23 Oct 2012
- Last Updated on Wednesday, 24 October 2012 07:28
- Published Date
By Vernon Burns
Alabama Political Reporter
While the people of Alabama will, without hesitation, reject the government centered future again offered to us by Obama and the democrats on November 6th, an easy choice. However, I must speak about a hard choice.
Amendment One: The extension of The Forever Wild Land Trust. This is a decision I wish I did not have to face. If our state and our nation were on a sound financial foundation, as I and most Alabama folks assumed in 1992, when we overwhelmingly approved the creation of Forever Wild, then yes is the only vote I could make.
The irony for me is I truly appreciate the value of this program to future generations and wish to see it continued. Over the past year, I have worked to promote the extension of Forever Wild at every turn. I have helped in organizing meetings and spoken out at every opportunity to dispute all the misrepresentations made about, what I consider one of the very few well thought out and well run government programs. If all of state government and our national government were operated any where near as efficiently as our Forever wild land trust then I would not be writing this.
But what I wish were true and the real world of 2012 are completely opposite. The wake up call, relating this to Forever wild, came when the governor and the legislature engineered the confiscation of 437 million dollars from the Alabama Trust Fund. These monies were taken with no plan or guarantee in the law to repay, and will be used to prop up the ever expansing medicaid (welfare) and prison populations.
The pledge, made to future generations by the people of Alabama in 1982 to hold the income we receive from oil and gas royalties in a permeant trust has now been violated. It is true games have been played with the trust before but, as of now, it is broken. How can we relate this to Forever Wild? The Alabama Trust Fund and the Forever Wild Land Trust, in my view, are two remarkable programs tied together in both concept and practice.
The Alabama Trust Fund was created, by the people of our state, to be a permeant and growing investment to hold the oil and gas royalties generated by the development of our natural resources on our public lands. With the royalty income as the principal and only the interest income generated by the trust investments being used to fund the legitimate functions of state government, we had established a conservative, common sense, method of preserving the benefits of our natural resources for future generations.
In 1992 this preservation of public natural resources was taken one logical step further. The Forever Wild Land Trust was created, with an 84% yes vote, to use 10% or less of the interest from the Alabama Trust Fund to purchase another natural resource, open public land for the permeant benefit of all citizens.
This is a very short over view of the why and how both The Alabama Trust Fund and The Forever wild Land Trust came to be. I see both as examples of the "wise and frugal government" Thomas Jefferson called for in his first inaugural address March 4, 1801.
Now both programs are being consumed by the monster our human weakness has created. The welfare state, with its endless promise of entitlements, and the crushing debt that is used to feed that beast, is destroying all we hold dear.
When our elected representatives break into to Alabama Trust Fund, to feed the welfare state, and get past their next election, I am not shocked. When that 437 million dollars has been burned in the entitlement fire, I can see the trust fund being robbed again.
As a conservative I firmly believe the preservation of our natural resources, along with their wise use, is the duty of each generation. I also know, without a doubt in my mind, the preservation and wise use of those resources can only be accomplished when it is based in a sound economic frame work. When the politicians managed this violation of The Alabama Trust Fund they apparently gave little or no consideration to Forever Wild. Modern political theory must teach that you can have your cake and eat it too.
I can not agree. The economic survival of our state and nation must override the yes vote my heart wants to make on amendment one. I vote "No" with the promise that I will do all I can to help restore Forever Wild when the underlying funding source is restored.
I vote "No" knowing that if we do not restore our state and our nation to the principals that have always made us the strongest force for good in this world, we will lose Forever Wild, and all else we hold dear, forever.
05 Oct 2012
- Last Updated on Monday, 08 October 2012 06:36
- Published Date
By Vernon Burns
When the music stops in this political game of musical chairs the one power player who may not find a seat is The Republican Party as it is now constituted.
Before I go one step further, I wish to be clear, one more time, in my opinion of todays democrats. As a political party they are the promoters of government dependence, for an ever growing majority, for their own empowerment. They knowingly or unknowingly embrace a marxist socialist agenda under the cover of the utopian goal of complete fairness. The independent and self reliant are an adversary for democrats, except as a source of funding. They play to the low end of our human nature, promising more and more taxpayer provided entitlements as incentives to vote for the democrats. Are they always wrong in everything they say or do? No, but even a stopped clock is right twice a day.
One thing they are always right about is that by cultivating the worst weakness's of our human nature, envy, jealousy, and self pity, they will always find a seat and support in this political game.
Other than all I have just written, I like the democrats just fine. I know where they are coming from and I can deal with that. Just as I know to keep on guard in the Alabama woods in August because rattle snakes and cotton mouths are a part of nature.
With this understanding, I and a great majority of the voters of Alabama have given our state to the Republican Party in what amounts to a one party rule. We did this because republicans promised conservative leadership and solutions at the local, county, and state level. I can not remember an Alabama G.O.P. candidate campaigning for office who did not want everyone to think he was the conservative reincarnation of our former President Ronald Reagan. Now, most of us feel snake bit.
If the dumping of the super complex welfare state problems of dealing with medicaid and prison funding on to the backs of the voters in an almost secret constitutional amendment referendum is an example of conservative republican leadership, then I am a bull frog. About 13% of Alabama's people voted. And a little more than 8% voted yes.
If the taking of 437 million dollars from the Alabama Trust Fund, with no plan for, or guaranteed pledge, in the law to repay with interest the funds raided is the act of adults, much less our wise conservative republicans, then I am a big green bull frog.
From a conservative point of view it appears the majority of the republicans we have given control of the government to in our state have little interest in providing the leadership and solutions required to turn what is now a welfare major industry, into the short term social safety net it must be.
Did the republicans ask for jobs we gave them to shrink the welfare state? Or did they only want control of the check book so they could be the ones handing out the money to an ever expanding client base?
We, the voters, know this is hard. The welfare industry, like any other major industry, has the money and the power to hire lobbyist, and to fund the election of the people they want to protect their interest, financial and other wise.
We know this is the way business has been conducted forever in our nations capitol and in the capitols of every state in the union. We have generations of very intelligent and compassionate people who have dedicated themselves and staked their careers on expanding the dependent class, and the welfare state. We must always offer more, the need is ever growing.
It has been said, that the character of a nation can be seen in how they treat the elderly. And the promise of a nation can be seen in how they treat their young. Following this same line of reasoning Hillary Clinton tells us "It takes a village to raise a child."
This is not just the ramblings of the collectivests' mind searching for utopia. No this is the kind of socialist psycho babel most politicians use to justify, to themselves and the tax payers, the confiscation of our property, the destruction of our freedoms, and the commitment of our elderly, our children, grand children, and even our great grand children to ever more crushing debt.
Republican Party, whether you realize it or not, you are on trail. At the national level if you are not strong enough and committed enough to rescue our republic given the horrendous conditions in almost every aspect of our national life, foreign and domestic, the people will walk away. You must win this election Big!! Alabama Republican Party you have an even more severe test, because you are in complete control. Do not continue to let us down!!!
I believe it was President Reagan who reminded us that we, the United States of America, are the last best hope of mankind. This is even more true today than in Reagan's time and at this very moment in time the last best hope for the United States is the Republican Party. Pray they do not fail.
With pride and love, I stand by and for the truth of the statement that the United States of America, our country, has been the leader and driving force of more advancement in the standard of living and well being, of all of mankind, than any other nation in the history of man. This has been due to two plain and simple facts, Gods grace and the individual freedom of our people.
The American free enterprise system has been the greatest poverty destroyer ever known. Give us back our freedom and we will lift everyone. Continue down this path and we all go into the darkness. Time is short, time is short. In the words of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., "Procrastination is still the thief of time...The 'tide in the affairs of men' does not remain at the flood; it ebbs. We may cry out desperately for time to pause...but time is deaf to every plea and rushes on. Over the bleached bones and jumbled residue of numerous civilizations are written the pathetic words: "To late."
05 Sep 2012
- Last Updated on Wednesday, 05 September 2012 14:30
- Published Date
By Vernon Burns
We now live in the information age, the age of total entertainment, and the age of total government.
Let us examine each of these three modern realities to find how they may be affecting us as individuals and as citizens of a great nation.
To preface this investigation, first consider this quote.
"No experiment can be more interesting than that we are now trying, and which we trust will end in establishing the fact, that man may be governed by reason and truth. Our first object should therefore be, to leave open to him all the avenues of truth. The most effectual hitherto found, is the freedom of the press. It is, therefore, the first shut up by those who fear the investigation of their actions." Thomas Jefferson, Letter to Judge John Tyler, June 28, 1804.
With this statement, Jefferson declares that mankind must govern himself with reason and truth and the only way to achieve that lofty goal is through complete and factual information.
In the year 2012, we live in a blinding storm of information. Each day we are exposed to so much that we must and have become very selective in the sources we trust. How can we, as individuals, know what to trust? What sources appeal to reason and long established truth in a fair and open way? What sources appeal to mankind's weak and self serving nature? What is the measure we are to use to know the difference? How can we develop a personal filter that helps us use our own ability to reason to separate fact from clever spin?
History, the record of mankind's long journey from the darkness to the future, is the only true light we have. To borrow a guiding principal from the Heritage Foundation, "Without A Heritage Every Generation Starts Over." In todays world being ignorant of our past is a short coming that has been cultivated for generations by those who wish to "fundamentally change the United States".
This is a war of ideas and the battlefield is your mind.
President Ronald Reagan fully understood this and cautioned for years that "(f)reedom is never more than one generation away form extinction. We didn't pass it to our children in the bloodstream. It must be fought for, protected, and handed on for them to do the same, or one day we will spend our sunset years telling our children and our children's children what it was once like in the United States where men were free."
If you did not develop a love of history in grammar and high school, it is never to late. If your can read this you have all the tools you need to become an informed and educated citizen. Reading and studying, are the armor and the weapons we must use in this war of ideas.
This is a never ending war that requires a never ending pursuit of the truth. As such, no one can tell another exactly where to search. I would suggest as a starting point that you read The 5000 Year Leap, by W. Cleon Skousen. This book is a great source to expand your knowledge of our form of government.
The study of history and political life, with mans great achievements and disasters errors, is more fascinating and more instructive than almost all other pursuits.
While we all must have a good understanding of our republic and the how and why it works, it is very hard not to be distracted in the 2012 world of constant entertainment. It is especially tempting, in these uncertain times, to just not let yourself think to much. After all with football season and hunting season starting, shopping season, and a new season of Dancing With The Stars, and hey we have 300 channels of satellite TV. We have a 24/7 assault on our mind if we let it happen. Also, for generations, much of what comes out of the Hollywood entertainment industry has a built in political message.
At times it appears to many that the political class, both sides, in this war of ideas, would rather we all remained distracted and uninformed. They wish to think of us as children who can not possibly understand the complexities of modern government or even our own lives. Our democracy and our republic will not survive distraction and apathy in this age of total government.
With the suffocation growth of government. at all levels, the time when a free person could live without much concern of outside forces directing his life has long since passed. No one can escape the domination of government.. Our Constitution and our Bill of Rights are subject to reinterpretation to allow government more and more control. From the 1913 16th amendment to our Constitution, that destroyed article four of our Bill of Rights, and gave the Federal Government an unlimited power to tax, through Social Security and Medicare, to now Obama Care, we are becoming no more than state owned property. Let Obama and the statist be perfectly clear and make no mistake they want government to totally control you and every aspect of your life.
Unlimited taxation and unlimited regulation equals unlimited government and we are already there. In a nation founded on "Limited" government, with liberty and freedom for the individual as its highest purpose, the only way this condition has been instituted is through distraction and apathy.
We, as a nation, we as a generation, and we as a free people, must shake off this apathy and overcome the distractions to renew our nation and our way of life.
Now is the time!
You are the person!
Good Help Us All!!