Tag Archives: Federalism

Pathway To A Better State–Part 2, Structure

The basic case was made in the first installment of this series that it has become time to call a Constitutional Convention by the States and restructure the US in a fundamental way so that there will be two new nations with sovereignty over their own affairs.  This is viewed as a logical and more peaceful means to a long-term resolution of the polarization of the US that is so painfully evident today.  It is proffered that those divides cannot and will not be joined by mutually acceptable values and goals.   The separate visions of the country torment us and increase hostility by the opposing sides.  We do want to take pride in our nation.  No doubt of that.  Buy many abhor the nation that promotes Obamacare, wants an aggressive and growing EPA and a Labor Dept. bent on crushing management at ever turn.  The Right has no trust in  such a government.  There is in fact a lack of loyalty to that kind of government; it is viewed as the enemy more than fellow citizens.  The vehemence of the Left is just as strong.  Look only to the recent “Occupy” movement.   They worship government as long as they can control it and the wealth and assets of the nation.  Let them have their sway as long as it is in their own backyard and not ours.  The Left definitely believes they would be better off without the Right.  They view the Right as a burden they have to overcome and an impediment to all their goals.  We don’t have to be at constant war with each other.  There is a better way.

Yes, we share some nostalgic moments of mutual beliefs like the anthem at the football games and the flyover.  But as soon as we discuss the size, scope and role of the Federal government we part and have been parting for decades.  As that famous philosopher Yogi Berra observed our similarities are different.   Yes, making this peaceful division will be difficult but does anyone believe it will prove more difficult than reconciling our Left and Right under current circumstances and political structure?   The Left disdains and belittles the Right as yokels and obstacles to their goal for “progressive” government control of an ever-expanding role for Federal government in all aspect of one’s life literally from cradle to grave as has been their announced intention since FDR.  The Right rebels at the notion of greater Federal government intervention into local government decisions and personal decisions from health care to environmental concerns.
Each would be much happier without the other.

The new nations would divide along geographic lines that are mostly self-evident.  Each would preserve the basic Constitution as written with only minor adjustments.  For example, and example only, the Right portion of the new America would probably adopt a balance budget amendment of some sort.   The Left would not want that.  Good, each would finally achieve their desires.  The three branches of government would remain in tact for each nation and so would the Bill of Rights.  So would virtually all the other amendments in all likelihood.  At least in the new Right America, the 14th amendment might be modified a bit to more clearly define citizenship or maybe not.  That is what is nice about this new structure a chance for each side to set its own future course and agenda.   Each side would have its own divisions within.  Every supporter of the Left does not agree with all the Left agenda.  Bernie Sanders might be a bit too far left for some in New York.  They can work out their differences as they see fit without concern for the views of those of the Right in “fly over” country.   Likewise there will be disagreements on the Right about various issues.  Rand Paul wouldn’t concur with the views of a Mitch McConnell on all matters.  That is ok.  Each side would be working with those who are much more closely aligned with their over view of the US than having to deal with those from the other side.  The current path leads to tragic civil disorder and certain economic collapse.  That is not hyperbole.  What else can result when the two sides don’t want to work with each other and don’t even share common goals.

The world will not come to an end when this is done.  Each side is confident in its vision of the future and they will be free to pursue it.  Each will have a Federal government and states unless the Left decides to just eliminate them which many would love to do now anyway.  Each would have its own economic agenda and tax policy.  The judiciaries would reflect the will of both Left and Right in their respective new nations.  That alone will be an enormous relief to both sides.  Each would have its own military force but strong mutual defense treaties in all likelihood.  Trade and commerce could flow freely between the new borders which would benefit both.   But make no mistake you would be a citizen of one or the other so than the votes and political wishes of each new nation would reflect the will of its people and no other.   Yes, there are many questions that come to mind on these matters just stated and more.  The above and others will be addressed in later postings in detail.  Those issues and “problems” can be resolved.  After all we started from scratch in the late 18th century with none of the vast advantages we currently enjoy.  That worked out pretty well for over two centuries.  Each of the new nations can have a bright future due to the more harmonious political environment.  Not a perfect one but more closely matching the wishes of its populace.  The bonds of union are tattered because there two distinct and conflicting views for future growth and political action and the proper role of Federal government.  This is not a call to rebellion but a call for a legal method to recognize the wishes of the people of both Left and Right and allow each to live in peace without the interference or obstruction of the other.

Buchanan to Lincoln “…if you are as happy on entering the White House as I on leaving, you are a very happy man indeed.”   http://www.olcranky.wordpress.com

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Pathway To A Better State

The recent 2012 campaign season has highlighted once again the stark and irreparable divisions within the US.   Those divisions have been manifest for decades now and river of discord runs deep and  wide.  They transcend simple explanations over one or two contentious issues.  The divide separates along core values for each constituent group.  We still compose a single nation-state but clearly are two separate societies within that framework.   Like identical twins originating from a single miraculous event but then pulling apart to become distinct individuals even though from a common bond.  We now must deal with that reality and the current organization of the US political system ill serves each of those societies denying to both their own vision of the future.

Most of us share a common pride in what the US was.  Many on the Left do not.  We are now confined to a nation that no longer gives expression to our values.  Certainly the Democrats and Left want a radically different set of values from those in common use today.  It is beliefs, values and social abstractions that bind a people not political divisions on a map.  It is the coalescing of those common values that gives life and energy to the political divisions that result in different states.  It cannot be gainsaid that we have two sets of value oriented views of the world.   They don’t mesh and never shall the twain meet.   The tensions and conflicts between these approaches to self-governance of a free people will escalate as the tides of advantage to one side or the other ebb and wane.    Many of us believe this is not the US the Greatest Generation fought so hard to preserve.   We abhor the direction we are taking and those of the Left wish to accelerate that direction.

This fact of divide and polarization has been brought to light in the recent movement for secession that has cropped up since our most recent election.   A peaceful and orderly re-organization of the US over the next generation is a much better path for the future of all regardless of Right or Left.  Our current path is one that will ultimately lead to true civil unrest, societal pain and divisions brought about by violence or near war-like discord.   These pages have previously mentioned the best path for this alternative approach.  We need to begin the process of calling a Constitutional Convention to give voice and reality to the two separate visions of the US.  Article V permits this approach.  The last time it was seriously considered was during the ’70’s and early ’80’s by those advocating the passage of the ERA amendment to the Constitution.  When their effort was falling short some of the Left mulled over the idea in public of trying the Convention as an alternative method to assure its passage.  That Amendment and the effort failed.   Are our current divisions so fundamental and endemic as to require such a step?   A realistic assessment says that the divide cannot be breached in our current political structure.

We have two very opposing views of the role of our Federal government and it is at that level where almost all the contentions collide.   The Democrats and Left believe in a large and almost omnipotent federal authority.  They view the Federal government as the helping hand encased in the velvet glove lifting up those in “need”.   They define need broadly and want everyone else to accept their definition.  To even disagree with their definition makes you an enemy.   Others believe the Federal government is the boot on the neck of the people.   That it intrudes into areas best left to the States and into the personal and economic lives of everyone.  There is a dramatic and irreconcilable chasm regarding the concept of Federalism.  The Democrats view it as a quaint and outdated concept from another era.  The rest view it as the bulwark of our freedoms.  The Democrats really would prefer that States be merely provinces of the nation with all control emanating from Washington.  TV talk show hosts and others love to make their cute little jokes about “fly over country” but sadly there is great truth to that comment and it reveals the true attitude of the Democrats.  They would prefer States be  administrative districts like they have in Metropolitan France or had in ancient Rome following the directives and edicts of
Washington.  They want power, power concentrated in Washington and obeisance from the populace.  Please review carefully your Solzhenitsyn, read lots of history of the Communists regimes around the world.  Stalin thought of himself as a champion of the little guy.  As an elite though he also believed he knew better than they want was good for them and certainly knew what the societal mores should be.   Opposition was not brooked.   But whether we of the Right  like it or not there are millions in the US that desire that kind of government.   Why not let them have their Eden commune on earth as long as we all don’t have to bow down to their Baal.

This has been building for decades.  It had its core with FDR and then was accelerated with LBJ and is reaching a zenith with the election of the current occupant of the White House.  But when they are gone there will others in their mold to step forward and continue the  road left.   If those on the Right could prevail it would not bring peace because the Left would ratchet up their venom and fight to tear down opposition to their forward march to a larger more powerful and ultimately more socialist government.  If we are going to become a Socialist European style government then what are the advantages to being in the US for those who believe that is so wrong on a moral level and destructive to individual freedom.   Why not live in Switzerland, Sweden, Scotland or Germany?

We’ve had a wonderful history even with our bumps along the way.  Mostly we have been a force for good in the world, at least the Right believes that we have, the Left not so much.   But things do change eventually as they have from the beginning of recorded time.  Rome didn’t last forever, neither did the British hegemony, nor the Kublai Khan.  It is not necessary to destroy the ideal of the US as envisaged by each political segment.  Left and Right can each have their domain without the opposition of the other.  But that destruction is assured if we don’t address our differences and divisions intelligently and forthrightly.  Many have said in times past that there is more than unites us than divides.  Only the hopeless optimist or foolhardy could possibly believe that today.  The fact is that there is far more that divides us than unites us today.  Pride of nation is deeply split along values.  Many take no pride whatsoever in the current actions of the Federal government, others cheer all its actions and want even more.   We can both be happy  if we each have a Federal government more in tune with our beliefs, values and aspirations.  In coming posts we shall explore specifics of some of the major differences and how each element in on nation can pursue its own course without so much interference  and outright obstruction by the other.   Yes, there would be problems but none any greater to solve that living in a nation divided and heading to civil disharmony and dysfunction.  There is a better way and a better place for all of us.  The Democrats should love this change.  Yes, they will lose some minions and slavish robots to the Federal government but truly they will rejoice in getting rid of most of those gun-toting, Bible- thumping rednecks and yahoos.   We of the Right do not respect or trust them and they disdain us.  Do you really think that will change?

Come again for details and the guide map that Pathway to Coastal America and Middle America where each pursues its own vision of governance and each allows the freedoms demanded from only its own citizens.  (Central power, Taxes, Supreme Court, environment, role of military, Rule of Law, social issues, size of government, economic system, capitalism.)

“A House divided shall not stand”…..stated in several places in the Bible, both Old and New Testaments.   http://www.olcranky.wordpress.com

 

 

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Of Human Nature And Government

Human nature has numerous and variable components.  It is composed of greed, cruelty, hate and hunger for power over others, among other elements.  But at the same time we are capable of love, charity, spirituality  and a willingness to work for the common good.  Governments since the beginning of time have tried to bend, shape and mold human nature but always without ultimate success.  Governments can and do regulate our behavior but all attempts to fundamentally change human nature have by controlling our behavior have never succeeded.

When we were still very primitive and mostly nomads and hunter-gatherers, we didn’t need much structure to our society and government.  Everyone was pretty much own their own and the “glue” of society was pretty much the family unit or small tribes of related families.  It was only with the settlement of specific areas and the development of agriculture that we needed a government as such.  The rise of agriculture gave rise also to the towns.   The towns were necessary to trade the produce of the farms and for artisans to build the crude implements for the farms and then the armies to protect them from marauders.   Security was issue number one in our earliest days of societal formation.  Thus the towns and the surrounding farmers had to form a government of some kind to provide for that security and to arbitrate disputes among society.  You will recall that Moses was called the “Law Giver” by the early Jews because he not only brought the ten commandments but reams of other laws to regulate society and system of judges to resolve issues among the people.  

In our modern era the most striking example of government trying to harness and reign in human nature by controlling the actions of the people was the failed experiment with Communism.  The foundation stone of Marxism you will recall was that ownership of private property was anathema.  Indeed he said himself that the theory of Communism could be summed up by “Abolition of private property”.    From  primeval times when men first fashioned bows, knives or other tools the idea of “owning” what you made or created was yours has been part of our human nature.  It is a subset of greed.  It is yours and not “theirs”.   But even in that utopian world of everyone sharing everything equally there were always differences of “wealth”; some had the nice houses and some had to live in government apartments.  The Commies were able to control the actions of the people for a few generations but ultimately the fight against human nature collapsed.   The greater the effort to contort or shape human nature the greater the odds are that the attempt will fail.

Every nation in the world has an army or one sort or another.  That is because of the human need for security and survival.   Even the Swiss have an army, a pretty well-trained in fact.  Peace-niks around the world can campaign all they want but this will be true forever.   We are willing to sacrifice some of our liberty and desire for liberty to have an army, likewise we will allow ourselves to be taxed for roads and bridges because our human nature inclines us to believe that such things are not only good for everyone but for us as individuals.  The more we perceive this personal benefit the more we are willing to allow government to control such activities and others.   We are all so different and have very different levels of expressing and feeling our love, greed or other aspects of human nature.  When government does something big it always needs to take this into account or it actions will be rebuffed by the people.  The trick is to find that consensus middle where the majority will sense that the control over our behavior doesn’t clash to fundamentally with our individual expression of human nature i.e., our desire for liberty and control over our own destiny.   Such analysis applies to the recent Obamacare laws and the ongoing public disputations regarding its efficacy and desirability.   Yes, they have such systems in parts of Europe but it s not as monolithic as often portrayed.   Even in Great Britain you have always  been free to see your own doctor and pay for it yourself and/or receive charity donations from your church or other organization to help with costs. 

One of the biggest problems with Obamacare is the inherent unfairness the young and healthy or the old and healthy have to endure for the benefit of others.   The facts are that many folks live their entire lives and spend next to nothing on medical care and then just die one night in their sleep.   In my seventy years I can assure you that the medical premiums I have paid over the years far exceed the costs of medical care I have received by an astronomical sum.  The insurance carriers have made a f0rtune so far off of me.  Many of you will be in the same category.   I am not mad they make money.  I do want the coverage in case of need; that is why it is called insurance.  But it has so far been a one to one relationship between me and my insurance company without any government coercion on either party.   Obamacare changes all that.   Human nature is to want to “do it my way” as the old song says, not the way dictated to me by a faceless bureaucrat.   It should be no surprise to a thoughtful person that the majority of Americans are opposed to this law.  We want “ownership” over our own bodies and what we do with it.   Our medical care is the best in the world.  It is too expensive for sure but there are ways to address that issue without challenging the fundamentals of human nature to be in charge of our own lives to the maximum extent possible.  

We control the prisoner by confining him to a cell.  His behavior is very restricted but even there we cannot control his thoughts or emotions.  We haven’t changed human nature only actions.  The American people will allow control of some of our freedom but only if we see some of the personal benefit in that surrender of independence.  That is not a bad thing; it is our nature and should be embraced.

“Law, morality, religion, are to him (the proletarian) so many bourgeois prejudices, behind which lurk in ambush just as many bourgeois interests.”  K. Marx….www.olcranky.wordpress.com

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2 Cents Worth On Life Its Ownself

If you don’t think these are worth the price we offer a refundable scrip for the next edition at twice the price and all for only 19.99.  Otherwise enjoy your investment for today.

On the renewable energy/green front there is no one more “green” than the Germans.  They have the world’s largest users of solar panels and the like.  They also announced last year they are closing all their nuclear plants within a decade partially as a result of the Japanese disaster.   However if you read the fine print in the news lately they have sharply cut back on their subsidies for solar and just last week a second solar panel facility filed for bankruptcy.  Hmmm, they will figure it out, they are Germans after all, but one wonders if they have really picked the right horse for the future ride.  You want a preview of our solar future, watch the Germans for the tell.

Speaking 0f green, we notice that the Labor dept. stats list a bus driver driving a hybrid bus as a “green” job for their estimate of th total jobs in the category.  One would think the bus driver would drive whatever type bus they gave him.   Delve into the report yourself and see how well your tax dollars are spent by bureaucrats probing all aspects of the economy and then counting as green jobs everything they in their infinite wisdom perceive to be connected to that movement.  Even if you believe every categorization they make do we really need to pay someone to come up with those numbers?  How does that info add to our economic output?

You can sleep easier now.  Those particles sent from Switzerland to Rome didn’t travel faster than the speed of light after all.  Seems the machines weren’t properly calibrated and the readings were false.  Whew, otherwise a lot of what we trust in like gravity would have been in question.  We already have enough questions about life as it is.

In the earliest days of our Republic we still had a fairly primitive economy compared to the English.  Yes, we had a currency but its value was still in doubt and the merchants of the day had to be pretty darn good with their math and up on world affairs and the different values of foreign currency.  At that time it was still very common for commercial transactions to be consummated with foreign currency.  Spanish doubloons, English pounds sterling, Dutch Guilders and Italian ducats were still pretty common currency all along the eastern seaboard and the ports there.  The merchants had to determine how to make the conversions for many different currencies and what currency would be accepted by their counterparties, especially those overseas.  Foreign merchants were reluctant to accept payment in US funds.  But our paying off our state bonds, as promoted by Hamilton, greatly helped the value of our money.

The Egyptians built truly remarkable structures in the ancients times–the Pyramids, the Sphinx and all those buildings at Assam and Memphis.   Interesting that they never could figure out the engineering or muster the will to build the Suez canal.  That had to wait for millenia and the Europeans.  It was the French who built the canal to great fanfare but lukewarm financial support in the mid 19th century.  It took about ten years to complete and the British were constantly carping about it.  After all they were the world’s leading economic power then and controlled most international trade.    The Brits even provoked turmoil among the workers on the canal who they touted as slave labor.  After completion there was one other problem the engineers and businessmen involved hadn’t paid enough regard.  The early days of the canal were less than successful because most ships still were moved by sail.  The prevailing winds in that region move west to east and thus passage was long and sometimes not possible at all for days at a time.  It took the steam engines and ironclads to make it a success.  They maybe should have consulted more with the seafaring men before they started they venture.  Amazing how overlooking the obvious happens over and over.  The original company that built the canal went bust.  There is a lesson there for all of us.

The reports say that there are 25 Secret Service agents with the Obama kid on her vacation.  That is probably and sadly  correct,  I suspect.  As stated here before that protection for Presidents and others has reached ridiculous proportions. Yes, we need some protection for Presidents and those in succession and maybe a very minimal amount for ex-Presidents but that is it.   As late as Harry Truman’s term and Ike, they just left the White House as private citizens and went home.  Twenty-five agents for a child of a President is absurd regardless of who is President and regardless of Party.  We need to regain some sense of balance and responsible use of taxpayer money.  If we are that worried about the President’s safety then just use a company of Marines around the White House, they are already being paid.  Just asking for some common  sense in all this. 

If under Obamacare the individual mandate is upheld we will  have lost most of our traditional freedoms to a central government that can run rough-shod over our State’s historical role of being in charge of police powers.  Next to regulate “interstate commerce” the Feds could require that all future IRS payments be made with US Treasury notes or bills.  They would force you to loan money to the government then take those same notes you hold as payment for your taxes.  Multiply that over millions of tax payers and you are talking real money.   If they can make you buy insurance what makes you think they couldn’t require you to loan them money?   Regardless of the need for health care reform such alleged reform is not worth allowing unfettered power to the Federal government.   That is why we only gave them enumerated powers and have a Bill of Rights. 

“History teaches that among the men who have overturned the liberties of republics, the greatest number have begun their career by paying obsequious court to the people; commencing demagogues, and ending tyrants” A. Hamilton.  www.olcranky.wordpress.com

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Them Or Us?

The other day I was listening to the radio while driving on an errand.  Don’t even remember the show or commentator.  But, I sure do remember a comment by one of the talking heads on the program.  They were discussing immigration both legal and illegal.   There had been the usual division on the topic regarding amnesty or some pathway for legalizing those who crossed our borders in violation of law.  It wasn’t so much the particular topic that interested me but the position of one pundit.

Someone on the panel had talked about the fact that a large majority of Americans were opposed to granting amnesty to illegal aliens and that many if not most should be deported for violating our laws and moving ahead of those who followed the immigration rules and came here the legal way.   The offending pundit stated that he didn’t care about the views of those Americans because he no “policy analyst” he knew would ever support  such an agenda.   I was stunned but shouldn’t have been by the effrontery of the guy.  The opinion and views of the American people were clearly of no concern to him. 

He definitely was of the opinion that the elites with the proper education and governmental experience knew better than the man on the street and that such important matters couldn’t be left to the people.  Only those who understood and formulated policy were worthy of respect and their views trumped those of the commoners.  It was certainly a clear example of those who believe in central planning or state planning everything to do with our economy and political processes.  Never mind what the people want they should be grateful for the elites that are smarter and more sophisticated than we and accordingly we should accept their beneficient wisdom without question.

Such arrogance.   Democracy only matters apparently to him and those like him in the current administration if it conforms to their grand schemes and designs.   I don’t care how you feel about illegal immigrants but I sure as heck care a lot about the notion of ours being a nation of laws with those in power being their as servants of the people.   I know we have lots of real losers in a nation of over 300 million.  All you have to do is watch the behavior of fans at a baseball or football game to get that message.  Sure there a lots of Joe Six packs who never read the paper or listen to the news of the day and couldn’t name their representative or which came first the Revolutionary War or the War Between the States.   But with all those shortcomings and with the warts thrown in with the beauty marks, I still believe in the collective wisdom of the people.  Over time the majority of us in our messy way usually do get it right.   As typical of the Left they actually has no respect for the people even though they would vehemently proclaim they are all about taking care of the “common man”.   Only those they view at the top of the effete elite society have the grand view and intelligence to guide the nation. 

Usually those closet to the problem can figure out the best answer.  Thus we have States working on their own solutions to immigration problems.  Again, the elites don’t like that because it is not in accord with smart policy decisions in their opinion.  You can’t run everything from the central bureau very well.  You can but it takes might to do it.  See, the Communists in Russia.  And how did that work out over the long run?  Even the Romans realized that they couldn’t control everything in the Empire from Rome.   That is why they appointed proconsuls to run most of the provinces.  He was on the scene and was more responsive to the needs of the citizens there.  The proconsul had control over most of the economy, the functioning of government and even the military in the Province.

 We need to fire all the “p0licy analysts” in Washington.  Let freedom ring and the people reign.

“Why should any living man complain when punished for his sins?”  Lamentations 3.  www.olcranky.wordpress.com

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Resolve, Revolution and Hope

Some are delighted with the direction the country is taking at the moment.  They relish the growth of government and believe the more laws, regulations and central control the better.   They believe that government truly can and should be our nanny from the cradle to the grave.  They apparently don’t trust the people to do the right and intelligent thing over the long haul and that the guiding hand (within the velvet glove) of government is responsible for making our decisions for us and to make sure that everyone gets across the finish line.  It is like those modern soccer teams where everyone gets a medal even if they come in last place in a 10 team league.   I love letting kids play and have fun as much as anyone and more than most but I also respect reality and acknowledge superior achievement.   We all don’t win the race every time and everyone does not come in first place.   Lo, it has been since the first guy brought home his kill to the cave and shared it only with those he cared for, or out of charity or those who helped with the kill.  The lazy and stay behinds got the leftovers.

Standing firm against government intrusion and oppression can succeed.  It takes resolve of only a few to lead the way and show a better way.   Some of that has started now within our nation and hopefully it will grow.  We are becoming so politically correct that we can’t discriminate any longer between the good and the bad.  The left thinks it is all relative and its not the fault of the wrong doer anyway, it is their terrible envoirnment which the government is obligated to improve.   The recent tragic and senseless death of the teenager in Chicago is a case in point.  There have already been those who don’t find fault with the murderers but rather are blaming the society of the murderers.  It is there poverty or lack of jobs or good schools that caused the death and murder, not the individuals who struck the death blows.  No one is repsonsible anymore it seems but only collectively do we have responsibility.  I don’t know about you but I don’t feel responsible for that death.  I am sickened by it and believe each murderer should get his due and I don’t even want to hear about what a hard life he has.  That attitude ends up justifying anything.

The oppression we face in our country now is more subtle than that we faced when we had our first revolution in the 18th century but just as real.  If the current path continues we will end up in truly a 1984 scenario.  Ask yourself, is there any limit to what those on the left believe the government should control?  Do they show more than a passing nod to the rule of law and our Constitution?  The concept of Federalism is lost on them and they consider it an inconvenient truth best ignored in practice.  Note the takeover of the major banks and then the car makers.  Does anyone really believe that GM was a “financial institution” when Government, Inc. advanced the TARP money to it.  Now they are attempting to require that you buy a service, to wit: medical insurance and if you don’t you will be fined and imprisoned if not paid.  Will they next require that everyone devote 30 days a year to working for VISTA  or face fine and imprisonment?   You think that is a joke?  If they can do the other why not that.

In the fifth century A. D. when Attila the Hun was in full power over vast reaches of the Roman Empire he dominated that former ruler of the known world.  He humiliated them.  The Roman Empire by then was divided into the western and eastern sections with Constantinople and Rome as the centers of each.  Rome had already been sacked by the Huns and Attila forced tribute payments from the Romans in each section on an annual basis under threat of renewed invasion and rapine. Theodosius was the emperor of the eastern empire and bowed to all the demands of Attila.  It was humbling and disgraceful that no effort was made to repel him or fight for any kind of rule of law. 

Even at this late date the Romans still had a respect for at least the appearance of the rule of law.  The western empire already had ceded wealth and influence to Attila to assuage his thirst for power and glory.  The eastern empire still had resources and armies but it lacked the collective will and importantly firm and stout hearted leadership to fight back.  All the eastern empire was required to render unto Attila tribute, slaves and acknowledge his sovereignity  over them.  But one city and area would not bend their knees or neck to the sword of oppression.  It wa Azimus in Thrace which in now northern Greece.  They fought back against Attila and made their own forays against his armies.  The Huns decided it wasn’t worth the fight there because of the strong resistance.  This was a small area compared to the total eastern empire.  Attila put pressure on Theodosius to reign in the rebel area or he threatened a new invasion.   Theodosius had to admit that he no longer controlled the rebel region of Azimus.   The people of Azimus brought Attila to the bargaining table.  They got back their captives and cattle and were left in peace.  If only the rest of the eastern empire had the same backbone as those few brave souls history might have been changed and the Roman Empire might have endured even longer.  A few brave men can make a difference.  A few brave men can preserve their freedoms and rights and protect their own culture and way of life if they have the courage to stand against even the largest foe.  Remember David and Goliath.  If you are worried about whither we head today in the USA then take heart from this tale and know that standing firm and resisting does have its rewards.   www.olcranky.wordpress.com

You have heard that every cell in your body carries the dna to reproduce everything else in your body.  That is almost true.  Most cells do have everything they need to reproduce themselves with two exceptions.  The sperm and eggs cell need each other to recreate.  Likewise your blood cells can’t recreate themselves without the action of the bone marrow.

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Budget Alternatives That Follow the Constitution

Ther are vocal defenders of the proposed budget of the new administration and a fair number of critics.  The defenders constantly harp that those opposed to the budget are simply saying no and not offering alternative solutions to fiscal and budgetary demands.  Well, I am happy to offer some thoughts on how to change the budget and reduce the future deficits.   I believe these few suggestions are only an example of the direction the budget could take that would improve our economy and enhance our federalist system of government. 

First we could require that every agency and department of government reduce its staff by 3%.  Yes, you heard me right, lay off people.  There would be no exceptions.   The Pentagon would not be required to reduce mililtary staff in uniform but the civilian workers there would be reduced.  Those workers remaining would take up the “slack” to the extent that there really is any slack in the first place to make up.  I personally doubt any of those government workers are all that over worked compared to those toiling in the private market place.  They have cushy jobs and they damn well know it.  Some would say “but what about the FAA or Homeland Security”?  I would answer that I firmly believe that any organization that large is ripe with more than 3% “dead wood” in the employee stock.  I am quite confident that the suprevisors could think of at least 3% of folks that they would love to can now but can’t because of all the restrictions on firing federal employees.

Second, every department and agency would be required to reduce its budget by 5%.  I mean actually reduced year over year without those phony adjustments that they put in every year for inflation.  As you all know right now they plug those increases into each year’s budget and if the increase is reduced that is considered a reduction in the Federal budget.  Don’t we all wish we could handle our personal budgets that way.  I mean in plain language that if a budget for a department was 1 billion in ’08 that it would be $950,000,000.00 for ’09.  That is a real deduction just like private business has to endure and private citizens do when their revenues are lower. 

Third, I would require Homeland Security to remove all illegal aliens from the public school systems around the country.  The Supreme Court ruled in Tyler v. Roe that they were permitted to attend schools.  But that ruling did NOT say they had a right to be in the country.  You should read that opinion for yourself by the way.  You don’t have to be a lawyer to see the tortured language and reasoning of the majority in the opinion to realize how absurd that ruling was.  In Texas alone more than 5 billion dollars are expended annually to pay for these illegals–and that estimate is way on the low side.   Don’t tell me it can’t be done.  Of course it can.  Every one of those children and their parents are committing a fraud on the citizens of the respective states each time they attend school.  It is a criminal fraud.  If you aren’t a citizen are you entitled to a loan from the Home Loan Administration?

Fourth, the following departments of government would be eliminated and shuttered: Commerce, Education, Labor and Energy.   I challengedyou to think long and hard about what benefit you receive from any of these agencies of government.  The census can be done by another branch or even the post office.  You are reminded that the Constitution has no provision whatsoever for the Federal government to be involved in the educational process.  That is a matter that is a State issue and responsibility.  It is also a right reserved to the States under the 10th amendment.  As part of this process I would require that every dime that the Federal government is spending on education in whatever form be excised from the Federal budget through tax cuts on individuals and business.  That money would not be collected in the first place and would remain with the people and the respective states.  Then the states would be free to raise their taxes as they saw fit to offset the loss of Federal funds, penny for penny if that is their wish.  The same money would be spent on education but all the decisions and the power to make decisons regarding the use of those funds would be at the State level where it is supposed to be under the Constitution in the first place.   If some states did not wish to raise their taxes in an offset amount that would be their choice.  This would put a stick in the spoke of  “national” education standards.  I for one want there to be 50 different standards.  The genius of the Federal system is the ability to innovate and experiment by all 50 states.  Let’s have that laboratory of ideas bubbling and boiling all the  time. 

That is only a few ideas and a starting point.  I bet you can make your own list of agencies and departments that could be downsized.  If the Tax Code were simplified how many employees could be canned at the IRS?   It is only because it is about 70,000 pages long that it needs that many employees.  If the standard form was only two pages long how many employees would be needed to process our returns?  How many of you have had a dispute with the IRS and sent them documents only to receive something back, late, that is non- sensical or unrelated to the issue at hand?

Lastly, we don’t need to spend all those trillions on bailouts and handouts.  If a company or bank is a loser then let it fail and the regulators deal with it or the bankruptcy court.  I for one do not buy the argument of those crying wolf in Washington.  They do that to advance their own agenda.   They rightly believe our fear makes us more maleable.   The market would have already repaired most of the damage done by now and the cost certainly wouldn’t have been any worse than the trillions Government, Inc. is expending. 

I would invite anyone to add to my thoughts on cutting the budget and deficits.  We are not sheep and I trust the people.  We  have some good ideas also even if we are not the “smartest guys in the room”.

The proposed 100 million “reduction” in a 3.7 trillion budget is an insult to our intelligence as much as the “savings” from no troops in Iraq when they aren’t going to be there anyway.  That is like me saying I am saving $50,000.00 next year because I am not going to the South of France and spend a month on chartered yacht that would cost that much.

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