Monday, January 26, 2015

State of the Union

The State of the Union Speech was originally referred to as the President’s Annual Message to Congress.  This was a message delivered to a joint session of Congress. It was not called the State of the Union until Franklin D. Roosevelt became President. 
George Washington gave the first President’s Annual Message to Congress.  It was only seven hand-written pages long. 
President Thomas Jefferson stopped giving a speech to Congress and instead gave a written report to be read by a clerk to Congress.  Jefferson felt the speech was too “Monarchical”.  That is just one more reason Jefferson is my favorite President.  
Woodrow Wilson resumed the practice of a speech to Congress, but some Presidents have still sent a written report.  Jimmy Carter was the last President to send a written report. 
With the advent of radio and TV, the state of the union has become a public event.  Citizens were interested in the health and future of their country. 
Interest in the State of the Union has declined, and I understand why.  I watched last week’s State of the Union.  I did more than watch it.  I recorded it, watched it again, took pages of notes, and studied it.  I concluded that the State of the Union has turned into a partisan, political campaign speech.  It has few accurate facts and even fewer realistic agendas for the future.  The Washington Post corrected President Obama on eleven Facts.  
        President Obama’s speech sounded like a dusted off and revised 2007 campaign speech.  It had little correlation with his actions over the last six years.  He said he wanted to work with Congress, but if they did anything he didn’t like, he would veto it; and if they did not do what he wanted, he would do it himself with executive order.  
        The President took credit for the improvement in the economy, in spite of the facts showing we are making a very slow recovery.  The improvements the country has made are primarily due to hydraulic fracing of oil and natural gas, and frac sand mining.  America’s great resources, and America’s ingenuity and entrepreneurial spirit accomplished this, in spite of the government doing everything possible to discourage oil and gas exploration and production.  Fracing has given us new jobs, more disposable income, energy independence, and a stronger position in world politics in spite of the government.
        A typical politician, the President suggested a lot of free things, but no way of paying for them.  He did admit the richest 1% has gotten richer under his watch, and the working middle class has been hurt.  He suggested tax reform, but unfortunately, the type of reform he suggested is just more of the same old tired unworkable solutions that will further hurt the middle class.  Why not suggest the Fair Tax that could actually work?  Sorry, that was naive thinking on my part, as a Fair Tax would hurt the political elite. 
        I will not go over the speech on a point-by-point basis, as my notes are considerably longer than this blog.  It was interesting that some of the biggest challenges facing this country like Islamic Jihad terrorists were never mentioned by name. Our President never mentioned run-away government spending and debt, but he did make sure to plug his favorite wealth distribution plan, the global warming hoax.  Any bets on what he does after the Presidency?
        Joni Ernst gave the Republican response to the State of the Union.  She is a freshman Republican Senator from Iowa representing a traditionally Democratic district.  Her response was only seven minutes long with little pomp and circumstance.  It sounded rather like a campaign speech, but gave more realistic facts and options than Obama did in an hour.  She stated the last election showed that the American people wanted real change in Washington.  I think that is true.
        I can certainly understand why there is less and less interest in the State of the Union address and why the politically informed public is so disgusted with our federal government.  It is indeed time for real change and not just campaign promises.

Tuesday, January 20, 2015


      Merriam Webster dictionary defines Theocracy as, “a form of government in which a country is ruled by religious leaders.” Here in America we have serious problem with radical Islamic terrorists.  Our country fails to recognize or identify the problem because of extreme political correctness. 
Radical Islamic Jihad beheads people and uses young girls for suicide bombings while we release known Islamic terrorists from Guantanamo Bay.  Our government still refuses to use the term Islamic terrorist.  What will it take to get us to deal with this problem, and who has to die to get us to wake up?
Not all Muslims are terrorists, but all radical Islamic terrorists are Muslims.  It should be impossible to ignore this basic logic.  The Muslin religion advocates Jihad and Sharia law.  Jihad is a holy war of Islam that is the sacred duty of all Muslims according to the Quran.  Radical Islam interprets this to mean “death to all infidels.”  Some more moderate Muslims do not believe everyone has to convert to the Muslim religion as long as everyone is forced to live under Sharia Law.  This is theocracy.
Sharia law takes away the rights of woman and gay people.  Honor killings are acceptable in many cases.  Leaving the Muslim religion or dating outside the Muslim religion is grounds for an honor killing.  This is totally counter to the laws of any free country. 
Islamic terrorists recently attacked a French paper because it exercised freedom of speech and freedom of the press.  This kind of action cannot be tolerated, but, sadly, no country has the resources for continual surveillance of every suspected terrorist. 
France has given Muslims too much autonomy.  There are recognized No Go Zones where the Muslims are left to govern themselves under Sharia law.  This policy does not and cannot work in any country. 
People that fought and lived through WWII are often referred to as the Greatest Generation.  They defeated the Axis powers in WWII.  This was an all out war and we won.  There was no problem with political correctness, interrogations, or civilian casualties.  Many Japanese Americans were put in internment camps.  We bombed German cities and dropped atomic bombs on two Japanese cities. 
This was a necessary part of war and done to protect our country.  There was no quarter given and there were civilian casualties.  The Axis powers were defeated at great cost to both sides.  Today Germany and Japan are some of our best allies, and the both enjoy freedom and a good standard of living. 
I am not advocating putting all Muslims in internment camps, but we must take this radical Jihad war serious.  What will it take for our government to recognize this threat to our freedom and put an end to it?  Critical action is necessary before it escalates into WWIII.

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

New Years Resolutions

      I think we should have some political resolutions for 2015.  We have some serious issues that need to be resolved.  They include:
·       Government bureaucracy unaccountable
·       Government spending out of control
·       Government debt crisis
·       Poor economy
·       High unemployment
·       Healthcare costs out of control
·       Illegal immigration problem
·       Terrorism
·       Freedom of religious expression is being denied
·       Welfare and poor problem getting worse
·       Urban decay in some of our major cities
·       Problem with earmarks
·       Campaign spending out of control
·       Special interest groups controlling politicians
·       Fiscal problems with Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid
·       Trade deficit problem
·       Big banks and corporations are still protected and bailed out by the government
·       Unfair tax system
·       Our educational system is no longer the best in the world

When we look at all these problems, they have one major cause or contributing factor.  The federal government has grown out of control, creating and/or increasing the problem. 
A recent Gallup poll asked for the top U.S. problems the responses supported the issues stated above.  The results show:
·       18% - Government and politicians.
·       17% - Economy
·       15% - Unemployment
·       10% - Health care

There is a simple KISS solution.  Comply with the Constitution, the Bill of Rights, and, most specifically, the 10th Amendment. 
This sounds like an over simplification, but think about it.  Every problem listed above can be eliminated or improved if government powers are limited to those given by the Constitution and the government is held responsible for carrying out the duties assigned by the Constitution, in particular enforcing the laws.
I hope people will study these issues and think about how reducing or eliminating government involvement will help.  We need to eliminate political apathy, shrink the government teat, and demand that the media covers the news accurately. 
It’s a new year.  I can always dream. 

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Football Bowl Games

        I am not a big sports fan, but I do like college football.  I’m a fan of the Iowa Hawkeyes and Big Ten football.  I get frustrated with the polls, rankings, sportscasters, and the media all saying the best football teams are in the south.  The Southeast conference (SEC) and the Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) seem to get all the respect. 
        The Big Ten was in ten bowl games this year.  They were not favored to win a single one of those games.  What happened?  The Big Ten won five of those ten bowl games, including Ohio State winning one of the first playoff games against #1 ranked Alabama from the Mighty SEC.         
        Oregon from the Pac-12 also beat Florida State from the Mighty ACC in the Rose Bowl.  Oregon didn’t just beat Florida State.  It was a blow-out with a score of 59 to 20.  That happens in football, but it should never happen in a playoff game with teams ranked #2 and #3.  The most disgusting thing in my opinion was how Florida State just quit. 
        My Hawkeyes suffered a bad loss too, but they did not quit.  They were down 28 in the first quarter.  They continued to fight and actually got to within two scores in the second half, but it was too little too late.  At least they did not quit like Florida State.
        The results of the bowl games are as follows:
Pac-12;   6–2  Fantastic & in Championship game
SEC;       6–5  Good
Big Ten;  5–5  Good & in Championship game
ACC;      4–7  Not so good
Big 12     2–5  Bad
        The National Championship game will be Oregon vs. Ohio State.  I had mixed emotions about a college football playoff, but I think it is good because the ratings and rakings would never have allowed these two teams from the Pac-12 and the Big Ten to play for the championship, and they both obviously deserve to be there.
In spite of bowl results and the playoff, I expect the hype next year to be about the SEC, ACC, Oregon, and maybe Ohio State if they win the National Championship.  It seems like the media has it’s agenda and don’t like to let the facts get in the way.  Kind of sounds like politics doesn’t it.
I don’t normally write about football.  What difference does it make anyway?  It’s just a game that we watch for entertainment.  It does not affect our lives, unless we are addicted to gambling on sports. 
The unfortunate thing is that we let the polls, commentators, and the media control our lives by controlling the news, and who is elected as our political representatives.  This actually affects our quality of life and the future of our children and grandchildren.  The really sad thing is many people do not get as upset about this as they do about a football game.