Tuesday, August 31, 2010

An Open Letter to Glenn Beck


Let me begin by saying thank you for creating and staging your impressive “Restoring Honor” event yesterday in Washington DC.  Dedicating a day to Faith, Hope and Charity along with honoring the sacrifices of our men and women in the military who sacrifice so much on our behalf.

A few personal thoughts on the event itself.  Overall, I found the event uplifting and at times inspirational.  I believe your intentions were honorable.

My take on what I think the event was about and what I took away:

The purpose of the event was…..
  1. To honor the sacrifice of our troops
    1. I have read, according to their website, over $5 million dollars was raised for the Special Operations Warrior Foundation.  This is a worthy charity that supports the children of fallen troops.  Fantastic!
  2. To point out that we are missing honorable behavior and people in our country today. 
    1. Too many people operate out of corrupt principles at all levels of leadership both within and outside of government
    2. We are notably missing examples of true heroes, especially in the private sector.  (not that they do not exist, but they go unrecognized)
  3. To restore honor to our country through the assembled common principle of faith in a higher power
    1. While at times it was too heavily weighted on an evangelical Christian message, I believe that your point was that having a faith in God, whether you are Jewish, Catholic, Protestant, Muslim, or Hindu, is a bedrock of our society.  Without faith in God, our country cannot survive as a free society
    2. At the closing, the black robe brigade with over 240 men and women of many faiths helped make that point.
  4. To honor people who are examples of faith, hope and charity and to hold them up as examples to follow.
    1. All three of your recipients of the “badges of merit” you offered were private citizens who demonstrated through their past examples, behavior worthy of emulation.
All in all, it was an amazing event.

Was it a home run?  Perhaps not, as at times, it seemed the execution was a little off and at times, it became too much about you and not enough about the causes you were trying to espouse.  (I do not believe the focus on yourself was your intention as at times you looked a bit embarrassed at what some people said from the stage in their attempt to thank you for your leadership on this event). In addition, the crowd was not very diverse.  It was mostly white, older and married.  It would have been nice to have seen a more diverse crowd as the message was certainly applicable to anyone who claims themselves members of the human race regardless of their ethnicity, status or background. 

Finally, a couple of comments about media crowd estimates. I have no idea how many people actually attended the event, however I will say it was MASSIVE, certainly more than I had ever seen at any event there in the mall. It was packed! My son and I arrived at the Metro at 7AM and the lines to get on the metro were already backed up the escalators into the upper wait area. A similar experience going home (and that was after we waited on the mall by the Lincoln memorial for at least an hour after the event was over.).  Was it in the tens of thousands or hundreds of thousands, I can not say.  To me, it felt like I was there with 500,000 of my "closest friends".  Whatever the number it was, it was HUGE!

Still, it was a noble effort and I am proud to live in a country where a private citizen can use his personal wealth and power to stage such an event.  I believe that this would be in line with the principles of economist Milton Friedman, who was a strong advocate for the creation of private wealth and ownership as the best means to advance our society and to act as a counter-balance to the drift of government toward concentration of power and ultimately corruption.

Let Freedom Ring

Sunday, August 22, 2010

If the US Were a Corporation, It Would Be Filling for Bankruptcy–Frank Wolf

"I have never been more concerned for our country,…If we were a business, we would be filing for bankruptcy." according to Congressman Frank Wolf (R-VA10) at recent impromptu meeting at the Amphoria Diner in Herndon, VA.
For about five minutes, Wolf painted a dire picture of a U.S. whose debts are being continuously purchased by foreign powers while the current administration spends money foolishly.
After his short speech, Wolf was peppered with questions by tea party members wanting to know what he and the Republican Party were going to do about the future of the country, which many referred to as a "sinking ship."
"The Republican Party should take on the responsibility of establishing teams of lawyers and a hotline that people can access if they witness any impropriety at the polls," he said. "These lawyers should be prepared to file immediate injunctions to keep voter fraud at bay. Anyone witnessing fraud should report it through this process."
Source: Fairfax Times
Let Freedom Ring

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Congressman Jim Moran: Look for the Union Label

This past Tuesday, Virginia Congressman Jim Moran (D) voted for the bill providing $26.1 billion to cash-strapped state governments, and preventing roughly 161,000 teachers and 158,000 public works employees from being laid off.

Many of the jobs protected under this bill belong to teacher unions or the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees, both key parts of the Democrats' political base.  It is these very unions that are handcuffing the states and municipalities with contracts that lock in spending that is leading to the very state and municipal budget deficits that are at the heart of state and local woes.

States like Virginia and Maryland are under budget pressure in an unprecedented way.  Hopefully states like California and New York do not go bankrupt. If any of them do, this will send a very direct message to our representatives and senators. We cannot afford all the perks for the mountain of locked in pensions and other perks negotiated by public service and teacher’s unions. We cannot continue to spend money we do not have.  This ultimately leads to a very bad place.  We either increase taxes over and over because our politicians cannot live on a budget or we pay for it with inflation which is a cruel tax that hits the elderly hardest.

As a matter of fact since the beginning of this recession the politicians have given up NOTHING. Wake up!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

What Jim Moran has supported with this vote is known as an "indirect bribe." Instead of the Democrats paying voters directly for their vote, they arrange for taxpayers to pay the bribe.  This is taken right out of the Murtha playbook.  As long as we have voters in this community who are willing to take this “bribe” and keep voting for Democrats, like Jim Moran, this problem will continue. Worse, those who ignore the repercussions of this out of control spending perpetuate a mentality where we protect certain groups with money that comes from you and me, not to protect and serve children and the needy, but to retain voter loyalty and power.  If this continues, we are doomed!

Budgets are serious business, but it's been a long time since anyone has been serious about the budget. For example, in New Jersy this year, gross mismanagement and accumulated fictions have left state taxpayers a $10.7 billion gap on a total state budget of $29.3 billion.

Consider the rationale of the Liberal intelligentsia:

The children will be the ones to suffer from your education cuts. "The real question is, who's for the kids, and who's for their raises? This isn't about the kids. Let's dispense with that portion of the argument. Don't let them tell you that ever again while they are reaching into your pockets."
Why not let the Bush tax cuts die for the wealthy in order to pay for this? "This group of citizens and small businesses already pay over 40% of the income tax. In addition, we've got a situation where that tax applies to small businesses. Why put the boot of government on the back of the neck of small business while we should want them to try to grow jobs by simplifying how they do business and allow them more revenue with which to offer jobs."  Is demanding that businesses who pay a vendor over $600 a year file a 1099 making it easier for them to business?  How can acts like these lead to innovation and prosperity?

Budget cuts are unfair. This is best summed up with a quote from New Jersey Governor Christie, "The special interests have already begun to scream their favorite word—which, coincidentally, is my 9-year-old son's favorite word when we are making him do something he knows is right but does not want to do—'unfair.' . . . One New Jersey state retiree, 49 years old, paid, over the course of his entire career, a total of $124,000 towards his retirement pension and health benefits. What will we pay him? $3.3 million in pension payments over his life, and nearly $500,000 for health care benefits—a total of $3.8 million on a $120,000 investment. Is that fair?"

Simply sending federal dollars to the states does not always lead to saving teachers jobs.  For example, if NJ didn't have over 600 school districts to educate 1.3 million children while Florida, for example, educates twice as many in under 70 districts, we might have a chance.  So much of this package that was just voted on will likely go to perpetuate inefficient systems simply to maintain dependency on the Federal government and voter loyalty.

Can anyone name a profitable business in which the unions are heavily involved? Hmmm... education, health care, airlines, auto's... maybe construction? Any others?

The UNIONS have RUINED countless public school student's lives in America. Inner city schools are dangerous places that produce "graduates" that are pushed out into the world as functional illiterates. Parroting the UNION talking points from the bloated schools teacher costs that have produced some of the indisputably WORST public schools in the world, now that takes either cribbing Soros talking points or an "A" in stupidity.
Since 1960, the per-pupil cost of US public schooling has risen by 3½ times in real-dollar terms. Yet the percentage of students graduating from high school has slipped since 1970, and the performance of 17-year-olds in math, science and reading has remained unchanged.

It is time we rethink this entire automatic re-election process.  We need new blood in Congress.  People who are willing to consider the long term consequences of our government actions.  One who is not himself beholden to a small group of businesses who profit from government largesse or beholden to out of control public service unions.

It is time to Retire Jim Moran!

Let Freedom Ring

Monday, August 9, 2010

A Tale of Two Faces – Congressman Jim Moran and An Afghan Woman

Congressman Jim Moran, the Cover of Time Magazine and What is Worth Fighting For
Anyone who has seen the recent week’s cover of Time magazine realizes that the Taliban in Afghanistan is a brutal and misogynistic group of thugs that if allowed to reclaim Afghanistan would set it back on a pathway to a patriarchal society that sees women as object to be controlled and “shackled” with barbaric rules and lack of dignity.
You can find a summary of the article on the following link.  It is a must read.1101100809_400
Afghan Women and the Return of the Taliban
The article begins:
The Taliban pounded on the door just before midnight, demanding that Aisha, 18, be punished for running away from her husband's house. Her in-laws treated her like a slave, Aisha pleaded. They beat her. If she hadn't run away, she would have died. Her judge, a local Taliban commander, was unmoved. Aisha's brother-in-law held her down while her husband pulled out a knife. First he sliced off her ears. Then he started on her nose.
This didn't happen 10 years ago, when the Taliban ruled Afghanistan. It happened last year. Now hidden in a secret women's shelter in Kabul, Aisha listens obsessively to the news. Talk that the Afghan government is considering some kind of political accommodation with the Taliban frightens her. "They are the people that did this to me," she says, touching her damaged face. "How can we reconcile with them?"
Read more: http://www.time.com/time/world/article/0,8599,2007238,00.html#ixzz0w6m39ThJ
I plead with you to read this entire article, get hold of a copy of the magazine as this article makes clear, abandoning Afghanistan to the Taliban is sentencing thousands upon thousands of woman and other innocents to an unprecedented level of brutality and oppression.
Congressman Moran Declares: The Mission in Afghanistan has been Achieved” What?
Moran[1]Yet my congressman, Jim Moran, of the 8th District in Virginia is having second thoughts about our involvement there.  In press release dated July 27, 2010, the Congressman had this to say… “I plan to oppose this supplemental appropriations bill when it comes to the floor later today. There exists no military solution to the conflict in Afghanistan. The mission we set out to accomplish following the attacks on September 11th – the rooting out of al Qaeda in Afghanistan – has largely been achieved, thanks to the hard work and sacrifice of hundreds of thousands of American military and civilian personnel.”
This statement makes about as much sense as the “Mission Accomplished” banner behind President Bush did back in 2003.  Further….
Congressman James P. Moran (VA-8), member of the Defense Appropriations Subcommittee, voted against the Afghan War Supplemental bill on July 27th.
“Instead of increasing our troop presence, we should be limiting our mission in Afghanistan,” said Moran in a
statement released earlier this week.

“There exists no military solution to the conflict in Afghanistan. The mission we set out to accomplish following the attacks on September 11th – the rooting out of al Qaeda in Afghanistan – has largely been achieved, thanks to the hard work and sacrifice of hundreds of thousands of American military and civilian personnel,” said Moran.
(Source: Washington Examiner)
To all of this I say to Jim Moran.  Really?  Mr. Congressman, do you really believe that ‘the rooting out of Al Qaeda in Afghanistan – has largely been achieved?
Here is what I would like you to do, please tell that to the woman who was on the recent cover of Time and is now in the US undergoing reconstructive surgery.  Tell that to the hundreds of women who have been recently disfigured by this brutal bunch of misogynistic thugs who want to reclaim this country we are trying to defend.  Tell this to the soldiers who are sacrificing themselves to defend these women and our nation’s interest. 
On many occasions Congressman, you have touted your credentials as a champion of women’s causes.  How can you reconcile your position of abandoning Afghanistan and support of women’s causes.  This kind of action on your part suggests that you lack the courage of your convictions and calls into question how deep your support of women’s causes truly is.
For me, this is another example of poor judgment.  My Dad use to tell me that ‘a man who uses poor judgment once and learns from his mistake is a wise man, but a man who uses poor judgment over and over, may in fact be a fool’. 
Stands like this one and the manner in which you accept your campaign contributions and loans all suggest a pattern of poor judgment.  Foolishness?  I will let the reader decide.
Let Freedom Ring.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Is My Phone Call To You Rude?

Something strange is going on.  My family has always called me the gadget guy.  Even my brother calls me ‘Inspector’ Gadget’.  So my love affair with all that is tech almost knows no bounds.  Still, sometimes changes occur that even I don’t fully understand and appreciate.

Are We Hanging Up on Each Other?telepone_hang-up

I remember a time when I was growing up where we had one telephone line and two phones, one in the kitchen and one in my parent’s bedroom.  The one in the kitchen had a a handset with a coiled connector that seemed like could stretch from the kitchen to the Safeway up the road.  My mom could carry on a conversation, cook dinner, wash dishes, clean the house and change my sister’s diapers all from that ‘kitchen’ phone.  Back then, when the phone rang, you sprinted to the phone.  There were no answering machines and you never knew, was that your best friend calling you to find out if you could go shoot some hoops or your Uncle Bill calling with news about your grandparent’s health. 
I would be on the phone with my buddies talking about ‘did you see that move that Jerry West made on Bill Russell?’ my Dad would inevitably yell from the den, “Get off the phone, someone important might be trying to call us”. 

Phone calls were important.  It was how you communicated.

I have been noticing a trend for several years now.  It began with the answering machine and accelerated with call waiting.  Fewer and fewer phone calls get answered.  Of greater interest, relatively few people call us on the ‘home line’.  More and more it is reserved for when we gather at the table to host a call on speakerphone with our relatives.  Almost all of the calls I make to my friends is on my mobile phone. 
I remember a time when mobile minutes were so expensive, I only gave out my home phone number.  Now, I have so many minutes accumulated and an unlimited text plan, I only give out my mobile number and often include, “you are welcome to text me”.  I must say that I still get a few puzzled looks from my age peers on that one, but folks I meet who are my children’s age seem to welcome it.

Texting generation doesn't share boomers' taste for talk
Today, I was reading an article published in the Washington Post entitled ‘For millennials, love is never asking them to call you back’ by Ian Shapira.

Check it out.  In this article, Shapira writes that a whole generation is growing up around the notion that phone calls are not simply inconvenient, they are a rude interruption of your day. 

I can relate to this.  When I am working on something, an article, spreadsheet, a presentation, the last thing I want to hear is the phone ring.  There is much debate within my company about the use of instant messenger.  Some love it, some hate it.  I hear from my boomer peers all the time, “I don’t want to be bothered with the instant messenger, if I want to talk with someone, I can just pick up the phone”.  The problem is way too often they are busy or away from their phones or on another call, so your call to them goes to voice mail.  So you leave a message hoping they call you back and at a time when you are not in the middle of doing something else.

So, if I need to talk with them, I end up using IM to see if they are available to talk, then exchange a brief dialogue to nail down a mutually convenient time if now is not.  Personally, almost consider it rude if people don’t use IM.  I am then forced to make a call with the risks associated with that or send them a formal calendar invite from email.

Texting just seems so much simpler.  You text, get across the essentials, then get back to what your were doing.  If a phone call is warranted, you check availability, then call.  Finally with Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter, you can communicate much in the way of family updates in a much more robust fashion with photos and even video to share the experience.  People can view them at their convenience and to the degree that they want. 

I get it.  It is a strange new world we are living in (and getting stranger every day) for us boomers.  At times I feel like I have emigrated to a new land and I am calling back to my friends who are stuck back in the old worlds and simply refuse to make the journey.  Unfortunately, there will be fewer and fewer left behind so it is either make the journey to join the millennials on their home turf, or be stuck in a world where fewer and fewer people are willing to actually talk with you.

So, are my phone calls to you rude?  You tell me.

Let Freedom Ring (or in this case, make whatever sound texting does on your mobile device :-)

Friday, August 6, 2010

What is Your Definition of Marriage?

This is possibly my last posting on subject of same-sex Marriage as I am tired of defending something that many in society no longer feel is worth defending.  Still, my ole pal Eugene Robinson in today’s Washington Post argued that the decision by the California Judge was a good one.

What caught my attention today was the following comment to his article.

BlueTwo1 wrote:

The authoritarian, right-wing argument against gay marriage boils down to: "My church says it is a sin. So it should be illegal." Meanwhile, the most authoritarian of religions, Roman Catholicism, is struggling to justify the sinful behavior of its infallible hierarchy with respect to pedophile priests. Protecting the church's reputation was more important than protecting children. So, the church's moral standing regarding homosexuality is gone with the whirlwind. Separation of church and state, a very wise decision by the Founding Fathers, means our elected leaders do not consult with clergy before making law. This displeases some people who now want to strip various provisions out of the Constitution, which they otherwise regard as tantamount to Holy Scripture.

It is incredible that nearly every attack on someone who holds for a more traditional view of marriage always goes for the jugular, calling or insinuating bigotry or religious intolerance.

Below is my response:

@BlueTwo1:  Not all of us my friend.  My argument rests upon nearly a century of progress in which the focus and intent of marriage and family law has been to protect and encourage families, their creation, protection and nurturing.  It has not been about "rights" of individuals.

Here is my problem.  If we are re-defining marriage, upon WHAT do we base the new definition?  Can't you see that ANY definition now becomes discriminatory to some group.  Based on the interpretation of this Judge, at any point now, any group that feels it's civil rights are being violated, can sue to extend marriage rights to them.  I mean ANYONE.

So, I go back to my original question.  Upon what do we justify THIS new definition of marriage?  Why THAT definition?  If TWO, why TWO?  If non-sibling, Why?

What is the justification for that kind of discrimination.  Please don't give me the argument, 'well polygamists are just another form of perpetuating male authority' crap.  Attitudes about polygamists today are similar to the attitudes associated with gays 30 years ago.   (yeah, yeah don't lecture me about how gay men are different because they don't perpetuate male domination, patriarchal societies) I mean that 30 plus years ago, most people would have considered same-sex marriage unthinkable, now look where we are.

So, I keep coming back to this question.  Upon what do you now form the basis of your new definition of marriage?  I say that the philosophical underpinnings of this new interpretation makes polygamy and other forms of relationships inevitable.

At that point, marriage becomes meaningless and whatever remaining value and respect for this institution that we have will be gone.

My take, let's end marriage.  It no longer contributes any value to the growth and protection of our society.  If we want civil partnership rights defined, I am all for civil partnership agreements.  But marriage is now the proverbial square peg in a round hole.  It has now been convoluted and twisted in order to provide and extend rights in ways that is far from its original intentions.

DON'T GET ME WRONG HERE!  I a'int sayin I think two women who love each other should not be extended the equal protection of the law, I'm just saying, by stretching the 'marriage' blanket to these groups, it inevitably will lead to further stretching that will fray the fabric and ultimately weaken and destroy that blanket's ability to provide protection.


Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Is it Time We Ended Marriage?

I am tired of the culture wars.  I surrender.  I no longer wish to defend marriage.  Perhaps the time has come to end our marriage to marriage.  Today we need a divorce from our concept of how we define relationships in the 21st century.

Today’s ruling by a single California Judge that overturns the will of a majority of Californians has led me to a cataclysmic conclusion.  Marriage may have outlived its usefulness.  We live in a society that has evolved in the last 40 years from one in which the divorce rate went from in the 20% range to nearly 50%.  Apparently, no one takes ‘till death do us part’ too seriously anymore.

The concept of marriage grew out of our traditions. 

Under English common law, and in all American colonies and states until the middle of the 19th century, married women had no legal standing. They could not own property, sign contracts, or legally control any wages they might earn. Nearly all marriage ceremonies were performed in the church and were defined by these institutions.

In 1848, New York became the first state to pass a Married Woman's Property Act, guaranteeing the right of married women to own property.  By 1900 all states had legislation granting women some control over their property and earnings.  Thus began a relatively slow process where the state began to intervene in a centuries old institution that till then had been primarily under the jurisdiction of religious institutions.  This led to the wholesale shift from marriage as a religiously based institution to a civil contract.

Over the years, the states have both built up and codified the legal understanding of a relationship and more recently has torn down the same “rules” of a relationship.  Most of the concepts for marriage and family law in the early part of the twentieth century were an attempt to protect families in general and women in particular, clearly defining rights to women.

In 1969 California adopted the nation’s first “no fault” divorce law, allowing divorce by mutual consent.  This opened the door to a whole other view of what a “marriage” should be.

With current trends away from religious institutions having a major impact on our moral viewpoint and the shift in our attitudes of sex; away from procreation and towards pleasure, society has become more tolerant of non-traditional forms of sexual partnerships.  What would have been represented as an “abomination” by my father has yielded to a “live and let live” mantra by our current generation.

US Data published in 2007 states that the average duration of 1st marriages that end in divorce is approximately 8 years.  According to The State of Our Unions 2005, a report issued by the National Marriage Project at Rutgers University, only 63% of American children grow up with both biological parents -- the lowest figure in the Western world.  As of 2003, 43.7% of custodial mothers and 56.2% of custodial fathers were either separated or divorced.

Nearly 40 percent of babies born in the United States in 2007 were delivered by unwed mothers, according to data released last month by the National Center for Health Statistics. The 1.7 million out-of-wedlock births, of 4.3 million total births, marked a more than 25 percent jump from five years before.

Apparently, an increasing number of men and women no longer hold marriage as a respected or necessary event.

The judges ruling today fundamentally makes it clear that marriage can no longer be defined by the people.  This is because any such definition yields a discriminatory environment that encroaches on the rights of some group of people.  Therefore, I have come to the conclusion that no definition of marriage can be constructed by the people that is non-discriminatory.  Since this is the case, I suggest that we end the institution of marriage as a state sanctioned vehicle that codifies rights and responsibilities between people.  Instead, we should develop a set of civil contracts for all that codifies and defines those rights and responsibilities, a 'civil partnership agreement' perhaps.

If two (or more people) wish to celebrate this with a “marriage” ceremony, then I would leave that up to whatever institution would provide the ceremony and the “marriage” would then be recognized by followers of that institution’s authority but would have no legal standing with regards to the state.  By the same token, if two people want to get 'married' by the traditions of their institution, but not define their relationship legally, they would be free to do so.  At any rate these would be two seperate and distinct acts.

This, then would free us, as a society from the pretense that ‘marriage’ is somehow to be sanctioned by the law.  Instead, we would have our legal rights and responsibilities defined by civil contract.  If we were to adopt such a measure, I could care less whether the people involved were two men, two women or some other agreed upon relationship between people.

I realize that this is a pretty far-fetched idea and I am not saying that this position is without consequences.  But today’s ruling makes it clear, the will of the people do not matter.  Families do not matter.  The future health of our society does not matter.  Only the will of the few, (or in this case, the one) matter.  If that is the case, I no longer want to play that game.  I will not allow myself to be sidetracked by accusations of bigotry because I happen to hold a traditional view of marriage.  We have more important issues than fighting for an institution that many Americans clearly no longer think is worth fighting for.

Do you have a better idea?  Provide me with your comments.  Let’s see if we can create something that will work.

Let Freedom Ring.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Culture of Corruption

"Concentrated power is not rendered harmless by the good intentions of those who create it."

Milton Friedman

Rep. Maxine Waters of California probably broke ethics rules, House panel finds

An ethics report released Monday found that Rep. Maxine Waters probably broke conflict-of-interest rules in urging federal aid for a bank where her husband had served on the board and owned hundreds of thousands of dollars in stock.
Below are some comments posted from readers associated with this story that may be of interest here...
Hairless wrote:

Aren't the Democrats in the majority on the ethics committee? (Just as they are everywhere in Congress) Couldn't Ms Water's buddies have stopped this with their majority? Guess it's President Bush's fault that this is happening to poor Ms. Waters.
ignoranceisbliss wrote:

AP wrote: WASHINGTON – California Democrat Maxine Waters faces a House trial this fall on three charges of ethical wrongdoing, setting the stage for a second election-season public airing of ethics problems for a longtime Democratic lawmaker.

The charges focus on whether Waters broke the rules in requesting federal help for a bank where her husband owned stock and had served on the board of directors. She denied the charges Monday.

Persons familiar with the case said Waters is accused of violating:

_A rule that House members may not exert improper influence that results in a personal benefit.

_The government employees' ethics code, which prohibits granting or accepting special favors, for the employee or family members, that could be viewed as influencing official actions.

_A rule that members' conduct must reflect creditably on the House.

The persons were not authorized to be quoted by name on allegations not yet made public.
The House ethics committee's announcement comes just days after it outlined 13 charges against Rep. Charles Rangel, D-N.Y., including failing to disclose assets and income, delayed payment of federal taxes and improper use of a subsidized New York apartment for his campaign office.

Another great reason for term limits for the House and Senate. No more lifer politicians. Waters is a DISGRACE.
ajon1600 wrote:
If Speaker Pelosi want the continued support of the party, she should let these two accused law breakers fend for themselves, and concentrate on November.
She pledged to "drain the swamp", now is the time to deliver on that pledge.
I don't care how much pressure comes from the CBC, she will have much more public support if the let the legal process take it's due course.
Personally, I think both Rangel and Waters have been around too long and are not really very useful anymore. We need new blood and new ideas and energy.

concernedcitizen3 wrote:

The Waters and Rangel cases serve to remind us that possibly the only reliable difference between Democrat and Republican politicians is that Republicans generally exhibit some semblence of shame and resign when they get caught disgracing their office. Democrats no longer feel the need to do so. And no, I'm not a Republican.
Do you have a thought?  Who else do you think may be guilty of questionable ethics?  Congressman Jim Moran?
Let Freedom Ring

Monday, August 2, 2010

Our Rich Immigrant Heritage

A few years ago I had the privilege to visit Ellis Island near New York.  For a California born “West Coaster” it was amazing to see this portal to our past.  I walked in awe as I viewed the floors and areas where millions of our ancestors began their “American Journey”.  Nearly all of us are immigrants or sons and daughters of immigrants.  Whether your family has been here since before the the Revolutionary War as most of mine has or you recently became American, we all came here from somewhere else.
As I look around Washington DC, I am constantly reminded of what a rich heritage we have.  Whether your family came from Africa, Europe, Asia or places beyond, nearly everyone came here to participate in that great American tradition, the American Dream where each of us is free to pursue our dreams.  Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness is what brings people to our great country.
2010-08-01-12.38.26-1024x764[1] 8th Congressional District candidate, Patrick Murray, had this to say at last weekend’s 7th Annual Asian Festival in Reston, “Our diversity as a country and our celebration of that unique heritage is a significant part of what makes America such a great nation.
Many want to see their small businesses succeed and grow and they want their children to have the best education opportunities available to them.   Like me, they’re concerned that these essential parts of the American dream are in jeopardy and without meaningful change, our nation is in trouble.
It doesn’t matter if you’re new to America or if you’ve been here for a long time, we all have the expectation that those elected to serve us in Congress will do so honorably and with integrity.”
It is freedom that makes possible the miracle that is America.  Freedom to choose how best to live our lives with a government restrained to the minimum of intervention and is here to insure that, as a nation of laws, not men, we respect one another.  This way everyone has the opportunity to create their vision of the American Dream that respects our mutual and individual heritages and one another. 
When we focus on these core principles, whether you came over on the Mayflower or on a jet last week, we can all participate in this wonderful, noble experiment we call The United States of America.
Let Freedom Ring

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Spending Too Much or Taxing Too Little?

“You can't tax your way out of a spending problem, you've got to stop spending” New Jersey Governor Chris Christie.
In a nutshell, this is the essence of fiscal responsibility.  It works at all levels.  Whether you are an individual, a family, a company or a government.  Unbridled spending does not lead to successful operations.  This is the essence of the case made by Peggy Noonan in her column yesterday.  It is a winning argument that Republicans can and should be making everywhere.
I have seen this first hand.  Several years ago, I had the opportunity to work for a novel company with a brilliant approach to health care prescription management.  Despite the fact that the idea had enormous value, the leadership of the company spent enormous amounts of money in acquisitions, out of proportion to the revenue that we were generating.  So, in spite of the fact that during my time there, we doubled sales revenue, spending increased by more than 5 times. 
There came a point when the investors stepped in and said “Enough”!  Drastic measures were taken.  Approximately 70% of the staff was let go, much of the leadership was replaced and the company took off in a new direction.
That was personally tragic for me as I was part of the 70%, but in the end, it worked out as the company was focused in a specific area, had modest success and then ended up being acquired by another company with the breakthrough technology being adopted by the acquiring company.
The point is, nothing can exist forever with an imbalance between the revenue coming in and the expenses going out.
Our current government does not seem to get this.  Or if they do, the answer seems to be, “Well let’s raise the revenue”.  Yesterday’s seemed to imply this with their recommendation that we raise taxes.
The problem with this is captured clearly by Governor Christie.  This situation is a result of unprecedented increases in spending without regard for the revenue to pay for it.  Simply raising tax rates may or may not have the desired effect because as Arthur Laffer continuously points out, raising rates do not necessarily lead to a commensurate increase in revenue.  The reason is that taking revenue from the economy, especially when the economy is fragile, often leads to less investment and less economic activity. 
Lower economic activity leads to less prosperity, less prosperity leads to lower tax revenue.  It is a question of simply math, I mean which would you rather have 15% of $1 Million dollars or 20% of $300,000?  If you need help in answering this question, please ask the citizens of California where they took a “soak the rich” attitude to taxation years ago and when the rich stopped being so rich, the entire state became a poster child for lopsided taxation policies combined with spending commitments held hostage by out of control public unions.
The solution is to bring spending under control, encourage the creation of prosperity by adoption of policies that encourage private investment and regulatory policies that encourage individuals to make those investments here, in America.  This is the way to create meaningful jobs that provide dignity and hope.
Let Freedom Ring.