Posts Tagged ‘Politics’

Does the federal government work for us?

“Politics is the art of making your selfish desires seem like the national interest.”

~ Thomas Sowell, Hoover Institution, Stanford University

More than 200 years ago, the states united and wrote a contract, the Constitution, creating an employee, the federal government; and that contract outlined specific tasks the federal government would perform for the states’ combined welfare.

However, in the early 1800s, the Supreme Court ruled that it alone presided over the Constitution and it alone would decide what the Constitution said. Is this what the Founding Fathers and the states intended? Did they mean for the Supreme Court to decide its own powers and those of the rest of the federal government?

Gun control – the wrong discussion

“Every government degenerates when trusted to the rulers of the people alone. The people themselves, therefore, are its only safe depositories.”

~ Thomas Jefferson, 1781

A Connecticut man murdered 20 children and 6 adults, gun control proponents again advocating that disarming law-abiding citizens will solve the problem. And though I believe their logic is folly, we still need a reasoned debate on the issue.

But, lest we forget, gun ownership is still a constitutional right; it is not a constitutional privilege; it is not a governmental privilege; it is not a presidential privilege. The Constitution does not allow the federal government to “evolve” the Constitution to address perceived changing times and needs. It must have the permission of “We the People” in the form of an amendment for change to occur.

Spoiled, dependent, entitled, indentured, enslaved

Are spoiled children born that way? According to British writer Roald Dahl, “Some children are spoiled and it is not their fault, it is their parents.” Spoiled children have parents who give them everything they want instead of teaching them to earn what they want, instead of teaching them responsibility and independence. Quite simply, parents of spoiled children fail to heed the advice of “The Country Parson,” Frank A. Clark, who said, “The most important thing that parents can teach their children is how to get along without them.”

Where are you from?

The other day a friend and I were talking about immigration. He immigrated to the United States, is an American citizen but never refers to himself as a something-American, a hyphenated-American; he is just an American. My great-grandfather emigrated from Prussia in 1852. And like my friend, I don’t consider myself a Prussian-American; I am just an American.

My friend says people occasionally ask him where he is from, the question suggesting to him that they think he is a hyphenated-American with divided loyalties. Perhaps his mild accent or foreign sounding name prompts the question. But might I be asked where I am from if my last name were Gerbeling or if I had a German accent?

Subject or citizen?

“Oh posterity, you will never know how much it cost us to preserve your freedom. I hope that you will make a good use of it.”
– John Adams, second U.S. president

The ‘ism’ elixir?

“Bad officials are elected by
good citizens who do not vote.”

George Jean Nathan
American drama critic and newspaper editor

I watched a 1948 cartoon produced by Harding College, “Make Mine Freedom,” which tells the story of Ism elixir. If you have already viewed this, my apologies. If not, let me share the tale of Ism.

The cartoon starts with a reminder of our good fortune to live in America with the freedom to work, freedom of speech, freedom to peacefully assemble, freedom to own property, protection from unlawful search or seizure, the right to a speedy and public trial, protections against cruel punishments, the right to vote and to worship God in our own way.

The damnpolitician and the farmer

Last week, I proponed the Founding Fathers had only two requirements to be president of the United States because they wanted to protect the people’s power to choose the president.   They did not want those writing the Constitution and those later “interpreting” it to be able to limit our choices. 

They assumed people like you and me would give time to our country and return home to live as everyone else, rather than staying in Washington becoming a member of the political aristocracy, becoming a career politician.  Perhaps one of the greatest failures of the Founding Fathers was not anticipating the career politician.

To be President of the United States

There are only two constitutional requirements to be president of the United States of America.  You must be a natural born citizen of the United States and at least 35 years of age.  That is all that is needed for the most important job in the world.  Although considered enough in 1787, is that enough today; or should we set more criterion for the office?

 

Today’s presidential races have entered the rock star media age of politics, an obvious difference between pre- and post-television presidential campaigns.  Candidates now have image consultants and are “packaged” for public appearances just like actors and actresses, even including $400 haircuts.

California’s latest budget crisis

Experts projected California would have budget deficits of more than $35 billion, requiring massive budget cuts and tax increases.  The Governor proposed $17 billion in program cuts and $8.3 billion in tax increases.  Education programs faced over $2.7 billion in cuts with proposed additional cuts of $5.2 billion. 

In a recall petition, the governor was accused of “gross mismanagement of California’s finances by overspending taxpayers’ money and by cutting funds to local governments.”  Are these the statistics of California’s current financial crisis?  No.  These program cuts and tax hikes are from 2003 when Governor Gray Davis was in office and facing a recall election.