Wise Up People!

Are you fed up with the choices you have this year as we ready ourselves to see who becomes our next President of the United States? The whole “two-party” system is a farce, and if you do not believe me, listen to the experienced words of our first President, George Washington:

I have already intimated to you the danger of parties in the State, with particular reference to the founding of them on geographical discriminations. Let me now take a more comprehensive view, and warn you in the most solemn manner against the baneful effects of the spirit of party generally.

This spirit, unfortunately, is inseparable from our nature, having its root in the strongest passions of the human mind. It exists under different shapes in all governments, more or less stifled, controlled, or repressed; but, in those of the popular form, it is seen in its greatest rankness, and is truly their worst enemy.

The alternate domination of one faction over another, sharpened by the spirit of revenge, natural to party dissension, which in different ages and countries has perpetrated the most horrid enormities, is itself a frightful despotism. But this leads at length to a more formal and permanent despotism. The disorders and miseries which result gradually incline the minds of men to seek security and repose in the absolute power of an individual; and sooner or later the chief of some prevailing faction, more able or more fortunate than his competitors, turns this disposition to the purposes of his own elevation, on the ruins of public liberty.

Without looking forward to an extremity of this kind (which nevertheless ought not to be entirely out of sight), the common and continual mischiefs of the spirit of party are sufficient to make it the interest and duty of a wise people to discourage and restrain it.

It serves always to distract the public councils and enfeeble the public administration. It agitates the community with ill-founded jealousies and false alarms, kindles the animosity of one part against another, foments occasionally riot and insurrection. It opens the door to foreign influence and corruption, which finds a facilitated access to the government itself through the channels of party passions. Thus the policy and the will of one country are subjected to the policy and will of another.

There is an opinion that parties in free countries are useful checks upon the administration of the government and serve to keep alive the spirit of liberty. This within certain limits is probably true; and in governments of a monarchical cast, patriotism may look with indulgence, if not with favor, upon the spirit of party. But in those of the popular character, in governments purely elective, it is a spirit not to be encouraged. From their natural tendency, it is certain there will always be enough of that spirit for every salutary purpose. And there being constant danger of excess, the effort ought to be by force of public opinion, to mitigate and assuage it. A fire not to be quenched, it demands a uniform vigilance to prevent its bursting into a flame, lest, instead of warming, it should consume.

In order for things to change, we have to be that change. Elections will not get better unless we step up and insist on making things better. One way to do that is to increase voting for third (and fourth and fifth) party candidates, so we balance the field and eliminate the power and corruption of the two main parties that take power and control for granted because they do not think we will ever rise up. It’s time people. Wise up, and rise up!

You can read more of George Washington’s Farewell Address from 1796 at the Avalon Project.

Honestly, I Have Made My Decision

It is no secret that I do not support either of the main party candidates, and some of you have asked why I would support Gary Johnson, given his libertarian positions… Well, I think his interview with Chris Matthews reveals one of the many reasons why I support Gary Johnson…

“Libertarian presidential candidate Gary Johnson struggled to name a single foreign leader when asked who his favorite was during an MSNBC town hall Wednesday night.”

Wait. What? He cannot recall the name of a single foreign leader during an interview and THAT supports my own reasons for voting for him? How could that be?

Well, on any given day I could point out that Hillary Clinton is not the best choice for President of the United States because of her past decisions as Secretary of State, her experiences as First Lady, and her own words spoken in the past.

I could also point out that Donald Trump is equally unfit to serve as President of the United States because of his past decisions in business, his experiences as a candidate for this office, and his own words spoken in the past.

The one thing they both have in common, is misleading voters into believing they are fit to serve in this office, and lying to the American people when they are confronted with truths they do not wish to admit. Both of them have done this several times, live, on camera, in front of the American people. This is one commonality that they share equally, and we as responsible voters should not allow them to deny. Hillary Clinton is a liar, her words are on record. Donald Trump is a liar, his words are on record.

Whether you support a Democrat, a Republican, a Libertarian, an independent, or some other candidate, you have to remember that budgets, fiscal policies, foreign policies, national laws, and all the other decisions that come with being President are influenced, controlled, and manipulated by many different people, but honesty is owned by the person sitting in that chair, at that time.

I would prefer to have a President who I can trust. I would prefer to have a President who tells me the truth when I need to hear it. I would prefer a President who would rather look stupid on television because he or she could not remember the name of a foreign leader and rely on his or her Vice-President to help them remember, than one who would prefer to mislead me into believing his or her falsehoods just to make themselves look good on television. In fact, that is why the President of the United States has a Cabinet, advisors, and secretaries. I would prefer a President who is a good leader, and sometimes being a good leader means relying on the suggestions and guidance of those assisting you rather than “saving face” to make you appear more powerful.

If a candidate cannot tell the truth about the simplest of things, why should we expect them to tell us the truth when we need to hear it? And that my friends, is one of the many reasons I still support Gary Johnson for President of the United States.

Interview Source: http://www.nbcnews.com/politics/elections/gary-johnson-has-aleppo-moment-msnbc-town-hall-struggles-name-n656611

Detroit News Endorsement of Gary Johnson: http://www.detroitnews.com/story/opinion/editorials/2016/09/28/endorse-johnson-president/91254412/

Gary Johnson on the Issues: https://www.johnsonweld.com/issues

We Are Expected To Do Better!

People are touting Donald Trump for President by linking to a blog written by Joseph Botts. The title of the blog entry is “Honestly, Why Would Anyone Vote For Trump”. The author lists 10 reasons why he is voting for Trump (Botts, 2016), so I thought I would take a look at those reasons to see how my own opinion measures up.

The first reason is Trump’s resume, where Botts says, “Of everyone running for president, Trump is the only one who has ever employed anyone”. Well, that is not true. Gary Johnson started a handyman business in his junior year of college and built it into a 1,000 employee construction firm (Stein, 2012). Sure, that business was not on the “scale” of Donald Trump, but Johnson never filed bankruptcy once, let alone four times like Trump (Carroll, 2015), to save his business.

The second reason listed is Donald Trump’s character. Say what? Have people forgotten the way he treated Megyn Kelly (Thompson, 2016), let alone the comments he made about nearly all of his opponents during the primary? Yeah, I will agree here, Donald Trump is definitely a character, so much so that he would have been the guy my parents told me to avoid because he would be a bad influence on my own character.

Reason #3, is his success. Honestly, I will give him this one. Donald Trump is better than President Obama and Hillary Clinton on re-writing history, just search YouTube for all of the comments he made on air during the primary, if you can still find them.

The fourth reason is that he is a great negotiator. I will give him this one too. It is no secret that Trump is great at negotiations. Four bankruptcies (Carroll, 2015) and his inane ability to convince the media to play lap dog should have you convinced of his ability to negotiate! But I digress…

Reason #5, is that Trump is a nationalist, not a globalist. The author goes on to state that Trump believes that our country comes first. Sorry, I do not care which side of the aisle you find yourself, but EVERY candidate would make this same claim. They may not approach it the same way, ie: building a wall across our entire southern border and alienating other countries while touting “nationalist” ideas. Fidel Castro, Augusto Pinochet, Slobodan Milosevic, Francisco Franco, Benito Mussolini, Chiang Kai-shek, and Ho Chi Minh were all nationalists too (Wikipedia, 2016), and don’t forget that famous guy from Germany during World War II who shall not be named because referencing him is just too blasé. Thank you, but no thank you, I do not think being a nationalist is a plus that should be used to garner my support for a candidate.

The sixth reason lists Trumps great insincts. The author lists his prediction of the rise of Osama bin Laden and his opposition to the war in Iraq. Oh, and he mentions that Trump “got out of the gaming industry before it crashed”. Well, that may be true but not before some trial and error since three of the four bankruptcies included The Taj Mahal Casino in 1991, Trump Hotels and Casinos Resorts in 2004, and Trump Entertainment Resorts (formerly Trump Hotels and Casinos Resorts) in 2009 (Carroll, 2015). Apparently Donald Trump’s instincts only kick in after he has had several warnings, and real life experiences, that provide the information he needs before those darned instincts begin to kick in.

Number seven makes me laugh. “He is a natural leader”. “He is respected internationally as well as in our nation”. “He oozes leadership”. Really? French Prime Minister Manuel Valls said that Trump stokes hatred. London Mayor Boris Johnson says, “Donald Trump’s ill-informed comments are complete and utter nonsense”. Recep Tayyip Erdogan, the President of Turkey, said that Trump would have difficulty cultivating successful relationships with other countries because of his rhetoric. Former British Prime Minister David Cameron critized Trump for his proposal to ban Muslims from entering the United States saying his remarks were divisive, stupid, and wrong. Even Pope Francis said, “A person who thinks only about building walls, wherever they may be, and not building bridges, is not Christian” (Bukszpan, 2016). These comments are from some of our strongest allies, just imagine how other international leaders would show him their respect! How in the world will The Donald ooze leadership and earn respect from abroad if he is already offending our closest allies?

The eighth reason is Trump’s ability to be a persuader and a great communicator. The author states that Trump completely understands the media and “built the most successful reality show in the history of television”. Apparently the author of this blog has not heard of Survivor, The Real World, American Idol, The Bachelor, Project Runway, The Amazing Race, Real Housewives, Jersey Shore, The Biggest Loser, Hell’s Kitchen, or Top Chef. Most “top reality show” sources list The Real World, Survivor, Big Brother, American Idol and The Amazing Race in their top spots, but ironically, The Apprentice (you know, the most successful reality show in the history of television) is 84th on IMDB’s list of the most popular reality television shows (IMDB, 2016) and 34th at Complex (Gruttadaro, Reese, Barone, Aquino, & Sheldon, 2014), The Celebrity Apprentice is ranked 96th at tv.com (TV.COM, 2016). If being #34, #84, or #96 are “successful” rankings then Donald Trump must truly be a great persuader because the author of the blog is convinced that The Apprentice was the most successful reality show ever.

The author lists his ninth reason for supporting Donald Trump as “I have studied him”. Well, so have I, but I chose not to wear the rose-colored glasses when I was looking at Trumps past, his record, his own words, and more importantly, his own actions. The author says Trump is “the real deal”. Many people thought the same thing about President Obama. Years ago I wrote extensively about Mr. Obama’s forked tongue and the words I wrote about Mr. Obama before he became President are still true today. It seems that Mr. Trump comes from the same lineage of forked-tongue human beings that honestly believe their own words no matter how many times they have contradicted themselves.

Finally, number ten. What motivates Donald Trump? His ego. I agree with the author when he states that Trump’s legacy is important to him, but I disagree with him when he says Trump is not motivated by power. Donald Trump is a megalomaniac. He is obsessed with his own power. Trump quickly dismisses anyone who disagrees with him by exerting a false sense of authority and then quickly listing reason after reason for his expertise on any given subject being discussed. Trump claims to have information, usually from unknown sources, which he then spouts as undeniable fact with absolutely no evidence (Norcross, 2016). If someone disagrees with him he insults them and uses his “instincts” to make some wild accusation while attacking their character. If you do not believe me, just look for some of those videos on YouTube where he insulted Megyn Kelly, Carly Fiorina, Marco Rubio, and many, many, more.

Donald Trump’s ego, and his own words and actions, are the top reasons why I am not voting for him. I have checked his record. I have listened to his words. I have watched his actions. Donald Trump is no more a conservative than Joe Biden, Rahm Emanuel, Hillary Clinton, John Kerry, or Ted Kennedy, all of whom he has donated money. In fact, in 2007 he said, “I’m very much independent… I go for the person, not necessarily the party. I mean, I vote for Republicans and I vote for Democrats.” (Norcross, 2016).

For my conservative friends who claim that Donald Trump is the savior of the United States of America, I simply ask you to wake up. The choices are not necessarily (R) or (D). Principles, morals, and character should be defining factors that shape each individual, especially those running for public office. Choosing the lesser of two evils is killing our great nation.

As citizens we deserve better. As voters we are expected to do better.

References

Botts, J. (2016). Honestly, Why Would Anyone Vote For Trump? Retrieved from https://josephbotts.com/2016/05/24/honestly-why-would-anyone-vote-for-trump/

Bukszpan, D. (2016), Here’s What World Leaders Say About Donald Trump. Retrieved from http://fortune.com/2016/02/24/donald-trump-nevada-critics/

Carroll, L. (2015). Fact-checking claims about Donald Trump’s four bankruptcies. Retrieved from http://www.politifact.com/truth-o-meter/statements/2015/sep/21/carly-fiorina/trumps-four-bankruptcies/

Gruttadaro, A., Reese, N., Barone, M., Aquino, T., & Sheldon, R. (2014).The 50 Best Reality TV Shows of All Time. Retrieved from http://www.complex.com/pop-culture/2014/11/best-reality-tv-shows-all-time-1/

IMDB. (2016). Most Popular Reality-TV Series. Retrieved from http://www.imdb.com/search/title?title_type=tv_series&genres=reality_tv

Norcross, J. (2016). Donald Trump: A Fascinating and Terrifying Study in Megalomania and Irrationality. Retrieved from http://jonathonnorcross.com/post/5024418661/donald-trump-a-fascinating-and-terrifying-study

Norcross, J. (2016). Vile Propagandist Donald Trump Spews More Obama Conspiracy Theories. Retrieved from http://jonathonnorcross.com/post/4672753650/vile-propagandist-donald-trump-spews-more-obama

Stein, J. (2012). Who Is Gary Johnson? And Why Is the GOP So Mad at Him? Retrieved from http://swampland.time.com/2012/11/01/who-is-gary-johnson-and-why-is-the-gop-so-mad-at-him/

Thompson, K. (2016). Megyn Kelly on Donald Trump: ‘I have done my level best to not make this story about me.’ Retrieved from https://www.washingtonpost.com/lifestyle/megyn-kelly-preps-for-her-trump-interview-a-chance-to-go-to-a-different-place/2016/05/16/15e46206-187a-11e6-9e16-2e5a123aac62_story.html

TV.COM. (2016). Reality Shows. Retrieved from http://www.tv.com/shows/category/reality/

Wikipedia. (2016). List of figures in nationalism. Retrieved from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_figures_in_nationalism

Has Harry Reid Even Read The U.S. Constitution?

In a classic Harry Reid moment, the U.S. Senate voted on the “food safety” bill (also known as the United States Anti-Farming Bill).

The vote was 73-25 in favor of restricting your right to purchase food from local vendors, restricting your right to choose where your food comes from, and ultimately restricting your right to even grow your own food.

Although it looked bad when this passed the Senate, it turns out things may not be as bad as we thought. It turns out Harry Reid screwed up again.

A food safety bill that has burned up precious days of the Senate’s lame-duck session appears headed back to the chamber because Democrats violated a constitutional provision requiring that tax provisions originate in the House.

Yup. Scary Harry pulled a fast one and tried to push through a bill which is unconstitutional… again.

Section 107 of the bill includes a set of fees that are classified as revenue raisers, which are technically taxes under the Constitution. According to a House GOP leadership aide, that section has ruffled the feathers of Ways and Means Committee Democrats, who are expected to use the blue slip process to block completion of the bill.

I’ll believe it when I see it. Nothing Nanny State Nancy Pelosi or Scary Harry Reid have done (in more than four years) has led me to believe they will do the right thing.

The End Of The Home Garden?

Unfortunately, Senate Bill 510, The FDA Food Safety Modernization Act, passed cloture with a vote of 74-25 with Lisa Murkowski being the only Senator not voting.

74 to 25. Wow. Three-quarters of our U.S. Senators believe that squashing the efforts of the small, local, farmer are more important than not, and I find that very appalling.

This bill is one of the most dangerous bills in the history of our country because it places new government authority over your rights to grow vegetables and trade (or sell) them to your neighbors.

In essence, all food production (even that food grown in your own garden at home) will fall under the authority of the federal government. For instance, if you grow some veggies in your own garden and then offer them to your neighbors at your local farmers market you can be charged with smuggling, yes smuggling.

Corporate monopolies (like Monsanto) will be allowed unfettered reign over our nation’s produce because it will be nearly impossible for everyday citizens like you and I to harvest, sort, or store seeds of any kind because of the required “standards” by which it must be done. Don’t believe me? Read it for yourself.

(c) Regulations – Not later than 1 year after the date of the enactment of this Act, the Administrator, in consultation with the Secretary of Agriculture and representatives of State departments of agriculture, shall promulgate regulations to establish science-based minimum standards for the safe production of food by food production facilities. Such regulations shall–

(1) consider all relevant hazards, including those occurring naturally,and those that may be unintentionally or intentionally introduced;

(2) require each food production facility to have a written food safety plan that describes the likely hazards and preventive controls implemented to address those hazards;

(3) include with respect to growing, harvesting, sorting,and storage operations, minimum standards related to fertilizer use, nutrients, hygiene, packaging, temperature controls, animal encroachment… and water;

If you’re still not convinced that SB510 is bad, take a look at this video and decide for yourself.

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Georgia’s own Senators, Chambliss and Isakson, not only voted for cloture but they both co-sponsored the bill. When they voted for TARP I thought I would never be more disgusted with them. Boy was I wrong.

Earmarks For Me, But Not For Thee

The results of the mid-term election were pretty definitive. People are fed up with the status quo and we need real change to save our great country. As a result of the vote, Republicans in Washington D.C are vowing to put an end to earmarks (aka reckless spending) in legislation.

Georgia’s very own (just re-elected) Senator, Johnny Isakson (R-GA) has stated he will support the moratorium on earmarks. Well, unless the earmarks are for funding projects within the state of Georgia.

I supported a temporary, two-year moratorium on congressional earmarks today because I agree we should not be funding projects that are frivolous or non-essential functions of the federal government.

“The oath I swore to uphold when I was elected by the people of Georgia was to the U.S. Constitution, which directs the Congress to appropriate federal tax dollars. I will never abandon my oath, and I will continue to fight for funding for projects such as the expansion of the Savannah port that is critical to my state and to U.S. trade, the settlement of the tri-state water compact involving Georgia, funding for our troops and the best interests of the people in the state of Georgia.

“I also will push for Congress to address the biggest concerns of my Georgia constituents – skyrocketing federal spending and debt. I will continue to push my proposal for Congress to switch to biennial budgeting so that we can give federal spending the scrutiny and oversight that has been sorely lacking. In addition, I supported several other proposals today to reduce discretionary spending, balance the budget, freeze federal hiring, stop unfunded mandates to the states and impose a moratorium on new entitlement spending.”

This is what happens when we elect people who speak out of both sides of their mouths and don’t know the difference between truth and fiction.

Thanks Johnny, it took you just two weeks to re-affirm one of the many reasons I didn’t vote for you this time around. The good news is, we’re on to you. The bad news is we’re stuck with you for six more years.