Our rights do not originate with government, but they are to be "secured" by government.
Formerly: Libertarian Party of Citrus county

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Inflation and Government Lies

For the last two years, Social Security recipients were denied cost-of-living adjustments because of the systematic underreporting of inflation. The reason is that the government claims the cost of living didn’t go up. Seniors are justifiably pissed. They look at the cost of their food, medicine, fuel, etc. and the amount of money left at the end of the month and they know that the cost of living has gone up, even if the government says it hasn’t.

How can the government claim the cost of living hasn’t gone up compared to the reality we all feel in our wallets? That is an easy answer; the US government, to make inflation numbers look good, has simply changed the rules on how they calculate the cost of living. The people at Shadowstats.com have created this interesting graph. It compares the reported cost of living index by the government as now calculated, with the methodology used in 1980. The numbers don’t match.

Just look at the cost of commodities used in everyday products. Corn is up 45 percent in the last three months. Cotton prices have reached historic levels. Rice, sugar and soybeans are up. Oil is up. Gold, copper and silver are up. So are coffee and cocoa. Beef prices are up. Almost every commodity is up by double digits. All of these things are costing more yet the government claims inflation is low or non-existent. Is it any wonder that polls show that the people don’t trust politicians and that the approval rating for congress is at all time lows? There is no escaping the fact that our government is not to be trusted.

"John Williams’ Shadow Government Statistics" is an electronic newsletter service that exposes and analyzes flaws in current U.S. government economic data and reporting, as well as in certain private-sector numbers, and provides an assessment of underlying economic and financial conditions, without financial-market and political hype. Visit Shadowstats.com and learn more.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Soak-the-rich crowd hopes we're stupid

A Must Read for everybody

Soak-the-rich crowd hopes we're stupid

In his usual clear fashion Sowell clearly explains basic economics, including such omitted facts as: "The rich actually paid more total taxes, and a higher percentage of all taxes, after the Bush tax-rate cuts, because their incomes were rising with the rising economy."

Friday, October 22, 2010

Extremism and the American Dream

"The next time you hear someone customizing the American Dream to suit his redistributionist agenda, ask him to show you one provision in the Constitution that provides for the government to fulfill the needs and desires of individual citizens. He can't." from the article Extremism and the American Dream by Robert Ringer

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Monopoly vs. Life

This political cartoon demonstrates two very clear and very wrong beliefs of Obama and liberals.

Major fallacy one) Regardless of the life choices a person makes given equal opportunity if everybody doesn't end up with the same results it isn't fair, and it's the governments job to redistribute the limited wealth available. In Monopoly everybody is given the same opportunities, there is some chance, but overall the decisions a person makes determines who has the most in the end.

Major Fallacy Two) Unlike Monopoly, life is not a zero sum game. Wealth can and is created by the value that individuals add to the capital they have. One person become wealthy is not at the expense of another. If a person is industrious, they can take dirt and water and heat and create something far more valuable than what they started with. A potter using simple inexpensive materials, time and talent creates value and wealth.

Zane Kuhle
, the creator of this vase in no way cheats or forces his fellow man to pay him for his efforts, others are willing to take their capital and give it to him in exchange for his work. Thus by taking a few dollars of basic materials, the creator of that vase created a logarithmic increase in wealth.

Monopoly and life are similar in some ways:
  • Like Monopoly, everybody starts Life with exactly the same resource – time.
  • Like Monopoly, luck plays a role in Life- parents and their accumulated wealth, genetics, right time and place, all affect the final outcome.
  • Like Monopoly, risk plays a role in Life - choices to play it safe or risk your capital for future gain. In Monopoly you have choices like “do I buy Park Place and risk most of my capital hoping to land on Boardwalk, or save my capital for less profitable but more secure properties with higher chances of return.” In life you have choices like “do I practice sports as hard as I can and risk most of my study time hoping to land in professional sports, or do I invest my time for study to enter a less profitable but more secure employment market with higher chances of return?”

    Life is unlike the game of Monopoly where nobody is allowed to create anything new or add value to any capital they have. The liberal mindset that there is only so much wealth and thus must be re-distributed in order to be fair is a fallacy they use to try and control others; it ignores the reality that the USA and most of its wealth was created from the free exchange of capital and work of the people, and that the individual decisions people make about what to do with what they have, determines how and where capital created and traded. Some luck is involved and natural talent helps, but overall those who take what they have and add more value to it create for themselves more wealth, and those who choose to waste what they have do not gather wealth.
  • Friday, October 15, 2010

    Why the Libertarian Party is Powerless

    I’ve been a member of the Libertarian Party (LP) all my adult life. I am not considering nor do I plan to leave the LP, but the LP has to do some serious introspection. The Libertarian Party (LP) has remained virtually the same small portion of the electorate for decades. Its platform with two glaring exceptions best represents the founding principles of this country. The LP platform best represents the view of the TEA Party, the strongest grass roots political movement since the Civil Rights movement of the 60’s. The LP is basically a very small group, and virtually powerless except as a foil or joke for political pundits. Libertarian principles and values are main stream but the party isn’t.

    Columnist Dick Morris, wrote in the National Review writing about libertarianism and the TEA party, "The libertarian strain in the American electorate has long been neglected by the mainstream media. But, through the tea party, it has gained ascendancy on the right. Those who want the government to stay out of both boardrooms and bedrooms have come to dominate the party and its nominating process."

    Libertarian thought and philosophy run deep through Americans, yet the LP is virtually powerless. The reason for the LP being virtually powerless is based on the LP being hostile to the origins of libertarian thought, and the huge contradiction in the most basic tenant of libertarianism.

    Libertarian thought and philosophy is a direct result of the tenants of Christianity. Man is created in God’s Image; Man is given free will; God gave man a few rules to live by. Virtually all of them were about honoring God or respecting the rights of other individuals. Taken as a whole the Bible is the most libertarian and freedom loving book ever created. That said the Libertarian party is not only open to, but a home for, atheists, Jews, Muslims, pagans, and all the other religions. Most people from other religions feel at home in the Libertarian party. Again this is a good thing, as the Libertarian party is a political organization not a religion, based on the solid principal that a person is sovereign over him/herself not the government. The basic and most fundamental tenant of libertarianism is voluntary interactions between sovereign people, and opposition to using force against others. If you've read the Gospels and teaching of Paul you'd find that is one of the underlying themes of the New Testament.

    Not too long ago the definition of a unique cellular life form included a few defined criteria. For a unique cellular life form to be alive it must respirate, consume food, eliminate waste, and its cells must divide. Plant, animal, fungus, bacteria, etc., all cellular life meets this basic criterion to be called alive. For political not scientific reasons the definition of what makes something alive has changed in basic science texts. All of us pretty much know the difference between being dead and being alive. With the exception of identical twins our DNA is what clearly identifies humans as being unique. Being alive means you have life.

    The primary reason the LP has remained a meaningless third party is because to a large number of Americans it contradicts itself, and is relativistic in its values, and it openly ignores the morality of the vast majority of Americans.

    The LP Platform says in it’s statement of principles: . . . "that where governments exist, they must not violate the rights of any individual: namely, (1) the right to life -- accordingly we support the prohibition of the initiation of physical force against others . . . " Then in section 1.4 says " Recognizing that abortion is a sensitive issue and that people can hold good-faith views on all sides, we believe that government should be kept out of the matter, leaving the question to each person for their conscientious consideration."

    All the excuses in the world don’t change the fact that in our hearts we all fundamentally know that from conception to birth, the growth in the womb of a pregnant woman is alive, and is a unique person. That the unborn child, had no choice and has done nothing to infringe upon the rights of its parents, and as such legal or not, abortion is an infringement on the most basic fundamental right of that unique human; The right to life. If you don’t have a right to life, no other liberty has meaning. The LP position that government shouldn’t protect the life of some because of their relative biological development, make most of America feeling that the LP is amoral.

    The TEA Party is a true grass roots movement. Regardless of what you think, or read, this movement is not just economic, it is moral. Its foundation is based on the founding principles of this country, very simple libertarian principles: It is not moral or just for one person to be forcibly used to serve the purposes of another, and people should be free to do as they wish so long as they don’t infringe upon the rights of another. Our tax system, and the expanse of rules and regulations, all violate these principles. The fact is that every single TEA Party candidate for the House of Representatives could not be a libertarian for one reason; Every TEA Party candidate for the House of Representatives is pro-life. Unlike the LP the TEA Party believes in the founding principles of the US government. Those principles are based on solid moral reasoning. The LP is not true to libertarian principles so long as it allows compromise on the most basic right any individual has.

    The LP takes an almost utopian view of human nature and morals in general. The Platform section 1.3 reads “Sexual orientation, preference, gender, or gender identity should have no impact on the rights of individuals by government, such as in current marriage, child custody, adoption, immigration or military service laws. Consenting adults should be free to choose their own sexual practices and personal relationships. Government does not have the authority to define, license or restrict personal relationships.”

    This is a morally bankrupt position that does not take into consideration human nature, and ignores the basic libertarian principle of not infringing on the rights of another, and completely ignores how sexuality affects the military. The Military does and should be allowed to create laws that govern relationships. Sexual relationships in general and specifically between those of differing ranks, all affect military cohesion, readiness, and performance. Military law can and should be allowed to restrict behaviors that affect performance. The LP position also ignores the fact that all Military enlistment is voluntary. Hence military members are free to join or not join knowing that the contractual obligations to taking military employment include specific behavior expectations. Officers being prohibited from personal relationships with enlisted personnel are not an infringement upon anybody’s rights.

    Platform section 1.3 shouts in the face of the vast majority of people in this country. This entire platform position reads as though militant gays are trying to force acceptance of their lifestyle on the majority of the people. Most Americans believe that two consenting adults should be free to choose their own sexual practices and personal relationships, so long as it doesn’t infringe upon the rights of others. This platform plank says that the LP is amoral and does not care about the traditions and values which the country was instituted. This amoral position puts the LP in the minds and hearts of the vast majority of Americans as being un-reliable, untrustworthy, and anti-religion, thus the LP is dismissed and has no power.

    The LP Platform position 1.3 should simply read “The Government does not have the authority to license or restrict personal relationships of consenting adults” without all the sexual relationship explanation which attacks tradition morals. The associated position voiced by the LP should be that the government should offer no preference or benefit in any law, including tax laws that pertains to an individual’s voluntary relationships with others. Tax laws should be based on the idea that all taxes for every individual should be treated equally regardless of relationship status. Would accomplish the same goal righteous goal, to promote the rule of law, and promote equality under the law without attacking the moral structure that created this country.

    Reading a posting on FB, where a libertarian posted a very amoral pro-gay, decadent video (nothing illegal) designed to offend the sensibilities of the majority of people. It did, the responses included such comments as NAME is reconsidering my Libertarian vote.........C'mon Michael. The LP being home to and promoting gays, sovereign extremists, anarchists, etc. project the image that the Libertarian Party is amoral.

    Most Americans believe that an amoral government cannot make moral choices. The LP is not trusted because we put out an amoral contradictory stand, when we don’t have to. But since the image is amoral, the American people won’t trust the Libertarian Party with their money, their rights, or anything. At its roots libertarian philosophy is very moral and upright and the philosophy of libertarianism is by far more moral than the alternatives offered by both the GOP and Democrats. Libertarian philosophy best represents the Christian model for how people should live. The LP however throws the extremes of what the freedom to choose how to live your life in the face of a very conservative and moral public, who will then question the ability of Libertarians to govern. Look at the legal but scandalous actions that get politicians un-elected, adultery, whoring, etc., the people of this country won’t elect a party whose attitude is, no big deal and you should keep your nose out of other people’s relationships. Wanting liberty for all is not the same as wanting somebody of poor moral character running the country.

    Until the Libertarian Party starts to portray a party which will protect the liberty of everybody without promoting amoral and antisocial behavior, it cannot expect to come to power. The TEA Party, which has virtually identical platform and desires as the LP is what has captured most of America’s heart. They project liberty and freedom for all, and promote and elect moral leaders. Americans want to elect leaders who will protect their freedoms, who they would trust with their children. The current image of the LP is not one America would trust with her children and with very few exception is not considered a serious alternative. Concerning liberty, rather than putting the image of I may not agree with you but I’ll defend to the death your rights, the LP appears to be embracing the shocking amoral extremes of liberty.

    The Libertarian Party image, in order to be acceptable to America needs to be that considers “Part of the cost of liberty is to tolerate the extremes of human nature so long as they don’t infringe upon the rights of another.” Embracing the extremes makes us look extreme, and hence unelectable. The LP is powerless because America will not knowingly elect immoral leaders.

    Tom Rhodes

    Sunday, October 10, 2010

    US physics professor: 'Global warming is the greatest and most successful pseudoscientific fraud I have seen in my long life' – Telegraph Blogs

    US physics professor: 'Global warming is the greatest and most successful pseudoscientific fraud I have seen in my long life' – Telegraph Blogs

    Dear Curt:
    When I first joined the American Physical Society sixty-seven years ago it was much smaller, much gentler, and as yet uncorrupted by the money flood (a threat against which Dwight Eisenhower warned a half-century ago). Indeed, the choice of physics as a profession was then a guarantor of a life of poverty and abstinence—it was World War II that changed all that. The prospect of worldly gain drove few physicists. As recently as thirty-five years ago, when I chaired the first APS study of a contentious social/scientific issue, The Reactor Safety Study, though there were zealots aplenty on the outside there was no hint of inordinate pressure on us as physicists. We were therefore able to produce what I believe was and is an honest appraisal of the situation at that time. We were further enabled by the presence of an oversight committee consisting of Pief Panofsky, Vicki Weisskopf, and Hans Bethe, all towering physicists beyond reproach. I was proud of what we did in a charged atmosphere. In the end the oversight committee, in its report to the APS President, noted the complete independence in which we did the job, and predicted that the report would be attacked from both sides. What greater tribute could there be?

    How different it is now. The giants no longer walk the earth, and the money flood has become the raison d’ĂȘtre of much physics research, the vital sustenance of much more, and it provides the support for untold numbers of professional jobs. For reasons that will soon become clear my former pride at being an APS Fellow all these years has been turned into shame, and I am forced, with no pleasure at all, to offer you my resignation from the Society.

    It is of course, the global warming scam, with the (literally) trillions of dollars driving it, that has corrupted so many scientists, and has carried APS before it like a rogue wave. It is the greatest and most successful pseudoscientific fraud I have seen in my long life as a physicist. Anyone who has the faintest doubt that this is so should force himself to read the ClimateGate documents, which lay it bare. (Montford’s book organizes the facts very well.) I don’t believe that any real physicist, nay scientist, can read that stuff without revulsion. I would almost make that revulsion a definition of the word scientist.

    So what has the APS, as an organization, done in the face of this challenge? It has accepted the corruption as the norm, and gone along with it. For example:

    1. About a year ago a few of us sent an e-mail on the subject to a fraction of the membership. APS ignored the issues, but the then President immediately launched a hostile investigation of where we got the e-mail addresses. In its better days, APS used to encourage discussion of important issues, and indeed the Constitution cites that as its principal purpose. No more. Everything that has been done in the last year has been designed to silence debate

    2. The appallingly tendentious APS statement on Climate Change was apparently written in a hurry by a few people over lunch, and is certainly not representative of the talents of APS members as I have long known them. So a few of us petitioned the Council to reconsider it. One of the outstanding marks of (in)distinction in the Statement was the poison word incontrovertible, which describes few items in physics, certainly not this one. In response APS appointed a secret committee that never met, never troubled to speak to any skeptics, yet endorsed the Statement in its entirety. (They did admit that the tone was a bit strong, but amazingly kept the poison word incontrovertible to describe the evidence, a position supported by no one.) In the end, the Council kept the original statement, word for word, but approved a far longer “explanatory” screed, admitting that there were uncertainties, but brushing them aside to give blanket approval to the original. The original Statement, which still stands as the APS position, also contains what I consider pompous and asinine advice to all world governments, as if the APS were master of the universe. It is not, and I am embarrassed that our leaders seem to think it is. This is not fun and games, these are serious matters involving vast fractions of our national substance, and the reputation of the Society as a scientific society is at stake.

    3. In the interim the ClimateGate scandal broke into the news, and the machinations of the principal alarmists were revealed to the world. It was a fraud on a scale I have never seen, and I lack the words to describe its enormity. Effect on the APS position: none. None at all. This is not science; other forces are at work.

    4. So a few of us tried to bring science into the act (that is, after all, the alleged and historic purpose of APS), and collected the necessary 200+ signatures to bring to the Council a proposal for a Topical Group on Climate Science, thinking that open discussion of the scientific issues, in the best tradition of physics, would be beneficial to all, and also a contribution to the nation. I might note that it was not easy to collect the signatures, since you denied us the use of the APS membership list. We conformed in every way with the requirements of the APS Constitution, and described in great detail what we had in mind—simply to bring the subject into the open.<

    5. To our amazement, Constitution be damned, you declined to accept our petition, but instead used your own control of the mailing list to run a poll on the members’ interest in a TG on Climate and the Environment. You did ask the members if they would sign a petition to form a TG on your yet-to-be-defined subject, but provided no petition, and got lots of affirmative responses. (If you had asked about sex you would have gotten more expressions of interest.) There was of course no such petition or proposal, and you have now dropped the Environment part, so the whole matter is moot. (Any lawyer will tell you that you cannot collect signatures on a vague petition, and then fill in whatever you like.) The entire purpose of this exercise was to avoid your constitutional responsibility to take our petition to the Council.

    6. As of now you have formed still another secret and stacked committee to organize your own TG, simply ignoring our lawful petition.

    APS management has gamed the problem from the beginning, to suppress serious conversation about the merits of the climate change claims. Do you wonder that I have lost confidence in the organization?

    I do feel the need to add one note, and this is conjecture, since it is always risky to discuss other people’s motives. This scheming at APS HQ is so bizarre that there cannot be a simple explanation for it. Some have held that the physicists of today are not as smart as they used to be, but I don’t think that is an issue. I think it is the money, exactly what Eisenhower warned about a half-century ago. There are indeed trillions of dollars involved, to say nothing of the fame and glory (and frequent trips to exotic islands) that go with being a member of the club. Your own Physics Department (of which you are chairman) would lose millions a year if the global warming bubble burst. When Penn State absolved Mike Mann of wrongdoing, and the University of East Anglia did the same for Phil Jones, they cannot have been unaware of the financial penalty for doing otherwise. As the old saying goes, you don’t have to be a weatherman to know which way the wind is blowing. Since I am no philosopher, I’m not going to explore at just which point enlightened self-interest crosses the line into corruption, but a careful reading of the ClimateGate releases makes it clear that this is not an academic question.

    I want no part of it, so please accept my resignation. APS no longer represents me, but I hope we are still friends.

    Harold Lewis is Emeritus Professor of Physics, University of California, Santa Barbara, former Chairman; Former member Defense Science Board, chmn of Technology panel; Chairman DSB study on Nuclear Winter; Former member Advisory Committee on Reactor Safeguards; Former member, President’s Nuclear Safety Oversight Committee; Chairman APS study on Nuclear Reactor Safety
    Chairman Risk Assessment Review Group; Co-founder and former Chairman of JASON; Former member USAF Scientific Advisory Board; Served in US Navy in WW II; books: Technological Risk (about, surprise, technological risk) and Why Flip a Coin (about decision making)

    Thursday, October 7, 2010

    Mindset of America

    Mister President, it is natural for man to indulge in the illusions of hope. We are apt to shut our eyes against a painful truth - and listen to the song of that siren, till she transforms us into beasts? . . . Are we disposed to be of the number of those, who having eyes, see not, and having ears, hear not, the things which so nearly concern their temporal salvation? For my part, whatever anguish of spirit it may cost, I am willing to know the whole truth; to know the worst, and to provide for it.

    No, this isn’t an open letter to the president but it could be. Some of you may recognize those words; they are the start of one of the most famous speeches in American history. One sentence from the original paragraph is missing. I’ll get into that later.

    The US is in the grips of a struggle; it’s an old struggle between a powerful ruling political class, and the people they rule. Because of the relative small number of people in the ruling political class, to maintain their power they have but too choices fear or provision (that’s usually provision with distraction). The Caesars knew this, fear of the Roman legion to control business and lower leaders, and the bread and circuses to control the mob that was the Roman people. Today the ruling class in the USA uses the same two methods. Three little letters will strike fear into the heart of the bravest businessman or wage earner. . . IRS. TV and the entire entertainment industry with “predominantly” progressive control of the news media provide today’s circuses.

    President Obama came into power offering “Hope and Change.” The reality is he is offering the same Marxist solutions to problems that both Lenin and Mao offered and dictated to the people of Russia and China in the early 20th century. Eventually Lenin’s Russia determined where you could work, where you could live, and most details of Russian life, to accomplish this he also killed tens of millions of his own people. This is not a “the commies are coming” attack on Obama. Obama and the leftists in the USA cannot and will not be able to institute a Marxist state in the USA as Lenin did in Russia; mostly because the USA was originally made of people of a different mindset, and because the immigrants who augmented our population over time came here because of and shared that mindset, and the majority of Americans don’t have a liberal mindset.

    This mindset is what makes the USA almost ungovernable. The mindset is a rebellious pursuit of self determination. Despite a distinctly leftwing and socialist point of view from the vast majority of our media 2:1 Americans think of themselves as conservative. Point of fact most Americans who call themselves conservatives are in fact libertarian. Most Americans have conservative values, but respect the rights of others to have different beliefs. As noted in the Declaration of independence “accordingly all experience hath shown that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such government.” This is the mindset of the people of this country. I believe that Obama is pushing what is beyond what most Americans are more disposed to suffer.

    Never since the revolutionary war, have so many average people, who if at all possible simply suffer with the government hoping to be left alone to pursue their own lives, risen up to make their voice heard. The TEA party is not like any other protest the USA has seen. The people want the same thing our forefathers wanted – Liberty.

    Now to the missing sentence from the first paragraph “We are apt to shut our eyes against a painful truth - and listen to the song of that siren, till she transforms us into beasts? Is this the part of wise men, engaged in a great and arduous struggle for liberty. The American people are not dumb, there are more millionaires in our country than anyplace else, it is the most generous country in the world, and if left alone will suffer a lot, but it has reached its limit on what it will tolerate from the political class. It doesn’t matter what party you are from, if you campaign for bigger more powerful government you are generally losing the election. The only places this isn’t happening are where a majority of the population is dependent upon the government for its livelihood. Americans are voting with their feet moving to where there is less government, Michigan continues to lose population; NY for the first time is showing a decrease in the average income of its population and is losing two congressional seats (to no-income tax Florida); California businesses continue to migrate to Texas and other states. The American people demand and expect Liberty.

    When designing our system, our forefathers designed a system that empowered a vigorous government without endangering liberty or true republicanism. This system had five important features: checks and balances so that the branches would police one another; a large republic so that majority sentiment was fleeting and not intensely felt; a Senate where the states would be equal; enumerated congressional powers to limit the scope of governmental authority; and the Bill of Rights to offer extra protection against the government. The end result was a government that is powerful, but not infinitely so. This system sometimes appears ungovernable when there is gridlock, but it does great things when it is of a single mind. To govern, our leaders need to build a broad consensus. When there is no such consensus, the most likely outcome is that the government will do nothing. The government doing nothing is most often the best response we could ever have.

    There is a unique and often glorified criminal element in the USA. It is copied elsewhere but doesn’t have the heart it does in America – Motorcycle Gangs. Tattoos are symbolic of their lifestyle, and adopted by many Americans who are not associated and have no desire to associate with the criminal activities. Four words turn up on more tattoos, colors, jackets, and symbology than any other. These words come derive from the conclusion of the speech which I stole my opening paragraph.

    Live Free or Die

    I started this with the opening paragraph of Patrick Henry’s famous March, 1775 speech which ended with the immortal American words, “Give me Liberty or Give me Death!” Obama and the political class in Washington are too far removed from most of America. America is wealthy, even our poor have an obesity problem. Because we have made ourselves wealthy, creating that wealth from the sweat of our backs, suffering the loss of our private property thru confiscatory taxation has been tolerable as the ruling elite have added so called safety nets for the old and poor. The government is now going past that, the political class are no longer satisfied with confiscating our private property, they have slowly but consistently been working to control every aspect of our lives. This has gone too far. ObamaCare which tells us what services we must purchase, and the tens of thousands of pages new regulations forced upon us every year are becoming insufferable. The ruling elite have forgotten that most of America does not value peace, comfort, health, or even life, so much that we would agree to servitude to have them. Most Americans want our government to protect our individual rights, insure equal justice for all, and to leave us alone so that we can pursue happiness as we each see fit. Our mindset is a rebellious pursuit of self determination. "Is life so dear or peace so sweet as to be purchased at the price of chains and slavery? Forbid it, Almighty God! I know not what course others may take, but as for me, give me liberty or give me death!" ~ Patrick Henery

    To those who want the government to take care of you, and think the political class know what’s best for you and everybody else, I share these immortal words of Samuel Adams, “If ye love wealth better than liberty, the tranquility of servitude better than the animating contest of freedom, go home from us in peace. We ask not your counsels or your arms. Crouch down and lick the hands which feed you. May your chains set lightly upon you, and may posterity forget that you were our countrymen."

    Wednesday, October 6, 2010

    Compassionate Liberals – Unintended Consequences

    Six months after passing the effects of ObamaCare, A.K.A. Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, are starting to be felt. They are of course not what President Obama, and the compassionate liberals that passed ObamaCare either promised or expected. Like lots of legislation, ObamaCare was passed assuming that people would change the way they act as a result of the new law. The assumptions were that health care costs would go down and that the historic economic response to government mandated regulations and associated increased costs would magically not pertain to this legislation. The unintended consequences of ObamaCare are hurting far more than it will ever help. The results will be less not more of everything it touches. The only thing ObamaCare will likely increase is government control of our everyday lives.

    President Obama promised that under ObamaCare no one will have to change medical plans. Already 840,000 Americans have lost their coverage. The reason nearly one million people who had insurance are now uninsured is because their insurer, the Principal Financial Group, left the insurance market. New York Times reports, "The company's decision reflected its assessment of its ability to compete in the environment created by the new law, Principal's decision closely tracks moves by other insurers that have indicated in recent weeks that they plan to drop out of certain segments of the market. ..."

    Those nasty evil health insurers Wellpoint, Cigna, Aetna, Humana and CoventryOne no longer write policies for all children. Faced with a promised exclusion from future markets by the Health Czar if they raise their rates and inform their customers and share holders why, their choice is to lose money or drop child only coverage. Why are they faced with the choice of losing money or dropping child only coverage? Because Obamacare requires that they insure already sick children for the same price as well children.

    It sounds very compassionate to guarantee that sick children be covered for the same price as healthy children. What the compassionate ObamaCare fanatics haven’t noticed or ignore is that paying for the health services and products of sick children is guaranteed to cost more than for the healthy. 100% of sick children will need health services and products when coverage begins. Insurance is about risk, so if the government mandates that insurance companies cover sick children at the lower well-children price, insurers must mitigate the know risk, they are forced to quit that market.

    They did not leave the child only insurance market because of greed, lack of caring, or other avariced reasoning. They left because it’s just moral and fiduciary responsibility to those whom they are accountable. Insurance companies exist to provide a services to clients and to return profits to their investors, they are not charities. Although the total dollars of profits an insurance company makes is huge and so large some call obscene, their relative profit is low. If you make lemonade and sell it for $1 a glass on the corner nobody would accuse you of greed even though the lemonade only cost you about 20 cents per glass and you are making a 500% profit. The reason is nobody would begrudge you making 80 cents per glass is that if you sold $100 of lemonade per day you’d only make $80. Even if you became a giant like Snapple and made millions selling lemonade at hundreds of percent profit nobody would care. Why is it when insurance companies sell their product for a minimal 10% profit they are vilified? Liberals talk about gross dollars of profits, not profit rates, because they try to fool us into thinking insurance companies are greedy uncaring, and evil. The fact is insurance profits based on gross sales are neither exorbanate nor abusive. If you spend $100 and the return is $110 you made $10, no big deal. If you and 10 of your friends each invest $100 each (total$1000) and the return is $1100 and you made $100 ($10 each) it’s no big deal. Why is it evil or immoral or greedy if you collect $110 Billion and spend $100Billion in providing a service and retain $10Billion as profit?

    Compassionate liberals have saved the parents of sick children from having to purchase expensive insurance. Parents will simply be unable to buy insurance for their child (sick or healthy) at any price! That's a typical unintended consequence of government compassion. At least it’s fair; whether you are rich or poor, black or white, liberal or conservative, citizen or alien, you equally have zero access to child only health insurance. Unlike liberal’s expectations and promises the reality of ObamaCare is neither Patient Protection nor Affordable Care.

    The Obama Administrations response to the news that insurance companies will have to raise rates because of the new law is to clamp down on the first amendment. Obama's Health Czar, Sebelius wrote there would be "zero tolerance" for companies that attribute "unjustified rate increases" to Obamacare. The Obama Health Czar wrote, " we will not stand idly by as insurers blame their premium hikes and increased profits on the requirement that they provide consumers with basic protections."

    John Stossel accurately translated this into plain English, "We have repealed the basic laws of economics. Insurance companies must now give people more but not charge them for it. If you do charge more, you must not tell your customers why. Shut up, obey, and don't complain. We are your rulers."

    The limit on free speech is just another unintended consequence of liberal’s good intentions. You would have to use very tortured logic to think that threats to exclude companies who express their valid reasoning for raising their rates from being allowed to do business in the future is not limiting free speech.

    Another unintended consequence people will start feeling when they get their first paycheck of 2011. There will be less money in their check. Employers who hire workers to produce a product or service that they can sell competitively are going to have increased health insurance costs because of this law. They will have a few choices, reduce benefits offered, increase employee contribution to health insurance, drop health insurance all together, or raise the prices of their product/service. No matter what happens the average employee will have less money in his pocket. Local government workers will have the same choices with one exception, local governments may raise local property or sales taxes to cover the increased health insurance costs, thus taxes will be raised on everybody but it won’t be called a “health care” tax.

    I’ve already been notified by my employer to expect about $40 per month increase in my portion of the health insurance increase. That means I’m going to have to spend that much less someplace else. To make up for the loss I’ll probably quit going to the movie theater. In fact to make up for the increased costs of food, fuel, health care, etc. in my area a lot of people have quit going to the movies. So many that the local theaters have quit all late night showings except for Friday and Saturday nights. This allows them to cut back on part time employees significantly. The local theater hires high school kids and young adults for minimum wage, unemployment for that sector in my community is well over 50%.

    Liberals act as if people don’t change their behavior based on their compassionate government plans to make life better for everybody. Like raising taxes on the rich, liberals make their estimates on returns assuming nobody will change their behavior. As I noted in previous articles Maryland raised taxes on the rich predicting over $200M increase in tax revenue, the result was an exodus of rich and over $350M loss in revenue. Obama’s and liberals in congress’s claim that if they don’t let the Bush tax cuts expire for those making over $250K per year will result in over $700Billion in lost revenue. That’s BS, those who make over $250K make that much because they are both smart and driven, just like in Maryland they will find a way to hide their money or move to a place where they are not taxed so much. To see the unintended consequences, all you have to do is look at the exodus of business from high tax California to low tax Texas.

    The unintended consequences the compassionate but misguided socialistic desires of Obama, Pelosi, Ried, and the liberals in government will be less liberty and more poverty. I would like to think that it’s just their big hearts trying to do what they feel is best for everybody and that they just don’t understand or realize that the reality of their actions will not match their stated promises or expectations. But Obama himself said that raising the taxes on the rich would decrease government revenue but it was about fairness not increasing government revenue. You would almost think he wants to punish success in the name of fairness even if it hurts everybody. Maybe the results are what Obama and liberals expected, knowing that their policies will make everybody more equal. Equally poor that is.

    by 2Bfree 10/6/2010

    Tuesday, October 5, 2010

    LP Poised to Take Advantage of the Paradigm Shift in America

    Back in may I wrote about the Paradigm Shift in America. I said There is a paradigm shift in this country happening, it’s not Republican/Democrat or Left/Right, or Conservative/Liberal. The people are realizing that there is now a war between those who love liberty and all it entails and statists who want to control everything.

    I knew I was right but I didn't recognize the vitriol and hatred of statists in fighting this shift. The GOP Statists are willing to sacrifice their own party to keep statists in charge even Democrat Statist. In general liberal Democrats are getting trashed in the polls and without the GOP Statists support will lose control of the House and Senate. Normally this would not be that big a deal as the Republican Statists (who run the party) would by and large act the same, and continue the erosion of liberty of the people for the concentration of more power in government, just at a slower more controlled less radical pace than the Democrat Statists have recently attempted.

    The problem is the people of the USA, are not statists. The so called leaders of the Republican party, have lost a huge number of primaries. The people through true grass roots, not controlled by a major party, are not following the GOP Statists recommendations and are voting for libertarian candidates.

  • In the Kentucky primary, Republican libertarian and TEA Party supported Rand Paul beat the statist establishment candidate Trey Grayson.

  • In the Alaskan, unknown Tea Party candidate Joe Miller beat incumbent GOP Statist Sen. Lisa Murkowski in the Republican Senate primary.

  • Tea Party candidate Sharron Angle trashed GOP Statist recommended establishment candidate Sue Lowden in Nevada’s Republican Senate primary.

  • Tea Party candidate Ken Buck beat GOP Statist recommended establishment candidate, former Lieutenant Governor Jane Norton in their Colorado primary.

  • Tea Party candidate Mike Lee beat GOP Statist incumbent Sen. Bob Bennett in Utah.

    These are just examples where the statists in establishment are losing their hold on the American people. They don't like it. The shift isn't from left to right or Democrat to Republican, its from everyday Americans who have decided that they won't take it anymore. The people of this country, are now tired of the game, they aren't playing by the "rules" that the power elite have enacted.

    The big proof is in the actions of both of the statist parties. Democrats have cut their losses and are not funding candidates who have no chance in winning with the public in a pro-liberty anti-nanny-state frame of mind. Long established Republicans, who when faced with clear direction of the people in their party to replace them with more liberty loving candidates instead of accepting the statists the establishment wants install, either quit and went to the Democrats, or quit and run as independents. Many of them not only refuse to support their fellow republicans who won in the primary, but are actively working as spoilers to derail those candidates not selected by the statists in charge. They would rather a statist democrat win, then elect see a candidate of their own party who doesn’t support the ruling elite win.

  • Liberal Republican Arlen Specter realized he would lose the primary and switched parties. Hoping his name and the support of the other statist party will win him the election, regardless of the will of his formerly fellow Republicans in Pennsylvania.

  • Liberal Republican Charlie Crist dropped out of the Republican Party and announced he would be running as an Independent for the Senate in Florida. Even with Rubio's almost criminal political past, he knew he could not beat the more conservative Rubio. Again Crist is loyal to statist ideology not his party. This is an interesting race as both parties are actively campaigning to keep the Libertarian candidate Alex Snitker out of the polls, news and the debates.

    The statists are very sore losers. The National Republican Senatorial Committee (NRSC) refused to support O’Donnell showing their true anger at the voters who didn’t select the candidate that they wanted. Because of the new media this blatant aggressive action against fellow republicans was exposed and the NRSC later reversed that decision and contributed the maximum amount directly permitted to her, $42,000. They have however not yet spent a dime in independent actions to support her the way they do their handpicked statist candidates.

    The people of this country are consistently choosing more liberty minded candidates over statists. National Republican Congressional Committee (NRCC), can no longer brazenly pick and choose more liberal Republicans over conservative/libertarian ones. Third parties, specifically Libertarians, are now performing well enough to cause the statists of both parties trouble and take note.

    The fear of GOP Statists is palpable; they are even coming to the Florida Libertarian Facebook page calling on Florida Libertarians for support. Pleading for us not to vote third party or the evil Democrat will win. The platform and philosophy of the Libertarian Party is and always has been the bedrock of American beliefs. Unlike the Statist Democans and Republicrats parties who whose only difference seems to be the speed in which they move the USA towards totalitarian statist control.

    I hope the GOP establishment and its sore losers don’t spoil the election for the libertarian and conservative Tea Party candidates who legitimately won Republican primary elections, overthrowing the will of Republicans who voted in the primaries. If they do however it may be a boon for the Libertarian party and possible lead to a viable third party in the USA. Wouldn’t it be interesting if without a clear majority in either the Senate or Congress both Statist parties had to start courting liberty minded officials in both their own and third parties.

    The pendulum isn’t just swinging left to right it’s now swinging from the idea that the government has the power to determine how you live your life back to our foundation, where the government isn’t trusted and is severely restricted. The political class doesn’t like it when the people don’t do what they are told. We are seeing history in a way that has never been seen before, rallies, gatherings, protests, not from the left, or the extreme right but from average everyday people who want less government and are willing to speak, act, and vote like never before. Neither the GOP nor the Democrats knows or understands the TEA party, their words, actions, and contempt clearly show they don’t get it.

    Bloomberg’s rant against the Tea Party is a great example. He doesn’t get it and doesn’t except what the Tea Party says about itself. TEA stands for Taxed Enough Already, the entire basis for the grass roots rebellion is that we have Too Much Government. Specifically economic liberty, the people of this country realize that without economic liberty the other issues are just distractions. When your big problem is keeping enough of your wages to put a roof over your head and food on the table, it’s hard to get worked up over social issues. Property rights, and the fruits of your labor (wages) is your property, are the root of liberty. These are based on what our forefathers called “natural laws,” which the American people instinctively understand and accept. By securing economic liberty, they will protect their other liberties.

    The Libertarian Party understands, it’s platform, foundation, and position most closely reflects the attitude and beliefs of the American people. The pendulum is swinging back to liberty, now if the LP can grow up and quit acting like a social debate club it maybe the political home most Americans are looking for.
  • Sunday, October 3, 2010

    Conservative VS Liberal Rallies in DC

    The press is conflicted about which of the recent rallies in DC at the Mall had more support.

    It's pretty clear.

    If you have read any news that states any view other than there was massivly more support for the conservative rally in Sept vs the Liberal Rally Yesterday, then that news source is either really really stupid or run by a liar. You pick.

    (correction - rally from 10/1/2010 is not associated with John Stewart's rally scheduled for 10/30/2010 )

    Shrinking Middle Class?

    The USA is a unique country, people can freely move from the upper economic classes to the lower and vice versa. In general those in the lower 20% economically in the USA don’t stay their very long and move up as to middle class. In general what are the things that effect where in the economic class structure of America people reside: There are two basic factors that determine success intelligence and drive. It is obvious that people like Bill Gates have both a large amount of intelligence and drive, his wealth and ability to keep it are proof. If we look at a pot head who quit school we find an individual with neither drive nor intelligence, and is most probably poor (or living in his mother’s basement).

    Let’s compare boxers. Mike Tyson, who was highly driven and became rich, even though it is obvious that intellectually he’s no Einstein. His lack of smarts resulted in a relatively quick loss of most of his wealth. Mohammad Ali on the other hand is highly driven and is obviously smart. His drive and skills lead him to riches, and his intellect allowed him to keep it, and even expand on them (One might also note that Tyson was a thug of poor moral character and Ali is noted as being generous).

    We can arbitrarily divide the economic classes in to 5 parts; poor; lower middle class, middle class, upper middle class, and rich. Of course there are exceptions to all generalities. If we compared drive and intelligence to economic class we’d most likely derive this type of graph:

    How can the government affect economic classes? They cannot affect intelligence that is pretty much determined by genetics. Can the government affect people’s drive to succeed? Obviously it can. Right now we see a shrinking middle class. This is most likely because the government’s current policies are driving people to have less self drive. If we punish those people who are self motivated and reward those people who are not self motivated we will end up with more people who are less motivated. If you can be assured of shelter, food, and health care doing nothing, what is the incentive to do more? If you are punished by having more of what your efforts produce confiscated and given to those who exert little effort then where is the incentive to do more?

    If your rich and motivate and have the means to move, and there are places where less of your profits are taxed and your cost of doing business is lower, what would you do? Move of course. Drive and Incentive are influenced by what the government does. Highly driven people find a way to keep what their labor produces. People with little drive don’t move or can’t move and are stuck. The rich provide jobs to those of us who are not as smart and as driven. Government actions which influence motivated driven people to move leave the less driven less smart of us with less opportunity.

    Detroit is a prime example, what was once the Motor City is now a ghost town compare to what it once was. Michigan in general has seen an exodus for decades. Many of the car companies that were there disappeared of the three that remain 2 went bankrupt, the other moved to Kansas, Georgia, Canada, Mexico, and other places where it was allowed to keep more of its earnings. Why doesn’t any car company even consider building in the Midwest much less Detroit anymore? Because people who run rich car companies are smart and driven and don’t make stupid decisions.

    Rush Limbaugh is another example, he is highly driven and arguably of above average intellect despite his often lapses in logic. Faced with ever increasing taxes in NYC he moved his EIB studio to Florida. Trump talked about this and noted that the producers are moving away and soon if things don’t change there will be no rich left to tax in NYC. This is also the general explanation for urban sprawl; if you’re smart and driven you probably have the means to move, so re-locate yourself to where taxes/regulations are less. Compare suburban taxes to urban taxes. A simple cost benefit comparison determines how far you’re willing to travel. The poor have no means to move so are stuck, the middle class have more means to move so are in the immediate suburbs, the rich have gated communities or multiple living locations. Government actions influence our drive as well as where we all live and work.

    The current crop of leaders in Washington, understand that their actions will affect how and where people live and work. They just get it all wrong. They think that rewarding less driven people will help them become more driven. They think punishing the more highly driven people will result in more highly driven people. They think that smart people won’t change their behavior to maximize the retention of their efforts. Smart people will either move physically or move the distribution of their earnings so that the government confiscates less.

    The question most people ask themselves in light of the government’s current actions is: Why work harder if the government is just going to take what I earn? Why take a financial risk when if it succeeds the government gets the profit? Why get more of an education and work when I’ll get fed, free health care, shelter, and everything if I just have a baby (or more by having another baby)?

    We need less government, more government only discourages people from becoming more driven and rewards those who are less driven, thus we see it in a shrinking middle class.

    Between 1776 and 1976 the world saw a huge explosion in wealth. In 1776 there were very few wealth, and very few “middle class” and the vast majority of the world including the colonies was poor. In that 200 year time frame the world saw a huge increase in the wealth of a huge number of people, and advances in technology and living conditions, roughly equivalent to 5000 years worth of previous advancement. The reason, Liberty! Which is the basic belief that all men should have equal rights, including property rights, and thus the ruling elite should not have unlimited access to the efforts of others. There’s a great book on the subject called The 5000 Year Leap you should read it.

    We are currently seeing a significant loss of liberty in the name of security and social justice, from the GOP and the right over war mongering, and from the Democrats and left with increased social welfare. The results of this is that we are seeing more poor, greater concentration of wealth in fewer people as it was before liberty took hold, and slower advances. Compare 1900 to 1960 advances to those from 1960 to 2010. In 1900 the time to travel by mass transit (train) across the country was measured in days, in 1960 it was down to around 5 hours. Today it’s still around 5 hours, government regulations effectively killed commercial supersonic transport. Obviously there are many advances in the past 50 years, but but they are not happening anywhere near the rate of advances from the previous 50 years. In 1955 we happily envisioned an affordable flying car in everyone's garage; with today's nanny state it is obvious that that dream is dead, the government for our own good would never allow it. As we watch our liberty erode, we watch civilization slow down and return to rule by elite, and subjugation of the rest. The shrinking middle class is just a sign of the loss of liberty.