Archive for November, 2010

Portland Terrorist Bomber

30 Nov

You may have heard that a planned terrorist bombing in Portland, OR was recently thwarted by the FBI.  The attack was to have taken place during the lighting of the Christmas (dare I use that inflammatory word?) tree at Pioneer Square in downtown Portland.  This is a much heralded event that is attended my hundreds, perhaps even thousands of men, women and children.

You may not remember that a few years ago, the Portland City Council, in its self proclaimed infinite wisdom, passed a dictate precluding the Portland Police from working with the FBI on terrorist investigations.  Now isn’t that just like Portland?

It’s a good thing that the FBI didn’t just pack up and leave town to let Portland fend for itself.  Why?  Because, as it turned out it was that boycotted FBI effort that prevented many, many Portlanders from getting killed or maimed.

Were some of Portland’s enlightened citizens appreciative of the work done by the FBI?  Hardly.  While they conclude it might be nice that the bomb didn’t go off, it was dastardly of the FBI to have gotten involved the way they did.  In their view the FBI simply taught the (should I say alleged?) assailant how to go about building and exploding a bomb.  They apparently feel that without the FBI’s “alleged” instruction, the bomber would have given up on his desire to kill as many people as possibly could.  I guess they thought he would just go back to school or join a choir somewhere.

They latest word from the Portland higher ups is that they might reconsider the ban.  It might better serve their political sensibilities to cooperate now.  After all, President Bush is no longer in office.


Get Control of Government*

29 Nov

Congress must immediately reestablish legislative accountability.

The first step is that each and every congressperson needs to review and understand the Constitution.  Particular interest should be paid to the limitations placed on government.

Congress needs to make sure that the public knows what it is up to.  Not day by day, but what major issues it is working on.

It should do away with earmarks.  I mean the kind of earmarks that are added to bills  in the dead of night without any notice or hearing.  Certain specific issues brought forth by a member of congress can be funded as long are they are contained in the bill.  That is not to imply that every congressperson should have something in every bill.

Congress has an oversight responsibility to make sure that the Executive Branch also respects the Constitution.  This may mean it will need to override rules that make law rather than implement the laws.  Rule making must be limited to those necessary to add clarity to the law, and not expand the law.

This oversight should include reining in executive orders when necessary.

To some degree it must take corrective action when the Supreme Court goes astray.

The Constitution does a good job of spelling out the limitations on government.  Those limitations are put there to maximize the liberty and freedom of individuals.  Each law, each executive rule, and certain limitations spelled out by the Courts eats away at our individual freedoms.  Individual freedom is of utmost importance.  After all our government is there to serve us, not dictate to us.

*The basis for many of my comments can be found on the Heritage Foundation’s, “The Checklist.”   But most of them are purely good common sense.  Check out


Protect America

27 Nov

We need a strong defense system for America.  We must be prepared for a possible “Big War,” though one probably isn’t likely anytime soon.  China looms out there and they can’t be trusted.

The Defense Department needs to know that it will have a “Budget Pipeline” of around $720 billion per year (to be adjusted for inflation).  But, it must be more efficient and be able to eliminate or reduce programs that are no longer cost effective.  Saved money can be reinvested to modernize and develop the our next-generation equipment.

Upcoming wars like Iraq and Afghanistan required closer coordination and cooperation between the Defense, State, CIA and Homeland Security departments.  If we judiciously apply our might, many of these events can be prevented.

We must always remember that our Constitution lays out the ground rules, but those ground rules are not a prescription to commit suicide.  The Department of Justice has to account for the nature of terrorism and act accordingly in prosecuting enemy combatants.  The offenses committed by these people are acts of war, not crimes.

Protecting America from within and without is job one for our government.  Let’s remember that and move forward with vigor.

*The basis for many of my comments can be found on the Heritage Foundation’s, “The Checklist.”   But most of them are purely good common sense.  Check out


The First of the Big Ten Amendments

25 Nov

Amendment 1 – Freedom of Religion, Press, Expression. Ratified 12/15/1791. Note

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.*

I think that we are letting political correctness move us far adrift from the intent of this very important amendment.  The guideline now seems to be: if you hurt anyone’s feelings, it is taboo.  On the other hand, just because one has a right to say something, it doesn’t mean one should say it.

There are surely important things like falsely yelling fire in a movie theater that should be forbidden because one’s life might be put in jeopardy by being trampled.  The line that shouldn’t be crossed is very thin and very difficult to define.  It must leave many judges with several sleepless night trying to figure out the right answer.

I feel we’ve gone way off base on the religious aspect.  Just read what many of the Founding Fathers had to say about God.  By far most of them believed there should not be a State sponsored religion, but other than that there is total freedom to express one’s beliefs, one way or the other.

*The amendment above comes directly from the “U.S. Constitution Online” website: The comments related to this website were written by Stephen J.J. Mount.  You can read about him at:

While I don’t necessarily agree with him on every point, I think this is a very good website for you to look at.


Stop the Obama Tax Hikes*

22 Nov

The past election sent a pretty clear message: Stay out of our pockets.  From my perspective, a slight increase in our taxes (after Bush’s cuts are made permanent) might be alright some time in the future.  Quite some time in the future.  Not now.  It might be necessary in order to make reasoned adjustments in, let’s say our defense system or selected infrastructure improvements.

But Congress has not worked that way for years.  Its modus-operandi seemed to be–let us spend everything we have, then increase each program, then ask for higher taxes.

Right now it is important to, first of all, make the Bush tax cuts permanent.  This will certainly make the economy grow and will create more jobs.

More real jobs, not just jobs saved.  How phony is the claim that the Stimulus Package saved a few million jobs?  On what basis is such a number derived?  More importantly perhaps is to see which industries haven’t been making all the layoffs.  Surprise, surprise.  Seems it government jobs that have been saved.  And with an increase of 16,000 plus jobs in the IRS to develop the ObamaCare police, it’s little wonder that at least some of their claims might be substantiated.

Let us continually remind our elected officials of the need to be fiscally sound.  The word of the day should be “CUT” not “TAX.”

*The basis for many of my comments can be found on the Heritage Foundation’s, “The Checklist.”   But most of them are purely good common sense.  Check out


Repeal ObamaCare*

20 Nov

Now for something that will really make this country sick if not repealed: ObamaCare

It may not be practical to expect ObamaCare to be repealed as long as Obama remains in office.  But, Congress can send him a clear message.  Based on his interpretation of the results of the last election, it is pretty clear that he will veto anything that even whiffs of repeal or even any alteration beyond a “tweak.”  The message of that election could be no clearer.  The majority of our citizens do not want that healthcare monstrosity to live any longer.

Now to be clear there is a need to address many of the major deficiencies in the current  delivery system of our healthcare.   However, the solution must be measured and cost effective.  And, it should not be tethered to a government takeover.

So what can be done?

Well, first of all, Congress must undertake a careful, thoughtful legislative process to make practical adjustments to Obama’s plan.  These adjustments have to allow for the free market to provide affordable, effective health care choices.  But above all, this process must be open to the public’s review and scrutiny.  We can not tolerate a repeat of the despicable process used to enact the current law.

It should be done in bite sized chunks.  Each chunk should be a part of a well thought out package the addresses the fundamental goals we need to achieve.   Another two thousand plus page monstrosity would certainly fail.

We must destroy the current, budget busting, indeed, nation destroying law.  And do it soon.

On to the next step.

*The basis for many of my comments can be found on the Heritage Foundation’s, “The Checklist.”   But most of them are purely good common sense.  Check out


Ratification of the Convention

18 Nov

Art. 7

The Ratification of the Conventions of nine States, shall be sufficient for the Establishment of this Constitution between the States so ratifying the Same.

done in Convention by the Unanimous Consent of the States present the Seventeenth Day of September in the Year of our Lord one thousand seven hundred and Eighty seven and of the Independence of the United States of America the Twelfth In witness whereof We have hereunto subscribed our Names,

GO WASHINGTON–Presidt. and deputy from Virginia

[Signed also by the deputies of twelve States.]


Geo: Read
Gunning Bedford jun
John Dickinson
Richard Bassett
Jaco: Broom


James MCHenry
Dan of ST ThoS. Jenifer
DanL Carroll.


John Blair–
James Madison Jr.

North Carolina

WM Blount
RichD. Dobbs Spaight.
Hu Williamson

South Carolina

J. Rutledge
Charles 1ACotesworth Pinckney
Charles Pinckney
Pierce Butler.


William Few
Abr Baldwin

New Hampshire

John Langdon
Nicholas Gilman


Nathaniel Gorham
Rufus King

WM. SamL. Johnson
Roger Sherman

New York

Alexander Hamilton

New Jersey

Wil: Livingston
David Brearley.
WM. Paterson.
Jona: Dayton


B Franklin
Thomas Mifflin
RobT Morris
Geo. Clymer
ThoS. FitzSimons
Jared Ingersoll
James Wilson.
Gouv Morris

Attest William Jackson Secretary

Note that Rhode Island was not represented.

So there you have it.  Now let’s look at the Amendments and see what we can see.



15 Nov

It doesn’t take a genius to figure out that if one spends more than they take in they will be facing a deficit.  I’m sure all of our political leaders know that.  Then why do they disregard the obvious?

Well, on the emotional side (that which the Democrats fall back on) we can’t let anyone suffer, ego, let’s cure their ills regardless of the impact on our deficit.  How often have you heard the President say something like: The Republicans don’t want to give healthcare to those that don’t already have it.  Or, aren’t they mean by not wanting to insure people with pre-existing conditions?

He, and other Dems, purposely misstates the case.  They know it isn’t the true, but it sounds good.  The Republicans do their fair share of misstating as well.  Also, because it sounds good.

The President continually opines that “there must be some areas we can all agree to.”  True.  Probably most of the goals contained in the Healthcare Law are common ground.  It’s the how to do it and the when to do it where the conflicts arise.

If there can be agreement on the issues surrounding the deficit then some progress might be made.  It will take some time to delve into them to see if some common ground.  At least some acceptably agreed upon compromise might be hammered out.

In the meantime we shouldn’t go hell bent for leather over the cliff.  Or, to suggest a variation of the President’s oft referred to analogy: Let’s put the car in “N” instead of either “D” or “R”.  Why propel ourselves over the cliff?

We can make a great start by first freezing the budget, then spend some time cutting a big chunk out of it.  Our discretionary spending should certainly be no more than 2010 levels (2004 levels would be better).

We should also cut at least $170 billion from the federal budget for fiscal year 2012.  This would be a good first step.  But wait, there’s more.  Congress must immediately survey our unobligated balances of all appropriations made in the past four years and should reclaim these unspent taxpayer funds and use them to reduce the deficit.

That’s step one.   Step two next.

*The basis for many of my comments can be found on the Heritage Foundation’s, “The Checklist.”   But most of them are purely good common sense.  Check out


Transitioning from the old to the new

11 Nov

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Article 6:

All Debts contracted and Engagements entered into, before the Adoption of this Constitution, shall be as valid against the United States under this Constitution, as under the Confederation.

This Constitution, and the Laws of the United States which shall be made in Pursuance thereof; and all Treaties made, or which shall be made, under the Authority of the United States, shall be the supreme Law of the Land; and the Judges in every State shall be bound thereby, any Thing in the Constitution or Laws of any State to the Contrary notwithstanding.

The Senators and Representatives before mentioned, and the Members of the several State Legislatures, and all executive and judicial Officers, both of the United States and of the several States, shall be bound by Oath or Affirmation, to support this Constitution; but no religious Test shall ever be required as a Qualification to any Office or public Trust under the United States.

This article makes sure that the current debts, treaties, and laws not in conflict with the new Constitution are carried forward.

It makes clear that no religious test to qualify for office will be allowed.  There have been times in the past when nominees didn’t get far in the political process.   For example, it took years before a Catholic was elected president.

One last article coming up next time.  Then, let’s see what we can see.


The Principles

06 Nov

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The United States of American has become a nation of laws, holding citizens above government.  It’s been said that the greater the emphasis on man, the smaller the emphasis on government.  In other words, to hold and maintain a maximum amount of freedom, governmental power must be held to an absolute minimum.

That is the legacy our founding father’s memorialized by enacting a Constitution which limits government’s power and maximizes individual freedom.  Year by year that freedom has been eroded away, court ruling by court ruling; law by law; and regulation by regulation.

While it is necessary to amend the Constitution from time to time in order to adjust to our changing environment, these changes must be made by a process outlined in the Constitution.  In doing so, I believe, we should be guided by five core principles

Maximize Free Enterprise,

Minimize the Power and Size of Federal and local Government,

Maximize Individual Freedom,

Maintain Traditional American Values, and

Maintain a Strong National Defense.

In the following days I will be suggesting ways to apply these principles to correct some of the most serious problems we are facing today.

These will take strong, fearless actions by our elected officials and some necessary belt tightening by each citizen.  This won’t be easy because adjustments to major entitlement programs will be required.  Frankly, this will be very scary…..but very necessary.

Our nation has faced tough times of potential disaster before.  When our citizens united the result was a stronger people and nation.  We’ve done it before, God willing, we can and will do it again.

Stay tuned.


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