Top Of My Head

Thoughts on everything from Politics to Video Games

Month: June 2010

Funding a War, by cutting Social Security…

Representative John Bohner – R-Ohio, House Minority Leader – announced yesterday a plan to cut Social Security and raise the retirement age to 70.  Now, this is not a new idea, House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer, D-Md. discussed a similar plan last month.  For the record, I would support this with a few provisions.
However; there’s a problem with Rep. Bohner’s plan: He wants to use the money to pay for the war in Afghanistan. (I’ve been trying to find an exact quote, but I can’t.)
Social Security money should NEVER be used for anything in the regular budget.  And, that’s the problem.  Social Security used to have enough money to last a very long time without making many changes.  However; our government – Republicans & Democrats – have been dipping into the Social Security program to pay for other programs and to help lower the deficit.  The time to touch Social Security for anything other than what it is intended to be is over.  If we’re going to save it, then let’s save it right.  Leave the money saved by spending cuts and raising the retirement age to 70 in Social Security.  Otherwise, we’ll just have bigger problems later on.
What do you think?
God Bless

Can we talk?

As Joan Rivers used to say, Can we talk because all I’m hearing is the shouting.  I’m serious.  We have a failure to communicate in this country.  And, we’re in serious, serious trouble.

Our National debt in over 13 trillion dollars.  That’s a lot of money we owe.  That’s over $42,000 per U.S. citizen, according to the U.S. Debt Clock.  We really need to do something about this debt.  We need to have a serious discussion about it and we need to lower it before the people to whom we owe the money come looking for it.

Our National deficit to date is roughly 1.4 trillion dollars.  There are only two ways to cut our deficit: Cut our spending or raise taxes.

It is simple math, people.  The last Presidential Candidate who said quite honestly, “We’re going to have to raise taxes.” didn’t become President.  That was Walter Mondale.

That leaves cut spending.  What should the government cut?  What programs?  

We’re fighting two wars which have added billions to our debt, so we can’t cut military spending – at least not for our troops.

We have 24 million people unemployed in this country, so cutting unemployment benefits isn’t a wise thing to do.

I’m not sure just what spending we should cut, but as Americans, we need to have this serious discussion.  We not only need to cut our spending, but we need to pay pay down our debt.

I’d like to hear some discussion — real discussion, not this ballyhoo and crap that’s been going on for the past sixteen years.

So, the topic is National Debt and how we’re going to reduce it – Discuss.

God Bless

H.R. 5175 – Democracy is Strengthened by Casting Light on Spending in Elections (DISCLOSE) Act

Time and time again, I have said that Glenn Beck and Rush Limbaugh really and truly do not care about our nation.  And, time and time again, they prove it – as Rush has by being against the bill H.R. 5175 – Democracy is Strengthened by Casting Light on Spending in Elections.

I cannot understand how Limbaugh could come out against this bill, which passed the House 219 to 209 with 8 not voting.
Our Supreme Court lost its collective mind not long ago and declared that Corporations had the same rights as individuals.  This meant that the Campaign reform laws that were passed were essentially knocked down.  How could anyone think for one moment that a Corporation should have the same rights as an individual in this country?
Here’s the deal:  Lawmakers should have to tell us under whose bed their boots are.  We should have the right to know to whom they are grateful when they are propelled to public office.  Maybe, this is isn’t what our founding fathers had in mind, but they couldn’t possibly conceive that we would one day be a country of over 300 million people.  They couldn’t possibly conceive that a candidate for president would have to get his or her (they certainly couldn’t have conceived a woman president) message out to everyone and it would take a ridiculous amount of money to do so.
And, from where does that money come?
You, me, corporations, lobbyist groups, etc. etc.
Don’t we have a right to know?  I believe we do.
Apparently, Rush Limbaugh doesn’t think so, neither does Paul Ryan – he was one of the 3 nay votes from Wisconsin – and neither does our other 2 Republican Representatives from Wisconsin.
You should think about that when you go to the polls this coming November.  Think about who wants you to know what’s happening and who doesn’t.
God Bless America – she needs it!

Wisconsin Pepper Spray Law

I just sent the following email to my state Senator and my state Representative. If you live in WI, I suggest you read it, steal it and send it to your Wisconsin State Representatives. Let’s get this changed. I took out the Senator’s name before posting it here. Make sure you fill in your Representative’s name and information. Also, if you don’t know who they are, go to this site, enter your address and your Representatives will appear. http://www.legis.wisconsin .gov/w3asp/waml/waml.aspx

Feel free to make any changes to the below text. Also, if you don’t live in WI, investigate your state’s laws.

Dear Senator/Representative,

I hope this email finds you quite well.

Recently, it has come to my attention that Wisconsin’s laws regarding pepper spray leave much to be desired. Currently, our state law requires the following:

1. Have a total weight on not less than 15 grams nor more than 60 grams (According to the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection.

2. Cannot contain UV dye

I propose that we change both of these requirements. Allow me to explain.

Why are we determining how little a canister may hold? Wouldn’t it be best for the consumer to be allowed to carry a canister much smaller than the 15 grams required by law? Most carriers of pepper spray are women and if they could carry a canister on a key chain, it would most likely do them much more good than to carry the canister on a belt or have it be buried in the bottom of their purse.

Regarding point 2, if a person defending themselves sprays someone with pepper spray that contains a non-toxic UV dye, doesn’t this make it easier for police to catch the suspect? They can simply shine a black light on the offender and identify him or her.

I would hope, Senator/Representative, that you or your staff will research this matter and, perhaps, work to change the law as it is now in effect.

Thank you for your time and I look forward to hearing from you regarding this matter.


Pot, Sarah Palin and Me

In my wildest dreams, I never thought this day would come.  Today, while reading the latest Newsweek magazine, I learned the Sarah Palin and I actually agree on something.  Before I tell you just what it is, I want you to ponder that for a moment.  If Sarah and I can agree on something, then it must be something that should be done.  If two polar opposites are on the same side, something good should come out of it.
I know, you’re wondering, what the heck could it possibly be?
Pot.  We agree on pot.
On page 20 of the Newsweek dated June 28 & July 5, Sarah Palin is quoted as saying, “If somebody’s gonna smoke a joint n their house and not do anybody any harm, then perhaps there are other things our cops should be looking at.”
It is unfortunate that I don’t know when she said or what the context of the statement was or know what else she said.  I wish I did.  But, what I do know is she’s right – mark that on your calendars, I said Sarah Palin is right (but only on this particular instance).
We spend billions of dollars patrolling our borders, not only for illegal immigrants, but for pot smugglers (and, yes, other drugs).  Perhaps, we could put that money to better use.  Perhaps – and I don’t know if Sarah agrees with this – we should end the legal status of marijuana.  (In the interest of full disclosure, I have tried pot on two occasions and have never been a regular user of any illegal drug.  I barely drink.)
Even though we still would spend money to defend our borders, if we legalized marijuana, we could do three things that would be good for the economy:

  • Tax it.  I believe that California has all ready earn $80 million in taxes for their new prescription marijuana.  One article has estimated 1.2 billion dollars if they completely legalize it.  Over the full nation with federal and state taxes, we could make a mint!
  • Regulate it. Only safe marijuana would be on the market.
  • Put people to work in our fields.  Instead of subsidizing farmers to not grow food, we could have each one put in a pot field and let them earn some cold, hard cash.

I don’t know why more states on jumping on California’s bandwagon.

    God Bless

    Skywalker’s Last Ride

    Today, we took our beautiful 13 year old American Eskimo Dog, Skywalker, for one last ride.  Sky, as we called him, has been going steadily downhill for a year and became worst this past weekend.  We knew it was time.

    Both Cheryl and I were able to spend most of his last day with him.  We hugged him, laid on the floor next to him and showed him a lot of love and affection.  When it was time to go to the vet, I lead him outside.  The sun shone brightly, as Sky walked out onto the patio.  He stood there for a moment and looked around with his silly grin on his face.  He sniffed the air and then followed me to the car.  It looked like he was pausing to take one last look around.  It was like he knew he wouldn’t be coming home again.

    After I loaded him into the backseat, Cheryl and I got into the car.  Cheryl cried the whole way to the vet.  Her heart was, and still is, breaking.  Sky settled down in the backseat and kept his head up.  I took County V to the vet.  I wanted his last car ride to be filled with pretty countryside views and not the views of the highway.

    At the vet, I filled out the paperwork and paid the bill, before the three of us were lead down the hall to a room.  Sky just followed like a little trooper, without us having to even hold his leash.  Even to the end, he was an excellent little dog.  We were left alone to say goodbye for quite a while.  Sky laid on the floor next to Cheryl.  When it was time, they didn’t put him on the table — he hated those tables.  I sat on the floor in front of him, so his last sight was me.  He had been my dog for so long, I didn’t want him seeing anything else.  They gave him the two shots and he was gone.  His little eyes half closed.  His head lying between his paws.  He looked so sweet.  Cheryl and I were sobbing uncontrollably.  It was the hardest thing I’ve ever done.

    Good night, sweet Skywalker.  I know I’ll never have a dog as good as you.

    God Bless

    Sound Bites

    Ronald Reagan, God rest his soul, left this country a lot of things; old movies, his cowboy image, the beginning of deregulation and sound bites.  No, Reagan didn’t invent them, but he knew how to use them better than anyone that came before him in our history.  Who can forget the 1980 election when Jimmy Carter and Ronald Reagan were neck and neck heading for the November 4th election day?  And, then, they had one last debate.  Carter, armed with facts, finished answering a question about healthcare in his Georgian drawl.  The moderator said, “Governor?” to Reagan and our country changed forever.  Reagan’s response, “There you go again.”

    Four words, that’s all Reagan said and the politics in the nation, the debates on things that mattered were no longer the same.

    I’m sure Reagan couldn’t have known that thirty years later his “There you go again” would have set a very scary precedence.  We no longer get facts in our debates.  Candidates come up with catch phrases to win (and sometimes lose) elections and influence us.  From Reagan’s “Morning in America” to Bush I’s “thousand points of light” to Clinton’s “It’s the economy, stupid” and beyond, we’ve become a nation of sound bites.  We, as a people, don’t really know what’s going on anymore.  We pay attention to the sound bites and to the commentators that have risen up in this 24 hour news nation like dandelions on my front lawn.  We follow the loudest voices, like Glenn Beck and Sarah Palin, to the edge of nothingness like lemmings.

    But, what has this cost us?  What price have we paid?

    We’ve lost some civility.  We’ve lost a lot of common sense.  People were surprised to find out that a lot of believers in the Tea Party are well-off, well educated people.  I wasn’t.  I have met enough well educated people who believe the most ridiculous things, like the trickle down theory actually works, to know that education doesn’t necessarily equate smarts and common sense.  

    Further, no one bothers to check the facts anymore.  They just believe the commentator that best represents them.  If they agree with Bill O’Reily 85% of the time, then whatever O’Reily says becomes Gospel to them.  The same goes for a follower of Rachael Maddow or Keith whatever his last name is.

    I could go on forever about this.  I’ll probably write about this again.  Our country is in real trouble because of our inability to get to the facts and make wise decisions. Today is Super Tuesday. Before you go out and vote, try to get to the facts to make a wise decision. Don’t vote for someone because of a soundbite.

    God Bless

    Political America

    America is not a true democracy.  We are democracy, mixed with republic with a bit of socialism and a pinch of libertarian.  The sad thing about this is that a great deal of Americans don’t even understand this – even the ones with college degrees.

    Sad, isn’t it?

    Now, the big thing is that Obama is a socialist and we’re going to become this giant socialist nation and all of our rights will be taken away.  Sad thing is, we’ve had socialism in our society for well over 60 years and, in some cases, since almost the beginning.

    Being the libertarian that I am, I say, let’s get rid of all of the socialistic programs.  This is the only way to make our federal government smaller: (these are MY ideas and not necessarily the ideas of the libertarian party)

    Socialistic Programs to Cancel
    Social Security Bank Regulations
    Farm Subsidies School lunch programs
    Public Schools Head start
    Corporate Welfare Welfare
    Medicaid Medicare
    VA Benefits Labor Laws

    I would support a tea party candidate.  I wholeheartedly support libertarianism.  My problem with them is that they want to be libertarians with a huge amount of right-wing Christianity mixed in.  The whole idea of libertarianism is NO government interference and individual liberties.  The problem with the tea party is they want NO government interference and only those individual liberties THEY support.  They aren’t what they seem to be.  Most of them are just Republicans in sheep’s clothing. 
    Let’s change our government mix into a libertarian one. To find out just where you fall on the political spectrum, take this quiz.
    You might be surprised.
    God Bless

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