17 December 2011

Elected Officials

What I Want Them to Do

I’ve written on this before, but I am, to borrow a phrase from our beloved political elite, revising and extending my remarks.

Here’s what I want my elected Federal officials to do:

Substantially and actually reduce Federal spending immediately after the oath of office.  Immediately limit spending to less than revenue; substantially less.

Actually cut each years Federal spending by at least one percent of last years’ spending; regardless of inflation, new programs, growth of recipients, population growth, revenue increases, recession, depression or any other stupid reason.

Make it clear that all new legislation will be vetoed, unless there is a compelling national emergency, acknowledged by more than half of all citizens expressing the desire that a particular consensus solution be applied, the misery of which will assuredly to be shared equally by all.

Prohibit all new regulations.  Suspend all existing regulations, except those that apply to all citizens equally, pending a complete review of each for costs versus value.  Cancel by Executive Order, all regulations that cost more than their demonstrable value and are not constitutionally authorized for Federal Government.

Cancel by Executive Order, all obsolete regulations.

Veto all new laws that do not apply to all citizens equally; especially those exempting Congress, the President and any elected or appointed officials. 

Begin the repeal of all Congressional and Executive Branch exemptions to laws they’ve passed on everyone else.

Repeal all obsolete laws.

Immediately cancel all tax law that does not apply equally to all.  Revise all tax laws that allow for progressive tax rates.  Only allow one rate applied equally to all.  Immediately nullify all laws granting exemption, deduction, exclusion, subsides or transfer payment from or to tax filers, and grant only deductions for business or home improvements, carefully defined and equally available to all legal citizens.

Require all citizens to be prepared to provide proof of citizenship and carry it on their person at all times.

Veto all street, road, highway, river, mountain, lake, stream, ravine, rock or any other natural place name changes paid for from tax revenue, regardless of now nice or popular the dead person’s family is or was.

Eliminate any religious displays and any edifices to the dead on Federal Interstate Highways right-of-ways. 

Do not allow the installation of religious symbols, religious paraphernalia, or verbatim religious quotes from this day forward on taxpayers funded property or facilities.   

Reduce all entitlement payments by ten percent each year until they are demonstrably below the survival level, not counting help from others.  Then freeze them relative to the “Cost of Living” signified by the Consumer Price Index (existing, CPI) and Government Cost Index (new, calculation of total individual annual tax burden as a percentage of income).

Reconsider by national computerized referendum, if governments should be allowed to offer insurance for sale at all, given their monumental and historical miss-management and numerous defaults. 

Do not modify the “promised” and “paid for” levels of benefits by already compulsory participating citizens, like Social Security, Disability, Medicare, and Unemployment.  Change the contributions or benefit level for future participants. 

Create no new Federal benefit programs that are compulsory or with unpublicized opt-out provisions.  All new benefits must include widely advertised OPT-IN provisions equally available for all citizens and government officials.  Zero compulsory or mandatory contributions.  No everyone must be in, and you have to op-out or buy your way out.

If you want in, you pay in.  If you don't, no help for you later.

No one should ever be compelled to be in a socialist government benefit or insurance program from the beginning without their own personal request.

Any benefit program revenue deficiencies will be made up by more contributions or lower benefits for program participants only, no general tax revenue, loans or temporary funds transfers will be permitted, ever for any reason.

Limit Unemployment payments to a maximum of twenty six (26) weeks, period. 

Eliminate the ideas of subsides and tariffs, by all there various names and schemes.  They just shrink markets and penalized productive workers and industries under the guise of protecting jobs which will be lost to retaliation or market forces later.

Evolve quickly to enterprises producing goods and services better, faster, and cheaper than anyone else in the world.  Stop artificial protection and artificial punishment.

Labor Unions; repeal special treatment laws and tax exemptions for them.  They are not a religion, they are not educational, and they are not philanthropic.      

Phase out all subsides, all tariffs, all embargoes, all exemptions, and all Corporate and individual income tax deductions by ten (10) percent each year, beginning immediately after inauguration.  Allow tax exemptions for business expenses and equipment replacement, and likewise, home expenses, repairs and improvements for individuals.  

Phase out all Corporate and business taxes by ten (10) percent each year until they are zero, then prohibit taxes on businesses forever.  They are just passed on to consumers hidden in the price of goods and services.  Stop it.

Abandon income tax, in favor of a low National Sales Tax (NST) on all purchases, prepared or cooked food, homes, buildings, insurance, vehicles, drugs, medical services, clothes and all goods and services including elicit, illegal and black-market sales. 

No NST on raw unprepared foods or raw materials that will be consumed in their natural form or made into something else, whether used or traded for other goods, unless sold for money.  When sold the sale amount would be taxable.  If grown, produced and consumed or used by the originator, No National Sales Tax

Begin immediately closing all government organizations not authorized by the Constitution, including offices, commissions, boards, institutes, bureaus, and other organizations; and begin consolidating authorized functions in the few remaining departments.  Within three (3) years, no exceptions, have constitutionally unauthorized departments closed and authorized functions transferred. 

Withdraw nearly all combat and support troops from all overseas posts to within our boundaries.  Leave science, technology, medicine, philanthropic and training troops to help our allies and a few others in the most desperate need. 

Assign 175 thousand mixed services troops to Operation “Secure Borders”.  Begin retraining and redeploying 25% of Army, Navy, Air Force, and Marines for their new jobs preventing intrusions into our country.  They can do it, the Coast Guard already does. 

Continue Defense research and development at about half its current level; it’s essential.

Immediately begin reducing Foreign Aid.  Send humans, agricultural seed and science, or medicine; send help not money.  If they don’t want our help, don’t bribe them to be our friends.  Let them wallow in ignorance, poverty, corruption, famine and disease.

I want smaller, more efficient, much less intrusive, much less expensive Federal government focused on just the constitutional obligations the citizens require and have allowed, not running roughshod over the rights of states and our citizens.

12 December 2011

Our Children Can

Pray at School

There’s nothing preventing children from praying at school.  In fact, the constitution and several Supreme Court decisions guarantee the right of all citizens to pray anywhere they are in the United States.

I don’t how anyone anywhere could stop you, if you want to pray silently.  I think they would have to kill you to stop you, if you really wanted to pray out loud.

In the United States, the right to choose not to pray in conducted prayers is a protected right.  You always have the right to not believe and not participate, basically freedom from religion, and that has been upheld many times by the Supreme Court.

What can’t take place in Public Schools is the conscription of all those present lead by a designated person coercing all those gathered to recite in unison a particular religions prayer or mantra, be it Christian, Moslem, Buddhist, Hindu, Jewish or any other.

The Supreme Court has also apparently upheld that like minded students can willfully gather on their own at public facilities normally available for meeting purposes and conduct their own religious discussions and prayers, un-mandated, un-coerced or un-conscripted, just like any other groups or association that for any reason might request and schedule its use.

I think the basic reason is, these are public schools supported entirely by public monies, and the Constitution prohibits any laws “respecting an establishment of religion”.  Spending public money, or using the facilities and opportunity provided by public money to conscript those gathered to chant a Buddhist mantra well the prayer wheel spins, or roll out a carpet, kneel and bow toward Mecca reciting one of five daily prayers, or any other religious ceremony approved, accepted or rejected and under the possible threat of social distain, criticism, shame, banishment, or physical punishment, I believe should be and is prohibited. 

The religious indoctrination of children assembled for public education, I think must be prohibited.

We’ve already set aside in many tax-free havens with many places specifically for religion teachings, churches, synagogues, mosques, and many others plus many religious teaching schools and seminaries, mostly tax exempt. 

Those who wish to participate in or subject their children to the practices of some religious belief are guaranteed the right in this country to do so, to go there and participate without interference from the law, public authorities, other citizens, any persons or organizations.  Also, all citizens have the right to worship on property they own, rent or lease, just not on public property owned by all citizens regardless of their many different beliefs.  
Citizens also have the right to choose not to believe in, participate in, be coerced by, or conscripted into any religious beliefs whether they be in a God, or gods, the creator, or the Great Spirit, a Caterpillar, or the Great Pumpkin, or the absence of any of them.
Conduct worship ceremonies whenever you wish, just do it off of our public property.
US Constitution, Amendment I, (in part)
 “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof;…”

25 November 2011

I’m an American

I’m not anything hyphenated

Oh, I know it’s been popular for sometime for Black-Americans, Hispanic-Americans, Asian-American, Mexican-American, Arab-American, Muslim-American, Asian Pacific Islanders and Native-Americans to identify themselves and each other, and for many overly self-conscious social elitists to label people in a sensitive, caring, self-righteous way. 

I could be, I suppose, a Norwegian-American by choice like many who choose the part of their heritage they prefer.  In reality I’m three quarters German and one quarter Norwegian.  I must confess I had thought of it some years back when completing those optional race surveys attached to so many governmental forms.

It irritated me that of all organizations, the government was perpetuating the use of racial descriptors while proclaiming racial names inappropriate and loosely connected to hate speech.  

And being a fifth generation American I began identifying myself a Native American 15 years ago while in government service on forms with the race identifier option, and no signed declaration of truthfulness, without any qualms.  It occurs to me now that German-American or German-Norwegian-American would have been accurate and more in the spirit of these hyphenated times.

Recently in a telephone survey about California politics I was given the option to race identify at the end of the survey.  I had the surveyor repeat a long list of socially insensitive race identifiers a couple times.  To my continuing consternation about sixty percent of California’s population was lumped into one category; “White”.  It just didn’t seem politically or hyphenatedly correct enough to me.  So I told the interviewer an unhyphenated Native American without hesitation or a twinge of untruthfulness.

As if these absurdities aren’t enough, I’ve notice lately a kind of disclaimer race identifier like, non-Hispanic Black-American, non-Black Hispanic American, and non-Asian Pacific Islander, or maybe a non-Black African?

I was hoping that if anything good came from the passage of “Hate Speech” laws they would eliminate the use of race and ancestral nationality identifiers, but alas, it’s only gotten worse. 

We recently visited the African continent; Botswana, Zambia, Zimbabwe and South Africa for three weeks and in cities and in the bush, meeting and talking with many Africans, I never once heard any of them referred to as Black Africans or White Africans, and there are quite a number of other variations like Arab Africans and Asian Africans.  There are noticeable numbers of fourth and fifth generation White-Africans, but not once in three weeks did I anyone refer to themselves or others with any hyphenated race names.

It should be abundantly clear by now that I find it utterly ridiculous and completely unnecessary to race identify people.  And I’m not sure that nationality identifiers are needed, but if they are, I’m pretty sure that only one nationality name is necessary.  You either are a US citizen, or you are from some other nation, like Mexico, Cuba, Panama, Bolivia, Australia, Egypt, Japan, China, Peru, United Kingdom, France, India or Canada or of some other nation, whatever your country of birth is, or wherever you are recognized as a citizen.  Or if you wish, you are from a continent, like North American, South American, Asian, European, African, Australian, or perhaps a region like Middle Eastern or Central American, or however you would like to be geographically attached. 

You can only be born in one place, therefore;

I do not believe you should be anything hyphenated!

18 November 2011

Thomas Jefferson

Born, 13 April 1743, Shadwell, Virginia
Died, 4 July 1826 (age 83) Charlottesville, Virginia

A friend sent me this summary of one this nations founding fathers and a life time favorite of mine.  I have not verified all that's listed here, but much of it is published in commonly believed written history, and easily believed by me to be largely factual.

He was a man of enormous contributions to our nations founding, and a man of great intellect, wisdom, compassion, and thoughtfulness.  I doubt he ever undertook anything without considerable forethought.  He was a very remarkable man who started learning very early in life and never stopped.

At 5, began studying under his cousin's tutor.
At 9, studied Latin, Greek and French.
At 14, studied classical literature and additional languages.
At 16, entered the College of William and Mary.
At 19, studied Law for 5 years starting under George Wythe.
At 23, started his own law practice.
At 25, was elected to the Virginia House of Burgesses.
At 31, wrote the widely circulated "Summary View of the Rights of British America  and retired from his law practice.
At 32, was a Delegate to the Second Continental Congress.
At 33, wrote the Declaration of Independence.
At 33, took three years to revise Virginia's legal code and wrote a Public Education bill and a statute for Religious Freedom.
At 36, was elected the second Governor of Virginia succeeding Patrick Henry.
At 40, served in Congress for two years.
At 41, was the American minister to France and negotiated commercial treaties with European nations along with Ben Franklin and John Adams.
At 46, served as the first Secretary of State under George Washington.
At 53, served as Vice President and was elected president of the American Philosophical Society.
At 55, drafted the Kentucky Resolutions and became the active head of Republican Party.
At 57, was elected the third president of the United States .
At 60, obtained the Louisiana Purchase doubling the nation's size.
At 61, was elected to a second term as President.
At 65, retired to Monticello .
At 80, helped President Monroe shape the Monroe Doctrine.
At 81, almost single-handedly created the University of Virginia and served as its first president.
At 83, died on the 50th anniversary of the Signing of the Declaration of Independence along with John Adams

He studied the previously failed attempts at government. He understood actual history, the nature of God, his laws and the nature of man more so than most understand today.  A voice from the past to lead us into the future.

John F. Kennedy held a dinner in the white House for a group of the brightest minds in the nation at that time. He made this statement, "This is perhaps the assembly of the most intelligence ever to gather at one time in the White House with the exception of when Thomas Jefferson dined alone."

"When we get piled upon one another in large cities, as in Europe, we shall become as corrupt as Europe ." -- Thomas Jefferson

"The democracy will cease to exist when you take away from those who are willing to work and give to those who would not."-- Thomas Jefferson

"It is incumbent on every generation to pay its own debts as it goes. A principle which if acted on would save one-half the wars of the world."-- Thomas Jefferson

"I predict future happiness for Americans if they can prevent the government from wasting the labors of the people under the pretense of taking care of them." -- Thomas Jefferson

"My reading of history convinces me that most bad government results from too much government." -- Thomas Jefferson

"No free man shall ever be debarred the use of arms." -- Thomas Jefferson

"The strongest reason for the people to retain the right to keep and bear arms is, as a last resort, to protect themselves against tyranny in government."-- Thomas Jefferson

"The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants." -- Thomas Jefferson

"To compel a man to subsidize with his taxes the propagation of ideas which he disbelieves and abhors is sinful and tyrannical."-- Thomas Jefferson

Thomas Jefferson said in 1802, "I believe that banking institutions are more dangerous to our liberties than standing armies.  If the American people ever allow private banks to control the issue of their currency, first by inflation, then by deflation, the banks and corporations that will grow up around the banks will deprive the people of all property - until their children wake-up homeless on the continent their fathers conquered."

I doubt he intended to be considered a great prophet, but his prophecies ring eerily true today.  

17 November 2011

National Defense

Starts within Our Borders

Post all future ground forces within our borders.  Immediately begin worldwide drawdown of ground forces posted on the soil of foreign countries, including embassy guards, with a target of zero foreign ground forces in ten years.  Allow training assignments and mutual aid agreements to continue, terminating in twenty years.

Substantially reduce air and sea forces actively engaged other than training outside US and territorial waters and airspace.

Recall all guard and military police units and begin border and boundary enforcement training for immediate national and territorial boundary enforcement deployment.

Begin decommissioning and disposal by sale all suitable facilities and equipment with the goal of zero deployment in foreign countries in ten years. 

Maintain deployable Rapid Deployment Strike force capability by sea, air and ground with minimum strategic equipment and weapons deposits at fewer than 24 locations worldwide.

In other words, change a portion of the military mission to actual National Defense, sealing our borders to intrusion for any purpose from incursions, unlawful trafficking, to illegal immigration by land, sea or air.

Stop all excursions into the affairs of other nations or countermanding lawlessness not a direct threat to overwhelming national security and commercial interests.  Secure the safety of our citizens during travel for tourism and commerce, and secure the transit of US goods or services and their necessary assets against potential interruption or unlawful seizure. 

Otherwise, focus on staying at home protecting our homeland and our people.

The savings could be as many as three hundred thousand active duty military and more than fifty thousand civilians, and hundreds of billions of dollars more in equipment and support costs annually.      

Use the savings only to begin paying down our ridiculously excessive National debt.

Our nation’s future security, prosperity and freedom depend upon it.

Don’t wait, start tomorrow!  

27 October 2011

New York City and Washington DC

I Don't Care What They Do

Do these people understand anything about the other 200 million people (counting unlawful immigrants) that don’t live in the metropolitan Northeast or a large coastal city? 

I doubt it.  Nothing that happens there is important to rest of us.  It’s not our financial center.  It’s not the cultural or social center of anything that matters, even occasionally, to most of us.

Nor, should we let Northeast Media personalities (TV, Newspaper, magazine and Internet) tell us what to believe, feel, think or do, and for whom we should vote or why.  

I don’t think so and here’s why.  They are not the reason for anything important to our inland citizens.  Those people have almost nothing in common with the rest of American’s residents.  Most of us don’t share their dreams or hold their same values, or live their kinds of lives, or care what celebrities think or do, don’t find anything remotely interesting or amusing about New York City, or think everything worth seeing is within walking distance of our flat, whatever that is.

For instance, personal vehicular travel in the inland west; some county seats are more than 150 miles from our homes.  Some families live 50 miles from the closest paved road.  Many technicians must drive hundreds of miles each day to get to work sites.  Most have never been to New York City and have no reason to ever go, and never will; and have no interest in Washington DC aside from visiting monuments and museums.  And don’t care what New Yorkers think, do or want.  Many wouldn’t go to a Broadway Play if they were there and it was free.  About half have never been on mass transit.  Most will live their entire life having never taken a train to and from work, and wouldn’t give up their truck, car, motorcycle, boat, plane, bicycle, or horse even if there was a subway station within hundreds of miles.  

In my case we live in the middle of a desert, so everything must be brought or collected from great distances; food, clothing, medicine, all consumer products by truck, car, train, or plane.  The closest mass transit station is 105 miles away, the closest airport 90 miles away, and our county seat is 94 miles away.  My county is roughly the size of the whole State of Delaware.  It is 150 miles to Las Vegas or Los Angeles.  Every commodity requires fueled delivery, even our gasoline and diesel fuel are mostly delivered by trucks.  There is no subway station, no mass transit, no park and ride; personal transportation, our own trucks and cars are essential.  Annual driving of more than 24,000 miles is required for the most conservative life styles.  Shopping for goods, tools or appliances, or medical care can easily involve a 300 mile round trip.  A special lunch date or a movie, can easily reach 200 miles, or 500 miles on a weekend for entertainment, amusement or sporting events.   

In my little town, homeless people and transients don’t urinate and defecate in our doorways.  Whores don’t work our street corners.  Big time drug dealers and violent street crime are rare.  Bribery, corruption and extortion rarely occur.  Crimes occur, but police brutality hasn’t been alleged in decades.  Two homicides in the same year, it must certainly have been transients.  We straddle what must be the nation’s busiest Interstate highway with more than 55 million vehicles per year and most of our crime comes to us on their way elsewhere.

Abundant, low priced fuel is essential.  Start drilling and pumping our nations abundant fuels, and stop taxing the life blood out of our inland towns and rural citizens.

And someday, when there is an efficient, practical alternative to the current fossil fuels, we’ll buy it, without subsidy, tax or tariff.

In the mean time, stop acting like everyone in the country lives and thinks like New York social celebrities and a few thousand of their closest friends, or would ever want to.   

19 October 2011

Border Fence

In the middle of the Rio Grande

I favor much more secure borders surrounding our country. 

I like the idea of constructing more physical barriers that do their intended jobs when the authorities are not present. 

Building great walls (fences) physical and technological, I think is a worthy idea and a great public works project and a massive employment program.

Placing more trained and equipped enforcement personnel in strategic locations of likely encroachment with the tools, training and authority to stop illegal entry and facilitate the start of the legal immigration process.

As much as I would like to see great monumental barriers erected for border security, and it certainly can be accomplished easily by our great nation, there are a few vexing dilemma. 

Let’s look at the land border between the great state of Texas and the great nation of Mexico.  It is defined mostly by the Rio Grande River channel and the center of its lakes, about 683 miles from El Paso to the Gulf of Mexico east of Matamoros, Mexico.  Let’s ignore the water route via the Gulf, it is quite complex and expensive to build and maintain a physical fence at sea, but it is possible.  The sky is another matter for later.

Even the most exclusionary fences and walls can be breeched; over, under or through, so don’t be na├»ve, structure alone does not exclude intruders, they do deter many; people, weapons and technology are always necessary to prevent access by ground.

Another simple but vexing problem is where to physically construct the fence.  The actual boundary is in the middle of the river water, or river channel with occasional water, or through the approximate center of lakes.  Like the sea, rivers and lakes pose construction and maintenance difficulties.  The choice quickly becomes their side of the river or our side?

Their side would require an elaborate treaty agreement for placement and maintenance that would have to be done by the US.  Mexico is not likely to agree.

Placement on our side would require giving up access to some popular places for recreation, commerce and natural resource extraction.

Both choices could eliminate natural wildlife migration, although few larger species that migrate across the river.   

I think the only sensible choice is to give up the whole river channel to Mexico in many places and fence to the middle of the river and lakes in other places with various physical devices that prevent passage on, in or below water; and use abundant human enforcement personnel and sophisticated surveillance and interdiction technology where river, lake or land barriers are too complicated.     

Turning briefly to the Gulf Coast and inland waterways; surveillance, enforcement and interdiction technology and trained and equipped personnel patrolling from land, sea and air, and human intelligence on the ground in the US and Mexico will always be necessary.

The sky’s are another matter; much more technology and human surveillance and patrol are necessary, many low level and low speed manned and unmanned flight devices are succeeding day or night at many places along the Rio Grande boundary, over water in the Gulf, and over remote lands in West Texas.

I’m sure the Northern land and water boundaries have similar problems, but I’m not as familiar with them.  It was mentioned on TV news today that unmanned drones have been used in conjunction with ground forces effectively up north.  I believe too few physical barriers are in place there as well.

Our nation’s long coastline and immense inter-coastal waterways are a gigantic problem.  Barriers that exclude intruders also restrict citizen access to waterways, fishing, beaches, boating, and nature recreation.  Increases in human enforcement and technology, with some added physical barriers in selected, remote, low or no use locations, and much more patrolling are urgently need. 

Millions of short term jobs could be created constructing barriers and installing technology.  Hundreds of thousands of jobs training and patrolling the land, water and air at and over our borders could be supported in the long term.

First job, keep them out.  Next job, find the ones already here.  Next, get them out or get them started on citizenship. 

Just like effective barriers, deportation of 20 million illegal immigrants can be done. 

How long we’ve tolerated our mistakes doesn’t matter.  If they cannot become citizens, start shipping them to their homeland tomorrow.

If they have children born here, allow the child to stay with other citizens, or accompany their parents out of the country until they are adults.

All of these things can and should be done.  All that is needed is the will to begin.    


Want All Debt Forgiven

How greedy and selfish can you get?  Their personal interest, thinly shrouded in “forgive everyone’s debt” is the height of hypocrisy.  Everyone?  Really?  The guy who owns the park where they are denying its use to others; the bankrupt city that borrowed union pension funds and widows retirements; the banks, insurance companies, and vehicle manufacturers forced to borrow money from the taxpayers; the foundations, governments, hospitals, and nonprofits that need loaned money paid back to help people during times of disaster. 

Is that all the debt they want forgiven? 

Or, is it just the debt they agreed to and lack the honor, energy and commitment to pay back?

Is it the debts that governments owe us in benefits, the debts schools owe their teachers, the debts that children owe their parents, maybe it’s the debts citizens owe their veterans, police, hospitals, schools, parks, communities and country’s.

Is that the debts they want us to forget?  Or, do they just want to forget their debts?

They are so phony; if you forgave their credit card debt, their college loan, their car, apartment, furniture, utility bills, income taxes, medical and food bills, they would shut up and be gone by nightfall, not caring for one second about your debts or those of the ignorant, poor and starving peoples of the world; or for that matter, the sick, the elderly, or the injured desperately waiting for entitlement programs or philanthropic organizations.

Their personal interests are all that matters to them.  Just like the selfish greed they claim are the worst motives of businesses and the wealthy.

They are ignorant, selfish and inconsiderate, and yes, greedy.  I often wonder why they are not picketing lawyers, entertainers, athletes, or politicians, or others who take out much more than they have put in.  Instead they would rob widows who invested their savings so they could care for themselves in old age.

Grow up, learn a few things, get a job, go to work, honor your commitments, pay your bills, save some money, pay your taxes, contribute to worthy causes; then when have some extra money, loan it out.  When it’s too late for you, or you’re too tired or too sick to earn it back again.

Maybe you will feel like forgiving all that debt?

I doubt it.              

19 September 2011

US Currency in Circulation

What is it Worth?

The Federal Reserve reports Money Stock Measures in an annual report.

M1 is constructed by summing currency, traveler's checks, demand deposits, and Other Checkable Deposits, each seasonally adjusted separately.

M1 seems to be about 2.006 trillion as of July 2011.1

M2 is M1 plus deposits, transfers and potential demands (summarized for simplicity).  Seasonally adjusted M2 is constructed by summing savings deposits, small-denomination time deposits, and retail money funds, each seasonally adjusted separately, and adding this result to seasonally adjusted M1.1

M2 seems to be about 9.313 trillion as of July 2011.1

Size of the annual economy, GDP US estimated for 2010 was $14.5 trillion.2

Size of the current governments National Debt is $14.7 trillion,3 recent annual deficits are about $1.3 trillion, and total 2010 Federal tax revenue $2.162 trillion.4

The value of US currency is determined by the total dollars in circulations plus, deposits and other short term demands compared to the value of US goods services and the value of known physical resources, and an assessment of the unused portion of the value of the “full faith and credit of the United States”.

So, it should be a calculation of the net worth; assets including government owned lands, (not National parks or privately owned lands) minus liabilities of the USA compared to total currency available for circulation, so this might be the equation:

     US net worth in dollars
______________________ = Actual Value of Currency
    Face value of Currency

Liabilities ought to include future obligations like probable Social Security and Medicare shortfalls; clean up costs of environmental contamination caused by government activities like military ranges, radiation, and science research waste sites, and other future costs of undisclosed programs currently underway.

My estimate of other long term and unrecognized future liabilities promised by the government is $56 trillion.  My rough guess of the current value of all government lands and other assets is about 75 percent of that, or about $42 trillion.

Do we have more money out than we are worth?  Before this brief inquiry my uninformed opinion was we probable had more money printed than we are worth.

My slightly informed opinion is; we have way more money in circulation than all of the US governments resources minus all liabilities are worth.  The US net worth appears to be slightly negative, maybe minus - $.8 trillion.

Meaning I guess, our US dollar is worth around minus - 11 cents.  If that’s right, we owe $1.11 for each dollar.

If we cashed out, we would owe 11 percent more, that’s really sad.

Maybe we shouldn’t have any money in circulation.

1. Federal Reserve Board H.6 Release, Money Stock Measures, August 25, 2011

Fix Social Security,

It’s Easy

I’m a Social Security Retirement Supplement recipient.  I paid in for 50 years.  I know from life experiences that spending more than you have, or can get, is a mistake.  Foolish promises were made originally, and silly decisions and practices have evolved since, that need correction.  Like any errant behavior, Social Security’s mistaken and exaggerated promises must now be fixed.  The good news is; it’s easy. 

Pay lower benefit amounts for retirement and lower disability benefits; begin reducing them a little each year starting tomorrow.

No Cost of Living Adjustment.  No "Means Testing".  If you paid in, you get a retirement supplemental payment; just a little lower and a little later than you expected.  No one should expect the government to keep its word, it never has before; ask the Indians or Black farmers.

If the pay out exceeds inflow, cut the benefit until it eventually doesn’t, but don’t you dare cut me because I planned for my retirement and have the means to sustain myself.  

You took my money for years.  I want what you promised me.

You forced me by conscription to pay in since I was 12 years old.  Don’t cheat me because I suspected you were lying about your ability to keep your promises.  I listened to your actuaries, apparently you did not.  I understood that the power of compound interest would be destroyed if you used the principal.  So did you, but you took the money for other government spending anyway.  You have never paid back that 22 billion or the lost interest, and I knew you never would. 

So, I planned ahead and saved enough so when you failed to keep your promises I could sustain myself, if you didn’t destroy the value of my savings by deliberate inflation.  So far I’ve guessed right, you have done it wrong at every opportunity.  Now, you are trying once again to destroy the value of my savings.  I will do everything in my power to defeat you.  And if you cut the benefits that I paid for in advance, because I thought ahead, “means testing” I will work until my last breath to defeat all of you.

Get it fixed, or get out of town.  The Gray Rebellion will come for you.

03 September 2011

Global Climate Manipulation

A Ridiculous Idea

I’ve been a weather and temperature observer in the Mojave Desert for over fifty years.  I watched the attempts to predict both by the various weather and climate organizations.  They are unable predict rain or snow events with minimum accuracy, even in recent years.  They do little better at forecasting temperatures aside from fairly accurate highs and lows in areas where they have abundant modern instruments.  Where they have infrequent stations, like the inland west, their record is also poor, often bested by local farmers, ranchers and school children.

Their ability to forecast extreme weather events like hurricanes, tornados or heavy rains and flooding is very poor. 

Their ability to do anything about the weather is non-existent.  Understanding climate, on a regional scale is thin, if it exists.  Understanding climate on a global scale is non-existent. 

For the past twenty years one of my jobs for the Department of Defense was to analyze and report on hundreds of scientific studies of the atmospheric physics of low and mid level air contaminants, natural and manmade.  More than half of the studies were seriously flawed or just bad science.  More than half of the remaining ones were inconclusive.  Most of the remainder drew no meaningful conclusions about global temperature trends.  None attempted to understand the complexities of airborne moisture, or the mechanism for cloud formation or its complex impact of ground temperatures even regionally, let alone globally.  

These people, these meteorologists, these atmospheric physicists are who we would be counting on to attempt to manipulate temperatures worldwide.

Are these really the people you want mucking around with global climate at the direction of government employees, self appointed zealots, or elected non-scientists?  

Don’t get me wrong, the unnecessary contamination of our atmosphere is to be avoided.  But the human contributions to greenhouse gases by all human activity is very low, probably 6 to 12 percent, the rest occurs naturally.  If all humans ceased to exist, virtually no detectable changes in global temperatures would occur for centuries, other than those of cosmic solar and planetary cycles and natural planet processes.  Incidentally, it is still questionable if greenhouse gases contribute to warming, or if warming increases green house gas releases.

Do you really want anyone, let alone those mentioned above at the direction of our government or the world community, mucking around with features of our atmosphere or processes they don’t understand well enough yet to even include them in their predictive models and algorithms?  Their models don’t work well enough yet to re-predict the measured temperatures recorded by reliable instruments of the past. 

If they can’t model the past, I don’t want them changing anything without several more decades of actual scientific study.  I certainly don’t want global changes attempted based on data from one Siberian tree’s rings or atmospheric measurements that NASA has collected but are not authorized to release.

That’s not how science works.  There is very little science that is thought of as settled and even it is subject to constant verification.  If there was “settled science”, we probably would have never heard of Copernicus, Galileo, Newton, Einstein, Tesla, or many others now famous.  They all questioned well established thought, some paid high prices to later be proven more accurate. 

Global temperature change mechanisms and causes are not “settled science”; nor are they likely to be in the lifetime of anyone alive today.

Much less Charlatanism and hyperbole, and much more scientific study, are required.   


16 August 2011

Starve This Beast

We’ll never shrink the beast by letting it gorge itself on our frail, weak carcasses.

The beast is our obese government.  Its grown fat consuming even borrowed money from strangers we may never be able to pay it back.  All programs and departments must be cut, some much more than others, but all none the less.

So far, no spending cuts have occurred, but they scream like an already stuck hog.  It needs to happen very soon. 

I mean actual cut backs from a previous year’s spending.  Not just a slow down in the rate of growth.  That’s what elected politicians call cuts.  They mean slight cuts in the assumed rate of spending growth.

I mean actual cut backs in the cost of government programs and actual shrinking of the role and size of  Federal government.

And, actual reductions in both the rate of individual taxation and the gross revenue available to the Federal government; and the elimination of business taxes which are just passed along to citizens in higher prices for goods and services.

We have tried to get them to control spending, but they clearly cannot.

We tried recently to limit their ability to borrow more money, they show little interest in paying back, but we failed. 

A few have proposed a Balanced Budget Amendment, but even if it ever passed it will simply allow tax and revenue increases and no actual spending cuts greater than the planned growth rate.

Fewer still have proposed a Spending Limit Amendment.  It could solve some of the problems, but it has no support even among elected fiscal conservatives in congress.

We must starve the beast until it looses its flab and much of its considerable girth.  Only if they cannot get their hands on our money, or the authority to borrow ridiculous sums from anyone; will this slovenly beast lose weight.  

We, the people, in order to preserve our more perfect union, must not fail to starve this beast.

14 August 2011

Looting, Vandalism, Arson,

Mayhem, Assault, and Theft

These are not just expressions of civil unrest, or improper behavior to be scorned.  These rioters must not be coddled as some barometer of disappointment and unrest.

These are crimes; crimes against humanity. 

Businesses are not nameless faceless entities.  People created all of the things of their communities; businesses, buildings, stores, fixtures, and merchandise, are all human creations, as are the jobs of the people who work there. 

People, not nameless faceless moguls, invested their savings and effort in those businesses hoping they would succeed; hoping their family, friends and neighbors would work there or shop there for things they want or need.     

They did not work, save and buy property and facilities to become the human victims of criminals, thieves, ruffians and arsonists. 

The retired folks that depend upon pensions from their lifetime of work did nothing to deserve this treatment. 

The widow, whose husband poured his life and savings into a business to provide for his wife and children after his death, did nothing to deserve this criminal assault. 

The neighborhood family that needs work close to their home to provide food clothes, and medicine for their growing family doesn’t need their stores looted and burned down by morons.

The neighborhood children didn’t ask for the trauma and unrest of mayhem and assault, nor do they need to see crime tolerated or glamorized and going unpunished as a life example.

Those who commit crimes against property thinking they harm no one they know or will see, are foolishly and stupidly wrong; and they accomplish nothing useful or constructive, except drawing attention to their self induced idiocy and misery.

All crimes have human victims.  Property crimes are no exception; the human victims are just less well known by the criminal.

They could accomplish so much more by learning to write and speak about their poverty and ignorance eloquently.  And then maybe, they could get a meaningful job or make useful contributions to their community or our society.

We can only hope.

Robbing, burning, looting, beating, and maiming just destroy them and their innocent victims.

If they are too stupid or too ignorant to avoid wonton mindless destruction, then they should immediately and strenuously be dealt with as the heinous criminals and the scourges of humanity that they are.       

Not tolerated as poor, unfortunate, youth just misbehaving in public, acting out of anxiety, frustration and disadvantage because in their ignorance they know no better

Imprison them for their crimes.  They will either figure it out, or remain incarcerated, ignorant and poor until they do. 

Build more prisons, keep putting criminals in there until you have them all, and then guard them well. 

Leave them there to wallow in misery until it dawns on them that they are obligated to avoid criminality and expected to make constructive contributions to their families, neighbors and themselves.  

30 July 2011

"You May All Go To Hell,

And I Will Go To Texas.”

David Crockett 
17 August 1786 – 6 March 1836

A Brief Essay

Crockett’s narrative autobiography of his childhood, early adult life, courtships and marriages, his part in the Indian War, homesteading, hunting bears and politics read somewhat tediously, but I will summarize a time line and highlight parts I found most interesting.

David Crockett was born in what is now Greene County, Tennessee near Limestone; at the time of his birth known as the State of Franklin.  A replica of his birthplace cabin stands in Davy Crockett Birthplace State Park on the Nolichucky River.

David Crockett was the fifth of nine children of John and Rebecca (Hawkins) Crockett, named after his paternal grandfather, who was killed in 1777 by Indians led by Dragging Canoe.  Crockett's father was one of the Overmountain Men who fought in American Revolutionary War.  The Crockett’s moved to Morristown, Tennessee in the 1790s and built a tavern there, a museum stands on the site.

At 8 years old, he told his father he wanted to hunt with a rifle.  His father said he could not afford to waste ammunition on "a boy's missed shots".  Crockett promised to make every shot count and began hunting with his older brothers.  After being sent to school, he dropped out to run away from home to avoid a beating at the hands of his father when he was 13.  Crockett said he had "whupped the tar" out of a school bully on his first day in school.  Crockett decided not to return to school for a few days, fearing the bully and friends, and the teacher's punishment.  The teacher eventually wrote Crockett's father asking why his son did not attend class.  Crockett told his father the truth.  Angry that family trade goods exchanged for education had gone to waste, he refused to listen.  Crockett ran away from home and spent three years working and roaming, visiting most of the towns and villages in Tennessee and learning his skills as a backwoodsman, hunter and trapper.

Near his 16th birthday Crockett returned home.  Before he had left, his father had opened a tavern on the road between Knoxville, Tennessee and Abingdon, Virginia.  Crockett stopped in for a meal unannounced.  First to recognize him was his older sister Betsy who cried, "Here is my lost brother!  Look!  He is home!"  The family was delighted and he was welcomed back.  His father was in debt, so he hired Davy out to Abraham Wilson to settle a debt of $36.  Later, Crockett generously worked off a $40 debt to John Kennedy.  In return, John Crockett told his son he was free to leave.  Davy went to work again for Kennedy, this time working for himself and returning to school.

Shortly afterwards, Crockett became engaged to Margaret Elder and, although the marriage never took place, the contract of marriage dated October 21, 1805 has been preserved by the Dandridge, Tennessee, courthouse.  It is well documented that Crockett's bride-to-be changed her mind and married someone else.  Heartbroken at age 19, Crockett decided he was "only born for hardships, misery, and disappointment".

On August 16, 1806, one day before his 20th birthday, Crockett married Mary (Polly) Finley in Jefferson County, Tennessee.  They had two sons: John Wesley Crockett was born July 10, 1807, followed by William Finley Crockett (born 1809).  They also had a daughter, Margaret Finley (Polly) Crockett in 1812.  As wild game ran scarce they moved to Franklin County, Tennessee in 1813.  He named the new settlement on Beans Creek "Kentuck”.  After his wife Polly's death, Crockett married a widow named Elizabeth Patton in 1815; they had three children: Robert, Rebecca and Matilda.

On September 24, 1813, Crockett joined the Second Regiment of Tennessee Volunteer Mounted Riflemen for an initial term of 60 days and served under Colonel John Coffee in the Creek War, marching south into present day Alabama and taking an active part in the fighting.  Made a scout because of his abilities as a hunter, trapper, and woodsman, Crockett was known to have supported the starving troops during the Creek War with the game he hunted.  He was discharged from service on March 27, 1814.  He was elected Lieutenant Colonel of the Fifty-seventh Regiment of Tennessee Militia on March 27, 1818.

On September 17, 1821, Crockett was elected to the Committee of Propositions and Grievances.  He lost his first run for Congress in 1824, but ran again.  In 1826 he was elected to the House of Representatives as a Jacksonian.  As a Congressman, Crockett supported the rights of squatters, who were barred from buying land in the West without already owning property.  He opposed President Andrew Jackson's Indian Removal Act, and his opposition to Jackson caused his defeat when he ran for re-election in 1830; however, he won when he ran again in 1832.  As he explained, "I bark at no man's bid.  I will never come and go, and fetch and carry, at the whistle of the great man in the White House no matter who he is.”

In 1834, his autobiography, A Narrative of the Life of David Crockett Written by Himself was published.  Crockett went east to promote the book and was narrowly defeated for re-election.    He said, "I told the people of my district that I would serve them as faithfully as I had done; but if not ... you may all go to hell, and I will go to Texas.”  Following his defeat, he did just that.

Much of the above timeline was summarized and paraphrased from Wikipedia.

Of interest to me in Crockett’s description of preparation to leave for Texas he says, “I took my fox skin cap and headed of Texas”, notably not a coon skin cap.

By December, 1834, Crockett was writing to friends about moving to Texas if Van Buren were elected President.  The next year he discussed with his friend Benjamin McCulloch raising a company of volunteers to take to Texas in the expectation that a revolution was imminent.  After the election results became known in August, his departure to Texas was delayed by a court appearance in October as co-executor of his father-in-law’s estate, and finally left his home near Rutherford, West Tennessee on Nov. 1, 1835, with three other men to explore Texas.

From his home he traveled to Jackson, arriving with 30 well-armed men, where he gave a speech from the steps of the Madison County courthouse, and then rode southwest to Bolivar, where he spent the night at the residence of Dr. Calvin Jones, once again drawing crowds who sent them off the next morning.  He arrived in Memphis in the second week of November with a much-diminished company, and ferried over the Mississippi River, and continued his journey on horseback through Arkansas.

Below a quote from his account of his journey to Texas:

   “Some, men it seems, take a pride in saying a great deal about nothing — like windmills, their tongues must be going whether they have any grist to grind or not.  This is all very well in Congress,”

During his journey to Texas, he stopped in Little Rock.  A commotion at a tavern caught his attention and he joined in.  Soon he was recognized and invited to a community dinner in his honor.  First a shooting match was purposed with their best marksman.  The challenger shot first and hit near the bull’s-eye.  Crockett shot “Old Betsey” next and hit the bull’s-eye dead center at 100 yards.  The challenger begged a second try.  Crockett was reluctant, but eventually gave in.  Their marksman shot and hit the bull’s-eye; Crockett fired and missed the entire target.  Begging for a closer inspection Crockett secretly inserted a second ball in the original hole and called their attention claiming to have hit the same dead center hole.  After disassembling the target the second shot in the same hole was discovered and Crockett was proclaimed the winner.  At the dinner that followed Crockett repeated his famous quote to his former political cronies stated slightly differently saying, “They might go to hell, and I would go to Texas”. 

Continuing on his journey to Texas, he encountered and enlisted a couple companions.  First a flimflam artist he called “Thimblerig”, who was bilking boat travelers on the Red River out of Fulton with the thimble and pea game, and later while in Nacogdoches a frontiersman poet who he called “Bee Hunter”.  They journeyed together on horseback toward San Antonio along with the “Old Pirate” and the “Indian Hunter”; acquaintances made along the way. 
He arrived in Nacogdoches, Texas, in early January 1836.  On January 14, 1836, Crockett and 65 other men signed an oath before Judge John Forbes to the Provisional Government of Texas for six months: "I have taken the oath of government and have enrolled my name as a volunteer and will set out for the Rio Grande in a few days with the volunteers from the United States”.  Each man was promised about 4,600 acres of land as payment.  He also sold two rifles to Colonel O'Neal for $60.  After his death there was a claim from his heirs for $57.50.  In 1854 his widow received a payment certificate for $24.00 from Texas

Separated from his companions while hunting buffalo and lost, his mustang faked exhaustion and escaped him; Crockett chose to sleep in a tree belonging to a cougar which he killed in close combat with his knife.  In the morning he shot a goose to cook and his camp was discovered by a band of Comanche.  They befriended him, provided a new mustang, and agreed to escort him to the Canada River at the trail to Bexar (San Antonio).  He was reunited there with Thimblerig. 

On February 6, Crockett and five men rode into San Antonio de Bexar and camped outside the town.  They were later greeted by James Bowie and Antonio Menchaca, and taken to the home of Don Erasmo Seguin.

Crockett writes in his journal:

   “I write this on the nineteenth of February, 1836 at San Antonio.  We are all in high spirits, though we are rather short of provisions, for men who have appetites that could digest any thing but oppression; but no matter, we have prospect of soon getting our bellies full of fighting, and that is victuals and drink to a true patriot any day.”

   February 22.  The Mexicans, about sixteen hundred strong, with their President Santa Anna at their head, aided by Generals Almonte, Cos, Sesma, and Castrillon, are within two leagues of Bexar.

   February 23.  Early this morning the enemy came in sight, marching in regular order, and displaying their strength to the greatest advantage, in order to strike us with terror.  But that was no go; they’ll find that they have to do with men who will never lay down their arms as long as they can stand on their legs.  We held a short council of war, and, finding that we should be completely surrounded, and overwhelmed by numbers, if we remained in the town, we concluded to withdraw to the fortress of Alamo, and defend it to the last extremity.  We accordingly filed off, in good order.

   February 24.  The enemy began firing from about 350 yards.  An Indian scout arrived in the evening with 30 reinforcements from Gonzales.

   February 25.  The Mexican’s began firing early morning.  They continue to take positions to surround the Alamo.

   February 26.  Colonel Bowie has taken sick remaining in bed until noon.  Crockett indicates that Bowie is worth a dozen common men in a situation like theirs.

   February 27.  The cannonading began early this morning, and ten bombs were thrown into the fort, but fortunately exploded without doing any mischief.  So far it has been a sort of tempest in a teapot; not unlike a pitched battle in the Hall of Congress where the parties array their forces, make fearful demonstrations on both sides, then fire away with loud sounding speeches, which contain about as much meaning as the report of a howitzer charged with a blank cartridge.

   February 28.  Last night our hunters brought in some corn and hogs, and had a brush with a scout from the enemy beyond gun-shot of the fort.  They put the scout to flight and got in without injury.  They bring accounts that the settlers are flying in all quarters, in dismay, leaving their possessions to the mercy of the ruthless invader,

   February 29.  Before daybreak we saw General Sesma leave his camp with a large body of cavalry and infantry, and move off in the direction of Goliad.  We think that he must have received news of Colonel Fanning’s coming to our relief.

   March 1.  The enemy’s forces have been increasing in numbers daily, notwithstanding they have already lost about three hundred in the several assaults they have made upon us…..  we had but three bushels of corn in the garrison, but have since found eighty bushels in a deserted house…..  Colonel Bowie’s illness still continues, but he manages to crawl from his bed every day, that his comrades may see him.  His presence alone is a tower of strength.— The enemy becomes more daring as his numbers increase.

   March 2.  This day the delegates meet in general convention, at the town of Washington, to frame our Declaration of Independence.  That the sacred instrument may never be trampled on the by the children of those who have freely shed their blood to establish it, is the sincere wish of David Crockett.

A very interesting comment to me, given the events of recent times.

   March 3.  We have given over all hopes of receiving assistance from Goliad or Refugio.  Colonel Travis harangued the garrison, and concluded by exhorting them, in case the enemy should carry the fort, to fight to the last gasp, and render their victory even more serious to them than to us.

   March 4.  Shells have been falling into the fort like hail during the day, but without effect.  About dusk, in the evening, we observed a man running toward the fort, pursued by about a dozen Mexican cavalry.  The Bee Hunter immediately knew him to be the Old Pirate who had gone to Goliad, and, calling to the two hunters, he sallied out of the fort to the relief of the old man, who was hard pressed.  I followed close after—  

The Old Pirate turned and stood his ground killing one and engaging the others in hand to hand combat.  By the time the Bee Hunter (who Col. Travis called Honest Ned) Crockett and the scouts reached him, the enemy had “fled like sparrows.”  The party finds themselves cut off from retreat by a party of cavalry. 

—We are all of the same mind.  “Go ahead!” cried I, and they shouted, “Go ahead, Colonel!”  We dashed among them, and a bloody conflict ensued.  They were about twenty in number, and they stood their ground.  After the fight had continued about five minutes, a detachment was seen issuing from the fort to our relief, and the Mexicans scampered off, leaving eight of their comrades dead upon the field.  But we did not escape unscathed, for both the Pirate and the Bee Hunter were mortally wounded, and I received a sabre cut across the forehead. 

   March 5.  Pop, pop, pop!  Bom, bom, bom!  throughout the day.—No time for memorandums now.—Go ahead!—Liberty and independence for ever!
[Here ends Col. Crockett’s manuscript.]

The following excerpts were written and included at publishing with Crockett’s journal by a supposed, but unnamed, eyewitness.

  The hand is cold that wrote the foregoing pages, and it devolves upon another to record the subsequent events.  Before daybreak, on the 6th of March, the Alamo was assaulted by the whole force of the Mexican army, commanded by Santa Anna in person.  The battle was desperate until daylight, when only six men belonging to the Texian garrison were found alive.  They were instantly surrounded, and ordered, by General Castrillon, to surrender, which they did under a promise of his protection, finding that resistance any longer would be madness.  Colonel Crockett was of the number.  He stood alone in an angle of the fort, the barrel of his shattered rifle in his right hand, in his left his huge Bowie knife dripping blood.  There was a frightful gash across his forehead, while around him there was a complete barrier of about twenty Mexicans, lying pell mell,—

   General Castrillon was brave and not cruel, and disposed to save the prisoners.  He marched them up to that part of the fort where stood Santa Anna and his murderous crew.  The steady, fearless step, and undaunted tread of Colonel Crockett on this occasion, together with the bold demeanour of the hardy veteran, had a powerful effect on all present.  Nothing daunted, he marched up boldly in front of Santa Anna, and looked him sternly in the face, while Castrillon addressed “his excellency,”—“Sir, here are six prisoners I have taken alive; how shall I dispose of them?”  Santa Anna looked at Castrillon fiercely, flew into a violent rage, and replied, “Have I not told you before how to dispose of them?  Why do you bring them to me?”  At the same time his brave soldiers plunged their swords into the bosoms of the defenceless prisoners.  Colonel Crockett, seeing the act of treachery, instantly sprang like a tiger at the ruffian chief, but before he could reach him a dozen swords were sheathed in his indomitable heart; and he fell and died without a groan, a frown on his brow and smile of scorn and defiance on his lips.

Crockett was brutally murdered 5 months before his 50th birthday.

   The conduct of Colonel Bowie was characteristic to the last.  When the fort was carried he was sick in bed.  He had also one of the murderous butcher knives which bears his name.  Lying in bed he discharged his pistols and gun, and with each discharge brought down an enemy.  So intimidated were the Mexicans by this act of desperate and cool bravery, that they dared not approach him, but shot him from the door; and as the cowards approached his bed, over the dead bodies of there companions, the dying Bowie, nerving himself for a last blow, plunged his knife into the heart of his nearest foe at the same instant that he expired.

The gallant Colonel Travis fought as if determined to verify his prediction, that he make a victory more serious than defeat to the enemy.  He fell from the rampart, mortally wounded, into the fort; and his musket fell forward among the foe, who were scaling the wall.  After a few minutes he recovered sufficiently to sit up, when the Mexican officer who led that party attempted to cut his head off with his saber.  The dying hero, with a death grasp, drew his sword and plunged it into the body of his antagonist, and both together sank into the arms of death.

Only two survivors are mentioned in this account.

One woman, Mrs. Dickinson, and a negro of Col. Travis, were the only persons whose lives were spared.  The bodies of the slain were then thrown into a mass in the centre of the Alamo, and burned.  The loss of the Mexicans in storming the place was not less than eight hundred killed and mortally wounded, making their losses since the first assault more than fifteen hundred.  This immense slaughter, by so small a number, can only be accounted for by the fact of the Texians having five or six guns to each man in the fort.  Immediately after the capture Santa Anna sent Mrs. Dickinson and the servant to General Houston, accompanied by a Mexican with a flag, offering the Texians peace and general amnesty, if they would lay down their arms and submit to his government.  General Houston’s reply was, “True sir, you have succeeded in killing some of our brave men, but the Texians are not yet conquered.”  He sent him a copy of the Declaration of Independence recently agreed on. 

David Crockett was a remarkable man, patriot, frontiersman, marksman, hunter, and congressman; an honest and fair man who spoke only the truth as he saw it, and a man widely respected by Native Americans and most all who knew him; even if they did not agreed with him. 

"Make sure your are right, then go ahead."

Honorable deaths by very brave Americans.

Works Cited

Crockett, David. Col. Crockett’s Exploits and Adventures in Texas. Philadelphia: T.K. and P.G. Collins, 1837 

Crockett, David. A Narrative of the Life of David Crockett. Philadelphia:
E.L. Carey and A. Hart, Boston: Allen and Ticknor, 1834