Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Tracking "differences" prevents operation of America's "Melting Pot" heritage

Our Government, at every level, has stopped America from continuing to operate as what we used to refer to as "the great melting pot."  When our country was "discovered" by the Italians, the Scandinavians and the Irish, among many others, as holding out the opportunity for attaining success, they ran into opposition.  Much of it was oriented around Race and discrimination.  But over time, that passed and today they and their offspring are seen as "American" as anyone else.

Today, we have arguments about "racism" all to often, regarding Color of Skin, and Religion...and there seems little hope that it will be resolved anytime soon.

Why did the first groups go beyond it in relatively short order while others cannot seem to get beyond the perceived challenge?

I hear comments that America has a problem with "white" privilege, that a significant portion of our residents are racist and act punitively against anyone who is not considered "white."  Others posit that skin color never fades and is always a sign that is interpreted as being "different."  And the argument regarding religious practices and beliefs adds fuel to the flame of perceived negativity.  All of these positions are offered as reasons (or excuses) for the failure of groups being assimilated into American Life.

These reasons (or "excuses") don't hold up to close scrutiny.

Those who came to this country voluntarily wanted to become Americans.  They had not found opportunity in the country of their birth and wanted the chance to attain more.  They knew there was no guarantee of success, or even of survival, but they appreciated that America provided opportunity to try to achieve something more than was afforded them in their birth country.  Many failed.  Significant numbers died.  But those who survived became full-fledged Americans thankful for the opportunity to succeed or fail on the basis of their own abilities, rather than a caste or other system in the country of their birth that denied them the chance to prove themselves.  They saw the obstacles, including the racial opinions of those already here and established, as challenges to be overcome.  There were no guarantees or gifts of success, but they accepted that as only fair.

African-Americans did not come by choice.  And until freed by the Emancipation Proclamation few had the chance to succeed on their own abilities and merits.  But freed they were, and declared to be citizens of the United States of America.  Did they have challenges due to lack of education?  Yes...but so did those who came from the Mediterranean and Asian countries.  Did they face organized resistance and fear from those already established?  Of course they did, just as did the other groups that had chosen to come here.  The big difference was not the color of their skin; those of Mediterranean and Asian Heritage had the same obstacles. Their big difference was choice!   What was the solution to that challenge?   They could have actively petitioned for funds to travel back to their home country.  Of course, history tends to ignore the fact that African-Americans were sold into slavery by their own countrymen for profit and to eliminate competition for power. Going back to those countries would allow them to look the same as others of their race, but they were unlikely to survive for long...and they had become used to living in America.  So the clear choice for the vast majority was to stay here and strive for a successful free life.

And that struggle was severe in the Southern States of America due to the ingrained attitude of non-African-Americans to see African-Americans as less than equal.  And the North, despite their self-serving claims, wasn't much better;  they simply hid their opinions a bit more effectively.  The Civil Rights Laws passed in the mid-twentieth century as well as the Supreme Court decisions of that ere were needed to provide legal protection for some semblance of equal treatment.  But equal treatment in America as well as throughout the world has always been an illusion rather than a reality.  It hasn't, doesn't and never will exist.  America tries harder than most, but it is an impossible goal because the human race is not equal at all.  We all have different abilities and traits and no one and no government can or should promise equality of anything.  All that can be promised is to allow each person the right to take a chance.  No guarantees of success or any level of result.  People don't grow up equally.  Someone born to well-educated and financially secure parents has a better shot at success than someone born in poverty to parents with no appreciable education.  That is the way of life.  But even a casual study of achievements reveal that a fair number of children born in poverty achieve greater success than those born into wealth and privilege.

The reason that a perception of racism remains so strong today is that our governments' decisions to trace and classify Americans today by Race, Gender, Sexual Orientation and Religion tells us that such differences are important.  It says that even if you are a third generation American, the background of your great grandparents matters...officially.

It shouldn't.  Yes, the laws of this country can provide a legal remedy if one is discriminated against...and they do.  But that should be a private action by one citizen against another...not a basis for tracking by and the interest of the entire Federal Government.  Leaving the government out of tracking such differences would send the clear signal to all of us that such differences do not matter, that we are all Americans and we have that common identity.

Every immigrant group that has come to America has had to comply with the requirements of our immigration laws, has had to adjust to American Society.  In most cases, those coming here would gravitate to hold to themselves for emotional and financial security, even as they encouraged their children to learn English and become "American."  Later generations increasingly became assimilated with the enthusiastic encouragement of the first arrivals...the "melting pot" worked.

Currently there are only two groups where this hasn't taken place;  African-Americans, and those of the Islamic faith.

African-Americans that have failed to escape poverty can look to the Federal Government as the real cause.  By taking the attitude that there needs to be virtually eternal financial support in a variety of forms, the Federal Government has essentially declared that African-Americans cannot succeed on their own efforts and merit.  By so doing they invite and encourage all but the most dedicated and inspired member of that community to just take the offerings of the Federal Government and remain dependent thereon.  They take it...but they are not stupid and do recognize that they are being disrespected and ultimately resent it mightily...and quite correctly start to "cop and attitude."  Any human being would. Want to see a happy community? Provide limits to government support, but provide plenty of job training and guidance.

The other group that has not assimilated is that of the Islamic Faith.  They show no sign of wanting to assimilate.  Apparently, they want to re-create their country of origin here in America.  That includes Sharia Law and a way of living that is contrary to the inherent freedoms of American culture.  Such "separateness" should not be permitted...certainly not the legal attitude.  In America, American Law applies and no area of the United States should be allowed to apply any other standards.  If immigrants fail to follow our laws, they should be deported back to their country of origin.  If already a citizen, they need to be prosecuted and jailed.

But our Federal Government would go a long way to recognizing the equality of every American by applying the policy of benign neglect to any and all attempts to track any racial, gender, ethnic or religious elements of its citizens.  As the populace realizes that it isn't important to the government, they will cease to see it as important to them.

Saturday, December 17, 2016

A Government may be legal...and still be illegitimate

The United States has just gone through an intense election and the European Union is seeing its member nations involved in an almost universal crisis of confidence in membership in that union.

Most of us have been angry, disturbed or perhaps just uncomfortable with actions that have been judged by our respective national justice systems to be legal even as we "knew" that they were wrong.  Sometimes this has been because of badly worded laws, sometimes because of very good defenses coupled with inadequate or inept prosecutions (or the reverse), and sometimes because it seemed as everyone was so very worried about the individual tree as the forest was left to burn or wither.

In America Free Speech, originally defined to mean that there could, with rare exceptions, not be prevention of the right to say something, has become defined as meaning that whatever and however something is said, there shall be no consequences for it.  That is just a perversion of the original intent.  No longer is it necessary to be certain that your speech is a truthful statement lest you be brought into court for libeling someone...say whatever you want.  This may be legal...but any sane person would suggest that such action should be judged as illegitimate.

The legal system in America has become a tool to enable people to avoid consequences for doing and saying illegitimate things.  Just one example is the treatment of those entering and remaining in our country illegally.  Our Constitution is a contract between its government and its citizens;  it basically establishes that the government will protect its citizens and the country's borders and the citizens will obey the laws that govern the land.  How on earth does any person or group who has NOT obeyed the laws of the United States get the right to claim that the government provide them the protections promised to its citizens?  Those here illegally come to the table as non-parties to the contract and, moreover, they come with unclean hands, having already broken the laws that a citizen, as part of the contract, agrees to obey and abide by.

In France, the people voted NOT to join the European Union...but somehow (who know by what technical legal maneuvers) they are a member.  The fact that France's politicians have done something that they argue was legal, does not make it legitimate.  All over the world, the increased ability to communicate without prior constraint by governments is revealing to the people that their governments are run for the self-defined elites of each country, that the citizens are being made to support the lives of elites who care not one wit for the citizenry.

Strange that the elites seem unable to understand why the people are upset, angry and growing closer and closer to violence each day.  How quickly the elites around the world forget the lessons of the Russian and French revolutions, among many others.  When the government(s) show contempt for the law or use it for their own privileged purposes,  why should they not understand that the citizens will see that they need to act in their own interests regardless of the laws, in the same way that the politicians have done to mistreat the citizens, to regain control of their own lives.

Those in power can only avoid "consequences" for so long before they must account.  And the longer they delay that accounting, the more extreme the consequences.

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

"Open Border" advocates are not "American"

I repeat..."open border" advocates are not "Americans."  Oh, they can be citizens. They can also be citizens of other countries.  But they are absolutely not Americans.


Because the concept of a country...every country... is that it has borders.  Those borders are definite.  They are defended.  They are enforced.  It is effective borders that make, for instance, Germany different than France, and Italy different from Austria.  If it weren't for borders, eventually the languages would merge, individual traditions would fade and the individual country identifications would fade into oblivion.

Those who advocate open borders for the United States of America ... and for the rest of the world if asked ... are those who believe in a World Order or World Government,

They see no value in the United States Constitution, or any other country's founding documents or beliefs, because it is their intention to create a world-wide unit that will be run by an entity populated by those they consider gifted, educated (by their definition) elites that will direct how the rest of the world's population will behave and live.

Should you doubt this, "google" Agenda 21, read all the basic documents and position papers, then check to see the progress that it has made in various countries of the world and get back to me.

Whether our President was Clinton (Bill or Hillary) or Trump matters little to them except as to the degree either of them would present road blocks to the New One World Order.  Think of it as the German Reich on steroids.

Consider that the United States of America is almost an ungovernable entity as it now exists, thanks to President Lincoln and the Civil War.  And that has nothing to do with slavery.  That is based on the fact that the founding fathers realized that a Republic was an effective and responsive form of government only for a limited area or limited population.  They full expected that as the colonists expanded into the continent and the population grew that new Republics would be formed to retain the responsive self-rule that they so valued.  They full expected those new Republics to create treaties and alliances with the original for the purpose of self-defense, but that each would have a government that would serve the citizens of each respective Republic.  Consider this: at the time of the formation of the Republic, each member of the House of Representatives represented  30.000 people.  Today, each member of the House represents 720,000 people.  To get the same level of responsiveness today, the House would have to consist of over 10,500 people.  Does any sane individual really think that your Elected Representative is influenced by what you...or even you and one thousand of your friends...thinks?  Does any sane person think that this ratio is even in the ball park of ensuring representative government?

But as bad as this is, consider what would happen with a World Government.  Jefferson accurately indicated that eventually government becomes the enemy of individual freedom.

That being so, the question now is whether a sufficient number of our citizens are Americans, and if they are prepared to fight to preserve at least the diluted representative government that we still have.

I don't know the answer...but I suspect that the next decade will reveal the answer.

Tuesday, November 8, 2016

The "People" are both angry and private

Progressive Liberal Democrats are depressed.  I can understand that; they have been spoiled by having things pretty much their own way for almost a decade now. Their President has used Executive Orders to create a country that he devoutly wishes he could have brought into being with laws, but made do with his pen.  The good news for the PLD folks was that they got the country they wanted.  The bad news is that is wasn't and isn't permanent.

But that is just the ideological view.  What is much more important is that this election revealed the depth of the voters' anger at the entire political establishment...all tremendous.  It showed in the Republican primaries.  It showed in the Democrat primaries.

The fact is that the political establishment deluded itself, talking itself into a presumption of control and power based in part on a disrespect for the independence of the American voter.  That presumption was ill conceived, presumptuous and just wrong.  And our politicians have earned the anger.  You can be sure it will not be easily assuaged.

The other factor that makes this election a surprise to so many is that the American public can be really private about what they think, especially if revealing their true feelings might cause their friends and business associates to disrespect them.  Clearly, this flumixed the pollsters.  I personally know two individuals who were polled and told the pollster they were voting for the Democrat candidate, yet told me that they were voting for Mr. Trump because of Mrs. Clinton's lying, inabilities, and what they see as her treating Classified information as unimportant when it collided with her desire for secrecy and control of her private affairs.  The view her as inherently corrupt.

Politicians, Washington (D.C) and the power structure in this country had better adjust quickly and treat the citizenry with the respect that they have not granted for several decades.

Thursday, October 27, 2016

Has the United States become "Balcanized?"

After much effort and planning, my father emigrated from Norway to the United States in the early 1920s.  He first had to arrange a sponsor, then get a written guarantee of a job, save money so that he would not be a burden on the government, show that he had a place to live when he arrived and finally, upon entry, go through a physical exam to show that he was not bringing with him any communicative disease(s).  He told me he never thought that these requirements were burdensome, wrong or illegal; they were good, common sense requirements to protect both the United States and him.

He spoke little English, but those he lived with and worked with immediately began teaching him English and he enrolled in Citizenship Classes to prepare him for the Citizenship Exam.  He...and all who attended those classes with him...came to America to become "Americans."  He honored his birth country, Norway, and taught me to do the same...but he emphasized that he hadn't come to America to make America into a "little Norway,"...he had come to become a true "American."  He wanted to, and believed in, assimilation.  He and all the other immigrants that he came to know were anxious to become a part of the the miracle that was the United States of America...a country where one found the freedom to try to succeed in ways not available to him in Europe...and understood that that freedom came with the possibility of consequences of failure, too.  That was the trade-off: freedom to strive came with no guarantees other than the right to "try."  And he found that if you failed, you had the opportunity to try again.  And he did.

Dad loved visiting Norway in later years, and being with old friends and acquaintances...but he never failed to exhibit a sigh of relief when he came home again to America and say, "it's so good to be home again"...he was an "American."  Not a "Norwegian-American."  And he was both proud and thankful for that.

As I was going through school I was surrounded by kids also born to immigrants...from many different countries.  We got to know and appreciate each other and each other's national backgrounds...but always there was the attitude that those backgrounds were nice, they were part of "us"...but they were incidental; we were Americans.  We appreciated and we abided by the rules and the laws of America...and expected everyone to do the same.  Those who broke the laws and the rules were outcasts...not by any command or written edict, but automatically by their disregard and disrespect for the essence of "America."

Sadly, my observations reveal that this "America" has largely disappeared and is well on its way to extinction.  First, I see multitudes (particularly in the Southwest) who have not come here "by the rules" or legally.  Second, I see many groups refusing to assimilate, keeping to groups from their country of origin continuing to speak the language of their country of origin and refusing to even make believe they are trying to learn English.  Third, a majority of today's immigrants still hold allegiance to their country of origin and not to the United States of America...and attempt to make America into a "mini" version of their country of origin, even to the point of disrespecting the American Flag and flying the flag of their birth country.

 Most importantly, I see the Federal Government of the United States of America actually supporting these activities, aiding and abetting this lack of assimilation.  And the result is that the United States of America has become increasingly "Balcanized."  As Europe originally did in areas of the Caribbean and South America, areas of the United States now seem less like America and more like small versions of other foreign countries...America has disappeared.

The Federal Government no longer truly protects our borders or control who comes to America...and then takes action against border states that attempt to fill the need for that protection and control, leaving the citizens of those states unprotected and at risk.  Add to that the actions of some major cities that put the welfare of those who surreptitiously and illegally cross into this country above that of lawful citizens.  Arguably, those elected officials in those cities are in abdication of their oaths of Office...but neither the citizens of those cities or the Federal Government seems to least not enough to demand that that be stopped.

America is losing its identity...and amazingly a great number of our citizens do not seem to mind or care.  Thankfully, my father has passed away...otherwise these actions would insure his dying of embarrassment for the country he adopted as his own and loved more than where he was born.  And I am embarrassed for my country's abdication of its character.

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Why do we have Racial Unrest today? (#3 of 3)

There is a valid assertion that by providing government assistance that assures survivability and is available for virtually an unlimited period we cause the receiving group to not only become dependent on such support, but to train them to ignore all other potential efforts to be self-sufficient.

But given that such dependence now exists, to discuss whether or not it should have been done is a useless exercise.

To be "given" support over an extended period of time with no requirement or expectation of moving from that support to self-support creates a sense of shame (usually deeply buried) and compensatory attitudes to bolster a sense of self-worth.  For kids without fathers present in their daily lives, they substitute gangs and gang membership.  To support their self-worth, they develop their own sense of right and wrong that supports their own actions, regardless of what those actions are, as "right."  And they totally ignore efforts from "others" to change that view, because to change would necessitate that they acknowledge that their previous actions were not "good" or "right."  Oh, there are some that see the bigger picture, but not many.

It is this unwillingness to change, and the underlying anger that supports it, that creates the real problem for those kids, their neighborhoods, and ultimately for America as a nation.  What can or should be done?

I freely admit that I don't know.

But there are some ideas that might be worthy of at least talking about.

Supposing an organized effort was made to take every single child that did not have a father present and employed out of the neighborhood and put them in a proven, approved foster home that had access to a good school district with support to encourage achievement?

What if the rules on schooling provided not only for school choice, but for schools to be able to bar  disruptive kids from the campus, thus allowing students who wanted to learn the teacher time to enable that desire?

What if disruptive kids were required to be put in a military type, government organization where they were supervised and required to work each day for a menial wage until they came to recognize the advantages of learning?

How about city officials discussing with gangs the possibility of them becoming screening groups for calling in regular Police forces, making them officially responsible for the safety of their community?  That would give them status but also make them responsible...a good pairing for learning to live a useful life.

Are these answers?  Probably not...but it is time we all recognized the very real and difficult problems that our citizens who live in the inner cities have and work to provide good and beneficial options for those there who want improvement.

Unfortunately I don't see our government, at any level, having any real interest in solving the situation.  They just want it to be quiet: quiet summers, quiet desperation, quiet unhappiness.  And that is just an abdication of their respective oath's of office.  Until we demand and see that that attitude changes, we will have to look to private organizations to move forward.  And I hope that all of them, both civic and religious groups, step up...and soon.  Each of us, as citizens of a great nation, should have available to us a path to success.  That path isn't free, and it isn't easy, but it should exist so that every citizen with purpose and motivation can travel forward...and upward.

Monday, October 3, 2016

Why do we have Racial Unrest today? (#2 of 3)

It is essential to understand three things, before looking at the root cause of today's challenges:

First, having a reason...even a valid reason...for doing something does NOT eliminate the consequences for what is done.  When civil disobedience was first used, the actions taken were against the law.  Those who broke the law fully expected to be arrested and jailed; they understood (unlike so many today) that in order to bring attention to their position that the laws were unjust, they would be put into jail.  They accepted that that would happen but were convinced that by so doing they would bring more publicity and more support to change laws they were convinced were unjust, unfair and just wrong.  They understood and accepted the concept of "consequences."

The riots, looting, injuring and killing people in response to perceived injustice are wrong.  While in varying degrees the response is understood, it is NOT excusable and those who so act should be arrested, prosecuted and jailed for their crimes...and they ARE crimes.

Second, those in the minority community who talk about hating whites are NOT racists.  They have had experiences that have taught them that most whites with whom they have interacted are not nice people, that they disrespect and mistreat...and cheat...them.  Their attitudes are the result of experience, not of un-supported assumptions.

Third, the majority community (usually white) that interact with the minority (usually black) community are NOT racists either.  Their experience has been that they are disrespected, called names and have things thrown at them and are lied to by the minority community.  Their attitude is experience-based, not the result of un-supported assumptions.

So...could we all stop with the accusations of Racism or being Racist?  It is wrong and it is not productive.

With all that in mind, what is at the root of today's challenges?

I would suggest that there are two main causes: Failure of Education, and Failure of Government.

Education in this country is based on the Prussian model, designed to create good citizens.  "Good" citizens was defined as those with sufficient educational skills (writing, math, spelling, ability to read, and an appreciation for a nation's "rightness" in history) and the training to obey basic laws and orders from the "powers that be."  It was, as best I can estimate, about 50% education and 50% indoctrination.  When established in America, initially the indoctrination part of the equation did not work; students went home to a family life that required hard work, independent thinking to survive, and parents that had no problem at all in dismissing anything they deemed "faulty" in the teaching...and in dismissing any teacher that didn't teach as the "families" (making up the school) wanted.  So that period of education worked for as long as the family unit remained the prime trainer of children.

This all changed after the Great Depression and World War II.  "Modern" parenting became permissive (and parents wanted to avoid their children suffering from the depredations that they suffered during the depression) and absent as the march to acquire "stuff" and the movement toward "women's equality" saw many mothers now working outside the family home.  Children no longer experienced their parents checking not only their homework, but what they were being taught each day.  Teachers' Unions came into existence and parents no longer controlled what their children were taught...of even if the were being taught.  Today's parents who care about such things often find themselves banned from even entering their children's' schools, much less determining what they are taught.Today's schools seem to be 90% indoctrination, with failure to pass in the remaining teaching elements no obstacle to being given a High School Diploma.

This failure is clear throughout the United States, but is particularly disabling to young, poor, minority youth in our inner cities.  Even those with a H.S.Diploma find it hard to find a job.  And most are the product of broken homes where there is often only one parent, and that parent has to work multiple jobs to survive, even as they get some benefit from so-called "safety-net" social programs.

The first generation to suffer this kind of existence is embarrassed by it and want desperately to get out of the dependency.  The second generation is less embarrassed and less motivated.  By the advent of the third generation, the dependent life-style has become the norm and they know nothing else.  However...all people who are "given" stuff, eventually come to hate and despise the givers because the very dependency on "unearned" anything is disrespectful.  So they grow angry and simmer...until some action becomes the "hair that brakes the camel's back" and all of that resentment explodes in violence...violence that hurts themselves, their neighbors and friends more than it moves toward a correction or solution to the underlying causes.

Government, of course, serves those who contribute the money.  That means that government want the peace kept.  Instead of identifying the educational needs of the poor and the minority citizenry, the government simply works to wall-up the poor.  Then, they give enough money to keep the poor from starving in an effort to keep them quiet.  Even those who claim to want to improve the plight of the poor only do enough to secure the votes of the poor so those elected officials can stay in office, often speaking disrespectfully of those of their own race in the privacy of their offices.

So...what, if any, are the solutions?  We'll look at that in my next (and last) entry.

Friday, September 23, 2016

Why do we have racial unrest today? (#1 of 3)

I watch sports to get away from the concerns I have with the world, country and my life.  For me, sports has always been about performance, not personalities or beliefs.  Yes, that is an artificial and protected view of life, but it provides a certain solace for a period, after which I have to go back to living life.

Suddenly, that solace has been taken from me.  And my reaction has been anger.  All my life I have dealt with people of all races, colors, and creeds on the basis of their performance and character; do they do what they promised, and are they truthful...these are the rules in business.  In my personal life I gravitated to people with the same moral outlook and conversational interests.  In listing business associates and acquaintances, I would have to think twice or three times to even try to identify the race, color or creed of those I know...those considerations are unimportant and unworthy of notice.

But all of a sudden I have strangers accusing me of being a racist and being responsible for someone else's happiness, well-being and/or "feelings."  Hogwash!  No one cares about my feelings either, but that doesn't mean that anyone is doing or intending  me ill.  That is not their responsibility.

So,...fine, I can dismiss the whole thing as being the creation of a group of narcissists who want "someone else" to be responsible.

Except, maybe that is not the intelligent thing to do.

The people demonstrating and rioting, clamoring for "something" while damaging property and hurting people, are clearly motivated.  Yes, some of them are criminals and others are just looking for "free" stuff.  But others clearly perceive themselves to have valid grievances and want something done.  And that kind of emotional response doesn't come overnight or from just one or two incidents.

Certainly I don't know about the quality of life about which they are complaining.  I have been stopped by police over the years for traffic incidents; I have always been conscious of their concerns about my being a potential danger, and have been extremely careful about obeying their instructions exactly, and asking permission for any movement I would like to make.  I have had some interaction with officers who "had an attitude" but simply put it down to their having a bad cay and dealt with the situation by being formally polite.  But some of the more logical lucid observations by some demonstrators indicate that their experiences have been different...even to the point of disrespect (an often overused term, these days).  They want that stopped...particularly in light of their seeing such an attitude leading to unnecessary deaths from civilian/police interactions.

I know that, if all this is true, I am not to blame.  But...then, who IS to blame?

Clearly, the things that the demonstrators complain about didn't just start in the immediate past; it takes time for frustration with a situation to develop to the point that any group will be large enough and angry enough to destroy property of their neighbors and friends, loot stores, attack and kill police. and why did this situation come about?

Perhaps if we investigate (to solve, not avoid or postpone) we can get insight sufficient to point us toward solutions rather than cover-up.

                                                (To be continued)

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

This Fall's election doesn't really matter...

It can be argued that this Fall's election is either the last chance to save America or that it is already too late.  These two possibilities have absolutely nothing to do with ideology.  They are based on simple financial considerations.

Consider that neither candidate likely to be elected in the Fall has spoken much, if at all, about the need to get our budget under control and to reduce the national deficit.  Consider that no party, no campaign group and no significant organized group of citizens have spoken of spending as a problem.  Note that no media outlet of any sort has mentioned anything about a need to get our finances under control.

All that one reads, hears or watches has to do with control and contributing more in the way of funds or benefits to those in our country...legally or otherwise.

One hears nothing about the constant flow of lies coming out of Washington, the clear failure of Justice to apply to those in power, and the lack of accountability of those in the Federal Government.  You can even hear a reporter suggesting, in the form of a question to an elected official, if honesty is overrated in government.

One argument suggests that the last clear chance to save our nation in the form that it holds today was in the 2012 election.  It was clear by then that our finances were out of control, that our government's elected officials were lying to its citizens, that the economy was not recovering at a pace that would provide needed jobs and that the upper echelons of government were failing to fulfill their administrative and oath of office duties.

In 2012 the citizens of the United States chose more "free" stuff over taking for themselves and demanding of their elected officials the taking of responsibility to balance the budget and start down a path of fiscal responsibility.  At that time they saw an out-of-control spending that was most of the way to the present almost 20 Trillion Dollars.  All but several trillion was created in those first 4 years from 2008 to 2012...and much of that first one and a half trillion had been voted for by the person holding the office of President.  Nonetheless, the voters approved another 4 years of more of the same fiscal insanity and lying and inept administration.

Certainly should Ms. Clinton be elected in November, it is unlikely that the nation will survive past 2020.  Why?  Well, interest rates cannot stay close to zero forever.  As the National Debt rises toward 25 Trillion Dollars and interest rates also rise, the cost of the debt will meet or exceed the amount of tax revenue. leaving no money to actually run the government.  Seniors will find their checks either not being honored or just not arriving.  As payments to police, firemen and soldiers are first delayed and then not issued at all, public safety will cease to exist.  If SCOTUS has approved laws allowing the confiscation of firearms in private ownership, there will be few, if any, to attempt to enforce those laws...and with the proof of the government's failure becoming so obvious, there will be actual revolt throughout the country...and those who will be positioned to be in power will be those who possess firearms, have planned for such a disaster and who have little respect for those who for decades have been belittling and insulting them.  It will not be pretty.

But one thing will be for certain:  who is President and who controls Congress or SCOTUS will no longer matter.

Tuesday, August 2, 2016

"Words"...or "actions"

Children aren't taught this anymore, but I grew up to the mantra, "Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me."  And it was a factual comment.  As I grew up, I learned to listen to words for understanding, learning and as an indicator of the the nature of the person speaking the words.  For anyone who wants to learn, words and the manner of speaking reveals a lot.  Words contain promise as well as threat.  Words provide nuance that is available for the listener who wants to hear it.

Actions, however, provide no choice.  They simply "are" and the results cannot be changed.  Actions can hurt as well as provide pleasure.  Of the two, actions are the most immediately dangerous.  Words, if used to deceive or misdirect, are just as dangerous...sometimes more actions because they, unlike actions, can seem to promise even as they deceive.

A person who lies lacks both honor and character and is to be avoided.  Above all, such a person should never be allowed to have power or authority over you.  But such a person, provided that they are aware of their lying, is not the most dangerous.

The most dangerous of people is that individual who not only lies successfully to others, but who also lies so successfully to themselves that they no longer are aware of their own dishonesty.  Why is such a person so dangerous?  Because they actually exude a sense of belief in their lies that can be very effective in convincing or conning the listener...they come across as believing what they say and there is little defense against such a presentation other than research and verification.

Today children and young adults, particularly those who attend College or University, seem to be indoctrinated with the concept that they should never be challenged by words or ideas which they have been taught or either wrong or hurtful.  They have absolutely no emotional callouses; they are ill prepared to evaluate or research ideas, much less challenge them.

But even more concerning is that these young people seem now to consider the "nicety" of words and ideas to be more important that honesty and actions; they are less insulted by those who lie to them and fail to fulfill promises (provided that the lies are phrased nicely and in a complimentary way) than those who speak bluntly and are not "politically correct" (which is clearly an oxymoron).  For those who know the "Music Man" play and movie, they would honor the smooth talking liar for his ability to talk and accept the lack of honesty...and then consider themselves superior for so doing.

How can we, as a nation, accept such perverting of our values?  How can we allow our children to grow to an age when they must become self-reliant while we allow a government that we elect to spend our children and grandchildren into financial ruin?  By what reasoning do we allow our children to be indoctrinated to value "group think" and "avoidance of (or even absence of) consequences" while we fail to teach them that any person or government that is strong or big enough to give them anything is also big and strong enough to take everything away?

One of my own grandchildren has become a victim of this American failure.  I am embarrassed that I was not aware and did nothing to attempt to provide some counter instruction.  I am embarrassed for all of us who assumed a dedication by our educational and political systems on the part of those who educated and who have and continue to rule us.  Our cost of our negligence will be visited upon our descendants and, if justice is served, we will be reviled by those who come after as narcissistic cowards who failed our offspring.  I would apologize, but those would just be words...I have already allowed others to throw the sticks and stones.

Monday, July 25, 2016

What should be the criteria for being "President of the United States?"

It is the election season.  Actually, it feels as if it has been the elections season forever already!  But we still have over 3 months during which we will be bombarded with reasons to favor one candidate over another and why one of the candidates is just the worst example of humanity ever.

Already we hear and read arguments that center on race, gender and ideology...and, strangely enough, honesty.  That last one often confuses me because I have always expected that those elected to high office would be, for the most part, honest and truthful.  But the other day I watched in amazement as an interviewer asked our current President of the United States if "honesty was overrated!"

Can you believe that such a question would even be asked?  I was astounded.  Has our country, that once presumed honesty on the part of each of us and, when it was found wanting would exile the liar from any contact with our children or ourselves, sunk so low that we now accept dishonesty and lack of trustworthiness and truthfulness in our politicians and elect them knowing that they possess those traits?

As to the other elements being raised, I find them superfluous.  Competence should always be the criteria for holding the office of the Presidency: competence and trustworthiness also.  In the upcoming election, my examination of the performance record of Ms. Clinton in public office reveals a lack of both.  She has lied.  She has failed to protect her people from danger as Sec./State.  She has failed to protect secret information properly, knowing that she was putting information at risk.

The performance record of Ms. Clinton disqualifies her as a trustworthy, competent candidate for the office of the Presidency for anyone who examines her record with an objective mind.

Her gender and race are immaterial.  Currently there are 106 women holding elective office with a record that invites consideration for holding the office of the President of the United States (6 Governors, 20 Senators, and 81 members of the U.S. House of Representatives), plus others holding positions as CEOs in private industry.  While it is foolish to place gender as the top tier requisite for holding any office, elected or not, no one can convince me that one or more of these women would not be the equal of any man currently showing interest in holding office of President.

I have worked for women who were not only the equal of, but superior to, most of the men for whom I have I know there are qualified women who should be considered and ultimately elected.  But not one the basis that "I have waited and now its my turn," but rather, "I have a proven track record that reveals the competency, the honesty and the trustworthiness needed to perform the duties of President of the United States, and I invite an examination of my record.

It is competence, honesty and trustworthiness that should be foremost.  Placing any other criteria above these simply invites the presumption of corruption of purpose.

Sunday, July 17, 2016

Blame the "Protectors" but not the "Doers?"

It often appears as if the so-called civilized world has lost its mind.  One of the recent news articles said that those who erroneously allowed the truck driver in Nice onto the road where he killed so many people were being least in part...for the deaths.  The anger in France...or in any country where terrorists act out...should be focused on the terrorist(s), not those who do their level best to protect others.  The French are not alone in their apparent desire to ignore the actual "doer" of the atrocity in favor of attacking those who were trying to prevent such occurrences.

In America, I have seen minorities "cop and attitude" with police when approached for almost anything.  In an era where minorities have ambushed and assassinated police, those who serve as police are logically on alert.  When they approach someone and issue an order (such as "don't move your hands" or "keep you hands where I can see them") and that order is not obeyed, I know of no logical person who wouldn't react as if there were a developing threat and react accordingly.  But in the aftermath of these events, even our President accuses police of "overreacting" ...or even of discrimination.

Today, in America it is not hard to get a cop fired.  This administration will virtually require local police departments to punish and/or fire any officer who is complained of by any minority.  The logical action, then, would be to behave very quietly when approached by any member of the law enforcement community and then bring it to the attention of the police department and the Justice Department.  Instead, some just insist on not obeying commands and/or mouthing off as they move their hands in ways that could constitute a threat.

Who is blamed?  Why, the law enforcement officer(s) of course.

Over the years, I have been approached by police nine or ten times.  Each time, I responded as I would have to any person with authority: directly and politely.  Was I uneasy? some cases I wasn't sure what I had done wrong, in others I had been speeding and was chagrined that I had been "caught."  Another time there had been a "hit and run" and I was questioned if I had seen a particular color and make vehicle.  And one time, coming home from school, I had a brake light that wasn't working.  Big Deal?  Not really.  Life goes on around us and sometimes we're the hammer and other times we are the nail.

What I don't understand is why the human race seems bent on allowing those who initiate behavior that results in consequences feel that it is appropriate to deflect consequences on the responder instead of the "doer" who's actions began the whole thing.  I can understand how the people involved would like to accomplish that...but not society as a whole, each member of which should know better.

Monday, July 4, 2016

Why the protest against Patriotism?

Our schools and many of our politicians today want to do away with patriotism.  Even the courts seem to agree.  Schools no longer start the day with the Pledge of Allegiance or singing the National Anthom, something that use to be the norm.  Why?

I know of no other country on earth that provides the combination of opportunity and the lack of a "class" attitude that prevents individuals from working to accomplish great things.  Many of our largest, most profitable, most generous, and most innovative companies were started by people who came from low or middle class backgrounds and who accomplished much without even completing a college degree.  It was their effort and accomplishment that was rewarded.

And it was rewarded by the United States of America and its economy.  No other nation state provides the opportunities for individual success that does America.

Yet there are apparently a sizable, if not a majority, of those who control education in America that deem America a "bad" entity; who take every opportunity to focus on her faults and ignore her strengths.  Not satisfied with that, they work to cease teaching our children to value the good that exists in America; they often extol the belief and economic systems in other countries, arguing that America is bad because it doesn't proved equality of accomplishment and pay to every person who resides (note that citizenship is not a factor) in the country...or even visits.

These individuals and groups ignore that no other country provides the opportunities that are available to every citizen of America.

More important, they ignore that many countries and ideologies in the world seek to destroy the entity that we know as America.


If they know of another governing entity that is better, why not extol it factually, providing the basis for all citizens to evaluate their point of view.  Why do they use subterfuge and flawed emotional arguments to eliminate competition in schools, rewards for excellence and diminution of accomplishment as a basis for grades...and even arguing that grades or performance is "hurtful."

These people seek only to destroy the United States as a shining example of individual achievement when given individual freedom.

Why do we allow them to hold office, positions of power, and honor them with acceptance?

Thursday, June 30, 2016

We are a "stricken" country!

I suspect that most of the citizens of Greece and of Rome were surprised when their civilizations collapsed.  After all, just living life and taking care of one's responsibilities to provide for one's family and to attend to each of our obligations takes time and attention.  We all tend...and I thing the citizens of Rome and Greece trust those with governmental power to preserve our safety.

We assume!

Of course we are aware of just how wrong that is...but we do it anyhow.  In part, we do it because those who got our vote promised us that they would look out for us...and, after all, they grew up in our town or county and knew what our attitudes were.  How could we expect that they would ignore us in favor of "strangers?"  Yet...they did.  And do.

Once our politicians leave our (their) town...they don't want to come back.  Even running for re-election is a chore and make them uncomfortable.  Just watch them at local "Town Halls."  Notice how controlled it is!  Notice how it "feels" like "us" versus "him (or her)".  Didn't feel that way the first time he or she ran for office, did it?

They went to Washington and became part of a new community.  The Washington establishment doesn't truly care about your town, your county, or your state.  They no longer are a part of it.  They have become a part of the elite establishment who, as a group, reassure each other that they "know best" and that your interests are just "wrong."

Are any of you who read this post for even one instant think this isn't so?  Are you that naive?  Or that wrapped up in your individual life pressures that you haven't noticed?  You have been...and continue to be...scammed.  Conned.  Lied to.  And...IGNORED. are too busy to do anything about it, so our country is stricken and on the way to oblivion.

Monday, June 13, 2016

Have we become a nation of "victims?"

Once upon a time (and, no...this is not a fairy tale) America was a country full of people who "did" things.  Our forefathers never ever expected to be given anything; they expected to live or die on the basis of whether they succeeded or not.  And many did die.  The actual number of people that died as America was settled and then expanded west is least I have never seen any estimate supported by good research.  Those who survived accomplished amazing things.

These people were of all kinds: kind, cruel, gifted, lucky and all sorts of other mixes of character traits.  The common trait, however, was that they had only themselves to rely on and that meant they had to take responsibility for the path that their lives took.  They were doers...NOT watchers.  They acted.  They acted to accomplish goals: to eat, live, support their family, to defend their family.  None of them...that survived...expected this to be done for them.  They didn't sit around waiting for someone else to support or protect them.

Very few people of that frame of mind exist in America today.  Those that do are vilified as cruel, unkind, uncaring and/or addition to many other terms of disrespect.  Why?  For two main reasons: 1. that sort of attitude is embarrassing to those who are supported by government handouts and if acknowledged as a good thing would leave the recipients feeling "less than";2. the politicians who use the "giving" of other peoples' money to those who don't achieve in order to "buy" their votes and thereby remain in office do not want that fact...or the fact that they usually never keep their promises...highlighted, lest they lose their position of power.  I can remember the days of the Community Chest and local Churches and Charities taking care of the "deserving" poor.  Yes...I said "deserving."  Because in those days every town and county had hard working folk who had disaster visited upon them unexpectedly and were as hard-working as any other member of the community...they deserved help.  Likewise, every town had some who were poor out of lack of effort or impulse, making a career out of looking for a hand out.  Those folk were never indulged...except for the "elitists" and Progressives in town who were rich and make themselves feel worthy by ostensibly giving funds to any poor person providing it could be done public.

Today's America is populated by an increasing number of passive and active "victims."  Almost half now receive money from the government that has no basis on their contributions to government programs, like Social Security.  That is money that was paid by the recipients over past years, and that is repaid by the government now on the basis of how much you contributed during your working and productive years.  No...I am talking about reverse taxation, unemployment, welfare and the like.

There was a time when a majority of people who found themselves in a position to have to take such support were embarrassed to do so; they knew that they hadn't earned it, and looked forward to getting back on their feet so that they could take pride in living off of what they earned.  No such embarrassment today; in fact, there is a certain pride and braggadocio exhibited by those who are "stealing" tax dollars from those who do work and pay the taxes that are so blithely redistributed by politicians.  And the majority allow this sort of attitude...even applaud it.  I find it disgusting.

The same goes for defending ourselves.  We allow the government to abandon guarding or enforcing our borders.  We make excuses to not hold those that attack us accountable, thereby keeping from having to react in any forceful way to eliminate such attacks.  A majority sit around as if there is nothing to be done...except to chant mantras and call for peace and love.  I remember a saying common when I was growing up: "God helps those that help themselves."  One didn't sit around moaning about did something about it.  Maybe you failed, but you tried.  You didn't whine about it or mis-characterize it for some unrelated agenda item.  It wasn't about words.  It was about doing!  Victims whine.  Independent free human beings act, and take pride in that fact.

Too bad that America has forgotten how to do that.

Sunday, May 15, 2016

Is Mr. Obama the reincarnation of LBJ?

Few politicians in the history of the world have been as successfully Machiavellian as was Lyndon Baines Johnson.  Most citizens remember him as an accomplished politician that served in the House of Representatives, then in the Senate, and ran successfully as JFK's Vice-President, becoming the Thirty-fifth President of the United States on the occasion of the assassination of President Kennedy on November 22, 1963.  The most enduring memory is of his unsuccessful oversight of the Viet Nam "War," and his decision not to run for re-election because of the unpopularity that he suffered as a result.

Some have suggested that Mr. Obama's legacy will suffer a similar fate as a result of his lying about the effect on citizens of the passing of the "Affordable Healthcare Act," the false narratives used to conclude a treaty with Iran on limiting the production of Nuclear arms by Iran, and his readiness to govern through Executive Orders, rather than negotiating with Congress.  Be that as it may...and only history and time will reveal what the public wishes to see as the is worth some time to compare the manner in which these two politicians operated.

Time has revealed much about Johnson that was generally unknown to a majority of Americans until less than a decade ago.  He was a tyrant to his staff and his wife...and, actually, to anyone who did not have the power to advance his success...behind closed doors.  And in many ways he was a vulgar man by standards (today, perhaps discarded) of the time.  He was a genius in detecting the needs of those in power around him and in playing to those needs; he was seen by all as being on "their" side and who thought like "them" even when each of those people were on opposite sides of the spectrum.  It is easy to come to the conclusion that Johnson actually had no ideological belief...his ideology was his own success and rapid progression to positions of power.

There is a three volume study of LBJ written by Mr. Robert Allan Caro that, for the student of history and politics, is an essential read.

It is questionable that LBJ could have operated in the manner that provided some much personal and professional success today; the ubiquitous nature of phone cameras coupled with the pressure to fill a 24/7/365 news cycle makes creating different personas for different people and groups impossible.

However, to even a casual observer, there seem to be immense similarities between the approach to professional goals displayed by LBJ and by President Obama.

Let us start by eliminating any discussion of where they are different.  Mr. Obama seems to have a firm ideological point of view that is consistent and constant; LBJ did not seem to have any inherent ideology, shifting his public positions as was politically convenient.  LBJ was a master at manipulating his fellow politicians and seemed to enjoy the process if not the necessity; Mr. Obama has shown himself to not play with others well, ignoring Congress as much as possible and depending on Executive Orders and an obsequious Supreme Court to accomplish his goals.

Both had very clear goals.  LBJ wanted to become President of the United States.  Otherwise, his interest was in preserving his own power and reputation as a master of the political craft.  Mr. Obama also wanted to become President, but his over-arching desire was and is to move the governance of the United States of America to the Left of the political spectrum, seeking to adopt and establish a democratic socialist norm in Washington, and providing rigid governmental oversight of what has been a primary dependence on Capitalism as the basis for the United States of America.

Both saw deception as legitimate in accomplishing their aims.  LBJ would encourage his colleagues and others in power to see him as an ally regardless of his true purpose, hiding the truth until the very last moment, or supplying a rationale to opponents that caused them to not realize how they had been manipulated.  His deception was totally successful in that if discovered at all, it was after his goals had been accomplished or after his death.

Mr. Obama's skill was oratorical. When planned carefully and followed meticulously by utilizing the teleprompter, Mr. Obama's use of the English language was matched in the modern era only by President Reagan.  The language was nuanced in a manner that every listener or viewer could interpret the words used to be a reflection of each listeners beliefs and desires, much as was done in personal interactions by LBJ.  The listener was able...actually hear what they wanted to hear.  This was particularly true when Mr. Obama was campaigning...and even after a successful election he continued to campaign, leaving the drudgery of actually administering the government to his trusted assistants.

The spotlight of modern communications prevented Mr. Obama from achieving the level of success LBJ enjoyed in hiding conflicting positions taken with different groups and individuals...but Mr. Obama took what can arguably be called the "Goebbels approach" to that challenge; when lying, do it consistently, never acknowledge it as a lie and imply that those who insist on claiming that a lie was told are doing so because of personal animus or racial animus.  As did LBJ, Mr. Obama was able to keep the media on his side by providing "leaks" and interviews to those media outlets that presented him in the most favorable light.

Both surrounded themselves with people who served them, placing family, country and mores far below their dedication to his success.

Mr. Obama's accomplishments prior to being elected to public office have been sealed.  When they become available, it would not be surprising to see some evidence of an intense study by Mr. Obama of LBJ's life and the means used to gain power.  They both show more than the average level of vanity, temper (and the need to hide that most of the time), high opinion of themselves, looked down on others as "less than" and were ready to sacrifice everything to the accomplishment of their goals.

It is too bad that our public schools have virtually abandoned teaching anything remotely resembling perceptive history or even current events, much less in anything like an objective manner.

Saturday, April 2, 2016

Perhaps now is the time for "THE TEN SUGGESTIONS"!

During the course of the last century the United States has slowly, but most certainly, ceased to be a Christian country.  Oh, our roots are in a Judeo-Christian heritage.  But a majority of our citizens and residents no longer hold that heritage as central in their personal, business or spiritual lives.

Moreover, the Government, including the courts, of the United States no longer hold in any reverence the symbols of Judeo-Christian beliefs.  They have decided that freedom OF religion means freedom FROM religion, and the majority of Americans seem quite content with that.

I think that is a mistake.  But in order to correct a mistake, it is first necessary to admit that there has been a mistake.  Currently there are folks who do not think that the battle has been lost.  They ignore the constant attitude of the courts, the politically correct vision of life that is contrary to Judeo-Christian tenets that permeates the entertainment industry, the failure on all sides to see the Ten Commandments as being tantamount to Law.

It is time to admit the loss of the battle, and in so doing bring to the forefront of every American's mind and soul the reality of what has been allowed to take place.

In every public square, every courthouse, every school...everywhere it is time to relabel the Ten Commandments as "The Ten Suggestions!"

This would have a number of benefits: First, it would acknowledge that the ten rules for living life are no longer law or revered as a matter of civilized behavior; Second, that it would eliminate the legitimacy of efforts to remove them from public life as being religious in nature; and Third, it would save communities huge sums of money that they might otherwise need to appropriate to defend the presence of the "commandments" in their communities public areas.

The most important benefit would be that it would made America once again an honest nation.  No longer would anyone feel bad about the failure to rush to the aid of prosecuted Christians around the globe, or to feel that defending other religions but not Christianity was some failure on our part to honor our heritage; that antisemitism could be now viewed as simply a choice made by the majority rather that a failure to abide by the precepts of civilized behavior.  It would make our claimed positions on what life should be consistent with our actions, and that would make it possible to consciously consider if we want to continue this slide...or stop and even reverse it.

And THAT would be a good conversation to have in every public square.

Monday, March 28, 2016

Reverse Evolution surrounds us

I recently had occasion to read some microfiche of newspaper articles from before and after the Civil War.  All but forgotten was the personal nature of attacks on politicians running for office and their families.  My High School classes (when High School actually taught you something instead of confining its activity to that of a badly run Day Care Center) had covered the lack of civility and the crass accusations that took over the newspapers of the day during the election season...and they were an embarrassment even to a bunch of cynical highschoolers.  More than 60 years ago we commented to ourselves and our teachers that such no longer happened and we were far more civilized now.  How presumptive were our assertions.

Today's electioneering and candidates actions and statements  make those ugly days of the past seem both civilized and moral by comparison.  Today's fellow citizens leave me embarrassed.  Why?

Somewhere in our inner  our minds, our souls and our very being...we know that attacks on family are just wrong.  At some basic level, we know that liars are not good leaders; we know that policy is fair game for comment and attack, but that personal attributes (other than truthfulness and moral behavior) mean nothing.  A handsome face does not guarantee anything but a good picture.  A less than handsome visage, with or without hair, or with a wig (good or bad), doesn't make a person a bad leader.

There was a time when bad language, baseless attacks, personal attacks, derogatory comments about family members, a reputation for falsehoods would render any person unqualified for public office.  There was a time when a person's policies would be demanded and then evaluated for effectiveness and sound financial base.  There was a time when the citizens of the United States of America wanted to vote for a person and policies, not against them; we wanted to be for something, not chose the lesser of two bad choices.

Apparently a majority of our citizens have replaced judgement with greed and narcissism; the impossible promise of "free" stuff is now sufficient to cause voters to forego an examination of whether a promise is possible to fulfill, whether a candidate is a liar, whether a candidate is the kind of person that we will be proud to say stands in our stead to the rest of the world.  How disgustingly and offensively cretin-like.  Our collective acceptance of , and dependence on, such behavior should leave us all ashamed.  But we clearly are not ashamed.

We make excuses for ourselves and for our candidates.  We say things like: "All politicians lie, so you have to put up with it."  You hear, "I wouldn't say it that way but what can you do?"  We nod when we hear, "Its about time someone running for office stopped 'pussyfooting' around and called it like it is!"  And yes, we do get angry with the failure of our leaders to keep their promises, and to solve problems.  Yet we also know that solving those problems will cost us money and now a majority of us don't want to hear that truth or contribute to the cost.  The result: we not only allow the lies...we condone them by electing those who lie to us.  And then complain about it...such hypocrisy!

So now we look to have three possible candidates, one of whom will be elected President of the United States: a liar, a vulgarian and a Socialist Septuagenarian with policies proven over the centuries not to work after the money of the rich has been spent.  Boy, do we know how to pick 'em!

I would not give any one of these people my power of attorney, yet our political system is about to give one of them far more power over each of us that would be granted by such a power-of-attorney.  We seem intent on proving to the world our collective stupidity and lack of caring for our country's and our own well-being.

Thursday, March 17, 2016

We have forgotten...

Those on the Left speak of the Constitution as a "living breathing" document.  Under this definition, they declare that it has not only the right, but in the natural order of things, to evolve to be useful to today's United States of America.

This is utter hogwash.  It is an attempt by those who don't like what the Constitution contains, with special emphasis on its limitations of government authority and huge areas not written of, to try to claim authority for their actions today from the ultimate secular authority...the documents founding this nation's government.

Years ago, I visited our Capitol.  I looked at the original Constitution.  It was paper, ... inert.  It did not have a pulse or a heartbeat.  It decidedly was NOT a "living, breathing" document.  Like a contract written today, it says what it says; the clear meaning of the words are easily discernible simply by reading the document.

What no longer exists today is the public's general knowledge of the Constitution and the attitude of those that created attitude largely ascribed to by the general populace of the time.  For whatever reason, today's educational system doesn't teach American History in anything close to a comprehensive manner; ask a young person or a student about the founding fathers and their points of view regarding government and you get blank stares.  Our educational failings have the potential to destroy the America that the founding fathers attempted to create.

The interpretation of the Constitution is NOT an exercise in creative writing or free association mental gymnastics.  Just as with laws written by Congress, it is a matter of looking at the clear and normal meaning of the written words, and supplementing that with a reading of the contemporaneous writings and utterances of those who created and voted to adopt it.  This approach is absolutely logical and does not require a "rocket scientist."

Those of us who were "educated" before students were given equal rights with educators and parents and allowed to dictate what and how they should be taught know just how much antipathy the founding fathers had for government.  They had suffered from the not-so-tender mercies of the English Government, and realized the danger that granting power to any government posed to individual freedoms.  Jefferson said it best, and is most often referenced, when he said that ultimately all government becomes the enemy of individual freedoms.  So...if they disliked government so much, why did they write the Constitution and create another one for themselves?  Does anyone think that they felt that they could do it better and create a ruling body that would be benign and no threat to the people?

They did not!

There was one over-riding reason for creating a Government of the United States of America: to protect it against another nations attempt to take over and govern the people of the colonies.  In other defend the country's autonomy.

All the rest is an attempt to prevent the Government from encroaching on its citizens.  It took no position about individual action regarding other individuals; the founding fathers were concerned with limiting government action that would effect citizens.  Militias were not the creation of the government; people created their own...and that right, with the effect of making hugely difficult any government desire to control the citizens by disarming them, to possess arms and be able to defend themselves against ANY government, including our own if it became the enemy, is right there in writing.  The right to rise up and overcome any government is made clear in our Declaration of Independence and does not have any exception for our own government; all can develop a threat and require revolt.

Read the comments, letters and other documents left by the Founding Fathers, with particular emphasis on those who signed the Constitution.  Their attitude was never about how to give the national government power or how to make it efficient; while one was needed for defense, in all other things it was perceived as a nascent threat to the freedom that has just been won on the battlefield, and the Founding Fathers fondest hope was that the government would practice the art of benign neglect in all areas of the colonists lives with the singular exception of defense of the nation.

Truly, the fears of the Founding Fathers have come to pass.  But the foolishness of a paper document "living and breathing" is just an exercise in creative writing...with the emphasis on creative!  It was the Founding Fathers who were living and breathing...and they were living and breathing the collective fear of just how dangerous government could become to the citizens over which it might develop power.  Their desire was to limit governmental power of citizens.  Thus, they did what they could to make the government inefficient and put in what they hoped would serve as checks and balances.  Unfortunately, those who gain positions of power adopt and adjust, and also connive, to extend power and avoid answering to the people.

If there is any hope of saving the creation that once was the United States of America, the voting public needs to learn...and in some cases re-learn...the attitudes and intent of the living, breathing Founding Fathers.  Therein is the key to understanding our Constitution.

Monday, March 7, 2016

America chooses Barabbas!

Occasionally I wonder at how the United States of America has survived almost Two Hundred and Forty Years.  For the most part we now seem to be a stupid, self-centered people lacking the ability to think objectively about anything long-term...and from time to time even having trouble concentrating on anything for more that twenty-four seconds unless it is ourselves.

While this seems quite clear in general, it is in the political arena where the proof seems written in neon, bold face, italics and underlined within quotes.  Reason has apparently left the building and we are left with mob rule governed by the lowest common denominator.

Need proof?

First, the American Public is angry.  It is angry at our politicians, particularly at the national level, for not getting things done, being "unable to play well with others" and just generally being dismissive of the wishes of the electorate.  The "public" is turning on those that are of the establishment, both on the political Left and Right.

On the political Left, we have two candidates vying for the Democratic nomination for President of the United States.  One is an avowed Socialist (recently self-amending his description to Democratic Socialist), promising "free stuff" to all, to be paid for by taking money from the rich and redistributing it to virtually everyone not categorized as "rich."   Recently he has had to admit that he will have to take "some" money from the Middle Class to cover the cost of his promised benefits.  He manages to ignore that even then, the funds that would theoretically be available would be inadequate...even if he took 100% of everyone's earnings.  Yet this candidate is actually winning primaries around the country.  His opponent is a previous First Lady who has served as Secretary of State for the United States of America.  She and her husband have been very successful in creating and obtaining funding for a Charitable Foundation they have formed.  Remarkable sums of money have been donated by all sorts of people around the world to both the foundation and as "speaking fees" to this ex-Secretary of State and her husband...including during her period of service as Sec/State.  Even her most stalwart supporters admit that the coincidence of such payment with requests granted do not look good, but they don't care.  Add to that the fact that during her term as Sec/State, our Ambassador to Lybia was killed and under oath she admitted that she told her daughter and others that the attack was a result of terrorism, but sent out State Department representatives to claim that the attack was the result of a movie trailer critical of Islam. The families of those killed indicate she made the same false claim to them when greeting them when  the bodies of the fallen arrived in the U.S.

Even now, there is a continuing investigation of her choice to set up a non-governmental, non-government sanctioned, email server for herself and her inner circle during her sojourn as Sec/State. The investigation holds the possibility that she will be indicted for violation of the Espionage Act.  At the very least, she has shown a total lack of concern for protecting the secrets of the United States of America.

These are the best and brightest that the political Left can put forth as potential Presidents of the United States of America.

Ah...but let us not neglect the political Right!  The American Public that defines themselves as the political Right have declared that the "professional" politicians and the establishment that serves and represents them have consistently lied to the public for the purposes of gaining office and, once having won an election gone, on to act in only their own personal interests and ignoring the wishes of the people.  So the people of the Right want an outsider; one they perceive as being more likely to actually act on behalf of the people.

The Establishment and the professionals did not, at first, take this sentiment seriously.  After all, in the past such anger dissipated sufficiently by election time to allow the continuation of business as usual.  Apparently they were wrong.

Out of more than a dozen initial candidates, the political Right is, as of now,  down to four. There had been three candidates who had not held public office previously; now there is just one...and he is winning delegates.  The professionals and the establishment is panicking!  They could end up losing their "insider" status along with their inside influence...and in government power and influence is far more important than money.

There is no doubt that politicians on both sides of the political aisle deserve the anger of the populace. They have worked long and hard for it and now they are suffering the consequences.

But...mobs are not good judges of character, ability, right or wrong.  They actually are not good judges of anything...and that is being proven in this election season.  Think about who remains in the running?  We have an experienced administrator currently serving as a Governor of an important state.  He has  a  track record of getting his state government to function effectively.  Yet he has the fewest delegates.  There are two first term Senators,  one with a strong Conservative record garnered at the expense of "not getting along" with other Republican Senators and the other seen as young and too easy on illegal immigration.  But these two are second and third in the struggle for delegates.  So...who is the current leader?  A successful businessman who has grown his fathers substantial stake into a truly impressive fortune of business interests and who has a track record of making deals and getting things done in the business world.  Largely ignored, however, is that his background of political donations and political thought has been largely to the left.  Additionally,  he has switched positions on many fronts often, to the point that, if elected, any action taken or attempted would be in line with one of his promises or positions during the campaign.  A proven vulgarian, he also exhibits certain megalomaniac tendencies and a temper...not entirely unlike the current Office holder.  But...many are supporting him just to punish the establishment types.

Not a pleasant situation to ponder, regardless of who "wins."  It is very likely that regardless of the outcome, the American Public will lose.

But for me, the icing on the cake is that the American Public had said they wanted someone who: 1) was truthful; 2)was intelligent; 3)had proven character; 4)was not "full of himself;" 5)was not "tainted" by public service; 6) humble enough to listen to and learn from others; 7) "played well with others" while holding onto authority; and 8) would hold the will of the people foremost in his or her mind.

They had such a candidate and rejected him: Dr. Benjamin Carson.  Dr. Carson is a man of proven intelligence, raised in a single parent household and rising to the top educationally and in a profession that mandates first that one "do no harm" and with a track record of honesty, accomplishment, administration and truthfulness.  As a neurosurgeon he has dealt with advancing the horizon of the known by studying and learning new things under pressure and under control, earning the respect and cooperation of those around him.  In other words, Dr. Carson was exactly what the mob said they wanted.  He did not insult others, he did not denigrate others, he offered his character and background to the American people...and the American People declined the offer. is not the first time.  After all, the mob in Jerusalem chose Barabbas over Jesus!

Monday, February 29, 2016

Tracking Race promotes Racism!

How would we all feel if on every application we were obligated to denote our family's country of Origin?  If your family had been American-born since the early 1800's but you still had to enter "England"...or "Italian", "Danish", "Dutch", "Spain", or "Egypt", among many others...would you think of yourself as American?  Or would you feel more attuned to the differences between you and others with different countries of origin?  How would you feel if getting a job, or being admitted to a College or University...or to a club or organization...were affected by your entry?  Would you feel "different?"

I would.  And I suspect that our preoccupation with tracking race on all manner of application and operational forms supports a sensitivity to race that it does not deserve.  After all, if two people (one black and one "white" [whatever that means these days]) from the same educational background apply to one school or for one job, why should race enter into it...there is no difference in the experiential background offered by the two.  If you want to use grades and a personal essay, doesn't that provide insights into the benefit that a student or new hire will bring to the school or the workplace?

Wouldn't eliminating pictures and race designations on applications, and race reporting on governmental forms actually encourage assimilation and reduced sensitivity to consider Race as important? America...isn't our goal to unify us all without regard to country of origin, race, or gender?  As long as we use Race to differentiate among divide us...we will have that used as a means of supporting a continued divide.

This country would be better off, both actually and perceptually, if we all saw the government as not being interested in Race at all.  That is NOT to suggest that discrimination be made either acceptable or lawful, but rather that this country and its resident acts in the expectation and assumption that race is a non-starter in selecting friends, applicants or neighbors.  What should be important, and judged individually, is if a person is civil, respectful of others and is truthful.  These characteristics have nothing at all to do with Race.

We all would be better off if we insisted that Race never be a factor in how we live or who we live with and what records are kept.  Those who seem most anxious to support continued "tracking" of Race are all making money or gaining power through the continuing use of Race as either an excuse for bad behavior (which is demeaning to whatever race it being applied to) or to bully acceptance of some who's abilities are below standard (which injures those who have a need for the best performers that they can afford).  And we all demean ourselves by allowing these charlatans to practice their bad behavior.

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Trump is the Republican's Obama

For the third Presidential election cycle we are experiencing an abandonment of reason by American citizenry.  That this can happen in a world where data is virtually unlimited and effective research no further than your laptop is astounding and does not speak well for homo sapiens.

Mr. Obama was elected twice on emotion, with virtually no vetting or inquiry as to his experience or training to handle the rigors of the job.  "Hope and Change" was the motto.  Never did Mr. Obama define those terms, so quite naturally every voter inclined to wish him well interpreted those terms to mean what the voter expected it to mean.  Salesmen for years have used that tack and one expects some success with it...but not total success.  The old adage was that you can fool some of the people all of the time, and all of the people some of the time, but never all of the people all of the time. did Mr. Obama not only win, but be re-elected four years later when it had become clear that he had his own definitions that were not influenced by the electorate and further that he was disposed to dis-ingenuousness (that means, lying),

The press almost universally failed to inquire of Mr. Obama specifics, nor did they suggest to readers, listeners or viewers that they might want to make such inquiries.  Whether this was failure on their part, or conspiracy with Mr. Obama's supporters I will leave for others to consider.

But one thing is crystal clear:  Mr. Obama's election and re-election was based on emotion, not logic or knowledge.

One might be excused for believing that, having seen the result of emotional indulgence, the public might be a bit more oriented toward logic, inquiry and thorough vetting the third time around.

Apparently, not so much!

There was once a time in America when the voting public acted much as a jury; they listened to the promises, they looked at the past record of behavior, they evaluated whether the promises were ones that could be kept, they even evaluated the moral behavior and reputation of the candidate for public office.  One candidate withdrew when it was discovered that he had a girlfriend in addition to his wife...and without any proof of physical infidelity.  Such a person was not fit for public office...then!

Since then we've had a President who seduced and intern, another who has been proven to have lied to the American people multiple times,  and failed to even try to keep promises made multiple times.  And in this third election cycle we have the leading candidate on the ideological right (well, he says that he is on the right!),  who until less than a year ago was demonstrably a political liberal and until days ago denied that he was involved in any bankruptcies, only to know admit that companies that he controlled did, on four occasions, declare Chapter 11 Bankruptcy claims that having done so will help him solve the country's challenge of reducing and eliminating a National Debt that exceeds Nineteen Trillion Dollars.  No joke!

And on the other side of the ideological aisle, we have two candidates: one has a track record of enabling a womanizer while claiming to be the perfect person to defend women against a claimed "war on women" by her opponents, has a proven record of lying about events in which she was involved while holding high appointed office, and is under investigation for potential violation of the United States Espionage act by failing to keep Top Secret documents and information safe.  And her opponent on the same side is earnestly is promising to redistribute income, taking from those who have earned it legally to redistribute it to those who have not, on the basis of claiming that such earnings were and are immoral; who is promising that college education for all should be "free" those receiving it, but with no realistic suggestion of who or how the cost will be paid; and who is an avowed Socialist.

What provides the most consternation is that these three people are serious candidates for President of the United States of America!

We are about to see the third Presidential election in a row determined, not by the American Voting Public sitting as a Jury but by an emotional mob.

Mr. Obama's first election was by a Happy, Enthusiastic, Optimistic mob, looking for high standards and statesmanship on the part of a supremely educated member of a minority race.

His second was less Happy and Optimistic, but was still a Mob that had "Faith."

Now the Mob (on both sides of the political aisle) is angry and turning on the "usual suspects" to a remarkable degree.  They are identifying on an emotional level with those who are confirming their own unhappiness with the government.  That unhappiness has nothing to do with Truth, or Logic, or a thorough vetting to statements and promises being made.  No, it is still emotional and reason has been thrown away.

Mr. Trump is the Republican's Obama, and he is being seen and treated with the same emotional mind-set with which the Left treated Mr. Obama; merging of their anger with his statements of anger, independent of and absent any evaluation of his past positions.  Ms. Clinton is a continuation of the policies of Mr. Obama, but without the "blackness" which benefited him.  Sen. Sanders is all emotional promises of "free stuff" to young voters who already are emotional by the dearth of opportunity in a stagnant economy and are prime for any promises of a better life, regardless of whether those promises are practically possible.

The Mob Rules...still.

We have nine months to see if any logic or sense will return to the political arena.  There is no apparent reason to be optimistic.  And if all continues, there will be an emotional hangover and we all will suffer the longest headache of our lives.

Monday, February 15, 2016

Is Government becoming our "God" substitute?

Even a cursory scan of History reveals a significant involvement presence of "God" in governing.  And the records show that it wasn't a particularly "hard" sell;  a vast majority of human beings all over the planet have an instinct to look to a "higher power", while any and all of those who wished to govern found it both effective and useful to claim direction from an unassailable higher being that could be challenged at the human level.  Even today, we see religion playing a huge role around the world in establishing a "right to rule."

Countries and Rulers who attempted to eliminate any reliance on authority from a higher power have been seen to have a limited shelf life.  The exist as long as military force supports the head of State, but collapses when that support disappears, usually accompanied by a lot of ill will.

A common view is that this is because of two elements: 1) as mentioned above, it is nice for a ruler to be able to play "good cop" to God as the "bad cop" when allows the human to take credit and kudos for the good things, and blame the bad things on an unassailable and unreachable entity with unlimited power and authority; and 2) many people truly believe in an "Almighty God" and do not need significant convincing to accept the concept.

The Founding Fathers clearly saw that any successful governing entity required the granting of authority of a Higher Power, stipulating that the right to govern was given man by God, and was inalienable.  They depended on the concept that by placing governing power in the hands of many, there would be less chance of any one individual claiming, acquiring and exercising his or her personal views by representing them as God's will.  All of those who were influential recognized the challenge.  Some were expecting success...probably the majority.  Others, like Jefferson, thought that the attempt had promise but a limited life span; as he said, "ultimately government becomes the enemy of individual freedom."  And they all recognized that the time could very well come when the government they founded would cease to be responsive to God and the People, thus requiring still another revolution.

When there is a general acceptance that governance is ultimately responsible to "God" there is a tendency to grumble when personal lives don't go very well...but most of the time (with exceptions, like the French Revolution) that is where it stops.  For more to occur, the "stand-ins" for God have to be supremely stupid...and that does occur.   When there is no concept of authority from God, it is much easier for those who object to governmental decisions to brand them as unacceptable and to claim just as much right to rule as does the person in charge.  Thus...governmental chaos can occur, followed by a period of optimism to be followed once again by chaos...and so forth.

America has evolved into a state of confusion in this regard.  We still have "In God we Trust" on our money.  A majority, as slim as it might be today, still sees us as a Judaeo-Christian country that looks to the moral elements of the ten commandments as imperatives.  At the same time, our Supreme Court has seen the Constitution's ban on "establishing" an official religion, a ban designed to allow each person the right to worship God in his or her own way, as a direction to remove God from public places.

Similarly, the public and the courts have eroded the once automatic alignment of law and morals as delineated in the Ten Commandments, making legal all manner of activities that were once seen as unacceptable.  Increased right to litigation has led to a remarkable lowering of standards considered previously as required civil behavior, the elimination of which once would have effectively brought about the shunning of the miscreant by all in a community.  Now they appear to be on the verge of being the majority.  Our leaders seem to delight in talking about God but ignoring God when governing.

Government, and human beings, make poor governors; both best succeed when they see themselves as tools, rather than the ultimate authority.  At the very least, an elected leader needs to always remember that he serves all of the people...NOT as a God or an authority, but as a representative and servant.  Politicians in our Republic have been quick to announce that they are elected because of their judgement and knowledge and ability to deal with many factors; they point to their background and relevant experiences as why they will decide for the people what the best decisions should be.  I find this presumptuous and repugnant; I fail to understand why so many citizens just accept this balderdash as authoritative.

But no longer do our leaders look to the people for guidance as to what the people want.  And they eliminate any concept of praying for guidance from any higher power either.  They have determined to be an authority of and for themselves.  The attempt to create a government for the people, by the people and of the people (with a presumption that all were accountable to "God") has become a government for the government and the office holders, by the government and the office holders, and of the government and its office holders.

It is hard to see how this will ever turn out well for what once was the United States of America.