Never let a good crisis go to waste

And if you have run low on crises, then create one. Let’s see how that might happen. Summer of 2010 and into the fall, fail to pass a budget bill for the fiscal year beginning 10/1/2010. In spite of being in control of Congress and the Executive. Even after November 2010 elections, when still in control until the new Congress convenes, let the matter continue to languish. Still no budget.

Fast-forward slowly to spring 2011. Need a crisis (for a host of reasons). Continue reading “Never let a good crisis go to waste”

I do not like it, Uncle Sam

I do not like it Uncle Sam, I do not like it Sam I am. I do not like these dirty crooks, neither how they cook the books. I do not like when Congress steals, I do not like their secret deals. I do not like this Speaker Nan, I do not like this “YES WE CAN!” I do not like this kind of hope, I do not like it, nope, nope, ……NOPE!

via Facebook.

Shamelessly lifted from Marc Bittner’s FB posting who lifted it from someone else, who lifted it from … and so on.  But it’s too good not to preserve.

Few generations get to defend their country. Your time is now.

I dare you to watch this entire video and then continue to be part of the silent majority. It’s a video of Judge Andrew Napolitano, former New Jersey state judge who sat on that state’s highest trial bench.  His main topic is healthcare and the idea that regulation of that activity (and many others) is not within the constitutional powers of Congress.  He is well-studied, articulate, and correct in that opinion.  He also talks a great deal about the tremendous abuse of power of our entire federal government.

I agree, and agree in particular with his comment from which my title is derived.  Only a few generations get the opportunity to defend their country, to defend the freedom of their country from enemies who would take it down.  My father’s generation had that opportunity and rose to the occasion in World War II.  That was the Greatest Generation.  Our — your — opportunity is now.  This is the hour when your generation has the opportunity, I say the obligation, to defend the country from the onslaught of a government run-amuck. Heady with the feeling of power, there seems to be no limit to what this government will attempt to ram down our throats. I’m not some radical nut, and neither are you or you would not be reading this far. I’ve taken an oath (many times) to defend the constitution and laws of this state and of the United States.  The Constitution takes precedence and citizens of patriotic good faith must speak out.

Click here to view the YouTube video. (you may need to enable popups in your browser)

About Judge Napolitano

Andrew P. Napolitano joined FOX News Channel FNC in January 1998 and currently serves as the senior judicial analyst. He provides legal analysis on both FNC and FOX Business Network FBN . He is also a fill in co-host for FOX & Friends regularly and co-hosts FOX News Radio s Brian and The Judge show daily.

Judge Napolitano is the youngest life-tenured Superior Court judge in the history of the State of New Jersey. While on the bench from 1987 to 1995, Judge Napolitano tried more than 150 jury trials and sat in all parts of the Superior Court – criminal, civil, equity and family. He has handled thousands of sentencings, motions, hearings and divorces. For 11 years, he served as an adjunct professor of constitutional law at Seton Hall Law School, where he provided instruction in constitutional law and jurisprudence.

Judge Napolitano returned to private law practice in 1995 and began television broadcasting in the same year. Judge Napolitano has written three books: Constitutional Chaos: What Happens When the Government Breaks Its Own Laws ; a New York Times bestseller, The Constitution in Exile: How the Federal Government Has Seized Power by Rewriting the Supreme Law of the Land ; and A Nation of Sheep. His writings have also been published in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, The Los Angeles Times, The St. Louis Post-Dispatch, The New York Sun, The Baltimore Sun, The New London Day, The Seton Hall Law Review, The New Jersey Law Journal and The Newark Star-Ledger. He lectures nationally on the Constitution and human freedom.

Judge Napolitano received his undergraduate degree from Princeton University in 1972, and received his Juris Doctor from University of Notre Dame in 1975.

via Andrew P. Napolitano – FOXNews.com.

Your most important vote … it’s not what you think ….

(this was originally thought of as a speech for the Highland Lakes Toastmasters Club on March 2, 2010 — more on that below)

It’s the day after election day for the party primaries in Texas and hopefully everyone got out to vote for the candidate of their choice. With early voting available it has become even easier to vote. What was your most important vote yesterday?

Voting is at the heart of this representative republic of ours. From the day people escaped the King of England and the fiefdoms that made virtual slaves of most, voting has been important, and fundamental, to this nation.  The Continental Congress and eventually the constitutional convention adopted a constitution by the process of … voting. The document was then ratified by the original members of the union, state by state, ratified by voting. See the timeline here.  What could possibly be your most important vote? It’s not what you think.

For two centuries and more following that time, citizens in cities, counties, states and the nation have been voting for legislative representatives, for the executive branch from mayors to governors to the president and, at least in Texas, for judges. Countless elections are held each year casting millions of votes. What is your most important vote? It may not be what you think it is.

We elect legislators who write the laws, the executive who administers the laws and the judges who interpret the laws. Laws are important, thus your vote is important. Law are important, indeed essential, in a civilized society for it is through those laws that a civilized society regulates the interaction  between and among the people. In uncivilized societies all you need is the biggest club, and when a nation-state is uncivilized (e.g. Nazi Germany) all you need is the biggest army. But in a civilized society you must have laws to define how we deal, one with the other.

Our fighting men and women have fought and died all over the world defending our freedom and, at it’s core, our right to vote. And all over the world there are people fighting even as I write this article to try to gain basic freedoms and, in particular, the right to vote. Voting is not only a right but truly is a privilege.

How you vote has an impact on how, and when, and to what extent the laws of our nation impact you, and me, and all of our neighbors. What then might be your most important vote? It almost certainly is not what you think it is.

Laws do regulate our relationships, one with the other. Whether it’s a contract matter, a marriage or divorce, the making of a Will or the probating of one, the resolution of a business dispute or a fenceline controversy, or perhaps obtaining justice for a crime perpetrated upon us, laws have a direct and immediate impact on our lives.

But when one of those matters of societal regulation goes awry, the law means nothing unless and until the matter gets into court for resolution. At a moment in time at the end of a trial there is a coalescing of all three branches of government — legislative, executive and judicial — creating a pinnacle of power that becomes vested solely in active participants in the administration of justice:  the jury.

That jury hears evidence, gets instructed by the judge on the applicable law, then deliberates and ultimately:  votes.  What then might indeed be your most important vote?  It’s the one as a member of a jury, an active participant in the administration of justice. That collective vote resulting in a jury verdict can have impact far beyond the immediate litigants. It can in fact come to have nationwide impact. Surely, such a vote or even the potential for such impactful vote is your most important vote.

The jury who sentences a defendant to “X” years for “Y” crime has just set the standard for the plea bargaining process between the District Attorney and defense lawyers for years to come. The jury who determines for the first time that a particular act was negligence sets a standard that governs future similar cases.  Whenever a jury assesses a large punitive damage award against a defendant for acting in a malicious manner it will have sent a message deterring that defendant from similar actions in the future. And when even large corporations suffer large damage awards, regular or punitive, that can change not only their behavior but that of an entire industry.

Think of the Ford Pintos and their exploding gas tanks, the Corvair that had a propensity to roll over, or the many suits regarding tobacco or asbestos. Entire industries have modified behaviors, policies and products:  all in the face of the votes of jurors.

Certainly, your vote as a juror may well be the most important vote of your career as a responsible citizen. Don’t squander that privilege the next time you get a jury summons. Step up, become an active participant in the administration of justice, and cast your most important vote.

I said this was “thought of” as a speech idea … I did a real quick jot of basic notes two weeks ago, then got tied up in a trial out of town for seven days and, sliding into town last night just prior to the Toastmasters meeting, had to do the speech in substantially an extemporaneous fashion.  With some trepidation, I recorded mine along with the other speeches, and mine is here:

Networks Ignore Alliances, Thuggery and Lobbying of SEIU

Members of the self-proclaimed fastest-growing union in North America have started fights at town hall meetings, share office space with ACORN and spent over $60 million to elect President Barack Obama.

via Networks Ignore Alliances, Thuggery and Lobbying of SEIU, By Julia A. Seymour
Business & Media Institute, 11/18/2009

That ACORN is still allowed to run amuck with our tax dollars and, according to many sources and reports, commit voting fraud, is NUTTY.  Read the above-mentioned story.  It tells two tales.

The first tale is one of yet another organization that is having a heavy, and (according to some) possibly illegal role in influencing the Whitehouse and federal policy in general.

The other tale is the continued turning-of-the-head by ABC, NBC and CBS to critical allegations that the public has the right to know — matters that are much more newsworthy than digging dirt on Sarah Palin.  Allegations that if true, and if constructively covered up by the so-called main stream media could amount to no less than a conspiracy further damage these United States of America.

The lesson? Find trustworthy alternate news sources, seek out this information, and share with your friends. I just did. Will you?

Joe’s Fair Plumbing Act of 2009 — purloined from emails

This is just too “cute” and funny, while distressingly logical, not to post here for posterity. I defy anyone to defeat the logic of this analogy.

Joe’s Fair Plumbing Act of 2009

Barack Obama discovers a leak under his sink, so he calls Joe the Plumber to come and fix it.

Joe drives to Obama’s house, which is located in a very nice neighborhood and where it’s clear that all the residents make more than $250,000 per year.

Joe arrives and takes his tools into the house. Joe is led to the room that contains the leaky pipe under a sink. Joe assesses the problem and tells Obama, who is standing near the door, that it’s an easy repair that will take less than 10 minutes.

Obama asks Joe how much it will cost. Joe immediately says, “$9,500.”

“$9,500?” Obama asks, stunned, “But you said it’s an easy repair!”


“Yes, but what I do is charge a lot more to my clients who make more than $250,000 per year so I can fix the plumbing of everybody who makes less than that for free,” explains Joe. “It’s always been my philosophy.  As
a matter of fact, I lobbied government to pass this philosophy as law,

and it did pass earlier this year, so now all plumbers have to do business this way. It’s known as ‘Joe’s Fair Plumbing Act of 2009.’ Surprised you haven’t heard of it.”

In spite of that, Obama tells Joe there’s no way he’s paying that much for a small plumbing repair, so Joe leaves. Obama spends the next hour flipping through the phone book looking for another plumber, but he finds that all other plumbing businesses listed have gone out of business. Not wanting to pay Joe’s price, Obama does nothing. The leak under Obama’s sink goes unrepaired for the next several days.

A week later the leak is so bad that Obama has had to put a bucket under the sink. The bucket fills up quickly and has to be emptied every hour, and there’s a risk that the room will flood, so Obama calls Joe and pleads with him to return.  Joe goes back to Obama’s house, looks at the
leaky pipe, and says, “ Let’s see – this will cost you about $21,000.”

“A few days ago you told me it would cost $9,500!” Obama quickly fires back.

Joe explains the reason for the dramatic increase. “Well, because of the ‘Joe’s Fair Plumbing Act,’ a lot of rich people are learning how to fix their own plumbing, so there are fewer of you paying for all the free plumbing I’m doing for the people who make less than $250,000. As a result, the rate I have to charge my wealthy paying customers rises every day.

“Not only that, but for some reason the demand for plumbing work from the group of people who get it for free has skyrocketed, and there’s a long waiting list of those who need repairs. This has put a lot of my fellow plumbers out of business, and they’re not being replaced – nobody is going
into the plumbing business because they know they won’t make any money. I’m hurting now too – all thanks to greedy rich people like you who won’t pay their fair share.”

Obama tries to straighten out the plumber: “Of course you’re hurting, Joe! Don’t you get it? If all the rich people learn how to fix their own plumbing and you refuse to charge the poorer people for your services, you’ll be broke, and then what will you do?”

Joe immediately replies, “Run for president, apparently.”

What’s your view of what’s wrong in America?

My view is that NOTHING is wrong in America — not in the REAL America.

It’s the politics in Washington that is trampling on the Constitution, spending us into the poor house, and padding the pockets of special interests that’s wrong.  The following is a piece from Glenn Beck that lays it out pretty nicely. There may be something in what follows with which I don’t agree, but I haven’t found it yet. What’s your view?

One, illegal immigration. I want you to stop coddling illegal immigrants and secure our borders. Close the underground tunnels. Stop the violence and the trafficking in drugs and people. No amnesty, not again.. Been there, done that, no resolution. P.S., I’m not a racist. This isn’t to be confused with legal immigration.

Two, the TARP bill, I want it repealed and I want no further funding supplied to it. We told you no, but you did it anyway. I want the remaining unfunded 95% repealed. Freeze, repeal.

Three: Czars, I want the circumvention of our checks and balances stopped immediately. Fire the czars. No more czars. Government officials answer to the process, not to the president. Stop trampling on our Constitution and honor it.

Four, cap and trade. The debate on global warming is not over. There is more to say.

Five, universal healthcare. I will not be rushed into another expensive decision. Don’t you dare try to pass this in the middle of the night and then go on break. Slow down!

Six, growing government control. I want states rights and sovereignty fully restored. I want less government in my life, not more. Shrink it down. Mind your own business. You have enough to take care of with your real obligations. Why don’t you start there.

Seven, ACORN. I do not want ACORN and its affiliates in charge of our 2010 census. I want them investigated. I also do not want mandatory escrow fees contributed to them every time on every real estate deal that closes. Stop the funding to ACORN and its affiliates pending impartial audits and investigations. I do not trust them with taking the census over with our taxpayer money. I don’t trust them with our taxpayer money. Face up to the allegations against them and get it resolved before taxpayers get any more involved with them. If it walks like a duck and talks like a duck, hello. Stop protecting your political buddies. You work for us, the people. Investigate.

Eight, redistribution of wealth. No, no, no. I work for my money. It is mine. I have always worked for people with more money than I have because they gave me jobs. That is the only redistribution of wealth that I will support. I never got a job from a poor person. Why do you want me to hate my employers? Why — what do you have against shareholders making a profit?

Nine, charitable contributions. Although I never got a job from a poor person, I have helped many in need. Charity belongs in our local communities, where we know our needs best and can use our local talent and our local resources. Butt out, please. We want to do it ourselves.

Ten, corporate bailouts. Knock it off. Sink or swim like the rest of us. If there are hard times ahead, we’ll be better off just getting into it and letting the strong survive. Quick and painful. Have you ever ripped off a Band-Aid? We will pull together. Great things happen in America under great hardship. Give us the chance to innovate. We cannot disappoint you more than you have disappointed us.

Eleven, transparency and accountability.. How about it? No, really, how about it? Let’s have it. Let’s say we give the buzzwords a rest and have some straight honest talk. Please try — please stop manipulating and trying to appease me with clever wording. I am not the idiot you obviously take me for. Stop sneaking around and meeting in back rooms making deals with your friends. It will only be a prelude to your criminal investigation. Stop hiding things from me..

Twelve, unprecedented quick spending. Stop it now. 
 
Take a breath. Listen to the people. Let’s just slow down and get some input from some nonpoliticians on the subject. Stop making everything an emergency. Stop speed reading our bills into law. I am not an activist. I am not a community organizer. Nor am I a terrorist, a militant or a violent person. I am a parent and a grandparent. I work. I’m busy. I’m busy. I am busy, and I am tired. I thought we elected competent people to take care of the business s of government so that we could work, raise our families, pay our bills, have a little recreation, complain about taxes, endure our hardships, pursue our personal goals, cut our lawn, wash our cars on the weekends and be responsible contributing members of society and teach our children to be the same all while living in the home of the free and land of the brave.

I entrusted you with upholding the Constitution. I believed in the checks and balances to keep from getting far off course. What happened? You are very far off course. Do you really think I find humor in the hiring of a speed reader to unintelligently ramble all through a bill that you signed into law without knowing what it contained? I do not. It is a mockery of the responsibility I have entrusted to you. It is a slap in the face. I am not laughing at your arrogance. Why is it that I feel as if you would not trust me to make a single decision about my own life and how I would live it but you should expect that I should trust you with the debt that you have laid on all of us and our children. We did not want the TARP bill.. We said no. We would repeal it if we could. I am sure that we still cannot.. There is such urgency and recklessness in all of the recent spending.

From my perspective, it seems that all of you have gone insane. I also know that I am far from alone in these feelings. Do you honestly feel that your current pursuits have merit to patriotic Americans? We want it to stop. We want to put the brakes on everything that is being rushed by us and forced upon us. We want our voice back. You have forced us to put our lives on hold to straighten out the mess that you are making. We will have to give up our vacations, our time spent with our children, any relaxation time we may have had and money we cannot afford to spend on you to bring our concerns to Washington . Our president often knows all the right buzzword is unsustainable. Well, no kidding. How many tens of thousands of dollars did the focus group cost to come up with that word? We don’t want your overpriced words. Stop treating us like we’re morons.

We want all of you to stop focusing on your reelection and do the job we want done, not the job you want done or the job your party wants done. You work for us and at this rate I guarantee you not for long because we are coming. We will be heard and we will be represented.. You think we’re so busy with our lives that we will never come for you? We are the formerly silent majority, all of us who quietly work , pay taxes, obey the law, vote, save money, keep our noses to the grindstone and we are now looking up at you. You have awakened us, the patriotic spirit so strong and so powerful that it had been sleeping too long. You have pushed us too far. Our numbers are great. They may surprise you. For every one of us who will be there, there will be hundreds more that could not come. Unlike you, we have their trust. We will represent them honestly, rest assured. They will be at the polls on voting day to usher you out of office. We have cancelled vacations. We will use our last few dollars saved. We will find the representation among us and a grassroots campaign will flourish. We didn’t ask for this fight. But the gloves are coming off. We do not come in violence, but we are angry. You will represent us or you will be replaced with someone who will. There are candidates among us when he will rise like a Phoenix from the ashes that you have made of our constitution.

Democrat, Republican, independent, libertarian. Understand this. We don’t care. Political parties are meaningless to us. Patriotic Americans are willing to do right by us and our Constitution and that is all that matters to us now. We are going to fire all of you who abuse power and seek more. It is not your power. It is ours and we want it back. We entrusted you with it and you abused it. You are dishonorable. You are dishonest. As Americans we are ashamed of you. You have brought shame to us. If you are not representing the wants and needs of your constituency loudly and consistently, in spite of the objections of your party, you will be fired. Did you hear? We no longer care about your political parties. You need to be loyal to us, not to them. Because we will get you fired and they will not save you. If you do or can represent me, my issues, my views, please stand up. Make your identity known. You need to make some noise about it. Speak up. I need to know who you are. If you do not speak up, you will be herded out with the rest of the sheep and we will replace the whole damn congress if need be one by one.

We are coming.. Are we coming for you? Who do you represent? What do you represent? Listen. Because we are coming. We the people are coming.

DID THIS GUY GET IT RIGHT OR WHAT? – de Tocqueville

In “Democracy in America,” Alexis de Tocqueville anticipated people being governed by “an immense, tutelary power” determined to take “sole charge of assuring their enjoyment and of watching over their fate.” It would be a power “absolute, attentive to detail, regular, provident and gentle,” aiming for our happiness but wanting “to be the only agent and the sole arbiter of that happiness.” It would, Tocqueville said, provide people security, anticipate their needs, direct their industries and divide their inheritances. It would envelop society in “a network of petty regulations — complicated, minute and uniform.” But softly: “It does not break wills; it softens them, bends them, and directs them” until people resemble “a herd of timid and industrious animals, of which the government is the shepherd.”

via DID THIS GUY GET IT RIGHT OR WHAT? – Nealz Nuze on boortz.com.

Wow. Prophetic? Read more. Not a partisan comment at all, but does any of this sound like what we hear from government circles today? I’m looking for my copy of Democracy in America now.

The preceding is an excerpt from a column by George Will,

“Upside-Down Economy”  via George Will : Upside-Down Economy – Townhall.com.

And another view/description:

“Every government interference in the economy consists of giving an unearned benefit, extorted by force, to some men at the expense of others.”

Ayn Rand

All of the focus in the national discussion, outside of conservative talk shows, is about the national deficit and debt (a bit of discussion about those terms in another blog entry). The real discussion should be about the loss of liberty. Truly, our freedom is at stake in the current federal government trends, not just our pocket books — our fundamental freedom.  That the government would be so attentive to our every need is … ludicrous … and quite dangerous. It would then “be the only agent and the sole arbiter of that happiness.” (Tocqueville as quoted above).  Not you, because you have abdicated your personal responsibility and placed it in the hands of others.