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July 31, 2014

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Letter to the editor:

The fall of the American empire

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I want to respond to a letter from Vernos Branco in the Sun, “Republicans off their rocker again.” He says the re-election of President Barack Obama has “truly brought the crazies out of the woodwork” and makes fun of all the politicians threatening to secede from the United States.

I believe we all know that secession would create more problems than it solves, but it is a good demonstration of how those of us who are true patriots (the Tea Party) feel about a man and an administration who is threatening the very precious freedoms our forefathers fought to preserve. As a Korean Veteran and patriot, I am very concerned about the direction we are headed.

The old saying that history repeats itself prompts me to quote the following, often attributed to Marcus Tullius Cicero:

“Do not blame Caesar; blame the people of Rome who have so enthusiastically acclaimed and adored him and rejoiced in their loss of freedom and danced in his path and gave him triumphal processions. Blame the people who hail him when he speaks in the Forum of the ‘new, wonderful, good society,’ which shall now be Rome’s, interpreted to mean: more money, more ease, more security, more living fatly at the expense of the industrious.”

So, how did that work out for them?

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  1. The issues we have were not primarily the fault of former President Bush nor are they primarily the fault of President Obama.

    We live in a representative democracy, not a dictatorship. Presidents have their role but Congress makes all our laws and sets tax policy. We need to free our elected representatives in Congress by enacting term limits, public financing of campaigns and lobbying reform. I fault both former President Bush and President Obama for not pushing these vital issues.

    Our country does have some things in common with the decline of the Roman Empire, but we don't have a Caesar, we have a two parties that put their interests above those of the nations and a Congress that is highly partisan and does the bidding of powerful interests looking to advantage themselves.

    Much more than the Romans did, who probably would have been executed if they crossed Caesar, we Americans have the power to change the direction we are heading in. We can elect Presidents until hell freezes over, but if we don't start paying attention to Congress and force changes in the way it operates, we will continue in our downward spiral.

    Michael

  2. It is Americans like the letter writer who will overcome and steer the ship of state on the right course regardless of the president in office. I believe this is exactly how the Founding Fathers intended it to be. Power to the people, not the president.

    CarmineD

  3. A dictionary definition of patriot is: one who loves his or her country and supports its authority and interests.

    People of many different persuasions and perceptions fit that definition. The writer seems to suggest that he and the Tea Party have some exclusive claim to "true" patriotism and can channel the intentions of people long dead as if that is somehow the only meaningful consideration we should have. The implication that there was some sort of unanimity among the founders is a superficial idealization not supported by history. Just the writing of the Constitution required extensive compromises between competing interests.

    Compromise will continue to be the case as all the patriots among us offer competing visions for the future.

  4. "The implication that there was some sort of unanimity among the founders is a superficial idealization not supported by history. Just the writing of the Constitution required extensive compromises between competing interests." @ Jim Weber

    Ah but there was. The principles of freedom and liberty. No compromising on these. You either have them or you don't.

    CarmineD

  5. CarmineD says "Ah but there was. The principles of freedom and liberty. No compromising on these. You either have them or you don't."

    Come now! Are you aware that the Constitution prohibited any limitation on the importation of slaves for 20 years? Do you recall that many of the founders owned slaves? Do you see any guarantee of the right to vote for women? No compromising on that freedom and liberty thingy, huh!

  6. "[secession petitioning] is a good demonstration of how those of us who are true patriots (the Tea Party) feel about a man and an administration who is threatening the very precious freedoms our forefathers fought to preserve."

    Telloian -- excellent letter, especially your quote from Cicero "more living fatly at the expense of the industrious." Although anti-secession is written into the Nevada Constitution others like Texas don't have that restriction. It's plain to anyone paying attention our governments at every level are rushing headlong into creating a police state designed to crush those liberties you mentioned.

    "We can elect Presidents until hell freezes over, but if we don't start paying attention to Congress and force changes in the way it operates, we will continue in our downward spiral."

    wtplv -- amen!

    "I believe us all, (in the herd) deserve a just opportunity to purchase and maintain an average home where we could support our family and raise our children."

    BChap -- no one can reasonably fault anyone for that view. But in that infamous power book "The Prince" I recall Machiavelli illustrating how easy it is to strip a citizenry of its freedoms so long as the ruler maintains the illusion of freedom. He did warn those rulers to not mess with their women and their property. Too bad the latter especially is ignored by our current rulers.

    "A dictionary definition of patriot is: one who loves his or her country and supports its authority and interests."

    pisces -- yours is only one of several. dictionary.com's #2 is better -- "a person who regards himself or herself as a defender, especially of individual rights, against presumed interference by the federal government."

    "You bet it does Carmine. And this applies to the dwindling middle-class that is ever falling into poverty with no hopes of recovery."

    BChap #2 -- good points by both you and CarmineD!

    "It behoves every man who values liberty of conscience for himself, to resist invasions of it in the case of others; or their case may, by change of circumstances, become his own." -- Thomas Jefferson, letter to Benjamin Rush, April 21, 1803

  7. Tea Partiers are not "true patriots". They are cranks.

  8. One man's "true patriot" is another man's "treasonous rat bastard".

  9. Forget about "freedom" if the fellow travelers who post on this site are any indication of what would happen if they got their way. They'd be opening Gulags all over America. They already have mini-indoctrination camps called "public schools." They are toxic to the freedoms that we once knew and will eventually kill them all if given the power to do so. Osama Obama is already playing Morsi with the use of "executive" powers and the Republicrats in Congress are sitting on their hands. And we have a slim majority of American's too greedy and self-centered to care. They just love that "free stuff" Osama Obama throws their way. Think that "free" buffet at the casino is really "free?" "Free stuff" comes at a steep price and many are too ignorant to be aware of it. The problem is, when the bill comes due, we will all have to pay, not just the greedy, ignorant and selfish who clamor for "free stuff."

  10. lvfacts101-

    No need to worry about gulags unless insaniTEA becomes a crime.

  11. Mr. Malcolm Telloian, of North Las Vegas, Nevada, thank you for your service to this great country.

    You fought in Korean for something different, for others in South Korea. You helped the South Korean peopel with protection and helped the people achieve a define freedom.

    My Brother-in-Law was in South Korea, helping to protect the South Korean people. He does not agree with you, in fact my Brother-in-Law loves this country and understands what having freedom is about. He understands the reality of stepping on a land mine and waiting 3 hours in a frozen position for a technician to disarm the mine. So, my Brother-in-Law knows something about service and what service to our country means. I am sure you love this country just as much as other veterans, I'm not questioning your love for the USA or your Patriotism.

    However Mr. Malcolm Telloian, you are showing your bias and your prejudice in saying, "but it is a good demonstration of how those of us who are true patriots (the Tea Party) feel about a man and an administration who is threatening the very precious freedoms our forefathers fought to preserve."

    With all due respect Mr. Telloian, your words, coming from a veteran, a patriot, is the same crazy talk Vernos Branco is referring to.

    Again, with all due respect Mr. Telloian, your having a Bubble movement. Break and rejoin reality.

  12. Obama is threatening our freedoms??What cant we do today that we could do 5 years ago? Gays can serve in the military openly. Marijuana is being legalized. Healthcare is being expanded so folks that don't have 6 figure income can afford the hospital.
    The Roman empire lasted about 500 years I believe. Not a bad model to follow.
    Societies don't collapse because governments help the people with medical care, supplemental income and housing. Countries collapse because governments don't.

  13. Malcolm Telloian - "but it is a good demonstration of how those of us who are true patriots (the Tea Party)"

    Exactly what makes you more of, or a better American or patriot than myself or others who disagree with you?

    That is the type of stinking thinking that gets Tea Party members painted into a corner defending a false premise. I and others of my generation served in the military and believed in the American Dream just as you did.

  14. The writer spends too much time watching Fox News. The Republican indoctrination camp. Hannity, Ingraham , Oreilly are the Joseph Goebbles clones of our era.
    They makes millions and are represented by strong unions and special interests but God forbid the working class should have those things!

  15. Comment removed by moderator. - -

  16. The Tea Party has become very controversial and that is too bad. Just as in any movement or group, some members of the Tea Party are far from the middle and hold views that are on the fringes. However, I have spoken with many people who are Tea Party members or supporters of the Tea Party and they and their views are reasonable. Many are frightened by the out of control spending by the government and want it controlled. That seems to me to be a reasonable position. To try to place all the ills of the country on the shoulders of the Tea Party seems unfair.

    R's want to spend more on the military and cut benefits for SS and Medicare, want to cut taxes but can provide little specifics on cutting spending, except SS and Medicare.

    D's want to say SS and Medicare are fine when they are not, want to tax the wealthy more and spend a lot more in many areas but are unwilling to reduce spending (not slow the growth in spending) anywhere other than the military and are unwilling to impose high taxes on the middle class.

    The Tea Party is in the mix of all of that, but they are far from the sole cause of all our problems.

    Michael

  17. Mr.Tellorian,

    You describe the tea party as true patriots.How would you describe the rest of the population of our country?
    The tea party sounds like a bunch of cry babies and sore losers.The real patriots are the people who support our country and obey all laws.They also believe in the election process and except the final results of any given election.

  18. Rusty57,

    Your post is somewhat misleading. Are you saying there is a crisis with menu-labeling? I searched the internet, I could not find a menu-label crisis from credible sources!

    The question to you Rusty57, do you agree with menu-labeling? Would you like to know what you are eating at your favorite restaurant?

  19. Comment removed by moderator. Refers to removed comment.

  20. Great letter. A sage look ahead to where we are going. The Tea Party is a grass roots expression that responds to the Socialist trending in America.
    It simply seeks to avoid big government and the heavy taxation burdens that accompany it.The letter writer makes valid points. The left is scared to death of the Tea Party. It threatens the socialistic and redistributive leanings of the left and most everything to which it adheres.

  21. "Come now! Are you aware that the Constitution prohibited any limitation on the importation of slaves for 20 years? " @Jim Weber

    Abraham Lincoln, 14th Amendment. The Founding Fathers, when they sat around that table, never professed to get it all right the first time. That's why there is a process to add Amendments to the Constitution.

    More recently, 18 year olds didn't have the right to vote either until Viet Nam. Again, another Amendment added this, thanks to the wisdom of the Founders.

    CarmineD

  22. "You bet it does Carmine. And this applies to the dwindling middle-class that is ever falling into poverty with no hopes of recovery." @ BChap

    Thanks to President Obama and the inflationary policies of his Fed Chief, Ben Bernanke, and Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner. The US has a weak dollar, inflationary prices on all goods and services, and a loss of purchasing power by Americans of about $4600 per year. This is before the economic and fiscal cliff.

    Liberty and freedom starts with economic independence. They [freedom and liberty and economic independence] are mutually inclusive, not exclusive. The US has a weak dollar and ever growing deficits and debts, thanks to Bernanke and Geithner, Obama's chief financial advisors. This puts the US at risk to lose freedom and liberty. Witness Europe, my favorite example of where the US is headed.

    CarmineD

  23. KillerB, posted,

    ""A stupid man's report of what a clever man says is never accurate because he unconsciously translates what he hears into something he can understand." -- Bertrand Arthur William Russell (1872-1970), "A History of Western Philosophy"

    So, KillerB, who defines the stupid man? Is it the man who claims to be clever? Are you the clever man? If so, the Clever Man would know what Stupid is from experience.

  24. Pisces41 points out that the definition of patriot is one who loves his or her country and supports its authority and interests. I fail to see how Mr. Telloian can claim that members of the Tea Party are the only true patriots when they reject the current administration's authority and US interests by proposing secession. I would like to point out to Mr. Telloian that the "man" he refers to was just duly re-elected President of the United States under the provisions of our Constitution. That same Constitution is what gives Mr. Telloian the freedom to express his opinion of the "man".

    As a Vietnam vet, I solute your service to our country, but as a US citizen, I have to question your assertion that the only true patriots in this country are members of the Tea Party

  25. If President Obama is a "dictator" on the Democrats side, then the lobbyist Grover Norquist is dictator on the Republican side.

    The difference is that the President was elected by a majority of the voters, while Grover Norquist wasn't elected by any voter.

    The fact that Republicans have felt a greater allegiance to Grover Norquist. Republicans signing a pledge to what Grover Norquist wants are traitors.

    If states want to become sovereign countries seceding from the US, let them. The US will go on without them. However, I think it would be better to make any such efforts regional. So far it is a southern effort which could fit in as a region.

    The process may be complicated, but this should be possible if states really want such an action. The US isn't a prison, and it is or should be a States rights issue.

  26. Carmine -

    You refer to "President Obama and the inflationary policies of his Fed Chief, Ben Bernanke." It becomes extremely difficult to take anything you say seriously when you ignore facts and/or make stuff up. Ben Bernanke is a member of the Republican Party and was George W. Bush's Fed Chief. Bush appointed him on February 1, 2006, almost two full years before President Obama took office.

    On August 25, 2009, President Obama announced he would nominate Bernanke to a second term as chairman of the Federal Reserve. The President did so because Bernanke's background, temperament, courage and creativity helped to prevent another Great Depression in 2008.

    Please, stop insulting us with your revisionist history.

  27. Why does Freeman think everyone should answer to him?
    'Explain yourself!'
    Oh, please.

    Don't you have anything to DO, man???
    Or is THIS your 'job'?

    Your silly little 'class warfare' notions sure are funny; but only the first time; not the thousandth.

  28. Referring to "a man and an administration who is threatening the very precious freedoms our forefathers fought to preserve" is as meaningful as saying President Obama is a Muslim or saying he wasn't born in the United States. It's a fiction, it's a lie, and it's an obscene statement with no value whatsoever. It's statements like that that cause people like Vernos to refer to you as "crazies".

    Name one single freedom that you do not have today that you did have on January 19, 2009. I'll help you: there are none.

    Saying this President is turning us into a Socialist country or engaging in class warfare is, simply put, ridiciulous. It doesn't help the people saying these things, nor does it help the rest of us who are living in reality.

  29. Kevin,

    I don't subscribe to the view that President Obama is turning America into a socialist nation, but the fact is that the campaign he just ran was a class warfare campaign. The wealthy are a 'class'. The business community can be a class. The middle class is a 'class. President Obama ran a campaign where he pitted the 99 % against the 1 %, the business class against everyone else, etc.

    The class warfare campaign was a success and he did win the election, so he deserves credit, but to claim he didn't run a class warfare based campaign defies the facts.

    Michael

  30. RefNV,

    LOL, you are so funny. You have forgotten all my explanations. You better have that checked out. Could be a sign of early Alzheimer's.

    You quoted me:

    "One day there is a good possibility we will be the North American Union, then the American Union with a new currency..."

    That doesn't originate with me. Here's some information for you. Enjoy, or be scared to death. It is an extreme right wing idea, among others. It was amazing that some right wingers didn't pick up on that and comment, as they do with left wing things.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/North_Ameri...

    Just another of my sarcastic contributions, especially for you. I enjoy keeping you perplexed.

    I also enjoy reading, sharing and thinking outside the box. It doesn't mean that ideas will be realized, but it is interesting to hear what others think and why, as well as how they would modify the ideas.

    It is far more interesting than rehashing the same old themes over and over and over again, with no new ideas, or gripping like an old record that has the needle stuck in the same groove. Maybe you are too young to lmow what that was like.

  31. "A heart that lacks respect will truly lack honor."

    Another good quote that illustrates hypocrisy.

  32. The problems we face today are not new. Governments have had to deal with them for thousands of years.

    Every government that has failed to find solutions has fallen. Our fate will be no different if we don't learn from that.

  33. "a man and an administration who is threatening the very precious freedoms our forefathers fought to preserve"

    This would be someone who feels the Government should be teaching prayer in public school. This would also describe someone who took the country deep into debt by a war that was entirely unnecessary. He would also try to teach creationist myths as science, label science an act of inhumanity and make his religion part of the Government. That was George W. Bush, just four years ago.

  34. To Kevin Lustig on Fed Chair Ben Bernanke:

    He was a bad Fed Chief for Bush 2 as he has been for Obama. Obama could have fired Bernanke, as Romney said he would, when he was elected President and appointed his person to the position, or not reappoint Bernanke to another term in August 2009 when his term expired. Obama chose to do neither instead leaving him on. Regardless of party affiliation, and Fed Chiefs are suppose to be non-partisan, that makes Ben Bernanke his hand picked Fed Chief and one of his top financial advisors.

    CarmineD

  35. To all who think we need more government:

    I am not one who thinks we need no government, but the following is just one small example of why a lot less government would most likely be a good thing.

    I prepare and record Grant, Bargain and Sale Deeds for people who want to transfer title to houses or land. The County Recorder records these deeds by scanning the documents. The Recorders formatting rules say no writing or notary stamp can be in a one inch margin on the top, bottom and sides of the document. Once in awhile one of my customers writes big and their signature extends into the margin. If I catch it, I make them fix it. If I miss it and the recorder catches it, they call the document non conforming and charge an extra $ 25 to record it.

    I was at the Recorder's Office one day and I asked the clerk if the office had to do anything special for a document that had a signature or notary that extends into the margin. She said no and offered that the scanning technology they use can scan the document even with marks in the margin. So I asked why do they charge the extra $ 25.00. The clerk smiled and said nothing.

    The reason they do that is that they have no competition so they gouge the public.

    AND THAT IS JUST ONE EXAMPLE OF WHY WE SHOULD NOT BE SO WILLING TO SIGN ON TO EVER MORE EXPANSION OF GOVERNMENT.

    Michael

  36. Bradley,

    "I would never vote for "PeaceLily" into a political office."

    You won't ever be put to the test on that one. I would never run for office!

    I like offering my thoughts freely, without limitation to any ideology.

    I like exploring different ideas for people to think about, or get riled up about, whatever they choose.

    Most of my views are derived from Scripture, and my personal experience as a missionary. I know what people suffer, including severe violence and murder, from oppressive governments, and what needs to be changed.

    Making changes begins with having accurate information. I like to clarify misconceptions, because over the years so much brainwashing has taken place here in order to control and influence people by creating fear, often irrational.

    From your military experience, you probably understand very well how important correct information is and knowing the right moment for an offensive. That is strategy based on accurate information.

    This also holds true in dealing with oppressive government leadership.

    Additionally, it is important to the People who are the strategic force seeking change.

    Thanks for your vote of confidence on my caring for you. I guarantee you would receive the best care I could afford you, and which my employer would allow, unless I found a way around them.

    Today healthcare has some decision makers that suck, IMO. Money over Peoples' best interest. They want to reduce care when the problem is the runaway costs they create.

    Obviously, I am not one to be stuck in a box. I believe in People and try to do the best for them in whatever I am involved in, whether in healthcare or as a missionary. I don't consider labels, or parties, or beliefs. People's needs are of the utmost importance to me.

    That said, I have actively and definitely worked against fascism. It is important to understand it in today's terms.

    I can also say that taking an active roll in opposing a fascist government brings one into a very dangerous situation in which many have lost their lives. It is not something many choose to do.

    I have huge respect for all those who selflessly work above and under ground to bring freedom to People suffering from violent oppression.

  37. Michael,

    I've stated over and over that we have a moral crisis in the US.

    The Bush Administration took the stance to limit regulation on everything they could, until big trouble began to surface in banking and other financial sectors. Then panic set in and a call for the immediate need to regulate.

    Then, Wall St. nearly crashed, and the US along with it. Regulation was definitely needed. Wall St gambled away into needing a bailout from the taxpayers. Then, turns on them saying they need to give the wealthy tax cuts and have their own current and future safety nets cut. The cuts will likely never be enough for them.

    Another area of silent derailing of regulation occurred in OSHA, and there were more and more deaths on work sites.

    I bring this up because it shows that business is not always interested in the effects of their actions, even if it places individual lives or the country in serious danger.

    Some consider regulations as more government intrusion. However, if there was integrity and morality as the norm, regulations would be less needed.

    So now, in the midst of "entitlements" being a target for serious cuts that would effect people who often have no other options, I would offer that healthcare has a good deal of morality deficient operations.

    Just as banking and financial services industry regulation is needed, just as lives are saved due to OSHA regulations, or safe drinking water is protected by the EPA, we also need regulation on healthcare providers, especially since lives are also at stake by the greed for profits that create cuts in care that can be dangerous and life threatening.

    Medicare is an important element for regulation, that also carries over to non-Medicare patients care. It could be even better, if it weren't such a political hot potato.

    There isn't much difference between the corporate CEO who is doing whatever it takes to get his bonus and the person who doesn't want to pay more taxes, no matter what it will cost in the end. Neither have any concerns about quality of life except for themselves in the moment.

    A continuation of the payroll tax cut on the FICA tax will take a terrible toll on Social Security in the future. People who want to save a small tax now, will pay for it later in poverty. It makes no sense, except to those who want to see an end to Social Security sooner.

    We have the ongoing problem of no wage growth and no regulations to address that, with dire consequences still to come.

    Every man for himself means defeat, whether in a military battalion or a nation.

    The unfortunate thing about Opinions sites is that it is not a likely to solve anything. However, I wish people would look beyond today and into their future.

    Neither of the current parties will be looking out for the needs of the People to the degree they deserve. The cannibals are always at the door crying for more bodies. The "compromises" are no longer even, if they come about.

  38. Bradley,

    Thank you for your sweet words. I was only a small one of many all over the world to fill in the gaps left by injustice.

    I know about the Philippines, and at one time sponsored a little girl there. It was a very sad situation that other on site workers tried to help with.

    You know well the injustices that flow from US actions and policies. There doesn't seem a lasting solution to that, especially now with more and more political divisions. That has to change or we will find ourselves on the receiving end.

  39. Malcolm,

    Since you bring the topic of secession to the forum, let's look at it.

    First, what you say could be said by almost any group about any President.

    Second, anyone involved in a secession movement would consider themselves patriots of whatever they envision to be their "new country".

    Let's take the current group of Southern states that are expressing their desire to secede. That group is a good place to start. It is relatively small as a region, and the transition might be easier.

    What are the down sides? They lose the clout of a large nation such as the US, but the US is losing its clout in the world anyway, with the advancement of developing countries, and their growing economic strength.

    It would be a hassle to start a new economic system, but that is the price of "patriotism".

    Businesses would be very much effected as markets would have to be negotiated in trade agreements.

    Lack of some resources may be costly to import under negotiated trade deals. It could be a drag on the economy of the "new country".

    The costs of services such as education and healthcare would be greater and insufficient without enough taxes to meet the necessities.

    The currency doesn't need to change, so that is an advantage, at least in the beginning. However, it might be that the new country would find it better to change to their own currency. However, that would effect any trade agreements.

    The new country would have to start it's own financial trading markets.

    Wall St might get a huge migraine.

    Just a few difficulties that come into my mind, but I'm sure there are many more.

    What are the upsides of secession?

    If it followed my concept of people of like mind living in their own country, there would be a period or relocation or emigration and immigration of US citizens who wish to live in a new country with the same ideology they hold. Imagine living in peace.

    There would less political upheaval, more agreement on policies, and less resentment or feeling oppressed by the political system.

    They could name their country "Tea", and vote in Paul Ryan as President, if he would join them, which I doubt.

    There would be a sense of new freedom, of beginning the government and financial system they believe in, without any "socialism" involved.

    They could write their own Constitution, laws, and define the rights of each citizen of the new country.

    They could deal with the sensitive issues of religious freedom and limitations.

    They could make their own emigration and immigration, taxation and trade policies, and have their own military.

    Surely, there must be more benefits and opportunities that I can't think of at the moment.

    Since the US Constitution makes it possible to secede, and if there are States serious enough to go through all that is required to begin a new country, then they have that ability.