Odd Citizen

Odd Citizen
An Odd Citizen’s Search For Vanishing Freedoms

Hate is Not a Crime

October 4th, 2010

Geert Wilders, a politician who heads the third-largest political party in Holland is being tried for “hate speech.” What we’re really talking about here is censorship, plain and simple. Mr. Wilders speaks out against immigration to Holland, particularly by Muslims. In too many formerly free, supposedly democratic countries, such as Holland, France and Canada, among others, it has become fashionable to define certain speech as “hate speech.” In some cases, such as Wilders’, this is subject to criminal prosecution.

In fact, there are elements in the U.S. who advocate censorship of speech which they define as “hate speech.” I suppose, if I were Dutch, and with a broad smile on my face I said “I love Muslims and the Koran,” but there was HATE in my heart as I said it, then this would be defined as hate speech. My “hate” could be detected and punished regardless of my words or my expression. However, if I said “I love Elvis and his guitar,” but there was HATE in my heart as I said it, then this wouldn’t constitute hate speech, because a. Elvis was male, b. Elvis was white, and c. (only incidentally) Elvis is dead. Only certain groups of people qualify for protection under the hate speech doctrine.

We all wish to live in a conflict free world. Social friction has historically been relieved by good manners, not strict laws. The solution is to teach manners to children and insist on the same from adults.

This same phenomenon is reflected in the recent suicide of Tyler Clementi at Rutgers University. The tragic outcome of a prank is being packaged as a “hate crime” by the left-wing media pundits. But in reality it is a case of horribly bad manners with an exaggerated consequence. There are multiple principles of good manners that should have prevented Clementi’s room-mate, Dharun Ravi, from planting a camera in the dorm room and broadcasting Clementi’s private behavior. Respect for the privacy of another is certainly a very basic concept of good manners. Ravi’s behavior was not a “hate crime” as some are characterizing it. It was, however, a stupid, grave violation of one person’s obligation to treat another with courtesy and restraint, no matter whatever else he may have had in his mind when he did it.

Big Government Leads to Desperate Mobs

September 7th, 2010

Here’s what happens when citizens allow government to take over their lives, making decisions for them that in a free country they can and should make on their own. When citizens become dissatisfied with the way they’re being treated, then it becomes a political matter. There are no individual solutions. In modern Europe this applies, among other things to medicine and retirement. Here we have the French people facing the menace of an increase in the retirement age (specified by government) from 60 to 62. It isn’t an individual matter. It’s a political matter. There’s nothing to do but demonstrate.

This is an object lesson for why the Obamacare socialized medicine law must be repealed. Democracy by mob isn’t and should not become part of our American tradition.

The Cordoba Mosque and Free Speech

August 14th, 2010

Our president, the Sun God, proclaims that he sees nothing wrong with Muslim radicals building a mosque at the “hallowed ground” site of the Muslim 911 terror attack. He maintains that this isn’t a judgment about the wisdom of allowing them to build this particular mosque at this particular site, but just an affirmation of his country’s principles of religious tolerance and freedom.

This detached bit of sophistry is like saying that because of our country’s principles of free speech and assembly, the Ku Klux Klan is free to burn a cross at the grave of Martin Luther King. In principle, of course. In practice it’s a local matter.

This is similar to the liberal left’s attitude toward flag burning and desecration as a form of free speech. Yes,in principle this is free speech, but in practice it can and should be taken as an insult. So the guy who smacks the flag burner in the chops is fully justified in doing so. That’s my opinion.

The same goes for the Ku Kluxers burning crosses and the Muslim radicals building their “Cordoba Center” at ground zero. They won’t even reveal where the $100 million cost is coming from. One reasonably suspects that it’s from Saudi Arabia, from whence came the 911 Muslim jihadist perpetrators.

It has been pointed out that New York City hosts over 100 mosques already. Saudi Arabia hosts no Christian churches and no synagogues. Practitioners of those faiths can and are routinely stoned to death or beheaded in peaceful, tolerant Muslim countries. So with a dose of proportionality I can’t see anything wrong with telling the backers of the Cordoba Center to build elsewhere.

We are a free and tolerant people, but we need not be meek fools.

Diversity By Stealth, Or Else!

July 29th, 2010

Yet more stealth legislation from the Sun God regime: (from Politico)

Deep inside the massive overhaul bill, Congress gives the federal government authority to terminate contracts with any financial firm that fails to ensure the “fair inclusion” of women and minorities, forcing every kind of company from a Wall Street giant to a mom-and-pop law office to account for the composition of its work force.

There are reported to be 20 new boards and commissions provided for in the so called “Finance Reform” legislation tasked to promoting or forcing racial and sex diversity. “The 1,261-word section authored by Rep. Maxine Waters (D-Calif.) barely registered during the legislative debate.”

Presidential candidate Obama convinced a lot of people that he would be a “post-racial” president. The truth is that this administration and this congress have become a racially inflammatory force. Those who paid attention to Rev. Jeremiah Wright as a guide to Mr. Obama’s future attitude had it right.

Let’s face the fact that forcing “diversity” does not necessarily promote tolerance nor understanding. Instead, it promotes resentment and victimology. If I don’t like dogs, you can’t force me to like or even respect them by locking me up in a cage with a mutt.

The federal bureaucracy now has in place the mechanism for enforcing wage controls, hiring and firing, lending, health care, banking, mortgages, student loans, and the monitoring of all financial transactions large and small, all in the first year of the Sun God’s reign. The Obama regime deigns to enforce whatever laws it chooses and to ignore those it doesn’t like, see the New Black Panther voter intimidation case. An attempt to crush free political speech failed, but don’t hold your breath. The courts can be used to do that (reference Arizona court intervention) when legislation fails.

A country doesn’t necessarily get tyranny all at once. It can creep up through the weakening of the institutions the country relies on for justice and stability. In the present tense we’re seeing too many huge new laws salted with repressive and tyrannical measures.

That doesn’t add up to a good future outcome. And it’s clearly not Bushes fault!

The Noose Tightens on Business

July 22nd, 2010

“(CNSNews.com) – The Obama administration is backing legislation that includes regulations requiring U.S. businesses to provide to the government data about employee pay as it relates to the sex, race and national origin of employees.” They call it the “Paycheck Fairness Act.”

Along with their other oppressive new regulations on bank transactions, 1099’s for all commercial transactions over $600, monitoring of health records (the fat patrol), now the Obama maniacs want to collect information on paychecks by sex, race and national origin. (Guess they forgot about their usual fixation on homosexual, transgender and trans-sexual categories.) Of course, this is packaged as a “fairness” issue. But it really is just another tightening of the government noose around the necks of business people. How many new IRS agents, in addition to the 11,000 new gestapo authorized to enforce the health care mandate, will be needed to enforce wage regulations nationwide? How many lawyers will be able to their living mugging businesses over their wage decisions? Why don’t they just admit that they’re a bunch of communists and nationalize the whole damn U.S. economy?

Brick by brick the Obama team is building a jail cell for the country to live in, with a death row especially reserved for businesses, especially the smaller ones that don’t make big political contributions to their masters.

Preservation of our liberty requires stopping them right now.

Total Control: Feds Say You’re Too FAT!

July 17th, 2010

The federal government is tightening surveillance of your bank account, spending and borrowing (see: Liberty and Democrats through new financial monitoring provisions of (oddly) the health care law. Now we learn that the stimulus bill signed last year contains detailed requirements for medical record keeping as described in a CNSNews.com article “Obesity Rating for Every American Must Be Included in Stimulus-Mandated Electronic Health Records, Says HHS”.

The fat patrol is, presumably, to be headed by Regina Benjamin, Mr. Obama’s new Surgeon General appointee.

Provisions of this law which mandate electronic record-keeping appear to also provide for government access to and monitoring of these records. The article says:

The law also requires that these electronic health records be available–with appropriate security measures–on a national exchange.

Do you find it as creepy as I do that not only have our law makers sneaked in additional provisions in unrelated bills to monitor our finances, but they now want to monitor our bodies as well? Does it bother you that these surveillance provisions are salted into crevices and cracks of unrelated legislation? Who’s coordinating this growing web of Cuban/North Korean style monitoring that is being assembled behind our backs?

“Hello, Mr. Jones. This is Butch from the Office of Federal Fat Control. We’ve been notified that at your last weigh-in you gained 10 pounds. You are now five pounds over the mandated maximum weight for your height category. Accordingly, you are ordered to report to Health Clinic Number 2,397 for liposuction or shortening, or both not later than February 25th. Failure to comply will result in revocation of your food authorization coupons and invalidation of your medical card.”

It would be funny if it were not potentially so real.

Awful Offal from the Oval Office

June 16th, 2010

Last evening His Assness, the Sun God, graced us with his radiance in hopes of boosting his poll ratings. He informed us that anything that had gone well during the Gulf oil spill was due to his beneficent efforts. HE had produced the sand berms to protect the Louisiana shores. What he didn’t mention was that his federal bureaucrats had blocked these berms and they’re being built only after the local government took the initiative on its own. As always, we’re expected to believe that lies told by His Assness are really truth.

This godly creature inhabiting the White House acts with divine powers not limited by laws. He can decree the career execution of mere business executives, take over companies, break contractual obligations, seize private assets for “public good”, anything he deems or dreams or wants for his own political well being. That’s the “Audacity of Hope” or something like that.

The Oval Office speech format is normally reserved for substantive speeches about vital national events. President Obama’s political legacy isn’t in that category, and the speech itself was that of an amateur completely out of his depth. But that doesn’t mean he can’t do great harm. He can and he does.

It gets to look more like Venezuela every day.

Black Markets and Free People

May 23rd, 2010

The socialist state is closing in on you and me.

1) The health care law requires all transactions totaling $600 or more (cumulatively over a year) to trigger IRS 1099 reports. That means the government will know who you get money from and whom you pay it to.

2) Thousands of new IRS agents will be hired to monitor your health insurance subscriptions. Do you have a government approved policy? What else might these new jackboots be used for?

But that’s not all, folks ….

3) The new financial regulatory law in front of congress has a provision that allows the government to collect data on all banking transactions, including ATM transactions, by name of person including address. The government is specifically authorized by the legislation to do anything they please with this data.

4) Various “comprehensive immigration reform” proposals by “progressive” Democrats have proposed national ID cards for all citizens (and non-citizens?).

Guess what all that is aimed to do? I’ll tell you if you read on from here.

The logical and historically inevitable result of these measures which will be combined with regulatory measures to control your behavior, the upcoming massive tax increases in the form of energy taxes, carbon taxes, and potentially a VAT — will be the complete stagnation of the county’s economy and emergence of an immensely enlarged underground economy, often called a black market. This type of situation arises historically from the advent of repressive regimes and hyper-inflation, both of which are on the horizon for the U.S.A.

Beyond a certain point most people are not helpless and stupid. Even if they don’t value their civil liberties, they do react to attacks on their economic freedoms. They’ll find a way to take care of themselves. And when they find that government has destroyed the integrity of the above ground business environment through over-regulation usually accompanied by massive corruption, when their money is worthless, their lives are monitored in excruciating detail by oppressive bureaucracies — then they figure out ways of living that bypass all of this. The black market emerges. Don’t like to be monitored by government? Don’t participate by reporting anything. Don’t like your government clinic? Pay a doctor under the table. Don’t like the government monitoring your ATM transactions? Use cash obtained in under the table in private face-to-face transactions. Don’t have cash? Do barter transactions. Money worthless? Use another country’s currency or gold. Afraid to being found out by your local commissar or block committeeman? Arm yourself. Afraid to arm yourself? Emigrate.

Of course, this type of economy is typically a growth opportunity for criminal gangs. Look at Russia. Look at Zimbabwe and Nigeria. So you don’t like what the gangs are extracting from your black market activity? Join the gang.

Do you think I’m exaggerating? That it can’t happen here? Think prohibition, then read the first part of this article. The “progressive” government doesn’t think it’s so far-fetched. It’s preparing itself already.

IRS Paperwork Explosion

May 21st, 2010

As mentioned before in this blog, hidden in the health care legislation is a new IRS requirement that will result in a massive paperwork increase for every business in the country. It will cost thousands of dollars and countless hours to comply with this new requirement to report 1099’s for all transactions over $600. Hundreds, maybe thousands of transactions will have to be monitored and reported.

CNN Money.com reports:

Starting in 2012, that changes. All business payments or purchases that exceed $600 in a calendar year will need to be accompanied by a 1099 filing. That means obtaining the taxpayer ID number of the individual or corporation you’re making the payment to — even if it’s a giant retailer like Staples or Best Buy — at the time of the transaction, or else facing IRS penalties.

In essence, the 1099-Misc is having its role changed from a form for tracking off-payroll employment to one that must accompany virtually any sizeable business transaction.

“Just with business travel it would include hotels, rental cars,” Henschke says. “Phone service: 1099. Computer service: 1099. Whoever does your postage meter: 1099. You do a little advertising, Yellow Pages: 1099. Your landlord: 1099. You might as well just keep them in your pocket and hand them out as you go around every day.”

The IRS jackboots are clicking louder and louder on the cobblestones. These fine folks will monitor and be in charge of your every transaction. They will have to monitor your life so as to direct your health care — have you purchased your Obamacare policy? If not, go to jail. Did you fail to report income from the sale of your lawn mower? Go to jail. Did you fail to submit a 1099 for the independent guy who paved your driveway? Go to Jail. Did your business fail to submit its 1099’s on time? Pay a fine and go to Jail.

This abomination needs to be killed PDQ or we’ll all have to spend our entire lives filling out forms for our socialist government to torment us with. And maybe the Sun God can explain why he had to hide this monster in the health bill.

I’d rather go to jail than comply with this involuntary servitude. Give me liberty or give me death.

Exhaustion and the Cargo Cult

May 11th, 2010

What’s new today? Too much to complain about, that’s what:

Greece and all of Europe in a meltdown over excessive government spending on welfare programs and lavish unionized public employee compensation leading to massive public debt. Devaluation of the Euro is likely after they go through their own TARP (including a significant U.S. exposure), and it doesn’t work.

California in the same fix as Greece. Its debt rating has sunk to sub-junk status. California’s chance of repaying any bail-out is nil. They’ll default and bring down the whole U.S. economy. Massive hyper-inflation is the most likely outcome. And if not California, then several other states qualify as well.

Obama diluting and feminizing the supreme court. This means that the court will have to answer the question “How do you feel about this?” in addition to “Is it constitutional?” or even “Is it legal?” Kagen says the court (she) can right a lot of wrongs and protect the innocent and the weak.

World Health Organization, an out-of-control train-wreck agency (aren’t they all?) at the U.N. ignoring its own profligacy and uselessness proposing to international taxes on internet services and financial transactions in a wealth redistribution plan similar to the recent climate (mug the West) fiasco at Copenhagen.

Mrs. Obama (non-elected nanny) along with Federal Trade Commission (what?) is campaigning for government oversight of food production so as to slim down all those fatty kids. Just wait, we’ll eventually have people out in the street doing Chinese communist style calisthenics every morning then going to a public dining room to eat their granola rations and listen to political indoctrination.

Chris Dodd is still pushing his “Let’s Whack Wall Street” financial regulatory scheme — as if its predecessor (panic-financial legislation), Sarbanse-Oxley, ever did anyone any good.

British Petroleum spilling oil, Muslim savages spilling blood, and politicians and meddlesome leftist busybodies spilling nonsense about Arizona.

New York mayor Bloomberg going to London to see if security cameras all over the place make the city safer. Hint — they don’t.


Exhaustion sets in when one sees too many negative things happening that don’t seen amenable to individual or even cooperative initiatives to solve them. However, when one recognizes that they are symptoms of a larger disease one can and must focus on the disease itself.

What do all of these have in common? They are all symptoms of leftist lunacy, the dismissal of all common sense, individual judgement, initiative, and propriety; all in favor of government bureaucracy and nannyism. They are all symptoms of looming tyranny — loss of individual freedom — power and control flowing to the political/bureaucratic structure. And citizens have not only allowed this to happen, but in many cases they’ve encouraged it by demanding goodies from government.

In essence, too many of our citizens have adopted a cargo cult culture. The cargo cults originated in Borneo during World War II when the natives saw parachutes loaded with free goodies dropping from the sky. They reasoned that with the proper invocation of the gods that this cargo would continue to fall to them. Our current cargo cult leader is Barack Obama, the Sun God.

The cargo cult culture is summarized in WikiPedia as follows:

Cargo cults tend to appear among people who covet the foreigners’ equipment but are unable to obtain it easily through trade or established traditions. Members, leaders, and prophets of the cults maintain that the manufactured goods of the non-native culture have been created by spiritual means, such as through their deities and ancestors, and are intended for the local indigenous people, but that the foreigners have unfairly gained control of these objects through malice or mistake.[citation needed] Thus, a characteristic feature of cargo cults is the belief that spiritual agents will, at some future time, give much valuable cargo and desirable manufactured products to the cult members

Doesn’t this remind you of those who believe the fruits of prosperity come from “spiritual means” and “are intended for the local indigenous people, but that the foreigners have unfairly gained control of these objects through malice or mistake.” i.e. somebody, the rich, the government, has the cargo but it belongs to the “local indigenous people” by right. Sounds like Obama, Reid and Pelosi to me.

Cargo cultists display sacred symbols in hopes of attracting cargo:

It is essential, then, that we focus our efforts toward curing the political disease, the leftward drift that produces these symptoms in the first place. Retire the Sun God and his minions. Educate the cargo cultists. Vote only for representatives, local and national, Republican, Democrat or Libertarian that promise and you firmly believe will actually reduce government, not just reduce its rate of growth. Fiscal responsibility may take a gold standard, it may take a constitutional amendment and changes at the Supreme Court. But ours is a resilient society — we may still have the willpower and self-discipline to fix the mess before it drives us all mad.

Liberty and Democrats

May 7th, 2010

How often we hear liberal democrats brag about their efforts to prevent violations of our civil rights — the Patriot Act, Wire Tapping — Edgar Hoover and the Evil Bush Administration, etc.

Well, now we have bills in congress such as the so-called Immigration Reform bill that proposes national ID Cards, and the Financial Reform Bill that gives the government unprecedented power to snoop into every detail of our financial affairs.

Senator Shelby points out that:

“The Democrats’ new bureaucracy poses a threat to our privacy,” Shelby said, “Under section 1022 of their bill, the new bureau would collect any information it chooses from businesses and consumers including personal characteristics and financial information.

“Individuals could be required to provide the new agency with written answers–under oath–to any question posed by the bureau regarding their personal financial information.”

This information along with all other information collected by federal financial regulators can be used by the Office of Financial Research to monitor the entire financial system for so-called systemic risk.

I guess my ATM withdrawals represent a potential “systemic risk.” Do yours?

Now ask yourself which faction in congress wears the jack boots.

Brutality Alive and Well in Communist Vietnam

May 7th, 2010

From Maggies Farm, an article about a Vietnamese government request to “present its case” to Vietnamese-Americans. Congressman Cao of Louisiana, the only Vietnamese-American in the U.S. congress had the rectitude to call the communist tyrants by their right name in his letter of reply. Letter to Deputy Minister Nguyen Than Son.

Communists, whether Vietnamese, Chinese, North Korean, or Cuban are brutal thugs. The fact that we do business with any of them is a testament to our moral decline. Living comfortably (if temporarily) behind the shield of a professional military tends to make us oblivious to the ugliness of these regimes. But once upon a time there were Americans who recognized the Vietnamese communists as the aggressive, brutal thugs, intent on imposing tyranny over the whole of their country. We aided the free people of the south and won every battle. But then lost our focus, our will, and our moral standing. The defeatists, the cowards and the pinks among us gained the upper hand. The South Vietnamese people paid a bitter price for this, and the whole of Vietnam continues to pay a price.

If you’re interested in knowing the brutal details, I urge you to investigate these links The Vietnam Human Rights Network. I’m not making it up.

Cap&Trade + VAT = Economic Catastrophe

May 5th, 2010

Chris Horner, author of “How Obama’s Green Policies Will Steal Your Freedom and Bankrupt America” believes that the Cap & Trade bill currently being considered by the Senate will yield the the tax gusher that Obama needs to fund his out-of-control government juggernaut. Bigger and even less visible than the VAT, Cap & Trade may be passed without committee hearings, perhaps using reconciliation, blindly in the middle of the night — as is Harry Reid’s habit.

Horner goes on to say:

Obama and his team have long sought to impose the energy-rationing agenda, whose marquee item is the “cap-and-trade” scheme which would not, according to anyone, detectably impact the climate. It isn’t about the climate. The climate is the latest excuse, or vehicle, for the Left’s agenda.

Cap-and-trade would, however, give the state the power to decide how much of something that the current political class disfavors — our most abundant and reliable energy sources — the private sector could have. That is the issue. As is that it would “generate billions of dollars.” Obama’s plan all along has been to use these revenues to underwrite his social engineering.

Either way you slice it, the tax train is bearing down on us. Cap & Trade is being sold as a no-cost policy to save the planet. With that done Congress can turn to the VAT to finish the job of completely destroying the free market economy of the United States.

Don’t be fooled.

Who’s Afraid of Whom?

April 28th, 2010

So Obama calls out the swat team to suppress and terrorize a local tea party in the vicinity of where he’s speaking? Look at the terrorist tea partiers here. Courtesy of Andrew Brietbart’s Big Government Blog, originally filmed by SharpElbows.Net”

If the government fears the people it is inclined to become repressive. If the people fear the government, the government is already repressive. Either way, the situation is extremely grave.

Honey and Sugar in Your Tea

April 17th, 2010

Tucson Tax Day Tea Party was a sunny, mellow affair, very similar in tone to last year’s rally. The bite was still there — throw the bums out, reduce the size of government, reclaim liberties — but perhaps a little exhaustion from loss of the health care battle had set in. These things do go in waves, ebbing and flowing. But gathering 1,500 to 2,000 people in this town on a workday is nothing to ignore.

The news outlets were not in evidence when I was there, but KVOA’s web site reported the event in an unbiased fashion, and no newsworthy infiltrations were seen — nor were they realistically expected. Tucsonans don’t do such things.

KVOA reported that:

The head of Pima County’s Democratic Party watched the rally from his office across the street. Jeff Rogers says, “I think maybe we ought to celebrate this day and say taxes are the price a civilized society pays for education, teachers, police officers, firefighters.”

Interesting, isn’t it, that none of the functions mentioned by Mr. Rogers is a proper function of the federal government, despite its meddling in education and increasingly threatening police powers. Odd, too, that Rogers didn’t feel confident enough to walk out onto the plaza himself, among the “mob”, preferring instead the relative safety of his office.

Border Patrol Arrogance vs. Competence

April 5th, 2010

On trip last week from Tucson to San Diego and back we were stopped eight times at Border Patrol checkpoints. On one of these occasions, my brother driving the car, seeing no sign from the officer that he wanted us to stop, ran through the checkpoint at slow speed. The officer banged his fist on the top of the car and ordered us to stop. It was obvious that he considered this a gross violation of his considerable authority. He pointed out the stop sign ahead of us. I pointed out his passive behavior and he challenged me to characterize it more fully, obviously trying to pick a verbal fight. I was at a loss for words and said nothing, but pointed out that he was standing a distance away from the stop sign. He questioned us about where we came from, where we were going, and our citizenship then let us pass.

(an Arizona checkpoint on I-19)

Now one might accept this as just one more very minor example of inconvenience in the interest of border peace, drug control and crime prevention. My wife scolded me for being so petulant in the face of authority. But this same cardboard cutout, bang on the roof, demand that I recognize the authority of a FEDERAL OFFICER had occurred to me on a prior occasion. So this time I was doubly annoyed.

We are being conditioned to accept ever increasing scrutiny by government agencies. This includes air travel pat-down searches, automated traffic enforcement cameras, border patrol and DUI road-blocks. There is recurring buzz about the usefulness of government issued ID cards for everyone.

A Government Accountability Office report released in August 2009 concluded that Border Patrol checkpoints may help the mission, but due to inadequate data collection nobody really knows for sure how effective they really are or what they cost to operate. So there is no way to even evaluate whether these nuisances are worth the hassle. Like DHS’s airport security measures, the border patrol checkpoints certainly annoy a lot more honest citizens than illegal aliens.

So the question becomes, should honest citizens resist these seemingly petty infringements upon our liberties? What do we citizens imply (or invite) by putting up with one annoying infringement after another? When does an annoyance become the seed of a tyranny?

Vigilance is the price of liberty.

Little Tyrannies

March 22nd, 2010

We’re tied in knots about a lot of big government tyrannies like nationalization of the health care industry and student loans, nationalizing banking and automobile manufacturing, attempts to regulate CO2 emissions, obesity nannyism, socialist education programs, and massive new taxes. But like the weather, there’s little we can do directly and immediately to resist these big things.

But as government at all levels attempts to control more of our lives they do so by building bureaucracies. By their very nature these bureaucracies generate annoying little irritations and petty regulations. For example, when you go to the dentist or the doctor’s office you’re presented with a sheaf of small print paper having to do with your “medical privacy rights.” Now why I have to sign a form certifying that I have read about my privacy rights (when the doctor’s office maintains the information) — that’s a mystery to me. So I ask the receptionist what dire consequences will fall upon me if I refuse to sign? She says, I’ll just put down “refuses to sign” and attach the papers to your file. I have now struck a small blow against the jack boots of government tyranny.

The same goes for the census form. They can hound you to supply information you don’t consider a constitutional requirement, but short of water-boarding they can’t really force you to talk or fill in the form. There are penalties for supplying false information, but if you simply refuse to lift a pencil or talk, then what?

Martha Stuart and others learned a painful lesson. They were jailed for “lieing to the government.” The principle here is: Don’t ever, ever say anything to any government official. They can’t force you to say anything. They can and will use anything you do say to screw you, so shut your mouth. Omerta is the key.

The income tax code has become the main mechanism for government enforcement and thuggery. With health care mandates we will be expected to perform ever more involuntary servitude filling out government forms and being file clerks in our own lives. Save every receipt and tickie — that’s the way to avoid fines and possibly jail. As for me, I’ve simplified my life. I save nothing and still comply with the tax code by taking a standard deduction. When audited I simply conceded and paid but said nothing. It was far cheaper overall than spending my life as an unpaid government flunkie clerk. It may not work for everyone, but it will for many of us.

As a business owner during the heyday of the “energy crisis” and a related mania over “pollution controls” I was frequently pestered by demands that I fill out questionnaires about toxic runoff from my office parking lot (I didn’t have one) or fuel consumption by my fleet of vehicles (I didn’t have any) or workplace hazards from toxic chemicals I used to produce computer software. My policy was to completely ignore these pests. The questionnaires and demands went directly to the garbage can. I know that no government agency would take any more initiative than to send another request (which also was canned), and that the forms if returned would just end up in files somewhere, never to be seen again.

The moral of this story is that we can and should cease being intimidated into complying with petty, bureaucratic annoyances. If enough of us did this, it would send a true message to government that we’re not going to put up with the crap they dish out.

Even if non-compliance probably won’t slow down the bureaucracy’s dead-headed dishing out of annoyances, it does make one feel better.

When a MONSTER Emerges…

March 21st, 2010
Repeal it. Kill It.  This MONSTER will eat us alive!

Our congress has done us a dirty deed by lies, deceit, bribery and unbelievable arrogance. The health care bill just passed is another step toward socialism and tyranny, plain and simple. This is an example of African pimp style absence of spending restraint — roll the prostitutes’ john, buy a Cadillac on easy credit, equip it with every do-dah and goo-gah, get drunk, drive it as fast as it will go, crash it and walk away — Yah, Obama, I’m talking about you!

Citizens of our country spilled a lot of blood (including a little of mine) to resist the threat of a communist tyranny. But today there are those in our government that see nothing wrong with destroying liberties that we fought to protect. Even though the Democrats that have forced the health care takeover claim that “it’s for our own good” or “it’s for the children” or “it’s historic”, in fact it is an attack on our liberties as citizens and our constitutional system of government. It is a step toward tyranny. Who will defend us against this attack from within?

If we citizens of America value our liberty we must destroy the monster, repeal the bill, throw out the politicians who foisted this miserable mess upon us. Years ago during a visit as a student to La Paz, the capital of Bolivia, my host pointed out a lamp post in the main city square. He proudly said, “Here’s where we hang our politicians.” Since then I’ve always thought that the regular hanging of a random politician or government official might focus the minds of those we send to Washington. Maybe they’d pay attention to the voices of citizens rather than assuming that they know better. Have them walk past that the lamp post on their way to work every day.

When Things Go Wrong

March 20th, 2010

Government run health care, several incremental steps beyond Medicare and Social Security is a move toward government control of everything and everyone. As the government takes control of our lives the self-same government is the only source for resolution of our problems when something goes wrong. And as the government becomes ever more arrogant and repressive, the only way to complain effectively is by mass protest, sometimes violent.

This week in Russia the people in over 50 rallies protested government actions that directly affect their lives. In addition to calling for “Free Speech, Free Elections!” they protested numerous economic problems blamed on government micro-management of the economy.

Scenes such as this are common in countries such as France, Turkey and Greece, where citizens view the government as the only solution to their perceived woes. They block highways and wave signs in protest. They don’t see any other means of resolving their problems.

As our country moves toward a socialist, government dominated economy the government becomes ever more the focus of discontent. You don’t complain about your medical treatment to he local hospital administrator. He’ll just open the rule-book and tell you he’s “doing it all by the book.” So your only alternative is to go out and wave a sign, hoping to be joined by others and noticed by government officials.

Freedom is not only precious for the fresh air one is able to breath, but also for the way that it keeps small problems small and responsibility where it belongs.

This weekend’s attack on our freedom by the Democrats in congress isn’t the first nor the last attempt by government to dominate us. The consequences are dire.

Can it Possibly Get This Ugly?

March 13th, 2010

Is it believable?

There is speculation that the Pelosi Democrats are planning to use an arcane maneuver called the Slaughter Rule to somehow pass the Senate healthcare bill without even voting on it. This is such a bizarre scenario that I can’t accept it as realistic. But should it happen the country would have ample reason to rise up in armed revolt.

An American Story

February 17th, 2010

Late in the 19th century some immigrants from Norway arrived in the U.S. One of these came as a cabin boy aboard a Norwegian sailing ship named the Lancing. His name was Thor Ottman Firing whose father was a Norwegian naval officer. Thor Ottman signed on to the sailing vessel to fulfill a requirement to enter into the Norwegian naval academy, but by his arrival in New York he was sick, due in part to mistreatment by the Lancing’s brutal and much hated captain. Thor Ottman then jumped ship and was taken in by some Methodist missionaries who nursed him back to health. He later chose to enter the Methodist ministry and also founded a college in Illinois. In the meantime he married Evelyn, also of Norwegian and Swedish heritage and they had six children, the eldest of which was named Thor.

Another of those 19th century Norwegian immigrants was Paul Tweet, whose last name (spelled Tvedt) was Anglicized at Ellis Island. He was trained as an accountant in Norway. After arriving in the U.S., Paul established himself in business in the small Minnesota town of Roseau, Minnesota. He also homesteaded land in North Dakota. Eventually, Paul Tweet became a leading business man and civic leader in Roseau, and even owned the local U.S. Post Office building. He married Thora a beautiful and refined Norwegian immigrant woman and they had three children, one of whom was named Gertrude.

Thor Firing met Gertrude Tweet in Los Angeles, Ca. Gertrude had gone to Hollywood in hopes of being recognized for her figure skating talents and Thor had gone there in hopes of becoming a movie cameraman. It was the depth of the depression so jobs were hard to get. Thor took up the only job he could find, repairing typewriters. Meanwhile, Gertrude found work as a legal secretary. They fell in love and were married, but World War II loomed.

In his early life, Thor Firing was a pacifist and registered for the draft as a conscientious objector. However, at the outset of World War II he read about and saw news reels depicting the brutal rape of Nanking, China by the Japanese. This so shocked and disgusted him that he abandoned his CO status and joined the Army as a photographer, a skill he’d acquired through his employment at a photographic studio.

Thor achieved the rank of sergeant by the time the war ended and was discharged from active duty. But then the Korean war broke out. He, like many others of his generation had their civilian lives and ambitions turned upside down by being recalled to service. At that time Thor was recommended to attend Officer Candidate School to become a commissioned officer. By the time the Korean war ended, Thor had achieved the rank of Captain and had decided to make the Army his career.

In addition to numerous stateside assignments, he and his wife served in France, Korea, Thailand and Germany. He also served a combat tour in Vietnam. After 35 years of service Thor Firing retired from the Army as a full colonel. He then had a second career as a winery representative for Hans Kornel fine champaigns, fulfilling his passion to participate in the world of fine wines.

It is Thor and Gertrude’s generation and that of their parents, whose values of duty, honor, thrift and hard work made this country what is today. They built our modern economy, kept the world free of totalitarian control, and made the U.S.A. the most admired and prosperous country in the world. They did this with incredible modesty and grace. They gave generously and asked for little or nothing in return.

My father, Colonel Thor M. Firing, died yesterday. Gertrude, his wife of 70 years and his three children, four grand children and two great grand children survive him. He was a true hero and will be missed by all who knew him.

Once I Was a Libertarian

January 21st, 2010

For more than a decade I’ve been registered as a Libertarian voter. Before the last election I participated in the local Libertarian gatherings. I’ve contributed money to the Libertarian party and voted for Libertarian candidates. So you could argue that I’m a Libertarian.

Before my Libertarian affiliation I was, and still am at heart a Goldwater Republican. I believe in small, limited government operating within limited means. I believe that people have responsibilities as well as rights. I am a free market capitalist. I believe that government has no business regulating morality, religion, or personal habits. And above all, I am an unabashed patriot. I am proud of America’s accomplishments, which are the fruits of individual enterprise and freedom. I believe in peace through strength and the global interests and responsibility of the U.S.A. I believe that freedom is a fundamental right for all people and I support our country’s advocacy of freedom worldwide.

My reason for registering as a Libertarian years ago was that the Republican party was behaving just like the Democrats and taking for granted my support and the support of other registered Republicans like me. The only way to get some attention was to leave the party. I had the belief that the Libertarian party stood for “less government and more freedom.” That is a philosophy I could enthusiastically support. I had hoped to find a party that would advance an agenda of freedom and work against the leftward drift of the country under both Republicans and Democrats. Especially now, as the Obama led socialists go charging irresponsibly and mindlessly to the left, effective resistance is needed.

The Tea Party movements of the last year have been the most honest and genuinely effective tools to fight against these destructive socialist policies and programs. But where has the Libertarian party been with respect to these grass roots activities? The party has been absent, silent, and null.

During this period of socialist threats to the very essence of our country’s democracy I want to actively resist this leftist tide. While party politics is about getting “our guys” elected, a very small minority party getting their guys elected does nothing to hold back the onslaught.

The current Libertarian party is an inward looking café club. In addition to housing some civil liberties and small government advocates, it also consists of pacifists, anti-war leftists, Pat Buchanan isolationists, xenophobes and protectionists, and sundry drug legalization and gay rights advocates. Strangely, with such a mix I’ve observed very little active debate within the party — they’re just “Not Democrat” and “Hate Bush.”

The Libertarians simply complain about the similarity between Republicans and Democrats, pleading for support of “their guys” while ignoring the current reality that the only true force holding back the deluge is the Republican party. No matter how lame and even complicit this party has been in the past, it is now resisting the Obamafication of the country. The Libertarians not only do nothing, advocate nothing in specifics, but field a candidate in Massachusetts who did nothing to block the Democrat/Socialist agenda. The only blocking action that made sense in Massachusetts was to ensure the victory of Scott Brown. A vote for the Libertarian candidate in Massachusetts, Joe Kennedy, was a wasted vote.

Kennedy himself said it in an interview quoted below:

Kennedy said he believed he was pulling would-be Coakley supporters because his campaign received over 120 emails on election day alone from “people who were going to vote for Martha Coakley that decided to vote for Joe Kennedy,” compared to one such e-mail from the Brown side.

“We are getting all of the individuals who would never ever vote for a Republican, people who pro-gay rights, people who are antiwar, that don’t want to see Martha Coakley (win),” he said.

The idea “that the third-party candidate splits the republican vote,” Kennedy said, is “the biggest lie in politics, and it has been for years.”

So what was about Kennedy’s campaign that appealed to disaffected far-left elements among the Coakley democrats? What futility. He got less than 1% of the vote. And is Scott Brown a suitable symbol of the Tea Party movement? Who knows? But we do know that his election has made a significant difference nationally. It is vitally important for the Harry Reid Democrats to be blocked. This was a moment calling for action, not ideology.

So what do we do to be effective? It’s clear that the simple horse-race logic of party politics, “just elect more or our guys,” is by itself a waste. It takes a willingness of “our guys” to stand up for principles to make a difference. Likewise, to stand alone on a street corner and preach the gospel makes little or no difference in power politics.

Of course what I or you do as individuals won’t sway the larger political winds. In a democracy we each have only one vote. But we do have choices to make and ways to amplify our voices. We can run for office, donate to political campaigns or become advocates of policies we believe in. I concluded long ago that the influence of policy makers, writers and broadcasters was stronger than that of elected officials. In the long run the direction of political winds is most influenced by what people read, see and hear. The politicians are followers, not leaders.

So I’ll continue to blog, argue and donate to organizations I think will make a difference. I may re-register as an independent or I may rejoin the Republicans with the hope of having some influence while they are weak and disoriented. But I’ll say goodbye and good luck to the Libertarians. I guess they aren’t now and never really were my party.

Whores – a Lesson & a Warning

January 18th, 2010

From Larry Klayman’s recently published book, “Whores” we get some insight into the ugly political maneuvers that politicians routinely use to provide themselves with loot and political advantages at public expense. We also learn how the political realm includes not only elective office holders, but also the corruption of the judiciary and the bureaucracy at the highest levels of our government.

Until reading this book I could not have believed that the self-dealing corruption, ass kissing, and outright criminality was so prevalent and vile as it is. The corruption of the judiciary was nearly unbelievable. I could not have believed, until recent years, with the advent of the internet as an alternative news outlet, that the press was as blatantly complicit in this corruption as it is.

After reading the book some thoughts and reminiscences come to mind:

In high school I used to always walk around with a smile on my face, which attracted the attention of bullies. And each year I’d have to have it out with a bully to establish a reputation and preserve the peace for the rest of the term. It never took more than one fist fight, and being a geek not a jock, I always lost. But it didn’t matter. My ‘rep’ as someone not to fool with, my legend so to speak, was established. From then on I could go around with a grin all I wanted — after the shiner healed.

Why the smile? Well, I always thought of people as basically good and honest, even if occasionally wrong when they disagreed with me. The conspiracy theorists and cynics never impressed me, because conspiracy takes too much discipline to maintain secrecy, and cynics denied the fundamental incentives most people have to do the right thing. And further, as essentially a loner, I never believed or understood how people could so completely ignore their better instincts to behave as members of a gang, covering for and protecting their cohorts with artful lies and deceptions.

During my career as a market research consultant and entrepreneur I was privileged to meet and provide services to a fair number of senior executives, most from small to medium size high-tech firms. All that I met were honest people dedicated to building successful companies. I never met a crook, a cheat, or an illegal schemer among them. Maybe I was just naive or lucky, but that’s my experience and observation.

Although I did some work for large companies my observation of these firms revolved around their bureaucratic aspects, but I suppose I was never entwined in their politics enough to become cynical or suspicious. Big company bureaucracy was enough anthropology for me. And whether private or public, I firmly believe that bureaucracy contains the seeds of evil, the potential for its use to create great harm, but to use it for evil requires evil political leadership.

All of which leads to politics. Whether in government or in large organizations, politics involves the trading of favors to create and perpetuate a hierarchy. This commonly also involves the promulgation of a mythology and an ideology. These justify and support the political hierarchy, often at the expense of the greater public. The mythology evolves to reassure the public that the politicians and the institutions they occupy are honest, well intentioned and disciplined. The ideology is spun to corral a particular constituency’s support for the politician and his party.

The most misleading aspect of politics, in my opinion, is the degree to which we citizens rely on the myths and ideology to guide us in selecting and supporting our politicians and, indeed, our political system. In doing so, and by involving ourselves in earnest disagreements over ideology and mythology, we are distracted from the power games that are being played behind our backs by the politicians, senior bureaucrats, the judiciary and the mainstream news sources.

We have essentially allowed a gang to be created within our political system. It is a voluntary association of political players who mutually support, discipline and reward one-another by preying on their constituents, the citizens, you and me. This gang does not recognize any limitation of law or morality with regard to its activities. Its leaders do what they please, The gang members kiss ass to rise in the political hierarchy, all the while proclaiming their good intentions and support for the constituents. Loyalty runs up and rewards and discipline run down the hierarchy. What rankles most about this situation is the difficulty of dislodging the gang from institutions we, ourselves, should own.

Curiously, preservation of a corrupt political system relies on its ability to corrupt the citizens, themselves. A citizenry that recognizes no need for self-discipline, thrift, sacrifice, or duty in its own behavior, favoring only its own apparent comfort and advantage over everything else — such a constituency will not question the gang’s behaviors. The gang bestows favors, it’s constituency consumes them, and the gang’s secure future is assured.

Evidence of this corruption of the citizenry is evident in blindness to the looming disastrous fiscal consequences of entitlement programs such as Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid. It is apparent in the willingness of citizens to ignore the economy crippling results of high taxes, heavy handed regulation, environmental and energy manias and government nanyism. And the willingness of citizens to let the defense of the country, once a duty of every male citizen, to be born by a professional military force, even if this requires recruitment of females, this is evidence of moral corruption. Oh, well, we rationalize, we’ll muddle through and I’ll get mine before it all comes crashing down.

If, on the other hand, the constituency actually holds true to its political mythology, such as American exceptionalism, duty, honesty, peace through strength, personal freedom and justice for all; and insists on its ideology, such as limited government, budget discipline and transparency, then the gang can be driven out, broken up and banished until next time we get lazy, selfish and complacent.

Given all of this, it is difficult not to become a complete cynic. But I still believe most people are well intentioned and good. So I’ll keep my smile and stand up to the bullies when necessary. And I’ll do whatever I can to fight back against the gang, whether locally or in Washington, D.C.

Big Brother Comes to New Zealand

January 4th, 2010

Big Brother comes to New Zealand in government requirements for all providers of communications, telephone, internet, web surfing, etc. to install taps that will be accessible to the government.

The measures are the largest expansion of police and SIS surveillance capabilities for decades, and mean that all mobile calls and texts, email, internet surfing and online shopping, chatting and social networking can be monitored anywhere in New Zealand.

In preparation, technicians have been installing specialist spying devices and software inside all telephone exchanges, internet companies and even fibre-optic data networks between cities and towns, providing police and spy agencies with the capability to monitor almost all communications

It is reported that a warrent is needed for police or others to tap into this system.

What is particularly chilling about this report is the following:

Official papers obtained by the Star-Times show that, despite government claims that it was done for domestic reasons, the new New Zealand spying capabilities are part of a push by United States agencies to have standardised surveillance capabilities available for their use from governments worldwide.

While US civil liberties groups unsuccessfully fought these surveillance capabilities being used on US citizens, the FBI was lobbying other governments to adopt them. FBI Director Robert Mueller III told a senate committee in March last year that the FBI needs “global reach” to fight cyber-crime and terrorism and that co-operation with “law enforcement partners” gives it “the means to leverage the collective resources of many countries”.

Emphasis added.

The English speaking countries seem to be heading down an Orwellian path of surveillance, government monitoring and control. How could the countries of the Magna Carta be the ones doing this? It wouldn’t be too surprising in Russia, North Korea or Vietnam. But New Zealand?

Are these facilities already installed and operational in the U.S.A.? Are you listening in Janet?

The argument is being made by New Zealand officials that non-criminals have nothing to fear from this. Maybe so, for a while, but the potential for misuse by a tyrannical government is breathtaking. Suppose the Irish start using this kind of system to monitor for violations of their new Blasphemy laws.

I’d much rather have all government telephones and electronic communications monitored 24/7 by a committee of citizens. Now that might make some sense.

Brutal Communists All

January 2nd, 2010

Amidst the dismal background of hypocrisy about Islamic savagery we’re subject to amnesia about another brutal force in the world — the remaining Communist states.

We’ve been lulled into thinking that China, Vietnam, North Korea, and Cuba are really just harmless “socialist” relics. In the case of China and Vietnam our government and industry regard these outwardly benign countries as potential markets and low cost manufacturing sites. Unless we’re paying attention, unless we’re sensitive to the reality of these Communist regimes, we don’t realize what callous, evil, brutal regimes we’re dealing with.

In Vietnam the world’s capitalists have found a docile, low cost workforce ready and willing to sew t-shirts and manufacture sneakers. The population is large, but suppressed by its Communist government. Every so often a little of this government’s truly brutal nature peeks out, such as last week when a pro-democracy army officer was put on trial for subversion. “Mr. Kim, a 60 year old former lieutenant colonel, was accused of joining Bloc 8406, an organization that promotes multi-party democracy, an illegal act under Vietnam’s constitution.” After a short trial Kim was sentenced to 5 1/2 years in prison. He could have been sentence to death but the judge was lenient due to Kim’s military record.

Kim and his like are among those who were unable to flee the Communists after the fall of Saigon. Hundreds of thousands did flee in every conceivable craft, from inner tubes to fishing boats. They went out to sea, desperate to escape the vicious Communist government that they knew would be merciless and brutal. They were right, although a large, but unknowable number of them died in the attempt to escape slavery.

Meanwhile, we’re turning a blind eye to the savagery of China’s Communist government. Their vicious repression of Tibetans who protest the Chinese occupation of their country, their brutal treatment of Uigurs, their threatening war with Taiwan, their roundups, executions and jailing of dissidents — all of these are glossed over. The currently fashionable trust in China as a commercial partner is blindness. We cannot and should never trust a Communist government. They need not be shooting enemies, but they are certainly not friends or allies.

Face it. Communists are evil, vile people. North Korea is a death camp, Cuba is a prison, as are Vietnam and China.

Sin Bins and GLSEN

December 16th, 2009

Two stories, almost too ugly to be true … the British have a nanny Children’s Secretary named Ed Balls. He’s proposing to expand a program characterized as “Sin Bins” wherein closed circuit tv cameras will be installed in 20,000 homes of “the worst families” per a Daily Express article quoted below: (tip to TheUnbrokenWindow.com for finding the story)

THOUSANDS of the worst families in England are to be put in “sin bins” in a bid to change their bad behavior, Ed Balls announced yesterday.

The Children’s Secretary set out £400million plans to put 20,000 problem families under 24-hour CCTV super-vision in their own homes.

They will be monitored to ensure that children attend school, go to bed on time and eat proper meals.

Private security guards will also be sent round to carry out home checks, while parents will be given help to combat drug and alcohol addiction.

This is the kind of insanity one gets when government pretends to be the ultimate nanny.

The second story has been developing for a while. Barack Obama has installed a “School Safety Czar” named Kevin Jennings. Jennings is the author of a book called “Queering of Elementary Education: Advancing the Dialogue About Sexualities and Schooling” advocating a gay agenda in schools. He is also the founder of GLSEN, an organization dedicated to promoting homosexuality and pedophilia among grammar school children and adults. Since Jennings became a government official GLSEN’s current activities have been exposed. These include lewd reading lists promoting homosexual activities among school kids, homosexual activities between adult men and young male children, promotion of homosexual practices such as “fisting” for children 7-12 years old, and such other descriptions which make me want to puke. (Read this material linked above, if you have a strong stomach for filth.)

I suppose Mr. Jennings and Mr. Balls are both experts in child rearing according to some twisted leftist definition. But these two stories illustrate the insanity of letting government intrude into the lives of private citizens. These “experts” pretend to know what’s best for you and your children. I cringe every time a politician starts talking about “Our Children.” Whose children?

I can’t speak to the amazing and dismaying willingness of the British to tolerate the growing surveillance society and the likes of Mr. Balls. But I can speak to the utter depravity of letting Kevin Jennings be a “Safe Schools Czar.” The fact that he was appointed and that, after what has been revealed about him, Jennings remains in a position of power speaks to President Obama’s utter contempt for his country and its citizens.

Don’t say it can’t happen here. It already is.

Bill Whittle, Spokesman for Liberty

December 15th, 2009

From time to time someone gives frustration a voice. If you’re as frustrated and depressed about where the country seems to be heading currently, please take time to view this:
Bill Whittle “The Kudzu Curse” On Pajamas TV. You may have to register, but it’s well worth the extra effort.

Mr. Whittle, for those of you who don’t know him is a blogger, screen writer, director, speech maker, pilot and campaigner for freedom. He’s a young fellow fired with obvious enthusiasm and spunk. I haven’t found any evidence of a PhD or elected office. He’s just a supercharged polemicist. In short, I admire the man and am impressed by what he has to say and how he says it.

In many respects, Bill Whittle’s passionate defense of liberty reminds me of Thomas Paine, the revolutionary polemicist who published a booklet called “Common Sense.” This was widely distributed and very influential in convincing Americans to break with Britain.

From The History Guide we learn:

Paine was convinced that the American Revolution was a crusade for a superior political system and that America was ultimately unconquerable. He did as much as any writer could to encourage resistance and to inspire faith in the Continental Army. I essays published in the Pennsylvania Journal under the heading “Crisis,” Paine attacked the faint-hearted, campaigned for a more efficient federal and state tax system to meet the costs of war, and encouraged the belief that Britain would eventually recognize American independence.

Note the positive attitude, the confidence in Americans’ ability to overcome the British and stand on their own two feet. This positive attitude and confidence are also reflected in Whittle’s speeches and writing.

With age I’ve become convinced that some of the most profound wisdom and best guidance is supplied by people from ordinary backgrounds who have extraordinary powers of observation and perception of reality, plus the ability to communicate. It has also become apparent to me that we often give too much credence to the credentialed, the famous, and the wealthy among us. In fact, the amount of balderdash emitted by experts, Nobelists, PhD’s, Celebrities and holders of high political office is mind boggling, and if taken seriously and blindly made the basis of government policy can be absolutely dangerous. In revolutionary times these people would have been the British generals, grandees, tax collectors, governors, and of course George III, himself. And we wouldn’t have had a revolution. We wouldn’t be America.

So here’s a toast to you, Bill Whittle. Keep it up. You’re in good company.

Another Hatchet Job on Our Wealth and Freedom

December 11th, 2009

The Pelosi-Democrats have done it again. They’ve passed a bill that is designed to hog-tie the U.S. free market to the detriment of us all. This is like Sarbanes-Oxley, the hastily assembled monstrosity that was supposed to address the problem of corporate misconduct, but which instead imposed an ugly burden on small and rapidly growing businesses by bureaucratizing corporate governance. The new, so called Financial Oversight Bill reaches out its tentacles to regulate everything from payday lenders to the operation of hedge funds and private investment companies. I’ll have to check with my bookie to see if he’s affected too. The House passed the bill with no Republican votes and 27 Democrats voting against it.

Obviously the Democrats in Congress are blaming the current economic situation on the alleged misdeeds of private finance and industry. But the current situation is demonstrably not a failure of regulation or too little regulation. It is the result of politically motivated government efforts to tip the mortgage market to favor those who couldn’t afford houses, to keep interest rates too low for too long, to force banks to make no down payment loans to opportunists and deadbeats, and to entice Fannie and Freddie into buying packaging and reselling securitized mortgages, among other misdeeds. It was then blown into red-hot fever pitch by the shouts of “fire in a crowded theater” by Bernanke and Paulson. And the regulators either couldn’t see the problem because they were incompetent and lazy, or they saw the problem and let political considerations keep them silent. Why should we think that additional regulators would be any more effective, competent and alert than the dunces we already have?

Let’s hope the Senate comes to its senses and kills this socialist cancer before it metastasizes.

What is needed is a citizen’s regulatory agency which would have the duty and the power to take a hatchet to government programs, regulations and agencies that are incompetent, lazy and unneeded. This would eventually eliminate about 80% of the existing government activities, reinvigorate the economy and make us all freer and happier. We wouldn’t even miss the rot that would be hacked out.

Of course Geithner, Cox, Frank and others would have to pay their taxes and penalties, others would go directly to jail, and Obama, Reid and Pelosi could step down to the local level and resume their work as meddlesome liberal busybodies employed by homeowners’ associations, and our congress could become part-time.

Yes, I’m dreaming, but wouldn’t that be an improvement?

Embers of Revolution

November 13th, 2009

Blowing upon the embers of revolution in response to Obama’s gang of socialists — this video is worth playing.

Find more videos like this on Mywesttexas Chatter

Meanwhile, in Britain, there are calls for individual carbon rations — exceed the rations and you go to jail. In the U.S. the House of Representatives (yes, that one) votes without a silly drunken grin to require each citizen to buy a health insurance policy or go to jail. And the Obama gang brings Khalid Sheikh Mohammed to N.Y. for trial in a civilian court — apparently so he can enjoy the protection of the U.S. Constitution’s bill of rights, providing employment for ACLU-type lawyers, and sympathetic publicity for Islamic murderers.

Unless we are able to take a wrecking ball to this gang in November, 2010, we’ll ultimately need to blow those embers to full flame in order to preserve our freedom.

I would never have believed it could get this bad, this fast. But it has.

Split the Country?

November 8th, 2009

Yesterday afternoon and evening I spent hours upon hours listening to CSPAN’s broadcast debate and vote on the Pelosi health care legislation from both parties. In addition to having my eyes glaze over after the 999th uttering of “the gentleman from” and “the distinguished gentlemen” it was hard to discern the purpose of the speeches. Each side, with few exceptions, repeated talking points, over and over again. In one speech with substance, that of John Boehner, the Republican leader, sections of the bill were cited specifically and criticized. Interestingly enough, the chairman had to issue the order “Members will take seats and cease conversation.” It was equivalent to my old math teacher shouting “Shut up and sit down!”

The overwhelming lesson of the evening after a 220 to 215 vote to adopt the Democrat’s measure was one of complete division. Only one Republican voted for the bill. Between that and the obvious disconnect of speeches it was as if the two parties represented two separate countries.

The Democrats argued that “the poor,” “the children,” “the uninsured,” “the disadvantaged,” “the working poor,” etc. required the intervention of government to protect them from the rapacious insurance companies and medical profiteers that threatened them with an early death for lack of “affordable” health care coverage. One representative got up and said (lightly paraphrasing), “Most people aren’t responsible enough to buy their own health insurance, so the government must do it for them.”

The Republicans argued that the bill would destroy a working health care system, bankrupt the country, and destroy a freedom we all enjoy, the ability to control our own health care. They further observed that the 1,990 page bill would impose onerous regulations, high taxes, and vast new bureaucracies. They offered a simpler bill aimed at what they consider the root causes of high medical costs. That bill was promptly defeated. Five-minutes were allowed for this vote. (An anti-abortion amendment to the Democrat’s bill was given a 15-minute vote window — I wonder why?)

With all the talk, I didn’t hear a single representative ask the two questions that matter most. 1) What Constitutional provision permits the Federal Government to take over the health care industry? and 2) Do the American people really want government control of their personal health care?

The divisions are so deep and fundamental that maybe the country should split into two or more entities, one socialist and the other free.

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