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More political thoughts… March 12, 2017

Posted by JP in Politics, Stupidity, Uncategorized, Venting.
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As I have been reading news reports regarding the various issues facing our Nation I am continually amazed at the inability of people to see truth through all the rhetoric, obfuscation of facts, and to employ a bit of common sense. It seems to me that too many people are blinded by their ideology and refuse to be objective in viewing the issues, and solutions to the problems that face our country.

I am by no means perfect, or completely unbiased in my thoughts and feelings about many of the issues being discussed in the media, however, I try to be balanced, fair, and objective before forming an opinion. I actively seek out contradictory opinions, and information regarding an issue before I take sides on a particular issue and often times because of this practice, my ideas and opinions fall out of the ‘norm’ of my usual conservative viewpoint.

Looking at some of the issues I see that reasonable, and commonsense solutions are entirely possible, if one steps away from the ideology and inflammatory rhetoric of the vocal extremists.

Immigration:

Entrance into this county illegally must be ended, completely. We have laws that govern immigration and those laws must be enforced, consistently and completely, albeit, with a hand of compassion.

It is said that this nation was built on immigrants, and immigration is a cornerstone of the concept of America. To this I agree, however, we no longer ‘need’ immigrants to build the Nation so it makes perfect sense to ensure that those who do enter our country can be a benefit to our society and intend us no harm. Subsequently, the Administration’s temporary travel ban is a logical, and acceptable, precaution to take while the Government improves our vetting process to better ensure that those immigrating here in the future benefit the country and intend us no ill will.

Current illegals should be subject to current laws governing residency and deportation. Those that are productive, beneficial, members of our society need to be provided with an opportunity to attain legal status and become contributing residents (taxes, etc.). While those who are apparent drains on our society (ie; criminals, those receiving public aid, unemployed, etc.) should be sent back to whence they came.

State and City governments who refuse to cooperate with Federal Immigration rules and law must absolutely have all Federal funding withheld. Sanctuary city policies must be eliminated and those officials refusing to comply with the laws should be removed from their positions and/or prosecuted.

It is important to remember this: When the federal government abolished slavery the US economy did NOT collapse, despite the protestations of the slavery proponents. The same will be true by the elimination of the illegal alien labor force. It will require some economic adjustment, but it will not be a devastating blow to the economy as some have suggested.

Health Care:

The Affordable Care Act, implemented by the Obama administration through force and lack of proper legislative process was doomed to failure at its inception. The idea was good, I believe everyone should have access to adequate health care (preferably at little or not cost to the recipient – and yes it is possible). The problem was the law itself was flawed and unsupportable as written.

The new health care law being touted by the GOP is not much better than ‘Obamacare’. There are some improvements, but overall it is still lacking. What needs to happen is for Congress to launch into a full-scale, bipartisan, assault on the issue, partnering with the health care industry leaders and develop a system in which everyone receives coverage at low/no cost and allowing those who wish to pay for their own coverage to do so.

To do this there are a few things we all need to understand:

Businesses (drug and insurance companies specifically) will NOT be making large profits – the best they could hope for most likely would be to break even on the provided coverage and perhaps more profit on the voluntary/optional plans.

Tort reform MUST be implemented. We cannot reduce health care costs effectively if doctors, clinics, and hospitals are subject to outrageously high settlements, or are continually defending suits from claimants not happy with the care they received.

Federal, State, and City governments (specifically Congress) must have the same coverage as the average citizen. What is good for one must be good for all.

Elective procedures (including abortion) should NOT be covered under the provided policies. Of course they should be made available, but at the consumer’s cost.  If I want to have a vasectomy, or a  nose job, or a butt implant, I should be able to do so as long as I am willing to pay for it.

Individual rights:

Women’s rights, LGBT rights, Minority rights, etc. must NOT preclude anyone else’s rights. This includes religious tolerance. Above all else, this nation was founded upon the ideal of religious freedom. That freedom must remain a hallmark in our pursuits of rights and freedoms. To force a person, or business owner, to comply with a practice that violates the dictates of their religious beliefs is abhorrent. One cannot assert that a Christian baker who refuses to make a cake for a gay wedding is discriminating unless one can show that the operation of their business is discriminatory as well (do they refuse to employ homosexuals? Do they refuse to sell cookies, or cupcakes to people based on their color, nationality, sexual orientation?)

We are all equal, we all breathe the same air, bleed the same blood, and are citizens of the same country. We must all be treated equally, fairly, and without extra consideration, or less consideration.

So many out there today throw around the words ‘racist’ and ‘fascist’ and yet fail to realize that their very actions are definitive of what they accuse others. Any organization that promotes the advancement of any group above any other is by definition ‘racist’.

Of course, I do recognize that at times there are practices that do not comply with this Country’s laws and philosophy’s of equality and fairness regardless of race, creed, color, nationality, gender, etc. but those practices needs be reconciled specifically and not made to appear as a national fault.

It comes down to the same idea as immigration; we are a nation of laws, and we must comply with those laws, and enforce those laws.

Taxation, Budget and Economy:

So much of what we do, want to do, or should do, in this country revolves around cost. The issue is that we seem unable to conceive of how to pay for the things we should do (health care and education for instance). While the problem is not simple to solve, it is solvable.

Taxation: A flat tax rate on individual income is the most equitable solution. In our current taxation scheme an individual with a higher income is taxed at a higher rate than those with lower incomes. My question is this: does that individual with a higher tax rate receive a higher level of representation in the government? Does my 25% tax rate entitle my vote at the polls to carry 25% more weight than someone only taxed at 10%?  No, it does not. Consequently our tax system contravenes our nation’s founding philosophy protesting ‘taxation without representation’.

Federal grants to foreign countries: Our government sends billions of dollars to other countries. While this is not necessarily a bad thing in terms of global stabilization and promotion of peace and cooperation, the reality must be faced that much of our internal needs can be paid for if those monies were directed inward instead of outward.

Funding of Public Assistance programs: If we discontinue providing Public Assistance to those who are in our country illegally we could saves millions of dollars in Public Aid. It makes no sense to me that our government would give someone money who is not a citizen, or legal resident. Why pay someone to violate our laws?

Tax subsidies to businesses that are profitable already.  Why should be give money to a business that makes a profit? Can they not utilize their profits to pay for whatever the subsidies are paying for?

Tax subsidies to US business moving operations out of country: While this practice is being addressed by the current Administration I must mention it here; if you move your operations out of country you should lose all government assistance, and have your products taxed upon entry into this country.

The bottom line for me comes down to this: My family budgets our money in order to pay for the things we need to live. If I do not have the money for something I want, I do without. If there is something the family needs we revise our budget in order to divert the necessary funds to that need. We do not live outside of our means and we prioritize needs and wants in order to live within our means. The government should do no less.

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Minimum Wage Stupidity April 5, 2016

Posted by JP in Stupidity, Uncategorized, Venting.
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I believe everyone should be able to earn a living wage, but this deal is stupidity incarnate.

It is also rather disgusting that the families of many of our soldiers, sailors, airmen and marines are surviving on public assistance while some people will make more money each month working part-time and spending the rest of their day playing video games and smoking weed.

Alan Smith's photo.
Alan Smith

Today California passed the first $15 an hour minimum wage law in the nation. It assures that the people serving you fries, can have a “livable wage.” I didn’t hear the same politicians discuss the wages of our men an women in uniform. An Army E1 soldier is paid $8.84 per hour. Do you believe a fast food worker “deserves” to be paid almost twice as much? No offense to fast food workers, but it was never meant to be a career to support a family. Share this image if you agree that we need to get our priorities straight.

March 6, 2016

Posted by JP in Stupidity, Uncategorized, Venting.
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Passions? March 5, 2014

Posted by JP in Stupidity, Uncategorized, Venting.
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I’ve been hearing a lot about passions lately. Lots of advice from successful people, career counselors, etc.:

Find your passion in life and do it if you want to be happy. If you hate your job, follow your passions. passion passion passion….

What do you do with your life if you don’t know what your passionate about? I mean really?  I do a job and do it fairly well, but I’m not passionate about it. I like to garden and do fairly well at it, but halfway through the season I grow tired of watering, weeding, harvesting, etc. and want nothing more to do with it.  I used to write poetry and was relatively good at it, but haven’t been able to write a thing in years and have had no desire to try either.  I like to write here, share parts of my mind, but find it often times difficult to even think of something to say…

I would absolutely love to find something in this life that I enjoy above all things, something that I am passionate about, if only to give me an idea of what ‘passion’ really is, what it really means, and maybe something to do with my remaining years that will cause me to wake up in the morning with great expectations instead of  resignation of another day of the same ol’ thing.

Hmmmm… May 29, 2013

Posted by JP in Stupidity, Uncategorized.
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images i_love_jesus_but_i_cuss_a_little

80 miles per hour March 4, 2013

Posted by JP in Stupidity.
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I can’t say anything very nice….

maybe a village missing its idiot, or too much peroxide, or cliches about blondes…..

Mr. Obama’s lack of leadership confounds me. December 18, 2012

Posted by JP in Discussion, Politics, Stupidity, Venting.
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I am thoroughly disgusted.

As a husband, father, and citizen I know in my house when money is tight we quit spending money we do not have. If I am able to make extra on the side that is great but I do not spend like I’m a millionaire if the money isn’t really there. That is COMMON SENSE and I don’t understand why Mr. Obama and the Democrats feel they can operate in a different reality than the rest of the world.

Mr. Obama must LEAD and CUT SPENDING and cease his childish political games. He is going to destroy this economy and bankrupt this nation just to satisfy some warped ideological agenda that most of the nation does NOT agree with.

CUT SPENDING NOW and make a realistic deal to avoid the fiscal cliff.

The White House on Tuesday rejected House Speaker John Boehner’s call for a fall-back option to avert the looming fiscal crisis, in a move the speaker’s office said “defies common sense.”

The feisty exchange came as both sides crept toward a possible middle ground in private talks. But underscoring the differences that remain, the White House resisted Boehner’s bid to craft a “Plan B” just in case those talks fail to yield a compromise before a Jan. 1 deadline — that’s when taxes are set to rise on everyone, followed by a wave of spending cuts.

“Every income tax filer in America is going to pay higher rates come Jan. 1 unless Congress acts,” Boehner said Tuesday morning, as he introduced his alternative plan.

Boehner called for taxes to rise only on households making more than $1 million. His plan also called for entitlement cuts and a tax reform debate next year.

White House Press Secretary Jay Carney, though, said it “doesn’t ask enough of the very wealthiest in taxes and instead shifts the burden to the middle class and seniors,” and cannot pass the Senate.

Within minutes, Boehner spokesman Brendan Buck fired back: “After spending months saying we must ask for more from millionaires and billionaires, how can they reject a plan that does exactly that?”

Buck accused President Obama of “moving the goal posts” and in the process “threatening every American family with higher taxes.”

Read more: http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2012/12/18/boehner-to-float-plan-b-in-case-budget-talks-with-obama-fall-through/?cmpid=googextension#ixzz2FQToEPV1

Another leftist throws out the race card December 14, 2012

Posted by JP in Discussion, Politics, Stupidity, Venting.
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It didn’t take long for NBC’s Andrea Mitchell to turn Susan Rice’s withdrawal from the secretary of state-stakes into a racial issue.

Asked for her analysis on MSNBC’s “The Cycle,” Mitchell swiftly claimed that Rice’s withdrawal would be bad for Republicans because she is a black woman — intimating that her skin color and gender were somehow a factor.

“I think that this had become sort of an impossible challenge for her to be confirmed, that she realized that — the White House realized it as well. I think they know that they are on good political solid ground,” Mitchell said. “This is not going to … help Republicans at all, the fact that a woman and a woman of color has been forced out of a confirmation process even before she was nominated.”

NBC’s Andrea Mitchell on “The Cycle”
Read more:

If any of you have read my earlier post concerning this issue you understand how disgusted this type of rhetoric makes me. It is infuriating that these liberal pundits, politicians, and claimers of all things fair and politically correct can so easily cast aspersions on conservatives; calling them racists, bigots, etc. whenever they do not get what they want.

The truth is plain to anyone who cares to look at the facts. Susan Rice put herself in a position where she publicly espoused information that was proven to be incorrect, and possibly intentionally misleading. Whether she did this at the behest of the White House, or if she did it because she failed to confirm information she was given is not that relevant. Either choice is an opposing side of the same coin, and her actions dramatically reduced her credibility in the eyes of the nation.

When the White house decided to leak the idea that she was being considered for the post of Secretary of State they failed to take action to ensure their ‘choice’ was a legitimately viable candidate for that position.

Thus far we have Rep. Marcia Fudge, D-Ohio,, Rep. James Clyburn, D-S.C., and Andrea Mitchell, publicly blaming the Republicans of  racism and sexism and it is a disgustingly disturbing cognitive dissonance, a denial of the truth of the Republican party and its leadership in diversity and inclusion.

Colin Powell became the first black secretary of state and Condoleezza  Rice was appointed as the first women National Security Advisor and the first female African-American Secretary of State under President Bush – appointments confirmed by many of the same Senators and Congressmen now being labeled as racist and sexist.

 

Sen Dianne Feinstein is an IDIOT December 4, 2012

Posted by JP in Politics, Stupidity, Venting.
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The other day I sent an email to my Federal Representatives and the President regarding the ‘fiscal cliff’ negotiations. In that email I expressed my intense desire for my representatives, elected to serve the best interests of their constituents, to forego their partisan ideology and support reductions in spending as part of the fiscal cliff negotiations. The message I sent to Senator Feinstein Representative McClintock, Senator Boxer, and the President, follows:

You MUST cut spending if you intend on raising our taxes!

Spending at current levels is destroying the middle class and putting the
welfare of ALL Americans in jeopardy. As servants of the citizenry it is
your responsibility to act in the best interest of the populace and not
cling to your special interest ideology.

CUT SPENDING NOW.

Today I received an email from Feinstein thanking me for my support of her push to raise taxes:

Dear Jp:

Thank you for contacting me to express your support for the expiration of certain tax cuts enacted during President Bush’s Administration in 2001 and 2003.  I appreciate the time you took to write, and I welcome the opportunity to respond.

I agree that America cannot afford to extend the Bush tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans.  That is why I joined 50 of my Senate colleagues on July 25, 2012 to pass the “Middle Class Tax Cut Act” (S. 3412) which maintains current lower tax rates for every individual American who earns less than $200,000 per year, but increases tax rates on the wealthiest 2% of Americans to Clinton-era rates.  This legislation was based on President Obama’s proposal to extend the middle class tax cuts and end generous tax breaks for the wealthiest Americans.  I also voted against an amendment to this bill offered by Senator Orrin Hatch (R-UT), which would have maintained low tax rates for the wealthy, but would have raised taxes on the middle class by failing to extend the expanded tax credits for middle-class families, including the Earned Income Tax Credit, Child Tax Credit, and American Opportunity Tax Credit.  The House of Representatives would need to approve the “Middle Class Tax Cut” in order for this legislation to move forward.

America’s fiscal situation is dire and the cost of continuing these tax breaks for the wealthy is unsustainable.  Our national debt now stands at over $15 trillion, and I believe that with tax revenue at the lowest percentage of our gross domestic product (GDP) since 1950, we must look for additional revenue.  Moreover, despite the progressive nature of our tax code, many high-income Americans pay a smaller portion of their income in taxes than those in lower tax brackets.  According to the data from the Internal Revenue Service, 1,470 millionaires paid no federal income taxes at all in 2009.  Under these circumstances, wealthy Americans can afford to pay more.  I am also concerned that without these revenue increases, Congress will be forced to make steep cuts to vital social safety net programs in order to balance the nation’s budget.

Once again, thank you for writing. I appreciate hearing of your support for ending the expiration of these cuts, and I will keep your thoughts in mind.  If you have any further questions or comments, please do not hesitate to contact my Washington, D.C. office at (202) 224-3841.  Best regards.

Sincerely yours,

Dianne Feinstein
United States Senator

While I realize that Senators and Congressmen receive hundreds of letters and emails regarding issues, concerns, and/or support, I would think that the staffers handling these communications would take the time to actually read what the citizen is writing before they send out a canned reply.

Imagine how I felt, as an American Citizen, a taxpayer, and a registered voter, to receive a reply from my elected official which makes it painfully obvious that said official couldn’t care less about my thoughts or feelings on a particular issue which affects me and my family directly. A reply that blatantly disregarded everything I had said.

Feinstein is an idiot and I am thoroughly disgusted.

Rep. Marcia Fudge, D-Ohio – full of it November 16, 2012

Posted by JP in Discussion, Politics, Stupidity, Venting.
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Here we go again! Another bout of ‘racism/sexism’ garbage from the deluded left.

A dozen female members of the House staunchly defended U.N. ambassador Susan Rice against Republican criticism over her remarks on the deadly Sept. 11 Libya attack, suggesting the GOP lawmakers’ comments were racist and sexist.

“It is a shame that anytime something goes wrong, they pick on women and minorities,” Rep. Marcia Fudge, D-Ohio, the next chairwoman of the Congressional Black Caucus, told reporters Friday at a Capitol Hill news conference.

I am sick to death of these people pulling the race card anytime someone attempts to hold a public official accountable for their actions. It seems to me that this country is being forced into a corner where if you criticism the President for his failures you are considered a racist because he is black. We’ve seen this happen over and over again with Hillary Clinton, Eric Holder, Mr. Obama, and now with Susan Rice.

I wonder where these 12 Congresswomen were when Condoleezza Rice was appointed as the first women National Security Advisor and the first female African-American Secretary of State under President Bush? Appointments confirmed by many of the same Senators and Congressmen now being labeled as racist and sexist.
What I see is a cognitive dissonance in the left wing membership. The people pulling the race/sex card are the same people disenfranchising, criticizing, and publicly demonizing conservative women and blacks for not embracing the liberal agenda. I’m remembering clearly the twitter storm pointed towards actress Stacey dash after her endorsement of Mitt Romney:

RACIAL DRAFT: I LIKE TO REQUEST A TRADE TO SEND STACEY DASH TO THE CAUCASIANS TO ACQUIRE BILL CLINTON TO THE BLACKS,” wrote one person on Twitter.Another tweeted: “We’ve been letting you slide for years! It’s OVER.”

Both comments suggested Dash wasn’t “really” black because she had the audacity to vote for Romney. Still, another tweeted, “Stacey Dash had a perm since birth. . .I knew I couldn’t trust her.. Lol .”

The implication is that Dash, who has straight hair, “thinks she’s white” and therefore can’t be trusted to be a true black, as evidenced by her Republican nature.

Dash is not the first black American to face criticism for expressing support for conservative candidates or ideas. Black conservatives from Florida Rep. Allen West to Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, as well as black Democrat-turned-Republican, and former congressman, Artur Davis, have faced particularly impassioned criticism from black Americans.

We heard the same rhetoric surrounding Eric Holder and criticism he rightfully received for his “Fast and Furious”, a gun-trafficking investigation gone awry, debacle. Such criticism was fully justified considering the absolute failure of the operation and Holder’s seeming inability, or refusal, to come clean to Congress and the American people. However, the rightful criticism of his performance was met with claims of ‘racism’.

Many blacks need to remember that after the Civil War, it was the Republican party that won passage of the 13th, 14th and 15th amendments, and Republicans were instrumental in getting the Civil Rights Act passed. Frederick Douglass and Booker T. Washington were both Republicans.

During Reconstruction, thanks to the help of Republicans, many blacks were elected to office. Sen. Hiram Revels (R-Miss.), Rep. Benjamin S. Turner (R-Ala.), Rep. Robert DeLarge (R-SC), Josiah Walls (R-Fla.), Jefferson Long (R-Ga.), Joseph Rainey (R-SC) and Robert B. Elliott (R-SC) were some of the first blacks elected to Congress in the late 1800s. Until the 1960s, many blacks voted Republican.

When it all comes down to it criticism of a public official for his or her failures or mistakes (intentional or not) is completely fair.  To ignore the facts of the case and throw ‘race’ or ‘sex’ into the face of those making the criticism is criminal and small-minded

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