Since I have not written in the blog in a week, I will hit several topics. I have kept a running list of things I want to write about. I will start with my list in chronological order.
Last week, I heard Mayor Hester remark how he was disappointed that no town council members attended the Martin Luther King Jr. celebration on MLK Day at the Harrison Alumni Building. He further remarked that he was the only Caucasian at the "celebration". Well, there are good reasons for that. First, at least two of the four council members work for a living. Holidays, especially racial appeasement ones, do not apply to everyone. The self-employed and laborers who work at businesses that choose to not close their doors for such a lame holiday still work.
Second, perhaps Caucasians choose not to spend their time listening to people worship a dead man, regardless of his ethnicity. I personally detest how the legacy of Dr. King has been perverted, used for personal gain, and used as a tool to pry further into racism rather than away from it. I know that there are plenty of people who think likewise.
One thing that I have been finding lately is that gun shows are becoming increasingly expensive. I really enjoy walking down the aisles, looking at different guns and supplies. The recent Raleigh shows have been an improvement over those in years past. However, they prices sure are not better. I am real tired of not being able to find much in the way of good deals. I understand that the shows cost money to put on, to set up as a vendor, and to transport goods and people. But for cryin' out loud, don't gouge us shmoes who come to one of the few bastions of 2nd Amendment freedoms we enjoy. If it keeps up, gun dealers will put gun shows out of business.
I caught snippets of the Jimmy Carter special on C-SPAN last weekend, or whatever day it was. It was the 30th anniversary of his presidency and was live coverage from the University of Georgia. One speaker was applauding Carter's accomplishment in office of lowering the amount of foreign oil importation to 2 million barrels less than prior to his term of office. For those of you old enough to remember that period of time, perhaps you will also remember long lines at the gas pumps, high gas prices, and record inflation.
I did not watch the State of the Union speech Tuesday night. Instead, I watched the DVR'd episodes of American Idol. I would rather read the speech in its full text later. I am really tired of the grandstanding, hypocrisy, and the "show" of the State of the Union. That speech is now misnamed. It is no longer a true speech on the State of the Union. It is an occasion for political grandstanding.
Just ONCE, I would love to see a true State of the Union given. Article II Section 3 of the US Constitution says: "He shall from time to time give to the Congress information of the state of the union, and recommend to their consideration such measures as he shall judge necessary and expedient; he may, on extraordinary occasions, convene both Houses, or either of them"
Note that it does NOT say that the State of the Union speech is to be once per year, nor does it say that it has to even be a speech. Furthermore, the speeches rarely actually contain "information of the state of the union". Recommendations to Congress of "such measures he shall judge necessary and expedient" have been replaced with grand plans of expansion of the government and personal agenda items.
There were some contradictions in the State of the Union speech. The old addage of "Do as I say, not as I do" applies. Bush made the statement, "America's prosperity requires restraining the spending appetite of the federal government." HELLO? Under the GOP control of both houses of Congress and The White House, spending has, to quote William Redpath, "the Republicans have spent more, even discounting for terror and war related expenses, than even the Democrats had spent".
At the same time, Bush plans to extend the No Child Left Behind Act. Yet, he says, "My budget substantially reduces or eliminates more than 150 government programs that are not getting results, or duplicate current efforts, or do not fulfill essential priorities. The principle here is clear: A taxpayer dollar must be spent wisely, or not at all." The duplicity here is obvious. He wants to increase PEL grants, funding to schools, and increase government control on environmental matters. That is not decreasing programs, that is increasing them. He wants to spur prosperity yet wants to grant amnesty to 12 million illegal aliens in this nation, killing a lot of our economic opportunities for citizens here.
Bush wants to encourage private health coverage purchasing with tax credits. That is fine. To pay for that, though, he wants to tax my health benefits. He is trying to get us away from an employer provided health care system. I understand the concept that people will only purchase coverage they want instead of a blanket coverage for stuff they don't need if they have to buy their own coverage. However, what business is it of the federal government's to regulate what my employer and I mutually agree upon for my own health care coverage, since they do offer it? Just stay out of my business! It is just that...my business and it is between me and my employer. Period.
If I want to buy my own coverage, I will. This has nothing to do with the government. Also, I am tired of paying for the health care of those too stupid or lazy to obtain their own. Not everyone without health insurance is in that position because of the inability to pay for the insurance premiums. That is their own risk. I went for years with no coverage at all, and paid all costs out of pocket. So what?
Health benefits are out there if people are smart enough to look for them. There are many viable alternatives. I have seen many plans, groups, charities (yes, I even saw a charity that has a cooperative plan), etc. that have alternative plans to traditional health insurance. I used to sell one such plan.
What is lacking? How about stuff like our annual revenue versus annual expenditures. How about annual debt figures? Sure, the speech has things such as "we are facing (insert problem here) in our (insert program name here)" generic things, but nothing concrete that actually states what our union status presently is.
Here is one blatant lie in the speech. "The United States has no right, no desire and no intention to impose our form of government on anyone else." Yeah, right. One word...Iraq. Then, he goes on to talk about "democracies" in the Middle East, Ukraine, Afghanistan, etc. First and foremost, STOP USING THE TERM DEMOCRACY!!!! WE are NOT a freakin' democracy. We never have been and hopefully never will be!!! I don't see the term republic used in the speech. Article IV, section 4 of the US Constitution: "The United States shall guarantee to every state in this union a republican form of government". I take that two ways. First, the guarantee that this will be our form of federal government and that the states will be guaranteed that they will have this in their own individual states.
What needs to happen is that each new Congressman, Senator, President, judge, and federal employee needs to have a civics lesson prior to taking office or employment. After all, the President's oath of office is, "I do solemnly swear that I will faithfully execute the office of President of the United States, and will to the best of my ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States." If only that were true and all unconstitutional legislation was eliminated or at least vetoed. I wish we had at least a president who would see things that way. It is easier to have one man than 535 to think clearly, one would think. Maybe I am wrong.