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My First Golf Game

Every once in a while, as in, this is the first time, I like to write a lighthearted entry. I hope you enjoy. If not, I hope you were able to waste enough time to put off doing what you really should be doing right now.

I did not ever go golfing, for real, until well into my adult life. I had been to driving ranges many times. I even went with my then soon to be father in law and a couple of guys right before my marriage, but I just rode in the cart and drank beer.

My friend Joel, the husband of a co-worker when I lived in Birmingham was a novice golfer, though compared to me, he was Tiger Woods. Somehow or another we either invited ourselves or got invited, or were the result of a lost bet of some guys and arranged a foursome at a course on Super Bowl Sunday.

Since I was not a golfer by any stretch of the imagination, that meant, like most men do, I must quickly compensate somehow. So, the night before my golf debut, I went to the local sporting goods store to buy a set of clubs. Of course, I also bought a couple dozen balls, the gloves, a windbreaker, a visor, maybe even some golf shoes.

The big day arrives. Joel and I arrive at the golf club. Obviously, being the pretend expert I was, we promptly parked in a golf cart parking space. I went into the clubhouse, where, shockingly, they had a pro shop. A PRO SHOP! Why would I be wearing this store bought crap when I could be wearing PRO SHOP level gear?! I quickly bought a new windbreaker, new visor, but kept whatever shoes I currently was wearing.

After I changed, and drank what I thought was the required amount of vodka before teeing off and we went to our golf carts. Imagine my surprise to discover my car being stared at by several course employees wondering what idiot parked there. I made my way to them as calmly as I could and told them I would help look for the idiot while I was on the course.

One minor note. Driving a golf cart while drinking is about as hard as driving a car while drinking. The only real advantage, in the golf cart, you are not always worried about a cop pulling you over for “weaving.”

So we get to Tee 1. Of course, there was no way in hell I was going to tee off first, so I fiddled around tying my shoe, pouring more vodka, counting the geese, loading my gun, or whatever else I could do until it was decided the order of play, I was fourth.

While the first two, obvious actual golfers, were taking their first shot, I noticed Joel was taking practice swings. Of course, that is what I should be doing also! So I got out the club that looked closest to the ones everyone else was using. Now, it must be noted, I have NEVER actually been golfing. BUT, I had been to the range, many times. In fact, my drive was really not that bad. But, I was overly nervous and for the life of me, I could not get a good practice swing in.

Nothing seemed right. The club seemed “off.” I double checked the others, they were approaching their ball just like I always did on the range. They seemed to be holding the club the same way as I always did. Then I thought of something. More than one club looked like the ones they were using, so I grabbed a different one from my $99.99 set bought less than 14 hours prior. Still odd. Still wrong.

By this time Joel was putting his ball on his tee. (Damn it, I knew I forgot something) My time was running out. I better figure out what the heck is wrong, in a few short seconds Joel would be swinging and oddly, everyone would be expecting me to do something similar to what all three of them did as easily as I poured vodka.

Joel hit a perfect drive straight down the middle, a shot Tiger himself would have been proud. Or maybe he hooked it back to the clubhouse, I have no recollection because the moment he went into his back swing was the exact moment I solved my problem. I bought left handed clubs. (I am NOT left handed)

Now, I do not recall if I ever told anyone this was my first attempt at a real golf game. I do know I LOOKED like I have been many times, or maybe I just looked like a catalog model reject, but I had ‘the stuff” for the game. Everything except clubs. (I found some used tees around the tee box, so no one knew I forgot to buy those) Joel was kind enough to let me borrow his clubs for the round. I think I said I must have had some shift in handedness or something.

After that, we had a pretty good round. It was my first time, so my score was a respectable 103 or something. But, we decided nine holes was enough and we never went to the back nine and instead, sat in the clubhouse while the other two guys made bets on the length of the national anthem to be sung at the game, and I waited for a shift change so I could get my car out of the illegal spot.

I never returned to that course, but, Joel and I did have many great golf adventures. A good commentary of our adventures; many drivers of roads near courses, and cows, are glad to know I no longer live in them there parts.

1776 vs 2012 Part 2

1776 vs. 2012 Part 2

 

Hopefully you read part one, if not, please go here https://jeremy2010.wordpress.com/2012/07/02/1776-vs-2012-part-1/.  To recap, I am simply comparing the government’s role in our everyday life during the time of the revolution against the Crown and the role our government has today.  We are going through the listed grievances in the Declaration of Independence.

 

He has called together legislative bodies at places unusual, uncomfortable, and distant from the depository of their public Records, for the sole purpose of fatiguing them into compliance with his measures.

The reader must remember, we are comparing the Crown to our current federal government.  While technology surely gives an obvious advantage causing some to think this point moot, the fact it, it is not. To compare this provision, we must see what the founders did to solve the problem.  They, in part, created the House of Representatives.  A legislative body close to the people and able to replaced every two years.  The number of Representatives at that time “shall not exceed one for every thirty Thousand, but each state shall have at least one.”  If we stuck to that formula today, our House of Representatives would be about 10,400 instead of the 435.  It would be very easy to have constant and real contact with your representative.  It would also make it much easier for a third, fourth, maybe even a fifth party to be established.  This writing is mainly focused on principle, not policy, one of the few diversion I will make is here.  Having 10,000 representatives may be overkill.  I would be happy to scale that down a bit and maybe make the formula to be based only on those over the age of voting (currently 18), maybe even only actual citizens.  (Did you know, the original Constitution did not specify “citizens” for the purposes of determining Representatives.  The exact words were “Free persons, including those bound to Service for a Term of Years” and then excluded Indians who were not taxed and then 3/5th of all other people. – the oft mis-quoted saying our founders considered slaves only 3/5ths a person.)

Back to the point.  At the time, the problem was the Crown made it very difficult for the bodies to physically meet to discuss the issues.  While that is not a problem today, we can meet anytime and with technology, most any place is near “the depository of their public records.” What is similar today, our Representatives simply represent too many people.  No matter how hard they tried, they simply cannot do an adequate job of understanding the concerns of the people they represent.  They can only comprehend the “high level” of public sentiment.  They know if their district is “against” this bill or “for” that bill.  But, they do not get the advantage of talking with them and getting new ideas.  I will grant, part of this problem lies at the feet of the people, too lazy to even register to vote, too lazy to follow what goes on in DC, but, in the end, we should demand a more accessible House, even if that accessibility is not used to full capacity.

 

He has dissolved Representative House repeatedly, for opposing with manly firmness his invasions on the rights of the people.

 

He has refused for a long time, after such dissolutions, to cause to be elected; whereby the Legislative powers, incapable of annihilation, have returned to the People at large for their exercise; the State remaining in the mean time exposed to all the dangers of invasion from without, and convulsions within.

 

We certainly do not fear being invaded because of any dissolution of Congress.  One small aspect similar to that time is the current practice of “recess appointments.”  The original intent of these was to ensure a cabinet member could be appointed when Congress was out of session in case of death or other incapacitation.  Now, it is used by our Presidents to appoint people who they know would not be confirmed by our Senate.  If stretched enough, the Presidential use of “Czars” could be included in this.

 

He has endeavored to prevent the population of these States; for that purpose obstructing the Laws for Naturalization of Foreigners; refusing to pass others to encourage their migrations hither, and raising the conditions of new Appropriations of Lands.

 

I almost glossed over this one.  We all know DC cannot become a state, but, we have several other territories wanting to become states.  Unfortunately, the skeptic in me thinks the main reason is for the welfare they will then be entitled.  However, this section is also about immigration.  While, at that time, the issue was not enough, we now have a problem of too many.  Or at least too many illegal’s or “undocumented” or whatever other PC term one wishes to use.  In either case, then or now, the solution is the same, the government should get off the can and pass/enforce real legislation to fix the problem.

 

He has obstructed the Administration of Justice, by refusing his Assent to Laws for establishing Judiciary powers.

 

He has made Judges dependent on his Will alone, for the tenure of their offices, and the amount and payment of their salaries.

 

 

This is one few people realize is such a problem.  There are many federal judge positions vacant because the Senate refuses to take up their nomination.  In the actual time of now, the problem is not that big since both the Senate and the President are of the same party.  However, for years now, it has been common practice for the Senate of the opposing party of the President to filibuster a judicial nomination.  While neither party is immune from this, the most recent tryst was the Democratic Senate refusing to consider dozens of judges nominated by the Republican President George W. Bush.  This is certainly an area of checks and balances, but we, as citizens should demand the Senate at least vote on the Presidential appointments rather than not even bringing the name to floor for a vote.  Furthermore, we should demand no stupid filibuster to deny a vote once on the floor.  A long debate may be warranted for the lifelong appointment, but at least have that debate.  The second one above is not a “problem” today.  A President cannot fire a judge or determine his salary.

 

Part three will be coming tomorrow, again, thanks for reading, and go out and blow colorful stuff up in the air as John Adams envisioned when he said of the signing of the Declaration of Independence,

 

“…it ought to be commemorated as the day of deliverance, by solemn acts of devotion to God Almighty.  It ought to solemnized with pomp and parade, with shows, games, sports, guns, bells, bonfires, and illuminations, from one end of this continent to the other, from this time forward forever more.”

The Real Price of Student Loans

This is a blog entry I wrote in 2007. I am re-posting it here, along with some other entries from my old blog.

Today congress trying to come up with more ways to make student loans easier to get, cheaper, and in higher amounts. They cite, among other things, the huge increases in college tuition costs. The irony, by trying to fix this “problem”, they are only exacerbating the problem. However, like so many other government problems, no one will challenge this for fear of losing their power and influence. We need to remember we should only elect people who will do the best for our country, not self preservation.

To vote against this bill a congressman is going to be called “anti-education” or be characterized as someone who does not think everyone should have equal access to higher education. However it is the congressman that votes against the bill that is giving lower income people the chance to afford an higher education.

This is simple supply and demand. If anyone can go to college, regardless of cost, then more than would normally attend will attend. A college, or any institution, has a finite capacity at any given time. If more wish to attend, then the university must increase the capacity. To do this, buildings must be built, professors must be hired, janitorial staff needs to be found, land may need to acquired, and all of the support that goes into a University must be expanded accordingly. As I am sure you can imagine none of these items are free. When increasing such a capacity, the prudent plan is to expand beyond current demand and have room for future growth with minimal future expenditures. These never ending projects cost money and therefore tuition rates rise. The government is artificially inflating the demand for the these expansions. Not everyone can/should go to college. I imagine there are students at universities who would not be there, and should not be there, but are there only because of federal loans or state lottery grants.

Education is like any other product. The higher the demand, the higher the price. What if the government did this same trick to BMW’s? Imagine if congress decided BMW’s are the safest vehicles available and traffic deaths would be cut in half if everyone owned one. Oddly, not everyone can afford a BMW. To help all of our citizenry own one, congress is going to co-sign any an all loans for BMW’s, regardless of credit worthiness. If the law goes into effect on April 1st, it is reasonable to assume BMW lots are going to be quite busy. Here is the problem; not everyone needs a BMW. Some of the buyers have cars that work just fine. (just like some people have jobs that are fine, and do not require further education). Some buyers who were planning on buying a cheaper car decided to upgrade to the new BMW. (Some students may have wanted to work in an apprenticeship program or go to a technical college). Still others, who just bought a new BMW a couple of months ago can’t wait to get another one, and since there is no up-front money out of pocket, take the opportunity. (How many double majors in Political Science and Human Resources do we need).

What the government is doing with higher education is the same thing. We are creating demand where one would not otherwise exist. In the interest of full disclosure, I paid for my higher education with both student loans and savings, the majority of it with federal backed student loans.

I agree, as a society, we benefit with a higher educated populace. I also know there are those that need this help, and without it may never get the chance to go to college. But there should be some limit. Some criteria in giving these federal loans. When I applied, my credit rating was poor, my high school record was average at best, and I had nothing invested into my college. It took about 1 hour to fill out the paper work, two weeks of waiting and not only was my college paid in full for the semester, I had a credit at the book store, and a check for me! Maybe we should require higher standards on one of these aspects. My suggestion is a loan match program. One cannot get a loan for any more than you can put in. If it takes you two years to save $2500, then you would be eligible for a loan of up to $2500. The average yearly tuition for an in-state university is $4600. Once in, I would then recommend strict academic standards. As long as you meet these standards, your consecutive student loans would be for the entire amount. This simple combination would weed out those going to school for a good party. This benefit is obvious for everyone involved. This keeps the University full of students that should be there, not just those that want to be there. I understand this is still a form of government creating a false demand, but as I said, there are benefits to society that is worth this investment. However, it should not be a federal program. This program should be administered on the state level.

Murray County Republicans

I met with the Murray County Republicans last night. It was a smaller than expected crowd, but informative nonetheless. I met Amanda Paul from WDNN Channel 10 in Dalton, she was kind enough to do an interview before the meeting.

I spoke of how important this upcoming election is. I know every election, every politician, claims it to be the most important. So I also gave my reasons for my statement. The election in the 9th district IS important. Not just for the 9th district, but for the state, and the country. I believe whoever becomes the Republican nominee must commit to get other Republicans elected across the country. Not just in “safe” districts, as some have claimed ours to be, but in toss up districts, and even Democratic “safe” districts.

So many people talk of the forthcoming veto-proof Senate. If you recall from your civics class, no law can pass without both the House AND the Senate passing it. I am focusing all of my effort on THIS campaign, and also on other campaigns across the country. It is THAT important. We must lead the country in this cause, we must show the entire country the importance of returning back to fiscal conservatism, protecting our border, shrinking our government, and abolishing our current tax system. Our one Representative, whether it be me, or someone else, can accomplish nothing on his/her own. We must fight, and fight hard across our state and country turn this tide.

Thank you Murray County for allowing me the time to meet with you. It was truly a pleasure.

Campaign Kickoff Speech

Below is the text of my campaign kickoff speech:

I am Jeremy Jones. Some consider me an unknown in this race. However, almost everyone that does know me, has said the same thing when they heard of my running, “I Am not surprised,” or “It’s about time!”
To understand why this is the common reaction, please allow me to tell you a little about myself.
First and foremost, you must understand, I am a Conservative. I am pro-life, and I am pro-gun rights. What else would you expect from a Republican candidate in Georgia! Therefore, let me tell you about my philosophy of our current problems.
Our government spending
No candidate in this race is going to say we are not spending enough, I think. However, what are they saying? What are they promising to bring back to the district? I may not know everything about politics, but I do know this. For us to “receive” something, every other district in America, all 434 of them, is getting something of comparable value. It is this type of ‘politicking” that has gotten us in this mess. The continuation of this type of “politicking” will un-doubt ably cause the problem to worsen, whether it be Republicans in control, or Democrats in control.
My one voice in congress is not going to change this. However, two things are certain; My voice WILL be heard, but most importantly, YOUR voice will be heard.
By electing me to congress, you are sending a message to all elected officials. The message is a pretty simple on, follow the rules!
Our federal government is a pretty simple one in the way it is to be run. The rules are in writing for all to see. It is called our Constitution. Right now, the federal government has control on every aspect of our lives. If we, as voters, do not demand politicians start following the rules, we should expect more of the same. What business is it of the federal government to control so much of our lives? Why do we, as citizens, continue to allow, and assign, our state’s sovereignty to 536 people in Washington? Every time we elect, or re-elect someone who promises, and delivers a grant for this park, or funding for that project, we perpetuate the problem.
Contrary to the thoughts of some, I am not naïve. In the best case scenario, the climate in DC is not going to change right away. The correction will be realized just as the problem was, slowly, though I will always fight for faster! How does congress work if Jeremy Jones had his way? Glad you asked!
First and foremost, I will never vote on an increase in spending. Our budget is beyond large and must be cut immediately. Any budget that is not smaller than what we currently have receives and automatic no vote from me, and I will fight for as many no votes as possible.
Second, as a plaque on my father’s wall once read, “He who controls the gold, controls the rules.” Right now 536 people in DC, through our tax system, control your gold, therefore, make your rules. It is time for an immediate elimination of our tax system. Our system is requiring almost half of the population to pay over 95% of all income taxes. Currently, the best alternative is “The Fair Tax,” however, I am open to other ideas, including simply eliminating the “temporary” withholding of taxes and require everyone to mail their own check each week. I am NOT for raising taxes, but I am for everyone paying something. Only by paying something will people start demanding the government spend less.
This brings me to my next point, business taxes. This topic will not be popular with our friends on the left, and maybe even some on the right. I am for eliminating every business income tax. In reality, I am for removing all business taxes. Many will say this is not a good idea, and businesses will just get richer on the backs of the employees. But no business owners will say that, for they know how untrue it is.
I do not know the best analogy to give for those that have not run a business, those who have not worried about making payroll, those that have worried about whether THEY would be paid this week, or will it be another week of all employees getting paid, but none for the owner. But I will try.
Imagine your family is a company. Every month you put a little money aside, but for the most part, you pay your mortgage or rent, your utilities, the braces for the kids and many other bills. Each month, somehow you manage to barely make it, sometimes you fall a little short. Imagine you get a 20% raise. Where does that money go? Unless you burn it in a fire, stuff it in a mattress, or eat it, there is nothing you can do with it that will not immediately benefit your family or others directly. You could pay off debt, which frees up monthly cash flow. You can save it in a bank account, which provides capital for other businesses to start or homes to be built. You could buy a new TV, which adds to the enjoyment of your family, not to mention the job for the sales person that sold it, the delivery person, etc., etc.
The same is true when businesses get a “raise” whether it by cutting costs, such as jobs, raising prices, which YOU the consumer must pay, or by having their taxes cut.
Cutting taxes for businesses does not sound like a glamorous topic, but it is key. As long as we continue to tax businesses at our obscene rates, we are stifling growth, we are stifling expansion, we are stifling job creation. But worst of all, we are stifling private sector spending. In our current tax system, and every legitimate alternative, eliminating taxes on businesses would increase the tax base, lower consumer costs of products, and increase the tax base, and tax revenue.
Spending.
Obviously, our government must spend money. The Constitution charges that it do so. But not only does it require spending, it also specifies upon what our money can be spent. A purist would say we need eliminate 100% of spending not permitted within our Constitution. As a goal, I agree. In reality, we are years, if not decades, from weaning ourselves off of this spending. For instance, we cannot simply eliminate all government spending on social security, though we must do something.
I could give example after example of wasteful spending. We all agree it exists, though some may differ on what is waste and what is not. But whatever you think, you must know this. As I said earlier, the project a candidate promises to your district will be paid for by a project you consider a waste in another district. It is this trading of projects that must end. This is the reason we must begin the process of stopping this trading. A simple start is to stop funding any and all new projects not specifically allowed by our Constitution. By stopping any new funding, we can start the process of defunding the ones already in place that have no place, or right, to be paid for by our federal tax dollars.
Finally, the issue I believe every candidate should have as a top priority, illegal immigration. As the words plainly state, it is illegal! For the most part, no new laws need to be enacted. We simply need to enforce existing laws. If the agencies in charge of such are under-funded, then cut budgets elsewhere to properly fund them. I am not for amnesty, I am not for businesses being burdened as de-facto INS agents. I am for sending any and all illegal residents out of our country. This problem is huge, and is getting worse. Both parties have failed us, it is now a matter of national security and sovereignty. Obviously, we must address the issue of border security. I know many will say we must secure the border before we can do anything else. There is certainly logic in this thinking, however, if our borders became air tight tomorrow, we would not have the personnel, equipment, or funding to begin the deportations. Therefore, while we are in the process of securing the borders, we must jump start our ability to handle the enormous caseload.
I have heard many reasons for the recent influx of illegal workers. Excuses from, “they are filing jobs that Americans won’t do,” or “It is easier to pay them cash than worry about all of the paperwork,” or “They work cheaper.” Most of the reasons I have heard are a direct result of the burden placed on businesses by our government. If we remove these burdens, we remove the incentive, thus the demand. If the demand for illegal’s is reduced, so are they.
Our road ahead is filled with challenges. The challenges are great, the solutions are tough. I enter this race knowing that I alone will accomplish nothing. I will rely on you, and I will rely on colleagues in Washington. As I said earlier, by electing me, you are sending a message to all 434 other congressmen and women, and 100 senators. I assure you, they will hear us, and they will listen. They will be reminded that, We The People, have had enough. No more elections based on the wealth of the candidate, no more elections based on his/her political connections. We are going to elect a citizen, to represent citizens, fight for citizens, and stand up for citizens. I will not go to Washington with the goal of being re-elected. I want to go to show the rest of the country, we will take our government back. We will start following the rules, we will reduce the tax burden, we will allow ALL citizens to take part in the process, and above all, it will be, Of the Citizen, By the Citizen, and For the Citizen. I am Jeremy Jones; I hope to earn your vote.

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