Friday, July 27, 2012

Understanding and Protecting the 2nd Amendment

The 2nd amendment grants every American citizen in good standing the right to keep and bear arms.

  Throughout history governments had kept this right exclusively for themselves and used it to control their citizens. In fact it was only in America that such rights were actually written into the Constitution by the Founders and flow directly to the citizens.
The Founders had a reasonable fear that the nation that they had struggled so hard to build would at some time in the future become enslaved by a tyrannical government.  They felt strongly that armed citizens would be insurance against that possibility.  That is why the writers of the Constitution established the 2nd Amendment.  It protects the future of our freedoms.  Here are just a few examples of their thoughts
Daniel Webster- “Before a standing army can rule, the people must be disarmed; as they are in almost every kingdom in Europe”

George Mason- reminding his compatriots of England's efforts "to disarm the people; that it was .the most effectual way to enslave them”.

George Washington- “Firearms are second only to the Constitution in importance; they are the peoples' liberty's teeth”.

Thomas Jefferson – “No free man shall ever be debarred the use of arms. The strongest reason for the people to retain the right to keep and bear arms is, as a last resort, to protect themselves against tyranny in government"

There are many ways foolish politicians that along with the media are against this important amendment.  They ignore its critical purpose and try to end its effectiveness. The vast majority of Americans have wisely and strongly resisted them. Surrendering this important right is unthinkable to most Americans, It should remain so.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Austerity Hawks are Bringing the Europe Union To Its Knees

The focus of the austerity hawks is on banks’ balance sheets-- not creating wealth through real productive achievements. There is little attention being paid to developing a broader, people sensitive programs that are tuned for the growth (not shrinkage) of the specific economies. As one result of its continued emphasis on austerity the European Union (EU) is faced with a recession that crosses 27 member countries. There is severe social unrest in many of them.

Austerity is not synonymous with efficiency. It creates social unrest that works against any possible improvement in efficiency. Funds sitting on a bank’s balance sheet will not increase demand or wealth unless applied to real projects. Austerity is a clumsy attempt at a pure financial fix when a more subtle correction in governance is required. The only way to real growth is intelligent effort and productive labor.

To beat a recession you must get the wheels of productivity generating cash flow and demand for its products. Bank balance sheets mean nothing unless they are providing the resources needed for the excitement of a producing free market. The prime task of the financial sector of each country should be to ensure that the resources and attitude the population needs to efficiently operate in a productive mode are available.

There is a substantial difference between economic growth and the damage caused by the politically inspired elimination of services that accompany austerity programs Focusing on creating wealth rather than destroying it seems a far superior approach It does require gaining real value from your national resources, including the labor of citizens.

We will have a chance to compare results of a growth based economic solution as opposed to austerity oriented plans. The French Socialist Party has just won a strong victory in France, replacing the austerity oriented UMP Party as President and Head of Parliament. They now have their sought for mandate to push for growth strategies, not austerity measures, to battle the Eurozone’s debt crisis. Although results will be influenced by many factors this could be an important data source in a complex problem that no one fully understands. We need to play close attention to how it performs.

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Here Are the Some Questions For the Candidates

It is very annoying to get one of those phony political surveys in an official looking package that claims to be interested in gaining your opinion on a list of self serving questions.  Then, as you reach the point where you are ready to submit your opinion you find that they want a political donation for $50 to $500. Off course it is the donation, not your opinion,  that they really want. It is easy to visualize them ripping the check off your opinion submission and throwing the opinion part into the trash.

We know the characteristics we wish to find in our elected representatives but they never seem to be there in our two party offerings. This year I intend to return the following note to each of the “surveys” I receive:

Thank you for your interest in my views on items which our critical to our county.  I have taken the liberty to provide a listing of a few of my specific issues along with a few explanatory comments.  If you or your office would respond that you plan actions that are in essential agreement with these items I would be very likely to support you with my vote and contribution.

I am looking for a candidate who would:
Push the government to take aggressive actions to revive the economy.
When there are trillions of dollars worth of necessary investment grade infrastructure works to be done and millions of people looking for the work there is no excuse for the government not to arrange the financing.  That the work remains undone is a tremendous failure on the part of the two party system, Congress, and the Administration.  This past failure may preclude my voting for an incumbent.
Not be a believer in some ill thought-out austerity program rather than economic growth.
Knee jerk cost cutting based upon political rather than economic goals is the only kind of deficit reduction this Congress knows.  Having accomplished outrageous damage to our present economic environment Congress is now preparing to destroy the future.  This must not happen.
Maintaining a carefully managed defense that cannot be directly challenged by any totalitarian government but not unwisely used.
We must continue to apply the very hard lesson from our WWII experience where lack of preparedness allowed unthinkable tragedies to occur while the allies were building up the arms required to stop a psychopath dictator.  During the early period of unchallenged German success 15 European countries were occupied and over 50 million people killed as a result of Nazi actions.  In addition millions of the conquered populations were placed in concentration camps and slavery to the German war machine.   “The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich” by William L. Shirir is recommended reading that documents the horror of showing any weakness in dealing with an aggressive psychopathic dictator. 
We performed the same preventive service in the defeat of Japan, and the Soviet Union.  We were the only democracy powerful enough to have stopped these identified aggressive and expansionist fascist regimes. However, if the opposition would be fighting on its native soil against an “invader” US the chance for lone term success is small. We must learn to avoid the responsibility of wars of this latter type no matter how noble our intentions.
 Strong on reforming the financial sector
We are letting the financial sector buy into aggressive activities that do not support useful growth.  This is placing hardships on the citizens and wasting our resources.  It must be stopped and the financial sector returned to its appropriate supportive role.
Do nothing that will reduce existing rights of citizens 
Our country is defined most strongly by its respect for personal rights. They must be continually defended as our greatest treasure.  Our 2nd amendment stands out as a strong example of a unique right of the US that is under continual attack. There is no reason to give up any personal rights to our current government.  My expectations are to keep 2nd amendment rights free of any United Nations interference and a strict policy of protection of all other constitutional citizen rights
 Minimum government involvement in Gay marriage
There is nothing in the Constitution or discussions among the founders that would support having the government define marriage.  If secular, marriage between gays should be treated like a normal contract between adults.  If religious, the church should decide on its’ specific religious components.
Revision of the special privileged practices of Congress
You cannot find a citizen that is not outraged at the special privileges and ego boosting management privileges that Congress has voted itself.  The candidate should strongly support proposed any amendment that precludes special privileges for congress.
Runs a truthful campaign with a career record of honesty
Without truth we can never make wise decisions.  Candidates who falsely direct our actions using untruthful information must not be elected.
As a special note I am sure you realize how our non-performing Congress has become a serious problem to our democracy. I don’t believe that our Founders anticipated that Congress would ever be run by an entrenched two-political party system whose primary interest was in itself rather than the country.  This has been true for over 100 years but the situation has come to the point that is doing severe damage to our democracy. We have elections as the way to correct the situation, but need candidates which are independent thinkers.  I hope you will be one.

Friday, April 20, 2012

Convictions Are More Dangerous Enemies of Truth Than Lies

The quotation in the title is by the philosopher Nietzche.  It clearly explains what has happened in the US political environment.  Our two-party system is devoted to creating convictions that are displacing truth.  We are being served convictions consisting of self-serving lies and misrepresentations with an absolute minimal backup of truth.  It is almost impossible for the citizenry to pick out the pure truth that is necessary for wise decision making.  They are confused.

It is difficult to imagine how the country will finally work itself back to health without a major influx of truth into our political campaigning.  However, neither the political parties nor the media seem interested in this happening.
One site, .FactCheck., founded in 2003. and supported by the Annenberg Foundation is a leader in focusing on examining modern political statements for truth.  It does this by applying tough journalism and scholarship to both parties’ releases.Spend some time at the FactCheck site and you will be amazed at the level  of misleading information  detected in releases by both parties that is not challenged by the traditional media. Also impressive is the effort of FactCheck to remove bias from their analysis.

The lock the political parties have on our election process is very harmful to our country. Congress must be turned independent.  This will be difficult if the public only receives confusing and self serving information from the two parties.  That is the situation now.

There are those who feel that lying for political gain in no less serious than lying for financial gain or to a federal agent, both of which are illegal.  On the other hand it is very disturbing to have the government involved at all with regulating political speech.
Like most reforms, the only solution is a more diligent and better informed citizen. Maybe someday politicians will issue their statements accompanied by a FactCheck stamp.

Wednesday, April 04, 2012

Event Overreach Junkies Are Bad for the Country

I don’t have a firm count on how many there actually are, but it seems that every time a national event calling for careful judgment occurs hordes of these specialists appear with crowds of demonstrators and TV appearances to amplify the situation into a national emergency.

The triggering environment always has at least three characteristics. The first is that the truth is not yet known. Secondly they stress that we must act immediately and as directed before the truth is known. Thirdly the situation must provide the media with at least several weeks to promote turmoil before wiser minds will prevail. It is an additional attraction if the situation can be used to promote otherwise rejected legislation.

When these forces are present someone, somewhere, makes the decision that the event qualifies for national media exposure. This means that the media is about to make a bad situation much, much worse! We are about to be swamped with sanctimonious opinions of TV analysts and numerous talk show appearances all ranting again some chosen villain. There will be pre-truth demands for justice. If possible the event will be politicized. There will also be a tsunami of bias, exaggeration and half truths. Truth that is counter to the main show is not presented. The majority of the media is happiest when in the truth-free portion of its act it can somehow assign guilt to American racism.

After some time the appointed villains eventually find some space to present their views. Although earlier implanted images are difficult to replace hopefully the truth as to their guilt or innocence finally prevails.

Unfortunately this habit of presenting what is falsely called news as truth in the early stages is very harmful to the nation. Making good decisions requires truth as input. Because it is used to lead you away from truth, the biased and invented news of the early stage is worse than none at all. Many people made their decisions early and don’t readily revise them. It certainly reflects badly on those who use it as a common tool.

What can we do to make it more difficult to deceive us in these early stages? Remember that truth will stay consistent for several levels of information while deception drops out after a few questions. Ask your own questions before reaching an opinion.

Monday, March 26, 2012

Democratically Rebuilding Congress

The 2012 Congressional elections will indeed be strange. Many incumbents of the worst Congresses in our nation’s history will have the nerve to try to convince you to re-elect them. It is critical that those who have contributed to the abysmal 9% approval rating of the 112th Congress are not returned to office.

This election is our first chance to begin the path to a productive Congress. Unfortunately the process that is in place was designed to greatly favor the candidates of the two political parties that failed us in the first place. Our two party system offers only one individual to serious consider for replacing a incumbent. If you are fortunate there might also be some occasional seriously underfunded independent candidates.

It may take several election cycles until we have a Congress that will make the necessary reforms. This makes the quality of those that are selected this time extremely important. It will set serious standards for our future. A strong statement by the voters will certainly speed up the transition.

What are the characteristics a replacement candidate Senator or Congressman should show? For starters, basic intelligence, honesty and a respect for truth will go a long way. A dishonest campaign is a marker for a dishonest candidate. Criticism of an opponent should be factual and specific. A campaign based on deceit and half truths must be rejected.

I personally intend to also look for these addional characteristics:

Strong intentions to solve the country’s problems and improve quality of life by actions. Not a bean counter in full retreat.

Strong supporter of bi-partisan actions that support the goals covered in the introduction to the Constitution, regardless of party or special interest implications.

Dedicated to ending money and introduce qualifications as controlling factors in our democracy.

Willingness to study and understand the basics of our current financial system as preparation for knowledgeable reform.

Supports a long term plan to reduce deficits when the economy stabilizes.

Supports conducting a public review with the subsequent elimination of inefficient Congressional administrative practices.

End special privileges for Congressional, Judicial, and Administration staff.
Will I find candidates who meet my criteria? I hope so. They would certainly go a long ways toward ending the Congressional management disasters well recognized by conservatives, moderates, and liberals alike. Maybe we then could turn this ship away from the existing governing icebergs that endanger us all.

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Support of UN Small Arms Treaty Will Cost Democrats Plenty of Votes

One of the prevailing strengths of the Republican Party, (but not all Republicans) has been its support for the very popular 2nd Amendment. This is the amendment that protects the right of American citizens to keep and bear arms. Our founders insisted upon it to approve the original constitution. It is uniquely American. Unlike many of the other amendments this is one about which that the public remains adamant. They are not going to surrender the rights it grants to an inept elected government. Pro-control Democrats, however, do not seem to realize to what extent this is true. It may cost the party dearly in the next election.


Governments, dictators, and kings have always feared citizen access to firearms. The US Constitution is unique among nations in that citizen ownership of firearms is protected. However, there is a small and insistent element of the US and global establishment that has continually attempted to weaken this amendment by generally ignoring it. Supreme Court decisions which reinforce the power of the amendment are putting an end to this practice.

As citizen confidence in the elected government has plummeted the right to keep and bear arms has gained soaring strength with the citizens. 2011 was a record year for US firearm sales to civilians. In spite of biased support from the main stream media advocating increased firearm control remains political suicide for politicians in all but a very few states. This is one area where the people are drawing the line against a self serving government. A recent Gallup poll showed that 70% of the population opposes any further attempts by the government at gun control.

Wrong Actions

Unfortunately the destruction of this amendment has become a hardened goal of the liberal wing of the Democratic Party. Years ago a damaging quote from a prominent California Democratic Senator, (Dianne Feinstein), shocked a lot of Americans. She said that she looked forward to the day that only the police and military would have access to firearms. She would bide her time until that was politically possible. She is still a Senator and those statements have not been rescinded by the party..

Unable to elect a Congress that will serve their purpose, a new attempt is being made by the anti-2nd Amendment throng. It is through the forthcoming UN treaty on small arms. Although the draft is not yet officially released it is described by this article in Forbes Magazine. You can see that the elements which have been successfully defeated in the US are prominent in the proposed treaty.

The National Rifle Association has over 4 million members while what is left of the Brady anti firearm organization is almost negligible. In no way do any anti-gun organizations approach the energy or membership of the NRA and the several other organizations supporting protection of the 2nd amendment. They include many citizens who would normally be voting Democratic but now vote Republican. Opposing the 2nd amendment is an obvious losing proposition for the Democrats –but they continue to do so.

The Results

The Constitution wisely requires a two thirds approval vote by the Senate to ratify a treaty. The current Congress is strongly against granting the UN any authority over the 2nd amendment. 45 Republican and 12 Democratic senators have already signed a letter saying that they will not approve of any treaty that infringes upon American gun rights. But strangely, the UN small arms treaty program remains supported by the Obama administration. It is being reported that Clinton has promised to take the treaty before the US Senate.

A Sportsman site has been established and recommended by Guns and Ammo magazine with the goal of leading a balanced discussion and review of Presidential candidates’ position on sportsman issues. It appeared to be an opportunity for the Democrats to start to shed their anti-2nd amendment reputation by distancing themselves from the treaty and showing respect for the 2nd amendment. They would be in a much stronger position by focusing on other critical issues such as jobs and energy.

Their support of the UN small arms treaty proposal eliminates this possibility. The American citizens will not cede any control of the 2nd amendment to the UN. Support of the treaty by the administration will further mark it as anti-2nd amendment. No amount of spin can reverse that. It will work against the positives that the Democratic Party should be pursuing and create additional momentum for the Republicans.

An opportunity missed and now gone.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

The US Congress is an Embarrassment to Democracy

In his introduction to the Federal Papers Alex Hamilton made the following statement.

“It has been frequently remarked that it seems to have been reserved to thepeople of this country, by their conduct and example, to decide the importantquestion whether societies of men are really capable or not of establishing good government from reflection and choice, or rather are they forever destined todepend for their political constitutions on accident and force.”
At the time of his statement the success of a democratic government was widely felt to be impractical. There were no democracies. Outside force was required to maintain existing governments. American had a hugh responsibility to prove that people could govern themselves without a king or dictator.

Through the 20th century Americans could proudly proclaim that they were proving their point. Although there were problems their democratic system was effectively governing itself. As we began to absorb the 21st century however the failure of our legislative branch became obvious. It is beholden to moneyed special interests and completely remote from the responsibility of guardian of the public good envisioned by the founders.

Sadly, our system is also is locked into a two party system that greatly restricts the citizens’ ability to replace the offenders. Congress currently has an approval rating of only 9% and is generally felt to be the most inefficiently managed in US history. To reach this sorry state we have ignored the basic advice first given to a Chinese city government over 2600 years ago by a student of Confucius .

“The greatest fortune of a people would be to keep ignorant persons from public
office, and secure their wisest men to rule them.”
Because wisdom brings truth and honor while ignorance brings lack of understanding and disaster this is a must for a long term government. It is difficult to maintain if the voting population accepts ignorance. If you follow current Congressional hearings you will be shocked by the level of ignorance that is displayed. This is reflected directly into performance. It must be corrected if we are to reach the long term success that Hamilton was seeking. Although some obviously ignorant candidates were defeated in 2010 elections there also were many elected.

Voters must now face the aggression of the superpacs. They thrive on voter ignorance and our inability to identify half truths. They are only available to moneyed candidates and are generally pushed by narrow minded ideologues. They are a great source of revenue to the media.

We are indeed facing a challenge to the question of can democracy survive or is it being replaced by a pseudo democracy that cannot govern itself. We must all pull hard to keep the 2012 election worthy of our obligations for the future. This requires a special attention to truth, a rejection of ignorance, and detailed attention to the general good of the citizens. Above all, investigate the voting record before you vote for an incumbent.

Monday, February 13, 2012

Post Constitutional Rule Making- A Conspiracy Against The Majority?

This Congress has proven one thing-the system as it is now being implemented doesn’t work. Congress, with a public approval of only 11%, has become useless in solving the nation’s problems. Further, the problem is not with the Constitution but the post constitutional rulemaking of Congress. To understand the situation you must consider that there are really two sets of rules running our country. This article gives some useful details.

The Federal Constitution contains first of all a set of rules that are the constitutional law behind congressional procedure. These are rules that regulate the operations of the government as directly specified in the document. To change these rules requires an amendment of the Constitution in the manner specified in the document itself. The second sets are procedures also necessary for governance but which are too voluminous to be specifically written into the Constitution by the Founders themselves. Ideally these procedures should provide the detailed follow-up required to implement the Constitution. They are established by subsequent legislatures and should follow the general intent of the founders. Establishing this boundary is difficult and was worked on diligently by the Founders. Unfortunately subsequent Congresses have created a management nightmare that has had a terrible effect on how we are operating our government. It is not the constitutional rules set by the Founders but the inept post-constitutional rule making that has brought our Congress down to a 11%approval rating.

We need only look at a few examples. One set of rules which has brought the organization to a halt is the requirement for a supermajority for too many actions. The Founders after long discussion decided on a 2/3 majority in overriding a veto and expelling a member and 3/4 of states in a constitution amendment. None of these requirements are affecting the management of Congress. Unfortunately future legislatures set an excessive number of actions requiring a supermajority in subsequent operating rules and procedures. This has created major operating problems where nothing can be passed.

If you look into the Constitution you find nothing about committee rules with chairman being appointed by political party; nothing about 60% required to override a filibuster; or of Congress taking all of the special privileges it has granted to itself. There are no provisions for the senatorial courtesy feature such as a single senator holding up an appointment. All of these anti-democratic actions that grant excessive power to a few over the majority are purely the work of post Constitution legislators-and far from the very democratic nature of the Constitution.

With such a terrible legacy of inefficient and bad management that has allowed a few to paralyze the majority Congress has become useless. There is indeed a necessity for an audit and review of the post-constitutional rules and procedures that have destroyed the Congress as a legislative body. That report should then be presented to the citizens for action.

Sunday, January 29, 2012

The Nations Problems-Now Listed For Action

One of the most discouraging items of this problem ridden recession has been the feebleness of the Government’s low energy attempt at fixing the problems. There is a characteristic dance. Democrats propose a greatly lobbied-down correction. This is criticized by a bloc of Republicans. The democratic response to the criticism is to then forget the whole idea and disappear. In spite of the seriousness of the times essentially no action has been taken by Congress.

The nation therefore essentially has given up on the Washington elected government. Neither the Democrats nor Republicans seem to have any driving concern for the citizen welfare. We have been left alone with a large and unanswered need to restore the economy and prepare our country for future global competition.

There is a long list of critical tasks. Some examples are:

Restore a weakened manufacturing sector and balance our trade

Regain control of the financial sector and return it to its proper role

Resolve the paradox of a deteriorating infrastructure with the large unemployment of construction workers

Provide all citizens with an education opportunity suitable for future global competition

Develop an immigration policy that will strengthen the US

Control corporate special interest influences on legislation

Adjust the Department of Defense to reflect changes in threats and warfare.

Establish an equitable trade agreement with China

Somehow gain a functional Congress.
The State of the Union address was a pleasant surprise. Finally the President identified the problems and explicitly recognized actions aimed at addressing them. He pleaded for congressional cooperation and promised to take the issue directly to the people of the country if no cooperation was forthcoming. Let us hope.

A CBS poll taken at the completion of the presentation showed unheard of approval Ninety one percent (91%) of the citizens that heard the speech favored taking the actions discussed.

A Gallup poll analyzed the proposed actions item by item and also showed how strongly the public favored the proposed actions.

The suffering and disillusioned public is begging for action. So far this Congress has taken none. It is doubtful that the current Congress will change its useless ways. Hopefully the items will be brought up item by item so the voters can observe the votes and take appropriate action on Election Day.

Then perhaps the restoration of a great country can begin

Friday, January 13, 2012

Simple Missions That Morphed Into Monsters

An income greedy financial sector, corrupt political parties, and bean counter corporations are all having lethal effects on the countries welfare.

All three areas once had a specific limited service to contribute to the country. Over the years, however, they have been allowed to expand their activities and boundaries to the point where they have become self serving and are now harmful to the economy, our democracy and our welfare  They have done this by abandoning service to the country and its citizens and focusing instead on creating in-house benefits. This has been accomplished with the full complicity of our elected government. All of these activities have been gained through expansion of their activities outside of constitutional requirements.

The Constitution granted Congress responsibility for the fiscal activities of the country. The Congress utilized private sources to assist it to perform specific functions and to assist in ensuring that funding was available to companies and citizens for productive use. Because they are managing national funds their focus should not be maximizing their own profits. This situation has reversed itself and these functions are now managed by central banks that are corporations focused on creating revenue for themselves, not for the productive sectors of our economy. Combine this with lax overview by the Government and we have hugh misallocation of funds misdirection of national goals, and financial disasters.

The Constitution does not mention political parties. Their potential for doing harm was warned by several founding fathers, including Thomas Jefferson, Geoge Washington, and John Adams. This was done on the fear that it would create primary loyalties to the party instead of the general welfare. This has proven to be true. There is a natural tendency of citizens to start groups that would organize to jointly advocate their position for pending legislation. Now, however we have only two parties that have been jointly untouchable in power for over 150 years. They have become a major anti-democracy factor by their tight control of the selection process that determines the candidates that are finally presented to the citizens. Their control of the elected government has allowed them to define an election process that greatly favors the current system. The result is that our election process is governed by two private organizations that have their primary loyalty to themselves rather than the nation

Reflecting the feelings that English corporations had been exploiting the colonies in the days before independence corporations in early America were rare, They were treated as unique organizations formed for a special business activity, such as building a canal. They are not mentioned in the Constitution and were initially solely a state responsibility. They were forbidden to become involved in politics. Over 200 years of mainly Supreme Court decisions have reversed this to give them all rights of a natural person and the right to use their profits `to exert enormous power over our legislative and electoral processes. To restore our democracy all three institutions must be put back into their proper position in relation to national governance.

The financial sector must be put back in the position of a service to the productive elements of the economy and not focused on non productive attempts to increase its own revenues.

Political parties must be reduced to equality as one of many organizations promoting candites and have no special advantages over unaffiliated candidates.

Corporations likewise must be focused on producing useful services and products, not on government and electoral process manipulation for special privileges.

These corrections will be difficult and take time. All three institutions will fight strongly to preserve their positions. It will only happen with an overwhelming demand from the citizens. It will require a drastic reduction of the funds that can be applied to influencing the government and elections.