.

                     

The (general) PLAN                                            This effort has been going on longer than we care to admit, 
                                                                                                                                           on the web in one form or another since at least 2004.
                                                                                                                                    Most recent substantive content change August 24, 2012;
                                                                                                                                    to this page, August 20, 2012


        
    Exercise integrity, and encourage others to do so: Support each other, and encourage others to do so;
    Educate ourselves, and encourage others to do so; Use the term Usann, and encourage others to do so;
    Resist tyranny, and encourage others to do so; Exercise authority over officials, and encourage others to do so;

And take the country back, one day, one moment, at a time.
  Our goal is to follow the above plan in our lives and our business, thus being a part of returning our country, The United States of America, to the Republic it was envisioned and designed to be and The Great Experiment  -- the Rule of Law  --  brought to the world by the Founding Fathers.

We ask readers  -- and others --  consider doing likewise.

                            --==--==--==--==--==--==--==--==--



USANN/TUSANN

(The) UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, NATIVE or NATURALIZED


A lot of what we deal with on this site stems from two remarkably simple points: greed, and a refusal to speak the same language. We have to start with the second of these first, because without a common language we’re simply without hope; we can throw in the towel right now and get on with the anarchy (Son, get out the guns and bring lots of ammo).

The language we too often refuse to have in common is not just a question of speaking English, the de facto "official language".  And if you speak some other language, that’s fine; just don’t expect everybody, even anybody, else  -- in The United States of America --  to have to figure it out.  On a personal level, hats off to anybody who can speak more than one language.  Still, we do not pretend it is reasonable for one person to inflict their language on others: when in Rome, do  -- speak --  as the Romans do.  It’s minimally polite as well as practical. In The United States of America, speak English…or bring your own interpreter.  Yeah, that’s right: bring your own, don’t expect anybody else to race to your rescue, provide your own individual needs.  That is part of what this country is about: individuals, succeeding  -- and failing --  as individuals, largely of their own volition.  We have nothing against lending a helping hand to those in need or to "a safety net", but there are limits.  If you choose to be here and not speak the language, that is your choice, and, with very rare exception, there is no legitimate reason for the rest of us to suffer the consequences of your choices any more than absolutely necessary.  And that means you are to provide your interpreter, not somebody else is to provide your interpreter.

No, the language we seemingly refuse to have in common is in fact, a single form or dialect of  --the same --  "English".  The vernacular is so abused  -- and abusive --  in lack of specificity and clarity, often  -- perhaps more often than not --  intentionally, that the language itself is disintegrating.

But if we are to communicate, we must use a single language, which is consistently understood.  In word and grammar, both.  Not to preclude unusual usage, or colloquialisms, or insist on some form of "grammar police" [lest this writer be the first individual jailed and likely the longest to serve]. But we have to start by working at using the same  -- and clear and specific –  language.

Perhaps the simplest starting place is an effort to cease inappropriate use of forms of the term "America".  Politicians and "journalists" in particular endlessly go on about "America" when referring to The United States of America.  Why is that a problem?  Because there are some three dozen nations in The Americas (North, Central, and South).  In fact, as we understand it, Canadians often if not generally take offense at being called "Americans" because of the association with the U.S.A.  We know that the peoples of Mexico are often referred to  correctly --  by those south of that country, as "Norte Americanos".  Speaking of the people of the U.S.A. as "Americans" or "the American people" is wrong not only because the terms can be as readily applied to any of the peoples of the hemisphere, but because it implies some monolithic character which is almost assuredly nonexistent; this group that is collectively the population of the U.S.A. [and use of "U.S." won’t work either, since Mexican coinage is of "Estados Unidos de Mexico", which translates to spoken English as "United States of Mexico"], is hugely diverse in almost every possible way, rarely demonstrating agreement on anything by "an overwhelming majority".  [Oddly enough, English as the official language of The United States of America is perhaps an exception to that rule, recently reported as supported by some 83% of…uhhh…"Americans".]

So how to fix this "conventional" use?  Usann. U.S.A.N.N.: United States of America, Native or Naturalized.  We certainly have Texans and Nevadans, Virginians and Californians.  By use of the acronym Usann, much as scuba stems from "Self Contained Underwater Breathing Apparatus", we can differentiate between Usanns [the citizens of The United States of America, be they native or naturalized] and the millions of others [citizens of all those other countries in The Americas] who have, certainly in this time [21st Century], as much claim to being "American".

The moves afoot to make English the official language of states (some 30 now, and about 10 more considering such moves) and the nation as a whole, are a reasonable start…provided they do not try to preclude use of other languages, save in an official government capacity.  Even so, we as a society must make efforts to embrace the language in its "best" form; "best" being a form that consistently communicates a consistent message through consistent usage.

That may make it difficult for some with a specific agenda that they do not want seen for what it really is, usually because the proponents feel it would make their agenda less successful.  That’s why there is so much reliance in our language on muddying the waters with euphemisms and worse.  Such use of language is actually abuse, both of language and audience [those receiving the message(s)].  When a sender of a message has so little faith in it that they must essentially mask that message rather than permitting the audience the opportunity to make informed judgments as individuals (and trusting that audience to do so), the individuals of that audience are well-advised to distance themselves from the message (even as sent; and come to think of it, to distance themselves from the sender[s] as well?).

Now, aside from the introduction of the acronym "Usann", and some too-long and sometimes choppy sentence structures, most folk, it is expected, will have had little trouble understanding what has been provided here. Simply put, if we are to communicate effectively, we must use a common language, of terms generally understood by all: we must insist on being clear, and that others be clear in their dealings with us.

*******************************************************************************

Greed
seems to have become rampant, and to be a major motivator behind much of the effort to de-value language, and will, it seems, likely always be a part of human nature. Not a part that must be heeded, but a part nonetheless. The good news is that another part of human nature, what might be generally thought of as a better part, that appears will also continue, is the ability of humans to not blindly follow their nature, their instincts; we can and even sometimes do Reason. Reason almost always demonstrates that greed is ultimately counterproductive. ["Enlightened self-interest" seems to work well, though; it seems a question of degree, and of perspective.]

Greed seems to be a psychological response to feelings of insecurity, a seeking of Power, in this sense a pecuniary Power, either to become unassailable or to impose Power over others. The only societal cure that comes to mind is minimizing feelings of insecurity while maximizing a realistic feeling of unassailability (in a material sense). Until we get there, we will always be dealing with the results of individuals striving to compensate on their own, through Greed. It is yet another narcotic, a drug; it may in fact actually be a drug, albeit one manufactured by the body itself (one of those chemicals produced by the body and then found in the brain).

[In a way, we have no drug problem in this country; we can get -- or manufacture -- whatever drug we think we might like; entrepreneurial sorts will provide. What we have, our stumbling block in this, is a series of problems that sends individuals into seeking the escape or relief seen as provided at this point most readily or comfortably or affordably, by "drugs" (including alcohol, which is an interesting case in point: the phrase too often used is "alcohol and/or drugs" when what is meant is actually "alcohol and/or other drugs". While that may at first blush seem a difference of little if any consequence, by separating alcohol from the concept of being a drug pretends a difference that does not exist, lending credence to alcohol being more socially acceptable than other drugs despite it being essentially the same in use, effects, and other characteristics.]

The significance of language reaches far beyond relatively "innocent" impacts, such as that of inclusion of alcohol as a drug. Much of communication is about argument; not conflict per se, but the presentation of positions in order to sort for precedence, to determine which is the one to be preferred. And he who controls the language will, all things else being equal, win the debate/discussion…and often when things else are not equal, that is, even taking the day when the position itself is the less substantial/justifiable/reasonable; when it could not possibly win on merit.

Perhaps these are most readily demonstrated in situations of a number of pet peeves. It must be acknowledged at this point that the writer has certain prejudices, particularly against stupidity; let us not get lost in specific positions on the surrounding issues at least until we can agree on language and terms in order to rationally discuss the issues, and until we acknowledge and heed the value of the language applied. That is the point: language influences the discussion, often unduly, even wrongly. A relatively innocent term for examination is one of those pet peeves, the terminology used to address Members of The Congress of The United States. While each is a Member of Congress, virtually none are ever called "Member". They have titles, that are gender-neutral and chamber-specific, yet there seems great reliance on the non-terms of "Congressman" and the even worse "Congresswoman", non-words created for pandering and ego. The non-words are used even by members of The House, even in pretending such to be their own title. But one virtually never hears such a term applied to a Senator, a member of the "upper" or "senior" chamber; only to those of the "lower" or "lesser" chamber…despite the fact that both Senators and Representatives are in fact equally "members of Congress". That being the case, one must wonder why. In fairly short order it becomes readily apparent that it is an effort to somehow put members of the "lower" house on a par with those of the "upper" house. Were that pandering not bad enough, "Congressman" has had to be modified to pander to sexism, taking another form; "Congresswoman". Remember that the real titles for the positions are in fact both chamber-specific and gender-neutral, so there is in fact no need for either of these non-words. But the very worst aspect of this particular perversion of language is that both the population at large and even those in the positions, are thus readily removed from the concept of "Representation": if the general population, and the individuals in the positions themselves, were constantly reminded by the reality of the title, those elected officials might be more in touch with being "Representative" -- something that too often seems an abandoned concept.

Language counts. Mother (amongst others) said "Say what you mean, and mean what you say." She (and they) had a point.

**



to remedy the Nations' distress....

OEuclidean

_*_*_*_


This article last revised March 6, 2009


Why is anything here of any importance to anybody
, let alone a given reader?

The short answer: the nations' distress costs money, particularly from those of greatest integrity and ambition, so the less distress, the better the opportunity to gain and maintain an improvement in finances for such individuals.


A longer answer: because it is your money, your quality of life, your nation...and all of it is at risk. We believe the FREE commentaries offered here provide real value in terms of perspectives, ideas, and alternatives to the way things are [generally] being done in The United States of America today [the early part of the 21st Century]: value that can ultimately help improve the financial situation of every person in the nation, can help improve the quality of life for everybody in the nation, and help preserve that nation. Notice we used the word "help": reading these things will not do it as if by magic. We have sought to keep things reasonably simple, but simple is not necessarily "easy"...or even "pleasant"; there might even be some work and discomfort involved.

This is not an altruistic effort, and we don't want to mislead anybody about that anymore than about anything else. What we offer here FREE we believe can be of benefit to every individual in the nation...and that includes those of us who've put this together. We also hope readers will agree enough about the value here to want to support us to some extent through donations and/or purchasing items we will be selling in the near future and beyond, particularly the books we have "in process" and expect to offer over the course of the next few years.

We expect that most readers will be most interested in how this stuff affects their own finances, which is perfectly reasonable. The most immediate affect this site can have on finances is this: how to get something more and/or better out of significant amounts of your income than you are getting now, even leading perhaps to your being able to not "spend" as much for something you cannot get out of your budget.

What is that, you ask? Government: you cannot get away from the cost of government. We recognize that it may be unreasonable to expect to be able to actually cut the cost of government, even while we maintain fond hope of doing so, we are quite confident that what we get from government for that cost can certainly be improved: we can get a bigger bang for the buck. That has just as certainly not been apparently the case in 2008 and through to this writing [March 2009], but that just demonstrates how important it is to get the much-ballyhooed "Change we can use"...and fast.


Real "Change we can use" will only come about through the actions of a great number of people. We invite you to "be in that number".

_*_*_



In June of 2011 we appended a note:

We are now half way through 2011, two years since the above was last revised. It is also two years into the Obama "Hope and Change" administration that was going to make so much in the economy so much better for so many of us...and that has failed miserably on almost every imaginable front, aggravating all the worst aspects of the situation decried above.

We add this note in part to ensure readers that we do in fact review this stuff from time to time; in part to register that we find the situation getting worse in the specifics and degree, but largely the same as it was even before the crisis in 2008; and in part to lead into a new offering on the economy, available in our store. We ask you consider taking a few moments to read the excerpt for free, and, based on that and our other free reads, perhaps make a purchase of the full download.

And, as of October 17, 2011, that product was removed.



In a re-organization of the site in March of 2012, this material was moved to this page from one of its own.


Mea Culpa                                                                                    from February 1, 2011, moved to this page March 1, 2012





OK, it’s my fault.

I seek return of the little creatures that The Powers That Be had blessed my life with that have now essentially “fled the coop”. I thought -- well, when I thought about it -- that it was kinda’ cool that these little guys, descended of careful and sometimes not-so-careful breeding attempting perfection over generations, had essentially by luck-of-the-draw wound up in my life. And in recognizing how wonderful they are, and what a treat they could be in any life, I have felt both saddened and angry that other folk had essentially dumped them: they came to me almost as strays, wandering, one night short of becoming road kill.

I didn’t maintain the necessary discipline and continuing training that was most appropriate. So this pack of somewhat domesticated wild creatures bearing distinguishing marks but largely appearing to be curs, mostly through an unwitting benign neglect, have just been marking time for a while.

Then one day I left the door a bit ajar, at least one of the critters noted it and for some reason decided to go through. The others followed, perhaps not immediately or together: again I was not paying enough attention.

Now the little buggers are running as something of a feral pack, causing altogether too much trouble, becoming hazards even to each other. Soon, if not already, hunters will be after them.

Greater danger to them might be from more predacious creatures.

Ultimately, if I don’t relocate them and haul them back here at the end of a taught rope if need be, and then put them back on a rigorous training schedule, we will never again enjoy the best of relationships we once knew and the joys of each others’ company.

Oh, you thought I was talkin’ about my dogs? No. My country, my governments, my Holy Trilogy of The Declaration of Independence, The Constitution, and The Federalist Papers: these are what have gone missing, and what, when returned, must be put back in training.

** ** **



Revised (only slightly) March 2009 from a piece initially written many years ago, last revised and then posted to the web, as far as we can determine, about mid-2004





If anybody out there knows what has happened to my county and where it has gone…

Please (help) bring it back!

OK, then. We are delighted that you have come, and hope you will take some time here that you will afterward feel was a good thing to have done. With due respect to a television show now in syndication:



This is A MINDS ONLY ALERT:

If you have a MIND, or if you MIND some -- any -- of the abuse perpetrated upon this society, this message is for you.



Particularly if you are a veteran, and more particularly if you are a veteran of The U.S. Marine Corps, or if you have or ever have had love or even respect for one or more of these, this message is for you.



The Oath taken on entering service in the U.S. Armed Forces, taken “without reservation”:

I do hereby 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, and that I will obey the orders of the President of the United States and the officers appointed over me, according to regulations and the Uniform Code of Military Justice.”

[the newer, current variation on this theme has appended to it “so help me God.”]



For those who have taken this Oath -- some 24 million living today -- it is, in all likelihood, still in effect. It is unlikely that any intentional and effective action has been taken to negate or rescind the obligation. It carried no time constraints when taken and so continues. It was not “while on active duty”. It was not even “while a member of the Armed Forces”. It was not to “America” or to any given administration, but to “the Constitution of the United States”. It was not to defend when convenient and comfortable and easy, against only obvious, military, and professed enemies; but to defend “against all enemies, foreign and domestic”…including the seemingly innocent or even “well-intentioned”. That oath goes beyond active immediate defense: “that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same” (Constitution), meaning that each person so sworn is to actively incorporate that Constitution and the obligation into their lives, from the time of that Oath forward.



We call on those with minds, particularly veterans and most particularly Marines, to remember our Oaths and what they, and we, were all about.

Please do not mistake this for anything other than what it is: a plea for a return to the essence of The Great Experiment. There have always been, and likely always will be, things that are wrong (or at least that could stand some improvement) in and/or about this country: it is still the best. Period. The very fact that we do not have to be “Love It or Leave It” folk and that it was designed to enable “Love It or Change It (for the better)” is perhaps the most direct proof. That virtually every written national Constitution in the world today is modeled on that of The United States speaks to that as well.

There is a country music lyric that says “You've got to stand for something or you'll fall for anything” (and at least one other that goes on at length about “the American soldier”: so close, and yet so far from the intended mark).

Stand up. Be counted. At every opportunity, vote. Not necessarily “for your party” but for your country ; for -- forgive me, “The American Dream”, for The Great Experiment.

If the people of The United States of America want some integrity from government, that same people must exercise integrity -- do the right thing, what need be done even if it is not easy or comfortable -- starting now, in virtually every moment, and particularly in the voting booth. No matter party affiliations, of candidate or of voter, virtually every incumbent running for re-election -- and at every level of government, though here we address particularly the federal legislature -- should be sent packing, for the long-term good of the country. Despite general dissatisfaction with Congress -- polling currently indicates only some 13% of people are happy with the job Congress is doing [remember, this was a snapshot of 2004] -- we still typically insist that it is not the fault of our Congress critter, and re-elect 90-95% of running incumbents. But, it is their responsibility to provide good governance: it is our responsibility to fire incumbents. [Actually, a little scholarship demonstrates that incumbents might reasonably be precluded from running; Mass[d1] achusettsBill of Rights, 1780 -- predating the U.S. Constitution.].

At this point, early in 2009, we must hold the toes of Congress -- and the new President -- to the fire. There is the question of yet another “continuing resolution”, the device used by Congress to keep the federal government from shutting down because Congress hasn't managed to get the budget in place prior to the beginning of the new fiscal year (a budget in place on time has become something of a rarity). That question is tied to one of “earmarks”. And there are a few troubling aspects of the economy that could perhaps use attention[d2] ].

Once again Congress recessed in order to campaign to be re-hired, i.e., re-elected, at several times the national “average” remuneration (pay plus goodies), for jobs they were even then demonstrating they either could not or would not do (proven in the lack of budget: it's not like they didn't know it was due). And the suggestion that they didn't have time to get the budget done doesn’t hold water any more than a glass that doesn't exist: they did other things, though it would be difficult to argue that any significant number of those other things were of greater importance to the nation than was the budget; they had a whole year, and if that isn't enough time they might as well quit before they get any further behind; and somehow there was time to create and pass the continuing resolutions…and assorted bailouts.

There is more, and more to be done. But right now all it takes is perhaps a few minutes, on the part of each of a lot of people.

Think about this, pass it along, asking a few others to visit (we ask to 5, more if reasonable, dependent on your given situation) and CONSIDER.

Now, back to the business at hand: what could in fact be a bloodless revolution returning the country to the wondrous concept(s) of The Great Experiment. (If we are not careful, the Web may make us Free.)

This has been A MINDS ONLY ALERT

******************************************


 [d1]

 [d2]

Added July 31, 2012  to usann.us, this was initially "part 1" of the piece directly above.  While a bit dated largely by reason of some of the numbers used, we brought it here without additional update [it was updated in this version from one even earlier: the scorecard was actually developed about 20 years ago when we supported Perot/Stockdale (the Admiral was the best of the bunch)] to demonstrate how little things have changed over time.


If anybody out there knows what has happened to my county and where it has gone…

Please (help) bring it back!

 

The short-and-not-so-sweet version:


Vote Every Tax-sucker Out!

If the people of The United States of America want some integrity from government, that same people must exercise integrity -- do the right thing, what need be done even if it is not easy or comfortable -- in the voting booth. No matter party affiliations, of candidate or of voter, virtually every incumbent running for re-election -- and at every level of government, though here we address particularly the federal legislature -- should be sent packing, for the long-term good of the country. Despite general dissatisfaction with Congress -- polling currently indicates only some 13% of people are happy with the job Congress is doing - we still typically insist that it is not the fault of our Congress critter, and re-elect 90-95% of running incumbents. But, it is their responsibility: it is our responsibility to fire the incumbents.

Harsh? Perhaps at first blush, but perhaps better characterized as "too kind" after due consideration.

The Truth is that the incumbents have already clearly demonstrated that they cannot or will not do the jobs for which they've volunteered, even worked hard to get…and for which they have been well paid. OK, so maybe $165,000 a year isn't a huge sum by such measures as what they think they could make in the private sector (For anybody other than a lobbyist: would you hire one of these people to work in your own service or manufacturing business?), but it is a huge amount of money in comparison to the national average of about $30,000 and even more when considered in light of the fact that Congress is on track to be in session for only 100 days this year (most folk work about 250). Of course, if in session more days, perhaps they could have completed the budget for the fiscal year that started just after the members chose to recess to seek re-election. Or, maybe they could get the helmets on the heads of those serving in the military in Iraq and Afghanistan upgraded the way they would want them if the Congress-Cretans were wearing those helmets. Yet, after four years of “conflict” or war or whatever one chooses to call it; the troops remain unreasonably UNprotected (more on that later – stay with us for now).

A Congress-Cretan that can justify both of those things -- and from1perspective there can be no reasonable justification -- may have an argument suggesting re-election: otherwise they should simply slink off into the woods and hide in shame; for each of the 435 seats in The House and the 33 in The Senate.

Fire the lot of them for incompetence if not criminal malfeasance.


OK, aside from the rant, here's a tool to help. It is intended only to make it easier for people to stay true to their own inclinations a little more readily than when under the endless bombardment of political advertising (and editorializing often masquerading as “reporting”).

Feel free to cut-and-paste the grid including the copyright notice, use it, and even pass it around to the extent people think you're on a Crusade (that would be a bad thing?). The copyright is there only to keep it free -- nobody should be charging for it.

This tool is just a simple graphing. We don't mind, and in fact encourage, people to copy this for their own use, or even to make extra copies to distribute FREE (we also believe that, even as simple as it is, if any commercial use is to be made of it, we should be the financial beneficiary). But it could serve as a helpful offset to the undue influence of the most recently experienced never-mind-the-issues name-familiarity/sound-bite onslaught.

Here you go (using your own issues and grading scale):

Candidates

Candidate A

Candidate B

Candidate C

Private/Biz Success

Gov't Experience

Military

Academic
Issue 1
Issue 2
Issue 3
Issue 4
©


Much as incumbents (and those supported by incumbents) should not be elected, much the same process needs to be applied to ballot measures: whether propositions or initiatives or referenda, in almost every case these are placed on the ballot and designed by Special Interests, by definition not looking out for everybody but for the Special Interest. And that is not what should be being done by governments that theoretically are to care for the general interest. The best example is “The Bond Measure”. Almost always these atrocities are Christmas-tree abominations that are a collection of goodies for this special interest and that special interest until enough constituencies can be gathered to get enough votes to pass... but not one of which could stand on its own. And if it cannot stand on its own, again, government for the general good should (generally) not be doing it.

Ultimately those ballot measures and the like are simply responses to legislative failures. So voters need to send this junk back to those elected to do the job in the first place and insist that the job be done for the general good, in the legislature. That is what the jobs are for and why people get paid to do them. And if the people hired are not doing the job, then they need to be fired, or at least given better training which, in this case, means getting them OUT!



Now, a much more considerate (the right?) way -- at least from1perspective -- to go about asking consideration in voting that could in fact be a bloodless revolution returning the country to the wondrous concept(s) of The Great Experiment. (If we are not careful, the Web may make us Free.)

Yes, this comes from a flag-waving former Marine who likes to think of himself as a Patriot.

Yes, we think this country is in serious trouble on a number of fronts, and we're not talking just military fronts like Iraq and Afghanistan.

Yes, we believe we can do something about it. And you can. And if -- and only if -- enough of us do something about it, we can still pull this chestnut out of the fire even in the election of 2006.

Incredibly, the entrenched parties are actually proving that it is possible. The Foley Flap in Florida (not trying to diminish the particulars, but here we are trying to look at a different facet of the “less than laudable” aspects of members of Congress) required the GOP to come up with a replacement at the last minute, and that write-in candidate is polling as the likely winner in just a matter of weeks. Well, it was demonstrated years ago that almost everybody in the world could be reached in about a twelfth generation of email, which can conceivably take place in minutes, certainly within a few hours, so dramatic change is possible. (More on that in a few moments. )



Thanks for reading this far. And if you want to settle for the free stuff and not even consider what else may be here -- this being ultimately an introduction to a kindred commercial effort espousing a philosophy we hope may generate something akin to “a movement”-- that's OK: if we've done our part properly, you will be the better for what you can get here for free, and that will eventually improve our world.

But we ask you stick around long enough to do a bit more reading, getting an inkling of the mind set and philosophy, and, we hope, piquing your interest.



PLEASE MAKE SURE YOU ARE REGISTERED TO VOTE. You can always choose to not vote later, but it can readily get too late to register. (In most states, time for that has already run out for this election but do it now anyway so there won't be any question about it next time.) We hope you will legally vote, in a thoughtful manner, but we also believe in FREEdom enough to want you to not be required to: FREE to choose. (Yes, not voting is hardly a viable option in some places; you are fined for not voting! On the other hand, an election over the question of whether Quebec should remain a part of Canada or become a separate nation not so long ago saw something like 98% of eligible voters getting to the polls: in this country, anything more than about 50% is considered a large turnout.)

Of course, the immediate point is to better enable people to examine the choices logically within the context of their own priorities. There are any number of things that might well fit into the “choice of issues” section on the above grid for almost every individual,: we are taking the liberty of discussing a couple we think are relevant to most (if not all) voters to some degree in deliberations about picking representation in Congress. We feel they are of significance, and so have included them as examples, not dictates. Please follow your own lights -- though we wouldn't mind if you considered what we've supplied (completely disregard ‘em if that's appropriate to your beliefs -- we just hope you'll consider them rather than simply dismissing them out of hand).

Now, we believe that, as a rule, comparing apples to apples on fewer than three questions may indicate a closed mind, and looking too carefully at more than a half-dozen or so may become too unwieldy and time-consuming for most folk to then follow through. Our own prejudices readily supplied two questions we feel could actually be sufficient in almost every race for a seat in Congress this time, though: some things really do carry an awful lot of weight. WARNING; considering ourselves to be more-or-less social liberals and fiscal conservatives, we tend to find ourselves among the “a pox on both (all) your houses” crowd -- and the proof that the numbers certainly could reach the proportions of a rather large crowd lies in the Ross Perot phenomena that took place while Clinton was running his first successful race for the White House.

The issues seen from1perspective to be so overpoweringly heavy in the election of 2006 may well have been kept far enough out of the limelight by The (political and media) Powers That Be so as to not even have shown up on the radar for a lot of people. Our most immediate concerns are entirely nonpartisan: the Budget (lack thereof, and that hidden) and Helmets.

Specifically, no matter how one feels about the war in Iraq, simple fiscal realities almost require that personnel sent into combat should be supplied with the very best equipment we can provide.

But the very existence of Operation-helmet.org (an address but not an active link because we ask you go a bit further in this discussion before exploring it if you haven't yet and choose to do so: yes, we highly recommend it -- later) is proof that something here is very wrong. That organization, consisting almost entirely of one retired Navy doctor for whom sainthood may be in the offing, exists solely to provide retro-fit kits for helmets (costing about $100 each) that can reduce the severity and sometimes even prevent, some of the most common -- and debilitating -- of injuries being suffered by U.S. troops (that can require $250,000 in care . . . for survivors). In fact, the kits are approved by the hierarchy, the Army has taken delivery of something like 900,000 at this writing, and allegedly they are “in the pipeline”.

Unfortunately, some “detail” apparently got lost in the shuffle: along with the time-lag for the Army to get the kits to its personnel, a very large portion of the Marines, their Corpsmen, and even Air Force personnel in that theater of war don't have them. And Operation-helmet.org is getting these things to the troops in a remarkably short time (within perhaps just a couple of weeks, when the money is there) compared to the six months or more expected for official channels to protect those on whom we depend for protection.

With apologies, some relevant numbers:

* If the Army didn't have any of the 900,000 [that's about six for every GI in Iraq and Afghanistan] that have been delivered to it, it would take about $10 million to retro-fit one helmet for every single one of those GIs (turns out U.S. armed forces use different kinds of helmets, and kits for some are about $100 each and for others only about $71).

* A member of Congress noted that the latest appropriation for the Defense Department -- 4 years into this war and by way of a “continuing resolution” -- amounted to something like…$11 million an hour.

* The amount of money declared as “charitable contributions” on the most recently released tax returns for the President and his wife, and the VP and his wife, reportedly totaled…$10 million.

So, let incumbents defend that, and challengers defend themselves on the same question.

A closely related issue has to do with that “continuing resolution” just mentioned. That is the device used by Congress to keep the federal government from shutting down because Congress hasn't managed to get the budget in place prior to the beginning of the new fiscal year (as it has on rare occasion, bringing considerable dismay to a whole lot of the governed).

Once again Congress has recessed in order to campaign to be re-hired, i.e., re-elected, at several times the national “average” remuneration (pay plus goodies), for jobs they've demonstrated they either cannot or will not do (proven in the lack of budget: it's not like they didn't know it was coming due). And the suggestion that they didn't have time to get the budget done won't hold water any more than a glass that doesn't exist: they did other things, though it would be difficult to argue that any significant number of those other things were of greater importance to the nation than was the budget; they had a whole year; and if that isn't enough time they might as well quit before they get any further behind; and somehow there was time to create and pass the continuing resolutions. Then again and as noted earlier, if they'd managed to be in session for something more than 100 or so days, there might have been more time available for the effort.

Still, that is only two things to consider, and our own standard looks for at least three. Well, if those two don't carry enough weight, The (political and media) Powers That Be have offered up The Foley Flap. This seemingly frivolous moniker is actually intended to demonstrate how horror is soft-peddled today (Hmmm; Halloween, as a major “season”, certainly a four-day holiday?) and how much may be lurking under the surface. In this particular case, aside from the homosexual and pedophilia aspects there are some ugly and even Constitutional questions about this being investigated by The House Ethics Committee rather than the cops (a bit telling in itself: it seems, from1perspective , that a real understanding of ethics would have The House re-cusing itself [“bowing out”] at the earliest opportunity).



And then the Conspiracy-theorist bone started acting up. After all, it's possible, from1perspective as the clamor was above the fold in the newspaper, that Republicans could kick up some serious dust about yet another scandal of some sort on the part of the Democrats before the election. But then more folk might be inclined to be in that “a pox on both (all) your houses” crowd. So is it just possible that The Foley Flap is convenient as smoke-screen for the kind of issues that really are ( from1perspective ) significant. The downside for Republicans may be that Democrats “take control” of the legislature…for the last two years of a lame-duck Republican administration (one that has no heir-apparent), which could well be to Republican advantage. And while the smoke-screen might give the Democrats a small and regulated (that Republican lame duck has veto power and will never again have to face an election) short-term “advantage”, without the smoke-screen the voting public might just decide to send ‘em all packing! And if the voting public proved to itself that it could at least reverse the standard proportion of re-electing roughly 90-95% of running incumbents just once, i.e., tossing out 90-95% of running incumbents, it could serve for all time as proof that it could happen again: once elected would no longer essentially mean keeping the job as long as you want it unless you get publicly caught doing something unusually ghastly.

And then a sour-grapes Senator from the Democrat Party who's been making his living at this sort of thing for some three decades shows how much respect he has for his own message and his audience through such poor preparation that he allegedly butchered his own (bad) joke…for which he absolutely would not apologize -- until the next day?



Now, from1perspective , it has long been a general rule: here it is believed that without significant evidence to the contrary, of both personal and at-large natures, and without regard to political party, incumbents should not be re-elected. (This is not an absolute; just a general rule.)

As proof of generalities having exception, we offer that it has been reported that there is one member of Congress seeking re-election who may be one of those exceptions. And for the very reason that he might be most suited to be re-elected; he faces a tougher race since he is (reportedly) not available to campaign in a political sense; he is apparently campaigning in absentia while serving as a 2nd. Lt. in Iraq!

Enough, already! Too much stuff and it's taken too long to write and to read, having become something akin to an initial installment in a blog. There is to be more. And we're looking into having some other FREE stuff, hoping to bribe you to come back and see what else shows up in rant.



Finally, PLEASE: pass the word. We ask that you please email five (or more, if you can, reasonably) other people and suggest they visit this site and consider carefully what is here. Remember the earlier comments about generations of email? Well, PLEASE, at least consider doing it, and doing it NOW – time is short.

And figure also to come back just before going to the polls to see what might have been added, though we do not expect to impose on your time a great deal after this election.

OK, time to email five and then go to Operation-helmet.org, doing as you find appropriate there. After you have visited that site, feel free to return. A link to part two of this document is at the top right hand side of this page. I thank you for taking the time to read this, and I hope that you will take the time also to make a difference for the betterment of the future of this country and our children.


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[This note of appreciation to the designer applies only to these two pieces: the rest of the stuff is our own fault.]

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The
(general) PLAN                                         
                                                                                                                                 
        
    Exercise integrity, and encourage others to do so: Support each other, and encourage others to do so;
    Educate ourselves, and encourage others to do so; Use the term Usann, and encourage others to do so;
    Resist tyranny, and encourage others to do so; Exercise authority over officials, and encourage others to do so;

And take the country back, one day, one moment, at a time.
  

Our goal is to follow the above plan in our lives and our business, thus being a part of returning our country, The United States of America, to the Republic it was envisioned and designed to be and The Great Experiment  -- the Rule of Law  --  brought to the world by the Founding Fathers.

We ask readers  -- and others --  consider doing likewise.

                            

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