That’s the question for today. The simplistic answer is yes; however, the correct answer is no. If we think we are just a nation of laws we are no different than the Nazi government of the 1930’s & 40’s or Communism or for that matter many Islamic regimes today which are guided by laws called Sharia. All of these anti-American forms of government can clan make the same exact claim, that they are a “nation of laws”. So what is different about American from these other forms of government? Or is there any difference?
The founders knew that if they set forth a new government, where laws were the foundation, America would quickly become a totalitarian state. Instead they believed in a higher power. The opening paragraph to the Declaration of Independence gives us a great insight into what the founders thought should be the foundation for our laws:
“When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.”
The Republican party stands for a set of general principles that make it distinct from the Democrat party. Those general principles are fiscal responsibility, limited government, to provide for a strong defense and civil liberties. If you believe in those things, bravo — it is most likely why you are a Republican and not a Democrat or Independent. Unfortunately, Republicans we elected to represent us in Washington think differently. While they claim to be for all of these ideals, wrapping themselves in the American flag whenever in the district, the truth of the matter is that the GOP has turned on those ideas — and on us.
This past week, the Republican controlled U.S. House, and then U.S. Senate, voted to approve a $1.1 Trillion Omnibus bill. This will fund the Federal Government for the next year (through September 30, 2016). There are several particulars wrong with this law (and I will address those shortly), but the what we should first object to is the entire Omnibus process. In 2010, the Omnibus process is exactly what Republicans objected to when Democrats ran the House, and is part of the reason they won in grand fashion the 2010 mid-term elections. Rather than the Federal Budget being broken into separate appropriations bills, the Omnibus process bundles them all into one, large, monster bill. While this makes it easier for congress, it makes it more difficult for us, the voters, to understand what is going on. If we do not understand, there is no way to keep our members accountable. Moreover, it is hard to object to a massive bill that may have many good things in it even if it contains some bad things.
And that is exactly why congress does this — to dodge any sort of accountability. If they went through the normal appropriations process congressional members would have to take stands on all sorts of issues that may not make them popular with the Washington elite. So again our first objection should be to the Omnibus process, especially since both houses of congress are controlled by Republicans. We certainly did not give them control of either house to act like the Democrats they replaced.
It is said that principled people rarely have to deliberate about what to do, because their principles inform them of the correct decision. However, those who follow the way of pragmatism struggle mightily at ever turn.
Congressman Greg Walden is a pragmatist. His PR team would disagree with that statement. They would claim Walden is a conservative who works hard just like the average person in Oregon’s 2nd District, which he represents. They would continue that every day Walden is fighting the likes of Nancy Pelosi, Harry Reid and President Obama. They would say Greg Walden is pro-business and wants to stop the insanity of regulation by the Federal Government.
Unfortunately that is only true when it also benefits Greg Walden.
Does it? Does government have enough money and resources to do what it needs to do? That question is the fundamental issue behind each new tax levy and each new ballot measure where government asks the citizens for more money.
First it is important to think about need verses want. What is it we citizens need government to do, as opposed to, what do some want government to do? Much too much of what Federal, State and Local government does is not for the real needs of its citizens, but rather for the wants of special interests. These special interests have cleverly disguised their interest as a public concern and then tricked tax payers into funding their venture. Did we need to rebuild Henley elementary or KU? No, the buildings were just fine. They are old, but they certainly functioned. No one was dying in them. No one was getting sick, and no one injured. But the real-estate/construction/public-union/government sector drool over such public building projects because they funnel money from your pocket to theirs at inflated, government mandated, wages. Is it nicer to drive by a new school building rather than an old one. Sure. But does it educate our children any better? No. And there is a prime example between need and want. The real need is to educate our children. The want is to do it in the best and most expensive buildings in the county. Do children win? No. Do the special interests win? Yes. And special interests win all while fooling the public that we now have “better schools”.
Second, why should government continue to get more and more of our tax dollars? When your income increases, did you know that the amount of money you send to government also increases? So when wages in Klamath County go up, government already gets more money — at the same rate of the citizenry it serves. Likewise, when income goes down, money to the government decreases accordingly. Why then when incomes decrease should government continue spending at the same levels or higher? Why should government be given more money when the rest of us are doing with less?
What if one day $10,000,000.00 fell from the sky and appeared on Main Street between the Court House and Government Building? Immediately the police are called in, surrounding the large bundle of cash,... waiting for the County Commissioners and City Council to decide how best to utilize this gift from heaven for the local community.
One choice would be to allocate the money to City and County Government. Some of the money could go towards budget-starved agencies to help with any revenue shortfalls. Some of the money could be used for economic development (promoting tourism, attracting businesses to move to the area) and community efforts such as better parks, better streets, a few more police officers and emergency personnel. Also the money could be used to solarize certain government buildings, helping our city and county move towards a sustainable green zone.
The other choice would be to divide the money up among the citizens of Klamath County and let them determine how best it should be used.
Which way is best? Which way would help us grow our local economic pie? Which way would be better for economic growth and stability of our community? Which way will deliver money in the most efficient manner to the goods and services that the citizens of Klamath County value most?
This past Sunday, front and center, was a puff-piece for “Yes! on 18-104” — the current Fire District 1 bond measure. If you read the piece you would be left with any wonder that a sane person would be opposed to this wonderful spend of tax payer dollars or that there was anyone opposed to the bond measure.
This is the socialist-left at full-speed. There is not a recent tax measure that these editors have opposed or have given fair and balanced coverage. The editors at the Herald and News are pro-tax-and-spend socialists and use the paper’s power and influence to effect the thinking of people in the Basin — and it has been working for quite some time now.
Isn’t it wonderful? This brand new, shiny fire station! Wow, who ever lives near this beauty must be proud and feel safe. Matter of fact it is the one of the newest stations in Fire District 1.
Wait, what’s that? No one works here? You mean there are not any firefighters at this station? What?!? No one has ever worked from this station? What’s going on?!?
Yesterday Senator Whitsett ended the discussion in Salem as to whether he would run for a fourth term or not. Until yesterday’s announcement, Whitsett was the only Republican State Senator not to declare his intentions on seeking office again. Here is his press release:
For Immediate Release
Thursday, October 08, 2015
Salem, OR—Sen. Doug Whitsett (R-Klamath Falls) filed for re-election to the Oregon Senate on Wednesday, Oct. 7.
Have you experienced this? You read an article in the Herald and News that bothers you so much that you sit down and write a response — a letter to the editor or an online post — and nothing happens. It is as if your response was not worthy to be printed.
Well that happened to me, and I was quite infuriated (I am using the polite word for my feelings). So rather than taking it lying down, I decided to stand up and publish everything here. If this has ever happened to you or you feel the same way, then please help me by spreading the word to others in your social circles. The Herald and News will continue their arrogance and only print one-point-of-view as long as they can get away with it.
What made me post a response?
The other day I read this article about the KBRA by Dennis Linthicum in the online version of the paper. Linthicum’s article was in the “Opinion” section. I then saw that this article about Dennis Lynch (associate regional director of the U.S. Geological Survey), was posted twice in the “Agriculture” and “Enviornment” sections. It was an article reporting on Dennis Lynch’s seminar at Crater Lake and referenced several quotes by Mr. Lynch.
Much has been written about the mass killing in Roseburg last week. A great piece on the topic was penned by Dennis Linthicum at the Dirt Road Economist. Dennis does an excellent job describing exactly where we ought to place the blame for such a horrific event. Be sure to take a few moments to read it.
I’d like to take a different tact and have us see if the socialist’s view of gun-control is the answer to these kinds of tragedies. If you would, close your eyes and imagine a place where there are no guns. A place where there are no knives or weapons of any kind. In this place all suspicious activity is monitored and scrutinized by the authorities to ensure everyone’s safety. To enter this “paradise” it requires walking through metal detectors, showing photo ID and surrendering any weapon of any kind.
Sounds beautiful right? Sounds just like what President Obama is promoting. That is until you realize I am describing our maximum security prison, the Oregon State Penitentiary, located in Salem, Oregon. This all male facility does not allow weapons of any kind. If you are caught with one the punishment is severe. It is one of the most gun-free zones in Oregon and yet one of the most dangerous places to live. Now, was this the safe place you imagined as I was describing this prison in the paragraph above? What you were imaging does not exist in the real world, now or ever. It is an illusion, a dream — a violence-free society because there are no guns.