About Me

In writing the "About Me" portion of this blog I thought about the purpose of the blog - namely, preventing the growth of Socialism & stopping the Death Of Democracy in the American Republic & returning her to the "liberty to abundance" stage of our history. One word descriptions of people's philosophies or purposes are quite often inadequate. I feel that I am "liberal" meaning that I am broad minded, independent, generous, hospitable, & magnanimous. Under these terms "liberal" is a perfectly good word that has been corrupted over the years to mean the person is a left-winger or as Mark Levin more accurately wrote in his book "Liberty & Tyranny" a "statist" - someone looking for government or state control of society. I am certainly not that & have dedicated the blog to fighting this. I believe that I find what I am when I consider whether or not I am a "conservative" & specifically when I ask what is it that I am trying to conserve? It is the libertarian principles that America was founded upon & originally followed. That is the Return To Excellence that this blog is named for & is all about.

Thursday, March 31, 2011

One Big Government Party - Two Wings

Well the budget messages just keep flooding in.  Below is the latest from former NJ Tea Party congressional candidate Richard Luzzi (his emphasis below) who has as little use for the majority of Republicans pretending to be Tea Partiers as I do - which is none.  Mr. Luzzi points out that outside of Senators Jim DeMint (SC), Rand Paul (KY), & Mike Lee (UT) there is nobody watching the store including talk radio who is obsessed with MO's travel schedule or BO's basketball brackets.  All of this as the financial condition of America deteriorates right under our noses except for the work of the three aforementioned senators & another handful of Representatives in the House.  These thoughts start to make it plain who the enemies of America - both foreign & domestic - really are.
 
Most Republicans remain as committed to big government as the Democrats 

As the Tea Party continues to set its sights on astronomical and unsustainable government growth, Republicans have been eager to sing the movement's tune. Promising to cut spending and balance budgets, the GOP's newfound right-wing fiscal rhetoric has been characterized by mainstream pundits as a once "respectable" Republican Party kowtowing to conservative "extremists" for whom the debt crisis continues to represent the one and only crisis.

But mainstream defenders of America's economic status quo can rest easy. Washington's political establishment has nothing to fear from the Republican Party. Though good at talking the conservative talk, when it comes to actually walking the walk, the GOP remains as handicapped as ever.

Just ask the man The Daily Show's Jon Stewart recently described as the "walkiest" of Tea Party Republicans, Sen. Rand Paul. Paul rejected the budget proposals of both parties last week, pointing out that the Democratic plan features a $1.6 trillion deficit while the Republican plan includes a $1.5. trillion deficit.

While Democrats, predictably and laughably, could only come up with $4 billion in budget cuts, Republicans, whose Pledge to America during the midterm election promised to slash spending by $100 billion, could only come up with $57 billion in cuts. To put this in perspective, recently deposed Egyptian dictator Hosni Mubarak received more than $60 billion from the United States during his reign. To further put this in perspective, when Sen. Paul proposed we cut foreign aid last month, critics, including most Republicans, dismissed his proposal and pointed out that what America spends on foreign aid is too small to substantively address our debt.

Now many of these same Republicans expect grassroots conservatives to be satisfied with a paltry $57 billion in cuts. Paul isn't completely alone. Joined by Mike Lee of Utah and Jim DeMint of South Carolina, Paul was one of only three Republican senators to reject the GOP's budget plan as being so weak it means virtually nothing. Not surprisingly, Paul, Lee and DeMint make up the Tea Party Caucus in the Senate, a group Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida, who rode the Tea Party wave into office, says he will not join, fearing that the movement could be co-opted by the Washington establishment. Not surprisingly, Rubio voted for the Republicans' weak budget plan last week.

In Rubio's defense, this is what Republicans typically do. For decades Republican politicians have used conservative rhetoric to win elections but come to Washington, D.C., to spend as much as the Democrats. Critics on both the Left and Right who say the Tea Party represents a radical departure from plain, old vanilla "conservatism" are correct; so-called conservative Republicans haven't accomplished anything conservative for decades. For the Tea Party to mean business, it must deviate dramatically from the Republican status quo, and given the weight of our debt and the radical growth of government, any Tea Party-worthy proposals must be comparably radical in the opposite direction. How radical? Paul has proposed $500 billion in cuts, which, as he explained on the Senate floor this week, still isn't drastic enough:

"I recently proposed $500 billion in cuts, and when I went home and spoke to the people of my state, spoke to those from the Tea Party, they said, $500 billion is not enough and they're right ... $500 billion is a third of one year's problem. Up here that's way too bold, but it's not even enough ... So I implore the American public and those here to look at this problem and say to Congress, we're not doing enough. You must cut more."

Despite their rhetoric, the vast majority of Republicans are wholly unwilling to do anything to substantively address our big government woes, including some who've carried the Tea Party banner. The chasm between voters' desires and the establishment's will remains as wide as ever, reflecting the same disconnect that has long frustrated Americans from across the ideological spectrum.

Any real conservative movement would be up in arms that more Republicans didn't join Paul, Lee, and DeMint in rejecting the GOP's joke of a budget. But American "conservatism" has confused partisanship for principle for so long that talk radio finds more value in complaining about the First Lady's travel schedule or worrying about the Muslim Brotherhood than discussing the fiscal terrorists in this country and in both parties who continue to hold America's children and grandchildren hostage.

The Senate Republicans who voted for the GOP budget proposal proved once again that they are not the revolutionaries they pretend to be. They are liars. And the Tea Party must not forget it.


Reprinted with permission from the Charleston City Paper 

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

FairTax On The Radio - Thursday March 31, 2011

Barbara Panella has arranged for me to return to discuss the FairTax on radio station WRNJ 92.7 FM, 1510 AM, 104.7 FM.  The program airs live this coming Thursday, March 31, from 10:05 to 10:30 AM.  I will be joined by former Libertarian Party congressional candidate Jim Gawron so it should be fun.  As readers of this blog know part of Mr. Gawron's platform was support of the FairTax - Jim is very well versed in the Austrian school of economics.
 
Although the station is very popular in the local Hackettstown area it does not have a powerful signal outside the immediate area so it will be best to log on to http://www.wrnjradio.com to hear it over the internet.  You may call in at (908) 852-1234.  Naturally I will post it on ReturnToExcellence.net after the audio is available.

Monday, March 28, 2011

A Song & Dinner

Most of our education messages are downbeat reporting the problems with education in America - like the significant number of eighth graders who read @ a fourth grade level with me asking questions like how in the hell did they get into the eighth grade to begin with reading @ a fourth grade level.

On a more upbeat note - pun intended - thanks to a member of our group for providing this link of 3rd graders in the Tussing Elementary School in Colonial Heights, Virginia singing a song of thanks to our military. The words were written by the school's music teacher. This is the sort of patriotism I wish was taught in all of our schools.

Now if these youngsters are all sitting down with their parents & entire family @ dinner every night we may really be on to something to turn our slide around.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Responses - The Final Four Of Learning

Below is an excellent response from the Historian re the original subject message that pertained to the status of education in America.

In this regard our South Carolina businessman questioned the pracitcality & cost-benefit of a liberal arts education (& so do I) when he wrote "I guess this is fine if all you are looking for in college is a general liberal arts curriculum. And you have a boat load of money to pour into it."

Yes, it is true that ACTA concentrates on liberal arts topics & that is why my work is limited with them. Students today are pouring a boat load of money "into it" but are not learning anything - especially of value. I do think that it is important for students, regardless of their major, to know our history, literature, & basic economics not to mention that so many schools don't require any math or science @ all whether they are Arts & Science majors or not. These basic flaws spill over into engineering curriculums as well. In 2007 I attended an ACTA two day conference in Mt. Vernon & a speaker from the Chamber of Commerce answered my specific question about engineering by saying that too many of our graduates are woeful in this area also. He gave examples of jobs that were not being filled by our engineering grads that he specifically knew of.

I can talk to some engineering grads who are on the Dean's List for five minutes & know that they don't know engineering & furthermore can't write a coherent memo let alone a technical report. I saw this regularly as an employer in my firm that built chemical plants all over the world. The best engineers that worked for me were technicians that I taught engineering to as well as how to write contracts & minutes of meetings that had some power to them. The grads had trouble with both of these areas.

The Chairman Emeritus of ACTA is Lynne Cheney. That is what sparked my interest in this firm to begin with. ACTA is doing a first class job for America as are the other higher education firms Carol & I work with.

---Response From The Historian---

How times have changed. In my generation parents wanted their children to go to college for a good education. Today they send them to college for sports and money they can earn playing sports after graduation.

Why bother to learn? - play football (college pays your expenses) and you live a good life. If the college has a good team they receive large donations from corporations to help with expenses.

Call it luck, but if it wasn't for people like Lise Meitner, unappreciated female mathematical physicist, who did testing and experiments regarding nuclear fission our progress would have been appreciably slowed from what it was and is. She lived in Germany and Hitler did not have faith in people who had brains. She knew her number would be coming up for death - somehow escaped to America.

People like Albert Einstein, developer of theory of relativity, also somehow got out of Germany.

In 1939, he and other scientists wrote FDR a letter saying if an atomic bomb could be developed it would save lives in a war. Because of this letter FDR authorized the "Manhattan Project" that developed the atomic bomb during World War II under the command of Lieutenant General Leslie Groves JR. Einstein was not involved in the project. The rest is history. BTW, letter to FDR mentioned Germany was also conducting studies and experiments on nuclear weapons.

Remember, brains win out all the time for major projects - not sports.

Friday, March 25, 2011

Responses - Ron Paul's Sobering Financial Analysis

The message with Ron Paul's video on Freedom Watch brought many comments. Below are three that add to the discussion along with my tying numbers one & two together regarding who the government & the American people are & a few additional thoughts in red.

---Response # 1---

In the final analysis everything can be lumped under the heading of "getting elected". Most of us concerned with the health of our country felt the Tea Party & Tea Party Candidates will save the day. However, the jury is still out. For me, the contest is between the unions and the government AKA us. I am watching the battlegrounds of Wisconsin and NJ very closely. If those governors go down in flames MOVE to another country. Watch Governor John Kasich in Ohio also.

---Response # 2---

Ron Paul doesn't sound very hopeful. It seems that it is up to the American people to stand up for what is right, outnumbered or not! - Isn't that always the way - which is the theme of my messages?

---Response # 3---

Doug, I understand your frustration. And yes, if Anna Little had been elected and voted to allow the budget stalemate to continue, I'd be letting her know what I think of her. Unfortunately, nobody pays any attention to what is going on in Washington except the dedicated ones like yourself. Most people are so overwhelmed in their daily lives, they don't have a clue what's happening right under their noses. We just have to keep fighting and not give up and we have to keep getting the message out. Keep the Faith. What you say about not knowing what is going on "under their noses" is exactly why I write the blog. In fact it is written @ the suggestion of the great SC Senator Jim DeMint & Tea Party Member extraordinaire. People who read the blog can't say they don't know what the details of the issues are.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

The Final Four of Learning

Below is the subject message from the American Council Of Trustees and Alumni (ACTA) that handicaps the Sweet 16 schools based on education curriculum.  I have highlighted ACTA's wonderful website entitled "What Will They Learn" several times on this blog.  It should be mandatory reading for anyone planning on sending a student to college before the first application is made.   
 
Just look over the pitiful requirements for a student to graduate from these Sweet 16 schools & you'll quickly see the trouble America is in.  It is not that our students are dumb - its just that they don't know anything after they graduate plus are tens of thousands of dollars in debt.

Dear ACTA Friend,

 

As college basketball fans know, the Sweet 16 begins today: the next two rounds of the national championship tournament will determine the Final Four. But while commentators speculate about athletic upsets and players' professional futures, no one seems to talk about what these student-athletes--and their fans--are ostensibly at college to do: learning. So we at the American Council of Trustees and Alumni thought we'd have a little fun and engage in a hypothetical Sweet 16, in which teams win not because of grace under pressure or field goal percentages, but because of what students will learn. Read on to discover the Final Four of Learning.    

 

We evaluated teams according to our What Will They Learn subjects: composition, literature survey, American history or government, economics, foreign language, college-level math, and science. Let's go region by region.  

 

WEST  

Duke basketball court

Today's West games in Anaheim pit San Diego State against Connecticut, and Duke against Arizona. San Diego requires four subjects including foreign language, while students at Connecticut can fulfill the foreign language requirement with only elementary study, so it's hasta la vista to the Huskies. Arizona has a strong basketball team, but they all could graduate without any math or science, so Duke heads on to the Elite Eight - when it comes to the core curriculum.

 

Duke and San Diego State have the same requirements. While Duke is far more expensive, San Diego State graduates only about two thirds of its students in six years, so we'll give the nod to Duke.

 

SOUTHEAST 

BYU BasketballTonight we'll also begin the Southeast regional games in New Orleans--where we see schools sporting the weakest core requirements in the tournament.

 

In the classroom, Butler upsets Wisconsin, where students can graduate without composition, literature, American history, economics, or math. But Brigham Young beats Florida and Butler for being the only Sweet 16 school to require American history or government. 

 

EAST 

North Carolina Tar Heel

On to the East games in Newark. Ohio State, Kentucky, Marquette, and North Carolina all require composition, foreign language, math, and science, but not literature, econ, or American history.

 

Although UNC, like Ohio State, charges out-of-state students a tuition over $22,000 (not as much as in-state rival Duke!), we'll send the Tar Heels through to the Final Four to recognize their 85% graduation rate and set up an epic (if imaginary) semi-final contest with Duke. (Marquette graduates 80% of their students in six years, Ohio State graduates 75%, and Kentucky only 60%.)

 

SOUTHWEST 

Kansas 

Finally, we have the Southwest region. Florida State and Virginia Commonwealth both require composition and mathematics. But Florida State requires science and foreign language and so ends VCU's Cinderella story.

 

In the other game, the Richmond Spiders must learn a foreign language, but Kansas wins the day with requirements in composition and literature. Indeed, Kansas is the only Sweet Sixteen team to require literature. How sweet that sounds!

 

Who will win on the basketball court?  That's a question we're not prepared to answer.   But, what do students learn off the court? That's a question we should all be asking.

 

All the best.    

Anne Signature  

 

P.S. Please forward to your friends who might also be asking, "what about the classroom?"

 

 

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Ron Paul's Sobering Financial Analysis

Well the two week series of budget messages & the related opinions most of you are forming about the freshman Republicans continues to be one of the hottest topics in recent memory. I have responded privately to so many comments on this topic. Thanks - I love our interchanges because I learn so much.

To help sort this out please click on this video of Judge Napolitano interviewing Congressman Ron Paul on Freedom Watch last week. In this video Ron Paul, a long time fiscally responsible Member of Congress, clearly dispels the delusion that the "We The People" the Founders wrote about in the Preamble still unquestionably control the country's destiny. Congressman Paul explains that well over half the people in the country (I estimate it @ well over 70%) receive government checks - in short there is a sentiment for government spending that counterbalances the original American free market impulse.

The Judge asks why won't the public rise up to protest Washington's insatiable spending appetite only to find Paul's answer to be that the fiscally responsible people, whether in Congress or in the countryside, are simply outnumbered. Now where did I read that before?

Paul gives a one in a million chance that the House will not authorize an increase in the debt ceiling later this spring. This sort of thing will continue until things get bad enough that change is required either peacefully or by force. Are you about to see your life's savings given away to the poorest, least trained, most uneducated people a politician can find?

Throughout the interview Dr. Paul presents a solution - Carol told me - "oh great, now everyone will hear it." What we do with it is what counts.

Monday, March 21, 2011

More Responses - Seeing Is Believing

With the Tsunami & Libya dominating the news the recent fiscal irresponsibility of three quarters of the freshman Republicans & most veterans (as usual) of both the House & Senate has escaped significant mention - except most notably on this blog, the Mark Levin Radio Program in concert with AFP, & Judge Napolitano's Freedom Watch TV show on FBN.

The subject has continued to interest readers here as evidenced by the above cartoon from a 1934 Chicago paper that was sent to us by a subscriber of ReturnToExcellence. net.

Below are two more comments that I believe add to the discussion - they are responding to the two comments from Saturday's posting.

With regard to the Tsunami, Libya, & the fiscal irresponsibility of the aforementioned elected Representatives decide for yourself which one will have the most long lasting devastating effect.

---Response # 1---

Doug - I won't say that we are a socialist country, quite yet, but both of these responses indicate that we are well on our way. Response #1 obviously illustrates our dependence on the federal dole out, and #2 while correct about taxes, speaks more to re-distribution of wealth to the point where everyone is equally poor.

---Response # 2---

Please make no mistake about it, if these freshmen are afraid to do what is necessary, then they will lose the next election and not because they cut too much. We the People need to support these freshmen and make our desire well known so as not to leave any questions in their minds. I'm not totally giving up on the freshmen members.

If they don't have the guts to cut needed programs and reduce the size of our government to its constitutionally limited size what makes anyone think that they will ever vote for or get the Fair Tax enacted...

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Responses - Seeing Is Believing

Below are two of the responses to last night's subject posting that I feel add to the discussion.

---Response # 1---

Although I share your disappointment please do not feel so bad.

Now that these freshman Republicans are in office, many of them are afraid to trim large amounts of money from the various programs - they don't want to be blamed by constituents for cuts to favored programs thereby giving them a good chance of losing the next election.

The worse part of your series of messages last week is that they reveal that we still don't have the kind of quality people in sufficient quantity to pass the FairTax any time soon.



---Response #2---

Doug: A sidebar observation. . .My observations of America's wealth are revealing some scary facts. I have traveled internationally for business and pleasure extensively in the last 40 years. Without exception Americans were always the predominate travelers worldwide. Americans can no longer make that claim, we have surrendered our first, second and maybe third place to Germans, Canadians and Europeans at large. Please keep in mind there are no government statistics to confirm or deny this observation - it's my personal opinion.

I have a friend who owns and rents a home in Aruba. His clients throughout the last five years have gone from primarily Americans to Germans and Dutch. He tells me when the ships dock again Americans are sparse. Jane just returned from a cruise around Australia and she noticed you could count the Americans on the fingers of one hand. Americans are getting poorer and the rest of the world appears to be getting wealthier.

I am not going to entertain speculation as to why America's wealth is shrinking compared to our international neighbors other than to say TAXES.

Friday, March 18, 2011

Seeing Is Believing

On Thursday the Senate passed the Continuing Resolution that had been the subject of my last two postings - the vote was 87 to 13.  The measure will extend funding of the federal government until April 8 after BO signs it.  It contains no attempt to defund Obamacare, crippling environmental regulations, or other priorities of BO which means BO's programs move forward even with the Tea Party electoral success last November.  Hard to keep fighting - isn't it?
 
For those of us who are lovers of liberty the past few days has been a dagger in our hearts in that three quarters of the newly elected House Republicans voted for this weak, bottom of the barrel, political consensus type legislation that will not move America away from a government dependent society & its inevitable collapse.  Notable Senate disappointments in this vote are Tom Coburn (OK), Ron Johnson (WI), Pat Toomey (PA), & Jeff Sessions (AL).  As you all know I was hoping that these men would caucus & vote with Jim DeMint - who campaigned for Johnson & Toomey among others - & not with the establishment old-guard Republicans.
 
The nine Republicans who voted against the measure were Jim DeMint (SC), Rand Paul (KY), Mike Lee (UT), Marco Rubio (FL), Mike Crapo (ID), John Ensign (NV), Orrin Hatch (UT), Jim Inhofe (OK), & James Risch (ID).  The four Democrats who voted against the measure voted against it for the same reason that 104 House Democrats did - they think any spending restraint is too much.  It is hard to believe that earlier in the week Nancy Pelosi had voted the same as Mike Pence (their names were in line because of the spelling of their names) & that Jim DeMint & avowed Socialist Bernie Sanders of VT also voted the same way yesterday - but for exactly opposite reasons.
 
I am personally so very disappointed because I had such hope for the freshman Members of both the House & Senate to start to really turn the entitlement & welfare mindset around.  We can see how fragile our Republic is when we are counting on such a small handful of principled men.  Totally writing off the status quo favoring freshmen Members now may be premature - but they have a lot to make up for after this week & I for one have to see it to believe it.
 
 

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Response & Update - House CR Vote - A Slow But Getting Faster Burn

Representative responses to the subject message re Tuesday's disappointing House budget vote followed this one from a patriot, FairTax supporter, & subscriber to ReturnToExcellence.net who works tirelessly virtually every night of the week for America after he finishes work - "Doug - Rob Woodall, really? What can he be thinking? This is a big disappointment...54 Republicans out of 240. Am I reading that correctly? There were 104 Democrats that voted NO...50 more than the Republicans...Something has got to change here...this is just not working..."

To specifically answer the subscriber as to what Rob Woodall was thinking he said that he would push for policy riders in future funding legislation - "If you think I'm done trying to defund Planned Parenthood...you're mistaken. If you think I'm done ripping out every nickel in the budget for Obamacare, you're mistaken." (my emphasis) Evidently Tuesday's vote was just not the right time for Mr. Woodall's strong & principled convictions re future actions - although Jeff Flake, Mike Pence, & Steve King all thought that it was.

To put the House majorities' pathetic spending reduction program into perspective please realize that the national debt jumped by $72 billion on Tuesday even as the Republican-led House passed a continuing resolution to fund the government for just three weeks that will cut $6 billion from government spending. If Congress were to cut $6 billion every three weeks for the next 36 weeks, it would manage to save between now and late November as much money as the Treasury added to the nation's net debt during just the business hours of Tuesday, March 15 - the day of the House vote. The country gained $6 billion & went $72 billion further in the hole - even with all of these numbers we can start to understand what is happening.

Now I checked the blog posting of February 19 entitled Focus Of Disappointment & found that the promising freshmen Congressmen I highlighted in last night's original message - Lankford, Scott (SC), & Woodall - all voted the right way on the budget issue of that day. So between February 19 & Tuesday somebody got to them for them & three quarters of their fellow freshmen to change their minds on the spending issue & who they stood & sided with.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

House CR Vote - A Slow But Getting Faster Burn

Former NJ Tea Party congressional candidate Richard Luzzi recently sent me a note pointing out that the Republicans gained the majority in the House based on the collective promise to the voters that they would repeal ObamaCare. And if they couldn't repeal it they would defund it. Well this afternoon was the time for the House majority to put their votes where their mouths were during the campaign. Sadly three quarters of the freshman Republicans voted the wrong way including James Lankford, Tim Scott, & Rob Woodall who voted with the establishment old-guard Republican leadership headed by the detestable John Boehner, Eric Cantor, & Paul Ryan.

The actual House vote was for another new extension of the Continuing Resolution (CR) to fund the government for fiscal year 2011 that is now almost six months old.

Representatives Steve King & Michele Bachmann had warned that Boehner would not include a provision in the CR to rescind the $105 billion of appropriations that was surreptitiously inserted by the Democrats in the ObamaCare legislation.

So even with all of the unequivocal promises to take a stand for America & the return to excellence of our founding libertarian principles only 54 Republicans voted as the party collectively had promised - the rest have already abandoned the principles they ran on. See if your congressman is on the list below & if he is I suggest working against him with all of your might. As usual Rodney Frelinghuysen, Leonard Lance, Frank LoBiondo, & Jon Runyan voted for the status quo - a slow but getting faster burn of the ruination of America.


FINAL VOTE RESULTS FOR ROLL CALL 179
(Republicans in roman; Democrats in italic; Independents underlined)

H J RES 48 RECORDED VOTE 15-Mar-2011 3:32 PM
QUESTION: On Passage
BILL TITLE: Making further continuing appropriations for fiscal year 2011, and for other purposes

AyesNoesPRESNV
Republican18654
Democratic851043
Independent
TOTALS2711583


---- AYES 271 ---

Adams
Aderholt
Alexander
Altmire
Austria
Baca
Bachus
Barletta
Barrow
Bass (NH)
Berg
Berkley
Biggert
Bilbray
Bilirakis
Bishop (GA)
Bishop (NY)
Bishop (UT)
Black
Blackburn
Bonner
Bono Mack
Boren
Boswell
Boustany
Brady (PA)
Brady (TX)
Braley (IA)
Brooks
Broun (GA)
Buchanan
Bucshon
Buerkle
Burgess
Butterfield
Calvert
Camp
Canseco
Cantor
Capito
Capps
Cardoza
Carney
Carson (IN)
Carter
Cassidy
Castor (FL)
Chandler
Coble
Coffman (CO)
Cole
Conaway
Cooper
Costa
Courtney
Cravaack
Crawford
Crenshaw
Cuellar
Culberson
Davis (CA)
Davis (KY)
DeFazio
DeGette
Denham
Dent
DesJarlais
Deutch
Diaz-Balart
Dicks
Dingell
Doggett
Dold
Donnelly (IN)
Doyle
Dreier
Duffy
Duncan (TN)
Ellmers
Emerson
Engel
Farenthold
Fattah
Fincher
Fitzpatrick
Fleischmann
Flores
Forbes
Fortenberry
Foxx
Frelinghuysen
Gallegly
Gardner
Gerlach
Gibbs
Gibson
Gonzalez
Goodlatte
Gosar
Granger
Graves (MO)
Griffin (AR)
Griffith (VA)
Grimm
Guinta
Guthrie
Hanna
Harper
Hartzler
Hastings (WA)
Hayworth
Heck
Heinrich
Hensarling
Herger
Herrera Beutler
Higgins
Himes
Holden
Hoyer
Hultgren
Hunter
Hurt
Inslee
Israel
Issa
Jenkins
Johnson (OH)
Johnson, Sam
Keating
Kelly
Kildee
Kind
King (NY)
Kingston
Kinzinger (IL)
Kissell
Kline
Lance
Langevin
Lankford
Latham
LaTourette
Latta
Lewis (CA)
Lipinski
LoBiondo
Loebsack
Lowey
Lucas
Luetkemeyer
Luján
Lummis
Lungren, Daniel E.
Manzullo
Marchant
Marino
Matheson
McCarthy (CA)
McCarthy (NY)
McCaul
McClintock
McHenry
McKeon
McKinley
McMorris Rodgers
Meehan
Mica
Michaud
Miller (FL)
Miller (MI)
Miller (NC)
Miller, Gary
Moran
Murphy (CT)
Murphy (PA)
Myrick
Neugebauer
Noem
Nugent
Nunes
Nunnelee
Olson
Owens
Palazzo
Pascrell
Paulsen
Perlmutter
Peters
Peterson
Petri
Pingree (ME)
Platts
Polis
Pompeo
Posey
Price (GA)
Price (NC)
Quayle
Quigley
Rahall
Reed
Reichert
Renacci
Ribble
Rivera
Roby
Roe (TN)
Rogers (AL)
Rogers (KY)
Rogers (MI)
Rohrabacher
Rokita
Rooney
Ros-Lehtinen
Roskam
Ross (AR)
Rothman (NJ)
Royce
Runyan
Ruppersberger
Ryan (WI)
Sarbanes
Scalise
Schiff
Schilling
Schock
Schrader
Schwartz
Schweikert
Scott (SC)
Scott, Austin
Sensenbrenner
Sessions
Sherman
Shimkus
Shuler
Shuster
Simpson
Sires
Smith (NE)
Smith (TX)
Smith (WA)
Speier
Stark
Stivers
Terry
Thompson (CA)
Thompson (PA)
Thornberry
Tiberi
Turner
Upton
Van Hollen
Visclosky
Walden
Walz (MN)
Wasserman Schultz
Webster
Welch
Westmoreland
Whitfield
Wittman
Wolf
Womack
Woodall
Wu
Yoder
Young (AK)
Young (FL)
Young (IN)


---- NOT VOTING 3 ---

Conyers
Giffords
Sanchez, Loretta

Friday, March 11, 2011

The Holidays in 2025 - Through Ayn Rand's Eyes?

Below is a satirical piece sent to us by a subscriber to ReturnToExcellence.net. I particularly appreciate his thoughtful commentary rather than just sending the message on mindlessly with no effort other than a click of a mouse - like so many I receive.

The subscriber writes about the remote chance that someone in 1958 would have been able to envision the power & control the government could have gained over each of us by 2011. Well that is precisely what Ayn Rand predicted in 1957 upon completing over fourteen years of research & finishing her classic novel Atlas Shrugged which portrays exactly what the subscriber describes as today's far fetched existence.

To demonstrate - about a year ago I read some parts of Miss Rand's novel to Carol along with a WSJ account of then current events & asked Carol which one was from the book & which one was from the WSJ. Of course the WSJ current account was so preposterous that Carol chose it as the far fetched example - how prophetic.

As most of you know both Carol & I believe that things in America have to get about as bad as they did in Atlas Shrugged before we as a country have a chance to Return To Excellence.

----- Original Message -----

As far fetched as this may seem, if someone in 1958 had written about the Holidays in 2011 we never would have believed the government could have so much control over each of us. As we older baby-boomers die off, the politicians will be able to do whatever they want and no one will have any objection. While the message below is meant to be humorous, it is indeed a very indictment of our willingness to give up our freedom.

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"Winston, come into the dining room, it's time to eat," Julia yelled to her husband.

"In a minute, honey, it's a tie score," he answered. Actually Winston wasn't very interested in the traditional holiday football game between Detroit and Washington. Ever since the government passed the Civility in Sports Statute of 2017, outlawing tackle football for its "unseemly violence" and the "bad example it sets for the rest of the world," Winston was far less of a football fan than he used to be. Two-hand touch wasn't nearly as exciting.

Yet it wasn't the game that Winston was uninterested in. It was more the thought of eating another TofuTurkey. Even though it was the best type of VeggieMeat available after the government revised the American Anti-Obesity Act of 2018, adding fowl to the list of federally-forbidden foods, (which already included potatoes, cranberry sauce and mince-meat pie), it wasn't anything like real turkey. And ever since the government officially changed the name of "Thanksgiving Day" to "A National Day of Atonement" in 2020 to officially acknowledge the Pilgrims' historically brutal treatment of Native Americans, the holiday had lost a lot of its luster.

Eating in the dining room was also a bit daunting. The unearthly gleam of government-mandated fluorescent light bulbs made the TofuTurkey look even weirder than it actually was, and the room was always cold. Ever since Congress passed the Power Conservation Act of 2016, mandating all thermostats-which were monitored and controlled by the electric company-be kept at 68 degrees, every room on the north side of the house was barely tolerable throughout the entire winter.

Still, it was good getting together with family. Or at least most of the family. Winston missed his mother, who passed on in October, when she had used up her legal allotment of life-saving medical treatment. He had had many heated conversations with the Regional Health Consortium, spawned when the private insurance market finally went bankrupt, and everyone was forced into the government health care program. And though he demanded she be kept on her treatment, it was a futile effort. "The RHC's resources are limited," explained the government bureaucrat Winston spoke with on the phone. "Your mother received all the benefits to which she was entitled. I'm sorry for your loss."

Ed couldn't make it either. He had forgotten to plug in his electric car last night, the only kind available after the Anti-Fossil Fuel Bill of 2021 outlawed the use of the combustion engines-for everyone but government officials. The fifty mile round trip was about ten miles too far, and Ed didn't want to spend a frosty night on the road somewhere between here and there.

Thankfully, Winston's brother, John, and his wife were flying in. Winston made sure that the dining room chairs had extra cushions for the occasion. No one complained more than John about the pain of sitting down so soon after the government-mandated cavity searches at airports, which severely aggravated his hemorrhoids. Ever since a terrorist successfully smuggled a cavity bomb onto a jetliner, the TSA told Americans the added "inconvenience" was an "absolute necessity" in order to stay "one step ahead of the terrorists." Winston's own body had grown accustomed to such probing ever since the government expanded their scope to just about anywhere a crowd gathered, via Anti-Profiling Act of 2022. That law made it a crime to single out any group or individual for "unequal scrutiny," even when probable cause was involved. Thus, cavity searches at malls, train stations, bus depots, etc., etc., had become almost routine. Almost.

The Supreme Court is reviewing the statute, but most Americans expect a Court composed of six progressives and three conservatives to leave the law intact. "A living Constitution is extremely flexible," said the Court's eldest member, Elena Kagan . " Europe has had laws like this one for years. We should learn from their example," she added.

Winston's thoughts turned to his own children. He got along fairly well with his 12-year-old daughter, Brittany, mostly because she ignored him. Winston had long ago surrendered to the idea that she could text anyone at any time, even during Atonement Dinner. Their only real confrontation had occurred when he limited her to 50,000 texts a month, explaining that was all he could afford. She whined for a week, but got over it.

His 16-year-old son, Jason, was another matter altogether. Perhaps it was the constant bombarding he got in public school that global warming , the bird flu , terrorism or any of a number of other calamities were "just around the corner," but Jason had developed a kind of nihilistic attitude that ranged between simmering surliness and outright hostility. It didn't help that Jason had reported his father to the police for smoking a cigarette in the house, an act made criminal by the Smoking Control Statute of 2018, which outlawed smoking anywhere within 500 feet of another human being. Winston paid the $5000 fine, which might have been considered excessive before the American dollar became virtually worthless as a result of QE13. The latest round of quantitative easing the federal government initiated was, once again, to "spur economic growth." This time they promised to push unemployment below its years-long rate of 18%, but Winston was not particularly hopeful.

Yet the family had a lot for which to be thankful, Winston thought, before remembering it was a Day of Atonement. At least he had his memories. He felt a twinge of sadness when he realized his children would never know what life was like in the Good Old Days, long before government promises to make life "fair for everyone" realized their full potential. Winston, like so many of his fellow Americans, never realized how much things could change when they didn't happen all at once, but little by little, so people could get used to them. He wondered what might have happened if the public had stood up while there was still time, maybe back around 2010, when all the real nonsense began. "Maybe we wouldn't be where we are today if we'd just said 'enough is enough' when we had the chance," he thought.

Maybe so, Winston. Maybe so.



Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Kitchen Fire Safety Message

Thanks to two members of our group for sending along this link of a video of a very practical fire safety message that could well save your house &/or your life in the event of a oil fire in your kitchen.

The above graphic displays the fire triangle - when heat (flame or spark), fuel (oil), & oxygen (air) are present in the right proportions the chemical exothermic reaction that is fire will be produced. Remove any one of the fire triangle elements & the fire will go out.

The video shows that in the event of a kitchen oil fire you should first turn off the heat on the stove & then simply wet a large towel & place it over the flame in the pot or pan to allow the combustion reaction to consume the oxygen in the contained utensil so the fire will go out.

Throwing water on the flaming pot or pan will exacerbate the fire as shown in the video because water has a higher density than oil & will therefore sink to the bottom of the pot or pan where it will instantly expand after becoming superheated thereby throwing the fire into the rest of the kitchen as shown on the video.

Do not throw sugar or flour on an oil fire - one cup of either creates the explosive force of two sticks of dynamite.

It also is a good idea to have a fire extinguisher handy in your kitchen & be familiar with how to use it - but a simple wetted towel can save many a day & house.


Saturday, March 5, 2011

We Have Run Out Of Road

Thanks to two members of our group who passed this message on to me - our marvelous SC businessman & the incomparable Richard Luzzi who ran for Congress in NJ's 11th district Primary in 2010. Rich is also the President of the Morristown Tea Party & a FairTax supporter. Mr. Luzzi suggests watching this video before reading the words of Th. Jefferson below.

Please look @ the contrast in the messages on the video & determine for yourself where you think your best future lies - & that of your children & grandchildren. Mr. Luzzi points out there is no longer an option of "middle of the road" because we have run out of road.

"To preserve independence (of the people), we must not let our rulers load us with the perpetual debt (currently $14+ trillion). We must make our election between economy & liberty, or profusion & servitude. If we run into such debts as that we must be taxed in our meat & in our drink, in our necessaries & our comforts, in our labors & our amusements, for our callings & our creeds, as the people of England are (or Greece, Spain, Portugal, or Ireland), our people, like them, must come to labor sixteen hours in twenty-four, give the earnings of fifteen of these to the government for their debts & daily expenses, & the sixteenth being insufficient to afford us bread, we must live, as they now do, on oatmeal & potatoes, have no time to think, no means of calling the mismanagers to account, but be glad to obtain subsistence by hiring ourselves to rivet their chains on the necks of our fellow-sufferers." - Th. Jefferson (emphasis added.)

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

GAO Reports Waste Of Taxpayer Money

Now that everyone has (should have) received their W2s & 1099s for tax year 2010 Americans can begin to prepare or pay someone else to prepare their income tax returns - such cost being part of your own personal cost of compliance with the income tax code. Shame on anyone who boasts about receiving a large refund - you just failed FairTax 101 let alone basic common sense economics.

As you determine & pay - whether income tax &/or payroll taxes - please consider where you money goes (rather is wasted) as reported in the following front page article from Tuesday's WSJ which is a natural addendum to our last several messages regarding Washington's Manipulative Lexicon. Here is an excerpt from the article of the findings of a massive study of overlapping and duplicative programs that cost taxpayers billions of dollars each year - this is where the taxes you pay go from the money you earn:

"According to the Government Accountability Office (GAO) the U.S. government has 15 different agencies overseeing food-safety laws, more than 20 separate programs to help the homeless and 80 programs for economic development.

The agency found 82 federal programs to improve teacher quality; 80 to help disadvantaged people with transportation; 47 for job training and employment; and 56 to help people understand finances..."

You get the idea - to read the entire article click here.


If you are sick & tired of the above waste of your time & money click here for one of the best tax discussions you will ever hear.