Sunday, January 24, 2010

What are voters to think?

Massachusetts voters have changed the scene of American politics with this last special election. It brings out what voters are thinking.
1. Government is becoming to intrusive.
2. Perhaps Health Care should be the responsibility of the states, as Massachusetts already has it. They cover 98% of their state already, why take on another burden?
3. They are upset at the constant spending, trying to right several sinking ships, perhaps it would be better to allow them to sink.
4. The identities of political parties are becoming fuzzy. Democrats, Republicans, and Independents are all looking alike.
5. Can you honestly believe Coakley. She was an arrogant JOKE.
6. Perhaps the Administration should pare down their agendas to less items, mainly the most important ones. You know, little things--LIKE JOBS,people do like to eat in a warm home. Remember, FDR within 100 days of his first election came up with the CCC (Civilian Conservation Corps) and had 250,000 young men out in the forests WORKING. What is Obama going to do?

Next subject: Haiti's Earthquake

America and other nations have come to the rescue. They are pouring money, services, medical aid, rescue crews, security, aircraft carrier, helicopters, you name it. The American government has spoken up with $100 million in aide, and the American people have donated over $57million in the recent tele-thon, and $35million via a new device--dial a specific number on your cell phone and $10 will be donated (don't you think that won't be used this fall in the coming elections).
What is going through American voters minds who have been out of work sometimes up to one year, had their homes foreclosed on, may even be homeless, as they watch all this money and effort put into a sovereign nation who is so poor that they have no funds, no infrastructure, working government, you name it, they don't have it, yet everyone is pouring assistance into this country. They seem to project a feeling of entitlement--that America, especially, and all others OWE them all this aid. Yes, citizens of the world have generous hearts, but what of our own people?
Questions that come up? Why are we in at least two wars, spending approximately $1 Billion a week, why are earmarks still being used on legislation when belt tightening tactics should be in effect? Why are people in Wall Street and banking giving BILLIONS in BONUSES when they should not be allowed by SOMEONE to do that. Do I remember a promise by then candidate Obama that he was going to get us out of Afghanistan's--humm, 30,000 more troops are being sent to Afghanistan?????? Something is definitely wrong. It needs to be fixed--but, unfortunately we are not getting any support from the Supreme Court!!!!!!

Saturday, January 23, 2010

#6 Be able to engage in discussions...

6. Be able to engage in discussions about political and economic issues that affect his or her community.
Do you discuss political, or economic issues in your family? Personal friends? Church? If you do, then you are on the way to engage in those issues that affect your community.
You need to supplement those discussions with constant vigilance of talk show news, for both local, national and international news, local TV/radio news, mail from your political party, whether it is via the internet, or snail mail. Of course any of the material you hear, read, see needs to be placed into context and into your frame of reference to see if you accept or reject the discussion points. If you reject, why? If you accept, why? You need to know the reason so you can substantiate why you believe as you do.
Some aids:
1. Watching TV shows that discuss issues such as Meet the Press, Chris Matthews, Glenn Beck,Larry King see how they discuss the issues, how do they substantiate what they are saying, what do they use for evidence, do you value that evidence?
2. Listen to radio talk show about politics. Favorite hosts include Glen Beck, or Rush Limbaugh.
3. Reading the editorials in newspapers, magazines, internet news.

Remember, any of the above must be taken with a grain of salt. That salt is what is the viewpoint of the speaker. Rush Limbaugh is a conservative, so his information is usually conservative oriented. Chris Matthews is a liberal, so his information is liberal oriented. Also, both TV and radio suffer from processes called SELECTIVE ATTENTION(the citizen sees and hears only what he or she wants) and MENTAL TUNE-OUT( the citizen simply ignores or gets irritated by messages that do not accord with existing beliefs) Citizens tend to listen to those shows that reflect their Frame of Reference.(American Government, James Q.Wilson, pg283)
Do you keep up with the business section of the media? Do you understand economics? If you do not, you need to do some homework. An example: The Supreme Court made a decision this past week that cancelled over 100 years of legislation and court processes. The decision: INTEREST GROUPS AND CORPORATIONS MAY SUPPORT POLITICAL CANDIDATES WITH AS MUCH MONEY AS THEY DESIRE. In the past, it was found that those entities have had too much influence on candidates and receive special attention on government regulations and contracts. They would buy their way to profit. The government went about to stop these practices with legislation and and Supreme Court decisions, they did and the practice was curtailed. Since 1973, special interest groups have formed at an amazing rate. Their effect has been great. They went to the Supreme Court this year and said that spending money on a candidate was their "right" to free speech. This was a new tact. By spending money for advertisment they should be allowed to support a candidate as much as possible. The Supreme Court decision was 5-4 in favor.
This was a win for business. Now, go back and read the Founding documents. This country was not based on freedom for all Americans, it was based on protecting the business community/property. The Bill of Rights were AMENDMENTS to the Constitution, within those "Rights" are those things having to do with individuals.
How do the economics of the nation, state and local entities affect you?

Change is in the Wind!!

The election in Massachusetts seemingly has changed the political agenda for the democrats.
It does not seem that the Democrats are getting it. They can not even control their own people to get a meanful piece of legislation through in a reasonable amount of time. Perhaps, one should look inside their party to see if they really wanted the camel that started out as a horse.
That election in Massachusetts was a scream from the independents, the moderate democrats and republicans to get back to normalcy, to quit spending, to get a significant Health Care Bill passed, that everyone wants and that won't break the bank.

Friday, January 8, 2010

Government depends upon informed, involved citizens

A newspaper article in the Arizona Republic, January 8, 2010, written by John W. Greco discusses why he feels the end result of poor governance comes from "an uneducated and undereducated public..." "When voters do not know how government works and do not get involved, our system simply falls apart."

"This is the case in our state (Arizona) and in America today, where increasing frustrations with bad economic times have resulted in all kinds of proposed solutions, many of which are dangerously based on ideology rather than fact."

"The public must monitor what elected public officials do, and knowledgeazbly participate in the political process. And there must be a state and national commitment to educating everyone in what we used to call "civics".

"Even competent political leaders are no substitute for a well-informed citizenry. We have been told this time and again, beginning with Socrates and continuing with Thomas Jefferson. It's about time we listened, learned and reformed, because today we are part of the problem"

Mr. Greco is a former interim city manager of Tempe and lives in Scottsdale, Arizona.

Mr. Greco's article brings out exactly what this blog is talking about. It may not necessarily be the fault of the citizenry. Their lives are jammed with work, responsibilities, child care, salaries deminished, etc., however, being a citizen has certain responsilities that are necessary for a democratic-republic to exist.

The Founding Fathers founded this country based upon people who were responsible citizens in the society. Initially the term "men" in our Declaration of Independence, Constitution, meant exactly that, men. The term Freedmen was defined in 1639 in the form of the "Freeman's Oath". A Freedman was defined as: A person of Sworn Alligance to the Crown, 21 years of age, male, owned personal property generally valued at 40 pounds or 40 shillings per year, must be of a quiet and peaceful manner, must have membership in a duly recognized church, and other Freemen in the area endorsed him. Those were the responsible members of the society and were the only ones eligible to vote because they would know the issues, because they had a vested interest.

"Being a Freeman brought certain duties and rights among others:
1. The right to vote in town meetings
2. The right to hold public office
3. The right to elect deputies to the General Assembly
4. Required to pay taxes
5. The right to elect new Freeman.
These people were the ones that were entitled to vote etc. in the new Government as of 1787. Over the years the term "men", through legislation and judicial review, has changed to mean "a people above the age of 18. People above the age of 18 does not necessary represent those who have a vested interest in the government/society. Politics has caused this problem. The two major political parties want more voters in their party. An example is the Democratic party pushing for illegal immigration rights, because they have found people coming across the Mexican border generally register as democrats, thus the Democratic Party has the immigrants on their agenda, because it has more to do with the numbers.
People entering most industrialized countries are required to have an occupation that will allow them to live without falling back on welfare, health care, etc. An example is New Zealand. You must take a preparatory citizen test online, answer many questions, usually finding out if you will be a burden on the society and how much money you are bringing into the country. They are not really interested in a business man unless he is bringing AT LEAST $100,000.00. College degrees are usually required and how much time you can use the degree in their country.
Early immigration into our country had a list of requirements, including funds, contact people already in country, clear bill of health, and usually an occupation that could allow you to NOT to be a burden on the society.
Our requirements were altered in legislation moved through Congress by Democrats led by Ted Kennedy,in 1973, to remove the occupation requirement. This lowered the requirement and established many of the problems we currently have in our country.