the daily doyle

Foundation for a Drug-Free World Empowering Parents at Kids Fest
October 4, 2017, 9:21 pm
Filed under: Good stuff

I’m happy to forward this good news on behalf of Foundation for a Drug-Free World Florida!

Tampa Florida, October 2, 2017. When parents brought their children to Kids Fest Tampa bay at the Florida State Fairgrounds this past Saturday and Sunday for fun, entertainment, and photo opportunities, many found something a lot more valuable, the tools and information they need to keep their children safe from drug abuse. Foundation for a Drug-Free World Florida was onsite, delivering life-saving information and encouraging youth to lead a drug-free life.

Kids Fest is billed as a one-stop shop to the best products, services, and resources for children and families in the Tampa Bay area, featuring local businesses and social betterment groups focusing on safety, health & wellness, child care, special needs, education, insurance, entertainment, and other important family-related topics.

Foundation for a Drug-Free World’s “Truth About Drugs” materials are thoroughly researched and well-presented booklets and DVDs, providing full information about what drugs are, how they’re made, the history of each type of drug, their short-term effects, long-term effects, and of course the very real dangers of addiction. The materials are available in 20 languages.

Over 100 signed the Youth Drug-Free World pledge and promised to live a drug-free life, show their friends that a drug-free life is more fun, learning more about how drugs really harm people, tell people the truth about the harmful effects of drugs, and help spread the truth about drugs. Several parents took photos of their younger children signing the pledge with plans to show them the photos as a reminder when they are in high school.

The drug problem is not limited to children, but also touches our older population. A retired former policeman from Rhode Island asked for 10 copies of The Truth About Marijuana. He is distressed that so many of his friends are convinced that marijuana is harmless. His experience on the police force showed him the true dangers of this common gateway drug.

Parents, police officers, and others in attendance expressed their gratitude for the volunteers working to achieve a world without the dangers of drug abuse.

About the Foundation for a Drug-Free World

The Foundation for a Drug-Free World is a nonprofit public benefit corporation that empowers youth and adults with factual information about drugs so they can make informed decisions and live drug-free.

No one, especially a young person, likes to be lectured about what he or she can or cannot do. Thus, we provide the facts that empower youth to choose not to take drugs in the first place. Additionally our Truth About Drugs campaign consists of activities that they can join which popularize drug-free living. These activities are simple, effective and can involve people of all ages.

Through a worldwide network of volunteers, 50 million of drug prevention booklets have been distributed, tens of thousands of drug awareness events have been held in some 180 countries and Truth About Drugs public service announcements have been aired on more than 500 television stations. These materials and activities have helped people around the world learn about the destructive side effects of drugs and thereby make the decision for themselves to not use them.

The Foundation provides information you need to start a Truth About Drugs education and prevention activity in your area.


Julieta Gil 727-475-6541


Happy New Year Explained
January 1, 2017, 3:09 pm
Filed under: General stuff
I hope my “Happy New Year” messages don’t come across as trite, or robotic, or insincere. I figure I’ll just seriously classify what I’m feeling.
Number one, I DO want everyone to have a SHOT at a badass year in 2017. I don’t really want each of you to be necessarily, arbitrarily happy for no good reason. Some of you are going to do some stupid stuff, like drive drunk, cheat on people who love you, forget to call your mama often enough, steal something or other, and karma’s gonna bite you in the ass, as she should. Yes, Karma is female. If Karma were a man, he’d forget it about after maybe 6 months, tops.
For those of us who voted for Trump and/or think he’s gonna work out alright, we’re already starting out kind of happy, or at least optimistic. We believe that, if Trump does what he says, that we’ll all have more freedom, a better economy, more jobs and prosperity and people will be nicer to each other.
The rather vocal, or seething unspoken, folk who HATE Trump and want him to die/fail/whatever, and somehow still hope that Hillary or Bernie Sanders will be president, you’re probably off to an uncomfortable start. Well snowflakes… Nah, changed my mind, I’m not going to do any name calling. Well MY FRIENDS, and I mean that, I really hope that you have a good year too. As far as I can tell, what you “hate” and “fear” about Trump is mainly lies told by the Clinton campaign and parroted SO often by the media that you think Trump is a… whatever, that he just ain’t! He ain’t no angel, I’m going to grant you that, but if you actually paid attention to what he wants to do, instead of the hype against him, I think you’d chill out a little. But you don’t have to chill out! Not at all. Feel free to remain as fired up as you want. What I wish though, back to that, is that as the year progresses, everything works out ok, and ya’ll notice that everything works out ok. Of COURSE you should remain diligent and speak out on anything you don’t like, anything real, like laws and executive orders. Re Tweets, well, our president has a hobby of tweeting whatever comes to his mind. Some of it is important, some of it is silly, some of it makes you roll your eyes, and some of it should just be ignored. So don’t get yourself wrapped around a tree worrying about it. This is my wish for you for 2017. That, and just generally I hope you do well, and your family stays well and prosperous, all that.
And to the other group of my friends and people I haven’t met you, who are smart enough NOT to let themselves to made happy or unhappy by political shit, I’d like to say, you are may favorites of all. If you’re oblivious to politics, I kinda envy you. Sometimes I wish I could be. If you’re aware of politics to any degree but you know that what we do on the ground, how we treat each other, raise our families, run our businesses is THE only way out of any mess, I salute you and I hope Karma recognizes this and rewards you.
So there you go. What “Happy New Year” means when it comes from me. I’ll try to be kind to ya’ll. I’d appreciate it if you be kind to me too. And when a “Happy New Year” comes my way, I do feel kind of happy. It’s the first kindness, usually, of a new year. Thank you.

Open Letter to Hillary Clinton
August 7, 2016, 6:24 pm
Filed under: General stuff, Political stuff

July 10, 2016

Doyle Mills

Clearwater, Florida



Mrs. Clinton

Presidential Candidate



Dear Mrs. Clinton:

I congratulate you for getting as far as you have in this presidential race. Your success is truly a laudable achievement. Yet, at this juncture, I believe that you should consider withdrawing from the presidential race, and further, withdrawing from public service in general.

This is being written on the 10th of July 2016, less than one week after the FBI made public their findings in the investigation of your handling of emails. The list of errors you made, the gross negligence and general carelessness is certainly embarrassing for you, and for those who are supporting you as president.

It appears now, not surprisingly, that you will not be charged with any crime. I’m no attorney and have no opinion of whether your failings to follow the law, state department policies, and common sense actually reach the threshold of criminal activity. That’s for the experts to decide and they have spoken. Enjoy your freedom.

However, and this is the point of my open letter, I believe that you should immediately, voluntarily suspend your campaign for the presidency and subsequently remove yourself completely from all political activities on all levels.

My reasoning is this. While you have avoided prosecution, you are clearly guilty of negligent handling of highly important and sensitive government information. You have proven yourself untrustworthy by the fact that you (or attorneys under your direction) deleted over 2000 emails related to your job as secretary of state, this violating the letter and spirit of our vital Freedom of Information Act statutes.

Mrs. Clinton, please understand the situation this creates for our country. Tens of millions are shocked that your prosecution will not go forward. They are calling en masse for the justice department to reconsider. This situation has the appearance of favoritism, as if we live in a country where there are two sets of laws – one for the rich and powerful connected, and another for the common man. In a country based on the rule of law and fair treatment for all, this is unacceptable.

Perhaps you deserve prosecution and perhaps you do not. In either case, you apparently will not be prosecuted. To the common man, it appears you have cheated the system through your connections and power and money. This creates discontent and strife and I fear will lead to a degradation of the foundation of our country itself.

I see only one solution. While it may not be the most pleasant for you, and may be considered tragic by your supporters, this is the only way.

Mrs. Clinton, end your campaign for president and withdraw from public service. Retire. Do charitable work. Do whatever you want. But leave any and all positions of power. Do it for the greater good. It will be better for you too. I promise.

We need to begin to heal as a nation, not become more divided. You have it in your power to begin the healing process. Do it Mrs. Clinton.



Doyle Mills

Psych Drugs Kill
May 11, 2016, 6:00 pm
Filed under: General stuff

If you know me, you’ve probably heard “the talk” at least once. If you happen to tell me that you, a relative, or your child, ESPECIALLY your child, is on psychiatric drugs, you’ve definitely gotten “the talk”.

In brief, I HATE psychiatric drugs. But that’s not the subject of this article. This article is about how the FDA knows these drugs are dangerous but, apparently not hating them as much as I do, they hide reports of adverse effects from the public.

I could write an article about it, but I probably couldn’t make it any more clear than this:

I’ll leave it to you to read, understand and make your own decision about whether your FDA is on your side, protecting you, or if it’s protecting drug companies while conspiring against you.

I’ve also posted some of the documents online, along with this article.


rev2_Vyvanse Safety and Drug Utilization Review_Redacted (2)











204326 amphetamine clinical prea

A Christmas Story
January 22, 2015, 1:02 pm
Filed under: General stuff

This was a curious, adventurous and memorable Christmas season. 2014, by the way.

It started just over a week before Christmas when Karen Hadley picked me up in Little Rock, after being shocked to discover that I was not in Ft. Smith. We said our prayers to St. Christopher and hit the road. Road Trip! All night long. Sunshine and warmth greeted us in Florida. Not terribly Christmassy, but it’s alright. While Karen moved into her new place with Logan and Violet’s help. I had the great pleasure of meeting up with someone I love dearly that I had not seen for over a year. Nice!

I had to catch this ride home with Karen in order to make my appointment for Christmas tree decorating with Pam, Sebastian, Soleil and Logan. My first job was buying the tree, but I found out quickly that, late in the season, there aren’t many trees left. But I found one. 10 feet tall, roughly a foot taller than our ceiling. Everyone was looking forward to creating this tree, Fae and Violet were around too! All was right with the world… Until I realized somewhat late (oops) that I gave the tree stand to Patricia last year, Fae and I made an emergency run from store to store breaking speed limit and numerous other laws to find one. Thank you Ole Blue. Then we set up the tree, the kids decorated it, and we all had a fine time.

And then there was Christmas day, a.k.a. Christmas 1, probably the most multi-cultural family event in all of Clearwater. We had a tree and presents and one Eric. Our food was all Ethiopian, in celebration of Kwanzaa, with both A’s. We had our TWO menorahs and Star of David in the window, and had folk with Buddhist, Atheist and Catholic leanings (along with me, the Scientologist of course) around our improvised table, which was really foot lockers covered in paper in the tree by the living room. Yes, we made everyone sit on the floor, on pillows. Thanks for the creativity, Logan. Brilliant!

Through a dramatic and not too humorous series of events, my grandchildren couldn’t be there for Christmas 1. Sad face. Big time. I LOVE those kids! So, while rejoicing that they don’t yet know how to read a calendar, Pam and I planned out Christmas 2, more info two paragraphs hence.

Because of a suspected allergy and the fact that the damn thing dropped five pounds of needles on the ground every day, we had to get rid of the tree. Do we recycle? NO! How boring. We moved it to the back yard, dug a hole and planted it. No, we were not under the mistaken impression that a cut-down tree will re-grow. We just had a very special plan for this tree.

Christmas 2 came and went. We had the kids, MANY presents, love, microwaved kid food, TWO Erics without repeating the previous Eric. Great time had by all, and I even have a few pretty darn good pictures. Logan wasn’t with us. He was recording a CD which will NO DOUBT be on everyone’s Christmas list NEXT year.

And then… January 20, at almost midnight, we “decorated” the back-yard Christmas tree with about 20 pounds of flammable stuff, mostly paper, and lit it! Amazing! Flames 20 feet in the air, glowing embers all over the neighborhood. It was epic. And so ended, officially, our 2014 Christmas season.

Thank you family. I love you! Now let’s plan a kick-ass John Wilkes Booth Day Celebration!

Rest in Peace? Me? Not on Your Life!
July 28, 2012, 2:36 am
Filed under: Philosophical stuff

Rest in Peace Denny.

I don’t even know Denny, never met him.

But he’s in my thoughts and prayers tonight. Ok, I don’t really pray usually, which is a subject for another article. But the dear departed Denny is in my thoughts; I’m telling the truth about that part.

And I’m thinking: “I hope he’s not resting in peace”.

Somebody wants Denny to rest in peace. My brush with Denny’s life (or death I guess) lasted about 2 seconds. As I was riding my motorcycle north on US19 in Clearwater, I spotted a car with white lettering all over the back and side windows. The largest text said, “Rest in Peace Denny”.

I’ve seen many such signs and even seen a few tombstones that literally say R.I.P. But this time, for reasons unknown, I got to thinking about it. And I’m a little confused.

“Rest in Peace” conjures up an idea that the departed are, well, resting, or their friends and relatives at least want them to be resting. The confusing part is… most people belong to some religion that holds a belief that people live again, that this one physical life is not all there is. Their views of where we go after the body stops living are pretty diverse – heaven, hell, back to Earth (which seems to be a little bit heaven and a little bit hell).

So with this belief system in place, why would so many people choose the “rest in peace” line? I’m stymied. I really do not know why this is the case. In a few cases, I could surmise that the person was such a troublemaker that you really do hope he is resting and causing NO trouble anymore. But that explanation can’t explain why they seem to apply the same message to everyone.

Someday, I will die. I’m not happy about this fact and I have every plan to put it off for many many years. But eventually, I’ll find myself at the wrong end of a gun barrel or something and well, whoever is left will gather around the Richmond/Callaham Funeral Home, admire the flowers, tell stories, laugh (I hope) and maybe cry a little. I sincerely and fervently hope that nobody says, “may he rest in peace”.

Amongst my friends and family, probably half or more are Christian or Jewish. Slightly less than half are Scientologists. And whatever single digit percentage is left is a mix of just about every religion on Earth. And, with the exception of a handful of atheists, they all believe, supposedly, that I will continue living in some form.

So please do not say, “may he rest in peace”.

I have no plan to rest. I’ll be up to something – you can count on it!

Even if it’s true that there is nothing else but this one life, if the Atheists are right, don’t wish me into oblivion. Give me some credit, and a fighting chance. If everybody who ever lived is just… gone, so what? Maybe I can be the first one to beat the system. Cheer me on! Say “Go Doyle Go! Don’t Stop Trying!”

Resting forever just really does not sound like fun to me. Even Hell sounds better than that. Eternal torture is preferable to just… nothing, in my book. And I suppose a lot of my friends will be there – IF there is a Hell.

So let’s change this odd culture of “may he rest in peace”.

I think B.R.B. (Be Right Back) would be awesome on a Scientologist’s tombstone!

For a Christian, maybe something like… “I’m in heaven, see you when you get here; take your time” or a simple, “on to bigger and better things”. Isn’t a more positive message than R.I.P.?

Denny, I hope you are having a great time, wherever you are. I hope you’re not resting in peace. I hope that heaven, or whatever you were promised, is everything you expected. Live on Denny, wherever you are!

Road Trip? Plane Trip? Let’s Go! a.k.a. Hong Kong Just Because
December 7, 2011, 10:12 pm
Filed under: General stuff

Why is it so cool to get out of town for a few days, a week, a month?

Maybe we all need a little change of pace. Some of us feel a little overwhelmed in our regular lives. When you leave it all behind, it’s out of sight, out of mind. I think many people just want to get away from a particular person. Word of advice – don’t take that person with you.

So where are we going?… St. Augustine for the weekend, Montreal for the Jazz Festival, Hong Kong just because. I’m ready.

“What else am I supposed to do, stay here and learn?” – Seann William Scott as E.L. in the 2000 movie Road Trip. Great movie, with Amy Smart. I want to take a road trip with Amy Smart!

Most of my travel is work related, either my for-profit or non-profit activities. Even work travel can be fun, especially when somebody else is paying for it.

Travel can be a chore but it doesn’t have to be. Flights can be especially painful with delays, cramped seating, loud kids and lame snacks. Traveling in a car can be more pleasant but begins to lose its charm after the first three hours. No matter why, where or how you’re traveling, make the best of it, make it fun. Make a game out of it. There are lots of games you can play. You can play the “how much money can we save” game. You can play the “get there really fast” game. Or the “how much can we eat?” game.

My favorite game is making time to see people I care about. There’s just nothing better than an all-expense paid business trip which includes some time to surprise some friends or random relatives in town. Some of my friends get a free meal out of my visit; hey Angela, see you in February for Thai pizza. Some others, unfortunately for them, are such darn good cooks that I’m never offering to take them out ever. Chris, this means you – thanks for all the great homemade food Cuz.

It irks me to hear people complain so much about their travel. Maybe they’ve just been so beaten up by too many trips and lost their enthusiasm. But honestly, there is just no excuse for that. If you have to be on the road anyway, come on, this is your life, and you’ll never have another chance to be happy in that moment. So take a fresh look at it, change it up.

I have suggestions. Don’t I always have suggestions?

1. Drink more water. The first thing I do when I arrive anywhere is stop by a store and stock up on water, and maybe some nuts. Water is key to your wellbeing. You just aren’t going to feel good and enthusiastic about life if you are not hydrated. And I don’t mean soda, coffee and sugary apple juice, I mean water!

2. Talk to more people. Say hi, strike up conversations. If you’re single, try to pick up every reasonably attractive girl you run into. What have you got to lose? Getting rejection is good practice for the future. If you’re a girl, I’m not sure you want to try picking up guys, that’s a whole different matter, not too safe.

3. If it’s not too far, drive instead of fly. Sometimes, with unexpected flight delays, you can get there faster driving than flying. The greatest thing about driving is that you can stop periodically, get out, stretch your legs, eat what you want, buy some stuff.

4. Don’t over plan. I guess some kind of a plan is necessary but you don’t need to painstakingly plan every minute well in advance and have it all printed out in date order. Leave a little time for spontaneity. I’m not saying plan your spontaneity in advance, that would be wacky, I’m just saying don’t get too strict on planning.

5. At least once in your life, take a long trip on a Greyhound, a.k.a. “The Dog”. Why, you ask? I’ll grant you that a bus is not the most elegant, comfortable, or best smelling way to get from point A to point B. And I’ll grant you that, how do we say this gently, you may have to rub elbows with members of the, gently now, less “moneyed” classes, or something. I will tell you this. You’ll never forget it. It won’t be dull. Greyhound bus stations are colorful and interesting places, and the people who ride are sometimes the most interesting of all. Just do it, at least once, you’ll have great stories, you may meet some great people, and it’s cheap! If nothing else, an overnight trip from Clearwater to Lexington or Washington DC to Cincinnati (my two Greyhound experiences) could make you really appreciate and stop complaining about the rigors of flying.

So who’s up for a road trip? I’m in. Amy, how about it?

Disclaimer – there are some people who genuinely love living where they live and don’t want to go anywhere. I don’t understand you people. Never will. All you stay-at-home types should probably just ignore all the above advice.

What’s So Good About Pickles?
September 5, 2011, 3:16 am
Filed under: General stuff

Does anybody really eat pickled eggs? And how about pickled pigs feet? Really?

And what’s the point even of pickles in general? Sour vegetables just doesn’t sound good. Yet somehow it’s become part of our culture to enjoy them.

I just learned today that pickles are hugely popular in Russia, because, I’m told, pickles taste good with vodka. Supposedly it’s like peanuts and beer. Well, I guess I’d have to try it.

I think it’s the salt we crave. Pickles are generally low in calories and nearly fat-free but are LOADED with sodium. The doctors (trained by universities funded by drug companies) all tell us to cut back on sodium. I don’t buy that at all, especially for people who live in a climate like Florida and who are active and sweat. Our bodies need salt and all kinds of health problems are caused by lack of salt. And, of course, it tastes good.

It seems that somebody somewhere has pickled just about everything. The standard is cucumbers but any store will also have olives and various other combinations of vegetables. And of course the pickled eggs and pigs feet. I confess though, as a kid, I did eat (and enjoy) pickled pigs feet. Sounds pretty creepy now and I don’t think I’d really want to try again. I saw pickled mangoes in my friend John’s Greek fruit and vegetable market near our house.

What I do love though is pickled beets. I like beets any way you make them. There is an expression in Kentucky, where I grew up, – “wilder than a pickled beet”. It’s a cute expression and honestly I have no idea what’s so wild about a pickled beet. They are red but that’s about it.

Once you have pickles, you can (as Emeril would say) kick ’em up a notch by deep frying them. Yes, you got it, deep fried pickles. I’ve had them, but really, given a choice, I’d rather have something else fried up, like maybe potatoes or even mushrooms.

So have a pickle but try not to find yourself “in a pickle”. That’s bad. I have always been a little confused about this idiom. A quick Internet search taught me that originally “pickles” was a spicy sauce for meat, then later a briny, spiced vinegar solution used as preservative. Still later, the vegetables that were preserved also took the name pickles. The idea then of “in a pickle” conveys the fate of a vegetable that finds itself immersed in this solution. Obviously, there is no easy way out once they close the lid on the jar. I don’t know about you, but I have had that feeling a couple of times. Somehow though, I always managed to get out of it. Good thing I’m not a vegetable, or a pig’s foot.

My readers may have noticed that all my blog articles contain quotes. It was a challenge to find a humorous or even interesting quote about pickles. The best I could do was this anonymous thought about the deeper meaning of pickles, “I think pickles are cucumbers that sold out. They sold their soul to the devil, and the devil is dill…”

All this talk about pickles is making me hungry. I might have a pickle, except that a Russian ate all the pickles in our house. I’m going to have some ice cream.

August 18, 2011, 11:22 pm
Filed under: Family stuff

Today (August 18th) would have been my mom’s birthday. She would have been 81.

She lived a good life but maybe not for herself. She made a good life for others – that’s for sure. But her own life, at least the last half of it, was not lived as well as it could have been. She deserved better. But that is a story for other days. Today is Reminiscing-about-the-Good-Times-with-Mom Day.

My two sisters and I usually called her “Mom” when we spoke of her. I always always called her Mom directly. My sisters sometimes called her Mother, which I always found endearing.

She raised the three of us, with no man around to help. We have three different fathers. Undoubtedly, that’s an exciting story but truthfully, I don’t know the details of it. She kept most of it to herself and even if I knew the story I probably wouldn’t write it. I know a fair amount of what happened with my dad from what he told me. But it’s a story Mom didn’t care to share so I’m not telling it either.

So why three kids, all that work, and no man? I always thought she just loved us (myself and my sisters) and wanted to have us and just didn’t want a man around interfering. Maybe there is some truth to that. Possibly she intended it to happen exactly as it happened. In any case, she never complained.

We were poor, I suppose, but I never noticed. We always seemed to have what we needed. We never went hungry but we ate simple food and rarely ate out. We had good clothes, though she made some of them. I had toys, bikes, color TV. Everything we had along those lines, including an electric guitar and amp I remember from my early years, came from the Western Auto store. She bought everything on credit. When she needed something, she called up Clay, who owned the store, and he delivered it.

We didn’t have a car but she didn’t drive. It would have been pointless to have one. We got around by walking (we lived in a small town), taxi (Oscal Goble, one of the TWO taxi drivers we had in our aforementioned small town) and rides from friends and relatives.

My fondest memories from childhood are when she played with me. Since I didn’t have a dad around she had to “man up” and play some frisbee, toss a baseball back and forth and a few other outdoor activities. She even tried fishing once but she really didn’t have the patience for it and I quickly worked out doing it on my own.

We also played Monopoly, checkers, chess, Yahtzee and some card games. The best part is, she cheated. If I looked away, or left and came back, she somehow always ended up with a strategic advantage. We’d laugh endlessly about her cheating. She just did what she could to make the games a little more fun.

She worked ALL the time, early morning and late at night. Mainly, she was a seamstress. Our house was a constant stream of the townspeople showing up unannounced with dresses, suits, curtains to repair. Sometimes a big fat man would show up with a pair of pants he’d ripped out. That was funny. She made dresses and weird green, pink and psychadelic pantsuits out of polyester for the stylish women of our town. Hey, it was the 70s. She kept the leftover pieces of the clothes she made and sewed them into patchwork quilts. I still have one, my favorite material possession. It’s the best beach blanket ever.

She also made costumes and uniforms, being the only full-time seamstress in town. In the 70s, rock bands had to have matching costumes – think the Osmonds and Jackson Five. She made them, from scratch. She even made school band and cheerleader uniforms. Once when I was a young teenager, in 7th or 8th grade, my bedroom was full of cheerleaders in various stages of undressed, trying on their uniforms. It was awesome. Well, I imagine it was awesome. I got kicked outside and I was shivering in the snow.

As I said, she worked a lot. As I also said, she never complained. I remember clearly that, in my childhood, she sang softly when when she worked. Gospel songs mostly, along with some Jim Nabors and Stevie Wonder. After 1976, she didn’t sing anymore but that’s a story for another day.

Today, I remember Mom, I miss her and I know two things. Wherever she is now, and whatever she’s doing, the place and the people are better off because she is there, and she isn’t complaining.

Love you Mom.


The Debt Ceiling for Dummies
July 30, 2011, 2:13 pm
Filed under: Political stuff

Warning, political content. If you continue reading past this point, your high blood pressure, confusion, any action you decide to take, and your possible slide into deep apathy is all YOUR responsibility. You have been warned.

At the time of this writing, the biggest news in the USA is that our federal government has spent itself out of money. We now need to raise the arbitrary “debt ceiling” before August 2nd or risk some form of catastrophe.

There are many opinions floating around about this situation and what will happen if we don’t allow the government to borrow more money. Our president (that I did NOT vote for by the way) was telling seniors a couple of weeks ago that he couldn’t promise that their Social Security checks would go out. The latest fear-mongering is mainly that if we don’t get more money, the country will not pay our bills and we’ll lose our good credit rating, interest rates will go up, bad things will happen, etc.

So what IS the real story? Considering that I’m no expert in the field of government, politics or economics, you’re probably in the wrong place to find out the truth. But you’re here, and you’ve invested the time in reading the first four paragraphs, you might as well stay and at least find out my thoughts on it.

The first thing to know is that the United States government has a debt ceiling, a limit for how much the federal government can owe. It’s like a credit limit on your MasterCard, except it’s an arbitrary number, set by Congress. As I understand, it’s a federal law. So, actually, we could borrow more money, exceeding that limit, but everyone involved would be guilty of violating that federal law. Well, basically, the government already spent the money that we are not allowed to borrow. They didn’t have any money to spend but the expenditures are already approved in other bills. We will have to pay this money, sooner or later. The way I see it, we have a debt limit (federal law) and our legislature and president unlawfully committed the country to spend more than the limit. It seems to me they have already violated the law and should be rounded up and jailed.

At the time of this writing, we’re at a bit of an impasse. The Republican-led House of Representatives (my boys!) has passed a bill with a solution involving raising the debt ceiling but only if we have some specific spending cuts and if Congress passes a balanced-budget amendment. Basically the amendment would say that a government cannot spend more than it takes in. This bill died immediately in the Senate and most likely the Senate (Democrat-controlled, not my boys) will craft their own bill and pass it. Then let’s see if the house will accept it and pass it.

Isn’t it just astounding that our legislators have to be forced to limit their spending to the amount of money we actually have. It just really seems like that would be common sense.

In our current position, everybody claims to agree that we need to reduce spending. I say “claims” very carefully because I really don’t believe it when coming from many of the Democrats who have demonstrated that spending is their answer to any problem. I suspect they are simply saying what they perceive will be popular and will enable them to be reelected.

There is sort of a hard-right position on this, which is: NO debt limit increase. Cut spending drastically, now.

And a hard-left position, which is: Raise the debt limit, keep spending. Party on!

The vast majority of people, the public and politicians alike, are somewhere in between these two positions. Personally I’m pretty close to the hard-right, except I do think we have to borrow a bit of money right now.

The Republicans demand spending cuts, no new taxes and a balanced budget amendment.

The Democrat position seems to be that we definitely have to raise the debt ceiling, that’s key. And President Obama has specifically stated that he will not accept a short-term solution; he wants this problem to go away until after the 2012 election. That’s kind of an interesting admission that he cares an awful lot about getting reelected and that his Democrat colleagues in Congress get reelected. I’m ok with that admission though, at least it’s honest and transparent.

The two sides fervently disagree on one point. They can’t even agree on what to CALL it, that’s how differing the opinion is. I have been listening to political radio, left and right, all week and I’ve heard 100+ mentions, from Democrats about “raising revenue” in such phrases as “solving our debt problem will require both spending cuts and raising revenue”. From the right I’ve heard many mentions about “raising taxes”, such as “this is no time to raise taxes on the American people”. They are talking about the same thing, I suppose, though it’s a confused subject.

Raising taxes is pretty easy to understand. There is a 10% tax on whatever and the government raises it to 11%, that is a raised tax. Or if the government comes up with a new tax on something never before taxed, that’s an example. There is also a modification of the tax code to remove special tax breaks, derisively called “loopholes”. For example, one of the items in the news lately is that Obama wants to remove an incentive in the tax code that was designed to encourage people to purchase corporate jets. Basically it allows the jet purchaser to take the tax deductions of the purchase over five years rather than the usual seven years. The smaller deductions would mean that the corporation would be paying more in taxes, in theory. I saw an estimate of $3 billion increase in revenue over a 10-year period from this change alone.

However, as I said, this is a confused subject. Our educated and sophisticated political elite can be pretty stupid. Increasing a tax 1% does not necessarily mean that revenue increases by 1%. In fact, it’s quite often the opposite. Making the aforementioned changed to jet depreciation schedule could mean fewer jets sold, which means less profit/less tax from Gulfstream, Boeing and rest, plus all their hundreds of suppliers. It means fewer employees, which leads to less income tax revenue. It means some employees get laid off and end up with a government check. So our tax increase could be a net revenue decrease.

Ronald Reagan and George W. Bush proved that decreasing taxes INCREASES government revenue. In fact, reducing taxes has stimulated economic activity and increased the tax revenue every time it’s been tried.

If the Democrats want a “revenue increase”, ok, let’s do it. Let’s decrease the tax rates, make it easier to do business here, and we’ll all make money. But alas, that’s not what they mean.

So what happens if we do not raise the debt ceiling and the country defaults on some of the money we’ve promised to pay. Good question. And basically, I don’t know. As I mentioned earlier, the main thing we’re being told now is that interest rates will be going up. I suppose that means that, in the future, it will be more difficult for the government to borrow money. According to Ron Paul, that’s a good thing.

Also according to Ron, we are already in default, to the American people, “First of all, politicians need to understand that without real change default is inevitable. In fact, default happens every day through monetary policy tricks. Every time the Federal Reserve engages in more quantitative easing and devalues the dollar, it is defaulting on the American people by eroding their purchasing power and inflating their savings away. The dollar has lost nearly 50% of its value against gold since 2008.”

However this current situation is resolved, it’s a very good thing that “debt ceiling” has now become a household word. I hope that the public’s awareness is increasing, that we will be paying attention, will be electing more capable representatives and that a new day of freedom and prosperity is dawning for these United States of America.