Thursday, March 25, 2010

Have you called your Congressional Rep? I Did.

A lot of people are howling and screaming about Congress these days. I know, I'm one of them. But most of those folks screaming haven't taken the time to actually try to communicate with their reps.

I spent a pleasant 22 minutes on the phone this afternoon with a person at Rep. Brian Higgin's Washington office discussing the health bill.  Now, I identified myself up front as someone who disagreed with Mr. Higgin's vote, but I said rather than be a jerk, I'd like to give them a chance to clear up my possible issues. We had a very informative discussion, and he was very polite about it. While I'm still opposed to the bill, I do feel I have a better understanding of how it will be effecting me, and I seriously suggest anyone else with questions, make a call. Be polite, be specific, and don't be a jerk. 

For phone numbers, visit or

My questions involved the Medicare Advantage changes (short answer, don't panic) and how the subsidy will be paid (short answer, tax credit at income tax time similar to the EIC pay outs.) We also discussed how these changed will effect small businesses such as my own, and a bit on the credit crunch.

While I'm still opposed to the mandate, I do feel more comfortable about how things are intended to go. I've done my duty in registering my concerns and feel quite comfortable in calling back again later.

Participating in the process.  Try it. It works better than pissing and moaning over an overpriced coffee in a coffee shop.

What I believe - Part 2

What I believe - Part 2

A statement of facts on positions taken.

Through out years of debate comments have been made that misstate, misinterpret or misunderstand my views and positions. This is an attempt to set the record straight. Do not expect to find solutions to stated issues as this is not a solution statement, but a belief statement. You may find you disagree with my position on a particular item. That is fine. I believe you have the right to disagree with me.

I believe all religions are incorrect, that all have part of the whole but lack a full understanding. I have studied over a dozen faiths over 30+ years, and found them to often say the same thing, in slightly different ways, for slightly different reasons. I have seen errors and misunderstandings in translations, and personal and cultural bias listed as the "Word". I find them all lacking.

I believe that a deep understanding of faith, not religious dogma is the key to happiness, and I believe that happiness is here for me in this world, not waiting in another world or another life.

I believe that the reason for religion is to explain that which is unexplainable, and to give reason to insanity, and comfort us when our need is most dire.

I believe if it doesn't, that one should seek the answers, not accept blindly.

I believe that despite my belief that I might be wrong, that others have a right to believe what they will and disbelieve my beliefs.

I believe that everyone has the right to worship and believe as they will, or to do neither if they so choose.

Equality, Racism and Gender Bias
I do not accept the idea that "Everyone is Equal". I believe that while no one is my inferior and no one is my superior, that does not somehow make us "equals". Every one of us is unique, with our own strengths, our own weaknesses. I do not believe that somehow everyone's plusses and minuses = "0".

I believe that we should not be judged based on our skin color, or our social level, or our gender, but by our actions, by our deeds, by our contributions to society. I respect those who strive to improve their lot in life, those who work to rise above their level. The amount of that rise may be infinitesimal, the attempt equally so, but it was made.

I believe that judging by color or gender is wrong.

I have no respect for those who sit by idle and wait for life to give them a handout. I have no respect and I believe they are owed none for those who could do better yet who remain slack full, who live off the system without contributing to it, who cheat the system and deprive those who truly could use aid of it. I do not extend this contempt to those who are truly in need, who life has dealt a temporary bad hand. However I have more respect for those who take the bad hand and strive to rise above it, than I do for those who surrender to it.

I believe that this is both a matter of hard wiring and personal choice. You are attracted to who you are attracted to. I believe that you can control this, that you can choose to ignore this, but I also believe that it is wrong to ignore who you truly are. I do not believe that one should be punished, restricted or killed over this, unless ones actions are truly deviant in nature.

I believe that democracy is wrong, that any system that allows any majority to subjugate a minority is one that authorizes abuse. A majority of racist whites should not subdue a group of upward seeking blacks. A group of sexist males should not hold down mobile women. A majority faith should not execute a minority one for not believing as they do. These are examples of what I believe.

I believe that sometimes one must sacrifice ones future political career for the true greater good, and that means taking unpopular stands, protecting and defending unpopular views and groups, even when at times you yourself disagree with that group. I believe the KKK is wrong, however I believe they have the same right to their beliefs and I do to mine. I believe I am backed up by the US Constitution in this belief.

I believe that everyone should have access to food. I do not believe that access should be unlimited, without cost, or uncontrolled. One has a right to basic sustenance, but one does not necessarily have a right to steak or lobster. Food to me also includes clean safe water to drink, but not juice or booze.

I believe everyone deserves a warm, dry and safe place to stay and sleep. I don't believe this means I should pay your rent or mortgage. Barracks with a dry warm bunk, a community bathroom and toilet area meets the needs for this. A private apartment is more than basic. Shelter to me includes clean water and a shower stall to bath in, and a working toilet.

Health Care
Everyone should be able to receive care in emergencies. By law in the US you are granted that. But beyond emergency care, it is your responsibility to evaluate options and pursue them. You do not have a right to elective surgery. You do not have a right to cosmetic surgery. You do not have a right to free drugs, free condoms or free band aids. It is your responsibility to take care of yourself, and do the things needed to cover those non-emergency costs. Should you engage in unsafe activities such as smoking, I believe you should pay a premium both for the added costs of your own care, but that of those who must suffer from your habits.

I believe that it is the individuals responsibility, not the governments to obtain food, shelter and health care, through any legal means they can. That means applying for and complying with any government aid programs available, changing jobs, seeking higher education to improve job options, and just showing up and doing your work to keep the job you have. I do not believe it is wrong to impose standards on those we will aid, that they must meet. I also believe that those who willingly ignore those standards deserve but the bare minimum to survive. A fluffy pillow is not a right.

I believe that anyone willing to show up, and do the work, deserves a job, doing something. I do not believe that you are guaranteed you will like it, that it will be fun, that it will be fulfilling. But I believe that an honest days work deserves an honest and fair wage. I believe that no one owes you a living, that you must seek that out yourself.

Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness
You are guaranteed these, until you give up those rights. You give them up by your actions or inactions. You are not guaranteed happiness, only the chance to seek it on your own. No one owes you happiness. You choose to give up your Liberty when you violate others rights. You choose to give up your life as well in some cases. Note I see a difference between the nobel sacrifice a cop or a soldier makes and the despicable ones a criminal makes.

Pets and Children
If you choose to have either, you choose the responsibilities that go with having dependents. That means it is your responsibility to ensure they have food, medical care, shelter, clean water, and such basics. It is your responsibility to maintain a safe environment for them, to care for them. If you are unable to do so, then you should not have either and should take all safe and legal options necessary to ensure you do not reproduce or adopt as the case may be. A dog does not have a life trapped in a cage, a child does not have a life kept in a pen. I believe it is selfish to take on more than you can handle, especially if you expect the government to "help" you out. Children and pets are blessings, they shouldn't be income generators. Both however should be leashed when out, and muzzled when appropriate. Those who say "I didn't choose to have kids", I ask, did you choose to have sex? If so then you choose to accept the possible consequences of that action. Both pets and Children, especially children are a great responsibility.

Government Handouts
I believe that in the majority of cases these are wrong. Handouts only encourage dependence, remove initiative and reward sloth. They should be given out rarely, in limited amount and for limited time. Those accepting them should be tested for drugs, and forced to look for work and assist in workfare programs, not just handed a debit card. The small amount of people truly in need long term are being short changed by the abuser to the system, and those abusers should be caught, tried and punished.

I believe you can have everything you want in life.
But not if you sit on your ass and wait for it to be handed to you, and not if you take what you don't deserve.

This has been a statement of belief. An absence of citation, lack of solution or even a proposed solution does not negate nor validate any comment. If you wish to change my mind on these matters you must first open yours to change as well. I reserve the right to change my mind at a later date, and I warn that this list while a list is far from a complete one, that any omission should not indicate I do not have a belief in a particular matter, nor should it indicate I do.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

FBI Investigates Possible Threats Directed at House Democrats

FBI Investigates Possible Threats Directed at House Democrats

More than 10 lawmakers have complained they've received threats since the run-up to Sunday's House vote on a health insurance overhaul, House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer said Wednesday, and law enforcement officials are taking the allegations seriously.
Federal law enforcement officials are investigating at least two possible threats directed at members of Congress and their families that Democrats suggest are related to their vote for health care reform. Plus the office of Rep. Bart Stupak, D-Mich. -- who initially opposed the Senate's health bill over concerns about abortion funding but switched to support the plan following assurance from the White House -- has received several threatening messages, recordings of which have been obtained by Fox News.
First, let me be very specific in my words here. I do not approve of violence, vandalism or threats. Directed at congress, the President, or their families.

That said, I can understand the frustration many feel as of late, a frustration that is growing as the divide between government and the people widens.

Understand, if you threaten these people, you -will- be investigated. Understand that the Secret Service, the FBI and the Capital Police are not slouches when it comes to their jobs, and they will put maximum effort into these investigations.

With all that said however, I feel that I must say, if any lawmaker is currently a little afraid, then Good.
When the people fear their government, there is tyranny; when the government fears the people, there is liberty.
Thomas Jefferson
They should fear for their jobs, their elite status, their special privilege, and their perks. It's not the time for them to fear for their lives. As I've said before, bombard them with letters, emails, phone calls. Protest, peacefully, outside their offices. Show up at their rally's and peacefully protest. Support their opponents who hold your views as important, who will need your time, your money, your efforts and your votes. Government in the US changes at the voting booth, not the battle field.

Monday, March 22, 2010

House votes to pass Dem Health Bill.

The House voted to pass the Senate plan which now goes to Obama to sign into law.

In a separate vote the House voted to send a list of "fixes" to the Senate to vote on. No guarantee the Senate will do as they wish. If they do so, it is expected that Obama will sign that as well.

Numerous challenges are reportedly in the works from State governments.
Virginia has passed a law exempting it's citizens from compliance. Several House Dems have laughed at that idea.

It is expected that the battle will move to the US Supreme Court to decide the Constitutionality of forcing citizens to purchase insurance from 3rd parties as well as several other aspects of the bill.

The fall out from this will drag on and effect this years campaign season with the House and a 3rd of the Senate up for grabs. Republicans stand to gain the most as voter disappointment is currently directed at Democrats. 3rd parties stand a chance to make significant gains for the first time in decades, provided they don't self destruct in the process.

It is truly interesting times.
Copyright © 2009 Bob Hubbard. All rights reserved.