Archive for the ‘Quote Me’ Category

President’s Speech 06-22

06/22/2011 Leave a comment

I usually brush off presidential speeches. They are typically pointless, often full of party talk and overall uneventful. This one, for whatever reason, really got my gourd. The overall tone of this speech was to announce the withdraw of U.S. troops from Afghanistan; a positive note that should not be understated. This speech, along with some good news, was also chock full of misleading quips. Soon after it was over, I found the transcript here. I have taken small sections and commented as I felt necessary.

Our mission will change from combat to support.

I believe we’ve heard this lie before.

Of course, huge challenges remain. This is the beginning — but not the end — of our effort to wind down this war. We will have to do the hard work of keeping the gains that we have made, while we drawdown our forces and transition responsibility for security to the Afghan government. And next May, in Chicago, we will host a summit with our NATO allies and partners to shape the next phase of this transition.

We do know that peace cannot come to a land that has known so much war without a political settlement. So as we strengthen the Afghan government and Security Forces, America will join initiatives that reconcile the Afghan people, including the Taliban. Our position on these talks is clear: they must be led by the Afghan government, and those who want to be a part of a peaceful Afghanistan must break from al Qaeda, abandon violence, and abide by the Afghan Constitution. But, in part because of our military effort, we have reason to believe that progress can be made.

We will have to do the hard work because we are responsible, but when are we going to set definite limits on these “transitions?” Was it not then-Senator Obama and the same Democratic majority who were screaming for President Bush to fully withdraw. Now they sound more like Bush Cabinet members. The Boehner-led conservatives must be ECSTATIC to have a new section of believers. But certainly President Obama doesn’t believe we should continue a policy of being world police.

 Some would have America retreat from our responsibility as an anchor of global security, and embrace an isolation that ignores the very real threats that we face. Others would have America over-extend ourselves, confronting every evil that can be found abroad.

Like generations before, we must embrace America’s singular role in the course of human events. But we must be as pragmatic as we are passionate; as strategic as we are resolute. When threatened, we must respond with force — but when that force can be targeted, we need not deploy large armies overseas. When innocents are being slaughtered and global security endangered, we don’t have to choose between standing idly by or acting on our own. Instead, we must rally international action, which we are doing in Libya, where we do not have a single soldier on the ground, but are supporting allies in protecting the Libyan people and giving them the chance to determine their destiny.

COME ON! Where in the U.S. Constitution, and by what authority have we become the anchor of global security? I believe we ARE over-extended Mr. President. Withdrawing all troops and personnel from Afghanistan, Iraq, and North Korea – as well as all covert operations, is hardly embracing isolation. It’s called minding our own business, which we have been failing at miserably! Mr. President, would you care to guess which country is seen as endangering global security? One hint:  it ain’t found in the Mid-East.

Which brings us to Libya. Sure, perhaps we don’t have a single soldier on the ground, but what about the CIA operatives you sent over? Is this a step toward giving them the chance to determine their destiny? Seems like we are forever doomed to repeat the worst of our historical mistakes.

In all that we do, we must remember that what sets America apart is not solely our power — it is the principles upon which our union was founded. We are a nation that brings our enemies to justice while adhering to the rule of law…

I assume you are not referring to Guantanamo Bay as an example of bringing enemies to justice while adhering to the rule of the law. It’s also becoming more difficult to believe you have any interest in the true intent of our nation’s founding.

We protect our own freedom and prosperity by extending it to others.

Oh, so this is the reason we invade other countries.

We stand not for empire, but for self-determination.

Empire. Check. Self-determination. Check and check. It’s what we do.

That is why we have a stake in the democratic aspirations that are now washing across the Arab World.

That and oil. And I’m not sure I would say it’s washing across the Arab World. A slow drip at best.

Above all, we are a nation whose strength abroad has been anchored in opportunity for our citizens at home.

I can only assume these opportunities you speak of are warmongering and forced participation in tax appropriations, because there is no way you can stand there with a straight face knowing our current unemployment rate and be speaking of actual job opportunities. Those are all overseas.

Yes, there were some positives. We are going to withdraw troops. We are at least looking at ending these atrocities and speaking about taking care of our own citizens. However, we all know the abysmal rift between speech and action in the political realm.

Categories: Quote Me

How Long Has This Been Going On?

09/21/2010 Leave a comment

I was speaking to a friend a few years ago about our freedoms in America. She was considering a move to another country and I mentioned the freedoms we enjoy here in America that she would not find elsewhere.

“We are not as free as you think,” she said.

“True,” I replied, “but at least we have the opportunity to retain those freedoms not afforded to others and work to form a more perfect union.”

However, it appears we are not only failing to retain our freedoms, but actually working toward ending them all. We’re practically sprinting there. We are steadily giving up our liberties hand over fist in the name of safety or health. The day will come, and may it come soon, when those citizens who are effectively asleep at the wheel will wake up and ask, ‘how long has this been going on?’

There have been multiple additions to the anti-smoking campaign since the class-action lawsuits of the 90s. I’m not saying these groups were formulated due to the lawsuits, just interesting that they seem to have sprung up over night not long afterwards. There is a new commercial on television that ends with the claim “smoking effects all of us.” This is true, but in a free society, you choose how you treat your body and the environment in which you eat, hang out and stand. It is not my decision how you do so as long as it does not infringe on my rights. Law-enforceable smoking bans should be left to the private establishments to decide and not legislated by the city or state. I do not advocate passing a smoking tax as a deterrent. For the record, I am allergic to cigarette and cigar smoke.

I have seen more advertisements for environmental activism than ever before; a few even geared toward children. I will state that schoolhouse teaching of environmental activism to children is the same as if a Christian teacher were to instruct their class on Christian beliefs as a state-mandated tool of mass conversion. The only difference is that any public outcry against environmental brainwashing is termed radical or out of touch. Federal or state legislation for the purpose of environmental activist education of the youth is beyond contemptible. For the record, I support personal change to reflect a healthier environment.

In May of this year, my wife and I purchased a house. I tried to talk myself into believing that the tax credit we received was for the income taxes I had been paying all these years, but it will not change the fact that it and all tax credits are simply a redistribution of wealth. It’s yet another money motivator in a long line of falsehoods to artificially inflate our economy. I had my excuses, but I am still ashamed of my decision.

How long will we sit idly by and allow our neighbors to be taxed for their smokes and soda and think, “they should quit that nasty habit anyway.” It’s not your problem right? How long will we send children to school to be brainwashed by federally-funded schools? How long will we except bribes for our rights? How long?

Everyone has read some variant of Pastor Martin Niemöller’s poem at one point and many use it for this very purpose.

First they came for the communists, and I did not speak out–
because I was not a communist;
Then they came for the socialists, and I did not speak out–
because I was not a socialist;
Then they came for the trade unionists, and I did not speak out–
because I was not a trade unionist;
Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out–
because I was not a Jew;
Then they came for me–
and there was no one left to speak out for me.

There are many personal rights already lost to federal and state legislation. Begin thinking about your neighbor and their rights, because you never know when they will come for you. These are your freedoms too.

Thanks for reading,

Categories: Consider This, Quote Me

Book Burning

09/09/2010 1 comment

I oppose the burning of any religious text, national emblems, or symbols of personhood  by any individual, group, or nation state.

Categories: Consider This, Quote Me

Fear and Ignorance in America

09/09/2010 Leave a comment

There is a growing sense of fear in America. Pick a topic, fearmongering exists. Left, Right, and every political spectrum in between use fear tactics. They know fear will motivate votes, money, and public opinion of a single topic, which culminates into creating single-issue voters. Proof positive that fearmongering only feeds and breeds ignorance.

Fear and ignorance are a dangerous combination.  Fear was a standard tactic used to retain unwarranted fealty to kings who were themselves afraid of losing their subjects, and in turn, their kingdom. These kings depended upon the ignorance of the masses to propagate their political bent. So much so, that they only allowed a certain number of the public access to education, and even then, it was limited.

Fearmongering was used on the American Colonists against the Native Americans, on white settlers against the displaced African tribesmen and well into their lineage. Fear was utilized to pit Christians against the gay marriage collective, and most recently employed as means to blend terrorism with the Muslim way of life. We must no longer allow fear to be the political motivator. It’s a demeaning blight that should have no part in the American political system.

One cannot know everything. The American citizen isn’t privy to the same information as those on Capitol Hill. We are extremely unaware of what the President of the United States knows. This, however, is should not excuse us from learning as much as we can in order to join together, in wisdom, to hold our representatives in Washington D.C. accountable for their actions.

We are the people, granted such unalienable rights, as to make a difference in this nation in life, liberty, and happiness. We should not be a fearful people bending to political rhetoric and scare tactics. Do not be afraid of your countrymen, but join them in seeking out the truth and creating a peaceful world. We will never reach, nor should we strive for Utopia, but we can make our nation great again.

Thanks for reading,

Categories: Consider This, Quote Me

Just A Thought

07/26/2010 Leave a comment

The Declaration of Independence was a Libertarian idea that made way for a Libertarian system of governance set in motion by the Constitution of the United States of America. Neither were the work of a Republican vision for success nor a Democratic agenda for Utopia.

We are Libertarians, every one.

Categories: Consider This, Quote Me

An Open Letter to Tea Party Patriots, or A Loose State of Support

04/09/2010 Leave a comment

I cannot seem to define a format to better express this message, so do forgive my weak writing style.

An open letter to Tea Party Patriots.

As a grassroots organization, you have come far in garnering the attention of national media and upsetting the local two-party balance. Originally, I was excited about the Tea Party movement. There was a glimmer of hope that perhaps people were finally fed up with the two-party system and would insist on tangible change and not abstract emotion. I saw a brief moment of victory through an individualistically-motivated collective, but true colors will always bleed through even the toughest of armors.

The truth is that deep down in your bones, you are Republican, but use your Tea Party moniker as an evasion tactic in hopes of inciting reversion to some former state of imagined glory. There are honest third-party members and Democrats among your ranks, but I doubt the majority would deny the previous charges. However, you should come to terms with being the clever machination of Republican whims and the dream stuff of GOP election fodder because that is what you have become.

These Republicans who court you are not interested in your reversionist activism and the Democrats who openly shun you are defiantly invalidating your very existence, to their own peril I might add, but at least they are not falsely wooing you to their aid come November.

The Grand Old Party has Sarah Palin touring the country and speaking at events with the likes of Michelle Bachman and fresh-faced Tim Pawlenty to maintain relations and help herd you back into the fold. These are not the people who will be representing the Republican ticket in 2012. They will not back Palin for president, Michelle Bachman is a puppet, and newcomer Tim Pawlenty is simply increasing public awareness of his existence. Their sole purpose is to get you, the Tea Party Patriots, to reconsider your opinion of the GOP and vote to that end.

You are caught in the middle of a classic game as old as time. You see what’s going on in one hand all the while disregarding what’s being shuffled in the other. You are being hornswoggled, bamboozled, and down-right seduced. You are being used. Perhaps you don’t mind. We are all used at one time or another. What’s one more election cycle?

You must make the most of your successes and refuse to be lead by your mistakes.

May I remind you of your namesake. Taxation without representation was the key cause of the Boston Tea Party. I’m sure there may have been a few individuals here and there who were dumping tea into the harbor for other reasons, but they were not simply fighting against taxes. They were fighting against the imposition of taxes without proper representation of their wants and needs to the British Parliament.

When Tax Day comes, and you meet up with your fellow patriots with your painted signs and strain your vocal cords to be heard over the cacophony, be mindful of why you are there. Do not become part of a mindless mass, being used to sway public opinion. Be a clarion call for proper representation of the states.

Thanks for reading,

Health For A Nation

03/19/2010 2 comments

We all know someone who either pays extremely high insurance rates or has chosen not to purchase insurance due to household income versus cost. These high costs are due to either bad personal health decisions or pre-existing conditions the patient has no control over; as well as the technology of developing medical practices and prescription drugs for every need. The American health care system is a known cost-versus-service problem.

The solution currently being plotted in the halls of the U.S. Senate is for group, or pool insurance plans. From what we’ve been told thus far, these insurance plans are set up so that all people can receive medical care regardless of pre-existing conditions at the same cost as others within their pool or group. Those groups with more sick individuals, pools above the median, will receive more funding from the federal government. Setting up these pools and the de facto disbursement of tax dollars in a timely manner for proper health care will prove to be a logistical nightmare on multiple levels.

Our representatives are not simply wasting time and money. They know what lay ahead. They simply need this step to put the fence posts in place, then reconcile the holes in their piecemeal legislation, and serve to herd the American public closer to the cliff. Once Americans have been subjected to these failed pool insurance policies long enough, we will have no choice but to dive, head first, into their main goal of a universal health care system. What is the major aversion to single-payer, or universal health care?

We currently spend about $2 trillion, or 20 percent of our gross domestic product (GDP), on health care costs every year. The federal government pays over $800 billion or 40 percent (some studies even proffer 60 percent) of that $2 trillion price tag with American tax dollars. So, believing the numbers, we are already paying for universal health care by approximately 50 percent of the utilized GDP. What’s another 50 percent?

I suppose some wouldn’t be opposed to a single-payer health care system if they feel the federal government has handled a successful 60+ years of Social Security and a 5 decade-long run of Medicare. The rest of us, however, cannot avoid the fact that even on this small-scale study in universal health care, it has been the evisceration of our economy. There have been multiple failures and missteps; some even yet to be realized.

We can be assured that Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security will not be abolished once we adopt a universal health care system. We will still be required to pay these taxes on top of the new health care tax. This could increase our income taxes by 50 percent, if not more. Is that something you can afford? Is that something you are willing to give so that people who are unable, and even those unwilling to work, may have the same health care coverage as you and your family?

I’m only one pink slip away from losing my health care insurance and joining the multitude of have-nots. I would work hard to remain healthy and even take a second job if that is my only means of affording health care for my family, but what if cancerous cells are discovered during this lapse of coverage? What if my new insurance doesn’t cover treatment at my insured level? What if I cannot work? Would I be loathe to accept universal health care in that state?

Universal health care is not the only available option we have to fix our health care conundrum, but an apparent majority our representatives, as well as our president, obviously favor it as the worthy option. That raises multiple questions. What is their motivation? Are they aiding in the health and prosperity of all Americans, or just representing a few? What deems these few as more worthy than the rest? Who are our friends on Capitol Hill truly representing; their constituents, or the lobbyists and special interest groups that line their pockets? When will we stop applying bandages to faulty legislation leading to a continual increase in tax rates, while people slide deeper into poverty? How long must Americans endure this needless expense?

We need an honest solution of the people, by the people, and for the people. We can afford to fix the health care system, but we cannot afford to legislate faulty reform.

Pay attention! Don’t simply listen to the talking heads on your tele and ignore the failed promises of those sent to represent you on Capitol Hill. Educate yourself and vote!

Updated: 3/22/10 – I should state that my opposition is against a federally-mandated universal health care system. If a state so wishes to legislate a single-payer system, then place it before your citizens for a vote.

Thanks for reading,

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