The actual positions of the 2008 candidates are so muddled by the rabidly partisan debate where charges, counter-charges and counter-counter-charges are thrown into the ether with such impunity as to make them worthless. What we need is a good old-fashioned checklist. Let us start with the basics.

Personal Characteristics...

"Energy." Without energy, and its cohort "enthusiasm," you have a dull lifeless shell who will not be able to motivate either the people or the other politicians in assisting you in problem solving.

"Vision." Without a destination, any path will suffice to allow you to demonstrate action.

"Courage." The courage to face criticism and learn. The courage to act boldly and undertake feats deemed impossible by others.

"Ethics." Most politicians on the national stage have become cynical and pragmatic. We need leaders who know the difference between right and wrong. Notice I am not mentioning morality here because it is a personal and subjective matter open to interpretation; whereas right and wrong is often "black and white" with no shades of gray.

"Reality." Everybody loves an optimistic view through rose-colored glasses that minimizes problems and maximizes opportunities. However, we need a leader who realizes that subordinates and others serving the government are reluctant to disclose unpleasant truths and will minimize those that are disclosed. We need a candidate who will ignore the filter of optimism and the prismatic distortion of reality and take the appropriate action.

"Priorities." There are limits to the resources at your disposal, time, space, people, funding... so priorities in the use and distribution of the resources becomes a much-contested issue; but one that must be faced squarely by our leaders. Even though we have printing presses capable of churning out millions of dollars, one must always be cognizant of the underlying value of resources and their prioritization.

"Intelligence and Common Sense." We are not speaking of intellectuals -- only of candidates who possess the intelligence and uncommon common sense  to be able to understand the issues facing America and its people -- and to react appropriately.

The Major Issues of Our Time -- all issues can be ranked on their relationship to the survival of America, the American Dream and their impact on the ordinary citizen. I will not attempt to prioritize these problems in terms of severity or impact as that is being left to the candidates.

"National Defense -- Islamo-Fascism and Terrorist Tactics." We are facing a toxic religion, Wahhabism, and those who are using our own laws against us to defeat the United States. We need to clearly define the enemy and take note of their tactics.

"The Aging Population and its Effect on Government-Sponsored Healthcare and Retirement Programs." As a card-carrying member of the "baby-boomer"generation, I see the urgent need to rationalize our social contracts and benefits systems (Medicare and Social Security); to place them on a sound economic footing without lapsing into socialized medicine. We need to remove the insurance companies from their role as profit-making gatekeepers and controllers of medicine and return the delivery of comfort and care back to physicians. 

"America's Aging Infrastructure and the Outsourcing of Critical Materials and Capabilities." Our highways and civic structures are rapidly deteriorating and the replacement of this critical infrastructure is uncertain as the government squanders money on waste, corruption and providing benefits to non-citizens and other sovereign countries.

"The Increasing Expansion of Non-Productive Government." The bureaucracy is straining resources unnecessarily through "government for government's sake." These petty bureaucrats are creating a plethora of rules, regulations and other such non-productive folderol in order to perpetuate their jobs -- which often produce nothing by chaos and corruption.

"Lack of Governmental Credibility Caused by Chaos and Corruption in Public Institutions." Gerrymandered districts, increased representation based on the inclusion of illegal aliens by estimation, chaos and corruption seem to be the hallmarks of government. Is it any wonder that an entire legion of lawyer/lobbyists (or as I call them: personal political friends) serve to shake the government money tree to the detriment of ordinary taxpayers.

"The Educational Crisis." In spite of the enormous sums of money that are spent on education, especially its bureaucracy, their is a measurable decline in the effectiveness of American education. Some blame this on the intrusion of unions which continually fights against competency testing of their members or disciplining those who are ineffective. Other blame this on the illegal aliens who are not native English speakers and who "dumb-down" the entire educational process. Others place the blame, rightfully so, on parents who neglect their children or who have never stressed the benefits of education. It is hard to promote that which you may not have yourself.

"The Malignant Influence of Special Interests." Even racial divisiveness is a direct product of those who stand to benefit from creating a situation in which ONLY certain leaders can fight for "their people." This divide and conquer approach to securing personal wealth and power on the behalf of so-called "activists" needs to stop before America is so polarized as to be totally ineffective  as a fibrillating heart which beats fast but pumps little blood. Allowing lawyers, lobbyists and ex-government officials to secure special favors for those with money, power or position must be severely curtailed.

"Immigration, Demographic Dilution and Labor Pool Management." This is a major issue. Here in California, it is estimated by the chief legislative analyst, that Hispanics, most of whom are illegal, will be the dominant majority by 2050. This portends the increasing destruction of our present infrastructure and the possibility that the great Southwest will turn into a de facto Mexican state. The current Administration is complicit in this attempt and is trying to create an North American Union (see

"Incoherent Foreign Policy and Mixed Messages." We are handing out money for temporary publicity opportunities and to influence behaviors beneficial to the United States. This is not a bidding war where we are played like suckers. We need to develop a rational foreign policy that sends a single message to the world: we are America and this is the right thing to do -- ignore us at your own peril. This also includes our participation in that corrupt, anti-American organization that purports to represent "world interests" known as the United Nations. Amazingly even a state sponsor of terror and torture can serve as the head of the UN's Human Rights Commission. Enough said about that subject.

"Foreign Trade Imbalance and Restrictive Tariffs and Protocols." We are being royally screwed by China and others who are slowly buying up large portions of the United States: real estate and industrial production capacity, by using the great imbalance in trade dollars. In a time when the Euro is pegged at approximately 30% more than the dollar, each of their Euros permits them a 30% discount on all United States property and wares while we must pay a 30% penalty to purchase similar property and goods (if permitted at all by the foreign entity) in their nation. This game of tariffs and restrictions must stop. While it seems that the multi-national companies control the politicians and the world, there must be some rational checks and balances imposed on their ability to move funds in such a manner as to place the United States at a severe advantage to the rest of the world. George Soros is one who has effectively played this foreign exchange game to the great detriment of the Governments of the United States and Britain. The profits now allow him to attempt the complete destruction of the United States in favor of a one world government devoted to those with money.

"Judicial Decision-Making Based on Activism Outside of the Established Law." Consider the 14th Amendment which was crafted to provide citizenship to disenfranchised American slaves who arrived involuntarily in chains from other nations during the disgraceful years of slavery. A tortured interpretation of this Amendment by activist judges who ignored the intent of the founding fathers, has led to a mass migration of foreign nationals intent upon giving birth on American soil as to produce an American "anchor baby." Other tortured laws have been used to justify a whole host of governmental benefits where none previously existed or were contemplated. Candidates who support the "strict construction" of the Constitution and believe that the Supreme Court is an arbiter of the law rather than a usurper of the legislature's law-making mandate are to be preferred.

"Gobbledygook and the Inconsistent Application of the Law." Whether this stems from an overabundance of lawyers in politics or in corporate life is unknown, however the resultant complexity of the law is now impacting Americans who are presumed to know what the law is, even though professionals who have studied the law all of their professional lives remain mystified. The best example is the tax code -- clearly not even understood by those who administer it as evidenced by the number of incorrect interpretations by governmental tax advisers.

"Making Americans Wrong for Profits or Politics." America openly tolerates both smoking and alcohol even though both have been proven to have deleterious affects on the population; preferring to control the situation with self-serving taxation and an increasing regulatory bureaucracy.  Just as outlawed drugs are extremely profitable because of limitations on their supply, people have begun to make money moving cigarettes from one taxable jurisdiction to another.

"Creating Entities Above The Law or Extending Preferential Treatment to Minorities." With all due respect to our American Indians, I see no reason why actions performed by Indians on so-called Reservations are above our laws -- and are allowed to influence our daily lives. We should be a land of equal opportunities not a land of equal outcomes. Unfortunately, there are those members of the "lucky sperm club" who are born into a position of wealth and privilege -- and nothing will ever change or equalize that accident of birth.

"Honest Accounting and Taxation." It is fundamentally true that corporations do not pay taxes in the sense that they pass along all of their costs directly to those purchasing their goods and services. Using third-party entities, such as utilities to collect taxes to disguise the amount of taxes is wrong. Accounting allowances and deductions are wrong. The rules should be simple. Add up all the money you received from all sources -- multiply by some factor -- send the postcard and a check back to the government to aid in the defense and administration of the United States. No special interest or unreadable tax codes or additional governmental bureaucracy needed.

"Rational Conservation and Energy Policy." Disallowing the crackpots that want to subvert science for political power or personal profits, the United States needs a rational energy policy based on the appropriate utilization of our national resources and the examination of nuclear energy as a means for energy independence. We need to rely less on the environmental whackos and more on the principals of good conservational stewardship. Just as Rachel "Silent Spring" Carson led the environmentalists to legislate the deaths of millions of people from hunger and disease based upon junk science that demonized the synthetic pesticide DDT, we can not allow these people, who have a very anti-American political agenda, to continue to influence policy.

What can YOU do?

Study the above character traits and issues facing America and add your own. This will be the checklist used to judge candidates at all levels of government. Feel free to share your additions by using the comment system below.

Vote against anyone who attempted to subvert America's sovereignty, culture, healthcare, education and retirement benefits in order to provide these benefits to non-citizens or to empower foreign governments with rule-making power over American citizens.

Avoid any news media which provides a biased view of the world or who distorts the truth -- especially in a manner that hurts America.

-- steve

A reminder from a large improvement can result from a small change…

“Nullius in verba.”-- take nobody's word for it!

“Beware of false knowledge; it is more dangerous than ignorance.”-- George Bernard Shaw

“Progressive, liberal, Socialist, Marxist, Democratic Socialist -- they are all COMMUNISTS.”

“The key to fighting the craziness of the progressives is to hold them responsible for their actions, not their intentions.” – OCS

"The object in life is not to be on the side of the majority, but to escape finding oneself in the ranks of the insane." -- Marcus Aurelius

“A people that elect corrupt politicians, imposters, thieves, and traitors are not victims... but accomplices” -- George Orwell

“Fere libenter homines id quod volunt credunt." (The people gladly believe what they wish to.) ~Julius Caesar

“Describing the problem is quite different from knowing the solution. Except in politics." ~ OCS