Friday, April 22, 2011

545 vs. 300,000,000 People -By Charlie Reese

  545 vs. 300,000,000 People  
    -By Charlie ReesePoliticians are the only people in the world who create problems and then campaign against them.
Have you ever wondered, if both the Democrats and the Republicans are against deficits, WHY do we have deficits?
Have you ever wondered, if all the politicians are against inflation and high taxes, WHY do we have inflation and high taxes?
You and I don't propose a federal budget. The President does.
You and I don't have the Constitutional authority to vote on appropriations. The House of Representatives does.
You and I don't write the tax code, Congress does. 
You and I don't set fiscal policy, Congress does.
You and I don't control monetary policy, the Federal Reserve Bank does.
One hundred senators, 435 congressmen, one President, and nine
Supreme Court justices equates to 545 human beings out of the 300 million are directly, legally, morally, and individually responsible for the domestic problems that plague this country.

I excluded the members of the Federal Reserve Board because that problem was created by the Congress. In 1913, Congress delegated its Constitutional duty to provide a sound currency to a federally chartered, but private, central bank.  

I excluded all the special interests and lobbyists for a sound reason. They have no legal authority. They have no ability to coerce a senator, a congressman, or a President to do one cotton-picking thing. I don't care if they offer a politician $1 million dollars in cash. The politician has the power to accept or reject it. No matter what the lobbyist promises, it is the legislator's responsibility to determine how he votes.

Those 545 human beings spend much of their energy convincing you that what they did
is not their fault. They cooperate in this common con regardless of party.

What separates a politician from a normal human being is an excessive amount of gall.  No normal human being would have the gall of a Speaker, who stood up and criticized the President for creating  deficits. The President can only propose a budget. He cannot force the Congress to accept it.

The Constitution, which is the supreme law of the land, gives sole responsibility to the House of Representatives for originating and approving appropriations and taxes. Who is the speaker of the House? John Boehner. He is the leader of the majority party. He and fellow House members, not the President, can approve any budget they want.  If the President vetoes it, they can pass it over his veto if they agree to.

It seems inconceivable to me that a nation of 300 million cannot replace 545 people who stand convicted -- by present facts -- of incompetence and
irresponsibility. I can't think of a single domestic problem that is not traceable directly to those 545 people. When you fully grasp the plain truth that 545 people exercise the power of the federal  government, then it must follow that what exists is what they want to exist.

If the tax code is unfair, it's because they want it unfair.
If the budget is in the red, it's because they want it in the red. 
If the Army & Marines are in Iraq and Afghanistan it's because they want them in  Iraq and Afghanistan ... 
If they do not receive social security but are on an elite retirement plan not available to the people, it's because they want it that way.
There are no insoluble government problems.

Do not let these 545 people shift the blame to bureaucrats, whom they hire and whose jobs they can abolish; to lobbyists, whose gifts and advice they can reject; to regulators, to whom they give the
power to regulate and from whom they can take this power. Above all, do not let them con you into the belief that there exists disembodied mystical forces like "the economy," "inflation," or "politics" that prevent them from doing what they take an oath to do.

Those 545 people, and they  alone, are responsible.
They, and they alone, have the power.
They, and they alone, should be held accountable by the people who are their bosses.
Provided the voters have the gumption to manage their own employees...
We should vote all of  them out of office and clean up their mess!
Charlie Reese is a former columnist of the Orlando   Sentinel  Newspaper.

What you do with this article now that you have read it... is up to you.
This might be funny if it weren't so  true. 
Be sure to read all the way to the end.

   Tax his land, 
   Tax his bed, 
   Tax the table, 
   At which he's
   Tax his tractor, 
   Tax his mule, 
   Teach him
   Are the rule. 
   Tax his work, 
   Tax his
   He works for
   peanuts anyway! 
   Tax his cow, 
Tax his goat, 
   Tax his pants, 
   Tax his coat. 
   Tax his ties, 
   Tax his
   Tax his work, 
   Tax his dirt. 
   Tax his tobacco, 
   Tax his
   Tax him if he 
   Tries to think. 

   Tax his cigars, 
   Tax his
   If he cries 
   Tax his tears. 

   Tax his car, 
   Tax his
   Find other ways 
   To tax his ass. 

   Tax all he has 
   Then let him
   That you won't be done 
   Till he has no dough. 

   When he screams and hollers; 
   Then tax him some
   Tax him till 
   He's good and sore. 

   Then tax his coffin, 
   Tax his
   Tax the sod in 
   Which he's laid... 

   Put these words 
   Upon his
   'Taxes drove me 
   to my doom...' 

   When he's gone, 
   Do not
   Its time to apply 
   The inheritance tax.

   Accounts Receivable Tax
   Building Permit Tax
   CDL license Tax
   Cigarette Tax
   Corporate Income Tax
   Dog License Tax
   Excise Taxes
   Federal Income Tax
   Federal Unemployment Tax (FUTA)
   Fishing License Tax
   Food License Tax
   Fuel Permit Tax
   Gasoline Tax (currently 44.75 cents per gallon)
   Gross Receipts Tax
   Hunting License Tax
   Inheritance Tax
   Inventory Tax
   IRS Interest Charges IRS Penalties (tax on top of
   Liquor Tax
   Luxury Taxes
   Marriage License Tax
   Medicare Tax
   Personal Property Tax
   Property Tax
   Real Estate Tax
   Service Charge Tax
   Social Security Tax
   Road Usage Tax
   Recreational Vehicle Tax
   Sales Tax
   School Tax
   State Income Tax
   State Unemployment Tax (SUTA)
   Telephone Federal Excise Tax
   Telephone Federal Universal Service Fee Tax
   Telephone Federal, State and Local Surcharge Taxes
   Telephone Minimum Usage Surcharge Tax
   Telephone Recurring and Nonrecurring Charges Tax
    Telephone State and Local Tax
   Telephone Usage Charge Tax
   Utility Taxes
   Vehicle License Registration Tax
   Vehicle Sales Tax
   Watercraft Registration Tax
   Well Permit Tax
   Workers Compensation Tax 

Not one of these taxes existed 100 years ago, & our nation was the most prosperous
in the world. 
We had absolutely no national debt, had the largest middle class in the world, and Mom stayed home to raise the kids.
What in the heck happened?  Can you spell 'politicians?'
I hope this goes around THE USA at least 545 times!!!  YOU can help it get there!!!  



Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Finding an end to a dream....

  Well, it happened, I came to the conclusion that a dream sometimes is just a dream, no matter how hard you try to realize it. Something I helped create, and only partly created even in it's most extreme stages, has come full circle for me. It doesn't exist, never did much really. Was kept alive in concept, and my imagination. I don't know which is sadder, the realization, or the 7 or so years of dreaming it to be so.
  What is this you ask? (Like anyone really reads this) It is, or was, the Knights of the Stone. If you don't know about them, don't worry, only a few really did, or thought that they did. A great idea, then and now, but not anything beyond that, an idea. As a group we, which turns out to be less than 5 individuals, hosted the May Day Games for a mid-south Pagan community for a time. Held quite a few classes about hospitality and servitude, it even had a podcast, which is still a toy played with by myself since there is no one else who wants it.
  The idea is still shared by a few, but not supported. Much like the church we tried to build. Both good ides, but not practical, not supported enough to actually make it into a reality. Sorry guys, it's a bust. I feel I have lost and wasted almost a decade into this, this dream, that has cost me more than anyone else who came into the ideas of it. Sad really, not the dream, but the dreamer. I don't think I failed, I think I am an idealist who just has no place in this community where I live, and only a passing mention of where I've been. I have accomplished much, and even more so in my own mind, but have almost nothing to show for it, except the debt I got into, the amount of material I've all but wasted, and a lot of time developing the dream that was and was never to be.
  So, maybe this blog, and especially the title is useless as well, at least to anyone who isn't me or who comments here... well, I guess that's me too. Well, it's an outlet for me, whats your excuse?

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Ah Birthdays...

  What is our fascination with birthdays? There are many of us who go out of our way to wish a happy  one to our friends and family, and even some strangers. there are quite a few that see it as another day, marked on some calender somewhere. It is a momentous day for our young, as we share with them a growing experience that marks their forward progress into this life. It is a celebration of our life's accomplishments as we age.

  To me, it is remarkable. Many things and many remarks coincide with this day, my birthday. I have somehow survived another year on this planet plagued with war, famine, disease, gangs, poverty, and the millions of other things, people and places that can kill. I have traversed the cycle round the Sun once again. I have see seasons change, births and deaths, and Earth changing events. I ponder these things today, and am thankful for being able to experience them.
  The odds of living to my age in this country aren't all that thought about, for we think we have the best medicines, doctors, and knowledge not to mention all the gadgets that we have today that make our life easier and 'better'. But the odds are 42% against us, here in America. In Africa, making it to the early 40's is a lot harder, about 26% chance for men, and around a 30% for women. On most days anyway. England's middle age is closer to 60% for, and Spain, well they have it around 78%. Kinda makes ya think. What happened in America? Why lower odds? Look at our real life style here, high stress jobs, inflation rates 12-20% higher than pay rates, more entertainment with less exercise, our American Fast Food diet. All reduce our lives a lot and we seem to be okay with that.
  We became a nation of voluntary slaves. Our jobs dictate our lives, our manufacturing and agricultural industries drive our diets. We follow whatever trends set by media, and enjoy leisure that doesn't involve too much physical work, as we spend most or too much of that at work. And we demand more for less? We all stress over laws, taxes, jobs, children, cars, traffic, inflation, fast food lines, and how crowded is Starbuck's?
Our vacations are not a right or guaranteed as had been so many years ago, but are regulated and controlled by our bosses and gas prices, and half of the time we rush out to 'enjoy' our vacation and instead have a stressful week or two away from the job that stresses us out to begin with. With our 24 hour days, 7 day a week jobs and demands, what would happen if everyone decides to head out to the beach for a week, at the same time? Economic study s show that the business you left would suffer, the beaches would be over crowded, hotels would fare well though, for a week, after that, the housekeeping staff, who has been on overdrive for their part time minimum wage, would start to fail in their quality of service. Restaurants would fall short of supplies, and traffic and public services would be maxed out. So much for that idea.
  So, I made it another year. With any luck, and the grace of gods and friends, I'll make it another year as well...

Monday, April 18, 2011

Job hunting, and the market as such

There are quite a few of us who have found out just how competitive it is now days to get into a new job. My career has been in the maintenance field for over 20 years, from residential to industrial, and it seems now that the market is calling for either more license than I hold or they want folks who are drones to do the 'dirty' work that no-one with my skills think they have to do. In my field, I might be cleaning a drain, the gutters, remodeling a lobby, changing out toilets, painting walls inside or outside. To me it's all the same.
  I have had to eat a lot of crow lately, all thanks to cuts in the available pay for maintenance today or the fact that I am considered to be over qualified for the job. I am proud of the skills that I have honed and the experience that I have attained, why should that be a bad thing? I bring a lot to the table and have much to offer in any facility, and every facility, business and household needs routine maintenance to keep it going. The automotive industry has a 75% income base on the 'required' and recommended maintenance of vehicles. However, I hold no certifications to draw from that field, although I do 60% of my own vehicle maintenance.
  What now I wonder... There is a company interested in me and my skills, but that would put me on the road 6-12 weeks at a time 12-14 hours a day 50-75 hours a week with a 2 week at home deal. That is not what I am looking for, and really can't be away for those periods of time, not with my family and personal life. I would be giving up a lot just to have an income. I know I would be miserable, and wouldn't stay with it, regardless of the money. Why give up ones life and family to have a job anyway? I need a job to support my family, but not one that would take me away from it.
  So I keep searching, locally, and within a decent distance. (I can't afford to work out of town with these gas prices.) I have about 2 months worth of unemployment coming, and until then I will not try to take a job that will actually pay me less than what the unemployment is, that would be counterproductive, the bills haven't taken a reduction and no one is offering discounts either.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

A Pagan in the Office! A little short I made for Temple of the Stone

An innocent past time...

  I have a hobby, well, almost an obsession, and that is 'people watching'. There is nothing more interesting than to sit in an area which has a diverse grouping of peoples walking, riding and driving by. There is so much to learn about your town, and the fastest way to really know the town, is to know the people. I have no real desire to meet all these people, not in a town of over 65,000, but to watch them, and how they act and interact, shows me how this town actually feels on a 'human' level.
  Many things I see doesn't mean much to them, they are acting 'normal' in the public's eye. Yet I sit here and am secretly the public eye. I observe many and they almost always never 'see' me. The guy who caught his coat in the car door as he shut it. The couple chatting as they hop over the puddle in the parking lot. The kids talking about how unfair one of their classmates is as they lock up their bikes. All pass me by without a second look. I become an invisible force of observation, melting into the background that all who pass by take for granted.
  Once in a while, an old man engages me in conversation, he's not here today. I look forward to seeing him now. Funny, we have never exchanged names, nor shook hands. He too, is a 'people watcher'. A native to the area, an encyclopedia of it's people. We have spent time discussing the changes of the town, it's people,it's stores and it's government. He knows that I am not from here, but he knows I want to belong here.
  Today, so far, the most interesting of things I have seen, is the 2010 Caddy, driven by a mid 20's Hispanic girl, with a German breed puppy in her lap, which was speaking French into her Japanese cell phone, and ordering a English Toffee latte.  And that was normal here, I am guessing so, no one else seemed to notice it. I counted 30 cars passing by in the lot, 22 of the drivers on the cell phone. 16 people walking by, all but 2 on a cell phone. are we really that connected? Do we need to be that connected? I have mine with me, true, but I am not on it that much. (well, now it rings) 30 seconds later I hang it up, just a short chat with my daughter and I am back, invisible, watching.
  People come, people leave, some with pets, most without them for I am in a shopping center. 4 stores here, groceries, auto parts, books and movies, and a gas station in my range. Most shopping for entertainment, or food. This town has a lot of book stores and movie retailers and rental business, we must be doing okay to be supporting so many. The town is alive in the early spring weather, although rain falls every once in a while from the clouds overhead. This is Saturday, everyone is out it seems, and I sit in only one corner of town.
  Time fly's as I sit watching the world, hours pass as the day slips by. Again I see things that make me question why mankind is so adept to go into war, and then I see things that enforce the human nature to war. I am rarely bored watching, and even rarely surprised by the things I see. Tomorrow I will be busy interacting with the world, and will miss this time. But then, the next day comes and I will watch again. there is so much to learn...

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Simplify, Simplify, Simplify...

Ever heard of the adage;"KISS, or Keep It Simple Stupid"? It revolves around in my head at least 10 times a day. It helps me evaluate what I need and what I want, and therefore what I am going to spend or invest in. Today is no different, and I suspect tomorrow it will again overshadow most if not all of my decisions.
With todays tech, we find so many multi tasking and complex equipment that somehow we just can't seem to get along without. How did that happen? Mostly due to marketing and 'keeping up with the Jones's'. I myself own a smartphone, a laptop, an all wheel drive SUV, a half dozen multi-tools for example. Wow, do I really need all this? I carry with me at all times a pocket multi-tool, a smartphone, and a pocket knife, credit card, bank card and a bit of cash. Why? Because I was a Boy Scout and believe in the motto of ' Be Prepared'.
We are in the midst of not only a personal crisis with our income/expenses, but riding on the wake of a National economic crisis. Soon our credit and bank cards are going to be features that are going to be about useless, so I will not carry them, the smartphone might be a bit much, if the bills cannot be up-kept! The laptop has wi-fi, and there is almost a free connection to be found, but for how much longer, as the FCC is trying to reclassify the internet and servers are going to have to recoup that cost. How many of us have thought of that.
As a Pagan, I tend to keep a lot of my everyday life in line with Nature and think about my impact on the globe, physically, economicly, and socially. I bought my family vehicle with it's size and gas mileage in mind (sized for my family needs and cargo capacity, mileage for fuel cost and travel distance ability) and didn't want all, or even, most the perks. I did go all-wheel-drive due to road and off-road conditions that I have year around (I live in the North West up here in Idaho) and travel quite a bit, on average of 70,000 miles a year, and take my family with me most of the time. However, I also ride a bike, walk or travel the back-roads and wilderness either on foot or by horseback, whenever I can. And not just to save gas either.
What I am saying is, how much stuff do we really need? Every day items we have aren't really used everyday, and sometimes we have extra things that we invest in the we don't use often and have to either store or build storage for them. (Yes, I am not a big lover of ATV's and such 'toys' as most outdoor enthusiasts) We are personally looking at moving into a smaller place than our already humble 1100 sq foot two bedroom apartment, to save money we don't really have, so I am looking at what we need, and whet we will sell, or give away, and what we will keep. We already have about 200 sq foot of stuff in storage and can't really add any to it. So, simplify....
Just todays ramble from a point of view that is not only looking at everyday live, but looking at our changing Nation and our Pagan influence in our lives. What we do today WILL affect tomorrow, and our choices that we make now, WILL affect our children's decisions as they inherit what we leave for them.
just saying....

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Changing nation...

With all the things that are going wrong with our once top rated nation, I wonder where we are truly heading, and what kind if future, if any, that our children have. There are more people homeless every year, more people bankrupt, more businesses going under. Where is the upside to all this? How are we 'fixing' this as a nation?
Our steady march down this road has left a large scar along the natural world and in our history that blurs our predicted future. In our haste to create a greater nation, we have destroyed our resources, scattered our goals and bankrupted our future.
Plenty of people have suggested many treatments to these symptoms, but none have approached the cure to the cause of it all. Our scientists all agree on very few things, yet our polititions have failed to head the warnings and refuse to change due to'cost' and revenue. What??? Instead of applying a cure to solve natural resource issues, we can't afford to? What do we do after these resources are gone? Oh yeah, then we will change! Instead of rebuilding the crumbling infrastructures in America, we will send moneys and resources to other countries that 'need' our help. Why? So the elected folk of America can 'look' good to the U.N.? While our roads, bridges, seaports, education, Health, and every other governmental system is breaking down, we wanna fix some other country up? Are they gonna fix ours for us after they have their new schools, hospitals, bridges and roads?
And what about the rest of us? The 'blue collar' workers of America, who shoulder the greater weight of taxes. We don't have enough tax cuts and shelters to hide from our taxes, and we have never seen a tax break for it. I remember when the poverty level in the U.S. was anything under $16,000, now it is $22,000 and we have 35% of the American workforce who make between $18,000 to $22,000. Living at poverty level, yet cannot get ahead due to the cost of inflation, which by the way is driven by corporations to maintain a profit level for the upper management and owners.
The system isn't suffering from maintenance issues, it's broken due to the maintenance. Our government 'fixes' things with only a short term outlook, and with holds any real attempt to overhaul and repair the systems. this type of maintenance leads to the inevitable and eventual breakdown. And we... wel we are stuck with the bills, and the broken systems.

An Older post of mine on an account I cannot access...

Bits and Pieces on Druidism

Druidism and other Neopagan religions are currently experiencing a rapid growth. Many people
are attempting to rediscover their roots, their ancestral heritage. For many people in North
America, their ancestors can be traced back to Celtic/Druidic countries. 
Most modern Druids connect the origin of their religion to the ancient Celtic people. However,
historical data is scarce. The Druids may well have been active in Britain and perhaps in
northern Europe before the advent of the Celts. 
Many academics believe that the ancestors of the Celts were the Proto-Indo European culture
who lived near the Black Sea circa 4000 BCE. Some migrated in a South-Westerly direction to
create the cultures of Thrace and Greece; others moved North-West to form the Baltic, Celtic,
Germanic and Slavic cultures. Evidence of a Proto-Celtic Unetice or Urnfield culture has been
found in what is now Slovakia circa 1000 BCE. This evolved into a group of loosely linked
tribes which formed the Celtic culture circa 800 BCE. By 450 BCE they had expanded into
Spain; by 400 BCE they were in Northern Italy, and by 270 BCE, they had migrated into
Galatia (central Turkey). By 200 BCE, they had occupied the British Isles, Brittany, much of
modern France, Netherlands, Belgium, Germany and Switzerland, North West Spain, and their
isolated Galatia settlement in Turkey. 
Although the Celts had a written language, it was rarely used. Their religious and philosophical
beliefs were preserved in an oral tradition. Little of their early history remains. Most of our
information comes from Greek and Roman writers, who may well have been heavily biased (the
Celts invaded Rome in 390 BCE and Greece in 279 BCE). Other data comes from the
codification (and modification) of Celtic myth cycles by Christian monks. The latter included the
Ulster Cycle, the Fenian Cycle, the Cycle of Kings, the Invasion Races Cycle from Ireland, and
The Mabinogion from Wales. Unfortunately, much Celtic history and religion has been lost or
distorted by an overlay of Christianity. 
The Christian Church adsorbed much of Celtic religion: many Pagan Gods and Goddesses
became Christian saints; sacred springs and wells were preserved and associated with saints;
many Pagan temple sites became the location of cathedrals. By the 7th Century CE, Druidism
itself was destroyed or continued deeply underground throughout most of the formerly Celtic
lands. There is some evidence that Pagan religions did survive in isolated areas of Estonia,
Latvia and Lithuania into the 20th Century. 

Druids do not follow the which states (in modern English) one is free to do
anything, as long as it harms nobody. The closest analogy are the Celtic Virtues
of honor, loyalty, hospitality, honesty, justice and courage. "Daven" briefly
describes the Virtues as follows:

"Briefly stated the virtue of Honor requires one to adhere to their oaths and do the right
thing, even if it will ultimately hurt others or oneself in the process. A Druid is obligated
to remain true to friends, family and leaders thus exhibiting the virtue of Loyalty.
Hospitality demands that a Druid be a good host when guests are under one's roof.
Honesty insists that one tell the truth the whole truth and nothing but the truth to
yourself, your gods and your people. Justice desires the Druid understands everyone has
an inherent worth and that an assault to that worth demands recompense in one form or
another. Courage for the Druid does not always wear a public face; it is
standing-strong-in-the-face-of-adversity, alone or with companions. Sometimes Courage
is getting up and going about a daily routine when pain has worn one down without
complaint or demur."

The Celts did not form a single religious or political unity. They were organized
into tribes spread across what is now several countries. As a result, of the 374
Celtic deities which have been found, over 300 occur only once in the
archeological record; they are believed to be local deities. There is some
evidence that their main pantheon of Gods and Goddesses might have totaled
about 3 dozen - perhaps precisely 33 (a frequently occurring magical number in
Celtic literature). Some of the more famous are: Arawn, Brigid, Cernunnos,
Cerridwen, Danu, Herne, Lugh, Morgan, Rhiannon and Taranis. Many Celtic
deities were worshiped in triune (triple aspect) form. Triple Goddesses were
often sisters.