Marshall in the Middle

Thursday, March 31, 2011

Would You Make a Deal With Rick Scott?

There was an column in the Orlando Sentinel Thursday, March 31 by Mike Thomas talking about how Governor Scott is already very unpopular. Unfortunately for all of us, just because Rick Scott is low in the opinion polls doesn't mean his tenure will be shorter. The only thing to do now is watch and learn.

One of the key problems with this man, no matter your political persuasion, is that he is in the process of removing all good faith we have in regards to business and/or government negotiation. There is enormous uncertainty with what he'll do. You can't negotiate and feel confident in the result if you don't trust the person or organization your negotiating with. Today our CEO is Rick Scott, and any trust for him and his government is quickly disintegrating. He ignores past agreements made by the state of Florida because he says he is "reasessing" them. He refuses to speak to the media, so nobody really knows what he thinks. His counterparts in the Florida legislature seem mostly intent on "moving on up" to the federal government level that they supposedly despise. No serious national or international business is going to work hard to win favor with such a precarious government just because it says it's "business friendly". They didn't become international corporations by making deals with a bunch of unpredictable bumpkins.

I had a letter published in the Orlando Sentinel in which I mentioned that Scott's election was mostly an example of how our election process has failed us. I stand by this assessment. I'm almost glad he was elected because the ridiculous condition of this process can now be scrutinized with a living, unblinking example of just how badly it can turn out. This office was bought. Until we can successfully extract money from the election equation, we will continue to risk getting another Rick Scott. Maybe when the country and the world are finished laughing at us the incentive will be great enough to make solid and permanent changes to the way we elect our leaders.


In the meantime, Lord help us.

In my humble opinion,

Chuck Marshall

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

The Role of Government

OK, so since I laid into President Obama last night, I've decided to leave our leaders alone for a little while and review what I think is role of our government, or any government for that matter. Then, in future blogs as I endeavor to magnify the colossal ineptitude of the majority of our existing leadership, it won't need quite as much 'splaining. I am totally brainstorming, so please excuse me if I ramble a little more than usual.

According to our constitution, the role of the government is "to insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence (olde English spelling, don't you love it !) promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity".

I think if you hold onto this core sentence, it will get you through a lot of the consternation we all seem to feel when we're trying to figure if "xyz" is the right move for the government to do.

So, according to this preamble I've mentioned from the Constitution of the United States of America, our government should;

1) Provide for the common "defence": Defend us as a people with an army, navy, etc.... whatever it takes to keep the barbarians out. That's simple enough. Provide for the common defence.

2) Insure domestic tranquility. Clearly enough, this means to maintain peace between us with some sort of police force to keep us from breaking out into a frenzy over "things". Protect the innocent from those that would steal or hurt or kill because they are stronger or more powerful (whatever the situation- crime, business, government itself). This is critical because it's not being done right now. Insure domestic tranquility.

3) Promote the general welfare. I believe the spirit is to encourage business between us all on a level playing field, so that we might provide for our families through whatever talents the good Lord gave us. Note it doesn't say to "provide" for the general welfare. I believe it is truly a violation of our constitution to require the population to provide for anyone other than their family, children, elderly family members and anyone within the community that that person finds it within his heart to help. Promote the general welfare.

4) "Secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our posterity": Key word is Liberty and posterity. This is usually where I start losing the Republicans. I really believe the spirit of this statement also expects us to take care of our planet. The framers of our constitution probably didn't envision the human race reaching 5 Billion, with incredible machines that do a lot of good but also do a lot of polluting. I think our grandchildren will be much happier to enjoy their liberty if we have left them a clean, inhabitable planet on which to inhabit. Otherwise, what the hell does any of it matter? Secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity.



In my humble opinion,

Chuck Marshall

Monday, March 28, 2011

Obama's Speech Tranquilizes Millions

As an Independent man, I have prided myself on not jumping on the "beat up on Obama" bandwagon. Tonight, I watched his speech and found myself brewing a pot of coffee. We're suppose to be inspired by that? Is there a test afterwords? I usually think Obama makes a pretty good speech, but to me this was one of the most boring, predictable speeches I've heard him make. It felt like a college lecture in an American Government class. The whole thing came off as a condescending lesson in world politics. He even felt the need to draw a comparison to a Libyan city as being as "big as Charlotte"... uh, ok.

I found it boring because it is so obvious he isn't happy with this situation he has found himself. Through the entire speech he was trying to connect the dots to his logic behind applying American pressure in Libya. I don't see the difference between Iraq and Libya (except I see more reasons to go into Iraq than Libya). To be honest, I would be more impressed if he had refused to commit American military action because at least then he'd be standing up for his well defined principles. He sure is singing a different tune now that he's calling the shots. That's what bugs me, he's saying "I'm opposed to this unless I'm cornered into it, and then I'm going to work up some logic that backs up my actions." The cart before horse, so to speak.

I think it may have helped if he had announced this strategy sooner than 1 week after our involvement started. The whole thing began and he decided to run down to Brazil and some other Latin American countries. I guess he needed to get away and clear his head (?). While down there, Mr. Obama FAILED to even get Brazil's approval for the Libyan air strikes and..... he's right there, in Brazil. All they had to do was mouth some bland approval and be done with it, but they didn't feel the need to make even that gesture. I mean, Brazil ? That's humiliating.

I've already written in a previous blog that I think we should be involved in this situation in Libya. I just think it's amusing that Obama is now making this argument when he had the exact opposite argument about Iraq.


In my humble opinion, Chuck Marshall

Thursday, March 24, 2011

I'm a lame Gator Basketball fan. Very Lame.

OK, I have to admit I'm guilty. I doubted my Gators this year in Basketball. After they lost to UCF, I figured it was another disappointing season of being "almost" good enough for the playoffs. But, wow, they just beat BYU in the "Sweet 16" and are now one of the best 8 basketball teams in the country !

So now, I feel like a fair weather fan., getting all excited that my team is in the run for the national championship but I wasn't really there during the season. I console myself that I have 2 kids, work is busy, I'm busy, blah, blah, blah.... but I still feel lame.

I'm also so lame that I didn't even watch tonight's game ! I watched the UCLA game last week, and I remembered their game was tonight, but I got home and started getting occupied with stuff around the house and I totally forgot. How lame is that?! Lame, lame, lame.

I vow now, that next year I'm going up to Gainesville to see a basketball game before it's clear if they're any good or not. I refuse to only be there when they're knocking at the door of a national championship. I go to football games when they're not that great (that's so rare though) I should also go to the basketball games, right?

I also suck because UF's track team won the National Championship, and I was never at any track meets (even though I ran track in High School-although badly), nope. So, I'm also a lame Gator Track and Field fan.

So, there it is... I'm a lame Gator basketball fan, lame Gator track and field fan.... and baseball? Ok, I still have time for baseball ! I still have a chance to make amends for my basketball and track and field lame "ness" by getting my butt up to Gainseville to see a baseball game. But, spring is busy for me, and I'm not a big baseball fan anyway, and, etc, etc... Lame, lame, lame.

I'm a lame Basketball, Track and Field, Baseball Gator fan. But, maybe I can make it up with football., OK, I'll make it up by being a fanatical Gator football fan. The only problem with that is.... I ALREADY AM A FANATICAL GATOR FOOTBALL FAN ! Lame.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Why Always College?

I've been irritated by what I call "non-college bigotry", for a while now. By that I mean any time you hear the President, or a congressman, or any leader of any sort discuss post-high school education they elaborate on how we should be sending all our kids to college to get a degree from a University. I think our leaders and opinion leaders should also throw AS MUCH support for technical schools so kids can learn a trade if that's what they want to do. I never hear them mention the need for more talented metal workers, carpenters, plumbers, farmers, chefs, craftsmen of any variety.... or any career that requires specialized talent and/or creative capacity such as an artist. We're all suppose to want our kids to become a Scientist or a Doctor, a lawyer, a Business Executive, an Engineer (or the most lucrative of all careers "a lobbyist"... but that's another topic !) There is little respect for those kids that like to work with their hands.

If you studied psychology in high school (or college) you remember there are different types of intelligence. If I remember correctly, there is Academic, Mechanical and Social intelligence. As I see it, there are many people who are mechanically inclined and they need to get their hands into their work to be fulfilled. That's why they are so dang bored in the classroom. I think we as a society need to start respecting our differences and support our kids that have a different intelligence or talent that is no less important to the making of a happy society. In fact, talent like this seems missing in the world. Notice the crowds that gather to see anyone "making" something out at Disney or at a farmer's market. I'm as fascinated by the Cake Boss as I am by the engineers that send rockets into space. It should all be celebrated !

We are all equal in God's eyes with our own unique talents. We've got to stop shoving everybody in our country into an "academic" mold, just to suit the mistaken and evil idea that such a course through life is superior to all others.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Politically Party Pooped

So, once again a topic of debate is running its course through the media and once again both parties are pointing their dirty little fingers at each other for all each other's wrongs. It has become a "cottage industry" whereby many, many people in the media make a living off of the discourse. Like a never ending boxing match, the two pummel each other with statistics and name calling, meanwhile the American people are not being served and our country looks foolish with an indecisive leadership that is motivated above all else to make each other look bad.

I recently received a letter form my US Representative, Rich Nugent. His letter began with what he's doing to "stop" Obama. So, what about the people who DID vote for Obama? I guess, right now they're just total losers and that's too bad for them? I voted for McCain and voted heavily Republican in the last election and to be honest I am starting to regret it (the second part). I understand being opposed to the President's policies and voicing your displeasure, but I think an American legislator should respect that his constituents are a varied group. It is only basic tactfulness to hold the political rhetoric and tell me what you're doing to make our country a better place to live not how you're working to bring down the President. There has to be a better way to word these letters than encouraging more discourse. Am I the only one totally pissed off by this?!

Here is the breakdown of political parties in Florida;

Republican 4,050,706

Democrat 4,621,056

Minor 362,722

None 2,211,576

Total 11,246,060

So, Congressman Nugent you might consider this fact the next time you send a partisan letter (paid for by our taxes .... which really pisses me off because we are subsidizing their sand box battles). You and all your "co-workers" there in Washington are working for ALL of us, not just the Republicans of us. All Americans (including Republicans) should be enraged by this empty-headed rhetoric we hear every day.

By the way, which topic was I referring to in my introduction? Take your pick.

Independently yours,

Chuck Marshall

Monday, March 21, 2011

Libya: We Should Be There, Unfortunately

Once again, the United States is in the position of "nation building" as we rush over to Africa along with our "allies" from the United Nations to "save" the innocent civilians of Libya. Blah, blah, blah.... yes, we have heard this before: in Iraq, in Afghanistan, in Kuwait, in Lebanon, in Israel, in Nicaragua, in Vietnam, in Korea, for heaven's sake in ALL of Europe before WWII (The United Kingdom, France, Holland, Norway, Sweden, all those little countries in central Europe) and the rest of Europe AFTER WWII (Germany, Austria, Italy) and ... Japan ! That's what we do people, so nobody should be surprised we're doing this.... again. Do I like it? Of course not ! But, we are still the leader of this recession racked, earthquake shaken planet and if we don't take the lead on moral issues of the world, then nobody will. Then it would be a matter of time that all the despots and dictators will slither out of their hiding places and feel emboldened to seize power and start slaugthering those that get in their way. Because we can stop that, we have to do it. We are the Queen on the chessboard, always lurking in the corner ready to sweep down when roaches like Muammar Gadaffi forget their place. It is the Christian thing to do, it is the American thing to do.

Are there times when it's founded on self-interest, ie, for Oil? Of course ! But I don't see that to be the case here. Libya has oil, but we don't buy any of their oil, and their share of the world's oil market is not significant.

I pray there comes a day in our lifetime that this is simply not necessary, that all the countries of the world have stable democracies and a "world police" is not necessary. How do we make that happen? You got me, but we are active in Libya, and unfortunately, it is necessary.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Amendment 5 & 6 Governor Scott to Deep 6 ?

Florida's Governor Rick Scott has stalled the process of moving these voter approved amendments for fair redistricting. His reasons are not clear, and this blog will report any information that comes forth that seems truthful. I encourage anyone who understands the oppostion to this bill to please make comments here ! I still don't understand why anyone would be against it other than the state legislators who don't feel confident enough in their performance to be reelected. "Throw the bums out" is difficult when your "bum" changes periodically. If you're not familiar with gerrymandering you weren't paying attention in 10th grade civics.... (just kidding). Gerrymandering is when our so called "leaders" will get together and draw the boundaries for our voting districts so that it will be to the most benefit of those who are already in power. Read my "Boss Hogg" letter written to the Orlando Sentinel, the Blog posting previous to this one, to get an even more clear view of my opinion of gerrymandering. For the benefit of all you reading this, I am pasting in the wording of Amendment 6. The reason so many people don't identify with their legislator is because our districts are constantly changing shapes, so we can never really get a handle on what exactly is our "district" and who is that "district's" leader?

Amendment 6

"Congressional districts or districting plans may not be drawn to favor or disfavor an incumbent or political party. Districts shall not be drawn to deny racial or language minorities the equal opportunity to participate in the political process and elect representatives of their choice. Districts must be contiguous. Unless otherwise required, districts must be compact, as equal in population as feasible, and where feasible must make use of existing city, county and geographical boundaries."

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Strip glorified Boss Hoggs of monopoly on power

This was actually published in the Orlando Sentinel on Jan. 17, 2010 but it's very pertinent right now. I will elaborate tomorrow.

Will someone please give Sentinel columnist Scott Maxwell a medal for telling it like it is, again ("Fair districts? Parties unite in opposition," Wednesday). The drawing of congressional borders according to demographics should be illegal on the simple grounds that it violates our right to be represented as Americans and Floridians, not as Republicans or Democrats.

When I first learned of gerrymandering in civics class, I always pictured Boss Hogg from the Dukes of Hazzard, controlling his county with money and lies. His depiction was to be laughed at, and not taken seriously.

Here we are in the 21st century with the world's most powerful ruling body being run by a bunch of glorified Boss Hoggs. The bickering and partisan politics that go on in Washington and Tallahassee will never end as long as the people allow practices like this to continue

I hope that the growing group of independent voters will see this as a clear violation of their right to be heard and vote for this amendment to stop gerrymandering in all its forms. This goes to the core of what's wrong in Washington. The only way to "begin" to stop it is to remove the monopoly that the two parties have on power in our country.

Charles E. Marshall Clermont

High Speed Rail

• So, you lost your job and and there is no work to replace it and you and your family face the street. Then your mother wins the lottery and offers to give you hallf the winnings if you agree to help her build a sidewalk across her front yard. You refuse because you don't see the point of the sidewalk. That's what Rick Scott did with High Speed Rail.