Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Taxpayer Punishment

Like so many other Americans, I lost about an hour on both Monday and Tuesday by sitting on the tarmac due to the “furloughs” to cut government spending. It seems the FAA is only able to save money by cutting air traffic controllers and creating delays in air travel.

This seems to me as nothing but punishment of taxpayers. Over the years, I’ve seen city officials close permitting departments, county commissioners reduce sheriff’s departments and county fairs, and state officials shut down parks. The reason has always been that the taxpayers didn’t want to pay more and our elected officials made reductions where it would hurt us most in order to get us to approve a new or an increase in existing taxes to keep our government “in operation.”

After our President said that our skyrocketing debt and deficits are sustainable, after the sequester (which was a cut in the growth of government) was made out to be the end of government as we know it, it just seems to me that we, the taxpayers, are being punished for any attempt to control spending by our nation. 

I have trouble believing that the only place that the FAA could cut was the people guiding airplanes. Was this the lowest priority item in their budget? Why didn’t the President ask Congress months ago for permission to reallocate resources based upon priorities? 

I can’t guess why the administration has chosen to play politics instead of dealing with what amounts to a minor cut. However, I’d hazard a guess that a lot of Americans would rather lose an hour here and there than to see our country continue to spend itself into oblivion. We are all willing to tighten our belts a notch but we’re not willing to be punished for not wanting to continue our government’s bad habits.  It is time to budget the way most Americans budget: by our priorities, not by what we want.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Prayer for Boston

Monday’s bombing at the Boston Marathon was a shock to all Americans. Every morning we wake up to see the updated news of this crime. Every Grange member is united in offering our prayers on behalf of the victims and their families. The horror and pain that man can cause can be relieved by the comfort and strength of God.

Today we stand with our fellow citizens in support and offer our comfort and sympathy to those affected. Family, friends, and neighbors, we join together to help all get through this horrible act.
Time will provide the answers of who and why. We must have patience for the investigators on this crime. Until then our prayers to give them strength and wisdom will continue. 

Grange members across our nation share our strength and our compassion to all. Where we can help we will.

Sunday, April 7, 2013

Welcome to Grange Month

Are you a person who believes: That Faith is an important part of life? That Hope for the future is essential? That Charity to the needy is the right thing? That Fidelity or being true to yourself and your principles and values is critical?

Is Honesty in your dealings with family, friends, and the world a part of your life? Is an Open Mind to new ideas part of your thought processes? Is a desire to Learn and Grow as a person or as a leader a daily goal? Is it key that you are a Law-Abiding Citizen? Do you believe that America is an Exceptional nation?

Do you wish to Repair wrongs while focusing on the positives? Is Associating with other people of good character vital? Do you believe that we are stronger Together than as individuals? Is having Fun a needed part of life? Is Making a Difference to other peoples lives indispensable to you?

Are young people demanding more Opportunities to be a vital part of society? Are senior citizens craving Fellowship? Do families want more Time together? Do we need Unity rather than divisiveness in our community?

Does the following Motto match your beliefs?:

In essentials, Unity
In non-essentials, Liberty
In all things, Charity.

If you’ve answered yes once, twice, or for every question above, I have good news for you.

For the past 146 years the Grange has been helping citizens in thousands of communities strengthen their hometowns. We believe in American Values and the power of people coming together. We believe that each of us can reach their full potential and lead rich and rewarding lives. We also believe that our organization gives our members the power to affect great change to improve our communities, our states, and our nation.

April is Grange month and if you answered yes to some or all of the questions above, I invite you to check out our organization and learn about its opportunity for you and all those you hold dear.

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Gun Control Mania

A number of states currently have a multitude of bills that proposal restrictions on the second amendment in their legislative process, and New York, Connecticut and Colorado have now passed legislation that will limit the types of guns and the amount of ammunition that a gun can hold. These moves are based on the old theory that if law abiding citizens don’t have guns, life will be safer. The laws also include some form of registries of gun owners.

It amazes me that many of our elected officials believe that one of the biggest threats to American freedom is Americans owning firearms. Few of the horrendous crimes of the last year or last decade were committed by citizens who legally acquired their weapons, and legal acquisition may become even harder if NY Rep. Carolyn Maloney’s proposal passes Congress.

Maloney would like to see a liability insurance law requiring gun buyers to have a “qualified liability insurance policy” before they may legally purchase a gun. It includes a fine as high as $10,000 if a gun owner doesn’t have insurance on guns purchased after the bill goes into effect. In addition, it would be a federal crime to sell a firearm to anyone without insurance.
Instead of dealing with ensuring mental health care, enforcing the vast multitude of laws already on books, or dealing with our financial crisis, which threatens the very future of our nation, many of our elected officials seek attention by passing redundant laws and by creating more prospects for law abiding citizens to become criminals.

What is the goal? Is it the disarming of America citizens? Is it a risk free world where nothing dangerous exists?

I do not pretend to know what is going on in the minds of our elected officials when they speak out against the second amendment. I wonder what their reaction would be to the weakening of any of the other amendments in oure Bill of Rights. Would they care if we weaken the third? Would they even know what the third amendment protects without Googling it?

The National Grange has always advocated that the foundation of our nation is the Constitution and its Bill of Rights. Our leadership has always stood up and spoken in strong language on behalf of our members and their support of the founding and governing document of our country.

Let’s transfer this unreasonable gun control mania to dealing with the debt crisis that is consuming our cities (Stockton, CA being the latest), many of our States, and our nation. Few, if any, of the horrible crimes committed with firearms would have been prevented if these new or proposed laws had been on the books. Yet rather than dealing with the debt issue, which any person who can balance their checkbook can see and understand, our elected officials focus their energy on feel good legislation that doesn’t create any real solutions. Let’s use our time, energy, and brains in dealing with a real, substantive, and growing problem rather than manufacturing a crisis out of horrible crimes.