Friday, December 30, 2011


“Political Suicide - the concept that a politician or political party would lose widespread support and confidence from the voting public by proposing actions that are seen as unfavourable or that might threaten the status quo... Cynics may blame this concept as a reason for a lack of real change or progress in society and that actions described as political suicide are usually sound intentions shot down by reactionism and fear of change.” Wikipedia

On a regular basis we hear that someone has or has almost committed “political suicide”. It is common to then hear a follow-up comment about those who only came close to this fatal mistake, “We cannot expect them to follow through as that would be political suicide.”

Just what does that comment imply? We are being told that it would be unreasonable for us to expect that politician to actually do what they said they would do because the result would likely end their political career. To take that one step further, it means; keeping a promise made or taking a bold step, which may be a career ending move, is not something we can honestly expect a politician to do. Why? Because we have to realize that their careers are more important than doing what is best for the country as a whole.

Sometimes, doing what is right and best for America is not the same as what might be best for the person who has to do the hard work or make the tough decision. Doing what is best for the long-term stability of our nation may be very unpopular with the masses marching down the streets of our cities. Doing what is right, when circumstances demand hard choices, can very well end a political career. It might even launch a recall election. But, that should not be the determining factor! Their careers are not more important to the people back home than saving our country.

We sent a new crop of representatives and senators to Washington a year ago. There was a loud and clear message at that time. We demand a change to what has been going on. We demand you go and make the tough decisions and do what it takes to stop the out-of-control spending. We demand that you go and reign in the Administration who has a standard practice of stomping on the Constitution. We demand that you repeal or defund Obamacare. We do not want you to go there to try to “get along” with the other side of the aisle. “Compromise” is not your job description.

We elected new faces for a specific purpose and those who gained our trust campaigned on being different from their predecessors. We gave the House a majority position with the mandate of stopping what was going on until we could change who occupied the White House in 2012. There were specific marching orders and we expected them to be followed!

Instead of doing the dirty work, we are finding a Republican majority in the House caving into Democrat and media pressure. They have spent much of the time, especially the leadership, trying to reach a compromise that both chambers will pass and the President will sign. Sorry, but I do not find that process in the campaign speeches we listened to or in the instructions we issued to the winners in the last election.

As I recall, we expected one of two things: either get passed what will save America or stop what will harm America. In either case, give us two years where no more harm can be done. We were reasonable and did not expect you to get a conservative agenda passed and signed into law with the limited position the Republicans held, but we did not expect one compromise and cave-in after another to a point where two years later we will find that the Left has just about got their way on most issues and a lot more harm has been done.

The financial well-being of the USA is on life-support. We cannot afford another year like the last one. For me, I would rather have a stalemate and a “government shutdown” over the differences of the life and death of our country, than a continual string of losses in one bill after another. We are told by the Republican leadership that “We have to get something passed!” NO, YOU DON’T! The Republicans CONTROL the House, act like it! Spending bills have to originate in the House. That is a very powerful position to hold. You may be outnumbered by two-to-one, but you hold the Hilltop. Stop firing a couple shots, letting out a few yells, and then waiving the white flag! We are not impressed!

We want men and women with backbone. We want you to stand on the principles that made this country great and then keep standing there. We demand that our government be brought back under the limits of the Constitution. We insist that spending be reduced, not just the increase slowed down a little. We will fight for our rights and we expect you to do the same for our rights.

Stop worrying about the media. You have the ability to communicate directly with us back home. Make the hard decisions, do what is right, begin the process of restoring limited government, cut spending; and then tell us directly what you did and why you did it. Remember, we are the ones who sent you there, you only have to answer to us. We expect you to commit political suicide if that is what it takes. If I see you doing the hard and unpopular work, voting to save America for future generations, I will vote for you again.

Back to the definition at the top, do what the masses see as “unfavorable”, upset the “status quo”. “Cynics may blame this concept (political suicide) as a reason for a lack of real change or progress…” It is not the cynics that voted for you. This is not a mob-ruled democracy and will never endure as such. Follow the rule of law (Constitution) and give our grandchildren a country where freedom still means something.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

The Miracle of Conversion

Last night my wife and I were watching the movie "Fireproof" on TV.  If you have not seen it, make sure you find a way as it is good.

During the movie the father of the man who is the main character is used by the Holy Spirit to lead his son to Christ.  To me, it was an amazingly powerful moment.  Sure, it is just a movie and those are just actors following a script; but that scene seemed so real that I had the sensation of witnessing a miracle.

Imagine yourself sitting in front of someone, looking into their eyes at the very moment that God changes the direction, for eternity, of their soul!  The miracle of birth just happened in front of you.  Heaven and hell just changed, forever!  You just gained a new spiritual sibling.  The body of Christ just became stronger and more complete.  The angels just set off in singing praises to God. 

Now, remember when you were born (again).  It was a miracle of God working on your sinful heart to make it clean and pure.  It was your soul being snatched from the grasp of damnation and in an instant your life was changed. 

Want to see a miracle?  Do you really?  Reach out to the lost, with the love of Christ, and let the Holy Spirit work through you.  One of these days, you will be sitting there looking into the blind eyes at the instant they are opened to see the Light for the very first time.

Have you seen the recent video, online, of the young woman who had just received the implant of a hearing device and was able to hear for the very first time in her life?  Go watch it here:

That is very moving and exciting to watch.  Someone who hears her own voice for the first time.  As great as that is, it does not compare to the spiritually blind having their eyes and hearts opened to see the truth of Jesus, for the very first time.

Showing the love of God can put you in the place of witnessing the ultimate miracle.  WOW!

Sunday, August 7, 2011

What Just Happened? - A Financial Meltdown!

Barely one week ago; Washington was in a frenzy over the debate about the national budget and the national debt, Wall Street ratings firms were threatening to downgrade the credit rating for the United States, stock prices were on the way up, gold was at record levels, Republican House members were showing some spine, and the imposed doomsday deadline of August 2 was only days away.

What Just Happened? – Some Background -

The United States Government has been on a spending spree for several years. It is not all the fault of any one party or president - all are guilty! We have managed to rack up a record debt and continue to approve budgets with trillion dollar deficits. (The deficit is the amount of annual spending that exceeds annual revenue or income.) Since President Obama took office, we have been adding to our record debt faster than at any time since at least World War II. (The debt is the accumulation of all of the excess spending, or deficits and represents the amount of money the Government has borrowed in order to keep up the spending levels. The debt is the amount of money the USA owes from borrowing.) Politicians have been using our tax money for pet projects and political favors. Government has added more entitlement programs and expanded the coverage for existing programs. (Entitlement programs include: SNAP (food stamps - now with 45,000,000 receiving benefits, which is around 15% of the population), unemployment benefits (with 9.1% of the workforce unemployed and receiving benefits), social security, Medicare, Medicare prescription program, Medicaid, housing or rent assistance, Pell Grants, free lunches at school, cash for clunkers, rebates for insulation, Earned Income Credit, Child Care credit, and many others.) (Side note: every one of these entitlement programs is unconstitutional.)

Besides all of the spending for these programs; we were told in 2008 that they must pass TARP (Troubled Asset Relief Program) in order to avert, not only a national but an international financial collapse. This bailout bill had a price tag of $700,000,000,000. In order to help sell this massive bailout bill to the public, we were told that a large part of the money would be used to buy troubled assets from financial institutions. A troubled asset was a foreclosed home (REO). The plan was for the Government to buy thousands of foreclosed homes and get these assets off of the books of the various lenders and agencies. This would improve the lender's bottom lines, make the banks more stable and help the general economy weather the real estate meltdown. The homes would be held until the real estate market recovered and then sold a little at a time, not flooding the market with REOs. We were even told that in the long run, we should make a profit off of these home purchases due to selling them after a recovery. The bill passed and no homes were bought. Many banks went under and the $700 billion was used to bailout Wall Street firms - banks, insurance companies, etc.

Around that same time we were also called on to bail out Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. We also purchased controlling interest in major corporations such as General Motors and Chrysler. Remember, we had to, the sky was falling and they were "to big to fail".

As soon as Obama became president, he insisted on a stimulus bill, the "American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009". This had a price tag of $787,000,000,000. He promised us that if this passed, it would be used for "shovel ready jobs" and that the unemployment rate would not go above 8%. Again, if it did not pass, the sky would fall. Earlier this year, Obama had to admit that "The shovel ready jobs weren't so shovel ready after all." That statement got him a big laugh. The trouble is that the stimulus did not stimulate the economy. Instead, we wasted the money, much of it going to organizations or projects that had a political benefit for Obama and the Democrats. It also only took a few months for the unemployment to exceed 8% and it has stayed near or above 9% since then.

During the campaign leading up to the last election, Republicans were just about as conservative sounding as anyone you have ever heard. If we just elected them, they would go and do the dirty work to get our financial house heading back in the right direction. Also, during the last election cycle, neither the President nor the Democrat controlled Congress put forth the required budget for the 2011 fiscal year. Why? Because the spending was out of control and they did not want to expose just how much was being spent prior to an election.

In November of 2010, the Republicans won numerous elections and gained numbers in the Senate and took majority position in the House of Representatives. Not only did Republicans win big, but many of them were Conservatives who promised to tend to the business of limiting deficit spending, getting control of rising debt and basically attempting to stall the Obama agenda until he has to run for re-election in 2012. The power the Republicans hold in the House amounts to their Constitutional mandate to have primary responsibility for financial matters and the ability to vote "NO" on other items in Obama's agenda. They hold the power to stop what was going on in Washington.

Almost immediately, after the election and even before the new Representatives were sworn into office, the effect of the mandate in the elections began to take root in Washington. All of a sudden the Republicans had a seat at the table, after being ignored for two years. First on the agenda was the extension of the Bush Tax Cuts. As Obama could see the writing on the wall, he began making speeches about how "we" had to get the country's finances in order. We had to deal with the deficit spending, etc. He was stumping as a fiscal conservative. Obama said that we cannot raise taxes on Americans during a recession. In conjunction with a two-year extension of the tax cuts, the Democrats and the President went along with some spending cuts. Republicans promised us that we would get $100 billion in spending cuts for the current year where there was no budget. Then we heard that it would be around $65 billion in cuts. The explanation was that the $100 billion was being pro-rated to reflect the fact that part of the fiscal year was already over. By the time the negotiations ended and an agreement was signed into law, we were told that we had a major victory and achieved large spending cuts during the next decade, but only small cuts for this year. There is just one small problem. A current Congress cannot bind a future Congress to their agreed upon cuts to a future budget. So, future cuts rarely happen.

The debt ceiling for Government borrowing of $14.3 trillion was going to be reached in late April. We watched in anticipation of a debt duel. Without Congress voting to raise the limit, the government would be prohibited from borrowing more money. As the average monthly spending includes over $100,000,000,000 ($100 billion) in borrowed money, this presented a showdown over fiscal policy and responsibility.

Miracle of miracles, the Treasury Secretary "found" a bunch of money that would tie us over until August 2, 2011. That became the new, drop-dead date by which the debt ceiling must be raised to avoid defaulting on our national debt and the downgrading of our national credit rating (which was AAA - the highest possible and it had been at that level since World War I).

What Just Happened? – Recently -

With about one month remaining before the deadline, the discussions took on the highest level of importance in Washington. The rating agencies warned that the credit rating might be lowered if the right steps were not taken. The "right steps" were to be a serious plan to lower the deficit, control spending and begin dealing with the massive debt. However, the Democrats got in front of the TV cameras and told the public that we could lose our credit rating if the debt ceiling were not raised.

We were constantly warned by the Democrats that the Republicans would cause our first ever default on our loans if they did not "compromise" and raise the debt ceiling. At first, the Republicans appeared to be holding strong. Conservatives were reminding them as to why we sent them there and encouraging them to be strong and hold the line. They kept reassuring us that they would not give-in to the wishes of the Progressives.

President Obama never presented a plan to deal with the financial problems. The Democrat controlled Senate never presented a plan until the final few days. The Republican controlled House presented several plans and budgets, all of which were summarily rejected by Senator Reed and President Obama. The Democrats kept telling the Republicans that they have to compromise and come up with a better plan. So, the Republicans kept compromising with their own plans and continued to give a little here and a lot there. The result, each time, was rejection and another order to go back and compromise some more. In the mean time, Obama and Reed made speeches as to how the Republicans were on the verge of causing the first ever default on our debt and downgrade of our credit rating.

Obama insisted that any deal must expand the debt limit enough to cover deficit spending past the 2012 elections. He also insisted that any deal include tax increases. He made speeches about the outrageous deficits, even though much of the deficits are the result of his policies and programs.

The Republicans insisted on a shorter term deal for raising the debt limit, one which would cover around eight months of spending. During this time, they wanted more serious debate over limiting spending. They also insisted that any plan be tied with a vote on passing a Balanced Budget Amendment (BBA). They insisted that any deal would not raise any taxes.

Two weeks ago, the House passed a bill to deal with national finances and get a BBA passed in Congress. The Senate never even voted on the bill, but tabled it so it would have no debate. At the last minute, Harry Reed proposes a Democrat plan. On Monday, August 1, the House voted and passed the Democrat plan. Later, the Senate voted and passed the same bill, which Obama signed into law on August 2. We were told that the "Tea Party" conservatives won a major victory in this deal. We heard how the Left was upset with Obama and the Democrats for giving the Republicans too much. We were told that the deal has no tax increases.

The "deal" immediately raises the debt ceiling nearly one trillion dollars. It includes spending cuts of around one trillion dollars over the next decade. The actual cuts, we were told, in the 2012 budget are around $25 billion. The rest, we are assured, we will get in the future. (Remember, future cuts almost never happen as this Congress cannot bind a future Congress.) The deal also sets up a Super Committee made up of six (three from each party) from the Senate and six from the House. The tie-breaker is Obama. This committee has been given the responsibility that belongs to the House, to come up with another trillion in spending cuts over the next decade. When a majority of this committee (7 out of the 12, or 6 + Obama) has a plan, each house of Congress gets a straight up or down vote. (That means there will be no changes, no amendments, etc.) If this process results in the trillion of agreed cuts in the future, Obama gets another trillion dollar increase to the debt ceiling. If they cannot reach agreement on spending cuts, the current new law includes a "trigger" to enact a trillion in cuts with half being in the Department of Defense. Then Obama gets another, immediate trillion dollars in debt increase.

Republicans do not want cuts to Defense, so this puts them in a tough spot with one Republican possibly having to go along with the Democrats choices of where spending will potentially happen in the future. The Democrats have no pressure to go along with Republicans as they do not mind the trigger cuts to Defense.

As soon as we were told that there would be "no new taxes" in the new law, Reed announced that the only way the Super Committee will be successful is for there to be tax increases equal to spending cuts. So, not only will the Left insist on more taxes, but the Bush tax cuts are already scheduled to expire in less than 18 months. That alone will amount to the largest tax increase in American history.

So, this big victory for the Republicans boils down to a debt limit increase of over two trillion (to a total of $16.4 trillion within two years), unhindered spending for Obama until after the next election, more taxes on Americans; but, a promise of future cuts in spending.

A large group of Republican House members gave up the fight and voted for the Democrat’s plan when it came down to the deadline. One of the main excuses we are being told is, "The Republicans only control one half of one third of the Government." In other words, we have only the House in the Legislative branch of the three branches of government. Sorry, but that is no excuse! The Constitution gives the responsibility for determining spending and revenue measures to the House. Neither the Senate nor the President can force the House to pass anything and they cannot pass anything without the House going along. If they had stayed strong and said NO, at some point the Left would have actually had to consider a "compromise". That did not happen and the Left got just what they wanted.

On Tuesday, August 2, 2011; Obama signed into law the bipartisan deal. The media is busy trying to convince the country that the Tea Party conservatives were the big winners.

What Just Happened? – The Reaction -

Wall Street - Dow Jones Industrial Average plunged over 500 points in one day.
The Federal Reserve begins talking about QE-3, the printing of more dollars to inject into the economy, which will cause inflation.
The Treasury sells a large chunk of the debt allowed by the new debt ceiling increase and almost brings national debt to as much as our GDP - Gross Domestic Product (the total amount of goods and services produced in American in a year).
The Dollar continues to decline in purchasing power (inflation).
Standard and Poor's downgrades the national credit rating from AAA to AA+. That may not look like a big deal, but it is. It is the first time ever for America's credit rating to be downgraded. This is likely to result in higher interest rates for Americans. As the announcement did not happen until after the markets closed on Friday, it is not clear as to how they will react on Monday. There could be another, massive sell-off of stock.
As confidence in the U.S. and international economy falters, early market selling of gold has pushed the price per ounce to above $1,700.

Reed's reaction to the S&P announcement: It just proves that the Democrat plan is right and we need to raise taxes.
The White House reaction: “This was a hasty decision based on faulty math.”

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Free and Independent States

On July 4, 1776; Abraham Clark, a delegate from New Jersey to the Continental Congress, wrote "Our Congress Resolved to Declare the United Colonies Free and independent States."

Of course, this is the same day that this group of men issued the Declaration of Independence.  The day before; on July 3, 1776: John Adams wrote to his wife, Abigail Adams,
“Yesterday the greatest question was decided which ever was debated in America, and a greater perhaps never was nor will be decided among men. A resolution was passed, without one dissenting Colony, ‘that these United Colonies are, and of right ought to be, free and independent States….’ You will see, in a few days, a Declaration setting forth the causes which have impelled us to this mighty revolution, and the reasons which will justify it in the sight of God and man.”
Can you imagine what it would have been like to be an observer to the Continental Congress? 

This room, in Philadelphia, was full of men with a vision for a nation.  After repeated attempts to reconcile with the British King and Parliament; they, collectively, chose independence for the Colonies.  They declared the 13 Colonies to be Free and Independent States.

The enormity of the decision was recognized by those men who had labored over the decision and the wording for the Declaration of Independence (DOI).  They were under no illusion that Britain would accept the loss of rule over the Colonies without a war.  The last sentence in the Declaration reveals the commitment each accepted: 
"And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes and our sacred Honor."
Then 56 delegates signed their names to the document.

They felt it necessary to explain to Britain and the world, the reasons for such a decision.  The first sentence introduced all readers, foreign and domestic, to one of the most powerful documents ever written by man: 
"When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation."
Following the first sentence of the DOI, is the preamble; which is also referred to as the "right of revolution":
"We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security."
Some have argued that the "right of revolution" implies that it must fall within the "rights" in existing laws.  As this would not allow for a positive outcome against the grievances resulting from the acts of a government, it has been taken further to state that it is not only the right of the people to overthrow tyranny and despotism, but it is the duty of the people to do so.

What happens when a group of people decide that it is time to dissolve political bands with the government which, up until that point, has been their government?  What brings those people to that point?  In other words, what is the cause and effect?

Our young country already has two examples of this very situation:  the American Revolution with the War of Independence and the War of Secession between the States.  In both cases, the party doing the dissolving believed that the government was infringing upon their rights and had done so to such an extent that it was no longer tolerable.  As stated in the DOI, "...that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves..."  We will tolerate abuse up to a breaking (dissolving) point.  The effect of a dissolution of this magnitude is typically war.  That, along with the rights being trampled, are the two common aspects of these two examples. 

"Free and independent States" - Are we still free and are the States still independent?  From the beginning of the United States of America, there has been an erosion of liberty and independence.  Instead of the People being sovereign over the government, the Government now rules the citizens.  Instead of the States exercising broad and innumerable powers and the Federal Government being restricted and limited in the powers granted to them by the People, we now have the States subject to the Federal Government and Washington dictating to the States what they are allowed to do. 

How did this happen and why have we not stopped the trampling of our rights by our own Government which is supposed to be subject to us and the Constitution?  There are multiple answers.  First is the statement quoted above, "...more disposed to suffer..."  We are basically a peace loving people and want government to just do its job and leave us alone to pursue happiness.  Second, too many in our country do not realize or understand how our rights have been restricted, often with our own blessing.  Many are ignorant of the unalienable rights they possess and are willing for government to infringe upon those rights and destroy the boundary which was designed to limit government.  And third, a large portion of our population has been bought.  They are on the dole of the Government.  They either work directly or indirectly for the government or are on the receiving end of some benefit bestowed by Washington.  They have become "single-issue" voters and protest against any move by any person or party to withdraw the hand that is feeding them. 

"They that can give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety."  Benjamin Franklin

Will there be a breaking point or a time of dissolution for the American People?  Or, will we remain "disposed to suffer" right into slavery?

Saturday, July 30, 2011

The "Fix" is Out of Focus

What prompted the Republican win in the last national election?  What was it that drove tens of thousands of individuals to become the "Tea Party"?  What message were we looking for in a self-professed, conservative candidate?

There are numerous answers to those questions; but, they all focus around one major theme.  Our Government is out of control!  We wanted to send individuals to Washington to begin the process of reigning in, not only President Obama, but also the establishment.  The main-stream politician in Washington has lost touch with the main-stream American!  Actually, that is not only giving them the benefit of the doubt; it is not accurate.  We are considerably past the point of politicians losing touch with the people, they have embarked on a path to transition our country from a Republic to a socialist mecca.  We the people of the United States of America are witnessing the "change" that a minority had been "hoping" for over the past few decades. 

The last election provided an opportunity; not a solution; yet.  The conservative contingency sent to the House is sufficient in number to make a difference in "business as usual".  The majority shifted to the Republicans, but not to the conservatives.  Though we have a strong conservative base in the House, they only hold the limited position of power to obstruct, delay, deny and basically be a thorn in the flesh.  Between the Democrats and the moderate Republicans (the establishment), there is an effort to continue in the same direction after applying some icing to a toxic cake.  We've been graced with one speech after another from one politician after another about the "crisis".  They preach to us, we who seem to understand the situation better than they, how bad things are and how it needs to be solved.  Yet, there is not under serious consideration; one single plan, proposal, or budget which takes us in the direction of actually solving the problem.  Not one of them reverses the free-fall of the country, they just debate about the adjustment to the rate of decline.

Washington's solution, which they expect us to be happy with; consists of applying some Bactine and a Bandaid to a body which is missing it's guts and backbone.  Last November, there was talk as to how the freshmen Republicans would be able to stop some of the nonsense.  We seemed to understand that their numbers were insufficient to actually solve the problem through passing legislation; but, they were sufficient to stop the funding of various programs, have an effect on the budget, focus the finances in more proper directions, etc.  We knew that the newbies would not run the place, but would be able to apply the emergency brake to a run-away train. 

Remember all of the talk about defunding Obamacare?  How long has it been since you heard of that effort?  Isn't the budget discussion the exact time to deal with that issue?  How about the 6,000 new IRS agents needed to enforce the health care law?  Is anyone limiting the IRS funding to prohibit this?  We are dealing with Administrative departments that are running amok.  How about cutting some of their funding?

This Congress has been in office for about seven months.  During that time, the focus has changed from being concentrated and targeted on accomplishing specific goals of limiting the Administration in their ability to proceed with their destructive agenda; to passing a BBA (which will do nothing for several years).  Yes, they are fighting to hold down the debt and reduce some spending; but no one appears to be concentrating on where the money will be spent, who will spend it, and what it will accomplish?  All we hear about is the total amount to be spent. 

Where is the detailed analysis of the proposed budget?  Someone needs to get out the red marker and scissors!  This is a multi-front assault.  We must limit overall spending, we must stop deficit budgets, we must hold down taxes, we must restrict government borrowing and get some control of the outlandish debt; but, we must also pay attention to just how and where the President plans to spend whatever amount is approved.  We cannot proceed with taxpayer funded organizations such as Acorn (that is just an example we are familiar with). 

While all of the major negotiations are dealing with the overall numbers; there needs to be some group of conservatives, in some corner of the Capital, going over the proposed budget, line-by-line.  They need to be getting down to the specifics.  We can afford no less than this process.  Cut the crap out of the budget while there is an opportunity to do so!  So what if they get a 2012 budget passed with a savings of $25 billion; but Obama cuts that amount out of the Department of Defense and proceeds with all of the rest of his dream programs?

If, when this all settles down, our only victory has been the reduction of the amount to be spent next year by several billion dollars and we have made no attempt to defund any of Obama's agenda; we will have failed!  It is not just about the amount of spending, but also about the direction of that spending.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

The OPM of the Masses

America, it is time for an intervention!

Karl Marx, in 1843, wrote a phrase concerning religion being the “opium of the masses” (translated from German). Today, we have a new opium for the masses in America. The government’s drug of choice for the people is OPM – other people’s money.
The apparent goal is to have a majority of the population, especially those of voting age, receiving financial benefits from the federal government. That monthly check in the mail, from the United States Treasury, is very addictive. Once dependent upon a regular check for normal subsistence; the recipient, in the financial area, tends to become more of a single-issue voter. “Don’t mess with my benefits!”
To make this point: how many people that you know voluntarily quit a government program where they are receiving financial help; or, how many government programs can you name that have been scaled back or eliminated after there is a large group of the public receiving regular financial benefits? It just does not happen and when anyone proposes to do something that will affect those checks, they can expect rioting in the streets; or as recently witnessed in Wisconsin, in the capitol building.
Politicians have been using OPM to addict voters for generations. During some periods of our political history, it has been a race by both major parties to see which one could cause the most to be addicted.
This is not an issue that has to do with race, religion, ethnicity, or any preference one may have. It crosses just about every line in our society. From the rich to the poor, the east to the west; we have a society dependent upon regular financial help from government. We have been tempted and we have succumbed. We may tell ourselves that just one check will not make us addicted. To some, that is true; but with many, the lure is too great to ever want to go back to a life of independent, self-responsibility. Why do all the hard stuff when government will just give me OPM?
Here are some current statistics: the number of people currently receiving unemployment benefits is 14,100,000; there are over 43,000,000 on the food stamp program; etc. Then there are these programs: pell grants for college, medicare, medicaid, subsidized housing, rental assistance, help with utilities, school lunch program, free milk for mothers, free cheese to the needy, farm subsidy program, disability, government sponsored retirement benefits, federal grants to states and cities, federal highway money; and the list goes on and on. This does not include the millions who are in government employment or the financial bailouts to banks, insurance companies, etc. 
In some form or another, most of us receive some form of financial benefit from the government. To many, it may be something we do not even notice. To others, it is their livelihood.
All of this has one thing in common; probably none of these programs are Constitutional. For decades we the people have been the enablers to permit this growing addiction to continue. Now, without a serious intervention and treatment, the system will surely die. We cannot continue on this same path and expect to be healthy – ever!
To the co-dependent politicians, we are arranging help for each of you. We are going to send you back home and make you face the reality of your disease. To the addicts, the path is unsustainable that you are currently following. The crops of OPM must be shut down and you must take the steps necessary to recover. 

Sunday, July 17, 2011

The BBA is Not the Answer

Brian Darling of The Heritage Foundation, wrote a report which they published on 7/14/2011; called, "The House and Senate Balanced Budget Amendments: Not All Balanced Budget Amendments Are Created Equal". He states that each house of Congress is planning on taking up discussion on their respective versions of a BBA during the week of 7/18/2011. The Senate appears to be leaning towards S.J. Res. 23. The House appears to be leaning towards H.J. Res. 1. With there being multiple versions of BBAs in each house, at least they each appear to be picking one to discuss. This step lets us be more specific, also.

The report compares these two versions and prints the content of each. It can be found here:

After reading both proposals, it is clear the House version is less specific and in some instances it has less restrictions.

Each contains provisions for the BBA to not apply in specific years: when both houses vote to to exclude a year, when war is declared, or when the US is engaged in a military conflict that poses an imminent and serious threat to national security. In the House version, during a time of military conflict, (with a majority vote) the amendment would be waived; including Section 5, which requires a 2/3 vote to increase revenues (taxes).

This means, since the US is involved in a military conflict just about each and every year (if the House version were to be ratified); a simple majority vote would stop there from being a requirement for a balanced budget and would allow excess spending in unrestricted areas of government (not just the military conflict), and it would allow for tax increases without the higher threshold of a 2/3 vote. Witnessing the high moral standard of our government over the past several years, does anyone believe that it is beyond them to actually send our troops to fight on some distant soil so that they can spend more at home?

It is noted that the BBA is being held out by conservatives in Congress as one of the main issues they demand in order to vote to rasie the debt ceiling. They make it sound like this will solve our problems if they each vote to pass a compromised bill. Even if both pass the same bill, it is then sent to the 50 states to see if 3/4 will vote to ratify this as an amendment to the Constitution. When and if it ever takes effect would depend on that being accomplished.

The very earliest that either version could take effect is for the fiscal year of 2017, and it is very probable it would be later than that. Neither one would accomplish anything to help us right now. If both houses of Congress passed the Senate version of a BBA this year and the states were given the typical seven years to debate and ratify the proposed amendment, the BBA states it would take effect in the fifth fiscal year following ratification. 2011+7+5=2023.

What are they thinking? How is that going to help us here and now? How is trading the Congress passing on a BBA, which will not take effect until 2017-2023; in excange for raising the debt ceiling now, going to make things better? We have $14.4 trillion in national debt, right now. Obama’s proposed budget for 2012 adds another $1.6 trillion. At this rate, by the time any BBA could do anything, we will be looking at a debt of around $20 trillion.

There are many constitutional issues raised concerning the BBA by Publius Huldah in her articles on Canada Free Press: and also here:

Both the Senate and House versions include the provision that the president must submit a budget. Up until now, the Constitution places the obligation to determine spending on the House, not the president. This would fundamentally transfer the responsibility over from the House to the president. They are also worded in a way that seems to make the only issue being the limited amount of total expenditures. There are no provisions dealing with spending on unconstitution programs, etc. It makes it sound like, as long as the president proposes a budget which he claims is not over 18% of our economy and that he claims that he has revenue to meet that level of spending, we should all be very happy.

I believe that Congress will pass some version of a BBA. The Right and Left will each use it as a political accomplishment during the upcoming campaign. We will have to take up the fight on the state level. We will have to learn the facts and be able to teach those to others. We will have to do the work to stop this BBA monster window dressing from becoming an amendment.

Remember, if Congress was so concerned about having a balanced budget, they could just write one right now. The Constitution already gives the House the power to deal with this issue. Stop meeting with the President to get his approval. Stop seeking his leadership. Do not compromise or give-in. Just do your job and cut spending, drastically, now. Just go back to the hill and pass a reasonable budget in the House, now. And, do not trade raising the debt limit as a trade-off for passing a BBA.

As to the rest of us, do not be fooled by the great sounding title – Balanced Budget Amendment. We would all love to have an actual budget that is balanced, that is not the issue. We want to use our current Constitution, where the House is responsible for spending measures, to get the hard work done NOW!

Monday, July 4, 2011

A Republic, If...

As Benjamin Franklin emerged, after the completion of the writing of the Constitution; a woman asked of him, “Sir, what have you given us?” He responded, “A Republic, ma’am if you can keep it.”

“A Republic…” What is a Republic? Is it the same as a Democracy? If not, how are they different? Which form of government do we the people have for the United States? Is one form of government better than the other?

Those are the questions I had and maybe some of you have wondered the same things. Rarely do you hear that the U.S. is a Republic. Most people refer to it and believe it to be a Democracy. Actually, we may have heard that we are a Republic more than we realize but it has mostly gone unnoticed:

“I pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America and to the Republic for which it stands…"

“The United States shall guarantee to every State in this Union a Republican form of Government…” U.S. Constitution, Article IV, Section 4.

To begin with, whether we are a Republic or a Democracy has nothing to do with the political parties of the Republicans or Democrats.

A Republic Form of Government:

Republic defined (Noah Webster’s 1828 American Dictionary):
“A… state in which the exercise of the sovereign power is lodged in representatives elected by the people. In modern usage, it differs from a democracy or democratic state, in which the people exercise the powers of sovereignty in person.”

A Republic is a nation where the people, individually retain the sovereign power. These individuals elect representatives to exercise that power in the operation of government. These representatives are responsible to those people whom they represent and must govern according to and within in the limits of the law.

Key components are that the individuals retain the power and the law restricts the representatives running the government. The government must operate according to the law; and in our case, the supreme law of the land – the Constitution.

A Democracy:

Democracy defined (Noah Webster’s 1828 American Dictionary):
“Government by the people; a form of government, in which the supreme power is lodged in the hands of the people collectively, or in which the people exercise the powers of legislation.”

A Democracy is a nation where the people, collectively, rule. Note that the definition does not include the word “law”. In a Democracy the majority rules. As the majority changes, so do the rules.

Our Status:

As mentioned above, Benjamin Franklin proclaimed that the Founding Fathers had formed a Republic as the form of government for the United States. They had written a Constitution as the “law” under which this Republic would function. They expressed grave concern over the country letting the Republic slip away into becoming a Democracy. They actually referred to a democracy as a “mobocracy”.

The Founders did not want our country to be controlled by “majority rule”. They wanted the Constitution to be the set of rules which controlled the government and the country.

Some in America do not want to be bound by the restrictions in the Constitution and that is precisely why they promote the idea that the Constitution is a “living document”. The phrase, “living document”, does not sound bad if you mean that the Constitution is alive and well and still keeping watch over zealous politicians. But, that is not what they mean. “Living document” means that it is flowing and ever-changing to meet the current needs and desires of the country. In other words, they do not want the Constitution to impose restrictions on their agenda for America.

“A Republic, if…”

Why was Mr. Franklin and other Founders concerned about the Republic remaining a Republic? In order for society to function under the umbrella of a limited government, there must be a rule of law. This law must be set and difficult to alter. It cannot be that a majority can upset the law on a whim. A civil order is required for the people to exist with the God-given rights of “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.” Where the current majority of the citizens make all the rules, the rights of the minority will not be protected. Equal rights require steady laws. In his First Inaugural Address (1801), Thomas Jefferson said:  “All, too, will bear in mind this sacred principle, that though the will of the majority is in all cases to prevail, that will to be rightful must be reasonable: that the minority possess their equal rights, which equal law must protect, and to violate would be oppression.”

Within a Republic the individual people retain sovereignty. We, as individuals, exercise our sovereignty as we elect representatives to go to Washington for the purpose of running the government according to the law – Constitution. We expect our representatives to only function in a manner which protects the individual’s natural rights. They are “natural rights” as they were bestowed on us by our Creator. These rights do not come to us from government and were not established by the Constitution. Natural rights predate the Constitution. This document was written to protect those rights and to restrict the government from infringing upon those rights.

With the Constitution being the supreme law of the land and written to limit what government can do, mere logic insists that the Constitution must have a fixed meaning and firm boundaries. If it were otherwise, such as a “living document”, where the very government it seeks to limit, decides where those changing lines will be drawn; it gravitates to a set of flexible rules where those who rule choose the degree of flexibility. In other words, it ceases to protect natural rights and is no longer the law of a Republic. That is why the Constitution was written with a specific list of what the government is permitted to do – enumerated powers.

In a Republic the people are not obligated to the government, but the government is obligated to the people. The people chose to form the government for specific duties and that creation of the people is subject to those creators and must abide within the limits of the Constitution.

In a Democracy, the power lies in the whole body of the citizens and the majority controls power. The citizens become obligated to the government to do as it determines. At any given time, the group that finds itself in a minority position will only have those privileges which the majority grants. Those granted privileges to the minority are referred to as civil rights. They will change as the will of the majority shifts back and forth. There is no line in the sand, no boundaries on government, and no law restricting the rulers from imposing their desires on those in the minority. A Democracy is where the majority rules as a dictator and whatever they decide becomes mandatory. The Founders knew this and this is why they called a Democracy, a “mobocracy”.

In a Republic, the people own the government and its agencies. In a Democracy, the government and its agencies own the people. When the people established the Constitution they did not give up their natural rights. America was founded based on the concept of self-government. We elect representatives to perform specific tasks on our behalf, not to control us and strip us of our rights. The representatives, the government and its agencies were established by the people to act as our agents, on our behalf, for our protection and benefit. They are to represent us, not rule us.

Republic – The People live with and enjoy the natural rights given to us by God.
Democracy – The Citizens live with the civil rights granted to them by their government.

A Republic is a government which functions within the framework of the law (fixed principles), in our case the Constitution. It protects the rights of the individual and respects property rights. This law restricts the government from violating the individual’s rights and prevents the majority from doing the same.

Both forms of government can have voting by the people. The main differences lie in whether sovereignty lies with the individual or with the majority, and whether there is rule by law or rule by majority.

This is the reason We the People require our representatives to take and oath to defend and protect the Constitution. It is too bad that many of those same people, once they have sworn that oath, completely ignore the same. A Republic only continues to function as long as the representatives, elected by the individuals, exercise their duties within the express limits and restrictions spelled out in the Constitution. When the allegiance of the elected is swayed by polls and pleasing the majority in order to win the next election, the Republic dies and the Democracy begins the inevitable slide towards despotism.

The Founders chose to give us a Republic form of government as it was the best, of all of the choices, in securing the rights of the individual and controlling the majority.

Can we keep it? 

Sunday, June 19, 2011

The 20' Tall Wall of Debt

This article is for the "numbers people" out there.  I have written that our national debt would make a 20 foot tall wall, around the world at the equator, of dollar bills (laid end-to-end and stacked flat).  As unbelievable as this sounds, I have decided to prove the numbers.

The equator is 24,902 miles long.  With 5,280 feet in a mile, this equals 131,482,560' around the world.

A dollar bill is 6.1" long and .0043" thick.  1.97 dollar bills reach a foot in length.  233 stacked dollar bills are one inch thick.

1.97 (dollar bills) X 131,482,560' (around the world) = $259,020,643 for one lap.

$259,020,643 X 233 (number to equal 1" thick stack) = $60,351,809,120 for a 1" high wall.

$14,437,648,300,000 (U.S. debt on 6/18/11) ÷ $60,351,809,120 = 239.22"

239.22" ÷ 12" = 19.94'  (rounded to 20')

Our current U.S. national debt is equal to a wall of stacked dollar bills that would stretch around the world, at the equator, twenty feet tall!

President Obama has proposed his next budget which has an estimated deficit of $1,600,000,000,000.  If passed, this amount of spending would add another 2.2' to that 20' tall wall.

As Janet Napolitano has made her infamous statement concerning her resistance to a border wall between Arizona and Mexico, "You show me a 50-foot wall and I'll show you a 51-foot ladder at the border."  Well, to the Leftists in our country, no wall is too tall for them. 

If you are having trouble wrapping your head around the 20' tall wall, maybe this will help you grasp the enormity of the debt crisis:

1,000,000 (million) seconds = 11.57 days
1,000,000,000 (billion) seconds = 31.71 years
1,000,000,000,000 (trillion) seconds = 31,710 years

If our national debt were paid off $1 per second (without any more increases and no interest), it would take 457,797 years.  But, instead of paying it off, we are adding over $1,000 per second to the total (and that is 24x7). 

Folks, WE have a problem! 

Saturday, June 18, 2011

The Garbage Can - Updated

Based on the past, I have been fairly quiet lately as far as posting blog entries about political issues.  It is not that there was nothing to write about; more accurately, it is that there was so much to write about that it literally became somewhat overwhelming.  Well, I opened a new bottle of ink and am ready to write again.

1.  Remember "Climategate" from last year?  This is where the British scientist was humiliated when some email account was hacked and he and others were exposed for fabricating statements and stretching the findings in order to further support the hoax of man-made global warming. 

Well, he is back in the news.  It seems that after being embarrassed and demoted, he has found Jesus (not literally).  After just one year of additional data added to what he had last year, he now finds that the "true" evidence is over-whelming that man-made global warming is in fact a reality that must be solved.

A year ago, his data did not support this strong of a conclusion and the 15 years of data showed a 90% probability.  But, adding year 16 to the data, now the average is 95%, which is the needed minimum for scientists to label a theory as a fact.  I find one thing that does not seem to add up right.  If you have 15 years with a 90% average of certainty and you add one more year to the mix and it raises the average certainty to the desired 95%; that 16th year would have needed 170% of all measures to agree in order to change the average by 5% for the prior 15 years.  Basically, that is impossible as you cannot have more than all - 100% in any year. 

So, in order to redeem his name in his circle of experts and to attempt to regain his position of authority at his university, he has toed the line.

2.  The more that we observe BO and what he does concerning the Middle East, not counting the things he is doing and saying behind the scenes; I say that he needs a good dose of Grecian Formula.  His Muslim roots are showing.  It is time to add a level of disguise to his true intentions. 

BO has issued an ultimatum to Israel.  He has told them that they have 30 days to accept the terms he laid out in his speech a couple weeks ago.  You remember, that is when he laid the foundation for a lasting peace between Israel and Palestine.  He is demanding that Israel go back to the 1967 borders and begin negotiations from that point.  He is also in favor of the new nation for Palestine having control of all of Jerusalem. 

BO's plan would weaken the defense capability of Israel and prohibit Jews from visiting the Temple Mount.  If Israel does not surrender to this plan, BO claims that the U.S. will not be able to help them during the U.N. meeting in September, as the rest of the united world calls for a nation of Palestine at the expense of Israel. 

Israel is being set up by BO and his administration, as well as many other countries, to find themselves in a no-win situation.  He seems to believe that they will have no choice but to agree to do whatever he has decided is best for them.  There is just one problem, Israel seems to have a mind of their own and appears to believe that they are in best position to determine what is best for them and they do not like the BO plan. 

When they refuse these terms, the U.N. will unite against Israel and use the same excuse as was used to attack Libya - "the need to protect".  This will be the battle cry for the anti-Semites as they come against the Jews and support the Arabs. 

Speaking of Arabs, did you hear that the Muslim Brotherhood has a new name?  They are now the "Freedom and Justice Party".  That makes me feel much better.

3.  Do you remember a couple years ago when Washington was wanting to crack down on AZ and it's open gun laws.  They claimed that because of our laws, people were buying guns in AZ and sending them to the drug gangs in Mexico.  There, these guns were being used for violence.  I wondered at the time just how it was that BO knew that the guns in Mexico came from AZ.  Well, it turns out that he was right, the bad guys were openly buying guns in AZ and transporting them across the border.  But, now we know the rest of the story.  Our dear BO administration, through the BATF, was setting up the sells and fully aware of the illegal buyers and watching them take the guns to Mexico.  They made no attempt to stop this crime, for some reason.  Now, they are under investigation by Congress because one of these guns was used to kill a border patrol agent.

4.  I have previously written about our national debt.  If you read those posts, you might remember that I compared the debt ($14.3 trillion) to a wall of $1 bills, end-to-end, circling the earth at the equator.  This wall of dollars would be 20 feet tall.  Yes, it would stretch all the way around the world and be a wall of flat dollar bills that would be 20 feet tall!  The current budget being debated in Congress, which was proposed by BO, has an additional deficit which would add another two feet to the top of that wall. 

5.  I have also written about monetizing the debt.  That is where the Federal Reserve prints money and uses it to buy Treasury Bonds.  The Fed refers to this policy as QE-quantitative easing.  We have had QE1 and at the end of this month QE2 will end.  QE2 was where the Fed bought about $600 billion of our debt over the past several months.  They say that they are not going to do that again, right now. 

China is trying to sell off a lot of the debt that they previously purchased from us as they appear to believe that it may become worthless or at least be paid back with highly inflated dollars.  Actually, there is a very good reason for them to worry about this.  When a country gets in debt like we are (actually, no country has ever been in debt like we are), with Washington continuing on an out-of-control spending spree and adding more debt each year (lately at least one trillion each year); there are two very possible results:  first is that we would default on paying our debt; and second, we would intentionally inflate our dollar so that we would pay back the lenders with worth-less paper money.  The later appears to be the path we are taking.

Every time the Fed prints more money and adds it to the money supply, our dollar loses part of its value.  Recently, they have been printing gross amounts of extra cash which was used for QE2. 

If the Fed sticks to their statement of no QE3 and when China has decided that they want out from being our lender, what will happen?  Our government is frequently selling bonds in order to get more money to spend.  Remember, a bond is just an IOU.  They cannot control their spending and stay within a budget where expenses do not exceed income, so they print another bond and sell it to an investor.  When the Fed and China are not going to buy more bonds, who will the investor be for our next bonds?  As with any financial risk, the more the risk, the higher the interest rate.  In order for the government to sell bonds, they will have to offer them at higher rates of return for the investor.

So, our choices are:  1. default on our national debt; 2. stop spending more than we take in; 3. sell more bonds at higher interest rates.  We will not take door number 1 and default and Washington is addicted to spending money they do not have so we can rule out door number 2.  That means that we will issue and sell more bonds, increasing our national debt and pay the investors a higher rate in order to attract those with the money.

When this happens and these bonds have higher interest rates, that will have an effect on mortgage interest rates in the U.S.  The record low rates we have been experiencing recently will be gone and in order for the secondary mortgage market to be able to attract investors in mortgage backed securities, they will have to have a higher interest rate for a better return.  If mortgage rates do not go up, investors will tend to buy Treasury bonds with the higher rate of return.  So, either mortgage lending will dry up or rates will go up.  When the rates go up, fewer potential buyers will be able to buy a home and it will be harder to refinance your existing house.  This will further slow down the real estate industry, will slow down home construction, and will cause another wave of foreclosures.  These will tend to further drive down market values. 

About the only thing that will delay the above from happening real soon is if the Fed changes their mind and does QE3.  This act will tend to hold mortgage rates down but will be an additional pumping of extra cash into the money supply, causing further inflation.  This move will also only delay the inevitable.  At some point in time, the Fed will not buy more debt, rates will go up and the economy will be further repressed.  On this part, our choice is now or later.  With BO looking to get re-elected, I would expect there to be some arm-twisting with the Fed.  BO can write off four more years if interest rates jump up, causing a more depressed economy, killing the housing industry and driving more into unemployment.  So, our economy will probably be artificially propped up for a brief time so that BO has a chance of winning in 2012.  But, after the election, as the saying goes, "all hell will break lose". 

In the near future, we will either have higher interest rates hurting the economy; or we will continue with a very weak economy and have accelerated inflation, making everything cost more. 

6.  This good news leads to my last part.  Take heed!  Do what you can to prepare your family for an economy that will continue a downward spiral.  We have all witnessed higher food prices.  Gas prices have been much higher this year.  BO promised that under his plan, "utility rates would necessarily skyrocket."  We are heading into harder times.  Nationally and internationally, there are signs that could lead to food shortages.  We are flooding our farm lands and those will not return to production next year.  Other countries are already having food shortages.  If you can, stock up on non-perishable food.  Try to have a supply of items you may need in case of an emergency. 

If the U.S. got to a point where there were some food shortages, there would be a run on the stores and riots in the streets.  During a situation like that, you should not expect the government to be there to supply your needs.  There will be many with no extra food on hand.  If you have more than enough for you and your family, then you will be able to help others who are desperate. 

What's the worst that can happen?  You did not do what was needed to prepare.  What's the best that can happen?  You prepared and we averted an emergency, setting you up to have food that you can eat without making a trip to the store to buy higher priced items. 

One last thing - Who is in charge?
God is in charge!  That does not mean that we will not suffer hard times, but it does mean that He will help you.  Be a light on a hill for those in darkness.  Many in our country have forsaken God.  If things get really bad, some will be seeking a source of hope.  Be ready to point them to God.

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Steal My Soul

Steal My Soul

Lord, how will you create the day, the one which steals my soul away?
And how will it begin and end, the day like no other has been?
Will sleep rapture away from me, as light draws to eternity?
Or will I wake and sense you near, with a peace over all my fear?
Will angels catch me when I fall? Will others know I’m gone at all?
Before the dawn will I see, the eyes of Glory at peace with me?
This special day, how will it be when the Son of Man calls for me?

Mike Foil                                   
May 29, 2011                        

Sunday, April 24, 2011

A Solution

"A Solution"

(This article is a response to a comment made following the recent CFP article "The Shaft")

I appreciate your response to the article on CFP "The Shaft". If you read the other comments, both before and after you posted your response; you will see, as I am sure you are well aware, that your frustration is felt by many. As I was not sure whether your challenge was issued to me personally or in general, I accepted it as a personal challenge to offer some solutions. I thought about your question, "What can we do about it?"

Last night I sat down and began writing a follow-up article, "The Solution". As the problem has many aspects, so the answer will also need to have many approaches and directions of attack. I began by introducing one problem and then offered what I felt like was a solution to that problem. I have said before that we must be willing to endure short-term pain in order to have long-term gain. The solutions to many of our problems will probably make the economy worse before it gets better; but, in the long run, if we did the hard things now, we would be better off. Be mindful that I am well aware of my shortcomings and limited understanding of these issues, but on the other hand, some of this is just old fashioned, common sense.

As I wrote about several issues I began to notice a trend, which is exactly the opposite of what you are looking for. Our problems are with our government and in order to have fast solutions to some old problems, it would take our government taking action against what it has previously done. Our frustration is largely due to this dilemma. We keep trying to send people to Washington to fix the problems and we continue to see nothing being fixed.

It seems that we the people have two choices; either we can continue to attempt to make change through elections and keeping pressure on those elected, or we can take to the streets.

The first option is peaceable and the widely accepted method of making change. Promote candidates who are conservative and not just Republican. Find some who are not professional politicians and actually want to go get the job done and then come back home. Under normal circumstances, where there is a difference of opinion as to the direction our country should take, this has worked in the past. But, we are not under normal circumstances, in my opinion. This method of change is slow and unsure, based on past history. We have to ask the question; do we, as a nation, even have that much time before much of this mess becomes irreversible. Maybe not!

The other obvious option is for the people to rise up and take the government back, by force, if necessary. This clearly has many drawbacks as it would likely either result in a civil war with extensive bloodshed in the streets of our cities or those who actually take the first steps out of the shadows to rise up would quickly be put back down through force or arrest. Who knows, it may actually take some patriots sacrificing themselves as the first targets of the Leftist government in order to generate a widespread uprising. This option is not only very bloody but also very likely to fail. Our Founding Fathers warned us against such a situation as we find ourselves. They told us that if and when our government ceases to act as our representatives and our servants (our creation) and instead acts as our lords and kings who dictate how we are to behave; that the time would come when the people need to take back the government and establish, once again, a system of the people, by the people and for the people.

The trillion dollar question is whether or not the People have reached the point where they believe the only solution is to retake the headship by force? As the Left has been at war with America much longer than we were awake to their actions, the Right is far behind. The Left has been successful at indoctrination of the youth for decades and establishing a broad base of voters who feel entitled to other people's money. I believe that there is a portion of our population who is willing and able to take up arms against the socialists (and worse) who are quickly destroying our country. But, I also believe that they are in a great minority as far as action and not just words or emotions. Is there a similar minority as there was for the first Revolution, approximately one third of the population? I doubt it because most people are not educated to the point of understanding the harm being done and how it will not be corrected by the next election.

The Left had all their ducks in a row and were ready to hit the water when the perfect storm arrived. This all came about with the election of Obama. That is why they were ready to hit us with multi-thousand page bills that were too urgent to have time to read. These bills were not written after the last presidential election, they were ready to go. The first two years of Obama were like a whirlwind of bills, with the Left intentionally not giving us a chance to see what they were doing or have time to respond or catch our breath.

There are other things that we can do without having to wait for another one or two elections and hoping things improve and also without taking to the streets. If you are not familiar with the articles written by Publius Huldah and posted on Canada Free Press, take the time to read them. They are excellent documents of constitutional education. Especially, take notice of the articles on Nullification. The following link will take you to the archive of her articles:

Maybe option three is, instead of physical warfare or just waiting for elections, we educate the population. We win the battle of ideas and work on our states to each nullify the unconstitutional laws and regulations being dumped on us from Washington. We double-down on the pressure on our Representatives and Senators to actually make progress in reducing the size of government and reign in spending. We take to the streets, not in violence, but in promotion of solid conservative candidates for an election that is just next year. The 2012 election can further strengthen the conservative position in the House, can gain Republican control of the Senate and I pray will dethrone Obama and replace him with a servant of the people who loves the Constitution.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

The Shaft


One republican politician after another, when asked “Will you vote to raise the debt ceiling?” has the same answer, “I am against raising the debt ceiling, unless we get something major as a concession.”

So, what is a major concession, in their eyes? To many it consists of the same prize, a balanced budget amendment (BBA). “If we could attach the vote on raising the debt ceiling to a vote on the BBA, then I would vote in favor.”

Let’s weigh what we give up for what we get. First, what we give up. We will concede that the debt ceiling will be raised. Currently the U.S. debt limit is $14,294,000,000,000 ($14.294 trillion, or $46,000 per citizen). It was last increased from $12.394 trillion effective in February 2010. At the time of this writing (the evening of 4/22/2011), the current national debt, subject to this limit, stands at $14.245+ trillion. During the next few days we will reach the debt limit.

For every $1 trillion added in debt each citizen will owe an additional $3,200. For some additional perspective, our current national debt number, measured in seconds, would equal approximately 450,000 years. If our current debt were dollars laid flat, end-to-end around the equator, it would make a wall twenty feet tall. Yet, Washington does not appear to grasp the severity of the situation.

So, for each of us to assume an additional chunk of national debt, what will we be receiving in return? Our gift will be a “proposed amendment to the Constitution”. That’s right, we would not be unwrapping an actual law prohibiting the government from spending more than the national revenue; no, we would find in our package a proposed amendment being sent to all of the states for possible ratification. Yippee!

In order for a proposed amendment to become part of the Constitution, three fourths of the states (38 of the 50) must vote to ratify. So, even if the legislature were to pass this measure and it be sent to the states, there is a chance that it would not receive the required number of state approvals. Typically, the states are given seven years to complete the debate and voting for ratification.

If at least 38 states ratified the BBA and it took seven years to do so, the new amendment would take effect the beginning of the second fiscal year following its ratification. If it went to the states for consideration this summer and took seven years to ratify. The BBA would take effect in the fall of 2019. If all of the required states ratified the BBA within the first six months, it would still not take effect until the fall of 2017 (according to the wording of the document – House Joint Resolution – HJR).

There are actually multiple versions of a BBA existing as HJR. The two with the most support are HJR-1 (130 cosponsors) and HJR-2 (219 cosponsors). The two are very similar with one major difference; HJR-1 would limit outlays to 20% of GDP (Gross Domestic Product, which is the total market value of all goods and services produced in the country during one year).

Ignoring the potential for 38 states to fail to ratify the BBA and also the fact that it would not take effect for several years, at the very earliest; what would the BBA accomplish if it did become part of the U.S. Constitution? In my opinion, almost nothing!

The BBA is full of loopholes that the government will use to exempt one year after another from falling under its limits. For instance:

Section 1 – the budget must be balanced unless 60% of the legislature votes to exceed revenue,
Section 2 – the debt limit shall not be increased unless 60% of the legislature votes to raise the debt limit,
Section 4 – bills to increase revenue (taxes) require a majority of each house,
Section 5 – Congress may waive the BBA in any year in which we are at war or when the U.S. is engaged in a military conflict causing an imminent and serious military threat to national security,
Section 7 – total receipts used in the BBA do not include amounts from borrowing and total outlays do not include repayment of debt.

In summary, we will be taking the very serious step of changing our Constitution by adding an amendment that will rarely take effect in any given year. If Congress does not vote to increase spending or raise the debt limit in some year, they can exempt that year due to a serious military conflict somewhere in the world. If the President cannot get Congress to vote to authorize increased spending in one year, all he needs to do is send our troops off to fight and get the spending increased through the back door.

We would still need to continue to borrow and increase our debt due to Section 7. Our government will spend what it brings in through revenue and need to borrow money to pay the debt.

We are trading a present increase in national debt for a potential limit in spending years from now. Note that even if the BBA had been in effect for the past ten years, we would have been exempt from its limits each and every year due to military conflict.

Do not be fooled. The BBA is not the solution to our fiscal problems. If our representatives were serious about stopping the out-of-control spending, they could do it without an amendment to the Constitution. Spending bills must originate in the House. If the republicans in the House would draw a line in the sand and refuse to cross it, they could control spending. No increase in the debt limit and no bill to raise taxes and no spending bill can ever become law without republican approval in the House.

Monday, March 14, 2011


What did Jesus see?

After nearly being whipped to death, after the lose of blood and the agony of physical pain, after having the crown of thorns pressed upon his head, after being forced to carry a heavy beam through the streets, following the ridicule and rejection; Jesus was thrown down onto the ground, across the same beam.

Even though He knew what to expect, still the adrenaline was pumping through his veins. The Roman soldiers were pulling on his arms and preparing to pound steel spikes through his wrists. Others were pulling on his garment and striping him bare. Some in the crowd were still yelling at Him, cursing and laughing. Others, including his mother, were crying.

The prior night’s prayer was over and the thoughts had progressed past whether or not there might be another way to accomplish the Father’s will. Resolve had not only set in, it was steadfast!

Lying there on his bloody back, which had the skin ripped open and splinters poking the raw wounds; Jesus, through eyes crusted with dry blood and salty sweat, looked upward. Immediately in front of him were the images of Roman faces, some with whiskers, all showing an indifference to His situation. To them, He was just another guilty Jew that they had to deal with before they got off duty.

Beyond their empty eyes were the helmets of dull metal and leather straps. He glimpsed the hammer being passed from one soldier to another holding down his right hand. At the exact time of hearing the metal-on-metal contact, a pain shot through his whole body and a cry rang out from his dry mouth.

After several seconds of wincing, His eyes opened again, this time to see beyond the bounds of Earth. The soldiers and crowds were a blur to His sight. The sounds were fading into the background of His conscience. Now, He was looking into the Heavens where His Father waited for Him and the angels were ministering to Him. The God-man repeated the thought, “Thy will be done!”

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Beware of the Balanced Budget Amendment

Currently, there are multiple Joint Resolutions in the House - 112th Congress, for a balanced budget amendment. There appears to be two which have the most support, H.J.Res.1 with 109 cosponsors and H.J.Res.2 with 178 cosponsors.  They are basically the same but do have a few minor differences. HJR1 includes a Section about limiting spending to 20% of GDP (Gross Domestic Product - the sum of the production for the country in a given year) unless 2/3 vote for increase. #2 does not have this section. #1 requires 3/5 vote to increase taxes where #2 requires a majority. Other sections appear to be identical.

Many are pushing to get one of these through Congress and passed onto the States for ratification.  Although it all sounds good, let's make sure we are doing the right thing before we add to the Constitution.  Here are some of my concerns:
1. Most all sections of the amendment can be made of no effect by a vote of Congress. So, as tricky (or deceitful) as they have shown themselves to be, I would imagine they would find some way around the amendment when they wanted.

2. HJR1 limits spending to 1/5 of GDP. Just as the official inflation rate has been manipulated to look better by excluding fuel and food prices, and as the unemployment rate is massaged by excluding those not receiving jobless benefits, I would expect some sort of manipulation in the GDP number, also.

3. It still allows for a 3/5 vote to increase the debt limit. So, there is nothing that would stop Washington from borrowing more.

4. The President is to submit a balanced budget based on proposed revenues. We already see gross distortion in estimating income and expenses for the things they want.

5. The whole amendment can be waived in any year when war is declared, or when there is a military conflict which causes a serious military threat to national security. So, if this had been in effect for the past nine years, it could have been waived each year as we are at war. It would have done nothing to control the excess spending we are experiencing.

6. The real kicker - the revenue and outlay numbers for the "balanced budget" do not include limiting the borrowing of more money and do not include the payments on debt (interest). So, we could and probably would continually go further in debt each year; in fact, we would almost have to because they would be doing a budget where all tax revenue is spent on budget items, exclusive of the debt repayment. So, where do we get the money to pay the interest and principle for the debt? We would have to borrow it.

7. None of this would take effect until at least 2017. So, from now until then, if ratified, spending could continue out of control. Debt would continue to be increased.

I would love limits on government spending but for some reason, I do not trust this to actually work or do us any good for the next few years.  It does not seem right to add an Amendment to the Constitution which is full of exceptions and built-in over-ride allowances.  What we need are people filling the seats who will do the job we sent them there to do. Stop spending, NOW. 

Congress controls the purse strings.  There is nothing to stop them from demanding a balanced budget, right now.  If getting control of spending is something they believe is good, "just do it!"  NO waiting and NO excuses!

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

The Garbage Can - Again

It has been quite awhile since the last "Garbage Can" posting so I thought I should do a catch-up.  For those of you who do not know, these are conglomerations of various subjects (all political) rolled up neatly into one blog article.

1.  The USA is fast approaching it's authorized debt limit of $14.3 trillion ($14,300,000,000,000.).  Within the next few weeks one of two things will happen:  either the government will have to stop borrowing more money and begin to control their spending, or Congress will have to vote to increase the debt ceiling.  Who can be the first to guess which one will happen? tic toc tic toc - buzz!!  We have a winner!  Yes, Congress will vote to authorize additional borrowing.  When President Obama gave his State of the Union (SOTU) speech last week, he talked about the necessity to control spending and get our debt under control.  The very next day, the administration (that is Obama's branch of government) sent to Congress their next budget.  This budget projects an additional $1.5 trillion deficit for this coming fiscal year.  Guess what BO used as the title for the budget - "A New Era of Responsibility:  Renewing America's Promise".  Makes me glad they did not decide to go the irresponsible route.  BO also predicts, in the budget, that OUR debt will reach $20 trillion by the year 2015 and will equal the gross domestic product (GDP) by 2020.  He is definitely on track to reach his 2015 goal.  He has mastered the art of massive spending, tripling and quadrupling what President Bush did in his record breaking, highest year; his first two years in office.

2.  Congress (the "R"s and many of the Tea Party darlings and even a handful of "D"s) has proposed a Balanced Budget Amendment.  This is referred to as "House Joint Resolution 1" (HJR1).  What they are considering is passing in the House and Senate this resolution and presenting it to the States for ratification.  If enough States ratify the amendment within seven years, it would become another Amendment to the Constitution.  When you take a look at what it is called - "Balanced Budget Amendment", you have got to agree that it sounds mighty good.  But, I have to be just a tad pessimistic.  Basically, every aspect that would restrict government spending has a built-in loop-hole that can be used, by them, to exempt one year after another.  It limits spending to 20% of GDP, unless they vote (66%) to override that in certain years.  Expenses cannot exceed income, unless they vote (60%) different.  The national debt cannot be increased, unless they vote (60%) to do so.  The annual budget submitted by the President mush show that the projected income will cover the planned expenses (we all know they would not fudge the projected income numbers).  Bills to increase taxes would have to pass by 60% of the votes. 

Here is one I really like:  Congress may waive (50% vote) having to abide by the amendment in any year war is declared or there is a serious military situation.  (So, if we had this as an existing amendment, it would have been waived for the last nine years while we were at war and all the spending we are dealing with could have still happened.)

Now the real kicker:  when calculating the projected income and planned expenses, which have to be balanced, these numbers do not include additional borrowing or payments of interest on our debt.  So, it will establish a system whereby all projected income will be spent on expenses, without paying interest.  This will mean that each year we would, at least, have to borrow an amount equal to our interest expense.  So, it builds in an ever-increasing national debt into the system.  The 2010 budget included $164 billion to pay interest (over $500 per person in the country), which was 18% more than the prior year.  Since that time we have borrowed more money (trillions) so this number will continue to increase each year.  And, as far as this amendment being the solution to our current, out-of-control spending in Washington, even if passed and ratified, it would not take effect before 2016 at the earliest.

3.  New York is one of the examples of states that is in serious trouble, financially.  NYC is just as bad.  Still, Mayor Bloomberg just spent $100,000 of New York taxpayer money to send undercover investigators to Arizona to see if they could buy guns at a gun show.  Money well spent - they came, we sold them guns.  Now, for some reason, he is claiming some big victory for this venture.  AZ is exposed!  Individuals sold other individuals guns without a background check - Oh My Gosh!  Just one problem with the "big" announcement, it is all legal.

4.  Cannot forget about Egypt.  The President of Egypt (Mubarak) announced that he will not seek, nor would he accept his parties nomination for re-election next September.  This follows over a week of mass protesting in the streets of the main cities.  There are so many people protesting that it amounts to 1 out of every 250+-, yes, about 0.3 percent of the population.  It is another case of the squeaky wheel.  The masses are demanding he leave, now.  The country is in crisis - looting, robbery, burning, injuries, over 100 dead...  Whether or not this began as an uprising by the real people in Egypt, it is being co-opted by Muslim extremists.  They have learned what the Left in this country knows, "Never let a good crisis go to waste!"

The Muslim Brotherhood has muscled themselves into position as a "player" when the seat of government becomes vacant, which will probably be very soon.  "Brotherhood" what can I find wrong with that?  Well, they are already issuing a statement to get the Egyptian people ready for a war with Israel.  The are a very radical faction of Muslims who vow that Jihad (holy war) is their way to get things done.  They want Sharia Law to govern the world.  If Egypt falls into radical control, they will control the Suez Canal, through which much of the oil headed to Western nations passes.  Most of the rest passes through a narrow channel that can easily be controlled by Iran.  If you think gas prices are high now, just wait.

4.  Egypt is not the only Arab country in turmoil.  Today, the King of Jordan dismissed his government.  His country has also been experiencing protests over the past few days.  These two countries (Jordan and Egypt) have been among the few in the region who have had decent relationships with the USA.  The Middle East is in a state of transition, several nations are on fire and the direction they appear to be headed is even more radical.  These two countries are the only border nations with Israel which have not been actively seeking the destruction of the Jews. 

5.  The BO administration keeps telling us the economy is in recovery mode.  This, while unemployment remains well above 9%, gas prices are on their way up, food prices are increasing, many states are facing bankruptcy, banks prepare to release some of their "shadow inventory" of foreclosed homes onto the market, personal bankruptcies are high, more foreclosures are planned for this year, and our Federal Government cannot stop borrowing and spending more and more money.  In spite of what they tell us, it appears that everything they are doing is geared at bringing our economy to it's knees. 

Now the good news...

God is still in control!
Sleep well!

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

The Things I Value(d)

As I sit here thinking about what was important to me at various stages of life, I have to smile.  I will give you a brief summary of the progression of my early "things of value":

Some of my very first memories include a homemade, wooden stool (painted white) with two steps.  This was specially made for me (around age 2-3) by my Dad so that I could reach the sink in the bathroom.  We had the stool for several years.  Why was a stool valuable?  Well, first of all, it was mine.  Second, it was important for many years as I was too short to reach very many things.  It also came in handy when I was around seven.  I stood on that stool to wash dishes.  Yes, I did wash dishes around that age.  Without that stool I would not have been at that sink washing dishes exactly when one of Santa's helpers peeked in the kitchen window to see who was being good.  Luckily, it was me!

When I was around three we rented a house while our next home was being built.  We had to rent because my Dad had sold our prior house (the "flat-top house") all of a sudden.  It seems that if a good deal came along, it was a sign to sell.  While in the rent house, the two things I remember being important had to do with the next-door neighbors, the Whipples.  Pete and Bryan Whipple were close in age to my brother and I.  We spent quite a bit of time climbing in their apple trees, playing in the drainage ditch next to their home, and watching the hogs get slopped.  The other thing was when Mrs. Whipple invited me in to have fresh, homemade bread.  As they had their own cows behind the house, the bread was served with fresh cow milk - which never quite seemed as good or safe as the milk that came from the milkman.

During the years when I was between four and eight, we lived in "the 2-story house".  We moved into this new house when it was just Mom, Dad, Ron (pronounced Wonnie-my older brother), Sharon (pronounced Shawon-my younger sister) and me.  During these years two more sisters (Carolyn and Paula) were born and we will not get into whether or not either or both of them were "accidents".  It was while we lived in this house that I was rewarded with the exceptional Christmas that was mentioned above.

These years were what I would refer to now, as a boy's dream.  Ron and I had freedom to explore the general area, which included an old pit which had been used as a dump many years before and had old, rusty cars plus the normal items a boy would enjoy from the local dump (such as bottles to shoot with our BB guns).  There was a small rodeo grounds nearby where Albert and I attempted to extinguish a small forest fire with our army shovels and canteens full of water.  (No, we did not set the fire.)

To the south of our small subdivision (two square blocks) was the city park which consisted of a pavilion with it's large stone fireplace and the town's little league baseball park.  The baseball field was dirt, it had no bleachers and above-ground dug-outs.  People sat around the home and visitor sides on the hoods of their cars.  If something really good happened, such as getting someone out at first, several horns would honk several times.  I still remember that George's mom was really loud, all of the time - always finding something to scream about.  It was at this field that Ron set the homerun record for Show Low.  It was not surprising that he could do this because, from my perspective, he was a little short from being a giant for his age.  Even though there were only two and a half years between us, there were several feet of elevation.  He grew tall fast and I grew short slowly.  Our Dad was the manager of the Cardinals so that is where Ron played and I was batboy and score keeper.  Don't get me wrong, I did get chances to play.  Whenever one of these opportunities came along, it made me more than a little nervous.  I was afraid of the ball and consequently played right field - the safest place to put me if the team wanted to win.  (At that time teams kept score and there were winners and losers.)  Rarely did anyone hit the ball to right field, so I could stand out there in my over-sized white and red uniform and pray.  Yes, I did have to bat.  But I had an advantage that helped hide the fact that my eyes were usually closed while the pitch was being delivered.  (If you close your eyes, the ball won't hit you in the face.)  I was so short that my strike zone was only about six inches tall.  In little league, the pitchers were not that good and I typically walked without having to ever swing the bat.

We each had our friends - one of mine I mentioned above - Albert.  He lived across the street and was the son of the doctor in town.  Albert and I got along pretty good.  Maybe it was because we each had our own issues.  His issue was that he had a wooden leg.  There is not a lot of things that make a boy more curious than a friend's leg that comes off at night. 

There were five other boys near the ages of Ron and I in the neighborhood.  We would ride bikes, shoot our guns, explore the woods to the west and north, hunt for pottery and arrowheads, shoot frogs in the cow pond, catch polliwogs and watch them grow into frogs in jars on our carport.  We had dogs and cats that had litters in the wood shed behind the house.  We made ant farms in large jars and had the usual, small turtles which only lasted a few weeks after Easter.  We dug foxholes and made tunnels in the field to the east of our home.  We camped out in the lean-to we made from small pine trees and explored the two old log cabins in the forest.  We were in Cub Scouts together, where we learned about how far a skunk can squirt.

There were no paved streets and when you crashed on your bike, you went home with cinders in your knees and elbows.  This happened to me several times as my bike was a 24 incher and that is a little taller than I was at the time.  In order to get started, I pulled my bike behind my Dad's green and black Dodge pickup and climbed on the bumper.  It being a boy's bike, stopping was a delicate matter and required planning - or crashing.

We had all we could need and want.  BB guns with a "block" of shells in the top of the coat closet, bows and arrows (both were fiberglass bows - Ron's was 35# and mine 25# - with $0.25 arrows from A&A Sporting Goods), pocket knives, army shovels, canteens, bikes, a hatchet, Ron's electric train set, and a bunch of friends.  As I have previously written about the cross-bows Dad made for us, the afternoon naps for a wide-awake boy, and the daily enemas for a brief period, we will not go into those again, here.

I will bring up one story that includes the doctor mentioned above.  One day Sharon stuck a BB up her nose.  (Don't ask me why.)  When Mom could not remove it, she loaded Sharon, Ron and I into our Ford station wagon and we headed to the doctor's office.  Mom took Sharon inside and Ron and I waited in the car.  (At that time you were not concerned about every passerby calling the cops on the parents due to leaving a kid in the car unattended.)  As boys will get bored, somehow or another, by the time they returned to the car, a cinder had been placed in one of Ron's ears.  Mom was excited that it was such a convenient situation, being still in front of the doctor's office - so excited that, as I remember, I was on the receiving end of a spanking when we got home.  I still do not understand why I was to blame without a through investigation.

Sorry girls, but I don't really remember when Mom and Dad brought Carolyn and Paula home, but I do remember when they came home one night after trading in the '55 Ford blue station wagon for a "57 Ford blue and white station wagon.  I also remember that around the time I was seven or eight, we got our first TV - black and white (of course).  It had a converter box that sat on top which was used to fine tune the signal for the one station we received from Tucson, off of Porter Mountain, by way of the TV antenna mounted to the top of the house.  I remember the crank telephone being replaced with a dial phone.  Things were good!

Then, again, Dad came home one day after receiving another good offer.  We were moving, but only to a house to rent in the same neighborhood. 

Now, I have trouble remembering names of people, but our five friends were:  Bobby Knox, Albert Armstrong, Kent Bunger, Mike Birdno, and Jimmy Welkner.  Mrs. Birdno and Mrs. Welkner each had Den Mother duties at different times.  It seems that the "short-term" memory is a factor but the long-term memories are priceless.