Friday, May 13, 2011

If You Build It, They Will Come: "The Crossings" Homeless Shelter in Charlottesville, VA

The City of Charlottesville, and its ding-dong Mayor Dave Norris, have never met a wasteful “infrastructure” spending project that they did not like. To wit: “The Crossings,” a high-rise homeless shelter, to be built on land that the city council re-zoned, purchased for $1.55 million, and then transferred ownership of, to a shell corporation of a “non-profit” homeless advocacy group. “Virginia Supportive Housing,” the parent of the shell corporation, calls the $1.55 million a “loan” from the city.

According to The Hook, the poor poor pitiful poor homeless people who will infest the shelter will pay 30% of their income, or $50, per month, whichever is greater. The city and the non-profit plan to have half of the 60 units reserved for the homeless, with the remainder to be rented out to suckers willing to shell out $500 each to live in a 360 square foot studio in a soon-to-be tenement.

What will happen to the $1.55 million that the city “loaned” to the non-profit group? Since they don’t make profits, how will the money be generated to repay the loan? What if no one besides the homeless wants to live in a homeless shelter, and no units are rented at full price? Will the city bring in even more homeless people to occupy the building? What will the maintenance of the building cost? If public housing and “section 8” housing are any indication of future results, the shelter will be a big loser, with the taxpayers left holding the bag for the foolishness of government. What else is new?

“It’s about doing things smarter,” says Mayor Dave Norris, who may be borderline retarded.

The impetus of this boondoggle reportedly comes from a 2006 New Yorker article in which a dummy journalist “relates the tale of a lovable-yet-hopeless Reno, Nevada, drunk named Murray Barr. Over a decade, Barr ran up a million-dollar tab in public services including frequent emergency room visits and repeated arrests and incarcerations for public intoxication."  Sounds like a guy I would want living across the hall from my apartment.

"It would probably have been cheaper," the author concludes, "to give him a full-time nurse and his own apartment."

The article in the Hook continues by making the preposterous claim that the shelter will be a net savings for the city and the local indigent hospital, UVA HealthSystem:
Norris says that UVA hospital spends about $11,000 per year on each of the 20 most habitual emergency room users. And Charlottesville planning director Jim Tolbert says there's one Charlottesville man who has been arrested over 700 times.

Yes, what a fantastic idea! Everyone should get free housing, free healthcare, free food, free everything! We would all be so much better off!

Of course, this is a stupid idea. It reminds me of the courtroom scene in The Fountainhead, when Howard Roark is put on trial for blowing up a building he designed, which was to become a low-rent housing project
"The creator’s concern is the conquest of nature. The parasite’s concern is the conquest of men.

The creator lives for his work. He needs no other men. His primary goal is within himself. The parasite lives second-hand. He needs others. Others become his prime motive.

…To a creator, all relations with men are secondary.

The basic need of the second-hander is to secure his ties with men in order to be fed. He places relations first. He declares that man exists in order to serve others. He preaches altruism.

Altruism is the doctrine which demands that man live for others and place others above self.

…Men have been taught every precept that destroys the creator. Men have been taught dependence as a virtue.



…As poles of good and evil, [man] was offered two conceptions: egotism and altruism. Egotism was held to mean the sacrifice of others to self. Altruism – the sacrifice of self to others. This tied men irrevocably to other men and left him nothing but a choice of pain: his own pain borne for the sake of others or pain inflicted upon others for the sake of self. When it was added that man must find joy in self-immolation, the trap was closed. Man was forced to accept masochism as his ideal – under the threat that sadism was his only alternative. This was the greatest fraud ever perpetrated upon mankind.



Degrees of ability vary, but the basic principle remains the same: the degree of a man’s independence, initiative and personal love for his work determines his talent as a worker and his worth as a man. Independence is the only gauge of human virtue and value. What a man is and makes of himself; not what he has or hasn’t done for others. There is no substitute for personal dignity. There is no standard of personal dignity except independence.



Rulers of men are not egotists. They create nothing. They exist entirely through the persons of others. Their goal is in their subjects, in the activity of enslaving. They are as dependent as the beggar, the social worker and the bandit. The form of dependence does not matter.



Now observe the results of a society built on the principle of individualism. This, our country. The noblest country in the history of men. The country of greatest achievement, greatest prosperity, greatest freedom. This country was not based on selfless service, sacrifice, renunciation, or any precept of altruism. It was based on a man’s right to the pursuit of happiness. His own happiness. Not anyone else’s. A private, personal, selfish motive. Look at the results. Look into your own conscience.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Barack Hussein Obama: Pussy or President?

Over at American Thinker, Robert Morrison has written a good piece contrasting President Obama against Winston Churchill, and their respective personal reactions to war and the use of force.  President Obama comes off as a small man concerned with keeping his own hide intact, while the great Sir Winston demonstrated confidence and manly firmness.
...[C]ontrast Churchill's reaction to coming to power in those sternest of days with the president's reaction to his own finest hour. At a time when the whole world should applaud his order for the killing of Osama bin Laden, President Obama spoils the effect of this splendid victory in the war on terror by going on Sixty Minutes and emoting about how nervous he was. "It was the longest 40 minutes of my life," he confessed.
Mr. President, with all due respect, pipe down! Don't spill your guts on national TV. In leading us against the terrorists, it's your job to spill their guts. And, by the way, you should show the photograph of bin Laden...If the reason you sent in the SEALs was to prove to the world we had Al Qaeda's number one killer, the photo confirming all that should have been released at the same time.
...

Rush Limbaugh took issue with the photo you did release. He said it made you look like a little boy in the Situation Room with the big boys. He has a point there.

And then there are the times when President Obama was called upon to throw out the first pitch at a couple of baseball games. Wearing his "mom pants," Obama threw one ball in the dirt, and at another game, he lobbed the ball past the catcher. To say that he throws like a girl gives a disservice to the fairer sex. Although he portrays himself as athletic, the evidence does not bear this out.

President Obama had a golden opportunity to present himself as a strong leader of a strong nation. Instead, he demonstrates his pussy nature. Little more can be expected from someone with a defective personality and severe narcissistic tendencies.

Please understand.  I do not hate President Obama.  Life is too short to be consumed by hate for another human being.  I hate what he has done, and continues to do, to our great nation.  He should never have been elected dog catcher, let alone President.of the United States.  He does not have the temperament necessary for the job, nor does he have the skills of leadership to make himself effective.  Being a community rabble rouser does not qualify one for the highest executive office in the world.  Hell, I have more executive experience than the President did before his inauguration.  He shows little promise of "growing into the job," save to cement his own, and his party's, power in the fashion of Marxism.

Oopsie!  There's that word again.  I should stop using that word.  Maybe I could say "socialist," or "commie," or "red."  How about calling Obama an "Alinskyite?"  It does not matter.  They are all cut from the same cloth.  What is important is to remember the parable of the scorpion and the frog:
One day, a scorpion looked around at the mountain where he lived and decided that he wanted a change. So he set out on a journey through the forests and hills. He climbed over rocks and under vines and kept going until he reached a river.
The river was wide and swift, and the scorpion stopped to reconsider the situation. He couldn't see any way across. So he ran upriver and then checked downriver, all the while thinking that he might have to turn back.

Suddenly, he saw a frog sitting in the rushes by the bank of the stream on the other side of the river. He decided to ask the frog for help getting across the stream.

"Hello Mr. Frog!" called the scorpion across the water, "Would you be so kind as to give me a ride across the river on your back?"

"Well now, Mr. Scorpion! How do I know that if I try to help you, you won't try to kill me?" asked the frog.

"Because," the scorpion replied, "If I try to kill you, then I would die too, for you see I cannot swim!"

Now this seemed to make sense to the frog. But he asked. "What about when I get close to the bank? You could try to kill me and get back to the shore!"

"This is true," agreed the scorpion, "But then I wouldn't be able to get to the other side of the river!"

"All right, then.  How do I know you won't just wait till we get to the other side and kill me there?" said the frog.

"Ah," said the scorpion, "Because, you see, once you've taken me to the other side of this river, I will be so grateful for your help, that it would hardly be fair to reward you with death, now would it?!"

So the frog agreed to take the scorpion across the river. He swam over to the bank and settled himself near the mud to pick up his passenger. The scorpion crawled onto the frog's back, his sharp claws prickling into the frog's soft hide, and the frog slid into the river. The muddy water swirled around them, but the frog stayed near the surface so the scorpion would not drown. He kicked strongly through the first half of the stream, his flippers paddling wildly against the current.

Halfway across the river, the frog suddenly felt a sharp sting in his back and, out of the corner of his eye, saw the scorpion remove his stinger from his own back. A deadening numbness began to creep into his limbs.

"You fool!" croaked the frog, "Now we shall both die! Why on earth did you do that?"

The scorpion shrugged, and danced a little jig on the sinking frog's back.

"I could not help myself. It is my nature."

Then they both drowned in the muddy waters of the swiftly flowing river.

The frog is the producers of this country, who bear the load of others as well as their own. The scorpion is the Statist, the welfare recipient, the looters and moochers who ride on the backs of others, controlling them and eventually killing them because destruction is their nature.

President Obama is a scorpion.

Friday, May 06, 2011

South Carolina Debate and Self-Preservation

Many have said that Herman Cain won last night's debate in South Carolina.  Many critics of any candidate other than Ron Paul have attempted to diminish Herman Cain by calling him "pro Federal Reserve," and insist that Ron Paul's idea to audit the Federal Reserve will be some kind of panacea to our economic malaise.  This is a silly argument, and does not demonstrate much consideration of the facts which led to out poor economic state.

As Mr. Cain has stated, we have bigger problems than the Federal Reserve.  What is to be accomplished by an audit?  Is not spending money, the exclusive authority of the House of Representatives, the real problem?  I am no fan of the Federal Reserve, but if we spend every red cent coming into our government, and then borrow and spend more money, how is the Federal Reserve to blame?

I like Ron Paul's adherence to our Constitution.  But his foreign policy based on his interpretation of our Constitution and the writings of our founders is bizarre.  To say, in effect, that the islamo-fascist terror attacks against us were somehow our fault for being Americans is akin to blaming a woman for her own rape because she dresses provocatively.  Mr. Paul's policy of non-intervention is isolationism, period.  If any use of our military force outside of our borders is unconstitutional, then what is the purpose of our military?  Is not one of the stated purposes of the Constitution "to provide for the common defence"?  In an address to congress, President George Washington said, "Among the many interesting objects which will engage your attention, that of providing for the common defense will merit particular regard.  To be prepared for war is one of the most effectual means of preserving peace."  In a later address, Washington went further:  "There is a rank due to the United States among nations which will be withheld, if not absolutely lost, by the reputation of weakness.  If we desire to avoid insult, we must be able to repel it; if we desire to secure peace, one of the most powerful instruments of our rising prosperity, it must be known that we are at all times ready for war."  Self-preservation, not unlimited war, was the goal of the founders.  This is reflected in Washington's remarks, and the writings and statements of many of his contemporaries.

Ron Paul, and his champions "Mike" and "the Southern Avenger," like to deride and insult conservatives or libertarians who believe in a strong foreign policy by calling them "neoconservatives."  This is a thinly veiled anti-Semitic remark, and it is disgusting.  Because our only ally in the middle east is Israel, they see any intervention by our military in the region as a prop in support of Israel.  But they forget that there are people, and nations, in the world who wish us ill and make efforts to carry those wishes out.  I would recommend the book The Threatening Storm, by Kenneth Pollack, to any reader who thinks that Ron Paul's opposition to the Iraq war "from before the beginning" was an honorable position.

Speaking of honorable, is calling yourself "the Southern Avenger" a good idea?  Really?  Just what are you avenging?  What kind of neo-Confederate neo-secessionist loon would use that title?  Do you have a big stack of Confederate money that your great-great-granddaddy saved, and you hope to cash in?  Or do you think you are better and smarter than the rest of us dumb Yankees?  Maybe you want to bring back to prominence the social club that Nathan Bedford Forrest started?  You are an outlier, sir, the fringe of the fringe.

Monday, May 02, 2011

UBL Dead, Mutual Masturbation Begins in Earnest.

Thanks and praise to our military, in particular our special operators.  They are the best at what they do.

Please do not misunderstand.  UBL's death is a blessing to the civilized world.  But as Harvey Keitel said in Reservoir Dogs, "Let's not start sucking each other's dicks just yet."

UBL was a bad man, but he was only one man.  There are plenty of other islamo-fascist terrorist assholes ready to take his place in the islamo-fascist terrorist asshole power structure, not to mention the hordes willing to aid and abet the perpetration of further atrocities against the Great Satan and the rest of the Western world.

President Obama deserves some credit for giving the green light on the mission.  But the mission was only a continuation of the larger mission begun by his predecessor, which then-State Senator, and later Senator, and even later President Obama actively worked against.  One must ask oneself, if President Bush had authorized this action and had achieved the same result during his time in office, would the reaction by the media be the same?

Dear reader, you know the answer.  Bush would have been called the usual names, accused of the usual "cowboy" attitude, and at least a handful of congress critters would begin impeachment proceedings against him.  He would have been accused of assassination, undeclared warfare, and anything else his opponents could get to stick to the wall.  You know I am right.  This is not sour grapes.  This is logical, critical, rational analysis.

UBL is reaping the whirlwind, and I am pleased.  I hope he was wrapped in a pigskin before he was tossed overboard in his "burial at sea."  But there will be more to fill the void he has left behind.

Friday, April 29, 2011

"...make any Thing but gold and silver Coin a Tender in Payment of Debts..."



From Hemmoreuters, via Yahoo! news: Inflation increases, economy slows. In a related story at Yahoo! finance, here are 9 areas where inflation is affecting consumers the most:

1. Beef
In a revised forecast Monday, the U.S. Department of Agriculture said consumers will see higher price tags on ground beef and steak, projecting 6% to 7% increases year over year. That's up from a previous forecast of just 4.5% to 5.5% inflation for beef prices. Beef prices have surged in the last several months as supplies shrink, exports boom and grain costs soar.

2. Pork
Don't think you can just switch from cow to pig to avoid this trend — pork could see retail price increases of as much as 7.5% over 2010 levels according to the USDA.

3. Grains
Even going vegetarian is more expensive than it was a year ago. Corn prices have doubled, from $3.49 a bushel in July to well over $7.70 currently. Wheat prices have rolled back a bit in recent weeks, but topped 2008 highs in February to set a new record and remain very high currently.

4. Gasoline
The average U.S. price of a gallon of gasoline has jumped about 12 cents over the last two weeks to $3.88, with the highest average price for gas tallying $4.27 in Tucson, Ariz. This is with oil at $112 a barrel — if crude prices reach 2008 peak levels of $145, four bucks for gas may seem cheap.

5. Copper
The price of copper at the end of 2008 was just $1.30 per pound. Currently, copper is trading around $4.30 after setting a record of $4.60 in February. Unlike gold and silver, which are largely used in luxury goods or as investments, copper is used in a wide range of household items — from electrical wiring to air conditioners to water pipes.

6. Diapers
Consumer-products company Procter & Gamble PG (NYSE: PG - News) said this week that list prices for Pampers are up 7% on average over last year, with even Pampers wipes up 3%. To be clear, that's not a retail price hike, just a cost increase to stores. Retailers will decide how much of those price increases to pass along to shoppers. Kimberly-Clark KMB (NYSE: KMB - News), maker of Huggies, said Monday it plans to raise prices for similar reasons — rising costs for the petroleum products and paper pulp that go into the diapers. It will be the third such announcement for Kimberly-Clark since the middle of March.

7. Paper towels and toilet paper
If you don't have infants, you're not off the hook. P&G also said that Charmin toilet paper and Bounty paper towels are both listing for 5% more now with retailers and distributors than they were a year ago. KMB's diaper price update will also be accompanied by a boost for its flagship Kleenex tissues.

8. Shipping surcharges
Freight shipper United Parcel Service UPS (NYSE: UPS - News) will be hiking its fuel surcharges from 7.5% to 8.5% as of May 2 for ground freight and from 13% to 15% for air freight. That really hurts small businesses. If you are a storekeeper simply trying to keep your shelves stocked, you have no choice but to pay more and endure smaller margins — or hike prices yourself and add to this inflationary mess.

9. Wages
Perhaps the most insidious factor of our current inflationary spiral is the fact that while all these other items are costing more, household purchasing power is shrinking because wages and salaries aren't keeping up. While the consumer price index rose 2.7% in March to clock the fastest 12-month pace since December 2009, a staggering 18.3% of personal income is now made up of food stamps while wages account for just 50.5%. That's the lowest since the government started keeping records in 1929.
In addition to copper, all metals, especially gold and silver, are at or near record high prices. Our government has already debased our paper money, and all of the metal value in our coins except one: the nickel. Since 1866, the nickel has been made from a nickel and copper alloy, at 75% and 25% respectively. That means the melt value of the nickel today is around $o.o72, 40% or so above face value. Compare this to the Sacagawea "dollar," made of god-knows-what metal, which has a melt value of $0.073, or only 7.3% of face value. How long will the nickel continue to be minted in this state? With the production and shipping cost of each nickel at almost ten cents each, my guess is not long at all.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Beer Geek

Despite its title, this is not a "Beer Blog."




Octuple IPA at 15% Alcohol and 700 IBUs!  What would a stonger version be like?
And what the hell is a quintuple double trouble BFK mother fucker lickin plucker trecha boochie boochie bingo bongo mambo ricky ricardo vaillarto petite brand holy freaking potato juice single lane butt plug belgian sour with a triple axel and a splash of lime?

Can We Try This in the United States Congress?




Mark Levin played the following clip last night, from about two years ago. Imagine, if you will, sometime in the near future, the Republican nominee using these words to confront Dear Leader Chairman Maobama. Is there any question who would win? Any doubt at all that Mr. Obama would be handed his hat, and his ass as well?

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Silver and Gold

The price of gold will likely close above $1500 today. It has been breaking record highs every couple of days recently. Silver is almost $46 an ounce right now, just a few dollars short of its all-time high from 1980, when the Hunt brothers tried to corner the market.



What does this say about our fiat currency Federal Reserve Notes? They are federal notes, all right. But there is no "reserve" except for more federal notes. Increasing the number of "dollars" in circulation serves only to dilute the value of existing dollars, the very definition of inflation.

I am encouraged by the potential minting of State coins in gold and silver, especially in the Commonwealth of Virginia. Dear reader, before you say "Your stupid," consider Article I, section 10 of the U.S. Constitution. It reads, in part, "No State shall...make any Thing but gold and silver Coin a Tender in Payment of Debts..."

Paper money is a joke without gold or silver to back it up. History is littered with examples of the failure of fiat currency.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Free to Choose

Why is it a big deal to cut a few billion dollars when debt and deficit are in the trillions? Why is a government shutdown (in name only) a horrible tragedy? Why do the Republican leaders complain that they only control 1/2 of 1/3 of the government, when they are 100% in control of spending? Why does the Republican leadership pound its chest about fiscal responsibility, and then go along playing the same Washington games? How did a wuss crybaby like Boehner ever become Speaker of the House? Why does the President, making a bizarre live break-in to the 11 p.m. news, not address the nation from the Oval Office? The only way to end junky behavior, if the junky will not do it himself, is to cut him off from his junk. Our federal government needs an intervention. And that is what the Tea Party has been, regardless of the claims of the freakish left. The Tea Party wants to end the exponential growth of debt and deficit, and the inevitable taxes and government intrusion that will follow hard upon. It is not too late to put on the brakes. In their great book Free to Choose, Milton and Rose Friedman propose that a Constitutional Amendment is the best way to limit government and its spending. Here is the text of their amendment (any transcription errors are mine):
January 30, 1979 Washington, D.C.

A PROPOSED CONSTITUTIONAL AMENDMENT TO LIMIT FEDERAL SPENDING Prepared by the Federal Amendment Drafting Committee W. C. Stubblebine, Chairman Convened by The National Tax Limitation Committee Wm. F Rickenbacker, Chairman; Lewis K. Uhler, President


Section 1. To protect the people against excessive governmental burdens and to promote sound fiscal and monetary policies, total outlays of the Government of the United States shall be limited.


(a) Total outlays in any fiscal year shall not increase by a percentage greater than the percentage increase in nominal gross national product in the last calendar year ending prior to the beginning of said fiscal year. Total outlays shall include budget and off-budget outlays, and include redemptions of the public debt and emergency outlays.


(b) If inflation for the last calendar year ending prior to the beginning of any fiscal year is more than three per cent, the permissible percentage increase in total outlays for that fiscal year shall be reduced by one-fourth of the excess of inflation over three per cent. Inflation shall be measured by the difference between the percentage increase in nominal gross national product and the percentage increase in real gross national product.


Section 2. When, for any fiscal year, total revenues received by the Government of the United States exceed total outlays, the surplus shall be used to reduce the public debt of the United States until such debt is eliminated.


Section 3. Following declaration of an emergency by the President, Congress may authorize, by a two-thirds vote of both houses, a specified amount of emergency outlays in excess of the limit for the current fiscal year.


Section 4. The limit on total outlays may be changed by a specified amount by a three-fourths vote of both Houses of Congress when approved by the Legislatures of a majority of the several States. The change shall become effective for the fiscal year following approval.


Section 5. For each of the first six fiscal years after the ratification of this article, total grants to States and local governments shall not be a smaller fraction of total outlays than in the three fiscal years prior to the ratification of this article. Thereafter, if grants are less than that fraction of total outlays, the limit on total outlays shall be decreased by an equivalent amount.


Section 6. The Government of the United States shall not require, directly or indirectly, that States or local governments engage in additional or expanded activities without compensation equal to the necessary additional costs.


Section 7. This article may be enforced by one or more members of the Congress in an action brought in the United States District Court for the District of Columbia, and by no other persons. The action shall name as defendant the Treasurer of the United States, who shall have authority over outlays by any unit or agency of the Government of the United States when required by a court order enforcing the provisions of this article. The order of the court shall not specify the particular outlays to be made or reduced. Changes in outlays necessary to comply with the order of the court shall be made no later than the end of the third full fiscal year following the court order.


Here are some others from their book:
Congress shall make no laws abridging the freedom of sellers of goods or labor to price their products or services
Bye bye, minimum wage laws. Labor unions would have a fit over that one.
No State shall make or impose any law which shall abridge the right of any citizen of the United States to follow any occupation or profession of his choice.
Or simply,
The right of the people to buy and sell legitimate goods and services at mutually acceptable terms shall not be infringed by Congress or any of the States.

Thursday, April 07, 2011

Herman Cain for President

From '93, smacking down Bill Clinton on the issue of nationalizing health care:



And more recently, channeling Paul Atreidies:

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Happy 100th Birthday


To the M1911, still the finest sidearm design ever.


I have many fond memories of the M1911, or in my case the M1911A1 with the curved mainspring housing and milled frame at the trigger. I prefer the straight mainspring housing because it fits my hand better than the curved, but I digress. Enlisted personnel are not typically issued sidearms, unless they are machine gunners (which I was, with the awesome M60) or assistant gunners, or in other situations where a rifle would be impractical. I was also on my battalion's pistol team, which I volunteered for to get range time.


The M1911 is probably the world's safest handgun. In order for it to fire, the chamber must be loaded, the frame safety must be in the downward position, the hammer must be cocked, the grip safety must be depressed, and the trigger must be pulled.


What is remarkable about the M1911 is that Browning designed it for cavalry troops ("Horses! What the f____ were you thinking?") Yes, horses. The design is so superior to any other handgun design that the FBI's Hostage Rescue Team currently uses it, as do many of the elite military units of the U.S. and the rest of the world. It has gone from the trenches of WWI, the beaches of Normandy and Iwo Jima, the frozen Chosin, to the VC tunnels in Viet Nam. By 1985, it was being replaced by the inferior M9, also known as the Beretta 92. Ask yourself: In a rock-throwing contest, would you rather have a whole bunch of little rocks to throw all over the place, or would you rather have a few big rocks that you can throw reliably and accurately? The Army made a bad choice.


There are many manufacturers of M1911s, and some are made better than others. Kimber would be at the top of my list, but I would take my sloppy and poorly matched M1911 the Army issued me any day. I put many a round downrange with that pistol, and it never failed once.


In other words, I love the 1911.

Random Thoughts on Mr. Thompson's Speech

What about Sudan? What about Ivory Coast? What about Cuba, for that matter? China? What about every other third-world excrement pit where the women (and more than a few men and children) are raped, or hacked to death with machetes? Are we now to be wholly subservient to the U.N., NATO, or some extra-Constitutional body or foreign government? What exactly is our foreign policy? Why did we not act even sooner if our policy at the time was that Qaddafi "must go"? Why did we not use targeted strikes to eliminate Qaddafi and his lieutenants? Why did Congress end the Viet Nam war by de-funding military operations instead of using the freshly minted War Powers Act, which they passed over Nixon's veto? (N.B.- the U.N. resolution number regarding the Lybia situation is 1973.) Why are the House Republicans not doing the same thing now? Why did the President's speech last so long? Why was he not speaking from the Oval Office?


I have my own answers for these questions. You, dear reader, may have your own as well. Some questions are easier to answer than others. But the only answers which follow a consistent, honest, and rational line of thought are those that reveal the President's desire to abandon the Constitution, fundamentally transform the United States, and reduce our prominence and importance in the world. This is his vision of our foreign policy for the bright shining future.


President Obama is a Marxist. His administration is Marxist. The politicians and media who support him are Marxist. Do you not believe this is true? The Communist Manifesto, wholly uninteresting to a sound mind, contains a section known as the "ten pillars of communism" See if you can't find the President, his administration, and his followers in these statements:

1. Abolition of property in land and application of all rents of land to public purposes.


2. A heavy progressive or graduated income tax.


3. Abolition of all rights of inheritance.


4. Confiscation of the property of all emigrants and rebels.


5. Centralization of credit in the banks of the state, by means of a national bank with state capital and an exclusive monopoly.


6. Centralization of the means of communication and transport in the hands of the state.


7. Extension of factories and instruments of production owned by the state; the bringing into cultivation of waste lands, and the improvement of the soil generally in accordance with a common plan.


8. Equal obligation of all to work. Establishment of industrial armies, especially for agriculture.


9. Combination of agriculture with manufacturing industries; gradual abolition of all the distinction between town and country by a more equable distribution of the populace over the country.


10. Free education for all children in public schools. Abolition of children's factory labor in its present form. Combination of education with industrial production, etc. etc.

Extra Credit:

1. Which ObamAdiministration official offered Chairman Mao as a favorite political philosopher?


2. Which ObamAdministration official self-identified as a "communist revolutionary?"


3. Which ObamAdministration official praised Britain's failed National Health?


4. What was the Kelo decision?


5. How many tax brackets do we have in the IRS code, and how are they structured?


6. What is the percentage of tax on estates in the U.S.?


7. How do we stop jobs from being "shipped overseas"?


8. What is the Federal Reserve? FHA? HUD? Fannie Mae? Freddie Mac?


9. What function is served by the FCC? What is Amtrak?


10. How many farmers work at the Department of Agriculture? Which automobile manufacturer is owned by the federal government? What is General Electric?


11. Who is the president of the AFL/CIO?


12. What are BioFuels?


13. True or False: Education would cease if the federal Department of Education was eliminated.

Extra Extra Credit:
Explain, in 500 words or less, why "spreading the wealth around" is better for everyone. Use evidence to support your arguments.
Good luck. This should be easy if you are intellectually honest.

Friday, March 25, 2011

The GOP, 2012, and Homeschooling

I look forward to education becoming an issue with clear lines of division and distinction in the 2012 races.

Based on my college experience in education school (yes, I have a B.A.), I have long been of the opinion that public schools are little more than government indoctrination centers, where education takes a back seat to loose social morality and multicultural awareness. During my student teaching, I encountered social promotion of a 10th grader who had not yet learned how to read. The child clearly was not mentally retarded, and was like the other students in every way. It was believed his presence in the school was better for everyone than if he chose to drop out. Then there was the condom giveaways in "health" class, "Fall Harvest" instead of Thanksgiving, and "Kwaanza," a holiday invented by malcontents in the 1960's, instead of Christmas, or even "Holidays." Ritalin was widely prescribed to many children. All of this on top of tenure for shitty teachers. I was disgusted by the whole experience, and I vowed never to become a public school teacher. I also vowed to homeschool my children.

I am encouraged by the following article, presented in it entirety below. NB- While I understand religious reasons for homeschooling, religion is not a consideration in our choice to homeschool. That said, it is a mistake to assume homeschoolers are religious kooks. Or political kooks. We care about our children as individuals, and we place a high value on their individual minds.

From Yahoo:
By Kay Henderson Kay Henderson – Thu Mar 24, 3:35 pm ET
DES MOINES, Iowa (Reuters) – Three potential 2012 Republican presidential candidates expressed hostility toward the public school system at a home schooling rally on Wednesday in the early presidential caucus state of Iowa.

Texas Congressman Ron Paul told the crowd government wants "absolute control" of the "indoctrination" of children. Paul spoke along with Minnesota Congresswoman Michele Bachmann and Georgia businessman Herman Cain.

"The public school system now is a propaganda machine," Paul said, prompting applause from the crowd of hundreds of home schooling families. "They start with our kids even in kindergarten, teaching them about family values, sexual education, gun rights, environmentalism - and they condition them to believe in so much which is totally un-American."

Bachmann said home schooling is the "essence" of freedom and liberty. "It's about knowing our children better than the state knows our children," she said.

Bachmann, who home-schooled her five biological children, lamented that she and her husband had been unable to teach the 23 foster children who have lived in their home because Minnesota authorities said foster children could not be home-schooled.

"It is not up to a bureaucrat to decide what is best for your children," Bachmann said, drawing cheers from the crowd. "I am so tired of the establishment telling us that they know best. We know best."

Cain, former chief executive of Godfather's Pizza and another prospective Republican candidate, denounced government involvement in education at all levels.

"That's all we want is for government to get out of the way so we can educate ourselves and our children the old-fashioned way," Cain said.

Justin LaVan of the Network of Iowa Christian Home Educators said it was encouraging to see potential presidential candidates talking about the home-schooling movement.

"More importantly, talking about our Creator - our rights that came from our Creator, acknowledging that and giving him the glory, folks," said LaVan, who served as master of ceremonies at the rally.

(Editing by Mary Wisniewski and Greg McCune)

Note: I wonder if in the above quote, Ron Paul actually said "gay rights" intead of "gun rights." Hmmm.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

DRT

A woman in Florida used her pink pistol to shoot and kill an intruder.

It is now possible that she will be facing charges for using excessive force because she fired more than one round. Florida has castle doctrine, so we shall see.

What is the minimum number of rounds needed to (probably) guarantee elimination of threat? 3: Two in the chest, one in the head. That said, the number of rounds fired is irrelevant as long as there is a perceived threat. Is not your life, and the lives of your loved ones, more important than any criminal intruder intending to harm you? I say it is. Give him the only destruction he has a right to seek: his own.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Hell No, We Won't Go...er...yeah...oops...Kill Them Until They are Dead!

Here's President Obama, who was against the war from before the start of the beginning of the beginning of the start of the war:



And here's Vice President Biden:



And here is Biden voting for the $87 billion before he voted against it:



The recent attacks on Lybia show the hypocrisy enmeshed in the Statist left like cancer.

This is too rich. Nader is screaming "IMPEACH! WAR CRIMES! IMPEACH! IMPEACH!" Kucinich, formerly my congressman, is citing the U.S. Constitution on the issue, and he is correct! And Obama himself has said the President does not have the authority to do what he himself is doing!

I am of the opinion that there are more men that need killin' than there are horses that need stealin'. In other words, I am not a pansy about destroying the enemy. I supported the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, bungled as they were and continue to be today. Both wars were initiated on the belief that the United States was under an imminent threat based on what was thought to be credible intelligence about the threat. Perhaps President Bush lacked a formal "Declaration of War." At least he had the approval of Congress and UN resolution 1441.

Where is the threat today? To be sure, Quadaffi is a thug (Pan Am, Berlin disco, not to mention his internal activities), but is there actionable intel? Is the Colonel planning something the rest of us do not know about? No. All we know is that a so-called democracy movement has taken hold, and it has turned into an armed rebellion. We should stay out of civil wars, or so I seem to remember someone saying recently.

Is Chairman Maobama going to give back his Nobel Peace Prize? NB- President Obama was given the Peace Prize based on what the Nobel committee felt what he could do, not what they thought he would do.

President Obama has become everything the left hated about President Bush. And they have no option but to vote for his reelection in 2012.

Heh.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Robert Hurt, D-VA(5), a.k.a. Douchey McBag, Votes to Fund ObamaCare


Mr. McBag voted with the feckless Republican majority to fund ObamaCare as part of the CR, the official name being H J Res 48. This included funding for ObamaCare, the unconstitutional health care law that the new Republican majority voted overwhelmingly to repeal.

Funding for ObamaCare is hidden in the ObamaCare law, and bypasses normal appropriations procedures. The house had the opportunity to begin killing the law. The "rules" argument against de-funding through the CR was excrement, to wit: From Ernest Istook's recent testimony, as quoted in the Washington times:

To de-fund Obamacare, it is insufficient simply to deny future funding. Until the full law can be repealed, at least the existing and advance appropriations need to be rescinded, just as the House last month voted to repeal billions of dollars from previous appropriations to 123 federal programs. An effort to restrict use of the funds appropriated within Obamacare was thwarted because the House did not waive the same point of order (House Rule XXI) as it waived to allow de-funding those 123 other programs. This was most unfortunate.


Mr. McBag would have done well to go against the House leadership, but he is now showing his RINO stripes. He voted for Boehner, a 20+ year veteran of big government republican party politics, to be Speaker. Real leadership was shown by Reps. Bachmann and King, not Boehner and Cantor. The Republican leadership in the House and their lackeys, are, for a lack of a better term, a bunch of gutless turds. They are not part of the Tea Party movement, but they reaped the benefits of the Tea Party voters that swept them into power.

Why would someone vote to repeal a law, and then vote to continue funding for that law? Why would someone run a campaign on a platform of fiscal responsibility, and then act in a fiscally irresponsible manner?


Bye-bye, Mr. Douchey McBag. May you follow in the footsteps of your predecessor, and become the second one-term congressman from Virginia since the 1800s. May you be primaried, and defeated. I will do my best to see that it is so.

Wednesday, March 09, 2011

Mike Stark is Either a Bourgeois Socialist, or a Useful Idiot.

I have written about this fool before. He is obsesssed with Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity, and likes to think he helped get Jim Melonhead Webb elected to the Senate over George Allen. I do not listen to Rush and Sean, but I know millions do every day. I have only heard him once on the program I listen to, the Wilkow Majority (sidebar). His argument was smashed into little pieces by the host, and he hung up crying like a little girl.

How many people read Mikey's blog, or care about what he has to say, or even know he exists? He and his blog probably have about five or six more readers than me. Which isn't saying much.

So Mikey, if you are reading this, did you study con law at UVA? I'm sure you did. Were your lectures devoted to case precedent, or the actual Constitution? Have you actually sat down and read the Constitution, Mikey? Have you read it for what it does say, or what you want it to say, or what your bearded Marxist professor told you it says?

Do you moderate the comments on your blog to exclude those that challenge, and defeat soundly, your assertions? Do you only allow those comments which stroke your ego and lick your boots?

When did you stop beating your wife? When did you stop doing drugs? Oops. Those are your questions.

Tell me truly, Mike Stark. Are you a Bourgeois Socialist, or a Useful Idiot?

Intruder Alert

CNN reports that an intruder called 911 because he was afraid the homeowner may have a gun.

Heh.

Friday, March 04, 2011

Bertram Scudder



Why is it so easy to pick apart a Nobel Economics Prize winning "journalist" like Paul Krugman? In his latest piece, "How to Kill a Recovery," Mr. Krugman's first mistake is to assume that there is an economic recovery in the first place. The timing of the article is suspicious as well, following hard upon the news of a "reduced" unemployment rate. Here's the meat, if you will, of Krugman's stupid article:
So we’ve gone through years of high unemployment and inadequate growth. Despite the pain, however, American families have gradually improved their financial position. And in the past few months there have been signs of an emerging virtuous circle. As families have repaired their finances, they have increased their spending; as consumer demand has started to revive, businesses have become more willing to invest; and all this has led to an expanding economy, which further improves families’ financial situation.

But it’s still a fragile process, especially given the effects of rising oil and food prices. These price rises have little to do with U.S. policy; they’re mainly because of growing demand from China and other emerging markets, on one side, and disruption of supply from political turmoil and terrible weather on the other. But they’re a hit to purchasing power at an especially awkward time. And things will be much worse if the Federal Reserve and other central banks mistakenly respond to higher headline inflation by raising interest rates.

The clear and present danger to recovery, however, comes from politics — specifically, the demand from House Republicans that the government immediately slash spending on infant nutrition, disease control, clean water and more. Quite aside from their negative long-run consequences, these cuts would lead, directly and indirectly, to the elimination of hundreds of thousands of jobs — and this could short-circuit the virtuous circle of rising incomes and improving finances. [emphasis mine]

Spending is up because things are more expensive. Things are more expensive as a result of our destructive policies, such as an increase in the minimum wage, higher energy prices, biofuels, more regulation of industry, more regulation on small businesses, an uncertain tax future, corporate and individual welfare, not to mention the effects of ObamaCare implementation.

This administration is thumbing its nose at the Constitution and the rule of law, to wit: Non-enforcement of DOMA, and the rejection of Judge Vinson's ruling that ObamaCare is unconstitutional. Lawlessness begets lawlessness.

Speaking of unconstitutional, spending, as the President famously said, "one dime" on things such as "infant nutrition, disease control, clean water and more" is wholly unconstitutional. I refer the reader to Article I, Section 8 of the U.S. Constitution. There is a reason why Congress's powers are limited, as we are now witnessing.

Yes, Mr. Krugman, those cuts would lead to the elimination of hundreds of thousands of jobs. Government jobs, that is. And that would be a good thing. Think about what you do during the day, and see if there is anything into which federal government does not exert its influence. You cannot even flush your toilet without them saying how much water you can use.

Wednesday, March 02, 2011

Random Economic Thoughts



Our national debt continues to skyrocket. If you are feeling at all suicidal, don't click on the link. I will not be responsible for your death.

Banks are using bailout money to buy T-bills.

The commercial real estate market is near collapse.

The fake phony fraud Deceptecons voted yesterday to make cuts of a few billion dollars, then they had the balls to publicly pat themselves on the back about it. All but a handful of Republicans voted for this fraud. If the spending is not cut by about $750,000,000,000 in the next few weeks, we will have to raise the debt limit yet again.

In an unrelated story, gold closed at an all-time record high of over $1430 an ounce; silver closed at almost $35 an ounce.


I remember well overhearing some friends discussing gold and silver. My friends were amused by their parents' gold and silver buying, which at the time was at $800 and $10 an ounce, respectively. As is often said, who is laughing now?

Tuesday, March 01, 2011

Useful Idiots, the Statist Agenda, and the Defense of Liberty

For those who found my most recent post offensive, I apologize for not making my point clearly enough.

Most Americans have had enough of the ever-increasing domination of their lives by tyrannical authoritarian government. The Statist's answer to problems created by government is: more government. The answer to failed systems is: more systems. The answer to failed bureaucracies is: more bureaucracies. The answer to failed regulations is: more regulations. The answer to failed pubic education is: more spending on public education. This is the root and stalk of the Tea Party protests.

Who gets a free pension in this world? Public sector union employees. The government cannot staple two pieces of paper together without taking the fruit of someone's labor to pay for it - the labor of a person working in the private sector who has a freeloader riding on their back. Labor unions represent less than 10% of the private sector, but more than 50% of the public, or government, sector. Untaxed money is confiscated from the union membership as "dues" and given to candidates who are friendly to the unions, 90% of which are Democrats. This is illegal according to the IRS rules, and yet it is done every day by these criminal front groups. In the case of the Wisconsin teacher's union, an NEA affiliate, the health insurance given to the teachers comes from a subsidiary corporation of the Wisconsin teacher's union. The Democrat party, labor unions, and the federal government have a simbiotic relationship as locusts which devour private property, liberty and the civil society.

Taken to its logical end, the Statist's agenda will result in a police state similar to the Soviet Union. I would recommend that anyone who believes labor unions, "free" pensions, "free" health care, "free" whatever, read We the Living by Ayn Rand.

In case you think that the "get a little bloody" comments were an isolated incident, I submit for your consideration this, this, this:



this:



and this:



This last one is funny, in a way. Leave it to one of these fools to threaten sodomy on someone, then call them a "faggot."

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Time to Get a Little Bloody

via Mark Levin via the Right Scoop



Congressman Michael Capuano, D-MA, is using violent rhetoric and HateSpeech to instruct his union thug supporters to "get out in the streets and get a little bloody." This is the left's agenda laid bare:




We're for the ballot until we have power. Then we're for the guns. Right, Mike? It's OK for us to use violence to achieve our goals because we're better than the other guys. Right, Mikey?

Let's suppose for a minute or two that the thug left wants to settle the score Bill-the-Butcher style. You bring what you have in your houses, and we bring what we have in our houses. Who will win, Mikey? Wanna get into a street fight, Mikey? Or as the President famously said, are you gonna bring a knife to a gun fight? Want some? Come get some.

You people on the left make me sick. You either believe in this horrible crap, thinking you are somehow going to be "on the inside" of power or privilege, or you are the useful idiots of thugs like Mikey Capuano, Rahm Emmanuel, and President Obama. There is no excuse for this garbage.

Capuano later said that he regretted his choice of words. He said nothing of the sentiment behind them.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

We Wants It

Wesley Mouch



AKA Barneys Frank piles curses and damnation on the heads of House Republicans for cutting the budget for Wall Street regulators:
Rep. Barney Frank (D-Mass.) and other Democrats lodged the complaints during a committee hearing intended to explore the impact of new derivatives rules enacted by the Dodd-Frank financial reform law.

Frank and other Democrats said the proposed cuts would hurt financial watchdogs like the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC).

"We are about to debate the budget from my Republican colleagues that will provide such inadequate funding for the SEC and the CFTC as to make all this academic," said Frank, the ranking minority member of the panel. "Agencies that are not well-funded are not going to do a good job."

The debate came as the House was preparing to consider a spending bill that would cut $61 billion in government spending, including cuts to both agencies.

Frank added that he planned to introduce an amendment on the House floor boosting the SEC's budget. His amendment would free up $131 million more for the SEC by pulling funds from various other sources, including the Internal Revenue Service.

"Cutting them even more...will make it impossible for them to implement Dodd-Frank and be responsible regulators," warned Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-N.Y.).

The highlighted text above is the key. De-fund, de-fund, de-fund. Then de-fund some more.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Atlas Shrugged, Part I - The Movie

Hume and Little "r" Republicanism

Our federal government is a Hobbesian Leviathan, gobbling up power and amalgamating all things into itself. Think of the Trapper Keeper episode of South Park: everything in its path is consumed, and its size is ever-increasing.

Donald W. Livingston, writing at Anamnesis Journal, says Hume's thoughts on human scale and republican tradition need to be examined if Leviathan, and political absolutism, is to be defeated. Here is a sampling from the article:
One instrument of exploitation that especially worried Hume was the invention of public credit or the policy of mortgaging future revenues. This device had a number of pernicious effects. First, “national debts cause a mighty confluence of people and riches to the capital, by the great sums, levied in the provinces to pay the interest” and “by the advantages in trade ... which they give the merchants in the capital above the rest of the kingdom.” Second, a state with mortgaged revenues would have to create new ones; these would fall on consumption leading to “vexation and ruin of the poor.” They would next fall on the proprietors of land, making life more difficult for their tenants. Third, with the collapse of the landed gentry and nobility, a traditional order rooted in land and place would collapse in favor of rule by a new rootless class of stockjobbers and paper money men. “These men,” Hume writes, having “no connections with the state...can enjoy their revenue in any part of the globe in which they chuse to reside, who will naturally bury themselves in the capital or great cities, and who will sink into the lethargy of a stupid and pampered luxury, without spirit, ambition, or enjoyment. Adieu to all ideas of nobility, gentry, and family.” Hume’s criticism of public credit mirrors exactly Jefferson’s criticism of the public debt system proposed by Alexander Hamilton... [A] pure Hobbesian state would emerge with a centralized authority ruling directly over an aggregate of millions of individuals. In this condition, “every man in authority derives his influence from the commission alone of the sovereign.” And “the whole income of every individual in the state must lie entirely at the mercy of the sovereign.” Hume thinks this form of despotism intimated in eighteenth century centralized states, if realized, would be “a degree of despotism, which no oriental monarchy has ever yet attained.” What Hume considered despotism is viewed as normal today. A European monarch in Hume’s day could not order military conscription nor impose an income tax, which would have been viewed as a form of forced labor.

...

Even if we reject Rousseau’s demand for direct political participation as extravagant, entertaining a larger sphere for republican life, as Hume did, the ratio of population to representation should still be measured by the human scale if it is to be called republican....consider the United States, which styles itself a republic. There are only 435 representatives in the House of Representatives, ruling over some 309 million people. This yields a ratio of around one representative for every seven hundred ten thousand people. A regime with this ratio cannot be considered a republic, not even a large Humean republic. What is true of the out-of-scale ratio of representatives to people in Britain and the United States is true of most large regimes in the world that style themselves republics. But if they are not in any meaningful sense republics, what are they? An answer was suggested by Tocqueville, who viewed the emerging European “republics” as in reality extensions of absolute monarchy. The French Revolution produced the first modern large scale republic ruling in the name of the people and declaring itself, in Hobbesian fashion, to be “one and indivisible.” The Revolution pretended to effect a total change of French political society, and was thought by many to have done so. Tocqueville, however, argued that the Revolution had fundamentally changed nothing.10 What he meant by this counter-intuitive claim was this. What was wrong with monarchy was not a hereditary executive, but the creation of a centralized bureaucratic administration with a would-be monopoly on coercion over individuals in a territory. The Revolution did not devolve power back to smaller, human scale units in France, but greatly expanded central power beyond anything eighteenth century monarchs could have imagined.

...

[I]n large modern republics, the people are said to be sovereign, but their participation too is largely ceremonial and consists typically of choosing periodically between two candidates selected by national political parties of vast scale over which there is little popular control. Hobbes was the first to clearly understand the character of a modern European state. He theorized it as an artificial corporation, what he called an “artificial man.” Government as a public corporation differs from a business corporation in that it possesses a monopoly on coercion in a territory. Its subjects are compelled to buy shares in the corporation through taxes, but cannot trade them, i.e., they cannot secede from the corporation.

...

[Hume believed that] the source of degeneracy in republics is the inevitable tendency to abuse public credit...[The effect of this abuse is the] hollowing out the economy of the provinces and, consequently, driving people as well as financial and political power to the center, where a few hundred people—through finance capitalism structured on public debt—would determine the economic prospects of millions.

...

The Hobbesian state was said to be one and indivisible, so downsizing it through secession was...ruled out a priori. But that is no longer believable, given the relatively peaceful dissolution of the Soviet Union and other modern states thought to be “indivisible”...Theoretically and practically, there is no reason why more small states, even on the scale of the Aristotelean polis, cannot exist today. Indeed, technological innovations and global trade make small states more feasible than in the past. And even large states such as Britain, France, and the United States could be reformed, with an eye to a human scale ratio of representation to population, by reconstituting a “national” legislature into the joint voice of several regional or provincial legislatures in accord with Hume’s model of an extensive republic.

The massive ObamaBudget is all the evidence one needs. Our bloated federal government will not stop, and will consume anything and everything in its path. The abuse of power by this administration and its imposition of debt is stunning. Yes, previous administrations abused power and increased the national debt. That is not part of the current debate. President Obama, his minions, and his useful idiots do not care one damn bit about you, the individual. Power is what they want. Just like the Terminator, they do not feel remorse, fear, or pain. And they absolutely will not stop - ever - until you are dead.

What should be done? To paraphrase Hicks from the movie Aliens, "I say we take off, and nuke the site - politically - from orbit. It's the only way to be sure."

Monday, February 14, 2011

Post-Constitution America, Day 14

Where is the appeal from the Obama administration? And why are the Attorneys General of the several States suing the federal government not pushing their advantage? ObamaCare is unconstitutional, yet the administration is silently implementing its plans.

Here is the relevant portion from Judge Vinson's opinion, and his conclusion:


(5) Injunction
The last issue to be resolved is the plaintiffs’ request for injunctive relief
enjoining implementation of the Act, which can be disposed of very quickly.
Injunctive relief is an “extraordinary” [Weinberger v. Romero-Barcelo, 456
U.S. 305, 312, 102 S. Ct. 1798, 72 L. Ed. 2d 91 (1982)], and “drastic” remedy
[Aaron v. S.E.C., 446 U.S. 680, 703, 100 S. Ct. 1945, 64 L. Ed. 2d 611 (1980)
(Burger, J., concurring)]. It is even more so when the party to be enjoined is the
federal government, for there is a long-standing presumption “that officials of the
Executive Branch will adhere to the law as declared by the court. As a result, the
declaratory judgment is the functional equivalent of an injunction.” See Comm. on
Judiciary of U.S. House of Representatives v. Miers, 542 F.3d 909, 911 (D.C. Cir.
2008); accord Sanchez-Espinoza v. Reagan, 770 F.2d 202, 208 n.8 (D.C. Cir.
1985) (“declaratory judgment is, in a context such as this where federal officers
are defendants, the practical equivalent of specific relief such as an injunction . . .
since it must be presumed that federal officers will adhere to the law as declared
by the court”) (Scalia, J.) (emphasis added).
There is no reason to conclude that this presumption should not apply here.
Thus, the award of declaratory relief is adequate and separate injunctive relief is
not necessary.

CONCLUSION
The existing problems in our national health care system are recognized by
everyone in this case. There is widespread sentiment for positive improvements
that will reduce costs, improve the quality of care, and expand availability in a way
that the nation can afford. This is obviously a very difficult task. Regardless of how
laudable its attempts may have been to accomplish these goals in passing the Act,
Congress must operate within the bounds established by the Constitution. Again,
this case is not about whether the Act is wise or unwise legislation. It is about the
Constitutional role of the federal government.


For the reasons stated, I must reluctantly conclude that Congress exceeded
the bounds of its authority in passing the Act with the individual mandate. That is
not to say, of course, that Congress is without power to address the problems and
inequities in our health care system. The health care market is more than one sixth
of the national economy, and without doubt Congress has the power to reform and
regulate this market. That has not been disputed in this case. The principal dispute
has been about how Congress chose to exercise that power here.*(* On this point, it should be emphasized that while the individual mandate was clearly “necessary and essential” to the Act as drafted, it is not “necessary and essential” to health care reform in general. It is undisputed that there are various other (Constitutional) ways to accomplish what Congress wanted to do. Indeed, I note that in 2008, then-Senator Obama supported a health care reform proposal that did not include an individual mandate because he was at that time strongly opposed to the idea, stating that "if a mandate was the solution, we can try that to solve homelessness by mandating everybody to buy a house.” See Interview on CNN’s American Morning, Feb. 5, 2008, transcript available at: http://transcripts.cnn.com/TRANSCRIPTS/0802/05/ltm.02.html. In fact, he pointed
to the similar individual mandate in Massachusetts --- which was imposed under the
state’s police power, a power the federal government does not have --- and opined
that the mandate there left some residents “worse off” than they had been before.
See Christopher Lee, Simple Question Defines Complex Health Debate, Washington
Post, Feb. 24, 2008, at A10 (quoting Senator Obama as saying: "In some cases,
there are people [in Massachusetts] who are paying fines and still can't afford
[health insurance], so now they're worse off than they were . . . They don't have
health insurance, and they're paying a fine . . .”).

Because the individual mandate is unconstitutional and not severable, the
entire Act must be declared void. This has been a difficult decision to reach, and I
am aware that it will have indeterminable implications. At a time when there is
virtually unanimous agreement that health care reform is needed in this country, it
is hard to invalidate and strike down a statute titled “The Patient Protection and
Affordable Care Act.” As Judge Luttig wrote for an en banc Fourth Circuit in
striking down the “Violence Against Women Act” (before the case was appealed
and the Supreme Court did the same):


No less for judges than for politicians is the temptation to
affirm any statute so decorously titled. We live in a time
when the lines between law and politics have been
purposefully blurred to serve the ends of the latter. And,
when we, as courts, have not participated in this most
perniciously machiavellian of enterprises ourselves, we
have acquiesced in it by others, allowing opinions of law
to be dismissed as but pronouncements of personal
agreement or disagreement. The judicial decision making
contemplated by the Constitution, however, unlike at
least the politics of the moment, emphatically is not a
function of labels. If it were, the Supreme Court assuredly
would not have struck down the “Gun-Free School Zones
Act,” the “Religious Freedom Restoration Act,” the “Civil
Rights Act of 1871,” or the “Civil Rights Act of 1875.”
And if it ever becomes such, we will have ceased to be a
society of law, and all the codification of freedom in the
world will be to little avail.
Brzonkala, supra, 169 F.3d at 889.


In closing, I will simply observe, once again, that my conclusion in this case
is based on an application of the Commerce Clause law as it exists pursuant to the
Supreme Court’s current interpretation and definition. Only the Supreme Court (or a
Constitutional amendment) can expand that.

For all the reasons stated above and pursuant to Rule 56 of the Federal Rules
of Civil Procedure, the plaintiffs’ motion for summary judgment (doc. 80) is hereby
GRANTED as to its request for declaratory relief on Count I of the Second
Amended Complaint, and DENIED as to its request for injunctive relief; and the
defendants’ motion for summary judgment (doc. 82) is hereby GRANTED on Count
IV of the Second Amended Complaint. The respective cross-motions are each
DENIED.

In accordance with Rule 57 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure and Title
Case No.: 3:10-cv-91-RV/EMT
Case 3:10-cv-00091-RV -EMT Document 150 Filed 01/31/11, 28, United States Code, Section 2201(a), a Declaratory Judgment shall be entered separately, declaring “The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act” unconstitutional.


DONE and ORDERED this 31st day of January, 2011.
/s/ Roger Vinson
ROGER VINSON
Senior United States District Judge


In other words, there is no severability of the individual mandated from the act. The whole act is therefore unconstitutional.

Statists love the courts, except when the courts don't love them back.

Thomas Friedman, OK, and Charlie Rose: Egypt

I do not typically watch Charlie Rose, the exception being his recent series on the brain. And I find Thomas Friedman repellent, OK? By chance I stumbled upon the two of them Thursday night.

The two of them were soooooo excited about the protests in Egypt that they barely took the time to wipe each other's chins. Here's a little context:

THOMAS FRIEDMAN: There’s a sense of ownership by a people who were
motivated to go down there by a profound sense of self, Charlie. A sense
that something -- the most precious thing had been stolen from them --
their dignity, OK, their ability to compete, the thrive, to shape their own
future. And that’s what they’re reclaiming.

When I walked out of the square, I was walking across that bridge out
there and a guy stopped me. He was from Saudi Arabia. He had his two boys
and his wife he said "I work in Saudi Arabia, I’m Egyptian. I came back.
I wanted to bring my two boys." They looked to be about eight years old.
He said "I want them to see this. I want it to be seared in their memory."

CHARLIE ROSE: Everybody knows this is a moment in history.

THOMAS FRIEDMAN: Absolutely.

CHARLIE ROSE: You also talk to people they know they’re young. They
also know that they’re professional people. They’re middle-class people.
They’re rich people. Tell me about the people you met who have changed
Egypt. Whatever the outcome, as you have said, it will be before Egypt and
after Egypt.

THOMAS FRIEDMAN: Yes. There’s a -- I feel privileged, Charlie, to be
here, OK, because if you’re not here you can’t understand it, I mean,
because it’s so unusual to see who’s in the square. Egypt’s in the square
-- Egypt of young men in jeans, women in veils and women in very modern
western clothes.


The above is from the beginning of the interview. I found myself wondering why these statements were heaped onto the Egyptian protests as lavish praise, but the Tea Party protests were depicted as violent, racist, and extreme. According to the logic of the President and his useful idiots, President Obama himself should step down. He is not viewed as legitimate by many people, regardless of the controversy over his birth certificate (which I view as a non-issue).

CHARLIE ROSE: Well, the most interesting thing I heard the vice
president say was the notion "I’m not sure Egypt and Egyptian culture is
ready for democracy. I’m not sure these people can manage their own
affairs. I’m not sure that they can take on the responsibility."

THOMAS FRIEDMAN: There’s only one name for that, Charlie. It’s
called the soft bigotry of low expectations, and that’s exactly what people
in that square so resent. Again, I talked to another guy today, and he
said -- this was a wealthy person who actually benefited from the status
quo but he wanted to be in the square because he wanted change. He
understood it was not stable.

The one thing he said that really struck me was he said "I was
embarrassed to tell people I was an Egyptian. Now after today I am not
embarrassed. I feel like I’m leading not only just the Arab world.
They’re like watching this in China."

This place has so much untapped potential. Egypt should have been the
Taiwan of the eastern Mediterranean in terms of economics -- Suez Canal,
big work force, right next to Europe. And yet they just drifted, and
because they drifted, the whole Arab world drifted, because this is the
center of gravity for the Arab world.

You change Egypt. If this has any kind of decent positive outcome --
and I pray it will and right now I don’t want to get ahead of it and we
shouldn’t -- but if it does it will have profound ramifications for this
region and beyond.

Instead of commenting like this about Egypt, why can't these two examine the United States, its President, and his administration in this fashion? The Statist likes to say that we are not ready (or smart enough) to handle the responsibility of our own affairs. As Friedman says, this is "the soft bigotry of low expectations." It is also the soft tyranny of government operating outside of constitutional restraint. That's exactly what the Tea Party protesters resent. This place has so much untapped potential. America should be the economic power we once were. But we are drifting. And because we are drifting, the whole free world is drifting with us, because we are the center of the free world.

Thursday, February 03, 2011

Judicial Activism and the Tyranny of the Stupid

This is your president, in flagrante delicto, violating the constitution yet again. From The White House blog on the recent ruling striking down ObamaCare as unconstitutional:
This ruling is well out of the mainstream of judicial opinion...

Today’s ruling – issued by Judge Vinson in the Northern District of Florida – is a plain case of judicial overreaching. The judge’s decision contradicts decades of Supreme Court precedent...[T]he judge declared that the entire law is null and void even though the only provision he found unconstitutional was the “individual responsibility” provision. This decision is at odds with decades of established Supreme Court law...
...severable or not, the White House is obliged to comply with the ruling until an appeal is decided in their favor...

...

We don’t believe this kind of judicial activism will be upheld and we are confident that the Affordable Care Act will ultimately be declared constitutional by the courts.

History and the facts are on our side. Similar legal challenges to major new laws -- including the Social Security Act
...sold to the public as an insurance benefit program with individual accounts, but sold to the Supreme Court as a tax on income to be placed in the general fund...
the Civil Rights Act, and the Voting Rights Act
...both opposed and filibustered by the Democrat party...
-- were all filed and all failed. And contrary to what opponents argue the new law falls well within Congress’s power to regulate economic activity under the Commerce Clause,
...meant to make commerce regular, i.e., to operate efficiently, just like a well-regulated militia...
the Necessary and Proper Clause,
...which applies when making laws to carry out the enumerated powers under Article I, Section 8...
and the General Welfare Clause
...which is defined by the enumerated powers under Article I, Section 8...
Those who claim that the “individual responsibility” provision exceeds Congress’ power to regulate interstate commerce because it penalizes “inactivity” are simply wrong [!]. Individuals who choose to go without health insurance are actively making an economic decision that impacts all of us.
...define "us," please...
People who make an economic decision to forego [sic] health insurance do not opt out of the health care market. As Congress found, every year millions of people without insurance obtain health care
...what's wrong with paying cash?
they cannot pay for,
...illegal aliens?
shifting tens of billions of dollars in added cost onto those who have insurance
...true, but that's a problem for me and my insurance company...
and onto taxpayers [!]. There can be no doubt that this activity substantially affects interstate commerce, and Congress has the power to regulate it.
...persons who cannot pay are entitled to receive health care under current law, by the way...
The Affordable Care Act, through the individual responsibility requirement, will require everyone, if they can afford it, to carry some form of health insurance since everyone at some point in time participates in the health care system,
...wrong...
and incur costs that must be paid for. For the 83% of Americans who have coverage and who are already taking responsibility for their health care, their insurance premiums will decrease over time.
...wrong...
Many of those who are currently struggling to pay for insurance will get a new tax credit.
...yay!
Only those who are able to pay for health insurance will be responsible for obtaining it
...the rest will have it handed to them after the money is confiscated from a producer at the point of a gun...
Because most people would voluntarily purchase coverage as it becomes more affordable and the policy exempts those for whom purchase would cause a financial hardship [?], the Congressional Budget Office estimated that only 1 percent of all Americans would pay a penalty for not having health insurance in 2016
...how about a law requiring everyone to own a gun, and participate in the well-regulated militia? Where's my free gun?
The Affordable Care Act also bans insurance companies from discriminating against people with pre-existing conditions. However, unless every American is required to have insurance, it would be cost prohibitive to cover people with pre-existing conditions [?].

Here’s why: If insurance companies can no longer deny coverage to anyone who applies for insurance – especially those who have health problems and are potentially more expensive to cover – then there is nothing stopping someone from waiting until they’re sick or injured to apply for coverage since insurance companies can’t say no.
...how will the government know if an individual has health insurance? Or if the individual can "afford" insurance or not? What is to stop someone from waiting until they are sick or injured if the fine is cheaper than insurance?
That would lead to double digit premiums increases – up to 20% – for everyone with insurance, and would significantly increase the cost health care spending nationwide
...liberal economics is a trip down the rabbit-hole...
We don’t let people wait until after they’ve been in a car accident to apply for auto insurance and get reimbursed, and we don’t want to do that with healthcare
...my point exactly. Rabbit-hole again...
If we’re going to outlaw discrimination based on pre-existing conditions, the only way to keep people from gaming the system and raising costs on everyone else is to ensure that everyone takes responsibility for their own health insurance.

Two federal courts and more than 100 constitutional scholars agree with these arguments
...so? If they all agreed to take a collective leap off a cliff, should we all follow like lemmings?
And representatives from important organizations like the American Cancer Society Action Network, the American Diabetes Association, the American Heart Association, the American Hospital Association and the American Nurses Association
...the ANA is a left-wing organization closely linked to the AFL/CIO and the purple shirt goons at the SEIU. I refer the reader to this post about the Minnesota Nurses Association, an ANA subsidiary, and a threatened strike...
have all filed amicus briefs in similar cases supporting the Administration’s position. Event President Reagan’s Solicitor General Charles Fried
...a traitor to the conservative cause, to wit: Fried abandoned the McCain campaign to vote for Obama, and to make a "public erasure" of his support for John McCain because of the choice of Sarah Palin as the VP candidate...
has written, “the health care law’s enemies have no ally in the Constitution."
Fried also stated such gems as: "Do not call a policeman a motherfucker, no matter what you've learned in this course," "Carrying around a whiskey bottle is tough. You have to have it in a brown bag and look like a bum," and "The law is an ass." Nice...

In the end, we’re confident our arguments will carry the day and the health reform law will continue to make the health care system stronger for all of us. [emphasis mine]

Is it judicial activism to stand on the side of liberty? If we are not bound by the Constitution, what binds us to obey the laws of the Statist?

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Life, Liberty, and Property, or Individual Rights and the Use of Defensive Force

We hold from God the gift which includes all others. This gift is life — physical, intellectual, and moral life.

But life cannot maintain itself alone. The Creator of life has entrusted us with the responsibility of preserving, developing, and perfecting it. In order that we may accomplish this, He has provided us with a collection of marvelous faculties. And He has put us in the midst of a variety of natural resources. By the application of our faculties to these natural resources we convert them into products, and use them. This process is necessary in order that life may run its appointed course.

Life, faculties, production — in other words, individuality, liberty, property — this is man. And in spite of the cunning of artful political leaders, these three gifts from God precede all human legislation, and are superior to it. Life, liberty, and property do not exist because men have made laws. On the contrary, it was the fact that life, liberty, and property existed beforehand that caused men to make laws in the first place.

What, then, is law? It is the collective organization of the individual right to lawful defense.

Each of us has a natural right — from God — to defend his person, his liberty, and his property. These are the three basic requirements of life, and the preservation of any one of them is completely dependent upon the preservation of the other two. For what are our faculties but the extension of our individuality? And what is property but an extension of our faculties? If every person has the right to defend even by force — his person, his liberty, and his property, then it follows that a group of men have the right to organize and support a common force to protect these rights constantly. Thus the principle of collective right — its reason for existing, its lawfulness — is based on individual right. And the common force that protects this collective right cannot logically have any other purpose or any other mission than that for which it acts as a substitute. Thus, since an individual cannot lawfully use force against the person, liberty, or property of another individual, then the common force — for the same reason — cannot lawfully be used to destroy the person, liberty, or property of individuals or groups.

Such a perversion of force would be, in both cases, contrary to our premise. Force has been given to us to defend our own individual rights. Who will dare to say that force has been given to us to destroy the equal rights of our brothers? Since no individual acting separately can lawfully use force to destroy the rights of others, does it not logically follow that the same principle also applies to the common force that is nothing more than the organized combination of the individual forces?

If this is true, then nothing can be more evident than this: The law is the organization of the natural right of lawful defense. It is the substitution of a common force for individual forces. And this common force is to do only what the individual forces have a natural and lawful right to do: to protect persons, liberties, and properties; to maintain the right of each, and to cause justice to reign over us all. [emphasis added]


Frederic Bastiat, The Law, 1850




I believe Bastiat would tell you himself that these are not necessarily his own original ideas, but a true reflection by careful observation of the proper state of individual men in the world.

Do you still believe the collective right is superior to the individual right? That I do not have a right, save with permission from nine other humans who wear black robes, to own or posses the tools necessary to defend my life, the lives of my family and friends, and my own property? That those same black robed men have the right to disarm me simply by expressing their wish to do so? That I should be an unarmed and willing victim to whomever wishes to harm or rob me? That I should sacrifice myself to your greater good in order to make others feel safe?

Tell me truly. You may even comment anonymously. I promise not to make fun of you.

Friday, January 14, 2011

In Defense of Self Defense and the Individual Right to Keep and Bear Arms, Part II

The state of war is a state of enmity and destruction: and therefore declaring by word or action, not a passionate and hasty, but a sedate settled design upon another man’s life, puts him in a state of war with him against whom he has declared such an intention, and so has exposed his life to the other’s power to be taken away by him, or any one that joins with him in his defence, and espouses his quarrel; it being reasonable and just, I should have a right to destroy that which threatens me with destruction: for, by the fundamental law of nature, man being to be preserved as much as possible, when all cannot be preserved, the safety of the innocent is to be preferred: and one may destroy a man who makes war upon him, or has discovered an enmity to his being, for the same reason that he may kill a wolf or a lion; because such men are not under the ties of the common-law of reason, have no other rule, but that of force and violence, and so may be treated as beasts of prey, those dangerous and noxious creatures, that will be sure to destroy him whenever he falls into their power.

And hence it is, that he who attempts to get another man into his absolute power, does thereby put himself into a state of war with him; it being to be understood as a declaration of a design upon his life: for I have reason to conclude, that he who would get me into his power without my consent, would use me as he pleased when he had got me there, and destroy me too when he had a fancy to it; for no body can desire to have me in his absolute power, unless it be to compel me by force to that which is against the right of my freedom, i. e. make me a slave. To be free from such force is the only security of my preservation; and reason bids me look on him, as an enemy to my preservation, who would take away that freedom which is the fence to it; so that he who makes an attempt to enslave me, thereby puts himself into a state of war with me. He that, in the state of nature, would take away the freedom that belongs to any one in that state, must necessarily be supposed to have a design to take away every thing else, that freedom being the foundation of all the rest; as he that, in the state of society, would take away the freedom belonging to those of that society or common-wealth, must be supposed to design to take away from them every thing else, and so be looked on as in a state of war.

This makes it lawful for a man to kill a thief, who has not in the least hurt him, nor declared any design upon his life, any farther than, by the use of force, so to get him in his power, as to take away his money, or what he pleases, from him; because using force, where he has no right, to get me into his power, let his pretence be what it will, I have no reason to suppose, that he, who would take away my liberty, would not, when he had me in his power, take away every thing else. And therefore it is lawful for me to treat him as one who has put himself into a state of war with me, i. e. kill him if I can; for to that hazard does he justly expose himself, whoever introduces a state of war, and is aggressor in it.

And here we have the plain difference between the state of nature and the state of war, which however some men have confounded, are as far distant, as a state of peace, good will, mutual assistance and preservation, and a state of enmity, malice, violence and mutual destruction, are one from another. Men living together according to reason, without a common superior on earth, with authority to judge between them, is properly the state of nature. But force, or a declared design of force, upon the person of another, where there is no common superior on earth to appeal to for relief, is the state of war: and it is the want of such an appeal gives a man the right of war even against an aggressor, tho’ he be in society and a fellow subject. Thus a thief, whom I cannot harm, but by appeal to the law, for having stolen all that I am worth, I may kill, when he sets on me to rob me but of my horse or coat; because the law, which was made for my preservation, where it cannot interpose to secure my life from present force, which, if lost, is capable of no reparation, permits me my own defence, and the right of war, a liberty to kill the aggressor, because the aggressor allows not time to appeal to our common judge, nor the decision of the law, for remedy in a case where the mischief may be irreparable. Want of a common judge with authority, puts all men in a state of nature: force without right, upon a man’s person, makes a state of war, both where there is, and is not, a common judge [emphasis added].

John Locke, The Second Treatise of Government, 1690.