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

Friday, October 25, 2013

Who's Responsible?

By Tom Rhodes, 10/24/2013

Some Libertarians were in uproar over recent news about a school that had the police come into the house and search every student's locker, screaming about abridging the student's civil liberties. There are several, clearly libertarian, reasons that this uproar is unjustified. One, the lockers are not the students property, they belong to the school, and as the owner of the lockers, the school has the right to set the rules to their use, including reserving the right to search/inspect them for prohibited items as the school sees fit. Second, based on legal liability and legal obligations the schools have concerning their charges, look up the term in loco parentis, just as a parent has the right to look in their kids dresser drawers and discipline them accordingly.

More importantly, students do not have all the legal rights and civil liberties of adults. Contrary to what some libertarians think, this is a good thing. We don't let 6 yr olds kids drive, we let 10 yr olds vote, and don't allow 12 yr olds to buy guns. Why? Because they don't have physical abilities, emotional abilities, mental abilities, or experience, to do everything an adult does. Not to say that they are incapable of many adult tasks, experience has shown that many a 6 year old can operate heavy equipment, just look at small family farms.

In times past we allowed any kid who wanted to go to the local hardware store and buy guns and ammo without restrictions. Today you must be an adult to exercise that right, the wisdom of this is clear, today with enough guns in private hands to arm every man, woman, and child, we have a fewer accidental gun deaths than in the past, and accidental gun deaths continues to drop. Restricting the decision and right to purchase arms to adults, who have all their civil rights and have reached an age where they can be held legally responsible for their actions, has proven to be a wise decision, and reasonable. Not the NRA, GOA, nor any reasonable adult thinks that 12 yr old boys shouldn't be allowed to buy guns and ammo. Those in the LP who think children should have all the rights of adults are idiots, ignore human history, and give the LP a bad name. Yes some 10 yr olds are mature enough to own guns, vote, etc. and some 40 yr olds are not mature enough to vote, or drive, and certainly shouldn't own a gun; but individual extremes don't justify either granting kids adult rights nor taking away rights from all adults.

On whole the maturity to assume the responsibility of many adult decisions does not exist in children. That is why parents have both legal and moral authority over their children. Parents as adults are responsible for both the provision and protection of children. But who's responsible for adults?

The anti-gun crowd today bases almost every argument they have against guns on the idea that the state is in loco parentis of every person regardless of age. Their arguments assume that nobody is an adult and that the state is responsible for everybody. Just as a parent can decide which of their kids is allowed to play what video games, or even if their child can own a video game, the anti-gun crowd wants the state to determine which of its children is allowed to own a gun and what types of guns that child can own. Liberal anti-gunners believe the state is every citizen's parent.

Working on the assumption of the state being in loco parentis to every person, they assume the state has (or should have) the legal authority to control what people do, just as parents have the legal authority to control their children. They disregard the fact that with in loco parentis comes not only the legal authority to control the actions and possessions of those you are charged but the legal obligation to protect those you are charged. This is a big problem. The courts have consistently and repeatedly ruled that "government and its agents are under no general duty to provide public services, such as police protection, to any particular individual citizen."

"The duty to provide public services is owed to the public at large, and, absent a special relationship between the police and an individual, no specific legal duty exists."

Those were the decisions of our courts in specific response to a suit against Washington DC police by three young women who had been raped and beaten during a home invasion. During their 14 hour nightmare of repeated rape and assault, two of the women had repeatedly called the D.C. police. They even saw a police car drive by their townhouse after their first call for help. They were told help was on its way in subsequent calls, but the police never showed up. In Warren v. District of Columbia, it was decided that the police have no legal obligation to protect individuals, emphatically saying that individuals not the government are responsible for their own individual safety.

This decision was made at the same time there was ban on firearms in the home for self-defense in Washington DC. Part of the reasoning of both the Heller and McDonald decisions is that individuals not the government are responsible for their own self defense. Thus the law of the land is that all adults have the legal right to arms to defend themselves. This is based on the fact that the only person responsible for any individuals self defense is that individual.

Any liberal anti-gun hoplophobic statist that infers that you have no need of a gun and that the police are there to protect you is either totally ignorant and uninformed or purposefully lying to you. If you depend upon law enforcement to protect you, then you are a self deluded fool. No you don't "have" to own a gun, you can choose not to go where there are high levels of violent crime, choose to live in a safe neighborhood, and choose to take other security precautions. In fact those simple precautions will probably mean that in your entire life you'll never actually need a weapon to protect yourself.

If even one of the women in the Warren v. District of Columbia had been armed, they might not have had to endure 14 hours of rape and assault, and we may not have had the courts remind us that the government is not responsible for our safety. Take the liberal hoplophobe advice and pee your pants when confronted by a rapist; but according to the results of an Obama directed research by the CDC, "Studies that directly assessed the effect of actual defensive uses of guns (i.e., incidents in which a gun was 'used' by the crime victim in the sense of attacking or threatening an offender) have found consistently lower injury rates among gun-using crime victims compared with victims who used other self-protective strategies."

What does this mean and how does it answer the question, "Who's Responsible?" Simple, the government is not in loco parentis of every person, thus you and nobody else has the Duty to Protect you and your family; the government has no legal or moral Duty to Protect, and in assuming the responsibility of being an adult, responsible for your own security and safety, it is important that you know that nothing is more effective for you and your families protection than being armed.

Obama's CDC research confirms the wisdom of our fore fathers, NOTHING, has been found to consistently lower injury rates among crime victims than the victim being armed and using such arms in self defense. The Second Amendment is Pro-Choice, your choice to be armed or not, the government shall not infringe upon your choice. If you remember the old 70's TV Series Kung Fu, then you'll take Po's advice "choose wisely grasshopper."

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Fall of American Education

By Tom Rhodes, 10/22/2013

In the last 50 years on average inflation adjusted dollars per student spend on education has tripled. Yet test scores continue to drop and the USA’s actual level of education and actual knowledge and ability to think is diminishing by most measurable standards. Colleges now have more classes in remedial English then Shakespeare. There are dozens of ideas about why this is happening, some politically correct some not PC. There is an idea that is staring us in the face that is so obvious but so Non-PC that it cannot be discussed. We’ll get to it in a moment.

Nobody can scientifically argue that there are not differences in people that are passed down genetically. When two taller people have a baby, the child will more than likely be taller than average. When two red heads have a baby, even though red hair is a recessive trait, the child will have a greater than average chance in having red hair. When two smart people breed, their offspring will more than likely be smarter than average; conversely when two dumb people breed, their offspring will more than likely have less than average intelligence. Like most traits there is a distribution of IQ among humans that can, and often is, illustrated by a bell curve.

One idea that nobody is allowed to talk about is feminism and the perverse incentives it has created being the cause of poorer and poorer standardized test scores. In fact there is an overall reduction in the average IQ of Western Civilization that corresponds with the rise in feminism. Statistics are clear, and on average the higher the education level and IQ of a woman the less children she has and the greater chance she will not have children. Conversely the less education a woman has the more likely she will have more children because we incentivize her to do so by providing her with more money for more children.

No it’s not politically correct to say it but. the reason SAT scores are not going up is because we are becoming dumber as a population. We are dumber as a population because we offer incentives for smart women not to breed and dumb women to breed - PERIOD. At least we’ll have dumb people to support our senior citizens, in Japan, which doesn’t allow much immigration, not only are the more educated having less children, the total fertility of the country is not sustainable. Some in Japan recognized the problem and have published results.

“If you don’t include your women graduates in your breeding pool and leave them on the shelf, you would end up a more stupid society…So what happens? There will be less bright people to support dumb people in the next generation. That’s a problem.” ~ Lee Kuan Yew

Today in Western Society, specifically the USA, we reward dumb women for breeding, and we reward smart women who remain childless. And we ask what’s wrong in “education” when despite more spending our average SAT and ACT test scores are declining. The answer is simple, fewer smart people are having kids. As a society we’ve told the best and brightest women that being a mother and having kids is beneath their capabilities, and to be a success they should postpone or avoid having children and have careers instead. Why would we expect the average of standardized test scores in the USA to do anything but decline, when our best and brightest are discouraged from doing the most important job a woman can do (that a man can’t), have and raise children. Any man of above average intellect can be an engineer or scientist, but none of them can have babies.

Actions always speak louder than words. If the government wants more of something it subsidizes it. The observable conclusion is that our government wants more smart women to get degrees instead of have children, and more dumb women to have children than get an education. Who’s willing to bet me on this woman’s Mensa Status? I can be certain she doesn’t have a STEM degree. We as a society have subsidized her to have babies. How many of you would bet $1000 that even 1 of her children will eventually earn an engineering or other STEM degree?

The reason our average ACT and SAT scores are going down not up is as plain as the nose on your face, on average more dumb women have kids than smart women, so on average we have dumber offspring. The solution is to have more smart women have more children, we should promote more smart women going to college to get a degree in Mrs. instead of BS. But our politically correct feminist society will continue to blame anything and everything except the scientific truth.

Monday, October 21, 2013

Modern Guilds Crushing Freedom of Speech

By Tom Rhodes, 10/21/2013

Unless you keep your head in the sand, don't pay attention to history, and ignore what's happening in government, you know our Republic is devolving into neo-feudalism, where corporate officers and government bureaucrats are the modern equivalent of dukes, duchesses, princesses, etc. They are the modern royalty live off the work of the toil of serfs. No less prominent are modern guilds. But when you are thinking of a guild think government approved licensed professional.

In feudal times Merchant Guilds controlled the way in which trade was conducted in the towns and cities. Woe to you, if you weren't part of the brewer's guild and tried to sell or even give away your home brew. Today is not only no different, it's worse. Modern society is not nearly as dependent on crafts, as it is information, hence who can provide what information is now regulated by the appropriate guild. . . err... regulatory agency/ licensed professional.

The problem comes with that pesky First Amendment which interferes with information guilds control of their protected ideas. Speech, as in sharing information with your fellow serf (err. . . citizen), is constitutionally protected, unless of course your speech provides information that the guilds (I mean licensed professional) control. Modern guilds are called, licensing boards, and today are supported or controlled by government agencies. Modern guilds increasingly make sharing advice and information within the purview of a licensed professional's "conduct," virtually barring such speech from traditional First Amendment protections.

Not covered much in the main stream press is the story of Steve Cooksey. Cooksey was, to put it mildly, a fat pig of a man, diagnosed as obese with Type II diabetes and told by the government licensed professionals that he would be on insulin and drugs for the rest of his life. Not being content with the official prognostication, he researched and implemented the "Paleolithic" diet in his personal life despite the recommendations from the government sanctioned guild. The results were dramatic weight loss, and normal blood pressure, surgar, lipids, etc. Meaning he no longer needed drugs. Being enthusiastic about his success, he started both a blog gave free advice based on his experience and the benefits of a low-carb lifestyle.

This however undermines the state mandated dietary recommendations and the current teachings of the Nutritionists Guild. This modern guild is called The North Carolina Board of Dietetics/Nutrition, and it alleged that Cooksey was providing advise illegally, and that whether for free or through compensation, he could not provide such nutritional "counseling" without becoming a licensed nutritionist. So remember if your right to free speech conflicts with a government protected guild, in today's neo-feudal society those favored by the ruling elite, the guilds right to protect who is allowed to transmit information, supersedes any natural right of the individual to freedom of expression.

This isn't a unique case; even Dear Abby like columnists are now being silenced by neo-feudal guilds. America's longest running newspaper columnist, John Rosemond, writes a syndicated column providing parenting advice. The state of Kentucky has told Rosemond to either stop publishing or face both fines and prison. Rosemond is not a licensed shrink in Kentucky, where the attorney general determined his advice column conflicts with requirements of the state approved Shrink's Guild .

You get that, printing opinions in the newspaper is illegal if those ideas/information is controlled by some guild (err... I mean licensed professionals); so much for freedom of speech and freedom of the press.

Right now if you say: "based on my experience you should eat more meat and veggies and avoid sugary treats, pasta and other carbs" you are in violation of the Nutritionist's guild, and can not only be fined or jailed, but silenced. The last great republic to fall was Rome. The fall came with moral decay, the rise of despotic powers, and the end of the rule of law. Guilds of the middle ages provided a modicum of order but little or no liberty outside the blessing of the ruling elite. I guess reverting to neo-feudalism is better than anarchy. Freedom speech once the hallmark of the USA is now openly mocked by those we've elected, as they enact more and more regulations about who can say what and where they can say it. Even our colleges and universities now require that you get permission to speak, and what topics are acceptable and when and where you can share information, (there called free speech zones). What politician do you know today would say, "I may not agree with what you say, but I'll fight to the death for your right to say it."

Regimes of occupational and other government licenses have risen to a level where nearly 1 in 3 jobs have some bureaucratic barrier. Considering we are replacing labor with service jobs, which by definition rely on speech and information this doesn't bode well for the First Amendment. Across the nation the guilds (I mean licensing boards) supported by royalty (I mean elected officials and bureaucrats) are barring common advice and sharing of ideas and experiences with your fellow serf (I mean citizen).

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Dead Guys View On Today

By Tom Rhodes, 10/16/2013

I was re-reading Douglas Adams' Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy and I realized, he's the late 20th Century equivalent to the late 19th Century's Mark Twain. In fact an entire accurate and timely commentary can be made from quoting these dead guys. Obama's presidency demonstrates, "It is a well known fact that those people who most want to rule people are, ipso facto, those least suited to do it. To summarize the summary: anyone who is capable of getting themselves made President should on no account be allowed to do the job."

When listening to Harry Reid comment on the TEA party being anarchists, I've come to realize that I'm "learning to distinguish between him pretending to be stupid just to get people off their guard, pretending to be stupid because he couldn't be bothered to think and wanted someone else to do it for him, pretending to be outrageously stupid to hide the fact that he actually didn't understand what was going on, and really being genuinely stupid." Equating a group the wants laws that are equally and evenly enforced as people who want no government is ludicrous. When they see stories of little girls with lemonade stands in their front yard being shut down by uniformed police, and call for less regulations, does not make this make the Tea Partiers "anarchists." This got me to wondering, "whether the world is being run by smart people who are putting us on or by imbeciles who really mean it."

Browsing today's AP and NYT headlines as well as internet sources for news, one can fundamentally concluded that "If you don't read the newspaper, you're uninformed. If you read the newspaper, you're mis-informed." From the internet, not the lame stream media we see that change is coming. The surviving members of what is sometimes called "the greatest generation" are showing us that there are patriots amoung us willing to ignore and defy the now tyrannical government in DC. "In the beginning of a change the patriot is a scarce man, and brave, and hated and scorned. When his cause succeeds, the timid join him, for then it costs nothing to be a patriot."

The timely quotes of dead humorists fit today in the early parts of the 21st Century as well as they did in the last days of the past two centuries.

Friday, October 11, 2013

CCF Patriots Ordered Not to Share Constitution

By Tom Rhodes, 10/11/2013

According to a report from Young Americans for Liberty, a group with more than 380 chapters and 125,000 students promoting liberty, tried to give out copies of the US Constitution on Constitution day, The College of Central Florida in Ocala, was stopped because they didn’t have permission. In fact to exercise free speech and talk to others on campus the officer told students they would have to go through his office to get permission “any time you want to approach our students.”.

“We can’t hand out Constitutions?” an incredulous student asked.
“That’s right.”

Citing the need for “proper protocol,” the officer said students could submit a request, and school officials would “check our calendar, make sure it doesn’t conflict with what we’re doing, then we’ll approve it or deny it.”

The Young Americans for Liberty report is supported with this video.

Obviously the First Amendment at The state and federally funded College of Central Florida in Ocala does not apply. I hope they file charges in federal court against CCF and hold the officer and officials at CCF personally liable for infringing on these students rights.

The irony is the athletic teams at CCF are called The Patriots.

This means that CCF has told the Patriots Not to Share the Constitution with fellow Patriots. Irony?

America will Change.

By Tom Rhodes, 10/11/2013

Why do the states of Maine, Vermont, Kentucky, and West Virginia exist? Answer: Succession. That's right these states exist because they succeeded from a larger state that didn't fit the population and their desires. Today in California, Colorado, Michigan, and Maryland there are active movements to form new states. Why? Because once again large urban centers are trying to dictate how to live to small rural parts of their states and tax them to support the urban centers. Once again it comes down to taxation without representation.

Denver/Colorado Springs can and does ignore the rural NE part of the state. Why? Because they don't have enough votes to do anything about what the people in the big city want to do. The big city outlawed common ranch rifles used to chase off and kill coyote and wolves harassing lives stock, because they can be made to look scary, regardless of the need, desires and beliefs of rural Colorado. What could rural NE Colorado do about it? NOTHING.

Garrett, Allegheny, Washington, Frederick and Carroll counties in Western Maryland, want to succeed and or join West Virginia. The people who live in these counties have nothing in common with the citizens of Baltimore and Annapolis. Their views on guns, taxes, marriage, and immigration are consistently ignored by the big city, and they are powerless to do anything. The leader of the Western Maryland Initiative, Scott Strzelczyk, notes that they have no other choice saying, "If you have a long list of grievances, and it's been going on for decades, and you can't get it resolved, ultimately secession is what you have to do."

Northern counties of California want to form the state of Jefferson. Mark Baird of the Jefferson Declaration Committee, notes that, "California is essentially ungovernable in its present size." Rural conservatives in Colorado are powerless and unrepresented in state government, just as the people of Michigan's Upper Peninsula are. Lansing and Detroit look nothing like the UP, don't care what's needed, wanted, or happens in the UP, they can and do ignore the UP because it is powerless to affect them or their actions.

Don't worry if they can the ruling elite in DC won't let any new states form, especially these 4. It would mean 8 more senators and would definitely switch the balance of power away from the urban DC-WallStreet Cabal. The statists who can and do easily buy off and influence urban populations but cannot do so in more self-reliant suburban and rural communities, are not going to allow such a power shift. Like I noted before, It's bad enough that in states like Florida where the 50/50 spit put one Democrat and One Republican in the Senate, and controlling the I4 Corridor and Miami-Dade can win state wide elections, but 2/3rds of the House members from the state are Republican. Not just California, Colorado, Maryland, and Michigan are ripe for secession, but Eastern Washington and Oregon don't look, act, or vote like the population centers on the coasts. The addition of the State of Columbia would better represent Those who live in the Columbia valley east of the Cascades than current traditional borders.

The attitude of statist urbanites, who generally vote Democrat, don't understand flyover America, don't care about it, and want flyover country to shut up and do what their told. The idea that a small number of people who don't have the ability to grasp the superiority of urban culture and ideas and would choose to live in the boonies should actually have representation and influence in government is not tolerable. Hence Obama's famous "bitterly clinging" comment. The cities need the food and goods that flyover country produce, but urban statists are bitter at the fact that those rubes in the hinterland don't understand that the clearly superior culture and ideas urbanites should not be questioned.

Right now there are contiguous groups of people trying to work within the system voluntarily to insure that they have representation and can be a part of government. They want to form states that better represent their communities and beliefs. What happens if we don't allow them to do so? If we don't allow change let people form states in the Union that meet their needs and represent them, then we may leave the people of flyover country little choice but to revolt. We had a revolution that, don't think it couldn't happen again. Consider the following countries that didn't exist 30 years ago, Belarus, Ukraine, Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia, Moldova, Georgia, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, Kyrgyzstan, Kazakhstan, Transnistria, Abkhazia, South Ossetia, Serbia, Slovenia, Croatia, Bosnia, Montenegro, Macedonia and Kosovo, that doesn't include the changes in Africa.

The formation or reinstitution of those countries through both violent and non-violent means in very recent history is a clear indicator that the USA can and will change. The USA has been and is one of the most stable nations on earth, but that doesn't mean it can't or shouldn't change. It will change, if statist urbanites continue to push more tyrannical control over flyover America, it will change faster. The question isn't "is America going to change," but will the changes coming to America be voluntary or violent?

Saturday, October 5, 2013

CDC Reported the Truth about Guns

By Tom Rhodes, 10/5/2013

Obama ordered the CDC to do research on gun violence in America. What the CDC’s first major gun research in 17 years reveal, is not what Obama and anti-gun advocates expected. Considering the CDC’s was restricted by law from doing gun research because it got caught doctoring and doing poor studies with an agenda instead of reporting actual facts, you’d be surprised by the extent with which the new research refutes some of the anti-gun movement’s deepest convictions. The truth about guns doesn’t support most anti-gun claims.

The truth which hopolophobes even when faced with the clear evidence refuse to accept can be found in the findings from the CDC report, “Priorities for Research to Reduce the Threat of Firearm-Related Violence,” released in June 2013:

1. Armed citizens are less likely to be injured by an attacker:

“Studies that directly assessed the effect of actual defensive uses of guns (i.e., incidents in which a gun was ‘used’ by the crime victim in the sense of attacking or threatening an offender) have found consistently lower injury rates among gun-using crime victims compared with victims who used other self-protective strategies.”

2. Defensive uses of guns are common:

“Almost all national survey estimates indicate that defensive gun uses by victims are at least as common as offensive uses by criminals, with estimates of annual uses ranging from about 500,000 to more than 3 million per year…in the context of about 300,000 violent crimes involving firearms in 2008.”

3. Mass shootings and accidental firearm deaths account for a small fraction of gun-related deaths, and both are declining:

“The number of public mass shootings of the type that occurred at Sandy Hook Elementary School accounted for a very small fraction of all firearm-related deaths. Since 1983 there have been 78 events in which 4 or more individuals were killed by a single perpetrator in 1 day in the United States, resulting in 547 victims and 476 injured persons.” The report also notes, “Unintentional firearm-related deaths have steadily declined during the past century. The number of unintentional deaths due to firearm-related incidents accounted for less than 1 percent of all unintentional fatalities in 2010.”

4. Gun buyback/turn-in programs are “ineffective” in reducing crime:

“There is empirical evidence that gun turn in programs are ineffective, as noted in the 2005 NRC study Firearms and Violence: A Critical Review. For example, in 2009, an estimated 310 million guns were available to civilians in the United States (Krouse, 2012), but gun buy-back programs typically recover less than 1,000 guns (NRC, 2005). On the local level, buy-backs may increase awareness of firearm violence. However, in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, for example, guns recovered in the buy-back were not the same guns as those most often used in homicides and suicides (Kuhn et al., 2002).”

5. Stolen guns and retail/gun show purchases account for very little crime:

“More recent prisoner surveys suggest that stolen guns account for only a small percentage of guns used by convicted criminals. … According to a 1997 survey of inmates, approximately 70 percent of the guns used or possess by criminals at the time of their arrest came from family or friends, drug dealers, street purchases, or the underground market.”

6. The vast majority of gun-related deaths are not homicides, but suicides:

“Between the years 2000-2010 firearm-related suicides significantly outnumbered homicides for all age groups, annually accounting for 61 percent of the more than 335,600 people who died from firearms related violence in the United States.”

As reported by the CDC in the report created in response to Obama’s executive order, the truth, as a hole, is a hammer blow to Obama’s anti-gun agenda. The CDC report supports the wisdom of the second amendment and clearly contradicts common anti-gun arguments.

Let’s repeat the most telling conclusion:

The actual use of guns in self defensive consistently lowers the injury rate of crime victims compared to other self-protective strategies.

To every parent out there, the message from the CDC is clear, if you want your college aged daughter to be safe and survive without injury if the victim of some crime, get her a gun, get her a permit to carry it, and teach her to use it. NOTHING! not martial arts, not pepper spray, not peeing her pants, not screaming, not even running, according to our federal government, NOTHING consistently as effective in improving her chances of getting through a crime than using a GUN in self defense.

What did we hear from the main stream press, or Obama -- crickets chirping --

Friday, October 4, 2013

Obama’s Juvenile Temper Tantrum

By Tom Rhodes, 10/4/2013

Concerning the upcoming fight on increasing the Debt Limit, I agree fully with President Obama who said:
“The fact that we are here today to debate raising America’s debt limit is a sign of leadership failure. It is a sign that we now depend on ongoing financial assistance from foreign countries to finance our government’s reckless fiscal policies. Increasing America’s debt weakens us domestically and internationally. Leadership means that ‘the buck stops here.’ Instead, Washington is shifting the burden of bad choices today onto the backs of our children and grandchildren. America has a debt problem and a failure of leadership. Americans deserve better.”
– Sen. Barack Hussein Obama, March 2006

He was 100% right! But that was 2006 when he was a senator. Today he calls any senators saying those very same words “deadbeats” and refuses to negotiate with them. He even has the chutzpa to tell the American people that raising the Debt ceiling won’t raise the national debt.

Obama thinks and acts like the American you’re stupid. The government is “shut down” so he uses more people, materials, and labor to but fences and blocks around national monuments than it takes to do nothing and just leave them open. I’ve been to DC several times, having a nice NPS ranger to standing around to answer questions about the Jefferson memorial is nice, but not necessary. It’s outside, composed of circular marble steps, a portico, a circular colonnade of Ionic order columns, and a shallow dome, the building is open to the elements, has no doors etc.

Ever have your own blog or web page? Take this one, LPCitrus , when I don’t have time (time is money) to work on it, it doesn’t go away, in fact to take it down takes more work and effort and time (hence money) than to just leave it up until I have the time. The shutdown of all the National Park Service and other Government web sites cost more than leaving them up. If we are shut down because the government can’t spend money where did the money come from to shut the web sites down, and why shut them down if they would work and provide service to the American people even during a shutdown with ZERO additional effort.

The answer is obvious, a government shut down is painless to almost all of the people of the USA, Obama and the Democrats are actively trying to cause the most pain they can to get their way. They were offered virtually all the spending on everything but Obamacare and because they refuse to compromise with the Representatives the people put in the House to control spending, government is shut down. Blocking off an outside building made of marble, granite, and concrete is an active political act costing more than leaving it open. Obviously Obama thinks you’re too stupid to realize it. Blaming anybody, the Republicans or even Democrats in the House or Senate is absurd, this is all Obama.

Obama is a crybaby who when he doesn’t get his way decides to take your ball and throws a tantrum to get his way.

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Multiculturalism vs. Critical Thinking

By Tom Rhodes, 10/3/2013

There is a drive in education to teach “critical thinking,” not to just teach students how to memorize dates and words and formulae. Teaching our children how to use the knowledge they have to solve problems and truthfully understand what they see, hear, and read. Teaching critical thinking is a great and noble goal. Except. . . . .

Statists and liberals in teaching don’t actually want our students to actually use critical thinking; because if they did then students would reject much of what they are being taught. That’s why our education pays lip service to teaching critical thinking but never quite gets there.

Our laws reflect and our schools now overwhelming teach that females are equal to males, and should be treated no differently. Girls can do anything boys can do. It’s wrong for a husband to strike his wife, it’s wrong to not allow a woman to do something a man can do, etc. Women deserve equal protection under the law and that because of past oppression; Title IX laws are fair to give women some advantages until we achieve true equality. More than that we have enshrined the idea and belief that individually and as a nation all people “will not be judged by the color of their skin,” or sex, or religion, or natural origin, “but by the content of their character.” We have ingrained into our culture these values.

The same schools and liberals are also teaching that all cultures are equal and that we should not be judgmental of other cultures. We actively teach that being judgmental of other cultures is bad. The goal is to understand and equally value cultures other than our own. Our schools embrace the idea of multiculturalism and diversity; teach our children that although all cultures are different one isn’t superior to another. In fact our teachers are taught specifically that even thinking that Western culture is superior to any other culture is racist and biased.

How does a student who has been taught to think critically reconcile the ideas being presented which clearly contradict each other? If we expect our children to accept “diversity” as a value, and we teach them to think critically, then if they choose to own slave, or beat their wife, or slay their enemy, we cannot be surprised nor say it is wrong. It is only accepting and honoring other equally valid cultures. To accept the idea that all cultures are equally valid is to reject the values of our culture.

We can’t have it both ways, we can’t ask our students to accept our cultures values and accept that other cultures values are equal to ours and then ask them to think critically. If equality for women is good, and treating them unequal is evil, then how do they respect and equally value cultures which openly claim a husband has the right to beat his wife, that women can be restricted from certain jobs or even driving? How can we teach freedom of religion and teach to respect and value a culture that says those who don’t share a specific religious belief must pay an extra tax and submit to having their rights reduced? Much less teach the value of equality under the law.

If you agree that a husband beating his wife to discipline her is wrong, then you are making a cultural judgment against other cultures, and have rejected the idea of multiculturalism.

If you agree that polygamy is wrong then you are making a cultural judgment against many other cultures, and have rejected the idea of multiculturalism.

If you agree slavery is wrong, then you are making a cultural judgment against many non-western cultures that actively allow and participate in slavery today, and have rejected the idea of multiculturalism.

If you agree that eating meat is wrong than you are making a cultural judgment against most of the world, and have rejected the idea of multiculturalism.

If you agree that stoning a rape victim to death because her inappropriate attire caused the men who raped her to sin is wrong, you are making a cultural judgment against Islamic cultures, and have rejected the idea of multiculturalism.

If you agree that arresting and punishing homosexuals is wrong, then you are making a cultural judgment against many non-western cultures that actively punish and execute homosexuals today, and have rejected the idea of multiculturalism.

If you agree that imprisoning, fining, or otherwise punishing, those who speak against their rulers is wrong, then you are making a cultural judgment against most other non-western cultures, and have rejected the idea of multiculturalism.

If you agree that private citizens should not be allowed to own guns, or be severely limited in the guns they are allowed to own, then you making a cultural judgment against about half the adult US population and have rejected the idea of multiculturalism.

In fact if you agree or disagree with the Bill of Rights then you are making a cultural judgment and have rejected the idea of multiculturalism.

If you agree that all people should be free to own property and use it as they see fit so long as that use does not infringe upon the same rights of another then you are making a cultural judgment against almost every existing and historic culture in human history and have rejected the idea of multiculturalism.

When we teach our children to think critically, they will reject multiculturalism. The very concept that “diversity is strength” fails any rational BS test and is only accepted because today in the USA not accepting such a provably false idea is so politically incorrect it’s toxic; even in the Libertarian Party.

Where has all the Good SciFi Gone? A tale of Censorship

By Tom Rhodes, 10/4/2013

One of my all time favorite books, Ender's Game, by Orson Scott Card is coming out as a movie over 25 years after it was first published. If first written today, in the politically correct publishing world it may have never been published. Maybe this article should be titled where have all the good books gone because the discussion here doesn't affect just SciFi, but since I'm a serious SciFi buff and the vast majority of what I read for enjoyment is SciFi and fantasy, that's what the discussion is about.

What I consider "new" SciFi authors, include Anne McCaffrey. Orson Scott Card, Stephen Brust, and Eric Flint, and some of their stuff has been in print nearly half a century. However something has happened. Most new SciFi/Fantasy is crap and carries very little gravitas and even less science. Using Barsoom and gravitas in the same sentence may be a stretch, but ERB's Mars series did accurately describe hundreds of inventions that are just now becoming reality, so the science and vision of the John Carter series cannot be questioned. It's just hard to imagine a serious SciFi/Fantasy buff who grew up reading the vision of ERB or deep thought and social commentary of Tolkein, Clarke, Asimov, and Heinlein adding Amish Vampires in Space to his library.

Let's face it when the 2013 Hugo Award for best novel is given to "Redshirts" a derivative of Star Trek with not an iota of new or original material, and more talk about BJ's than technology, you have to know that SciFi publishing has turned to crap. Lucky at Amazon the first couple chapters are free, I tried but I couldn't even get past the prolog, and this from a guy who can enjoy just about any Star Trek book, and likes the prose of Edgar Rice Burroughs.

There may be good new SciFi out there but from the looks of things, if women don't find them politically correct they may be censored. SciFi author Constance Cooper's bragged about the
success of her 8yr old daughter in getting a book store to remove titles she thought were sexist.

Cooper said she posted the experience on her writing website, www.constancecooper.com, and submitted the link to boingboing, one of her favorite blogs, "because I knew from reading it that the editors are concerned about issues of gender and culture and also how to raise kids to think critically."

"Unfortunately it triggered a somewhat nasty flurry of comments about censorship, which I feel really distracted from the point of the post," Cooper said.

A SciFi author championing the success of censorship, in getting books that contain ideas her "8-year-old considered 'sexist'" explains a lot. The kind of thinking that could prompt Cooper to think that comments about censorship distracted people from the point is the kind of thinking that makes "newsspeak" a reality, and certainly can't be called "critical thinking". WTF was the point if it wasn't to get a business to censor books and justifying censorship?

SciFi authors actually championing censorship is one of the reasons we can't have good SciFi books anymore. Imagine SciFi legend Ray Bradbury, author of Fahrenheit 451, even suggesting any book be removed from the shelves of a book store because of the ideas it contained, much less bragging about being successful.

I'm not saying there isn't new good SciFi/Fantasy or good new authors out there, but they don't seem to be getting published. This isn't new but it's gotten far worse, Bruce Bethke wrote "Cyberpunk" around 30 years ago, not really new. But because of the interweb and new technology, you can read it. You can only get Cyberpunk as a free ebook because Bethke wouldn't compromise the story to meet the publisher's whims. In today's world I don't think Heinlein could get published.

In today's politically correct culture you have to go look for new good SciFi, you won't find it at your local book store, but you can find it. Kudo's to Bruce Bethke who's trying to do something about the problem. Not only an author, he's the editor of one of the few sources for new authors and solid SciFi/Fantasy. In the tradition of Amazing Stories, and other anthology magazines of the past, Bethke edits, Stupefying Stories. Check it out, I'm sure he's not censoring stories that 8 year old girls think are sexist.

For the record I switched to ebooks about 10 years ago before Nook and Kindle were even thought of; reading them on my PC or palm, regular books just take up too much space, and ebooks are too convenient, but I do have an adequate selection of real bound paper type SciFi and other books. That said I'm ordering Amish Vampires in Space , how can I say I have any sort of SciFi/Fantasy collection when such a title exists and I don't have it ;) I own a copy of "Trials and Tribble-ations" and Shatner's "Tekwar" so I can't really brag about the "quality" of my SciFi library. For the absurd title and cover alone I'm adding to my collection, it will sit between my copy of Thuvia, Maid of Mars with the Michael Whelan art and "M.Y.T.H. Inc. Link".

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Root Cause Analysis

Root Cause Analysis
By Tom Rhodes, 10/2/2013

You've probably heard of Root Cause Analysis (RCA), in its most simple terms it is an attempt to use the scientific method to find the truth about the cause of some problem. RCA is an attempt to find objective truth, regardless of the emotional and consequential reactions. Business use RCA to improve safety, production, quality, processes, and to reduce failures and risk. Applying systematic RCA has proven to be an effective tool. What Liberals won't allow is to perform an RCA on guns, violence and crime. They say gun violence is a problem and eliminating guns and more government is the solution but refuse to do Root Cause Analysis.

Wikipedia has a decent description of the general principles of Root Cause Analysis:

1) The primary aim of RCA is to identify the factors that resulted in the nature, the magnitude, the location, and the timing of the harmful outcomes (consequences) of one or more past events in order to identify what behaviors, actions, inactions, or conditions need to be changed to prevent recurrence of similar harmful outcomes and to identify the lessons to be learned to promote the achievement of better consequences. ("Success" is defined as the near-certain prevention of recurrence.)

2) To be effective, RCA must be performed systematically, usually as part of an investigation, with conclusions and root causes that are identified backed up by documented evidence. Usually a team effort is required.

3) There may be more than one root cause for an event or a problem, the difficult part is demonstrating the persistence and sustaining the effort required to determine them.

4) The purpose of identifying all solutions to a problem is to prevent recurrence at lowest cost in the simplest way. If there are alternatives that are equally effective, then the simplest or lowest cost approach is preferred.

5) Root causes identified depend on the way in which the problem or event is defined. Effective problem statements and event descriptions (as failures, for example) are helpful, or even required.

6) To be effective, the analysis should establish a sequence of events or timeline to understand the relationships between contributory (causal) factors, root cause(s) and the defined problem or event to prevent in the future.

7) Root cause analysis can help transform a reactive culture (that reacts to problems) into a forward-looking culture that solves problems before they occur or escalate. More importantly, it reduces the frequency of problems occurring over time within the environment where the RCA process is used.

8) RCA is a threat to many cultures and environments. Threats to cultures often meet with resistance. There may be other forms of management support required to achieve RCA effectiveness and success. For example, a "non-punitive" policy toward problem identifiers may be required.

The one thing effective RCA isn't is Politically Correct. I've been part of industrial and other RCA teams. The reality is, on a few occasions, management accepted the validity of an RCA but refused to publish or act on the results because of point 8, the cultural change required to correct the root cause was unacceptable to management. That is the same reason RCA on gun violence in the USA is not something the statist controlled media nor liberals will tolerate.

But to piss off statists and liberals let's do a little preliminary work for an RCA on gun violence in America. Their responses will be an exercise in proving that they work on emotion and desire not reason and facts. Working with the above RCA general principles let's start with the definition of the problem. Obama and the liberals in the press claim an epidemic of gun violence and that the cause is the easy availability of guns to the general public.

1st failure in an RCA, the problem is falsely identified, at least according to the FBI.

Gun violence is a problem but that problem is location specific, and defining the location where the problem occurs is one of the primary aims of doing an RCA. Here is one non-PC fact that if ignored makes RCA of violent crime in America much less than accurate: If you exclude black on black violence in our biggest cities, the actual rate of violent crime in the USA is very low, comparable to the least violent nations in the world.

History also crushes the premise that gun availability is a cause of gun violence. In the USA restrictions on gun ownership is relatively new. Advertisements were directed to children and parents in Catalogs and magazines until the 70's. The 1902 Sears catalog had over 30 pages of firearm advertisements. Anybody could simply send in their money and a firearm, including machine guns, and a firearm was shipped to their door, no government tracking, paperwork, no background check, not even age restrictions. Any 12 year old boy could walk into the local hardware store in virtually anywhere and buy a gun and ammo. Schools had and promoted gun clubs and shooting teams. The frequency of gun violence was less than the peek we saw in 1991 (when bad gun laws started to be removed and gun rights started to be restored to the people), and was less than we see today with far more restrictive gun laws. Clearly availability is not a root cause. A gun is a tool it has no behavior, gun violence and crime are behavior, so the RCA of gun violence needs to look at behaviors not inanimate objects. Good gun laws have made modern guns safer, fewer accidental injuries and deaths bear this out, and contrary to what liberals would have you believe, guns are not exempt from product liability laws, and like other products are routinely recalled for the most minor of flaws.

As Dr. Walter Williams notes, "Customs, traditions, moral values and rules of etiquette, not just laws and government regulations, are what make for a civilized society, not restraints on inanimate objects. These behavioral norms -- transmitted by example, word of mouth and religious teachings -- represent a body of wisdom distilled through ages of experience, trial and error, and looking at what works. The benefit of having customs, traditions and moral values as a means of regulating behavior is that people behave themselves even if nobody's watching. In other words, it's morality that is society's first line of defense against uncivilized behavior."

Evidence that it our culture not tools have resulted in lawlessness can be seen in the actions of parents to NFL star Brian Holloway. Over labor day 300 teens broke into his upstate NY summer home, held a kegger and did $20K of damage to his private property, these people proceded to post on FB images of themselves and their friends partying and trashing the place and stealing his stuff. Holloway created a web page posting the pictures and names of the vandals offering them an opportunity to make things right without being arrested. Only four of 300 responded. Culture not the tools used to commit crime is the culprit. The fact that not only did the thieving vandals not show any remorse, but some of their parents have gone so far as to threatened to sue Holloway for posting their teen's photos from the party, even though it was the teens who made the images public.

Not teaching our children that trashing, stealing, and abusing other people's private property is morally wrong is one of multiple root causes to crime and violence in the USA. Teaching our children not to judgmental, that one lifestyle or value is just as good as another, results is lower and lower moral standards for society. Being non-judgemental results in accepting the a value set that includes "might makes right" as equal to any other value set. Laws and police enforcement are the last stand of civilization not the first, if our culture accepts violence and disregards property rights, more and more police intervention will be required. How can we teach our children that Islam is as valid a culture as any modern western culture, and wonder at them beating women, committing honor killings, and thinking those who don't think like them are second class citizens, all values of Islam.

The mindless cures for gun violence offered by statists and liberals don't work. Idiocy "zero tolerance" for playing cops and robbers during recess, doodling guns, eating your pop tart into a gun shape, imaginary grenades, is unadulterated insanity. It attempts to put the focus on an inanimate object, instead of addressing morality, character, respect, virtue, and mental illness. No systematic rational examination of the evidence could ever produce an RCA on violence in America and conclude that the problem and solution is to restrict access to firearms.

They won't even consider other solutions, like laws requiring the head of every household to be armed. That solution reduced crime in Kennesaw Georgia by 80%. Discounting solutions, especially solutions that have proven to work is a clear violation of basic RCA principles. Statists and liberals dismiss and ignore any data regardless of how honest and truthful that doesn't support their emotionally driven goals. The most recent Harvard Study concluded from looking at all the research available that more gun laws don't have a beneficial effect on behavior. Even anti-gun scientists who are honest agree with the research that shows more guns in the hands of law abiding citizens result in less crime and suffering for those law abiding citizens. The data is clear, our own government has found that nothing reduces the chances of being killed or injured if the victim of a violent crime better than being armed with a gun. All these results are counter the politically correct wants, desires, and emotions of the state and liberal media; hence an accurate RCA on guns, violence, and crime is not permitted.

We will never have a true comprehensive RCA on guns, violence, or crime in America because the root causes that would be exposed won't support more power to the state and will offer stark conclusions about the culture and specific subcultures in America that are too politically incorrect to be talked about honestly. Such an RCA would be a threat to statism and modern liberal ideology.

Author's Note: I don't expect this op-ed will have much effect, especially on liberals, it is dialectic not rhetorical. Because self esteem and how you feel about something has become more important than objective truth, measurable facts, and honest debate. Replies from liberals to this article with be a litany of logical fallacies and could be used as examples in the Illustrated Book of Bad Arguments. Not to discount the emotions of people, they are valid and have value, but when emotions override objective observable truth, then the conclusions reached using emotions rather than reason can and should be discounted as irrelevant. Emotions can and should be used to derive the importance and significance of factual evidence, and evaluate how effective possible solutions may be, but not to discount or ignore evidence that doesn't agree emotional desires for a specific outcome.

The Hubris of Legacy Media

By Tom Rhodes, 10/2/2013

This morning I read a fluff piece about Dean Baquet, Pulitzer Prize winner and managing editor of The New York Times, who last night spoke at the Foster-Foreman Conference of Distinguished Writers about the changing world of journalism. I choked and coffee spewed out my nose as I read, “It is not my fear that newspapers will die, my only fear is that the craft of witnessing and reporting on the truth will die.” I didn’t believe he had the balls to spout such dribble.

Such hubris and hypocrisy can only come from the New York Times (NYT). The NYT has a long history of covering up the truth and only in their minds are they the “newspaper of record.” The one thing you can count on from the NYT is that they will cover and obfuscate the truth. Here are a few examples of the NYT “exercising the craft of witnessing and reporting on the truth.”

Over a half century ago, while millions of Russians were being purposefully starved to death in the USSR, Holodomor denier and NYT reporter Walter Duranty wrote in the pages of The New York Times that "any report of a famine in Russia is today an exaggeration or malignant propaganda", and that "there is no actual starvation or deaths from starvation.

NYT is synonymous with Jayson Blair who is infamous for both plagiarism and simply making it up

NYT routinely gets caught lying about Iran:

NYT caught lying about Tesla Test Drive.

NY Times Tale of US Soldier Intervention Against Torture is a Lie

NY Times headline reverses chronology, story leaves out important information

NYT's Lies About SF Renters & Housing Construction

New York Times has a history of being caught doctoring quotes.

NYT's admits it's not its job to verify the truth.

The NYT is now the mouth piece for the Whitehouse while WikiLeaks and individuals like Snowden expose corruption in our government.

It was the Drudge Report not the NTY that exposed Clinton for being a philandering womanizer. Since then it is clear that Drudge is now more important and more widely read than the NYT.

Contrary to what the NTY and old guard media would have you believe, Youtube, blogs, and the independent internet press routinely expose more government corruption and more actual news and truth. It is the common non-professional with her phone camera, blog, or independent web site that exercise the craft of witnessing and reporting the truth, not the old grey lady. Want the truth, lookup CopWatch, or read Drudge, or search Fourth Amendment Abuse on Youtube, but don’t bother with the NYT; the old grey lady is a senile old bat who doesn’t realize or understand the truth, she’s already been replaced.

The NYT and legacy media actively try to protect advertisers, big business, and the government. Consider what it means when Reuters, News Corp., The Washington Post and The San Francisco Chronicle all ignored emails from the tipster, an "Internet activist" known as "Weev," about innocuous data exposing a security breach concerning Apple, which affected 114,000 iPad owners (including White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel!). The all ignored it, so Ryan Tate of Gawker, not the “newspaper of record” got the scoop and the story went viral far exceeding the reach of the NYT. LINK

Legacy media and specifically printed newspapers are dinosaurs, their complicity with the government and general lack of credibility make the words of NYT managing editor Dean Baquet ring both hollow and shallow, carrying absolutely no gravitas. Dean Baquet fearing “that the craft of witnessing and reporting on the truth will die,” is reminiscent of Sophocles’ King Creon.

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Is the President a Liar?

By Tom Rhodes, 10/1/2013

Obama lovers and Democrats have two choices. Admit that it is their party and Obama who refuses to compromise and are shutting down the government, or . . . or call President B. H. Obama a liar.

Yesterday he made it clear declaring "I shouldn't have to offer anything." Thus boldly proclaiming to the American public that he either gets everything he wants or the government will be shut down. He chafes at the fact that constitutionally the House of Representatives, not the president, controls the purse strings of the nation. Offered a spending bill that funds everything he wants except for 1 thing, and he refuses to compromise.

The House not the Senate, not the President, is elected by more than just big cities, small congressional districts around the country all get a say in our government, even where money is spent. Power was divided in that way so that the cities and big states couldn't dictate to "flyover" country. As such if a president wants to spend, he has to deal with the one part of the legislature that represents all of America, not just big cities.

He's only the president and it's the House of Representatives that has the responsibility and is accountable to the people for spending. If he wants to spend where the people's representatives don't want to spend, then he has to offer something. He offers more compromise to Syria and Iran than he does congress. His obstinance not congress has shut down the government.

Speaking of shutting down government; if "non essential" people are being furloughed, why not just eliminate their jobs? The government should be reduced to only "essential" personal and functions.