What does Citizen John stand for?

He’s written a lot thru life, on public web sites and Letters to the Editor (we’ll be adding those soon). Still believes in what he said. Hopes it echoes what you want for your local community and our Country.

Sometimes a candidate’s agenda can read like an encyclopedia or the words are vague and don’t really say anything. We’ll try a simple/direct approach, and again, the importance of dialog. Don’t assume the worst, feel free to send us your thoughts. He’d like to hear what you feel and why.

QUICK SUMMARY:

I’ve voted for Democrat ‘first-terms’ in the past. I liked what Clinton and Obama said. But their nice words didn’t transfer into any real policy making us a better Country. Never got my vote again. President Trump spoke with clear words and was not afraid to take action: Tax changes, limiting regulations, promoting business, challenging easy abortion, enforcing our Southern Border, strengthening our military, and asking our NATO allies to pay their fair share.

At times I found his words blunt and attacks a little too personal, but given a choice, I prefer actions versus the ‘smiling faces/words’ delivered by politicians who are thinking the same ‘blunt’ thoughts. I’d be happy to stand by his side!

IMPORTANT ISSUES / HOW I FEEL:

  • Abortion – It’s not a ‘right’, terminating a human life is not a ‘choice’, and it’s certainly not ‘birth control’.
    • But, are there situations where we can say ‘Okay’, I believe so.
    • But to begin that dialog, we must all agree: In each and every case it’s an unfortunate family tragedy.
  • Afghanistan – What a preventable tragedy that has left America’s leadership looking foolish. I happened to be in Italy visiting family when the ‘Rapid Withdrawal” occurred. The foreign news coverage was blistering.
    • When we empty a major airbase OVERNIGHT, and don’t tell anyone, we again sent a message all we care about is our “National Interest” and not the people that worked/fought with us and their futures.
    • I’m a former military officer. Good morale is critical in a fighting force. We sucked the will to fight from Afghan soldiers in the field…
    • Yes, we couldn’t stay their forever, but gone-in-a-flash, NO.
    • This is a recent addition, for a few more thoughts, check “Iran” farther below. We need to do better.
  • China/Russia – Well equipped autocracies with a lot of ‘bully’ potential. Major threats to our democratic way of life. We need to prepare and take them seriously.
    • My eyes were opened reading “The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich” by William Shirer.
    • How a man like Hitler & the NAZI party, steered the German People into intolerance and threw the world into chaos.
    • Democracies were willing to listen to every lie, apology, and request for another chance.
    • They failed to have the courage of their convictions, wanted to avoid armed conflict, and instead allowed a human disaster!
  • CIVIL DISCOURSE – I’m tired of the anger, name-calling, and intolerance. If you don’t agree with someone or say something slightly different, “You’re a no-good #$@#%!!!” It’s a danger to our society.
    • I know several situations (and you probably know some) where people have STOPPED TALKING: between friends, siblings, parents and children. It’s a tragedy!
    • “Civil Discourse” – the recognition and acceptance that two intelligent, caring, and loving people can look at the same set of objective facts … and yet make different conclusions based on their personal life experiences.
    • This is a major reason I decided to run. I hope you agree intolerance is moving our country in the wrong direction.
  • Covid – This is becoming a very divisive issue. When the pandemic began, we didn’t have effective protective gear, understand how to treat, or have a vaccine.  Now we do.  Covid’s not going away. We’re facing something that changes annually similar to the flu. I feel it’s time to get back to normal, but also welcome your thoughts.
    • Do we really want to ENFORCE MANDATORY VACCINES, ANNUAL/SEMI-ANNUAL BOOSTER SHOTS, INDOOR MASKS for our entire population for the foreseeable future?
    • Over 40 muscles are used in our facial expressions, most are covered by a mask. Personal communication is effective because we ‘read’ (and learn to read) each others faces. What are we losing?
    • We allow a lot of unhealthy lifestyles and that’s part of personal liberty and there is a social cost in health care, etc.. Now that we have effective protective gear, we should be careful in demanding specific behavior.
    • I’ve heard from parents/teenagers that ‘remote learning’ doesn’t work very well or limiting contact in classrooms.
    • If you’re worried about contacting Covid: get the vaccine, where protective gear, limit contact with others.
  • Critical Race Theory – I’ve been jailed in peaceful demonstrations attempting to heal divisions that occur in Family Law. Got to know many black men and had them for cell mates. I understand some of the issues they face. I’ve studied the methods of Mahatma Gandhi and Dr. Martin Luther KIng. I feel CRT is misguided and certainly should not be taught in any public school.
    • It seems sprouted from the politics of division that have gripped our nation.
    • It seeks to promote the cause of one ‘race’ by diminishing another ‘race.’ What a terrible thought for solving any social ill.
    • Does ‘racism against blacks’ exist in some people, yes? CRT is not part of any solution. Please follow the links on Gandhi and King. Good examples of how to achieve social harmony.

      Definition of CRT from the Encyclopedia Britannica website: An intellectual movement and loosely organized framework of legal analysis based on the premise that race is not a natural, biologically grounded feature of physically distinct subgroups of human beings but a socially constructed (culturally invented) category that is used to oppress and exploit people of color. Critical race theorists hold that the law and legal institutions in the United States are inherently racist insofar as they function to create and maintain social, economic, and political inequalities between whites and nonwhites, especially African Americans.
  • Defund the Police – A bad concept and a harmful ‘fix’. Are there bad cops? Yes, and one bad apple can spoil the bunch.
    • Police have a very demanding job. I’m former Military, we usually knew where the enemy was and what to expect — police don’t have that luxury.
    • We thank ‘vets’ for ‘their service’ …. we certainly owe the same to folks who wear a badge.
    • The fix? A contractual Honor Code. In most situations where a ‘bad’ cop hurts a citizen, there are usually one or more ‘good’ cops present. But at Police Academy, they are taught to be a team, you ‘lookout for each other’ and this sometimes turns into ‘cover for each other’…
      • At the Air Force Academy a strong team was a must, but we were taught NOT TO TOLERATE. If a fellow cadet was lying, cheating, or stealing – we were OBLIGATED to intervene. Potentially stop the action before it occurs, but if it did, TURN HIM IN.
      • By violating the Honor Code, he was NOT A MEMBER OF THE TEAM. If we did not report it, we faced expulsion also.
    • Good cops need to be able to say Mary, I saw what you did and I’m going to turn you in. Your action is not going to risk my job, support for my family, or make every other officer on this force look bad.”
  • Defense – We were the last line of defense in two World Wars and the Cold War. Protector of nations and the principles of Democracy and Liberty.
    • Yes, we’re not perfect, but certainly MUCH BETTER than the alternatives.
    • In the small scope, a neighborhood “bully” is only afraid of someone tougher. In the large we need to make sure international bullies fear us.
    • If we live up to our principles of liberty and democracy. We’d have many more friends!
  • Deficit Spending – Only the government can spend money it doesn’t have and promise to repay at sometime in the far future.
    • Does it work in the ‘small’ before applying to the ‘large’? We could never do this in our individual lives. I consider myself a charitable person and try to do as much as I can, but I don’t spend money I don’t have.
    • As history has shown, our children may pay a terrible toll.
    • Spending within our means forces us to confront the tough questions (as you would at home). Members of Congress find it easy to give away “FREE MONEY” — and don’t we like it as citizens?
  • Dreamers – Young children brought here illegally by their parents, but for whom America is now home and their parent’s country is entirely foreign to them. This is a tough one.
    • Let’s face it, it’s OUR FAULT they are here. All the politics that got played and allowed an open border to the South. They didn’t ask to come, they were brought.
    • We need to set some age limits (and soon!), but the young ones should be allowed to stay, perhaps in a limited way (no Chain migration).
  • Economy – A free market and Capitalism may not be perfect, but I haven’t seen a better historical alternative.
    • People work the hardest when they can enjoy the fruits of their labor. That’s how this country grew.
    • But, we do need a level playing field and competition (see ‘Workers’ below).
    • Many of us know what it’s like to have ‘only one Cable company’ to choose from, pay their rates or else!
  • Family Rights – Does this one surprise you? Probably not if you’ve been involved with ‘Family Court’ and your ability to be a parent to your own children unjustly controlled. Being a parent is so fundamental, it’s hard to believe our Country has failed to recognize & protect it as a ‘right’.
    • It didn’t make the Bill of Rights, but I almost guarantee if the King’s Judges or Church Authorities had separated some our Founders from the children they love — it would be there.
    • Check this Family Rights Act for some simple wording.
    • Rob a 6 pack from a convenience store and you get: a lawyer, speedy trial, presumption of innocence, strict rules of evidence, and a Jury which must be convinced beyond a reasonable doubt. Don’t parents & children deserve the same standard before they’re separated for months/years?
    • Statistics show kids who have two involved parents do well. In the last 60 years, we’ve made it easy for parents to split. Let’s make if more the default that both parents remain equal with their children, unless their is REAL objective proof otherwise.
  • FREE Speech – The 1st Amendment. Hard to believe I need to mention it.
    • Many have experienced ‘censorship’ on Facebook. Computer deciding if others will see what you said, or is it accurate, or do we need to add a ‘disclaimer’…
    • Just “Shut People Up!” for something not politically correct or potentially offensive to someone.
    • I’m concerned by the “Cancel Culture” that seeks to punish those who don’t agree or say something out of line with perceived ‘new and improved’ social norms.
      • No crime is committed, but the person loses a job and a career.
      • The most fascinating thing: No real ‘intent’ is required, just say the words.
    • I’d love to hear some thoughts/ideas on how we protect people in their workplace and on social media.
  • FREE College – OMG! Guaranteed student loans and massive debts? Government created a problem it now wants to solve with free money.
    • No risk to the bank, or the student (many want to forgive that debt) — just to the taxpayer.
    • Let’s face it, Colleges increased their tuition & fees to ‘absorb’ the extra money, maybe pay faculty more, nicer facilities. Certainly a lot more student load.
    • More government control over tuition, and of course, a bit more control over what’s taught?
    • School is hard work. Certainly paying for something out of your pocket increases your focus on that item.
  • Gay Marriage/Civil Union – I certainly feel a Gay couple deserves the same rights/privileges as any traditional married couple.
    • For many the word ‘marriage’ has a lot of historical meaning. Right now I’d prefer a different ‘name’ and certainly Civil Union is OK. It can be used by non-gay couples if they wish.
    • Stop polarizing everyone. Why is opposition to the term “Gay Marriage” called Homophobic? I hear that all the time. Is it justified “prejudice”? I looked up one definition, “a person with a dislike of or prejudice against gay people.” I certainly don’t feel that way. I have good friends that are gay. Yes, we disagree on the Marriage vs. Union…. our opinions differ, but we still respect each other.
    • Perhaps we just need to give people more time to adjust?
  • Gun Ownership -The 2nd Amendment and yes I feel it’s your right as a citizen. I share the concern with personal violence, you hear the numbers, but we’re a nation of over 300,000,000 people! I saw how arbitrary things can be when politicians turn a ‘right’ into a ‘privilege’:
    • I live in New York, a former Air Officer, and held a SECRET clearance. Never convicted of any serious crime and never violence.
    • I was DENIED A PISTOL PERMIT by a single Judge. No review options other than to challenge it in court (how may people can afford that?). I spent a little money with a great lawyer and my name is in the Appeal to the United State Supreme Court.
    • How do we fix the ’cause’ …. why do we want to hurt each other? Metal detectors at the school? Back in the 60s, 70s, many of us carried pen knives in our pockets – but we weren’t going to stab anyone.
  • Health Care/Insurance – You can check my bio page for details. For many years in my recent adult life I couldn’t afford to pay for health insurance. I was very fortunate to catch Bladder Cancer early and get it treated because I had VA Medical coverage.
    • Without that coverage, I would have ignored a one-time blood in my urine with devastating consequences.
    • I fully understand the need for affordable health care and certainly feel the vast majority of us want our fellow citizens taken care of.
    • The “Devil is in the Details.” I will be listening and taking a hard look at solutions.
  • Immigration – We must control the mess at our Southern Border. How does it ever make sense to have elementary school aged children dropped across our border?
    • Does it work in the ‘small’ before applying to the ‘large’? If you had a nice house, money, plenty of room — does your poor neighbor have a ‘right’ to occupy a spare room? Leave their child with you? No. Charity and compassion are things we ‘should’ do, but not something that can be ‘demanded.’
    • Chain migration – I never understood how open-ended it really is: “Green card holders or legal residents can petition the Immigration Service to bring over their spouses and their minor children. And once the petitioner gets citizenship, they can apply to bring over parents, married children and adult siblings.”
    • My folks were legal immigrants. My Dad came here when American needed workers and the doors were wide open. My Mom came as his spouse. Lets make some ‘non-political party’ decision on what our country needs and get this under control.
    • I’m sorry, I’m beginning to believe many “Asylum” requests are just desires for a better life….
  • Iran’s Nuclear Program – A real problem. They hate out guts! Please don’t be shocked if I add – ‘justifiably so…’ Back in the late 70s we had a lot of Iranian Student Pilots. The ‘Shah’ / a Dictator was our friend (against Russia). The enemy of my enemy is my friend (even if he persecutes his own people). When the Iran Revolution occurred, Saddam Hussein became our friend! He fought a war with Iran, chemical weapons, but we weren’t very concerned. The enemy of my enemy is my friend.

    Fancy words for what might seem foolish conduct, “Our National Interests” / “Geo-Political Strategy.” What’s been our interest in the ‘Middle East’…. the price of a gallon of gas! Do you notice we’re not too concerned about dictators, revolutions, and armed conflict in Sub-Sahara Africa?

    Thoughts on a solution? Potential items: 1) We owe their people a sincere apology for how we treated them and our failure to promote the ideals we stand for. 2) We DO NOT allow them to develop a nuclear weapon. Please understand I firmly believe that terrorism and 9/11 type actions are NEVER JUSTIFIED.

    I ‘feel’ the bullies, Russia and China, would not be disappointed if a boat floated into the harbor of New York, San Francisco, or LA — and an Iranian nuclear weapon detonated. Our internal chaos would only benefit their interests..
  • NATO – An important alliance, but without a doubt, they fully need to pay their fair share — and if anything, probably a little more because the risk of invasion/external control is much closer.
  • Product Liability Lawsuits – Have you noticed when you buy a new product, there is more to read in ‘fine print’ than there are directions on how to use it? I’d like to hear more discussion on these thoughts.
    • If you are damaged by a bad product, you can sue for your injuries/loss of income, but a control on ‘punitive damages’.
    • Frankly, if some people in the company knew it was a bad product and sold it anyway, they should face ‘criminal’ charges. If you can prove it beyond a reasonable doubt to a jury and get a unanimous verdict of guilty – send them to jail.
  • Schools – What’s going on in our public schools (K-12)? I’m concerned about poor performance, especially in city schools. I’ve experienced the loss of local control/accountability. At our local Board in Lyons, I’m allowed a few minutes to make a ‘comment/question’, but don’t expect an answer from the Board Members.
    • I’m worried about the power of teacher unions in this area and politics.
    • Are we getting away from teaching ‘facts’ and into teaching ‘opinion’. I’m proud of my Italian heritage, and my jaw dropped when a teacher friend seriously told me, “Christopher Columbus was guilty of Genocide.” Really?
    • I believe we need more parent involvement in schools and monitoring what is taught. Private/Church schools are fine and provide competition and perspective with the public system (can they really do a better job with much less money?) What every happened to the Parents & Teachers Association (PTA)?
    • I’d seriously consider arguments for ‘school vouchers’ for parents. A hybrid approach where every primary education school (public/private) gets a certain amount of taxpayer funding, but the rest of their budget comes from parents spending their ‘vouchers’ there because that’s the school they think will do the best job … and you are allowed to change schools at the end of each year.
  • Social Security – It saved my parents from an old age of poverty. I was born when my Dad was 64 and was raised on Social Security. I’ve always associated it with the elderly and making sure they have money to live in old age.
    • Why is it going broke and how do we fix it?
    • Disability payments, do they really qualify? I knew an adult who seemed perfectly fine. I was surprised to find out he wasn’t working at all, collecting disability…. for ADHD?
  • Term Limits for Congress – After Franklin Roosevelt was elected to Four Terms as President, Congress decided the Constitution should be amended to a Two Term limit — but funny how they excluded themselves!!!
    • Right now I like the idea of a 3 Term limit in the House and Senate, but I would listen to arguments for lower.
    • Get rid of the FAT pensions, contribute to 401K like everyone else.
    • It’s not your job for life, but an opportunity to serve, and then make room for someone else.
    • I will not serve more than three terms in the House of Representatives regardless.
  • Veterans Administration (VA) – You can check my bio page for details. For many years in my recent adult life I couldn’t afford to pay for health insurance. I was very fortunate to catch Bladder Cancer early and get it treated because I had VA Medical coverage.
    • I’ve heard horror stories about VA care and I believe them. I’ve come to learn each facility has it’s own personality that highly depends on local leadership. I was fortunate, the Syracuse VA Medical Center is a well run facility.
    • Surprises I had during treatment:
      • BCG in short supply – This is one of the premier drugs for treating Bladder Cancer. Wondering why it can’t be found and if government regulations and product liability have made it too expensive to produce?
      • Local hospitals wouldn’t take me – There was a problem with equipment needed to prepare BCG in Syracuse. I was told by my Doctor that local hospitals had been contacted, but were unwilling to give me treatment.
    • We need to insure everyone who served gets good care.
    • We need better checks for soldiers leaving the battle field. There are so many toxic compounds and who can predict the effects of exposure?
    • I will be listening to vets. I was fortunate to never had to risk my life in combat. I have friends who did and lot of respect and admiration for all who fought.
  • Workers – An Italian immigrant, My Father swung a sledge hammer on the Rail Road staring about 1916. He experienced the great depression and the importance of Unions to level the playing field. But the pendulum can swing to far in both directions. Sorry, no easy answer here…