"All the news that's fit to print" —New York Times

We the People...

ON OUR LOIS LANES

Printed in the NCT on August 19, 2012:

'Stimulus' really an albatross

Wall Street Journal columnist Daniel Henninger commented recently that the president's $825 billion stimulus package "went up the chimney" ("The Supreme Court lands in Oz," April 4, http://online.wsj.com).

It's actually worse than that. During three years of this presidency, the House has passed a budget every year, in accordance with its legal mandate to do so. The Senate has flagrantly dismissed its duty by not passing a budget and not even allowing the subject to come to the floor for discussion.

Most people know that the Senate is led by the aging-but-crafty Democrat, Harry Reid. So what might be the motive behind the madness? When a budget is not passed, government expenditures continue to be met by stop-gap measures, such as the "continuing resolution." The net effect of this ploy is that the supposedly one-time stimulus package gets woven into the baseline and quietly becomes an additional part of America's annual expenditures.

Therefore, the "stimulus" is not a one-time deal. It is an ongoing albatross. American government has lost its constitutional mooring. So long as it remains adrift in a "living, breathing" expanding ocean of debt, heavy burdens fall upon our children and grandchildren.

Dear citizen, please consider this and help do something about it.

Pat Mendenhall

Escondido

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Printed in the NCT on August 12, 2012:

General plan aims to take away our cars

Remember the proverbial "crab in the pot"? They don't feel the heat until it's too late. If one crab tries to climb out, they drag him back down.

This is a suitable metaphor for the Escondido general plan, which can be summed up as follows: You will be discouraged until it is impossible to live in the outskirts and the backcountry. City life will become the only viable option. Your cars, which are your primary means of freedom, will be incentivized away from you by unrepaired roads and increased gas taxes, coupled with beautiful new bike lanes, walking lanes and train stations.

Remember, government and force are synonymous. One way or another, by what they do and what they refuse to do, temporary politicians will have their way. The Escondido plan, like the "Obamacare" bill that nobody read, is purposefully long and dull so that most citizens won't read it. But if you will go online and find it, and fast-forward to page I-10 and read about the plan's intentions to "work effectively to reduce automobile trips in the community," maybe you will start smelling a rat.

If the automobile represents freedom to you, the Escondido general plan is not your friend. It is your cauldron.

Pat Mendenhall

Escondido

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Printed in the NCT on June 13, 2012:

Teach values of liberty, property rights to children

Toward the end of a lively evening at a Vista City Council meeting, a local elementary school teacher stepped up to the microphone to opine. For three full minutes, the teacher railed against the notion of private property rights. She lashed out with unveiled disdain toward the citizens who had spoken before her, citizens who were making a plea to the council for respect and consideration regarding their property.

The teacher had more than an "edge." She had vehemence. Figuratively speaking, she spat on the word "property" with self-certain moral superiority. The scene was surreal. It caused me to have flashbacks of my own college education.

In the late 1980s, in San Diego State University's liberal studies teachers curriculum, I sat through two semester of the required U.S. history course. Unbeknownst to me, the author of the primary text for those classes was a self-avowed communist. For decades, Howard Zinn was among the most widely used authors in liberal studies curricula across America. The first tenet of the Communist Manifesto calls for the abolition of private property.

Zinn's book was an indoctrination that gave a distorted view of America. Dear citizen, individual liberty and private property rights are the cornerstone of freedom. Somehow, we must teach these values to our children.

Pat Mendenhall

Escondido

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Printed in the NCT on June 7, 2012:

Where's Obama's apology?

One Memorial Day, I attended the ceremony at Oak Hill Cemetery to honor our veterans who lay down their lives so that we may have the freedoms that we are privileged to enjoy every day of our lives here in America.

After the invocation and the flag salute, City Council member Marie Waldron started us off with wonderful tribute to our veterans and what the true meaning of Memorial Day was all about. Then a man (91 years young) made his way to the side of the stage where he began to regale us with a beautiful rendition of "That Tattered Old Flag." It brought tears to many in attendance. I left there with such pride in my heart.

Than l went home and turned on my television and our president was giving his Memorial Day speech. As l listened, l started to get angry. He was scolding us for not treating Vietnam veterans properly when they returned home after war.

Where does the president get off scolding anybody? I ask him, what exactly did he think he was doing back in those days? Marching for Marxism, smoking dope and doing blow (his words)? Where is his apology to our vets?

Elizabeth Maher

Escondido

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Printed in the NCT on May 11, 2012:

America must reinvent itself

California has long been known as the harbinger of futuristic America. It was true in California's ascent and it seems true once again as we haplessly witness our great state and our beloved America slipping into descent.

But is descent truly inevitable? California has gone to the brink before and, in the nick of time, reinvented itself. So has America.

Yes, the shifting demographics seem daunting. The inflow of welfare recipients is as robust as the exodus of young, entrepreneurial, upwardly mobile families. That exodus is likely to intensify so long as "progressives" continue to dominate the California legislature. The American dream isn't dead. It's just moving from California to Texas. It's just slipping like sand through the fingers of wrong-minded politicians and unelected bureaucrats.

People are so overwhelmed, so stunned to face the grim reality that they don't know what to do. When you don't know what to do, commit to doing something ---- one thing ---- wholeheartedly. Start with the new cap-and-trade law, Assembly Bill 32, which is raising energy costs, driving out manufacturing and benefiting only the few who understand how the trading works. If your assembly member voted for AB 32, give your very best effort in the coming months to replace him.

Pat Mendenhall

Escondido

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Printed in the NCT on May 2, 2012:

Americans long for freedom and autos

As our current city officials try to envision a futuristic Escondido, grappling with state mandates around carbon emissions and transportation, may the practicality of good, old-fashioned American common sense prevail. That will take citizen involvement.

Dear citizen, don't think you cannot make a difference. We are making a difference countrywide in countless ways that never make the 6 o'clock news. Here are some things to know: American homeowners are posting their research on YouTube. They are informing us about the unholy alliances that are quietly tucked in the details of city plans across the nation. Compare it to common sense: a futuristic Escondido that wants to attract high-paying, high-tech industry does not start with low-income high rises but rather, with magnetic economic policies that can make Escondido the gem of the southland.

What are those policies? Low taxes, unfettered building permits and good roads broad enough to embrace expanding business and populations. Are these things the priority of city planning? No. Americans still hold the single-family dwelling dear ---- not high-rises. We still hold our cars dear, too ----- not trains.

Plan all you want, but trains that run through a "planned corridor" will be rejected because the longing for freedom that burns in the American heart will insist on the automobile.

Pat Mendenhall

Escondido

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Printed in the NCT on April 15, 2012:

Escondido leaders should fight Agenda 21

In the nick of time, news about Agenda 21 is gaining national infamy. On April 9, radio guy Mark Levin described the nightmare that is becoming California's reality. On the same day, Wendell Cox wrote about it in the Wall Street Journal ("California declares war on suburbia," April 9, http://online.wsj.com).

We call it "Agenda 21." They called it "sustainable development." The phrases are synonymous. Is God's hand still on America? Can local leaders see the light before it's too late? A European-style blueprint that condenses people more and more tightly into designated areas, and by way of zoning laws, regulations and fees, makes the peripheral landscape untenable for normal human function. A plan that discourages cars and therefore individual liberty is neither good for growth nor desired by Californians.

Ironically, the current plan hurts the poor, elderly and disabled most of all. Citizens recognize that great effort has been invested into plan development. But alternative solutions do exist. State mandates can be met while growth is expanded and individual liberty preserved. Escondido can lead America, turning the shackles of state mandate into opportunity. Even as the clock ticks and bears down on our mayor and city council to make a decision, Escondido leaders can go down in history as true champions who saw the light in the final hour and had the courage to make changes.

Pat Mendenhall

Escondido

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Printed in the NCT on April 5, 2012:

Freedom isn't free with Agenda 21

Ever since the March 6 city planning meeting, there have been articles and letters to the editor around the issue of Agenda 21, the United Nations' blueprint for futuristic America.

The 40-chapter U.N. document was created in 1992, so in many ways, the future is now. So I Googled around and soon, I was watching a 9-minute movie on my computer, "Agenda 21 for Dummies" (available on YouTube). Can epiphany happen in 9 minutes? I actually think I "get it."

Under presidential executive order, with no congressional debate, Agenda 21 took root in America in the early 1990s. Slowly and methodically, local plans of action morphed to it, reflecting the vision. Massive amounts of federal grant money flowed in to "sustainable developers" across America. This unfolding happened gradually but persistently, and I believe that city officials down the line have been innocent ---- that is, they have always had good intentions.

Sometimes it's just hard to see the forest from the trees. Nobody feels connected to the United Nations. Yet the International Council for Local Environmental Initiatives, the local action arm of Agenda 21, wove itself into local activities. Typically, they offer to pay for the expensive environmental impact reports and other freebies.

I have three words to say about that: Freedom isn't free.

Pat Mendenhall

Escondido

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Printed in the NCT on March 27, 2012:

If problems are different, so should solutions be

Technology is amazing. One click taps us into a wealth of information, such as "American Conservative University," which is where I encountered Dr. Reid Bryson.

Dr. Bryson is called "the father of scientific climatology" ("Local scientist calls global warming theory 'hooey'," June 18, 2007, www.debunkers.org). Dr. Bryson considers global warming to be "a bunch of hooey."

Drs. Richard Lindzen, Sallie Baliunas and John Christy agree. In fact, 31,000 scientists have signed their names to a concurring document (www.petitionproject.org/signers_by_last_name.php?run=B). Yet man's effect on climate is at the core of city planning across America.

So why should Escondidans pay attention? Here is why: If our problems are different than originally assumed, then so would our solutions be. Instead of broadening the sidewalks and narrowing the streets in an effort to discourage cars, we would be broadening the streets and modernizing the highways to accommodate futuristic automobiles. Already, the new cars are getting 60 miles per gallon. By 2030, we will probably be Cruisin' Grand in hydrogen-driven vehicles.

International influence such as United Nations Agenda 21 is now bearing down upon nearly every aspect of American life, including city planning. So get involved. Read the city plans. Have a vision and voice of your own and share it, as I will share mine now. An American equation: Man plus car equals personal freedom.

Pat Mendenhall

Escondido 

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Printed in the NCT on March 24, 2012:

We must stop our own government

Our country has lost its way. Taxes and regulation destroy jobs. We are being taxed and regulated to death, and we can't scream too loud or too long.

We must stop our own government before it is too late. The tea party has it right: No more taxes. The administration has it wrong about the economy. ... To date, the U.S. debt is around $49,000 per person and growing.

President Obama acts like he doesn't know the damage he's doing to the middle class. We pay more and more and get less and less. Corporations should not be taxed at all. Corporations create capital and jobs. The latest propaganda supposedly lowers corporate taxes from 35 to 32 percent, but international business would be taxed double, both there and here.

Most of the middle class are retirees living off their investments. The proposed tax on dividends nearly triples. That would kill both the stock market and their retirement income.

We need to let competition and the free market bring us jobs again. Get informed and tell others.

Mary Calgaro

Escondido

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Printed in the NCT on March 19, 2012:

Column was a cheap shot at thoughtful citizens

I am responding to Rusty Harris' recent column, "Barbed wire and Agenda 21," March 11: I agree with him that a strong measure of "Robert's Rules of Order" might have helped the rowdiness that occurred at a recent Escondido city planning meeting.

Nevertheless, it was a cheap shot on his part to marginalize citizens who are aware of the potential downside in adopting the United Nations' plan for American cities. Mr. Harris alluded to "New World Order" and "unmarked black helicopters." These are straw men, purposefully and unkindly meant to demean thoughtful citizens. Nobody who is aware of the potential pitfalls in U.N. Agenda 21 thinks that individual city council members or city planners are stealthily and maliciously conspiring with international saboteurs to purposefully harm America.

Rather, the U.N. plan seems to be the path of least resistance so long as a lack of citizen awareness, vision and input persists. City planners are in a tough place. They are under a deadline and need to comply with new state laws as they grapple with futuristic visioning. But even under pressure, they seem open to being inspired to think outside the box and really be creative in capturing the essence of Escondido if Escondidians would only contemplate their own vision and share it.

Pat Mendenhall

Escondido

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Printed in the NCT on March 12, 2012:

As 'Obamacare' goes, so goes the election

From a population of over 300 million people, one and only one person may decide the outcome of the 2012 presidential election: Justice Anthony Kennedy.

In March, the Supreme Court will rule on the constitutionality of the controversial new law called "Obamacare." Four conservative judges will express with eloquence the reasons why "Obamacare" is an overreach on the part of federal power grabbers. Four liberal judges will attempt to legislate from the bench by defending the president's right to assert dictatorial power over the American people.

One man ---- Justice Kennedy ----- will cast the deciding vote on our freedoms. My theory is, as goes "Obamacare," so goes the presidential election. If true, it provokes the contemplation: How many Americans realize that our founding documents were carefully constructed to have the judicial branch be the weakest, not the strongest, arm of government?

"Men in Black: How the Supreme Court Is Destroying America" is a book that chronicles important Supreme Court decisions that have changed our country forever ---- both for better and for worse. In essence, its message is this: When judges follow the Constitution, we are safe. When they vote according to their personal persuasion, we are unsafe. It's as simple as that. And as always, liberty or tyranny lie in the balance.

Pat Mendenhall

Escondido

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Printed in the NCT on March 5, 2012:

A simple approach to babies

Re: "Birth control a virtue, not a sin," by Margaret McCown Liles, Feb. 23: It's easy to recognize the drone of die-hard leftists when they start off a sentence with, "Scientists believe ... " What usually follows is an abdication of personal responsibility and a deferment of common sense to the worshiped omnipotence of science.

But science is not omnipotent. Some science is very powerfully convincing ---- gravity, for instance. Other science is full of holes: Anthropogenic climate change, for instance. Thomas Sowell, a leading American economist, questions the wisdom of intellectuals who are trying to ramrod the size and shape of our society in his best-selling book, "Intellectuals and Society." He says that the only product of "the intelligentsia" is ideas.

An engineer will stand or fall by the quality of a tangible, testable product. But all the intellectuals ever offer is ideas. So they keep talking, saying nothing, as if they can spin a virtual reality from a computer model. Perhaps it is the thin air of erudite assumptions that makes Margaret McCowan Liles' critiques of everything from George W. Bush to babies so full of nothing.

I'll take a simple approach to babies today: May good people have lots of them. May bad people have none. And may America continue to be blessed with amazing little wonders.

Pat Mendenhall

Escondido

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Printed in the NCT on March 1, 2012:

Birth control is a 'virtue'?

As I read Margaret McCown Liles' letter from Feb. 23, I wondered whether she knew what the word "virtue" meant. I decided maybe I should refresh her memory.

According to the the dictionary, "virtue" is power, manly strength or courage, moral excellence, bravery, daring spirit, valor, energy, strength, integrity of character, chastity, purity or virginity.

Could she please tell me how she can define birth control as a virtue? Does she consider "power," "manly strength," or is perhaps "courage" what it takes to kill an unborn child? Because when I was taught Sex 101 in junior high school, I learned that every month, my uterus released an egg and that egg was a baby waiting to be fertilized, and by using birth control, I was taking away that baby's chance at life.

Doesn't sound too much like "moral excellence" or "integrity of character" to me. I believe the Ten Commandments says, "Thou shalt not kill." Maybe "virtue" wasn't exactly the word she was looking for? I'm just saying.

Elizabeth Maher

Escondido

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Printed in the NCT on February 26, 2012:

Government too big for its britches

James Madison: "You must first enable the government to control the governed; and in the next place oblige it to control itself."

Does anybody remember HAL from the science fiction thriller, "2001: A Space Odyssey"? HAL was a computer that got dangerously out of control. Our government is starting to remind me of HAL.

We now have government officials inspecting preschoolers' lunch boxes to make sure that moms have packed them properly. The South Carolina story is worth noting because it almost forces thoughtful citizens to contemplate the size and scope of government. Does anybody wonder what the pay and perks are for preschoolers' lunch-box inspectors and how the money confiscated from taxpayers to pay for this could be better used in the private sector?

Can we all agree yet that our government has gotten too big for its britches? The Constitution was explicitly created for the twofold purpose: to establish one national government and to control that government by deliberately enumerating its powers. Dear citizen, join me in insisting that our government respect the Constitution.

Reject the notion of a "living, breathing" Constitution that morphs with whims of the times. In these times, HAL, the federal government, is out of control.

Pat Mendenhall

Escondido

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Printed in the NCT on February 16, 2012:

Think for yourself

Government-funded scientific studies are trying to crown the man-made global warming theory king. They want to declare it final and unarguable.

That is not science. Science is never unarguable and never proves anything for sure. A scientific theory assumes heightened status as attempts to refute it fail. In the case of man-made global warming, government-funded studies based on computer models have led to a particular conclusion: that the Earth is warming and that humans have caused it.

But what if all that funding has an agenda? And what if they are wrong? Has our national government done any serious funding to challenge the assumptions? No. Yet cities across the country are implementing International Council for Local Environmental Initiatives guidelines and weighty new state laws based on what may be a flawed and biased theory. Haven't we heard this song before? Government creates the problem and then steps in like Superman to "fix" it?

The ICLEI recommended master plan that is making cities across our beloved America start to look analogous to the "Stepford Wives" is something that ought to be alarming.

Dear citizen, go to City Council meetings, learn about the United Nations agenda for America and do the most American thing you can do: Think for yourself.

Pat Mendenhall

Escondido

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Printed in the NCT on December 30, 2011:

What are the important things in life?

In the mad rush of the after-"Christ"mas shopping, adults, acting like animals, caused a stampede, each trying to buy a pair of the 1969 remake of Air Jordans (for those of you who don't know what Air Jordans are, you may know them as old-fashioned, high-top sneakers).

My question to these over-zealous shoppers is this: Will you be waiting in line overnight to be the very first person to vote on Election Day? Somehow, I don't think the answer will be yes. However, just check out a country such as Iraq, which, after years of living under a brutally oppressive dictator, suddenly has the privilege to cast a vote to elect a leader to guide them in their newly won freedom.

After hours of waiting in line in the hot desert sun, they proudly display their "purple-tipped fingers" to show they voted. Then ask yourself, when is the last time you took advantage of your time on Election Day to go to the polls and cast your vote, something, as Americans, we have had the privilege of doing for over 200 years and many of us just take it for granted.

In fact, many of us just shrug it off, saying, "My vote doesn't count anyway."

I'm just saying.

Elizabeth Maher

Escondido

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Printed in the NCT on December 9, 2011:

Words are powerful

Words are powerful. Words create. Words form, as well as inform, our world.

The left wants strong and stronger and ever increasingly powerful central government. The right wants government to respect the enumerated powers defined in the Constitution. It's really that simple. The rest is all noise.

Righties outnumber lefties, but the left has almost full control of the media and makes a daily and relentless bid for your mind with their words. I am not saying, listen to me. I am saying, seek another perspective and make up your own mind. ...

I pay for their "free" National Public Radio through taxes, but I also pay willingly for subscription radio that comes without commercials on podcasts. ...

Dear citizen, the forest is hard to see from the midst of the trees. Seek another perspective; make up your own mind. The American idea is at stake, and still the last best hope of earth.

Pat Mendenhall

Escondido

Pat's original submission to the NCT:

Words are powerful. Words create. Words form as well as inform our world. The Left wants strong and stronger and ever increasingly powerful central government. The Right wants government to respect the enumerated powers defined in the Constitution. It’s really that simple. The rest is all noise. Righties outnumber Lefties by 2 to 1 but the Left has almost full control of the media and makes a daily and relentless bid for your mind. I am not saying, listen to me. I am saying, seek another perspective and make up your own mind. There is a DVD available called, AGENDA: Grinding America Down. You can get more from that than what I can write here now. I pay for your “free” NPR through taxes but I also pay willingly for subscription radio that comes without commercials on podcasts. For those of you who don’t want to pay $5 a month for an expanded view, there is the American Conservative University podcast and the Mark Levin podcast, both FREE from the websites and also through iTunes. Dear Citizen, the forest is hard to see from the midst of the trees. Seek another perspective make up your own mind. The American idea is at stake, and still the last best hope of earth.

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Printed in the NCT on December 1, 2011:

Has 'Christ'-mas come to this?

Has "Christ"-mas come to this? Shootings! Pepper spray! Children being trampled! Sounds like a flash mob? No, this is Black Friday, the beginning of the 2011 "Christ"-mas season. Sure is a nice way to show our children the true meaning of "Christ"-mas.

We wonder what happened to this past generation of children. Not only can we thank our public school system for becoming so politically correct that they never leave room for morals, simply teaching right from wrong and the difference between love and hate, but they see their own parents act like animals during a season that should only be about love.

When I was a child, we were poor. At "Christ"-mas, my parents would take us window shopping, where we would show them what we were going to ask Santa for. There was the Betsy Wetsy doll, the first Barbie doll, the doll that cried real tears, Matchbox cars and GI Joes. Then, they would take us to see Santa and we would secretly give him our lists.

On "Christ"-mas Eve, we would go to church for midnight service, after which we would hit the bed until 6. On "Christ"-mas morning, there would be obligatory socks and underwear and maybe one or two of our wishes under the tree. Life was simple then.

Elizabeth Maher

Escondido

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Printed in the NCT on November 13, 2011:

Be grateful for country

There's a lot of talk lately about the top 1 percent, as if they were an entrenched class of bad guys who ought to be punished for bad motives. Hmmm.

In 1973, Steve Jobs was in the bottom 1 percent of income-earners, but 10 years later, he was in the top 1 percent. In 2000, Mark Zuckerberg was in the bottom 1 percent, and by 2008, he was in the top. That says something about the fluidity of these statistics and the greatness of America.

In America, anyone with a vision can pursue it, and with hard work and persistence, step into it and make it real. Most people who are in the bottom 1 percent have elevated out of it by the next census. Many people who are in the top 1 percent have only a one-year tenure there. There will always be a top and a bottom 1 percent, but they will not usually be the same people.

To buy into the propaganda of class warfare and take the bait to hate the rich is, as an American, an act of self-loathing. Americans strive for the upgrade and most of us want to be rich. Most of us do improve our circumstances over time. Let us remember that and be grateful every day for the exceptional country that provides us all with opportunity.

Pat Mendenhall

Escondido

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Printed in the NCT on October 27, 2011:

Tea party is not Occupy Wall Street

Occupy Wall Street is eating better than cake; try salmon, cream cheese and bagels.

The tea party is definitely not Occupy Wall Street. Those of us who consider ourselves tea partiers take responsibility for our lives. We hold down jobs, even if only for minimum wage. We love our country. We respect our military. We do not disrespect people or the property where we hold an event. We would never expect anyone to clean up after us.

At every event I ever attended, we left the location cleaner than when we got there. We aren't paid by anyone just so we can show we have more bodies to push our agenda. We are just as frustrated with corruption as OWS is. Ironically, OWS says the big bad banks and Wall Street are in the pockets of the GOP. Guess who financed President Obama's campaign? Those big bad bankers, Wall Street and the unions. Check the facts.

Yes, I am the tea party, not Republican or Democrat. I believe in limited government, personal responsibility and the free market this country was founded on. I said no to bank bailouts. I watched as those same banks, Wall Street and the media embraced Obama and nothing was said about that.

Elizabeth Maher

Escondido

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Printed in the NCT on October 18, 2011:

Saving America

"Money is the root of all evil."

"Run for your life from any man who tells you that money is evil. That sentence is the leper's bell of an approaching looter." This was Ayn Rand's prophetic quote about the importance of money and the fact that "money is the root of all good."

President Obama stated, "I do think at a certain point you've made enough money." What a profound statement. Woodrow Wilson's progressive agenda is coming to fruition.

Obama has taken control of our banking system, our auto industry, and our health care. He has been around the world apologizing for America's arrogance, bowing to our enemies and snubbing our long-time allies. America is becoming the butt of the world's jokes.

Daddy used to scream at the liberal, left-wing, mainstream media. We dismissed him as crazy. I can no longer sit by while Obama tramples on our Constitution. I must make my voice heard. As patriots, we must stop this redefining of America. If we stand idly by as the progressive socialists get more aggressive, we will find ourselves falling head-first into the United Nation's push for a one-world order.

Our freedoms come from God, not the government.

Elizabeth Maher

Escondido

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Printed in the NCT on October 8, 2011:

The importance, impact of the bond market

The bond market is so incomprehensibly huge that any dislocation there would have stunning ramifications for everyone. The bond market is to the stock market what the Jolly Green Giant is to an ant. It's huge. So the bond market plays an important role in all of our lives, even those who distance themselves from Wall Street with utter disdain.

Up through the Clinton years, the bond market served as a "free market" restraint on government spending. It is the primary reason why "Hillarycare" could not pass. The bond market sniffed out the real cost of "Hillarycare" and rates started to rise, warning danger. No matter what you heard on the 6 o'clock news, it was the bond market, not the Washington wizards, that put Hillary Clinton's Pandora back in the box.\

So when you hear tea party patriots criticizing Ben Bernanke for all but destroying the ability of markets to restrain government spending, they are aware of this background and the danger it poses to civil society. So who benefits? Bernanke's friends - the too-big-to-fail Goldman Sachses of the world who make commissions on every bond traded. Folks, the marriage of "banksters" to government is an unholy alliance that none of us should sanction.

Pat Mendenhall

Escondido

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Printed in the NCT on September 29, 2011:

An American awakening

I stood in awe on that fateful day of the Rick Santelli eruption. On television, a mundane bond update transformed spontaneously into a powerful expression of what ordinary citizens were feeling. I found myself clapping and cheering. Little did I know that all across America, other ordinary citizens, frustrated with the ineptitude of Washington and the wanton carelessness of both parties with our hard-earned money and our children's future, were clapping and cheering alongside me. Santelli was shown again that night. All over America, there was a spontaneous response, an American awakening.

San Diego had no idea what New York was doing, but by April 15, tea party rallies had sprung up across the country, and the tea party movement was born. Its citizenry reflected the essence of the American idea: e pluribus unum ---- from the many, one. Men and women of all ages, means, colors and lineages gathered to share an energy rising. The core of that energy was a passionate love of America, an innate certainty of her goodness and a sinking feeling that something had gone awry in our country.

Our common ground lay in a deep respect for the Constitution and a commitment to restore America to its core values: e pluribus unum, liberty and in God we trust.

Pat Mendenhall

member, North County Conservatives

Escondido

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Printed in the NCT on September 27, 2011:

Where's the logic in blaming tea party?

Margaret McCown Liles wrote recently (Sept. 19), taking incoherent aim at "tea party" folks, blaming us for everything from the Standard & Poor's downgrade to Texas executions. She selectively quotes an S&P statement. Conveniently, she left out ... where the S&P "didn't assign blame to either the White House or congressional Republicans" ("Downgrade controversy began with single phone call," Aug. 6, http://online.wsj.com). Instead, the S&P cited an "aging U.S. population and health care costs that will outpace inflation in the next decade."

These are quite different issues. Think it through, good citizen. Couple "health care costs" with "aging population" and what comes to mind? Medicare! Health care costs have risen, not declined, since the implementation of "Obamacare." Medicare has been diminished ---- actually, seriously wounded ---- because of "Obamacare." Since the tea parties were opposed to "Obamacare" and opposed to stealing money from Medicare to pay for "Obamacare," and opposed to Ben Bernanke printing more money, thus causing inflation, I am still wondering about the logic Ms. Liles uses to blame tea parties.

Tea party is an acronym for "taxed enough already." The essence of the tea party is to restore constitutional principles of limited government and a sound currency. I don't think that's what Ms. Liles had in mind when she referred to our name as an "original sobriquet," but what did she mean by that anyway?

Pat Mendenhall

Escondido

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Page last updated on 08/23/12