The People’s Lobby

by Richard H. Frank

Special interests, big business, unions and minority organizations have corrupted Congress and the legislative process over the past 40 years. Liberal, progressive movements have promoted legislation creating government administered programs presented to the public as necessary to “promote the general welfare” under the Constitution. Attempting to justify such legislation as necessary for the “general welfare” is debatable, although, the founders understanding of the term was more restrictive than that of our Congressional Representatives today. Unfortunately, our elected representatives pay more attention to lobbyists from special interest groups than to their constituents as evidenced from the town hall meetings conducted this past summer.

So what is the average citizen to do to inform our representatives as to how we expect to be represented? Writing letters, telephone calls and emails all seem to be met by Congress with the same arrogance and disrespect that was evident during the town hall meetings. Their responses take the form of talking points from their respective party viewpoint. Some responses indicate distain for the intelligence of the individual and blatantly say that they know what is best for the country than do their constituents. Many have invoked their “Constitutional duty” to provide for the people, when in reality, they have no idea of the restrictions placed upon them by the Constitution.

The only remedy to stop the corruption in government is through the creation of “The Peoples Lobby”. The seeds for the growth of such a movement have been sown with grass root organizations like the 912 groups, Freedom Works, Americans for Prosperity and Resistnet. The challenge is to ally these organizations and provide focus and funding in support of representative candidates dedicated to restoring the principles of government enumerated in the Constitution. After all, the Constitution is the document these congressional representatives are sworn to protect and defend.

I really have no quarrel with our two party system for selecting representation in our government.  I do, however, have a quarrel when the representative’s allegiance is to the party over the Constitution. The practice by party leadership to coerce members to vote the party line and not their conscience, as representing the people, must be stopped. The “Good Old Boy” system continues to corrupt the legislative process. If voter apathy or complacence continues to reinforce business as usual, we may need a constitutional amendment placing term limits on Congressional service to breach the cycle for Professional Politicians and thereby diminish influences for corruption.

“The Peoples Lobby” must continue to send the message loud and clear that the Constitution is the law of the land and that disregarding the limits the document places on Congress, and the President will result in voting them out of power.

The Constitution was written and adopted to restrict the power and growth of the Federal Government. Congress and the Executive branch of the government continually violate Article I and Article II of the Constitution as well as the Tenth Amendment which specifically states, “The powers not delegated to the United States (Federal Government) by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the People”.

The “Peoples Lobby” must insist that our elected representative’s refresh their memories and consult the Constitution with regard to the powers granted Congress before considering any and all legislation. Not only must we insist that Congress “read the bill”, but determine if they have the constitutional authority to act on the issue before writing any legislation. (reference HR 450 introduced January 2009) ‘Much of the legislation past over the last 40 years would not pass the constitutional litmus test.

I contend that “The Peoples Lobby’ is in fact represented by organizations like Tea Party Patriots, the 912 movement, Resistnet, Americans for Prosperity, Freedom Works and others which have risen in one voice to stem and reverse the governments movement toward socialism. Their voices will not be silenced and their pledge to be heard or we will change the government is no idle threat but a promise.

In this era of the internet, and the 24-hour news cycle, politicians can no longer hide their back room wheeling and dealing practices from public view. They promise transparency and we the people demand it. Congress and the President work for us and should they not hear our voices we will replace them. This is not a threat….but it IS a promise.

The Demoralization of American Society

by Jayne D. Frank

How did we get to the point that a large number of people under 55 and their children have found themselves mesmerized by a man who despises this Country, apologizes for it regularly overseas, sees nothing to be proud of in its citizenry, its free enterprise system and the prosperity that has made America one of the great superpowers?  Looking back over time, much of this started with the permissive, guilt-ridden malaise that followed the Vietnam War.    Some liberals were ashamed of the war and of America and blamed everything on our capitalistic, militaristic and conservative society.  To effect a change, many former radicals started organizing even back in the 60’s, and quietly influenced many changes which I remember:

The dumbing down of our schools in the 70s, where merit and hard work were not rewarded and those students pushed aside to bring forward those marginal students and reward them for “just trying”.  The idea was to “make them “feel” important and not left behind.  As a result, the whole curriculum of schools changed to one of pandering to the less academically gifted, not those students who wanted to learn, to excel and to further themselves as achievers in our society.  Only through good parenting back then did many of those top students go on to make their own way in the world as our engineers, our doctors, CEOs, scientists and entrepreneurs.

Oh yes, good parenting.  Those parents that gave their children strict guidelines as to how to conduct themselves with honor, respect and integrity in society, and were able to properly punish those actions not in line with those guidelines, would soon find themselves in the 70’s with radical ideas of how we should all just “get along”.  Unfortunately, getting along to many radicals meant easing up on your kids and taking away the parenting skills and teachings that made, and make, young people good citizens and properly functioning members of society.  You no longer could discipline your kids for fear of retribution and mocking.   Children no longer were taught manners, respect for their elders or for authority in schools and elsewhere, and generally were given free rein to disagree verbally and loudly with parents and teachers.  As a result, you have kids now running through doors almost knocking older people down, running around restaurants instead of sitting quietly until done.  Children interrupt parents constantly while on the phone, they don’t know how to answer the phone themselves, and they often mouth off to their parents and all figures of authority including those at school, policemen, etc.  When they start their careers, they expect the rewards to come quickly, with less hours and with less work than previous generations encountered.  They are often disillusioned with the amount of work required for a paycheck and often jump from job to job without any built in regard for loyalty or commitment.

When all this was happening at home, during the late 70’s and early 80’s, some bright genius thought it important to continue to dumb down our students by not teaching them how to spell.  Spelling phonetically became the new rage and as a result you have a huge number of young people in this country that can’t spell and can’t write a decent letter, article or even carry on an internet conversation or email.  You have all seen the sentences without periods, no capitalization, and no correct use of grammar that permeated the internet blogs.  How can these people even aspire to get a job with no ability to communicate?

Growing up in peacetime made people selfish.  They were let off easy by their parents, they glided into adolescence and young adulthood not knowing war, sacrifice, pride, self-esteem and having any real dreams for their future.  Used to getting everything, that “let someone else do it” attitude became the foundation for many of our social welfare programs.  Isn’t it easier just to go down to the local government office and get some money, than to go out and do whatever you have to do to support yourself.  Their parents and grandparents did it, but not them!  They were not raised that way.

Working its’ way through every niche of society, quietly and insidiously, was the notion that to pray in school was bad because it would offend someone, that to have the Ten Commandments or a nativity scene in a public square was discriminatory, and that to invoke the name of God was discouraged anywhere except church for the same reason.  That in itself should have set off the alarms of a crisis coming long ago.

Because of this malaise of the country talked about above, millions of illegal immigrants started pouring into America years ago, to take the jobs no one wanted anymore, and to take those “opportunities” which would make their life better than it was before. There is nothing inherently wrong with this.  What was and is wrong, is our continuing obsession with “just getting along” which is leading to a lower standard of living in this  Country, lawlessness among many immigrant communities, continuing influx into our country of illegals and an ever increasing debt for this Country that cannot be sustained by future generations.

So the social reprogrammers and elitists spread out into every section of society – our universities, our government and the ever growing number of government agencies,  healthcare and oh yes, they become second generation parents all too willing to pass on the liberalism that engulfed their lives.

What does all this have to do with Liberty?  In their 30-40 year quest to become more liberal, more free and more able to do what they want, the generation growing up in the 70s (and their anti-war parents), ended up with a Country that is more oppressive to individual liberties, with more programs and policies that penalize the free enterprise system and hinder personal career growth, and this will continue until we are living under a socialism or Marxist regime.  Utopia gone awry…..

Is it too late to get back to family values and respect and instill in our children that only God should be idolized and worshipped.   Can we bring back integrity and  honor to what Americans stand for?  Can we save our Republic?  2010 may be our last opportunity……

October 21, 2009

Obama’s “Fundamental Change” to the United States of America-Attack on the Constitution

Prior to his inauguration, then President Elect Obama stated, “We are five days away from fundamentally changing the United Statesof America”. Upon taking the oath of office he swore “to protect and defend the Constitution against all enemies foreign anddomestic…so help me God”. How does the President reconcile his earlier statement with his oath of office?

According to the American Heritage Dictionary the definition of fundamental is: Forming or serving as an essential component of a system or structure; Basic; of major significance; Central. Fundamental to our Republic is one document, the Constitution. Carefully defined within the Constitution itself is the mechanism for amending the document. That mechanism does not provide for any President to impose his or his party’s political ideology upon the country.

Obama’s policies and legislative agenda raise serious questions as to the constitutionality of the initiatives taken or introduced over the past 9 months. The Government takes over all of the banks, General Motors, Chrysler,  and proposals for health care and Cap and Trade are all suspect as to Constitutionality. Central to all of these initiatives is redistribution of wealth through government, state control of human behavior, and dependence on big government.

Additionally, sovereignty of the United States may be in jeopardy should congress approve the International Global Warming Treaty and President Obama signs the accord in Copenhagen in December of this year.

Unless we remain vigilant and resist the steady movement toward Big Government, Socialism and eventually Communism, the 1960’s prediction by Nikita Khrushchev that America would be destroyed from within may be a reality. Khrushchev believed that the slow assimilation of socialist / communist principles into America – not nuclear missiles – would be the demise of our Republic. Nationalization of industry, natural resources, the financial systems and our National Health system will ultimately create the Fundamental Change to the United States of America envisioned by Obama. That change will result in the destruction of the Constitution and the end of the Republic.

October 18, 2009

How to Destroy a Free Enterprise System

 

The engine that has driven the economic growth and prosperity realized in the United States since the Declaration of Independence is the Free Enterprise System with its roots firmly established in Capitalism. Over the past 40 years there has been a slow focused attack on the principles of the Free Enterprise System. The attack is characterized by excessive regulation, legislative barriers to entry, and punitive tax policies all of which have their genesis in Government.   

The Market place has been the force that inspired invention, investment, employment and prosperity. The price for goods and services is based on competition and new technological development. Today these key elements of the market have all been suppressed or eliminated by Government interference, beyond that envisioned in the Constitution, such that the Free Market has been dealt a crippling blow. Nowhere in the Constitution is the Government given the power to bail out banks, take over private industry and remove their board of directors and create legislation that ultimately forces private industry out of business in favor of Government mandated socialized programs.

Government has never created any job that produces a product to serve the Free Market.  Government’s purpose is to provide for the national defense and maintain those services paid for by the citizenry necessary to maintain order and safety of the populous. Somewhere along the way politicians have accepted the belief that they are better able to determine what the country needs than to let the Free Market forces work as they have over the past 230 years. As a result we have lost the manufacturing base in the country, experienced a continuous loss of jobs to foreign countries and created a negative business investment environment within the financial community.

The value of the dollar continues to be eroded in the world market and if not corrected will lead to hyper-inflation in the U.S. and put us on a path to becoming a second or third world economic force.

Should our Government continue to pursue policies of redistribution, which were so repulsive to the Founders, nationalization of natural resources and interference with the Free Enterprise System our way of life in this country will be altered forever. The Obama promise to “fundamentally change” this country is a step in the direction to destroy the greatest Free Enterprise System in the history of the world. 

October 12, 2009

The Great American Cyber Ripoff

 

Like many Americans past the age of 50 I possess a moderate understanding of the computer and its many convenient uses when conducting our everyday business. The ability to pay bills on line, electronic banking, purchases direct from manufacturers, automatic deposits and yes filing of Federal and State taxes are all wonderful and beyond our wildest imaginations when we were growing up. All of these services are marketed as reducing the overall cost of doing business and made available to immediately upon filling out simple application.  However, woe unto him that doesn’t pay strict attention to what may be occurring under the surface as a result of the presumed “automatic features of the programs” that administer the services you have selected. For instance, have you ever attempted to stop an automatic payment once it has been authorized? Reverse a duplicate automatic payment? Change bank accounts associated with an automatic payment? Each of these actions comes at the risk of incurring punitive fees that in many cases outweigh the benefit of making the change.

Typically, the response of the banks is that only the initiating entity may make a change or cancel the authorization. The debiting entity will assert that they cannot make any changes during the current “automatic” cycle and it can take up to six weeks before the change becomes effective. The bank on the other hand will place a stop on the payment for 6 months at a fee of about $30.00. In the interim if the charge continues to be processed by the issuing entity the bank will automatically assess charges to your account. In a recent situation I closed a business account and cancelled all automatic chargers and had them transferred to another bank prior to the closing. The billing entity continued to charge the closed account. The bank continues to assess overdraft fees to the closed account that for a$9.95 charge has reached over $300.00. Speaking to the bank is like hitting my head against the wall and they refuse to reverse the charges. WELL I ALSO REFUSE TO PAY!

Another fine feature the banks are experts at is waiting until just before a direct deposit is due to assess bank fees and other charges sufficient to place your account into an overdraft situation. In many cases they will hit you for numerous transaction overdraft charges the same day the deposit is made which is more than sufficient to cover all transactions occurring that day. We have documented recurring situations that demonstrate how the banks sapped hundreds of dollars out of our account using this “automatic accounting” gibberish to justify their actions. I know from having reviewed websites that complain about bank practices that this practice generates millions of dollars for the banks.

Banks also pride themselves on having made deposits immediately available to their customers that take advantage of their electronic services. We have a small business that deals with credit card purchases only and process all transactions through merchant machines. We make deposits in our own account as well as those of our clients. Banks and credit card companies charge fees ranging between 2.5 and 5% of each transaction which is reasonable if the funds are immediately available to the merchant, but the banks will hold the deposit for up to three days (using your money) before the deposit hits your account. That represents one huge amount of our money, considering all the large and small businesses that utilize these services, being used by the banking system. So much for truth in advertising.

 

I could go on for hours recounting the nightmare of trying to straighten out merchant problems that occur when banks merge but I’m not sure I will live that long. Needless to say we have spent countless months chasing deposits to our client’s accounts only to have the banks admit they didn’t know what happened to the money.

Our latest adventure with “Cyber Land” arrived today in the form of an early Easter Basket, a shutoff notice from our satellite provider for non payment of our bill which has been an “automatic electronic authorization” for at least the past 5 years. Moreover the amount of the bill was over $400.00 dollars. Normally the charge is between $90 and $100 dollars. Needless to say we spent in excess of one hour on our cell phone attempting to determine how charges appeared for premium services cancelled 8 month ago, a double charge for our basic service, and late charges accruing from non payment for services not received. After conducting a line by line review and adjustment to the account the customer Service agent indicated she had never seen anything so screwed up and had no idea how it could have happened. Thankfully, in the midst of this mess, a glimmer of good luck appeared. The satellite company apparently had cancelled the automatic debit to our account. I cannot imagine the resulting overdraft fees and intense argument with our bank that would have resulted from attempting to reverse the incorrect charges. 

So now I find myself somewhat paranoid and am checking electronic activity on my bank accounts on a daily basis. A new event has come to my attention. Two deposits made to our account one for seven cents and the second for eleven cents. Neither my wife nor I recognize the identification of the depositing entity. We immediately placed a call to our bank and confirm the deposits are a test for access to our account. After 45 minutes on the telephone and being transferred to four different individuals, we are given the identity of the depositing company with their telephone number and told we would have to contact them to stop access to our account. Keep in mind we never authorized access nor have we ever heard of this company. The contact number turns out to be a bank in Wisconsin and after another frustrating hour we find out the initiating entity is an on line bill paying company and told we must call them to stop access to the account. Again, we have never contacted this company much less given them our account information. The conversation with the bill pay company is ridiculous, as we are told we must contact our bank to cancel any activity on their part. Now I lose it! I inform the bill paying company idiot that if I see any further activity from them I will report them to the SEC and whatever authority I must to put them out of business for fraudulently accessing my bank account.  

My wife and I have decided that we will exit our business in the coming year, close all bank accounts save our personal account, cancel all automatic payments and revert to the old fashioned methods of doing business. Hopefully, this will add years to our lives and reduce the aggravation of having to deal with a bunch of mindless programmed robots, many of whom cannot speak English, currently administering customer service for the banks and other type financial and retail institutions.  Beware “The Great American Cyber Rip Off.

 Richard H. Frank

March, 2009

America’s Holocaust

Considering that I am a Constitutional Conservative, I find myself somewhat conflicted as I endeavor to express my thoughts while remaining true to my religious convictions and respecting the inalienable rights we possess under the Constitution.

Those of us old enough to remember the horror of WWII and the anti-Semitic policies of the Nazis toward the Jews in Germany and countries they invaded, acknowledge the human tragedy, suffering and extermination of 6 million Jews. Today the images of concentration camps being liberated at the wars end along with mass graves and cremation furnaces are grim reminders of man’s inhumanity against his fellow man.

Today, however, legal abortion is responsible for the elimination of 1.3 million fetuses annually in the United States of America. According to the National Right to Life, over 40 million abortions have been performed in the U.S. since 1973 with the Supreme Court ruling on Roe v. Wade. The debate as to weather life begins at conception or not is hardly relevant for this discussion. What is certain, however, is that life ends with abortion. The process itself denies the very guarantee set forth in the Declaration of Independence, the right to “Life”.  Proponents of abortion will argue that birth is necessary to secure the rights guaranteed in the Declaration. I guess abortion trumps all arguments regarding rights for the un- born. Opponents of abortion will argue that the debate is moot since taking of a life prior to or after birth is equally against the law and violates the very guarantee set forth in the Declaration. Further they would argue that if life doesn’t begin at conception why does abortion end life?

Today abortion has become a convenient way to avoid the moral responsibility associated with the act of procreation among human beings. Forty million lives, human beings with the potential for contributing to improving humanity, have been eliminated for a multitude of reasons. Justifications, which may or not be legitimate, have nonetheless, been used to satisfy the conscience of those electing the procedure.

So, I ask myself, how does the reasoning for abortion differ morally from the reasoning of the Nazis during WWII for the extermination of 6 million Jews? Is the difference that the 6 million were born, and that hatred for them by the Nazis resulted in their death, makes it any more repulsive than the elimination of 1.3 million fetuses each year?  A holocaust is defined as a massive slaughter. Under that definition abortion is a holocaust. Unfortunately, we attempt to justify the practice as being allowed under the Constitution as the right of the individual to control their own body with no regard to the unborn which, like it or not, represents a real life. The other difference is that we saw with our own eyes the slaughter by the Nazis of 6 million Jews, while abortion although equally massive, is kept from the public view.

The founders relied on natural law when establishing a basis for the Constitution. Natural law found its voice in the scriptures and our constitution takes its foundation directly from the scriptures. In the 1973 Roe v. Wade decision, the Supreme Court ruled that women, in consultation with a physician, have a constitutionally protected right to have an abortion in the early stages of pregnancy – that is, before viability – free from government interference. Herein lays my dilemma. If the scriptures are the basis for the constitution and support the sanctity of life, how can the taking of that life be considered constitutional, not withstanding viability? If not for the abortion the pregnancy would be viable, or am I wrong? I believe the Supreme Court got this one wrong and as a result unwittingly provided justification for the “American Holocaust”.

 

October 9, 2009

 

Government Run Amuck

 

Thomas Jefferson believed that individuals having demonstrated a propensity for virtue, trust, intellect, sound judgment, leadership and expertise in their chosen profession were as cream upon milk and would naturally ascend to be recognized by society as belonging to the “Natural Aristocracy” among men. He believed that the “Natural Aristocracy” was the most precious gift of nature for the instruction, the trust, and government of society. These characteristics were in direct contrast to an “Artificial  Aristocracy” which dominated the elite ruling class of Europe that obtained their high offices because of personal wealth, their station in life, or some special influence brought to bear in their behalf.

I suggest that a close look at those occupying seats in our House of Representatives and the Senate would call into serious doubt that they are of the “Natural Aristocracy”. Many of them have, however, demonstrated an air of superiority, arrogance and distain for the Electorate whom they purport to serve.

If we were to examine the profiles of members of the 111th Congress to assess whether they fit the definition for the “Natural Aristocracy” as envisioned by Jefferson I think we would be shocked.

Reportedly, 30 % or 123 members of the 111th Congress are millionaires with the top 50 member fortunes ranging from $5.3 to $168 million dollars. Not bad considering the average annual congressional salary is $174,000 dollars. Among the top 50 millionaire lawmakers, 28% of them received their net worth through marriage, 58% from business ownership, real estate investment or securities, and 14% from family trusts or inheritance. I find it difficult after seeing the sources of their wealth to associate them with Jefferson’s view of the “Natural Aristocracy”. The question is whether their service is motivated by principle or profit.

Examining the length of service for members of the House and Senate raises serious additional questions as to their competence and those influences associated with their tenure. Twenty-two percent of the Senate has served between 20 and 50 years. The average age in the Senate is 63.1 years. Likewise, 16 % of the House of Representatives have served between 20 and 54 years with the average age 57.2 years. On the surface it would appear that long tenure, and wisdom gained through life experience, would be a positive factor for having these individuals assume leadership positions on various legislative committees.

On the other hand these individuals are career politicians, many never having experienced work outside of Government, having little or no experience with the free enterprise system and managing sustained economic growth. Often these individuals are closely allied with special interest groups and minority lobbies.

The power held by this small group of legislators has unduly influenced and corrupted the legislative process in favor of minority causes directly in opposition to the majority of the Electorate. This fact is born out in the approval ratings of Congress being the lowest in recent history. They are assuredly part of an “Artificial Aristocracy”.

The Founders warned of the dangers associated with professional politicians. Undue influence from special interests; profiting from possessing information not readily available to the public; moving in elite circles that are not representative of the populous of the Nation. Often they assume an air of superiority and arrogance toward the Citizenry. Each and every danger can be seen within our legislative body and makes a strong case for term limits within the Federal Government.

I fear that what we have today is not the “Natural Aristocracy” envisioned by Jefferson, but something more sinister and divisive than any “Artificial Aristocracy”. Today the party, special interests, money and corruption overshadow the legitimate wants of “We the People”, the Electorate.

I fear for this Nation if those serving in Congress are the best this country has to offer.

Today the leadership in the House of Representatives and the Senate are attempting to force legislation to be approved by manipulating parliamentary rules in Congress in order to pass onerous legislation before it can be examined by the public, let alone the law makers expected to vote as our representatives.

These tactics must stop and Congress made to return to protocol that provides honest, informative, understandable, information to the public. Transparency must be a reality and not just a campaign slogan if the Republic is to be preserved

I urge every American citizen to examine the qualifications, motives and commitment to the Constitution of each candidate in the coming 2010 elections.  Nominate, support and vote for those candidates that best fit Jefferson’s vision for belonging to the “Natural Aristocracy”.

September 30, 2009