Happy Thanksgiving– For Our Republic!

In brief….

Grumbling is in the air…about impending American crises.  Higher taxes, inflation and unemployment loom on the horizon.  Unemployment (and underemployment) via high penalties will be incurred by companies and citizens unable to afford the new national healthcare.  So, during this Thanksgiving season, it bears saying a few words about past American hard times.  Lest we forget… we will survive!  America has weathered hard times before, and we should be grateful for past successes— and insights to overcome American social change.

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            The first Thanksgiving in New England, 1621, was 3 days of celebration and prayer for the early pilgrims (those fleeing religious persecution in Europe.)  They expressed thanks for surviving the arduous journey to the New World—  thanks for the first harvest of food and the Wampanoag nation who showed them the way.  Early settlers could not have succeeded without the nation who educated them about climate, growing seasons and the land.  Some Wampanoag wanted alliances with the “Coat Men,” because they knew their world was changing.  Some wanted to help fellow human beings.

http://www.scholastic.com/scholastic_thanksgiving/feast/

Overcoming the treacherous voyage to the New World to establish meager homes in the wilderness cost the early pilgrims many lives.  And survivors were not all happy, either.  Some regretted what they’d left behind in Europe to start over.  Others lived in fear for the future.  Fear, like disease, spread through the people like wildfire, taking many lives.  Including the Wampanoag.

There was much dissention among the Wampanoag and pilgrims— no-one knew what the future would bring.  (see link above: “Historical Letters”)  Bitter tales of expansion into all native territories would precede the birth of the United States.

Before the 13 colonies evolved into a United States, there was much dissention between colonists: those who would fight the British government (and greatest military power on earth,) vs. those who wanted to remain under the British crown.  The two sides were amassing their support and arms throughout 1776, culminating on December 23, with “The American Crisis,” written by Thomas Paine: who lived among George Washington’s troops.  On December 25, Washington ordered the booklet read to his troops—

These are the times that try men’s souls.  The summer soldier and the sunshine patriot will, in this crisis, shrink from the service of their country; but he that stands by it now, deserves the love and thanks of man and woman.  Tyranny, like hell, is not easily conquered; yet we have this consolation with us, that the harder the conflict, the more glorious the triumph.  What we obtain too cheap, we esteem too lightly: it is dearness only that gives every thing its value.  Heaven knows how to put a proper price upon its goods; and it would be strange indeed if so celestial an article as FREEDOM should not be highly rated.”

At 3:00 a.m. on December 26, George Washington and his soldiers crossed the Delaware in boats… and roused the British to the Battle of Trenton and colonial victory.  But this bloody American Revolution war would rage for four long years.  Afterwards, the constituents of the new country asked Washington to be their King.  Yet, he kept the public at large waiting for 3 days before insisting that a new Republic should be the goal: no more imperialist monarch.  But the United States Constitution–  the hallmark of a government of written laws–  would not be ratified until 1787.  Why did this take so long?  Dissent among the outspoken.  Bitter dissension raged for years between the fledgling lawmakers– until tough compromises would yield the triad of democratic government America is today.

These ‘birthing pains’ were not lost on constituents.  When the founders finally emerged with consensus from Independence Hall (Philadelphia,) one woman asked Benjamin Franklin, “what kind of government have you given us?”  He replied, “a Republic: if you can hold on to it.”

It would be nearly 100 years before America again would find itself embroiled in blood and hate: the Civil War.  The contention, of course, was slavery.  A wicked practice: enslavement to build a country– but a practice, global-wide.  Even Thomas Jefferson, on his death bed in July 4, 1826, told his surviving daughters, that the issue of slavery would be left to the future.  He personally deplored the institution, yet needed hundreds of slaves to manage the 5000 acre estate, Monticello.  From its porch, Jefferson glanced across the far country lands that, one day, would be the University of Virginia, a leader in education and law.  But upon his deathbed, he voiced regret for the institution he knew would be divisive in America’s heritage and history.   http://www.monticello.org/site/jefferson

Southern states decried that the north had neither power nor right to dictate anti-slavery policies to them!  The south represented the farmlands that fed the country, produced its cotton for sails that powered the expanding global commerce and slavery was the underpinning.  Dissention split the United States, with southern states seceding from the union altogether and the stage was set for war.  The Civil War almost ended the country altogether.  It destroyed the old way of America–  while giving birth to freedom for millions of deserving human beings, who’s only reason for being enslaved was the color of their skin.  It took another 100 years to prove that all Americans are equal in the eyes of the written American law.  But equality, finally, was won.

Following World War I, America saw wretched economic conditions: high inflation and unemployment, low wages and an absence of unified leadership.  Unemployment in 1919 was 1.9 %; 5.2% in 1920; and 11/7% in 1921.  Then-Republican presidential nominee, Warren Harding told gatherers at the Convention—

We promise that relief which will attend the halting of waste and extravagance, and the renewal of the practice of public economy, not alone because it will relieve tax burdens but because it will be an example to stimulate thrift and economy private life.

Let us call to all the people for thrift and economy, for denial and sacrifice if need be, for a nationwide drive against extravagance and luxury, to a recommittal to simplicity of living, to that prudent and normal plan of life which is the health of the republic.  There hasn’t been a recovery from the waste and abnormalities of war since the story of mankind was first written, except through work and saving, through industry and denial, while needless spending and heedless extravagance have marked every decay in the history of nations.”  (The Real Crash, Peter Schiff; St. Martin’s Press, NYNY  2012,  pg. 32; also, “Warren Harding and the Forgotten Depression of 1920,” Lew Rockwell.com, Oct. 19, 2009.)

Americans remains divisive about which path to take during our current economic climate.  Should the government overspend revenues?  Once again, America and the globe are experiencing birthing pains, economically and politically.  How do we fix this?  Through dissension and compromise.  And prayer, just like the pilgrims.  America was born in dissension… and America will prosper through dissension.  That’s what America is all about!  The right of our people to dissent!  So, let’s give thanks this Thanksgiving, for our Republic and its architecture of petitioning government!  Happy dissension, folks— just remember: to be a dissenter, ya gotta stay in the game!  Get involved with government!

Happy Thanksgiving, one and all!  

 

© 2012 RightOnTheTruth.com

©Suzy Right 2012

America Is Red, White and Blue– With Freedom of Speech!

In brief…

There is too much division in our country: not just diversity of opinions, but division between our people!  It’s almost like America is at war—with itself!  We’re engaged in a Civil War, between philosophies and political parties, Democrats vs. Republicans.  But, America has always espoused strong dissention among its rank and file!  Freedom to express ourselves– especially opposing views— is what makes our nation a really great place in which to live, grow and prosper!  Suddenly, within a few short months or years, it feels as if we’re truly at war among ourselves: pitching slurs, insults and fighting words.  Why?  Why has America suddenly become a place of antagonism with decorum of disrespect?  Is it too late for Americans to live and govern together—based upon principles of mutual respect?

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            We’ve all heard it: ‘red state,’ ‘blue state.’  During the elections, while chatting with friends, it occurred to several of us that, we’re all Americans: so how can we be defined by blue or red?  Yes, the primary color of Democrats is blue; Republicans is red.  But the point is, or should be, “aren’t we all Americans?”  And we are!  This red and blue stuff is a way to divide us, not unite us.  And after the acrimony of the 2012 national elections, America can use some unity.

One example of recent acrimony in the media, was a popular late-night TV host calling one of our nation’s former governors, a felon, for supposedly not paying federal income tax.

http://nation.foxnews.com/david-letterman/2012/10/06/letterman-calls-mitt-romney-felon

Not only is this claim unsubstantiated, but the TV’s host’s fighting words may have incited  media can be interpreted as unethical, at the least–  and potentially dangerous, at the most.  And all this, for a late-night joke.  Price-Waterhouse (the CPA firm that processed the tax returns,) might have a stronger opinion.   And this TV host is not the only one: the media insults and slurs of late are too many to count.  What a poor example for our youth.  And the world.

Another thing that stood out was the way some journalists derided the candidates and commentators.  Isn’t journalism supposed to be impartial?  According to the Society of Professional Journalists’ Code of Ethics…. “Journalists should be free of obligation to any interest other than the public’s right to know.”   Hence, there’s no room for bias.

http://www.spj.org/ethicscode.asp

Also, let’s look at the clause that says, “Ethical journalists treat sources, subjects and colleagues as human beings deserving of respect.”  I heard numerous jeers from journalists during the election that made me cringe: respect?  Calling others derogatory names is not respect.  It is disrespect.  And no ethical journalist should be stooping to that low.  Those who do, undermine journalism–  and it’s future.

America is founded upon principles: written laws, freedoms, including free-speech–  but fighting words are not free speech. 

http://www.freedomforum.org/packages/first/fightingwords/index.htm

Although the US Supreme Court has difficulty defining, fighting words, exactly–  which lie outside the Constitutionality protection of free speech–  fighting words are defined as intended to insult a particular individual and ‘reasonably incite the average person to retaliate.’  But that’s what insults are: designed to incite retaliation.  When words are used to insult a particular individual to the point that the average person would (or could or should,) retaliate with more fighting words–  or worse, violence—than, in my opinion, fighting words forfeit the Constitutional protection of freedom of speech.  Let’s look at this another way.

If there’s a child in your kid’s elementary school class who insults your kid constantly, and your kid comes home crying–  the average parent would respond.  Either you call the school, or you call the other kid’s parents or you do both.  Some parents would send their kid to karate class, so he or she could knock the other kid’s block off: we’ve all read the stories.  The initial insult was the catalyst for the response.  Typically, human beings don’t bully or insult others because they DON’T want to incite a response.  The goal is to incite a response big time, just to have it out with the other guy.

It’s particularly distressful when our national media use fighting words to insult another journalist or reporter or candidate–  and, maybe because humans are so voyeuristic, we tend to enjoy ‘listening in,’ to the dirt.  But we shouldn’t.  We wouldn’t just stand around doing nothing while listening to a 3rd grader insult a classmate, would we?  Why do we do that with adults?  Besides, journalists are supposed to be unbiased: if they’re spinning the news with their own opinions, they’ve ceased to report the news and have now made the news.  They ‘make’ the news by spinning it to one side of the philosophical argument or the other.  And if journalists are true to their professional ethics, they will…. “never distort the content of news, photos or video….”  And they will… “examine their own cultural values and avoid imposing those values on others.”

The SPJ Code of Ethics also include discourage spinning the news or a particular view of the news: “Distinguish between advocacy and news reporting.  Analysis and commentary should be labeled and not misrepresent fact or context.”  And although this code is not legally enforceable, it is encouraged as “a guide for ethical behavior…. As a resource for ethical decision-making.”  It goes on– “Recognize a special obligation to ensure that the public’s business is conducted in the open and that government records are open to inspection.”  Boy, do we ever need this in the current heyday of scandals du jour!

The point is that we, as Americans, are part of this great experiment in Democracy… and it is the press—the media– who help keep us free with unbiased news reporting and comments–  keeping it out in the “sunshine.”   There is no place for insults or acrimony, pandering or bias–  we’re all Americans.  Let us agree, but not be disagreeable.  The whole world watches America.  Let all Americans behave like respectful adults!  What a great gift for future generations of global leaders!

 

Go look at the evidence: be an informed American!   Thank you

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©RightOnTheTruth.com  2012

©Suzy Right  2012

After the Party… Sober Up– It’s Time To Go To Work!

 

In Brief….

            Despite political affiliations, ideologies and attitudes, we are all Americans in America… based upon Constitutionally guaranteed and recognized God-given freedoms.  No matter our physical or mental beginnings, our color, sex, creed, America is about Americans.  We work hard, play hard—we are the captains of our own destinies.  We’re all about life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.  After a tough 2012 election, some of us won–  some lost.  But we have not lost America.  It is now time to work together, to uphold the principles of America, the Beautiful.  We’re all in this together… laying aside our differences in order to embrace our common ground… for ourselves, for our grandchildren and for future generations.  The time is now… to get to work.  Like Americans always have and, God willing, always will.

http://www.starspangledbannerchallenge.com/

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            November 7th was a sobering day for many of us.  Despite the predictions, for good or for bad, many Americans were not prepared for the outcome.  Now, after having emailed the White House to congratulate President Obama, I also remind him that he has a job to do: to unite this country.  Every president has had that job: to preserve, protect and defend the US Constitution and defend America from its enemies, foreign and domestic.  The biggest enemy is hate.   America is not a country of hate, but of kindness, goodness, generosity—America is a country of love.  America is strong because of our love for others.  We just need to remind ourselves to look around and see this truth.

President Obama came to national office in 2008 on a platform of transparency, hope and change.  After the 2012 election, I am sick of too much hate and spewing mud-slinging and still hungry for transparency, hope and change.  I see too much fear.  Too many attacks from the media: media isn’t supposed to influence voters, but to report facts.  I’d frankly like to see and hear more about strength, integrity and fairness: honesty.  It’s time to go to work, America.  And work for sincere transparency, hope and change, and stop all the acrimony against those who happen to disagree!  We may disagree with each other, but, we are One Nation, Under God.  We’re all Americans here!  Let’s behave like the Americans we truly are!

The task is at hand: with fiscal cliff polices, acts of global Terrorism, pro-Democrat vs. pro-Republicans, the cost of oil, national health-care, abortion and the mystery of Libya–  there is enough disagreement and dissention to go around!  The old adage says, “either you are part of the problem or part of the solution.”  Truly, we all have a personal choice to keep spewing the mud, or bury the hatchet and move on–  to resolving these massively huge challenges.  What will be our choice as a country?  To add to the acrimony?  Or try to resolve these issues?

Let us remember that as Americans, we actually share more in common with each other than our differences.  Let us start to bridge our commonalities—for our sakes, as well as the sake of our future grandchildren and great-grandchildren.  Let’s dig our heels in and start the peace.  We don’t need more war.  We just need to go to work.  And in case you need a gentle reminder of exactly what we are, who we are, what America is all about, go to this link:

http://www.starspangledbannerchallenge.com/

Let us all be who we are!  Free American men, women and children!  God Bless the United States of America! 

 

©RightOnTheTruth.com  2012

©Suzy Right 2012

 

Polls… Polls… Who’s Got The Polls– Why Election Polls Are All Over the Map– And What Questions Every American Should Ask!

In Brief….

2012 election polls are all over the map–  some reporting that Obama is ahead… others reporting Romney is ahead.  Why such a spread?  Simply put…  it’s easy to skew polls, and easy to sway the voters.  Some polls include less reliable data.  Most are based upon ‘exit polls,’ including early-voters, plus past election behavior.  Polls can represent who voted, (mail-in ballots or at the booth,) when they voted (before or on the day of voting,) and polls can include data from ten years of elections.  Other polls are snap polls via the internet or phone, and some polls are national polls taken over a whole week.  So, what to believe?  Read on for some suggestions….

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            I happened to hear a poll in the New York Times’ the other day, and their prediction that Obama would win re-election.  This prediction was based upon the 2% increase in quarterly economic growth, they said.  Not so, said I. The supposed 2% growth was primarily government expenditure.  Government expenditures are NOT economic investments, but upkeep… like paying the electric bill, government salaries, entitlement programs (Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, etc..)  Money you and I will not see again–  but money our grandchildren will have to pay because these are BORROWED dollars.   (see blog: “The Fiscal Cliff”)

I first read the New York Times when I was 10 years old.  It was a good paper–  take it’s printed word to the bank!  But this?  Not so, said I, as I tossed it aside.  First of all, mis-informing Americans about the bogus “2% growth” nonsense is bad enough.  But, using that bogus number to predict that Obama is ahead in national polls?  Let’s look closer.

First of all, pollsters take data about election turn-out.  With 52% + of mail-in ballots already in, Romney is ahead by about 7 points.  Then pollsters look at 10 years of races and use averages and trends.  That would be data from elections in 2004, ’06, ’08 and 2010.  Then outliars are thrown out–  behavior that stands so far apart from the typical, ‘bell shaped curve.’  Outliars (anomalies,) are omitted because they are too extreme from typical general group behavior; in other words, outliars distort or skew results.

 

In 2008, an anomaly happened: Americans elected a virtual unknown, novice candidate on a platform of ‘hope and change–’  touting that a Washington outsider could bring the parties together for positive change from business-as-usual.  Plus his platform of ‘redistribution of wealth.’  He won, but Socialism in a free society is a tough sell.  (see blog: “The Fiscal Cliff”)  This novice president ignores Constitutional law by enacting policy changes via executive order, instead of working with the body of law-making, Congress.  This president has touted his philosophies of “leading from behind–” throughout the economy, national policies, countering terrorism, socializing medicine (even the doctors don’t like it!  see blog: “Obamacare,” parts I, II, III.)  He has accrued escalating national debt, more than most of the previous US presidents all together.  This president, in all due respect, is the anomaly.

Polls show that Americans like this president, and I like him, too!  He’s witty and funny!  On late-night television, he’s a hoot!  Especially when Obama talks about his lack of math acumen!  http://lonelyconservative.com/2012/10/video-obama-admits-to-jay-leno-he-cant-do-math-above-7th-grade-level/

Not to mention the transparency regarding the tragedy in Benghazi, Libya, September 11, 2012.  (see blog, “What Went Wrong In Libya?”)   The President has yet to explain to the American people what went wrong in Libya—and papers like the NYT do not address: what did the president know and when did he know it?    Has Al Quada infiltrated American operations in the middle east, contrary to President Obama’s campaign claim that, “bin Laden is dead and Al Quada is on its heels!”??    President Obama still refuses to answer even senatorial letters demanding the truth about Benghazi.  Why doesn’t the NYT poll Americans about this?  Read one of these letters–  http://www.ayotte.senate.gov/?p=press_release&id=740

Back to polls.   In Ohio (a swing state,) almost 200,000 fewer early voters have cast their vote for Obama, compared with 2008 voters— coupled with 160,000 more early voters have voted for the other guy, than in 2008.  That’s a margin of about 360,000 +/- voters in the critical swing state of Ohio–  so it’s looking really strong for the other guys, not the president–  when compared with 2008.  (Another reason for discarding the outliars from the 2008 model.)

Another inobvious fact about the Times ‘poll,’ is the weighting of poll participants.   Weighing means simply, asking more of these people, than those, ie: Democrats vs. Republicans.  The NY Times added more registered Democrats than Republicans in the poll: about 8% more Democrats.  Even with 8% more Democrats, Obama only showed a one-point lead.  But, with this 8% skew, Romney actually is way ahead.  Think about this.  Take two runners in a 50-yard foot dash.  Draw the finish line 12 feet shorter for one guy, at 138 feet, but keep the finish line for the other guy at 150 feet.  If the two runners cross the (two separate) finish lines one second apart, with the shorter distance runner coming in first, the second runner actually is the winner.  She finishes the longer race only 1 second shy of the first one, with the 12 foot disadvantage.  Ask yourself: would I approve a skewed race, if my kid were running against the guy with the 12-foot advantage?  Fair?  –Not so, say I.

The NY Times has given the incumbent an 8 point lead, touting that he is the winner.  But, if you do the math, the NYT poll shows that Romney/Ryan are really 7 points ahead of Obama.  Just like our runner in the skewed foot race.

Is this NYT “journalism,” journalism?  Not so, says I.  It’s bias.  NY Times didn’t just report the news: it skewed the news.  It is propaganda.    Out of sentimentality, I will go easy: Hey, NYT!  Try Fox News!  There’s a good reason why Fox is the most watched cable news network.  Fair and balanced, just like a fair and balanced 50-yard dash. Among Fox News’ stellar lineup of pollster brainiacs are Dick Morris and Karl Rove—the Einsteins of election polling.  We all reminisce about Ronald Reagan’s fresh and honest approach to politics— but did you know that Reagan also hired Rove?  In fact, Morris and Rove say Romney/Ryan will sweep the elections, based upon the polls.

What about independents?  Much polling takes place via phone interviews.  But 1/3 of Americans now use cell phones in place of land lines, so polling itself may be skewed.  We know that the 2008 election saw an unusually high level of enthusiasm among Democratic voters (with those identifying themselves as Democrats,) more than any other time in recent election history–  especially 2012.  In fact, the enthusiasm of Republican voters currently is significantly higher than Democrats— including independents now identifying themselves with Republican tickets.  

So, what questions should you ask regarding election polls?  Be sure the outliars (skewed anomalies,) are omitted from the mix; make sure you understand what data the poll is based upon; and always ask, ‘how is this poll weighted?  Is one group more represented than the other?’  Then research the polls for yourself.

            Read the facts–  be an informed voter!  Thank you! 

            And may the best American candidate win!

©2012   RightOnTheTruth.com

©Suzy Right  2012