Tag Archives: Politics

What to do about college loans

So Biden is again talking about college loan forgiveness, there is once again a lot of buzz about reducing or outright excusing college loans, and both sides are providing feeble arguments.

So, just upfront on this, let me state that there are, at present, no government college loans in my name. I have paid off everything in that department, so while I know people whom this will affect, nothing here affects my credit report or bank account one way or the other.

So I think the best way to go over this is to go over some of the bad arguments.

Bad Argument 1 (from the Right): “You took out a loan; it is your responsibility to pay it back.”

This argument wants to treat a college loan as it is entirely equivalent to a small business loan or a mortgage.

Let’s test this out.

Okay, first, college costs have risen drastically over the last few decades because (1) Government subsidies and loans have allowed colleges to jack up their prices (2) Government has been less than accommodating to the expansion of colleges, either cracking down on institutions with low standards with the intent of shutting them down rather than working with them to improve their standards or conversely not caring at all and letting the low standard places grow like weeds (depending on which side is in power it’s on of these extremes or the other…no moderate way of regulation to offer incentives to improve) (3) government has all but shut out private loans except at the most usury stakes.

Does this compare to a traditional loan? Well, in the way that the government has had a hand in creating the housing bubble through their encouragement of the sub-prime market, there is a comparison, and indeed, some cities with their NIMBY nonsense have instituted a similar lack of competition. But this is where the comparisons cease.

It should also be noted that as it is the government who is responsible for the price increases, it’s hard to say, “here we jacked up the price you pay for it.”

But unlike a lot of those loans, where you could declare bankruptcy if can’t pay your loans, you can’t declare bankruptcy for most college loans. Now you might think that is a good thing because people shouldn’t have to pay back what they borrow, realize that one of reasons why Congress is granted the power to set laws on bankruptcy is because that even in the 1780s that saddling people with life long debt is the surest way to stifle an economy. Even in an era where they understood next to nothing about economics, they knew this. People need to get out from debt sometimes and shouldn’t be punished for their entire life for a bad decision…and the way we treat college loans throw that out the window.

Bad Argument 2 (from the left): Education should be free

No. No, it shouldn’t. Things cost money. Whether medical care or education or anything else, the dimwitted progressives who think it is a right simply because they want it. Things cost money. You have to pay people to perform these functions. Teachers need money to live. Building requires capital to be built and be kept up to code. There need to be administrations to make sure the whole thing runs well, and there need to be regulations and thus regulators to ensure that standards are met from an outside perspective. And all that costs money. Hence it cannot be free.

And just having the government pay for it isn’t free because people pay taxes to provide that government money and history shows that things that the government pays for are usually wasted. For instance, the highest-paid government figure in almost every state is a college basketball or football coach… significant investment of taxpayer funds right there. All of it wasted on the the most useless of expenditures.

And before the crazy left says tax the rich…please remember that your beloved Nordic countries tax the rich at a lower percentage than the US does. That’s right; it’s the middle class that gets their pockets picked in your beloved Sweden and Norway. Stop saying you want to be like Sweden until you admit that would require driving up taxes on the middle class and the poor—which personally I would rather avoid as the middle class is traditionally where innovation comes from.

Now, what is a fact is that college should not cost as much as it does. And the government could have a hand in that. College textbook prices are the definition of a cartel designed to create monopolistic price controls. Justice Department could get on that. The government could also state that it would only supply specific percentages of funds for individual colleges that do not meet the criteria of cost-saving measures. Maybe cut the useless taxpayer-funded sports programs at all public schools. The rest of the world runs sports by the free market; perhaps we could try doing the same thing.

Bad Argument 3 (from the Right): It’s wrong to make taxpayers pay for this.

While things should not be free, it is not like this is not something that has a high rate of return for taxpayers. The fact of the matter is, for most people, the better the economy does, the better they do in the aggregate. The more people who are educated, the better the economy does, especially right now if we focus that kind of education in STEM fields.

We are burdening the portion of our society with the most potential with ridiculously high loans on the very thing that made them have high potential.

It is hurting economic progress, which is something we very much need. While the stock market has been going up, more meaningful metrics like worker productivity and innovation have been stagnant for the last decade. And while I’m sure there are more than a thousand causes for this, probably the fact that the people most likely to come up with innovations that will breathe true life into the economy have a college loan to worry about and thus can’t afford to open the next Apple or Amazon might have something to do with it . Keeping this segment of the workforce burdened hurts the economy and therefore hurts taxpayers who didn’t get a college degree because their life is not being made better by the educated as it should be.

Now the question really should be which method would most benefit the average person, but neither side wants to deal in this kind of technical and rational debate about models of investment. But this is more egregious when the argument that comes from the Right, which was supposed to be the side that understood investment and prosperity.

Bad Argument 4 (from the left): everyone should go to college

Wouldn’t that be nice? Maybe someday.

But right now, not everyone is up to that. Indeed, probably more people need to invest in trade skills, and we should likely expand what loan programs exist to more readily include such options. But not everyone is capable of handling college-level work, and right now, the Flynn effect isn’t exactly working fast enough to make me think that this will change at any point in my life. However, we should put more investment into vocation and trade school training for rising markets.

But let’s make something clear.

The future is people with a college education.

If you think you can have a nation that survives on people without education, you are looking for a nation that will quickly join Rome, Byzantium, Athens, the Tang Dynasty, the Gupta Empire, and Carthage in the dust bin. Every year machines and computers do more and more work and nothing is going to change that. All those great jobs that you look to vocational training programs to provide workers for…well, guess what, they’re going to be gone sooner rather than later.

Now here are some good arguments:

The government, through their ill-thought-out loan program, has incentivized colleges to jack up prices, they have helped create a monopolistic market, viler than any trust they have broken up, that forces people to choose between not having an education and, ergo, not having economic security later in life and or having an education and debt. There are many people to blame for this, but the federal government has a great deal of blood on its hands in this situation.

So should the government forgive loans? Perhaps, they caused this, and they should foot the bill to some degree, but they should do so in a way that stops this death spiral of inflation and unacceptable loans.

Biden’s proposal for a 10K across the board forgiveness is probably a good start; it is relatively neutral in forgiving loans that people have no matter what economic bracket they’re in. It vastly improves the economic outlook of the group of people, educated adults, who having more financial security will translate that security into more innovation and investment in the economy at a time that we desperately need such things. And this will have economic effects that benefit even those who don’t have college loans. But the Biden administration or whoever comes next should work further on some other issues.

1. They should offer a further 5-10K reduction for students who go to or went to colleges that agree to a governing set of cost-cutting measures. Things like getting rid of sports programs which only waste money and do nothing for education; reducing funding for unnecessary extracurriculars (student unions can charge more on a voluntary basis to find some way to pay for their activities through market means); encouraging programs that put lower-level courses into online systems that can serve more students with less overhead costs.

2. Federal and state governments should work to change all funding for education from the current model where schools own the children to a completely voucher-based program where every American citizen from the age of 3 to 21 gets a voucher that can go to any accredited school program, or their parents can spend it on approved homeschooling resources. This will encourage more people to get their first two years of college done at a community college (as a state voucher would probably cover a community college but not a typical four-year institution). The aftereffect of this is that more resources don’t have to be wasted on programs for freshman and sophomore undergrads. It would also, coupled with strict state and federal standards, and making vocational and trade schools more open to people. Further, this would encourage more gifted students to—rather than going the AP/IB route in high school— to simply get their GED in their mid-teens, then go to a community college in the space that would usually be filled with their Junior and Senior year and then use the remaining years of the vouchers for paying a for a good portion of the rest of their undergrad.

3. To further encourage the growth of community colleges that can offer the same education that the first two years of any four-year university can, we need to admit that having a Master’s degree does not make you a better teacher (at least not in non-STEM fields) and that good teacher are what we need in these community colleges. Thus we have to come up with a program designed to accredit people who want to teach at a higher level than just high school but who may not want to go through all the bizarre theory classes that are usually (A) so specific they don’t come up the content for a community college course and (B) so detached from reality that they don’t make better teachers.

4. We need to encourage private loans to be the primary choice before federal loans for college. There have been several options, such as allowing loans to take a percentage of income for the first 20-30 years off a person’s income. This places a more significant market force on college education as people will be driven to loans with better rates, and those rates will be based on likely earned income by profession. Yes, as an English major, it might seem a little hypocritical of me to suggest we should put in a system that encourages more and more STEM majors and fewer humanities majors—but STEM is typically more valuable to society in terms of immediate quality of life. However, the fact is that most loaning institutions will probably quickly realize that double majors (one in STEM, one in the humanities) are the best investments, and they will encourage people to be as broadly educated as possible—a true liberal education that encompasses all fields of learning.

5. Another possibility is for states to offer tax credits for companies to pay for their employees to get further education that will be fully vested after so many years of education. * The private sector needs more educated people; they can pay for it. All they need is the legal coverage to say that if an employee leaves before they get their investment back, that they can require the employee to pay them back on a reasonable timetable and at an affordable interest rate. This would also make employers far more invested in providing a positive workplace because the only way they will really get their money’s worth is to have the employee stay.

If all of these items, along with others I probably haven’t heard of, were put in place, it would reduce debt by individuals, minimize government interference in colleges, and improve the economy and quality of life for the American people.

*I say the states because if I had my way, there would only be one federal income tax rate, same rate for all income brackets, only individuals, no married or single distinction, and corporations pay the exact same rate on their profits. There would only be a single deduction for all individuals, and most costs for businesses would not be taxed. The last thing I want is more loopholes and incentives in the tax code as, even for the best reasons, such efforts at the federal level always lead to more disaster and corruption. States can be far more responsive and adaptive for the best policy in this matter.

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Filed under Education

Biden’s proposes $15 minimum wage…what should we really do about that?

So let’s talk about Biden’s $15 an hour minimum wage proposal.

I could talk about how this doesn’t need to be in a bill about COVID relief, but those who believe that this is an important issue will take the ‘take advantage of any opportunity opening.’ And since both sides have foolishly engaged in that behavior, there is no chance of arguing for not doing it again because no one wants to be rational and seek polite behavior that will make politics more stable right now.

I could talk about how this will make a moderate increase in inflation and probably a massive increase in the amount of unemployment for those who do not have higher education while also negatively affecting minority groups across the board. But economists have been banging that drum for years, and if you’re not going to listen to their facts in all those previous times, then why would you now.

I could talk about how this will even further increase incentives to mechanize and automate as much as possible as the machines will be so much more attractive as they now have to be worth $14.99, not the $13.49 set by the highest state minimum wage in Washington. Because again, you’re not concerned with economics…or apparently that Biden’s plan doesn’t have nearly enough investment in education to counter the fact this will put a lot of people out of jobs.

I’m also not going to point out that this will kill the economies in all those red states that still are at the national level of $7.25…meaning that vast numbers of those people in those red states are going to move to places that have better economies…meaning the MAGA idiots are going to move into other states and this will probably shift the electoral college map a little more to the red, which, right now, is a terrible idea. (I may have no deep abiding love for the Democrats, but right now, the opposition is a bunch of Nazis, so I have to throw in with the liberal idiots until the opposition can stop being evil).

No, what I’m going to point out is the continual problem all opponents of minimum wage increases have. They don’t come up with better ideas.

Let’s go over how all problems go—housing, minimum wages, unions, health care, climate change. One side identifies a problem. They then blow it out of proportion, making something that is a serious problem only for a small segment of the population for a period of time and makes it seem like it affects almost everyone for perpetual periods of time. This works because people are, regrettably, easily susceptible to fear. People fear they won’t have enough, so they fear they won’t have income or healthcare, They’re afraid of what they can’t control, and the weather is always the thing that none of us can control. They fear they won’t be needed anymore, so they fear an economy that requires constant change and growth. And, of course, there is the fear of the other that dominates the mental processes of too many people. They then suggest a solution that makes the situation worse. The opposition to this lousy proposal then does two things that don’t work (and I certainly have been guilty of this) they either try to argue that the problem isn’t that big. We shouldn’t freak out, and they argue that we shouldn’t do anything because what the other side suggested is a bad idea. The problem here is that if people are afraid, they’re not going to listen to reason. It took me too long to realize this, but at least I have realized it…unlike so many. You can’t reason with a person who is afraid, and if you try, you’re going to lose. And if you suggest that we shouldn’t do anything about the situation they’re afraid of, then you’re going to lose.

However, better would be to propose something that addresses the small issue that people were afraid of and deal with serious issues, and not only soothe people’s fears but fix the real problems.

For instance, when Obama suggested a terrible, bloated, pork-filled monstrosity of a healthcare plan that just exacerbated the problems it was meant to fix, the right should have come out with a that would have solved the existing problems…like every citizen in the country gets sent a voucher for $3000. Every private insurance company to stay in business has to offer a plan covering all major medical, long-term care, and emergency medical costs for $3,000. If you want better coverage, you can pay for it. If your employer wants to negotiate a group deal that employees can sign over their voucher and get a more robust plan through the company policy, they can. And Medicaid, Medicare, and a dozen smaller bureaucracies in the state and federal budget can just be disbanded. Everyone gets coverage, less government, costs less, and no forcing people to buy things (if you don’t want to use your voucher, that’s your call, it would be a stupid choice, but it’s still your choice). But no, they just said, let’s not do that.

And the same with minimum wage.

We could argue why the minimum wage is a terrible idea, why it will hurt economies and growth, and most importantly, the people it is most claims to want to help. But those people who are afraid won’t be comforted by the idea that is remaining with the status quo they’re afraid of.

So what should those who know the minimum wage is a terrible idea be proposing?

We’ll it may sound like beating a dead horse on this website but, the Universal Basic Income.

Unlike a minimum wage that will only benefit some for a tune of about $20K a year (taxed at the federal and state, with social security and Medicare also taken out) with still all the fear that comes with the possibility of losing your job…we could give EVERY adult citizen $1,200 a month, free of all taxes, and relieve not only the fear of not having a safety net but there are so many other benefits. People wouldn’t waste time filling out forms for unemployment or welfare, which can take over forty hours a week and leaves no time to find a job or get the education you might need to get a new job. We could eliminate the boondoggles of Social Security, SNAP, unemployment benefits, or the fear that comes that if you earn too much, you will be thrown off welfare. There would no longer be the incentives in the current welfare programs not to get married or get a promotion—just the security of knowing that no matter what, you will have a safety net.

And as a net bonus, because we would have a Universal Basic Income, that would mean we could eliminate the minimum wage. You know all those reasoned arguments on how raising the minimum wage hurts employment numbers and prevents people from getting experience…well, the reverse is true too. With no minimum wage, employers would be more willing to hire low-skilled workers at younger ages meaning that more people would necessary job experience and opportunities to be promoted earlier in life at lower education levels. If the positive effects of that aren’t apparent, then I think you oppose a minimum wage increase not because it makes good economic sense but because one party promotes it. And that is the worst reason ever to oppose something.

So your options are (A) oppose a minimum wage increase and lose (B) support a minimum wage increase and have ill economic effects (C) support a UBI which would eliminate vast swaths of government interference in the economy, promote growth, and reduce people’s worries about instability. And reducing that fear is one of the key reasons we have a government in the first place because when those fears are left unchecked, you have a second French Revolution.

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Filed under Budget, Government is useless, UBI, Welfare

The Private Sector Should Handle Social Issues, Not Government

This was a weird week. I actually saw supposed libertarian Rand Paul talk about “fair” in a Senate hearing. This was weird because traditionally, libertarians have been all about what is true, right, or just—these terms, while still not exact, are far more meaningful in an adult life than the concept of fairness. The libertarian position for decades has been, “Children whine about fair. Adults care about what is just.” And this is because we were all told that “Life is not fair” as children, or, at least, I thought we were. But there is some other odd things about these actions from the supposed libertarian.

To put this in context, these comments came during the hearings for Secretary of Education nominee Miguel Cardona. Paul asked if it was fair to have biologically male transgender students compete in athletics against female students. Cardona pointed out that not allowing students to compete can be equally unfair, politely held to the Biden administration line of enforcing discrimination laws for this aspect of public education, and Paul kept hammering on this being unfair.

Now to be fair, this is not the easiest situation. In an ideal world, biology would never mix up and make the brain set for one gender and the body for another. But life isn’t fair. Nor in a perfect world would people be ignorant and need education. But, again, life isn’t fair. And these aren’t things we can’t fix with the wave of a magic wand. We can, however, in addition to attempts of medical solutions, mitigate some of the hell of having your brain and body not agree by trying to be tolerant and accepting of people and judge them only on their character and merit.

But instead, we choose to argue should the government force transgender girls to not be allowed to compete against biological girls or will the government force natural girls against transgender girls. Either way, the government is forcing something.

Wacky idea. Why don’t we stop the government from forcing people to do things? Why don’t we stop paying for this crap in general?

Hear me out here.

In the great lands of socialism known as Europe, sports are pretty much a private venture. Yeah, there’s some basic P.E. education in school, and I’m sure there’s an exception somewhere, but all actual sports like football or rugby are clubs paid for by those who participate or by revenue from fans. I know it’s weird, in America, supposedly the land of capitalism, where we taxpayers pay to train the players in high school and then college and then pay to have stadiums built in our cities (and there are other ways taxpayers are bilked by professional and non-professional sports)…but in most other countries it’s the private sector that pays for sports. I realize that the U.S. has a long way to go to be number one on a listing of economic freedom, but this is just so egregious that it boggles the mind.

So why don’t we do that? Spin-off all competitive sports away from taxpayer-funded schools and rather let the private sector handle it. Private league and clubs would be formed. And not only would they cost less because suddenly it’s not the haphazardness of spending other people’s money, but every league spending its own hard-earned money. I’m sure there would be leagues that allow transgender athletes, and I’m sure there would be ones that wouldn’t, and I’m sure there would be ones in between that regulate hormone levels in the blood or something. And I most certainly trust that the leagues that are filled with bigots would not be popular and not get private funding and die very quickly because as we’ve seen by Parler’s death and a certain moron’s twitter account, the private sector can be a more effective in squashing hate than the government can. We as the public just have to let them know that we support businesses that have nothing to do with hate.

It’s a shame there wasn’t a libertarian there to bring this up.

Now some people are hating the private sector right now. And wouldn’t trust a set up like this. But they also hate that a private company is telling them what they can and can’t trade on that private company’s app. They hate that some companies are telling them what they can’t post on that private company’s program. There are still the fools who hate if a business decides if they want to bake you a cake or not.

They’re all wrong.

We should be praising private companies for being able to decide how they want to do business.

This last couple of weeks has shown that there are huge problems with some of these trading apps and that they allow idiots hellbent on burning the system down. Still, we also see that the apps and brokerages in question quickly responded in ways that would prevent them from having to declare bankruptcy (and probably to avoid being considered a co-conspirator) in what the SEC may decide is malicious and illegal market manipulation. The government would just have let a company they rango bankrupt and then bail it out with our taxpayer money (the names Fannie and Freddie come to mind for some reason).

While the government doesn’t understand that speech has to be free except when it presents a clear and present danger to public safety (specifically when you have a party that wants to silence companies that don’t agree with them while at the same time telling a crowd of lunatics to engage in a coup). Social media companies finally realize they can shut idiots up, and they don’t have to host them. And as it’s not the government, they can do that.

But while you might not be personally thrilled with the policies Robinhood, Facebook, or Twitter, you have to admit that if the government was in charge of these, they wouldn’t be a tenth as effective or a millionth as responsive.

And most importantly, those companies followed their terms and services. No one will be able to sue Robinhood or Facebook, or Twitter because we all agreed to their terms and conditions. What they did was all there to see if we looked.

And that is probably the one thing the government should be forcing other private companies to do.

If you’re a baker who doesn’t want to bake gay wedding cakes, it is better for people to see out front of the store on a large sign.

If you’re a private Christian school that doesn’t want to hire a homosexual teacher, that better be in the big, bold letters in the want-ad.

If you’re a private sports league that doesn’t want transgender athletes, you have to make it clear in the paperwork that the public can see and decide if they want to do business with you or not.

And once you announce you are a bigot you will lose business and once you announce you are against bigotry you will be in a safe place and only have to worry about the usual economic issues.

And I’m more than happy to not only make that kind of disclosure be public…but to make the violation of this not just some sort of fine for breaking a civil code or something you can be sued for…no let’s make not publishing this kind of thing fraud. A full-on criminal violation. So people will have three choices engage in the market and sell or work with people you don’t like, announce you’re a bigot (and hopefully go out of business), go to jail. The only government force here is ensuring truth in the market place, one of the actual functions that any libertarian would approve of.

But again, why would we ever look to the free market to fix things when we can go round and round in pointless squabbles for the camera.

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Filed under politics

It needs to be about policy not personality from now on.

Thank God. Our long national nightmare is sorta kinda over. Trump is gone, and hopefully, he will soon be in cuffs and a jumpsuit of roughly the same color as his skin for the rest of his life.

The problem is, of course, that the problems don’t go away with Trump.

There is still a sizable amount of vile scum on the right who believes in authoritarianism, populism, fascism, and racism. They’re now organizing and in control of way too large a portion of the Republican Party. For instance, in my home state of Arizona, the GOP just put certifiable lunatic Kelly Ward as head of the state party again. To say this woman is crazy is to insult everyone with schizophrenia. No sane party would ever have given this mentally challenged loon any power, let alone control of a state political machine. And we know that this is not just an Arizona problem.

And then you have all those idiots in the House and Senate. They voted to try and overturn a completely legal election. A just society would have them forcibly ejected out of Congress, in a courtroom for treason, and as quickly as due process allows onto a gallows.

And it’s not like the other side is much better. On the one hand, while Joe is a decent human being free of most corruption, it’s not like he is great. He was there cheering when Obama did all the same shit Trump did, just to a lesser degree. And it’s not like Joe has ever been on the sane side of the Democrats; he just repositions himself constantly in the middle of where the Democrat Caucus is. Yes, this speaks to a certain common-sense pragmatism that has been sorely lacking in the executive. While it won’t fix all of our problems, it will help restore a certain amount of normality and following of the law by our government. But it’s not going to fix all the problems.

Further, the less said about the far left of the Democrat party with Bernie, Warren, and AOC, the better as they and their followers are no better than Trump and his ilk and would likely have the same dismissive attitude toward the Constitution and the rule of law if they were in power as the outgoing administration.

So how do we deal with the fact that all sides have their fair share of a sick mix of crazy, evil, and stupid?

We’re going to have to stop looking at the personal side.

We don’t like any of these people. At all.

But we have to deal with whom we have. And since that is not great, we can only care about policies.

No caring about personality or character until at least the next primary season. Everything has to be about policy.

We have to support policies, not people, for the immediate future.

I don’t like Mike Lee, it makes sense, but all that matters is if he votes for laws that make sense and votes against ones that don’t.

I don’t like Biden; I can’t blame you, he wasn’t my favorite until the other options were vastly worse. Still, all that matters now is if his policy is good for America in the long run or not.

From this point forward, we have to only deal with facts, figures, and logical arguments about the policies.

I know I have had more than my fair share of insulting politicians on a personal level. And I know I could go forward as there is practically no one I would trust right now aside from Romney, Amash, and maybe Buttigieg. But with such a plethora of personal and intellectual failing to one degree or another, we have can either insult everyone or just focus on the policy.

We have to argue for the policies we support with facts.

We have to argue against the policies we dislike with facts.

And we have to search for facts from as many sources as possible.

If we see someone going back to personal attacks, we have to just respond with facts.

Every one of us has to only deal with facts.

It doesn’t matter that pretty much for all of us, the last couple of decades has been nothing but sniping at each other with increasingly petty insults. Many of them are justly earned by our interlocutors.

It’s not helping.

We need to get back to being for and against policies, not people, not parties. Certainly, we have seen character plays a big part in this, but we got to the point of the character being so crucial because we stopped caring about policy, and unless we all go cold turkey off the insults, it’s not going to get better.

And the reason we have to do this is that if we deal in the nearly infinitive moral failings of every side, we will get bogged down in the same swamp of extremism. If we make this personal, then we let politics continue to be the realm of populism versus progressivism, of socialism versus fascism, of a system where we lose.

The only way to stop this nonsense is to make everything about policy and policy only. If AOC and Ted Cruz, with their two collective brain cells, develop an acceptable policy (it won’t happen, but go with the powerful argument), we have to support it. Granted, from those two, you would want to make sure there are no devils in the details, but due diligence should be given to everything.

The demagogues always lose if we focus on policy. Tyranny always wins if we only make this about how much we hate one or both sides.

One last thing. Votes for tyranny and in favor of tyrants is bad policy and those who vote in such ways must be removed by any legal means available from any and all positions of power.

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Filed under Congress

An open letter to Joe Biden

Thank you for helping to remove Donald Trump from office. The last four years have probably been the most dangerous since the Civil War. And I think I can speak for everyone when I say I support your call to be the President for everyone, free from all parties, not just there for the people who voted for you.

However, if we’re going to start restoring correct political norms that will benefit everyone, one of the first norms from the public has to be that we can not give in to a cult of personality and that we have a duty to oppose those in power, and especially those whom we voted for.

I voted for you, not because I agree with much of the policies you proposed, but because you seem to be a decent human being and that is what we need right now (I’d prefer a decent human being who has the correct policies, but I didn’t have that as an option this time). And I think that many of the people who voted for you are in the same camp. We are moderates, a few practical Libertarians, and Never Trump Republicans. We didn’t vote for you to expand the ACA or tax the rich or bring about the Green New Deal, but because we needed someone to restore sanity to America. And that milquetoast victory speech that was more boilerplate than substance is not a good start—I can admit that a victory speech may not be the best time to pick a fight and it might be a tactical choice to wait until January 20th before picking fights, but there did seem some missed opportunities there, but again, I will write it up as a tactical choice.

Now, I hope that you are looking to be what we hope you would be, but I’m going to state what I think most of us believe, and hope that at least the ideas presented here will reach you in some form.

First off you need to bridge the gap with conservatives, real conservatives, not the populist hacks that have taken over the PR functions of the party. That means there should be three to four Never Trump Republicans in your cabinet. Just one token Republican in the Department of Transportation won’t do it. You need to make a sincere effort to reach across the aisle and find the best people for every position. It might be a bit too much to hope that you put Paul Ryan in as Secretary of Treasury, but something that blatant is needed. Further, you need to reject BOTH extremes, obviously the Trump wing of insanity must be rejected, but so must the Warren/Sanders/AOC wing of your own party—if you want to heal this nation then these illiberal extremes must be given exactly zero power—the illiberal left is just as dangerous as the illiberal right. To embrace the far left is just as bad as Trump’s embrace of populism, it is an illiberal philosophy that has no place in America and if you tolerate it, then your words of hope, opportunity, and healing are only words. Also, if you’re going to go after Trump and work on reforming the police through legal federal means, you’re going to need a Republican AG to avoid making it look like a liberal crusade—I have no idea who, but a conservative AG would deflect most the criticism from all but the Alex Jones crowd (and there was never any hope of getting their support).

Second, you need to calm the worries over the Supreme Court. The left is justifiably angry over McConnell’s court-packing and the right is worried about court-packing from the left (whether that’s rational or not, that’s what governing for all side is, you have to calm as many fears as possible, even the irrational ones). My suggestion is you go to Justices Thomas and Alito, who are both in their 70s and might want to enjoy the end of their lives instead of dropping dead waiting for another Republican president. Come up with a list of Libertarian/moderate justices who believe in abortion and LBGT rights but in limited government in all other things (those first two are about limited government as well so it would be looking for actually consistent justices) and work with them to find a pick they can agree that they will retire if you appoint that pick. This calms the left and the right, defends the most important right you care about, and restores faith in the Court for all sides.

Now let’s come to your goals. First and foremost you need to re-establish our place in the world. That means a heavy use of diplomacy, of not just reestablishing free trade but pushing it (rejoining TPP, ending the Jones Act, quickly getting a new trade agreement with the UK, rolling back all of Trump’s tariffs, and challenging China in the legal format of the WTO). Free trade is an absolute good, and it needs to be encouraged no matter how much the illiberal sides of both parties hate it. And while Trump has done a lot of stupid stuff, don’t compound the stupid by just reversing his idiocy—for instance moving the embassy to Jerusalem was silly, moving it back would be just as silly and petty. Don’t be petty. And while we need to re-establish our relationship with the world let’s not be groveling and begging forgiveness. The world wants the US to be the world cop and the stable one in the room they can all look to for support, that does not involve going around and groveling (like your former boss did). We can admit that Trump was wrong without acting like America is always in the wrong.

Next, you must establish limits on the Executive branch. You need to push for a Department of Internal Affairs that can investigate every president and every elected official and which is free from partisan politics. Presidents are not above the law and this needs to be made clear. A president who breaks the law needs to know that he or she can be arrested and hauled out of the Oval Office in handcuffs. If you don’t push for some kind of way to limit criminal behavior in the executive then you’ve missed what the mandate you were given was.

Further, you need to limit the capricious dictatorial power of the Presidency. A president who refuses to work with Congress and just says “I have a pen and a phone” and rules by fiat is not a president but a wannabe tyrant. This can no longer be tolerated from either side. You are the president, if Congress is being obstructionist, you have the bully pulpit and your job is to convince the people to push Congress to act. Now, part of this must be using that bully pulpit to push Congress to return power to committee created legislation and not just letting the House and Senate being the fiefdoms of the Speaker and Majority Leader respectively. I know full well this is a long-term project that you will not see the end of, but it has to start sometime, and the sooner the better.

In terms of economics, again: Free trade. You’re not going to bring manufacturing jobs back, because even if a company moved production back to the US it would be done by machines. But what you can do is open up more trade which will create more opportunities in new fields. I’m fine with more investment for vocational training and retraining but we are never returning to a 1950s manufacturing economy, and I have to hope your rhetoric on this point during the campaign was simply a pragmatic realization that right now you weren’t going to win without that voting bloc. But now act in that voting blocs best interest and bring them jobs for the future, not lying to them about bring back the past.

In terms of taxes. Don’t raise taxes. Just get rid of the myriad of stupid deductions that exist. You know all those loopholes that Trump uses to avoid taxes. Get rid of all of those. The smaller the tax code the better. And if the upper and upper-middle class can’t just deduct all their income then tax revenues will increase.

It goes without saying that immigration needs to be reformed. But it needs to be said again and again that there is no power given to Congress to regulate immigration. NONE. Any laws that try to limit immigration are unconstitutional along with evil and economically idiotic. ICE needs to be ended and the borders need to be opened.

The CIA needs to put anything they can into Putin’s water that will speed up his Parkinson’s.

Finally, there needs to be a return to a semblance of honesty, reality, and humility. Real daily press corp briefings, hold the White House Press Correspondents dinner and demand they do a full roast of you (I get there is a pandemic, but this is a norm that needs to be restored).

Of course, there is a plethora of other things that need to be dealt with, but let’s focus on these.

Now, Mr. President-Elect, you could be all talk, and like your former always willing to give into bitter partisanship, always foolishly throwing gas on a culture war fire, always only looking to play to the most infantile of your base…but I, and I think most of America, is hoping you’ll be better than that.

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A Long-Term Case for Optimism

“The past can teach us, through experience, how to accomplish things in the future, comfort us with cherished memories, and provide the foundation of what has already been accomplished. But only the future holds life. To live in the past is to embrace what is dead. To live life to its fullest, each day must be created anew. As rational, thinking beings, we must use our intellect, not a blind devotion to what has come before, to make rational choices.”—Wizard’s Seventh Rule, The Pillars of Creation, Terry Goodkind

So, in a bizarre way to treat optimism let’s first look at how bad this is going to get. That may seem very counterintuitive but go with me on this for a minute. “Of all mindfulness meditation, that on death is supreme,” says the Buddha as he calls for an awareness of death (maranasati)…and some research shows that there are emotional and intellectual benefits to contemplating our death. When you have faced the worst end, analyzed it, accept it, and moved on, you are no longer bounded by the fears of the the worst-case scenario.

The same is true of any terrible situation.
So, let’s deal with the worst that this could possibly be. COVID 19 at worst has a fatality rate of 4%, and we will probably have a second round of it next cold and flu season. That is upwards of 8% dead. In the US that is 26.4 million people. Worldwide that is 624 million people.
That is beyond tragic. That is over four times more than communism killed in its entire existence. That is somewhere between 56-100 times the deaths of the Holocaust. It is nearly everyone you know over 65, parents, friends, certainly grandparents, and depending on who is reading this, possibly you. A new word might need to be invented to deal with death at these levels.
I want everyone reading this to take a few minutes, maybe even days to consider this, and let it sink in. It will be horrible.
It’s okay, it’s worth crying over, worth being horrified by, and worth being revolted that more could not be done.
Let it sink in.
Okay? If not, maybe this is a time to stop reading and think about why you’re still not okay with this. Do you need to make amends with people who might be gone or who might lose you? Then why are you still reading and not doing that? Didn’t accomplish all you wanted in life? Again, if that’s what is really bothering you, you might want to deal with that while you have time. Didn’t’ go on that trip or buy that car or retire to that beach…you know these are the kind of moments that are supposed to make it clear that life isn’t things, and you may need to think about what is bothering you.
Okay, have we come to terms with this worst-case scenario?
Now let’s move on.
This is unspeakably terrible, but there is one thing it is not. It is not the end of the world.
The Black Death killed 50 million people in Europe. That sounds like a lot less but it was closer to 35-65% of the population of Europe. (Data on what it did in Asia is a little harder to get, but over the course of centuries it probably did a bang-up job there too). And you know what happened? Europe survived. Possibly two-thirds of the population gone. Two out of every three people dead. And Europe survived. This is a disease that strikes hardest at the elderly, which was a disease that was indiscriminate to age. And they survived. We will survive 8% of the population dying.
Now, I’m not saying that we shouldn’t’t care about the people who die, not do every reasonable and even a few unreasonable efforts to save them. But understand this will be tragic deaths of people we love—it will not be the end of the world. If a bunch of illiterate peasants who are civilized only by the barest of definitions can survive two-thirds of their civilization, we will survive. *
This is not the end of the world.
Let that sink in.
Really, let that sink in because to get to the optimism for the future this might come off as a little callous if you haven’t accepted the previous points.

The plagues that struck Athens which led to their conquest by the Spartans led to Socrates, Plato, and Aristotle. The Black Death was followed by the Renaissance. The Napoleonic Wars led to the Industrial Revolution on the European Continent, and the Civil War was followed by the Industrial Revolution in America. WWI and the Spanish Flu were followed by the Roaring ’20s. And the post-WWII economics was nothing short of miraculous. The universe has a way of balancing great tragedy with a spectacular moment of growth economically, intellectually, and spiritually. I’m not saying that everything about these periods was great, but the good certainly outweighed the bad. And granted, not every great tragedy is followed by prosperity. But assuming we get better at what we’re doing (either by toughing it out until January, or maybe blessedly COVID will walk down Pennsylvania Avenue) and learn that the free market with light direction is often a better innovator to our problems, and then hopefully set the groundwork for prosperity when this passes—and this too shall—then we will rise from this better than before.
That might not seem logical, but consider that we’re already coping remarkably well. Restaurants are still serving people via delivery and so while they won’t be in a great situation come to the end of this, they will still be there and ready to grow again. Companies will find that most people can be more effective from home, and will probably find out that 30 hours from home (so long as they have support from the corporate office) will be more effective than 40 in the office for a lot of jobs, which will not only help bring about a new jump in productivity but hopefully give vast new hours for people to spend on pet projects, artistic endeavors, and side business possibilities. This is giving us the opportunity to put in a lot of automated systems that unions and regulation had previously stood in the way of, which will raise the quality of life for numerous people and drop the costs of products worldwide. I’m sure we will see a massive increase in the money for self-driving cars and drone delivery to help reduce human to human transmission of the COVID, which will have an unspeakably massive drop in transaction costs of almost every economic transaction. We have been on the verge of a change as great as the change from an agrarian culture to an industrial one—and it promises to be a world where there is far less poverty and institutional injustice, and it’s sad this is the price we may have to pay for that change, but it is a better world on the other side of this.

And if you’re still not convinced, let me be exceptionally coldly rational here. The average person over the age of 65 in the US has an average net value of over a million dollars. In the worst-case situation, you’re looking at 20 million senior citizens dead. I hate to be callous but, that’s $20 Trillion being pumped into the economy. Granted a good deal of that is in housing, which that kind of glut on the market will radically drop housing prices (but that is affordable housing that isn’t bad) …but that’s still about $10 Trillion being pumped into the economy in the next year and a half. This is terrible, but it relieves a huge strain on our safety nets which can give us the opportunity to fix them properly without having to cut the benefits of those who depend on them while we fix them to be sustainable.
If we think long term here and amidst trying to save as many as possible, but we also need to work to set the groundwork for the world that comes after. And that world is better with less government (which I think we can easily see how stupid and short-sighted government is), with more guardrails in government to prevent the idiotic and unethical from achieving power over anyone, with more efforts put into the technologies and innovations that can make our lives better, and by using the time to reflect on how much we do need human connection in our lives and how we need to re-establish a greater sense of community with others in our lives after this.

What I am not saying is that we should help those who are vulnerable to this disease, who are suffering from it, or who are afraid. We most certainly should be there for them in any way that we find we are able to without going further than we feel comfortable doing.
That we need to understand that it was globalization that gave us exposure to so many diseases before this that we had better immunities and that this will only be, at worst, 8% and not 20% or 70%.
We should take time to ask if this is the best plan to save the most people unlike right now which only cares about deaths from COVID ignoring that the economic harm we’re causing will also cause death from more suicide, accident, stress, domestic violence…and the fact is that I can’t find anyone seriously asking which will have more death, it would likely be COVID is the greater danger, I would just love to know somebody looked toward the long term…you know in a way the government never does.
That science and free markets are working hard to find solutions while governments dither and sputter in incompetence.
And that life is a mixture of good and bad, and we shouldn’t give up on the good just because of terrible, but undeniably momentary, bad.
The world on the other side of this is easily a better one than behind us. Take comfort in that.

*A caveat. I know there are some older parents out there who are worried that they might not be there for their children. I wish I could transfer my faith that the universe is an ordered place, and that they will not be challenged with anything more than they can take, and any loss they endure will be a loss they knew about coming into this life and that it will give them the opportunity for growth. But I can’t transfer that faith. I can only advise that you seek some reconciliation with your own beliefs. But I understand that logically there is probably nothing I can do to ally your fears.

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News you may have missed 1/13

As it is an election year, it is more important than usual to focus on the news so that we can all be better prepared to counter any liberal lie that may come our way…but if you can’t speed read who has time for that?  Thus, I’m going to try going back to something I used to do and every week have a highlight of articles you may have missed in paying attention to only the top stories or just didn’t have time for at all.  Obviously, if you have time you shouldn’t use just me, but hopefully I’ll turn up one or two pieces that you missed and will enjoy.

Israel and Peace: A current analysis of the problems presented by Palestinian refusal to accept anything the resembles peace.

10 Surprising Government Programs That Are Costing You $10.2 Billion  Just a brief highlight of a few of the programs wasting your money.

6 KEY STATES TO WATCH IN 2014 ELECTIONS  Just so you know where to keep your eyes (and perhaps efforts on if your state is securely red in all categories)

Proposed IRS Rules Would Stifle Free Speech

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Choose Graphics Wisely

Some needed advice on how to go about making political arguments on the internet.

 

 

 

 

 

Obama’s war on the poor

Real Unemployment Rate Of 11.5%

Don’t believe the whitewashing by the White House, this is not a recovery.

 

Ted Cruz Still Half Canadian

Gee, Ted, it’s not that hard to get rid of…one might think that you’ll all show and not even a little substance (and be honest here, to call this substance is reaching).

 

ANALYSIS: Obama’s 2014 strategy — my economy sucks

Thanks to Obama, Islamist militants will be the ultimate victors in Iraq and Afghanistan

6 Lies Millennials Must Reject

Who’d a-thunk it? States that vote Republican have higher volunteer rates than states leaning left

 

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Why modern liberalism is Evil.

Let me first clarify my use of the word “evil.”  As a New Ager I believe that every single soul in the universe will one day reach enlightenment and be welcomed into heaven. Don’t try and list off really evil people in history because they too will, one day, make it back to God. So my belief is that people aren’t evil, they can be very ignorant of what they’re doing, but they themselves and their souls are not evil. But I do classify their actions as evil. I classify such actions as Evil when their actions not only delay their own return to enlightenment, but also hurt the progression of others, whether the act is malicious or well-intentioned…

…So to my liberal friends out there: I’m insulting your idiotic beliefs, not you.

Okay, so we’ve got that out of the way, why is modern liberalism evil? Doesn’t liberalism support equal rights of life, liberty, the pursuit of happiness for all humanity, democratic republicanism, the rule of law over force, and all are equal before the law and all that stuff? No, you’re thinking of Classical Liberalism, a philosophy which is at the heart of the Enlightenment and American Revolution. Modern conservatism and modern liberalism are both out growths of Classical liberalism. Philosophically modern conservatism is more of Classical Liberalism’s heir (in practice it sadly falls a little short), modern liberalism is Classical Liberalism’s idiot bastard child.

Why? you ask. After all, as a friend of mine recently said:

“As a Democrat, I support social welfare programs — that’s not ‘babysitting the populace.’ I think that government has a responsibility to provide programs for those in need.”

burn-books-ban-music-hate-blacks-murder-gays-become-symbol-of-hope-and-freedome-che-guevara-300x225

And it should come as no shock that this butcher is a hero to modern liberals.

Isn’t that a good thing? Wanting to help those in need? It seems so good?…And yet, it is evil. And let me explain why.(And I’m not attacking my friend in particular, I’m pretty sure almost every liberal in America would agree with that statement in its entirety).

Let’s look closely at the 2nd sentence in that statement (mostly because the first sentence is self-contradictory).

The government has a responsibility to provide programs for those in need.

There are three key terms in this sentence: Responsibility, Provide, and Need. We’ll deal with each one separately

The Responsibility of Government

What is the responsibility of government? Well if you listen to Classical Liberalism and modern conservatives who have their heads screwed on correctly, government is there to do things. Protect your rights and do those things which only a force as large as government can. What are your rights? The classic list is Life, Liberty, Property/Pursuit of Happiness. What does it mean to protect these things? Does it mean the government should stop me from eating that Big Mac because that will cause a cholesterol build up which will one day lead to my death? Nope. Protection means to protect you from others forcibly destroying your life or liberty. Through this the government has a responsibility to create a military to protect you from outside sources, and a police force (FBI, State Police, Highway Patrol, Sheriffs, and Local Police) and a court system for internal threats. They are there to stop others from taking things away from you.

Notice in this understanding of government’s responsibility they are not giving you anything. You were born with life and liberty it’s just no one can rightfully take it away from you without justification.

The second issue is things that only something as large as government can tend to. Things like standards. Weights, measurement, currency, laws for conducting business, highway and streets (because they all need to be standardized, although upkeep and repair should be at least contracted out if not privatized).These things need to be standardized because without them you have about zero chance of pursing happiness successfully. For instance one of things government has a right to do is standardize what is and isn’t legal banking practices so that everyone is keeping their books in the same way and thus everyone (and by everyone I primarily mean mainly stockholder and potential stockholders) can make sure everything is proper and the system is working and not lying/cheating/taking advantage. Our government chooses to not partake in this responsibility—I say this because the banking practices on sub-prime loans of which all the banks currently are still engaging in by government directive, which were designed by Congress to effectively destroy the market (even if that wasn’t their intent), were and still are very legal. That’s right it’s legal to do something that will cause economic collapse. But does Congress rewrite the laws? No. It would rather discuss your right to health care (which does not exist).

And herein is where the evil lies in that. Life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness, are things you are born with and that no one gives to you. Health care is something that is given to you. Why is this evil? Because, it is an insult to the value of humanity. The human soul is an end unto itself, completely capable through its work and mind of providing everything it needs for itself. It’s a concept called free will. To say that something must be given to you (aside from the rights granted by your Creator), that you are not capable of getting it for yourself means two things. You are not complete and have insufficient power to live a whole life, and that whoever does provide this for you does have that power. Traditionally the relationship is called that of the master and slave…and in the scenario of the modern liberalism, government is not playing the role of slave (which it should be).To say that government has a responsibility to provide anything perverts the concept of a right, it perverts the concept of government which should be used as a shield against the irrational forces which choose not to recognize your God given rights, but rather into the driving force that makes your life complete. It subordinates your will to the will of government…to the will of the party, the leader (what’s the German word for “leader”?), or the will of Big Brother.

What the Government should provide?

Well nothing is the obvious answer if you read the previous paragraphs. But there is another reason why the government providing anything is just plain evil. To provide something means the government has to get it from somewhere. Where does it get the money to operate? Taxes. Now we don’t pay our taxes out the goodness of our heart. If we are rational we pay for what the government should be doing because we recognize government is a necessary evil that requires funds to operate to protect us…That accounts for about 10 cents of every dollar the government collects. We pay the other 90 cents because the government has guns and prisons and thieves called the IRS who will go into your bank account and just take it without your permission.(Anyone else miss the good old days of Robin Hood and the American Revolution, when we knew what to do with tax collectors?).

But it’s not just their theft and extortion that’s evil. Back to health care. Notice what’s implied by the concept of you have a right to health care. That means a doctor has to treat you, whether you will pay them or not. If it’s an absolute right it can’t be ethically paid for. You don’t pay someone for your liberty or your life?  Do you? No, that would be evil. You can pay someone to protect those things, but you’re not paying them for life or liberty, you have those by being a human, you’re paying them to act as a shield against outside forces that seek to steal those things. So if health care was a Right that you have, it would be unethical or evil to demand payment for it. But if you have the right to demand the services of a doctor or a nurse, or demand the right to a drug that could save your life, what does that mean? It means that the doctor does not have the right to refuse you treatment, payment or no. And if the doctor doesn’t have the right to refuse treatment, the right to demand payment, doesn’t that mean he is a slave. Doesn’t it mean that the drug company and the scientist who came up with the drug are slaves to the person demanding the drug if they don’t have the right to determine what they think is a fair price for the drug.  You may have the right to keep up your health as an extension of your liberty, but you do not have the right to demand someone else look after your health.

I feel I need to make this clear. If the doctor has a right to demand payment for his knowledge and his service then health care must logically be conditional. Rights are not conditional. If health care is a right, then health care providers must logically be slaves. It’s one or the other. Rationally there can be no having health care as a right and not having slaves. Since modern liberalism states health care is a right, logically they are calling for the enslavement of an entire class of people, namely health care providers. Modern liberalism claims lots of things are rights, a livable wage, for instance, but when you run it through logically if it is a right then someone must be forced to provide this right. That person is called a slave.

So that’s twice now that modern liberalism has devalued human life to little more than slavery. Let’s take a look at the third part of the sentence.

Who are those in need?

Those in need—are we talking about those in need of protection from genocidal tyrants? Those in need of defense against a culture that debases women as less than human? Nope. From the context of the sentence it seems we’re talking about people who don’t have enough stuff/money according to our liberal friends. But before we give those in need everything they “need” let’s look at why they’re needy.

“You need only do three things in this country to avoid poverty – finish high school, marry before having a child, and marry after the age of 20. Only 8 percent of the families who do this are poor; 79 percent of those who fail to do this are poor.”

– William Galston, advisor to Bill Clinton.

So I’m not a sociologist here, but using the information provided for us by the Clinton administration, it would seem Five Pillars of Liberal Thoughtthat poverty is primarily caused by making really stupid choices. Taking another look at the statistics, as economist Thomas Sowell loves to point out in just about every book he writes, over half of those people who are below the poverty line are in their 20’s and won’t be below the poverty line in 10 years, having given up their places among the poor to a new set of 20 somethings. So it would seem that most people tend to learn from their youthful mistakes. Who would have thought in a capitalistic system that rewards hard work and intelligence that the stupid and lazy get the shaft.

But the call goes, ‘what about their children! The children of these people who live below the poverty line will never be able to break this cycle.’ To which I say: Bullshit. Every school I have ever worked at full-time could be called “at risk” education. And at every school some of my brightest students were not the children of middle class families, but the children of parents who lived in poverty. They saw how their family lived and they choose to get an education so that wouldn’t be them. The children who repeat the cycle of poverty are those who CHOOSE to not strive, to not learn, to not break the cycle. It is a choice, as the opportunity is always there in a capitalistic system to get out– it has nothing to do with race or gender or religion or your parent’s background. It is a matter of choice. To deny this denies free will,  oh wait there once again we find that to say that people are needy means that we don’t believe they have free will, the responsibility to take the consequences of their choices; once again liberalism has devalued human beings to little more than a mindless thing.

Modern liberalism’s problem is that it devalues the inherent value of human life.  It see personal charity not as something that should be done because it benefits the giver but only as a duty that must be obeyed without.  It sees all

Every person in this picture is an idiot.  Only one of them isn't bright enough to actually leave a mark on history for good or ill.  Guess which one.

Everyone of these people believed in government not liberty…they what we call in the modern day, liberals.

of humanity as either problems to fix or tools to use. But a human being is not a problem or a tool. It is an end unto itself. Only from this perspective can a life have value. Liberalism pushes everyone away from this value through its destruction of free will through its imposition of slavery and through its denial of human value. I’ll be the first to say that history is more than filled with far worse examples of this evil than your modern American liberal, but it is a difference in degree not kind. I will also admit that while this idea pushes people away from any kind of personal growth, it is the person’s choices to follow that philosophy, not the philosophy itself that is at fault for not achieving personal enlightenment. But it is still used as a tool for preventing the progression of many human lives…and in that sense it is absolute evil.

 

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Filed under Civil Liberties, Evils of Liberalism, Free Will, Individualism, liberal arrogance, Long Term Thinking, Obama, People Are Stupid, politics, Tyranny

Health Care is Not A Right

So Republicans in typical fashion are trying to shoot themselves in the foot with their “Defund Obamacare push”  (hint the liberals want the GOP to win on this one so they don’t have to have Obamacare hanging around their necks in 2014 and 2016, so they can keep the White House and take back Congress just long enough to make sure no one can ever take Obamacare out…if you want to get rid of Obamacare, really, really get rid of it, you need to make people see, and unfortunately feel, the misery they voted for. The point here is to get rid of the idea that government is the answer, not just a temporary reprieve on one horrific law.  The Defund Obamacare group is looking to win the battle, possibly at the cost of losing the war).   But while this is going on, Democrats are spending billions just to advertise Obamacare (if a law is so bad you have to advertise it, that should tell you something).  And to top it all off, a couple days ago Obama made his one of his typically brain less statements.  “Because in the United States of America, health insurance isn’t a privilege – it is your right.”

Why do I bring all of these different groups up in the same paragraph? Because they’re all idiots. They are all predicated on the idea that the government has to do something (less idiotic for the Republicans, but they seem to have given up the idea of full repeal, the only real answer, because they seem to acknowledge the lie that government needs to provide something). At best this belief is idiotic. At worst it’s just plain evil. (On another side note evil people are very rare, but evil ideas are all too common, and morons have a long history of latching onto evil ideas with the best of intentions. So please understand I’m not calling the people supporting Obamacare evil–unless their name is Harry/Nancy/Barrack/Michelle–merely their idea is). Why is it stupid/evil? Well, let me be as clear as I can possibly be:

YOU DO NOT HAVE A !@#$%^& RIGHT TO HEALTHCARE!!!!

Like the right to property, and the right to pursue happiness, you have the right to earn a living and to use that money as you see fit, perhaps by buying healthcare or healthcare insurance, but you have no natural right to healthcare.

Sorry, Barry, but just because you want something, it’s not a right.

I know I am about to repeat things that I have said before, but I feel I need to. I feel everyone needs to until this country learns that rights are not entitlements, rights are not things given to you but opportunities to be taken care of, and to exercise your rights does not require the acts, intentions, or contribution of anyone else.

A natural right as conceived of in the theory of natural rights and in the Declaration of Independence is something you would have without the presence of government or even society. It’s what does Robinson Crusoe have when he’s on the island before he decides to violate Friday’s natural right to freedom. Well, if you find yourself trapped in a bad episode of “Lost” you have the right to life, liberty, property, and to pursue happiness. A lot of what the original Bill of Rights includes is also there (speech, religion, assembly, arms, and self-incrimination) but notice that if you’re on an island by yourself you don’t have medical care. You have the right to take care of yourself, but islands in the middle of nowhere are not staffed with hospitals and doctors just waiting for you to get sick. So it’s certainly not a natural right.

But we don’t live on an island in the middle of nowhere. The upside to this is that we don’t have to engage in a philosophical war with a black cloud; the downside to this is that we do have to deal with other people. And while most people are rational and good intentioned, there are the random people who don’t respect your rights and try to take what isn’t theirs. Because of these random few who ruin everything, and because, we want complex things that we can’t do without laws and someone being in charge (like roads) we turn to the necessary evil of government. Now good government is a skill and it took us a while to realize that limits need to be put on it because just following the guy who can kill you or the guy with the best bullshit may not have been the best choice in the beginning, even though it’s what historically happened. So we had to come up with a whole new set of rights (quartering, due process, equality under the law). But notice all these other rights limit what the government does. Nowhere have you been given anything. You were either born with your rights, some of which you gave away to ensure protection against stupid people violating your rights, and other “rights” were restrictions placed on the government on top of which your natural rights were completely off-limits. But still no right has been given to you that you already didn’t have. And again, you didn’t have the right to health care if you were stuck in the state of nature.

The right to healthcare is a ridiculous, idiotic and borderline evil idea called a “positive right.” A negative right means something that no one has the right to take away from you–like your life, your liberty, or your property. Those are things you’re entitled to, thus no one has any right to reduce your rights to them. A positive right on the other hand means something that you have a right to expect to be given to you. If you’re reading that last sentence a few times because it seems to make no sense, good, that means you’re sane. Healthcare is a positive right. It is the idea that just because I showed up you have to give me healthcare. Just because you’re alive other people have to give something to you? Well I know that really egocentric people act like this, but to actually portray this as a theory of government is insane. And while virtues of love and charity say that ethically we should give people more than they may deserve, it doesn’t work in the opposite way where you have the right to demand people give you more than you serve—that’s not ethics it’s also insanity.

But more than insane it’s wrong. You can’t give a piece of property or a service without taking it from someone else–i.e. theft or slavery. Now while I believe the capitalist system isn’t a zero-sum game that always creates more and more, theoretically having no limit to how much wealth it can create, the kind of property transfer that the government deals in is a zero-sum for whatever moment it exists in. The government stealing things and giving it to others, transferring wealth from one person to another, not only harms the ability to create more wealth, but given government inefficiency, it actually creates less wealth (especially given the government’s addiction to spending money it doesn’t have). The government can’t just give people drugs without stealing it from drugs companies…if it pays for those drugs then it can only do that by stealing hard earned wealth from the taxpayers. Either way it’s theft. A person can’t be guaranteed healthcare without doctors being forced to treat them. After all either the doctors are paid (and if the government’s involved it’s paid with stolen taxpayer money) or simply forced to work as a slave. And you’ll find most doctors will not want to work in that system which will cause the greatest healthcare system in the world, the US, to become one of the worst when all the doctors leave or simply retire.

But some idiots (Alan Colmes to name one) say that the government has a right to help the people under the actual Constitution. They quote Article I Section 8:

“The Congress shall have Power To lay and collect Taxes, Duties, Imposts and
Excises, to pay the Debts and provide for the common Defence and general
Welfare of the United States; but all Duties, Imposts and Excises shall be
uniform throughout the United States;”

And then they point to the part that says “General welfare” , isn’t providing healthcare promoting the general welfare? Well one that would first depend on the government being able to do anything well, which it can’t, but more importantly it is a gross misunderstanding of the meaning of “general welfare.” Even if you took the most liberal meaning of the phrase at the time the Constitution was written the term general welfare does not mean helping people like our current meaning of welfare–it means providing improvements to the whole of the country that affects everyone (roads, bridges, communication systems, in other words – infrastructure). The key is the word general. It needs to be something that can be used by everyone. I can’t take your doctor prescribed drugs after you’ve taken them, so there is nothing general about a system that helps individuals. (And don’t even give me that bullshit about their being able to provide for society if they were healthy…if they were providing for society they would have a job with which they could afford healthcare).

The government isn’t there to protect you from yourself or from nature. It’s there to protect you from other idiots. Your bad living habits and your genetic disposition toward a disease, while unfortunate, is not the government’s responsibility. But given that the government has stolen and inefficiently used the money that people who might have been able to charitably donate to your healthcare, the government is not only destroying their rights it’s destroying their ability to help you.

The government destroys all it touches–it can’t help it, it’s its nature. Especially when it tries to give you things you don’t have a right to. And you don’t have a right to healthcare!

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Filed under Capitalism, Civil Liberties, Conservative, Constitution, Economics, Evils of Liberalism, GOP, Government is corrupt, Government is useless, Health Care, Obama, People Are Stupid, politics

Overpopulation, another liberal bout of baseless hysteria…

So a friend shared with me this gruesomely titled article, “Top Democrat Pushing For “One Child” Population Control In America.”   Now, the Democrat in question is Michael E. Arth, a failed Democratic candidate for the governor’s mansion in Florida.  So I’m not sure if I would say “Top Democrat” is completely accurate…but he’s certainly up there…but his statements are actually rather typical for liberals and their insane fear of overpopulation.

 

Here are some fun highlights:

 

Now, thanks to the one-child policy – to which there are many exceptions, by the way – China’s ageing population will probably not grow much more from now on, as long as they don’t remove the restrictions.

 

China, and the rest of the world, would be better served by a choice-based marketable birth license plan, or “birth credits,” that could stop or reverse population growth on a dime. Birth credits allow people to have as many children as they desire and can manage and reward people who are willing to give up that right.

 

The limit to individual freedom is where the exercise of an individual right begins to infringe on the rights we hold in common.

 

 

 

If you feel like vomiting, I can’t blame you.

 

Liberals seem to think that the world is heading to an apocalyptic scenario where every part of the world is crammed with people stacked on top of each other while simultaneously the Malthusian nightmare of perpetual famine, war, pollution and death.  And of course the only way to solve this problem is the same answer liberals have for every single problem in the history of human existence*: more government regulation.  To a liberal we of course need the government to limit how many children we can have, license who can have children, punish those whom we don’t like having children, and provide free ways to dispose of those nasty little bastards when you don’t want to have them.**  I think we’ve all joked, upon seeing the inept wretches out there that have children, that there should be licensing to have children…but we also all agree that the idiots who run the DMV with such efficiency, the NSA with such high moral standards, and Treasury with such common sense and restraint, are quite literally the most unqualified people to issue such license, and are in fact the people whose births we hoped would have been prevented by such regulation.  I think we can all agree Joe Biden’s mother made a terrible, terrible mistake in deciding to keep him.  Now you may think I’m exaggerating, that it’s only a few kooks…but no.  A search of the terms Overpopulation, Sustainability, Carrying Capacity yield articles from CNN, MSNBC, Salon, and of course this one from the UN itself on the horrific terror that overpopulation brings.  And there is a plethora of even less reputable sources.  Granted I may not always view these as the most accurate of sources, but it does show a mentality that thinks that overpopulation is a problem…and for them it is a problem related to all their whiny fake environmentalist hysteria, and just general hatred of the individual who makes their own choices.

 

You can see this hatred is for the individual in Arth’s words:

 

The limit to individual freedom is where the exercise of an individual right begins to infringe on the rights we hold in common.

 

There is no such thing as “rights held in common.”  Only individuals have rights.  ONLY INDIVIDUALS.  Groups do not hold rights.  We can talk about balancing the needs of the whole versus the rights of one person, we can talk about practicality, but never make the mistake that the call for pragmatism in policy has anything to do with the rights of groups.  Only individuals hold rights, because only individuals can make the choices to exercise those rights.  When people talk about group rights held in common, they are only saying that a government task master will be the one exercising control and choice over the sheep they control.  And what greater control could there be than to say who can and cannot have a child and when they can or can’t.  This coming from the party that says government has no right to say what you do in the bedroom or with whom.

 

 

World Birth Rate

See all the blue…that is areas that is going to experience a very large population drop within a generation…the green will be lucky to stay at current levels.

There is of course one tiny little problem.  US population is dropping, European population is dropping,   Hell, world population may be dropping.  If it wasn’t for immigration it would be even more evident.  And even if it isn’t dropping, you could actually fit all 6.9 billion people in Texas if you packed them in at the population density of New York City…doesn’t exactly sound like there is no room for anyone else. Now for liberals who statistically live in crowded cities, it may seem like there is no room left, in reality there is A LOT of land left.

 

Part of the problem is they hold Malthus’s ideas as gospel.  For those not familiar with them, here is the short, short version.  Malthus believes that technology increased food production arithmetically (10, 12, 14, 16, 18…all plus 2) while population grew geometrically (2, 4, 8, 16, 32…all times 2) over a certain period of time.  So when you start and there is food for 10,000 people and you only have 2,000, you’re all good…but after a while you have food for 16,000 and a population of 16,000…still good until the next generation when you don’t have enough food to feed 14,000.  This leads to wars over food, famine from lack, disease from malnutrition (modern liberals would add pollution from over farming habits) and just suffering in general.  The problem here is that Malthus understood nothing about the coming effects of science, technology, innovation, mass production, the industrial revolution, and of course capitalism.  ***

 

Overpopulation is a lie.  It is not a global problem.  Like so many things it is merely a tool of fear, an excuse to expand the power of those in control over the rest of us.

 

However, I would like to say that this does not mean that the opposite is completely true as some foolish conservatives seems to claim.  Overpopulation isn’t a global problem…but it is a problem in certain areas.  The third world has a major problem with over population.  Yes capitalism and all the benefits it brings make Malthus’ predictions pointless…but without capitalism everything Malthus feared goes on in the third world with deadly accuracy.  And overpopulation makes it worse because it actually works against creating capitalism.  The most egregious example is of course parts of Sub-Saharan Africa.  There you see overpopulation continue in a way that actually prevents capitalism from taking root.  It keeps the population just malnourished enough to prevent them from really having the energy to find the entrepreneurial spirit.  It keeps any attempt to build the infrastructure necessary for the modern economy just out of reach because once you plan, invest, and create infrastructure for one level of population the population has grown just enough to make that level of infrastructure inadequate.  It prevents the growth of a middle class and hampers mass education since so much time must be spent looking for what resources there are that must be spread out among the whole.  Malthus wasn’t wrong about what happens, he just didn’t know you had to add the caveat “unless you have capitalism.”

 

onechild

All I can say is that I think we should all feel very lucky that the government isn’t in control of every aspect of our medical care…oh wait…well crap…

And there is no easy answer here.  Because the government controls vile idiots like Arth propose would only make it worse.  Don’t believe me, look at what wonders they did in Detroit…do you really want to let liberals have control over a place that’s already doing badly.   Of course helping promote capitalism in these area might not stop the suffering immediately but it will promote the long term prosperity.

 

But despite the fact that overpopulation may be a problem in certain areas due more to lack of economic infrastructure than actual population, overpopulation, is not, has never been and will never be a global problem.

 

 

 

*Unless it involves narcotics or regulation the health standards of abortion clinics.  The liberals are quite dead set against government even acknowledging such things exist beyond your absolute right to use such things.

**I’m prochoice, but the way the left defend the absolute right of any woman to abort a fetus the day before her due date is just a tad disturbing.  Like most rational prochoice people I find little problem with abortion in the first trimester, but anything after that starts getting ethically iffy…although, conversely, if you’re so unspeakably stupid that you haven’t made up your mind by 20 weeks, you may not be qualified to have children.

***I’ll attack the idea, but honestly, I have a hard time really blaming Malthus who wrote around 1800. He wasn’t that far off for his time.  Yes there had been many technological advances over the 2,000 years before him…like crop rotation, and how to make really bad steel, and gun powder.  But in the grand scheme of things the 2,000 years before Malthus saw almost no advances when compared to the 200 years that followed him.  Yeah we can look to the Renaissance and see where the groundwork was laid for modern science and technology, but almost none of it had materialized into anything practical when Malthus wrote.  They were still using chamber pots.  Bleeding was still a popular medical technique, and in terms of practicality quantum mechanics has more meaning to your life than electricity had for Malthus.  So I really can’t blame him for not seeing how much technology driven by capitalism (also a new idea in Malthus’s time) could radically change the way people lived.  He had no way to foresee the massive upheaval of technology that would follow him

 

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Filed under Capitalism, Civil Liberties, Evils of Liberalism, Fear, Government is corrupt, Natural Rights, politics, Tyranny

The Core Values of True Conservative Belief

“We ought not to listen to those who exhort us, because we are human, to think of human things.…We ought rather to take on immortality as much as possible, and do all that we can to live in accordance with the highest element within us; for even if its bulk is small, in its power and value it far exceeds everything.” — Aristotle

Knowledge of Three things are necessary for the salvation of man: to know what he ought to believe; to know what he ought to desire; and to know what he ought to do. – St. Thomas Aquinas, Two Precepts of Charity.

So I have been looking for the core of conservative belief lately.  What is conservative, what isn’t.

Why is this even an important question?  Well because the conservative movement is overly obsessed with the idea of what a true conservative is (it doesn’t help when your main opposition is a bunch of blind followers in the Democrat party who will kneel before anyone who promises them more shit, and libertarians* who will promise them pot).  Paeloconservatives.  Neoconservatives.  Fiscal conservatives.  Social Conservatives.  Compassionate Conservatives.  (Hint I consider only two of these terms not be contradictions).  It’s a wide range.

And there is no big help when looking to intellectuals.  Sure there is Russell Kirk’s famous list of highly dense academic speak, I even used it in Republicans and Reincarnation, but over the course of his career he kept changing the last few points, making it more and more isolationist, and it’s so complicated as to be useless.

The Wizard's Rules Sword of Truth

Meanwhile, while I love Goodkind’s eleven wizard’s rules, and think them an excellent companion to Aristotelian philosophy, they’re not all that specific.

Then of course you could name certain policies…but that doesn’t work because what is conservative today isn’t conservative tomorrow.  Facts of reality change, priorities get shifted…for instance every conservative needs to be a fiscal conservative, however one can still be a conservative and willing to make a deal to that would raise deficit spending when a more important goal is present, say, toppling an evil empire.  And real conservatives, love the nature of America to take pieces of every culture and incorporate them into the melting pot of this nation…but right now reality and sanity dictate we need to concentrate on border control and being a little more picky about who gets in.

So the problem I’ve had for nearly a year is to find something that is accessible, adaptable, and always accurate in describing the core beliefs of conservatism.  And I just realized it was so bluntly obvious that I didn’t see it (but then again I haven’t seen anyone else talk about it all this time either)..I’ve even stated it, it’s just always been implied.

What are the core values of conservatism that remain the core values at any time any place any situation? The thing that binds Aristotle to Cicero to Aquinas to Locke to Burke to Smith to Adams to Goldwater to Reagan?

The Four Cardinal Virtues and the Three Theological Virtues.

Four Cardinal Virtues
Temperance, Prudence, Fortitude, Justice

Prudence

Temperance

Fortitude

Justice

Faith
Hope

Love

The first four come from Aristotle, the last three from Paul (although I would argue they are implicit in Aristotle if you read all of his works) and they are the basis for the most perfect system of ethics ever created.

Think about it.   Liberals only care about results, damn what rights or means you have to violate to create your Utopia (and that’s even before you consider they lack the follow through to do anything); the crazier members of the Libertarian party only care about means and an absolutist idea of right, to hell if you need some minor infringement to make a society properly function or to secure the vast majority of your rights.  Only the virtue based ethics of Aristotle deal in the reality of needing to consider ends and means.  And this refusal to look at only ends or means is one of the first reasons why the virtue ethics are inherently conservative—conservatives by nature see the whole.

Now let’s look at the virtues themselves.

Yes, Aristotle listed a lot of other virtues,

Sense of Shame

Pride

Wit

Proper Ambition

Truthfulness

Righteous Indignation

Generosity

Friendliness

Magnificence

Good Temper

But all of these are natural extensions of the other seven.  So let’s go over them and show why they are at the heart of conservatism.

In the order which most highlights the political aspects.

Cardinal Virtues
Justice.  Conservatives believe in the concept of Justice, that people should be rewarded and/or punished by what they deserve.  Merit.  Earning.  The basis of meritocracy of free market capitalism.  This is of course opposed to the liberal obsession with fair. It’s not fair.  Things should be fair.  Life’s not fair.  And of course whereas Justice requires the equality of opportunity and equality before the law, liberals want the equality of fairness where everyone has equal results.

Prudence.  While a highly complex concept that the word prudence doesn’t quite convey the complexity for the classical concept, it might be best defined as the knowledge of what should be valued.  With Prudence comes the understanding that the only truly valuable thing is Happiness (again I’m using the classical definition of a life lived well) and to value all the subordinate good that are required for Happiness.  This includes liberty, because Happiness cannot be achieved without free will, actual achievement.  Liberalism values material things and sees no higher point to life other than living, social conservatives only value society and some perverted view of God and not the individual or their happiness

Temperance.  Often mistaken for moderation, Temperance is taking the knowledge of what to value from Prudence, and deciding how much you should value it, at what time, in what place and in what manner.  In very simple terms this is the pragmatism of what works so clearly Keynesian economic and the libertarian desire to wipe everything out in one fell swoop without letting society adjust are right out.

Fortitude.  Again often misunderstood to just be courage, it is more tied into the previous three virtues as the will to do what you know to be right.  This throws out RINOs who stand for nothing, and worst of all the politically apathetic who seem to feel that there is no value in anything and nothing worth fighting for.

For purposes here, I am going to take Faith and Hope together because this is the primary difference between paleo and neoconservatives.  Paleoconservatives with their isolationist ways at their core are only looking out for themselves (clearly also lacking in that last virtue) but this is also because they do not have any faith in humanity or hope in the inevitability that republicanism and capitalism will spread to everyone.

Love, the last of the theological virtues and what must be required for all stable society. It is the belief that other humans have value and worth, and must be respected and helped when possible. This is actually the basis for capitalism, democratic-republics, friendship and all progress.  The belief that human beings are worth it (it’s a belief you don’t find in many political beliefs).

I have no doubt that I will come back to this theme over and over…but it has become clear to me that one or all of these virtues is missing in every political philosophy other than true conservatism.

(This will be the first post in an ongoing series on these virtues.)

*Not that all libertarians are this bad, but you have to admit there is a disturbing high number of single issue voters in your party…and their single issue is one that is really dumb. Of course Republicans have social conservatives who are just as stupid.

**I’m just going to gloss over these for now, don’t worry I’ll eventually have numerous blogs dedicated to this now that I’ve figured this out.

 

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Republican’s Slighted Reputation and How They Should Respond

“Reputation is an idle and most false imposition, oft got without merit and lost without deserving.”—William Shakespeare, Othello

 

So there is a new report out from the College Republicans on how Republicans can make new inroads with younger voters.  While some of their points are obvious* and some are just a little naïve**, one of the points being most centered on by a lot of the media is:

It is not that young voters are enamored of the Democratic Party. They simply dislike the Republican Party more. In the focus group research conducted in January 2013, the young “winnable” Obama voters were asked to say what words came to mind when they heard “Republican Party.” The responses were brutal: closed-minded, racist, rigid, old-fashioned.

[…]

The descriptions of the Democratic Party were more charitable. While some respondents viewed Democrats as “soft” or as supporting big spending, most noted that they were “tolerant,” “diverse,” and “open-minded.”

Now response to this has been two fold.  One is most on the right are looking at this with the attitude of ‘oh wow, 20 somethings who have never done anything think the Republicans are evil, shocker that naïve, inexperienced, overgrown children know shit about shit;’ the response from the other side is ‘gee you’re doing so well, don’t you think this is the time for self reflection.’

Let’s deal with those attacking the GOP and calling for self-reflection. Specifically let’s deal with the point of Republicans are “closed-minded, racist, rigid, old-fashioned” and Democrats are “’tolerant,’ ‘diverse,’ and ‘open-minded.’”  Exactly what in that statement, which seems to be the thrust of most of the argument, exactly calls for self-reflection? If I accuse Obama of eating the still beating hearts of children and it causes his poll numbers to drop, should he do some self- reflection on his behavior…no not really.  While there are many other points he should think about, dealing with bullshit accusations requires little to no self-reflection. And let’s be clear those comments are such a worthless pile of bullshit it’s not even funny. But let’s take a moment to look at a couple of them.

Republicans are close minded and Democrats open minded.

Yes, Republicans the party of fiscal conservatives, RINOS, social conservatives, neoconservatives, paleoconservatives, the Tea Party, rational libertarians, and some people I’m not even sure why they’re here is the close minded party.  The party of Chicago School economics, Austrian economics and some bizarre Neo-Keynesian economics, all tearing at each other.  The party that questions its own, attacks its own, has not one single philosophy, and every primary eats its own…yeah we’re the close minded ones.  Meanwhile the Democrats have one philosophy, Keynesianism.  They have one goal… larger government.  They march lock step behind whoever controls the party and there is little to no dissent.

Republicans are racist

Yes, this is clearly what a party of racists and bigots looks like.

Republicans are racist and Democrats tolerant.  Republican, the party of those who marched for civil rights like George Romney, Charleton Heston, and Martin Luther King Jr., versus the Democrats who were turning hoses and dogs on the Civil Rights marches.  The Republicans who voted for Civil Rights when the Democrats didn’t.  The Republicans who have at every turn opposed the welfare state that is destructive to the growth of the middle class for all groups.  But the Democrats who blindly support Planned Parenthood, a racist eugenics group designed to destroy minority groups, are the tolerant ones…even I who am very pro-choice find Planned Parenthood a disgusting organization.

MLKJr RepublicanRepublicans are old-fashioned and Democrats are new and hip and want change.  Republicans go with what is true and what works.  Just because something is new doesn’t make it good.  And also Republicans believe in real change (in the 80’s we were for amnesty but when we saw that didn’t work at all we’ve dropped that idea) whereas Democrats are still peddling the same big government line they always have, they just keep giving it a new coat of paint to make it seem new and exciting, when it’s the same damn failed idea it’s always been.

I could go on, I have time and time again, but let’s face it  Democrats look only only look at people based on what minority they’re in, they don’t see people they see groups.  They don’t seek solutions, they seek the same solution they always have: control. They tolerate difference, open-mindedness or dissension.  They embrace “diversity” only as a tool to divide and conquer. They are the most racist group out there, the most close-minded, the most vicious, the most rigid and the most despicable.

Young people and idiot liberals believe this not because of facts, but because of propaganda and a lack of actually being open-minded enough.  There is no factual basis for these claims against Republicans, thus no amount of soul searching will help us fix it.  You can’t respond to slander through logic—it’s why individuals are allowed to sue for damages, because nothing will ever get you back your good name even if the charges aren’t true.

Now someone out there is probably going to point out idiots like Todd Akin.  Yes, yes that man was stupid beyond the War on Womentelling of it. He also got the nomination because liberals in the state’s open primary put him as the winner of the primary because he was easier to defeat—they weren’t wrong.  But you know what.  I don’t care if you can point out examples of this racist that misogynist or some such homophobe.  Why?  Because the Westboro Baptist Church is a bunch of registered Democrats (if they were Republicans it would be the lead story every day, but as they’re liberal the story gets buried), because liberals kept electing a man who killed a woman in cold blood (Teddy Kennedy) and a rapist (Bill Clinton) and also kept re-electing a member of the KKK (Robert Bryd…also don’t forget the Klan was an invention of the Democratic Party).   Yeah we have some screwed up people, but at least we don’t have idiots too dumb to understand ‘tweeting a picture of my !@#$% might not be the brightest idea’.  If the media were honest, on every point the Democratic Party would come behind every time.

As the quote that began this blog points out, reputations often have nothing to do with reality.  The reputation of the good is often maligned by the vile without a factual basis for the claims.

Democrats are the racist ones

Yeah, the Democrats are just a bastion of tolerance.

Now should this study be completely ignored?  Not entirely.  But when you consider that they tried to get a sense of how 20-somethings and small business owners felt about government regulation, their genius move was to ask 20-somethings if they had dreams of starting a business…yes this is the group I should listen to, to understand how the law and economics should be set up, people in their 20’s who want to be their own boss…while I’m at it why don’t I go ask a quarterback on a high school J.V. team how to manage a pro football team at the Super Bowl, both think they’ll one day be in charge and both know nothing about anything…what I’m most surprised at is that they found people in their 20’s who didn’t dream of being their own boss and starting their own business one day (that’s sad when you think about it). So perhaps the study’s methodology was a bit off.

But flaws of the College Republican poll aside,

the fact does remain that conservatives have a problem with young people. Because young people are ignorant and stupid.  The human brain doesn’t stop developing until 25 or 26 and we were dumb enough to give every 18 year old the vote. Short of doing the intelligent thing and raising the voting age to 30 (which would pretty much guarantee perpetual defeat of leftist ideology)…no really I’m serious, we need at some point to overturn the 26th Amendment…and the 17th while we’re at it…what can we do for now.  Well one of the reasons young people are so unbelievably dumb is the propaganda machine the left has going.  I’ve already gone over ways we can get the free market to help put the kibosh on that font of bile.  The next point would be education, educated people tend to be less liberal…but since homeschooling and charters are up, so I’m not terribly worried there either, if someone learns to think early on, they’re less likely to be indoctrinated in the later years of formal education that mistakes letters after your name for real knowledge.

Honestly, besides actually just growing a spine, continuing the growth of new media, challenging liberal lies, and convincing one person at a time through reason I don’t see much else we can do.  Yes we need to do a better job of getting our message out, but that is something we need to work on at a media and personal level, not at a RNC level.   And certainly we could do a better job at keeping idiots like Akin and Santorum out of the public eye…but again the Democrats have worse than we do, and it’s just the media protecting them that makes this appear to be a problem in our favor. Young voters aren’t some special interest group we should change our tactics for, that’s the liberal way of divide and conquer…either we hold to the truth of our principles or they mean nothing.

*1) Focus on the economic issues that affect young people today: education, the cost of health care, unemployment.

2) Capture the brand attributes of intelligence, hard work, and responsibility.

3) Don’t concede “caring” and “open-minded” to the left.

** 4) Fix the debt and cut spending, but recognize that messages about principle and “big government” are the least effective way to win this battle of ideas with young voters.

5) Go where young voters are and give them something to share.

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Filed under Conservative, Education, Evils of Liberalism, GOP, Government is useless, liberal arrogance, People Are Stupid, politics

The Short-Term-Thinking Ideas of Liberals on Foreign Policy

Red Eye is the one of the greatest TV shows ever.  It is fun, witty, bizarre, informative in spite of itself, and a place where you will hear commentators be bluntly honest where in other formats they would be more reserved.  And then there is Bill Schulz, Bill is the liberal on Red Eye…most of the time he plays just a coked out hobo spouting idiocy…but sometimes he’ll tell you what he really thinks, and that’s when his spiel turns from funny to just plain stupid.  But it’s not that the real Schulz is particularly below average…in fact, I think his honest moments show us the level of idiocy of your average liberal (and probably some of your dumber libertarians*) on foreign policy.  So to give you an idea of how little your average liberal knows, let’s look at some comments made by Red Eye’s liberal voice.

So let’s start with a discussion about his opinion about Obama’s term in office so far.

Amb. John Bolton: And significantly in the days of the IRA terrorism, Britain was led by Margaret Thatcher—we’re led by Barack Obama.

BS: Who has got a really good record so far.

Bolton: Five dead in Massachusetts .  And four Americans in Benghazi.  All unanswered at this point. That’s the signal to the terrorists that it’s open season.

BS: I think so far that’s a great record.  You don’t want anyone dead, but those are the realities of our war on terrorism.  I thought he’s done a great job defending this country so far.  I have never understood that argument.

Bolton: The question is stability in the Middle East where the Arab Spring has turned badly wrong.  The loss of influence in Iraq.

BS: How is that his fault?

Bolton: Because of the policies he’s pursued.  The withdrawal from Iraq, the withdrawal from Afghanistan. And the unwillingness to take on the war on terror.  The unwillingness to go after countries like Iran and North Korea who are pursuing weapons of mass destruction.

BS: I think if you ask most Americans they’re going to say I want out of Iraq.  I want out of Afghanistan.  And I don’t see what the negative repercussions will be.

Red Eye April 23rd

So so many stupid statements in such a short period of time.  Let’s deal with the last statement first.  That because people wanted out of Iraq then it’s a good thing.  Leadership is not about doing what the people want.  Leadership is about doing what is best for the nation in the long run. If those happen to match up, great.  But when they diverge leaders do the unpopular thing, they will try to convince the nation that it is the best thing, but if they can’t they will still expend all their political capital and even commit political suicide to do what is important and right .  But just doing what is popular is the base and cowardly move of hacks.  And to praise that is idiocy that only liberals can embrace.  It doesn’t matter if everyone thinks a course of action is wrong, if you believe it to be right and it is your job to set policy you do what you believe to be right.  Now there may be compromises here and there to ensure the most good comes about depending on the limitations of your power, but overall you do not care about what is popular if you are a leader.

But then let’s deal with the truly idiotic statement of “And I don’t see what the negative repercussions will be.”  Which pretty much sums up the rest of his comments and shows the differences between liberals and their opponents.  Liberals are too stupid to see any long term consequences.  They think only in the emotional moment.  Libertarians and conservatives on the other hand both consider the long term perspectives—where they differ is Libertarians focus on the consequences of action and conservatives point out that the consequences of inaction outweigh the negative effects of action.**

So let’s look over some of Obama’s foreign policy moves.

Iraq: Bush was an idiot who didn’t have a plan on how to rebuild Iraq.  But if I can lay into Bush for being short sighted, Obama was worse.  First off, did he do any of the right things and begin to rebuild Iraq?  Nope he left, and left it to crumble.  Yeah there are still US soldiers there (so if anyone tells you he ended the war in Iraq, they’re either lying or they’re dumb) but there are not enough there to do anything substantive…only enough there to get killed.  Great plan Barry.

Then he did something even more short sighted.  You don’t have to be terribly bright to realize that the Middle East is going to take up a large portion of foreign policy for a while.  Part of the reason to go into Iraq was not only to stop a dictator (something we should have done in the  early 90’s) and to stop support for terrorist networks…but one of the major reaons, long-term reasons, (besides stability, but you’d need a plan for that) was to establish a base from which we would be centrally located in the Middle East and thus have more effective influence on the entire area.  Right now our only major staging grounds (Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, and Israel) are kind of on the periphery of the Middle East.

So thinking short term Obama not only doomed the nation to chaos again but he also blew one of the most important long term goals of the war.  Also since problems you don’t fix always tend to come back, don’t be surprised to see that this is not the last of major US troop deployments in Iraq in your lifetime.

time.afghan

Even the liberals at time seem to have an understanding of exactly what will happen if we leave the Taliban in charge.

Afghanistan:  Initially I thought this might not be a complete cluster.  We were burning more poppy fields than under Bush, and the initial stories of the uptick in drone warfare were hopeful.  But then we found out drones weren’t being used to take out high value targets we couldn’t easily get to, they were being used without any concern.  No one was being captured, no one was being interrogated.  You run a war as much on intel as you do on manpower….yes you can perhaps keep the problem at bay by an unrelenting drone war, but that is like sandbagging a river that shows no sign of stopping its flooding, the minute you stop sandbagging the flood will break, the second you stop the drones the flood will break (keep in burned with acidmind Obama was planning on putting strict rules on how to use drones should Romney have won).  And then you will have no drone and no intel to work with.  Whoever takes over from Obama will have their hands tied on both fronts.  And not only that…we’ve been in negotiations with the Taliban.  That’s right we want to make peace with the people who throw acid in women’s faces for not wearing a burka and who shoot little girls in the head.  I want you to take a look at these pictures.  Those are the people Obama has tried to negotiate a peace with.  Take a long look.  You cannot, you must not negotiate with things that can do that to the innocent. The collateral damage of war is one thing, the intentional mutilation of innocent is another, and any society that can coexist with people who do this as typical means to get what they want has no right to call itself civilized.  And to negotiate with butchers like that sends a very clear message that America does not stand for ethics, values nothing but her own whims, and will tolerate any evil so long as it does not bother us.

Iran: Besides leaking information about the virus we planted in Iranian computers and probably leaking information of Israeli plans to attack to ensure everyone in Iran was safe.  But while general incompetence abounds in not seeming to realize psychotically crazy religious people with nuclear weapons is a bad thing (and I would like here to thank Bush for blowing all his political capital by not having a plan, thus not being able to deal with this before moron boy took over) it takes a special kind of stupid to consistently back the wrong horse.   In Iran that would be the uprising in 2009 where (http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2009/jun/15/iran-elections-protests-mousavi-attacks)  the people of Iran rose up against the government run by the Ayatollah…and the US did nothing.  Now you can argue to me all day long about how we couldn’t do much…but please consider that in the light of running guns to Al Qaeda backed rebels in Lybia and Syria…to using US intel to help these groups allied with our enemies…to giving money and weapons to the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt…during the pro democracy, true pro democracy uprising in Iran, we did nothing.  No word of encouragement.  No behind the scenes support, not even running our jets and ships dangerously close to their border to remind them we are watching.  NOTHING.  When it is a real battle between tyranny and liberty, this worthless pieces of scum did nothing.  I can’t promise that there was any way for this uprising to succeed, there probably wasn’t, but because we did nothing we made it very clear to every real desire for liberty in the world that we will not back you.

Israel: Obama has made it clear time and again he will not defend the democracy of Israel, going so far as to compromise the safety of Israeli intelligence officers so he could appear like the leader he is not (notice also they haven’t gone after this and like leaks that they thought made them look good…but leaks that made them look bad hell they’ll bug the AP, call reporters criminals for reporting, and god knows what else in the days to come.

In each and every dealing with Israel Obama leaves no doubt that support for Israel will be tepid at best, and nonexistent at worst, only encouraging further buildup and, God forbid, aggression.

Arab Spring: So while the pro-democracy protests of Iran were left to die, the pro tyranny, pro-Sharia, pro-Al Qaeda uprising of the Arab Spring were praised, supported, encouraged, armed, supplied, and even given money after their reigns are in place.  I wonder if the long term consequences of this will be five countries supporting terrorism where we had just gone through so much in Iraq to get rid of one.  Again I feel the long term effects of this will be less liberty and more terror.

I could go on, but in every single move the Obama administration has taken it has set long term advantages for the very people who want to destroy liberty and held back the long term strength of those who defend it. Don’t believe me on the weakening of our side, well then I would suggest you take a look at the latest lawsuit against Obama by the families of some of the dead members of SEAL Team 6…they’re not happy.

(yes the video of the press conference is very long, you may want to come back later and watch it because it’s worth it…though infuriating).

But back to Bill Schulz, it’s not a one night occurrence.  Try this recent debate with former CIA Agent Mike Baker on the May 1st show.

BS:The congress thing is true.  When he ran in 2008 it was not a Republican led Congress.  It is now.  There is no way he can get this to happen.  You guys can complain about that but that’s the fact.

Mike Baker: You know why he’s not closing Gitmo.

BS: Because Congress won’t let him.

Baker: Bush spent several years doing what Obama found out is almost impossible to do.  Get someone to take these people.

BS: Well Yemen wants 90 of them why won’t we give them to them.

So Bill’s genius idea is to send them to a nation where terrorists are numerous and partly in control.  Can’t see the possibility of a jail break at all, can you?

Baker: The best way to end this prison let them die from the hunger strike.

BS: A lot of them have never been tried for anything and we don’t know if they’ve done anything.  I don’t necessarily know if that’ s a great idea.

This is the face of "You can't possibly be that stupid." brought to you by Mike Baker.

This is the face of “You can’t possibly be that stupid.” brought to you by Mike Baker.

Baker: I’m sorry what.

BS: None of them have been tried for anything and we’ve already released a bunch that were innocent.

Baker: We just randomly picked these guys up and threw them in there?

BS: A lot of people have admitted that we’ve done just that.  A guy working under Cheney said just that.

Greg Gutfeld: I think Baker’s going to kill you .

BS: No but isn’t that true?

I’ll agree Gitmo isn’t perfectly simplistic and that we probably did pick up a few innocent people (there is a reason we have the term “the fog of war”)…but the way Schulz is portraying it (especially if you watch the recording) is that everyone down in Cuba was just minding their own business and the US military randomly picked them up off the street (hence Baker’s face)…also the guy Schulz is likely referring to, Lawrence Wilkerson, who was on Colin Powell’s staff (yeah real conservative credentials there) is also on the record that we made up all the evidence against Saddam and he never had any WMD programs…which in light of the fact that we had to ship 500 ton of yellow cake uranium out of Iraq (according to CNN).  Also Wilkerson currently makes a living as a pundit who goes on left wing shows and says that the GOP is nothing but a bunch of racists.  Given that he’s clearly a liar (or too stupid to understand what 500 tons of uranium is) and he hates the party he supposedly is from (thought I doubt) his statements about us taking the innocent and shipping them to Gitmo so one finds that his statements may be more motivated by leftist ideology than those pesky things known as facts, which makes most of his points as being the kind you should take with a grain of salt.

Yes military tribunals would be nice…but Schulz in his hypocrisy has forgotten about the constant blocks from liberals who wanted to give them every single civil liberty of US citizens and all protections of the Geneva Conventions (this ignores that little point that the Geneva Convention only applies to those in uniform, and the uniform clause was put in there specifically to prevent the major kind of terrorism that these terrorists were engaged in.  The Geneva Convention wanted to set rules that you will fight in certain ways, or we will not guarantee your safety in the least and you’re on your own.  To offer this scum those protections only encourages the kind of behavior you don’t want to encourage…but there again we go back to Obama and other leftist). And their lack of understanding of all rules and regulaions, laws, constitution, etc.

And an earlier part of the conversation dealt with the foolish idea that Gitmo is something that makes us enemies…yeah cause our drone attacks are making us so many friends (I don’t buy into the pacifist BS that the drones do nothing but kill innocent children, I’m an adult and realize there is such a thing as unintended collateral damage…but on the same token Barry is rather haphazard in his use of drones and doesn’t seem to care about doing the normal thing and trying to limit collateral damage where possible).  But back to creating enemies. It’s not creating more enemies.  Religious psychopaths tend to hate whether they have a reason to or not.  Note they hated us before the first Gulf War, they hated us before the Shah was put into power, the Mufti of Jerusalem was conspiring with Hitler on how to kill all the Jew in the 1930’s before there was a major Western presence, they have waged endless and constant war on the west since, well, their founding. When you found a religion on an act of genocide (the killing of the Jews of Medina) the after effects tend to be people who find enemies whether you give them a reason or not.  If we pulled out every Western base from the Middle East tomorrow AND moved all of Israel here to America…I’d lay down my entire net worth on a bet that would say they would still be calling for death to the Great Satan.  We’re not making enemies by our actions, an ideology that hates reason is going to find any example of it as an enemy.

The fact of the matter is that no sane person thinks the people in Gitmo are a bunch of saints.  The fact of the matter is that liberals only care about what’s popular now and doing what they want now with no concern for long term.

Yeah Bush botched the job at rebuilding…probably because he wasn’t a real neoconservative (go back to the Bush/Gore debates, you will hear him say he doesn’t believe in nation building), it’s just that like his liberal sensibilities he did the only thing that made sense in the short term.  The fact of the matter is that we don’t have anyone in power right now in this nation who thinks long term, and we haven’t had one for a while (although we did blow the chance to have one very recently).  I’ve pulled out Bill Schulz  as the representative of liberal thought here, but you hear dumb shit like this all over the place, not just on the token liberal of one show, and it is an ideology of short term thinking that will always lead to problems.

*Honestly, libertarians, why are you letting your party get taken over by the whiny anti-war crowd. You used to be Ayn Rand and Barry Goldwater types who encouraged destroying tyranny.  What happened?

**Libertarians may dispute the idea that they don’t see as far into the future as conservatives, but history backs up neoconservatives on this point in terms of foreign policy

***Anyone who thinks George W. —Let me expand entitlements, give federal control of education, sign stimulus bills, not worry about Tort reform, Social Security reform, cutting any part of the government, do nothing about Fannie and Freddie –Bush was a fiscal conservative in any way, shape, or form is deluding themselves.  But he lowered taxes!  No he didn’t, conservatives know that a temporary tax reduction has no lasting effect on the economy, so even that move wasn’t conservative.   The man was conservative only in the part of “conservative” that is a gross misuse of the word and that the GOP needs to drop, let’s the use government to promote social values.

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Filed under Afghanistan, Conservative, Evils of Liberalism, Foreign Policy, Government is corrupt, Government is useless, Israel, liberal arrogance, NeoConservative, politics, Tyranny, War on Terrorism

Happy May Day! International Day of Celebrating Tyranny and Mass Murder.

So it’s May 1st the pagan holiday of Beltane.  If you celebrate, hope you have a wonderful day.

But more people know this day as May Day.  The international day of Communism and Socialism.  Over 100 Million dead!

TheBlackBookofCommunismLet’s take at the death toll of government that brought us gulags, killing fields, the resurgence of crucifixion (yes, the Chinese crucified Tibetan monks and dissidents).  Forced labor, controlled famines, repression…the death toll is, according the obscenely well researched book The Black Book of Communism: Crime, Terror, and Repression edited by Stepane Courtois puts the number of all Communist/Marxist (where religion is always persecuted and outlawed) at about 100 million dead. Now you could say it’s unfair that I just use the number the book lists and not say some Marxist tripe historian who probably put the number under 10 million…well I deal in reality and the fact that some historians have called the 100 Million estimate “too conservative,” I think I’m safe with sticking with that number.  But please go on, tell me that Communists have not killed millions.

So please remember if you see someone celebrating today for political reasons remember they are celebrating murder.  Don’t worry about them though, karma catches up with everyone (sometimes not in this life, but it always comes through).  But feel free to remind them they are reveling in death and torture.

Communism Deathcommunism posterSocialismCapitalism and Freedom

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Filed under Capitalism, Economics, Evils of Liberalism, Government is corrupt, Individualism, People Are Stupid, philosophy, politics

Ron Paul is championing home schooling…God help us all…

I think we are all very happy that Rand has not inherited his father's raving lunacy.

I think we are all very happy that Rand has not inherited his father’s raving lunacy.

I believe so strongly in the homeschooling movement that I have just announced my own curriculum for homeschooling families. Please visit this revolutionary new project at http://www.ronpaulcurriculum.com.–Ron Paul on the-free-foundation.org

Ron Paul is championing home schooling.

 

Usually I would say this is a good thing.  Homeschooling can be one of the most rewarding forms of education around (so long as the parents are involved and also willing to put in the time and effort needed).  For instance I always recommend The Well-Trained Mind: A Guide to Classical Education at Home by Susan Wise Bauer for anyone considering homeschooling… it is a reasoned, balanced, and in depth curriculum for homeschooling that stresses critical thinking and reading primary sources.

And at first glance the program Ron Paul is pushing seems to be that…what with things like:

  • It should be an academically rigorous curriculum that is tied to primary source documents — not textbooks. Textbooks are screened by committees. They dumb down the material.

  • If your child completes the entire curriculum — which runs from K through 12 — here is what he or she should be able to do, again quoting.

  • Speak in public and speak confidently

  • Write effectively

But then you see things like:

“It should provide a thorough understanding of Austrian school economics.”

And I think as a Chicago school monetarist, isn’t that just as bad as Keynesian indoctrination…maybe teach them Keynesian, Chicago, and Austrian principles and trust that reason will work…(and then I remember that if we’re trusting reason, that would lead them to the Chicago school, and those Austrians can’t have any of that).

But it gets worse….

  • It should teach the Biblical principle of self-government and personal responsibility, which is also the foundation of the free market economy.

Ummm… am I the only one that remembers the self-government things can more be traced to Athens, and Aristotle, and the Enlightenment?  Certainly many of the ethics of the Bible lead to the ethics or capitalist democratic-republics…but the Bible wasn’t enough for republican limited government—there were other parts involved.

So this leads one to take a closer look at the person actually in charge of the project that Ron Paul is championing?  Well on the page of instructors is this guy named Gary North.

And this is where it gets fun.  And by “fun,” I mean unspeakably terrifying.  I pulled this quote off of Gary North’s own web side, garynorth.com

So let us be blunt about it: we must use the doctrine of religious liberty to gain independence for Christian schools until we trak up a generation of people who know that there is no religious neutrality, no neutral law, no neutral education, and no neutral civil government. Then they will get busy in constructing a Bible-based social, political, and religious order which finally denies the religious liberty of the enemies of God. Murder, abortion, and pornography will be illegal. God’s law will be enforced. It will take time. A minority religion cannot do this. Theocracy must flow from the hearts of a majority of citizens, just as compulsory education came only after most people had their children in schools of some sort. But religious anarchy, like  “democratic freedom” in ancient Greece, is a temporary phenomenon; it lasts only as long as no single group gets sufficient power and accepted authority to abandon the principle.

I’m going to give you a few seconds to re-read that.  Several times.  Because I’m sure you’re thinking he can’t actually be advocating a complete theocracy that will destroy all opposing religions.  But yes, yes he is. This guy wants a Christian Caliphate to wipe out all the non-Christians.  This guy makes Sarah Palin and Rick Santorum’s rhetoric look stable (I’m not sure if Ricky is stable, I suspect he may be in favor of this, but at least he has the good sense not to say it aloud).  Gary North is the psycho-Christian that the entire left thinks all Republicans are.  This is the Taliban of Christianity.

And this is the guy Ron Paul wants to create a home schooling system for the next generation.

Take a moment to think about this.  If the Paulbots had had their way, Gary North might have been Secretary of Education.  Even though Ron Paul never stood a serious chance, that he even came as close as he did, that should scare the shit out of you.

Now what is more frightening is when you consider how many Paulbots there are who follow the word of their master blindly (I mean they overlooked the racism and the anti-Semitism).  We have enough issues in this nation trying to fight the left without also having to fight blindly following groups of libertarian-theocrats (yes I know, those terms should be opposed to each other just on the face of it, but let’s be honest here, in real life, people are a mass of contradiction).  Think of it Paulbots, but now they’re also motivated by religious fervor—if this gets any traction, it is possible it could be more insane than Westboro.

I’m not saying everything this man is going to put out is wrong, nor should homeschooling not be considered if you have the time and resources…but I don’t think anyone should blindly follow whatever program Ron Paul and Gary North put out.

Ron Paul is brining his insanity to education

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Filed under Anti-Semitism, Education, God, Long Term Thinking, Teaching