Monthly Archives: September 2010

Republicans more to right with their New Pledge: Too little, too late.

So the Republicans came out with their New Pledge to America about what they’ll do if they take control of both houses of Congress. They have the usual Republican good ideas.

But in amongst all these good ideas is still the same philosophy that got the Republicans into the problem they are having with the Tea Party right now. All this does is, for better or worse, take us back to the day before Barrack Obama took control. It rolls back nothing else. It takes no stand. It offers no new direction. All it does is roll back to January 2009 and from there all we can expect is more compromise and dealing with the Democrats.

Can I ask a question, why do the Republicans always compromise with the Democrats? Why is it always, okay you want to increase spending by 10% and we want 0% so we’ll compromise at 5%. Why is it never the Democrats compromising with the Republicans? Okay you can to cut the budget by 90% (it really should be cut by 99.9%) we want to increase it by 10% so we’ll compromise and cut it by 20%. That is the whole message of America’s current outrage!

And if Republicans think this habit of compromise will work, then I really have to wonder about them. Because it’s the exact same plan they’ve tried time and time and time again. And each time they compromise and make this country just a little bit worse. It’s what they’ve always done. Over and over again. What’s that thing where you do the same thing over and over again and expect a different result each time. Oh that’s right…insanity.

The only way to actually improve things is to actually hold a conservative philosophy–a philosophy that states people and the market know better than the government. Just rolling back to 2009 isn’t a solution it’s just starting the problems all over again. Unless there is a sincere and passionate attempt to not only roll back Obama but roll back all anti-capitalistic and ant-republican (I’m using that as the form of government, not the political party) actions that the Democrats have been putting in for decades this is still only delaying their liberal attempt to destroy everything that makes this country work.

This pledge might be a good first step. But there is a thousand miles left to go. And while the journey of a thousand miles may begin with a single step, I can only pray that the Republicans do not think it is the only step they need to make.

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Filed under Budget, Economics, Problems with the GOP

Karma catches up to everyone

Jimmy Carter is in the hospital.

Couldn’t have happened to a nicer dimwitted, treasonous, America hating, anti-semitic bastard.

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Filed under Anti-Semitism, Carter, Evils of Liberalism

New Age Movies: M. Night Part I

“Do you know what the scariest thing is? To not know your place in the world. To not know why you’re here. That’s just an awful feeling.”

So I finally got around to watching the movies of M. Night Shyamalan, I had nearly forgotten that yes, once many years ago the man could write and direct…in light of The Happening and The Last Airbender it isn’t hard to see how I could have forgotten this. I started to make notes for a blog only to realize that there were more themes than I could deal with in a single blog. So I’m going to try and break this down by movie. I’m going to go chronologically, since I do see him building thematically upon the messages of the previous movies.

But before I get into the details of the films I want to explain why I bring up these films, because, hasn’t everyone seen them? With the previous movies I mentioned they were clearly not well received initially so someone could have easily missed them–but we’ve all seen Shyamalan’s movies haven’t we? Yes we’ve all seen them, but every time I hear people discuss them, they discuss them only as horror or suspense movies (maybe occasionally discuss Shyamalan’s skill as a director, or lack thereof with the recent films). People seem to have missed that every one of these movies have such a strong emphasis on theme they border on being nothing more than pure allegory for deeper nature of reality. So I discuss these movies, because I feel many (not all, but many) people have missed the actual point of the movies themselves.

The first two movies of Shyamalan, The Sixth Sense and Unbreakable, give us one of the strongest themes that appear in almost all of his movies: That there is a higher order to universe.

What do I mean by a higher order? That nothing happens by chance, that every piece, every event, every person is put in a certain place at a certain time to do certain things. That each and every one of us is born to fulfill a purpose; destiny if you will. Now fate does not exist, and you have the choice to ignore that purpose, but you won’t learn anything by trying to escape that destiny and you certainly won’t be happy. But even if you have free will to not follow your purpose, the universe is certainly going to keep trying to remind you of your purpose…and only a fool doesn’t listen.

We see this in The Sixth Sense with both of our lead characters. Bruce Willis’s character, Dr. Malcolm Crowe, knows that his purpose is to help children, but he literally cannot rest unless he helps the one child he could not, hence his inability to cross over until he has done his job. This is made all too clear in the first scene when Crowe’s wife points out his gift with children and how she loves this gift in him, even though it means that she is put second in his life behind the children he helps. This is why his spirit is literally drawn to Haley Joel Osment’s character, Cole. He had failed to help a child with the same problem and needed to make up for that failure. And Cole has been given a gift too, the sixth sense to see the dead, and he is miserable while he tries to hide from it and as we see quite well adjusted when he embraces it.

“This morning was the first morning that I can remember that I opened my eyes and didn’t feel sadness.”

But much of this theme is lost in all the trappings of a horror movie.

Which, is why this same theme is brought more into focus in Shyamalan’s second movie, Unbreakable. Both main characters do not know their place in the world and do not feel comfortable in their lives because they do know now their place and do not live there. And through this movie Shyamalan makes several points about the higher order of the universe in giving everyone a purpose. The most obvious is of course the one found in our hero played again by Bruce Willis, a superhero who doesn’t know what he is. But once he finds his calling, that he has been given beyond normal strength, endurance and psychic abilities for the purpose of helping others, he finds happiness in his life by pursuing the destiny set out for him: to help people.

But Shyamalan represents this higher order more than in just a single man finding his purpose. I think it is not coincidence that Willis’s character embraces his calling first in a train station. What’s so important about a train station? A train station if a favorite example of economist in showing that just because something appears chaotic it does not mean it is chaotic. As the analogy goes, hundreds of people are going in and out, changing trains, meeting people; trains go in and out at what to a casual observer might appear random. But even though there is no discernible order on a first glance, each person is moving in a very determined and organized way. Each train goes in and out at scheduled time to meet other scheduled times. Thousands upon thousands of plans, each rational and done with purpose–the very definition of ordered. It just appears chaotic because we can’t see the whole plan. This in turn is easily expanded to the greater sphere of the world. It appears chaotic and random, but there is planning and purpose and meaning behind everything. Or the metaphor can be taken down to an individual life where things seem to happen for no reason or without meaning. But nothing happens in any our lives without meaning, purpose, and planning. There is a higher order, a plan in all things.

The last point which is also often ignored in Unbreakable is that just because you have a purpose in life it does not mean you do not have free will. This is not only shown through the personal problems and unhappiness of Bruce Willis’s character when he does not live up to his purpose, but it also is shown in the Samuel L. Jackson character. Jackson’s character is a man who is the very opposite of the superhero, weak, low endurance, victim to all of life’s suffering has the purpose of showing Willis that he is a superhero. But here’s where free will comes in–as Jackson’s character sees life reflected in comic books and comic books reflected in life, he sees himself as the opposite of the hero, as the villain and as such is more than willing to kill hundreds of people to find his superhero. He could have just as easily seen himself in the role of mentor (the Prof X’s and Alfred Pennyworths that litter the field of comic books) and still fulfilled his purpose. But he chose to cast himself as the villain. Just as many of us can chose to do things that are not in our best interest. Even though there is a higher order doesn’t mean we do not have free will.

These themes do reoccur in the later Shyamalan films (even that waste of film called the Last Airbender) but they are built upon with even deeper and more important themes.

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Filed under Movies, New Age, New Age Movies, Purpose of Life, Shyamalan, The Sixth Sense

Random Commentary

No blog today.
But I thought I would share some highlights I’ve found this week:
Reason TV Interview with Adam Carolla (screw Colbert, I want this guy to testify to Congress)
A Nation of Peasants describing the mentality behind many of our current issues.
Visigoths at the Gate? Krauthammer on the Tea Party
and
Greg Gutfeld’s Gregalougue from Tuesday on Fox’s Red Eye (on why John Stewart is yet again an idiot).

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Filed under Reading Suggestions, Tea Party

A Series of Unfortunate Blogs: Part X—Charity and Human Potential in Capitalism

Okay so what are the last two points of New Age Belief that agree with Capitalism: Charity and The Infinite Potential of the Human Soul. I actually dealt with Charity way back in December of last year, so rather than just repeating myself you can go read that particular article if you missed it . But to sum up real quickly charity is a function of loving of another person for what they are capable. Charity cannot be a function of a government, i.e. the misguided attempt at welfare and entitlement programs, because charity only has value when it is an act of love from one person to another. Government is an institution, and evil one, a necessary evil, but an evil one. It gains its money through force (threat of prison) and spends it without love. It is not capable of charity, only the personal deaClings that can occur under capitalism are capable of charity.

But what of the infinite potential of the human soul? Every person has a spark of the divine in them. This is about as close to a corner stone belief as it gets for New Age belief. As the spiritual text A Course in Miracles states as a mantra to be repeated to help you reach Enlightenment “God is in everything I see because God is in my mind […] My mind is part of God’s. I am very holy […] I am a blessed Son of God […] I am the light of the world.” And I fully realize how if you’re not a New Ager that may come off as a bit sacrilegious and arrogant but it’s not. It is the message of Krishna to Arjuna in the Bhagavad Gita and the message of Jesus when he said “the kingdom of God is within you.” Luke 17:21. (And it does say “within” not “among”, the original Greek is “entos” which means “within”). This means you have within you the infinite potential to do anything you want…or as one of my favorite quotes puts it:
As I interpret the Course [in Miracles], ‘our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness, that most frightens us.’ We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small doesn’t serve the world. We are meant to shine as children do. We were born to manifest the glory of God that is within us. It’s not just in some of us; it’s in everyone.” Marianne Williamson, “A Return to Love: Reflections on The Principles of A Course in Miracles.”

But you say what about all the people who do terrible and evil things? It may be hidden under layers of ego created fear, but everyone is part of God. I want you to think of the worst person you can think of in history (odds are you’re thinking Hitler, Stalin, or Mao) yes even they had a part of God in them…did they ever listen to that part? No. But it was there and after many, many, many [just add a long stream of adverbs here, these guys have millennia of karmic debt to work off] reincarnations (likely into children born with horrible and painful diseases from birth) they may actually begin to listen to that spark and begin their climb back to Enlightenment. Now for a similar thought experiment, just to drive my point home, think of the most evil person you know in your own life. For me its one of my ex-bosses. I think it’s fair to say we all know at least one borderline sociopath, but before you give into the emotions of hate toward this person which thinking of them is probably bringing up, you have to remember that it is layers upon layers of fear and doubt that is making them act in such horrific ways. Evil people are to be pitied if anything, not hated. This is because everyone by definition of being human has a part of God in them; these poor smucks just don’t see that. As such looking to the best in people we must always, when possible, look to the good and not the bad; the part of them that is God and not their ego and fears; we need to look the best in them because that is the only real part, the rest is an illusion the will eventually fall away.

Because everyone has this part of god in them, they have the potential to be anything they want, do anything they want, achieve anything they want in this world. Hmmm…let’s see does Socialism with all its restrictive facets, tyrannical rules and controls allow someone to achieve their full potential? Do I really have to answer that?

By now it should be clear that there is one and only one system that will allow people to achieve, that will allow people to grow, that will allow people to reach Enlightenment is one that allows them try, to make mistakes, to fall, and to learn and grow from those mistakes and achieve whatever they want. That system is capitalism. Socialism forgets that people occasionally need to fail to succeed. That you need incentives for progress and you need opportunity to have growth. All of these are only capable under capitalism. The socialist fear is that without the government everyone will fail. That is the fear of the ego that tells you that the spark of God is not in you. Capitalism is the system that says people left to their own devices will show you how much people are capable of through progress, genius, art and charity.

As such capitalism is the only system that New Age beliefs can accept.

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Filed under A Course in Miracles, Capitalism, Charity, Economics

A Series of Unfortunate Blogs: Part IX–Dear God When will this end

So let me discuss two other points of New Age belief that match with capitalism: Long-Term Thinking and the issue of Quality over Quantity. I include these two together because (1) they are related philosophically more than most of the principles I’m going over here and (2) Yes, I realize this series is getting a bit long…but you try being brief when discussing economics without missing important points.

Long-Term Thinking is obviously a New Age belief–We believe in reincarnation and the eventual path toward Enlightenment, that sort of necessitates a long term view. After all if this whole life is nothing but a single stepping stone in a much longer journey, anything short of thinking that plans for the next century is a bit short sighted. Capitalism is also a long term way of looking at things. Whereas people are by nature short-sighted and grabbing for instant gratification, capitalism is the only system designed to consider long-term stability (investment, growth, long-term business plans) over the need to deal with temporary situations (recessions are by nature short term events that work themselves out, but only socialism looks at them as problems that need to be solved now and not let the system work itself out). Look at the socialistic view of poverty. As economist Thomas Sowell likes to point out, most people who live in poverty (which is in itself a bit of a joke as living in poverty in the US would be called a standard of living enjoyed only by royalty two hundred years ago) are vastly disproportionately in the 18-30 age bracket and in a decade most of them will be well entrenched in the middle class and replaced by a new generation of 20-somethings who are just starting out…I know what a concept that you don’t start out at the top of the income bracket when you join the job market. So really for most of the people in poverty, poverty is a problem that really solves itself and doesn’t need welfare, food-stamps, unemployment, blah, blah, blah [insert your least favorite government entitlement program]…in fact those entitlement programs can be statistically proven to slow down the upward movement out of poverty, after all why would you work to get something when people are willing to pay you to sit on your ass (remember people are by nature short-sighted). So really nothing actually needs to be done about poverty under capitalism because in the long run it solves itself. But socialists are so short sighted that they are actually still stuck in the middle of 1880’s where we didn’t have so much capitalism as we had anarchy and merit alone could not get you out of poverty (unlike today).

The other point is the issue of quality over quantity.

Whereas our socialist adversaries or Christians may show great concern over the quantity of life, capitalists and New Agers have more concern over the quality of life.
What I mean by quantity of life is the idea of the biological function. The years on earth, the state of health, to a degree the amount of money and stuff you have (although these do play some role in the quality of your life as well). What I mean by quality is the spiritual and mental functions of life being used to the fullest extent. Having full use of your free will, having education to know how to use your free will, being happy. For instance, I would say that a woman who lived only into her 30’s, dying of a degenerative disease, but who had close friends, created moving works of art, and touched those in her life has a life of great quality. Compare that with a woman who lives into her 80’s in the upper middle class, bitter, never having done anything with her life other than being a housewife (and hating every minute of it) and who has distant and cold relations of mutual disdain with her children, dying alone. Certainly the second woman had more stuff, longer life, better health, but you wouldn’t call that a better life, in fact the example I give it sounds more like a complete waste of a life in which nothing was learned, and no positive effect on the world was made. These are extreme examples, I’ll admit, but it illustrates what I mean by quality versus quantity.
For the New Agers this is easy to understand—if you have a possibly infinite number of reincarnated lives to learn from, how long you live your life becomes an exceedingly irrelevant matter. What a New Ager cares about is how much is learned in the time that you have, not how long or how much you have in that life. Now it’s very understandable why someone who believes they only get one shot before they are judged for all time, that they would want as much time as possible before the end.
But this dichotomy is more obvious in the difference between socialists and capitalists. Socialists are more than willing to ruin the quality of life for not only the rich but the middle class if they believe it will help the masses. Don’t believe me, just look at FDR’s socialistic plans of the New Deal, or LBJ’s nearly communistic Great Society, which nearly gutted the middle class to create a welfare state. (And that’s not even mentioning that the fact that these plans don’t really help the masses that they were intended to aid). When you try to aid the most number of people without thinking about what you’re doing, you’re not only trying idiotically to please all the people all the time, but ignoring the basic logic of reality.
To take this extreme let’s look at the philosophy of communist ideology (wasn’t the phrase “Better Red than Dead” a socialist expression? A perfect example of valuing the quantity of life over the quality). The belief in the quality of life comes from a belief in the individual human soul. Ignoring for the moment that communism rejects the idea of a soul, it more disturbingly rejects the idea of the individual. Thus only the plans that aid the whole, or at least the most, are considered valuable. This is preposterous if not insane. How the whole could have value, while the individual does not. I realize that the whole is greater than the sum of its parts, but even that statement assumes the parts have some value. So if the whole is to have any value the parts must have some value too (you can’t add a bunch of zeroes together and say it adds to more than zero). So if an individual has value, even if it is infinitesimal in comparison to the whole, then one cannot justify the acts against the quality of that individual’s life by saying how many people will be helped.
What do I mean by this? Well, for instance, let’s take the case of the joke that is the national education system. Now, the typical socialist answer to the education system would be more money, more teachers, and more schools. A fairly quantitative solution. The slight problem is that the socialist belief that throwing money at a situation can solve it (welfare, healthcare, the environment, world aid) never seems to work. There is a simple reason for this, more schools or teachers, and to a great degree more money for teachers won’t solve the problem. Why? Because let’s say you double the amount of schools in the country and get teachers to staff them. You haven’t solved the most inherent problem in our current education system—most teachers are morons! And they’re protected by even bigger morons in the teachers unions! What did you think would happen when you have a concept like tenure, which says that no matter how inept you are at your job, your employer can’t fire you without cause (cause for a school would constitute enough to fire a hundred people in any normal job). And then when they fire the moron, the teacher’s union will sue the school. Get rid of the teachers unions, start firing the incompetent, and hold everyone—staff, faculty and students—to professional and rigorous standards and you’ll probably have a lower rate of burnout among competent teachers and won’t even have to raise their salaries to get good teachers. (Although if the quality of teaching went up in the country, I wouldn’t complain if the country chose to reward them with a raise, further to start attracting the more qualified we may have to put the cart before the horse and up salaries first, but I’ll get to that later). But notice most reforms you hear about focus on money and occasionally test scores (quantitative) and not standards and professionalism (qualitative). This is because more schools and more money and more teachers can be easily observed and thus if you can see it must be helping.
Aside from this particular pragmatic example, this attitude has the effect of caring about the number of people helped, not how well or even if they really are being helped, leads to a mentality of where the government is seen as higher than the individual citizen. Because the government can help more people than the individual, so what if it’s a little less money, or a little less freedom, or a little less choice…we’re helping more people….But not really because government can never do anything better than the private sector (a whole lot of individuals), and also government never tends to stop with a little money or a little encroachment on freedom. It always has to take the next step.
However, before you think I’m completely heartless, I am not suggesting the other extreme to this, I’m not. Yes quality of life is important, it’s very important. But quantity of life is also import. If it’s the choice between one person living a really good life or a million living an okay life…oh, tough call…go with the million. The problem is that life is seldom that cut and dried. But I’m sure some of you are thinking of the old maxim that the needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few. Basic logical principal. But this is only if you are faced with helping this group or helping that group. Life seldom presents such easy choices. The government more often sacrifices the rights, property, or liberties, or opportunities to help another. And ethically it is wrong, if not evil, to sacrifice any group or individual for any group no matter how large unless that sacrifice is voluntary. And since government can never do anything without sacrificing someone or something, quantity should never and can never be a deciding factor.

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Filed under Capitalism, Economics, Long Term Thinking, New Age

Congratulations to the Senate Democrats.

To Harry Reid and his brethren, I say, “Well played.” Take a defense bill which is very hard to vote against. Tack on an amnesty amendment that most of this country would hate but force Republicans to vote against not only the amnesty, but the defense bill—thus the bill becomes a no win for Republicans. But the absolute genius of their devious move is they also tacked on the repeal of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” which if that were by itself it would likely pass the Senate with some Republican support…but this way in conjunction with the media’s help they get to make the Republicans not only vote against a defense bill but appear to hate gays (which hurts them with a little more than half of the country) even though I think most of them were primarily voting against amnesty (which most of the country would have supported them on this point). Indeed the Democrats engineered a no win for the Republicans in the field of public opinion.
So again I say, well played. You’re a bunch of unethical asses, but well played.

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Filed under Evils of Liberalism, Harry Reid

Three Cheers for the French!

As anyone who knows me personally knows, I have little love of the French. Anglophile yes, Francophile, no (actually I love lots of different countries…but France holds a special place in my heart, i.e. not in it). Just on a philosophic and historic level they are a bit annoying…which reminds me, how many Frenchmen does it take to defend Paris?…No one knows as it has never been tried. And then of course there is my personal experience in France. Not only are the waiters there more obnoxious than the stereotype holds, but I encountered smells so horrific in De Gaulle International Airport I did not ever imagine were possible until I actually experienced them. Oh yeah, and unless you’re willing to go to an upper-end restaurant most of the food is absolutely unpalatable (most of the time went to Subway and the Jewish Deli just down the street from my hostel to get food…I couldn’t find a McDonald’s to have a “Royale with Cheese”, but I did look). I’ll be honest, there are just days I feel the Terror did not go far enough. But if there is a real reason to dislike the French, it’s their obsessions with socialism. But that’s changing.

But I do love Nicolas Sarcozy (not to mention envy him…can you blame? Have you seen Bruni?) And this last week has shown me three reasons why I love him and why I should not give up totally on the French.

The first is that the French banned the full veil worn by extremist Muslim women. Why is this a good thing? Well as a feminist I find nothing a better symbol of gross misogynist practices than the burka. Anyone who believes that women need to be completely covered up clearly hates women (and that includes the women who agree to wear this). This has nothing to do with showing humility before God. If it did it would apply to both men and women (as both men and women Hasidic Jews both must cover their heads, and Sikh men and women must never cut their hair). To apply a standard to women and not men isn’t religious piety, it’s a statement that women are inferior. And this is the greatest insult to God you can possibly create. It states that something god created in his own image is inferior, thus you claim God is inferior. For supposedly pious people, they do have a low option of the divine…kind of goes along with the low value some put on God’s other great gift, life. But Sarcozy’s push to ban the face veil wasn’t based on religion, no law should be, but on the fact that it is an insult to the dignity of women, which is guaranteed under any country that professes to abide democratic and republican principles. And anyone who opposes such equality under the law clearly does not get democracy, natural rights or the inherent equality of human beings…i.e. basic self-evident truths. But you say under a free society don’t people have the right to dress as they like…well, here in America you can’t show pornography in public because it is demeaning to the very nature of human dignity…and a public show of female inferiority isn’t more insulting? A woman being paid to have sex is at least an expression of free will and capitalistic entrepreneurialship (not a particularly good example of either, but an example nonetheless)…covering a woman in a burka is just an insult to human dignity. So way to go France for standing up for human dignity.

The second reason to love the French and Sarcozy this week came in the form of raising the retirement age to…gasp…62. Okay, it’s not great, but it’s a step in the right direction. Maybe over here we can make a similar step and raise the retirement age for our Social Security. Way to go Sarcozy for continuing your uphill battle toward capitalism!

Finally my final reason to love the French this week is their insult of the Obamas . Granted the official statements from the French Embassy is that Bruni never told an author that Michelle said she thought her position as First Lady was “Hell” (can you imagine such a statement coming from a woman who said she was never proud of America). It’s petty, I know, but right now I’ll take any insult I can for the Obamas as just about anything they do is worhy of insult.

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Filed under Civil Liberties, Multiculturalism is Dead, Nicolas Sarcozy, Obama, Social Security, The French

A Series of Unfortunate Blogs: Part VIII–Capitalism in the New Age

So I got a few complaints that can be boiled down to (1) hasn’t it been a while since you’ve talked about the spiritual side which this blog is supposed to focus on and (2) isn’t capitalism in contradiction to that hippie-ish New Agey belief you have?

Point 1 is a valid complaint; Point 2 needs to be dispelled immediately.

Okay so lets go over some basic points of New Age belief.

Reason

Long Term Thinking

Quality over Quantity

Charity

The Infinite Potential of the Human Soul

(Just looking at that list tells me that Part 8 will not be the last in this series…sigh)

So lets determine how each of these plays into the New Age.

The first point is Reason. Saying that New Agers believe in Reason usually gathers one of two reactions (sometimes oddly from the same people). Either you get people who get very indignant as if you’re saying their religion doesn’t believe in reason (and while I’m not going to get involved in saying which religions and which denominations might not live up to encouraging reason, I will simply say if a religion says you must submit to the will of God and never use your brain you are insulting God’s greatest gift to us, intellect and free will..I’ll come back to this point later). No I’m not saying other religions don’t encourage reason, although certain people fall short of actually using it. It’s just that New Age beliefs want to encourage reason at all costs. This is found in such texts as A Course in Miracles and The Secret. The physical universe operates on very specific rules, as you learn these rules you begin to see their implicit contradictions, which means either God’s insane or we are. As we realize that our ego and the world it has created is insane, reason leads us further and further away from egos and closer and closer to God. Did you think the Buddha sat under the tree using illogic to reach Enlightenment? No, reason leads to God, because God is reason and love (the more you think about it those two things all lead to the other which is why I list them together, we just don’t usually think of them as being synonymous). Our unenlightened state here on this world isn’t due to reason, it’s due to a flaw in our reasoning, and this world will dissipate as soon as we rid all illogical thoughts from our being. Thus reason is the only way out of this state of existence and back to the bliss of enlightenment.

The second objection against saying New Agers belief in Reason is that this somehow means we reject Faith…which is an equally foolish statement. Reason and Faith are not opposed to one another. Reason dictates that there is just something that at our current level of knowledge we can’t know with absolute certitude, thus these things are beyond reason. For instance the proofs of Aristotle and St. Thomas Aquinas prove conclusively that there must be an unmovable mover, a force that set the universe in motion, which we call God. However they’d be the first to tell you that they can’t prove that this God of their logical proof is the good God Plato’s vision of the Form of the Forms, Krisna’s description to Arjuna of Enlightenment, or Christ’s beautiful poetry of the Kingdom of Heaven…or something vindictive and wrathful as seen in Revelations and the early chapters of Genesis…or something just ungodly evil, hate, irrationality and chaos as one might find in the pages of H.P. Lovecraft novel that demands only worship, submission, and maybe mass genocide. The chaos and suffering in the world, otherwise known as the problem of evil, doesn’t exactly create a logical answer to the answer of what kind of God exists, and hence we turn to faith to fill in the void that reason cannot at present reveal to us. The interesting thing about faith is that is leads to reason. When we use faith to fill in the blanks we find the pieces fit perfectly together and this lets us move onto the next level of reasoning and when we look back we can see that no other choice than the one made on faith makes reasonable sense and the other options actually contradict other things that pure reason dictates…but we couldn’t see this if we didn’t take that leap of faith. (Ask yourself how many scientific advancements have been made because scientist believed in something, had little reasonable proof other than question and random ideas, took a leap of faith to prove it, and now their discoveries made via faith are accepted as absolute truth). Now I will fully admit there are those who use blind faith with strict interpretations of outdated texts where reason would just as easily give answers and New Age belief is in no way encourages this kind of blind faith because it is contradiction to reason (and blind faith usually leads to unspeakable evil).

Before I lose you, I’m sure you’re asking what this has to do with capitalism. Well if you’re following reason then there is always a certain amount of pragmatism. (Please note there is a difference between pragmatism, doing what works, and expediency, doing what will work right now. Expediency to avoid temporary pain or suffering, at the cost of later and better payoffs, isn’t pragmatic and it certainly isn’t reasonable). We may have principles and hold to them dearly, but a principle that doesn’t work is illogical. Thus any system that doesn’t work isn’t reasonable and must be discarded.

Socialism doesn’t work. It can’t work. Not in part or in whole. Yes the Communist Utopia is a very nice fairly tale, but as long as people are still motivated by selfishness mixed with the ego’s insanity, they won’t always perfectly balance needs of self and others and the only system that puts up safeguards against extremes is capitalism (again that’s real laissez-faire capitalism, not the mixed-economy bull we’re dealing with right now). Yes someday people will have progressed to a level of enlightenment where we are basically so consistently rational that we are living in the Communist Utopia, but never will there be the socialist government in the middle between perfect capitalism and that utopia. Government cannot force people to change, that is something that only the individual can do, and as such as human beings evolve spiritually the only possible way for true progression is from limited government in capitalism to less and less government as humans need that necessary evil less and less.

As I’ve made it clear over the last few blogs and as numerous authors before have made it even more clear than I could in the space of a week’s worth of short posts, socialism can’t work. It’s illogical and will always collapse under the weight of its own inefficiency and evil tyranny. Thus New Age beliefs can never be for socialism, and anyone who thinks otherwise hasn’t reasoned out how socialism and New Age beliefs are diametrically opposed.

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Filed under A Course in Miracles, Capitalism, Economics, Evils of Liberalism, God, Long Term Thinking, Natural Rights, New Age, The Secret

The Tea Party and Cluelessness

These people are clueless and they really don’t seem even capable of getting it!

No I’m not talking about the Tea Party, I’m talking about the people in the establishment analyzing the Tea Party. Just look at what’s going on in Delaware.

Reading over an article entitled “Extremists are Taking Over GOP” I saw a generally clueless level of analysis involved in trying to figure out why basket-case O’Donnell won and Castle didn’t.

Two quotes from the article stand out:

“[…]the nine-term congressman was mourning the decline of both the conciliatory style of politics that animated his career and the moderate Republican disposition that the tea parties are determined to destroy.”

and

“‘There are issues on which, as Republicans and Democrats, we should sit down and work out our differences,; Castle said Monday night[.]”

And you have to wonder why he lost the primary?

Exactly what issues should Republicans and Democrats sit down on. Obama-Pelosi-Reid and their ilk are absolutely convinced that government is good–that large, active, and powerful government is something that can bring about benefits to society. A cornerstone belief of conservative thought is that government is nothing but a necessary evil, that liberty is the not an end to greater benefit but an end in itself, and that the only good government can provide is to stem anarchy from destroying society. Where exactly do you sit down and work out differences with this? You compromise on plans, and sizes and methods when you have the same eventual goal or at least similar goals. There can be no compromise when the philosophies are diametrically opposed.

There cannot be compromise between these two points because any deal either expands or contracts government, and either one side wins or the other does. There can be no compromise between these two philosophies without a compromise of values. To fight to the end and lose is one thing. But to compromise and reveal you have no values, no core philosophy, and no moral compass is quite another. And the history of the moderate (i.e. stupid and backstabbing) wing of the GOP has always been to give Democrats more and more government.

And that shows they do not believe in conservative philosophy…only in getting reelected. (Is that shocking knowing that Castle is a 9 term congressman and a former governor…which means he’s been an elected official for at least 20 years…yeah that’s a man who just wants to get elected and has no personal values that guide him).

And what the GOP establishment and the media elite don’t get is that the Delaware public probably realizes what a lacking candidate O’Donnell is…but that their actions this week wasn’t a whole hearted endorsement of O’Donnell but of a condemnation of politicians like Castle who will, with the moral courage of Neville Chamberlain, sell us out at every chance they get so long as they get a temporary gain. The people of Delaware are saying that “we don’t know if this nutcase will be better, we doubt it, but the devil we know is no better than that Democrat candidate as both will sell us out and make government bigger. What have we got to lose with O’Donnell?” (And keep in mind if she pulls it off, stranger things have happened, we will get hours of endlessly humorous quotes from O’Donnell…god I hope the GOP has dispatched a good public relations person to teach her how to better phrase her statements).

The columnist in the article further laments:

“Castle’s defeat at the hands of Christine O’Donnell, a perennial candidate who may be the least qualified Senate nominee anywhere in the country, does indeed mark the collapse of the Republican Party not only of Nelson Rockefeller and Tom Dewey, but also of Bob Dole and Howard Baker.”

Good! I may not be thrilled with O’Donnell but if liberal wannabe’s like Rockefeller never get into the party again then we have made progress. It shouldn’t be the party of morally impotent scum of the like just listed there. The Republican party needs to remember it is the party of Goldwater, Reagan, Gingrich. People who take philosophical stands and do not compromise on them. They may be pragmatic and sacrifice secondary goals to achieve their primary goal, but they do not lose sight of their eventual goal.

Finally I would like to point out that it is not the conservative belief that is extreme. A hatred and fear of government is grounded in 5,000 years of history and philosophy. The extreme view is to believe that government can do–a belief that had no basis in reality. But if we have to get a little extreme in our methods (e.g. electing nut jobs to make a point) well, I turn to Goldwater: “Extremism in the defense of liberty is no vice. And moderation in the pursuit of justice is no virtue.” Perhaps the Republican establishment needs to learn that their “conciliatory” and compromising methods are no virtue and no favor to America.

And on one last bright side….at least O’Donnell isn’t Phil Davidson.

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Filed under Capitalism, Conservative, Problems with the GOP, Tea Party

A Series of Unfortunate Blogs: Part VII—Not just getting out of the hole, but getting ahead

So with the last blog I outlined getting rid of most of the biggest government socialistic habits in terms of spending. Let’s talk about the final piece required for true capitalism to make a comeback: Regulation and Enforcement.

Despite what some people think, capitalism is not anarchy. In fact capitalism is not possible without a government. Rule of law is a corner stone requirement for capitalism to work. But that law needs to only set the rules of the game and work with a light touch.

Some of the things you need.

Contract law needs to be sacrosanct. Unless the contract is fraudulent or illegal (like bilking the public for obscene pensions) no contract should ever be broken nor will the law or courts allow it to be broken except under the most extreme situations (for instance bankruptcy).

Private property rights. John Locke listed private property along with life and liberty as our most basic unalienable rights; the Fifth Amendment also sees these three as a holy trinity; and I doubt Jefferson thought most people would pursue happiness as paupers. Property rights need to be placed as absolute. The government has no right to your property beyond an absolute necessity to continue its existence as a necessary evil.

Sadly both of these rights have come under fire by recent Supreme Court decisions. If you are going to have capitalism then they need to be reiterated by Constitutional Amendment that in no uncertain terms lists them as unalienable and absolute.

Further the government has an obligation to punish those who would steal or commit fraud. Next to violent crime these are the two greatest sins in capitalism.

But what else does the government need to do:

(1) I know I said in the last blog we shouldn’t mess with the tax rate but I have one exception. A flat tax. If a simple 12% tax on personal income were put in place then you could change the tax code. Let me make this clear, no deductions for anyone. No floor, if you only got paid $20 last year, then 12% of that belongs to Uncle Sam. Yes this will all but put the IRS out of business, and it will also put tax accountants out of business (sorry Tony, it’s nothing personal, but it’s better in the long run) but it needs to be done. This will stop the rich from hiding funds, and it will finally allow everyone to pay their fair share in this government. Other taxes, while they need to be eventually dismantled or changed, my suggestions are radical as it is…one thing at a time.

(2) The Fed needs to stop messing with the interest rate. It needs to over the course of the next decade raise the interest rate back up to 6% and then never touch it again. No real growth can occur with it currently at 0% and no stability can occur with the Fed constantly changing the rate. It needs to go to 6% and stay there. No exceptions.

(3) A Constitutional Amendment needs to be passed making this a right to work nation. Forcing people to join unions just because they want a job is a violation of the most basic freedoms of capitalism and it must end. Will this kill unions, no. But it will make them actually have to work for their employees instead of just taking their money. Further in the industries where union salaries have become outrageous (auto industry) this will bring the pay scales back down to what is reasonable thus making the products made by those industries affordable again.

(4) Minimum wage needs to be lowered by at least a dollar (disbanded entirely eventually, but one thing at a time). Everyone knows you raise minimum wage you will increase unemployment and raise prices…it works the same in reverse.

(5) Congress has the power to put a ceiling on what credit cards can charge. They should use it. 20% interest rates are a good ceiling. Maybe if they couldn’t charge even higher rates they might exert some discretion on who they give cards out to. Credit cards companies have a right to a profit, but over 20% is just usury and it’s stupid because it only encourages people to default on their payments.

(6) There needs to be a new rule that any bank that is FDIC cannot give a loan unless the applicant has a 20% down-payment and their monthly payment is no more than a third of their income. This may slow down home sales, but it will all but kill foreclosures which are far more detrimental to the long term health of the economy. However with this banks must be allowed to opt out of the FDIC program, this will lead a resurgence of smaller Savings & Loans which will be able to make riskier investment, but for higher returns for the people who invest in them. And if someone is actually dumb enough to put all their money in one of these noninsured S&L’s rather than just a small fraction of their income, well then that person was a complete idiot and needs to live with the result of their actions.

(7) Regulation about insurance companies crossing state lines need to end. This will provide more competition, less overhead for large corporations and drive costs of medical bills down down down.

(8) Tort Reform. If you get rid of litigious frivolous lawsuits you will save billions across the board in almost every field, billions which will trickle down to the customer.

(9) Anything that can be privatized in the government should be. I have no doubt UPS and FedEx can deliver letters better than the US Postal Service. I have no doubt a private firm can keep national parks cleaner, with more interesting tours and gift shops, for much lower costs. I know for a fact freeways work better as privatized toll roads. All the government has to do is in addition to the initial lease fee, they get 5% of any profits the company makes off these services. Everybody wins.

(10) Either through Constitutional Amendment or through Supreme Court decision the commerce clause of the Constitution has to be reinterpreted to only apply to commerce that actually does cross state lines, not that could theoretically cross state lines and not that aids in crossing state lines only that which does cross state lines and those actions which impede commerce crossing state lines. The commerce clause was meant to only stop barriers from being put up, not to allow the Federal government to put up restrictions.

(11) And this was implied in the last blog but I felt this needs to be made explicit Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac must be destroyed.

These reforms remove barriers and lay the groundwork for true capitalism. If you put in place all 24 of my suggestions we would still be several steps off pure laissez-faire capitalism, but we would be much closer and the system would be on a stable foundation to grow in such a way that it would not collapse at the first slow down.

Or we could continue spending ourselves into oblivion?

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Filed under Capitalism, Conservative, Debt, Economics, Free Will, Government is corrupt, Government is useless, Laws the GOP should pass, Long Term Thinking

A Series of Unfortunate Blogs: Part VI–A Way Out

Okay, I know it has taken me a long time to get here, but I needed to set the ground work. But now that the groundwork is set we can begin to talk about how to improve the economy (i.e. get rid of the socialistic element). Now I want to say upfront that even if every one of these programs was put in place today it would still take years for the economy to start fully recovering. Further even if everything I suggest were put in place, and it was followed by a second, and a third and a fourth round of capitalistic reforms leading to pure laissez-faire capitalism (which by the way doesn’t mean no government intervention, it only means proper government intervention) then you would still have recessions. The only difference would be that they would be light and short. Major recessions and depressions are the result of government interference, but even a fully functioning system requires periods of rest and culling of the herd.
So I propose two way

s to improve the economy (1) remove the socialist elements and (2) introduce the reforms that capitalism requires but have not been put in place. Each will be given its own blog post. I will start with getting rid of the major socialistic elements.

(1) Anything Obama has pushed through needs to be overturned. The man has not done a single intelligent thing when it comes to domestic policy. This is just a given.

(2) Every employee of the government (federal, state, county, city) take a 15% cut in pay, benefits and 30% cut in future pensions. This just has to be done. I actually would like to make it more, but military personnel and various jobs like FBI agent don’t deserve that (they actually have a real function and do their jobs admirably, but if you start putting in exceptions, then everybody will get an exception and it loses the impact it need). But the fact is that most civil servants are paid better than their private sector counterparts for inferior work. That’s not so much of a servant, as it is of greedy task master. Government work shouldn’t be a life- long job, it shouldn’t be desirable and it should be competitive with the private sector. Oh and all elected officials need to take 50% pay cut and lose all pension funds. After that there needs to be a 10 year freeze on all salaries (that does not mean you don’t get a raise if you get a promotion, it just means the amount for each pay grade will not increase for any reason).

(3) After the pay cuts, every single department from top to bottom needs to cut its budget by another 15%. Given government waste this should be easy.

(4) After that, Congress, state legislature, city councils, need to cut another 10% by killing useless programs. Knowing some of the worthless crap the government pays for I have absolutely no doubt it really is as easy as Kevin Kline made it look in Dave.

Those 4 were no brainers. And anyone with a brain (clearly not any elected official currently in office) can see that given our debt that is just the icing on the cake. I have heard rumor that Gingrich plans a new contract with America, he should make those 4 the first points because they are beyond obvious. Now lets get into some of the harder cuts and policy changes.

(5) Welfare needs to be put on a five year plan to be completely turned over the states. Not a cent will be collected by the federal government for welfare and not a cent will be distributed. This has a two-fold advantage. One this will reduce a lot of federal overhead. But the second advantage is that the states will not all choose to implement their welfare programs in the same way. There will be 50 little experiments (okay more with the territories) on how best to run a welfare program and the best (most effective at least cost) plans will win out. Eventually I’d love to actually put welfare in the hands of county governments. Why because when people can see that their taxes for welfare are going not to some nameless person on the other side of the country, but to someone they could literally run into they will demand efficiency and standards. You will see that email that we’ve all received about drug testing put into place. You will see education encouraged over simple entitlement. You will see deadlines on entitlements. And you will see less fraud, because its not a nameless and slow federal system, it’s county employees who may actually know you by name. Further as the county will be more responsive in terms of taxes people will be more able to see how charity and involvement in outreach programs has a more immediate effect on them causing them to actually do things and push those around them who are on welfare, off it.

(6)Social Security. It’s a failed program. It cannot sustain itself, it never could, it is a black hole that if allowed to continue indefinitely will destroy this country no matter how many adjustments you make. And while I would love to just kill it, I know that is not a pragmatic solution. But we can begin to reform it in a way that will lead to its eventual demise. So in addition to the 15% cut in benefits from point 3 we need to make some other important changes.
From now on there will be no cost of living adjustments. There will however be a need to cut benefits by 1%-5% every year.
If you under 60 right now then your retirement age is 70. If you’re under 50 then you’re retirement age is 75. If you’re under 40, well you’re looking at 80.
From here on in anyone can opt out of the system. We will not take anymore of your money, but what we already took is lost. I think everyone under 40 will probably opt out. Now the complaint about this point is that there will be no money to pay for those who stay in. But there was no money to pay for them anyway. I’d rather just end throwing more people into the system (and thus extending our loses), and just cut it off we’ll pay off the rest through our taxes which we were going to have to do anyway. At least this way there is an eventual end to having to pay this debt off. Grandma, Grandpa, I hope you can live with yourselves given that your stupidity and inability to plan has left your children and grandchildren to pay for you inability to plan for retirement (I can’t image the kind of karmic burden that comes with, but I can almost guarantee that a lot of people are getting reborn in third-world countries).
One last point anyone under 40 who stays in will not get paid a single cent that they did not put in. However, if they die before they get all their money back, we will cut their family a check.
This is harsh, but somebody needs to touch this third rail. If we don’t it will destroy us.

(7) Medicaid and Medicare. Well you need at least another 10% cut on these. Then given that a massive amount of the costs to these programs comes from fraud, the punishment needs to be made so that crime is not worth it. And given that defrauding the government is really defrauding 300 million taxpayers, each act of fraud from Medicaid and Medicare should be treated as 300 million separate acts of theft and fraud. Thus being caught one time means life in maximum security prison. Is that harsh (and possibly a little extreme). Yes, yes it is. But right now we need to cut costs and get a 13 trillion dollar debt paid off, people who are costing us billions of dollars, don’t deserve mercy at this point in time.

(8) All loans and grants that the government gives out need to be cycled back over the next 10 years to nothing. Yes that includes student loans. One of the reasons that college tuition has jumped over the last few decades is because the government kept increasing the amount it was willing to pay students, and amazingly college tuitions tended to rise by about the same amount. This will result in a year or two low attendance at colleges followed by a price collapse similar to the housing market. The good news is that after the market takes over on determining prices more people will be able to go to college. Will quality suffer, probably for a while, but it will balance out in the end.

(9) All funding for the arts dies. I don’t care if you like PBS or NPR. They are drains on tax dollars and if they’re so good then they can put in a few commercials. It won’t save a lot but right now every cent that goes to the debt.

(10)The so called Bush tax cuts stay, because getting rid of them isn’t continuing a tax cut, it’s a tax increase which is the last thing we need right now. I would love to cut taxes, but until we can get the debt on other side of $10 trillion, it’s just not pragmatic. That debt is an albatross around our collective neck and it needs to die.

(11) Kill the Department of Agriculture. It servers no function. I have a lot of other parts of the government I would like to cut, but of all of them the Department of Agriculture is the worst.

(12) No subsidies, no research funding, no tax breaks for special programs. We are not giving money in any way shape or form to the private sector except for direct exchange for services or product. The government next to never makes appropriate investments in the economy and their infusion of funds in the end always messes things up more than it fixes.

(13)And this one may be hard to do but there has got to be an attorney general out there just crazy enough to try this. Anyone who has been paying attention to the news knows that a lot of our problems in budgets come from civil servants guaranteed pensions. Some these people retire at 50 and get paid 90% of their last salary until they die. It’s insane. And it’s costing states astronomical costs that they can’t possibly meet and it’s what making all of these states (especially California) consider bankruptcy. And while bankruptcy would allow the state to renegotiate the pensions, the mere fact that they declare bankruptcy would cause far reaching economic problems that might take decades to repair. Thus I have a solution so crazy it just might work.

These pension are just insane, they’re quite frankly criminal. They were negotiated behind closed doors between unions and public officials who were paid through campaign donations by those unions. That’s bribery of a public official and conspiracy. The details of these pensions were never made known to the public, or at least they were never widely publicized. That’s conspiracy to defraud the public. The payments are made to people for not doing work. That’s theft and misuse of public funds. For retiring usually at an age younger than a private citizen. That’s a civil rights violation. And the funds for all of this were held in a communal fund (the state treasury). That’ a RICO case! (No lets be honest here, a pension system like this if done by a private company would immediately come under scrutiny for corruption if that company was using public funds to pay off their employees). I say charge everybody: all state officials who signed off on it, all the union officials, and everybody collecting their pensions. (And as icing on the cake, a private attorney should also sue everyone who gets charged in a class action lawsuit for the all of the funds they have defrauded the public of). But my intention isn’t to throw a lot of old people in jail. We offer everyone a deal, they will be left out of the prosecution and lawsuit if they agree to take only 30% of what they were previously living off of (if you’ve seen what most of these pension are you’d realize someone could easily live off of 30%)
Like I said this is a really crazy idea. And it would take an attorney general who is willing to fudge some of the usual definitions for these crimes, but if it gets through in just one state in the union, the rest will very quickly follow suit. And really it’s my crazy idea or California, the 5th largest economy in the world declares bankruptcy and then redoes the pensions anyway…which do you think will have worse long range consequence?

Assuming no increases in spending, I think a conservative estimate would put us at about 300 billion a year surplus. Granted that’s not going to pay off the debt immediately, but it might get us to the other side of 10 trillion within a decade. And this needs to be goal number one. All federal, state, county and city debt needs to be reduced. As long as the debt exists the dollar is unstable and low in value, as long as the dollar is worthless economic growth will be difficult at best. Now I believe that with these cuts in addition to what I’m going to suggest in the next post, much higher tax receipts will be possible, and from there paying off the debt will be faster. Once the debt is on the below 10 trillion, tax rates can come down which will spur even more growth.

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What profit it the Republicans if they gain the Senate and lose their principles.

The Tea Party, Its Problems, Its Potential, Who Is To Blame, and What To Do

One of my closest friends recently made a bitter Facebook post, blaming the Tea Party for losing the Republicans the Senate, as the Delaware Tea Party supported O’Donnell has very little chance of beating the Democratic opponent, whereas the establishment Republican candidate with over two decades of experience in government would likely have won. And while I will agree with his assessment of the chances for the Republicans taking over in 2010, it is a simplistic accusation that ignores who is really to blame. But first let’s look at what the Tea Party is and why it is problematic.

To be short and blunt the problem with the Tea Party is that it’s a populist movement. It is based not on ideals and philosophy, but on a gut reaction to higher taxes. Now I have no problem with lashing out at higher taxes–I yearn for the days of Robin Hood and the American Revolution when people knew how to treat a tax collector. But it’s a visceral reaction and not a thoughtful action. I have actually seen some people like Glenn Beck try to get people to understand the philosophic nature of the movement and recommend the books that detail the philosophy behind hating taxes and government expansion. But while Beck mentioning Hayek’s “Road to Serfdom” might send the book to best seller list, I have my doubt of how many made it through its dry discussion of Austrian school economic theory…and I have my suspicions that even fewer understood all the subtleties. After all the king maker right now for the Tea Party is not Gingrich, Rove, Guilani or someone of equal part intellect and experience…it’s Sarah Palin. And while Sarah may not be the complete ditz the liberals would have her be, she is also not the person of character and principle that she would have everyone believe (and I’ll come back to this later, but given that these were the people who selected McCain, Romney, and Huckabee as the final three for the Republican nomination, I am just not convinced that the American public is always using the brains God gave them…but I am eager to be proven wrong).

I am perpetually afraid that, as much as I agree with the Tea Party right now in its stance of lower taxes, less government (in terms of power and spending), fiscal responsibility and a return to states rights, when push comes to shove the lack of philosophical basis and structured organization, the Tea Party will eventually collapse. I am afraid that if the Democrats just play the propaganda right and pull the budget version of three-card monte, and convince people that this new program for healthcare or welfare or stimulus or whatever government plan the Democrats want to expand, they’ll fall for it. Don’t believe my fears are well founded? The Tea Party seems to be doing well in the mid-West, but I’ve yet to hear any Tea Party rallies decrying the absolute waste of ethanol subsidies. The Tea Party does well in the South, but I haven’t heard Tea Party candidates complaining about the wasteful tobacco subsidies. And those are just two examples that make me doubt how much this is a principled movement and not just people worried about their own taxes (and by extension their handouts) and to hell if the government screws somebody else. Further to those in the Tea Party who might read this and feel I am unjustified in believing that the Tea Party could be so easily fooled into believing the latest act of socialism by the Democrats was really in their best interest, I submit this one historical fact: Your average German in 1930 was more educated than your average American is now…and what exactly were they willing to believe when the chips were down? People are stupid and easily led when you tell them what they want to hear.

However, the Tea Party has some potential that is being ignored. The entrenched establishment of the GOP, under clueless and gutless wonders like Michael Steele, are resisting the Tea Party, viewing them with even more distain than the preceding paragraphs in this blog. They actively fight against Tea Party candidates, scorn them, and in general violate the 11th Commandment (Thou Shalt not Speak ill of your fellow Republican). Then they go about supporting RINOs (Republicans in Name Only) who don’t take consistently conservative stances (which happens to be why I don’t feel I’m breaking the 11th commandment). If the GOP would just come out with a new platform that was in line with Tea Party then the Republicans would win a group of voters instead of alienating them. If the GOP worked to bring the Tea Party into the Republican Party, slowly and deliberately, they would form a much stronger and wider base for the GOP and would give the Tea Party the philosophical base and structure it is desperately in need of. But that won’t happen, because the GOP is the reason why the Tea Party exists.

The real people to blame for the Tea Party isn’t Obama and his wannabe brownshirts. No it’s the Republican Party. But, aren’t the Tea Parties reacting to Obama and fighting his socialist initiatives and expansions of government? Isn’t he the one who they are fighting against? Yes he is. But here’s the problem, it shouldn’t be a populist movement fighting the President…it should be…hmm I forget who should it be…oh, that’s right the opposition party, The Republicans. But we haven’t seen that in a while. All through Bush we saw expansion of government entitlements (prescription drug reform anyone) and government spending (Bush’s proposal to give money to religious organization to help communities, a real conservative would have said, lets not collect those taxes and let people have money to tithe and give to charity of their own free will) and of course an extension of useless and irrelevant government bureaucracy (No Child Left Behind). And we’ve seen that expansion go on steroids under Obama. What have the Republican done. Not much. I haven’t seen much opposition. I have heard comment about compromise. Why is it that the Republican Party is the one that always compromises? Why is that we always give in and go further and further to the left? Why is it that under Bush spending kept going up and up? Why is it under Republican controlled Congresses spending kept going up and up? Should the Republican party be surprised that the Tea Party formed? No. You can only piss people off for so long before they will take matters into their own hands (ask George III and Louis XVI). Republicans like my friend are disappointed the Republicans won’t take back the Senate. But the Tea Party asks why should that matter? If it’s the RNC backed candidates like we’ve been getting for the last decade what does it matter. Republicans for the last decade have only been Democrats-lite, so why does it matter if we sacrifice the Senate to make a statement. And yeah, O’Donnell may not actually live up to those ideals (and may be a total loon) but she is at least saying the right things. And the Tea Party is thinking in a choice between the establishment that doesn’t say the right things and has never done the right things and someone who at least says the right things…hmm even if she is a total failure, we actually lost nothing. And what does the RNC do. Nothing. It looks with distain at the Tea Party and sees them only as populist ramble who will soon dissipate…which is what they will do.

However…

As I stated, the Tea Party could be exactly what the Republican Party needs, and vice versa. So what does the Republican Party need to do? Well if there is one thing that conservatives do well is stand on principle (which is why most of the current selections in the GOP are only RINOs). Lets looks at our recent selections for principle. We had John McCain, a worthless disgusting excuse for a leader. A man who will switch to any position to be popular. A man who has supported legislation designed to be in opposition to the Bill of Rights. A man who’s understanding of economics may actually be worse than Paul Krugman’s. A man who, for those of you who forgot, was deeply involved in bribery and corruption scandals in the 1990’s. God bless McCain for his service in the military, but his actions since have erased all the good and shown him to now be a man of no character, no virtue, and no principles. At the time I referred to Obama v. McCain as a choice between Tweedle-dumb and Tweedle-dumber….but looking back I am reminded of T.S. Eliot’s statement that it may be better to be wholly evil than to be wholly indifferent and hollow (Guess America felt the same way). Oh and who else made it to the end of the Republican primary. Mitt Romney! A Massachusetts Republican who supported a government healthcare system and further expansion of entitlements. Oh yeah there’s a principled conservative. And then there was Mike Huckabee. There’s principled and then there’s crazy. Take a guess where I think Huckabee might be. So our top three choices were all worthless, and the masses are responsible for that–but the fact that these losers weren’t laughed out of the party years ago is partly why it’s in trouble it is also why Republicans failed to win and why America turned against the GOP. So when was the last time Republican actually stood for something…if I recall that was called 1994 and the Contract with America. Clear, straight-forward, principles coupled to just as clear actions that would be taken. Republican won big back in 1994 when they not only stood for principles but actually stated just as clearly what they would do and how they would get those things passed.

What went wrong with the Contract was that after they tried the first time to get some of those things passed and failed they didn’t take a page from the Reagan handbook and use the media to turn the public to their side and force swing votes to change their votes (the Tea Party kind of understands this, but they need infrastructure to be effective).

What the Republicans need to do is stand for something. They need to come out with a set of principles. A set of actions for the next two years that are basically revolving around shutting down and defunding not just everything Obama stands for but rolling back Bush, Clinton and Bush extensions (hell I’d be willing to go back to the Roosevelt extension…and I don’t mean Franklin, but I realize I am a bit more extreme than the average American). They need to come out with a set of actions for 2012 that they will not just defend but roll back these extensions of government power, but take them off the law books (maybe even a few Amendments to reaffirm private property rights and limiting the use of the “commerce” and “necessary and proper clauses”). And they need to make a promise that these are all they will focus on. No new spending, no other legislation (unless there is a threat to national security), no increase of loopholes, a promise of unending “Mr. Smith Goes to Washington” style filibusters and no backing down. That’s what Americans want to see, they want to see a line drawn in the sand, they want to see a backbone and not a politician. That is why the Tea Party is voting for these candidates, because they feel it is better to stand for something and fail, than stand for nothing and win….because if you win that way, what have you won? After all, I realize as a New Ager I’m not as well versed in the book, but isn’t there some statement about gaining the world at the cost of your soul? What profit it the Republican if they gain the Senate and lose their principles.

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Filed under Conservative, Problems with the GOP, Tea Party

A Series of Unfortunate Blogs: Part V–More Mocking of Obama’s Economic Policy

A few said you really like my mocking of the President Jackass. So I thought his laughable speech on his economic plan would be a good follow up.

Let me first say that the White House transcript originally had “(applause)” statements written throughout the speech. Who puts in the number of times his comments were applauded? This man is so ungodly arrogant that he has to put in overtime on audience applauds. Narcissus wasn’t as infatuated with himself as this man is. (I have mercifully redacted all applause cues).

THE PRESIDENT: Thank you, Ohio! Thank you, Cleveland! Thank you so much. Thank you very much, everybody. Everybody, please have a seat. Have a seat. We’ve got some business to do today. Thank you very much.
Yes, thank you Ohio for the fact that in a recent poll Ohio said it would prefer to have George W. Bush as president over Obama. Granted I’m not thrilled with either of those choices, but it is all too clear that Ohio does not love Obama.

AUDIENCE MEMBER: We love you!
Clearly this audience member is not up on the news about that poll. But what a shock that Obama supporters aren’t the most well informed.

THE PRESIDENT: I love you back. Thank you.
Well at least he had the taste to not say “I love me too.” I’m also just a little surprised he was able to form two whole sentences without the help of his teleprompter. But they were short sentences.

Before we get started I want to just acknowledge some outstanding public servants who are here. First of all, somebody who I believe is one of the finest governors in this country — Ted Strickland is here. The lieutenant-governor and soon-to-be junior senator from the great state of Illinois — or Ohio — I was thinking about my own home — Lee Fisher is here.
I used to hear that line all the time about “senator from Illinois” — that would be me.

See what happens when he takes his eyes off the teleprompter for even a minute, he forgets what state he is in. That’s also a real complement to the people of Ohio, ‘I’m here in Ohio and all I can think about is getting the hell out of here and back to Illinois.’ Don’t worry Barrack you’re going to get sent back to Illinois in January of 2013.

Outstanding mayor of Cleveland, Frank Jackson is here. The mayor of Parma, Dean DePiero. Somebody who is fighting for working families each and every day, Senator Sherrod Brown is here. And three of the hardest-working and finest members of the House of Representatives — Dennis Kucinich, Marcia Fudge, and John Boccieri.
Did he really just call Dennis Kucinich, the psychotic socialist gnome, that makes most Democrats look conservative by comparison, ‘one of the finest members of the House.’ I have a low opinion of members of the House of Representative, even lower of the Democratic members, but to say that Dennis Kucinich is one of the finest members of the House is an insult no Congressman should have to endure. I don’t think I could find 10 members of the House who are worse for this country than Kucinich. Someone should tell Obama there is being polite and then there is making less sense a Kubrich. film. This statement falls into the latter category.

Good afternoon, everybody. It is good to be back in Ohio.
As stated above Ohio clearly doesn’t feel the same way. Ah, is there anything so sad as unrequited love…

You know, in the fall of 2008, one of the last rallies of my presidential campaign was right here in the Cleveland area. It was a hopeful time, just two days before the election. And we knew that if we pulled it off, we’d finally have the chance to tackle some big and difficult challenges that had been facing this country for a very long time.
Challenges like a lingering economy and freedom, challenges like actually winning in Iraq and Afghanistan. Challenges like standing up to tyrannies and terrorists like N. Korea, Iran, and China. And Barrack is here to tell you that he not only tackled our chances of coming out on top, but he shived those chances of winning in the kidney just to be sure we’d lose.

We also hoped for a chance to get beyond some of the old political divides -– between Democrats and Republicans, red states and blue states -– that had prevented us from making progress. Because although we are proud to be Democrats, we are prouder to be Americans -– — and we believed then and we believe now that no single party has a monopoly on wisdom.
No, no party has a monopoly on wisdom…but your policies seem to suggest that you haven’t even invested in it.

That’s not to say that the election didn’t expose deep differences between the parties.
Was he unaware of them before? I mean he hadn’t been in the Senate all that long, but was he really that obvious to the fact that Republicans and Democrats supported other things. Did it really take the 2008 election for him to notice?

I ran for President because for much of the last decade, a very specific governing philosophy had reigned about how America should work: Cut taxes, especially for millionaires and billionaires. Cut regulations for special interests.
As opposed to your ideal of give money, subsidies and legal protection to special interests…

Cut trade deals even if they didn’t benefit our workers. Cut back on investments in our people and in our future -– in education and clean energy, in research and technology. The idea was that if we just had blind faith in the market, if we let corporations play by their own rules, if we left everyone else to fend for themselves that America would grow and America would prosper.
He’s right, and who was behind a lot of that…oh that would the Democratic controlled Congress. That and as I think I’ve made very clear Bush was no real conservative.

And for a time this idea gave us the illusion of prosperity. We saw financial firms and CEOs take in record profits and record bonuses. We saw a housing boom that led to new homeowners and new jobs in construction. Consumers bought more condos and bigger cars and better TVs.
All of which was supported and protected by the Democrat members of Congress who repeatedly stopped attempts to regulate the housing, banking, and finance industries.

But while all this was happening, the broader economy was becoming weaker. Nobody understands that more than the people of Ohio. Job growth between 2000 and 2008 was slower than it had been in any economic expansion since World War II -– slower than it’s been over the last year. The wages and incomes of middle-class families kept falling while the cost of everything from tuition to health care kept on going up. Folks were forced to put more debt on their credit cards and borrow against homes that many couldn’t afford to buy in the first place. And meanwhile, a failure to pay for two wars and two tax cuts for the wealthy helped turn a record surplus into a record deficit.
And most of those costs increase were caused by the government interference in the economy. And loans were encouraged by the government. And Ohio has slow growth because it is one of the least business friendly states in the nation. The number of regulations, forms, and licenses you have to get to open a business is insane, no wonder jobs left Ohio.

I ran for President because I believed that this kind of economy was unsustainable –- for the middle class and for the future of our nation. I ran because I had a different idea about how America was built. It was an idea rooted in my own family’s story.
You see, Michelle and I are where we are today because even though our families didn’t have much, they worked tirelessly -– without complaint -– so that we might have a better life. My grandfather marched off to Europe in World War II, while my grandmother worked in factories on the home front.

(would that be the grandma you threw under the bus as being a racist?)
I had a single mom who put herself through school, and would wake before dawn to make sure I got a decent education. Michelle can still remember her father heading out to his job as a city worker long after multiple sclerosis had made it impossible for him to walk without crutches. He always got to work; he just had to get up a little earlier.
(This is more a complaint against all politicians, stop telling me your life stories over and over again. It has gotten goddamn bloody boring. I don’t care about what kind of people your parents or grandparents were. One thing I have learned is that people are not their parents, nor should they be judged by what kind of people their parents were, for good or bad. And someone who only defines themself by their parents clearly has no true personal moral compass.)

Yes, our families believed in the American values of self-reliance and individual responsibility, and they instilled those values in their children.
Damn shame it didn’t stick.
But they also believed in a country that rewards responsibility;
Barrack it rewards it with a pay check…not a welfare check. And when we say the “country rewards” the rest of us meant the idea of America and the economic system…not the government.
a country that rewards hard work; a country built on the promise of opportunity and upward mobility.
When was there a promise of upward mobility? I seemed to remember a promise of opportunity, not a promise, to move up. It is up to the individual to find and use those opportunities (opportunities which Barrack’s policies are hindering).

They believed in an America that gave my grandfather the chance to go to college because of the GI Bill; an America that gave my grandparents the chance to buy a home because of the Federal Housing Authority; an America that gave their children and grandchildren the chance to fulfill our dreams thanks to college loans and college scholarships.
Wow, a list of government entitlements, now that’s the Obama I’ve come to know and loathe.

It was an America where you didn’t buy things you couldn’t afford; where we didn’t just think about today -– we thought about tomorrow.
What? And does he think we had the money to pay for all of those entitlements and all the other crap that FDR and Truman shoved down our throat. And as I recall that’s the generation that gave us the credit card, the definition of buying things you couldn’t afford. And as I recall the previous generation which had so much fun in the stock market by buying stock on margin. Obama like so many people has an idealized golden view of a past that never existed.

An America that took pride in the goods that we made, not just the things we consumed. An America where a rising tide really did lift all boats, from the company CEO to the guy on the assembly line.

One, keeping up with the Jones has been around as long as there has been a middle class, so for better or worse (often worse) it’s always been stupid people who only cared about what you consumed. Second the rising tide thing still goes on, at least it does when the government gets his idiots hands out of the way.

That’s the America I believe in. That’s the America I believe in.
In other words a pseudo-socialist ideal America that never existed. I love it when someone bases their whole presidential policy on idealized childhood memories.

That’s what led me to work in the shadow of a shuttered steel plant on the South Side of Chicago when I was a community organizer. It’s what led me to fight for factory workers at manufacturing plants that were closing across Illinois when I was a senator. It’s what led me to run for President -– because I don’t believe we can have a strong and growing economy without a strong and growing middle class.
Too true…now when did the middle stop growing…oh that’s right when LBJ began his great society…so, Barrack are you going to roll back all of LBJ’s socialist bull? No? Well don’t be surprised when the middle class continues to contract.

Now, much has happened since that election. The flawed policies and economic weaknesses of the previous decade culminated in a financial crisis and the worst recession of our lifetimes. And my hope was that the crisis would cause everybody, Democrats and Republicans, to pull together and tackle our problems in a practical way. But as we all know, things didn’t work out that way.
Probably because your plans only made things worse. And wimps and losers that the GOP might be, not all of them could just goose-step in line to your insanity. Also does this man understand that everything about the Constitution was designed to be adversarial and inefficient? That it was intentionally set up so that people would argue and not just follow?

Some Republican leaders figured it was smart politics to sit on the sidelines and let Democrats solve the mess.
…Cause that plan has worked never.

Others believed on principle that government shouldn’t meddle in the markets, even when the markets are broken. But with the nation losing nearly 800,000 jobs the month that I was sworn into office, my most urgent task was to stop a financial meltdown and prevent this recession from becoming a second depression.
Well, when it’s government meddling that caused the meltdown can you blame them?

And, Ohio, we have done that. The economy is growing again. The financial markets have stabilized. The private sector has created jobs for the last eight months in a row. And there are roughly 3 million Americans who are working today because of the economic plan we put into place.
Just because you say it, doesn’t make it true, Barrack. The economy is not better off because of what you’ve done and most intelligent economists agree (obviously Paul Krugman isn’t in that category) that your policies are going to make it worse.

But the truth is progress has been painfully slow.
Progress in what direction?
Millions of jobs were lost before our policies even had a chance to take effect. We lost 4 million in the six months before I took office. It was a hole so deep that even though we’ve added jobs again, millions of Americans remain unemployed. Hundreds of thousands of families have lost their homes. Millions more can barely pay the bills or make the mortgage. The middle class is still treading water, and those aspiring to reach the middle class are doing everything they can to keep from drowning.
Mostly because the government keeps killing opportunity and doing things that make what money they have worth nothing. Hint…. devaluing our money and keeping the Fed prime rate at 0 is not going to encourage long term growth.

And meanwhile, some of the very steps that were necessary to save the economy -– like temporarily supporting the banks and the auto industry -– fed the perception that Washington is still ignoring the middle class in favor of special interests.
Because it was. And because those didn’t save us, those just continued the problem without solving it. For instance letting the auto-unions and by extension continue to hold this country hostage to their demands helps no one…well it help the very rich heads of the unions and it helps the Democrat politicians they pay off, but it really doesn’t help anyone else.

And so people are frustrated and they’re angry and they’re anxious about the future. I understand that. I also understand that in a political campaign, the easiest thing for the other side to do is to ride this fear and anger all the way to Election Day.
Yeah, cause you and your party suck. If you hadn’t noticed people are pissed with the Republicans too.

That’s what’s happening right now. A few weeks ago, the Republican leader of the House came here to Cleveland and offered his party’s answer to our economic challenges. Now, it would be one thing if he had admitted his party’s mistakes during the eight years that they were in power, if they had gone off for a while and meditated, and come back and offered a credible new approach to solving our country’s problems.
Eight years? I don’t recall Bush having a Republican Congress for eight years? Oh…because he didn’t. It was your god-awful party Barrack that controlled Congress for most of that time.

But that’s not what happened. There were no new policies from Mr. Boehner. There were no new ideas. There was just the same philosophy that we had already tried during the decade that they were in power — the same philosophy that led to this mess in the first place: Cut more taxes for millionaires and cut more rules for corporations.
Uh, we’ve never really tried cutting the rule for corporations, we just shift the rules from one category to another….and we never seem to have rules on the right things (that’s a hit on both parties by the way).

Instead of coming together like past generations did to build a better country for our children and grandchildren, their argument is that we should let insurance companies go back to denying care for folks who are sick,
Well you know if you actually did Tort reform like Bush wanted doctors and insurance companies would be bleeding costs in frivolous lawsuits maybe they could make a profit without having to reduce coverage.
or let credit card companies go back to raising rates without any reason.
You know Congress has the authority to limit the rates that credit card companies can charge, but I’ve yet to hear Barrack suggest that we put a cap on those rates…could it be all those campaign donations he got from the banks…no it couldn’t be that.
Instead of setting our sights higher, they’re asking us to settle for a status quo of stagnant growth and eroding competitiveness and a shrinking middle class.
No that’s what you’re asking for. You’re just hoping we don’t look at the man behind the curtain and ask who is really responsible here.

Cleveland, that is not the America I know. That is not the America we believe in.

All Hail the People’s Republic of America!

[…for the sake of brevity I’ve just got to start cutting some of this out, believe me I could contradict everything he has to say, but it gets repetitive…]

That means making sure corporations live up to their responsibilities to treat consumers fairly and play by the same rules as everyone else. Their responsibility is to look out for their workers, as well as their shareholders, and create jobs here at home.
No that would be the market’s responsibility. Because if companies that didn’t do those things weren’t propped up by corporate welfare they would naturally go under.

[…more meaningless rhetoric and blaming the Republicans for everything…]

Let me give you a few specific examples of our different approaches. This week, I proposed some additional steps to grow the economy and help businesses spur hiring. One of the keys to job creation is to encourage companies to invest more in the United States. But for years, our tax code has actually given billions of dollars in tax breaks that encourage companies to create jobs and profits in other countries. I want to change that. I want to change that. Instead of tax loopholes that incentivize investment in overseas jobs, I’m proposing a more generous, permanent extension of the tax credit that goes to companies for all the research and innovation they do right here in Ohio, right here in the United States of America.
That’s the problem you idiot! Just make flat taxes for everyone, everyone pays the same taxes and the market will work itself out. A government cannot possibly make the millions of judgments that go into the market everyday as fast as the market can adjust itself. Tax breaks for certain sectors is trying to predict where jobs will grow next and where to encourage that growth, and for one person in the government or even a body like Congress to predict where the billions upon billions of market decisions will be even next month is like trying to predict the exact weather forecast for July 23rd 2054, it can’t be done. The market however isn’t one person reacting and predicting, it is millions of people each acting with what knowledge of what they have and what they need, and they know that better than anyone. Will there be mistakes, yes. But they’ll be small mistakes and effects will be low. If the government makes a mistake in its prediction by even a small amount it can cause catastrophe which is why the government needs to stay out. It cannot possibly encourage growth like the Invisible Hand can.

And does this man not understand that there is no longer an American economy or a British economy or Mexican economy. There is only the economy, it doesn’t know national boundaries, it can be hurt by them, but it doesn’t stop them. When we outsource we get cheaper things, and they get money. Money to buy things made in America, money to be reinvested in new business ventures either overseas or in America. Protectivist trade barriers like the ones he is talking about.

And I’m proposing that all American businesses should be allowed to write off all the investment they do in 2011.
Oh great, so there is no punishment for making bad business investments or having to carefully choose where to invest in…That will work well.

And this will help small businesses upgrade their plants and equipment,
More subsidies, I’m sure that will lead to responsible long lasting business designs.
and will encourage large corporations to get off the sidelines and start putting their profits to work in places like Cleveland and Toledo and Dayton.
Okay get rid of red tape, bureaucracy and oversight of meaningless things. Or is he planning to fire more CEO’s if they don’t agree with him?

Now, to most of you, I’ll bet this just seems like common sense.
No not really. Madness perhaps. But just calling it common sense doesn’t mean it is.

But not to Mr. Boehner and his allies. For years, Republicans have fought to keep these corporate loopholes open.
Oh, your party didn’t?
In fact, when Mr. Boehner was here in Cleveland he attacked us for closing a few of these loopholes -– and using the money to help states like Ohio keep hundreds of thousands of teachers and cops and firefighters on the job.
Maybe because he has some basic knowledge of economics, which you clearly don’t.
Mr. Boehner dismissed these jobs we saved –- teaching our kids, patrolling our streets, rushing into burning buildings -– as “government jobs” -– jobs I guess he thought just weren’t worth saving.
One, the public school teachers in Ohio suck, so they probably needed to go. Two, firefighters and police are paid by cities not the Federal government…or have you just decided to take over everything Barrack?

And I couldn’t disagree more. I think teachers and police officers and firefighters are part of what keeps America strong.
Again you, this protection of public school teachers isn’t even remotely warranted.

And, Ohio, I think if we’re going to give tax breaks to companies, they should go to companies that create jobs in America -– not that create jobs overseas. That’s one difference between the Republican vision and the Democratic vision. That’s what this election is all about.
How about no tax breaks to anyone for any reason. Just simple flat rates. And then let the market handle the rests. That’s the only thing that will work.

[…he rambles on about infrastructure, taxes and how evil Republican are…]

In fact, if the Republican leadership in Congress really wants to help small businesses, they’ll stop using legislative maneuvers to block an up or down vote on a small business jobs bill that’s before the Senate right now. Right now. This is a bill that would do two things. It would cut taxes for small businesses and make loans more available for small businesses. It is fully paid for, won’t add to the deficit. And it was written by Democrats and Republicans. And yet, the other party continues to block this jobs bill -– a delay that small business owners have said is actually leading them to put off hiring.
Cause specific tax cuts and government loans do not encourage successful businesses…only the market does that. And when he says it’s fully paid for…if you’re personally a hundred grand in debt, win a twenty grand lottery and then go and buy a car with that cash, yes it’s fully paid for…but wouldn’t that money have better been spent on paying off the rest of your debt instead of buying something new? So if this program is fully paid for why don’t we pay off part of our debt, thus making the dollar more stable and worth more thus meaning that things in real terms will cost less, which means it will be easier for people to get loans from banks and start their own businesses…

Look, I recognize that most of the Republicans in Congress have said no to just about every policy I’ve proposed since taking office.
Primarily because all of your ideas are stupid.
I realize in some cases that there are genuine philosophical differences. But on issues like this one — a tax cut for small businesses supported by the Chamber of Commerce — the only reason they’re holding this up is politics, pure and simple.
No it would be that economics says it bad economics. And the Chamber of Commerce is a special interest, not necessarily real businesses owners.
They’re making the same calculation they made just before my inauguration: If I fail, they win. Well, they might think that this will get them to where they want to go in November, but it won’t get our country going where it needs to go in the long run.
Yes because getting us moving in the right direction won’t happen until you leave office and both houses are filled with members who understand that government ISN’T there to actually do a lot.

It won’t get us there. It won’t get us there. It won’t get us there.
Sounds like a petulant child when you just read it doesn’t it.

So that’s the choice, Ohio. Do we return to the same failed policies that ran our economy into a ditch, or do we keep moving forward with policies that are slowly pulling us out?
I say we get rid of the failed policy (i.e. Barrack Obama and all traces of socialism).

[…he goes on but he doesn’t really say anything of value…]

Thank you. God bless you. And may God bless the United States of America.
I can’t remember, have other Presidents used the conditional “may God bless America,” because I don’t remember them ever using a conditional phrase as if God may not be on our side. (I could easily be wrong about this one)

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Filed under Capitalism, Economics, Government is useless, liberal arrogance, Obama

A Series of Unfortunate Blogs: Part IV–The Other Problems with Socialism

(Thanks to Tony for suggesting I bring this point up)

“[…]The more laws and restrictions there are,
The poorer people become. […]
The more subsidies you have,
the less self-reliant people will be.”–Lao Tzu, Tao Te Ching #57

So by now it should be fairly clear that I blame socialism and stupidity for the worst of the economic problems we are suffering–because socialism in the long run can lead to nothing but economic destruction, mass poverty, corruption and inefficiency. However despite the fact that trying socialism in part or in whole is the economic equivalent of taking a large mixture of sleeping pills and vodka, there is actually something worse than the fact that socialism doesn’t work. And that problem is that despite the public statement that socialism is diametrically opposed to it, socialism and fascism aren’t that different–that’s right they’re both totalitarian states.

Now clearly I’m not exactly treading on new ground. Milton Friedman makes it clear in his works “Capitalism and Freedom” and “Free to Choose” that the more government control you have of the economy (the more socialism) the less freedom you have to live your life. “Road to Serfdom” by F.A. Hayek makes the same point. Works by Ludwig Von Mises, Ayn Rand, Alan Greenspan (before he turned to the dark side), the entire Austrian School of economics, also have and will continue to beat this drum. Or at least we will all keep pointing this out until people get the fact that government involvement reduces your freedom.

But as it doesn’t appear people have got the socialism=evil equation, I will point this out again.

First off the government can only intrude in the economy when it has the power to enforce its legislation. And where does it get the money to enforce those laws (because despite what Barrack Obama may think, you do actually need to have money to run things)? I’m sure you know it gets it’s money from taxes. And taxes inevitably come from your pocket. But tax the rich you say! And then the rich stop investing, stop giving to charity, stop working as hard…this leads to an economic slow down and inflation of prices and/or you losing your job. So it hurt your wallet. But tax corporations you say! Pretty much the same problem, oh and the corporation will raise the prices on whatever product or service they offer to offset the taxes. Taxes are still hurting you. But tax imports from foreign countries you say! Which again causes the prices of their imports to rise, which causes whatever final product you were going to buy to also go up. But, the really slow among you who haven’t noticed a pattern here say tax (fill in anything it all ends with you paying more). Taxes will always take money from you.

That money was stuff you could use to do things, buy things, invest, save, retire. The less money you have, the fewer options you have. The fewer options you have the fewer opportunities you have to pursue happiness. Freedom isn’t just having the right and license to it, it is also having the practical opportunity. Now that doesn’t mean you are only free if you get to take vacations every summer in Italy at the Ritz. But it is freedom if no one stops you from EARNING the money do that and then puts up no barriers to you using that money that you have earned to take the vacation you want. Usually speaking taking the money you earned is a pretty big barrier.

Now before you bring up the objection that governments need money to run, I will agree with you. And we need government to protect our rights, but at the point that they are taking money they don’t need to protect your rights, they begin infringing on your rights. Under the best of circumstance it is a difficult balance to maintain perfectly, and thus because we deal with humans, reason dictates we won’t require that governments take not a single cent more than it needs because you can’t figure the exact cost of protecting the freedom of 300 million citizen down to the last penny…however, trust me when we have a 1.3 trillion dollar deficit for a single year, we are well into the side of taking far too much. (Current estimates put the total US Debt at $43,000 per person…what could you do with 43 Grand, because for me having that much money would free me up to do a lot of things).

But it doesn’t just end at the fact that taxes limit your freedom. Because that enforcement exists to do one thing, stop people from doing things. Government cannot do anything but stop people from doing things; that is basically its only function. Under the best circumstances government only stops people from hurting other people either through violence or fraud and to organize those few things which no private organization can possibly do (and it is a really short list). Government has no other legitimate function. But legitimate functions have little relevance to people like Obama and his ilk. Everything the government does hinders your ability to do things. Now while I like the fact that it tries to stop people from robbing and killing me…I’m not so thrilled with the other 90% of the things federal, state, county and city governments do.

Now if we take a look at how rules, rules which the government says are meant to help you, only end up ruining your life. Let’s take, oh, so many to choose from… I could talk about how each and every one of those dollars that are funneled into the Department of Education is a complete and total waste because any federal dollar spent on Education goes to the programs that don’t help students, i.e., teacher’s unions who help keep America as a truly terrible institution or teacher “education” which teaches teachers things that they never will (or should) use in their classrooms…all of this leading to not providing an education but actually preventing many children from getting an education, which is one of the tools to personal freedom. Or how about when cities have privatized sections of freeways and made them toll roads then the private company makes money, provides roads with better surfaces, fewer traffic problems, faster traffic, and actually pays less in keeping up those roads at higher quality than what it costs you to have the government take care of the roads…thus the government controlling the roads is taking time out of your life away in terms of traffic jams. Or the fact that most of that money is just wasted in government.

But instead let’s take one of the things people generally think positively of: The FDA. You think you like the FDA, after all you don’t like salmonella infected eggs (oh…I guess they dropped the ball there) or vegetables with e. coli (ugh, well it’s government, mistakes are to be expected)…but we certainly like the fact that we can know that the drugs we take, be it over the counter or prescription drugs, have been completely and thoroughly tested for our safety. Don’t we like that? Maybe we would, if the FDA didn’t seem to be out to kill us with their drug testing. The US has standards for drugs that are obscenely over cautionary. So much so that an unhealthy chunk of the cost of your pills was the cost of getting it tested. Most drugs are available in foreign countries long before they are available in the US, and as far as I know we have no reciprocity with any country on their testing. You know if the British, Canadians, French, and Germans all say a drug is safe, I trust those countries to have conducted their own extensive tests…why do we have to wait another five years and billions of dollars to get what may be a life saving drug. Or try this, FDA forbids people with end-stage terminal cancers from taking experimental drugs because it might be detrimental to their health. Please read that last sentence. It might be detrimental to the health of someone who is about to die…really what’s the worst that could happen? They die. Which they were going to anyway…but maybe, just maybe they could live a few more months just on hope and the placebo effect (mental perspective is one of the most important variables in survival, as any doctor will tell you). An then there is the fact that patent rights on drugs expire more quickly than any other form of patent which means that to recover the money they spent on the research (and testing) of the successful drug (as well as the unsuccessful drugs) companies have to charge astronomical prices for the drugs while they hold the patent…thus the government is one of the primary reasons why medical expenses are so high. Oh, and to counter the fact that the companies would go bankrupt and just stop developing new drugs because the government has made the industry so unfriendly, the government gives out billions of your tax dollars in research subsidies…which as we know that money came out of your pocket. (And did you know medical costs are often so high because of fraud most of it perpetrated under Medicare and Medicaid, which again you pay for). So yes the FDA is out to kill you, which I think tends to put a damper on that whole pursuit of happiness thing. (Can’t wait to see what Obamacare does to this well oiled machine!) Do you think any other government organization is any better?

Or try the issue of licensing. No I’m not talking about marriages (although one wonders what right a government has to say who can and can’t enter a religious bond) I’m talking about businesses. Right now I’m very glad I don’t live in Boston. I read that the city is requiring bloggers who make money from the ads that they put on their blogs (they are nice ads aren’t they, why not check them out if you get a chance) to get a business license. The license costs hundreds of dollars–most of these people made only a few dozen dollars. (In case you’re wondering these people were paying state and federal taxes on these few dollars they made…but apparently the city wanted their cut too). Now charging someone to post their opinion and trying to make a few bucks off it sounds like a violation of the freedom of expression, but apparently the liberals in Boston don’t hold that right as sacred when money is on the line. Then of course there is the shutting down of children’s lemonade stands by city health officials. Texas cities charging $25 fees to have a garage sale. The government burning down your crops of wheat because they didn’t approve it being done (no, really that happened). All of these things seem to suggest that the government doesn’t believe you have the right to any kind of property exchange they haven’t approved.

Oh yeah I’m feeling real free.

Granted this isn’t Soviet Russia or Red China (but if we keep selling our debt to them, well…), but liberty isn’t usually revoked in one grand move. Rome did not fall in a day. Nor were our freedoms won in a single bill. Nor will they be revoked all at one time in a single bill, but it’s through the methods of socialism that they are slowly, but surely eaten away. And when they are gone, socialist states control your life, your work, your retirement, your vacations, and everything else from conception to cremation.

“Therefore the Wise Ruler says:
I make no law,
and the people become honest[…]
I do nothing
and the people become rich.”
–Lao Tzu, Tao Te Ching #57

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