Friday, July 31, 2015

Liberalism creates poverty, not wealth (or, what is quantitative easing)

One of the things progressives talk a lot about is the income gap between the rich and the poor.  They say they do not like it, and they say that the cause of it is unfettered capitalism.

So here we have Obama well into his 6th year in office, and he has added more progressive programs than any president since Lyndon Johnson and Franklin Roosevelt.

Progressives believe that the only way to narrow the income gap is by "fundamentally transforming" America from capitalism to progressivism.  In other words, they believe it is necessary to "re-distribute" wealth from the rich to the poor.  They believe this is needed because greedy rich people do not spend their wealth wisely, and so the government must force them to support their agenda through high taxes and so forth.

Obama and progressives believe that capitalism makes the rich richer and that the middle class just stagnates, and the poor get poorer.

Anyway, the progressive tax and spend (redistribution) agenda has advanced more during Obama's first six years than at any time since the Johnson and Roosevelt administrations, and today we learn via the New York Times, "Middle Class Shrinks Further as More Fall Out Instead of Climbing Up," that the income gap has (drum roll please) under Obama risen four times faster than under George W. Bush.

Huffingtonpost.com reported that "Inequality has been even more pronounced under Obama than it was under George W. Bush."

There is a good reason for this income gap increase, and it has nothing to do with capitalism.  Consider the following facts as reported by the Huffington Post:
  • Many Americans lost their jobs in the 2009-2010 recession and were unable to find another job that paid as well (meaning they make less now than then)
  • Today we have a record number of people (46 million) living in poverty.
You might also wish to consider the following statistics:
  • Today we have a record 92,898,000 working age people not working
  • Today the U6 unemployment number, the one that includes those 92,898,000 working age unemployed workers, is a whopping 13.6%
Progressives believe that the income gap is created because the market isn't fair. So they make it fair by making laws that create regulations and programs by taxing the rich.  In other words, they force the rich to support their progressive programs that are basically a redistribution of wealth.  

Then, when they realize that they can't make enough money from taxes to support their spending, so they start to print more money in a process called quantitative easing.  This is a process where the government prints more money and pumps it into the equities market (i.e. the stock market). It goes into the stock market because the people with the power to print it come from the stock market.

And so where has all this newly printed money been going: to the stock market. Who makes money off the stock market? The rich people. So they get richer.

This is why the stock market has grown by leaps and bounds under Obamanomics. It's because the same people who print the money just give it to themselves. This explains why the income gap has grown.  It's because the stock market, in an ever growing recession where the poor get poorer and the middle class is stagnant, has grown by leaps and bounds because of quantitative easing to pay for all the progressive programs created by the Obama Administration.  It's full fledged liberalism at work here.

If you have money in the stock market, if you can afford to do so, you are probably sitting pretty about now. If you are an average American with a 401K you are probably sitting pretty.

Obama will tell you that the stock market is growing completely independent of anything he is doing.  But that's not the case at all.  The Federal Reserve is pumping money into the stock market left and right in order to make it look like progressivism is working.  Yet once we evaluate the underlying data and see that the income gap is increasing as a result of it, we see what is really going on here.

The rich people who can afford to invest in the stock market are getting wealthier and wealthier and wealthier.  But it's not because people are smart and know what stocks to invest in, or not because of any genius business move.  It's because money has been artificially pumped (some $3.5 trillion) into the stock market under the name of quantitative easing.

The stock market has not grown because millions more Americans have decided to invest their money there. It has not grown because of unfettered capitalism. It has grown artificially due to some idealistic progressive attempt to create money to pay for progressive programs that do not work.

This is the only way to explain how the middle class can be stagnant at the same time the stock market grows. It explains why so many people in this country are making sacrifices, yet the rich continue to get richer.

Some of the rich will always get richer because they have the money to take risks in the stock market or other places. Sometimes they lose, although sometimes they win and make even more money. With more money in the stock market due to quantitative easing, the rich just get richer. This also explains why there are always just a few filthy rich people in communist nations.  

Anyway, progressives programs (bailouts, regulations, subsidies, Obamacare, Social Security, TARP, and you name it), coupled with the fact that progressive programs do not cause people to rise up from poverty and into the middle class, results in a rise in the income gap.

High taxes, coupled with regulations that make it so entrepreneurs cannot afford to start their businesses, make it so people do not rise up above the middle class.  So this makes the middle class stagnant.

All Obama did was create programs to help the poor.  He made it so those who do not have jobs can get unemployment for a longer period of time.  So that means all those people are not working and therefore not making money.  The middle class are not creating new jobs, and they are not investing more in the stock market.  So capitalism is not working here.  So to pay for their bailouts and such, progressives had to print more money and put in into the stock market.

This helps the rich get richer.  The middle class is ignored.  The poor get poorer. People from the middle class who lose jobs get new jobs that pay less, and some of them move down into poverty.

Progressives will blame this on capitalism, so they will propose creating more laws and regulations to make things more fair, by their definition of fair that is. But it's not capitalism that is at fault here, it's progressivism; it's Obamanomics. It's the growing number of people on welfare. It's all the progressive regulations made to create fairness and equality and a perfect world.  

That's what happens when you have six full years of full fledged liberalism.  This is yet another example that proves why liberalism/ progressivism has never worked.  It has been tried over and over and over again since the ancient world.  It is what caused the collapse of the mighty Roman Empire and many other empires. It has been called many things, but it always results in the same thing: failure.

Progressives complain that things aren't fair, and so they have to have their own progressive experts define what is fair and what is not.  So they create laws and regulations to force people to comply. They make the market fair, something capitalism, they say, will never do.  Yet fairness by their definition, means that everybody is the same. If everyone makes the same amount of money (fairness), then everybody will be poor.  

The irony here is that progressives complain all the time about how it is unfair that rich people make so much money.  So they raise their taxes, redistribute their wealth, have the Federal Reserve print more money, and all that money goes into the stock market, and the rich get even richer.  How else do you explain how the rich keep getting richer even under Obamanomics when Obama hates the rich.

Since high taxes and regulations discourage potential entrepreneurs from creating new jobs, and prevent corporations from expanding, fewer jobs are created.  The end result here is that the middle class stagnates, and more people enter into poverty.

You simply cannot create wealth and fairness by taking from those who make and giving it to those who do not make.  The reason is because in order to give to the poor you have to take via taxes from those who make money.  And once you take their money, they don't have it. The rich can afford this, the poor and middle class cannot.

Then they create programs that give people money to live by without them having to do anything, and then they become dependent on the government to survive. They are not encouraged to seek work because that would mean losing their government subsidies. So the cost of government goes up while income goes down. So progressives have no choice but to raise taxes to make more money. It becomes an endless cycle.

Then children growing up in these families never see capitalism, so they don't see any better way of life.  So they too end up trapped in poverty.

Yes, this is what unfettered liberalism does.  This is what they call fairness. This is why 30 plus years of progressive leadership in Detroit has driven that city from one of the most prosperous cities in the world during the 1950s into complete and utter bankruptcy.  The New York Times wrote an "Anatomy of Detroit's Decline' back in 2013.

Under unfettered progressivism, or socialism, or communism, or fascism, everybody is the same, everybody is poor, except for the the few on the upper end, and that would be the progressive leaders.  This is the system, by the way, the people lived under for 99 percent of our history.

It's called totalitarian government.  It's a system where only the aristocracy gets to enjoy the benefits of profit.  They accomplish this by taxing the people who do all the work.  Unless this is what we want to go back to, progressivism must be stopped in its tracks.  

The bottom line is that unfettered liberalism creates more poverty, it does not create more wealth.  This is why the income gap has increased after six years of Obamanomics, as opposed to decreasing. 

Thursday, July 30, 2015

People used to have thick skin, were not offended by facts

The Manistee Chippewa's Logo used to be a colorful painting of this guy.
When I was a kid my grandma used to always (generalization I know) complain about my mom. It used to upset me, but I never said anything. After a while I realized my grandma was not going to stop complaining about my mom. I loved my grandma, so I developed thick skin. Sure it irritated me to a certain degree, but I got over it and went on with my life.

The same thing about things like the confederate flag. There are many people who think of the confederate flag as a symbol of the south more so than just a battle flag representing anti-slavery. Surely there are some people who saw it as otherwise, but they developed thick skin about it and went on with their lives.

The same thing with race.  There are people of all races and creeds in the U.S.  This is because we are a nation of immigrants.  In an all white town, if you were from Iran, you might have people, from time to time, ask you where you were from. Most people were proud to talk about where they were from.  Others not so much.  Regardless, people didn't get offended by it. Like with my grandma complaining about my mom, there was no way that an Iranian-American was going to get by without someone being curious and asking. So the Iranian-American just developed thick skin and went about his life.

This is no longer the case today.  Today people have so much time on their hands that they think they are offended by just about anything.  I don't think people are truly offended, it's just that the people who run the media, and particularly people running Washington are telling us that we ought to be offended about this or that.  They do this in order so that they can use this to push forth their agenda.

A perfect example is the confederate flag. Only a few people are offended by the flag, and for most of the past 150 years those who were offended just developed tough skin.  The Idea that Indians are offended by sports teams being named after them is another example.  Polls show that over 80% of Indians are not offended, but if you read accounts in the media you'd think they all were.  The truth is that most Americans are just fine with the nickname Redskins.

They are honored, in fact, when sports teams are nicknamed after them.  They are honored, because some Indians were fierce warriors, especially when it came to protecting nature and their tribes.  This is a fact.  Yet since we are told they are offended, teams like the Manistee Chippewas had to paint over nice paintings like the one shown in the picture.

Recently a waitress was fired because she wrote on her napkin, "Black couple."  She had to do this because it was a busy day and she needed to keep track of what went to what table.  She got fired because she wrote a fact on a sheet of paper.  Today, people are told they should be offended by facts, rather than developing thick skin.

It's in Obama's world that we are offended.  But we really aren't offended, we are just told we are. People in this nation need to stop listening to people telling us we are offended.  We need to stop being politically corre

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

What candidate should be chosen

When choosing a candidate to vote for, we must not choose candidates just to limit the criticism of the media. We must not choose a woman just because feminists think republicans have a war on women.  We must not choose a black candidate just because most blacks vote democrat.

Those are things we should avoid doing.  If we choose candidates that they want, candidates who might support a few things we are opposed to, such as the pro-choice movement, then all we are doing then is playing right into their agenda.  We don't want to do that.  That will get us nowhere.  

What we need to do is choose the best man or woman, black or white, yellow or red, Catholic or Jew, who is the best conservative for the job.  We must choose the most conservative candidate (The Bill Buckley Rule).  

We need to pick someone who can campaign well. We need to pick someone who can get votes. We need to pick someone who can speak well and articulate conservatism, like Ronald Reagan.  We need to pick someone who is a true conservative, not just someone who claims to be, like John McCain or Mitt Romney. We need to pick someone who truly believes what he or she is saying. 

Don't pick someone who is going to undercut the conservative agenda. Don't pick someone who disagrees with the cause on "just a few issues."  Don't pick someone just to satisfy a particular constituency that's more aligned with the democratic party. 

That's identity politics.  That's the wrong thing to do.  That's the opposite of the conservative cause.  The conservative cause is doing things, believing in things, that will lift the entire nation; that will benefit everyone.  We must not choose a candidate who caters to one cause or one group, but someone who is for lifting up the entire ship. 

We do not want gender politics.  We don't endorse that kind of planning.  What we want is to vote for the best person for the job.  We want only the best speaker, the best communicator, and the person with the best conservative agenda getting elected. It is this person who comprises the general classical liberal views of the majority of the people who live in this country. 

We want leaders who the most qualified to inspire and motivate all the people of this great nation, people who are right on the issues and policies. This is why it is important who you vote for, and why elections matter.  

Think of it this way. Here's a good idea of what I'm saying here. Every time the republican establishment nominates a candidate for president who is supposed to cater to the left on certain issues, we lose.  

I'll rattle off some names here: Gerald R. Ford, Bob Dole, George H.W. Bush (1992), John McCain, and Mitt Romney. These are all candidates who were moderate republicans, or those who catered to a certain group of people instead of the nation as a whole.  

When people see that the republican candidate is just as liberal as the democrat, they think that republicans are no better than democrats.  They might as well vote for the democrat and let them get blamed for advancing the progressive agenda, an agenda that creates nothing but chaos and failure. 

We need to vote for the best conservative candidates, and it does not matter what race, color, sex, creed, or even political affiliation.  What matters is that these men and women understand that it was classical liberalism, now called conservatism and libertarianism and constitutionalism) that made this country great, and this is what will make this country great once again.  

Monday, July 27, 2015

Progressives stole the name liberal, we want it back

The progressives took the word liberalism and claimed it for themselves. Liberalism is the choice that unites most of us. That's the one where we all come down together and say, "Look, we can live with each other."

From the time of the founders to the 1940s liberalism was most people were called.  Liberalism stood for limited government to protect and defend liberty.  Progressives stole that term and claimed it for themselves to shed a positive light on their agenda of creating a large government that tramples on liberty. 

Why did our "classical liberal" ancestors allow this to happen? We need to take it back.  We need to start calling liberals progressives again.  And we need to call conservatives and libertarians liberals again.  This makes sense, because progressive and liberal are opposites.  

We need to take the term liberal back and allow the people to see progressives for what they really are: people who think they know what's best for you, so they create laws to force their agenda on you.  But this requires you to sacrifice your freedom and liberties."

You can't say to people, "Marijuana is bad for you, so we need to create a law banning you from manufacturing and selling it, without taking away their liberty to choose.  You are basically deciding for them what is good for them, and forcing them to be perfect.  What this does is create a dark market for marijuana."

For crying out loud, did we learn nothing from prohibition.  During prohibition it was illegal to import, transport, produce or sell alcohol in the U.S. What resulted was an underworld that made men like Al Capone rich.  It showed on a full scale level that governmental attempts to perfect the world create nothing but chaos.  

Yet we continue to allow it.  We continue to let progressives win at every level in the country.  We continue to let it continue even though only 14 percent of Americans admit to supporting their agenda.  They have infiltrated our nation. They have made it acceptable to allow government officials to say things like, "Hey, you should wear a seat belt.  So let's make a law that will fine you if you don't." 

"Hey, we feel that throwing more money at education will make it better.  Why don't we put the federal government in charge of it and throw lots of money at it." That happened in the 1960s and all it did was make education in the U.S. worse. They create regulations and programs aimed at fixing things because it sounds like a good idea, people buy into it, and then they make them worse. 

The same thing with the war on poverty. Trillions of dollars have been thrown into entitlement programs in this country aimed at ending poverty since Johnson's War on Poverty began in the 1960s, and all it resulted in was more people in poverty. 
If you need a good example just look at Detroit.  

These are the same progressives who stole the name liberal and claimed it for themselves.  We need to take it back and let them wallow in their progressivism. We need to let people see them for what they are: people who want to create big government at the expense of liberty. 

Liberalism is the exact opposite of what they are. We are liberals.  But we will be satisfied with people calling us classical liberals.  That's what we are.  That's what I am.  

As it is, we settle for the name conservative, constitutional conservative, liberatarian conservative, or simply libertarian.  That is what we are.  But what we really are is classical liberals, or simply liberals.  But we can't call ourselves what we really are, because progressives stole and obliterated the meaning of it. 

The reason this is important is because you have about 20 percent of people in the democratic party who don't want to be conservatives, and so they stay in the democratic party. 

They may not agree with us on everything, but they think like we do.  But they don't want to become conservatives because they think that's what Ronald Reagan was and they don't want to be that. But if we call ourselves classical liberals, we can draw all of them together.  They may not agree with us on everything, but all classical liberals believe liberty should come before state, and people should not be allowed to vote their freedoms away, regardless what the cause or belief or theory.

Most people understand classical liberalism.  They see progressives calling themselves liberals and they say, "I'm a liberal just like them."  But what they don't understand is that what they are championing for is not what they think it is. 

They have no clue they are championing for progressivism, which is a sister of socialism, communism, Fascism, Fascist Socialism, and all those types of governments.  Yet what they truly yearn for is classical liberalism.  

People in Europe think of Conservatives as the opposite of classical liberalism, or the opposite of freedom.  They think of us as Nazis and Fascist.  Yet this is not true, because we are the true liberals.  We are the classical liberals.  But because the progressive movement stole our name, they have succeeded at re-branding themselves in a better light. They have pulled the wool over the eyes of the world, so to speak.  

We need to recreate the image of freedom in the world.  We need to recreate what we are, we need to call ourselves classical liberals.  This way we can collect all the classical liberals into one party and take our country back.  

Friday, July 24, 2015

Why I'm a Classical Liberal

Classical liberalism (what used to be called liberalism) is what made America Unique. It's pretty much what every democrat president was from Thomas Jefferson down to Grover Cleveland.  Then progressivism happened, and the democratic party turned progressive.  When the term progressive became unpopular, they stole the term liberal to make their game look good.

So now we have to call what we are classical liberal, a.k.a. libertarian conservatism.  It's limited government, strict constitutionalism, and following the rule of law.

Here's why I am a classical liberal.
  1. You can't spy on me
  2. We can't have these never ending wars
  3. You can't just throw me in jail without a trial
  4. You cant kill me without a trial
  5. You can't make laws that fine me for not doing something, such as not wearing my seat belt, or not eating the foods you think I should be eating, or not living a healthy enough lifestyle.  
  6. You can't make me buy health insurance, or car insurance, or any insurance
  7. You can't force me to participate in a social security program
  8. You can't tell me I can't smoke cigarettes or sell marijuana or take hormone pills or experimental medicine 
  9. You can't tell my kids they can't pray in school
  10. You can't take away our public nativity scenes if that's what we choose to display at our courthouses or schools.

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Ronald Reagan and the booming 1980s

Ronald Reagan was a Kennedy Democrat who switched parties when progressives infiltrated the democratic party.  He would later say, "I didn't leave the democratic party, the democratic party left me."  Reagan would go on to become the second best president of the 20th century (Calvin Coolidge receives top honors).  

Perhaps by his skills as a former Hollywood Actor, Reagan excelled at communicating, both with Congress and the people. He would become dubbed "The Great Communicator."  Yet because he shunned the progressive movement, he was sometimes described as a "dunce." Late Democratic Presidential Adviser Clark Clifford went as far as to refer to him as an "Amiable Dunce."  

Yet Reagan was not a dunce, in fact, he was far from it.  He understood that progressives, both democrats, and republicans, were taking this country in a direction the involved sacrificing liberties at the expense of economic prosperity. He aimed to change this, and he succeeded.  

He understood that the way to economic prosperity could not be created by experts in Washington creating laws forcing people to act in certain ways, but by cutting taxes, cutting spending, and getting the government out of the way so that the entrepreneurial spirit of the American people could be unleashed. 

Reagan proved once again that the way to economic prosperity was not created with more government, but with less.  In other words, prosperity was created not with progressive tax and spend programs, but with unfettered conservatism/ capitalism.

Reagan was an ardent supporter of Say's Law, which states that supply creates its own demand. As taxes go down, this gives businesses an incentive to spend and invest, and this results in more job creation. More supply of workers paying more taxes results not just in a decreased unemployment, but also more revenue to the government.

This results in economic growth and prosperity.

Here is a list of what he accomplished.

1. Government revenue nearly doubled during his 8 years in office. The 70% tax rate when he entered office generated about $500 billion in revenue to the federal government. When Reagan left office in 1989, the top marginal rate was 28%, and the take, the revenue to the Treasury had nearly doubled, to almost $1 trillion.

2. Americans gave more to charity during his 8 years than at any other time in American history. According to National Review, "charitable donations by individuals rose from $64.7 billion (1990 dollars) in 1980 to $102 billion in 1989, an increase of 57.7 percent. Moreover, after declining relative to national income during the seventies, charitable donations rose from 2.1 percent of income in 1979 to a record 2.7 percent in 1989.

3. Productivity tripled during his 8 years in office. A study performed and reported by the New York Times that the rate of manufacturing productivity growth had tripled during the 1980s. Likewise, the jobs created were not just hamburger flipping jobs, but jobs of the higher skill categories.

4. The poor got richer both got richer. In the period of 1983 to 1989, the poorest 20 percent of the population saw their income rise 12%, and the richest 5th of the population also saw their income rise 12%.

5. Inflation remained low. Inflation was low during the 1980s, as low as 5% even though economic growth was sustained during most of the 1980s. This happened despite the theory that inflation could not go down at the same time unemployment went down.

6. Despite tax cuts, tax revenue increased. Reagan cut taxes in 1983 from 70-50% on the top wage earners, and tax revenue, according to the Heritage Foundation (I wrote about this here), rose 99.4% during the 1980s, and by 1989 tax revenues increased by 54%. In fact, during the 1980s federal revenue rose from $550 billion to $991 billion.

7. The rich did not get richer at the expense of the poor. In fact, the share of total tax revenues which was paid by those making $40,000 or more increased from 45.1 percent to 48 percent. The tax burden of those making less than $40,000 dropped by the equivalent percentage.

8. Jobs were created. About 20 million jobs were created during the 1980s and 82% of those jobs were higher-skilled and better-paying jobs.

9. The economy grew.  From 1982 to 1990 the United States experienced 96 continuous months of economic growth, the longest peacetime economic expansion in history up to that time.

10. The stock market rose. Nearly tripled in value during the 1980s

11. Average real family income grew, and it grew by well over 15% from 1982 to 1989, according to the U.S. Bureau of the Census

12. For the poorest 5th of Americans, real income grew almost 12%

13. Families earning more than $50,000 (in 1990 dollars) went from less than 25% of families in 1980 to 31% in 1991.

14. The percentage of families earning less than $15,0000 dropped.

15. According to the U.S. Treasury's Office of Tax Analysis, of those who were in the bottom-5th income bracket in 1979, 65% jumped at least two income brackets during the 1980s. More made it to the top and stayed than made it to the bottom.

16. Incomes levels continued to rise. Federal Reserve data shows that families with incomes between $10,000 and $50,000 a year experienced a higher percentage of growth in net dollars than those in the top one one-fifth income group. Households were five times more likely to have their incomes rise than have them fall.

17. The rich paid more taxes. The top 1% paid more than 25% of all federal income taxes in 1990, a 40% increase over 1980, according to the Congressional Budget Office. The bottom 60% paid 11% of federal taxes in 1990, 20% less than in 1980. Plus, all income groups paid fewer taxes, with the poor receiving the most relief, and the rich receiving the least relief. Yet the rich actually paid a greater share of the income tax in relation to their income.

18. Black people made more money during the 1980s. The black middle class grew rapidly from 2.6 million households with incomes of $25,000 or more in 1979 to 3.9 million in 1989. In fact, while between 1979 and 1982 poor blacks rose by more than 2 million, between 1982 and 1989 the number of poor blacks fell by 400,000.

19. Fewer people entered into poverty. Between 1983 and 1989 the total population under the poverty line decreased by 3 million people, with an unprecedented number of poor entering the work force.

20. Federal spending increased. Federal spending on poor for income, food, health care, housing, education, training, and social services increased. Progressives said this could not happen, and it did.

21. Charitable givings increased. Charitable givings by corporations and individuals increased to record levels during the 1980s. In fact, during the 1980s charitable givings was 55% higher then the previous 20 years. In 1992 Americans gave 2.01% of their income to charity, the highest rate since 1971. Donations totaled $124.31 billion, up 6.4% after inflation. Individuals gave $104.98 billion, representing the greatest percentage of total family income given to charity since 1963. This was a result of the government taking less, allowing people to earn more. This provides Americans with greater freedom of which to decide how to spend their money. When the government decides how to spend your money, people give less. When the government takes too much out of people's checks, they tend to hoard the money they do have. They go on vacation in sunny Bermuda until the market is more suitable for their business.

22. Everyone got richer during the 1980s. During the Carter years, only the incomes of the top 1% grew. During the Reagan, the incomes of every income bracket grew.

23. After-tax income rose.  Between 1982 and 1989, real after-tax income per person rose by 15.5%, and real median income of families, before taxes, went up 12.5%.

24. Federal spending increased. Federal spending on poverty programs increased from $140 billion in 1982 to $180 billion in 1991, an annual growth of 3%.

25. The federal deficit Rose, but it didn't have to: The deficit rose to $230 billion in 1985. Yet every one of Reagan's spending cuts was rejected by a democrat congress. Yet even with no spending cuts, in 1987 the Federal Deficit was reduced to $150 billion. It fell because even while taxes were cut, more jobs and more taxpayers were created. Plus those making lots of money didn't need to hide money they were making, as they usually do when taxes are high.

Monday, July 20, 2015

Ben Franklin's 13 Subjects

Ben Franklin was smart enough to know that even though he was a brilliant man, he could, by himself, make himself an even better man. It was in this light that he described a game he played with himself, one that many now refer to as Ben Franklin's 13 Subjects.

He described the game in the first half of his autobiography, the part he wrote before the Revolutionary War when he still had a good relationship with his son.

He created the 13 Subjects, which were essentially qualities that were necessary or desirable for him to acquire and try to master in order to be the perfect Ben Franklin. Each week he would focus on one of the subjects and try to master it.

He would sit down each night and record moments when he succeeded at mastering it, and also the times when he failed. This was his attempt to keep track of how he was doing in order to get batter at each subject.

He was able to go through the entire list in thirteen weeks, and repeat th process four times a year.

In 1960, Frank Bettger wrote "How I Raised Myself from Failure to Success in Sales.” In his book he said that if a man as successful as Ben Franklin had created a method of making his life better, then, perhaps, it would be wise for other people who wished to succeed in life to follow his plan, or develop an individual plan of their own based on his.

That said, here are Franklin's 13 Subjects.
  • Temperance: Eat not to dullness, drink not to elevation. 
  • Silence: Speak not but what may benefit others or yourself; avoid trifling conversation. 
  • Order: Let all you things have their places; let each part of your business have its time. 
  • Resolution: Resolve to perform what you ought; perform without fail what you resolve. 
  • Frugality: Make no expense but to do good to others or yourself; i.e., waste nothing. 
  • Industry: Lose no time; be always employed in something useful; cut off all unnecessary actions. 
  • Sincerity: Use no harmful deceits; think innocently & justly, and if you speak, speak accordingly. 
  • Moderation: Avoid extremes; further resenting injuries so much as you think they deserve. 
  • Justice: Wrong none by doing injuries, or emitting the benefits that are your duty. 
  • Cleanliness: Tolerate no unseemliness in body, clothes or habitation. 
  • Tranquility: Be not disturbed at trifles, or at accidents common or unavoidable. 
  • Chastity: Rarely use venery but for health or offspring, never to dullness, weakness, or the injury of our own or another’s peace or reputation. 
  • Humility: Imitate Jesus and Socrates. 
He admitted that he had occasions where he failed at these, but would always make himself aware of his fault, either immediately or in the evening when he reviewed how he did. Then he'd come up with a method to prevent himself from repeating his errors.

Friday, July 17, 2015

We are a Judeo-Christian nation

America is a Judeo-Christian nation.  This is important, because this is what all our laws are based on. This is what our Constitution is based on.  This is where our basic rules come from: don't lie, don't steal, don't cheat, don't covet your neighbor's wife.

It is from this that our basic values and morals come from.  It is from this that the founding fathers conceived the idea of natural rights, or those liberties that we are born with, or those liberties that were handed down from a higher power: God.

Everything that our nation was founded on is based on the fact that we are, at the core, a Judeo-Christian nation.  It is by reading the Judeo-Christian Bible that our children learn the basic values that are essential to holding this nation together.

It is from this that we learn to be kind to other people, and to respect other people.  It is from this that we learn to respect ourselves.  It is from this that we learn to take responsibility for our own actions.  It is from this that we learn to resist temptations, such as the temptation to steal, or the temptation to covet your neighbor's wife, or the temptation to consent to mutual sex before marriage.

These are all behaviors, or actions, that lead to controversies.  They are actions that the Bible preaches against in order to create a better world.

When you teach about God, when we read the Bible, we are learning the very values and morals that hold this nation together.  It is only when we get away from this does our nation start to fall apart.  It is only when you ignore the Bible do evil things happen, things that the Bible teaches are sins.

It is only when we get away from the Bible does evil occur.  Lacking a Judeo-Christian upbringing, children are more likely to have children out of wedlock. Lacking the two-parent structure, studies have confirmed (again and again) the age old suspicion that children are less likely learn the Bible, and therefore less likely to become good, honest, and productive members of society.

As a nation we have learned to tolerate such behavior.  We have learned to tolerate the fact that atheists do not want the Judeo-Christian Bible taught in public schools.  And there's this old saying: "What one generation tolerates the next embraces."

Today we tolerate households where children are brought up by only mothers. The next generation will just accept it as the way it is.  Today we tolerate abortion, yet the next generation will just accept it as the way it is.  Yesterday we tolerated atheists attempts to remove Bibles from schools, and now it is just the accepted norm.

By becoming increasingly tolerant we are becoming openly hostile to our own nation; we are becoming increasingly tolerant to the morals and values that set us up as a nation.  We have learned to tolerate, and sometimes even embrace, principles that are the antithesis of our founding principles.

Today we have learned to tolerate certain behavior because we are afraid of causing controversy, or because we want to shut them up.  We have learned to tolerate.  We have become a politically correct nation in our attempt to not make waves, or to take the path of least resistance.

Surely it sounds good when you are a teenager to marry the first person you fall in love with.  But when this happens you set yourself up for a lifetime of misery, as you do not have a job, you will not be able to provide the kind of security your child needs.  How could you?  You haven't even finished your education yet.

But more and more we have become tolerant to this sort of behavior.  Look at Bill Clinton as a perfect example.  He was married, and yet he gave in to the temptation of another woman. Chances are he did this more than once.  Because what he did was against Judeo-Christian values, it did nothing but cause controversy for Mr. Clinton.  It tarnished his reputation.

Yet for those lacking Judeo-Christian values, Mr. Clinton's actions were acceptable.  Many of the people who liked what he was doing as president simply tolerated his actions.  They said things like "that's just what men do."

The best way to reverse this trend is to start with yourself.  Live your life as Jesus would.  Read the Bible every day.  Live by the values taught by the Bible, and set a good example for others to follow.

Thursday, July 16, 2015

What if I said Liberalism is the gutless choice (or it's easy to be a liberal)?

Recently one of my Facebook friends posted a link an article called "Anti-intellectualism is killing America."  The article pretty much stated that anyone who doesn't support the liberal agenda is a moron.

Here, read for yourself paragraph #3 of the article:
In a country where a sitting congressman told a crowd that evolution and the Big Bang are “lies straight from the pit of hell,”, where the chairman of a Senate environmental panel brought a snowball into the chamber as evidence that climate change is a hoax, where almost one in three citizens can’t name the vice president, it is beyond dispute that critical thinking has been abandoned as a cultural value. Our failure as a society to connect the dots, to see that such anti-intellectualism comes with a huge price, could eventually be our downfall.
The way I read that paragraph, anyone who supports the conservative agenda is as stupid as the idiot who can't name the vice president.  So I'm supposed to take this lightly?

Now, consider if I stated the opposite.  Consider the following.

Rush Limbaugh says that liberalism is the gutless choice.  By this, he means that it's easier to be a liberal (or progressive) than it is to be a conservative.  The reason is that all you have to do to be a liberal is to show empathy and emotion. and then come up with solutions someone else has to pay for.

And if a republican criticizes you, all you have to do is tell them they are a heartless, thoughtless, racist, sexist, homophobe who doesn't care about the needy. Or, as in my example above, all you have to do is tell them they are "anti-intellectuals."

Most people just use the dumbed down version of this, which is "stupid."

Others will simply site an insult to Rush Limbaugh, such as, "Rush Limbaugh is getting to your head," or "Rush Limbaugh is an idiot," or, "Rush Limbaugh is a meany."  Of course Rush Limbaugh, like other conservatives, are perceived as mean because they understand and openly talk about painful truths.

You may also use a more polite approach by saying something like, "You're being negative again," or "You are a backwoods person,"

Or, to be more crafty, you could say something like, "You're a right winger," or "You're from the religious right."

All of these are personal attacks, which are all much easier than siting truths.  Since liberalism is based on feelings more so than facts, it is much easier to toss vitriol at those who agree with you than facts.

If you talk about your conservative viewpoints, they look at you as though you are stupid, insensitive, homophobic, racist, backwoods, or vitriol they can think of at the moment.  This is because they think they are normal, mainstream, and anything a conservative says is no longer mainstream.

If you defend the traditional view that marriage should be  between a man and a woman, they call you insensitive and homophobic, even though that's not even close to the truth.  If you say the law should be followed and illegal immigrants sent back home, they say you are an insensitive racist.  If you defend the second amendment gun law, you are backwoods.  They look at you as though you are an idiot.

Regarding this, Rush Limbaugh said:
I know this is gonna be hard for people to believe. It's a psychological thing. Most uber-leftists do not even think of themselves as that. I mean this psychologically. They think they are normal. They call themselves pragmatists. Anything not them is what's odd, weird, kooky, major, major minority, really, really small, unhip, uncool, whatever. They are ideologues, but they don't have to calculate their ideology every day. It's just who they are and it's how they operate. And it is what guides them. I mean, they are that first, second, and third. They are liberals first, liberals second, liberals third, whatever else they are then weighs in.
So you see Radical Islamic Thugs in France killing innocent victims.  You have Liam Neeson out there saying, " There’s too many F*^*ing guns out there. Especially in America. I think the population is like, 320 million? There’s over 300 million guns. Privately owned, in America. I think it’s a f#%#ing disgrace. Every week now we’re picking up a newspaper and seeing, ‘Yet another few kids have been killed in schools'."

So all you have to do to be a liberal is to show that you care, and then to champion for a law to take away a natural liberty.  You care about the poor people who are killed by a thug, so the solution is to make laws to take away guns.

Making laws like this make them feel good about themselves.  Conservatives ask: Does it make sense? Liberals say, "Does it make me feel good."  Yes, gun laws make me feel good.  No, they don't make sense because they don't work.  A good example is Chicago, which has the strictest gun laws in the world, and the highest crime rates. 

What these people fail to do is to ration that if you take away guns from law abiding citizens, bad guys will still have them.  This means that law abiding citizens will be unarmed, and only the thugs will have guns.  That means...

And then, assuming you do manage to take away all the guns, the bad guys, who will still exist by the way, will still find weapons.  They will probably carry knives.  Or maybe they would go back to swords.

That logic simply slips by them.  When they hear such logic they don't know what to do, so they toss vitriol at you.  

You can look at other areas too.  Ben Franklin once said: "I am for doing good to the poor... I think the best way of doing good to the poor is not making them easy in poverty, but leading or driving them out of it."

The modern liberal doesn't think the same way Ben Franklin did, as such logic slips right by them.  They don't see any empathy in not letting the poor in the country feel too comfortable in their poverty.  Instead, they see empathy as forcing hard working people to pay for entitlement programs that make the poor comfortable in their poverty.  

The logic that this creates more poverty slips right by them. The logic that higher taxation and regulation creates fewer jobs slips right by them.  The logic that lower taxes creates more wealth, slips right by them.  The logic that lower wages create more jobs, slips right by them.

All that matters to them is that they have empathy for the poor and did something about it. It does't matter that their ideas do not work and never have.  It does not matter that their ideas do nothing but create chaos. 

It was based on this philosophy that Bill Clinton said to an AIDS activist in 1992, "I feel your pain." Yes he does feel your pain, and to show he cared he forced people like you and me who are trying to make a living to pay for it. 

So, you see, this is what I mean when I say that it is easy to be a liberal.  To be a conservative it takes a lot of time educating yourself.  You have to read a lot, and think a lot about what you read.  You have to take ideas and twist them around to find solutions that really work.

Being a conservative means more than just having empathy, it means using logic to solve problems.

Further reading:

  1. Psychology Today: Anti-Intellectualism is killing America
  2. Rush Limbaugh: Liberalism: The most gutless choice you can make
  3. Crazy leftists, they think they're normal

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Peace can be obtained through strength

Too many people today don't understand what peace through strength means. It's the whole reason that the Roman Empire lasted as long as it did. It's the one reason why the United States spent so much on a military buildup during the 1980s.

The Roman Army was the mightiest army in the world, and, until the end when it became depleted and weak, no one, not even the Germans, would dare to intimidate Rome. Most nations, rogue or other, in one way or another made peace with Rome, placated it's leaders, in order to gain in some way from it.

Look, no matter what we do in this world, there are always going to be bad people who want to cause havoc in one way or another. There will always be people, or factions, or entire nations, who want to cause harm and prevent justice. This is a truth that conservatives have traditionally understood.

The best way to prevent thugs and thug nations from succeeding at their thug goals is to prevent them from ever acting. And the only way to do that is to build up as strong of a military as possible. It was based on this truth that America became a Superpower.

Think of it this way. In high school who were the wimpy kids most afraid of. It surely wasn't another scrawny wimpy kid. It was the biggest, toughest, meanest guy in school. He was the one no one would mess with. He could walk around school and do whatever he wanted. Sure he could cause harm, but he could also protect the bad people in the school.

In other words, the meanest, toughest guy in school may actually have been the nicest kids in school.  So, while the U.S. may be seen as a bully by the rest of the world, it actually is the good guy. This is the kind of thing conservatives understand and liberals tend to deny.

He could be the biggest deterrent to bullies. I had a friend like that when I was in school. I used to hang out with this guy because he was willing and able to protect me. We ultimately became great friends, but, to me, he was a B-2 Bomber or a nuclear weapon. Rarely ever did he ever use his fist to defend me. Yet when a thug was pent on using his might on me, my friend beat the crap out of him.  He did this once at his own peril and even got detention.  But he said to me that he'd be willing to do it again.

And here's another way of looking at it. Peace through strength means that you build the B-2 Bomber and nuclear weapons and you never plan on using it. Thug nations like Iran will never mess with Israel because Israel could blow it off the face of the earth. Israel hopes to never use its mite, but it could. The same with the U.S. We have the mightiest military in the world, but the purpose of it is not to use it, but to act as a deterrent to mess with the U.S.

So many liberals don't understand this though. They think of a large military presence as the U.S. being a bully to the rest of the world. That is why democrats downsize our military and cut military spending. That's why democrats are always talking about getting rid of our nuclear weapons, or at least cutting back.

Unlike conservatives, who understand that people are born morally flawed, liberals believe people are born good.  They believe people and nations only become aggressive when people around them are bullies.  So that's why they believe they can create peace by making it look like the U.S. is not the bully.  This explains why they make deals with Iran, and why they build down our military.

They see our military mite as us being the bully. When, in fact, it is the exact opposite. By us having a military, when we have a president who is not downsizing it and trashing it all the time, other nations that are our enemies, or the enemies of our allies, are deterred from being bullies themselves. They are tamed out of fear of what the U.S. might do.

During the 1980s we ended up winning the cold war because in the end we ended up with the biggest, baddest nuclear weapons program in the world. The Russians could not keep pace, and so their economy collapsed, and with it so did their socialist U.S.S.R.

Peace through strength means being bigger and more powerful that the people who want to wipe you off the face of the earth. That is why it is important for free nations like Israel and the United States to be strong and powerful.

Iran is deterred from messing with Israel because it knows it will be blown off the face of the earth if it did. It is for this reason Iran wants nuclear weapons so bad, because they want to have a chance to have more power than Israel. That's exactly why the free world must not allow Iran to gain such power. That would be a true travesty.

This is why conservatives, and most people around the world, balk at the Iranian nuke deal.  Conservatives must understand that liberals believe that it is not fair that we have allowed Israel to have nukes and not Iran. Similarly, they didn't think it was fair that India had nukes and Pakistan did not, so that is why the Clinton administration allowed Pakistan to get nukes.  They believe by the two having nukes this will balance out the region leading to peace.

 They believe Iran is hostile because its people see this as unfair.  So liberals honestly believe if Iran has nukes it will no longer be hostile.  Of course as Obama signs the deal Iranian leaders are snickering.

Liberals have a Utopian dream that peace in the world can be obtained if everyone would just put down their weapons. Thankfully, you have conservatives in Israel and U.S. who understand that in the real world their cannot be peace accept through strength.  Conservatives believe the only place where a Utopia can ever occur is in Heaven.

Obama's naive view of world leads to horrible Iran deal

It's official that the Obama administration, mainly Secretary of State John Kerry and President Barack Obama, has brokered a deal with Iran, the country whose leader has proclaimed "Death to America."  So why is this deal so great for Iran and so horrible for America?

First of all, per Fox News, here is what the deal entails:
  • Requires Iran to disable two-thirds of its centrifuges
  • Export/ Dilute 98% of enriched uranium
  • Submit to international inspections
  • U.S/ E.U., lift economic and financial sanctions
  • Access to $100 billion of frozen assets
  • Eventual lifting of arms and missile embargoes 
The idea is that this is a long term deal to prevent Iran from getting nuclear weapons.  Micheala Dodge of the Daily Caller says this will not work because the deal only imposes temporary restrictions on Iran's illegal nuclear program.  After they expire, Iran will have better resources to pursue more advanced nuclear technologies and potentially build a nuclear weapon faster than would be the case had sanctions remained in place." 

The Heritage Foundation claims this is a bad deal and will take us closer to nuclear war for these four reasons:

1.  The deal leaves Iran's nuclear infrastructure (most of which was obtained illegally by the way) largely intact.  We did not agree to inspections any day anywhere.  We ended up agreeing to inspections some times some places. We agreed to give up sanctions. Iran agreed to partially give up its uranium enrichment programs for research and development.  Its centrifuges and its ballistic missile program... will continue

2.  Sanctions relief could likely further destabilize the Middle East. Its' been estimated that $300-400 billion will now flow into the Iranian economy.  But that money isn't going to go into the pockets of the Iranian people, much of it will go into the pocket of the Iranian regime, and that means a lot of money can be funneled to groups like Hezbollah, Hamas, and Shea insurgents in places like Yemen. That will decrease our influence in the region but it will further increase that of Iran's.

3.  Iran's Arab neighbors in Turkey will now likely decide they need to begin uranium enrichment programs as well. That is only going to make a dangerous part of the world more unpredictable and more dangerous 

4.  This deal is temporary.  Eventually the freeze on uranium will go away, all the while Iran will end up doing its homework on how to eventually use that uranium to build a nuclear weapon. And that assumes that Iran waits. As we all know, Iran is a country that has broken its word before, and specifically when it's come to holding its bargain in nuclear agreements. 


5.  Iran was in no way required to reveal the previous nuclear dimensions of its nuclear program -- to come clear on its violations --  in order both to ensure effective inspections of all relevant facilities and to shatter the Iranian-dispelled myth that it has never breached its non-proliferation obligations.  This means that there is no way they can be forced to dismantle them. 

6.  The deal does not require them to shut down all uranium enrichment plants.  

7.  The deal does not require Iran to shut down its Arak heavy water reactor and plutonium production plant. Instead, it will convert it under a highly complex process. Even if it honors this pledge, its commitment to build new water enrichment plants expires in 15 years.  Yet only a naive fool will believe Iran will honor any pledge, as it has rarely done so in the past.  Yet Obama actually believes that within this time frame a president should be able to convince the Iranian regime against obtaining nukes.  Obama said this.  He is a fool.  Sorry to say that, but it's true.  

8.  After 15 years there are practically no Iranian limitations on anything.  So even if this deal works, even if Iran is honest and trustworthy, this basically throws the can down the road, so to speak.  In 15 years our kids may be forced to deal with a potentially deadly Iran, a nation that has already sworn to destroy America and Israel.  So it's easy to see why Israel is ticked about this deal, and very concerned about it. 

9.  Iran has not been required to shut down and dismantle the underground uranium enrichment facility it built secretly at Fordow

10.  Iran has not been required to halt missile development

11.  Iran has not been required to stop research projects that might help them determine how to develop a nuclear program faster

12.  The deal does not require the international community to work out a strategy to deal with Iran should they (or for when they do) violate the deal and try to develop nuclear weapons despite it. This pretty much assumes it's expected they will violate it.

I can also add one of my own.

13.  Inspectors were unable to stop North Korea from secretly building a bomb, and inspectors were unable to determine that Saddam Hussein never had them.  So how can we trust inspectors to stop Iran from getting them?

14.  Obama said inspectors will have 24/7 access to Iran's nuclear facilities.  According to Western Journalism, Iran can object to inspectors access to any site which starts a 14 day countdown clock for arbitration.  Then an additional 7 days is added for the joint commission to come up with a solution, which then gives Iran another 3 days to comply. That's 24 days for Iran to move and hide anything they don't want inspectors to see.

15.  The deal does not free any of the American hostages still held in Iran.  In act, Kerry said this was not part of the deal because, if it were, the deal never would have gone through.  You'd think America, the Greatest Super Power in the world, would have the upper hand in these negotiations, making sure that these Americans all came home as part of any deal.

16.  The deal does not require them to condemn terrorist organizations nor require them to stop funding them.

17.  The deal does not require Iranian leaders to stop saying hateful things about Israel and the United States.  It does not require it to stop calling for the death and destruction of Israel and the United States.

Or as Mark Levin said, Obama has set the stage for WWIII.  He has made it possible for Iran to get nukes, for the Turkish to get nukes, for Saudia Arabia to get nukes...  Levin said that Obama justified his actions in a statement by saying that Kennedy and Reagan negotiated with the Soviets.  He said, "The fool doesn't even understand the point: they negotiated with the Soviets because they had nukes, not because they didn't! The Iranians don't have nukes today, but they will tomorrow!"

Think about this.  If it is true that Obama truly is a lover of the Muslim religion and a hater of Christianity and Jews as some say (and it is on record that he does not support Israel), then this is clearly his opportunity to give the the grandest supporter of terrorism in the world the upper hand.  If that thought alone is not scary, I don't know what is.

The bottom line is that this is a good deal for Iran and a bad deal for America and the rest of the world. This is what the Heritage Foundation says, but it's also what most of the people in the rest of the world with an ounce of commonsense think as well.  

So why did Obama agree to this deal?  To understand this you must first understand how liberals think.  You must understand that conservatives believe people are born flawed, and so society is made better by improving the individual. 

 Liberals, on the other hand, believe people are born essentially good and only become corrupt in order to deal with the circumstances they have been dealt by society.  In the case of Iran, they are corrupt because America is a materialistic bully that sucks up many of the world's economic resources at the expense of other nations.  

So they believe, and this is what Obama and John Kerry believe, that if America and its allies quick bullying Iran with sanctions, that this will improve economic circumstances for all Iranians and send them on a path back to peace.  They believe this is the way to a euphoria on earth where there are no wars and everyone gets along. 

The problem with this liberal view is that it is wrong and naive.  People are not born perfect, and a perfect world is not possible because, as conservatives believe, euphoria is only possible in heaven.  People are born flawed, and the only way make people better is by improving their morals.  

Considering the Iranians have a religion that calls for the destruction of people who do not join their religion, the only way for the Iranian society to improve, or to join America as an ally, is to find Christianity -- and that will not happen.  

The truth is that most of the people of Iran probably do want peace with the rest of the world, and this includes both the United States and Israel.  However, the truth is also that Iran's leaders are totalitarian dictator thugs who have no reason to stop supporting terrorists, and no reason to stop calling for the death and destruction of all people and nations who disagree with them.  

The Obama administration is naive to these simple truths, and it is for this reason this is a horrible deal for both America and all of the rest of the world.  The fact that Iran is out there celebrating is a tel-tale sign that they signed onto this deal with a proverbial finger crossing going on behind their backs.  Perhaps that's why we can still hear the snickering coming from Iran.  Iran is the clear winner here, and is not set to obtain the nuclear weapons it has always desired to become a superpower in its own right.  

There are many democrats who oppose this deal.  However, there is a fear that they will not reject the deal because they do not want to be responsible for wrecking the legacy of the first black president.  They hope this leads to Obama winning another Nobel Peace Prize.  Considering that members of the media are already claiming "this is historic!", "This is landmark!", and considering that Yasser Arrafat, a terrorist thug, once won the Nobel Peace prize, you can bet your dollars that's where this is heading (even though this deal is the antithesis of peace).

Some say this is similar to Munich in the 1930s.

So the deal is good for Iran and thug nations in the Middle East, and horrible for the rest of the world.  Still, the deal can only be stopped if a majority in Congress agree to stop it, and then for congress to override the president's veto.  Let us pray hard that they do come together as one to reject this deal.

Levin said none of this ever should have gone this far. He said the Constitution, Article II, Section II, Clause II, clearly states:  "(The President) shall have power, by and with the advice and consent of the Senate, to make treaties, provided two thirds of the Senators present concur" So the Constitution says that two thirds of the Senate must concur with this deal.  

Levin said that rather than seek the approval of the Senate to ratify this deal that they never would have ratified in the first place, republicans let him just go out and do it.  And now they are forced to find the votes to override his veto.  Now Obama only needs one-third of the Senate to defend his veto.

So now, Levin said,  you are going to have republicans going on the media claiming they are going to do everything in their power to defeat this.  What they are not going to tell you is they allowed the democrats to create the scenario whereby the Senate is now rendered powerless to stop it.  This is the new precedent set by the Obama administration, and it's all the fault of republicans who allowed it to happen.

This also may have sealed Israel's fate.  Now, in the future, when faced with the decision of what to do when Iran is threatening to nuke Israel, Israel will have to decide whether or not to act.  And if it acts, it will be violating this treaty.  This will give the rest of the world the opportunity it has always sought to condemn Israel.

Look, Israel is a terrorist nation.  What that means is they don't follow the rules of war.  The supported radicals during the War in Iraq and Afghanistan, and are responsible for the deaths of hundreds of American soldiers (National Review lists it at 1,000 military deaths since 9-11.  Benjamin Netanyahu says Iran has killed more Americans except for members of Al Qaeda.). So what makes people think they will now? 

This is horrible. It's horrible for those who believe the Constitution and the rule of law should be followed, and it's horrible for the future of this nation.

That said, this could be a great deal if Iran does everything it says it's going to do and the international world enforces it.  Do you think this will work?

Further reading:

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Slavery didn't cause "strife in the black community"

Thomas Sowel, who is a very successful black man by the way, wrote a nice column explaining why people need to quit blaming slavery for "strife in the black community."

He wrote:
Were children raised with one parent as common at any time during the first 100 years after slavery as in the first 30 years after the great expansion of the welfare state in the 1960s? As of 1960, 22 percent of black children were raised with only one parent, usually the mother. Thirty years later, two-thirds of black children were being raised without a father present. What about ghetto riots, crimes in general and murder in particular? What about low levels of labor force participation and high levels of welfare dependency? None of those things was as bad in the first 100 years after slavery as they became in the wake of the policies and notions of the 1960s. To many on the left, the 1960s were the glory days of their movements, and for some the days of their youth as well. They have a heavy emotional investment and ego investment in the ideas, aspirations, and policies of the 1960s. It might never occur to many of them to check their beliefs against some hard facts about what actually happened after their ideas and policies were put into effect. It certainly would not be pleasant to admit, even to yourself, that after promising progress toward “social justice,” what you actually delivered was a retrogression toward barbarism. The principal victims of these retrogressions are the decent, law-abiding members of black communities across the country who are prey to hoodlums and criminals. Back in the 19th century Frederick Douglass saw the dangers from well-meaning whites. He said: “Everybody has asked the question, ‘What shall we do with the Negro?’ I have had but one answer from the beginning. Do nothing with us! Your doing with us has already played the mischief with us.” Amen.
It should be noted here that blacks are responsible for over half of homicides despite making up only 13 percent of the population.  It's a fact that despite being outnumbered by whites five to one, blacks commit eight times more crimes against whites than vice-versa.  It's a fact that interracial rapes are almost exclusively black on white?  It's a also a fact that Barbary slave trade resulted in over 1 million white Christian Europeans being enslaved in North Africa until the middle of the 18th century.  The result of which did not result in an increase in crimes.

The creation and expansion of the welfare and nanny state has moved the nation away from an opportunity society to a dependency society.  This was when the government started sending checks to women who have children out of wedlock.  This did not work well for the back community, where the government became the dad.  When the welfare state started, 77 of black family homes were two-parent households, and today that number has shrunk to 25 percent, meaning that the government has replaced the dad.  One of the unintended consequences was that the government does not teach the morals needed to keep kids out of trouble, hence the increased rate in crimes.

It is a fact that the black unemployment rate for February was 10.4 percent, or double the overall unemployment rate.  The unemployment rate for black teenagers is a whopping 40 percent.  Either these kids aren't being educated, or they don't have the dads to teach them how to get a job and keep it.  Yes, that is something I learned from my dad.

I think it is clearly evident, that lacking a father, black teenagers turn to gangs, which encourage them to turn to guns and violence.  Another replacement for the father becomes the government, which does not teach culture the way fathers do.

Further reading:
  1. Allen West: Five facts we must share with every liberal
  2. Thomas Sowell: The scapegoat for strife in the black community
  3. Human Events:  Black America's real problem is not 'white racism'
  4. Wikepedia: Barbary Slave Trade

Monday, July 13, 2015

Theodore Roosevelt: The first progressive President

Theodore (Teddy) Roosevelt (1858-1919)
President (19011909)
During the presidential election of 1896 classical liberals controlled the republican party, or what was otherwise known as the Grand Old Party (GOP).  They believed that the best way to preserve and protect the Constitution, and thereby natural rights, was to prevent the young and rising progressive 
voice of Theodore Roosevelt from gaining influence on the party. They had to prevent him from becoming president.  

Roosevelt was always the smartest guy in the room. He was brave, as he proved as commander of the rough riders.  He was strong, as he proved by participating in a 2,500-mile safari through British East Africa and Anglo-Egyptian Sudan, He was a brilliant, as he proved by writing more history books in his lifetime than most people will ever read in their lives.  He was also a great public speaker, as he proved many times on the campaign trail.  So when he decided to joint the progressive movement, this made him all the more dangerous.  He had to be stopped. 

Up to this time, the presidency was a relatively powerless position, and this was by design of the founding fathers who did not want the U.S. government to have the power to control individuals as the British Monarchy did.  It was for this reason James Madison wrote the Bill of Rights, and why a steep system of checks and balances was created.  Up to this time, nearly every president respected such Constitutional restraint, refusing to use the office of the president to advance their agendas.

Plus most presidents up to this time respected the idea that all liberties, or rights, were handed down from a higher power, and they referred to them as inalienable rights, or natural rights.  They believed that individuals made flawed decisions, but were far better capable of making the best decisions than any government.  They also believed that because humans were flawed, the world could not be made perfect, that true euphoria could only be obtained after death in Heaven.

The progressives, on the other hand, believed their experts could make the tough decisions to perfect the flaws of individuals.  Yet standing in their way was the Constitution, and the idea that since the habits of mankind never changed, so too should the Constitution never change.  Surely it could be amended, yet making such changes were intentionally made difficult to prevent people from making changes based on modern emotion.

So now they were fit with the task of convincing people that the Constitution should not be etched in stone, that it was a living document that should be changed to meet the needs of the modern world.  They needed a leader to convince people, or to fool them, into ceding some of their personal liberties to the state.

One of the first signs that progressives yearned for a leader came from an Essay called Leaders of Men by Woodrow Wilson (who would later become president himself) in 1890.  He said a "true leader" used the people like "tools."  He said of the people:
"They must get their ideas very absolutely put, and are much readier to receive a half truth which they can promptly understand than a whose truth which has too may sides to be seen all at once.  The competent leader of men cares little for the internal niceties of other people's characters: he cares much -- everything -- for the external uses to which they may be put... He supplies the power; others supply only the materials upon which that power operates... It is the power which dictates, dominates,; the materials yield.  Men are as clay in the hands of the consummate leader."  
Wilson, along with other progressives, believed Theodore Roosevelt was just that man.  Leaders of the GOP also saw Roosevelt as a rising star among the ranks of progressives, and they knew he had eyes on the presidency.  So for the good of the party, and for the good of of the nation, they devised an ingenious plan to stop him: they would select him as McKinley's Vice President. 

Yes, indeed, this was a very ingenious plan, or so they thought.  It would get Roosevelt out of the way for four, eight, maybe even twelve years.  

You see, back then the vice presidency was pretty much a menial job, relegated to sitting around and waiting to break a tie in the Senate or for the president to die. As of September 1901, his vote was needed only once.  So as vice president, as the GOP had hoped, he accomplished nearly nothing.

However, on September 6, 1901, McKinley was shot twice by anarchist Leon Czolgosz.  One was a superficial puncture to his sternum, but the other went into his abdomen.  He was rushed to surgery and survived the initial assassination attempt, although died eight days later due to gangrene.  Vice President Roosevelt was immediately sworn in as the 26th President of the United States. 

So the effort to get Roosevelt out of the way had backfired.  He became the first progressive president, and as was feared, he quickly moved to increase the powers of the President and Congress.  As noted by Johah Goldberg in his 2007 history of the progressive movement called "Liberal Fascism," said:
As president, he regularly exceeded the bounds of his traditional and legal powers, doing his will first and waiting (or not) for the courts and the legislatures to catch up.
As Glenn Beck said in his 2012 book "Cowards:
"His (Roosevelt's) "Square Deal"... started the ball rolling.  It got the nose of big government under the Constitution's tend by regulating business and the banks.  
His Square Deal involved three C's:
  1. Control of Corporations
  2. Consumer Protection
  3. Conservation
At the time the government had little say in how industries ran their business, and most presidents did not want to get involved for fear that it would set a dangerous precedence, perhaps resulting in future presidents gaining too much power.  

Yet there was pressure by various groups of people for governmental reforms that would improve working conditions for laborers, and make foods safer for consumption.  This sort of created an ideal environment for Roosevelt to advance his progressive agenda. 

Workers wanted fair pay and working conditions, and industries wanted to keep wages low.  According to AP U.S.: History Notes, this sort of came to a head in 1902 during the athracite coal strike in Pennsylvania.  Coal mining was dirty and dangerous work, and 140,000 coal minors went on strike demanding a 20 percent pay raise and a reduction in their work day from 10 hours to nine hours. Of course winter was approaching, so the decline in coal reserves that resulted created lots of tension around the nation.

Of course where there is a problem there is an opportunity to advance the progressive agenda, and Roosevelt would take full advantage. He went against established precedent and, instead of allowing industries to solve their own problems, he decided to do it for them.  

AP U.S.: History Notes said:
Roosevelt, going against established precedent, decided to step in. He summoned the mine owners and union representatives to meet with him in Washington. Roosevelt was partly moved by strong public support and took the side of the miners. Still, the mine owners were reluctant to negotiate until Roosevelt, threatening to use his “big stick,” declared that he would seize the mines and operate them with federal troops. Owners reluctantly agreed to arbitration, where the striking workers received a 10 percent pay increase and a nine-hour working day. This was the first time a president sided with unions in a labor dispute, and it helped cement Roosevelt’s reputation as a friend of the common people and gave his administration the nickname “The Square Deal.”
It was also the first time the president was used as a "bully pulpit," and the first time the president made a decision as an "Imperial President."  Classical Liberals feared that this type of precedence would lead to the president having "king-like" powers, leading to a police-state whereby the government could use it's power to force people to act in a certain way.

This was clearly a violation of Constitutional restraint, and yet because he was seen as siding with the "common people," making a decision for the good of the people, there was hardly any outcry about this act was the first seed being planted under the Constitution that would lead to a fundamental transformation from capitalism to socialism, from individual choice to government deciding what's best for us, from a nation where the people policed themselves, to a police state where people could be fined, arrested, and even jailed for making poor decisions.

AP U.S.: Notes continued:
Emboldened by this success and in pursuit of the first element of his Square Deal, Roosevelt began to attack large, monopolistic corporations. Some trusts were effective and legitimate, but many of these companies engaged in corrupt and preferential business practices. In 1902, the Northern Securities Company, owned by J.P. Morgan and James J. Hill, controlled most of the railroads in the northwestern United States and intended to create a total monopoly. Roosevelt initiated legal proceedings against Northern Securities and eventually the Supreme Court ordered that the company be dissolved. Roosevelt’s radical actions angered big business and earned him the reputation of a “trust buster,” despite the fact that his successors Taft and Wilson actually dissolved more trusts.
Roosevelt was also the first president to urge Congress to increase the size and scope of the executive by creating the Department of Commerce and Labor (DOCL).  The department was charged with monitoring corporations to make sure they engaged in fair practices.  The DOCL created the Bureau of Corporations, which was charged with for the benefit of the people (for our own good) to monitor interstate commerce, to help dissolve monopolies, and promote fair competition between companies.

In this way, the DOCL was the first executive department charged with making regulations for industries without direct approval of Congress.  Industries were forced to comply with these regulations or risk fines, or arrest by the newly established police-state.

Later presidents would follow this precedence in creating executive departments with similar power over individuals and industries, such as the Department of Education and the Environmental Protection Agency.  These departments are charged with making regulations for our own good, and people have to obey even when they don't agree with these regulations.

He then pressured Congress to create the Elkins Act, which punished companies with steep fines if they participated in illegal business practices, such as rebating and price fixing.  They he encouraged them to pass the Hepburn Act, which made the Interstate Commerce Commission even more powerful.  It was now able to set rates, inspect company books, and investigate railroads, sleeping car companies, oil pipelines, and other transportation firms.

In response to Upton Sinclairs book "The Jungle," which made the public aware of the poor conditions in which meat was prepared, Roosevelt saw this as another problem that the government could solve, once allowing him a prime opportunity to advance his agenda.

He pressured Congress, and they eventually, and reluctantly, agreed to pass the Meat Inspection Act and Pure Food and Drug Act of 1906.  This gave the government power to prevent mislabeling of food, alcohol and drugs, thus "perfecting" these areas of industry, and preventing individual industrial executives from making flawed decisions.

These acts were good in a way, because they prevented poor business practices, and sort of placed a government seal of approval on prepared foods, so consumers knew they were getting quality food.  However, it also gave the government unprecedented powers over these industries, taking away the natural right to make poor choices.

You see, this is the kind of governmental powers the founding fathers, and the first 24 presidents (we won't count Grover Cleveland twice), yearned to prevent.  It was as thought the first 24 presidents studied and remembered how bad it was for people living under the British Monarchy, or just about every government prior to the signing of the U.S. Constitution, and now all of a sudden people just forgot.  Now there were people, many in high positions (including the president) who violated the same Constitutional restraints meant to protect the government from abducting personal liberties.

Not all of what Teddy did for the country was bad. After all, factories needed cleaning up, and consumers dearly needed assurance that the food they were purchasing was safe for consumption.

He also got the government involved in purchasing and preserving natural resources.  As anyone who lives in Manistee, Michigan can surely attest (or at least those how appreciate Manistee's history), lumber barons moved into the Manistee area and cut down all the Great White Pines in the area. This made the barons rich, and made it so Manistee had the third most millionaires per capita in all of Michigan.

The problem was that these lumber barons, along with lumber barons all over the United States, were not planting new trees to replace the ones they were cutting down.  So, once all the Great White Pines were gone, the lumber barons left town or simply went out of business, to a great disadvantage to local economies.

Roosevelt, who was a great outdoorsman, yearned to remedy this problem as part of his Square Deal (Conservation).  In this way, along with jumping on the progressive bandwagon, he also jumped on the conservation and environmental bandwagon.  Since people were too stupid to make the right decisions on their own, he pushed for laws to force them.  The problem was that most of the laws passed weren't enforced.

Roosevelt was also concerned about all the timberland that was being destroyed, and so he urged Congress to set aside 125 million acres of timberland as national reserves.  This was how forests like the Manistee National Forests came to be protected forests, and how many national parks, such as Yellowstone, came to fruition.  He also guaranteed preservation of some water and coal reserves.

Overall, it wasn't what he did that was so bad, it was how he did it, by creating a powerful government.  As the founders, and the previous 24 presidents understood, power breeds corruption.  Many presidents after Roosevelt, and nearly every president after Woodrow Wilson, abused this power for their own personal gain.

Theodore Roosevelt had succeeded in making the executive into a "Bully Pulpit," making himself the first imperial president.  Yet the damage he did to the Constitution was only the beginning. The precedence he set would later help Wilson move this agenda into another stratosphere.