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Picking Sides

As the government shutdown enters into its third week, the pundits are ramping up the blame game by pointing fingers at everyone on capitol hill.  The blogosphere is repleat with opinions from republican supporters as well as democrat opiners.  These bloggers’ blame is directed along party lines.  Democrats point the finger at the house and specifically at Ted Cruz while the republican bloggers blame the senate/president.  The solution, they all say, is for the other side to cave in, surrender and capitulate.

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Face the Nation host Bob Sheaffer questioned in his Sunday commentary why the two sides couldn’t set aside party differences and compromise for the good of the country.  What he and the bloggers fail to consider is that neither side can compromise and neither side alone is at fault for the shutdown.
Obama and the senate have committed to the ACA (Obamacare) to the degree that if they agree to back off or even delay implementation, they concede their whole position on the issue.  It would be like admitting they were wrong or misled the public when they forced the law through.  It would unwind the whole law, which is what the republicans want.
Ted Cruz and the republicans cannot submit a budget that funds the ACA because to do so would validate the law and make it next to impossible to repeal without winning both the Senate and the White House in 2016, and by that time, it would cause more problems to repeal it.  Also, a failure to decapitate the ACA would cause more problems in the 2014 elections and could conceivably cost the Republicans the House.  They have to gut it here, or may not be able to at all.
The two sides are at opposite ends and to not win is to lose.  This issue is a pass/fail situation because it is a yes/no question.  Fund it or not.  Accept a budget without ACA or not.  The House did try to compromise by kicking the funding down the curb until next year, but that was rejected out of hand by the Senate.  The president has said repeatedly that he will not sign any budget that does not fund the ACA, even if it is accepted by the Senate.
This is a classic stalemate and in the end, it will boil down to who blinks first and that can only be determined by the party on whom the people put the most pressure.  This is a matter for the people.  If the people really want the ACA, then they should call the house republicans and tell them to back down.  If voters believe that the ACA is a bad deal and shouldn’t be law, they should contact the president and the senate democrats and tell them to accept the house budget proposal.
That having been said, there are some things to consider.  The fact that it is called a law does not mean it has to be funded, especially considering the way with which it was enacted and given the almost unanimous opposition it is generating from businesses and the medical community.  Financial expert Dave Ramsey blasted the ACA because, despite the administration’s claims to the contrary, the law will raise premiums for almost every currently insured person in the country and it will cost every person who currently pays taxes.  In fact, the only people who will benefit from the ACA are the uninsured and those who do not pay taxes.  Forbes magazine identified a limitation with the ACA in that when signing up for the exchange, the process runs a credit check before revealing the options to the applicant.  Why run a credit check if not to determine who can get coverage?
So, if you think the House is holding America hostage just to defund a law that should be enacted, then call or text them and tell them to fund it.  If you think that the President is doing his best to push America into his dream of the utopia of liberalism, then tweet or email him and tell him to let the issue go and accept the budget proposal from the House.  The government shutdown will continue until the issue is resolved.  Both sides are to blame for the shutdown and it can only be ended when one of them gives in and that can only happen when the people have their voices heard.

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Working Hard or….

There is nothing much more satisfying than falling into a nice comfortable recliner after coming home from a hard day’s work.  Sleep often comes best after an exhausting day, but even then, no one wants to spend every day sweating out eight or more gruelling hours.  There is a saying that gets bandied around a lot in the work place: “Work smarter, not harder.”  This implies that by using one’s brain and thinking through a problem, one might be able to expend less energy in accomplishing one’s task.  It sounds logical and laudable.  However, in an appearance on Huckabee, Dirty Jobs host Michael Rowe suggested that one problem in society is that no one is willing to work harder; that everyone is too busy trying to figure out ways to get out of hard work.  He suggests that society has deemed hard work as something to be avoided at all costs.  He is both right and wrong in this assertion, and part of the problem has nothing to do with the jobs at hand.  It has to do with the way we value the labor in question.

Doing the jobs no one else wants or will do is one of the loudest arguments for amnesty for illegal immigrants.   The flaw in that logic is that we end up rewarding criminals for doing undesirable jobs.  What we should be doing is altering the public perception of those jobs.  The perception that a specific job is “beneath” a person is an old one, rooted in the class hierarchy, but young people today seem to think most jobs are beneath them.  This is really what is driving our unstable economy and driving inflation.

So many young people are entering the workplace these days expecting to get the six-figure salary and corner office right out of college.  No one is just starting out expecting to work their way up anymore.  Once was a time when young people (boys mostly) would apprentice with a professional (often a father or family member) to learn the business from the ground up.  These people would start by doing menial labor until they were ready to take on more responsibility.  This process would take years, decades even, before the apprentice was considered a craftsman and even longer before he could claim to be a master of the craft.

wageToday, no one stays at a job for more than two to five years anymore, before moving on to a higher paying job elsewhere.  This practice artificially inflates their salary and leads to higher labor costs which in turn leads to higher consumer costs.  Now the pure capitalists will say that if a person is successful in elevating his earning potential by jumping from job to job in this fashion, then the market is driving the salary and that is what he is worth.  Fine, I can concede that point in a purely free market system.  But the deliterious effects are still the same.

Another problem is that in job jumping, there is no loyalty built up between the worker and the manager.  Management comes to see the worker as a faceless commodity and the worker sees the job as a stepping stone.  There is no relationship built and that can hurt both parties in the long run. Once upon a time, a person was hired by a company young and they grew up and grew in seniority, rank and salary in that same company until they retired and were given a gold watch as a send off.  People knew their coworkers names and everyone attended retirement parties, because they were like a family.  No one wants to stick around anymore, leaving companies as nameless, faceless entities with revolving door staffing.

It also means that no one wants to start out at the bottom.  When I was young, I got a job at 15 years old as a buss boy in Bud’s Cafeteria in Humble, Texas.  It was dirty work and not at all a fun way to spend one’s summer.  That was the first of many such jobs at fast-food restaurants I would endure for my high school years.  I never thought I was “better” than that at the time.  It was expected that a young man of 16 should get a part time job to fill his days during the summer.  It was one way of keeping him (me) out of trouble, but it was also–more importantly–a way of teaching him (me) a work ethic.  Of course, most of my work ethic was drilled into me during my 9 years in the employ of my Uncle Sam; an apprenticeship that taught me many things I still use to this day.The problem as I see it is that young people are being coddled by their parents and even by society; telling them that they are too special for menial labor.  There is still a need for people to dig ditches, to sweep streets, to pick up trash and any number of other so-called “blue collar” manual labor jobs.  No one wants these jobs because people think the jobs are not worthy of the effort.  This is not true.  These job need to be done, and what better person to do them than a young person needing to learn the value of a hard day’s work?

Ted Cruz, the presumptive candidate for the republican nomination for president in 2016, spoke at a breakfast for a real estate conference and said that he noticed that there were no hispanic pan-handlers.  His point was that hispanics are willing to do almost any work to earn money to take care of their needs.  I concur, for the most part. While I have seen at least one hispanic pan-handler, most hispanics who do not have a regular job are gathered at specific spots around town looking for day labor.  This feeds the liberal view that illegal aliens are willing to do jobs that citizens are unwilling to do.

While this idea gains approval from liberals who think their kids are too good for the jobs, it goes to show that there are jobs to be had if only people would accept them.  Fast food jobs abound.  These are entry level, low skill, manual labor jobs that are perfect for high school students trying to learn a work ethic.  These jobs are not career builders and should not be viewed as a means to self-sufficiency.  No one could ever expect to support a family on minimum wage burger flipping at a fast food establishment.  Those jobs are supposed to be part time.  It keeps high school kids employed and keeps the menu prices low.  Washington is trying to raise the minimum wage to more than $15 an hour.  This will only serve to either put fast food restaurants and small businesses out of business or at best, raise the price of goods and services to a cost prohibitive level.   On August 28th, many fast food workers across the country participated in an organized, non-union strike for higher wages.  During the news coverage, it was reported that Texas has the largest percentage of low-pay fast food jobs in the country.  These workers evidently take exception to being paid low wages.  The part that they seem to forget is that they agreed to those wages when they were hired.

The wage for a low-skill, manual labor job has to be low in comparison to other jobs.  A burger flipper cannot be paid the same was as an office manager.  It just doesn’t make sense.  To increase these wages would inflate the cost of goods and services across the entire economy.  A big mac could easily cost ten dollars or more.  At those prices, people would stop patronizing those businesses and they would go bankrupt, all because workers think the lowest job should be paid enough to support a family.  The minimum wage is not supposed to be a “living wage.”  It is supposed to help young people learn job skills at an entry level part time job while going to school.  They can even continue to work while going to college to learn the careers that can pay enough to support a family.

Not every person is cut out for college.  Not every person has the talents to be the next CEO or hedge fund manager.  There are some people who are uniquely predisposed to flipping burgers or digging ditches and would find the challenge of any more complicated job too great.  I know these people.  I’ve met them.  I’ve taught some of them.  Liberals tend to think every person should go to college.  Imagine the world if everyone had a college education!  To the liberal, this would be utopia, since everyone would then be indoctrinated with the liberal mindset and think like they do.  This doesn’t work however, because some people just can’t handle college.  Or thinking for that matter.
We need to understand that some people will always have to do the menial work, the hard work-a-day labor, the blue collar stuff that young people now think is beneath them.  It shouldn’t be illegal aliens (yes, I went there and said that–it’s what they are), it should be high school kids trying to develop a work ethic that will lead to a career that they can hold onto for more than two years.  Perhaps they can even work at one job long enough to earn a gold watch someday.  This could be a job where they bosses actually remember the names of their employees because they stayed around long enough and worked hard enough to be memorable.  Unfortunately while people know hard work should be valued, they seem to think it should be valued by someone else.

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By Force of Arms

In a world where violence is king, one man must make a difference.  One man against the world.  One man with the resolve to do what must be done.  One man with an idea that will solve every problem and make the world take notice.  One man with a gun.
This may sound like a promo for the latest Arnold Schwarzenegger or Bruce Willis action flick, but it may just as well have been the thoughts going through the head of Adam Lanza that Friday morning as he advanced on the locked doors of Sandy Hook Elementary school in Newtown, Connecticut.  The disturbed 20-year-old son of a divorced family stole his mother’s guns, killed her and then went to the elementary school and opened fire on the children and faculty, killing 20 kids and six adults before taking his own life.
He left no note and as yet police have found no evidence of a motive on the boy’s computer or personal effects.  It is likely the reason for the shootings will remain a mystery for some time, maybe forever.  Unfortunately, in the absence of any real facts in the case, speculation runs rampant.
The media is rounding up the usual list of specialists, psychologists, sociologists and pundits to craft reasons for the massacre.  They, to a person, are pointing fingers at any number of things to blame except the man himself.  Adam Lanza pulled the trigger.  No one else was there, according to police reports.  No one else had their hand on the weapons or the trigger.  No one had a hold of his arm forcing him to do it.  Blame him.
Instead, we try to understand what made the person commit the heinous act.  What outside force was at work, because surely no person would do this of his or her own accord.  It must be the fault of some outside force.  We hear how violent video games are.  We hear how bad movies are.  We hear how malicious today’s popular music is.  There are people crying for video games to be banned, movies to be mandated to exclude violence and sex and music to be policed.  None of these measures will work, mind you.  We also hear another cry that is howled anytime a shooting occurs.
We hear that guns should be outlawed.
Again.
As if the .223 Bushmaster rifle Lanza stole from his dead mother somehow floated through the halls of the school, discharging randomly and killing those kids was the true culprit.  Adam wasn’t even there.  The magazines loaded themselves.  The bullets jumped out of the box of their own accord.  It simply must be the gun’s fault.  But that is ludicrous.  Guns don’t do anything without a person making it happen.  A bullet will not fire from a rifle without a finger pulling a trigger.
Some gun control advocates have claimed that if Adam Lanza had not had access to these guns, those kids would be alive today.  This sounds like what Bob Costas said last month after Kansas  City Chief’s linebacker Jovan Belcher shot and killed his girlfriend and himself.  Neither statement is likely to be true.  Of course, there is no way of knowing, but if a person has murder in the heart, the choice of weapon does not matter.  Belcher probably would have used a knife, or a car.  Lanza may have use a bomb.  Either way, someone would have ended up dead.
When Lanza was planning his assault, he knew that killing was wrong.  He knew that it was illegal.  He knew that, if he was caught, he was going to be arrested and charged with a crime.  He knew this.  He was so aware of this fact, that he decided to kill himself rather than face justice.  If it had been illegal for him to buy a gun (which, by the way, he didn’t–he stole them from his mother) it would not have changed his mind.  If he did not steal his mother’s–if she had locked them away in an impenetrable vault–he would have stolen someone else’s guns.  If he did not have a semi-automatic rifle, we would have simply cocked the gun more.  He would have found a way.
Forbidding guns would not have averted this tragedy, but arming the teachers might have.
In a world where violence is king, one teacher can make a difference.  One teacher with a gun to protect the kids she has sworn to protect.  This might make a would-be killer think twice about bringing guns to school.  It is interesting to note that several school districts are considering arming teachers now.  I am not certain this is the right way to go, but I like it better than soldiers in the hallways of our public schools.
There is one answer.  The only way to ensure an end to gun violence is to end guns.  Ban then all.  No exceptions.  Cops get no more than tazers.  Soldiers get swords and bows and arrows.  No guns for anyone.  If there exists a single gun, it will find its way into the hands of a criminal eventually.  If the criminals have guns, the people must as well.  This is why we have armed police.  The government is charged with providing for the general welfare of the people and they do that by policing the criminals.
If we are to arm our police and soldiers, we also must arm our citizenry.  If only the state has guns, there is nothing to protect the citizens from abuses of the state.  This thinking may seem seditious to some, but this is exactly what the founding fathers envisioned when drafting the second amendment to the constitution.  They built a nation out of revolution.  They threw off the oppressive yoke of a dictatorship by force of arms and in doing so, knew that such oppression could rear its ugly head again.  If it does, the citizenry have to have the same type of arms as does the state.
“A well regulated militia, being necessary to the security of the state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.”  There is no stipulation in that sentence for what type of arms.  There is no wording on how many rounds of ammo one can have.  No phrasing about magazines or caliber or gauge are included.
We cannot, in good conscience, surrender our right as defined in the constitution to the state just because some crazy person shot up an elementary school…or a mall or a high school, a college campus or a political fundraiser.  Fortunately, these attacks are not common.  In fact, they fall into the realm of the unlikely.  It is unlikely that someone will enter your office and blow away the secretarial pool.  Not impossible…but unlikely.  Crazy people do crazy things and the results can be tragic, but we cannot spend our lives huddling our children close in constant fear of the unlikely.  What we can do is arm ourselves just in case.  If there is another Adam Lanza hearing his own movie promo playing in his head planning on attacking some public place and killing innocent bystanders, better to have someone sane and trained in the proper use of a weapon thinking that one man with a gun can make a difference.

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Get Out The Vote And ID

The Pennsylvania state court reaffirmed a ballot measure passed by voters in the last election that established voter ID requirements for the state.  The law, similar to one passed in ten states,  requires any citizen voting in an election to provide a state issued photo ID card as proof of identity.  Proponents of the law claim that this will cut down on voter fraud.  Opponents claim that that the measure will disenfranchise certain voters such as the elderly and the poor.
Some opponents, including Vice-President Joe Biden, claim that requiring ID is tantamount to Jim Crow era poll taxes.  In that time, citizens were required to pay a tax months in advance of an election and then bring the receipt of the tax to the polls to validate their ability to vote.  This led to the 24th amendment to the constitution which states: The right of citizens of the United States to vote in any primary or other election for President or Vice President, for electors for President or Vice President, or for Senator or Representative in Congress, shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or any State by reason of failure to pay any poll tax or other tax.
The issue, however, is not whether the ID requirement is a tax.  It is obviously not a tax since ID cards are free.  It is that, in this day and age, identity theft is rampant and people are required to show ID at almost EVERY interaction the average person experiences.  To get a library card, to see the doctor, to drive a car, to pay by credit card, to GET a credit card, to open a bank account, to get a job, to do almost anything you have to have some form of proof of identification.  Why do we allow people to vote for the highest office in the land without requiring the same?  In fact, in Texas and many other states, voters have to register to vote and have a voter registration card or ID to show at the polls.  How is requiring ID any different?  It is not.  At least not for legitimate voters.
Liberal news media trotted out a 92 year old woman who wept that she had voted in every election since she was allowed to vote, but that she feared she would not be allowed to vote in this one because she does not have photo ID and doesn’t think she can afford one.  How does she cash her social security checks without photo ID?  She does not drive, so she does not have a driver’s license, but the law does not specify a driver’s license.  It specifies photo ID.  In Pennsylvania, state issued ID cards are free.
That is not good enough for opponents of the measure.  They claim that the process of getting the free card would require the infirm or poor to travel across the city and spend money getting the necessary documentation such as birth certificates or social security records, etc. needed for the ID card.  They insist that this is an “unfair burden” and an obstruction to the electoral process. 
Having photo ID is simply the cost of doing business in today’s economy.  If you don’t work, if you don’t drive, if you don’t shop, you still have to interact with some business, individual or agency at some point and at that point, you will need ID.
There is no point in not having it.
Most media reports admit that the most vocal opponents of the measure are democrats because most individuals affected by the measure are the poor and elderly–who tend to vote democrat.  What this means is that Democrats are not interested in voter rights, rather they want to reinforce the impression that the voting is a right that republicans want to take away for the poor and elderly.
Voting is not a right.
Voting is a responsibility.
It is a privilege afforded to those who live up to the responsibility of voting, much like performing jury duty.  The democrats are well known for bussing the poor and infirm to the polling stations so that they can vote for the democratic candidate.  I would wager that, of all those who are brought to polling stations by “get out the vote” busses–funded by liberal democrat leaning groups–almost none vote for conservative or republican candidates or issues.
Now these same groups are calling voter ID a poll tax.  Why?  Because their busses are filled with people with no ID.  I am not alleging that they participate in voter fraud, but there have been allegations of these busses making rounds of polling stations, and who’s to say the same people don’t vote in several districts?  Just food for thought.  Why else are they so adamant about not having accountability in the polling process?
A CBS news report claimed that there have been fewer than 70 convictions of voter fraud in the past decade.  While that may be true, that just means that other incidences of fraud were not discovered or caught or they were over looked.  If the poor and elderly were required to present photo ID at the polls, opponents feel that it might discourage them from coming to vote and that means fewer votes for democrats.  I find it difficult to be concerned about that.
ID cards are free in most states.  To obtain one would require some effort on the part of the citizen.  This is how it should be.  Voting is a responsibility, a privilege afforded to citizens for active participation in government.  If it is not worth the effort to comply with the requirements, don’t complain about not getting the government you want.
The mantra of democracy is one man, one vote.  For our admittedly flawed system to come close to working, we need to ensure that one man gets only one vote.  Voter ID helps with this and the Pennsylvania State Judge, Robert Simpson reaffirmed this by saying the law is “a reasonable, non-discriminatory, non-severe burden when viewed in the broader context of widespread use photo ID in everyday life.”

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Get To Work!

What do you do for a living? This has long been a standard icebreaker when starting conversations with new acquaintances and it was usually an easy one. Now more and more people don’t have a satisfactory answer to that otherwise benign question; or at least an answer they feel comfortable admitting. The unemployment rate continues to hover near 10 percent nationwide, even though many employers are hiring. The situation is so grim that a grumble has begun among the people that something must be done, and they are demanding that the Federal government be the one to do something.

This is not a surprising reaction. Whenever something goes wrong, any human is going to expect someone to do something; someone in authority—someone other than us. The sad fact it that there is no single authority that can fix this problem. It is not up to the government to create jobs.

President Obama has been drawing a lot of criticism and blame for the current jobs market. Some of the problem is his fault, but not all. His responsibility in this mess is that he created policies that drove businesses to stop spending, thus cutting jobs. That is a problem he can address by reversing some of his “Big Government” policies and letting the economy heal itself.

But no one should be looking to Washington or Obama to create jobs. It is not the government’s job to create jobs. Job creation has always been and should always be the purview of business. A business owner determines how many people the company needs working for them in order to maximize revenue and maintain productivity. Too few employees depletes morale and hurts productivity, too many employees dilute compensation and benefits and erode profit. The business owner needs to determine the number of employees needed and the compensation levels, not the government.

Similarly, the government is not supposed to create jobs out of thin air. Creating an office in order to create jobs is a waste of taxpayer dollars and hurts the economy rather than helping it, since it is invariably paid for with tax increases to the working class. Infrastructure jobs are only temporary and while that may boost employment figures in the short term, it does nothing to help the economy in the long run.

With his public approval rating the lowest it has ever been, Obama feels the pressure to do something to get the public support back—especially heading into the campaign season. He pulls his old “stimulus plan” off the shelf—the same one that was defeated because it would cost too much of the tax payer—rebrands it a “Jobs Bill” and expects congress to approve it so “America can get back to work.”

This bill was defeated in the senate—again—and now Obama is pointing fingers at senate republicans claiming that they do not want American to have jobs. This is ludicrous. No one wants high unemployment. Conservatives want people to go back to work, but they don’t want the government to pay for it. Much of our current economic mess is because of too much government spending. Throwing more money at it will only make it worse. What sense does it make to try to put out a gasoline fire with more gasoline? The answer is to relax some of the regulations on business that the liberals put in place so that business owners feel comfortable hiring more people. Create an environment that will foster new business development, not more taxes and more regulations that make entrepreneurs think twice about starting a new business venture. Give business room to grow, and more jobs will sprout as a result.

People want jobs. They want to work. But people need to look to business for job, not Uncle Sam. The last thing any sane person should want is the federal government writing their paycheck with money garnered from taxing others’ checks. That is just one more example of socialism. Look for a job that generates a paycheck that is not dependant on other people’s paychecks, but rather on the success of the business in question. Then people can start answering that polite ice breaker “what do you do for a living” with an answer full of pride of self respect.

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It’s Not About Race

There is one fundamental facet of the American psyche that will never change no matter how “enlightened” or “progressive” we as a people may think we are. When something happens or someone has an idea that runs contrary to our own fundamental belief structure, someone will cry “racist” or “sexist” or “dummy-ist” to denigrate our ideas. This happens far too often to be anything other than empirical data and can not be dismissed. The latest wave of idiocity is from the (of course) liberals who cannot understand why some people refuse to believe Obama is a natural born citizen of the United States. Those who continue to question and doubt the president are labeled racist.

While I have my own conspiracy theories, I am not here to debate Obama’s citizenship. What gets me is that those in the far left have labeled anyone who questions or doubts Obama’s citizenship a “birther,” so it adds a stigma and makes that person seem fanatical and less worthy of notice. “Oh, don’t listen to him; he’s a birther!” To further emphasize this stigma, the liberals lump all those “tea-partiers” into the “birther” category as well; giving the media a two-fer in referencing the right as radicals.

With the release of what the White House is calling Obama’s “Official” long-form birth certificate, the liberals seem to consider the matter shut while the skeptics are still asking questions. One individual noted that Obama’s father was listed as the more politically correct “African” when—in 1961—he would have been listed as “negro.” Others question the validity of the document since it took so long to produce that it could have been created and names of supporters added that could be called as witnesses. These lingering questions and doubts are being lumped into a different category—the same one that liberals like to use to describe anyone who doesn’t like Obama—Racist.

“There is a real deep-seated and vicious racism at work here in terms of trying to de-legitimate the president,” Peniel Joseph, a professor of history at Tufts University said in an interview.

“This is more than just a conspiracy,” Joseph added. “I think this is fundamentally connected to a conception of white supremacist democracy in this country.”

Say what?

This country just elected the first non-white president in its history. Couple that with the number of non-Caucasian governors and legislators and judges and I think the edge of the racist argument is getting pretty dull. It was only 50 years ago that there were no people of color in any political positions in this country. Now Caucasians are about to become the minority.

While there are still some people in the country with racist attitudes, it is not racism that fuels the anti-Obama rhetoric by the tea-party and others. It is the fact that the man is and always has been woefully inadequate to the job to which he was elected. It is that the circumstances around the birth certificate do not answer all questions and in fact raise new ones.

Columnist Michael Tomasky wrote for The Guardian Wednesday that the birther conspiracy “had to be the only explanation for how this black man got to the White House.” He added: “And if you think race isn’t what this is about at its core, ask yourself if there would even be a birther conspiracy if Barack Obama were white and named Bart Oberstar. If you think there would be, you are delusional.”

I challenge that assertion. If Brad Pitt were in the same position and faced the same questions of legitimacy of his birth certificate, I would be one of the first to call for an investigation. Again, it doesn’t matter to me that Obama is black. What matters is that he never—not even once—during his campaign laid out a plan for the “change” he promised. Had he done so, I doubt he would have even come close to winning. No one would have supported Obamacare in an election (in fact, no one did in congress either). If he had mentioned his plan to do any of the things his administration has done, he would have handed the presidency to McCain. In his obfuscation, he has demonstrated an inherent dishonesty. He has proved himself so dishonest that it is easy to believe he forged a birth certificate and bribed the staff in Hawaii.

I am no racist. I do not wear the label of birther, but I doubt the birth certificate, and I continue to question and doubt anything and everything about the man sitting in the White House.

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Any Choice is the Better Choice

You are an idiot. This is what the liberals and socialists are telling you. They would have us all believe that they know far better than we what is good and healthy and will better our lives. The mayor of Boston and a Chicago area school principal are on a crusade to improve the diets of their charges by limiting the food choices people have at their disposals.

Boston Mayor Thomas Merino said his decision to ban sodas at all city buildings and departments, including Fenway Park, is an attempt to curb the city’s obesity rates to “create a civic environment that makes the healthier choice the easier choice in people’s lives, whether it’s schools, work sites, or other places in the community.” While this notion sounds laudable—that of making the healthier choice an easier choice—the implementation of it is tantamount to tyranny. Mayor Merino is basically making enjoying a coke and a smile a criminal activity on city property.

Elsa Carmona, a public school principal in Chicago, in an effort to “protect students from their own unhealthy food choices,” has deemed that school kids cannot bring lunches from home. Parents are now forced to buy the school lunch for their children. Anyone who has eaten in a school cafeteria knows that the food—despite claims that it is healthy—is a bland mass of processed, second-hand ingredients provided by the lowest bidder and assembled by rejects from fast food restaurant kitchens.

There is nothing wrong with wanting people to be healthy. We all want our loved ones around us for a long time and we often encourage healthy choices by our friends and family. Of course the problem with choice is that for every good choice, there is at least one bad choice. As children, our parents limit our choices as we learn in order to protect us. As we get older and wiser, they allow more choices, but guide our decisions with suggestions and incentives. This continues until we are adults and are capable of making decisions on our own. This is a right. This is a freedom. This is liberty.

Liberals are now telling us that we are no better than children and we need our choices limited to protect us from ourselves. They began by banning smoking. Now they wish to ban soft drinks and home-packed lunches. A parent in Chicago cannot determine what their children eat at school. A Red Sox fan can’t enjoy a soda with their Cracker Jack during the game.

Last year, San Francisco banned the inclusion of toys in happy meals (in reality they banned marketing fast food to children) in an effort to curb childhood obesity. The liberals think that since people cannot be counted upon to make the smart decision (as determined by the liberals), then the decision must be make for them. This is not freedom. This is tyranny. This is one more step toward the death of our nation.

Of course, we also need to take responsibility for the consequences of our decisions. We cannot blame our obesity on the availability of fast food or soda, but on our own decision to eat it. We cannot blame our bad health on the makers of the products we decide to use, but on ourselves for using them. If we continue to dodge personal responsibility, we give the liberals ammunition to make these decisions for us.

People need to stop being satisfied with hearing about these abominations of policy on the news and pay attention to city councils and state legislatures as well as the federal government in order to prevent these idiotic notions from coming to pass. Demand your representative government rights. Call your councilmen and senators and show them that we are adults and can make decisions for ourselves.

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