Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Why The Left Hates Faith-Based Initiatives

     The recent struggle that a Cincinnati, Ohio faith-based homeless shelter has been made to endure by the Housing and Urban Development cabal, is illustrative of the Lefts distaste for persons of faith, especially, it seems, the Christian faith. The desire on the part of Democrats and others on the Left to mitigate or even eliminate Christianity from daily participation in the charitable works that have been a part of this country since its founding, has been obvious and forcefully imposed in recent years. The reason for the Lefts unyielding attempt to beat down the necessary growth of faith in this country is twofold.
     First, the Lefts entire being, spiritually, physically, and intellectually (to the extent that they have an intellect) is fully dedicated to growing both the size and authority of government, and the number and intensity of dependence by the American public. Religious charities are widely known to be more efficient in helping the poor and disadvantaged, with a majority of them being in the ninety percentile of efficiency. The government-run charities like welfare, Medicaid, food stamps, and others are only about twenty percent efficient. That means that someone participating in a program run by a faith-based organization has a 70% greater chance of actually being helped.
     The second reason for the Lefts malice towards faith-based charity is that it actually has the goal of empowering participants to stand on their own. The exact opposite goal is in effect with government programs. Their purpose is to keep participants weak so that the need for government in their lives never shrinks, but only grows. Leftists see the efficaciously administered faith-based programs that make participants stronger as competition to their ubiquitous government programs that only enrich the bureaucrats who administer them, and create a permanent voting block for the politicians who support them.
     The Democrat party and others on the Left are disingenuous when they claim that faith-based initiatives violate the manufactured concept of separation of church and state. The Leftists who have actually taken the time to read the Constitution of the United States realize that the First Amendment guarantees the "free exercise of religion." And restricts the federal government from "establishing" a national faith to be adhered to by all citizens. The Left seems hell bent on ignoring the free exercise clause of the First Amendment.
     But the smoke screen of separation of church and state, which no one will ever find in the Constitution, obscures and obfuscates the fact that there is no constitutional basis for the government conducting charity with taxpayers' money. Of the specific enumerated powers that the Constitution grants the federal government, not one can be construed to sanction the forcible redistribution of funds by government from one citizen to another. I have always found it to be the height of hypocrisy that the Democrats who support these redistributive programs give the least amount of money and time to charity themselves. This according to Arthur Brooks' book Who Really Cares?
     The outcome of government charity is the death of the individuals self-worth, initiative, and hope. These things are all outcomes of deliberation rather than ignorance by the big government Democrats who continually feed the beast of government dependence. But the core reason that faith-based charity works, and government charity does not, is because those who operate the faith-based organizations acknowledge that they are simply being the hands of God on earth. The politicians who profit from government charity think of themselves as gods, with no higher power existing on earth than their model of government that confiscates wealth from some, redistributes it to others, and skims a healthy percentage directly into the pockets of the political class. 

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Donald Sterling's Remarks And The Lefts Phony Outrage

     Not being a basketball fan, or really much of a sports fan at all, until the last few days I had no idea who Donald Sterling was. But even not knowing a lick about the decades-long Los Angeles Clippers owner, once the news broke about racist remarks he made in a phone call when he did not know he was being taped by his ex-girlfriend, I immediately knew he was a Democrat. The absence of his party affiliation in main stream news reports about his comments was typical behavior by a media that goes out of its way to report the political affiliation of those on the Right when they are caught in negative behavior, and the total lack of interest in such party alliances when the offender is anyone on the Left.
      The racist remarks by Mr. Sterling are equaled in their disgusting nature only by the manufactured outrage by those on the Left, especially in the world of sports. Holding the title of longest standing owner of an NBA team, Mr. Sterling's attitudes and bigotry was well known throughout his industry. Even those outside the industry of professional basketball knew of his racism, and yet it was ignored, even by the NAACP who just recently were going to bestow him with a lifetime achievement award. And what was his lifetime achievement in promoting the advancement of blacks? He gave a sizable donation to the organization.
     I do not share Mr. Sterling's feelings on race. However the real intolerability of this affair is the reaction by a Left wing that encourages racism with a wink and a nudge in private when it is proffered by their rich donors or political elite, and then engage in artificial disgust when such behavior is made public.
     Sometimes the Left can not even be bothered to manufacture phony outrage over racist comments uttered by their political royalty. Such was the case when Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said Barack Obama was special because he could seamlessly slip into a negro dialect when he had to. Or when Joe Biden said of Barack Obama, that in him the Democrat party finally had a clean, articulate black man running for president. Or when Bill Clinton, in trying to convince Ted Kennedy to swing his support from Barack Obama to Hillary, said to the late Senator that a few years ago Obama would have been serving them their coffee.
      The race whores in the Race Industrial Complex wasted no time jumping on Mr. Sterling's remarks to further their flailing electoral chances with a public that is growing weary of their destructive policies. The madam of the race industry's house of ill repute, Barack Obama, even took time out from his Asian tour to comment on the remarks of a private citizen back home. Mr. Obama is hard pressed and tight-lipped when it involves standing up against the evils of radical Islamic terrorism, but is quick to jump on the bus of racial divisiveness and ride it to the slaughterhouse of political advantage.     
     President Obama and his waning-in-support Democrat party are worried about polling that shows a lack of voting interest among their core constituencies of minorities and single women. So in these months before the mid-term elections this Fall, Americans can look forward to being pummeled with the dual mallets of race-baiting and The War on Women rhetoric. The speciousness of the Lefts reaction to the Donald Sterling comments are just the first salvo in what is sure to be a long and distasteful Democrat campaign to keep control of the United States Senate.

Monday, April 28, 2014

What Is A Patriot?

     Within the ether that is our political debate of the modernity of American life, patriotism is given as the justification for both liberty and tyranny. It is essential, therefore, that those who defend the honor of liberty, be as honorable as the noble ideal that they seek to propagate. Emotionally unbridled patriotism can, and has, been used to inflict great harm on free nations throughout history, replacing the tyranny of oppression with the tyranny of anarchy. The chains of oppression can be broken, or made stronger, with the use or misuse of patriotism, respectively.
     In the context of traditional American patriotism, the patriot loves his country and the ethos of liberty, equally. The true patriot exhibits as much desire to control his passion as he has to control the tide of tyranny. The most powerful weapons available to the patriot are not those weapons made by the hands of men, but the gifts of reason and temperance given by God. The patriot chooses his words carefully to maximize the force of his argument in support of liberty.
      The patriot argues for the cause of liberty with respect and honor, not with invective and acrimony. There is no greater recruitment tool for the followers of tyranny than the maelstrom of unhinged patriotism that finds itself in the downward spiral of raw emotion. Ronald Reagan was successful in inculcating the feelings of patriotism in his fellow Americans, not through the rants of a madman, but through the reasoned articulation worthy of the sanctity of liberty.
     A patriot abhors violence and armed conflict as much as he does tyranny and oppression. He does not take lightly the use of physical force, or enter into it gleefully guided by misdirected passion. The always present option of that force comes to fruition only after the culmination of all efforts of civilized debate and constitutional instruments have been exhausted. The patriot does not go joyfully into the arena of armed battle, and goes regrettably only when the tenets of authoritarianism have suffocated all other options of a self-governed people.
     A patriot loves the Rule of Law as much as he detests the tyranny of an oppressive government. He submits himself to that law, no matter how unjust he thinks it is, until such a time that he can dispense with it through the means of representative government. And he only turns to the battle of arms over intellect when the last vestiges of his representation have been buried under the mountain of totalitarianism.
     A patriot engages in the constant and necessary examination of his motivations and actions in the cause of liberty, as much as he questions the probity of the authoritarian actions of his government. He does not allow his actions to define the cause of liberty, but seeks to have the cause of liberty define his actions. A patriot studies the Constitution and finds the instruments to aid him in his struggle against oppression within that sacred document. He does not predetermine his actions based on emotion, then find justification for them within the founding documents of this great and free nation.
     In the final analysis, the American patriot does not bow to crassness by constantly calling himself a patriot to others, but elevates the spirit of patriotism in others through his behavior. His patriotism is judged as much by his inaction as by his action, his silence as by his words, and his reason as by his passion. There is no greater threat to the patriot heart than letting it be filled with rage and hate, blinding it to the true light of liberty that comes as a gift from God to his humble servants.

Saturday, April 26, 2014

Obama Gives Away America, One Tree At A Time

     President Obama made a speech this week in South Korea in which he proffered to the Korean people the heartfelt sympathy of the American people for the loss of life as a result of the recent  ferry tragedy. That part of the President's presentation was totally appropriate. However, I found it a little more than symbolic of this administration, and this president's radical ideology and world view, that he had an historic magnolia tree uprooted from its century-long home on the White House lawn, and shipped to the Korean school from where many of the ferry tragedy's victims came.
     I call it symbolic of Barack Obama's world view because in addition to redistributing America's wealth throughout the world, he apparently is now redistributing our national historical trees. Do not mistake this gesture of ostensible sympathy for what it really is, a lessening of those things important to the very history of this country. President Obama has been very deliberate in mitigating the importance of America's past prior to his election as its redeemer and savior. A past he sees as imperial and corrupt.
     Another recent Obama administration foray into the disbursement of America, is the redistribution of the very sovereignty of this great nation. The Obama White House, through the Department of Homeland Security, has proposed new rules for the deportation of illegal aliens, which essentially eliminates that legal remedy all together. The president and his administration say this a more humane policy towards those who have broken our laws to illegally breech our borders.
     The idea that children of illegals born in this country are bestowed with U.S. citizenship by virtue of the 14th amendment, has been challenged by legal and constitutional scholars who point out that the 14th amendment clearly states that the conferee of citizenship must be under the jurisdiction of the United States of America. A person who is in this country illegally, is hardly under its jurisdiction. Besides which, the 14th amendment says nothing about the parents of such a child being given special privileges to stay in this country under the manufactured practice of "anchor babies."
     The new Homeland Security policy dilutes U.S. citizenship and spreads it so thinly as to apply not only to those in this country illegally, but I suppose in the very near future to those living elsewhere in the world who wish to come here illegally. The president, without the constitutional permission or input from congress, has decriminalized illegal immigration. Once a nation has lost its sovereignty, one citizenship at a time, it becomes less a nation and more a collection of disparate persons with no single identity, or even a rule of law to unite them. The act of the president deforesting the nation, literally and figuratively, is no more evident than in his lending the weight of his office to the practice of illegal immigration.

Friday, April 25, 2014

Republicants Warm To Idea Of ObamaCare Lite

     There are two cases soon to be before the Supreme Court of the United States having to do with ObamaCare. The first is a challenge to providing subsidies to persons in states that did not setup their own exchanges, the subsidies being in violation of the law itself. The second is a challenge to the whole law based on revenue bills having to originate in the House of Representatives per the Constitution of the United States of America. As we all know, Justice Roberts twisted himself, and the law in question, into a pretzel to call the penalty for not having insurance a tax. Making the law a revenue bill originating in the Senate, therefore unconstitutional.
     If you are looking for you local or national Republicant representative to make the American people aware of these two issues, do not, I repeat, do not hold your breath. In fact I heard a radio interview with Tennessee Republicant Senator, Lamar Alexander, who all but acquiesced to government-run health care of some kind, while explaining the Republicants' plan. Mr. Alexander, and apparently many other Republicants in the United States Congress who took an oath to defend and protect the Constitution, have decided that what is needed for the nation's health care industry is a form of ObamaCare Lite.
     According to the new ObamaCare plan outlined by Senator Alexander, the federal government would allow Americans to have more choice of plans with lower deductibles than the current ObamaCare. The idea that Republicants would abandon the fight to fully repeal the unconstitutional law, and instead opt to tinker around its edges, is anathema to the concept of smaller, less intrusive government. But then I have become convinced in recent years that most of the Washington Republicant establishment elite support the concept of larger government, as long as that larger government is controlled by them.
     Mr. Alexander is illustrative of what happens to our representatives the longer they stay in Washington. They lose sight of the line that should be drawn between the private and public sectors, and believe that the public sector holds the solution to every problem in the private sector. It is what transpired in the mortgage industry, with Democrat social-engineering of housing becoming not only palatable to Republicants, but participated in by many of them as well.
     I would like to ask Mr. Alexander if he actually subscribes to the idea that the federal government should be providing choice in health care insurance, or if that choice should come vis a vis a vibrant and free market? Or have Republicants in Washington acquiesced to big government over free market principles? The enormity of courage it requires to do the right thing in the face of constant barrages of criticism, is what makes conservatism the path traveled by those who possess manly traits as opposed to the carefree and unprincipled path traveled by Democrats. Apparently many of our Republicant representatives in Congress have decided to skip down the yellow brick road of authoritarian government, arm-in-arm with their Democrat counterparts. Leaving a large swathe of freedom-loving Americans with no representation in congress, no choice in their own health care, and no support in stemming the tide of an evermore obese federal government and an evermore anorexic citizen.

Thursday, April 24, 2014

America's Regulatory Nightmare

     I recall growing up in the 1970s and hearing stories about the old Soviet Union, and other totalitarian societies. The characteristics of those cultures that made the biggest impression on me, I guess because they were so far removed from the operations of my own country, were lack of supply and lack of work ethic. In the Soviet Union, it could take a person months to receive a part for their car, and then weeks after that for the mechanic to install it. The old saying in the Soviet Union was, "They pretend to pay us, and we pretend to work."
     I never thought that ethos would take hold of my free country and transform it into a society that exhibits the same behaviors as ones ruled by totalitarians. But it is happening right in front of our eyes. Many of the vendors I deal with in my job do not return phone calls because they are swamped, and can not hire more people because of the cost of ObamaCare and other federal regulations. And even when they call back, the part I need must be ordered because no one keeps much inventory anymore.
     The hallmark of an authoritarian society is government control of the means of production. In the old Soviet Union and other authoritarian regimes, that meant owning the businesses outright. Our Leftist government figured out that they can control the means of production through mountains of regulations. Just last year alone the Obama administration added 75,000 pages of new regulations to the Federal Registry. And even that gargantuan pile of regulations was less than the over 80,000 pages added in the administration's busiest year, 2010.
     The effect in dollars of all those regulations is enormous. Each new government regulation costs the economy in some way, and of course costs taxpayers in added expense for the government bureaucracy to administer them. Growth is stifled and smothered by the burden businesses have to bear in complying with government edicts. In some industries, the time spent in compliance activities matches or exceeds time spent on the actual business functions. The superfluity of regulations imposed by the Obama administration in the last 5 years, has been responsible for the longest sustained stagnation in the U.S. economy since the Great Depression of the 1930s.
     But the more sublime effect of America's regulatory nightmare is the crushing of the human spirit. There is a growing lack of prowess and concern in the minds of many workers with the way in which they perform their jobs. This behavior is easily witnessed with the all too regular lack of customer service received in more and more businesses throughout this country. Much of it is a result of a younger generation that has had no instruction in the traditional American work ethic. But even among older workers, the hopelessness of an over burdensome government has zapped the hope for a brighter tomorrow.
     The creation of government regulations for the sake of giving control of corporate America to politicians who know nothing about those businesses, is like the build up of sludge in a car's engine, Over time it inhibits the performance, and eventually will lead to that engine grinding to a halt. We must eliminate the sludge of federal regulations from the economic engine of the United States before a majority of us just "pretend to work" for an authoritarian regime that "pretends to pay us." 

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Supreme Court Gets This One Right

     This week, the Supreme Court upheld the state of Michigan's ban on Affirmative Action as a means of providing racial preference to students entering its universities. Justice Sotomayor, the wisest Latina woman in the world, dissented from the majority opinion of the court by making the incomprehensible comparison of it to the Jim Crow laws that Democrats passed in the South to discriminate against blacks. Proving once again that the Left is incapable, either by true ignorance or by deliberate purpose, to distinguish between race-based discrimination and race-based preference.
    The discriminatory practice of Affirmative Action was actually, and unfortunately, started by a Republicant, Richard M. Nixon. President Nixon formulated the Philadelphia Order, which gave preference to blacks based on race when companies filled construction positions. The goal was to stem the practice of some companies that refused to hire black workers based solely on their race. That "experiment" in Philadelphia morphed into federal policy over the years to become the largest government-sanctioned discrimination practice in history.
     One can hardly expect to solve discrimination against one group by transferring it to another. But as per usual in the Leftist ethos, advantage is not given to the most industrious or qualified, but a member of the victim class that belongs to the Democrat voting cabal. Preference for blacks based solely on their skin color should be as abhorrent to any decent minded person as discrimination against blacks based on skin color. But the Left daily pays disrespect to the brilliant and heartfelt words of the Reverend Martin Luther King, who lived and died to promote the ideal of "every man being judged by the content of his character, not the color of his skin."
     Those on the Left turn the Reverend King's dream upside down, and 180 degrees out of phase, by wanting blacks and others to receive preferential treatment based not on the content of their character, but the color of their skin, ethnicity, sex, or any other physical attribute the Left can use to assign victim status. Once assigned and accepted, the victim group must then be "helped" by bigger government and more bureaucrats being hired at taxpayer expense to ensure "fairness."
     The real tragedy is that the evidence has shown that racial preference practices like Affirmative Action have actually hurt those they intended to help, as well as those not belonging to an elite victim group. Democrats have disadvantaged blacks through social programs that have destroyed their families, encouraged out-of-wedlock births, and taught their young men the ways of thuggery and irresponsibility. The solution, Democrats postulate, is then to create bigger government programs like Affirmative Action to help those they have disadvantaged, and the cycle continues.
     This week's Supreme Court decision is a small step in the right direction towards the Reverend King's dream of every man being judged on his own merit, and not by the color of his skin or ethnicity. A society and culture which encourages industry in the individual, and rewards the excellence of results, regardless of physical attributes, is inherently the fairest, most decent, and diverse system.    

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Renaming Earth Day

     Today is "Earth Day," the time when arrogant Leftists try to spread their delusional thinking that the planet somehow needs them to survive, instead of the other way around, to as many unsuspecting persons as possible. They don their hemp clothing, fill their cloth shopping bags with "natural" snacks and bottled water, then head to their local celebration. The object of "Earth Day" is to make the attendees feel a twisted sense of superiority over those who do not attend, because the non-attendees obviously do not care about "Mother Earth" as much as those who slip on some disgusting sandals, tie-dye tee shirts, put their children into a cloth wagon, and stumble to the altar of human arrogance and hubris like some envirozombies.
     "Earth Day"  should be renamed "Brutally murder your girlfriend and stuff her lifeless body into a trunk---day," because that is exactly what the founder of Earth Day, Ira Einhorn, did to Holly Maddux. Ira fled the country, and with financial support from the Hollywood Left, managed to escape justice for 25 years. The Ira Einhorn story is educative of the total moral void that exists among the Left. Because on the Left, it does not matter what sort of heinous crime you commit, as long as you recycle, all your sins are forgiven.
     The church of Leftism requires of its members no strict moral code or adherence to a set of principles or values, only belief in their manufactured crises and sacraments of death. Not only the death of unwanted children, but the death of common sense, natural law, reason, and probity. The modern day environmental cult is exemplary of my preceding statement insomuch as it is not based on any science, but on politics and ideology.
      I do not know, maybe old Ira was trying to help "Mother Earth" by keeping the population to a minimum, starting with eliminating his girlfriend. And maybe those Hollywood elites that supported him on the lamb all those years he was living it up in Europe, thought that the life of one girl was insignificant compared to the continued freedom of the creator of "Earth Day." And maybe all those envirozombies that make their pilgrimage each year to "Earth Day" celebrations around the country are as ignorant of Ira's crime as they are of the lack of any scientific evidence to support their faith. Let others do as they may, I am going to "celebrate" Earth Day by going to work and thanking God, the creator of the earth, for his blessing of the resources and beauty he has bestowed upon us on every day.   

Monday, April 21, 2014

Vladimir's Strategy and His Hope for Its Continuation

     Ever since Viktor Yanukovych fled Kiev, Ukraine for Russia as a result of the pro-European Union protests which made the continuation of his pro-Russian administration untenable, Vladimir Putin has been one step ahead of the West. In fact, I would surmise that the Russian president has been five or six steps ahead of the obtuse and arrogant U.S. president and other leaders in the "international community." During the last few months, the world has witnessed an escalation of the crisis, not a move towards reconciliation. This is exactly what Mr. Putin seeks. While he talks resolution, his small units of special operations experts have been ginning up unrest and violence.
     In the war strategy of old, a country would muster as many troops as it could against its enemy, rush across its border, and aim to capture its capital city. But Vladimir Putin is on the path to taking more of Ukraine by employing a massive special ops apparatus, not the brute force of an army rushing across the border. His goal is to slice off bits of Ukraine's sovereignty in the fatty Russian-speaking East first, and slowing move his way into the meatier portions, and finally go right for the bone of the capital.
     And while Mr. Putin's special ops teams are fomenting unrest in the East, as they did in Crimea, the Russian president is denying any connection to the unrest, saying it has been locally grown. In fact, he looks like a democrat, supporting the Eastern Ukrainian people's right to have special elections to become autonomous and ostensibly join the Russian federation. He has slowly and brilliantly been making the case all along that while Russian troops have not been involved to this point, that could change if his fellow Russians living in Ukraine are threatened.
     The apparent violence over this past weekend at a checkpoint in Slavyansk, Ukraine is being called a "staged event" by the new government in Kiev. But the event, whether staged or not, is the new kind of warfare being waged in the 21st century. Putin is building his case for further Russian involvement, not based on any facts-on-the-ground that preexisted Russian involvement, but were a direct result of it. Russian speaking persons were never in any danger after the ouster of Yanukovych. But Vladimir Putin has been saying they are, and incidents like the one in Slavyansk will be used to justify his "protection" being employed for the benefit of such people.
     The world can expect a much more aggressive Russia in the next three years while Mr. Putin has the benefit of an enervated West, made so by the "leading from behind" United States president. But the Russian aggression will more likely take the form of the passive-aggressive strategy that the Russian president has employed in Ukraine, not full-force military invasion. It is my humble opinion that by the time Barack Obama leaves office in January of 2017, Eastern Ukraine, and perhaps even more than that, will be an accepted part of the Russian federation. Yes, Vladimir Putin is going to miss Barack Obama when his term is ended. But not to fear Mr. Putin, there is always the hope for a Hillary Clinton presidency and her big, red reset button.

Saturday, April 19, 2014

The Great Bundy Ranch Conspiracy

     This week giddiness must be running rampant inside the White House over the Bundy Ranch standoff. The Obama administration could not have orchestrated a better performance to support candidate Obama's 2008 statement about "bitter clingers," than the scene being broadcast to Americans from Nevada. When the Bundys climbed up on their horses with their firearms at the ready to repel the federal agents there to illustrate the heavy hand of government, they could not have played into the stereotype that the Left propagates about the South more unless they would have had barbecue sauce on their chins and black slaves in tow. A stereotype which has no merit, but is the Lefts favorite characterization of the South.
     The object of this post is not to re-litigate the two court decisions that were adjudicated against Mr. Bundy, or to question the Nevada state constitution which relinquished claim of the land in question to the federal government in 1864. Nor is my purpose to re-legislate the 1934 Taylor Grazing Act, which explicitly defined grazing permits as having no rights of either ownership of the land, or of unlimited rights to even graze said land by those who held such permits. I feel bad for the Bundy family, whose previous generations labored under a false assumption of non-existent rights to the land they used to graze their cattle. A false assumption they bequeathed to their descendants.
     What Barack Obama the community organizer knew, was that if he sent federal bullies to the Bundy ranch he would elicit a response from the Bundys like the one he got. Having the agents back off made the Bundys look like the aggressors in the minds of a large swathe of an uniformed American public. If this was a planned response by the administration, it would be part and parcel to the Saul Alinsky tactic of marginalizing political opponents. And what better way for the Obama administration, and the tyrannical Left, to gain support among the non-gun owner population of this nation, than to have a group of armed cowboys confront and repel federal agents from federal lands? Whether those lands are legitimately owned by the federal government or not.
     One has to wonder why the Obama administration has not charged the Bundys with sedition, having taken up arms against the United States government. It is because the spectacle of armed militias guarding federal lands to keep out federal agents on the evening news, is more politically advantageous to President Obama than video of God-fearing people being forcibly removed and put in handcuffs.
     There is no greater proponent of smaller, less intrusive government than me, anyone who has read my past posts would know this. But far from making the case for smaller government, the Bundy standoff has, in the opinion of the politically uninvolved American public, made the case for just the opposite argument. Liberty implores and requires her defenders to make her case with level heads and reasoned arguments, not by taking up arms against the United States government.
     I know that I am in the minority in Conservative circles with my opinion. But I fail to see what the end game is of armed confrontation with federal agents. It will not serve to make things right in the minds of the Bundys or generate sympathy among most Americans for their case. I would like to ask a question of those who seem intent on securing liberty through armed conflict with our government. If by some miracle you were successful, what then? Do you then make Hollywood bend to your will at the point of a gun, or the news media, or educators? Are you not just substituting a tyranny you despise for one you do not? And in so doing, do you not enervate the cause of liberty and give fodder to the Obama cannons of an even more restrictive government?
     Our founders fought a war to secure the rights of a free people. But they also implemented a brilliant and divinely inspired Constitution so that future battles for our freedom would exist within the context of the public square, two chambers of congress, and the intellectual pursuit of winning the minds and hearts of the populace. To take up arms while the mechanisms of the Constitution are, admittedly worn and abused, but not yet exhausted, would be a sin against common sense, reason, and that very document we claim to want to protect.

Friday, April 18, 2014

Fringe Right Hurts The Cause Of Liberty ?

     This past week I have been corresponding with some of the fringe elements of the Right through Face Book. It is an ideology which seeks to protect the Constitution of the United States of America by using the same thug tactics that the Left uses to supplant that document with their own form of "freedom." While the Lefts version of "freedom" is constructed of bigger government that supplies an ever longer list of free stuff, the fringe Rights' version of "freedom" is constructed of no government and armed rebellion to bring it about. I have been unfriended by Neanderthal "fringies" who will tolerate nothing less than their own words regurgitated back to them. They are not interested in facts or data, and as such are much like the Left that they say they abhor.
     Intellect being the better part of perspicacity, the fringe Right would do well to read the constitution and not just simply use it as a symbol around which to rally the misguided troops. The only sane way in which to stem the tide of the bureaucratic tyranny practiced by federal agencies like the Bureau of Land Management, and hundreds more, is by employing the instruments of redress prescribed by the Founders in the documents which form the basis of this nation. Any other method will destroy the very freedom the fringe Right claims to want to protect.
     As defenders of the Constitution we must elect leaders who will have the intestinal fortitude to purge the federal slate of the Leftist influence that permeates the government and destroys all the decent and moral concepts that were bequeathed us by our ancestors. It is going to take courage for these men to keep stabbing at the beast that has been created while being pummeled by media and Leftist politicians whose benefit it serves to keep the beast alive. Men like Ted Cruz, Mike Lee, Trey Goudy, et al. What we do not need are pretenders to the throne of liberty like Mitch McConnell, John McCain, Jeb Bush, and the rest of the "Hole In The Constitution Gang" that can not shoot straight when liberty and freedom beckons.
     The Left has been patient, and has brought this nation to the brink of tyranny over the last hundred years. We must be just as patient and diligent in pulling it back. Victory for liberty does not come in a neat little package of one stand off at a ranch in Nevada, or in the election of a "savior" for president. It may take decades to undo the damage done over the last hundred years. The ship of state is a massive vessel, and turning it around is not an easy or quick task. And the only president of the last hundred years that shrank the federal government during his tenure was Calvin Coolidge. So the massive intrusion of government into the lives of the citizen did not begin with Barack Obama, it has traversed this last century and has taken up residence in Republicant administrations as well as Democrat ones.
     The fringe elements on the Right would suggest through their behavior and words, as well as their unwillingness to be intellectually honest enough to admit to information that contradicts their goals, that it is not liberty for which they struggle, but anarchy. And anarchy is more closely related to tyranny than it is to liberty. I had a vision last night that Woodrow Wilson was smiling and Ronald Reagan was crying. The former because his progressive dream was becoming a reality, and the latter because his life in the service of liberty is quickly coming to nothing because of those on the Left who wish to oppress a free nation, and those on the fringe Right who seem to want to usher in an age of nihilistic anarchy that is just as dangerous.    

Thursday, April 17, 2014

U.S. Stock Market, Modern Day Nero

     Roman mythology says that first century Roman emperor Nero was so oblivious that he played his fiddle while Rome burned. The recent behavior of the stock market is reminiscent of Nero's obtuseness. But instead of ignoring a city in flames, those in the market have ignored economic data that would need an extension ladder just to rise to the level of mediocrity, corporate earnings that can barely jump the hurdle of the market's lowest expectations, and a brewing civil war in Ukraine orchestrated by Vladimir Putin.
     The market has reached new highs even as the economy makes its obvious lurch towards recession. This slowdown is not only evidenced by the economic data that is worst than last year at this time, which was no great shakes even then, but by companies reporting first quarter results that, even when they meet lowered expectations for earnings, have missed on revenues. And even companies who have met expectations on both earnings and revenue, have not, for the most part, met their previous year's sales. Of the nation's three biggest banks, JP Morgan Chase, Bank of America, and Citigroup, the two former missed even the lowered expectations for earnings, and Citigroup barely eked out a mediocre performance.
     Author Michael Lewis recently penned a tome called, "Flash Boys," in which he surmises that the stock market is rigged by high frequency traders. High frequency traders are those who ply their trade in the milliseconds between when an order for a stock purchase is made and when it is filled on the exchange. They use high powered computers near the exchanges, and even higher powered mathematical algorithms to intercept these trades and make fractions of a penny on millions of shares, thousands of times a day.
     The market is rigged, not by high frequency traders, but by the big money players. That is why the market no longer responds to economic data or corporate earnings like it should. Instead, the market is like a marionette, having its strings pulled by the likes of Warren Buffet and others who control its direction. When the Federal Reserve's insanely low interest rates for the last 6 years, and their quantitative easing program which has pumped three trillion dollars into the market, is added to the mix of big money players, the market becomes a rigged game, no more honest than a street level version of Three Card Monty.  
     The mid and low level brokers who are successful, do not acquire that success through studying market fundamentals and corporate earnings, but through following the money flows of the "Big Guys." In  other words, what drives the market is the old adage, "Follow the money." And while the "Rome" of our economy and the stability of geopolitical relationships "burn," the Neros in the market continue to "fiddle," oblivious to anything but driving stocks higher simply because they can.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Bundy Ranch Post-Part II

     When I began writing this blog I promised myself that I would try to maintain the highest level of intellectual honesty, complimented by the Conservative principles in which I believe. And so my post yesterday about Cliven Bundy's standoff with the Feds over grazing rights on federal land, was written from the perspective of a clinical assessment of Mr. Bundy's actions as they relate to the law. I really shook up a hornets nest with my comments. I received the usual disagreements, but was also called a Liberal for not supporting armed conflict with our government, and a Nazi for not whole-heartily supporting the actions of Mr. Bundy and his followers.
     First, let me state that I am aware of the facts. I understand that Mr. Bundy and his ancestors have been using the land in question for over 140 years to graze their cattle. I also understand that the federal government, through the Bureau of Land Management, has been using ranchers' grazing fees, not to maintain the land, but to buy out ranchers to gobble up their property. Just to set the record straight, I also understand what a dirty, low-life Harry Reid is, although there is no evidence in this case of a solar deal with the Chinese to be built on the current grazing land used by the Bundys.   
     There are some things I do not know. I do not know what other remedies Mr. Bundy took other than to discontinue paying his grazing fees. That action is somewhat analogous to me not agreeing with how my car registration dollars are being spent, and deciding not to pay them, but continuing to drive on public roads. I also do not know whether Mr. Bundy tried to remedy the situation with his representative in congress. Or if he did and was turned a deaf ear, why did he or one of his sons not run for that seat themselves. I am sure with the response they received at their standoff they would have received the same support for a congressional campaign in their district. After all, as I have been so bluntly reminded, this situation has been going on for some twenty years. Certainly in all that time, with the proper effort and tenacity, a political solution could have been found.
     I believe that Mr. Bundy and his fellow ranchers have been treated shabbily by the federal government. But shabby treatment does not give one the right to throw out the Rule Of Law. The very Rule Of Law that the Bundys say has been violated by the federal government. If each man can decide for himself which laws to obey and when, then society devolves into anarchy, and anarchy is tyranny's step-sister, and just as dangerous. The Founders knew this, that is why they created a nation of laws, not of men, and gave authority to make laws to the people's representatives in congress. Besides, how can we point the finger of blame at a lawless president, and have any credibility, when our four other fingers are pointing back at us to reveal our own lawlessness.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

A Rarity; I Find Myself On The Side Of The Feds

     One of the primary contentions that Conservatives like myself have with comprehensive immigration reform, i.e., amnesty, is that it violates the sacred principle of The Rule Of Law. Those on the Right who defend Nevada rancher, Cliven Bundy and his supporters, are in danger of drinking from the well of hypocrisy, precisely because their actions violate that same rule of law. Do not underestimate my impassioned fidelity to the Constitution of the United States of America, or my undying support for the personal liberty that is the very cornerstone of that most sacred document. But with all due respect to my fellow Conservatives who believe that Mr. Bundy is a poster child for government tyranny crushing the little guy, there is little chance of making that dog hunt.
     Cliven Bundy's family originally came to Nevada in the 1870s with the desire to ranch in the wide open spaces that were amenable to raising cattle. The federal government at the time wanted to encourage migration into the area, and the raising of cattle for both food and economic growth. To that end, the government allowed ranchers to graze their cattle on federal lands. As the Bureau of Land Management put more restrictions on the grazing rights of ranchers, instigated by the radical environmental Left, Mr. Bundy decided to stop paying his grazing fees. That was in 1993, and even though he refused to pay his fees, he continued to graze his cattle on federal lands.
     The federal government engaged in many legal actions in the last 20 years, which culminated with the  Bureau of Land Management attempting to physically remove Mr. Bundy's cattle from the federal lands this past weekend. The government agents were met with resistance in the form of armed men on horseback, who for some reason felt it was okay for Mr. Bundy not to pay his grazing fees and continue to use federal lands to feed his cattle.
     The federal government throughout the years, and most definitely in recent years, have overstepped the bounds of conscientious constitutional constancy and proper respect for personal liberty and property rights, the Bundy situation does not qualify as one of those. In other words, the government would have every right to remove my personal property from federal lands if I were to park a trailer there and refuse to pay the proper fees for doing so, and refused to remove it.
     Some of those on Right-Wing talk radio seem to have sympathy for the Bundy clan and their supporters, which I find extremely disheartening. It makes some on the Right look as though they are picking and choosing in which situations The Rule Of Law applies and which it does not. If Cliven Bundy, or anyone else for that matter, has a problem with a particular law, they have two choices. They can obey said law while attempting to change it through proper legal channels, or they can break the law and accept the consequences. Mr. Bundy seems to believe he is above these two options and can simply ignore the law. I am not particularly sanguine about buying license plates for my car, but I must obey the law or accept the consequences of driving with expired plates. And so it is with every law.
     For those who are celebrating the temporary victory by the Bundy Bullies, just remember that civilized society is secured by The Rule Of Law. If that law is excused for politicians, illegal immigrants, or even ranchers, then the fabric of society begins to unravel and deteriorate into anarchy and mob rule. This is not a concept that is compatible with conservatism, and it certainly is not a concept that exemplifies the better nature of the founding documents upon which this great nation was built.

Monday, April 14, 2014

I Say Do Not Replace Sebelius

     With last week's resignation of Kathleen "Billion Dollar Website" Sebelius as Secretary of Health and Human Services, the question is left severely begging, "Why replace her with anyone?" No one can make the argument that her position in the government would yield any worse results for the American people if it were just to be left empty. In fact, it was Jeane Kirkpatrick that said the "family is the original departments of health, education, and welfare." And therein lies the answer to this faltering, spinning into a degenerative oblivion country that had been the beacon of freedom, prosperity, and the rectitude of a family-centric culture compared to the oppressive disillusionment that is a government-centric one.
     When George Washington became our nation's first president, he appointed three cabinet positions at the level of Secretary. There was a Secretary of State, Secretary of the Treasury, and Secretary of war. These three positions, along with the Attorney General, comprised the president's entire cabinet. The current president's cabinet is occupied by almost two dozen advisors, fourteen of them holding positions at the level of Secretary. Each one of those Secretaries presides over their own little theifdoms called departments, each with tens or even hundreds of billions of dollars flowing into their budgets every year.
     Now some may make the argument that we have become a larger country and more diverse economy compared to the waning days of the 18th century when General Washington became our first executive. That is true, however, when the money flowing into these departments is spent mostly on union benefits for government workers, and the administration of the departments themselves, the wheels have most definitely fallen off the wagon of State. The department of education, for example, spends over 100 billion taxpayer dollars each year, and not one dime goes to hiring teachers, buying books, or anything else related to education. The dollars are sucked into the giant, gaping chasm of government bureaucracy like dirt into a shop vac.
     President Obama once said he wanted to cut the budget with a scalpel, not an ax. But the budget, which has grown to four trillion dollars, needs to be slashed with a chain saw to make any meaningful progress towards fiscal probity. Whole departments should be eliminated, beginning with the Department of Education, which has only consolidated union power and influence over our children and has lead to deterioration, not elevation, in the way in which our nation's schools educate our young. The Departments of Commerce and Agriculture are two others whose only purpose seems to be to dole out tax payer dollars in low interest government loans to victim groups for the former, and to an ever increasing base of food stamp recipients for the latter. What either of those activities have to do with commerce or agriculture is beyond the reasonable mind.
     Ronald Reagan once said that the closest thing we have to eternal life on this planet is a government program. And the cabinet-level departments in the federal government have grown into grotesque and bloated creatures whose only purpose is to push a politically correct agenda, and to feed its rapacious appetite for an ever larger pile of hard earned tax payer dollars. If the insanity of cabinet-level positions like Secretary of the Interior or Secretary of Labor are not reigned in, I fully expect that at some point in the not to distant future we will have a Secretary of Secretary, the ultimate in Orwellian big government double speak.

Saturday, April 12, 2014

The Law's Proper Place In A Free Society

     For most public servants of the past that served in congress and the White House, politics were the necessary means to a principled end. And while they may have actually enjoyed and excelled at the contest of political chess, their ultimate goal was to advance the cause of the people in the best ways possible. Barack Obama and most of Democrat party modernity sees politics as the end to its own means. They exist to destroy their political opposition, not debate them, and to grow government for its own propagation, not for the benefit of the governed.
     Since the Republicants won the 2010 mid-term elections, which gave them control of the House of Representatives in January of 2011, Democrats' favorite refrain has been to call them the "do nothing congress." They of course neglect the fact that Democrats control half of congress with their majority in the Senate, but then reality and truth has meant less and less to Democrats with each passing year. Republicants have tried to run away from this label, but should instead embrace it.
     The moniker of Do Nothing Congress is a compliment because the limited damage that may occur from congress doing nothing is far more preferable to the unlimited damage that congress can do by enacting bad legislation. To Witt: The Affordable Care Act, which has reached its tentacles of tyranny into every aspect of what was once the best health care industry in the world, and has set it on the path to becoming the equal of much more inferior health care systems throughout the world.
      With the literally hundreds of thousands of pages of legislation written by the Obama administration added to the existing Federal laws, the number is so great that academics, lawyers, and those in government have not even been able to accurately count them. One has to wonder why new laws are even passed. But then the answer to that question is self-evident: legislators who do not legislate are like clowns who do not wear rubber noses, colorful wigs, and big floppy shoes. Actually that is an image that is more apropos to those who have recently represented us in congress, especially in the Democrat party, than any performer at a circus or a child's birthday party.
     When a nation has burdened itself with so many laws that no one can even count them, then that nation ceases to be a nation of laws and becomes a nation for laws. And when liberty is strained under the yoke of such a burdensome amount of laws, she is made impotent in advancing the human condition, liberty being necessary to that task. Laws are a necessary cog in the wheel of a prosperous and free society, but when they become the only cog, it renders the wheel of that society useless. We can hardly survive as a free nation being smothered by draconian laws, both in scope and number.

Friday, April 11, 2014

The Whole Numbers Economy Replaced By Tenths

     Since the start of his administration, Barack Obama and his sycophants in the media and government have defended his failed policies by claiming that without them, things would have been worse. This circuitous logic stretches the reasonable mind into the oblivion of idiocy. The one has nothing to do with the other. Using the absence of the worse case scenario as a means to obfuscate the results of policies that are far below even the president's measures for them upon their implementation, is disingenuous at best and deliberately deceptive at worst. It is analogous to a child bringing home a report card with all F's and excusing it by saying, "Well I did not burn down the school."
     It has been breathtaking to witness the American people becoming evermore satisfied with lower and lower expectations from Barack Obama. Our whole numbers economy has been replaced with a tenths economy. Economic data that use to show improvement in whole numbers, now is considered worthy of record high stock prices when it moves only a tenth of a percent. And this five years into a recovery from a recession.
     You may have heard reports yesterday that the initial claims for unemployment benefits last week dropped to the lowest level in seven years, only 300 thousand claimed benefits for the first time. However, while the administration and some in the financial world crow about an "improving labor market," what they do not say is that first time claims are a corollary to the Labor Force Participation Rate, which is at a forty year low. The first time claims for unemployment benefits would naturally decrease because of the lack of workers remaining in the work force that can be cut from companies payrolls.
     The United States economy is still carrying a record number of long-termed unemployed, and that does not even count the millions of unemployed that the administration has moved to the disability roles upon expiration of  their unemployment benefits. Some experts have claimed that this little trick has saved the president at least a full percentage point on the unemployment number. This assertion is supported by the government's own U-6 unemployment number which counts all the unemployed, a number that currently occupies a space north of 12%.
     And even when Barack Obama cheats, as he has done by changing the calculations and formulas of key statistics to make them more favorable to his administration, the unemployment rate is still at 6.7%.  Considering the results of his cheating, one could only conclude that Barack Obama is either the most incompetent president ever to occupy the office, or he has deliberately destroyed the United States economy as part and parcel to the chip he has on his shoulder for this country. Either way the American people have been made to suffer hardship, mediocrity, and an ineffable loss of liberty.

Thursday, April 10, 2014

What The Margaret Sanger Award Says About Democrats

     Planned Parenthood occupies the highest position in the clergy of the Left, being extolled as the great liberator of women by exterminating their unwanted children. And the highest and most venerated achievement of any Leftist is receipt of the Margaret Sanger award. Hillary Clinton received it in 2009, and Nancy Pelosi is its most recent recipient.
     Margaret Sanger is the woman who founded Planned Parenthood as a way to implement what she termed her "negro project." Her writings and public speeches were laced with talk of "purification of the race" and "keeping undesirables from breeding." In fact, in 1929 she gleefully accepted a speaking engagement from the Ku Klux Klan to present herself at their convention in Silver Springs, New Jersey. She also wrote in a letter to a doctor friend, which is on display in a museum dedicated to her "work," that she did not want it to "get out that they wanted to exterminate the negro population."
     And this is the woman, Margaret Sanger, in whose name high profile Democrats like Mrs. Clinton and Mrs. Pelosi have no shame accepting an award. In fact, in her speech to Planned Parenthood, Nancy Pelosi said that those who are pro-life are closed minded, stupid, and ignorant. What is ironic about her statement is not only that Mrs. Pelosi is a Catholic, which requires defense of the unborn even over politics, but that she accepted blessed rosary beads from Barack Obama who was given them by Pope Francis. I wonder if the Pontiff knows his rosary is now in the hands of someone who thinks he is closed minded, stupid, and ignorant?
     The evil eugenics of Margaret Sanger, which grew into the massive fields of life strangling weeds that is Planned Parenthood today, is illustrative of most, if not all policies of the Left. Their ideology refuses to allow any idea based on virtue and morality, instead opting for those based on oppression, larceny, and infamy. The Margaret Sanger charter of reducing the black population is not something in the distant past of the organization she founded. Even today, Planned Parenthood is about the business of eliminating black babies more than any other race or ethnicity. That is why their "clinics" are located mostly in black neighborhoods and why when journalist James O' Keefe called their centers around the country, and pretended to be a donor only if his money could be used to abort black babies, every center he called gladly accepted and reassured him that the money would be used for that purpose.
     All Leftist initiatives are borne of the most negative aspects of the human condition and are implemented for the purpose of subjugating their fellow citizens to their authority and their will. But abortion, more than any other Leftist practice, is the grand sacrament of their faith. And Margaret Sanger, whose namesake award is proudly accepted by high profile Democrats, is history's most prolific mass murderer, with over 100 million deaths of innocent victims to her credit. Elevating the reprobate to a status of respectability is the mission of a venal ethos like Leftism, which has no moral core upon which to judge its actions or improve the human condition which they daily sacrifice to their god of politics.

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

How George W. Paved The Way For Obamanomics

     In the wake of the 2008 financial meltdown caused by the government's propagation of the sub-prime housing market, George W. Bush implemented the Troubled Asset Relief Program, TARP for short. His then secretary of Treasury, Hank Paulson and Chairman of the Federal Reserve, Ben Bernanke, advised the beleaguered president it was the only way to prevent a financial Armageddon. His vice president, Dick Cheney, advised against it, ultimately being right on this issue as he was on so many others.
     TARP, as its name implies, was 700 billion taxpayer dollars that were earmarked to buy the mortgage backed securities comprised almost entirely of sub-prime loans made to people who were unable to repay them. The loans were required by bad law pushed mainly by Democrats to make the mortgage industry more "fair" to low income buyers. However, somewhere along the line, Bernanke, Paulson, and company decided it would give the government more control over the situation if they used much of that money as loans to banks that did not need or want the money, ultimately to enable government to manipulate the banks into submission.
     It was a lie that the banks needed the liquidity the TARP money provided. Prior to the crisis, U.S. banks had more money held in reserve than at any other time in history, a hefty 680 billion dollars. The banks' lack of liquidity needs was also demonstrated by low deposit rates. In a free market system, when banks need liquidity they raise deposit rates on CDs, savings accounts, and other deposits to attract customers' money. Deposit rates have actually been driven down over the last six years because of government interference.
     Those who claim that "all the TARP money was paid back in full," are ignorant at best and disingenuous at worst. While the TARP funds that were loaned out were repaid, many within 18 months, that only accounted for about 75% of the total funds allocated. The other 25% slipped into the Twilight Zone of government bureaucracy known as "administrative costs." Almost the same amount, 25% of the total, was given to the quasi-government agencies at the epicenter of the sub-prime market, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. Recently, it was reported that Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac had paid back the TARP money, with interest. But being an agency of the Federal government, the "pay back" was more of an accounting trick than an actual repayment of funds.
     The worse part of the TARP boondoggle was not so much the hard earned taxpayer dollars given to banks that did not need it, it was the flood gates of spending and regulations that were open wide enough for President Obama to fly Air Force I through on his way to the golf course. It is apropos that many misdirected folks on the Right defend the TARP bailouts, seeing as how the taxpayer dollars used to fund the program were misdirected so horribly from their original purpose of buying up toxic assets backed by sub-prime loans.
     It is curious that those who defend the TARP bailouts point to the funds being repaid as the only metric of success. But to those interested in the truth, the recent Fed ruling giving banks until 2017 to rid their balance sheets of the toxic assets that TARP was created to discharge, is proof of the program's failure. The recent government case against Bank of America and its former CEO, Ken Lewis, for bad loans on the books of Meryl Lynch, which BofA was forced to buy at the behest of the Bush administration, is an example of the real purpose of  TARP. TARP was meant as a governmental power grab over the financial industry, first in the waning days of the George W. Bush administration, and then exponentially in the Obama administration. Dick Cheney and others knew that the heavy hand of government, exemplified by programs like TARP, only serve to weigh down the free market and prolong the agony originally caused by government incursion into those markets.

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Heroin Deaths, Another Downside Of Marijuana

     Heroin deaths have quadrupled in Cuyahoga county, Ohio. This massive increase is a result of a new wave of heroine use taking place not only in Ohio, but across the country. Heroin has also become cheaper and more plentiful in recent years, the price for a single hit falling from $10 to $4. The reason for the increased supply and lower cost can, in part, be attributable to Colorado and Washington legalizing Marijuana, and other states beginning to consider its legalization.
     The legalization of Marijuana in two states, and its further decriminalization in many more, have driven the cost down to a level that the wholesale price for a kilo of the wicked weed has dropped from $100 to less than $25. Many farmers connected to the Mexican drug cartels have found it to be more profitable to grow poppies for the production of heroin, than to continue to plant their fields in cannabis. Hence the influx of more heroine and more deaths attributable to overdoses.
     So for all those who say marijuana is a harmless substance, the increase in heroin use and deaths linked to the legalization of pot, is just another reason in a long list against further legalization. Along with deaths from heroin overdoses, are the deaths that Colorado and Washington are experiencing in marijuana related traffic fatalities due to its use. Since the law legalizing marijuana was passed in Colorado, that state has seen a twenty percent increase in marijuana related traffic fatalities. And Colorado law enforcement has also reported an increase in other crimes, such as domestic violence, in which marijuana use was present. Poking huge holes in pot supporters arguments that people smoking marijuana are not violent or in any other way larcenous.
     Recent studies have linked the long term use of marijuana to anxiety and depression, especially in teens and young adults. Not to mention the lack of motivation, desire, and connection to everyday life that long term users experience. There are now more teens and young adults in drug rehabilitation for marijuana use than for all other drugs combined. Marijuana is in many ways more dangerous than other addictions because its addicts think the drug makes them better, and they do not see it as a detriment to their lives. Speak with addicts of most other drugs or alcohol, and they will tell you that they know their drug of choice is making their life worse not better and they want to quit. Not so with marijuana users.
     All of the aforementioned would be bad enough, but is made worse by the fact that today's marijuana has levels of Tetrahydrocannabinol, the chemical that produces the "high" and addicts the user, that approach 80%. The marijuana of the 60s, 70s, and 80s had THC levels of only 15-20%. The increased strength of modern marijuana, the legalization of it, and the effort by some to mitigate its dangers, has lead to greater use of drugs like heroin. Many defenders of pot say it is not a gateway drug. The fact is that while few marijuana users ever escalate to harder drug use, most who addict themselves to heroin, cocaine, or methamphetamine have begun by smoking pot.
     The drug debate in this country has at times been contentious, with supporters of legalized marijuana being very vociferous in their desire to have ubiquitous, cheap, and legal pot. But with the recent revelation that driving down the price of marijuana only increases the production and importation of heroin, those who support legalization are on the ultimate fool's errand.

Monday, April 7, 2014

The Terminal Nature Of The Democrat Party

     After the presidential election of 2008, which inflicted upon this nation arguably one of the least liberty-based executives of the modern era, and possibly ever in our history, I felt disappointment and even compassion for those who voted Democrat. I knew that they did so out of ignorance and a lack of real participation in the political system, opting instead to fulfill Einstein's definition of insanity by continuing to do the same thing over and over again, expecting different results.
     After the first term of Barack Obama, and the malaise his policies and community agitating caused in the lives of middle-class Americans, for any of those Americans to have voted against their best interests and re-elect Barack Obama in 2012, was an exercise in stupidity. My words may seem harsh, but with the blatant disregard this president has shown for the Constitution, rule of law, and privacy of individual citizens, one would have to actively seek delusion over reality in order to reconcile their voting to the precepts of liberty in which they claim to believe.
     I am flummoxed to new highs daily by the acceptance of mediocrity shown by average citizens, as well as those who claim some expertise in the arena of economics and finance. I heard a popular investment advisor on the radio this past weekend actually engage in praise for the employment footing in this country. This plugged-into-the-economy "expert" was extolling last Friday's employment data that showed the economy created 192,000 jobs in the month of March. I know this gentleman is certainly old enough to remember prior to 2008, when average monthly jobs gains were 250,000 to 300,000, and half a million or more in recoveries from recessions like the one we have supposedly been in for the last five years.
     Furthermore, this financial "expert" continues to behave as if sub-two percent growth in the United States economy is some sort of Nirvana. Surely he must realize that average Gross Domestic Product growth since the end of World War II has clocked in at 3.2 percent, and must reach 5-7 percent to grow the nation out of recessions. Or has this financial Titan scrubbed his mind clean of all relevant economic data that conflicts with Dear Leader's illusion of a growing economy that so many have chosen to believe over the rigors of the truth presented by reality.
     No, I do not easily suffer the actively sought ignorance that seems to be the popular past time of those who continue to vote Democrat. And although those who vote Republicant are not far behind them in deluding themselves about the values which drive their party's politics, there is still time to save them from the progressive rot that has caused the Democrat party to become terminal. Our nation's hope for a return to the liberty of the Founders is to save the Republicant party from the cowardice and fear under which they have recently operated, and gird them with the strength that comes from the free exercise of individual conscience upon which the foundation of liberty enshrined in our founding documents is constructed.        

Saturday, April 5, 2014

The Myth Of A War Weary Nation

      The concept of war weariness in a nation is predicated upon the people of that nation having had to endure hardship as a result of the war effort of their country. Many pundits on the Left and the Right use war weariness today as a reason to avoid military conflict throughout the world. The theory goes that because of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars over the last ten years, the American people are incapable of mustering the strength to support even a necessary military action anywhere in the world.
     I agree that to a certain extent the American people  have become somewhat psychologically stretched by a Leftist media and politicians as it applies to support for war. But let us face facts, our two most recent wars were not the long distance race run by the peoples of Athens and Sparta in the Peloponnesian wars of the fifth century B.C. They were not even the time of sacrifice endured by those who lived through World War II. Except for the brave American soldiers that fought in Iraq and Afghanistan and their families, no one else in American society saw any real change in their lives as a result of those conflicts.
     During the second world war, the average citizen had to sacrifice rubber, steel, nylons, gasoline, and more to contribute to the Allies victory. During the Iraq and Afghanistan wars, the average citizen was able to ignore the conflict on the other side of the world in which their country was engaged with freakishly larger screen televisions, free appetizers at their local Applebee's, long road trips in their SUVs, and mind-numbing reality television shows. All of which our World War II ancestors did not have, making them weary, and us just overweight which necessitated another one of our distractions, i.e. gym memberships and billions of our dollars spent on a burgeoning diet industry.
     And so we have arrived at the current conflict in Ukraine with Vladimir Putin. I am by now means saying we should have a boots-on-the-ground conflict with the Russians. But I find it interesting that our president, His Holiness, Barack Obama, early in the conflict made it clear to the Russian president that our commitment to another nation's sovereignty was stretched to its limit by sanctions alone. Even some on the Right used the myth of a war weary nation as a reason not to give a full-throated response to the Russian incursion across the border of one of its neighbors. Removing a military response as an option from the beginning of the conflict is analogous to playing poker with all your cards face up.

Friday, April 4, 2014

2014 Is 1984

     In George Orwell's classic novel 1984 about a society ruled by big government statism, the Ministry of Information was responsible for propagating the lies with which the government leaders used to oppress the average citizen. Today we have an entire media complex that has become nothing more than a Ministry of Information for the Democrat party generally, and for Barack Obama specifically. The sycophant nature of the media is not just limited to the news media, but traverses all media outlets whether they be sports, entertainment, or even financial.
     Yesterday morning the government released the first time claims for unemployment for the prior week, an exercise that becomes more irrelevant because of the record number of people that are unemployed, therefore leaving few workers in the work force left to be laid off. The report showed there were 16 thousand more laid off workers applying for new unemployment benefits than the prior week. This was not the Orwellian part, that being reserved for the story on the CNBC website that went along with the news. They so casually stated that the government, i.e., the Obama administration, had changed the model used to figure weekly unemployment claims in order to make it more "flexible" when adjusting for seasonal fluctuations. The Obama administration also changed the data going back to 2009 using this new model.
     So not only have the central planners in the Obama administration changed a model used to figure a key economic data point, as they did with the decades old formula used to calculate the unemployment rate, but they have changed historical data to make it reflect more favorably on Obama policy. These actions are eerily similar to ones that would have been taken by the statists in Orwell's novel. The Democrat party has been well practiced at changing history and convincing Americans that what they saw, or lived through, did not actually exist.
     I suspect in the decades to follow, the Obama economy will be hailed by those on the Left as a boon time, with a chicken in every pot and a paycheck in every pocket. After all, I have actually talked with Democrats that believe the economy was prosperous and growing under Jimmy Carter and it only declined once Ronald Reagan became president. And the economic data for that time period would inform any interested party of the Carter malaise which was followed by the Reagan economic boon. How much more likely is it for the politically blind and ignorant to believe in the myth of Obama prosperity with data that has been manipulated to support it.
     As I read Orwell's 1984 as a high school student in the 1970s, I took it as a cautionary tale that had about as much chance of becoming reality as something like the World Wide Web. Today the Internet is a daily part of almost everyone's lives, and Orwell's world of an ever powerful state has come to fruition in the full operation of the Obama administration. Yes, Orwell had it right, only he was thirty years early on his predictions. The world of 1984 is the world of 2014.

Thursday, April 3, 2014

The Welfare Recipient Mentality Of The Stock Market

     Those who have been labeling the stock market as a casino, especially in recent years, have never been more correct. Traders and investors alike place bets on the roulette wheel that is the Federal Reserve, and all other data is made null and void. The economy produces bad news and good news, and both are treated with the same indifference by those in the market, who only respond to what flows forth from the mouths of fools at the Fed, like Pavlov's dogs. This dependence by the market on the Federal Reserve has eliminated the need or desire for any stimuli other than words of encouragement from the Fed, and declines in the market are now based solely on an absence of those words.
     The exclusion of real economic data from the movement of stocks has caused a credibility void in the market in the minds of the general public. There are two things that have driven the market to new highs recently, even though the economy is obviously slowing from even the pathetic pace it has demonstrated over the last five years. Both drivers of the market are related to actions by the Federal Reserve. The first is their bond-buying, called quantitative easing, which essentially has pumped three trillion dollars into the market over the last four years. The second driver of the market is the historically low interest rates implemented by the Fed, which has allowed companies to borrow money at very low interest rates and buy back their own stock, thus driving up valuations of their company's shares.
     Of course, the historically low interest rates were suppose to incentivize banks to loan money to fund real estate purchasers. It has not quite worked out that way, that is why many of the homes being sold have been cash deals by investors looking to rent or resell properties. The low interest rates have bludgeoned savers by making it unnecessary for banks to pay more than one percent interest on deposit accounts like savings and CDs. The banks have taken advantage of the Fed's zero to quarter percent interest rate they have charged them for the last six years to borrow money, and have used that cheap money to buy bonds which pay them close to three percent or more.
     The Welfare recipient mentality of the stock market is illustrative of the predictable outcome of meddling in private markets by government bureaucrats, who have never spent a single day working in those markets. Unfortunately this is a world wide problem, central banks have positioned themselves as tin gods over private markets. But eventually even tin gods must bow to the much more powerful god of economic reality, then God help the average person who pays the ultimate price for big government hubris.

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

The Crowing President Lays An Egg On Hard Working Americans

     Yesterday, President Obama strutted around the White House lawn crowing about the "success" of his government confiscation of one sixth of the nation's economy via his unconstitutional health care law. And as per usual for this president, his braggadocio was entirely constructed from the bricks of dishonesty and subterfuge. His claim of 7.1 million Americans having signed up for health care through the ObamaCare exchanges, illustrated that Barack Obama employs a certain type of mathematics that is based on conjecture, wishful thinking, and falsification to arrive at its result.
      To understand the current lies about health care being proffered by the president, one must travel back in time prior to the law being breathed to life by deceit, dishonesty, and corruption. The Democrats and the administration claimed as many as 47 million Americans were uninsured. Even accepting their number, half of those uninsured chose to be so because they were young and healthy and made the conscious decision not to spend money on health care insurance. Out of the 23 million left, half of those were eligible for Medicaid or Medicare and chose not to enroll. So at most there were 11 million persons who were uninsured who wanted insurance but could not obtain it. This out of a country of 320 million.
     President Obama's "crowning" achievement was to cause millions of Americans who were happily insured to lose that insurance and be forced to go begging at the door of big government for their coverage. Insurance industry statistics show that only 14% of those who registered for plans through the government exchanges, were previously uninsured. Further statistics show that a minimum of twenty percent have not made their premium payments and are therefore uninsured. From the 5.6 million legitimate sign-ups on ObamaCare (accepting the White Houses' figures as truth) only 795 thousand were uninsured before the law was passed. (20% of 7.1 million times 14%)
     The devastation wrought by ObamaCare just to insure fewer than 800 thousand persons who were previously uninsured is sinful. A recent report showed that health care premiums have risen faster in the last year than in the previous eight years combined. Some Americans are seeing a doubling or tripling in premiums. And doctors are beginning to see what the new law means to them, i.e., reimbursements at only 60% compared to those prior to the law's implementation. So if Americans are paying more and doctors are receiving less, where is the additional money going? It is being spent by insurance companies on increased administration costs necessitated by ObamaCare's 20 thousand pages of regulations, and being stuffed into the pockets of Leftist groups like Planned Parenthood and ACORN.
     President Obama can crow all he wants about the thousand ton egg he has laid on the backs of hard working Americans. But those of us who have to pay for his tyranny understand the negative implications to liberty that this president has imposed. Never again will medicine be practiced freely by doctors upon patients who exercise liberty in choosing their own care. From this day forward the formerly free citizens must go begging at the door of bureaucrats for the health care they need, want, and desire. And what is abysmally disgusting is that Barack Obama finds this to be something about which to crow.

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

God's Not Dead

    During this past weekend I saw the film, God's Not Dead. The story centers on Josh Wheaton, a college freshman and Christian who signs up for a philosophy course taught by a professor who is a rabid atheist. True to form for too many of our nation's educators, the professor tries to force his atheist faith upon his students by having them write, "God Is Dead" on a piece of paper on the first day of class. When Josh refuses, the professor says that he must then be willing to defend the proposition that God exists. Josh accepts the challenge.
     The movie is about more than just Josh and his professor. The disparate stories that all seem to combine to color the picture of God's existence in the end, allows the viewer to depend on a living God not only from Josh's academic exercise to prove his existence, but through the miracle of His love that changes the lives of the movie's characters. I will not expound anymore on the subject of the movie because I do not wish to reveal too much. It is an experience more than a movie, and I highly recommend its viewing.
     God's Not Dead did cause me to reflect on the real scientific and logical support for the existence of God. The most rational reason for a belief in God came from the 17th century mathematician, philosopher, and physicist, Blaise Pascal, entitled "Pascal's Wager."  Pascal postulated that:
     Humans all bet with their lives that God exists or does not exist. Given the possibility
     that God actually does exist and assuming the infinite gain or loss associated with belief
     in God or with unbelief, a rational person should live as though God exists and seek to
     believe in God. If God does not actually exist, such a person will have only a finite loss
     (some pleasures, luxury, etc.)
When I first became aware of Pascal's Wager years ago, it struck a chord with my logical mind that gave reasoned support to my spiritual beliefs. I would disagree with Pascal on the minor point that there is a finite loss to one who lives his life in belief of God and it turns out that He does not exist. Because that person would have actually gained the non-material accouterments of living a pious life whether God exists or not.
     The more scientific, and less philosophical, argument for the existence of God is the recent discoveries in constructing the human DNA genome. Many scientists working on DNA research have begun as agnostics or even atheists. But after having discovered the intricate programming that exists in DNA molecules, they were forced by science and logic into the conclusion that some form of higher intelligence created it.
     I have always believed that everyone has faith; that faith is either in the existence of God or in His  non-existence. And those who hold tightly to the unsupported position of God's non-existence have the forces of logic and science aligned against them. Furthermore, it is an empty and meaningless existence if this ephemeral life upon this planet is not followed by an existence far more eternal. Conclusive to my argument is that not only does God exist, but he has given all humans the ability to exist untethered by the bounds of this planet through belief in Him.