America Needs a Party!

If you are depressed because you can’t find a job.  If you are stressed because America spends another trillion dollars, it doesn’t have, each year.  If you are down in the dumps because you have a “Do Nothing Congress,” then take heart.  You aren’t by yourself in this physical and fiscal mess.  We all need a party!

Most Americans are unhappy with both Democrat and Republican politicians.  Our two-party system has polarized us into following one party or the other like sheep.  We need to be thoughtful Americans again and, if necessary, we need to have a third party: one that doesn’t give in to lobbyists and that will serve the public rather than self interests.  What a novel approach!  Takes you back to a time when our Founding Fathers were promoting freedom, liberty, and justice for all.

In short, we need a major overhaul in our system.  All three branches of government are stuck in the quicksand of partisan politics.  In other words, our government is frozen in place and cannot respond appropriately to any emergency.  In better times, we could survive this intransigence.  But America cannot maintain this spending spree and economic downturn.  Americans must unite to oust both Democrats and Republicans, by electing candidates from a third party, promoting action to make America both physically and fiscally strong again.

 

Does History Repeat Itself?

Please examine the picture in the banner for this blog site above.  You see a Civil War battle with smoke surrounding the soldiers that blends into the next picture of the Twin Towers burning after the terrorist attack on 9/11.

Think about this for a second.  What is the significance of this to you?   Does history repeat itself?  Could there be another civil war, but this time a worldwide confrontation with terrorists, armed by Iran, N. Korea, and Russia with weapons of mass destruction?  Or could there be another civil war within America?  Libya, Syria, and Egypt are examples of what can happen when the government loses touch with its citizens.  If America’s federal government and its politicians do not make major changes and our economy tears apart at the seams, then an internal civil war is very likely.

This blog site is designed to make you think, but my primary goal is to make you think differently.  America needs innovative thinkers.  Our country and the world are reaching a tipping point.  We can either turn things around for the better or we will be unwilling participants caught in a whirlpool of chaos drawing us down into the bowels of man’s worst nightmare.

We can learn from our past to make a better present, leading to a brighter future for ourselves and our descendants.  The lesson from our past is fairly simple:  if we serve only ourselves, then there will be no government or society or law that will make our lives better.  Selfish individuals support selfish governments.  However, if we harness our independent, individual liberties to serve society, then government and society and law will follow that same path.

Read the posted articles.  I hope you don’t agree with all of my comments, because you should have your own thoughts.  But my hope is that you will at least think about them and join me in the fight for freedom of thought.

Retirement in 2050?

What will retirement look like in 2050?  I wrote a futuristic movie script about this very subject.

The following shows the plot of the screenplay.

My generation will be dead.  The middle class will be dead.  Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid probably will be dead.  Will the economic landscape look anything like today?  Probably not.

Taxes on estates, income, real estate, personal property, sales, gasoline, state income, and municipal income will all increase to such an extent that most of people’s income will go to taxes.  Gasoline prices will escalate, causing all other consumer costs to increase accordingly.  Inflation will reduce the value of the dollar.  Printing more currency will further reduce the value of the dollar.

There will be no stock market since the government had to take it over after its crash.  There will be no IRAs or savings accounts because most banks will be closed and people will need every penny just to pay for necessary items.  Malls and businesses will be closed because non-food and non-essential items will be rarely sold in stores.

There will be three classes:  (1) government rulers and the elite, (2) government workers, and (3) the  poor.  World leaders will form a totalitarian block that controls everything, consisting of:  (1) the Americas, (2) the Eur-Af-Asia, and (3) the Islands.  Anybody disagreeing with this united totalitarian system will be killed.  Anybody over 50 disappears and is never seen again.

In effect, there will be no retirement.  You will work until you die or you disappear, whichever comes first.

Does this sound surrealistic?  It was good fodder for my science-fiction movie.  Does it sound similar to “A Brave New World” or “1984″?

Moral of this movie:  only intelligent people rising up and refusing to accept “Big Brother” government and it fraudulent purpose can prevent this from happening.

Why Are We in Afghanistan?

As a military serviceman going through the Vietnam war, I appreciate the way soldiers are treated today.  When they return home, nobody spits on them or calls them “baby killers.”  In fact, today the military are honored at airports and in parades.

Yet, Army SSgt Robert Bales apparently was a baby killer.  He was on his fourth deployment to Afghanistan.  This raises a good question.  How many deployments into combat environments are too many for our soldiers?

I remember the horrific screams of my father at night when he relived his three years of combat in WWII.  Recycling our troops into combat can cause psychological harm.  The problem is that decisions are made by those who do not have combat and sometimes even military experience.  In their minds, they believe that you can separate soldiers from their families and throw them into combat as many times as needed.  That’s not even close to the truth.  But our leaders can’t handle the truth.

The Hollywood version of what our soldiers do in the Middle East also is not the truth.  But we can’t handle the truth.  From 2005 to 2010, military members took their lives at a rate of one every 36 hours.  That is the truth.  It is important for American citizens to understand that they do not receive the truth from the media or politicians or even the top brass in the military.

The military is an important tool to be used to protect and ensure our national security.  But it has been misused by both Republican and Democrat leaders, interested in partisan politics and lobbyists.  The bottom line is:  what is our national security interest that is at stake?  Can we answer that for Iraq or Afghanistan?

The amount of lives and American dollars we have spent in these countries is overwhelming.  When I assisted in prosecuting those who committed fraud in Iraq and Afghanistan, I was amazed at how many tax dollars were lost to fraud.  And the precious blood that we shed in the sand was for what purpose?  9/11 occurred over a decade ago.  What is our national security interest today?  And if our purpose is to control terrorism, are we actually accomplishing that?  Some say that our presence is actually assisting terrorists in their recruiting and public relations efforts.

The soldiers who are sent overseas to Afghanistan time after time are honored, but many times they are honored in a returned wooden box.  I’ve always believed that if the president and other politicians had to fight on the front line, then smarter decisions would be made that would better serve our country.

Fraud in Federal Programs

Fraud, fraud ... everywhere!  It is rampant within the federal programs.

I was an attorney working fraud cases for both the Air Force Judge Advocate General’s Office and the Navy’s Office of General Counsel for over seven years.  I found fraud committed not only by government contractors but also by government employees.  I argued to the Department of Justice that they should hold senior executive service (SES) and military officers to a higher standard than anybody else, but that fell on deaf ears.  Unfortunately, many of these higher ranking individuals were never prosecuted at all.

And this was just fraud in the Department of Defense.  Medicaid and Medicare fraud are much worse.  In 2010, Dr. Jacques Roy, a Dallas physician, referred more than 5,000 Medicare recipients for home health services.  The average that year was about 100 per doctor.  Dr. Roy allegedly certified more than 11,000 patients as being eligible for Medicare home health services over six years.  He was the only doctor in America who certified this many for home health care.  He also was billing the government for unnecessary services.  Dr. Roy was recently indicted for committing health care fraud to the tune of $375 million dollars.

How did this happen?  How did this slip past federal regulators?  The number of Medicare beneficiaries alone should have put somebody on notice.  No other doctor even came close to him with these numbers.  And home health care is an area ripe for fraud and should have been monitored closely.

Unfortunately, the federal government was asleep at the wheel, allowing major fraud in both Medicare and Medicaid practices.  Dr. Roy had about $350 million in bogus billings to Medicare and about $24 million in fraudulent claims to Medicaid.  How many others are out there?  Unfortunately, this is just the tip of the iceberg.

Federal Salaries Increase While We Look for Jobs

The federal government is out of touch with the reality of what is going on in America.  Most Americans are struggling to find a job or keep the one they have, while federal employees are gorging themselves at the feeding trough provided by taxpayers.  Within the past three years, federal employees have received as much as 20% increases in their salaries each year from a common practice of “career ladder promotions.”

At the beginning of 2008, there were about 60,000 career ladder promotions, and at the end of 2011, there were almost 110,000 such promotions.  This comes at a time when the taxpayers are being told that federal employees are only receiving small cost-of-living adjustments, but the taxpayers are not aware that federal employees are receiving promotions with little scrutiny or merit.

These “career ladder promotions” are a method for federal managers to quickly move new hires up the ladder of the General Schedule either one or two full grades, which can amount to 20% increases.  The typical salary increases under the General Schedule are called step increases based on the employee’s time in service, which amount to about 3% increases.  However, the career ladder promotions allow federal employees to receive significant double-digit salary increases without anybody on Main Street knowing.  Only those on Pennsylvania Avenue within the beltway know about it.  But now you know too.

Self-serving vs. Self-sacrifice

The great majority of people, no matter what age or class or sex or religion or ethnic background, are self-serving.  They look at themselves in the mirror and worry about physical attributes.  They respond to weight loss products more than “children starving” advertisements.

Most people are self-centered, looking for instant gratification.  Sexual pleasure is only important for the moment for that one person.  It’s entirely up to the other person to find enjoyment or not.  If they don’t, then that’s tough.  There are plenty of others in the pool for serving self-interests.

Marriages are difficult under these circumstances since instead of a team, there are two individuals who are only interested in what is best for them.  Couples have separate cars, jobs, lives, friends, and bank accounts.  If something doesn’t work, then you dispose of it.  It’s easier getting a new television, car, or spouse than trying to fix what was wrong.  We have become a very disposable society.

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Overturning the Obstacles

Even Jesus was assertive when necessary to overturn obstacles.  In Mark 11:15-17, Jesus went into the Temple and began to cast out those who sold and purchased in this house of worship.  He also overthrew the tables of the moneychangers and the seats of those who sold doves, saying that the Temple was a house of prayer for all nations, yet those in power had made it a den of thieves.

The High Priest of Jerusalem, Joseph Caiaphas, established a market in the Temple to compete with the markets on Mt. Olive.  These markets sold animals for sacrifice in the Temple and the moneychangers extorted large amounts of money for these sacrificial animals.  That was the basis for Jesus’ reference to “a den of thieves.”  Jesus could not allow this “county fair” atmosphere to exist in a holy place.  He had to cleanse the Temple and he did it in no uncertain terms.  Jesus saw the Temple as a house of prayer for all people, not just the Jewish people, so he was very assertive in overturning the obstacles to worship and prayer. Continue reading