Archive for the ‘Politics’ Category

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Follow the rules

September 5, 2017

As a 5th generation American, I accept and firmly believe that this country – this United States of America – was built on a foundation of immigration. Then, as now, if you want to live here, you must follow the rules, please.

My great-great grandparents immigrated, as did so many others back then. They followed the rules and took the necessary steps to do it legally. Similarly, when they homesteaded in harsh North Dakota weather extremes, they followed the rules to do what law required so they could be thriving citizens.

It seems to me, as long as any person has to hide because they haven’t followed the laws, they are not and cannot be thriving citizens. That resulting lack of freedom leaves them short of full participation. Mostly, it hurts them far more than it hurts the rest of the country.

Does it cost money to follow the rules? You bet it does. A couple of weeks ago, it cost me nearly $60 to renew my driver license. Something that I remember being free not too long ago. I had to manage my income and spending so I had the $60 for that renewal that allows me to keep lawfully driving. Driving allows me to get to my job to continue to legally earn money to support my needs and my family needs.

That’s how it works. I don’t have a $9,000 (exaggeration intentional) cell phone because I know I need my money for other expenses, too. Maybe if I immigrated here from another country, I would buy a cheap phone, eat ‘rice and beans’ as financial counselor Dave Ramsey likes to say, and whatever else it took to have the money necessary to attain legal US citizenship.

Easy? No. Who ever said it would be? If I moved to another country where I wanted to live, I would expect them to make it a bit hard – to earn it. That country would also expect me to follow their laws and rules.

Being a free country built by brave immigrants a couple hundred years ago does not negate the necessity of rules, laws and structure. All I ask is that you just follow the rules if you want to live here.

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President-in-Training (unfortunately for the rest of us)

July 23, 2017

When a public servant, elected or other, is willing to sacrifice his constituents for his pride, we do not have a public servant. It becomes exponentially more frightening to me when that public servant is the leader of all US public servants – the president of the United States.

Yes, our current president said, on camera, it’s time to “just let Obamacare fail.” Horrifying and insensitive! Not like that would hurt any ummm – people!

It is his job to own it, not let it fail without an alternative. It is his duty to work it, not walk away from it. It is his moral and political obligation.

What happened to his campaign bravado that he could negotiate and make deals? That he knows how to compromise?

I did not vote for him but I could see a connection between the ability to reach compromise and the need for that in Congress. If he was smart, he would figure out how to leverage his negotiation skills to build those relationships with all Congressional members. If he could do that, he and this country, might reach solutions and achieve progress.

Instead, we are stuck with a tired, ignorant, non-transparent president and administration. So far, they have accomplished nothing except to show us all how untrustworthy they are. All citizens, you know, those of us who are ordinary, hard-working, non-billionaire people, should be frightened and outraged. Current US leadership is wont to do anything for us.

Some days, I think Trump will get up one morning soon and say, “I’m done. I don’t need this. It’s harder than I thought it would be.” (He’s already admitted that the job and health care reform are too hard for him.)

The rest of us knew it was a hard job with difficult issues. We should never have chosen a president-in-training. That’s the VP job. I hope I’m right that he’ll walks away. I won’t hold my breath because he seems intent to destroy our country except for the select 1 percent.

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Voices and votes of democracy

June 4, 2012

Tomorrow is the Wisconsin governor recall election. In that it represents both a grand and basic American freedom at the same time, we should all be thankful. For all the military men and women who have sacrificed life and limb, and time with family, for our freedoms, this election is an example of the value of that cost.

We can hold this election. We can hold any election. We can hold elections without fear of any punishment or harm. We can use the electoral process to work to make change.

This is an important election for both sides; however, it is really most important that we do indeed have this process in place. This ‘check and balance’ is in place to allow Wisconsin’s citizenry a voice. Because they were dissatisfied with the current governor’s policy, they could join together to take action.

As always, an election allows for only one winner. One side will be disappointed and perhaps upset. As they wipe away that disappointment and upset, I hope they will see the joy of the freedom. Freedom to try again in another election. Freedom to continue to voice opinions and concern – hopefully in respectful and civil ways. Freedom to be part of a democracy that we must all value and protect so we all maintain our voices and our votes.

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Shame on elected officials

April 8, 2011

Nearly every elected official in America needs to be ashamed of him or herself! It seems most of you have forgotten that you asked to serve your constituents. You asked by your choice to run for election, and by our votes for you, we entrusted the care and stewardship of government to you.

It is not about parties. It is about doing the right thing and getting the job done. What would your mothers (or grandmothers) say? They taught you to play nice, didn’t they?

The same rules apply in this important, grown-up ‘playground.’ It is time for you all – from the President, and Congress, to state governors and legislators, and city mayors and commissioners – to behave like grown-ups.

This is a challenging time and you face serious issues to manage. Nobody argues that; however, you asked to be in this role to serve the public. It is not about your ego and how wonderful you are in your opinion. Your role is about service to the American people.

Congress – it is time to get the job done. Pass the budget. Do what every other American worker, private and public sector, does when he or she has a deadline. We work extra hours to get it done, and get it done on time. You are already way past on time, so play nice and get it done today.

State leaders – solve the real problems and stop making scapegoats of public education, public safety, and public service to our country’s needy and underprivileged. It is only by the grace of a higher power that you and I are not in their shoes. Enjoy your rich and famous lifestyle without forgetting the responsibility you have to the least of these among us.

Again, we all appreciate the difficult tasks you have in this environment. Your constituents across this great land know that our country has the most creative and entrepreneurial spirit around. Tap into that to find new ways to address these ongoing and often old problems. Make the difficult decisions that may impact your lifestyle. Cut your own salaries and benefits, and for goodness sake, change the laws that allow you to receive your exorbitant pay while you let the federal government shut down to leave thousands more Americans without paychecks.

Government, at all levels in our democracy, provides services to citizens. It is not a for-profit corporation and the attitude to run government like a business is irrelevant. Go look in the eyes of the neediest in your constituency and tell them you want to cut programs that serve them. I dare you.

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Stick to your core

April 5, 2009

I’m feeling quite intelligent today and since I don’t have a politician’s ego, I actually think about doing the right thing (trying to at least). As opposed to simply getting votes.

So it occurs to me that like many businesses, U.S. government at all levels, has made a classic operations mistake. It expanded its “business” beyond what it does and knows how to do best. Its core mission.

Isn’t the core mission of government to serve taxpayers? And by serve, wasn’t the intent things like police, fire, education, transportation, military? Those are the things government does best–better than private can do.

Yet somewhere along the line (and my guess it was during an election year) government stepped outside its core mission. Someone thought, we’re doing so well with all that, why not do more? And of course that person won said election and the push was on for all elected officials to expand government services and assure re-election.

Private businesses that expanded their business lines when the economy was booming, are scaling back now, returning to their core mission…to what they do best. Government must follow that example.

Is there a cost, a human cost to doing that? Absolutely! Votes will be lost. Some taxpayers will need to step up and meet their own needs. For those truly unable to provide for their needs, government can and should be there.

It’s clear there is no more revenue to be had for a while. Just as government is after private businesses to change their models, it must find ways to cut its costs and that means services outside the scope of government’s core mission. If it could do and did those things well, perhaps deficits and budget shortfalls would not scream at us from every corner.

We need today’s elected officials to be brave leaders. Leading means doing it right, and sometimes that means tough decisions. It requires visionaries who can see beyond today or tomorrow, and instead of slapping “band-aids” on the economic business, they force the rehab that keeps us “clean and sober” for generations to come.

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Be afraid, be very afraid

April 4, 2009

In the short time the Obama administration has been at the helm, my fears about his total inexperience have only mounted. He and his bunch of tax-evading cronies do not seem to understand Economics 101.

Once upon a time, I might have said that people in pay grades much higher than me know better than me how to solve the current economic crisis. Given the current situation at the federal level and nearly every state level of government in America, I no longer believe that.

I think it’s pretty low-level economics to understand that if this president’s administration keeps spending trillions of dollars – seemingly every day – it won’t take long for the U.S. dollar to have absolutely zero value. We might as well all start printing our own money at home. Neither will have gold or other collateral backing them up but who cares!

I hope soon someone helps them recognize that this is not the way to fix things. We all need to follow basic financial principles: at home, in business and in government. In government, that sometimes mean cutting services because revenue, i.e., tax dollars, is down. At home it might mean cutting cable T.V. out of the family budget because Mom no longer has a job.

It’s not the 21st Century American way I know. But the model we closed the last century with, doesn’t work too well.

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Sasha and Malia dolls

January 25, 2009

Did Mrs. Obama miss her husband’s announcement about open government? It went something like, “we are no long on the side of withholding information but making everything open.”

 

Apparently a new concept in federal government, but certainly not in many states, including Florida where “open government” reaches extremes. Where even state employees’ home addresses are available to anyone who asks, unless they have specific exemption under the law.

 

That aside, does she really believe as First Family they are “private citizens”? Sorry, Mrs. Obama, I believe you gave up that option back on Nov. 4, 2008. That means your daughters, too, are public sector…public servants, if you will.

 

I do not believe true professionals in media or other industries will exploit your children. There is no purpose or honor in that. Nor do I believe manufacturing dolls named after your daughters is anything but positive so I am disappointed in your comments to the media. (see link)

 

http://politicalticker.blogs.cnn.com/2009/01/24/michelle-obama-inappropriate-to-use-daughters-to-sell-dolls/

 

In my opinion this is another way your family’s influence filters down to the people. Think of all the little girls playing “White House” with those dolls. Imagine the dreams for themselves that play will conjur. And as you well know, thoughts and dreams help create habits and actions that lead to achievement.