We Must Not Fail in the Pursuit of Life, Liberty and Happiness

Our pursuit of Life, Liberty & Happiness!

"Wish not so much to live long as to live well."

-- Benjamin Franklin, Poor Richard's Almanack, 1746
I guess there is wisdom uttered in this quote by Franklin. As one ages the quality of life, in most cases, does diminish and ends with wishes of youthful vigor. The fortunate times from Franklin’s day until now has been individuality in how one’s life was spent. Now our government delves into our personal lives to such an inordinate proportion that we may not always have the "right" to live as well as we choose.

As we hit mid-stride in the age of the "boomers," it is more apparent that our government is still taking much from us and at a more rapid pace than ever before. Our Congress has taken our Social Security, medical decisions, and soon they may even "incorporate" our personal investments to help their quest to redistribute the wealth. This does not include the unconstitutional government giveaways of  disability, food credit cards and welfare that overtax us. I do not question that some need a hand up but not a lifetime of handouts. 

Our Declaration of Independence says, and I paraphrase, that when the just powers of government is no longer at the consent of the governed, it is time to remove those in power and replace them with those most likely to give back to us our rights. It should be your right to live as you choose always remembering that your rights end at your neighbors person and property. Let us not fail in this trying time to restore our right to Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness.

Those now in power, passing unconstitutional laws and ordinances daily, do not deserve to return to office! When you vote to fill an empty office, remember to ascertain if the next candidate is handpicked by the resigning office holder. If the one leaving office did not meet your expectations, don’t expect their chosen one to either.

--Steve Ramey, American, USMC Vietnam Veteran and freedom lover.

08 October 2012
Semper Fidelis et Vigilo!

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STEVE RAMEY October 09, 2012 at 06:31 AM
"Who controls the past controls the future. Who controls the present controls the past." --George Orwell, in his book titled 1984 A good read. I recommend it for three reasons. 1. A lesson about History. 2. A lesson about today. 3. A lesson about the future.
Scott Terry October 09, 2012 at 12:10 PM
Amy L wants "a better social safety net to cut down on crime". So you think by providing lazy people with free stuff, they will be satisfied and not commit crimes? Is this theory something you dreamed up or proven fact? Clearly the thinking of an Obama supporter. Apparently there's a lot of redistribution happening in Chicago and Detroit and your theory doesn't hold water in those cities. I don't expect you to understand but have you ever heard the "teach a person to fish" metaphor? And remember, Obama and all his corrupt hommies are from the most awesome city of Chicago. It's a failure. Why would we expect success from Obama as President? Answer? We wouldn't. You would.
Racer X October 09, 2012 at 12:47 PM
George- You do have some pretty good solutions there. I too believe the two party system is bunk. The problem is that you always blame the right when you cite issues and never the left, thereby alienating many on the right (not FAR right) who might listen to your ideas. The problem is the FAR right and the FAR left. They massively undermine the left and right who can get along and agree on many things. This keeps the whole country divided including the center 70% who should be the most united. We need another party. One where left and right can be comfortable with each other. One that the FAR left and the FAR right have no power controlling. The current system is a breeding ground for constant, never-ending, incessant bickering over nuance and skewed perspective. I am really sick of it.
Racer X October 09, 2012 at 01:03 PM
Cal me stupid but I believe giving lazy people free stuff contributes to increasing crime numbers rather than decreasing them. As far as the "teach a man to fish" story, which I love, there are many who wouldn't fish even if their life depended on it, they would just steal the fish. Everybody is talking about creating jobs. Well, I have news for you. There are jobs. What we lack is people who are willing to work. I think it is preposterous that the unemployment numbers do not include those who "gave up" looking (still trying to figure out how you can do that and survive). Many companies and wealthy American citizens are looking at moving to Panama now and bailing on the US altogether. This due to not being able to compete with the government for employees. People would rather sit on their butts for 25% of what they could make by working. It is a very sad truth. We are breeding a nation of entitled, lazy, spineless, self-centered, over-educated, under-skilled, politically correct, whiny, spoiled children. My biggest fear is living in a nation whose leaders weren't spanked as children.
Amy L October 09, 2012 at 01:03 PM
I DON'T think only providing handouts does much to end poverty. I am just more realistic about what people do when they have no other choice. The Ryan Budget slashes funding for safety net programs without providing any real reform. The people who are depending on these programs aren't going to disappear. The ones who ARE working, but still only scraping by with the help of the govt wont simply find more hours in the day to work more, or find time or money to go back to school. If you only slash funding for safety net programs, you only end up with more dependance on the government, not less. MORE people will be living not just at the poverty line, but in abject poverty and/or homelessness. At which point, they are entirely dependent on the state through shelters or prison and we have enough people in prison already.
lee kellogg October 09, 2012 at 01:05 PM
Happily enough, Steve and Tammy don't get to decide who are the "real" Americans. They lack the data base. They would have to know and have known every American in order to make that claim. I wonder how Steve feels about those who dodged the draft by claiming non-existent religious principles. The crown loyalists were Torries, conservatives in favor of conserving their tax breaks and land grants from their king. As for a state government controlling how education funing is spent; Tammy and her version of history doesn't include the Civil War or the civil rights movement, both which occurred because the most venal of conservatives, Jeff Davis, Robert Lee,etc. chose to protect the states rights to own slaves and then attacked the United States of America. It is very unclear whether Steve's oath would have applied then. Pay your taxes, it's patriotic. Education is what enables Amy to make a living. Oh, and those founding fathers were also lawyers and philosophers.
lee kellogg October 09, 2012 at 01:07 PM
Hitler? Really? Are you going to withdraw that, or have the courage to print just which Americans you think are like Hitler. That's as ugly as ugly gets. And shows you don't know a damn thing about history.
STEVE RAMEY October 09, 2012 at 01:40 PM
The lesson is fictional but in many ways mirrors what we have done to ourselves. If you don't see that, then you are the one that doesn't know history.
Chris October 09, 2012 at 02:25 PM
Wake up lee. You're the one that needs to learn history. Your love affair with this Democrat failure is costing this nation it's freedom. If Hitler were Democrat and running against Romney, you people would have yard signs and bumper stickers.
Amy L October 09, 2012 at 02:55 PM
Where the hell do you get that he hates the military? He does want to reduce military spending but there is PLENTY of room for smart cuts that will not significantly reduce our readiness. Is it because of the early voting "controversy" drummed up by Fox News? The claim made by Romney and the Right that Obama's suit to RESTORE early voting rights to EVERYONE was instead an attempt to deny military personnel those days of voting is completely false. Republicans were originally responsible for denying those days of voting to everyone with the passage of House Bill 194 last year. They had to go back and add those days back for members of the military only to comply with Uniformed and Overseas Citizens Absentee Voter Act. The Obama administration sued to end this arbitrary division of voters and just let everyone vote early if they need/want to. If you have any other reason to suggest that Obama hates the military, please share it.
lee kellogg October 09, 2012 at 03:09 PM
Fiction is not flattered. The Nazi comparison is the ugliest, most venal, stupid, anti-American idea there is. If you see similarities between Hitler and any American president, you need to leave the country, find one with no history and no idea of what a Nazi really is. Steve, you should be the first to shame those kinds of posts. That you defend them just shows I'm right.
Racer X October 09, 2012 at 03:16 PM
Mr. Kellogg- Your version of what the Civil War was about is grossly and negligently incorrect. History of wars is written by the winners. My education in Philadelphia, which taught an alter reality, was disgracefully tainted by governmental influence. If you really believe the Civil War was about slavery you are ignorant of the truth. There are many excellent and credible books on the subject. It makes for fascinating reading.
Amy L October 09, 2012 at 03:59 PM
Steve never brought Hitler into this and never defended those who did. He has failed to call them out on it, but it is unfair to expect him to be as much of a forum warrior as us. I am willing to give him the benefit of doubt on this one. Tammy only brought up Hitler to illustrate a point she was trying to make about indoctrination. It wasn't until David and then Chris that anyone suggested that anyone here (or in the White House) are secretly members of the Nazi party. So please direct your (well deserved) scorn at David and Chris, leave Ramey out of it.
Amy L October 09, 2012 at 04:06 PM
Steve's comment above was still about 1984, not about Hitler. The reply button just seems to have malfunctioned again.
Karsten Torch October 09, 2012 at 04:43 PM
Withdraw what? You really need to take a second and read what's written, not just jump up and down apoplectically because you see the name Hitler. She said nothing about comparing anybody to Hitler. He said you needed to get the kids' textbooks. That's what people are doing now.
STEVE RAMEY October 09, 2012 at 04:48 PM
I had not seen the Hitler comparison. I do see implications of compliance with a one world government and the U.S. falling under international laws overriding our Constitutional law. Lee, as far as the War between the states; it was about economics and representation or lack therof. Lincoln at one point was in a quandry as to what to do with the slaves. 1. Ship them back to Africa. 2. Allow some states to keep slavery. 3. Free the slaves. History tells it was a difficult decision for him. There was never a southern owned slave ship! All ports for slave ship arrival were in the north! Warring Africans tribes captured their enemies and sold them to slave traders. Lee, did you know that in Morocco alone, it is estimated there are more than 100,000 Northern European (white) slaves today? Slavery has not gone away; only the race and locale has changed. If you want to really broaden your horizons you might find a truthful book about the Reconstruction of the south: a brutal hell for people in the south for eleven years. 98% of southerners never owned a slave but all were accused of it. Their land was confiscated or purchased for pennies on the dollar. So all total the souith was brutalized for about 16 years.
Karsten Torch October 09, 2012 at 05:00 PM
Steve - good article, thanks for contributing... Couple of thoughts here - just because others brought it up... The wealth is going to be divided by income rank. It makes sense. If you have those that make money and those that make less, more money is concentrated in the upper echelons of the range. The important thing here is the amount of income or wealth by group vs taxes paid. The top 1%, while having 35.4% of the income (depending on your source) pay 40% of the taxes. The bottom 50% of wage earners only pay 2.5% of the total taxes paid. So much for the rich not paying their fair share. I also love how those people that rail against the ability of corporations to donate money have no problem with entities such as labor groups doing so. So let me see if I have this right - we have THE highest corporate income tax rate in the developed world, and there's somebody that would like to RAISE that rate? really? You do realize that corporations pay tax on incomes, right? And they would rather take the hits in other countries with lower rates before they make the claims here? And there's really nothing we can do about that, since income is, by definition, income, and spending that money in one place influences their income? Would it not be better to lower the rate, remove any deductions, and take their money here? Money we're not currently getting?
Karsten Torch October 09, 2012 at 05:09 PM
AND, as long as I'm throwing out ideas, let's try this - completely remove corporate income taxes. Stay with me here, I'll explain. One, for those that argue against corporate personhood, yet want them to pay income taxes, isn't that slightly hypocritical? Two, corporations pay income taxes on profit - money that would be spent elsewhere. This adds to costs, and drives up prices. Anybody that thinks corporations don't pass on all costs, be it labor, materials, or taxes, really isn't paying attention. Three - if the money from a corporation isn't taxed as income, what happens to it? There's only three choices. The company can hoard it, which, really, it's not going to do. Benefits them in no way to do so. They can spend it on labor - raises, bonuses, additional labor. Which we would see as taxable income. No down side there. Or in infrastructure, be it expansion, renovation, hardware, software, office furniture, whatever. Which, guess what, stimulates the economy and gets taxed. Again, no downside. So tell me again why we even have a corporate income tax and why it benefits us at all?
lee kellogg October 09, 2012 at 05:11 PM
What international law are you referring to? If it is a treaty signed by an elected American politician, it is Constitutional law. Who attacked the USA at Fort Sumter? Where were the slaves freed and where not? Had there been no attacks,there would have been no invasion or reconstruction.And after reconstruction, how was life for black men and women in the South? 16 years? How long did slavery last? How is Morocco relevant to black men and women hanging from trees, black women raped, the KKK, and slavery in America? Finally, why do you feel it is necessary to apologize for the military of the USA? Their job is to defeat the enemies of the country. The CSA was the enemy, or as Tammy would put it, the ENEMY!
Amy L October 09, 2012 at 05:38 PM
Since I was the only one advocating for higher government revenue, I will assume you were talking about me when you said, "So let me see if I have this right - we have THE highest corporate income tax rate in the developed world, and there's somebody that would like to RAISE that rate?" I will copy/paste what I wrote far above so you don't have to scroll up: I can't force anything. I can only point out that revenue collection by the government is historically low. Republicans always point out that we have one of the highest corporate tax rates in the world. The problem is, multinational corporations never pay that rate. The high rate is only inflicted on those who can't get out of paying it by lobbying for loopholes. I am all for rate reductions offset by deduction elimination. So is President Obama. However, politicians of both parties have a HORRIBLE track record of actually following through with the unpopular part of any two part solution like that. We know all that will happen in a Republican controlled congress is that the rate will be reduced and the deductions will remain. Got to keep starving the beast! Even if it means our sewers, bridges, power grid, roads, and schools continue to fall behind the rest of the developed world.
Amy L October 09, 2012 at 05:38 PM
Every bipartisan commission on tax reform has recommended lower rates coupled with fewer deductions.That is not controversial. I am totally for lower rates. So is President Obama. The problem I, and many liberals have, is that we want a net increase in revenues after the rates are lowered and deductions eliminated. The Right wants a net decrease in revenue. The "starve the beast" philosophy. We liberals feel that government has a huge role to play in stimulating growth through infrastructure investment. We feel that republican austerity measures have actually slowed growth, not increased it. We may have high rates, but what the government actually COLLECTS is fairly low compared with history. We do need tax reform, but we can't continue with more austerity and think we will ever either recover from this recession or be able to start paying down our national debt.
STEVE RAMEY October 09, 2012 at 05:44 PM
Lee, you have to open your eyes to see. Have you ever read the Constitution? If you don't have one, I'll be happy to send one to you. I have purchased and given away thousands while addressing groups. The south were the ones following the Constitution when they seceeded from the north. I'm through talking to someone that feels the world owes him something and harbors so much hostiity. You may respond to this comment but I will no longer respond to you. Others can choose to listen to your unfounded rants but as for me, no! Wishing you well.
Racer X October 09, 2012 at 07:09 PM
Lee, You live in the South. Here, the Federal troops were the enemy, not the CSA. Boy you really swallowed the whole official version of what happened during and after the Civil War didn't you? I believe your entire education regarding the Civil War was learned by watching "Roots" 30 years ago. That, and the BS they fed us in school. -Mike
STEVE RAMEY October 09, 2012 at 07:28 PM
Thanks Mike for the clarification for Lee. It is shamful about re-writing the history of this nation. Lee would never believe that many slaves volunteered to fight for the CSA. When the freed slaves did receive their 40 acres & a mule (many did not) promised by the Feds, carpet baggers FROM THE NORTH ran in and cheated them out of their property for just a few dollars. The truth many times will hurt but in this case it is falsehoods that have help cause derision between the people of our nation.
beachski23 October 09, 2012 at 07:45 PM
I stopped reading about 1/2 way down. Truly sad. Steve, from one veteran to another, Thank You for your service. I have traveled to other countries and been to war and to be quite honest we are stumbling down a path that is NOT pretty. Other countries have tried to appease the people and given them handouts and benefits and told them they didn't have pay taxes. Look at Greece. Their government is now broke from doing that, destitute. If you constantly give people handouts, they have no incentive or motivation to do for themselves, because others will do it for them. I am in agreement with giving them a hand up, but not a hand out. Our country has gotten lazy and greedy; giving new meaning to fat and happy. The tax cuts people are complaining about expiring, were put in place when the government had a budget surplus. Guess what, we now have a $1.4 Trillion budge deficit. I believe in spending cuts, but not with respect to our military. We are already spread too thin from the cuts that have already been made, if we cut any more we will not be able to defend our own borders. We are the land of the free for a reason. We faught for that right and have defended that right ever since. The government doesn't pay for itself, we have to do that. We pay them to do a job. If you feel they aren't doing their job, which they aren't, the fire them; vote them out. BUT, educate yourself first. KNOW what you are talking about from all sides first. But, VOTE!
beachski23 October 09, 2012 at 07:54 PM
Slavery was going on LONG before the Civil War and is still going on today. All ethnic groups have been enslaved; NOT just black people. If I recall my history correctly, Mike please correct me if I am wrong, but the Roman's enslaved their own people, who by the way were Roman's and WHITE, well before the Civil War. Slavery today, is in the Middle East, China, Korea, and India; not so much in Africa anymore I don't believe. Still going on in countries that have had slavery a LONG time; well before the Civil War. I am not racist in any sense of the word and believe that ALL people should be treated equally regardless of the color of their skin, their nationality, or their gender. Inside and in God's eyes we are all the same color. So please, do not bring up the slavery card. To those that know history, it gets old.
Tammy Osier October 09, 2012 at 10:26 PM
This political stuff was hot when I did my blog,"We are only asking for self-government" and I'm not even sure it got read. If anyone has time, please go to my name and find my blogs and read it. It's about what I learned at the Atlanta History Center concerning slaves fighting with us in the Civil War and the war of ideals. It brings the subject into a more personal view. Actually, thanks to Amy for clarifying what I was trying to say. I was trying to make the point that unless we are not vigilant and question what we hear from our leaders, we could develope a sense of being indoctrinated without knowing it. With that kind of attitude (pretty complacent in past years), what would happen if we really did get an evil man in the white house? They could do anything and we'd allow it. Beachski- great post!
Amy L October 10, 2012 at 12:26 PM
Again, I am all for sweeping, even radical, tax reform. I don't really care how it is collected as long as we don't run deficits and devote more to infrastructure spending. But how likely is any of that to happen. We have a divided government where more then half the members care more about their party and careers than the country. They know that it is in the best interest of the Republican party to delay, obstruct, and generally do nothing in order to make sure they can accuse the President of being ineffective. The only reason we have had the small recovery we have had is that they COULDN'T block his first stimulus bill. Since then though, they have had the numbers to block everything. And of course, nothing has gotten done. They refused even 10 dollars in spending cuts to every 1 dollar in increased revenue in Boehner's "grand bargain."
George Wilson October 10, 2012 at 03:11 PM
@all "Gish Gallop" look in up on google
Amy L October 10, 2012 at 05:13 PM
If you haven't seen this, please look it over and educate yourselves. The charts provided are an excellent, easy to follow resource for explaining the underlying problems with our current economy and taxes. http://www.businessinsider.com/who-pays-taxes-2012-8?op=1 The takeaway for those of you who refuse to read is that yes, rich people pay most of the taxes in this country. But, they only do so because wages for the rest of us haven't increased in 50 years. 96% of the income growth over the past 30 years has gone to the top 10%. And it is not because companies are doing poorly. Corporate profits as a percentage of the economy are at an all time high while wages are at all time lows.


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