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Monday, September 22, 2008


Well said.

I was afraid you were going to come out with a more liberal point of view, but I'm pleased to see that you didn't. I agree with all you said, and I'm thinking Libertarian for myself. You're almost there....

95% agreement. That is more agreement than I can get within myself with myself. The first bailout I remember was the Chrysler bail out. At that time I figured most of Congress and the rest of the government fools must have had a lot of chrysler stock.

Howard great post. If you don't mind I am going to forward this to everyone I know, especially my children, "we the people" need to get back control of the politicians we elect. I heard something on the radio yesterday that only 60% of those polled thought the Supreme Court should make rulings based on the Constitution. I thought the Supreme Court is responsible for upholding the Constitution.
Great post.

Vote Howard for President of the USA, he will fix what is wrong in America!!

Fantastic. Should be available to every high school and college student and all adults. WOW.

Maybe something can be done..........but, I have my doubt that it will be if we keep voting for the lesser of 2 (more) evils.

In the broad-sense, evil is evil. [I'm not necessarily talking about "the Biblical sense" of evil, but in the case of bad, worse, worst!!!]

I'm getting like my grandfather in the 1950's-80's when he said, "I don't know what they're for, but I'm agin it".

Sorry, I don't know the solution.

Well said Howard!!! This should be sent to the attention of AP,UPI,Fox News,CNN, and the corporate offices of all major networks just to see if they have the integrity to air it :)We the people probably already know the answer to that one.

Howie, I have been waiting a few days for this rant.
I am so very proud of you. You have stated the facts very clear and I agree with you 100% on everything you wrote.
Love Becky!

Howard for Prez!

Thanks Howard for a very thought provoking piece. Our nation is in a bad way and getting worse. Who would have ever thought we would have all these foreign companies buying all of our companies and national treasures. If it doesn't change soon America will be held hostage and it will be too late. You are very smart for living the lifestyle you are as you have learned to live without much reliance on others.

great rant, i have lots of concerns abut bailing people out that were living way above their means. while my wife and i struggles to live within our means.
there are just 2 issues that you did not talk about.
1. the digitizing of the network TV system, in the future politicians will completely cvontrol what we watch, see and read. Journalism will change forever.
2. You did not make an opinion about outsourcing american jobs to china, india, etc.
love your webpage.. i found it only a few weeks ago by following a link from the forums on rv.net


If this were a term paper, you would receive an A+. Excellent essay and well balanced. I have writen both of my senators twice in the past 6 weeks.

We all need to do this more often.

Thank you for making me think even more about all of these crucial issues.

Well said, Howard.

And I agree with every bit of it. Unfortuanately, I do have debt and will probably have it for years to come due to my RV payment. (I know, I know) But the credit card is almost paid off and money will be going towards my car payment so it will be paid off when I retire at the end of next March.

Do you realize just how long your rant really is? I did a copy & paste into Word and after changing to a 12 point font with 1" top & bottom margins and 1.5" side margins it went into page 14. No wonder it took so long to read. I'm sure glad I'm not on dialup.

Thank You...One thing I've always liked about the RV-Dreams website/journal/forum is that it remains pretty much non-political. Or if it gets political, it's non-partisan. We can't turn on a radio or TV, open a newspaper or log on to the internet without being bombarded with "SPIN". That's the biggest cause of my cynical attitude toward our election process. While our "political system" may be the best in the world, the reality of how it actually works is an embarrassment.

You've expressed many thoughts that I have had for quite a while. Although I may not be as optimistic as you are. I'm not sure "we the people" can stop this runaway train. However, I will do my part by going to the polls.

Thanks for the "rant". It was worth the wait.

Well done, and have we ever heard of Bob Barr? No, why? he's an independent. Thank you Howard.

WOW !!!!

Howard, how did you ever fit inside of your fifth wheel with all of that bottled up inside...:)

Well done. While I was reading your post I had a mental picture of you standing up in front of congress with a white wig and long coat on like Ben Franklin wore. I imagine a rant like this preceeded the Boston Tea Party.

Seriously, you are right. We as citizens are allowing this to happen.

The internet may be our saving grace...posts like yours get passed around, and if enough people get motivated it will start a revolution.

Let's hope Howard is one man that can make a difference by starting a grass roots revolution.

I plan to pass your message onto others.


I enjoy your rant, but I believe you are looking at a half empty rather than half full glass. This is neither the worst of times nor the worst of governments. One of the things you may consider is scheduling a chat session on your rants :)

Taking just your major bullet points, here is a few things to think about :
1. Our failure as a people to hold our leaders accountable
a. What was 1994, 1996, 2000 & 2006 … major shifts in the Presidency and composition of Congress
2. Too much power in our two-party political system
a. There are probably 5 parties that blend together: moderate Repubs, conservative Repubs, liberal Demos, moderate Demos, and even conservative Demos.
b. Would you prefer 20+ such as Italy has?
3. Short-term greed in our capital markets coupled with too much reliance on debt.
a. Would you prefer the government distribute a limited resource should as oil rather than a price system?
b. No different than when we had the robber barons. But if people were not pushing the boundaries even in the financial areas many useful products would never get done … I bet you use electronic banking to pay bills, etc. The credit markets made home ownership something previous generation could only dream about … but it went overboard. My parents had to have 50% down on a home. I purchased my first home with only 10% down 30+ years ago and my kids purchased one with 5% down on a fixed 30 yrs, it may be underwater now but they are handling payments fine.

Tell Linda, I just emailed her URL for the cobbler to rally members that followed up wanting it !

Well said Howard.

I appreciate the time and thought that went into this. I wonder how many knee-jerk partisan reactions there will be. I can only hope clear but passionate thought happens about what is best for US, the people who make up this company.

We need a write-in campaign, but I have no idea who could do the job that needs to be done. Much less, how to do it without partisan-ship and divisiveness.

Thanks for posting, I hope the thoughts are shared, appreciated and inspiring.


Hi Mr. Payne -

My mother-in-law forwarded me this entry and I wanted to reach out and say that I enjoyed reading your piece.

My afore-mentioned mother-in-law is supporting McCain in this election and I am supporting Obama and the fact that your appeal to Americans resounded with both of us is a testament to how well you were able to convey some central ideological points-of-view while staying non-partisan. Bravo for that.

A couple of things I wanted to call attention to...

1) One proposal to change the voting turnout is to have elections on weekends. (There's nothing in the Constitution about a Tuesday in November.) The very nature of having it on a workday tilts the balance of the actual voters towards those that can easily get away from the office, work for companies with better PTO policies, don't have to rush home to pick up kids from day care, etc. Either that or make Election day a holiday.

2) Yes, $500 MM is a large amount for a political campaign but a silver lining may be to look at that as an injection of capital into what are, for a large part, local economies. Those ad-buys benefit local radio stations, local TV stations, local printers (for handouts), etc. Additionally, there is the ancillary benefit of when a pol comes to town bringing his retinue, the press, out-of-town visitors who will also inject money into the local economy.

This is not to say I don't see your point, but I wanted to present a side-benefit that I have not seen covered anywhere (MSM or blogs).

Thanks again. I may reread your post and comment again if something else strikes me (if that's OK).

I couldn't agree more Howard. Although I am a Canadian citizen and have no right to comment on the politics of our neighbour to the south, I certainly share your concerns with the ways that BOTH of our governments have managed to forget who they are working for. As for your solutions to the problems in your country it is not surprising to me that they are solutions that will work for our problems as well.

Hi Howard

Very well thought out, you have a gift!

I feel "the American Dream" of owning a home, working hard, paying my debts on time, being honest and participating in local government has ripped me off! I can't sell my house, the banks are near failure, I had to go in debt to send my daughters to college, my medical insurance is a joke and most politicians are crooks. What happened to our country! It's been a very depressing time!

And in addition to the no-shows for the three Senators on votes this year, according to Alaska records, Gov Palin has been at work in her office 85 days in her 19 months in office! Howard, many of the "retired" readers here have worked more days than our elected officials have spent on their "day" jobs! Any bets on whether or not any of the three Senators will show up to vote on this bailout bill?

I disagree with the point that Detroit could have made a more energy efficient car but waited too long. I owned 2 Corvairs that were way ahead of the times, and I have no doubt Detroit could have gone even further. I truly believe the oil companies even then were trying to addict us to their product, and of course we didn't see it at the time.

As far as the election of Democrat or Republican, why would anyone want four more years of the same?


Nice thoughts BUT what good will it do THIS go round. I to am dumbfounded that people just don't get it. They vote not as it their life depended on it but what color tie the guy is wearing. And say they don't have time to figure it out. Nonsense it is the biggest thing they can do to improve their life condition.
We can try your actions after we get rid of the current administration which has driven us in the ditch. The ONLY choice we have THIS year is to elect the other party and give them a chance to change things... If not we are looking at least four more years of the same. And after that much time some your ideas wont even be on the table anymore.

There is one thing you failed to mention or maybe I missed it as I was scrolling down. I do have those bifocals you see.

I believe a lot of our problems started with the illegal aliens and nobody mentions this anymore. Maybe it's because the jobs are drying up and they are not as much the issue anymore.

But from a working class background, I have seen how employers wanted these illegals because they could pay them cash and less cash than an American. They could talk to them anyway. They could forego the usual insurance and benefits. So many Americans lost their jobs. I believe this was the beginning of our problems.

As the wife of a retired auto worker who was promised in a contract that was later voided by a judge, that our health care would be provided for and we would get certain benefits, I'm angry. A promise is a promise to me and a contract is a contract, but now we find ourselves having to pay premiums that we didn't budget for. Now don't get me wrong, I am not a whiner. Just want what was promised. Oh the big shots still get their bonuses and huge salaries but we get the shaft.

I have given up hope in this country. My ancestors came here in the 1600's and I have always been a proud American but I am a very disappointed one.

As far as I am concerned the only qualified candidate was treated shabbily and her name isn't even on the ballot. Our 401 did much better under her husband and I believe we would have been much better off if she was President. Not too happy with Palin who would set women's rights back to the stone age.

No choice and no where to turn. I'm getting my passport just in case.

Amen, amen and amen.

I can't find anything to disagree with in your post. I would say you were more lenient than I would be in speaking about the objectives of candidates. I'm guessing you were purposely diplomatic about the voting record of senator candidates. I've been spending an enormous amount of time researching for my upcoming vote. Since we now very well that the media has been one-sided in presenting the real story it is essential that we use our computers to look at the available data on the candidates. Your most important message is to get out and vote. I completely agree. I also think it's important for those of us who fulltime and don't spend much time in one state to be sure they know about their Congressional candidates. This is going to be hugely important for the continued balance of power in our Republic.

Well said, Howard. I was so much in agreement, I felt that I could have written a lot of what you wrote, specifically with respect to the two party system.

For years, the Libertarian party has been working hard to be heard during the Presidential debates. It seems like there are just too many special interests with too much money wrapped up in the two political parties. This year, once again, the Libertarians and the other third parties will be excluded.

The link below explains a little bit about how the 'non-partisan' commission on presidential debates works. As the article explains, both the Libertarian and Green presidential candidates were arrested when they showed up to participate in the 2004 debates... this in spite of the fact that thousands of people spent many hours obtaining signatures to ensure that they were on the ballot in all 50 states (they met the requirements to be on the ballot in 47 states). By the way, many of these onerous state ballot requirements were put into place by the two large parties who will stop at nothing to stay in control and keep third parties off the ballot.


As another retired autoworker I took offense at 2 points you made Howard. The Chrysler "bailout" was not a bailout, it was a loan, and it was paid back early with interest!
And, why is everyone whining at the Big 3 for building vehicles that people wanted while making a good profit on them, yet when the market suddenly shifts, not without warning I must admit, the Big 3 are asking for a "bailout"? That's not what they want. They want a loan to be paid back to help retool some of the plants that helped keep the world free, to keep American jobs building American designed & engineered vehicles that are energy efficient and high quality too.
Otherwise Howard, I agree 99% with your views and reasons. Thanks for the opportunity for me to rant a bit too......

Very good Howard. Now, if they would only let us FT RV'ers have our own Congressman and Senator, we could get you elected so that you could pull a "Mr. Payne goes to Washington" on this congress like Jimmy Stewart did!!!

I agree with most of what you had to say, but I do have one question... Are you related to Glen Beck?

Very eloquently put, Howard. As fellow full-timers not yet of retirement age, my husband & I are in the same boat as you & Linda. I agree with everything you expressed and am inspired to do more than shrug my shoulders about how the government is run. Thanks for the motivation to participate in bringing about real change!


Well said, Howard.I am tired of holding my nose and voting for the lesser of two evils. For those who say why would we want more of the same, it makes no difference who you vote for this year you are getting more of the same


Excellent, balanced analysis.

What would you think about the impact of imposing term limits on Senators and Representatives???



You are right on. However, I do believe you are being a little hard on the oil companies. Right now they are making somewhere around 8% on sales. I keep up with a lot of different companies and they make way more than that.
I feel we should all do more to work to get folks elected who will put the electorate first and not their on interest or some party. Writing about something and being involved are two different things. We are working so hard here trying to get our reps to consider new forms of energy,health care for those without, helping in Texas after the hurricane, and just being involved with the process.I envy you and all that get to stay gone for so long, but I wonder how things would be if more were on the road and not in their towns working to improve things or create change for the good.
I hope you do not mind, but I have copied your web page and sent to some of my friends to read and a couple are in our US legislature.

Howard, this was the best "rant" yet. I found myself saying "right on Howard". All the way through it.

The only thing I am having a problem with, besides some of the comments is, who in the heck do we vote for when we are sick and tired of voting for the lesser of two evils?
I've voted in EVERY election since I was old enough to vote. I'm past medicare age now.
I've voted Democrat, I've voted Republican. I am now neither. I am totally disgusted with both parties.

Outstanding! Agree with you 100%. The wife and I have discussed these same points over an over the past few weeks. Thanks!

Detroit DID make a more fuel effecient car. There was an electric car in the early '90's. I had a few friends that worked on a PR campaign for it. Suddenly one day the car, the PR contract and everything went *POOF!*...gone! See the movie, "Who Killed the Electric Car" for more info. Now I'm sure GM is smacking itself in the face for killing the idea.

Time for Solution - Internet Technology.

We need ONE neutral facts gathering and presenting webbased network with related information on every person running for office. The key is "fact". Do not under-estimate this,(that is on the human side). It is not an easy job. But it got to start somewhere and if we the people got the will power, it can be done. When it is as successful as Google, then you know we can celebrate. Because our democracy finally win.

Why don't we just voice Howard to be our initiator as I can see the solution circulating in his blood.


Great post, Howard. I agree in principle with everything you've said.

Perhaps this is too serious a topic to inject a facetious comment, but maybe what we need is a Constitutional amendment that requires a 'none of the above' box for every office on every ballot, and if 'none of the above' wins, both parties have to go back to the drawing board and put up new candidates and a new election held.

More seriously, however, I think people need to get more involved at the local and state levels, where their influence is greater. And maybe we should do away with the amendment that provided for direct election of senators and return to the original intent where state legislatures chose the senators. The House is the body that was supposed to represent the people's interests, and the Senate was supposed to represent the interests of each state as a whole.

Either way, please please don't vote on the basis of emotion. I hope everyone does some hard, cold analysis and votes on the basis of what is best for the country.

Well stated. As I said in a previous post, we do have a choice. That choice is to vote or not vote. Once we give up this choice we become like the people we vowed never to become. WE MUST VOTE!!! And in EVERY election, school board, city, county, state and national.

I haven't had time to read this but when we leave Niagara Falls and get to Cooperstown, I'll have time while my hubby tours all the baseball stuff.

I love seeing thirty something replies. Whether we agree with each other or not, it just shows how passionate we all are about this situation.

As citizens, we should care and we should be ready to do whatever it takes to get this country on the right track.

What a great country we live in. Even when it's all messed up, we still have the freedom to debate and argue and love it enough to care.

To add to suggested solutions. Quickest and most effective means to send "the people's" message to Washington would be to vote out all incumbents, regardless of party affiliation and regardles of who they are running against. We certainly couldn't be any worse off than we are now. With congressional approval ratings running in low teens it would seem self-evident that most of the current house and a 1/3 of the Senate would not be returning to their jobs in Jan., but "hide and watch", most will. That means that either the congressional approval polling data is erroneous, or voter apathy is frighteningly entrenched. In either case, the implications are even more frightening.

Bravo, Howard!

I was hoping you'd mention the Fair Tax Bill somewhere in there.

Don't be afraid to bring it up! I'm still spreading the word after you spread it to me!

Brother Jon

Unfortunately, I think you're too optimistic. 'The time' has passed. The majority of Americans are too ignorant and uninformed to know when they are being scammed by spin, and too apathetic to bother to educate themselves. See this blog: http://www.tomdispatch.com/post/174951/rick_shenkman_american_stupidity
You might also take a look at "Myths, Lies and Downright Stupidity" by John Stossel.

Having returned to civilization after three months in the Canadian bush, we found Ethanol at $2.96 (International Falls, MN) and thought all was right with the world. However, having Sirius Radio available at the cabin, we knew better. Enjoyed your rant and thought I would give you another "choice" to look at regarding our economy. That is the "Fair Tax" proposal. I read their books this summer and found the idea compelling. Thanks again for the level headed rant.
p.s. Is the "Trojan" ad on the web site a subtle reminder that we are going to get screwed anyway?

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