I am the Independent Voter and I am waiting to be wowed. The Democratic Party does not understand me and the Republicans have taken me for granted for far too long. I am not an elite intellectual nor am I a backwoods buffoon. I am the key to victory in the next election. The deciding factor in which direction our country will go.
I am not impressed by the half-truths, out of context quotes and out right lies broadcast in your political ads. I don’t care if you paid your taxes at a 30% rate or a 15% rate. I don’t care if it took you three times to figure out how to make a marriage work. I don’t care if you did or didn’t change your mind about an issue. I don’t care if you stumbled over a question during a debate. I don’t care if you smoked pot in high school, posed nude to pay for college, pick your nose or sleep with a teddy bear.
I do care about keeping my job if I have one, and finding one if I don’t. I care that I might not be able to afford a gallon of gas, or a week’s worth of groceries. I want an honest day’s wage for an honest day’s work. I want to be able to take my child to the doctor when he’s sick and not worry about if I can afford it. I want to see that brand new, mostly empty strip mall in my neighborhood filled with shops. I want clean air, clean water, and food that is safe to eat.
I don’t care if the man down the road is a billionaire because he inherited a thriving business that his father built from scratch. I just want a level playing field where I have the opportunity to do the same.
I worry that our quest to be a “tolerant” society will blind us to the machinations of our enemies, and I fear that our over burdened, over restricted and under manned military will not be able to protect us.
I want the schools to teach my children how to be competitive in an ever-changing world economy. Teach them basic academic skills. Train them in critical thinking, not what to think, but how to think. Don’t waste a school day filling my child’s head with politically correct, social, moral, and spiritual indoctrination. It is not the government’s place to teach my children right from wrong, or to boost their fragile egos. That is my job as their parent.
I want to preserve the wonder and majesty of nature. I want to have pristine parks and sparkling lakes. I want to be a good steward and manage our resources well, but I don’t want the Government telling me how. That oil well eyesore is a beautiful thing when it is the secret to feeding your family. I just don’t get that upset about the last remaining sub species of a toad, when there are thousands of other toads, and that toad’s existence will cost a family their farm, or a town a hundred jobs.
I want to feel safe in my home. I want to have the right to protect it from thieves, vandals and government intrusion. I want to be able to do as I see fit on my property, as long as I don’t pose an actual threat or nuisance to my neighbors.
The current administration has let me down, as have others before it. I want to know what you, if elected President, will do to restore this country back to its place as leader of the free world. To help us grow a vibrant economy, to secure our boarders, to give the power back to the people the way our Founding Fathers intended. Court me, impress me, wow me. The future of our country is at stake.
Sean Patrick Hazlett at Reflections of a Rational Republican has thrown down the gauntlet and has asked other bloggers to list their technology predictions for 2012.
I am technologically defunct. Just starting this blog was a huge leap for me. I usually have to get my tech advice from my teenage kids. They love Apple. Now if I could just get them to eat one once in a while.
Here are my 2012 predictions. I chose to focus on issues that may be of importance to families. Some deal with technology, some not.
- As schools deal with budget cuts, virtual schools will become common. Children at all grade levels will take at least some of their public school classes at home online.
- The job markets will remain weak. As more and more families adjust to a reduced income, many people will choose not to re-enter the work force. This will create a return to the single income family with one parent staying home to care for the children. The stay at home parent will not necessarily be the mom. The spouse with the most income potential will be the one to return to work.
- We will no longer need to depend on Soyuz rockets to supply the ISS. Companies such as SpaceX will begin regular privatized missions late this year or early 2013.
- Video games will become more realistic. The gamer will be able to experience the feel of different environments. For example, feeling wet when in water, hot in a desert, or cold in the snow. He will be able to feel the sensation of various terrains beneath his feet and games will have sensors that emit real pain sensations when the player is injured in a battle. Thus giving our kids even more reasons to avoid playing outdoors.
- Biosphere resorts will become popular vacation destinations. Imagine relaxing in a lush tropical garden where it’s not too hot, not too cold, and no mosquitoes.
- The Mars Rover Curiosity will discover actual microbial life on the planet.
- Iran will test fire it’s first nuclear bomb this summer.
- Tensions with Iran cause gas prices to rise to over $5.00 a gallon this spring. This will result in real food shortages here in the US. In response more families will start to grow personal vegetable gardens. Several states will pass regulations to stop HOA’s from forbidding such gardens.
- Because an impending war with Iran will force us to stop our dependence on Middle Eastern oil in a hurry and because the technology already exists, I expect to see used vegetable oil become e popular as an alternative fuel.
- After the Republican Convention, Ron Paul, Michele Bachman and Rick Santorum will remain in the race as third-party candidates. The Republican Party will be fractured and Barack Obama will win the election as a result. This will cause the formation of a truly viable third-party and the election of a third-party president in 2016.
- Star Trek type replicators will become common in American homes. I know, probably not, but a mom can dream.
- And finally, all those of you who are expecting the world to end in December, and re using this, as your retirement strategy will be sadly disappointed come January 1, 2013.
I wish you all a blessed new year.
Now that Time Magazine has made The Protester “The Person of the Year”, I have been giving a lot of thought to the First Amendment Rights to peaceable assembly and to petition the government for a redress of grievances. We hear a lot about our constitutional rights, what we don’t hear a lot about is our responsibilities in exercising those rights.
There are many ways to petition our government officials. We can write or email them. We can gather signatures on a petition. We can call them and we can vote. We can even gather in large numbers in a show of unity to call attention to an issue. That is what is meant by the right to peaceably assemble.
A peaceful assembly respects the rights of those not participating to go about their daily lives and does not try to impede them by blocking streets, sidewalks, or the entrances to buildings. A peaceful assembly does not destroy public or private property. People do not commit crimes against one another during a peaceful assembly. A peaceful assembly respects the rules of usage for public parks and open spaces. A peaceful assembly respects the rights of others to use public parks and open spaces and does not occupy them for an unreasonable amount of time.
When the purpose of a gathering is to call attention to its cause by being willfully disruptive or destructive, when it causes an inconvenience to those not participating by obstructing their access to places were they have a right to be, then the gathering is no longer a peaceful assembly. It is an act of civil disobedience. Civil disobedience is an unlawful act and is not protected under the constitution.
To understand the difference between the two acts we need to understand why we have this right.
The Constitution was written by men who had a healthy mistrust of government. They wanted to limit the government’s intrusion into our daily lives. The First Amendment spells out some specific rights that allow us to maintain control of the government and the individuals elected to serve us. Not all countries enjoy this kind of freedom. In places such as China, and Middle Eastern theocracies, the people have no other choice but to engage in civil disobedience in order to confront the injustices their governments force them to endure. But because our constitution gives us lawful and civilized ways to keep our government accountable to us, an act of civil disobedience is not only unnecessary it is counter productive.
When a gathering becomes a disruptive nuisance to a community there will inevitable be someone who seeks to remedy the situation and prevent future problems by suggesting regulation. It seems reasonable enough, lets protect the public by restricting, how many may gather for a rally, where they can gather, how long they can gather. Before long political correctness takes over and along with protecting public safety, the government decides that it should protect us from being “offended” as well. Now along with the restrictions already in place comes a restriction on who can gather. Now you have to submit your agenda to code compliance to make sure it does not encourage disruptive behavior. See how this goes?
We all have a right to have our grievances heard, but we should also be good neighbors and citizens. The First Amendment was not meant to allow an “anything goes” approach to addressing our concerns. When we abuse our rights, we set in motion the means to erode them.
I hope the New Generation Hippies, the Junior Baby Boomers also know as the Occupiers realize by now that any hope of having a serious discussion of their grievances has been quashed thanks to their embarrassing shenanigans. It’s unfortunate because there truly is an intelligent debate to be had. People are really struggling. And not just the spoiled twenty somethings still living on their parents labor, or those living off of the tax payers. There are many of us who work hard every day and still can’t get ahead. Our benefits get cut, and raises are eliminated. Prices for basic needs are getting higher and higher and each week our paychecks are stretched as tight as a fat lady’s girdle. And we feel no one is listening. We hear a lot about corporate greed and class warfare these days. I think both sides have it wrong. At heart I suppose I am a capitalist. I believe that strong businesses free of burdensome government regulation are the foundation to overall wealth in our country. It is obvious however, that there is something fundamentally wrong when a CEO can earn half a million a year at a company that can’t afford to pay its lower level employees a decent wage or even worse has to let them go. Loyal, hard-working employees, deserve to share in the wealth of a company. Businesses that realize that keep a dependable well motivated labor pool who are satisfied with their jobs and work to keep a company profitable. Those who do not create an atmosphere favorable to the labor unions. Companies that choose to do business in an unethical fashion clear a path for government regulation. It all comes down to practicing good stewardship. American businesses need to realize that they have a responsiblity to do what’s right by their employees, customers, community and environment. Pay their employees a fair wage and benefit package, produce a quality product at a fair price, give back to the community they are located in and don’t exploit or pollute unnecessarily. In the town where I’m from, there was a man named H B Zachry. In 1924 he started his company with very little capital. He had a contract to build a bridge and had to finish the job in order to be paid. As the story goes, he didn’t have the money to pay his workers so he told the men if they would stay with him until the job was finished, he’d see to it that they were taken care of. The bridge was finished and Mr. Zachry kept his word. He even took care of men’s widows. Personally delivering bags of groceries to them. This was a man who truly understood the values that make up a good business ethic. The answer to cleaning up corporate America is not in persuading the government to step in and force American businesses to do the right thing. The answer is in changing corporate values. in bringing more men like H B Zachery into play. In a free market society, the real power belongs to the consumers. We need to be smart, do our research and use the goods and services of a business only if it operates in harmony with our values. The Occupiers are fond of shouting “power to the people not the corporations” but the people have had the power all along.