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Moving

I’ll be moving grit22.com to a new host over the next few days. I’m not sure what to expect as the experience so far has not been as advertised. My intention for the move is to improve the flexibility in giving you more content, a better platform, and make it easier for you to add your two cents worth about todays condition. It’s right up grit22’s alley.

So please be patient. I’ll keep the swear words on this side of the key board, and hopefully, we’ll be back online soon.

Thank you, Mike

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Obama’s Fairness Questioned

“Detroit has not had a republican mayor since 1961…the definition of insanity is doing something over and over and expecting different results.” Unknown.

This essay will argue that the insanity of trying to be ‘fair’ is a losing proposition and should be shelved. The President’s Memorial Day speech ended with him saying that ‘Americans have given their lives for fairness…’. I wonder if he believes what his speeches espouse. I thought American’s gave the Ultimate Sacrifice for Freedom. But like most campaigners, Obama has mixed his metaphors again.

Legislating ‘fair behavior’ hasn’t worked, yet we continue government spending and hoping the outcome will change. Compare two cities: Detroit and Huston. The differences are night and day. A casual observer would notice it in their management, cleanliness, growth/shrinkage, tax structure, objectives, and the lives that their residents enjoy (or not). I used to judge a factory by observing the activity on the floor. A busy atmosphere meant they were productive, making money. Drive down random streets in Detroit and Houston and see the difference.

Life isn’t fair and government has never succeeded in legislating that it be that way. It’s the people, not the government, that determine if a community succeeds or not. It’s their involvement, not the amount of tax or spending the government does. It’s the people’s investment of themselves and their assets, not the regulation and bureaucracies of government that makes a successful city.

The evidence began piling up as far back as the 17th century. In 1688, England went through the Glorious Revolution with the lower class taking the power from the aristocracy and transferring it to a new organization called Parliament. And all without spilling any blood. Their economy grew because the people demanded the leadership govern conservatively, meaning their debt was lowered. By contrast, the French Revolution in 1789 was bloody and racked with upheaval and severed heads. The succeeding government spent its taxes on the favored few with special loans, subsequently putting country into bankruptcy. The non-debtor nation, England, compared to a debtor nation, France, brought the poor up into the next class, helped the middle class expand, and made the rich richer. A win, win, win outcome.

Extractive governments purport to take from the rich and redistribute to the poor, but, it doesn’t seem to work. The US began its War on Poverty during a LBJ’s reign and the outcome of that war is a huge bureaucratic monolith that can’t move out of its own way. It has large edifices, billions to distribute; it buys marketing time to sell its products, and its rolls are climbing with able-bodied citizens who can make more from the government than the free market place. And don’t let anyone tell you there aren’t jobs out there. There are.

Does government ever step back and ask itself ‘is this program working? Should we reevaluate the outcomes or just spend more in hopes it’ll get better?’ When people are motivated to not work and still collect a ‘living’ salary, which direction do you think they’ll take? Has the President confused the definition of ‘fair’ for ‘opportunity’? The safety net has grown since 1965. Is this the land of hammocks or the land of opportunity? What’s your opinion? Is more spending the answer? Is increasing the welfare rolls the answer? What say you?

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IRS Miscues Yields an Opportunity

The recent IRS scandal should be the opportunity America has been waiting for. It may be the hinge in our history that moves us back to our founding doctrine. Not that the other scandals don’t deserve an equal place in the history of this administration. But the most overreaching organization in the US because it is the most feared by its citizens, the IRS, sits ripe for the picking.

The tax collecting agency for the US government has admitted it overstepped its boundaries by singling out individuals and groups having the audacity to have a different political view than their Executive leadership. Their boss allowed, through his behavior, the government agency to act as it never has before. The individuals targeted by the agency had the temerity to contribute to the Republican Presidential campaign of 2012, against their boss. The groups in question had applied for tax-exempt status, as the law allowed, with the purpose of campaigning against their boss.

Liberal groups applying for the same status with the IRS, received their approval within a matter of weeks. It’s been several years and most of the conservative groups still don’t have theirs. One conservative group even gave up, changed their name to ‘Green something’, and were approved within three weeks.

Certain individuals, contributing to the Republican Party, who had never been audited before, received heavy scrutiny by the federal government. And not just simple audits but full-bore investigations into their backgrounds and affiliations, as they reported the details on TV news. They were even accused of being criminals. A Wall Street Journal article related past employees indicated the agency used phone records and social media to determine their political connections.

Conservative groups with words in their names like, tea party or conservative or 9-12, were scrutinized with greater than normal questions. The questionnaire prior to the beginning of the crackdown in 2010 contained hundreds of question not characteristic of the tax office. Questions like ‘what was the subject of your meetings?’ were asked. These were not questions asked in 2009, but in 2010 through 2012, because it became politically expedient during an election year. The IRS might have reasoned that their boss, the Executive, should not lose the upcoming election, and if they could help him, they would.

Congress even called the IRS director to a Hearing in 2010 to answer questions and he denied any such allegations or IRS targeting of conservatives by the agency.

So, what’s the big deal and why is the action of the government wrong? Because the Founders deemed it necessary to protect the people from tyranny by a ruthless government. This action by the Obama IRS should make every Democrat, Republican, and Independent afraid. The IRS is controlled by the Executive Branch. The Constitution, and particularly the Bill of Rights, was written to restrain the government from taking tyrannical action against its citizens. Each Amendment is written with a voice telling the government what it CAN NOT do.

The citizens of the US may not agree with the President or the government but it is their right to equal protection under the law. For the government to step in front of our rights, to step on our rights, to deny us our rights, is against the law and the tyranny our Founders fought to protect us from. Is it right that Americans should fear their government?

The solution for this overreach may come with the opportunity to rectify another problem: the convoluted tax code will live under, administrated by the IRS. Many people and organizations (rich corporations, rich unions, etc, with ties to the government) pay little or no income tax while the middle class pay the larger share due to Congress’s continued stirring and mixing of tax regulations in favor of the few.

A ‘fair tax’ would tax all citizens and organizations equally. The President has campaigned and stated that he wants equality for all. Hence his tax on the wealthy and his admitted redistribution that has gone nowhere.

Well, here’s his chance to do something productive for a change. Revenue to the government through a ‘fair tax’ would increase because many of the loop holes that rich lawyers help corporations and unions get out of would be eliminated. And, the new tax system wouldn’t require the massive expense of a government agency: we wouldn’t need the IRS. The middle class wins, the rich win, and the poor win. The bureaucratic, overreaching government loses.

The ‘fair tax’ system has yet to be defined, but it might consist of a flat tax with some charitable contributions still intact, I don’t know. These are details that would have to be worked out. But it is a conversation that needs to take place.

What are your thoughts? What do you think of what the IRS did to Americans? Was it that bad? Should more heads roll? Should anyone go to jail? Did the President know about it? Is this an opportunity for America to begin to shrink Big Government? Is it right Americans should fear their government? Write a comment.

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Welcome

My name is Mike Kapic and I’m retired after forty plus years in manufacturing. I spent those years, beginning on the factory floor, and then working my way up the engineering ladder, finally spending the last twenty-five years managing manufacturing operations. I know both success and failure in the capitalist free market.

I earned a degree from a well known university, but what I’m most proud of is my family and the principals they live their lives by today. My wife, Joanne, and I are very proud of Leesa, Nikki, and Jeff.

Why this blog? We’ve met and talked to a lot of folks across the country, both Democrats and Republicans alike, and found a sense of concern, worry, and wonderment at what’s going on in our country. Some think that it will adjust and come out of its morass, while others intimate that all is lost, we’ll never recover from the far left’s drive toward socialism.
I’ve noticed negative remarks toward people, businesses, faiths, with favoring proclivities and unconventional life styles. The press has helped the division and has become more biased, even helping one political party over the other.
We seem to be divisive, split, not a union anymore. We have red and blue states, classes of people within economic and social strata, separated races and ancestry. There’s been an intentional attempt to divide us. We’re all Americans but, something has changed. We’re not one country anymore. We’ve lost our way, our direction.

Most aspects of our society have been affected. K12 are failing. Colleges and universities have moved from being the birth places of ideas to being closed to free speech. Regulation and rules without representation have become the norm that is governing our economy, our lives, and our religious faiths.
I wondered how much has changed over my life time and whether we are better off today than say, fifty years ago. In a lot of ways, we are better off but in some, we’re not.

I think the most important thing to remember is that we’re still an experiment, we’re still evolving. We don’t have all the answers. We’re figuring it out as we go along. And we’re making mistakes. We’ve always made mistakes. But that’s what’s so great about America. We pull together, adjust, fix what’s broken, and take bold steps toward an unknown future with the best of intentions. We periodically have to stop and correct. The American people do that because they’re free to do that. Because our guiding principles, laid down by the Founders, gave us direction: The Constitution.
I think we’ve come to one of those moments in history when America has recognized it’s time to make an adjustment. We’ve seen a drift away from self dependence, responsibility, a clarity of vision, confidence in our direction, and respect toward one another, an eye on what motivates us.

This tool, this blog, this voice, this discussion, intends to create a conversation about how, where, why, when, to make a shift in ideology toward our Founders arguments.
Why Grit22? Grit comes from toughness, resilience, a confidence in our beliefs, a reflection of our core values. 22 comes from Catch 22 and (from Wikipedia’s definition) ‘is a paradoxical situation in which an individual cannot or is incapable of avoiding a problem because of contradictory constraints or rules. Catch-22s often results from rules, regulations, or procedures that an individual is subject to but has no control over.’

The goal of this blog is for us to express our opinions about values, principals, and support all Americans with like principals, regardless of their party. And to support our Founders objectives, and honor those who do the work every day.

I hope you comment what’s in your heart and, 18 inches above, your brain.

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President Obama

This is the first post here and it should set the tone for future posts and, hopefully, conversations with you. I encourage you to read and then comment; discuss the content of the topic posted. We’ll talk about the economy, capitalism, Big Business, Big Labor, Big Government, and little government. We’ll talk about the family, values, schools, healthcare, and other social issues. You can also offer suggestions for topics you’d like discussed. I do have plans for what I think will be a worthwhile project down the road a bit and I’ll need your help pulling it off. I’ll explain the concept in an upcoming blog.

I believe that recent events involving the Obama Administration are finally bringing our divided country together. We, Democrats, Republicans, Independents, and others, are beginning to agree what many Americans already believe, that the presidency of Barack Obama has been very disappointing. The Senate has negotiated a bipartisan bill on immigration that might just work, and all without the President.

“Obama comes from a community organizer background where it’s us against them. But that’s not who we are. And that’s not the position the leader of our Nation should take.”   Dr. Benjamin Carson

Obama tried to be presidential but found it was not in him to be a nation’s leader. His spoken words, the lilt of his voice, have captivated and fooled many voters. His ‘coolness’ on TV shows enthralled the young and naive. He has likability. But he hasn’t won the heart of the country.

His Administration has continued to call for divisive ‘wars’ against Americans in an effort to isolate us from each other, to divide us, not unite us. He’s never given a speech that was filled with calm, reassuring, heartfelt, statements about all the people. Or one that inspired us to be better, be grateful, be confident, because of whom we are.

Maybe we’re spoiled from our past experiences. No, we expect more than what we’re getting from the man. His predecessors, when confronted with a serious matter of state, found a way to unite the people around a common goal. Those presidents did things like defining the prototype president and establishing the character of the position. Another kept the Union together after the Civil War, another rallied WWII’s generation to a world fight; many have fixed economic distress or civil rights, or the myriad of other issues we’ve faced as a nation. They’ve appealed to us and told us we could overcome the problem, giving us confidence. And we succeeded.

Obama’s experience as a community organizer is reflected in his leadership style in DC. He’s confrontational, single minded, doesn’t like negotiation, doesn’t listen well, and is willing to play any political card to get his way. As a community organizer, those traits may work well for a small group, but as our President, they haven’t worked for America. We expect more than a hungry pit bull straining to break his chain.

The community he worked in was full of needy people and his job was to help them get services. Fortunately, the country is not full of needy people, although that number has certainly grown under his leadership. The country is full of people who could have helped him, but he didn’t want their support. He and his minions had all the answers. He didn’t ask us or rally us around him. Instead, he used his community tactics in DC and found a lot of opposition. His political acumen weren’t up to the level of say JFK’s or LBJ’s or Reagan’s or even Carter’s for that matter.

His policies came from his education in a left-wing culture, not the traditions of America. Influences from failed philosophers such as Marx and Engels have heavily influenced him. His developmental years with a single mother, crafty entrance exams, and, by his own admission, a lot of pot smoking, indicate a less than stellar adolescence. He never held a ‘regular’ job in his life. He’s never had to be responsible for or to others, other than his immediate family.

As a result, he doesn’t understand what moves capitalism, what motivates people to do what they do. The economy is sluggish and weak. If it weren’t for the sequester, our debt would be larger this year. Social issues are decaying our core values, our military strength has weakened, our stature in the world has fallen, and many of the social and economic problems we had at his first inauguration are still with us and, in some cases, worse. The stimulus Band-Aid failed, government at all levels has grown, an American manufacturer was nationalized, and obamacare will ruin us.

More importantly, our trust in government and confidence in the defense of the Constitution has deteriorated. We’ve lost confidence.

I think the difference between Obama and his predecessors is that he lacks humanity, for lack of a better term. He seems to be above it all. He’s in his own world. Apart from us. A kind of arrogance. He has never done anything to command our respect. He hasn’t said something anyway close to ‘ask not what your country can do for you but what you can do for your country’. He hasn’t had us build a dam or go to the moon or win a war.

Okay, he inherited a bad economy from Bush, but after five years, we’ve barely moved above that mark.  The unemployment rate is still above 10% and business is afraid to move forward. Bush didn’t do us any favors. The size of government grew under Bush but it leaped under Obama. And our freedoms have been seriously eroding under his watch due to increased government transgression. We have more regulation, in all three levels of government today, most devised by bureaucrats without representation, and a private sector that is nearly paralyzed.

Does the hair on his arms stand up when America the Beautiful is sung. I don’t think so. We’ve seen him bow to foreign dignitaries. We’ve heard him threaten a foreign leader with crossing a red line, and then do nothing when it’s crossed.

With the issues in the news today about the IRS’s corruption, the obamacare train wreck near, Benghazi undefended murders of Americans, Boston terror bombing, the government’s Justice Department stepping on AP’s First Amendment’s rights, the unanswered questions about the murdered Border officer on Fast & Furious, and the general corruption in the GAO and others for wasting millions on parties. How can we have any confidence in our president to lead us when he can’t run the government?

I’m interested in your input. I’d like to know if you think that President Obama has done a good job for the country. And if so, please explain. Do you think he’d be better working with the needy, in a poor community outside of Chicago? Do you think we can ever get our country back on track? Give me your input.

Grit 22

Non PC Commentary: Capitalism and Democracy are necessary to support and grow the Family. Faith is the glue that holds it all together. Faith in a Supreme Being, in Capitalism, in the Rule of Law, Property Rights, and in our Fellow Man. All other needs emanate from these. These American gifts make Achievement through Independence the greatest single human endeavor. Our Freedoms were not inherited. We must fight to keep them. Life was not intended to be easy, and when it becomes so, look around, something has gone wrong.

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