Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Violation of The First Ammendment, Anyone?!

I was doing my daily check through the Internet and happened to come upon an interesting article. Apparently there is a campaign website for President Obama that was built with the purpose of whistle blowers (you can call them rats, snitches and tattle tails, too...) identifying statements which appear to be inaccurate, completely false, or in any way smear the President of the United States. Why? Is he suddenly afraid that the truth will put his presidency in jeopardy?

Look, I am not making any attempts to defend false statements, but that is all they are: statements. What will be done in the event that anyone submits information about an article or person who falls into this criteria? Are you going to conduct your own smear campaign on that person for talking mean about you? Are you going to find that person and charge them with treason against the President? Are you going to affect their finances or create falsified documents to hurt that persons attempts at succeeding in the future? What can those who do not support you expect as a consequence for not agreeing with your brand of politics?

I know for a fact that I am not the only person who sees this website as completely unconstitutional in that it clearly violates individuals' rights to free speech under the First Amendment. The first Obama presidential campaign launched a similar tactic prior to his election, urging his supporters to send any information regarding any statements that were against him. It didn't last long because people were clearly outraged by it back then. Mr. President, what makes you think that it is any different now?

Mr. President, if you want to find out who is smearing you and making you out to be a side show, all you need to do is take a short walk over to Capitol Hill. I am sure you will find all sorts of folks there trying to put you out there in a negative light. You have Democrats and Republicans claiming that you are not fulfilling your responsibilities as a president. I'm no political guru, but if people on your side question your ability to lead this nation, something has to be wrong.

The definition of Keynesianism :

[Of or relating to] the economic theories of John Maynard Keynes (1883-1946), English economist, and his advocates, especially his emphasis upon deficit spending by government to stimulate business investment.

How else can the public view this outrageous spending? How can we not put the ethics of our government - let alone our president - into question? So many of us are being fooled into believing that spending all sorts of money we do not have will some how cause our country to right itself and recover from this economic debacle: this line of thinking falls directly in line with Keynesianism. We are becoming victims of a progressive bureaucracy. Such a form of government is not limited to liberals or conservatives; people from both sides are to be blamed, but it just so happens that more and more Democrats are adopting this line of thinking.

President Obama makes the bold claim that this "job creator" bill he is pushing for is going to be fully funded: at who's expense? None other than the corporate jet owners, of course! That is who he and other like minded politicians have been attacking to this point. Allow me to stress that this whole Robin Hood tactic does not ultimately achieve the positive results politicians want you to believe. Taking more money away from the rich gives more incentive for them to hold on to their money; if the rich folks hold on to their money, not only does spending go down, but so does job creation.

In the 1980's, we experienced a similar economic situation to what we have today, only on a significantly smaller scale. At that time, the problems were blamed on too much government involvement when it came to our economic issues. The exact same thing is happening to us today, and the government wants nothing more than for the public to believe that what they are doing is ultimately going to create a more prosperous future for us all. I fail to see how borrowing money from China is going to somehow stimulate our growth (I would like to also point out that China is currently our largest debt holder...I am sure that they are grinning from ear to ear right now, patiently waiting for our collapse). This is the same China who, along with other countries has pushed for the dollar to be removed from its position as the base of determining currency value throughout the world as a result of its weakening value.

How can someone twist the truth when there is nothing that can be said to justify the wasteful spending that has occurred in the past 3 years? Don't think that you are a special target, Mr. President. Every president before you has been subjected to the same degree of scrutiny, but it has become quite easier with technology. Just as people say what they want, others will believe what they want. I will say this: I do not agree with what the United States Government represents today. Their solution to our economic and job problem is to spend more and add on to a deficit high enough to touch the stratosphere. This is not just about you, Mr. President, so don't make it about you with pathetic little sites used to promote snitches, rats and the like. Should we call this brand of politics Pre-School Politics?

I spoke on a previous blog about how our children need to be educated. Maybe I am mistaken; maybe it is our politicians who need to be re-educated on the history of the United States of America. Everything they are doing today is everything our Founding Fathers fought and shed blood to get away from. Imagine how they would feel if they knew they fought so hard to create a country that would eventually stand for everything they were against. The America once envisioned is nothing like the America we have today. The America that could be is far more prosperous than anyone can imagine, but we will never achieve that in our present path. This is one of those times where looking into the past can solve our problems today and create a much better tomorrow. Staying the course only guarantees a collapse of epic proportions (i.e., Spain, Roman Empire, Greece past and present...).

UPDATE: This will probably not sit well with the Dems in Congress as well as the President; the seat once held by Rep. Anthony Weiner, (D) New York, has now officially been taken over by Republican Bob Turner in fairly convincing fashion (by a margin of 53% to 47%). Let it be known that this is the first time that New York's 9th District has ever elected a Republican to represent them. This is just another example of how distraught our country is with the direction we are going. We, as a people, know not to expect problems to be solved over night; we also did not expect our economic issues to be further exacerbated with the passing of outrageous bills with no money to back them. I am proud to be an American for the simple fact that we, the people of this wonderful country, have the ability to completely change the dynamic of our government for better or worse. We do believe a change is needed to fix America: just not the change that is presently taking place. Hopefully we can expect better results from the people we elect into office in the future. I really could care less if a politician is Democrat, Republican, Libertarian, and everything in between; I just want people that not only have a substantive plan that doesn't keep the people in the dark, but also have a means of putting that plan into action in a way that does not negatively affect us for decades to come.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Educate Yourself...Seriously!

So, I've been reading and writing for the past month now, and I am beginning to see now why it is that we have such a divide in America today: people choose not to properly educate themselves. I am in no way saying that people are idiotic or naive, but I am saying that people are putting a lot more stake in what they hear as opposed to actually doing research and finding out the facts for themselves. I see a lot of arguments made in support of further taxing the wealthy, feeding more "stimulus" money into the economy, and even just bashing political parties just because of what they support or believe in. We do this because we are influenced by word of mouth and the media. We are content because - after all - why would these sources lie to us?

Michele Bachmann has expressed the desire to close down the Department of Education. It is easy for people to argue against that idea because of the benefits that people are told are provided to their children. I remember having a discussion with my brother. My brother told me that college was nothing like what he expected going in and he was in no way prepared for how challenging it would actually be. The reality is that he was not properly educated and not given the necessary tools to succeed in college. He was educated in a public school. So was I. I made an attempt at college, and failed quite miserably. I am not blaming public education completely; it also had to do with a lack of motivation on my part. The problem is that I did not go to a 4 year institution. I went to a community college, which was supposedly going to prepare me for a 4 year institution. I was not prepared for a 4 year college. Such is the case for hundreds of thousands of high school graduates each year who receive a public education.

My brother went on to tell me that a student in the public sector only receives half the investment toward their education that their privately educated counterparts receive. My brother believes that students in the public sector are being deprived of their due education. He also says that the teachers actually make matters even worse, doing the absolute minimum when fulfilling their curriculum requirements.

I agree with him on all accounts. It is not fair that a child/adolescent/young adult pursuing an education in the public sector is not exposed to the same education as one would receive in the private sector. It is as though the public sector is preparing our children for blue collar jobs and lower level management, while the private sector prepares children for upper level corporate positions and company CEO's. This is not to say that all kids educated in the public sector do not ultimately succeed, but it is plainly obvious that the vast majority do not make it past the first year or two of post secondary education.

Proponents of the DOE would profess that disbanding such an organization would prove to be detrimental to our youth: taking away their privilege to a proper education and therefore further reducing their chances of success in life. The reality is that the DOE is merely a federally run institution charged with the oversight of smaller state run components which serve the exact same purpose. Simply put, we are putting billions upon billions of dollars per year into an organization which serves no real purpose. If there is any change in education, it has been for the worst. For starters, there has been little - if any - improvement in standardized test scores between prior and post-DOE establishment. Additionally, they are responsible for statistics that can easily be acquired at the state level. By nationalizing the education system, you eliminate competition. Competition was what made this country great at one point. Seeing how other states performed was enough incentive for other states to improve their methods of educating the youth. The DOE has clearly done more harm than good.

No Child Left Behind is a complete farce because there are plenty of children who are indeed left behind. Children are being pushed through school despite not meeting or barely meeting established standards only to realize the brutal reality upon graduating from high school: they are nowhere near prepared to take on a college education. If nothing else, the DOE has proven two things: 1) Teachers in the public sector do not adequately prepare their students to pursue their secondary/post-secondary education; and 2) Public students are far less likely to succeed in pursuing their post-secondary education than their private sector counterparts. The DOE is a failed system that is in place simply because the name looks appealing...that has to be the reason because the results are a far cry from appealing.

Another area that folks choose to ignore is the spending rampage the government has been on over the last 10 years. I am not going to go into a history lesson, but going back to 2001 we have been on an absolute tear spending money that we basically don't have...and there are many who advocate spending more! Are you kidding me?! All I have heard in the news is "fiscal responsibility" this and "balanced budget" that. Out of nowhere, President Obama presents a brief glimpse of his new "stimulus" plan to create more jobs and reduce the unemployment rate in America. So, let me get this straight. It wasn't enough that President G.W. Bush used the TARP fund worth $700 Billion to bail out the bank and mortgage industries, and you also pushed through a $775 billion "stimulus" to serve the purpose of improving infrastructure, stimulate spending and create more jobs; now you want to push another bill worth a reported $300-$400 billion to stimulate job growth (which, by the way, was supposed to be accomplished by your previous "stimulus" package). Are Americans not quite realizing the trend here? In the past four years alone - including universal health care and the aforementioned bills and bailouts alone - we have accrued a debt of almost 3 trillion dollars; that's not even including the potential passage of this alleged job creator. If you were to divide that debt on to every living American today, that means that we are each on the hook for $30,000 a piece; considering that we are actually on the hook for over $14 trillion, I would gladly take the $30,000 any day.

Sadly, not very many people who favor the astronomical spending are really looking at the disastrous long term effects that are being created since they are getting what they want today. They don't care that the rich will get taxed more because they feel that the rich don't deserve their hard earned money (while I know it disgusts many of you to see or even think of rich people flying around on "corporate jets", and children inheriting mommy and daddy's fortune, realize that the vast majority of millionaires created their wealth from nothing but a small idea or investment...they were just like every other average Joe, but they had a vision that they chose to pursue with dogged determination: achieving the ultimate success as a result. Do people think of the fact that, if you take away the corporate jets from their owners, you're taking away the business from the jet manufacturers: resulting in more jobs potentially being lost from a decrease in the companies' revenues?). We went from being a country which prided itself in success by way of virtue and frugality, to now being a country engulfed by greed and entitlements. People who became rich were praised for doing so because of the work they did to get there; now, they are penalized for their success because a higher human power decided to supersede the real Higher Power to determine they did not legitimately deserve their fruits of labor.

So many of us choose to see the system as black and white. The problem is that there is soooo much more in between that folks choose to overlook: the reality which is gradually putting America's economic situation in serious jeopardy. We choose to turn a blind eye to reality because we feel safe in our little bubble, but how much longer will it be before that bubble shrinks and eventually dissolves? It is better to get a grasp on reality today than to wait until we realize what was once preventable has suddenly become inevitable. Yes, ignorance is truly blissful and the truth definitely hurts; however, knowing the truth also presents the opportunity to create a less painful outcome or to create a solution to avoid a painful outcome altogether, whereas ignorance leads to the painful realization that such a problem could have been avoided in the first place.

We are programmed to accept what is; it is up to us to educate ourselves so that we may eventually overcome what is and realize that which could be.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

A Revolution Brewing? Maybe...But It can be Avoided

When Politicians or collective governments overstep their limits of power, they are no longer considered politicians: they are considered tyrants or dictators. Over time, our elected officials have slowly introduced laws, acts or bills which establish limitations on society to the point where - not only does our freedom come at an extreme cost - but Americans are beginning to question whether we are truly free anymore.

There are two key elements necessary for a revolution to potentially result. The first is a power hungry government or individual, which looks to gain control over everything it can such as public welfare, medical benefits, taxation, and laws which prevent people from being able to live freely while also creating exceptions limited to the government. The second element is the people of the country in question. The citizens reach a point where they can no longer accept the ways in which the government operates and stage an uprising to overthrow the government and reclaim their rightfully deserved freedom.

We have bore witness - by way of the media - to a number of uprisings primarily in Tunisia, Egypt, and Lybia. However, there have been demonstrations taking place in other countries throughout the Middle East, such as Algeria, Morocco, and Jordan. While it is stating the obvious that two motivating factors were poverty and joblessness, other factors which have ultimately led to the protests we are witnessing today are corruption in the government as well as a lack of accountability.

Joblessness, poverty, government corruption, government not willing to fully take accountability for the state of one's country: it sounds a lot like what we have going on here. Politicians will unquestionably point to a scapegoat to defend their ineptitude in office, but you are also equally likely to see the same politicians try to take all the credit for something that actually works in their favor. Unfortunately for politicians, there is not a great deal of good they can take credit on. With our economic woes, unemployment being as high as it is, and poverty becoming more of a burden, you will not see politicians take accountability. After all, when in doubt, blame the other side. That is what we have been taught, right? The media has done an incredible job of doing the same: pointing to one side or the other depending on the media outlet's political affiliations, which seem to be mostly democratic.

Someone actually explained it very well to me recently. He told me that America is in an "awkward state." Right now Americans don't really know how to look at things. We know that the country is not doing very well by any means, but we are holding out hope that our elected officials can solve these problems and get us going in a positive direction again. We are also on the brink of losing all composure. While we really want our issues to be resolved, we are not going to stay out of the way forever: especially if we continue to spiral downward into oblivion.

In retrospect, I realize now that I was brought up and raised with the understanding that there are things which are just beyond our control, and that we must learn to accept them. It's not something that was necessarily taught to me by my parents or my teachers. It also involves the media, television, people you meet throughout your life to include peers and even complete strangers. Over time, parents have grown more prone to sheltering their children from reality. Teachers have been told what they can and cannot teach, even going to the extent of omitting parts of history to hide the cruel and violent past that we came from. Teachers are being told to paint a picture of sunshine and rainbows. Our children are being shown a false image of the future.

The media shows us what they are told to show us. They introduce the realm of entertainment because they know it is a way to take us away from reality: their job is to keep us from focusing on the big picture. It doesn't help that the media has decided to take sides as well. This only helps to distort reality even further: that coming together is going to be the only way that the issues of this country will be solved. The media has assisted the government in the one tactic that has always proved to work: divide and conquer. When you have a people that is politically divided, it makes it that much easier to govern/rule them. Congratulations government, you have succeeded in that much, but the real question is: how long will that success be lived. You see, eventually people will not just sit idly waiting for jobs to become plentiful, for others to truly prosper, for the government to no longer bleed corruption and greed, and to truly be accountable for their actions. No. America is watching, and with each passing day a few more Americans are opening their eyes to reality.

It's not so beautiful after all. America is not yet at the brink of another revolution, and most likely will not be for awhile. That means that such an occurrence can be averted, but only if you have the right people in office to create the REAL change that we - Americans - are truly looking for. What many have yet to understand is that - in order for things to improve here - everyone must suffer in one way or another. It won't matter if you are rich, poor, or in the middle class. We will all feel that sting whenever it comes, but isn't a common sacrifice ultimately what will lead to a common good?