Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Race & Police

        We have some serious race problems in this country.  Recently demonstrations in the streets of New York had people shouting:  “What do we want?  Dead cops!  When do we want them dead? Now!”  This kind of demonstration is perverted and destructive. 
        Shortly after these demonstrations, two New York City police officers were murdered in cold blood.  One of these police officers was Chinese and one was Hispanic.   The murderer was black. 
        I am old enough to remember the freedom riders of the 60s and Martin Luther King Jr.   I remember the anti establishment demonstrations of the 70s when the police were called pigs.  There were radical organizations like the Weathermen making bombs and killing people.  I thought we had come a long way in the last forty plus years, but unfortunately too many people promote racism and race baiting for political, financial, and personal reasons. 
        In the 70s police were afraid to go into certain dangerous neighborhoods.  These neighborhoods turned into war zones run by the gangs.  Today, some police departments are now instructed not to respond to calls in bad neighborhoods without backup.  Instead of improving race relations, we seem to have regressed about forty years.
        I was not a supporter of President Obama because I did not feel he was qualified to be president.  His only experience was as a community organizer.  I had hopes that experience, and the fact he was black would improve race relations in this country.  This does not seem to be the case.
        President Obama and Attorney General Holder have been quick to defend blacks and blame anyone and everyone regardless of the facts.  Statements by New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio have not helped the situation either. 
  Individuals like Al Sharpton are invited to the White house repeatedly.  The White House gives him credibility.  Sharpton makes his living by stirring up race issues.  Everyone including the White House and the media needs to ignore Sharpton.  He is a disgrace to any race.
        There are good and bad people in every race and every occupation, but most are good.  We must return to a rule of law and ignore race.  People of any race that commit crimes and resist arrest must pay the price.  People must respect the police and resolve issues in the courts instead of the streets. 

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Merry Christmas

        The birth of Jesus Christ is one of the most celebrated events in the Christian religion.  The First Amendment to the Constitution guarantees us the right to openly celebrate our religion.  Unfortunately, some people today misinterpret the First Amendment as the separation of church and state.  
The founding fathers never intended to take religion out of the government.  They simply did not want the government to dictate a national religion, or restrict people’s freedom of religious expression. 
        This country was founded on Christian principles, and our founding fathers knew this great republic had little chance of success without Christian morality. 
We need more Christian morality in today’s world.  Merry Christmas

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

CIA Report

        Democratic Senator Dianne Feinstein released a report about enhanced interrogation methods used by the CIA.  This report was written without talking to a single CIA interrogator or CIA Director.  How accurate can it be? 
        Some of these enhanced interrogation methods were implemented after over 3,000 people died on 9/11/2001.  People were scared and they were angry.  They wanted the government to do everything possible to protect our country from more attacks.  These enhanced interrogation techniques helped track down terrorists and prevent future attacks. 
        These interrogations may not be comfortable for the terrorist, but no one died from them.  I think beheading people is worse.  I also am confused how people can say these interrogations are worse than killing people with drones.  We are at war with radical Islam and people die in war.  The use of drones is necessary, but every effort should be made to minimize collateral damage. 
The CIA briefed Congress on these interrogation methods over thirty times.  The House, Senate, and President approved the methods every time.  Why is this report coming out now?
        Releasing this biased report now will hurt our international relations with other countries.  Iran, China, and North Korea have already made statements asking the United States to stop its “human right violations.”  This is funny considering these three countries along with Russia, Iraq, and Nazi Germany have probably murdered more people than any other nation in history.  This report will also give motivation to radical Islamic groups like ISIS.  It will certainly hurt CIA operations, and may even cost lives of CIA operatives.  Why is it being released?
        Senator Feinstein admits to these consequences, but says the American people have a right to know, and this is not who we are morally.  Did anyone not know the CIA was using enhanced interrogation techniques like water boarding?
         Is Senator Feinstein a legislator of such high ethical character that she feels obligated to bring this public?  I don’t think that is the case.  In March of 2007, she was forced to resign from the Military Construction Appropriations subcommittee after awarding billions of dollars in contracts to two companies owned by her husband, Richard C. Blum. 
        Why is it so important that the American people know all the details of these enhanced interrogation techniques?  We don’t know what happened with Benghazi, the IRS, Fast & Furious and many other government cover-ups. 
We don’t even know the details of President John F. Kennedy’s assassination yet, and that happened over fifty years ago.  Any serious student of this event can determine what happened, and it was not a single rogue gunman.  The who and why is a mystery, but I am sure someone knows.  All the records may be released someday, but it won’t be in my lifetime. 
If Feinstein knows this report will damage our country, shy is she doing it?  Her past history clearly shows it is not an ethical issue, so why?  Does she think this a way to bash President Bush and the Republicans?  Maybe.  I hope it backfires on her.

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Somebody Has To Pay

        I was once hired to participate as a juror for a mock civil case.   The case involved the death of a man who was cleaning out a railroad tank car.  The company providing this service employed the man, who died from poisonous gases after entering a tank car.  A second individual also died after entering the tank car to save him. 
        The defendant was the company that owned the tank car.  No action was being taken against the company that employed him, the manufacturer of the railroad car, or the manufacturer of the test equipment used to assure the air inside the tank car was safe.  We were not provided any information concerning why these companies were not named in the lawsuit.
        The facts presented to us were that the individual had tested the air inside the tank car, said it was “good to go,” and climbed inside with no breathing protection and collapsed.  A second individual entered the tank car to rescue him with no breathing protection and also collapsed.  Both individuals died.  The air testing equipment had been checked and was working properly.  The railroad tank car was properly marked for containing hazardous materials.  
Thirty-six individuals had been hired to form three juries of twelve.  After being presented the facts and instructions from the judge, the three groups were sent to three deliberation rooms.   Each room was equipped with video cameras and sound equipment.
I was selected as the foreman for our jury.  When we took our first vote, eleven mock jurors voted to award the plaintiff everything they were asking for.  The logic was that the man had died and someone had to pay.  I was the one holdout.  It was a little like the play or movie Twelve Angry Men.  After several hours of deliberation, we agreed that the deceased individual had not taken the appropriate precautions and had acted in an irresponsible manner costing him and another individual their lives.  This was a tragic accident, but the tank car owner was certainly not responsible or liable.  We awarded the plaintive nothing.
I do not know what happened in to other two mock juries, if the case ever went to trial, or if a settlement was made out of court.  The thing that made an impression on me was that eleven of the jurors in my room felt that someone had died so someone had to pay.  The idea of personal responsibility was initially not a consideration. 
This idea that no one has personal responsibility for his or her actions has been escalating over the last few decades.  Ronald Reagan said, “We must reject the idea that every time a law’s broken, society is guilty rather than the lawbreaker.  It is time to restore the American precept that each individual is accountable for his actions.” 
I see race, sex, religion, police, courts, government, education, corporations, products, and the media all blamed when the real problem is a lack of common sense and personal responsibility.  Our ancestors took personal responsibility for their actions.  We need to take a lesson from them.

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Administrative Law

        President Obama recently enacted new immigration law by Executive Order and justified the action by saying comprehensive immigration reform was needed and Congress was not doing the job.  If he felt Immigration reform was so important, why did he not address it when he was first elected, and controlled both the House and Senate?  He decided to ram the joke called the Affordable Health Care down our throats instead.
Obama is correct that comprehensive immigration reform is needed, but no immigration reform has any chance of succeeding if we do not completely secure our borders first.  He is also correct that Congress is not doing the job, but he is totally wrong to blame the Republicans in the house when Senator Reed has not allowed around 300 bills passed by the house to see the floor for a vote or discussion. 
I am even more concerned with administrative rules by government agencies that have the force of law.  The Environmental Protection Agency has enacted many rules that not only don’t have the approval of Congress, but in many cases have been voted down by Congress.
The Internal Revenue Service has recently been in the news for targeting conservative groups and the cover-up that included “lost” emails.  I find some other practices of the IRS just as dangerous to our freedoms.  Did you know the IRS has the power to confiscate cash deposits from bank accounts with no explanation or accountability?  This is supposedly done in situations where the IRS suspects the cash deposits are the result of illegal activities, even though the account holders have never been convicted of any crime and have little opportunity to appeal. 
On October 23, 2012, I did a blog titled “Too Small To Succeed.”  In this post, I gave an example of a small businessman that had considered closing his business because of new federal government regulations, but decided to spend the money to comply.  When he had his final inspection, the government bureaucrat congratulated him because they had not expected him to continue in business.  The government agent admitted that the intention of the new regulations was to close 320 of the 400 businesses in the industry.
On January 29, 2013, I did a blog titled “Environmental Protection Agency” where I discussed new proposed restrictions for industrial boilers.  These new regulations would have shut down the paper industry in this country.  The result would have been lost jobs, higher paper costs, and higher emissions worldwide when the paper business moved overseas. 
We are often so naive that we think these things can’t happen in this country, but they happen every day.  The media does not cover them, our elected representatives look the other way, and we are often not aware of them until they affect us personally.  Then it is too late.
        Liberal Progressives believe our government should evolve to an administrative state run by neutral experts.  Progressives want to make our Constitution a “living document” subject to change in order to make this form of government legal. In theory this sounds good, but always results in increased corruption by the political elite.  Since Woodrow Wilson’s Presidency, both parties have, slowly advanced this increase in a large administrative government.
        In my book, Business Fits, I give some examples of how to deal with local bureaucrats, but the best solutions are the ones that reduce the size of the federal government, eliminate Executive Orders, and make sure government agencies do not have the power to implement new regulations without the approval of Congress.  I am afraid that congress will continue to concede their powers until they have made themselves irrelevant. 
        Our founding fathers were well aware of the potential problems of an administrative state that would take away our freedoms.  That is why they designed a republic with a balance of power.  Let’s return to following the Constitution and restore that balance of power.