27 February 2009

Children's Future

I've decided to take a brief reprieve from all the doom and gloom and share with you an important debate taking place. Even though my parents ruined my childhood by limiting my exposure to violent video games (remember all those violent 8-bit games that we had?), at least I know that I can prepare my children to deal with the impending doom and destruction of mankind.

video

Chuck Norris and me


I don't care if the rest of y'all think I'm crazy. At least Chuck Norris and I are on the same page. Neener.

25 February 2009

Fascism, Primera Parte

Not that I'm an alarmist, but I'm just sayin'...
Fascism is a radical authoritarian nationalist ideology focused on solving economic, political, and social problems that its supporters see as causing national decline or decadence. Fascists aim to create a single-party state in which the government is led by a dictator who seeks unity by requiring individuals to subordinate self-interest to the collective interest of the nation or a race...Fascist governments permanently forbid and suppress all criticism and opposition to the government and the fascist movement.
There are a couple of core tenets of Fascism:

Nationalism: This sounds harmless enough, right? A nationalist is simply someone that has deep national pride. But nationalism as an ideology maintains that "the people" in the doctrine of popular sovereignty is the nation, not the individual. So you know that little phrase "We the People" in the preamble to the Constitution? Nationalism defines "the people" as a collective, referring to them not as a collection of individuals, but as a singular nation. Do you see how this is dangerous? By limiting the definition of "people" to the nation, we are now not concerned with individual liberties and rights, but instead are concerned ONLY with the collective good (think of it kind of like a law of averages...individual felicity is inconsequential so long as collective felicity is maintained). Subsequently, only nation-states founded on the principle of national (not individual) self-determination are considered legitimate. This runs in direct opposition to our unalienable rights as stated in the Declaration of Independence. In addition, the Declaration states that "Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed," in order to secure these individual rights. This government was instituted to ENSURE our individual rights and liberties, not take them away and give them to someone else in the name of "equality." Individual self-determination becomes inconsequential. Eoin O'Duffy, an Irish Nationalist, said,
We must lead the people always; nationally, socially and economically. We must clear up the economic mess and right the glaring social injustices of to-day by the corporative organization of Irish life; but before everything we must give a national lead to our people...The first essential is national unity. We can only have that when the Corporative system is accepted.
That sounds vaguely familiar, doesn't it?

Authoritarianism: This one seems a little more obvious, doesn't it? An authoritarian government is one that centralizes all authority with the nation-state. But before you lightly brush this system aside as an impossible actuality in the United States, consider Theodore M Vestal's characterization of authoritarianism. An authoritarian regime has a highly concentrated and centralized power structures, in which political power is generated and maintained by a "repressive system that excludes potential challengers" and uses political parties and mass organizations to "mobilize people around the goals of the government." It is also based on the following principles: rule of men, not rule of law (I won't even begin to list all the violations of the Constitution...that's another rant for another day); rigged or unfair/biased elections (an excellent article, btw); all important political decisions are made by officials behind closed doors; a bureaucracy operated quite independently of rules, the supervision of elected officials, or concerns of the constituencies they purportedly serve; the informal and unregulated exercise of political power. There is no guarantee of civil liberties or tolerance for meaningful opposition. There is a weakening of civil society, with "no freedom to create a broad range of groups, organizations, and political parties to compete for power or question the decisions of rulers," with instead an "attempt to impose controls on virtually all elements of society. Political stability is maintained by, among other things, "a pervasive bureaucracy staffed by the regime, control of internal opposition and dissent, and creation of allegiance through various means of socialization." (Read: dependency).

In the Segunda Parte, we'll look at several traditionally fascist policies and compare them to policies that the current administration is proposing.

Mental stimulus package

Congrats to this WI biotech company. They're doing their part to help our poor, mentally encumbered politicians to increase their ability to remember to pay their taxes. According to Quincy Bioscience President Mark Underwood,
Quincy Bioscience will provide free bottles of its flagship brain-enhancing supplement, Prevagen, to any member of Congress or the Obama administration who has forgotten to pay taxes during the last 10 years, the company said Tuesday.

"We're confident that after 30 to 60 days of taking the supplement, most legislators and government officials will recall, without being reminded by aides or reporters, all tax periods for which they have forgotten to pay state or federal income taxes."

Prevagen is so effective it also should help most government officials recall when they failed to make Social Security and Medicare contributions for undocumented household workers.
Among those who could benefit from this generous donation:

- U.S. Rep. Charles B. Rangel (D-NY)
- Tom Daschle (former senator: D-ND)
- Nancy Killefer (former assistant treasury secretary under Bill Clinton)
- Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner.

Word of the day: Political Thuggery

Today's challenge is to use the term "political thuggery" at least 3 times throughout the course of the day. This lady is the poster child for insanity. How do you even argue with someone like this?

24 February 2009

Rant...

Wow...I thought I could rant, y'all. I've just been put to shame. Sit back and enjoy 'Zo.

23 February 2009

Harry Reid predicts optimistic future

The clairvoyant Harry Reid has definitively stated that the economy is on the cusp of recovery. “We tend to talk about the negative. ... Things are beginning to turn and I think the American people are going to feel that very soon.” Really? You might to double-check with the Savior-in-Chief about that.

But I'm not worried. After reading this report from the Tax Policy Center, I feel snug as bug in a rug:
In 2009, the federal deficit will be larger as a share of the economy than at any time since the 1940s. After 2009, we project an average deficit of $1 trillion per year for the next 10 years, under optimistic assumptions. The longer-run picture is even bleaker, with a fiscal gap of 7-9 percent of GDP -- between $1 trillion and $1.3 trillion annually in current dollars. Recent trends in credit default swap markets suggest that although fiscal policy problems are usually described as medium- and long-term issues, these problems may be upon us much sooner than previously expected.
Reid went on to say that "We're [Democrats] betting on success." Awesome. They're betting on success? Yeah, that's what I want. A government that gambles with the economic future of America. Yup. Everything's going to be just fine.

Change we can believe in

Our nation is-a changing. So is the Messiah's approval rating (HINT: they're both going in the same direction):





Note that Obama's approval immediately stopped climbing when he took over the presidency (read: actually had to start doing something).

Su casa no es mi casa

How about bus driver Minta Garcia? Upside down in her $800,000 mortgage (house is now valued at $675,000), she wants the rest of America to help her pay her mortgage. Lady, your $800,000 problem is NOT my problem. Here's the clip, in typical CNN sob-story fashion:


So just to recap:
ACOSTA: Like countless other Americans, Garcia admits she and her husband bought more house than they could afford, but she says the lender made the purchase all too easy. Now her mortgage is worth more than her house. [emphasis added]
Countless? How about the 93% of owners/renters who are NOT delinquent?

And did you get that folks? "Yeah, we screwed up, but it was the bank's fault for letting us." That's the kind of responsibility that President Hussein preaches. Everyone's responsible but me.

ACORN Follow-up

A MUST READ piece from blogger Michelle Malkin. Surprise! the MSM didn't give us the full story on evicted resident Donna Hanks. Maybe if she hadn't refinanced her $87,000 home with a $270,000 loan, she would have been able to afford it. If the banks have any fault in this, it's lending money to someone is completely incompetent as Donna.

Racist...

I'm sure that this guy is just racist...

Sub Prime Mortgage Blues

Royce Dunbar is singing the Sub Prime Mortgage Blues. Can I get an "Amen!"?

20 February 2009

ACORN = Government sanctioned mob

We saw this one coming. The same organization that helped President Hussein get elected to the Senate in IL and to the presidency are now claiming their constitutional right to do whatever they want and get away with it. Did I mention that they are large part of why the housing market collapsed here? Who says that food-stamp mortgages are a bad idea? Forty percent of their income is from taxpayers, and they have been subsidized by the government for 4 decades. They have promoted illegal immigration and encouraged voter fraud.

And now this:
A community organization breaks into a foreclosed home in what they are calling an act of civil disobedience.

The group wants to train homeowners facing eviction on peaceful ways they can remain in their homes.

Derek Valcourt reports their actions are not without controversy.

Near Patterson Park, the padlock on the door and the sign in the window tells part of Donna Hanks foreclosure story.

"The mortgage went up $300 in one month," said Hanks, former homeowner.

She says the bank refused to modify her loan and foreclosed, kicking her out of the house in September.

The community group ACORN calls Hanks a victim of predatory lending.

"This is our house now," said Louis Beverly, ACORN.

And on Thursday afternoon, they literally broke the foreclosure padlock right off the front door and then broke into the house, letting Hanks back in for the first time in months.
Why did her mortgage up? Because of an ACORN-structured loan.

That's right, folks. Taxpayer-subsidized anarchy is looming. God bless America.

hypocrite hypocrite hypocrite

“I’m sick and tired of people who say that if you debate and disagree with this administration, somehow you’re not patriotic [or you're racist]. We need to stand up and say we’re Americans, and we have the right to debate and disagree with any administration.” -Hillary Clinton

18 February 2009

Keynesianism works! Honest!

Just in case y'all thought I was making that last post up... Oh, and check the new calculator on the right to see how you can contribute to America's bailout plan.

16 February 2009

Keynes: The new Lazarus

The idea of using the government to stimulate an economy in the event of a downturn was first proposed by John Maynard Keynes in the 1930s. He argued that an economy get so firmly quagmired that it becomes necessary for government to bail out it. Many (if not most) of his theories were questionable at best at the time, and most have been proven fallacious. For all intents and purposes, Keynesian economics was nominally dead by the 1980s. To see just how effective his theories were, one need only turn to the economic policies of the Great Depression, or Japan's lost decade (1990s).

In fact, John Cochrane of the University of Chicago noted that the idea of fiscal stimulus is "taught for its fallacies" in university courses now. And yet, here we are. But how? The major problem with government intervention in any long-term plan (economic or otherwise) is that politicians are short-term creatures. They want the quick fix. Whatever will help them carry the next elections. Who really cares if a particular policy has long-term viability? The ineffectualness of any policy can always be blamed on another party, another challenger, etc. So who has our long-term interests in their best interests? (This is not a rhetorical question, by the way. If any of you have a legitimate answer, I'd love to hear it).

But why am I even questioning the Great One's motives? Don't you know that "there is no disagreement that we need action by our government, a recovery plan that will help jumpstart the economy."? Maybe someone should let these guys know. You know, just a handful of conservative kooks. Universtiy professors, nobel laureates...the kind of people you just can't trust.

So congratulations, Mr. John Maynard Keynes. You've just risen from the dead. Sort of like Lazarus. Or this guy:

13 February 2009

Turbaconducken Bill

"If the stimulus plan were a Thanksgiving dinner entree, it would be a Turbaconducken — the heart attack-inducing dish of roasted chicken stuffed inside a duck stuffed inside a turkey, all wrapped in endless slabs of bacon." (Michelle Malkin). Psst...don't tell anyone, but there's a tiny trillion-dollar bill that's going to pass congress today. Why does it have to go through today? So Nancy Pelosi can catch her flight to Rome tonight. She had the audacity to claim yesterday in a press conference that the the language is so complex that they just couldn't pass it without putting it down on paper (crazy, I know). So they posted the revised bill online last night around 11p, and Pelosi said that they could now go ahead and pass it this evening because everyone will have had a chance to carefully and methodically peruse it. (AD INSERT: Billy Mays here for Congress' new speed-reading program. Now your child can learn to read 1400 wpm. Just send one easy payment of $1 trillion, plus shipping and handling, to the federal government. FINE PRINT: Results not typical. In fact, this program is guaranteed not to work. All sales final. So suck it.)

I think I'll take a copy with me on my next bathroom break so I can get a good idea of what my great-great-great grandchildren will be paying for. You know, a little light reading...



11 February 2009

Natural Law

Let me apologize in advance for the length of this post. This is something that has bothered for some time in thinking about our bloated and exponentially increasing government. Yes, Mr. Oscar Wilde, the bureaucracy is indeed expanding to meet the needs of the expanding bureaucracy. So why do we, as a people, feel the need to create laws that govern every minute action? Shouldn't we all just, you know, get along?

The founders understood that the only reliable basis for sound government and just human relations was what they termed "Natural Law." According to Sir William Blackstone, they knew that it was the only reliable basis for a stable society and a system of justice.

"A fundamental presupposition of Natural Law is that man's reasoning power is a special dispensation of the Creator and is closely akin to the rational or reasoning power of the Creator himself.

"One of the founders' favorite political thinkers was Marcus Tullius Cicero... He cut through the political astigmatism and philosophical errors of both Plato and Aristotle to discover the touchstone for good laws, sound government, and the long-range formula for happy human relationships." (W. Cleon Skousen)

Cicero (106-43 B.C.) was a Roman political writer who studied law in Rome and philosophy in Athens. He became the leading lawyer of his time and rose to the highest office of the state (Roman Consul). In the following citation, keep in mind that Cicero was a citizen of a pagan nation.
True law is right reason in agreement with nature; it is of universal application, unchanging and everlasting; it summons to duty by its commands, and averts from wrongdoing by its prohibitions...It is a sin to try to alter this law, nor is it allowable to repeal any part of it, and it is impossible to abolish it entirely. We cannot be free from its obligations by senate or people, and we need not look outside ourselves for an expounder or interpreter of it. And there will not be different laws at Rome and at Athens, or different laws now and in the future, but one eternal and unchangeable law will be valid for all nations and all times, and there will be one master and ruler, that is God, over us all, for he is the author of this law, its promulgator, and its enforcing judge. Whoever is disobedient is fleeing from himself and denying his human nature, and by reason of this very fact he will suffer the worst punishment.
Natural Law, therefore, is based on absolute reality, not perceived reality.

Key to our ability to follow Natural Law is what Cicero and others have called the divine gift of reason. Said Cicero, "...what is more divine, I will not say in man only, but in all heaven and earth, than reason? And when it is full grown and perfected, is rightly called wisdom." This "right reason", when applied to government, becomes justice.

So what is the foundation justice? Jesus, when answering the lawyer's question about which commandment was the greatest, answered that to love God is the greatest commandment, and to love one's neighbor is the second great commandment. Cicero also recognized this. "For these virtues originate in our natural inclination to love our fellow-men, and this is the foundation of justice."

When the principles of divine and neighborly love are followed, man obeys Natural Law without any external motivation from artificial laws. The Confucian Code of Rights (Liji) is meant to be a guide on civilized behavior, not a law. The rule of law is only applied to those who are incapable of civilized behavior. Civilized individuals are expected to observe the natural order. "Only social outcasts are expected to have their behavior controlled by law. Thus, the rule of law is considered a state of barbaric primitiveness, prior to achieving the civilized state of voluntary observation of proper rites. What is legal is not necessarily moral or just." (Henry Liu)

I raise these points in an attempt to create awareness of the awful precipice towards which our great nation is hurtling at frightening speed. We have long since ceased to become a nation that follows Natural Law, and are now a people who are compelled to follow laws created by mortal and imperfect men. Imperfect men inherently create imperfect laws. Imperfect laws, by their very definition, will inevitably possess characteristics of injustice, regardless of the spirit with which they were created. We are relying more and more on our government to tell us how to behave, and in so doing are stripping ourselves of that most precious gift with which our Creator has endowed us: reason and agency. "For behold, it is not meet that I should command in all things; for he that is compelled in all things, the same is a slothful and not a wise servant; wherefore he receiveth no reward." (D&C 58:26)

So what is the danger in adhering to man-made laws in lieu of Natural Law? If a society sanctions immoral acts through the decrees of the people, decisions of judges, or edicts of kings, does this make these laws just or right? Of course not. And yet, that is danger we face when we voluntarily hand over our agency and reason to government, and become compelled to follow an assumed code of acceptable behavior. Acceptable behavior does NOT equate to right reason or just behavior.

Let me close with this final thought from Cicero.
But the most foolish notion of all is the belief that everything is just which is found in the customs or laws of nations...What of the many deadly, the many pestilential statutes which nations put in force? These no more deserve to be called laws than the rules a band of robbers might pass in their assembly. For if ignorant and unskillful men have prescribed deadly poisons instead of healing drugs, these cannot possibly be called physicians' prescriptions; neither in a nation can a statute of any sort be called a law, even though the nation, in spite of being a ruinous regulation has accepted it.

06 February 2009

Freedom vs. Security

When plagues, famines, wars, earthquakes, and other disasters afflicted our pagan ancestors in ancient times, they attempted to appease their gods by destroying that which they held dearest in the form of a sacrifice. This sacrifice was intended to appease deific anger and restore order, peace and prosperity.

In modern times, in spite of all our technological and philosophical advances, we still resort to this primitive response to adversity. And what do we hold most dear as citizens of this republic? Our freedom.

Whenever a crisis strikes, longstanding bureaucratic wish lists are transformed into "essential" anti-terrorist precautions, economic stimulus packages, or bailouts. This is not a party-specific phenomenon; Clinton did it, Bush did it, and Obama has already done it. Not only is this irresponsibile, but it is fundamentally flawed when viewed in the light of the Constitution. Our first reaction when a disaster of any kind occurs is to protect ourselves. But asking the government to save us by imposing more severe restrictions on its citizens is irresponsible and unconstitutional. As Benjamin Franklin said in a proposition at the Pennsylvania Assembly in 1775,
The [United States] must suffer all the hazards and mischiefs of war, rather than admit the alteration of their characters and laws by parliament. They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety. [emphasis mine]

Genesis

You know that guy in the cubicle next to you who has an opinion about everything? You know, the "If I were in charge..." guy? The Monday morning quarterback? You know who I'm talking about. Well, I'm almost that guy. I say almost, because I'm not always smart enough to have the solution. But I sure like to take advantage of my constitutionally guaranteed freedom of speech (read: rant). So here it is...a blog created to allow me to fire live rounds into the air with relatively few casualties (yes, I know the bullets have to come down somewhere, but I consider collateral damage an acceptable loss).