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To restore State sovereignty

Wednesday, February 09, 2005

If we have the Tenth Amendment to protect us from an oppressive, centralized tyrannical government:

The Bill of Rights:
Amendment X.

The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.

Why would Mr. Culberson feel the need to introduce this bill? Perhaps our government has overstepped it's boundaries...:
1st Session
H. R. 456
To restore State sovereignty.


February 1, 2005

Mr. Culberson introduced the following bill; which was referred to the
Committee on Government Reform


To restore State sovereignty.

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled,
This Act may be cited as the ``Restoration of State Sovereignty Act of 2005''.
(a) Retention of Rights and Authorities.--No officer, employee, or other authority of the Federal Government shall enforce against an authority of a State, nor shall any authority of a State have any obligation to obey, any requirement imposed as a condition of receiving Federal financial assistance under a grant program established under Federal law, nor shall such program operate within a State, unless the legislature of that State shall have by law expressly approved that program and, in doing so, have waived the State's rights and authorities to act inconsistently with any requirement that might be imposed by the Federal Government as a condition of receiving that assistance.
(b) Definition of State Authority.--As used in this section, the term ``authority of a State'' includes any officer or employee of the State and any local government authority of the State.
(c) Effective Date.--This section applies in each State beginning at the end of the first regular session of the legislature of that State that begins after the date of the enactment of this Act and shall continue to apply in subsequent years until otherwise provided by law.

Dear Mr. President; Members of Congress

Friday, February 04, 2005

As a loyal American Citizen, I tuned in to listen to the State of the Union speech. I was curious as to the direction you and your party were intending to steer our country in the coming four years. We handed you the proverbial "Keys to the City," so I figured it would be in my best interest to see what my fate was going to be.

I was not disappointed. The first ten minutes of your speech was centered around the hot topic of Social Security. More to the point, you stood before Congress and explained to me and the rest of the American Citizens that the Ponzai Scheme we affectionately call our Social Security Benefits are fast approaching "bust!" In your speech you said, "Thirteen years from now, in 2018, Social Security will be paying out more than it takes in. And every year afterward will bring a new shortfall, bigger than the year before. For example, in the year 2027, the government will somehow have to come up with an extra $200 billion to keep the system afloat -- and by 2033, the annual shortfall would be more than $300 billion. By the year 2042, the entire system would be exhausted and bankrupt." Then, you proceeded to try and sell me on your replacement program. The great savior for my government-backed, government-endorsed retirement plan is your new "Personal Investment Accounts" program.

Well, I pondered both options that my government has provided me with. On the one hand, we have the soon-to-be-defunct Social Security program. On the other, we have the new Personal Investment Accounts program. You show us Chile and the success that country has had with their pension reforms. I have to wonder why we are not also looking at pension reform in Uruguay, Argentina, Brazil, Venezuela and Peru. How did these countries fair after the World Bank meddled with their pensions?

I ask you, Mr. President; Members of Congress, what happened to my third option? You know... "3) None of the above." Why would anyone in their right mind keep investing in a program that has been referred to many times as "bankrupt"? Why would I want to keep handing over my hard-earned money to the government so they can throw it down the bottomless pit that Social Security has turned into? By the time I retire there won't be anything left (in Social Security) of the 45+ years of my investing. Why would I, having been witness to the demonstrably negligent investment sense of my government, hand over to them even more of my money so they can gamble it on the stock market? What happens if the market crashes? Then what do I do? I'd have nothing left and only you to blame!

Here's the facts. I'm about to turn 33. I was born in 1972 and am expecting to retire at the age of 67. At that time, the year will be 2039. That's just three years ahead of the "projected" collapse of Social Security. You, the government, have demonstrated to me how irresponsible you are with other people's money. I don't feel I can continue to risk my retirement in your hands any longer. Respectfully, you can keep your various retirement schemes. I think that I'll go find myself a successful investment advisor and take care of my retirement on my own... I'll take Option 3.

The Right to Offend?

Tuesday, February 01, 2005

In my daily reading of blogs, news and such, I was made aware of a spoof prescription drug that pokes fun at the pharmaceutical industry and the stresses of everyday life. Click here to see the image that this story refers to. Be warned, some people may find it objectionable. I, however, found it rather hilarious.

Anyway, I printed off this picture and took it to work with me. I was sure that none of my coworkers had seen this and wanted to share it with them. I was right. We all got a good laugh from it. Then it happened. Not thinking, I showed it to my coworkers wife. She and her mother-in-law had stopped by the store to pass a message to my coworker. He was busy with a customer, so I showed her the picture while she waited for him. I had the picture folded in half on my counter. I handed it to her and she and her mother-in-law read it. They both kind of half-heartily remarked that it was "kinda funny" and left it at that. Then it occurred to me that this was the same person that writes a biweekly column in our local paper espousing the Christian lifestyle. I felt pretty stupid.

After they left, I told my coworker what I had done. He wasn't very happy that I had showed it to his wife. I asked if there would be any fallout and he said that he was pretty sure that he would be "scolded" for being associated with "heathens". I felt bad. In an attempt to share a little laughter, I more than likely offended my coworker's wife and his mom.

I pondered this situation and decided that I would apologize to them for showing them the joke. But I didn't. Something didn't feel right to me about apologizing. Why would I say, "I'm sorry" for something that I did not find offensive? Did I do something wrong? Was there something wrong with the message? That's when it hit me. There existed two separate situations at work here. The first was the message, in general. The joke by itself is fine, for those who fancy this sort of humor. Then, there was the sharing of the joke. I did not allow proper warning to the contents of the folded paper before I handed it to the unsuspecting recipient. The responsible thing for me to have done was to notify the recipient that the message contained inside the folded paper may be objectionable to sensitive viewers. It was this action that I needed to apologize for, not the message. The message needs no apology.

I think that this event demonstrates on a very small level what we see happening everyday in this country. We all have the right of expression. We all have the right to offend others with our message, but at the same time, we are also responsible for that message. Therefore, if our message may be found questionable or objectionable, we have a responsibility to warn observers that they may be offended by our message. But, at no point should that message be censored for being offensive. Censorship is the line where our rights end and tyranny begins.

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