Vote NO on all the proposed Texas Amendments

On Nov. 8, Texas voters will get a chance to vote on 10 proposed amendments to the Texas Constitution.

These are constitutional amendments and once they are approved — by the voters — then they are part of the Texas Constitution.  It would require an amendment to the state Constitution to repeal any one of them.

Proposed Amendment No. 1 really irks me.

Back in the 1970’s after the war in Southeast Asia, Texas voters approved special Disabled Veterans license plates. You have all seen them. These vets could receive a tax break on the licensing of their cars.   It sounded fair.  I’m for the veterans.  I’m a veteran myself.

I expected to see old junk cars sporting these tags with crippled veterans getting out and riding off in wheelchairs.  What I saw were healthy people — some driving Cadillac’s — driving up and stepping out looking like the very picture of health.  GULP!  What’s wrong with this picture?

Well fool me once, but not a second time.

Proposed Amendment No. 1 would authorize “the legislature to provide for an exemption from ad valorem taxation of all or part of the market value of the residence homestead of the surviving spouse of a 100 percent or totally disabled veteran.”

Listen up folks!  All military people volunteered for service.  We thank them. We live up to whatever we promised them … if we can afford it. That’s all!

So I’m a “disabled” vet. ( …  which I am not!)  I’m living in a $200,000 house with a FREDDIE MAC / FANNIE MAE government subsidized sub-prime loan (…which I don’t) … and I want a tax break?  (…which I am not asking for!)

Sure!  It’s like I  can’t wait to give you a tax break so the powers that be can jack up MY taxes to pay for the loss in revenue.

No way!   Like I say, Fool me once, but not again!

Union movement founded on violence, steeped in corruption

“…let’s take these son-of-a-bitches out ….” — Jimmy Hoffa referring to the Tea Party during a speech at a Labor Day rally.

“A defiant Teamsters President Jimmy Hoffa insisted Tuesday that he would ‘never apologize’ for his heated comments against the tea party movement.”  — Politico.com

Of course Jimmy Hoffa, leader of the Teamsters Union, would refuse to back off of his statement.

This brings up the memories of the violence associated with the union movement.   Even Hoffa’s father went missing and is presumed to be the victim of a mob hit.

This is a brief history of the union movement in the United States.

The union movement got start around 1869.   Railroads, steel, and coal mining employed large numbers of unskilled and skilled laborers.   Workers historically organized along trades.  For example, locomotive engineers organized into their own “brotherhoods”.

The American Federation of Labor (AFL) started as one such union of skilled workers.  The Congress of Industrial Organizations (CIO) was the opposite.  It organized industries rather than skills and trades.

Unions were benign until radicals gained control.  One of those was Eugene V. Debs, who was once a locomotive driver until 1875.  Then he turned socialist.   Debs engineered the infamous Pullman strike of 1894.  He was not directly involved in the strike against the railroad car manufacturer in Chicago, but he organized an associated strike in the Western U.S.   The president called in troops to restore order.  As a result, Debs, was sent to prison for violating  a court order.

Debs went on to serve another term in prison for sedition.  He formed the Socialist Party and ran for president while sitting in a prison cell.

According to Conservapedia.com, “Debs is best known for tireless campaigning and passionate oratory that made audiences feel guilty for not being more radical; he did not originate any new ideas or policies. Debs believed capitalism, with all its works, was evil, and Socialism, with all its promises, a true panacea.” (read more …)

In 1952, John F. Kennedy initially gained fame in U.S. Congress by launching  “…relentless attacks on corrupt labor leaders, especially Jimmy Hoffa of the Teamsters Union,” according to Conservapedia.com.

Hoffa (the father) was sent to prison for bribery and misuse of union funds.  He was pardoned by President Richard Nixon.   In 1975, Hoffa, who was purported to have ties to the mob, disappeared.

This reporter’s first look at unions was in 1973, when my editor sent me to cover a bus drivers’ strike meeting in San Antonio.   Suddenly, my view of unions changed.   The country was in a fuel and energy crisis.  The union decided to use the squeeze on commuters to ask for a raise.  Ridership had been declining for years.   The bus driver pay raise and subsequent rate hikes only continued the downward spiral of ridership.

San Antonio had a thriving meat-packing industry in the late 1960’s.   The unionization of workers drove the meat packers into more profitable centers such as Omaha, Nebraska.  Meat packing was a large employer in Fort Worth, Texas, too.   All that is left is rubble.

Farrah, a men’s clothing manufacturer, was run out of San Antonio with constant strikes and union activities including violence. (read more …)  Farah eventually moved all of its operations and jobs to Mexico.

I covered many union “events” organized by the a segment of city  workers in San Antonio.  The union leader was a man I can never forget.  His name was Henry Munoz.  They called him The Fox.  I had the experience of standing outside a union hall on the west side of San Antonio listening through the door to The Fox talking to his minions.

Union demands, work rules, and pay demands cause more unemployment
Workers need bailouts after forcing plants to close

In Waco, Texas, the General Tire and Rubber Co. operated an aging tire plant.  The plant was a major employer in Waco for decades.  In 1970’s, the union struck for wage increases.   The company was forced to close the plant, which has stood vacant for more than 30 years.  That section of Waco, the east side, stands as one of the poorest areas of Texas.   One worker I know lost his job at General Tire and moved to Paris, Texas, to work for Campbell Soup Company making soup.

Union racketeering and violence has always been part of the union movement.  Are unions still violent and corrupt?

“Most people don’t know just how many crimes are committed every year through which union officials hurt their own members. The number of reputed and verified crimes is staggering. Nothing illustrates this more clearly than the hundreds of indictments of union officials for violations of the Labor Management and Reporting Disclosure Act. According to the Office of Labor-Management Standards (OLMS), those crimes include “embezzlement, filing false reports, keeping false records, destruction of records, extortionate picketing and deprivation of rights by violence.” — The Center for Union Facts, unionfacts.com

In the 1970’s I covered the aftermath of violence at an insulation plant in Belton, Texas.  After weeks of an ineffectual efforts to organize workers at the plant, someone firebombed the plant’s administration office.   I drove to the office and talked to the manager who I had interviewed a few weeks earlier.  The windows were smashed and fires had scorched the sides of the building.

The manager, who looked ashen-faced, handed me a prepared press released and refused to comment. I walked across the street and talked to a group of people holding signs.   A leader stepped up and identified himself as being from Detroit.

We chatted casually about the strike and the cause of the strike.  Then I asked if someone in his union was responsible for the firebombs thrown overnight.

“If you put that in the paper, we are going to come after you!” he responded.  He tone and demeanor became very abusive.  The story did run in the paper, and I am still here.

For the most part, the news media has been very kind to unions.   But when the reporters ask the “wrong” questions, that cordiality ends very quickly, I found that day.

If you have any stories of union violence, threats, or intimidation, please respond to this blog.  I would love to hear it.

The liberal wing of the Democratic Party and the union movement have been joined at the hip for the earliest days.  That explains why Barrack Hussein Obama refused to condemn Hoffa’s threatening rhetoric.

Why the U.S. should return to the Gold Standard

Gold and debt
Graph shows debt and it’s relationship to the price of gold

 

I’ve got this thing, and it’s [expletive] golden.
I’m just not giving it up for [expletive] nothing!”
— wiretap recording of Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich’s
now famous statement about selling of President Barack Hussein Obama’s  former U.S. senate seat.

That’s not worth the paper it’s written on.” – anonymous author of an old adage referring to paper money.


Gold!

More and more investors are turning away from stocks and bonds and buying gold. World securities markets here and in the Euro Zone are uncertain.  The real price of the U.S. Dollar is going down along with the Euro.

bars of gold bullion
Investors are selling dollars and euros for gold

“Gold turns toward $2,000,” screams an Aug. 21 headline in the Wall Street Journal.

“Gold’s recent ascent is enough to give some vertigo. Since the start of 2011, the spot
price of the yellow metal has increased almost $500, or 35%, significantly outperforming its peers,” according to a Journal writer.

“…some central banks are starting to buy gold,” Richard O’Brien, chief executive officer of Newmont Mining Corp., told the Journal recently.

So if people can’t find jobs and the money supply has collapsed like it did in 2008, then why not just print more money?  That was a question asked on Ask.com the other day.  (read the answer here)

Here is a debate on returning to the gold standard. (read more …)  Here is one of the best arguments in favor of the gold standard. (read more…)

Here is a video on what is happening to the value of the U.S. Dollar (view it here …)

Should the United State return to the gold standard?

Fact: Americans produced more wealth between the 1833 and 1933 than any period in history!  …and the U.S. was on the gold standard.

The historical precedents are clear.   The U.S. should return to the gold standard.

Has liberal politics all but replaced God?

Both national and local government have become more pervasive and intrusive. Many people see these entities as their “salvation” and many more have turned away from the time-honored religion of the past.

Is this a temporary phenomenon or is socialized government, healthcare, and group thinking replacing God?

It’s all in the propaganda machine and who controls it. For several decades the liberals have controlled television, newspapers, and motion picture entertainment. Almost every facet of media is laden with propaganda trumpeting the liberal agenda.

The ruling elites can and do create a false sense that they through the government can do everything from create life-giving miracles, save the planet, to producing a pseudo-jesus and pseudo “mother mary”.

Take the example of Barack Obama who came onto the national scene suddenly in 2007. Too suddenly for anyone to know much about Obama. Does he make the perfect “jesus” with a slogan Hope and Change? Lady Gaga emerged at almost the same time. Could she be the “mother mary” of the Information-Instant-Gratification Age? They all have a political message that leans far to the left.

The propaganda elites can — when it is expedient — allow them to be pseudo-crucified and move on to another set of pseudo-religious icons.

The propaganda machine can create devils and demons and super heroes. Adolph Hitler is the demon while Vladimir Lenin, Leon Trotsky, Karl Marx, and Mao are heroes to some. They were all responsible for millions of deaths. Fidel Castro and Che Guevara, who have set up or led brutal mind-numbing dictatorships are heroes to others.

Many ordinary people have given over their children to be educated by these godless elite. This blogger sees them emerging as little carbon-copy “pseudo-disciples” with song, “texting”, and mind-altering drugs to create that smoky, pseudo-religious euphoria that becomes like a group hypnotic trance.

We see this in the mindless rhetoric of these pseudo disciples in the Occupy Wall Street movement.

Is the NFL, NBA, and MLB part of the pseudo-fulfillment (distraction)  needed to make all this work?

Pat Caddell commented on the night of the 2008 presidential election that “liberal politics trumps religion”.

This may be more true than we want to believe.

Pork Chop Hill and the legacy of the American voter

The MGM cable channel recently released a vintage movie, Pork Chop Hill.

It was released in 1959 and was based on an actual account of the last battle of the Korean War. I remember where I was when I saw it in 1959. It was at a theater in Mexia, Texas. I don’t remember the name of my date.

I was very interested in this motion picture story because the movie was based on a book written by historian and author Brig. Gen. S.L.A. Marshall He was known as SLAM to his friends. I have read every book he wrote.

I first remember Gen. Marshall in an interview he gave to CBS news in 1967 before the Israeli-Arab war. When every political pundit had predicted dire consequences for the outnumber Israelis, Marshall assessed that the Israeli Defense Force (IDF) was a small professional army that could easily handle the Arabs who had overwhelming numbers of poorly trained and poorly motivated men.

He was right! In six days, the IDF was on the banks of the Nile and outside the gates of Damascus. The Arabs asked for peace.

Marshall died in 1977 and left a legacy of controversy that even brews to this day.

He was a journalist who joined the U.S. Army during the Second World War. As a journalist his job was to document the events of WWII. Gen. Marshall went much further, and his findings told us something about ourselves that we really did not want to know, although we knew it all along.

Marshall’s studies revealed that only 20 percent of the soldiers in action ever fired their weapons. He went further and said that that ratio extends into private life, as well.

Whether it is on your job, in church, or political life only 20 percent of the people do 80 percent of the work. In political life, it may be even lower than that!

Economists call it the Pareto Principle. It goes like this:

  1. 80% of your profits come from 20% of your products
  2. 80% of your sales come from 20% of your sales staff!

In wealth, 20% of the people have 80% of the wealth. That’s where the controversy is … if you look at it as a socialist or a communist or a progressive.

Some people strive to be 80 percenters. A friend, who was an accountant, illustrates this principle. He worked for a Central Texas utility company in Killeen. He felt his and his wife’s interests would be best served if he could get a U.S. government Civil Service job which were were handed out like water. The U.S. Army and Department of Defense was the biggest employer in the area.

He finally got his wish and ended up in the Fort Hood accounting office. They gave him a pile of paper work to do. He did it and asked his supervisor for more.

He said his supervisor looked alarmed but gave him more work. This went on for a few days. The supervisor told him he was working too fast. “The principle here was to pace one’s self and always keep a backlog of work on your desk,” the supervisor advised him.

He was a 20 percenter. That working principle was not his style. He went back to civilian work.

As a journalist, I worked every writing beat on my last paper. I was rewarded with a supervisory position. I was the city editor with 10 writers and two photographers to give assignments and supervise. I edited all their copy and advised them where they need to improve. When I found slackers, I had them fired. In rising in my profession, I passed up several other people, who were employed longer than myself. They were resentful. They also did only the minimum amount of work to hold on to their jobs.

I eventually got a degree in computer science and moved on to another career. I went to work for nationwide retailer in their information technology department. My first cube mate had been there for more than four years. We became friends and socialized. In three years, I was his supervisor. Our friendship ended. He saw rewards as something that should be handed out for longevity, not achievement. I saw it the opposite way.

In local elections, such as the city council and school boards perhaps only three to 10 percent of the registered voters even vote. That is far short of the 20/80 rule. Even more dismal is the people who register to vote. Some estimates are that less than 50% of those eligible to register even do so.

My personal theory is that 80 percenters will perform if rewarded, first. For example, the Fox News Channel reported today that Wall Street protesters are being paid to protest. Unions are in my opinion made up of 80 percenters. Unions do give their members incentive to protest, strike, and work for political candidates.

Unions are a disincentive to work harder and innovate. For example, England once boasted the finest automobile industry in the world. The unions through the Labor Party took over the government and the government took over the auto companies. Today, all of the British auto manufacturers are out of business.

Back to Pork Chop Hill

Gregory Peck played the lead character, Lt. Joe Clemons. Capt. Joe Clemons (the same) was advisor on the movie and was named in the credits.

The movie depicts Lt. Clemons pushing his troops up the hill and exhorting them to “use your weapons!” Some soldiers were cooking up excuses to go back to the company aid station. One soldier was wandering around in a daze with no rifle.

The book was an allegory to American life and a study in leadership. Clemons overcame every obstacle and captured the hill. The lieutenant was a leader. He accepted the challenge, and shaped his effort in to meet achieve that objective.

Obama on he other hand is someone who was a product of a entitlement society. From all accounts his academic career was specially shaped for a minority. He spent his time working his way up through 80 percenters. He was elected by 80 percenters.

Now that his policies have failed, his objective is not to achieve but to blame someone. His objective his turned to just get re-elected.

It’s was good thing that this country was conceived and built by 20 percenters.

The legacy of the first Do Nothing Congress

The liberal cable media and the left-wing main stream media are referring to the current Congress as the Do Nothing Congress.

The Tea Party conservatives have succeed in stopping the runaway spending by the Obama-Pelosi-Reed Spend-a-crats. Yet much still must be done to bring the economy back.

But where did this term Do Nothing Congress originate?

It was first used by Democrat President Harry S Truman in describing the 80th Congress. It worked to gain his re-election, too.

Here’s what happened.

In 1946, the spending by President Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s New Deal and the Second World War left the United States strapped with huge debts. In fact, debt was 100 percent of Gross Domestic Product (GDP) just as it is now.

Republicans swept into power in the elections of 1946 and controlled both the House of Representatives and the Senate. The GOP immediately set about reversing the laws passed during the New Deal and Truman’s Fair Deal.

Here is a list of legislation that came out of the Do Nothing Congress:

  1. Approved assistance to Greece and Turkey. They were being threatened by communists from within and the Soviet Union from without
  2. Passed the Taft-Hartley Act that monitors the activities of organized labor and assures workers the right to not be forced into unions. Truman vetoed the Taft-Hartley Act, but the “Do Nothing Congress” overrode his veto.(read more…)
  3. Passed the National Security Act that created the Air Force, the CIA and re-aligned American’s intelligence network to counter Soviet espionage. (read more …)
  4. Minerals Leasing Act (read more …)
  5. U.S. Information Exchange Act which set up the Voice of America radio stations. (read more …)
  6. Here’s the big one … the Marshall Plan for assistance for Western Europe which was near collapse and was being threatened from within and without by the Soviet Union (read more …)
  7. Peacetime draft
  8. Greek-Turkish Assistance Act.
  9. Civil Air Patrol
  10. Presidential Succession Act that names the Speaker of the House to be vice president when there is no VP.
  11. Federal Water Pollution Control Act.
  12. War Claims Act that liquidated German and Japanese assets and paid claims to American prisoners of war and detainees.
  13. Agricultural Act of 1948. (Read more …)

Above all, the “Do Nothing Congress” proposed the Twenty-Second Amendment to the Constitution which limited the President to two consecutive terms in office. This amend was ratified in 1951. (read more …)

All these measures were signed into law by Harry Truman, who named the congress the Do Nothing Congress.

“The 80th Congress was nicknamed the “Do Nothing Congress” by President Harry Truman. The Congress opposed many of the bills passed during the Franklin Roosevelt administration. They also opposed most of Truman’s Fair Deal bills. Yet they passed many pro-business bills. During the 1948 election Truman campaigned as much against the “Do Nothing Congress” as against his formal opponent, Thomas Dewey,” according to Wikipedia.com. (bold face added)

The Do Nothing Congress also took over the House Un-American Activities Committee (HUAC) investigated communist influence in Hollywood and elsewhere. Truman denounced the HUAC, but documents seized after the fall of the Soviet Union revealed that some of Truman’s and Roosevelt’s top advisors were indeed working for the KGB.

Truman also played the race card. (read more …)

Now President Barack Hussein Obama has revived the strategy that worked for Truman in 1948.

Will it work in 2012?  We will see.

Do you always see the glass as half full?

So back in 2008 you turned on your TV set and heard a candidate speak about Hope and Change.  Right?  You knew nothing about this candidate other than he promised you Hope and Change.

You didn’t bother to try to understand it. You just heard his promise of Hope and Change.

Does that describe you?

The economy was in the dump and the candidate promised you a bailout for your home which was underwater. In fact, you heard the candidate promise a bailout for just about everyone.

Was that the way you saw it in August through November of 2008?

Well you may have a brain malfunction, a study shows.

Researchers at the University of London have found that those who ignored negative information and only focused on Hope and Change have a brain disorder. (read more)

These people have frontal lobes which do not process real information like it should.

Does that describe you?

Do you suspect that sometimes you don’t see the world like it really is?

If so, you may be a Dim-O-Crat.