Saturday, June 30, 2012

My take on the ObamaCare Ruling

My friend and old college roommate's mother Mary wanted me to try to explain why this might be a good thing in plain English.  I've been told I'm pretty good at that.  So I took a crack at it.   It's a little Morganesque in its approach in that you'll have to stick with me, but we'll get there in the end.  Here goes:

In my humble opinion, there are two things wrong with the ruling.

One, the court had to basically re-write the law right there in the courtroom to uphold it. This is not the Supreme Court’s role according to the Constitution. It has two jobs. 1) to interpret laws that are challenged in all the lower courts until they get to the supreme court, and 2) to determine if laws congress writes jive with the Constitution ... but this only happens when laws are challenged and they work their way up through the federal court system via challenges.

But one could argue that what it did in “re-writing” the law was really to interpret the funding part of the law for what it actually is. Which is what the administration adamantly denied it was the whole time it was trying to get it passed, and derided anybody who called it what it was.

A TAX. Kind of like a tax incentive. Which, once the liberals figured out that Libertarian organizations backed by the Tea Party and Republicans were actually seriously going to challenge it in court ... they suddenly started calling it (in court, not on TV).  And after it had passed, of course.

26 states just sued the federal government over Obamacare. That is huge. 26 states not only said “we don’t want this”, but “hell NO we don’t want this!” And the 26 states won the argument, lost the battle, but now has a tremendous opportunity to win the war.

The original argument the administration had was that the law was Constitutional because Congress has the power to “regulate commerce” between the states. (I could go off on a tangent here on what the founders meant by “regulate”, but it’s beyond our scope here). This excuse has been used by Congresses and Administrations for 70+ years, and it has been abused, and it’s a big part of the reason America is in as deep doo-doo as it is financially speaking, and in terms of liberty as well.

So Roberts got 7 of the 9 justices to say “No. The Commerce Clause of the Constitution does NOT give congress the power to compel people to buy a product” (in this case, health insurance). That’s pretty big right there. (It’s not big enough for me, but it will do for now. Baby steps. And this is more than a baby step.)

Roberts is the Chief Justice. This means he writes the final opinion and summarizes what the court says whether he votes in the minority or the majority. But the kicker is ... he votes last. This means Roberts knew how the other 8 had ruled before he wrote his own opinion. He could have killed it completely, and he chose not to.

Now you have to understand something about Roberts to hold off judgment like I did yesterday. I and many others were stunned that he of all of them save maybe Alito (that might have been more stunning) .... would uphold it. I know this guy is a serious constitutional conservative. Lots of conservatives will be bashing him for quite some time now, some with a little justification ... BUT ... I know Roberts does not like Obamacare and he would like to see it go away. But he voted to let it stand.

Which left me asking ... why? Why would he do that when the power was in HIS hands to kill it right then and there, and I KNOW he thinks it’s a crap sandwich with crap sauce and some extra on the side? Like John Edwards and little Sally Muckenfutch. “Whayh"? Whayh?” (this is a Glenn Beck show reference that only listeners will get ;-) )

If you read the first few paragraphs of Roberts’ opinion, it has practically nothing directly to do with the case and everything to do with why he ruled the way he did. It’s an old-fashioned civics lesson, and it is a good one. And if you read that, and his opinion, which let the law stand as a tax ... between the lines, it says why.

What is that what Roberts said (to paraphrase) was, “ok, Congress has the power (by precedent ... previous law ... another touchy subject, but ....) to use the tax code to encourage or discourage certain behaviors for the General Welfare (that General Welfare clause, yes, it is in the Constitution and it isn’t the “Good’n’Plenty" clause though it’s been used that way for decades ... but.... digressing again).  So, if we interpret what you originally said wasn’t a tax as a tax, and that’s what it looks like it is, then it’s not unconstitutional.” (note that it is not unconstitutional to make bad laws).

This is the second thing I don't like about it (other than the fact that the law still stands, but constitutionally speaking ....)  I have a problem with using the tax code to encourage or discourage behavior, but ok. In the past, it’s always been “you don’t have to pay as much tax if you do this, or if you don’t do that.” What this ruling says is “if you don’t do this, you have to pay THIS tax”. At first it might sound like a subtle difference, but it is the difference between charging your for not doing/not doing something and charging you less than you would have been charged for doing/not doing something. They're directly charging you for not doing something.  Hence the cartoon. “No, I don’t care to buy that pack of gum." .... “Ok, that will be $2.35.”

But on the flip side, Roberts is reminding us, We the People and the “Several States”, as the founders called the collection of individual states that formed the United States --- have the power to revoke any [tort] law we want to.  (Oh, how I'd like to see that 17th amendment repealed to return the Sentate's power to the States).

He reminded us in those first few paragraphs of his opinion that We the People can still say “no” through Congress (elections), through ballot initiatives in our states, via our state legislatures, etc. The states can say “no” as well through an act often referred to as nullification.

Then he took the opportunity to do several things, some of them legal, some of them political.

1) Congress does not have the power to compel people to buy a product via the commerce clause or the general welfare clause (legal)

2) As a tax, which the Democrats swore to us it wasn’t (it wouldn’t have passed otherwise), it can stand as law (legal)

3) If it’s a tax, then the whole thing has finally been exposed to the American People as the fraud that it was from the beginning. The administration can no longer argue that it was not a tax. And it is not just a tax, it’s a tax on people who don’t buy insurance. And most people who don’t buy insurance are people who are making less than $250,000 a year. Which is exactly the people Obama promised not to raise taxes on... “one single dime”, I believe were his exact words. When Republicans charge Obama with a massive tax increase during this election, he can’t really say it’s not a tax, because if it’s not, it’s unconstitutional! (Political)

4) Nullification is now definitely an option. The court also ruled that the part of the law that said federal funding for things other than expanding medicare (like highways, etc) cannot be withheld from states for not complying with Obamacare. Many states (governors, legislators) were very, very afraid to go the nullification route because of this huge, coercive stick in the law. It would be a huge budget hit for the states, even FURTHER bankrupting them over what Obamacare would do. That bit of the law has been struck down. There now isn’t really much to lose for a state to tell the Federal Government “Take your Obama Care give yourself a colonoscopy with it!” (legal AND political)

5) We on this side are now FIRED UP! Attendance at two local Tea Party meetings was way up yesterday. I suspect it was across the nation. And at our meeting, at least, there was not a sense of panic.  There was a sense of calm, and determination.   Had the law been struck down, many on our side would simply figure we had won and relax, and it would be THEIR side that would be fired up --- leading very possibly to 4 more years of Obama. Which would be disastrous (witness what got caught on tape telling that Russian envoy about telling his boss to wait until after the election and he’ll have more leeway to weaken America’s --- and Europe’s -- defenses in Europe). (Very definitely political)

Plus, if We the People (or the States) repeal Obamacare, it can't be blamed on the vote of an elite 9 with 5 "activist" judges.   And while the libs will never actually shut up about it, perhaps we can get them to pipe down a bit.
Romney now has a better chance to win (which more importantly means that Obama stands a better chance of losing), and the Senate might flip to the Republican side. Plus conservatives now have a SCOTUS precedent to counter that damned 1942 wheat case on the commerce clause being used to force people to do things.

 My focus in the Mid Mo Patriots is education. We have to know our shit to argue back when some freakin’ liberal takes the floor in front of us and others, and nobody challenges them. Many here know of this as my Stop an Echo campaign.  We’ve been lax too long, trusting our representatives to do what’s best for us. We forgot what our founders knew in their bones.


Friday, June 29, 2012

Justice Roberts' Civics Lesson

Remember Obama lecturing the Supreme Court?

This is Roberts, lecturing him back.  It's the first few paragraphs in his opinion on Obamacare yesterday.  It's very good.   I edited out the references for readability, but you can read all of the Justices' opinions, references and all here.

[..] We do not consider whether the Act embodies sound policies. That judgment is entrusted to the Nation’s elected leaders. We ask only whether Congress has the power under the Constitution to enact the challenged provisions.

In our federal system, the National Government possesses only limited powers; the States and the people retain the remainder. Nearly two centuries ago, Chief Justice Marshall observed that “the question respecting the extent of the powers actually granted” to the Federal Government “is perpetually arising, and will probably continue to arise, as long as our system shall exist.” this case we must again determine whether the Constitution grants Congress powers it now asserts, but which many States and individuals believe it does not possess. Resolving this controversy requires us to examine both the limits of the Government’s power, and our own limited role in policing those boundaries.

The Federal Government “is acknowledged by all to be one of enumerated powers.” Ibid. That is, rather than granting general authority to perform all the conceivable functions of government, the Constitution lists, or enumerates, the Federal Government’s powers. Congress may, for example, “coin Money,” “establish Post Offices,” and “raise and support Armies.” The enumeration of powers is also a limitation of powers, because “[t]he enumeration presupposes something not enumerated.” The Constitution’s express conferral of some powers makes clear that it does not grant others. And the Federal Government “can exercise only the powers granted to it.” Today, the restrictions on government power foremost in many Americans’ minds are likely to be affirmative prohibitions, such as contained in the Bill of Rights. These affirmative prohibitions come into play, however, only where the Government possesses authority to act in the first place. If no enumerated power authorizes Congress to pass a certain law, that law may not be enacted, even if it would not violate any of the express prohibitions in the Bill of Rights or elsewhere in the Constitution.

Indeed, the Constitution did not initially include a Bill of Rights at least partly because the Framers felt the enumeration of powers sufficed to restrain the Government. As Alexander Hamilton put it, “the Constitution is itself, in every rational sense, and to every useful purpose, A BILL OF RIGHTS.” And when the Bill of Rights was ratified, it made express what the enumeration of powers necessarily implied: “The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution . . . are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.” U. S. Const., Amdt. 10. The Federal Government has expanded dramatically over the past two centuries, but it still must show that a constitutional grant of power authorizes each of its actions.

The same does not apply to the States, because the Constitution is not the source of their power. The Constitution may restrict state governments—as it does, for example, by forbidding them to deny any person the equal protection of the laws. But where such prohibitions do not apply, state governments do not need constitutional authorization to act. The States thus can and do perform many of the vital functions of modern government—punishing street crime, running public schools, and zoning property for development, to name but a few—even though The Constitution’s text does not authorize any government to do so. Our cases refer to this general power of governing, possessed by the States but not by the Federal Government, as the “police power.”

“State sovereignty is not just an end in itself: Rather, federalism secures to citizens the liberties that derive from the diffusion of sovereign power.” Because the police power is controlled by 50 different States instead of one national sovereign, the facets of governing that touch on citizens’ daily lives are normally administered by smaller governments closer to the governed. The Framers thus ensured that powers which “in the ordinary course of affairs, concern the lives, liberties, and properties of the people” were held by governments more local and more accountable than a distant federal bureaucracy. . The independent power of the States also serves as a check on the power of the Federal Government: “By denying any one government complete jurisdiction over all the concerns of public life, federalism protects the liberty of the individual from arbitrary power.”

This reads, "Hey, Tea Party.  I'm really with you.  You have the power.  This ain't over."

American Thinker? I consider that pretty good company.

The Chief Justice Done Good

I still think it should have been struck down.  But ... this is a bold move.

It is now up to us to make sure it is repealed.  Are you ready, America?  It's time to take your country back.  Get registered if you're not, and get your like-minded friends registered.   A door has been opened for us.

Vote the thing out! 

And at the same time work to get your state legislature to nullify.  Yes.  Nullify.  This is the second front.  26 states just sued the Federal government to stop this.  According to this ruling, the feds can't peanalize the state now if they refuse to participate.  What happens to the program if half the states don't participate?

It's time to kick some Donkey Butt, even if you don't have an elephant trunk.

Thursday, June 28, 2012

See? I'm not the only one....

Chief Roberts is a Genius  (ht Morgan via HKB)

Dr. Roberts, the 17th Amendment, Mandates, Taxes, and the roles of the separate branches

In essence, I think this is what Roberts is saying. "It's not my job to repeal this thing. It's Congresses job." He's right, insomuch as his job is to decide whether or not the law violates the Constitution. I think he's way off on his opinion that it isn't ... because what he essentially did is let the Obama Administration's lawyers re-write the law right there in the court room. The word "tax" does not appear anywhere in the bill, and it doesn't appear there because its crafters knew that if it was perceived as any sort of tax it would never have passeed.    More on that in a minute.

It's not over. Laws can be repealed. The House is voting on a repeal bill in July. It may very well pass, but they have to know it will never make it through the senate as long as it's Democrat controlled. So it's a campaign vote, in essence, but they should take it anyway. Lines need to be drawn.

Romney has vowed to repeal it Day 1. Well, the way I see it, Romney can't really officially do that in the long run. It'll have to be repealed by Congress. So get out there and vote in people who will vote for repeal. Presidents can wield influence. But they need help.

While lamenting the final nail in the coffin of the American Experiment, a friend of Morgan's said it was over the moment the 17th amendment was passed.   While I think that's an overstatement, there's a lot of truth to it.

The senate was instituted to represent the states' individual interests, and I do mean "State" in the incorporated sense of the word, as in the governing body and structure of, say, Missouri and not directly the people of Missouri. That is what the house is for. The state legislatures voted for their Federal senators. It was designed this way for a reason.

What the 17th amendment did was turn the House and Senate and turned them into two lower chambers, in essence. Two congresses, elected by direct vote of the people. It basically neutered the states in the balance of power between the states and the federal government. This is a bad thing, and it has been for a long time.

What's even more insidious is that, in this day and age of sending protesters and money from one state to another to effect the campaigns for the house AND the senate, is now it's not even just the people of Missouri fighting among themselves as to who the voters send to the Senate, let alone the House ... you've got Canadians like Michael J Fox and national Democratic party money behind him advertising Claire McCaskill to Missourians to retroactively save the late Christopher Reeves (I kid you not, this happened!)

But the long and the short of it is that the bulk of the burden of Obamacare falls on the states, and the states, as structural entities, would never have gone for that. And on top of that, this bill of goods was sold as definitely NOT a tax, NOT a tax, NOT a tax, and anyone who says it is is a knuckle-dragging racist conspiracy theorist.

Then Nancy said we had to pass the bill to find out what's in it.
What's in it?

Surprise, surprise.

Apparently, A TAX!!!!!!

There's a word for this. It's FRAUD.

Repeal is now the only option

So, the way I understand it, they struck down the individual mandate, re-defined it as a tax, and upheld that.
So ... in effect, they re-wrote the largely vague law right there in the courtroom and upheld a law that was never passed. The word "tax" appears nowhere in the law, and the Administration and its party explicitly denied it was a tax (otherwise it wouldn't have passed) ... until it was challenged in court (which stunned Nancy "Are you serious?" Pelosi) when it suddenly "became" a tax after it was passed. Hence, we apparently really do have to pass a law to find out what's in it.

That is not the way it's supposed to work. Next step, repeal!

Cornfusing and conflicting reports coming in on Obamacare ruling

The individual mandate survives as a tax?

Then they need to re-write the bill and vote on it again. This is not how we make law in America. Cobble together a framework that serves as a blank check for regulators, lie to the public about what it is and isn't and how much it will cost, and rush it through without reading it and hope nobody objects too strongly and if they do, throw it up to the courts to re-write the law? No!

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Yeah, I got a problem....

The Department of Justice announced it has set up a telephone hotline and e-mail address for the public to report potential civil rights concerns related to the implementation of the Arizona SB 1070 provision requiring immigration status verification during certain law enforcement encounters.

The transcript of the recorded message:

"You have reached the Department of Justice Civil Rights Division. If you are calling about the immigration law in Arizona, SB 1070, or the immigration law in Alabama, HB56, or any other immigration law, press 1 for English, [or press 2 for Spanish]." 

Yeah, I got a problem with Arizona SB 1070.  It shouldn't need to be implemented.  The federal government is responsible for the enforcement of immigration law.  The federal government is responsible for the security of our nation's borders.  Arizona has graciously offered to assist the federal government.  The federal government not only refused the assistance, it is actively attempting to thwart Arizona's efforts.

So how about several million people a day call the hotline and tell the Justice Department about our concerns?

Hotline Number: 855-353-1010

Monday, June 18, 2012


Ad on facebook this morning.   Care About Wildlife?  The EPA is considering a new rule that would help them protect wildlife.  Tell them to do it!

Wildlife?!   I care about wildlife!   Where do I click????

I'll just mandate that wildlife is, you know, protected!   Make my voice heard, and stuff!

So you click through to a National Wildlife Federation page that informs me what I need to know.   And what that is is that evil power companies that provide the electricity to power my electric car and iPad have been evil-ly dumping unlimited amounts of industrial (double plus un-good!) carbon pollution into "the environment".

And the EPA is considering bold new standards limiting industrial (that's probably not the electricity that powers the blower fan in my central heat and air, no.  It's industrial!)  carbon (which is different from the carbon I breath out as well, I'm sure) from power plants!   (But only industrial ones.)

This would be a critical victory for wildlife in the fight against melting icecaps, climate change, and environmental destruction (oh my!).

And look, there's a photo of a swimming polar bear just to drive the point home.  (Wait a minute, I saw a buffalo on the original link.  Is this bait and switch?)

What you can do.  Oh boy!  Here it is.  I'm gonna save a polar bear!

Why you can sign the statement below by filling out the form.
I support the EPA's standards limiting industrial carbon pollution from power plants. These standards would be a step in the right direction. It's time to start taking better care of our environment and the creatures that inhabit it. 
I support clean air for the future of our environment and our planet's wildlife!
And if you don't, you're a wildlife hater!  A clean air hater!   A ....  what, why is my electric bill so high?   Those greedy power companies!  They should be socia-nationalized!!!! Like our health care!!!!

And look, it turns out that polar bears actually swim 30 miles regularly, and have been known to swim for 10 days straight for more than 400 miles!   That clearly means ice caps are melting due to global warming, and that the polar bears must be doooomed.  DOOOOOOMED!!!!!  Doooooooomed!

Never mind that, even in the article it states:

‘That these bears can swim such long distances might mean that they are not as vulnerable to being stranded at sea,’ said the USGS in a statement.

‘They appear to be moving continuously. But whether that’s affecting survival, we don’t know.’ says Anthony Pagano, lead author of the study.

Despite the fact that polar bear populations seem to be doing just fine (and that's not Obama saying it, either) and there's no evidence that there's a negative impact on the survival of polar bears, the article nonetheless concludes:
 The bears cannot survive without the sea ice and use it to hunt seals, their main food source.

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Scoring Cheap Points With Liberal Friends

So I'm perusing facebook, and I see Morgan made a comment on one of his friends' statuses.  And I read the status.  It says:
”The only way to reduce the number of nuclear weapons is to use them.” ~ Rush Limbaugh
I know from past experience that this particular friend of Morgan's is no Limbaugh fan by any stretch of the imagination.  And I also know from past experience that this friend is no ideological liberal progressive.  All I can figure is he gets a kick out of political quick hits that make him appear even-handed (and therefore by false corollary even-headed) to his liberal friends.

Now, in the past ... I kept seeing quotes like this from Rush.  And every time I checked them out (his full transcripts are always available online, for free) I found they were taken out of context.   So finally, for a couple of months I subscribed to Rush's premium service.  Listened a lot.  Got  a good feel for what Rush was about.

What I found was a guy who uses lots of hyperbolic sarcasm in somewhat entertaining ways to make his points.  I decided in the end that Rush is not my thing..... but he's not a bad guy.  And I don't believe for a second that Rush believes the only way to reduce the number of nuclear weapons is to use them, nor is he itching to use them.

But then I saw another status post, this time from Glenn Beck.
”When I see a 9/11 victim family on television, or whatever, I’m just like, ‘Oh shut up’ I’m so sick of them because they’re always complaining.” ~ Glenn Beck
Glenn also uses a healthy dose of sarcasm in his shows, and I think with much better success than Rush. Glenn's definitely more "my thing", except when he gets too sappy. Even then I don't typically disagree with his sentiment. I just think it's too sappy. At any rate, anyone who has spent any time actually listening to Glenn Beck knows that this is not how Glenn feels about 9/11 victims families. Matter of fact, I vaguely remember that show. There was much more to the discussion than that. It's way out of context.

There were several from Jerry Fallwell.  I'm not a Fallwell fan, but some of them shouldn't be to shocking.  Such as:
”Grown men should not be having sex with prostitutes unless they are married to them.” ~ Jerry Falwell
I assume this is being presented as dumb, but Jerry's a Christian minister, at least that's what I've been led to believe, and Christian Ministers (and lots of other Christians and non-Christians), regardless of how many of them fail to live up to the standard, believe that prostitution is wrong and soliciting prostitution is wrong and the only legitimate place sex has is within the confines of a marriage.  It's not "dumb", it's just his moral belief.   And to listen to the left, we're supposed to be tolerant of moral beliefs.

Then a similar one from Ann Coulter which we see trotted out all the time.  She said:
”We just want Jews to be perfected, as they say.” ~ Ann Coulter
Once again, duh.  If Ann's a Christian, and by her account she is, she believes it is the correct path.  As Christianity was born from Judaism and is considered by Christians a continuation of that historical religious path -- a continuation with which Jews do not concur ... then one necessarily believes that the Jews have missed a big step. This is obvious to anyone who understands religious conviction.   But in our mamby pamby world, religion is viewed as a quaint cultural artifact, not something that anybody actually really believes.  Of course, in that context, it would sound absurd.   But again, tolerance would demand that she gets to actually believe in what she, you know -- actually believes, and since the left abhors ridicule based on religion ... unless, of course, that religion is a Christian one.... ...  ...
”The feminist agenda is not about equal rights for women. It is about a socialist, anti-family political movement that encourages women to leave their husbands, kill their children, practice witchcraft, destroy capitalism and become lesbians.” ~ Pat Robertson
Of course, we all know that all feminism is about is equal rights for women, because that's what feminists tell the media all the time.   And there may have been a time that this was actually true.  But the movement, like so many other movements that started out as good things, has been hijacked, and alas, I think it would be pretty hard to argue with Pat here after hanging out on a few feminist blogs and message boards these days. Those who think what he said is far out clearly haven't.
”Trees cause more pollution than automobiles.” ~ Ronald Reagan
Apparently talking about smog.  He is taken to task in a Wiki article over this, which states, in part: 
"During hot weather many tree species release volatile organic compounds into the atmosphere, notably terpenes and isoprenes[4] (pine pitch is a terpene). Other VOCs that contribute to GLOP include gasoline, kerosene, paint, paint thinner and other industrial solvents. 
Reagan's statement was disingenuous because volatile organic compounds produced by trees do not cause pollution any more than the sun causes pollution. Reagan might as well have said, "the sun causes more pollution than automobiles do". Photochemical ozone pollution is created when automobile and power plant pollution is broken down by strong sunlight in the presence of any number of volatile organic compounds."
So what they're saying here is things that occur in nature can't cause pollution, and it's ridiculous to say that they do.   But then we see this:
”Carbon dioxide is portrayed as harmful. But there isn’t even one study that can be produced that shows that carbon dioxide is a harmful gas.” ~ Rep. Michelle Bachmann
Well you know, you can't have it both ways.  Either things that occur in nature are or aren't pollution.   Here, again, trees (decomposing ones) actually do release lots of CO2 (and methane) into the atmosphere.  Far more than we do.

When this was pointed out to our intrepid friend, he responded:
the simple point is that too much c02 isnt good. lol
Oh.  lol.  "Hey, it was just a joke, don't take it so seriously." [But do take Limbaugh and Beck's sarcasm seriously.  Clearly, they're evil.  And I'm awesome for pointing it out!]   And I guess Reagan and Bachmann aren't afforded the luxury of making their simple points.
the simple point is that too much c02 isnt good.
Well, you know.... neither is too much oxygen.  Or water.   Or beer.

Michelle's simple point is that carbon dioxide is a necessary atmospheric nutrient to plant life, contributes to the greenhouse effect that makes life as we know it possible at all on our planet, and occurs at a rate of less than four ten-thousandths of one percent in our atmosphere, having increased by a little over one ten-thousandths of one percent in the last 150 years or so.
Good Christians, like slaves and soldiers, ask no questions.” ~ Jerry Falwell
Ok, again, not really a Jerry fan here.  The ask no questions part I get.  The first half of the simile, on the other hand, is a lousy one through and through.   Score one for the friend.
”I’ll be long gone before some smart person ever figures out what happened inside this Oval Office.” ~ George W. Bush
One of the big charges from the Left on George Bush was that he is arrogant.  One of Bush's better qualities is that he is not.  He was often self-deprecating.   He had respect for the office he held, and for his duties while holding it, but he did not transfer that respect to his person to elevate his ego.  For an example of that, see the current White House occupant.

There were more ... but, you get my point.   If you completely remove context from things people have uttered, you can make it sound like they believe what they do not.

If I see a quote by somebody, I pretty much always go out and get the context to make sure that that's what the person probably actually meant before I take them sternly to task over it.

Thursday, June 07, 2012


Obama, who was raised by socialists and influenced by their socialist friends and sought out Marxist professors, worked for the extremely socialist leaning ACORN, and appeared as a speaker sponsored by the Democratic Socialists of America, but is nonetheless, as everyone knows, NOT a socialist ... and if you say he is you're a crackpot conspiracy theorist, also sought the endorsement and joined the [socialist] New Party, yet not only denied it later and actually had people smear anyone who suggested that he had, ironically, as a smear-er.

I was out commenting on a post of Morgan's on HKB, and as often happens when I'm commenting on something Morgan brought up, it turns out I have something to say.  It had to do with this thoughtful story, and the side issue of why it doesn't so much matter to me whether Obama is a Socialist or a Fascist.

 The main difference between fascism and socialism is the degree of ownership the government has over the means of production. With fascism, it's "yeah, well you technically own it, but we get to tell you what you can do with it and how much of the proceeds you can keep". Which isn't quite as ownershippy as a free market system, which is what we have. Not that some government regulation is needed in a free market system ... but the regulation should have more to do with protecting others' property rights -- whether it be public property (air, streams, water, national parks) rather than how much of your profit those with their paws on the levers of power get to swipe to buy friends and influence and yachts they keep in states with lower property tax rates ... for instance ;-)   ... or others' private property (no swindling people, and honor your contracts) and the like.

I've said somewhere before that capitalism isn't a system, per se. Not a consciously designed one, anyway. It just falls naturally out of human nature. These other "isms" are attempts at changing what humans are, and they run contrary to our nature. Our inner nature will act as a resistor to their imposed currents, and we'll heat up like light bulb filaments and burn out. Every. Time. They're just too opposed to what we are, which is imperfect, fallible creatures who, like all other creatures will work to make things better and easier on ourselves given the opportunity.

Capitalism uses the force of the stream and natural law channels it constructively. The other "isms" say "to hell with this stream, it causes erosion and floods" and they attempt to replace it with an ugly pipe which isn't worth flowing through. Then eventually the pipe strains under natural pressures and starts to spray water out every which way, and then it bursts. See Greece. Spain. Wiemar... and hopefully not coming soon to a theater near you.

Wednesday, June 06, 2012

The Demise of the Tea Party has apparently been greatly exaggerated

Apparently, according to Steve Kornacki at Salon, we're the biggest problem in Washington!

Since I think Washington is the biggest problem in Washington, I say if we're the biggest problem Washington has, that's probably a good thing.

May I have your attention, please?

Apparently, we do.   May I direct your gaze to Madison, WI.

Thank you,

The Tea Party

Tuesday, June 05, 2012

The Roots of Natural Law

I'm now reading Hayek's "The Fatal Conceit" (you can too, for free).   Ran across this and thought I should bookmark it for myself and others.
[David] "Hume noticed clearly the connection of these doctrines to freedom, and how the maximum freedom of all requires equal restraints on the freedom of each through what he called the three 'fundamental laws of nature':  the stability of posession, of it's transference by consent, and of the performance of promises."

Personal Property, Free Trade, and the binding nature of Contracts.

These are the things that Libertarians and Social Conservatives can rally around.  This is why there's  a Tea Party.