Monday, December 24, 2012

Merry Christmas
The birth of Christ is one of the most celebrated days in the Christian religion.  We need more Christian morality in today’s world. 
Our founding fathers knew that the republic they formed had little chance of success without religious morality.  We talk about the separation of church and state, but our founding fathers never wanted to take religion out of the government.  They just did not want the government to dictate religion or restrict people’s freedom of religious expression. 
The First Amendment to the Constitution was meant to insure religious freedom of expression.  Let’s get back to that. 


Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Right to Work
Michigan became the 24th state to pass Right to Work legislation last week.  Just what does Right to Work mean?  It basically means that if someone has a job where there is a union, the individual employee has the right to choose if he or she wants to join the union and pay dues.  Without Right to Work everyone must pay dues if they want the job.  The unions are strongly opposed to this legislation. 
Unions and people opposed to Right To Work claim it is a way of eliminating or reducing the power of unions.  I do not think this is a primary objective, but it does have the potential to reduce dues collected and revenues for the union. 
The opposition also claims it reduces salaries of all workers in the state.  This does not seem to be supported by the facts if cost of living is factored into the figures.  There just does not seem to be reliable figures showing higher or lower wages. 
Another argument by the opposition is that it is immoral for non-dues paying workers to benefit from the union.  Maybe, or does it take away personal freedom by forcing them to pay dues?
Proponents of Right to Work argue that it stimulates the economy and reduces unemployment.  The figures do support this assumption, but personally I think there are other factors causing this and not necessarily Right to Work legislation.  One major factor is most states with Right to Work do not have the major cities that are in urban decay.  It will be interesting to see what happens in Detroit.  
Proponents claim that companies will not consider building new plants in Right to Work states.  I am not sure this is justified, but I know it is true in some cases.  Detroit was the world leader in automobile production.  That is no longer true.  There is no question the union had some role in that decline.  How much is certainly up for debate. 
Several new automobile plants have been built in this country, but not in Detroit.  It would seem Detroit had a lot to offer.  Detroit had a trained labor force, parts suppliers, transportation, and facilities available.   Why were none of these plants started in Detroit?  How big a factor was Right to Work and the United Auto Workers?
There seem to be a lot of opinions and not a lot of clear answers.  Personally, I think it comes down to this.  If a person wants to work where there is a union, should they be forced to pay union dues, or should the union have the responsibility of showing the workers the value of paying dues?  Of course there will always be some people that want something for free without working or paying for it, but that is normal and seems to be a bigger and bigger part of our country.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

The Importance of Primary Elections
I think the independent voter needs to pay more attention and be more active in primary elections.  I often hear that the independents determine who wins an election.  I think that is true, but unfortunately the independents too often do not get involved in the primaries which determine who is on the ballot in the general election. 
Does this mean the party candidate is not the best choice for the ballot in the general election?  Maybe it is a party favorite, or someone that has been loyal to the party in the past.  This person may not be the best choice for the independent voter or the good of the country. 
In our recent election Romney was the Republican candidate for President.  In Wisconsin, past Governor Thompson was the Republican candidate for the U.S. Senate.  I am certainly not saying either was a bad candidate, but I will say neither would have been my first or even second choice.  Were there many independents that felt the same way?  Would it have made a difference in the general election? 
Some of our states always vote for one party or the other.  I think this is ridiculous, but it seems to be a fact.  I agree with my Dad’s philosophy of voting for the person and not the party.  In these states, if someone is not involved in the primary, they have no say in determining what elected official will represent them.
Both good and bad points can be made for or against our two party system, but if the independent voter does not get involved in the primary electrons, they are diluting the power of their vote.  Get informed, get active, and vote.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Social Security Entitlements
It makes me mad when I hear about Social Security benefits being lumped in with all the other entitlements.  I personally, and my past employers paid for this benefit.  If this money had been deposited in any bank drawing prime interest compounded annually, it could buy an annuity when I retired with a benefit 2 to 3 times my current Social Security benefit. 
What happened to the money?  The government “borrowed” it to finance the growth in government spending.  Of course, the government gave IOUs to the Social Security account.  What do you think those IOUs are worth?
The government hopes to pay Social Security benefits with current Social Security deposits from those people still working.  I think that is what is described as a Ponzi scheme.  Isn’t that illegal?  I think people have gone to jail for that.  I guess it doesn’t apply to the government. 

We are getting screwed with the return on our money, and all increases in benefits are based on inflation and not on the cost of living.  When living expenses increase on items seniors must buy like gas and food, these items are removed from the index determining inflation. 
Since there was no inflation, according to the government, Social Security benefits were frozen for three years in spite of a huge increase in the cost of living for seniors.  Gasoline, home heating, food, health care, and insurance all increased, but benefits stayed the same. 

This is not a new problem.  Many people have known something had to be done to save Social Security and other entitlements for years, but politicians don’t want to deal with the problem.  They would rather ignore the problem, leave it to future generations, and hope there is not a total collapse. 
President Clinton and Newt Gingrich worked on a solution, but Clinton lost his political clout over the Lewinsky incident and it never happened.   Marla and I attended a breakfast for seniors where President George W. Bush and Iowa Senator Charles Grassley presented possible solutions to reform Social Security.  Unfortunately, they were never able to sell it to Congress.  People like Congressman Paul Ryan propose reforms to entitlements and are misquoted and called extremists. 
Will there be a Social Security benefit for future generations?  Many young people do not expect it to be around when they retire.  This is sad since they are paying into the program.  All entitlements, including Social Security must be reformed if they are to survive.  What to we have to do to get our elected officials to stop the B.S. and do their job?

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Congressional Seating 
I am fed up with partisan politics that only benefit the ruling political elite.  Both parties should be working for the good of the country and not for personal gain.  The Republicans and Democrats should not be acting like the Hatfields and McCoys.  This attitude of drawing a line in the sand is ridiculous.   
We see this division in the seating in congress.  The Democrats are on one side and the Republicans on the other side.  This physical division only makes the division worse. 
When people have a dinner party, the table seating is normally man, woman, man woman, etc.  This seating is meant to improve the conversation and overall interaction. 
The seating in both branches of Congress ought to use the same principle.  The seating should be Republican, Democrat, Republican, Democrat, etc.  Maybe if they had to sit next to each other, they might just talk to each other, and if they have to talk to each other, maybe they will work in the best interests of the country and not just for their party. 
Many family gatherings also have a kid’s table for kids that don’t fit at the adult table.  Some of our politicians should probably be restricted to the kid’s table until they can act like adults.
I know making Democrats and Republicans sit by each other is a novel idea, and probably too radical, but worth thinking about.  It might even be good for the country.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Government’s Addiction To Spending
        Our federal government’s spending has doubled in the last eleven years.  We can’t put all the blame on one political party, since both Democrats and Republicans have held the Presidency and majorities in the House and Senate during that time period. 
        We are fast approaching a fiscal cliff and politicians still are not dealing with the problem.   At some point we will have to deal with the problem or our country will collapse.  Will that lead to a total government takeover and a socialist country?  I know some people want to see that happen, but I hope most people want to keep our freedom.

This spending addiction seems to have filtered down to the smallest levels of our government.  I live in a small township in Wisconsin.  This township has a population of fewer than 2,000 people.  
The township wanted to increase the tax levy by an amount greater than allowed under Wisconsin statute without putting it to a vote of the people in the township.  The argument was that it was better to increase taxes than to borrow the money and go in debt.  One statement was that paying interest on loans was not a good use of taxpayer money.
This sounds like the old tax and spend approach vs. the borrow and spend approach.  What happened to QUIT SPENDING?    When the issue was presented before the vote, cutting spending was never presented as an option.  Personally, I think cutting spending was an option. 
People attending the meeting were never told what the additional cost of the levy increase meant in tax dollars for the individual taxpayer.  The township tax increase was hidden by combining it with the school tax levy.  Since the school tax levy was going down due to a school consolidation and a fiscally responsible Governor, the total tax showed a decrease. 
I had a good idea what the actual tax increase was, but I am sorry to say I did not ask that specific question at the meeting.  I don’t know if it would have made any difference in the vote to approve the increased tax levy. 
I do know one thing.  When a tax is implemented or increased, it seldom goes away or is decreased.  This is true with this levy increase too.  The resolution even states, “This increase shall be ongoing.”

I am very concerned with all levels of government’s lack of fiscal responsibility, but my primary concern is the growth of our federal government.  I believe our political elite are acting in their personal best interests and not the best interests of the country.  If we don’t reverse the growth of the federal government, I feel sorry for our children and grandchildren. 

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Campaign spending 2012
        Estimates put campaign spending for the 2012 Presidential election at around two billion dollars.  That seems like a lot of money to an old Iowa farm boy like me.
        Donations to a candidate’s campaign are limited to a maximum of $2,500, but donations to the Super PACS are sometimes as large as ten million dollars.  These Super PACS are unregulated, and the candidates they support supposedly have no control over how these funds are spent.  If you believe that, I have a bridge to sell you.
Do you think these large donors might get any special consideration by the officials they help to elect?  I’m probably just being paranoid.

It gets worse.  Lets look at all the campaigns including the U.S. House and Senate, state, city, county, and local political races.  We certainly don’t want to ignore special elections like the Wisconsin Governor Walker recall election.  We now have a total of around six billion dollars. 
Seems like a lot of money to me.  I admit it produced business for some ad agencies, TV stations, radio stations, newspapers, and printing companies, but do you think there is any better way we could have spent that money? 
I have a still greater problem with all this money spent on campaign ads that are inaccurate, misleading, or outright lies.  Many people just get sick of the media blitz if they live in a battle ground state.  And, worst of all some people actually believe the lies.

The destruction from Sandy is in the news.  FEMA is one of the federal government agencies helping these people.  Six billion is half of FEMA’s entire budget. 
As with many things involving our federal government, campaign spending has gotten out of control.  The primary concern of many politicians is getting elected and they ignore the people they should be representing. 
The very rich, large corporations, and special interest groups like unions and welfare seem to be well represented.  Unfortunately, neither party seems to be concerned with the average working American.
Maybe it is time for some serious and effective campaign reform.  We should also give serious consideration to repealing the 17th Amendment to Constitution so U.S. Senators act in the best interest of the state they are supposed to be representing and not the Super PACS that helped elect them. 

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

No Change
        There was a large turnout for yesterday’s election and the result was a vote for no change.  I had sincerely hoped the actions of our federal government over the last decades would be enough to prompt some real change.  I am sad to say I was wrong. 
The President was reelected.  The Republicans still control the House and the Democrats still control the Senate.  The end result is no change.  We can expect four more years like the last two years.  The only winners were the political elite. 
        We will continue to see an ineffective Congress and a President using executive orders to create legislation.  We will see more government regulations that will hurt business and the economic recovery.   We will not achieve energy independence and we will see higher costs for energy.
We may not see any federal budgets, just like the last few years.  We will continue to see an increase in the size of the federal government and government spending.  We will probably see the debt rise to twenty trillion dollars.  The US credit rating has dropped twice and will probably drop again.
I predict a slow recovery for the economy and a slow change in unemployment, but we will recover in spite of the federal government, because of the initiative and tenacity of the American entrepreneur. 
I hope and pray that eventually the voting public will recognize that we must change the direction of our federal government.  God bless America.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Expand or Reform Federal Government
        We have a national election in one week.  I am 68 years old and in my opinion this may be the most important election in my lifetime.  This election is about more than just Democrats and Republicans.  Here are some things to think about.

·       Do we want to continue to expand the federal government, increase government spending, increase government debt, and eventually taxes?

·       Do we want to return control to the states and the people as stated in the Constitution and the Tenth Amendment?

·       Do we want to restore the balance of power our Founding Fathers intended with the legislative, executive and judicial branches of government?

There are a lot of other issues, but these are the big ones in my opinion.  If we don’t address these issues, we may not have input on other issues in the future.  Give a lot of thought to your choices and vote.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Too Small To Succeed
        We hear a lot about “Too Big To Fail” with the federal government bailing out big banks and companies like General Motors.  I think the term used in the Dodd-Frank Act for large banks is “Systemically Significant”. 
I don’t think the federal government should pick winners or losers, big or small.  Let me tell you a story about a small business. 

I heard this story from a mutual friend that is a very reliable source.  We will call the owner of the business John Doe.  John Doe is an upstanding citizen that was seriously wounded in the Vietnam War.
John built his own business, which we will call the widget business.  Nationally, there were about 400 companies in the widget business.  The federal government recently passed significant legislation regulating the widget business.  These new regulations came from some appointed federal bureaucrat and/or an executive order.  None of these new regulations had the approval of congress. 
The cost for John’s widget business to comply with the new federal regulations was so significant that John considered shutting down his business.  John decided to spend the money to comply with the new regulations.  Maybe he is just a good American that did not want to put all his employees out of work. 
When John’s widget business had it’s final inspection for the new regulations, the federal inspector made an interesting comment.  He said, “Congratulations, we did not think you would be one of the survivors.”  John asked him what he meant.  The response was that the intent of the new regulations was to put 320 of the 400 widget companies out of business, because it is a lot easier for the federal government to control and regulate 80 companies in widget business than 400.
When I heard this, I was immediately mad.  I said John should have gone to the press.  My friend reminded me that if John had done that, he probably would have federal inspectors at his door on Monday morning and he would be out of business. 
This is a sad, but true story.  You now see why I referred to the owner as John Doe and called his business the widget business.

This is not an isolated incident in this country.  Some people are so naive that they don’t think this type of thing can happen in this country. 
Keep in mind this is happening when all political candidates are saying they are concerned with building the economy, reducing unemployment, and helping the middle class.  Actions do speak louder than words.
Historically, when government adds regulations or price controls, small business is hurt.  When small business is hurt, prices increase, unemployment increases, and the economy suffers.  This is not rocket science.  Check out history. 
These continually expanding federal government regulations may not have affected you personally except for higher prices, but they will at some point in time if we don’t make changes.  We better reduce the size and control of the federal government before it is too late.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Executive Orders

        I have mentioned my concern with executive orders several times in the past.  The head of a government issues an executive order.  This could be a mayor, governor, or our President.   I want to examine executive orders by our Presidents. 
        When our President issues an executive order it has the full force of law.  Congress has the responsibility of creating our laws and an executive order is creating legislation without the approval of Congress.  I question if this is even legal under our constitution.  The Constitution does not specifically give the President the authority to issue executive orders, but this has been circumvented with a vague definition of “Executive Power” which is granted in the Constitution.
        The President’s responsibility is to act as our Commander and Chief and enforce our laws and not make laws.  It is true that some legislation by the Congress specifically grants the President some degree of discretionary legislative power with regard to that specific legislation.  

        Has the use of executive orders gotten out of control?  Here are some facts.  You decide.

Executive orders issued by President:

        FDR                         11 in 16 years
        Truman                      5 in 7 years
        Eisenhower                2 in 8 years
        JFK                           4 in 3 years
        LBJ                           4 in 5 years
        Nixon                        1 in 6 years
        Ford                         3 in 2 years
        Carter                       3 in 4 years
        Reagan                    5 in 8 years
        Bush - 41                 3 in 4 years
        Clinton                   15 in 8 years
        Bush - 43               62 in 8 years
        Obama                 923 in 3 ½ years

        This trend is scary.  We all should be very concerned with this trend.  I see why some people say the Congress is being made irrelevant. 
I am not in favor of the President ever having the power of issuing executive orders unless specifically granted by Congress, and I am defiantly concerned with the abusive use of executive orders starting with President Clinton and Bush 43.  Our founding fathers formed a republic with three branches of government.  The legislative branch, executive branch, and judicial branch where designed to be a check and balance to insure the freedom of the people.  Our founding fathers where pretty smart. 
If we don’t want of lose our individual freedoms, we must stop or control executive orders.  I fear many people are not even aware of this potential danger to our way of life.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Government and the Constitution

        I would like to start with a quote from The 5000 Year Leap by W. Cleon Skousen:

        “Beginning with the era of the great depression, all three branches of the federal government used the climate of emergency to overstep their Constitutional authority and aggressively undertake to perform tasks not authorized by the Founders.  Extensive studies by Nobel Price-winning economist Milton Friedman have demonstrated that every one of these adventures in non-Constitutional activities proved counter-productive, some of them tragically so.”

        I find this quote by Milton Friedman funny, but true and sad when we think about: 
“If you put the federal government in charge of the Sahara Desert, in five years there’d be a shortage of sand.”

        President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s New Deal was praised as the solution to the great depression.  Henry Monrgenthan, Jr. was FDR’s Secretary of the Treasury.  He did not agree. 
Monrgenthan believed in balanced budgets, a stable currency and the reduction of national debt.  He stated:
“We want to see private business expand…We believe that one of the most important ways of achieving these ends at this time is to continue progress toward a balance of the federal budget.”

The New Deal was the name for the stimulus of the time.  Nice name, but this is what Monrgenthan though of it:
“We have tried spending money.  We are spending more than we have ever spent before and it does not work.  And I have just one interest, and if I am wrong….Somebody else can have my job.  I want to see this country prosperous.  I want to see people get a job.  I want to see people get enough to eat.  We have never made good on our promises. …  I say after eight years of this administration we have just as much unemployment as when we started.  … And an enormous debt to boot.”

What has happened to our government?  Our federal government continues to grow.  Spending increases.  Debt increases to a level it can’t be controlled.  The success of the recent stimulus is questionable at best, unless you are considering the success of paying off campaign donors. Worse yet, it increased the size of government and government debt. 
Our congress seems more concerned with more money and power for themselves than they are for the people.  For many years, our executive branch has exceeded its authority, and effectively creates legislation with executive orders.  Our Supreme Court sometimes creates legislation with their decisions instead of upholding the constitution. 

Our Founding Fathers knew the dangers of a big central government and tried to protect against it.  Henry Monrgenthan, Jr. and Milton Friedman also recognized the danger. 
Why do we continue to ignore history and advance the “Progressive” political practices of the last century?  Will we deal with the problem in time to insure future generations the same freedoms we enjoyed?

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Partisan Politics

I have just about had it with partisan politics.  What is wrong with people?  Why do we put up with it?

I have heard people from both parties say they did not want to hear the facts because they were a Democrat or a Republican.  What?  Since when does being a member of either party take away a person’s right to think for himself or herself?

When an elected official from either party does something wrong, people from their party justify the action by saying the other party has done something worse.  Since when do two wrongs make a right?
Politicians from both parties are more concerned with getting reelected than they are concerned with serving their constituents.  They expand government to expand their power.  They don’t seem to care what damage expanding bureaucracy, spending, and debt does to the country. 

Campaign advertising is a joke.  Even if the ad is not an outright lie, the message it sends may not be accurate. 
I would like to give a non-political example of a deceptive ad.  You may have seen an ad for an energy drink that says they have surveyed 3,000 medical doctors.  The ad states that 73% of the doctors surveyed would recommend a low calorie energy drink to those healthy patients that used energy drinks.  This ad is very deceptive, as the first impression is that the doctors were endorsing the product, when in fact, all the doctors said was low calorie was better if they were going to use an energy drink.  They never actually recommended the product advertised or any energy drink.  It is a little scary that only 73% could say this, which was clearly not a positive endorsement.
Campaign advertising is not only deceptive; it is often so full of outright lies that little can be trusted.  I recently heard President Obama in an interview say that if campaign ads were not truthful it was OK because it was politics.  Really?  It’s not OK, and the fact Obama is doing it does not make it OK for Romney to do it.

I am sick of partisan politics from both parties.  Why do we put up with it?  What can we do to change it?  I think it has to come from grass roots movements and I don’t mean special interest groups.  We must find the facts, keep talking, and work for real change. 

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Who Attends Political Tea Parties?

I was recently a scheduled speaker at a couple tea parties.  I felt complimented to be on the program with some very impressive speakers. 
As I looked out over the audience, the first thing I noticed is their age.  Probably half the audience was of retirement age.  The other thing that impressed me was how they were attentive and courteous.  There were no obscene signs or disruptions.  When the events were over, the sites were totally clean.  There was not one scrap of paper.  This respectful behavior certainly did not indicate a lack of passion for the issues.
There are some other things I concluded from talking to people in the audience and listening to the speeches.  The percentage of veterans is much higher than the general population.  These people love their country and have put country before their personal well being in the past. 
I concluded the audience was better informed politically than the general population.  This is good because it keeps the speakers honest and not taking liberties with the facts.
There also seems to be a high percentage of Christians.  Some are concerned about the loss of religious freedom.  Most tea parties are started with the Pledge of Allegiance including “under God”, and an opening prayer.

There are Republicans, Democrats and independents at tea parties.  Many people think tea parties are Republican, which is wrong.  I would guess many were independents like myself.  I would agree the majority of the political candidates supported by the tea party are Republicans simply because more Republican candidates support the same issues as the tea party.  I sincerely wish there were more Democratic candidates that supported these issues. 

So what issues does the tea party support?  The tea party is very fragmented and there are many issues, but opposing a large federal government, out of control federal spending, and federal debt seem to be paramount.  The tea party also supports states rights and individual freedoms guaranteed by the 10th Amendment to the Constitution. Supporting individual freedoms and opposition to the redistribution of wealth are also big.  They are opposed to a political elite ruling class making our decisions for us.  In general, the tea party wants federal government reform and not expansion of the federal government.
Does this sound radical to you?  Why does the media and some politicians misrepresent the tea party?  Maybe they are afraid of this non-partisan and truly grass roots movement
It is true that the tea party is fragmented and unorganized.  They are not a political party.  They do not have a platform.  They endorse, but do not have candidates.  There is a lot of civil disagreement on individual issues.  All this is good in my opinion.  I would hate to see the tea party become an organized third political party.

As I looked at these aging tea party attendees, and as I talked to them, I questioned why they were there.  With the exception of health care and more specifically Obama care, most of these issues would probably never affect them personally in their lifetime.
So why do they care if the country expands the power of the federal government and moves toward a European social economic state?  It certainly is not for personal gain.  Maybe, like our founding fathers, they feel passing debt on to future generations is immoral.  The only reason that makes sense is that tea party attendees love this country and are concerned for their descendants and future generations.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Isolationism - Internationalism - Separatism

In the early years of this country, up to the time of World War I, many people in this country advocated a foreign policy of isolationism.  They felt we should just mind our own business, be self-sufficient, and ignore the rest of the world.
Actually, this still does not sound too bad except it is unrealistic in today’s world.  The world has gotten too small and the United States of America is a world power whether we like it or not. 

We have now adopted a foreign policy of internationalism.  We are probably the greatest economic and military power on earth. 
Militarily, we have become the world’s police force.  We have troops stationed all over the world.  We sometime fight wars on multiple fronts.  We may have to fight on foreign lands, but we cannot occupy countries for extended periods of time.  How can we afford this?
We pick allies and we pick enemies, but it never seems to be that simple.  Sometimes we act like middle school kids picking teams.  Sometimes we call evil dictators our allies.  Sometimes we support change like in Egypt when the new President is from Muslim Brotherhood.  The Muslim Brotherhood is probably not our ally.  What were we doing?  
Diplomatically, we give money to countries all over the world.  I don’t agree with giving any foreign country money, but I especially object to giving money to counties that hate us and try to do us harm at every opportunity.  Are we trying to buy their friendship, or are we being blackmailed? 
We make loans to foreign countries that we forgive without payment, while we borrow money from China.  We send aid all over the world when there is any kind of disaster.  How can we afford this? 

Thomas Jefferson and most of our founding fathers advocated a foreign policy of Separatism.  Jefferson described separatism as:

“Peace, commerce, and honest friendship with
all nations – entangling alliances with none.”

This makes a lot of sense to me.  Financially we may
not have a choice.  We can’t afford to be the world’s police force.  We can’t afford to send money to every country and corrupt politician in the world.  Disaster aid may need to come from individuals and charitable organizations instead of our Federal government. 

        Jefferson and our founding fathers were pretty smart.  Maybe we need to listen to them and take a closer look at a foreign policy of separatism. 

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Teach American History and Government  

John Adams, one of our great founding fathers, wrote this to his wife during the Revolutionary War:

“I must study politics and war, that my sons may have the liberty to study mathematics and philosophy.  My sons ought to study mathematics, philosophy, geography, natural history, naval architecture, navigation, commerce, and agriculture, in order to give their children a right to study painting, poetry, music, architecture, statuary, tapestry, and porcelain.”

This great country achieved John Adam’s dream, but somewhere along the line we stopped teaching how we got there.  We don’t teach our American history and government as we should, and the history we do teach is often distorted by our academics. 
There are a lot of ideas why this is happening.  I am not smart enough to know why it is happening, but I feel strongly that we need to change our education system to teach about our American history and our republic form of government.

I had a highly educated individual that I have a lot of respect for, respond to one of my blogs that all our government problems could be solved with three Constitutional Amendments.  He had a valid point, but I responded that it was not likely to happen.  His response was that it indeed was not very probable, but it was more probable than getting our schools to teach accurate American history. 
This bothers me.  Why is our American history distorted, and sometimes distorted to point of outright lies.
Thomas Jefferson is one of my favorite Presidents and founding fathers.  I just read The Jefferson Lies by David Barton.  I am appalled at some of the lies I had believed about Thomas Jefferson.   I would highly recommend the book, but it is not an easy read.  Mr. Barton’s research and documentation is beyond question, but makes for a tedious read. 

I am 68 years old, and when I was in high school I had a class in American history and a civics class, which was a study of government and citizenship.  Unfortunately, I probably slept through most of it, but I did get the basics.  Do we teach civics anymore?  I admit that I have learned more about our government and our founding fathers in the last six years than I learned in the first sixty. 

I recently received this test in an e-mail:

A Tough Test :

This test is not supposed to be an easy one.  The website reports that avg. score was 49% and college professors average about 55%.
There are only 33 Questions.
Click Below:

        I find the fact that the average score was only 49% a little worrying, and college professors only scoring 55% is upsetting.  These are the people teaching our kids.  I don’t care what their specific discipline is; they should know how we got the freedoms we enjoy.

        We need to take a critical look at what we are teaching our kids.  We must teach accurate American history and give our kids a good civics course or two.  They are our future citizens, voters and leaders.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Political Elite Ruling Class 

Are we creating a political elite ruling class?  That’s a crazy question, or is it?  Our founding fathers considered public service a duty and not a career.  They never considered that our congressional representatives would be a full-time job or a career.   
Our representatives in Washington now are some of the most powerful people in the world.  The largest corporations in the country feel obligated to donate to both parties in order to court the politician’s favor.  Do the large corporations and special interest groups control our politicians, or do the politicians control them?
The number one concern for many of our Washington politicians is getting reelected.  They make whatever deals and promises necessary to fill their campaign war chests.   Estimates are that members of Congress spend 30% to 70% of their time fundraising for their reelection.  This is when they should be working for their constituents.  Maybe representing us in Washington is a part-time job if they spend that kind of time on their reelection.
Members of Congress are paid well with excellent benefits and retirement.  I find it interesting that the net worth of some politicians seem to increase at a surprising rate considering their compensation. 
As the size of government grows, our political elite becomes more and more powerful.  It becomes clear why our representatives in Washington have little interest in stopping the growth of government.  How can we trust them to cut government spending and government debt when it is not in their personal best interests? 
We have serious debt problem.  We can solve this problem at the polls, but it will require the time and energy to find the facts.  This will be hard because all the special interests will distort the facts to promote the political elites that work for their interests and not the best interests of the country. 
We have to reduce the size of government, government spending and government debt for the sake of future generations.  We now have sixteen trillion in debt.  This is unsustainable and will bring this country down if we don’t change.