Do It On Your Own Dime

December 24, 2009

An interesting phenomena of most political discussions and debates is the lack or even absence of questions and thoughtful listening as to people’s real concerns about some public measure, proposal, regulation or law. The assumption is all too often made or emphasized that one side doesn’t care about the issue in question, is intolerant of the other side, doesn’t want the other side to succeed because of some jealous rivalry, or seeks to impose their views and preferences on others. Such assumptions while sometimes true, are more often false and lead to an us versus them mentality that needn’t be the norm. This is unfortunate and sad because in reality people probably agree on far more ideas than they realize, but hold fast to the socially destructive illusion that others are completely at odds with their beliefs because they don’t go along.

Consider for a moment the recent debate on embryonic stem cell research. Most of the discussion revolved around the ethics and morality of the research itself. One side said that neglecting to use such a promising tool as embryonic stem cell research to find cures to disease and suffering was wrong because it potentially denied the timely finding of such cures for those for whom the clock was ticking. Some opposed embryonic stem cell research based on their own moral dilemma with the research itself. Others eventually found alternative methods of promising research that avoided being ethically questionable all together. Such noncontroversial alternative options aren’t always potentially available. Sometimes the only existing option to a controversial option is simply its absence.

Before the alternative noncontroversial methods of stem cell research emerged, the debate was largely two-sided: those for or against embryonic stem cell research. Both sides failed to appreciate how much the other side valued life itself. Both sides largely ignored the selfless aspirations of the other. Both sides forgot the real issue at stake — i.e. whether federal funds should be used at all for such research or whether funds should be allocated to ensure that embryonic stem cell research would be pursued in an ethically acceptable way. In other words, the spoken debate as usual focused on the morality of the issue itself rather than on the morality of the funding of the issue in question. Amidst all this debate, the fundamental question of “on whose dime?”was relegated to the practically muted realm of background noise.

How often are real issues that affect taxpayers disputed in ways that ignore this fundamental question – “on whose dime?” Whether the argument is over healthcare or fine arts in school, the underlying true debate is rarely given center stage. This in turn fosters the illusion of greater divisiveness over things than truly exists. Most political debate really boils down to the real question of “Why should your priorities be my priorities?” which can often be reduced to the question of “On whose dime?”.

The generosity of the widow’s mite looms larger than the Phariseean pledge, but would the Phariseean pledge be any more Christ like if the Pharisee had been surcharged a state sponsored church tax on top of that pledge? We sometimes fail to remember that the widow’s mite was so generous and the Pharisee’s so meager because they were their own to give.

We might be able to create a society without money or its equivalent, but would we want to? Take away money and you might take away some of the ill effects of greed, but you might also very well hinder the practice of individual generosity. Society certainly would have fewer options for voluntary exchange. As Ayn Rand once stated “money is coined liberty”.

The next time an issue is publically debated, remember not to fall into the mental trap of simply debating the issue itself, but remember to keep the question alive: “On whose dime?”. Then you can assert as did Frederic Bastiat the following (from his book “The Law”):

Socialism, like the ancient ideas from which it springs, confuses the distinction between government and society. As a result of this, every time we object to a thing being done by government, the socialists conclude that we object to its being done at all.

We disapprove of state education. Then the socialists say that we are opposed to any education. We object to a state religion. Then the socialists say that we want no religion at all. We object to a state-enforced equality. Then they say that we are against equality. And so on, and so on. It is as if the socialists were to accuse us of not wanting persons to eat because we do not want the state to raise grain.

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True Justice Done (a poem)

December 17, 2009

Noose them by the nearest tree,
Tyrant leaders,
Infamous three,
Gang rapers of Lady Liberty,
Obama, Reid and Pelosi.

Enslavers of generations three,
Demonizing success and prosperity,
Bread and Circuses,
Demagoguery,
Our unchained memories lost to posterity?

They legislated us all,
Into subjects of duties,
Tempted us with priviledge,
And strait jacketed beauties.

Overgoverned, overtaxed,
They’ll bill us our rights
Without any lax.

What was once deemed inalienable
Has overnight become estrangeable.

Let us not forget their portion,
Of bill written briberies,
Character attacks,
And outright extortions.

Dare we tear this nation asunder,
With Universal Care,
as Legalized Plunder?!

Noose them by the nearest tree,
Tyrant leaders,
Infamous three,
Guilty of the vilest treachery,
Gang rapers of Lady Liberty,
Obama, Reid and Pelosi.

Stand them noosed and sweating hot,
In a fever like a boiling pot,
Make them sweat and fearing retribution,
For all they’ve done to the U.S. Constitution.

Then cut them loose,
Left alive,
Exiled to Cuba,
Can our nation then survive?

Perhaps not,
the damage done,
But at least,
We’ll have true justice done.

___________
Note: if the music band Muse wants to make a song out of this, I would be honored. Minor edits would be tolerated as long as the real intent of the poem is preserved — i.e. that the heads of our government are Chicago style politicians like Al Capone.

“Universal” Health Care: the second nail in the coffin for freedom since Horace Mann

November 29, 2009

“Universal” health care is the second nail in the coffin for freedom since education was socialized.  It is the second greatest inroad of communism to hit this country since Horace Mann and other do-gooders ruined cheap and practically universal education by enthroning a fully government funded substitute that soon monopolized most of education.  Fortunately, power over public schooling was retained at a local level for much of its history, where authority has less corrupting influence and sway.  Health care reform seems to be dangerously federal and far wider in scope and scale, affecting a grander scale of demagoguery and political mischief.

The following contains 3 letters — an original letter from myself along with a reply to that letter and a subsequent followup response.  These letters serve to illustrate  how some of the underlying notions surrounding current health care reform (which looks like a full blown version of socialized medicine) have historical precedence in the public schooling movement that took place over a 100 years ago.  The similarities are stunningly apparent when you realize how those like Horace Mann, who sought to socialize education, shared many of the same intentions and ideas as proponents of socializing medicine do with regards to switching from a fee based system to a government subsidized system that secures jobs under a government paymaster in the name of promoting the general welfare of the less fortunate.

__________________________

My Response:

Thanks for hearing all my political ramblings.  Although we may disagree on principles, it’s nice having a listener who can play the devil’s advocate and fuel my energy to provide the counter argument.  I think we both would have loved participating in debate teams in high school if our times and energies had been otherwise available.  Hopefully my passion and use of words doesn’t completely turn you off.  Luckily you appear tough enough to not take anything as a personal insult, but as a challenge to debate with your own energy and passion.

My analogy of health care to education is certainly not perfect, but I think that when you really look at the motivation, the history and the logical outcomes, there is a direct correlation with how the change from a fee based system in any one area to a public subsidized taxpayer paid system could be the launchpad for rationalizing the socialization of practically anything.  In that sense, the formation of “free” public schools might be seen as the first nail in the coffin of a truly free society. Dr. Milton Friedman has mentioned in his book “Free to Choose” how prior to changing education from a fee based system to a socialized system, education was practically universal for the ages of 5-15.  There were some exceptions — most notably the stories of frontier children like Abraham Lincoln, but they were the exception and not the rule as you look at the years right before the gradual transition from pure fee based schooling to partially government subsidized and finally to fully government subsidized education.  Interestingly enough, America had free public schooling before England (back then England was the leader of the world in the laissez faire attitude of capitalism when you compare it with the rest of Europe (e.g. France and Germany).  That was why the industrial revolution took off so well in England and led to true prosperity.  Sometimes political intervention caused nightmare scenarios — e.g. the excessive import duties of the Corn Laws may have led to the massive starvation of the Irish when potatoe blights occurred.  Othertimes political intervention may have protected individuals.  I’m still torn over whether child labor laws helped children in England or not.  Most of us have seen at one time or another pictures of coal black children working the mines in England or working in thread and fabric making plants.

The truly indigent were able to get subsidized grants when it came to education.  The difference before and after the instigation of mandatory free public schools was that there was much more variety in educational opportunities.  That’s the comparison I was trying to make — i.e. when you look at health care today, regardless of one’s political views on the matter, we already have universal health care.  Practically everyone can get health care, although it isn’t free in the sense of being directly paid for by the government at all levels.  The indigent can often get Medicaid or Medicare assistance.  Such was the case with early American education.  The irony (as it is with healthcare today) was that at the height of the political movement for “free” public schools, educational opportunities via private and government assisted schooling was also at high levels.  Nearly everyone can get basic health care if they truly need it and desire it.  Some sacrifice is sometimes necessary — e.g. you might have to pay some out of pocket.  When you say “only the rich children could afford to attend school”, I’m confused.  That’s like saying with regards to health care that only the rich could afford to have a cast when they broke their leg.  Yes only the rich might be able to get expensive plastic surgery done, yet even the poor are able to get life saving skin grafts (albeit they might not look as pretty).  I’m sure that if you did a historical study you would find that our ancestors had far less access to quality health care.  One could argue that such is the case because government has stepped in to ensure more access.  I happen to disagree with that argument.  I happen to believe that despite government, technology and resourcefulness of the free market has left more and more people with more discretionary money to spend on health care.  Yes some increase in health care spending is due to doctor’s proscribing more preliminary exams etc. out of fear of litigation and other lawsuit expenses.  Yet a significant amount of health care spending increase is probably due to consumers simply wanting to spend more on health care.  It’s like consumers spending more money on having customized options for consumer goods.  An over-pragmatic person might deem such spending as wasteful, fickleness.  A more insightful person might view this trend as simply the market rising to fulfill the growing expectations of the consumers.  As stated in the book “Myths of Rich and Poor” by Michael W. Cox, on pg 36:

As with so many other aspects of a free-enterprise economy, variety is simply a matter of giving consumers what they want. The market delivers a multiplicity of styles, brands, models, and colors in tacit recognition of the fact that tastes and preferences aren’t homogenous.  It does so from a motive no more sublime than the self-interest of companies looking to make money.  Variety increases value to consumers, so producers who indulge our tastes for it increase their sales.  We have more diversity because there’s a market for it, one built on rising incomes.  Poor societies have few choices.  Variety is a luxury available to wealthy nations.

Unfortunately we have become ashamed of our own wealth.  Success in this land of opportunity has been mocked and dismissed with the derisive cat-o-nine-tails of those in political power, who preach against private industry as if they were gods driving wicked money changes away from the footsteps of holy temples.  They do so while touting “free” and mandatory public healthcare as “universal healthcare”.  The only thing universal about their so called “universal healthcare” is that it will be mandatory and paid by all taxpayers alike.  Unfortunately private insurance premiums are rising and will continue to rise as the government uses its mafia like power to ensure monopoly-like power in any field they choose to subsidize or provide a government option for.  Government may not be a monopoly in a market it enters using taxpayer dollars as venture capital, but it still holds monopoly like powers — i.e. it automatically doesn’t have to worry about competition in the same sense as a normal business.  And once a government entity enters the marketplace all too often special interest groups that stand to gain from government intervention will use their influence and lobbyists to help ensure that such an entity gains more sway in the marketplace.  Such was the historical case with public schools — initially they were locally controlled, but after the 1920’s they increasingly became the eminent domain of professional educators and other educational special interest groups seeking to profit at the taxpayers’ expense.

Yes private schooling continues to exist today, and I’m sure that private insurance will continue to exist even with a public option.  Yet it will increasingly become a domain restricted to the upper class gentry.  Isn’t it ironic that many in Congress retain their own version of health care insurance plans and don’t even intend on participating in the very public option of health insurance that they are essentially mandating to all who will soon not be able to afford the private alternatives?  Will there be insurance voucher programs?  Surely such an option would logically be proposed.  Yet like with school vouchers such vouchers are only a partial solution.  They might provide people/parents more freedom of choice.  On the other hand they could likewise taint any recipients of such vouchers as having to cater to government set mandates.  Once the government makes a significant market entry into the insurance industry, all taxpayers have less choice of what options they can choose.   As private insurance companies have to provide services to everyone, they will have to raise their premiums significantly.  As happened in Hawaii with their version of “universal child health care”, the vast majority of citizens will be increasingly tempted to take the cheap government option.  Otherwise they’re doubly paying for insurance. Only the rich may be able to afford private coverage and better health care providers than the masses.  It doesn’t surprise me that the real irony of socialism is that it exacerbates the very class warfare it pretends to mitigate.  It’s no surprise that only under the heavy hand of socialism in eastern Europe did people harbor and regurgitate the hate inspired messages of Karl Marx.  For the most part, it was only there that people truly felt the emotions of such terms as “proletariat” and “bourgeoisie”.  Only a few brave of them dared publically mention (and risk torture or social punishment) that the real “bourgeoisie” was the newly rich political class — e.g. in East Germany the political class all had the best cars and housing.  In America the new political class might be seen as government workers, particularly those with political clout as well as a growing number of lawyers who increasingly seek monetary gain by harnessing the covetous energies of both rich and poor via lawsuits.

Speaking of teachers I agree that many teachers are grossly underpaid while some are grossly overpaid. What I’m trying to say is that when the question comes down to the voter it becomes an undesirable moral obligation to decide en masse what the average teacher should be worth.  If this same decision of what the average surgeon or doctor should be recompensed becomes a political one rather than a market one, I can only see the same contempt from the average citizen for being obligated to make such a decision that the market should decide.  Thus my explitive phrase “HELL NO” wasn’t directed at the poor individual teacher who is probably working their heart out with little thanks and minimal resources in a bloated bureaucratic system, but at the system they have had to work under since Horace Mann and other do-gooder politicians put teachers unions above teachers and parents.

-nikolaus6

________________________________

Others Reply:

Your comparison of health care to the educational system of old is interesting.  From my own reading, prior to free public schooling, only the rich children could afford to attend school.  Education wasn’t truly universal.  And in fact today, with the combination of free public schools and private for-pay schools, students have many more choices than the past pay-only system.  Those who can’t afford an education can still take advantage of public systems.  Those who can afford private schooling can choose that option instead of opting for a public school.  There are more choices than if only private schools were offered.

We should also view some sectors of society as public-goods.  That is, if all members of society have greater opportunities (and then take advantage of them), then everyone benefits.  If all in my community have access to education, then it raises the standard of living in my community, which increases job opportunities, wages, home values, etc.

The reverse is true when we hoard these opportunities.  It’s not like these things are scarce resources.  In fact, when we make these resources available to more people, it multiplies the effectiveness of the outcome.

As for teachers deserving a raise, I think it depends on the system. Some teachers make more than they deserve.  But others, including My wife when she worked, make less than what they deserve. Interestingly, my wife worked for a charter school, which is a proponent of the free market crowd.  All teachers at that school were paid poorly.  As a result, there was a high turnover rate, which ultimately affected the performance of the school and the education of the students.

-name of acquaintance ommitted to protect the innocent

______________________________

Original letter from nikolaus6:

Last night I read a chapter from Milton Friedman’s book “Free to Choose”on the history of public education.  Interesting to read how before education was made free it was similar to today’s healthcare, i.e. it was almost universally available, government assistance was already available to those who really couldn’t afford it, and there was no compulsory attendance.  The parents paid for at least some of their child’s education and the child was there of his own free will and choice, albeit with some parental influence.  The direct involvement of the parent as the consumer of buying education for his children, there was much more power exerted by such consumers on the education market.  Schools were therefore much more efficient and actually listened to their consumers (or they might be out of business!).  Likewise, the history of public education involved special interest groups seeking political advantages for their personal gain — in this case professional educators and teachers desiring the stability of a government paymaster.  Unfortunately we are too often spoon fed the false notion that public education arose from the beneficient efforts of educational reformers to fill a huge gap in providing education for the poor masses that couldn’t afford it.  We are too often led to believe that such educational reform was driven mostly by parents seeking better educational opportunities for their children.  The actual truth of labor unions and special interests seeking political gain by duping the masses with false ideas evades most people today.

That is why the health care reform of today is so scary.  I fear that my kids or grandkids will forget what really happened and be duped into thinking that the health care reform was done to make health care “universal”, when in fact it was already “universal”, but not yet socialized. They will be left in the same ironic situation we face today every election time:

Do teachers/doctors/social workers deserve a raise?

What was once a market decision, now becomes a moral decision.  The irony is that in trying to make us free of the burden of having to make such nasty grown up decisions as actually taking care of ourselves, they ultimately have to either present us with a new moral decision of how to allocate and prioritize our newly collectivized funds for more socialized programs or make such decisions for us.  Either way they face a moral dilemma where once there was none.  What once was objectively decided by natural market forces, i.e. prices of the free market, become moral quandaries of a central planning committee.

-nikolaus6

P.S. As far as I’m concerned, do teachers/doctors/social workers deserve a raise?  HELL NO if the government is their paymaster.

Ten Things to Thank our President For

October 6, 2009
  1. He helped reform former tax cheats and collect their back taxes by offering them jobs in his cabinet.
  2. He removed some undesirable persons from Congress through their becoming members of his cabinet.
  3. During his administration the true nature of some politicians and organizations were exposed to public scrutiny.
  4. Renewed interest in the U.S. Constitution and its meaning as intended by its Founding Fathers developed during his administration.
  5. Voter participation and grassroots political activity from various political parties increased during his presidency.
  6. Awareness of States’ rights increased during his administration.
  7. Increased awareness of the dangers of big government and the Nanny State.
  8. Increased outrage and protest against high taxes and ever increasing government spending that enslave future generations to costly, unaffordable, and repressive social programs which degrade the proper role and function of the sacred unit of the family.
  9. His administration helped the sales of guns and ammunition that have armed a militia of private citizens who know damn well that all their rights ultimately hinge upon the 2nd Amendment.
  10. He got a lot of people closer to God.

Everything Has A Price

October 6, 2009

A friend recently posed the question: “Should we put a price tag on life?”.  Our loved ones are priceless in our eyes.  Yet Mt. Everest has shown that some expeditions were deemed too expensive to abandon in order to save the lives of less fortunate climbers.  Whether we like it or not there is a price tag on life.  Individually or as a whole, we can only afford so much.  Do you give all your money to all charities?    It depends on your personal means and priorities.  Should you feel guilty every time you eat ice cream or buy your kids new shoes, because there are starving kids somewhere else in the world?  Certainly it is good to sacrifice some selfish desires to help others and be a good samaritan. Yet there needs to be a balance.  Our human nature might backlash into a rash embrace of over self indulgence, if we don’t allow ourselves some guilt free pleasures.

Would you be upset if a friend forced you to join their church and/or donate to their favorite charity?  Yet we do this all the time when it comes to government.  Which state religion might be in power may change, but we’re all re-baptized willingly or not when that does happen.   It’s time to change this, and limit government to its original role of establishing liberty and justice for all, rather than enslaving us all to the combined special interests (the state religion) of the whole.

Hope In Agorism

October 6, 2009

I just found an interesting label for a political ideology I share many beliefs in common with: Agorism.

As stated on Wikipedia:

Agorism is a political philosophy founded by Samuel Edward Konkin III and developed with contributions by J. Neil Schulman that holds as its ultimate goal bringing about a society in which all “relations between people are voluntary exchanges – a free market.”[1] The term comes from the Greek word “agora,” referring to an open place for assembly and market in ancient Greek city-states. Ideologically, it is a term representing a revolutionary type of anarcho-capitalism or free-market anarchism.[2] Schulman integrated the idea of counter-economics into Konkin’s libertarian philosophy[3], which is the advocacy of untaxed black market activity, which agorists say will lead to development of private defense force sufficient to protect private property and liberty from the state to the point where such protection is strong enough to overthrow the state.

I think it is interesting to note that the statement “where such protection is strong enough to overthrow the state” doesn’t necessitate that the agorists would overthrow the state, but would probably just maintain their independence from the otherwise oppressive taxation of the state.

Later it speaks of how Agorists regard capitalism:

Agorists hold that the evils attributed to capitalism are not caused by laissez-faire but by government working together with private industry.[10] By preferring the term “free market,” Agorists feel they are not bound by the implications of the term “capitalism”.

Agorists despise the tendencies of governments to become fascist and oppressive and seek to undermine such oppression by promoting extralegal free markets that undermine such oppressive government monopolies of power:

With the State’s coercive monopoly undermined, the market is then able to generate the security services necessary to openly defend their clientele against coercive government as a criminal activity (with taxation being treated as theft, war being treated as mass murder, et cetera). The organisational nature of these services will ultimately be determined by the market based on effectiveness, efficiency, and expense. Agorists spurn political participation in favour of counter-economics, as political participation is seen to be costly, time consuming, and ineffective. Involvement in advocacy and outreach activities are motivated by the goal of making more people aware of Agorism and counter-economics, indirectly increasing the conscious practice of counter-economic activity.

Although I do disagree with the label of some of the more faithful Agorists as the “New Left”. Some disagree with such labelling as noted on the wiki:

The labeling of market anarchism as left-wing libertarianism is not accepted by some scholars, such as David DeLeon, who regard “anarchists” that stress “the individualism of the unregulated marketplace” to be right-wing libertarians, with left-wing libertarians being communitarians such as anarcho-communists.[8]

While I wouldn’t advocate black market activity such as drug trafficking or prostitution — i.e. anything that would violate God’s commandments. I would highly advocate free market activity that circumvents oppressive taxation.  Luckily there are ways to circumvent oppressive taxation  without necessarily breaking the law — e.g. barter, trade outside the government regulated retail markets. Oppressive governments, including our own might label such as “black market” activity, but I would simply call it the true and proper activity of the free market, unsullied and unraped by government and government regulation (even that done under the guise of Consumer Advocacy that has led to stifling regulations).

A wonderful book that promotes Agorism and liberty is “The Moon is a Harsh Mistress” by Robert Heinlein.  It discusses a futuristic society on the moon that rebel against their earth bound oppressors and their Federated Nations (a spoof on United Nations) until they are recognized as a sovereign nation unto themselves.  The book stresses natural rights (i.e. rights inherent by birth) as opposed to government provided rights.

I’m also interested in purchasing Ragnar Benson’s book “Ragnar’s Guide to the Underground Economy” as well as “The Other Path: The Economic Answer to Terrorism” by Hernando de Soto, who has written several works on how South American nations have combatted the threat of communism and communist terrorists by using free market principles.

The Past Year

October 6, 2009

This year has been full of memorable events.  Nationally, the first black president has unfortunately been accomplished by a man aligned with the most crooked and ideologically perverted persons in the nation and perhaps the world.  Never before has the Constitution of the United States hung by a thread, and barely suspended above the consuming reach of the flames of fascism.

Demagoguery abounds as the president and Congress of our country are increasingly apt to pass legislation that burdens the people with ever growing taxes or unceasing increases in spending that adds to the national debt.  All this is done under the false pretenses of providing the people with gifts.  Some groups clamor for more such bestowals of government provided riches despite the inevitable bankruptcy of our nation.  Some such groups even demand the guarantee of future bestowals and falsely frame such demands under the context of rights.  This being done despite the truth that god given rights never have and never will involve depriving some of their freedom and/or property to satisfy the demands of others.

One such false demand to tax and enslave future generations is the demand of the majority party in Congress, the Democrats, and others for Universal Health Care.  Such want to establish such a provision as a guaranteed right.  They continually try to play on our emotions by portraying those in need as victims in need of the general welfare.  Certainly our hearts go out to those in need of help, but shame on those who use the needy as pawns in promoting a socialized system that robs us of our liberty and dignity!  Government has always been force and must always be regarded with utmost caution. lest it enslave us all in the special interests it inevitably favors.

It is such unjust use of government that demands retribution!  How much longer will we endure tyranny and oppression under such false leadership!  The President of our United States, Barack Obama and many in Congress like Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi should be tried for treason for they have betrayed the very Constitution they swore to defend as they have embraced the spirit of despotism and the close knit ideologies of fascism and communism.  They erode the very fabric of this once great nation as they continue to build up a state religion that increasingly shrinks the role of the family and its benevolent protector, God the Father of us all.  They should be tried for treason, the punishment for which can be exile or even death as a last resort.  Hopefully no one needs be put to death for their treasonous actions, yet the seriousness of their offense shouldn’t be regarded lightly.  Hopefully justice shall be dealt and the Rule of Law restored as opposed to the arbitrary mandates of powerful magistrates and czars of an increasingly corrupt government.

Concepts gleaned from “The Moon Is a Harsh Mistress”

September 26, 2009

Government set prices often don’t keep up with market demand:

…But Authority pays same price for ice now as thirty years ago. (Ice miner on Luna, pg. 28)

Government issued money often suffers from inflation:

Authority scrip doesn’t buy what it used to. (Ice miner on Luna, pg. 28)

Government often destroys natural incentives towards increased productivity and efficiency:

I bought city sewage from the Authority, sterilized and processed it myself and made a profit on a crop. But today when I buy sewage, I’m charged distilled-water price and on top of that for solids. Yet the price of a tonne of wheat at catapult head is just what it was twenty years ago. (Wheat farmer on Luna, pg. 29)

Whenever government has an inordinate amount of control over an otherwise private sector (i.e. government monopoly – e.g. public education, nationalized banks, bailed out heavily unionized auto companies, etc.) the economy and its producers and consumers suffer:

“You are right that the Authority must go. It is ridiculous – pestilential, not to be borne – that we should be ruled by an irresponsible dictator in all our essential economy! It strikes at the most basic human right, the right to bargain in a free marketplace. But I respectfully suggest that you erred in saying that we should sell wheat to Terra – or rice, or any food – at any price. We must not export food!” (Professor Bernardo de la Paz, pg. 33)

Technology provides new weapons.  Weapons can be tools in asserting autonomy and independence from oppressive authority.  Sovereignty comes in strength.  That is the real reason to preserve the 2nd Amendment in the U.S. Constitution’s Bill of Rights.

When wielded correctly the implicit threat of destructive power is a far better instrument for promoting freedom than the enactment of destruction itself.  Such is the case of those who assert their right to retain weapons, bear arms and show their resolve for individual liberty through a show of strength.  Certainly the enactment of destruction and violence itself all too often diminishes support for one’s cause, especially if the victims of such violence are portrayed and viewed as targets of terrorism rather than as casualties of a war in defense of the peoples’ freedom and sovereignty.  Most admirable are those whose only real intent for violence is as a last resort.  As long as their bluff isn’t called they can effectively use their implicit threat of destructive force against real terrorists and other powers that seek to impose their will upon others in ways that deny the freedom of the individual guaranteed under God’s law (common law).  All too often the governments of nations themselves are as guilty as ordinary criminals in robbing the individual of their liberties.  It could even be akin to a raping of the masses in that it is a loss of inherent virtues that should never be violated.

“A maximum of instructive shrecklichkeit with minimum loss of life.  None, if possible” was how Prof summed up doctrine for Operation Hard Rock and was way Mike and I carried it out.  Idea was to  hit earthworms so hard would convince them – while hitting so gently as not to hurt.  Sounds impossible, but wait. (pg. 325)

But we emphasized that nobody would get hurt who heeded our warnings, that every target first time around would be uninhabited – we even offered to skip any target if a nation would inform us that our data were out-of-date (Empty offer, Mike’s radar vision was a cosmic 20/20).  But by not saying what would happen second time around we hinted that our patience could be exhausted. (pg 327)

…more notes to come (i.e. this post is still a work in progress.)

Universal Government Care Violates Separation of Church and State

September 13, 2009

Here’s some tweets recently posted on Twitter that raise the question of our government’s new state sponsored religion of Liberal Fascism violating the separation of church and state: (see julesGverne on Twitter):

Is Universal Health Care a violation of separation of church and state? It is if it’s compulsory membership in a state religion (Fascism).

Compulsory compassion preached by the new church of Universal Government Care is a violation of church and state! Obama is an antichrist!

Many people are warmed up by the promises of some of Obama’s statements and overlook the bitter truths hidden in his other statements.

Obama’s learned the fine art of disarming his listeners with some friendly statements and then subtly introducing his opposing true views.

Obama’s comparison of mandatory health insurance and auto liability insurance fails to mention that people aren’t forced to be drivers.

Obama contradicts self in the same breath: “we’re not talking about big government….but sometimes the government does need to step in”.

Obama lies just enough to gain rapport with most and then subtly weaves in his true agenda of tyrannical executive power.

We don’t want a state religion! We don’t want Universal Government Care! No compulsory membership in this Obamanable Satanic Sect!

The Seatbelt Fallacy

July 8, 2009

The classic argument for government intervention in the name of protecting us from ourselves is that leaving us to our own free will and choice is too risky.  When it comes to potentially risky behavior this argument is lathered up with the notion that the potential burden on society that our possible personal catastrophes might have are so costly that all measures must be made to prevent them.  In a free market where individuals and groups aren’t shielded from the costs they incur, natural feedback (i.e. accountability) keeps the cumulative burdens on society negligible.

The truth of the matter is, that left to themselves, the majority of individuals usually have common sense.  People are generally smart enough not to run off a cliff together like a herd of buffalo.  However, if someone or some group is wily enough (like Wily E. Coyote in the classic “Road Runner” cartoon) to paint a fake facade before the inevitable chasm then a bunch of people’s normal sense could be misled.  Such is often the result of trust in big government.  For example the recent economic crisis in large part was due to the collapse of the housing market which was led by government intervention in guaranteeing over a trillion dollars in subprime (substantially risky) loans.  Such government intervention shielded people from the normal, natural consequences of their actions, e.g. bankruptcy and/or foreclosure.  Such inevitably led to unnaturally large scale economic disaster.  Even a corrupt government can’t stop the pied piper of reality from getting paid one way or another.

The once new but now classic example of government intervention in the name of protecting us from ourselves is the now almost universal seat belt laws for adults and children alike.  Surely children need protecting, but one has to ask oneself: does the government assume us all to be its children?  Sounds to me like a recipe for disaster.  If we indeed are imbecile enough to be considered children needing governing, then simple math would show a grossly disproportionate number of “children” to “adults”.  You can’t babysit that many “children” with so few adults…unless you adopt a prison system!  Why do we even need seatbelt laws?  Are people really out to maime or kill themselves?  Most certainly not.  Will punishing those who don’t buckle up encourage safe driving or will it just increase the likelihood of seatbelt usage?  Regardless of whether seatbelts truly save lives, the choice to use them should rest with the individual adult rather than be mandated upon them by a nanny state.

In the realm of health care, there are some that advocate a universal government health plan as a cure for the excessive costs of health care upon society.  What is often ignored is the reason that such costs have grown in the first place.  It has been the lack of accountability by individuals and health care payers and providers alike from already excessive socialized medicine plans.  Take for example the individual health care patient.  Suppose an obese individual whose excessive eating leads to health problems which potentially requires costly health care.  If the excessive eater is left to foot his own medical bills then a growth in such expenses might encourage him to improve his health.  However if the taxpayers pay most of his costs for him, then there no direct feedback, unless perhaps society were to publically humiliate him as a bad example and make  his medical records public.  That could open up another can of worms.

In the realm of personal debt, some advocate more government regulation since they fear individuals left to their own devices might somehow incur debt substantial enough to really hurt society economically.  Under the guise of consumer protection, those espousing big government and increasingly hefty rules and regulations focus so much attention on the potential borrower that they fail to recognize that such overprotection may actually be the very cause of the ruin they seek to advert.  They fail to ask what lending practices might lead to the financial ruin of a majority of lenders and borrowers alike.  In a world free from government meddling of the kind and scale that has exacerbated recessions into Depressions great and small, lenders typically don’t lend more money than they could absolutely risk losing.  If a borrower needed more money than one lender felt safe to lend then the borrower would have to go elsewhere for additional funding.  If a borrower began borrowing from more people than was prudent, wouldn’t the lending market naturally become suspicious?  It normally would unless the government stepped in and guaranteed all loans.  If lenders could shift all their risk to the government, then they would have no incentive to only lend as much as they could risk losing, albeit with some minor pain.

The  underlying the fundamental question surrounding this whole issue is: Who is accountable for the individual?  If the individual isn’t accountable for themselves then they indeed might as well be considered children, dependent upon others to choose for them.  If the individual isn’t allowed to personally reap the consequences of their actions, but instead is shielded from such consequences by a seemingly altruistic government,  then both the individual and society are being taxed the most grievous tax indeed.  It is the tax of Disengagement paid by those members of a socialistic Tyranny.  They sacrifice the difference between the rewards or costs exacted by reality and their warped perception of reality that their collective indifference to truth presents to them.