Friday, January 21, 2011

70th anniversary of the JEEP and more rambling

70th anniversary of the JEEP!!

As the new Congress sets out to trek this country back to the top of the mountain, with rhetoric of fiscal spending and by finding a new patriotic tune for these new leaders to follow, one has to wonder why on earth are they wasting money on the reading of the US Constitution before the introduction of each bill on the Congressional floor?

It will cost taxpayers close to $150,000 to read the US Constitution with each bill. Some may say “This is something we should’ve been doing all along” but when it comes to turning a corner and saving a few bucks, this is not necessary. I can understand at the beginning of each session after a break but then again, according to the Congressional calendar, there are quite a few breaks. However, every dollar needs to be added up and as much as I love our US Constitution, this is unnecessary.

Coming up in a few short weeks will be the Bicentennial birthday of President Ronald Reagan, the House of Representative leaders have asked the members to come forth onto the House floor and speak about Ronald Reagan and his legacy. Do we not have more troubling things to complete then to do this?

It will cost taxpayers close to $50,000 when a member of Congress will stand at the podium and speak of President Reagan on his bicentennial birthday.

There is no doubt in my mind that President Ronald Reagan was a great man, in and out of politics, well liked by even his most ardent enemy, and one of the Top 5 Presidents in our history. But I say this is something that can be done by a member of both parties at the beginning of the daily session.

President Reagan’s legacy seems to grow more and more, but he did have his faults that his followers fail to mention. Yes, President Reagan was the right man and the right time leading our country out of the dreaded 70’s that many believe to be the darkest time of the 1900’s, equal to that of the Great Depression. A black eye with Vietnam War, Watergate, a disgraced President, a cumbersome President and the awkward simpleton President, fuel embargos, a disastrous hostage rescue are just the top of it.

However, President Reagan helped defeat the Russian bear with overspending on defense, which led to Dick Cheney’s plan of dissecting and downsizing our military a few years after President Reagan’s tenure was over.

Now many blame democrats for the downsizing of our military even in today’s world. Secretary Gates released his plans to cut funding on unnecessary projects, streamline other initiatives and those very same plans that Limbaugh, Beck, Hannity and so on trample upon. Yet no one hears of the 23 GOP leaders and Tea Party members that want more Defense spending cuts, but the media will only allow us to hear about the Democratic plan and link it to the mythical radical Muslim President Obama.

Americans for Tax Reform leader Grover Norquist, Freedomworks CEO Matt Kibbe, Rep. John Campbell (R-Ca), Rep. Kevin Brady (R-Tx), and even former Gov. Mike Huckabee are amongst the "23" calling for larger defense spending cuts, yet the mantra states "it's a Democratic agenda to cut our defense."

Did everyone forget or not listen when Pres. George W. Bush underfunded the health care of our returning soldiers by $2 billion? Tried to deny health insurance for National Guard and Reserve members? Forced 200,000 service members to wait six months for medical visits? Cut $1.5 billion in military housing?

For all those who are against the plan of spending cuts and the notion of destroying our military, please lay blame on those of the GOP side as well. We’ve come a long way from the tree hugging communist loving days to label all Democrats. Those are the lore of yesteryear, yet the Media on both sides of argument will have you belief that they never went away, that they’ve been hiding in the shadows of Congress for the right time to re-introduce themselves to Americans.

Laying labels on a party or a member of a party does nothing but help the opposition in their fight. We’re told Newt Ginginch was a Conservative from the day he entered Congress, yet truly he wasn’t one until the Freshman Class of 1994 pushed him in that direction. We’re told that Republicans want the federal government out of State business, but if that was the case then they would never have passed “No Child Left Behind.” And if we are to believe that Republicans are against government handouts, and then they would never have given Stimulus checks to the American public in 2001 and 2003.

Our history is not read by us anymore, it is told in lore and myth by entertainment and political opinionators ad sometimes they leave out the juicy stuff to make a radical point to change judgment.

"Nothing But Lip Service," Army Times, June 30, 2003
The Tax Debate Nobody Hears About," Washington Post, June 17, 2003
U.S. Department of Veterans' Affairs, September 2002
Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United States Press Release, January 31, 2003

Thursday, January 13, 2011

We live on the Editing Room Floor

We live in an “editing room floor” world when it comes to today’s political rhetoric. Many tune in passionately to listen to the Beck’s and Olbermann’s of the political opinionated world. They host their radio and television shows, playing the edited clips to make their collective defensive points and twisting the words of the opposition.

Over the past five days, every political opinionater has attempted to defend themselves and political allegiance by finger pointing and passing the blame to their opposition. To their hardcore listeners, they pass and to their opponents they fail. Their listeners will defend their every word defiantly, but the question is, are they actually listening to those words or agreeing because they trust no one else?

A good example was Sean Hannity’s January 10th FOX show. Hannity was informing his audience to listen to the three clips about to be played and how the three Liberal speakers lay blame on the opinionaters of the Right. Yet, once played, all three speakers never mention a political side and say “all rhetoric” is to blame. But once making the implication, Hannity’s audience will believe they heard what he said. Almost like being told the face of Groucho Marx is hidden on the back of the $20 dollar bill and what do you know, there it is! “If” you are told so, “then” it must be there.

Rush Limbaugh came out of gates on Monday, January 10, defending his words almost as if Gospel, never a lie and only purity of truth. Limbaugh originally said he wouldn’t speak long of the Tucson Tragedy, yet spent three hours in defense of the rhetoric subject. He blamed all spectrums from Jared Louchner’s religious belief to heavy metal music to his parents. It’s rather sad that Limbaugh never finds fault within his words, for that might mean he is human after all.
Now, if Limbaugh wants to blame the style of music, well that’s a fight he should refer back to Tipper Gore and her PMRC group of the 1980’s, a waste of taxpayers’ time and money for a result of a weak labeling system for music categories. However, if Limbaugh is concerned, I’m sure he could send his Stryper collection to Jared Louchner to listen to while in jail.

Glenn Beck also was defending himself, at times almost defending himself against himself. He read an impassioned email that he sent to Sarah Palin on January 9, telling her to take up security with a gentleman from California that cares for all of Beck’s security needs, or quoting from Michelle Malkin’s website that states only Left hate speech while never speaking a word of any from the Right.

There has been plenty of violent political rhetoric on both sides of the aisle, and all are to blame if anyone is to be blamed. The repeated airplay of Sharron Angle’s campaign statement of “2nd Amendment remedies” to Michelle Bachmann’s “armed and ready Minnesotans” to anything said by Rev. Al Sharpton (there’s not enough room to list Rev. Al’s decades of statements).

I cannot blame the Tea Party, well any of their hundreds of divisions, for all the fervor as well. I’ve attended a couple Tea Party rallies and they were tame, but that’s not to say that some have had their eyesores of poster board depiction if not in Bangor but possible in Saginaw. It comes with the landscape of calling all that are upset with a government to join a call to “verbal” arms and fight. It’s an open invitation for all to join whether it for Fiscal responsibility or racist hate, just come and join the masses. No one will check your political plight, but give you a podium to speak.

We’ve been told that Jared Louchner was a crazy Lefty because he read the Communist Manifesto, a book about government control of society yet never talking about how he also read Animal Farm, a book about society revolting against government. Jared Louchner seemed to have a “Ying/Yang” desire to understand a topic, wanting to know both pros and cons.

It’s obvious that Jared Louchner believed in “outside the box” thinking. His list of books, music, political notion, ramblings all give the scenario of “if this/then that” mentality. A lot of evidence seems to make this more of a deranged stalker attack then a deranged politic assassination, complex thinker versus his deranged mind.

The one thing that sticks out is if there were warning signs, such as police reports of Jared Louchner’s activities and mental instability how was he able to pass a background check to purchase his gun from the Sportsman’s Warehouse in Tucson? Should there not have been a red flag next to his name?

We live in a country where you cannot board a plane if your name appears on the “No Fly” list but still be able to purchase a firearm. Is that not insane in itself?
All that has been said over these past five days, and no one finds it appalling that Arizonans are flocking to their local firearms dealers and buying Glocks, the very style of gun used by Jared Louchner, in monstrous proportions?

Is it more despicable that the hateful Westboro Church from Topeka, Kansas has made it known that they will protest at the funerals of the Tucson fallen? Which Constitutional Freedom should be reviewed more, the Freedom of Speech and Assembly or the Freedom to Bear Arms? If there is a time when a “verbal” call to arms should be spoken, it would be against that of the Westboro Church, for they are a the derangement of rhetoric that needs to be silenced.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Absurd thought meets Reality

"Make a Hole, Make it Wide"

It was intriguing to hear the 112Th Congress read parts of our Constitution on the first day of session. Hearing Republicans and Democrats being reminded of what the Constitution is all about, our growing history. However, skipping parts and the entire 18Th Amendment, that whole Prohibition thing, is like fast forwarding to the end of movie. Prohibition was a major ordeal in this country's history and it should not be forgotten, even though it was a failure and later repealed in the 21st Amendment.

Started by The Order of Good Templar's and later groups like the Anti Saloon League and the Women's Christian Temperance Union, the idea of Prohibition gained steam and became a national phenom movement. And soon..... Oh wait this all sounds rather familiar in today's world, a group of people getting together for what they see as a good cause and soon it snowballs and others join in and ..

So speaking of snowballing groups, this reminds me of a story I read before the November elections, but I'm sure many never heard it on both sides of the aisle.

Tea Party Nation's Judson Phillips had proposed that only property owners should be allowed to vote. Not only an absurd notion but very Unconstitutional as well (guess he should have read the Constitution before speaking out loud).

Just think how many people would be left out of national voting if Mr. Phillips proposal had any legs.

Some 80% of college students rent off campus apartments and houses. Not to mention those that live in dorms or at home with mom and dad and the number jumps to 95%. One needs to remember that many property owning adults return to school at one point or another, but still 95% of the college population wouldn't be allowed to vote under Mr. Phillips proposal.

OK, you can't swallow that number, how about the 60% of adults in the United States do not own a home and rent an apartment or a home. And there's another 10% of adults that live in mobile homes in this nation. Many of those do not own the property the mobile home sits on, that land is rented or leased.

Mr. Phillips notion wasn't well thought out, but let me ridicule him some more to prove how absurd it is.

There are 6 million Americans working abroad, yet still vote by absentee ballot. So they could not vote by the Phillips proposal. And how many of our brave men and women that protect us live in either barracks or some sort of military housing, neither of which property they own? Does he really want to take away the right to vote from a large percentage of our military? Well if you go by his words of "property owners" then yes he does.

And one more final group of person, that would be the Senior citizens that reside in Nursing Homes or Senior Care homes across the nation. That's a large majority of Americans that rent or lease apartments that would not be able to vote.

By Mr Philips notion, that would leave roughly 23% of the United States of America eligible to vote. Now on Election Day 2010, only 37% of eligible Americans turned out to vote. So of that 37%, how many would be able to vote under Mr. Phillips proposal? 5%? 7% Can you really trust 7% of America to vote for the good of this Nation?

See there's also this thing could the U.S. Constitution. Within the Constitution there is the 15Th Amendment. The 15Th Amendment came in February 1869 and states "The right of citizens of the United States to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of race, color, or previous condition of servitude."

So Mr. Phillips, do you really want to change the Constitution? Because if people like to say "well the 2ND Amendment gives me the right to bear arms (regardless that there is no militia any longer)" then the 15Th Amendment blanket guarantees all civilians legally able to vote in the United States.

I think Mr. Phillips' snowball just melted into a messy yellow puddle.

Fill the peanut bowl and tap the keg 'cuz Big Poppa (and all his other nicknames) is ready for some madness

Friday, January 7, 2011

Return of the King.. that would be me

"Make a Hole, Make it Wide(r)"

Sorry folks I just woke up from my Political hibernation and how our Government has changed, or did it.

In 48 hours of the 112th Congress, now split by a Republican House and Democratic Senate, nothing really has changed. We went thru the entire Summer of 2009 into Election Day with nothing but Rhetoric from both sides. As the masses awaited for January 5th to break, we find ourselves, once again down the same path. The Political Rhetoric has met Political Reality and Political Reality is the victor.

Republicans vowed to cut $100 billion in wasteful spending back in September. Well on January 5th, they decided that was to high of a goal and knocked it down to just below $50 billion. That's like saying I'm gonna drop 50lbs by Valentines Day and when the day gets closer, I decide well maybe 10lbs sounds better.

Congressional fiscal year ends every September 30 and the Repuiblicans did themselves in when they blocked the Omnibus bill, therefore hurting their own promise, since now they have only 8 months left to make those drastic cuts.

Republicans promised all bills would go through committee first before coming to vote. Well they want to repeal Obamacare before the end of January, so they decided to forgo that notion as well and go straight to vote.

I love hearing all these Conservative Opinionators defending the Republican led House right now. "Well it's only been a few days"... "Well there's so much to take care of before they really get started" I'm calling BULLSH*T! on that. President Obama barely sat down at his Inaguartion and Sean Hannity had his "Broken Promises" countdown running.

I'm not defending any Democrats here. I can't because what they did in the Lame Duck session was what they should've done for the past two years. Push their bills through with the majority that they had. Republicans did so from 2000-2006. But by doing so much in so little time, their poll numbers rose. I hate polls but in the Lame Duck session, all that was accomplished, President Obama's favorability numbers went from 35% to 51%.

OK this was just a quickly blog to get myself moving forward, with new energy because of a new Congress, which means more laughter and fright for two more years.

Over exposure quick thought: News came out that Glenn Beck's radio show will be dropped by New York City's WOR on January 17. WOR is the second biggest radio station in New York City and apparently Beck's rating have been dropping tremendously over the 2009-2010 timeframe. Also Beck's FOX show ratings have dropped 6.5% in the past year as well. Losing a major demographic of 18-53 year old males.

Now I can chalk this up to simple over exposure by Glenn Beck. Two major rallies, 3 books, some sort of movie, plus guest appearances have given him to much exposure in the past 2 years.

Americans, well, we are a fad country. We jumped on the Michael Jackson Thriller craze and destroyed it within 2 years. Beanie Babies, Zu Zu pets, Snuggies, SMART Cars, Britney Spears, the New VW Beetle, Miley Cyrus, etc. We kill fads quick, but painful.

I'm not calling Beck a fad, for he has been doing his gig from sometime now. I started listening to Beck in 2003 and many called me crazy. Yet now, many of those same people sit patiently at their radio or tv like Ralphie waiting for the secret code during Little Orphan Annie. But there is no secret decoder ring in Beck's voice.

Sarah Palin is other over exposed fad that is slowly losing her luster as well. Her much hyped "Sarah Palin's Alaska" has been losing ratings with each episode and her last book wasn't so hot either. She went on a Media tour to push both recently, you know that "Lame Stream" Media she pokes a stick at all the time. Hoping to stir up viewers for a contract renewal.

Well this is Big Poppa, returning to the blogosphere and reminding you to listen carefully, pay the bar tab, fill the peanut bowl and drink your O-V-A-L-T-I-N-E.

Good night Ralphie