Saturday, April 24, 2010

A visit home hits too close to home...

For whatever reason, I felt strongly compelled to visit my parents this weekend. While I still suspect my gut instincts, I am enjoying the time and the gray, foggy Seattle-like weather. After planting flowers with my mom yesterday, we sat down for a well-deserved rest and shared our similar and previously unspoken fears about my fathers health. He has, and remains, a key reason for my battle against socialized healthcare. You see, he'll be one of those "useless bread gobblers" that Hitler propagandist Joseph Geobbels referred to while discussing those whose life became too costly to maintain, what the Nazi party described as "Life unworthy of life." He worked his whole young life as a mechanic. He paid into the tax, Social Security and Medicaid kitty all of his adult life and now as a middle-aged man he is reaping the consequences of a lifestyle of Clinton-esque decadence. Parmesan wings for lunch, cigarettes and Budweiser during Steeler and Penguin seasons, Philly Steak and Hoagies as only Pittsburgh Delis can produce and 20 years, a heart attack and open heart surgery later, my father is practically swimming in prescription medication. This one is for blood pressure and those ones are for cholesterol. I get cortisone for foot pain and Advair for COPD... [which mysteriously crept up only after the bypass surgery] and half a dozen others that I eye skeptically. The latest addition to the pill-a-polooza, a sleep aid, has my own blood pressure sky rocketing. My father is only 55 but he seems so much older, now muted and sullen.
My mom works at a tiny coffee shop on the boulevard, and as is our tradition when visiting we belly up to the counter for coffee and the best French Toast to be had. My anti-Socialist bumper stickers have been getting alot of notice, but while I am representing my mom at her place of business, I sip my coffee and make nice with the retired Democratic swath that make up her loyal regulars. I pretend to forget that each moment that Congress is in session, my children are less free, that we have eugenicists in unaccountable positions of power and the head of ACORN is luring the remaining closet Socialist out from under their rocks and fitting them for riot gear. I nearly drowned myself with a deeper-than-normal gulp when a kindly old lady I have known literally half my life exclaims her desire to see Ann Coulter shot. Another couple, new to the shop thanks to a kind review in the Post Gazette, are discussing the upcoming birth of their first child and their struggles to get state medical coverage since the mother is neither black nor Hispanic. The father acrimoniously describes the social workers indifferent attitude, bemoaning her lack of ethnic "credentials". The fact that she is an unemployed child educator is apparently irrelevant. The man down the counter laughs about the "Lights Out" night in the city encouraging energy conservation. He chronicles how he turned on every light in his home and then stopped down to the local tavern enlisting help to hang all of his Christmas lights- in Spring. "Pretty much, when the government starts telling me 'You can't do this.' I take it as full authority to do the exact opposite to the furthest extreme I can think of."
I know what you mean, guy. I know what you mean.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

My Letter to Richard Henderson- State Rep

While many central Kentuckians are focused on which politician will soon be filling the pocket of Nancy Pelosi in which Ben Chandler is currently cradled, I have turned my attention of late to local politics. In my town, my state Rep, Richard Henderson, has a half-page spot every week where he details the events in Frankfort, his position and opinions. I have to admit that the tone of the article this week was much meeker than in the previous week and if there is a sense of order to the Clay City Times website, the article dated 4/15 might eventually end up on this page for those who missed it.

While I have never been one to spare Mr. Henderson my opinion, my eyes fell upon the article this morning before I had my coffee. Five minutes and several eye twitches later, I was on my computer- far too early in the morning- detailing why Mr. Henderson can bet on my vote going to his opponent [any opponent] this Fall.

For your reading pleasure, this was my letter to Representative Henderson:

"Mr. Henderson,

Kentucky legislators are acting irresponsibly with tax money. Basic math teaches students that when your budget hits zero, you are out of money and cannot spend anymore. Why haven't our legislators learned this basic lesson?

Disclosure: I am registered with neither party and am an official Independent. Thanks to legislators like Julian Carroll, the state doesn't feel like I have a right to vote in the primary because I don't swear my allegiance like some partisan zombie, but I digress.

In your article, you reject the idea that cuts in spending will create growth and that what is needed is more government spending, Quote: "I am doubtful that this would help the economy or the people of Kentucky in any way." It has been PROVEN between the recessions of 1920 and the 1930s that government interference in private sector matters is not only unhelpful, but actually slows recovery. The private sector problems that led to the 2007 recession were instigated by government regulations that forced lending to unqualified buyers, a policy begun under President Clinton and exacerbated by the market controls of the Federal Reserve. Unemployment had been at its lowest when taxes and government spending were also at their lowest. When Calvin Coolidge cut spending and CUT TAXES [that's a key], growth soared and unemployment plummeted to the lowest peace-time levels in history. When Hoover increased spending, the growth slowed and FDRs Progressive policies further drove the economy into the ground. Thanks to the free- market, our industrialization and the train-wreck that was European infrastructure after the second World War, we were able to manufacture our way back out of sheer luck. Still, he left in place a legacy of entitlement spending that continues to cripple our country, is already operating in the red, and will soon bankrupt us. Is this the legacy that you are comfortable leaving for our children?

Quote: "This, however, would mean no improvements to schools or infrastructure and no new jobs, only cuts." The education system of Kentucky has become a virtual black hole for revenue with little improvement to test scores. Nothing is being done to reign in the out of control waste in the education system and no one is being held accountable for the plethora of bad educators and shoddy administrators who continually demand annual raises. We don't need ANY more government jobs! Government employees already out-earn their private-sector counterparts by nearly one third without including benefits. This is a slap in the face to tax-payers, especially in light of the poor performance of most of our schools. Spending cuts and tax cuts would boost the private sector as it would give entrepreneurs the incentive to start businesses- and hire workers- in a way that tax credits NEVER will.

Why are you not working so tirelessly on bringing jobs to our county? Instead of pacifying people with ever more entitlement programs and "free" money to win their votes, how about giving them the opportunity to earn a paycheck to take care of their own families. That's a sense of pride that no government check can match. Making Powell County more attractive to the few businesses looking to get going is work that directly affects its citizens. Kentuckians can - and should- do for themselves if you let them. Continually taking more from the earners and producers in this state to give to those who are being paid not to work is akin to a person who begins to eat his own feet- as consumption continues you quickly run out of resources. You have been given many opportunities in the last session to make Kentucky a more appealing environment for business, like lowering the income tax rate for businesses, but you have chosen to keep cost of business high and dis-incentivizing job creation. Several states in this country are rushing toward bankruptcy. With the upcoming Healthcare takeover by the Federal government, Kentucky will soon follow.

Rachael Collinsworth
Powell County"

Saturday, April 10, 2010

The Rightful Place of Virtue- TRUTH

As a kid, I had a bad relationship with truth.

When I was a child [with the mindset of most liberals], I had no concept of moral integrity much less a regard for it. I thought that the 'truth' was a changeable, malleable inconstant that I could mold to fit my needs or provide a great tale to regale my siblings and parents.
Yep, that bear came out of the woods and he was roaring and charging at me, but I hit him in the nose with a rock and he ran away.
I could say they were tall tales, youthful imagination and a slew of other bologna, but they were lies, flat out.
Not surprising, as a child, I garnered a reputation for fibbing and just as in "The Boy Who Cried Wolf" I was not believed ever. Oh, yeah and I got spanked for it. A lot.

As a kid, I wanted so badly to differentiate myself from my siblings that I made up colossal tales to build myself up. I quickly found that it had the opposite effect. Perhaps it was the stark and sometimes painful consequences of my lying that led me to be that adult I am. My parents never minced words about how they regarded my lying and how it lowered their opinion of me as a person. That was the hardest part for me- to know that I was less of a person for being a liar. And though it was a problem that ended before grade school, my father still jibes me about it to this day.

I think it is safe to say that I have gone the complete other way as an adult with regard to truth. I am known for speaking the truth even when it is painful to hear. My personal saying is that I would rather hurt you with the truth than appease you with a lie. No doubt, this has cost me many friendships, and my current friends know not to ask my opinion unless they are girded for the answer.


First, I understand that a lie is seen through very quickly and a deceiver is flushed out in short order. Lies never stay hidden for long and I would rather endure the consequence of speaking with truth whether it be scorn and ridicule or physical attacks than live with the shame of being a liar and sacrificing my sacred honor- I understand the value of my integrity now. I guess that's where faith in a higher authority comes into play...but I digress.

Second, my sacred honor is not worth it. It is something more valuable to me than money and worth more than any momentary adoration or acceptance. I would rather be consistent and clear and have faith that those of like mind will recognize those traits in me.

The reason I bring this up. - Money- making scam - Cash laundering by Democratic Strategists*

There's a lot of propaganda flying around right now on both sides. In fact, I don't know if it has ever been like this. I am active in a way I have never been before, with a passion that seems to spring eternal. Long-time friends are shying away from me. Family members are pleading with me to "just let this blow over". To do so would be lying to myself and lying to everyone around me. For all of my jaded history with truth, I cannot and will not turn away from it now. I want to encourage people to embrace truth. That niggling feeling in the pit of your stomach when you are not sure that something is right or correct, don't squash it down, embrace it, examine it- there's more at stake than a little white lie. If something feels wrong, define why it makes you feel that way.

As a nation, we have moved away from personal responsibility and dealing with the consequences of the choices we make and the truth of the lives we are leading. THIS HAS TO STOP. If you have lied, fess up. If you have shirked your responsibilities, step up and do the right thing. Your sacred honor and worth as a person is contingent upon these things. It's human to screw up but it is foolishness to run from truth. Eventually it will overtake you. We must have our own house in order before we can change any other [House of Reps, White House and so on].


*Craig Varoga and George Rakis