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Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Educate, Employ or Perish

John F. Kennedy once warned us that we dare not forget that we are the heirs of the revolution. When I look at the world in which we live it is clear to me that we have failed to heed his warning. We have become a nation dependent on government for the most minor of decisions and think the idea that we do not need a passport to cross state lines implies we are free. The government can tell us what to wear, what to eat, how to enjoy our free time, what to do with our bodies, who to love and even forcibly take a large percentage of our income and we cling to this illusion of liberty.  We as a society argue about how much to take form the half who pay taxes to support the half of the citizenry who do not. We vote along partisan lines for people who do not bother to take take the time to read the legislation they are passing. It is a sad state of affairs.
As a nation we are no longer a land of individual thoughts and efforts. 

We are a collection of groups. We vote as Democrats or as republicans selecting governing officials not on the quality of a man’s ideas but his party affiliation. One group thanks it is perfectly okay to take my money and give it away against my will. This makes all equal. Economic redistribution is not the activity of a free society or market but these folks will tell you it is fair. It is fair to have the more successful pay a larger percentage to support the government than those who make less.  The other will tell you that they and they alone can define morality and know who you should love, who you should fuck and how you should treat your reproductive organs. Neither of these positions make one whit of sense and neither are an example of liberty or a free land governed by free people. They are a prime example of a bunch of fucking idiots telling stories to gain votes so they can ascend to office and enrich themselves at your expense.

Both sides seem to believe it is okay to go to war without the constitutionally required declaration by Congress. It is clearly illegal but we have been in a constant state of War since 1950 and no declaration has ever been passed. Both sides believe that violating the privacy if its citizens are okay to protect us from the plots of others. Both sides believe in detaining without cause or charges in the interest of national security. Both sides believe that large financial institutions are too big to fail and should be able to gamble with a backstop of taxpayer money. Interestingly our current President makes political accusations against big banks but takes their money and a goodly percentage of his advisors have a Wall Street background. Indeed our” populist” President has closer ties to the Street and big banks that any of his predecessors.

I am often accused of being some rapid right wing conservative. The truth is I hate both parties but I confess a more vocal hatred of those who so freely take and waste my money. I hate the Democrats for the immoral idea that wealth redistribution or progressive taxes is fair. I despise a President who has the gall to say “Somebody helped to create this unbelievable American system that we have that allowed you to thrive. Somebody invested in roads and bridges. If you've got a business, you didn't build that. Somebody else made that happen.” Does he not know that the ones who built that infrastructure were the taxpayers and business people who come before me. There was no beneficial group of citizens who said lets build a road so other can succeed. Nor does he address why the road was built in the first damn place. The road would not exist unless it was needed for the transportation of good and services produced by business people.

The average citizen would happily tell you that the USA is number 1. Except we are not. We do not lead the world in literacy math or science. We do lead in life span or infant mortality. We do lead the world in defense spending outspending our allies and enemies alike by more than 20 times. We lead the world in incarcerated citizens per capita thanks to asinine drug laws and thoroughly ridiculous anti-poverty programs.

We can blame all of this on the government. After all the government has grown into this self-sustaining monolith that lives to feed and grow itself at the citizens expense.  However the truth is that it is our fault. In this country we really do hold the power to change things with our votes. But you mark my words that in spite of the all time low approval ratings of congress most incumbents will be returned to office. They will get elected not because of any accomplishments or positions. It will simply be because of the D or R next to their name on the ballot. We are too apathetic and too sound bite trained to actually take the time or effort to elect those who might actually make a difference. John Adams once said “There is nothing which I dread so much as a division of the republic into two great parties, each arranged under its leader, and concerting measures in opposition to each other. This, in my humble apprehension, is to be dreaded as the greatest political evil under our Constitution.” It seems his fears have come to pass.

The only way to change our country is for we the people to get pissed off and demand the foolishness end. We have to stop letting legislators pork barrel legislation. They need to stop hiding bills to tax roll your own tobacco shops in transportation bills and outlawing internet poker as part of the ports security bill. We need to insist that congress vote on bills and funding straight up without unrelated amendments and hidden laws within laws. We need to keep track of how out legislators vote and hold them responsible.

The Congress shall have Power To lay and collect Taxes, Duties, Imposts and Excises, to pay the Debts and provide for the common Defence and general Welfare of the United States; but all Duties, Imposts and Excises shall be uniform throughout the United States;

To borrow Money on the credit of the United States;

 To regulate Commerce with foreign Nations, and among the several States, and with the Indian Tribes;
 To establish an uniform Rule of Naturalization, and uniform Laws on the subject of Bankruptcies throughout the United States;

 To coin Money, regulate the Value thereof, and of foreign Coin, and fix the Standard of Weights and Measures;

 To provide for the Punishment of counterfeiting the Securities and current Coin of the United States;
 To establish Post Offices and post Roads;

 To promote the Progress of Science and useful Arts, by securing for limited Times to Authors and Inventors the exclusive Right to their respective Writings and Discoveries;

 To constitute Tribunals inferior to the supreme Court;

 To define and punish Piracies and Felonies committed on the high Seas, and Offences against the Law of Nations;

 To declare War, grant Letters of Marque and Reprisal, and make Rules concerning Captures on Land and Water;

 To raise and support Armies, but no Appropriation of Money to that Use shall be for a longer Term than two Years;

 To provide and maintain a Navy;

 To make Rules for the Government and Regulation of the land and naval Forces;

 To provide for calling forth the Militia to execute the Laws of the Union, suppress Insurrections and repel Invasions;

 To provide for organizing, arming, and disciplining, the Militia, and for governing such Part of them as may be employed in the Service of the United States, reserving to the States respectively, the Appointment of the Officers, and the Authority of training the Militia according to the discipline prescribed by Congress;

 To exercise exclusive Legislation in all Cases whatsoever, over such District (not exceeding ten Miles square) as may, by Cession of particular States, and the Acceptance of Congress, become the Seat of the Government of the United States, and to exercise like Authority over all Places purchased by the Consent of the Legislature of the State in which the Same shall be, for  the Erection of Forts, Magazines, Arsenals, dock-Yards, and other needful Buildings;

 To make all Laws which shall be necessary and proper for carrying into Execution the foregoing Powers, and all other Powers vested by this Constitution in the Government of the United States, or in any Department or Officer thereof.

Article IV, Section 3
 New States may be admitted by the Congress into this Union; but no new State shall be formed or erected within the Jurisdiction of any other State; nor any State be formed by the Junction of two or more States, or Parts of States, without the Consent of the Legislatures of the States concerned as well as of the Congress.
 The Congress shall have Power to dispose of and make all needful Rules and Regulations respecting the Territory or other Property belonging to the United States; and nothing in this Constitution shall be so construed as to Prejudice any Claims of the United States, or of any particular State.

Amendment XVI
(Ratified February 3, 1913.)
The Congress shall have power to lay and collect taxes on incomes, from whatever source derived, without apportionment among the several States, and without regard to any census or enumeration.
In short the business of the federal government is common defense and commerce. As citizens we should insist that the Congress limit themselves to those activities and powers granted them and not stray beyond.
At every level of government we have laws defining criminal acts and outlawing theft, assault, murder, rape, fraud, robbery and most other acts against one another. We have more than enough traffic regulations and restrictions. Tell legislators that they need to stop controlling our lives with taxes and penalties for smoking, drinking soda pop and eating hamburgers. Our personal habits are none of their damn business.

The key to a happy population is prosperity and peace. If we focus on education and jobs we will have prosperity. If we stop acting like the world’s policeman and trying to win hearts and minds we will have peace. If we followed Teddy Roosevelt’s advice to never hit softly our enemies would be too scared of our might to even think of a serious attack upon our nation. It is best to never hit but when you must hit hard. Education, jobs and protecting peace by being prepared to wage total war. If we can get legislators at every level to focus on these three tasks we will once again be the shining light on the hill and beacon of liberty and prosperity.

 We need for freedom to mean free for all of us. If the government can focus on the task at hand instead of redistribution of wealth, controlling our sex lives, dictating our personal habits and feeding its own need to grow we can take our country back in the direction intended by our founders and our forefathers. When political parties give us choices like the two bozos they have every four years for the past several elections we need to pick our own candidates and draft an independent or (gasp) start a real third party. On a local level we need to elect people who understand government is there to serve not control the population. We need to get our fat collective asses off the couch and ACT. Our biggest enemy is not the Muslims terrorists or the politicians, it is our own apathy.

Jobs and education are the answer to every problem we have. Elect leaders who get this and will act accordingly.

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