The GOP Has Nothing To Offer America

One of the more interesting elements of the end of the second decade of the 21st-century is the continued existence of the Republican Party. Founded in 1854 in Wisconsin by citizens opposed to the Kansas-Nebraska Act, their first elected president was Abraham Lincoln in 1860. They are still around, we suppose, out of habit, because they no longer have anything to offer our country. All they’ve got for us right now is blather and bluster, lies and deceit, catering to the fears of white America. Somewhere Richard Nixon is smiling broadly.

The Republicans have not produced a decent elected president since Eisenhower, who left office almost six decades ago. The GOP litany of presidential failure is long:

Nixon was a crook. Reagan presided over a scandal-ridden administration and was the most managed president in history, a precedent we have yet to recover from. George Bush was gracious but was unable to earn a second term. George W Bush lied to get us into war. President Trump disdains protocol, manners, good sense. He believes Colorado borders Mexico, that the moon is part of Mars and that the Continental Army won the Revolution by securing British airports, fallacies most of us were disabused of in middle school if we ever believed them in the first place. His only real talent is drawing attention to himself.

(Gerald Ford, of course, wasn’t elected president. A good, decent man, he did well in his two-and-a-half years in the Oval Office under circumstances the Son of Man would have found challenging.)

The GOP should go away. Their recent stampede of a House impeachment hearing was childish and petulant, a witless act that merely showed blind followers defending an indefensible president. We thought that a Trump defeat in 2016 might spell the end of the GOP but there’s still hope: an impeachment, a Senate trial that tears the party apart regardless of its verdict, more mindless blather from our president, and it is not entirely unreasonable to foresee and America without the Republican Party.

Good riddance. The GOP would be doing us a favor by disappearing.

Thank you for reading,

Click here to contribute to Gaylon For US Senate. Thank you. – gk

We The People Excerpt: Low Taxes

From We The People by Gaylon Kent:

 Another aspect of America life that is well off its tracks is our income tax code. Currently, it is over nine million words long and is so confusing the IRS gives out wrong information 25 percent of the time (Source: The Flat Tax Revolution by Steve Forbes). It is so confusing that individuals and businesses spend over $400 billion just to comply with their tax obligations. That is $400 billion drained from the American economy, money that is not being saved, invested or spent.
   This is insane. We are entitled to an income tax return that can be filled out on a single sheet of paper and an experience that doesn’t cause us to pull our hair out.
   We are entitled to a government that does not take too much of our money.
   A flat tax would provide us will all these things. A flat tax of five, and certainly no more than ten, percent would ensure the government is not taking too much of our money, would provide for an income tax return that was a single sheet of paper and would make April 15 a less annoying and frustrating day than it is now.
   The business of America is business so let’s eliminate the corporate income tax. I’ll be honest, I didn’t always favor this. I used to think it was reasonable for businesses to pay a little something for the opportunity to make a fortune in this country, but on the campaign trail some years back a business owner pointed out that taxes were nothing more than an expense they passed on to us consumers. That made sense, so I changed my position: there is no reason to saddle us consumers with what is essentially another tax on us.

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Excerpt From We The People: Peace

From We The People by Gaylon Kent:

   Peace – or, rather, our lack of it – is the biggest issue facing our country. A violent American government is the cause of our violent world and our violent country.
   Not only is America at war right now, we have been at war every day since 1989 and the consequences have been as tragic as they have been far reaching because both here and around the world the carnage simply is not stopping. Except for our world wars, our planet may well be the most violent it’s ever been.
   I believe this is America’s fault. We have produced a planet mired in violence, hatred and destruction because of incessant US meddling. Domestically, our country has become a shooting gallery. We have an entire generation of Americans that have never known their country at peace and I’ve long felt our violent American government has caused our violent American citizens.
   As long as we insist on creating misery for other nations, other nations will continue to create misery for us. They will behead our citizens and fly airplanes into our buildings.
   We will not have a peaceful world without a peaceful America.

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We The People Excerpt: We Deserve Better

From We The People by Gaylon Kent:

   I believe you and me – we the people – are entitled to better.
   We are entitled to a country that has a flourishing economy anchored in low taxes and free markets.
   We are entitled to an income tax experience that does not fill us with dread and takes too much of our money.
   We are entitled to a country other nations respect.
   More than anything we are entitled to good government because good government will make everything else happen.
   We don’t have good government right now and we are not going to have it until we start demanding it on Election Day. We have a collective responsibility – to ourselves, to our country and, really, to a world waiting for an America it can respect again – to become demanding and participating voters.

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Jamal Khashoggi Is Still Dead

This item originally appeared on my personal website.

THE MORE THINGS DON’T CHANGE…: It’s been over a year since Jamal Khashoggi walked into the Saudi embassy in Istanbul and soon found himself dead and dismembered. It soon became clear Khashoggi was murdered by Saudi agents and that it was not entirely beyond comprehension Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman was in on it, too.

…The More They Don’t Change: It also soon became clear the Saudis would get away with it. The Trump Administration shamefully waved away the matter and did their darndest to usher the Saudi crown prince back onto the world stage. The veil began to lift at a G20 meeting in June as countries, paced by a disinterested America, went about the process of dismissing Khashoggi’s murder so everyone could resume making money off and with the Saudis again. President Trump did everything but rub the crown prince’s feet while having Secretary of State Mike Pompeo spread za’atar on the prince’s morning flatbread. Pakistan has given the crown prince their highest civilian honor after signing assorted, billion-dollar investment deals.

Fly In The Ointment: The UN did get their shorts in a knot in June when they issued a report saying, among other things, there was:

…credible evidence, warranting further investigation of high-level Saudi officials’ individual liability, including that of the Crown Prince.

Yeah, Yeah, Whatever: This could not have been met with a bigger collective international yawn had prizes been issued for ignoring it. Even we’ve stumbled a bit here. We used to provide occasional updates, but we’ve been too busy ranking lousy college football teams to bother lately.

USA! USA! Saudi Arabia is scheduled to host the November 2020 G20 summit. While it is not clear that President Trump will lead the crown prince pep rally, it is even now expected to be well-attended, which all but assures Khashoggi died in vain and his death will not be punished.

Business As Usual: The killing itself isn’t a big surprise. Governments have been carrying out precautionary murders like this since time immemorial. All of us should be ashamed, though, by our government’s reaction to it. We’ve allowed our government to ignore it, which has allowed the world to ignore it. US insistence on accountability, both in public and in private, would have ensured we would be getting more than the secret trial the Saudis are currently holding. Sure, some hapless lower level prince might be offered up for a severe wrist-slapping, but the Saudis have brazened their way through the murder of Jamal Khashoggi with full US complicity.

God, Lighten Up, Will You?: Like a lot of things with the Trump Administration, we are the lesser for it. We deserve better than this, of course. We deserve a government that abhors and demands answers for murders like this, but we won’t have that until we demand better on Election Day.

Thank you for reading,

Click here to contribute to Gaylon For United States Senate 2020.

Some Thoughts On Who Should Provide A Living Wage

There’s been a lot of talk lately about a living wage and how not every employer is paying one to their workers. We’ve always found these interesting because it really isn’t an employer’s responsibility to ensure a living wage and it will not be a bulletin to regular readers of mine that we do not believe it is the government’s job to mandate this, either. 
It is every working person’s personal responsibility to ensure they are paid a living wage. Anyone not thrilled with the money they are making is free to put themselves in a position to make more, something we’ve done from time to time over our working lives and, in fact, are still doing. 
Louis L’Amour in his fine autobiography Education of a Wandering Man said it best: 
Everyone has it within his power to say, this I am today, that I shall be tomorrow.
So it is here. It’s not the government’s job to ensure I make a living wage and it is not my employer’s responsibility, either. It’s my responsibility and anyone who is not making the living they want is free to do what’s required to ensure they do. Here’s how you do it:
First, identify the money you want/need to make. And don’t say $10 billion either. Be reasonable. Make sure it’s an amount commensurate with what you can reasonably expect your talents and initiative to earn for you. Then identify the jobs that pay that amount, as well as the skills and experience you will need to be considered for that job. 
Finally – and this is the tough part – we must be willing to put in the time and effort required to put us in a position to get that job and it is not going to be easy because every day there will a myriad of distractions. It will take effort and commitment but these two old friends seldom fail us. A good plan properly executed usually yields dividends and once you set yourself on the right path, you may well be surprised to find what you wanted was seemingly there for the taking all along. 
Friends, no employer is going to pay one penny more in wages, salaries or benefits than they have to; it’s the way a free market is built. By the same token, employees do not have to take whatever an employer initially offers, either. As the Bible says, more than once, the laborer is worthy of his hire, so don’t be afraid to haggle.
Now, some offer no option, but you might be surprised. Some gumption and a proven track record can often lead to negotiating a higher wage, especially with unemployment low like it is now and employers needing good people. The bottom line is we cannot be afraid to make something good happen for ourselves. Some initiative and some work and soon enough we can have the working life we want.
But we have to go get it ourselves. We can’t depend on the government to do it for us.
Many thanks for reading,

We The People Excerpt: A Peaceful America

Friends, here is today’s excerpt from We The People.  Click here to read more and to buy the ebook for $4.99

“As long as we insist on creating misery for other nations, other nations will continue to create misery for us. They will behead our citizens and fly airplanes into our buildings.

We will not have a peaceful world without a peaceful America.

History is a relentless instructor. More than anything it has taught us that American meddling does not work. From Korea to Vietnam to the Middle East all we do is wreak havoc, pain and destruction while solving nothing. It is a lesson history offers us every time but one we refuse to heed. If America had been at peace every day since 1989 we would have a vastly different world:  9/11 would not have occurred and ISIS would not exist. It’s all our fault.

War is not working. Anyone who tells you that drone strikes and other violence will produce peace is either deluding themselves, trying to delude you or, as likely as not, both. It is beyond comprehension that an America that continues to meddle violently in other nations will ever produce a peaceful world.

America must allow other nations the dignity of conducting their affairs without US interference.”  

Our Impeachment Imbroglio

Friends, it is not reasonable to expect an impeachment investigation of a US president to be anything other than cantankerous and partisan. It’s the nature of the impeachment beast. So the White House’s announcement that it will not cooperate with any aspect of the House investigation – which itself might well end up as an article of impeachment – is hardly a bulletin.

The announcement was contained in a letter from presidential counsel Pat Cipollone to House leaders, including Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi. Like you probably did, we read the letter which, like the Trump Administration itself, is a lot of blather and nothing of any particular substance. The letter does not cite legal precedent – because it can’t – or even any logical argument.

The letter whines about the House not taking a vote before proceeding with the investigation stating, in part:

…you have denied the President the right to cross-examine witnesses, to call witnesses, to receive transcripts of testimony, to have access to evidence, to have counsel present, and many other basic rights guaranteed to all Americans.

True enough, but so what? The House is not required to provide any of these things, the Constitution allowing the House to go about its impeachment business however it sees fit. The House is conducting an impeachment inquiry, not a criminal investigation. The only penalty that can be bestowed following conviction by the United States Senate is civil – removal from office – and not criminal and rights afforded the criminally accused are not required here.

The final paragraph calls the House proceedings constitutionally illegitimate, cites the “many deficiencies” cited and implores the House to abandon its “current invalid efforts”.

The letter does point out that House GOP leaders have not been given the same subpoena power the Democrats have. OK…Two points: 1) they don’t have to provide that and 2) the White House has pledged not to cooperate, so this point is moot.

It is not really surprising the Trump Administration and the American people have been reduced to this because Trump’s presidency has been as embarrassing as his candidacy. From Day 1 President Trump has flouted and ignored precedent, protocol and good sense. He has never had a long-term vision for America probably because he’s never had a long-term vision for himself: his only goal is to draw as much attention to himself as possible, something he does supremely well.

You and me – we the people – deserve better than this, of course, but we are not going to get any better until we start demanding it on Election Day.

Thank you for reading,