly absent of privacy.  Yet, necessity prevails.

Finally, does anyone actually believe that a an aggressor will not cross-dress in order to sneak into an opposite gender restroom in hopes of getting a quickie peak at someone elses privates?  It happens and no sign on the door prevents it.  Further, in today’s society where “anything goes” are your children any safer in a gender specific restroom, from homosexual stalkers than they are in transgender restrooms.

The argument is ridiculous and perpetuated by politicians willing to grasp onto any stupid idea that will get them noticed for minute.  Any politician that gives this matter a second’s worth of consideration does not deserve to be in office.  Yet, we will continue to elect these people who would sacrifice your liberty for their fame.

So, here is a viable solution which the “me too” politicians in the “Say Anything” Party might appreciate.  Federal funding would be required, which is their stock in corrupt legislation.  Restrooms should be provided as such:

Public toilets in a row
Public toilets in a row
  • Women’s room
  • Men’s room
  • cross-dresser’s room
  • Children of single women’s room
  • Children of single men’s room
  • Gay men’s room
  • Gay women’s room
  • Children of Gay men’s room
  • Children of gay women’s room
  • Polygamist women’s room
  • Polygamist men’s room
  • Male children of polygamist room
  • Female children of polygamist room
  • Self-identified cross-dresser’s room
  • Politician’s room

That should cover most scenarios…at least temporarily.  Yet, we do have politicians that will spend hours trying to create one more class of special interest to give them their own restroom.

I am going to be mildly crude here (cover your eyes).  There is no need for a bunch of politicians that are full of shit telling us where to crap.

That Is The Way I See It.

Selling Cars

Imagine, if you will, that you are shopping for a new car.

You go to several dealerships along  Auto Sales Drive.  You stop at one dealership and the salesman does his best to “make the sale.”

He shows off all the features, gives you the test drive, offers you a great price.  Yet, you are not convinced.  You share the following with the salesman:

“I was just across the street and salesman offer me all these same features and an even better price.  I am having a hard time making up my mind.”

The salesman, being well experienced, says the following:

“That is a pretty good dealership.  They offer reasonable deals.  Their management is topnotch.  However, their sales staff is quite new.”

He hesitates and gets a concerned look on his face.  He waits a bit longer, and then half looks away.  Finally he looks back at you, directly in the eye and says:

“I wonder if the salesman over there is aware of the latest safety tests report on that car…Doesn’t matter!  Let me tell you about this car you are looking at.  This car’s latest safety features include side door airbags.  It has a breathalyzer feature that you can turn-on  for your teenager’s safety.  It has the auto-notify feature to 911 in case of an accident where you can’t get to your phone.”

What you would have experienced is the “seed-of-doubt” sales pitch.  The salesman creates an unanswered pseudo-accusation about the other dealer.  Then he follows up with a hype about how his vehicle outsets the unverified suspicion.

Senator Ted Cruz, desperately wanting to win the Texas Primary and Republican nomination just did something interesting.

In essence he asked “should we wonder about Donald Trump’s mafia affiliations?  Is that why Donald Trump won’t release his tax filings?”

That is just another “seeds-of-doubt” sales pitch by Ted Cruz who has never really offered anything of substance beyond the standard pablum of political rhetoric.

That is why NO US Senator is supporting Ted Cruz.  He blows smoke and says there is a raging fire.  Not only is he ineligible to be president, he would also be unreliable as president.

That Is The Way I See It.

 

What Accounts For The Trump Stampede

I have listened to enough media pundits offer their views on why Donald J. Trump is stampeding to a Republican victory that I decided to offer my own thoughts.

One thing has bother me is how the media seeks to twist and manipulate the narrative.  Listening to Fox News election coverage tonight (2/23/2016) was all too revealing.  The predominant discussion was “how to stop Donald J. Trump.”

To me that is disingenuous for a media outlet.  They were advancing the idea of generating news rather than simply reporting it.  They were objectively attempting to stir-up a controversy.  I highlight FOX News because they are supposedly the one network that is generally sympathetic to the Republican Party.  Yet, they embraced the “let’s create a conflict” gambit.

Then they dragged in Karl Rove, one of their perpetual pundits.  Rove has a habit of hauling around a whites board to scribble numbers on and twist them to mean things which they simply don’t mean.  His actual success as strategist has been quite dismal (in 2012 he lost all the races he assisted).

In their pretended effort to analyze what is happening in the presidential race they actually fail.  They don’t provide insight into what is happening, but advocate strategies to keep the race as competitive for as long as possible.  I guess they fear that suddenly the world will run out of news, so they are into manufacturing it.

I believe more sound, although still hypothetical, analysis of why a candidate is doing well would actually help the public.  So, I offer my assessment of why Donald J. Trump is being so successful.

Donald Trump offers hope to a nation, if not the world, that is crying for stability.  Nearly everywhere we look chaos reigns.  Far to often that chaos is dancing on the threshold of a government bureaucratic doorstep.  As a population we are hoping for an opportunity to get around that chaos.

We are literally threatened on every border, and in some cases by our very own elected officials, with vicious attacks from terrorists.  Young men by the thousands strapped on their courage and took the fight to the offenders.  Today the message we hear from government is to back-down, open our borders, and pay terrorist states to “kill us…last.”  Donald Trump gets the sentiments of people seeking to clear the chaos.

His simple straight forward unapologetic massage is “Make America Great Again.”  The citizens of the United States are willing to crawl over broken glass just to grasp a weapon to defend this nation.  They want a president and congress that will say in essence “There will be no more broken glass promises on our watch!”

The pundits fully expected Donald J. Trump to be out of touch with the population because of his vast wealth.  They thought the public would see him as out of touch with us common folk.  The fact is that “us common folk” have a hope that one day we too may acquire the success that Donald Trump has achieved.  We don’t resent him we admire his skill.

Other candidates have acquired wealth, but have not demonstrated they really worked for it.  That is why we the people don’t see them as ringing true.  All the other candidates have ascended the steps to the electoral stage through the burden of “special interest funded campaigns.”  Millions have been raised by them.  Donald Trump has simply committed to fund his own campaign.  People appreciate that contrast, and are will to embrace it with the ballots.

Although the media wants the population to hate that, we actually love it.  We love the idea that a man is actually putting his own money where his mouth is.  Citizens of the USA cheer for achievers.  Donald J Trump is an achiever.

Lastly, and actually maybe most importantly, we want a candidate that see the best in us.  Donald J. Trump talks tough.  He hits hard.  So often the media gets the story wrong.  They say he condescending.  What they refuse to say is that so much more often he is expressing his appreciation.

Making America Great Again is not simply a campaign slogan.  Donald J. Trump demonstrates what greatness is.

The people recognize that greatness is not just the power over others.  We the people also intuitively know that greatness is the ability to empower others. 

Donald J. Trump gets that and says it.

The media, pundits, and his opponents don’t grasp, the way the public does, that Making America Great Again, is simply unleashing the power of our existing greatness.

That Is The Way I See It.