Earth Hour

Posted in In General on March 29th, 2011 by MorningStar

On Saturday, March 26, at 8:30 p.m. local time, we were being urged to turn out all our lights for one hour for the fourth annual Earth Hour. Don’t ask me who thinks up stuff like this because I frankly don’t have a clue, but with the increasing popularity of social networking sites there seem to be more and more opportunities to prove you care about a wide variety of issues by complying with demands to do such things as turning your lights out for an hour or posting a quote on your Facebook profile page to show how much you love Jesus, your children, your wife, somebody else’s wife, or whatever. The amount personal exposure to these social appeals may be predicated on the number of “friends” you have accumulated who rode the short bus to school when they were kids, but I can’t substantiate that claim, and truthfully speaking, I find that well educated individuals post as many of these odd requests as do high school dropouts enraptured with their love of Jesus. Not that I’m saying that all Jesus freaks are high school dropouts or that well-educated individuals don’t become as fixated on religion as other people. Whatever

At any rate, while reading over the Earth Hour thing that initiated this post I noted another selection below it suggesting six things that people could do while sitting around in their self-imposed darkness. Ironically, three of the suggestions involved burning candles, which to my way of thinking sort of cancels out any individual merit achieved by turning the electric lights out. Considering the absurdly small amount of generator fuel saved by one individual’s brief hour of reduced electrical demand compared to the amount of carbon, particulates and whatnot released into the atmosphere by setting fire to a half-dozen candles made from a petroleum by-product, where is the benefit? One of the suggestions involving candles was to enjoy dinner by candlelight. Of course in order to do this you would have to crank up your home’s number one energy gobbler prior to the hour without power and cook a bunch of food. Once again, this suggestion seems to cancel out the sixty minutes of power reduction in advance so why bother? I do have to admit that the suggestion to spend that hour engaged in sex does seem like a fine idea but then what do you do for the remaining fifty-five minutes, and the idea of spending sixty minutes soaking away in a bubble bath is enough to put wrinkles on my soul. Honestly, most of us could combine all three of these activities and still have time to do the dishes and remake the bed by candlelight. Gazing at the stars and taking moonlit walks might be fine for those who live in South Dakota, but in Los Angeles county you can’t see the stars for the stinking smog and taking a moonlit walk is a good way to get attacked by psychotic killers, shot in a drive-by, or arrested for mopery with intent to gawk, none of which carries much appeal. The final suggestion is to spend the hour in quiet meditation, or for those who fail to get meditation, quiet contemplation would suffice. Not only do I like this final suggestion, I think the entire country could benefit from it and I wouldn’t limit it to one hour in a year. An entire nation of people actually sitting by themselves in the dark thinking about things could result in quite a few really amazing discoveries. We might be able to figure out how Barack Obama got elected to office. We could try to figure out how the government can get the country out of debt by spending $9 trillion dollars. We could spend the time trying to figure out the difference between a “Kinetic military action” and a war. We could churn through the logic behind allowing 40 million illegal aliens into the country when there are 40 million American citizens without jobs. Hell, if we got real good at it we might even be able to figure out why the unionization of school teachers and the federal government’s takeover of education has led to the decline in American intelligence and the general erosion of moral standards. Suddenly this idea of an hour without power seems like a good idea. Who knows where such a thing could lead? You might even find the desire to invite your neighbors over to discuss your thoughts later, and be amazed to find out that they can actually think just like you!

This whole Earth Hour thing may not be as dumb as it sounds.

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Obama’s Attack on Libya

Posted in Politics & Government on March 23rd, 2011 by MorningStar

What the heck are we doing in Libya when we already have a war going on in Iraq and another in Afghanistan?

The Obama administration staffers have favored the statement that the aim of our involvement in Libya was to protect civilians, but during his tour of Chile, Obama took time out to say that Kaddafi should be removed, and while 112 Tomahawk Cruise Missiles were being launched against Libyan targets Obama made the unlikely statement that the United States also would use nonmilitary means, including economic sanctions and an arms embargo, to try to end Kaddafi’s four-decade rule.

Russia and China are both calling for an immediate cease fire in Libya, the Arab League, which initially called for imposing a no-fly zone in Libya lashed out at Washington as the number of civilian casualties increased, and in the United States Obama’s unilateral decision to mount the attack against Kaddafi’s military has earned him more than a few intensely critical remarks from Congressional Republicans and Democrats including the ranking minority member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Sen. Richard G. Lugar (R-Ind.), and from liberal Democrats like Reps. Jerrold Nadler of New York, Donna Edwards of Maryland, Dennis J. Kucinich of Ohio and Maxine Waters and Barbara Lee of California.

Primarily, the concerns of the congressional liberals stem from the fact that Obama failed to get authorization from Congress before taking action, and as a result, they feel like they have been left out of the loop. On the other hand, the Republicans are asking the tougher questions such as, what the heck are we doing bombing a sovereign nation were we have no vital interests and one that has not threatened American lives; Who will get stuck with the bill for putting Libya back together when this is finished; and most interesting of all, when the dust settles who will be running Libya?

If we are becoming the world’s self-appointed protector of the people, stepping in between the poor oppressed masses of the planet and the cruel actions of their government then it seems we are being somewhat selective about it. The Iranians have been shooting protestors for years and we haven’t intervened, and if we are going to intervene in Libya are we getting ready to do the same in Syria, Bahrain, and Yemen? Furthermore, if we are going to start flinging missiles over the border of a sovereign nation on a completely different continent wouldn’t it make good sense to first get all of the parties involved on the same page, dream up a strategy or some sort and maybe even consider setting some goals so that everyone had an idea of what end result we were trying to achieve?

Former defense secretary, Donald Rumsfeld has speculated that the absence of strategy, a clear mission and goals is probably the primary reason why Obama failed to notify Congress before the bombs started flying, “They didn’t know precisely with clarity and sufficient precision what it is they wanted the Congress to approve and the coalition clearly has not come to an agreement as to what their mission is.” Even still, Obama and his White House staff are saying that the mission is clear, and last Tuesday Obama claimed that the intervention in Libya is also “in America’s national interest.” And as far as the congressional representatives, from both parties, who have their panties in a knot over not being notified beforehand, Obama’s White House officials are telling them that the U.S. military intervention in Libya does not count as a war.

Personally, I think that it is about time for the Democratic Party to admit that they made a serious error by supporting a completely unqualified character who doesn’t have the foggiest idea how the American government is supposed to work and obviously is under the delusional belief that he was elected to the position of God instead of president. They need to get rid of this mutt before he does any more serious damage, and while the damage he has already done can still be cleaned up.

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Milk & Honey For Some – Higher Taxes For The Rest

Posted in Politics & Government on March 15th, 2011 by MorningStar

The American tax payers do not owe anybody a free ride through life. It doesn’t matter who they are, what they have done, the service they’ve provided, or the sacrifices they’ve made to the government, they have not earned a free lifetime ride on the backs of the American workers. No school teacher, fireman, policeman, politician, bus driver or garbage truck driver has done anything, accomplished so much, or made so many sacrifices that he or she deserves to retire with a pension that allows them to keep up the payments on their $800,000 home, their BMW, a Mercedes, and five or six luxury cruises a year all at the tax payer’s expense. This is especially true when you consider the fact that the majority of the tax payers carrying the hefty burden imposed by government workers retiring to a life of comfort and leisure at the age of fifty are facing certain disaster when they retire at 65 years old with less than half the savings they will need to see them through their final years. Granted, in some cases the hardships these people will be forced to suffer are the result of a lifetime of bad choices, lack of planning and unrealistic ideas, but for the majority of them, it is the result of never having enough income to do more than simply scrape by, not having a job with a company that offered a decent retirement plan, and having 99% of what should be considered surplus income sucked up by rising taxes and medical emergencies, or sacrificed to provide better opportunities for their children’s future. Honestly, the worst choice these unfortunates made in life was to not pass a civil service exam and go to work in the public sector.

Chris Dodd, the former Democratic U.S. Senator from Connecticut spent thirty years in public office and retired at 67 years old with an annual pension of $125,000, a net worth of around $1,744,999, $500,000 in real estate investments, $101,000 in securities, and another $101,000 invested mostly in hospitals, medical care and pharmaceutical companies. Furthermore, despite his pre-retirement insistence that he would not work as a lobbyist after leaving the U.S. Senate, as of March 1, 2011 Dodd is now employed as the chairman and chief lobbyist for the Motion Picture Association of America and it can be safely assumed that he’s not being compensated for his work there with free movie tickets and popcorn.

In June 2008, while acting as the chairman of the Senate Banking Committee Dodd proposed a program to assist troubled sub-prime mortgage lenders such as Countrywide Financial in the wake of the United States housing bubble’s collapse, however, he failed to disclose the fact that he was one of the beneficiaries of Countrywide’s “Friends of Angelo” VIP program, (named for Countrywide CEO Angelo Mozilo) and that he had received mortgages from Countrywide at below-market rates on his Washington, D.C. and Connecticut homes in the course of filing no less than six financial disclosure statements with the Senate and the Office of Government Ethics prior to proposing legislation that would bail Countrywide out of the financial problems they faced. Was this merely a minor mishap in an otherwise sterling career?

When Treasury Secretary Hank Paulson attempted to get provisions added to Dodd’s proposed Housing and Economic Recovery Act of 2008 enabling the Treasury to add capital and regulatory oversight to Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, Chris Dodd denied that the firms were in financial crisis, and stated for the congressional record that they were “fundamentally strong,” in “sound situation” and “in good shape” and that to “suggest they are in major trouble is not accurate.” A few months later, when Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac were reporting huge losses and Secretary Paulson announced a federal takeover of the two firms, Dodd skeptically condemned the move that could have saved the American tax payers billions of dollars had it taken place when Secretary Paulson first called for it. Throughout this entire fiasco nobody questioned Dodd’s personal priorities in this matter or the fact that he was the number one recipient in Congress of campaign funds from Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. Could this be a case of merely being a bit short sighted?

One of the real estate assets owned by Dodd is a stately vacation home in Roundstone, Ireland which he, at one point claimed was worth less than $250,000 but has been more realistically appraised at being worth more than $1 million American dollars. The thing that makes this particular piece of property so interesting is that Dodd’s partner in this purchase was William Kessinger of Kansas City, Mo., the longtime business partner of Dodd’s close friend and New York celebrity, Edward R. Downe Jr. Furthermore, that Edward R. Downe Jr. signed the official transfer document for the property as a witness describing himself as a “private investor” on the document and giving his home address at the exclusive 25 Sutton Place on the Upper East Side of New York City. This took place a year after Edward R. Downe Jr. was convicted of insider trading and assorted violations of the U.S. Tax and Securities laws, was punished with a light slap on the wrist and banned for life from the securities business. In 2001 Dodd finagled a full pardon, from President Bill Clinton on his last day in office, for his good friend Ed Downe, who he described in his two page pardon request as a “really good guy” who Dodd spoke to nearly every day. In 2002, with the full pardon in the bag, Edward Downe’s business partner, William Kessinger, sells Chris Dodd his share of the Roundstone property for $127,000. Considering the fact that Dodd’s initial contribution to the purchase of the property was a mere $12,000, and that this is not just a house, but a freaking mansion and ten acres of land on the island of Inishnee in the affluent Roundtree section of Connemara, in County Galway, Ireland, this was a stupendous deal, and to later pick up full ownership for an additional $127,000 is just beyond all description. While so many American citizens are struggling to avoid foreclosure on heavily mortgaged homes sitting on quarter acre lots in places far less glamorous than the affluent seaside of Inishnee, Chris Dodd, an elected representative of the people is wheeling and dealing his well-placed socialite friends and political connections to put another jewel in opulent crown, thereby proving that America is still the land of opportunity and prosperity, at least for the well-connected who can trade off of the public’s trust for their own enrichment.

Through the final months of the Bush Administration and into the early months of Obama’s reign of power, the U.S. government dumped approximately $170 Billion American tax dollars into the effort to keep the failing insurance giant, AIG afloat. AIG, in an expression of gratitude to the American people, turned around and used $165 million of this money to pay for executive “retention” bonuses to its top executives. Chris Dodd was responsible for the inclusion of a clause limiting excessive executive pay in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, but when that bill left conference, Dodd’s provision had been amended to include a provision preventing limits on bonuses previously negotiated and under contract which allowed AIG to give out their insane bonuses by claiming that they were part of previously negotiated contracts. In an interview on CNN Dodd claimed that he had altered the original language of his provision at the insistence of Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner and the Obama Administration. He later changed his story by claiming that he did not know how the amendment was changed. In a March 20, 2009 editorial the New Haven Register called Dodd “a lying weasel,” and on Friday, March 20, Dodd responded to critics with the explanation that his original comments made on CNN were based on a misunderstanding of the question. He further stated that he was disappointed that the Treasury officials who asked him to make the change had not identified themselves; however, he refused to confirm the actual identity of the individuals responsible for changing the amendment. As it later turned out, Chris Dodd received over $223,000 from AIG employees in campaign contributions after former AIG Financial Products head Joseph Cassano personally solicited contributions from his employees in Connecticut via e-mail suggesting that the contributions were related to Dodd’s ascension to the chairmanship of the Senate Banking Committee. As a side note; Chris Dodd’s wife is the former director for Bermuda-based IPC Holdings, a company controlled by AIG. Wonders never cease.

Despite the appearance that former Senator Chris Dodd is an opportunistic thief who has made a fortune selling legislative favors to major American corporations at the expense of the nation and the American people, he was never convicted in a court of law for any illegal activity. Of course that may be the result of no serious or comprehensive investigations being conducted, the fear far more embarrassment than our government could endure, or the simple fact that this furry handed profiteer had too many well placed friends in high office and knew where far too many skeletons were buried. Whatever, the reason behind his being allowed to skate off into the sunset, that is exactly what he did, and he carried off a $125,000 a year pension while grandma, who paid far more a portion of his pension than she could afford, is now sitting in her freezing cold shack frying up a plate of cat food for her evening meal.

Of course Chris Dodd is not the only worm dropping out of the rotten remains of the once luscious apple. A veritable horde of elected representatives, at every level of American government, headed off over the horizon at the end of the 111th session of Congress or around that period of time, including many senators and representatives at the federal level, as well as a slew of state legislators, mayors, governors, miscellaneous government appointees and other political stalactites formerly found hanging tenaciously from the festering asshole of American politics. And the fact of the matter is, that while few of these bottom-feeding parasites attained the narcissistic, self-aggrandizing heights achieved by Dodd, the malodorous stench of their collective departure will soon be overcome by the putrid effluvium rising from their replacements. Life, for an, as yet undetermined period of time, will go on, and the American tax payers will continue to vote for a seemingly unending supply of corrupt opportunists even as the economic rug on which we stand slips away beneath us revealing a bottomless chasm where certain death and destruction await.

The sight of so many rats crowding into the only lifeboats in sight should spark some sense of dread into the worker bees crowding loose but curious on the sinking deck beneath them. Does the claim of “standing aside for the future generation”, “moving off in a different direction”, “the need to spend more time with the family”, or “renounced my evil past and decided to enter a monastery” seem really all that credible, or is it a case of some cunning sixth sense telling them to find a hole and dive in before the burning torches and pitchforks appear and the outraged citizens are running amuck with pails of hot tar, tattered ropes and bags full of feathers. Whatever the case, you can rest assured that, as a common American citizen, with limited resources, less money and virtually no say in squat, you will be the last to know and the first to be thrown to the howling wolves. Despite what your momma told you, some people do get a free ride through life, and you get to pay for it.

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Public Sector Unions – Lies, Myths & Reality

Posted in Labor Unions, Politics & Government on March 10th, 2011 by MorningStar

As a reformed former president of what used to be one of Southern California’s major labor unions representing the employees of a regulated electrical utility I have been watching with great interest the unfolding events affecting the union represented government employees in the state of Wisconsin and that state’s legislative effort to deal with what the news media portrays as Governor Scott Walker’s budget-repair bill. That bit of legislation has now passed, and like it or not all that the Democrats can do about it is bitch, moan and point fingers, to make matters even worse for them and the labor movement, a similar bill was passed by the Ohio state senate.

The provisions of the new Wisconsin law affect all general employees of the state with the exclusion of public safety employees. The areas covered in all future contractual negotiations with the state will be limited to specific topics for the affected bargaining units. Health care and pension benefits will no longer be considered as topics for labor negotiations. Wage discussions will be limited to bargaining over a percentage of total base wages increase that is no greater than the percentage change in the consumer price index. Any discussion of hours will be restricted according to the needs of the state, and the catch-all phrase, “and all other conditions of employment,” that has historically been used by union negotiators to cover everything under the sun, has been deleted. The automatic withholding of union dues from an employee’s paycheck has been prohibited and any general employee who chooses not to pay union dues can remain a member of a collective bargaining unit. Labor organizations representing collective bargaining units containing general employees of the state will be required to recertify annually. Failure to acquire 51% of the vote in an annual recertification election will result in the decertification of the representative at the expiration date of the collective bargaining agreement. The employees formerly represented by that collective bargaining unit will then be unrepresented and will not be represented for one year. No collective bargaining agreement covering general employees of the state will be extended beyond its one year term. Failing to report to work as scheduled for any three unexcused working days during a state of emergency, or participating in a strike, work stoppage, sit-down, stay-in, slowdown, or other concerted activities to interrupt the of operations or services of state government, including specifically purported mass resignations or sick calls now constitutes just cause for discharge.

From my experience in organized labor I can attest to the fact that the leaders of local unions in the private sector are a canny and normally intelligent bunch. They are very aware of their limitations, and the usually, but not always, exercise a measure of restraint least they “kill the goose that laid the golden egg.” In other words the local unions seek to improve their lot in life, but not to the point where the company their members work for is overly burdened and forced to close down or figure out some way to eliminate its represented employees. Workers without jobs can’t pay union dues, and without a steady stream of union dues to pay the over-inflated salaries of the union officers the whole thing falls apart. Public sector union leaders have never had to consider the well-being of the “goose that laid the golden egg.” For the public sector unions that “goose” is the tax payer who shoulders the burden of their higher wages, great benefit plans and lucrative pension benefits. The private sector service and repair electrician working in Long Beach for $18 per hour and the Certified Electrician working in Van Nuys for $15 per hour and paying the wages, the health care benefits stuffing the pension fund for the generic electrician working for California’s Department of Transportation and pulling in nearly $5000 per month, and the “goose” can scream his head off without anybody paying the least bit of attention. In fact the vast majority of the geese all across this country don’t even think about what all of the tax money that is snatched out of the paycheck is used for and no government body is about to send them an annual audit explaining where their money is being used.

Public sector unions were illegal throughout most of the U.S. until the around 1959 when, ironically enough, the state of Wisconsin became the first in the nation to allow collective bargaining by public employees. Prior to this, public-sector employees commonly earned a bit less than their private-sector equivalents and this was considered acceptable by the public as well as the government workers who, for the most part considered themselves as servants of the public interest. The negative aspect of working for slightly less compensation than their private sector equivalents was marginally offset by the fact that the government employees had reasonable benefit plans at a time when many private sector companies offered few benefits, and employment with the government was always more stable than most of the private sector jobs where companies came and went and everything was in a constant state of change.

Without getting into a lengthy discussion on the history of labor movements in the United States it is still possible to explain the major differences and the inconsistencies of private versus public sector unions. To begin with, the historical basis of collective bargaining revolves around the idea that workers deserve a fair share of the company’s profits. I won’t try to justify that idea in any way because it is pretty impossible to do so depending which side of the fence you are standing on. I will point out that the concept is entirely ludicrous when applied to public service because governments do not generate profits; the revenue of government is derived from the assessment of taxes.

Private sector union members might also be shareholders in the company they work for but their ability to affect the determinations made by the board of directors is pretty limited in most cases and they do not have to power to eliminate their supervisors or other management personnel, however the members of public sector unions are employed to work under the direction of political office holders and their appointees, and as voters they can vote to replace the political leaders that oversee their positions and appoint the supervisors they report to. Furthermore, a large portion of the dues money that is withheld from their paychecks for the union is contributed to the Democratic Party which their labor union supports, for the continuing support of the Democratic Party’s elected representatives. This could be considered acceptable by union members that are also registered Democrats, however for members who are registered with other political parties, this might be considered completely unacceptable. Regardless of what the individual member thinks of the Democratic elected officials they work for, or the Democratic candidates they may work for if elected, the individual union members have little or no voice with respect to their local’s political contributions, and even if they are capable of dropping out of the union and remaining employed, they are still required to pay the union dues, and the process for stopping that money from being used for political parties they do not support is purposely made as difficult as the law will allow.

Private sector unions can leverage companies during labor negotiations with strikes, slowdowns and work stoppages, but the public sector union is limited in their leverage to negotiating within the limited allotment of profit or company revenue budgeted on an annual basis for labor expenses. While it is possible for a local union to demand a larger share of the company’s revenue during negotiations, the union that does this risks the chance of cutting too far into the operating expenses of the company and forcing them into bankruptcy and inevitable layoffs. Classical economic theory holds that wage growth without capital investment is virtually impossible. A machine shop can make a large investment in upgrading and modernizing their machine tools and thereby increase the company’s overall productivity. As a consequence of this increased productivity, the value of each labor hour rises and the company can then increase the wages to attract the workers they need to fully staff the facility without cutting into their operational budget. There is no capital investment in government, and every dollar they take in comes out of the pockets of the tax payers. With public sector unions, the revenue of the “company” is derived from taxes, and the line created by budgetary allotments for labor expenses seems very hazy if not completely arbitrary. The government can, and does, raise taxes on a regular basis to meet the rising costs of operation, therefore, public sector unions are far less shy about demanding significant increases in pay and benefits than their private counterparts. Furthermore, as the number of government employees increases the power of their collective bargaining group becomes greater and greater while the limits to the financial obligations their labor representatives can demand of the government becomes significantly reduced. Given a sufficiently high percentage of voters working in union represented government positions, there is essentially no limit to the demands they can make on their employer, or the financial obligations they can impose on the tax payers as a direct result of those demands. The bottom line, as union negotiators are fond of saying, is that as long as there is no restriction on the size of government and the number of new government positions the politicians create, and that a majority of all government employees are union represented jobs, the power and control that the public sector unions wield over the decisions that government makes is unlimited, and that extends far beyond wages, benefits, pensions and working conditions. That power to control government includes the ability to initiate and pass legislative acts and constitutional amendments as the leaders of those labor organizations see fit without regard for what is best for the American people or what the voters want.

The final difference that I will point out between public and private sector unions is the fact that privately owned companies stretched to the snapping point by their union negotiated obligations can get out from underneath their heavy burden by shedding their obligations in bankruptcy court, however, for a government there are few ways to solve the problems associated with becoming over-burdened by union negotiated obligations, one of those solutions is to dramatically increase the tax base by increasing the population either by encouraging natural population growth through tax cuts extended on the basis of the number of children in a tax payer’s family, or by encouraging huge waves of immigration. In the minds of politicians tax cuts to encourage the growth of American families are viewed as being every bit a noxious as any other tax cut, and their reluctance to give back to the tax payers the money that they feel is justifiably withheld in taxes is made obvious by the fact that every tax cut given to individual tax payers in the last half-century has been so miserly as to be entirely pointless, therefore, the idea of tax cuts to incentivize an increase in population is a non-starter because our elected representatives simply can’t fathom and compelling reason to give back even the smallest portion of what they have already taken. As we have seen in the United States over the course of the last fifty years, the elected representatives of the American voters have chosen the immigration route to solving their problem, unfortunately, this solution is not working because the cost of the public union’s negotiated financial burden on the American taxpayers is growing so fast that no amount of immigration to increase the tax base would ever alleviate it. Secondly, the immigrants that are coming into the U.S. today do not represent a positive growth in the tax base. The majority of the immigrants, and most especially the illegal aliens, that are entering the country today have few, if any marketable job skills, many of them do not speak English, they have no savings to act as a buffer for them and their families while they get training and find employment, the vast majority are functionally illiterate and can’t be trained cost effectively, and more than a few of them have no desire to better their lot in life, acclimate to life in the U.S., or to lead honest and productive lives once they get here. The majority of all legal and illegal immigrants represent a net drain on the American economy for the first ten years they are in this country, and in most cases it is not until the third generation that these immigrants become productive tax-paying members of society. Even if the immigrants coming into the U.S. had the job and language skills, education, and qualifications to immediately secure employment, they can only help solve the problem if there are a sufficient number of vacant jobs in the country to allow each new immigrant a position of employment. Not only are there not enough jobs for the immigrants coming in, but the working American citizens, who now form the tax base that the government depends on to pay these union imposed debts, are being displaced from their jobs by immigrants who are willing to work for far less than American citizens. By working for lower wages, the immigrants pay less in income taxes and the government’s tax revenue is reduced farther and farther with each newly employed immigrant. On top of that, the displaced American tax payer is now dependent on government subsidized unemployment insurance, welfare and/or social security which can only exacerbate the overall problem. In the meantime, the financial burden imposed on the government and the American tax payers by public sector unions continues to grow without restriction. Using immigration in the attempt to solve this problem is illogical, and after many years of attempting to do just that it has become blatantly obvious to everyone, except the labor unions and the politicians, that we could increase immigration to the point that the U.S. was as densely populated as mainland China and it would not begin to dent the constantly growing financial obligation imposed by public sector unions that is currently driving the U.S. economy headlong into ruin.

There isn’t one elected official in the United States that isn’t already aware of the fact that the financial burden imposed on government by the public sector unions is unsustainable. No employer, regardless of the company’s profit or accumulated wealth, could ever hope to survive if they routinely allowed their employees to retire at the age of 55 with anywhere from 70% to 100% of the full salary they were making in their final years of employment. There isn’t one private company anywhere on the planet that could afford to operate under a burden such as this, however, thanks to the power of the public sector unions, the majority of government workers enjoy benefit plans that no private sector worker will ever see. Furthermore, in most cases the incredibly lucrative pension plans for represented government employees often include annual inflation adjustments along with 100% government subsidized health care for life. Additionally, while 55 is the average age at which most government employees may retire, there are numerous government jobs that allow the workers to retire with full benefits, at or near their final wage while far younger. The best example of this is the Metropolitan Transit Authority in Boston which allows their bus drivers to retire at the age of 41 with full medical benefits and more than 75% of their annual $70,000 salary. How could an elected representative of the American people, an individual sworn to the service of this nation’s citizens and dedicated to increasing the benefits and prosperity of our society, condone entering into such an unsustainable agreement?

In paragraph seven I made a statement that I will now repeat. Given a sufficiently high percentage of voters working in union represented government positions, there is essentially no limit to the demands they can make on their employer, or the financial obligations they can impose on the tax payers as a direct result of those demands. It is an irrefutable fact that American labor unions pour millions of dollars every year into American politics, and 99.9% of that money goes to the Democratic Party. The majority of the known union money going to the Democrats is given through political action committees (PACs), however, labor unions also donate large sums of money to the Democratic Party by breaking their contributions into smaller amounts and listing them as individual contributions made under the names of the union’s individual members. In many cases, these individual members do not have any idea that they have contributed. This is how Barack Obama got away with saying that all of the money contributed to his 2008 presidential campaign came from individual donors. It would be interesting to check the list of Obama’s campaign donors against the voter registration list to see how many of the contributions came from registered Republicans who didn’t support him, and most likely voted for someone else. In 2008 the labor union PACs contributed $73.1 million to political campaigns with $68.3 million going directly to the Democratic Party. The remaining $3.7 million was split between candidates running independently or in one of the other minor parties and a microscopic portion may have found its way to one or more Republican candidates but I can’t find any record to substantiate this claim. Additionally, in 2008 the labor unions invested $40.7 million in their lobbying efforts for primarily Democratic agenda items. During the 2010 mid-term election cycle the labor unions contributed $67.5 million through their political action committees and another $24.8 million through individual donations. The unions also poured some $46.7 million into lobbying efforts in 2010, and once again, that money was used to further items on the Democratic Party’s political agenda. In 2008 and 2010, the single largest contributor to the total contributions made by labor unions came from the public sector unions representing government employees. Of the top ten contributors to American politics and politicians, five are labor unions representing members working in public sector government positions. There is no possible way to deny the obvious fact that this sort of money buys an incredible amount of influence at every level of American politics and government, however, money is one thing and votes are another. The key to winning elections is to win over or buy the support of large voting blocs within the population.

A voting bloc is a group of voters that are motivated by a specific concern or group of concerns to the point that it determines how each individual in the bloc will vote in an election. The Democratic Party has normally been more concerned with attracting the different voting blocs than they are with the development or integrity of a solid issue platform. When it comes to special interest groups, the Democratic Party is particularly well attuned, and while they may not be even remotely considered the friend of the working man, they are willing to exchange political favors for the support of a fairly cohesive bloc representing more than 14 million voters affiliated with labor unions. Since neither group has acquired the reputation for putting the welfare of the nation before all else, the mutual back slapping agreement between the labor unions and the Democratic Party is a marriage made in Hell.

In 2010 there were 7.6 million public sector union employees and 7.1 million union workers in the private sector for a total of 14.7 million union represented workers in the United States. The combined strength of the union vote in the U.S. is greater than the voting strength of some ethnic groups, it is equal to approximately two-thirds the voting strength of the U.S. population of Hispanics, it represents half the voting strength of all African-Americans and it is greater than the combined voting power of the total populations of Asian, American Indian and Pacific Islanders in the United States. There is little doubt that 14.7 million votes can make or break a political campaign, and any political party that enters the election season with the assurance that most of those 14.7 million votes will be cast in their favor has a distinct advantage over their opposition. Admittedly, voting blocs have been around since the founding of the Republic, and they will still be here long after I and everyone reading this is long dead and buried, but the fact of the matter is that voting blocs are completely contrary to intended purpose of voting in America, and no political party that was honestly dedicated to the preservation of this nation’s constitution, or the freedom and liberty of its citizens, would encourage, support or condone voting blocs let alone foster their growth and multiplicity, or worst of all, intentionally pander to them with promises and unpublished agreements.

In the United States, elections are more than simply showing up at the local voting place on the first Tuesday in November and casting ballots to determine in which of the candidates the majority of citizens will place their trust. Voting is both a right and an obligation. It is the right to participate in the republic, and it is the obligation to be an informed citizen who will take the time to actually vote. The obligation to be informed is founded on the idea that a republic requires well-educated citizens to safeguard liberty, a notion that was expressed repeatedly by the founders of this nation when the expressed the belief that the sole purpose of education in this country was to enable the citizenry with the skills of critical thinking and logic thereby giving to each of them the full potential requisite of an active participant. “If a nation expects to be ignorant and free, in a state of civilization, it expects what never was and never will be.” (Ford, “Writings of Thomas Jefferson,” 10:4)

Constitutionally, the major objective of voting is to control the government and its ability to infringe upon the liberty and rights of the people. In this respect, voting is the ultimate check and balance system in the process of government, and it serves “We the People” as the last line of defense to preserve our freedom and liberty. This is why the founders of this nation saw the act of voting as being both a sacred right and a very serious personal obligation, and this is expressly why those same founders viewed the failure to protect and defend the Constitution and the republic by voting for representatives who would not hold the public trust sacred and were not dedicated to the preservation of the Constitution as a despicably treasonous act.

An informed voter assesses the political candidates on the basis of the positions they take on important current issues, leadership qualities, the experience they would bring to office, their past record of service, the candidate’s personal characteristics such as, intelligence, honesty, ability to communicate, common sense, fairness and a host of other factors too numerous to mention. The end result of this process is to determine which of the candidates before us is best suited to safeguard the trust of the voters by fulfilling the obligations of the office that candidate is elected to. Which candidate will to the best of his or her ability, “preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States?” And finally, which of the candidates has the capacity to effective lead the nation, serve the best interests of the people equally and fairly, promote the prosperity of all, protect the American citizens, overcome all adversity, and ensure the security of the nation? Clearly, the responsibility of being an informed participant in the republic is serious business and it takes a certain measure of self-discipline and determination which, unfortunately, many who today call themselves “Americans” are unwilling to give. For the members of a voting bloc, however, the process of voting is far less onerous, time consuming and mentally challenging. As a loyal member of a voting bloc the act of voting is reduced to transferring the names of the preferred candidates indicated on the paper handed to you by your union leadership or sent to you by the pro-illegal alien advocacy group, straight onto the ballot card. You don’t need to give it any thought at all; in fact you don’t even really need to know how to read. Knowing whether or not the candidates you are voting for are honest, truthful or even qualified is not necessary, and all things considered, when you are voting as a member of a bloc, the less you know about the candidates, the issues, the government, American history or the U.S. Constitution, the easier the whole thing will settle in whatever you have that passes for a conscience. Thinking for your self can be so over-rated.

Simple greed, jealously, stupidity and laziness are the essential components from which voting blocs are created. The candidates selected by them are not judged by their ability to lead the nation, serve the best interests of the people equally and fairly, promote the prosperity of all, protect the American citizens, overcome all adversity, and ensure the security of the nation, they are judged by their ability to make and fulfill promises, their willingness to look the other way when laws are violated, and their ability to stifle the outrage of their own conscience when they become an active participant in some unwritten agreement that will benefit the undeserving at the expense of all. Simply put, the recipients of the voting bloc’s support and money are the candidates that have made the biggest promises. Qualifications and good character do not enter into the equation. In many respects it is more like buying a used car than casting an informed vote, because it is a situation that encourages corruption.

The public and private sector unions gave their full support to the Democrat’s health care bill not because it was good for the people of the United States, and certainly not because it was fair for everyone, but because it contained massive payoffs to the public sector unions, payoffs that will come at the expense of the American tax payers who will be forced to suffer the consequence with no reasonable benefit. The labor unions threw their unwavering support behind the passage of the $800+ billion stimulus bill, not because it was viewed as a solution to this nation’s economic problem, and not because anyone could ever hope to prove that it was the wise or the fair thing to do, but because of the numerous provisions in that stimulus bill that directly resulted in great benefits and increased political power exclusively for the leaders of organized labor, and once again, at the full expense of the American tax payer. The “Employee Free Choice Act,” a rancid piece of legislation currently being sponsored by our Democratic representatives in the U.S. Senate and the House of Representatives contains nothing at all that will benefit the American worker, but it will provide huge benefits and opportunities for the accumulation of massive wealth to labor unions exclusively, and everything that the labor unions gain by this bill’s passage will be at the expense of the American people. In exchange for the massive financial contributions made by labor unions to the Democratic Party, and the support of the pro-labor voting bloc during upcoming elections the Democratic Party agreed to introduce legislation that contained proposals to eliminate an employee’s right to accept or reject union representation by means of a secret ballot election as it has been done so effectively for more than fifty years, it contains provisions to force businesses into binding arbitration if they fail to quickly agree to the contractual demands of union negotiators, and it imposes severe penalties on companies violating the provisions of the union contracts that were shoved down their throats in binding arbitrations. The Employee Free Choice Act will clear away the legal protections that American workers have against being subjected to the harassment and intimidation of union thugs, and it will eliminate any resistance to union representation by non-union companies whose employees never wanted or needed union representation in the first place. Labor unions will be free to demand unreasonable wage increases and benefits despite a company’s ability to pay, and ultimately, those demands will have to be met because the owners of those companies will have no choice in the matter. The companies that can afford it will close up shop and relocate to other countries, and those that can’t afford to relocate will simply go bankrupt. The ranks of the unemployed will grow by leaps and bounds and the only ones who stand to gain by this insanity are the leaders of the labor unions and the Democratic Party that will be the number one recipient of the huge increase in money flowing into big labor’s already overflowing treasury. The American people will not benefit, and freedom and liberty in the U.S. will be diminished, but the unions and the Democratic Party will flourish, and it will be at the expense of every person in this country.

As the former president of a major Southern California local union I have sat on the union side of the negotiating table debating wage and benefit agreements for the private sector employees of four multi-national corporations, and I can attest to the fact that in every case talking to the stone-faced corporate negotiators sitting across from me was like trying to carry on a conversation with a parrot. It seems like all really big corporations get their labor negotiators from some top-secret genetics research lab where they breed them under strictly controlled conditions devoid of humor, sympathy, compassion and other human weaknesses. Preparations for private sector union negotiations normally begin months before the first meeting with the company takes place. The union negotiating committee conducts a multitude of brain-storming sessions trying to develop the best strategy possible and to identify any potential opening that will increase their leverage at the bargaining table. From beginning to end it is a major struggle for the private sector union to simply keep what they have during contract negotiations, and any improvement they can squeeze out of the company is always viewed as a major achievement. The private sector union negotiator is not sitting across the table from a company representative that he voted into office and can as easily vote out of office. The private sector union negotiator is not sitting across from someone he has contributed thousands of dollars to during the last election, and certainly not someone that he can threaten with cutting off those contributions or giving them to someone else. The private sector union negotiator is not sitting across the table from someone who is in office because the union supplied him with free union volunteers at election time to staff his phone banks, flood the city with campaign signs and pass out glossy leaflets in from of grocery stores outlining his sterling qualities. Public sector contract negotiations are entirely different because the representatives of the public sector union are sitting on both sides of the table. On the one side there are the actual union leaders representing the government employees, and on the other side sit the political hacks that depend on the union’s campaign contributions for the money they need to run for office as well as the union endorsement that will ensure them the support of the union voters thereby guaranteeing their continued employment. For a private sector union negotiator this sort of an arrangement could only happen in a really great dream, and this is the exact reason why when the total compensation for federal and state workers is nearly 50% higher than for private sector employees the public sector unions can demand higher wages and better benefits and the union lackeys, who are supposed to be representing the interests of the people, acquiesce to anything the union asks for. Furthermore, the union lackeys who are supposed to be representing the interests of the people that elected them to office instead of the unions that are paying them are, 101 times out of a 100, Democrats. How can I be so sure that these corrupt, bought and paid for politicians are Democrats? The answer to that is as easy as following the trail of money from the worker’s pay check, to the union treasury and then out the back door and into the back pocket of the sympathetic politician. In the 2010 election cycle 99.5% of the political contributions made by the American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees went to the Democratic Party, 96% of the political contributions made by the National Education Association (representing public school teachers) went to the Democratic Party, and 99.7% of the political contributions made by the American Federation of Teachers (representing workers in education, health care, and public service) went to the Democratic Party. These contributions were not made by the labor leaders of AFSCME, NEA, and the AFT on the basis of who had the best qualifications to do the job, who was the most honest and forthright individual running at the time, or who appeared to be the most dedicated to serving the public in a fair and balanced manner. These contributions were made to the Democratic politicians who promised to raise the wages of the public sector union members, give them greater benefits, and hire more government workers into union represented positions despite the fact that statistic show that public sector workers are already making 50% more than their private sector counterparts, that the overly generous pension plans of these public sector workers is underfunded by more than $1 trillion across the entire county, or that private sector employment is skyrocketing at an unprecedented rate while the private sector companies have shed more than 7,000,000 jobs since the recession began.

The massive power of public sector unions has enabled them with the ability to dictate increases in taxes regardless of whether or not those tax increases are supported or rejected by the American voters. Essentially the public sector unions have usurped the voters control on the rate of taxation in the political spectrum of this nation, and they have set themselves up as the primary beneficiaries of an American tax system that provides them with wage increases and outstanding benefit plans while the unrepresented American citizen receives the meager crumbs left on the table after the feast is abandoned. The Democratic politicians that first engineered this scam are long dead and the current drop can no longer keep the facts hidden from view. For years they have tried to keep it under wraps by offering the public sector parasites moderate wage increases and outstanding pension promises in the hope that by deferring the costs to some future date, they would be long gone to some other political position before the bill came due. The future has finally arrived and all across the nation the states are standing on the edge of insolvency, most of them so deep in debt that they will never recover, the federal government is printing money by the truckload with nothing to back it up and borrowing trillions of dollars from foreign investors to pay for the over-bloated wages and pensions of public sector union employees while cutting back on health to the elderly, closing our national parks and letting our highways fall into ruin.

Public sector unions are killing the American economy and they are intentionally distorting our system of government to their advantage and our great and lasting detriment. And yet when the governor of the state of Wisconsin sees what amounts to $10.9 billion in unfunded pension liabilities for the public sector union employees, and a projected $3.6 billion deficit for the state in the next few years, and tries to take the necessary steps to halt the hemorrhaging before the patient bleeds completely out and dies, the American news media, the self-appointed “Guardians of American Freedom” attack his efforts with headlines reading, “Wisconsin Governor Attacks Collective Bargaining Rights of Union Workers,” millions of loyal union members across America express disdain for the union busting governor and the legions of liberally inclined sheep wax sympathetically for the civil rights of the poor oppressed Wisconsin union members suffering at the hands of another evil right-wing fascist. The issue in Wisconsin is not the bargaining rights of the over-stuffed government hogs feeding mindlessly away at the tax payer’s expense, the issue in Wisconsin is survival.

I did not intend for this posting to reach such a gargantuan proportion and I will admit that when I was back at the mid-way point I edited out ten paragraphs regarding the history of the labor movement’s affiliation with the Democratic Party in the attempt to post something a bit more concise than what I ended up with. My failure is obvious. I will leave this dissertation with a few parting thoughts before I get fired up and take off on another tangent.

The freedom, liberty and prosperity we enjoy as citizens of the United States of America is the result of the hard work, dedication and sacrifices made by the millions of Americans who came before us. People who were willing to think and act for the advancement of something that was far more important and vital than their own personal needs and desires, and people who had the discipline to see beyond their own self-interest a future that was far grander than anything they could accomplish alone. The efficiency of our form of government is predicated on the ability of individuals to see beyond their own desires and to act for the betterment of all. Our assumption that all men of good character will naturally be inclined in this direction has made us the easy prey of the slick talking self-centered manipulators who would steal our power and our nation out from beneath us and hock it for whatever they could get. If we remain as complacent and self-absorbed as we have been in the recent past then we will soon find ourselves becoming subject to same foreign powers that our current elected representatives now turn to for larger and larger loans, and our freedom and liberty will be lost forever. We will be bound by the chains of slavery for debts incurred by those who thought only of themselves and what they wanted while we were left floundering out of control. Before our nation falls and our freedom becomes a historical footnote in the pages of history we, the American people, must stop the destructive distortion of our system of government by the labor union’s looters and the corrupt politicians who have conspired with them to destroy our nation, our future and the future of all who come after us.

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The Supreme Court, Noxious Vermin & Free Speech

Posted in Politics & Government on March 2nd, 2011 by MorningStar

Despite my initial thought that the U.S. Supreme Court justices lost their minds when they voted Wednesday eight to one in favor of the creepy Westboro Baptist Church member’s right to picket the funerals of American soldiers killed in action, a brief review of the decision leaves me with the admittedly painful realization that they made the right decision by protecting the integrity of our constitutional right to free speech instead of eroding it like so many other once inalienable rights.

In the opinion of the court, Chief Justice John Roberts wrote, “Speech is powerful. It can stir people to action, move them to tears of both joy and sorrow, and — as it did here — inflict great pain. On the facts before us, we cannot react to that pain by punishing the speaker. As a nation we have chosen a different course — to protect even hurtful speech on public issues to ensure that we do not stifle public debate.” Begrudgingly, I must admit that he is correct, and the people of this nation will be better served by protecting free speech than they could ever be by restricting it.

I have to admire the honesty and integrity of the court in this matter, and I am sure that their decision was a painful one to reach. I would venture to say that many of them would rather have stomped this particular roach infestation into a slimy smear than do something that could be construed as beneficial to these despicable cretins. They did the right thing even though it must have made them all gag to do so.

Lance Corporal Matthew A. Snyder, USMC, of Finksburg, Maryland, died in on March 3, 2006, at the age of twenty as a result of a non-combat related vehicle accident in Al Anbar province, Iraq, and his body was returned to the United States for burial. During this American soldier’s funeral, held at a Westminster, Maryland church, the Rev. Fred Phelps and his family members who make up the majority of the Westboro Baptist Church congregation showed up with picket signs reading “Thank God for dead soldiers,” “You’re Going to Hell,” “God Hates the USA/Thank God for 9/11“, and numerous other asinine statements. Phelps and his gaggle of followers outraged the local populace to the point that an impromptu counter-demonstration ensued, the news media quickly converged on the scene to exacerbate the spectacle and complete the three ring circus thereby entirely disrupting the  funeral service.

Some weeks later, Albert Snyder, the father of the fallen soldier happened upon the Westboro Baptist Church’s web site where he found a poem attacking him and his wife for the way they raised their son. Shortly after, Snyder filed a lawsuit alleging that Rev. Fred Phelps and the congregation of the Westboro Baptist Church intentionally inflicted emotional distress on him and his family. Albert Snyder was awarded $11 million as a result of this trial, but the judge later reduced it to $5 million, and later a federal appeals court in Richmond, Va., threw out the verdict on the grounds that the Constitution shielded the church members from liability. Albert Snyder appealed that decision and the case ended up before the U.S. Supreme Court. Despite having the support of 48 states, 42 U.S. senators and many veterans groups, all of whom asking that the court shield the funerals and grieving families of soldiers killed while in service to their nation from the sort of “psychological terrorism” practiced by the Westboro Baptist Church, the Supreme Court upheld the noxious congregation’s right to free speech and rejected the arguments made on Albert Snyder’s behalf.

Don’t misunderstand what I am saying here; if someone were to plow through the entire congregation of the Westboro Baptist Church with a large, fast-moving semi-truck sending them all into the well-deserved fires of Hell’s darkest and deepest regions, I would shed no tears. Furthermore, if the driver of that tuck made a clean getaway and needed a few bucks to finance his or her future life as a fugitive from justice, I would gladly contribute what I could and it wouldn’t keep me awake at night wondering if I did the right thing. I am as much a law-abiding patriotic citizen of this nation as anybody else, and I love what this nation once stood for, and could again if we just pulled our heads out of our collective asses. However, with all due respect to the determination of the Supreme Court in this matter, there are some things that simply cannot be tolerated, and while I can support the court’s decision, I also support the notion that the inbred Appalachian mutant minister, Fred Phelps and his congregation of miscreant, genetically over-burdened offspring are an offensive menace to American society and I would be proud to serve on the jury that determines the fate of anyone who decided to dispatch them all to Hell. It is not too difficult for me to image times where “Not Guilty” sounds remarkably similar to “Hallelujah.”

I fully agree that what I have written above may seem somewhat conflicting to many, but I am not going to make the attempt to explain it any further than I already have. As my dear wife is fond of saying, “It is what it is.” What more can I say?

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Presidential Directives, Dictates & Dictators

Posted in Politics & Government on March 1st, 2011 by MorningStar

There is nothing in Article II, Sections 2 & 3 of the U.S. Constitution that would give Barack Obama the authority to determine that legislation, passed by the U.S. Congress, and signed into law by a former president of the United States, is unconstitutional and will no longer be defended in U.S. Courts, however, the U.S. Attorney General, Eric Holder, at the direction of Barack Obama, wrote and delivered a six-page letter to House Speaker John Boehner a week or so ago notifying him that Obama believes that Section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act is unconstitutional and that his administration would no longer defend the statute in court.

The Defense of Marriage Act was passed The bill was passed by Congress by a vote of 85–14 in the Senate and a vote of 342–67 in the House of Representatives, and was signed into law by President Bill Clinton on September 21, 1996. Under the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) no state is required to recognize the validity of any same-sex marriage performed in another state and for the purposes of the federal government, marriage is defined as a legal union between one man and one woman. Barack Obama views this definition of marriage as discriminatory because he feels that it denies gay men and lesbians the equal protection that is guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution to all Americans.

Personally, I have no problem with Barack Obama’s opinion of the Defense of Marriage Act. In fact I will go one step further and say that I don’t believe that the federal government has any legitimate authority regulating anything with respect to the religious vows of marriage and that they should get out of the marriage business altogether, but as far as Obama’s opinion is concerned, it is an opinion and he has the right to think what he wants. However, as the President of the United States he has taken an oath to uphold the duties of his office and one of those duties is to enforce all federal laws regardless of what he thinks about them. He can go to the U.S. Congress and suggest that they repeal a law that he does not agree with but unless they follow his suggestion and repeal the law he is stuck with enforcing it. The Supreme Court can determine that a federal law is unconstitutional because that is their job as stated in the Constitution, but Barack Obama is not on the list of Supreme Court Justices, and he has no authority to force them to view a given law as being unconstitutional.

Essentially, Barack Obama is overstepping his authority as the U.S. President in this matter and his opinion of DOMA carries no more weight than the opinion of any private citizen on the street. He is still obligated to enforce the law until Congress repeals it or the Supreme Court determines that it is unconstitutional. If, on his personal whim, Barack Obama can decide not to enforce a law like DOMA, then he can just as easily decide that he doesn’t like some other law and that he isn’t going to enforce it either. As far as that goes, if he can decide to dump a law what is to keep him from deciding that we need a few new laws and passing whatever law strikes his fancy? He determines that all Republicans are a pain in the ass and decides we need a law to prohibit their existence. Gun rights too much of a problem for him, do away with them! Amnesty sounding good this morning, why not just proclaim it a done deal and tear down the border fences?

Barack Obama is exactly what the founding fathers had in mind when they saw the need to create a government with three separate branches as way to keep each of them from getting out of hand and overstepping the bounds of their office. DOMA may be flawed and it may or may not create a discriminatory set of circumstances, but Barack Obama’s unilateral decision effectively scraps a law that millions of American citizens support, and for that he needs an act of congress or a determination by the Supreme Court, anything less is simple dereliction of duty, abuse of authority and a blatant violation of the U.S. Constitution.

Obama is looking down the road to his re-election chances in 2012 and trying to hedge his bets by making good on campaign promises to gays and lesbians that he has all but ignored up to this point. Last year the gay & lesbian groups were threatening to pull the rug out from underneath Obama because he hadn’t kept his promise to them to legalize same sex marriage on the federal level. There have been similar grumblings from the illegal alien advocacy groups over his failure to get an amnesty bill passed, and the labor unions have voiced plenty of complaints regarding the dead-in-the-water Employee Free Choice Act that would effectively end the worker’s right to democratically accept or reject union representation. Minority special interest groups have been the primary target for the Democratic Party’s half-hearted and often hollow election year promises, and it makes sense that some of them would eventually begin to question the sincerity of the DNC’s oily bait & switch con game, especially after they’ve fallen for the same lies through a dozen or so election seasons and still have nothing to show for it.

A brief review of the Republican Party’s most likely potential candidates for the 2012 presidential election should be sufficient to put Obama’s mind at ease. The GOP is in worse shape today than they were when he snatched the White House away from them in the last presidential election. They are still shying away from their traditionally conservative platform, and without that there is no tangible difference between them and the Democrats. If the GOP maintains their current pin-ball path with the false hope that the American voters are too unsophisticated to notice their confusion, lack of unity and failure to establish a comprehensive platform, then Barack Obama has little to be concerned about regardless of how many minority special interest groups he blows off or meaningless campaign promises he ignores. Considering the current state of affairs it will take a miracle to evict Obama from the White House in 2012.

Unilateral presidential dictates carrying the force of legitimate legislative acts might prove to be an effective way to force a miracle into existence. With the House of Representatives under the control of the Republican Party Obama has little hope of fulfilling the campaign promises he’s made to his largest and most important supporters without resorting to the worst sort of extreme presidential directives. He can cite the lack of sufficient federal funds to justify slashing the Border Patrol and Immigration and Customs Enforcement budgets to a point where neither can effectively operate and immigration enforcement ceases to exist. This would make the illegal alien advocacy groups happier than some convoluted and restrictive amnesty legislation that may, or may not pass. It would also please the Islamic terrorists to no end, but what the hell, as long as the DNC can count on the illegal alien vote to keep them in office for four more years a few dead Americans would be a small price to pay. It might take a bit more of a stretch to justify a presidential directive expanding the labor unions already expansive privalege to dip their hands into the pockets of American workers for no logical reason, but then again a political party that can attempt to subvert numerous constitutional rights with a bill called “The Employee Free Choice Act” is certainly capable of justifying virtually anything. Sleight of hand, warped reasoning, an abundance of meaningless political rhetoric, lots of outright lies and a healthy dose of economic mumbo jumbo pumped 24-7 into the minds of the unwashed masses by the loyal news media for a few weeks ought to be enough to convince the majority of them that the fate of the nation, the future of God, the continuing happiness of young children and small dogs, the prosperity of the middle-class, and the wholesome goodness of Grandma’s apple pie is hanging precariously by one thin and fraying thread, and can only be saved if every working stiff in the country steps up to the plate and starts shelling out $99.95 a month to a labor union.

Seriously, who needs an expensive U.S. Congress bickering away and accomplishing little or nothing of any value, or a Supreme Court that’s always standing in the way obstructing every effort to move forward and hindering every attempt to implement the really huge and magnificent changes that our visionary president deems appropriate? Swallow that Kool-Aid and shut up.

If the federal government is going to maintain its grasp on the religious rite of marriage then it needs to recognize the inconsistent logic that denies the rite of marriage to same sex couples. There is simply no logical justification to warrant the obvious discrimination against gays and lesbians while claiming equal treatment for all. Considering the governments near phobic avoidance of religious affiliation, their regulation of something that is, undeniably a religious rite makes even less sense, but then again, if we’re looking for common sense and logic we shouldn’t be looking at government. Despite all of that, we have 234 years invested in the guidelines and procedures established by the founders of this nation, and they have served us well up until quite recently. This is a constitutional republic, not a third-world dictatorship, and if Obama wants to buy the support of the gay and lesbian community by ending the discriminatory consequences of the Defense of Marriage Act he needs to encourage the U.S. Congress to legislate its repeal because that is the right way to do it and anything less is the act of a dictator.

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