Tuesday, January 25, 2011

The State of the Union According to Me

So today was the big day -- the 2011 State of the Union address we've all been waiting for.  I thought President Obama's speech had some good moments.  I agree with some of his proposals, such as bagging "No Child Left Behind" and cutting some of the red tape for small businesses.  I question others -- should we really be spending money on a high-speed rail and super high-speed internet for the masses?  Is that really the job of the Federal government?

In any case, as I listened to Obama talk I began to wonder -- what would I do if I were President?  In the spirit of the Republic where the voice of each citizen counts for something, here is the State of the Union, 2011.  According to me --


Morality --

In spite of the fact that there are a lot of good people in our nation, we are seeing a continued moral decay in pop culture and in the media.  Children in our schools are exposed to ever more filth.  Pornography is a scourge that has not loosened its hold upon the people.  It is embraced in many circles. 

The good news -- People have the freedom to turn off the TV and radio, and avoid other media that promotes immorality.  Many, in fact, do.

Economy --

The recession isn't over.  We are just prolonging a serious collapse as long as we can.  The only reason we have stayed afloat this long is because the dollar is the world's reserve currency.  There are signs that this could change.  Foreign nations could dump the dollar and choose another reserve currency.  If/when this happens, we are all in for the ride of our life.

The good news -- There is no good news if we don't drastically change our ways ASAP.

I propose -- The banks and financial institutions responsible for the policies that got us in trouble as a nation and who received bailout money should be required to give that money back to the government.  Let them fail.  The money should go toward the deficit.

Bring the troops home from Iraq and Afghanistan.  Cut spending to almost everything.  The Federal government's job is to protect our borders from foreign invasion and ensure the inaliable rights of all Americans -- the freedom of speech, of religion, of press, the right to bear arms, the right to be free from unwarranted search and seizure, the right to a fair and speedy trial if detained, etc...

The Federal government has no business subsidizing the lives of its populace. What about welfare?  Food stamps? Social security?  Medicare and Medicaid?  Unemployment benefits?  The truth is, we can't afford what we've been spending.  These programs are bankrupting us.  Funding to these programs can gradually be cut to all but the most needy and incapacitated.

Local churches and agencies funded by private individuals and businesses should teach self-reliance, help people plant gardens, raise rabbits, live beneath their means, use barter, learn useful skills that the market actually needs.  

We need to buy our country back from China.  If it's not too late.

Education --

"No Child Left Behind" is a failure.  America's children appear to be getting collectively dumber.  All the focus on standardized tests hasn't paid off.  College has been promoted as the end-all be-all.  Today, a college degree costs more than ever and doesn't go nearly far enough in providing a real education. 

The good news -- More and more people are homeschooling their children. There are some committed educators in the school systems.  There are people with good ideas on how to improve education.

I Propose -- We need to get the Federal government out of education, and leave it to the states and local communities to decide how to best administer education.  The money the Federal government currently spends on education could be divided up amongst the states, and gradually weaned down over a period of years. 

College should not be promoted as "the answer" to a secure future.  Because it clearly isn't. 

Jobs -- 

We have sent many of our blue-collar and some of our white-collar jobs overseas with NAFTA and GATT.  The health care bill will send more jobs overseas as it is implemented.  Those Americans without high skill sets may eventually find themselves competing with illegal immigrants for low-skill jobs.  And what about college graduates?  So sorry for those of you who went to college, are saddled with student loans, and can't find a decent job!  You can join the ranks of the college grads who move back home with their parents.

The good news -- Technology allows more and more people to work from home or start small businesses with minimal cost.  Those who are willing to brave the learning curve and learn from people who have done what they want to do, can find a way to make a living on their own. 

I propose --  The government should not be in the business of creating jobs, but of getting out of the way of entrepreneurs, getting rid of some of the red tape. I applaud Obama's idea of getting rid of the provision in the health care bill that calls for excessive tax forms and bookkeeping for businesses. 

Crony capitalism, where big business receives preferential treatment, needs to go.  It's not right for Wal-Mart to be exempt from giving health insurance to its employees, but if my business grows to more than 50 employees, I have to cough up the money for health insurance or else face steep fines. 

Free market principles need to be embraced.  The minimum wage should be disbanded.  Employers should be free to pay their employees what they are worth to them in terms of production.  People with higher skill sets will be worth more money to their employers.  Entry-level and low-skill workers can improve upon their skills in order to receive a higher wage.

Illegal Immigration -- 

All kinds of people have come to America illegally -- from people seeking a better life to people engaged in drug rings.  The crime caused by some illegal immigrants as well as the costs of education and medical care to others have put a strain on our nation. 

I propose -- We need to have a secure border, and enforce it strongly.  We need to follow the laws regarding immigration, and enforce the law.  In the process, we need to treat all people with respect.  Those who are already here illegally and found committing crimes should should be sent back home.  Otherwise, those not committing any serious crimes other than being here illegally should at least be paying taxes.  Those businesses who are found paying illegal immigrants under the table should be given steep fines.  Illegal immigrants should not be allowed to vote under any circumstance.

Health Care -- 

America's populace is not healthy.  We are scourged with diabetes, heart disease, autoimmune illness, cancer, autism, learning disabilities and attention deficits, and death by Western medicine. We have a lot of sick people and not enough money to pay for their often ineffective drugs and surgeries.

The good news -- Today there is an amazing amount of information on the internet on nutrition, a healthy lifestyle, holistic healing, and alternative medicine.  There are more and more holistic practitioners in every corner of the nation.  Such measures are low-cost and often yield fabulous results in conjunction with lifestyle changes, especially for chronic conditions.

I propose -- We need to immediately repeal the "Affordable Health Care Act".  In its place, we should make high deductible policies with health savings accounts readily available to individuals and families.  This will give Americans MORE choice over how to use their health care monies, not less.  Alternative medicine, including supplements, could be purchased with the tax-free health savings accounts. People who make bad lifestyle choices and get ill as a result will pay for their poor choices.  Also, when people are using their own money to pay for health care, this drives costs down.  If people want health insurance with all the bells and whistles, they should pay for it themselves.

Doctors and nurses should be encouraged to donate some of their time -- maybe 5-10 hours/month -- to provide free health care for the needy.  These hours should give them tax credits or credits that could go toward paying off their student loans.

Genetically-modified foods should be immediately banned.  There should be information campaigns on the dangers of aspartame, corn syrup, and the Standard American Diet (SAD) that have sickened Americans for decades.

Threats to Our Freedom--

Here at home behind the scenes of the warring Democrats and Republicans, the pointing fingers and caustic remarks, is a group of elitists who are really running the show.  They aren't Democrat vs. Republican.  They are Democrat and Republican.  And they are in the shadows for a reason -- they are seeking to increase their power by tearing down every institution that stands in their way.  A strong, free America is a threat to their schemes.  They are influencing almost every major policy, and many a major politician.  They are not our friends.  They are more dangerous than the Taliban, al-Qaeda, and Mahmoud Ahmadinejad combined.

Here is a full-length film exposing what some believe to be the plots of these elitists --

Warning -- do not watch this with small children.  

You may not believe everything you see in this film.  You shouldn't.  You should research the claims it makes and come to a conclusion for yourself if any or all of this is a bunch of bunk, or if we really are headed over a cliff unless we stand up now for freedom.  As for me, I would rather err on the side of defending freedom!

Long Live America!

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Why I am Bothered By Obama's Speech in Tuscon

Did you listen to President Obama's speech in Tucson to commemorate the deaths of those killed by that crazed gunman, Jared Lee Loughner?  What did you think?

Did you agree with the mostly glittering reviews in the news that this was one of Obama's finer moments as president, or did it leave you with some questions?

I don't hate President Obama -- I've never met him.  And I don't care much for the patriotic Republican flag-waving that George W. Bush was so famous for.  All partisan politics aside, here are the problems I personally had with the speech --

5. Obama's overly-intimate gushing over those killed --

Did Obama personally know the individuals affected by the shooting?  I don't think it's the President's job to comfort the "hole torn in [the nation's] heart" to this extent.  I find it disturbing, actually, to see the Commander-in-Chief waxing poetic with feel-good anecdotes about the individuals who were killed as if he knew each of them individually.

Don't get me wrong -- I think it is totally appropriate for these individuals to be remembered, and for there to be an amount of collective grief.  But I would prefer for my president to focus on defending the Constitution and protecting our borders from foreign entities, rather than making the post of the president "cool" as Obama once confessed was his "job", or into our nation's "comforter-in-chief". 

4. Freaky pep-rally crowd -- 

I am frankly embarrassed by many in attendance at the Tucson Rally, ahem, Memorial.   I found their over-enthusiasm to be in the presence of Obama, who used his "cult of personality" standing well, to be disconcerting.

Just take a look at the fervor of the crowd at the Tucson Memorial and their response to Obama --

Now compare it with the adoration of Hitler in yesteryear.  No, I am not saying Obama wants to gas the Jews or take over the world.  I am not even so much asking that you compare Obama to Hitler, who is clearly more fanatical in both the content of his speech as well as its delivery.  Just take a look at the adoring masses -- 

Scores of citizens adoring and practically swooning over their leader as a rock-star, sports-star, or any kind of star at all has no place in a society that wants to remain free.  We can show respect, even a measure of admiration for our leaders.  No need to deify them as is usually done in most modern totalitarian regimes.

3.  Obama quoting from the Bible --

In the course of his speech, President Obama quoted from the Book of Job.  He quoted from Psalms.  How convenient to quote from scripture at a time like this.

But how different was Obama's flowery Biblical rhetoric earlier today from a speech of his in 2006 before a crowd less-friendly toward religion, where Obama got giggles and grins from the audience as he blatantly mocked the Bible --

2. Pep-rally t-shirts to go with the pep-rally crowd -- 

Obama's 2012 Campaign Committee, I mean his staff, had 14,000 t-shirts draped across the seats in the auditorium for the attendees.  The very quickly-produced t-shirts were printed with what is apparently Obama's new slogan -- "Together We Thrive".

T-shirts with your logo or slogan?  It's a great marketing tool, that's for sure!  But I'm not sure what that has to do with the 6 people who died and are now in their coffins waiting for burial.

1.  Ah, the propaganda . . .

During the course of his 30-minute speech, President Obama called upon two tried-and-true gimmicks:

"Right after we went to visit her . . . Gabby opened her eyes for the first time (cheers of hysteria) . . .
Gabby opened her eyes for the first time  (intense clapping and cheering, camera pans to a verklempt Michelle Obama wiping tears from her eyes, hands clasped with that of Gifford's husband) . . .
Gabby opened her eyes, so I can tell you that she knows we are here. . . ."

Gimmick #1 -- Appeal to your audience's emotions through stories.
Gimmick #2 -- Repetition of a key phrase over and over.

Reminiscent of the famous ad nauseum "Yes we can" speech, Obama knows that tactics like this can be really appealing to an audience.  Just like those commercials that tell a story of how someone uses their American Express card on their dream vacation to Tahiti.  And the repetition reminds me of car insurance commercials  where the phone number is annoyingly repeated over and over. 

The story evokes an emotional response, while repetition cements the message into the mind.  Repetition of an emotional phrase serves to drive that emotion deep into the listener's core.  It can put flutters in the heart and mist in the eyes of even the most cynical of critics.  And it is one of Obama's specialties.


Obama is not the first U.S. president to capitalize on a national tragedy for political gain, and he probably won't be the last.  But as of yet, he certainly has been one to pull out all the stops.  Is he a Master Communicator, Master Marketer, or a Master Propagandist? 

It's obvious what I think.  You decide for yourself.