Warning: This blog is political in nature.

If you are sensitive to political commentary,
please go back to my main Random Thoughts blog.

If you like political discussion, you may also like my Political Positions blog.

Monday, August 26, 2013

Lukewarm Christians Make Me Sick

I'm getting sick (Rev 3:16) of the apparent apathy of Christians in the churches. Some say that Christians shouldn't get involved in politics, that there should be a separation of church and state.

Jesus said that we are to be salt and light, and said that we should not hide our light, but put it out where all can see (Mat 5:13-16). But some will object that Jesus didn't say anything there about political office. God said, "Blessed is the *nation* whose God is the Lord" (Ps 33:12).


But some will argue that God didn't say anything about *people* guiding that nation to being Godly.

Well, does this help?

God directly appointed Saul as king of Israel (1 Sam 9). Saul was godly in his early days - he sought the Lord's direction even in small things such as seeking lost donkeys.  I would take Saul as a warning to those who let the power and authority corrupt them, as in the saying, "Power corrupts, and absolute power corrupts absolutely." He was appointed by God; he misused his position, he disobeyed God, and God removed him.

God directly appointed David as king of Israel to replace Saul. David serves as an example of godly, but as always with men, imperfect leadership.

God then led the kingship of Solomon, the wisest man to ever live, who brought in Israel’s golden age, of which other world leaders stood in awe.

The queen of Sheba (the vast kingdom of Ethiopia spanning most of northern Africa) said (1 Kings 10:6-9) that she had been told of Israel’s greatness, but said that “the half was not told me: thy wisdom and prosperity exceedeth the fame which I heard.” She goes on to describe some important aspects of this greatness: “Happy are thy men, happy are these thy servants, which stand continually before thee, and that hear thy wisdom.” Israel was immensely wealthy, but that was not what was most important. Then we get the bottom line: “Blessed be the Lord thy God, which delighted in thee, to set thee on the throne of Israel: because the Lord loved Israel for ever, therefore made He thee king, to do judgment and justice.” She then gave 120 talents of gold, which is worth $161.5M in today’s prices, as part of a gift that included also spices and precious stones.

Because Godly men followed God’s ways, and directed a nation to follow God’s ways, the world stood in awe, and they honored and respected God.


But those men were over the nation of Israel, a nation founded by God Himself, and some will argue that it does not apply to us.

Maybe these apply more directly?

God directed Joseph to become effectively Prime Minister of Egypt, second only to the king.

God directed Daniel to become effectively Prime Minister of Babylon in its height, second only to the king.

God directed Esther to become queen of Persia - which at that time, included everything from Africa to India. Then God used Esther to bring Mordecai to be second only to the king over all of Persia.

God directed Nehemiah to be cupbearer to Artaxerxes of Persia, while God did not give us the details of how he came to be there. We do know that God used Nehemiah to gain the favor of the king, to obtain financing to rebuild Jerusalem, eventually leading to the nation’s return to their homeland. Yes, the Persian empire financed the rebuilding of Israel, because God had placed the right man in the right place at the right time.


But - our nation has a Constitutional separation of church and state, right?

This is one of the worst examples of taking words out of context I have seen.

First, the phrase is not from the Constitution. What the Constitution actually says is that Congress may make no laws that either require nor restrict religious activity.

Second, the phrase comes from a letter from Thomas Jefferson to a Baptist church, in which he went on to explain that the restriction is only in one direction - that the government is prevented from interfering with the church, but that Christians can - and should - be always involved in the government.

To prove the intent, we have only to look at the occupations of our nation’s founders. Here are a few (from http://ourfoundingtruth.blogspot.com/2007/10/founding-fathers-considered-clergy.html):
John Quincy Adams, the sixth President: Vice-President of the American Bible Society and Vice-President of the Massachusetts Bible Society.
Robert Treat Paine, signer of the Declaration, helped write the Massachusetts Constitution: Military Chaplain.
Rufus King, signer of the Constitution, Ratifier of the Bill of Rights: Manager of the American Bible Society.
Bushrod Washington, Justice of the U. S. Supreme Court: Vice-President of the American Bible Society, Vice-President of the American Sunday School Union.
John Lowell, Revolutionary officer, member of the Continental Congress, author of Article I of the Massachusetts Constitution: Member of the Society for the Propagating of the Gospel among the Indians and Others.
Jonathan Trumbull, Governor of Connecticut: ordained pastor.
James Bowdoin,  Governor of Massachusetts: Member of the Society for Propagating the Gospel Among the Indians and Others.
John Cotton Smith, Governor of Connecticut, U. S. Congressman: President of the Litchfield County Foreign Missionary Society; first President of the Connecticut Bible Society; President of the American Bible Society; President of the American Board of Foreign Missions, Puritan minister.
John Treadwell, Governor of Connecticut, member of the Continental Congress: Member of the Missionary Society of Connecticut.

In fact, 27 signers of the Declaration of Independence had seminary degrees from universities like Harvard, Yale and Princeton - which were founded primarily as Bible colleges, entirely unlike we know them today.

This list is somewhat misleading, however, since many, many others were known for their faith.

George Washington was known by his men to spend long periods in prayer.

Ben Franklin spoke during the Constitutional Convention on the need to bathe the meetings in prayer: “I have lived, Sir, a long time, and the longer I live, the more convincing proofs I see of this truth- that God Governs in the affairs of men. And if a sparrow cannot fall to the ground without his notice, is it probable that an empire can rise without his aid?”


It has been said that, "All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing," a quote attributed to one who is also one of the founders, Edmund Burke.

It has also been pointed out regularly by our pastors that sins of omission are just as much sins as those of commission, or to put it another way, "To him that knoweth to do good, and doeth it not, to him it is sin” (James 4:17).

Will you sin by not doing what you can?
Will you let our country fall into decay because you chose not to get involved?
Or will you stand up against the tide of evil?
Will you stand up with those who are willing to fight for what is right?

Find Godly candidates for political office, and support them.
Give them financial support if you can.
Talk to others about them.
Knock on doors for them.
Call for them.
Put up signs for them.
And if God puts you into a place where you can run for office yourself, do it. School board, City council, County commission, Tax commissioner, whatever.
If God leads you to run, do it. If God does not lead you to run yourself, support someone who is.


If you are lukewarm, you make me sick. And God is getting sick of you too.


In preparation of this post, I found this decent refutation of false history: http://www.reclaimamericaforchrist.org/lettertopatriotpastors.htm. But the best source I have found of accurate educational materials is at http://www.wallbuilders.com.

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Online Sales Tax

Sent to my Congressman and Senators:

Please vote against the online sales tax bill, at least in its current form.

This sounds like government trying to close a loophole, but then doing so by committee - coming up with the most convoluted solution possible.

First, the narrow focus of the bill  - which feels like a knee-jerk reaction - leaves other loopholes, such as catalog and phone sales, unless of course, the bill is incorrectly named.

It would be much simpler if all sellers simply collected taxes for where they are located, regardless of where the buyer is located. This would even be simpler than the current arrangement, where they collect tax for other states where they have arrangements.

In fact, this is already possible. A state can require sellers to collect tax on all sales and not exclude out-of-state buyers.

There is one problem. The federal government wants to fix the issue. But this is a state issue. State tax. State sellers. State buyers. State issue. Not federal.

If the federal government places restrictions on this possibility, then the current problem needs to be fixed, not more problems created, by removing improper regulations on the states, rather than creating yet more regulations.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

America Can Be Great Again

We are in a hopeful time for those who believe in America.

Our nation is well positioned to take advantage of the time ahead. We have the infrastructure created during and because of the tech boom of the 90's, global distribution systems, the personal and business savings that has gone unspent and uninvested due to past uncertainty, and significant unemployment and underemployment.

The American enterprise, small business, and the American worker have been suppressed and repressed for the past ten years. (Yes, that goes back to when GW Bush betrayed capitalism to save a rigged system, or however he put it.) All we need is business-minded strong leadership who is willing to unleash the American people.

And we can have a true revival of the American Dream, which extends well beyond home ownership, and into personal freedom, personal wealth, family, friends, and a strong society that extends from the people, not from the government.

Vote on (or before) November 6th, and vote for those who support freedom. America can be great again.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Fourth Amendment vs Government Schools

A student was just suspended with an expulsion hearing pending. His crime: a legal firearm sitting quietly in his personal vehicle. No brandishing, no threats. Maybe it's time for a law or ruling that the Fourth Amendment apply to schools.

The Supreme Court has already applied the First Amendment to states when it was only intended for Congress, but the Fourth Amendment's guarantee against "unreasonable searches and seizures" was intended to anybody who might do the searches or seizures. But government schools do like they always do - whatever they want, with complete disregard to this little thing known as "law".

Friday, July 27, 2012

Letter to my Senators - "Please, no restrictions based on false information and hysteria"

This is a letter I just sent to my Senators.

Title: Please, no restrictions based on false information and hysteria

Please do not support any efforts to restrict the firearms that were used by the murderer in the Aurora, CO theater.

The weapons he used were not "assault" weapons, military-style, or automatic. While some "assault" weapons were outlawed for a period of time, the weapons he used have never been outlawed, despite misinformation provided by some sources.

Further, while the weapons he used were not "AR-15" rifles, those are also neither assault weapons nor automatic. Some have talked recently about the rapid fire rate of "machine guns," but neither AR-15 style rifles nor the weapons actually present in this massacre were any form of automatic weapon.

Also, even though the shooter had a rifle at the time, which had a large-capacity magazine, his shooting was actually done with a shotgun for which no one is suggesting any restrictions.

In summary:
1 - The weapons present in the recent massacre involved neither an AR-15 nor any type of automatic weapon or machine gun.
2 - The AR-15 weapon often referenced, which was not used in the massacre, is also neither an automatic weapon or machine gun.
3 - The rifle owned by the killer and highly criticized was not even used.

Placing restrictions on Constitutional rights, particularly based on clearly false claims, would be an extreme knee-jerk reaction. It would be akin to outlawing pickup trucks after a drunk driver causes a severe accident with a station wagon.

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Vote for a person not on the color of his skin, but on the content of his character.

Vote for a person not on the color of his skin, but on the content of his character.

If a person supports liberty, freedom, entrepreneurship, self-responsibility, free enterprise, small business, less intrusive government - support that person.

If a person supports bigger government, more regulation, less choice, and uses thinly-veiled Marxist Socialist terms like "social justice," "compassion," "fairness," "change," "racist," "greed," and "hate," do everything within your power to see that person is not elected or else is removed from office at the next legal opportunity.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Presidential Primary: Anti-Mitt means vote Ron Paul for now

It's Presidential Primary Election Day. I don't really care for Mitt Romney - way too liberal, health care being only one issue where I disagree. In the Primary, I'm going to vote for Ron Paul, just so someone else can have a chance.

I prefer Newt Gingrich, but he's not on the ballot in VA (neither is anyone else but Romney and Paul). I think Gingrich has the best shot at taking out Obama in the debates. If Mitt Romney doesn't have a majority in the primary, anybody can win at the convention.

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Re: The first million

Since NBC's parent company's president and CEO is in the pocket of the administration, I don't really care what they say.

Their bias is demonstrated in their assertion that the Chamber of Commerce, the premier organization supporting small business, which itself provides the majority of jobs in this country, is "pretty far removed from Main Street Virginia."

By the way, I never signed up for emails from you, and considering you are also in the proverbial pocket of the administration, I also don't care about most of what you say.

Thank you,

Michael Pollard

On Wed, Feb 29, 2012 at 3:51 PM, Tim Kaine <info@kaineforva.com> wrote:
Dear Michael,

I wanted to make sure you saw Mike's email from yesterday -- it's important to know what this campaign is up against. The truth is that the political attacks we've seen recently are just the beginning. We have a long road ahead, and it's going to take all of us working together to score a big victory for the people of Virginia.

In the past month, I've traveled all across Virginia, sharing ideas for how to keep our economy growing and hearing concerns about the need for increased access to capital and a talented workforce to help businesses expand and hire new workers. That's what this campaign should be about. But in order to cut through the negative ads and get our message out there, I'm counting on your help.

Can you make a contribution -- even as little as $5 -- to help us add 43 more donors before midnight tonight so that we can finish out February on a strong note?

Like Mike said, our campaign doesn't count on outside special interest groups that can raise unlimited amounts of money. This campaign is powered by grassroots supporters like you.

Thank you so much for your support. Together, there's nothing we can't accomplish for the people of Virginia and our country.

Tim Kaine


---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Mike Henry
Date: Tue, Feb 28
Subject: The first million


Election Day is over eight months away, and outside special interest groups have already poured more than a million dollars into television ads attacking Tim Kaine. Every single one of them has been called "false" by independent fact-checking organizations.

The truth is that we're not just competing against George Allen's campaign. We know of at least three special interest groups that are going to spend millions more in the coming months, flooding the airwaves with more blatantly false attack ads in an attempt to destroy Tim Kaine's good name and mislead Virginia voters.

George Allen is relying on his special interest cavalry to fund nasty attack ads. We're relying on you. Tomorrow marks the end of another month, and we need to make sure we have the resources to respond to the false attacks and spread Tim's message of job creation across Virginia.

Can you make a contribution -- even as little as $5 -- and help us add 96 new donors before we close the books on February tomorrow night?

Just yesterday, NBC 12 reported on the latest attack ad from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, noting that the group is "pretty far removed from Main Street Virginia" and acts on behalf of special interests. Their negative ad, rated "False" by an independent fact-checking organization, even prompted the Virginia Chamber of Commerce to publicly distance itself from the group.

While George Allen's Cavalry has been focused on launching false attacks, Tim has been traveling across the Commonwealth meeting with business and community leaders. He's also spoken with members of several local Chambers of Commerce. He knows we need to help our communities expand businesses, create jobs, and develop talent.

We can't let one million dollars from outside groups spent on false attack ads -- and that's just the beginning -- deter Tim from working towards the priorities that matter.

Help us gather the resources we need to fight back. There are 48 hours to go to finish the month strong -- please make a contribution now. Even as little as $5 makes a difference.

Go get 'em.

Mike Henry
Campaign Manager


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Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Environmentalists protect a lizard, kill eagles

Environmentalists are blocking drilling for oil in Texas, in the guise of protecting a lizard that they say is endangered. But at the same time, wind farms are killing dozens of endangered golden eagles - and they won't stop them.
Hypocrisy in action.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Basketball vs Revolution and Disaster

Interesting (and concerning) that during this time of global difficulty, our President has little time for anything other than basketball.

He spoke a few weeks ago, encouraging the youth of the middle east to rise up and demonstrate. Now that Libya is in flames, he is silent.

Japan has experienced their worst disaster of any kind since World War II, but they are handling it peacefully. No violence, no protests, no looting. And our President is silent.

Instead, he attends basketball games and releases his picks for March Madness.

Saturday, October 30, 2010

That's Just Not Right

We are in the middle of a Congressional election campaign between a 28-year incumbent Democrat, Rick Boucher, and a challenging Republican, Morgan Griffith.

Somebody is sending out political text messages, without any identification, that are considered "smear attacks" against the Democrat.

Problem is, these messages seem to be sent BY the Democrat's campaign and his supporters, and Rick Boucher's Congressional office -- in official capacity -- is then claiming the Republican's campaign sent them. What is clear is that the Republican, Morgan Griffith, has categorically denied knowing anything about these messages or being involved with them in any way.

It's one thing to point out your opponent's bad actions.
It's quite another to do them yourself solely to blame him for them.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Letter to Senator Mark Warner

I just received a letter from Senator Mark Warner. This is a reply.


Thank you for your email.

Thank you for letting me know that you strongly support additional bailouts for favored businesses.

I realize that the small business package includes some things that will be positive, like allowing those who choose to invest in capital to write off the balance more quickly. However, allowing the current tax rates to expire on most of these businesses (taxes on the "rich" who own these businesses and file personal returns that reflect the business income) will cost far more than this plan could ever save.

Moreover, the majority of the cost (which will have to be paid for, despite the claim that it doesn't cost anything) is for direct bailouts (loans) for favored businesses. The loan industry has no shortage of funds available. The $1.5b is minor compared to the $300b already available. This money will go to companies, like those you indicated, which are politically favored, and some of whom do not have a sound business model which would be required to otherwise get loans. And which will be required to actually succeed and to pay back the loans.

In addition, while the deductions on capital investment may reduce the short-term cost of business growth, the new healthcare regulations will greatly increase the cost of employees. In other words, recent regulations still create an environment that is strongly negative for jobs growth.

It is laws like these that have overseen the increase in unemployment from 7.2% under Bush to over 10% under Obama. These laws with more regulation and higher taxes have made things so bad that some experts do not expect unemployment to ever return to the low rates that President Obama inherited.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Louisiana and the Oil Spill

I just found out that Louisiana actually has developed a plan over the past years to contain oil spills to keep them off their coast and out of their sensitive marshlands.

Yet you hear a lot on the news about how the oil threatens the marshes. Which is the truth?

Actually, the oil does threaten the marshes, despite Louisiana's plans. Why?

Because for Louisiana to implement their plans, they have to have Federal permission.

And the Federal government is far more concerned with blaming BP, with fining BP, with shutting down oil drilling nationwide, with holding press conferences, and with having hearings.

Louisiana asked for permission within days of the oil leak starting. And, despite it now being over a month later, the Federal government has still not allowed Louisiana to do anything to protect themselves.

If we didn't know before, we know now. This isn't about fixing anything. It's not about taking responsibility, which BP has already done. It's about blaming. It's about repudiation. It's about publicly humiliating anybody and everybody that the current Federal administration doesn't like. And the oil leak continues.

Friday, May 14, 2010

Times Square Would-Be Bombing - Correction

My original post on Times Square has been corrected. Seems some of the facts were a little confusing, since the would-be bomber actually has close ties to BOTH major radical Islamic terrorist organizations.

Too bad Attorney General Eric Holder won't admit even the possibility of any "radical Islam" influence in the situation in Times Square. Might make keeping things easier to keep straight if the government would actually find out what's going on rather than trying to appease everyone who hates us. Or if they would even admit the intelligence findings that have already been released to the press.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Bomber on no-fly list on flight: Airline's fault?

The government says that the bomber who was on the no-fly list getting on a flight was effectively the airline's fault.

The policy requires airlines check every 24 hours for a new/updated list. This guy was a new addition, so he got missed. And they are now changing the policy to require airlines check for new/updated lists every two hours.

But is it ultimately the airline's responsibility? Isn't that what the TSA (Transportation Security Administration) is for? Every individual person goes through a security screening, and every individual person gets looked at by a TSA agent.

But the government says it's the private airline's fault, not the TSA that they oversee.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Bomber on no-fly list still gets on flight

Faisal Shahzad, the man who set up the bomb in Times Square, was on the no-fly list.

Yet he got on a flight to Dubai, and almost left. He was apprehended from the plane, just before take-off.

And the White House Press Secretary says that the "security system" and its "fallback procedures" were "in place" and that "they worked."

The guy was on the no-fly list. He was minutes from taking off, when somebody happened to notice his name on the boarding list. And this is an example of how the system "worked"?

New York did an excellent job. The citizens noticed and reported the suspicious activity. The information on the vehicle was tracked down. But the perpetrator, who was on the Federal no-fly list, was still allowed on an international flight, right under the eyes of the Fed?

How many times do people on no-fly lists have to get on flights before somebody straightens things out?

(BTW: Oh, and how many news reports have you heard that mentioned that he's a Muslim who came from Pakistan and has ties to both Al Qaeda and the Taliban? Not many, I'll bet.)

Update: Sorry; it was a Taliban training camp he trained in last year. Corrected above.

Update 2: No, it actually was an Al Qaeda training camp. Confused because the Taliban took credit for the bomb, but it was Al Qaeda that he trained with. Seems he's actually related to both. Re-corrected.

Too bad Attorney General Eric Holder won't admit even the possibility of any "radical Islam" influence in the situation. Might make keeping things easier to keep straight if the government would actually find out what's going on rather than trying to appease everyone who hates us. Or if they would even admit the intelligence findings that have already been released to the press.

Friday, April 30, 2010

Oil Rig Sinking

Well, I feel a little bit better in one way, though not so much in another.

On the one hand, at least I'm not the only one thinking this, but on the other hand, if it's true, that's scary.

I just heard a local (relatively local, in Tennessee, but nationally-syndicated) radio host say that he was thinking the same thing.

OK, I'm leading in to something.

I was simply thinking that it seems quite a coincidence that we've had a lot of mining disasters in the past year or so. And now, we've had an oil rig sink, resulting in probably a bigger oil spill than the Exxon Valdez.

This particular oil rig survived the brunt of Katrina. We know it was in the path for that. It was probably in the path for a lot more, like Ivan (which I was in Pensacola FL during). And now the pressure from fire hoses from fire boats was enough to break it off its moorings and cause it to sink? Really? After an unexplained fire?

Is it just coincidence that we've had all these situations, right now as those in political power are pushing for restrictions and fees on fossil fuels?

Is it a coincidence that we had an oil rig mysteriously blow up and sink - and that the fail-safe auto-cap mechanism also mysteriously failed - and all without any ability to investigate what happened to either one?

And right after a President who has made no secret of his dislike of the petroleum industry, under strong pressure from members of his own political party, just approved research into off-shore drilling? A move that is now suspended indefinitely, making him look like he was on the right side all along?

A President who has worked all his political life among "community organizer" groups who are used to "heavy-handed" tactics to get their way?

A President who has worked all his political life in and around Chicago, the home of political corruption perhaps only second to New Orleans?

Which is, coincidentally, the home of the group he worked with most of his working life, ACORN, and their brother group, SEIU. And, coincidentally, where the oil rig incident occurred.

Now, don't get me wrong. I'm no conspiracy nut. I tend to believe people mean exactly what they say, until proven otherwise. And I tend to believe the Ockham's Razor theory - that if there are two possibilities, the simpler answer is more likely the correct answer.

But you also know what they say about something that seems like too much of a coincidence...

Sunday, April 25, 2010

33 Mine Accidents; Coincidental?

There have been 33 mine accidents so far this year, with associated investigations into operational safety, and it's only April.

President Obama hates coal mining. In a discussion on energy (back a while, concerning Cap and Trade), he said he was going to put coal mining out of business.

President Obama is very close with union thug organizations (SEUI and the group formerly known as ACORN).

Conspiracy fans could go nuts.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Arizona declares illegal activity to be illegal

Arizona just declared the federally-illegal activity of crossing the border illegally to be against state law.

Then President Obama promptly says that's unfair, and he orders the courts to look into the Constitutionality of the new law.

The Constitutionality of enforcing the existing law? Come on!

Thursday, April 22, 2010

NASA: No More Gov't Sponsored Space Flight: A Bad Thing?

NASA only has two more planned space flights. All near-future space projects (by the US) have been canned. I was very discouraged to hear this. At first.

I am all for space flight. For lots of reasons. For one, I like scifi. For more practical issues, I would like to see us reach beyond our own planet, for research, for exploration, for resources, and for territorial expansion. And we have a lot of nostalgia wrapped up in the space program.

But should it be done by the government? Show me, where in the Constitution does the government have authority to fund exploration of any sort?

Exploration has historically, in our country anyway, been done by private parties. Individuals and businesses who have an interest in the exploration.

And we now have a commercial space tourism company, Virgin Galactic, with ships manufactured by Scaled Composites.

And now Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell is promoting a Virginia Commercial Space Flight Authority. Do I have a problem with that? Its the state doing it, not the Federal government. The US Constitution only restricts the Federal government. The Governor expects this will create jobs and boost the economy, so sure, he can do that.

So, we are progressing to space. Just not on the dime of the Federal taxpayers.

Now we just need the researchers that NASA is keeping to realize that they need to put their dollars into US-based companies and organizations rather than in Russia and China.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Postal Service Reductions: A letter to my Congressman

A letter to my Congressman, Rick Boucher.


I am all for the proposed Postal Service (USPS) reductions in Saturday services. These reductions simply matches existing services offered by United Parcel Service (UPS) and Federal Express (FedEx).

Which brings up a bigger issue. Spin the USPS off as a private organization and remove the current competition restrictions on private businesses from non-priority postal delivery. USPS has outlived its purpose as a government-run organization, as private organizations have long-since proven capable in this space.

No regular-level postal employees will lose jobs, or not immediately, as only the administration will change. Private business leadership can be expected to soon bring the USPS into profitability through improvements in efficiency and cost reductions the current government affiliations do not allow. In addition, competition in the private space will provide the double benefit of improved service at lower prices.

At the very least, the USPS will benefit from an improved image. Many people and organizations, myself included, currently avoid use of regular postal mail due to its reputation for poor performance.

While private businesses such as UPS and FedEx consistently operate at a profit in the same market, USPS repeatedly runs in the red, with these large deficits covered by the generosity of the American taxpayers.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Healthcare Bill: Now law, but fraudulent

There were lots of pleas for compassion going into the healthcare debates.

Every scenario has anecdotal evidence, that is, specific examples that seem to prove whatever the speaker wants to prove. Any businessperson knows that no decisions should ever be made solely on anecdotal evidence. Yes, there are people that have had huge bills due to lack of health insurance.

But did you know that most of the examples we've been given have not been accurate? Some of them have been made up, and others were blown way out of context?


The President said that people who want to get insurance on their own pay three times of that through an employer. The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) says that's not so.

The President told the story of a man who had cancer, lost his insurance, couldn't get chemotherapy, and died. Not true -- the newspaper author of the story retracted it, but the President continued to tell the story after the retraction.

Lots of people say that people can't get medical care if they don't have insurance. They can get whatever care they need -- the law doesn't allow care providers to refuse care based on ability to pay. True, the person may get billed huge amounts (which they may never pay off, and which cannot legally be passed to inheritors), but they do get the care. Chemotherapy, heart transplants, whatever.

And just before the Congressional vote, the President introduced a small boy whose mother died of cancer after she couldn't get treatment without insurance.

Two problems with that. First, the mother was a member of a group dedicated to getting people to meet the needs of others by sharing from their own resources (a system some refer to, more-or-less accurately, as "communist"). But they wouldn't even meet the needs of one of their own members. You see, they wanted the government to meet the need, and not themselves personally, despite what they say.

But the government? That directly brings up the second point. She QUALIFIED FOR MEDICAID! But MediCaid didn't help her. She qualified for government healthcare assistance, but still didn't get it.

Yes, it's a tragic story. But the government-provided healthcare was already available, and this government-provided healthcare failed her.

And they want this already-failed system to be enforced on everyone else?!?!

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Healthcare: They'll "Do Whatever It Takes"

Well, President Obama and Speaker Pelosi have exposed a little more about themselves.

They have both said that they'll do "whatever it takes" to pass comprehensive government-regulated healthcare.

The problem is what it is "taking: things that are unconstitutional, and things that used to be considered illegal.

Things that are unconstitutional, like:

Requiring everyone to purchase something just for being a citizen.

Everyone makes the comparison with car insurance, but that's not accurate. For one, the law (which is state law, by the way, not federal) does not require comprehensive insurance; only other people are protected, not the owner. On the side of health care, other people were already protected from an individual's actions -- under criminal and tort law.

Secondly, auto insurance does not include wear-and-tear on the vehicle. That's the range of warranties and "extended warranties", and no state requires a car owner purchase or maintain an extended warranty on his or her car.

And things that are illegal, like:
Giving Congressmen Federal jobs if they promise to vote the "right" way. One Congressman has been promised the ambassadorship to NATO. One has been promised the administration of of NASA (they have an "administrator" rather than a "director").

These aren't "iffy" things like pork benefits to the Congressman's district that indirectly benefit the Congressman him/herself -- these are things that reasonably have cash value, since a job, even a cushy, appointed job, involves a salary. In fact, the cushy ones tend to have more monetary value than the others, since they also tend to have perks. NATO is based in Belgium -- a nice spot for a vacation home, from what I understand. And a vacation home paid for by other people that is, us, the tax-payers) is so-much-the-better.

Speaker Nancy Pelosi has promised to "kick through the door" to pass this regulation. The problem is that it's the door to someone else's house. And she knows it. And she doesn't care -- she wants in. And she wants everything you've got, so she can give it all away to her friends.

Get ready -- she's kicking on your door, and she's got a freight truck with her.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Harvard University: Obama will cause gas to be $7/gallon

Think we need to regulate CO2? You know, the gas that everybody breathes out? The gas that trees need to live? The gas that some claim is causing the non-existent "global warming"?

Harvard University -- not a conservative group, but the President's own alma mater -- and reported by the New York Times, another group not exactly known for conservative leanings -- says that the Obama administration's current proposals for CO2 reductions will cause gasoline to go to $7 a gallon.

$7 a gallon for gas?

Guess what's worse -- most gas is paid for by the middle class.

Do you drive an hour each way to work? Can you afford $10,000 a year just in gas to get to and from work? And that's just gas, not any of the cost of the car or maintenance.

Cost of shipping will skyrocket. Everything in the stores will cost a LOT more, because it has to be trucked in. Even if the stuff is made locally, it has to be driven to the store.

We can't afford CO2 regulation, whether it be by the EPA, "Cap and Trade", or otherwise. Real scientists say that it's probably not causing global warming anyway.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Government Projects ≠ Created/Saved Jobs

Please, our politicians, please realize that government public works projects do not create or save jobs.
  • First, most companies that do public works projects aren't in trouble anyway.
This is simply because the government is already their main source of work, and the government hasn't cut back in those projects when the rest of the economy cut back.
  • Second, these projects don't add jobs, or at least not in any notable numbers.
These projects just keep the current employees a little busier. The companies can't just hire people from other "construction" industries (which are in trouble) without completely retraining them - a framing carpenter doesn't know how to lay asphalt, and a residential housing engineer doesn't have expertise in bridge design.
  • Third -- and as the President has paid lip-service to -- most jobs are created by small businesses.
Government projects primarily go to large businesses. In fact, President Barack Obama has tried to put in legislation that requires most work of large projects go to unionized companies.

Why? The President has said -- over and over -- that he never makes a move without consulting the unions. He also -- and illegally, I might add -- gave the majority ownership of GM to the unions, rather than to the collateralized loan holders, those who were given -- in writing -- ownership of the company or property, in exchange for the risk of the loan. You know, like your home loan? How would your bank like it if you filed for bankruptcy and the court gave your divorced ex-wife title to your house free and clear, and only gave the bank 2 cents on the dollar? That's not only unfair to them, it's illegal. But President Obama did just that, or more specifically, he directed his appointee "car czar" to do that. Sorry -- off-topic rant.

If the government bought lots of goods from small businesses - pens, desks, computers, stuff like that, the business would get a boost from that, and might hire some people, at least temporarily.

If the government would reduce taxes on owners of small businesses, you know, the demonized "wealthy" who make $250k or more, since all sole proprietorship and partnership business revenue goes on the owners' personal tax returns, they might be able to hire more people.

If the government would declare that no new fees, taxes, or regulations of any sort would be placed on small businesses, they might have enough confidence to hire some people.

Oh, and concerning capital gains taxes: Small businesses don't have "capital," stocks or bonds, to have any capital gains taxes. All "gains" show up as regular income for the owner. Besides, capital gains taxes have been 0% for years. But those rates are expiring, and some people (like President Barack Obama) think they can get some political steam by essentially just not raising them back to where they were, for a small group that wouldn't be affected by it anyway.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

State of the Union: Brief summary

Didn't comment yesterday on this - the State of the Union speech went late, and I didn't think to post then.

Summary: Lots of promises, most of which have already been repeatedly broken. Things like:

Full transparency. The President -- not just Congress and Senate, who have done it too -- has had closed-door meetings on healthcare. This is is not exactly an issue of national security, so that can't be used as an excuse. And he specifically promised that all discussions would be carried on C-SPAN, but not only were the meetings not on C-SPAN, but he didn't even allow the press to attend.

No favors or earmarks. Not only has he signed bills containing THOUSANDS of earmarks, he himself negotiated exemptions for unions from healthcare taxes.

Get all lobbyists out of Washington. He has appointed lobbyists to his own cabinet!

Allow gays to openly serve in the military. Whether you agree or not, he has promised it. And it came up a few months ago. And he specifically decided make the change. In the State of the Union speech, he said he would repeal the law -- but it's not a law, it's a policy. and as such, he can change that with a stroke of his pen. But he chose not to do it, despite his promises.

Oh, and he continued to blame his problems on Bush, uh, inherited issues. He has been President for over a full year now. They're his issues now. And many of the issues we have, he actually created himself. While the TARP program might have come under Bush (and I do blame Bush for it as well), he did vote for it.

Friday, January 22, 2010

Political Contributions: Unions OK, But Companies Not?

The Supreme Court just ruled a law as unconstitutional that prevented corporations (which are legal "persons") from making political contributions.

And the Democrats are howling. They say that it is "un-American" for companies to make political contributions. Companies for whom their interests lie in smaller, less-restrictive government and lower taxes.

But those same Democrats say that is is perfectly fine for labor unions to make political contributions. Unions whose interests lie in more regulation and larger government, even at the expense of the companies who pay the bills.

Hypocrite much?

Friday, January 15, 2010

Harry Reid: A Politically-Correct Racist

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D), one of the leaders of the Democratic Party, said during the 2008 campaign season that Obama would be acceptable as President because he was a "light-skinned...Negro" and that he didn't speak with a "Negro dialect, unless he wanted to have one."

In other words, Reid didn't want a black man as President. Obama was "close enough" to white to be acceptable.

In 2002, Senate Minority Leader Trent Lott (R) said at a birthday party for Senator Strom Thurmond that he had voted for Thurmond for President. Since Thurmond had segregationist history, this was deemed so "racist" that Lott was forced to resign from his position and later from office entirely.

But Reid's statement, which is specifically anti-black, not just one which could be interpreted that way, is largely being overlooked.

I just sent this to my Federal representatives:
It has recently come out that Harry Reid said during the 2008 campaign season that Obama would be acceptable as President because he was a "light-skinned...Negro" and that he didn't speak with a "Negro dialect, unless he wanted to have one."

In other words, Reid didn't want a black man as President. Obama was "close enough" to white to be acceptable.

We do not need an overt racist in one of the most influential positions in American politics.

Promised Transparency? Clear as Concrete...

President Obama promised that all healthcare discussions would be televised live on C-SPAN.

The Congress did not do that, but the President could not control whether or not they would comply with his own promise.

This week, President Obama had healthcare meetings at the White House. This was his opportunity to fulfill his promise. Did he? Were all discussions carried on C-SPAN?

Not only were the meetings NOT televised, but no reporters -- at all -- were even allowed in the room.

But we know one thing that came out of the meeting. The unions were promised that they will be exempted from the taxes on "high-value" health insurance that everyone else will have to pay.

Letter to my Congressman and Senators: If the health care bill has any favors, please vote against it.

Letter to my Congressman and Senators:
If the health care bill has any favors, please vote against it.

The previous version had favors for Louisiana and Nebraska for the federal government to pay the state portions of Medicare and Medicaid.

President Obama has negotiated favors for the unions, opting them out of taxes that apply to everyone else.

If the health care bill has any favors, please vote against it.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Charitable Contributions Should Be from Excess, Not Debt

Our nation has a long heritage of generosity. But we, as a nation, should not make humanitarian contributions to other nations unless we can afford to do so.

Individuals with sufficient means readily give to the needs of others. In times of many disasters, individual contributions have overshadowed even the huge amounts given by our government.

But as I write this post, our government is out of money. Our government is running at a deficit in the TRILLIONS of dollars. We cannot currently afford to give humanitarian aid out of the federal budget.

Each year, we, as a nation, give billions of dollars in humanitarian aid. We need to stop doing so, until we come to the point that we can again afford to do so out of our excess. It harms our country to borrow money, for example, from China to give to Haiti.

Again, individuals can -- and should be encouraged to -- give to those in need, whether domestic or international. There are many groups that aggregate funds and goods, and then provide them to those in need. A few examples are the Red Cross and the Salvation Army. Our government does encourage such contributions though tax deductibility.

You can give to the Red Cross via their website (redcross.org) or by calling 1-800-Red-Cross. As I write this post, we are learning more about the earthquake in Haiti, for which you can contribute $10 directly via the Red Cross' International Response Fund by texting "Haiti" to 90999.

You can give via AmeriCares, either via their website (AmeriCares.org) or by calling 1-800-486-HELP.

Another humanitarian organization is Care. They can be reached either online (Care.org) or by phone at 1-800-521-CARE.

And Operation USA can be reached via their website (opusa.org), by phone at 1-800-678-7255, or by mail at Operation USA, 3617 Hayden Ave., Suite A, Culver City, CA 90232.

But our government should not give directly until it can do so without further increasing our debt.

(Links for relief organizations are courtesy of Neal Boortz, an Atlanta-based radio host with a website at boortz.com; he has more information on Haiti relief efforts here.)

Cross-posted under Political Positions.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Old jobs, new jobs

85,000 people lost their jobs last month. I associate with them, as I have been without a job for 13 of the last 14 months.

But good news! President Obama has announced that he is going to direct the government to spend even more money to create 17,000 jobs with green energy!

So, 85,000 jobs were lost due to Obama's lousy economy, and we're supposed to get excited about 17,000 jobs he supposedly created?

Nevermind that this is done with our own money. Yes, that includes me -- my unemployment benefits are taxed as income.

Nevermind that these jobs are related to one of Obama's pet themes. Imagine the response if Bush had "created" jobs by sending more people to Iraq, and that if anyone wanted one of these jobs, all he/she had to do was enlist in the military.

Nevermind that the idea behind green jobs is global warming, an exposed hoax that keeps getting promoted while we've got historic low temperatures and record snowfalls, not to mention record low levels of pollution in this country.

Nevermind that these are union jobs, closely affiliated with Obama's friends at SEIU.

Nevermind that these aren't high-paying jobs, well, wouldn't be if the unions weren't involved.

Nevermind that historically every job in "green energy" has resulted in 2 1/2 jobs lost elsewhere.

Thanks, Mr. President. I'll just sit here trying to find a job (I've been told that my industry in this area has 100 applicants for every posted job) while I watch my taxes go up even more.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

We keep finding more problems in the Healthcare Bill

Another letter to my Senators, before tomorrow's vote on the massive 2074-page bill:


Healthcare in the United States has some problems. The current healthcare bill seeks to address a couple of those problems, such as lifetime caps on benefits, preexisting conditions, and higher premiums or lack of insurability due to preexisting conditions.

However, the more significant issues are not addressed in the bill.

• Frivolous lawsuits and excessive damages are the greatest cost in healthcare today, but tort reform is not addressed in this bill.

• Many people have problems with their insurance denying coverage due to the cost of procedures or perceived necessity of procedures. This bill does not resolve these issues; rather, it adds another layer of bureaucracy – or several – which can deny claims.

• Some are concerned by waiting times for critical procedures. But many expects expect these problems not only not to be improved, but to in fact multiply. Most countries with highly-regulated or federally-provided healthcare have extensive waiting periods for even minor procedures, and some procedures have waiting periods of years, where US citizens can currently get most procedures within days or weeks.

• Insurance premiums are a tremendous concern to many. But the additional regulation and taxes in the bill will certainly increase the cost of both healthcare and insurance. Some experts say that insurance premiums will double within the next year or two.

More troubling, however, for every day that passes, we keep finding more problems in the current healthcare bill.

• We knew that a panel would be established with the power to unquestionably and unappealably decide what does or does not qualify and who does or does not get coverage under Medicare. Some have euphemistically referred to this as a "death panel."

o We now know that this panel will be composed of five individuals appointed by the President, without accountability, without oversight, and without any Senate ability to repeal the panel in the future.

• We knew that the bill has MANY bribes, payoffs, coercions, and other incentives for Senators who were previously hesitant concerning or opposed to the bill. This includes $300 million from the US taxpayers for Louisiana's state healthcare, for which the state, from its own taxpayers, was otherwise expected to pay itself.

o We now know that the US taxpayers will be responsible for every penny of Medicare costs for Nebraska for the rest of time.

• We knew that all US citizens will be required – and unconstitutionally so – to obtain and maintain health insurance, the first time that citizens have ever been required to purchase a service simply for the privilege of living. We also know that only Federally-approved plans will be acceptable.

o But we do not know what criteria will be placed on the acceptable insurance place. Despite the length of over two-thousand pages of the bill, criteria for acceptable insurance programs are not specified in it. These all-important criteria will be specified later.

• In addition, we also now know that abortion will be funded by taxpayer dollars. We have determined that healthcare providers who have conscientious objections to providing abortion will be required to participate anyway or else suffer punitive action.

• We also know that the current bill will institute taxes and fees immediately, but will not start any benefits for another four years. We will be paying for five years of benefits over nine years of taxes and fees. This is not sustainable and results in unrealistic projections.

We also know that you voted for cloture, to end debate and to proceed toward a vote. (In the version sent to Senator Webb:) We know that despite your opposition expressed in your emails to many aspects of the bill, you have effectively voted for it.

The majority of Americans, and the majority of Virginians, do not want this bill. The majority of your constituents do not want this bill. Please work in the interest of your constituents and work against this bill.

Friday, December 18, 2009

Winter Snow ≠ State of Emergency

We are getting a little snow. Some parts of the state might get as much as a foot of snow. So?

And Governor Tim Kaine declared Virginia to be in a "state of emergency"?!?

Because of some snow? It's late December. It's winter. And it's Virginia, not south Florida. It's not the three feet I've seen here before, and which we dealt with without any real problem. It's not the two feet I saw in Georgia on occasion. And it won't be even the one foot in most areas; here in Bristol, we're expecting 4-8 inches.

The stores will sell out of bread and milk. Some gas stations may sell out. Both for the same reason - stupid people who think that if they get stuck at home for a few days, they might starve to death. What's the matter? Forget to go shopping this week? But it happens every time the forecast even calls for snow.

Some people will likely freeze to death. But that is a function of the cold, not the snow -- and it's not that cold, with lows maybe in the 20's; it was colder last week than now.

Some people may die from carbon monoxide poisoning, fumes, house fires, etc -- from using camp stoves, grills, etc, inside the house if they lose power for maybe a day or two. They have a gas grill and not a decent coat? Sounds like misplaced priorities to me. And a lack of common sense besides. And there are public organizations that are willing to help, if they just ask. There are public shelters with warm rooms, if the person just wants the help.

Snow happens. It is NOT an emergency.

Short addendum to my Senators

A vote to end debate is equivalent to a vote to support the bill.

New letter to my Senators

Please only vote for the healthcare bill -- or any other bill, for that matter -- if these three aspects are true:

1 - You have read the entire bill personally and clearly understand all aspects of the bill,

2 - The bill complies with President Obama's pledge that it will contain no pork or earmarks,

3 - You can clearly explain how the bill falls under the responsibilities assigned to the Federal Government by the Constitution.

If all three of these are not true, please vote and work against the bill as it is not in the best interest of the citizens of the United States.

I vote, and I actively support, both online and in person, those who work for the best interest of our country.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Another letter to my Senators

Please work against this monstrosity bill that purports to "reform" healthcare. The current bill is 1.1 TRILLION dollars (and growing) of pork and regulation that will not reform. As massive as the regulation is, it does not even address the real problems, including frivolous lawsuits (needing tort reform) and lack of real insurance competition (needing interstate competition). This is a grab for power, not an attempt to solve anything. Please do all you can to eliminate this bill that will otherwise destroy our already-shaky economy.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Global warming? Really?

So, lots of people are in Copenhagen for a couple of weeks to discuss "global warming".

But -

We just locally had the earliest snowfall on record?

Parts of California had their first snow since the 70's?

Lots of areas are reporting record low temperatures?

And apparently, those in Copenhagen don't really believe we are causing global warming anyway, based on all the private jets and limousines they are using. Someone in the news reported that - just in these two weeks - they are producing more carbon dioxide than many countries do in an entire year.

So, either they need to "practice what they preach", or else they don't really believe what they preach.

If that's the case, they are apparently only doing it for either money (Al Gore has made his fortunes off of global warming, but has a mansion that uses ten times the energy of the average house in the area) or power (regulation over every area of life and business).

Think about it.

Another Letter to Senators: Please REJECT any version of the current healthcare bill

I just sent this email to both of my Senators.
Subject: Please REJECT any version of the current healthcare bill

We do not want the current healthcare bill in any form or regardless of any amendments.

We do not want government-run healthcare, whether it be through a "public option", a single-payer system, or "co-ops".

We do not want government-funded abortion.

We do not want rationing of care.

We do not want any government official or committee, appointed, elected, directed, or otherwise empowered, to determine what care may or may not be appropriate over the decision of our doctors.

We do not want reduced care for seniors.

We do not want reduced choice, either of care options, care providers, or insurance providers.

We do not want increased taxes, whether they be direct, on healthcare providers, or though employers.

We do not want increased insurance premiums.

We do not want to be forced to buy insurance.

We do not want increased bureaucracy.

We do not want hesitant officials to be bought off with personal or local benefits.

We do not want personal agendas to be furthered through legislation.

This 2000-page bill is full of pork, unnecessary regulation, taxes and fees, and onerous requirements. And who knows what else is hidden in a bill that no one in the Senate has actually read fully.

Please reject this healthcare bill, regardless of any amendments or minor modifications it may have.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Forwarded email: "Maxine on Health Care!"

I don't normally pass on forwarded emails, but this one is both funny and true.


Maxine on Health Care!

Let me get this straight.

...we're going to pass a health care plan written by a committee whose chairman says he doesn't understand it,

passed by a Congress that hasn't read it but exempts themselves from it,

to be signed by a president that also hasn't read it and who smokes,

with funding administered by a treasury chief who didn't pay his taxes,

all to be overseen by a surgeon general who is obese,

and financed by a country that's nearly broke.

What could possibly go wrong?