Posts tagged Politics
Today’s parties, the Republicans and Democrats, or as I like to call them Republicrats and Demipublicans, are not here to fix our problems. As George Washington recognized over 200 years ago, political parties are tools “by which cunning, ambitious, and unprincipled men will be enabled to subvert the power of the people.”
Whenever I hear partisan talk, I am reminded of how easily people become tangled in the dialectic and effectively neutralized. Neither party is going to save us, no matter how it plays out, the only saving grace will come when people again become principled.
These people that put all of their energy into making sure their “party” gets in are incredibly naive and unwilling to face the fact that either party will do anything to get in power and stay there; neither has much in the way of principle. You can’t have good public policy without sound principles, there simply is no way to compromise; either you have sound principles, or you don’t.
“All obstructions to the execution of the Laws, all combinations and associations, under whatever plausible character, with the real design to direct, control, counteract, or awe the regular deliberation and action of the constituted authorities, are destructive of this fundamental principle, and of fatal tendency. They [political parties] serve to organize faction, to give it an artificial and extraordinary force; to put, in the place of the delegated will of the nation, the will of a party, often a small but artful and enterprising minority of the community; and, according to the alternate triumphs of different parties, to make the public administration the mirror of the ill-concerted and incongruous projects of faction, rather than the organ of consistent and wholesome plans digested by common counsels, and modified by mutual interests.
“However combinations or associations of the above description may now and then answer popular ends, they are likely, in the course of time and things, to become potent engines, by which cunning, ambitious, and unprincipled men will be enabled to subvert the power of the people, and to usurp for themselves the reins of government; destroying afterwards the very engines, which have lifted them to unjust dominion.”
There are many common threads between Liberals and Libertarians, such as the desire for personal liberties; but the areas where they differ are somewhat significant. In a nutshell, Liberals are passionate about personal liberties such as freedom of speech; but they tend to have little concern for our economic liberties. Generally they will turn a blind eye to the loss of property rights, if their ends are achieved in the process.
Liberals stood by while the health care bill was rammed through Congress, taking away our ability to choose how and where we spend our own money and forcing us to purchase health insurance from the very insurance cartels they claimed to be opposed to. All of this, despite the fact that, when implemented on a state level in Massachusetts, their program failed miserably; raising premiums and claim denial rates far above what they were prior to the reforms.
Liberals supported Cap and Trade legislation, which taxes and regulates virtually every single aspect of our lives, by attaching a tax to the generation of Carbon Dioxide. This also invites government inspectors into our homes, to make sure that we’re using “government approved” designs for everything from our appliances, to light bulbs, windows and insulation.
When faced with conflicting opinions on humanity’s contribution to climate change they parrot the Al Gore stance that the debate on climate change is finished; pretending that everyone who matters has voiced their opinion and they have all unanimously favored their position that humanity is the primary cause of changes in our climate.
They are even going so far as describing dissenters as “climate denialists,” using the same kinds of ad-hominem attacks used against individuals who have a critical view of the historical accuracy of the generally accepted view of the Holocaust.
One of the fundamental differences I find between Libertarians and Liberals, is the Liberals’ faith and trust in the national government to tax, redistribute wealth and regulate enterprise. All of which are based on enormously flawed social and economic theories, which history has shown, with countless examples, to create widespread poverty and destroy capital formation.
- Excessive taxation/regulation helps to create the very poverty they seek to eliminate, by making small businesses less competitive and more encumbered. These are the very businesses individuals would have jobs with, thus keeping them off the dole.
- Redistribution of wealth inherently has a trickle up effect, with the successful middle class entrepreneur being robbed by the redistribution and advantages given to large organizations in the process. The redistribution rarely even touches the very wealthy, because they tend to have their wealth structured in trusts and other vehicles which shield them via loopholes in the code. In fact it benefits the wealthy because the government spends what they have taken on their crony corporatist friends.
- The government has a terrible record for regulating just about anything. Typically when the government sets out to “regulate” something, it only means that the legislators are going to write regulations which are detrimental to small enterprises; while the lobbyists busy themselves crafting loopholes for anyone in larger enterprises who can afford them. These regulations inherently damage the fairness of the business environment in favor of large businesses who can afford to either purchase a loophole or absorb the increased cost of adopting the changes.
The financial reform bill is a wonderful example of Liberal “regulation” of problem corporations.
source: seeking alpha
I posted an 11-page summary of Senator Dodd’s financial reform bill yesterday.
After receiving input from one of the top experts on credit rating agencies and various other smart people, I have now formed an opinion about Dodd’s bill.
Specifically, Dodd’s bill – while sounding good – is really an all-out attempt to save the current, broken system.
Dodd’s bill contains a number of concepts and catch-phrases that sound like reform. But the bill would actually:
- Keep the current Federal Reserve system, even though it is a wholly-failed system (see this, this and this). True, the bill would take away some of the Fed’s regulatory oversight powers, but the Fed has never used them anyway, so it is really maintaining the status quo
- Keep the current NRSRO credit rating system – maintaining Moody’s, S&P and Fitch as a government-endorsed rating monopoly – even though that is a wholly-failed system
- While saying it “ends too big to fail”, the bill would actually make sure that attempts to immediately break up the giant insolvent black holes dragging our economy down – such as Senator Sanders’ bill – will be killed
We can go on and on, as the bill – while using a lot of nice language – attempts to prop up just about every aspect of the current system, while appointing (“trust us, we’re different”) regulators to oversee things. It does nothing to try to prevent future forms of looting (which Congressmen Grayson, Clay and Miller attempted to do in their bill).
But we cannot be sure that such regulators won’t be subject to the same regulatory capture as all of the current regulators have suffered. Or that Senator Dodd has suffered, for that matter.
Only by taking away monopoly power from the too big to fails, and the NRSROs, and the Fed can we ever have a stable economy.
In addition, the economy cannot recovery until trust is restored in the financial system, and trust will not be restored unless the fraud behind the financial crash is prosecuted. Dodd’s bill ignores past fraud.
I also find it interesting and even comical to see that Bill Maher fancies himself a libertarian.
“…Ironically, Bill Maher claims himself to be a Libertarian. Smoking pot and bashing President Bush alone do not make you a Libertarian. It takes strong convictions and faith in the concept of Liberty to stick to Libertarian principles in a town like Ancient Rome (that I sometimes refer to as modern day Washington D.C). Dr. Paul has proven the mettle by proving his loyalty for Libertarian principles while surviving the cut-throat D.C atmosphere for over three decades…”
Here’s an interesting excerpt from a Bill Maher show, where he voiced his stance on others who do not share his views on Cap & Trade.
“Shut the fuck up while I slap your face for making noise! Now pass the cap-and-trade law, you stupid bitch, and repeat after me, ‘global warming is real.’” [applause]
Maher’s quote speaks volumes of the Liberal hubris associated with global warming. I have seen this sentiment echoed by a variety of liberal voices; few of which seem to be interested in having a genuinely scientific debate on this phenomena.
It’s very difficult to have a discussion with someone who is so violently opposed to even the notion of questioning their views. I’ve often found it quite difficult to discuss politics and often science with die-hard Liberals. They tend to fancy themselves the hero of the common man; but most of their solutions are superficial and actually hurt the common man whom they are so concerned with helping.
If more Liberals would just look into things, deeper than the phony partisan rhetoric, I think their movement would be much more effective at achieving their ends. They need to understand that there are more than two views to every issue; it isn’t just Democrat or Republican. There are often hundreds of possible solutions; while only two are seen as viable by the controlled left-right dialectic.
Getting caught up in the left-right dialectic is the road to folly; because it keeps you from realizing the wide range of alternative possibilities which are available to solve problems. Solutions which don’t necessarily require more government programs, rules and regulations. Perhaps, god forbid, solutions which are actually constitutional and preserve, not only personal liberties; but also economic liberties.
There is this popular idea, that earmark spending results in increased Federal Government spending; so it is thought that the government should be given the money to spend on whatever they please. As with most popular ideas, this one is wrong; it is likely propaganda from those who would be receiving the pork without accountability.
As Congressman Ron Paul describes, the amount of a particular budget is decided before any earmarks are put into place; so a particular earmark does not alter the amount of the overall budget. To remove earmarks would remove accountability and give them even more money in their slush funds; to do with as they please.
Earmarks Don’t Add Up
Earmarks seem to be the hot topic this week, and as a fiscal conservative I am dismayed so many people deliberately distort the earmarking process and grandstand to make political points. It is an easy thing to do with earmarks. It takes a little more time and patience to grasp the reality of what earmarks really are.
To be sure, if earmarks were the driving force behind explosive government spending as some have been led to believe, that would be a good reason for all the fuss. The misconception seems to be that members of Congress put together a bunch of requests for project funding, add them all together and come up with a budget. The truth is, it is not done that way. The total level of spending is determined by the Congressional leadership and the appropriators before any Member has a chance to offer any amendments. Members’ requests are simply recommendations to allocate parts of that spending for certain items in that members’ district or state. If funds are not designated, they revert to non-designated spending controlled by bureaucrats in the executive branch. In other words, when a designation request makes it into the budget, it subtracts funds out of what is available to the executive branch and bureaucrats in various departments, and targets it for projects that the people and their representatives request in their districts. If a congressman does not submit funding requests for his district the money is simply spent elsewhere. To eliminate all earmarks would be to further consolidate power in the already dominant executive branch and not save a penny.
Furthermore, designating how money is spent provides a level of transparency and accountability over taxpayer dollars that we don’t have with general funds. I argue that all spending should be decided by Congress so that we at least know where the money goes. This has been a major problem with TARP funding. The public and Congress are now trying to find out where all that money went.
The real issue is that the overall budget is too big, by far, which is why I always vote against it. But attacking the 1% that was earmarked solves nothing. The whole issue is a distraction from the real problems we face, which are that the Federal Government will absorb over 1/3 of our country’s GDP this year and taxpayers are forced to fork over more than half their income to fund government at all levels. On top of that, the national debt is $11 trillion, which is $36,000 per citizen. The recent increases in bailouts, government spending and money creation is going to hobble our economy for decades. We must curb the government’s appetite severely if this country is ever to thrive again. The noise over “earmarks” is a red herring and a distraction from the real issue of uncommitted spending.
It is time to attack the entirety of government spending. We especially need a full account of the activities of the Federal Reserve that spends and creates trillions of dollars with no meaningful oversight. This is a huge problem that needs immediate attention.
Barack Obama is recognized to be a person of acute intelligence, a legal scholar, careful with his choice of words. He deserves to be taken seriously – both what he says, and what he omits. Particularly significant is his first substantive statement on foreign affairs, on January 22, at the State Department, when introducing George Mitchell to serve as his special envoy for Middle East peace.
Mitchell is to focus his attention on the Israel-Palestine problem, in the wake of the recent US-Israeli invasion of Gaza. During the murderous assault, Obama remained silent apart from a few platitudes, because, he said, there is only one president – a fact that did not silence him on many other issues. His campaign did, however, repeat his statement that “if missiles were falling where my two daughters sleep, I would do everything in order to stop that.” He was referring to Israeli children, not the hundreds of Palestinian children being butchered by US arms, about whom he could not speak, because there was only one president.
The spell-bound American citizenry must realize what is really going on with their new president. They need to sit down and do their research; to realize what is truly happening here. The so-called populist president, Barrack H. Obama, has appointed to his administration the very architects of the financial disaster we are now engaged in.
Most of these supporters are well meaning; they just want something to believe in. They want to feel like we’re turning a new leaf as a country and as a civilization; but we will not be able to achieve any measure of “change” until the a critical mass of people realize how things really work in this paradigm and begin to think for themselves, instead of this cattle-like group-think that got us into this mess in the first-place.
First you had Bush, who used the 9/11 inside job to buffalo the population into a perpetual war, after which, Bush ran roughshod over the people of this nation, with policies that trashed every tradition that our fore-bearers worked so hard for.
Now we have Obama, who takes advantage of the people’s desire to have a feel-good sort of attitude; because they want you to allow what is now taking place to happen, without objection. You might ask what is happening?
The bankers are taking trillions out of the economy every week. And while Gitmo may now be closing, what you failed to realize is that they are moving these types of operations on shore, where you are likely to one day be threatened with incarceration without the due process of law.
I’ve got news for many of you out there. Nothing changes overnight, although the media will use every tool in their arsenal to convince you that it has. The corruption that plagues this planet is deep-seated, and it has been around for several thousand years.
If we really want to do something about this corruption, we have to rely on our own selves and our independant thoughts. We have to return to our constitutional roots and become sovereign individuals, instead of idolizing one individual or institution.
The United States, Presidency, Federal Reserve, AMA and many other institutions that pervade your lives are not here to help you. They are specifically designed to control your thoughts and actions, with the eventual goal of extracting your sweat equity and preventing your ability to self-actualize.
Questions as to whether Timothy Geithner, Obama’s pick for Treasury Secretary, has paid all his taxes or followed immigration law concerning his housekeeper raise an interesting point. The scrutiny surrounding confirmation hearings presents one of the only opportunities politicians get to see what it is like to be harassed like a normal American citizen. Only during scandals like these are government officials given a taste of their own medicine, and it is such a bitter taste that the more humane among us might sympathize even with our would-be rulers as their lives and finances become open to inspection and public criticism.
Consider the rich irony in Geithner’s case. He seeks to be the head of the Treasury, and thus the head of the IRS, which commands an apparatus of staggering intrusiveness nearly unparalleled in all of human history. The IRS notoriously enjoys a certain exemption from the standards of Anglo-Saxon law; the presumption with tax cases is that you are guilty until proven innocent. Every year, millions of good Americans are terrorized by the organization. Many have their homes, their savings, their businesses confiscated, all supposedly in the name of creating a great society for all. IRS agents give the wrong advice to Americans filling out their taxes about a third of the time, but getting it wrong under their instruction is no excuse when error is found.
In addition to the nightmare of mid-April, the Treasury and other departments have burdened Americans with thousands of regulations that invade every facet of financial life. Democrats are even worse rhetorically than Republicans in this regard. In response to cries for immigration reform, the most common proposal from Democrats is to crack down on employers, to spy on them and threaten them with fines and imprisonment if they do not pry into all their employees’ lives to ensure none are illegal aliens. Aside from being a threat to the freedom of contract, this guarantees increasing government involvement into business and erosion of privacy and civil liberties. Much of the rationale behind the horrific Real ID Act can be attributed to this particular desire to ferret out illegal immigrants.
And so what a scene we have: A national Democratic leader in potential trouble for violating employment regulations; the chosen chief of the Treasury, which brings in trillions of dollars annually by taking it by force from those who earned it, himself accused of not putting in his fair share.
From the standpoint of freedom, however, Geithner’s true rip-off of the American people is not in his alleged tax evasion. All by itself, not paying taxes is not a scandalous crime. An everyday taxpayer would not deserve media attention for this. And as head of the New York Federal Reserve, Geithner did far more to compromise economic fairness than he could have possibly done with his tax forms; as Treasury Secretary, he would undoubtedly do much more. Furthermore, from the perspective of liberty, Geithner’s villainy is not in the fact that he might have hired an illegal alien so much as it is in the hypocrisy by which he and so many other government officials hold themselves to a standard of law radically different from that to which they hold the rest of us.
A little hypocrisy is ubiquitous in nearly any society, but the issue of government always raises the stakes and makes it all the more egregious. It may be an insult for someone to verbally criticize you for a vice, such as smoking, only to light up himself minutes later. But for the government to impose the will, the ethics, the standards of some politicians on you by force even as they do what they claim should not be done—that is a different, much worse form of hypocrisy altogether.
Which brings us to William Corr, Obama’s choice for the second slot at the Department of Health and Human Services. Corr is an anti-smoking advocate and both he and Obama seem to support an agenda, to be carried out by the Democratic Congress, of “increasing federal regulation of cigarettes, raising taxes on tobacco products and approving an international tobacco control treaty,” as the New York Times puts it.
Obama has gotten attention as the first open cigarette smoker to be elected president since Franklin Delano Roosevelt, and yet he seems to have no problem pushing around smokers, making their habit more expensive (tobacco taxes always hurt the poor the most), and even internationalizing an issue that should not even be dealt with at the national level under our Constitution. In a free society, tobacco, along with other drugs, would be handled locally, and ideally by the family and community, and not at all through the criminal justice and regulatory systems. Yet politicians who drink alcohol or smoke tobacco or even have tried illegal drugs think very little of taxing, regulating, harassing and even jailing their fellow citizens for doing the same.
It has long been frustrating to watch a politician who smokes tobacco or drinks alcohol champion the war on drugs, all to stem the tide of chemicals that don’t kill nearly as many people as tobacco and alcohol do. Perhaps it is even more frustrating to see a president who smokes cigarettes wave the anti-smoking banner. Government crusades against drugs, cigarettes or other vices always fail to uplift the moral character of the people, but they are great ways to destroy liberty and personal responsibility and are reliable sources of high hypocrisy.
Just this week we have seen two exemplary cases of political hypocrisy pop up in the area of Obama’s political appointments. Again, such appointments are one of the few occasions when the media really explore the hypocrisy saturating the personal lives of politicians. If they were watched this closely year round, we would find ever more examples all the time. But in all such cases, whether it is Al Gore consuming enough electricity for 20 people as he flies around condemning carbon emissions, or a Republican leader caught straying from the very family values he has claimed should be imposed on us all by national planning, the real problem in the hypocrisy is not usually the politicians’ personal indiscretions, which usually fall short of any offense against the public safety or liberty. No, the real problem with such hypocrisy is that it is borne by politicians who implement their plans for a Brave New World on their compatriots without considering the human costs, the destroyed wealth, the uprooted lives, the lost liberties, the jailed innocents. If Geithner agreed to butt out of our finances, and Obama agreed to let people smoke as they will, it is doubtful we would not happily reciprocate and leave them alone as well.
“I use emotion for the many and reserve reason for the few.”
— Adolf Hitler
“He alone, who owns the youth, gains the future.”
— Adolf Hitler
Obama has better rhetoric, he’s a slicker speaker and is more deceptive than his predecessors. He knows how to say exactly what you want to hear, and he will tell you that he is here to solve all of your problems; even if he changes his rhetoric, or does the exact opposite later-on. Whatever he says or does, or has said or done in the past; nobody seems to care.
Yes, Barrack H. Obama has yet to demonstrate genuine integrity, during his political career; nor does he have a willingness to change the status quo. He and his friends in the congressional black caucus were integral in causing the debacle which lead to the epic failure of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.
Just have a look at this man’s history. Has he ever demonstrated genuine integrity? What has he ever accomplished? If you think the man is for “change” then find me examples of what he has accomplished.
The people love him and he will be given a few months, during which he will be able to ram through, whatever legislation he wants; but after this so-called “honeymoon” period, there may be violence and insurrection as the blacks, especially, realize that we’ve all been fucked, right up the ass, just like it has always been done since the assassination of JFK.
Obama is in the oval office, as we speak, lubing up his big black anal probe. You had better bend right over and spread out those cheeks, young ones; because you’ve been had. And I might add, it was like shooting fish in a barrel this time.
Barrack Heussein Obama, there is ample evidence to illustrate your contempt for the American people. You have refused to produce a certified birth certificate. You have deceived the American public into thinking that you will stop the warfare and fix what is wrong with this nation.
In point of fact, you truly plan on exacerbating what is wrong with this nation; and you plan on bringing socialist ideals and bigger government into an already bankrupt nation.
The politician you most closely resemble bears the name Adolf Hitler. One day, they may very-well call you the “Black Hitler” of our time. May the youth who’s minds you have in the palm of your hands realize what you are before it is too late.
I urge those of you who understand what you are in for if a bailout is done to write your congressmen and tell them that you will not stand for this kind of financial absurdity. We need to stop the bailout, allow the insolvent institutions to fail and return to sound money.
Here’s what I recently wrote to my congressmen via votenobailout.org.
It really infuriates me to see the Congress giving the White House and its Secretary of the Treasury the power to transfer the people’s money to wealthy bankers on Wall Street.
These are the same people who got us into this mess and bailing them out most certainly isn’t going to get us out.
As a citizen of the united States of America I demand that you vote No to the Bailout legislation. (more…)
Wolf Blitzer said that the CNN-controlled debate was going to give all candidates equal time to respond to each question. In-fact, nothing could be further from the truth.
Obvious media bias was geared towards the “top tier” demagogues like “Ghouliani”, “double the size of Guantanamo Romney” and “torture is bad unless if I vote for it McCain.”
In the classic neo-con style of uneducated, special-ed rants, the head of the Arkansas GOP stated that he believes we need more “attacks on American soil” so that him and the other neo-con blow-hards will have the appearance of being right about terrorism.
Its bizarre how the neo-cons think that getting attacked will mean that they were some-how right. This is similar to the reasoning that Rudy Giuliani, the mayor who failed, on two occasions, to prevent the attacks on the world trade centers, is the best man to protect America.
Gop Head: We Need More ‘attacks On American Soil’, so people appreciate Bush
Josh Catone Raw Story
Monday June 4, 2007
In his first interview as the chairman of the Arkansas Republican Party, Dennis Milligan told a reporter that America needs to be attacked by terrorists so that people will appreciate the work that President Bush has done to protect the country. (more…)