Tag Archive | "taxation without representation"

Where are Today’s Marshal Dillons?

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Seeking freedom from “taxation without representation,” our nation’s Founding Fathers feared a takeover of their newly established government by groups or individuals, a.k.a., “the enemy from within.”  Envisioning a three-branch government to circumvent such a takeover, they installed checks and balances in the Constitution of the United States of America.  Two hundred fifty three years after the drafting of that Constitution, our government has been tested concerning those checks and balances.

Beset by economic woes, the American public of the twenty-first century questions the motives of its government.  Is there now indeed an enemy from within attempting to establish rules and regulations for it’s own dictatorial purposes?  For the answer, let’s examine some of those rules and regulations.

During the Cold War with Russia, Senator Joseph McCarthy held Congressional hearings centering on the infiltration of Communists into our society.  His targets included Hollywood writers and producers that allegedly made movies with Communist overtones, movies thought to brainwash the American people.  As a result of McCarthy’s witch hunts, Hollywood blacklisted certain writers and producers.  Once blacklisted, these people never worked in Hollywood again.  McCarthy’s agenda was based upon fear, a fear that nearly brought Communist Russia and Capitalist America to a nuclear war.

Competition between Russia and the U.S. continued with the Race to Space.  That race ended on July 20, 1969, when American astronaut Neil Armstrong became the first man to set foot on the moon.

Before and since, Congressional investigations into alleged criminal and unethical activities flourished.  Chaired by Senator Estes Kefauver from 1950-51, the investigations focused on organized crime.  From 1960 through 1967, Senator John McClelland conducted an investigation of organized labor, specifically the AFL-CIO as led by Jimmy Hoffa.  Investigations of this nature prompted Robert F. Kennedy to publish a book in 1960 entitled, “The Enemy from Within.”

In the early ’70’s, Hollywood took on the theme of organized crime with the film, “The Godfather.”  Rife with the rituals and clichés of organized crime families, the movie created a stereotype of all Italian Americans, many of whom were deeply insulted by the “guilt by association” generated by Hollywood.  Organized crime is just that: organized.  It is not restricted to one ethnicity or one strata of society.

I postulate that many of our lawmakers are guilty of organized crime.  What else can we call it when they accept favors or campaign contributions from lobbyists, in return for the passage of legislation benefiting lobbyists?  Lobbying should also be considered a form of organized crime: there is nothing more organized than big money buying special favors through legislation.  Money now outweighs morals in this country.  This situation recalls the tale of Diogenes, carrying a lantern, seeking an honest man in broad daylight.

Who in power can we trust, when the laws that affect our lives are based upon money offered and accepted?  Who indeed?  It makes us wonder if the collapse of Wall Street in 2008 was truly a market correction or a contrived plot.  The collapse prompted President George W. Bush to react with a financial plan (TARP)  to offset another Depression.  This plan proved positive for Wall Street, which rapidly recovered, but it did not stop the recession from happening. Was the collapse an excuse for financial institutions to receive large amounts of stimulus money?  Was it meant to reassure savings in failings banks by increasing FDIC limits to $250,000 per account?

Will we wake up tomorrow and find our Constitution a worthless piece of paper? Will we find that we have lost our American sovereignty to a global society?  Will the American worker have to compete for wages against his foreign counterparts in a New World Order?  Oversight from our elected representatives is critical to ensure that the answers to these questions are not, “Yes!”  But this oversight is sorely lacking.  No branch of government has stepped forward to conduct an investigation as to why we are in such dire financial straights.  The only resistance to Big Government is the people’s Tea Party.

Newt Gingrich stated in a recent debate, “It’s not government’s job to create jobs.” This responsibility belongs to American corporations. We have become too dependent on government to supply us with our daily bread.  Maybe that old fuddy-duddy Ron Paul hit the nail on the head with his vision of a free market with little or no governmental regulation and letting the chips fall where they may to resolve our economic woes.

Our legislators must be accountable for their actions.  It’s time that the American people held their own Congressional investigation: an investigation of Congress! All lawmakers would be compelled to disclose how their actions have created an untenable situation here, and how they aim to correct that situation.

At one time, our nation had public servants who actually looked out for the citizens whom they served.  Without them, the Wild West would not have been tamed, and our nation would never have achieved its Manifest Destiny to stretch from “sea to shining sea.”  Although fictional, the character of Marshal Dillon in the long-running radio and television program “Gunsmoke” characterizes the decent, honest public servant who helped America achieve greatness.

Today, we need real life men like Marshal Dillon, men who would put community and country first, fight the fights that need fighting, right the wrongs that have beset our government and society, and restore America to its rightful place – in the immortal words of Ronald Reagan, “a shining city on a hill.” 

Whatever Happened to our Independence?

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Here we are once again: awaiting the day that we have marked to celebrate our independence from England through the birth of a new nation in 1776.

To most Americans, Independence Day is ushered in with picnics, cookouts, or visits to the seashore or mountains.  Whether in a park, on a city balcony, or from our TV screens, most of us will view the fireworks displays as the day’s culmination.  But in celebrating the Fourth of July, how independent are we, truly, as a people and a nation?

In 1776, the people and nation experienced the dream of being set free from tyranny (taxation without representation in England’s Parliament).  This was an era when men and women were responsible for carving out their own destinies.  Then, America was wide open, a vast and as yet largely unexplored land holding the promise of unlimited opportunities.

From the wilderness, pioneers created log cabin homes, farms, and eventually, towns and cities.  Basically, these hardy, brave settlers lived off the land for food, shelter, and clothing, with the raw materials supplied by Mother Nature.  Those were the days when we were truly independent.

Two hundred and thirty five years later (the year 2011), how things have changed!  America no longer has the unencumbered opportunity and land to equate to true independence. Government, major financial institutions, and legislation have all changed the true meaning of independence.

True home ownership will never exist in the land of the free and the home of the brave, because such undertakings are encumbered by taxation and interest charges. One would think that the freedom for which we fought as a new nation would protect honest homeowners from such situations.  These situations include the Sword of Damocles known as potential loss of home due to a recession that is, in actuality, a lot closer to an actual depression.  So much for the time-honored cliché, “A man’s home is his castle.”  Or a woman’s, for that matter.

Since the birth of this nation, government has manipulated laws and taxation to created dynasties; they’ve dubbed these dynasties “Departments.”  Each Department has a Head as well as lots of staff whose salaries and perks have added to our country’s financial woes.  The taxation that we viewed as unjust, the taxation that stimulated the birth of the United States of America, has now become stifling to our independence.  We have, you see, become more and more dependent for our very existence upon our ever-ravenous, tax-siphoning government. 

On July 4th, 2011, as we watch the display of fireworks and other entertainment in Washington DC, try not to choke on your hot dog or hamburger when they hand you the bill.  What bill?  Why, the one that will incur more taxes for average citizens due to the cost of the DC celebrations, of course!

How strange and unjust and plain insane is it, to view such costly festivities on national TV, including patriotic songs, Old Glory waving proudly, and “bombs bursting in air” in a country that is going broke?  When you have the answer to that, you’ll also have the answer to the question, “Whatever happened to our independence?” 

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