Marshall in the Middle

Tuesday, October 24, 2017

President Carter a Ray of Hope for Dems

By Chuck Marshall

     In case you missed it President Carter came out with some surprising comments.  I would say shocking but they didn't shock me because I've been saying the same thing for months now.  It's so refreshing to hear a leading Democrat speak without mendacity, I'd almost forgotten that it's even possible.  And all from a 93 year old former president whose life was just snatched from the jaws of death with a new cancer treatment that he volunteered to trial.

     I was never a big fan of President Carter, but Lordy, Lordy is he better than Hillary Clinton, Chuck Schumer or Nancy Pelosi.... the three stooges of the Democratic party.  His honesty was always there, and it's so nice to hear again after all these years, a throwback from before our insanely partisan times.

 A quick review of his comments;

“I think the media have been harder on Trump than any other president certainly that I’ve known about,” 

“I don’t think there’s any evidence that what the Russians did changed enough votes, or any votes.”

"Carter told Emory University students that the “pressures and the publicity that Trump has brought to the immigration issue” could even yield comprehensive immigration law changes that Presidents George W. Bush and Barack Obama could not muster."

He added that Trump’s critics, including himself, “have to give him credit when he does some things that are not as bad” as they are depicted.

One of my favorites referring to the Clinton Foundation in comparison to his charity organization;  “Rosie and I put money in the Carter Center. We never take any out” 

So there you have it.....and God bless his liberal heart !  ..... In My Humble Opinion.

Monday, October 9, 2017

Gun Control - Defending Gun Rights Advocates

By Chuck Marshall

     Now that we've had another mass murder in the USA (Las Vegas, NV- 58 dead, over 500 wounded) of course the debate about gun control is kicking up a notch again.  This is understandable !  We all watch in horror as massacre after massacre happens in our country and we all want it to stop.  It is a natural tendency to declare "we must have new laws" so that this sort of thing won't happen again.  The easiest target is the gun themselves.  "If it wasn't for the gun, this wouldn't have happened".   (Never mind that there are also these things called bombs).  "Something must be done" everyone tells each other, especially in Hollywood and the national media.   The late night TV hosts are even chiming in and they've all come out in favor of more gun laws and we're told the NRA (National Rifleman's Association- very powerful lobby in Washington, DC) "has blood on its hands".  None of this should be a surprise, especially from the national media since the bulk of them are merely the Democratic party in journalists clothing and the Democrats are all about gun control.  Nancy Pelosi, the House Minority Leader essentially came out in favor of restricting the 2nd Amendment all together.  Ironically, nearly all the mass murders in the USA this past 10-20 years have been by registered Democrats.  Go figure !   

     So after 58 people are butchered by a lunatic bastard, it's hard to argue against doing something to stop such weapons from getting into their hands, and I fully support background checks.  The fact of the matter is that there are ALREADY quite a few gun laws in the USA, including background requirements for most assault type rifles such as the one used in Las Vegas.  Chicago has the strictest gun laws in the land and they have the highest gun death rate in the land too.   We should look for ways to limit guns getting into the hands of felons and lunatics, but to restrict guns sold to law abiding citizens needs to be scrutinized.  Would stricter gun laws help?  It's not impossible, but my concern is that if you remove the guns then the only guns available would be owned by the criminals themselves.  Again, statistics show that ALL mass murders committed in the past 20 years could NOT have been prevented with any laws that are currently being proposed.  

     Should we have a national discussion regarding details for limiting gun violence and such mass murders ?  Of course, but both sides have got to be willing to listen to each other.  

     The right (Republicans) needs to be willing to yield a little regarding some restrictions, especially to plug a lot of the loopholes regarding gun shows where background checks can be avoided (is my understanding).  In addition they should be open to compromise with the Democrats.  There are some laws that would not infringe on anyone's right to bear arms and they just make sense.  The NRA needs to yield some of its demands with the understanding that their stubborn tactics are making things worse.  You can't get everything, but if you keep demanding it all you risk LOSING everything.  Be smart.  In addition,  I would point out to the left that the movies and television and games that are so abundantly violent certainly have had some influence in these massacres.  Are they willing to tone down the violence coming from their buddies in Hollywood ? 

      The left (Democrats) needs to understand where gun owners are coming from.  Just to clear up confusion- It's not only about hunting or self defense,  it's also about a tyrannical government.   The gun owners DO NOT trust the government.  The Second Amendment was constructed to guarantee that the government could never take away the  right of people to be able to protect themselves from a tyrannical government.    Adolf Hitler seized guns in the 1930's from German citizens and there would be over 50 MILLION dead by the time we dropped a bomb on his head.  Venezuelan dictator Chavez removed all guns and now the population is at the mercy of his socialist government and they starve.   I guarantee Chavez' reasoning was "to protect you".   Right.  This could never happen here ?   Never say never.   The fact of the matter is that there is probably no better protection against tyranny than that anyone who considers seizing control of a nation would be reluctant if he or she knew the nation had 100 million citizens that own guns.  How do you overcome such opposition among the people.  So if you wonder why gun owners and the right are so adamant,  that's why.   They don't trust what the government is capable of doing if it does seize guns.  And they're right. 

In My Humble Opinion.....

Monday, September 25, 2017

Take a Knee

By Chuck Marshall

         Since every aspect of our life is now related to politics., it was only a matter of time before it seeped  into football., so  I guess I've got to make a comment about all the hoopla regarding professional football players "not standing" for the national anthem.   I sincerely think the whole thing is ridiculous, but isn't that always true of politics in our time ?   I've listened to both sides and I'd like to say both of them have a point., but they don't.  There is no excuse for taking a protest in front of the entire country during a peaceful event meant for entertaining.  It's offensive, it's irritating, it's disgusting, it's treasonous and disrespects every single American who died or was injured in any of our armed conflicts.  It  dishonors the every day American who struggles every day to get to work, to pay the bills, to deal with outrageous health insurance premiums but wants to sit and relax on Sunday and enjoy a game.  I know Trump egged them on with his taunting comments, but this was an opportunity to really stand up for what you believe in and not let him get to you.  Instead, they jumped on the "anti Trump" bandwagon because that's what all the other spoiled brats in Hollywood, or New York or DC do.  They could have risen to the challenge to a higher ideal.  They did not.

      Also, If the NFL players are protesting race relations in the USA, how in the world is this helping?  I mean, seriously ?

          So, let us all turn off the vaunted TV on Sundays and-- call me crazy- go to church or temple or mosque and work towards a more  meaningful life giving honor to the act of giving and selflessness just like our founding fathers did.  Churches and places of worship need good people to step up and help.  There's a lot of hurt out there and this will be much more rewarding activity than watching grown millionaires play with a ball.  I say all Americans should turn off the TV, get out in the fresh air with their kids and or loved ones and  toss a football.   I say Americans get off the sofa and do something with your family that involves interacting with each other not interacting with the TV.   I say "take a knee" to the self centered nonsense we witnessed on Sunday.  I say take a knee to the movies of Hollywood and go to a local play.  I say take a knee to the mega corporations that lobby our leaders in DC  and buy locally grown food and locally made products.

Take a Knee America !

Thursday, September 14, 2017

Convention of the States

The Fix for a Broken Government 

By Chuck Marshall 


     Happy Birthday to the US Constitution as of Sept. 17th 2017, it is 230 years old !    I am going to hold off  on elaborating on the positives and the genius of our forefathers in establishing this great document and the liberties it has served us to this very day for fear of boring the reader with my unusually strong enthusiasm for history.   I am however,  going to point out a very important part of the constitution that has grown fat and flabby for lack of use.  I am talking about Article 5 of the constitution that gives the states the right to call a convention (a Convention of the States) whereby the state leaders get together in DC and do some housekeeping.  

For reference, here is what Article 5 states;

 "The Congress, whenever two thirds of both Houses shall deem it necessary, shall propose Amendments to this Constitution, or, on the Application of the Legislatures of two thirds of the several States, shall call a Convention for proposing Amendments, which, in either Case, shall be valid to all Intents and Purposes, as Part of this Constitution, when ratified by the Legislatures of three fourths of the several States, or by Conventions in three fourths thereof, as the one or the other Mode of Ratification may be proposed by the Congress; Provided that no Amendment which may be made prior to the Year One thousand eight hundred and eight shall in any Manner affect the first and fourth Clauses in the Ninth Section of the first Article; and that no State, without its Consent, shall be deprived of its equal Suffrage in the Senate."

       What does it all mean ?  Since we know 2/3 of both houses aren't going to agree that up is up and down is down, then it is up to the states to call a convention proposing Amendments.  There are many proposals such as "Term Limits" amendment, "Balanced Budget" amendment,  and election reform ( in which case I would suggest removing $$ from our elections but that's another blog).    I believe the most important task would be to reign in a federal government that has gotten so large that it is in the habit of ignoring the will of the people.  They've spent us and  our children into $20 Trillion worth of debt with no end in sight.   In addition, whether it be corporate lobbyists or any special interest, there is no doubt it is too influenced by outsiders to fix itself.   We really have no choice !  It is an opportunity we should all relish to fix our broken government !   The constitution puts this power  in our hands.  In fact,  I've read several times that our founding fathers would probably be shocked that by 2017 we still had not acted on this power.  We all must encourage our state leaders to take action as afforded by Article 5.  As long as the two parties are running the federal government then we can all rest assured that nothing will get done.   There's a reason Congress has an approval rating of 10% or less.  They are stuck in the mud of a system that makes any improvement impossible, and a big part of that mud is the never ending battle between the R's and the D's.  

     This could be for both conservatives and liberals as it will allow for stronger rights at the local level such that the states would be able to operate according to their specific states' needs, demographics, and philosophies.   All this absurd talk of Texas (2008) and California (2016) seceding from the union !  Why ?  There is a way for us all to get what we want.  

Below is a link to the Convention of the States website.  Please check it out, donate and call your STATE congressmen !  This is a call to action from the founders of our country !

Sunday, September 10, 2017

Waiting for Hurricane Irma

By Chuck Marshall

 Dear loyal readers !

     Well, my fair state is under attack, as all of you are probably well aware.   It's hard for me to imagine what it's like to not be familiar with hurricanes since I've lived in Florida all my life, so as we wait on Irma to knock on our door (but hopefully not break it down!) I thought I'd share my thoughts. Hopefully I'll reveal some interesting tidbits to that tiny little sliver of America that actually reads my blog, but who also might not be familiar with the weirdness of hurricanes in states affected.

     Right now we still have power and there is no wind 'cause Irma just landed in the keys, quite a distance from my home in Clermont, Fla.   It's overcast and rainy, and eerily quiet as everybody is hunkered down and the birds have gone (they seem to sense what's coming--spooky !) Outside is dead quite.  Everyone is totally exhausted from the stress of watching the hysterical media.  I  respect the local news much more than the national reports as they are more professional and they don't act out and overly exaggerate.  They're trying to help us, not boost ratings.  The national media (not going to name names- you know who) just go bonkers over these things and say things that are so obviously  hopeful that the worst disaster possible occurs.  It's human tendency to look for the danger but a few encouraging words and a little consideration for those living through it would be nice.   I know they want their audience tuned in with popcorn to watch bending palm trees and the weather guy get blown around in a parking garage, but somewhere in there they seem to lose their humanity.  

     We've been watching Irma warily for 2 weeks now, everybody just wants it over with.  One of the most stressful aspects is not knowing where it's going.  Miami and most of South Florida evacuated due to the dire warnings and many millions throughout the state are under "mandatory" evacuation.    I'm sure you've all seen the traffic photos, but living through it is weird.  It's like an army is approaching.  My town has been spared  most of the traffic leaving South Fla. because that's happening over on the interstates and turnpike.  I'm actually very close to  the Fla Turnpike but I have avoided it like the plague for the last week.  All those people fled the Miami area, and now it's headed towards Tampa.  I feel so bad for the people in the Miami area that fled to Tampa !

     Anyway, you may be wondering;  Chuck, why are you still there ?  I live inland, about an hour either way to the ocean.  My area is considered "relatively" safe,  but they're still saying 80 to 90 mph  gusts and 70 mph sustained winds as it stands right now.  Irma's center (where the worst winds are) will be 60 miles to our west.  The catch is, if Irma decides she wants to go to Disney World (20 minutes from my house) then all bets are off and so what was going to be some trees down, could be losing my roof.   That's why the hurricane tracking report is so critical.  We all gather around the TV (at work, it was the internet) to see where they say Irma is heading.   All  normal life stops most of your thoughts are regarding your home;   Where is my house vulnerable ?  Am I prone to flooding ?  Should I leave ?  Should I insist my son come home from Gainesville ?  Will  the neighbors pool screen break loose and crash into my bedroom ?   Are my family and I and I prepared ?  Do we have enough perishable food if the stores are unapproachable for days ?  Enough batteries ? Is my insurance company going to cover what it should if that becomes necessary ?    In my case I have the added stress that most of my customers have greenhouses that could be destroyed in these winds.   How much will  my income drop for the next few months as my customers set back up ?

So, anyway... the whole thing sucks,  but the good news is we have the day off tomorrow. LOL.  Pray for Florida, my friends.