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Archive for November, 2010

Earlier this month, a historic election took place across the country and in this state.  Limited government and promotion of family values seemed to dominate the buzz of the Republicans gaining a substantial majority in the House of Representatives and winning the gubernatorial election, as well.  As one of those limited government supporters and family values promoters, the initial and superficial reaction to the results is positive.  Upon deeper reflection, will any real change occur to allow Tennessee to continue to attract businesses and employees because of the low taxes and the recognition of moral obligations?  Or, will Tennessee fall prey to the same traps that have ensnared states like California and Illinois and has put them on a path to corruption and failure?

 In my very humble opinion, there are four concrete measures newly elected Speaker Beth Harwell and Governor Bill Haslam can take in order to ensure our beloved state of Tennessee continues to be a place we are proud call home.

  1. Introduce and pass a Constitutional Amendment that protects life from conception to natural death.  If you cannot protect a Tennessean’s right to Life, what good are Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness? If an issue like the lottery is important enough to put up to a vote for the people of Tennessee, this issue seems just as or more important.
  2. Introduce and pass legislation that will prohibit the State of Tennessee accepting any new federal dollars from programs Congress endorses or agencies enact, as of July 1, 2011.  Federal dollars are like a drug and states, not just Tennessee, are addicted.  This addiction can lead to state budget shortfalls once the federal dollars run out as well as damages our sovereignty as a state when it comes to rejecting a sometimes overreaching federal government.
  3. Sign a pledge to reject any earmarks for district projects and programs.  In a time where families and businesses are to revaluating priorities and cutback, legislators should not be sponsoring goodwill re-election projects with taxpayer dollars.   Eliminating the earmarks would be a first and small step to maintaining a balanced and prudent budget.
  4. Introduce and pass legislation that will eliminate lifetime benefits through health coverage and retirement pensions for all state employees hired after July 1, 2011.  One of the most prominent causes of budget shortfalls is the funding of lifetime benefits for the state employees.  If private enterprise employees are unable to receive such lucrative benefits, why should government employees receive them on the taxpayer dime?  By making this change effective July 1, 2011, it ensures the state maintains its integrity by honoring the contract it entered with its employees.

 This plan of action is not some panacea that will lead to the total elimination of problems for Tennessee residents and its government, but hopefully it would provide a positive direction and give Tennessee a leadership role in the movement back to what made this country great, respect and protection of individual Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness. 

Daniel Dunn

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Happy Thanksgiving from the Longwood Institute.  Today and everyday we give THANKS for Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness.  Hope everyone is able to enjoy the holiday with their family and friends.  God Bless and see you soon.

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Is America really ready to get clean?  No one, especially conservative tea party types, seem to really want to answer that question honestly.  Those on the Right, riding their post-election high (pun intended) declare victory much like Michael Scott’s declaration of bankruptcy on a sitcom.  A statement has been made, a groundswell of people have declared that we have a moral and economic problem.  However, are the people of America ready for the long, hard road of rehab that lies before? 

 Unfortunately, I think not.  I think the people of this country have become physically dependant on the entitlement programs and “security” our government largesse has created.  The worst part is we have passed the addiction to the next generations due to the massive government debt and lack of parental leadership in a stable home. 

 The number one rule when helping a loved one fight addiction (and I do love this country) is to NOT enable the addiction.  Are we as Americans, especially those who preach the loudest of bringing back the nation to its original protections of Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness, prepared to wean ourselves off of government sponsored programs and educate those in their family and community to do the same?  Even if it means working a little harder and smarter and possibly giving up some of the comforts we have grown to enjoy and expect (ie traditional retirement, Medicare, subsidies to industries), will the people of America be willing to bear the responsibilities those Natural and God Given Rights require of us?  Are we willing to discuss the uncomfortable subjects with our co-workers and neighbors to promote and spread the gospel of individual liberty and our duties to maintain a representative form of governance?

 While not encouraged, I will not give up Hope, real Hope that is.  I will continue to pray and Hope for the day where there can be a moral revolution in this country that will change hearts, to inspire them to change laws, that will lead to a change in lifestyle and a deepened appreciation of what so many have sacrificed for but just as many have taken for granted.

 Daniel Dunn

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First thought, after watching this video, is you got to be kidding me.  At what point do we say stop?  Are you telling me there are no better alternatives to secure the airways?  There are no private security firms that could work for each of the airlines that could use statistically based profiling, use of technology far less intrusive than the full body scans, etc?  I do understand the rationale behind trying to protect our country and its citizens, but where do we draw the line and shout at the top of our lungs “ENOUGH is ENOUGH!”

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As The Longwood Institute gears back up after a bit of a sabbatical, please view this straightforward assessment of the Feds plans to \”rebound the economy\” Funny how things tend to clarify themselves when you take out the political clamor and doublespeak jargon.  Have we crossed a tipping point economically? 

Timely quote from Mother Theresa on the calendar today.  “I know God will not give me anything I can’t handle.  I just wish he did not trust me so much”  Have a great day and trust that you have the tools to defend Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness.

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The discussion over the first half of the Road to Disunion will start at 7 pm Friday November 19, 2010 at the home of the Longwood Institute.  Please RSVP as soon as possible in order to make refreshement accomadations.  Cannot wait to see all attendees and happy reading!

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