Seeing my last posting was back in November and discussing the North American event of Thanksgiving and we are now in the awakenings of spring and celebration of rebirth it seems to be a proper time to chime in and make another post… or two.

While at times hibernation seems like a good idea, my self imposed time away from active participation in cyberspace has been an accumulation of family, work, and lack of time as I can only multi task so much before everything begins to suffer and family comes first, work second as both are required for life.  The past few months have netted numerous things, nearly 6 months worth of which so much has slipped away.

I also found the forced migration of my blog from the defunct MSN Spaces to WordPress an less than positive experience.  The community feeling, my regular readers, and frequent commenters are now all but gone and its akin to moving to a new town and the promises of keeping in touch with past acquaintances only to lose touch soon after.

While I have been eager to restart posting and get back into a regular pattern of voicing my observations, opinions, and experiences the villain of time and energy have been constant road blocks to that desire.  Has anything changed?  Not really.  My time as become more compressed as my youngest is walking, talking (a little), and always checking in on me to make sure I am around.  My work responsibilities have increased as I have decided to begin working on global projects again as well as keeping my supervising regional IT support role netting in about 60 hour work weeks. 

The events of this early spring have presented too much for me to stay on the side lines.  From Middle East turmoil and calls for freedom from repression, continued polarization and crystallization of my home country’s clashing political ideology, to the recent natural disaster in Japan and subsequent nuclear situation unfolding in this era of light speed, knee-jerk, instant communications.  As the unconfirmed and suspect old Chinese curse, only found in literature from 1936 on, goes: may you live in interesting times.

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Transporting Thanksgiving

This will mark the 4th Thanksgiving I have spent in China, the 3rd in Shanghai.  Last year we decided to try one of the local expat hangouts and it was a good experience, better than the first one we tried (a double date just before our first was born).  While last year my wife was quite pregnant the atmosphere and food of the Texas style BBQ house was very good and much better suited, they offer 2 dinners, an early one and later one for the more raucous crowd.

There are some obstacles to this purely North American holiday in China, remember the Canadians also have Thanksgiving but earlier in the year.  The most notably is we have to take a days vacation, the oldest is in school, and there are just a few places offering dinners.  As homes in China rarely have an oven, usually only 2 stove top burners, trying to cook a turkey in a toaster oven just isn’t what I am thinking would work, and the deep fat fry method here would be hazardous as the oils are suspect.  Still I am trying to maintain some resemblance of the tradition for my daughters.

Our meal last year was at a table shared with a Belgian family who had lived in the US for a few years and liked the idea.  Talking with them I realized I don’t want my children to see it in the same light, a night in which the whole family goes out, or stays in, for a special dinner.  While that is part of the holiday the real meaning behind it needs to be kept alive and passed on.  The winters the first Europeans spent in American Northeast were particularly rough and with a bad summer and ruined planting season of transported European crops could spell sure starvation.  The bounty of uniquely American foods, game, and help from the other half of my ancestors is part of the background.  The other is to sit back and reflect on the true and most important blessings we have been granted and most often take for granted.

My oldest is not bringing back hand drawn turkeys, construction paper cornucopias, or being in a play about the first Thanksgiving, so I have to go the extra mile there.  Realistically however this is a blessing as I can ensure I am the one passing down the tradition and not some agenda driving, misguided, well intentioned but disillusioned idealist who is hijacking a tradition to push some agenda or pass along sour grapes.  This year I have so many things to be thankful for, a healthy family, good careers, able to spend quality time with the family, and having seen all I have and lived to talk about it AND still have all my fingers and toes.  It is time we, the families of America, stand up and retake our traditions.  We should stop relying on the schools and governments to teach our kids most of what they learn.  The job of the schools is to teach the “3 Rs” and prepare  kids for college by giving them the scholastic basics and tools to learn more, or function in society and contribute through standard blue color employment.  Everything else is the product of lazy parenting and over reaching government programs we have allowed to creep in like kudzu.  

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Family Time

In either troubled times, like the financial meltdown of a couple of years ago, or prosperous times, the giddy excesses that lead to the troubled times, it is easy to lose sight of really matters in life.  The stresses of supporting a career, family, and yourself can at times become overwhelming.  This past weekend the wife and I decided to take some much needed family time.  I know, we just got back from a 2 week public holiday so how much family time do we need?  Well, vacation time and quality time are completely different.

Vacations tend to be more work then work.  There are reservations, deadlines, schedules restrictions, all of it can become quite tiring which take the whole fun and point out of being on a vacation in the first place.  For those reasons we visited a long overdo ritual we used to observe weekly, a lazy Sunday brunch followed up by a couple of hours in a park.  Its always the simple and most humble of things that make life worthwhile and place things into perspective.

A familiar theme for many American workers is to dedicate a lot of time and energy to your profession, its a reflection of yourself in our minds.  Unfortunately we tend to forget those who are supposed to matter more, our families.  It should not get to the point of scheduling family time, setting aside time for spouse and kids, or becoming strangers to those we live with.  Life seems to move much faster today, its best not to get caught up in the rat race and keep priorities where they truly belong, at home.

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Hello world!

Welcome to WordPress.com. This is your first post. Edit or delete it and start blogging!  So this is what WordPress is all about?  I am here after Windows Live pulled the plug on its Blogging service – Spaces, and am happy that the service is accessible and viewable from where I am currently located, behind the Great Firewall of a country with another famous wall.

I had stopped blogging primarily due to the birth of my second daughter, expanded role at work, ongoing saga to get my PMP certification, and ever growing commitments to balancing time between family, work, hobbies (photography, writing, classic gaming, travel) and something had to give, blogging was it.  Add in Windows Live has been becoming a virtual ghost town with people flocking away from it for sites like Facebook, Blogger, and WP.  Without readers and feedback it was becoming a bore to spend a few hours writing for just a handful of people.  Lets see how this goes.

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Visiting Wuhan

Over the first half of the holiday period the wife and I traveled to Wuhan, she graduated from college there – its the top college in China.  We took the high speed train there and back, arriving at the original train station and departing the new train station.  The trip took over 6 hours as the train could only get up to 250kmph for longer stretches between towns. 

Wuhan is an interior city dissected by a major river and geographically is larger then Shanghai!  The city is undergoing massive infrastructure upgrades currently and due to that the traffic conditions there are a mess.  There isn’t a subway system but the bus network is huge and there are every kind of bus imaginable there, well not the 2 story tall ones you can drive under, Beijing is pursuing that project.  Wuhan is not a tourist destination so there weren’t the typical crowds at the couple of landmarks we traveled to, the Yellow Crane Pagoda, Buddhist temple, or the iron bridge. 

Much of what my wife remembers from her college days is gone now, favorite restaurants converted into high rise shopping malls and quaint neighborhoods turned into 6 lane surface streets.  I explained the old saying, "you really can’t go home again" and she understood what it meant.  While some of the regular tourist trappings associated with other places we have traveled in China were not there, a 5 star hotel in Wuhan isn’t even a 3 star here in Shanghai, its local flavor and hussle and bussle have an authentic charm that is missing from the likes of the water towns or exploitation sites around Xian.  I have put up some pictures from our travels and may expand this posting more, as right now we are packing to go to Guangzhou and Hong Kong over the October 1st holiday.

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Scott Kelby Worldwide Photo Walk 2010 – Shanghai

This year’s Photo Walk is coming to Shanghai China this year led by yours truly.

When:   Saturday July 24th 2010
Cost:     FREE
Where:  Meet up JingAn Temple Line 2 exit in front of Donut King 12:45pm
Distance: 3.2Km walk 40 min (2 hours time to take pictures
Route:   Walk starts 1:00PM photographing JingAn Temple and surrounding area, walk to Shanghai Exposition Center, cross street, explore parks and apartments, walk ends on HuaHai Middle road, ends at 4:15.  Route will be marked, sidewalk chalk.

Interested parties need to register in order to join, signup sheet will be checked at beginning of walk, those not registered can join but can’t participate in photo contest and won’t get free souvenir.  Click the banner above to get more details!

Recommendations:  Wear light, lightly colored clothing, bring a hat, sunglasses, 2 bottles of water, comfortable shoes, small bag for camera gear, cell phone, money for afternoon tea, the rest is up to you.  The day before, check camera batteries, memory cards (film), flash batteries (if you bring a flash), clean equipment, check for filters, card readers, lens cloth, lens brush, or any special items you wish to bring (monopod or tripod if you are adventurous).  The final venue will need to be finalized but will be announced in the next week or two.

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Open letter sent to Center for Science in the Public Interest

Below is a letter I sent off to the Center for Science in the Public Interest concerning their threatened lawsuit against McDonald’s for including toys in their Happy Meals.  It is a sad day when I have more freedoms and prospects for success in the PRC than the USA!  I know my letter will fall upon deaf ears but I have to speak out.  My country continues to go down the tubes, faster now then 8 years ago and that was too fast for my tastes, and seeing self serving attention whores like this non-profit try to emulate our current administration is the too much.  Placing salt tax, soda tax, and calorie printing is one thing, we can just throw out the idiots who legislated them in the first place and repeal those measures latter.  This is different. 

In America we should be able to sue everyone for everything but what legal grounding is this lawsuit based on?  This is going to waste time, money, and carbon (electricity, paper, transportation, etc.) to do nothing more then grab headlines and give the "victim mentality" crowd a soap box to cry from.  I hope McDonald’s does not cave in like Yum Foods did, and they fight tooth and nail to keep the decades old institution of toys in Happy Meals.  I want my grandchildren to know the joy of it.  Going after super aggressive kids advertising on Saturday mornings is one thing, threatening to impose your will and standard upon another company that is not breaking any law is entirely different.  What are your thoughts on this?

Hello management and staff of Center for Science in the Public Interest.

I was appalled at the news of your public threat against McDonald’s Foods concerning litigation actions if they do not stop providing toys with their kid’s Happy Meals. Reading your company’s public statement on the matter and I am thrown back to a concept that is un-American and smacks of socialism and totalitarian tactics. I am not throwing around those loaded terms lightly, the shoe fits.

I grew up in the ear of Happy Meals becoming popular. I have fond memories of going to McDonald’s and the anticipation of opening the brightly colored box containing my burger, fries, and soft drink. Fast forward 35 years later and I am not obese, have high cholesterol, or any health issue associated with eating or food choices. Why? Because I was raised by a responsible single mother and she passed on the lessons of self determination and responsibility that serve me to this day.

Your actions are essentially taking choices out of the hands of parents and kids for eating options. By the very nature, restriction of access to a commercial item is denying the freedom of choice and the freedom to peruse a path to enjoyment. My mother only allowed me to have the toy if I finished my meal, which I would do. I have since used this with my children, and it works as well as I remembered. I am intelligent enough to realize the food at McDonald’s is not a healthy option for daily consumption, which is why we only go once a week if that.

It is not up to your organization, the government, or any entity to restrict choices or access to consumer goods/products; this is the place of the free market. If a company is not able to succeed due to faulty products, poor business choices, or just bad luck then they are out of business. If a company is able to provide a service, fill that service faster, cheaper, and better then anyone else, well they deserve the reward of the success. The only time an entity should intervene is when a company willfully and deliberately acts in a negligent or illegal manner, neither of which McDonald’s has done.

Who has given your organization the power and authority to infringe upon my rights as a father and human being to take my children to the eating establishment of my choice and eat the foods I feel are best for them? I pledged my life to uphold and defend the Constitution of the United States, of which the provisions outline a country where people are able to make their choices and live with the rewards and consequences of them as such.

We do not need, desire, or wish to have you, your organization, or your flavor of government continue to limit our choices, decisions, or freedoms. Please stop your actions. This may come as a shock, but I know what is best for my family and myself, I do not need you limiting my choices for me out of some cockamamie do-gooder desire to force non-government sanctioned regulations on a company or industry just to get publicity, money, and some misguided sense of fulfillment missing from your lack of self worth. I am aware of your group’s involvement with Yum Foods and its use of trans-fats. That is all well and good as it was idealists as yourselves who forced American food companies to use trans-fats in the first place to stop using animal fats for cooking oils. The road to ruin is paved with good intentions; you should check your intentions at the door and leave the decision making to the responsible adults in the room.
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Snipe Hunting: Searching for reason where none exists

Yes, I have been away for awhile, a long while.  Life has an unexpected way of sneaking up on you and, well, happening.  That is not the point of this blog.  Actually this is a very serious topic, a very serious situation, and something that personally impacts my family and our well being.  I am taking some risks by writing this, but it needs to be written and its in English which seems to be done over here.

There is a public epidemic going on here, a bad one.  It has no symptoms, no warning signs, and is deadly.  The China blogsphere is alight about it trying to pick apart the aftermath, hence the title.  My Chinese readers most likely have no clue what a snipe hunt is, heck many Americans would not know either.  A snipe is an imaginary bird/creature that is used to lure unsuspecting people out on a ghost chase.  That is what is going on over the aftermath of the recent kindergarten/school attack where a man killed 9 people, went home, smoked a cigarette, and committed suicide as the police began to close in.  Devastated parents, community members, local and national leaders and general citizens are all seeking reason and causes for such a horrific act.  They are on a snipe hunt.

From world wide news accounts, the listing of the school attacks alone is as this:

  • March 23: Former surgeon and community doctor, Zheng Minsheng, stabs 8 students to death and wounds 5 others at an elementary school in Nanping, Fujian province. The attacker stated relationship and business failures, he was executed the following month.
  • April 12: A former mental patient, Yang Jiaqin, stabbed 2 people, a second-grader and an 81-year-old woman, to death and wounding 5 children in Guangxi province.  He was scheduled to go back to the hospital for a 3rd treatment due to family concerns his mental health, he was apprehended by police.
  • April 28: A laid off male teacher, Chen Kangbing, barged into a primary school in Leizhou, Guangdong province, wounding 16 pupils and a teacher.  Police subdued the man who was about to attempt suicide, he is currently in prison.  He had been on leave sine 2006 citing mental issues according to media reports.
  • April 29: An unemployed man, Xu Yuyuan, stormed into a kindergarten in Taixing, Jiangsu province stabbing 28 students, 2 teachers, and a security guard with a knife.  Police apprehended the man as we was walking home, he still had the knife with him.  Media reported mental issues.
  • April 30: A farmer, Wang Yonglai, entered a village school in Shandong province attacking 5 preschool students with a hammer, causing head injuries. He was told the day before to tear down a new family home just completed because it was on farm land, he lit himself on fire after the attack holding 2 children, he died, the children survived.
  • May 12: A local merchant and real-estate magnet, Wu Huanming, hacks 7 children, the school administrator, and her 80 year old mother to death and wounding 11 others with a meat clever at a kindergarten in Shaanxi province.  He watches the cleanup from his home then kills himself.
  • Across the country, to date, no less then 8 attempted attacks have been stopped by local security and/or police officials according to Beijing public safety officials in to the news.  From the tally above 17 student deaths, 90 student and administrator injuries, all just for going to school.

After 6 separate attacks, all over the country, committed by professionals, mentally ill, and successful people the common threads binding them all together are thin.  This stresses the parents, communities, officials, and entire nation as such horrific attacks are senseless and finding any rationale or reason to lash out against is seen as a way to ease the pain.  Apart form all being men, in their 40’s, and the attacks taking place early in the day not much else is there.  Some are legitimately mentally ill, have been dismissed or detained for their illnesses before.  Some were out of work or frustrated over their social situation, both professional and personal.  One was quite well off and respected by the community, but recently jilted by a rental dispute.  Looking for a common thread is looking for a snipe.

As a parent with a child in a local community kindergarten I worry.  I take my daughter to school, keep an eye on those around me, that is all I can do.  I am fortunate enough to live really close to the school, next door in fact.  This morning there was a police officer at the gate, for about 15 minutes, he was gone after 8:40am.  Shanghai is a very large city, full of migrant workers, among the tens of millions crammed in here I am sure a few have lose or missing screws.  The focus here is on ensuring the Expo goes off without a hitch.  I am worried, but not overly worried.  I have a lot of interest in the country gaining control over this phenomenon plaguing the defensless and innocent against these acts of violence.

The clamor here is being steered by the state.  The news agency here has been ordered to scantly report on them, if at all as some reports have disappeared all together.  The fear is that the sensational reporting will encourage copy-cats and inspire those with perceived or legitimate grievances as a way to lash out against the faceless ‘them’ in society.  Having grown up in the school shooting era in America I can understand their concern and desire to put a lid on the carnage while it is still manageable.  Unfortunately I feel the genii has been let out of the bottle already on this one.  The killings and maiming may have broad underlying causes, trying to place them into a tidy box is not going to work, but the focus now should be prevention.  China is unique in that is can do something about this.  They could put armed militia outside every school in China, seriously, they could.  Is this the answer, not likely but the security of the schools should be more then what it is.

Some here are claiming its a result of social injustice, inadequate mental health, growing gaps in socio-economic achievements.  If you look hard enough you can find it, but I say hogwash.  The same issues plaguing the US society for decades is creeping into society here, lack of personal responsibility and restraint.  Sure, each has to be insane, that makes us all feel better to state that and then blame the government for bad mental health access.  For a few cases that may work, but if a person is such a mental risk to society to be a homicidal maniac why did they not get tripped off before now, why a seemingly coordinated approach requiring specific thought and planning to execute such attacks?  I am going to ask the hard questions because I have a vested interest to know the risk and take appropriate steps to minimize it.  How insane are these people to see a pattern, make a plan, get into the proper frame of mind, and execute such attacks, with such ferocity, and all within the period of a few weeks of each other?  Something else is going on here.  Mentally ill people don’t pay attention to news papers, radio reports, or TV news to a degree to see something, think to themselves ‘hey, that’s it, now I know how to resolve all my problems’, and go out and do something so horrific.  Mentally ill people who are psychotic will lash out at others frequently because its their way of dealing with stress or fear, I doubt some recent event in China caused such stress as to trip off all the crazies at one time and give them all the same reactions.  Something is not smelling quite right about this series of tragedies, as a parent that has me more worried.

It can’t be the attention.  The first is this latest string only lasted 4 weeks and a few days, had no sensational trial or media platform, and was quickly executed.  I can see the social injustice angle on a few of the cases, jilted love, employment disputes, rental issues, land rights.  I can see the mental illness, however the doctor and the former teacher were both once professionals, if they were mentally ill something triggered it and then re-triggered it to make them act out so violently.  The farmer whom was told to tear down his home, well I can see his frustration, but why take it out on children?  Here in Shanghai a Beijing migrant Yang Jia was arrested, beaten, and abused by police for riding an unlicensed bicycle, tried suing the police, and after all else failed he took a knife to ‘get even’ killing 6 police and wounding 5 others.  His story gained much sympathy but he was executed for his murders 4.5 months later.  Surely killing children will gain nobody any sympathy from anyone, why do that? 

As for the social inequality angle, if it weren’t for the last murderer, a merchant and landlord who leased the building the school occupied, and the first killer of this year, a doctor, well then it fits, but many forget their social and economic achievements prior to the killings.  Something else is at work here.  My wife has stated that taking religion out of a society leaves it feeling like there are no consequences for your action, nobody to ultimately answer to.  As China is officially an Atheist nation its citizens however are a mix of Buddhists or Taoist followers, sure not as many as if it were a state controlled religion but there is some religion here.  I do feel she is onto something here.  There is a component of ‘not answering for your sins’ so to speak going on here.  A desperation so deep and hopeless that it makes one follow through on an unthinkable act, attacking children, innocent kids who are just going to school, most under the ages of 7.

As people try to rationalize the impossible they are missing the point.  The government has its hands tied.  There is little you can do to monitor every citizen and protect every outlet for those turning to murder.  The schools have limited resources to hire professional guards to patrol and safeguard the schools all day against would-be attackers.  The economy has little to do with it.  There are jobs out there, unemployment in China is taken seriously as they have to maintain control of the masses here.  Would having a job have saved any of these children, maybe, but it may have led to murdered co-workers too.  The issues are not neat and tidy little boxes that all can be placed into.  No, the problem is that here in China, as in America, the communities have lost a sense of community.  There are so many people here and yet few try to take the time to know their neighbors.  I am not saying strong community would have identified and prevented the attacks, but it would have made carrying them out much harder to undertake.  Problems like these don’t crop up overnight, they fester, slowly boil and seethe for months or years. 

The snipes people here are hunting are the wrong types.  The intent is on the right track, looking for commonality, however the commonality is not some ill treatment of the murderers, they should be looking at the how, not the why.  How is it that these people go to that point.  How did they take such a turn to see innocent children as a messenger for their perceived ill will, that is the point.  In a close knit community there are outlets for frustration, healthy was of coping, support, and mediation to prevent things from boiling over.  People here, as in other countries, have become too obsessed with chasing after their own financial gains and dreams and have shrugged off the neighborly ways of the past.  There is a social problem, just not the one people are focusing on.  I am sure mental health in China could use some vast improvements but when people are isolated, jilted, and pushed there is a breaking point.  If nobody is around to observe and assist these people when the issues are still small and manageable then we have to deal with the aftermath.  Instead of railing against capitalism, corruption, land rights, or migrants, people should be asking why their communities have been falling apart.  Of course that means looking at whey they don’t talk to know everyone in their apartment building, socialize with neighbors on weekends, and able to name all the parents in their kids class.  I suffer form the same problem, I give myself no pass here as I am guilty of the same thing, not connecting with the community I live in, no excuses.  In stead of passing off the blame on a nameless, faceless them, or they, or others, we should ask ourselves why we didn’t see this coming sooner and stop it before it got this far.  That is the problem with a snipe hunt, you will never find what you sought out looking for, what you might find may be much worse.

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End Game – Part 3

In End Game Part 2 I outlined how the radical leftist mindset became the status quo of the DNC, from its fringe beginnings outlined in End Game Part 1, and now this “Progressive Democrat” as they like to call themselves are exhibiting just how drunk on power they can be.  Over the last two months I have been preoccupied with life and profession but keeping an eye on labor pains of birth cry of the newest socialist state.  Just as I stated back in the fall of 2008 the past year has netted a pure socialists agenda even more daring then I could even dream up.  Anyone who does not see what is happening is either pretending to be blind, in denial, or just hopelessly lost in the DNC rhetoric.  Looking back at the widest sweeping regulations, spending, and government expansion since the Great Depression and only the politically blind or ignorant could not see the ultimate direction of this path.

I honestly hope I am wrong, so consumed by conservative ideals and values that I have concocted this vision out of seemingly unrelated consequences, I honestly hope I am wrong.  If the take over of insurers, banks, and 2/3 of our auto industry were not enough, broadening the definition of hate crimes, labeling any dissent as harboring terrorist intent, and instituting the largest expansion, lest transparent, and most partisan government in our nation’s history should surely show there intent.  To those doubting Thomas’ still out there the end-a-round passage of Health Care ‘reform’ through purely partisan back room deals and lying, cheating, and stealing only cements the view.  For every supporter of this liberal socialists dream boat there were over two firmly opposing it, yet the representatives of the People ignored those voices and only listened to their Dear Leader.  The threats of losing their jobs in November would not deter the socialists from pushing forward with everything they have to ensure every dirty trick was played and every base covered.

Even now, just as the dust is settling the arrogant and pompous Democrats act as untouchable Lords and Nobles dismissing the unwashed masses who continue to complain and speak out against their actions.  The DNC knows what is best for us all, and they will ensure that only the intellectual elites will rise up and continue the great experiment of American Socialism.  This summer the DNC knows they will face an increasingly hostile public, so don’t expect many to be out campaigning.  Instead expect an active summer session as the Census will be distorted to change voting districts and further cement voting power in the urban areas where the brainwashed congregate and wallow in their own entitlement mentalities.  There is still Can & Trade, Value Added Tax, expanding the IRS to enforce healthcare coverage, over-riding Obama’s executive order on public funding on abortions, and his latest bone, baring off-shore drilling.  Obama wants off shore drilling as much as he wants moderates in his own party, its a thin stunt which Pelosi will stamp down with leftist environmentalist squawking, as it was just something of a show dog to the president.

The future of the country is not a bright one, and the DNC knows it.  This is why they are going to keep plowing ahead to do as much damage as they can in the event they can’t steal the elections in November (Check out state’s refusals to comply with Card Check and why the federal government is not pushing it, while at it check out Wisconsin’s election rules loosening to the point voter fraud is guaranteed).  Acorn may be gone, but only the name, the leaders are re-grouping and coming back in a much more dangerous way.  Anyone who thought Obama was a uniter, transcending politics, or institutor of integrity, honesty, fairness, openness, transparency, and above petty partisan politics has been proven wrong to magnitudes of trillions.  Obama is the MOST partisan president in our modern history.  Had he been interested in by-partisanship he would have taken Paul Ryan seriously and implemented even 1 of his health care alternatives into his socialist agenda bill.  If he were what he campaigned on he would fulfill his campaign promises of openness and transparency instead of presiding over the most secretive and sealed room deals in modern presidency.

The future of the nation is more akin to California and China then anything else you can associate with anything resembling the representative government America used to be known for.  For those DNC faithful who dare challenge my arguments as being unpatriotic and racists I will point to only one thing, the past 8 years.  Yes, I am mad as hell and I am not going to take it.  The leftists frothed at the mouth with signs, rallies, and campaigns calling for the execution on G.W. Bush, Chaney, Rumsfeld, Rove, and others.  They made movies celebrating the president’s assassination, they called for indictments to have them arrested, they ignored civil debate and reduced themselves to sound-bites and bumper sticker thoughts that made talking points seem like a thesis.  Bush was not a good conservative president, he spent way too much, was way too moderate, and slightly aloof, however he did not try to dismantle the Constitution of the United States (Obama publically stated the document has a blind side and needs to be updated), subvert the voice of the majority (the second election was a clear cut win), destroy the economy (the government taking over 1/6 of the economy will result in run away costs and taxes to try to fix creating massive stagnation and inflation).  So what if the economy went south due to greed, its a natural cycle of the market.  NO BUSINESS IS TOO BIG TO FAIL, NONE!  The bail outs instituted by Bush and carried on by Obama were a bad idea and made worse with continuous incremental creep of the government into business affairs, like executive compensation.  How many corporate boards has Obama sat on, how many companies has he run, hell how many jobs has Obama ever held?

Obama has crystallized an already polarized political landscape and is trying to instigate a class war.  The continuous calls for the rich to pay for all his magic programs will result in only one reality, no middle class.  The rich are not fools, many are from old money and they know only one loyalty, keeping the money in the family.  They will leave, just as they fled from Massachusetts leaving its socialists healthcare system more broke then California.  As they hide their money, invest outside the country, or just leave for better tax climates that leaves the burden squarely on the shoulders of the working class, who will be unable to shoulder the burden and fall into the entitlement class.  Sure this will take a decade or longer to happen, that is why the taxes and fees for Obamacare are being collected now but the programs don’t kick in until 2014, long after Obama will be gone.  When the taxes are collected and the bills come in the cut off between taxes and entitlement will drop consuming the middleclass better then Stalin’s gulag or Mao’s great leap.

I mentioned California before and this is why.  Who is the largest employer, by number of employees, in the state, it IS the state.  This is crazy and the reason why that state is so broke now.  In order to support such a work force requires massive tax revenue, regulation fees, and other taxes and fees that can feed such a beast.  State workers have to pay tax making that job a net loss job.  Private sector business have left California because of all these taxes, fees, and regulations.  Unlike China the state can’t force them to stay.  The only way for California to get back into the black is to cut jobs, shrink government, that is it.  Now we are seeing Obama trying to do the same with the federal government.  Government is not the answer, never has been, never will be.  As governments grow the tax burdens grow and the employees drop off the tax revenue generation because of the small portion they contribute.  Government is dependent on private business for revenue generation and when at the same time regulations and barriers are thrown up to hinder competitiveness it can only lead in one of two realities, broke or pure socialist.  The only way for US manufacturing to compete is to start trade wars with others who can out produce us and with such a tax burden needed to pay for it all the consumers of the country will not be there making the country irrelevant to those nations as China’s and India’s middle class will supplant our consumption power muting our economic relevance.  The only viable option will be for total government take over and as history shows us, governments never relinquish power once taken without revolution.  The intellectuals think they have this all worked out, they are so smart and know what is best for us.

We are seeing this in the ignoring the will of the people to pass purely partisan agendas.  The attitudes and interaction of the elected officials to those who vote is despicable.  As a registered voter there is supposed to be an open and respectful forum for airing grievances against the government, not condescending dismissals and laughter calling the masses simple minded, ignorant, and not knowing what is best for them.  People in government have become accustomed to acting like rulers and not representatives and this is wrong for any party affiliation.  Those who we send to Washington, state capitals, and local positions need to be reminded of this and with a harsh and clear lesson that is unmistakable and loud and clear for even their tiny, pompous, and incredulous minds to comprehend.  We need to give the system a chance to work, if it fails us at that time I have only one thing to say, read the Declaration of Independence for a clear set of instructions and guidelines.

Many have been asking me what can be done, is it too late, how do we carry on from here.  Well, all hope is not lost yet, not as long as the Constitution still stands as supreme law of the land.  As we have seen those in power today refuse to listen and have become defacto emperors encouraged by their dear leader.  This means they are lost, stop contacting them, stop wasting your time, effort, and breath.  The next step is to organize, scrutinize, and act.  Join any of the numerous local tea parties out there.  Identify the alternative candidates.  Listen to their platforms and only put those on a short list who are willing to listen, engage, and share your concerns.  Ask them about term limits and returning part of their pay to the tax payers.  Those who are sincere need to be supported, talking to friends, time, money, volunteering, doing anything to help them is what is needed.  ALL THE CURRENT government types need to be fired and replaced by a new blood of patriots who will repeal this insanity, repair the damage done, and get out after 2 terms at the most.  We need term limits to get rid of the temptation of corruption at every level.  We can address lobbyists later, right now is time to abandon the GOP and find alternatives, independents, libertarians, etc.  The GOP is as much to blame as the DNC for this mess as they did nothing over the 4 years they had power to stop the conditions that incubated this disaster.  There are actions to take, become active, peacefully assemble and find like minded people, build coalitions and carry the messages to those willing to run for office, make them aware of what is required of them and keep them honest.  Only devote time and money to those who can win and who can represent you, not those who want to rule over you.  It is time to refresh the tree of liberty and to do so within the confines of our Constitution, for if it can not be done peacefully then its time to visit the Declaration of Independence and see what to do against a government that has become oppressive and refuses the will of the people.  The only hope now is replace the entire lot of fools in all seats of government, local, state, and federal and have them repeal all this imperialism.  It is time to go forth and sow the seeds of a new revolution, one that re-instills the representative government our forefathers instituted and so many have died to defend and protect.  Do not let Liberty become shackled under the dreams of some socialists idealist reality that is impossible to implement.

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Death of a Nation

I have to take a quick break from my PMP studies to go on record and state how disastrous those running my country have become that they have just pushed the entire country off the cliff.  When 67% of the country directly opposes the current health-care reform, according to RealClearPolitics, and Congress has an approval rating of only 15% and they ram rod, back room deal, bribe, and outright lie, cheat, and steal to pass a bill that is not written, composed, or even finished through a budget workaround while at the same times breaking that very rule that clearly states the procedures.  This is an unconstitutional vote, an unconstitutional procedure, and unconstitutional set of steps taken to get this ill conceived bill on the President’s desk.

I now am joining in the ranks of those calling for a convening of a Continental Congress of 33 or more states to dissolve the federal government and re-establish the original Constitution, Bill of Rights, Amendments to the Constitution, and re-start it from the original adoption of the Constitution.  State session from the Union, en-mass recall elections, civil disobedience by refusing to pay taxes, or en-mass convergence on the District of Columbia to physically remove all those evil, belligerent, tyrannical, and imperialist peoples who have revolted against the will of the people and taken the governance of my fair nation into their own hands and out of that of the people to whom they are supposed to represent. 

Those whom were elected by the masses to represent us have just demonstrated they will institute their own will above those of those who represent them.  Party politics, on both sides, have fallen to the point that the will of the party trumps the will of the people and this is against the foundation from which the nation was founded.  The government has demonstrated its willingness to ignore the will of the people for what it believes is best for us.  Through systematic social engineering and soaring rhetoric by intellectual elites to whom feel the ignorant masses are incapable of knowing what is best for them has gone on for far too long. 

Enough is enough.  The time is now.  The damage has been done.  Our nation has been shackled by a debt load and entitlement mentality that are unsustainable and the engineers of this know it and willingly instituted their cornerstone measure anyway.  The Declaration of Independence clearly states the atmosphere of tyranny and oppression for which a government is to be dissolved by the people and started anew.  The volley of oppression has been released from the ramparts of social liberalism now entrenched and sieged in Washington DC.  The President lies, this measure was not by the people, of the people, or for the people.  If so it would have been fully supported by the people, backroom deals and bribes would not be necessary, and the contentious debates would not have occurred.  This government has overstepped its bounds and this is evidenced by polls showing Obama at Bush’s last years opinion ratings, Congress at all time lows, and the ‘is America on the correct path’ poll at historic lows.  If it were true then where are the signs, where is the collective parties in the streets, where are the well wishes and high fives outside of DC?  It does not exist.  It is absolutely imperative the current government is shut down and replaced by patriots who understand and are willing to govern as the documents outlining how our government works are followed.  It is time to trim the tree people, it is time to stand firm and unafraid, it is time to make real sacrifices, it is time to re-light the fires of liberty and ensure a better country will exist for our children.  For if we fail to stop the tyrannical and imperialist measures of rulers who refuse the loud and clear voice of the people then our nation will cease to exist and the birth of a new oppressive state will emerge, one that is only concerned with its own self interests and not that of the governed.

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