If I were alive during the Civil War, I now realize I would have fought for the Confederacy! Those are harsh words for someone born and bred a true Yankee. My fight would be to preserve ‘states’ rights’!
Before you get your undies in a bunch, I, General Robert E. ‘Grandpa T,’ am not addressing the slavery issue. In that regard, my President of the Confederacy would not be Jefferson Davis, but George Jefferson. Baby boomers certainly remember George Jefferson. He was a character played by the black actor Sherman Hemsley on the show, ‘The Jeffersons.’ George made his money in the dry cleaning business and moved ‘on up’ to the East Side. (He was a true capitalist!)
Unlike the current administration with their approach to such things as Iran, Iraq or Afghanistan, President George and I actually have a strategy and a goal.
Our goal is to protect ‘states’ rights,’ just as the Confederacy fought for during the previous Civil War.
Our strategy is to rid ourselves of all those scallywags in Washington D.C. that are opposed to and unsupportive of our belief in states’ rights! This is similar to what the Confederacy was attempting to do during the Civil War.
Why have we foisted our banner to such an undertaking? Here are examples of government intervention in areas where they have no business.
Battle of Nashville and Memphis
On August 24, 2011, federal agents from the Department of Justice executed four search warrants on the Gibson Guitar Corporation. They have facilities in both Nashville and Memphis, Tennessee. This was done because the company supposedly imported ‘illegal tonewood (rosewood)’ for the construction of their guitars. This was in violation of a century-old Lacey Act which outlaws trafficking in flora and fauna which has broken foreign laws.
Did they send an accountant or scientist to get samples of the supposedly illegal wood? No! They sent over 30 agents in SWAT gear with weapons to evacuate the three facilities of employees. They then disconnected the surveillance devices and confiscated electronic files, pallets of wood and guitars.
The federal government pursued this even though both India and Madagascar, the largest suppliers of rosewood, insisted that none of their laws were broken!
The end result of this abuse of federal authority was that Gibson had to pay a $300,000 fine, and make a contribution of $50,000 to the National Fish and Wildlife federation. They did this to avoid a bankrupting legal battle. As it turned out, they still accumulated over $2.4 million in attorney fees.
Ironically, the guitar company’s two biggest competitors are Fender Guitar and Martin Guitar Corporation. Martin Guitar advertises in their catalog the use of Western India rosewood in the construction of all their guitars. This is the same rosewood from the same country that was confiscated from Gibson.
By now, you are probably wondering why one company was targeted, and two others were not.
The answer may lie in the fact that 2011 was an election year, and the CEO of Gibson Guitar contributed to candidates of the Republican Party. Huge contributors to the Democratic Party include both presidents of the other two guitar companies, especially Martin Guitar CEO, Chris Martin IV.
Have you not heard about this? Actually, I only learned of this whole incident two weeks ago myself!
Abuse of federal power! Rally the troops! Mount your horses! Robert E. ‘Grandpa T’ will lead to Washington!
(Gibson recently got their confiscated wood returned. They are using the wood to make a Government Series II Les Paul guitar. These special edition guitars are hot stamped in gold with an American bald eagle holding a Gibson guitar neck. They are thumbing their noses at the federal government! I hope they sell millions!)
IRS Tea Party Targeting Scandal
Those federal scallywags outdid themselves again by using the IRS to bully and harass specific groups prior to the last presidential election.
The following three paragraphs are from a research paper from Stockholm University and the Harvard Kennedy School:
“Unfortunately for Republicans, the IRS slowed Tea Party growth before the 2012 election. In March 2010, the IRS decided to single Tea Party groups out for special treatment when applying for tax-exempt status by flagging organizations with names containing ‘Tea Party,’ ‘patriot,’ or ‘9/11.’
For the next two years, the IRS approved the application of only four such groups, and delaying all others while subjecting the applicants to highly intrusive, intimidating requests for information regarding their activities, membership, contacts, Facebook posts, and private thoughts.
As a consequence, the founders, members, and donors of new Tea Party groups found themselves incapable of exercising their constitutional rights, and the Teas Party’s impact was muted.”
A clear abuse of federal authority!
The chilling turn of events was that the director of the IRS did eventually resign after pleading the Fifth Amendment numerous times during congressional hearings. Isn’t it ironic that there was rampant and blatant abuse of the First Amendment, but convenient overuse of the Fifth Amendment! Since her resignation, the replacement director has since resigned as well. As of this date, no person within the IRS have been terminated as a result of this incident.
But wait! The Department of Justice has appointed an investigator to look into those darn accusations that just don’t seem to go away for the current administration. Who did they appoint? Her name is Barbara Bosserman. Her claim to fame? She has donated over $6750 to President Obama’s campaign, the Democratic National Committee, and the Obama Victory Fund.
She will really tear those IRS weenies from stem to stern! You know I am joking. Sending her to investigate the IRS would be similar to sending a fat person to close a Golden Corral buffet line. It just ain’t going to happen. The results of this investigation cannot be taken seriously.
Unfurl the flag! Limber the cannons! On to Washington!
Obamacare and Government Navigators
Where exactly in the Constitution is it stated that the federal government is responsible for socialistic healthcare?
Yet that is exactly what has been imposed upon this country by our federal government. A bad law passed by politicians that did not read it, administered by a group of people (IRS) of dubious integrity on a population that does not want it! What could go wrong?
What has gone wrong is that we are becoming a nation of ‘part-time’ employees. Until now, businesses would often provide or assist with healthcare in larger corporations. They are now opting out of these programs. Healthcare for others was a burden, but it was not totally unaffordable. Because those ‘unpatriotic’, younger people are not signing up, the cost to the remaining older population has ballooned out of sight!
Corporations laid off people in anticipation of the 20-25% increase in payroll costs due to this bill. I say that the passage of this bill is largely responsible for the economic downturn we have suffered since its passage in 2008. We have recovered somewhat, but not totally. This is clearly a situation where the federal government tampered with our capitalistic system.
One of the glaring weaknesses in this program is that the federal government did not require a criminal background check of any of the ‘navigators’ that are hired to assist in enrollment in the program. These ‘navigators’ will be taking every bit of sensitive information you have during the enrollment process. The result? In California alone, 43 ‘navigators’ were hired that had previous felony convictions. Some of these convictions were for fraud! I will guarantee that if this has happened in California, it is happening elsewhere.
Target Corporation is still attempting to recover from stolen personal information from their ordeal with its credit card holders. How big could identity theft get at the federal government level?
Would I fight for ‘states, rights?’ Would I have fought for them at the time of our Civil War? If I could have foreseen what our government was to become, you bet I would have I would have fought like a hungry man fights for the last roll at that Golden Corral buffet line!
Our founding fathers had divergent opinions about ‘states’ rights’. It was the Hamiltonians versus the Jeffersonians. To simplify, the people promoting a strong centralized federal government (Hamiltonians) versus the people supporting stronger states’ rights (Jeffersonians). Our founding fathers were greatly concerned about the federal government becoming too big and too powerful – just what we have allowed to happen today.
If you have digested what I have written in this blog, you will notice that the real issue is not ‘states’ rights,’ but personal freedoms.
We have the current administration that has used their power to eliminate or stifle political rivals. To whit, the raid on Gibson Guitar and the IRS targeting of conservative political groups.
We have a federal government that thinks they are the most efficient at providing healthcare, when they are the last organization that should run such a program. Have we learned nothing from welfare programs?
Our country was founded on the system of capitalism, not socialism, but every day, in every way, we are losing our individual freedoms.
The most frightening issue of all? Our POTUS saying in his last State of the Union address that he would ‘bypass Congress on legislation concerning economic recovery.” Are we talking dictatorship?
‘We the People’ are guaranteed of our rights in our founding documents, and ‘We the People’ deserve better government.
Our government is too big and too powerful. Shame on us for allowing it to get this way.
I, General Robert E. ‘Grandpa T’, am putting my faithful horse, old Buffet Belly in the barn. The cannons are unlimbered. The flag is furled. I will have to wait until November to further wage my ‘Civil War’ in a ballot box.