Camelot Returns To America

He was one of the wealthiest Americans of his time. He obtained his wealth using many questionable practices in a turbulent era. His generation of wealth was founded on human vices and people said it was dishonest. He had a large family that he said was more important to him than anything else. The media loved his background and his story. He became chummy with many movie stars and rumors of infidelities with them were the subject of less than reputable news outlets.

So, you think I’m talking about Donald Trump, right? Actually, no. I was referring to Joe Kennedy. Hard to tell them apart, right? Scary if you look at the parallels.

The difference, of course, is that in Kennedy’s case it was the son (JFK) who runs for President. He had been just a one term Senator before running for the Presidency, the highest office in the land. Going back 60 years to those times, there were different expectations of our President. Joe thought there was no way a guy like him could run with all his baggage. So, he tried to ‘sanitize’ his son, distancing him from all the controversy.

Looking at John Kennedy, he wrote a book that became a window into his life. It was often quoted during the campaign. Does this sound familiar? Certainly, the popular book ‘Art of the Deal’ is part of the Trump mystique as well. Now, Joe Kennedy did not run for office, but it is true that after John Kennedy won he had a huge problem getting his father to stay out of the Oval Office. Joe wanted to run the Presidency through his son by all accounts. Looking at John Kennedy, he marries a model and has a young son and daughter while in office – a storybook scenario, right? Well, today we have Trump marrying his third model and also bringing a young son into the White House. Are you seeing how this turns out yet?

Hopefully, it won’t turn out like 1963. Seriously, today we see Trump starting by surrounding himself with a brain trust to compensate for his inexperience just as JFK did. He has a running mate that he needed politically to win, but had no association with beforehand. Honestly, both VP’s are political ‘lifers’ who must act as the political adult in the setup, and one who comes from a different wing in his party – one who acts to build back political cohesiveness post-election. All the interviews are being done today at Trump Tower, with all the associated optics. In the Kennedy case – they had the Kennedy Compound at Hyannis Port. Wow, the parallels are amazing…. Right?

So you ask, how does this all bring back the aura of Camelot when there is all of this crazy protesting at the onset? The public and media hate Trump more than any other newly elected President in modern times. Give it a year or two. The press actually loves Trump and can’t get enough of him. They will glamorize Melania and their young son. There will be pictures of Donald and his son playing. They will have spectacular vacations, state dinners, events, and travel. Melania will become a queen. Trump will become a king in all but name, at least in the way the press will treat him. If he enacts half of the initiatives he’s proposed and gets his Congress to stay in line, prosperity will return. When it does, the aura of Camelot will clearly be in place. So, in my view everybody has it wrong – it is not Ronald Reagan who is taking office in 2016, but John Kennedy …….don’t you think?

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If I Die TODAY

I was born into a poor farming family. I did not know we were poor, but I’ll admit today that we were. There was one car for our family of six, no pickup truck (we borrowed my grandfathers’ truck when necessary), and very sparse set of farm equipment that required repairs to run most of the time (much of this was also borrowed). We milked cows so I had chores before and after school as well as Saturdays and Sundays. We could not afford help. In school, I had the punch card for discounted lunch assistance. Bills and buying groceries were always a source of contention for my parents.

I was oblivious to these issues in my childhood because there was never hunger, there was always something interesting going on with our critters, there was much love from my parents, and I did not know I was missing anything until I was old enough to visit the neighbor kids who had GI Joe’s and color TV’s (we did not). My parents made sure we made church every Sunday, 4-H every month, and we went to all kinds of dairy farming community events…. where we made friends. I helped to take care of my brothers and sister (I was oldest). Wow, what a life. After it became clear how limiting lack of money can be, I pursued gaining it. Later I understood life is not about material wealth, it is about what I described.

Today, after 36 years, I am still married to a woman that I am also still in love with. This year she and I celebrate 10 full years of life on the farm we only dreamed about when we began our life together. Yes, a farm. With critters to take care of and lots of work to do. And, even when a pipe breaks, or cattle are out, or when one of our favorite animals die – we cry, but then we smile. I pray every day to thank God he has given us the privilege to care for this wonderful little piece of His creation and for the wisdom to not only do right by it, but to leave it better than I found it.

Ginger and I have two kids, of which we could not be more proud. They have families of their own after marrying spouses who I also consider to be my own. We all live within 2 miles and I get to see three grand-babies (soon to be four) every week. As it has turned out, we are so fortunate to be able all worship together in the same church. We are inspired by pastors who challenge us, lead us to proclaim our faith to others, and help us to sort out life’s dilemmas.

I consider what generations before me have witnessed in this world during their years here. During my time here, I have seen man walk on the moon. I have also seen our world transformed by computers, phones, self-driving cars, drone aircraft – imagine….remote control war, people who know each other well who never have spoken to each other, and producing work while never breaking a sweat. Sociology classes have to add new chapters every year. We can now see galaxies we never knew were there. We realize that the more we know, the less we actually do know. Not to be pretentious, but this is actually as it should be – the created should not presume to know what the Creator had (or has) in mind.

So, as this summary plainly illuminates, if I die today I can thank God for the privilege of this blessed journey. Anyone can write this story if they look at life in the proper light and consider the sacred gift that God gives to each and every one of us.

The Socialism Lie Explained

The socialist version of equal opportunity is barked to the ignorant each generation, who are mesmerized by the bright flame in the candle placed in front of them by charlatans. These charlatans seek power from the very people they propose to free from the invisible chains said to be placed on society by capitalistic greed. This will appeal to a sense of guilt placed on people by the very prosperity created by capitalism in a free society. There are enough paradoxical ironies in this equation to keep a sociologist busy for a year.

It started with Marx, but the charlatans who have used this tool include Lenin, Hitler, Stalin, Mao, Castro, Chavez and now Bernie Sanders. Sounds like a rogue’s gallery – because it is! They use the socialism lie to gain the very power that they are leading the revolt upon.

So, why is it a lie? Because it has failed……every…. single…. time. Why do we keep going back to it? I don’t know – why did the Jews keep going back to worship man-made idols? It is a similar dilemma after all – we see the failings of the past but are still drawn to do it again. It may be because we are mesmerized by the charlatan. It may be because of the human failing of rejecting previous generational teaching and thinking we know better. It may also be because of that guilt – the guilt of having too much, thinking we are not worthy, and believing the lies then that we got our prosperity illegitimately.

Socialism relies upon the lie that we are all equal. The collective as they call it. Oh yes, there have been other names for it – euphemisms. But what it is about? The premise is that capitalism as an institution generates greed and the greedy unjustly take from the weak and vulnerable in society. Socialism takes all property away from people and a benevolent third party equals the playing field – “From each according to his ability, to each according to his needs” (Marx). This assumes the wealth we are re-distributing is this big pile of money that is just sitting there like a pie that you cut in equal slices.

There are two huge issues with this idealistic notion that fails to understand people. First, from each according to his ability assumes each lemming in the collective will give 100%. The incentive is simply not there to do so – I mean, the altruistic idea that we will all work for the benefit of everyone else and not ourselves is simply a lie and ignores our humanity. The second part us the big one, however. The idea that the collective will give each according to his needs requires the third party – who will be the arbiter of this wonderful distribution? In every case, it is the newly powerful who become such based on the lie. Once the masses realize the arbiter is corrupt, there is no choice but to use force to keep them in line. Phase II then begins the dictatorship with mass killings to keep order and maintain the lie. This is where the KGB, the Gestapo, and similar groups are developed by leaders who are now despots – now nothing more than megalomaniacal narcissistic criminals committing crimes against humanity. The masses now live in abject fear.

Why must we go through this every generation? We are not teaching what I have just described. So, we must start there. Many people teaching the next generation were also taught by people who glorified the ‘struggle’ instead of stating the obvious. This needs to end. Today. Before we do it all over again.

What does this election say about our society?

Think about it – we are seriously considering electing someone who meets the following description:

• Held no previous political office
• Has been married 3 times and stated it was because he was ‘bored’
• Has made his private sector fortune building casinos that feature strip clubs
• Has been bankrupt 4 times and defends this by admitting he used the ‘laws of this country’ as a business strategy
• Has run over people to build casinos by pressuring government officials to abuse ’eminent domain’ to evict them
• Would come with another first – a First Lady who can claim to have done a nude photo shoot for a men’s magazine
• Claims no need for penitence as he ‘has nothing to ask God forgiveness for’.
• Uses media sensationalism to maintain news cycle dominance as an election strategy

Considering this, and assuming we elect this man, what does all of this state about our society today? I cannot bear it. Many have stated they will vote for this man if it comes to it because the alternative is worse. I question this. I would vote for neither but instead vote for Cruz as a write in, which many may argue elects Hillary, which they state is worse.

This may or may not be. But, in the end I will vote FOR someone and not AGAINST someone. Is this not what fighting for liberty is all about? I would add decency and a clean conscience to these descriptors. The last time I actually voted FOR a candidate for President was Reagan – twice, actually 3X. None since, and I won’t do it again.

I question if Trump is better than the jailbird Hillary. We don’t know that. He may be worse, if that can even be imagined – but see we really don’t know what Trump will do as there is no track record. He has no demonstrated principles. He lies constantly and changes positions frequently, he has only even been a Republican for a few years, he has given money to every side to advance his business interests – there is simply nothing there to tell me what we can expect. Yet, society is willing to vote for him as the known unknown only because of the known known of a Clinton Presidency.

Don’t play those games – vote your heart – you know it is the right thing to do. Society may devolve, but we don’t need to go over the cliff with them. Stand with your family FOR something – principles, our faith and decency. We’ll fight what comes together as those who fought for liberty have done before us……..

A Constitutional Amendment That Will Bring Change

In my years watching how our unique government works, I have always observed how corruption in representation alienates and demoralizes the conscientious voter. Many, who live in a district that has been gerrymandered badly, feel there is no point in voting. Redistricting happens after every 10 year national census, which is required by our Constitution and is used as the basis for creating the 435 US House districts.

Currently, the process of redistricting is so politicized that no rational evaluation of where these district lines are drawn can explain the purpose of these boundaries. The normal excuse is boundaries are redrawn to better serve the constituents. The reality is quite different – clearly, they are drawn by the party in power to re-make districts with constituencies favorable to the party in power.

This was not intended, and it is not healthy for our representative form of government. The reality is that this process results in dividing people into constituency groups, with a representative who is motivated to establish a power base that can be maintained. This power base will be based on spreading money to the constituencies.

So, how do we stop this? I propose that we amend our constitution so that representative districts are based on a formula that uses the same census driven population, but only counts that portion that equals the percentage of population that was found to vote in the last Presidential election. In this way we will only count those persons who actually exercise their right to vote.

What I propose will result in a very different electorate. Currently, in a district of approximately 800,000 people, where only 10% will vote get the same representation as one where 80% votes. So, in the first case 80,000 voters get a representative and in the other case it takes 640,000 residents get a representative. This is exacerbated by the fact that rural areas typically have much higher voter turnout than urban areas. So, geographically you will see many representatives from urban areas representing relatively few voters as compared to more rural areas. This tilts the wheels of representative legislation toward concerns of the few in lieu of the many. And, it is wrong.

This change will result in a renewed focus on voter turnout. If you want change, you need to vote to increase your representation. It also has fairness in its favor – why should citizens who don’t bother to vote be counted in the representation formula? They are still citizens, entitled to all benefits of citizenship, can still register and vote at any time, but just are not part of the representation formula.

A bigger change will come from the type Congress we elect. Representatives will have true constituencies and the voters’ voice will be heard. Districts with low participation will no longer have a disproportionate voice in our process. Certainly, the focal point and incentives will change.

Let’s promote this idea. This idea will bring better government for our future and leave our world better than we found it. Think about it.

I will NEVER vote for Trump – why it will elect Hillary and why I’m OK with that

I understand the Trump voter. You can thank the Republican Party for the Trump voter. I have been a Republican my entire life and I have no idea what this party is about anymore. But, I can tell you it is not about conservatism. I’m sure the Party elite think it is about “winning”. What good is winning if you have no principles? Republicans won first the House and then the Senate. We gave them Congress and they did nothing with it but capitulate to the Democrats. The have deserted the voters who put them there like I have never seen in my life – complete abandonment. They are so disillusioned they will vote for no one who has ever served a day in office – and they had picked Trump as the guy that will show these clowns the door.

I’m mad, too. But Trump is no answer. Trump is an opportunist. He’s just another clown of a different sort – a smarter clown, doing the deal of his life. The ‘deal’ is for power and prestige and we are who he must convince to get the ‘deal’. I am not an idiot. This man has no principles, he is no one I particularly admire. Clearly, he obfuscates and lies in order to hide his weaknesses – because that is what you do when you are doing a ‘deal’. I’ll grant not much different from politcos, but I’m worried about what happens after. What will he do when WWIII breaks out? Will he replace ObamaCare with SinglePayer? Will he eliminate Planned Parenthood’s assault on life? Will he stop deficit spending, balance a budget, and scale down Government to one we can afford? Will he eliminate executive agencies that burden us with regulations and instead partner with small business to rebuild an America that builds things again? I worry about his stupid and naive policy declarations on China – does anybody think a tariff is going to solve the fundamental problem America has in being uncompetitive in manufacturing? This man is supposed to be smart – he’s playing us. He’s no smarter than I am – but it’s his PRINCIPLES that worry me, because that is where the rubber meets the road on where America goes from here. Standing there and telling us 10 different ways about how beautiful his tax returns are does not tell us why he won’t release them – if he had integrity, he would. Not telling us how he’ll beat ISIS because he doesn’t want to give it away to the enemy insults me (and everyone else).

Lenin called them Useful Idiots – and that is what a Trump voter is – and I won’t be part of it, ever. I have only ever voted FOR a President twice in my entire life – and, that was for Reagan (in the primary in 1976 would be three). I want to be able to vote FOR a candidate. Not just to win, but to actually AGREE with them. I have had it with the system. This is ridiculous. Millions like me will either stay home or write in a candidate they want to vote FOR – which will be my path because I actually VALUE my vote and I will not dishonor my vote by holding my nose and voting against someone like Hillary. Hillary would be horrible, no doubt. So was Obama. Corrupt, a tool of the establishment – yup, all of that. But, I have even less confidence in a man whose only goal is winning – in fact, that scares me. Power in the hands of a tyrannical boss – kind of sounds like a King, right? I’m sure Jefferson would agree with me……….

Boundaries

I have boundaries. Do you have boundaries? You might ask – exactly what do you mean? Well, our state has a boundary. Our country has a boundary – a border. But I think when in the context of a person, I am referring to moral boundaries. This would be asking what you might be ‘OK’ with from a personal moral standpoint. Abortion, lying, cheating, murder and so on. We all have boundaries of some sort – even the most morally deficient person has some border they will not cross.

You can look at politics this way. In our world of politics there are conservatives, progressives and many who lie in between the extremes on both ends. A spectrum if you will. I won’t call them Republicans and Democrats because I think few really know what that label really means anymore. Instead, I think people know better what personal boundaries they are comfortable with and what lines they do not want to cross. You may have heard it said that all politics are local – well, I think personal space is about as ‘local’ as you get. As an exercise, I think it is interesting to ask yourself about your moral boundaries. You may be surprised about where you fit in the political spectrum I have described.

Let’s start with conservatives. Often referred to as the people who say ‘no’ all the time and spoil the party, why is that? Well, they have harder boundaries and are worried about what it to become of us. So, then (if you accept this definition) progressives by contrast would be those who have softer boundaries and pretty much think everything will be ok (possibly even better) by adopting these softer boundaries.

When I was younger, I liked soft boundaries. I think everyone does, as it is an anti-authority thing. When you marry and have kids (read become responsible), you begin to see black and white lines and embrace hard boundaries. But then something strange happens. With time, you gain the wisdom of understanding how many issues are not black and white, but very gray.

Now, this is where you expect me to say wisdom leads us to erase boundaries. Actually, I think the opposite is true. Why? Without boundaries, we would not even have moral issues. Boundaries are different than gray lines. Boundaries are the reason there are lines in the first place. Our creator gives us boundaries because we are human and we are incapable of escaping sin.

If I may, back to politics. Progressives do not see gray lines. They see no lines at all – they continue to push away boundaries because they want none. This would be as I described when I was young – the childish and naïve anti-authoritarian thing. Exhibit A – does anyone think they would ever see a time when men and women’s restrooms would be required by law to be gender neutral so as to accommodate trans-gender people? Or, a time when people are mocked publicly if they want to remain a virgin before marriage? Or, a time when a society has more babies that are aborted and killed than are welcomed into society? (NYC in black community). Marriage, religion, and moral values are under attack in ways we have never seen before – all of which are tools for creating boundaries in our lives.

This holds true for politics as well as moral issues. A perfect example would be the Progressive idea that our country should allow open borders. This issue is not only conceptual, but physical in the sense that they really don’t want a physical border. Our country, and it’s laws, become irrelevant. The Progressive politicians simply want to invite new voters to perpetuate their short sighted political careers while telling the lemming ‘useful idiots’ we are somehow being better people. Shameful.

We devolve as a society without boundaries. Boundaries are good. We may not meet our goals, but we have goals and that’s the point.