Constitutionally Right

The only way to predict the future is to create it.

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Location: Yardley, PA (Bucks County), United States

Saturday, August 27, 2011

A Higher Calling - Philly Burbs


I had a profound moment of reflection during the flight home from Operation Desert Storm. The war had just ended and my Marines and I were homebound from a very remote training area overseas on a commercial flight with our rifles upside down in front of our seats. We had suspected that combat would have been just a few days away and there was no doubt that we were ready. The rumor was that we’d be outnumbered 10 to 1, but still felt that the enemy was at a serious disadvantage.
It was at that moment, with everyone asleep around me, that I had trouble wrapping my arms around the thought of taking a human life. Maybe it was a little late, or maybe not, but I asked God if he approved.
A warm gentle glow vividly embraced my consciousness as He answered. It’s impossible for most of us, me included, to understand how inhumanly mean and cruel some can be. Victims of a terrible regime are simply born into an environment that we’re just not able to comprehend where hundreds or even thousands of defenseless people can die in a single day.
One of the most important ways for us to defend our cherished freedom at home is to defend/restore it abroad. We can’t save everyone and can certainly debate being the world’s police, but we’re the “ultimate prize” for dictators everywhere. The spread of tyranny and oppression will eventually lead to America if we allow it.
Someone once said that “Every garden will be invaded.”. Many don’t get it because freedom is all we know, but I’m very offended by politicians who use our collective ignorance to further their own political agenda by undermining a war effort that they approved. Very offended and it gets worse when they throw our men and women in uniform under the bus. In fact, I get a little crazy.
The greatness of our nation is founded on the sacrifices of individuals willing to step forward to defend it. Our American warriors love what’s behind them more than they fear what’s in front. I can say with total confidence that today’s men and women in uniform do more in a minute than I did in 4 ½ years of full-time active duty. And I can say from experience that you will not find finer people anywhere at any price. They don’t exist.
One of our nation’s finest heroes was Travis Manion, a Marine Corps 1st Lt. who was tragically lost in 2007 while trying to protect his Marines from an ambush. If you can please spend some time at www.travismanion.com and get to know Travis. Chances are that you’ll be riveted and will come back for more. A person like 1st Lt. Manion will truly continue to lead by example forever.
One thing I didn’t know was that Travis and his dad, Marine Col. Tom Manion, had signed up for the 2007 Marine Corps Marathon. The Marine Corps Marathon is where one of The Foundation’s signature events takes place with Team Travis blazing a trail of character that’s rarely seen anywhere. One could argue that Travis was there in 2007, even if not physically, and there every year since and will be for years to come.
The Travis Manion Foundation is one of the nation’s premier organizations that goes to great lengths for our Veterans. They’re just returning the favor and provide opportunities for the rest of us to help out in a profound and meaningful way. Thanks in advance for whatever you’re able to do.
I also encourage anyone to participate however you can at any number of “Heroes Runs” ( www.911heroesrun.com ) throughout the nation. The “home” event is a 5K and 1 Mile Fun Run at 2PM in Doylestown, PA on September 11th. It’s really a sight to see whether you run, volunteer or just attend as a spectator.
Another one that I like a lot is the Marine Corps Scholarship Foundation who provides college scholarships to the children of Marines who didn’t return. The Scholarship Foundation’s goal at this year’s Marine Corps Marathon is to raise $100,000 with over 100 runners. They’ve awarded over 26,500 scholarships (by raising over $65 million) since 1962. Over 1,600 children were awarded scholarships for the upcoming academic year by this remarkable group (who can be found at www.mcsf.org ).
Thank you for understanding our military heroes and their sacrifices on our behalf. It’s not easy. Never has been and never will be. War almost doesn’t make sense, but neither does allowing pure evil to succeed and spread.
Please visit the web addresses above. You can support these Foundations through direct contributions or you can “Sponsor a Runner”, me, at my own site, http://corysteiner.blogspot.com .
Thanks again.


Looking For Intelligent Life - Bucks County Courier Times August 23, 2011

OK, so union personnel embarrass themselves outside of our Congressman’s office to protest the loss of jobs when they’re primary activity is chasing away the competition. Am I missing something? Is it possible that decades of political manipulation and intimidation are coming home to roost?
The 70,000 jobs lost in Philly, as expressed by one protest sign, probably wasn’t Congressman Fitzpatrick’s fault, but was probably more due to unions chasing away 70,000 businesses that would have otherwise come to Philly if it weren’t for the carpenters’ and electricians’ unions going insane whenever someone chooses the free market over their oppressive antics.
This is all getting very weird. I’m still undecided whether to start protesting with giant inflatable cats or to just leave the planet in search of intelligent life.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Social Insecurity - Philly Burbs


At this point most of us are aware that Democrats are corrupt and incompetent and that Republicans are weak and lack courage. It should be clear by now that politics is simply a game where most of us lose. Maybe we were once a Representative Republic, but those days are gone. Restoring who we are will happen when slightly more than half of our elected officials take their Oath of Office with deadly seriousness. Maybe it’ll happen one day, but we’re pretty far off.
In the mean time it can’t hurt to start thinking about required reforms. I’ll discuss Social Security since it’s the biggie and the underlying theme of it’s repair would be consistent among fixes in other arenas.
Many of us believe that each of us has our own Social Security account for which we have rights to. Social Security was activated on November 24, 1936 as a guaranteed retirement entitlement. However, in 1937 the court ruled in the Helvering vs. Davis case that Social Security was not an insurance program, saying that the Social Security taxes collected are to be paid into the Treasury like internal revenue taxes and are not earmarked in any specific way.
In 1960 the court ruled in the Flemming vs. Nestor case that Congress may, due to ever changing conditions, cut benefits, raise the retirement age, raise the tax, eliminate payments altogether or whatever else they wish to do.
So why, in a free society, am I required by law to set aside a portion of my earnings for presumed retirement payments? It can be argued that this creates a disincentive to assume the personal responsibility to prepare and the evidence to this is that so few diligently put a small amount away each month (or at all).
I personally think it’s much better to empower people now than to wait for Social Security to go broke. Then what? Why would anyone prefer to rely on government when most of us could do much better on our own?
The only answer that comes to mind is for us all to contribute a small amount to Social Security where the only recipients will be those who really need the help. Social Security as a sweeping entitlement simply isn’t viable and is rapidly headed for disaster.
With this simple shift away from the entitlement mentality will be a corresponding shift towards accountability and self-reliance. The options are endless, but I’m a firm believer in The Market. The stock market is often associated with risk, but dollar-cost-averaging over time and diversification generally reduces and/or eliminates risk.
There’s other investment programs, too, that lack risk from the start all of which are still better on every level than any government program.
The only real risk, then, would be if The Market gets wiped out and then money won’t matter anyway. History shows only upward trends with no indications of disaster and the true financial minds of our day will (and are right now as I write this) explain how the greatest threats to markets are the poor policies coming from our elected officials.
Social Security was doomed from the start as it morphed into the backdrop of political gamesmanship of epic proportions. The greatest security will surely come from “taking the risk” to reform and I’m hopeful that we can one day say “GAME OVER!” as we get back to the business of running a great nation.



Friday, August 05, 2011

God Is Watching Us - Philly Burbs

After lots of thought I’ve decided to replace my “Stop Global Whining” bumper sticker with one that says “Wag More, Bark Less”. My dog seems to have everything in proper perspective so I’ll be following her example from here on out.
In my perception, there’s 3 levels of consciousness:
1. Unconscious
2. Viewing everything through the distorted prism of politics
3. Reality
This all began 10 years ago soon after witnessing the 9/11 attacks in New York in person. The nation came together in a remarkably profound manner only to be divided by politics within a few weeks.
My confusion led to getting involved with the local Republican Party in Cherry Hill, NJ at the exact time that they needed a Candidate for Mayor. I was as clueless as one could be, but took it seriously. Someone had to and that 6 month period was equivalent to earning a PhD in political science.
I didn’t like what I learned during that 6 month “cavalcade of behavior disorders” as I found that politics will breed the worst in people. Why some pursue leadership positions under the backdrop of a total lack of leadership escapes me to this day, but I continue to search for answers. Maybe it’s the best argument possible for limited government; the cornerstone of Conservatism.
Two things really bothered me during that time. One woman ran up to me honoring my bravery. I honestly didn’t know what she was talking about - now just trying to do what’s right is being brave. I would say that it’s just being a normal functioning human being. Not brave at all and I found her glee to be disturbing. Another, a very prominent physician, secretly told my wife that she’s voting for me, but to please not tell anyone. Huh?
Even today the threat from Obama to withhold Social Security payments and military salaries should be a red flag to counting on government for much of anything, but we keep viewing our world through the distorted prism of politics to our own detriment. What is it that brought us all together immediately following 9/11 and how can that be replicated in a positive way? That is the challenge, I believe, for our future.
There are other things that bother me about politics; some specific and some more general. One is the notion of “tolerance”. “Tolerance” would suggest that there’s something inferior that needs to be tolerated. My belief that we’re all fundamentally equal would conclude that there’s nothing at all that would ever need to be tolerated and that here we have yet another politically charged theme that serves no purpose other than to divide us for the self-serving goals of leadership without leadership.
Another is the great abortion debate. There are times when people have to address a tragic situation and an answer won’t be uncovered from a political candidate pandering to one side or the other. And there’s certainly no political solution for those who think it’s OK to violently mutilate unborn children. Those who do think it’s OK probably shouldn’t have children anyway which might make me pro-choice. Quite a quandary, I would say, but just stop it. This one’s really getting old.
Should we get into education? Playing politics on the backs of our children creates an actual chemical imbalance for me at School Board Meetings. My friends get a kick out of it, but sometimes I even scare myself. I won’t bore you with details, but state and federal mandates need to be replaced with parents and teachers empowered to run their districts however it will best serve their own children and communities.
One last current affair that I find repulsive is the gays-in-the-military non-issue. It’s a non-issue since most gays in the military are there to serve their nation. They’re not there to express their sexuality. It’s even a non-issue for them, but now we have the military as a venue for gay activism. Just why?
I guess what I’m getting at is that we’re becoming a nation that promotes conformity, suppression and obedience which leads to indifference, dependence on government and a dead spirit. We can stop this right now by not getting overly excited by politics, politicians and candidates, but by getting excited about ourselves. We need to, as a nation, rise to a higher level of consciousness where we spend our time developing the win/win solutions that we’re capable of. This rises way above anything labeled Democrat, Republican, Liberal or Conservative.
The only thing I’m sure about is that anyone who isn’t confused probably doesn’t really know what’s going on. I don’t even know if the above makes sense or follows a rational train of thought. Either way, I thank you for entertaining my idealism and will try to do better next time. God is Watching Us so you can count on it.