Tag Archives: United States

Let’s Help Everyone In The World!

What did he say???  I’m sorry but the only thing I understood in President Obama’s speech was that he was trying to answer his critics … from all sides … and said absolutely nothing!

I have a theory and his speech just reinforced what I thought.  I think that he wants to look good, by helping people.  I can understand that.  I would like to help lots of people too but I just don’t have the extra cash to give some to every homeless person in this country.  This country doesn’t have the extra money to help the world either.  But he just set a precedent that we will help every country being ruled by a dictator who has brutalized his/her own people.  What happens when the next country demands our help via the UN? 

He does NOT want to take the blame for anything that goes wrong however.  That’s why he left on the trip to Brazil and sent Sec. Clinton instead to meet with the world leaders on Libya.  If it doesn’t go well, he can just blame it on Clinton and Gates for not running it well, for not being on the same page.  Now we’re going to turn it over to NATO.  Oh, great.  Now, if it doesn’t go well, he can add NATO to the blame-game.  It’s not HIS fault!  He gave general instructions and everyone else screwed it up!

So far, it looks like he thinks everything is going just fine.  We’re helping lots of people from genocide.  That’s true, but what happens if the rebels don’t win and Qaddafi stays in power?  Who do you think Qaddafi will retaliate against?  Yes, his own people would be first in line but then he would go after US.  If that happens, it’s NATO’s fault for not helping the freedom-fighters enough. 

If the freedom-fighters win, who takes over power?  Is there anyone strong enough to rule that country?  I don’t see anyone stepping up to the plate yet.  That means almost any organized group can come in and take over the country and we could be in a much worse situation than when Qaddafi was in power.  Then it’s still NATO’s fault for not sending people in to help set up a democratic republic. 

If WE had taken the lead, we would’ve handled it a lot differently!  Yes, Pres. Obama would have to take the credit OR THE BLAME for everything.  I may not have agreed totally with Pres. Bush, but at least he took a stand and everyone knew what he thought.  I can’t figure out exactly WHAT Pres. Obama is thinking … except that he wants to help everyone in the world … at our expense!

Advertisements

A Budget for Alien Abduction Investigation?

Ron Paul???  Seriously???  Please!!!  At the CPAC going on right now, Ron Paul won the straw poll for President for the 2nd year in a row.  Are you serious?  I KNOW he’s a Texan but that does not mean that most Texans, even Texas Republicans, would vote for him.  Unless the Dems put up Daffy Duck or Goofy, Ron Paul could not win.  I know I wouldn’t vote for him.  Where do the people who attend CPAC come from?  That does not give me any sense of respect for anyone attending CPAC.  I wouldn’t want to be associated with that straw poll.

In a recent Fox News poll, President Obama would win over the straw poll runner-up, Mitt Romney, 48% to 41%.  I’m not sure what that says about either one of them but so far I wouldn’t vote for any of the front-runners, Republican OR Democrat.  I’m just not sure that any of them have gotten the message yet that they work for us and that their power rests with us and not strictly within the Washington beltway. 

I have to live within a budget.  Texas has to live within a budget.  Businesses have to live within a budget.  A budget includes the money you have and the credit you are approved for.  Up until recently, credit has been relatively easy to get.  Nowadays, though, personal and business credit is difficult to get so we are forced to live on the money we have.  We can’t even rely on the assets we own anymore because few can afford and would want to buy what we may need to sell.  Yet the Federal Government doesn’t have this stipulation. 

One thing I do know … Even though I am conservative, I will not be looking at the results of the CPAC straw poll to help me decide on a candidate.

Hate

I am SO tired of hate.  Hate in politics, hate in the media, hate in the general public.  Hate with violence is the worst.  What could’ve been so horrible that made the Tucson madman hate people so much that he wanted to kill them, starting with Gabbie Giffords?  With the current times and economic problems, it seems like none of us are safe anymore when we are in public.  Why?  Because we are not teaching the Rules of Living in Society anymore.

Do we have more people who do bad things than we used to have?  Or is our media just publicizing them more?  Or do we just have virtually instant communication?  I believe it is a combination of all those things.  As a nation, we have been so concerned with everyone’s rights and being politically correct that we are not safe anymore from the madmen, the terrorists, and the basically evil people in our world.  Most of us don’t want to hurt anyone.  All of us want to keep our families and friends safe.  But how do we accomplish that without taking away everyone’s rights?  Enforce the laws.  Enforce the laws equally.  Hold individuals accountable.

Yes, our jails are overflowing.  The courts are swamped.  Bureaucracy moves as slowly as molasses on a cold, winter day. What about those who threaten others?  What about those who incite others to riot?  … What about taking responsibility for our own actions instead of blaming others?

In elementary school, I learned quickly that it was wrong to threaten someone, it was wrong to lie, it was wrong not to do what your parents and teachers say to do, and it was wrong to cheat.  I had rights taken away, both in school and at home.  I got a spanking.  (Yes, I did)  I learned and I learned well.  But kids today are not learning that lesson in elementary school anymore.  By middle school and junior high school, bullies are learning how to get away with taunting and threatening others, and the parents and teachers and school administration are allowing it.  These kids are learning lessons they will use for the rest of their lives.  They’re not madmen.  They’re not evil.  They definitely are not terrorists.  They are just mean, taking advantage of adults, and they have not learned how to live in a congenial society.  It seems many people have not learned to take responsibility for their own actions.  “It’s not MY fault!”  Either that or we have become a nation of lazy, bureaucratic adults.

Do these kids deserve to be locked up with killers, madmen, and terrorists?  I don’t think so but what do you do with them until they learn their lessons?  I think they do deserve to lose their freedom, their rights, for a time but is jail the best option?  To start with, how about teaching students, starting in the first grade, the cause and effect of their actions?  Then hold EVERYONE accountable for what they do.  Personally, I don’t care if someone is a madman, a terrorist, evil, or just dumb.  The only question should be where to send them after they have done something wrong, according to the laws of our states and the federal government.  They should start learning the Rules of Living in Society in elementary school and should learn to abide by those rules their entire life.

Granted, at first, the jails would be even more packed, but over time, most kids would learn what they shouldn’t do in life.  Then, hopefully, only the mentally ill and the evil would be incarcerate long-term.

But who should come up with those rules?  Huh?  We might start with a cheat sheet of our laws.  Then again, there are so many of them, I don’t think it could be called a cheat “sheet,” anymore.  And you can’t legislate ethics.  We have tried to do just that through our laws but that hasn’t worked either.  So, any ideas? 

I’m so tired of hate but I don’t hate hate.  I’m so tired of listening to hate speech, but I don’t believe in repealing the Bill of Rights.  I am responsible for my actions.  I can turn the TV and radio off whenever I want to.    I can refuse to listen to those who want to get me riled up and I can refuse to repeat it.  So can you.  Without ratings, the media will lose out, not you and me.  But it takes all of us to make a difference.  Think about it, then let me know what you think and what you think we can do.  I’m really interested.

Federal vs. The People

Today, being a U.S. legislator is not as easy as it once was.  Today, we have lobbyists who campaign for their issues and interests, just as our legislators campaign for election.  Today, there are PACs, Political Action Committees, who can  not only campaign for their issues and interests, they can donate massive amounts of funds, called soft money contributions, for specific causes that are not tied to specific candidates.  Voters cannot donate as much cold hard cash as they want, but the PACs are allowed to.  The last I read, there are over 4,600 business, labor and special-interest PACs.  I can’t find one but I wonder if the state of Texas has a PAC?  San Diego has a PAC.  Does Texas have one?  If a single city has the need for a PAC, does a single state have a need for one, especially since senators are no longer appointed by the state governors?

Just how are the two sides of Congress different in the power they wield?  They share many powers because they looked at issues differently in the beginning.  The House members wanted to make sure they were re-elected by the people.  The Senate members wanted to make sure they were re-appointed by their respective states.  But there are some differences and in most cases, they must work together.

The House is the only side that can initiate revenue bills.  It takes both sides to pass the same bill to send it to the President but only the House can actually create a new revenue bill.  The House is the only body that can impeach a President, but the Senate is the body that actually tries a President for impeachment.  So, the people’s representatives can decide to impeach a sitting President but the state’s representatives decide whether to convict or not, and the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court runs the impeachment trial.  At least that was what the founding fathers intended.  Checks and balances; no longer available in this instance.

So what can the states do that Congress can’t?  Basically, the states have the authority to do anything that the federal government is not specifically charged with doing and anything that the states are not prohibited of doing.  In other words, anything that’s not specifically given to the Legislative, Executive and Judicial branches of government and is not specifically prohibited to the states in the Constitution is up to the states and the people.  Sounds great, doesn’t it?  However, section 8, clause 18, of Article One of the Constitution, called the Necessary and Proper Clause, is commonly used to give Congress expanded powers by both the Congress and the Supreme Court. 

The Congress shall have Power – To make all Laws which shall be necessary and proper for carrying into Execution the foregoing Powers, and all other Powers vested by this Constitution in the Government of the United States, or in any Department or Officer thereof.

Ooookayyyyy.  So what does that mean for the states?  Have the Congress and the Supreme Court totally usurped our state’s rights?  To a great extent, I think they have because legislation at the federal level now seems to have become more about the power the federal government wields rather than the rights of the people.  Are there abuses nowadays?  Sure.  Were there abuses before the Seventeenth Amendment in 1913?  Definitely.  There will always be abuses if the people allow it.  Are there checks and balances today between the federal government and our state governments?  Not really.   For example:

  • The states regulate intrastate commerce and the federal government regulates interstate and international commerce; e.g. the feds can regulate what comes into the country but the states regulate where it goes once it is here.  Come on, once an item has been imported to a state, do you honestly believe that the people can’t get it, no matter where it is in the state?   That just feeds a black market for that item.
  • The federal government can print money, both bills and coins, and the state cannot; a national currency that is used all across the U.S.  That’s good.  Yet if more money is created, the states are definitely impacted and they don’t seem to have a say as to whether or when that money is created. 
  • The states provide for public health and safety, yet the federal government now has a federal health bill.  I can’t find anywhere that the U.S. Government has the authority to provide for my health. 

Ahhh, that good ol’ Necessary and Proper Clause strikes again!  Or maybe it’s the Commerce Clause?  Who knows but it’s in there somewhere.

Alright, you are probably thinking that I’m a Tea Party Member.  You are wrong.  I am not.  I am just a citizen who is pissed off that the feds are taking more and more of the power and leaving us, the people, with less and less.  And that’s what all of this seems to be about … power.  Power corrupts.  Absolute power corrupts absolutely.  I do NOT want to see the federal government have absolute power over the states, the districts, and the cities of this nation.  I do NOT want to see the federal government have absolute power over me. 

Back off, bub!

Federal vs. State

What is the difference between the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives?  If the people have the power to elect them, where do our state governors go to make their voice heard?  Is it up to the people to elect state and federal representatives with the same values and concerns or do states have any authority when it deals with the federal government? 

Let’s look at the basics first.  There are 435 U.S. congressmen and 100 senators.  In Texas, there are 150 members of the Texas House and 31 members of the Texas Senate.  Those are our state and federal representatives only and it doesn’t even touch on our city and county representatives. Thankfully, each of us only needs to vote on one U.S. senator, one U.S. congressman, one state senator, and one state congressman, so it shouldn’t be difficult to research four people at most after an election and know what they believe in.  Yet how many people can name all four of their representatives?

Ok, we can elect them but how are they supposed to work together?  It’s fairly easy to see how the federal representatives work (or not) together and how the state representatives work (or not) together.  We have seen recently that the federal government has sued Arizona, but can a state sue the federal government to make sure that the federal government is doing what the state needs?  The simple answer is no.  The federal government has sovereign immunity and can’t be sued UNLESS it waives this immunity.  Good luck with that!

Effectively, there are no checks and balances for our states and federal representatives.  I found an Office of State-Federal Relations in Texas, but it doesn’t seem to have any explicit authority.  All it does is funnel information from the federal government to the Texas governor and legislative representatives.  Obviously, the state receives funding from the federal government and administrates federal programs here within the state but I can’t find anywhere on the state level where we can hold the federal government accountable to the states.  Seriously???

Originally the U.S. Congress was elected by the people and the U.S. Senate was appointed by the individual state governments, therefore the congressmen were accountable to the people and the senators were accountable to their states to do what their states needed and wanted.   What it boiled down to was that the larger states, ones with large populations, had the most congressmen and all of the people were represented equally, yet all states had only 2 senators and therefore all states were represented equally within the federal government.  The Seventeenth Amendment changed this and our U.S. Senate was then elected by popular vote in the states.

In one respect, this was good, in that the senators had to be concerned with public opinion and not state opinion, politics and the Good Ol’ Boys network.  Yet it also undermined the authority of our state governments.  Now the state has no one in Washington, D.C. who is accountable to our state legislatures.  The state governors have banded together into the National Governor’s Association, which helps a little but it tends to help states in general, not states in particular.

So what is the difference between the U.S. House of Representatives and the Senate? 

To Be Continued…

What should we be thankful for?

I could say family, friends, good health, and a great life and that would all be true.  I am thankful for all of those things, but that doesn’t tell the entire story, does it?  I am thankful for so much more than that.  I am very thankful to live in the United States, a country built on freedoms, the rule of law, and the representation of the people.  While Thanksgiving is an American holiday now, it began in 1621, before the United States even existed, between two totally different groups of people.   Back then, they celebrated a good harvest after a very harsh winter.  Now we seem to celebrate football, shopping, and eating too much.

We live in a country where we have the freedom to do any job that we are capable of doing, any job that we are capable of learning, coupled with the ambition to get that learning. I have the freedom to say what I want about the government, police, courts, and military, without threat of retaliation, regardless of how brilliant, foolish, ignorant or stupid it might be or I might look.  I have the freedom to believe in any religion I want or to believe in no religion, for that matter.  I have the freedom to live anywhere, wear anything, and eat anything that I can afford.  There are nations today where your life is threatened daily, where you must have permission to live in certain areas, where you must believe in one single religion, where you must wear certain clothing or eat certain foods or act certain ways in public.  That is not freedom and is unacceptable here in the U.S.

Yes, we have the freedom to do what we want but with that freedom comes a responsibility to the nation that we have built around that concept.  We have the responsibility to protect those freedoms we cherish so that we do not lose those freedoms.  If I want to buy a car, for instance, it is my responsibility to provide insurance for that car and any damage I may do.  If I want to fly to another place, it is my responsibility to make sure that I do not bring anything dangerous on the plane.  If I want to smoke, drink, or do drugs, it is my responsibility to have the proper insurance and to pay a higher premium than those who do not want that kind of lifestyle.  If I want to walk through Central Park in NYC at midnight, it is my responsibility to take the consequences of that walk.  And if I don’t like a potential new law, whether it be federal, state, county or local, it is my responsibility to tell my representatives how I feel.

This Thanksgiving, while you are enjoying the time off from work, the food, the shopping, the festivities, and the football, take time to really be thankful for family, friends, your health and your life, but also be thankful for your government.  Think about what you are grateful for, what you stand for, what you will accept and what you won’t.  Then let your voice be heard. 

Don’t just sit back and hope that someone else will take the initiative.  You have the responsibility to do that for yourself.  Don’t take anything for granted just because someone you like or admire has either recommended it or condemned it.  Do your own research on the issues.  Make your own decisions.  Come to your own conclusions.  Yes, it is work and we are all busy people but, this is a responsibility that we not only need to take seriously, this is a responsibility that we need to teach our children.  If our Founding Fathers had not taken their responsibility for the direction of this country, we would be a totally different nation today than what we are.  They deliberated long and hard to come up with the best Constitution and Bill of Rights they could and still retain the freedoms they sought.  If we don’t pass on this responsibility to our children, what kind of a country will we be in another 200 years?

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!  I am thankful to have you as friends and family!

A summary of the first ten amendments to the U.S. Constitution:

  1. Freedom of religion, speech, press, assembly, and petition.
  2. Right to keep and bear arms in order to maintain a well-regulated militia
  3. No quartering of soldiers
  4. Freedom from unreasonable searches and seizures
  5. Right to due process of law, freedom from self-incrimination, double jeopardy
  6. Rights of accused persons, such as the right to a speedy and public trial
  7. Right of trial by jury in civil cases
  8. Freedom from excessive bail, cruel and unusual punishments
  9. Other rights of the people
  10. The powers that are reserved to the states