Welcome to As I See It. I can’t change a thing, but I can comment and enlighten. You are welcome to post comments to my rants, but please – keep them civil. I don’t want to spend my time editing and deleting comments. The subjects will be whatever irritates me at the moment, and believe me – there are always plenty!

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Please don’t just be a bystander, join the discussion. Opposing views are welcome!

To some, “apathy” in our country is an overused word that keeps rearing its ugly head. The truth is, it keeps coming up because it is true, and seems to spread like a cancer, albeit a slow cancer.

The problem I have with using apathy to describe the withering away of our freedoms doesn’t adequately pinpoint the cause and effect. It is hard to quantify whether the American public has just given up fighting the Federal Monster, or whether, by design, more and more citizens are voting to protect their entitlements. Either way, we have woven ourselves a web of utopian vision, an impractical, idealistic scheme for social and political reform that can only succeed as a socialistic society. For those protecting their entitlements, a socialistic society seems like the perfect solution. For those of us who still understand the dangers of entitlements, if there are enough of us left, the only course is to start putting an end to these Federal programs and preventing new ones from being implemented, whether by legislation or the scary act of Executive Mandate.

Common sense isn’t partisan, it isn’t the property of the Republicans or Democrats. Stepping into the voting booth and pulling the lever for one party or the other is an escape from having to think and study the issues and their ramifications – from having a real opinion. Doing that says a lot about your decision to understand the problems on Democracy and to do what’s right for the country and our citizens.

One thing is abundantly clear. Our elected and appointed politicians and officials do not always have our best interests at heart. In fact, if you listen very carefully, and watch their decisions, you will find that each has a personal agenda that does not necessarily coincide with what’s best for preserving our freedoms we fought so hard for in the past. I believe the only fear these politicos have is not getting re-elected, and if there wasn’t so much apathy in this country, many, if not most, would be in danger of losing the next election.

Where am I going with this? It is just this. Our government is out of control. Unless we can change the balance of voters who are either, apathetic, entitlement protectors, or straight partisan voters, our country as it used to be is doomed to socialism. Maybe that’s what the majority of voters want, but if so, they will look back on their decision decades from now and ask “how did we ever get here?”. Losing freedoms is easy, getting them back is next to impossible.

Although it may seem that Congress is probing these scandals, make no mistake about it, nothing will come of all the “investigations” – it is all bluster. In previous decades, any one of these Whitehouse scandals would be enough to trigger an attempt to impeach. It will never happen in today political environment, even with the totality of accusations against him.

We now face an onslaught of Federal initiatives that threaten the very freedoms we say we cherish. Everything from gun control to healthcare and immigration, from IRS intimidation to government snooping into every aspect of our private lives.

We need to stop falling for the pressures of political correctness and say what we mean. We need to scrutinize ever politician for their voting habits and beliefs, and we need to vote for the issues and not the party. Maybe then we can turn around the apathy that is burying us.

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Let me start off by saying I am not an expert on business or economics. What I present here is a compilation of expert opinions and facts I have culled from the Internet. I have included citations so you can fact check for yourself.

We are being duped – by the oil companies, the refineries, our government and even your local gas station. The Points I am trying to convey are this:

  1. There is no gas shortage, supplies are kept artificially low by sending more and more refined gas overseas
  2. Since  high exports aren’t allowing U.S. domestic supply to grow, therefore causing the illusion that there is a domestic shortage, when in fact they went from shipping 200,000 refined barrels a day to foreign countries  in 2010 to 600,000 barrels in 2011, with 2012 to young to have any data. We use over 28% less gasoline today than we did a year ago1, yet there is an artificial shortage.  A staggering 47% decline!
  3. More drilling will not bring down prices, it will provide more crude for the refineries to sell off shore
  4. The Keystone pipeline will not have an effect on gas prices, the Canadian oil will be refined here and shipped off shore
  5. The price at the pump is not controlled by OPEC crude prices, but by our own refineries, although the news media, supporting big oil, would have you believe it is.
  6. Gas refineries  work in collusion, price fixing in defiance of fair business practices (every notice that all brands go up the same amount the same day)
  7. Your local station scams you by raising the price at the pump every day even though they did not receive a new delivery (new delivery is the only way they experience a change in cost)
  8. A temporary rise in gas and diesel is an excuse for products in stores to effect a price increase that is permanent, when gas prices fall, consumer goods never go back.
  9. The Federal government is not here to help you

I guess the real thing that bothers me is the apathy of my fellow Americans. All of this information is just a Google away, and a lot of information on the subject is written by experts close to the business, yet we just grumble about the soaking we are getting, cut back on entertainment first, then necessities, and keep getting our pockets emptied.

The gasoline and diesel industry is out of control, and we – we the American public – facilitate them. We need to stand up and fight. We are being duped by an industry that is a monopoly – something the government would never allow any other industry to do. If you don’t buy their gas and diesel, what is your real alternative. Sure, the first argument to come out against my accusation is going to be “sure there’s competition, look at all the different brands!”. I again point out that they all are within pennies of each other and rise and fall in unison.  These prices are controlled by the refineries, and they work in collusion. Even the cell phone and the Electric industries are competitive, but our government has allowed this monopoly in the fuels industry to thrive.

NO SHORTAGE OF GAS OR DIESEL

The United States has an abundance of gasoline and diesel. We have so much in fact, our refineries continue to export record amounts. (Data, www.eia.gov)

The country exported 430,000 more barrels of gasoline a day than it imported in September, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration. That is about twice the amount at the start of the year, and experts and industry insiders say the trend is here to stay. 4

The United States began exporting gas in late 2008. For decades prior, starting in 1960, the country used all the gas it produced here plus had to import gas from places in Europe.4

But demand for gas has dropped nearly 10% in recent years. It went from a peak of 9.6 million barrels a day in 2007 to 8.8 million barrels today, according to the EIA. 4

So, the question we should be asking is twofold: First, if Production is up and demand is down, why are we getting scalped at the pump? Second, why are we allowing this to happen? The argument of nonintervention into free trade is bogus in this instance, since we have no other reasonable alternative, and therefore are a captive consumer2.

But US motorist’s demand for gas has dropped nearly 10% in recent years. It went from a peak of 9.6 million barrels a day in 2007 to 8.8 million barrels today, according to the EIA2.

“But it may be bewildering for American drivers, who could experience record high gas prices [this] year even though U.S. demand could hit the lowest level in a decade” said Tom Kloza, chief oil analyst at the Oil Price Information Service2.

We know supply and demand are supposed to dictate the rise and fall of prices, over and above the cost of manufacture and delivery. Supply and demand should also be the barometer on the price at the pump. The lower the supply the higher the price, and it is working that way, after a fashion. The problem is that the reason supply is low is because refiners are keeping it there deliberately while sending more and more refined oil overseas.

Refiners have been shipping historically high amounts of refined products out of the U.S., much of which is bound for Europe or Asia. Since diesel demand is high from Europe, where a majority of vehicles burn the heavier fuel, refiners can make a few extra dollars from each barrel by shipping it across the Atlantic. Meanwhile, domestic supply of diesel fuel currently sits nearly 11 percent below where it was [in 2010], or some 19 million barrels lower3.

It is a certain fact that U.S. refiners are continuing to increase exports of refined products overseas, and this is not only keeping domestic supplies at levels below their expected demands, but it’s also supporting high prices at the pumps.

The bottom line is this: historically high exports aren’t allowing U.S. domestic supply to grow and are certainly a part of the culprit behind high gasoline and diesel prices. So for those motorists out there rounding up reasons why prices are high can certainly add products being exported to their laundry list of reasons why motor fuel prices remain seasonally high. Keep in mind refinery maintenance season is right around the corner, and if these export rates remain high, we could see even more pressure on gasoline prices, perhaps pushing the fragile U.S. economy closer to the brink of another downturn3.

The oil industry maintains the exports are necessary because domestic demand is weak. The industry says if refiners could not send American-made gasoline to China, India, Europe, and South America, the refineries would have to close as several have already done on the East Coast. Yet, other energy observers say exporting gasoline at a time of rising prices is sort of like “throwing flammable liquid on a fire”3.

THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT

Year after year, administration after administration, the feds have ignored the plight of the American Gas customer. That is, except on election year, where they are magically able to influence the prices.

The current administration is no exception. Obama, while saying he is addressing the issue, used the speech to subtly reassure the oil industry that he would not upset the status quo. Except, now he is becoming concerned, because historically, high prices at the pump help induce a recession. Just what he needs to happen in an election year.

WHOSE FAULT: DEMOCRAT OR REPUBLICAN, LIBERAL OR CONSERVATIVE?

Surprisingly, with the exception of the fact that I blame us, the apathetic public, it is really both parties fault for different reasons.

The liberals the democrats , and the media relentlessly expounds that drilling for oil in the United States won’t have much affect on U.S. gas prices, because petroleum prices are set in global markets. Furthermore, they cite the damage to the environment as a reason not to pursue any more drilling. On a case by case basis they block drilling to save “something”.  They further believe that domestic oil production or U.S. access to Canadian petroleum won’t change or dependence on global pricing, or the pace of economic recovery and unemployment. While some of this may be true, it does not address the real issue and they are not willing to discuss it on that basis.

On the other hand, Republicans, always supportive of big business, continue the mantra “free enterprise”. While I believe completely in free enterprise, I also believe in mechanisms that prevent monopolies, and I believe the oil business, or at the very least, the American refineries are a monopoly on gas and diesel fuels. We must recognize that possibility, and the fact that our elected officials are puppets to either big business, special interests or environmentalists.

IN CONCLUSION

The average middle class American now spends in excess of 8% of their income on gasoline. Not only does the higher price affect the family budget adversely for transportation, but it forces up prices on food, clothing and other necessities, stretching budgets to the brink. Single handedly, the refining industry can force the US economy into another recession. Since a recession-like economy initiates hiring freezes, layoffs and wage freezes, the poor and middle class take the brunt of it. Recovery is stymied when consumer goods prices are increased to cover additional transportation costs, and never go back down when the gas prices do.

We are going to continue to experience rising prices at the fuel pumps until we rise up and take matters into our own hands as our forefathers taught us. This can be done at each election cycle. We have elections in the near future, pick your candidates carefully. Make sure that the new round of elected officials, including the next president, understand the need to reign in the regulators, the environmentalists, and the special interests and put the needs of the American people above their selfish whims.

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1 http://www.oftwominds.com/blogfeb12/gasoline-tanking02-12.html (you can verify these figures at the government website www.eia.gov)

2 http://money.cnn.com/2011/12/05/news/economy/gasoline_export/index.htm

3 http://www.usnews.com/opinion/blogs/on-energy/2011/09/08/historically-high-oil-exports-helping-keep-gas-prices-high

4 http://money.cnn.com/2011/12/05/news/economy/gasoline_export/index.htm

 

 

 

 

 

There is a link at the bottom of this to the FDA website with the information.

“I want my friends and loved ones to know what has happened to me in hopes that it will never happen to you or anybody you care about. About 10 days  ago, I felt a cold coming on; so before I went to bed I used Zicam Cold  Remedy Nasal Gel. It’s supposed to help you “get over your cold faster.” Immediately after I sprayed it into each nostril I felt the most horrific burning sensation imaginable. It literally felt like I had sprayed pepper  spray directly into my brain. It burned all the way to the top of my skull.  My nasal passages swelled, my eyes watered – the burning lasted all night long into the next day.

After about a day, I realized I couldn’t taste anything and I thought,  “Wow – I must really have a bad cold.”
Then I noticed that I couldn’t smell coffee brewing, couldn’t smell my  perfume when I put it on, couldn’t smell the popcorn I burned, couldn’t  smell my favorite candle. I panicked and starting smelling everything that I  could find that had really strong odors – ammonia, finger nail polish remover, bleach, etc. I couldn’t smell ANYTHING! I started tasting everything that had really strong tastes such as HOT salsa, raw red onions,  Doritos, coffee. I couldn’t taste ANYTHING!

I told my mother about this and she said, “Oh, I’ve heard Zicam can affect your Olfactory nerve.” I went online, typed in “Zicam side effects” and bam – up popped all sorts of web sites with people reporting the same thing  I experienced. It seems that this past June, Zicam pulled the swabs for  adults and children off
the shelf but not the nasal gel.

I went to my ENT and he said the Zicam had basically “FRIED” my Olfactory nerve and the results are most likely permanent . He put me on a strong dose of a steroid called Prednisone in hopes of recovering ANY bit of the nerve damage but he told me to “take this and pray.” He said he had read about the
side effects of Zicam and couldn’t believe it is still on the shelf. It isn’t FDA  approved. I am taking the Prednisone and praying but nothing is happening. I LITERALLY CANNOT SMELL OR TASTE ANYTHING! I can tell if foods are hot or cold, I can tell the consistency and I can faintly detect if it is salty but
that is it.

PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE pass this on to everyone you care about. I don’t want  this to happen to ANYONE else!!!!!!!!!! And if you have Zicam in your  medicine cabinet–THROW IT AWAY!

Please share with everyone you can. The link below is confirmation! ”

Link for more info:

 (Unsigned)

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It is amazing to me that every time new technology surfaces, immediately thereafter someone figures out how to scam it.
With mobile apps the emerging technology, it’s no surprise that not-so-honest schemes are being offered to businesses eager to get on board, but who are not up on the lingo and looking for cost savings.

The lingo
To protect yourself, you first need to understand the terms used in the Mobile App industry.
• Mobile App – Although the term Mobile App is being used to relate to any software that is made to run on a smartphone, we are referring to the mobile apps that users usually download and access by an icon. When you are making a decision to acquire one for your business, and you want a fully functional app, it becomes much more technical. Make sure you are discussing Native apps, or hybrid apps, not mobile web apps. Native and hybrid apps are written specifically for each client and compiled for the specific platforms they want to be seen on (i.e. Android, Apple iOS, Blackberry, etc.).
• Mobile Web App – Mobile web apps are a cheaper and easier way to acquire a Mobile application for your business, but at this stage of evolving technology, they have their limitations. Generally, mobile web apps on link to pages on your website and attempt, most of the time successfully, to render that page to a mobile phone sized display. A mobile web app lacks the ability at this stage to provide interaction –  push technology and independent upgrades separate from the website.
• RSS feed – RSS feeds allow businesses to stream content and data to their mobile application. A typical use for this technology would be to allow clients to keep up with news releases, or to stream data such as menu items, products and videos. For instance a bar or restaurant may have their menu databased on their website and streamed to their mobile app. That way, and changes to the menu would instantly show up on the mobile app.
• Push Technology – Push Technology, or server push, as used in mobile app technology, is the ability for a website operator to “push” new information instantly to a mobile app. An example of this would be (again using a bar, lounge or nightclub) sending an instant message to their app users alerting them to tonight’s entertainment or a onetime food special. This message could appear on the app as a popup.
• App Store – Here is a biggie – native and hybrid applications can be compiled and submitted to the various app stores, thus making them available to everyone. Mobile web apps cannot. Apps downloaded from an app store automatically install an icon so that access is easy. Again, Mobile web applications cannot. They can be installed on the smart phone by users who are savvy about these things, although it is a process.
That brings us to the scam part of this article. There are a lot of unscrupulous entrepreneurs who are “leasing” or “renting” mobile apps that are actually mobile web apps.
The scam works like this. You pay a setup fee, usually several hundred dollars, and then a monthly rental fee. You are told you will have an instant mobile app when actually they are simply linking to pages on your website using a wrapper, a mobile website app. On many Smartphones, the web pages are not rendered properly and appear on the mobile app much larger than the screen. You will not be given any ability to use RSS feed, Push Technology or have your app available on the app stores. Basically, your clients could accomplish almost the same thing by just accessing your website on their mobile phone. You just wasted your money!
Protect yourself and your business. When you are in the market for a Mobile App, make sure you ask all the questions, and make a decision that best fits your needs. Sometimes, relying strictly on budget will land you without anything usable.

Written by Lee Siemon
www.thedpsgroup.com

 

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This story originates in Houston Texas, although it certainly applies to every state and every town. I find the anal-thinking process of governments, through their officials to be beyond my ability to process.
A Houston couple with some money to spare began feeding homeless people living on the streets in these freezing temperatures. They were feeding 50 to 100 people every night of the week — first at an empty loading dock and then under a bridge. But two weeks ago, they were told to stop. “We come out here and provide a hot meal every single night and a lot of love to go with it” the couple told ABC News.
The City of Houston ordered them to stop. To feed them they need a license and food must be cooked in a certified professional kitchen. “We just have one set of rules for public feeding and whether you have money or you don’t have money, you need to comply with the same set of rules,” said Kathy Barton with the City of Houston Health Department. She went on to say “Low-income people and people who are homeless are the most susceptible to food-borne illness and least capable of dealing with that kind of illness,” Mayor parker echoed this decision.
Ok, here’s my problem, or problems with this whole thing.

First, let’s address her statement that homeless are more susceptible to food born illnesses. On the surface, it seems like a wonderful idea to protect the homeless and downtrodden for sickness. The reality is that people have to eat to survive (and have the strength to stay as healthy as possible. When someone doesn’t feed them, they scrounge in garbage cans and pick discarded food off the sidewalk. Health hazard? Without a doubt! But there is another side to it. If you have ever visited Mexico border towns or in –country, you know the warnings about eating the food from vendors or in non-tourist eateries. So, why do Mexican citizens not get sick and we do? Simply because they have developed an immunity to the food-born buggies that we, as sterilized Americans, get sick on. Experience Montezuma’s Revenge just once and you’ll head the warnings.
Now, take that same theory to the homeless. They have been eating rotting filth out of restaurant garbage cans so long that they can tolerate a great deal of the germs there. So, to get somewhere with this – are they really in danger by eating food prepared by a well-to-do family who eats it themselves? Give me a break. And, since I am still (I should emphasize still) allowed to entertain friend in my home, what if I invited the homeless to my home as a friend and served then there? My point is, same food, same kitchen, just a different delivery method – see my point?
My frustration reaches a peak when it becomes obvious that bureaucracy being what is, mindless and programmed, their mentality is that these homeless are much safer to continue to eat out of garbage cans then to be delivered a home-cooked meal.
Comments are welcome!

(http://abclocal.go.com/ktrk/story?section=news/local&id=7898553

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My heart goes out to all those whose loved ones were victims of the senseless tragedy in Tucson Arizona and prayers of recovery for Rep. Gabrielle Giffords.

Having said that, we need to stay focused on the why. This tragedy was not tied to age, sex, race, political affiliation or personal views, this was a violent act by a mentally deranged individual. We need to keep that in focus in the days to come. No action is warranted, no reaction will change things.

My fear is the usual knee-jerk reaction. Everyone with an agenda is going to try to tie this unthinkable act to their cause. We live in a world where we attempt to legislate or litigate ourselves out of every unpleasant thing that happens to us. We seem to believe that with more and better laws we can eliminate violence, destruction and tragedy. Our mentality over the past decades has been more laws, tougher courts, more lawsuits, more prisons – never mind that we win the title of having the highest percentage of our citizens in prison that any other industrialized country.

So, here we are – only days after the Arizona tragedy and the push is already on for more and tougher laws – ones that ultimately chip away at our individual freedoms as well as limiting our exposure and interactions to the world around us. We have become a country that is obsessed with controlling or finding someone to blame for everything from natural disasters to explosions of violence, to just plain accidents. Somehow we got to a place where even unavoidable accidents can be punished by fines and jail time.
The mass murders at Rep. Gabrielle Giffords’ town hall meeting were not predictable or avoidable. To live, to go places and do things – to be a free human being – is a risk. We are at risk when we sleep in our house at night, when we drive a car anywhere, when we simply walk down a street or attend a gathering. Name me one sport or activity that doesn’t somehow carry the risk of death; some more that others, but still the risk.

The perpetrator in the Tucson Arizona tragedy was mentally ill; an undiagnosed psychopath. There are an hundreds of thousands1 of individuals either there or on the brink. Knowing, much less predicting when one of those will snap is a shell game. To think that we can legislate our way out of the potential that creates is in itself insane.

Within a few days of the tragedy we have the anti-gun lobbyists coming out in force, legislators proposing tighter security at political events, restrictions on how our representatives can meet with their constituents, Laws for constituents to show up at meetings2, a new law that would put legislators in glass (Plexiglas) rooms3 and on and on. The insanity isn’t just the deranged shooters, but lobbyists and politicals alike.

Along with all of the insane proposals of legislation to “fix” our society, we are now getting calls to “tone down the rhetoric”, or as Arianna Huffington says, “ratcheting down the tone of our political discourse”. Maybe we should all go back and read our history – this bad-mouthing of everyone from candidates to elected official (and the parties themselves) has been Ratcheted up since the constitution was signed, and in the beginning of the century it was a lot louder and more offensive – just the nature of the beast. I don’t believe a politically correct and always polite system will survive if it is ever perfected. I personally believe that “politically correct” is a game with unproductive consequences designed by those who would control us and our thinking.
In the history of the world, violence has reared it’s ugly head long before guns were invented, and will be here long after all of the laws fail to protect us. We just live in that kind of reality.

I am reminded of one of Paul Harvey’s (news commentator) take on gun control several decades ago. His thought was that according to national statistics, more people are killed by knives than by guns. He proposed that knives be licensed, and that since the most common knife used in these deaths was the kitchen knife, the housewives would need to be licensed to keep butcher knives in their kitchens. The absurdity of this proposal only serves to highlight my point – we can not legislate ourselves into a perfect world. Accidents are going to happen, Mother Nature is going to rule, and sick people are going to find ways to hurt other people. If not with guns, then with knives, vehicles, explosives or… use their imagination. Some things just aren’t avoidable, as much as we can wish they were. I just wonder if this country would exist if our pioneers had thought like that.

We live in a dangerous world, it always has been, it always will be. I don’t suggest that we quit searching for ways to make it less dangerous, only that we stop the knee jerk reaction every time something bad happens. Last, just a reminder that 9-11 wasn’t a gun – it was an airplane.

1. http://www.safe-nz.org.nz/Articles/conscience.htm
2. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/01/11/peter-king-strict-gun-control_n_807323.html
3. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/01/11/dan-burton-congress-plexiglas_n_807532.html

I welcome your comments

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I know I am not the first or the last to address this sentiment, but I am fed up to HERE with “politics as usual”. I am probably going to make enemies on both sides of the fence with this writing, but as it has been famously said before, frankly, I don’t give a damn.
I watched the healthcare summit with little interest, since recent history foretold the play I was about to watch. In the end, what I got out of it was that the Republicans were intransigents intent on stonewalling a bill no matter what, while the Democrats were right with might, and damned what the public they served wanted. Neither party is serving me and my interests, and if the polls are any reflection of the truth, they aren’t serving very much of the public–at-large. Where is the wrath?
Having said that, the problem is much bigger that healthcare. I believe that healthcare in this country is broken, and needs a lot of fixing, I personally have been a victim of this, but nothing can get fixed until we rebuild our political system. The sad thing is, we allow this while mass corruption goes on day-after-day and is reported in the news. Just another headline. Boys will be boys.
Corruption is running rampant in politics, the most recent being Rep. Charlie Rangel, chairman of the powerful House Ways and Means Committee. I won’t waste article space on Rangel since he only a drop in the political bucket. Nor am I going to do more then mention that Pelosi has time and again been the firewall that protected these cheats. She is not the first or the last, the biggest or the smallest of this organized “do what you want and don’t get punished” old boys (and girls) network. It seems that the only real crime in politics is infidelity, all else is fair game. Personally, I would like to put up with their personal family problems and get the lying, cheating and ignoring public will taken care of.
It would be nice if we could get a “Tea Party” That really was a tea party. I would like to see large enough segment of the American public get outrages that they band together and get rid of all incumbents without prejudice. That’s the only way we are ever going to get the rules changed so that the public is again asked what they want.

When are we going to quit yelling at each other across the great political divide called the two party system and agree that most of us are unhappy no matter which party is in office?

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(author unknown)
Without history, we will continue to repeat bad things. Remembering is a warning – a lesson.

History is history!

No matter what aspect of history you look at there will be someone who is annoyed by it. There are several aspects of USA history that I am not proud of but it is our history. We must learn from our mistakes not hide them.

General Eisenhower Warned Us

It is a matter of history that when the Supreme Commander of the Allied Forces, General Dwight Eisenhower, found the victims of the death camps he ordered all possible photographs to be taken, and for the German people from surrounding villages to be ushered through the camps and even made to bury the dead.

He did this because he said in words to this effect:

‘Get it all on record now – get the films – get the witnesses -because somewhere down the road of history some bastard will get up and say that this never happened’

Not long ago the UK debated whether to remove The Holocaust from its school curriculum because it ‘offends’ the Muslim population which claims it never occurred. It is not removed as yet.. However, this is a frightening portent of the fear that is gripping the world and how easily each country is giving into it.

It is now more than 60 years after the Second World War in Europe ended. This e-mail is being sent as a memorial chain, in memory of the,6 million Jews, 20 million Russians, 10 million Christians, and 1,900 Catholic priests who were ‘murdered, raped, burned, starved, beat, experimented on and humiliated’ while the German people looked the other way!

Now, more than ever, with Iran , among others, claiming the Holocaust to be ‘a myth,’ it is imperative to make sure the world never forgets.

How many years will it be before the attack on the World Trade Center ‘NEVER HAPPENED’ because it offends some Muslim in the U.S. ?

FREEDOM ISN’T FREE…SOMEONE HAD TO PAY FOR IT

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Have you been asked recently how you want YOUR money spent? Ever? I believe somehow we have to get back to that premise. This tax money the government throws around IS yours.
I am reacting to the news that because the government spent so much of our money on banks, and automakers and such, they are cutting the space program back. It’s kinda like having a parent who spends a good portion of the income on booze and then tells the kids they have to cut back on things they need for school.

Don’t exactly buy my analogy? How about this. I don’t believe there is one American who would vote to have billions given to countries and regimes that are openly and admittedly our enemy, but we do it to the tune of billions annually, not to mention the foreign aide that goes out to countries who like us because we are rich. How about to dictators that hold no value in human life? Still, our government does it constantly, day in and day out, without so much as a pass at letting the citizens decide. What about entitlements? Earmarks? Pork-barrel-spending? It amazes me that an average citizen can become so much smarter that everyone else as soon as they are elected. They know best for their constituents.

It’s not that I couldn’t say the same thing about poverty in our country, or medical care for the underprivileged, it’s just that my pet peeve this morning is the cutting back of Nasa. I’ll bet most of don’t stop to think about what all the Nasa program has given us. It’s not just that they may give us an arm up on this planet should the universe hurl some nasties at us, or that the exploration of space may be really necessary for our children or grandchildren.
The NASA journal “Spinoff” lists these products, which have included things like improved pacemakers, state of the art exercise machines and satellite radio. Each product was made possible thanks to a NASA and made available for private companies to market. Invisible Braces, scratch-resistant lenses for eyeglasses, Memory Foam, Ear Thermometer, Shoe Insoles, Long-distance Telecommunications, Adjustable Smoke Detector, Safety Grooving in pavements, Cordless Tools, Water Filters, and not least of all, pacemakers.
I’m not writing this to put a plug in for NASA, the main point of this rant is to point out the manipulation our government uses against us. Given a say in how our money is spent, there are billions of dollars we would strip from their “budget” (choke, choke) long before cutting projects such as NASA. I am willing to bet that if a group of intelligent citizens got their hands on the budget, most of the earmarks would go, as would a large portion of foreign aide. I regress – why are dictators that hate us getting billions of dollars when we have starving in this country.
If you pay attention, what you will notice is that every time there is a lot of noise about their spending, the go into a budget-cutting mode, cutting welfare, Medicaid, Social Security and disaster assistance – all the things that really are important. But the entitlements go on. Then they just wait for the uproar. “But I thought you wanted us to cut the budget?”

Please note before you attach my rant to the present administration, although I have no love for them, this is a problem with a long-term history with both parties. Neither party really has our best interest in mind. If only. If only we would all stop blindly attaching ourselves to a party and open our eyes to the rhetoric they are spewing, maybe we can band together and stop some of this insaneness.

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Like most Americans, I have been increasing disillusioned by our government, politicians, and for the most part – both parties. It seems to me that we no longer have a moderate, or middle-of-the-road in either the republicans or the Democrats. It is either far left or far right. Neither party has my interests in mind, charging gung-ho to assure that their selfish platforms are protected – damned the public.
In my earlier years, I found myself agreeing with some of the ideology of both parties,  always being comfortable with the moderates on both sides. I don’t have that choice any more.  There aren’t any moderate ideals any more. Everything is either far left or far right. I shouldn’t have to agree on a parties stand on abortion, gay rights, and climate change altogether to have an opinion and be counted. I refuse to follow a party’s mantra blindly when my heart has other ideals.

Along came the Tea Party, and a spark ignited in my political soul. Maybe here was the chance for some moderate realism in our country. Maybe we could defeat the “good-ol’-boys” club and get some fresh-thinking non-political types in office! Maybe, finally, the apathetic, sleeping public would arise and participate, seeing a chance that their voice might make a difference.

Not so fast, Hoss. All good dreams fade when we awake in the morning light. After all of the hoopla of the presidential election and the failure of the activists to sway the momentum of the Democratic campaign, the Tea Party has openly married the Republican Party – Because they are (cough, choke) – Conservative? One again, what happened to MODERATE? Or, the new buzz word – centrist?

Once again, tricked by the hidden motives of what appeared to be a new public awakening, I slide back into my shell of apathy.

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