About This Journal
I am a patriotic, socially moderate, fiscally conservative Libertarian with a Republican position on foreign policy. So, I like to talk about what's in the news, politics, the law, society and so on. If you are on my friend's list, and on the right filters, you may also get to see me rant about my personal life, my job, dreams, sex, the music I make and then some.
"If you got something with tits or tires, you'll likely have problems. Expensive problems." ~ my Dad
The Constitution was written by a bunch of people who grew up in a world where if you had a complaint about your government, it went unheard; in fact, you could go to jail for speaking out against the government. The news had the meet the approval of the government. You could go to jail if your religion commands you not to do something the government wants you to do. The people who wrote the Constitution lived in a world where only the government was allowed to carry weapons. They could go through your belongings, your house, and even search you, for whatever reason, and whatever it was, wasn't your concern.
In short, they lived in a world where a small group of people believed that they were better than you--whether intellectually or through the so-called Divine Right of Kings--and therefore you answered to them. They were charged with preserving the order and safety of society and your needs as an individual came last.
And that wasn't the last time something thought this way. The Extreme example of this, of course, was the Third Reich in Nazi Germany. Your religion, your speech, your labor; they were all considered National Resources.
Today, you hear the same thing. A new class of people have come along and decided that because of their academic credentials, they can create utopia. But its fabric is going to be sewn from the human flesh of people's liberty. Your labor, your private property, your culture, your language, your religion, are all meaningless in this master plan.
So no, this document is hardly obsolete. It is more relevant today than ever before. What they understood was that the government is solely a subtractive force. And sometimes, that's a good thing. You want to subtract phony currencies, you want to subtract invasion, you want to subtract insurrection, and a handful of other things. However, because it cannot add anything, anytime anyone--Republican or Democrat--tries to tell you that they are going to CREATE something when they get in office (whether it's jobs or anything else), they can't be trusted. The only thing they can (and should) promise is to make it Easier to let You and Me create what we need and want to create, and to protect it.
This is why the Constitution is a document of Negative rights; it describes what The Government is forbidden from doing, with all exceptions Enumerated. They wanted to make it as clear as humanly possible that because all the government can do is take things away (your freedom, your money, your property, your life in some cases), that it may not do so unless specifically allowed to do so. And you can read the Seventeen things that Section 8 in Article 1 allows. And so concerned were they that it wasn't clear enough, the document was not going to be ratified unless they included another Ten Amendments that specifically included two statements (the 9th and the 10th) which simply states that where specific powers were not granted to the Federal Government, they belong to the States...and to the People. That's us.
They wanted to make it perfectly clear that the government--particularly the federal government--answers to the People and not the other way around. And here's why. At the end of the day, it is far more likely that you, your family, your neighborhood, your church have your best interest at heart than some thousand-mile removed bureaucrat that is looking at you as one number among Millions. You are a statistic, like anonymous casualty figures in a war. There can be "acceptable losses" where You are concerned. You can't give people in that position unchecked power. No matter what it's for. Not for so-called "food safety," not for "the environment," not for ANYTHING! They need to face the Supreme Court, they need to face the Congress, and they need to face the States.
But there are two huge issues here. First, the Executive Branch now has tens of thousands of un-elected bureaucrats that only answer to the President and legislate under the cloak of regulations, of which there are Tens of Thousands. The second issue is that--as I've written in the past--nobody cares because we are all comfortable. We don't have (yet) Soldiers marching down the street and into our homes, by the thousands, taking our stuff. If Harry Reid, Sonia Sotomayor and Barack Obama all got on TV one day and declared Martial Law not due to any national emergency but by executive fiat and pulled a Venezuela... Rounding up the political opposition for immediate imprisoning or execution, sent in troops to take over the banks, refineries, and so on, at least Half this country would take up arms and you would be looking at Civil War, Part 2. But chances are, the good guys would win, so nobody's going to do that. Instead, they're going to do this in slow motion. And it didn't just start with Obama. Since Woodrow Wilson over one hundred years ago, the Statist has been consolidating his and her power, marginalizing Congress and rendering the Supreme Court increasingly impotent.
It is to the point that now the entire country holds its breath for these razor thin votes that often hinge on a single justice. Do you think that in a million years when the people who wrote the Constitution did so, they envisioned that NINE PEOPLE, often just one of them, would be left to decide the fate of every American citizen with a single decision? But this is where we are because instead of being a wholly independent branch of the government with just as much power as the President, the President is often in the position of having it do his bidding. This is an outrage and in another hundred years, there won't be a Senate confirmation process that pretends to allow the people Some input on who becomes Justice. They will be political appointees as if the Supreme Court were any other department of the Executive Branch.
One of our last hopes, buried in the 5th Article of the Constitution is the capacity for there to be a Convention of the States. Where if a majority of those states convene a convention--just like the one that ratified the Constitution in the first place--they have the power to pass amendments without requiring an act of Congress. This was the back-up plan of the people who wrote the Constitution just in case we ever entered into a time where the Congress could become a political extension of the Executive Branch rather than acting on behalf of the wishes of the people. And that is where we are today. Remember the run up to the 2008 election? Who was asking for Comprehensive Immigration reform other than the corporatists and the fringe, racist groups like La Raza? Nobody. Who in the middle class was asking for Comprehensive Healthcare Reform? Nobody. You get these talking points every single time there is an election but nobody is talking about those things. They're framing the conversation because these are the in-roads to take more power.
What are we talking about? We're talking about jobs, keeping more of our money, letting our employers keep more of THEIR money so they can afford to give us a raise and maybe a bonus! We're talking about defending our country from terrorists, their state sponsors and countries that seek to destabilize the balance of power through belligerent military actions or outright invasions. People don't wake up everyday saying to themselves, "You know what would make my life so much better? Is if I had more Government telling me what I can't do, and how much more money I need to give them." But here they are, smiling in your face, and telling you that if you care about kittens, baby rabbits, children, single mothers and whatever else, you'll let them have another $10 Billion dollars with air-quotes "civilian oversight." Let me ask a question. Why do I need to spend my time making sure you're not wasting my money? How about you not have it in the first place and let the private sector do it faster, cheaper and in most cases, with better results?
Because the results don't matter. But just in case you were feeling a little funny about the brutal carnage that's been going on where it regards how the government--particularly at the federal level--has been treating the Constitution... Don't worry. We have these so-called scholars and even Justices in the Supreme Court here to tell us that the Constitution has seen it's day, but now it's time has come and past. After all, it sanctioned "slavery." That's a lie, but, you're not supposed to ask questions. Just nod your head and go back to whatever Justin Bieber is doing on Instagram today.
Been listening to a lot of Mark Levin lately; unlike a lot of folks, he is not prone to hyperbole. He speaks passionately, but backs its up with scholarly, academic research and historical facts and the indictment against Barack Obama, the senate Democrats is incredibly damning. The good news is, apparently, there are a lot of Americans who get that; not just older ones but people in their 20s, even teenagers. But where are they? I think they happen to live in places where the culture encourages just as much pride from a sense of ownership derived from earning their wealth--however great or modest--as much as they are ashamed to Have to accept a hand out from anyone, not the least of which, the government. There, people feel like they've failed if they are not able to provide for themselves, their families.
This is not like how it is in the big cities, particularly parts of them like Oakland in the San Francisco bay area, Brooklyn in the New York City area, a lot of Los Angeles and Chicago, Detroit, and so on. Here, Conservatives have ceded election races to the Statists (even outright Socialists like in the case of Seattle), because they're so entrenched. And while there's a certain sense to picking the fights you know you can win, we've--I feel--created a problem. The problem is, there are now Millions of people living in these isolated areas believing they are in the mainstream. That their ideology of entitlement, envy and the diminished value of life itself is normal, and that independence, voluntary self-interested cooperation, and reverence for our lives and our Maker are all fringe, extremist views, like those of real terrorists who do things explode bombs during marathons and fly airplanes into buildings.
This is happening because we've allowed cities with millions of people living in them to become echo chambers for Left-wing orthodoxy to the point now that we have no choices here. And this is a problem, because huge cities like Los Angeles and Chicago send people to the United States House of Representatives, and in totally lost states like California and New York, the Senate. Democrats angling for the Oval Office can comfortably ignore mainstream Americans in the heartland with the exception of a few soft-headed political pacifists in Ohio, because of the enormous numbers they can pick up in Illinois, Washington, California and elsewhere. And so the question is why? Why does their message get to resonate in these fringe, isolated locations?
They say all politics is local, and they're right. I believe the truth is, Statists' message going unopposed in huge cities have allowed many to believe that the power of government control, the fist holding the gun to all of our heads to turn over our money because it says so, is a force for benevolent good. MORE IMPORTANTLY--many are taught that their VERY SURVIVAL depends on the growth of Government programs. In spite of the record owned by the stewards of embarrassing poverty and crime statistics in all of these major municipalities, they've gotten away with depicting themselves as modern day Robin Hoods here to save us--the Minority, the Immigrant, the Female (and now, the Homosexual)--from businesses that exist really to exploit you, usually to some racist, sexist end.
There is NOBODY OUT THERE challenging this message on a LOCAL level. You have national people like Sarah Palin, Rand Paul, Paul Ryan, Ted Cruz, Jan Brewer and Herman Cain trying to change Washington, D.C. Which is good. But you can't do it if you have Ten Million People in New York and four million people in Los Angeles, and however many other Millions of people believing and repeating lies about the civil rights record of the respective parties, about the economic records of the respective parties. What I'm saying is, by the time there is a National election, and we're debating the issues, it is Already too late. We have already lost the ground game.
I've written this before elsewhere; while Republicans are thinking about the next two years, Democrats are thinking about the next two DECADES. They've been busy at work for the last One Hundred Years re-training Americans to believe our survival comes from the government and not from themselves. If you believe your Very Ability To Survive--to be alive--depends on the growth of the Government, you are going to reject with all of your heart and soul anyone talking about shrinking the size of Government. That is going to sound bad to you. Even worse than Conservatives walking away from California and elsewhere, is the fact that you've got Republicans that feel the message of the Statist is now so deeply embedded within the heart and soul of Americans that they can't even talk about the issues anymore. They can't even assert that whatever the government gives to you, it has because it has TAKEN it from somebody else. We can't talk about the existential requirement that we defend our national sovereignty. We can't talk about making it EASIER for people to turn a profit, so they can hire more.
No, instead, the Republican establishment is like the man trying to feed other people to the alligator in the hopes he won't be eaten. The truth is, he'll still be eaten--only later. Just like when Harry Reid made a deal with the Republicans not to go with the "nuclear option" and take away the filibuster, only to do it anyway after the Democrats got what they wanted. With Republican leadership this stupid, it's no wonder they've made no measurable efforts to reclaim the MESSAGE of Freedom in the big cities.
Doing something like that is going to take vision, perseverance, tenacity, intelligence beyond anything we're seeing currently on display from the likes of Boener, Jeb Bush, the RNC. All these guys know how to do is pat themselves on the back and then tell the rest of America, "hey, at least we aren't those guys." That's not good enough, guys. We need these people to attack the message of the Statist by exposing the Statist as a liar. That the Statist is a class warfare inciting, race warfare inciting, pseudo-intellectual supremacist that seeks to experiment on society like mad scientists, futility attempting to engineer the perfect society by refining out of existing our individuality, our differences. The things that let us fail as well as the things that let us be better than the competition. The things that forces us to innovate, and ultimately make ourselves AND the world around ourselves a better place.
The Left-wing Statist believes that they can come up with the right formula--the right combination of strings to pull as our puppet-masters to eradicate all pain and suffering, all inequality of outcome. But the reality is that control only has a subtractive effect; that in the end, all you can do is take things away. So if all you can do is take away success, so that all glasses of water have the same amount--the final result of such rebalancing is that they are all empty.
And this is too crucial a message to leave unspoken. In my opinion, if the Tea Party wants to be effective, they will thrust this message upon the communities where it needs to be heard the most. They need to expose the truth with the same relentless intensity that the Leftists uses to vilify the champions of Liberty. While our opposition is fierce, that cause would be just because the truth is on our side! We have nothing to be ashamed of. And this goes beyond any one election cycle. Just like how we fight al Qaeda in the middle east so we don't have to fight them on the streets of Main Street, USA--the Tea Party and Conservatives have to take the ideological fight on the road to the territory of the enemy.
Folks like Glenn Beck should forget spending tons of money on bus trips to Washington, D.C. to yell at politicians who just close the windows and rely on a news media to report nothing on these protests... Or giving talks at the Ronald Reagan library... These PACs should be funding free speeches around the college campuses, buying infomercials on TV, running commercials on FM radio on POP stations where people under the age of 65 are listening. How about holding up signs in front of Welfare Offices and places to get Foodstamps instead of marching on the IRS? If only One Percent of the people who see the message, "Don't you want $2,500 a week from a paycheck instead of $250 a week from the Government?" and feel something because of it, that ends up being mile one on the million mile march BACK to Freedom in this country.
We restore American thought back to the cities and to the INNER cities, then the Elections will take care of themselves. This is what I believe.
Please note that the original article was half-way destroyed due to data loss and so the following is only half of the original plus new material to try and recover the original point of the article.
Much like bacteria that adapts to antibiotics to come back even more resistant to them than before, so does Ideological Tyranny. The whole "divine right of kings" thing failed in the 18th century with the American Revolution thanks to Thomas Paine's Common Sense. Then, Marxism and similar Communist ideologies born in the 19th century gave rise to Mussolini, Hitler and Showa. Al Qaeda thought they were going to terrorize Western Civilization with an overt act of war on September 11th and, instead, Osama bin Laden ended up dead with most of his top lieutenants killed or captured and the Taliban that gave them cover in Afghanistan didn't stand a chance. So, what today's tyrants are learning from the tyrants that failed before them is that they can't take the power all at once, and with force. What they've learned is that they have to make everything look like nothing is changing, that everything is the same. That life is as normal and is as comfortable now as it did before. So long as they keep it that way, they won't lose power.
Here's what's happening. At first, we were a country where the power belonged to the people and the states with 17 specific powers delegated to the Congress, made up of legislators elected by the people (and at one point, the states for Senators); a Congress kept in check by a Supreme Court, and, a chief executive (the office of the President of the United States). Then, 20th Century Leftists like Wilson and Roosevelt worked with Congressional Democrats to begin stocking the Supreme Court with Leftists that would not challenge the expanse of federal power and control through things like The New Deal, and Medicare under Democrat President Johnson.
That set the stage for a fundamental reversal in the orientation of power, where instead of it coming from the people to the states, and then from the states, to the federal government, the federal government has asserted itself as the giver of power, which is a problem. Remember, the Declaration of Independence was based on the assertion that our rights are not given to us by other human beings, because we were all created equally by God. Therefore, God (or whoever our makers is) gave us our rights.
Why does it matter where our rights truly originate? It changes how you understand what the bill of rights mean. That they are not rights granted to the people by the government (i.e., other people), but rights the government is obligated to protect. For instance, the government is obligated not to make a law limiting our right to free speech. It does not mean that we have the right to free speech because the government has decided it's OK for us to have free speech. And this speaks to why the founders of the United States established government at all, and why it was established the way that it is.
These people understood a government is necessary for the protection of our rights against an insurrection or an invasion by anyone seeking to deny the individual citizen their rights by threat of force, capture or death. However, they built it in such a way that the government is only legitimate as long as The People agree that it is legitimate. This is the plain English translation of the phrase "consent of the governed." It means that we agree to be subject to the rule of law administered by a government that answers to us, not the other way around. So intent were the Americans that freed themselves of their ties to the British crown on retaining the power to the people that the State governments would not ratify the Constitution without the bill of rights, the first ten amendments.
These amendments were added onto the constitution because the states wanted further assurance that the federal government would in fact respect their sovereignty (as asserted by the 10th amendment), and respect the sovereignty of the individual (as asserted by the 9th amendment). It doesn't take a genius to see, however, that it doesn't work that way anymore. In fact, the federal government routinely imposes its will on the states, forcing them to submit to their policy agenda or else be denied their share of tax revenue. But this goes beyond the states; it reaches directly to you and me--the employer, small business person, entrepreneur, doctor, teacher. The individual. Unfortunately, it is hard to see it because the growth of federal power has been a snail's pace, very, very careful not to upset or disturb the individual and, otherwise, tip them off that they are not nearly as free as they think they are, risking another revolution.
Another revolution? Remember, the enlisted and officers of the United States Armed Forces are sworn to uphold and defend the Constitution of the United States of America, not carry out whatever orders that the government chooses to hand down in the spur of the moment. They have a Constitutional Obligation, therefore, not to obey any order that requires them to violate the Constitution. If we're not completely screwed in this country, any such attempt to use the ATF or some other DOJ law enforcement agency to violate constitutionally protected rights en masse would be met with counterforce by the state National Guards and, probably, with assistance by volunteers in the various military branches. The Left would be outnumbered, and they would lose, exactly the same way tyranny met its doom in Iraq, Afghanistan, at the end of World War II and during the American Revolution.
So, the strategy for the Statist to impose Tyranny is very sophisticated. The high-level summary involves maintaining appearances, become the hero and establish dependency, and then the destruction of their ideological enemy. For appearances, the Statist has to make it so that everything looks like nothing has changed, and when it's too obvious that things are changing, the idea is to either blame it on their opponents, or get you to believe that it's for your own good. To become the hero and establish dependency, they either create victims or find people that believe they are victims, and then lead them to believe that without their programs and policies, their future is hopeless. Lastly, defeating their ideological enemies starts with going back to their roots in academia, and working their way out to influence children's education, the news media and ultimately the voter, and there is a very important reason to do that, to be explained shortly.
First, we have to explore the biggest problem. The psycho-social anesthesia. The fundamental reason for upheaval the likes of the American Revolution is because of pain. When you have soldiers marching down your streets, living in your home, taking your stuff, taking your money, jailing you for saying the wrong thing, without due process, splitting up your family, leaving you hungry and broke, sheer survival instinct takes over. And the urge the throw off the chains of oppression is great enough that you're willing to risk your life to retake your liberty. But today, Americans aren't in pain. Not Real pain. Politicians will get on TV, and talk about how Americans are hurting, but are we really? Are there the bread lines like we had during the great depression? Even the American Poor are not truly poor by global standards; with indoor plumbing with clean running water, clothes and shoes, safe buildings to live in, climate controlled places to work and live, access to cell phones, news and information freely over the radio, television or the Internet either at home or in the immediate community. There's mass transit and access to personal transportation, and a vast highway, energy and information infrastructure to support it all. The unemployed have unemployment insurance and food stamps.
With over 300 Million people here, it's almost a statistical certainty you'll have a certain percentage--however small it may be--of people starving and living on the streets. But we aren't like the countries you see on the late night commercials asking you to sponsor a destitute child living in squalor in Africa whose bones are protruding through their flesh. So because we don't wake up everyday with jack-booted brown shirts, marching down the street behind mobile rocket launchers and armored personnel carriers, nobody really believes that our rights that the constitution obligates the government to protect are being violated. However, every now and then, you see a gap in the facades on the movie sets--and I'm not talking about local police departments showing up in tanks with AR-15 rifles. For example, most people have never heard of Basseley Nakoula.
A well-planned, highly-coordinated attack on two US State Department safehouses in Benghazi, Libya were coincidentally struck on the 11th anniversary of the terrorist attacks of September 11th resulting in the first death of a US Ambassador in three decades along with four US Navy SEALs around the time that there were a bunch of protests throughout the middle east, and the Obama Administration decided to send then UN Ambassador Susan Rice to five television news programs to claim it was horribly made, low-budget movie critical of Islam on YouTube that caused the spontaneous outrage. As it turns out, Nakoula--the maker of said video--was on probation and as a condition of that was he had to refrain from using a computer. On the technicality that he had to have used one in order to have uploaded the video, he was jailed. It wouldn't seem like a political arrest except for the months that went by between the time that he'd violated his parole and was ultimately re-incarcerated. It's also pretty rare that people who violate their probation are held without bail for non-violent violations (Perez & Phillips, 2012).
A lot of people haven't heard of Dinesh D'Souza either. But he was the director of "2016: Obama's America," a film critical of the Presidency. In January, 2014, he also was indicted for exceeding the legal limit for political campaign contributions (Davidsen, 2014). But how rare is that? Well, according to this Liberal blogger, pretty rare. Did it happen to Oliver Stone after releasing "W." in the last months of President Bush's presidency? Nope. Or, how about Eric Holder and the Department of Justice coming after the free press itself, seizing the telephone records of twenty phone lines belonging to reporters at The Associated Press, for no given reason (Savage & Kaufman, 2013)? Under this administration, the DOJ has also come after a Fox News reporter for "leaking intel" (Logiurato, 2013). That has happened before, but it was because the New York Times was actively warning Al Qaeda terrorists of a counterterrorism operation that was about to be conducted by the FBI in 2002. This is nothing new, but suddenly now, it's high treason.
Perhaps one of the most blatant affronts to free speech and the freedom of the press protected under 1st amendment of the constitution was when the Federal Communications Commission was seriously considering sending its agents as "monitors" to the newsrooms of broadcasters as part of a "study" (Farhi, 2014).
So brazen and abhorrent was this move by government to in any way influence what private people write and say, an FCC commissioner channeled his inner Paul Revere and sounded the alarm in an opinion piece in the Wall Street Journal. But the CIN program wasn't THE most brazen where the 1st amendment is concerned. Perhaps the most egregious of all was the exploitation of the Sedition and Espionage Acts by Democrat President Woodrow Wilson to harass editors of newspapers and magazines critical of his opposition to the Women's Suffrage movement, shutting them down (Goldberg, J., 2009, p. 12). It doesn't get much worse than this without citing the fact that the mid-19th Century Democrat party's militia was the Ku Klux Klan. The Democrats have since cut ties, but that didn't stop years of going back to their roots of abusing the law to engage in things like obstructionism to fight civil rights legislation in Congress.
How does this all happen without protest? In each and every case, we are told that it is for our own good. Just like the routine violation of our 4th amendment rights at the airports by the Transportation Security Administration under the Department of Homeland Security. And just like the TSA, the FCC, the DOJ, and the IRS, they are all offices of the President of the United States, with billions in annual spending that far outstrip defense spending, which is one of the few things the federal government was meant to spend its money on. And it happens for two reasons. First, there is nothing in Article II that says the President cannot have tens of thousands of agencies with unelected bureaucrats only accountable to his office and no one else. Second, with the windfall of cash produced by the 16th amendment, there--what the federal government behaves as though it feels--is a virtually unlimited supply of money to pay for it all. But how did the American political climate get to the point that such an amendment would pass, under a Republican President?
Over a hundred years ago, the Democrats had the Republicans on the ropes politically and successfully argued that with the world building up its armed forces, it is an existential necessity for the United States to have a bigger military. A bigger military requires a bigger government, which requires a bigger budget (Barney & Flesher, 2008). It took almost a hundred years since the War of 1812 that began the calls for an income tax, but Liberal Republicans could no longer resist the call and the 16th amendment was ratified. It wasn't long before the money ended up funding The New Deal, Medicare, MedicAid and now the Affordable Care Act. These programs aren't very good, but they don't ever go anywhere because of the people too comfortable to pay attention to what is going on, or the other people who are politically motivated, but are operating on misinformation.
The misinformation campaign comes with a one-two punch. The first side of the campaign involves going back to the the Statist's roots. The intellectual petri dish of tyrannical ideologies such as Marxism and Socialism: academia. The tenured professors of the ivy league universities and others such as UC Berkeley are the stewards of the philosophy of justified indentured citizenship. They turn out so-called journalists less interested in the truth and facts and more interested in achieving an ends based on agenda to advance the fictitious state of social-justice. The end result now being major news distributors that act as the Statist's PR and Marketing Department instead of the skeptical critic it's supposed to be. Just ask Sharyl Attkisson about CBS (Byers, 2014); it wasn't just the outright fabrications at the hands of Mary Mapes and three others a decade ago when Dan Rather went on the air with forged Texas Air National Guard documents that supposedly proved George W. Bush was AWOL (Kurtz, 2004). You have to admit that even if 1% of the stuff they report on at NewsBusters.org is true, it's pretty much harder than ever to know what's really going on if you get your information from the major news outlets.
Or even why what's going on is happening. Which is the aim. Because when election season comes, while the Republicans are gearing up to talk about the issues during the campaign cycle, the Democrats have been playing offense every single day, non-stop. And they want more. The Federal Government wants stories in your favorite movies and television shows promoting Federal Government programs (Johnson, 2014). The President has visited Los Angeles at least a dozen times during his Presidency not just fundraising but meeting with the heads of the Hollywood Studios. If he's been re-elected, outside of helping Democrats during the mid-term elections, what else could they be talking about? His golf swing? Definitely, but I'm sure favorably positioning the ACA in pop culture probably got more than a passing mention. But it's not just the ACA, it's maintaining the second of the one-two punch. The emotional angle.
The truth is, there is a lot of lost economic opportunity, lost productivity in wealth earned by value created by ever-increasing federal control with regulations in the Federal Register numbering into the hundreds of thousands and the tax code exceeding 76,000 pages. How many businesses would have been started if they weren't getting sued or regulated out of existence? How many jobs would they have created? How many opportunities for upward mobility might that have provided to individual citizens voluntarily entering into self-interested cooperation with one another and abroad? How many more discoveries and improvements to modern medicine and technology might we have realized sooner or at all? How much hope has been lost because of how much harder it is to actually own something of your own like property or other investments? But who gets the blame for health care issues--whether actually health related or financial? Who gets the blame for the lack of jobs or the rising cost of living? Is it the ever monopolizing federal government?
For over twenty years, pop culture and the news have come together to blame every ill caused by the policies of the statist on a frightening straw man. Every slight, real or imagined, is exploited by the Left to exaggerate a characterture of a villain, the straight, Christian white guy who is, apparently, omnipotent. If he successful, it's because he stole it from someone else, or put someone else in a bad place to get into a good place. His weapon of choice? Greed. So the free-market, free-enterprise, non-crony Capitalist that advocates for limited government has already lost the game before he's started playing, because not only what he is advocating for apparently inhumane, a big lie, and is for the purposes of helping the greedy, but the reason the Free-Market Capitalist want these things is because they are apparently, as a human being, of completely ruined character, entirely reprehensible as a person, and morally objectionable as a matter of fact, not just opinion. The advocate for Individual Liberty has to first deal with the fact that they are being accused of being a horrible, evil scourge both to humans and to the Earth itself before they can even begin to advocate against belonging to the government with a natural-born obligation to "give back" the fruits of one's own productivity to the state "for the greater good."
And more and more, this is what is showing up in even the elementary schools, even before Common Core (courtesy your friends, the Statists at the US Department of Education--yet another office answerable to no one but the President). Society is being inculcated from near-birth to believe these things as well as notions like authority is to be obeyed without question. Or that, if you don't monolithically agree, you are a traitor to your own gender, ethnicity or sexual orientation. These emotional appeals are effective, which is fortunate--for the Statist. Because when the Statist is ever challenged on the facts of the issue, you get incredibly tortured logic (whether it's the repeal of DOMA, the ACA being upheld, Roe v Wade) on how the Constitution works, according to the Left. It's a bunch of made up nonsense, but fortunately for the Left, not enough people care, with the few who do, believing that the ends justifies the means.
What is the Republican answer to all of this? Capitulation. Today, the John McCain, Mitt Romney and Chris Christies of the party say, "OK, you're right, but maybe not SO much tyranny. Let's try and take it back a little." But guess what, GOP? It's never enough. The statist is never satisfied. There will never be enough money. There will NEVER be enough time. The Statist always needs more because, like a mad scientist, they are performing experimenting on society, and because they believe that they have the intellectual superiority to engineer the perfect society, they do so from a position of supreme of moral authority. This perfect society would be one without any perceived inequality, but in this utopia, you must hammer out of humankind all of his or her humanity.
Our individuality, our advantages and disadvantages, our failings and achievements, our lack of predictability, and competitive spirit that drives continuous growth and self-improvement are the features of humanity that have allowed us as Americans to create the many boundless wonders that have been possible under the freer generations of America's past. But because of these imperfections, unequal outcomes, the lack of masters optimizing our state of affairs, and the belief that "Yes we can" do it better, the Statist believes that the only reason why their approach has yet to succeed is because the ones who have tried it before weren't smart enough. Not as smart as them. And so they will promise you, all they need is just a little more time (like FDR's third term in office), or just a little more money (like the ever-rising debt ceiling). And if the Republicans honestly believe that the key to winning is giving into The Little Shop of Horrors (which began looking harmless), and feed it more and more of citizen's liberty so that it won't eat them, the GOP only need look back a hundred years to the Republicans that saw decades of being shut out of the House, the Senate and the Oval Office after giving in then.
It is for these reasons that there is a Tea Party and why I stand with the Tea Party. Because we're the last line of defense against the soft, slow-motion Tyranny spreading from the U.S. federal government, the state legislatures and local municipalities aligned with their agenda. We will not give up a little bit of freedom for the illusion of a safety net. For it was as President Ronald Reagan warned us almost exactly 26 years ago, that, “If we lose freedom here, there is no place to escape to. This is the last stand on Earth.”
When you can finally find a Liberal that isn't a blithering idiot, they're still like enduring searing gas pain to listen to. Because when they try to explain something to you, they begin with this palpable attitude problem that speaks, "this is just common sense to anyone with a clue, but, here you go, I'll spell it out for you," before launching into the 1-2 punch.
The first punch being--whatever you just said pales in comparison to this thing a "right-winger" supposedly did (normally described using word-for-word repeated talking points from msnbc). The second being--it doesn't matter how bad our ideas are in practice because their intentions are in the right place and we shouldn't fail to try these ideas just because of a few issues. Which completely minimizes the real point; that the handful of issues is the symptom of the the bigger disease of Statism.
When the founding fathers limited the Congress to exactly 17 enumerated powers in Article 8 in Section 1 of the Constitution, it was because they knew that government is the worst possible thing you can use to make any good thing come about or solve any sort of problem. Because here you have an entity with the power to Both Limit your freedom and enjoy LIMITLESS freedom to take your money and do whatever it wants with it, whether you like it not. This is not only like being out numbered in a fist fight, it's like being out numbered by a bunch of guys with brass knuckles. That rarely ends well.
By design, the purpose of government is the Control things. That is it. And in order to control something, you have to limit it--potentially by destroying it entirely. It isn't just the military that does that. It's the whole thing. Regulations and laws are there to either tell you, the individual, what you can't do (not what you can). And it's either a limit (i.e., you can't make more than this much money without paying this much in taxes) or it's a prohibition (you can't not buy health insurance, even if you don't want or need it).
Obviously, control is what you should do sometimes. Like when dealing with an insurrection or foreign invasion, or a common currency--you don't want just anyone making up their own currency. But when it comes to anything else: health care, jobs, education--whatever--the government is still doing the only thing it is capable of doing: inducing control. Which means either limiting or destroying. And what are we seeing thanks to the ACA, TARP, TARP II, Common Core? Limits and destruction unfolding in the economy, in the education system and in healthcare. Even when you think government is not destroying or limiting things, it is. Like with subsidies. Just like in physics where for every action there is an equal, opposite reaction--if government is giving money to one guy (because the President--REGARDLESS OF POLITICAL PARTY--happens to personally like them or what they do), guess what? Government has to take it from someone else. That means increasing the limits placed on other people, by limiting how much of their money they get to keep.
So let's write it out simply: govermment = control. Control = limits and/or elimination. Control + Economy = Limits/Elimination to Economic Growth. Control + Health Care = Limits/Elimination to Health Care. Control + anything else = limited, destroyed.
When you know that, you know that it--whatever it is that a Statist wants--will never work out. You know that anyone who thinks it will is either stupid, crazy or both.
So don't get trapped into misdirection. The "smart" Liberal will stat-bomb you or number-bomb you... "Last year, n number of babies died due to Cancer while XYZ Pharmaceuticals "raked in" billions in profit." Sounds horrible right? Right. So how do you stop something that sounds this bad? Why, you need more government of course! Sounds familiar, doesn't it? Stick to the philosophical argument that government is incapable of being good at anything but inducing control (limits or termination) on people, places and things, and your argument will be bulletproof.
You'll know it, because then you'll start being accused of being sexist, racist, homophobic or some other thing that suggest your moral fiber is deeply flawed.
Defend freedom. Fight bullshit. Walk tall.
I've lost count of the amount of money and time wasted by my mom chasing one get-rich-quick scheme after the next when I grew up in the 80s and 90s. They all had the same angle: make a lot by doing almost anything. But the obvious question is, if it was so easy to be a millionaire, why does anyone ever work a day job? But you're not supposed to think about that. You're supposed to buy their books and tapes, buy their start-your-own-business "kits," and pay money to attend seminars, or whatever else they claim will put you on the path to success. You're not supposed to notice that you're not the one getting rich, but the people claiming you'll get rich. How do they keep getting away with it? They never guarantee their results. They'll claim, you didn't work the system correctly. Meanwhile, they disappear one day, only to re-appear with a new name and a new game.( Read more...Collapse )
While that is the more classic example of a scam, the music business is not very far off from working the same way. And while we've been conditioned by the high-profile cases to believe it is the "big labels" seeking out and destroying young, star-eyed performers, looking to make it in music, the truth is, there is absolutely no greater cesspool of bottom-feeding parasites than in the so-called "indie" circuit. In the old days, it used to be the shady manager taking unreasonable cut, and everybody's heard about the pay-to-play guys, but the Internet has made it easier than ever to sell snake oil to musicians.
These lies appear in books you're asked to spend money on. They're told by so-called PR people whose job it is to expose your music to a wide audience and hopefully help you get gigs and move merchandise, but instead, give you a stack of phone numbers and addresses, a smile and some worthless advice. Advice you paid paid $1,600, maybe even, $2,400 or $3,500 to get. I want to dispel these myths right now and hopefully save someone who loves what they do, and loves making music from being misled, wasting untold amounts of time and money on this "expert industry advice."
Lie #1: The Internet has Eliminated the Gatekeepers
In 1989, Phil Alden Robinson made a movie called "Field of Dreams" staring Kevin Costner, and made famous the phrase, "if you build it, they will come." Back in the day, they used to say, upload your music to MySpace and get discovered. That's how Joe Shmoe and The Axgrinders got famous! Today, they say the same thing about YouTube and point to Justin Bieber. Five years ago there were 120 Million videos on YouTube. Three years ago, ReverbNation had over 600,000 artists (not fans, just musicians competing with one another) registered. Uploading a video was neat and exciting when it was hard to do and rare--15 years ago, and music on the Internet, before Napster, was also a novel concept. So if you had an entire album online, sure, there were enough people that wanted it simply because it was pretty wild to be able to have a whole album on your computer. Today, that would be like being fascinated by the concept of driving a car instead of riding a horse.
The other misconception spread by the concept of the Internet making things better for musicians is that, because there are no "gatekeepers" like Music Directors at radio stations--increasingly consolidated through corporate acquisitions--or whatever MTV and VH-1 decides to air (when they aired more than 30 minutes of music per week), you are free to go directly to the fans without the middle man. The middle man at a museum is called the curator. Just like how your neighbor's ten year old artwork for school typically does not appear in the local exhibition, the reason there are music directors is to make sure that you have a product that fits in with what it is that their audience and target demographic wants. But that's beside the point. Because the reality is, the Internet has gatekeepers too.
As I presently understand it, PRISM was the NSA program to monitor the Internet communications and records of telephone calls made over at least one major US carrier--Verizon Wireless--probably including AT&T, if not all of them. The story is not even a week old and already, the partisan talking points have come out. In this case, it would appear that both sides are getting it right and wrong at the same time. Here's what I mean.
The Liberal talking-point merely ignores that their hero in the White House is merely continuing the program instituted by his predecessor, and that it's a bit hypocritical for Conservatives to now express outrage. This ignores that while the PATRIOT Act enacted in 2002 in the wake of the terrorist attacks of September 11th, 2001 was bipartisan and had the support of many Republicans (as well as Democrats), Libertarians--also to the Right of Liberals--were gravely concerned about the rights of Americans and the assurance they should have about their privacy, particularly where it regards government.
The Conservative retort is that, quite obviously, President Obama chose not to end this program. Many Conservatives are looking at the IRS asking Conservative groups--and mostly none of those it deemed were not Right-of-center--seeking 501(c)4 tax-exempt status as social welfare organizations inappropriate questions. They are also looking at the fact that as an organization that belongs to the US Treasury Department, headed by the Treasury Secretary that is appointed by the President of the United States, and therefore, the actions of the IRS are ultimately answerable to the President--even if indirect. I've heard it argued that even if there was no direct mandate from Barack Obama to make it a problem for organizations on the Right to seek tax-exempt status, that because of the culture of his administration, Obama still carries responsbility for that targetting. Therefore, the question becomes: would this President use the NSA to recover Internet and telephone communications of American citizens purely for national security or for political gain?
It's a remarkably cynical point of view, but one that is highly justified when you look at the highly questionable actions of those appointed by him, at a minimum. US Attorney General Eric Holder is dealing with the possibility he perjured himself about whether he led the Department of Justice to come after a Fox News Channel reporter, supposedly over some leak (did all of the leaks originate from him?). Maybe they'll agree it's not--which is why they're also in trouble in the opinion of the public--for having secretly obtained the phone records of calls made by reporters for the Associated Press. Now that we've seen a willingness by this government to risk even the appearance of impropriety (to put it VERY nicely) by coming dangerously close to violating not just Constitutional statutes but the values that put them there in the first place, all bets are off. This is serious stuff. We're talking about things that were said and written by the people that founded this country because of what the King of England was doing that led to Americans waging a revolutionary war to separate from the crown. It's that serious. A free press that can do its job is one of the most significant attributes of the United States that in fact makes it quite different from countries like China, North Korea, Iran and many, many other places where the news is virtually and in some cases literally written by the government.
For better or worse, Americans take their privacy seriously. So much so that I've heard some argue that Roe V. Wade was decided because the privacy rights protected by the fourth amendment include the contents of your own body. Whether you agree with that or not, I'm sure you'll agree that if you're like me, and you're not doing anything wrong, but that it's not even the point; that the point is, it just doesn't doesn't feel right to know that a government in the United States can get this information, and there's nothing you can do about it. And so when the President--ANY President (whether it's Obama or Bush) tries to point to national security as a reason for this to happen, we're just quite frankly too comfortable and 9/11 was just too long ago--for most people to really care. Furthermore, some Conservatives make a good point, which is that if it was working so well, how come it couldn't prevent the Boston Bombers from attacking the marathon's finish line?
The reality is, however, that this is an oversimplification and there are probably a lot of good reasons why. At the end of the day, no matter what machines are doing with your phone records or Facebook activity, human beings--federal agents--have to become aware of and evaluate the severety of a threat before any actions can be taken. In this case, it would appear as though some within the FBI tried to warn the Boston PD, but that controversy has taken a backseat, and right now, I don't know what's going on with regards to whether or not that's true, how true, and if there was a good reason why the Boston Police couldn't have done anything about it. But my point is, intelligence is not perfect. Data is not information, and information is not always knowledge either. Some of what you see or hear is misdirection, intentionally or unintentionally wrong. Being a spy involves not just getting information, but figuring out if it is good, and helps you stop the enemy.
Perhaps the perfect example of this was the use of patriot spies by General George Washington during the American revolution once New York was occupied by the British. Without invisible ink and patriots pretending to be loyalists, we couldn't have tracked British movements. In particular, their intent to ambush the French Navy sailing to America to help us defeat the British--at least as I understand it. One could argue it's a bit different spying on foreign soldiers in your own land. Or that it's a bit different to use invisible ink, and eavesdrop on face-to-face conversation, but is it that different?
Liberals are constantly making the nonsense argument about the second amendment that had its authors known we'd get to the point of having AR-15s or M16s, they'd have also written it differently as to limit what American have for firepower. As if had they envisioned the printing press, radio and TV, the Internet or cell phones--the founding fathers would have tried to put limits on the first amendment. Similarly, we cannot suppose that George Washington would not have used the NSA--if it had have existed back then--to deal with an invasion. And are we not already invaded?
We have a number of people here illegally--either due to an unauthorized border crossing or because overstaying a VISA. This was actually the case for the two terrorists that bombed the Boston marathon. It is not impossible to believe that, for instance, al Qaeda, would not try to sneak in on a student VISA and lay-low, or cross the Californian border it shares with Mexico, and set up as a cab driver (which requires no proof of citizenship beyond having a driver license, which the state is--by the way--seriously considering giving to people without valid citizenship). If you know you have millions of people here, potentially any of them could be here to cause harm. And while the face of the administration talks about doing the right thing when it comes to passing "comprehensive immigration reform," the DHS under Obama's Napolitano has had the ICE deport more illegal immigrants than even when George W. Bush was president. They're buying ammo like they are expecting World War III to break out in Nebraska. This is not an administration that trusts and embraces the millions that have snuck across the border or overstayed a VISA--they have a deep and hidden fear of them.
I contend this wide-spread, hundred-million user foraging for Internet and phone call data is for the primary purposes of dealing with people in the United States--not necessarily US citizens--and their potentially lethal ties to terror. In effect, under President Obama, the NSA is treating the United States as though it is a country that has been invaded. Just in slow motion, and not by any one country planting flags on our forts, but by consequence of ignoring immigration law. And a so-called pathway to citizenship, and eligibility of federal benefits is actually a backdoor way to keep better track of these people. But here's what I think.
I think that if that's true, it's going to work as 'bout as well as the Fast and Furious gun-running/tracking program went. The brothers that attacked the Boston city marathon were on welfare, too. That's probably how the FBI came to become aware of them, and perhaps--through tracking purchases and subsequent online behavior--had some small idea about what they might have wanted to do. Again, people died or became gravely injured anyway, and we do still have things called the constitution and due process. I feel like there is, probably, a better way of handling these issues. That we're afraid of being called racists and xenophobes by insisting on better border security, and deportation of especially known criminals and possibly even terrorists. That somehow, we've gotten to the point of believing it's easier just to let them stay but watch everything they do and say, and with whom everyone they do and say it with.
To me, I feel that's the center of the controversy, if I'm right.
I've got a message for the RNC: don't ever call my house again looking for donations.
This morning, I had the misfortune of listening to New York-transplant and LA Daily News columnist Doug McIntyre, radio talk-show host for AM 790 KABC discuss a 98-page internal report about what the Republican party is doing wrong and how they can fix it. I disagree with it and I disagree with Mr. McIntyre's analysis. This morning, he quoted a passage from the report criticizing the party and its campaigns for being addicted to Ronald Reagan--and that the party has essentially become masters as preaching to the choir but ineffective at persuading those that do not agree with the GOP on every position. McIntyre expressed his wholehearted agreement, stating that times have changed since Reagan was elected over 32 years ago. The two reasons why I disagree with him and the Republican National Committee has to do with the fact that the same logic, if applied to Democrats, does not resolve to the same outcome and that, furthermore, it ignores what makes the Republican ideology the ideology of America.
To illustrate my point that electoral losses have nothing to do with perhaps being trapped in the past as a party, I'd like to point out that so-called Progressives have no problem embarrassing their older concepts as classics, whether going back to Noam Chomsky, or Karl Marx from the mid-19th century. People like Elizabeth Warren, while careful to avoid ever mentioning their names, revere them and their ideology. And when the DNC had a chance to nominate the wife of a moderate Democrat for president in 2008, and run Hilary Clinton, they chose a sophomore Senator who served a very short time in the state senate of his home state of Illinois after making a post-collegiate career helping lawyers come after people with questionable race discrimination lawsuits, Mr. Barack Obama. We know almost nothing about his past and what we do know isn't good. Shady connections to sketchy characters like Tony Rezko, William Ayres, Jeremiah Wright--none of which suggesting an American-as-apple pie, home country lovin', patriot that lived his life in service to the needs of others. (And no, I don't count "community organizing" as any such thing.)
The bottom line is that the Democrats did not say to themselves, "you know, we already have that Left wing vote locked down; what we need to do is moderate our message, and start an outreach initiative to be inclusive of middle America in the heartland, and stop calling it fly-over country, and the people who live there rednecks, hicks and racists. We're not going to start winning elections without it." No, they said, "no, let's go all the way. We've got nearly A BILLION DOLLARS in the bank, we've manipulated the shit out of entertainment and information media so that even the staunchest flag saluters are beginning to doubt George Dubya... All we have to do now is make it all about him; the party, the war. All of it. And we'll win. Now's our chance to run the candidate we REALLY want to have in office. A true blue, dyed-in-the-wool, Left wing extremist and arch-typical Marxist." And they succeeded.
And it was easy because the GOP made it easy. They went in the opposite direction. Republican voters were force-fed John McCain. This would have been like the DNC forcing Democrat voters to champion Joe Lieberman or Zell Miller! Say what you will about GWB; I think the real reason he won--even Democrat voters--was because you knew what you were getting with him. In 2004, there was a REAL choice between John Kerry and Bush. Four years later, like him or not, you KNEW what you were getting with Obama. WTF were we going to get with McCain? No one knew so, of course, the bottom fell out in turnout of registered Republican voters and inevitably, Obama won. It wasn't as bad as it was then during the 2012 election, but the exact same thing happened. Turnout was bad on both sides, but it was worst for the GOP, and that extra 4% missing gave Obama the 2% he needed for the win. And Turnout, particularly REPUBLICAN turnout is key.
I have been saying every single time I've discussed this since the end of the election that Republican turnout problems is the untold story of what is wrong with the party.
Why aren't Republican voters showing up?
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The Left has taken the word "greed" and changed it to what it means in the mind of a person who is intoxicated with the emotional poison of Envy. To a reasonable person, greed means the desire to take from Person B what does not belong to Person A; in other words, theft. You have to believe (as Leftists like the Occupy militants do) corporations, and really anyone that's rich, became rich because they stole it from somebody. How? Well, by coming into possession of the resources it took to produce what other people want or need, and then selling it to those people for a profit. It's stealing, they think, because you're lied to that you should have to pay for the things you need. But that in reality, being required to do that is a violation of your human rights. The concept of "social justice" is built on this very specious argument.
Ironically, there are few better examples of greed than in government and among public employee unions in particular. They don't care that the money's not theirs; that everyone else hasn't had a raise in years but, instead, have had to deal with pay cuts, cut hours, part time employment or no employment at all. All they know is that you have what they want, they want more of it, and they quite frankly couldn't care less how you come up with it. While businesses like Dodge and AstraZeneca look for ways to help their customers figure out how to afford their products, cities like Los Angeles balances their budgets on the backs of the people who can afford it least with steep jumps in the cost of parking tickets (http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/lanow/2013/02/los-angeles-mayor-campaign-parking-tickets-gold-card-desk-james.html). Whom is really violating who's human rights according to Liberal algebra now?
Fundamentally, there are two views. There is one view that all the wealth that there is is all that ever will be. If that were true, then trying to have more than what someone else thinks you need could make sense (http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/04/28/AR2010042804063.html). But then there is the correct view, that wealth is an ever increasing thing. The standard of life, since the dawn of American-style Capitalism in the neighborhood of 160 years ago, is the best now that it has ever been--even for the poor Here. It some countries, some people would have to work a hundred years to be able to earn enough to support One Year of the living standard of the so-called poor in the United States. No one would rationally argue that the per-person purchasing power parity of being now $10,000/yr. more than it was in 2004 (http://www.tradingeconomics.com/united-states/gdp-per-capita-ppp) is because poor people stole it from somebody else, would they? So why doesn't it work the same for the so-called 1%? Wealth comes from generating value. The rich know they didn't just accumulate money in a mattress somewhere, they generated value.
So no, I don't say greed is good because greed is really the desire to have and take what's not yours. After all, isn't that what it means when one says (as the President is so fond of saying) to take more than your fair share? The reality is when you come up with medicine that helps people, and then use the profits you earn to pay your student loans and R&D costs... When you come up with technology that makes us more productive, and then use the profits to put your kids through college so they can turn around, and make it even better... When you earn dividends on the money you invested in the business that comes up with the biofuels that we all would love to see become viable in the global economy... That's not greed. That's the Win-Win proposition of Free-Enterprise Capitalism, the only system truly capable of offering to all classes of people advancement to their way of life.
We know that's true. We have the better arguments. We know this because it's why the Left has to resort to character assassination and rigged courts, because on a face-value up or down vote in the opinion of the public square, all of their ideas would be categorically rejected. And where it isn't, the 40+ years of despair, crime and poverty in Democrat-ruled areas like Detroit, Chicago and Harlem, New York alone indicts the entire philosophy. We have these problems not because there isn't more money for social workers, social programs, after-school programs, but because they don't work. We know Capitalism does not solve all problems, which is why we also know that the best after school program is parental involvement. That the best social program are charities, and the best social workers are at your church. That the most powerful weapon on the war against poverty is mothers and fathers married to one another. We Americans are smart people that have solved some of the most difficult problems in the history of the world. We can do (and have done) better that Liberalism. So what's the problem?
Unfortunately for us, the last man capable of not only communicating the truth in this message but then obtain the power to transform this message into action was Ronald Reagan. The question now for the GOP is whether we can transcend the fallacy that the so-called "progressive" philosophy of demographic politics is in any way mainstream. It isn't. E pluribus unum means out of many, one. So the key to the resurgence of the Republican party lies not with appealing to enough non-Male, non-White voters as possible, but with discrediting, on every occasion, the very premise of Leftist arguments: that we are not individuals first, with the right to pursue life, liberty and happiness as individuals. This is the key not just to restoring a party trying to avoid marginalization due to deliberate, meticulous Left wing character assassination with misuse of terms like greed--but to the restoration of the people of the United States of America themselves.
The Occupy Wall Street Movement and its fringe elements are indistinguishable and inseparable from one another.
by Dairenn Lombard
It's no secret that the Occupy Wall Street protesters as well as their sympathizer protest groups in cities throughout the country and in some parts of the world have been responsible for much mischief and mayhem consistent with the usual Left wingers. Socialists, anarchists, Marxists, communists, statists, pacifists, anti-Semites, apologists for brutal, oppressive Islamists, and EnviroNazis. And you have the usual trademarks: masked faces, flag burning, obscenities, burned effigies, vandalism, threats, verbal abuse, assaults, copious use of illegal narcotics and poor personal hygiene. We've seen it all before, and we'll see it again and again.
What is remarkable to me is how otherwise observant, thoughtful individuals have excused the endless stream of criminal acts perpetrated at and by OWS crowds. The line, as it goes, is: All causes or political movements are going to have fringe elements, and they are going to behave badly or stupidly. But you can't judge the whole based on the actions of those few. Their overall message is sound, and you can't discredit the people or their message, or allow yourself to be distracted from that message because of these acts.
There are two problems with this position. First of all, their message, their position, their entire ideology is far from sound. Don't let hypnotic, deadpan, monotone NPR radio announcers lull you into a sense of apathy or, worse, comfort over these people. The OWS people will tell you there is this system and it is designed to work against you, but there really is no "system." There are numerous, individual agreements between adults to exchange value: effort as any combination of talent, physical labor or intellectual skill for currency. And it's not exploitative; it is mutually beneficial. Suppose you make a lot of money; you can then hire me, as an employee, or as a vendor to help you make more, and if your business does well and I'm an investor, I make money when your stock goes up; when you make more money, you can open more stores so I have better selection, lower prices, and a closer, more convenient trip to make. In America and countries like it, quality, hard work and acceptance of personal responsibility results in success--if not now, certainly for your future. However, since this does leave out everyone who does not do those things, Occupy Wall Street finds its opening with such persons.
OWS asserts that, currently, the power is in the hands of the wealthy but that it should be the hands of academics and other people smarter than you and, therefore, know better than you what's best for you and everyone else. So their stated mission is replace the system with a new one that is leaderless. However, this is not an honest statement because it is incongruous with their perception of society. Social justice implies someone is being wronged (perhaps exploited or outright stolen from), and that there is a judicial punishment. Therefore, people that stratify society by classes of victims according to gender, race or even sexual orientation are doomed to seek supremacy, not just opportunity equality, for these victim classes. When you see someone demanding social justice, they are looking to shift the class for whom they see as the owner of social power; a shift that moves power from the so-called "haves" to the so-called "have-nots." It sounds like a good idea, but it isn't, and history proves it.
Look at the legacy of Che Guevara, Hugo Chavez and Venezuela or Fidel Castro's Cuba, the revolution that brought the Ayatollah to power in Iran or Kim Jong-Il and Mao's famine-stained brand of Communism in North Korea and China. The reality is, the only place where Communism ever "works" is when it is brought about through intimidation, fear, actual torture and death. While propaganda from the American Left perpetuates conspiracy concepts around the so-called military-industrial complex accusing the CIA and the Pentagon of all sorts of "black helicopter" or "men-in-black" tactics to silence political dissidents, you have actual oppression throughout Islamic Arab countries, Socialist Central and South American banana republics, and communist regimes in parts of Africa and Asia. Actual kidnappings, rapes, murders of people and their families, including children for preserving power.
In that world, there is no constitution that limits the government. There is no legislative representation. There is no due process. There is just the way of the state and what the intellectuals have decided for you, as an adult, what is best and right for you. Socialism is the creed of shared misery. Communism is the philosophy of outcome equality through universal failure. And they sell it on the concept that if nobody is rich, then there can be no one in a class above you. But that is the biggest lie of all, because the advocates of that system want to be in the class above you that tells you what you can or cannot drive, eat or buy, or how much money you are allowed to earn. The road to hell was paved with good intentions and the message of the Occupy Wall Street movement is no exception.
Then, there is the "every political movement has a fringe element" excuse. This does not fly because in another well-known political movement called the Tea Party protests, you did not have numerous felonies. Tea Parties have not hosted shootings, murders, dead bodies, sexual assaults including rape, public masturbation, public fornication, vandalism--including defecation on police vehicles, open use of illegal narcotics, trespassing, battery of journalists and peace officers, theft of private property, public health code violations and untold economic damage to the local businesses whose customers do not want to risk blood and urine being thrown at them while standing at a hot-dog cart. You can Google every single last incident I've named to find they've happened at least once in every single city where OWS has darkened the pavement.
There are too many of these incidents to call them one-offs in the same way that out of the 1.2 Million tea party protesters that showed up in Washington, D.C., you might have had a few dozen people hoisting racially incentive picket signs directed toward the President. However, not only were there very few outsiders willing to explain them away as minor, fringe elements that do not represent the core values of the Tea Party, there is former President Jimmy Carter claiming that the heart of their opposition to the President is based in racism. At Tea Party protests, parks have been left in nicer condition than before they arrived. Will we be able to say the same when the OWS crowd is eventually evicted from the parks and lawns of public buildings in our cities? If it was anything like the union losers that tried to occupy the state capitol in Wisconsin when Scott Walker tried to institute fiscal sanity in that state, the answer will be: of course not.
So, certainly, crony capitalism between Democrats in Congress and in the White House financial institutions--either through collusion or severe legal pressure--that nearly destroyed the American economy in 2008 is bad. However, the only thing worse than a problem is a bad solution. There are good solutions to that problem, and, it would be one thing if the OWSers were just too stupid to avoid bad solutions. But this is exploitation. The Occupy Wall Street people are gunning for the most important American value that there is, Individual Liberty, and they are exploiting the misery caused by Left-wing, big government policy to advance a cause that will end Individual Liberty.
Support that at your own risk.
From the recording sessions of "Business Affairs," coming this fall on Amazon.com and at the Apple iTunes store, a bonus track not on the new CD, "Doesn't Matter Now." Freely downloadable from Reverbnation!
Read this story. It is hilarious.
Why is it hilarious? In 2008, Barack Obama joined his fellow Democrats in Congress almost two years after they took control of both houses in the war on Capitalism. In an interview with the news, BO made it clear that, under cap-and-trade, you can emit all of the carbon you want, "but we will bankrupt you." The Wall St. Journal mathematically demonstrated that you could Double everyone's taxes in the United States and still not have enough to pay for the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (i.e., "ObamaCare"). To both Barack and Joe F'in Biden, $250,000/yr. is a perfectly acceptable level at which your taxes could and therefore should go up ignoring that "income" includes Corporations, and that in the small business world, an annual income of $250,000 is a pittance. And what happened with the taxes?
Well if it weren't for losing the House of Representatives to Republicans due to millions of Americans protesting all over the United States, including at the Mall in Washington, D.C., the Bush-era tax cuts would have expired, choking the last breath of life out of the engine of economic growth: the private sector. Nevertheless, unemployment remains over 9% because while elections happen every two years, businesses think about the next FIVE years. In that time, the federal government could politically shift, and suck the life blood out of businesses by allowing capital gains taxes and income taxes to shoot back up, taking away the millions of dollars they would have spent on hiring people like you and me. So unemployment remains over 9%.
George H. W. Bush had better poll numbers than Barack Obama does now and still lost his bid for re-election because of the economy, and joblessness in particular. So all this executive order is about is to prevent that history from repeating itself. If it weren't, this would have been the President's agenda from the beginning: working through Congress not only to bring about true reform to tame abusive tort and the burdensome taxation policy, but commit the financial resources to the program. Instead, this executive order uses the existing budget of an existing office with the ambiguous mission of advertising America as a great place to do business, and to address any concerns that businesses have about doing business here. Conspicuously timed in the 11th hour of his Presidency, this act literally comes out of nowhere all for the purposes of rescuing his chances at a second term in office. This is not only disingenuous, it insults our intelligence.
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I've been playing music since 1986 and started writing and recording in 1991. I completed my first album between 1995 and 1997 and recorded it in 2002. Last year, I released my debut CD, Eye of the Storm on the 2nd anniversary of my father's passing. Here are full-length streaming samples of the music!
My band, STARFIRE and I are going on the road in a local tour in southern California. Check out our show dates and come see us! Tickets are currently available to many of our shows, so get them right now!
By the way, we do have a mailing list to tell you about when and where we're performing, upcoming releases and other music news. Please sign up!
If you would prefer text messages to e-mail, you can sign up here:
Last but not least, if you can't make it, pick up a copy of my album to support what I'm doing. I would appreciate it. :-)
Thomas Sowell told Larry Elder on AM 790 KABC in Los Angeles that an important reason highspeed rail between Los Angeles and San Francisco is a bad idea is because there will never be enough customers paying into the system in order to pay for the cost of building the system. Tokyo has 13 Million people and Osaka, Japan's second largest city, has 2.6 Million people in it. Between San Francisco, Oakland and San Jose, the bay area has 2 Million and Los Angeles County has 9.8 Million people. These are very comparable and the terrain in Japan is almost like it is in California.
However, we don't need to compare the two places to know that there are enough people for the market. All we have to do is look at the seven airports that share up to six daily trips for each of the eight airlines flying between Los Angeles and San Francisco. While not all flights are full, with some service scheduled on 45-seat regional jets, and not every airport has that many flights, or that many airlines flying from those airports, we can assume that at least 10,000 people are flying to or from one of these cities every single day. I don't include pre-existing Amtrak trips and Greyhound bus rides because we're talking about transportation systems capable of taking people to one of the two cities in less than three hours.
Now, let's look at the costs involved. How much did it cost to build these seven airports? How much do the vehicles used to haul baggage to airplanes cost? How much to the jets cost? How much does the jet fuel cost per flight? How much does it cost to pay the ticket agents, gate agents, flight attendants, the pilots, the jet mechanics, baggage handlers? How much does it cost to maintain the maintenance facilities? You would have to look at the annual financial reports sent to investors by the parent corporations of each airline to estimate. However, each year, it runs into the billions, many times that of the projected costs associated with the California Highspeed Rail system, and whatever profit the airlines do see are extremely minimal. Minimal enough that the airlines have frequently required chapter 11 reorganization (bankruptcy) and even government loans to avoid going out of business, which hasn't always been enough.
High speed rail systems are going to have a lot of the same cost categories, but due to the economies of scale, they wont be as high. Suppose the cars that the California Highspeed Rail Authority will use on the line will have the same capacity as an Amtrak bi-level SuperLiner car; 96 passengers. I don't know how much the high-speed rail cars will cost, but suppose they will cost about the same as the cars Amtrak already uses, which run $2.5 Million each. They are pulled by a $3.9 Million locomotive. In terms of just the train itself, we're talking about $6.4 Million for 96 passengers. But here's where the economy of scale comes in. Another 96 passengers brings the total to $6.7 Million. Let's compare this to a 162-passenger Boeing 737-800 that costs $80.8 Million. That works out to $34,635 per rail passenger versus $498,765 per air passenger. While the flight to San Francisco from Los Angeles is slightly less than 60 minutes (weather permitting), the check-in and security procedures easily stretches your gate-to-gate time to three hours. This is about 30 minutes longer than it would take for the trip by train, which is not affected by fog or other aviation hazards.
Libertarians that are consistent in their views will typically oppose government bailouts and subsidies for airlines and airports as well as highways as vehemently as they oppose government-sponsored rail. However, I still separate from their view point based on the historical precedent for the role of government in transportation systems. It is the responsibility of the Congress to maintain "post roads" in article 1, section 8 of the United States constitution. This was the basis for its initial investments in railroads throughout the 19th century; the railroads agreed to carry mail. American Airlines got its start operating tiny propeller planes in the 1930s in order to service a government contract to provide airmail for the postal service. While the reason for building a national highway system was primarily for defense, these avenues were largely built along the same routes used for carrying postal mail. The reason postal mail was considered as important as a common currency was because the point of federalizing the country was to provide the foundation for interstate commerce.
Here's an update on our progress in southern California. We've already lined up 3 dates and we are working on a forth. The most recently added show is at The Park Bar & Grill in Burbank, California on 2007 W. Burbank Blvd. This is an exciting show because it's All Ages (we're on before 10pm when it's 21+ only).
Click Here to Get Tickets
Stay tuned for complete details on all show dates!