Saturday, December 20, 2008
I hope everyone out there has a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!
Sunday, December 14, 2008
Name the party with all of these positions:
- Expanded Federal control restricting power at the State level
- Anti-large corporation management
- Anti-large financial firms
- Pro-worker, pro-labor organizations
- Mandatory profit sharing in all large firms
- Expanded old age insurance
- National health care
- Total separation of church and state, and reduction of religion's influence
- Political correctness in speech, news, and media
- Expanded Federal involvement in schools and youth organizations
- Much tougher environmental laws
- Animal rights
- Prohibition of child labor
- Promote organic foods, vegetarianism, alternative medicine, natural healing
- Vigorous national anti-smoking campaign & restrictions
- Restore the nations international image abroad to the favorable place it occupied previously.
Send in your guesses. Even if someone has already guessed the party you thought, send it anyway. I will tally the results and post the correct answer during this week. Good luck!
Thursday, December 11, 2008
The Democrats in Congress and President Bush have been working on a bailout for GM, Ford, and Chrysler. Many of the arguments that have been used to justify this bailout were the same arguments used to justify the $700 Billion bailout of the banks and home lenders. That bailout passed, but we have seen an increase in the percentage of home's being foreclosed on. In the last few weeks it was revealed that even while the Executive and Legislative branches were hammering out a bailout, Secretary Paulson was intending to use the money in different ways than what we were told he would use it for. Congress set up an oversight group to keep an eye on how the money was spent. However, as of this writing, Congress and the President have yet to name any members to the board. With this in mind, is there any reason we should trust the government to pass emergency legislation to bail out the auto industry? Is there any reason we should trust a Democratic Party majority to try and bail out the auto industry?
If we examine the beliefs and goals of the Democratic Party they don't match up well with the interests of auto companies. The Democratic Party believes in man made global warming. They believe it is the crisis of our time. They also believe using oil and gasoline are bad. How many times have they campaigned on taxing big oil? The DNC is the party of the Unions. While Unions aren't the only reason GM, Ford, and Chrysler are in trouble, they are a big reason. No one has ever accused unions of being "pro-industry". Why would they start now? Looking at the planks to the DNC one would question why they would want the big three to survive.
The Democratic Party was trying to force the auto industry to drop lawsuits against California's fuel regulations as part of any bailout. The Democrats in Congress are still trying to force "greener" cars on the auto industry while preventing them from bringing the higher fuel economy vehicles they make overseas into the United States. Why? Because Democrats want the environmentalist and the union members happy with the party. They have never really cared how the auto companies might fare with their laws. Why should they start now?
If Congress really wanted to save Detroit, there are other more meaningful ways of doing it. They could do away with the CAFÉ standards. They could lower taxes in general on both industry and workers. They could allow Detroit to bring in the vehicles they make in Europe. I believe any sort of loan is just going to delay bankruptcy by these auto companies. Perhaps other solutions might work. But either way, why would we expect Democrats to help the auto companies?
Saturday, December 06, 2008
For years there has been talk of passing hate crime legislation. Some states have laws that make violence against homosexuals a hate crime. Since the passage of Proposition 8 in California, some gay activists have been using their own violence.
Proposition 8 was a move by the voters in California to define marriage as between a man and a woman exclusively. It does not affect "Domestic Partnerships" in California. Proposition 8 was a response by the voters to a California supreme court decision that allowed gay marriage. This court decision took the matter away from the elected representatives in California. The only way to overturn it was with an amendment by the voters. The voters decided they didn't want the California Supreme Court deciding this issue.
Since the election night results, there has been an increase in violence towards the Mormon Church by gay activists. The Church of Latter Day Saints encouraged its members to support Prop 8, and now gay activists are retaliating towards those members. Two churches received packages with an unidentified white powder in them. Gay activists have gone into a church and protested during the middle of the service. They posed as church members, then stood up during the service and shouted at the members, threw papers into the congregation, and had gay people kissing at the front of the church.
Much of the activity being directed at the Mormon Church is outside the boundaries of political discourse. It is ok to be upset with what a church does, or to oppose their message. It is not ok to resort to violence against the church and members of the church.
We may not all agree with the LDS Church, we may disagree with Prop 8, but we can all agree that violence against the Mormon church must stop.
Tuesday, December 02, 2008
Bailouts -- The Big Three auto exec's are heading back to Congress to beg for money. Instead of private jets, they are driving hybrids this time. I still believe that it would be a terrible idea to give these companies the billions they are asking for. If the government bails them out, they won't make any of the changes they need to make to stay in business. These companies didn't suddenly discover they were out of money. This has been coming for a long time. If we bail them out, it will only delay the end. These companies have made some pretty big mistakes to get to this point. They, and not the taxpayers, need to fix those mistakes.
The conventional wisdom seems to be that a new Congress working with President Elect Obama will give the auto executives the loans they are looking for. However, most people believe these loans will come with strings. GM, Ford, and Chrysler will be forced to make more hybrids and more "green" auto's in order to get the money. Hybrids and green technology isn't going to pull these companies back from the brink of bankruptcy. It may be that nothing will save these companies. However, Toyota, Kia, and other foreign companies are making and selling cars in the United States. Maybe Ford, GM, and Chrysler should leave Congress alone and research what the other car companies are doing right.
California represents about half of the total projected budget shortfalls that 31 of the states are facing. California, and many of the other states, should examine their current budgets. Dump the items that aren't critical and then reevaluate your budget. Tough times require tough decisions. Governors are elected to make those tough decisions, not pass the buck to someone else.
Tuesday, November 25, 2008
There is a scene that sticks in my head from the first Pirates of the Caribbean movie. As Captain Jack Sparrow is entering harbor, he passes a skeleton hanging in a cage from a cliff. The cage has a note warning pirates that a similar fate awaits them in harbor. The impression is that the skeleton once belonged to a pirate that was left in the cage as a warning to other pirates. The harbor Johnny Depp's character is heading towards apparently takes a pretty dark view on piracy.
And why shouldn't they? Movies and books have romanticized the pirate world, but there is a reason words like bloodthirsty and cut throat accompany pirates. Real life pirates, both in the Caribbean and off the coast of Africa, are bad guys. They are true parasites on the world. They steal the lifeblood of the rest of the world. As Bret Stephens in the Wall Street Journal points out, "Pirates, said Cicero, were hostis humani generis – enemies of the human race – to be dealt with accordingly by the captors. Tellingly, Cicero's notion of piracy vanished in the Middle Ages…" Pirates weren't extinct, but they were close. Now they seem to be reemerging. Many of us have read about the supertanker captured by pirates. Did you know that while that story has been unfolding, pirates have captured nine vessels? Did you know that pirates have attacked 80 vessels this year?
The two articles mentioned above point to one reason for their return: our failure to deal with them in the manner they deserve. In today's world, we have an aversion to severely punishing people, even if their own actions have warranted that punishment. Like terrorists, today's governments are unsure how to handle pirates. Do we give them Constitutional rights? Do we detain them until an impartial jury can be assembled? What happens if they are captured? Do they get Geneva Convention protection? According to the United Nations, if a military vessel suspects another ship might be a pirate ship, it is to first send over a boarding party to discover the true intent of said Black Pearl. Gone are the days of placing a shot across her bow.
But perhaps that is the problem with our society and with pirates, terrorists, and others. We are uncertain how to deal with problems that demand a quick resolution. Some people act with such malice that they deserve no protection from international bodies. Pirates and terrorists play on our fear, and would destroy any society they could lay their hands on. Cicero, and Mr. Stephens have it right: Hang them!
Tuesday, November 18, 2008
I own a GM vehicle. Today I received an email from GM asking me to contact my representatives and ask them to vote for a bailout package for the auto industry. It is important to point out, there are a number of car manufacturers here in the United States that aren't looking for a hand out, and don't want their competitors getting tax money these better run factories have paid to the government. I think they have a good point.
GM, Ford, and Chrysler aren't looking to change their practices. They are looking for free money. Imagine if a company came to your house one night and asked to borrow money from you because they were on hard times. The company had a history of not turning a profit, said it stood behind its management team and their decisions, insisted on making no major changes to their operations, and wanted you to give them $75 Billion to let them keep their doors open for a few months. What would you say?
Some have argued that the big three are in this situation because of the Unions. I agree that the UAW has some share of the blame, but so does Congress, and the car manufacturers themselves. Congress has long believed they are automotive engineers and have mandated an assortment of standards that they themselves probably can't explain how to obtain. Congress is good at throwing money at problems, but not so good at coming up with real solutions.
George Will points out today that there is a very good solution for these automakers: Bankruptcy. The companies would be forced to restructure and reorganize. They would be able to renegotiate the bad contracts they have currently have with labor. As Mr. Will points out people who have retired from these companies, but are too young for Medicare, might lose their health insurance. That is OK. If they are that young, they can probably find new work. Some argue these automakers are too big to fail. Mr. Will points out they have already failed. The thing to do now is to see if the auto makers can restructure their company for success.
Sunday, November 16, 2008
Personally, I believe the U.S. Constitution should be the backbone of our government. I also believe the Constitution should be read in the original intent of the founding fathers. What about issues the founder's could never have predicted, such as the internet? The Founder's allowed for these things, they included an amendment process.
I believe our government spends way too much on programs the federal government shouldn't be involved in. I believe we need to have more problems solved at the local and state level. I would point to the Department of Education as a great example. There are 50 states. Many of these states have different problems facing them. Let the states be more involved in the curriculum of there schools to help solve these problems. And if the federal government isn't involved in the school system, we shouldn't be taxed to pay for it. I don't believe the $700 Billion bail out is within the scope of what the Federal government should do.
I also don't believe in man-made global warming. If it is science, it isn't consensus. There is a lot of scientific evidence and fact on bot sides of the argument. Most global warming claims are made based off what computer models predict might happen. They aren't made off of real world observations. More importantly, I don't believe the government should legislate based on a "best guess" theory. If there is science supporting both sides of the global warming argument, the government should stay out.
These are just a couple of examples. What do you believe? Do you agree with me? Is there something I didn't touch on that you think is important for our government to do or not do?
Wednesday, November 12, 2008
As our government continues to spend money like it grows on trees, I continue to believe that our elected officials have no idea what they are doing. Pelosi, Reid, Obama, and many Republicans seem to believe if the government throws enough money at a problem the problem will suddenly be solved. They aren't changing any of the laws that got us into this crisis, and they aren't asking business to change any of the practices that got them into this problem either.
The latest chapter in this tragedy started playing today. Treasury Secretary Paulson today said that the original, authorized, use of the $700 Billion bailout wasn't working fast enough. No the Treasury Secretary is going to focus on, "…direct capital injections into the struggling financial firms." The government is just going to buy pieces of these firms. This is the same Federal Reserve that refuses to identify how it has spent $2 Trillion in emergency loans already. Does anyone really feel comfortable with our government spending this money as fast as it can without any real accountability? The government does two things well: make war and waste money.
Today I saw an article where a number of different industries are going after the big bailout. The automakers are getting the biggest play on the news, but other groups like credit card companies, auto dealers, boat dealers, and several Hispanic business groups. The Hispanic business groups want to manage the homes the government might own as a part of this bail out. Pelosi and Reid are talking about using part of the bill for the auto industry, and there are signs the details of qualifying for help under the bailout may change under an Obama administration. This coupled with Paulson's desire to spend the money in a different way is probably the worst thing our government can do right now. They are creating more uncertainty. The Great Depression went on as long as it did because business had no idea what FDR was going to do next.
So far, there have been no talk of changing any of the practices that got us here, or making any changes in the way our government does business with financial institutions. If we really want to improve the economy, the government will stop issuing bailouts, and start cutting taxes. We will stop adding clauses and requirements to the auto industry, and start cutting the requirements we have on their manufacturing.
There is some small hope. Some Republicans are against more bailouts. Richard Shelby (Republican Senator from Alabama) has said, "I do not support the use of U. S. Taxpayer dollars to reward the mismanagement of Detroit-based auto manufacturers…" Amen.
Sunday, November 09, 2008
Something happened tonight that was a first for me in the two years I have been writing this blog. I sat down at my computer to do a final proofread on a blog that was going to appear here. It was written and ready to post. Before I uploaded it, I checked out Drudge. The first article I read made me scrap the old blog post, and start over. Here is the first part of the article, as reported by Reuters, and linked to on Drudge:
LONDON (Reuters) – The international financial crisis has given world leaders a unique opportunity to create a truly global society, Britain's Prime Minister Gordon Brown will say in a keynote foreign policy speech on Monday.
In his annual speech at the Lord Mayor's Banquet, Brown – who has spearheaded calls for the reform of international financial institutions – will say Britain, the United States[,]and Europe are key to forging a new world order.
I have seen no article on President Elect Obama that frightens me half as much as the intent of this article, and a comparable one from Bloomberg with the headline, "Brown Seeks 'Global Consensus' on Tax, Spending at G-20 Summit". Anytime I see the phrase "global consensus" in politics, I get very worried. This is no exception.
Prime Minister Gordon Brown is trying to unite the world's economies to get a coordinated, global plan to trim taxes and boost spending. Since March, Britain has enacted spending increases and tax cuts targeting the low income earners to the tune of $7.6 Billion (U.S.). While I am almost always in favor of tax cuts, low income earners don't hire people to work for them. Brown is ready to increase borrowing and may be looking for a global consensus to protect his own hide. Has the Prime Minister considered cutting spending instead of increasing borrowing? To make matters worse, the Bloomberg article hints that other countries (such as China) may be interested in this new world order. Governments only make matters worse when they try to legislate the direction of the economy. I can't even imagine how much worse a global legislative agenda could make things.
Of course there is an even larger issue here. The United States should not cede our economic policies to any foreign body, global society, or new world order. I envision this new world order would be a United Nations like body focused on its own definition of economic policies. What does our current United Nations do well? Waste Money (with a capital M), and attack U.S. policy. What would supporters of Mr. Brown's position expect out of this UN-like body? Why should the citizens of the United States ever believe a global body would have our best interests at heart?
Our Constitution gives people we elect (Congress and the President) power over our own economic policies. These people are expected to represent us, and we have seen what a mess they have made of the economic crisis. What happens when representatives from France, Russia, Iran, or China get to dictate our tax and spend policies?
President Bush and President Elect Obama should both dismiss this idea from Mr. Brown as quickly as possible. The U.S. Senate should pass a resolution forbidding the President from signing any treaty that would require the U.S. to seek foreign council on economic policies. If we cede our tax policies and our economic policies, what happens next? When do we start suppressing other areas of the Constitution in favor of a New World Order? If you believe Mr. Brown's economic policies are a good idea, read this article on talks in Britain regarding,"…banning the media from reporting on matters of national security…" It won't stop with taxing…
Wednesday, November 05, 2008
Second, President Elect Obama had a very significant win with the Electoral College yesterday. As I write this, Missouri and Virgina are still being listed as too close to call. Even if both of those states should go to McCain, no one will call this a close election. Obama won the election, and won without it being very close. No one will be looking for hanging chads or to try any states election process in court.
Finally, we in the United States take for granted the changing of our Presidency. Yesterday, we had a regularly scheduled election, that no party had to call for. The result of the election was that the party that controled our Presidency was thrown out, and the rival party gained the Executive branch. All of this happened without any use of force, and without any bloodshed. This is very rare in the rest of the world, and we should be proud of it.
In the months to come, we will see what kind of President Obama will be. Will the Obama who voted in Illinios and the Senate, the Obama who never disagreed with his party, become President? Will the Obama from the campaign trail, the Obama who pormised a new type of politics become President? I hope for the centerist Obama, but worry we will get the leftist Obama.
Regardless of what the future holds in store, congratulations Mr. Obama. Good luck in your Presidency.
Sunday, November 02, 2008
This is likely to be my last post before the country heads to the voting both on Tuesday. Most blogs and news outlets are spending their time today predicting what will happen on Tuesday. I have decided to make a post that you can sit back and enjoy no matter who you support:
Go Vote! I would be a terrible political junkie if I didn't tell everyone reading this site to go vote. Whether you support Obama, McCain, or some third party candidate, take the time on Tuesday and cast your ballot. Our country has had somewhere around a 50% turn out rate on Election Day. That isn't good enough. Voting isn't a gift, it is a responsibility. Go do your duty!
What if no one gets 270 votes? Our election process is based on a Presidential candidate getting a majority of the number of electoral votes, and not popular votes. That means Obama or McCain must get 270 electoral votes to become President. Well, what happens if neither of them gets the required 270 votes? According to the Twelfth Amendment of the U. S. Constitution, the House of Representatives would then meet and elect the President. There are a few rules that govern this. Most importantly, each state only gets one vote. That means Texas = Rhode Island = New York = Alaska when it gets to this stage. It wouldn't matter the percentage of Democrats or Republicans in the House. The Senate would meet and vote for the Vice President using similar rules.
To carry the "what if…?" out a little further, if the voting process in the House drags out to Inauguration day, what would happen? Jefferson's election got thrown into the House and it took some 36 ballots. Should the House of Representatives be unable to declare a President by the end of January, then the current Vice-President would become President as if the President was removed from office. You read right, say hello to President Dick Cheney. Dick Cheney would then be able to nominate a Vice President for confirmation by the Senate until the House could decide what to do. This is potentially the most entertaining possibility of all the different political tales being told.
Starbucks and You. Finally, if you do go vote on Tuesday, Starbucks wants to reward you. They are running spots saying if you come to a Starbucks on Tuesday and tell them you voted, they will give you a free coffee. Just one more reason to go out and do your duty.
Thursday, October 30, 2008
Saturday, October 25, 2008
I received a number of comments on abortion in a previous post so I thought it might be best to create a post directly dealing with abortion. Over time, my own views have changed on this subject. The more I think about the topic and the more research I put into it, the further to the right on this position I get.
In preparing for this post, I looked for some numbers that could be used as a reference for this discussion. I looked at a number of references while writing this article, and most sites estimate the number per year somewhere around the 1.1 to 1.3 million abortions per year. The CDC reports this number as a little lower (848,163 for 2003), but the CDC does not include abortions in California, New Hampshire, or West Virginia. If we accept the CDC number at face value, 848,163 aborted babies in 2003 are too many.
If you had asked me for my position before my daughter was born, I would have told you that I felt abortion was wrong, and that it was something I could never personally choose. I also felt at the time it wasn't something I could decide for others. When my wife got pregnant, my opinion changed as I saw our baby grow.
I went to almost every one of my wife's appointments with her doctor. I listened in awe at my daughter's heartbeat. I was amazed at the first photo that showed her to be incredibly tiny, and not even identifiable as a person. Later, when we had the full picture of a little person with fingers and toes, I continued to be amazed. I remember the many nights my wife would complain that my daughter was punching her bladder. I was convinced beyond any shadow of doubt that my daughter was a life and a person long before she arrived in this world. She wasn't an extra organ of my wife, or some piece of tissue and flesh, or even a sore tooth. She was a living person.
Our constitution is set up to enumerate our rights. Those rights end if they interfere with the rights of others. Think of the classic movie and fire example. You have the right to free speech, but you don't have the right to run into a crowded movie theater and yell "FIRE!!" at the top of your lungs for the fun of it.
I believe this same theory applies to abortion. Any individual, male or female, should decide what happens to their bodies. However, that right ends when there is another life inside of you that is dependent on you. Who gets to voice that little person's rights? Doesn't that baby have rights as well? Why should someone be allowed to kill that baby for shear convenience?
"What about in the case of rape or incest?" This is a terrible, terrible thing to even contemplate happening to someone. Pro-choice defenders will argue that you can't put a victim through an additional 9 months of pain. But why should the sins of the father be visited on this innocent life? It isn't the baby's fault that he or she was conceived in this terrible way. I don't believe we should compound the tragedy of incest or rape with the added tragedy of killing an innocent.
Ultimately, I believe abortion should be illegal except to save the life of the mother. I welcome your comments.
Wednesday, October 22, 2008
I first saw a copy of The Shack by William Young when I was on vacation earlier this year. My sister in law was reading it. Over the last couple of months I have seen more and more copies popping up at different stores, including the largest display I have ever seen for any book at one specific bookseller. Anything than can get a larger display than the new Harry Potter book is worth at least a cursory inspection. I decided to pick up a copy and look it over.
The Shack is a very quick read. Don’t let its small size fool you. The message is really incredible. The book revolves around Mackenzie Philip as he tries to deal with the murder of his youngest daughter. The book is set a number of years after the murder. One morning Mackenzie finds a note in his mailbox that appears to be from God. The note invites him back to the scene of his daughter’s murder. As Mackenzie tries to decide what to do, he has a weekend unlike anything else in his life.
The message of The Shack is a very religious one. It is a Christian message, but it is a message presented in a format that you have probably never seen before. Regardless of your personal faith, it will probably have you reconsidering how you view a number of things, including how you view God, and how you think God might view you. I found myself putting the book down while reading it to ponder a few of the passages.
The main characters pain is this book is very vivid. It will be hard for anyone to read this book without shedding an occasional tear. I think it is impossible for a father to read it without the message really hitting home. I recommend this book for anyone who enjoys a good book or a good short story. I highly recommend this book for anyone who has had a real personal tragedy in their life and who might now need more answers. Anyone with a personal faith (Christian or not) or anyone seeking answers on their personal quest would do well to read this book.
Friday, October 17, 2008
It would appear that ACORN is in a lot of trouble. ACORN, the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now, is under investigation in a number of states for voter registration fraud. ACORN has recently claimed that it has registered some 1.3 million voters. These 1.3 million voters are allegedly mainly young people, minorities, and poor. I say allegedly because there is so many allegations of fraud, it is hard to get a handle on any true demographics. The majority of these "new voters" are thought to be Democrat voters.
I have done a number of searches now and it is hard to see just how many states have started investigating alleged voter fraud involving ACORN. Most sources quote ten to twelve states, and a few say as high as 15 states. Regardless of the number of states, there are enough allegations and investigations that the FBI is now getting involved.
It appears that a number of ACORN workers in a number of states were registering people multiple times (one guy was registered 75 times in one case) and in some states volunteers have just made up people. One volunteer was able to register the entire starting lineup for the Dallas Cowboys. Here are two quick examples:
Philadephia – Various Groups (including ACORN) submitted 252,595 registrations. 57,435 were rejected. Most of these rejections were submitted by ACORN. These rejections were for reasons such as fake social security numbers, obviously forged signatures, fake addresses and duplicate registrations.
Texas – In Harris County, ACORN submitted 35,000 voter registrations. Of those, 14,000 (about 40%) were rejected. According to the Houston Chronicle, "About half of the 14,000 ACORN applications that were rejected in Harris County were missing required information such as the potential voter's address, date of birth and Texas driver's license number, said Paul Bettencourt, the county's voter registrar and tax assessor-collector. Another 3,800 applicants already were registered to vote." The article notes that county election officials do not see any sign of obvious voter fraud. However the same article states that of the 4,000 applications submitted by the League of Women Voters, only 4 were duplicates. Of the 3,300 applications submitted by the Harris County Democratic Party, five were duplicates. Harris County election officials may not see anything suspicious, but considering the scale of numbers between the three groups, I do.
This is starting to look like a nationwide issue. If you do a Google search for "ACORN voter registration fraud" you find articles going back to 2007 and 2006 in addition to everything being written today. So why is this important?
The first issue is that you have an organization that receives tax dollars for community work fraudulently registering people to vote. You are paying to have this group attempt to steal votes. One guy is alleged to have registered 75 times. A co-worker of my wife asked, "Do you really think he was going to vote 75 times?" My response is, "Will he try to vote twice?" If he votes twice, we have a problem.
The second issue is that the Democratic Party's nominee has major ties to ACORN. Barack Obama has done work in the past with ACORN. He has received ACORN's endorsement for President. The Obama campaign has paid ACORN around $800,000.
It would appear that a number of ACORN works have been up to no good. Obama and his campaign have clear cut relationships with ACORN. Voters need to remember this as the election draws near.
Thursday, October 16, 2008
Trying to illustrate the differences between Obama and McCains economic plan, Biden says McCain is missing a three letter word: jobs. That's right J-O-B-S. If you want to cook some popcorn and enjoy the video, go here.
Now what would the media say if this had been Sarah Palin?
Tuesday, October 14, 2008
My name is Dan Frost. I live in Kokomo , Indiana . I'm 45 years old, a Christian, a husband, a father, a veteran, and a homeowner. I don't consider myself to be either conservative or liberal, and I vote for the person, not Republican or Democrat. I don't believe there are 'two Americas ' - but that every person in this country can be whomever and whatever they want to be if they'll just work to get there - and nowhere else on earth can they find such opportunities. I believe our government should help those who are legitimately downtrodden, and should always put the interests of America first.
The purpose of this message is that I'm concerned about the future of this great nation. I'm worried that the silent majority of honest, hard-working, tax-paying people in this country have been passive for too long. Most folks I know choose not to involve themselves in politics.. They go about their daily lives, paying their bills, raising their kids, and doing what they can to maintain the good life.
They vote and consider doing so to be a sacred trust. They shake their heads at the political pundits and so-called 'news', thinking that what they hear is always spun by whomever is reporting it. They can't understand how elected officials can regularly violate the public trust with pork barrel spending. They don't want government handouts. They want the government to protect them, not raise their taxes for more government programs.
We are in the unique position in this country of electing our leaders. It's a privilege to do so. I've never found a candidate in any election with whom I agreed on everything. I'll wager that most of us don't even agree with our families or spouses 100% of the time. So when I step into that voting booth, I always try to look at the big picture and cast my vote for the man or woman who is best qualified for the job.
I've hired a lot of people in my lifetime, and essentially that's what an election is - a hiring process.. Who has the credentials? Whom do I want working for me? Whom can I trust to do the job right?
I'm concerned that a growing number of voters in this country simply don't get it. They are caught up in a fervor they can't explain, and calling it 'change'.
Change what?, I ask.
Well, we're going to change America , they say.
In what way?, I query.
We want someone new and fresh in the White House, they exclaim.
So, someone who's not a politician?, I press.
Uh, well, no, we just want a lot of stuff changed, so we're voting for Obama, they state.
So the current system, the system of freedom and democracy that has enabled a man to grow up in this great country, get a fine education, raise incredible amounts of money and dominate the news and win his party's nomination for the White House - that system's all wrong?
No, no, that part of the system's okay - we just need a lot of change.
And so it goes. 'Change we can believe in.' Quite frankly, I don't believe that vague proclamations of change hold any promise for me. In recent months, I've been asking virtually everyone I encounter how they're voting. I live in Illinois , so most folks tell me they're voting for Barack Obama. But no one can really tell me why - only that he's going to change a lot of stuff. Change, change, change. I have yet to find one single person who can tell me distinctly and convincingly why this man is qualified to be President and Commander-in-Chief of the most powerful nation on earth- other than the fact that he claims he's going to implement a lot of change..
We've all seen the emails about Obama's genealogy, his upbringing, his Muslim background, and his church affiliations. Let's ignore this for a moment. Put it all aside. Then ask yourself, what qualifies this man to be my president? That he's a brilliant orator and talks about change?
Friends, I'll be forthright with you - I believe the American voters who are supporting Barack Obama don't have a clue what they're doing, as evidenced by the fact that not one of them - NOT ONE of them I've spoken to can spell out his qualifications. Not even the mostliberal media can explain why he should be elected.
Political experience? Negligible. Foreign relations? Non-existent. Achievements?
Name one. Someone who wants to unite the country? If you haven't read his wife's thesis from Princeton , look it up on the web. This is who's lining up to be our next First Lady? The only thing I can glean from Obama's constant harping about change is that we're in for a lot of new taxes.
For me, the choice is clear. I've looked carefully at the two leading applicants for the job, and I've made my choice.
Here's a question - where were you five and a half years ago?
Around Christmas, 2002. You've had five or six birthdays in that time.
My son has grown from a fourth grade child to a high school freshman.
Five and a half years is a good chunk of time. About 2,000 days. 2,000 nights of sleep.. 6, 000 meals, give or take.
John McCain spent that amount of time, from 1967 to 1973, in a North Vietnamese prisoner-of-war camp.
When offered early release, he refused it. He considered this offer to be a public relations stunt by his captors, and insisted that those held longer than he should be released first. Did you get that part? He was offered his freedom, and he turned it down. A regimen of beatings and torture began.
Do you possess such strength of character? Locked in a filthy cell in a foreign country, would you turn down your own freedom in favor of your fellow man? I submit that's a quality of character that is rarely found, and for me, this singular act defines John McCain.
Unlike several presidential candidates in recent years whose military service is questionable or non-existent, you will not find anyone to denigrate the integrity and moral courage of this man. A graduate of Annapolis, during his Naval service he received the Silver Star, Bronze Star, Purple Heart and Distinguished Flying Cross. His own son is now serving in the Marine Corps in Iraq . Barack Obama is fond of saying 'We honor John McCain's service...BUT...', which to me is condescending and offensive - because what I hear is, 'Let's forget this man's sacrifice for his country and his proven leadership abilities, and talk some more about change.'
I don't agree with John McCain on everything - but I am utterly convinced that he is qualified to be our next President, and I trust him to do what's right. I know in my heart that he has the best interests of our country in mind. He doesn't simply want to be President - he wants to lead America , and there's a huge difference.
Factually, there is simply no comparison between the two candidates. A man of questionable background and motives who prattles on about change can't hold a candle to a man who has devoted his life in public service to this nation, retiring from the Navy in 1981 and elected to the Senate in 1982.
Perhaps Obama's supporters are taking a stance between old and new. Maybe they don't care about McCain's service or his strength of character, or his unblemished qualifications to be President. Maybe 'likeability' is a higher priority for them than trust'. Being a prisoner of war is not what qualifies John McCain to be President of the United States of America - but his demonstrated leadership certainly DOES.
Dear friends, it is time for us to stand. It is time for thinking Americans to say, 'Enough..' It is time for people of all parties to stop following the party line. It is time for anyone who wants to keep America first, who wants the right man leading their nation, to start a dialogue with all their friends and neighbors and ask who they're voting for, and why.
There's a lot of evil in this world. That should be readily apparent to all of us by now. And when faced with that evil as we are now, I want a man who knows the cost of war on his troops and on his citizens. I want a man who puts my family's interests before any foreign country.
I want a President whose qualified to lead. I want my country back, and I'm voting for John McCain.
Daniel L. Frost Jr.
GySgt USMC Retired
Kokomo , IN
Saturday, October 11, 2008
Washington is truly a beautiful city. This visit has been a lot like a pilgrimage for me. I finished John Adams last night, and read Sarah by Kaylene Johnson today. The book is the story of Sarah Palin winning the Alaskan Governors race. She won by promising to use the state constitution as her guide.
With the problems we face in today's world, our elected officials seem to have forgotten why they are in Washington. I will leave this city tomorrow with a greater conviction in my own beliefs. Not my political beliefs, but in my beliefs in our country. I believe we need a radical wake up call in Washington for Republicans and Democrats alike. I believe that our founding fathers gave us the tools we need to continue to succeed in this world. I believe the American people have the talents and abilities to survive our economic crisis, and whatever else our world throws at us.
I believe it is time for us, as voters, to tell our officials they have forgotten how to do their job. It's time they remembered how, or got out of town.
I also believe this city is incredibly beautiful. I have really enjoyed my short vacation here, and I hope my readers stop in for a few days if they ever get the chance.
Friday, October 10, 2008
My wife and I did a lot of exploring and walking today. We started off at the Library of Congress. This building is really incredible. The ceiling and most of the inner viewing room is covered with paintings, mosaics, and sculptures. It is really incredible to see the history and just the art of the building. There are only two books are permanent display in the building, and they are both Bibles. Just a point for everyone to think about. If you ever go to Washington, make some time to see this building.
We then walked around the Capitol building again. I still can't get over its size, beauty, and "Majesty". The picture from above I took in the pool out in front of the Capitol.
We walked over to the Air and Space Museum and enjoyed it, though I think we really only saw a fraction of it. We also took in the National Portrait Gallery. It was very interesting. I am finishing David McCullough's John Adams, so I was very interested in many of the Presidential portraits. Considering our current economic crisis, I think I found some advice in the gallery for our current leaders...
Thursday, October 09, 2008
My wife and I then went to Union Station and had dinner. Finally, we strolled down to the capital. It was a great first day, but I may have walked seven to ten miles today. The metro is great, but some places you just have to walk. There were three things that really impressed me today.
The first was Arlington. I spent so long there because it was a very interesting place. The entire cemetery has a very peaceful feel. I saw most of the famous sites (JFK's tomb, Tomb of the Unknows), and a few I hadn't known were there (Monument to the Columbia, Monument to Women in Military Service).
The second was the Declaration of Independence. Words can't describe being in the presence of the documents at the National Archives. This was the one building I had to see in Washington. The Constitution is still very readable. However, the Declaration has faded almost entirely.
The third thing was the Capital building. Regardless of what you think of the people who work in the building, the building is very impressive to see in person. I had no idea just how big the building is, and it really is beautiful.
Monday, October 06, 2008
Thursday, October 02, 2008
This video is from The Mouth Piece
And from Naked Emperor News
Tuesday, September 30, 2008
As I write this post, it is the first day since Congress failed to pass the economic bailout plan. We were told all last week, all this weekend, and all day Monday, that something had to be done, and it had to be done quickly. When the $700 Billion bailout failed yesterday, the market continued a tank that had started that morning. However, this evening (or as I prefer to call it, Apocalypse +1), the market has rebounded some, and investors appear ready to see what Congress is going to do. Most Americans spent last week, this weekend, and yesterday, calling their elected officials with instructions not to vote for this bill, or look for a new job come this fall. Speaker Pelosi seemed eager to sink the bill when she launched a tirade on the House floor denouncing Republicans and the President. I think the last few days have taught has a few lessons.
First, we will survive if Congress doesn't hand over a $700 Billion check to someone who has no supervision on how to use it. Second, the market can handle Congress spending time looking at alternatives. And finally, most Americans don't like the idea of bailouts. It's against our nature. Most of us believe people should be allowed to succeed or fail on their own. One other lesson that is starting to become clear is that the people who got us into this mess (the Government) are probably not the best people to get us out of this mess.
Keeping all of this in mind, and the fact that I think less government involvement is almost always better; I thought I would present my own plan for success. Some of these approaches are controversial, some seem like common sense. I welcome your input. Who knows, maybe Congress will adopt the plan we come up with.
Point Number One: No More Bailouts. I realize the government has already said this, and then bailed another bank out, and then started asking for the "bail-out-to-end-all-bail-outs". This time we stick with it. A few companies or banks may have to fail for Wall Street to believe us, but if we stick with the message, they will believe.
Point Number Two: No More Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac. This is the first controversial point. I don't think the government, or an agency backed by the government, should be in the home loan business. I have searched through my copy of the Constitution and I can't find the Amendment that grants the right to "affordable housing". A business shouldn't be able to take risks and assume the taxpayers are going to bail them out. This can apply to point number one as well.
Point Number Three: No More Capital Gains Taxes. This is a temporary (maybe) item. Republicans last week started talking about a two year suspension of the capital gains tax. My plan takes it out to five years to make sure we nip this thing in the bud, and then would require a new vote to reinstitute it. Last week we saw two companies raise $10 Billion in one day each. Articles that I have read suggest these companies could have raised more if they had tried. Well run companies attract investors, and more money in the market to invest is a good thing.
Point Number Four: 5% Less Tax For Everyone. If I am doing my research right, the U.S. currently has six income tax brackets. The lowest one is 10% (single person earning less than $8,025 a year) and the highest is 35% (earning over $357,700 a year). My belief is the more money in the hands of people, the more money available to invest. I would cut each of these brackets by 5% (bringing the range to 5% on the low end and 30% on the high). This would be a permanent cut. If it gets us out of this mess, then I have proven myself right. The government was ready to hand over $700 Billion, they can just do without it instead.
These points are based on reading a number of articles, and some mental exercise on my part. I am not an economist, but neither are most members of Congress. I think more people would be willing to try this plan than the $700 blank check plan. Let me know your thoughts. I think we are as smart as the Congress, let's figure out the fix for ourselves.
Sunday, September 28, 2008
Unlike the MSM, the blogosphere has been alight with discussion of this interview. To read blogs on the far left, you would think that Mrs. Palin either (a) spoke in tongues, (b) threatened to invade Russia, or (c) asked a wheel chair bound person in the audience to stand up. I have watched the interview, and have included a link to CBS with the transcripts and a few clips.
I will be the first to admit it wasn't her best interveiw. In all fairness, Katie Couric was a bit hostile and interrupted her a few times. However, any politician is going to have to deal with that from time to time. A couple of the answers Mrs. Palin gave were tough to follow, and she tripped over her own tongue once or twice. However, I also thought she made a few good points. During the interview, she pointed out that the American people were waiting to see what McCain did during this crisis. When Katie points out that Obama has gotten a boost in the polls from the latest crisis, Sarah gives a great response:
I'm not looking at poll numbers. What I think Americans at the end of the day are going to be able to go back and look at track records and see who's more apt to be talking about solutions and wishing for and hoping for solutions for some opportunity to change, and who's actually done it?
Some on the left have looked as this interivew and have said they are truly afriad of Sarah Palin. They are beside themselves that John McCain would pick her to be his Vice President. Was the interview a good interview for her? It was "ok", but not great. But it also doesn't deserve the panic stricken response from blogs on the left. She will have others that will be better, and she has given better interviews. If this is the worse interview she ever gives, she, and Senator McCain, will have nothing to worry about.
Thursday, September 25, 2008
I have been spending some time this week reading up on the economic crisis. I have been struggling with the question of if I believe our Congress should give the Executive branch a $700 Billion check. Proponents say if we don't do it, then our economy (and the economy of the rest of the world) will collapse. Opponents say that bailing out the market is irresponsible, will saddle taxpayers with a huge debt, will devalue our dollar further (thus hurting our economy and the world's), and may not fix the problem. Some have argued for other solutions such as suspending the capital gains tax for two years. They argue that there is private capital out there waiting for the right price to jump in. Warren Buffets infusion to the market of $5 Billion yesterday sure seems to give this argument some weight. What is the right answer? Honestly, I think all of the arguments have their strong points and their weak points. The bailout check would be used to buy up bad mortgages. Managed correctly (which I don't know if the government can do) this could actually return a profit to the government and to taxpayers. I am always a fan of removing taxes and getting private capital flowing, but is suspending the capital gains tax for two years enough to get that money moving? If we have learned nothing from the Great Depression, we should have learned two lessons. First, business and the market hate uncertainty. It scares them. Businesses will hold on to money, and not invest, until they are sure what the government plans to do. Second, passing laws just to pass laws can sometimes make matters worse. What if giving the Fed's a $700 billion check simply delays a much worse crash?
My wife made me watch Glenn Beck last night. If you didn't see it, you should go look for it on CNN or YouTube. I found the transcript for the show here. If I am recommending you view a CNN program, you really should sit up and take note. Glenn Beck had former Shell Oil executive John Hofmeister on and asked viewers to call in to ask any question they wanted of Mr. Hofmeister. Mr. Hofmeister has a new organization called Citizens for Affordable Energy. While watching that episode, and talking to my wife about the economic crisis and the energy crisis I realized we haven't come up with the correct solution yet because we haven't asked the right question yet. The right question is: When are we going to start legislating like adults, and not like children who just want to feel good?
Go look for articles on the economic crisis. Most of them blame it on the "Sub prime mortgages" or "bad mortgages" or "questionable lending". This is code speak for "loans that were given to people who should have never gotten a loan in the first place." Congress encouraged / forced banks to give loans to people who wouldn't have qualified for them. They did it under the guise of "making homes affordable for everyone." This is the problem. Any sane adult should be able to take a step back and look at the world and realize there are people in this world who will never be able to afford a home. There are charities that have as their goal fixing this. This is a noble goal. However, it isn't a realistic one, and it isn't one our government should be legislating to fix.
Another example is Polar Bears. How? Simple. Recently our government, under the evil George Bush, placed Polar Bears on the threatened species list. Bear in mind (no pun intended) that the worldwide Polar bear populations are at a high point. There are now more Polar Bears in the world than at any point in the twentieth century. Why did they get placed on the threatened species list? Because it "felt good".
We can't drill in water closer than 50 to 100 miles from our shores. Even though the most productive oil rigs are within the 50 mile mark, congress has decided we shouldn't drill there. Why? Sun bathers don't like to see oil rigs. What if there is an accident? Who will protect the birds? The safety record of the oil industry is actually pretty impressive. You have heard of a few spills, but by and large, oil is moved around this country every day and the only time we hear about it is when our gas prices go up. For those of you who think we can get rid of oil and replace it with solar or wind power, you are living in a pipe dream. If you think political environmentalist are going to let you construct wind and solar energy "plants" you haven't been paying attention. Already there are concerns with wind mills killing migratory birds. Sane adults can pass a comprehensive energy plan that uses oil, coal, nuclear, solar, wind, hydro and anything else we can safely squeeze energy out of.
What about our tax code? Here is a colossal waste. We have a cumbersome tax code that is designed to make the wealthiest people in the United States give their money to the "poor". Think Robin Hood with a gun and the federal government. We don't tax business and individuals to keep the government running and for the government to do those things the Constitution gives it power to do. We tax to try and earn votes, and because it "feels good" to stick it to the wealthy and to Big Business. What this really does is to drive businesses over seas and to take money from the people who might be able to bail us out of our current financial troubles.
I have great faith in the American people. At some point, Americans are going to wake up and tell their representatives to start passing laws like adults and not like 60's era hippies. When that happens, you will see a real energy policy, a tax code that makes sense, and as Glenn Beck would say, the few surviving hippies running for the hills while the rest of us chase them there with torches, cell phones, and SUV's.
Sunday, September 21, 2008
Saturday, September 20, 2008
The book looks like it will be a perfect tour guide to Washington, D.C. It is written as a walking tour of some very prominent places in the capitol. It has selected photos, and a map. While thumbing through my copy, I found a quote I thought I would share here.
from the generosity of the state
but from the hand of God."
-President John F. Kennedy
Food for thought...
Tuesday, September 16, 2008
I have asked a number of my more liberal friends what they think about Sarah Palin. One complaint I have heard is that they are afraid of her being, “a heartbeat away from the Presidency”. None of the people who have made this comment seem to understand what would happen if McCain were elected and died in office. I thought I would give a quick civics lesson to explain the order of succession.
Let’s assume for the sake of argument that McCain and Palin win in November. They then take office in January, and begin the McCain presidency. If McCain dies in office (or is removed from office) Vice President Palin would then become President. Most people understand this. It is the next step that many people don’t understand.
The order of succession for the U.S. President starts with the Vice President. If for some reason the Vice President is unable to fill the spot, it passes to the Speaker of the House, then the President Pro Tempore of the Senate and on down the line. So, in the “parlance” of today, Vice President Dick Cheney is “one heart beat from the Presidency”; Nancy Pelosi is two; and Robert Byrd is three. I think a President Palin is much preferable to a President Pelosi or President Byrd. Many people assume the Vice Presidency follows this order of succession. In this line of thinking, if President Bush was to die in office, Dick Cheney would become President, and Nancy Pelosi would be Vice President. However, that isn’t the way it works.
According to Amendment 25 of the U.S. Constitution:
Whenever there is a vacancy in the office of the Vice President, the President shall nominate a Vice President who shall take office upon confirmation by a majority vote of both Houses of Congress.
The 25th Amendment has been used twice in our history. The first was when Nixon’s VP, Spiro Agnew, resigned. In that case, Nixon named Gerald Ford as Vice President, and the Congress approved. When Nixon resigned, Ford became President and nominated Nelson Rockefeller for VP, and again the choice was confirmed.
In our example from the beginning, if President McCain was removed from office, Vice President Palin would become President Palin. She would then submit to Congress the name of a possible Vice President. If Congress approved, that person would become Vice President. Both Obama and Palin have had their experience level criticized by the opposing party. Obama decided to name Sen. Biden as his running mate to give him someone with lots of experience in the VP position. If Palin were to become President, she could do the same thing.
I hope this amateur civics lesson helped. Class is now dismissed.