Friday, August 3, 2012

The Minimum Wage is Bad for the Poor

Do you remember when grocery stores had baggers floating between a few registers?  They weren't in a hurry, they didn't cram a dozen items in one sack, and they would even help you out to your car.  As a general rule, that job doesn't exist anymore.  Window washers at service stations don't exist anymore.

A lot of little niceties of daily life just aren't included anymore.  Most of us think, well, companies are just cutting back.  They don't want to pay for those nice touches anymore.  We're only partly right.

When I was in high school, I worked as a warehouse stocker and delivery driver for an electrical supply house.  I made $4.25/hour and worked my tail off.  There was enough work for 2-3 of us.  The problem was that, well, that job wasn't worth much more than $4.25/hour.  So, the company made do with one where 2 or 3 would have done a more thorough job.

That company doesn't hire high-school students anymore.

Later, when I was looking for other work, I had this and other jobs that I could list on my resume, to show that I knew what an honest days work was, that I had some appreciation for toil, or that I had skills with invoicing, stocking, or delivery.  Many of today's youths won't have that opportunity to work, earn a wage, and gain valuable experience in the work-place.

Employers used to be willing to bring on a young adult and train them.  To take someone with no experience, pay them a small wage and pay them more in skills and training and then bump them to a higher wage once they reached an earning capacity.  This is becoming another rarity.  You see, at a certain point, the cost to the employer got too high, the benefit of training someone from scratch was outweighed by the cost of paying them a minimum wage.  So, now requirements for work are going up.  You can't learn a skilled trade on the job, you have to know something coming in.  Vocational schools are booming, trade schools are booming.  Employment for the young is down.  By the way, these vocational and trade schools are hideously expensive.  Some costing more per semester than a full public university's tuition.  And people are paying.

What this tells me is that these mentorships, apprenticeships, or low paying, learn as you go jobs have value much beyond their would be low wage, at least, for the holder of that job.  For the employer, not so much.  For the employer, it's normally a slight drag on production at first, that slowly yields some production gains until he has a viable employee.  Some forms of mentorships and apprenticeships are still available under current laws, but require payment of a minimum wage.  For employers faced with this added burden, many have simply elected to stop apprenticeships and shifted the burden for receiving the training squarely onto their future employees.

If a career is a ladder, with each rung you climb giving you some foundation in skills and experience for the next rung you reach, then the minimum wage laws in this country have effectively removed the bottom rungs from the ladder.  This is fine for everyone above that or marginally close to that level, but for those just starting out, it signals a lack of opportunity, a mandate that they must go out and pay for their own education and experience instead of learning through work.

Many people comport the minimum wage to a living wage or a minimum standard of living, but this ignores the reality.  Greater than 98% of working people in this country make MORE than the minimum wage.  This isn't because the government makes them do it.  These are market forces at work.  Which begs the question about that slightly more than 1%, who are they and why are they making so little.

That small group consists primarily of teenagers.  High school and college students with little skills to offer performing jobs with little skills required.  There is a lot of competition for these jobs.  There are fewer of them each time the minimum wage is increased, and there are always plenty of kids needing to gain employment history.  So, who will "suffer" if the minimum wage is abolished?  Less than 2% of the workforce stands to have to compete on price for their job.  More people competing will realistically force those wage points down.  For many of these jobs, it's unlikely that the price point can go too low.  People will make their own decisions about what their time is worth and employers will be allowed to find the price point and employment level that they are willing to pay.  We would likely see a 10-20% dip in the wage level for these positions, but also are likely to see a reduction in unemployment for the young.

What about the rest of the workers?  Wouldn't their wages be dragged down too?  Ummm.  No.  There is no mandate that employers pay the wages they currently pay ABOVE the minimum wage.  The only thing that would lower those wages is a slumping economy, a smaller job pool and increased competition for those jobs.

There is this irrational paranoia by people who support these massive government regulations that I will discuss in further detail in the near future, but it revolves around the idea that without the restraining hand of government, businesses would exploit us.  My experience has taught me that it is more often that exploitation happens with the assistance of the hand of government restraining the individual from seeking alternatives.  Ask yourself this question.  If the restraining hand of government is necessary to keep our nation from spiraling into poverty and to keep employers from enslaving us all, why are greater than 98% of jobs paying more than the paltry amount government demands?

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Audit the Fed?

Yesterday, the House of Representatives, in a largely bi-partisan vote, passed HR 459.  This bill, championed by TX Representative Ron Paul for the better part of the last decade asks the non-partisan GAO to conduct an audit of the Federal Reserve's monetary policy.

Why is this needed?  The Federal Reserve, despite it's official sounding name and enormous power to shape the economy and the value of our currency, operates on its own.  It is not a government agency.  It is answerable to no government authority, and it's records are entirely shielded from review by any government authority.  The FOIA does not apply.  Congressional subpoenas for information can be ignored and even poor performing Fed Chairman get renominated to their posts every 4 years until they decide to retire.

Representative Steny Hoyer of Maryland spoke out against the bill, saying this bill was unnecessary and would lead to political interference in the Fed's mission.  This is somehow bad.  Let's apply that logic to other areas.  Should Congress be allowed to operate in secret?  Ban cameras from the halls, hide lawmaking behind closed doors?  What would Mr. Hoyer's reaction be to this?  He would probably be fine with it if his party were in power, but as the minority party in the House right now, he would probably object.  Secrecy would allow the Republicans to greater flex their majority powers.  Shedding light on the proceedings has some diluting effect to this (not much, but some).

Should the White House be shielded from public scrutiny in its execution of duties?  Again, depends on who you ask and who is currently in power.  Republicans argued for more autonomy for Bush when he was in office and now scream for more transparency now that Obama is in office.  The Democrats did the same thing in reverse, attempting to shield the Justice Department from Congressional Subpoenas that they would have insisted the Bush Administration comply with.

The point is that the WE, the PEOPLE are served best by knowing what it is the people who rule us are doing.  We don't always make the best electoral decisions, but that is because we frequently have less knowledge than we need to make the best decisions and quite frankly, too many of us treat elections like we treat our favorite sports teams.  If you're a Yankee fan, you'll cheer for Derek Jeter until he gets traded to the Red Sox and then you'll cheer against him.  The people and the process don't matter nearly as much as the uniform that they wear.  If suddenly Republicans started calling for higher taxes and Democrats started calling for smaller government, there are too many people who wouldn't change their voting habits at all because they're D fans or R fans.  They just like the mascot better or whatever.

Back to this Bill.  It is heading for the Senate.  Harry Reid, the quirky (that's a nice way of saying he's an imbecile) Senate Majority Leader has vowed that this bill will never come up for a vote in the Senate.  It doesn't matter than almost half of the Democrats in the House voted to pass this bill.  Harry says the Bill will die and therefore, it will probably die.  Why?  Because there are some things, Harry says, that we should not be allowed to know about the inner workings of our economy.  We can't politicize the decisions of our economic policy-makers.

What arrogance?  Just because some people are content to keep their heads down and ignore the problems in our political and economic system does not mean that we should not be given the opportunity to see who is driving the bus and more importantly, if there is a cliff ahead of us.  There is nothing about government that government has a right to keep secret from the People it is supposed to be representative of.  You may argue that intelligence agencies need secrets and that military needs secrets and you may be right that THEY need those things, but the needs of the People outweigh the needs of Government.  The Fed may NEED to be insulated from Politics, but if they are steering us toward a cliff, we would never know it.  No person, agency, or body with the power that they possess should be able to operate under a cloud of secrecy.  No just a cloud of secrecy in their decisions, but an absolute shield from having those decisions and the present ramifications reviewed.

Do you realize that no one in our government knows how much money has been lent to banks in this country and around the world by the Federal Reserve?  Not only does our government not know, they are not allowed to know.  More importantly, WE are not allowed to know.  How can we have a democracy when we cannot know what it is we are deciding about? If you want to keep your head in the sand, fine, but let me make that decision as you have.  Give me the option of knowing what is going on around me.

If you are so moved, please contact your Senators and ask them to support your right to know what is going on.  Knowledge is good.  Ignorance is bad.  Senator Reid, if you wish to stay ignorant that is fine by me.  Apparently you have been able to enact legislation without ever having read the bills you pass, but for the sake of those of us who want to know what is going on, get the hell out of the way.

Monday, July 16, 2012

Educating Barack

Speaking mostly to a group of people who have lived the President's words, Mr. obama laid out his view of the world.  He said:

There are a lot of wealthy, successful Americans who agree with me -- because they want to give something back.  They know they didn’t -- look, if you’ve been successful, you didn’t get there on your own.  You didn’t get there on your own.  I’m always struck by people who think, well, it must be because I was just so smart.  There are a lot of smart people out there.  It must be because I worked harder than everybody else.  Let me tell you something -- there are a whole bunch of hardworking people out there.  (Applause.)
     If you were successful, somebody along the line gave you some help.  There was a great teacher somewhere in your life.  Somebody helped to create this unbelievable American system that we have that allowed you to thrive.  Somebody invested in roads and bridges.  If you’ve got a business -- you didn’t build that.  Somebody else made that happen.  The Internet didn’t get invented on its own.  Government research created the Internet so that all the companies could make money off the Internet.     The point is, is that when we succeed, we succeed because of our individual initiative, but also because we do things together.  There are some things, just like fighting fires, we don’t do on our own.  I mean, imagine if everybody had their own fire service.  That would be a hard way to organize fighting fires.
There is a lot of truth in this statement.  Let's break it down from the top.
There are a lot of wealthy, successful Americans who agree with me -- because they want to give something back.
This is both true and false.  A lot of wealthy people do agree with Mr. Obama.  They donate a LOT of money to his Presidential Campaign.  The second part is a half truth and an intentionally misleading statement wrapped together.  I'm sure that many people who donate to Mr. Obama DO want to give something back, but that is not their basis for agreeing with him nor is it the reason they give him money.  The misleading part is that he implies that ONLY THOSE WHO AGREE WITH HIM "want to give something back."  
They know they didn’t -- look, if you’ve been successful, you didn’t get there on your own.  You didn’t get there on your own.
Of course not.  Most of us have families and mentors and friends to whom we could never repay the debt we owe.  But to claim that the mere existence of a society creates a debt to said society is ridiculous.  The best thing any of us can do for society is to do well for ourselves.

I’m always struck by people who think, well, it must be because I was just so smart.  There are a lot of smart people out there.  It must be because I worked harder than everybody else.  Let me tell you something -- there are a whole bunch of hardworking people out there.
If you are successful and smart, it's okay to feel pride in your success and to credit yourself.  Yes, there are smart people all around you, there are hard working people all around you, but do not let that take anything from what you accomplish.   Your success is your own.  The mere existence of others does nothing to lessen what you have done.

 If you were successful, somebody along the line gave you some help.  There was a great teacher somewhere in your life.  Somebody helped to create this unbelievable American system that we have that allowed you to thrive.  Somebody invested in roads and bridges.

 Like I said earlier.  Plenty of people probably helped you along the way.  Most of you had parents who worked hard to raise you right, fed you, clothed you, housed you.  I only know a few people who self-educated, and they all had a basis of education.  But do not believe that that was free.  My parents paid property taxes that paid for public education in two states.  They also paid for private school tuition, because the education provided by the government was sub-par.  Since then, it's only gotten worse.  Did teachers teach me, yes.  They were compensated for their labors.  Did someone build roads and bridges?  Yes.  And I have more than paid for my use of the same via taxes on gasoline and fuel.

If you’ve got a business -- you didn’t build that.  Somebody else made that happen.  The Internet didn’t get invented on its own.  Government research created the Internet so that all the companies could make money off the Internet.

You want to take credit for my business?  Go to hell.  You didn't sweat over this.  You didn't cram for these tests.  All you have done is make my job harder.  Somebody made this happen?  (doing breathing exercises, bringing down my blood pressure)  With all due respect (not much), please do not comment on what it takes to create a business until AFTER you have done so.  Put your own blood, sweat, and tears into making something and then tell me that I should give the credit to another.

Yes, government researchers did invent the internet, a technology that languished for several decades of moderate usage until it was opened up for private use and development.  Only then did it become the communications and technological marvel that is such an intrinsic part of so many of our lives.

 The point is, is that when we succeed, we succeed because of our individual initiative, but also because we do things together.  There are some things, just like fighting fires, we don’t do on our own.  I mean, imagine if everybody had their own fire service.  That would be a hard way to organize fighting fires.

The first part of the first sentence is spot on!!!  The rest is drivel.  Yes, cooperation and partnerships help everyone.  No, I'm not very good at fighting fires.  (At least, I don't think I would be.  I've never actually tried though.)  There are people out there who ARE good at fighting fires...and a lot of them are volunteers.  Aside from that, these services could very easily be provided by the private sector.  Someone told me earlier today that such essential government services such as Teaching, Firefighting and Policing couldn't be provided by the "scraps" that individuals would be willing to pay them.  I can't imagine why not.  These are things that add value to your lives.  Now, perhaps we would get a better deal if we got to negotiate those purchases on our own.  The way things are currently run, the government sets it's own price for the services it insists you buy (even if you intend to purchase those same services from a private source).  Could you imagine if Wal-Mart tried that with it's customers?  They'd get run out of business. Of course, they don't have the power to coerce you to buy anything from them.  That one is reserved to the Government.

This little stump speech, like the one given by Elizabeth Warren (D candidate for Senate in MA and 1/32nd Cherokee Professor of Law at Harvard) may sound good to some people.  They contain a little bit of common sense truth.  People helped you along the way.  The dangerous part is the implication that they make on top of this nugget of fact.  That this help requires some payback that only they can name.

Don't fall for it.

Thursday, July 5, 2012


The government that rules our nation considers me and those like me a terrorist.  According to a study paid for by the Department of Homeland Security and conducted by the University of Maryland from 2003 to 2008, apparently the most dangerous groups of terrorists in the U.S. are conservatives and libertarians who "revere liberty" more than government.  I am doubly a terrorist by this study in that I am "inherently suspicious of the federal government."

This actually makes me wonder what the definition of terrorism is to these assholes.  If it's resistance to government oppression, then count me in.  If it's inciting violence against the populace as a means of striking fear into said population in order to enact radical political change, well, as John Lennon once said "don't you know that you can count me out."  And guess what.  You can count out the vast majority of people who agree with me.

All studies like this do is alienate an already disillusioned population.  It seeks to marginalize a group who want nothing more than the ability to make their own decisions about how their life proceeds, instead of merely acquiescing to the will of an uneducated majority.

Am I a terrorist?  Absolutely not.  Will I defend my family's lives and liberty with lethal force.  You bet your ass I will.

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Happy Independence Day

When in the course of human events it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God entitle tehm, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men and women are created from the same building blocks of life, that we are each endowed by our Creator with unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, our Present; Liberty, our future; Property, our past; and a right to Pursue (but not to achieve) our life's goals. That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, - That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while eviles are sufferable than to righ themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security. - Suchhas been the patient sufferance of these United States; and such is now the necessity which constrains them to alter their former Systems of Government. The history of the present Executive and Legislative Branches is a history of repeated injuries, usurpations, and subjugations, all having in direct object the establishment of absolute Tyranny over the People of these United States. To prove this, let Facts be submitted to a candid world.

They have refused to abide by laws that We, the People must abide.

They have ignored the restraints on power established at the Founding of this nation.

They have consigned the fortunes of the People of these States to a conglomerate of the wealthiest, assigning the power to print money to the only ones who can benefit from an increase in the money supply.

They have replaced the right of property with an entitlement to the property of others.

They have removed the protections of Justice from the People of these States, granting unto themselves the Supreme authority to dispose of the liberty of any individual without the review of the judiciary or any other non-partisan agency including the assassination and permanent detention of citizens of this Nation.

They have bequeathed unto a sole decision maker the absolute authority to commit troops to fullscale combat in foreign nations by executive decree, thus compelling resources and human lives be spent with no counterweight to this authority.

They have encouraged the dissolution of the family unit, providing economic incentives for the poorest among us to remain poor and for the unwed mothers to remain unwed.

They have established a multitude of new Departments, Bureaus, and Agencies sending out swarms of Agents and Bureaucrats to harass our People and eat out their substance.

They have made the Military independent of Civil Authority and subjected local militias to Centralized control.

They have combined with others to subject us to foreign jurisdiction and authority outside of the scope of our Constitution.

They have limited our trade with willing partners.

They impose Taxes upon us without consent.

For depriving us of, in some cases, the benefit of Trial by Jury;

For transporting us overseas to be tried for pretended offenses;

For abriding our rights to the land we have homesteaded;

For suspending the authority of our State and Local governments subservient to the Authority of the Central Government in violation of the Constitution.

In every stage of these Oppressions We have Petitioned for Redress in the most humble terms: Our repeated Petitions have been answered by more laws favoring old monetary interests. A Government, whose character is thus marked by every act which may define a Tyrant, is unfit to govern a free people.

Nor have We been wanting in attentions to our Federal brethren. We have warned them from time to time of attempts by their legislations to extend an unwarrantable jurisdiction over us. We have reminded them of the circumstances of our Founding. We have appealed to their native justice and magnanimity, and we have conjured them by the ties of our common kindred to disavow these usurpations, which would inevitably interrupt our connections and correspondence. They too have been deaf to the voices of liberty and justice and of consanguinity. We must, therefore, acquiesce in the necessity, which denounces our Separation, and hold them, as we hold the rest of mankind,
Enemies in War, in Peace Friends.

We, therefore, the People of the United States of America, spread throughout this land, appealing to the Supreme Judge of the world for the rectitude of our intentions, do, in the Name, and by the Authority of the good People of these United States, solemnly publish and declare..........

Friday, June 29, 2012

Yesterday Sucked

Yesterday was one of the most heart-crushing days I've felt in a long time.  The Supreme Court affirmed the Congress's ability to force virtually any action through punitive taxation.  The Chief Justice short sightedly pointed to the lack of criminal and levying ability of the IRS to enforce the penalties, but should the issue become pressing enough for the Administration or future administrations then a simple accounting trick will resolve that problem.

This is what I mean.  Let's say you pay $10,000 in income tax with-holdings throughout the year (your employer kindly makes this deduction from your paycheck and sends it to the IRS on your behalf).  Now, your total tax bill from income comes to $9,900.  BUT, you have to pay the penalty because you didn't floss twice daily or whatever the next big mandate will cover.  So, that makes your total tax bill $12400 with the $2500 penalty added.  So, with a simple accounting maneuver the IRS can either say you owe a $2400 penalty for not flossing OR they can say, we've applied your $2500 flossing penalty to the $10,000 you've already paid.  The balance of $7,500 was applied to your $9,900 in income tax owed.  Suddenly you don't owe a $2,400 penalty that the IRS can't prosecute you or garnish you for not paying.  You owe $2,400 in income taxes which the law allows them to throw your ass in jail for not paying.

You think it won't happen?  Wait.  When the Income Tax was first passed it was only going to be a 1-2% tax rate on the top 5% of income earners.  This was proclaimed to be all the money our government could possibly need.  That has grown of course.  It always does.  Government found new power.  They couldn't help but use it.

When government got the regulatory bug in the early 20th Century corporations saw the usefulness in having Government regulate their industry.  By establishing licensing and reporting criteria government could raise the price on entering a new line of business, protecting existing businesses from new competition for marginally profitable industries.  AT&T flourished for decades under a licensing scheme established by the government that turned them into a monopoly.  Politicians and lack-witted economists called this a natural monopoly.  As soon as the monopoly was busted, new competition erupted in the field of telecommunications.  This isn't just limited to large corporations like AT&T.  In New York, it takes more education and examination to become a barber than it does to become a lawyer.  Why?  The answer from the politicians is public safety.  The real answer is, barriers to competition.  The same city tightly controls the number of taxis that are allowed in the city.  1/3 of the number of taxis operate now as did in the 1950's.

People are inherently self-interested.  I am a libertarian because I have a desire for true liberty.  Politicians are not exempt from being self-interested.  It's no surprise that the stock portfolios of congressmen outperform the indexes by a fairly good clip.  It's no surprise that businesses are willing to spend millions on political contributions to BOTH sides in an election.  Businesses wouldn't spend that money if they didn't get something in return.  Let's take RobertsCare (Obamacare no more) for instance. The major insurance companies supported this bill for 2 key reasons.  First, it essentially makes it illegal NOT to buy their product.  Big win!  Second, it puts in budgetary guidelines that make it difficult for new or smaller companies to exist under.  There is a requirement that a certain percentage of premiums revenue be applied to coverage payments and only 10% pay salaries, overhead, and profits.  For a large insurance company, 10% of billions is plenty of money to operate with.  What if a new company wanted to form to compete?  Can't happen now.  Without the volume that these large companies command, there isn't enough operating margin to satisfy the strict requirements of the law.  This is the classic barrier to entry.

Still on RobertsCare.  It was also heavily supported by the drug companies.  Why?  Because it protects their extended intellectual property rights.  They get what they want, they donated money to see it get passed.

More to come on this subject.

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Hello, My Name is Will, How May I Serve You?

Before you ask, I'm not a waiter.  I'm not a greeter at Wal-Mart.  I'm a citizen of the United States and I've just been told that my government owns me.  They own the right to my work and my wages.  They can force me to buy anything they say to buy.  All they have to do is pretend that it's a Tax.  When my choices impact the cost of health care, I will be forced to make choices approved by my masters.

I am a slave.  You are a slave.  Extreme?  Try not to buy Health Insurance.

When the next "tax" in mandate's clothing comes down, try not to do that.

You can be a slave and live a life of luxury, but if someone has the power to send you into the fields to pick cotton, then you're a slave.  And make no mistake, this decision by Justice Roberts does exactly that.  He says that if the Government orders us to pick cotton or pay a penalty, that is within Congress' Constitutional authority to tax.  If you don't go pick cotton, you are forced to pay a tax.  If you refuse to pay the tax, they can seize your property.  If you resist, they can jail you.  If you resist jail they can and will kill you.

You are a slave.  I am a slave.

Ok.  Moment of self pity over.  Where do I sign up for the Revolution?

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Moving On and Coming Back

To say that I'm pretty disappointed in my fellow Americans is a bit of an understatement.  To say that I'm especially disappointed in the Republican Party is a joke.  I am angry.  It is not the burning anger of youth nor the cold anger of resentment.  It is a simmering rage.

Five months ago, I walked away from these pages in disgust.  Everywhere I turned people were proclaiming for Presidential candidates who's platforms involved more State control, more State spending, more State militarism and less Liberty.

Ron Paul has been defeated.  He will not be the next President of the United States.  I am angry.  But, I'm moving on.  I'm moving on because there is nothing else I can do.  I'm moving on because the cause of liberty does not die with Dr. Paul's bid.  I'm moving on, and over the next few weeks....I'm coming back.  I'm coming back to write on these walls, to talk about my ideas and my ideals.  I hope you'll join me.

Friday, January 20, 2012

Regulated Profits

It's sickening.  That's the only word I have for this proposal from a group of Democratic Congressmen this week.  Their proposal is to establish a maximum profit level for Energy companies, and impose punishing taxes for any profits over those levels.  The war on profit continues.  Success is punished to pay for those who will never try to succeed.  Do you see the problems with this idea?

Problem Number 1 is the practical impact, instead of wasting capacity for profit making or lowering prices to reduce profits, companies will spread the profits amongst various subsidiaries, or move their profit making units overseas, where they may be heavily taxed, but not punished.  This results in a reduction of our countries importance and influence in the world and a reduction in jobs domestically.  What this does not do is increase tax revenue.  Ultimately it also increases costs for energy to consumers.  With companies cutting domestic production to avoid the punitive taxes, supplies of energy will be reduced.  Without equally reduced demand, prices will rise steadily.  When those prices rise, the consumer has less funds available to spend elsewhere, further damaging the economy.  The ripples spread rapidly, don't they?

Problem Number 2, and most important in my mind, is this further erodes the false notion we have in this country of a right to private property.  Nevermind that our country was founded on private property rights, that they were crucial to the writing of the Constitution and specifically the Bill of Rights, private property has been under dramatic assault by the Federal Government for decades. 

Does this bill have a chance of passing.  Not right now, but neither did the Patriot Act when it was first written years before 9/11.  But as was proved then, catastrophe can help us make devastatingly stupid choices.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

So Called Christian Conservatives

I'm tired.  I'm sick and I'm tired.  I'm sick that our country has devolved politically so far that people have segregated their political views so far from their purported religious views.  The so-called Christian Conservatives, that make up such a large part of the Republican base are turning my stomach.  They go to churches all over the US on Sundays, praising the Prince of Peace.  They praise the man that urged us to turn the other cheek and to do unto others as we would have them do unto ourselves.  Then for the remainder of their lives, they cheer on aggressive foreign policy, pre-emptive wars, rampant militarism.  They worship the God who gave us Free Will and then seek to use the coercive power of the State to take that free will away from us. 

I'm a Christian and I am a conservative, but never lump me in with those who support war over diplomacy or the Government over liberty.

Friday, January 13, 2012

The Virtue of Selfishness (I love me some me)

All too often we decry selfishness as being something awful.  We are told that we must think of others, that we must sacrifice for our fellow man.  We are told that there is no I in team and that only through cooperation with others can we succeed.  While there are times and situations where these idioms hold truth, they have begun to be applied to all aspects of life.  The president preaches of what we must rally together to do for this country, of the sacrifices this group or that group must make for the benefit of the collective.  He says that America wasn't made great by a single individual.

Well, he's right about that last.  America wasn't made great by a single individual.  America also wasn't made great by a collective.  In fact, the collective that we are becoming is what is destroying us now.  No, America was made great by not one individual, but many individuals, selfishly striving to be their individual best.

So, let's go back to talk about this Collective-Think and what it means.  Collectivism is the idea that only through sacrificing the self and doing for the benefit of others can you succeed.  This idea that no man is an island, that no man's success is his own accomplishment, but instead the accomplishment of all of society.  This leads to the conclusion that the man who succeeds owes a debt to society that can only be claimed by the government on behalf of society.  Society then lays the groundwork for your next success and the success of your neighbor.  Does this sound good to you?  It's terrifying.  It's terrifying as much for the justification it provides for the government to reap the rewards of your success as it is for it's power to discourage the individual efforts required to actually achieve success.

Meanwhile the word selfish is being cast as this great evil.  Selfishness is connected with dishonesty, theft, corner cutting, and vice.  So, when people hear that I am encouraging selfishness they wonder about the safety of those around me.  I can't want to be selfish except that I must take advantage of those around me.  You see, that's how this game is played.  First, you poison what you oppose, then you turn what you support into a virtue.  No longer. 

Selfishness is the virtue I support.  If my seeking to create the best life for myself benefits you, good for you, but I didn't do it for you.  I do for me, for my happiness.  Selfishness does not mean that I will cheat you, only that I will bargain hard and try for the best results for myself.  Selfishness does not mean I will not support private charity.  I enjoy the warmth and satisfaction that providing this gives to me.  Selfishness does not mean that I am a miser and am not "generous" with friends and family.  I value my friends and my family.  I value their happiness and satisfaction.  These are worthwhile considerations for me.  Selfishness is what makes an individual strive for success.  Selfishness, in it's virtuous best, is the heart of individualism.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Tyranny Is Often Met With Applause

Over the past few months, president obama has time and again used the tag/applause line We Can't Wait.  What this means is that the country needs help that only the government can provide (a fallacy) and the Republicans in Congress are obstructing this, therefore, he must do what he can to bypass Congress ie, rule by executive decree. 

This week he has decided that despite the Senate's refusal to approve his appointment of his head for the Consumer Finance Protection Board (a misleading name for this Soviet-style Bureau) he will force the appointment by a process known as Recess Appointments.  This is a process created in the last 50 years for Presidents too uncompromising to nominate candidates who can achieve bi-partisan support.  While this process did not receive Constitutional Scrutiny from the Supreme Court (as it should have) it has become legal by default, for lack of challenge and as "accepted practice." 

The problem with this week's action is simply this.  The Senate is not recessed.  Essentially, Obama is installing his man in his post and daring the Senate to do something about it.  Turning an approval process into a "do something to stop me" process. 

I hope and pray that someone does just that.  This president did not start this fire of unconstitutional rule, but he has added jet fuel to the fires of tyrrany.  Meanwhile, as he announced his plans to bypass Congress, to bypass Constitutional requirements and the Separation of Powers, the audience cheered.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012


MORDOR (Potomac) - January 4, 2012

John "Gollum" McCain announced today that he would be giving his "Precious" endorsement to former opponent Mitt[ens] RomneyCare. 

Tea Party Hobbitses could not be reached as they were on the slopes of Mount Doom, where they are being held indefinitely as Terrorists due to their propensity to horde food and disrupt the comfortable delusions of the ruling elite.


I've been a little disappointed with some of my "conservative" and "republican" friends lately.  I'm extremely disappointed with last night's results in Iowa.  Yes, the candidate I support came in a close 3rd place.  Ahead of him, however, was a man supported by the "Evangelical Christians" of that state because he is a stolid opponent of aborting unborn children.  That's great.  Valuing the sanctity of life is a wonderful attribute in a Presidential Candidate...except....well, why does he value unborn children more than a 19 year old Marine?  Why does he value that unborn child more than an Iranian child?  You see, these candidates who say they support the sanctity of life are all too ready to start dropping bombs and completely unwilling to sit down and talk to their potential combatants beforehand. 

The "winner" of last night's caucus is a man who supports Statist solutions to problems caused or escalated by none other than the State.  He has been branded as the one candidate who can beat the current disaster.  I can't honestly say that he wouldn't be at least as much of a, what's the point?  Why bother changing out one Statist for another? 

I would rather dare to strive for something great and fail than settle for shuffling the deck and playing the same game we've been playing for the past decade.