a republic... if you can keep it.
This page, in the spirit of The Federalist Papers, contains letters to editors and articles that have been published in several newspapers, mostly local to the Albany New York area but national in scope. The purpose of this endeavor is to chronicle for posterity my efforts to restore and advance the cause of Individual Liberty as fully as my faculties allow and by the Grace of God.
David Richard Crawmer
.“See if the law takes from some persons what belongs to them, and gives it to other persons to whom it does not belong. See if the law benefits one citizen at the expense of another by doing what the citizen himself cannot do without committing a crime.
Then abolish this law without delay, for it is not only an evil itself, but also it is a fertile source for further evils because it invites reprisals. If such a law- which may be an isolated case- is not abolished immediately, it will spread, multiply, and develop into a system.
The person who profits from this law will complain bitterly, defending his acquired rights. He will claim that the state is obligated to protect and encourage his particular industry; that this procedure enriches the state because the protected industry is thus able to spend more and pay higher wages to the poor workingmen.
Do not listen to this sophistry by vested interests. The acceptance of these arguments will build legal plunder into a whole system. In fact this has already occurred. The present day delusion is an attempt to enrich everyone at the expense of everyone else; to make plunder universal under the pretense of organizing it.
Now, legal plunder can be committed in an infinite number of ways. Thus we have an infinite number of plans for organizing it: tariffs, protection, subsidies, encouragements, progressive taxation, public schools, guaranteed jobs, guaranteed profits, minimum wages, a right to relief, a right to the tools of labor, free credit, and so on and so on. All these plans as a whole- with their common aim of legal plunder- constitute Socialism.
Here I encounter the most popular fallacy of our times. It is not considered sufficient that the law should be just; it must be philanthropic. Nor is it sufficient that the law should guarantee to every citizen the free and inoffensive use of his faculties for physical, intellectual, and moral self-improvement. Instead, it is demanded that the law should directly extend welfare, education and morality throughout the nation.
This is the seductive lure of socialism. And I repeat again: These two uses of the law are in direct contradiction to each other. A citizen cannot at the same time be free and not free.” excerpt from THE LAW - Frederic Bastiat
11/22/15 Proof of Intent
Once upon a time, I was driving my heavily laden truck up a hill and in order to make it, I had to really put my foot into it. When I crested that hill I happened to divert most of my attention to changing the radio station, so I failed to notice the cop with the radar setup on the right shoulder …but he didn’t fail to notice me. I glanced at the speedometer and realized that I had yet to let up on the gas and was going faster than the speed limit.
So I got a ticket and when I went to court, I explained to the judge the circumstances of my speeding and that it was not my intention to do so. His reply was that there is no room in the law for intent.
This week I was watching Congressman Trey Gowdy’s questioning of U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch regarding the alleged IRS targeting of conservative organizations. He mentioned the circumstantial evidence, motivation and consequences leading to the allegations of bias and corruption in the IRS. The only thing preventing a conviction of IRS officials was the near impossibility of proving malicious intent. He considered the IRS innocent until proven guilty (unlike when the tables are turned).
I contend that there’s no room in the law for intent when it comes to government officials. Our government officials, elected or otherwise, are held to a higher law than are the citizens they serve. They swear an oath to protect and defend the Constitution in their actions. That oath gives them no room for intent. The consequences of their actions override the necessity of proving intent.
Our nation is being buried under a mountain of government’s “unintended” consequences.
10/30/15 OF PROPERTY TAXES & DEMOCRATIC SOCIALISM
The injustice of property taxes is that they’re not based on the owner's current income but on the current estimated value that a government bureaucrat assigns to the property.
If you bought your home when you and your spouse were working and now one of you is staying home to raise children, has gone back to school, become sick or disabled, lost your job, taken a pay cut or retired, you must still pay the full amount of the annual property tax. There is no accommodation for your ability to pay.
If you built your own house for half the cost that your neighbors paid to have theirs built, you will still have to pay taxes on the money (your sweat equity) you didn't spend. If you cannot pay it, they will take your house and sell it to someone who can.
Worse yet, your public schools' budgets are funded by the property taxes you’re forced to pay. Those budgets are put to an annual vote. If you and a thousand of your neighbors decide to vote "no" because you cannot afford your school's budget increase for any of the aforementioned reasons but a thousand and one of your neighbors (including your school's teachers, administrators and other government employees) vote "yes", you still must pay the new, higher tax.
Keep in mind, this budget vote process is pure democracy. It ends up being a case of the rich taxing the poor. This is why our country's founders established a more perfect union called a republic.
If you lose your house to the government for non-payment of taxes, they will sell it at public auction. Based on the above scenario where 49.9% of your community voted "no" but 50.1% voted to increase spending (including their own salaries) there is a 100% chance that the only people in the community who could afford to buy your confiscated home and pay the taxes on it would be very same people whose "yes" votes caused you to lose it. They will be buying your former home with your former money. This is the beauty of democratic socialism.
10-15-15 Progressives & Socialists
I didn’t need to watch the Democrat’s 1st presidential debate the other night in order to know what their plans are. Does anybody out there think they learned something, anything, about Clinton or Sanders? About the only thing that the viewing audience should have learned were the names of the other candidates.
Hillary Clinton no doubt did her best to avoid direct answers to any of the questions posed. She gains the most by voters not knowing anything about her past (just like Obama).
Bernie Sanders thinks he’s finally gotten socialism out of the closet…just as the rest of the world is trying to get it back in the closet, lock the door and throw that key in a deep dark hole.
Here’s what you need to know about Sanders. He started his political career (his only career) as the top dog in Vermont’s Socialist Party. That flopped because socialism sucks and 70’s voters knew it. So the next year they changed the party name to the Democratic Socialists, but they didn’t change their policies. Their plan was, and still is, to change the voters.
To be a Democratic Socialist is to be very conflicted . Democracy is all about choices and socialism is all about control. In a democracy the people control the government. Socialism is when the government controls the people.
We aren’t even a democracy in the first place but a republic where the rule of law protects the individual from the mob mentality of the majority.
Hillary fashions herself to be a “Progressive” but after a century of liberal, progressive and socialist change we all know them to be the same thing. If anything she’s a Regressive. Taken as a whole, their policies have resulted in less choice and more control.
But what’s in a name anyway. They create these names for themselves to try to make their policies sound better.
5/14/15 Letter to Editor Response to a Union Apologist who doesn't like Whistle-Blowers
It seems I struck a raw nerve when I recently wrote about a few of the many examples of government fraud I’ve personally witnessed. The examples I gave were never publicly known and no one was ever prosecuted. In his responding letter, Mr. John McCarthy wrote sarcastically about all his personal experiences of corporate fraud that went unprosecuted and… no, my mistake, he had no personal experiences of corporate fraud. He simply wanted to see “a little context” so he was compelled to cite several well known examples of corporate fraud that people were never prosecuted for… no, my mistake again, all his examples were prosecuted cases.
He thought I was being unfair to the New York State Office of General Services…but he got that wrong as well. I wrote about the federal General Services Administration.
Mr. McCarthy went so far as to suggest: “Next time your house is burning down, Mr. Crawmer, why don’t you fight it with your privately purchased fire extinguisher?” I certainly hope he isn’t a firefighter in my home district. Sounds like something an angry public employee union thug would say. For the record, unlike the OGS Mr. McCarthy was confused over, the GSA I wrote about was non-union. Maybe that explains his venomous response. I suspect he thought I was attacking unions and that he’s reacting the way a public employee union apologist always reacts; by attacking the private sector.
People who think like that have to understand something about profit and taxes. The government likes profit because they tax it. They don’t like illegal profit such as that gained through corruption because they can’t tax it…unless they are a corrupt public servant who discovers it, in which case they see an opportunity.
The big difference between the fraud committed by people in government and that of the private sector is that the government is the law and is loathe to convict itself. Attacking the whistle-blower is their preferred response.
I do have more personal examples of government fraud, waste, corruption and such that I’d like to get off my chest but there are so many, I just don’t know where to begin. They involve instances of malfeasance within the NYS Departments of State, labor, education, taxation, local building departments, the IRS and more. They don’t involve millions or billions of dollars so people like Mr. McCarthy will undoubtedly continue to impugn my motives but to allow them to remain unknown only enables further injustices.
One of these examples must be very common because I overheard a conversation between two people discussing their personal experience with it just yesterday. I’m referring to state employees sleeping on the job. It seems to have become institutionalized. In the case I witnessed years ago, the sleeper had a landscaping/lawn mowing business that he ran on a cash only basis. He also had at least one employee that he paid under the table. He confided in me that this was his second job and he was only able to do it because he could sleep at his state job.
Some people will likely say that’s no big deal but the way I see it, he’s taking work from the honest taxpaying landscaper who has to work that much harder to generate the tax revenue required to pay the sleeper’s state salary.
I hope to have an opportunity to write about more of this down the road but right now I have to start writing my property tax grievance testimony. Tax grievance day in New York is May 26th this year. I would like to suggest that every property owner (including the state employees who sleep on the job) make an attempt to contest their assessment.
We are all being taxed too much and the property tax grievance day is a rare opportunity to do something about it. I failed in my attempt to get my property tax assessment lowered two years ago so this year it is imperative that I do a better job of presenting my case. It has been a learning experience. It’s not for the faint of heart but it beats voting with your feet.
4/4/15 Being a Whistle-Blower
Having recently reconnected with some old Colonie and Guilderland friends, I was surprised to find that a lot of them didn’t share my distrust of big government. I had to realize that we all took different roads after high school. During that 44 year period, some of us went to liberal institutions of higher learning, some worked in government and some moved far away. I think it’s a good idea to share our formative experiences, those things that lead to our unique perspectives.
After having exited high school a liberal in league with the Vietnam era anti-war group, Students for a Democratic Society, I spent several years working for the federal government at the General Services Administration Motor Pool in Albany; it was one of the things that led to the formation of my current conservative political persuasion.
In my first week on the job I learned that the pace of work there was about 1/10th that of the private sector. A brake job that would take hours at a private auto repair shop would take days at the GSA motor pool. Having been brought up to be a high achiever, I found it difficult to adjust to that pace. Over the following years there I was introduced to some unique inventory control practices too. I never realized that having more tires in our inventory than we could account for was as bad as having a shortage. At least that’s what I was told when given a truck full to get rid of.
And we were always short when we tried to reconcile the amount of gas in our underground tank with the amount we actually pumped every month. I never found out if the tank leaked or if someone was stealing it but I was told that was not my problem. The way we dealt with it was to pump gas from the pump, through a garden hose, back into the underground tank and then write up a phony gas ticket for every car on the lot until we were even.
The most egregious example of government corruption I ever witnessed began when the Albany police found one of our cars abandoned on a city street. It was definitely one of ours, a nearly new AMC Concord with government license plates… but we had no record of it ever having been part of our fleet.
It had been abandoned with a seized engine after its driver had run over a metal sign post that punctured the oil pan. But who the driver was, we had no clue. My supervisor had no interest in finding out either. He eventually told the rest of us blue-collar guys that someone who knew our unsecured ground floor office routine must have walked in off the street while our entire office staff was taking lunch. He said it must have been a regular customer who would have known where we kept the new car file folders. Each car had a folder that contained all record of our ownership including keys, license plates and title. That car (and others?) had been missing for months and we never knew it was gone. We had no record of ever having possessed it. So embarrassing, it was decided that we had to cover it up.
I voiced my opposition and suggested that if one of the regular government agents we routinely loaned these cars to had the nerve to help himself to a vehicle, he probably also helped himself to free gas from our pump. We would have a record of that. Every car that came in for gas would have its license number on a punch-card and the driver would sign it. We had boxes of them and…I was told to let it go.
Before I get into how I discovered who drove the stolen government vehicle over a sign post that punctured the oil pan and continued to drive it without oil until the engine seized up, I want to tell you how we ripped off American Motors.
To help cover up the embarrassing theft that occurred right under our noses, we secretly replaced the damaged oil pan with one from another car on our lot. We filled it with oil, towed it to the nearest AMC dealership and got the “defective” engine replaced under warranty.
Back to my intro to the glory of detective work - if my suspicions bore out I would be able to match the stolen car’s license number to a gas receipt with the driver’s signature. Having been told not to waste my time, which was actually the government’s time, on such a wild goose chase, I stubbornly chose my lunch break to start searching through those boxes.
I don’t remember how long it took but my hunch paid off. The guy who took illegal possession of the car was so confident that no one would hold him accountable, that he brought it in for gas and signed his name to the receipt with the stolen car’s license number on it…just once. He may have realized his mistake the second he rolled up to our gas pump but at that point he couldn’t get away with signing a fictitious name…we knew him too well. I trotted into my boss’ office with my prized evidence but he didn’t share my enthusiasm at all. He seemed disturbed at my persistence. Case closed…back to work.
I don’t know what became of the car thief but we never saw him after that. The manager of the motor pool retired and was replaced by a totally incompetent chair-warmer whom you had to suspect was transferred from some other department because he couldn’t be fired. As soon as I achieved tenure I quit and opened my own shop. The motor pool was audited and shut down after President Reagan took office…but obviously the government corruption continues.
JUST A REMINDER THAT POLITICAL PUNDITS ARE REAL PEOPLE WITH REAL LIVES
I thought I knew
a thing or two
about the birds and bees
but there’s more to find
than the common kinds
of wasps and chickadees.
I’ve always loved bird watching
but it wasn’t often that they would treat me to the entertainment I’ve enjoyed this summer.
Years ago I built a very large Martin house high up on a pole but never got a Purple Martin to inhabit it. More recently I researched building some Bluebird nest boxes. The plans called for very specific dimensions in order to attract them. I gave that up before I started because most everyone I knew who put the effort into building them was getting Sparrows instead.
So imagine my surprise when Bluebirds began nesting in my mailbox. I have a pretty nice mailbox by any standard but it is wholly unsuitable for Bluebirds. It’s made of cedar and has a large compartment with a door for mail alongside a smaller open compartment for flyers and non-postal junk. Well, I got some flyers alright! That’s where the Bluebirds have been nesting. It’s the wrong height and depth and the hole that simply has to be an inch and an eighth? Well there is no hole. That entire end is open, and it faces south which is also wrong, according to the experts. And when it’s time for the chicks to fledge, the mother coaxes them into the road for their first attempt at flight!
But the Bluebirds have been successfully raising clutch after clutch there for the past few years even though my neighbor has an always vacant nest box set up for them a stone throw away.
This year I decided to mark their growth, so each time I got my mail from the right compartment, I would take a peek into the left and snap a picture with my camera phone. Then I would post them on Facebook for friends and family to see. It quickly became an enjoyable aspect of my day, but it didn’t last long because they grow up quick…hatched to fledged in about 2 weeks. So when the second batch had flown the coup, and they hadn’t started a new nest after several days, I thought my bird watching was over for the year.
But I was in for an even better treat. I was up on a ladder painting the house the last week of August when I realized that a bird was quietly making regular visits into the crabapple tree an arm’s length away. It looked like nothing I’d ever seen before so I began noting its features: black beak, black mask across the eyes, a head crest, shiny red tips of wing feathers and a bright yellow tip of the tail. Have you guessed it yet? A fairly quick search through my Audubon Field Guide and I found I was watching a Cedar Waxwing, and not just one. The female was sitting on a nest of blind and bald hatchlings while the male was retrieving berries and bugs to feed to her as well as the chicks.
The Waxwings didn’t seem to mind my presence all that much and I managed to get some terrific photos of them.
They grow so fast! After 1 week they had all their feathers. After 2 weeks I went to check on their progress and they had already fledged. I was disappointed that I didn't get to see them one more time, until I walked around the other side of the house and found them all high up in one of our elm trees. They were accompanied by at least one other family of recent fledglings, about a dozen all together. I was fortunate to watch them for a good ten minutes before they flew off to their next neighborhood of residence. They fly in flocks but do not migrate. They are nomadic and will appear wherever their food is in season. They eat berries mostly. That's why they were nesting around here so late in the season, hatching in the last week of August.
Birds were not the only critters I learned something new about this year. I found out that what I thought were Bumble Bees burrowing into my house the past few years were actually Carpenter Bees. I didn’t like their presence at first because I feared being stung but then I learned that the males have no stingers and while the females do, they don’t sting unless really provoked. And the little holes they drill into the underside of my soffit and rake boards can hardly be seen.
Another benefit I didn’t realize I was enjoying, until a letter-writer here wrote that they are pollinators and chase other bees away, was that there haven’t been any hornets’ nests around the house lately.
But their presence became a nuisance this year once the woodpeckers discovered them and pecked our soffits apart to get at the big juicy bee larvae. That left me with a lot of repair work that I don’t wish to repeat every year.
With a little searching on the Internet I found instructions on how to make an attractive bee nest house that with a little luck might keep them out of our soffits. I don’t know if it will save the bees from the woodpeckers but that will be something new to address next year.
7/27/14 If you think education is expensive, try indoctrination.
That’s my twist on a bumper sticker sound bite that I’ve been seeing and hearing less of these days as more and more people seem to be awakening to the government’s latest power grab known as Common Core.
There are a lot of things wrong with Common Core but the one thing that has stalled its implementation in NY has been the Regents’ reluctance to rubber stamp the teacher evaluation component.
I don’t even know where to begin with this one because the unions that have been giving up teachers’ classroom sovereignty in exchange for a bigger paycheck now seem to want their sovereignty back.
Working hand-in-hand with state and federal government, unions have transformed the noble profession of teacher into that of a strictly conforming program facilitator. They have blocked merit pay for those who excel in their profession while accepting uniform teaching regimens that prevent outstanding teachers from reaching their full potential.
That’s like a union of artists that exchanges their right to paint whatever they want for the security of a government paycheck and then complains when the government hands them paint-by-number sets and tells them their jobs depend on how well they stay between the lines.
I’ve seen some perfect opportunities to introduce school choice to our system of public schools but unions always blocked those chances in deference to “progressive” political solutions. One of the best opportunities is when a school district has to grow and add new buildings due to increased enrollment. Building a public school is very expensive due to onerous construction laws that labor unions championed in the past. So it would have made fiscal sense to send the overflow students to less expensive private schools.
While increased enrollment is certainly a thing of the past, declining enrollment may also present an opportunity. Parents and teachers of the Altamont Elementary School ought to look into privatization or chartering. The SUNY Charter Schools Institute has a website (www.newyorkcharters.org) that outlines the process offered by the SUNY Trustees. It’s a rigorous process that will challenge your level of determination but another way to look at is that the threat of the charter may get the anti-charter political animals in our education system to keep the Altamont school open by any means possible…that’s if you simply wish to continue playing their game with their ball.
10/26/12 Tax the Rich?
“Tax the rich, feed the poor
Till there are no rich no more
I’d love to change the world
But I don’t know what to do
So I’ll leave it up to you.” - Ten Years After (1971)
With so much of the media’s emphasis on this year’s Presidential election, and the high number of voters who will be at polling places this November 6th, I would like to urge people to take a little time to investigate local candidates before heading out to the polls.
I no longer live on this side of the river so I know nothing of the candidates around here and what they stand for. While I cannot vote here, as a Guilderland business owner I do have a stake in who gets elected and would like to see voters elect public servants who engender common sense principles with long term benefits to the business community.
Many of our local candidates for public office as well as most residents have never run a small business, so they have a hard time identifying with small business owners and our concerns. Too many of our neighbors are oblivious to the deterioration of the once symbiotic relationship between the public and private sectors.
Commercial property owners are taxed at a higher rate than residential property owners. While both have seen stagnation of property values even though property taxes continue to rise, homeowners can more easily contest their assessment. Commercial property owners are required to retain an attorney and bear court costs in order to initiate the same proceedings. The cost and time involved in contesting that assessment make it an effort in futility. The property tax assessment on my one small business has increased dramatically over the past several years making property ownership a burden rather than the asset I expected it to be when I purchased it. This property tax crisis will dwarf the mortgage crisis unless immediate measures are taken to reduce government spending.
Some politicians’ ingenious plans have included providing loans to small businesses, but no business person with any sense would borrow money just to prolong their ability to endure this increasingly Draconian and unsustainable tax burden.
Do the candidates you want to vote for understand the burden of oppressive taxation or do they harbor the simplistic mindset that we need to tax the rich more? Consider who pays the taxes that make up the salaries of our teachers, police, fire fighters and other municipal employees. Everyone from rich to poor pays those taxes which are based on an increasingly arbitrary assessment of our property value that has no regard for property owners’ ability to pay. It increases everyone’s mortgage or rent payments. While a very rubbery 2% tax cap may make some people feel good, what we really need are tax reductions.
Taxing the rich is a red herring issue designed to pander to a plurality of people with instinctive jealousies. While some people may feel good in the short term when the rich are subjected to higher taxes, they’ll feel foolish when they learn how that tax eventually trickles down to an increased cost of the products brought to market by those same rich people.
Here in Guilderland, business owners have another disadvantage in that the signs we require in order to draw customers into our establishments are strictly constrained. We cannot even advertise our soup-of–the-day with a temporary sign placed in front of our establishments without risking its confiscation at the hands of the sign sheriff.
Business owners who have employees are also saddled with increasing costs of insurance mandates such as disability insurance, workers’ compensation and unemployment insurances and now health insurance. The new federal health care law, ObamaCare, now defines full-time employment as 30 hours instead of the traditional 40 hours which will impose numerous hardships on both employer and employee. Small business owners will suffer losses in productivity, and an increase in the cost of doing business that will put many struggling businesses out of business.
And then there is Social Security (FICA) also known as the payroll tax which currently is 15.3% of earned income. Business proprietors pay half of the payroll tax for their employees. In an effort to stimulate local economies by putting more money in the hands of working Americans, the federal government has eliminated the employee’s portion this tax for the past two years. That’s your social security contribution that has been reduced without your consent by lawmakers who may get your vote for this superficial magnanimity but at other times have refused to allow Americans to control as little as 5% of their Social Security investments through direct investments. Business proprietors must pay the full 15.3% of this payroll tax on themselves. We have not been afforded this same tax holiday that our employees currently enjoy.
While there are many issues here beyond the scope of the local public servants we are about to elect, many will go on to higher office in the years ahead.
Please vote for people who have had to make payroll and will pledge to be standard bearers for tax and regulatory reform.
The public/government sector that simultaneously depends on and controls the private/business sector has become indifferent to the effects of the oppressive taxes and regulations that small businesses are laboring under.
The only way forward is through the election of conservative minded men and women at every level of government, from town council to president. After all these years since Reagan, government still can’t solve the problem because government still is the problem
9/24/12 More on "Press/Media bias is Real"
Letter writers are once again given a taste of the suppression of free speech at the Altamont Enterprise newspaper. How would anyone know it occurs if the suppressed subject matter isn’t printed? All those who are being suppressed know it and they, we, make our friends and acquaintances aware of it as well. So it doesn’t take long for a reputation of bias to become known to a community but it clearly takes much longer for the suppressors to see it in themselves.
On September 20th the editor printed my response to a previous letter asking why the Enterprise limits its scope of subject matter to the discussion of local issues. My letter was accompanied by two editor’s notes that were nearly as long as my letter itself.
One note stated that the editor here still talks to letter writers face to face just as I stated I used to with a now retired editor of another newspaper years ago. But the pertinent part of that paragraph in my letter had been edited to remove the part where I stated that if that editor harbored any bias, I was never made aware of it.
Another note restated the limited scope of the FCC’s Fairness Doctrine as if to suggest there was no bias issue and that it didn’t apply to print media anyway.
While it didn’t apply to print media per se, the consequences of its purpose didn’t remain confined to providing equal access to the broadcast spectrum.
The Editor’s notes also contested my assertion that the Enterprise’s local content rule is a recent development. The editor claimed that the paper has always focused on local issues and included a blurb from the editor of the paper in 1884 that didn’t quite reinforce that claim. I suspected that while local issues were, are and should be the primary focus, it wasn’t and shouldn’t be to the exclusion of national and world issues. So I went online to see for myself.
The archive of the earliest issues of this newspaper can be found at: http://historicnewspapers.guilpl.org/. I was not surprised to find the very first issue included news and information from all over the world: “In Japan the sandals are left outside of the house…In Madagascar the crocodile is sacred…A cure has been discovered in South America for elephantiasis… A tenant in a house in the east end of London, that last refuge of poverty, recently testified before a charitable committee…”
So I established for myself that the scope of the Altamont Enterprise was once very broad indeed. So what is the purpose of restricting content now? What precipitated the change and when did it occur?
I didn’t begin receiving the Altamont Enterprise until I started advertising in it when I opened a business in Guilderland several years ago, so my perspective of when the print limitations began only reflects my personal experience since that time.
It was my early observation that the preponderance of letters to the editor here were from liberals, broad based and in agreement with the often stated positions of the editor. After submitting numerous rebuttals to these letters it became very apparent that my conservative responses and submissions were not welcome.
One of my most memorable experiences indicating that the paper was ideologically biased occurred when a letter I wrote subsequent to the 2006 November election was rejected. My letter made a compelling argument that the results of that election did not indicate a referendum on the war in Iraq as many Democrats claimed. I received a call from the editor informing me that as my letter was not of a local nature, it would not be published. I argued that there were many examples where letters and articles of national and world issues had been published when written by writers of a liberal persuasion. The last word then was that I could only write about local issues or in response to other letters and articles that appeared in this paper.
Well, the fact was that my offending letter was indeed in response to an article by an Enterprise reporter in which a local Democratic Congressman made the claim that I was arguing against. I just hadn’t mentioned it in my letter and the editor apparently didn’t realize a reporter here had violated the local content policy. So, I referenced that one qualifying sentence in my letter and resubmitted it. Again I received a phone call from the editor but this time it was just to inform me that she thought it was sneaky how I made the letter acceptable and that it would now be published.
I haven’t seen any letters on national issues, from any perspective, in this paper since then. I guess I can at least hang my hat on the fact that a lot of liberal letters are now being stifled along with mine for the sake of an appearance of objectivity.
I wonder what Tip O’Neill, the late Democratic Speaker of the House who originated the term: “All politics is local”, would think of today’s Altamont Enterprise.
9/16/12 Press/Media bias is Real
With regard to a recent letter in the Altamont Enterprise by Frederick R. Crounse, ”Why must George Pratt pay to publish his letters on national issues?”, I have an opinion, an answer, based on personal experience.
I have been writing letters to editors of newspapers since before the advent of the personal computer. In those days I sometimes delivered those old pen and paper missives to the editors in person. Howard Healy at the Albany Times Union was one very accommodating editor. We often discussed the content of those letters face to face and if he had a personal opinion, I was never made aware of it. News people back then were very sensitive to being perceived as objective. Many went to great lengths to try to hide their bias. That was while the country’s news managers were operating under the FCC regulation known as “The Fairness Doctrine”.
The Fairness Doctrine was created back in 1949 to provide what lawmakers and bureaucrats considered a level playing field. News managers were given strongly suggested guidelines to follow in providing equal time to people with opposing views. But in reality and in practice it stifled free speech. Many television and radio stations avoided discussion of sensitive issues. AM radio almost ceased to exist. The doctrine was discontinued under Reagan in 1987.
In 1988 Rush Limbaugh launched his national talk radio show to the dismay of leftists who theretofore enjoyed unchallenged domination of all news media. He capitalized on the opportunity to fill a void. Interactive discussion of national and world issues was finally available to the masses and Limbaugh became a multimillionaire.
Public radio suddenly had competition and they didn’t like it. In an effort to suppress Limbaugh’s conservative influence, Liberal Democrats called for reimplementation of the inappropriately named Fairness Doctrine a number of times during subsequent decades. They failed at every overt attempt but have had some limited success at suppressing dissent through voluntary compliance with a policy known as “local content”. Collaborative news managers have simply made it a policy to limit their content to local issues. It’s a form of passive suppression that largely goes unnoticed but has been effective in keeping sleepy moderate voters oblivious to Washington’s wily ways. It also offers a crutch for liberal news managers to lean on as an excuse to avoid discussion of issues they and their cohorts are uncomfortable with.
It is my opinion, based on experiences similar to what Mr. Crounse described, that The Altamont Enterprise has embraced the local content policy and now limits the paper’s scope (and readership, subscriptions and profits). The Enterprise may be able to maintain viability as the weekly newspaper of limited news and views but it is squandering greater potential. And if a competing newspaper were to capitalize on the opportunity to fill this self imposed content void, the Enterprise’s viability could be jeopardized.
8/29/12 The Left's Politics of Extremism
On Tuesday August 28th, at the Albany Public Library, Representative Paul Tonko led a discussion of a book released earlier this year by Thomas Mann and Norman Ornstein entitled: It's Even Worse than It Looks: How the American Constitutional System Collided with the New Politics of Extremism.
I just read as much as I could stand of this book and feel compelled to share my experience. One quote from the book: "When one party moves this far from the mainstream, it makes it nearly impossible for the political system to deal constructively with the country's challenges", would lead a legitimately mainstream American reader to surmise it to be about how the Democratic Party has been infiltrated by socialists and communists.
And when you get to the part where they write: “The (blank) has become an insurgent outlier in American politics. It is ideologically extreme; scornful of compromise; unmoved by conventional understanding of facts, evidence and science; and dismissive of the legitimacy of its political opposition”, how would you fill in the blank?
I would fill in the blank with the “Democratic Party” as I am sure the majority of politically astute readers would. But when the authors are self acknowledged liberal Washington DC insiders, they fill in the blank with “GOP”. Now if their book were to make it to the NY Times top ten bestseller list they might be able to claim a degree of credibility, but it hasn’t and they can’t.
On the other hand there are two competing books of legitimate non-fiction on the NY Times list: “The Amateur” by Edward Klein and “Obama’s America” by Dinesh D’Souza currently ranking #2 and #5 respectively. Both have done the job of vetting Mr. Obama that the old washed-up mainstream media should have in 2008.
The notion that Conservative Republicans have moved “far from the mainstream” would be ludicrous if the truth weren’t so tragic.
I distinctly remember discussing the direction of American society with numerous liberals decades ago. Often times I would point to their extreme social agenda and predict the undesirable consequences that they seemed unwilling or unable to comprehend. Their response to my conservative admonitions was often: “What do you want to do, go back to the days of Ozzie & Harriet?” I often found the audacity to say: “Yes!”
I think we can agree that the black and white TV shows like Ozzie & Harriet represented mainstream American culture sixty years ago. So please tell me who has changed, become “ideologically extreme” and moved “far from the mainstream”? Is it the right that still attends Church on Sunday and believes that the sacrament of marriage is the best way for one man and one woman to raise a family? Or is it the left that moved away and challenged these and virtually every social norm?
Republicans have capitulated and compromised with Liberals for over half a century against the better judgment of many of their more conservative contemporaries. That’s why we’re in this mess and it’s about time our moral majority finally took a stand, formed a TEA Party and said enough is enough!
The real mainstream America knows what a bucket of bull feathers smells like: It’s even worse than it looks.
7-30-12 Businesses Built All That
Once again our President has displayed his contempt for the very people who constitute the backbone of our economy, our nations’ business owners. After having the audacity to say: “If you have a business, you didn’t build that. Somebody else made that happen.” to a group of supporters at a campaign rally, he tried to backpedal to an earlier reference to the roads and bridges that businesses depend on. The problem is that businesses also built the roads and bridges.
The argument isn’t about what President Obama or Presidential candidate Romney said but the train of thought behind the words. This President, like the public sector union leaders who harbor the same belief, has always had the fiscal cart before the horse.
Every dollar that ever went into a road, bridge, the Internet or a teacher’s salary had its genesis as a tax paid by a business. What used to be a symbiotic relationship between public and private sectors has become a parasitic one. The public sector is sucking the lifeblood out of the private sector, not the other way around. A rising private sector tide lifts all boats but a rising public sector tide drowns us all.
Mr. President, you didn’t build that. As a business owner who has had to fight an oppressive bureaucracy in order to obtain the privilege to pay oppressive taxes before I can bring one dollar home to my family, I want to remind you that I paid for all that. You and your union allies continue to disrespect and bite the hand that feeds you. You exhibit an appalling level of cluelessness of your backward economic vision. Far too many businesses are suffering for your delusion. It is too late for you to have an epiphany and please don’t resign. God only knows what Joe Biden could screw up in three months’ time. Just don’t embarrass us with any more of your keen insight. Remember Abraham Lincoln’s old political axiom: “Tis better to be silent and be thought a fool, than to speak and remove all doubt.”
2/19/12 Unfair Competition
I was driving down Carman Road the day before Valentine’s Day and noticed how spectacular the fire stations looked. There are two within a mile of each other and they looked more elaborate than 99.99% of homes in the entire Capitol District. They had perfect landscaping, lighting and signs too. Their signs were magnificent, certainly more expensive than any private enterprise could afford, except for their little temporary signs advertising Valentine roses for sale.
The advertised prices of those flowers were far lower than the local Florists could offer them for. I suppose they don’t have the overhead the florists have to deal with – things like workman’s comp insurance, unemployment insurance, health insurance, social security tax, income tax, property tax, heck I suppose the local taxpayers who pay for the construction of these palatial fire stations foot the bill for those things and everything else the fire departments need including the wholesale cost of the flowers.
I took note of the houses around those fire departments too and the fact that most of them needed quite a bit of TLC. I’ll bet that most of the homeowners in the neighborhoods around these fire departments have no idea how much of their property taxes go to these fire departments. I bet some of the fire palace extravagance could have been used to patch a roof, fix a window or paint some of those houses. I’d also bet the local flower shops resent the fact that their tax dollars are being used to supply Valentine’s Day flowers to people who might otherwise be buying theirs.
Florists are among the first businesses to go under when the economy turns sour. In fact there used to be a flower shop in the storefront where I started my Guilderland computer business several years ago. (As a side note, my Greenbush computer shop used to be a Church.)
I recently made a big stink about the sign restrictions placed on businesses in the town of Guilderland. I asked if our sign sheriff was enforcing the sign law universally or arbitrarily. I wondered if Guilderland fire departments comply with the same sign laws when they advertise flowers for sale or other events.
I was listening to the radio while driving and making these mental notes when by coincidence I heard a news report about a florist in Latham who had the temerity to speak up about the unfair competition that her neighboring fire department was imposing on her. The interviewer presented a small fraction of her statement and followed up with a lengthier statement by a spokesman for the fire department. The report made the florist sound like she was making a whine of sour grapes while the fireman who mentioned their voluntary nature and the danger of fund raising at busy intersections seemed so much more reasonable.
I think the only people who could complain about the firemen taking donations in their boots at busy intersections would be the homeless guys who usually occupy that space with signs like: “Will work for food”. I wonder if any of them once owned a flower shop.
1/13/12 Trickle-Down Socialism
Several weeks ago, I wrote a pro-hydrofracking letter in this paper and in his responding letter, Aaron Harrell sought to associate the Occupy Wall Street movement with the fight against drilling for natural gas here.
While there is no direct connection between Wall Street and gas drilling in the western part of NY State, they both represent vital components of capitalism.
And that's where Mr. Harrell's connection to OWS stems from. Both he and the OWS participants believe our nation is suffering under the oppression of “unrestrained capitalism”.
This is a baseless claim to be sure but more importantly, it is being used as a distraction from the real culprit behind our economic woes - Trickle-Down Socialism.
While the Occupy movement was disparate in its objectives, the people and organizations that gave birth to it in July were extreme anti-capitalists. Adbusters got it all started but could not have been successful without the financial backing of one of the world's wealthiest men, George Soros, a left-wing capitalist or what I like to call a "venture socialist".
Mr. Soros has been the money man behind a vast network of leftist causes and organizations. His estimated worth is $22 billion. So how is it that someone at the very top of the 1% is in bed with a movement whose goal is to overthrow the very people who made their mission possible?
Many people think Mr. Soros uses his wealth, which has been acquired through his ventures in capitalism, to bring about a one-world socialist government. Having read Mr. Soros' history of defrauding people, I am convinced that his joint ventures in socialism and capitalism are engineered solely to increase his personal wealth.
He has used the power of his money to steer investors into financial traps that he trips after he has positioned himself into a competing position. He has acquired more wealth during this period of recession than he had prior to it. He has financial interests in foreign oil but is also invested in development of natural gas engines so that it's hard to know where his money is going to come into play with regard to hydrofracking. We will have to keep an eye on that. And when I say "we" I mean the full 99%. There is common ground between Occupiers and TEA Partiers. We are living in the Land of Oz here and should all keep an eye on Toto.
As we approach the middle of winter when people are most vulnerable for feeling depressed, I would like to open a discussion about suicide. I lost a coworker to suicide last February and recall the feelings of helplessness and guilt that many of his friends and relatives expressed. I don’t know how effective suicide prevention measures can be when individuals are keeping such feelings inside but I decided to increase my awareness by searching the Internet.
The first thing I learned is that men are far more likely to commit suicide than women. This is a worldwide trend. There is virtually nowhere on Earth where women commit suicide at a higher rate than men. The disparity is about 4 to 1 in the US. To me, this shows the effectiveness of counseling organizations that women are more likely to open up to.
Most studies indicate that, on average, white men are four times more likely to commit suicide than black men. The website www.Suicide.org puts the US suicide rate of white people of all ages at fourteen times that of black people.
It’s common knowledge that northern winters and the lack of sunshine are contributing factors to depression. In one study of the past fifteen years (www.chartsbin.com), the country with the highest rate in the world was Belarus (63.3 men – 10.3 women/100,000 people) followed by neighboring Lithuania and Russia. The country with the lowest rate was Egypt (0.1 men -0 women/100,000) followed by Syria and Jamaica. All studies of native populations indicate that, the farther from the equator, the higher the suicide rate.
There seems to be a hereditary or genetic component as well. That could explain why more recent generations of light skinned people native to northern old world climates are more prone to suicide no matter where they currently live.
A study featured on the website: www.gallup.com showed that the more God-centered a society is, the less likely its people are to turn to suicide. Could it be that God is hope for those who would otherwise feel their life is hopeless?
Hard economic times put a lot of people into despair and access to drugs or a gun can make it difficult for an individual to get beyond a sudden impulse that may otherwise pass.
If you are depressed, real help is available at Albany County Mobile Crisis (518) 447-9650, Samaritans Suicide Prevention Center (518) 689-4673, National Suicide Prevention Lifeline 1-800-273-8255 or online at www.CrisisChat.org.
If you are a reticent white male, not inclined to seek help and have impulsive feelings, put an end to the life you’ve been living by starting a new life. You can’t make yourself black or female but you can grab a book about God and head to where the weather is warm. There is a purpose to your life. To find it you have to live it.
12/1/11 The BUY LOCAL – BUY AMERICAN campaign
I have to admit I am a late-comer to the idea of buying locally but now that I have finally come around to its benefits, I plan on passing the idea along.
I always thought I would get the best price by buying online or from a big box store because of their sheer volume and sometimes that’s true. A staple is a staple no matter who you buy it from.
But big businesses can get top heavy, bureaucratic and inefficient. That translates into higher costs that have to be passed along to the consumer (unless you are politically aligned with the right people in government who will bail you out with would-be customers’ tax dollars under the oxymoronic pretense of being too big to fail – but I digress).
The larger the business, the less personal service it will be able to offer. Personal service adds cost to doing business but it also offers value that I, as a consumer, have come to appreciate.
If you’ve ever purchased anything online you know how hard it is to contact the seller if there is a problem with your purchase. Merchandise advertised as new, often isn’t. Knock-offs abound and shipping snafus are common.
As a local business owner myself, I’ve often heard a customer say that they chose to patronize my store because they like to do business locally. I thank them, but will also make an extra effort to show them the value in their choice. While it’s true that buying local helps our local economy in many ways, for most shoppers, it’s not the crux of their decision to do so. I want customers to be able to tell their friends and neighbors that they made the right choice for the right reasons.
It’s not easy for a small local business to offer the variety of products that you can find in a big box store, so what a local business needs to do is to provide quality over quantity.
Buying American is another growing factor for a lot of consumers. But given the amount of manufacturing that has been driven overseas due to excessive tax, regulation and labor costs, it is hard to find products that are still being made here.
The recent floods in Taiwan offer a perfect example of how dangerous it is for America to rely so heavily on foreign manufacturing. Floods there have wiped out a number of specialized production facilities including computer hard drive motors. The resulting shortages have caused hard drive prices to double in recent weeks and computer manufacturers are running out - just in time for Christmas.
We need to become self reliant once again. With that in mind, I would like to make a “put your money where your mouth is” offer.
I build and sell computers, and many customers have asked if I also sell computer desks and chairs. I’ve always had to say “No” but I would like to be able to say “Yes”. So, if you have an American made desk to sell, or know of a local craftsman (the next Gustav Stickley?) who would like to make desks to sell, please let me know.
11-14-11 Anti-Fracking Hyperbole
In his Nov. 10th letter to the Editor of the Altamont Enterprise, I think Mr. Charles Burgess said more than he meant to when he suggested that: “The anti-hydrofracking movement is not a leftist movement.” We now know, through his admission, that an anti-hydrofracking movement exists. Must be a centrist or right-wing movement, right?
If it’s simply a matter of right verses wrong, and Mr. Burgess feels that he is right, he ought to be able to prove his dire declarations of truth: Hydrofracking will “poison your neighbor’s drinking water” (but not your own?). Please give us an example of the: “poisoned streams, fish kills, livestock kills, explosions, fires”.
There have been other anti-fracking letters in this paper recently but none have offered a specific instance where hydrofracking has damaged the environment. There must be at least one example of such pestilence that the main-stream media has exposed for the public good.
We've all heard that GM made pick-up trucks that were prone to gas tank explosions and that George Bush went AWOL from the National Guard because those glittering gems of journalistic investigation were broadcast on the nightly news. And in terms of importance, those examples (of pure fiction) were minor when compared to all the death and destruction Mr. Burgess describes.
Or does Mr. Burgess’ truth come from the Internet where you can learn that the government has a 35 acre antenna in Alaska that is controlling the weather and causing tornadoes in New York ? Or that the vapor trails from high flying jets are really mind control chemicals being sprayed on us.
The fact is that the baseless arguments Mr. Burgess used against hydrofracking in NY have been used in the run-up to hydrofracking approval in every state where it is currently in practice. We shouldn’t have to entertain his environmental zeal just because he was not present when others debated this before us.
When Mr. Burgess suggested that hydrofracking was better suited for “western states” it sounded suspiciously like: “Not in my back yard”. Where would we be if we never mined or drilled for any of the natural resources we have because the same arguments could have been used against coal in Pennsylvania , oil in Texas or gold in California ?
Just think of how much higher our quality of life would be if we hadn’t listened to left-wing environmental extremists when we stopped harvesting trees because they thought we were destroying owl habitat. That single act of imprudent resource mismanagement lead to exorbitant lumber prices putting home ownership further out of reach for many Americans.
Before worrying that hydrofracking pumps toxic substances deep into the ground, consider the fact that the gas and oil we are extracting is far more toxic. What isn’t toxic a mile underground?
Nature herself is far more toxic and lethal than mankind. Right now there is an underwater volcano off the Canary Islands spewing a flotsam of toxins that have caused the evacuation of 2200 people from their homes. Many other recent volcanoes have caused vast environmental damage and death. There is crude oil seeping up from the ocean floor through natural cracks and fissures that dwarf the oil mankind has accidentally spilled. In fact, the entire surface of the planet has been destroyed and remade many times over by nature. And nature’s power is in turn dwarfed by what the sun is doing to us every day. Our sun causes wild temperature fluctuations on a daily basis and we are all supposed to be wringing our hands over the one half of one degree over a span of decades that radical environmentalists strive to blame on mankind.
Get a friggin life already!
11/8/11 Anti-Fracking Nonsense
In Susan Anderson’s Altamont Enterprise letter of Oct. 27, 2011, she claims that I was misleading in stating that we enjoy affordable natural gas today because of how much of it is produced in North Dakota. But I never said that. I said North Dakota enjoys the lowest unemployment rate in the country at 3% because of the jobs that hydrofracking created there.
I also said that we enjoy affordable natural gas because of the hydrofracted supply that other states have been able to produce.
Both of my statements were accurate and true. It’s only through misreading that a person can combine the two facts to come up with a third statement that is not true. I am surprised that the editor of this paper allowed such an obvious misrepresentation of the facts to make it to print.
She further claims that according to an article she read in Scientific American Nov. 2011, the main way that methane gets into groundwater is through cracks in and around the shallower part of the hydrofraction well shaft.
But methane occurs naturally in groundwater at various concentrations because both are present in shallower ground far above the shale fields of oil and gas. People have had methane in their water wells forever and sometimes tap directly into a methane pocket when drilling for water. That’s how people can occasionally light a match to their tap water.
As for another letter of the same date by Aaron Harrell – I think he’s been inhaling too much methane and I don’t even want to guess where it’s coming from.
10-14-11 A Hydrofracking Perspective
With the promise of safe, clean energy right below our feet, everybody in New York should get behind this innovative drilling technology, but there is a noisy cabal of hysterical anti-capitalists who are trying to stand in the way. You can find them occupying Wall Street right now. They’re the type who think the movie “Avatar” is more allegory than fantasy. The same people who shout “No blood for oil” when we attempt to liberate the oppressed citizens of Middle Eastern dictatorships are now trying to prevent our access to oil and gas here as well. Judging by letters in this newspaper recently, they have had some early and easy success in stirring up the usual, emotion driven, Not-In-My-Back-Yard negative mentality here. Such distasteful agitation should have no place among thoughtful citizens.
Some politicians in state government will capitalize on this derision - using it to create a sense of justification for imposing confiscatory taxes, leases and licensing fees on the very people who bring us hope for affordable heat. We should not be encouraging government to engage in what has been appropriately described as “venture socialism” which it sees another opportunity for here - using its power and our tax dollars to reward risky, unproven technology (Solyndra) while discouraging and penalizing the politically incorrect and those who won’t “pay-to-play”.
The companies who’ve developed hydraulic fracturing will not require subsidies like solar and wind technologies. They deserve our undivided support, not another shakedown by our heavy-handed state bureaucracy.
Wells drilled for oil and gas extraction are safe, clean and economical. They are located far deeper than the wells where we find water. Hydraulic fracturing, sometimes called hydrofracking, does not cause flaming tap water or pollution. It has been in practice for over 60 years but the more recent innovation of horizontal drilling has really created this revolution in energy supply.
New York has the largest deposits of shale gas in the country and shale gas is expected to make up half of all natural gas production by 2020. Our known nationwide reserves are enough to meet the consumption demands of the entire country for the next 100 years. The only reason we have affordable gas today is due to the hydrofracted supply that other states have been able to bring to market. The state of North Dakota has embraced the use of hydrofracking coupled with horizontal drilling and as a result has the lowest unemployment rate in the country at 3%.
As we go forward with this debate, let’s question the veracity of doom-and-gloom claims by left-wing environmental extremists whose expressed goal has always been the destruction of capitalism. Far too many New Yorkers will be facing harsh winters of unmanageable heat costs if we don’t address energy supply in an intelligent manner now.
8/31/11 Violating our 1st Amendments Rights with Immunity
Today I was visited by Guilderland Zoning Enforcement Officer, Roger E. Stone II after I parked my bicycle, with a sign attached, on the front lawn of Carman Plaza. He said it was in violation of the zoning ordinance regarding banners.
I refused to take his word for the level of specificity that would prohibit anything other than a sign that is fixed to the property. He offered to go back to his office and return with the code book, which I agreed would be necessary.
When he returned and read the code to me, I told him that I didn’t hear anything there that specified mobile signage. When I asked if I could ride the bike with the sign on it, he said “no”, and that even signs held up by employees, such as the “No Waiting” signs that fast change auto lube type shops often use are also prohibited. He also informed me that he cited the owner of a neighboring business for parking his equipment trailer in the parking lot because it had signage applied to it, and that businesses who took their cases to court had lost.
When I expressed my abject disbelief, he informed me that I could jump through a few hoops to possibly get a temporary variance and also of an upcoming town meeting next Friday to discuss easing the restrictions - a flash of hope. But a short while later he called back to inform me that he was wrong about the date but would be calling me when he knew the correct date and time.
I then called the Town Zoning Office at 356-1980 and asked to speak to the Zoning Administrator, Don Cropsey Jr. to be sure I had accurate information regarding signage and meetings and that I wasn’t simply the victim of an overzealous public servant on a power trip.
It turns out there is no specific day that the topic of signs will be discussed in a town meeting. The sign ordinance is just one part of an overall restructuring of the outdated town zoning law. Sign regulations seem to be a sticking point that they have put off because of the contentiousness of the subject. I don’t see why it should be. Advertising is a first amendment right and while a municipality may have gotten away with trampling on that right with immunity when it comes to signage affixed to property, it does not have the authority to prohibit people from displaying a hand held sign or any type of vehicular signage. At one point in our discussion, Chief Inspector Cropsey divulged the reasoning behind the twisted interpretation of the current law when he asked me to imagine what it would look like if everyone were to put a sign like mine in front of their business. So there you have it – “pretty” trumps free speech. Who gets to decide what’s pretty?
In continuing our discussion, I informed Mr. Cropsey that I have another business location in another town that also has a sign ordinance but that it is not as restrictive and they do not have a dedicated zoning enforcement officer charged with preventing restaurants from advertising their “soup-of-the-day” and such. The only time they will enforce the code is if they receive a complaint. The way Guilderland approaches enforcement could easily be viewed as arbitrary, even capricious. Had they dared to visit the phone company union workers with their banners and pickets when they were recently on strike?
Later that day I walked to a neighboring eatery for lunch and while there I spoke to the owner about my experience with the sign sheriff. She too had a run-in when she displayed a “Grand Opening” banner in front of her restaurant. Another customer there joined in with his own example of this egregiousness. On my way back I ran into two other shop owners who had similar stories. By the end of the day, I was convinced that I had to speak up – hence this letter.
I am hoping that if and when the public meeting actually occurs, the Guilderland business community will make themselves heard. We are a minority of the population and we don’t even enjoy the right to vote on town issues but we do provide the most indispensable tax revenue.
If residents of this town want to be able to fund their schools and build palatial fire departments, libraries and other municipal projects, they must understand that we on “Main Street” need the ability to generate those funds. Advertising our wares is paramount to that goal.
6-25-11 TRUE FEMINISTS
I’d like to take a break from tormenting liberals to write about some truly iconic feminists who are devoting their lives to saving America. I’m referring to these women as true feminists because they epitomize those suffragettes of a hundred years ago as opposed to the imposters of today who seek dependency on government for all women.
Ann Coulter, author of “How to Talk to a Liberal (If You Must)”, has a new book entitled: “Demonic: How the Liberal Mob is Endangering America”. I have read an excerpt of her new book as it appeared in the June 13 issue of “Human Events”. That enticing excerpt was a well researched and documented account of the real history of slavery, its abolition and segregation. Judging from the teaser, it will be another of her classic page-turners.
Sarah Palin is the subject of a documentary film being released next month entitled: “The Undefeated” by Stephen K Bannon. It promises to explode the fallacious misrepresentations of her that compromised her ability to win the Presidency for John McCain. It will chronicle her rise from Alaska’s Oil and Gas Commission to defeat the “good-ol-boy” establishment, win the governorship and end the cronyism and corruption that plagued her state. This movie will give hope to millions of Americans who would like her to do the same for the rest of the country in whatever capacity she is most able to do it.
Congresswoman Michele Bachmann has just announced her candidacy for President. She is known to TEA Partiers for her stand against government dependency and for things like School Choice. She is the mother of five children and has been the foster parent of 23 more. She holds 2 law degrees and co-owns a mental health care practice with her husband that employs 42 people.
As accomplished as these women have proven to be, wouldn’t you expect them to be championed as such in the media? None of what I have just presented to you was found in any main stream media report. This is why there is a new media on the rise.
11-3-10 STILL WISHING SUCCESS TO PRES. OBAMA
Just after the 2008 election and after Rush Limbaugh made the statement that he hoped President Obama would fail, I wrote an article wishing him success.
I noted that “success”, much like the word “change” is a relative term. Both hold different meanings for different people. I believe that a person’s success depends on their ability to change as conditions merit. Wise and open-minded people will learn new things every day that will cause them to change their approach to their goals. If people are not open minded, they cannot learn and therefore will not change as warranted. They will be relegated to reliving the failed policies of the past.
“The failed policies of the past” as often blamed by Pres Obama for our current economic condition are not, as he thinks, the Bush tax cuts.
The real “failed policies of the past” are those that President Obama has been blindly pursuing. They are the same policies that the Soviet Union ’s politicians pursued to their ultimate collapse. It was their crushing debt just as it is ours that now afflicts us. It was and is a consequence of politicians trying to provide their people with the fruits of other peoples’ labor. It is a horrible condition of existence known as ‘serfdom’.
Frederich Hayek received a Nobel Prize for “The Road to Serfdom” which was first published in 1944. His book has seen a tremendous resurgence in popularity lately as people seek answers to our economic plight. It is widely read by TEA Party activists. I would like to recommend another book that I feel is important at this time: The Road From Serfdom by Robert Skidelsky or at the very least a 1996 review of that book by Richard M. Ebeling.
Our success as a country depends on our President’s success. Today, his success depends on his ability to learn and change.
8-26-2010 UNDEMOCRATIC DEMOCRATS
To the Editor,
Charles Dedrick’s August 15th article: “Tax cap bad for state’s neediest students”, attempts to make the case that low-poverty school districts are being deprived of the funds they need in order to provide a sound basic education to their students.
Mr. Dedrick compares two hypothetical districts, one low-poverty, the other high-poverty, and creates a scenario where a tax cap would result in the high-poverty district receiving less revenue than the rest.
One of the incorrect assumptions in his comparison is that both districts start out with equal funding to the other. This is not the case at all. High-poverty districts (no coincidence they’re Democrat strongholds) always receive far more funding than rural or suburban districts.
Astute readers may recall the Campaign for Fiscal Equity, a union backed lawsuit brought against the state by a NYC group that dogged the Pataki administration, which sought and ultimately received several billion dollars for their districts.
As then President of Capitol District Citizens for Educational Freedom, I was deeply immersed in opposition to transferring tax revenue from districts like my East Greenbush Central School District to NYC schools that already received far more revenue per pupil than ours. All that money did nothing to improve educational quality.
More recently we had the No Child Left Behind law, the main component of which was a highly effective program called Reading First which was funded at about $1billion per year. When Democrats took over Congress in 2007 they cut funding for Reading First and simply transferred that revenue to Title 1 (high-poverty) districts.
Today we have another one-shot windfall coming to our Democrat controlled state in the form of about $700 million from the Democrat controlled federal government which is a sure bet to end up in the same Democrat controlled city school districts that cannot provide a sound basic education no matter how much money they spend.
Money is not the answer. Ironically, the solution is democracy - our right to choose, an element that is currently missing from today’s politically constrained public schools.
12-18-09 Health Care or American Idol?
Many young people I speak to these days are absolutely convinced that they can do two or more
things at once with the same results as if attempting each task individually. I say: Prove it.
Show me how you can watch your favorite television show, play a game on your X-Box and
surf the Internet at the same time with the same effectiveness. I don’t think it’s possible. You
see, I think you’re allowing yourself to be distracted.
There are some vitally important issues being decided by your elders today that will have a
profound effect on your future and you should be paying attention. You should be part of the
So, while living vicariously through your favorite reality show, or being the hero in ‘Call Of
Duty’, let's see how much research into ‘Health Care Reform’ you can accomplish. I would
suggest visiting the heritage.org or humanevents.com websites.
As you read about the issue, try to answer these questions: How can health care, via health
insurance, be a right if it requires citizens to participate in it against their will?
If you drive a car, you are required to have auto insurance. Shouldn't the government give you
Is employment a right? If you have a job, your employer is paying for unemployment insurance
with money that would otherwise be in your paycheck each week. Shouldn't that be free?
Likewise for workers compensation insurance?
You certainly have a right to life so doesn't it stand to reason that life insurance should also be
free? You can have life without health but you can't have health without life.
The concept behind health insurance is collectivism. It is not a “right”.
The questions I’ve just asked are very basic and should have been addressed in the health care
debate but they weren’t. Instead, the extreme left-wing Democrats who control Washington
tried to muscle a fascist-like bill into law while you were distracted. But at least you had a
chance to vote for your American Idol.
11/13/09 BE THE MAGMA
One of the many problems Americans are facing today is that the political class has become just that; a class. They have destroyed what I believe is an essential hallmark of America ’s exceptionalism. Historically, every American citizen has had the opportunity to advance from whatever condition they were born into, to any station they merit. Rags to riches has exemplified the story of many a millionaire.
But this key element of our heritage is under assault from the current ruling class. Through a wide array of machinations, this ruling political class has created a protected environment that severely limits the average citizen’s access. Nepotism, Party gerrymandering, taxation, unionism et al, are part of what can be nothing less than a collaborative effort (others might say conspiracy) by those who wish to maintain their power.
Cuomo, Paterson, Kennedy and Rockefeller come to mind in a flash but you probably can think of many more.
Both political parties have conspired to create election districts that are not only safe from the other but from the non-affiliated citizen as well.
The rich getting richer and the poor getting poorer are consequences of oppressive tax policies that keep each in their place.
Public employee unions’ mission of the individual worker’s protection and advancement has been adulterated into one of pure Marxism.
There is a highly pressurized magma under the crust of every volcano and while no one knows when it will erupt, the warning signs ought not be ignored. To confront the threat, the ruling class has taken preventive measures. The plan consists of two primary elements; distraction and obfuscation. They distract the public like a parent distracts a two year old child having a fit and they collaborate with their friends in the media to help them do it. But just as a child grows leery of endless distraction, the public too is becoming aware of the depth of the plot against their liberties.
While it’s not possible to prevent a volcanic eruption, being aware is the first step toward being safe. Be aware. Be Magma.
10/23/09 WHY BOTHER VOTING?
They call it an off-year election because the public offices the candidates are vying for
aren’t major offices. So voters aren’t as inclined to make an effort to get to know the
candidates or the issues. Or, if we know the issues and the candidates, we just don’t care
enough about them to take the time away from our busy schedules.
And we all know someone who isn’t even registered to vote and has never seen the
importance of doing so. For years, I have kept a stack of voter registration forms just
inside the entrance of my business but I can only recall one person ever picking one up.
Voting is the most important of our Constitutional rights. All our other rights can come
and go as a consequence of our vote. Even if we don’t care about the issues or candidates
we are faced with in this election, these comparatively minor votes will have
consequences in years to come.
Nearly every Federal elected official today started out in a minor office somewhere.
Today’s town councilman could be tomorrow’s Senator, Governor or even President. I
would love to be able to point to the President ten years from now and be able to say: “I
voted for him/her when he/she ran for Mayor”.
If you care about your country, family and their future, take the time to find out what this
year’s local candidates think about the bigger issues that concern you, and if you find
yourself in agreement, give them the confidence they will need to shape the future.
If you aren’t registered to vote or know someone who isn’t, stop at the Post Office and
get the form, or go to your polling place on Election Day and request one. You may not
be willing to vote this year but wouldn’t it be a shame if you are very willing next year –
but aren’t able to? Can you appreciate the blessing of being an American?
7-28-09 Health insurance is not a right
Health insurance is a socialist/collectivist scheme that is ultimately doomed to failure.
The reasons are obvious and I find it hard to believe that those reasons are not being
discussed during debate over this so-called “reform” legislation. The flaws are
fundamental in nature and cannot be fixed by anything our President or Congress is
proposing under the guise of reform.
Let’s look at our government’s history of “reform” and compare it to the health care
reform being proposed today.
Decades ago we were debating welfare reform and it always amazed me when liberals
thought that reform meant providing more money for people on welfare. I thought the
reason for reform was to stop welfare fraud and save the taxpayers money. But liberals
fought against the true nature of reform by asking: “How are you going to pay for it?”
This left me scratching my head, thinking: “How does it cost money to save money?”
Liberals won the welfare reform debate back then by steering the debate away from the
fundamental flaw in the system in that the government has no Constitutional authority to
take the fruits of one citizen’s labor and give it to another.
The debate over health care reform is much the same except that the liberals (socialists
really) have taken to calling health insurance a right. It is not and cannot ever be a right.
Let’s look at true rights and realize the difference. I have the right to free speech but the
government cannot force me to speak. I have the right to own a gun but the government
will not provide me with one if I cannot afford to buy it. I have the right to worship God
but the government cannot provide me with a taxpayer funded church, temple or
synagogue or compel me to attend one. Rights do not cost money and the government
cannot compel a citizen to exercise a right if he or she does not want to.
3-25-2009 Pushing People Until They Snap
I’ve been giving some thought to this notion that anyone who takes a legitimate stand against big government is a potential Timothy McVeigh. The first thing you have to realize is what it was that caused McVeigh to turn to violence. He was angered and frustrated in part by what happened to Randy Weaver at Ruby Ridge.
Now I am just going by my memory and don’t have time to reconfirm what I read years ago so forgive me if I err on some small points. Randy Weaver if I recall correctly was a skinhead and belonged to a group that the FBI wanted to infiltrate.
So they came up with a very convoluted entrapment scheme where an informant enlisted Randy Weaver to cut down a shotgun barrel to below the legal size limit so they could arrest him for it. The FBI did this just so they could have a bargaining tool to turn him into an informant against the group. From what I recall reading, Weaver didn’t even cut the gun below the limit but got arrested anyway and was given a court date.
When he got to court on that date, he was told that the date had been changed. He hadn’t been notified though. When the rescheduled date came around, Weaver didn’t show up. So a team of heavily armed BATF and FBI agents descended upon this shack of a house in the backwoods.
They first shot his dog that was barking at them. Then when his young son (maybe 12?) grabbed his .22 rifle to see what was going on, they shot him. And when Weaver’s wife confronted them while on her front porch and holding their infant child in her arms, they shot her. Randy Weaver was the only one they didn’t kill.
The agents violated all their rules of engagement but the guy who ultimately was found to be responsible didn’t get fired or even reprimanded. He got a promotion.
I don’t recall Rush Limbaugh ever discussing Randy Weaver on his show but immediately after the Oklahoma City bombing some Liberal news magazine put a picture on its cover of a Firefighter holding a one of the dead children in his arms and the caption read something like: Thank You Rush Limbaugh.
It turned out that the firefighter was actually a fan of Limbaugh and didn’t appreciate the implication they had made.
Our government created Tim McVeigh the terrorist and they just refuse to face that fact. They keep oppressing people, covering up their malfeasance, and placing blame on the victims and witnesses.
There is only one way to prevent domestic terrorism and that is to stop pushing citizens into corners until they snap.
3/17/09 The Future of Print Journalism
I have been writing to editors of local newspapers and a few national publications for about 25 years. One of my
first was to the editor of a prominent local daily. It was handwritten and I just knew when I wrote it that the
editor would probably laugh and toss it in the circular file.
I started by asking a very frank and serious question: Is it your objective to sell newspapers or promote
socialism? I went on to suggest that if his ideological agenda was superior to his capitalistic responsibility, his
paper would suffer decreasing circulation, lose advertisers and eventually fold.
This was before the advent of the Internet and the personal computer. The oft suggested notion that the Internet
has caused the demise of print journalism is hogwash. Newspaper people who think such would do well to start
searching for the real culprit by looking in the mirror.
Most editors I have spoken to have had an agenda that didn’t involve sustaining a publication that would attract
readers and advertisers. It isn’t that hard to do but if it becomes known or even suspected that a newspaper
regards the “silent majority” of its readers with contempt, those readers will cease to be. Advertisers would
There are a number of other systemic problems that have contributed to the demise of newspapers but biased
content is foremost. Today our daily newspapers are in the same precarious position that AM radio was in about
twenty years ago. One man turned that around by bucking the status quo and challenging the intelligence of the
intelligentsia. The naked emperors of journalism can do the same thing by forgoing their bias and attracting a
more diverse readership. Only their pride will prevent them from seeing their mistakes and making changes
The reason that talk radio is doing so well today is that newspapers created a void that needed to be filled.
That’s the way it is with capitalism. Our founders created the first nation in the history of
the world where citizens are naturally free to capitalize on opportunities as they arise.
About 20 years ago one enterprising young man took advantage of an opportunity that
presented itself. The field was AM radio which had been stifled by something called the
Fairness Doctrine. His opportunity arose when President Reagan abolished the
inappropriately named doctrine that had limited free speech for decades. The young man
was Rush Limbaugh and he had something to say. He was the right man at the right time
We can all learn from his experience which he is very willing to share.
The key to the success of any news medium is the ability to generate revenue through
advertising. From a business owner’s perspective, the best advertising is the one that most
efficiently reaches the customers you want to attract. A national business will use
television and the internet because they are wide ranging. A regional business will use
popular local radio to broadcast their advertisements to their potential customers and
smaller local businesses will utilize local newspapers such as the expertly managed one
you are now reading.
Print journalism is an essential part of our economy, but it is a field that has been stifled
by political correctness and bias. Most people in the press prefer to play the victim and
suggest that the egg came before the chicken but the truth is that newspaper publishers
laid the egg that hatched into talk radio and Internet news blogs.
2/20/09 Slaughtering Cattle to Make the Sun Rise
I would like to share an article that has been making the rounds on the Internet lately. It was written by Clayton E. Cramer of Horseshoe Bend, Idaho. Space limitations permit printing only part of this insightful article:
“Many ‘primitive’ religions confuse cause and effect. The priest tells you to sacrifice an animal (or sometimes a human being) to make sure that the rains come, so that there will be a bountiful harvest. Would the rains come anyway? Who knows? Why take chances? Boom and bust cycles are a natural part of a capitalist economy. Much (perhaps even most) of the enormous debt burden that this stimulus bill will handcuff onto the next generation will be for spending that will not start until after the Congressional Budget Office believes the recession will be over. So why was there this unseemly rush to get this bill passed?
The sun is going to rise shortly. The priest is insisting that we need to slaughter that bull right now or the sun won’t rise. But here’s the difference between that primitive priest and the Congressional majority that just passed the stimulus bill: the majority knows that the sun is about to rise—-and they are terrified that if we wait much longer, we’ll figure out that the sun was going to rise anyway, and this enormous burden of debt to pay off special interests wasn’t necessary.”
It’s too late for taxpayers to do much of anything about it now, so why do I bother to present this truth? I guess if you are reading this and already know about the wizard behind the curtain, this letter is to let you know that you are not alone.
2-14-09 Stimulating a Few - Depressing the Many
There are so many things wrong with the federal “stimulus package” that it is difficult to decide where to start when critiquing it. I guess I’ll start with what I think is the most egregious aspect – the use of public taxpayer dollars for private purposes. Liberals in particular have strongly opposed such uses in the past. It has been their battle cry when attacking the concept of school vouchers. They said it was unconstitutional for taxpayer dollars to be given to private and religious schools – even though the tax revenue would go to the parent who would make a choice of where to spend it.
But taxpayer dollars are increasingly being used to bail out private institutions directly and in escalating dollar amounts. Here in New York we have bailed out numerous businesses that were threatening to move or close their doors and lay people off. More often than not they take the money and close their doors anyway – think Garden Way of Troy. We have also been using tax revenue and incentives to try to lure new business to come to our state – think AMD.
Even if it could be shown that a bailout would work, (they can’t - that’s why they needed to ram this through fast) it is morally reprehensible to take money from one taxpayer and give it to another. That taxpayer may likely be in their financial mess because of the very taxes they were forced to pay, which may very well have been used to bail out someone else before them! It’s a vicious cycle – an endless pyramid scheme whipped up by self-centered politicians who have no vision or conscience. Is this what you voted for?
2/10/09 THE OLD MEN OF THE HILLS
To the Editor,
Lasts week’s Old Men of the Mountain column in the Altamont Enterprise was very interesting reading for me. Where I am from in the hills of Rensselaer County we used to have a group that was exactly the same – except just the opposite.
Permit me to explain. Our group was called the Rensselaer County Taxpayers Association. Our ranks consisted mostly of old men of the WWII generation. We had a formal membership of fifty to a hundred members at times. I was the youngest officer and Vice-President for about ten years. Our President was Jim Gillespie. I believe he had been a Navy Chaplain. He was at one time Chairman of the county’s Conservative Party.
We had an inner circle of elected officers who met once a month, usually at the East Greenbush town library. We had all the legal paperwork, a P.O. Box, treasury, an Internet Web page and a monthly newsletter. Jim edited the newsletter and distributed it to a number of stores, barbershops, town offices and such. He did just about everything for the organization. He could afford the time it took because he was a widower and most of his family lived elsewhere.
But we were different from the OMOTM in that all we ever discussed at our meetings was politics. Our ranks consisted of Democrats, Republicans and Independents but we were all fiscally conservative. Several were school board members. Each year we held an annual dinner and gave awards to community members who exemplified our beliefs. We would invite guest speakers to enlighten us as to current events in their specific field of expertise. I was the point man for education reform and would report back from every education related conference I could possibly attend.
But I also had to balance my growing business and family with my quest for truth in government and after a decade or so I had to back off. I had more important new meetings with diapers to attend.
Then we tragically lost Jim Gillespie. We had to piece together what happened to him because he was alone when it happened. His son in law hadn’t heard from him as usual and went to his home to find the door unlocked and blood on the floor. A call to the police informed him that Jim had fallen and was taken to a hospital but it took a few more calls to find which one. He had fallen in the bathroom and cracked his head. We suspect he was unconscious for a while but then got his coat on to drive himself to the hospital for stitches, then thought better of it and called for an ambulance without alarming his family. When he got to the hospital they found that he actually had broken his neck and they had to stabilize him, but an unfortunate series of mistakes resulted in the puncturing of his stomach with an intubation tube and the subsequent septic shock put him in an irreversible coma.
We lost a great man and no one else was ready, willing or able to fill his shoes at the RCTA. We need men like Jim Gillespie who put their country first. He understood that for tyranny to rein all that was needed was for good men to do nothing. If there were people like Jim in every community I have no doubt that our representation in Albany and Washington would be immensely better.
1-16-09 Letter to Editor -The Record newspaper of Troy, NY
The one thing about The Record that makes me a happy reader is Ed Weaver’s Saturday opinion column. It’s good to see someone in the mainstream press who bases his opinions on facts. I think he would be doing a greater service to his country if he were to give up sports writing and devote his full attention to reporting on public policy.
If only we could get more people like Ed Weaver on television, where to this point, the public has been subjected to news that is not so much “news” as it is opinion. Television “reporters” regularly ignore facts that do not support their news manager’s political agenda. Most simply parrot the opinions of one another in order to overpower the few real news reporters.
Worse yet, they have been caught making up stories and falsifying facts in order to advance their agenda. Case in point; when NBC was doing a story on what they thought was a problem with exploding gas tanks in GM trucks and they crashed some of those trucks on video to prove it. The problem was; the gas tanks wouldn’t explode. So they set up an improperly fitting gas cap and some bottle rockets to ignite the fuel in their next crash.
More recently, Dan Rather tried to demonize President Bush using a forged document that purportedly proved that he was a little bit AWOL from his military service.
In both instances these revered media giants got caught. But how many times have they not been caught? How many times have they been caught but had the power to quash the story? How many true news stories go unreported because they don’t fit a political agenda? If you spend your life glued to the television like a Borg, you’ll never know.
12/27/08 FREEDOM TRAIN LOSING STEAM
Our economy can be described as a train that has an engine of Freedom pulling many boxcars. Those boxcars include Public Schools, Manufacturing, Elections, News Media, Religion, Banking and Government to name a few in no particular order. None of these boxcars can go very far without the engine of Freedom.
But there is a problem with this economic train that threatens everyone who relies on it. The jealous little caboose at the back of the train thinks he would be a better engine. His name is Socialism and he has been steadily applying the brakes to our economic train since the days of FDR.
This jealous little caboose has convinced some in the boxcars to join him in abating the engine because it is going too fast and should not be trusted with all that power. Socialism has used the power of free speech that the freedom engine provides, to convince the Public Schools, Government, and many in the Banking and Manufacturing boxcars that they would make a better engine if they worked together as a team.
So they formed a union with the same goal as any other train but without one ingredient – individual freedom.
The union demands complete solidarity. So if you are in the Public School, Government or Manufacturing union boxcars, you will have to subjugate your old fashioned individual rights to the greater good of the union.
The union will give you everything you need so long as you don’t need too much. You’ll have to give up some unnecessary ambitions in the name of equality. And so it has been.
Today our engine of Freedom has had so much of its steam redirected to the socialist caboose that it may not be able to make it up the next hill.
10-13-08 To the Editor, Washington Times MORTGAGE MELTDOWN FACTS
If listening to leftists has taught me anything it’s that whenever they point fingers of blame at their adversaries, they are really just averting attention from themselves.
The most recent example of this is Democratic Senate Majority Leader Nancy Pelosi excoriating President Bush and Republican policy for the mortgage industry meltdown. This meltdown was enabled, if not willfully conceived, by Democrats. I say willfully conceived because it, and the initial bailout they tried to ram through Congress, facilitates the Democrats’ conversion of our country into a Socialist state. Either way, be it willful or witless, it proves that they cannot be trusted with positions at any level of our government. Every player at the center of this scandal has ties to the Clintons, Barack Obama and the Democratic Party machine.
Pelosi acts as if there is no information superhighway or alternative media reporting the facts. The only people being fooled by her tirade are those who rely exclusively on the ever shrinking Liberal media for “news”.
The Clintons have a lot of experience with abusing our mortgage and legal systems. They cut their teeth on Whitewater. Clinton upped the ante when he signed the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act into law, effectively forcing banks to make high risk loans to unqualified buyers in Democratic strongholds.
If you want to be one step ahead of your friends who think they know it all because they’ve seen it on TV, do a Google search of the names; Christopher Dodd, Barney Frank, Maxine Waters, Jamie Garelick or Franklin Raines (to name just a few) along with “mortgage meltdown” or “bailout”. I found an article at the renowned HumanEvents.com website by Ross Kaminsky most informative.
The facts form a case that should lead to the impeachment of a whole lot of Democrats in high places and jail for their cronies in the private sector. But it won’t happen if Nancy Pelosi and the Democrats still control the country after the November elections. Get informed. Get motivated. Get out and vote.
2-14-08 In Praise of President Bush
My Grandparents passed this adage down to me when I was young: “If you can’t say something nice about somebody, don’t say anything at all.”
I have a deep respect and admiration for President Bush and I wish our country’s Liberals had Grandparents like mine. Our Congressional leaders in particular have been the most egregious violators of their old principle.
Senator Kennedy has called him a “liar” about a thousand times when the worst that can be said about his comments on Iraq seeking uranium was that he might have been wrong. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid has called him a “liar” and “a loser” in front of elementary school children. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has called him “incompetent” and “irresponsible”. I am sure that some of them, Ted Kennedy in particular, are simply projecting their own guilt.
Liberal followers, having taken their cue from their leaders, have said much worse. Some want to impeach him and others have gone so far as to publicly suggest that the President should be shot.
What impresses me about President Bush is that he has never responded in kind. There have been many, many times that I have wanted to respond to those insults but I see that President Bush doesn’t do so and I bite my tongue. In fact, when the Swift Boat Vets criticized Senator John Kerry for his Viet Nam war record, President Bush admonished them.
The same thing happened when Congressman Murtha wanted to “cut and run” from Iraq and was subsequently criticized by some of the President’s supporters.
So I have come to admire President Bush as a confident man who leads by example. I don’t always agree with every policy he proposes but even then I am going to try to show him the same respect that he shows his detractors.
I also understand that I, like the aforementioned Liberals, don’t know as much about the factors that lead to the President’s policy decisions as he does. So, if for no other reason than to protect my own credibility I will at least wait until some of those policies have had a chance to bear fruit before passing judgment.
I also remember something I learned from a prominent area realtor during my training as a real estate agent some thirty years ago. He warned us not to engage in criticism of competing agents. He explained his variation of The Golden Rule this way: If you try to ingratiate yourself with clients by pointing to the faults of your competition, you risk convincing them that all agents possess those faults. This is because when your accusation gets repeated to others your name may be forgotten and potential clients are likely to simply remember that real estate agents in general possess those faults. You won’t get credit for being different, and the industry as a whole will suffer the consequences.
I think of this when Liberals point to President Bush’s approval ratings hitting the low thirties as a result of their efforts. The Liberals in Congress don’t seem to recognize the correlation to their own approval ratings falling very nearly into the single digits. It’s a consequence of reaping what they sow. Whenever you here someone say that all politicians are the same, in a derogatory way, this is largely the reason why.
10-20-08 BLAMING THE VICTIMS
To the Editor,
I’ve read it in the papers and heard it parroted by liberal friends – this notion that the recent mortgage meltdown is our fault for borrowing too much. It’s just another example of the people who really caused this problem shifting blame like they always do. I know better, and if anyone gave just a little thought to where their monthly housing expenses went, they would also.
We all rely on borrowing money to live in our homes. Even if you rent, your landlord borrowed money to buy the unit you live in. We all have to pay interest and we all have to pay taxes. And that’s where the problems begin. Taxes have devalued our real estate.
As an example, I have a primary mortgage where my monthly payment when I bought my house was about $1000. Today it’s about $1400. Of that, about $200 is Principle, $400 is Interest and the remaining $800+ per month is Tax (mostly local school tax).
Over the years my principle and interest have stayed the same but the local taxes have doubled. My house has not really increased in value much in large part because my potential equity has been plundered by taxation.
If I were to sell my house, potential buyers would have to consider how much of their monthly income they can allocate for PIT – Principle, Interest & Taxes. The value of my house is largely determined by how much buyers are ready, willing and able to pay on a monthly basis. If they can afford to pay $1400 per month and decide to buy my house, they will have reimbursed me for some of the taxes I’ve paid but I will not have earned anything from my investment. The new owner will not only be amortizing the sum total of my $400/month tax increases but will also witness tax increases of their own and the vicious cycle will continue.
Now some people may try to argue that variable rate mortgages are as much to blame but they are wrong. We have a choice of fixed or variable rates at our discretion but we have no choice with regard to taxes. We pay or we are made homeless.
We have been forced to borrow money to pay our taxes. The problem is massive TAXFLATION and the fault lies with liberal spending elected officials, from our school boards to our lawmakers and public executives at every level. The only choice we have with regard to how much of our home value we will give up for taxes is at the ballot box on Election Day. Their spending spree must come to an end. We must elect Conservatives NOW!
3-18-08 The mess our new governor is inheriting
I recently wrote a letter regarding Governor Spitzer’s plans to improve Upstate New York’s business climate by increasing government spending. And while people in general learn best through personal experience I am going to attempt to further explain how government oppresses business growth by relaying my own experience.
The biggest detriment to business creation, survival and growth is taxation. In one year my small business generates about $77,000 in income, sales and property taxes. That’s more than I currently take home and there have been years when the effective annual tax rate I’ve paid has been upwards of 80%. Those state taxes are much lower or even nonexistent in other states and that’s the primary reason that New York businesses either relocate or go under.
There are many other taxes that directly affect the ability to make a worthwhile profit in New York but the income, sales and property taxes are the most easily quantified. Even so, many people aren’t aware of how much they pay in these taxes because the government has effectively hidden them.
The income tax used to be collected from individuals at the end of the year when they made one payment after calculating what they owed. The income tax was not as big as it is today and not nearly as many people had to pay it. Then the government decided to create a ‘withholding’ system that effectively hid and enabled massive tax increases. You pay an estimated tax from each week’s pay so the total amount isn’t such a shock. On top of that the government has replaced the once a year payment with a once a year partial refund. To many people this is greeted like Christmas. Today some people will get a tax refund even if they haven’t paid any taxes.
Sales taxes are much the same in that they started at a much lower rate but soon grew. We pay it incrementally as we spend our income (which has already been taxed) but if people knew the sum of the sales tax they spent at the end of each year, they would be shocked and I’m sure a bit rebellious.
Most home and business owners have mortgage payments that include a monthly escrow payment for property taxes. Because of this, many aren’t aware of their total property tax payments but once you have paid off your mortgage you will be made keenly aware of how much you have paid over the years. Furthermore, our senior citizens were being taxed out of their homes because their mortgages were usually paid off by the time they retired and they had to go back to paying their property tax in one huge annual payment. Their income was a fixed amount but property taxes, having no relationship to a person’s ability to pay, continued to increase. People complained about this until Governor Pataki initiated the STAR program (unfortunately lacking a spending cap) to provide property tax relief for seniors and a token refund for anyone else who took the time to apply for it. Like the annual income tax refund, this makes our government seem magnanimous to many people.
There are many other taxes hidden within payments for telephones, gas, electricity et al but it still isn’t enough to satisfy government’s addiction to spending.
Being innovative, our government has taken to increasing fees for licensing of all kinds and cutting back on services. Employers have to pay for unemployment insurance on themselves (Can I fire myself and collect unemployment benefits?) and workers compensation insurance is out of control. Each of these taxes adds to the cost of doing business in New York which means that a widget made here will cost more than a widget made anywhere else. While most people would come to the conclusion that the state should reduce spending to lower the tax burden, our state decides to increase spending and provide widget subsidies. Of course the subsidies will be targeted and those who receive them will be friends and supporters of the party in power.
To top it all off, some politicians want to impose the most massive tax of all in the order of “free” health insurance for everyone who can’t afford to pay for it on their own. The thing is – the reason many people can’t afford to pay for health care on their own is that the government has confiscated so much of their income already. Besides, the concept of insurance is a socialist scheme that is anathema to, and unsustainable in, a free market economy. There is a better way and if government where really interested in the health of the citizenry it would heed the words of President Reagan when he said: “Government is not the solution to our problem. Government is the problem.”
2-14-08 In Praise of President Bush
My Grandparents passed this adage down to me when I was young: “If you can’t say something nice about somebody, don’t say anything at all.”
I have a deep respect and admiration for President Bush and I wish our country’s Liberals had Grandparents like mine. Our Congressional leaders in particular have been the most egregious violators of their old principle. Senator Kennedy has called him a “liar” about a thousand times when the worst that can be said about his comments on Iraq seeking uranium was that he might have been wrong. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid has called him a “liar” and “a loser” in front of elementary school children. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has called him “incompetent” and “irresponsible”. I am sure that some of them, Ted Kennedy in particular, are simply projecting their own guilt.
Liberal followers, having taken their cue from their leaders, have said much worse. Some want to impeach him and others have gone so far as to publicly suggest that the President should be shot.
What impresses me about President Bush is that he has never responded in kind. There have been many, many times that I have wanted to respond to those insults but I see that President Bush doesn’t do so and I bite my tongue. In fact, when the Swift Boat Vets criticized Senator John Kerry for his Viet Nam war record, President Bush admonished them. The same thing happened when Congressman Murtha wanted to “cut and run” from Iraq and was subsequently criticized by some of the President’s supporters.
So I have come to admire President Bush as a confident man who leads by example. I don’t always agree with every policy he proposes but even then I am going to try to show him the same respect that he shows his detractors. I also understand that I, like the aforementioned Liberals, don’t know as much about the factors that lead to the President’s policy decisions as he does. So, if for no other reason than to protect my own credibility I will at least wait until some of those policies have had a chance to bear fruit before passing judgment.
I also remember something I learned from a prominent area realtor during my training as a real estate agent some thirty years ago. He warned us not to engage in criticism of competing agents. He explained his variation of The Golden Rule this way: If you try to ingratiate yourself with clients by pointing to the faults of your competition, you risk convincing them that all agents possess those faults. This is because when your accusation gets repeated to others your name may be forgotten and potential clients are likely to simply remember that real estate agents in general possess those faults. You won’t get credit for being different, and the industry as a whole will suffer the consequences.
I think of this when gloating Liberals point to President Bush’s approval ratings hitting the low thirties as a result of their efforts. The Liberals in Congress don’t seem to recognize the correlation to their own approval ratings falling very nearly into the single digits. It’s a consequence of reaping what they sow. Whenever you here someone say that all politicians are the same, in a derogatory way, this is largely the reason why.
1-17-08 THE REALITY OF THE STATE OF THE STATE
To the Editor,
A recent article in a local newspaper suggests that Governor Spitzer’s slide in the polls is because he hasn’t governed in the liberal fashion that is reflective of New York voters. I do not share that opinion. I believe Governor Spitzer is governing in exactly the same fashion as he acted as Attorney General and it was that aggressiveness against big business that won him favor among the majority of voters. AG Spitzer used the irresistible power of his office to force corporate management to his will. It has been said by credible people that he would not have won any of the cases he brought against corporate New Yorkers if they had actually gotten to court. The corporations he attacked withered in the face of the immense financial challenge of defending themselves against a legal system that has endless resources and few scruples.
Governor Spitzer still acts as if he is the irrepressible Attorney General. He acts as if he is the law. If he cannot get what he wants from the Legislature, he issues an Executive Order. Poor voters loved Mr. Spitzer because he was the steamroller they wanted to “get even” with the rich. He’s a lot like the gunslinger that residents call in to clean up a lawless western town and it’s only after he has control that they realize their mistake.
It is curious to note that the Governor’s poll numbers have dropped so precipitously even thought there has been no effort on the part of the mainstream media to cause it. Maybe the electorate isn’t as stupid as they all think. Maybe the mainstream media’s credibility has tanked as a result of their obvious liberal bias and smart voters are forming their opinions based on truthful news readily available elsewhere. Or maybe the fact that many of the voters that the liberal press is trying to influence can’t read has something to do with it.
In response to his falling poll numbers, Governor Spitzer has proposed several initiatives that he thinks will make people believe his government can be a positive factor in revitalizing the economy. He would like lawmakers to adopt his plan to steer $1 billion toward Upstate economic incentives. Downstate lawmakers have a real problem with this because they have as many economic problems in their districts as we have up here. Many are asking where the money for all this is going to come from because the State is facing a $4.5 billion budget deficit. It is a legitimate question for some but many people understand it to be rhetorical. The money will be borrowed and when our shrinking future taxpayer base cannot repay the debt, the government will borrow more. It’s a pyramid scheme. It is not sustainable but politicians are generally interested in political expediency for their own sake and the consequences after they leave office are secondary.
Half of the proposed $1 billion will be earmarked for improving State parks and constructing affordable housing for teachers, police and the disabled. I find that audacious in and of itself. Much of the balance will be used to make urban property ready for development and spawn businesses from university research projects. In other words, it will be sucked up by the already bloated public sector, which is the reason we have an economic crisis in the first place.
Every dollar that the public sector has ever received in exchange for their votes has been exacted from the legitimate business community. It is this plundering of the business community - the only real taxpayers - that has resulted in its exodus. You cannot take revenue from hard pressed established businesses and use it to try to create new businesses. In some cases the new businesses will be in competition with those that provided the revenue for their start up. It is immoral and unethical. Not to mention the fact that any business worth creating will not need help getting started and those that aren’t worth creating will fail no matter how much outside help they get. Smart people know this and remember the many, many times that government has tried and failed with these jump-start schemes. The Governor, speaking at a college in Buffalo last week, reminded Big Apple lawmakers that Upstaters bailed them out back in the mid-1970s. Does he not realize that that transfer of wealth precipitated our Upstate decline?The only thing the Governor can do to restore the economic vitality of the State is to get back to the basics of a free market economy. Socialism does not work! He could start acting more like a statesman, less like a politician, and bring government spending down to where it was before it caused taxpayers to leave. The best thing any government can ever do to grow the business community is to get out of the way.
12/28/06 Trying to get a liberal editor to print my letter
Following up on our phone conversation of Wednesday, I want to thank you for giving me so much of your time. I am going to CC this email to Mr. Gardner as well because I think he may want to hear the suggestions I am going to make.
Whether we know (admit) it or not, each of us has an inherent perspective on life and politics. Being subjective in the views we project is very natural. It takes an effort to be objective but if we force ourselves to step into someone else’s shoes just one time, it gets progressively easier until eventually we find it more natural to be objective and therefore more easily understood by a wider variety of people.
I am convinced that your newspaper, while very good, can be so much more if you add just a little tweaking to your editorial process. I want to discuss your policy of addressing only local issues and limiting the banter to two responses. As you know, electronic media has had a negative impact on newspapers in general. Circulation is not what it could or should be. People read less in general, preferring to watch their news on television or the Internet. The speed of TV and radio is something that newspapers cannot compete with.
But newspapers have a distinct advantage in other areas and can realize much more of their potential by identifying and capitalizing on those strengths, which is what I would like you to consider.
The most important writings in our nation’s history were letters to editors. Our nation would not exist if not for The Federalist Papers. Topical, threaded letters in your newspaper have immense potential. Printing a wider variety of topical letters in a series will allow for each letter to be shorter as writers don’t have to anticipate and address potential responses in the same letter. The end of a series will come when a conclusion is reached naturally, to the satisfaction of more people. More people will buy your paper in anticipation of the next chapter of a debate. I also believe the letters will become more civil.
Additionally, the concept of having Point and Counter-Point articles in the same issue as the Times Union often does, would generate even more interest from your readers. Many years ago a letter writer sent me a copy of a letter he was sending to a local paper and I convinced the editor to print my response along side it. The result was that more people, who would not normally be inclined to refer back to the previous issue in order to follow the thread, reacted very positively to the coordination of the debate.
I hope you will consider these ideas and look forward to working with you in the New Year.
12-27-06 Letter to the Editor
Last week's Altamont Enterprise contained two letters from liberal writers who want to challenge my assertion that the outing of Congressman Mark Foley was a perfect example of Liberal hypocrisy.
Mr. Harrell and Mr. Abele claim, among other things, that no Liberals have advocated sex with children. They are wrong.
The North American Man/Boy Love Association (NAMBLA) has a website which states: “The liberation of children, women, boy-lovers, and homosexuals in general, can occur only as complementary facets of the same dream."
Their website also contains step-by-step instructions on how to gain the confidence of children's parents. Where to go to have sex with children so as not to get caught and there is advice, if one gets caught, on when to leave the country and how to rip off credit card companies to get cash to finance your flight.
The group enjoyed not-for-profit status in New York under Governor Mario Cuomo until intense pressure from Conservative organizations brought the outrage before the state legislature. When the measure to rescind their not-for-profit status came up for a vote during the subsequent Pataki administration, the only Assemblymen who could not bring
themselves to vote in favor were seventeen downstate Liberal Democrats.
I remember debating the issue of homosexuality against Liberals just like you guys.
I suggested that homosexuality was a lifestyle choice, a perversion closely associated
with pedophilia. The Liberals told me that people were born that way. It was an
important distinction because Liberal Socialists were looking to incorporate the
homosexual community into their lobbying ranks. When Liberals suggested that
they were merely advocating tolerance for an oppressed minority, I suggested
that they were actually promoting its growth. They called me a homophobe.
I said the rise of cases of homosexual pedophilia in the Church was a natural
consequence of the campaign to promote it. They said: “Hate is not a family value!”
I said that homosexuality was a sin. They said : “HOW DARE YOU PUSH YOUR
RELIGIOUS MORALITY ON US!!
Today the same Liberals are demanding that same religious morality with the right
for gays to be wed in the same Churches. Unabashed hypocrisy!
If you feel that the truth I speak is an insult to you, then you should work on what
tomorrow’s truth will be instead of trying to change yesterday’s in vain.
12-12-06 TODAY'S PHYSICS LESSON -
INCREASING THE VOLUME OR FREQUENCY OF THE STATEMENT: "BUSH LIED", WILL NOT INCREASE ITS ACCURACY.
That's an appropriate Conservative one liner with which to begin this response to Aaron Harrell's recent missive entitled: "We must preserve our First Amendment freedoms". He intimates that our rights have been diminished at the hand of President Bush.
Among the many myths perpetuated by Mr. Harrell is the one where he states that our "Freedom of religion was designed to keep a clear delineation between church and state as the framers ...were both believers and non-believers and were familiar with the dangers that come with a theocracy."
It never ceases to amaze me when Liberals can fit that many falsehoods in a single sentence. And there are many, many similar sentences in Mr. Harrell's article.
There is no "separation" clause in our Constitution. Our founding fathers were all believers and were familiar with the dangers of a government that had no moral basis. 52 of the 55 signers of the Declaration of Independence were orthodox, deeply committed Christians. The other three all believed in God, His personal intervention and the Bible as the divine truth.
It was the same Congress that formed the American Bible Society. Immediately after creating the Declaration of Independence, the Continental Congress voted to purchase and import 20,000 copies of scripture for the people of this nation.
Thomas Jefferson wrote on the front of his well-worn Bible: "I am a real Christian, that is to say, a disciple of the doctrines of Jesus..." He was also the chairman of the American Bible Society, which he considered his highest and most important role.
On July 4, 1821, President Adams said, "The highest glory of the American Revolution was this: it connected in one indissoluble bond the principles of civil government with the principles of Christianity."
Calvin Coolidge, our 30th President of the United States reaffirmed this truth when he wrote, "The foundations of our society and our government rest so much on the teachings of the Bible that it would be difficult to support them if faith in these teachings would cease to be practically universal in our country."
In 1782, the United States Congress voted this resolution: "The Congress of the United States recommends and approves the Holy Bible for use in all schools."
William Holmes McGuffey is the author of the McGuffey Reader, which was used for over 100 years in our public schools with over 125 million copies sold until it was stopped in 1963. McGuffey wrote: "The Christian religion is the religion of our country. From it are derived our notions on the character of God, on the great moral Governor of the universe. On its doctrines are founded the peculiarities of our free institutions."
President Lincoln called McGuffey the "Schoolmaster of the Nation."
Of the first 108 universities founded in America, 106 were distinctly Christian, including the first, Harvard University, chartered in 1636. In the original Harvard Student Handbook, rule number 1 was that students seeking entrance must know Latin and Greek so that they could study the scriptures.
James Madison, the primary author of the Constitution of the United States, said this: "We have staked the whole future of our new nation not upon the power of government; far from it. We have staked the future of all our political constitutions upon the capacity of each of ourselves to govern ourselves according to the moral principles of the Ten Commandments."
Revisionists have rewritten history to remove the truth about our country's Christian roots and it galls me to no end to hear people like Aaron Harrell say: "...in the last few years especially [since Bush I suppose?], Christianity has become the state-sanctioned religion of our country, thus inserting its influence in places that directly conflict with our founding documents."
The truth is that Christianity is withering and Churches are closing (including one of my store locations which was a Baptist Church before it closed and was sold to me just a few years ago) as a result of decades of attacks, due primarily to worldwide Soviet expansion of Socialism and the unrestricted freedom to pedal its lies here where our Christianity permits it.
Our country will survive these assaults because the truth will always be the truth while a lie must be repeated endlessly or it will be gone. That is why Liberals are beginning to loose ground and will continue to do so. They do not have the manpower to perpetuate all the lies in their expanding portfolio simultaneously.
12-10-06 Follow-up to 2006 Election Losers
To the Editor,
Now I've gone and done it! I wrote a letter in the November 30th edition of The Altamont Enterprise that resident socialist Aaron Harrell agreed with in his response of December 7th entitled "Democrats victories were hollow". I know he only found a basic point with which he agreed but still, I wish he wouldn't. I have a reputation to protect.
But thank God he went on to disagree with other parts of my letter. Mr. Harrell wrote that, if he understands me correctly, I found fault with the "Democratic Party" for speaking out against Mark Foley.
Well Mr. Harrell didn't understand me correctly even though I was very explicit about criticizing “Liberal politicians" specifically for the unmistakable hypocrisy in targeting a gay Republican for behaving in a fashion that Liberals ordinarily advocate for anyone else.
Mark Foley didn't even have sex with an intern, let alone in his office and he wasn't married. His sexually explicit overtures via email brought shame and his immediate resignation. He didn't call his accusers "liars". He didn't get any support from his fellow Republicans and I would hope that just maybe the gay community would see the light about who it is that will be thrown under the bus the second that a political opportunity presents itself.
The feminist movement was devastated by the Monica Lewinsky scandal because they threw her (and the feminist movement) under the bus and stood by their good old political bubba. But as long as you've got people like Aaron Harrell who work real hard to spin the issue into a confusing whirlwind, no lesson will be learned.
Mr. Harrell was only part of a tag-team of literary wrestlers who bared their emotional throats to my sword of reason. Ed Nicholson of Knox also weighed in with a letter entitled: "New Congress will provide oversight". He found nothing on which he could agree in my previous letter and for that I will gratefully respond in kind.
Mr. Nicholson has a disturbing habit of putting quotation marks around words of his own design and attributing them to me. He did so twice in his last letter. As egregious as that is, it simply reflects the pathetic weakness of his own conviction. At least he admitted to being "small-minded and hollow". See Ed? That's how it’s done. I put quotes around the exact words you used. Now I can show how small-minded you are using your own words against you. I don't have to resort to the other liberal tactic of writing "if I understand you correctly" either before exhibiting a misunderstanding the way Mr. Harrell did.
Mr. Nicholson suggests that "GOP/Conservative... tax-cutting and borrowing" are what account for our national debt and suggests that it took the Democratic/Liberalism of Bill Clinton to rein it in. He specifically cited Mr. Clinton's second term but failed to acknowledge that that was when we also had the most Conservative Congress in the last fifty years.
In reality, it was the so-called "gridlock" that Liberals blamed House Speaker Newt Gingrich for that deserves credit for the spending reductions of that period.
Mr. Nicholson also suggested that all this debt got started with the Presidency of Ronald Reagan but failed to mention (or does he not know?) that Reagan had to deal with both a House and Senate full of extreme Liberal spenders. The most wasteful and counterproductive spending of that period can be blamed on the policy of "baseline budgeting" conceived by Jimmy Carter and the same Democratic Congress that Reagan subsequently had to deal with.
Tax cutting is a Conservative principle. The revenue increases that came after the Kennedy, Reagan and Bush tax cuts would likely have eliminated our debt by now if it weren't for trying to appease Liberal spenders in Congress all along the way.
Spending and borrowing are Liberal principles. George Bush lost the support of Conservatives when he made the mistake of listening to the Liberals who suggested that once he got elected he could move toward the center (AKA the left).
With this election, Conservatives proved that their votes cannot be taken for granted. If the incoming Congress is to be successful, it cannot ignore the Conservatives who put them there.
11-21-06 2006 Election Losers
In the November 9th Altamont Enterprise there appeared an article entitled: “McNulty part of Dems’ power play” in which Congressman McNulty is quoted as saying: “This election was a referendum on the Iraq war and the Bush domestic policy, which the President has lost badly.” It’s hard to tell from the way that statement was worded whether he thinks the war or domestic policy has been lost badly but I am here to provide an opposing view to both.
You see, I don’t listen to the politicians who will say whatever the mainstream press wants to hear just so they can get free coverage. If you listened to mainstream press reports you probably did vote against Republicans because of what you were led to believe about the war and domestic policy (what else is there really?). But I believe that the Democrats’ modest gains lay primarily in their expertise in the mechanics of the political war where all is fair. They had the free time (and George Soros’s money) to wage a relentlessly negative campaign while the Republicans had to focus on managing the country’s affairs. In races where principles mattered more than scandal, the Democrats who won stood on a platform of Conservative policies. Many of the Republicans who lost were considered more Liberal.
The second year elections of two term Presidents usually result in greater losses than what President Bush and the Republicans have suffered this time. The very fact that Democrats didn’t even acquire the average sixth year gains of previous out-of-power parties actually reflects a loss in voter confidence of their liberal agenda.
Take for example the outing of Republican Congressman Mark Foley, a scandal which was a deciding factor in Republicans losing the House. Liberal politicians who usually claim to advocate tolerance and acceptance of Mark Foley’s gay behavior used their knowledge that a majority of voters do not approve of it to help win the election. But what did they win? Do gay and gay sympathizing voters understand that the Democratic victories this past November actually reflect a loss for gay rights? Do they see the hypocrisy and repression involved? The lesson is that if you are gay, you better stay in line when it comes to every other issue.
Look at incumbent NY Congressman John Sweeney’s loss. It took an October surprise violation of Mr. and Mrs. Sweeney’s privacy rights to draw attention away from the political and ideological debate. His Democratic challenger, Kirsten Gillibrand, would likely have lost if the campaign had continued to focus on typical liberal sound bite issues like “the economy stupid” or the “no blood for oil” war in Iraq. Even if the Gillibrand camp had nothing to do with the personal attack, she owes her victory to those who were behind it. What will she do when they demand her submissiveness to their position on real issues?
Think voters want a change in domestic policy? Think they want to turn around the 4.1 percent economic growth that has cut the deficit in half? Maybe they don’t like the economy adding jobs for 37 months straight leading us to the verge of full employment. Wages are up 4 percent from last fall. Real after-tax income is up 15 percent since 2001 as well. Productivity is growing by 2.5 percent, well ahead of the average for the last 30 years. Maybe our retirees don’t really appreciate the growth in their pensions and 401(k) funds with the Dow hitting 12,000 for the first time in history. Maybe seniors don’t like the Prescription Drug Program. Or maybe the average voter just didn’t hear the good news for some reason.
“A referendum on the war”? In no other race did the Liberal leadership of the Democratic Party focus more attention to the Iraq war than in the Senate campaign of hawkish Democrat Joe Lieberman and that is where they suffered their most humiliating loss. They have such Gestapo like control over the election process that they easily expelled incumbent Senator Lieberman from the Democratic ticket and put a peacenik in his place. They did it because he dared to disagree with Party leaders over the Iraq war. Senator Lieberman’s landslide victory as an Independent is a clear signal that even in Connecticut, Conservative issues like the war in Iraq are more important than party politics. It was also a signal that Fascist like tactics designed to suppress the democratic process will not be tolerated.
Small-minded liberal leaders can celebrate a temporary victory, a hollow one at that, but the 2006 election portends victory for Conservative issues in the long run.
10-18-06 DREAMING OF HILLARY
Another local corporation had decided to give up trying to turn a profit here in NY and close its doors. Two hundred and sixty people were to loose their jobs. How dare they! What will happen to our state if these rats continue to behave as if they're on a sinking ship?
Several big name Democratic leaders decided to arrange a hearing to get to the bottom of the company's desertion. There was Chuck Schumer, Michael McNulty and Hillary Clinton to name the most prominent.
Having my own questions to ask, I decided to attend the hearing being held in Schenectady. I was nervous. I had given a lot of thought to the question(s) I would ask if given the opportunity and the more I thought about it the more nervous I got. In the past when I have had the opportunity to speak up in front of a large crowd, I would often chicken out at the last minute. The hostility of the crowd would intimidate me or I figured I would go blank or misspeak and embarrass myself, so this time I decided to have a belt of Scotch beforehand.
When I got there it seemed too quiet. There were lots of Secret Service people, State and local police, the Mayor and other dignitaries and the media, but what was mysteriously lacking was an audience. At the base of the auditorium was a dais where the politicians sat facing the nonexistent audience. In front of and facing the glare of the inquisitors was a table where the business' leaders were seated with their hunched backs to the nonexistent audience. At the base of the center isle was a microphone stand and along side it was where I took a seat.
I kept turning around to see if people were coming in and was surprised to see some familiar faces; the President of our local taxpayer association, some of my neighbors, my sister and several others who were sure to give me courage.
Then the politicians sauntered in to their high seats and who should be right in the middle facing the microphone but Hillary Clinton! The Mayor acting as moderator called upon each of the politicians in turn to give their prepared statements. It sounded like this: Blah, Blah, Blah, Blah, Blah. I'd heard it a thousand times before. I had just started to zone out when Mrs. Clinton said: "I am tired of going to Washington with my hand out to the Republicans for tax dollars to keep New York going! You business people can't leave. I need...I mean... the people need you to continue your obligation to return..."
That's when I jumped out of my seat and planted myself in front of the microphone. I said: "Mrs. Clinton, The business community has an obligation to stay in business and its New York's heavy tax and regulation burden that is forcing us to choose to either leave or stay here and face bankruptcy."
That's when she picked up this heavy glass ashtray and whipped it at me like Derek Jeter throwing a liner to first. It was thick and square and looked to weigh about a pound and a half. It kept getting bigger in my eyes and as it approached I read "2008" on the side of it and just before it connected with the bridge of my nose... I woke up...
Wow! I sat up, my heart pounding like a drum. This is why I shouldn't have spaghetti marinara with sausage just before bed!
9-22-06 Response to the liberal editor of the Altamont Enterprise
To your editorial of Sept 14 entitled "Defending Freedom and protecting liberty should begin at home, here in America" as well as the two letters that you cite, I would like to add my perspective.
I was in high school toward the end of the Vietnam War and would like to remind you of the conditions back then. The war in Vietnam was the product of two successive Democratic Presidents who were determined to stop the spread of an Ideology: Communism. (Imagine that - Democrats against Communism. Things have really changed)
The Vietnamese did not attack us and there was no imminent threat to our National security. It was a war of attrition where we were out to show the Communists how far we would go and how many lives we were willing to sacrifice just to stop the spread of their ideology.
At that time I was not allowed to vote. There was a draft and I was not allowed to opt out. Toward the end of the war, a draft lottery was established where 365 birth-dates were picked out of a hat and the order in which your birth-date was picked, along with the Army's need, determined whether or note you would be sent into battle. My birth-date was selected number eight and like it or not I was scheduled to go to boot-camp with only a few weeks notice.
Fortunately for me, our nation's elders decided it was time for a regime change and voted in a Republican President who ended the war just before my scheduled departure.
There was also this one other option I could have taken advantage of if the war hadn't ended first. When all of us eighteen year-olds appeared before the Draft Board we were given a test. Those of us who scored high on this aptitude test were approached by military recruiters from the various branches. They were looking for people with special skills. People who would not likely get wasted (pardon the pun) on the front line. I declined all their offers. If things were different, as they are today, I would have enlisted. A friend of mine had joined the Sea Bees (Construction Battalion) and told me of a great many adventures he experienced all over the world.
Today we have no draft. We are at war with people who attacked us on numerous occasions and were/are determined to kill us all if we do not adopt their ideology.
We can vote at a younger age now but we cannot end this war by voting for a President or a Congress for that matter because they cannot end the war. They can only end our response to it.
If you think that having your name on a school list that is available to military recruiters is some kind of fascist scheme remember that the government has all the information they need about us in their Social Security database. The school lists are just a convenience.
You also state in your editorial that: "One of the beauties of a Democracy is that it offers freedom of choice...unlike in a totalitarian regime..." Well now you have inadvertently hit the proverbial nail on the head. Our public school system is a totalitarian regime - we have no choice. If you do not like the government's rules in the government schools that the government funds then you might want to vote for Republican politicians who will once again try to bring choice where once there was none.
Lastly, one of the letter writers you cite, Wendy Dwyer, stated: "I do not believe youth should be approached without a parent present." Really? Most Liberals seem to think its okay to approach a young girl with regard to abortion when no parent is around.
The hypocrisy just keeps getting thicker.
6/21/06 FUN WITH WORDS IN THE ALTAMONT ENTERPRISE
I love pushing Liberals’ hot buttons. I must be getting pretty good at it too judging by the responses to my letter of June 8th. I’ve recently read Ann Coulter’s “How to Talk to A Liberal – If You Must”, so I suppose I can give her a good deal of the credit.
Aside from the usual mind numbing inanity and baseless drivel from Aaron Harrell, we got to hear a response from Glenn N. Durban of Voorheesville who thinks that as a businessman, I was being “intemperate” in insulting Liberals and thus have antagonized “at least half the population” into avoiding my stores.
Keep dreaming Glenn. You Liberals account for an ever decreasing minority of the population. You made it known that you were a veteran who opposes the war and I have no problem with that. I understand that we all have differences of opinion and your opinion of the war is among the minority of veterans. I did not and would not make the generalization that veterans oppose the war and that I therefore oppose veterans.
It is not the military veterans among us that are posting these stupid lawn signs that read “Support the Troops - Bring Them Home Now”. Again I will make the case that that is no different that saying: “Support Your Local Police – Get them Off the Streets”.
So by going off on a tangent about how you are a veteran who would be afraid to come face to face with me (as if we lived in Iraq ) because I pointed out how stupid Liberals are, you made my point that the phrase cannot be defended.
And another thing... you should be ashamed of yourself for claiming to be afraid to enter my store because of my speech - that coming from a man who was injured on Iwo Jima defending my rights?
Really Glenn, I have been insulting Liberals into avoiding my places of business for many years. I went so far as to run an advertisement declaring myself a “Radical Rightwing Extremist” during a “Tax Rebellion Sale” that I was having several years ago. It was my version of a tax free week and I will take a little credit (what you would call blame) for influencing the State Legislature into making it happen statewide.
My business really took off after people learned that I was a strident Conservative. Many customers would don their NRA caps or their WWJD T-shirts and such before coming to see me. They have encouraged me to keep it up. They compliment me for having the ability to speak their own minds and expressing those views in a way that is easy to understand (I try to avoid using words like “isolatory xenophobia”) and they tell me they patronize my stores because I have restored their faith in our country.
Speaking of “isolatory xenophobia”, I guess I have to address Aaron Harrell’s claim that I am a xenophobe simply because I believe that our public schools should spend more time teaching our children the things they will need to know in order to be good and productive citizens and emissaries of the United States .
During the six hours a day that my children are in school they are exposed to a great deal of politically correct indoctrination. I think they should spend more time learning the old fashioned reading, writing and arithmetic.
Case in point; my youngest son is in 3rd grade and this year had to do a project on Austria . Among other aspects of the report like naming the country’s exports and climate, was comparing it to our own country. In doing so, my son obviously had to spell “ America ” but he spelled it wrong. It wasn’t simply a typo either, he actually was never taught how to spell his own country’s name yet he was spending several weeks on a project about Austria .
I helped him do a little of the research and found that in Austria, parents have the freedom to send their children to parochial schools without having to pay for the privilege as we do here. I made sure that got a prominent mention in his report. God bless Emairika!
6-6-06 SUPPORT THE TROOPS – BRING THEM HOME NOW!?
That’s the Liberal mantra de jour and I find it offensive. I earnestly support the troops alright but I am smart enough to know that bringing them home now has nothing to do with supporting them. It’s just a way for Liberals to try to have their cake and eat it too. They think that prefacing their anti-American rhetoric with a positive sound bite will defuse criticism. Wrong! Not from this patriot!
I see these stupid signs dotting the countryside and adorning car bumpers (usually Volvos) but I have yet to hear a flaming Liberal espouse such nonsense in a venue that would allow rebuttal. Why? Because it is such a stupid thing to say that there is no way it can be defended. It’s like saying “Support Your Local Police – Get Them off the Street!” That would be a surefire way to win the war on crime now wouldn’t it?
You Liberals aren’t fooling anyone. You hate, or “loath”, the military. You hate Capitalism, our way of life. You want us to loose the war against terrorism and go back to John Kerry’s concept of appeasement where we simply react to the “nuisance” of terrorism after the fact. Fighting it in such a manner, in the courts, as a police action, will result in the loss of more innocent civilians. Better to keep the pinned down on their own soil.
After 9/11 you asked why so many people around the world hated us. You suggested we reach out and try to understand them. You went so far as to advance the International Baccalaureate (new to Albany H.S. in 2005) curriculum to augment the misguided Multicultural theme already in our public schools.
What do you think other people around the world are going to think of us when you Liberals can’t find anything good in your own country? Maybe you ought to think about the influence you have, the image you project and the reaction you foster when you debase your patriotic countrymen for the world to see.
You flamers ought to take your anti-war message to the Mid-East where is belongs. Really, pile into your electric cars and head to the coast where you can hop a sailboat and watch the whales along the way to Iran. I really want to see the video of all the fun you have protesting the oil drilling, the building of nucular (in deference to President Bush) reactors, their war mongering and religious zealotry over there.
On second thought, maybe that’s not such a good idea. They might actually think that you represent the rest of us and if the truth be known that’s probably why they attacked us in the first place.
3-22-05 Psycographics and The Slippery Slope
How did Americans become so sheepish, to the point where the 9/11 hijackers could execute their plans largely unhindered? Was it years of media driven complacency toward justice and tolerance of overt immorality?
Until recently, highjackings went unhindered and when being robbed, banks and stores had compliance/non-intervention rules for their employees. There were no laws preventing citizens from intervening but public opinion made it unpopular to try to be a “hero”. Dozens of anti-vigilante movies were made. Criminals like Rodney King became icons. Gone were the days when American men were respected overseas, regarded as cowboys, tough and macho.
B.K. Eakman wrote about it in:”The Cloning of the American Mind”. She pointed to something called “psycographic manipulation”, a concerted effort by social engineers in public schools and the media to eradicate morality. An aspect of this attitude made it so that a father couldn’t even spank his misbehaving child. To do so would mark him as a violent male. Eakman wrote that public policy was willfully designed to affect this end. Independent moral behavior didn’t simply fall out of favor, it was pushed.
I think it all started after the riotous 60's. Remember “Don’t Worry, Be Happy”? We started eating quiche. We became feminized. We would go along to get along. If you criticized someone for their anti-social behavior like public vulgarity or sexual perversion, chances are that you would be chastised for even having an opinion on the matter. We were called “radical right-wing extremists” and “angry white guys”. I remember decades ago having a discussion with a young lady who had fears of being raped and suggesting she might want to consider carrying a gun. I was shocked to hear that she feared the gun more than rape.
Media driven public opinion turned would-be heros into pariahs... until 9/11, our national epiphany. 9/11 brought the consequences of extreme liberalism into focus. That’s why the Liberal media engaged in a concerted effort to make us forget about it. They are apoplectic over our new national resolve. We’re becoming assertive again, cracking down on immoral behavior on radio, televison and of sports figures. There has been a sharp increase in applications for pistol permits since 9/11. We can praise our heros again. I attribute this reversal to a number of things like the P.D.N.Y. and F.D.N.Y., the brave men and women of the armed forces and the inspiring moral example of President Bush. We need to stay this course away from the slippery slope of liberal politics. This is still God’s country.
3-15-2005 Private Property is a Civil Right
To the Editor,
I have no personal interest in what form of development takes place at the intersection of Routes 4&43 in North Greenbush but I am deeply concerned by the threat to the private property rights of its land owners. A threat to one person’s property at the hands of “the community” sets a dangerous precedent that diminishes everyone’s rights.
I cannot imagine how it must feel to own a piece of unimproved property and have my ability to improve that land decided by my neighbors. Do the residents of the DeFreestville Area Neighborhood Association believe that they have more rights than their neighbors based simply on who was there first? It seems akin to the most basic territorial instincts of wild animals.
It certainly isn’t moral behavior to claim dominion over your neighbor’s property. This is a perfect example of why our nation’s founders made a republican form of government and not a democracy. The Constitution of our Republic puts individual “civil” rights above reproach from any majority, perceived or otherwise. It really protects us from ourselves.
Imagine if before any development of the D.A.N.A. residents’ neighborhood took place, the neighbors at the intersection told them they could not build homes there because they would only bring tax liabilities in the form of students that must be educated at the expense of the business community. A better (but equally unjust) argument could be made to support such a scenario.
As it is now, businesses are already suffering a great injustice imposed by the majority of voters in that they pay a higher property tax rate while being denied their constitutionally guaranteed right to representation (commercial property owners cannot vote on the budgets their taxes fund).
It’s also bewildering why numerous school board members have led the charge to stop any commercial development in our town. We should remember this when we vote on the school board and budget.
The business community is the genesis of all revenue. It needs to be respected and encouraged by those who intend to reap the benefits purchased with the tax revenue it generates.
3-2-05 Bigotry Comes Full Circle
Where I work you could say we get all kinds, but one couple was like nothing I had ever seen before. The man was rotund with a pink complexion. His attire and mannerisms were very effeminate. His female companion was larger than he and had a swarthy complexion as if she worked outdoors in construction. She also dressed the part. And she had a mustache and beard, a goatee actually, very thin but several inches long. Both had very large chips on their shoulders.
One of my employees began waiting on them and was doing a very professional job without seeming to notice their challenging trans-gender complications.
I was seated at the main counter looking at my computer screen and had a perfect view of the scene as it unfolded beyond. The woman’s eyes darted around while the man asked questions for a good fifteen minutes. When they seemed satisfied that we could provide them with the service they requested in a professional manner they approached the counter.
That was when she noticed the Shepherd’s Guide yellow pages with Jesus on the cover. I advertise in the Shepherd’s Guide and had free copies on the counter. She picked one up and began waving it in front of her friend to get his attention. With her eyes suddenly wide and a look of disdain on her face, she said: “Do you see this?!” But he brushed it off as if he could tolerate Christianity in order to get what he came for.
Then she noticed the deal-breaker, Rev. Motley’s monthly newspaper. I advertised in that as well. The headline read: “Defending Marriage” and had a graphic depicting a man and a woman. When she saw this she said: “What’s this, this...propaganda?! This is anti-gay!” I said: “No, it’s pro-Christian.” She said: “It’s anti-gay!” and “We can’t do business here!” Having no tolerance for bigotry, I pointed my thumb toward where they had entered and said: “There’s the door.”
Well, if you took all the vulgarities expressed at a biker rally with free beer on a Friday night and compressed them into sixty seconds you might get close to what those two began spewing. He started by announcing to the world, as if it were breaking news, that he was gay. Then I guess he felt we needed to know that he had a vagina. I can’t repeat anything else here but they proved that their inability to restrain themselves extended to every aspect of life including their speech. For my part, as I followed them out the door, I said: “Well look who’s being intolerant.”
Maybe where they came from they have succeeded in their campaign to obliterate Christianity and were surprised to see it out of the closet. They said they would tell everyone they knew, not to shop at my establishment. I thought, but didn’t say, exactly the same thing you’re thinking: Praise the Lord.
3-5-2005 Conflicted Christians
There once was this nice young teller at my bank by the name of Meg. She was very outspoken politically, forever discussing social issues with customers…even when there was a long line of customers. I noticed that she invariably proffered a left-wing perspective and I thought it odd because she worked at a bank and wore a “What Would Jesus Do?” bracelet.
One day, I had the occasion (no one was in line behind me) to discuss her strident animosity toward President Bush. That’s when she told me that she had a degree in social work but she couldn’t get a job in that field because George Bush wasn’t funding social programs properly. She also stated very matter-of-factly that “The BBC is a great place for the truth” and that “Fox News is biased”.
I figured her for a lost cause but I wanted to leave her with something to think about regarding the often immoral nature of social programs. I told her how I couldn’t afford my own health insurance but was paying for the health insurance of others through some pretty onerous taxes. I didn’t have time to tell her about the fact that I couldn’t afford an IRA because of the social security taxes I am forced to pay. Or that I can’t afford private school for my children because of the public school taxes that I am forced to pay and where the question of what Jesus would do could never be asked.
Anyway, Meg no longer works at the bank. I asked another teller what happened to her and was told that she joined the Peace Corps. I left the bank chuckling to myself but also feeling a bit sorry for Meg because she was so conflicted.
Then I got thinking about how tough it’s going to be to prevent my children from being indoctrinated the same way Meg was. I remember when I was very young and walked to church with my Grandma. When I got older I would usually stand at the back where I could skip out early but I always stayed long enough to hear the reading of the Gospel. Most of what I really needed to know in life came from there.
In hindsight, going to public schools was very conflicting for me. I couldn’t reconcile the evolution and survival of the fittest being taught there, with the basics of citizenship and morality that I got from Church.
By the time I graduated from high school I had stopped going to church altogether but once my stay in public school was over I began thinking for myself again and re-established my faith.
So, for Meg who wears her heart on her sleeve with her WWJD bracelet, here is my answer. He would want you to teach people to fish. If you give a man a fish you have fed him for a day but if you teach him to fish you feed him for life. As a taxpayer funded social worker you are taking fish from the fisherman and giving it to someone who doesn’t know how to fish… or in most cases is just too lazy. It’s a disservice to both.
2-28-05 The State of the Times Union
I’ve been writing letters to the editor of the Albany Times Union, as well as other newspapers, since before the invention of the personal computer. I used to hand deliver some of those old hand written missives to the editor himself and discuss them while I was there. I remember that they used to fact check letters before they went to press. For example: When Bill Clinton was running for President against President Bush he made a promise to cut taxes on the middle class but reneged as soon as he was elected. Clinton claimed that he had to because he was shocked to find out that the deficit he was inheriting was predicted to be much higher than previously thought. He even went so far as to suggest that President Bush’s budget office had been cooking the books in order to keep the quarterly deficit prediction low to get reelected.
I wrote to the Schenectady Gazette and pointed out the fact that Clinton was lying. He had written a book earlier in the year that predicted the budget deficit would be four times as high as it actually ended up being. The Editor of the Gazette’s opinion page called and challenged the veracity of my claim. I told him of the page in Clinton’s book where he could read it for himself. He checked and called me back, told me how surprised he was and ran my letter unedited.
The thing was, I had never read Clinton’s book. I had heard about the big lie by listening to Rush Limbaugh. Now if any Republican had told such a devastating lie (when the actual budget numbers came in, Bush’s were right) the Liberals in the press would be calling for his impeachment.
Which brings me back to the whole point of this letter. Rush Limbaugh and Conservatism are still being vilified by the mainstream press and the failures of Liberalism are being ignored or covered up. You would think that the success of Conservative media outlets would be a wake up call to the TU but their left wing bias is more pronounced than ever and their readers are still leaving. They used to proudly display their circulation numbers on the top of the front page but not any more. They have to keep those figures much closer to the vest these days. They even give the papers away in order to artificially inflate the numbers so that businesses will pay for advertising space. Maybe there are enough Liberals living in the Capital District to keep the paper afloat but wouldn’t it be nice if they abandoned their bias instead of going to great laughable lengths to try to hide it? They might even become a viable factor in our local economy once again.
12-27-04 Taxpayers are leaving New York
It’s an undeniable fact that people are leaving NY. Not just any people either. It’s the people who have been pulling the wagon. According to the latest census, New York, currently the nation’s 3rd most populous state will be surpassed by Florida within the next five years.
The problem is the taxation that has been adding an often-insurmountable cost to doing business here and technology has made it possible for many businesses to be conducted from less costly locations, such as other states. Smart business people have been leaving and taking some of their customers with them.
The trend I have witnessed during this last Christmas season is more people than ever buying online or via the telephone using credit or debit cards. As a consumer, I do a lot of it myself. I buy local for most things but an increasing number of my needs aren’t available locally anymore. Other items are available locally but at such a high cost that I have to buy out of state just to stay economically viable myself. Its not that I am being greedy or even frugal by saving a buck wherever I can. I have to save that buck because I have to pay taxes with it.
As a conservative New York taxpayer I have been part of a minority advocating tax reform and fiscal responsibility. Many of us have focused on public education because those are the most onerous taxes and we have not been receiving the quality product you would expect those taxes to provide. We are losing this battle. Nearly every tax increase that we have tried to stop has been implemented. Every policy that would have lead to fiscal accountability or responsibility has been defeated.
These geese cannot produce golden eggs any faster. It’s time for the giant to get frugal before the rest of us fly south.
11-25-04 A More Independent America
Just after this year’s election many Liberal pundits were demeaning the red state (states that voted Republican) voters as stupid. They claimed that all the creativity and productivity was in the blue states (states that voted Democrat). They suggested that blue states provide the tax revenue and that the red states are freeloaders. These are the same conflicted pundits who suggest that we are a nation of “haves and have-nots” and that the “haves” are the rich Republicans that Bush panders to.
In order to understand just how wrong they are about this you first have to look deeper into the red/blue areas. Take New York State for example. There are 62 counties in New York and the vast majority (40) voted for Bush. The reason New York’s electoral votes went to Kerry was that the 22 blue counties were the densely populated metropolitan areas, mostly New York City. The other blue areas included Buffalo, Rochester, Syracuse, Albany, and for some strange reason the counties on the Canadian border.
Let’s go even deeper. Not all of New York City went for Kerry. Its voting districts are made up of Manhattan, Brooklyn, Bronx, Queens and Staten Island. Manhattan went 82% Kerry, 17% Bush, while neighboring Staten Island went 57% Bush, 42% Kerry. Why would Manhattan of all places vote for Kerry? Greenwich Village and Harlem are in Manhattan. The people of the business district who create the wealth and pay the taxes do not live, or vote, there.
It is not so much a matter of “have and have-not” but “will and will-not”. Or in the words of JFK, those who ask what they can do for their country versus those who ask what their country can do for them. The truth is that red voters are largely independent and blue voters are largely dependent. Just the opposite of what today’s Liberal leaders would have you believe.
11-8-2004 Liberal Responses to: Be Patriotic – Vote for Bush
Letter to Editor,
"Well, there you go again.” One of my favorite Reagan quotes and it goes out to Patricia Phillips and Stephen Keller for their letters in response to my “BE PATRIOTIC – VOTE FOR BUSH” article.
I suppose they didn’t realize that I titled it such as a retort to the “BE PATRIOTIC – VOTE BUSH OUT” bumper stickers I had seen all too often. I did not seriously, using all the logic at my disposal, mean to imply that a lack of bumper stickers meant that Massachusetts would be voting for Bush. It was just my “In your face” to those who sported the highly offensive and completely illogical “BE PATRIOTIC – VOTE BUSH OUT” bumper stickers.
Patricia says she is frightened by people like me who suggest that voters “…listen to, and blindly accept, only one point of view”. Well, there you go again. I never suggested such a thing. I said if you question the veracity of what you get from the Boob Tube there are alternative sources for the truth. Other than that it sounds like we are saying the same thing, except that Patricia gives credibility to Michael Moore and NPR ( I wonder why she didn’t mention Dan Rather and CBS? ) and I suggest that NPR is a bunch of commie pinkos. Excuse me. I slipped into a Liberal frame of mind there for a second. I used to be one, until I began questioning the opinions disguised as news on the TV.
Steven Keller parrots Patricia Phillips in his letter entitled “AGREES WITH PHILLPS” then accuses me and other Conservatives of parroting. Despite the fact that I gave specific examples of why I think Liberals want to wage the war on terror in the same manner they try to wage war on crime, he suggests I am merely parroting Vice President Cheney.
Some people have so much invested into the opinions they formed when they were young that it’s really hard to let go. I think what America needs now is something like an AAA for Liberals. Really, its time for America to heal and those you need it most are Liberals. The first step is to admit that you have a problem. Once you get past denial and really listen to the Doctors of Conservatism, you may just have an epiphany. I would really like to see one of you Liberals who denies being a Liberal write a letter decrying CBS and Dan Rather, or those “BE PATRIOTIC – VOTE BUSH OUT” bumper stickers.
Oh, for the record, my flippant bumper sticker observations were more accurate than the pollsters and their exit polling.
10-3-04 Coalition Building
I recently heard a local talk show host tell her audience that she has considered voting for John Kerry for President because she thought we needed a broad-based coalition to help us fight the war on terror. She thought Kerry was more adept at building such a coalition. I would like to see proof.
In order to build a coalition, one needs to share goals and have common interests with those who would be part of such a coalition. I asked myself who does John Kerry share more common interests with: The Republican Party? Russia? France? Germany? Has he built any broad-based coalitions here in the United States during his twenty unremarkable years in the US Senate? Has he done anything that required making concessions with his Republican colleagues?
Presumably he has more common interests with other US Senators than he has with foreign leaders. We are all Americans after all.
All I know of Kerry’s record is that he voted against nearly everything that Republican leaders in our country voted for, including the military build-up that was responsible for our victories in Iraq and Afghanistan.
If Kerry had his way we would not have been militarily capable of pushing Saddam Hussein out of Kuwait, or Al Quaida out of Afghanistan. How does he expect to get Vladimir Putin to come onboard? By being disagreeable?
Its one thing to say he would build a coalition and quite another to actually do it. George Bush has actually done it. He built a coalition with the Democrats and made a great deal of concessions in order to get Ted Kennedy’s education bill passed.
Even though Republicans have a majority in both houses of Congress, President Bush has not acted in an extreme partisan fashion. In compromising with the Democrats, President Bush angered much of his Conservative base but it proved that he is willing to work with others to advance a common goal. He heeded the specious advice of Kerry and his Democratic colleagues in building the largest possible coalition to go into Iraq with after spending what many said was too much time in fruitless negotiations.
President Bush has proven that he has the right balance of strength and humility to restore America’s place in the world. He is a man of action. Kerry is all talk.
9-20-2004 Be Patriotic – Vote for Bush
I had the opportunity to travel the entire length of the Mass Pike a few weeks ago. Didn’t see a single “Kerry/Edwards”, “John Kerry” or “Be Patriotic Vote Bush Out” bumper sticker all the way to the coast or while traveling through and around the beaches. It wasn’t until my way back, within minutes of the New York border that I saw the one and only “John Kerry” bumper sticker. Imagine that: Eight hours on a busy highway in Kerry’s home state and seeing only one supporting bumper sticker. I saw more “Bush/Cheney” bumper stickers than I could count though.
But what’s really sad is that on a little trek to Thatcher Park, while driving less than 2 minutes through the town of Voorheesville, I saw three “John Kerry” bumper stickers on cars in resident’s driveways.
Could it be that those who have lived with him as their Senator for twenty years know something about his record? What do his supporters outside of Massachusetts know of him, other than just what he and his campaign managers want them to believe? Do they know that he has never held a job in the private sector? Do they know that he is the wealthiest Senator in American history? Or that he would also be the wealthiest President as well?
When you Liberals out there complain about the rich getting richer and the poor getting poorer, do you really think that Kerry is on your side? Do you think CBS and the other broadcasting companies (with the exception of Fox) are giving you an honest objective view of who he is and what he stands for?
If you have any doubts about the veracity of the information you get from the “boob tube”, you ought to do what millions of Americans have done. They have found the truth in alternative media sources like Fox News, AM Radio (NO, not NPR!), and a host of Internet news organizations. Getting to the truth requires you to be a little proactive, but you’ll feel better about yourself and your country once you have.
When I was in my early twenties, around the end of the Viet Nam war, the mantra of the day was: “Question authority”. But now that those who used to implore us to do so (i.e. Dan Rather and John Kerry) have themselves become the “authority”, we are supposed to swallow their hyperbole and say: “thank you, please give me more”. Sorry, not by the hair on my chinny-chin-chin.
1-4-2004 Fun & Games at the GSA
My first-hand experience with government waste, fraud, theft and ineptitude came in the mid '70s.
My girlfriend’s father was the manager of the General Services Administration's federal motor-pool in Albany NY. She thought her dad, a retired Army Colonel, should get me a job at the motor pool.
I really wanted a good job but not badly enough to take a hand-out from my girlfriend's dad. I had some basic mechanical skills and a little bit of experience working on cars for a retail auto repair shop but I didn't want to feel obligated.
But my girlfriend was used to getting her way, so, I filled out some papers… and got the job.
I worked in an old downtown garage with about 6 other guys. Most of them were veterans. They weren't master mechanics but they knew more than I did and I learned a thing or two. One of the first things I noticed was that they took about two days to do a brake job that would have taken two hours at any private garage.
One night after work, while visiting my girlfriend at her parents' house, I was talking to her dad about how things were going at the shop. Without giving any thought to the consequences, I told him I thought they were really slow. I was used to working hard and I really had a tough time accepting the leisurely pace that the other guys had set.
So the next day at work, the head mechanic takes me aside and says: “What goes on in this shop, stays in this shop. You got that?” Well I got that and it was a quite a while before most of the guys treated me like one of them.
I just didn't feel good about getting paid for being lazy. It wasn't how I was raised. They hired a few other new guys that were about my age and we hung out together so I became complacent and towed the line.
About a year went by and I stopped dating the boss’ daughter. I little while later he retired and we got a series of total jerk-offs who rotated in and out of his old office. As each of these guys arrived we would get the scuttlebutt about how they got the job. Without fail it went like this: “He screwed up his last job but has tenure so he can't be fired so the only way to get rid of him is to promote him.” So the guy comes here and sits in his office for a few hours a week and goes to a lot of “meetings”… God only knows where.
My job included prepping new cars and pumping gas which put me in a unique position to witness some bizarre events.
Event number one went like this. We had a large underground gas tank and two pumps for keeping the fleet fueled. The problem was that the meters on the pumps never jibed with the reading on the dip stick that we used to measure what was left in the tank. We were always short.
Someone could have been stealing gas or it could have been leaking into the ground. I never found out. Our solution to the problem was to run a garden hose from the gas pump to the underground tank and pump gas right back into the tank until the numbers matched up and make out a gas receipt for every car on the lot as if that's where it went.
Event number two: One day an Albany cop comes to the motor pool office looking for the driver of one of our AMC Concords. The car was abandoned on a city street after the driver had run over a metal sign post that poked a hole in the oil pan. He apparently drove the car without any oil in it until the engine seized up.
There was a note on the dashboard that sent the police on a wild goose chase but they eventually found that we were the source of the blue and white federal license plates. The car was definitely one of ours but we had no record of it in our files. The story that eventually came down was that someone who knew our office routine must have come in while the girls were out to lunch.
Our office was at street level and there was no security. Our office manager suggested that someone who knew where we kept vehicle records must have grabbed a car's file that included its title, registration, license plate and keys and just hopped in and drove it away. Once the file was gone we had no other record of ever having owned it. There was no inventory control whatsoever.
We hushed things up by putting the car back in service as if it had never been gone. But there was the matter of the seized engine. I was given the honor of replacing the oil pan with the hole in it, with an oil pan from one of our other new cars. We then filled the engine with oil and sent it back to AMC for an engine replacement under warranty. That’s the kind of business we gave AMC… it’s no wonder they went under. Problem solved.
The boss wanted to put the matter behind us but I had an idea that I could find out who took the car. I figured that anyone who had the audacity to take the car might also be bold enough to get free gas from us as well.
The way our pumps worked was that we would write the gas recipient’s license plate number on a punch card that was generated by the pump and have the driver sign it. We kept these cards in boxes in a closet. The boss didn't want me to waste my time, the government’s time, going through all those cards so I spent a few of my lunch hours going through them until I found one with the license number of the stolen car on it. It had the signature of a very familiar military recruiter on it.
I ran through the motor pool yelling: “I got im! I got im!” and showed the card to my boss. He was not the least bit enthused. He told me to put the card away and shut my mouth, which I did.
I never saw that recruiter again. I figure he asked for a transfer but who knows… maybe he was working with someone on the inside. Maybe there were more.
The one thing I do know is that there are probably thousands of potential whistle-blowers out there just like me who consider it somehow disloyal to out their friends and coworkers for the waste, fraud and theft that occurs every Washington minute.
12-29-2002 HEALTH CARE ‘RIGHTS’?
This letter is in response to that of Mark Dunlea from the November 26th Troy Record newspaper entitled: “Support Health Care Coverage”. Mr. Dunlea is advocating more government interference in the management of even the most basic of our personal responsibilities. He sounds a lot like Bill Clinton when, during his first Presidential election campaign, candidate Clinton was calling for a massive government takeover of our health care rights. We have the best health care the world has to offer, despite the fact that government has infected much of the system to the point where it has become too expensive for a growing number of citizens.
Like Bill Clinton, Mark Dunlea suggests that we emulate other nations if we want to have a better system. The basic problem with that is we have been emulating the failed ideas of collectivism and socialism of other nations and people are unhappy with the results. We are not going to improve by emulating failure. If we are ever going to improve our health care, we have to get back to personal responsibility for our most basic human needs.
We have the right to health care, just like we have the right to worship and bear arms. I don’t see Mr. Dunlea demanding that the government pay for my guns. I wonder how he would feel about being taxed so that I could get a government subsidy to build a church. Come to think of it, that might not be such a bad idea. Religion is after all a legitimate ‘right’. If we are going to be taxed for all these so-called ‘rights’ that aren’t even enumerated in the Constitution and Bill of Rights, we ought to be consistent.
12-8-2002 The Anti-Americans Among Us
I caused quite a stir when I wrote “Are You A Democrat Or An American” several weeks ago. A couple of local Democrats who took umbrage at my remarks responded with letters to the editor, and I enjoyed responding to them in turn.
Other Democrats responded to me directly by email. The emails they sent, while equally contrived, were not as civil as those who responded with signed letters in the newspaper. Big surprise there! One email came with a return email address and we engaged in some tortured discourse back and forth. The other email was sent anonymously so it was not possible to respond to the diatribe it contained.
In addition, I have intercepted more email viruses in the two weeks after my article than in all my previous years of email combined. Kind of gives you a sense of where viruses come from.
It is hard to duplicate the content of those emails in a letter to the editor, but I will try. Keep in mind; the following misspellings are as they came to me. I have turned my spell checker off and edited the offensive stuff. The first is from someone who gave a last name of Moloney, who wrote:
“Wow, just read your article…looks like something that came out of a Klu Klux Clan speech or something written by Adolph Hitler. …Republicans …run our economy in the ground first Reagan now what’s his name…When Clinton administration left office they left a huge surplus. Thanks to the republicans we are now in economic turmoil PS surprise I am a demarcate and guess what I believe in God…”
How do you respond to such colossal ignorance and knee-jerk emotionalism? I wrote back and among other things invited the writer to factually dispute anything that I had written in “Are You A Democrat Or An American”. The first anonymous emailer wrote back “…I deem this discussion over.” The other so lacked the courage of their conviction; they disguised their email address so that a response was not possible.
It is painful to observe how utterly and completely brainwashed so many of our neighbors have become. I mean you can still, to this day, hear people like Mario Cuomo on National Public Radio saying things like; Reagan’s idea of tax reform is like dieting by cutting off an arm or a leg.
The good news is that Americans now have alternatives to the extreme left-wing spin that has for years dominated mainstream media news. If you are having trouble swallowing the junk journalism that poses as news on TV, you can tune in to reality on Fox News Sunday where you can get more truth in one hour than in a week of CNN. While the newspapers are still dominated by anti-republicans, there are several terrific pro-American magazines that can be counted on to restore your faith in capitalism; The Weekly Standard and The American Spectator are two of my favorites (and The Advertiser of course). Then there is the Internet. Try NewsMax.com if you think you can handle hearing the other side of the story. Lastly, there is talk radio where nobody beats Rush Limbaugh for getting you behind the wizard’s curtain. Or for a very entertaining change, you can tune in to Glenn Beck weekday mornings on radio 810 WGY.You don’t have to be brainwashed anymore.
2001 ish HUMOR - AT THE CLINTONS' EXPENSE
Hillary Clinton went to her doctor because she was not feeling well.
The doctor explained that she was pregnant again.
She was furious. This would ruin her plans for a Senate run in New York in the next election cycle. Her dreams were ruined.
The more she thought about it, the madder she got. She was so mad that she called Bill in the oval office and began to yell and scream at him about how he had selfishly gotten her pregnant and ruined her dreams of running for political office. She went on and on, finally pausing as she waited for her husband to reply.
After a long silence, Bill said: "Who is this?"
11/11/2000 Electoral College protects the will of the people
To the Editor, Troy Record
Your recent front-page story: "Time for a change?" relates to the method our nation's founders devised for electing the President; the Electoral College. It is a wise method that was proposed to the State representatives when the Constitution was being developed to provide representatives of the small states with some guarantees that the larger states like New York would not dominate them.
Some of the representatives, like Hamilton of New York, wanted a very strong Federal government. Representatives of the smaller, weaker states opposed this. That is why we have two houses of Congress where the States' representation in the House of Representatives is based on their population but the Senate is accorded equal representation by the States regardless of population.
If the election of the President were left to a popular vote, the Federal government would eventually take the shape of the will of the most populous states. It would have the same effect as if we had no Senate. With just a little vision we can easily see, just as the founding fathers did, that the United States of America would quickly become the United States of New York, and the collapse of the Republic would soon follow (the U.S.S.R. is such an example).
Your article states that Senator Elect Hillary Clinton and Congressman McNulty support elimination of the Electoral College. Mrs. Clinton is quoted as saying: “We are a very different country than we were 200 years ago. I believe strongly that in a Democracy, we should respect the will of the people and to me, that means it’s time to do away with the Electoral College and move to the popular election of our President.” One of the implications in that statement is that the only reason for the development of the Electoral College was to get the States to accept the Constitution and that now it’s okay to change the rules.
The Constitution was the result of compromises on the part of all the States in our Republic. Since that time, representatives of the States and the Federal government they formed have engaged in a process of fighting to get back the concessions they agreed to 200 years ago. We are “very different” as a result of their successes. Many of the changes we have witnessed have lead to an imbalance of power, a weakening of State sovereignty and civil rights, and a bloated Federal government.
Mrs. Clinton’s other implication is that we are a Democracy. We are not. We are a more perfect union known as a Republic, a distinction that has been blurred to the point that most people do not know the basic difference.
As Federal representatives of a very large state, Mrs. Clinton and Mr. McNulty would elevate their station and increase their power at the expense of the people, the smaller states, and state sovereignty in general. It is easy to see why they support such a change and why they are taking advantage of the situation in Florida. They may hope to turn the results of this year's Presidential election around for their immediate gain but even if they fail in that effort they will have gained a great deal of support for the elimination of the Electoral College.
The people of Florida who have been whipped into frenzy are being used. Big government Democrats are taking advantage of their ignorance and misrepresenting the importance of the Electoral College. It is just one more in a seemingly endless barrage of efforts to grow the Federal Government and subvert the will of the people.
10-1-2000 WHEN HILLARY CAME TO TOWN
It was because of the snowstorm that I caught one of the most bizarre comments ever to emanate from that women’s mouth. Second only, in my estimation, to: “I can’t be responsible for every undercapitalized business in the country.”
I was listening to the school closings that WGY was announcing when I heard her say that as our Senator she would make sure that a greater percentage of the taxes that New York sends to Washington would be returned to us in the form of Federal aid.
Wouldn’t the obvious retort be: “Gee, Mrs. Clinton, just who do you think has been responsible for all of our money going to Washington for the past seven years anyway? Why not just stop taxing us in the first place?”
It would really be nothing more than a rhetorical question anyway because we all know that she needs our money in Washington when she’s in Washington just as she needs our money in New York when she’s in New York. If she really were as capable of compassion as she would like us to believe, wouldn’t she help return some of the taxes Arkansans have paid? The true test of character is when you help someone who you know will never be able to do anything for you in return.
The truth is she needs New York to abate her unquenchable appetite for power. She is trying to convince us that we need her, when in reality she needs us. Or to be more accurate, New York is where socialism first reared its ugly head in this country and is now the only place left where Liberal Socialist dogma reigns. It’s the only place in the country where her tax and spend big government agenda stands a chance.
Make no mistake; the battle for Mr. Moynihan’s seat will be ruthless. She will divide the people of New York against one another. Rich against poor, black against white, gay against straight, women against men. Then she will tell each in turn what they want to hear. Divide and conquer.
Enough about Mrs. Clinton. Now for the real reason I wrote this letter. I was seething for an opportunity to vent my disbelief of Mrs. Clinton’s earlier statement when an opportunity arose. Late in the day on the same radio station, shock jock J.R. asked business people who were still open despite the snow, to call him on the air and receive a free plug. I was the first to do so. After describing my business, I took the opportunity to express my disbelief of Mrs. Clinton’s audacity.
About ten minutes later I got a call from a man who commenced to tell me that he lived just down the block from my business and that he had been meaning to become a customer. Bunk. I could tell by his voice that he was barely able to contain himself and that a “but” was about to shatter my expectations of a big sale. So as he launched into: “ You ought to keep your mouth shut…” I responded with: “And now your going to hang up before…” dialtonnnnnneeeeee.
If he had stayed on the line he would have heard that I have done everything in my power to inform the general public that I am an avowed right wing conservative; That if he chose not to patronize my business it would be his loss; That I prefer conservative customers because they are more responsible, and that I have found great success when I engage in the opposite of whatever a Liberal adversary tells me I should do.What good is having an opinion if you’re afraid to express it? Some people told me I was crazy to proclaim myself a “radical right wing extremist” in my advertising. I am here to tell you that for weeks after running that ad, a preponderance of customers made sure they donned the NRA cap or their “What Would Jesus Do?” tee shirts before visiting my store. I believe the tremendous success I’ve witnessed is because of my political vocalizations not despite them. I encourage other business people as well as clergy to engage in political debate often and with zeal. If you remain silent, those who suggest you do so will happily fill the void…. as they have been.
4-20-2000 HAVE WE LEARNED ANYTHING FROM COLUMBINE?
It’s been a year since the murder and assassination at Columbine. It’s interesting yet sad to witness how little has been done to reduce the likelihood of another such tragedy.
Some people have spent their time covering up the fact that the killers were administered psychotropic drugs by the school, the same drugs being administered to students here in capitol district schools.
Others have focused on the guns. I recently noticed a “GUN FREE ZONE” sign in front of Bell Top elementary school. This assures me that if the same scenario were to take place here that there would be no one to stop the murderers. Not long ago a school administrator in Niskayuna publicly chastised a local Judge, the Honorable Bruce Trachtenberg, for carrying his concealed weapon when dropping his child off at school. Today I find myself relegated to asking: What if any parent at Columbine had been armed that day?
The armed guard in Columbine did not perform according to plan. The heavily armed police who were called in were then ordered to wait outside while students were being murdered in a room just fifteen feet down the hall. I thought we were supposed to be safer now with a hundred thousand new cops courtesy of President Clinton.
I don’t want to be made a criminal for exercising my right to protect my family, especially while convicted felons are permitted to work in our schools. I know that many of the parents and teachers in New York’s public schools feel they are protected by these zones. Let’s get our heads out of the sand. Please realize that our lives and liberty have been secured and maintained by firearms. They are not the problem.
4-6-2000 RENSSELAER COUNTY TAXPAYERS ASSOCIATION FLYER URGING "NO" VOTE ON BOND PROPOSITION
IT’S NOT THE AMERICAN WAY
Maybe you can afford the lavish spending planned by the East Greenbush School Board, but can you say the same for your neighbors? Your children?
State law requires voters be given the opportunity to vote “NO” to borrowing money. When a school district suggests that “the State” will pay the lion’s share of the debt, they are suggesting that we can vote to have someone else pay off our loan. Doesn’t it violate the intent, if not the letter, of the law?
We all want to do what is best for our children. When you consider the legacy of debt they will have to contend with, wouldn’t it be cruel and irresponsible to add more?
Consider the National debt, (trillions) the State debt, (billions) and the East Greenbush Central School District’s current debt, (tens of millions).
Consider the millions of baby boomers exiting the workforce after voting for all this borrowing.
Consider the fact that The State Education Dept is buried in more than 2000 building related bond propositions. They haven’t mentioned what the grand total amounts to, but if each of the State’s 700+ school districts borrowed as much as we want to, the total would be over a half trillion dollars.
BE CONSIDERATE…BE RESPONSIBLE
VOTE “NO” ON APRIL 11TH
10-10-1999 NIMBYism in North Greenbush
I just heard that Bambi was spotted in a field near Route 4. Which, in the eyes of the members of the Defreesville Area Neighborhood Association, means the chip fab plant has just failed its environmental impact study? That’s right… the Yuppies are feeling guilty about what they have done to the countryside and are ready for Al Gore’s anti-sprawl campaign.
But wait, does that mean that they are going back to the city where they can re-commune with each other? I doubt it. It’s more likely that each and every one of the anti-exit 8, anti-Van Alstyne Apartments, anti-Home Depot, anti-chip-fab extremists are suffering from one of mankind’s most common faults, selfishness. Now that they have their acre, keep everyone else out.
For those of you who constitute D.A.N.A., ask yourself this: If the people who lived here before me felt the way I do, would I be living here now? The answer is “No”.
If I owned land that I thought would appreciate in value as I approached retirement, and I knew that the new generation of neighbors arriving were interested in being my neighbors because they liked the view of my land. I hope I would have the foresight to realize that they would try to stop me from improving my land as I saw fit. But who would think that there would come a day when our neighbors would trample on our property rights like this.
I thought the brand of activism we are witnessing here was vanquished along with Mario Cuomo. I thought that New York was on a road to economic recovery, and the days of left-wing extremists were over, but alas it wasn’t to be.
Capitalism is still considered evil in the hills of North Greenbush.
The Price Of Free Corn - an Allegory
(The Wild and Free Pigs of the Okefenokee Swamp - abridged. Author unknown)
Some years ago, an old trapper from North Dakota hitched up his wagon, packed a few possessions and drove south. Stopping several weeks later in a small town just north of the Okefenokee Swamp in Georgia, the trapper approached some elders in front of the local barber shop.
"Gentlemen, could you direct me to the Okefenokee Swamp?" They looked at him like he was crazy. "You must be a stranger in these parts," they said. There are thousands of wild hogs in the Okefenokee Swamp one old man explained. "A man who goes into the swamp by himself asks to die!" He lifted up his leg. "I lost half my leg here, to the pigs of the swamp. Those pigs have been free since the Revolution, eating snakes and rooting out roots and fending for themselves for over a hundred years. They're wild and dangerous. You can't trap them.”
The old trapper said: "Thank you so much for the warning. Now could you direct me to the swamp?" They said: "Well, yeah, it's due south – straight down the road."
He said, "Sell me ten sacks of corn, and help me load it in the wagon." And they did. Then the old trapper bid them farewell and drove on down the road. The townsfolk thought they'd never see him again. Two weeks later the man came back. He pulled up to the general store, got down off the wagon, walked in and bought ten more sacks of corn. After loading it up he went back down the road toward the swamp.
Two weeks later he returned and again bought ten sacks of corn. Every week or two the old trapper would come into town on a Saturday morning, load up ten sacks of corn, and drive off south into the swamp.
The stranger soon became a legend in the little village and the subject of much speculation. People wondered what kind of devil had possessed this man, that he could go into the Okefenokee by himself and not be consumed by the wild and free hogs.
One morning the man came into town as usual. Everyone thought he wanted more corn. He got off the wagon and went into the store where the usual group of men were gathered around the stove. He took off his gloves.
"Gentlemen," he said, "I need to hire about ten or fifteen wagons. I need twenty or thirty men. I have six thousand hogs out in the swamp, penned up. I've got to get them to market right away."
"You've got WHAT in the swamp?" asked the storekeeper, incredulously."I have six thousand hogs penned up. They haven't eaten for a couple days, and they'll starve if I don't get back there to feed and take care of them."
One of the old-timers said, "You mean you've captured the wild hogs of the Okefenokee?"
"How did you do that? What did you do?" the men urged, breathlessly.
The trapper said, "Well, the first week I went in there they were wild all right. They hid in the undergrowth and wouldn't come out. I dared not get off the wagon. So I spread corn along behind the wagon. Every day I'd spread a sack of corn. The old pigs would have nothing to do with it."
"But the younger pigs decided that it was easier to eat free corn than it was to root out roots and catch snakes. So the very young began to eat the corn first. Pretty soon, even the old pigs decided that it was easier to eat free corn. After all, they were all free; they were not penned up. They could run off in any direction they wanted at any time."
"The next thing was to get them used to eating in the same place all the time. So I selected a clearing, and I started putting the corn in the clearing. At first they wouldn't come to the clearing. It was too far. It was too open. It was a nuisance to them. But the very young decided that it was easier to take the corn in the clearing than it was to root out roots and catch their own snakes. And not long thereafter, the older pigs also decided that it was easier to come to the clearing every day. They could still subsidize their diet with roots and snakes and whatever else they wanted. After all, they were all free. There were no bounds upon them."
"The next step was to get them used to fence posts. So I put fence posts all the way around the clearing. I put them in the underbrush so that they wouldn't get suspicious or upset. After all, they were just sticks sticking up out of the ground, like the trees and the brush. The corn was there every day. It was easy to walk in between the posts, get the corn and walk back out. This went on for a week or two. Shortly they became very used to walking into the clearing, getting the free corn, and walking back out through the fence posts."
"The next step was to put one rail down at the bottom. I also left a few openings, so that the older, fatter pigs could walk through the openings and the younger pigs could easily jump over just one rail. After all, it was no real threat to their freedom or independence. They could always jump over the rail and flee in any direction at any time."
"Now I decided that I would feed them every other day. On the days I didn't feed them they still gathered in the clearing. They squealed, they grunted, and they pleaded with me to feed them. But I only fed them every other day. And I put a second rail around the posts."
"Now the pigs became more and more desperate for food. Because now they were no longer used to going out and digging their own roots and finding their own food. They needed my corn every other day. So I trained them that I would feed them every day if they came in through a gate. And I put up a third rail around the fence. But it was still no great threat to their freedom, because there were several gates and they could run in and out at will. Then I closed all the gates but one, and I fed them very, very well. Yesterday I closed the last gate. And today I take these pigs to market."
DON'T KNOW WHO WROTE THIS OR WHEN BUT IT'S HUMOROUS... AND ACCURATE
FEUDALISM:You have two cows. Your lord takes some of the milk.
PURE SOCIALISM: You have two cows. The government takes them and puts them in a barn with everyone else's cows. You have to take care of all the cows. The government gives you as much milk they think you need.
BUREAUCRATIC SOCIALISM: You have two cows. The government takes them and puts them in a barn with everyone else's cows. They are cared for by ex-chicken farmers. You have to take care of the chickens the government took from the chicken farmers. The government gives you as much milk and eggs the regulations say you need.
FASCISM: You have two cows. The government takes both, hires you to take care of them, and sells you the milk.
PURE COMMUNISM: You have two cows. Your neighbors help you take care of them, and you all share the milk.
RUSSIAN COMMUNISM: You have two cows. You have to take care of them, but the government takes all the milk.
CAMBODIAN COMMUNISM:You have two cows. The government takes both and shoots you.
DICTATORSHIP: You have two cows. The government takes both and drafts you.
PURE DEMOCRACY: You have two cows. Your neighbors decide who gets the milk.
REPRESENTATIVE DEMOCRACY: You have two cows. Your neighbors pick someone to tell you who gets the milk.
BUREAUCRACY:You have two cows. At first the government regulates what you can feed them and when you can milk them. Then it pays you not to milk them. Then it takes both, shoots one, milks the other and pours the milk down the drain. Then it requires you to fill out forms accounting for the missing cows.
PURE ANARCHY: You have two cows. Either you sell the milk at a fair price or your neighbors try to take the cows and kill you.
ANARCHO-CAPITALISM: You have two cows. You sell one and buy a bull.
12-14-98 President Clinton's Impeachment
President Clinton's current dilemma, while being serious enough to cost him the presidency, is minor in comparison to the other political and moral indiscretions he could be found guilty of. Filegate, Travelgate, Chinagate, etc., are all serious enough to result in impeachment proceedings. Having been aware of Mr. Clinton's prevarication pathology since before he became President, I have developed theories as to why the Lewinsky affair has prevailed.
First there is the possibility that Clinton discretely encouraged the development of the independent counsel's investigation into the Lewinsky affair to distract attention from the more serious offenses, both known and those yet discovered. Take a common criminal for example, one who has committed a serious offense. Often times, when the criminal is on the verge of discovery, he will admit to partial guilt or guilt to a 'red herring' offense. Like the murderer who admits to only robbing his victim when he knows he has been pegged to the crime scene. This scenario would be consistent with Mr. Clinton's penchant for political deception.
Then there is the possibility that the independent counsel, in his judgment, thought that the public was bored with accusations of political corruption and figured the only charge people [as well as the press] would take notice of would be something lurid. Besides, the president has surrounded himself with people who have thus far been willing to fall on their swords for him and the sake of their ideology. A fall guy [or gal] can't do that with regard to Lewinsky.
John F. Kennedy, it is now known, had an affair or affairs while he was President. Yet, after decades of scrutiny, we have found nothing to indicate he would have beset upon his mistress, the kind of character assassination that has befallen the Clinton bimbos. Mr. Clinton's affair, his lying about it, as well as the mountain of whoppers he's told the people of this country, are just the tip of an iceberg. He has been able to keep it under the surface as a result of his love affair with the press. His minion will no doubt pull out all the stops in a last ditch effort to obfuscate the truth. Are we to be a nation of blissfully ignorant followers?
Much, if not all, of what Mr. Clinton has done as President is the result of his skillful lying. As a role model he has taught those who would follow him that truth is relative, that the sanctity of truth is expendable if violating it provides the only means to an otherwise unachievable goal. Mr. Clinton and his allies have convinced many Americans that his goals are noble. If lying has become an acceptable means, chances are the goals are also a lie.
In any event, our nation as a whole has slipped further down the slippery slope of immorality as a result of Mr. Clinton's lies. To do anything short of impeachment would be to reward him for his relentless deceptions.