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See Ray Barends Latest Guest Essay

“The middle class is vanishing”

published January 10, 2014  (Daily Messenger Canandaigua, New York)

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Henry Clay, American statesman and orator Henry Clay, Sr. (April 12, 1777 – June 29, 1852

 This is one of his famous quotes ‘Government is a trust, and the officers of the government are trustees.  And both the trust and the trustees are created for the benefit of the people.

 Use the following links to locate and contact any Congressional Member:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_United_States_congressional_districts   OR   http://www.contactingthecongress.org/

Here are my final words, 08-04-2013

I have been a registered Republican and a registered Democrat over many years. I am now a realist and registered with NO PARTY AFFILIATION, which means I am an Independent. The reason for this is because, I believe that the majority of our retired and present Congressional Representatives, as well as Influential individuals, Corporations, lobbyists, many Banks, Investment Firms, and Wall Street executives are responsible for the elimination of our MIDDLE CLASS population.

We, the working class, have been robbed of our livelihood and can no longer sustain a decent standard of living when we are forced to compete with Foreign Countries, and we have a plutocracy-run government.  I am sure many of us are working for wages that require us to live below the poverty level.  It has been well explained on my website by a lot smarter people than I am.

ONLY HISTORY WILL PROVE ME RIGHT OR WRONG. I will leave my website intact with the knowledge that I have done my best to bring you well researched, factual, revealing and comprehensive reports of my findings.  Sincerely, Raymond B. Barend

PS: there have been several changes for the availability to research some identified websites. This is due to the time restraints placed on the websites, however all information should be available through my website.

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GUEST ESSAY: A country run by millionaires for millionaires

By Raymond B. Barend

Messenger Post

Posted Mar 07, 2012 @ 09:23 PM

Let me tell the truth: I have read many times about all the jobs that have been created throughout the United States of America.

After hundreds of hours of research on this subject, I must conclude with the following statement.  I believe that during the last three and a half to four decades, Congress has been occupying a dominant or supremely important position that caused millions of our middle class to accept lower paying jobs, loss of retirement and medical benefits.

Don’t you find it strange that many of these large corporations can emerge victorious at the expense of the employees who suffer through large pay reductions, and loss of health and retirement benefits?  Many people have to work two jobs to try to provide their families with housing, food, and transportation.  In most cases, the cost of health insurance is devastating to them.  I cannot begin to understand how self-employed people can afford to buy their own insurance.  Consequently, I know many self-employed will have no health insurance.

I would ask you to visit this web site: http://www.barlettandsteele.com/journalism/time.php You will see what has been going on for many, many years behind the scenes.  You will be shocked. It is a long reading. Please note that if do not read the entire article, you will not understand what has happened to our country. It tells the whole story about how our government manipulated the loss of our retirement and health benefits for the benefit of large corporations, and their own personal greed. You can find the same information on my website, www.usabarend.com. There, you will find an interesting article in the category “behind the scenes.” This article was published in the Daytona Beach News Journal on April 23, 2004. The article titled “Vote OKs health-benefit cuts/Employers may reduce retiree plans” will consummate my findings. The Daily Messenger has also contributed a great amount of information under the category “News and Media Publications.”

When you have finished reading it, you will have a better understanding of the word “greed,” and the destruction of the middle class, as well as the elimination of Social Security and the restructuring of our Medicare system. You will then understand why millionaires fill the halls of our U.S. Congress.

Many, especially elected officials, have painted a rosy picture of all the jobs that have been created recently. Unfortunately, they will soon run out of paint. I am sure these numbers are each in the thousands of unemployed returning military personal, teachers, postal employees, employees of small and large business, current college students, recently graduated college students, senior citizens, professional occupations, self-employed and others, as I am sure I have missed many.

If these people do not find employment soon, it will destroy the very heart of the middle class population. From what I have outlined above, this has been evolving for many years.

Raymond B. Barend is a Canandaigua resident.

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These are my views published in the Daily Messenger under YOUR VIEWS June 21, 2012. 

Jobs lost: Who benefits?

Part 1 of 2 By Raymond Barend

Posted Jun 23, 2012 @ 08:38 PM

This is a quote from the President’s State of the Union address on Jan. 24, 2012: “No American company should be able to avoid paying its fair share of taxes by moving jobs and profits overseas.  From now on, every multinational company should have to pay a basic minimum tax.”

My concern is when he said, “From now on. ” What this tells me is Congress knew exactly what was happening to our jobs over those many years.  They took no action to stop the outsourcing of jobs from leaving our country.

Many of our factories are closed, and our manufacturing and domestic jobs have disappeared by literally moving them out of our country over the past several years, and thereby meticulously eliminating America’s middle class. All this happened under the watchful eyes of our (then) Congress, their supporting lobbyists and special interest groups.

Bain Capital had been a huge well-organized business that has eliminated America’s industries; again under more watchful eyes of (the chosen one).  They have devastated the American middle class and unions through an unethical but legal system, making many multi-millionaires.  Unfortunately, very little has changed in the corporate world with the way things are managed for their own benefits.  The other benefactors in this equation are America’s large retailers that benefit the most, as they have purchased their merchandise from foreign countries for resale in the United States. To qualify my statement, pick up the item you have purchased and see where it was made.

Before unions were organized, employees were at the mercy of the employer. Most corporate employers had no idea what the word “democracy” meant or how it was defined.  Employees had 12-hour workdays, seven days a week.  There was no such thing as a vacation.  They worked for minuscule wages, just barely enough to get by on.  There were no health benefits of any kind.  Unions and democracy brought the employees to elevated living conditions, the newly created and evolving middle class.  For years, employers and employees all managed to survive fairly well until many became greedy.

The employees should also share in part of the greed concept. The unions became very powerful negotiators, which has led to many concessions by corporations over the years. Some of these concessions certainly added to the corporations’ financial problems.  The unions have recently made many concessions to assist in bringing prosperity back to where it belongs, the USA.

First of two parts by Raymond Barend of Canandaigua, a retired Rochester firefighter, former Bristol town supervisor and former chairman of the Ontario County Board of Supervisors.

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Jobs lost: Who benefits?  Part 2 of 2

Nothing will change unless we the people demand it

By Raymond BarendMessenger PostPosted Jul 10, 2012 @ 07:31 PM

The enforcement of decent working ethics was always a major concern of our once industrialized nation. To emphasize the downside of poor working ethics, I am releasing some information I received from a retired person and a very close friend of mine.

A young woman just out of high school started working for a large auto parts industry in Rochester. The year was 1949, and at that time there was no employee bargaining unit. With no bargaining unit in place, the women were at the mercy of management. They were not allowed to leave their workstation until break time. This was a carburetor production line of approximately 60 people (about 90 percent were women). If anyone had to use the restroom, they were forced to endure the pain or let it run down their legs until their break. Their break was seven minutes, and they had to be accompanied by a matron to the bathroom. They were not allowed to fraternize with fellow employees. This young woman did not even let them know that she was pregnant, because she was afraid of losing her job. The women then devised a plan to stuff rags into their underpants in case they were to have a problem.

This occurred for quite some time until they voted for union representation. It is my understanding Management gave them a very tough time when it came time to voting on joining the union. I hope I do not have to wonder how you would have voted if you were allowed the opportunity.

The USA and many other countries live in a world of plutocracy. Plutocracy is a government run by and for the wealthy class. Things will never change until we, the people, demand real change from all political parties. Being wealthy is great as long as you do not rob someone to attain your wealth. We, the working class, have been robbed of our livelihood and can no longer sustain a decent standard of living when we have a plutocracy-run government. I am sure we soon will be working for wages that require us to live below the poverty level. I believe anyone holding office who stood by, and allowed the downgrading of America’s middle class, should be voted out of office.

I see a possible solution to part of this dilemma. For both management and employees: It would be to follow the rules and regulations governing contract negotiations and would include a no-strike clause.

1 — Formal negotiations (if that fails, Step-2, etc.)

2 — Fact-finding

3 — Mediation

4 — Arbitration

5 — Binding arbitration

Second of two parts by Raymond Barend of Canandaigua — a retired Rochester firefighter, former Bristol town supervisor and former chairman of the Ontario County Board of Supervisors

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Guest essay: Mend our frayed social safety net

By Raymond Barend

Messenger Post

Posted Jul 21, 2011 @ 09:13 AM

The politicians have not given retirees or people on Social Security any kind of break in recent years — not even a cost-of-living increase last year. I understand there will be a small increase in 2012, but that will be a washout because of the increase in Medicare. Canandaigua, N.Y. —

I have read many times that people, among them senior citizens, have lost their jobs, retirement savings and medical benefits, and are now trying to survive on just Social Security. This system of calculating an increase in Social Security is unacceptable and will eventually lead to many people requiring public assistance (i.e., welfare). When that happens, more of the financial burden will be placed upon our counties and state.

How does the U.S. government expect us to survive when we have to purchase the same food supplies that have increased in price or have been reduced in size? The rising taxes, and the increasing costs of medication, natural gas, electricity, gasoline and diesel fuel are devastating our economy. I remember as a young lad, many years ago during a smaller recession, some older people had to eat canned cat and dog food in order to survive. Is this what is to be expected of us in the near future? I have to ask myself if these politicians have recently purchased food, gasoline, diesel fuel or any other life-sustaining commodities.

Many people have paid into Social Security and Medicare for years — some for as many as 30-plus years — and are not at retirement age.  What will happen to their investments in Social Security System and Medicare? What earned benefits will they receive when they retire?

In an article published this spring by the Associated Press, “Safety net for seniors fraying faster,” it was stated that, “To illustrate the challenges facing the programs, the trustees calculated the increases or benefit cuts that would be necessary to make both programs solvent for the next 75 years.” I believe the politicians who campaigned for major cuts in Social Security and Medicare, and no increase in taxes would not want you to see this. The following information came in part also from that article. Fixing Social Security would require an increase in the payroll tax of 2.15 percentage points, or an immediate and permanent 14 percent cut in benefits. Fixing the Medicare hospital fund would require an increase in payroll tax of nearly 1 percentage point, or a 17 percent cut in benefits.

I have never heard any politician state that both of these earned benefits should and could be saved for the next 75 years. If the payroll tax were approved, it would resolve the problem for the millions of people who are presently paying into the Social Security and Medicare System.

I feel confident that our government could remove any abusers to our Social Security and Medicare systems. This removal should help salvage the system.

This is an addendum: placed 08-09-2011, I believe the Counties, States, and Federal Government have a superior investigative system in place to stop illegal financial claims.  The same is true of the illegal immigrants that are in the USA.  I must assume some of the people that interview the applicant don’t thoroughly investigate their applications or you will have to draw your own conclusions. 

When I was younger, I remember that the cap was lifted periodically on the income limit that was taxed for Social Security and Medicare. I am sure if the cap was lifted as stated above, Social Security and Medicare could be saved for at least the next 75 years. It is now up to the politicians to work on solving these issues.

Raymond Barend of Canandaigua is a former Bristol town supervisor and chairman of the Ontario County Board of Supervisors.

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PERSPECTIVES: A government driven by greed

By Raymond Barend

Messenger Post

Posted Jun 26, 2011 @ 05:15 AM

Congressman Tom Reed, I agree it’s about time Congress took the lead in the so called overhaul of government entitlement programs (Guest essay, “We Can’t Do Nothing on Medicare,” June 9 Daily Messenger). You could be the most popular elected representative in Congress by introducing legislation to reduce the entitlement programs for all congressional representatives. I am sure many people would like to have Congress eliminate these self-serving entitlement programs, but I don’t believe it’s in the realm of acceptability. Therefore, do the next best thing — reduce them.

I have many questions and suggestions: What does Congress have planned for our Social Security system? I think it would be beneficial if Congress invested a small percentage — 10 to 15 percent — of the Social Security fund in private securities. This would safeguard a small portion of the fund, help prevent the government from tapping it and giving the Social Security Fund worthless IOUs, and allow for growth.

In your constituent update of Friday, June 3, you stated there are NO changes for those 55 and older. None. And those under 55, when they turn 65, will be allowed to choose from a number of government-approved heath care plans for their coverage. The taxpayer chooses from the available programs and the government pays for it. There is no voucher to put toward medical expenses or insurance.

Does the public know what these so called government-approved plans consist of?

If a government-approved health care plan was chosen, and the recipient exceeded the amount of that chosen plan, would they have to pay out of pocket expenses for any medical necessities that exceeded their chosen plan?

Would the recipient of any one of the proposed government-approved health care plans be required to purchase private insurance — insurance to protect them from a catastrophic medical occurrence beyond the coverage of their chosen plan?

If so, you will have yielded to the insurance industry. If that is the case, you have done nothing for the middle class “Joe” you make reference to.

We, the people, did not pull the money from the Social Security Trust Fund or put our country in serious financial trouble. Our trusted politicians, some banks, lobbyists and Wall Street executives are the ones that sent us into the predicament we now face. They have been bailed out, but the middle class “Joe” is still scratching to make a buck, worried about how he will pay for his children’s tuition, mortgage and food for his family. He is also worried about his job being sent overseas or being asked to take a 25 to 40 percent cut in pay to keep his company more competitive — while it is stashing away billions in profits. There are many more workers than jobs, and corporations are cashing in on the backs of their workers.

I have been a Republican most of my life and I was proud to represent my community as an elected official. Today, I am not proud of the Republican Party. Millionaires and billionaires have bought and controlled the party their way. Big businesses such as Exxon, BP Oil, Enron, Eastman Kodak, Global Crossing and others have dictated the course for Washington. It is a course covered with gold for the rich and coal for the poor.  This greed will destroy us.

Raymond Barend of Canandaigua is a former Bristol town supervisor and chairman of the Ontario County Board of Supervisors.

Copyright 2011 Irondequoit Post. Some rights reserved

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Reduce size of Congress

By Raymond Barend, August 23, 2012

Messenger Post

MPNnow.com — 

YOUR VIEWS                   

As congress seeks ways to cut government spending, I urge congress to look within itself to save the taxpayers of this nation a great amount of money and to increase efficiency and effectiveness in government.

The Constitution of the United States, Article 1 section 2, defines the composition of the House of Representatives.  It states that the number of Representatives shall not EXCEED one for every thirty thousand people in each state with at least 1 representative from each state. There is no maximum number of people that each representative shall be able to represent.  In fact, that number has increased over the years as our population grew.  I urge congress to increase the number of people that each representative represents by doubling that number.

This would also allow Congress to create a geographical region throughout the United States for Congressional representation.  Each designated region would cover basically, the same number population, thus eliminating the present electoral system, which has been dominated by the few battleground states.  The creation of the geographical region would allow every persons vote to be counted.  That is democracy!

There is no need for a constitutional amendment to take this action.  New geographical regions can easily be formed this year by expanding the geography and population covered by each district as reapportionment is carried out to adjust for the changes in census count.  Each new geographical region should be defined to include peoples with similar needs and interests.

The goal of this effort is to reduce the number of members of congress and their support staff by 50%.  I am not a mathematician, but I believe it would reduce the budget by billions and possibly trillions of dollars over a short period.

This action will prove to the American people that members of Congress are truly dedicated to making this government more cost effective.

Clause 1:

The House of Representatives shall be composed of Members chosen every second Year by the People of the several States, and the Electors in each State shall have the Qualifications requisite for Electors of the most numerous Branch of the State Legislature.

Section Two provides for the election of the House of Representatives every second year.  Since Representatives are to be “chosen . . . by the People,” State Governors are not allowed to appoint temporary replacements when vacancies occur in a state’s delegation to the House of Representatives; instead, the Governor of the state is required by clause 4 to issue a writ of election calling a special election to fill the vacancy.

The Constitution does not directly guarantee the franchise to anyone;[19] rather, it provides that those qualified to vote in elections for the largest chamber of a state’s legislature may vote in congressional elections as well. Amendments to the Constitution, however, have restricted the states’ ability to set such qualifications.[20] The Fifteenth Amendmentand Nineteenth Amendment bar the use of race or sex as qualifications to vote in both federal and state elections. Furthermore, the Twenty-sixth Amendment provides that states may not set age requirements higher than eighteen years. The Twenty-fourth Amendment bars states from using the payment of a tax as a voter qualification in federal elections. Moreover, since the Supreme Court has recognized voting as a fundamental right,[21] the Equal Protection Clause places very tight limitations (albeit with uncertain limits) on the states’ ability to define voter qualifications; it is fair to say that qualifications beyond citizenship, residency, and age are usually questionable.[22]

Since clause 3 provides that Members of the House of Representatives are apportioned state-by-state and that each state is guaranteed at least one Representative, exact population equality between all districts is not guaranteed and, in fact, is currently impossible, because while the size of the House of Representatives is fixed at 435, several states had less than 1/435 of the national population at the time of the last reapportionment in 2000.[23] However, the Supreme Court has interpreted the provision of Clause One that Representatives shall be elected “by the People” to mean that, in those states with more than one member of the House of Representatives, each congressional election district within the state must have nearly identical populations.[24]

Raymond Barend of Canandaigua is a retired Rochester firefighter, former Bristol town supervisor, and former chairman of the Ontario County Board of Supervisors.

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YOUR VIEWS, published in the Canandaigua, N Y. The Daily Messenger December 20, 2012

When will we know peace?

 By Raymond B. Barend

I do not consider myself as a pessimist or an optimist.  I see myself as a realist.  I am frustrated to think man has fought untold wars since the beginning of humankind throughout the world.  The wars in our country as well as other countries have killed thousands of military service and civilian personnel, and have crippled an untold amount.  Having to maintain military and equipment in those countries to maintain peace, and the unpaid wars continue to bury us in our nation’s debt.  It is a sad commentary because of its devastating cost; unfortunately, I know we have to be the peacemaker for the world?  We must also protect our Country with a superior military force, capable of preventing anyone from seeking to harm us.

It is exceedingly difficult throughout the world’s history of Wars, to give an accurate figure for the number of people who die in most conflicts due to the wide range of deaths that could be attributed to the war.  It is estimated that an astronomical amount of deaths have occurred due to the many types of Wars, aka, conflicts, Coups, Invasions, Civil Wars, Revolutions,  Dirty Wars, Strife, Border Disputes, National Liberation, Wars on Drugs, Religious Conflicts, etc.  Untold amounts of civilian casualties have occurred from starvation, disease, stress or a lack of resources.  We must look in our own mirror and reflect on our history of conflicts as we continue in our quest for world peace.

It has been said that Socialism is not fascism.  It is in a different category of governmental description.  Fascism is opposite of democracy.  Socialism is opposite capitalism.  We have a democracy that contains elements of capitalism and socialism.  The ratio between the two is ever changing.  We have utilized both, as our elected officials and citizens have required over many decades.  “To say we did not have it would be a lie”.

I would like to conclude my views with this statement,

Wars will continue throughout the world, as they have since their never-ending quest for dominance.  That will always be a no win situation for everyone.  We Americans are a fortunate country because we are a very mixed country with many different Religions, Races, and Cultures.  Our First Amendment guarantees us the right to freedom of religion, speech, press, peaceably assemble, and to petition our government.  These are some of the many reasons we are such a great Country.  I believe we must continue to show the world the democratic process of democracy, where the government in which the supreme power is held by the people.  When the power of love is stronger than the love of power, the world will know peace.

Raymond Barend of Canandaigua is a retired Rochester firefighter, former Bristol town supervisor and former chairman of the Ontario County Board of Supervisors.

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Information sent to the Daily Messenger,

List of wars involving the United States

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

This is a chronological List of wars involving the United States during and since the American Revolutionary War, detailing all constituent military theatres and campaigns.

Dates indicate the years in which the United States was involved in the war.

See also Timeline of United States military operations.

Contents

  [hide]

The following is a listing of US casualties in the various conflicts that have been a part of the country’s history. The following numbers reflect only reported war deaths and exclude those wounded and/or missing. The Civil War maintains the highest American casualty total of any conflict.

 

In its first 100 years of existence, over 683,000 Americans lost their lives, with the Civil War accounting for 623,026 of that total (91.2%). Comparatively, in the next 100 years, a further 626,000 Americans died through two World Wars and several more regional conflicts (World War 2 representing 65% of that total). Using this comparison, the Civil War might very well be the most costly war that America has ever fought.

 

Sources: U.S. Army Military History Institute; iCasualties.org; Wikipedia

 

CONFLICT
SPAN
CASUALTIES
American Revolutionary War
1775-1783
25,000
Northwest Indian War
1785-1795
~1,056
Quasi-War
1798-1800
514
War of 1812
1812-1815
~20,000
1st Seminole War
1817-1818
36
Black Hawk War
1832
305
2nd Seminole War
1835-1842
1,535
Mexican-American War
1846-1848
13,283
3rd Seminole War
1855-1858
26
Civil War
1861-1865
~625,000
Indian Wars
1865-1898
919
Great Sioux War
1875-1877
314
Spanish-America War
1898
2,446
Philippine-American War
1898-1913
4,196
Boxer Rebellion
1900-1901
131
Mexican Revolution
1914-1919
~35
Haiti Occupation
1915-1934
148
World War 1
1917-1918
116,516
North Russia Campaign
1918-1920
424
American Exped. Force Siberia
1918-1920
328
Nicaragua Occupation
1927-1933
48
World War 2
1941-1945
405,399
Korean War
1950-1953
36,516
Vietnam War
1955-1975
58,209
El Salvador Civil War
1980-1992
37
Beirut
1982-1984
266
Grenada
1983
19
Panama
1989
40
Persian Gulf War
1990-1991
258
Operation Provide Comfort
1991-1996
19
Somalia Intervention
1992-1995
43
Bosnia
1995-2004
12
NATO Air Campaign Yugoslavia
1999
20
Afghanistan (ongoing)
2001-
2,145 (11/2012)
Iraq
2003-2011
4,486

Please be aware that in order for all of the topics to be covered and easily accessible, there may be some redundancies.  The same entries may be listed in different areas.

MY OPINION: THE ILLEGAL POPULATION IN OUR COUNTRY WOULD BE EXCLUDED FROM RECEIVING ANY SOCIAL SECURITY BENEFITS OR COMPENSATION FROM OUR GOVERNMENT.   

PUBLIC ASSISTANCE, WELFARE, AND WORKERS COMPENSATION MUST BE SCRUTINIZED, AND NEEDS TO BE WATCHED OVER PROPERLY.

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