Saturday, December 19, 2009

Republican Survey

I received a letter from the Republican National Committee (RNC) begging for contributions. It was disguised as the "2010 Obama Agenda Survey". I am registered as a Republican because when I registered they were the most conservative party available in Oklahoma. IF Oklahoma allowed anyone to vote in each parties runnoff, I would probably register as an independent. It would only make sense to allow each registered voter (of any political party) to vote in each parties runoff, because it is a public election and because it is partly my tax dollars helping to fund these runoff elections. If they don't want to allow truly public elections, then each party should have to pay the TOTAL cost for each of their runoff elections.

While the survey is slanted to force you to reply according to the RNC party line (of course), I thought it would be revealing to answer each question in full, rather than yes, no or no opinion. While I would like to make you believe these are the only common sense answers to these questions, please remember these are only the rantings of a self serving, twisted mind. OK, on to the survey.

Q1. Do you agree with Barack Obama and the Democrats that taxes should be raised for the sake of "fairness," regardless of the negative impact it is likely to have on the economy?

A1. First it should be known that I don't agree with hardly anything that President has said or done, but you gotta give him points for trying. I don't believe in our current tax code at all. A flat tax with no deductions allowed applied to all salaries, wages, investment income, business and corporate income would be much more fair. Even the fair tax concept ( would be better. Either of these concepts would be better, but I prefer the flat tax, because it would be more cost effective by (1) allowing us to drastically reduce the size of the IRS which would allow us to (2) reduce the amount of monies needed by the federal goverment because of less personel needed, and (3) the cost to individuals to prepare their taxes would be virtually nil. All that would be needed is a statement of earnings that says you earned $xxxx.xx. Send us xx percent of it.
Now to answer the question. Any increase in will have a negative impact on our economy, especially while we are in the economic mess we are in. You can't tax or spend your way out of debt.

Q2. Do you believe the federal government has gone too far in bailing out failing banks, insurance companies and the auto industry?

A2. The US Constitution, Amendment 10 states, "The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people."
Nowhere in the US Constitution have I been able to find where the federal government is empowered to loan my tax money to any publicly or privately held companies, especially ones I wouldn't buy stock in because they hemorraging cash and failing. Some people in the federal government have made a whole lot of money off the kickbacks on this.

If you don't have a copy of the Constitution of the United States, please go to, download a copy and study it. If you will think about what you are reading, you will be truly pissed off, and will probably become a curmudgeon, too.

Q3. Do you support amnesty for illegal immigrants?

A3. Illegal aliens (I refuse to use the politically correct term "illegal immigrant"), all 10 to 20 million of them, depending on whose numbers you're using, are already in violation of 8 US Code Section 1325:

(a) Improper time or place; avoidance of examination or inspection;
misrepresentation and concealment of facts
Any alien who
(1) enters or attempts to enter the United States at any time or place other than as designated by immigration officers, or
(2) eludes examination or inspection by immigration officers, or
(3) attempts to enter or obtains entry to the United States by a willfully false or misleading representation or the willful concealment of a material fact, shall, for the first commission of any such offense, be fined under title 18 or imprisoned not more than 6 months, or both, and, for a subsequent commission of any such offense, be fined under title 18, or imprisoned not more than 2 years, or both.
(b) Improper time or place; civil penalties
Any alien who is apprehended while entering (or attempting to enter) the United States at a time or place other than as designated by immigration officers shall be subject to a civil penalty of -
(1) at least $50 and not more than $250 for each such entry (or attempted entry); or
(2) twice the amount specified in paragraph (1) in the case of an alien who has been previously subject to a civil penalty under this subsection.
Civil penalties under this subsection are in addition to, and not in lieu of, any criminal or other civil penalties that may be imposed.
(c) Marriage fraud
Any individual who knowingly enters into a marriage for the purpose of evading any provision of the immigration laws shall be imprisoned for not more than 5 years, or fined not more than $250,000, or both.
(d) Immigration-related entrepreneurship fraud
Any individual who knowingly establishes a commercial enterprise for the purpose of evading any provision of the immigration laws shall be imprisoned for not more than 5 years, fined in accordance with title 18, or both.

What this boils down to is, if you have illegally entered the US, you are liable for a fine of $50 to $250 or, incarceration (being locked up) of 6 months to 2 years, or both for the first offense. For the second offense, the penalties double. In addition, there may be other civil or criminal charges.

So they want to offer amnesty? I say catch the illegal aliens, fine them the maximum amount and then deport them. Using a number of 15 million illegals multiplied by $250 each, would be $3,750,000,000.00 (three billion seven hundred fifty million dollars) to help reimburse the damages done by the ones on welfare or public assistance programs that they haven't contributed to, and by the criminal element which is increasing daily.

I know this makes me sound xenophobic but I'm really not. We have immigration laws and regulations for a reason. If you're here legally I'll help you out however I can, but if you're here illegally I'll be the first one to call Immigration and Customs Enforcement on you.

Q4. Should English be the official language of the United States?

A4. This is a tricky question. I believe the official language of the GOVERNMENT of the United States should be English. I believe this should be true for all forms of government in the US, federal, state, county and city. I don't believe the various government entities should be expected to translate and print a document just for little old you just because you decided to illegally enter the US and don't want to learn the local language and customs. Try to assimilate a little, OK?

Q5. Are you in favor of granting retroactive Social Security eligibility to illegal immigrants who gain U.S. citizenship through an amnesty program?

A5. If they were here illegally, any gains incurred through that illegal entry, including but not limited to property, income and SS benefits should be forfeit. Why should they be allowed to profit from illegal activity in a law abiding society?

Q6. Are you in favor of the expanded welfare benefits and unlimited eligibility (no time, education or work requirements) that Democrats in Congress are pushing to pass?

A6. I'm in no way in favor of any welfare benefits. I believe in "A hand up, not a hand out." To be eligible, you should be required to work, whether it be 40 hours a week at a job, or the equivlant in school, and should be limited to a certain length of time over an individuals working life, except in cases of the truly infirm or elderly. If an individual is working and is at least attempting to be a productive member of society but just isn't making it due to low wages, illness, or any other legitimate reason, then let's help, BUT if they're just a lazy, layabout bum then not one thin dime . If jobs are just not available in their area, we could help locate them to an area where work is available if they have a guaranteed job, or we could set up a program similar to the Works Progress Administration of the 1930's. The idea is to guarantee a living wage to individuals willing to work or to train for a job and then work, not to just throw a never ending stream of money and benefits to people that won't work and continue a culture of entitlement.

Q7. Do you believe that Barack Obama's nominee's for federal courts should be immediately and unquestionably approved for their lifetime appointments by the U.S. Senate?

A7. I believe ANY appointee should be thoroughly investigated and vetted before appointment, and I also believe any federal court appointee should be a strict Constitutionalist. If a law, conviction or legal finding isn't constitutional it should be struck down. Remember, a federal judge is supposed to interpret laws not make them. I also believe federal court appointments should be for a limited time, not for a lifetime. When their term expires, they could be reappointed and go through the process all over again.

Q8. Do you believe that the best way to increase the quality and effectiveness of public education in the U.S. is to rapidly expand federal funding while eliminating performance standards and accountability.

A8. I believe the 2 things most detrimental to the US education system has been federally controlled funding and the various educational labor unions. I have not been able to find anywhere in the Constitution authorizing federal control and support of our educational systems. This is properly a role reserved to the state and local governments. If you want daycare, sure, throw away performance standards and accountability. However, if you want education, students must be held to performance standards and teachers must be held accountable to ensure these performance standards are met. The accountability is going out the window due to the increasing power of the various educational unions.
Also, remember, no matter what you have been told, not everybody needs to go to college. We will always need tradesmen, who, to learn the basics of their various trades, need to go to trade schools. In my estimation, one good mechanic, carpenter, plumber, or electrician is worth 3 lawyers or 10 politicians (or 30 lawyers turned politician).

Q9. Do you support the creation of a national health insurance plan that would be administered by bureaucrats in Washington, D.C.?

A9. 10th amendment to the constitution (see answer 2). Do you really, really want more affordable, quality health care? Not health care administered by the people that brought you prohibition, affirmitave action, the Vietnam war, the war on drugs, the Patriot Act, the TSA, and continually erode your personal freedoms? There are better ways. An Op-Ed article written by Charles Krauthammer for the August 7, 2009 edition of the Washington post says;

Health-Care Reform: A Better Plan

By Charles Krauthammer
Friday, August 7, 2009

In 1986, Ronald Reagan and Bill Bradley created a legislative miracle. They fashioned a tax reform that stripped loopholes, political favors, payoffs, patronage and other corruptions out of the tax system. With the resulting savings, they lowered tax rates across the board. Those reductions, combined with the elimination of the enormous inefficiencies and perverse incentives that go into tax sheltering, helped propel a 20-year economic boom.

In overhauling any segment of our economy, the 1986 tax reform should be the model. Yet today's ruling Democrats propose to fix our extremely high-quality (but inefficient and therefore expensive) health-care system with 1,000 pages of additional curlicued complexity -- employer mandates, individual mandates, insurance company mandates, allocation formulas, political payoffs and myriad other conjured regulations and interventions -- with the promise that this massive concoction will lower costs.

This is all quite mad. It creates a Rube Goldberg system that simply multiplies the current inefficiencies and arbitrariness, thus producing staggering deficits with less choice and lower-quality care. That's why the administration can't sell Obamacare.

The administration's defense is to accuse critics of being for the status quo. Nonsense. Candidate John McCain and a host of other Republicans since have offered alternatives. Let me offer mine: Strip away current inefficiencies before remaking one-sixth of the U.S. economy. The plan is so simple it doesn't even have the requisite three parts. Just two: radical tort reform and radically severing the link between health insurance and employment.

(1) Tort reform: As I wrote recently, our crazy system of casino malpractice suits results in massive and random settlements that raise everyone's insurance premiums and creates an epidemic of defensive medicine that does no medical good, yet costs a fortune.

An authoritative Massachusetts Medical Society study found that five out of six doctors admitted they order tests, procedures and referrals -- amounting to about 25 percent of the total -- solely as protection from lawsuits. Defensive medicine, estimates the libertarian/conservative Pacific Research Institute, wastes more than $200 billion a year. Just half that sum could provide a $5,000 health insurance grant -- $20,000 for a family of four -- to the uninsured poor (U.S. citizens ineligible for other government health assistance).

What to do? Abolish the entire medical-malpractice system. Create a new social pool from which people injured in medical errors or accidents can draw. The adjudication would be done by medical experts, not lay juries giving away lottery prizes at the behest of the liquid-tongued John Edwardses who pocket a third of the proceeds.

The pool would be funded by a relatively small tax on all health-insurance premiums. Socialize the risk; cut out the trial lawyers. Would that immunize doctors from carelessness or negligence? No. The penalty would be losing your medical license. There is no more serious deterrent than forfeiting a decade of intensive medical training and the livelihood that comes with it.

(2) Real health-insurance reform: Tax employer-provided health-care benefits and return the money to the employee with a government check to buy his own medical insurance, just as he buys his own car or home insurance.

There is no logical reason to get health insurance through your employer. This entire system is an accident of World War II wage and price controls. It's economically senseless. It makes people stay in jobs they hate, decreasing labor mobility and therefore overall productivity. And it needlessly increases the anxiety of losing your job by raising the additional specter of going bankrupt through illness.

The health-care benefit exemption is the largest tax break in the entire U.S. budget, costing the government a quarter-trillion dollars annually. It hinders health-insurance security and portability as well as personal independence. If we additionally eliminated the prohibition on buying personal health insurance across state lines, that would inject new and powerful competition that would lower costs for everyone.

Repealing the exemption has one fatal flaw, however. It was advocated by candidate John McCain. Obama so demagogued it last year that he cannot bring it up now without being accused of the most extreme hypocrisy and without being mercilessly attacked with his own 2008 ads.

But that's a political problem of Obama's making. As is the Democratic Party's indebtedness to the trial lawyers, which has taken malpractice reform totally off the table. But that doesn't change the logic of my proposal. Go the Reagan-Bradley route. Offer sensible, simple, yet radical reform that strips away inefficiencies from the existing system before adding Obamacare's new ones -- arbitrary, politically driven, structural inventions whose consequence is certain financial ruin.

Q10.Do you believe that the quality and availability of health care will increase if the federal government dictates pricing to doctors and hospitals?

A10. Let's look at this logically. Any time the government gets involved in any private business transaction (and whether you wish to believe it or not, doctors are businessmen) things go downhill in a hurry. Let's look at Medicare. Medicare pays 80% of "reasonable and customary charges". What they are willing to pay may have been reasonable and customary in 1968 or 1970, but are way under the true reasonable and customary charges today. If the feds get more involved you will see many more doctors leaving practice and many more marginally profitable health care facilities closing their doors. The ones that keep their doors open will be swamped and will be trading quality of care for quantity of care. You know, sort of like the McDonalds concept of fine dining.

Q11. Are you confident that new medicines and medical treatments will continue to be developed if the federal government controls prescription drug prices and sets profit margins for research and pharmaceutical companies?

A11. OK, let's look at this logically again. business' operate to gain the MAXIMUM amount of profit possible. Some of these profits are then reinvested in the development of new research and pharmaceuticals. If price controls are instituted and profits are capped then development of new products will slow to a crawl.

Q12. Are you in favor of creating a government-funded "Citizen Volunteer Corps" that would pay young people to do work now done by churches and charities, earning Corps members the same pay and benefits given to military veterans?

A12. When this idea was first brokered it had the "Volunteers" being conscripted to do this work for free before they could receive Pell Grants or other government funding for higher education. I guess someone explained to the President that forcing someone to do something against their will for free is called slavery. The new idea of replacing charities with paid "Volunteers" that earn the same pay and benefits as military veterans is an insult to the veterans that have served. Are the "Volunteers" going to earn hazardous duty pay for serving in Detroit, MI, Memphis, TN, or Miami, FL (three of the most dangerous cities in the USA in 2008)? Wiill they receive lifetime medical care if they suffer an excessive number of paper cuts? How soon will the "Vol" bill, basically equally to the G.I. bill be pushed through Congress? Will these new age bureaucrats evolve into another layer of federal goverment control over the general populace? I guess you could say I'm sort of suspicious of any form of goverment do-goodery. No, I'm not in favor.

Q13. Are you in favor of reinstituting the military draft, as Democrats in Congress have proposed?

A13. As MattG. over at said, "I think that we should not have a draft—if we can’t drum up enough support for a war, perhaps we shouldn’t have the war in the first place."
I don't believe there has ever been a time of national emergency that the population of the U.S. hasn't overwhelmingly responded. As an example, I'm 50 years old, crippled up with arthritis and pretty opinionated. However, I, and a bunch more like me would volunteer in a minute to free up younger, more able-bodied clerks, warehousemen and the like for front line duties. The only problem would be our lack of of willingness to put up with the petty military bullshit that is supposed to teach you about honor, loyalty and instill a sense of duty. However, if by this time in our lives we don't have these attributes, then we would pretty well be useless in any society.

Q14. Do you believe that the federal government should allow the unionization of Department of Homeland Security employees who serve in positions critical to the safety and security of our nation?

A14. First, I don't believe any goverment employees should be unionized. Not dogcatchers, secretaries, clerks, meter readers, firefighters or law enforcement of any kind.
Second, I know I don't see the whole picture, but how are we more secure today than we were before the DHS was created? The most visible of the DHS agencies, the Transportation Security Agency, seems to be staffed by a bunch of 8th grade dropouts that couldn't get or keep a job at the local animal shelter. How are we safer since the TSA took over airport security from private security companies? In most instances private companies can do almost any job more efficiently and at a lower cost than government agencies. Please explain this to me.

Q15. Do you support Democrats' drive to eliminate workers' right to a private ballot when considering unionization of their place of employment?

A15. First of all, I don't like unions. They had their place in the period from the mid 1920's through about the 1950's or early 1960's, but since then they have offered virtually no reform or true benefit to anyone other than to mid to upper level union management. They are inflexible to the point that they helped bring two large U.S. auto manufacturers to the brink of bankruptcy.
However, I like government interference of any kind even less. What gives any branch of the federal government the authority to interfere in any legal enterprise of any kind?

While I understand that this "survey" is just a barely disguised attempt to raise funds, it still gave me a chance to vent a little.

Friday, December 18, 2009

New doctor

About 3 weeks ago, we confirmed that our doctor was leaving this area to move to the big city, and therefore we needed to find a new local doctor. Today was the first appointment with the new doctor.

He's a young guy, pretty sharp and seems to be principled without being, for lack of a better term (that I can think of), a fanatic. He seems to be willing to talk with you, explaining what and why. This is a very good thing as I have visited other doctors that wanted to talk at you and not explain a thing. My relationships with them usually lasted only one or two visits.

So far, I like him.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Yes, I'm still alive.

I haven't been posting due in part to laziness, being down in the dumps and pain.

Let's look at these in reverse order.

Pain-On 08-27-09 Mom and I jumped in the QE-II (Mom's Lincoln) and went to Indy to see the kids. Ravon had just delivered my first grandson and we wanted to see it. We stopped in Joplin, MO to get gas and snacks, and I slipped on a wet spot. When I slipped I hyper extended my right knee. I have slowly been getting over it, but have reinjured it 3 or 4 times. When I'm in major pain I get to where I don't care about much of anything and don't bitch as much about anything except how bad I hurt or how I didn't get enough sleep, and ya'll don't want to hear about that.

Being down in the dumps-When I hurt I don't get enough sleep. When I don't get enough sleep I get a down in the dumps attitude, and I just don't care enough about most things to blog about them.

Laziness- When I hurt and am down in the dumps I get lazy. I keep telling myself I'm staying off my feet to let the knee heal, but I'm truthful enough to admit to both of my readers that I'm just lazy.

I hope to make a few more entries this Christmas season. We'll see.