My name is Patrick M McCormick and I have created this blog as a platform for my political views as well as those of select contributors.

I believe that American Politicians have lost sight of their goal: To uphold the Constitution and protect the rights of the people of the United States. They argue and bicker on the floor of their respective houses, positioning themselves for the next election, while they accomplish very little business for the citizens of this country.

Meanwhile our economy is sliding downward. Millions of our precious jobs have have been exported overseas. Our social safety net and other public services are being cut. Our middle class is rapidly disappearing and the numbers of citizens existing below the poverty line is increasing dramatically.

I plan to examine the causes of these terrible changes to our American way of life. Your comments will help us all arrive at some important conclusions.

Friday, December 17, 2010

Got Nerve? Listen to Blue Collar Republican


Read the following article... Got Nerve" click on title here.

Blue Collar Republican

A Podcast

Written by Patrick M McCormick
Copyright © 2010
All Rights Reserved

Vocals by Emily and Patrick M McCormick 

“Nothing but laughs”, Zero Muscatel, South American Freed Press
“Laughing all the way”, Christopher Kringal, Arctic Travel Assn
“One laugh after another”, Solomon Bogart APII
“Continuous Laughter, what a gas”, Aurora Boree-Alice, New Light APD

(This Podcast represents the personal thoughts of the author)

I’m getting really sick of Republicans blaming the costs of our social safety nets as the reason our society is in financial trouble. Fiscal programs of the past Republican Administration, tax cuts and the two wars, coupled with the housing scandal and our loss of jobs are the reasons America is broke.

I was thinking about reasons why blue collar workers, the unemployed and the poor would want to support a political party demanding a reduction in Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, Food Stamps, Unemployment Insurance, Financial Aid for Students and many other social programs frequently used by the working class. I started laughing.

The more I thought about the psychology behind this strange phenomenon, the more I laughed. This podcast is the result. Listen if you dare.

Friday, December 10, 2010

The Tax Cut Scam

Commentary by
Patrick M McCormick


A lot of noise is being made about these tax cuts for the wealthy. Top Republicans have dumped all sorts of fearful prophecies upon US Voters. The sky will fall, the economy will crash, there will be more unemployment, housing sales will fall and god only knows what other terrible calamities will descend onto the backs of the American workers if we do not extend Bush era tax cuts for the wealthy.

But wait, I read where these cuts will cost more than the stimulus package... isn't that more government spending? Oh they are going to make cuts in social services to pay for these tax breaks for the excessively rich. It sounds like a bitter pill to swallow, cut medicare, social security, medicaid, food stamps, educational loans and anything else that tax dollars pay for. Then, when they get the extra tax cuts, the really wealthy corporate leaders will get to work and improve things for US. I can hardly wait for that.

The theory is that by cutting taxes on the rich, the economy will rev up and everything will magically improve. Are we that F-ing stupid? These cuts have been in place for more than ten years. How many new jobs did the Bush administration create... Don't forget, with their big fat tax breaks, those generous old corporate moguls used the extra income to send more of our manufacturing jobs to China and India.

During the years the wealthy were sucking up the benefit of ridiculously low taxes, our economy crashed, the housing market collapsed and twenty million Americans were put out of work or forced to work for less. Millions have lost their homes and all of the bad things the GOP is threatening US with now... have all ready happened. I think the Grand Old Party has been infiltrated by a bunch of stand-up comedians.

If they were weren't so cruel, I'd be laughing with them. Here's what we can expect from the GOP... Take the case of six-month-old Seth Petreikis, who suffers from complete DiGeorge syndrome, which keeps him from developing a thymus, an infection-fighting glandular organ. He needs a transplant that's been pioneered by a specialist at Duke University in North Carolina.  But the procedure costs $500,000, and the state of Indiana's Family Social Services Administration won't pay for it under the state's Medicaid, It claims that the treatment is "experimental" -- even though 58 of 60 children to receive it have survived, in order to save money... they condemn the poor child to death.

Sadly, this great Bastian of GOP Christian family values, the Indiana FSSA, also recommended  parents drop off their developmentally disabled children at homeless shelters. The parents had failed to receive schedule Medicare waivers to pay for care. It seems Gov. Mitch Daniels -- who is now weighing a possible 2012 GOP presidential run -- cut the agency's funding to deal with a budget shortfall. I do not believe that he cut the payroll of state employees; why should they suffer.

And then there are the wars... when GOP leaders mention cuts, they seem to forget how much money Iraq and Afghanistan are costing US taxpayers. Why do you suppose that is? Could it be that their buddies, those wealthy businessmen, are cashing in on the wars as well? If we stopped spending our money there, how much cash would we have for the average citizen's social safety net? I'm guessing trillions.

The whole thing does not really make any sense... unless you add one word....GREED.

But We, The People, voted for the GOP because they promised to cut spending and improve our economy. Their plan is to return to Bush era programs and, as if by magic, everything will be lollipops and roses once more. Personally, I find it all rather hard to believe. The Economy the Bush Administration inherited was virtually debt free and we are dealing with the mess that Bush era Republican financial strategies caused.

 The GOP wants to sweep it all under the rug in the oval office.  President Obama, weakened by the mid-term elections, is now willing to walk over the bumps. It's a scam.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

We Need to Save Ourselves Before We Try to Save the World

Commentary by
Patrick M McCormick
Dec 4, 2010

The national press is buzzing about “The report of the National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility”. Every politician and every News Commentator has an opinion. I agree that America needs to get its financial house in order. We need a sensible strategy for eliminating our enormous deficit. It is the most important problem our leaders have to address.

Many want to make huge cuts in medical benefits and social security. Many desire to reduce our social safety net; unemployment, food stamps, welfare, and educational assistance. Personally, I think this is the wrong road to travel. We elect our leaders so they may serve and protect the citizens of their individual districts. We elect them to protect and serve US, the citizens of the United States.

Somehow, our senators, congressional representatives and presidents have twisted this obligation to protect US into a global philosophy where the needs of other nations come before the needs of American Citizens. We give huge donations to hundreds of foreign countries while people in this country are out of work and hungry and in many cases, losing their homes.

In order to stimulate the economies of hundreds of foreign countries, Our leadership has allowed the economy of our country to take a back seat and suffer. This has allowed, in part, for an enormous financial trade imbalance.

We maintain standing armies in many foreign lands, when those countries could, and should, defend themselves. If we brought our troops home, they could protect our boarders and airports as part of their training.

We have allowed whole industries vital to our national defense to move overseas. Not only has this cost jobs for Americans, it has put US at risk.

We are waging two unjust wars in countries where we stand to gain nothing that will repay the tremendous waste of our resources. We need to end those wars now and use those resources to help rebuild America.

The first and foremost responsibility of our leaders is to make our own economy well and attend to the needs of our people. We cannot remain a world power if our own society crumbles.

How can it be better to wage war than to provide for the needs of our own citizens? People that desire to cut social services while we continue to wage war are morally corrupt. How can killing people be a better thing than curing them or feeding them while they are out of work?

It is time for all Americans to rise up, write their elected officials and demand that they solve our problems before they attempt to solve the problems of other nations. We no longer have the resources to “Save the World”; we need to use what we have left to “Save Ourselves”.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Fear and the Witchdoctors

This is the third of my podcasts. Click on the title to listen.

A tale of fear and how our leaders use it to manipulate the masses. This story visits three primitive witchdoctors to learn how they used fear to control their clans. Nothing has changed, today our leaders use the same trickery.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

The Dreamer

I have posted a new Podcast "The Dreamer"... A short bit of inspirational prose telling of mankind's history after abandoning our ancient arboreal home in the primeval forests and why we must abandon our dependency on the fossil fuels they still provide.  Click on the title... let me know what you think. I am carrying them on and they should start showing up on ITunes soon.

I would appreciate it if you would pass them along, retweet and all that good stuff.



Sunday, October 24, 2010

Another Blacked Out Sunday in a Football Town

Written by
Patrick McCormick DMV76C6BE4T4

Article first published as Another Blacked Out Sunday in a Football Town on Technorati.

Tampa, Florida, Sunday and the Bucs are playing at home. It’s a sad day, nobody will be watching the game from their couches or local bars this afternoon. Not enough tickets sold; the NFL has imposed another blackout.

NFL marketing experts say, “If we punish the fans and take away their football, they will be forced to purchase tickets and fill up the stadiums”. It is happening in a handful of cities around the country. It’s the fourth consecutive week here and those marketing guys have gotten it wrong again.

The Buccaneers are playing to a partially filled house, but it’s not for lack of fan support. Look around town; all you see is Buccaneer license plates, decals and flags flying from pickup trucks. Every kid has a jersey, their fathers wear Buccaneer hats, Tampa is a football town.

The Tampa Bay area has been hit hard by the current recession. Home sales are at an all time low. Home building has nearly stopped. The developers, contractors and tradesmen have been in and out of work for the better part of two years. Most of the businesses are making a lot less; many have closed. Local folks simply do not have much money to spend these days.

It’s so bad that buying a six pack and some chips for a family get together on game-day would be a strain on the grocery budget. Going down to the local bar to watch the game is an extra treat that many locals cannot afford. The cost of game-day tickets are out of the question for many of the unemployed residents here.

But the NFL, in their infinite wisdom, chooses to punish these old fans for running out of money. Do those marketing guys really believe that it is possible squeeze their unemployed fans hard enough to force them to buy tickets. I guess they showed us who's boss.

Well, as you might guess, I’m not watching football today. I think I will get a beer, go out, and scrape the Buccaneer decal off my car. Loyalty is a two way street.


Saturday, October 23, 2010

Can a Single Word Save the Democrats in 2010? Yes!

Written by 
Patrick M McCormick DMV76C6BE4T4
Article first published as Can a Single Word Save the Democrats in 2010? Yes! on Technorati.

I saw a video on Yahoo from “The Fix” that was titled “Democratic candidates are hoping a single word can save them from defeat. The word that was used is; "Extreme." In my opinion, that is not the correct word. The only word that will save them in 2010 is “Miracle”.

In 2012, the word that will save President Obama, the surviving Democrats and our country, is “Jobs”. The Democrats along, with the new Republicans, primary objective should be job creation. It is not only the Democrats that are in trouble, the entire Republic is in jeopardy.

President Obama needs to take the lead in order to get our economy moving again. More importantly, he needs to get it moving in the right direction. Because of the serious situation our citizens are in, he needs to start it moving now!

Millions of American jobs have moved overseas. Whole industries have virtually moved with them. This is part of the reason our economy is in its downward spiral. But it is not all bad news folks, it has left the doorway to change open. Great opportunities await US if we move through that doorway. We need to rebuild a large part of our manufacturing capacity. Do we rebuild it as before, or do we use new technologies?

President Obama needs to bring some entrepreneurial business advice into his cabinet. Not more Harvard lawyers or some MBA from Yale, he needs to find one or two men or women that have actual successful large-scale start-up experience with manufacturing operations.

This is also the time for the president to keep his commitment to green power. An honest gesture would be to grant the same incentives and tax breaks to power companies that build a thermal solar generator, or wind farm, that is currently enjoyed by a coal-fired plant. This will level the playing field for the incorporation, construction and implementation of renewable power generators. Granting tax advantages to private parties that fund these developments will speed up the process considerably.

Then the President can put the new business advisers to work developing enterprise zones in our little used port facilities in the Sun Belt or old factory buildings in the Rust Belt. Use as much green power as is possible. Manufacture steel, machinery and textiles in mostly robotic factories in order to keep the production costs down so we can begin to compete with our “Trading Partners”. In order to make as many goods as possible in the United States, we should give financial incentives to those companies that maintain their operations here.

A concentrated effort to create jobs for Americans will increase the GNP. It will generate new tax revenue so our government can pay its debts. Putting people to work will fund new home sales and pay for health care. Green power will lessen our dependency on fossil fuels, lowering our balance of trade and helping to reduce our “Carbon Footprint”.

My ideas are somewhat over simplified illustration of what could be. The financial crisis demands we do something inventive and competitive. It is time to “Think out of the box”. That is the reason we need some sophisticated business experience near the top. I hope the President can see this now. We are doomed if we continue on as before.

We are at a crisis point in our history, the question is not what word will save the Democratic Party, rather will America remain a great global power instead of slipping into obscurity? It is not something to talk about over coffee or use as a campaign slogan. The creation of millions of new production jobs is an absolute necessity for our nation’s survival. If President Obama moves his party in the right direction he will save the people of the United States. He will save the Democratic Party, and he will save our country.

Failure to respond aggressively to the current financial crisis will allow our nation to continue its downward spiral into oblivion. Someday in the not too distant future, some foreign traveler will come to our shores and ponder the crumbled ruins of the Statue of Liberty. Perhaps that traveler will recite the old poem by Percy Bysshe Shelley called, “Ozymandias”. His poem read:

“I met a traveler from an antique land
Who said: "Two vast and trunkless legs of stone
Stand in the desert. Near them on the sand,
Half sunk, a shattered visage lies, whose frown
And wrinkled lip and sneer of cold command
Tell that its sculptor well those passions read
Which yet survive, stamped on these lifeless things,
The hand that mocked them and the heart that fed.
And on the pedestal these words appear:
`My name is Ozymandias, King of Kings:
Look on my works, ye mighty, and despair!'
Nothing beside remains. Round the decay
Of that colossal wreck, boundless and bare,
The lone and level sands stretch far away.”

It would be sinful to let a proud free nation like America wither because of greed, corruption, ignorance and the arrogance of it’s own leadership. However, that is exactly where we are heading if we do not change our ways and begin cooperating with each other again. It is not a political game. It is a matter of survival and we are running out of time.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Dem Candidates See Light at the End of the Tunnel, oh, No..It's a Train!


Written by
Patrick McCormick

The Obama administration and the Democratic Party have actually passed considerable legislation. The GOP has refused to cooperate with them for most of the last two years earning the label, “The Party of No”. The Republicans did not contribute to any positive solution for our economic recovery, yet voters seem to be flocking towards them. What is driving voters to the GOP? Think about it.

It’s not a trick question. I can tell you; the answer is jobs. The unemployment situation has not improved. Record numbers of Americans are scratching out an existence below the poverty line. The people need jobs; millions of them.

Interest is lower than it has been in years and the banks are not lending. Easier credit might have stimulated job creation. The Democrats did nothing serious to prod the banks. Oh, they gave them some money, but bankers kept a tight hand on credit, unemployment kept rising. People became afraid to spend. When they don’t buy things, production stays low. Low production equals low employment. We need some positive action from our government to get things moving forward again.

Where are all of the incentives to create green energy? Where are the incentives to bring manufacturing jobs back to the United States? Where are the Fair Trade Initiatives?

The Obama Administration’s effort to lead US back to work has been dismal. Huge numbers of Americans are in need of jobs, they cry for help, they are losing their homes and their kids are hungry. They are the passengers on that train and they are going to roll over the Democratic Party in November.

Whoever wins seats in the upcoming Mid-Term Elections had better beware; “Put Americans back to work or you will be standing in the tunnel facing that same train in two years”.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Secretary of Housing Spanks Reckless Bankers Over Foreclosures

Written by
Patrick McCormick

Here’s a good one for you suspicious students of politics and the things that “go bump in the night” or in the dark back rooms of Washington.

Our Housing Secretary said on Sunday "It's shameful that financial institutions may have made the housing crisis worse by improperly processing foreclosures.

Shaun Donovan, our Secretary of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, was quoted on the “Huffington Post” website that a comprehensive review of the foreclosure crisis was under way and that the administration would respond with "The full force of law where problems are found."

There have been allegations that banks failed to review foreclosure documents properly or submitted false statements when they foreclosed on properties.

Somebody’s joking, or “Stroking” someone. Where was the "Full force of the law" for those that sold millions of mortgages, like hot dogs, to people without jobs or who were otherwise unqualified to purchase them? Where was the "Full force of the law" on companies that bundled the worthless mortgages together and sold them to an unsuspecting world. I'll tell you where I think it was; "The full force of the law" was in the back room taking campaign contributions from the bankers and brokers that created the problem in the first place.

What a coincidence that right now, just before the election, this administration is taking an interest in this mess; "Oh, the poor cheated voters". Could it be another “Dog and pony show” for US citizens; "I think so".

If you doubt my intuition, or interpretation of these facts, keep track of this matter until after the election. Observe “The full force of the law” in action.

Article first published as Secretary of Housing Spanks Reckless Bankers Over Foreclosures on Technorati

Friday, October 15, 2010

Is President Obama Set to Renege on Campaign Promise to Military Gays?

Commentary by
Patrick McCormick
Oct 15, 2010

General Gates wants more time to develop a “Strategy” that will not be "Disruptive" to his commanders. That smells of B.S; The military has had twenty-five years to think this out. In all those years, I have never heard a logical reason for prohibiting gays from military service. What is it the Military leaders are afraid of?
Congress voted on May 27th, this year to end the ban; nothing has happened, was that more of the same? What are our elected officials afraid of? Someone needs to answer.

President Obama has publicly stated his opposition to “Don’t ask, Don’t tell”, it was one of his campaign planks (click on President Obama's pic at right side of blog). Now he has the opportunity to end this wholesale discrimination by allowing the court injunction to stand unimpeded. For some reason, he appears to be wavering. 

To complicate matters, his party is involved in a contentious mid-term election, Democrats may lose control of both houses. The President has every reason to keep his campaign promises and rectify, by his own admission, an admittedly unjust situation. He would capture a large number of gay voters for his political party by doing so. On the surface, it is a “Slam dunk”, Democrats need votes desperately, gays get to serve in the military.

Logically, the only reason President Obama would attempt to thwart this injunction is simple; he is seriously against it. If he proceeds to fight the Court Order, it means he misled gay Americans in order to get their votes. It’s that simple.

Another fact to consider is the Constitutional powers granted the President. They say, “The President shall be Commander in Chief of the Army and Navy of the United States, and of the Militia of the several States, when called into the actual Service of the United States; he may require the Opinion, in writing, of the principal Officer in each of the executive Departments, upon any Subject relating to the Duties of their respective Offices, and he shall have Power to grant Reprieves and Pardons for Offenses against the United States, except in Cases of Impeachment.” I submit that as Commander in Chief, the President can order a change in military policy without the consent of Congress, the Courts or his Generals. Our President appears to be dodging the issue.

All citizens are entitled to equal protection under the law. I must add that allowing one group to perform an action while prohibiting another from performing that same action is selective enforcement and is not Equal Protection under the law. To single out that same group for prosecution or punishment is Selective Prosecution; also illegal. Embedded in our Constitution, these rights are part of the equality guaranteed by that great document to US.

The President, all federal office holders, appointed or elected, and the members of all branches of the military take an oath to uphold and defend the Constitution against all enemies, foreign and domestic. The denial of equality and other civil rights of any citizen, or selective group of citizens, are acts that openly defy our Constitution, not defend it. It cries out, “Hypocrisy”.

I am not writing this because I am gay; I am not. I am writing as a concerned citizen. If this, or any, American Administration assumes the authority to selectively deny equal rights to any group of citizens, it can deny Constitutional rights to US all whenever it chooses to do so. 

The United States was created to be a Government of the People, by the People and for the People. The People own the government. Elected Officials work for the People and it is their duty to serve US equally. Thomas Jefferson advised US that there would be times Freedom would have to be fought for again. This is one of those times. 

Someone needs to ask President Obama, “Are we all equal citizens of the United States of America, or are there limitations to equality. Are some of US actually more equal than others”?

Article first published as Is President Obama Set to Renege on Campaign Promise to Military Gays? on Technorati.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Gays in the Military, Federal Judge Orders, “Let Those Soldiers Serve”

Commentary by
Patrick McCormick
October 14, 2010

Has The Door Opened at Last? Maybe; the Obama Administration is threatening to appeal the recent injunction handed down by U.S. District Court Judge Virginia Philips on Tuesday. Her ruling bans enforcement of the "Don't ask, don't tell" policy throughout the military services. If this order stands it will effectively end the Military’s long-time ban on gays serving in our armed forces.

I say, “Its about time.” Our military had the same ruling about blacks filling combat roles; it was their long-time opinion they were cowardly; well guess what... the general's were wrong. Women have suffered the same discriminatory policies; and still do, but the walls are crumbling. It is time to allow gay service members the same rights as all other citizen soldiers. Why not, we are all entitled to equal protection under the law… aren’t we?

The legal aspects of this dilemma have been “Beaten like a drum.” Even now, General Gates is calling for Congress to settle the issue with legislation, not in the courts. Gay service members have been waiting for that to happen for twenty odd years. It could very well take another twenty to pass any meaningful laws. Maybe it is time for our elected officials and generals to simply let go of their old homophobic fears. As it stands, the argument is over. With an election fast approaching, It would make a lot of sense for Democrats to allow this to happen now.

History has proven many times over that homosexuals can serve as great soldiers. They are currently risking life and limb for our country. “Don’t ask, don’t tell” is a travesty of justice. It allows our military commanders to sweep their old fears under the rug... or into the closet. It is an unjust policy. Think of where the world would be today if the ancient Greeks had this rule. Their army would have barred, and publicly humiliated, a young man named Alexander the Great before he became king. History would have been denied its greatest general and this world would be a much different place.

Saturday, October 9, 2010

No More Food Stamps ! Let the Unemployed Eat Cake

Commentary by
Patrick McCormick

"More food stamps or more paychecks"; reportedly is the question former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich asks his fellow Republicans.

I recently saw several news articles. I read them, and then I hung my head in shame. Then I got angry. (ABC article), (Politico Article) and (Business week) The article in Politico was the worst.

It appears to me Newt Gingrich believes that unemployed poor people are the cause of America’s financial problems and the Democrats are forcing them to take food stamps because that is the way to enslave them. Newt evidently fails to comprehend the reality of being laid off, unable to feed your family or pay your mortgage. The Public Assistance Program feeds millions of hungry desperate people that would not eat otherwise. America gives aide all around the world, why is it wrong to help our own people during difficult economic times?  What is the Republican alternative, cut off the assistance program while they are trying to rebuild our economy? Maybe he, along with fellow Republicans, believe "Hunger and starvation are great motivators".

Newt also laments the nation’s abandonment of the “Trickle down theory”. He believes things were great back in the Reagan years. Were they really? I was a survivor of that financial adventure. I called it the “Tinkle on theory” It followed this logical path, “If you set a great feast for the wealthy, the workers will get fat on what falls from their table”. In all fairness, it was demeaning but it worked, sort of. When our big companies were running full bore all of their workers brought home a paycheck and paid huge federal income taxes. There was plenty of “Trickle” to go around.

Contemplating today’s reality, I have to ask, “Where is the wisdom in returning to that outdated policy”. Our manufacturing jobs have moved to China and Japan. Our customer service centers are located in India and Pakistan. Most of that great “Tinkle” will fall on foreign workers when we "Stimulate" U.S. Corporations to produce. Millions of Americans will still be out of work, and if Newt has his way, out of food as well. Let’s quote a famous French woman, Marie Antoinette, ”Let them eat cake”.

There is a bright side. After the GOP eliminates the illegal aliens, we could give all of their really low paying jobs to the poor. Without Public Assistance, anyone refusing to work would simply have to starve to death, women and children first.

Of course, I’m being satirical, but the resemblance to the old classic, “Les Miserables”, is striking. Actually, Newt would cast well as “Javet”. Persecuting the poor would be a great role for him to play. It sounds like he is reading for the part now.

Realistically, I think he, and any candidates that follow his advice, may well need new careers. According to the news website Politico, Gingrich sent a memo to GOP candidates Tuesday suggesting that they frame the election as a "vivid contrast" between the policies of food stamps vs. jobs. In the memo, he links to this recent news of the record 41.3 million Americans receiving federal food aid and the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program to our failing economy.

Does the GOP understand, thanks to Bush Administration programs, the poor are a rapidly growing part of the population that far outnumber Newt’s wealthy constituency? Americas’ new poor and downtrodden are still allowed the right to vote and this could cause a problem for all Republican candidates. Even the homeless will resist if you push them far enough. I can’t conceive of voting for anyone that has their foot on the back of my neck.

I must agree that job creation will lift our economy by the boot straps. It is the secret ingredient for our financial recovery. Perhaps, we could apply Newt’s theory slowly. Every time the private sector creates one new job, one person can get off food stamps. Wait a minute, isn’t that the way the Public Assistance program is supposed to work?

Newt Gingrich has taken a position that clearly illustrates the divide between Republicans and Democrats and the clash between workers and the poor against the wealthy. His latest statement shows a heartless ignorance of the plight of many Americans and a refusal to “Think out of the box” and seek new strategies. His solution is simply to orchestrate a return to the good old days. There is no longer a place for his antiquated ideas and callous philosophy in the US of A.

Republicans caused the problem. They dumped that problem in President Obama’s lap. Then, instead of working together to repair our damaged economy, they tried to thwart anything the Democrats attempted to do to fix the problems. Now they sit on their sanctimonious posteriors and criticize them for not saving US from failed Republican financial policies. Something is very wrong with that picture. It reeks of hypocrisy.

The Statue of Liberty stands, as an advertisement for the world's poor and downtrodden. It offers sanctuary and hope to millions of people that have none. Does that offer still stand? Is America still that land of opportunity? Do we still offer a helping hand to the troubled masses of the world; even our own? Or should we tear that old antique down and send its metal and concrete to a landfill?  

If millions of our citizens weren’t hungry and in need of federal assistance, Newt would be a funny man. I, for one, am not laughing.

Friday, October 8, 2010

When a Church Preaches Hatred

Commentary by
Patrick McCormick

The case between the Westboro Baptist Church and the Phelps family funeral-protest is another example of the “Culture of Hatred” that we are growing in America. I have to ask myself, “Where is all of this fear and anger taking US”?

Raised in a patriotic family, I served honorably in the US military. I am also a fervent supporter of our Constitution and its “Bill of Rights”. I was raised a Christian.

I grew up believing that I had the right to life liberty and the pursuit of happiness up to the point where my activities infringed upon the rights of another. My freedom could not, and should not, interfere with their equal rights.

The Westboro case is not about free speech. The church desires to impose their religious beliefs upon another group of citizens in moments of great personal grief. They have chosen to do this during the funerals of their fallen loved ones. It is an appalling and inconsiderate gesture of hostility directed at specific families. These families have done no harm to them and have the right to grieve in peace.

The Constitution gives the Westboro Church the right to protest the war, publish their view on homosexuality and pray for God to punish anyone they choose. It does not give them the right to terrorize innocent people for any reason.

Personally, I can see great hypocrisy in their actions; they claim to be Christians. Christ taught people to love their neighbors. He cautioned against throwing the first stone. He advised us to turn the other cheek and told us not to judge. Above all, he asked us to forgive. I have to ask, “Where are the teachings of Jesus Christ in their protests”? I do not see them.

In his “Sermon on the Mount”, Jesus instructed us about proper christian conduct and false prophets. I think the Westboro Pastor has exposed his true identity.

My feelings go out to the Phelps family and all of the other grieving families this church has persecuted.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

In the Beginning, Before TV

Commentary by
Patrick McCormick

Article first published as In the Beginning, Before TV on Technorati.

Recently I was watching the news on television. It was full of stories about this protest and that threat; political candidates and celebrities were involved in public events using fear to stir up hatred. It reminded me of Hitler’s Nazi Germany; I felt a sickening uneasiness spread through my body. I thought we had eliminated that kind of hatred here. Irrational fear was driving it and it was spreading through the media like wildfire.

I wanted to write something about how I felt, but the words were slow in coming. Then I had an Idea on how to make my point in story form. I'll tell it to you as it came to me.

Imagine the Eastern Mediterranean area, 12,000 years ago, when the ice was retreating northward. Three tribal Shaman are having a friendly conversation. They are resting comfortably by the side of a small rippling pond with clear blue water. A small fire burns. One of the men is fishing with a hand line; one eats an apple while the third fills a long pipe with some dried leaves.
Ad-a-ma, the man eating the apple, takes a bite. His bite exposes a worm in the remainder of the apple. He slowly chews the piece in his mouth while he contemplates the worm. Swallowing the mouthful he is chewing, Ad-a-ma shrugs his shoulders and bites into the apple again, taking the worm along with some of the apple.

Mo-se, the fisherman, laughs. “Are times that bad Ad-a-ma; you have to eat the worm?” 

Ad-a-ma looks at Mo-se, “All this warm weather brings fruit to the trees. Sweet roots grow everywhere and there is more game than I have ever seen. My clan is happy and healthy; they have no need of me.”

Pha-ro, the pipe smoker, leans forward and takes a burning stick from the fire. He lights his pipe and inhales deeply. He hands the pipe to Ad-a-ma, “Smoke some of this; it will improve your outlook”. 

Ad-a-ma takes the pipe and draws deeply, exhaling slowly. Then he takes another hit.

Mo-se sits up straight and complains, “Son of a Hyena, can’t you share it”.

Pha-ro laughs and raises a large leather bag for the other two men to see. “Stop bitching, I have enough to turn us all into walking dead men for days.”

Mo-se takes the pipe and hits on it, then he speaks, “I need a good spirit dream, maybe the forest gods will tell me what to do”.

Pha-ro leans back and smiles, “Worry not my brothers, I have a plan that will elevate our status once more”.

Ad-a-ma sits up now, attentive, “Do you want to start another war?”

“No, not a war”, says Pha-ro, “Our grandparents did that and it killed too many of our clansmen. When the fighting was over there were not enough grown men left to hunt for food”.

With a sly look, Mo-se turns to Pha-ro, “What then, dark one”.

With a gleam in his eye Pha-ro says, “I have discovered that if one boils Mundo flowers the liquid becomes a powerful intoxicant”. Pha-ro scratches his privates, “I will give you both some of the liquid. You can slip it into your clan's stew pots. Your people will become delirious and think they are ill.”

Ad-a-ma laughs, “You sly bastard, we will be able to cure them”.

Mo-se is excited, “Yes, I can dance around and shake a bloody eagle’s claw; make a real good show out of it”.

Pha-ro nods his head in agreement, “Yes my brothers, nothing like a dose of fear to get those ignorant savages back in line”.

The three Shaman continue smoking, and laughing, long into the night.

When I finished writing I realized that, for all of our technology, primitive man still walked within our society.

Saturday, October 2, 2010

A Campaign Promise; The Promise Made to be Broken

Article first published as A Campaign Promise; The Promise Made to be Broken on Technorati.

Commentary by
Patrick McCormick

When a candidate runs for political office, He or She makes many promises to US, the voters. Voters expect those promises will be taken seriously after the election. It is the reason a citizen chooses one candidate over another. It is the reason why citizens join political parties. Campaign promises drive the election process.

Once elected, the candidate takes this oath of office.

I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I take this obligation freely, without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; and that I will well and faithfully discharge the duties of the office on which I am about to enter: So help me God.

Once sworn in, the newly elected often move their campaign promises to the back burner; they have other fish to fry. The oath of office goes on another rear burner. There is a reason for this behavior, cash!

It doesn’t matter which party they represent, a political candidate must raise huge sums of money to run a media campaign. Stop and think about what it is they do to raise this money, because money is the name of the game.

Is it all just a game they play? Will they promise anything for our votes? Are campaign promises to the voters simply a stairway to that great big pie in the sky, a place where they can grab a piece of the federal budget for their own purposes? Do they dance around their oath of office with the same intent?

Voters become apathetic when they believe elected officials stop caring about them as soon as the votes are in. Once a citizen believes he, or she, has been duped, it is easy to simply stop voting at all. A good citizen cannot allow this to happen.

Your vote, combined with the votes of all other citizens, is the power that keeps the United States of America a Republic. There are forces all around US that would love to diminish the power of the American voters and take some of it for themselves. These same forces are the causes of voter apathy. It’s not complicated, like I stated earlier, it’s all about money.

It takes huge sums of money to elect someone to the House of Representatives, to the Senate or the Presidency. Competitiveness among candidates has created an ever-growing demand for media advertisement. The cost of running an effective campaign for Federal Office has jumped from a few million dollars to hundreds of millions. These sums are far above the personal resources available to most candidates. All candidates raise funds by soliciting campaign donations.

This is the reason a candidate seems to forget his, or her, campaign promises. They have made other promises to third party entities for the funds necessary to advertise their campaigns.

Our political office holders have also manipulated the laws controlling campaign financing over the years. At the present, a concerned voter can no longer determine where the funds originate. Shrouded in secrecy, it is now impossible to determine what financial obligations a candidate incurred while running for office. It is impossible to make a connection between an offices holders vote and donations made during the campaign.

In the private sector, this practice would constitute a conflict of interest and be illegal. Our elected officials will tell you that it is necessary for them to be able to campaign effectively. You can believe it if you wish, but I can think of several other ways for politicians to campaign on the internet that would not be anywhere near as expensive.  

Why is this practice so dangerous to the voters? Look at it this way; suppose a foreign government wants a new trade agreement. They want an agreement that favors them or gives them a financial advantage over US. Instead of requesting the new treaty through diplomatic channels, they donate cash to many political campaigns. They get their treaty.

Look at our current imbalance of trade.  Our Trade Agreements allow this kind of thing to happen. One of the duties of a Senator is to ratify treaties with foreign sovereigns. How many Senators have taken campaign donations from countries on this list? One would be too many; I suspect there are a lot more.

The problem reaches farther than Trade Agreements; large American corporations, foreign corporations, foreign governments and special interests donate billions of dollars to political campaigners. Once in office your candidate must spend a large portion of his, or her, time repaying these favors. They no longer have time to keep their campaign promises to US, the voters. They are working for the special interests not the citizens they represent. This is the reason for broken campaign promises and most voter apathy.
We can begin to change this during the upcoming midterm elections. I will not tell you how to vote. I will tell you how I am going to vote. I am not going to vote for any established party member, no Democrats, no Republicans and no Tea Party candidates. I am only going to vote for independent candidates that do not hold a current federal office. If I cannot find an independent, I will vote for the candidate who has raised the least amount of money, thereby incurring the fewest obligations to third parties. Henceforth, I will never vote for a candidate that does not make his, or her, campaign financing transparent.

After the election, I will write email and formal letters explaining why I am not voting for any incumbents. Then I will watch my candidates voting records. It is important to verify your candidates have kept their promises to you. If all we have is our votes, we must use them relentlessly to weed out those that do not keep their campaign promises.

We must do this until we get campaign funding rules that favor the voter’s not third party special interests and foreign countries. Transparent campaign financing will help insure that the Government of the People, by the People and for the People will not perish from this earth. It will help insure that your candidates represent you and not some giant corporation, foreign government or special interest group.

If we do this, your vote will become important to elected officials once more. If we do not, we stand a good chance of becoming “The United Corporations of America”, or something even worse.

Friday, October 1, 2010

Congress Feeds Voters Baloney while They Eat Steak

Commentary by
Patrick McCormick

Article first published as Congress Feeds Voters Baloney While They Eat Steak. on Technorati.

Our overworked Congress decided to end the session without accomplishing their stated agenda. No matter the economy is in a state of ruin, people are losing their homes and jobs are still leaving the country faster then we can create them. Let the debts pile up. Let’s forget about renewable energy for a little while longer.  Let’s forget about campaign financing. None of our legislators really want to talk about unemployment. They want to go home, run for election, take a little break and grill some steaks.  Working on controversial legislation would only confuse the little people, the voters; you know… US.

The good news is; they did pass a stopgap funding measure to insure government could keep on operating.  After all, they cannot buy their steaks without a paycheck. The government’s salaried employees need their steak too, so the funding measure just had to pass. Wonder of wonders, the GOP agreed.  Strange, our leaders can actually cooperate when both political parties benefit.

Isn’t it odd how they refuse to work together when the people or the country would benefit. I thought, and maybe I am a bit naive, that we elected them to work for US. Well, without a doubt, they are going to tell US all of the wonderful things they will do when they, or their friends, are elected.

That’s the baloney they plan to feed US.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

The Dreamer Among Us

Article first published as The Dreamer Among Us on Technorati.

By Patrick McCormick

The dreamer has walked along life’s path with us since we climbed down out of the trees and stepped out onto earth’s ancient plains. The dreamer gave us fire. We needed protection from the predators that stalked us. The dreamer gave us weapons made from stone. We became hunters and the dreamer gave us tools to cut and dress meat, turn hides into clothing and build shelter.

The dreamer allowed humanity to march into the modern age. Envisioning an easier life, the dreamer gave us industrialization, mechanization, medicine, agriculture and flight.

The dreamer created the means for man to change the environment of the planet. Selfish and lazy, without regard for our neighbors and the wild life that shares this planet with us, we have made changes to that environment that will threaten our very existence. We have to alter the direction our civilization is traveling; we have to change our ways. We do not have much time.

Our leaders seem to lack the imagination necessary to contemplate future problems and avoid them. There is danger everywhere we look; glaciers are melting, the sea is warming, the air polluted and toxins are in our food and water. We need to know which way to turn. We need a hero to save us; we need the Calvary to come riding over the hill once more.

We need that same dreamer that came down out of the trees with us so many years ago. Fortunately, the dreamer still walks among us. New dreams have been offered. Do we have the courage to follow those dreams?

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

America’s War on Drugs; Would Surrender Be So Bad?

Commentary by
Patrick McCormick

Article first published as America's €™ War on Drugs; Would Surrender Be So Bad? on Technorati.

I have always felt the laws against smoking pot and sampling other drugs were unusually harsh. Drug use is a crime without a victim. I never understood how our government could interfere with my right to “Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness”. When did our government acquire the right to tell me what I can eat, drink or smoke? After all, I am not the property of the government.

I can legally jump out of an airplane, bungee jump, fight in the ring, race cars, or even work in a coal mine. Participation in all of those activities can lead to injury, illness or death. What makes “Getting high” so terrible?

I worked in a minor fundraising role for NORML in the late 70’s. The organization was making excellent progress at that time. Therapeutic Use Laws passed in 13 states and many others decriminalized the use and possession of small quantities of marijuana. Jimmy Carter had promised to legalize pot during his campaign. When he won the election, we all thought the battle was over. We were naive and quite mistaken.

President Carter immediately forgot about his campaign promises to all of the potheads. Only he knows why he did not keep them. Soon after the election, the NORML organization stumbled and then fell on hard times. Laws became harsh again. Making war on drugs became politically correct. The United States has been fighting that war for more than thirty years.

What have we won in those three decades? I will answer that for you. We have not won a single thing, nada, zip or zilch. We are losing the war and we have been for a long time.

During the course of the war, street gangs have risen to power and killed thousands; Hundreds of thousands have been jailed for drug possession and trafficking. Giant international cartels have appeared. State and federal governments have built hundreds of new jails and billions of dollars in precious resources squandered to prosecute and house offenders. What have our tax dollars purchased in all of that time? Nothing, we threw the money into a hole.

In 2001, the country of Portugal decided to go a different direction. They totally decriminalized all drugs; they admitted defeat and surrendered.

So what happened in Portugal? Did the sky fall? Did people throw a drug-crazed party and riot in the streets? Was there an uncontrolled rise in pregnancy, HIV, and sexual assault? No, none of these things happened. In fact, the opposite happened.

I have copied part of an article from “The Daily Beast’s Cheat Sheet” for you.
“Portugal's Drug Legalization Works
In 2001, Portugal legalized all criminal penalties for personal possession of drugs—including cocaine, heroin, and meth—and replaced drug sentences with offers of therapy. If that sounds a bit bleeding heart, well, it worked: In the five years following decriminalization, drug use among teenagers has dropped, as have HIV infections caused by dirty needles…”

Why can’t we try that here? What is standing in the way?

I can see several major obstacles; thousands of police, lawyers and Judges earn their incomes waging war on drugs and those convicted of drug crimes fill over 30% of jail cells in the United States. Housing drug related felons has become a big business. All of the individuals involved in waging the drug war have influence; donate to political campaigns and vote. In actuality, our government did not pour billions of dollars into a hole; our leaders paid it to hundreds of thousands of government employees.

Let’s assume we go ahead and legalize drugs. What could we gain? First, we would cut off the major source of revenue for street gangs and international drug cartels. Second, the ability of a drug user to obtain his, or her, substance legally and inexpensively would dramatically reduce the instances of muggings and other street crimes. We could also expect a decrease in sexually transmitted disease. Taxed, the various substances would provide revenue for our government instead of a multibillion-dollar annual expense.

Most substance abusers are not criminals. They may have psychological issues that ease them into drug dependency. They may be out of work and bored or they may simply be recreational users looking for some fun on the weekend. Most drug related crime, at least crimes by addicted users, are committed while attempting to generate the funds needed for illegal overpriced drugs. Legally produced drugs would be pure, quality control would be constant and the price would be much lower. The criminal element increases the costs dramatically. Removing those criminals would dramatically change the way people use drugs and clean up the streets of our country at the same time.

It is an old argument, but in these difficult financial times, perhaps it’s worth looking at once more. The course we have been taking has been expensive, wasteful and fruitless. It’s time for a change in strategy; why not join the Portuguese and surrender along with them?