Saturday, March 27, 2010

An Idea For Congressional Reform

"The issue today is the same as it has been throughout all history, whether man shall be allowed to govern himself or be ruled by a small elite." ~ Thomas Jefferson

One of my friends on Facebook recently sent me this:

My friend and neighbor wants to promote a "Congressional Reform Act of 2010". It would contain eight provisions, all of which would probably be strongly endorsed by those who drafted the Constitution and the Bill of Rights.

I know many of you will say, "this is impossible". Let me remind you, Congress has the lowest approval of any entity in Government, now is the time when Americans will join together to reform Congress - the entity that represents us.

We need to get a Senator to introduce this bill in the US Senate and a Representative to introduce a similar bill in the US House. These people will become American heroes.

Congressional Reform Act of 2010

1. Term Limits: 12 years only, one of the possible options below:

A. Two Six year Senate terms
B. Six Two year House terms
C. One Six year Senate term and three Two Year House terms

Serving in Congress is an honor, not a career. The Founding Fathers envisioned citizen legislators; serve your term(s), then go home and back to work.

2 No Tenure / No Pension:
A congressman collects a salary while in office and receives no pay when they are out of office.

Serving in Congress is an honor, not a career. The Founding Fathers envisioned citizen legislators; serve your term(s), then go home and back to work.

3. Congress (past, present & future) participates in Social Security:

All funds in the Congressional retirement fund move to the Social Security system immediately. All future funds flow into the Social Security system. Congress participates with the American people.

Serving in Congress is an honor, not a career. The Founding Fathers envisioned citizen legislators; serve your term(s), then go home and back to work.

4. Congress can purchase their own retirement plan just as all Americans.

Serving in Congress is an honor, not a career. The Founding Fathers envisioned citizen legislators; serve your term(s), then go home and back to work.

5. Congress will no longer vote themselves a pay raise. Congressional pay will rise by the lower of CPI or 3%.

Serving in Congress is an honor, not a career. The Founding Fathers envisioned citizen legislators; serve your term(s), then go home and back to work.

6. Congress loses their current health care system and participates in the same health care system as the American people.

Serving in Congress is an honor, not a career. The Founding Fathers envisioned citizen legislators; serve your term(s), then go home and back to work.

7. Congress must equally abide in all laws they impose on the American people.

Serving in Congress is an honor, not a career. The Founding Fathers envisioned citizen legislators; serve your term(s), then go home and back to work.

8. All contracts with past and present congressmen are void effective 1/1/11.

The American people did not make this contract with congressmen, congressmen made all these contracts for themselves.

Serving in Congress is an honor, not a career. The Founding Fathers envisioned citizen legislators; serve your term(s), then go home and back to work.

This is about as sensible approach to solving the problems caused by our current representatives as I've seen.

Whatever happens, we need to do some serious house cleaning in November or nothing of significance will change.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Virginia State Motto - "Sic Semper Tyrannis"

"Many forms of Government have been tried, and will be tried in this world of sin and woe. No one pretends that democracy is perfect or all-wise. Indeed, it has been said that democracy is the worst form of government except all those other forms that have been tried from time to time." ~ Sir Winston Churchill

I am a Kansan at heart. But, I am proud and happy to claim Virginia as my adopted home. The people here are polite and friendly. And patriotic.

Bless their hearts, that's only part of what I love about Virginians.

Now, here is yet another reason to be proud of Virginia:

Governor Bob McDonnell has signed a bill exempting Virginians from Obama's ambitious and un-Constitutional health reform bill.

From the article:
"This is a historic unfunded mandate on the people of Virginia," McDonnell said at a signing ceremony attended by the sponsors of the bills. "We don't believe that the United States Congress should mandate the purchase of services."
Also, the state Attorney general has filed suit alleging, "the federal health care legislation violates this Virginia bill and the interstate commerce clause, among other things."

The bill passed by wide margins in both houses.

So this means not only Republican lawmakers oppose Obamakare, so do the majority of the Democrats in Virginia.

Thirteen other states have joined a Florida lawsuit challenging the Constitutionality of Obama's health care legislation. Whether these actions succeed or not in helping to defeat Socialism in Virginia, one thing seems abundantly clear:

There will be a major change in leadership in Washington in November.

And it couldn't come too soon.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

How To Destroy America Part 1

"The only thing that saves us from the bureaucracy is inefficiency. An efficient bureaucracy is the greatest threat to liberty." ~ Eugene McCarthy*

Well, it's over. The House has passed it's sweeping health care reform bill and Obama has signed it into law.

The local newspaper had a brief summary published on Monday morning. I lost my copy since then. I think my wife threw it away. Anyway, I read the summary of some of the highlights and I only remember the points that were particularly provoking.

One point was this:

Insurance companies will have to sell health insurance policies to people with pre-existing conditions. Any pre-existing conditions. Including Cancer, Diabetes, Multiple Sclerosis, and all diseases and maladies that cost millions of dollars and last over decades.

By the way, anytime you read the word, "government", read "you". Because you and I are the government. Anytime the government (you) gives money to anyone regardless of the reason or the form of payment, whether it's cash, credit, etc, it comes out of our pockets.

Keep that in mind when you read summaries of the health care reform bill.

There is a reason health insurance companies haven't accepted pre-existing conditions previously:

They can't afford to pay the benefits.

It makes no difference how much they charge for premiums. But, just for arguments sake, what if they could charge enough for premiums to pay for all the pre-existing life long debilitating and expensive health issues and procedures?

No one could afford to pay the premiums.

So, how does the Government propose to address this obvious problem?

They (we) propose to supply subsidies to help those who can't afford the premiums. What they don't tell you is where this subsidy money will come from. Want a hint?

Can you spell t-a-x-e-s?

(and by the way, what if those subsidies aren't sufficient to pay the premiums that we have to pay to avoid fines or jail time?)

So, what happens to health insurance companies that are forced to charge so much for premiums that no one can afford to pay them?

Well, after no one pays their premiums (which the government has decreed we must do or go to jail), because they can't afford them, because the insurance companies have had to raise prices astronomically, the insurance companies will have to file for bankruptcy and go out of business.

What happens when the health insurance companies go out of business?

Well, the government can now step in and complete their takeover of the Health insurance industry.

But wait. There's more!

Private companies will have to provide health insurance coverage to their employees. No matter how high the premiums. If they don't (or can't) pay the ridiculously high premiums, they face heavy fines.

Damned if they do and damned if they don't.

What happens when private companies can't pay the insurance premiums?

They file for bankruptcy and go out of business.

Which, again, clears the way for the Government (Obama) to complete the takeover of private industry in America.

If this continues unabated, eventually, Obama will have unfettered control of every man, woman, and child in America.

Just as I (and others) predicted way back before Obama even won the presidency: the official advent of Socialism in America.

Representative John Dingell (D), Michigan understands Obama's agenda:

Do I even have to explain how the other points will lead to the destruction of America as we know it?

Isn't this enough?

*Commentary on the opening quote: At least Obama runs an efficient bureaucracy. He's got at least that going for him.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

It's About The Intrusion, Stupid! *

"Those who would give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety." ~Benjamin Franklin

On Facebook, My Liberal Democrat Doctor nephew posted a photo of a seemingly offensive sign, with accompanying text, taken at the most recent tea party demonstration in Washington DC:

The sign he was referring to is the "If Brown can't stop it a Browning can" sign shown above.

The first comment made to his post was a sympathetic,
"these people are crazy. Truly, in the most literal sense of the word."
Whereupon I responded(without thinking it out),
"And I suppose that threatening the citizenry with Prison time if they refuse to accept the Government Health care is sane?"
My nephew then proceeded to deconstruct my argument with,
"A protestor threatening to shoot someone if that's what it takes to stop the healthcare bill is more insane than threatening prison for those who fail to pay the tax penalty assessed for refusal to buy health insurance, yes.

I say that, even though i(sic) don't love the idea of the government requiring people to purchase anything"
In essence, he is correct.

Now, I love my nephew and indeed, my whole family, so the exchange left a bitter taste in my mouth. That is why, at 3:30 in the morning, I lay awake in bed with the disturbing feeling that I should have responded more appropriately. So, here, on my blog, I now present my rather lengthy rejoinder to my nephew's comment and subsequent argument:

Kevin (that's his name), I apologize for my somewhat knee-jerk reaction to your post earlier. Certainly offering a justification for what some over-rambunctious tea party attendees do doesn't, as my parents often reminded me, make their actions proper.

Two wrongs really don't make a right.

That said, I really don't have to point out the difference between one or two solitary citizens expressing their frustrations with the Government, and the President, along with some highly influential Democrat leaders wielding their immense powers to intimidate the very people they are supposed to be defending, do I?

I will submit, however, that you may be mis-interpreting the point the attendees are attempting to make.

Mere slogans on a sign don't begin to describe the extent of the frustration felt by the majority of Americans over these intrusive health care reform proposals.

Although I understand I can't speak to what the author of the slogan may have had in mind when he penned it, I would interpret it differently than how it has obviously been perceived by you and others.

I believe the tea party attendee who held the offending sign aloft may be expressing a willingness to defend his liberty by the use of a gun if necessary.

I am referring to the same spirit that created this country in her infancy. Remember, the American revolution didn't start with violence. It began even before those 56 brave men affixed their signatures to the Declaration of Independence.

Were the words on that solitary sheet of parchment all that was needed to secure liberty and freedom for the thousands of oppressed colonists?

Absolutely not!

Ultimately, the words on that document had to be enforced with the use of guns before King George finally released his oppressive hold over our forefathers.

The tea party attendees in question are probably just attempting to send the message that Americans will not stand idly by while our freedoms and liberty are being methodically stripped away.

This, I submit, may be the clumsy motivation behind the offensive signs.

Right or wrong, we cannot simply dismiss this as merely some right wing gun nut with murder in mind.

Many Americans, (Democrats included) feel this health care reform agenda is just the beginning of an unprecedented grab for power.

Kevin, you accidentally touched upon the crux of my personal objection to the health care legislation in your response to my comment:
"[I] don't love the idea of the government requiring people to purchase anything"
Personally, I don't have as much a problem with the possible increase of taxes to pay for this reform as I do with the sheer impertinence of the Government telling me they have a right to decide for me what health care I should have, whether I want it or not.

Let me decide that for myself, thank you.

*I'm not calling my Nephew stupid. He definitely is not. It's just a catchy title for the post.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Busted, Disgusted, And Can't Be Trusted

"Massa's in the cold, cold ground" ~ Stephen Foster

OK. I've been driving the pick-up to work and back, and it doesn't have a radio, so I haven't heard much news or commentary lately. I've been busy doing other things lately, so I haven't been reading blogs, other than Lone Ranger's and Trader Rick's (They both usually compose fairly short pieces and don't take much time to read. Besides, they're usually funny) The preceding post here at Casting Pearls was written after reading an article in the local Fredericksburg, VA newspaper that I found in the lunch room where I work.

So, it was few days after the news came out about Democratic Congressman Eric Massa's scandal provoked resignation from the House of Representatives that I finally heard about it, and then it was only second hand news gleaned from commentators Glenn Beck and Michelle Malkin.

Glenn and Michelle, I gathered, had somewhat of a disagreement over Massa's credibility.

From what I understand, Beck provided Massa a bully pulpit from which he proceeded to eviscerate Obama, Rahm Emanuel, Nancy Pelosi and other fellow Democrats over Obama's Health care scam, along with accusations of being forced out of office by Obama and Emanuel's Chicago style thug tactics.

I may not have that completely correct, but that is how I understand the details I've heard so far.

I traveled over to Michelle Malkin's place today to search for her article on the subject and found these words, among others:

Don’t trust Democrat Rep. Eric Massa any further than you can throw him.

He’s been a progressive zealot and political opportunist his entire career. He’s claimed conspiracy before, is intimately bonded with the nutroots, and climbed the political ladder with backing from the odious, anti-war-hoaxer-embracing Gen. Wesley Clark. What Massa dismissively calls his “salty old sailor” talk should raise bright red flags about possible longstanding predatory behavior.

Creep factor: 10...

...He’s a sick, desperate pol looking to save his hide and distract from his smelly ethics problems and personal problems. This is not a hero, not a bona fide champion of reform and integrity in government. He’s the jerk who gave the figurative middle finger to his own constituents as he proclaimed last year that he would ram single-payer down their throats no matter what they thought

Usually, I like and agree with whatever Michelle Malkin writes, but this time, I think there are some points she has failed to consider:

Point number 1. How often do the Democrats resign, or force other Democrats to resign because of some sex scandal? For that matter, any kind of scandal?

We know Republicans will resign at the mere suggestion of impropriety or malfeasance in office, whether any actually exists or not.

But Democrats? This is the first time I've heard of a Democrat Congressman going down so easily without a fight.

Look at Barney Frank as your first, but hardly last example. He's the poster boy for sexual scandals and he's still serving (I use the word "serving" for lack of a more appropriate word). Look at William Jefferson. Look at Edward Kennedy. Look at Charlie Rangel.

Keep looking. Scandal after scandal after scandal after scandal in the Democratic party. And yet, again and again they stay there and continue serving.

I can only think of one Republican lawmaker (Larry Craig) at this writing who refused to resign after being accused of a scandal.

The term, "Sex scandal" and the title, "Democrat" has been nearly synonymous in this age of the Kennedy dynasty.

So why is a sex scandal enough to force Massa to resign, unless there is an ulterior motive? Why is Eric Massa suddenly singled out for membership in the Congressional Hall of Shame?

May I offer my opinion?

I tend to think this time, and possibly, for the first time in his life, he's telling the truth. He was forced to resign to make room for a Democrat Congressperson who will support Obama's health care scam.

Let's examine his motives, both before and after the so-called scandal, shall we?

As Ms. Malkin accurately points out, Massa has been the consummate Liberal Democrat throughout his years in the House.

What did she say?

Oh, yes, here it is:

"He’s been a progressive zealot and political opportunist his entire career. He’s claimed conspiracy before, is intimately bonded with the nutroots, and climbed the political ladder with backing from the odious, anti-war-hoaxer-embracing Gen. Wesley Clark."

Yep. Yep. Yep. And yep.

What were his motives then?

Getting elected and re-elected. Pandering to his Liberal base. Ingratiating himself and endearing himself to his better known, more powerful peers in the Democratic party. Doing what is expected from Liberal Democrats. Mounting successful campaigns, as determined by his Liberal constituency in focus groups and polls.

In short, doing and saying whatever he believes is necessary to appease his constituency.

But, suddenly, Massa is revealed to have "groped" a male staffer, and subsequently resigns---on the heels of his announcement that (gasp)he will not back Obama's health care scam.


Heh, heh, heh.

Again, let's look at what else Michelle had to say about this rather curious turn of unfortunate events:

"Look, I’m as happy as anyone to see Rahmbo and the Chicago Way slammed so openly by another Democrat. Naked shower fights? Blue-on-blue catfights?

Yep, it confirms everything I’ve been writing about the Obama Culture of Corruption the last two years."
Yep again.

Michelle believes what Massa said about underhanded Chicago style thug tactics. She has to. She's been "writing about the Obama culture of Corruption the last two years".

Then she writes, "He’s (Massa)a sick, desperate pol looking to save his hide and distract from his smelly ethics problems and personal problems."

Yep again, and this leads us to point number 2:

Uh, no, Michelle. He isn't. He is an ex pol who no longer has a motive to lie. He is no longer a Congressman. Now, he can feel free to be truthful.

He has nothing left to lose.

He's already lost his hide. His smelly ethics problems and personal problems are already well known and documented.

Now, as I see it, his only motive is to take down those who ruined his career with him.

He did simply what he has been doing throughout his political career: Listening and pandering to his base.

Except, this time, his base expressed their displeasure with Obama's ambitious plans to enslave every American with the heaviest tax burden in history.

This time, Eric Massa decided to vote the way his constituents wanted.

And he was disgraced and humiliated by his own party for his efforts.

Yes, Michelle, don't trust him. But, don't dismiss him, either.

Tuesday, March 09, 2010

Another One (School System) Bites The Dust

"You don't need fancy highbrow traditions or money to really learn. You just need people with the desire to better themselves." ~ Adam Cooper and Bill Collage

This is where Federal integration policies get you. From an AP article I found in the Washington Times (Because the Times article was the first one I found doing a Google search for an article I read in our local Fredericksburg paper, not because the Times is any more Conservative than any other paper):

It wasn't supposed to be this way.

Kansas City appeared headed for a recovery when a federal judge in 1985 declared the district was unconstitutionally segregated. To boost test scores, integrate the schools and repair decrepit classrooms, the state was ordered to spend about $2 billion to address the problems.

The district went on a buying spree that included a six-lane indoor track and a mock court complete with a judge's chamber and jury deliberation room. But student achievement remained low, and the anticipated flood of students from the suburbs turned out to be more like a trickle. Court supervision of the desegregation case ended in 2003.

And to this day, the district continues to lose students. In the late 1960s enrollment peaked at 75,000, dropped to 35,000 a decade ago and now sits at just under 18,000.

(Note from yours truly: This, in a city with a population of over 400,000)

Only about half of Kansas City's elementary school students and about 40 percent of middle and high school students now attend the city's public schools. Many of the other students have left for publicly funded charter schools, private and parochial schools and the suburbs.

(Another side note: This article fails to point out that many other KC students dropped out of school, and are now earning their living as crack and meth dealers on the corners of intersections throughout the city's expansive ghetto. I lived there for many years. I know.)

Fewer students means the district gets less money from the state.

At the height of spending in 1991-92, Kansas City invested more than $11,700 per student, more than double that year's national average of $5,001, according to U.S. Census figures. Today, the district spends an average of $15,158 on each student, compared to a national average of $9,666 in 2006-07, the latest figures available.

Pay attention, Liberals.

The district was headed for recovery when the Federal Government got involved, and decided the school system wasn't integrated enough, so, in typical Liberal fashion, they threw money at the perceived problem, with the usual results.

My father used to say, "If it works, don't fix it."

It seems the Federal Government wasn't listening.

As a past Kansas City area resident, I remember a few years ago when the Kansas City School system lost it's accreditation due to low academic test scores. This school system has been a great example of how successful the Federal Government is in running our nation's education system. It's no wonder the US ranks far below other countries in education.

This is just another example of the failure of Liberal policies. And, as Neil points out, another example of how Liberal policies, despite their protestations to the contrary, are in reality, racist.

Note: I've been informed that my practice of highlighting what I consider to be important points in red and blue has led to confusion about what is and isn't a hyperlink. Since my blogger format doesn't underline links to distinguish them from colored text, I will no longer use red and blue to highlight points. Any blue text in these posts are links. Green will still be the color of the opening quotations. I hope that clears up any confusion.

Sunday, March 07, 2010

What's In My Head

I've been trying to find this song somewhere off and on for over 20 years. Part of the problem in finding it was I had some crazy notion that it was recorded by Pay Price. I don't know how I got that idea.

Monday, March 01, 2010

Thoughts On Earthquakes.

"For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom: and there shall be famines, and pestilences, and earthquakes, in divers places. All these are the beginning of sorrows." Matthew 24:7-8

In the first story I read about the latest Earthquake, Chilean President Michelle Bachelet was quoted as saying, "If there are more aftershocks, people in coastal areas should try to escape to higher ground."

Higher ground.

Those words jumped out at me, because they brought to mind similar words I remember reading in the Bible. I didn't remember where those words were, initially, and I had to do some extensive searching to find them, but here, in Matthew 24, they are:

15When ye therefore shall see the abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet, stand in the holy place, (whoso readeth, let him understand:)

16Then let them which be in Judaea flee into the mountains:

17Let him which is on the housetop not come down to take any thing out of his house:

18Neither let him which is in the field return back to take his clothes.

Flee into the mountains.

The story also brought to mind other Biblical predictions which referred to earthquakes and pestilences in diverse places in the last days.

Now, I'm not trying to make the point that we are living in "the last days". That's for each individual to interpret for himself.

I would like to point out, however, that one must bear in mind that Biblical prophecy does not refer to only those of us here in the United States alone. We know that, of course, but I think many times we Americans tend to relate Biblical prophecy in terms of America, and kind of forget God speaks to the entire world.

For example, often we hear some United States President or other American political leader being referred to as the antichrist. But, in fact, eschotological scholars all agree that that the antichrist will emerge from the Middle East.

Perhaps Kenya?

The aforementioned AP story also mentioned that the Chilean earthquake came on the heels of a strong earthquake that rocked Japan mere hours earlier.

This may or may not be significant, as Arizona State University Geologist, J. Ramón Arrowsmith points out, “From our human perspective with our relatively short and incomplete memories and better and better communications around the world, we hear about more earthquakes and it seems like they are more frequent...But this is probably not any indication of a global change in earthquake rate of significance.”

Or, I might add, of any Global Climate change.

Immediately upon hearing of the earthquake in Chili, I just knew some so-called scientists would blame Global Warming. So far as I know, they haven't yet. But, some non-scientists have, including leftist actor Danny Glover, and several commenters at the Huffington Post and Democratic Underground.

Not that the theory hasn't been posited by scientists in the past. They just haven't blamed these latest earthquakes on GW. Yet.

I don't know what point, if any, I'm making here. These are just some things I've been thinking of lately.

Perhaps they are worth discussion?