Monthly Archives: September 2013

king on the throne

Five Keys to a Better Kingdom

I realized recently that I have lived through the administrations of twelve different Presidents: six Republicans and six Democrats.  Some were very good Presidents, and some contributed very little to society or our country. That is  the subject of a later post, however.

Having lived through these twelve administrations, I can say (with an elder statesman’s  degree of certainty) that there are some improvements that could be made to our government.   There is always room for improvement.  Right?  So I am presenting the five most important changes that I believe would greatly enhance life in the United States. (All of these issues have been addressed in greater detail in previous blogs.)

Sooooooooo, I want you to use your imagination. (while imagination is typically a liberal trait, I need my conservative friends to exercise the left side of their brain for the purposes of this blog!)  Similar to the imagination it took to create that classic movie, ‘Wizard of Oz’; and that recent movie, ‘The Butler’, I want you to imagine that I, Grandpa T, am not only a blog writer of no reputation, but am now ‘King Grandpa T the First’,  King of the United States of America.  You can refer to me as KGTF, for short.  Ready?  Imagination activated?

Hear ye!  Hear ye!

1.  INITIATE TERM LIMITS

If I could wave my magic wand, (as no doubt King Grandpa T would have) the first decree would be to institute term limits across the kingdom.

In colonial times, our federal representatives had to leave their occupations for the privilege of serving the people.  Once they had done their duty to the country, they returned to their previous occupations.  Many of these representatives faced financial burden by not being able to oversee their day-to-day interests.

Today, we have too many professional politicians.  They begin their careers at the local, county and state levels, and they eventually work their way to a federally elected position.  My opinion is that all of these elected officials be limited to 12 years of federal service.  Representatives could serve up to six two-year terms, and Senators could serve two six-year terms.

There was a huge groundswell for term limits in the early 90s, but it was not passed by our federal representatives.  Many of the current states do have term limits for people elected to state offices.

Power corrupts.  Even though many of our elected officials begin with the best of intentions, they soon put forth more effort in getting reelected than in managing affairs that are good for the country.  They succumb to special interests, especially those special interests that come with campaign contributions and votes.  These special interests do not always convey principles that are good for the realm (country).

In short, we need fresh people with fresh ideas to meet the challenges of a changing world

2.  REPEAL AFFORDABLE HEALTH CARE(OBAMACARE)

As king, I would behead anyone that would present a proposed law for the land that is 2,000 pages long, and requires 20,000 pages to administer. (Or at the very least, I would have them fired!)  But lo and behold, it is currently acceptable for the Council of Jesters in that foreign land called Washington, DC.  They passed it without having read it!

Not only was it proposed and passed, but it is also a law that is unconstitutional, unaffordable, and was directly responsible for a five-year economic spiral from which we are just now beginning to recover.

Really?  The Constitution of the United States says that health care is a mandate?  Not hardly!

If you think current health care is expensive, then pass laws limiting medical malpractice awards and halting frivolous lawsuits.  You would be amazed at how much would be saved in health care costs.  Every doctor you know is paying over 6 figures (that’s over $100,000!) for medical liability insurance.  How much do you think pharmaceutical companies pay?  Your drug cost reflects a large percentage of drug company liability insurance costs.  Watch television?  How many times have you seen, “If you suffer from any of the following 169 symptoms, and use the drug XYZ, you may be entitled to a settlement.”  The barristers sponsoring these ads are doing it to sue your drug company!

Businesses are in business to make a profit.  Once this law was passed, businesses downsized their workforces in anticipation of the additional 20-25% increase in their labor costs attributed to Obamacare.  They did this 5 years ago in anticipation of the full implementation of the program.  That coincides with the increase in unemployment, the downturn in the economy, and the decreasing value of real estate.  Coincidental?  I think not.  Obamacare is directly responsible for all of these events, and the sooner someone has the fortitude to face it and repeal it, the sooner we will be on the road to recovery.

Therefore, I, King Grandpa T decree that all proposed legislation is to be 50 pages or less, clearly written in language understood by my subjects, and not place any excessive burden on the Exchequer.  Punishment for failure to do so will result in dismissal from the court!

3.  PREVENT VOTER FRAUD/REQUIRE VOTER ID

Before I was King, I would feel downtrodden when my favorite politicians did not win an election.  Now I get downright belligerent when I think an election has been stolen.

Remember, an election is only as honest as the election supervisors.  Don’t you get a little concerned when you hear that there were 18,000 votes cast in a district with only a maximum of 10,000 eligible voters?  Do you get concerned when there are 19,500 votes cast in one district, all for one candidate without one dissenting vote?  Both of these events took place in the last presidential election.

Why, oh why, do all the states not require a picture ID to vote?  I have to show a picture ID three or four times a month.  It is painless. Yet, my former Midwest home state failed to pass an amendment requiring a picture ID during last years election.  The favorite argument was that it would cost the state just under $60 million to assure all of its eligible residents had photo ID’s.  They thought this cost was excessive, so the state had decided to build a $1 billion football stadium instead.

Come up with any argument you want, but in my realm, all eligible voters will be required to produce a photo ID to prove they are a subject of the kingdom.  Then they can vote for the jester of their choice.

4.  BALANCE THE BUDGET

I am glad to say that the majority of my subjects that read my decrees know how to balance a budget.  In my kingdom, Queen Grandma P the Only, sees that there are adequate funds in the Exchequer.

In that foreign land of Washington, the Council of jesters and their leader are overspending the funds in their Exchequer at the rumored rate of $200 million an hour!  How long can these people expect this to go on before their kingdom is bankrupt?  (Rumor also has it that they print their own money, and pay their debts with it.  They call this economic stimulus.)

If they were to seek my counsel, I would tell them to eliminate the Departments of Energy and Education.  These two, outdated departments were both established by that head jester, Jimmy Carter.  They serve no justifiable purpose for their realm.

I would advocate the repeal of Obamacare in an effort to save the 16,000 additional IRS jobs that are required to administer the program.

I would propose a simple, flat tax across their realm.  In this way they could save the expenses required to support the existing 128,000 member IRS Army by reducing it to less than 25,000.

Many smart people in Washington who have had business experience would be both willing and capable of offering excellent suggestions on how to get their Exchequer out of the red.  But the head jester and his cabinet of jesters and advisors have only 9% of their people with experience in the private sector of their economy.  They do not have experience with making money in the capitalistic kingdom, only experience on how to spend other people’s money.  They have proven to be overachievers in their endeavors.

5.  REFORM WELFARE

In that foreign country of Washington, there are 84 agencies associated with different welfare programs.  Whew!  Many of these programs were begun with the best of intentions, but ran amok.  Many were supposed to be temporary but developed a pulse to become permanent.

Additionally, 15% of the people of that kingdom receive food stamps.  That equates to 1 out of 7 of their subjects!

The total cost of all these programs exceeds $800 billion per year!  This represents the largest single expense in the budget within the kingdom of Washington.  Something needs to be done to reduce the subjects’ reliance on these programs.

A reformation of these programs would go a long way to assist the balancing of the Exchequer.

Back to reality.

There you have it!  My five suggestions for items greatly improving life in the United States.  I have more, but I am limiting myself to the five about which I feel most strongly.  I now have to give up my title and my throne because Grandma P says it is time to cut the lawn and slap another coat of paint on those lawn ornaments.  You can see who wears the pants in this family!  (I do wish she would take off that damn tiara!)

media-sensationalism

The Media – Prosecutors, Judges, and Jurors

The apparent mantra of most of our media seems to be, “Don’t let the truth get in the way of a good story.”  Why?  Because, common, mundane stories do not sell advertising – the lifeblood of all media.  Sensationalize!  Sensationalize!  Sensationalize!

Atlanta, Georgia   August, 1996

In August, 1996, the Summer Olympics were taking place in Atlanta.  One evening, while walking through  Centennial Olympic Park, a security guard by the name of Richard Jewell discovered what appeared to be a bomb in an unattended ALICE pack.  He immediately began clearing the crowded area and notified police.  The bomb detonated, killing one person and injuring 111.  It could have been much, much worse in terms of lives lost.

Jewell was hailed as a hero for four days.  Then, the overly ambitious FBI, no doubt affected by President Clinton calling the event an “evil act of terror” and vowing to do everything possible to track down and punish those responsible, mentioned Jewell as being a ‘person of interest.’  This claim, coupled with a previous employer notifying the local press and the FBI that he thought Mr. Jewell was a loner and a “badge-wearing” zealot, was all that was needed.  The media frenzy ‘three ring circus’ came to town!  Literally!  They followed Jewell with cameras wherever he went.  Newspaper journalists, newspaper photographers, TV newscasters and TV cameramen taunted him for over two months.  The FBI searched his mother’s house.  Later, Jewell himself referred to the whole media frenzy “like piranha on a bleeding cow.”

Indeed.  A true case of the media elevating itself to the position of being prosecutor, judge, and jury.  When it came to Mr. Jewell, they virtually did everything but put up the cross and look for a large hammer and a bucket of galvanized nails.

Result:  In late October of 1996, it became obvious that Mr. Jewell had not been involved in the bombing.  The Justice Department formally cleared him.  Eric Rudolph, a North Carolina man who became suspect in the subsequent bombing of an abortion clinic in Birmingham, Alabama, pleaded guilty to the Olympic park attack.

Mr. Jewell filed libel charges against CNN and NBC news, and he received settlements from both.  He filed charges against the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, wanting a public, printed apology.  These charges got tied up in the judicial system and were never settled.  Richard Jewell, hero, goat, and again a hero, died in 2007 at the age of 44 from diabetes.

Can anyone remember what else occurred in 1996?  Time is up!  It was an election year.   The incumbent,  Bill Clinton was making front page news about an alleged affair with a White House intern named Monica.  This event conveniently took him off the front page until a few days before the election.  “I have not had relations with that woman.”  He was reelected, and we found out differently.

Savannah, Georgia   Summer 2013

Has any one person been more chastised, maligned and punished by the media this year than Paula Deen?

Let me begin by stating that I, Grandpa T, like most red-blooded, All-American men in the United States, have not watched Paula Deen for more than 10 minutes in my lifetime.  That 10 minutes would have occurred as I was changing channels to get to a good Gunsmoke rerun.

Paula Deen has not done anything wrong, as of today, as determined by the judicial system.  Yet, because she admitted using a ‘racially improper’ word that has been apparently deemed more derogatory than any other word on planet Earth, she has been punished far more than what any court system could possibly do.  All of this has been done by the media.  Never mind that this word is used frequently in top-selling hip-hop songs all the time!

Let me pose a question.  Would we have heard of any of this if Paula Deen were neither famous nor rich?  I do not think so.  An average Joe Blow would not have had the notoriety, and the media would have had a more difficult time sensationalizing the story.  Paula is a great target.

Now let me tell you something you may not know about the Paula Deen story.  This lawsuit, brought on by a manager of a restaurant owned by Paula and her brother, was started last year.  The lawsuit was founded on sexual harassment and racial discrimination.  The lawsuit was not progressing as hoped for the plaintiff, so the scumbag prosecuting attorney got Paula on the stand and asked if she had ever used the “N” word.  She said she had, 30 years ago when she was a bank clerk, and a black man put a loaded gun in her face.  The scumbag attorney, because he was not making headway in the frivolous lawsuit, exploited this revelation by relating it to the media!  Paula Deen’s media frenzy begins!

Result:   Within the last month, the racial discrimination portion of the lawsuit was thrown out of the courts, because the manager bringing the lawsuit was a white female!  (Yup, it doesn’t make sense to me either.)  The sexual harassment portion is still in the mix, but I do not see how Paula could be involved with this directly, other than being a partner in the restaurant.  At the age of 66, I do not believe she is experimenting with an alternate lifestyle.  She appears to be too happily married for a dip in the lady pond at this stage in her life.

However…………because of all the publicity, thanks to the media, 11 of Paula’s sponsors have severed their ties with Paula Deen Enterprises.  Because she told the truth in what she said, and because these companies are apparently all being run by the most angelic people ever known to God and man (and are so cowardly that they jumped to conclusions before the court systems had completed their findings and verdicts), I am going to list them:

JC Penny

QVC

Sears

Kmart

Target

Novo-Nordisk

Wal-Mart

Smithfield

Caesars

Home Depot

Walgreen’s

Food Network

Ballantine Publishing

Ballantine Publishing dropped Paula even though her yet to be published cook book broke all Amazon records for the sale of a yet-to-be published book.

Paula has lost tens of millions of dollars, because she admitted using the ‘N’ word; and the media could not get enough of her story.  It would not surprise me if the sexual harassment part of this lawsuit were to be dismissed shortly.  It is becoming apparent that a disgruntled employee found a hack attorney to extort Paula in the hope of a big, unearned, unmerited payday.

Sensationalize!  Sensationalize!  Sensationalize!

Sanford, Florida   February, 2012

The tragic death of Trayvon Martin occurs.  Trayvon is black.  His killer:  a Latino by the name of George Zimmerman.  Initially, it appears to the inspecting officers that it was a case of self defense.

I am not going to go into detail about this case.  Most people are well aware of the entire incident.  I will say that if you have not done so, you should read about the entire case.  If you think you know everything, you may find out that you likely only know about half.

I digress.  As mentioned, it appeared that this was a case of self-defense.  So much so that the police did not arrest George Zimmerman.  Then the media got involved.  And with statements from people such as Jesse Jackson, Al Sharpton, and the President of the United States (POTUS), the entire incident fueled into another media frenzy.

The media outdid itself in attempting to sensationalize this tragic event.  They referred to Zimmerman as a ‘white-latino.’   (What does that make our President?)  This was clearly done to increase the racial fervor of this incident.  Al Sharpton accused Zimmerman of being a murderer, because he had suffered no injuries.  Zimmerman not being injured was detail provided by a supposed witness.  Ironically, police photos of Zimmerman at the police station the night of the shooting were not released for weeks after the event.  Whether this was intentional by the police, or omitted by the press on purpose, I have never been able to determine.  In fact, Zimmerman had a broken, swollen bloody nose, and had a lacerated head wound that was bleeding down the back of his neck.  He looked like hell!

The POTUS said that if he had a son, he would be like Trayvon Martin.  Would that mean he would have a son who was tattooed, and suspended from school three times for various infractions?  Trayvon went to school in Miami.  He was in Sanford (Orlando area) because he was suspended from school.

The biggest manipulation was the picture that became the icon of Trayvon Martin.  You know the picture.  It is the picture of a 12 year old Trayvon wearing a hoodie.  Not the picture of the 17-year-old thug with tattoos.

Because the media circus was in full stride, and key national figures decided that George Zimmerman is a killer, the Governor of Florida, Rick Scott, tasked the state to investigate the incident.  He was forced to do this.  Ultimately, 47 days after the incident, George Zimmerman was arrested.

Result:  George Zimmerman was found not guilty.  Once sorted out by the judicial system, there really were no credible witnesses, aside from the two individuals involved.

Zimmerman is seeking $300,000 from the State of Florida for his legal expenses.  He may well get it.

Additionally, he will receive a pending, huge settlement from a lawsuit with  NBC.  NBC doctored the 911 tapes to make it appear that there was no doubt that Zimmerman was guilty of murder.

Sensationalize!  Sensationalize!  Sensationalize!

Hollywood, California   August 2013

When we think of media, we oftentimes overlook the movie industry.  Whereas print media sells subscriptions and advertising, movie media sells tickets and advertising.

Grandma P wanted to see  ‘The Butler.’   To say that this movie was designed to raise ‘racial fervor’ would be an understatement.  The true story, one of which a black man served seven different presidents, is interesting enough.  To convert this story into a movie which is about as close to reality as the Wizard of Oz, is a travesty.  The travesty portion is because they are marketing is as a factual interpretation of this mans’ life.  Unfortunately, most viewers will not differentiate fact from fiction.

Result:   Sell those tickets!  Sell those subscriptions!  Sell that advertising!

The common theme among all these topics?

Media distorts the truth.  There is no truth in advertising or news.  To add insult to injury, the media not only misrepresents the facts, but they tell society how to feel about these events.  They no longer take an objective approach to sharing news.  They present it in a biased, fairytale fashion.  As a bonus, they inform us (or imply to us) of the clear victims and obvious villains.

Intelligent people, such as my readers, would prefer to hear the raw facts and come to their own conclusions.

Well, I’m off to buy Grandma P some Paula Deen cookware.  I hear it’s on clearance at Walmart.

“Don’t let the truth get in the way of a good story.”

PS  I would like to thank the Bayou Mauler for her excellent editing work.  She also wrote some of the more interesting parts of this blog by providing a ‘female’ perspective.