Food For Thought

"Labor unions would have us believe that they transfer income from rich capitalists to poor workers. In fact, they mostly transfer income from the large number of non-union workers to a small number of relatively well-off union workers." - Robert E. Anderson

Sunday, April 25, 2010

You Can't Have It Both Ways

A new law in Virginia highlights the hypocricy that's rife in politics.

It seems that when the state passed legislation in March to include safety information in public school cirriculum, someone screwed up and the legislation got passed with holes. In specific, they left out information on firearm safety.

So, the state has included information in its mandated cirriculum from the National Rifle Association. Predictably, this has gotten the "fur" up on some folks.

Now let's back up a moment.

First of all, since almost half of American households exercise their clear Second Amendment rights, firearms are the rule, not the exception. Second, since they are as liable, in misuse or accident, to cause death and injury as, say, household poisons, electricity, fire and other tools of everyday life, they constitute something about which children should be taught.

Third, the NRA's information is neither "pro-gun" or "pro-hunting". It is simply a program that emphasises safety. For example, the NRA mascot, Eddie the Eagle, advises kids, "I
f you see a gun: STOP! Don't Touch. Leave the Area. Tell an Adult."

Nothing terribly controversial there. Or so one would think.

The hypocricy, however, is thrown sharply into focus when one hears the "horror" comments from some Helen Lovejoy-like ("Won't Someone Think of the Children!!!") parents:
"I personally don't think firearm safety has a place in the schools,that's up to the parents to teach that at home."
Now while I don't disagree, consider subtly changing just a few words:
"I personally don't think sex education has a place in the schools,that's up to the parents to teach that at home."
The hypocricy is clear. Some folks want to abdicate their Responsibilities for teaching children morals, safety and other personal lessons to the state (schools) but they draw the line at firearm safety?

Personally, I believe that government has no place to legislate morality. Morals, ethics, hygene and other such personal issues should be taught by parents. Attempts at such legislation (hello, 18th Ammendment) are doomed to failure. One cannot legislate human nature. However, too many parents have decided that they'd rather have someone else doing their job. And now, when the government simply extends that job to a safety item as pervasive as others it already covers, they are aghast.

As I have said before, there is a clear law of the universe -- one cannot have a Right without a commensurate Responsility. As people give up their Responsibilities, their Rights are equally curtailed. We have given up many Rights in the past decades and our present administration is actively seeking to 'end run' the Second Ammendment and remove our Right to Bear Arms. If we don't live up to our responsibilities to teach our children and instead expect the state to, we can't be surprised when the state takes away our rights, too.

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Monday, April 19, 2010

The Poor Woman and the VAT

[Luke 21:1] As he looked up, Jesus saw the rich putting their gifts into the temple treasury. [2] He also saw a poor widow put in two very small copper coins. [3] "I tell you the truth," he said, "this poor widow has put in more than all the others. [4] All these people gave their gifts out of their wealth; but she out of her poverty put in all she had to live on."

Usually, those who hear this story interpret it as someone giving their all being more generous than those who give just what they can afford. In truth, that's the idea that's being pursued, but there's a much deeper lesson for the taxpayers and citizens of this country.

Faced with a massive deficit and burdened with the costs of the new Health Care program, the administration and Congress (both of whom like the "and spend" portion of "tax and spend" so they must do the "tax" portion as well) are seriously looking into a European style Value Added Tax (VAT). What's that? Well, put simply it turns a "tax" into a "fee".

What happens is that a good or service, instead of being taxed at the time of sale, is taxed all along the line from the point where its created to the point when its delivered. That is, each time "value" is "added", there's a tax. This, then, becomes "hidden" in the cost of the item. So let's say you go to McDonald's for their (damn you, Ronald) highly addictive Iced Coffee. It costs $1.49, plus tax (I disavow all responsibility for knowing this). So, in Wisconsin, that's 5% sales tax. I see $1.49 on the menu and I have to pay $1.56.

In Europe, I'd see $1.56 on the menu, instead.

This is insidious for a couple of reasons.
  • What you don't see, you don't think about. That means that you just "see" the $1.56. You don't realize that there's a tax in there. When the price goes up, you don't know if its the Cost of Business, if it's materials, if there's a coffee bean farmer's strike, or if Congress just voted themselves another pay raise.
  • That is, this gives Congress a silent, perpetual bank account in the form of the consumer's pocket. They can levy whatever taxes they want and keep up their spendthrift ways without much repurcussion against them. They don't have to blatantly raise taxes that you feel on April 15. Instead, they can just quietly do what they want and you'll think, "Hmm... guess my coffee's a bit more expensive, now."
  • Also, bear in mind that this is additional to, not instead of, state and local taxes. Yup, that's right, if this goes through, you'll not only be paying Uncle Sam on April 15th from your wages, you'll also be paying him for nearly everything you buy for your day to day living. And remember that the states, themselves, are facing huge budget deficits of their own, for which they will be raising taxes.
The administration and Congress know that there's not nearly enough money for them to fund not only the programs they've already put in place and mandated, but the ones they're now floating like the Dodd Plan. So they have to come up with an "inexhaustable supply" of cash (other than Obama's Stash) and this is their proposal for doing just that. As Jack Welch (former GE CEO) said on his April 15th Twitter,

Don't fall for a VAT tax plan "to get us out of hole"..It is a politicians dream PIGGY BANK

But one has to ask if it does, in fact work, then why not use it? For the answer, let's look at what happens in Europe. It turns out that Europe's VAT, the model for the U.S. lawmakers, is being used exactly as Mr. Welch predicted (and as any reasonably logical person would predict) -- it's a neverending stream of income that depends on subtly and constantly increasing rates.

But JT, what does this have to do with the "Poor Woman" parable?

Well, that's another of the insidious points to this -- it hurts exactly the people its proponents like to say they're helping. But then, this is nothing new. Already, the President has reneged on his pledge to not increase taxes on those making $250k per year. He has to. There's no money left.

But I digress. Remember the mantra of the administration and Congress that all these entitlement programs, including the Health Care bill are "for the poor"? Not so much. You see, a VAT is not a progressive tax. Its an across the board tax that taxes everyone based on their consumption.

I know this can be hard to follow, so let's take it back to the McDonald's analogy.

If I pay $1.56 for a cup of coffee, which includes 5% VAT (in my example), I do it out of $10 in my pocket. If someone not as well off as me, with say $2 in their pocket pays $1.56 for a cup of coffee, they have paid 4% of their available money in tax whereas I've paid less than 1%. They have, in effect, paid four times more than me because they have less to begin with.

A VAT therefore discriminates against those who have less to spend. Like the "Poor Woman", its a larger percentage of her available money than those who have more to spend.

And, in many ways, a VAT is nothing but a trough (excuse the applicable pun). It is, as I've pointed out earlier, a way for the government to go on an eternal feeding frenzy.

Our government has learned the hard way that taxes are a hotbutton issue. They have seen that We the People get a might testy when they tax us. But they need more feed in the trough, so their solution is to hide the source of the feed. Once again, they have attacked the symptom, not the cause. The cause, as so eloquently pointed out and proved by Eisenhower and Reagan, is spending.

Until and unless We the People demand, by ousting the hogs from the trough, an end to the spendthrift ways of our legislature, we will continue to be taxed. And now, we will be taxed without even being aware of it.

I, for one, am sick and tired of this endless cycle. And so, as I've said before, I've come to the conclusion that those who feed and feed and feed at the public trough are through. Using the guidance of our Founding Fathers, I am working actively to oust the incumbents -- all of them regadless of party -- who believe that "tax and spend" is their "right" and have failed to insure the blessings of liberty.

This is what I'm doing. What are you doing?

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Saturday, April 17, 2010

A Modest Proposal

This was passed to me by one of my readers. I wholeheartedly agree. Much like King George, our Congress sees fit to pass laws to which they, themselves (and their special interests) are exempt.

It's time to change that. I won't detract by commenting further, but I present the letter, in total, hoping some of you will pass it along.

This will take less than thirty seconds to read. If you agree,
please pass it on.

An idea whose time has come.

For too long we have been too complacent about the workings of Congress. Many citizens had no idea that members of Congress could retire with the same pay after only one term, that they didn't pay into Social Security, that they specifically exempted themselves from many of the laws they have passed (such as being exempt from any fear of prosecution for sexual harassment) while ordinary citizens must live under those laws. The latest is to exempt themselves from the Healthcare all of its forms. Somehow, that doesn't seem logical. We do not have an elite that is above the law. I truly don't care if they are Democrat, Republican, Independent or whatever. The self-serving must stop. This is a good way to do that. It is an idea whose time has come.

Have each person contact a
minimum of Twenty people on their Address list, in turn ask each of those to do likewise. In three days, most people in The United States of America will have the message. This is one proposal that really should be passed around.

Proposed 28th Amendment to the United States Constitution

"Congress shall make no law that applies to the citizens of the United States that does not apply equally to the Senators and/or Representatives; and, Congress shall make no law that applies to the Senators and/or Representatives that does not apply equally to the citizens of the United States ."

If you don't have twenty, pass it on to whatever number you can.

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The Party Line

One of my readers was good enough, recently, to forward to me the letter he received from Representative Steve Kagen, 8th Congressional District, D-Wisconsin in response to a number of letters he'd sent to his Representative.

Below is Dr. (yes, he's an MD, perhaps you remember the (in)famous "I'm Dr. Millionaire" debacle) Kagen's response (in italics):

Thank you for communicating with me to express your concerns about our nation's health care system. I appreciate you taking the time to share your views with me.

Interesting that he "appreciates" the time taken to share the views. He certainly didn't "appreciate" people "sharing their views" that opposed his at his Town Hall meetings. In fact, he seriously curtailled his meetings with his constituents after finding that those same constituents were opposed to his support of the Health Care bill.

I believe that when you finally see what is really in our new health security law, you're going to like what you see, for it improves upon what we already have: private health care - and it is not government-run.

In my talks with a number of people who were at the few Town Halls that the Representative had, he repeatedly failed to know specific sections of the Bill that they (having copies with them) cited. So one has to ask, does the Doctor actually know what's in it? His constituents made their opposition clear and yet he seemed to think he knows what's best.

As for "not government run", this once again shows a woeful ignorance of the facts, as we'll see again and again throughout his response letter.

"Peace of Mind," that is what people are saying when they hear that no onger will a family go broke or lose their home just because a loved one has an accident or gets sick. It is good for our health and our economy by putting patients first, strengthening Medicare, and guaranteeing access to care for all of us.

No, Doctor Kagen, instead they will go broke because they have been taxed to and beyond the point of breaking. And how, exactly, is this "good for our ... economy" when the law raises taxes on wages and investments... two cornerstones of the economy? Further, it puts such an onerous weight on corporations that it will cost them billions of dollars. Kind of difficult to keep a strong economy when you have to lay off workers due to the costs imposed on you by the government.

No longer will Wall Street-run health insurance corporations be allowed to discriminate against small business owners by charging them higher premiums than big corporations, or dropping you if you become ill. After half a century of trying, we finally applied our constitutional rights, which protect all citizens against discrimination, to our health care system.

Wall-Street runs the insurance companies? Odd thing to say for a physician, especially one from Wisconsin. You see, Dr. Kagen, you made your millions because of your "franchised" allergy practice. Which is due, in no small part, to the money from insurance. Second, last I checked, Wisconsin is headquarters, not Wall Street, to a large number of nationwide insurance companies, including Wausau, American Family, Peachtree, Thrivent, Acuity, All American Life, Allied Insurance, etc., etc. And they say that the Tea Partiers are full of rhetoric?

It's obvious that Dr. Kagen has a vendetta, as he also sees the spectre of Insurance Company conspiracy in those voicing their opinions in the Town Hall meetings.

As for higher premiums for smaller companies and coverage based on risk, perhaps you're unfamiliar with how "risk pooling" works or the concept of insurance to begin with. In order to be able to pay the costs, those with higher risk must necessarily have higher premiums. Artificially limiting them is like putting artificial limits on anything free-market (ask the Soviets how well that worked out).

Oh, but you said that Health Care isn't government run. So... those artificial limits are, what, Doctor... "helpful hints"?

In 2005, I promised to work hard to secure access to affordable care for all of us, with no patient left behind. Promise made. Promise kept.

Yes, Doctor. Regardless of what the majority of voters wanted, you "kept your promise". Sounds like you took a chapter from Senator Rochefeller of West Virginia, who said, "We are going to push through health care reform regardless of the views of the American people."

Here are a few of the winning ideas in this landmark law:

* No Discrimination against any citizen due to pre-existing medical
* Begins to close the "Donut Hole" in Medicare Part-D
* Small Business Tax Credits for of up to 35% of the costs for health insurance
* Increased Competition across state lines for insurers
* No Annual or Lifetime Caps on Coverage
* Full Coverage for Prevention Services
* No Dropped Coverage if You Become Seriously ill
* Guaranteed Insurance Renewal as long as you pay your premium in full.


114,000 SENIOR CITIZENS ON MEDICARE Begins closing the "Donut Hole" in
Medicare Part-D

No Deductibles or out-of-pocket expenses
for prevention services, like
and colonoscopies

17,000 SMALL BUSINESSES There is no mandate to buy insurance if
your business has fewer than 50

In 2014, small business owners may buy
health coverage at the same discounts
as big

475,000 PEOPLE HAVE COVERAGE Nothing changes. It is your personal choice:
if you want to change doctors
or insurers,
then you can.

186,000 FAMILIES WHO CANNOT Health care coverage will be affordable by
AFFORD COVERAGE NOW making subsidies available to those who are
in need.

53,000 YOUNG ADULTS Children can stay on their parent's insurance
plan until age 26.

$ 45,000,000 FOR 8th DISTRICT Increased reimbursements for Medicaid
HOSPITALS + PHYSICIANS and Medicare covered services in Wisconsin

Just a selected few (I could go on for pages, here) items:

"Small Businesses" - This is defined as anyone with more than 50 employees. At this point, you are required to enroll in the mandated Health Care system or face fines. And yet, this isn't "government run" health care.

"It's a personal choice" - No, sir, it's not. You cannot choose to opt out. Every person is required, under penalty of fines from the IRS, to subscribe to health care. Whether or not they want it, whether or not they wish to pay for it themselves. This is akin to Henry Ford's choice of "You can have any color you want so long as its black."

"Subsidies available to those who are in need" - Medicaid. Medicare. Badger Care. Apparently these don't exist.

"$45,000,000 for 8th District Hospitals and Physicians" - And now the "ah-ha" moment. Dr. Kagen, remind me again where your practice is? Oh yeah, the 8th District! How... convenient.

Thank you again for contacting me. Let's continue to work together, as we build a better nation for all of us.

Dear Doctor Kagen - You are not working with the people of Wisconsin. You refused to listen to their views. You've violated their trust. You have decided, unilaterally, that you know what's best for the people instead of the people themselves. You are arrogant. And your days in office are numbered.

I am working against you. I am voting against you. In the new vernacular, "I can see November from your house."

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Tuesday, April 13, 2010

J. Keynes and the Pizza Parlor

John Maynard Keynes is the darling of Government Control so it's no surprise that his theories (Keynesian economics) are being trotted out again by the current legislature and administration. *YAWN*

I've already lost 99% of any audience I'd address with this opening line including, if I'm totally honest, myself. I'd find it more interesting to read the Software License Agreement on Windows Vista. What does get me interested, though, is when I see my taxes going up while the economy tanks. So I noodled on how best to make this personal.

So, here goes... let's pretend the economy's in the toilet (ok, not too much of a stretch, there). Since I'm salaried, I have to live within a budget. So I cut back and maybe go out to dinner less often, as do most of my neighbors. The restaurants in town have less business, so they get rid of some of their teenaged waitstaff and cut back. With me so far?

In the meantime, the guy down the street from me, who owns a local pizza joint, says, "Hmm, this is bad. Here's what I'll do... I'll hire the teens who were laid off. And my family will eat every meal at my pizza shop." Sounds like a good idea, on the surface. The folks in my small community see the teens getting hired back and the local pizza shop has customers in it all the time.

The problem is, while I'm happy for the pizza guy, its not going to make me want to go out more often. But hey, unemployment is down and the local pizza place is open, so no harm, no foul.

Now extend this a bit more. The pizza guy doesn't have the money himself to hire the teens and to keep patronizing his own place, so he asks everyone in town to chip in money every week -- for the good of the community. Actually, he goes to the town council and gets it set up that its mandatory for everyone to throw $100 a week into a fund to keep up this practice.

Wait, what? I just said I didn't have the money to go out to eat, so why the hell am I paying this guy to go out to eat and to keep the kids working?

Well, that's Keynesian economics in a nutshell.

The basic idea is that if the government (the pizza guy) spends money and creates jobs, that will encourage the private sector (the rest of the folks in my town) to start spending money. The problem is that the government doesn't have money of its own. In the words of John Coleman,

"The point to remember is that what the government gives it must first take away."

That is the pizza guy (the government) gets its money (taxes) from the community that it then redistributes in the hopes that everyone will think the economic troubles are over.

In point of fact, whats happened (and what any layman can see from the analogy) is that an artificial economy has been created that is separate from the real one. It's an illusion with the hopes of becomming reality. But in reality -- and history -- it doesn't work.

FDR and his "New Deal" is pointed to by apostles of Keynes as the perfect example of this economic theory in action. The problem is, FDR did not, in point of fact, get the U.S. out of the Great Depression. The New Deal, which was exactly Keynesian, was doomed to failure as even FDR himself knew. When Truman tried to reaffirm these policies in a postwar world, he was rebuffed by a congress that saw the handwriting on the wall. Instead, Congress cut taxes and lowered its own spending directly resulting in the boom of the 1950's.

Again with the stagflation and energy crisises of the 1970's, the Ford, then Carter administrations and a compliant Congress tried to spend their way out of the problems, increasing taxes. Only when Ronald Reagan came in, lowered taxes and slashed government spending did the economic swell of the 1980's take off. By this time, a number of economic theorists believed that Keynesian economics had had the final nail put in its coffin.

But now, those who (in George Santayana's memorialization) have "forgotten the lessons of history" have taken power, we're seeing the old Keynesian theories trotted out again. England's socialist-in-conservative-clothing Gordon Brown tried (and failed) to tax and spend the UK back into solvency. And the Obama administration and a compliant Congress are attempting the same thing in the U.S. despite warnings from all quarters of the economic analysis community.

The Dow is over 11,000 this week, but its clear that this is nothing but a 'false reality' like the pizza shop hiring all the teens. Even those on capitol hill acknowledge that they can't spend enough, fast enough and so will need to increase taxes even more.

One definition of clinical insanity is doing the same thing, over and over, with the expectation of a different result. If that's so, then the administration and legislature are clinically insane.
So obvious is this to even their own support base, the college-age crowd, that they're turning on the very people they helped put into power. Should they be representing us? They sure as hell shouldn't be representing me, and I'm taking the revolution into my own hands.

This is what I'm doing. What are you doing?

Note Bene: I've decided to keep that phrase "This is what I'm doing" in as many of my blog postings as possible to remind me that this must be a personal fight. But in the interest of brevity, I've updated and posted what my friend Steve calls the "We the People Challenge" (my Four Points) as a permanent part of the We The People blog page. So I won't be boring you with that each time.

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Saturday, April 10, 2010

I Want Health Care Reform

Contrary to what that the pundits, talking heads, ObamaCare supporters, Nancy Pelosi, Harry Reid and others might want to portray, the vast majority of Americans want Health Care Reform. They just don't want the odious Bill that was, against the will of the majority, crammed down their throats.

I, too, want Health Care Reform. Health care costs are too high. But this is not the way to do it. My parents always said that I should never present a problem without a solution. I've done that very thing in my previous posts and its the essence of this blog. And so I present a solution. But first, let's break down the major pieces and follow the logic.
Fact: Not everyone can afford Health Insurance.

Why is this a fact? Most would say its because health care professionals make "too much money". However the vast majority of professional health care providers average no more than any other professional (from $24,000 to $100,000 per year, depending on expertise and field). Compare that to the average major league baseball (average, mind you) salary of from $600,000 to $6,800,000 per year.

Not a fair comparison because there are much fewer professional baseball players than health care professionals? Ok, how about computer technicians: they vary from an average of $41,000 to $70,000 per year.

So if the health care professionals aren't making the money, then it must be the hospitals themselves, right? Interestingly enough, hospitals compare their pofitability to industry regularily. Their average profit margin is around 10%, which is actually #77 of the Top 100 most profitable industries. Why? Because their own costs are so high. Mostly that's due to the cost of drugs, insurance and medical equipment.
So one has to ask why that is. The root cause, with a bit more digging, is that the drug companies and medical equipment suppliers are paying huge insurance premiums.

Oh, so its those evil capitalistic profit centers. Turn out they're not even in that same Top 100. Eventhough insurance costs are high, the providers (as evidenced this week in Massachettets) don't make a high enough profit margin to pay out the claims they've been forced to take on.

So what's going on?

Here's what's going on... they all (health care professionals, hospitals, drug companies, medical equipment manufacturers, insurance companies) have to bear the cost of outrageous medical malpractice judgements. It turns out that the Government Accounting Office (GAO) reported to Congress on this issue as early as 2003. However, since Congress is largely made up of members of the legal profession, no action was taken.

Tort reform, already acknowledged as being a key to reducing health care costs, would cut in on their profession (their other one) and that of their "pals". Once again, Congress has shown that they have their own bests interests at heart, instead of that of their consituents. They have exempted themselves from their own laws, they have created their own banking and postal systems, their own privileges. The are not representative of We the People.

I want Health Care Reform. I want affordable health care. So where do we start?

We do not start by adding onerous taxes to an already overtaxed populace. We do not start by pushing through a law contrary to the will of the people. We do not "work with the law we now have" as some of the professional politicans have said.

Instead, we start with tort reform. Then we push this to insurance reform. These flow through to drug cost and equipment cost reform which ends up in lower health care costs.

This is exactly what the much maligned but undeniably successful "trickle down" policy of Ronald Regan accomplished by cutting taxes. It resulted in lower unemployment and a robust economy. Regardless what the self-proclaimed intelligensia would like to claim, it worked. And it did so because "A" connects to "B" connects to "C". It didn't start and end with "C".

Ronald Regan attacked the causes of unemployment and economic problems, not the symptoms. Likewise, as with heath care itself, we must attack the causes, not the symptoms of health care costs.

But before we can accomplish tort reform, the vested interest must be removed. That is, the professional politicians must be replaced with those who can "follow the money" and see what must be addressed. The people who sold us, We the People, down the river must be removed and replaced. It's time for revolution.

The willy-nilly spending, unwillingness to address the real problems, arrogance and hubris of the administration and legislature over decades have lead to this. This citizen has had enough and is, by Right of the Founding Fathers, taking the matter into his own hands. I am calling for open, civil rebellion and revolt. I am actively working for it.

This is what I am doing. What are you doing?

Friday, April 9, 2010

Trust Us, We're From the Government

"Buy now, pay later!"

Isn't that the mantra we where from the "discount" stores on TV? It's obvious that this is the attitude of the government when it comes to the Health Care bill. Repeatedly called to account by the constituents (whom they ultimately ignored), people like Nancy Pelosi, Steve Kagen and our "representatives" (I can't use that word without laughing) the response was along the lines of "Don't worry about it. Universal Health Coverage is a good thing. Everyone deserves insurance," and "Oh, we'll know the costs once we get into it."

Um.... WHAT?

I don't know about the Senators and Congressmen, but I have never started a home improvement or other major investment project without knowing the costs up front. And yet we were told "It doesn't matter," and "don't worry about it."

Meanwhile, those who did read the bill and do the math warned that the cost will far outstrip the income. Even the administration admitted after the fact that costs will exceed projected revenues. So what's the response? Add more taxes.

In addition to an already onerous income tax level, the administration and congress has announced that we're in for a Value Added Tax (VAT). This mean that not only will we be taxed on our income, taxed at the state level for sales, but we'll be taxed at the federal level on everything we buy as well.

We have dug ourselves into a massive deficit and, like all holes, you can't get out of it by digging deeper.

But it's not We the People who have dug this hole, its the administrations and legislatures of the last several decades. Our elected officials have betrayed our trust and their duty to "defend and protect the Constitution of the United States" and instead have put the future of the country in peril.

Hold on, though. We need to give it a chance, right? I mean, it hasn't been tried.

Not so much. The Governor of Massachusetts, against the wishes of many of his state's citizens, implemented Health Care Legislation that was pointed to by Congress and the adminitration as the "model" of how this could work for the entire country. It was held up as a paradigm. And so it is.

You see, just months after the Governor made the move to socialize and take over the insurance companies (which he did by, just as ObamaCare will do, setting price controls on premiums, etc.)
the insurance companies have run out of money to pay claims and have had to close their doors, temporarily. That is, you can't get insurance right now in Massachusetts because there's just not enough money anymore. Why not? Because the insurance companies have been forced by the state to underwrite policies on people who they previously would have avoided due to risk.

Oh, but the insurance companies are money-grubbing soulless profit-motivated scumsuckers, right? They were making so much money that they can afford to pay out. Right? They are just a whining bunch of private corporations, right? Sorry, but they are now state agencies! The nanny state of Massachussets owns and runs them and tells them who to provide coverage for. So where, I ask, are the profit motives there?

The fact is that this type of "reform" cannot and does not work. And yet our legislators refuse to acknowledge that fact. They continue to, as my dad would have put it, spend money like a drunken sailor.

But wait, you say, this is the Federal Government. They can't go bankrupt. And they know how to handle risk.

Again... not so much. Consider the housing crisis that lead in no small part to the current economic situation. What were the primary causes? The Federal Government took over lenders by specifically directing them to offer subprime mortgages to people that the lenders would not have, under normal circumstances, taken on as a risk. The lenders were told, "Don't worry about it. More people buying houses is a good thing. Everyone deserves a house. We'll handle the costs when we get into it."

Sound familiar?

But surely they've learned, right?

Well, they took over GM and Chrysler. They gave a $50 billion bailout. And yet the companies, now effectively run by the Federal Government are still $17 Billion in the red for their pension payouts.

This isn't a red state/blue state thing. This isn't a Republican/Democrat thing. Since the end of 80's, our "representatives" (sorry, threw up a little in my mouth, there) all have been on a spending spree. They have mortgaged our future and the future of our children. They have "bought now" and the "later" has finally come. The Health Care bill simply hastened that day.

They have, in direct contravention of their job as stated in the Constitution, failed to "secure the blessings of liberty, to our selves and our posterity."

Every single one of them has been complicit in this betrayal of We the People. And We the People have been complicit by our tacit assent to their shennanigans.

As I have proved beyond a shadow of a doubt, the Founding Fathers gave We the People a recourse. They gave us the Right and Responsibility to rebel, revolt and reform.

People like Bart Stupak (D-MI) have seen the handwriting on the wall. Regardless his claims to the contrary (and those smack of "methinks thou doth protest too much") he has seen that his betrayal of his constituents means that his career is over.

I'm going to make sure that my "representatives" (sorry, I'm holding my nose) know that their time is up as well. We have a chance, albeit a slim one, to stop this mess. So I reiterate that
I am committed to my Four Point Action Plan:
  1. I have purchased small American flags. Each week I am pinning one upside-down to a piece of paper and sending one each to my Congressmen and Senator with the simple notation "11/2" as a prediction and warning.
  2. I am getting involved with a candidate.
  3. Through the winnowing of the primary process, I am going to choose and throw my support not just to my canidate but whomever is the closest to my philosophies and opposes the incumbent, regardless of party. We have been betrayed by both parties and all incumbents must therefore be voted out.
  4. I am, each week, going to personally and directly ask two people to do these four steps and to ask those people to do them as well. In that way, there will be a groundswell, a snowball of We The People.
This is what I am doing. What are you doing?

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Wouldn't It Be Nice if Everyone Was Nice?

Those who do not remember the past are condemned to repeat it.
- George Santayana

My first blog entry, here, was entitled "I Love My Country, But I Fear My Government". That sentiment could be just as aptly applied, here. I fear my government because it has abdicated its sole responsibility to secure the Rights of its citizens. Recent decisions and policies of our government not only seek to reduce the unalienable Right of Liberty, but are openly hostile to it. Bear with me, this is gonna be a long 'un, but I'll try to keep it on point.

In the last week, two policies are being pursued which directly undermine the Right of Liberty. First in the annoncement of a new Nuclear Posture Review.

First let me be totally clear: no sane person wants nuclear weapons to be used. However, much to the chagrin of the naysayers over the last 70 years, nuclear weapons can be and indeed have been an effective deterrent to major agression. Like it or not, MAD (mutually assurred destruction) works. It insured that no nuclear or WMD-capable power launched a war of aggression. These weapons did so by their very presence, not by their use. Contrary to the sentiments of General Sline in the movie Spies Like Us, it is not the case that "A weapon unused is a useless weapon."

Now, however, the administration and legislature have decided, unilaterally, that the United States will enter into a treaty with other nuclear powers in which we will not only further reduce our arsenal of democracy but we will pledge never to use these weapons against any signatory of this accord.

On the surface, this is laudable. And I don't disagree with part. After all, how many times over does one need to be able to obliterate the face of the earth before you consider it "overkill"? However, examining it deeper, it becomes evident that this is either a very myopically optimistic view of the world or a deliberate attempt to reduce the United States from its position as the sole superpower and insurer of Pax Americana.

You see, there are a couple of provisions and oversights that have been overlooked by the mainstream media. The major non-US signatories to this treaty can, without notice, reason or justification, exempt themselves at any time from the treaty and its provisions. That is, Russia, China, Pakistan, India or any other member of the "nuclear club" can decide that they don't need to abide by the provisions of the treaty. And yet, as signatories, we will have pledged never to use nuclear weapons against them no matter what. Yes, that's right: NO MATTER WHAT.

Also, this means that if a rogue state -- say North Korea or Iran -- receive weapons or technology from a signatory, we have no nuclear recourse against the signatory. Basically, it's a Get Out of Jail Free card for other countries: "So what, I didn't attack you, they did; I just sold them the technology."

The apologists and spinmeisters say that this doesn't matter. They tell us that if a signatory violates the conditions of the treaty, they are no longer subject to it. But this ignores several facts. It ignores the fact that the deliberately murky nuclear response policy of the United States in the past has prevented nuclear-capable countries from overtly (and even covertly) exporting their technology to these rogue states. It also ignores the fact that this says nothing for non-nuclear WMD technologies.

If someone, let's say a terrorist organization, with the assistance of a rogue state who is not a signatory of the treaty (because they have no nuclear weapons) unleashes a chemical or biological attack on the United States our only response under this treaty is to wage conventional war. That means "boots on the ground". And the rogue states know that it takes quite a while for us to work up to that and that the citizens have less stomach for that than keeping our troops out of harm's way by using standoff weapons. Therefore, they are free to make first strikes at will.

Oh, but wait, we're told -- we're all adults here. In effect, we're being sold a "if we play nice, everyone else will" view of the world that is hopelessly out of touch with reality and history. Let's look back over at how effective treaties have been with countries bent on conquest.

Famously, Joachim von Ribbentrop, Nazi Germany's Foreign Minister made so many treaties that were broken by Hitler that Hitler once had an ornate box made for Ribbentrop. Upon presenting it, he told Ribbentrop that it was filled with the treaties that had been made and was a symbol of Ribbentrop's service to the Reich. When Ribbentrop opened it to find it empty, Hitler joked that he couldn't find a single treaty that Ribbentrop had made that he (Hitler) hadn't broken.

Germany was not the only one. Russia itself showed its duplicity by negotiating treaties with China, Japan and Germany which it violated at the first opportunity. North Korea, Vietnam, Iran and Iraq have, in modern times, along with Eqypt (against Israel), Argentina (the Falklands conflict) continued this dubious tradition. We, ourselves have broken so many treaties with the Native American population that it became a standing joke.

It's clear to anyone who can read that treaties are worth less than the paper on which they're printed, to those determined to circumvent them. So either the administration and legislature have the completely unfounded belief that everyone would get along together "if only" or they are purposely weakening the ability of this government to protect its citizens. In either case, they no longer insure our Right to Liberty.

The second policy announcement is that the administration and legislature have finally found a way around the Second Amendment.

For the last four decades, gun control advocates have been attempting to repeal or restrict the Rights granted in that portion of the Constitution. They have been repeatedly and soundly defeated by a citizenry that understands that this would cede its plan of last resort for maintaining Liberty to a central government.

This week, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton found a way around the voice of We The People. Instead of going through a process by which they've been defeated repeatedly, the administration has announced that it will seek a foreign treaty that will make it illegal to sell arms to United States citizens.

Having failed to sway the public in the past to remove the "demand", they instead will in effect, remove the "supply".
Why? Because they can. They can do an "end run", as they did with Health Care, around the will of the people and legislate through the judiciary or the executive branch (in contravention of the Constiution).

I'm not naturally paranoid, but having already shown that the United States is becomming, over decades, a fascist state I'm struck by the fact that, historically one of the first actions of such a state is to remove weapons from the control of the citizens. Fascist and socialist governments (Nazi Germany, Soviet Union, China, Cuba, Venezuela, the list goes on) have all made this a primary move. It's done for one very simple reason - an unarmed populace is a compliant and controllable populace.

You see, the Founding Fathers realized this. They realized that a government who has abdicated their responsibility to insure Liberty is fundamentally broken. They said that
whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government and they provided the citizens a means of last resort to insure that no govenment of this people could slide into such a miserable place. They provided that A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.

The Founding Fathers knew what Lord Acton put into words: Power tends to corrupt and absolute power corrupts absolutely. They specifically said that when this occurs -- when a government abdicates its responsibility to secure its citizen's unalienable Rights, including Liberty, that those citizens should dissolve and reform the government.

We have the luxury of living in a time and under a system where this can be done without resort to arms. We can revolt, rebel and reform civilly against a legislature and administration that have for too many decades usurped the Rights of its citizens and has accelerated on that course.

We are on a slippery slope. I have learned from history - I fear my government. My government no longer secures my Right to Liberty. So I have a Right and Responsibility as given me by our Framers. For myself, I am committed to my Four Point Action Plan:
  1. I am going to purchase small American flags. Each week, from now until November second, I am going to pin one upside-down to a piece of paper and send one each to my Congressmen and Senator with the simple notation "11/2" as a prediction and warning.
  2. I am going to get involved, right now, with a candidate.
  3. Through the winnowing of the primary process, I am going to choose and throw my support not just to my canidate but whomever is the closest to my philosophies and opposes the incumbent, regardless of party. We have been betrayed by both parties and all incumbents must therefore be voted out.
  4. I am going to personally and directly ask two people to do these four steps and to ask those people to do them as well. In that way, there will be a groundswell, a snowball of We The People.
This is what I am doing. What are you doing?

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Where the Rubber Meets the Road

Today is election day. The first election day since I've arrived at my course of action. "What election?" I hear you asking. Local elections. That's right, there are local politics as well as state and national. And they are just as important, if not moreso, than those in the media spotlight.

See, here's the thing -- the same thing that prompted me to make my Plan of Action, to make my public annoucement, to create this blog -- change starts with me. The talking heads, the media, the pundits are all screaming at each other about national and state issues: about taxes, Rights, entitlement programs, etc. And while these are important issues, they start at right here at home.

We pay taxes at a local level, just like the state and national levels. And those taxes go to fund the programs, projects and works in our community. Sure, they may not have the media impact of Health Care, but they affect us just as much. Moreso, in fact, because the effects are much more immediate than things like the 2014 "kick-in" of Health Care.

The funny thing is, our polling places are expecting less than 20% of eligible voters will be showing up for this election. I say "funny" and I mean "strange". I look around, in my mind's eye, at the hundreds of people around me at the Town Hall meetings, the Tea Party rallys and other such events and I visualize only 20% of them showing up today. And yet nearly every one of the people in those hundreds seemed so passionate about change, so worked up about making a difference, so vehement about having their voices heard. Where will they be, today?

For me, this is part of the whole Rights and Responsibilities (not versus, and) thesis. Our Founding Fathers clearly gave us the Right to petition for redress of greivences; they clearly gave us the Right to make changes in our governance; they clearly gave us the Right to not just participate in, but control our politican and governing destiny. But the inseparable flip-side to those Rights are the Responsibilities to be a part of, to engage in, and to exercise the freedom of our political process. You just can't have one without the other.

And so, today, I am going to be at my polling place. I am going to vote my conscience. I am going to make my voice heard. I am going to not earn, but be worthy of the Rights given me by the constitutional documents of this great Republic.

I am going to put my money, my action, my principles where my mouth is. I am going to live up to the manifesto I've adopted. I am going to vote. What are you going to do?

Monday, April 5, 2010

Rights and Responsibilities

"I have a right to..."

How many times do we hear that on the news, from friends and neighbors, or even coming out of our own mouths? It's become as commonplace (and meaningless) as the word love ("I'd love some pizza", "That movie? I loved it!") The problem that plagues many is that there are two sides to every coin, two edges to the sword, two ends to the mule -- where there are rights, there must be, by definition, responsibilities.

In the movie "Oh, God! Book II", George Burns' God character says, "my problem was I could never figure out how to build anything with just one side to it" ... "there can't be good without bad, life without death, pleasure without pain." To put it in terms my science geek friends use, "There is no magnetic monopole."

Likewise, you can't have a Right without a Responsibility.

For example, consider the right (Note: I will use a lower-case "r" when talking about something not a legal or natural right) to own a pet. Sure, you can have a dog, cat, flying spaghetti monster or whatever, but if you don't take care of it -- feed, water, clean up, medicate -- then it will die. You have responsibilities. Or how about kids? How many times I've heard someone say they have a "right to have children". Sure you do (unfortunate, in too many cases -- the gene pool needs some chlorine, but that's another thesis) but if you don't feed, clothe, care for, educate, etc. your child then they will die or otherwise be taken from you.

Sidebar: What's a right and what's a privilege? A right is something that, once assigned, cannot be taken away. A privilege is something that can be removed, temporarily or permanently by the issuing authority. Driving, no matter what the people texting on their cellphones on Highway 41 this morning might believe, is a privilege, not a right.

So what about the Rights that are granted us by Government? Well, let's look at the ones most often cited -- increasingly during the Health Care debate -- by those in favour of bigger government: Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness.

Put aside, for a moment, the fact that it is the pursuit of happiness and not happiness itself that is a right and let's examine what it is that the Declaration of Independence (not, as some contend, the Constitution) actually says:

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. — That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, — That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness.

Let's take this apart:

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.

Note that these Rights - Equality, Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness are not given by the Government. They are given by God, Allah, Nature, Cthulu, Randmon Fluctuations in the Space-Time Continuum, whatever you want to call it. And they are irrevocable (hey, that's why they're called Rights, imagine that). However, they come with Responsibilities. Very simply, those Responsibilities are that each individual's Rights end at the doorstep of the next individual. That is, your Right to Life doesn't trump anyone else's.

In real terms, that means that you can go ahead and smoke your pack a day, sir, that's your choice for your Life. However, you cannot expect me to pay for your health care when you're laying in the terminal ward with emphysema or cancer. You can decide that its fun (pursuit of happiness stuff) to get "stoned to the bejesus belt" but that doesn't mean you can get in your car and endanger my life. You can be free and unencumbered by insurance if you want. But don't expect, then, to have the taxpayers foot the bill if your house gets destroyed by a hurricane.

That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed.

Ruh-Roh, Rorge! A couple of things jump right out, here. First is that Government does not give these Rights. It secures them. It insures, through law and enforcement of law, that these Rights are not taken away by anyone else. It makes sure that there's that very real and hard line at the individual's doorstep. It does this by enforcing Responsibility. That's all. That's the extent of it.

And (and here's the part that rankles those in favor of centralized government) it derives its just powers from the consent of the governed. It gets its authority not from itself but by the continuous assent of those who band together to allow government to make these assurances. It is not a power unto itself, it is a government of the people, by the people and for the people.

Finally, the part that will really blow your mind:

That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness.

Think about that. Very simply, it is the Right of the People (that's right, us, the citizens) to remove and replace the government if it fails in its duty to insure (not provide, insure) these Rights. So, it is the Responsibility of the People to be vigilant. It is the Responsibility of the People to oversee and participate in their own governance. It is the Responsibility of the People to dissent and revolt when the People see our Rights in danger.

As I've proven in earlier posts, our Inalienable Rights are under attack. They are in danger. Therefore, it is our Responsibility to protect them, in the words of our very Founders, by rebellion.

You're given the Rights to Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness. They can't be taken away by any power on earth. And its your Responsibility, when Government won't protect those Rights or is, in fact, the very threat to those Rights, that you act to remedy the situation. Not by words. Not by force of arms, but by becomming involved in the process of Government. By giving your consent, as the governed, to whatever replacement is necessary to once again insure those Rights.

President Andrew Jackson, a Democrat, said "
eternal vigilance by the people is the price of liberty." It's not enough to talk. We the People must act. It's mandated in our system of government. And so once again, I reiterate my Four Points for Action that I am following, each day:

  1. I am going to purchase small American flags. Each week, from now until November second, I am going to pin one upside-down to a piece of paper and send one each to my Congressmen and Senator with the simple notation "11/2" as a prediction and warning.
  2. I am going to get involved, right now, with a candidate.
  3. Through the winnowing of the primary process, I am going to choose and throw my support not just to my canidate but whomever is the closest to my philosophies and opposes the incumbent, regardless of party. We have been betrayed by both parties and all incumbents must therefore be voted out.
  4. I am going to personally and directly ask two people to do these four steps and to ask those people to do them as well. In that way, there will be a groundswell, a snowball of We The People.
This is what I am doing. This is my Right and my Responsibility. If you believe in your Rights, will you accept your Responsibility?

"Well done is better than well said."
- Benjamin Franklin

Saturday, April 3, 2010

News Alert and Tax Day Rallys

April 2, 2010, Milwaukee, WI - From Searchlight, Nevada, to Washington, DC, with stops in Wisconsin, The Tea Party Express National Tour III will roll through Madison, Milwaukee, Green Bay and Eau Claire.

The Wisconsin Chapter of Americans for Prosperity is co-sponsoring the Milwaukee, Green Bay and Eau Claire stops on Wednesday, April 7th with Herman Cain, radio talk show host on "The Herman Cain Show" on WSB in Atlanta, GA. He is also a speaker, author, and TV news commentator. He is President and CEO of THE new Voice, Inc., and additionally serves on the Boards of Directors for AGCO Corporation, Hallmark Cards, Inc. and Whirlpool Corporation.

Americans for Prosperity - Wisconsin will also sponsor a Taxpayer Tea Party on Tax Day,April 15th on the steps of the Wisconsin State Capitol from 11:30am to 1:00pm.

The Wisconsin State Director of Americans for Prosperity, Mark Block, says "We are excited that Herman Cain, one of the most popular speakers at our Defending the American Dream Summit, will join us the Wednesday stops of the Tea Party Express." Herman's message of Common Sense Solutions has been an inspiration to Tea Party Activist and Americans for Prosperity members across the country."

  • Wednesday, April 7th, 2010
    • 9:30 - 11:00 am Milwaukee, Wisconsin
    • State Fair Park ( North Parking Lot Near Pettit Center)

More information on Tea Party Express Tour and Taxpayer Tea Party - The Big One can be found at

Thursday, April 1, 2010

I Love My Country, But I Fear My Government

We've been hearing the news for months: Health Care, Illegal Immigration, Bailouts and the list goes on. It dawned on me last week when listening to yet another pundit talking about the ramifications of the Health Reform Bill -- everyone's talking, but no one's saying what I can do. So I've decided to take the bull by the horns and put my beliefs into practice.

Let me set the stage.

Over the last few months there has been a lot of discussion about who is really running this country. Like many Americans (the majority, according to the polls), I've gotten madder and madder. We've heard about things like:
  • Government takeover of Health Care, the Insurance Industry, Banks, the Auto Industry and, soon, the Utilities ("Cap and Trade")
  • A massive backlash of the citizens in the form of protests and Tea Parties
  • The mainstream media and government accusing bloggers, protesters and talk show hosts of "lighting the fuse" and inciting violence (eventhough they can't show a single instance of this being the case)
  • Protests being labelled as "hate speech" when, just a few years ago, we heard that "Dissent is Patriotic" (remember "Bush Lied, People Died" and "Kill Bush"???)
The fact of the matter is that our politicians, our legislators, every single one of them have sold us "down the river". They have ignored the will of the people and have rammed through measures that contradict what their constituents specifically want. They have branded any dissent as hate speech and have embarked on policies that endanger not only the financial future of this country but the very lives of its citizens and protectors. In short, they've abdicated their responsibility and have shown that not only do they hold the citizens in contempt but that they hold themselves above and outside the law and that they are the ones who run the country. They have forgotten that we have a government of, by and for the people.

I had a suspicion that this isn't a unique situation. On that hunch, I decided to compare the Declaration of Independence to what's going on today. I was floored. Our Founding Fathers faced not a similar situation but the exact same circumstances!

So what did they do? They banded together as "We the People". As they did, I will do. I am going to revolt. I am going to say that

We The People will no longer be silent.
We The People will take back our lives, our rights and our responsibilities.
We The People will take back our government.
We The People will take back our country.

There is one and only one thing that puts fear into the heart of any politician, and that is We The People.

It's not enough just to say this. One has to, as our Founding Fathers did, take direct action. But first, as they did, I needed to "place before mankind the common sense of the subject, in terms so plain and firm as to command their assent" (Thomas Jefferson):

When it becomes necessary for people to band together and stand up for themselves and their legal and natural rights, it's common decency as well as a legal requirement to explain their reasons.

When in the Course of human events it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.

The silent majority of citizens believe that its pretty obvious that everyone should be treated equally and that everyone should be able to feel safe, be free and try to pursue the American Dream. They also feel that its the responsibility of the government to safeguard - not to provide - these things. And, if the government doesn't safeguard them, that the people should be able to change the government to one that does.

It's common sense that one shouldn't change government on a whim and history shows that people will put up with a lot of nonsense instead of getting active in politics and changing things. But when a long list of abuses, scandals and ignoring the will of the people brings about a situation where they've had enough, its the people's right to say "enough's enough" and to throw out their legislators in favor of ones that will do their job.

The citizens of the United States have put up with a lot in the last few years and they've had enough. And so now its necessary, and our right, to make a change. The history of this administration and congress is a history of repeatedly ignoring the will of the people to the point of a dictatorship or monarchy. To prove this, here are the facts so that each American can decide:

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. — That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, — That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security. — Such has been the patient sufferance of these Colonies; and such is now the necessity which constrains them to alter their former Systems of Government. The history of the present King of Great Britain is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations, all having in direct object the establishment of an absolute Tyranny over these States. To prove this, let Facts be submitted to a candid world.

The United States is becoming a fascist state - that is, a place where although industry is owned privately, the government tells industry what it can produce, how much it can produce, who it can sell to and for how much. It has done this with the automotive industry, the health care industry, the insurance industry, the banks and soon the utilities with "cap and trade".

He has erected a multitude of New Offices, and sent hither swarms of Officers to harass our people and eat out their substance.

The "power elite" and mainstream media have made it dangerous to have any other opinions than the ones they hold. They've trumped up charges against anyone that disagrees with them. During other administrations, the chant was that "Dissent is Patriotic". Now, dissent is "hate speech". They've said that anyone who disagrees with them is inciting violence and yet they can't show a single specific instance of someone inciting violence.

He has dissolved Representative Houses repeatedly, for opposing with manly firmness his invasions on the rights of the people.

Congress and the administration have violated the will of the people. They've gone against it by enacting legislation that the majority of the people don't want. They've made exceptions and exemptions for their cronies, special interest groups and political allies. They have plundered the future to pay for today by enacting laws that mandate spending that is higher than revenues.

He has refused his Assent to Laws, the most wholesome and necessary for the public good.

He has forbidden his Governors to pass Laws of immediate and pressing importance, unless suspended in their operation till his Assent should be obtained; and when so suspended, he has utterly neglected to attend to them.

He has combined with others to subject us to a jurisdiction foreign to our constitution, and unacknowledged by our laws; giving his Assent to their Acts of pretended Legislation:

For cutting off our Trade with all parts of the world:

For imposing Taxes on us without our Consent:

For taking away our Charters, abolishing our most valuable Laws and altering fundamentally the Forms of our Governments:

They have pardoned or released enemies of this country who have now returned to fight against us.

He has combined with others to subject us to a jurisdiction foreign to our constitution, and unacknowledged by our laws; giving his Assent to their Acts of pretended Legislation:

He has excited domestic insurrections amongst us, and has endeavoured to bring on the inhabitants of our frontiers, the merciless Indian Savages whose known rule of warfare, is an undistinguished destruction of all ages, sexes and conditions.

They have ignored the laws under which most American's ancestors came to this country and are extending the rights and privileges of citizens to squatters.

He has endeavoured to prevent the population of these States; for that purpose obstructing the Laws for Naturalization of Foreigners; refusing to pass others to encourage their migrations hither, and raising the conditions of new Appropriations of Lands.

During all this, the people haven't been silent. We have warned the legislators that we disagree. We've pointed out unconstitutional laws and even used the legal system to try and block their implementation. We have pointed out that all American citizens should be equal and that those who've come here legally have all earned the right to be a citizen. But Congress and the administration have ignored the American people. Instead, they have acted as dictators and tyrants. So, we must conclude that they don't have our best interests at heart and that they no longer represent us.

Therefore, the citizens of the United States, with the world watching, will now exercise their rights and declare that this government is at an end. We say that we are by right, free and that we don't consider ourselves the "constituents" of our current legislature. We say that we will recall and dismiss our legislators and put into place a government of, by and for the people. It is time for revolution. Not the armed revolt of the Founders and as preserved by our fathers, but civil revolt as they intended and is our right and responsibility "to appeal for redress of greivences". And we stand together, united in this cause.

In every stage of these Oppressions We have Petitioned for Redress in the most humble terms: Our repeated Petitions have been answered only by repeated injury. A Prince, whose character is thus marked by every act which may define a Tyrant, is unfit to be the ruler of a free people.

Nor have We been wanting in attentions to our British brethren. We have warned them from time to time of attempts by their legislature to extend an unwarrantable jurisdiction over us. We have reminded them of the circumstances of our emigration and settlement here. We have appealed to their native justice and magnanimity, and we have conjured them by the ties of our common kindred to disavow these usurpations, which would inevitably interrupt our connections and correspondence. They too have been deaf to the voice of justice and of consanguinity. We must, therefore, acquiesce in the necessity, which denounces our Separation, and hold them, as we hold the rest of mankind, Enemies in War, in Peace Friends.

We, therefore, the Representatives of the united States of America, in General Congress, Assembled, appealing to the Supreme Judge of the world for the rectitude of our intentions, do, in the Name, and by Authority of the good People of these Colonies, solemnly publish and declare, That these united Colonies are, and of Right ought to be Free and Independent States, that they are Absolved from all Allegiance to the British Crown, and that all political connection between them and the State of Great Britain, is and ought to be totally dissolved; and that as Free and Independent States, they have full Power to levy War, conclude Peace, contract Alliances, establish Commerce, and to do all other Acts and Things which Independent States may of right do. — And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of Divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes, and our sacred Honor.

I am engaging in and calling for open rebellion and revolution. NOT an armed one, but the one which our Founding Fathers, in their wisdom, designed into our system. I am going to take direct, immediate action:

  1. I am going to purchase small American flags. Each week, from now until November second, I am going to pin one upside-down to a piece of paper and send one each to my Congressmen and Senator with the simple notation "11/2" as a prediction and warning.
  2. I am going to get involved, right now, with a candidate.
  3. Through the winnowing of the primary process, I am going to choose and throw my support not just to my canidate but whomever is the closest to my philosophies and opposes the incumbent, regardless of party. We have been betrayed by both parties and all incumbents must therefore be voted out.
  4. I am going to personally and directly ask two people to do these four steps and to ask those people to do them as well. In that way, there will be a groundswell, a snowball of We The People.
Indeed, 11/2 will be Change We Can Believe In.

The time for talk is over. The time for action is past. The time for revolution is now.

"All tyranny needs to gain a foothold is for people of good conscience to remain silent."
- Thomas Jefferson

You can find a copy of my radio program about this here and find a copy of my annotated Declaration of Independence here. You can post to my Facebook page here.