Marshall in the Middle

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!"

Thursday, April 7, 2011

We Need Leaders with True Grit

I keep thinking about the national debt which has risen so alarmingly over the last decade. I think most people realize we have a pretty serious problem on our hands. There was a bi-partisan commission that came up with a blue print for fixing the problem but their ideas were politely accepted and consequently ignored. Not very smart. But that's typical of our government. Nodody can make the tough decisions.

There are groups of people (often elderly, or near retirement) that are so adamantly opposed to taxes that they feel compelled to go to rallies for the Tea Party and they give all their support to Governor Scott and all Republicans. But, if you look at what's causing our deficit it's mainly the wars we're fighting and the sky rocketing costs of medicare as our population gets older and older. So, these people who are protesting are receiving all the benefits of the increased spending for their medical coverage, yet they are acrimonious towards any thought of paying the required increase in taxes. This is upside down. They who are recieving the benefits should be paying the highest taxes.....not the other way around.

To the point also, we all need to sacrifice the costs of two wars that we're fighting right now. These are not free. All of us, young AND old, allowed our leaders to run over to "nation build" in the middle east. I think to bring the point home we should each get a bill every month, stating "Cost of War: $3000" or whatever it would be per person in the US. I have a feeling the protests would spark right after the mail got in, and it wouldn't be just old people rallying. "Stop the Wars" rallies would suddenly become very fashionable.

Marco Rubio caught the Republicans by surprise by suggesting the era of "entitlement" for those who are getting along in age needs to end. I like his style because this sort of truth is not normal in Washington, DC. It was like bringing up the Gator's national championshp at a Seminole rally. Total crickets. Yes, we need DC to be filled with men and women who are brave enough to face the facts and dicuss the options out in the open. Our country's future depends on it.

Enough with the weak kneed pansies that make the decisons for our country. Give me leaders with "grit" !

In My humble opinion,

Chuck Marshall

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Because King Chuck Wishes It

By Chuck Marshall

I like to think about what I'd do if I had total control of these United States and all would be done at my bidding as I see fit (like governor Scott, for example..... just kidding :) Here is a quick rundown on King Chuck's Decrees to get America going in the right direction so I don't have to worry about my kids future anymore.


1) Make all political primaries "open" primaries. As it is, the process excludes Independents, Libertarians, etc.... from this "pre-selection" process (myself included since I'm an Independent). The current process, therefor prevents these people from participating fully in their constitutional right to a representative government.

2) Neuter lobbyists to the point that their opinion is only taken if the congressman requests it for information, or for debate with the opposing view. The day to day interaction of congressman should be in dialogue with the people. As it exists, the lobbyists (and their clients) are given an undue influence that is not a fair representation of the will of the people.

3) 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.

4) All white-color criminals shall be punished by having all of their money confiscated. That includes any money they earned dis-honestly or honestly. They don't go to very expensive prisons, but instead the seized money shall be used to watch them for the rest of their lives. They have given up their right to privacy when they robbed people. Excess funds shall be contributed to charities that seem appropriate to the crime they committed. For example, if they take money from the elderly then their money goes to help support the elderly.

5) Legalize marijuana. Tax the living daylights out of it. The tax money collected from marijuana sales would be used to enforce drug laws against the much more damaging drugs cocaine, heroin, crack, etc.... Also, this money would be used to educate children as to the dangers of smoking marijuana AND the dangers of drinking.

6) Lawsuits. All lawsuit losers shall pay all the court costs of "said" lawsuit. This should reduce "frivolous" lawsuits because the plaintiff risks having to pay his lawyer's $300-$500 per hour fee. Or, if the attorney sees it as a good case, he might be willing to risk his fees to move forward with the lawsuit. Either way, society wins.

7) A balanced budget shall be the law of the land. If there is an emergency, then Congress (run by our new crew of competent leaders) will set up a plan to pay these monies back, which WILL include sacrifice for all. There will be "cuts" and there will be an increase in taxes. Everybody pays. When the debt is paid back, taxes go back down and the cuts made shall be put back as they were before the emergency.


In my humble opinion,


King... er Mr. Chuck Marshall