History vs Politics

This blog entry will be a little different than most. I have been meaning to mention this guy for a while.  I stumbled across his podcasts a few years ago and have been a regular subscriber ever since.  I went to his site, saw some cool stuff and I couldn’t resist promoting him to you.

I really admire his ethics and approach and I want to share him with you.

His name is Bruce Carlson and he is the driving force behind www.myhistorycanbeatupyourpolitics.com.  Yes, I know the website name is quite a mouthful, but you’ll never forget the name and it’s well worth visiting. No frills or gimmicks – “Just the facts, Ma’am!”

Have you ever thought about politics and wondered if it has always been this crazy in our history?  That’s exactly what Bruce talks about.

His works are a little varied, but in general, Bruce spotlights an issue or event of the present, then looks in our history for an identical or similar event and compares the two. After that, he explores other related topics of interest. He gives an honest report of the facts and shines a light on the implications of what was done and what might have been done. Where the facts are clear, he reports them.

If that were all he does, it would be great. But Bruce is a master at setting the stage and painting the scene for you, and his word pictures make you feel like you are there, watching history unfold.

Bruce not only researches the heck out of a topic, but he is the most balanced and non-partisan observer of history and politics I have found. Over the years, I have tried to guess which side of the Left/Right aisle he leans toward and my conclusion is: I have no idea.  He presents all sides in a fact-based manner without adding any commentary.

Below, I’ve provided a sample.  I asked a question on his Facebook page and he responded (which I didn’t expect – certainly not with a lengthy explanation). This just underscored my belief that this is a guy who loves history and really enjoys engaging with people that are curious about history and our politics today.

Here’s the question I asked:

Here’s a question that has been nagging me for a while and I think you may be the best person to provide an unbiased report. We all know that one of the main reasons our Founding Fathers rejected rule by England was the financial drain – the extreme taxation. My question is: How does the average person’s tax burden today compare to the tax burden imposed by King George on the average person in 1776? Thanks in advance for all you do. You’ve provided me with many hours of listening pleasure and a good deal of relevant knowledge. Keep up the good work. Cheers and Regards!

Here’s Bruce’s response. Please bear in mind it was a Facebook chat and so has some errant punctuation, misspelled words and a word dropped here and there. I didn’t want to edit it less I affect his meaning. Check it out and see how he explained the misconception I had in a kind way and gave a very well-rounded factual response.

—Beginning of Post—

Thanks Kim, why from moment one after Revolution there were regrets of this nature — Loyalists saying things like ‘How is your precious independence now! fools!  and the like’  Shay’s was the result of some heavy taxation from Massachusetts as a state as well as the failure to give relief from creditors.

I’ll poke around a bit – don’t know if it will make this Q&A episode because there’s some researching there. It might.  But on the surface, here are my thoughts – – I think colonial taxes were zero.

That is no head tax.  Or as we might say today income tax.I don’t think the individual colonist had any direct tax burden to England, unless they engaged in importing – and though many did, that was more for the richer folk.  Customs which would have affected a country that was still mostly seaboard, would have been where taxes were assessed and for those people I think were considered burdensome, but maybe not the only reason for war.  There was also the consideration that the taxed dollars were going across an ocean and not coming back.

I’m not entirely taxes were the issue that is sometimes presented as in the history books and summaries.     This is likely because of the Stamp Act fight, which was important, but also resolved in the 1760s before the Revolution.

Compared for example with – limiting where Americans could trade, cutting off markets (George Washington couldn’t get the good products for his fishing because London didn’t ‘plan’ fishing for Virginia.)  Strictly limiting iron production.  Limiting how far Americans could settle – the Proclamation Line and setting up Canada so that it had rights and might compete with Americans – these things were also pretty heavy on American minds.  These forcing of American commerce in one way or another were ‘taxes’ designed to send business back to Britain though the cost is difficult to calculate.  The Tea Party was also about a regulation / forced commerce issue more than tax issue – they were dumping tea to

I like to look at Tom Paine’s Common Sense as a ‘founding document’ and he has a ‘Founding Father’ if I am to use that term, because it was his document that was the call to war.  He does talk about spending monies for nothing but otherwise the word tax is not used.

Another thing to always think of in assessing the Revolution is that it was so much about the future and not just present grief.  At any time, the King could send over officers and have them be ‘in charge’ of a colony.  No election, no chance to vote etc.  Some guy that did a favor for the King would be the new governor or tax collector.  States replaced that with elected governors, initally by the Legislature and now by us, whether we like the choices or not    I tend to think it was so much more about control than merely the cost or burden of taxes.

—End of Post—

See what I mean? Balanced and factual in plain English.

I hope you’ll take the time to look at his site and sample what I consider the best neutral observer in the business.

Want to check him out?  Here’s where to go…

iTunes Store for podcasts:  “My History Can Beat Up Your Politics” by Bruce Carlson

Website:  http:// http://www.myhistorycanbeatupyourpolitics.com

Twitter:  http://twitter.com/myhist

Facebook: Search on Facebook for “My History Can Beat Up Your Politics”

Blog:  https://myhistorycanbeatupyourpolitics.wordpress.com

See you next time. Cheers and Regards,

Saint Leo


Laws Can’t Prevent Crazy

Like many of my friends on the political Left and Right, I am angry as all get-out about this Las Vegas shooting.  When I think of what Stephen Paddock did – killing 59 and wounding hundreds – I want to punch somebody.

Did anyone other than me want this guy to have a lot more punishment than death by suicide?  Like maybe “death by a thousand cuts”? Being “drawn and quartered”? Disembowelment? Maybe ten lashes with a cat-of-nine-tails for each victim?

One who commits such a despicable act should suffer a lot more for their crime in this world. I want justice for the families of the victims and the rest of society.

I have this feeling of helplessness and anger that can’t be satisfied.  I want to do something. I think all responsible people in America feel the same way.  Whenever something bad happens, we want to undo it. But if we can’t, then we want to make sure it never happens again. Right?

Since I was a little kid, the general attitude I perceived from my parents and everyone else was that the US Government would protect us from harm. After all, just before I was born, the United States and their Allies defeated a real existential threat. Though it’s not true for every US locale, most of us have grown up with a general feeling of safety – or at least safe enough that it isn’t our principal worry. Our biggest worry is usually where to get the best deal on chic clothing or the newest consumer technology.

So, is it any wonder that today we look for the government to do something when people are senselessly murdered like these Americans were?

Most of us now have the expectation that the US Government will act to prevent events like this one. Today, in our anger and compassion for the victims, we scream for our Senators and Representatives to “do something.”  And they will. But mostly for show. They express their outrage and rush some legislation into law without thinking it through. We, the people, then must suffer according to the inevitable “Law of Unintended Consequences.”

In this case, it’s already happening. One rather prominent politician tried to use this event to ban weapon suppressors. Fortunately, it was pointed out that a fully automatic weapon would melt the suppressor almost immediately. This is a good example of a politician trying to gain relevancy by playing on our emotions while we’re still grieving. That’s pretty cold. But this politician won’t be alone. Politicians from both sides of the aisle cannot resist the chance to gain advantage.

So, let’s focus on a more mature approach. Here’s my thoughts about what to do.

After any event like this, we should bury our dead, punish the guilty if possible, grieve and, finally, examine the event for solution or prevention possibilities.  By examine, I mean review with cool heads, logic and common sense.  Let’s not allow politicians to play on our emotions and hijack our common sense so that we simultaneously advance their career and pass a stupid, ineffective law that has unintended consequences to our life and liberty.

Consider the following, for example. While all the facts are still being ferreted out, we do know a couple of things:

The shooter used semi-automatic weapons converted into automatic weapons. These are illegal. No law would have prevented that, because the shooter violated existing law. I can’t imagine that the prospect of violating any additional law would have deterred him.

Of the experts who were interviewed (those that I witnessed anyway), none were willing to say that this event was preventable. None.  Several even stated for the record that it was not preventable.

What if guns were totally banned? We’ve already seen terrorists use knives, axes and even vehicles to kill people.  Should we also ban knives, axes, and cars since they can also be used to kill? In Oklahoma, Timothy McVeigh killed 168 people and wounded more than 600 with diesel fuel and fertilizer. Should we ban diesel fuel and fertilizer as well?

That’s not to say there is no legislative action that will benefit us in the long run. There might be, but we should not rush something into law without really considering all the potential consequences of the law.  Here are some questions we should always ask: How will people try to game the system after the law is in place? Given the implementation of the law, who suffers from it? And will a black-market spring up to circumvent the law and require a new “War on Weapons” agency?

I believe (with no real evidence to support my belief) that Stephen Paddock was certifiably nuts. It is yet to be learned if anyone should have detected his condition in advance. If someone has a sick mind and they decide to kill people, they will find a way.

Let’s don’t yield our reason to our emotions and act prematurely.

Where is the lesson for society that can be learned from this?  Yes, there is one. It’s the one lesson we have learned more than once in the past:  Laws cannot prevent Crazy.

That’s my thoughts on the subject. Before someone makes a bad assumption, let me say that I hate guns. I don’t currently own one and I don’t want to own one.  My younger brother was killed by a target rifle when he was twelve years old.  Regardless, I fully support the 2nd Amendment.

Why?  Because I do believe that more than one leader in our history has been stopped short of their ultimate ambitions because the US citizenry was armed. That was the intent of our Founding Fathers: To make sure our people would still have sufficient weapons to throw off a government that becomes tyrannical (as King George did in the late 1700’s).

We shouldn’t allow anyone – especially our Government – to turn us into sheep.

Cheers and Regards,

Don’t Buy Our Coffee!

I’m hearing that the Starbucks CEO, Howard Schultz, is on record saying, “If you support traditional marriage, DON’T buy our coffee.”

Here’s one of the links.  There are several of them, so google it and please judge for yourself if it’s bogus.


If it’s true, this strikes me as totally absurd.  What CEO in his right mind would deliberately shun the vast majority of his customers? Please tell me this is a bogus quote!

The article goes on to claim that Schultz and Starbucks support all forms of diversity. I guess my question is, why does traditional marriage not qualify as a valid choice?

I’m a Libertarian. I don’t care who you marry – I only care that you don’t try to tell me who I can marry.  I was married for 30 years to a wonderful lady and if I ever marry again, it will be in that same direction.  As a bonafide American male constituent, I still prefer women over men as a marriage partner by a significant margin.

On the other hand, my son is gay and I support him marrying his choice of a good mate, even if it doesn’t happen to match my personal preference.  It’s his choice to make. That’s what freedom is all about – the right to choose, regardless if others consider it to be a good or bad choice.

Isn’t this the best part of our style of government in the United States?

May I offer two cents worth of free advice?  Don’t follow or support anyone who says you must limit your choices. People who want to limit your choices are in effect telling you that they know better than you do what is good for you.

What decisions in your life are unimportant enough to delegate to a politician (or a mob)?

I, for one, don’t want a government like that. After listening to people from both the main parties in the US Congress speak, I’m pretty sure that I don’t want those guys to plan my dinner menu, much less decide what major life choices are best for me.

St. Leo

Sunday Morning in Dallas

I was able to close the loop on something today. On October 23, 1963, I turned twelve years old. Thirty days later, President John F. Kennedy was assassinated in Dallas, Texas.

It was the first political event that got my attention. Even since that day, I have been interested in politics and how the world works. It was my first exposure to the fact that some people would actually kill another person to get their way. Like many others, I still remember where I was that day.

I think I have watched most of the major movie and TV specials about the event. I read several books when I was younger. The result of all the above was a general confusion.

Since that day, I have always wanted to visit the scene of that assassination and see for myself the place that “ended Camelot.” And today I did.

I’m working a DevOps consulting engagement and decided to spend the weekend in Dallas rather than come back to Atlanta. Early this morning, I went looking for a good breakfast place and found myself near Dealey Plaza. I drove there, parked the car, and walked around for about three hours, taking pictures. I’ll post them on Facebook for those who follow me there. I stood next to the plinth where Abraham Zapruder took his famous film. I stood behind the fence on the “grassy knoll” and I checked out what I thought were the shooting angles.

I spent a couple of hours in the museum, reading again and reminding myself about all the different questions, theories and ideas. The museum presented a very balanced account, giving voice to all the different theories.

Here’s what I came away with.

After viewing the film showing the timing of the shots (under seven seconds) and looking out the window of the Texas School Book Depository for myself, I came to three conclusions.

The first is that there is no way Oswald cocked the gun twice, fired it three times, and managed to aim well enough to hit his target three times. With our modern weapons today, it would probably be much easier, but not back in 1963. I just don’t buy it.

The second conclusion is that Americans still care about this and want to know the truth. I was at the museum when it opened at ten this morning, and the line was almost out the door. And there were dozens of people, just like me, wandering around and taking pictures. The most telling evidence of this was probably that the grass on the lawn next to the two “Xs” on the street was trampled to dust. People still want to know what actually happened that day.

The third conclusion I came to was that our Federal law enforcement agencies, for whatever reason, did not give all the information it had to Congress or to the American people. Not that this is a big surprise to me or anyone else, but I still become very irritated that our government thinks the truth is something that I don’t need to know or am incapable of interpreting for myself.

All that having been said, I don’t plan to debate this with anyone – there is no way to get any real resolution and, therefore, no point in arguing about it.

Also, I don’t have the resources or the inclination to pursue an investigation of my own. It’s already been done too many times to count and, frankly, there are many other, more productive ways I can think of to spend my time. But I still think about it sometimes and wonder who else was involved in this heinous act and never paid any consequences.

I’m closing the door on this long-time source of anxiety for me. I do recommend that anyone with interest in this subject come here to Dallas and check it out for yourself.

And I also recommend a healthy distrust of our Federal government.

Government Out of Control

Sorry for being gone so long. I got busy with some other projects. That’s not a good excuse, but it is what it is. Lately, though, I’ve seen so much abuse by our Federal Government that I cannot remain silent any longer.
The Constitution requires that Congress convene at least once a year. What that means is the authors of the Constitution didn’t expect Congress to have all that much to do. They wanted to make sure the lawmakers got together annually to handle anything that came up.
Additionally, they expected the lawmakers to be volunteers and not make a business out of it. From that point of view, it was expected that their time would be donated and they would serve for a short time, then return to their communities, their businesses, and their families.
I’m not sure who said it – it was credited to Thomas Jefferson by some – but someone wisely said that we would be able to keep our Republic until the politicians realized they could bribe the people with their own money. Seems to me there is a lot of that going on now and there is much evidence that most elected officials are using their positions to enrich themselves.
I think much of this abuse could be curtailed with a few clear modifications of the regulations around our elected officials. All are related to the ability and motivation for our elected officials to accumulate wealth and power. In my humble opinion, this is not what the framers of the Constitution had in mind.
Let us resolve today to fix this. Let’s make government service exactly that – SERVICE – not a business. Let’s take away all the noise and stop the abuse in it’s tracks.
All that said, here’s my thoughts about what we need to do to fix this:
1. Implement Term Limits – Our elected officials become like royalty when they are in government for the long term. They have become America’s royalty – Lords and Ladies. Though some would recommend even less time, I recommend that twelve years for both Houses of Congress and the Supreme Court is about right. This gives them enough time to make an impact, but not a legacy.
2. No Congressional Pension – Members of Congress were granted pensions because it was thought to be unseemly for an American legislator to be living in poverty. I have not heard that this ever happened – it was just set up, just in case. Here’s my thought – If they are smart enough to get into Congress, they are smart enough to make a living somewhere.
3. No Congressional Exemptions – Congress cannot make any laws from which its members are exempt. Every law they make applies to them, just like everyone else – while in office and after they leave. No special healthcare and no special arrangements of any kind.
4. No ability to influence personal assets – This applies to all elected or appointed positions in all three branches of Government – Judicial, Executive and Legislative. Upon entering government service, all applicants must release a full accounting of their financial position and then agree to having all their assets placed in a blind trust where they cannot direct their investments based on their inside info. They must live on their government salary.
a. They should have the choice of leaving their investments exactly where they are for the duration of their service or in an index fund tied to the Standard & Poor index (so the better the economy performs, the better off they are). Some might say this is an invasion of privacy. If making your finances public bothers you, don’t get involved in government.
b. Any elected or appointed official who is found to be influencing their own portfolio or accepts (or solicits) gifts of any kind over $50 from any entity attempting to influence them, is suspended from service and all voting rights.
c. I admit this will be hard to implement and police, but where there’s a will, there’s a way. If men and women can use their position to enrich themselves, they will do it.
5. Repeal the Seventeenth Amendment – This amendment took the election of Senators away from the State legislatures and gave it to the popular vote. This erodes the power of the States in Congress and forces Senatorial candidates to align with political parties for support and funding – an effective transfer of power from the States to the Republicans and Democrats. The House of Representative is the “People’s House” and the Senate is supposed to be the “States’ House”. While there is still much politics involved, I think generally the state legislatures are more in tune with the needs of their state than the average voter. Let’s put it back like it was.
So those are my ideas. I believe these changes will change who decides to run for office. If we change public service so that it isn’t so lucrative, maybe the greedy will find another home and the jobs will attract folks who are truly in it for love of country.
Let’s have an honest, positive exchange of ideas about this. Everyone complains about the dishonesty of politicians and the overreach of our Government. Let’s get people talking about this and maybe we can help our nation change for the better. Your ideas count. Speak up.
Saint Leo

Post Election Musings by Guest Contibutor Ron Burch

Election Day has come and gone. And as is always the case, there are winners and losers. I’m in the latter group … sold down the river for food stamps, cheap health insurance, a cell phone and a monthly supply of condoms or birth control pills.

It’s a sad, sad day.

As I think about it, I can’t help but wonder what has happened to our country: when did Americans lose all perspective on what it means to be an American? Have we lost all of our scruples? All of our values? Swapped ‘em both for a pocketful of false political promises?  Even in 2008 it was difficult for me to understand why a majority of Americans voted as they did. I reasoned that for some, it was the idea of the first black President – a handsome, articulate man preaching the gospel of ‘Hope and Change.’ Such a whimsical notion was scary to me, especially in a world precariously balanced between economic chaos and the chaotic acts of Islamic terrorists.

I had done my research. I knew about Obama’s good friend Bill Ayers, a convicted terrorist whose only regret was that he didn’t kill more Americans. I knew about Reverend Wright, Obama’s ‘Spiritual Mentor,’ and the preacher who baptized his children. (Oh yeah, he’s also the same guy who condemned America by saying “…no, not ‘God Bless America, …God Damn America.’) He blamed this country for the 9/11 attacks saying that “America’s chickens are coming home to roost.

I knew that Obama had zero experience as a businessman … no understanding of economics whatsoever. He was a community organizer from the south side of Chicago who became an absentee Senator; one who had spent most of his Senatorial career campaigning for President. There were so many things so wrong with him I couldn’t imagine a fictional dimension where electing Barack Obama wouldn’t be the worst thing that could ever happen to America.

Still, I understood that the U.S. had a distant history of slavery and a less distant history of racism. As opposed to Obama as I was, a tiny part of me was proud that I lived in a country that in my lifetime had gone from segregation to electing a black President. Not just any black man, mind you, one that could read from a teleprompter and speak with such confidence and enthusiasm he could literally charm the panties off a Nun – no wait, that was Bill Clinton, another democrat! Regardless, in recognition of the man’s gift of gab, I told many of my Liberal friends that I secretly wished the GOP had someone who could articulate a vision as well as this guy could. The only problem was I knew that everything he said was BS, and I couldn’t convince anyone else of that reality.

So, at the end of the day, I gave the general population the benefit of the doubt. Most of them were not as informed as I was. The President was energizing, especially to the young. People had heard what the mainstream media wanted them to hear and most of them hadn’t taken the time to research the validity of their rhetoric and out their lies. With no other option, I tolerated more than 1,400 days of this President frequent dishonesty … his foreign policy embarrassments, economic devastation and giant steps towards Socialism that will redefine America longer than I will be alive … even if I break the Guinness Records.

The President demanded $800 billion in stimulus money insisting that if he got it, America would never rise above 8% unemployment. If he didn’t, it would be a disaster. Unemployment stayed at more than 8% in excess of 44 months. He said he would halve the deficit and he doubled it; he said he would lower the debt; it rose more than every President before him combined to $16 Trillion. (I remember a time when the idea of a trillion anything was pure science fiction.)

Then there was the Benghazi disaster … people who get all their news from Brian Wilson, Dianne Sawyer, Scott Pelley or Wolfe Blitzer still don’t know what an extraordinarily profound scandal this is. God’s honest truth, other than killing Osama Bin Laden (which has much less to do with Obama than almost everyone realizes), I literally could not think of one single reason to vote for Obama.

After four years I thought that everyone would finally see what I’ve seen. As 2012 rolled around, at last there would be a rising of the American ideology that created this great nation. Until Obama was declared the winner, I couldn’t imagine a scenario where Romney wouldn’t run the table.

We live in a world where there is more communication, more access to information than was available to any generation in the history of humankind. I can only assume that the new social media is mired deeply in the youth who don’t yet understand the destruction they inspire. Winston Churchill once stated, “If you’re in your 20’s and not a Liberal, you have no heart. If you’re in your 30’s and aren’t Conservative, you have no brain.” The young advocates of the new social media need to develop a brain. Sadly, that requires years that I’m not sure we can afford.

It appears that the American voter has become so superficial that they still only see the glitz in this tarnished puppet and they wanted four more years of it. The entire country … perhaps the entire world … will suffer from the choice the ignorant majority made on November 6th in ways that only historians will fully understand … assuming we survive four more years of this President. History will consider for time immemorial what might have been, but will struggle with what Obama imposes upon us and all the ways that he will diminish us.

I, for one, am inconsolable, Mitt Romney is such a good man who truly loves America and wanted to make us great. I curse the ignorant among us even though by definition they don’t realize what they’re doing. Although it’s wrong of me, I’m coming to the point of hating them for their ignorance. Ignorance that is going to cause me and mine to suffer, and for four more years, there’s no way for me to fight back.

The Monday morning quarterbacks will have us pondering if Romney should have pushed Obama’s face into the Benghazi issue; the 100 rounds of golf, the ‘Apology Tour,’ and everything else already mentioned. Americans were warned after the first election, and now they deserve whatever happens next. Unfortunately I’m going to suffer as well, and I knew better.

When I went to bed last night, the electoral votes were evenly split, but it was not looking good for our side. I prayed that God would have the last vote and that the man that eventually went to the White House would be a man of his choosing. When I awoke on November 7th, I learned the bad news. I trust that the man upstairs understands what all of this means and where we are heading. His purpose is beyond me, but tonight I will again pray for the grace to accept it and endure the next four years.

The bad news is that Americans chose a Muslim moron over a devout Mormon. The worse news is now we are all one heartbeat away from Joe Biden becoming the most powerful man on Earth.

May God have mercy on us and may God bless America!


Is Government as Good as You Think it Is? By Daniel Phillips Guest Contributor

Like many Americans, I have been thinking a lot about politics lately.  I am not really sure whether I love to hate politics or I hate to love politics.  One thing is certain; it is getting pretty ugly these days.  A lot of people think that is something new, but really it isn’t. There was a time when rival politicians would sometimes duel to the death.  And then of course there was Tennessee Congressman David Crockett (he actually hated the nickname Davie) who famously in a fit of anger told his own constituents “you may all go to hell; I am going to Texas.”  No. politics has always been an ugly thing, but that is because it is so important and people get passionate about it.  It is important because if we do not all pay attention it is easy to be deceived.  Remember, Adolph Hitler and Hugo Chavez were not revolutionaries who led a civil war for power.  These guys were elected.  People voted for them because they liked the things that they said.

The important thing to understand is that government is not a good thing.  Philosopher Max Weber described government as a Monopoly of Violence.  Before you start freaking out that Danny is an anarchist let me finish explaining.  Government is necessary, a necessary evil if you will.  Without government there would be violence all over the place.  If you had a possession, or perhaps food, and your neighbor wanted it and was more powerful than you, he would simply take it.  In fact, anarchy as a permanent state is not even possible.  There are evil people who crave power and these evil people, if they can amass the weapons and pawns necessary, will rise up and declare themselves kings.  So, without a government, there will be violence and the strongest will keep rising until they monopolize the violence.  The subjects obey the ruler out of fear of violence and in turn the ruler prohibits violence by others in order to win enough support of the subject to stay in power.  So government, by definition is a monopoly on violence and a necessary evil.  This is something that many people in our modern world do not understand, but something that our founders understood well.

In the modern world we always hear politicians talking about and promising “good” government.  The important thing to remember is that those words are just what they think we want to hear.  Power and greed is primarily what motivates them.  It always has been and it always will be.  Believe me that any person who really has the ability to do the job of President of the United States also has the skills to be the CEO of a corporation, a job that pays many times what the job of President pays.  Who would want such a job?  I contend that such a person has to be a little evil.  You see, normal good people do not desire power over other people.  Yet here is a job that attracts not those who desire money like most people, but those who desire power over others.  I always hear Republicans talking about how scary the Democrat is and Democrats talking about how scary the Republican is when actually we should all be nervous about both of them just because they want the job.

This is where our founders were so brilliant.  They created a government that is limited in scope and power.  They drafted and ratified a document which restrains that government to those powers specifically enumerated to it is.  They attempted to bind and restrain that government in a way that would protect the American people against the most dangerous thing in the country, the government itself.  Sadly, over the years that leviathan has grown and grown.  The people whom we have elected to manage that government have pushed and strained and all too often outright ignored the limits placed upon them by the founders.  They expand this power by convincing the very people who have entrusted that precious Constitution to them that they are doing whatever they are doing for our own good.

There was a video playing a few days ago at the DNC that said “Government is the only thing that we all belong to.”  This is absolutely backward.  It is the government that belongs to the people and not the other way around.  Both the Party and the Obama campaign have disavowed any involvement in the making of the video.  However, the party has not disavowed the ideas of collectivism and ever expanding government.  Almost every speech has echoed this theme.  Sandra Fluke claimed that if the government does not force another individual to pay for something she wants she is somehow being denied her right to it.  President Clinton said that his party believes in a “we are all in this together” philosophy whereas as Conservatives believe that you are on your own.  As benign as this sound, and even attractive to some, this is NOT the role of government.  A bunch of guys in a prison are “all in it together.”  When you are outside those bars you are sort of on your own.  You are not marched to the cafeteria at lunch time, but instead have to find a way to feed yourself.  Of course, people pull together through tragedy and trials.  They do this through their local communities and churches and civic groups.  But government sponsored collectivism is the elimination of individualism, individual rights, and freedom.  I would much rather stay outside those bars.

Over the next 60 days you are going to hear speeches and debates.  Both guys are going to tell you how horrible the other guy is.  In the end, one of them is going to get elected.  Sadly, he is probably going to continue expanding the size and scope of government.  Romney has promised smaller more limited government.  History tells us that he and his party will probably manage a slower rate of growth than Obama and his party.  I hope that I am wrong and that he keeps his promise.  What you need to keep in mind is that it may all sound like sunshine and dreams when they promise you all these things, but anything the government is doing for you, any decision the government is making for you, is another freedom you have lost and another step closer to tyranny.  Government cannot give you anything for free.  It can only force you to buy it by taxing you first (or borrowing the money from China and taxing your children).  Isn’t it better to make your own choices what to do with the fruits of your labor?  Of course, the left will tell you that you aren’t going to pay for it.  They will just get the money from the “rich.”  Well, once they have taken everything from them, they are coming for you next.  You can count on that.  There simply are not enough of those super rich out there to pay for everything they are promising.  Not to mention that this will result in fewer of them.  After all, what is the point of doing all of the hard work required to succeed if it is only going to be taken away?

If you love government and think that it is just the best thing since sliced bread you are probably going to vote for Obama as he has promised and he is giving you even more of it.  But if you are one of those on the far left I have a question for you.  Do you agree with all of those delegates at the DNC who were saying that we should ban corporate profits?  If so I will not take the time to explain how stupid this is, how no profit means no more corporation and no more jobs. What I would like to ask though is this.  Why is a corporation, run by people so horribly evil while a government (also run by people) is so, so good?  That company that you hate so much will not get your business or your money unless you chose to do business with them.  The government on the other hand is going to take your money whether you choose to use their services or not.  And if ordinary human beings suddenly become evil when they enter the business world, I need you to explain why they are trustworthy when you give them all the power of government.

Daniel Phillips :Graduate of University of Houston Law Center.
Licensed to practice law in Texas and North Dakota.
Employed by the Department of Homeland Security.
Veteran of Afghainstan and Iraq.
Retired Texas Army National Guard.
Live in Houston