Friday, April 30, 2010

A perspective on federal regulation

As we continue to get regulated to death, here is a quote from Paul Moreno, Dean of Faculty at Hillsdale College:

"One of the things you see with federal regulation over the years is the tendency for the industries that are supposed to be regulated end up capturing the regulating agencies and molding them to their own purposes.
"And they often find out it is a very convenient way -- to have federal regulation help them eliminate competition from small competitors."

Don Kissick – Libertarian candidate for Ohio’s 4th Congressional District – at a glance

Here are my positions on just some of the issues that are on the minds of Ohioans and Americans everywhere.

I will demand Congress begin returning the scope of the federal government within the constraints of the United States Constitution!

I oppose the government take-over of America’s health care industry! I will join other opponents of this unconstitutional endeavor in the undertaking to repeal it.

Also among my top priorities as a member of the House of Representatives will be to amend its parliamentary rules – especially the elimination of the once-obscure, so-called “Deem and Pass” rule that was used to circumvent the will of the people earlier this year to the tune of $1 trillion.

I will fight for dramatic cuts in federal spending across the board. Our current rate of government spending in all areas is unsustainable! This needs to be achieved by several courses of action:

- We need a Balanced Budget Amendment to the United States Constitution! As even some current members of Congress have admitted, not until We The People take the courageous step – via a constitutional amendment – to handcuff the executive and legislative branches will they finally control their appetites for wasteful consumption.

- I also believe this constitutional amendment ought to include an article outlining stringent spending restrictions for each fiscal year. Its guidelines should specify that once the federal budget has been passed no single discretionary spending legislation may exceed 1% of the original budget during its fiscal year; and total additional spending over the course of the fiscal year may not exceed 5% of the original fiscal year budget. Obviously, such spending measures may be passed only if there is enough tax revenue collected to cover those expenditures.

- Emergency spending measures which entail exceeding either limit detailed above should require more than two-thirds (or, preferably, three-fourths) of both houses of Congress to vote “Yea” in order to reach the President’s desk for signing.

- Also, I will not rest until the multitude of superfluous federal departments and agencies are put on a path of reduction in size aimed at their eventual elimination!

I will oppose all earmarks, whether or not a Balanced Budget Amendment and other spending limitation measures are ratified or passed! If such a constitutional amendment cannot be ratified in an expedient manner, then again I will pursue reforms to the House’s parliamentary rules – this time directed at drastically constraining the manner by which legislative amendments may be added to any and all bills.

I recognize the U.S. tax code is stifling our economy and must be drastically simplified! Depending on the font size and line spacing used, the entire tax code requires anywhere from 30,000 to 60,000 pages to print. We must institute a flat tax law which sets the federal tax rate at no more than 10% of taxable income. Individual taxable income, ideally, will be any personal income beyond $10,000. To keep the tax code fair, all tax shelters should be eliminated as a flat tax would render them unnecessary. A constitutional amendment would be the most effective means to ensure the federal government never abuses the power of taxation again.

I understand unequivocally the P.A.T.R.I.O.T. Act is unconstitutional and will work tirelessly to repeal it. Wiretapping and accessing business records without a court-ordered search warrant is a direct violation of the 4th Amendment.

I will work tirelessly for restoration of states’ rights and sovereignty in keeping with the 10th amendment!

I will defend our Second Amendment rights at every turn!

I will fight to end all other forms of government intrusion into individuals’ lives in accordance with the 9th and 10th amendments!

I will defend the lives of our unborn children – no exceptions!

I believe it is the individual who creates prosperity through innovation!

I believe it is individuals who can best decide for themselves how to live their lives and raise their families! The best way to defend traditional values is not through adding new, potentially poorly-written laws onto the books but by eliminating old, failed ones that have proven to exacerbate – not solve – society’s problems.

I acknowledge that even our current rate of military spending is unsustainable. At the same time, if we do not maintain the world’s strongest Armed Forces we will become increasingly vulnerable to aggression from foreign powers and especially from acts of terror by radical Islamic organizations.

- We must wrap-up our ongoing campaigns in Afghanistan and Iraq. Nation building missions serve only to squander our military’s resources and needlessly endanger Americans’ lives. I say refocus our troops toward eliminating all insurgent threats and then bring our troops home!

- Then, we must begin closing much of our forward deployment bases and encampments beginning with those in Kyrgyzstan, Japan, South Korea, and Germany. Too many of our allies have been riding our Armed Forces’ coattails for far too long. Other overseas installation closures should follow on a case-by-case basis.

- The above two measures by themselves will save more than $200 billion every year without having to reduce the number of active duty military.

- All future military action of the nature we are seeing today must require a declaration of war by the United States Senate.

And, most importantly, I believe that America truly is One Nation Under God!

Monday, April 19, 2010

Oh no, not another of Don's Debates!

I've engaged in online debates and exchanges with all number of folks in my day. The challengers have ranged from one of Ohio's gubernatorial candidates, to a self-described intellectual, to some idiot on Twitter who uses as his avatar pic a photo paying homage to Saddam Hussein.

This time around, however, there has been a spirited exchange with an established and respected journalist. I choose not to be shy about any debate or other such dialogue. If I need to hide my conversations -- regardless of the forum(s) where they may take place -- then I am wasting my time and everyone else's with this congressional run.

If you need to get caught up to speed, pause here and please read my previous blog.

After that, please take a moment to read the latest entry at "Ron's Rants."

And then, below, is my reply (which I have already posted in the comments section but is -- at the time I'm posting this -- awaiting moderation).


Actually, Ron, I have been the first to admit I'm a johnny-come-lately with the Libertarian Party.

Much of that was due to what had been a lack of resources about the party and where it stands.

I overcame that, however, by taking the time to contact and connect with members of the Libertarian Party of Ohio, pick their brains, exchange thoughts and ideas, compare their points against mine, and spend time evaluating both positions where I hadn't agreed with them.

I understand you're frustrated with people who have been stepping up within the last year and acting as though they've always harbored libertarian leanings.

As I alluded to in my blog, so many folks have been spoon-fed crap for so long, even some of the most intelligent among us need time to sift between what they're hearing and seeing now and all with which they've been bombarded for years.

Now, I'll be the first to applaud you for standing up for libertarianism much longer than a lot of us, myself included. Our state and our country both would be much better off if many more had joined you on this matter much sooner.

But, how does insulting people for arriving later to the ball serve to help achieve what we agree is an all-important goal to convince the public at large that big government serves no other purpose than to keep us all dependent on its whims.

As I mentioned previously, displeasure with Washington was reaching its fever pitch after T.A.R.P.

Many who began attending rallies last year needed an outlet that was not yet there for expressing their/our frustrations with what was happening -- and this was BEFORE the November '08 election even took place.

Much of the delay up until the fall of 2008 for conservative outrage was due in large part to a widespread sense of disbelief among the right-of-center in America that those who'd proclaimed to be fiscal conservatives were spending us out of a surplus and into record deficits -- disbelief born of Partisan Derangement Syndrome.

I can understand that explanation won't satisfy you. But to suggest that simply because people are late arrivals they may as well not even show up is as equally divisive as simply being "anti-Obama."

It also serves to further the mindset of "why bother," which is what led us all to this point in history over the last four or five decades.

I find myself smirking when I hear speakers insist the answer lies in "restoring the Republican Party." I personally don't share their optimism on that regard.

And also to be completely honest, my campaign isn't about a carefully crafted strategy: for better or for worse. What I am all about is simply telling you and anyone else who will take the time to ask where I stand and where my principles lie on whatever subject about which you're curious. Equally as important, my motivation is to give the voters within this congressional district a third option on their ballots that has been long overdue.

I am not a remarkable person -- just in case that wasn't already glaringly obvious. But something remarkable is taking shape in America. Instead of attempting to shame folks for missing a vague sociopolitical deadline, more can be done for the betterment of our state and our country if we all debate/argue/discuss (all three terms mean the same thing) our points of view (Republican, Libertarian, Tea Partier) based on the idea that dissecting the premises and talking points will accomplish more than dissecting the people presenting them.

If that latter tactic has been directed at you, then those who have done so are representing the Tea Party movement as ineffectually as the Peanut Gallery to be found on MSNBC has presented opposing viewpoints. Both groups ought to be ashamed. Period.

I know my tone in my blog flirted with it. But, I cannot conceal my tendency to bristle at comments suggesting that I spent this past decade in lockstep with George W. Bush.

Did it take me longer than it should have to recognize the failings of the Republican Party? Undeniably, the answer is yes. But this is NOT something upon which I stumbled within the last few months.

Do I wish my own personal epiphany on sociopolitical affairs had happened 15 or even 20 years ago as opposed to two years? Absolutely!

But awakenings are positive and powerful events, even if they don't happen within the timelines some of us would have preferred.

Tea Party sentiments went unnoticed

In a recent column, Ron Lederman examines why it took until a Democrat was elected president before people began expressing outrage over how the U.S. federal government has been handling its affairs.

I need to disagree with Mr. Lederman on a very important point: there was discontent and outrage about how government was operating during the George W. Bush years among conservatives. The movement began gaining steam in 2007 with Ron Paul and his supporters in Texas.

I will freely admit that I was one of those individuals who overlooked glaring political transgressions by the Bush administration for the first seven-and-a-half years of his time in office. It finally took $700 billion in bailouts to a very select portion of America's population to shake me free of my Partisan Derangement Syndrome.

Also in 2007, the Ohio Liberty Council was getting off the ground in Columbus.

Undoubtedly, it's easy to dismiss those who have recently joined the Tea Party movement as rank-and-file Republicans who are trying to catch up to a sentiment that ought to have reached this level of furor decades ago. But to lump all of us together with such a small portion of Tea Party attendees is as unfair as those who cherry-pick images of rally-goers holding inflammatory and irresponsible signs and then declaring us all racists.

Now, where I must express not only disagreement but also annoyance with Lederman's column is his tone about why Tea Partiers took so long to get angry and organized. The insinuation (as I read it) is that somehow the Tea Party is mainly a conglomerate of Constitutional attorneys, economists, modern philosophers, and nationally syndicated political analysts who are only now coming alive to decry government abuses and excesses.

Attend a Tea Party and what you will see is average people exercising their God-given and Constitutionally guaranteed right to peaceably assemble. I have attended multiple Tea Parties, other events, and meetings of the Allen County Ohio Patriots -- and I am as unremarkable a person as you can expect to see at any of these gatherings.

What critics of the Tea Party movement are overlooking (unintentionally or deliberately) is the fact we have generations of Americans who have had to spend the past year-and-some-odd months cutting through the intellectual fog that has been directed at their/our minds by reporters, pundits, political analysts, the politicians themselves, (let us not forget the comedians) and the media outlets which for years have been printing and broadcasting reams and hours of nonsense.

And, very simply, everyday Americans (conservative ones in particular) are not natural activists. Bit by bit we have needed to break out of long-held comfort zones in the process of not only calling ourselves Tea Partiers but also writing-up signs and gathering together in public rallies to voice our long-building displeasure.

Getting back to a previous point involving the start of the bailout trend, the vast majority of us who are part of the Tea Party movement (essentially, those of us who do not currently have a stake in the political processes in Washington, D.C., and Columbus) were boiling mad about T.A.R.P.

Then the proposal to include roughly $60 billion more for GM and Chrysler was the straw that broke the camel's back for many who feel the way we do.

But, not being adept at protest organizing, so many of us thought all we could do was what my father had done for decades -- including the first 28 years of my life -- and I adopted right in his footsteps: yell at our television sets and later gripe about it while at the bar with like-minded friends.

That is, it was all we knew until news trickled out of Cincinnati on March 15 of last year about a peculiar event that was being dubbed a "Tea Party." And then the long-overdue proliferation began.

For me, the intellectual awakening into Libertarianism was when I finally wrapped my mind around the altruism that when legislation or agenda items are wrong or flawed when the party with which we typically don't agree tries to push them on us, they are still just as wrong or flawed when the party with which we typically DO agree proposes them.

Yes, Barack Obama -- with the aid of fellow Congressional Democrats -- has accelerated federal overspending at a rate which is undeniably obscene. However, had Bush -- with the aid and blessing of nearly 300 Republican Congressional enablers of his own -- not ramped-up discretionary spending by about 50% during his turn in the driver's seat, Obama and the Democratic Party could not have ascended to such heights of popularity that led to the 2008 elections results -- thus emboldening them to act in the manner they have.

In summary on that point, Bush and his cronies running Washington the way they did paved the way for Obama and his gaggle of '60s radicals to step in and run Washington the way they have.

Now there's something for which people can accurately blame Bush.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Tea Parties and "infiltrators"

As you've most likely heard about by now, there is an alleged campaign to "infiltrate" the Tea Party rallies that will be happening all across this great nation over the next several days.

The offending Web site is and its contents are just as described in the news.

Well, the creator of this Web site has been identified as Jason Levin, a teacher with the Beaverton School District in Oregon. Well, although the temptation to direct vitriol toward him and the school district may run high among those of us who attend or support the Tea Parties, please bear in mind our efforts are best served by not stooping to the level displayed by Mr. Levin.

Well, thanks to the good folks of the Tea Party Patriots organization (I'm on their mailing list), there is a link to send an online message to the school district administration and express your concerns, dismay, and displeasure over Mr. Levin's activities and how it may potentially reflect upon Beaverton schools.

The Web address for sending feedback to the school district superintendent's administration is:

Below is my note which I sent via the link in the previous paragraph. If you intend to pass along your input as well, I again urge you to adopt the tone I used in mine. While some may view even my note as excessive, please keep in mind that Levin is a teacher and is in a position to influence the impressionable minds of our youth. His actions serve to impart upon his students the notion that using messages of intolerance to make others appear intolerant -- and thus discredit them as well as their beliefs and principles -- is perfectly acceptable behavior no matter how disingenuous or cowardly the behavior may be.

Trusting in One Nation Under God,

Don Kissick


Good morning,

I have deep concerns and reservations about the private activities of one of your faculty -- Jason Levin.

His ardent left-wing activism efforts have me very concerned that he also is using his place as a teacher to impart his political agenda.

I understand that teachers have a tough enough vocation in today's society without having to worry about everything they do outside the workplace coming under unexpected intense scrutiny. But Mr. Levin thrust himself into the spotlight by his own choosing.

As a result, this particular activity is troubling because it sends to his students the message of, "Do whatever it takes, no matter how unscrupulous, to get what you want."

While perspectives on values will vary from one person (especially a parent) to the next and thus trying to incorporate one's own personal values (regardless of where they lean) into the classroom may be inappropriate at times, one thing most people can agree upon is that our teachers should be expending some amount of energy toward encouraging pupils to be good citizens.

I would hope the administration within the Beaverton School District shares [sic] is in a consensus agreement that being a good citizen does not include bearing false witness against our neighbors. In Mr. Levin's case, bearing false witness against his neighbors means encouraging people to carry or adorn themselves with paraphernalia intended to portray those who disagree with them as advocating violence or prejudice due to the absence of evidence of such attitudes.

More simply put, the effort to allegedly "infiltrate" rallies and other events being put together across the country in the coming days and create the appearance of racism and other forms of intolerance among those participants of political movements with which he (obviously) strongly disagrees.

I do realize my note is quite long-winded. So I want to thank you for taking the time to read it as well as for your consideration in this matter.

Have a good and stress-free day,

Don Kissick

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Development of debate skills and the entertainment it inspires

I've never been one to shy away from a good, spirited political discussion. I've debated some topics with folks with whom I typically agree. When it's done respectfully and professionally, it even can lead to changes (or at least an evolution or shift) in opinions and stances on a given issue.

However, when you enter into such a debate with someone who makes a point of describing himself as an intellectual over the course of the exchange, the results can be... well, see for yourself:

The background story originates on a Facebook friend's profile Wall. This person was asking for folks to comment on their status update as to their favorite radio station.

This was mine:

"1150 AM WIMA here in Lima. Gotta love a radio station that carries Glenn Beck!"

Well, someone else decided to add their comment -- but not about his own favorite radio station, just go on a rant about how he'd like to see Glenn Beck get run over by a bus and such an occurrence would be good for America since the content of his broadcasts are (his word choice) divisive.

My reply:

"And some folks insist the Tea Parties are all about hate. Interesting."

Now, this other gentleman's comments are no longer there, but I remember exactly what his next response was:

"parrots are cute; polly wanna cracker?"

Well, at this point I came to the conclusion that continuing this exchange in this manner was not appropriate. So, feeling the need to speak up once again on my own behalf, I sent him the following message to his inbox:

"I am more than willing and eager to debate anyone on any political subject at any time.

But, I am not going to play that all out on a mutual friend's status update.

So, if there is any public issue you want to tackle, please feel free to fire away."

To which he replied:

"Glenn Beck has nothing to do with politics. That is exactly the problem. He is a shock jock who uses half-truths, rhetoric, and hyperbole to garner ratings. And since he is on a "news" channel, the sheeple think he is legit,"


"With which subjects and comments of his do you take exception?

I'll give you an example where he has disappointed me:

He frequently mentions being "a Libertarian at heart" but in recent weeks has begun making comments about "I think introducing a third party would be a disaster."

However, when he points out the unconstitutional nature of the legislation that is being heaped on us all by a disconnected gang of public sector elitists, he is spot-on. While he is extraordinarily focused over this past year on the big government activity of the current administration and congressional majority, Beck has not been shy about bringing up the Republicans' failings on adhering to the Constitution. In particular, he's thoroughly dissected the Patriot Act and the fall of '08 financial sector $700 billion bailouts.

What is funny about his critics (to me, at least) is they tend to ignore the fact he frequently reminds his audience that he is not a certified, pedigreed, college educated, FDA approved expert on any of the areas of government on which he comments. He is a commentator -- and one who is self-taught on these topics and has successfully built his own little operation by speaking his mind and espousing the virtues of people like George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, John Adams, James Madison, Abraham Lincoln, Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., and Thomas Sowell.

To top it off, he frequently uses video and audio evidence to back up the assertions he makes on the air. When he has the very words as they are spoken by the individuals he criticizes right there for the world to see and hear, how does that constitute half-truths and hyperbole?

Finally, one subject Beck tackles quite frequently on the air is the Progressive movement in America over the last 100 years. I remember full and well studying about the rise of progressivism in history classes when I was a kid: that a select crowd of intellectual and Ivy League-educated individuals in government know better how the affairs of everyday Americans should be handled than the people at large might know. And I'll tell you right now, that is the single-most dangerous philosophy being discussed and embrace in our society today. Here's the question: at what point does Washington D.C.'s accumulation of power to regulate our lives and industries end?

When he argues and makes the case for scaling back and limiting the authority and power retained by the federal government, he is spot on, my friend."


"Well, it is pretty obvious he has you hook,line, and sinker, so enjoy your bomb shelter.

Taking a 5 second snippet of a 10 minute dialogue and wordsmithing it until the point is lost is not "evidence". Pretending to cry while standing in front of a 50ft screen of marching Nazi's or Karl Marx isn't an attempt to foster constructive debate. Asking absurd rhetorical questions and then playing the "prove me wrong" game is about as divisive as it gets.(Did you hear Glenn Beck raped and killed a girl in 1991? Prove he didn't! - see how easy that is?)

Uneducated, ignorant talking heads like Glenn Beck do far more damage than good because their half-wit followers follow their lead and dig in their heels and declare "if you aren't with us, you are against us", which helps nobody.

For the record, I am a registered indpendent who typically votes Republican on a locql level, but one who cannot in good conscience vote Republican on a national level because of their deastructive and over-reaching views of foreign policy. I get my news from RSS feeds and my politics from CSpan because I am not a sheep.

What I also am, however, is an intellectual who refuses to engage in the "us against them"-style politics. I am not arrogant or naïve enough to believe that the power of the federal goverment is "the single biggest issue of the day", mainly because I don't let alcoholic mormons or pill-popping racists tell me what my opinions are."


"You do realize that you have completely contradicted yourself on the point of divisiveness...

"enjoy your bomb shelter"

"uneducated, ignorant talking heads like Glenn Beck do far more damage than good because their half-wit followers follow their lead"

and, "I don't let alcoholic mormons or pill-popping racists tell me what my opinions are."

Am I supposed to believe these statements are not divisive vitriol designed to shame people out of expressing or even holding their points of view?

You have just engaged in precisely the same tactics you claim serve to disqualify those who comment on politics.

Next, you are gravely mistaken if you believe the size and reach of the federal government's power and authority do not serve to damage this country at a rate that makes correcting this situation a top priority.

Do you believe that the bursting of the housing and banking bubbles were entirely the result of greedy, corporate bankers engaging in predatory lending practices? If so, then are you aware that in 2007 the House Financial Services Committee began threatening the U.S.'s largest banking and financial institutions (Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac in particular) with congressional audits if they did not begin expanding their rates of high-risk lending?

The financial sector was in tenuous shape as it was by then, but that served as the second-to-last straw which positioned the entire industry to begin unraveling under the strain created 42 years ago by the Fair Housing Act (obviously, the "nudge" which sent the whole ball of wax over the cliff was the financial strain experienced by many low-income [high risk] borrowers by the price of gasoline eclipsing $4 a gallon the summer of '08).

The threat posed to banks and other lenders by merely mentioning the word "audit" is significant due to the fact that a federal audit invariably leads to a major drop in that corporation's stock values -- causing sudden and massive shortfall in capital.

Furthermore: honestly, are you not bothered by the rate of spending that has occurred over the last 10 years? Do you realize that the Social Security Administration is now having to pay out more in benefits than it is receiving in taxes? Have you considered the overall economic ramifications if Social Security becomes insolvent due to decades of both parties having borrowed against the Social Security Fund?

And with a more than $1 trillion deficit this year alone, how would you evaluate the prospects of being able to prevent the SSA's bankruptcy?

And then, I am curious if you are willing or able to justify the parliamentary travesty behind the passage of the Health Care Reform Act. I understand you believe yourself to be an intellectual, but can you formulate an honest argument in defense of passing a 2,410-page legislative behemoth that carried with it another 300+ pages of earmark amendments?

Also, what does a federal takeover of student loans have to do with health care reform? Where is the Department of Education's capital coming from to enable them to serve as the nation's sole lender for higher education? Guaranteeing student loans is entirely different game from administering them (not to mention ALL of them).

If you agree with that portion of that recent legislation and believe it was the right course of action, then wouldn't it make sense to introduce it as a separate bill and debate it on the floors of both houses of Congress on its own merits?

The clear majority of Americans did not want either of these laws passed yet one party rammed them through as if acting on a higher calling (there, now I'm a hypocrite for using divisive rhetoric of my own).

So, who exactly has been playing the game of "if you're not with us, you're against us?!"

Sure Republicans and their dedicated constituents resort to such tactics. But to portray them as the lone offenders there is much more naive than you may care to admit."


"Wow. Just wow. In one blustering wall of text, you managed to misrepresent my position instead of simply asking what it is mulitple times. Very Beckian of you.

Please kindly point out where I ever even remotely insinuated that "republicans and their constituents are the lone offenders" when it comes to divisive politics.

I do find your attempt to paint me as contradicting myself pretty comical. I am not on a news channel trying to pass myself off as a legit pplitical pundit. I absolutely despise each and every person who follows ANY of the talking head psuedo-pundits and freely admit as much.

I never once said I favored goverment run health care T (because I don't), and I also agree the bill that was put through was a mess. However, with that being said, I am also am logical enough to admit the single-payer system works just fine for just about every other developed nation on the planet, so the rhetoric that idiots like Beck spout about death panels and bankrupting the country have no basis in fact.

I believe higher education should be available to absolutely everyone for the long term well being of the country.

I also can read facts, so I know that the whole "CRA" scapegoating for the housing bubble burst is nonsense, since the highest rate of defaults came from the third party "mortgage house" lenders, and the loans covered by the CRA are some of the most tightly regulated loans out there and the default rate is significantly lower.

See, the problem with people like you is you state your opinion as fact-ie:" it is the biggest problem, and if you don't agree you are sorely mistaken" - without realizing what an incredible douche you sound like.

Whatever. Enjoy Beck... I personally hope he dies in a fire. That would be best for America.

Oh, and for the record, I fully expect ther SSA to default - mostly due to the fact that the authors of the original legislation failed to consider the possibility that life expectancy would increase so drastically."

And then he added an addendum:

"Looking at your home page, I do find it ironic that you had no problem joining our standing volunteer army (something our founding fathers opposed) and taking a salary from the federal government (ZOMG SOCIALISM).

Wow, being Beckian is fun!"

Well, at this point once I was able to get back online again to continue this rather stimulating debate-by-use-of argumentation gymnastics, I see that either this gentleman has blocked me so as to prevent me from being able to respond, set his account as invisible, he has chosen to cancel his Facebook account for reasons unknown, or Facebook may have terminated his account (again, for reasons of which I am not aware).

Both his comments on the original mutual friend's status update are gone. I had to recreate them from memory.

Well not being one to let this new development deny me from replying one last time, if I can't reply to him directly via Facebook mail then I'll post my follow-up comments here in the event he decides curiosity is too much for him overcome:

>Since you decided to challenge the notion that big government is not the most pressing concern facing America, I presented several examples supporting my assertion that it is.

That is not "misrepresentation" it is argumentation. For you to claim I misrepresented your preceding comments is a pure red herring.

You fail.

Also, you did contradict yourself. Your arguments against Beck and others were based on the premise that comments which qualify as divisive do harm to society. You preceded and followed this portion of your commentary with a variety of insults and comments engineered (as stated previously) to create a sense of shame for holding one's opinions.

Instead of "if you're not with us you're against us" you suggest "if you're not with us, you're less intelligent than us," which is an equally as divisive philosophy.

Again, you fail.

Where you believe my personal history is relevant to the discussion -- and then determining my service to my country somehow constitutes elevating your position while detracting from mine I find quite curious.

Once again -- you guessed it....... You fail.

But still, I'll indulge you on the subject of the United States Military. Article 1, Section 8 of the Constitution of the United States of America opens with the following phrase: "The Congress shall have Power To..." And then when you peruse down to paragraphs 12, 13, and 14 you will see that by applying this opening phrase to Section 8, these paragraphs read as follows:

"The Congress shall have Power To raise and support Armies, but no Appropriation of Money to that Use shall be for a longer Term than two Years;"

"The Congress shall have Power To provide and maintain a Navy;"

"The Congress shall have Power To make Rules for the Government and Regulation of the land and naval forces;"

Where you're wrong on your assessment of the Founding Fathers' perspective on a Standing Army is regarding its use and deployment within our own borders for the purpose of acting in a law enforcement capacity. That is why we have the Posse Comitatus Act of 1878.

Since the Founding Fathers wrote and then participated in ratifying the Constitution, I'm curious why they would have written the clauses contained within paragraphs 12 through 14 of Article 1, Section 8 of the Constitution, not to mention the opening clause of Article 2, Section 2 which states, "The President shall be Commander in Chief of the Army and Navy of the United States..."

Please explain, when you can, this particular discrepancy in your logic.

Otherwise, no surprise..... You fail.

Now here's a healthy dose of reality for you: from my experience in life, whenever someone has to come out and explicitly describe themselves as being an intellectual, they actually are not. You have confused intellect with being a control freak. You are a control freak by virtue of the insults you incorporated at every turn of our exchange and the manner in which you resort first to marginalizing or dismissing those who disagree with you and then presenting your counterarguments.

But, I suppose I'm just being "Beckian."

I'll even concede this point to you: since I criticized you for incorporating insults and marginalizing comments and then turned around and kept including the "You Fail" quips, that serves as evidence that I am not the intellectual as I would like to be perceived.

In conclusion neither of us possesses an intellect that is superior to one or the other: I am no more intelligent than you and you are no more intelligent than me. And since you have deluded yourself into believing you are smarter than me, I enjoy the satisfaction of knowing how much such an observation will surely irritate you.

Either way, I win -- you fail.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Another 'click' of the odometer on life's rocky road

I am starting this blog on Tuesday evening but I really ought to be heading to bed shortly. It is my desire to get as many of my thoughts out there for public consumption while they’re freshly rolling around in my head. But a rapidly approaching bedtime inevitably means finishing this tomorrow when I’m home from work and working out. So, any disjointedness is a direct result of going from stream-of-consciousness to careful reflection at some point below.

Tonight, I held my first self-hosted “meet the candidate” gathering. I had a terrific turnout in terms of local media: WLIO, WIMA, and The Lima News all were present and the reporters from each outlet picked my brain pretty thoroughly.

The turnout from members of the general public who were interested in hearing from me and asking questions… well that is another story. However, the two folks (yes, I am cringing as I type at this point) who took the time to stop by were very passionate about the issues most important to them. Both were everyday, conservative, small-town people who share a common concern with me: where is this gang in Washington taking our nation?

This is what has kept me awake at night on more than one occasion. Where is our country being led? My next question – loosely following that line of thought – is, “Why must we be represented by people from a select pool of applicants?”

Perhaps I am trying to answer a question with another question (a trait I developed as a teenager that absolutely drove my father crazy). But, instead of rambling incessantly in a quasi-intellectual drone, I believe we can do so much more for America by encouraging people to reflect on their own thoughts and feelings about the various political issues as we can by bombarding them with our own commentary. Whether I win or lose come November, society will begin the slow but worthwhile process of climbing out of this ever-deepening rut we are in by just engaging more in the process.

Getting back to the original topic, why the preceding tangent is important to this story is while their numbers may have been small their passion for seeing America return to the core principles which made her great in the first place was immeasurable. These two people showed up right at a time when it was getting easy to be discouraged by the dismal public turnout. The opportunity to look them in the eye and hear what was on their minds did as much to lift my spirits on such a stressful day as I had been experiencing as seeing a crowd that exceeded any expectations could have done for me.

Even though the long and wordy last sentence to the previous paragraph begs to be edited and reworked, I shall resist the urge to do so. It’s a bit cumbersome to read but it reflects the up and down nature of what 2010 has been for us in our household.

I almost did not make it onto the ballot. I came down with pneumonia right around New Year’s. My wife, Marcy, caught it shortly after I did. Marcy has made multiple trips to the ER at St. Rita’s Medical Center this year, four of which she was admitted for extended stays. Her father has been hospitalized twice. Her aunt even made a three-day stop of her own for severe bronchitis.

I am so ready for a reversal of fortune.

Despite it all, her support for my endeavor to earn your votes in November has never wavered. In fact, I almost canceled my event tonight at The Meeting Place on Market because she was admitted Saturday night/early Sunday morning for multiple pulmonary embolisms (blood clots in her lungs). She was discharged this afternoon with a battery of anticoagulants and pain medication for her other pressing (more accurately, debilitating) health crises: osteo-mylacia (adult rickets); fibromyalgia; and hypothyroidism.

When I told her I was going to call-off the event she was quite insistent against it. I won’t lie: I still feel enormously guilty for continuing with it. But, Marcy made it quite clear as I made my way to downtown Lima that she believes in me and urged me to focus on the gathering and not her. Her love for me has been an almost indescribable source of inspiration the whole way.

But again, in my sleep-starved state, I digress. That last tangent, though, finally put a smile on my face.

Well, perhaps a Day 2 of typing won’t be necessary after all. But boy am I going to be tired when I have to drag myself to work by 5 a.m.

Still, the low number of attendees served to remind me that the road between here and the November 2nd election will be a long one and in order to be successful there is much work to be done. However, those people who have extended their support for this campaign thus far have let me know it will be worth it.

Sunday, April 4, 2010

My thoughts on capital punishment

(The following blog was originally posted in my Notes of my Facebook profile on Sunday, October 4, 2009.)

This note is in response to a recent column (also available via Facebook) by Lima columnist Thomas J. Lucente, Jr.

In his column, he lays out his case for ending the death penalty. Lucente makes valid points about the risk of executing innocent people. I have no doubt it has happened many times in America's past and I pray it never happens again.

He also points to the failed execution attempt last month of Romell Broom, whose lack of viable veins for insertion of intravenous needles led to multiple, unsuccessful poke attempts in the effort to carry his sentence of death by lethal injection. The argument there centers on the potential cruelty involved with carrying out executions.

Like Lucente, my perspective on the death penalty has been evolving as well over the years. But, I cannot support its complete abolition.

I do not advocate or believe in execution for the sake of justice. To say a criminal "deserves to die" in essence makes those who pass judgment over him or her no different than the convicts themselves: wasn't that allegedly their reasoning when ending another human life?

But, I do believe there are individuals out there who are truly too dangerous to be allowed to continue living. An example of that is William Earl Lynd, who was executed in Georgia in May '08. In the example of Lynd, I'm referring to individuals whose extreme lack of regard for human life combined with the personal precedent of murder (like Lynd, who murdered a second woman in Ohio as easily as he had his girfriend) demonstrate they will kill again.

I believe these individuals are a danger not only to society in terms of the threat of escape, but also an equal danger to those corrections officers who would be tasked with watching them and the other inmates with whom they are incarcerated.

On that point, I say why should someone who has been convicted of a lesser crime (lesser than first-degree murder, let me be clear) be forced to endure the same risks by having to serve their sentences while in the same prison population holding such individuals as Lynd?

I do agree that States which retain the death penalty too freely hand down such sentences. There are cases, though, when capital punishment truly is a matter of self defense for society.