Hopeless in America; unless

About 50% of the American workforce is without employer provided health insurance. Corporations complain that they can not remain competitive because of the high costs of employer provided medical and pension plans. They assert that getting rid of those obligations will help cure their lack of competitiveness. (note yesterdays postings for other reasons)They argue that it’s the responsibility of the workforce to go out into the market place and purchase health insurance and retirement plans. In order for the workforce to be able to afford health insurance and retirement plans. Corporate America is going to have to increase the wages for working America. The reason 50% of the workforce is without health insurance is because they can not afford to buy health insurance.

This writer is available to lecture to any size group concerning the multiple problems facing working America.This writer will come and talk on a topic of specific interest to you. The number of people in attendance is not important. What is important is group interest and how to work for change.

Major social polarization is occurring throughout the country as millions of workers struggle to make ends meet. While this is taking place the number of families with assets of at least $20 million grew by 3,000 just last year. The old adage, “the rich get richer and the poor get poorer,” represents a way of life for the most of America. In America how can you become rich if you have to pay taxes? The answer is you can not. That is why corporate America hires lobbyists to write favorable legislation to reduce their tax burden.Those 3,000 families who saw their wealth increase by $ 20 million will have to pay 15% less in taxes. While a families making $15,000 or less, will not be graced with such good fortune. The government considers families making $15,ooo or less to be poor. Families who are considered poor by the governments own standards should not have to pay any federal taxes.

The United States government has no shortage of money. The republicans in the congress and the executive branch complain that Americans pay to much in taxes. So, why not free the poor from paying any federal income taxes? Why this government has so much money it can fight a war in Iraq that has cost the nation over $ 222,695,190,850 and soaring by the second. The war has cost the people of Florida $11,756,288,105 and soaring by the second. While the citizens of Hillsborough, have paid $769,709,875, and soaring by the second. What to discover what that money could purchase in pre-school, kid’s health, college, public housing. Or, to fund some international problems like aides and world immunization. Check out the National Priorities Projects web site. They can be found at www.nationalpriorities.org.

Really, there is not any reason for not eliminating the federal tax obligation for all workers making $15,000. or less. The next step up from millionaire status is the step to billionaire. The world population houses 691 billionaires. That represents an increase in the billionaire family by 100 in about a year. It gets better folks these unfortunate people have a combined wealth of 2 1/4 trillion dollars. They have had to suffer with a meager increase of wealth of $300 billion over the same time period. These 691 billionaires were forced to exists on 3 1/5 billion on average.

Out of this world family of billionaires 272 live in the United States. However, as a result of hard working Americans, the worlds most productive workers. This family of billionaires increased by 69 in the United States for a total of 341. Thirteen members of this billionaire club are American citizens. It seems that New York City is their favorite place of residency. New York City mayor is one of those billionaires worth $5 billion. The person just ahead of him is billionaire natural gas tycoon Daniel Ducan with $5.1 billion. So, what do think folks, should people have to pay more for natural gas for heating and cooking? Seems with that kind of wealth, the industry giant should help people by reducing the cost this fuel.

In contrast to the rich and poor comes a report by the American Society of Civil Engineers which reports that America’s drinking water, waste water treatment plants, and power plants are sub standard. They report that public schools, public transportation are in the same sorry state. Along with America’s highways and bridges. They report that nearly $2 trillion will be needed just to bring the nation’s infrastructure up to minimum standards. Watch out working America! The tax man will be knocking on your door asking for money.

What’s wrong with this picture?

General Motors announced that it will eliminate another thirty thousand jobs. Those eliminated jobs represent 25% of its work force. The employment cut in the workforce is not temporary because of a weak economy. At least 12 plants were cars were built will be turned into parking lots or maybe parks. Some will be left to urban blight to house illicit activities. Representing another step in reducing the American work force to third world status.

Capitalists auto analysts for the industry warn that the job cuts are not enough. Remaining workers must accept reductions in wages and other benefits. Overtime pay must be eliminated! Vacation and sick leave must go! Workers must be prepared to work more hours per day and week. The expectation for the normal work week will increase to 50-60 hours a week. They say the standard of living Americans are use to will not be compromised. By working more hours, they will make up the difference in reduction in salary. In the mix of all this the workforce must be more productive. Leading this charge for worker concessions are company investors like Kirk Kerorian who is a BILLIONAIRE and owns 10% of General Motors.

The United States is home to 8 million millionaires with a combined wealth of $11 trillion in combined assets. That’s a growth of 1/5 over the number of millionaires in the country last year.

Wages for workers fail to keep pace with inflation. Yet, workers will be expected to work longer hours for less money. And to be more productive, as the workforce slips closer to third world status. Of course these, workers will be expected to pay more in tax’s because this current government has reduced the tax burden for millionaires and billionaires. Actually, some argue that individuals earning less than $15,000, a year, should not pay any taxes. Today job seekers can knock on the doors of the nations finest companies seeking employment. If offered a job, they can expect part time work. They will earn less than $7 an hour and work up to 32 hours week without any of the traditional benefits like vacation and sick leave. When the company doors are closed in observation of a national holiday. The part time workforce will get no holiday pay.

In America life just got worse. More on this trend with next posting.

Life in the Desert

Did you know that over a billion people from all races, nationalities, and cultures are Muslims. Only 18% of Muslims live in the Arab world; a fifth are found in Sub-Saharan Africa; and the world’s largest Muslim community is in Indonesia. Substantial parts of Asia are Muslim, while significant minorities live in India, China, Russia, North and South America, Eastern and Western Europe. (source Discover Islam The Reader)

It is clear that Islam has made a great and good impact upon the world community from its infancy in Mahhah, Saudi Arabia. Islamic influence can be thought of as a university of learning. Wherever Islam is practiced all academic disciplines have been advanced. The world is clearly a better place because of our Muslim communities around the globe. Which of course, includes our own Tampa Bay community. We are fortunate to have such a large Muslim community as neighbors. Much good can from our common heritage as Muslims, Jews, and Christians. All three religions trace their origins to the Patriarch Abraham. His sons are the descendants for each religion. Islam from Ishmael and Judaism and Christianity from Isaac. The three great Prophets that bind each religion to the other are for Muslims, Muhammad, for Jews, Moses, and for Christians, Jesus.

With such profound oneness for our origins, we three have always been a force for the betterment of humanity. Beside our origins, we share another commonality. All three, of us have suffered much hate and persecution. When people see the manifestation of differences. They sometimes become frightened and defensive. The defensiveness becomes aggressive and all to often leads to violence. Not wanting to be targets of such hate occasionally Muslims, Jews, and Christians have retreated into the inner sanctuaries of our respective religions. Seeking to be left alone to worship our God in peace. If history, has fought us anything. We all know, that approach does not work. Our enemies never leave us alone. This reminds me of one of the Fables of Aesop. “Traveling through a desert a man saw a women standing all alone with her eyes bent on the ground. Who are you? he asked. I am truth, she answered. And why have you left the town to live in the desert? Because times have changed, she said. In days gone by, lying was confined to a few. But now days, whenever you converse with people you find that they are liars. HUMAN LIFE IS VILE AND A WRETCHED THING, WHEN FALSEHOOD IS HONORED ABOVE TRUTH.” Each of us through the greatness of our respective religions have always found the strength to forgive our oppressors when we journey from the desert back to the city.

Our commonality of strength is in our respective approach to God that makes us one. Together we can defeat our modern day enemies who would vilify us separately in order to divide us. Together we are strong. Our combined strength makes us invincible to our enemies. Such strength allows us to advance the cause of God for the enrichment of society. Society must be shown that the manifestation of differences they observe are differences in culture, dress and custom. We must help society see the oneness of God that binds the Creator to humans through Judaism, Islam, and Christianity. That the falsehoods are created by liars. We are not returning to the desert. We will tell our truth together from our cities.

As a Christian clergyman, this writer is available to meet with Jews, Muslims, and Christians to advance an agenda of harmony and strength.

Life is good

The other day this writer had the opportunity to join hundreds of other people for dinner. After dinner, we jointly participated in an inter faith public service of praise for the blessings of God. This event was hosted by the Islamic Society of Tampa Bay and the Brandon Area Interfaith Coalition. This was the tenth year that the Inner Faith Coalition has brought the community together for a holiday festival of worship. This years festival was special. For the first time, it was hosted by the Islamic Society of Tampa Bay. The Islamic Society is located on Sligh Avenue and Orient Road.

This writer was emotional touched by the sincerity and humbleness of our host. They opened their home, and welcomed the Tampa Bay Community. In the most gracious manner possible, our Muslim neighbors exhibited what makes us one as a people.

During dinner I had the pleasure of dinning with a Muslim gentleman by the name of Syed. He is a Muslim from India. He regularly worships at the Mosque were the event was hosted. Two men sitting across from each other discussing religion, and discovery our commonality as a Muslim and a Christian. There was no attempt by one to convince the other that one path to God was superior to the other. It’s fair to say, I think that we both knew that each of us had found the perfect path to God. For this writer, it was magnificent.

We talked about modern technology. He has a daughter who lives in Thailand. He talked about her with great affection. Modern technology permitted father and daughter to converse verbally for long periods of time over the internet. He explained this technology to me with excitement. We agreed, that today we really live in a global village.

The mosque’s imam, Mohammad Sultan spoke correctly we he said,” food brings people together.” A very special thank you, Sir for a wonderful dinner, and blessed interfaith festival of praise to God. At the end of our responsive reading, in unison, with these words, we said, We must learn to live together as brothers and sisters, or perish together as fools. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Good bye, Judge Alito

The courts are often thought of as the last place citizens can go to find redress for grievances. However, a citizen can not find redress in the Supreme Court, if the court will not accept the case. A dangerous special interest, the religious right has been able to breathe new life into the doctrine of strict constructionism. It has not happened over night. The journey has taken several decades. It will be complete should the Senate confirm Judge Samuel Alito as the next Supreme Court Justice. His jurisprudence of strict constructionism is not good for the nation for all the reasons stated in recent postings. With strict constructionism as the prevailing jurisprudence of the court, citizens will have less access to the Supreme Court.

For several postings this writer has been writing about the darkness of originalism or strict constructionism as a means for constitutional interpretation. Dark because it limits access to the Supreme Court and defers to the states for resolution of the peoples grievances.

The alternative approach would be an non originalism or an expansive interpretation of the U.S. Constitution. Most things change with time. What is useful for dealing with something today. May be considered obsolete tomorrow. It’s fair to say that in some instances it may even be illegal.

Consider that the some of the founding fathers owned plantations. The people who owned those plantations employed people kidnapped from Africa. Those Africans were bought here in ships that provided living quarters not fit for human habitation. Once here these Africans were sold to the highest bidder. Once bought, these human beings were considered the property of their purchaser. Most were forced to provide free labor for their masters and plantation owners. With the exception of owning property, all the above behaviors today are constitutionally prohibited. In short, illegal meaning criminal. All because of a jurisprudence that viewed the constitution as a document that was expansive in its jurisprudence. Other examples exists, like the liberation of women as property of their husbands. The long battle women fought to earn the right to vote. Separation of church and state will shrink unless any notion of strict constructionism is defeated. Good bye, Judge Alito!

Basically a non originalists or expansive jurisprudence’s for constitutional interpretation has this for its foundation. The authors of the nations constitution could not anticipate the extent that the government might extend itself in the future to oppress the people. Therefore, the Supreme Court justices must at times step in, and be the protector of the people.

Soon the Senate Judiciary Committee will take up the nomination of Judge Samuel A. Alito as a candidate for the Supreme Court. He will be asked lots of questions concerning his jurisprudence. He will give many reasons as to why he can not answer those questions. He’ll do that for fear of being “BORKED.” The senators need an answer to one question. Judge Alito, are you a strict constructionists? He will not directly answer that question. The Senators will have to secure the answer from his writings and how he answers questions. Of course, the answer is already known. Judge Samuel Alito is a strict constructionists. He should be rejected by the committee. And of course, that is going to occur either. So, it is up to the American public to mobilize, and persuade the full Senate to reject Judge Alitio nomination.

Samuel Adams fought against British colonial rule and a signer of The Declaration of Independence had this to say about the art of persuasion. It does not take a majority to prevail. It takes a irate tireless minority. Keen on setting brush fires of liberty in the minds of the people. That is what it is going to take to defeat Alito. A conviction that liberty is at risk with a Supreme Court majority whose jurisprudence is of strict constructionism.

Why defeat Alito?

The United States Supreme Court provides the people with the best opportunity for addressing their grievances. That is because the justices once confirmed serve for life. They do not have to concern themselves with the re election cycles. The politics of special interest groups offering campaign money in return for favorable legislation. While at the same time, having to defer to the loudest voices of their voting constituency. The arena of the politician is picturesque. Like the Roman amphitheater where public spectacles took place. So it is in the arena of the congress, where the modern politician stages public spectacles. Which result in careers, all about glory and power. At the expense of the people!

Because politicians, have insatiable appetites for glory and power. Congress often fails to fulfill its constitutional mandate under Article one section eight by not providing for the general welfare of the people. For instance, national health insurance, A livable wage for working America. State provided higher education funding beyond high school which would provide better options for education than the promise offered through military service. Or the Johnson v Bush case, recently discussed; state legislature failure. Which ended up at the Supreme Court, and failed. Those are just to a few failures by the congress for the provision of the general welfare for the people.

In that our politicians in the congress so often fail the people of the United States. Resolution is found in the First Amendment of the Bill of Rights which allows for the people “to petition the government for a redress of grievances.” From the last several postings, readers discovered that the ability to petition the government for redress of grievances is in jeopardy. That is because special interest groups like the religious right. Have successfully been able to infiltrated the congress and executive branch with candidates committed to fulfill their agenda. The last conquest is the U.S. Supreme Court. The religious right has insisted that the executive in the White House nominate only candidates. Whose jurisprudence is based upon strict constructionism which forces the court to defer to the states. Unless the issue before the court is expressly found in the constitution. This is a dangerous precedent in American jurisprudence. It makes for a disruption of national unity. What is lawful in one state is illegal in a neighboring state. The nation has been there before which resulted in horrific consequences for the nation. Such jurisprudence resulted in the civil rights revolution. Which has shamed the nation, with the loss of many lives. That jurisprudence of strict constructionism, results in a nation of social welfare disparities between the states. Such disparities are most evident in civil rights, education, employment, standard of living, health care, and the environment. The states who resists legislation to enhance the above will lag further behind in social welfare for the people in those states. They will do so because the Supreme Court will not allow the peoples grievances to proceed for hearing before the Justices. They will defer to the states. The people will experience greater social welfare injustice under justices who embrace strict constructionism. Judge Alito is a strict constructionists. His nomination to the Supreme Court must be defeated.

A major concern for some women is to have control over their reproductive lives. Roe v Wade provided women with a liberating liberty. Allowing women to make reproductive decision for themselves. Many are concerned that if Judge Samuel Alito becomes a justice on the Supreme Court Roe v Wade will be overturned. This writer expects Alito to be confirmed for reasons stated in previous postings. However, this writer does not think Justice Alito will vote to over turn Roe. Should such a case make its way to the Supreme Court. Reasons exist for this conclusion. One reason is that justices do not like to overturn settled law. They feel it disrupts national unity causing unnecessary social tensions. Roe is safe! Because, strict constructionism is now the jurisprudence of the Supreme Court. Meaning when a case challenging Roe arrives at the door of the Supreme Court. They will simply defer to the states with their ruling. That will give the states the legal authority to destroy Roe v Wade. That means reproductive choice and liberty will be legal in some states and illegal in other states. But the legality, for reproductive liberty in scattered states through out the nation will be under attack from the religious right.

The religious right is aware that Roe is safe in the Supreme Court. They know they have won the bigger battle. Influence and control of the Supreme Court. They are happy to take the battle to destroy Roe to the States. They most likely will succeed. Because they have control over many state legislatures. All they have to do is conquer one state after another. There is no formidable opposition to stop them. And, its not just Roe that is at risk. But all legislation, that does not meet with the approval of the religious right. That includes religious freedom which will be discussed later.

It’s so important that people become mobilized to defeat Judge Alito. The nation is about ready to step into a time line that will toss us backwards to former dark days of our history with his confirmation. This writer has no confidence in the democrats in congress to defeat his confirmation. It’s up to we the people to provide a ground swell of emotion to energize the democrats to work for his defeat. Much is at stake!

This writer has decided to conclude this series of postings later. It will be a posting concerning an alternative jurisprudence to strict constructionism and state rights. That was intended for this posting.

This writer is available to lecture on the problems that strict constructionism create. Also available to write for your publication.

Stagnation stinks! A nation in it’s grip.

With the last two postings, this writer has written a little about American jurisprudence. Its failure and what to expect when Judge Alito is confirmed as a Supreme Court Justice. Along with suggestions for citizen actions.

This posting is a continuation of the above themes with another approach for the restoration of civil rights for convicted felons who have fulfilled their obligations to society. It’s an approach held in disdain by the Florida legislature because it allows citizens to accomplish for themselves what the legislature will not do. With the last posting this writer touched upon the problems with jurisprudence that is centered on the original intent of the founding fathers of this nation and state rights. The next posting will discuss a more enlightened jurisprudence. With a emphasis on why Judge Samuel A. Alito must not be confirmed as a Supreme Court Justice.

In that the Florida Legislature failed to restore civil rights to convicted felons who have fulfilled all obligations to society. And with the nations highest court refusing to hear the Johnson case, little hope exists that either one of those institutions will reverse themselves.

The people of Florida have a great tool in the Florida Constitution for legislating law. It’s article eleven section three which reads in part… constitutional revision by initiative is reserved to the people. State Senator Mandy Dawson D-Fort Lauderdale is interested in processing a citizens initiative for the restoration of civil rights for convicted felons through a citizens initiative. She faces two problems. First a citizens initiative is expensive and 600,000
signatures must be collected. If you are interested in helping, Mandy can be reached at dawson.mandy.web@flsenate.gov.

This writer has written other postings concerning citizens initiatives. Type citizen initiatives in the search tab. You will be able to read those postings. One thing you’ll discover is that the Florida legislature wants to make citizens initiatives much more difficult. Reasons for this are multiple. Special interest groups within corporate Florida resent citizens initiatives. For example, they opposed the successful citizen initiative that raised the minimum wage in Florida. The Florida legislature resented the successful citizen initiative that forced the state to fund smaller class size in public schools. Citizens initiatives work. Hope you’ll contact Sen. Mandy.

In the last posting, some thoughts were shared about the dangers of originalist and state rights jurisprudence. People who embrace such a jurisprudence call themselves strict constructionists. They basically see the United States Constitution as a stagnant document. Unable to address modern issues on a national level because it must defer to the rights of the states. That is why they are upset with Roe v Wade. Roe became the law of the land based on the jurisprudence of choice or liberty. Strict constructionists argue that those themes are not addressed directly in the constitution. Therefore, the Supreme Court should have deferred to the states. They argue this from the Amendments to the Constitution, The Bill of Rights, Amendment Ten, Reserved Powers of the State. Which states, “The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the states, are reserved to the states, or the people.” Those few words for conservatives form the bases for the jurisprudence of strict constructionism, and original intent, and state rights. Of course, they ignore the clause, “or the People.”That is why this Supreme Court rejected Johnson v Bush. For a conservative court, the restoration of civil rights is reserved to the states. Florida is one of seven states that deny convicted felons the restoration of their civil rights once they have fulfilled all obligations to society. If the United States Supreme Court had accepted the case, and ruled in favor of Mr. Thomas the laws of seven states would have been declared unconstitutional. A free people must be allowed the right to vote. Furthermore, the changing of the laws in those seven states would have effected a small percentage of the population. Florida has the largest population of former felons. Estimated at around 600,000 people. So, nationally maybe less than several million people would have regained their civil rights. The court by rejecting Thomas v Bush sends a strong message of how they will decide cases that really have national consequences.

Little doubt exists that Judge Samuel A Alito is a strict constructionist with all the ornaments of conservative jurisprudence. For the sake of the nation, his nomination must be defeated. This writer is not very optimistic that this will occur. Because the democrats, can only make noise and create some smoke screens. They can not anger corporate America who are united and campaigning for his confirmation. Being a United States Senator costs lots of money. Most of that money for campaigns comes from corporate America. The only why Alito will be defeated is through a citizens uprising against his confirmation. No matter how much money a Senator gets from corporate America. Senators ultimately are depended upon our vote.

In Florida, I’m already on record with the Democratic National Committee of not supporting the candidacy of Senator Nelson for another senate term. This based on his voting record. He voted for the confirmation of John Roberts as Chief Justice. Which means, he voted for a strict constructionists. And a judge, who supports state rights over national unity.

In the next positing, expect the alternative to strict constructionism. Also to be discussed, what will happen to Roe v Wade.

This writer is available to lecture or teach workshops on the above topic.

With Alito the Court is complete

With the previous posting concerning Johnson v Bush, a case that sought restoration of civil rights, for convicted felons who have fulfilled all obligations to society. As stated, the case ended when the U.S. Supreme Court refused to accept the case. The court did not state its reasoning for not accepting the case. Therefore, the public must be given to conjecture as to why the court refused to accept the case.

For this writer, the conjucture is simple. This court has been moving to the right of center for a few decades. Justices who are right of the center interpret the facts of a case based on what they call original intent of the nations founding fathers. For example, because the U.S. Constitution does not address the loss of civil rights for convicted felons. The Supreme Court can not decide the case. They see it as a responsibility of state legislatures to address restoration of civil rights for convicted felons.

The doctrine of original intent and state rights has not served the nation in the past. Such doctrines of jurisprudence allow legislatures to enact laws that resulted in the Johnson v Bush in the first place.The loss of civil rights in Florida for convicted felons was made part of the Florida Constitution over 130 years in the past. Right after the end of the civil war. Along with many other laws better known as Jim Crow Laws. States like Florida left to their own devices have a history of disenfranchising certain people in this state. Those who have suffered most under the Florida legislature have been African Americans and women. Of course Jews and many others have their own horror stories to tell. To qualify for disfranchisement in Florida; you just had to be a minority. That tragedy of the states past has not been completely eradicated. The state is on the verge of being locked in the past for decades to come. Dominated and controlled by the evils of original intent and state rights. When Samuel Alito, is confirmed and joins the Supreme Court. The several decades of struggles to move the court to the right of center will have been accomplished. That will halt and reverse the jurisprudence of an expansive constitution.

An effort was made by, State Senator Frederica Wilson, D-Miami, who proposed a constitutional amendment to the Florida Constitution. The bill never made it out of the Senate Judiciary Committee. The committee chair is Sen. Daniel Webster, R-Winter Gaeden. Senators who support such an amendment to the Florida Constitution plan on introducing the legislation again. As suggested in the last posting, it would be helpful if people contacted our legislators offering support for such a amendment to our constitution. A good place to start would be to contact Sen. Wilson and encourage her to reintroduce her legislation. Hopefully, people will also contact Sen Webster, and express disapproval for his holding of the legislation captive in committee.

This writer is available to lecture on a wide range of topics.

Johnson v Bush

It has been said, that to error is human but to forgive is divine. In a country that asserts itself as one nation under God. It would seem reasonable to expect forgiveness for those who error. That is not the case in the State of Florida. For sometime a case known as Johnson v Bush has been making a journey through the state and federal courts. The journey ended when the U.S. Supreme Court refused to accept the case. The citizens of this great state can do for our fellow citizens what the State of Florida, and our courts refused to do.

The case is about the restoration of civil rights for convicted felons who have fulfilled their obligation to the people through the criminal justice system. The control of this state is the obligation of its citizens. The entire criminal justice system is the property of we the people. Citizens allow elected, and those appointed to state and federal office to hold office in order to conduct our business.

Here are the issues at controversy:

The Florida Constitution Article 6 section four reads. Disqualifications.- No person convicted of a felony, or adjudicated in this or any other state to be mentally incompetent shall be qualified to vote or hold office until restoration of civil rights or removal of disability.

The Plaintiff, Thomas Johnson, is a married man with a family living in Gainesville, Florida. Thomas is the executive director of a organization that runs a residential program for people released from prison. He has held that position since 1996. His program is very engaging. It not only provides housing for people released from prison but also provides mentors who help these people reintegrate back into society. The program also helps the residents find employment.

Experts in the field of criminal justice and other academic disciplines have written volumes on the absolute necessity for such programs. The longer people are incarcerated the more they need such programs the experts conclude. This writer concurs because he has worked in the criminal justice system, and did a tour as warden for a penal facility. Remember to error is human to forgive is Divine. A society that can not forgive is bound to see the errant person hopelessly trapped in the path of error. Forgiveness is packaged in programs directed by Thomas Johnson.

Thomas Johnson served eight months in prison on a felony conviction in 1992. He was released in November 1992. He has paid back society for his crime by serving a prison sentence.

Now it’s time for Florida to amend its constitution. Restoring voting rights to citizens who fulfill their debt to society for crimes committed. Encourage the Florida legislature to enact legislation to restore voting rights to people who have fulfilled their obligation to society.

Ten will Florida be the eleventh

Economic crime labeled as identity theft is sweeping the country. Many people have friends who have had their identity stolen. Others know the horrors of identity theft from personal experience Some know the trauma of identity theft from various news sources. Identity theft is the nations fastest growing crime. Over 10 million people last year were victims of identity theft. It’s estimated that it will cost those victims $5 billion. Once a persons good reputation has been destroyed, it can take years of very hard intense and expensive work to regain your good reputation.

Most of this writers postings encourage personal action for bringing about the kind of change desired for these United States. This posting is no different. So, a few suggestions will be shared that might some day save people the very draining trauma of identity theft plus lots of money and time.

A Florida legislator in the proposed a bill in the house that would give the people of this state an additional tool for protecting themselves from identity theft. This bill would allow consumers to freeze their credit reports. Such a law would reduce the chance of having personal financial information released without the individuals permission. Which means that if someone was attempting to open up an account in your name, it would fail because of the freeze.

Criminals who steal someones identity get possession of credit card numbers, driver license numbers, routing numbers from checking accounts and social security numbers. All to often, they get that information because of consumer carelessness. Sometimes criminals get that information from people who have access to the consumers sensitive information. They then go somewhere and attempt to open an account. And before the true owner of that identity discovers the theft, the damage has been done. House bill 37 would make identity theft more difficult. In addition that bill would allow the consumer to sue the parties. Meaning the thief, and those who were to quick to give the thief credit. Like a department store who gives instant credit to someone or credit bureaus. This indeed would be an neat tool for the consumer. However, the bill failed because the business community and credit bureaus opposed the bill. They argued that it would hurt business and lead to a flood of lawsuits. Actually the bill never made it outside of committee. Not one person on the committee supported the bill.

It seems to this writer that the committee was more concerned about the business community than the consumer. Legislators know that they can not offend the business community because the business community finance their political campaigns. That is just one of the problems that we the people need to address.

However, all is not lost, yet. House bill 37cs will be brought up again before committee in early December. This will give the writer of the bill sometime to get support from people who oppose the bill. Of course the business community will not support the bill unless it’s so weaken that the bill will do little in protection from identity theft. Unless we the consumers offer our support for the bill. The author of the bill,” Security of Consumer Credit Report Information,” is Rep. Sandra (Sandy) Adams. Consumers can email support for her bill to adams.sandy@myhouse.com.

Another suggestion for consumers to protect themselves from identity theft is to monitor ones credit reports. Consumers can get a free credit report from each credit bureau once every 12 months. There are three major credit bureaus. What this writer does is requests a report from each bureau every four months. To get free reports go to: www.annualcreditreport.com. They will try and sell other services. Consumers can decline and still get free reports.

Monitor your credit card activity. This writer monitors his activity at least once a week. Better safe than sorry.

Consumers can put alerts on their credit cards. With alerts your bank will notify you of any unusual activity.

One voice

Surely, there is nothing more wretched than a man, of all things that breathe and move upon the earth. Homer

The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked; who can know it? Jeremiah 17:9

Whether Homer or Jeremiah accurately describe the human condition is for each reader to decide. They are after all, just one voice.

But would you allow, the executive in the White House be the sole arbiter for what is best for the nation.? How about the justices on the Supreme Court, or the members of the congress? This writer suspects certainly not. However, with every election cycle, and Supreme Court confirmation the nation moves toward one voice in government. That one voice could picture the image painted by Homer and Jeremiah.

Senator Coburn and his America

In the United States Senate sets a republican senator from Oklahoma. His name is Tom Coburn. This man is on a mission. His mission is to Christianize America. He is a member of a extremists religious denomination where he serves as Deccan. He has associations with organizations who share his vision. One of those organizations is a group called the Promise Keepers. It’s an all male group. Meaning women can not join. People like Coburn believe women should have careers only as wives and mothers. Which of course makes him a threat to women, who may have an agenda outside of the home. They may as well want to be wives and mothers. It’s a decision in modern America that women make. They do so while very young; as school girls. Which is what school age boys have always done. For Coburn, and his kind, women could work outside the home only with their husbands permission. Employment would have to meet with his approval. Such an ideology would roll the nation back to dreadful times in America history.

The Promise Keepers just finished the twentieth conference for men and boys. During those 20 conferences they claim to have had 177,000 in attendance. They heard such themes as, Awakened Lives to Divine Purpose, Hearing God’s Voice, and Discovering Your Unique Design. The Divine purpose is to bring the nation to accept the religious right extremists doctrines. They are taught to accept those doctrines as divine because they have a biblical foundation, according to the Promise Keepers; and Sen. Coburn. They hear God’s voice through the Bible. During these conferences they were encouraged to reject evolutionary theories for the origin of the species. Speakers employed humor where the audience was told that if they saw a beached whale they were not to return it to the ocean because it’s trying to evolve. Keep in mind that Sen. Coburn is a member of the Promise Keepers. He shares their mission, and has brought it into the United States Senate. Please do accept what this writer writes about Sen. Coburn. Rather study the legislation he sponsors. Pay attention to the questions he will ask Supreme Court nominee Samuel Alito. Follow the speeches he gives. To give the reader some perspective for Coburn’s thinking here what he has said. I favor the death penalty for abortionists and other people who take life. He thinks that the gay community has infiltrated the centers of power through out country. They represent a threat to our freedom. He asserts that the gay community has great political power. To Sen. Coburn the gay community is behind the abortion movement and multiple sexual partners. All this to the Senator makes the gay community a threat to the family. With Sen. Coburn, and people like him, any notion that that does have a biblical foundation is a threat to the family and the whole of society.

Among other things, this writer thinks Sen. Colburn suffers from a severe case of homophobia. Senator Thomas Allen Colburn most likely could benefit from some long term psychiatric treatment. He is a danger to the Senate and the American people. He has already said abortionists should receive the death penalty. The power to enact such laws is not currently possible for the extremists religious right in this country. For now, they know that they do not have the people in the congress to write such legislation. Nor do they have the required justices on the U.S. Supreme Court to uphold such laws, today. Having Samuel Alito on the high court is important to the religious right. They are hoping that he would support such a law. Should such legislation someday be placed on the Supreme Court docket. For them, it’s a gamble worth taking.

On Meet the Press with Tim Russert today. Clips were reviewed of John Roberts confirmation hearings. Sen. Coburn, said he trusted Roberts because he could see from Roberts body language that he was a truthful person. Russert asked him if he thought as a physician he could tell whether a person was telling the truth. Sen. Coburn did not take the bait. The senator just replied that anyone could be trained to see truthfulness in body language. In this writers opinion Sen. Colburn was suggesting that the Holy Spirit was telling him that Roberts was a acceptable candidate for the Supreme Court. Sen. Coburn knew that saying he was led to accept Roberts because of the Holy Spirit would not play on national television, yet. If the trend towards religious fundamentalism continues to gain members in the senate, the American public will hear such language on national television from such senators.

This writer decided to write a little about Sen. Colburn not only because he is a member of the Senate. More importantly because he is a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee. He will be one vote for sending Judge Alito to the full senate for confirmation. America needs to know the kind of danger that lies at there door step. Now is the time to act and reverse this religious attack on fundamental American liberties.

This writer is available to substantially broaden today’s posting by addressing your organization, or to write about this danger to our American way of life for your publication. Just click on the contact tab and phone or email me. Private one on one conversations available. Small group discussions are also available.

Third world life for Ameicans

Recently the U.S. Senate attempted to do something it had not done in eight years. Raise the federal minimum wage from $5.15 to $6.25 over the next nineteen months. (Read carefully what is to follow because what is to follow impacts all of us, and not just low income workers.) It was voted down along party lines. However, the republicans offered a counter proposal. They said they would support the democratic proposal upon two conditions. Further reductions in taxation upon corporate America , and a change in the law reducing the burden of overtime pay for the business community. For most Americans, that is not breaking news. Most are aware that republicans are the legislators for the interest of the business community. The position of the republican party and corporate America was perfectly summarized recently. A spokesperson for Oppenheimer and Company in New York said, a good corporate citizen does not work for the betterment of the America.. The republican party and corporate America do not care what hardships the hard working American citizen encounters. The reader does not need this writer to list possible hardships people are facing. Each of us can express our own hardship(s) that we are attempting to overcome. Two things are certain. We can not expect help from our government. Nor can we expect help from our employers. They have an enhanced bottom line. Extract as much from the work force as possible. In return give the employee as little as possible. The demand is that each worker must be more productive even at the expense of good health and safety. They will put the final touch to the Oppenheimer and Company doctrine. A good corporate citizen does not work for the betterment of America.

In order to discover how sour the economy really is and how it effects the buying power of Americans consider this. For a reference point, the federal minimum wage was last raised in September of 1997. In the years that have passed since 1997 up to today. The buying power of $5.15 is worth $.17 less on the dollar. In the last eight years since 1997 the U.S. Senate has raised its pay by $28,000. How many employees do you know who are making $28,000.00, let alone an increase of 28,000. ? In addition what the government denies it citizens it provides for itself. Lifetime health insurance and healthy retirement pensions. Those retirement pensions are not 401 plans. There retirement plans are secure moneys not subject to the moods of the stock market. That is just the opposite of what they want for the American work force. On top of that, the government announced that when consumers buy something that product has experienced the greatest price increase of this generation. That is all inclusive for all products. Prices for wholesalers, according to the governments consumer price index like department stores, and super markets have increased has much as 2 percent. In order to enhance their profit they pass a 5 percent increase on to the consumer. As most know, the value of the dollar has been decreasing for months. It has been reported that 80 percent of the workforce saw their dollar buy 1.2 percent less this month than last month. To make things worse their dollars buy 3 percent less today than last year at this time.

Can you imagine what it would be like if we were not in the midst of an economic recovery. That is what our government tells the public. But even economists like Jared Bernstein of the Economy Policy Institute question that recovery because of the great loss of the buying power of your hard earned dollars. That is not in dispute for people on fixed incomes or for people struggling to etch out a living. More and more people are taking on second and third jobs just to barely get buy.The question is, how bad do things have to get before the American people put an end to this sorry state of affairs? Keep in mind that corporate America is experiencing record profits and paying less in taxes. The tax burden continues to be shifted upon the average employee in ever so subtle ways. For example, when your telephone bill increases so does your federal tax on that bill. When you go to the department store to buy something, as noted above, it cost more. With the increase in prices; all taxes to the state and federal government increase. In Florida, our state government is proud of their huge slush fund for a rainy day. The rainy day is upon us and our government is silent. In Florida our republican government is busy making corporate Florida richer and its citizenry more poor.

Little doubt exists in this writers mind that the federal and state government are well aware that capitalism as we know it has exhausted its usefulness. That is why they are backing corporate America as it pushes for employee concessions across the board. That is all the public hears from from the sound, print, and vision media. They insists that in a global community Americans must be willing to adjust their lifestyles to those of the rest of the world. Which means work more and earn less. However, corporate America executives have no intention of adjusting their lifestyles to reflect the lesser standard they demand.

The federal courts long have been a stumbling block to the republicans in congress and corporate America. Corporate America invested record amounts of money in support of the elevation of John Roberts as Chief Justice. They described Roberts as a “darling” of big business. Now they will campaign for the elevation Judge Samuel A. Alito, another darling of big business. They will succeed in seating Judge Alito on the Supreme Court for the reasons stated in previous postings. What that means for America is the end of democracy (civil rights) and (economic fairness) for Americans.

Along with all this, people on fixed incomes social security and pensions earned while working will be placed in jeopardy. The republicans and corporate America have been throwing out the eliminations of those entitlements for some time. Up to this point the republicans and corporate America have lacked the support of the federal courts. Soon that problem will be eliminated. If any hope exists for America; it rests with the ordinary Americans. Who must unite and take action. As a start, we must work for the defeat of Judge Alito.

This writer is available to discuss the above dangers to groups of any size. Also available as a speaker for your luncheon meeting. Short talk with question and answer period.

The great Satan rules America

The political and judicial trends in the United States are in serious trouble. The far right religious extremists own the Republican party. So powerful, is their control over the party. It could be referred to as the Republican Church of America. People like Karl Rove, White House adviser seek counsel and approval from the leadership of religious extremists in this country. The White House and the Congress can no longer act independently from the dictates of this group. Soon they will have the last seat on the Supreme Court necessary to complete their judicial sweep of the nation. That seat will be occupied by, Samuel A. Alito. The Republican party sold their soul to the devil, and the nation will pay dearly for the sins of capitulation to the extreme religious right in this country.

The nation can not depend on the Democratic party to rescue the nation from this pending onslaught. The October 31st. posting provided some suggestions as to why.

There is a whole lot of detail to be written between the lines of the above paragraphs. This writer is available to spell out those details as a public speaker. Available to write an article for your publication. You can contact this writer by email or phone.