Posts Tagged With: greed

BEGGING POLITICIANS ARE OUT IN FORCE.

It is that time of year when politicians are out in force begging for money to keep themselves elected. That money keeps the television and radio stations richer than rich, our elected officials remain greedy, powerful and corrupt, and nothing much changes in government. What a sham. Read columnist Charlie Reese’s take on the situation from a few years back. As true today as then.

545 vs. 300,000,000 People

-By Charlie Reese

Politicians are the only people in the world who create problems and then campaign against them.
Have you ever wondered, if both the Democrats and the Republicans are against deficits, WHY do we have deficits?

Have you ever wondered, if all the politicians are against inflation and high taxes, WHY do we have inflation and high taxes?

You and I don’t propose a federal budget. The President does.

You and I don’t have the Constitutional authority to vote on appropriations.

The House of Representatives does.

You and I don’t write the tax code, Congress does.

You and I don’t set fiscal policy, Congress does.

You and I don’t control monetary policy, the Federal Reserve Bank does.

One hundred senators, 435 congressmen, one President, and nine Supreme Court justices equates to 545 human beings out of the 300 million are directly, legally, morally, and individually responsible for the domestic problems that plague this country.

I excluded the members of the Federal Reserve Board because that problem was created by the Congress. In 1913, Congress delegated its Constitutional duty to provide a sound currency to a federally chartered, but private, central bank.

I excluded all the special interests and lobbyists for a sound reason. They have no legal authority. They have no ability to coerce a senator, a congressman, or a President to do one cotton-picking thing. I don’t care if they offer a politician $1 million dollars in cash. The politician has the power to accept or reject it. No matter what the lobbyist promises, it is the legislator’s responsibility to determine how he votes.

Those 545 human beings spend much of their energy convincing you that what they did is not their fault. They cooperate in this common con regardless of party.What separates a politician from a normal human being is an excessive amount of gall. No normal human being would have the gall of a Speaker, who stood up and criticized the President for creating deficits.

The President can only propose a budget. He cannot force the Congress to accept it.

The Constitution, which is the supreme law of the land, gives sole responsibility to the House of Representatives for originating and approving appropriations and taxes. Who is the speaker of the House?

John Boehner. He is the leader of the majority party. He and fellow House members, not the President, can approve any budget they want. If the President vetoes it, they can pass over his veto if they agree to.

It seems inconceivable to me that a nation of 300 million cannot replace 545 people who stand convicted — by present facts — of incompetence and irresponsibility. I can’t think of a single domestic problem that is not traceable directly to those 545 people. When you fully grasp the plain truth that 545 people exercise the power of the federal government, then it must follow that what exists is what they want to exist.

If the tax code is unfair, it’s because they want it unfair.
If the budget is in the red, it’s because they want it in the red.
If the Army & Marines are in Iraq and Afghanistan it’s because they want them in Iraq and Afghanistan …

If they do not receive social security but are on an elite retirement plan not available to the people, it’s because they want it that way.

There are no insoluble government problems.

Do not let these 545 people shift the blame to bureaucrats, whom they hire and whose jobs they can abolish; to lobbyists, whose gifts and advice they can reject; to regulators, to whom they give the power to regulate and from whom they can take this power. Above all, do not let them con you into the belief that there exists disembodied mystical forces like “the economy,” “inflation,” or “politics” that prevent them from doing what they take an oath to do.

Those 545 people, and they alone, are responsible.

They, and they alone, have the power.

They, and they alone, should be held accountable by the people who are their bosses.

Provided the voters have the gumption to manage their own employees…

We should vote all of them out of office and clean up their mess!
Charlie Reese is a former columnist of the Orlando Sentinel Newspaper.

 

If everyone of us printed this article out and sent it to every senator and representative in our districts, it might wake them up. But, don’t bet the rent.

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MY HAIRCUT PAL AND THE DUTCHMAN

CeeCee and Aaron Canvasser, long time friends of Jim’s, came to visit for a couple of hours. We went to breakfast and returned to the motor home where I gave Aaron a haircut while Jim coached CeeCee how to buy a car at the price you want, from a car dealer. The haircut is looking to become a tradition because the very first time I met Aaron, he offered to cut my hair. I repaid the favor and here we are at:
http://wp.me/pDCku-13v

Aaron and CeeCee hail from Oregon State. They follow a challenge ballroom dance circuit here in Apache Junction.

In the afternoon we visited Superstition Mountain Museum. Apache Junction has thrived on the legend of the Lost Dutchman’s mine and other strange tales because of it, which are fully covered in this museum. The story and setting attracted Hollywood and the museum includes Apache Land, a movie set from the 1960’s. It burned down twice and only a few buildings remain.

There is no known photo of Jacob Waltz, the Dutchman, but there is a collection of drawings and purported photos of him.  The drawings are as varied as the many maps attributed to him.

It even looks fake. Why anyone would pay money for it is beyond my comprehension.

This one in Spanish must have been sold to a Spanish speaking miner. Jacob Waltz did not speak and write Spanish.

A letter from a friend is considered authentic proof that Waltz  found gold and assayed it. Other miners found gold of a specific type as well. The map of his buried treasure was left with the woman who owned the boarding house where he lived and died. In the museum are 28 paper maps.  The maps are crude, unreadable and amusing unless you consider that men fought and died for gold that was never found.

Six stone  maps of an equally obscure Peralta Mine qualify as works of art,another mystery.

A really good site about the mystery and deaths that occurred in this area is this one:

http://www.prairieghosts.com/dutchman.html

We were without a signal for two hours this morning, so I’ll continue this blog tomorrow.

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DEMOLSHING DAMS

Earlier this year we visited a museum showing pictures of Native Americans fishing for salmon on the Columbia River. Their whole life style revolved around the salmon including  religious rituals. It fed them and the bears, the eagles, otter and numerous other species plus provided fertile ground around the river bank from the millions of dead salmon after the spawn.  Then settlers moved into the west and greed and competition took hold. They put fish wheels on the rivers.  By some historic reports, they caught so many fish, so easily,  half of each catch was wasted. They couldn’t give it away because everybody wanted to be in the fish business. 
Not until canneries opened did it become super profitable and then fishing with wheels practically decimated salmon populations by 1906. On the Columbia River, one single fish wheel near The Dalles pulled 418,000 pounds of salmon out of the river in 1906 alone, and it was just one of more than 75 fish wheels working the river that year.
Conventional wisdom  blames over fishing  for salmon decline, and when it became obvious something had to be done, no one wanted to be blamed.  The gillnet  fishing boat operators of the lower Columbia and the fish-wheel operators farther upstream, each blamed the other for its dwindling salmon catch. In the 1908 Oregon election, the two sides sponsored competing ballot measures, one banning fish wheels and the other making gillnetting illegal.  Both bills passed, but were thrown out by courts. 

Isn’t that wonderful?  The courts sometimes have as much sense as our current court which insists a corporation has the same rights as an individual which allows  the huge amounts of money we now have in our election process.

It took until 1935 for fish wheels to be banned completely on the Columbia, but by this time the Grand Coulee Dam had been built without fish ladders, cutting off access to slews of spawning grounds. Salmon  never rebounded to anywhere near  historic levels.

I read this piece in the Washington Post about two weeks ago with a feeling of satisfaction and relief: 
The largest dam demolition in the nation’s history will begin Saturday when an excavator claws away at the concrete supports for Washington’s 108-foot Elwha River Dam, a ceremonial act of destruction that will signal not only the structure’s demise but the latest step in a broad shift in the way Americans are managing rivers. Faced with aging infrastructure and declining fish stocks, communities are tearing down dams across the country in key waterways that can generate more economic benefits when they are removed than when the rivers are controlled.
“What once seemed radical is now mainstream,” said  American Rivers President Bob Irvin, whose group has advocated dam removal for environmental reasons. “All of these are experiments in how nature can restore itself, and the Elwha is the biggest example of that.” The pace of removal has quickened, with 241 dams demolished between 2006 and 2010, more than a 40 percent increase over the previous five years. Many of them are in the East and Midwest, having powered everything, including textile mills and paper operations at the turn of the 20th century. A drumbeat of litigation by tribes and environmental groups has pushed federal officials to dismantle some dams that otherwise would have remained in place. Although this has led to political fights in regions where dams matter the most, such as the Pacific Northwest, it has also forged historic compromises.“The Elwha River restoration marks a new era of river restoration in which broad community support provides the bedrock for work to sustain our rivers and the communities that rely on them,” Interior Secretary Ken Salazar said in a statement. Although estimates vary on the economic value of restoring a river’s natural flow, it creates construction jobs in the short term and eventually restores depleted commercial fisheries. It also draws tourists — anglers, rafters and kayakers. Federal officials estimate that restoring the Elwha river  will generate at least 760 jobs during  the clean up which will take over two years, and 446 annual jobs in recreation and tourism once it’s finished.Demolishing dams is not popular with some State and Federal policy makers. But, considering that Dams once played an outsize role in the nation’s energy supply, providing 40 percent of U.S. electricity in 1940. Now they account for 7 to 10 percent, with only 3 percent of the nation’s dams with adequate generating capacity. And, many policy makers do not consider the cost of the electricity when the dam upkeep is taken into the equation. We recently visited the Bonneville dam, two dams, actually because they are spread from a man made river Island to both banks of the Columbia. The dam impedes boat and barge transportation. In fact, the locks, are no longer used because there isn’t enough boat transportation to keep them running.

Glen Canyon Dam, was built in 1966. It supplies recreation on Lake Powell, but the dam destroyed some of the most beautiful scenery on the Colorado River. Senator Goldwater pushed for the project and later stated if he had seen the scenery before he voted he wouldn’t have voted for it. It doesn’t supply significant electricity, but it does provide recreation. The problem is it keeps natural silt from the river and the native plants and fish are suffering.  It is costing millions  to counteract the affects of the dam on the Grand Canyon.

Even though laws mandate mitigation for lost habitat, we still have overgrazed, over fished, flood prone, destroyed wetlands, because of dams. Unfortunately, not much is being done. Costs to maintain the dams are often not considered in the proposals to build dams because riparian rights are not recognized by our political system.

My rant for the day.

 

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