Politicians Are More Dangerous than Terrorists

It is a very sad comment that today’s politicians are more dangerous than terrorists.  Politicians are much more likely to destroy the American system and our way of life than any terrorist organization.

One of my favorite jokes around springtime tells the rest of the story.  Towards the end of March, I would state that it was time to clean out the house… but don’t forget to also clean out the Senate.

So both Democrats and Republicans are guilty.  They may have good intentions early in their careers, but they get sucked into the corrupt system within a few months of arrival in Washington.  When I worked at the Pentagon and the Navy Yard as a fraud attorney, I had occasion to work with NCIS, the Department of Justice, and the FBI.

I was constantly bringing up good fraud cases against Senior Executive Service civilians and high ranking officers of the military, but these cases never went anywhere.  Why?  Because the culture in Washington was corrupt from middle management up to the top.  Everybody wanted to look the other way when federal managers did something unethical.  The only cases I successfully prosecuted were against lower managers and regular employees.  There is a double standard in Washington.

And this is even worse with politicians.  I asked an FBI agent why we never prosecuted Congressmen who were taking bribes every day.  He told me that it was difficult proving that the amounts given were not campaign contributions.  He also told me that there was a wicked culture in DC that was entrenched.  Anybody attempting to change that would lose their jobs or disappear.

It was difficult for me to watch all the politicians… and let me repeat… ALL the politicians accept compensation from special interest groups.  The real compensation for politicians is not their salaries, but it is the tremendous amount of money they receive from organizations who bribe them to do their bidding.

Several decades ago, Congressmen were only dangerous to our country because they did not represent Americans, but only their self interests.  However, today there is a new breed of politician who is even more dangerous.  These new politicians are interested in creating a world order that will be totalitarian in nature.  But don’t think for a second that it will be beneficial to you.  It will benefit these new leaders because they will rule the world.  They can then take anything they want and leave the rest of us in the cold or dead, which is very typical of all totalitarian leaders throughout history.

You can see the political posturing in the news, but please try to think what a politician’s real motivation is.  For example, when President Obama promised executive action that would give nearly five million illegal immigrants temporary work permits and amnesty, this really is designed to add more voters for a Democratic president who will continue pushing for a new world order.  The White House was spinning that Obama’s unilateral action was not “amnesty” and that it would “ensure that everyone plays by the same rules.”

Republicans are pushing for comprehensive amnesty legislation in order to avoid losing the next presidential election because of these potential voters.  Some of these five million immigrants may find ways to vote at the polls, but the real increase in voters who will support the Democrats are the families and friends of these immigrants.  Also, new Democratic supporters may rise exponentially in the next two years as Americans may become frustrated by the “gridlock” that could be caused by the actions of both parties.  The Republicans will take the greatest part of the blame.

Executive Agreements and Executive Orders have been used for decades and the Supreme Court has never ruled any of them unconstitutional.  The best option for Congress is to exercise its control of the power of the purse.  However, we have never had the executive branch so intent on using its agreements and orders for political purposes to create a new world order or worldwide totalitarian regime much like in Huxley’s and Orwell’s books.

Because of the nature of the political beast that exists in DC, it is not likely that America will avoid being drawn into the giant totalitarian whirlpool that awaits it.  I predict that millions of people will be sent to concentration camps and murdered until only weak-minded citizens remain behind to be enslaved by the new world order.

It is interesting to note that history has not been kind to the original leaders like Lenin, who might have had a genuine interest in helping the people.  The only survivors will be those who are completely evil and those who are completely dominated and offer no resistance.  Where will you fit in this new scheme of things?



Politics in My Backyard (PIMBY)

I have a theory that many local politicians have a vested interest in making life better in their neighborhoods.  I call it Politics in My Backyard (PIMBY).  This, of course, is not always true, but PIMBY is more likely to be found in local over either state or federal governments.

Generally, federal and state politicians get bogged down in self-serving, partisan voting.  This has caused the dysfunctional gridlock in DC.  I don’t see that much gridlock in city government, perhaps because many cities have managerial mayors and city managers, who treat city government more like running a business.

I suspect that even commissioners are less interested in partisan voting, but are more interested in what is best for themselves and hopefully the city.  But even if they vote for what is best for themselves, part of that is what is best for their backyard and community.  Some of them certainly must think about what is best for their children and grandchildren.

An undercurrent in all this is the nexus between city government and businesses and the local economy.  I believe this is different from the federal and state government where politicians work closely with special interest groups to obtain contributions to their campaigns.  Even though city politicians are enticed by businessmen and local power brokers to vote for specific actions, I see this as generally being beneficial to the community.  At the national and state levels, the special interest groups generally are not doing things that are especially helpful to citizens in local communities; while the actions by the city government, even if done for the personal gain of politicians, many times have a local benefit of some kind.

Congressmen have attempted to do things for their states in the past.  The term “pork barrel politics” usually refers to the type of spending which is intended to benefit supporters of a politician in return for their political support, either in the form of campaign contributions or votes.  “Pork” is a derogatory term since the expenditures generally are more focused on a special interest group within the state, rather than on the citizens of that state.

We need to think differently in order to turn our country around before it goes over the cliff, joining the other civilizations that have fallen.  Because of PIMBY, it makes sense to downsize the federal and state governments, providing more taxes and revenue to the local governments.  The local governments are closer to the issues that need attention and that actually will benefit the public.  Substituting the  local government for federal and state governments will avoid duplication of expenses at the higher levels and will allow the city government to focus on local issues, which they do better than anybody else.

America’s Two-Party System

The Founding Fathers had two opposite magnetic poles that attracted American citizens.  One was a group led by Alexander Hamilton, George Washington’s secretary of the treasury, who believed that the common man should not control the government.  Hamilton argued that a president for life would be the best course of action, similar to the crown in England.  He thought that mob rule would take over if left to the common man.  The followers of Hamilton were called Federalists (federal rights).

Thomas Jefferson, George Washington’s secretary of state, led the other side, which believed that the people could rule themselves and that the Federalists would promote a dictatorship by taking away powers from the people and the states, giving them to the federal government.  Jefferson wanted a nation of farmers who needed few laws governing them.  The followers of Jefferson were called Republicans (citizens’ and states’ rights).

But these two parties agreed on two important items:  (1) they wanted to do the right thing and (2) they wanted to serve the public.  They just disagreed on how best to do that.  Interestingly, the presidents during this “Founding Fathers” period of time were very independent, and did not follow their party line in all cases.  They did what they believed was best for their country even if they didn’t get reelected.

The evolution of the two-party system has swapped names around so that it is a bit confusing.  The Hamilton Federalists later became Republicans, and the Jefferson Republicans later became Democrats.  However, today the old Republicans are the new Democrats, and the old Democrats are now new Republicans.  It will make it easier if I differentiate the parties with a reference to their ideology at that particular time.  For example, the Hamilton Federalists would be designated by (federal rights) while the Jefferson Republicans would be categorized as (citizens’ and states’ rights).

But because of the maverick spirit of the early presidents, it was never crystal clear about party alignments.  George Washington, the first president, was a very successful independent president by setting a middle course for our young country and never affiliating with any party.  John Adams, the second president of the United States was a Federalist (federal rights), but he lost favor with that party when he went with his conscience and not the edicts of the party.  He was successful though because he avoided a war with France that could have destroyed our young, fragile nation.  Even though Thomas Jefferson, the third president, represented the Republicans, he still followed his conscience.  He was also successful by purchasing the Louisiana Territory.  James Madison, the fourth president, also a Republican, did what he thought was right during his two terms, but he got wrapped up in the War of 1812, which drove the federal debt up for the first time since the Revolutionary War.  He still was a success by winning the war.  James Monroe, the fifth president, also a Republican, created the “Era of Good Feeling” with his expansion of territory and decrease in spending.  Washington, Jefferson, Madison, and Monroe all only ran for two terms, believing that it was improper in our democracy for them to stay any longer.  The first five presidents were both independent and successful.

John Quincy Adams, the sixth president, was independent like his father.  Even though he was elected also as a Federalist (federal rights), he voted for what he believed to be right and not what the party wanted.  This guaranteed one term for both men.  But John Quincy Adams was not as successful as his father.  He was a cold and distant person and had no abilities to compromise.

Andrew Jackson, the seventh president, was elected as a Democratic Republican (citizens’ and states’ rights) over the new National Republican party (federal rights).  Jackson’s party eventually became just the Democratic party, while the Republican party became the Whig party.  Even though Jackson believed in states’ rights, he drew the line with South Carolina declaring that it would not comply with a federal tariff.  Jackson was ready to send in federal troops to enforce the federal law.  It was interesting that many of the early presidents were independent enough to ignore the ideologies of their party lines and stand up for what they thought was right.  Jackson certainly fit this mold.  He vetoed more bills from Congress than any president up to his time, but Jackson was very successful.  The federal debt “flat lined” through Jackson’s administration and over the next thirty years.  It wasn’t until 1860 that the federal debt started climbing, building up to the Civil War.

Martin Van Buren, the eighth president, a Democrat, tried to do the right thing, but he was blindsided by a deep depression caused by land speculation and liberal borrowing of money.  Van Buren was unsuccessful as a president, but it wasn’t really his fault.  American citizens couldn’t blame themselves, so they blamed Van Buren.  William Henry Harrison, the ninth president, was elected as a Whig (federal rights), but he lived only for a few months and obtained no success during that short period.  His vice-president, John Tyler, also a Whig, assumed the presidency.  Tyler stood his ground and supported states’ rights even though his party did not.  Tyler also was a single term president because of his independent positions, but he was unsuccessful because both parties hated him.

James Polk was elected the eleventh president as a Democrat (citizens’ and states’ rights).  Even though he was involved in a war with Mexico, it was one of the few wars that did not dramatically increase the federal debt.  In the peace treaty, America obtained California, Nevada, and part of Utah, Arizona, and New Mexico.  Polk was a very successful president.

Millard Fillmore, the thirteen president, assumed this office as a Whig (federal rights) after his predecessor, Zachary Taylor, died suddenly after contracting an illness on July 4th, a year after he was elected on the Whig ticket.  Taylor wasn’t president long enough to be successful, but Fillmore was a success.  Even though Fillmore was from a party that supported a strong federal government and that was against slavery, he was independent and followed what he believed.  He was a big influence on the Compromise of 1850, which made California a free state and enacted the Fugitive Slave Act allowing slave owners to recapture slaves who escaped to free states.  Fillmore was the last Whig president as that party disintegrated after the compromise.  Fillmore also was the last successful independent president until Abraham Lincoln.

Franklin Pierce, a northerner, was elected as the fourteenth president, as a Democrat (citizens’ and states’ rights).  Pierce was one of the first presidents who followed his party line and not his conscience.  He started a string of presidents who followed a strict party policy.  Pierce followed his party and promoted the Kansas-Nebraska Act, which allowed the citizens in those territories to decide whether it wanted slavery or not.  This was the tinder box that set a fire that led to the Civil War because it allowed extremists to operate and take over in those territories.

James Buchanan, the fifteenth president, was also a Democrat (citizens’ and states’ rights).  He did not take a strong stand on much anything.  With two weak presidents in a row, the extremists within America took over and ran us headlong into war.  Buchanan did not want to make anybody angry, especially his party, so he avoided confrontation.  But the country needed a strong, independent leader to avoid the Civil War.

Abraham Lincoln, the sixteenth president, was elected as a Republican (federal rights and anti-slavery).  Lincoln was a much more capable president than Pierce and Buchanan, but he did not have much experience, so he was polarized by his party into denouncing both states’ rights and slavery.  If he had been more experienced and followed his own beliefs, he would have selected only one issue – slavery.  Slavery was on its way out anyway and clearly was against America’s principle of a right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness for all.  If Lincoln had ignored the states’ rights issue, he, at a minimum, would have shortened the Civil War and may have avoided it altogether.  Lincoln also gave in to his party when they proposed military leaders like Erwin McDowell, who was a political staff officer who should never have led the Union soldiers in the First Battle of Manassas.  Other political appointments of officers led to the early years of losses to the Confederates on the battlefield.  After General Ulysses Grant, who was not political, was given command of the Union army, things turned around.  As Lincoln gained experience, he exercised his executive power more than other presidents had done in the past.  He finally recognized the legitimate reason for the Civil War and delivered the Emancipation Proclamation speech after the Battle of Gettysburg on September 22, 1862.  Lincoln had many good qualities that helped him get through a very difficult period for our country, but his inexperience hurt him in his early years of his presidency.  He became a successful independent president after September 22, 1862.  There was a hiatus in independent successful presidents until Theodore Roosevelt in 1901.

Of the first sixteen presidents, nine were successful independent presidents:  Washington, John Adams, Jefferson, Monroe, Madison, Jackson, Polk, Fillmore, and Lincoln.

The Reconstruction period paraded a series of Republican (federal rights and big business) presidents who were controlled by Congress.  Andrew Johnson and Rutherford Hays should be given credit during this period for attempting to do what they thought was right, but Congress and big business were just too powerful, and these presidents were not successful in their efforts.  Johnson, the seventeenth president, was impeached by Congress when he attempted to do what he thought was right.  Hayes, the nineteenth president, tried to clean up politics, but Congress and big businesses had too much power as America rolled into becoming an industrialized nation.  Ulysses Grant (eighteenth president), James Garfield (twentieth president), and Chester Arthur (the twenty-first president) were all weak presidents who conceded to their parties and Congress, leading to widespread corruption within the government.  The Republicans became more of a party supporting big business and drifted away from promoting federal rights.

Grover Cleveland, the twenty-second and twenty-fourth president, was elected as a Democrat (citizens’ and states’ rights), who was going to bring a change along with an honest government.  He also brought a change to the Democratic party, which became less focused on states’ rights and more centered on laborers and small businessmen.  Cleveland made his decisions based on what he thought was right and not what his party dictated or what was popular.  However, he wasn’t successful.  That’s why he lost to Benjamin Harrison, the twenty-third president, on the Republican (big business) ticket.  But Harrison, who supported high tariffs and big business, lost the following election to Cleveland as farmers, labor, and small businessmen voted for the Democrat (small business).  The pendulum continued to swing back and forth between the two parties as William McKinley, a Republican, was elected after Cleveland’s second term.  All these presidents, as a general rule, followed their party line.

It wasn’t until the colorful twenty-sixth president, Theodore Roosevelt, a Republican (big business), was vaulted into the presidency after McKinley was shot and killed, that successful independence returned to the presidency.  Roosevelt recognized a new division within America, not between federal and states’ rights, but between the rich and the poor.  Even though he was a Republican, he set out on his own to protect the small businesses and workers.  Roosevelt was the first president to successfully follow his own set of values since Millard Fillmore, about a 50-year hiatus.  Roosevelt busted up many of the big business trusts.  He also saved the natural resources in America by establishing national parks and forests.  This highly popular president easily won a second term.

William Taft, the twenty-seventh president, also a Republican, attempted to follow-up on many of Roosevelt’s programs, but he was not as aggressive as his predecessor.  Although competent, Roosevelt was a tough act to follow, and Taft looked weak by comparison.  He was a party man, too complacent to be labeled as an independent.

We continued the swing back and forth between parties as Woodrow Wilson, a Democrat (citizens’ and states’ rights), was elected as the twenty-eighth president.  Wilson championed the rights of the people, following the party position.  Wilson was in power during WWI when the federal debt escalated to about what it was during the Civil War.  After Wilson, Warren Harding, a Republican (big business), became the twenty-ninth president.  He was a loyal Republican who voted the party line.  He died in office and Calvin Coolidge, another Republican (big business), kept things going for big business.  Coolidge said, “And the business of government was to keep out of business.”  Herbert Hoover, a Republican (big business), was the thirty-first president.  Hoover inherited the Great Depression, but he still did not want to interfere with businesses through government regulation.

Franklin Roosevelt, the thirty-second president, a distant cousin to Teddy Roosevelt, was a Democrat (citizens’ and states’ rights).  Roosevelt really was an independent and kept to himself for the most part.  He was the architect for an expansive and expensive federal government.  The Democrat party suddenly looked a lot like the old Federalist, Whig, and Republican parties that championed federal rights.  He became the leader of a Democratic party that now represented the people through the federal government (big government).  He created new federal departments and spent money at a rate never seen before in our country.  He modified his party’s platform to use the full power of the federal government to champion the rights of Americans and small businesses.  He created a larger federal government to get America back on its feet.  The change was perhaps one of emphasis.  The emphasis was on a larger government.  He was elected for a fourth term, more terms than any other president, as a Democrat (big government) but he died in office.

Harry Truman, also a Democrat (big government), became the thirty-third president with the shadow of Franklin Roosevelt over him.  Truman, like both Roosevelt’s, was his own man.  Even though Truman had some shady political ties in Missouri, he stepped up and made the tough decisions, such as dropping the first atomic bomb.  There was no passing the buck with Truman because as he said, “The buck stops here.”  He was from Independence, Missouri, and he was truly independent.  During the Korean War, he took on a very popular General McArthur, but Truman did not back away from making the difficult decisions, and he was generally right.  Even though Truman was able to decrease the rate of federal spending, he still incurred heavy expenses in WWII and the Korean War and our government continued to grow.

Dwight Eisenhower was elected the thirty-fourth president because he was a likeable war hero.  His slogan was, “I like Ike.”  He was a Republican, but his party’s philosophy didn’t look that much different from the Democrat (big government) beliefs.  He pretty much followed the party line and was not considered to be a strong president.  However, he was able to continue a decrease in federal spending even with continued growth in the government building interstate roads and other projects.

John Kennedy was the next independent president after Truman.  He also was a Democrat (big government) elected as the thirty-fifth president based on his personal charm and wealth.  He attracted smart independent advisors, and he was willing to go against the military, corporate, and political powers.  The Bay of Pigs and Cuban Missile Crisis were both headaches for his administration.  Kennedy was assassinated, but we still do not know why.

Lyndon Johnson, the thirty-sixth president, returned to the Democratic party (big government) mantra.  Johnson started a group of presidents, whether Democrat or Republican, who followed their party line of increasing the size of the federal government, carrying right up to the present.  The Democrats might argue for increased taxes, and the Republicans might decrease taxes, but otherwise the two parties contributed to a higher federal deficit.  Johnson, unlike Kennedy, embraced big government, big business, and big military.  Richard Nixon, the thirty-seventh president, was a Republican, but it was difficult distinguishing him from Johnson except that Nixon got caught.  After his resignation, a very honest president, Gerald Ford, took his place, but Ford ran into an inflationary recession and didn’t have time to make his mark on the presidency.  Jimmy Carter, the thirty-ninth president, was an inexperienced Democrat who struggled to find his identity and the Democrat party fared no better.  Nixon, Ford, and Carter were able to maintain a reasonable federal budget, but the next president, Ronald Reagan, started the elevator rising to the giant federal debt that we have today.  He didn’t initiate this with the growth of federal government as much as he did with tax decreases.  The reduced taxes increased the debt.

Ronald Reagan, the fortieth president, finally defined and designed the new Republican party.  Reagan was the pioneer leader of this Republican party (business/small government), modifying its big business role to embrace less federal government.  The Republicans became a party that wanted to make the government smaller, making businesses less regulated and less taxed.  Now, the lines were clearly drawn between Republicans (business/small government/less taxes) and Democrats (unions/large government/more taxes).  Since Reagan actually formulated the new Republican party, he did not deviate from what the party line.  He was independent in that he created what he believed in.  And because of his firm ideological beliefs, he was able to dismantle the Soviet Union.  However, the costs for the federal government were increasing under both parties now.

George H.W. Bush, the forty-first president, continued following the Republican ideological philosophy.  Bush was one of our best war presidents.  During the First Gulf War, he formed a coalition of nations to remove Hussein from Kuwait.  Bush announced the objective and turned over the strategy and tactics of war to the military and let them do their job.  It is a lost art called “delegation” that few presidents ever learned.  William Clinton became the forty-second president as a Democrat, still pursuing what was best for a larger government.  Clinton was lucky to see a decrease in the federal budget because of the boost in the economy, giving the government more tax revenue and better profits on its investments. George W. Bush was the forty-third president, following the Republican movement to minimize government and reduce regulations on businesses.  The wars in Iraq and Afghanistan sent our federal debt spiraling up into the stratosphere.  Bush understood neither the power of coalitions nor international law like his father did, so America lost some of its moral luster.

Barrack Obama, the forty-fourth president, was perhaps the biggest Democratic champion for a larger government.  We have seen our federal debt go over $16 trillion and watch as Standard & Poor’s downgraded our country’s credit rating from AAA to AA+.  With our debt increasing over $1 trillion each year, we are reaching a fiscal tipping point.

In summary, the first five presidents from George Washington to James Madison carried an aura of successful independence about them that may have carried over from being the “Founding Fathers.”  Jackson, Polk, Fillmore, and Lincoln were the next four successful independent presidents, but this combination wasn’t seen again until Teddy Roosevelt came crashing onto the scene.  Franklin Roosevelt, Truman, Kennedy, and Reagan were the last presidents who exercised successful independent spirits.  I believe that Lincoln fit in the category of independent successful presidents after September 22, 1862, when he issued the Emancipation Proclamation. Also in my opinion, Reagan did what he thought was right as another successful independent, which matched the new party line that he had created.

In effect, I argue that there were only 14 out of 44 presidents who were successful at doing the right thing for their country even at the risk of not getting reelected.  The most successful presidents were independent, but still knew how to build coalitions.  The least successful presidents were those who just simply followed the party line or who refused to compromise or work with anybody.  I think we could use another independent president, but if we have already reached the tipping point, I don’t know if they could be successful.

America Needs Part-Time Politicians

Our founding fathers were part-time politicians, who returned to their day jobs after serving their country.  These were patriots who believed in a government of the people, by the people, and for the people.  They served the needs of American citizens.  They asked what they could do for their country, not what their country could do for them.

Today’s politicians, both Democrat and Republican, are full-time professional bureaucrats who serve only themselves.  It’s all about them and their political careers.  It’s nothing about America and Americans.  They are politicians of a party, by a party, and for a party.  The party is just a means for them to obtain political power and gains.  They don’t care about you.  They only care about themselves.

Our founding fathers believed in something higher than themselves.  Our current politicians believe in nothing higher than themselves.  Several years ago, I was in the Capitol with some of our friends visiting us in D.C..  Several Congressmen walked by with their noses stuck up.  They wanted nothing to do with the common people.  I can remember a time when Congressmen at least pretended that they cared about the citizens.

I saw in the news the other day that many Americans do not believe it matters who wins the next presidential election.  The economy would be about the same either way.  That’s another way of saying that Americans do not believe in the two-party system anymore.  They can vote a Democrat in for “change,” and then vote a Republican in for “change.”  But there never really is “change,” because politicians from both parties are the same.  They are only interested in serving themselves and not their constituents.

One way to bring politicians down to earth is to remove their incentives to become professional politicians.  Only permit one term.  Eliminate campaign contributions entirely.  Eliminate their ability to accept any compensation from third parties for any reason.  Enforce bribery laws.  Take away their retirement and health-benefit packages.

After taking away their benefits and rewards, the professional politicians will dry up and leave the political arena, hopefully leaving good part-time politicians who want to do something for their country and their countrymen.

Young and Underemployed

My wife and I treated ourselves to a nice dinner last night.  We had a very intelligent waiter who served us.  We started talking to him and found out that he had a degree from an east-coast university.  But he can’t find a job related to his education.

We have friends whose children have graduate degrees and are working as servers in restaurants.  Unfortunately, this is not a small problem.  About one in three young Americans are underemployed.  And they don’t have high hopes of getting a better job.  Some of them have a huge student loan to pay back.  Many of these children have moved back home with their parents to reduce their expenses.

The U.S. economy has been harder on young adults, aged from 18 to 29, than workers between 30 and 64.  The unemployment rate for this young group has been increasing.  It went from 12.5 percent in March to 13.6 percent in April of 2012.  The unemployment rate for ages 30 to 49  was 7 percent in April, and for ages 50-64 it was 6.2 percent.

But when you add in those who are working part time looking for full-time jobs, the situation looks rather bleak for the younger generation.  In April, 18.4 percent of those aged 18 to 29 were working part time because they could not find a permanent job.  Combining the unemployed to the underemployed, brings the total to 32 percent or about one out of every three in this age group.

Gallop polls indicate that only 3.1 percent of these young adults are self-employed.  Most of them lack the necessary experience, knowledge, and finances to succeed in self-employment, which is a difficult task even under the best of circumstances.

This is more than a temporary setback.  The younger adults do not obtain the experience they need to get a better job in the future.  Their resumes either have glaring gaps or underemployed positions that sometimes don’t get past the first cut made by companies.

It would be nice if politicians set aside partisan politics and established military and public service positions for these young adults, so they can gain experience that U.S. companies will need in the future after baby boomers retire.

Israel and other countries have successful programs requiring young adults to serve their countries before entering the workforce.  This will not only provide them job experiences that can translate into future positions with the private sector, but it is an excellent way to motivate young adults.  If they like the government service, they might elect to stay with it.  If they don’t like the service, they will be highly motivated to go back to school or find a better job elsewhere.  And they will have a strong resume to make this transition.

Obamateurism vs. Law

President Barack Obama’s healthcare law, which could add $530 billion more to the federal budget deficit, is before the Supreme Court to determine if Congress overstepped its authority to regulate commerce, making the law unconstitutional.

One of the questions before the Supreme Court is whether individuals may be forced to buy health insurance and thus engage in commerce, which then will be regulated?  In other words, can citizens be coerced into being regulated?

I was a fraud acquisition attorney for over seven years with the Air Force, Navy, and Marines, and I am amazed that basic law has taken a second seat to partisan
politics.  I call President Obama’s attempts to force this law through the judicial branch as “Obamateurism.”

We need innovative thinking as described in my fist book, “A Warrior for All Times,” rather than political thinking.

Forcing Americans to sign contracts with insurance companies flies in the face of basic contact law, requiring willing parties to reach an agreement.  Contracts in order to be binding must be made by parties who are free to make or refuse the contract.  Parties to the contract must mutually assent to the terms without duress.

There must be no coercion, and Obamacare compels citizens to enter contracts under threats of penalties.

The Tenth Amendment lists those powers uniquely reserved to the states and the people.  The Supreme Court has restricted Congress from compelling contracts in the past.

Even though Obama stated that the Supreme Court cannot overturn legislation, it has been doing it for decades.  Politics does not trump the law.

Can You Handle the Truth?

One of the more memorable lines from the movie, “A Few Good Men,” was delivered by Jack Nicholson:  “You can’t handle the truth.”

This seems to apply to Americans today.  I can remember a time when the news media prided itself in reporting the facts and letting citizens apply the facts to draw their own conclusions.  Currently, the media is centered around politicians (both Republicans and Democrats), providing editorial comments to the public.  You don’t get many facts, but you get many opinions based on partisan politics.  If the media is not giving us the truth, then that is committing fraud on the American public.

Is it because we can’t handle the truth?  Or is it because the media and politicians don’t want you to know the truth?  The media is losing touch with American
citizens.  My book, “A Warrior for All Times – Col. John Boyd,” which is coming out later this year, discusses an innovative way of thinking that could bring the media back to reality and just reporting the facts.

I majored in Journalism at the University of Kentucky in the late ’60′s and recall a class on how to brainwash the public.  Today I think you could major in “Brainwashing” rather than Journalism.  For example, the federal government only counts people who are unemployed and looking for a job, not those who have given up on the job search.  Now when I was a reporter and later an editor, I always dug deeper.  If the government did not give me the truth or, in this case, the actual number of unemployed, I would report that the government was not providing the true number.  Then I would dig deeper to find the correct number.

I believe that the media either believes that you can’t handle the truth or they don’t want you to know the truth.  Either way, the media has sunk to even lower depths.

Unbalanced Powers

Our Founding Fathers designed a wonderful government whose powers were balanced.  The three branches of our government were given powers to watch each other so that one branch did not assume too much power and take control.  Currently, the executive, legislative, and judicial branches are more concerned about partisan politics than balancing powers.

My new book, “A Warrior for All Times – Col. John Boyd,” examines Boyd’s innovative thinking that could help America’s federal government today, which is unbalanced and wobbling off course.

On April 2, 2012, President Obama warned the Supreme Court that a rejection of his healthcare reform law would be an act of “judicial activism” that Republicans claim to oppose.

First of all, the Supreme Court is supposed to examine laws based on whether they are constitutional or not.  President Obama indicated that it would be an unprecedented, extraordinary step if the Supreme Court overturned a law that was passed by a strong majority of a democratically elected Congress.  This is a scary statement.  Either our president has not read the Constitution or he is practicing politics.  Since I’m quite certain that the president is more than familiar with the Constitution, he is playing his political card.

The Constitution established the Supreme Court to do just what the president said they couldn’t do.  The Justices examine laws passed by Congress to determine if the law is constitutional.  It is not unprecedented at all for the Supreme Court to declare that a bill is unconstitutional.

Second of all, the Supreme Court is never supposed to base their determinations on partisan politics.  When the president mentioned the Republican party in his comment, he was implying that the Supreme Court was following a Republican mandate.  Implicit is his argument that the Republican judges are attempting to overturn a Democrat program.

And maybe the president has a point here.  Partisan politics is like a cancer in our government that has paralyzed our system for decades.  It would be interesting if we gave Republicans and Democrats both a three-month vacation and substituted hard-working Americans to do their jobs for that period of time.  I bet some good decisions would be made during that time frame.  What do you think?

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.


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.