We The People

We The People

Thursday, December 26, 2013

December 25, 2013
Winner Takes All
By Tammy Derouin
I answered my land line, something I rarely do.  There was a moment of awkwardness when the realization set in that this wasn’t going to be easy, poor guy.  I hope I wasn’t too difficult.  The caller asked if I would be interested in participating in a political poll.  I pulled up a chair, grabbed a drink and asked if he was ready.
The first question: which political party do you belong to or which best represents your political point of view?  He gave me two choices and that’s where the fun began, for me anyway.  In all fairness, I asked if he was ready.  I also asked if these were my only choices. 
I don’t claim either party.  The Democratic Party has shifted so far to the left that they’re not even an option for me. They’re going backwards, moving in the wrong direction but calling it progress.  How is it progress when they want to steer us back to the days of a top-down system of government? 
The Republican Party isn’t much better.  They too are moving closer to the left.  They’re just a little slower at it.  Some are resisting the shift from center and question how we got so far off course.  The rule book wasn’t designed to take us backwards. 
I’m a Constitutionalist.  I vote for the party most likely to uphold the Constitution, not destroy it.  The fact that I have to consider the destruction of the Constitution is a pretty good indicator as to how far from center we have wandered.
The Progressives have infected the Democratic Party so deeply that Democratic Socialist Party is a much more realistic name.  The Republican Party lost their spine which led to their values and beliefs.  When the Republicans decided to target the Tea Party, they shot themselves in the foot.  Of course, they didn’t realize how much damage they caused so they ignored the wound.  This only made their condition worse as they were already dealing with an infection.  It eventually traveled to the heart.  It destroyed their foundation causing their own death.
Our Constitution, which is the law of the land, has been repeatedly disregarded.  Why do so many Americans support a person or a party who do not adhere to the rules they should be following and protecting?  The Left has slowly infected the Right.  Our once balanced system has tipped, favoring one side.  Our two party system is merging into one.  If there’s only one party, there aren’t any political obstacles. The most powerful within the existing or ruling party will emerge and establish his desired system of government.  With no opposition, the winner takes all.
I’m sorry, what was the question?  Essay answers weren’t allowed so I chose the party that’s in the grave but hasn’t been buried.  I believe in miracles so I remain optimistic that enough people will realize what has been taking place and pray for a miracle.  I’m not suggesting the resurrection of the Republican Party.  I’m hoping the people in this great American experiment will realize what we are about to lose. 
As the poll continued, I was asked to prioritize the importance of government issues and which ones should be addressed first.  The only problem, all issues were high priorities.  All areas from national security, the deficit, to health care and education need immediate attention.  Each issue impacts the others. 
The most discouraging part of the poll was when certain high profile people from each party were paired together.  I was then asked who I would most likely vote for in the next presidential election.  The choices that were mentioned didn’t give me much hope.  It was a matter of which ones would destroy us later rather than sooner.
I don’t support either party.  When asked, I say I’m a Constitutionalist.  It usually causes the person to pause and consider what I’ve said.  After a moment, I get the nod of agreement.  If nothing else, I want people to consider the alternative.  If you believe in the American system of government, why would you support a person or group who is doing more to destroy it rather than uphold it? If you’re not supporting the Constitution, what are you supporting? 
“Democracy is two wolves and a lamb voting on what to have for lunch.  Liberty is a well-armed lamb contesting the vote!”
Benjamin Franklin




Wednesday, December 18, 2013

December 18, 2013
Listing and Sinking
By Tammy Derouin
Our shores were once coveted as a place to pursue hopes and dreams, not to take advantage of the system.   Our flag was the symbol of freedom but also a sign of relief for those escaping oppression.  Our founding documents were once cherished.  At one time we even elected leaders, including a president, who believed in America and the American way of life.
Our vessel will not survive this continuous assault from every direction.  Not only are the pirates launching wave after wave of unanswered attacks but the captain is drilling holes in the hull below deck.  His crew runs around stuffing rags into the ruptures they’ve created.  They assure us that all is well.  We are told to go back to our sunbathing.   As an extra bonus, free drinks are available at the bar, compliments of the captain.
Little by little, the integrity of the vessel weakens.  While we were busy soaking up the sun and enjoying free drinks, everything we needed to survive was tossed overboard.  It was for our own good, our survival.  Out of fear we accepted the captain’s explanation.    
The ship leveled off.  There was some damage but the captain reported that due to his quick thinking, he saved everybody from a watery grave.  He will not be questioned nor does he feel he needs to justify the means to his end.  He makes limited appearances and gives arrogant speeches. 
Eventually, the water seeps through the rags. The life-threatening water that was hidden and minimalized with props and disguises can no longer be contained.  The show is over and the reality is pouring through the holes.  They were able to distract us from irreversible damage with free entertainment while we bathed in the sun and downed free drinks.
Somebody makes their way below deck, a restricted area.  When we boarded the ship we were free to roam and ask questions.  A meddling passenger who was just a little too curious as to why the ship was listing and sinking wanted answers.  The passenger is caught, held without charges and then subjected to a secret trial where, you guessed it, the captain acted as judge, jury and executioner.  The passenger walked the plank.
The disappearance of one passenger caused unrest among the others.  Questions were being asked and witnesses emerged.  Why was there so much secrecy?  Why did the captain lie?  Why did he feel he had the right to throw everything overboard?  What made him qualified to determine what each individual needed or didn’t need for their journey?
As more passengers pulled away from the sun and the bar, they began to notice the signs of a sinking ship.  Even some of the crew began to realize all was not well.  The captain got word that there was unrest and answers were being demanded.  It was at this moment that disaster hit. The ship, which had been staying ahead of the storm, had turned and was now headed straight towards it.  The pirates who had temporarily backed off began to circle.  They were within firing range once again.
The captain didn’t let an excellent opportunity go to waste.  First he eliminated the rules or code of conduct.  No one had noticed they weren’t being followed anyway.  By the time the passengers began to look through the rules, it was too late.   The captain had repealed the code due to the state of emergency, a power he inserted while his crew distracted the passengers.  The captain took it upon himself to go around the code and anyone who stood in his way.
The weapons were the next obstacle, the only items not tossed overboard.  With such concern for the safety of the passengers, he pleaded for their cooperation.  Weapons had the potential of causing unintended damage so it would be in everyone’s best interest to give them up, well, except for the ones in the possession of the captain and his crew.  With the promise and guarantee that he would protect the passengers all weapons were confiscated. 
It wasn’t long before the crew began to look like pirates.  The water was rising and there were no longer any life boats available.  The captain began to lower the flag.  How did this happen?
While the passengers were distracted with free entertainment and refreshments, only a few noticed that the captain was consorting with the enemy, making promises and concessions, handing over our valuables and bowing to their every demand. 
The captain promised to protect the passengers.  All it cost them was their freedom, possessions and beliefs.  It was an empty promise, the means to justify the end.  I guess you could say he misspoke or maybe it was a half-truth, dare I suggest it was a lie?
“Americans are so enamored of equality that they would rather be equal in slavery than unequal in freedom.”
Alexis de Tocqueville


Wednesday, December 11, 2013

December 11, 2013
Government Issued Life
By Tammy Derouin
There was a time when I looked forward to the holidays, everything from decorating, shopping, wrapping gifts, to planning meals and holiday parties.  Somehow it all came together.  It may not have gone as planned but that’s the kind of stuff that makes good stories years later.
Events of the past several years have made the holidays even more stressful. Deflecting swings from my nemesis has become an annual event.  Of course, additional blows are held many times throughout the year.  No tickets required as they come without warning.  Dates and location are subject to change.   No proof, accuracy or minimum words required and as always shipping and handling is free. 
I’m learning to deflect more of the blows.  My armor is within reach. I’m equipped with the best anti-nemesis devices available and I have a theme song, “Hit Me with Your Best Shot.”  Just to be clear, I’m not dealing with a broken heart.  My heart is beating just fine, no pieces to pick up.  When love has been absent for so long, leaving is the long awaited sigh of relief.    
If someone wants to knock you down, they will do everything they can to make you fall.  Sometimes they will even cause themselves injury in the process but only if the end justifies the means.  How you handle the blow is where you take control. 
I was having a tough week.  I went to bed early to give my mind a break.  Well, that backfired.  I woke up too many hours too soon with a mind unwilling to sleep.  At some point I dosed off and was visited by a dearly departed friend, my first dog.  She was a handful.  Her attributes included intelligence mixed with stubbornness, very energetic and a little mischievous.   She tried my patience but melted my heart.
There was some apprehension about getting this particular dog but not on my part.  Years later I was told she displayed all the characteristics of a “questionable choice.”  There’s a little irony here but I’ll let it pass.
At the end of the day she would curl up on my lap without hesitation.  I accepted her unconditionally from the first day our eyes met to the day her eyes close for the last time.  When love becomes conditional, it’s no longer love. 
When you put conditions on love it’s only a matter of time before it falls apart.  Trust and confidence begins to slip away.   It doesn’t matter if it’s the love of a person, an object or an idea. Conditions stand in the way and the love that was once there disappears.
Our government has been conditioning us for some time.  Little by little we have lost confidence in ourselves and as a nation.  We question our every movement and look to the government for approval.  We’ve handed over our liberties for a pat on the head and government issued treats.
There was a time when I looked forward to the future but government conditions have made life less than happy.  The government has become the guardian of our individual needs.  The amount of money we make or spend, the products we purchase, what we do and how we do it must meet their approval. 
Americans are creating their own nemesis. When everything is being monitored, freedom doesn’t exist. There is constant fear and you never know when or where the next punch will land.   It’s almost impossible to deflect their swings.  They know everything about you and they’re doing everything they can to disarm you.  
When the government pays the bills, you do what the government tells you to do.  Questionable decisions will put you at risk.  Unfortunately, you don’t know what’s right or wrong as rules change without notice.  Questionable attitude also comes into play. Behavior is also being monitored. 
Americans seem to be very content living in a government issued life.   We’ve allowed ourselves to become their pet.  There’s no love in this game.  Attitude and obedience will determine whether you receive a dog bed or dog house. 
By not calling the government on the carpet for the mess they’ve made, we’ve allowed them to slip a collar around our neck.  They will teach us to beg for treats and privileges.  They will walk us, feed us and provide medical treatment when they feel it’s necessary.  Their end result, being in complete control, justified the means it took to get them there. 
We’re all living at the dog pound now.  That’s what happens when you accept the blows and give up control.  Life doesn’t always go as planned.   But that’s the kind of stuff that makes good stories years later, right?
“It is true that liberty is precious; so precious that it must be carefully rationed.”
Vladimir Lenin





Wednesday, December 4, 2013

December 4, 2013
The Doors of History

By Tammy Derouin
If anyone doubts America’s exceptional status in the world, I highly recommend taking a walk through an antique shop.  The advances Americans have made are nothing short of amazing.  What was it that propelled one nation above and beyond all the rest?  The answer was and always will be freedom.
Take a look back in time and you will find objects and tools that were once the latest in technology.  Each generation made advances that helped inspire creativity.  Telling an American they couldn’t do something would only fuel the individual’s determination to make it happen. 
I had the opportunity to walk through an antique mall recently.  It’s been awhile since I last enjoyed a walk through the doors of history.  Something was different this time. Instead of skimming over the booths, looking for particular objects of interest, I was captivated by the whole atmosphere.  Objects that I may have overlooked in the past drew me in for a closer look.
An antique shop is a museum for American artifacts.  These unique museums allow you to touch and purchase objects from the past.  Pick up a clothing iron from yesteryear and you won’t mind spending the little time it takes to press your clothing. 
I did however, find myself getting slowly irritated.  The more I meandered through the shop, the more my head began to throb.  Hard as I tried, I couldn’t get the irritating voice of America’s number one critic, our own president, out of my head.  This is not how I wanted to spend my Sunday afternoon, swatting a voice like my grandmother used to swat flies on a hot summer day.  If I’m going through the doors of history, I can’t neglect my own history now can I?  She had a good arm too; it may have had something to do with that iron.
It wasn’t long before his voice actually had me smiling. This time I had the smug look on my face and I won’t apologize.  We have a president who apologizes for everything American.  There’s no better place than an antique mall to see how far we, as Americans, have advanced not only our country but the world. 
The irritating tone of his voice and his unbelievable proclamation, “You didn’t build that,” was heard at every booth.  It was an outrageous attempt to change history.  Having so many examples at my fingertips had me wishing I could find a fly swatter.
I envision a parade in Washington D.C. with every participant carrying something that was built by an American who dared to dream.  A fly swatter could be held in everyone’s left hand.  It could symbolize that we will swat away the president’s attempt to not only change our history but to downplay the importance of American ingenuity.  Of course, the swatter could also symbolize what the progressives are successfully doing to our country.  They’re swatting away our individualism, self-reliance, our one nation under God and liberty.
Freedom of speech is a two-way street.  If American citizens can proudly display their accomplishments, it’s only fair to allow the government to show off what they’ve created.   I’d let them bring up the rear.  After all, that’s where they’re supposed to be, behind the citizens, encouraging them not swatting the life out of them.
I visualize floats representing what the government has created.  Such things as endless debt, entitlement programs, high unemployment, open borders and enemy infiltration within the government.  The ideas seem endless.  We could even have a banner to distinguish the difference between what Americans built and what the government created, just in case government Truthers are in the crowd.   How does, “FORWARD” grab you? 
A parade wouldn’t be complete without someone pushing the broom.  An American would represent all Americans, cleaning up the waste from U.S. Federal Inc.  Waste is the only product produced by the government.  Only the government, with funds provided by the people, could manufacture and distribute a product which nobody wants.  And if you don’t want their load of…, I mean product, they’ll fine you. 
It’s no accident the president chose “forward” to represent his platform.  He continues to push forward and uses the press to visually send messages that we should “lean forward.”   By keeping us distracted with the constant need to move forward, we aren’t able to fully focus on the destruction his campaign has already caused. 
There’s only one system of government that makes the population completely dependent upon the government, communism. Those who dare to speak or act as individuals are swatted down.
What will the next generation find when browsing through an antique shop?  Whatever book, newspaper or outlawed artifact it is, they will ask, “Why didn’t they see this coming?”
“As we must account for every idle word, so must we account for every idle silence.”
Benjamin Franklin