Wednesday, September 30, 2009

The Erosion of American Liberties - Part 2

In Irving Township, Michigan, there's a mom who decided to help out three of her neighbors by allowing their children into her home each morning for about an hour while they waited for the school bus.

The school year had hardly begun when Lisa Snyder received a letter from state regulators who oversee childcare in Michigan. When they got wind of Ms. Snyder allowing children who were not related to her stay in her home, the state regulators did not agree that this was a charitable gesture on her part. Instead the Michigan Department of Human Services sent her a letter of warning. In it, they stated that if she continued allowing the girls to wait for the bus at her home, she'd be violating a law which was aimed at the regulating operators of unlicensed day care centers.

"I was freaked out. I was blown away," she said. "I got on the phone immediately, called my husband, then I called all the girls" - meaning her friends whose children waited for the bus in her home - "every one of them." She also called the agency to explain that she wasn't running a daycare center or accepting money from her friends.

Well, it appears that Snyder's situation has caused quite a debate in Michigan. There's discussion now about this law that apparently says no one can "care for unrelated children in their home for more than four weeks each calendar year unless they are a licensed day-care provider". This is one law that definitely needs to be changed. It has upset several parents who say they depend on friends to help them balance work and family in similar ways.

Finally, someone got some common sense! MDHS Director Ismael Ahmed has agreed that good neighbors should be allowed to help each other ensure their children are safe without fear of recrimination. "Being a good neighbor means helping your neighbors who are in need," Ahmed said. "This could be as simple as providing a cup of sugar, monitoring their house while they're on vacation or making sure their children are safe while they wait for the school bus."

Governor Jennifer Granholm acted quickly and instructed Ahmed to work with the state Legislature to change the law. The new legislation is supposed to make it clear that people who aren't in the business of providing daycare will not need to be licensed in order to watch their friends' children.

When is it a crime to do good? When a government agency determines a way to license or otherwise control that sector, or if an activity is such that there is the least inference, that there is a violation they can move in to take control. It's a dangerous world we live in today - and that danger isn't coming from the lawless - it's coming from the law makers!

The Erosion of American Liberties - Part 1

Today, even with all the things that are going on in Washington which are, of course, huge issues and worthy of all the attention we can give them, I thought that I'd take a moment to address something on a much smaller and simpler scale. Smaller and simpler, perhaps, but an additional example of how the government has been imposing itself into the daily decision making of individuals.

This example is of one of those types of things that have been going on for a long time, that we thought were harmless. But when combined and brought into focus, we can see it is a part of the overall tapestry of governmental intervention into our personal lives that has led us to where we are today, where the government believes it has not only the right but a duty to take over banking, private businesses and corporations, and healthcare. It's like the larger picture that is made up of thousands and thousands of individual pictures. But for now, we'll focus in on one of those little individual pictures.

As reported in yesterday's Times Union in Saratoga Springs, Florida, 12-year-old Adam Marino and his mother ride bicycles together more than four miles each way from their home to Adam's middle school on nice days despite a policy by the school that students are not allowed to walk or ride bikes to school. Last school term, Adam's mother, Janette, challenged the school's policy and thought she had a nonverbal understanding that Adam would be allowed to continue to ride his bike to school until the policy had been reviewed. At the beginning of this school term, however, parents were telephoned the night before classes began to restate that bike riding and walking to school would not be tolerated. With their previous understanding, Adam and his mother decided to continue their plan to bike both ways along a state highway until they were confronted by school administrators and state police.

The Saratoga Healthy Transportation Network soon rallied around the mother and son by riding along with them an average of twice a week as they pedal their way on Route 9 from home to school and back. In the afternoons Adam's mother rides to the school to join her son and ride back home with him. Route 9 does not have a bike lane, but does have crosswalks and wide lanes. It also has less reported traffic accidents than the state average for similar streets and no biking accidents have been reported in more than three years. Other elementary and middle schools districts allow their students to ride their bikes to school if they provide a note from their parents granting permission.
The school administrator has admitted that the school has no legal responsibility over what occurs on Route 9. But here again, is an example of how the decision making process is being usurped from the parents by the school and government over-reaching its boundaries of authority.

Question: How do you eat an elephant? Answer: One bite at a time.

So, here we have an example of how government has taken the freedom of choice of transportation away from the parent. It's just one little picture in the overall bigger picture of governmental control. And the overall picture of government has been accumulating all these little pictures, one here and one there. It has stripped Americans of their individual liberties one little bit at a time until, now it has become impatient for total control. It wants to gobble up larger and larger chunks, faster and faster – without chewing (debate)!

Question: When was the last time the government granted Americans a freedom? Really granted Americans a freedom? Answer???

The Constitution and the Bill of Rights, as the supreme law of the United States, outlined American's freedoms and enumerated the rights to choose what would give them life and liberty and allow them the pursuit of happiness. Over the past hundred years or so especially, our lawmakers and the Supreme Court's interpretations of those laws have methodically chipped away at our rights, bit by bit, imposing restrictions here and there, allowing certain interpretations that favored one group over another. Now, they don't want us to think for ourselves -- at all.

Thus far, we have lost many of our basic rights to make personal decisions like the example I have given above. The Obama Administration is now trying to gobble up the last portions of the freedom Americans have, to take control of everything they don't already control. We must become educated on the issues and we must act to preserve the rights that remain before it's too late, before they take away our final right to speak out in public, and, yes, even to vote.

The election in 2010 is our next real chance to make a difference, to express our concerns and to remove those from office who are part of the problem in Washington. Concerned groups should make plans to help get people out to vote. We, who have been silent Americans, must start expressing with urgency our opposition to the destruction of the Constitution and the American core values at every opportunity. We have an obligation to future generations to be heard, and especially right now while we still have the power to remove those who would do us harm through denying us our liberties - even those as simple as your personal decision for your own child to ride a bike along with you to school.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Obama Support Base is Losing Ground

For several months now, we have seen how divisive Obama's programs have become. We have seen how Americans, even those who were full-bore behind Obama during the campaign have come to view the government's recent hyperactivity as simply far too intense. Democrats as a whole are still fully entrenched in his ongoing campaign, but the demographic group that is influencing this shift in his popularity, as vouched for by Gallup and NBC/WSJ surveys, has been the Independents. It is they who are responsible for this shift in his poll numbers.

An NBC/WSJ survey revealed that Independents had moved from favoring more government involvement by a full two points in February when 46% believed government should do more and 44% believed government should do less. Today, there is a 21-point preference today with 35% favoring more government intervention and 56% saying that government is too involved.

In addition Independents also provide more negative feedback on the President's handling of several key issues. Only 35% of Independents approve of his handing of healthcare reform, 53% disapprove. 40% approve of his handling of the economy while 47% disagree, and they are about even on his handling of foreign policy at 40% approve, and 41% disapprove.

Most people will agree that it was the Independent vote that put Barack Obama in office. Therefore, it may be wise if the Democrats would pay attention to this particular group. They represent the largest voting block; indeed, they are the "pendulum" of the electorate and if anyone should be heard, they should. In these polls and surveys, Independents are speaking up in opposition to Obama's radical changes being rushed through Congress. In that, they are in alignment more with Conservatives on key issues. Together, they have the power to end his "reign" with a four-year term.

Obama's Healthcare - Something's Gotta Go

What I find interesting in this whole Baucus Healthcare bill thing is that the Congressional Budget Office, which is a number crunching entity, is the only non-partisan player in the game. Who else can we go to that has no agenda in making the numbers add up the way of special interests? And why does the Obama Administration dismiss their reporting when they should value their input? The CBO has crunched the numbers six ways from Sunday and have come up with probably the best ways to pay for his healthcare program. Regardless, there's still a huge shortfall. This healthcare reform cannot be done without costing the taxpayers in some form or other. Count me among those who agree that you can call it a tax. There will have to be something like increased premiums or cut in benefits - either way it still costs the taxpayer. It hurts them the same as an out-and-out tax.

Recently the CBO presented their unbiased report in which they said the Baucus bill will indeed require a cut in seniors' Medicaid Advantage benefits to the tune of about fifty percent. (Uh-oh! Look for more sanctions against anyone who dares speak up and name those areas and who might be affected…. Obama censors will strike again!)

So, far, all we have heard from the Obama camp on how this healthcare reform will be paid for is that it will be paid for through a $500 billion dollar reduction in Medicare benefits over the next ten years. I believe that this is the entire Medicare budget for this year alone.

It has become apparent through the Congressional Budget Office that the places where the Democrats want to cut funding is not sufficient to cover the cost of Obama's proposed healthcare reform and they will have to look elsewhere and cut in other areas that are going to be unacceptable to the people.

And don’t be fooled about these bills protecting the individual’s choiceof healthcare coverage. That's a bunch of hooey! If the healthcare is overhauled as proposed in HR3200 and the Baucus healthcare bill, you may be able to keep the insurance coverage you have – for now. But it will be phased out over the next few years as Obamacare matures.

Should HR3200 and Baucus healthcare or a facscimiles bill pass, a plan with public option or government-backed co-ops would offer subsidized plans that would be less expensive than private plans because of the subsidies. Private insurers can’t compete with government subsidized plans when you compare apples to apples. So, for those who have healthcare through employers, it’s obvious that eventually employers would have to discontinue paying the higher costs to cover employees under private insurance and would opt instead to pay the penalties for non-coverage.

So, if Democrats would be truthful about you keeping your present insurance coverage, they would tell you that it means you really can keep your insurance until the new government healthcare program takes full effect in a few years. "Technically”, it’s not that they’re forcing you to change insurance plans, it’s that through subsidies they are forcing the employer to make the choice to cover or pay penalties and ultimately eliminating that option for the consumer. Insurance companies offering the insurance you now use will eventually no longer offer the same coverage because they won’t be able to establish rates that could compete with the government subsidies.

So, if you're hearing a lawmaker say that you will not be required to change insurance to a public option, or a government-backed co-op, what you should really be hearing it is, "if you want, you can keep what you have now for as long as it's offered to you.” But, in reality, the days for that option will be limited to the timeframe of full implementation of the universal healthcare plan.

That, simply put, is how Obama's healthcare reform is going to work. What a different picture we would have if healthcare reform was approached through tort reform, caps on insurance premiums, limits on drug costs, coverage for pre-existing conditions instead? In fact, if these were adequately addressed, and appropriately reformed, we'd have an exceptional healthcare system instead of a new one that is most likely going to be ineffective and inadequate compared to the existing one. Let's see the CBO numbers on addressing those issues and we may see reform is affordable without costing one dime or reduction in benefits.

Barack Obama Prayers

I found the following video on Michelle Malkin's Blog at  (She also has some history on this organization).  Whether they're saying Obama or Oh, God, I'll let you decide. But with this group's history I would not be taken by surprise.  There have been rumblings of this type of worship since Obama's campaign started.  I recall a similar instance being filmed at an ACORN meeting where he was declared "a savior".  I dare say that there are many more groups and organizations like this that are of the same mind and emotion. 

However, after doing a little more reading about this incident, I found someone who expressed my opinion as well as I could - and maybe better since she's a professional journalist - Judi McLeod with the Canada Free Press, who also includes this video.  If you care to read her wonderful response:

To her article, I say "AMEN!"

Monday, September 28, 2009

Cap and Trade (aka Cap and Tax) Moved to Fast Track

Here we go, folks. Cap and Tax bill is on its way to the Senate for debate - and before we even get a consensus among Senators on healthcare reform. Can you say more overload? More distraction? More rush?

For many months Senators Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.) and John Kerry (D-Mass.) have worked on climate control legislation, commonly known as the "Cap and Tax" bill. But they've already begun a new spin by renaming it. It will no longer be called "cap and trade". Instead they are touting it as "polution reduction" legislation. Senator Kerry said, "I don't know what 'cap and trade' means." He continued, "This is not a cap-and-trade bill, it's a pollution reduction bill." Oh? If he doesn't know what cap and trade is, how can he know that it's not?

This bill will basically be a "spin-off" of the House version H.R. 2454 - at least at first. Exactly which parts will be initially carried over into the Senate version will be a mystery until revealed later this week, possibly Wednesday. There is already one proposed bill by Senator Jeff Bingaman (D-NM) S. 1462 and the consensus is that these two senate bills will somehow be melded together and then at least five Senate committees will put their marks (and earmarks) on it. One thing that is suspected is that the Senate version will see a more aggressive limit on emissions than the House bill had. That could mean higher taxes would be imposed on producers of goods and energy.

This "Cap and Tax" legislation will place limits on the amount of carbon emissions that manufacturing and energy-producing companies can emit. These businesses are then given credits based upon the amount of taxes they are willing pay to be allowed to continue to produce their products and energy. If they agree to paying higher taxes, they are allowed to raise those minimum limits. How that affects you and me is that those tax costs will be included in the cost of producing goods and energy and passed on in the form of increase costs to us as consumers. Obama has said, and it has been noted in this blog, see Cap and Trade Means Less Money in Your Pocket, that this would necessarily raise costs for you, the consumer. So, everything you buy, every time turn on the lights, basically the cost of every consumable product you use will be increased significantly.

People need to begin reviewing and paying attention to the wordsmithing of Obama. He promised "not one dime in new taxes" for the taxpayer. But what he didn't say is that he planned to tax and tax and tax businesses who in turn will have to pass that increase on to the consumer, which is the taxpayer. So, he didn't necessarily lie to the public straight out, but he certainly has been and is still being deceptive in the impact of his proposals on the taxpayers.

Let this article make you aware that this is yet another increase in your cost of living - and a significant cost that will be nearly equal to the cost of the mandatory health insurance that you will be required to pay for. If you're barely getting by now, and fortunate enough to still have your job, between these two bills, you could be facing a huge reduction in your expendable income (your bring home pay). Do you have month left at the end of your money now? Just wait until Congress is through with these two bills. Just wait ...

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Left and Right Need to Read This Blog!

This is my blog, and therefore my opinion – as the name of the blog implies. I am not looking to debate political issues in the articles I write, but for clarification I feel I should make some political distinctions here for those who may choose to read a particular article and take exception with what they find in it. I'm not going to argue over semantics, nor defend my position beyond what I state in the article. However, these distinctions will help the reader understand how I refer to political positions in my articles.

On the political scale, there are innumerable positions from the farthest possible left to the farthest possible right. And there are, of course, centrists in this spectrum as well. I do not generally lump extremists on left with liberals, nor do I generally lump extremists on the far right with conservatives. I call them what they are – extremists, far-left, or radical left, far-right, or radical right. They are not mainstream in either political persuasion.

Most of my references to liberals will include those who clearly take a mainstream liberal political viewpoint. Conservatives, by the same standard are those who take mainstream conservative political viewpoints, and both clearly lie more to one side or the other of centrists. Simply and in general, liberals have a loose interpretation of the Constitution, espouse big government to provide social programs to citizens and to have control over much of the economy while Conservatives believe in a strict interpretation of the Constitution, believe that the government should not be involved in the daily lives of the citizenry, and should practice fiscal restraint.

When I refer in generalities to political persuasions, I refer to Democrats as liberals and Republicans as conservatives. However, I apply the same type of generality to Independents which I will distinguish from time to time as more liberal-leaning or more conservative-leaning, or simply as those who fit between the two camps.

But I must note that all radicals on either end of the scale will be noted as extremists, meaning where the mainstream political view of either liberals or conservatives has been carried far beyond the realm of reality and sensibility. To lump extreme radicals with either liberals or conservatives as equal to those in the mainstream is totally incorrect. That's where I feel most people misunderstand the other side of the political divide. Just because someone has liberal views, doesn't make them equal to the Uni-bomber or Weather Underground. And it is just as ridiculous to lump Timothy McVey and Scott Roeder with all conservatives. In fact, beyond inaccurate, it is totally incorrect.

So, if you are one of those readers who are guilty of doing just that... assigning the insanities and inhumanities of extremists in either political position to the general description of either liberal or conservative political groups... then don't bother to read my blog. It will only frustrate you, and I don't really care what your opinion of my opinion is.

Bill Clinton Claims Vast, Right-wing Conspiracy

Do right-wing fundamentalists or conservatives pose a genuine threat?

This accusation is coming from all fronts right now. I suppose it's because the showings at the townhall meetings of the summer and the greater than expected attendance in Washington on 9/12 have had an impact on those on left. The media, or "fringe media" if you prefer, and lawmakers in Washington, as well as many others with left-leaning tendencies are doing their best to portray Conservatives as a threat. But where's their proof? A threat to what?

The AP has reported today that Former President Bill Clinton is saying a vast, right-wing conspiracy which once had targeted him now focuses on President Barack Obama. Clinton made that claim in a television interview when he was asked about something of a much more personal and significant incident in his own presidency, that being the Monica Lewinsky affair which occurred over a decade ago. At that time, first lady Hillary Rodham Clinton suggested her husband's political enemies, who she called a "vast, right-wing conspiracy" were out to destroy his presidency. They do not.... DO NOT.... have any proof of their accusations; they only have speculations to support those accusations.

On NBC's "Meet the Press" this week, Bill Clinton was asked about whether the conspiracy his wife proclaimed was out to destroy his presidency ten years ago was still around today. His reply was, "You bet. Sure it is. It's not as strong as it was because America has changed demographically. But it's as virulent as it was." However, he said, this time the focus is on Obama, and now “their agenda seems to be wanting him to fail."

He's wrong two counts. The conservative movement that was around ten years ago has grown, but demographics have nothing to do with it; becoming aware of what the government is up to has everything to do with it. Neither is this movement just made up conservatives or right-wingers. It includes members of his own party as well as independents - and a good number of them. Many of these people not only put Clinton in office, but put Obama in office as well. Some had become disillusioned by the previous administration and sought a change from those policies. However, they never suspected that meant the total revamping of the Constitution and the dismantling of our government that has been happening over the past eight months.

You can correctly say that this "right-wing conspiracy" as a movement isn't about the man. Rather, it's about his programs and politics. Separating the man from his policies is validated in the major national polls results. According to today's Rasmussen Poll, 30% approve of Obama's politics, 40% disapprove, but 49% approve of his overall job performance. Many like the man, but they don't like his politics. So, it doesn't necessarily follow that people generally hope he fails - personally.

I can't speak for why Clinton chose "virulent" to describe his detractors in the '90s. I don't remember any violence, any openly spiteful, hostile, or intense bitterness, or even expressed maliciousness that would denote "virulent" - but strong opposition, yes. However, it was not unduly so as his personal actions and his policies warranted the strong dissatisfaction expressed by those who opposed him.

Is there a conspiracy on the right? That might be accurately descriptive if the term "conspiracy" means the passion and determination of the "right-wingers" to protect our Constitution, to protect our country from being driven into Socialism, to keep our Congress and the media from making a demagogue out of our president. It's a passion driven by love of country and its founding principles and values. It is not driven by hate of anything or anyone. The patriotism that was present during the founding of this country is rising again in the hearts of individuals from every political sector. And the opposition to that patriotism is just fanning the flame!

“New Crusaders”... Dangerous Right-wing Fundamentalists

The Burlington Township School District in New Jersey is the school that taught its elementary students a song to sing/rap/chant in praise to Barack Obama. This incident was supposed to have occurred in February of this year as part of the school’s celebration of Black History Month, but recently made the headlines as it came to light on YouTube. Interestingly, the school is much more concerned that the video was made public on YouTube than that it is blatantly propagandizing young and very impressionable children.

One panelist on a news program I watched said, “Mao would be proud!” Indeed!

In reference to the latest furor about the song, I have to disagree with many of the reports going around out there that they substituted God for Obama in a children’s song which used the term “red, yellow, black, or white” in it. I vaguely remember Obama using that particular phrase in a speech during his campaign. Thus far, I have been unable to get the actual quote and context. But, I grew up on that song and I don’t feel that there was any intent to substitute “Obama” for “Jesus” in the song. Perhaps it was loosely based on the song, but substitution of one name for another, no. The rhythm or the rhyme was not the same. The song goes, “Jesus loves the little children…. Jesus loves the little children of the world.” However, I am adamantly opposed to the elevation of a president to the level of a “savior” as was clearly done in this little song.

The Burlington Township School District is no stranger to political controversy, though. Nearly two years earlier, the BTSD stirred up controversy when it hosted an "emergency management exercise" at the Burlington Township High School. For this exercise, a mock terror drill was played out which centered around a fictional right-wing fundamentalist group which they called the “New Crusaders”. The defense the town officials offered was that the term “Christians” was never used. They said that “all groups experience right-wing fundamentalists in their organizations” and that it regretted “any insensitivities that might have been inferred” by their action.

(Hmmm. I’d like to meet a “right-wing fundamentalist” Sierra Club member or Green Peace member or PETA member, etc! )

Actually, it’s the other way around – these radical groups may have a few left-wing fundamentalists with somewhat more center-leaning views. The tactics of these groups are anything but peaceful, as proven by their activities which quite often include extreme and violent means they use to attempt to make their point. It is unfortunate that the so-called right-wing fundamentalist groups do have an occasional “wacko” in their ranks, but these groups do not pose the kind of threat as depicted in the Burlington re-enactment. If you look at the town halls of this summer and the recent march on Washington earlier this month, you will see exactly to what extent these right-wing fundamentalist go to when they’re really riled up! Not worthy of an emergency management exercise, is it?

Two things are very clear here in these examples from one school district’s philosophy: One, the indoctrination of leftist agenda and the restriction, if not abolition, of the freedoms of those who are opposed to their agenda. This a microcosm of what is occurring nationwide. So, those with conservative viewpoints who are opposed to being labeled as right-wing extremists had better be aware that the left is teaching their propaganda to the most impressionable in our society while practicing constraints and restrictions through branding right-wing fundamentalists/conservatives as dangerous.

Conservatives and right-wing fundamentalists stand your ground and don’t waiver in your opinions and beliefs. Exercise your Constitutional rights to speak, vote, and peacefully assemble – while you still have those rights!

Friday, September 25, 2009

CMS "Gag Order" on Humana and Others Upheld by Obama

This really chaps me! And Americans had better wake up - NOW! Barack Obama has given his seal of approval on the CMS' gag order issued against Humana and others. This gag order is to stop Humana from warning people of a possible loss of benefits which was corroborated by the Congressional Budget Office, a non-partisan statistical office. A gag order for speaking the truth? GOD HELP US!

Would you ever believe that a President of the United States would uphold an obvious violation of First Amendment rights just to silence objections to his pet projects, particularly since the opposition is revealing the truth about the project. This is the type of stuff you do when you know you're wrong but you don't want anyone pointing that out. No one has yet been able to tell where we're going to get the money to pay for the program.

So now, Obama, personally, has wielded the power to silence them through threats of lawsuits and whatever other methods his thugs can devise. That is not only unconstitutional, it is evil. If he gets away with this, (that is, if we let him get away with it!), we are done as a nation which values its citizens' personal freedoms protected under its Constitution. Allowing this illegal gag order to stand will set a precedent that before long will become the norm and very quickly reshape the United States into a nation without any individual rights remaining.

We just have got to do something about this. If our Congress won't stand up for us, we as individuals have to rise up again as individuals did in the 1770's and say, "ENOUGH!" Truth is, we're not being represented adequately by our Congress. We really have no representation. Therefore, we cannot sit idly by and allow our freedoms to be stripped away one at a time, layer by layer. If we don't wake up and do something now, in the blink of an eye, we will wake up and we won't recognize this country anymore.

Whether Humana intends to ignore or obey the gag order is not known to me. But regardless, I would urge everyone who reads this blog or the others I've written on this subject (found below) to send the link for this blog to your friends or copy the blogs and email them, or write friends and family and tell them about what is going on. Make them aware of how really dangerous this action by our President and his regime is. And let's get a sea of objection to this abhorrent action going with waves so strong they reach the White House and flood them with opposition.

Don't wait. If you value your basic freedom of speech, do it now while you still have the freedom of speech. Do it before you get yourgag order to cease and desist. I am, as you should be, extremely concerned that this is a but test case, and if this is not stopped right now, the next gag order is coming - to you and me!

Obamacare - Penalties for Non-Insured - UPDATED!

Tom Barthold is Chief of Staff of the Joint Committee on Taxation. On Thursday, he sent Sen. John Ensign (R-Nev.) a handwritten note on JCT letterhead which confirmed that those who fail to comply with the mandatory healthcare coverage would face a penalty of up to $1,900. He noted that anyone who chooses not to purchase health insurance under the Obamacare plan could also be charged with a misdemeanor and face up to a year in jail or a $25,000 penalty. Barthold signed his note "Sincerely, Thomas A. Barthold." How sweet - not!

UPDATE!! Here's Senator John Thune's (R-SD) response at one of his townhall meetings.

Any small businesses that doesn’t offer health insurance to its employes becomes a victim of a “pay or play” mandate that requires a penalty of up to 8% of its payroll tax to be paid to the government. A small business who files on an individual income tax return, will be charged a 5.4% surtax added to their top marginal tax rate. Further, an individual who doesn’t buy insurance under this mandate will be assessed a 2.5% tax as a penalty.
Question: This healthcare reform will not increase your taxes one dime - where have we heard those words? Can you say, "You lie"?

In other words, you're about to get hammered, and you won't be able to continue running your own life and making your own choices as free Americans have done for over 200 years. You know, the freedom to choose your own healthcare or even have it. I always thought that if I didn't have insurance, then any expenses I incurred would be my responsibility - no one else's. If I choose not to be insured, then I must be prepared for the consequences. That's because I believe in freedom, not a free ride. How about you?

The freedom of choice, as the example of this government healthcare reform confirms, will be just an illusion. Mandated coverage for everyone is Socialism Step One. Socialism Step Two - beware!

Let Congress hear your outrage!

ObamaCare Is Now BaucuSCARE...

BaucuSCARE.... I enjoy good puns, and this one would be amusing if it didn't cut into the heart of the matter. Obamacare is becoming Baucus "scare" (a.k.a. BaucusCare). A former aide of Baucus' who is now in the Health and Human Services Central Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) is the one who is actually pushing this issue against Humana on behalf of Senator Baucus.

Judge Andrew Napolitano, one of my favorite Libertarians and who knows our Constitution very well, says that the US Constitution recognizes a corporation's right to free speech is the same as an individual's. Thus, corporations can speak as freely about ObamaCare or BaucuSCARE as they want. He suggests that the CMS should essentially take their gag order and rip it up because it’s absurd, and he also feels that it should be an open and shut case for Humana if CMS pursues it.

Judge Napolitano said that the taxpayers will probably end up paying for the prosecutors' portion of this frivolous lawsuit if it goes forward. Since it's such a basic Constitutional issue that is under attack, I am inclined to believe it would be worth it to spend some of my tax dollars on a case like this where once again our Constitutionally-granted individual rights can be validated in our courts and clearly establish a precedent. I would just consider it another strike against the fascist philosophy of the Obama Administration.

At last report, the government (CMS) is still using threats of legal actions against Humana and others to squelch any opposition to Senator Baucus' bill. And why? Because basically that bill is all that's keeping the Obama Administration from fundamentally changing healthcare for all Americans. But censorship isn’t coming only from the CMS office, as evidenced in a televised video of a Senate Finance Committee hearing on Baucus' bill yesterday. Rep. Senator Jon Kyl of Arizona was trying to make a point during his allotted time for debate and was repeatedly interrupted by Chairman Baucus in an obvious attempt to run out Kyl's allotted time. So, it is politics as usual? Indeed!

The government has taken control of the biggest banks, the automobile industry, and healthcare is another huge slice of the economic pie it wants to control. So, I guess it is no wonder that Senator Baucus has reason to try to squelch any debate on his healthcare plan. However, the longer that the bill takes to pass, the more truth comes out and the more Moderates and Conservatives have reason to object to it. The summer town halls meetings on healthcare have ended, but the resistance must remain strong until the questions are answered and the right solutions for reform can be brought to the forefront for discussion.

What has got the Democrats such as Baucus on the defensive to the point that they won't allow any discussion from the opposition is that the Conservatives, and even Moderates, are finally (when given the chance) asking some of the questions that the people in the town halls from this summer asked. Some answers are coming out which reveal some real negatives about the proposed plans that most Americans don't like. The Democrats' reluctance to discuss these issues is obvious validity to the concerns of the people which need to be addressed before there is any vote on the proposed bills.

Determined Obamacrats are watching their poll numbers going down in most cases. They are growing fearful of losing their seats in 2010 and 2012! GOOD! And the Republican may use any "success" in this healthcare reform battle as a "tool" in their attempt to regain the Senate, and/or the House in 2010 and 2012. But they need to worry as well. At those times, the issue of people's trust of their representation will be what matters most. But what is important right now is that they are asking the hard questions that have needed to be answered all along.

We know that the Obama Administration's strategy is to overwhelm the system in their efforts to push through their agendas. And while healthcare is an extremely important issue, and they're pushing for all they're worth, they are waging wars in other areas. We can't be distracted from other important battles going on other fronts such as the preservation of our first amendment rights. We need to respond quickly and decisively, and keep the pressures on until Congress listens and represents the will of the people.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Obama Administration Censorship on Healthcare

Okay, I mentioned in my earlier article today that two bits of information from this morning’s news popped my eyes open. The second thing didn’t make my feet hit the floor like the first one did, but certainly raised my blood pressure. It’s the old double-standard…. which I abhor… that is so alive and well in the Obama administration. For instance, the left claiming that any attempt to silence them is a violation of freedom of speech, while they (now that they are in control) are trying to do just that to their opposition.

Recently, private insurer Humana Inc. sent out a letter to its senior customers who were enrolled in the company’s Medicare Advantage plan. In essence, this letter was advising them that under Senator Max Baucus’ Plan, which includes billions in cut to Medicare and Medicaid, their benefits could be in danger of being eliminated if this legislation passed. When Baucus got wind of this letter, whiney-baby Baucus got the Department of Health and Human Services Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services to try to keep Humana from sending these out letters to its customers.

The CMS in essence issued a gag order and instructed Humana to stop expressing “certain opinions” about healthcare reform. From a letter from the CMS to Humana on this matter: “Please be advised that we take this matter very seriously and, based upon the findings of our investigation, will pursue compliance and enforcement actions….” CMS has also prohibited any other private insurers from corresponding in like manner with their customers. However, AARP, which sponsors a Medicare Advantage program in addition to its Medigap policies, was somehow (mysteriously) exempted. (Remember there was some “nuzzling” between AARP and the White House a short time ago which resulted in a “Kumbaya moment” between them! Something about an endorsement, only it wasn’t an endorsement when people started tearing up their AARP membership cards and cancelling their memberships! Hmmm.)

Following the letter from CMS to Humana, the secretary of Health and Human Services began an investigation of Humana with the sole purpose of intimidating the company. They further ordered Humana “to end immediately all such mailings to beneficiaries and to remove any related materials directed to Medicare enrollees from your website”.

Here you go! Another example of Chicago-style politics and strong-arm tactics! Dirty politics at its worst! The Obama administration is apparently continuing with its strategy of thuggary by attacking the first amendment rights of anyone or any organization who disagrees with his policies, in particular Obamacare. It just so happens that Humana is one of the latest of the Obama Administration’s victims.

Talk about the AUDACITY of one individual, or that individual’s machine, to try to strip the rights of a company to fully inform their customers of possible changes in their benefits. Baucus’ bill already has over 500 amendments. No one knows where these cuts will come from, but many sources have said that billions will be cut from Medicare and Medicaid, and in particular Medicare Advantage, including the Congressional Budget Office. So, it isn’t out of the realm of possibility for Humana’s senior customers to lose some of their benefits.

This kind of censorship, this violation of one of our basic liberties, has got to stop. Americans believe in their freedom to express their opinions, whether as an individual or a private corporation. That freedom is still in existence – at least for now!

H1N1 Swine Flu Pandemic Threat May Be Used to Justify Martial Law

The first bits of news I heard upon waking this morning were enough to pop my eyes open without caffeine. The first one was enough to make my feet hit the floor!

Massachusetts legislature fast-tracked a bill updating what the state can do in the event of a public health emergency - Senate Bill 2028, better known as the Pandemic and Disaster Preparation and Response Bill. In fact, it passed the Senate unanimously.

This bill gives the governor and the health commissioner to authority act in the public’s interest during any kind of medical emergency such as an H1N1 outbreak. The commissioner will have the discretion to close or evacuate public buildings, enter private property and isolate or quarantine people, and to get and distribute medicines and vaccines.

WHAT? Enter private property and quarantine people? To administer medicines and vaccines? What the heck?! Are YOUR eyes opened now? They can enter a private resident of an individual whose only offense is that they are sick? What kind of insanity is this? What kind of Gestapo, has Massachusetts sanctioned?

We’re not done… oh, no, there’s more! There is a severe penalty for non-compliance to the quarantine or inoculation. For not following the rules as directed by the health commissioner, there’s a fine of up to $1,000 per day of non-compliance and 30 days in jail.

The bill also allows for a registry of volunteers (hmmm, not medical personnel?) to be created and put into service in the event of an outbreak, and the commissioner will also be able to use volunteers from other states. Hmmm….somehow I missed this back in July, but Defense Secretary Robert Gates approved the use of the military in regional teams to assist civilian authorities in the event of a significant outbreak of H1N1 this fall. The military teams would be assigned to work with FEMA.

I guess I was too busy paying attention to the railroading of healthcare through the Senate before the summer recess to catch this information. But what is so scary is that these Massachusetts legislators have not only totally ignored the Constitution of the Constitution of the United States, they trampled on it. And Secretary Gates has opened wide the door for the use of Martial Law in Massachusetts to enforce this law if the Massachusetts health commissioner requests help.

Let’s get real here for a moment and take stock of what this means. This is a major intrusion by the government into personal decisions and onto private property. The entering of a private residence by the government’s militia to enforce a quarantine or force inoculation or medication of individuals… face it, it’s a blatant invasion of our privacy and is a toe-hold into stripping individuals of their rights to make their own personal choices and decisions? How can this happen in the US?

This bill hasn’t passed the Massachusetts House as yet, but will possibly be up for vote this week. I’m going to keep my eye on how this flies in Massachusetts, and you should as well. Surely some intelligent, Constitution-loving group in Massachusetts will contest this law as unconstitutional, as it certainly is.

To those of us outside of Massachusetts, I implore you, let’s make sure that this “Trojan Horse” type of legislation doesn’t infect our own states, or any similar legislation that removes our individual privacy rights. This is really important… REALLY important.

"Cadillac" Healthcare Plan Under Attack!

There was a time when the Cadillac was the automobile of choice among the wealthy and influential. In this healthcare debate the term “Cadillac” has been applied to some current healthcare plans. At first, it seemed the term was used primarily to refer to the healthcare plan that is only available to our Congress, the President, and fat-cats on Wall Street and offered the ultimate coverage possible with no out of pocket expenses. However, as the debate has continued, the so-called "Cadillac” plans appeared to change to pertain to expensive policies that some people have – which it turns out are blue-collar workers. It’s these plans are under threat of being taxed at a high rate some have estimated at 30%.

Since it was getting confusing, I wanted some clarity as to what a "Cadillac healthcare plan" was and did my own research to see what I could find out.

A "Cadillac" healthcare plan, sometimes called a "gold-plated" insurance plan, is one that can have expensive coverage where the insured may might have low deductibles and high benefits and even provide coverage for the most expensive treatments, but more often it is defined by the total cost of those premiums rather than what it might cost the insured for healthcare. Premiums for the "Cadillac" plan can be high for reasons other than cost of benefits. Some of these factors include the age, gender, and overall health status of the individual as well as regional healthcare costs.

In my research, I found that in employer-sponsored healthcare plans, the premiums paid by employees are based on the pooled risk. Risk means that there are older employees, or many employees who may have chronic illnesses, or a predominantly female workforce, or the company could be located in a region where healthcare costs are just more expensive. In these “risky” cases, people might pay "Cadillac" rates but have "clunker" coverage. So, some people are paying higher premiums for their health insurance simply because of where they live or who they work with.

Washington's answer (as it is with most issues) is to impose a tax on the premiums of healthcare coverage. But that would hurt millions of people: small businesses, those who work in small businesses, and those who are self-employed. If healthcare premiums are taxed, the working class, the majority of whom already live modestly, would be hit the hardest.

These proposed taxes on premiums is supposed to penalize the insurers, but as everyone knows insurers will likely “trickle down” those taxes to consumers in the way of higher deductibles or less coverage or a combination of both in order to recover the additional taxes they are required to pay. But taxing premiums is only one option being discussed. Some lawmakers are pushing to tax benefits, and a few are wanting to tax both. And should you wonder why – those healthcare taxes would raise billions upon billions of dollars for the government.

As healthcare costs have risen over the last several years, of course people have had to pay higher deductibles and higher premiums. The Kaiser Family Foundation says that this year, the total cost of the policy for an average family of four offered by employers was $13,375 annually.

As an example, let’s consider a blue-collar employee who has the opportunity to have healthcare coverage through an employer-sponsored plan for the employee and spouse only. The employee could choose a plan with low co-pays and low deductibles if they wanted to, but because their health is very good and the premiums among the lowest offered, they opted for a high deductible plan. That means that prescriptions and doctor visits will be paid out of pocket until a maximum out of pocket amount is reached … so basically, the policy covers “catastrophic” needs... at an annual cost of $12,168. This is certainly no “Cadillac” version.

However, under Senator Baucus' bill which sets the minimum threshold for taxing premiums at $8000 annually, assuming the “trickle down” theory comes into play, this couple would have to not only “absorb” the out of pocket expenses for prescriptions and doctor visits until their maximum out of pocket threshold is met, but as provided under the Baucus plan, they would incur an additional out of pocket expense of more than $1,400 annually in the taxes conveyed into increased deductibles or less coverage – or premium costs – oh, no! So, how will this help the working class? (The assumption here is that the approximately 1/3 of amount which exceeded the $8,000 minimum for the above example will be due in taxes and that will be passed on to insured.)

Companies who "self-insure” would be required to pay an “excise tax” which means they would most likely have to pass that tax on to their workers in the form of either higher premiums or lower wages. Employers who presently pay or contribute to “Cadillac” premiums and who have a sicker workforce may see costs go down since all of the proposals in Baucus’ bill prohibit insurers from charging higher rates based on health status of the workforce. But I wouldn’t count on that! More than likely regardless of “Cadillac” or “clunker” policy, it’s going to cost the working class more so that those who aren’t working can be covered. How’s that helping the majority of the population, the working middle class?

The goal of the Senator Baucus’ plan is twofold. One is to generate revenue to help pay for covering the uninsured (that would be those who aren’t working?) and the other is to make the more expensive plans less desirable. The minimum tax thresholds would increase as inflation rates goes up. Historically, health insurance costs generally increase faster than inflation. So, more plans, not just the “Cadillac” versions, but modest healthcare plans as well could end up being taxed. Again, how does this help the working class?

I haven’t taken up Obama’s policy of penalizing those who do not get and keep health insurance coverage. I’ll leave that for another time because that’s a huge can of worms. But I will say that after researching this healthcare reform issue, I'm wondering about one thing: the term “Cadillac” in reference to healthcare reform that our elected officials are using. Does this mean that the governmental plans for reform in healthcare will go the way of the reform in the automotive industry?

Monday, September 21, 2009

Obama Looks for Healthcare Breakthrough

It still is amazing to me how totally out of touch with the American people our elected officials in Washington are. It is as if the town hall events which took place during August and the huge numbers of protesters who marched in Washington in September just didn't exist to them. It's as if there weren’t major poll results on critical issues that document people’s opinions which are opposing the proposed healthcare and expressing grave concern about the budget deficit. (Check out Rasmussen's latest polls at

But the Obama administration and Congress are not recognizing the validity of the voices of the majority of Americans who have said "No" to Obamacare. It's obvious that Obama hasn't heard the people. This fact was evidenced in the content of his media blitz this past Sunday. In spite of losing ground in the healthcare debate, President Barack is pushing even harder for his reform by appearing on five major networks in one day, spouting much of the same rhetoric as he has all along. In one of the interviews, Obama said that his message is sometimes not “breaking through.” He said, “I think there have been times where I have said, ’I’ve got to step up my game in terms of talking to the American people about issues like health care.’”

Well, his position on healthcare reform been stated many times, and in many ways - sometimes with public option and sometimes with government run co-ops instead. Congress doesn’t appear to be listening either. Well, that's not exactly accurate. Nancy Pelosi seems to have heard something - even if they are the old voices in her head from the past! But the American people are informed. They have read the information for themselves in the HR3200 and Baucus bills. The result is they just don’t want it.

When Obama was asked by the interviewer if he had lost control of the health debate, Obama said, “Well, not so much lost control, but where I’ve said to myself, somehow I’m not breaking through.” Oh, no! I think he's wrong. I believe he got through alright - months ago! The American people have heard, and the American people have been speaking. His message has been rejected. But he isn't listening – to the people!

Further, he doesn't want to hear. He and his minions have their own agendas they are going to push through regardless of what the masses say. And, yes, they are playing the game of politics, and it’s well known that Democrats own the ball, bat, gloves, and they are even threatening to inappropriately apply obscure rules so they can “win” the game while ignoring the voices of any opposition.

The mandate to the President comes from the people; the President and Congress are not supposed to mandate what the people should do or have. That isn’t constitutional; it’s not democratic. It sounds more like the foundation for a dictatorship (especially when people who are not elected or constitutionally vetted are given policy making powers, but that’s another topic).

But apparently people-mandate isn’t the way this group in Washington operates. They all still appear to be going on with their business as usual, pushing their agendas through with no regard to the majority of the American people who have made their positions abundantly clear.

If I’m wrong, then I guess I obtained a skewed understanding of how things are supposed to work or was incorrectly taught during my government-run education, but I believe that when the American people speak, whether in town hall meetings or in protest rallies or express their opinions in polls, it's the responsibility of their elected representatives to listen. And in a democracy the majority is supposed to prevail. All of our elected officials are supposed to listen to the majority voice of the people – and our “elected officials” means the House, the Senate, and the President!

Sunday, September 20, 2009

A Tax or Not A Tax - That Is the Question!

OMG! I can't believe that I actually can agree with George Stephanopoulos on anything, but certainly in raising this question, I do. On ABC's This Week with George Stephanopoulos which aired today, George interviewed President Obama and addressed the cost of Obama's healthcare program, and in particular addressed the mandate that everyone must be covered or face penalties.

Here's the transcript from Stepanopoulos's Blog:

President Obama signaled in our interview that he was prepared to address some of the concerns raised by key Senator Jay Rockefeller, who called the Baucus bill a "big middle class tax increase" this week.

That means he'll support more subsidies for middle class families.

But in our most spirited exchange, the President refused to accept the argument that a mandate to buy health insurance is equivalent to a tax.

Here it is:

STEPHANOPOULOS: You were against the individual mandate...


STEPHANOPOULOS: ...during the campaign. Under this mandate, the government is forcing people to spend money, fining you if you don’t. How is that not a tax?

OBAMA: Well, hold on a second, George. Here -- here's what's happening. You and I are both paying $900, on average -- our families -- in higher premiums because of uncompensated care. Now what I've said is that if you can't afford health insurance, you certainly shouldn't be punished for that. That's just piling on. If, on the other hand, we're giving tax credits, we've set up an exchange, you are now part of a big pool, we've driven down the costs, we've done everything we can and you actually can afford health insurance, but you've just decided, you know what, I want to take my chances. And then you get hit by a bus and you and I have to pay for the emergency room care, that's...

STEPHANOPOULOS: That may be, but it's still a tax increase.

OBAMA: No. That's not true, George. The -- for us to say that you've got to take a responsibility to get health insurance is absolutely not a tax increase. What it's saying is, is that we're not going to have other people carrying your burdens for you anymore than the fact that right now everybody in America, just about, has to get auto insurance. Nobody considers that a tax increase. People say to themselves, that is a fair way to make sure that if you hit my car, that I'm not covering all the costs.

STEPHANOPOULOS: But it may be fair, it may be good public policy...

OBAMA: No, but -- but, George, you -- you can't just make up that language and decide that that's called a tax increase. Any...


OBAMA: What -- what -- if I -- if I say that right now your premiums are going to be going up by 5 or 8 or 10 percent next year and you say well, that's not a tax increase; but, on the other hand, if I say that I don't want to have to pay for you not carrying coverage even after I give you tax credits that make it affordable, then...

See the rest of the interview here:

What was also revealed here is a prime example of how Obama directly contradicts himself in the same interview or speech (wouldn't that be considered lying - hmmm???) and how he uses word games to disguise or confuse the issues that are raised.) However, as is clearly demonstrated in this video, when pressed for which point is the truth, Obama becomes defensive and tries to turn the tables.

When I looked up the online Merriam-Webster definition of "tax", here's what it says:

1 : to assess or determine judicially the amount of (costs in a court action)
2 : to levy a tax on
3: obsolete : to enter (a name) in a list
4 : charge, accuse also: censure
5 : to make onerous and rigorous demands on

It sure sounds like a tax! Please note, this mandate is not applicable only to those who make $250,000 or more; it's on everyone! Regardless what it's called, it's still a large amount of money that will be required from middle-class Americans, and in effect, removes yet another freedom of choice from these individuals.

There is something else to note as well. Obama says that his healthcare plan will not increase the national debt. Of course he's aware that millions of people won't be able to either pay for insurance or pay the penalty. So, as many people are now understanding, in order to insure those individuals, the government will have to cover that expense by cutting Social Security, Medicare, and/or other programs, then the cost to continue those programs will in turn have to be raised elsewhere - perhaps a "new mandated compliance" or "tax" increase or further cuts in services. It's a classic "rob Peter to pay Paul" - then stealing from Paul to pay John! And so on.

If you take this mandated healthcare coverage "tax" and add it to the proposed Cap and Trade taxes on energy-producing companies which, of course, will be filtered down to middle-class tax payers, what you have is a huge amount of money that will be removed from individuals' incomes. Most middle-class people live paycheck to paycheck now, so how will they be able to handle these increased "tax" burdens? The answer is they can't.

This run-away governmental reform/restructuring and unlimited spending has got to stop! Those who oppose this mandated coverage (and cost for non-compliance), and especially those who will be hit the hardest, had better wake up and smell the coffee, and come together in opposition of these "taxes" before they are forced into abject poverty. I urge everyone who is concerned to get educated on the issues, share the facts with friends, and make their opinions known to their Congressmen. This fast track that the Obama Administration is on has got to be slowed so that people can become aware of the issues and express their opinions to their representatives - and hold them accountable - or it will very soon be too late for America.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Who Is the Real Hate-monger?

It is absolutely absurd that people who oppose Obama's plans or the plans put forth by the liberals/progressives in Congress should be labeled as dangerous or that the opposition as a group should be called violent. In fact, the drama that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) performed this week in a press conference demonstrates the level to which some people will go to make their point - even an erroneous one. There is nothing on which to base the accusations she made. Nothing at all. What will happen is that the facts will undermine the efforts of the left and instead help bring about a coalescence among Independents and Republicans around one cause - and that is to salvage what is left of the republic we were given over two centuries ago.

In an attempt to elevate Ms. Pelosi's position in the political arena, Brent Budowsky of pundit's blogs today writes, "House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) correctly warns of violence and is now the most courageous standard-bearer for progressivism in America."

Oh really, where is there any danger or violence? Where is the proof? Where is the courage? What makes Speaker Pelosi courageous? As will be born out over time, Ms. Pelosi's position as Speaker will be challenged, if not lost, because even her own party is failing to rally around her. Polls have her in trouble back home in her district in California. Her "mis-speaking" (nice word for false allegations, isn't it?) on the issue of alledged CIA deception and "outright lies" to Congress, and now the "violence" from the "protesters" will continue to keep her in an unfavorable position. For her to label any opposition to what these uber-liberals are doing to take away American liberties as violent is beyond ridiculous and will only cause moderate democrats and independents to further distance themselves from the "progressives" who are pushing for such radical changes.

The danger lies with the "progressives" in that they want to create a new constitution, distribute wealth from hard workers to those who don't work, control every aspect of American life, down to and including fining people who have garage sales if they sell something the government deems unsafe - that is a law most of you didn't know existed! 

Therefore, here's the real danger - governmental intrusion into our everyday lives at every level! The real proof is in what legislation is being pushed through at super-sonic speed without anyone reading it, knowing fully what is in it, and debating it. The real courage is within the American people who have chosen to take to public arenas to express their feelings. By the way, shouting to be heard, carrying hand-made signs, and singing patriotic songs does not constitute a threat of violence! When as large a crowd gets together as did in Washington on 9/12 and yields not one arrest, there is no danger. There is no violence, Ms. Pelosi!

In Ms. Pelosi's little drama, she didn't give one example or instance of the rhetoric she's been hearing from the recent march or town halls that would equal the rhetoric and atmosphere of the instances in the 70s to which she referred. I rather doubt she really heard the people. But resorting to "emotional theatrics" may be her undoing. Just like when she accused the CIA of lying to Congress, she did not provide factual information to back up her claim.

However, it is appearing more and more like she wants to create the illusion that there are nefarious things going on with the movement she called "astroturf" as she did with the CIA. And again, it seems the proof has all been on the other side. For example, when you do things in the dark of night like slipping in pork spending to sections of legislation, or rewriting parts of bills just minutes before the vote - those are nefarious acts; those are dangerous, and those things are even cowardly.

As concerned citizens, it is important that in every instance where we write or speak or appear in public forums to express opposition to these radical changes that we do it in a manner that cannot result in derogatory or libelous statements from the "progressives"/liberals. We must stay calm, peaceful, yet forceful in our message. This type of action refutes their accusations and totally dismantles the leftist's arguments. They have no weapon to use against us, and therefore, they have no argument. They won't be able to label us as dangerous or hate-mongers or extremists. Instead, it will be revealed, as with Ms. Pelosi's charade this week, just who those people really are!

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Tea Partiers, Protestors, “Astroturf”, Patriots – or Whatever…

... by whatever name you know them, they are making a difference. They are being heard, regardless of the negative name-calling or condescending remarks made by the liberals in our government and in the media.

Our legislators ran into buzz-saws last month at the town halls, and they found out that the message directed to them was the same no matter what town or what state. "Listen to us! We don't want what you are trying to force on us!" Those legislators also found out that this "mob" was not of just one party, or of some right-wing extremist group, regardless of what Harry Reid or others said. That was really eye-opening to some of those legislators, I'm sure.

One thing that struck me about the huge crowd of 9-12ers in DC this past weekend was that while some expressed that they were "angry about...", their countenance was not of anger but of determination. They were determined to be heard, and were all the while peaceful as evidenced by the fact that there was not one single arrest at the demonstrations this weekend.

These Tea Party/"Astroturf"/9-12er protestors are quite different from the angry mobs of the last eight years where people pushed forward into opponents' faces with spit flying as they shouted derogatory and hateful things about the President, rather than stating their positions on issues. You remember those scenes? Some of those people are still "spitting" on nightly talk-shows, in their blogs, and elsewhere about the same old things - Bush this, Bush that!

But, rather than describing these Tea Partiers/"Astroturfers"/9-12ers as "angry", as the Democrats are declaring, or violent as Nancy Pelosi accuses, I would say that they are extremely concerned about the changes taking place in the country right now and the direction the present administration is taking this country. And they match that concern with determination to be heard as they speak out against these changes and in favor of restoring the government as it was outlined in the Constitution.

Thankfully, these people hold their beliefs sacred as did our founding fathers. That is something that is a marked difference from demonstrators of the past. Rallies, demonstrations, sit-ins - these were all based on ideologies and social issues of the day. Today, these Tea Parties and 9/12-er rallies and town hall meetings are about issues of the heart. These people are coming out to these gatherings to express what is in their heart - their love of country and their devotion to the principles upon which our country was founded. Dare I say that many of these people are of the same ilk as those who came together over 230 year ago to lay out a plan upon which to establish this country? I think that is a fair comparison. The fervor is there, their belief in God-granted liberties is there, their love of country is there, their belief that the government is of, by, and for the people, and not the other way around, is there. Their determination to prevail is there - first in their hearts and now in their actions.

So while most news reports paint a grim picture of this group of people, let my voice be among those who are declaring the truth. The truth is that what these people are doing with their Tea Parties, with their "astroturfing", with their town halls, and rallies - they are changing things in Washington! They are having an effect on lawmakers as is evidenced in several things that have happened lately. To enumerate a few of them: Van Jones - out; Congress' questioning the constitutionality of "czars" - beginning; Acorn - under investigation, and funding cut; Healthcare bill - in trouble, reform on slower track, and the list of effects is growing.

As I have said previously, don't mess with old vets and grannies; they've nothing to lose! They are driven by concern for their families' futures, and they are motivated by the excessive spending this government is doing and the underhanded way the Obama administration is organizing a radical "new" government. They have grown weary of the blatant lies and deceitfulness in Washington, which are now being exposed daily. They want accountability in our government. They want the same freedom from governmental control for their families that they and their parents enjoyed.

But what is heartening, too, for these older Tea Partiers/9-12ers is that many younger people are seeing that their futures are becoming more and more uncertain, their futures do not seem as bright as was promised during the campaign, and the path that this country has taken since the election will not take them to where they want to go. Rather, their futures are beginning to look more dismal as more and more of Obama's plans to reconstruct this country are revealed.

So if I were to sum all this up, I would say that there's a rumbling in the distance that is growing closer and closer, gaining in speed and intensity - and it's the rumble of change. Change? Yes, change. The kind of change people thought they were getting last fall. Change to once again live in the freedoms that were granted to us by our forefathers through our Constitution and paid for with their wealth and their very lives. Change from tyranny of Washington bureaucrats. Change from impoverishing the people of our nation for the sake of making a few people rich. Change from corruption to integrity and accountability.

To those who are Tea Partiers/"Astroturfers"/9-12ers, I say keep on believing. Fan the flame that burns within you. It's that flame that is catching on. It's that flame that has shown light upon a darkness that has been spread over our country. It's that flame that is making a difference!

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Obama Healthcare Plan - With Sugar Coating

When I was a child, my mother gave me some really horrible home remedy "medicine" for a childhood ailment. It was the most bitter, vile-tasting liquid on earth. So, her method of delivery was to put a few drops of it in a spoonful of granulated sugar and make me take it under the threat that my father would hold me down and force my mouth open if I didn't comply. Holding my nose because it also had an indescribably bad smell, I ultimately gave in and swallowed it. But even though there was much more sugar than liquid, it still was horrible tasting, and the sugar made it only a little easier to swallow. Why she felt her treatment was better for me than what the doctor would have prescribed was known only to her and a few others who believed in that type of home remedies.

This reminds me of what is going on with the Obamacare issue. There are portions - the drops of liquid - of the healthcare debate that are non-negotiables to the liberals in this proposed healthcare legislation. (And these are laid out in HR3200 which is a "pattern" piece of legislation from which everyone else is developing their own plans.) HR3200 spells out exactly what the far left is wanting to see in this healthcare reform package. So, it doesn't matter how much sugar-coating is done, it still has a very bad taste. I don't care how Obama shrouds the "liquid drops" of his universal healthcare in his carefully selected words, it still stinks. My real-life example may actually be a metaphor for what we will see if the Democrats proceed with the Ratification process.

I'm not against healthcare reform. I believe there are things that need to be changed about the healthcare system. I just differ with our legislators on what it is that needs to be changed. It makes more sense to me, as it does to many others, to reform the areas that are not working rather than dumping everything including the things that are working well in favor of a totally new healthcare system at a huge cost - regardless of what politicians say. I’m smart enough to see that if the “upfront” costs for the new plan don’t come directly from out of pocket expenses and insurance premiums, we still will have to make up the difference wherever cuts have been made. There’s nothing free in this world. Everything costs something!

There are legislators and doctors in Canada and in the UK who are saying that America's healthcare system is the best there is. To adopt the healthcare systems similar to these two countries is to go down the wrong path. They will tell you that this type of healthcare has failed in their countries. So, why are our politicians hell-bent on pushing this through. Simple answer. It's greed! It's a way to line their pockets, and a way to gain favor with the few at the expense of the many.

Below are some oversimplified suggestions that will lead to the kind of reform that I believe most Americans would prefer to see. At least it’s a place to start and which can be implemented without totally dismantling our present system. If these suggestions do not become part of the legislation, and Congress does create a new healthcare system, we can be assured we’ll have a socialistic plan that is of less quality than 90% of Americans presently have now

1.  Stop frivolous lawsuits and absurd settlements and jury awards.

2.  Shorten the patent terms for drug companies and open market to generic drug competition.

4.  Require an open playing field for health insurance companies across state lines.

4.  Make it possible to have affordable insurance offered on an individual basis rather than through employers.

5.  Establish fair parameters for covering people with pre-existing conditions.

The real problem with our healthcare problems is unadulterated greed, plain and simple. It’s not that we don’t have adequate quality care. In fact, 90% of Americans have good or excellent healthcare.  Here’s a thought: perhaps the other 10% could be considered "a group" and offered affordable group healthcare insurance for at least catastrophic coverage.

And again, why do you suppose our legislators don't listen to those who have experienced the type of healthcare that is being proposed when those people are saying it’s no good?  It’s called graft. It’s what is putting money in the pockets of our legislators and is what keeps them in power.  Washington, DC is never going to do anything about it on their own. Therefore, it’s up to the citizens to expose it and to keep attention on it until the pressure affects change.

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(Side Note: Americans didn't like the new Coca-Cola either! Remember what happened? If we who do not want this socialistic healthcare, we must stand strong and we will prevail!)

Friday, September 11, 2009

Cap and Trade Means Less Money In Your Pocket

Sometimes don't you just wonder if people really have their brains in gear before they put their mouths in motion? Sometimes some of the things that people say make you want to shake your own head and wonder if you’re really hearing what you think you’re hearing.

During the campaign, we heard Obama say that help was on the way for the hard-working middle class and the poor? He said that the rich, those are the upper income bracket - 5% of the population of the country - were going to carry the burden for the new programs in the Obama Plan to help the middle and lower-income families. We heard Obama say he wanted to take from the wealthy businesses and individuals and distribute their wealth to those who weren't so well off in order to "level the playing field" and to "make sure they have the same opportunities".

Weren't the other 95% of Americans also promised that they would not pay one dime in additional taxes? Hmmm. Do you recall the recent tax that was imposed on cigarettes? If you just look at the sheer volume of who is smoking cigarettes, you'll find that it is mostly the middle and lower income people who smoke. It's those who can least afford any additional taxes. Yet, it happened - on Obama's watch.

Taxes are going up. Hmmm. And it’s not only for those who make $250,000 or more! That income bracket breaking point keeps falling and falling. The last I heard, the breaking point was about half of that amount. Eventually, it will increase for everyone! Take a look at this:

Yep! He said it.

Regardless if Obama or Pelosi or Reid says it's not a tax on the people, the high taxes imposed on businesses like utilities will affect Americans the same as raising taxes directly. It’s all a word game and it doesn't take a rocket scientist to understand that such a tax increase on utilities companies must be passed on to customers. If you'll pardon this pun, I pray the light comes on in the brains of those who are considering voting for this Cap and Trade bill, that they'll see the harm it will do to every American citizen.

I’m convinced that if Obama had stuck to a scripted speech, he would have carefully cloaked his words on Cap and Trade in ambiguity so that it would have gone over the heads of most people. But instead he makes it abundantly clear what is going to happen if this legislation is passed. Everyone will have a significant increase in basic living expenses because it’s a huge, costly program. And who will it hurt the most? The 95% of American citizens who do not make $250,000. Even more, it will devastate families who are barely getting by right now, those who are stretched literally to the breaking point, or those who are falling further and further behind.

Obama’s plan was to tax the rich to pay for his programs. However, when real numbers are used, the cost seems to have been quite understated. And I heard an economist say that if you taxed the top 5% of income earners (those who make more than $250,000) at 100%, it wouldn’t pay for what his programs. (This was figured without the Obamacare costs and without the Cap and Trade costs.) So, as far as no additional taxes on 95% of Americans... hmmm.

And let me see if I can get this straight. TARP I and TARP II, the Stimulus Package, the Corporate Bailouts, et al….the interest of which is presently paid with borrowed money - and these loans are going to be paid back how? Our national debt is now at $12 trillion. And we’re borrowing this money hand over fist. Hmmm. So, that means the income level for taxing at the highest rate will have to be lowered. Further, the enormous national debt will be rolled over along with the interest and will continue to be paid through the next two or three generations - your kids, their kids, and so on.

Now that we know it's obvious that the President's promise of no additional taxes on the 95% of Americans who fall in the income brackets of less than $250,000 is at best hollow, what do we believe when the President speaks? That a very good question.
When Obama has his guard down and speaks without his beloved TOTUS (Teleprompter Of The United States) or prepared notes, he forgets about keeping the political-speak going (read: lies). That's how we found out about his Socialist plan for the US. Remember Joe, the plumber? That's what he has done on this Cap and Trade video -- he spoke the truth. He is not simply mis-speaking; he's actually revealing the things that lie ahead for Americans.

And as far as Obama’s scripted speeches go, he oftentimes will contradict himself. That makes me wonder if he has at least two speechwriters who do not compare notes before he delivers his speeches. It might be that the speech is tailored specifically to the particular audience's preferences - he does like a "fired-up" crowd! Or, perhaps it's the current political pressure from his political opponents or even from his political allies, Pelosi and Reid. Whichever it is, he does deliver different positions on the same issue in different speeches and this have been caught on tape on several occasions - just don’t look for them to be re-aired on mainstream media (MSM), I can guarantee you they won’t.

So, it is important that we pay close attention to what he actually says, especially when speaking without a teleprompter or notes, and watch what he does about important, society-changing issues, then you'll have a better picture of truth. Watch who Obama surrounds himself with and what they’re saying. Then all we will have do is put two and two together, connect the dots from Point A to Point B, to see the path that he’s pushing us down.

As a fiscal conservative, I am extremely bothered by this excessive spending and being in debt. I see hypocrisy in Obama slamming Bush for $1.3 trillion in deficit during the campaign, when in these few months he has run the national debt up to $12 trillion, and has made absolutely no effort to reign in spending. We’ve got to stop the spending, and we’ve got to return this country to fiscal sanity.

So as Obama speaks, it is important that we take these little glimpses into truth revealed and act on it. We need to make sure that others pay attention as well, so that we will not be ignorant about his intent concerning the future of this country.

As concerned citizens, educate yourselves on what is taking place in our government. Make sure you understand what is going on, that what is being said is not necessarily what is going down behind the scenes in the Congress. For the sake of the country, make your voices heard or perhaps very soon this country will find itself in a situation so dire that there will be no way out. What you do with the information you gain is up to you, but I would suggest that you gather proof for your position, and share it with everyone you know.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

ObamACORN = ObaMATH (a.k.a. the 2010 Census)

So, we’re going to have two of Obama’s pet organizations taking the 2010 Census - AmeriCorps and ACORN? Let me address the activities of one of those organizations and express why there should be some concern.

ACORN’s organizational practices are at minimum suspect. To say otherwise is to deny the evidence that is coming to light on several fronts. ACORN, however, is defending themselves against these allegations through public statements claiming that they had no involvement with illegal or unethical practices. Further, their statements claim that the blame lies with some of their employees, calling them “rogues”. This is an example of their obvious effort to divert attention away from their own responsibilities in these practices.

We have been given a wakeup call about how corrupt this organization is. A case in point -- in regards to voter fraud -- you may recall the 19-year-old young man who testified about being offered money and cigarettes to fill out 73 voter registration cards last year. He said that he had told the ACORN employee that he was already registered to vote in the 2008 election. In his testimony, he also said he did it because he just wanted to help out someone who claimed they needed a certain number of names in order to keep their job. He’s one individual, but his same story has been corroborated by others who admitted to filling out multiple forms to “help out” the ACORN employees who had been hired to gather names and signatures on voter registration forms.

If I were to give ACORN the benefit of doubt, I would say that at the bare minimum there has been improper training, or perhaps a complete lack of training of the individuals who are turned out to accumulate these signatures. But, it wasn’t only one individual gaining signatures this way, and it wasn’t only one individual filling out multiple forms. Take a look at this website and see for yourself.

So, this practice is widespread and has been going on for a while. It appears that with several people doing exactly the same thing in so many places that these unethical/illegal practices can only be proof that there is deliberation in ACORN’s practices to push through their agendas using any methods they can devise and get away with. And this has been confirmed by their own statements that the employees are “rogues” and it was their ideas to behave unethically or illegally. These employees have become nothing more to ACORN than pawns who are expendable if they become a threat “to the system”.

There is enough evidence of ACORN’s habitual wrongdoings that there will eventually be a full-fledged investigation of all their activities as well as an accountability for the billions in public funds they’re receiving -- if those who have an appreciation for fairness and transparency will demand it. Right now, though, those who benefit from ACORN’s practices are remaining mum on the issue. Are we surprised? So, at this point in time, we have to deal with the fact they’re not being investigated with the same fervor that other organizations which operate under a shadow of suspicion are, even those who have not been funded with public monies.

But we must remember that what is at issue here is the integrity of the laws of the land. What is at issue is equal justice regardless of political associations or affiliations. What is at issue is integrity of the system of democracy that we’ve enjoyed and which seems to be slipping from our grasp.

Getting people enrolled in the election process is a very solemn thing. The right to vote is a sacred thing to US citizens. As provided for in our Constitution, fair and honest elections are how the leadership of this country is to be determined, and we definitely need to know that the people in these leadership positions are truly the people that the public have been legally and duly elected. Stacking the deck in any way amounts to putting a corrupt leader in power through an illegal coup. It does not reflect the will of the majority and the result will not be healthy for the country.

The census information is just as important as voter registration. It is the tool by which congressional districts are drawn, how the numbers of congressional representatives are determined. It is how federal funding for educational programs, law enforcement, etc., will be allocated, and how economic policies are formulated. So, as we see the corruption in the way voter registration forms have been handled through ACORN’s practices, should we not be suspect of their handling of the 2010 Census? It is, therefore, very important that the census is conducted properly and honestly – for the good of ALL Americans.

It is crucial that the organizations which are responsible for gathering voter registrations or gathering census information should be above any suspicion of bias. Any individual who is collecting official information should be well-trained in the procedures and the importance of the accuracy of the information. It is vital that these companies and their employees should be screened carefully. It should be made abundantly clear to all that there are severe consequences for falsifying the information. And as with ACORN, the blame should not stop at the bottom rung; it needs to be pushed farther up the ladder - to the top if necessary. And for God’s sake, prosecutors should follow through if these companies or individuals fail to comply.

(Note: There is a discrepancy between what the “rogue employees” and the ACORN’s spokespeople say about how these individuals are paid. This is one of the things that definitely needs to be investigated.)

Monday, September 7, 2009

Obama's School Speech - Required Curriculum?

Want to get my blood boiling? Just tell me I am required to sit and listen to something I don't want to or that I object to - even more so, if you tell my that I have to subject my child to something I don't want to have them subjected to!

It is appalling that Florida’s Broward County Public Schools, one of the largest school districts in the nation, located in one of the most liberal counties in Florida, is requiring all BCPS children to be in attendance to listen to the President's school address or the students will be punished! That is outrageous; it's ludicrous, and if there was a stronger word that I could think of, I'd use it. It’s using strong-arm tactics; it’s coercion. That's a strong accusation, but how else can you view it?

Broward County parents should have the right to say what their children should or should not listen to especially if it may be something that is in direct opposition to the belief system under which they are raising their children.

The US Secretary of Education has said the President’s speech is voluntary. But the Superintendent of BCPS has decided to force their students to be in attendance for the speech. Rather than offering an alternative educational experience for children during the time the speech is being presented for those whose parents have objections, the superintendent threatens to punish the students who are not in attendance. In my opinion, this is a simplistic representation (though an isolated case) of how if you don't do what the government dictates, you will be punished through whatever means they can use. (Schools are an arm of the government, you know, since they control education in the US.) In this instance, it is a blatant attempt of the BCPS to control an outcome, to usurp parental authority by threatening the children with punishment.

President Obama's speech hasn't actually occurred yet, of course, so I can't say exactly what is in it. If the reports hold true, it's about trying to create more volunteerism, cleaning up the environment, saving energy, becoming more neighborly. I believe they took out the part where the students were to “help President Obama” under pressure from the public. And, oh yeah, at the last I believe they more stronglypromoted the staying in school and getting a good education part. So, in my opinion, if Obama keeps himself out of the speech, the “how can you help the President Obama” part, then as I understand what will be covered, the uproar should subside. But as responsible parents, we should be teaching our children to want to be good citizens anyway -- regardless of who is in office, not because of who is in office.

However, in regards to this article, the content of President Obama’s School Speech is not what is at issue. What is at issue is the concept of forcing students, especially students of very impressionable ages, to view a presentation which may contain objectionable content. This issue is similar to requiring children to participate in the pledge of allegiance to the flag. Children are not required to participate in classrooms where this is practiced. So, it begs the question why they should they be forced to participate in the President's school speech and any activities that come from the suggested curriculum if the parents disagree.

Obviously, children should never be forced to participate in something that is in opposition to their parent’s personal beliefs or face punishment -- or endure any reprisal. I must, therefore, side with the parents that believe they should have the say as to what their children participate in whether at school or elsewhere in the community. But more importantly, a parent should have the right to temporarily remove their child from the classroom if they so choose without the child receiving punishment. In fact, many do for various reasons with the understanding that the child will make up any class work that they miss or do some other project that is acceptable.

It would have been much wiser and made much more sense if the Broward County Public Schools had devised an alternative to sitting through the speech to accomplish similar educational goals, if the students were allowed to have some other educational activity, possibly a discussion on how to be a better citizen, how to conserve energy, how to volunteer, etc., or some kind of program that inspires them to think about these subjects, to share ideas, and perhaps even have the students create their own action plans for implementing some of their own ideas. That makes a lot more sense than alienating parents and punishing children, doesn't it?
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(Side note: Everything seems to come back to the hot topic of healthcare these days. So, would the philosophy of punishment for non-compliance hold true if you don't buy into the government-sponsored insurance coverage? If you don't accept the government's plan? You betcha. It’s in the HR 3200!)

Tea Parties - We Will Be Heard

Contrary to what liberals are saying about the "Tea Party" idea, the Tea Party rallies are events where genuinely concerned people can come together to express their frustration over excessive government spending, government takeover of private corporations, pervasive governmental intrusion into our very lives, and where they can demonstrate a genuine concern over the challenges to some of our individual freedoms.  And make no mistake, the people are "conservatives" who are Democrats, Independents, Republicans, and non-committed to any political party and from several racial backgrounds as well.

The Tea Party rally I just attended had quite a crowd for a small state; I'd estimate it was close to 1,500 people.  I spent an hour and a half reading all the handmade signs and t-shirts that I could.  No one wore swastikas or carried signs with racial slurs. There was nothing hateful about the rally. Instead, I saw signs that said things like "I fought for my country once, and I'll do it again!"  "I've seen your change, now change it back."  "No Obamacare."  "Haste Makes Waste"  "Term Limits Now!" "Stop spending my grandchildren's money!" "Silent Majority - No Longer Silent".  Some were catchy like "I'm an anti-socialist" or "Astroturf made in [name of state]; Anger manufactured in Washington" and other signs expressing their desire for responsible spending, imposing term limits on Congress, the requirement of the teaching of the Constitution in public schools, as well as for Congress and the President to return to the Constitution as the ultimate guide writing and applying all laws.

All pretty innocuous, I'd say.  But regardless of what was printed on their signs or shirts, their belief in their Constitutional rights to be heard is what brought them all to one central place to make a statement.  And if I were to boil it all down to a few simple statements, it would be these:  President Obama, we don't like path to socialism you have us going down and we are determined to go no further.  Congress, since you work for us, we demand you listen to us.  Preserve our individual freedoms now! 

Obviously, since we elected our US Representatives and Senators to represent us (their home states) in Washington DC, it is natural for us to expect them to listen to us whether they are at home or when we contact their Washington offices, and then to express our wishes on the floor of the House and Senate or in committee meetings and to protect our interests.  Unfortunately, many of them have truly forgotten that. Here's a prime example of that:

So, there you have it. Their constituents have become a vehicle to get elected, to gain power, and then they are no longer necessary because "everybody knows that it's hard to get an incumbent out of office." Perhaps that cliché' has long past. Ya think? We shall see. We shall see.

But in Washington, here's what is happening. Our representatives are hearing some things from their colleagues that they think has merit (or is a good deal that they can get in on or that they can line their pockets with or trade favors for), they conduct "legislative swap-meets", in order to gain support on issues that would profit them in some way. It's has become abundantly apparent that in Washington DC, and specifically in the halls of Congress, it's all about special interests groups, or how much money and favors change hands in order to get certain legislation passed, how it is going to benefit their own personal wealth, or give them position and/or power on committees, and so on. If you don't believe that's what it's all about, just look at how many lobbyists there are there in DC!

An example of what goes on might look something like this: If you help me get this bill passed, I'll support you in getting that widget manufacturing company to locate in your state and the company will pay out a bonus of a gazillion dollars which we will split. Or, if you help me get this legislation passed, I'll see that you get on such and such committee. But it starts back home. State legislators vote to lower taxes or give tax breaks/credits or make other conciliatory arrangements to lure business to their state. That brings jobs - a good thing - and it brings revenue in taxes - not a bad thing - but most importantly from a Tea Party perspective is the backroom dealings that go on that ultimately line the pockets of politicians who are sponsoring that company's relocation - a bad thing! There is corruption at every level of government beginning even in municipal government.

It is imperative that House and Senate members remember that they are sent Washington with a mandate from their voters, and should not come back home to lecture their constituents on what they have doing in Washington "for their good". Who, in the world, gave them the idea that they would get some epiphany while in Washington, that the socialistic ideas of a particular group of people, or the special interests of certain lobbyists would be best for their people back home?

Do they believe these conservatives from all political backgrounds are so stupid as to not know what has been going on for years and years on end? No, I don't think that's it - at least all of it. Rather, I think that they know that we were lulled into lethargy, perhaps feeling that we couldn't do anything to change the system - a feeling of hopelessness and oftentimes despair.

But those of us who are attending these Tea Parties do know what's going on, we have become well informed, and we have grown extremely tired of politics as usual, and we're not going to sit quietly by and let the erosion of our freedoms continue any more. We're going to start at ground zero and make a difference. We are going to "get in their faces", if necessary, and remind all of our elected officials that they work on our behalf, that we elected them to do a job for us. It is not their job to take office so they could barter and trade their votes on programs and policies and to line their pockets. They need to be reminded that people who elected them want to what they were mandated to do, to protect their Constitutional rights, to protect their interests and to represent them before the House and Senate. We certainly did not send our legislators to change the Constitution, to gain personal wealth while relieving us of our own, or to convert this nation to socialism or fascism or communism.

We Tea Party goers value our freedoms, we value free enterprise, and we value the system that allowed a bi-racial kid to rise to the rank of President of the United States without the benefit of wealth or birthright. That is what needs to be stressed -- how, under the freedoms that are afforded to the American people under the US Constitution, that can happen for anyone born under those liberties that we have enjoyed for over 200 years. Abraham Lincoln used to be our example for a poor, self-educated person's ability to become the leader of the free world. But today, we have a modern day model who had humble beginnings, managed to get a good education, and run and ascend to the highest office in the land. And in regard to Obama's School Speech to be delivered on Tuesday, that is all the politics that needs to be shared with elementary students.

But this same President seems intent on bringing us as quickly as possible to socialism. At every turn, he stresses socialistic policy where the hardest workers are required to share with those who don't put forth equal effort, or won't work at all. I'm not talking about people who cannot work. There are government programs (though improperly run) and charities in existence to assist those with their needs. But to say that if we work very hard and make a very good living and provide a comfortable life for our families, that we will be penalized by having to dole out part of our means to others who don't put forth equal effort. Or if we start a business and it finally becomes successful, that we'll have to pay a high tax level which will be diverted to the poor (if it really ever reaches them). That only encourages lazy, non-productive individuals who are content to just "exist" to sit back with hands out. It discourages those like Obama with humble beginnings to reach for a higher plateau than they were born to. And there are lots of people out there that don't have any drive or ambition in life.

So, Tea Parties are popping up with a unified agenda to do whatever they can peacefully and lawfully to protect our Constitutional rights to enjoy life, liberty, and to pursue happiness. They're people who are simply concerned citizens, concerned over what they see happening to their country. Some are "wealthy" small business people, but most are middle class, blue-collar workers who have worked very hard for years and years to get to some level of comfortable living and who pay their fair share of taxes. Most of them have never been political before, never made a public stance on any issue, but they have now come together to form a coalition of grassroots patriots who will be a force to be reckoned in 2010 and 2012 and thereafter.

What they believe and what they're feeling - what's motivating them is captured in The Tea Party Anthem. Enjoy!