The Return of Cincinnatus

Life is but for Faith, Family, and Freedom

Archive for the category “Congress”

The Open Internet Coalition Call

Ahhh, NetNeutrality. So blissful, so wonderful. The government needs to ensure that evil companies don’t tax consumers. Now, that sounds all nice. But, on a call with the Open Internet Coalition, they admitted in Q&A that it wasn’t just about consumers, but also application specialists. They also admitted that the status quo is absolutely wonderful, all of this is based on fears of what “may” come at a later time.

So, we want the government to start regulating 4/5ths of our economy (Their number, not mine) based off a fear. Once again, net neutrality really comes down to the left wanting their nuggets for free. In other words, companies that invest in the infrastructure to bring highspeed internet to my home for $29/month really dont have the right to make or turn a profit?

Over and over again, Markham Erickson, Open Internet Coalition;  Paul Misener, Amazon.com; Derek Turner, Free Press; and Harold Feld, Public Knowledge talked about the Bell and Cable companies who were lobbying hard to prevent the consumer from getting products that they need.

Fundamentally at issue is who has a “right” to the internet. Roads are “free” because the government creates them, but even then there are toll roads. Why not have road neutrality and suspend all toll roads? Because investors (sometimes taxpayers, sometimes private companies) have invested in a product and need to get a return on their investment.

During the call, Derek Turner (also called Glenn Beck and AFP the fringe of society) talked about how there is no “real” competition among wireless companies. First, I can choose between five different carriers in my area. But, if I was in rural South Dakota, I may only have one or two choices. Why? Because I am out in the middle of nowhere and only one or two companies decided to invest in a tower for my service. But what if no one had invested? Do I still have a right to wireless service? No. Do I have a right to the internet? No. I like it, I am able to work remotely on it. But I don’t have an inalienable right to it. That is why I pay for it. So, if TimeWarner doesn’t want me going on some Torrent site for what I pay, I may have to pay a little extra. Or, find another ISP who doesn’t charge. I would still rather the decision be between me and my supplier than mother government. The same government that blocks FoxNews because it is an “entertainment” site and not a news site. Hmmm. Go figure.

In closing, the song and dance is the same. They say choice and competition because it sounds pretty and American. But, I like my current internet service and I like my current health plan so take your net neutrality and shove it. I don’t see the crisis here worth giving up more rights for the sake of “regulating” to make sure my rights stay the same.

Mr. President, the Free Market works!

In August, President Obama stated that the United States Postal Service had not put FedEx or UPS out of business and that was comparable to what he wanted to do with healthcare. Now besides the obvious problems with this, one being that FedEx and UPS are not able to competitively provide door to door letter delivery because of regulatory and pricing concerns.

Here is a story that presents the opposite argument, one about FedEx providing a service that USPS would never provide. A 7-year-old  little girl who needs to be flown to live her final months at home can’t pay the $11,000 bill. USPS doesn’t help them. FedEx does. Why? because capitalism isn’t the cold hearted beast that liberals portray it as. In fact, because FedEx is able to make a profit, they can afford to do things like this to ease the suffering of a little girl. I have no doubt that if the USPS could regulate UPS and FedEx out they would. In Fact, if they are allowed to run billions in the red consistently, they may well outprice FedEx and UPS out of the market as well. My wife’s business uses USPS because they are cheaper. That said, I also have NO doubt that USPS would not have shipped the little girl. Why?

1. It wasn’t necessary, she was being flown home to be with family not get a lifesaving operation. Compassion only counts for government bureaucrats when it saves lives!

2. The unions probably wouldn’t have allowed it. I am not just union bashing here. I just know union rules are often an impediment to charity. For example, performers are able to give their time freely for charity concerts, but most labels still require the musicians to be paid at union rates making the acts still unaffordable for most. Some performers, like Charlie Daniels pay their bands out of their pockets to make the concert free. Charlie Daniels usually pays over 100k for each overseas USO tour he has gone on! Others don’t. Should a musician be forced to participate in a charity event? No. Should they have the option? Yes. Seems that the uncompassionate ones are the unions not the companies. I would also note, it wasn’t UPS that came through either.

3. Government doesn’t care! They don’t. Humans care. Humans do great things. Government doesn’t care, never have, never will. Why not? Because some bureaucrat in DC cares more about the traffic on the way to work, getting Starbucks, and recycling their Starbucks cup than you. Their idea of compassion is how much they have enforced recycling in their cubicle or agency, not how many people they have actually helped. Don’t believe me? Try calling one of them…pick an agency, any one. Heck, does your local DMV care about your time. Ours put in a ticket system and thought they were doing me a favor because now I can wait an hour in a chair instead of in a line! And if that bureaucrat has happened to have a bad day? You might as well ask a telephone pole for help. Which leads me to…

4. Government is inefficient! Even if she would have gotten the flight on USPS. It would have been 3 months from now…you get the picture.

My Thoughts on Obama

The Good

I will start out with the good, mainly because it will be short, but also because I want to show that I am fair in my assessment…

Ok, the Obama PR machine has been impressive. (H/T Matt Lewis ) They are everywhere, and I do mean everywhere. From Noggin to ESPN (Ironically, one of the only campaign promises he has kept), he has graced us with his presence. He is averaging a major primetime press conference every month. We have learned how Mrs. Obama tones her arms, all about the children’s playset, and of course because having Keith Olbermann drooling on his lap was getting annoying, they opted for a Dog. Bo.

On policy, I like the continuation of our Iraq and Afghanistan priorities. We will see how long this lasts, but for now, he hasn’t caved to the moonbats.

The Bad

Can this guy form any coherent thought without a teleprompter? We all knew he was dependant on it like a caffeine junkie needs his morning brew. What we didn’t know was that he was dependant on it like Teddy Kennedy needs alcohol. You literally start seeing him shake when he is doing impromtu. The one good thing to come out of it is his teleprompter’s blog, which is hilarious. It is only a matter of time before late night starts running his gaffes, because they are just as funny as Bush’s wordisms…but I will say this, if you thought W was a moron, what must you think about this guy?

His inability to keep a campaign promise. No tax increases if you make under 250k, try a cigarette tax on all days, April 1. Add in the energy tax, and his original promise came with an asterik the size of Ben Stiller’s butt at the end of Dodgeball. Too bad, the asterik didn’t make it into his campaign materials. He’ll reach out to pro-lifers, we didn’t know that meant he would wait a whole day after the pro-life march to erase  the Mexico City policy. He will balance the books in Washington? By balance, he must have meant straddling us with double our national debt within five years…and then, he must be planning on the 950Billion of surpluses he would have to run to pay off that debt in 30 years!

The Ugly

One word: Stimulus. Of course, I was always taught that stimulus that doesn’t stimulate isn’t stimulus. And for me, it was embarassing that at the same time we are spending 785b on God knows what (and even God needed more than a day to read the bill!) we were laying off Soldiers in the Army National Guard nationwide, estimated at thousands. We have also cut defense by billions but the other departments need to cut their spending by 100m collectively over the year. Wow! This Obama guy is a fiscal conservative. In the same sense that the Octo-mom is mother of the year!

I was impressed to see this today. A statement that the EU shouldn’t have put travel restrictions on us. However, I am sure that Gibbs and the administration will somehow come up with a way that all of this is our fault. This sums up our new foreign policy. Or Care Bear diplomacy as I have called it. It is our fault, all of it, you did no wrong, so please won’t you stop trying to kill us. I said please. Pretty please? With a cherry on top? Yes, my friends, we expected the pork, taxes, and spending. But laying down to let other countries crush us at will? Never to this extent, but that is where we find ourselves, with Tenderheart as our fearful follower, following the Chavez’s and Il’s to our collective demise. The good news, maybe we will all die of the swine flu (and no that wasn’t a reference to the porkulus!)

The Fair Vote Act

Proposed, a constitutional amendment to the United States Constitution:

The election year in which the President of the Unites States will be decided after this amendment is ratified and every such election year hence, the states shall have on the ballot the question: “Are you satisfied with your statewide congressional delegation: Yea or Nay” If a majority of eligible voters voting in that election choose Yea, nothing will occur. If the Secretaries of State from the various states certify that a majority of eligible voters, voting in the election choose Nay, the incumbent delegates to the House of Representatives prior to the election, assuming they were retained by their district in the election, will not be eligible for election during the midterm elections. The incumbent delegates will only lose their eligibility for the one election, unless they fall under the previous question again later in their service to the People.

This amendment will only apply to the incumbent delegates of the House of Representatives.

This is What I Fought For?

As a Soldier, I try to not play the “I fought for this country” card. The bottom line is that I did what I thought I ought to do. However, it is worth pondering what exactly did I sacrifice so much for? The constitution? You mean the same onebeing trampled by the Senate in allowing DC to have a voting congressman? For what cost? Surely the Republican Senators stood up to this, what’s this, Senator Hatch voted for it. Surely he had a good reason, what’s this, he WAS BOUGHT OFF WITH ANOTHER congressional seat!!!! I hope Utah sends this man packing. I expect selling the constitution by liberals, but by Mr. Hatch is appalling and should have serious consequences.

I was no Obama supporter, but even I thought their was alot of doom and gloom over his election because I thought he would have to govern from the middle. 3.6 Billion/day later and a 4.5 trillion dollar budget which includes more nationalization of banks AND universal healthcare. The amount of liberal shenanigans going on is amazing.

I am not of the opinion that Obama is a unintelligent human being, but he has proved himself an empty suit. A puppet of Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid who seem to be writing all legislation and just feeding his teleprompter with soundbites to sell it to the American people. I GUARANTEE President Obama has NOT read the stimulus even yet, in fact, we don’t really know everything that is in it still. He most likely hasn’t even read the budget. Does anyone doubt that it will be jammed down our throat in the same manner as the stimulus. We have to do something. Inaction is worse than bad action. If only I could live my life this way, but alas I can’t because THAT isn’t what I fought for.

Update on CPSIA!

http://www.cpsc.gov/cpscpub/prerel/prhtml09/09115.html

This is the link that my wife and I received that caused us to sing in chorus this evening! A stay for expensive testing that would have shut down our business. The unfortunate thing in this is twofold: 1. Congress had the lack of foresight in the first place and decided to pass this thing overwhelmingly. 2. This stay for a year is only a short reprieve. If congress had the lack of foresight to pass it, will they gain vision to repeal it? A 50/50 proposition at best.

So, why is it that our elected officials so easily ignore common sense in voting for certain legislation? In this case, the evil (China selling us tainted goods) overcame rational thought (A lot of small businesses don’t get their supplies from China and we need their capital in our system). It happens all too often in Washington, DC. Thank God that a couple of bureaucrats saw fit to put their overreaching on hold. Our economy lives another year! And so does our business.

The Opposition Surprise?

A couple of days ago, after being heavily courted by the Obama whitehouse, Republicans pitched a shut out in the vote for the new bailout. A bailout that they were constantly being told by the MSM would be “risky” to oppose. Amazingly, not ONE voted for it. At first glance, especially considering the last 8 years, this was a shocker to the blogger community.

However, I think that it is important to recognize that one of the positives of the last two cycles is the amount of squishy moderates who lost on our side. Would it be nice to have them and have a majority, undoubtedly, but having a consolidated minority dedicated to Republican principles is refreshing. These squishy moderates were especially disappointing, because we were told that while they were socially moderate at best they were rock solid on fiscal conservatism, however in truth they were squishy all the way around.

Congratulations to the Minority leader for actually leading. The backbone is about 6 years too late. It is too bad that it took a sweep of liberal leaders to affect this mindset. Now a word of caution. Don’t get squishy now. When you voted NO, america cheered. They might be cautious, but like the child who knows that the parent who takes away the cake is doing it for their own good, America to understands the ramifications of this delectible piece of cake.

It is also important to note that the opposition did NOT simply oppose. Unlike the predecessors in the Democratic minority, it is hard to call this group of patriots a party of NO. They offered a delightful alternative to the measure. A measured response. Telling america that this is what would be passed if you allow us to lead, as opposed to waiting for a change mandate when America won’t care about the details. Brilliant, good work, keep it up. The grassroots is watching, you may just pull us off the bench!

The Inherent Dangers of CPSIA

The Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act of 2008 could, come February 10, send hundreds of thousands of small businesses who make boutique items for children, out of business. Yes, that includes my wife’s business as well. www.sugarsweetbowtique.com Before everyone accuses me of mass histeria, it is important to understand that these threats are very real. My wife and I know all too well. We have spent the last couple days scrounging for loopholes that just aren’t there. And if we find a loophole and we are found in court to be wrong? Thousands in fines and up to 5 years in jail is enough to make anyone squirm. Yet, no major conservatives seem to care, after all, we have more important things to blog about, like the incoming RNC chairman. Right now, for my family, I could care less.
 
For those who feel that congress will care? Let’s just say every one of them, except Rep. Ron Paul, voted for the measure. So, members of the right better be issuing mea culpas and coming to our defense or else why should any small business owner feel that the Republican party or conservatives actually care about them. My wife make’s hairbows. The ribbon is lead free, but that isn’t good enough come February 10. We will have to prove that it is lead free. To be compliant, we not only have to test the hundreds of spools of ribbon individually, but also as a collective bow. Since we don’t have the purchasing power to buy in extreme bulk, each shipment of ribbon has to be tested as well. Even if the ribbon companies provided certification of lead free (which they aren’t required to and most likely will not) we still have to test each bow type. The cost for us? At the low end $400 (assuming the manufacturers give us cert.) the high end $1200 per bow! We sell bows for $4-8. You can see the problem. A friend of ours who sells doll clothes…done. Another who sells cloth diapers…done. A children’s book store in Wisconsin to a homeschooling kit company…done. This is not hysteria, in fact, the people who are claiming that life will go on as usual don’t have my mortgage or our dreams.
 
I AM NOT ASKING FOR A BAIL OUT. In fact, I don’t want a darned thing. I just want to be able to have my wife operate her business like she has for the last year.
 
In fairness, the CPSIA was designed to prevent the Mattels of the world from getting lead based toys from China. Great! But why do we have to prove the lead free thing? In fact, the Mattels of the world are so big they are the only ones who can afford this. While their competition goes out of business. Were we trying to help or hurt Mattel, the big bad corporation? Liberal laws, no matter how good natured lead to corporate empoyerment and small business hell. The fact that the “conservatives” in congress voted for the thing as well only makes it more difficult a pill to swallow. #CPSIA on twitter to join the conversation. This needs to be a conservative conversation! If not? They better not ask me for a DIME in 2009 and beyond…period. Why? I won’t have the dime to give them, and hopefully…I will find a dime to feed my kids.

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