Saturday, October 25, 2014

Politicized Minimum Wage System is a Broken System

After talking to business owners, and minimum wage earners, I have come to the conclusion that the system we use is in need of repair. Most of the time where there is a system, or process, and people are being blamed for it not working, it is the process that needs to be fixed, not the people. That was a lesson I learned when working in industry.

So what is wrong with the Minimum Wage process? The process has been politicized. Instead of the Minimum Wage process being used as a means to assure a proper wage for the lowest paid workers, it is being used as a tool by the various political parties.

One party will tout the virtues of raising the minimum wage while the other warns of the dangers. One side is focused on the issue's side that has the interest of the wage earner, while the other will focus on the side of the businesses interests. All the while, the system remains broken and serves both sides poorly.

The reason I say it serves both sides poorly is this. When a new minimum wage is agreed on by both parties and voted into law, normally the business owner is hit with a large increase over a short time. This large increase normally had is to make up for several years of inflation eating away at the earning power of the wage earner.

The problem for the wage earner comes from having to wait for years before seeing an increase, all the while their earning power is reduced due to the inflation. This causes the wage earner to cut back spending except for the most basic of needs, and even cut back on the basics when the inflation burden gets to heavy. This in return hurts businesses because there is less disposable income for a large portion of the population. The population tightens its belt, so to speak.

To fix the process, the process must be smoothed out and depoliticized. The incentive to use it as a tool for political gain must be removed. Also the rate at which the wage affects the business owner, and wage earner must be smoothed out. The best way of doing this would be to tie the raises in the minimum wage to the Consumer Price Index, or inflation.

Tying the raises in the minimum wage to inflation should be done in a manner similar to the way raises are made in Social Security payments. If there is a raise in inflation in one year of 1.7%, there should be a corresponding raise in the minimum wage of 1.7%. If there is 0% inflation, there should be no raise in the minimum wage for that 0% inflation year.

In the year 2009 the minimum wage was raised to its current rate of $7.25 per hour. If the minimum wage were tied to the inflation rate, the raises would look something like this: (percent of inflation calculated by the Bureau of Labor Statistics http://www.bls.gov/cpi/home.htm)

2009 inflation rate = 2.7% | therefore the minimum wage is increased by 2.7%, or 19 cents per hour bringing the rate up to $7.44 per hour.

2010 inflation rate = 1.5% | therefore the minimum wage is increased by 1.5%, or 11 cents per hour bringing the rate up to $7.55 per hour.

2011 inflation rate = 3.0% | therefore the minimum wage is increased by 3.0%, or 22 cents per hour bringing the rate up to $7.77 per hour.

2012 inflation rate = 1.7% | therefore the minimum wage is increased by 1.7%, or 13 cents per hour bringing the rate up to $7.90 per hour.

2013 inflation rate = 1.5% | therefore the minimum wage is increased by 1.5%, or 11 cents per hour bringing the rate up to $8.02 per hour.

2014 inflation rate = 1.7% | therefore the minimum wage is increased by 1.7%, or 13 cents per hour bringing the rate up to $8.16 per hour.

Tying the raise in the minimum wage yearly raises to the CPI instead of having large raises every several years would smooth out this process for everybody. Business could absorb rises in the minimum wage easier with small yearly incremental increases much easier than large increases hitting them all at once. The wage earner could better afford to have a decent standard of living, without the danger of increases in inflation causing their net spending power to shrink year after year, while they wait for politicians to come to some kind of agreement in a raise.

One other effect of this would be that the wage earner would have less motivation to tighten their spending belts. They would spend their income at these businesses, causing less unemployment.

The idea that the minimum wage should be raised to $10.10 an hour is totally politically motivated. This new wage, in my opinion is proposed to make up for lost time, and to cover future inflation for the next few years. After the cycle is complete, the political parties will resume using the minimum wage as bate in order to garner political gains.

Businesses and wage earners should not have to suffer this broken system. The current politicized system benefits one party or the other, and causes businesses and wage earners to suffer. So rather than blaming the wage earner or the business for this problem, we should focus on the real source of the problem. The broken system.

Please feel free to check all data presented here, and correct me if I have anything incorrect. Also I invite, and encourage/welcome all ideas, and thoughts on this national problem, and the fix I propose here.

Thank you for reading this, and for your support.

James E Parks Jr.
Muncie Indiana

Friday, October 24, 2014

Finding Middle Ground in the Minimum Wage Debate

I'm trying very hard to be as objective as possible with the minimum wage issue. Small business has a valid concern when it comes to keeping costs down, and profits up. One of the biggest cost to business is labor.

Wage earners have a valid concern when it comes to wages, and the effects of inflation causing the net value of their wage to decrease. They also have a vested interest in keeping costs down and profits up for their employer. Likewise the employer has a vested interest in keeping their employees well fed, housed and healthy.

Right now the federal minimum wage is $7.24 per hour. With that hourly wage, plus Social Security and Medicare matching funds that causes a total cost to the employer for 1 worker to be $311.75 per week.

It has been proposed that the minimum wage be increased to $10.10 per hour. With that hourly wage, plus Social Security and Medicare matching funds that causes a total cost to the employer for one worker to be $434.91 per week.

That is an added cost of $24.63 per day, per employee. This is $3.08 per hour extra for a 40 hour week.

There has to be some middle ground here. Either that or, there has to be a way that employers can pay an updated minimum wage. I think one way of doing that is for the employees, and employers to be more efficient. If the employee wishes to raise the minimum, can they find a way to add $3.08 per hour of added value to their labor? Could the employer find a way to bring into the business $24.63 more per day, per employee? (Note: Consideration was not given to the fact that labor efficiency has risen every year, but wages do not increase because of it)

I'm no accountant, but I'm good at finding relationships between several seemingly unrelated things. One thing I'm finding here is the relationship between well paid employees and a successful business. Also the relationship of motivated, hard working employees and a successful business. One can not be had without the other. Both the employer and the employee depend on each other and have interest in each other's success.

So the solution IMHO is in the behavior of the employee and employer. Here is an example. When I was in the aircraft industry, I hated it when people would take my time with idle chatter. Unless they could keep their hands working while they run their mouths, I would rather them not talk at all. I remember times of when I had to leave the aircraft to get materials, or tools. On the way sometimes a friend would stop me and start telling me some long story about this or that, and it had nothing to do with the job. I would tell them to cut it short, I had work to do. I didn't mind the passing conversation like "How's the kids. They are good. Cool, talk later." Then the later was at break times. That time standing in a hallway having a long drawn out conversation about non-work related things is an unreasonable cost to the employer. Don't do that.

Same with things like unauthorized smoke breaks. All this idle time adds up big time over the course of a week, a month or a year. You want a raise? Make it worth it to the employer. You have a task that is supposed to take 2 hours? Try your damnedest to get that task done in 1.75 hours. All that efficiency adds up as profit for the employer. That is good motive to get more money to the employees.

How about the business? How are you running things? Are you taking advantage of the hours worked by your employees? How about the process? Is it efficient? Is there room for improvement? Can you look around and find ways of cutting basic operating costs? Turn that thermostat to 68 degrees in the winter, and 78 degrees in the summer. Use water more effectively. Switch to more fuel efficient vehicles in your fleet. Start an employee suggestion program.

There is a solution to the minimum wage problem that can work for the employer and the employee, but the onus can not be placed completely on one or the other. It takes a partnership between employer and employee. Both of them working together for mutual success.

Are you a minimum wage earner? Can you think of ways to add value to your labor to the employer?

Are you the employer of minimum wage earners? Can you think of ways to add value to the labor you employ? Ways of running your business more efficiently or effectively?

I think this is food for thought by all concerned. Input is encouraged and welcome.

Also if my figures are off, please inform me. Indeed inform me because the way I see things, we are talking about the the employer and employee finding $3.08 per hour extra. Facts and creative solutions go hand in hand.

Note: Updated figures up due to a correction in the math.rying very hard to be as objective as possible with the minimum wage issue. Small business has a valid concern when it comes to keeping costs down, and profits up. One of the biggest cost to business is labor.

Wage earners have a valid concern when it comes to wages, and the effects of inflation causing the net value of their wage to decrease. They also have a vested interest in keeping costs down and profits up for their employer. Likewise the employer has a vested interest in keeping their employees well fed, housed and healthy.

Right now the federal minimum wage is $7.24 per hour. With that hourly wage, plus Social Security and Medicare matching funds that causes a total cost to the employer for 1 worker to be $311.75 per week.

It has been proposed that the minimum wage be increased to $10.10 per hour. With that hourly wage, plus Social Security and Medicare matching funds that causes a total cost to the employer for one worker to be $434.91 per week.

That is an added cost of $24.63 per day, per employee. This is $3.08 per hour extra for a 40 hour week.

There has to be some middle ground here. Either that or, their has to be a way that employers can pay an updated minimum wage. I think one way of doing that is for the employees, and employers to be more efficient. If the employee wishes to raise the minimum, can they find a way to add $3.08 per hour of added value to their labor? Could the employer find a way to bring into the business $24.63 more per day, per employee?

I'm no accountant, but I'm good at finding relationships between several seemingly unrelated things. One thing I'm finding here is the relationship between well paid employees and a successful business. Also the relationship of motivated, hard working employees and a successful business. One can not be had without the other. Both the employer and the employee depend on each other and have interest in each other's success.

So the solution IMHO is in the behavior of the employee and employer. Here is an example. When I was in the aircraft industry, I hated it when people would take my time with idle chatter. Unless they could keep their hands working while they run their mouths, I would rather them not talk at all. I remember times of when I had to leave the aircraft to get materials, or tools. On the way sometimes a friend would stop me and start telling me some long story about this or that, and it had nothing to do with the job. I would tell them to cut it short, I had work to do. I didn't mind the passing conversation like "How's the kids. They are good. Cool, talk later." Then the later was at break times. That time standing in a hallway having a long drawn out conversation about non-work related things is an unreasonable cost to the employer. Don't do that.

Same with things like unauthorized smoke breaks. All this idle time adds up big time over the course of a week, a month or a year. You want a raise? Make it worth it to the employer. You have a task that is supposed to take 2 hours? Try your damnedest to get that task done in 1.75 hours. All that efficiency adds up as profit for the employer. That is good motive to get more money to the employees.

How about the business? How are you running things? Are you taking advantage of the hours worked by your employees? How about the process? Is it efficient? Is their room for improvement? Can you look around and find ways of cutting basic operating costs? Turn that thermostat to 68 degrees in the winter, and 78 degrees in the summer. Use water more effectively. Switch to more fuel efficient vehicles in your fleet. Start an employee suggestion program.

There is a solution to the minimum wage problem that can work for the employer and the employee, but the onus can not be placed completely on one or the other. It takes a partnership between employer and employee. Both of them working together for mutual success.

Are you a minimum wage earner? Can you think of ways to add value to your labor to the employer?

Are you the employer of minimum wage earners? Can you think of ways to add value to the labor you employ? Ways of running your business more efficiently or effectively?

I think this is food for thought by all concerned. Input is encouraged and welcome.

Also if my figures are off, please inform me. Indeed inform me because the way I see things, we are talking about the the employer and employee finding $3.08 per hour extra. Facts and creative solutions go hand in hand.

Note: Updated figures up due to a correction in the math.

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Question About Cannabis Answered

One of my friends asked me an important question regarding cannabis. I think it is important to answer these questions, and try to stay with only the facts. After all, the government has been lying about it for many years. You know the old saying. "If you tell a lie enough times, people will start to believe it". Now we are stuck with 50% of our nation still believing in these untruths. Time to get out the facts. Actually time is long past due.


Question:
"I heard decades ago that if a person smoked pot, they are likely to turn to the harder drugs??? true or false, I have no idea."
Answer:
False in general. If a person is buying marijuana from the black market, they would be more exposed to drugs like heroin, or meth. In that setting, they may be more at risk due to availability. My first drug used was tobacco, and then alcohol. That was due to the fact that I was a 5 year old child who watched adults using those drugs on a daily basis. The notion of marijuana being a "gateway drug" is a misguided fabrication, crafted by Harry Anslinger, and his crew, in a racists bit to outlaw cannabis. I was just now reading his testimony to congress in 1938. He mentions the use of marijuana being used as a defense for a few murders. I believe the lawyers were using it as a tactic in an insanity defense. Or in other words as a scapegoat. Mr. Anslinger incorrectly used these bogus murder defense tactic as reason to criminalize cannabis use. I say that due to one simple observation. Cannabis has been legal in Colorado for quite some time now. The use of cannabis for medicinal reasons has been legal in several states for even longer. If all the horror stories of cannabis turning otherwise sane people into insane murderers were true, we would have a rash of murders and other crimes in the states where cannabis has become legal. Instead there is evidence of exactly the opposite happening. For instance, in Colorado it was reported that there was a 10% reduction in crime after the full legalization of cannabis.
Thank you for your question. I invite all concerned persons to research this topic with an open mind. Don't be subject to propaganda. Only seek and use the facts in this matter.

Lack of Common Core Values Leaves Students at Risk

I find this disturbing. Even though 85% of our nation has adopted Common Core in their schools, my state has not. When I look at where Indiana ranks in education on a national level, I can see we are at best mediocre.
Texas comes in dead last for High School graduation. We all know the awful effects of this lack of effective education there. Religious fundamentalism has caused a roll back in woman's rights, and in other areas. Religious fundamentalism relies on the populace being ignorant in order to advance its backward agenda. Indiana has followed Texas in this, and is in danger of falling further behind due to the Republican's, and the Tea Party's misguided idealism.
I constantly hear the Republican/Tea Party base blaming Muslim fundamentalism for terrorists activities, when their own Christian fundamentalism keeps holding states like Indiana and Texas back.
Why is it that these non-adopters of Common Core know so much better than the rest of the 85% of our nation? How do they justify their actions of ignoring the facts? Why are they so willing to point a finger, but not take notice of their own destructive actions?
I urge all of the people of these non-Common Core states to re-evaluate their position on this matter. This situation causes the United States as a whole to fall further behind the rest of the world.
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"In mathematics, 29 nations and other jurisdictions outperformed the United States by a statistically significant margin, up from 23 three years ago," reports Education Week. "In science, 22 education systems scored above the U.S. average, up from 18 in 2009."
In reading, 19 other locales scored higher than U.S. students — a jump from nine in 2009, when the last assessment was performed.
The top overall scores came from Shanghai, Singapore, Hong Kong, Taiwan, South Korea, Macao and Japan, followed by Lichtenstein, Switzerland, the Netherlands and Estonia.
http://www.npr.org/…/u-s-high-school-students-slide-in-math…
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Please vote for people who will contribute to the advancement of our civilization. Vote for people who support Common Core.


Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Debunking Charges Made by a Republican

One of my colleagues made plenty of charges against the Democratic Party members/backers, and didn't back it up with even a sliver of data. It seems like you're just parroting the same old GOP spiel they hand out on shows like Fox & Friends, or Rush Limbaugh.

I offer you real data in an effort not to refute, but rather to educate. I welcome data that speaks to the contrary. I have went point by point, including some comments and all links. They are not in the same order as the charges.

Knee-jerk responses not welcome.
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Abortions and Crime http://youtu.be/zk6gOeggViw
Levitt takes you through his research on the relationship between dropping crime and the legalization of abortion.

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Jimmy Carter: Animosity towards Barack Obama is due to racism
http://www.theguardian.com/world/2009/sep/16/jimmy-carter-racism-barack-obama

"And that racism inclination still exists. And I think it's bubbled up to the surface because of the belief among many white people, not just in the south but around the country, that African Americans are not qualified to lead this great country. It's an abominable circumstance, and it grieves me and concerns me very deeply."
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Climate change: How do we know?
http://climate.nasa.gov/evidence/

Scientific evidence for warming of the climate system is unequivocal.
- Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change

The current warming trend is of particular significance because most of it is very likely human-induced and proceeding at a rate that is unprecedented in the past 1,300 years.1

Earth-orbiting satellites and other technological advances have enabled scientists to see the big picture, collecting many different types of information about our planet and its climate on a global scale. Studying these climate data collected over many years reveal the signals of a changing climate.

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Disabled Recipients of Social Security Fund Face Hefty Benefits Cut
http://www.nbcnews.com/business/economy/disabled-recipients-social-security-fund-face-hefty-benefits-cut-n127981

“My expectation is that Republicans will demand a price for changing the allocation," said Wharton's Duggan. "I think ultimately that is what will happen, but whether or not there will be reform bundled with that will be interesting to see.”

Playing chicken with the trust fund would be devastating, Ruffing said. “If Congress allows the disability trust fund to run dry, then what will happen is benefits to all recipients will be cut by approximately 20 percent, which is obviously an unacceptable outcome,” she said. “It’s a completely unnecessary form of brinkmanship.”

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Senate Republicans Filibuster Equal Pay For Women Bill
http://talkingpointsmemo.com/dc/senate-republicans-filibuster-equal-pay-for-women

As expected, Senate Republicans filibustered legislation on Monday aimed at helping women fight for equal pay in the workplace, a vote held by Democrats to attack the GOP ahead of the 2014 midterm elections.

The vote was 52 for, 40 against, falling short of the 60 needed to defeat a filibuster.
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Doug Cox, Republican Lawmaker, Lambasts Oklahoma GOP For Anti-Birth Control Crusade
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/05/29/doug-cox-republicans_n_3355162.html

"All of the new Oklahoma laws aimed at limiting abortion and contraception are great for the Republican family that lives in a gingerbread house with a two-car garage, two planned kids and a dog," Cox wrote in an op-ed published Wednesday in NewsOK. "In the real world, they are less than perfect."

"And in the world I work and live in, an unplanned pregnancy can throw up a real roadblock on a woman's path to escaping the shackles of poverty," added Cox, a practicing physician who has delivered more than 800 babies, according to NewsOK.

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Proof of the GOP War on Women
http://www.politicususa.com/proof-war-women-2

o Anti-abortion Laws

Republican legislators have introduced a wide array of laws designed to either outlaw abortion outright or to discourage it by making ridiculous and sometimes humiliating requirements of women who might consider having a pregnancy terminated. These include so-called TRAP (Targeted Regulation of Abortion Providers) regulations.

o Legalizing the Murder of Abortion Doctors

South Dakota flirted with a law to make the murder of an abortion doctor legal as self-defense. When South Dakota was forced to drop the idea of murdering abortion doctors, Nebraska and Iowa picked up the idea. See also HB 3308 Life Defense Act of 2012 above, which has implications in this regard.

o Abstinence Education

A total of 37 states mandate abstinence education while contraception falls increasingly under attack by Republican legislatures.

o “Personhood Laws” and Fetal Rights and Mandatory Ultrasounds

In 2011 the trend in anti-abortion legislation was passage of laws that would give fertilized eggs the rights of “personhood” – in other words, fertilized eggs would have the same rights as you or me – a blatant ploy to attack women’s reproductive rights. Florida, Montana and Ohio will have “personhood” on the ballot in 2012 and according to CNN “efforts in at least five other states are in the planning stages.” Mississippi has just rejected one such extremist measure and Colorado and South Dakota have also rejected them. Robin Marty at RH Reality Check examines 20-week bans and points to the flaw at the heart of this type of legislation. In 2012, mandatory ultrasounds have become the rage. However, Republican legislators seem to be realizing that voters aren’t exactly jumping on the bandwagon.

o War on Birth Control/Contraception

Republicans have tried to define contraception not as a health but as a religious issue, claiming that the availability of contraception is a violation of their religious beliefs.

o Taxing Abortions

The newest rage, direct from 13th Century Kansas, seeks to squeeze profit from abortions by taxing them.

The War on Human Fetuses in Food

Yes, you read that correctly. And no, there are no human fetuses in food. But that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t have laws against them being there – if you’re a Republican, that is. The Associated Press reports that Oklahoma State Senator Ralph Shortey, infamous for authoring failed bills, has proposed a bill “that would ban the use of aborted human fetuses in food, despite conceding that he’s unaware of any company using such a practice,” and even Republican Sen. Brian Crain, a self-professed “pro-lifer” and the chairman of the Senate Human Services Committee says, “I’d hate to think we’re going to spend our time coming up with possibilities of things we need to stop.” The FDA, of course, says it is “not aware of this particular concern.” Ridiculous as it sounds, the bill does also outlaw stem cell research.

The War on the Girl Scouts

From Indiana: While not taking the form of actual legislation, the actions of Rep. Bob Morris (R-Fort Wayne), who became opposed to the idea of honoring the Girl Scouts because of something he read on the Internet, were hateful. He refused to honor the Girl Scouts because, he as he told fellow lawmakers, they ” promote homosexual lifestyles” and study “feminists, lesbians, or Communists” as role models while ignoring those with a religious background.” And on the basis of some very poor research he warned against “extend[ing] legitimacy to a radicalized organization.” Raw Story reports [5.1.12] that “An Indiana lawmaker has only received a single donation in the months since he accused the Girl Scouts of becoming a ‘radicalized organization’ that promotes the ‘homosexual lifestyle.'”

The War on Divorce

o From Wisconsin comes Rep. Don Pridemore is co-sponsor of Senator Glenn Grothman’s (R-West Bend) bill (SB 507) that would list “nonmarital parenthood” as a cause of abuse. The bill states “In promoting those campaigns and materials, the [Child Abuse and Neglect Prevention Board] shall emphasize “nonmarital parenthood” as a contributing factor to child abuse and neglect.” The bill is bad enough – TodaysTMJ4 tells us that “Senator Grothman claims there’s an epidemic of single parenthood, and he’s pointing a finger at women for it.” But what’s worse is Pridemore’s defense of it; he says that women in abusive relationships – the reason so many of them are single parents in the first place – ought to just take a beating and stay married: ‘If they can refind those reasons and get back to why they got married in the first place it might help,’

Saturday, October 18, 2014

People Only Want Lies it Seems

I'm a bit disappointed in some of my friends. It seems like no matter how much data I provide that shows them how the republican party has lied, cheated, or otherwise took part in unsavory behavior, they continue to support that party. I am truly dumbfounded.

They either continue to bash Obama, who will not be president next term (so what's the point), or they keep spouting off the same old disproved things they always have.

I want them friends to know something, and you know who you are. I'm not trying to prove you wrong. It is not an ego trip either. I've got a lot of time on my hands, so I wanted to do something productive. That time used to be filled with working on airplanes. Now I'm focused on the politics of our nation. Can any of you who keep up the republican mantra even come close to the time I've logged studying this topic? I really doubt it.

I'm not trying to be better than thou, or high and mighty. What I'm trying to do is get down to the filthy scum underlying our nations problems. What else I'm trying to do is to present the facts to my family and friends. I do it because I love my country. I don't want it to get all screwed up, so I've taken on this task.

I know all of you don't have the time to research all this as deeply as I. Most of you have jobs keeping you busy making a living. Others aren't inclined to do the research, or don't even know where to start. So instead of relying on the media for truth, I look everything up. It is my way of contributing to our nation. I'm just glad we have the internet now days. It makes the task much easier.

Time and again I see people posting Republican/Tea Party propaganda, and then I look it up and find they are not being entirely truthful. When I try to help out by pointing it out, I get attacked. Either that or I get the same old stuff again and again. I see the same old propaganda over and over, again and again. I should say the same old lies, but that isn't the point of this post.

This post is to plead with friends and family to heed to what I say. Either do that, or challenge me with real facts to the contrary. If I have been duped I want to know about it. I would think if you were being duped, you would be angry about it. Instead I think a portion of you are prideful, and don't want to admit you were mistaken. That is the worst thing of all. The only pride that should count here is pride in being an American. Other than that, only the cold hard facts should matter.

I beg you, look again, and look hard at your party, and tell me some facts that prove I am mistaken. In the name of whatever god you worship, do this. Give me something that says I have it all wrong, and I'll quickly admit my error. Until then, you need to listen. You need to take note. I am here to serve you, and I do it for all of us.

My life will change little no matter who gets into office, GOP or Dems. I don't have any special interest going, except that of serving my nation the best way I know how. I'm don't have any reason to lead you astray. So take heed, or give me facts. That's all I ask.

Please, from one loyal and proud American Veteran to you, I beg you. Get the facts, and take heed.

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Shutdown US Government Remembered with Anger by Voters

This is not about Obamacare. This is about congressional misconduct, and a breach of the public trust that must not go unpunished.

This time last year the American people were mad as a wet hen at the United States Government. To be more precise they were mad at the looming shutdown of the federal government, and them responsible for it. I think it is extremely interesting that we don't see anything like that happening now. The conditions that fostered the shutdown fight remains, so why no fight?

The Affordable Care Act is still the law. The GOP/Tea Party still hate that fact very much. They also want to keep incumbent seats and remember how angry the American people were about their behavior in congress last year. If the same climate existed now as it did then, not one single incumbent GOP congressman would remain. All of them would be rejected because of voter anger over the possible shutdown threat.

I believe the people were angry over tactics more than anything else. The republicans tried 50 times unsuccessfully to get the ACA repealed. When they couldn't get their way using the regular machinery of our government, they try tacking the defunding of the ACA onto ANY bill funding the operation of our government. It was even a plot to use the threat of governmental shutdown as a means to an end. The de-funding of the Affordable Care Act.

The plot, conceived of by the Republicans, was put into text with the infamous Meadows Letter to Speaker of the House, John Boehner. In this letter, the idea of using the shutting down of the government as a tool, was encouraged. There was a long list of sponsors, co-sponsors and signers to the Meadows letter. They were all in lock step with the republican leadership, and the bully tactics of the Tea Party.

What was being threatened by a government shutdown? Many thousands of jobs were directly threatened by this. Veterans and Social Security would have been affected. Pensions and medical services our seniors depend on would of been at risk. Roads and bridges would of been left to rot. Businesses who contract goods and services would of started laying off workers. All but the most basic of functions would have been curtailed. All of it would of been had by a rogue Republican Party, and an out of limits Tea Party.

Time is coming very soon to elect our representatives. That is why you don't hear anything about de-funding the ACA. That's why you don't have the republicans and Tea Party going rabid over shutting down our government. They know how angry we citizens were about their behavior. They know that we would't support any signers of the Meadows letter. That is why you don't hear of it now.

I have a warning for you. If you don't remove these people from office, next year you'll have another fight with the possible shutdown of the government being used as a tool. The Republicans have shown a willingness to use such tactics if they believe it will work in their favor, to hell with the consequences. Now is the time for the American's people to respond with righteous anger when at the voting booth.

When I counted this last year there were 80 members of congress who signed the Meadows Letter or the Graves Bill. I encourage you to do a little Google search on this and remember your indignation. I encourage you to send a strong message to congress that such actions will not be tolerated by the citizens of the United States. Send that message in the form of your important and valuable vote. Vote for a candidate other than one you find on this list of shame.

I'm not forgetting the slap in the face our congress gave us. I'm not forgetting last year when I wondered if my Social Security check would arrive. That is why Luke Messer (R) incumbent congressman District 6 Indiana, will NOT get my vote. He was a co-sponsor of the Meadows Letter. He is not fit to serve.

Look through this list and see if one of the names matches someone running in your district. If you find a match, punish the person by ignoring them. Vote for someone else.



U.S. Rep. Mark Meadows Sends Letter to Boehner, Cantor Encouraging House Leadership to Defund Obamacare

And below is the list of Republican Congressmen, and where each stands on the Tom Graves bill and the Meadows letter. So far 80 Representatives have signed the Meadows letter:
Co-Sponsored Tom Graves Bill
Name
District
Mark Meadows Letter
Bob Aderholt AL-4
Co-sponsor Rodney AlexanderLA-5
Co-sponsor Justin Amash MI-3 Signer
Co-sponsor Mark Amodei NV-2
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Spencer Bachus AL-6
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Diane Black TN-6 Signer
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John Boehner OH-8
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SPONSOR Tom Graves GA-9 Signer
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Morgan Griffith VA-9
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Americans Express Anger, Frustration Over Government Shutdown

CONSERVATIVES SHOULD SIGN MEADOWS’S LETTER TO DEFUND OBAMACARE

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Being an Atheist Can be Extremely Hard

Do you wish that everyone knew you are really an atheist? Are you afraid to say so because of peer pressure? Try not to worry. Your real friends will respect your beliefs. They will not abandon you, or persecute you for not believing in the same things as they. I've got to warn you about something. It is not easy being a "non-believer" sometimes.

When a friend or family member is ill, and they want prayers for God's intervention, it can be extremely difficult to comfort them. You know that praying to a god is not going to do anything, except boost their morale when they see you praying for them. Maybe it will make them feel a little better knowing someone cares enough to pray. Praying is an act of love. Pray to the mindless universe and causality for a positive outcome.

What about if you are sick, and people say they will pray for you? It would make them feel bad to let them know you don't believe. They so badly want to help, and to see you get better. They want it so badly, they would ask their god to take them, and to spare you. What a profound act of love!

For me, things like the aforementioned are extremely hard. It is hard for me because I love you all, and would never want to see you unhappy. More often than not, I accept their prayers, gratefully. I pray along with them, or rather I pretend to pray. I do it out of respect. Could you imagine the heartbreak if someone who loves you wanted to pray for you, but you refused their act of kindness. It would be horrible.

I don't know about you, but keeping true to myself can be extremely hard. I don't take any of the religions lightly either. I know something like this reaches all the way back to our primitive ancestors. Passed down through countless generations. Profoundly believed by billions. Believed by people so profoundly that some of the believers would rather put me to the sword rather than have me write this, or to profess my non-belief. Indeed it is extremely hard for me to deal with this because I care about you all.

I could talk of the mean things said to the atheist. Hurtful things said and done to insightful, brilliant people who questioned tribal knowledge. They only sought truth, and got hate and death for their efforts.

I might mention my fear of speaking out sometimes. I bite my tongue and keep quiet rather than stir up the mob. The mob is mindless and will follow that which destroys, maims and kills. I don't want to end up like so many others. Burned at the altar of self righteous egos, unwilling to let go of the past. I don't want to be like them.

I had these thoughts this morning, and thoughts are for sharing. Along with these thoughts go a question for you non-believers. Do you still want to walk the path of the atheist? It can be a treacherous path, filled with heartbreak, doubts and fear. It can also be an enlightening path.

Enlightening because you will have thrown off the blinders of ignorance, myth and superstition. You will finally be open to the universe's true majesty and greatness. You will have let yourself decide, with reason and logic to accept the true nature of reality. To know that the universe is greater than any gods humans can invent. Not only is it greater than what we know, but even greater than what we can know. It is infinite.

Embrace truth and knowledge. Be free from mental bondage.