Tuesday, December 24, 2013

T'was The Nightmare Before Christmas: An Obamacarol!

I would like to be charitable as Christmas approaches, but I need to post just one more politically motivated blog before I don my cap and settle down for a long winter's nap. I heard yesterday that the Obamas want us to discuss Obamacare with our families on Christmas. We might talk about it in my family, but I doubt that he would want to know what we have to say about it. I also heard that Barack Obama signed up for the bronze healthcare plan. Well, actually, he did not do it himself. He had staffers (minions) do it for him, because he and the First Family are currently on their Christmas vacation in Hawaii and everyone knows there are no computers in Hawaii or on Air Force One.  It is probably a good thing he had someone else do it, because he would have a problem being truthful on the application and he would likely screw it up, like everything else he has done. Yes, I know it was a symbolic gesture—as president he is the Commander in Chief and gets his healthcare gratis through the military—but could he not have qualified for the platinum plan? Would it not be fairer for him and the democrats in the Senate and House and all of their staffers (minions) to lose their wonderful health insurance plans, like millions of people who had health plans which they were happy and satisfied with before Obamacare forced the insurance companies to cancel them, to take the bronze plans? Well, seriously, would it not be fairer?  The democrats are always whining about fairness, are they not?

We were promised that Obamacare would be much better, that premiums would be reduced across the board, and that if you liked your current healthcare plan—you would be crazy, obviously (ha ha ha) because everything the federal government does is cheaper, less wasteful and better in every way—you could keep your  silly plan. Of course, I, and logical thinkers like me, knew that it was impossible for the scam of Obamacare to be anything but a huge failure and disastrous to the economy—socialism and governmental control of economies always make things more cumbersome and much more expensive. But, now some of the minions are coming to realize that Mr. Obama was not to be trusted with the nation’s healthcare system.  We, the ones who made the effort to actually check the guy out before he was elected and have paid attention after the fact, knew that Obama was a big phony at best. As has been pointed out by many conservative talking heads, Obama has never run a business, never worked at anything other than community organizing (rabble rising) and holding political office (lying, cheating and stealing). As a progressive democrat (undeclared Marxist), he disregards free enterprise and craves governmental power, preferably, dictatorial power.

Obama had to lie, of course, just like he has had to lie or claim ignorance about the myriad of scandalous events he has governed over in his presidency. If the ignorant people knew that their premiums would have to go up and that they would not be able to keep their preferred doctors, he would not have been re-elected.  But, do not feel alone on this, you ignorant healthcare users who voted for Obama, the insurance companies are also crying bitter tears. Obama promised them that they would make much more money with Obamacare in place. And why would they not make more money, if the government forces people to buy health insurance? They thought the fix was in. How were they to know that Obama was either an incompetent boob or a Marxist democrat trying to drive the country into a one-payer healthcare system?

Actually, I do not think Obama is any more a boob than your typical run-of-the-mill college-educated Utopian socialist pinhead.  Obama and his cronies understand that you have to tear down the prevailing system in order to get people to accept a pie-in-the-sky socialist utopia.  Socialists know that they cannot tell the truth about what they plan, because people want stability, and if they suddenly find their lives unstable or convinced that their situation is untenable, they will be accepting of drastic change. People do not typically elect to have a limb amputated unless they are convinced that gangrene has set in and it will eventually kill them otherwise.  But, what if the doctor proposing the amputation is crazy, and he thinks that a mechanical limb is much more durable and aesthetic? He would have to convince the patient that the natural limb is not a good thing. And, if he follows Machiavellian principles, such as the end justifies the means, as most tyrants do, he will tell any lie necessary to get the desired results.  Tyrants almost always know what is best for everyone around them. Of course, it does not usually apply to them.

 You may think my doctor-amputation analogy is a stretch, but I sincerely believe that progressive politics are lunacy. History has shown that socialism unchecked will destroy a capitalist free market God-fearing—this term actually means “God-revereing”, when translated correctly—society.  The conservatives know by practice and application that making more of a product and allowing for competition in producing and selling a product will cause the product to be more available and less expensive. Conservatives in Congress —notice I do not use the term ‘republicans’ here, because once upon a time there used to be conservative democrats like Harry Truman, and there are way too many progressive republicans these days as well—have tried for years to take the governmental shackles off of our healthcare system.  They have promoted the concept of allowing people to shop for health insurance across state lines and to reduce frivolous lawsuits through tort reform, but state insurance lobbies and trial lawyer lobbies have partnered with the democrats and liberal republicans to keep those costly encumbrances in place. Just those two things would save billions of dollars to the consumer and help bring more doctors into practices. If the progressive-socialists in our federal and state governments actually wanted to help and protect the little guy, they would forsake their ties to these lobbyists and quit trying to create villains out of people who EARN a lot of money and are paying the vast majority of taxes.

So, you might ask yourself, “What has this gem of governmental interference in our lives cost the taxpayers so far, including a website built by a Canadian company, CGI, which has “connections” with Obama’s peeps? According to the non-partisan Factchecker website, a conservative figure would be $70 million. A more modest figure would be $125 million to $150 million. Or, one could embrace the entire project, as outlined by GAO, and declare that it is at least $350 million. Now, if the number that the non-partisan Government Accountability Office is correct and the thing cost $350 million, I would wonder if it was money well spent, since the website was hard to navigate, kept crashing and the price tags of the healthcare options so scared the crap out of people that they are flocking away from Obamacare rather than to it.   Since our nation’s population is currently estimated at about 315,000,000, the federal government could have just given each and every person in the whole wide country a million dollars apiece and they could have opened their own healthcare savings account and not worried about an insurance carrier! Now, does that sound Crazy? Do you actually think Obama wants everyone to have more affordable health care, or is he trying to amass more dictatorial control? I rest my case.

Oh wait a minute, one more thought: It has been said that Obamacare is the law of the land and we just need to get over it. True, congress passed it unilaterally, and it was upheld in the Supreme Court, by calling a penalty for not obeying mandate a tax. But since then, Obama has rewritten numerous times by carving out special wavers for more and more special interest groups and delaying the mandate for large businesses and now some individuals. Some republicans—by this I mean no democrats—saw the train wreck coming and tried to get the debacle-ridden implementation of Obamacare postponed for a year, but Obama and his minions said, “No, we will never, ever, do anything you people want, even if it kills all of us, except when it will get us reelected”! Well sure, that is not what they said specifically, but is, in essence an accurate description of their mindset.  And, you might ask yourself, “Hey, according to our Constituion, doesn’t the President have to obey the law and see that it is enforced?”  Well, not if you are President Barack Hussein Obama. Again, I ask, do you actually think Obama wants everyone to have more affordable health care, or is he trying to amass more dictatorial control?  Now, your honor and ladies and gentlemen of the jury, I really rest my case.

Merry Christmas! And, a Happy New Year! I hope.

Thursday, December 5, 2013

If You Are Going To Do It, Please Do It Right!

I am a big reader. I read or listen as I drive, to many, many books in a year's time. I like books of all types, be they serious, comedic, fiction or nonfiction. I have read some books over and over again. I like a good story, whether fantasy or fact. But it needs to be good. With all of the good literature out there in the world and with fewer people willing to put the time in to actually read, it is understandable that film has become this generation's books. Now, I am not smug because I am a reader.  I am also a sort of movie buff. I like "good movies" and "good television shows" from every time period.  I particularly enjoy it when a favorite piece of literature of mine makes it onto the big or little screens. Of course the real primitive stuff, like Eadweard Muybridge's "Running Horse" made in 1878, were interesting and amazing for their time when still monochrome photography had only been around since about 1800, but they could not be considered masterpieces of any kind. They were curiosities and nothing more.

The first "movie" to tell a story was "The Great Train Robbery",  filmed by the Edison company in 1903. It lasted about 12 minutes and had a closeup and some pretty funny action scenes (by today's standards), but the story had no character development and was more like a news reel that we used to see in the movie theaters in the thirties and forties before television programming allowed for visual news to be reported directly to your home. But, the idea of moving pictures to tell a story was hard to resist. Instead of having to read popular novels or works of non-fiction, where you could only imagine the events in your mind's eye, you could now see a moving depiction of the material. Like they say, "before television and movies, we had books".

Of course it was still far from having a very realistic experience.  The movie world was monochrome and had no sound. You still had to do some reading to get a better gist of the story and you could not tell if the beautiful people on the screen were blondes, redheads, brown-eyed or blue-eyed.   Plus, you had an organist playing accompaniment to help get you excited or make you sympathetic at the right moments. It was hardly much better than reading, but was at least a step in the right direction. But, we had a little while to go before we would have the movie-going experience available to us today.

Color film actually proceed "Talkies" by about two-and-a-half decades. The 1903 French film, "The Passion Play" a depiction of the life of Christ, was done in Pathechrome, a process that involved staining parts of individual frames.  The process of capturing natural color would happen with Kinemacolor in 1914 and Technicolor would become the standard for color films in Hollywood by 1932.  So, color was available but it did not become the norm until the sixties. The color movies were, of course,  more costly to make and the expenditures for color movies were usually reserved for what were considered by the film companies as the more epic stories to tell. Of course, the advent of sound made telling a story easier. The technology existed since 1923 but it generally sounded like crap. When The Jazz Singer was released in 1927, sound was pretty much in to stay even though it continued to sound like crap for another few years. Everybody wanted to hear the same dialog, music and ambient sounds they were experiencing in everyday life.

Why, you may ask, did they start putting music in along with the natural soundtrack? If they are trying for realism, I think they are completely wrong. I know I don't have an orchestra or a snappy pop group following me around and playing music to match my mood or give my audience a nod as to what I may do next. I suspect it was part and parcel to the way silent films were watched, with a piano player or organist accompanying live at the movie house. Somehow, I do not begrudge the music too much, because there are times when it actually helps the action or lack of action on the screen.

Innovations in movie production have gone nuts since Star Wars in 1977. Special effects have become the norm for big budget money makers. People want to see what would have been impossible just a few years ago: Realistic-looking creatures and events that could not possibly be done outside of computer-generated images.   Now, 3D in film has been around  since about 1915, but it became a bit of a craze in the fifties and early sixties with mostly pretty silly monster movies, but they have really caught fire during the last decade with super hero and space-based movies. Where we had "Cinerama" in the fifties and sixties, which entailed a huge curved screen to help put you into the middle of the action, we now have IMAX, with really, really big screens and projectors that can project the big picture with amazing detail.  Now you can feel like an ant watching the action.  Audio has improved as well. In the sixties they tried a" Senssuround"  system to simulate the vibrations shown in the 1974 film, "Earth Quake", airplane take-offs and explosions in the film "Midway" of 1976--curiously both starred Charlton Heston--but it was not that much of a thrill to me. Now they have THX and  Dolby and Surround Sound to enhance your movie viewing pleasure, and if you want the vibrations, you can pay a bit more and sit in the special D-Box seats in some theaters which will vibrate and shake in conjunction with the visual action on the screen. Frankly, that particular advancement does little for me. In-fact, I find it extremely annoying. But I digress...

I began by saying I liked to read and was a sort of movie buff. Again, I really like movies of all shapes and sizes, if they are good and not overly pretentious. I, unlike my wife and some of my kids, really enjoy watching old movies in black and white with dated music, if they were done well. My wife is unable to enjoy anything that is shot in black and white and has dated sound. But I say good acting is good acting, and on-screen charisma is what it is.  It took a decade or two to get there, but eventually, the film industry developed directors and actors who understood the movies were not the stage and had to be more subtle.  I enjoy watching a play--I, myself have performed in some over the years--but it is obviously a much different deal than mugging for the intimate camera.  The movie has the better chance, or is better equipped in my opinion, of recreating for the observer a more complete entertainment experience when telling a story. However, they also have a greater chance of completely blowing it. If the powers that be in television and film cannot come up with their own original material, they go after what they think will make them the most money. I hate it when people with power in the entertainment media are only in it for the money. They will almost always get it wrong.

Movie and television producers, in my opinion, owe it to good literature to get it right.The way they usually blow it for me, is they try to tell a story that originated from a different medium and thunk they can make it better. Popular novels are most often abused, in my humble opinion. It is seldom that the movie is better than the book it was based on, especially when the movie producers think they can make the story better or change it in away that will make it sell better.  I have to admit that there have been a few times when I thought that the movie was better. For example, Jaws, the film, was better than Jaws, the book.  I understand that it is very difficult to include everything of importance from a book into a movie version and get it into a two-hour to three-hour time frame, so you may need to streamline the story a bit. However, when you take the stories of Edgar Rice Boroughs and his best characters like Tarzan and John Carter and come up with a completely different story and completely different lead character, you really start to hack me off. I do not understand why Burroughs let them get away with portraying his Tarzan as a moron when Burroughs wrote him as a genius.  Another example which comes to mind is the the attempt to make the Jason Bourne books into movies. I suspect that if I had not read the books, I would have thought the movies were okay, but the producers of those films thoroughly decimated Robert Ludlums brain child. If they were going to do a completely different story and make characters from the movie be the opposite of how they were in the book, why not just rip off the concept, give their characters different names and call the movie something else. With many of them you could never ever be charged with copyright infringement. Once the author of the book sells the rights, the movie producers can do pretty much what they want, and star pretty much who they want, who they think will sell the movie. How do they think the fans of the books feel about it? I do not think that they ever consider anything beyond what constitutes "marketability" in their own feeble brains. I know a bunch of people, as I do, who will not see a film that they KNOW is not a decent adaptation of a favorite book, or even a movie version of a popular TV show, which has happened many times in the last couple of decades. Money and power are often wasted on the clueless, I guess.

Since I just now turned this into a rant on stupid producers in Hollywood, let me vent a bit on the travesty that is the movie, Jack Reacher.  I know that Lee Child has been quoted as saying that he thought Tom Cruise captured the essence of his hero, but I mean really! For some reason, Tom Cruise is considered one of those charismatic movie star types. I do not get it, but I will allow that enough people like him to go see him in any movie. But, let us be realistic; Tom Cruise is at best five feet and six inches tall and weighs in at about 170 lbs., where the Jack Reacher of the Lee Child books is six feet and five inches tall and weighs in at around 250 lbs. The Jack Reacher in the novels is a scary dude, while Tom Cruise makes me laugh when I see him get tough. I have a pretty good imagination but it is not good enough to buy that.

So my request for the movie and television producers in the world would be that, if they cannot create something on their own, please do not turn silk into a sow's ear. You, Mr. and Miss Producer, most likely do not know how to make another artist's creation better, so go back to what you do best and have done over the last century: Keep coming up with new innovations and better and better special effects. But leave a good story alone. That's a wrap!

Monday, November 18, 2013


The very first Americans, of course, were the indigenous population later known as “Indians”. From the very beginning, the Indian population was conflicted over the arrival of the Europeans and their colonization of Indian homelands. Some resented their coming, while others welcomed the newcomers, perceiving them as just another tribe with whom to share the bounties of nature. Ultimately, it became obvious to the Indians that the Europeans were there to stay and would eventually become the dominate culture. Some fought the inevitable and others embraced it. Sacajewea, whom I salute in this installment of my Profiles of Leadership in America, embraced it.

c. 1784—December 20, 1884?

Americans, living today, owe much to our exploring pioneer forefathers. But, what of our exploring pioneer foremothers? In 1804, Lewis and Clark set out, with a company of some fifty men, to explore the Louisiana territory. The President of the United States, Thomas Jefferson, had purchased the huge territory from France with very little knowledge of what it contained. He enlisted Meriwether Lewis and William Clark, who had never set foot in that part of the land, to undertake this dangerous expedition and bring back that knowledge. Luckily for President Jefferson, and even more so for Lewis and Clark, the explorers met a young Indian woman on the way, who guided them through the most difficult and potentially perilous part of their journey. That Indian woman was Sacajewea.

Sacajewea was born a Shoshone around the year1784 in the area now known as the state of Idaho and was named Boinaiv (Grass Maiden in the Shoshone language). While still a child, she was stolen away from her family by the Minnetarres (an enemy tribe) and renamed Sacajewea (Bird Woman in the Minnetarre language) by her new tribe. Her Minnetarre captor later gambled her away to a French trapper named Toussaint Charbonneau. She became Charbonnea’s wife and was living with him in the Dakotas in the autumn of 1804 when Lewis and Clark reached there. Sacajewea and her husband agreed to act as guides for the team of explorers. The group wintered at Fort Mandan where Sacagawea gave birth to her son Baptiste.

The Frenchman, Charbonneau, possessed marginal abilities as a guide, but his young Indian wife proved to be an excellent guide, showing exceptional courage and resourcefulness. On one occasion, Sacajewea risked her own life to rescue the records of the expedition and other valuables from an overturned canoe. She accurately directed the Lewis and Clark expedition to her own country, which she had not seen since she was a child. She also taught the company how to gather food and live off the land to survive when supplies began to run short.

When they arrived at the Shoshone tribal camp, she renewed her associations with old friends and family. It was here that she very likely saved the lives of the whole party of explorers. Sacajewea’s brother Cameahwait was now the chief of the tribe. His first inclination was to kill the white men for their belongings. But, because of Sacagawea’s influence, Lewis and Clark were able to procure food and horses from the Indians and were allowed to go on their way unharmed.

Sacajewea, finding that the rest of her family was dead, except her brother and her dead sister’s son, adopted her sister’s child (she named him Basil) and took him, along with her own child, on the Lewis and Clark trip. With her two children in tow, she continued as guide, leading the explorers to the Pacific Ocean, arriving on November 7, 1805. On the way back, they explored the Yellowstone region, which she also knew well. Upon returning to the Dakotas, Charbonneau refused all inducements to go back to civilization and Sacajewea remained with him. Little more is known about the rest of her life, but Sacajewea is believed to have married into Comanche Indian for an extended time and living  to the age of 100 years, dying around 1784 in the Shoshone Indian Agency.

The white men of the Lewis and Clark Company had great respect and affection for this young Indian woman, who, while mothering two small children, was able to lead, teach, and even protect tough explorers on a very difficult journey. She created good will and trust, for at least a short while, between Indians and white Americans. Without her help and guidance, the Lewis and Clark expedition would likely have experienced disaster, and President Jefferson would not have received the wealth of information that he desired. Sacajewea’s roll in the Lewis and Clark exploration exemplified peaceful cooperation between Indians and white Americans. Sadly, that peaceful cooperation was seldom repeated in American history. Still, Americans that live west of the Mississippi River today, like the men in the Lewis and Clark expedition and President Thomas Jefferson, owe Sacajewea a lot.

Friday, November 8, 2013

Samuel Adams

The American Revolution produced quite a few extraordinary leaders: brave and spiritual men and women who were willing to sacrifice all they had to create a country and government where freedom would reign, and where all people could pursue their individual life, liberty, and happiness (private property).  However, for the revolution to be successful, many at the time believed that faith in God and His endorsement of the colonists’ efforts to confront the greatest military power in the world would be paramount. Perhaps the most vocal exemplary proponent of this idea was Samuel Adams.
Samuel Adams, September 27, 1722 October 2, 1803

Samuel Adams, like his second cousin, John Adams, the second president of the United States, was born into a religious and politically active family and was a graduate of Harvard College. Adams was generally unsuccessful in his business affairs.  His father’s attempts to create a “land bank” for the farming community had been impeded by the royalists in Massachusetts government and left the older Adams with substantial personal debt at his death, which in turn fell to Samuel to deal with.  Samuel never was particularly successful in business, but he flourished in politics.  In his masters thesis of 1743, Adams argued the case for colonial rights, that it was "lawful to resist the Supreme Magistrate” to preserve the Commonwealth.

By the1760s, Adams had become an influential member of the Massachusetts House of Representatives and was vocal in his opposition to the efforts of British Parliament to tax the American colonies without American consent.  His publicized call for cooperation between the colonies was a contributing factor in the British order to have British soldiers occupy Boston, which in turn aggravated the Bostonians to the point of violence, culminating in the famous ‘Boston Massacre’ of 1770, where British soldiers responded to rock-throwing from a Boston mob with gunfire.  Ironically, it was Samuel’s cousin, John Adams, an equally vociforous voice for American liberty, but defender of law and order, who would defend the British soldiers in court for using deadly force to defend themselves against the angry Bostonian mob. A couple years later, Samuel Adams and other like-minded American colonial patriots organized links between their fellows throughout the other twelve colonies. The “Boston Tea Party” of 1773 and other later efforts by Adams and his fellows, who became known as the “Sons of Liberty”, resulted in further reprisals by the British government to quell the American rebellion in the form of the occupation of Boston by British troops, the “Coercive Acts” of 1774 which was akin to marshal law. Adams and his fellow patriots responded by convening a Continental Congress in 1775.  Adams was considered a traitor by the British at this point and they sent troops to both capture Samuel Adams and John Hancock and seize the military arms which the British had learned were stored in Concord. The battle of Lexington and Concord and the successful defense put forth by the “Minutemen” essentially began the American Revolutionary War and eventually resulted in the Declaration of Independence in 1776 at the Second Continental Congress. Thomas Jefferson said of Samuel Adams that he steered the Congress toward independence.

During and after the Revolution, Adams served on numerous committees. He promoted paying bonuses to the Continental soldiers for reenlisting when their enlistment was ended. He also called for the punishment of Loyalists to the British crown, banishing them and confiscating their property. His harsh approach to loyalists continued even after the war, opposing their return to Massachusetts, believing that they would work to thwart the new republican form of government. He was on the committee which drafted the articles of confederation with his emphasis on strong state sovereignty. Along with his cousin, John Adams and James Bowdin, Samuel drafted a new constitution for Massachusetts in 1779.

After the Revolutionary War, and under the Confederation, economic troubles began to trouble the new republic. The uprising known as “Shay’s Rebellion” and other difficulties with taxation led many to believe that the confederation needed revision. In 1786, delegates met in Philadelphia to try to revise the Articles of Confederation but ended up creating a new United States Constitution with a stronger federal government.  Adams had misgivings about a strong central government and was initially counted among the Anti-Federalists, but eventually he agreed to support the new constitution, with the proviso that amendments would be added later, which resulted in first ten amendments now known as ‘The Bill of Rights’.  With this ability to amend it, Adams became a staunch supporter of the new constitution.

Adams attempted to be elected a representative to the new House of Representatives but lost the election. However he was elected Lieutenant Governor of Massachusetts and then Governor. Samuel, unlike his cousin John Adams, aligned himself with the Thomas Jefferson and the anti-federalist party. He left office as governor in 1797 and retired from politics. He suffered from essential tremors and was unable write effectively during the last ten years of his life and he died at the age of 81 years on October 2, 1803. He was considered by his contemporaries, both friends and advisories as one of the greatest personalities among the founding fathers and a firebrand personality for individual freedom. In fact, much to his chagrin, John Adams, while serving abroad as a diplomat was often referred to as “the other Adams. Indeed, Samuel Adams was at the forefront of the revolutionary movement and with a loud voice for independence, ever vigilant, willing to sacrifice his own wellbeing for what he believed in, and was convinced that he was doing God’s will by creating a republican form of government.  The Boston newspaper, The Independent, Eulogized him as the “Father of the American Revolution”. There were many founders of our nation who could claim that they did their all for the birth of the United States of America, but few who were the equal of Samuel Adams.

Thursday, November 7, 2013

I'm Sorry You Were So Gullible!

I really did not think I would ever see Barack Obama apologize for anything, let alone his “Affordable Care Act” (aka-Obamacare).  But today he sort of did, though he made it plain that he had been misunderstood--wink, wink, nod, nod--when he placed a “period” behind every outrageous promise he made while he was selling the public on it.  Of course he could not take full responsibility, because he is not capable to do that. It is much easier for him to say that he was misunderstood than to say, “I bald-faced lied to everybody about what they could expect, like being able to keep your insurance if you like it, or the average family will save $2,500 a year on insurance cost, when the average family will spend $7,500 more per year”.  The fact is that he, like the lovable Sergeant Schultz, of Hogan’s Heroes fame knows nothing: He did not know about ‘Fast and Furious’, He did not know that we were spying on our allies; He did not know that the IRS was targeting conservative organizations; He did not know that terrorists were involved in the murder of four Americans in Benghazi—in fact, we still do not know where he was that night and who told our military and CIA to stand down when those Americans were screaming for help; And, he does not seem to know that he has no constitutional authority to grant waivers to his supporters on Obamacare, or pick and choose which laws congress passes to enforce. But then, if we look at all of these things from Hillary Clinton’s perspective, what difference does it make at this point?  

Well, it makes a lot of difference to people of principle. I did not like it when Nixon lied. I did not like it when Bill Clinton lied. I did not like it when Carter was inept. And I do not like it when Obama is both inept and a liar, which is pretty much all of the time. He owes an apology for deceiving the electorate to get elected.  He knew that if he allowed the truth to be told in any degree, whether it be that it was not a stupid video that got four Americans murdered, or that Obamacare is an ill-conceived attempt to turn our healthcare system into a single-payer socialist monstrosity, that the public would not have gone for it. If he had been honest, which frankly is beyond his ability, we would have a president who actually understands business and economies, instead of a socialist nincompoop.  

I apologize if I hurt anyone’s feelings and my apology is every bit as sincere as Obama’s, PERIOD!

Thursday, October 24, 2013

What Do You Do Now, America?

I do not like saying I told you so, but…  Well, actually I do not like having to say I told you so.  I would like to have seen a president in charge of the country who was not a complete dunce when it comes to our country’s health care system and general economy, then I would not feel compelled to say "I told you so. Some of us--I mean those of you who voted for Obama and who are not me--are so tainted by the media’s love affair with the Obama and the Democrat party, and who are so loathing of all things Republican, that they cannot hear logical arguments.  Too many people are so easily led by union bosses, progressive educators and simplistic entertainers that they run over a cliff like lemmings, taking the rest of us with them because we, the reasonable ones. are trapped in the crowd. The old saying, “fool me once—shame on you, fool me twice—shame on me” is appropriate here. "Three strikes and your out" seems apropos as well. 

 Obama fooled enough of the voting public to get elected the first time, partly,by  promising to have the most transparent administration we have ever seen and declaring that he would bring civility to the office and to change the way things would be done in Washington.  And, do not forget, he would be a post racial president. But then we got the Chicago way of doing things. We got graft and good-old-boy politics like we have never seen before, with sweetheart deals of “stimulus money” given to his supporters and cronies like we haven’t seen since Andrew Jackson.  We got cover-ups over gunrunning to Mexican drug cartels by the Justice Department, where a border patrolman was murdered, and the Benghazi fiasco, where four more Americans were murdered, because Obama wanted to take credit for having “Al Qaeda on the run” and bringing peace to the Mid-East by supporting the Muslim Brotherhood--He couldn't let anything like the truth interfere with his chances for re-election. Oh yes, and do not forget that he would regain respect from the other nations of the world. Anybody who pays attention to world affairs and domestic issues would be disgusted.  He has taken every opportunity to take racial sides, making divisive comments where he should have just played basketball or gone golfing. And then he ran the most nasty and vicious re-election campaign in a century, via character assassination against one of the most moral and ethical businessmen to ever run for president.  He also pushed socialized “Obamacare” down everyone’s throat, except for government employees at the very top. Those things were the result of fooling enough people the first time.

Now, after being fooled the second time, people are beginning to recognize the fact that he is a charlatan and may be the most inept man since Buchanan to sit in the Oval Office. Truly conservative lawmakers tried to defund the ill-conceived and unpopular Obamacare and save our country from its ruinous effects, but the idiotic Democrat leadership [insert Obama, Pelosi and Reid here] would not compromise an inch and shut down the government for a couple weeks and the Obama-minion media, as they always do, blamed the "evil Republicans".  Now, as the roll-out of Obamacare has begun, people are beginning to see  that Obama and his minions either have no clue about anything, or they are trying to destroy the best healthcare system in the world and replace it with socialized medicine.  Even the densest people are finding out that Obama is evidently a big liar or big boob.  He said that under Obamacare, you could choose to keep your healthcare plan, if you liked it, and your doctor, if you liked him or her, and the average person would save  $2,500 a year on health insurance.  Now they find, when they actually are able to get on the government healthcare website—the one that was farmed out to a Canadian software firm and cost over half of a BILLION DOLLARS and does not seem to work any better than some of the most ardent of the Obama voters—that none of those things are true: Most often, they are not able to keep their doctors and plans and the cost is on the average of $7,500 a year. That would be a difference of $10,000, in case you are wondering. The republicans tried several ways, during the government shutdown, to pass legislation to fund the government and curtail some of the most troubling parts of Obamacare, including postponing for a year the mandate for individuals to sign up for government healthcare or be fined. They reasoned that, since Obama authorized a waiver for big business to do just that, that it was only fair to allow individuals the same waiver. The Democrats are always worrying about fairness, are the not? But Noooooo… the Democrats would not budge because  they seemed to be winning the war of public opinion and, once again, and successfully pinning the Republicans with the blame for shutting down the government for political reasons. So much for changing the atmosphere in Washington. But then again, to be fair, I do not believe he actually said he would change it for the better.

Now, because people are meeting some of the effects of Obamacare head-on, and seeing that it will actually cost jobs, and in many cases cause people to lose their health insurance, and force them into a much more expensive government-authorized plan, there are some Democrats coming over to the side of reason.  Six Democrat senators: Jeanne Shaheen, Mark Pryor, Joe Manchin, Mary Landrieu, Kay Hagan, and Rick Nolan, are now asking to have that individual mandate postponed a year.  A cynic, like myself,   might think that most of these folks are up for re-election next year and might be changing their position because Obamacare has never had a majority of support by the voting public and they are from more conservative states. But who can say for sure?

The fact is that public opinion may be changing about this naked Emperor of ours. As more and more people become frustrated and find themselves in trouble with the law because they cannot afford the “affordable” care act, we might see them vote with a little more understanding next time around. He fooled you twice, so shame on you! You blew the call! What are you going to do about it? In 2014 we have a chance to put a Republican majority in both houses. Remember, "Three strikes and your out"!!!

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Help! Help! I'm Being Repressed! Come See The Violence Inherent In The System!

If you watch TV news, you probably have heard that the villainous Republicans have shut down the government. Although, unless you are trying to go to a national park or another site that is controlled by the National Park Service, the might not have noticed any problem yet.  The president and Democrat leadership in the Senate and House of Representatives have been hysterical about the dire consequences of the “shut down” describing the Republicans as “terrorists” and “hostage takers”, who are holding the American people ransom threatening to blow up the government if they do not get their way.  It would be funny if it were not so sad for the rest of us who value accuracy. Well, wait a minute—it is still pretty funny. I mean watching Obama, Reid and Pelosi spew their rhetorical hypocrisy, while keeping strait faces is always humorous. Some people don’t see them as funny, but then many people—especially women—don’t get the Three Stooges either. Now, who are the hostage takers?

The hostage-holding analogy is a tried and true hyperbolic argument for Democrats. It worked pretty well when a similar situation happened during the Clinton administration. Republicans got the blame in most people’s minds because most people get their left-biased news reportage form TV news and entertainment medium who reported it that way, though there were two parties involved with differing opinions about where the money should go and how much needed to be spent. It is interesting to me that the president and Harry “Dracula” Reid—Unlike the Democrat politicians, I can say insulting and demeaning things about people whom I disagree with  because I am not an office-holder who is supposed to show decorum—are constantly clamoring for a clean spending bill. A clean spending bill would be, in the Democrat’s view, a bill that meets all of their requirements, funding the entire government, which would not exclude anything that the Republicans did not want to fund.  But who are the hostage takers again?

The Democrats are not very good when it comes to history, especially when the things they do and say seem to come back to bite them, as when they try not keep from raising the debt limit because it would be “unpatriotic”. Yes, that was what Obama said as a Senator when trying to defund the war effort in Iraq. Historically speaking, spending bills in this country used to be passed on an individual basis, not the so-called “clean bill”. The House of Representatives, as most people know, hold the purse strings and decides what bills are funded. If they choose to defund Obama Care, for example, or to fund individual segments of the government they can legally do so.  They were voted in to use their discretion, just as the Democrat-controlled House of Representatives and the Democrat-controlled Senate chose to unilaterally pass Obama Care without knowing what was actually in it, as Pelosi unwittingly (her favorite position) admitted. The use of words like “hostage” and “ransom” are inflammatory and inaccurate in the extreme, but it seems to be offensive to the media if applied in the right direction, just like it seems to be impossible for minorities to have racist feelings.  And again, who are the hostage takers?

Though the hysterics on left describing hostage taking and ransom demands are purely infantile, let us go with it for the sake of argument. This time around, it has been pointed out, by reasonable observers on the right, that normal “hostage situations” require someone, with experience in such matters, to “NEGOTIATE” to free some if not all of the so-called hostages. In fact negotiators who care about people will try to get as many out of a hostage situation as possible.  So, it would seem that the Democrats only care about their favorite hostage of the month: Obama Care.  It should be pointed out that the Republicans have met initially tried to defund Obama Care, passing a bill that would fund everything else. When that did not even get voted on by the Senate, the house passed, as used to always be the case, spending bills for individual projects or departments. Those efforts have also been ignored by Senate Majority Leader, Harry “Emperor Palpatine” Reid. When asked in a news conference, why he would not allow a vote on passing the House’s funding of at least the NIH, if it were to help a young child get cancer treatments, Harry “Wicked Stepmother” Reid replied, “Why would we do that?”.  The like-minded Senator Chuck “Commander Lyle Tiberius Roarke” Schumer chimed in, “What right did they have to pick and choose what part of government is going to be funded? Oh, I don’t know… Maybe it was  Article 1 of the United States Constitution, you idiot! Not only are Democrats typically bad at history, they apparently have not read the Constitution since high school if even then. The House has offered to fund the government, but the President and Democrat-controlled Senate refuse to budge. If the words “hostages” and “ransom” are to be applied, then who is really Hell-bent to hold the American people hostage or hold them for ransom? Could it be the Democrats? I think so.

Let us also take a look at who is actually getting hurt the most and who is doing the actual hrting. The House passes budgets and spending bills but the President apparently has discretion on who actually gets hit and who gets favored status. The day that the government was officially shut down, Endowment For The Arts, which targets PBS, Sesame Street and Big Bird and Elmo, was given nearly a half billion dollars, while the President ordered the federal parks closed. And, the Obama administration barricades the WWII Memorial, but allowed an illegal alien amnesty rally on the Washington D.C. Mall during the “shutdown”.  At the WWII Memorial, Carol Johnson with the Park Service says, they were told to close the site by White House's Office of Management & Budget. This was also the case at the US cemeteries in France, where travelers wanted to pay their respects to the WII fallen heroes, but found the entrances locked. The National Park Service, under orders from Obama, have been blocking off all of the viewing areas of Mt. Rushmore with cones. Not only did they close down the park that the monument is located in, but they are now blocking off any and all spots along the roads surrounding the park that provide a viewing spot for picture taking. South Dakota Democratic State Senator, Tim Johnson, said that the problem would be fixed if Republicans would just send a clean CR that funds Obamacare to Harry “Satan” Reid.  Where you used to see unarmed park rangers you now see armed guards keeping people away. It has been reported that park rangers have been instructed to make it difficult on the public. One wonders what would happen if someone should stray across a barrier to the Lincoln or Jefferson memorials. How difficult should it be made on us? Deadly force, perhaps? We might be being held hostage, but not by the Republicans.

Help, Help, We’re being repressed! I just hope we do not experience the violence inherent in the system. But nothing would surprise me with these guys.  

Monday, September 30, 2013

Obama Fiddles With Golf While Rome Burns; Why the Affordable Health Care's Approach Has Me Feeling Ill

Well, it appears we have another  “government shutdown” looming. I suspect that it will either not happen or it will be short lived. It is claimed by the democrats that it will hurt the economy. I suspect that it will hurt the economy less than the ironically named “Affordable Health Care Act” will ultimately hurt the economy and is anything but affordable.  Let us face the facts: The economy is still in the tank after five years of Obamanomics; we are heading into another housing bubble; the Fed is printing money like crazy; more people are leaving the labor market than are entering it; a bigger percentage of Americans are on food stamps and welfare than ever before; the spending bills passed in the past have been nothing more than Democrat slush funds and to pay off the unions.; and that stupid health care law is only a ploy to push us into one-payer socialized health care and wreck our free market economy beyond help.  Even the Obama’s complicit buddies, the corrupt (possibly just ignorant) union bosses are starting to become frightened of “Obama Care”.  What were once full-time jobs are now part-time, and business owners know they have to cut down on labor and pay the health care “tax”, as Chief Justice Roberts assures us it is, though to get it passed in congress the Obama administration argued that it was not. Somehow, these knuckle heads—anyone who subscribes to Keynesian economics— believe that a superficially high government-imposed “minimum wage”,  price controls on commodities and extra government spending adding public entitlements will equate to a robust economy, lots of job creation and a greater standard of living.  That would fantastic if it were not a fantasy.

The Dems have always believed in government-implemented price controls as a way to keep prices down, while upping spending.  Sadly, those policies have never worked as intended. Whether promoted by FDR, Carter or even the Keynesian convert, Richard Nixon, price controls and added government spending have only promoted inflation. Read Thomas Sowell if you are not able to get your head around the economy and how it actually works. When you take competition out of the equation, cost always rises. If the profitability of a product is taken away by either the cost of its production through the imposed cost of materials or labor, the producer of the product will either cut back or go out of business.  What will follow will be less availability of the product, which will inevitably make it more dear and will eventually cause the price controls to break.  Government intervention into the airline and oil industries in the past are exemplary of government manipulation’s destructive effects on business and the public. For the protection of consumers, it is illegal for businesses to collude—and it should be—so why would it be good idea for the government to do essentially the same thing?

The fact is that Obama only cares about socializing American health care as well as other aspects of American life.  If he was serious, he could be meeting with Republican leaders in the House and Senate,  to try to resolve issues that they and even  some union leaders have now clamored about, but he refuses to budge from his lofty perch at the golf course. He plays golf while Rome burns, it would seem,   He suspects, and with reason that the media will enforce the idea that the cold-hearted Republicans only want to shut down the government and cause problems for this wonderful “black” president, even though the Republicans have tried to introduce legislation that would force the president, congress  and federal judges to use Obama-care. But alas, the president and his Democrats in congress don’t want it for themselves. Could it be that they cannot afford it? Heaven forbid! It makes me ill to think of it, so I hope I do not have to depend on the Affordable Health Care Act, should it be fully implemented. 

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

They Never Had A Chance!

Well, here we go again. Some nut, or homegrown terrorist, has run amuck, shooting a bunchy of defenseless people—this time at another military site, the Washington D.C. Navy Yard. Twelve people “never had a chance”, as they say. Again, we have silly people on the left, like Senator Diane Feinstein, clamoring for stiffer gun control laws. If I might be so bold, Diane Feinstein is an idiot! Gun control advocates always try to make hay out of these events, but never see the realities. What do 99% of these shootings have in common? They happen where the shooter knows the people will be sitting ducks and defenseless.  The reality is that Gun control laws have dictated the very circumstances that these nut jobs look for! Washington D.C. is a gun-free town.  Schools, churches and some movie theaters, like the ones where recent mass shootings occurred were gun-free establishments. The Navy Ship Yard, like all US military properties, as was Fort Hood, has been gun- free zones, except for the military police, since the Clinton administration.  Our military are not trusted to carry guns? Pretty weird, when you think about it. True, the perpetrators of the ship yard and Fort Hood shootings were ex-military and military, but they would have been vastly outnumbered had everyone else on base been able to legally carry a weapon that they have been trained to responsibly use. I

Almost without exception, gun control measures, which restrict legal carrying or possession of firearms, result in higher instances in gun violence.  When gun control activists are asked if they would be willing to post a sign on their house declaring that their home is a gun-free home, they are nonplussed. The clueless will always want to take self-defense privileges away from the law abiding public in an effort to quell the use of illegal acts. They always ignore the fact that criminals are not law-abiding in the first place, and will never oblige themselves to give up their weaponry and the obvious advantages they have in a society where their prey wander around defenseless. Make no mistake about it, we are talking about actual predators, and predators use the advantages they have, whether they be large claws and teeth or guns, knives and clubs, to overcome their prey.  If sheep had the same big teeth and claws that wolves and big cats have, the carnivores would not try to devour them.  Humans are much the same way in respect to preying on the defenseless.  Why create more defenseless people when it has been demonstrated over and over again that conceal-carry laws and ever open-carry laws definitely reduce gun crime. Imagine, if you will, the rabbit from Monte Python and the Holy Grail.  Run away!

In truth, gun control is less about gun control than it is about trying to make us more and more dependent on government. Gun control advocates want us to think that they can protect us better than we can protect ourselves.  Law enforcement, by and large, does what they do to the best of their ability. However, most of the police officers will admit that most gun crimes have been committed well before the police can arrive on the scene.  The liberal news media will report the kinds of stories where people are preyed upon successfully by the criminal much more often and with much more glee than they will the stories where those preyed upon successfully defend themselves or deter a crime from happening because they had a gun. How many lives could have been spared if someone on the scenes of these terrible acts had had a gun to defend themselves and the others around them? We will never know, because our progressive lawmakers never gave them a chance.

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

In Some Cases, Second Thoughts Are About As Good As No Thoughts

I just heard that some Obama fans are starting to have second thoughts about him. I am convinced that they are most likely their actual first THOUGHTS about him. There was never anything that suggested he would be a good leader for the United States, other than he was perceived by the Left—this includes the liberal media (news and entertainment), the liberal intelligentsia (a mutually exclusive term in my opinion), radical labor union leaders, the uninformed and blatant racists (both black and white).  Maybe you can make an argument that you cannot  blame the uninformed too much, because they do not have any core beliefs beyond the idea that there is a lot of grey areas between right and wrong, that there is no real difference between ideologies and they did not know that the president was a fraud from the very beginning.  It was convenient for the Left that Barak is “black” and a Harvard-educated law professor, who can give a pretty good-feeling speech if it is on prompter.  He was somebody they could fully get behind.  They could count on the fact that many would want to vote for Obama, either because of “white guilt” or “black pride”.  They could also count on the fact that they could hide his inadequacies from the public by not allowing information to be assimilated by the masses. They knew that most of the public is ignorant—this means they are not informed, either by choice or because they have not been taught. And, when information was brought up that would expose Obama’s true ideology and inadequacies, they could always holler, “Racism”. It was the perfect storm, as they say.

I have also heard people say, ” I’m disappointed with Obama,  but I’m not sure Romney would have been any better”.  Really? See my comments above! The non-reporting on Obama continued unabated and the outright lies thrown out by Obama and his surrogates went largely unexposed by the liberal press. We conservatives can take little comfort in the fact that Fox News dominates the TV news outlets and Conservative Talk Radio dominates by far in its venue.  The reality is that the liberal outlets and entertainment Medias still vastly outweigh us.  Network news and prime-time entertainment rule the ignorant masses.
Let us be frank. We have had five years of a terrible economy, with more people deciding to stop looking for work than find jobs. Black unemployment is worse than it has ever been, especially for young blacks.  Obama Care is a fiasco, making small businesses elect to turn their workforce into part-time rather than full-time to be able to stay in business. Even Big Labor is starting to understand the emperor has no clothes. The idea that Romney, a tremendously successful business executive and successful Republican governor over an extremely liberal state,  would not have been better to preside over a free economy society, moronic at best.  You might be able to make that assertion about foreign policy, because Romney had no definitive foreign policy experience beyond serving as a Mormon missionary in France, but his world outlook was not tainted by the Marxist philosophies of his mother, father and grandparents, as Barak was.  Obama’s love affair with the Muslim Brotherhood and the “Arab Spring” has been disastrous for Libya, Egypt and Syria.  Now, if you say to me that, perhaps, McCain might not have been any better, I might agree with you.

I have to say that, even though I knew that we were in big trouble when Barak Obama was elected, that there was a part of me that was proud that a mixed-race individual could be elected president of the United States. However, I knew that it would happen someday. I just hoped it would be a conservative, who had a serious grasp on economic, moral and world issues.  That is still my hope.  I know he is pretty old and he would not consider it, but Thomas Sowell, the brilliant conservative economist (maybe the smartest man in America today) is always my choice.

 We as a nation have continued to dig ourselves a big hole. We argue about the most obvious things to a logical mind.  We somehow think that there should be a minimum wage, when all it does is reduce the number of jobs and the profitability of the companies forced to comply. Competition has always been the obvious way of increasing profits and raising the standard of living—read Basis Economics, by Thomas Sowell. We expect to reduce illegal immigration by stifling legal immigration. We allow stupid things like tenure, organized labor in the government sector, life-long elected officials, legislation from the bench and an entitlement mentality to exist in our society. We thought by electing a man with “black” ancestry we would generate a less racist atmosphere. The opposite has been the case. Almost everything—I am being generous when I say “almost”—that happens involving peoples of differing racial backgrounds is suspected of racism and deserve presidential comment, except those that are blatantly black-on-white-with-admitted-racist-intent crimes. So much for Reverend Kings color blind society where people would be judged for the content of their character. The hole keeps getting deeper and wider!

We say we aspire to be a freedom loving nation, but we tend to work at giving more and more of our freedoms up to an ever-growing behemoth of a federal government; a government which, if you believe polling, ever fewer of us trust. Our Constitution, with the original bill of rights and amendments is not a living thing that can be twisted and manipulated to make it what special interests want to be. It was put in place by our brilliant forefathers to protect the people from an oppressive government. If things come up that the designers of the Constitution could not foresee, which might restrict the rights of the people, the mechanism is there to make amendments to it, to better protect those rights. It was not meant to be particularly easy for the reason that humans can be fickle and may choose to be strictly a majority-rules-society or adopt a government by dictate.  The President, a supposed constitutional law professor,  and his supporters in Congress and the Supreme Court do not seem to grasp this notion. Extra-constitutional laws and regulations are killing us.  You can read just about anything Marc Levin to get a better appreciation for the intent and value of our Constitution.

The bottom line is that we are not better off than we were. And I doubt that we are going to be any better off for the next three years. Obama’s presidency is a failure on all fronts, but he is doing exactly what he said he would do. He just thought he was smarter than he actually is. But, that is the case with most progressives. I hope we will have a majority in the next elections who take the time to read and study about the candidates and issues. We need to get away from the "reality' TV shows and the fluff media long enough to educate ourselves. And, do not turn to the university educators for "reality" either. Those folks mostly live in the fantasy worlds of socialism and progressive Utopian nonsense. Educators have worked hard through tenured systems and teachers' unions to eliminate arguments from any opposition. Sometimes it is hard to break with conventions and tradition. If you have grown up with ideas about politics and philosophy that dictate your vote, I only ask that you think about it first. If you read the same old stuff and listen to the same old people without a different frame of reference, your view, no matter how you might actually evaluate them with logic if given a reasonable opportunity, will probably go unchallenged. It might also be worth praying about, unless you have been convinced by the liberal Left—mostly democrats , these days—that God has no place in politics. Think about that!

Monday, July 8, 2013

It's Been Awhile!

It's been awhile since I blogged. Mainly, it is because I had lost the energy to say what I was thinking. This is not to say that my thoughts and opinions were of no value to even me, but that I had been physically tired and lacked the mental toughness to push through, I guess. For one thing, I had gone through a period of illness. The night of the election returns I went to the emergency room because I was feeling so badly. Of course, the election results alone were enough to make me physically ill, but I REALLY felt badly. Blood tests showed that I was dangerously low on potassium. I immediately started taking supplements and had further tests done. I'm not sure if I should say that I was gravely ill, but it was determined that I had Type II Diabetes, High Blood Pressure and Chronic Kidney Disease, among some lesser ailments. At one point it was thought that I had had  an heart attack in the recent past--an EKG seemed to indicate some heart muscle damage. After an Angiogram, it was determined that I had no heart disease. Nonetheless, I decided I needed to try to get into better physical shape and perhaps reverse some of my maladies. So, I went on a serious diet and exercise program of my own making.  In a few months I had lost 35 lbs. and lowered my blood pressure to the normal range. I also seem to have put my kidney numbers in the normal range and no longer have problems with my blood sugar. I test my blood sugar daily and average consistently at about 100. My energy level has returned and I expect that I will return to blogging on a more frequent basis.

I still find it hard to think about things political without becoming irate with liberals and their inability to digest logic, sending my blood pressure inching up, so I had better try to write more about history, music, art, film, literature and family joys. I have been reading about Booker T. Washington and George Washington Carver as of late and plan on adding them to my" Profiles of Leadership in America" project so they should show up soon. There are several other lesser-known great Americans that should have a place as well, but I need to find time to research them a little more before adding them in. I have also been re-watching some old TV programming from my youth as of late, and hope to blog about what we are missing in entertainment these days and possibly writing some critiques of recent films and TV fare. Anyway, keep looking for me and perhaps I will send up something of interest to you.

Randy Mundy

Friday, March 29, 2013


America has always been noted for innovative and revolutionary ideas. Though Americans did not originate the concepts of democracy and republican government, it was in America that these concepts were given their best chance to take root, flourish, and survive. It was not a forgone conclusion that the American Revolution and its following experiment in government would be successful. On the contrary, it could have only been judged highly unlikely and improbable at best. The great American experiment of government by the people and for the people, as Abraham Lincoln later described it, was only made possible by great thinkers and great doers, willing to make great sacrifices of personal blood and treasure, putting all at risk. No one individual was more responsible for its birth and successful early years than the ”father” of our country, George Washington, my latest instalment and chapter of Profiles of Leadership in America.


George Washington
February 22, 1732—December 14, 1799

In May of 1787, the Constitutional Convention of the newly formed United States of America met to determine how their new government would function. These Americans of British decent were exploring new political territory. Once before, in the mid-Seventeenth Century, Englishmen attempted to live without a monarchy, but after little more than a decade of the political experiment, England invited Charles II to assume the throne. The Americans, via a successful war for independence, had again rejected an English king. The challenge for the Americans would be to avoid relying on an Oliver Cromwell-type dictator. The answer came in the form of a three-branch form of government with a president at the head of the executive branch. The unanimous choice of the convention, to fill the office of president, would be George Washington.

George Washington was exceptionally prepared to fill the role of the nations first President and set the precedence and model for future holders of the office. Washington, primarily a farmer and businessman, was first brought to prominence by his military exploits in the French and Indian War as a militia officer serving under British General Edward Braddock. Though he was involved in few victorious actions, Washington is credited for great bravery under fire and for lessening, through his calm leadership, the degree of loss caused by blundering superiors. When the 2nd Continental Congress met in 1775, Washington arrived in a military uniform expressing his support of Massachusetts (which the English Crown considered to be in a state of rebellion) and his willingness to fight against Britain. On June 15, 1775, Washington was unanimously elected General and Commander and Chief of the Continental army. Though there was obvious danger that a strong general might use his army to set up a military dictatorship, the Congress expressed total trust in his character. Washington’s commission stated: “you are hereby vested with full power and authority to act as you shall think for the good and welfare of the service.”

Washington’s leadership during the war was exemplary. He recognized that the army needed to be under civil authority preserving congressional control. Often, when haste was necessary, Washington would act and then report to Congress. If Congress was displeased, he would not repeat the action. He was able to bridge the social gap between rich (including many members of congress) and poor (which included most of the soldiers in his army). He also bridged the political gap between militants (including Samuel Adams and Benjamin Franklin), the moderates, and conciliationists (like John Dickinson). These difficult tasks were accomplished while conducting a war against the most powerful army in the world. At his urging, a reluctant Congress declared independence from Britain to distinguish their war from a mere rebellion. Though he had many military successes during the war, perhaps his greatest success was keeping his outnumbered and ill-equipped army from being overrun and demoralized. Time and time again he exercised great control, and was able to preserve his army until the opportunity for ultimate victory presented itself.

After the war, Washington performed the duties of his presidential office with the same leadership qualities that he exhibited as a military leader. He again, by force of his personality and character, bridged the gaps between social and political groups. He included representatives from both conservative and liberal--not to be confused with the current definitions of the terms--persuasions in his cabinet. Thomas Jefferson (Secretary of State) and Edmund Randolph (Attorney General) were Liberals, while Alexander Hamilton (Secretary of the Treasury) and Henry Knox (Secretary of War) were Conservatives. Washington chose to steer his young country through its fledgling years by adopting a neutral stance in foreign affairs while leaning towards a stronger central government in domestic affairs. By doing so, he was able to both strengthen the nation’s economic union and keep the United States out of costly new wars with both Britain and France. Although he was generally averse to harsh measures, Washington was able to calmly use force when necessary (as with the whiskey rebellion) without bloodshed or reprisals. His steady guidance allowed his young republic the time it needed to safely start defining itself politically.

Unlike many other revolutionary first ‘presidents,’ George Washington was not forced from office by death or threat of death. After fulfilling a second term (again he had been unanimously elected), Washington retired, urging his countrymen to avoid party strife and to cherish the union and the constitution. Thomas Jefferson, who at times strongly disagreed with Washington, wrote of him, “His integrity was the most pure, his justice the most inflexible I have ever known. He was, indeed, in every sense of the word, a wise, a good, and a great man.”

It has been suggested that the founding fathers of the United States of America represented more than their fair share of the greatest intellects of their time or possibly any other. The Constitution of the United States bears witness to their profound and inspired wisdom, as does their choice of a leader. In a time in history when the world was full of kingdoms, they chose a democratic republic. And to protect their political experiment they chose George Washington--the man who would not be King.


Wednesday, March 20, 2013


On of my favorite pesonalities from Americanhistory is Benjamin Franklin. In my opinion, he should be at or near the top of everybody's list.  Here is my reposting of the segment of this remarkable man from my Profiles of Leadership in America:

America is known as a place of opportunity, as a place where one’s genius can be developed and given a chance to be productive and, possibly, benefit mankind. In its youth, America was much the same, with entrepreneurs and visionaries exploring the possibilities. The British Government had settled its colonies in America for economic and strategic reasons, but the British subjects that actually came to these shores were seeking freedom to be what they wanted to be, to be free from perceived religious, political, and economic shackles. During the 17th and 18th Centuries, America was seen by many without opportunity as a place where a “nobody” could become a “somebody”. And, in some special cases, they could become a very important and universally celebrated “somebody”, like Benjamin Franklin.

Benjamin Franklin
January 17, 1706—April 17, 1790

There are few people, if any, in today’s world who compare with Benjamin Franklin. In fact, there are few people of any age that compare with Benjamin Franklin. He was a writer, publisher, scientist, inventor, educator, politician, statesman, diplomat, philosopher, patriot, and philanthropist. No one, who did not serve as President of the United States, has influenced our country for the better more than Benjamin Franklin.

Born in Boston in 1706, Franklin was the 15th child and youngest son of Josiah (a soap and candle maker) and Abiah Franklin. He only attended school for two years and did not do well enough that his father felt he could afford to further educate him. His father kept young ten years old Benjamin home to work in the family shop. His schooling may have stopped but he continued to educate himself by reading every book he could lay his hands on, believing that, “the doors of wisdom are never shut” (Eiselen 413). Franklin did not like the soap and candle trade, so his father sent him to be apprentice to his older brother James, a printer. Franklin proved to be a skilled printer, but he frequently argued with his older brother. Franklin was secretly writing some popular articles under the pen name “Mrs. Silence Dogwood” that James was publishing. When James discovered that his younger brother was writing the articles, he refused to print any more of them. Franklin ran away at age 17 to Philadelphia and at age 24 opened his own shop and started publishing The Pennsylvania Gazette, writing much of the material himself. He also married Deborah Read that same year with whom he had two sons (William became governor of New Jersey) and a daughter.

As a printer–writer-publisher, Franklin developed his newspaper into the most successful one in the colonies. As a businessman he was innovative. Historians credit him as the first to publish a newspaper cartoon and to illustrate news stories with a map. He was even more successful with his publication of Poor Richard’s Almanac, which he wrote and published for 25 years. In the almanac he preached much of his philosophies of virtue, industry, and frugality with memorable wise and witty sayings such as, “Early to bed and early to rise, makes a man healthy wealthy and wise.” “God helps them who helps themselves.” “Little strokes fell great oaks.” And “He that falls in love with himself will have no rivals” (Eiselen 413).

Although Franklin never actively sought public office, civic leadership was constantly thrust upon him. In 1736 he became clerk to the Pennsylvania Assembly and then agreed to be Philadelphia’s postmaster. His work as postmaster so impressed the British government that, in 1753, they offered him the position of deputy postmaster general of all the colonies. Franklin improved the postal service throughout the colonies and even Canada. He worked constantly to improve his city by establishing the world’s first subscription library, organizing a fire department, reforming the city police department, starting a program to pave and light the dirty city streets, and raised money to build a hospital. By these efforts, he helped Philadelphia to become the most advanced city in the British colonies.

As a scientist and inventor, Franklin was inexhaustible and completely philanthropic, choosing not to patent or benefit financially from his many inventions. One of the first men in history to experiment with electricity, Franklin proved, with his famous kite experiment of 1752, that lightning was electricity. He used this knowledge to invent the lightning rod, urging others to use his device to protect their lives and property. Once, he tried to electrocute a turkey only to shock himself unconscious. He later remarked, “I meant to kill a turkey, and instead, nearly killed a goose” (Eiselen 415) (Perhaps this is the real reason that he esteemed the turkey above the eagle as a symbol for The United States). Other inventions that benefited his fellow man were his fuel-efficient stove design and the bifocal glasses. Once, after viewing the first successful balloon flight in France, he heard bystanders scoffing, “What good is it?” Always a forward thinker, Franklin responded, “What good is a new born baby?” (Eiselen 415).

In 1754, when the French and Indian War broke out, Benjamin Franklin offered a plan for the colonies to unite to defend themselves. He printed the famous cartoon of a disjointed snake with the caption, “Join or Die.” His ideas for “one general government” that was presented to a conference in Albany would later find its way into the Constitution of the United States. Though his plan failed to be ratified, Franklin worked hard to support the British army in its fight against the French and their Indian allies, securing horses, wagons, and other supplies and equipment while raising volunteer armies to help defend frontier towns.

When friction started to develop between Britain and her colonies after the French and Indian War, Franklin worked to keep the colonies British, while protecting what he believed were the colonies rights. In 1757, Franklin was sent by the Pennsylvania legislature to London to lobby parliament in respect to tax disputes. For most of the next 18 years until 1775, he remained in Britain as an unofficial ambassador representing the American point of view. Franklin preferred that America remain in the British Empire, but only if the colonists’ rights were protected. He pledged to pay for all of the tea destroyed in the Boston Tea Party if Parliament would only repeal its tax on tea. His proposal was rejected and he returned home two weeks after the American Revolution had begun.

Again, Franklin was chosen to serve in the Second Continental Congress, where he again proposed a plan (similar to the Albany Plan) to unify the colonies, which laid the groundwork for the Articles of Confederation. He was chosen to again organize the postal system, which he quickly accomplished, giving his salary to the relief of wounded soldiers. He helped Thomas Jefferson draft the Declaration of Independence and signed it, declaring, “we must indeed all hang together, or assuredly we shall all hang separately” (Eiselen 415b). Later that year (1776) at age 70, Franklin left for France where he would, as ambassador, eventually charm the French into joining the Americans against the British. Without Franklin’s success in securing the help of France, the American Revolution would likely have failed.

After the war Franklin returned to Philadelphia and served as president of the executive council of Pennsylvania (Governor, basically) and attended the Constitutional Convention. He was instrumental, by his wisdom and common sense, in keeping the delegates from going home when negotiations got sticky. At his suggestion, the delegates prayed, at the beginning of each day of business, for spiritual guidance. Franklin declared, “…without his (God’s) concurring aid, we shall succeed in this political building no better than the builders of Babel; we shall be divided by our little, partial, local interests, our projects will be confounded, and we ourselves shall become a reproach and a by-word down to the future ages” (Benson 18).

Franklin was proud of what his country had accomplished. He had personally signed the four major documents in early American history; the Declaration of Independence, the Treaty of Alliance with France, the Treaty of peace with Britain, and the Constitution of the United States. He even hoped that the example of the Americans would lead to a United States of Europe. But, Franklin knew that much was left to do. Two years before his death, he was elected President of the first anti-slavery society in America. His last public act was to appeal to Congress to abolish slavery.

He had accomplished many marvelous things in his lifetime. He was a great man that did many great things and was greatly loved. In 1789, (one year before Franklin’s death) George Washington wrote in a letter to Franklin, “If to be venerated for benevolence, if to be admired for talents, if to be esteemed for patriotism, if to be beloved for philanthropy, can gratify the human mind, you must have the pleasing consolation to know that you have not lived in vain” (Eiselen 416). In his will, Franklin simply wrote of himself, “I, Benjamin Franklin, printer…”(416).


Article on Benjamin Franklin by Malcolm R. Eiselen from the World Book Encyclopedia 1970.

This Nation Shall Endure by Ezra Taft Benson.