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Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Social Security: The Government’s Ponzi Scheme

In spite of the burdensome and complex regulations that preside over financial markets, criminals like Bernie Madoff can pull off schemes that destroy the lives of many innocent people. One is left to wonder how a person can manipulate the system with such ease. Perhaps criminals like Madoff devise their schemes from the “legal” ones resembling Social Security. Is that a bit of a stretch? Probably. However, the parallels are quite interesting and close enough to make the assertion with the stark difference being intention, of course. The government does not intend to rip people off – it just doesn’t foresee the economically catastrophic consequences of programs designed to help people.

The definition of a Ponzi scheme is “a fraudulent investment operation that pays returns to investors from their own money or money paid by subsequent investors rather than from any actual profit earned; or an investment swindle in which high profits are promised, and early investors are paid off from funds raised from later ones.” A Ponzi scheme is essentially a pyramid scam since it relies on future investors to pay returns to the initial investors.

An examination of the Social Security system reveals some similarities to illegal pyramid schemes. Social Security is a “pay as you go” system. A payroll tax exists in which funds are taken from a worker’s paycheck and distributed to those who currently qualify for benefits. The government does not have individual bank accounts set up in which the money you contribute can grow until you reach retirement age. Therefore, the Social Security system relies on “new investors” to pay returns to the people who are eligible.

The Social Security tax burden is equally shared by the employer and employee. However, just because the employer pays half, does NOT mean that it doesn’t come at the employee’s expense. Businesses designate a certain amount of dollars that they deem an employee is worth. The government takes their cut from payroll taxes, and the employee is left with the difference, which translates into lower gross pay. If a company affords a $50,000 salary for an associate, the 12.4 percent employer/employee Social Security burden reduces gross pay to $43,800. (1) This does not include other payroll taxes such as Medicare tax and income tax.

Social Security has built the “pyramid” over the years, and a pyramid scheme is an unsustainable business model. Eventually, there are too many people requiring a return and not enough people buying into the scheme. Before life expectancy increased and differences in population growth (“baby boomers” vs. “generation X”) took hold, Social Security was able to thrive since there were more people paying into the system than drawing on benefits. For example, in 1950, the ratio of people aged 20-64 was about 7.25 to 1 to people aged 65 and over. (2) This means that there were 7 people paying into the Social Security system for every one person collecting. This number does not include those under the age of 20 who were also working and paying into the system. In 2007, the ratio has fallen to about 4.7 percent. Due to the falling ratio, the government has raised tax rates and delayed benefits to younger generations to adjust for longer life expectancies.

Bernie Madoff’s investors probably didn’t know how their money was being invested. They were simply promised a very high return. Social Security was sold to people under the guise of financial security in later years. How many individuals know what the government does with Social Security dollars? How many know that the government spends Social Security funds on other programs? These “loans” are called “intergovernmental holdings.” The Treasury department issues bonds to the Social Security Administration; and those bonds are held in a “trust fund.” Bonds are simply a promise of future tax increases, which means that taxpayers are funding other government programs via Social Security. Would you mind if Vanguard or ING Direct borrowed from your 401k contributions to pay other investors? Only the government can make loans to itself with other peoples’ money, require a loftier investment from people in the future to pay off the loan, and no one winds up in jail.

What would happen if workers’ were given a 12.2 percent increase in pay today with a stipulation in place that a certain percentage of one’s salary had to be placed in a retirement fund? Imagine if workers actually had a say in how their money is invested, and they were given quarterly statements that show an account balance to assess their progress. Imagine retirees being able to pass on their savings to their children and grandchildren instead of receiving a $255 death benefit.

Isn’t it time that people take control over their financial future instead of contributing to a government slush fund? How secure is Social “Security” when a worker pays into the system all of their life, but dies at age 66? The surviving spouse has a choice between taking their benefit or their deceased spouses’ – whichever is greater. They do NOT get both, and children are not entitled to benefits unless they are disabled or under the age of 16. The rules are complex and have some exceptions; however, the key point is that people should be able to designate freely who their beneficiaries are and be able to KEEP all that they invested.

The Social Security pyramid is going to collapse. The ratio of those paying into the system versus those receiving benefits will continue to drop. It is estimated by 2016, a deficit will exist, and the deficits will be made up by redeeming trust fund assets. (3) America’s economic performance will determine how long it will take the government to deplete the trust fund.

Social Security will have disastrous economic consequences if the move to abolish the program is not made soon. It all boils down to individual as opposed to statist control over your golden years.


Monday, September 28, 2009

The Easy Way Out

Why work hard in the private sector when you can be a paper pusher for the city/state/feds?

A taste:

* The disparity between the public and private sectors is present even in employment statistics. Between July 2008 and July 2009, the private sector lost some 5.2 million workers while government grew by 238,000 workers, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

* Since the recession began in December 2007, U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics data shows that private sector employment has declined 5.74 percent, while government payroll has grown 0.83 percent, according to the New York Times.

* The private sector lost more than a million workers in the second quarter of 2009, while government added over half a million, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. From March 2009 to June 2009, the number of employed persons in private industries dropped from 108,674,000 to 107,498,000. During that same timeframe, the number of employed persons in government rose from 20,904,000 to 21,446,000.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Glenn Beck Owes Libertarians An Apology

by Dan Hanley

Last week Glenn Beck apologized to his fans for calling himself a libertarian in the past. Upon hearing this many libertarians probably jumped for joy…until they heard his reasoning.

Beck’s apology centered on his treatment of Texas Congressman Ron Paul during the 2008 Republican primaries (1). He apologized for labeling Paul as “kooky” and claimed that he wished he could go back and rethink his opposition to Paul’s stance on foreign policy and social issues. He failed to mention his assertion that Paul’s supporters were domestic terrorists following their November 5th fundraising event (2). Perhaps Mr. Beck would have given more thought to Paul’s candidacy were it not for his (likely racially motivated) fear of the “Kenyan” opponent Barack Obama. Apparently the “birther” conspiracy theorists are worth Beck’s time but not his supposed political allies.

Glenn Beck’s apology to libertarians for his treatment of Ron Paul ranks very low on the long list of things for which he should apologize. It is quite ironic that this apology comes almost exactly a year after his support of the bank bailouts (3). Perhaps an apology for distorting the public’s view of libertarian fiscal policy would have been more apt. Until recently, Beck had never even questioned his support of a militaristic, interventionist foreign policy. He supported the drug prohibition through the 2008 primaries, citing his alcoholism and past drug use as influences in this stance. These would have made for a far more interesting and relevant apology piece. Upon close examination, it seems that all of Beck’s so-called “libertarian” stances have only presented themselves over the past year or so.

Beck’s conversion coincided with two important political events. The first is the decline of the neoconservative wing of the Republican Party. Beck began to drop positions to which he attributed this decline. Therefore, social conservative positions like opposition to equal rights for homosexuals and support for the ineffective “War on Drugs” had to go. The attention-craving Beck realized that the libertarian stance on these issues was gaining popularity, and his change in position allowed him to grab many libertarian and social moderate viewers. Beck is one of many GOP conservatives to take the label of libertarian as an out from the unpopular neo-conservative establishment. This leads into the second event: his move from CNN to Fox.

Beck’s network switch created a need to pull in listeners which other Fox shows were unable to capture. The label of “libertarian” gave him more legitimacy in the eyes of those wearied by the hypocrisy of the Republicans. Beck’s show also allowed Fox to throw right-libertarians a bone without hiring someone who would bring with them legitimate criticism of the Republican Party and its neo-conservative base, such as Andrew Napolitano. Beck also gave Fox an outlet to gain access to the populist Tea Party movement which the open establishment neo-conservative pundits could not.
Either Mr. Beck is nothing more than an opportunist seeking to profit by hijacking the name of libertarianism, or he has absolutely no idea what the word means. No libertarian would have voted for Clinton (7) His pro-war stance completely defies the non-aggression aspect of libertarianism. One cannot be a libertarian without supporting a foreign policy of peace. He ignores fiscal conservatism and the principles of Austrian economics with his support of the bailouts, though he only supported them when they were proposed by Republicans. Finally he rejects the anti-authoritarianism inherent to libertarian beliefs with his nonsensical banter about the dangers of drugs.

In short, Glenn Beck has to include quite a bit in his apology to libertarians. He should apologize for further associating libertarianism with conspiracy theorists like the “birthers” and FEMA camp lunatics. Perhaps he should apologize for corrupting the label of libertarianism by associating it with the interventionist foreign policy of the GOP conservatives. Another apology is deserved for his association of libertarianism with the daily insanity he displayed on his show: from hatred of the victim families of the 9/11 attacks (6), to saying he would enjoy choking Michael Moore to death (4), to screaming at callers who criticize his stance (5). “Glenn Beck libertarianism” is nothing more than outdated Fox News idiocy rebranded. Glenn Beck owes libertarians many apologies, none of which will come. So instead Mr. Beck must answer one question, “Where were you for the last eight years, Glenn?”


Tuesday, September 22, 2009

A Circus of Tyranny

That's what the UN is.

From NRO:
Late Sunday night, the United Nations issued its Monday Journal, which lists the heads of state who are addressing the opening of the 64th U.N. General Assembly on Wednesday. Tucked in between Colombia and Russia is Honduras — but the legitimate president of Honduras will not be speaking. The U.N., a majority of whose member states are not “fully free” (according to Freedom House), has invited the ousted would-be dictator of Honduras, disgraced former president Manuel Zelaya, to deliver the address.

This is an outrageous decision, but don’t expect President Obama to stand up for justice and the rule of law. As NR’s Jay Nordlinger recently pointed out, Obama has decided to revoke the visa of Honduran president Roberto Micheletti, preventing his entry into the United States. Obama apparently feels more comfortable sharing a cappuccino in the U.N. Delegates Lounge with a deposed Chávez acolyte than with its authentic, constitutionally legitimate president.

Why is the leader of the free world choosing to “take a stand” against the democratic, pro-American Honduran government? And why doesn’t he have the moral courage to take stands against the world’s most oppressive regimes, such as those in Iran, North Korea, and Burma? Shouldn’t Obama be denying visas to the real enemies of Lady Liberty?

Friday, September 18, 2009

You're Too Stupid To Argue Politics: Racism

Welcome to the new sporadic series on Generation Patriot. This series, You're Too Stupid To Argue Politics, will be mostly rants against the stupidity of people who think they can argue in politics. This won’t be a partisan series. It will cover both arguments from the left-wing and the right-wing because, honestly, there are idiots everywhere. It will be blunt, offensive and full of asshattery. However, this is a subject where if you're offended, then you're probably too stupid to argue politics.

#1 Racism

Since the day President Obama announced his candidacy, there have been accusations that his opponents, both Clinton supporters and conservatives, were racist. Mentioning Reverend Wright was racist, telling people that Bill Ayers was a terrorist was racist (though Obama had no connection with him, wink wink), and questioning his policy was racist. The frequent use of the term took away the meaning and the importance of the word. False events like the “Kill him!” and the viral videos of “raging” McCain supporters just made the view even more widespread and more idiotic.

Fast forward to today. Ex-president and the official National Crazy Old Man Jimmy Carter just accused Representative Joe Wilson of racism. The Republican's outburst of “You Lie” during the President's congressional address has rallied conservatives and offended liberals. While boorish and uncivil, Mr. Wilson, who apologized, was correct as shown by the reinsertion of enforcement provisions into “Obamacare” to prevent illegal aliens and unqualified immigrants from getting government funds. However, don't let that stop the chorus of “RACIST!” echoing out of the Church of Tolerance. Once a heretic is found, he must be punished!

In the similar manner “fascist” is used, “racist” is a codeword for “shut the hell up!” It's something you use continuously when you don't have an argument. It's something that is supposed to shame your opponent into removing him/herself from debate because how could you ever argue when people think you're a raging racist? Classical liberal Republican nominee Barry Goldwater was accused of hooking up with neo-Nazis in Germany so he could get his racism mojo working. Ronald Reagan was accused of supporting slavery when he talked about states rights in his first campaign speech. Newt Gingrich was accused of genocide with a smile when he invited the Congressional Black Caucus over for drinks after the 1994 sweep. Sarah Palin was accused of racism when she said Obama was “paling” around with a terrorist. Does any of this sound like actual racism? Do you see Hitler, George Wallace, whips or eugenics?

The funny thing about all this screaming of bloody racism is that the people who are pointing it out are the same people who believe in the classification and promotion of races based on broad racial categories and based on skin color. On top of that, the label may or may not be accurate to the person's ethnic heritage. There are many, many ethnicities that fit into “black” or the more inaccurate “African-American” label. “Hispanic” is a broad category that covers pure blood Spanish living in South America, as well as a variety of mixed race groups. Not to mention that if you mix up the nationality of a “Hispanic,” they may or may not be pissed at you for mixing up Guatemalan and Honduran. These nations have distinct cultures and histories and their citizenry are proud of it. Don't think that's true? Just walk around Toronto, pick out a white resident, and call them an American. Bring ear plugs.

Racism, real racism, is a horrible and fringe belief in today's America. Institutionalized racism against minorities hasn't been a problem in decades. There is no enforced federal law that puts minorities on one side and whites on the other in which the minorities are put below whites. There are, of course, local issues and schisms born from institutionalized racism, but those are, like I just said: LOCAL. Drunk white teenage skinheads in Louisiana aren't a microcosm of the entire white race. No local problem is a statement on the entire nation, unless you're an opportunist racialist like Al Sharpton.

Racism is much too important a word to throw around like a rag doll. Racism is much too important an issue than leftist moralism or rightist indignation. Racism, like fascism, like any word now used as a term for “Shut The F**k Up,” is way too important than the crybaby whiners that use it to cover their lack of intellectual capacity.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

The United States Constitution vs. the European Constitution

By: Jordan and Michelle

Part I: The Structure of American Government

America has always looked to Europe for guidance. During the Revolutionary Era, faction vied for power by claiming to look to Revolutionary France or Great Britain for ideas. In the early 1900s, various Old Progressives were influenced or directly taught by German Idealists and British Historicists. In fact, before he became President, Woodrow Wilson wrote volumes on the superiority of the British parliamentary system while lamenting the flaws of the American Constitution. Today, the New Progressives look to Europe's growing unity (and growing government) and feel envy. The European Union (EU) has passed sweeping environmental laws, has a large welfare system, and in most nations, state-run universal health care. To a leftist, Europe is the future. To most Americans, however, transplanting the EU's system to the U.S. would be a nightmare beyond words. To understand why, we must understand the history of the American structure of government.

The Confederation

The United States of America began under a much smaller and much weaker Constitution. The Second Continental Congress took the role of a provisional national government during the Revolutionary War and presented the Articles of Confederation and Perpetual Union to the states in 1777. After years of haggling and dealing, Maryland, the final state, ratified the Constitution, and the first permanent structured government of the United States was established.

Thirteen articles made up the first Constitution, and recognized the following:

• The name of the United States of America
• The equality between the thirteen states
• The assurance that the United States of America is a free and independent nation
• The union between the states is perpetual
• The freedom of movement between the states except for criminals
• The establishment of a Congress with each state having one delegation and one vote per delegation
• The central government can conduct foreign relations and war, and that no individual state can declare war nor have a state navy
• When an army is raised, all officers ranked Colonel and below are named by state legislatures
• The United States expenditures will be paid by funds raised by the states
• The job of the central government encompassed war, weights and measures, and mediation
• A Committee of the States was to be established to act as the government for when Congress is not in session
• Nine states are needed to ratify new states
• The war debt incurred by the previous Congress is now owned by the Confederacy
• The declaration that the Articles are perpetual and can only be altered by Congress with the approval of all state legislatures

While this document is quite the read, one can see the emphasis on decentralization. Each state had vast amounts of power over its own destiny. The central government was essentially a mediator and a very weak commerce regulator, as the states each had their own trade policy. There was no executive branch, no judiciary and no bureaucratic regulatory commissions. In fact, the Congress had no way to force the states to submit troops or supplies which made it difficult to prosecute the war. Many people such as John Adams, James Madison and Alexander Hamilton saw the weakness of the Articles during and after the war. Congress had no power to tax; and, therefore, it had no power to pay debts, fund roads or any other kind of basic national infrastructure. Congress had to ask the individual states for money. Unsurprisingly, the states, without having any mandatory reason to give money, were reluctant to work outside their own self-interest. A slightly similar, but more centralized version of this structure can be seen in Canada where the provinces are forced to give money to the federal government who then distributes that money back to the provinces. The rich provinces receive very little of what they gave, and the poorer provinces receive far more than their contribution. This system creates a lot of ire between the individual provinces as well as between the provinces and the federal government.

The Union

Due to the compounding problems of the Confederation, a call was made to amend the Articles to create a stronger central government that could levy taxes, create domestic and international trade policy, conduct foreign policy and war with more coordination. This process began with Charles Pinckney of South Carolina (the Virginia Legislature at the time). Following a recommendation by James Madison, the states were invited to Maryland to talk about how to simmer inter-state conflict. That convention endorsed a motion that called for the states to meet in Philadelphia to discuss ways to amend the Articles of Confederation, which became the historic Constitutional Convention of 1787. On its face, the “Grand Convention” was about amending, not replacing, the Articles; however, the delegates in Philadelphia began closed-door meetings and hashed out a new constitution.

There were several proposals on the structure of the new government. The Virginia Plan, drafted by James Madison, proposed a bicameral (two chamber) legislature (seats distributed by population or taxes) with the lower branch being elected by the people and the upper branch elected by nominations from the thirteen state legislatures. The upper house would be able to veto laws of the states if it conflicted with the national union. The executive branch would be elected by the national legislature. Both branches would be limited to one term. A national judiciary was also proposed. With the Virginia Plan and a similar plan proposed by Charles Pinckney, the smaller states were under threat of losing influence in the national government. The New Jersey Plan, or the Small State Plan, proposed a single legislature with each state having one vote. Similar to the Virginia Plan, there was a judicial branch and the single house electing the executive branch. A fourth plan, called Hamilton's Plan after Alexander Hamilton, proposed the abolishment of the states in a government based on the British government. It wasn't seriously considered.

On July 16, 1787, a compromise was proposed by Connecticut that combined the Virginia and New Jersey Plans. There would be a bicameral legislature in which the lower house (House of Representatives) would be elected by the people, and the seats would be distributed by population. The upper house of the legislature (the Senate) would be elected by state legislatures. Instead of the Congress electing the executive branch, the President would be elected by electors who in turn would be elected by the people of each state. Out of all these plans, the only consistent branch was the independent judiciary appointed to life terms. There had been a call for a bill of rights before the Constitutional Convention as a protection against government tyranny. During the ratification of the Constitution, many states added recommendations to amend the Constitution. When the First Congress met, it wrote and proposed the Bill of Rights, which was ratified on December 15, 1791.

Why It Works

The key to understanding why the United States government is shaped the way it is in its current manner is to understand why the Revolution happened in the first place. It wasn't simply about taxes, but about representation and rights of citizens of the British Empire. During the Revolutionary Era, colonists were treated as second-class citizens with their natural and legal rights under the British Bill of Rights being violated. After the victory over Great Britain, the founders had it in their mind to prevent an overbearing, centralized government from forming. The way they came to do this was to pit the government against itself while leaving room for it to progress and function.

Unlike a number of other nations who have a parliamentary model based on that of Great Britain (my second home of Canada being one); the lawmakers and the law executers are not of the same cloth. The powers of the executive branch and the legislative branch are specifically appointed to the former or the latter. This allows each branch to try to outmaneuver each other in their mutual attempts to gain more power. However, it was written not only with checks on both the legislative and executive branches, but with an originally established check on both houses of Congress. Before the Progressive push and victory for the popular election of Senators, those of the upper house were elected by state legislatures. This kept a check on the populism of the lower house with the interest of the state governments. The removal of this check has had drastic consequences, as seen with the alliance of both Senators and Representatives on many, many questionable bills that took more power away from the individual states. This would never happen if the state government had its own representation in Congress. In spite of the loss of that check, the short but dramatic history of the United States has shown that the system still works - both before and after the removal of certain checks. During the Civil War, civil rights were suspended, but reestablished quickly after its end. During the First World War, a proto-fascist state was established. However, the President that created it was voted out of office; and the government's powers were reigned in by a rightly fearful judiciary, Congress and public. The policies of the New Deal and Second World War had a similar fate with the slow dismantling of many of Franklin D. Roosevelt's giant government programs and the repeal of questionable war-time laws.

The philosophy behind our entire system, at least at the time it was created, was the idea that human nature will not change. Politicians will grasp for power, national leaders will attempt glory and have grand ambition, and the citizen mob will be moody and prone to frenzy. The founders knew of the history of republics and saw the abuses of a powerful, unchecked government in their own cities and towns. There are millions of Americans today who think we have progressed beyond what the founders deemed an eternal constant. They believe humanity is progressing towards an endgame, a final state of bliss, utopia or some kind of better world. This leads these Americans to promote or defend structural changes that do not fit into the original design and purpose of the American government (popular election of Senators being one example - judicial “first among equal branches” being another). The Declaration of Independence says "That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends [life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness], it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness." It does not talk about progressing or advancing. It doesn't talk about modifying our views for a new age. The first document of principles by the United States talked about taking back rights from those who did not believe they existed.

Part II: An Analysis of the European Constitution

Contrasts to the U.S. Constitution

First of all, one must ask if it is possible to unite nations as opposed to individual states. Nations have different cultures, different economic structures and different ideologies. When the founders built the United States government, the nation had just been born. The attempts made by the EU to devise a constitution to bind nations that have long histories of standing on their own is a far more difficult and dangerous task. The caveat here is to question the intentions of such a document. Will such a document preserve individual freedom, or will it be used as a mechanism for regulatory control over multiple nations?

The idea of the constitution has been sold under the guise of unity and that is necessary for better trade between nations, a stronger international market presence and job growth. The Founders of the United States created the Constitution not to strengthen international presence, but to PRESERVE individual liberty and freedom from an overbearing government. Over the past century, the United States has seen power become more centralized in spite of the efforts of the framers of the Constitution to keep power decentralized. An EU constitution does not seek preserve the identity of nations, but to blend nations into one and establish a centralized law-making bureaucracy. Centralized power does not preserve freedom, and for this reason, Europeans should fear an EU Constitution.

In addition to the original intent for a constitution being dissimilar, another stark difference is voting power. The EU constitution seeks population based voting power (Article I-25), which means that nations with the largest populations would have the most control over policy making. A population-based law would violate the classical principle of local control and state equality. The founders in America realized the importance of state and local power – hence the New Jersey Plan. If a population-based policy were implemented in the U.S., then populous states such as New York and California would be making Federal policy while less populous states would have no influence. In addition, as long as there is collusion between the populous states, laws would be passed with ease and little debate.

The Dangers of Centralized Economic and Monetary Policy

Article I-13 of the Constitution gives the EU exclusive legal power to decide policy in regards to trade tariffs, quotas, monetary policy, competition rules for the international market and trade agreements to name but a few. The issue of the Federal Reserve being “constitutional” in United States is a widely debated topic. The idea of a centralized body having total control over monetary policy obviously conflicts with the idea of decentralized power. The powers of the Federal Reserve can essentially make or break the economic stability of the United States. The reasoning behind the establishment of the Federal Reserve was to reduce systemic risk; however, many have argued that such authority and the history of monetary policy have actually increased systemic risk. The Federal Reserve shares the blame for the creation and bursting of the housing market bubble.

If the EU wishes to implement their own “Federal Reserve,” it can be far more dangerous in the sense where the ultimate goal could be to abolish the currencies of individual nations. Such a move would place one institution in charge of the economic fate of several nations.

The corporatist traditions of countries such as Germany and France, whose population size would give them disproportionate influence on monetary policy under the voting system, could make “crony capitalism” the norm for all of Europe in spite of countries that wish to pursue a more classical liberal approach. Article I-4 states that Laissez-faire and economic competition based on the unobstructed movement of goods, capital and labor throughout the EU countries are constitutionally mandatory, however, this motive serves no purpose in a constitution that would bind nations together. Decentralized power seeks to preserve the principles of a free market. A binding document that would determine “fair” economic and social policy for multiple nations would have the opposite outcome.

The Power of the Lobby

The process of European integration has stemmed from socialist parties, trade unions and big business. These tenants remove freedom and give large bodies the power to impose policy with little resistance. Socialists who have not been able to transform society to their liking through the ballot box, can now have socialist policies imposed through an EU Constitution. In addition, multi-national corporate conglomerates have only one legislative body in which to lobby and negotiate. Compromise and voice from the opposition have only been possible because groups had to deal with the elected democratic governments of each nation. The difference between American framers and their European counterparts is the former sought to protect America from those who have no faith in the democratic process while the latter holds such beliefs.


If a constitution is not devised as a mechanism to preserve individual freedom and reign in the powers of government, then the creation of such a document serves no purpose. Constitutions should not be devised to band nations together to create a super-power rival to other powerful nations with the “power-elite” in control. Constitutions written with such motives lead to oppression and tyranny. If the EU wishes to follow the footsteps of America’s Founding Fathers, then the framers of the EU Constitution must recognize the importance of localized power, and adhere to the rights of the individual nations’ liberty.

Unfunnly LOL: Church and State Dumbasses

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Winners and Losers: Taking It to the Left... Cleanly

How do you justify racism?

How do you justify hate?

How do you justify theft?

Easy. Don't call it that.

With the communist, racist and radical Mr. Van Jones now out of President Obama's administration the Left, including many mainstream publications and talking heads, are trying to justify the words, actions and writings of a man that is indefensible. It's one thing to be an avowed communist. It's another thing to say that environmental waste is purposely being dumped into black neighborhoods. It's entirely out of one's mind to sign a petition that accuses the President of the United States of allowing/masterminding the 9/11 attacks. And yet, the Huffington Post, The New Republic and even mainstream journalists like David Gergen are all jumping to the defense of this man. What gives? Do they suddenly hold to trutherism? Do they believe that the white majority wants to destroy just the black minority by all conspiratorial means? Really?

The answer is no. I don't think any of the mainstream liberal publications and personalities actually subscribe to the views of Van Jones, or do not have a strong enough belief in them to consider them the truth. Defending Van Jones isn't about what he said; it's about what he represents to the New Progressives. Van Jones, as far as I can tell, is a true believer. A man who gave up personal ambition for political service. A man who stood fast in the face of adversity. A man who was, to many of these people, a good friend and an overall good guy. An icon of the New Progressive movement. In the words of Ms. Huffington, one of Van's closest friends: “He's a remarkable man. One of those things I've always found so impressive about him – and something completely lost in the partisan mudslinging – is his ability to build coalitions and create unlikely alliances.”

I'm sorry, Arianna, but when he's recorded telling people how white folks hate black folks or when he blames America for 9/11, his ability to organize is kind of secondary compared to that kind of radicalism. The KKK organized pretty damn well during the Civil Rights era. They built coalitions between labor and management, between the haves and have nots, but I don't think you'd be congratulating them on an organization well done. Because this isn't about a man's ability to organize, is it? It's about your side losing.

The Right is going through that as well. With the resounding defeat of the Republicans in 2006 and in 2008 by President Obama's well-planned campaign, the conservative movement turned on its own, and rightly so, identifying the ideas and the people who blurred the line between conservative and moderate, between statism and federalism. As far as I can tell, the civil war has passed for now, but we have a new problem to deal with: hysteria.

I'm not talking about the exposing of Van Jones, even if some more passive conservative think that was a bad idea. That was a great job that Glenn Beck started and the blogroots finished (major kudos to GatewayPundit for finding the truthful petition). I'm talking about the row over the President's speech to American students. I'm talking about the overblown rhetoric about the amount of czars Obama has. I'm talking about, and unfortunately pointing the finger at, the Glenn Becks of our movement who are more concerned about the metaphorical decoration on Rockefeller Center than with the ideological and philosophical battles being waged across the country. These wars will have much more impact on the way this country goes. (As I have said, I am not a fan of Glenn Beck, but I am not a frenzied detractor either. I simply have an aversion to the populist and conspiratorial style of his show.)

In light of the Left's vulnerability over their dear communist truther, we must be disciplined in our voices and in our words. The loose confederation of conflicting and overlapping beliefs we call the conservative movement is always under a vast larger microscope than the flamboyant and childish New Progressives. While screecher Paul Krugman and alarmist Al Gore are considered intellectuals by the Left, we have people like Yural Levin and Jay Nordinger who bring down the hammer on such shallow thinkers. While the Left can tiptoe around the Animal Liberation Front, the Weatherman, Code Pink and the bigoted Prop 8 protestors, the Right must be held accountable to the deranged murderer of Mr. Tiller, to the uber-radical paranoia of a few violent people and even the antisemitism of a old Nazi sympathizer. While the Left can dismiss John Murtha's billion dollar corruption, California's Democratic Party's gerrymandering, Nancy Pelosi's abuse the Speaker's office by action and word and Henry Waxman's overbearing and probably unconstitutional investigations, but the Right must explain Larry Craig's indecent behavior, Gov. Sanford's indiscretions and Michelle Bachmann's less than tactful words about the President.

The world isn't fair, most of all when it comes to politics. When you talk about good morals, you shouldn't be accused of brining a theocracy. When you talk about patriotism, you shouldn't be called a fascist. When you talk about race quota, you shouldn't be called a racist. When you talk about the freedom of commerce, you shouldn't be accused of hating poor people. But we all get this. We all get the wrath of the ignorant, the radical and the just plain insane. And because of this, especially since the last eight years have been filled to the rim with leftist sewage, we feel its proper to throw some of it back.

The thing is, though, is that we can't throw any back, not if we want our ideas to be taken seriously and our opposition to be seen more than just a mishmash of anger. The townhalls were a good start. The Van Jones investigation was brilliant. Now, with this opening, we need to invade with all the forces we have at our disposal.

We need to explain how expropriating the labor of private doctors for state use without consent is tyrannical.

We need to expose other radicals in the President's circle, like Mr. Lloyd, the FCC's Diversity czar.

We need to put leashes on Congress with term limits and the returning the election of Senators to state legislatures.

We need to individualize Social Security , minimize and streamline welfare, Medicare and Medicaid, so not to put even more of a burden on the post-Boomer generations.

There is a lot conservatives need to do. There are many people we need to find, support and elect to office. There are a lot of people we need to kick out of office. There is a lot of the country that needs to be educated on what it means to support federalism, free markets, and a strong minimal federal government.

But, people, we can't really do that if we're considered just the other side of the same partisan coin.

Monday, September 7, 2009

How Healthcare Reform is Ruining the Democrats

I find it ironic that healthcare, the strongest campaign message by the Democrats in 2008, has today become the party’s largest thorn. During the campaign, healthcare reform was a clear and concise message that struck a nerve with liberals, independents, and some disgruntled Republicans. Obama and Clinton continued to banter back and forth during the primaries on health care reform which registered with voters and showed America the Democrats owned this issue. Healthcare for everyone was the campaign slogan and nobody would have to pay extra for it - except for a few wealthy people who should buy it for you anyway, right? If you like your current plan you can keep it. If you are down on your luck there will be a public option for you. President Obama rode into Washington with an approval rating just shy of 70 percent on the heels of many promises; the most important being health care.(1) A badly beaten Republican party, who already lost Congress back in 2006, turned the White House over to the Democrats. America today is being lead by the country’s most liberal leaders in our history. Liberal Democrats have majority control in every branch of government – Executive, Judicial, and Legislative.

How could something so good go so wrong for the Democrats? Months after the health care bill has been drafted, many Americans do not fully understand what he is trying to reform. Obama has completely lost control and has failed to lead during this process. Back in 1993 when Bill Clinton was pushing “Hillary Care,” he addressed the nation and explained the plan to the public. Obama has had several opportunities to explain this and to this day all of his addresses have lacked specifics. That leaves one to conclude our President doesn’t understand the plan himself, or he does not feel comfortable talking about the plan with us. I tend to believe the latter, and as long as the media fawns over this man, nobody will put him on the spot with difficult questions that will force him to explain anything. This tactic has not worked, and it has been detrimental to the Democrats.

While our President has failed to communicate with the American people, our government has ignored the concerned citizens who have flooded town hall meetings expressing their concerns. The public option and cuts in medicare have been among their primary concerns. Most people do agree the system needs reform, however many statistical polls show that 75 percent of the people in America are happy with their current plan. Many of these people do not believe the entire system needs to be overhauled in order to provide reform. The current bill, H.R. 3200, does nothing to address the costs that go into why doctors charge so much. Instead, it just tries to “bandaid” the issue by extending insurance to everyone. Many of the so called “uninsured” today already have access to some kind of plan, either private or governmental. Government mandates on insurance and tort laws are the primary reasons why medical costs are so high, yet the bill does nothing to address these costs. Instead, the bill contains more mandates on companies who already provide insurance and individuals being forced to purchase plans. Many are concerned about whether a public option will eventually lead to single payer, and rightfully so. Obama has yet to answer how this can work without adding any new doctors to provide this additional level service. No one has ever explained how illegal aliens will be treated with the public option.

Citizens of this country are storming the town halls and burning up the phone lines calling their representatives frantic for answers. Meanwhile the White House and many of the elite in Congress simply brush this off as a Fox News initiative driven by far right radicals, or people being sent by insurance companies. I cannot think of anything more devastating than public officials ignoring concerned voters in their constituency. Downplaying, and in some cases, insulting Americans who are executing one of the most essential rights of liberty is not going to help the cause. Americans are rightfully angry at the bill's contents. They should be heard and taken seriously by everyone. The people voicing their concerns have damaged the possibility of a public option and the passage of this bill in general. Many "blue dog" Democrats opposed this bill from the start. Meanwhile, some in Congress support an even more liberal version of this bill and do not believe this goes far enough. Many argue the President let the far left have far too much influence in the writing of this bill, which today is over 1,000 pages.

What has happened here is a perfect example of “the straw that broke the camel’s back.” Today, healthcare costs are about 17 percent of our gross domestic product (GDP). The Democrats have decided to quickly push through healthcare without any bipartisan support or debate. The great uniter has quickly become the great divider. America has already seen an expensive and urgent stimulus package which almost all economists agree will never work. Cap and Trade was next, and now healthcare. All of these bills have been enormous making it impossible to read. Bills of this size are in itself an exploit of our entire government model. Americans are seeing spending and deficits that were once unthinkable – despite the outrageous spending from the previous administration. Americans have simply had enough. This is not the change that drew moderates and independents to vote for Barack Obama - that much is clear. America is still a center right nation, and I am proud to say that is not going to change anytime soon. No one in Washington is going to force us to change the way we live so we can be more like Sweden or France. Both are wonderful places to visit and the people there are great, but no one can expect anything there will ever work over here without a drastic change in our lifestyles. It will not happen and outraged Americans are speaking out against this nonsense.

Congratulations to everyone out there who has let their voices be heard. This is how our government is supposed to work. Polls show support for the President and the Democrats are in a free fall. The latest Rasmussen poll shows the President is at a 47 percent approval rating and falling – down from almost 70% only nine months ago!(2) Even George W. Bush, who left office with the lowest approval ratings ever, fared better than this through his first eight months as President. Without a drastic change by this administration, the Democratic party stands to be in a lot of trouble in the 2010 elections.


Friday, September 4, 2009


Moments of change happen to people every single day. Babies are born. Parents die. Children die. A house burns. A theft. A rescue. An opening. A closure. These things come in the billions everyday. Moments crashing into another over and over in towns, cities, farms and forests. Everywhere. There wasn't an iota of human existence that hasn't been touched by the forces of the world.

There's always been a mystic feelings to watching history. I can never place my finger on it, but it was there. It's there like the sun each morning, even through the smoke of the brushfires or the black cover of a mountain storm. It took a normal day that was blue and calm and transported me to a place out of step with what came before it. The sun didn't look right. The air had a tinge of uncertainty. The world that I saw wasn't the world that I experienced just moments before.

And yet, the world had never changed, not in the sense we short-lived intelligent animals think of as change. Not in the sense of the creation of the solar system or the destruction of the dinosaurs. Those things are real, forever change. Change that utterly ended the world without destroying it. I've been alive twenty four years and what I've been alive to see has simply been the reiteration of the natural truths of human existence in new and interesting forms. The events themselves are new, no doubt, as, for example, the Romans never put a man into space (nor did they do it in a race against Carthage), but the basic reason behind the events have never, ever lost their force.

These forces are so primal, so natural, that we dress them up in new words to disguise what they really are. When you talk about the Final Solution, you are not just talking about the genocidal dictates of a race-oriented national socialist dictator, but you are also talking about a hatred. Pure, deep tribal hatred. Something that repeated itself dozens of times 20 years before the Nazis and dozens of times 20 years after them. When you talk about the fall of the USSR, you are not just talking about the fall of communism, but you are talking about the felling of a single empire which took the place of a previous empire, which in turn took the place of the empire before it. During those empires, the Russian people never tasted freedom, nor do they taste it today. Before the Suffrage Movement, oligarchical Sparta had equal rights for women while democratic Athens shunned the gender. Where the first human and civil laws were created thousands of years ago now lays the bloody print of a dead dictator, one who took from another bloody dictator, who was given his patch of land from an empire that spanned the globe.

If you talk to those who dream of the future of progress and push for our civilization to reach for social perfection, they seem to think what they're doing has been done before. Our leaders, past and present, the ones with the vast visions and the big plans, they saw history as progressive. They saw the moments of humanity individual and apart from other moments. What they didn't know is these things they pine for are not new nor are they special if you put them up against the rest of history. The tale of human civilization shows we human beings, and our human nature, is consistent in its ability to bring us to greats highs like Babylon and its laws, Sparta's equality among the sexes, Athens' experiment with democracy, the Bill of Rights, the liberation of Europe from Nazi, then Soviet tyranny; and in its ability to bring us people like bloody Nero, the Athenian mob, Spartan infanticide, Persian tyranny and murder, the antebellum slave trade, the Islamist terrorist blowback of the Cold War. And all these things are just customs or events in the life time of our modern nations. Dare we think of what could come in our lifetime that may rival the fall of Rome, the Spartan-Athenian War or the Second World War?

When the television told me change is on the way, or a spry newborn revolutionary wanted me to ride the tide of liberation, I followed. When the bombs dropped on Belgrade in 1999, I thought it was new. When the towers fell, I thought it was new. Even when our President was elected last November, I still had that feeling of history. And yet, it wasn't truly there. There was something repetitive about it. Something old. His name was different, his voice was different, even his skin was different, but I'd be damned if I didn't think I saw a tinge of our past, let alone the past of Western civilization, in it. This is why we can't ignore the clues of our past and the words of our Founders. They saw the past, they read the histories and they knew the follies of narcissistic peoples. They enshrined the highs and build walls to prevents the lows. There's a reason they talked and wrote of God-given rights and of human nature and not of the rights we may have later or of the need to implement social justices and save humanity. It's not because they wanted to inspire us to run headstrong into the future, spreading the gospel we think we read in our nation's events, taking for granted that we are safe in our democracy (nay, republic). It's because they wanted to warn us against thinking our future was new, that our actions are unique and that our choices are impossible to fathom from so far in the past.

I don't know what will happen in the future, but what I know is I see the signs of human consistency. It could be before I die or after I die, but if we do not heed to the histories of our human nature, we shall become an example to the future republicans of some lucky, distant nation.

Cross-posted at Conservative Today

Left-Wing Terrorists Attack Radio Towers in Washington State

The Earth Liberation Front (ELF) issued a statement saying opponents of the towers argue that "AM radio waves cause adverse health effects including a higher rate of cancer, harm to wildlife, and that the signals have been interfering with home phone and intercom lines."

"When all legal channels of opposition have been exhausted, concerned citizens have to take action into their own hands to protect life and the planet," Jason Crawford, a spokesman for the group, said in a news release.

Members of ELF have been sentenced for acts of domestic terrorism in the past.
Despite reports and news to the contrary, the most active terrorists in the last ten years have been leftist groups like the Earth Liberation Front, the Animal Liberation Front and various anarchist groups that planned to bomb the RNC as well as bombed military recruitment centers.

While we should not take our eye of violent groups of the right, it is no excuse to not crack down on known cells of ALF, ELF or any other anarchist group that plans to commit violence.