Wednesday, July 16, 2008

The End of the Rule of Law

One of the basic underlying tenets in the founding of the United States of America was the absolute necessity to have "The Rule of Law" instead of the arbitrary law of tyrants. And with it the separation of powers among executive (the CEO), Congress (the Board of Directors) and the judicial system (courts) keep one entity from becoming too powerful.

A rational, free nation needs laws (and, of course, the power to enforce them) under which its citizens can operate. Originally laws came from religion, which in the United States was predominantly one sort of Christianity or another. Our "Founding Fathers" all were reading from the same script(ure). Until the '60's (19) pretty much everyone in America shared a similar set of Judeo-Christian moral precepts, "morals" if you will.

In order to be effective, laws must be somewhat immutable. Citizens must be able to rely on laws in order to plan their lives, both personal and business. The ease with which laws can be changed can create an environment in which citizens cannot rationally plan for the long-term. Our moral lives began changing in the rebellous '60's. I suppose Roe v Wade in 1973 marked the turning point to what charitably could be called moral relativism, when the Supreme Court read new meaning into the old-fashioned words of our Constitution governing when life begins. After defining life anew, nothing could stop them.

Now, 35 years later, I believe that Congress -- and politicians in general -- are attempting to micromanage our country. "Laws" are mutable. Or to put it another way, politicians are now guided by "The Rule of Polls". And I believe that the judicial system, too, is micromanaging our country, deciding cases based what the judges feel is "right", regardless of the Constitution or prededent. These two Constitutional entities have gained the upper hand over the Executive Branch, to the detriment of our freedoms. Here in Seattle, the mayor, city council, and county officials, too, are micromanaging our behaviors. Cigarette smoking is pretty much prohibited. Restaurants can't use "trans-fats" (which used to be the healthier "hydrogenated oils"); but I guess can use saturated fats and lard, which are just as bad. Plastic or paper? Seattle's mayor and city council have banned foam and Seattle will charge a fee for each disposable paper and plastic bag. The state has made illegal using cellular phones while driving.

Check out

These are huge abridgments to our rights as citizens and absolute micromanaging -- behavior control -- of our lives by politicians? Used to be we were able to follow those broad moral principles, now we are governed by a precise and detailed set of rules and regulations, set by liberals who do not believe Americans are smart enough to be free or those principles get attacked by lawyers who force specific rules. ("Don't stand on the top of this ladder, you might fall and hurt or kill yourself.")

Some examples. (This is an on-going, continually-edited blogpost, much like our laws and court decisions have become. Only, I am not getting paid or care about polls and what people think.)

July 2008, the Washingon DC-based U. S. Circuit Court of Appeals ordered the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission's (FERC) approval of Dominion Resources Inc.'s Cove Point, MD, liquified natural gas expansion project. This expansion was approved by FERC in 2006 and will take the capacity to 14.6 billion cubic ft (bcf) from the current 7.8 bcf, much needed energy in the east. Just why is the court involved in business a business decision?

"Anti-Trust?" As of July 2008, there were two different Congressional hearings on on the proposed advertising pact between Yahoo and Google in front of lawmakers who question the wisdom of the deal. Plus a Justice Department inquiry and as many as a dozen state attorneys general are now questioning the business transaction. Where is the trust to be anti-ed? And where does the power to "question the wisdom" of two independent, sophisticated companies by Congress come?

A bill July 2008, introduced by Rep James Oberstar (D., Minn) would require some Federal Aviation Agency (FAA) supervisory inspectors to relocate every five years and FAA employees would not be able to leave the agency and represent airlines before the agency for two years. And why is Congress managing the FAA's day-to-day functions?

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said (July 16, 2008) he is ready to move a bill to target "greedy speculators". Is being either "greedy" or a "speculator" against any law? (Apparently some of these "speculators" are McCain contributors.) And in March 20, 2009 the U. S. House of Representatives passed a law -- the Senate isn't far behind and Obama has promised to sign it -- that identifies a minority group of executives, those who have, will or might, receive bonuses for working in companies that take Taxpayer monies through TARP, HARP, MARP or whatever the stupid initials are, that taxes such bonuses at 90%. If, of course they make over $250,000 a year. IN ADDITION to the regular income taxes, AMTs and so on. Congress is targeting a minority group. This can happen to anyone in this country. Rule of Law? What Law? Not to mention that taxes are now essentially simply another way for Congress to bestow favors on special interests. Complexity on purpose to extort campaign funds. The tax code has grown by 2.3 million words since 2001 (A Space Oddessy) with 500 changes to it in 2008 alone. The cost of complying is estimated at $200 - $300 billion annually. It is impossible to understand and Congress wants it that way. As a matter of fact Congresspeople get paid to threaten new laws and taxes.

Congress is getting ready (July 2008) to pass the "Arbitration Fairness Act of 2007" (Russ Feingold D., Wis. and Hank Johnson D., GA) which would alter consumer contracts numbering in the hundreds of millions to delete any arbitration provision. These are completed, signed agreements for credit cards, cell phones, health services, consumer purchases and on and on. Not only would it prohibit such arms-length agreements in the future it would cancel those alreaddy executed. Another indicator of the Democrats carrying water for their biggest campaign contributors, the trial lawyers who'd rather get into court than allowing arbitration. We know why Democrats are proceeding here, but does it have the authority to abrogate contracts among virtually millions of people?

The Rule of Polls (see above) is certainly eclipsed by the Rule of Campaign Contributions. Case in point: Federal National Mortgage Association (FNMA or "Fannie Mae" "Fannie" or simply "Fan" and the Freddie Mac ("Freddie" or "Fred") began as laudible organizations to purchase mortgages from lenders, primarily banks (for Fan) and Savings institutions (Fred). But these so-called Government Sponsored Enterprises (GSEs) have bought Congress, especially the Democrats, with $171,000,000 in lobbying over the past decade, making them the third largest lobby spenders ($800,000 in this election cycle alone to their Congressional "overseers" and so far, $83,000 to Obama and $14,000 to McCain which ought to tell you something). What have they bought? A political slush fund (ACORN) which throws money to inner city mayors in community development grants, and for which Obama once worked registering "voters", some lenders and Democratic voter registration, and Congress which has fought tooth and nail to keep stop meaningful regulation of the two GSEs. Yes, the Democrats conceived of them, "privatized" them, but keeping the inherent government guarantee on their debt and cheered while they gobbled up almost half of the mortgages created in the United States (over $5 TRILLION) with little safety capital $1oo billion compared to $1.5 trillion of debt. Much of this debt is held as core capital by thousands of small and regional U. S. banks, along with cash and U. S. government Treasury securities.

Medicare? A virtual plethora of campaign contributions, and dissatisfaction. But most recently, July 2008, a new Medicare law passed to block a scheduled cut in fees paid to doctors. But that's not all. Congress is deeply into managing Medicare -- our healthcare system -- so, the law which was designed to block cuts (or in other words, allow increases, thus increasing the deficit) also lowered some out-of-pocket costs for mental health; allows payment for anti-anxiety and sleep drugs; makes getting physicals easier; and of course cut backed payments to for-profit health plans, Democrat's whipping boys. These were deemed "meaningful" by the American Association of Retired People (AARP), a major far left-wing lobbying organization and Democratic campaign contributor. But, hey, this will only cost us taxpayers $20 billion.

And speaking of micromanaging, Congress itself extended Medicare reimbursement for one biotechnology (Seattle-based Cell Therapeutics) company's anti-cancer drug Zevalin for 18 months. the Centers for MEdicare and Medicaid Services proposed a significant deficit-saving reduction. Go Congress! Wonder who got what in campaign contributions.

And why are healthcare costs so high? Well, both houses of Congress reached agreement on legislation that would require employers and health insurers to put mental-health coverage on a par with physical health coverage. Can we as citizens make any decisions for ourselves?

From personal experience, this Medicare law has been passed, changed, re-passed, held in abeyance, passed etc. etc. It is impossibly difficult to manage a company to an ever-changing environment. But Democrats could care less, they don't want businesses to thrive, far from it, because that's not where their core campaign contributions come from. Complexity and change is good for them, and who cares about America?

Housing crisis? The housing industry has given more than $95 million (as of early July 2008) to federal candidates and political parties. Big winners are those with key roles in the Senate Banking Committee (Christopher Dodd, D. Conn., chairman, $10,000, for example who also got a "special" mortgage from Countrywide Financial's CEO Angelo Mozilo)), the House Financial Services COmmittee (Barney Frank, D. Mass, for example) as they are wrestling with emergency housing bills.

And if you want to understand the weakness of the executive branch -- the "Administration" check out what "its" Environmental Protection Agency has published. This of course is laid at the foot of the U. S. Supreme Court in its 5-4 2007 ruling (Mass v. EPA) that greenhouse gases are "air Polluntants" under current environmental laws. So EPA proffered a 588 page proposal of rulemaking that it would regulate farm tractors, lawn and garden equipment (with different measures such as grams of carbon per kilogram of lawn cuttings); domestic livestock "emissions" from farms over 25 cows and 500 acres of crops; dirtbikes and snowmobiles; how aircraft can taxi on runways; boat design; crew education campaigns for boat crews; residential and office buildings; manufacturing plants; large schools and hospitals; and on and on and on.

I don't think it's any accident that --speaking of polls -- something like only 9% of the people have either a "great deal? or "quite a lot" of confidence in (now-Democratic) Congress; the Supreme Court scored its lowest rating ever; and, of course, the demonizing of Bush has sunk him low (but much higher than Congress at 25%) . (This is July 2008.)

Los Angeles is attempting to zone health issues by banning from a 32 square mile swath of land (home to the "impoverished" and minorities) any new fast-food restaurant. This is a cousin to banning of trans-fats and requiring mandatory menu-item-postings around the country (Philadelphia, San Francisco, New York, Boston and all of California). Let's see are these Democratic/liberal controlled places?

August 1, 2008: The House Energy and Commerce Committee wants the U. S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to turn over to it results of an analysis of the suggestion of a relationship of cancer and the drug Vytorin. I guess we should just get rid of the FDA and let Rep. John Dingell (D., Mich.) make those decisions. Micromanaging?

And the House passed legislation that would treat gender discrimination the same as race, disability and age, allowing women to sue for unlimited compensatory and punitative damages. (Yum-yum, the trial lawyers slather.)

In the State of Washington, a new law passed in June 2008, requiring thousands of dollars and hundred of hours on the part of some of the largest real estate companies TO TRY AND UNDERSTAND THE LAW which no longer allows real estate agents to represent either a buyer or seller. They must act for both to determine whether a seller is in "in danger" of foreclosure. Penalties can reach $100,000.

Senator Charles Schumer (D., NY) wrote a letter June 26, 2008, to the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. (FDIC) and the Office of Thrift Supervision (OTS) that IndyMac Bank "could face a collapse" and released to to the public and in the next 11 business days $1.3 billion was withdrawn by a panicked public -- the provervial run on a bank -- causing its collapse. It'll only cost the FDIC $4 or maybe $8 billion plus giving depositors with over $100,000 in the bank zilch. Thanks, Chuck for micromanaging IndyMac into nothing.

The courts? The Supreme Court ruled that a state -- Louisiana and five other states -- could not execute a man for simply raping his very young daughter. No matter laws, the Supremes thought there was "a national consensus" against it. Precedent? Who cares when there is a national consensus self-defined by the Court.

Back to Seattle: the City Council approved a Mayor Nickels bill to change the legal agreement taxi owners have made with their drivers so the city sets their maximum allowable lease rate; oh, yes, in order to solve global warming all Seattle taxis will need to get at least 30 mph by 2013, and the city will increase the number of valuable (upwards of $100,000) taxi licenses buy and prohibit multiple ownership. The article describing the act also mentions that three has been no evidence, no studies, to indicate any need for this....I wonder how much the unions (which will govern drivers) contributed to Nickels and the rest versus the losing taxi owners? But who cares if the taxi-car owners have an agreement with their drivers. The mayor wants to change it, and he did. Rule of what law? Well, we hate corporations here in Seattle! Well, of course the cold, greedy, heartless corporations here in Washington must not even give leave to their empllyees for domestic violence and related issues. Let the Washington Legislature come to the rescue. Yes, it did expand existing "leave laws" to mandate that ALL employers permit victims of domestic violence, sexual assault and stalking to take leave to "deal with" legal or law enforcement assistance, treatment or counseling. And family members, too, defined broadly to include A PERSON WHOM THE EMPLOYEE IS DATING, are covered. Yes, your boyfriend gets leave if he beats you. Oh, great!

And speaking of courts, August 14, 2008, Wall Street Journal: "The court-appointed receiver in charge of California's inmate health-care system asked a judge to seive $8 BILLION from the state's build 10,000 new medical units for 10,00 sick or mentally ill inmates." Ohm yeah, he also asked the judge to hold Governor Arnold Schwarzenberger and the state controller in contempt of court for refusing to allocate the money. But, what the...California is projected to have a deficit of only $15 billon dollars this year. The Terminator said, "No sweat, everything will fall in place," or something like that.

And now housing and other development costs will skyrocket because of bureaucrats. A ruling released Friday, August 8, 2008, by the state's Pollution Control Hearings Board means the Ecology Department must rewrite regulations governing stormwater. Stormwater, a man-made phenonmon. Well, except for the storms and water. Regardless, this new mandate from a Hearings Board, whatever the hell that is, will force new (unproven?) rain-absorbing techniques techniques, known as low-impact development ("LID" as in keep the lid off?) that AIM to filter stormwater runoff through the soil, on all new developments. I missed the cost and how many jobs might be lost. Need I say, "environmentalists were pleased" stated the Seattle Times (P. B4 Local, August 9, 2008). Well duh.

News Alert
from The Wall Street Journal

March 19, 2009
The House voted 328-93 to approve a bill imposing 90% taxes on employee bonuses from firms bailed out by taxpayers.
The bill would tax bonuses paid by firms that received more than $5 billion from the TARP. The Senate is working on its own plan to try to recoup bonuses.
The House bill is a response to the furor over millions in retention bonuses paid by AIG.
So with this lurch once again Congress completely dismisses the rule of law to punish a group of people it doesn't like. Think closely of the consequences. Any conservative group can be a target of the rath of a Far-left zealot. Time to retire them.

There seems to be no right or wrong absolutes; everything is relative. The old-fashioned concepts of "moral good and bad", honor, tradition, are...old-fashioned (and the values of the money-grubbing conservatives.) And any agreement among legal citizens can be broken, abrogated or thrown out by courts, legislatures and Congress. Again, the Rule of Law is becoming no rule, it's whatever some bureaucrat, judge or Congressperson thinks should be "right".

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Economic Inequality - Life Isn't Fair. (The American Dream is Alive and Well.)

Our media bemoans time and time again the reported growing inequality of income among our citizens. Politicians attempt to reduce "inequality" through legislation, taxes and other artifical means.

Of course, no attempt at equality can succeed. "Equality" is sort of like heaven, used to garner power but imposible to achieve. The reason of course is that all humans are different from each other. Some have certain advantages, some have certain disadvantages at birth. Some get certain advantages, some get certain disadvantages during life. That's all there is to it, and it'll never change allowing us to become "equal".

So let's discuss equality of income. As we are all born different and raised differently we all work or not differently. And some of us will be "successful" with prosperous employment and investments. Some -- many more -- of us will be less successful. And some will live in poverty. (Well "poverty" in the United States is as defined by bureaucrats. Real poverty is virtually non-existent in the U. S. compared to most of the rest of the world.) Wouldn't we all be happier if we could just be told that life isn't fair. Period.

Unfortunately those who obtain success and otherwise work in the "poverty beaucracy" fight the truth that life isn't fair tooth and nail. Vote-mongering politicians need to make people feel unhappy. Otherwise who needs them? (Well mostly that would be Democrats, because with them achievement isn't celebrated.)

That's not to say conditions can't be improved to assist some people achieve more for themselves. That's for what our government was created. Liberty for capitalism to allow the quest for the "American Dream". But help for those un-able (or whatever label is presently acceptable.)

Now a digression. Governments do not create any wealth, and we are talking about income - which brings wealth. Only trade - the greater universe of business and commerce if you will - can create wealth. Government destroys wealth by spending it. Ideally it should spend the wealth it garners (through to work, success and taxes of indivicuals and businesses) on smoothing the way for entrepreneurs to create wealth. The only way to help people enjoy more wealth is to create more instances of successful, growing businesses. Now, never will such created wealth be distributed equally. The humans doing such creation don't do it for eleemossynary purposes -- for the benefit of others. No, it's typically in self-interest to achieve, gather or possess more of something that their peers. So these creators will end up with more than those who are not creators. These concepts are generally absent from the public education systems in the United States, which themselves are controlled by various powerful labor unions, looking out for their dues-paying teachers. Too bad because, "There is no such thing as a free lunch."

I believe Democrats disavow that truth and complain about "inequality" solely to obtain votes so they can obtain or maintain power. But ultimately they will be proven wrong as wrong as Socialism and Communism have proven to be. However before that point, the free-enterprise society which has created such spectacular wealth for us, will be destroyed by these radical vote-getting notions.

But back to some controllable things: a major reason for the disparate incomes is the difference in education. The wage differential from a college degree has expanded to 70% from only 30% in 1980. (It's over double - 100% - for graduate degree holders.) So it is valuable financially to graduate from college. However the percentage of people with such degrees has been growing relatively slowly. (This fact alone may count for the growing wage differential.) Billions of dollars have been spent trying to change these figures, but the high-school graduation rates haven't changed materially over the years.

Rather than take money from the high-achievers and giving it to the lower-achievers as, for example, Sen. Obama has announced he'll do if elected president. The reasons for lack of educational achievement should be examined. Could it be a "cultural gap" which celebrates achievement and self-discipline among some and not among others? Who is to "blame" for those who do not stay in school, break the law, produce children without commitment and other pathologies the ones that create an underclass of poverty. Unfortunately there are few independent studies on anything that don't promote one political philosophy or another, so little rational knowledge can be brought to bear.

But one study -- the National Education Longitudinal Study -- discovered that involved parents who are in the upper end -- the highest qauartile economic scale (measured by parental education, occupation and family income) 74% of their kids ultimately receive a college degree; only 47% in the next two quartiles and a measly 29% on the bottom. Is it opportunity or a difference in family values, skills and good habits from parents?

People should simply understand that "Life isn't fair" and that their standard of living as measured by possession of, for example, cell phones, flat screen TVs, computers, bigger houses, more diverse foods, and on and on, is so much greater than twenty years ago. But satisfaction doesn't provide votes. But citizens are constantly barraged by "polls" attempting to convince them that their lives are sorrowful and that they can only be improved by government fiat (well, Democrat government fiat) not personal achievement.

But has "the American Dream" been morphed into a nightmare of "the rich get richer"? Well only to those politicians seeking votes. Our society remains dynamic with some rich getting poorer, many more poor getting richer, and everything in between. That proves opportunity (in exchange for risk which can backfire downward) is still rampant here in these United States.

A late 2007 carefully compiled professional study examined nearly 100,000 tax returns over a 10-year period. 58% of those in the poorest income group in 1996 have moved into higher incomes by 2005; and nearly 25% of them achieved middle-class or more. Over 5% lept into the highest income quintile. Only one income group lost out. The richest 1% of 1996 lost a quarter of their income and half of them dropped one income level ten years later. Of course they were replaced by others who became "rich". The point is the American Dream is alive and well.

So what is "fair" according to the Democrats? Right now, after the Bush tax cuts (which caused the biggest tax hike for the "rich" in American history), a mere 1% -- one percent of American achievers paid 40% -- forty percent -- of all income taxes (in 2006, the latest figures up to July 2008). And those making over $109,000 in 2006 paid 71% -- seventy-one percent -- of all income taxes.

And half the taxpayers paid almost all (97%) the income taxes. While the lower half paid little (less than 3%). So of course cutting the income taxes on the lower half of Americans -- earning under that $109,000 is meaningless, since they pay little as it is.

Remember also that not only don't the "rich" necessarily stay rich, but the "poor" don't necessarily all stay poor: after the Bush tax cuts the number of U. S. millionaires almost doubled (from 181,000 to 354,000 from 2003 to 2006). That is 173,000 citizens that BECAME millionaires, "rich" and some of them were poor. Isn't that proof of the health of the American Dream?

Democratic Vice Presidential candidate Joe Biden in his acceptance speech last night (August 27, 2008) told of his youth, when he got in a fight and was knocked down that his mother pulled him up and told him to go "bloody his nose" and be able to walk down the street with his head held high. He, and Hillary and Bill Clinton before him, said one needed to be down to understand, and to get back up again, brush yourself off and get back in it. Self initiative, I'd call it. Then Biden said how on the train back and forth between Washington DC and Wilmington, Delaware, he'd see houses and know what the people inside were saying. They'd be talking about high gas prices, they'd be worrying about economic instability - their jobs. Then Biden castigated the Bush Administration for not doing anything to help. But Biden, aren't you just supposed to get yourself up, brush yourself off and go at it? Well apparently only for him and Barack Obama, who supposedly did the same. Well Biden has thrown off what his mother said and learned nothing. Do it yourself. But then he would not be running for Democratic Vice President now would he, if he couldn't savage Bush.

And he continues with the "Promose of America" which, of course, is to have a higher salary each year, to do better financially than your parents. Yes, of course, the guarantee. And if you can't do it yourself, vote Democrat and they'll do it for you.

On July 2, 2008, Starbucks announced it would close 600 stores and eliminate 12,000 jobs (of 172,000 up from about none 2o years ago). This proves that the American Dream is alive because 160,000 people have jobs. Did the Bush Administration cause the layoffs?

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

"Not smack, though"

"Pot had helped, and booze; maybe a little blow when you could afford it. Not smack, though. ..." No smack? you gotta be proud of the strength of character of the guy. That was a quote from the book,"Dreams From My Father: A Story of Race and Inheritance," 1995 , by the presumptive 2008 Democratic Presidental Nominee, Barack Obama. [I own but have not yet finished the book.]

In the America of "free speech", Sen. Hillary Clinton's Bill Shaheen, the Clinton campaign's New Hampshire co-chair was forced to resign December 13, 2007 for bringing up Obama's drug use. So much for the Democrat's support for free speech. (It could be this muzzling of free speech by liberals that leads to murder from the slightest verbal prevocation: "disrespect", "dissing", which unfortunately is probably a word in dictionaries now. )

But all that aside, to me, a much more interesting line from that book is: "Junkie. Pothead. That's where I'd been headed: the final, fatal role of the young would-be black man". So this was Sen. Barack Obama's assessment of his and his peer group's future prospects, back when he was in his '20's. As I write this some 13 years later, it doesn't seem much has changed.

So let's see, while black college graduates' median income is nearly that of white grads, college completion rates are 43% for blacks and 63% for whites. High school (public) graduation rates are around 55% for blacks (59% for black females and 48% for black males) and 78% for whites.

Over 52% of murderers are black; 94% of the murders of blacks were by blacks; nearly 1 of 3 -- 33% -- of 20 - 29 year old blacks are in prison or on parole in any given day. They are the most over-represented population in the criminal justice system (one in 245 whites vs. one in 41 blacks are incarcerated.) For 25 years murder has been the leading cause of death of African American men between 15 and 34, and 49% of murder victims are black (with 13% of the population.) So while there is an increasing black middle class (over a million African Americans earn over $100,000 a year) there is a huge underclass, celebrated for some unknown reason, in rap and hip hop music. So while Obama is fisting, or whatever, his cohorts are dying.

So exactly why does the African American community predominantly vote for Democrats? Exactly what have they [liberals] done for them [the Black Community]? Their Democrat overseers seem to throw some money into their neighborhoods periodically in exchange for votes. Then the same thing two or four or six years later. Isn't it time to analyze what this has gotten African Americans? Education? No. Freedom? No. Middle Class Status? some...but was that by virtue of their own grit and determination or Demodollars? For sure many blacks now work for the government in jobs with little future, or in corporate staff diversity departments. Great! Thanks Democrats. Self-reliance? Freedom? Upward mobility? Pride? Not so much.

Sen. Obama no doubt will receive the lion's share of the black vote in 2008, it is expected of them to vote Democratic, especially for a black Dem at that. The few who have escaped that neo-enslavement will be conflicted knowing that they mostly did it themselves, but being afraid to go against their peers and the liberal press.

And Sen. Obama has no concrete offers of change. Only that black fathers should stay home more. Thanks, dude.

Unfortunately for America and the African American community, the early successes of the civil rights movement have degenerated into vast bureaucracies surviving only to survive and myriad special interest "minority" groups jumping on the victimization bandwagon. Who gets left out? The African Americans. (See above.) So exactly why do they continue to vote for Democrats who are violently opposed to charter schools and school vouchers giving a choice and a chance? I don't really understand, maybe the Republicans are too frightened, cowed by the liberal press, to speak out truths.

I believe among other things that young male African Americans need positive roll models. Not athletes or rappers but "respectable" ones. Oprah, obviously. But what about Clarence Thomas and Bill Cosby, Colin Powell or Condelezza Rice? Liberals attack them and their success. Why? What are they thinking? They are thinking of votes only -- power -- they can't give any credit to a conservative or, like Vietnam and Communism, the liberal world will crumble. So what can these kids count on? Gangs.

"Diversity" is a mirage, or a talking-point by power-hungry politicians. But historically, people want to be with their "own kind". If they are pushed into a diverse neighborhood, they withdraw. So note to government: Let people alone. Let them choose, even if you don't like the choices. And let's discuss it all in open forum. Lets talk about diversity, racism, ignorance, civil rights and the like openly without muzzles. Let it all out, talk, argument, discussion and disagreement openly is what the United States used to thrive on.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Underlying philosophy of this blog

Now that I have practiced blogging a little, I will start at the beginning.

I have some underlying philosophies that seem to be ingrained into my psyche from birth.

One is freedom.
I believe in it, and that we humans long for it, desire it and will fight for it. I remember back when the laws for mandating the wearing of helmets on motorcycles (and I guess safety belts as they were called then, in cars) were passed; I wondered why the government was passing restrictions on my freedoms such as this. So what if I fall and hit my head? Isn't that my right, my freedom? I think, "Yes". A society, whether religious or secular, defines freedom and freedoms in one way or another. In our present society there is not liberty, everything is negotiable by politicians or decidable by courts. Even murder. I believe there needs to be some absolutes under which humans need to live. We have few here in the "free" United States of America. Democrats seem to believe that freedom means free to do what Democrats want us to do.

Second is the concept of "right and wrong".
While not religious by any means, I have a strong belief in now-quaint notions of right and wrong. There should be some absolutes of right and wrong in which a society must believe. One might be murder. That is wrong. For doing wrong there need be consequences. Capital punishment is one consequence of murder. Christianity offered the consequence of "going to hell" for murder after the capital punishment. The idea of salvation and its alternative served as an absolute for centuries. So what do I believe is right? Well, for example, tolerance. Love thy neighbor and enemy, or something like that. Religion as a beacon has been removed pretty much in the United States. And, at least in my view, nothing much has replaced it. "Rights" have been re-defined in our society as for what special interest minorities can lobby.

Third, All Men (Humans) are Created Equal.
But they are not the same. Some are big, small, tall, short, handsome or pretty, ugly, intelligent, stupid, athletic, ambitious, lazy and so on. They are created equal but are not equal and should not expect to end up the same as everyone else in outcome. Some will be richer, poorer, sicker, healthier, happier, sadder, worry and so on.

Next come some pity maxims.

Fourth, is "sticks and stones may break my bones, but words never harm me".
Self-evident but completely missing in our country's new "morality" where to hurt another's feelings is a "wrong" to be punished by peer-group rejection or worse.

Fifth, is, or are, because I think these two little sayings go together: "Life isn't fair" and "I am the CEO of my own life". In our new world of "equality" and government mandates and dependency, these two little sayings seem to be anachronisms.

Lastly I despise hypocrites and hypocrisy. They are liars and our political environment is full of them. Perhaps couched as something else, it is what it is. But, as the well known government leader Adolph Hitler,said, The Big Lie (German: Große Lüge) is a lie so "colossal" that no one would believe that someone "could have the impudence to distort the truth so infamously". (Mein Kampf, 1925.)

As many people who know me understand, these philosophies sometimes make me a bit dogmatic and unyielding about some things and maybe this post is a bit rambling and incomprehensible to a reader, but it is crystal clear to me. And I can always change it later; in the end, this is my blog anyway.

Future posts will discuss these notions and others and critique the writings of others.

2008 Presidental Election


This election is a plebiscite of the freedom of individual rights and the free-enterprise system against the tyranny of oppression and government control of thought and behavior.

This is shaping up to be the most important and clear-cut election of my lifetime. (Of course being aged I don't remember too far back.) While Sen. John McCain is certainly not the most conservative politician available, he's the Republican choice. He has a strong sense of himself and has shown through his words and votes over the years that he stands up for his beliefs. Agree or not, he isn't governed by polls. As for Sen. Barack Obama, forget the "Hussein", because Muslims have strong beliefs, and substitute "Stepford". Sen. Barack Stepford Obama marches lockstep to the radical far left epitomized by MoveOn.Org. After snatching the Democratic nomination from the shoe-in Hillary, now Sen. Obama's handlers are portraying him as moving to the center, to the snickers of George Soros in the background. But in actuality, being against "big business" and profits, he is a man of the people. As he said in 2007: “Anybody gone into Whole Foods lately and see what they charge for arugula?” the senator said. “I mean, they’re charging a lot of money for this stuff.”

But getting to the real Obama was his speech at the 2008 commencement of Wesleyan University: “[O]ur individual salvation depends on collective salvation...[The Communists proved the benefits of collective salvation.] You can take your diploma, walk off this stage, and chase only after the big house and the nice suits and the other things that our money culture says you should buy. You can choose to narrow your concerns and live life in a way that tries to keep your story separate from America's." The good senator is known for his natty suits and shoes in which he dresses in his million-dollar house. And a small point: the "money culture" does not "say" what anyone "should" do, but what one "can" do. Freedom to make decisions for ourselves.

Well I have news for you Senator, the "money culture" you deride is nothing more than the drive, ambition, creativity and dedication that has built the United States of America into the strongest, most prosperous country the world has ever known. And your goal is to take from a minority -- the achievers -- and buy votes from the underachievers. Well America, good luck on your future with no incentives.

Its underlying philosophy of freedom -- free enterprise, free speech, free pursuit of happiness -- is slowly spreading with its lurches and lunges back and forth throughout the world. It is trade with other countries that has most recently brought millions of humans from devastating poverty to some semblance of "middle class" in China, India and Vietnam, for example.

No, Senator, we are not guaranteed equality -- it's not in the Constitution, nor possible with humans -- only the equal opportunity all Americans enjoy.

And do not doubt that the free-enterprise system is at stake. What are the two biggest campaign contributors to Obama and the Democrats? Unions (throught their leaders, not members) and trial lawyers.

Trade unions are anachronisms, surviving (barely in the private sector) only by laws and government quid pro quo -- unions contribute to Democrats in exchange for ease of unionizing government entities and pay increases. Rather than work with companies to help their growth and success, unions many times harm the companies or entities for which their members work. Auto manufacturers and airlines come to mind. Oh, speaking of the United Auto Workers (UAW), it is striking suppliers to General Motors Corp.'s most important new growth vehicle (the Chevrolet Traverse crossover) at a time then GM is facing death. Does it care if GM survives? Apparently not. And one of Sen. Obama's platform planks is to change existing laws to make it a walk in the park to unionize companies. Workers don't seem to want unions so the Democratic Party's biggest campaign contributor will make it easier.

It'll be an interesting election.

Monday, July 7, 2008

Ask not

Inaugural Address by John F. Kennedy - January 20th 1961:

"Ask not what your country can do for you - ask what you can do for your country"

"...the rights of man come not from the generosity of the state, but from the hand of God..."

"To those peoples in the huts and villages across the globe struggling to break the bonds of mass misery, we pledge our best efforts to help them help themselves, for whatever period is required - not because the Communists may be doing it, not because we seek their votes, but because it is right. If a free society cannot help the many who are poor, it cannot save the few who are rich. "

"Let both sides explore what problems unite us instead of belabouring those problems which divide us. "

And a year later, "Our present tax system exerts to heavy a drag on growth. It siphones out of the private economy too large a share of personal and business purchasing power. It reduces the financial incentives for personal effort, investment and risk-taking."

What happened to the Democrats of Camelot?

Thursday, July 3, 2008

First Practice

"These are the times that try human's souls, or if we don't have them, minds." These words were lifted and rewritten from The American Crisis, Tom Paine (1776). I intend to write comments mostly discussing articles from newspapers and other random probably politically-oriented material. To me this is a time that truly try us. I believe our country -- our way of life, which is increasingly being copied by other countries which want to increase the standards of living of their citizens, and their own wealth and power -- is under attack from those very persons who have benefitted from it. These are the people who are unable, for whatever reason, are unable to succeed in our free-enterprise system, and try to gain success and power through other means within our free-enterprise system.

I strongly believe that most people act according to their own perceived self-interest and those those who are truly "altruistic" number maybe five hundred in our country of 304,394,060 (estimated 6:36 PM EST June 21, 2008). And I don't know any of them. Now I don't mean those who state they are, but those that truly are. Well it's noon here in Seattle and time for my union-mandated lunch break. Maybe more later today, maybe not. This is, after all, a first practice run.