TRUMP VS: FEDERAL LAND GRABS

This has the potential to be monumentally huge (no pun intended).  President Trump stands poised to take on the Federal Government’s right of ownership over public land, including the National Monuments act of 1906.

http://www.libertyplanet.com/articles/can-trump-reverse-federal-land-grabs/

I have blogged on this subject in the past but really felt that I was merely blowing against the wind, taking a position that no one else would seriously consider.  I approached the subject from the standpoint of a strict constructionist after searching the United States Constitution for any mention of federal land ownership apart from that detailed in the Enumerated Powers, Article 1, Section 8, Clause 17.

Although land usage authority is mentioned in other places, nowhere is the government given authority to acquire any land that expands on the above mentioned article, section and clause.

Even Thomas Jefferson admitted that he overstepped his constitutional bounds with the Louisiana Purchase but did so “for the good of the country.”

And now President Donald J. Trump is indicating that he will enter into this fray and I could not be more pleased.  Mr. Trump, carry a pocket sized copy of the constitution with you and when detractors ask why answer, “it’s not only the law of the land, it’s the right thing to do.”

It would not be possible to undo everything done in contravention to this section of the constitution, France will not be reclaiming most of Middle America, but it might be possible to drastically reduce the size of the Federal overreach.

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DO WE HAVE A PRAYER?

Today, May 4th, is the National Day of Prayer.  This observance was signed into law by President Harry S Truman in 1952 and each year our sitting president signs a proclamation encouraging all Americans to pray on this day.

This National Day of Prayer is non-denominational and is celebrated by people of all faiths, reflecting the diverse population of our nation.

No matter what your belief system this is a time to put aside our differences and concentrate on our commonality.

Despite our diversity we are one people and it is important is that we seek out that which unites us before focusing on those areas in which we disagree.  We must have common ground upon which to stand if we are ever to reconcile those things that seek to divide us.

We should take this day seriously.  We should all find a quiet space and pray or meditate or do whatever each individual feels is right to touch the higher power or inner self, and seek to know what action we each can take to make this shared space, this earth we all call home, a better, safer, more secure space, for all its inhabitants.

So far hatred hasn’t worked to improve things very much, maybe it’s time to give love a chance.

Also, prayer doesn’t have to be confined to one day, you can do it again tomorrow if you wish.

God bless.

 

 

 

 

 

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A PAEAN TO SPRING

I finally completed my Spring planting for this year.

After many weeks of careful consideration I decided to go with the French Marigold.

This will do it until Fall.

 

 

Spring Planting.JPG

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WRITERLY ADVICE

I must confess that with all the fake news floating about and so much propaganda, material that properly belongs on the Op-Ed pages, being inserted into the reportage of hard news, my daily newspaper reading is gravitating more to the puzzle pages and the comic section.

This is not entirely a bad thing.  Those guys and gals who labor over comic strip story lines sometimes show true genius.

As a fiction writer I sometimes feel that the rewards reaped for my efforts fall somewhat short of that which I might have anticipated.  I can only assume that others share this feeling.

I was in this mindset when I came across the following “Crankshaft” cartoon.  I hope that it brings a smile.

Writerly Advice.jpg

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HYPOCRISY OR JUST POLITICS?

Sometimes it’s enough to make your head explode.  It doesn’t matter if you’re to the left, the right or follow a zig-zag path through the maze of political rhetoric, the question is the same, what are we supposed to believe?

The trigger this time was a discussion of the so-called “nuclear option” in confirming a latest Supreme Court nominee.  A political leader, well respected in his party, was giving a scathing diatribe condemning anyone who would dare to suggest changing the rules in order to “force” the confirmation.  This was immediately followed by a clip of the same politician defending such action when it involved a previous nominee put forth by his own party.

There are two questions we should ask ourselves in times like these:  “Is it all right for a politician to lie in order to advance an agenda we agree with?”  and, “is it all right for a politician to lie to advance an agenda we disagree with?”  Consistency demands that both questions be answered either yes or no.

The problem isn’t that he would advance opposing views on the same subject, dependent entirely on ideology rather than the nominee’s fitness to hold the office, the problem is that we the people casually accept such ambivalence and even applaud it when it benefits “our” side.

It is far past the time when we should call these people out.  Without regard to whether we agree or not with the stand they are taking, when such a stand is obviously hypocritical it needs to be confronted.  After all, if you agree with the current stand then you must have disagreed with the previous, opposing stand.

It would seem that we have been lied to so much that we are now willing to accept political talking points as fact when spouted by “our” side without any critical thought.  This allows the politicos from all parties to advance their true agendas without having to discuss those objectives.

Take the recent health care debacle.  The Obama, nee Romney, cum Trump health care plan, also known as the ACA, is dying a slow death but the pain engendered by its demise has not yet reached the point where a groundswell of public support for the true replacement agenda, a single payer system, has developed.  Eventually one or the other major party will conclude that there is sufficient public interest in eliminating the free market, this when they are confident that they can successfully counter the industry lobbyists, and at that point Medicare for all will become the rallying cry.

A similar observation might be made in the case of any comprehensive tax reform.  Any such reform that leaves the IRS intact will not be a permanent solution.  The IRS is the muscle for the system that provides our legislative branch its single greatest source of power.  Asking those same legislators to eliminate it is counter intuitive at best.

As naive as it may be all that I want is for the people we elect, or those appointed to high office, to stop the charade, to have the courage to state their true agendas and then be prepared to support them in a public forum.

Until that time the best we can do is to hold their feet to the fire.  Whenever you see or hear an example of hypocrisy, call them out on it.  Write, tweet, blog, telephone, whatever, but don’t just put it down to politics as usual and wait for the next obfuscation to be dropped.

Politicians must be held accountable for their positions and when their positions change radically they must explain when and why their views were altered.  It is up to us to insist on such accountability.

As B. F. Skinner put it, “The consequences of behavior determine the probability that the behavior will occur again.”

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TELL US WHO YOU ARE

We’ve all played them, those innocent little games that appear on social media and are shared to our friends so that we may compare results.  They will ask you to answer a series of questions in order to determine what sort of tree you would be or which super hero you would identify with.

While you are being matched with a quaking aspen or being compared to Thor or Wonder Lass you are also contributing to someone’s demographic data base for the purpose of becoming a commodity.

The information you provide when answering the questions, linked to your social media platform, is valuable input for marketing departments all around the globe.

A particularly transparent version of this information gathering technique showed up on my Face Book page.  This one had a sophistication level so low that it might well have been crafted by one of those wives-cousins-brothers-nephews of some Nigerian government official who had died leaving umpteen and a half million in a secret bank account which could now be shared by you in exchange for all your banking data.

The following illustration is not linked to anything and cannot be used to “play” the game.PHONE GAME.jpg

At the time this showed up on my FB page there was one respondent.  She scored ‘freaky-freaky-outstanding-freaky’, or a phone number ending in 3303.  In as much as the game was keyed to her social media platform and therefore her profile, the authors knew her name, location, telephone area code and prefix.  There are areas which have more than one prefix but robo-dialers don’t seem to mind.

She is now in yet another data base and someone is collecting a fee for having added her name.

Speaking only for myself, I get a sufficient number of telephone solicitations without making their job any easier.

 

 

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WAGE REVERSAL

Throughout the history of this country we have had a roller coaster of a ride but the trend was always upward.  Across the peaks and valleys of progress each generation somehow managed to do a bit better than the preceding one until now.  The following clip is from the AARP Bulletin, March 2017.

Wade Reversal.jpg

Whether we can attribute this to Globalism or automation or a combination of the two, this is a disturbing trend.

Just a few days ago I heard an economist on talk radio discussing the need to tax industrial robots at the income rate of the humans they replaced.  That way the government could maintain status quo without worrying about those pesky unemployed folks.

I don’t have the answers but I do want my kids to do better than me in the game of life.  It’s time to recognize that this wage reversal is a serious problem and needs to be addressed, not merely recognized as existing.

Thoughts from the blogosphere?

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