Tag Archives: Social

Does an Oath of Office Mean Anything?

Merriam-Webster defines it as thus:

1a

(1)
: a solemn usually formal calling upon God or a god to witness to the truth of what one says or to witness that one sincerely intends to do what one says
(2)
: a solemn attestation of the truth or inviolability of one’s words
The witness took an oath to tell the truth in court.
b
: something (such as a promise) corroborated by an oath
They were required to swear an oath of loyalty.
took the oath of office
2
: an irreverent or careless use of a sacred name
broadly : swear word
He uttered an oath and stormed away.

From Wikipedia:

In the United States, the oath of office for the President is specified in the Constitution (Article II, Section 1):
“I, (name), do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will faithfully execute the Office of President of the United States, and will to the best of my Ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States.”
The oath may be sworn or affirmed (in which case it is called an affirmation instead of oath). Although not present in the text of the Constitution, it is customary for modern presidents to say “So help me God” after the end of the oath. For officers other than the President, the expression “So help me God” is explicitly prescribed, but the Judiciary Act of 1789 also explains when it can be omitted (specifically for oaths taken by court clerks): “Which words, so help me God, shall be omitted in all cases where an affirmation is admitted instead of an oath.”
The Constitution (Article VI, clause 3) also specifies:
The Senators and Representatives before mentioned, and the members of the several state legislatures, and all executive and judicial officers, both of the United States and of the several states, shall be bound by oath or affirmation, to support this Constitution; but no religious test shall ever be required as a qualification to any office or public trust under the United States.
At the start of each new U.S. Congress, in January of every odd-numbered year, newly elected or re-elected Members of Congress – the entire House of Representatives and one-third of the Senate – must recite an oath:
I, (name), do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I take this obligation freely, without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; and that I will well and faithfully discharge the duties of the office on which I am about to enter. [So help me God.]

This oath is also taken by the Vice President, members of the Cabinet, federal judges and all other civil and military officers and federal employees other than the President.

Blog post by Phoenix:

It is apparent that the section of the oath that seems almost daily violated by politicians is “I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I take this obligation freely, without reservation or purpose of evasion;”

The congress as a whole along with the executive branch has been knowingly presenting legislation contrary to the constitution and then relying on legal challenges to make it to supreme court for final disposition, that folks is still a violation of the oath taken no matter the lawyeristic maneuver of passing legislation as constitutional and waiting for a challenge. If these were your children you would immediately scold for exceeding limits by their hope of getting away with trouble but suffering consequences for only the most egregious just by sheer quantity, its evasive both by congress and by children, both should be accountable.

Below is the most detailed listing of codes covering the subject of congressional oath and penalties for violation,

It is apparent that the section of the oath that seems almost daily violated by politicians is “I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I take this obligation freely, without reservation or purpose of evasion;”

Federal law regulating oath of office by government officials is divided into four parts along with an executive order which further defines the law for purposes of enforcement. 5 U.S.C. 3331, provides the text of the actual oath of office members of Congress are required to take before assuming office. 5 U.S.C. 3333 requires members of Congress sign an affidavit that they have taken the oath of office required by 5 U.S.C. 3331 and have not or will not violate that oath of office during their tenure of office as defined by the third part of the law, 5 U.S.C. 7311 which explicitly makes it a federal criminal offense (and a violation of oath of office) for anyone employed in the United States Government (including members of Congress) to “advocate the overthrow of our constitutional form of government”. The fourth federal law, 18 U.S.C. 1918 provides penalties for violation of oath office described in 5 U.S.C. 7311 which include: (1) removal from office and; (2) confinement or a fine.

The definition of “advocate” is further specified in Executive Order 10450 which for the purposes of enforcement supplements 5 U.S.C. 7311. One provision of Executive Order 10450 specifies it is a violation of 5 U.S.C. 7311 for any person taking the oath of office to advocate “the alteration … of the form of the government of the United States by unconstitutional means.” Our form of government is defined by the Constitution of the United States. It can only be “altered” by constitutional amendment. Thus, according to Executive Order 10450 (and therefore 5 U.S. 7311) any act taken by government officials who have taken the oath of office prescribed by 5 U.S.C. 3331which alters the form of government other by amendment, is a criminal violation of the 5 U.S.C. 7311.

Violating Oath

The subject I am bringing to the table is “why do the American people allow their representatives to break oath of office (a federal crime) and not hold them accountable?

This should be a non-partisan subject simply due to the fact this has been going on for long decades and both parties are guilty according to the law.

The scales could be tipped back somewhat if the public had awareness that the oath has teeth and voiced expectation that it be taken seriously.

I grew up on a rural farm and had an older neighbor and I had just got out of high school in the spring and turned eighteen in the late summer and come the next January, I enlisted in the military service.  The morning I was getting ready to report to boot camp Raymond came over.  I was getting ready to leave for the airport, he came up to me and stuck out his hand.  He said, “You are about to say some pretty big words soon and it will define you as a man.  Good Luck.”

At the time I was stunned, in all the years that I had known Raymond, he had patted me on the back after school football games, other sports, 4H, and at other events but he had never shook my hand till that day.  I had read the oath of service but until you are saying it and what Raymond said actually hit me like a rock.  In his eyes, I had just grown up.

Those words are what you are to live by every day during your service to your country and afterwards.  Why is it that our elected representatives fail to follow their oath of office when they require those in military and civic service to follow theirs.  We have been complacent in letting them tear us down.  We need to stand up and make them follow the same laws and Oaths we do.

via LA Times Admits Trump Right About What’s Causing California’s Massive Wildfires

by Tim Pearce

Adopting more active forest management policies such as increased thinning of trees and conducting controlled burns will help mitigate damage from future wildfires, The Las Angeles Times editorial board writes.

Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke began advocating similar policy prescriptions earlier in the year after President Donald Trump blamed California’s “bad environmental laws” for creating a wildfire-prone environment.

California forests have grown dryer and less healthy from overcrowded trees, infestations of bark beetles and the effects of climate change, the Las Angeles Times writes. California’s restrictions on active forest management have contributed to the poor and worsening conditions of the forests, allowing them to grow uninhibited while suppressing fires that would normally naturally control the forests’ growth.

“Fire is not necessarily bad for forests. California used to burn with regularity, and low-intensity fires are vital in some ecosystems to clear excess brush and small trees from the landscape,” the editorial board writes. “But there’s been a change in fire behavior over the last century, as the state and federal government began dousing the blazes. Decades of fire suppression have allowed forests to grow dense with trees.”

“Combined with drought, insect infestations and the stress of a warming climate, those management practices have led to more intense and destructive fires that are more dangerous to people living near the forests and more damaging to air quality,” the op-ed continues.

California’s environmental laws entered the national spotlight in early August when Trump blamed them for the severity of the wildfires that were ravaging the state.

Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke was soon at the front of the administration’s push for California to begin adopting more active land management policies. Zinke traveled to California to see the damage from the fires and meet with local officials and firefighters Aug. 13.

Zinke ramped up calls for greater forest thinning while also dismissing the idea that climate change is playing a significant factor in the wildfires’ intensity.

“I’ve heard the climate change argument back and forth,” Zinke told Sacramento-based KCRA. “This has nothing to do with climate change. This has to do with active forest management.”

California Gov. Jerry Brown partnered with state lawmakers to introduce changes to the state’s policies. The bill would grant $1 billion toward forest thinning and ease regulations on cutting trees on private property, according to the Las Angeles Times.

Kind of reminds me of something I hear many many years ago.

Setting: Courtroom with the Forest Service Manager (FSM) on the stand.

Lawyer: “Sir you are in charge of all the national forests in the United States. Correct?”

FSM:  “Yes Sir.”

Lawyer: “For purpose of demonstration, we will equate one wooden matchstick for one million trees.  Please hold out your hands, as he placed a couple of boxes of match sticks in the FSM’s hands.  This should equal the amount of trees that were around when you department was formed.  Now, over the years, your department has sold off lumber rights to harvest for private and public industry.”  The Lawyer takes a few off the FSM’s hands.  “With a few outcries of deforestation, your department gets an expert guidebook to run your forests.”  The Lawyer adds a few matchsticks back. “Now with trees doing what trees do in the forest and new science backing your guidebooks,” adding a few more matchsticks to the pile, “Your department was slowly breaking even keeping the forests healthy and productive, correct?”

FSM: “Yes.”

Lawyer: “Now we have the interference from people running around with unproven scientific facts and Lumber companies and corporations trying to tell you how to do your job, making your department spend all your allocated money in the court system which is not allowing you to do your job to keep the forests healthy and productive.”  All this time the Lawyer has been adding to the pile in the FSM’s hand.

FSM: Looking down at his hands and seeing that he is holding about four boxes of match sticks in his hands. “That’s about right.”

Lawyer: “Now to be fair, I am going to remove the percentage that you were allowed to sell off.”  He reached up and removed one matchstick from the FSM’s hands and holds it up for the court to see.  Turns to the FSM and looks him in the eye, “What do you think Mother Nature’s solution to your problem would be?” 

The Forest Service Manager’s eyes got very big as he saw the Lawyer’s thumbnail scratch the head of the lone matchstick in his hand.

I believe in conservation but to go too far left or right really upsets the balance.  Mother Nature has been doing this for millions of years and we can see what she has done with mistakes over that time period.  The bigest problem we have today is too many theorys that are broadcasted by the media, our leaders and schools and not enough facts.

Climate change in nature is an ongoing thing.  If humans are speeding it up or slowing it down is the question we need to answer.  I turn on the news and someone is spouting something about it but it is all theory with little or no facts behind it.  They trot out some unknown science person that says in the last twenty, thirty, or fifty years there has been this amount of change  but when asked, they have no clue what climate did in a certain area one hundred, one thousand, one million, or one trillion years ago.

The Truth of it is, that while it is sad for the lives lost and the damage done to the forests, we need to return to the middle of the road to continue to survive.

Merriam-Webster’s definition of a hypocrite is:
1 : a person who puts on a false appearance of virtue or religion

2 : a person who acts in contradiction to his or her stated beliefs or feelings
How can one preach about the life of socialism when you live the life of a capitalist?
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via Bernie Sanders Earns Over $1 Million in a Year, Again

Financial disclosure forms show that the 2016 Democratic presidential candidate who campaigned against the millionaires and billionaires is in fact one of them.

Last year marked the second year in a row that Sen. Bernie Sanders topped $1 million in earnings, according to Vermont Digger.

Sanders, on his campaign website, proclaimed that “wealth and income inequality is the great moral issue of our time, it is the great economic issue of our time, and it is the great political issue of our time.”

The Vermont independent, who caucuses with the Democrats, made almost $1.06 million last year. Of that, $174,000 came from his Senate salary and $885,767 from advances and royalties for his book deal.

The figures were similar in 2016, when Sanders joined the 1 percent by earning $858,750 from his book deal on top of his Senate salary, CNBC reported.

Some said Sanders’ wealth shows he plays the capitalist game even as he proclaims himself to be a socialist.

The disclosure forms show that Sanders owns three homes, including one on an island in Lake Champlain he bought in 2016 for $575,000. Sanders also lists two mortgages, one on a property valued at between $100,001 and $250,000 in value, and the other between $250,001 and $500,000.

When many people today can barely pay rent and feed themselves due to the policies and laws that people like Mr. Sanders and his fellow politicians have worked into our nations laws is sad.  These same people say they are on the side of the poor and downtrodden of our nation and they think that what is needed is to take from everyone and then give to everyone.

This has been done in the US and around the world at one time or another.  There was a time that you went to work for a company, paid by the company, lived in company supplied housing, bought everything you needed at the company store, and you never was able to get out of the manufactured debt you where in.  It is a way to control the masses.

If you believe that our capitalist system that we have in the US is so bad, I challenge you to pick a Marxist socialist country in this world today and move there for at least a year.  Before you go, after you have paid for your tickets, passport, and visa to your new home, place everything that you have here in a one year trust with instructions that you cannot withdraw anything, I mean “anything” ie. money, advances, or property, for that one year period.

Once you arrive you will have to find a place and a job for that one year.  You schooling will maybe allow you to game the system when you get there but they have laws and policies that may make you end up in jail or prison for thinking like a capitalist.  You can look for work and if you know somebody or have a skill that is needed, you may get a job if all the paperwork is filled out correctly.  You will have co-workers that may show up one day in a pay period and still get the same pay that you do for working the whole pay period.  You will find that if you tried the same thing, you will probably get a beat down by your fellow co-workers with the boss supervising because you are an outsider.  If you walk away from your job, you may have to wait awhile before you can get another job and you will have to find your food and lodging elsewhere.  In this workers paradise, all the laws support the worker and you will never get fired because one of those laws is that if you are fired you are to get five years severance pay all at once.  They would rather have your friends beat on you of find something that gets you placed in prison than give what little money, if it is worth much, to you.

After living and working in some of these places and actually talking to the locals, I have learned that with our many faults the United States is still one of the best countries to  live in.  My question to many that think that socialism is the way to go is ” What are you willing to give up to live this way?”.  Would these college professors that embrace the ideals of socialism willing to talk about it if their only payment for their job is a room to live in and a basic ration to live on?  In these countries alternative talk and ‘safe places’ is not encouraged.

Well Mr. Sanders, what are you willing to give up for your dream or is being a politication on capitalism working well for you?

Trump: I am Not Playing Your Game.

via One Magnificent Photo Sums Up Donald Trump’s G-7 Visit | HuffPost

Tense and confrontational, it appears to sum up President Donald Trump’s entire trip, which highlighted divisions among the global powers.

The image dramatically depicts the German leader in an assertive pose, planting both hands firmly on a crisp tablecloth as she addresses President Donald Trump, who is seated before her with his arms crossed wearing a dispassionate expression.

A seemingly unimpressed Japanese Prime Minister Shinzō Abe gazes at the group.

World leaders are learning that America and President Trump will not lockstep march arm in arm no longer.  Everyone wants their economies to flourish and thrive but when even one country requires a tariff on their products it begins to get unfair fast.  All you need to do is look at what a country exports and imports to maintain their economy.

We will use Milk for an example.  using the website numbeo.com and all prices in the US Dollar.

In Canada the price for Milk will range from $3.66 to $10.34 with the average at $6.42 per gallon.

In the US the price for Milk will range from $2.20 to $4.00 with the average at $3.18.

Canada has a smaller Milk industry than the United States and in both Countries the industry supported by either direct support by the governments or by using tariffs.  For US milk to be sent to Canada, a 200% tariff or $2.76 is added as to not undercut the Canadian Milk industry.

Every country not only wants to keep their own industries running for their own economy but the political powers in every country make their money from the different lobbing groups of all these different industries.  If the Canadian government would drop the tariff then the sudden inflow of US Milk would devastate their industry and look at all those cows and people who would be out of work.  If both sides quit supporting the Milk industry the Canadian industry would still fold up while the US side would probably decrease a lot due to the rising cost at the store.  If you force people to pay more for something there will not be a need to buy it.

When you really start looking at what is imported and what is exported you will start getting a headache.  For truly fair trade you have to produce something the other guy really needs.  The US has been on the giving side when it comes to most of major manufacturing products that we export.  Previous administrations have been giving, giving, and giving causing a downturn in the economy and jobs while allowing cheaper and sometimes very inferior products to come into our marketplace.  This is something we have to turn around and having a businessman like Trump in office we have a chance.

We are Losing Vital Information

via Ag education desperately needed in schools

Our nation’s educators push math, science, reading and social studies with an emphasis on standardized testing, but are students ready for the real world? Practical lessons grounded in agriculture could help prepare them for adulthood.

More than that, agriculture should be, and can easily be, incorporated into core subjects like math, science, reading and social studies.

First, why not? With a projected 57,000+ jobs available in agriculture and food science each year, these employment opportunities often go unfilled.

Second, your child eats three meals a day, right? When they go to the grocery store, don’t we want our youth informed as they make purchasing decisions? Don’t we want them armed with the facts, so they don’t have to feel guilt and confusion due to the misconceptions and biased opinions perpetuated by activists, food bloggers and the media?

In my travels I have met lots of people who are very smart.  They know their high-tech speciality beyond reproach.  they may even know or can handle some of the everyday skills like balancing a checkbook, popping something in the microwave, may even have an inkling of how to change a flat tire, or at least knowing where all the equipment is to change that tire.  You have to be careful because some of the new cars don’t even have a spare tire anymore.

My last year of high school, either due to scheduling or the teacher was worried  about me being in a science lab, I was not able to take chemistry.  ( I don’t know why. )  So I would not have too much Study Hall, I was sent to a “Terminal Math” class tought by our superintendent.  This was a review of all the basic math you learn in twelve years of school. You know, the stuff you will use everyday.  When we went over how to figure compound interest we were asked to ask our smart classmates in chemistry how to figure compound intrest for a loan they had real dumb looks.  Most of the people in the Terminal Math went on to become pretty good business leaders in the community and such.

When you meet people and start talking you find that in some cases that these people have never been beyond a six or ten blocks of  where they have lived their entire life or have never been outside the city limits of their town.  Their food comes from the store on the corner.  They have no idea that the fresh vegetables was harvested, depending on the season, in a foreign country then transported to the store near them.  Their breakfast cereal started in a field in Kansas, manufactured in Illinois, and on to the store near them.  Have no idea what GMO means.  That their pet food may have been manufactured in a country that has very little regulations like we have in the US by the FDA.

In order to provide a better general education we need a more rounded education of the basics.

A Delaying tactic for Term Limits

If people think that Congress is talking about it then they don’t have to force the issue.  WRONG!

via Bipartisan Group of Lawmakers Pushes for Term Limits

An old approach to draining the Washington swamp has become new again as members of Congress push for congressional term limits.

Term limits were one of the items proposed in the 1994 Contract with America, developed by former House Speaker Newt Gingrich. Although the issue was widely debated at the time, and term limits were imposed on some local and state elected positions, the bid to create term limits at the federal level never succeeded. Although some states sought to limit congressional terms, The Washington Post noted that a court rejected those efforts. Instead, imposing congressional term limits requires a constitutional amendment, which would require two-thirds passage in the bitterly divided houses of Congress and then ratification by 36 states.

Republican Rep. Brian Fitzpatrick of Pennsylvania said he told Trump that there is a connection between length of service and corruption, according to the Washington Examiner. 

“I made clear to the president that, as a former FBI special agent who oversaw the FBI’s Political Corruption Unit for the entire nation, I witnessed firsthand an undeniable correlation between the length of time in office and the instances of corruption,” Fitzpatrick said. “The lines that were very bright for elected officials on day one in office were not so bright in year seven or eight, and even less so in years 15 or 20.”

It is clear that if we wait for Congress to get around to doing this themselves, the proverbial hot place will freeze over first.  Those that are currently riding the establishment of power in Congress will always come up with the one vote not to allow something to curtail their power or cut off the millions they receive in office for doing something the highest bidder will pay for.  That folks,  will not be what you voted for them to do.

If you do any research, you will see that what they have made over their years in elected public service far exceeds what they are actually paid for.  With this, there are a few that say they are not making enough.  Is that after they just bought their second or third beach house?

A constitutional amendment for congressional term limits could never achieve the blessing of Congress; it could be initiated only by the states.  Dwight D. Eisenhower

To get anything done in this way will require that every state place it on the ballot and force a Constitutional Convention.  This would be a very steep hill to walk and a hard fight against the established political power and the media giants to return us to the original democratic republic we are supposed to be.    What former President Dwight D. Eisenhower was trying to say is that it is up to the people who cast the ballots to collect the signatures and force the issue.  It is not enough to just stand and be counted.  It is up to all of us to get the conversation started and ram it past the elected establishment, the media, the judges, and the naysayers.

In states that have passed term limits, there have been large changes in the diversity of those elected to office and a greater discussion of what really to be done within the state.

Privacy Concerns

Just read an article about a Congressman trying to hype privacy concerns in regards to the upcoming Congressional questioning of Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg. I had to laugh.

Why, you ask?

Privacy in America, let alone in the world is a joke. How do you think the Junk Mail industry got started? How do you think Credit Cards got off the ground so fast?

You go to the store and you buy something and then when you get home and turn on your desktop computer and start looking at you social media page and there it is an ad for what you just bought, but it was cheaper next door to the store you just came from. How did this start you ask yourself.

Way back when it was implied in those old comic books where you just had to buy that toy through the mail. The person or company got your name and address from when you bought the item. From that item they were able to assign some values like age, gender, and what you may like. Then someone came along and paid him for that information. Then turned around and convince some other company that you may become a customer to them if they would pay for him to send you these advertisements to you. BINGO! You are now on a list to get JUNK MAIL!

The same thing happens today, just at the speed of electrons. Remember all that fine print that you just browse over? Yep. That’s it. You just agreed to all of that, when you clicked.

Even when you get a new smart phone you have already passed over most of the legalize fine print and signed for it. Sometimes you may think you have optioned out of certain aspects but they come back to the fine print when you bought your smart phone or other items. Most option outs start at the time you option out. They already have your information.

Did these companies and organizations take advantage of you while covering their backsides? Probably. We are not all lawyers, or big corporations, we are just regular citizens trying to make it through the day.

You keep hearing about all these data breaches, but after a week or two you hear nothing more. If your information was part of the breach, the company involved will usually send you a notice that your data may have been exposed and they offer you a year free monitoring service to watch for misuse of your data.  That is like hiring an armed guard to watch your house and notify you if someone tries to get in.  The armed guard will only watch your house, not stop someone from entering and doing what they will.  They will not protect you from the loss.  There needs to be updates through the media about these breaches that hold these people responsible.  There are some companies that will help you recover any loss due to a data breach but you have to pay for that service.

If there is anything to come about all these known data breaches it will probably be buried to cover a company’s bottom line.