Saturday, January 30, 2010

The Pete Morin News Service--Issue #36

Complex government for complex times

Yes, we do indeed live in complex times and, therefore, must have by this very nature a complex government. Progressives wouldn't have it any other way. How can we possibly be successful in managing our affairs in such a complicated world without the benevolent help of a modern day nanny? How about we take a look at the time of the founding; the time when the Constitution was written and see if we truly understand what struggle means. Of course, struggle isn't necessarily the same as complexity, but let's try, shall we?

Imagine that you live about ten miles outside of Philadelphia and you're charged with providing food for the local tavern situated near Independence Hall in the summer of 1787. You live in a small farm house(that you built) and you awaken at 4:00 am to milk the cows, feed the pigs, horses, chickens and other assorted barnyard animals. You then gather up the produce from your ten acres of land that's used for the purpose of selling in the city.

By this time, it's 6:00 am and it's time to eat breakfast before you start the trek to Philadelphia. You have to finish by 6:30 otherwise you'll be late in arriving at your destination. You hitch the horse to the loaded wagon to make your way to the city and finally arrive at 8:30 am. Your stay in the city will be brief, however, since you must stop at the feed store and mercantile to buy bolts of cloth that your wife will use to make some new cloths. Winter will be fast upon you and clothing to survive the season is a must. You remember last winter when you almost froze to death when a rotted beam in the barn came crashing down on your head rendering you unconscious for what seemed like hours. Even though you were rescued by your concerned wife you knew it would be impossible to miss even one day caring for the livestock.

You return home by 1:00 pm and do the afternoon milking and take on those chores such as fence repair, barn repairs that seem to take up so much of your precious time. Meanwhile, your wife has been cleaning the house, washing and repairing clothes. The preferred method to washing clothes is down in the stream located about 1/4 mile behind the house. Your wife always seems a little haggard after lugging the clothes this distance, but what can she do since your two children are only 3 and 1 and can't help as of yet with these chores. You look forward to the day when they can join you to help in the daily labors. Their schooling is important, but the upkeep of the farm is equally so.

After supper you and the wife and children can enjoy some quiet time reading and recounting the days' activity before the meager candlelight aggravates your eyes. Finally, the night sounds engulf your consciousness and you go to sleep listening to the whippoorwills serenading in the fields.

Government programs--N0ne
Freedom--Unlimited

Contrast that with what we have to endure today. Can't pay you fuel bill? Apply for fuel assistance. Can't pay for your groceries? Apply for food stamps. Lost your job? Apply for unemployment compensation. Have an accident and need medical attention? Go to an emergency room. They can't turn anyone away. Are you a single parent and can't find a job? Apply for welfare.

Government programs--Social security, Medicare, Medicaid, Welfare, Food stamps, SCHIP, Unemployment insurance, and literally untold programs to meet the needs of any individual industrious enough to apply for them.

Independence-0
Freedom--Limited

Devices that make life simpler--Automobiles, radios, Ipod, Computers, cellphones, washer & dryer, refrigerator & stove, vacuum cleaner, electricity, furnaces, air conditioners etc..etc..
These devices are brought to you by those dreaded individuals called Capitalists. How we hate those despicable over-achievers!

Now I ask you: which do you think was the more complex age to live in? Just what makes our current lives so complex and difficult? How can we compare our present age to any other in recorded history. Want a good idea what it was really like to suffer an abominable existence? Try reading William Manchester's "A World Lit Only by Fire". It should be required reading for all modern day crybabies and whiners. We've sold our souls to ambitious politicans willing and able to soften our existence. I wouldn't want to live in 19th century America, but neither do I want to endure the connivance of unscrupulous political hacks.

Wake up America! do a few things for yourself. Live free and learn what our ancestors knew all too well: Life may be hard but, Independence = freedom.


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Thursday, January 28, 2010

THe Pete Morin News Service--Issue #35

Power & Control

Will we be able to really change politics in the future, or will it remain the same old game of power and control?

Looking back on the history of the political enterprise in the United States, you can see the unending march of Federal authority over peoples lives. The siren song of the demogogue resonates keenly with those people whose travails seem impossible to overcome. Politicains get elected, by and large, by their ability to convince those pusillanimous individuals that only they, the politicain, that is, can better their lives and fortunes. The actual result is quite different. A bigger government, stricter regulations and less freedom to live one's life has, more often than not, become the reality.

Government in the United States has become stronger, more intrusive and overbearing to those who wish to follow the precepts written within the Constitution; namely those that espouse limited government, states rights and individual liberty. Behind this intrusion stands the Democratic Party, the party of division. Listen to Democrats talk and all you'll hear are divisive notes; young v. old, white v. black, men v. women, corporate v. non-corporate, have v. have nots. Conservatism is a thought process(or lack thereof) of benighted fools. Liberalism and progressivism are the thoughts of the wise and benevolent. This is not only how they acquire power and control over those who accept their policies, but over those who believe strongly in limited government.

The more I gleen from the political landscape, the more I realize that the modern Democratic Party has no understanding of, nor any desire to understand, the Constitution. Power and control over peoples lives is their paramount concern. In Barack Obama they have found a leader who will bring them to the promised land of total control of everything that walks, talks, breaths and dares to consider itself free to live a life unencumbered from government excess. Will they be successful in stamping out individuality, innovation and freedom in our daily lives? Time will tell, but this november the initial test will be whether people understand what has been done to them for the past 70-80 years.

Stayed tuned--the more things change, the more they remain the same?

Thursday, January 21, 2010

The Pete Morin News Service--Issue #34

Winter Blues & sunny days ahead

Tuesday January 19, 2010 was a beautiful day in Western Massachusetts. Snow changed to rain and back to snow again, but spirits soared for those energetic, enthusiastic souls braving the New England weather to rally for Scott Brown. My particular station was the corner of East Street and College Highway and I passed the time with my neighbor Mike and new found friends waving to the motorists passing by. They may have been on their way to work, or on the way to vote, or maybe just whatever errands filled a normal day. There was no escaping, however, the feeling that this day would not be like any other; it was to be a rebirth of American strength, character and, in a sense, mission in defining just who we are.

This day we would follow the example of Virginia and New Jersey, two original members of the founding colonies, and strike a vote for representative government over soft tyranny and arrogance that has so characterized the current administration. Barack Obama would now have no choice but to sit up and take notice as to what is happening in the United States from its concerned citizenry. That concern is rooted in a belief that our elected officials consider us to be nothing more than benighted bumpkins unable to manage our own affairs, but needing the guiding hand of a benevolent ruling class. This belief would not just die today, but would be dismantled and thrown into a fire that will light the way for people to follow as they remind our public servants that we deign them to be just so, and not our masters.

Scott Brown will go to Washington soon with the blessing of the majority of those who sent him there. Let him not forget that which is self-evident--let him not forget that we are the masters and he the servant and we will broker no transgression of this basic fact. He now represents all of Massachusetts and even the nation at large where our concerns, hopes and fears meet those of our fellow citizens. I hope he doesn't shrink from this enormous duty, but embraces it with gusto and passion. Stand with us, those who see a chance to return your voices to the halls of Congress. Demand from your legislators what we now demand from ours; hear our pleas and our concerns. We may be average people, but our dreams for America are considerable. Be a new government of the people, by the people and for the people and the future will be secure.

Go Scott Go!! Go America Go!!

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

The Pete Morin news Service--Issue #33

Whoa!! What's going on here?

It wasn't supposed to be like this. Martha Coakley was supposed to inherit Senator Ted Kennedy's seat in Congress. After all, it's a no brainer--she's a woman, she's a democrat, she's liberal and this is the People's Republic of Massachuseetts(Oops, sorry I misspelled Massachusetts). But along the way to coronation, Martha ran into a little problem; she has to go to the voters and actually ask for peoples votes before she goes to DC.

And the people of the Commonwealth are non-too-happy about what's going on in Washington. In fact they're really pissed off. There's these small details concerning a government that's growing the debt by leaps and bounds. There's the small problem of healthcare legislation that can kindly be called a "monstrosity". There's the imperiousness of a president and Congress that won't even entertain the ideas of the opposition. So, that bastion of liberalism and progressive thought, Massachusetts, is wondering whether sending another Democratic sock puppet to Congress would be such a good idea.

At one time Massachusetts led the nation as a beacon of freedom and individualism, but, as any resident of our nanny state knows, those days are long gone. Will there be enough concerned citizens left in the Commonwealth to effect the kind of change necessary to return the state to even a semblance of respectability? I hope so, but I'm not going to hold my breath. The sock puppet may just sneak by and then we'll just have another hapless anti-free market buffoon occupying Ted Kennedy's seat in Foggy Bottom.

There is a silver lining, however, and that will be the 2010 mid term Congressional elections. Regardless of whether or not Martha Coakley goes to Washington, the democrats should be aware that Independents, republicans and other assorted free market types are, as I said earlier, PISSED OFF! Beware thieves of the peoples freedom--your days are numbered.

Monday, January 4, 2010

The Pete Morin News Service--Issue #32

Memories of Horse Mountain

Another year has come and gone and one wonders where the time goes. It languishes or speeds past with little regard to our notions of importance to our own insulated lives, but regardless we must nevertheless live within its trapped confines.

Every now and then, however, we can escape these parameters and bring to life some long lost memories that keep us connected to the present. For me, that connection would be North Farms Road, Florence, Massachusetts-a small hamlet considered part of that larger metropolis, Northampton.

Florence exemplified the best in small town America and North Farms was the best that a country setting could offer. There were only three more houses between ours and the Haydenville town line and since there were no children within those households sent to Annunciation Grammer School, I was the last stop for the bus. I remember the bus turning around in our dirt driveway and stopping to let me embark on the journey to school.
I can imagine how the other children must have thought it unnecessary to travel this distance for one passenger. The time it took to travel the winding country road would have taken ages for a young mind to comprehend. Such a great distance then for a child would be but a short hop for the seasoned adult.

My brothers were all much older than me when I arrived in 1947. Bernard, Ed and Art Jr. were more used to the flourishing settings of Hamp and Florence than they could be to the pristine country of Horse Mountain. Before the family could be comfortable in the house that my father and mother bought in 1946 there was the small detail of finishing the second floor--the bedrooms had yet to be walled off and the stairway not yet installed. Eventually such small matters were taken care off with the help of my grandfather, Pierre (whose name I have proudy inherited). I can remember my father remarking how Pepe would stop for lunch to eat his sandwich, which took all of ten minutes, and then proclaim to my father that it was time to get back to work. Granpa was a skilled carpenter, a wiry little French-Canadian to whom sitting was simply objectionable. And so it was that a man of 82 would push a man half his age in providing a roof for a grandchild just born.

And so it is that I recollect those memories either passed on to me, or remembered directly--

--My mother recounting how Bernard flew a plane low over the house when she took me home from Cooley Dickinson Hospital. Bern was 16 at the time, soon to be off to Holy Cross for his educational adventure.

--Mom remembering watching the smoke rise in the distance from the steam engines on the rail line heading north to Canada.

--Kindergarten at Lilly Library where we would take our afternoon naps after cleaning the glass milk bottles.

--Riding my tricycle around the dining room table while my mother read a letter from Eddie fighting a war in some far away land called Korea.

--My very first day in 1st grade at Annunciation school and realizing that I wasn't prepared to start my lessons since I had no pencil.

--Being saved by Mr. Dunphy, the custodian, who generously gave me his pencil. A kindness shone in his face that I shall never forget.

--Having my tonsils removed when I was five and the terror of being straped helpless to a table before the operation. The good part? lots of creme de glas.

--One day in the spring of 53' when I realized I didn't want to go to school after the lunch break. So, I walked home--4 miles and found a worried look on the faces of my parents as I sauntered up the road and received some very stern admonitions with the promise never to do it again. (but it sure was fun)

--Being covered on numerous occasions with poison ivy and missing a full week of school during third grade. The Sister informing me that this was not a good reason to miss school and my mother telling me that next time I would go with my festering sores and see if the nun could take the sight of it. (bleach was my mothers prime healing agent and she applied it copiously to my dripping, scarred arms and to this day I cannot stand the smell of this foul liquid)

--Playing Little League Farm League(the minors of the minors, if you will). There's a picture of me with my new, used Schwinn with a basket for my dog, Cleo that is forever etched in time and mind. (Cleo would inexplicably disappear soon afterwords. She had given birth to seven puppies and it had not gone well. I would learn from my mother years later that my father had taken her up the mountain in the back of our house and shot my dog to put her out of her misery. I would forgive him, but would never forget my little friend)

--The beebee gun that my brother Eddie gave me for Christmas in 1955 and the joy I had in target shooting.

--The horror I felt when my neighbor snatched the weapon from my hands and promptly shot a bird perched on a wire near our home. A life destroyed for no reason. This act alone brought me a great reverance for nature and all that inhabits its wonderful panoply of life.

--My mother shepherding me upstairs to my bedroom one day in February, 1958 when my neighbor stopped at our house to tell her that he had found his wife murdered in their home. I did my best to listen to the conversation through the floor heating grate, but couldn't quite make out the details. As it turned out, he had killed his wife and came to our house just after he did it. (My mother would inform my father, working a night shift at this time, that she was no longer happy living an isolated life on Horse Mountain--by the fall of that year we would be living in the center of Florence)

And so it was that North Farms Road, affectionately known as Horse Mountain, would become a memory placed in a part of my mind that could be recalled with wonder and a longing as if from another century. My wife would remind me that it is from another century; any replication impossible and incomplete. She is right. Perhaps I bring from that time, that era, my individualism and my belief in self-reliance. I simply don't know any other way. Freedom and memories are too important to lose.