Please Stop

This was a letter I wrote to the local paper out of frustration back in 2012 in response to several trashy letters they had published the day prior.  Letters that made absolutely no sense.  Here was my response – never published:

To the Editors of the VP Opinion Page regarding Time to Pack a Bag, Lyrics From Hee-Haw, A Different America – letters to the editor 11/21/12:  Would you please stop insulting me by publishing the trash like is demonstrated by the aforementioned LTE’s in today’s paper?  I understand it makes for good reading that translates into much needed revenue, however you’re disregarding your own mission statement by continuing to print demonstrable falsehoods peppered with ignorant perceptions.  For example from the letters today:

“Conservative policies and Republican obstructionism nearly caused a financial collapse.”  I didn’t realize that Jimmy Carter or Bill Clinton were Republican or conservatives.  Nor did I realize Chris Dodd and Barney Frank, the two individuals who blocked dozens of Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae reforms over the years, were Republican or conservatives.  And I wasn’t aware the Community Reinvestment Act was a Republican plan.

“We believe our tax code desperately needs changing so that the rich pay their fair share.”  What is a fair share and how does it compare to the 58% of collections the rich already pay?  No problem that the bottom 49% of earners pay nothing while the writer then talks about “leveling the playing field”?

“We have chosen an America that recognizes that not all of its citizens are wealthy.”  I must have missed that on the ballot.  In the same breath the writer states that “we have not voted to give up our freedom, our democracy, or our country.”  If you don’t think that seizing one person’s property to give to someone else who “needs help” isn’t a loss of freedom and democracy, then what is?

“The GOP refuses to realize that America has changed.”  Yes, America has changed.  Intelligent people understand that, and we don’t like what we see.  Obviously us conservatives gave folks too much credit judging by the election results.  Like liberal democrats, you assume most folks are ignorant or idiots.  You demonize success, promote stupidity and outcome equality, assault religion, and support laziness and irresponsibility.  Your letter choices illustrate that.

“We believe that if America can give millions to big wealthy corporations who don’t need it…”.  Last I checked, the dollars are going to green energy companies that go bankrupt.  Protest that too, and I may give you some leeway on expecting me to also pay for birth control pills.

Previously you required me to provide sources to back my statements up before you’d decide to print my letters.  Obviously you’ve either changed your policy since then, or have different policies for right-leaning and left-leaning submissions.  I’ll know which it is based on whether you decide to print this letter without me providing references this time.  I don’t know whether to laugh or cry at what I see happening of late in your paper.  Laugh because you and your readers don’t see the obvious getting ready to befall you, or cry because this trash you help promulgate is part of what’s killing the America that I love.  To steal a quote from one of these letters – “America:  Love it or leave it.”  I couldn’t agree more, so please stop trying to CHANGE it.

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The 1%

The mainstream media intentionally, and grossly, misinterprets the Occupy movement for something more than it is – a disorganized circus of entitlement fantasy. As I observe the activities and media coverage of the Occupy protests, I believe references to “the 1%” better describe the protesters themselves and the media outlets promoting this movement as something legitimate. Clearly there are 1% in this country who simply “don’t get it” about what’s really plaguing us and what has average Americans so frustrated.

Listening to the protesters, it’s obvious they don’t have a clue about our economy or its drivers and influences. They don’t comprehend what true freedom means nor are they capable of connecting the dots between Wall Street and Washington DC. I don’t know whether it’s just immaturity, or some false sense of entitlement or expectation instilled by a failed public education system, or just plain ignorance. They’re so confused and disorganized that the media attempts to define their message for them and even the media can’t settle on anything convincingly enough to fool the 99% of us who “do get it”. As with previous attempts to legitimize the Occupy cause, the media continues to fall far short of resonating any logic behind the movement. Keep spinning the grievance differently and hope one of the messages finally gains traction?

By contrast, the TEA Party defined itself within the first whisper of the movement and has been consistent in its non-violent, law-abiding messaging throughout its three-year existence. The TEA Party properly and peacefully directs protest towards Washington DC and continues to be largely ignored by the media, unless of course it can be leveraged in an attempt to lend credibility to some liberal flavor-du-jour like the Occupy faction. When this fading Occupy crowd can rationally influence the political landscape like the TEA Party did in 2010 and within local elections last November 2011, against the tide of hostile media no less, then they might start to become a relevant grass-roots force. Until then, best wishes to you 1% as you continue searching for your true identity.

Silver Tongue

Well, we have a deal! On Tuesday, August 2nd, 2011, our legislators marveled in their own magnificence as they passed a bipartisan debt ceiling proposal, narrowly averting a worldwide financial Armageddon at the zero hour. The mid-day celebration was capped off Tuesday afternoon with Obama giving a victory-lap statement in the Whitehouse rose garden where he discussed all of his ideas about where to spend the extra $1.2 trillion he was just awarded. No mention of Social Security checks being spared, or vets being paid, or Medicare/Medicaid remaining solvent, or of saving default on our debt. Instead, he orated about investment in infrastructure, education, and medical research while peppering his articulation with his standard wealth-envy buzzwords like millionaires, corporate jet owners, and people with yachts.

So aside from handing Obama another Stimulus budget and a trigger to raise taxes, I hope our Congress realizes they completely missed the broader reality of what our nation needs to deal with. After the celebration, the hugs and handshakes, and in spite of the ‘hero of the day’ arrogance of our elected officials, Moody’s and/or S&P will be lowering our country’s credit rating due to the proposal failing to cut $4 trillion in spending. Default on our debt was never going to occur, and entitlement checks and our military were never at risk of being ignored. This manufactured crisis our government called the debt ceiling was a means to an end, and one end only: Obama and the Democrats crave wealth redistribution, and they will trash America in the name of fairness and social justice to do it. Moody’s looming downgrade is a clear indication we must stop spending, and it recognizes the impact Obama’s policies have on America’s productivity.

What this means to Americans is that I hope you have your finances in order, because borrowing is about to get more expensive. I sure hope our legislators are proud of themselves for completely ignoring reality, and I pray America lasts long enough to vote them all out in 2012.

(The funny thing is that I wrote this letter on August 2, 2011. America’s credit rating was lowered to AA+ from AAA on August 6th. I hate being right.)

The First President

To say in early 2008 that Senator Barack Obama could make history if elected President has turned out to be the understatement of the decade. Under the subsequent transformational leadership of the Obama presidency, we are actually witnessing an unprecedented series of ‘firsts’ in our country that I feel must be properly acknowledged for appreciation by an ungrateful electorate.

We elected our first black President of the United States in November 2008. President Obama soon thereafter became the 2009 recipient of the first Nobel Peace Prize awarded for world vision as opposed to the norm of being recognized for having already accomplished something meaningful in the world. In 2010, President Obama championed and enacted the first new entitlement program in the history of our republic with an initial price tag exceeding one trillion dollars. And most recently with the passage of a debt ceiling increase, our President finalized the fiscal framework required to achieve the first credit downgrade our country has ever received.

With all these ‘firsts’ to his credit, our President has unequivocally earned a prominent place in American history in less than three short years in office. About the only thing he hasn’t done during his presidency thus far is magically manifest a compound cure for cancer, but his term isn’t quite over yet so there still may be time if he’s not too exhausted already from his success to date.

There were those who said in 2008 that they hoped President Obama would fail. Obama has obviously succeeded – as our ‘first’ President.

Two birds, one stone

Another letter to the Virginian Pilot – see it here.

Here’s the unedited version:

Two Birds, One Stone
The Transportation Security Administration’s recent tactical change to airport security screening has accomplished what federal legislators have failed to do for decades: create a free public healthcare option. In addition to screening for weapons, bombs, and other terrorist threats, the TSA now offers a full complement of healthcare services encompassing everything from breast cancer exams to sports physicals to chiropractic massages. As to not discriminate, the TSA is planning to expand their enhanced servicing to other modes of transportation including subways, passenger trains, buses, and cruise ships.

Future enhancements to this new public option are rumored to even include free colonoscopies and domestic abuse counseling.

Talk about a brilliant approach! I will never question the genius of the Obama Administration again.

Virginia – Second District Congressional Election

Published in the Virginian Pilot, October 23, 2010 here.

As an undecided Virginia 2nd District voter this fall, I’ve become frustrated watching Congressman Glenn Nye and challenger Scott Rigell go back and forth over Rigell’s participation in Cash for Clunkers.  As they volley accusations of hypocrisy at each other, they seem to be engaging in a superficial argument.  What’s most relevant here is our government’s meddling in private industry, not whether either candidate’s words are hypocritical towards their actions with stimulus plans.

As the owner of a local car dealership, Rigell would have been criticized had he stood firmly on his anti-stimulus ideology and refused to participate in the Clunkers program.  Sitting it out would have forced a competitive disadvantage on his business and likely would have impacted the welfare of his employees.  On the other hand, as he is now being criticized for, he participated in the program and remained competitive among dealers across the country, while at the same time not being terribly enthusiastic about taking government money.  The point is that our government set the market, and car dealers could either play the game or lose business.  Any dealer who sold cars under the Clunkers program was simply facilitating a transaction between the government and the consumer, nothing more.

Had a government stimulus program not placed Rigell in this situation to begin with, we wouldn’t be having a debate.  So rather than finger-pointing and commentary about Rigell taking the money, what I would appreciate from the two candidates is clarity on what they each believe is the proper role of government in the private marketplace.

Virginian Pilot – Power Grab

Published in March 2010, no longer archived on the Pilot’s site.

Power Grab

Global warming is a myth and the recent leak of data manipulation is being downplayed by proponents of climate-change legislation.  NASA, along with various other international climate-science agencies, refuses to release their source data to debunk the leak because the raw data does not support the myth.  Despite this, those in power need leverage for their unprecedented power grab called Cap and Trade, so by keeping the factual climate data secret and directing the recent EPA designation that carbon dioxide is now considered harmful – watch another self-induced crisis gain momentum.  What Congress doesn’t act to legislate, the EPA is now ready to regulate, and our government has set themselves up for a guaranteed power grab either way while we remain powerless to stop it.

Similarly, the raging healthcare debate is about anything but improving healthcare.  Common sense reform ideas have been stonewalled and we’re led to believe that a complete government takeover is the only solution towards skyrocketing cost and expanded coverage.  Despite our country racking up a national debt that neither we nor our great-grandkids will ever be able to repay, and despite a staggering unfunded liability already accruing for Social Security and Medicare/Medicaid, our government keeps adding bureaucracy and further burdening our country while we again remain powerless to stop it.

These power plays are not going to help us, or make things cheaper and more accessible, or improve our environment.  Have we really even asked our elected representatives for any of this?  What we are witnessing are the consequences of having an imbalance in the three branches of our government.  I’m looking forward to our own power grab beginning in November 2010, and I pray our country isn’t irreversibly destroyed in the interim.