The Nitwit Party is alive and doing well


Has anyone ever counted the attorneys, businesspersons, accountants and other highly educated persons in State Capitols and Washington, DC? Whatever the total number, it seems there are not enough.

Why can't all of these geniuses keep their State and the good ole USA out of the proverbial Pickle Barrel?

Why can’t they get our illegal alien and border security under control? 

Why can’t they get to the bottom of Benghazi, the IRS scandal and so many other scandals?

Why do we keep hearing about these keepers and protectors of the law and the Constitution having ethics and legal issues?

Why do these experts continue adding to our economic mess instead of balancing the budget or at least getting it under control?

Why do the States and Washington DC continue “polishing their noses” instead of working to polish our embarrassing image around the world?  

Why can’t they assist parents and teachers in educating our kids instead of throwing up roadblocks year after year?

The answer is not they are Republican or Democrat. Being a Rino, Dino, or whatever has nothing to do with their incompetence. 

The real problem is there is a secret political party in this country called The Nitwit Party. 

Webster defines a nitwit as being a scatterbrained or stupid person. A booby, cuckoo, ding-a-ling, dingbat, dipstick or doofus. 


Nitwits think their diplomas and resumes' prove they are smart and believe they are always     right. But they just do not get it. 

They believe "government" knows the best way to educate our children. (guess they are trying to create more Nitwits)


They think the average citizen does not know increasing fees, or creating new fees, is the same as increasing taxes    

Ironically, they think they can save the day just by cutting taxes.

Nitwits believe it is the "government’s job" to be Santa Claus to everyone and believe it is better to give than to expect people to get an education and actually work for a living.      

They do not believe in people taking responsibility for their own actions so they pass laws to  protect people from their own bad habits.      

They believe people do not realize they are playing games while making moves to protect their jobs and status in the political game. 

Nitwits do not realize people are tired of politicians demeaning all people by playing the race card just to keep the citizens/voters of the USA divided.     

The Nitwits do not realize they need to listen to the people if they wish to keep their jobs.

The Nitwit Party does not believe voters of are fed up with their games and will eventually sweep all of them (the Nitwits) out of office. 


You can share your concerns by emailing me at inthepicklebarrel@sc.rr.com.  You can find me Monday – Friday at 7AM-8:30AM EST Blogtalkradio.com/inthepicklebarrel

GOP needs to study the Cantor and Graham primary election races

It’s not clear yet as to who was more surprised by the June 10th primary elections, the candidates, voters or the political pundits.
Many consider the butt kicking received by Eric Cantor to be the upset of the…well, forever. For the first time in American politics, the sitting House Majority Leader was defeated in a Primary Race.  Not only did he get beat, he was stomped on by the Tea Party candidate Dave Brat.
In the other race that was drawing national attention, SC Senator Lindsey Graham, who had a herd of elephants chasing him, easily beat the Tea Party supported candidate and the other candidates. What many expected to be a race to a run-off ended with Senator Graham giving all of his opponents a butt kicking similar to the one received by Cantor.
I for one cannot find any confusion in the comparison of races. What surprised me are the margins of loss/victory:  Cantor lost 41.8% t0 58.2%.  Graham beat his Tea Party challenger and the rest of “the herd” with 57% of the vote beating the closest competitor Tea Party candidate Lee Bright who garnered only 15% of the votes. Neither race was really that close.
What went wrong with the Cantor race?
What went right for the Graham race?
The answer is much simpler than anyone will admit. There is no mystery.
Many politicos and pundits want to say the Republican base is fed up with incumbents and professional politicians. They say the GOP must be made up of what I call the “wing-nuts’ of the party, those hanging on to the far right edge of the flat planet Earth with their fingernails so they do not fall.
I disagree.
I believe the true Republican base is not the fanatic Wing-nuts of the Party but the people who want to see those in Washington DC do something. The true base is tired of unfulfilled promises. The true base is tired of hearing “we are perfect and the other side is totally wrong”.
The true base wants candidates who care more about his/her district than the next powerful committee or Party leadership seat. The true base wants public servants who just happen to be “statesmen”.  The true base wants servants who will make things happen.
The true base does not want self-serving granite headed power seekers who are continually butting their heads against like opponents.
They do not want and will not support candidates who spend more time courting big dollar out of State contributors and ignore the folks at home.
The other huge difference in these two races is the way the candidates went into their individual contest.
Cantor entered this race with the confidence there was no way he could lose his bid for re-election. Therefore, he was looking ahead at the position of Speaker of the House.
Well, he is going to the house.
Graham went into the race feeling the cross-hairs in the middle of his back and forehead. He realized he was being targeted. Graham ran from the position of being behind even though he never followed anyone. Senator Graham remembered his constituents and those who elected him to the Senate in the first place. Graham ran for a seat in the Senate not for the throne.
Last and not least, Senator Graham ran a clean, non-abusive, respectful campaign. I saw firsthand volunteer after volunteer line up to help their candidate. Trash talk, stealing or destroying campaign signs and derogatory use of social media were all disallowed even though his competition played the games.

In short, Eric Cantor lost focus of the task at hand and made his race one to obtain the title of Speaker of the House.  Lindsey Graham stayed focused and worked the State of South Carolina to retain his seat as the people’s senator.

Reader appreciates Bill Pickle’s recent op-ed on drunk drivers

As a commentator, a blogger and/or show host I often wonder if anything I say or write is being received. The next question I ask myself is, "Does my words make a difference or contribute to the life of people." Receiving this remark made my day and encourages me to continue the mission. The original article follows the readers comments - Bill 


Posted on April 30, 2014 in the News and Press, Darlington, SC

I have an absolute new-found appreciation for Bill Pickle after his op/ed in your 4/16/2014 edition, his personal story with regards to a DUI accident that claimed the lives of his loved ones years ago.

His story is a sad one played out in too many living rooms, even…and especially, today. My grandfather was killed by a drunk driver, many years ago no, forcing my own father (John) at a 13 years of age, to take over a large family business with more than 380 employees- he gave both of his sisters away at their weddings, later on, and supported his mother for the rest of her life- not only financially, but emotionally. His mother was never, ever the same. All of this while raising me and my sister- we were both all of 1 – 2 years old at the start of his new journey- and while having to keep his marriage together. Thankfully, Dad is and was a fine, strong in the Lord man; this all was due to a drunk driver who chose to drive one evening after happy hour.

I write all of this to “say”, selfishness is a real wrecker of dreams. The driver died in my grandfather’s case and so did my grandfather- many lives were affected. If you drink and driver, or drive impaired, you are selfish. Period. Selfish! Getting a DUI may reveal a bigger problem – that is, (if you get away with it without injury or death)- you have a problem, so get help!! Normal people don’t get arrested.

I am writing this letter from my 4th rehab facility in 8 years, by the way, for chronic addiction to alcohol. I allowed alcohol on and on to ruin my career and my life – and the lives of a lot of other good people. I could have killed myself or anyone else hundreds of times with my serial drunk driving. Consequently, by the grace of God, I woke up. Bill’s article should be mandatory reading at any and all rehab centers in S.C. and beyond – I read it aloud to every resident where I am. Bravo to Bill, whom I used to know – casually from my work in politics, as a political operative/hack. I rarely agreed with or saw eye to eye with on much. Silly me – he is a genuine hero, and much more than a hack. Good job, Bill!

You have my full respect for being open with your story. I, too, am open with mine where I feel it will help someone, and shall continue to be. If we don’t help each other overcome or learn from tragedy, what on earth are we here for?

Andy Williams

The Good Samaritan Colony, Ruby, S.C., native of Hartsville


I want to take a day off from politics and share a personal story. I encourage all parents to read this story and share it with your teenagers. It's a story that changed my life and many others. 

A Joyous Day
Thursday, April 11, 1991 started as any other day for the family and their friends. They went through the day unaware of the events that would soon unfold. That afternoon most of the family was at a T-Ball game watching Nathan, our youngest son, attempt to play baseball.

As Chris and Shelly (the older kids) and four of their friends were at work at a local restaurant, they discussed what they would do after work. But this day would be like no other day. Before midnight their lives would be changed forever. They were a happy, cheerful group as they left work that evening. Piling into the car, they decided to head to the mall and get Chris a birthday gift. You see, Chris would be nineteen in just a few hours.

 A Day Gone Bad
At 9:30 that evening, a collision occurred that killed four of the friends and changed the lives of many others forever.

The three car pileup took the lives of Chris, Shelly and two of their friends. The other two friends received injuries that will plague them for the rest of their lives. The collision occurred only three miles from work on Interstate 20/Hwy 80, less than one mile from the mall and directly in front of the park where just a few hours earlier we were enjoying the T-ball game. According to the police, the car hydroplaned and slid backwards across the grassy median and collided with a pickup and a car heading in the opposite direction. The three vehicles smashed into each other simultaneously.

Chris, Robert and Rebecca were pronounced dead at the scene. Shelly, who was thrown threw the back windshield and was found a few 100 feet away, was taken to the hospital where she died later. The driver of the vehicle, who had alcohol in his blood and was speeding, is permanently paralyzed from the neck down. He plead guilty to four counts of involuntary manslaughter, and was sent home due to his injuries. The sixth friend survived, but suffers with a severe back injury and memories of that day.

The Victims
Christopher Brian Pickle was born on April 12, 1972 in the Naval Hospital Beaufort, South Carolina. He loved working on cars and wanted to be a NASCAR mechanic. Chris had many friends because of his outgoing and friendly personality. He was excited about the prospect of finishing school. I was so proud of his perseverance. Like most older boys, he thought it was his responsibility to take care of his mom and sister. By the end of the day, Chris would no longer be with us. I was able to return the birthday motorcycle that was to be given to Chris the next morning.

Shelly Tess Pickle was born on May 30, 1975 in Mesquite, Texas. She was an active, independent teenager with many interest. She loved animals and planned to be a veterinarian. Shelly also enjoyed modeling, and had been accepted at a modeling school. She did not know she would not be able to pursue any of her goals.

Robert Zimmerhanzel was born in Dallas on January 21, 1974. Robert loved his old pickup and enjoyed fishing, baseball and collecting comic books. His greatest talent was art. The pencil and charcoal sketches he left behind are reminders of what might have been.

Rebecca "Becky" Dingus was born in Germany on May 30, 1966 while her father was stationed there. She often stopped by nursing homes after school to read to the residents. She loved her family and often said her parents were her "lifeline". That morning she said goodbye to her son Matthew. She did not realize it would be the last time.

The Aftermath
Unless something like this has happened to you, it impossible to realize the residual damage from an event like this accident. Becky's son will grow up not having a mother. Robert's mom lost her son and the oldest of two children. Robert's sister lost a loving brother. The other victims have injuries that will be life long torture. Family members and friends will have to care for them for the rest of their lives. They will probably relive that day many times over.

Chris and Shelly left a mom and dad that will never forget them, nor that day. I can't say I think of them every day. I don't think there's a week that goes by that I don't see or hear something that makes me think of them. For some time I pulled away from the rest of the family. I feel my relationship with my younger son, and especially my younger daughter was hurt because of my being afraid of loosing them.

I also felt guilt. How could I let this happen? I felt I had failed as a parent by not taking care of Chris and Shelly.

I make it a point to visit Chris and Shelly every time I make a trip to Texas. Every visit I wonder what they would look like today. Would they be married and would I have additional grandchildren? What type of work would they be doing?

I can tell you that you never forget, but you do learn to cope.

The Numbers 
In South Carolina there were 14,742 DUI arrest in 2013.  In 2010 there 10,228 deaths involving  in this country. In any given year more than 700,000 are injured. In South Carolina, fifty per cent of all traffic fatalities are alcohol related. South Carolina is second only to Texas. In America, if you are between the ages of 18-24 you are more likely to die from an alcohol related accident than any other cause.

Impaired Driving: Get the Facts
Every day, almost 30 people in the United States die in motor vehicle crashes that involve an alcohol-impaired driver. This amounts to one death every 48 minutes. The annual cost of alcohol-related crashes totals more than $51 billion. Thankfully, there are effective measures that can help prevent injuries and deaths from alcohol-impaired driving.

·       In 2010, 10,228 people were killed in alcohol-impaired driving crashes, accounting for nearly one-third (31%) of all traffic-related deaths in the United States. In 2011, there were 9, 865 deaths and in 2012, 10,322 deaths.
·        Of the 1,210 traffic deaths among children ages 0 to 14 years in 2010, 211 (17%) involved an alcohol-impaired driver.
·         Of the 211 child passengers ages 14 and younger who died in alcohol-impaired driving crashes in 2010, over half (131) were riding in the vehicle with the alcohol-impaired driver.
·         In 2010, over 1.4 million drivers were arrested for driving under the influence of alcohol or narcotics.3 That's one percent of the 112 million self-reported episodes of alcohol-impaired driving among U.S. adults each year.

·         Drugs other than alcohol (e.g., marijuana and cocaine) are involved in about 18% of motor vehicle driver deaths. These other drugs are often used in combination with alcohol.

A Note To Parents
This story can be your story. As much as you may try, you will never know every where your teenagers are and who they are with. The best you can do is try to teach them right from wrong, responsibility, and encourage them to be careful. Make sure they know they can call you and you will pick them up if there is any kind of trouble and drinking is involved. It's better to be "inconvenienced"  than loose your child.

A Note To The Kids
This story can also be your story. Be careful! Know who you are running around with and their "condition". Call your parents, or a friend, if anyone in your group is impaired. Better yet, call if they have used alcohol or drugs at all. Most accidents happen to those that don't test over the limit. You have nothing to prove. Be responsible. Be safe.

Before I forget, I want to wish to tell Chris, Happy Birthday and Shelly, I love you.

Until next time, thanks for visiting me In The Pickle Barrel.



Any commentary, endorsements, or innuendos or any other ravings in this blog are mine and mine alone and do not reflect those of the organization or affiliation. With that said, thanks for jumping In the Pickle Barrel.

Do we need open season on dogs?



Being a dog lover and a dog owner for most of my life, it hurts to write about this subject. However, the problem of dogs running loose (whether wild or not restrained) has been a problem for some time and is getting worse.

We have all heard the news stories about children being attacked and severely mauled. We have cried for those children who lost their life being ripped to shreds by a neighbor’s dog or a “stray” dog.

There have been numerous dog attacks in my home county and neighboring county (Florence and Darlington County, SC) over the past few years.

Just two weeks ago a resident in an upper middle-class neighborhood in Florence was attacked and mauled by a neighbor’s dog that was left unattended in the dog owner's yard. The bulldog ran across the street into another yard. Some think the bulldog was initially after the woman’s pet puppy. Whatever the reason the bull dog charged is not the issue.

The facts are the bulldog charged, jumped and grabbed hold of the victim’s right arm and would not let go. It shook and growled while grinding its teeth into the woman’s arm ripping the triceps muscle. After falling to the ground the woman was able to briefly get away from the bulldog’s vicious grip. As the dog charged at her again she was able to kick the beast through a gate opening and the shut the gate.

At the Emergency Department (ED) stitches, staples and bandages held together and protected the arm. 

Nothing can protect the victim from the recurring thoughts of the attack. Nothing can repair the scars on her arm or her thoughts. There are hopes the partial paralysis will disappear, but there are no guarantees. The injury was to the right arm and she is right handed.  She is (actually hopeful to continue being) an avid tennis player.

Sadly, she can be described as a lucky victim.

Not long before this attack a male senior citizen, a former elected official, was attacked and severely injured. For weeks there were doubts he would survive. He did. But again, he will not be the same man.

What would happen in both of the above cases if the injured party was a five year girl or a two year old toddler? Chances are they would not have survived.

In less than two years a several children have been mauled and killed in SC by dogs.

I find it unbelievable that people believe it is okay to let their dogs run free. While pets these pets are “animals”. Yes, they may be loving pets. They may have never shown any aggression. But they are animals with animal instincts.

Animals know no boundaries. They see something they want they go after it. It is instinctual.
It is up to the owners of these animals to protect neighbors, friends and loved ones from being attacked.

It is up to the pet’s owner to keep them behind a fence, in a cage, their home or on a leach.

According to a report released from Dogsbite.org from 1982-2013 there were 4,117 "reported" dog attacks resulting in injury in this country. Of that number 1839 children, 2278 adults were attacked. 466 of the attacked resulted in death!
South Carolina has a modern dog bite statute which makes a dog owner strictly liable for damages suffered by a person who is "bitten or otherwise attacked." The statute is unusual in a single respect, because it sets forth the provocation defense. Here is the text of South Carolina Statutes section 47-3-110:

SECTION 47-3-110. Liability of owner or person having dog in his care or keeping.
Whenever any person is bitten or otherwise attacked by a dog while the person is in a public place or is lawfully in a private place, including the property of the owner of the dog or other person having the dog in his care or keeping, the owner of the dog or other person having the dog in his care or keeping is liable for the damages suffered by the person bitten or otherwise attacked. For the purposes of this section, a person bitten or otherwise attacked is lawfully in a private place, including the property of the owner of the dog or other person having the dog in his care or keeping, when the person bitten or otherwise attacked is on the property in the performance of any duty imposed upon him by the laws of this State, by the ordinances of any political subdivision of this State, by the laws of the United States of America, including, but not limited to, postal regulations, or when the person bitten or otherwise attacked is on the property upon the invitation, express or implied, of the owner of the property or of any lawful tenant or resident of the property. If a person provokes a dog into attacking him then the owner of the dog is not liable.

If owners cannot, or will not take responsibility for the pet obey laws that are on the books perhaps we should have open season on all dogs that run free.
I know that is a ridiculous comment. Besides being ridiculous if a human being attacks a dog it is considered inhuman/animal cruelty and will land you with a huge fine and possibly jail time.
I know I will have friends and neighbors spitting fire at me for making the above comment. But folks, child and adults alike are at risk when your dog runs free.

This nonsense has to stop. 

I challenge our lawmakers to pass some laws (pun intended) with some teeth. If a dog attacks a human being, without provocation, that dog should be put to death and its owner prosecuted for reckless endangerment. If a dog running free attacks a human being and results in death, the dog gets put down and the owner of that dog should be prosecuted for voluntary manslaughter. 

Oh, I can hear you now. "Bill, those penalties are harsh and ridiculous." 

Ask the victim of the mauling, or the parent of the child who was killed how ridiculous and harsh they feel about the injuries inflicted to their loved ones.

Below, adopted from information provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, are some things to remember when and if you have a pet...

HOW CAN DOG BITES BE PREVENTED?

Before you bring a dog into your household:
Consult with a professional to learn what breeds of dogs are the best fit for you and your family.
Dogs with histories of aggression are not suitable for households with children.
Be sensitive to clues that a child is nervous or fearful around a dog.
Spend time with a dog before buying or adopting it and be extra cautious and use proper supervision when bringing a dog into a household with a baby or small child.

SAFETY TIPS

Do not approach strange dogs.
Do not run from a dog or scream.
Remain motionless when approached by a strange dog.
If knocked over by a dog, roll into a ball and be still.
Do not play with a dog unless supervised by an adult.
Immediately report strange dogs or dogs acting strangely to an adult.
Avoid direct eye contact with a dog.
Do not disturb or attempt to play with or move a dog that is sleeping, eating, or caring for puppies.
Do not pet a dog without allowing it to see and sniff you first.

Immediately report dog bites or scratches to an adult.


Speak up and be heard


If you do not believe the 2014 Political Season is not upon us you have either been on a deserted island, have your head stuck in a hole in the sand, wearing blinders and ear protectors or do not listen to the radio, watch TV, participate in “social media” or go out in the public.

We all know there is a difference knowing about something and doing something about it. In politics there are a lot of things that need to be done if you are going to participate in the election process as a voter.

I am going to share a the very easy and traditional method of explaining actions if someone (you) want to be an effective voter. I want you to SPEAK UP.

image by missouricom
S is for speak. If you have concerns or issues you want addressed tell the  candidates. Now is the time to address your issues with the candidates. The Primary is perhaps the most under rated election in this country. The reason is the primary is the time to narrow the field or “weed out” the want-to-be candidates from the candidate that the people feel has a chance of winning the General Election for their party or for the independent voter.

P is for pay attention.  I know you find it hard to believe but there is a lot of bologna thrown around in the primary races. You can learn a lot about a candidate’s honesty, integrity and personality during the primary race. Listen to interviews. Watch how their staff members do their jobs. How they talk and act usually reflects the nature of the candidate.

E is educate yourself. If you do any research on topics that concern you I guarantee you will know as much, if not more, than the average candidate. If a candidate gives you noncommittal answers to questions, if the candidate speaks in circles without addressing the issue chances are he/she does not know the answer. Do not settle for generalized answers. Ask for details. I hope you can get them.

A is ask questions. It is during the Primary race that you should really be taking a look at each and every candidate. Drill them with questions, expecting answers. This is the time to learn about their backgrounds in business, education and experience that makes them a viable candidate. If a concern, find out about the candidates’ religious beliefs and any other person issues that may concern you.

K is know what your real concerns are and the kind of person you want in office representing you. Do some soul searching. What are the issues and concerns that really bother you?  Do you just listen to fifteen second bits and take them as facts? Have you bothered to “get the rest of the story” when you hear all of the rhetoric from the campaign trail, main stream media and social networks? Do you listen to others concerns and make them yours?

U is for use the tools at hand. The same tools the candidates and their staffs use to pull you in and be used by you to get more information. I hate it when I hear people say, “I never use the computer.” Or “I don’t waste time on Facebook, twitter or those other silly things. Folks, it is a new era and technology is here to stay. If you do not learn to use it, it will be used against you. Listen to main stream media. Read various newspapers and magazines. Yes, they are rapidly becoming entertainment outlets, but they occasionally have some news and information that you can use.

P is for participate in the system. You do not have to run for office to make a difference. You do need to work for the candidate of your choice. You need to work with your local political party if there is an organized party where you live or work. Don’t blame the party for their short coming. Blame yourself for not helping to make them better, Keep informed. And by all means get out and vote!

Filing date for all candidates in South Carolina begins Sunday, March 16, 2014. Filing ends on March 30, 2014.

Do not think for a minute that the race has not begun. Many of the names you are hearing right now are trying to get support to validate their reason to file to be an actual candidate. Many will fall along the wayside because people did not show interest in their campaign or they were unable to get sufficient funding support. Either reason will eliminate many from the actual Battle of the Primary. The survivors, the ones who actual pay their filing fees and have garnered enough support from their constituency will enter the arena for the final political fight. You can be the one who determine his/her political fate.   



If you dare to complain, dare to do something about it. 

Get involved. 

Speak up!

A warning not taken to heart



I find it somewhat disturbing the way so many people throw around the names of our “Founding Fathers” and tell us what they meant when they sat down to come up with the document entitled the Constitution of the United States of America. Seriously, some of these people sound as if they were sitting right there beside them.

A few days ago I was reading a commentary by Jonathan Turley, the Shapiro Professor of Public Interest Law at George Washington University, in which he described in his own words an event that took place in the summer of 1787…




“In the summer of 1787, a crowd gathered around Independence Hall to learn what type of government their

representatives had formed for the new nation. When Benjamin Franklin walked out of the Constitutional Convention, Mrs. Powel could wait no longer. Franklin was one of the best known of the “Framers” working on the new US Constitution. Powel ran up to Franklin and asked,

“Well, Doctor, what have we got, a republic or a monarchy?” Franklin turned to her and said what are perhaps the most chilling words uttered by any Framer. He said, “A republic, Madam, if you can keep it.”

Folks, do you understand what Franklin said, “A republic if we can keep it.”

Never have seven simple words said so much; seven words that could be considered a forewarning of things to come of this very young American nation who just won its independence from the English Crown.

As Turley wrote, “Freedom is not something guaranteed by any parchment or promise.”

I am here to tell you freedom is something that each of us, every member of every generation, must maintain a constant vigil with the awareness it is our duty to protect and defend at any costs.

Back in the days of the old USSR (United Soviet Socialist Republic) and today in the Middle East it was and
still is said, “America will fall from within. The American people will destroy themselves. All we have to do is take advantage of the Americans’ own destructive ways.






However, long before Russia and the Middle Eastern countries boast of our ruination, our sixteenth President shared a vision...




All political parties have contributed to our downward spiral. They have either taken steps to figuratively burn the Constitution or have set on their backsides fiddling while the Constitution is ripped apart and used as kindling. The Democrats say the Republicans are going to destroy America. The Republicans say the liberal Democrats are going to destroy America. Republicans, such as Jim DeMint, say the GOP is going to destroy America.

What I want to know who is going to save America?

For years we have been heading down the path of destruction. But the path has gotten wider and the pace has quickened since January 2009. Obamacare (aka Affordable Care Act), actions of the NSA, Supreme Court rulings, and IRS scandals are just the tip of the proverbial iceberg.

The President has made it quite clear the Constitution means nothing. His ink pen and his willingness to use it is all that matters.


All you have to do is turn on the boob tube and watch what we call news. Report after report of what this
administration has done and plans to do are spoken on every news program, radio spot and in print of major newspapers and news magazines. 

Gone is any expectation that the American citizenry has any rights to privacy.

Gone are the days that one can assume the Constitution protects the right to bear arms (unless you get permission to do so from the government that the amendment is to protect us from).

Gone is the very idea of protecting our borders. Gone is any hope in letting the Border States protect their own borders.

Gone is the Constitutional protection for freedom of the press. The Obama Administration has put journalists under surveillance in an assault on one of the very institutions our forefathers expected to keep our government on the straight and narrow.

Today, you and I are considered a terrorist threat until proven otherwise. We must be searched, scanned,
x-rayed, probed, fondled and watched by hovering drones wherever we go. Our Facebook pages, text mail, telephone calls and conversations are monitored and cataloged.

I sometimes feel we need to have a “Non-Watch List”. It would be much shorter and easier to read.

Whatever happened to the Constitutional law a budget is to be submitted to Congress by the President on time?

In the meantime, Congress sits back on their laurels and play tic-tac-toe on issues that are going nowhere.

How dare they stand up to tyranny? They do not want their names on “a list”.

People, it is up to you and me to save this country. We can do so by becoming more involved; by running for office; by shouting at the top of our lungs “Enough is enough!”; by getting to know our political candidates and supporting them at the polls.

Who knows how long we will have the rights to do these issues?

Turley concluded his commentary by again quoting Benjamin Franklin: “Those who would give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety.”

Thank you for joining me "In the Pickle Barrel".






We are still at war: Invasion USA

The following was originally a three part series “In the Pickle Barrel”. While some of the numbers and statistics may be just a little different, the issues have not changed. Since immigration is back as a “major issue” I want to refresh your memories on why we should be concerned.

There are several battle fronts in the invasion of our country.

WHO ARE THE INVADERS?

1. The horde of "illegal aliens" entering and living in this country is only one of many fronts to the invasion. It is estimated that 12-20 million illegal aliens are residing in the US at any given time. Obviously, it is hard to determine an exact number because they are illegal and don't want to be counted. Census 2010 made a joke of this when they asked all illegal aliens to participate in the current census campaign. "Hey, count me. I'm an illegal invader."

Most of the illegals come to this country for the same reasons we cherish being Americans. They want the opportunity to have a decent life. The illegals want gainful employment. The illegals want to live in a safe environment. The majority of illegals are seeking nothing more than to provide for their families.

The difference, they are here illegally, they are taking jobs from citizens and those aliens that are here legally. On the darker side, many illegals are fleeing their country to escape criminal charges. Many illegals are involved in drug and human trafficking and other illegal activities. Let's not forget that many illegals have been and are potential terrorist.

2. We are also being invaded by nonviolent armies. These invaders are the countries that are involved in unfair trading and buyers of American property and companies. These countries include many that hold the largest amount of our nation's debt.

According to the US Treasury (as of April 2010) Mainland China holds over $900 billion in US Treasury Securities. The current number is about $1.2 Trillion! Oil Exporters hold another $257 billion and Russia holds $$113 billion. What may surprise you is that our neighbor to the south, Mexico, holds over $33 billion (currently $60 billion) of US Treasury Securities.

In 2011 foreign countries held over $4.5 Trillion of the highest rated debt in America, US Treasury Securities.

Not only are we handing over our country in the form of debt, we are losing the trade war. In 2009 (the most recent statistics available), the US trade deficit with China was a whopping $227 billion. Unfair trade policies, manipulation of the Yuan (China's currency), and unfair labor practices greatly contribute to this invasion.

3. The USA is also under attack by home grown invaders. Many of these people do not realize they are doing more harm than good. Some, I fear, know exactly what they are doing.

I am all in favor of the capitalism and the free market system. You will not find a stauncher supporter of the free enterprise system. However, corporate and union greed has contributed to our trade situation. Americans want cheap (affordable) products. We have to face facts; these products are being manufactured overseas.

Don't believe me? I challenge you to go to any department store and randomly pick up 12 items. How many are "Made in America"?

4. Other American contributors to the invasion are those who employ illegal aliens. Falling into this category are those who allow let people employ illegal aliens, our own government(s), State and Federal. Companies would not continue to hire illegals if there were sufficient penalties and if the penalties are enforced.

5. Our government is complicit when they ask illegals to report companies that do not pay them fair wages. Yes, it is illegal to pay illegals illegal wages?

And what is the idea behind not getting our borders secured?

For decades our Border States have asked Washington for help in controlling the illegal alien invasion. What have they done?  Not much.  

A few miles of fence was put up along with a few more Border Patrol Officers, drones and a bunch of talking. The Feds sued the State of Arizona for wanting to protect its own borders (since the Feds will not do it).

President Obama did "promise". More than once, to send in 524 National Guardsmen to assist is surveillance and to repair 22 miles of fence. And let's not forget the signs that have been posted warning Americans not to travel in certain parts of America because of the danger that exist from illegals and the drug cartels.

Job well done, Mr. President. I'm sure everyone feels more secure.

Something is indeed wrong with the system.

It is very easy to identify the "invaders". It is difficult to know just what to do about them, or is it?

WHAT DO WE DO

Let's take a look at our trade deficit/imbalance first. There was a time when the USA was without a doubt the #1 manufacturing and industrialized country on earth. Depending on who does the statistics we may be clinging on to this title or we are now #2 behind China.

Personal and corporate greed, outsourcing, companies moving manufacturing facilities overseas and so on are greatly hurting our economy.

If we are to recover and once again become the great country of opportunity, we must remember what made us #1.

We must get back to "building things". We can no longer allow our automobile manufacturers, the textile industries, the manufacturers of heavy equipment along with appliances and electronics to take their businesses overseas. We must create a climate that entices these companies to keep their manufacturing plants and employees in the US.

I am a strong advocate of the free enterprise system and I a new Industrial Revolution must start with companies and unions realizing we are all in this war together. They must find ways to give "fair" compensation and benefits while keeping product pricing at a level that will make consumers buy American made products.

The federal government must let the system work. They must stop thinking that taxing business is the cure all for deficit spending. Instead of robbing business to fund every program imaginable, let's first determine if the programs are viable and still warrant existence.

How many millions, perhaps billions of tax dollars are going to outdated, non-constructive programs and agencies? It's time for a complete and honest assessment of every agency, department, and social program to determine if they are needed and to what extent. If there is no justification for them, get rid of them.

It's time to look at the wasteful spending by the feds. We have all heard of $150 hammers that can be purchased at any hardware store for $19.00. We have witnessed contractors getting paid for work not completed or not satisfactorily completed. We there are so many instances of waste by politicians and support staff in travel expenses. And the list can go on forever.

Whatever happened to the concept of a balanced budget? How many people do you know who can continually write checks on accounts that have no money. It seems that this should be illegal (for the common citizen it is).

I found it appalling a when a sitcom about an American manager taking over a telephone boiler room (customer service) location in India hit American TV. How could anyone find this funny? I for one refused to watch the show. I found it offensive and in bad taste. I'm sure all of the American workers who have lost their jobs found no humor in the show.

We must make our job market more competitive so we don't have all of these jobs going overseas. Why is it that American companies can save so much money that it is cost effective to outsource jobs to such places as Germany, India, China, Japan, etc.?

We must increase exports. This will come naturally if we can just get competitive in the manufacturing sector. China is our largest customer of exports. They are hungry for the "green technologies" and environmental protection products that we produce.

Almost every country on earth is interested in our high tech products. We must find a way to make these products available. WARNING: We must be careful with the so called "duo purpose" technologies. These are products that can be used for civilian and military purposes.

When dealing with China, we must insist that they stop artificially forcing the value of the yuan below that of the US dollar. This practice has a huge effect on our trade imbalance and the true costs of goods. We must enforce inspections of goods imported to the US. We must require the same standards for products produced overseas as we require from manufacturers at home.

Our system of “trade tariffs” is a joke!

I find it interesting that we do not trade with Cuba because on Human Rights issues, but we have this "need" to trade with China who has some of the worst Human Rights issues.

We must cut our need, or gluttony, for foreign oil. Stop playing politics and get this done. Period!

It would be a fool to say any of the above issues will be cured without some pain and sacrifice by corporate America, the unions, the American work force, and local, state and federal governments. It takes a bigger fool to say nothing needs to be done or can't be done. America and its people have always found a way...when they want to.

The alternative, we lose the war.

It should be understood that I am not opposed to immigration. Except for the 100% pure blood Native American, all of us have an immigrant heritage. Immigration is good for the people, it is good for America.

The issue is not about Mexican, Chinese, Canadian, Cuban, Russian or any other single nationality. The issue is illegal aliens.

Yes, Justice Sotomayor, I said ILLEGEL IMMIGRANTS!

The issue includes companies that employ illegal aliens, the money it is costing the American people in lost jobs, law enforcement, free medical and education services and a government that has let all of this happen and in some ways encourages it to continue.

Next to economic issues, many people feel the illegal alien problem is perhaps the largest single concern in America. Except for "Obamacare", aka health care, no other issue is more emotional and divisive.

So what do we do?

WE MUST CONTROL OUR BORDERS

Folks, it does not take a rocket scientist to figure out that if you have a leak in a bucket, you have to plug the hole. Why is so difficult to understand without control of our borders, there is no solution. All it takes is for someone to say "Just do it!"

Our own federal government repeatedly sued States because the States felt it necessary to protect themselves since the federal government will not do their job. My only concern is why the Border States and others wait so long to act?

There needs to be an all-out lock-down of our borders and all ports of entry. We can do this. We can, we must gain control of our borders. All it takes is for the government to decide they are ready to do their job and "Just do it!"

Want to put people back to work? We need thousands of new border patrol officers, we need a strong "National Guard" to assist in border control, we need more police officers and we need highly trained people to use modern technology for surveillance and the list goes on.

Next to controlling our borders and ports of entry, enforcement of existing laws is absolutely the easiest and most practical way to fight the battle. Many feel if we just enforce laws which are already on the books, we could eliminate as much as 70% of the illegal alien problems.

Without any chance of work and nowhere to live many potential illegals would never enter the country and many of those already in country would return home. A simple, but fair example: If you knew speeding laws were not going to be enforced, how often would you speed and how fast would you drive? If you knew that there was no tolerance (not even five miles per hour over the posted speed limit) would you slow down? Well, those laws are also ignored, but you know what I mean.

As bad as I hate to say it, with 12-20 million illegals in this country right now there is no way to send them all home. We absolutely must figure out a way to have the "undesirables" sent home. The undesirables are the criminals, druggies, domestic abusers, etc. We have enough of our own who we must keep.

It disgusts me, and I know it will disgust many of you, but we may need to considered a so-called “path to gain citizenship” or other forms of legal status.  

Under no terms should a straight out amnesty be given.

Let me repeat, No straight out amnesty for anyone!

I really don't see how we cannot consider some type of plan. It will be impossible to track down and send 10- 20 million illegals home.

We must admit to ourselves that many of these people have been here for decades. Many lead productive lives and contribute to their communities and to this country.

Many of the illegals have American spouses and American children. I would insist that all "normal investigations and protocol" involved in the "legal immigration" process be adhered to.

This is a terrible pill to swallow; however, if we want to cure the illness, we may have to take our medicine.

What do I think about so-called "sanctuary cities"? Complicit participants in committing a criminal act! Treat them as such.

Instead of producing a two thousand page document which will never be read, I will offer the following basic steps as an overall plan to get our illegal alien problem under control. It's up to the federal AND state governments to work out the details and to get the job done:

1) Secure and control our borders and ports of entry using state and federal law enforcement agencies along with National Guard troops with the authority and equipment needed to do their job;

2) Enforce all existing laws;

3) Continue E-verify

4) Penalize all first time offender companies $10,000 per illegal alien employed, $25,000 for second offence; cancel their business licenses on third offense;

5) Require and encourage all local, state and federal law enforcement agencies to enforce all immigration laws. (Repeated on purpose. They must get the point.)

6) Require and encourage all local and state law enforcement agencies to turn over all illegals with a criminal background to federal enforcement agencies (example: I.C.E.)

7) Require proof of citizenship or other legal status to obtain a driver’s license;

8) Require proof of citizenship to obtain a voter registration card or any public assistance card;

8) No public assistance or social services for illegals that are not mandated by law;

9) The courts (judge) should not give bail to illegals who have committed a violent crime or "social crime" including but not limited to DUI, child and/or spousal abuse or neglect;

10) Prohibit property owners and landlords from renting or leasing property to illegals. Penalties to be the same as hiring an illegal;

11) Prohibit all federal and state funding going to so-called "sanctuary cities" and organizations;

12) Hospitals, clinics and other caregivers receiving public funds should be prohibited from providing services except for life threatening illnesses and accidents. No elective services should be provided.

Twelve steps that are controversial, not easy, each a political mine field; each with risks of their own.

We must face reality.

To turn the tide of Invasion USA we must be willing to fight the battles. Win the battles we can. Realize all battles in a war are not won. Ultimately, we must stop the invasion!