Archive for September, 2016

On the wing

30 Sep

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The Tenth Amendment

29 Sep

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The founders wanted “We The People” to run the show. They did not want a federal government to have control over most of what we do.

The closer control lies to “We The People” the better. Establishing strong states and severely limiting the power of the central government provided the answer.

The Founders chose to guarantee that power resided in the states by putting each state on equal ground regardless of the number of people within its boundaries. That meant “the big” states could not run roughshod over the smaller, more rural states.

To assure that states retained power over the feds, the Constitution…originally…required state legislatures (not the people) to select each of its two senators. This meant that the desires of the states held reign.

The Seventeenth Amendment changed all of that. It put selecting our Federal senators in the hands of the general electorate.

While that might sound like a good thing, it actually severely weakened the states. State legislators have a much better handle on determining the impact that federal legislation might have on their state. The Senate really reflected the whims of the states and put a brake to “unfunded mandates.”

Forcing “unfunded mandates” down the throats of their state could better be held in check. Something like Obama Care would have never seen the light of day had that change not been made.

While I don’t like the Seventeenth Amendment very much, at least it changed the Constitution the way it was intended to be changed. Not by judicial decree or presidential executive order.

Okay, it’s time to get back to the upcoming election. And why it matters so much. That’s next.


My Photographs

26 Sep

For the past year and a half I’ve ventured into the land of photography. It’s fun but my learning curve isn’t the best.

Just to get something posted, here’s a shot showing the small lake at my retirement community.



I’ll post others from time to time.


Now, the Second Amendment

26 Sep

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Guns! Seems you either love them or hate them. The Second Amendment is on the side of those that love them.

What to do about them is the subject of national debate. “Common Sense” reform is bandied about; particularly after a gun related tragedy occurs.

But there is a whole lot of wishful thinking going on out there.

Guns, like cars, aren’t really killers. Either of them might be an instrument of death. But usually someone has to be operating them.

Both can be very valuable if used properly. But extremely deadly if not.

Depending on where you live, you may have a very different idea of why others living around you either should or shouldn’t be allowed to posses one.

If you live in a very densely populated area you may very well rather that nobody has one. After all, that’s what taxi’s, buses, metro lines and police are for. And not many are hunters or rely on a gun for eating or protection.

On the other hand if you live out in the woods you may just want one, perhaps even need one. If your 911 calls take an hour or two for an officer to show up, you just might need a way to defend yourself, or your property.

Many people use guns to put food on their tables. And some use them for recreation.

Two major exceptions though. Nearly all criminals and more than a few mentally deranged individuals want to have a gun. Even though we might not like it they can easily find a way to get one. No law, no matter how well designed will prevent them from obtaining one.

Hence, the wishful thinking. Taking a gun away from a law-abiding citizen does absolutely nothing to keep guns out of the hands of those bent on harming others.

If there is a way to ban tornadoes and hurricanes from attacking us we just might be able to figure out a way to deal with our gun issues. Until then, let’s just agree to disagree. Okay?

Sadly, I didn’t think so.

On to the Tenth Amendment next.


First Things First—Our Foundation

22 Sep

Good to have you back. Let’s look at the bedrock of guiding principles set out by our Founders. They are very important. But, we have strayed away from them during the past twenty-five years. And it’s getting worse at an ever-increasing pace.We must rededicate ourselves to these principles before it is too late. Let’s review them:

  • A representative democracy,
  • A respect for individual and civil liberties,
  • A respect for human rights,
  • A belief in the equality of men and women,
  • And, a tolerance of different worldviews and religious beliefs.

You might argue that Secretary Clinton subscribes to the same thoughts. But you would be wrong. I really believe that.

Her acknowledged means of securing these values is totally different than the more conservative approach prescribed by the Founders.

Our Constitution lays out a much better approach. That is: maximize individual freedom by limiting government to specific areas of responsibilities.

Who we select to run our country for the next four to eight years will dictate the fundamental course of our human events.

Just what is at stake as “We the People” step into that voting booth and check off our picks in November? Well, let’s start with the fate of our Constitution itself.

Let us look at three of the amendments contained in the Bill of Rights: the First, Second and Tenth. Each of these has been severely threatened in the last several years.

The First Amendment

The First Amendment states: “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.”

Jaded interpretations of our religious liberties eat away at the foundation upon which this great nation was founded. The values highlighted in a Judeo-Christian believe system has served us well over the years.

Many other religions subscribe to these values as well. However there are some that don’t.

If a religion won’t allow its followers to pledge allegiance to the Untied States, then let them visit, but not stay. Certainly not become citizens of this great country.

But as long as they align with keeping our nation strong, safe and free from religious persecution, we should welcome them. 

Did The Founders Screw Up?

If the Founders made a major blunder it was that they should also have referenced the Supreme Court and the President, as well as Congress, in the First amendment.

Of late the Court hasn’t felt constrained from establishing new laws now and again. President Obama has even has made up a few new laws on his own. Rightfully, that’s Congress’s job.

Members of the Supreme Court need a refresher on just what their duties are. Am I being a bit presumptuous? Perhaps, but that’s my take on what the Constitution dictates.

The beauty of the First Amendment is that it prevents government from adopting a particular religion. Government can’t force a particular religion on us. Nor can any individual or religious doctrine demand any other individual or our country to subscribe to its beliefs or practices.

It is clear our Founders knew what it meant to live under the threat of not going along with a religion sponsored by its government. They wanted to make sure that our citizens aren’t required to practice any particular religious doctrine or to have no religion at all if they so choose.

What about freedom of speech? Wow, has this concept been pummeled lately. I’ll admit that many people have stretched the boundaries of just what that freedom means.

A little common sense, common courtesy, and sensitivity would help. Perhaps some thicker skin would also help. But to abolish certain words, or allow only select people who use them goes against the grain of what our Founders prescribed.

In the old days: “Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me” made sense. Today, maybe not so much. I’m just saying—let’s not get carried away.

On to the Second Amendment next time. See you then.


A slippery slope too far…

19 Sep

Our two major political parties are badly split on one very important issue. Just how should our Constitution dictate the way we live our lives?

The Republicans believe the principles laid out by our founding fathers should determine how we behave as a nation. The democrats prefer that things have changed so much that these principles no longer apply.

One Supreme Court ruling after another have sided with the liberals. Each moving us further away from the individual freedom and limited government the Founders drafted for us. Our nation is careening down that “proverbial slippery slope” at the speed of a full-blown avalanche. One could say we are quivering precariously on the very edge of no return.

I think we are smashing headlong toward a catastrophic dismantling of our constitutionally guaranteed way of life. A way that has served us well for over two hundred years.

Individual freedom is being ripped from our grasp almost daily. Liberal doses of Political Correctness and ideological, rather than constitutionally based Supreme Court rulings have inched us closer to the edge. Feckless leadership by our recent presidents and many of our so-called congressional leaders push us even closer.

“We the People” have a choice to make in November. That choice has never been clearer.

Will we pick continued reliance on our government for supplying our basic needs? Or will we shift back toward self-reliance leaving the government to safeguard only the poor, the weak and the needy?

Do we want an all-powerful central government rather than control closer to “We the People?” These are the questions that voters will answer in November.

Tune out now if you are frightened by the thought of individual responsibility. Or by the thought that you, not the government, are your “brother’s keeper.”

If you fall in this camp reading on will only infuriate you. Kind of like I react reading the progressive gibberish spewed out by the liberal blogosphere. Except my language isn’t so crass.

If you want a country that is truly diverse, not just racially and ethnically, then continue reading. Explore the possibility of a country blessed with a healthy dose of diversity of thought. In other words, a county strengthened by a melting pot not unlike that which made this country truly exceptional.

If you’re inclining toward where I’m heading, hang in there. See you on my next post.


In the beginning…there was…

15 Sep

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“We the People of the United States…do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.”

This Constitution guaranteed “We the People” individual liberty and freedom. Its fundamental principles, if followed, will protect us from an oppressive government. Never again did our Founders want their children or grandchildren to live under a government that rules over us, dictating our every move.

But will this guarantee last forever? So long as we stick to the principles outlined therein we will be OK..

The founders felt an all-powerful government was not in the best interest of the people. They provided us a Constitution that protects us against such a government. That protection will remain as long as we want it.

But if we get sloppy and neglect its principles we can forfeit that protection. And it can be lost is less than a generation.

The Constitution set out the principles that guards against man’s natural tendency to seek power. Carefully crafted “checks and balances” allows the pendulum of power to swing back and forth. Thus assuring that power-hungry politicians could never steal power from “We the People.”

Our Constitution places political power squarely on the shoulders of “We the People.” The bedrock of power plainly and unmistakably rests with “We the People.”

After “We The People,” the power shifts to the individual states. Always keeping control as close to “We the People” as possible.

Finally, just to make sure that the central government’s power is kept in check; the Constitution specifically limits its power. Only after those activities the states and local government can’t effectively handle does power shift to the central government. Things like providing for our nation’s defense and regulation of immigration into our country clearly belong at the federal level.

These aren’t living, changeable principles. No, they are carved in stone. Should we violate them, we do so at our peril.

That’s not to say that things can’t change as time marches on. The Constitution provides a method to make adjustments when appropriate.

Several changes have been made from time to time. One of those amendments (XVIII) was reversed when “We The People” decided a mistake was made.

I think at least one other Amendment should be reversed (XVII) as it takes away the power the states should have over the federal government.

Perhaps one other (XVI) should be modified to require a vote of “We the People” as well as Congress before imposing income taxes on us. After all wasn’t “taxation without representation” one of the reasons we fought to break away from England?

I hardly think that only five or six hundred people adequately represent three to four hundred million people. Do you? Yet that is exactly how it works in this day and age. Sometime as few as five can mess things up.

So today we are struggling to see just how we proceed as a nation. Clearly, it is simply not possible for us to continue to think that we can continue on as we have the past twenty or so years. Now is the time to fish or cut bait.

That is what we’ll explore in the next few articles. It should be interesting.



12 Sep

Never in the course of human events does so much depend on what you do on or before the night of November 7, 2016. You have the opportunity to express your opinion upon the direction this nation will embark.

Now I don’t care if you care what I care about. But if you’re interested to find out…well here’s how.

I plan to post a number of my views over the next few weeks. Maybe longer if I think my investment of time might be of interest to you. Most posts might follow a pre-determined plan of attack. Others might be interjected in response to unfolding events.

Just so you know up front (though it won’t take long to figure out), I’m a Republican…a Conservative Republican at that.

This I will guarantee: These blogs will contain language suitable for most any family. My thoughts, on the other hand, will be decidedly of a conservative nature. So if your family can’t comfortably delve into that realm of diversity, then you best just skip over any urge to click on the link to my website.

I encourage your thoughts on my posts. I will pass them along, but the words you use matter. They must be family friendly or they’ll end up in the “Spam” trash.

So, if you’re ready, check out my next post in a few days.

Oh, regardless of whether or not you choose to come along with me on this journey, do resolve to VOTE. It is truly important. VERY IMPORTANT! Please VOTE!


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