Marshall in the Middle

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Republicans Determined to Reelect President Obama

I have watched with fascination as the Republican party works ceaselessly to make sure Obama is reelected.    Each of the "nominees" during the debates has gone way out of his way to magnify how much they cannot stand Obama to the cheers of the audiences, but if anyone is paying attention they will know that they seem to be doomed to lose to the President.  Why?   Each month there is another nominee seen as the front runner.   Most recently it was Gingrich, before that it was Herman Caine, before that Rick Perry, and before that Michelle Bachmann.  All of these are seen as the "anti" Romney nominees.  What's wrong with Romney?  He had the audacity to pass some sort of health care program that the people of his state, Massachusettes, actually wanted. In other words, he obeyed the wishes of the people.  As he has been crucified by the far right for this high treason, most Americans agree that SOME sort of health care reform is necessary and even more Americans believe it is the right of each state to set their own path.  But, since Obama focused the first two years of his presidency on health care,  the far right Republicans refuse to accept anyone who has even muttered such a thought to themselves.  

For some reason the Republicans think if they pick the correct "right wing" nominee the rest of the country will see the error of their ways and will fall in love with Bachmann/Perry/Caine/Gingrich and so all will vote for Bachmann/Perry/Caine/Gingrich and the country will finally be on the "right" path and we will all sing "hosana" in thanks to them for their wisdom.

What will really happen?   If the Republicans continue to park their brains in neutral, they will select someone far to the right and they will proceed to have their bottoms kicked all over the country from Florida to New York to Ohio to California and we will all watch as their hated "socialist" (a word they use waaaaaay to loosely) enemies rally in that same park in Chicago to cheer on President Obama to his second term.
The only way the Republicans will win the Presidency is if they choose Romney or some other moderate such as Huntsman.  It really doesn't take that much intelligence to figure this out.  So.... go ahead and nominate Bachmann/Perry/Caine/Gingrich my Republican friends and I hope you enjoy the election process while you and your ideals are humiliated in front of the entire country.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Letter Published in Orlando Sentinel- November 3, 2011

Kept meaning to post this, finally managed to do it !  Thanks to all of you who continue to read.  I will be posting some ramblings regarding the most recent developments within the Republican party titled; 

 "Republicans Determined to get Obama Reelected".... stay tuned. 

Anyway, this published Orlando Sentinel, November 3 2011

"Lobbyists make mockery of representative government"

Thanks to the letter writer John D. Towns for his comments Saturday ("Lobbyists would still loom, if incumbents were gone"). The public really needs to understand this fact: Their right to be heard is being undermined by the lobbyists' power and money.
Power and money are what inclines our government toward action. That is why we have a web of laws and tax loopholes that make no sense. That is why each election is another round of the same thing.
As long as money is the grease that lubes the engine of elections, we will have this circle. A representative government no longer exists either in the United States or in Florida and the recent restrictions on voter registration here in Florida underscores that "of the people, by the people and for the people" is a reality only for the naive and gullible.
Charles E. Marshall Clermont

In My Humble Opinion,
Chuck Marshall

Monday, October 31, 2011

Ideas Worth Sitting In For: Common Sanity

Last blog, I suggested the protest "sit in" on Wall Street lacked logical boundaries.  What do they want?   As an Independent, I have ideas from the center that work towards resolving the failures of government attacking both the left and the right. 

In this blog, I have some suggestions of what I would demand of our government.  Demanding anything from Wall Street ignores the fact that corporations are focused on their bottom line only.  Just in case anyone misunderstood me in my last blog, this is neither a good thing 'nor a bad thing..... it just IS.  

If I was a Wall Street Sit-In protester, here is what I would demand of the government.

1)  End all money involved in elections.  A play-off system shall be established whereby each state supplies candidates brought up from local officials through local play offs.  The candidates shall  present their points of view through debate, speeches, and media interviews.   There shall be no advertising,  no placards, and no phone solicitation. 

2)  All primary elections shall be "open" elections.  Anything else limits some citizens (those that are not members of either major political party) from their constitutional right to a representative government.  

3)  Corporations are hereby forbidden from hiding profits overseas through bogus headquarter claims.

4) All corporate taxes shall be reduced to a level reflecting the current world-market tax- rate, but all loopholes shall also be plugged. 

5) The federal government will balance its budget.  Whenever there is an emergency such as a war that calls for more money, then all citizens (except active military) will be taxed at a flat rate to pay for said war or occasion.

6)  All subsidies for any specific industry are eliminated.  If an industry can no longer sustain itself profitably then it needs to be allowed to fail. 

7)  All manufactured products sold will show at what rate the labor was paid that produced the product. 

8)  Income tax will be set at a pre determined flat rate for all citizens because all citizens benefit from federal programs.    A national consumption tax and a luxury tax will be added to state sales taxes to make up for any short-fall that the flat tax does not cover.  

9)  There will be a full assessment of all jobs, projects, roles that all departments of all governments that govern in the United States.  Any role or job that is being duplicated will be consolidated to realize efficiencies and save money. 

10)  All American military presence shall be re-assessed as to its relative need for the protection of American liberties and freedoms.   If it is found to be unnecessary to protect these liberties of American citizens then it will be eliminated within a reasonable timeline.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

The Wall Street "Sit In" Needs Mr. Spock



So most of you are aware of the Wall Street "Sit In" that began a couple of months ago and has grown to a world-wide protest, demanding...... something.   At the beginning I watched a Fox News reporter try to get some of them to talk about what it was they wanted.  Now, granted Fox probably edited out any reasonable answer, but Lord almighty it was painful to watch these people babble answers to the reporter.  I mean it was bad.  It was "please don't continue to talk anymore, because it's awful watching you"  bad.  Yes, bad.  Now, the rest of the world has joined in with this protest, but does anyone understand what it is that's being demanded?

So......Citizens of the "stop Wall Street from being greedy movement",  I have some advice.  If you want to get the public to react, have some clearly defined goals and understand that (regardless of what the Supreme Court says)  corporations are not "people",  they are monolithic, non-thinking masses of money and their reason for existing is only to increase their shareholders' wealth.   The human beings within the corporation, even the very man running the corporation,  might care very much about you and your dirty sleeping bag, but the corporation itself does not.  Think of it as if it's the Borg on the old "Star Trek, the Next Generation Series".  No one person controls it, and  it's all interconnected.  Resistance is futile.

Now that you understand your target of rage is not capable of computing or adjusting itself AT ALL to your protest, consider that it does have a weakness.  That is the source of it's money..... the source of its feasting.  That would be the government, the shareholder and the consumer.

So, faithful readers, in my next blog I will suggest some boundaries, some issues that our young idealistic friends might consider to get them closer to what I think they want.  I would also like to suggest that there is a part of all of us that is with these people and their demands for a more just and decent society.  My suggestions will be neither right 'nor left.... just logical like Mr. Spock.

Live long and prosper.... In My Humble Opinion,

Chuck Marshall

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Christian Face


As I have referred to a few times in this blog, I'm a pretty religious guy.  I go to church nearly every week, my kids are active and my wife sings in the "praise band".  I attend the Presbyterian Church, which sits well with me with its very long history, tradition, and tendency towards a "logical" approach to scripture.  Sometimes we're accused of being the "frozen chosen" because we're so traditional and somewhat unemotional.   I have to say that I have never looked forward to church as much as I do these past years.  The reason?  Because of our pastor.  Pastor Shawn has great insight into the meaning behind scripture and he offers ways of looking at verses that help in my week to week life.   Pastor Shawn gleans meaning that I think very effectively reflects what Christ was trying to communicate to people.  Not only that, but he walks the walk with adamant support for missions to help people in the community and the world and an unswerving determination to encourage more youth participation.  The man is the real deal. 

Our church has recently split apart due to the hierarchy of the "Presbyterian Church USA" denomination making a decision to allow homosexuals to serve as pastors, elders, and deacons in our church as long as it is approved by the congregation of each church.  Many members of our church simply couldn't take that entire concept.  So, they left.

As with most issues that get an emotional rise out of me, I always try to look at the core issue, "what is it that bothers me so?".  So, here it is;   In the New Testament Jesus Christ mentions the evils of judging, hypocrisy, disobeying the ten commandments and his actions were always towards healing the sick and feeding the poor.   These things are "what He's all about".   Not once did he mention homosexuals.  Not once.  But the evils of judging other people are very, very clear in the New Testament. 

1st Corinthians 4:5 

"So don't make judgments about anyone ahead of time--before the Lord returns. For he will bring our darkest secrets to light and will reveal our private motives. Then God will give to each one whatever praise is due."  (New International Version 2007)

Pastor Shawn had a sermon this week that concluded with the allegory of a talented wood carver who does remarkable work creating very realistic looking dogs.  When someone asks him how he does that... he replies "it's not that hard really, you just remove everything from the block of wood that's not a dog".   Shawn then concluded that when we need to make tough decisions in life that maybe "it's not  really that hard after all",  we just need to remove everything from the decision that is not love.

That's what Christianity is all about, Charlie Brown....

In My Humble Opinion,

Chuck Marshall

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Because King Chuck Wishes It: Part 2

Back in April, I wrote a blog called "Because King Chuck Wishes It", and it was basically a rambling soliloquy on what I would like to have happen in the United States if I were to somehow gain absolute power, like a King in the "old days".  So, this has been running around in my head lately because after all it's so much fun to consider having all things go the way you want with no challenge from any other political thought.  (The Tea Party should be familiar with this thought process).  Anyway..... I was in conversation with a customer today over the expense of general elections and I climbed up on my soap box to announce one of my favorite ideas.  So, here is how I put it in the original "Because King Chuck Wishes It".

" Extract money from the process of electing our leaders. We have a system to select the best college basketball team in the country that doesn't require a Billion dollars so why is such a system so impossible for our leaders? Candidates shall be nominated by their peers as being capable and trustworthy in the community. These nominees would then list their positions on all the major issues of the day. Have them present their ideas in the form of a speech. Have them debate each other to defend their positions. Then we all vote. No campaigns, no signs, no TV ads, no daily mailings, no marketing, no polls, no malarkey. Just the candidate and the people."

This is where I stopped on "electing leaders" in "Because King Chuck Wishes It" part I. 

So, to continue this train of thought......why do we have elections where money is necessary? .  Anyone who is elected in this day and age is very much beholden to whoever funded their multi-million dollar "run for office", never mind their claims at being called to do the bidding of the American people.  What a crock that is !   They are concerned with paying back whoever shelled out the big bucks for them to get their "dream job" running our country. (running it into the ground is how its been working).

So, my ideas is a play off system of selecting, nominating and finally electing our leaders.  It would start locally.  We begin by selecting leaders in our communities whether through voluntary organizations or businesses.  Each organization of over 100 members (just for the sake of argument, doesn't have to be 100- but enough people so that the leaders in the group stand out) will nominate one of its members to run for public office.

Once the nominees are selected, each person will be asked to demonstrate what their agenda would be and how they would tackle problems of the day.  The local media would then cover each candidate with published lists of their opinions on LOCAL issues and bullet points on their opinions and solutions.  Each candidate would then be allowed to make broadcast speeches and answer questions from the public.  At that point there would be "primaries" where each party would vote for their preferred nominee.  These primaries would be "open" primaries, that is anyone can vote in any primary, but they can only select one group to participate in.  As an example, the Republicans might have group of 10 candidates, then the Independents and even Democrats can vote for one of these men or women but they then give up  their right to vote in any other primary (ie, the Democratic primary).

With this process, you're getting the best and most qualified leaders who have been observed by people in their community consequently  the person's morals and qualities are personally verified.

Stay tune for another "Because King Chuck Wishes It", as I elaborate on this new way of selecting our leaders.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Chuck Marshall's Humble Opinion ...Published !

Dear faithful readers !

I must apologize for neglecting many of you who probably didn't see my column published in the Orlando Sentinel back in Septbember.  I had meant to copy on to this blog, but totally forgot in all the excitement of my first "guest" column.  Truth be told, I'd like to be a regular columnist (for the Orlando Sentinel or any other periodical) but this blog will have to satisfy my craving for the time being.  Not much money (because none of you ever clicks my ads !) but at least I'm getting an  assortment of ramblings off my chest.  Anyway, here is it in all it's glory.  OR, you can google search "Charles E. Marshall  Orlando Sentinel Sept. 13, 2011" and it should come up.  The Sentinel titled it "Middle Voice Will Bring Wise Government", but I just titled it  "Wise Government"

Happy Reading !

Wise Government (published Sept. 13, 2011- Op-Ed page of the Orlando Sentinel)
As our nation grapples with its next political direction, I have to question why there is such silence and absence of the middle voice? The right is very vocal with its Tea Party wing of the Republican party, the left is ever-present with the clarion call that the government is there to help all of us, whether we want that help or not. Each wing has its rock solid supporters. The Republicans are champions of all things corporate. They fling the door wide open to the corporate lobbyists and encourage all of us that if we just allow the corporations to do as they wish then it will“trickle down” to the rest of us. The left has the labor unions, bureaucrats, the perpetually unemployed and progressive “thinkers” that are well adapted at wrenching money from the faceless government and its never ending supply of money.
The backbone of our country is the small businessman, the low-level managers, the teachers, the entrepreneurs, religious leaders, civic leaders, firemen, police officers, and housewives. These are the groups that really get it all done and form the foundation of our communities. I don’t see anyone who is focused on this group of people. Those who want the freedom to succeed but also understand the occasional need for government involvement. A smart, efficient government that encourages new business ideas and endeavors but does not subsidize large corporations that already have the advantage over any smaller competitor. A smart, efficient government that rules the country in order to encourage individual achievement as well as individual responsibility. One that encourages us to take care of our own families and to make the smart choices in life, always realizing the fact that actions have consequences, always “allowing” us to fail if that is the consequence of our bad choices. Let the broken pieces be picked up by our friends, family and neighbors so there is meaning to help when it comes.
It is my hope that the swelling movement of Independent voters will evolve into a powerful movement that demands a disciplined, intelligent government that borrows from both wings of the political spectrum to allow America to move on to a new level of success. An America that once again governs on compromise, always understanding that no one group is always correct, and all voices have a right to be heard and respected even if those voices don't vocalize our own thoughts. Let America lead the world once again in political thought. It should be an example to all nations that the individual led by a wise government has no obstacles that cannot be overcome.
In My Humble Opinion........Chuck Marshall :)

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Independents Need Traction - Perry Losing His

As I watch the Republican party transfix the country with their obsession over the Tea Party and never, ever raising taxes, I am more frustrated than ever at the lack of leadership among the independents. Whose fault is it?  Is it because the media simply ignores any Independents?  Do you really HAVE to be in a party to win approval from the public, even a public that is veering away from both parties?   I sincerely feel that most of the Republican candidates are poor.  I don't hear any new ideas except that they want to do away with Obamacare.    I'm tired of having to choose from the two parties., if we can't have an independent movement why can't there be a third more moderate party?

Anyway, it looks like the good news is that Rick Perry, the least literate of all the Republican party candidates and unbelievably the highest in polls earlier this month, has fallen behind Romney again.  How could anyone  vote for that guy to be president?  He grates on my nerves almost as badly as Michelle-I hate Obamacare- Bachman.  He is clearly not very intelligent, a terrible debater, and I totally agree with Mitt Romney., that "it's hard to lose at poker when you've been dealt 4 aces".   Everyone is saying how "good he has done as Texas' governor".   Huh?  Texas, in case anyone doesn't know,  is full of oil.  The whole state is very reliant on oil to move along, and when oil is expensive, Texas reaps the benefits.  This has nothing to do with anything Rick Perry did and everything to do with what what OPEC did.  Texas is the American version of Saudi Arabia, sustaining themselves and their garish, Stetson wearing lifestyles on black gold.  Try again, Tea Party but this time at least consider someone who is narrow minded, but intelligent... not narrow minded and dim witted.

Well, anyway right now I'm still pulling for Romney.  I think once he's done with the ridiculous primary process (another blog on this stupidity soon, I promise !) he'll come out of the closet as the reasonable centrist that I feel we really need.

In My Humble Opinion,

Chuck Marshall

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Republican Debate: Orlando

So, nothing motivates a blog like watching a political debate !  I'm feeling a little more positive towards a lot of the candidates, but I still favor Mitt Romney as the best choice for the Republican candidate.   I find myself liking Herman Caine a lot too, though..... Ron Paul lost me with his Sept. 11 comment last week.

There are only two that I really think don't belong on the stage;  Michelle -I hate Obamacare-Bachmann and Rick Perry.   But, really most of all I am mystified by Rick Perry. Why does anyone like this guy?   He's slow, his answers are rambling, and I really question his intelligence.  Oh, I also don't like Newt Gingrich.  He gives good answers, he's intelligent and he knows what he's talking about but I just don't like him.  He's just so impressed with himself, isn't he?  He reminds me of a college professor that loves to show off how much he knows and never grades on a curve. 

So, anyway I feel more comfortable that the Republicans might come up with someone I can vote for. 

In My Humble Opinion,

Chuck Marshall

Monday, September 12, 2011

The Tea Party Debate: Are they the Republican Party Now?

Well, I had to blog out some thoughts on the Tea Party debate tonight.  It seems the Republican party and the Tea Party are merging into one entity !   As an independent I find this concerning because the Tea party is nothing more than the far right of the Republican party.  I'm not saying I disagree with all they say, but I do see them as unreasonable and unwilling to compromise which is very, very bad for our government and how it operates.   As a consequence, it is bad for our country's reputation and economy.  You will never get everyone agreeing with each other, and if you refuse to see the other side, then nothing gets done.  We'll have a government stuck in a quagmire of dispute and indecision.  I see them as very dangerous, not because of their ideology but because of this unreasonable and child-like refusal to work with the other philosophy in governing.   The only way the US government gets anything done is through compromise.

One thing, I would have liked to have heard is how these self-proclaimed Tea Party enthusiasts would deal with a Congress controlled by the Democrats ?  Lets say that the Democrats toss back some of the crap they got back in the debt ceiling debate and they absolutely refuse to deal with the new "Tea Party" president ?   That's a very likely scenario., somebody needs to ask them. 

Another thing I'd like to know is regarding  "Obamacare" they hate so much.  What is their solution to a health care system that is so expensive many, many in the middle class cannot afford it?  Some in the audience vocally approved of the idea to let a person die who is sick but without healthcare?    Is that their solution?  I want an answer to this, not more rhetoric and conjecture. 

Anyway, as the race firms up here.... I see Huntsman and Romney as the only viable choice in this group.

In My Humble Opinion,

Chuck Marshall

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Is the Republican Party Anti-Science?

Something has been bugging me for a while.  It seems to me that the Republican party has been drifting into an "anti-science" frame of mind these past few years.  Think about it, they absolutely despise Global Warming (or whatever we're suppose to call it) and consider it a farce or just an exaggerated fluctuation in earth's temperature.   But most scientists in that field believe it's a real problem.  They are opposed to raising the debt ceiling (no matter what !) because they don't think anything "bad" will happen even though the best economists were warning the exact opposite.  Now, I'm understanding that the Republican herd is starting to nod their head in agreement with those that believe evolution is wrong.  I mean, evolution?  Genetics and evolution are utilized every day to a very great benefit to mankind.   I'm actually a pretty religious guy, but living in the 21st century I've learned that the Bible and science can go hand in hand if you consider that God is the one that set it all up.

I understand the Republicans need the Christian right to become elected but I think it's obvious they're just using them.  Everybody knows it except........the Christian right.  Does any thinking person really believe that once they get into power that the Republicans are going to take on gay marriage or abortion?  They won't touch it with a ten foot pole.   I guarantee it.... until, of course the summer of  2015 when they remember to mouth their opinion and spoon feed this very naive group of people that "this time, we're going to be fighting for the American Family".   Blah, blah, blah......

As a Christian man I look to my pastor for spiritual leadership but I don't think I really care if the President, or Congress are Christians or not.   I do, however care very much that they are intelligent and that they respect the scientific community and its leaders.  We live in a world of facts and concrete and they need to react based on that reality.  Science has gotten mankind very far, and it should be respected for the direction it offers not discounted for political gains.  Religion and politics do not mix., and they shouldn't.  I think it's repugnant to toss around the name of Jesus Christ and his intentions in these ugly matters of earthly politics.  As Christ himself said  "Render unto Cesar what is Cesar's and unto God what is God's".

In My Humble Opinion,

Chuck Marshall


Friday, August 26, 2011

Should I Change My Title?

Some of you may have noticed that I haven't posted a blog in a while (at least a while for my blog), Well hopefully a lot of you have noticed....... but I doubt that,  LOL!   Anyway, I've lost some of my "mo-jo" and I am considering a change in my blog title to reflect a different direction I'm considering, to get the thing more focused.  This blog is political.  I rarely mention anything personal, religious, antecdotal, cinema, popular cutlure...... it's all political.  That,  of course, has been on purpose.  I believe more stongly than ever that the Independent voice is the most important but also the most ignored voice in politics.  So, since I am a vocal Independent I want to focus on that very fact.  BTW, I decided not to re-join the Republican Party, at least not yet.... until it suits my goals as an independent so..... why stress over it?  I may even join the Democratic party if it suits my goals as an Independent... but more on all that later.  I will use the parties to my own needs,  they will be the handkerchief  to receive the snot of my discontent.

So, my devoted readers.... I was hoping you might weigh in on what I should call this little blog of mine.  FYI, since starting this in April of this year, I've had 2300 "hits" (probably about 70-80 regular "readers", but nobody has been brave enough to become a "follower"- can you blame them?). 

Here are my choices:

"An Independent Voice"
"The Middle Ground"
"Marshall in the Middle"
"The Marshall Plan"

OR, do I keep "Chuck Marshall's Humble Opinion?"  You can vote on my blog, at the right of what you're reading right now.  So, go ahead and vote ! 
If you have your own ideas, feel free to submit them on my comments section, or on my facebook wall.... but hold the sarcasm, ie: "Chuck, I suggest you call it "I'm no longer writing this Blog".  

In my humble opinion,

Chuck Marshall


 

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Presidential Debate Reveals An Honest Candidate

As I watch the Republican presidential election I hear most of them happily confess their determination to defeat President Obama, repeal Obama-Care, and of course NEVER EVER raise taxes.  Right now my biggest concern is what is going to be done with our deficit.  None of them, that I heard, had an explanation as to how we will ever pay off the $14 Trillion that they and Obama have run up over the last 10 years.  Do they sincerely believe we can ever take care of this deficit simply by cutting everything?    They all even raised their hands when asked if they are offered an option where the cuts would be 10 times any raise in taxes that they would still not raise taxes.  It's that kind of stubborn "herd" approach that really concerns me about this group of people.  Never ?  It doesn't make sense that we simply walk away from these debts we ran up in our recent history and I guess hope the whole thing will simply evaporate. 

Something about these debates always makes me feel uncomfortable.  I don't think its well done, always encouraging arguments between each of the candidates.  That's not productive, all it does is display their ability to be get really nasty and but I'm not sure that's necessarily a skill imperative for a President.  What are their ideas for solving America's problems?    The press, as usual, encourages discourse in these elections and the political parties are only happy to oblige.  It's the same old dog and pony show.  Who can zing the other person the best.  But this isn't a game, this is the process of selecting the most qualified person to lead our country. 

I wish I had counted the number of times they have mentioned how much they want to remove President Obama from power.  They all have said it at least once, (with one exception whom I will get to in a minute).  Why do they say that?  It's obvious they want to get rid of Pres. Obama or they wouldn't be there.  To me, it's insulting. 

Anyway, as an Independent I think what I often crave are the ideas that are most likely to work in reality, not the usual "blah, blah" against the opposing party.  So, in my opinion Ms. Bachmann was by far the worst of all the candidates with her very predictable "boogie man" portrayal of President Obama and her continual announcements about "what Americans want",  when what she really means is what the Tea Party wants.   Mitt Romney did exactly what he needed to do to maintain his position as the leader of the pack;  look presidential and don't say anything stupid.   The only really honest person on the stage was Ron Paul.  I found myself, like the audience., cheering him on.  By far, the best part was his rebuttal to Pawlenty who mentioned we've been at war with Iran since 1979 when the Americans were taken hostage.   Ron Paul rebutted that the war actually started in 1953 when the US government set up the Shah of Iran as its puppet government and that the US needs to bring its troops home,  mind its own busines, and stop spending trillions of dollars on the problems of foreign governments.   Right on, Ron Paul !  I really like Ron Paul, he says what he thinks and nevermind what Republican traditions are.  Also, unless I missed it I didn't notice him running his mouth about how much he can't stand President Obama.  Who would I vote for out of all them for President?  At this point I'm looking at Romney and Ron Paul, but Huntsman caught my attention also.  Not too much "blah, blah" from him and alhough rather stiff, he did seem to be speaking his mind. In the end, that's what I'm looking for, honesty and fresh ideas. 

In My Humble Opinion,

Chuck Marshall

Thursday, August 4, 2011

The Problem is the Parties




After watching the debacle that happened in Washington, DC for the past several weeks (over the debt ceiling), I am more firmly convinced than ever that the political parties are the reason our government is not working.  Maybe there was a reason for their existence at one time, but today they are a throwback and the partisan process of running a government simply doesn't work.  Absolutely nothing gets done, and all fresh ideas are squashed by the opposing party. 

The solution?  We need Independents to gain more influence in the government.  If the Independents control the reigns of power there is more likely to be communication.   Fresh ideas will have a much better chance of being acted upon.  Independents would break the gridlock between the two parties (Republicans/Tea Party and Democrats/Socialists) and help give fresh alternatives from any political philosophy a chance.  Yes, we would finally have compromise, and that is not a dirty word. 

So, what's the first step to getting power for the Independents ?   All primaries should be open primaries in all states.  It is simply unconstitutional that independents are not allowed to vote in primaries for either party.  Because the Dems or Repubs will control our government, and the Independents aren't allowed to participate in the nominating process for either of the parties (at least in Florida and most states) ... then the Independents are being denied their constitutional right to select their leaders. 

Second, we need leaders !  I don't know how to get middle of the road, fair minded Independents to step up as leaders,  but the I's need to start getting together to discuss possible leadership.   That's the real challenge is that the I's by nature aren't interested in agreeing with a herd of cattle.  But, for the good of the country we have to agree that we don't agree on everything other than all Americans have the right to be heard and America deserves much better than it has been getting this past 10-20 years.

Third, the process of government is now skewed and monopolized by the parties.  The entire process of government revolves around them as if  they are the sun and anyone outside their circle is but a pale moon, a substandard satellite.  Eliminate the old, established "way of doing things" that the two parties have set up for themselves,  the processes that are conducive to their stranglehold on power in our nation's capitol.

Spread the word., drop out of the parties.  The fewer members they have, the less likely they are to keep screwing up our country with their juvenile bickering and partisan politics. 

The biggest problem in politics is the political parties., they've forgotten they are there for all Americans and to represent American interests not any one way of seeing things. There is no plurality, there is no compromise, and it's " my way or the highway". Very dangerous situation and reminiscent of totalitarian regimes going back through history including Nazis and Communists.

In my humble opinion,

Chuck Marshall

Friday, July 29, 2011

Are the Democrats Playing Cat and Mouse ?

I still don't get something.  Why don't the Democrats work with the moderate Republicans to work out some sort of deal that might work to raise the debt ceiling?   Why are we all hostage to this group of Tea Party freshmen?  I have a theory that the Democrats are actually "hoping" the debt ceiling won't be raised so that the whole of the American public will be howling for the removal of all Republican  heads.

You see, they're smart because they see what's happening now is just like what happend with the health care law that Obama decreed back in 2009.  In 2010,  the Democrats were squashed by the electorate which is now very heavily influenced by the Independents.  Why?  As an Independent, I can tell you why I voted Republican... it's because I was disgusted by Pres. Obama's obsession over the Health Care bill while the country languished in a very serious recession.  So, how do you think I feel about this fiasco that has played out in DC this past few weeks?  I am seething, and the Republicans are coming off as the bad guys.  "We are determined 'cause we're just right and we want our way no matter what the consequences are and we want it now."  Such immature, selfish, self centered children.  They are an embarassment to the greatest country in the world.  

I don't think the Republicans have figured out what's going on yet, but it will become abundantly clear when they lose the House of Representatives and much of the Senate and the Presidency.    This lack of compromise does not bode well with Americans, in general.  The Republican's are letting their right wing fringe hold them and America hostage.  Once the dust settles, I don't think it's going to be pretty for them.   God help us as the Democrats run the show again.  Maybe they (the Democrats) will have learned a lesson and they'll rule with wisdom,and plurality, and fairness, and decency..... but I doubt it.  So... it's back and forth we go. 

In my humle opinion,

Chuck Marshall

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Sense of Fair Play Missing from the Republican Party

As the entire "debt ceiling" debate rumbles along I have found myself feeling a real distaste for the Republican party.  It  seems to have been taken hostage by the "Tea Party", demanding all that it wants but with no intention of allowing the other side any gains according to what is important in their heart.   Normally a bully demanding all he or she wants with no consideration to giving ground to the other point of view has no consequences except that there is simply no deal.  Unfortunately, in this case the consequences could be quite dire, and their inflexible stance could cause serious economic consequences.  If nothing else, they are making many, many people nervous with their resistance to fair play.

Our country was founded on compromise and July 4, 1776 would not have happened if not for compromise.  Throughout history we have thrived at every critical stage through thoughtful and fair negotiation with one great exception now known as the Civil War.  Americans don't like a lack of fair play and no matter what part of society you might be in, compromise is essential otherwise we paint ourselves into a corner of isolation.  We cut off personal or business opportunities.

Such is the case of the debt ceiling negotiations.  The Democrats and President Obama have demonstrated a willingness to give up some programs and cut others in the interest of reigning in the deficit and to satisfy the Republican's rightful demands for action.  Now, as in all negotiation it is the other side's turn to give up something important to them.  In this case, an increase in revenues. 

The Republicans refusal to see the other side 's point of view and their rigid stance against any form of revenue increase demonstrates an immaturity and partisan politics that to much of the American public is repugnant.   The Republican House members may feel cocky and purposeful at the moment, but this stiff resistance to compromise while simultaneously frightening the American public may ultimately result in a permanent fracture of the trust between Republican political leaders and the American public. 

In My Humble Opinion,

Chuck Marshall

Sunday, July 17, 2011

USA Titanic Part 2 : " Iceberg Straight Ahead, Why Aren't They Turning?"

On April 10, 2011,   I  wrote a blog titled the "USA Titanic" (which sank on April 12, 1912...so this was two days shy of the 99th anniversary of that fateful night...... didn't even notice that when I wrote it !).    In that blog I compared our economy to the doomed ocean liner  heading towards an iceberg with a crew at the helm unable to agree on what to do, and nervous passengers (international investors) eyeing the lifeboats warily. 

To reiterate..... here is the main part: 

"There aren't enough life boats and the ship is taking on water and it's only a matter of time before the passengers, better known as the world currency market run around in a circle looking for a safe haven lest they drown in the freezing waters of the United States federal deficit. This all because our government can't develop a realistic plan that includes cuts in some sacred cows such as medicare, medicaid, social security and the military along with an increase in tax revenues. We're still taking on water, and the Captain and his crew are walking around in a daze mumbling about nation building, health care for all, no new taxes and tea.  God help the USA Titanic as it heads towards an iceberg and all anybody can do is argue over which way it should swerve while they sip their tea. Dump the tea and just turn, damn it !"

Well, here we are three months later, and I'm afraid the iceberg has been spotted for some time now, but part of the crew has decided that the iceberg might not really hurt the USA Titanic after all.    Now we have some Republican Congressmen  (or Tea Party congressmen, not sure of the difference anymore) demanding everything they want or "no deal" on the raising of the debt ceiling.   "The iceberg is only a scare tactic of Captain Obama."  Huh?  The USA Titanic is unsinkable?    I am not an economist (and neither are any of these people), but considering what happened to the economy in 2008 with the default of so many banks, what the heck is going to happen when the federal government defaults?  Nothing?  Who's going to save the US Treasury?  This is a serious risk these people are taking.  A political game of "chicken" with no regard for the consequences.

But let's take a hard look at where this iceberg came from and consider what exactly is at the core of its cause.   What really grew the iceberg to such dramatic effect?   

 To be fair, I agree that President Obama has only just recently "come to Jesus" on the federal deficit.   But Obama has only been in office for 2 1/2 years., and he has demonstrated a willingness to make some pretty dramatic cuts to satisfy the Republicans.  Now, if  we go further back, I think it's logical that  a major part of this deficit is really due to the two wars we have been fighting.  The grand total so far is somewhere in the neighborhood of $3.7 Trillion since 2001, and climbing by the day.  Some peg it even higher than  $4 Trillion.  So, what did our government do to cover this cost?  They maintained a massive tax CUT !  We've all conveniently ignored  this little detail.   But, the wars still have to be paid for... and now it's time to pay.  It is only logical that we have higher taxes to pay for $3.7 Trillion dollars spent.   Where else is it going to come from but an increase in taxes?   Throughout history wars have been fought by taxing the population.   It's only here in America that we decided we could spend our way out of the expenses of war.  Let's call it  "Voo-doo" war payments.

The logical thing to do is close all the loopholes available now to everybody,  let the Bush tax cuts lapse and any deficit that is not covered would come from a flat tax for everybody.  Once the debts are satisfied, the taxes come down.  End of story.   This is the right thing to do.  We all benefit from the protection of our country,  never mind the details of the wars.  Everyone is looking at what should be cut, but am I the only one that thinks we need to also be paying for what we got?  We need to pay that money back. 

So, there it is.  Cut, cut, cut spending as much as possible, AND raise taxes for the war our government waged.  Such dramatic effort and aggressive action will calm the world's financial markets and we can all get back to the happy business of making money.  Economies should flourish without the uncertainty of the world's largest economy teetering on depression.  Teetering into depression because its government is ruled by two bickering babies known as the Republican and Democratic parties.   

The iceberg is very real, and even the lifeboats won't do much good if we ram right into the damn thing.  "This ship can't sink !"  "Aye, she's made of iron sir, I assure you.... she can sink".  Turn !




In My Humble Opinion,

Chuck Marshall

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Casey Anthony Murdered Her Daughter

For the last several months, I have purposely avoided the Casey Anthony trial because from the beginning it seemed way over- examined.   A judicial circus.   I don't like public spectacle because after all  there are  murders every day and they don't get the entire world's attention.   Usually it's a waste of time and an excercise  in frustration, and the whole thing reminded me of the OJ Simpson case.  But there I was on Saturday and Sunday, glued to my television watching the prosecution and defense close their case.   I was wrapped up and swallowed whole by the hyperbole just like everybody else.  I wish I had stuck to my guns and ignored the whole stupid thing.  This is what I get....  one more loss in confidence in our government's ability  to govern.  This time it's not the legislative or the executive, it's our warped system of justice.

So there I was., like most people,  examining Casey Anthony and evaluating her reaction to the testimony.   I was considering how it seemed like a rock solid case against her.  She killed her daughter and the fact that she lied about her location seemed like a very obvious clue.  String her up !  The evidence, to me, was that compelling. 

Today the news hit like a ton of bricks. "not guilty"., and not even a lesser charge... totally "not guilty".  What ?  How could they have come to such a conclusion:?    I know we're going to hear from the talking heads on the networks that the prosecution didn't have a strong case.  That most of the evidence was circumstantial.  That there was still "reasonable doubt" in the minds of the jury.   But, really..... short of having her fingerprints on Casey's neck or a video of her taping the duct tape to her face, I don't see what else could have been shown to prove her guilt.  What do juries expect these days to prove to them guilt of the accused,  "beyond reasonable doubt"?     

To the Jury I submit; 

1)  Casey Anthony's daughter was missing for 30 days and she did not notify the authorities, at all... ever, it had to be brought to the attention of the authorities by her worried mother, the child's grandmother.
2)  Casey Anthony lied about her daughter's whereabouts at first,  by blaming her absence on a person that does not even exist.
3)  The defense's alternate theory had her father covering up an accidental drowning by making it look like a murder.....?
4)  She borrowed the neighbors shovel around the time Casey is believed to have been missing.
5)  The duct tape was connected to her household.
6)  Her mother called 911 mentioning that her daughter's car smelled "like death".
7)  The body was found blocks from her house with nothing but items originating from the Anthony household.
8)  There are bountiful videos of Casey Anthony partying, and celebrating while her daughter was still missing.  She had a tatoo put on her arm stating "Bella Vita", "Happy Life". 
9)  The physical evidence did connect the deceased child to Casey's car trunk. 

There is a point in meteing out justice where we have to allow for common sense to guide us in how we draw conclusions.  The only logical conclusion as to why a person would lie about the location of someone else who was in their care,  is that the person is hiding something.   This is doubly true if the accused lied for over a month and never had an alternate story with any veracity.  What happened to the missing person here?   Her body was found.  She was found dead.  How ever she  died,  the person who lied is responsble.  That's "beyond reasonable doubt". 

The jury's decision to  acquit this murderer is a travesty of justice and does us all a disservice.  I should imagine that any person out there who entertains the idea of murdering another human being must feel emboldened to do so now.   All that has to be done is that  you cover your tracks well enough and reduce everything around the case to being "circumstantial"  in the eyes of an exhausted, dim-witted jury. 

I listened to a radio talk show host talk about how this was an acceptable verdict because the jury was "defending the constitution".  No sir, a jury is required to mete out justice.  At least it should be, right?   The innocent victims of our society have been reduced to courtroom antics, judicial jousting in the name of "defending the Constitution".  I don't think the framers of our constitution were striving for a society where murderers could go free because the process of convicting them became so convoluted.   When this process takes precedence over what is "right" and "fair" and "logical", then we have all lost sight of justice in the name of the very process of justice.  This jury, today did great damage in my mind, to the idea that I live in a fair society where justice is served.  This was not justice.  This was a travesty. 



In My Humble Opinion.

Chuck Marshall

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Should I Become a Republican, Again?




Yes, you read right.  I am considering re-joining the Republican party.   After being an Independent since 2002, I am having doubts that this is the best approach.... at least in today's political environment.   I don't see any voice for the Independents.   Where is the voice of reason for the middle ground ?    Why is there no movement towards leadership among Independents?   Open primaries would help the I's, but I never even hear it considered in conversation or the media,    The primaries come and I have no say in who is nominated to be my President.   Most elections are still totally dominated by Republicans and Democrats and their very predictable disagreements.  It's extremely frustrating.

The trouble isn't just with the lack of leadership amongst the Independents., it's also that the two parties are becoming more extreme because the moderates are leaving.   It stands to reason the more extreme of the parties will gain power and influence.  Witness what's been happening in Washington, DC for the last 10-12 years.  With the two parties becoming more extreme, we have perpetual disagreement.  Endless bickering.  Nothing gets accomplished and it's all about who is "winning" as if  the life of Americans is some sort of perpetual football game.  Are you a Red state or a Blue state?  Conservative or Liberal?   Democrat or Republican?  Pro-Obama or Anti-Obama?  There was even an article in the paper recently that Congressional leaders are writing the title of new laws to flaunt which "side" the law is on.  I receive letters from my congressman that speak to his consituency as if we're all Republicans ! 

Where is the wisdom?  Where is the compromise?  I believe this situation is very dangerous because extremism can never win unless it forces the opposing view into submission. 

You see, ever since I left the Republican party I have watched as it lurched further and further to the right with no consideration of opposing views.  I don't even recognize it anymore.   Maybe I  have to go back to being a Republican in the spirit of bringing it back to its roots;   Individual responsibility,  Fiscal Conservatism,  Limited government in ALL issues including the bedroom and religion,  a government that enables Americans to achieve their best,  business friendly but not corporate welfare, and of course respect for the environment such as was championed by my favorite Republican President "Teddy Roosevelt".  Bully !

So, I am considering returning to the Republican party because  I want a voice in my government again.   The extremists of  the Republicans have taken over, therefor an infusion of reasonable human beings is very much needed for the good of the country.   Above all else, if I'm a Republican I can vote in the primaries and help to block some of the scary people advertising themselves as "our future".  

Wish me luck in my careful consideration on this matter.


In My Humble Opinion,

Chuck Marshall

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Orlando Sentinel "Back Talk: SunRail"


(First, I do want to comment that I am very much a fiscal conservative, but money spent to maneuver people to work is an important function of the government.  You can't have commerce with people sitting in traffic.  Also, train systems tend to breed development and business that otherwise would have never come into being.  It's money well spent.  Also, please note I have elderly parents and I am not opposed to medicare (although it certainly has issues).  What I resent is the hypocrisy of people who benefit from the government but are adamantly against anything else the government might do for other people.  Then, suddenly it becomes socialism.)


Published today, June 22 in the Orlando Sentinel Opinion Page:

Reading some of your reader's comments regarding the sun rail project, it struck me that what it comes down to is the role of government. The role of the government, according to the constitution is, among other things, to secure the domestic tranquility and to promote the general welfare of the people. Helping people to avoid burdensome and time-wasting traffic along with an alternative transportation to get to work would most definitely help do both of these things. Those opposed to a reasonable train system should consider that not everything the government does is required to "make money". I smell hypocrisy when I read adamant letters and polls protesting a train system that "I won't use",   but I should imagine many of those readers opposed are also dependent on the "government funded" medicare system which my generation may never be "able to use".

In My Humble Opinion

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

The Weiner and the Weenies


 
So,  Rep. Weiner D, from New York was caught sending explicit pictures of himself to various women all over the country.  I guess he sent photos of himself shirtless, and in his underwear and I'm assuming naked, but I'm not totally sure on that.  He's "really sorry" for it though.  Of course he's really sorry,  he got caught.  I guess his wife can count herself lucky he wasn't sending pictures to boys !  

Anyway, I saw the picture of his "torso" he sent to some lady;  it was displayed in USA Today last week.   First of all, the man needs to do some bench presses or push ups or something... what  a bird chest.  Second, in the background are framed pictures of his family, all smiling and happy looking on while Mr. Weiner reveals his "pride" to the strangers.   What a display !  So now, it's not just his family looking on it's the entire country.   Weiner's a wiener.    But he's seeking counseling now.  Counseling for what?  Acute stupidity?  A brain transplant?  "Someone please replace this colossal tumor in my head masquerading as a brain". 

This man is one of the 435 US Representatives, one of our "leaders" in Washington, DC.  That's what's so frightening.  He's an immoral idiot, but he still thinks he should keep his position.  What a weird, weird world it is when something like this happens and the perpetrator refuses to resign.  He is suppose to represent the people of New York as a respected leader?   These are the people running our government,  does anyone really think things are operating properly in our Capital?  

I suppose nobody thinks our leaders in Washington, DC are worth much.  The problem is they're a bunch of followers, a herd of weenies.  I hear no original ideas out of Washington, D.C, it's always the same herd mentality.   This whole process is wrong.  It just isn't working, all we're getting is one weenie after another.   We've got to look at new ideas to bring back a government that actually works.  This is ridiculous.   No more weenies !

In my humble opinion,

Chuck Marshall

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

American First




As you all should know by now, I am not affiliated with any particular party.  I have some  major issues with both parties and I feel they are very slowly ruining our country.   The way I see it, either party with a large majority turns into a ravenous shark.  They lose all control and become so overwhelmed with the smell of blood that they start tearing apart all semblance of dignity.  They see something they want and proceed to grab it,  and their promises during the election become a distant memory.  Their position as a representative of the people ceases and their eyes roll to the back of their head as they bite into the blood- filled meat of power. 

Such is the case with our government here in Florida.  The Republican governor, senate and the house of representatives were beside themselves as they passed law after law that would neuter the Democrats and will lay the foundation for their feeding frenzy to continue well into the future.   What's most daunting though, is their assault on the fair voting districts amendment that the people approved in the last election.  (They've even resorted to using public funds to file a lawsuit stopping it!)  What are they afraid of?  Is it that they couldn't win elections without the help of gerrymandering?   That is the thorn of contention that I have with each of our major parties: They are in it for the power and to subjugate the opposing party.  Improving  the lives of the people becomes a perfunctory task, an irritating necessity that draws them away from the much more entertaining game of political chess. 


Just as with any herd, there is very little logic or consideration for the direction of movement except for the fact that the herd wishes it., and unless you get out of their way,  your considerate ideas and approaches to making improvements in the "way of things" will be trampled   These two groups have us separated and powerless through this endless round of "us versus them".   There is no real reason to be in a party except that it has simply always been so.  As Thomas Paine said at the beginning of his masterpiece  "Common Sense":   ".........  a long habit of not thinking a thing wrong, gives it a superficial appearance of being right".

The political parties split us as Americans and leave those who crave power for power's sake in charge.  We need American leaders, not Republican and Democratic leaders.  Only then will we truly see an effective, functioning government. 

In my humble opinion,

Chuck Marshall

p.s. !  Click and ad ..... I need the money.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Pigs At The Trough



Did you know that the amount of money spent on lobbying in Washington, DC has gone up by seven times since 1980..... seven times ! The amount spent on organized "influencing" of our federal government is at an astounding $3.4 Billion annually as of 2010 ! That's up from $1.44 Billion just since 1990. Nearly triple in 20 years.

So, who are these lobbyists, exactly ?

The largest contributing industry in 2010?    Pharmaceuticals which spent $241,075,934 in 2010 and they have spent a whopping $2,081,240,642 since 1998.  A close second was the electric utilities at $191,304,085 in 2010 and $1,417,711,382 since 1998.  Although the insurance industry has been losing ground the last year or so, they still get an "also ran" award for placing second overall in this category by spending $1,499,821,977 since 1998 to get their "fair share". Another $1.5 Billion to make sure congress does exactly what?

The largest single contributors?    The US Chamber of Commerce for 2010 which was at $132,067,500. They have spent a massive $738,825,680 since 1998.  Second: PG&E Group (Pacific Gas & Electric Co.) at $45,460,000 for 2010.    The all time "winner" for 1998-2010 was the American Medical Association at $243,277,500. The American Medical Association and the Pharmaceutical lobbyists must have a good time discussing strategies at the taverns and bars in Georgetown. The two together have spent nearly $3 Billion since 1990.  And my how our health care system shines.... er, wait a second !  I guess it works well for them.   They're not stupid enough to spend $3 Billion for nothing,......only the government does dumb things like that.

Well, I could go on and on about who is buying our government but I think I'm making myself clear that this is out of control.   This has been one of the hardest blogs for me to write because I tend to acknowledge both sides of arguments, but I see no argument to support such obscene amounts of money being spent by the monied and powerful.  They steer our government to make specific decisions that would obviously be in their favor. 

In "Common Sense", Thomas Paine began by writing:  "Perhaps the sentiments contained in the following pages, are not yet sufficiently fashionable to procure them general favor; a long habit of not thinking a thing wrong, gives it a superficial appearance of being right". Thomas Paine was talking about the King of England,  I think it applies today to the lobbying industry.  We've seen it so long, that it seems like an ordinary way of "doing government business".  An unfortunate necessity.   But,  what's going on is wrong.   Like slithering snakes, these lobbyists have coiled themselves around the very freedoms and liberties our young men and women fight for over seas, choking those freedoms into submission in the name of corporate welfare.  These people have an undue influence on our government  and its operation.  I am afraid that our leaders in Washington, DC consider, first and foremost,  "what would be the best course of action to grease the palms of those that will get me reelected?".  Any benefit to the American people would be a happy circumstance..... a pleasant coincidence.  With lobbyists whispering in their ear, the focus and targets and ambitions of our leaders is rooted in the matter of how they might yield more power to the already powerful.   

In My Humble Opinion,

Chuck Marshall

Monday, May 16, 2011

The Party of Reagan

After my tirade against the Republican Party's leadership here in Florida, I feel compelled to elaborate on some of the good I see going on. 

-I note they have reigned in spending by some substantial dough;  While focusing on protecting most critical services under a more efficient government, Senate Republicans were able to uphold their commitment to not raise taxes and fees. They agreed upon a $69.7 billion budget with more than $300 million in tax relief measures, including the August school supply sales tax holiday and $30 million in tax breaks for Florida’s small businesses. In addition, the budget includes a $2.7 billion cut in annualized recurring general revenue and trust funds.

- Crash worthiness: Senate Bill 142, by Senator Richter, is a common-sense tort reform initiative that allows the jury to hear the full story of what led to an automobile accident.  Sounds reasonable to me.

- Homestead/Non-homestead Property: Senate Joint Resolution 658, by Senator Mike Fasano, R-New Port Richey, prohibits increases in the assessed value of a homestead property in any year when the market value of the property decreases. This certainly seems appropriate.

There were a few other worthy laws passed that should do some good in our state.  Overall, the Republican led state legislature managed the money well, and they are making difficult but necessary cuts in various situations.  It is necessary.  We are in the Great Recession with 12% unemployment and the state government should not be squandering money in any way, shape or form.  Some cuts were harsh, but fair.  It isn't right that state employees should have substantially better benefits than the general population, for example. 

It is this kind of government fiscal responsibility that made me a great admirer of Ronald Reagan.  He was the first President I ever voted for in 1984.   The "gipper" was one steady leader, making effective decisions but without skewering opposing opinions.  He reached across the aisle and cut deals with the Democrats on many occasions.  It was an effective leadership that got our country through a deep recession in the early 80's.   Reagan's effective leadership inspired the people to do better and encouraged that a single person can make a huge difference for good.  That sort of decent, positive leadership is what I admire about what the Republicans are capable of.  However, I must point out that  Ronnie wouldn't have been manipulating processes of voting in order to tilt free elections in his favor.  He won his office "the old fashioned way, he earned it". 

It was Reagan's philosophy that the government is not there to solve all our problems that really drew me to him and the Republican party, of which I was a member for 20 years.  Most anything taken on by the government turns into a wasteful, frustrating mess because there is no accountability.  Good intentions usually morph into a massive bureaucracy of people that are focused mainly on the very existence of their job.  As Reagan put it;  "The nine most terrifying words in the English language are, 'I'm from the government and I'm here to help.'"  Amen brother Reagan, your nation misses you. 

In My Humble Opinion,

Chuck Marshall



"Click an ad, 'cause I'm definitely a capitalist.."

Monday, May 9, 2011

Republican Leadership's Power Gorge

As far as I can tell the Republican led legislature and our Republican governor have come to some exaggerated assumptions about what it is the people of Florida want, OR (and this is much more likely) they just don't care what we want and they've simply lost all self control.  They are like children in a candy store who've just been told everything is free.  As they gorge themselves on the sugar-laden goodies they have bestowed upon themselves, ultimately their teeth will rot and all robust growth will stop,  but unfortunately it's the people of Florida that will develop the cavities and perhaps much worse as the years roll by. 

The children, with chocolate covered faces mutter on about how they're bringing back "growth" to our state.  Am I to understand that the "Great Recession" would have skipped right over Florida if it hadn't been for all those laws requiring developers to act responsibly ?  The door has now been flung open for all the "low rung" builders to jump in and make a quick buck on some poorly designed, poorly built, tacky-looking neighborhoods once we've worked through the 1,000,000 vacant homes that dot the landscape as it is.  Rest assured though, there will be a lot of jobs for the Mexicans once we get there. 

They are "handing out lollipops" in the form of tax breaks for corporations to "get them to come here", but isn't this the same thing as the socialism that they so despise?  They are taking our money and re-distributing it to those that "need it" according to their definition ?  I sincerely don't see the difference.  Most desirable corporations are also looking for modern transportation (Governor Scott made sure that didn't happen), good schools (our recently gutted public school system should sink to the bottom of the country within a few years), and quality of life (plentiful and clean water comes to mind).   There are few intelligent people today that would consider dropping environmental protections as an acceptable approach to drawing business.....even most businesses.   I do understand that handing out tax breaks is much easier to put into action and so the herd of legislators along with their ring leader, Governor Scott latched on to the movement without much thought.  That's what herds do.

So, good job state of Florida !  The rest of the world is working on alternatives to abusing the land and gobbling up natural resources in order to establish firm footing for our children and grandchildren.  But you, our glorious leaders, have decided to go ahead and grab all the candy while the gettin's good.  I would laugh at your childish short-sightedness except for the fact that I love this state and I hate how carelessly you risk my children's future so you can stuff yourself with the "bon-bon's" of power today.   

In my humble opinion,

Chuck Marshall

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Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Lady Justice is Victorious: Osama Bin Laden is dead

Osama bin Laden is dead, and our country has reached closure for the mass murder that occurred on Sept. 11, 2001 that left a gaping hole in the soul of our well-being as a nation.  After a day of reflection and "news watching", and Facebook conversations I have come to some conclusions. 


1)  Our Navy Seals are the very best special ops in the world !   It took much planning, and spying and diligence to find Bin Laden but we owe the final closure to these men that risked their lives and utilized their intelligence and physical prowess to bring this evil man to justice. 

2)  I think we all have felt something isn't right since that fateful day, and I hope and pray that since justice has now been served,  we can come together and move forward to solving some very serious challenges in the coming years including the persistent threat of more terrorist attacks.

3)  I'm disappointed that there are already rumors of "conspiracy" and doubts coming from the far right Tea Party and others.  I feel this is an insult to our country at a time when we need to heal as a nation.  It diminishes the accomplishments of the  Navy Seals.   It implies that our young men couldn't have accomplished this because the President is in the "wrong" party and therefor all all that occurs is suspect.

4)  I offer praise to the President of the United States for having the guts and determination to give the order to move forward to get Bin Laden.  The risk was very high  as failure would have been personally catasrophic to him.   I know the entire right wing of our political spectrum is loathe to praise anything about the President, but try to see things in perspective as an American not a Republican or a "Tea Partier".  He got the job done.  End of story.

5)  I was cautioned by some of my fellow Christians  for celebrating the death of OBL, and for offering up the hope that he is on a high speed railroad to Hell.  I must admit, I was perhaps overly emotional when I made a comment out in the open on Facebook to that effect.  But I stand behind the sentiment of my comments, with some caveats.  The world is a better, safer place now that he is dead.   The good Lord makes all decisions and metes out justice to all of us as he sees fit.  Maybe I shouldn't hope, but I certainly would appreciate the justice if  Osama bin Laden is joining  Adolf Hitler, Joseph Stalin,  and others of their ilk and is banished from the sight of  God for a very, very long time..... left to the depths of  Hell and the empty darkness of his evil thoughts and deeds.

In My Humble Opinion,

Chuck Marshall

Friday, April 29, 2011

The Royal Wedding, is it eye candy or does it go deeper?

The statistics are that 2 Billion people are watching the Royal Wedding between Prince William and Catherine Middleton.  That's an astounding number.  That would have to make this the most watched event in the history of the world, and it would include a full 1/3 of the world's population !

Why the fascination?  I understand the dress, and the pomp, and Westminster Abbey, and the "fairy tale" framework we're observing on the "Telly", but it still provokes questions in my mind which always looks to grasp the reasoning behind the attention of public events.  Is it the wealth?  Is it the story behind the story....... Diana, the deceased mother of the groom who died so tragically in Paris back in 1997?  Is it the fact that a "commoner" is marrying the future King of England?  I can't help but notice nobody has mentioned she's not a virgin.  This was a big deal when Diana married Charles.  Diana had to be a virgin in 1981 to get married to Charles.  Today such thoughts seem archaic and old fashioned, but to me that is a tragedy in itself, worthy of another blog in that sexual activity has become such an after-thought.  We all seem so blase about sharing our bodies, and  multiple partners in a lifetime is expected and even celebrated.   But if you stand back and look at the scene, this attitude cheapens all of us. 

Personally, I haven't been anticipating the wedding but as it flashes on TV I admit watching it in bits and pieces.   I must say that this is one great looking couple.  I imagine Disney couldn't have programmed it better.  Attractive, great teeth, tall,  (althought the computer left off some hair on top of William's head -  LOL)  young, slender,  the perfect royal couple.  Horses, palaces, men with fuzzy hats, carriages, Rolls Royces, and adoring masses.  All so very British. 

There is no other country that has royalty to speak of, certainly not one that gets nearly the attention they get in England.  They are a throwback to our heritage as human beings, I think.  There's the fascination !   It is walking, talking, "in the flesh" history as the blood of William also ran in the blood of Victoria, George III (the one that pissed us off !),  Elizabeth, Henry VIII, and so many others going back 1000 years.  As it was once said, "the sun never sets on the British Empire",  much of the world's population was at one time or another even under the dominion of jolly old England.  So, maybe that's part of it too.   There is no comparison in  the history of our world.  In addition, as Americans we, the Canadians,  Aussies, South Africans, Carribean, New Zealand, and even Hong Kong, China speak in the language of this relatively small island nation that has so much influence around the world.  Even today, as the United States clings to its global power,  we are an English speaking country and English is the "international language". 

So, there I come to a conclusion and that is this;  the fascination is in the "eye candy" that is the royal couple and all their surroundings and the great influence that England and English speaking countries have had on the geo- political balance of power to this very day.  It's an interesting contrast that the Royals are still revered in Great Britain when the British were the first to demand some semblance of Democracy with the signing of the Magna Carta in 1215.  This charter required King John of England to proclaim certain liberties, and accept that his will was not arbitrary,  thus explicitly accepting that citizens could only be punished through the law of the land.  The very roots of modern Democracy and our very own constitution.

So, I wish the Royal Couple the very best and remove my hat (so to speak) to their noble heritage and their very regal country's positive influences on the world to this very day.  Cheerio !


Oh, and by the way... "Click an ad.... I need the money :)"

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Chuck Marshall's Humble Opinion Published Today in the Orlando Sentinel

Letter published today as a letter to the editor in the Orlando Sentinel. Most of you will recognize parts of this from my last blog.

"Gang of 6 demonstrate patriotism at its best"

The article "6 senators, $14.3 trillion riddle" in Friday's Sentinel elaborates on how the two parties are coming together to discuss the yawning federal deficit, albeit quietly.

Why quietly? This sort of bipartisan compromise is what has been missing from our government for quite a while. We should all be loudly backing these senators for their determination to come to a solution despite ridicule from the more extreme wings of their respective parties.

This is patriotism at its best when our leaders work toward the betterment of all Americans, not just the Republican or the Democrat. Three cheers for the gang of six.

Chuck Marshall Clermont


'Nuff said... In my humble opinion :)

Friday, April 22, 2011

Now, just what did I do with that $15 Trillion Dollars?

All the time when I have a conversation with people regarding something I've read in the newspaper I get a glazed-over look that says "well, what do you expect from the liberal media". Consequently, their attitude is that they "don't believe" what they read in the newspaper. This is very concerning to me because this means they get the details of what they know about the world through blurbs on the radio, TV and the internet. The lack of attention to the details of how our government is run is one of the reasons our country is in such jeapordy right now. Our "leaders" know the general public is not paying attention to the details so they use partisan politics to get what they want in the name of their respective parties. Always there is the other party to use as the target for all that ills our country. As a consequence, we've run up a $15 Trillion deficit that is the iceberg on the ocean that USA Titanic has lurking in the path of its trek toward economic stability.

To all you Republicans: Get off your high horse of fiscal responsibility because it's your President and Republican congress that added $6 Trillion dollars to the federal deficit from 1998-2008. That was YOU, my right wing friends running up a tab when Mr. Obama was an obscure Chicago lawyer with an odd name.

To all you Democrats: Your decision to solve all the problems of society by throwing money at it has created a massive group of human beings that feels entitled to food, shelter, time, endless Dr.'s visits, and very expensive pills that solve their every ache and pain. We can't afford it and we never could.

I wrote in my last two posts about our national deficit and this makes the third, I guess. I am satisfied that the government does recognize that this problem is serious enough that the two parties are actually meeting to discuss what to do. Why didn't they discuss it before? In an article in the Orlando Sentinel (Tribune: Washington Bureau) today it elaborates that 6 Senators are meeting quietly to seek middle path on the U.S debt. Why quietly? As I understand the article it's because they don't want to upset their party's perspective "wings" of protest. These are the "mouth breathing" extremes of both parties that don't see anything other their own selfish and narrow minded ideas.

We are all Americans, and we need to loudly applaude and encourage such non-partisan actions as this group of Senators work to swerve away from the much discussed iceberg. We should pay attention to the words of those who are watching our leaders. Whether you see the media as left wing or right wing it is the responsibility of American citizens to understand the details being presented before making assumptions regarding the veracity of their words. Freedom of the press is not of much use when the people don't utilize it.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Bowles-Simpson: Both parties hate it, so it must be good

Last week I wrote how the USA Titanic is on direct course with a financial iceberg we can call the United States Federal Deficit.  Just like an iceberg, it's massive in size but only the tip is totally evident, nevertheless it looms within eyesight and holds the capacity to crush our hull and sink this luxury liner so spoiled and undisciplined like the fat, bejeweled passengers on the real Titanic. 
The good news is that the USA Titanic seems finally to be fully aware of the iceberg looming and some leaders in Washington, DC  have finally started listenting to that bell of warning.  Will they react on time?  That remains to be seen.  We all need to be on top of our Representatives and Senators and even the President letting them know we expect compromise with a legitimate plan that will work.  In fact, there already has been a plan made, so they don't really have to do anything but approve it (more on that later).  


This week, I received a call from "Drew" at our US Congressman's office (Richard Nugent).  Drew sounded to be about 20 years old and is obviously one of Mr. Nugent's minions er "pages".  I had written a letter to the Congressman asking him to read my blog that gives him an idea of what I think of the job he and his peers are doing.  Anyway, Drew called me to let me know the Congressman had read my letter and my blog (Yeah, right) and that Representative Nugent wanted him to call me and thank me and defend his position as an "uber" Republican (my words, not his) and that he's doing all he can to "fix" the deficit, but "it will take time".  Well, as most people who know me, I dont' react well to partisan politics.  I wasn't real calm with Drew, who was just doing his job.   So, I have to apologize in this blog if  Drew should come across it. 

"Dear Drew,

 I really lost my temper with you and it was unprofessional and childish, and I apologize for chewing you out...... BUT when you start going on about how "correct" the Republicans are, then I shut down.  Our country needs compromise and we need all of you up there considering the  American people, not just the Republican viewpoint.  It is unfair to hold all of us hostage to your "wing" of the policital spectrum.  If  you haven't noticed both the Republicans and Democats are losing major ground to Independents as a voting bloc.  Don't ignore us Drew.  If you want to make me happy,  Drew, then have Representative Nugent call me and tell me that he has decided to focus on the interests of ALL the people of district 5 and he has decided to rally both sides of the aisle and pull out the bi-partisan report and recommendations of the "National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform"  (also called Bowles-Simpson recommendations).  This will include budget cuts and tax increases as they recommended because that's the reality of the situation.  Nobody gets off free, here Drew and if you doubt that then continue bickering and watch as you Republicans lose the House of Representatives AGAIN to the Democrats.  The people are fed up, and it's not just the Tea Party wing of your Republican party.  We, the Independents are fed up too....we're not as loud as they are, but we can vote just like they can.   

Again, however please accept my apololgy for laying into you.  I know you're just doing your job., and I do appreciate that Mr. Nugent is havng someone call me at all.   I really do.


Sincerely,

The Humble Mr. Chuck Marshall and his opinion"



Anyway, so why do the "Bowles-Simpson" recommendations have a fighting chance? Both the Republicans and Democrats HATED it when if was first released. Therefor, it must be good.


Indpendently Yours,

Chuck Marshall and his humble opinion.

"As a tip for me, click an ad....it's free!"

Sunday, April 10, 2011

USA Titanic

Our federal government has come to an agreement on the national budget and we can all now sleep well, knowing that they have shown the discipline to reduce it by $30Billion.  I heard an analogy somewhere, that this is like throwing the barbell sets off the Titanic and expecting it not to sink.

I can remember when I was a kid (way back !) and I watched our congressmen.  They seemed like intelligent, well intentioned people, both Republican and Democrat.  There were disagreements, yes, but it seemed more civil somehow.  They compromised.  Today, I hear them talk and they are so determined to beat each other they're like boxers in a burning building.  Does it matter to them that the building will be gone when they're finished?   It is the height of condescension to think that the antics they have presented to us this past few weeks are going to solve anything.  Even to say it's a step in the right direction is like giving high praise to a dog that craps in the living room instead of the dining room.

During this whole budget debate, everyone kept talking about the Tea Party and all their influence, but I don't see any "T's after any congressman's name when they run their mouths to reporters.  Are they representing Republicans or the Tea Party?  Why does this loud, small group have so much influence?   When I first heard of the Tea Party I had just read a book on the life of John Adams  (now that was a patriot !) and I was in a "give me liberty", "don't tread on me" sort of mood.  I was excited by the prospect of our founding father's ideas being brought to the forefront.  But all these people ever talk about is taxes, taxes, taxes.... cut our taxes.  "We won't pay anymore taxes" !  I'm all for lower taxes if we can afford it, but let there be a plan to first balance our budget.  This is ludicrous to think we can keep cutting money from the more obscure federal programs and it will make it all better.

There aren't enough life boats and the ship is taking on water and it's only a matter of time before the passengers, better known as the world currency market run around in a circle looking for a safe haven lest they drown in the freezing waters of the United States federal deficit.  This all because our government can't develop a realistic plan that includes cuts in some sacred cows such as medicare, medicaid, social security and the military along with an increase in tax revenues.  We're still taking on water, and the Captain and his crew are walking around in a daze mumbling about nation building, health care for all,  no new taxes and tea.

God help the USA Titanic as it heads towards an iceberg and all anybody can do is argue over which way it should swerve while they sip their tea.  Dump the tea and just turn, damn it !


In my humble opinion.

Chuck Marshall
"As a tip for me, click an ad....it's free!"