Thursday, January 28, 2016

Shores of Tripoli

When I studied history in school, I never remember learning about the Barbary Wars. In fact, I always thought the Barbary Coast was referring to California. When I went into the army I learned about the history of the 2nd Armored Division, but that is all the history they taught us. I suspect if you were in the Marine Corps, they taught the entire history of the corps. I wish we spent more time on history as it actually happened, but as time passes the trend in education is more toward recent history. Or in some cases, the history taught in schools is to persuade children that they are racists living in an evil country. Well, I do not think that and I do not believe that. Because of time constraints there is not enough time to cover our entire history in school. Supplementary literature is required.

The Strait of Gibraltar was and is the gateway from the Atlantic Ocean to the Mediterranean Sea. The Muslim countries in North Africa were financed by pirates stealing ships, ships’ cargo and ransoming sailors held as slaves. You see, the Koran made it completely legal to steal from and enslave non-Muslims. The perpetrators were Morocco, Algiers, Tunis and Tripoli and their northern Coast is called the Barbary Coast.

Most countries that sailed through the Strait of Gibraltar paid tribute to the rulers of these countries, so they would not pirate their ships. The problem for us was, the price of tribute and ransom kept rising and being a brand new country, the United States of America had no money to pay. We had merchant ships taken and their crews used as slaves until ransom was paid.

The “…shores of Tripoli” and the Barbary War is significant history to the US Navy and Marines. At the turn of the 19th century, John Adams had let our navy diminish in size from what he inherited from the George Washington presidency.

Since the Declaration of Independence, Thomas Jefferson had been involved with our government and these pirates were always a sore spot. When he succeeded John Adams as president, he set out on a plan to stop the pirating. Remember all the trading nations of the world were paying tribute to the Muslims. This pacifist position lead to more pirates and more ships’ crews in slavery. The very idea of paying these slavers rankled Jefferson and he wanted to set things right. First he had to rebuild the navy. Then he had to get competent commanders in place. Our navy and marines were able to stop the pirates, but instead of allowing our military victory to stand and freeing the slaves by force, a representative of the state department paid tribute to the Muslims.

During the War of 1812 the Muslims took advantage and again started pirating American merchant vessels. Soon after the War was over, President James Madison used force and stopped the pirating of our ships for over 100 years.

Does any of this sound familiar to you. It is kind of the situation we are in today. Pacifist leadership leads to more evil-doers, not less. ISIS is a great example. The balance between the Department of State and the military objectives is always contentious.  Pacifists will never learn. The only peace possible is peace through strength.

I highly recommend the book, “Thomas Jefferson and the Tripoli Pirates” by Brian Kilmeade and Don Yeager. It is a great history supplement told as an invigorating narrative. They tell the story much better than I have summarized here.


Saturday, January 23, 2016

Natalie and Mike

Today I am posting one of my poems from my children’s poetry e-book called “ABC Poems for Kids.” You can find it at Amazon.com

--------------------

Natalie was a girl, whose hair was fair,
   It looked just like her mother’s.
She always did her very best
   To show kindness to others.

What Mom and Dad told her to do
   Was never too much trouble.
Whenever they called she was there
   Pleasing and oh so lovable.

Natalie had many friends on her street
   Who were always glad to play.
They each liked to see Natalie outside
   For she was always happy and gay.

When she was at school, she was so good
   The teacher was always pleased.
She sat quietly and did her work
   And by her classmates was never teased.

Natalie had a younger brother named Mike
   Who at one time was a terror.
He yelled and screamed and rolled on the floor,
   He was bad, that was no error.

Mom and Dad talked and talked
   But Mike paid no attention.
Many different punishments were tried
   But to obey -- Mike had no intention.

Natalie didn’t understand this behavior
   For this way she never had been.
She asked her mother what was wrong
   That caused Mike’s patience to be so thin.

Mother did not know the answer,
   She had only an idea to try.
She asked Natalie to stay around Mike
   And act like a lady when he would cry.

Natalie stayed with Mike many days
   Setting a good example.
Even when Mike was at his worst
   Natalie’s patience was ample.

Soon a change began to show
   And Mike’s behavior improved.
But Natalie knows she is the one who gained most,
   Her gaiety and pleasance cannot be removed.

Natalie and Mike are now good friends
   As well as being sister and brother.
And the rest of their lives they will treasure
   What each has given to the other.



Thursday, January 21, 2016

Our Political Parties

In my last post, I discussed the seven types of government: anarchy, democracy, dictatorship, monarchy, republic, theocracy and totalitarian. In the USA we have two major political parties: Democrat and Republican. Democrat sounds like it may have something to do with democracy and Republican sounds like it has something to do with republic. Actually they are both just names (proper nouns) that function within a democratic republic form of government.

The Democrat Party likes to call themselves Democratic Party, but they are not strictly a democratic organization. As an example, for the 2016 presidential election, the Democrat Party has a total of 5,083 delegates of which 4,336 are delegated via the caucus or primary process – votes of the people. The party leadership controls 1/5 of the delegates in the 2016 election for a total of 747 super delegates that are not assigned by the democratic process. These delegates are a combination of officials of the Democrat Party and previous Democrat office holders.

The Republican Party has a similar process for nominating a presidential candidate. The Republicans have 2,430 delegates for the 2016 presidential election. Of that total 2,033 are pledged delegates selected by the caucus or primary process in each state. Republicans use the term unpledged delegates, instead of super delegates, but the outcome is the same. The Republicans have 437 unpledged delegates, 168 of which are members of the Republican National Committee.

Our political parties both want to win. The main reason they want to be in power is because each party likes to allocate money differently to achieve their objectives. Both parties are accused of cheating in every election. Bending the rules to keep their power is so prevalent by office-holders, it is mostly ignored.

Democrats always want longer voting periods and try to register as many people as possible to vote Democrat, whether they are eligible to vote or not. They always deny voter fraud, but it happens in every election. Most fraudulent votes do not get counted, but some always slip through. When the Democrats were trying to recall Scott Walker in Wisconsin, some precincts had over 110% of registered voters recorded. I personally want every eligible voter to vote and no ineligible votes.

Republicans are always accused of trying to keep poor Democrats from voting. Democrats consider requiring a picture ID at the voting booth a technique to prevent people from voting. Republicans claim it is to prevent voter fraud. Many of you remember all the dead people in south Texas that used to vote for LBJ. I personally think everyone should have a picture ID and it should be free and easy to get with proper documentation. Rampant voter fraud is rare, but there is voter fraud in every election.

Now we have Bernie Sanders who is running as a democratic-socialist. That is definitely not a type of government I remember. Socialism is a philosophy where the work product of the people all share the dividends equally. No matter how hard you work or do not work you get your share. The democrat part of Sander’s platform is the government acts as the redistributor of wealth. In other words, Sanders wants to take the Obama policies to their extreme.

Being a conservative, I prefer a small government that allows the capitalist system to work with necessary regulations to prevent fraudulent or unfair activities. Something that must be addressed is the extreme wealth being accumulated by the wealthiest families in our country. If something is not done to bring the wage/wealth problem back to an equitable balance, the populace will revolt.


Saturday, January 16, 2016

Types of Government

Today I am going back to middle school civics to discuss types of government. Basically there are seven types: anarchy, democracy, dictatorship, monarchy, republic, theocracy and totalitarian.

An anarchy is a lack of government. This usually occurs when there are warring factions or warlords running sections of a country. This lack of government is usually not sustainable, because no one living in it likes it. People live in fear and uncertainty. Even the warlords fear each other. Somalia is the closest example of anarchy today and it is not entirely anarchic. There is a central government, but it only controls a small portion of Mogadishu. The extremist group Al-Shabaab controls most of the country.

A democracy is where people get to vote on everything and the majority rules. Democracy only works for small groups in small areas, such as an office or a classroom. Getting everyone together to vote on what time of day the street lights come on in a city makes little sense. Democracy is usually seen in the form of republics.

A dictatorship is where one person is the government and makes the rules and the people they control have no choice but to adhere to these rules. Some dictators may be good people, but in any large group of people there are going to be disagreements about what the government should do, so a dictator can only control through power. A dictator’s friends like it and some will always be the quiet subdued opposition.

 A monarchy is similar to a dictatorship, but there are some monarchies that also have constitutions which limit a monarch’s power to prevent it from becoming a dictatorship. England, Sweden and Spain have constitutional monarchies. Tonga and Vatican City are absolute monarchies. Most people living in monarchies like this type of government.

A republic is the form of government we have in the United States. We elected people to represent us and we live under the laws and conditions these elected officials provide for us. Most governments in the world are republics.

A theocracy is a government ruled by a religion or sect. This is the type of government many Muslims want where the people are ruled by Sharia Law, with justice doled out by clerics and their minions. There are currently no nations living in a theocracy, but there are small areas inside some countries where theocracy is being practiced.

A totalitarian form of government is similar to a dictatorship, except it is run by a group or gang of people and not a single individual. There is normally no private ownership of property. Marxism, Leninism and communism are forms of totalitarian governments. We usually think of Russia and China as being communist countries, but they are considered republics, primarily because they have elections. Even unfair or “fixed” elections allow you to call yourself a republic.

There will always be opposition in any form of government. The group in power normally supports the government. The way the government treats the opposition usually determines the feelings people have about the government. A group of people that does not feel heard by government officials for an extended period of time has a propensity to rebel and revolt.


Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Convention of States

There is no doubt the politicians in Washington, D.C. have all but abandoned the constitution. Chief Justice John Roberts re-wrote Obamacare twice from his position on the Supreme Court to keep the law intact. President Barack Obama is using executive orders to re-write laws enacted by congress, instead of working with Congress to get laws changed.

Now we have administrative agencies writing laws and enforcing them. The EPA has turned itself into a military organization to enforce laws it creates against the will of the people. The EPA agency should not exist at all, as it was established by an executive order of Richard Nixon.

After the Constitution was written, Benjamin Franklin was asked, “Doctor, do we have a republic or a monarchy?” Franklin replied, “We have a republic, if you can keep it.” Being a man with foresight, he foresaw what could happen if government refused to live by the will of the people. I think we are there.

By definition, a republic is a form of government where power resides in elected individuals representing citizens and these elected individuals exercise their power within the rule of law. We are obviously past that point. No one in Washington seems to care about the law or the Constitution. Even worse, they do not seem to care about the citizens of the country, unless they have enough money to get Washington elites re-elected.

Well, there is a solution to the problem. It is written in Article V of our Constitution. It is called a convention of states. If two-thirds of states petition Congress to call a convention, the Congress is obligated to oblige. With 50 states that means we need 34 state petitions. We have had 34 in the past, but some have rescinded their petitions. We currently stand at 27 states with active petitions.

Governor Abbot is working with the Texas legislature to get them to file a petition. Abbot is proposing the following amendments to the Constitution:

  • Prohibit Congress from regulating activities that occur solely within a state.
  • Balance the budget.
  • Stop agencies from writing laws.
  • Stop agencies from superseding state laws.
  • Allow a 2/3 majority of the states to overturn Supreme Court decisions.
  • Require a super-majority of justices to overturn a democratically enacted law.
  • Limit federal powers to the designated powers of the Constitution.
  • Allow states to sue the federal government when they overstep their authority.
  • Allow a majority of 2/3 of states to overturn a law enacted by Congress.

For additional information take a look at the following resources: “The Liberty Amendments” by Mark Levin. Also, see the websites conventionofstates.com and foavc.org (friends of article V convention.)

Personally I think it is time to force Washington to adhere to the will of their constituents. My choice for an amendment would be term limits for Congress. Pay attention to this topic. Let your representatives know what you think.



Sunday, January 10, 2016

Who Decides if You Are a Muslim?


Last week Edward Archer shot Philadelphia police officer Jesse Hartnett in his police cruiser and Hartnett returned fire. Both men were injured and Archer was subsequently captured. He told investigators the reason he shot the police officer was that the police do not adhere to Islamic law. Archer was a devout Muslim and even went to Saudi Arabia to solidify his faith. A day or so later, newly-elected Philadelphia mayor Jim Kenney declared Archer was not a Muslim, because Muslims do not act that way. Well it appears to me that some of them do act that way.

Last week groups of Muslim men sexually assaulted hundreds of women in Germany, Sweden, Finland, Switzerland and Austria. Assaults ranged from stripping off women’s clothing and groping them to outright rapes by multiple attackers. There were thousands of rapes in Sweden in 2013 by Muslim men, most of them going unreported.

The stories are mostly ignored by news organizations and flat out denied or covered up by government officials. While government officials may not recognize the problem with Islamists, their victims certainly do.

A mostly unknown fact in western civilization is that abuse of women is sanctioned by Islamic law. There is currently a jihad rape fatwa issued by a Muslim cleric in Syria and another by a cleric in Saudi Arabia. In fact, look at what they teach in college. “If a woman gets raped walking in public alone, then she, herself is at fault! She is only seducing men by her presence! She should have stayed home like a Muslim woman!”  -- Dr. Abd Al-Aziz Fawzan, Professor of Islamic Law, Saudi Arabia

When Nidal Hasan shot people at Fort Hood in 2009 killing 13 and wounding over two dozen more, the Obama administration classified the act as workplace violence, even though Hasan was yelling Allah Akbar as he shot. The Muslim law-breakers almost always tell you who they are. Why do our left-leaning politicians not take the word of these jihadists? All left-leaning politicians cannot be stupid, so there must be some other reason.

It appears that 700 years ago the world population knew how to recognize who Muslims really were much better than the leftist politicians of today. Marco Polo said, “The law which their prophet Mohamed has given to muslims is that any harm done to any one who does not accept their law and any appropriation of his goods, is no sin at all.”

My friends, face the facts. Our newspapers, news outlets and even more so our Democrat leaders are downplaying who the Muslims are. They call us Islamophobes for telling the truth. Name calling has become their favorite tactic to stop debate.

There are Muslims willing to live in peace. There is also a jihadist element among the Muslims and that fact is undeniable. There are a few Christians in every denomination that create atrocious acts, but seldom in the name of their religion. Our politicians go out of the way to state these criminals are Christian, knowing their acts had nothing to do with their faith. Just the opposite with Muslims.

Do I get to decide my faith? Do the politicians decide for me? Who decides if you are a Muslim? Oprah Winfrey told us several years ago, “When people tell you who they are, believe them.” I do.



Monday, January 4, 2016

Missing the Boat

I had a good discussion with some of my Facebook friends last week. There are a lot of people that support President Obama and think he has performed wonderfully as our president. I just do not happen to agree with that assessment. There are obviously some voters that agree with me. Since Obama has been in office the Democrat party has lost 11 governorships and 30 state legislative houses because of losing 913 state legislative seats. At the federal level the Democrats have lost control of both houses of Congress by losing 13 senate seats and 69 house seats.

We have come to the point in our country that our university professors are teaching students to hate this country. We have students that are asking for safe zones where they can go and not have to hear anyone speak with whom they do not agree. We have teachers unions across the country that care more about getting Democrats elected than they care about their students. Education has ceased and indoctrination has replaced it.

Our nation debt has doubled under President Obama. He gave half a trillion dollars to his friends to implement failed green energy projects. He spent another trillion on shovel ready jobs that never materialized. He has spent more money than all other presidents in our history and we have nothing to show for it.

Obama has kept our economy in recovery for longer than any other president except the other well-respected socialist, FDR. Our economy will never grow again until we get government out of the way.

We have a federal government that is filled with corrupt officials. IRS behavior has been scandalous. The Justice Department ran a gun running operation and the president used his executive power to hide the fact. The president uses executive power like a dictator. Veterans Affairs and veterans lack of health care is an ongoing problem – and no one has been fired for lying in official reports. In fact these liars are still getting bonuses every year for doing pitiful work. Our Justice Department is only interested in prosecuting Obama's enemies.

Both parties in Washington, D. C. care more about getting money for reelection than they care about doing the people's business. Legislation has come down to who can spend the most for more unneeded and unwanted stuff.

“The danger to America is not Barack Obama but a citizenry capable of entrusting a man like him with the Presidency. It will be far easier to limit and undo the follies of an Obama presidency than to restore the necessary common sense and good judgement to the depraved electorate willing to have such a man for their president. The problem is much deeper and far more serious than Mr. Obama, who is a mere symptom of what ails America. Blaming the prince of the fools should not blind anyone to the vast confederacy of fools that made him their prince. The Republic can survive a Barack Obama, who is, after all, merely a fool. It is less likely to survive a multitude of fools such as those who made him their president.” – Vaclav Klaus (former Premier of the Czech Republic)

“You can fool some of the people some of the time. You can even fool some of the people all of the time, but you can't fool all of the people all of the time.” – Abraham Lincoln

Fools to the right, fools to the left and the rest of you down the middle. CHARGE.