Tuesday, December 11, 2012

ATTENTION: EMI and fans of the RIAA

False accusations, petition for reform
Sign This. YOUR freedom's at stake
as well!
...This one's for you.

Over three years ago, I created a fan video for one of my favorite songs to come out of the 1980's contemporary Christian music scene: Bad News For Modern Man by Steve Camp.  I attributed the song to Steve, and took absolutely no credit for anything but making the video itself.  I also edited the description to show that I had searched for a place to buy the album, Shake Me To Wake Me, and could only find it for resale.

Last year, I received a complaint against me for the use of copyrighted material.  Oddly enough, according to current US Law, the video I made meets the guidelines for fair use.  The subsequent note I made in the video description is as follows:
NOTE: EMI, the production company that Steve Camp originally put this song out under, has apparently filed a complaint against this video. (Was it better than yours. EMI?) With this in mind, please feel free to visit this link for proof that this album is no longer available to purchase in any way but resale: http://www.amazon.com/Shake-Me-Wake-Steve-Camp/dp/B000AA5Z82/ref=sr_1_1?s=music&ie=UTF8&qid=1355208009 )
Universal Music corruption
Jawohl Mein Fuhrer!
Obviously frustrated at such a low act by a company which is making no profit from the originating album to begin with, I did make a snide remark.  To this day, I do not regret making that comment, because that is what this looks like: A temper tantrum thrown by an angry and spoiled child.

About one month ago, I received notice that my video was STILL being contested.  It is my belief that once a company or artist stops making money on a product, it's about time to quit pretending that they do: In this case, the one acting hurt is the company, EMI.
I posted this second edit in the description of the video:
SECOND EDIT: EMI has continued to press this claim.  I will be contacting Steve Camp directly.  To the fool label, I say this: If you're selling this album, I'll happily supply the space to advertise it.  If you're not, then this claim is frivolous; your grievance is fraudulent; and looking over the entirety of YouTube, you've got no case.  Prove your damage, EMI, or back down entirely.
Again, I stand beside what I've said here.  I've already shown that EMI is making no money on this album, nor has this song been featured on anything since the early 90's.  I stand by my caricature of them as a "fool label," since they've obviously not studied anything, including their own holdings.  If they had done so, they would have found that they've made no money on this album for over fifteen years; that they've not had this song featured on anything for over ten years; and that they've much bigger problems to worry about, if stock prices mean anything.
However, I may be blaming EMI here, when I should be blaming some agent of theirs.  Regardless, I find their lack of investigation disturbing: There are over 30,000 videos using songs by Steve Camp on YouTube alone.  If they sent notices to all 30k, I'll be deeply impressed.  Moreover, had there been any investigation, it would have been discovered that Shake Me To Wake Me is now a substantial collector's item, going for more than $80 in new condition- The least expensive copy is $35, plus shipping and handling.  That is impressive for an album originally costing $12.

When I logged onto my YouTube account just now, I discovered yet another statement- The claim against me for this fan-made music video is still being pressed.  I am now at the point where I invite everyone to view what I have been going through; and if you share my anger over this 'fool's game' as it were, I invite you to inform the parties involved of your opinions.
This is what I have written to YouTube regarding this latest claim notice:
Quite Simply, all proper attribution has been made. The heading declares the song and who it is by, and the description informs everyone that this is a fan-made video and that I own nothing. Moreover, I have supplied a link to Amazon showing that said album is no longer for sale from the original distributor; instead, all copies found are resale items, with new copies starting at over $80, making this album "Shake Me To Wake Me" a collector's item.  This proves that EMI has suffered no financial loss at the hands of this single fan-made music video, as they have had no financial gain on this album for some time. 
Furthermore, I have made no financial gains off of this video, nor have I made this album available to any viewer through link or direct. This video was made purely out of respect for Steve Camp, the message of the song, and its relevance to today.
Beyond this, a brief search of YouTube shows about 30,900 video results for Steve Camp, and the majority of these are fan-made videos.  If EMI desires so greatly to press this claim, I require official, public notification of their request to remove said material.  At that point, this video will be made unavailable to all.
Be it known: Until such time as EMI, or its official agents, contacts me directly; places an official, PUBLIC request to remove their content online; or shows proof that they have suffered financial loss as a DIRECT RESULT of this fan-made video, this work will remain public and active.
Finally, be it known that this unwarranted dispute IS being made public, and all involved WILL be named. 
So, to fans of the video; to fans of personal freedom; to fans of fair use rights- Please use the following contact information to show that you are joining me in declaring this sort of witch hunt to be illegal, unfounded, unwarranted, and wrong in every sense of the word.

First, I ask that you sign this petition, then share it with everyone you can, via any media you can:
Force companies filing copyright complaints to prove their grievance.

Secondly, I ask that you share this blog entry.  Feel free to leave a comment, so your friends can see your thoughts echoed here and be more apt to share it themselves.  Please help me make this viral.

Third, I'm requesting those who are willing to email YouTube here with the subject ATTN: Salar Kamangar and inform YouTube of your disgust regarding their current copyright claim practices.

Fourth, please go to the video itself, linked to within this entry as well as below, and leave a comment; favorite it; add it to playlists; or any combination of these.  Let YouTube see the support in their numbers.

Finally, if you have any connections to anyone mentioned herein, feel free to share this with them directly.  Please also feel free to contact me directly using my contact information found in this blog's "About Me" box.  Also, if you are a member of the press, or know members of the press, feel free to reprint this entry and/or contact me.  When quoting this entry, I ask only that you provide a link to the entry itself.

Thank you for your time and partnership.
Fair Use, Warner Bros.
Do you need it defined?

Here is the video in question.  If it has disappeared, the corrupt corporate clowns have won.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Ladies and Gentlemen, The Morons of the United States...

Most of you know that I will, from time to time, write something extremely political in nature; indeed, very often that piece will be a rather polarizing or caustic statement or observation of the political climate as stands in this modern age.  Most of you also know that I am not a Republican or a Democrat, and that I find equal blame with both parties for the problems we now face in this country.  Some of you may have heard me state from time to time that many of the people in this nation are completely nuts for voting or supporting some of the things they do.  As you may imagine, that tends to bring the wrath down upon me.

Today, though, I am about to write what may be my most extreme, most political, most unbelievably inflammatory piece ever.  Yes, even more inflammatory than the "How Dare..." series.  You've been warned.

Romney's official Twitter posted this on Tuesday:
’s defense cuts are making our future less certain and less secure. We can’t afford four more years.
Now, I happen to agree with this statement, and I'll tell you why: It Is Accurate.

Those who have followed me and/or read my writing in the past will know that while I am not a fan of President Barack Obama, I do give credit where it is due.  He brought up a few excellent points during his last presidential debate; he's recognized certain failures within his administration; and he's been quite the charmer when it comes to foreign rulers, if we're to believe the larger portion of the Press.  However, the President's major abilities are far simpler and easier to enumerate and quantify: He's got charisma, and he can deflect.

When everything else is said and done, these two are all that Obama has going for him.  He does not have a fiscal record better than Romney; he does not have a domestic record that is better than his predecessor; and he does not have a foreign policy worth trumpeting.  This is to say nothing regarding the outright lies he has told from day one of his bid for Illinois state office to the present time.

So, when I see comments like this:
Douglas Brinkley recounts an episode at the close of his interview with Obama, in which the president called Romney a "bullshitter" ...Beautiful  Thank You Mr. President...
Or like this:
Like me I think most of the rest of the world is horrified at the idea of Romney becoming president... 
 Or this:
Yesterday I cast my vote for President Obama and Joe Biden to serve a second term as our leadership. 

I could not be more proud. Casting my vote for a true leader, a true Commander in Chief, and great American President. 
 To be perfectly honest, I think these people ought to be examined for terminal deficiency or charged with felonious stupidity.  Why, you ask?  Because they have not come even close to doing a brief history check.  If they had, they would have seen the reality of our current situation, and it would have shown in their statements.  They would have come forward with an opinion based upon an informed position; not a regurgitation of Rachel Maddow's nightly talking points.

Speaking of "responsible" journalism, stories such as FiveThirtyEight's don't help matters.  Note:
Mitt Romney clearly gained ground in the polls in the week or two after the Denver debate. However, the FiveThirtyEight forecast finds a slightly favorable trend for President Obama over the past 10 days. ...The question, rather, is whether Mr. Romney is gaining ground relative to the post-Denver polls — or if, as Wednesday’s polls seemed to imply, the race instead may have ticked back slightly toward Mr. Obama.
This, of course, leads to such informed opinions as:
I'd made up my mind some time during the last ice age and nothing President Obama has done has dissuaded me from that choice. Nothing Mitt Romney could have done, I think, to have convinced me to vote for him.
 The accenting in the above quote is my own,  and strictly to prove a point: Where is the intelligence of the voting public?  Why are we not seeing individuals who can speak of current events with an authority that comes only from being knowledgeable and informed?  In short:

Why Are The Majority Of Voters In The US Apparently All Morons?!

Apparently, a history lesson is in order, and the pathetic part of all of this is that this is recent history.  Let us pull back the curtains to 2008, around the time of the last election.

On November 7, 2008, the Economic Policy Institute (EPI) reported 10.1 million people unemployed.  The unemployment average stood at 6.5% overall; this included 11.1% unemployment for blacks, 8.8% unemployment for hispanics, and 5.9% unemployment for whites among other factors.  Underemployment was at a fourteen year high: 11.8%.  If this is beginning to ring bells, it's only because Barack Obama, during his campaign for 2008, made this one of the central factors of his run.  See the video for yourself:

Another thing that then-Senator Barack Obama spoke of on the trail was the national debt ($10,597,885,059,458.78 in December 2008and the funding of the war on terror.  He spoke of how out of control the debt was, and how he was going to balance the budget and cut the debt.  He called for programs to be cut, delayed, and to cost less overall.  He stated that adding $4 trillion dollars "irresponsible" and "unpatriotic."  Bear in mind that this was the same year it was announced that the National Debt Clock in Times Square would necessarily be replaced because it had simply run out of space to hold the numbers.  (And for the record, I agreed with him then, and still agree with that point today.)  Now, once again, you don't have to take my word for it:

He also spoke about energy costs: the cost of gas on drivers, fuel for home heating, and electricity.  The cost of gas had hit an all time high that year of just over $4.11 per gallon.  In a trend begun prior to the election, it had a fallen below $1.87 by November 26, CNN reported.  Then-Senator Obama stated that he did not take money from big oil companies; that he wanted to institute a windfall profits penalty; create 5 million new jobs; and invest $150 billion dollars in alternative energy.  As always, you can get it from the horse's mouth, as the saying goes:

So- There's our history lesson.  Everyone caught up and wondering what this has to do with anything?  Good.  Let's turn our attention to the here and now...

President Obama has received nearly $5k from gas and oil companies; over $450k from electric companies; and well over $8 million from various lawyers and law firms, many of which represent these same companies.    Incidentally, at the time the advertisement shown was airing, Obama had taken almost $1 million dollars from gas and oil companies.  According to Consumer Energy Report, Obama has presided over the highest gas prices in history, which includes the rationing periods during the Great Depression and during the sixties and seventies even after adjusting for inflation. Today, October 25, 2012, AAA's DailyFuelGauge reports gas prices averaging $3.599 a gallon for regular unleaded.  According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA), people are paying $4.11 for diesel as of 10/22.

As for the national debt, President Obama has added over six trillion dollars to the sum he once called "out of control" since taking office on January 20, 2009.  The current debt, as of today, is $16,194,791,826,674.89, compared with the figure it was when he swore his oath at noon on the 20th of January: $10,626,877,048,913.08.  (Remember, the debt continues to be paid down, little by little, every year; thus those who would point to my statement and the seemingly dissimilar amounts here listed and boo are only showing their ignorance.)
Moreover, in 2010 alone, the much maligned Guantanamo Bay facility, or Gitmo as everyone now knows it, was granted $139 million dollars; and despite Obama's pledges on the campaign trail, and contrary to what is reported in the mainstream press, he has made no effort to actually close it.  Granted, I stand against the idea of its closing in the first place, so in this regard I applaud him.  The point is, however, that he is continuing the same thing for which he railed against Bush.
Further, as pertains to the national debt, our operations in Iraq cost between $5.12 to $2.8 billion every two weeks from the end of fiscal 2008 to now.  The cost of the Libyan invasion?  Nearly $2 billion dollars.  The cost of being in Afghanistan rose to $6.7 billion just between 2009 and 2010.  This is money spent on operations Obama promised to end within a specific time period while in office.  He's now facing his reelection bid with people still in Afghanistan, still in Iraq, and now with loss of life coming from other parts of the world.
Finally, there is the funding for programs such as the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, which has had a total of $840 trillion dollars allocated to it as of this last budget passing.  Or the much touted and debated American Care Act, now known as "Obamacare," which the Congressional Budget Office estimated in March to increase state spending for Medicaid and CHIP benefits alone by about $73 billion dollars.  On this subject, the National Review Online had this to say:
Even Jonathan Gruber of MIT, one of the architects of both Obamacare and Romneycare, now admits that many individuals will end up paying more for insurance than they would have without the reform — even after taking into account government subsidies — and that those increases will be substantial. According to Gruber, “after the application of tax subsidies, 59 percent of the individual market will experience an average premium increase of 31 percent.”
Now, as far as unemployment goes, President Obama has been saying this campaign that he is presiding over an administration that has spent less, (which we've shown to be a lie already), and that has created more jobs which has decreased unemployment.  However, the President has apparently not read the most recent reports: As of August, 40% of those unemployed had been so for more than six months. Unemployment in August was 14.1 percent for African American workers, 10.2 percent for Hispanic workers, and 7.2 percent for white workers.  Unemployment numbers sat at 8.1% in August, and did manage to drop to 7.8% by October- But still higher than his predecessor.

Now, all of this information begs the question: Exactly what has President Obama done that is different from the things which everyone so hated under Bush?  The answer, I'm afraid, is not a great deal.  As shown, he has not done right by the economy, and you will never get me to believe that the economy takes a back seat to, say gay marriage, animal rights or even climate change in 2012.  The economy is THE most important issue in the United States today, and it would appear that the majority of the United States agree with me on this.

So, if you are a US citizen that is a part of the majority concerned about the economy over everything else; if you are not a moronic voter; if you've been paying attention to everything taking place with this administration, from the non-transparency to the economic time-bombs disguised as legislation; then you now know the one thing you CANNOT do when you go to the polls:

You cannot vote for Barack Obama.
We cannot afford the next four years.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Things I've Learned From Blogging

I've been blogging in one form or another since 2001- Perhaps earlier, now that I think about it.  In the time I've spent doing this, I've discovered some interesting facts about myself, blogging in general, and life on the whole.  Considering how long it's been since I last posted consistently, I thought it may be a good idea to write about the lessons I've learned.

Some of these are very recent lessons, and others are not.  I hope that you get a good laugh out of these, and possibly learn something as well.

-Do Not Announce A Series Unless It Is Already Written.

I would like to say that I am always so passionate about what I'm writting that I do not need to write a great deal in advance, but frankly, that is simply not the case.  I've started several series in my time blogging, and in most cases, I've fizzled out.  Much like a fire log, I start out slow, burn brightly, and then for some inexplicable reason...  I go out befire the fire actually starts.  Anyone who has ever used generic fire logs knows exactly what I'm talking about!
SO- This more recent lesson is quite simple: Write the series ahead of time, and then announce it.

-Do Not Write An Opinion Piece Without Supporting Facts.

It is absolutely without question that if one has any sort of readership, opinions will be questioned.  Unless one is an expert on a subject, one MUST ALWAYS have supporting facts at the ready.  Cookie Monster may write a blog on cookies, and no one will question his expertise in the matter- But if he writes about garbage, you know Oscar will come along shortly to question him.
Object Lesson?  I'm not Cookie Monster, so I'd better have my facts straight.  Even if there's a difference of opinion, the facts can concievably support mine.

-Do Not Write An Opinion Piece Without All The Facts.

Never have I been so humiliated than when posting a retraction.  Writing about a news article, current event or similar issue is fine, but make sure that all of the facts have been examined- Or at least all those which are available at the time.  It is not always possible to get every detail, and in these cases, it is best to say something like "at this time," as opposed to "I was wrong on this."
Moral of the story?  Contrary to popular belief, words can hurt you, and most often, those words are in the form of retraction!

-Write About What One Enjoys.

I have attempted to write on several sorts of subjects, and without fail, any piece I start that does not have my full interest falls to the wayside.  This is often because I start thinking "I can do this," and wind up falling asleep- The subject was simply too boring to keep me focused.
So with that said...  Write about what interests you most, and success will most often be yours.

-Make Use Of Search Words And Phrases.

I once wrote a blog about what happens when I deal with insomnia.  In it, I detailed the trouble of getting my brain to quite firing on all cylinders; and how these times of sleeplessness often led to seemingly random thought patterns which wound up being rather profound.  I titled the blog "Random Thought Generator."  That one blog has more views alone than the majority of my other articles combined.  Why?  Because for some reason, when people are searching for "name generator," or something similar, my entry comes up.
Lesson: Use search phrases- but use them wisely.  Stringing them together can get you blacklisted faster than Lady Gaga's meat dress at a vegan convention.

-Write About What You Believe.

I once knew a gentleman who used to state repeatedly that if something was worth believing, it was worth discussing.  This is very true of blogging.  The articles that are written for a blog are, in effect, your half of a conversation.  Written properly, the article will garner attention and comments; written poorly, (say, written about something one does not believe in), will cause the entry to simply sit there, taking up space on the internet.
What to learn from this: Belief changes everything.  Write about what one believes, and watch it become pure gold.  Write about what one does not believe, and watch it wax archaic faster than the term "world wide web."  (Which, ironically, is all that your piece will gather.)

-Be Careful What And Who You Write About.

I once wrote a piece on the political leanings and donations of one Mark Z. while I was on Facebook.  Within a month of that piece, my account was shut down.  I probably spent far too much time on it anyway, so they actually did me a favor.  With that said, however, it really made me realize just how far some folks will go to keep their activities secret and hidden.  Needless to say, I've begun to pay as much attention to the individual's past practices when dealing with opposition as I do the story itself.
The lesson here is simple: Write about a person no one knows, or write a favorable piece on a public figure, and no one will care.  Write a story on what you witnessed the Mob doing last Friday, and be prepared for cement shoes.

I hope that you've enjoyed this little piece as much as I did in writing it.  If you actually made it this far, even more kudos to you!

If you're still reading, allow me to make a suggestion: Go write a blog of your own.  You never know just what may come out of you!

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Constitutionalist Commentary part 5

This is part five of a series I will be doing on why I identify myself as a Constitutionalist.  Though I started this series a while back, I find that I am still receiving as much, if not more, questions on why I chose the Constitution Party over the Republicans, and I cannot explain the answer in any more brief a way than this: The Constitution Party represents my views more closely than any other party.
However, for those who are looking for more information, read on. This fifth part will cover the section titled “Congressional Reform.” You can find it HERE. I recommend reading it, because I will refer to it regularly throughout this post.

As many of you know, I have been one who follows the happenings in DC with great interest.  I have blogged on much of it; ranted on about some of it; and generally made my opinions known.  Perhaps this section will explain better why I have responded to certain things in the way I have.

"With the advent of the 17th amendment, a vital check on Congress was removed. Since then, Congress has usurped power relatively unchecked, where today, very few members of Congress make it through a single session, without violating their oath of office to the Constitution."  So this section begins, and so too will I.
In case you are unfamiliar with the 17th Amendment, allow me to recap.  This is the amendment which made the election of the U.S. Senator a popular vote, rather than one by state legislators.  It is also the one that dictated that the filling of a vacated Senate seat would fall to the Governor of that state, and that his appointee would remain until elections.  You can read the text of the amendment HERE.

In defense of those who enacted the 17th, let me just say they were attempting to go about doing a good thing. They wanted to prevent Senate seats from being bought and sold, and prevent deadlocks with state legislators bickering over who ought to go.  I applaud them for their foresight.  Unfortunately, the cure was more damaging than the sickness.
You see, in more than a century of elections, there had only been ten allegations of corrupted elections.  Ten- you can do the math yourself to find out the percentage!  Aside from that, while deadlocks did occur, they were rare... And mainly happened within newly admitted states.  According to Todd Zywicki, Utah deadlocked only twice, (1897, 1899)- And never once deadlocked again.  Nevertheless, as times changed, it was apparently believed that deadlocks and corruption would quickly overtake the current method of doing things; So, William Jennings Bryan, among others, saw to the inception and passing of the seventeenth amendment.

The problem is that now there is far more corruption than there ever was at that time.  To make matters worse, while then there was only a few allegations, today we have legal cases closed on the matter of political corruption; newspapers are making a living off of the stories of political corruption; and all over, people are paying dearly for the mistakes made by legislators on May 31, 1913.  There are very few things today which cannot be traced back to the passing of the 17th.
Before popular election, US Senators were elected by the majority of state legislators.  This prevented such things as special interest groups, lobbyists, etc.,  from being the only ones the Senators looked to for direction.  Make no mistake- When it is not an election year in this day and age, post-17th, very few Senators are truly worried about their constituents.  Pre-17th, however, Senators were forced to listen to the desires of the people they represented- Or they'd not be reelected.

We seek to abolish Congressional pensions.
 Yes, I understand that it is a sacrifice to serve in congressional or senatorial capacity.  Yes, I understand that it would be a far greater sacrifice should pensions be done away with.  And yes- I am completely all right with that, even if I were serving.
The concept of service is exactly that: SERVICE.  One is not to go to D.C., become a member of the millionaires club, and return seeking reelection; yet that is exactly what is happening time and time again.  Pensions are only a portion of the issue.  The fact that Congress has a separate healthcare network, for instance, among many other things, points to exactly how cut off the U.S. Congress is from the citizenry of the nation.  Remove one of the ways dishonest people can get rich off of their dishonesty, and perhaps we will see stock in truth rise.

Congress must once again be accountable to the people and obedient to the Constitution, repealing all laws that delegate legislative powers to regulatory agencies, bureaucracies, private organizations, the Federal Reserve Board, international agencies, the President, and the judiciary.
 I understand the reasons certain boards and agencies were formed: The EPA and NEA, for instance.  However, the reasons do not make the choice made the right one.  Reasons are merely thoughts upon a subject which one is to take into consideration; instead, our legislators have parlayed their "reasons" into justifications and excuses.  One of the most ironic statements I've ever heard came from a Massachusetts Senator who shall remain nameless.  To paraphrase, he stated that there was simply "too much for the Federal Government to handle alone."
Folks, that is exactly the point- There is too much, because the Fed was never supposed to have this much power.

We support legislation to prohibit the attachment of unrelated riders to bills. Any amendments must fit within the scope and object of the original bill.
I cannot tell you how much I agree with this portion.  Riders have become the bane of our national existence,  and one of the "greatest achievements" in Obama's presidency exemplifies this to the nth degree: the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, otherwise known as "Obamacare."  The final version of this bill was nearly 1,000 pages long- At one time, it was over 1,500 pages.  Of the final page count, a solid third was rider material.
Another example was the Omnibus Appropriations Act 2009, with over $8 million dollars of earmarks, and signed into law by our President without batting an eye.
Or perhaps you remember the Illicit Drug Anti-Proliferation Act?  If you don't, you shouldn't feel bad.  Then Senator Joseph Biden attached it as a rider to the bill that created the AMBER alert system- It was drawing too much heat on its own.
Then, there is the REAL ID Act.  That was attached to a military budget and necessarily signed into law by President Bush- I say "necessarily," because Congress had taken longer than it should have to approve the budget.  Vetoing the budget would have lost some rather necessary funds.
Heard of the Lautenberg Amendment?  It was a rider that banned the sales of guns to anyone with even a single misdemeanor domestic violence conviction.  I'm all for promoting safety, but this rider, which is now law, provides for an invasion of privacy which can be compared only to the Patriot Act.

These examples, among many, serve as more than enough evidence for the secession of unrelated riders, if not the restriction of all forms.

We support legislation to require that the Congressional Record contain an accurate record of proceedings. 
Let's be honest: How transparent is a government that doesn't keep complete records, let alone make them public?!  Right now, Congress is not required to keep records of everything said during sessions.  Why?  With certain considerations, everything ought to be public record, and accurate to the letter.

Stay tuned for the next installment of Constitutionalist Commentary: Part 6, Conscription.  Oh, yeah- You can only imagine!

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Constitutionalist Commentary part 4

This is part four of a series I will be doing on why I identify myself as a Constitutionalist.  Though I started this series a while back, I find that I am still receiving as much, if not more, questions on why I chose the Constitution Party over the Republicans, and I cannot explain the answer in any more brief a way than this: The Constitution Party represents my views more closely than any other party.
However, for those who are looking for more information, read on. This fourth part will cover the section titled “Character and Moral Conduct.” You can find it HERE. I recommend reading it, because I will refer to it regularly throughout this post.

This remains one of the most important aspects of the Constitutionalist Party, in my honest opinion.

When our country first began, our first President, George Washington, in his first inaugural address from New York on April 30, 1789, stated thusly:

...we ought to be no less persuaded that the propitious smiles of Heaven can never be expected on a nation that disregards the eternal rules of order and right which Heaven itself has ordained...
Our second president, John Adams, had this to say:
With full confidence in the continuance of that candor and generous indulgence from my fellow-citizens at large which I have heretofore experienced, and with a firm reliance on the protection of Almighty God, I shall forthwith commence the duties of the high trust to which you have called me.
Franklin Pierce, President number fourteen, stated that we should:
...let not the foundation of our hope rest upon man's wisdom. It will not be sufficient that sectional prejudices find no place in the public deliberations. It will not be sufficient that the rash counsels of human passion are rejected. It must be felt that there is no national security but in the nation's humble, acknowledged dependence upon God and His overruling providence. 
James Buchanan, the fifteenth President of the United States, took office with this plea:
In entering upon this great office, I must humbly invoke the God of our fathers for wisdom and firmness to execute its high and responsible duties in such a manner as to restore harmony and ancient friendship among the people of the several States, and to preserve our free institutions throughout many generations. 
On March fourth, 1857, Abraham Lincoln, facing threats of succession and rumors of war, stated this in his first inaugural address:

Intelligence, patriotism, Christianity, and a firm reliance on Him who has never yet forsaken this favored land are still competent to adjust in the best way all our present difficulty.
Later, Ulysses S Grant closed his inaugural address with these words:
In conclusion I ask patient forbearance one toward another throughout the land, and a determined effort on the part of every citizen to do his share toward cementing a happy union; and I ask the prayers of the nation to Almighty God in behalf of this consummation. 

Let us now move into the 1900's, and the indomitable Calvin Coolidge, who said this of the United States in 1925:
America seeks no earthly empire built on blood and force. No ambition, no temptation, lures her to thought of foreign dominions. The legions which she sends forth are armed, not with the sword, but with the cross. The higher state to which she seeks the allegiance of all mankind is not of human, but of divine origin. She cherishes no purpose save to merit the favor of Almighty God. 
In 1945, Harry S Truman made several observations from his place on the inaugural stage.  These are among them:
The American people stand firm in the faith which has inspired this Nation from the beginning. We believe that all men have a right to equal justice under law and equal opportunity to share in the common good. We believe that all men have the right to freedom of thought and expression. We believe that all men are created equal because they are created in the image of God.
...People everywhere are coming to realize that what is involved is material well-being, human dignity, and the right to believe in and worship God.

Why am I quoting from inaugural addresses?  Why am I pointing solely at the references to God, as opposed to something else?  Because somewhere along the line, the pleas to God as the Higher Authority became nothing more than lip service; token phrases using a token word to elicit a reaction from the people of the United States.  For instance:

And so, my fellow Americans, at the edge of the 21st century, let us begin with energy and hope, with faith and discipline, and let us work until our work is done. The scripture says, "And let us not be weary in well-doing, for in due season, we shall reap, if we faint not."
  From this joyful mountaintop of celebration, we hear a call to service in the valley. We have heard the trumpets. We have changed the guard. And now, each in our way, and with God's help, we must answer the call.
  Thank you and God bless you all.
That was former president William Jefferson Clinton, who spoke of discipline, and showed none; who spoke of sacrifice, but made none where it counted; and who quoted Scripture, yet violated it in practice.  Lip service, ladies and gentlemen.  Nothing more.  In his second address, he said:
May God strengthen our hands for the good work ahead—and always, always bless our America.
Notice that there is no supplication.  There is no recognition of Higher Authority.  There is only a demand, thinly veiled as a spoken hope.  Lip service once more paid to the God of Creation, who saw fit to bring this nation into being against great odds and in the face of even greater numbers.

George W Bush, in his first address, did not mention God except to say that abuse was not His work.  He did not forget, however, to say:
God bless you all, and God bless America.
 In his second address, when at war, he quoted Abraham Lincoln; told us that God chooses as He wills; and finished off with:
May God bless you, and may He watch over the United States of America.
Lip service.  Though I tremble to cast doubt upon the relationship any of these men truly had/have with the Almighty, I have no compunction whatsoever in casting doubt upon their genuine belief in the words they spoke.  Their lives and time in office countermanded the words they spoke.  Clinton, with his dereliction of duty, both as a husband, a father and a President; and Bush, as a guardian of the Constitution, and the preservation of civil liberties.

And now we arrive to the present administration.  President Barack Obama, who stated:
We remain a young nation, but in the words of Scripture, the time has come to set aside childish things. The time has come to reaffirm our enduring spirit; to choose our better history; to carry forward that precious gift, that noble idea, passed on from generation to generation: the God-given promise that all are equal, all are free, and all deserve a chance to pursue their full measure of happiness.
A man who also said:
 This is the source of our confidence—the knowledge that God calls on us to shape an uncertain destiny.
 Let it be said by our children’s children that when we were tested we refused to let this journey end, that we did not turn back nor did we falter; and with eyes fixed on the horizon and God’s grace upon us, we carried forth that great gift of freedom and delivered it safely to future generations.
This man, our current President, had not the wherewithal to quote Scripture properly; nor had he the thought to check his attribution to the Declaration of Independence.  Whose actions since these words have done precious little to ensure the freedom of all, and who had the audacity to become the first President in history to twist the words of Scripture to his suiting.
God calls no man to shape their destiny- It is written "One can cast lots into one’s lap, but the decision comes from Adonai"; and "Before I formed you in the womb, I knew you; before you were born, I separated you for myself. I have appointed you to be a prophet to the nations"; and again, "I announced things that happened at the beginning, long ago; they issued from my mouth, I proclaimed them. Then suddenly I acted, and they occurred." God shapes the destiny of mankind- and it is man who disobeys, and falls into hardship; or obeys, and walks in blessings.

This brings me to the phrase I have come to revile:
God bless you. And God bless the United States of America.
In order for this country to be blessed of God; in order to see the financial prosperity we once saw; the relative peace we once knew; and the moral and ethical standard we once had; we must obey His plans, purposes and designs.  In plain English, we must obey God, period.

 As is written in this section of the Constitution Party Platform, good character is something shown and evident in private life as well as public.  It is not something paid lip service to and then discarded, only to be picked back up for election year.  It is an absolute must for any person wishing office, because the character of a person affects their public persona, their actions, their decision making- Literally everything that is required to be in public office.

If any of you are uncomfortable with my use of Scripture, then let me attempt to put the importance of good character in secular terms.  Aristotle stated:

What the statesman is most anxious to produce is a certain moral character in his fellow citizens, namely a disposition to virtue and the performance of virtuous actions.
Ralph Waldo Emerson asserted that:
No change of circumstances can repair a defect of character. 
John Wooden remarked:
Winning takes talent, to repeat takes character. 
Napoleon Hill made the observation that:

Persistence is to the character of man as carbon is to steel.

Finally, Stephan Ambrose writes:

Washington's character was rock solid. He came to stand for the new nation and its republican virtues, which was why he became our first President by unanimous choice.

Character, and the moral conduct that shapes it, matters.  It only takes a brief glimpse back, even over the last four years, to see where character that is poor, lacking, deficient or corrupted will lead this country.  For this reason, I support this clause wholeheartedly, and affirm again- Character matters.

The next section will be on Congressional Reform, and as you may imagine, there is a great deal to say about such a topic.  I hope to see you all there.


Monday, March 19, 2012

Cold Spot Tyranny

If you have ever had the distinct pleasure of living anywhere it gets below thirty degrees at any time during the year, you may have noticed that certain areas of your home will feel far colder.  Areas such as the bathroom, where, upon entering to answer the call of nature, you immediately develop a case of goosebumps which can cause Google Earth to readjust their topography maps.  The reason for this sudden array of mountain sized goose flesh is the somewhat frightening John's Law of Climate: The temperature will always feel below zero when one needs to use the toilet.  Incidentally, anything below thirty happens to be below zero according to the Celsius scale, which seems to make sense the moment your unprotected nether regions hit that toilet seat.

It might interest you to know that John Crapper, the man most often credited with the development of the modern toilet, was also a philosopher, mathematician and a developer of hypothetical theorems- This lead to many of his colleagues telling him to send his worthless ideas down the outhouse, which was what sent John on his way to creating his famous invention.  Thus, people now, instead of saying "throw those ideas of yours in the outhouse!" now say "flush 'em down the crapper."

I believe we all owe a debt of gratitude to Mr. John Crapper, for revolutionizing our turn-of-phrase.

Cold Spots, however, is our topic today, because unless you keep your home thermostat at just slightly below Satan's own, you too have dealt with these horrible events.  Moreover, it is my belief that the cold of the seat is directly proportionate to the necessity of use.  In other words, if you don't have to go too terribly, the toilet seat won't be nearly as cold as if, say, you were streaking in for a photo finish.  At those times, it will always feel as if you've just sat on a block of ice, and you will be hard pressed not to rise up slightly just to be certain you've not gotten stuck to the seat.

Cold Spots do not just occur at the time when you are the most desperate to use the toilet, though.  Cold Spots will hit when you least expect it: For instance, when you take a shower.  Unless you're one of those clinically insane individuals who actually enjoys taking your showers in water so cold it makes polar bears shiver, you will recognize this scenario.
You've made it past the cold toilet seat.  You've gotten used to the coolness of the bathroom air.  Now, you've turned on the water and are enjoying the steam rise up and curl around you.  You step into the shower, and, with the exception of getting Head & Shoulders in your eyes twice, you thoroughly enjoy your shower.  Now comes the moment when you step forth from shower, clean and dripping wet, only to find that, suddenly, you too have been transported to Narnia during the reign of the White Witch.  You know this is the case because you're suddenly sniffling as if you've got a cold; icicles are now dangling from the leg which you so brazenly stretched out from the shower; and there's Mr. Tumnus coming towards you with his wrapped packages.
Fortunately, I know, most of us have learned how to deal with this sort of situation.  We immediately withdraw back to the shower, and crank on the water, once more, to high.  As we shiver, the water eventually brings us back to our own world, and we vow to never again set foot outside the warmth of our shower.

Finally, there is the nightly shock.  You know this story intimately, I'm sure, unless you happen to own an electric blanket.  Those are nice.  Why they ever began cautioning against them, just because they were "prone to electrical fires which could potentially turn you into a charcoal briquette," I'll never know.  But I digress.
It is bedtime, (which for me could be anywhere from eleven pm to seven am), and you stagger into your room with weights on your eyes.  You clumsily change into your bed clothes, and all at once realize you need to run to the bathroom.  After dealing with the Cold Seat, you return to your bedroom, attempting to use the friction of your hand on your pajamas to warm your derriere.  Finally, you are ready to turn in.  You roll back the covers, and think you hear something about going to the Dagoba System.  Ignoring this omen, you slide in- And are suddenly on the planet Hoth, freezing, while Han Solo complains about how bad something smells.
Yes, once more, the Cold Spot has struck, this time in the safety and sanctity of your own bed!

Cold Spots have no mercy, they have no decency, and they love to chill us.  Yet, it all seems to go back to the Cold Seat.  Perhaps, if we rectified these, we may end the tyranny of Cold Spots forever.  Thus, I'll close by saying that I intend to run for President of the United States, and my platform will be to demand that all toilet seats throughout the country be heated.  My motto will be "together, we can take a hot-"  Wait.  That won't work.

Ah, well.  Back to the old drawing board.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

How many more commandments do we need?

Check out this picture:

Anyone see any problem with it?

Most will not- After all, most see this and automatically think "well, yeah- if we held these true, we'd keep all the other ones."

The problem is, there are those who would look at this, spout this, and do it all in such a manner as to say that THIS represents the bulk of what is commanded.

Since that's the case, let's go ahead and see what Christ had to say about it.

Jesus replied: '"Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: "Love your neighbor as yourself." All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.'"

So there you have it, straight from the Lord's mouth- Everything hinges on these two, yes; but we need the others.  


Because as humans, we twist things.  How many times has an ex told you they loved you?  How many times do you see the word "love" portrayed in films and television as something akin to foreplay?  

Ah...  I can see the light dawning in the minds of some folks who'd never thought about it before.