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Scott Lazarowitz's Blog Posts

In Massachusetts, It’s Coakley vs. Brown vs….Kennedy?

Yesterday was the party primary to select nominees for the Massachusetts Special Election to replace the late Sen. Ted Kennedy. Voter turnout was about 15%. The final election is January 19th. I can’t wait.

It appears that the swallows did NOT return to Capuano, and US Rep. Mike Capuano lost to AG Martha Coakley in the Democrat primary, and Scott Brown beat Jack E. Robinson 89%-11% in the Republican primary. It will be the most boring campaign in Massachusetts history, with those two candidates, Martha Coakley and Scott Brown, who, as Steve Sweeney would say, when they open their mouths, dust comes out.

Speaking of dust, the dust had settled on the Big Dig settlements between AG Martha Coakley and Big Dig contractors, with the last settlement being last May. The biggest settlement was with Big Dig joint management firm of Bechtel/Parsons Brinckerhoff in January 2008. To avoid a lengthy, costly trial, in which Bechtel’s dirty laundry in business dealings might’ve been aired, the company settled with a $407 million payment. Given that Bechtel’s failures far outnumbered accomplishments in Iraq, will a Senator Martha Coakley investigate corruption and major systemic complications in the business of war contracting?

For an idea on who Republican Scott Brown is, think Bob Dole. Except that Brown is pro-abortion and supports Roe v. Wade.

What really bothers me about Martha Coakley is that she sounds so mechanical when she talks, like a robot. Like that little robot creature on Lost In Space. That’s because she’s…”lost in space.”

However, there is an Independent  candidate on the ballot named “Joe Kennedy,” no, not the former Congressman and nephew of the late Senator Ted, a different one not related to the Kennedys. But after seeing some of his own videos on his website, one might think that he, too, is, well, kind of boring (He’s a high tech guy.). Supposedly, he is supported by the national Libertarian Party, even though he’s on the ballot as an Independent.

ObamaCare And The Value of Human Life

December 2, 2009

© American Thinker 2009 (Link to this article at American Thinker)

President Obama’s push for government-controlled medicine has passed the House, passed an initial hurdle in the Senate, and will now be considered by the latter. Some people are worried that such a government takeover of the medical and insurance industries could include “death panels” and possibly force taxpayers to fund abortion coverage, as well as violate the sanctity of doctor-patient confidentiality, but there are more philosophical questions here.

Just how much concern for the health care of all human beings does the Obama administration actually have? How much do they really value human life?

One of the unfortunate consequences of the Supreme Court’s Roe v. Wade decision, which legalized the killing of the unborn prior to a particular stage of development, was the ideology of placing a greater value on some human beings than on others. Administration officials’ views on medical treatment and on the abortion issue are revealing.

Dr. Ezekiel Emanuel, the White House’s Health Policy Adviser, has repeatedly stated that certain people shouldn’t be treated equally by a government health care system. He advocates “allocating and rationing” of services, particularly by age and disability. This kind of policy conflicts with government’s constitutionally mandated obligation to enforce “equal treatment under the law.”

One of Dr. Emanuel’s more disturbing views is that it’s more important for a doctor to consider what’s good for the community than for an individual when treating an individual patient. This implies that if an individual is not useful to the community, he has less value as an individual and may not be as worthy as others for medical treatment.

Regarding the abortion issue, as part of an argument for legalized abortion (just prior to the Roe decision), White House Science Czar John Holdren wrote in 1973 that certain factors such as “early socializing experiences” are required to consider a born infant a “human being.” Just being born does not suffice.

President Obama has exhibited a devaluing of not only the unborn, but also of accidentally born and living infants, as seen from his opposition to the “Born Alive Bill” while in the Illinois State Senate.

Very Orwellian duckspeak is Obama’s rationalizing his opposition to that Born Alive Bill:

… this is probably not going to survive constitutional scrutiny. Number one, whenever we define a pre-viable fetus as a person that is protected by the equal protection clause or other elements in the Constitution, what we’re really saying is, in fact, that they are persons that are entitled to the kinds of protections that would be provided to a-a child, a nine-month-old child that was delivered to term. That determination, then, essentially, if a court accepted it, would forbid abortions to take place. I mean, it — it would essentially bar abortions, because the equal protection clause does not allow somebody to kill a child, and if this is a child, then this would be an antiabortion statute. …

These are the government officials who desire control over the health care of 300 million Americans.

When we have public officials such as Obama who devalue human life based on being at a less advanced stage of growth and development, and officials such as Emanuel, who devalue an individual who doesn’t qualify for a government agency’s requirement for rationing, we have a problem.

A few months ago, Rush Limbaugh was unreasonably criticized for his objectively noting the similarities between ObamaCare’s “socialized medicine” and the socialized medicine of Nazi Germany. A good way to actually expand on that comparison is to recall how past governments valued human life in the context of medical care.

In Russia, for example, according to Anna Ebeling of the Foundation for Economic Education, there was a distinct contrast between how the state respected the dignity and value of people in the old Russia as compared to the “factory-like” hospitals and medical clinics of the Bolsheviks’ communist, utopian “health care for all” scheme.

And in the Nazi socialized medical system to which Limbaugh referred, the regime categorized people, and it was in “Germany’s best interest” to rid the country of “undesirables.”

No, I’m not comparing the Obama administration to Nazis, but this is a time of great moral ambiguity in our country. World War II and Nazi Germany represented a turning point in history, as did the Supreme Court’s ruling permitting the destruction of unborn human beings until they reach a particular stage in their lifespan.

Since the Roe decision, our culture has further degenerated to the point where immediate gratification is given greater value than life itself. The id controls individual decision-making, and personal responsibility is all but absent.

These past few months, we have seen the most powerful public officials’ contempt for our rights as human beings in broad daylight. It is degrading when citizens are treated like livestock herded into a barn, without any respect for the inherent value of human life. This is a recurring theme in the history of governments.

Those who crave a government-compelled monopoly over our health care cannot logically value human life, as such a power-grab results in the invasion of every individual’s natural, inalienable rights to life and liberty. A human being has a right to live, a right to choose his doctor, a right to doctor-patient confidentiality without government officials’ access, and a right to have or not to have insurance.

In other words, we have a right to medical freedom.

It is a matter of basic human rights.

Obama’s Medical Monopoly

November 28, 2009

© American Thinker 2009 (Link to this article at American Thinker)

If there’s anything worse than a private-sector monopoly, it’s a government-run monopoly. The difference is that in the private sector, everyone is free to compete and remove the monopolist’s monopoly status, while a government monopoly forbids competition and compels the citizenry to patronize its operation. It is still illegal, for example, to start a business competing with the United States Postal Service, as 19th-century American individualist and entrepreneur Lysander Spooner learned.

Right now, insurance companies already have a virtual monopoly with the help of government-imposed regulations that make it impossible for entrepreneurs to get in the act. Doctors have a virtual monopoly by state licensing and their power to restrict entry into the field to accredited medical schools. The result of this government-protected virtual monopoly is fewer consumer choices in insurance companies, fewer medical schools and doctors, and the protection of doctors’ high salaries, as well as reduced quality of health care. All of these factors show up in any monopolized industry.

When government runs an industry, criminalizes competition, and compels citizens to patronize only the government’s shifty organization, it is a “compulsory monopoly.” As economist Murray Rothbard notes, “A governmental monopoly need not worry that customers may go elsewhere or that inefficiency may mean its demise.”

If we removed all those regulations, restrictions, and intrusions that distort consumers’ natural ability to dictate costs, prices would fall dramatically.

Unfortunately, President Obama and Speaker Pelosi want to go the other way. With all the mandates and dictates in their proposals, the citizens will be compelled to participate. The proposed scheme will force private insurance companies out of business, regardless of politicians’ rhetoric to the contrary, and it will force doctors to participate in the scheme or not be allowed to practice. It will eventually engender a government-run medical industry.

We will see more government intrusion in our lives, less freedom, and lower quality of medical care. The more skilled doctors who don’t want to be slaves of the state will leave the practice, and those who do not value their independence or doctor-patient confidentiality will join. As with any other government-run agency, decisions made on our health-care matters will be political, and all providers of all medical services will be government employees. It is not an exaggeration to assert that Obama’s desires are not much different from those of communist regimes.

The virtual monopoly that doctors and insurance companies have will be transformed into a legally mandated monopoly, with no way for citizens to opt out of the system.

Besides the impracticalities of a compulsory medical monopoly, as indicated by all the historical evidence from the U.K., Canada and the old Soviet Union (as well as from our own country’s Medicare program), there are basic human rights questions. If the government takes over the medical industry, what if someone wants to be a private doctor, or have an independent insurance company, or get medical care from a non-government doctor?

What if someone doesn’t buy health insurance, as will be demanded by the new plan? A blunt translation of this legislation would have proponents declaring, “You must participate in this scheme whether you like it or not, or we’ll send the IRS after you or imprison you.”

Quite the uncivil way to let people know you care about their health.

If private citizens forced their neighbors to join in some scheme or else get thrown in a cage or get robbed, such schemers would be thrown in jail.

Just what is it about these public officials that makes them so demanding and dictatorial? Their control-freakishness is getting quite counterproductive…even dangerous.

One of our rights as citizens is to opt out of this kind of government scheme without threats of brute force. In the America our Founders created, we had the right to opt out of even health insurance, and whether or not we had insurance was none of the government’s business.

It’s called freedom.

As with any other industry that government has tampered with, state interference in the health care industry for many years has caused all the problems the industry has now. Get the government out of it. Allow the free market to work, and it will work…if given the chance.

So Many Hacks, So Little Time

Well, after all the Town Hall meetings and Tea Parties, and the 2009 elections in New Jersey, NY and Virginia, it’s time for a break from political annoyances–NOT!

In Massachusetts, the Special Election to find a hack to replace the late Senator Kennedy is in just two months, and the party primaries are in just a few weeks! I’m already exhausted. But does it really matter which statist hack will replace Kennedy? No, not really. It will be the same old thing for the victims, I mean, subjects, I mean, voters in this bluest of blue states.

But there are so many hacks, and there is just so little time. Take our front-runner, Attorney General Martha Coakley. Please.

Just this week, the Boston Globe revealed that, in 1995 when she was the Middlesex County DA, Coakley had a “closed-door” meeting that resulted in child-molesting priest John Geoghan’s one-year probation instead of any prosecution.

….Coakley, then the head of the Middlesex child abuse unit, had Geoghan in her sights and took a dramatically different approach. Back then, three grade-school brothers told investigators that Geoghan had inappropriately touched them during numerous visits to their Waltham home, and had made lewd telephone calls to them. Rather than prosecute, Coakley agreed to grant Geoghan a year of probation in a closed-door proceeding that received no media attention at all…In those interviews, the boys described several instances of touching, including one where Geoghan soaped up one of the brothers in the shower…..“Father Geoghan came in and was standing and then was sitting on the toilet and looking at him through the curtains,’’ Coakley wrote in the two-page letter. “He stated that [Geoghan] gave him a back rub while he was in the shower soaping him up.’’….Coakley, in her interview with the Globe, said the touching described by the boys did not rise to the accepted definition of indecent assault because the brothers never said that Geoghan touched the parts of their bodies that a court would consider private.

Right on, Martha! And, according to the Boston Herald’s Holly Robichaud, ACORN’s 2008 scorecard rates Coakley an A+. Isn’t that reassuring?

“General” Coakley’s a real hack’s hack. How fitting that she will probably replace Ted Kennedy, hack of all hacks. (Oh, grow up, plenty of time has passed since his death–we can be honest again!) I’m sure the roto-writers of the Globe ran this story now because  they will probably endorse US Rep. Mike Capuano (Have the swallows returned to Capuano?) There is a reason that the “Morrissey Boulevard Bum-Kissers” (as the Herald’s Howie Carr calls them) would endorse Capuano: because his vacant Congressional seat paves the way for former Rep. Joe Kennedy’s son, Little Joe, grand-nephew of the late senior senator.

And then there’s Boston Celtics part-owner and former Bain Capital partner Steve Pagliuca. Make that Steve Alleypuka. He barfs me out! Yech! To stimulate the economy, he wants to raise the capital gains tax.

RAISE!! THE!! CAPITAL!! GAINS!! TAX!!

Maybe he means raise the UNEMPLOYMENT RATE!! What planet is this guy from?

And that’s just the Democrats. Now the Republicans who want to replace Kennedy: (You mean, there are Republicans in  Massachusetts? There are a few, yes.) There’s state senator Scott Brown.  His views are similar to those of John McCain and Bob Dole, if that’s any indication. He supported Willard Mitt Romney’s Mandatory Health Insurance Law. He “Voted to increase the use of clean energy biofuel in MA,” “consistently supported funds for town recycling programs,” “voted for statewide Climate Change standards to reduce pollution,” “led the effort to promote alternative energy vehicles,” etc., according to his website. Had enough? Although, he is pro-gun rights. Sounds a lot like John McCain. We sure do need another John McCain, don’t we?

If Sen. Brown leaves the state senate (not likely), that will leave 4 Republicans in the 40-member senate, and, if Sen. Richard Tisei is elected Lt. Governor next year, that will then make it 3 remaining Republicans. Don’t count on any new Republicans elected to the Massachusetts state senate next year.

And finally, let us not forget “frequent candidate” Jack E. Robinson. Robinson has Law and Business degrees from Harvard, an extensive entrepreneurial business career, but otherwise has typical Massachusetts crazy leftist views and a somewhat questionable personal history. Nothing unusual.

Where’s Carla Howell when you need her?

Things in this state won’t change very much any time soon, replacing hacks with more hacks who support more government control over everything imaginable. These candidates who want to replace Ted Kennedy have given a common message: “Move out of Massachusetts!”

Morality and Governmental Aggression

It is immoral for the state to forcibly confiscate privately owned wealth and property. That’s theft. If it is against civil society’s general rules of behavior for private citizens to forcibly take another citizen’s private wealth  or property, then the same guidelines for common civility and respect for rights to life, liberty and property should apply to the state.

The Declaration of Independence recognizes every individual’s rights to “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.” These are natural, inherent rights that we have as human beings. An individual has a right of ownership of one’s  physical actions including one’s physical and intellectual labor, prior to selling such labor to an employer or client or customer. When an individual does sell one’s labor in a mutually agreeable voluntarily exchange, the individual has a 100% absolute right to all of what one has received in that exchange, and a right to do with those “earnings” or “fruits of one’s labor” whatever one wishes, as long as one isn’t violating  another individual’s same rights. Therefore, any forcible confiscation of those “fruits of one’s labor” is not only theft, but involuntary servitude. You can rationalize it to your heart’s content, but that’s what it is, and it is immoral, period.

It is even more immoral for the government to forcibly take an individual’s wealth or property to fund programs which one believes to be immoral, including or maybe especially government’s foreign expansionist policies of military invasions and occupations, especially those that cause destruction and violence against innocent people. It is also immoral to force your neighbors to fund abortions that they believe to be the killing of innocent life.

One thing I’ve learned is to never believe politicians, because they are liars. It is the nature of those who are driven towards the use of political force to further social agendas or otherwise asserted goals. The state itself exists as a “compulsory monopoly” in “territorial protection,” in which everyone within the territory is compelled to rely on for protection and justice. As economist Hans-Hermann Hoppe has noted,

…once there is no longer free entry into the business of the production of protection and adjudication, the price of protection and justice will rise and their quality will fall. Rather than being a protector and judge, a compulsory monopolist will become a protection racketeer — the destroyer and invader of the people and property that he is supposed to protect, a warmonger, and an imperialist…

If the  individual has an inherent right to life and liberty, then one has an inherent right to opt out of such a system, especially when it has become as corrupt and invasive as it is now, and thoroughly disorganized and inefficient as it is now. You might say that well, if you don’t like the system as it is now, then go to some other area. However, within these territories (the geographical territories of the United States of America), each individual still has that inherent right to life and liberty, a right of sovereignty over one’s life, one’s property, one’s body, and actually has that inherent, god-given right to opt out of such a corrupt and invasive system.

There is too much dependence on centralized government, especially federal centralized government. Dependence on a “compulsory protection monopolist” is a very bad thing, what makes a society dysfunctional. The compulsory monopolist doesn’t worry about sustaining itself as do regular folks who rely on their customers’, consumers’ and clients’ voluntary patronage. No, the compulsory monopolist relies on taxation imposed on their “protected” clients who have been compelled into such a relationship. As Hoppe states,

It is absurd to believe that an agency that may tax without consent can be a property protector. Likewise, it is absurd to believe that an agency with legislative powers can preserve law and order….Indeed, no one in his right mind would agree to a contract that allowed one’s alleged protector to determine unilaterally, without one’s consent, and irrevocably, without the possibility of exit, how much to charge for protection; and no one in his right mind would agree to an irrevocable contract which granted one’s alleged protector the right to ultimate decision making regarding one’s own person and property…In fact, any such protection contract is not only empirically unlikely, but praxeologically impossible. By “agreeing to be taxed and legislated in order to be protected,” a person would in effect surrender, or alienate, all of his property to the taxing authority and submit himself into permanent slavery to the legislative agency.

This reliance on governmental force for protection is a big reason why government has grown so much, including the welfare state and the warfare state, the “military industrial complex.”

But getting back to my statement that politicians are liars and should not be believed, I have a theory that people go into government “work” because they have a compulsion to intrude into other people’s private lives, a compulsion for aggression, if you will. (Going into their neighbors’ home and rummaging through their personal belongings and their private documents etc. might be too conspicuous.)

Even Soldiers Should Exercise Their Right To Bear Arms

Regarding this Fort Hood shooting incident yesterday, I would like to know why there wasn’t someone around who was armed to shoot that guy after he shot his first victim, to prevent him from shooting the next forty or fifty that he shot. Soldiers are Americans, too, you know, and they should’ve been able to exercise their rights to bear arms and of self-defense. This is very similar to that Virginia Tech shooting.

And this is a military facility? Would the number of victims have been much fewer had this been private security training grounds? My guess is, yes. This fiasco may very well be another example of how we might be better off by privatizing our defense.

Many people assume that defense is just one of those areas that only government can or should do.

However, the government has been running our military and security, and look at how security at airports and other travel areas is still lax after 8 years following 9/11, and look at these military escapades abroad that are getting increasingly quagmirish and futile. That is because Presidents George H.W. Bush and George W. Bush turned defense into “offense,” and into incompetence, recklessness, and self-destruction. And we still don’t have protected borders, thanks to the more recent Bush and Barack Obama.

Hoppe: On the Impossibility of Limited Government and the Prospects for a Second American Revolution

This article by Hans-Hermann Hoppe, published last year by the Mises Institute, On the Impossibility of Limited Government and the Prospects for a Second American Revolution, is a very important albeit somewhat lengthy analysis and criticism of our Constitutional form of government, with suggestions on alternatives towards improving our society.

Hoppe views the Constitution itself as in error, and notes economists Murray Rothbard and Ludwig von Mises on the subject of the government’s monopoly in the business of protecting the citizens:

According to Mises and Rothbard, once there is no longer free entry into the business of the production of protection and adjudication, the price of protection and justice will rise and their quality will fall. Rather than being a protector and judge, a compulsory monopolist will become a protection racketeer — the destroyer and invader of the people and property that he is supposed to protect, a warmonger, and an imperialist.

Hoppe notes:

Instead of a king who regarded colonial America as his private property and the colonists as his tenants, the Constitution put temporary and interchangeable caretakers in charge of the country’s monopoly of justice and protection.These caretakers did not own the country, but as long as they were in office, they could make use of it and its residents to their own and their protégés’ advantage. However, as elementary economic theory predicts, this institutional setup will not eliminate the self-interest-driven tendency of a monopolist of law and order toward increased exploitation.

Hoppe quotes from Rothbard’s book, Power and Market: Government and the Economy:

…while a private owner, secure in his property and owning its capital value, plans the use of his resource over a long period of time, the government official must milk the property as quickly as he can, since he has no security of ownership. … [G]overnment officials own the use of resources but not their capital value (except in the case of the “private property” of a hereditary monarch). When only the current use can be owned, but not the resource itself, there will quickly ensue uneconomic exhaustion of the resources, since it will be to no one’s benefit to conserve it over a period of time and to every owner’s advantage to use it up as quickly as possible. … The private individual, secure in his property and in his capital resource, can take the long view, for he wants to maintain the capital value of his resource. It is the government official who must take and run, who must plunder the property while he is still in command.

The constitution provides that “anyone” can work as government officials, from the president down to lower bureaucrats, and, over more than 200 years now, the moral objection to state-committed property theft by those government officials has declined, and because of that the society in general has degenerated. As Hoppe notes:

That is, open political competition favors aggressive, hence dangerous, rather than defensive, hence harmless, political talents and will thus lead to the cultivation and perfection of the peculiar skills of demagoguery, deception, lying, opportunism, corruption, and bribery. Therefore, entrance into and success within government will become increasingly impossible for anyone hampered by moral scruples against lying and stealing….As the Declaration of Independence noted, government is supposed to protect life, property, and the pursuit of happiness. Yet in granting government the power to tax and legislate without consent, the Constitution cannot possibly assure this goal but is instead the very instrument for invading and destroying the right to life, property, and liberty. It is absurd to believe that an agency that may tax without consent can be a property protector. Likewise, it is absurd to believe that an agency with legislative powers can preserve law and order….Indeed, no one in his right mind would agree to a contract that allowed one’s alleged protector to determine unilaterally, without one’s consent, and irrevocably, without the possibility of exit, how much to charge for protection; and no one in his right mind would agree to an irrevocable contract which granted one’s alleged protector the right to ultimate decision making regarding one’s own person and property…In fact, any such protection contract is not only empirically unlikely, but praxeologically impossible. By “agreeing to be taxed and legislated in order to be protected,” a person would in effect surrender, or alienate, all of his property to the taxing authority and submit himself into permanent slavery to the legislative agency.

Hoppe comprehensively explains his alternative to the status quo of the reliance on the state’s property and liberty protection monopoly: Insurance. Among the many aspects of this “protection insurance” discussion, Hoppe notes an important difference in the context of arms possession:

Because they are not subject to and bound by contracts, states typically outlaw the ownership of weapons by their “clients,” thus increasing their own security at the expense of rendering their alleged clients defenseless. In contrast, no voluntary buyer of protection insurance would agree to a contract that required him to surrender his right to self-defense and be unarmed or otherwise defenseless. To the contrary, insurance agencies would encourage the ownership of guns and other protective devices among their clients by means of selective price cuts, because the better the private protection of their clients, the lower the insurers’ protection and indemnification costs would be.

The article suggests a book worth reading on the subject: The Market For Liberty by Linda and Morris Tannehill.  Hoppe’s article, Private Law Society, expands on these concepts.

In my opinion, the one major contributor to the self-destruction of our society has been taxation. It has made possible our government’s immoral occupations and atrocities abroad. While most reasonable citizens would voluntarily pay to fund the means towards their own protection, they probably wouldn’t voluntarily pay for (or, do more labor for) the “democratizing,” protection of, or “nation-building” for people in other countries, unless they are masochists. Being forced to do so at the force of gunpoint is immoral.

Those who really consider themselves open-minded will probably seriously consider these alternatives. Hoppe also gives suggestions on how to make these changes in our society. I think it naive at best to believe that we will ever be more secure or more free or prosperous with the continuation of our system, as guided by the United States Constitution. It is not pessimistic but only realistic to believe that under the status quo the society will continue to decline, and we might have to start learning to speak Chinese.

Rewarding Failure And Punishing Success

Yesterday on his radio show, Michael Graham was discussing how some people were whining that the New England Patriots shouldn’t have won by so many points (59-0) over the Tennessee Titans, and that Tom Brady shouldn’t have been allowed to throw so many touchdown throws in one quarter. Graham brought up how in so many schools now, teachers and administrators are either stopping keeping score when it reaches so many points in sports, or just not keeping score altogether. Losing makes kids “feel bad.”

Unfortunately, what these goofballs are doing is taking the value of learning and benefitting from failure and loss away from the kids. It’s a self-destructive attitude. How could Andrew Carnegie and J.P. Morgan have succeeded so much had they not had the benefit of learning from their earlier failures? You learn from failure and  make changes towards being more successful. That’s the value of failure.

When kids lose a game, they do certain things differently or improve on their weaknesses with the goal of scoring more points. Regardless of what the whiners and nincompoop parents and teachers believe, there is also a psychological benefit from achieving. Winning a game is a corrective experience from the failure of losing.

That whining nonsense goes with what has become an attitude of rewarding failures and incompetence (giving kids a “B” or an “A” when they should be getting a “C” or a “D” and then not knowing what’s going on in the next grade; banks lending to people who don’t qualify for loans, etc.) and punishing success (burdensome taxes and regulations, etc.). It comes from the resentment and envy by those who either can’t achieve or don’t try, towards those who do work hard and are successful and rewarded for their work.

The society is all backwards now, with rewarding failure and punishing success, where “ignorance is strength, war is peace, freedom is slavery.”

Ruining Our Country To Save The World

George Washington foresaw that “foreign entanglements” would be against America’s self-interests, and he meant US governmental foreign entanglements with other countries’ governments, although he encouraged Americans to engage in free trade with people in other countries.

Unfortunately, it may take a Lyndon Johnson-like Obama for supporters of our invasions, wars and occupations abroad to realize that military Big Government Statism not only goes against America’s integrity and Constitution, but goes against America’s own self-interests, those being protecting and preserving our freedom and prosperity.

40,000 more troops, 100,000 more or 500,000 more troops will not promote security or freedom in the Middle-East or in our country, in the long run, despite the fantasizing of the neocons and followers of the “Bush Doctrine.”

Whether we’re still fighting Al-Qaeda or the Taliban or whether we’re nation-building, our governmental and military intrusions abroad are intrusions. When we use governmental and military powers to “spread democracy,” those powers will be corrupted by special interests, and our presence in that region only incites more violence. People don’t like their territories being occupied. The only reason the “surge” of 2007 “worked” was that it pushed the terrorists back into Iran, Egypt or Saudi Arabia, or over to Pakistan, as we have seen now. We are not protecting America from terrorism.

How can we “spread democracy” abroad when the US has a one-party system of Democrat/Republican legally-protected political monopoly that locks out other parties and individuals from getting elected to public office?

We have been occupiers for many years in the Middle-East because of our dependence on their oil, and I am reiterating my suggestion that the states declare their Ninth and Tenth Amendment Rights and drill for oil and gas, and build nuclear power plants, and ignore all Federal laws and regulations regarding those activities.

America really has two choices. We can continue the path of self-destruction by continuing our governmental  “foreign entanglements” and campaigns abroad and risking further terrorism here, as well as growing our Big Government, Big deficits and Big Debts while further taxing ourselves to death and digging a grave for our freedom. Or we can go back to the Independence, Freedom and Prosperity we once had–that the professional politicians and bureaucrats have been stealing from us.

I have read carefully the treaty of Paris, and I have seen that we do not intend to free, but to subjugate the people of the Philippines. We have gone there to conquer, not to redeem. It should, it seems to me, be our pleasure and duty to make those people free, and let them deal with their own domestic questions in their own way. And so I am an anti-imperialist. I am opposed to having the eagle put its talons on any other land.

—Mark Twain, New York Herald, Oct. 15, 1900

Labor Has Value

Obama Pay Czar Kenneth Feinberg is demanding that Bank of America CEO Ken Lewis receive no salary nor bonus for 2009, and will also have to repay the bank the $1 million he’s already earned. Granted that BOA was one of the large financial institutions that received TARP Bailout money, and that the takeover by BOA of Merrill Lynch (for which Lewis had strong reservations) was quite controversial, still, the very idea of a “Pay Czar” is very fascist in nature, like many of President Obama’s policies and proposals. There’s little doubt that it will go from applying to companies receiving TARP money to all businesses, and this kind of government intrusion into the private sector only comes from the resentment and envy of the Left, and control-freak politicians.

A private business, no matter how large, has a right to pay its CEO and top executives what the owners and shareholders think their labor is worth. Many people don’t see what the executives do as “labor,” but that concept includes intellectual as well as physical labor. A CEO doesn’t just sit there at his or her desk looking out the window, but makes very important, sometimes stressful decisions. A lot of pressure, for example, was on Ken Lewis when he was testifying before Congress regarding his misgivings on the Merrill Lynch acquisition. Just one decision by a company CEO can affect millions of people, and billions of dollars. Most business owners and shareholders think that their CEOs’ labor is worth their high salaries.

Likewise, the NFL (in the news a lot this week) values the labor of dog-fighter/dog-executioner Michael Vick and that’s why the NFL hired him back, although fans have been split on that. That reflects more on the decline of values in America in recent years. But Vick’s labor is valued.

When or if the government takes over the entire medical care system, the value of doctors’ and nurses’ labor will decline, along with the quality of care. Already we are seeing doctors planning to retire early or college students deciding against that profession if the government takes over. Those less skilled but who don’t mind being servants of the state will enter the profession as government doctors. The good doctors now are usually those who prefer independence, and who value the confidential relationship between doctor and patient. Doctors and nurses will be paid what government officials, not markets, decide their labor’s value is worth, hence the decline in quality.

We can see how things get devalued when controlled by government bureaucrats. Just look at Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. And look at the products of government-run (aka “public”) schools.

A further example of that has been the Cash For Clunkers program, with more people trading in their clunkers for foreign made vehicles, because of the decline in the value of American-made cars. That isn’t just because of the government takeover of General Motors, but in large part because the quality of American-made cars has declined over the years, as the labor unions’ workers compensation and benefits packages have greatly increased.

And that situation isn’t because their employers put a higher value on their labor, but because of the unions’ strong-arm tactics and pressures on the auto makers. In contrast, the Americans who work at Toyota plants in the United States, for example,  are payed less and, with the exception of at only one plant which is closing next year, are not unionized. Toyota pays American workers the value of their labor, calculated much more accurately according to buyers in the free market and the employers, not an organized labor union.

The value of labor and the products of labor are promoted by freedom and free markets, and downgraded by mobs and government intrusions.

Trade In Keynesian Clunkers

September-October 2009

There have been so many suggestions for new things for government to do (to us): the medical fascists want the government to take over the entire health care and insurance industries, and the environmental control freaks want to impose much stronger restrictions and regulations and higher taxes on us. We need to go the other way and reduce government’s control over our daily lives, and take our freedom back.

Now that the “Cash For Clunkers” program is in the junk yard, here’s a better idea: Let’s trade in Washington’s clunker Keynesian policies of excessive taxation, deficit spending, debt expansion and foreign nation-building campaigns. Given that most of the politicians in DC are themselves big buckets of bolts, let’s trade them in, too.

Last year we traded in the 2000 Bush Wagon for the 2008 Obamobile, while John McCain puttered and crashed his GOP Edsel into a ditch. Now some people are asking of President Obama what was asked of a president 37 years ago: “Would you buy a used car from this man?”

Some of Obama’s voters are joining his critics who don’t want more of the same clunker policies that have caused our country’s ills in the first place. They do not want to be lemmings for lemons. (Sorry.)

Obama promised “change,” but he has kept George W. Bush’s Keynesian policies, as well as the same Fed chairman, Ben Bernanke, who promoted the socialist Wall Street Bailout that will further burglarize our future generations’ piggy banks.

No “change.” Just more of the same and worse, and certainly less “hope” for our posterity.

The federal government has rapaciously been taking over whole industries, in addition to its other insatiable intrusions into our private lives. That is backfiring against our country.

In the 1994 elections, the people traded in many clunkers for politicians promising more freedom and less government. Unfortunately, many of those politicians became entrenched and got stuck in the mud of Big Government.

Throughout America’s first 100 years or so, we saw the greatest expansion of freedom and prosperity in human history. This was not caused by government mechanics. Rather, it was achieved through individual human initiative, innovation and invention, and made possible by freedom.

Unfortunately, the government that the American Founders created has expanded in its size and intrusiveness, a phenomenon against which the Founders had warned us.

Contrary to the tales of the mass media and government officials, the truth is that the Crash of 1929 and the Great Depression were driven by stupid and intrusive government policies, and not by private markets. If only government would stop interfering, it is private markets and freedom that can save America.

The Founders’ vision of “limited government” was corrupted by the Federal Reserve, the “Military Industrial Complex,” and society-planning programs that have stuck a big STOP sign into the road of economic growth, and greatly diminished our freedom.

Centralized government has been driving America the wrong way and uphill towards Soviet America Boulevard. Medical fascism and “cap and trade” will demolish America.

The citizens of the former Soviet Union traded in their big centralized government clunker for freedom, and Americans must do the same with Washington.

We must trade in our clunker politicians for those who have actual knowledge and understanding of history and the US Constitution, and who do not live in a Keynesian fantasy world. We must trade in self-destructive policies for the freedom and common sense that made America’s first century of prosperity and progress possible.

Here’s hoping for a change for the better, but don’t forget to kick the tires first.

Our Health Care Rights

Here are our health care rights:

You have a right to keep your private health matters private. You have a right to be free of any government or legally-imposed intrusions into your private health information. If it’s none of your neighbors’ business, then it’s none of the government’s business.

You have a right to care for yourself. You don’t have a right to demand that society (your neighbors, etc.) care for you. In a free, civilized society such as ours, there will be plenty of charitable, giving individuals and groups who will care for those who can’t care (or afford to care) for themselves. However, when those activities are then assumed by government, with its officialdom and police power, especially with the power to confiscate private wealth (which it shouldn’t have the power to do), over time those who were charitable and giving reduce their charity with the assumption that the government will take care of the needy. The business of taking care of the needy then becomes dysfunctional, as it is now, because such endeavors have been distorted by laws and force. No one has a right to demand that their neighbors care for them or pay for their care.

You also have a right to not care for yourself if you choose not to. However, even (or perhaps especially) in those circumstances, you don’t have a right to demand that others care for you or pay for your care. Especially if you smoke like a chimney, drink like a fish or eat like a pig. Under those circumstances (and there are a lot of people living in those circumstances), a truly honest and genuinely civil society would not allow for people’s neighbors (the “government”) to be forced to pay for your heart attacks, high cholesterol, clogged arteries, lung cancer, etc. self-inflicted or otherwise. I say otherwise because I know there are people with health problems and diseases that are of no fault of their own. That still gives no one the right to demand care from their neighbors.

You have a right to see a doctor and a right to choose your doctor (as long as the one you choose is mutually agreeable to that). You also have a right to not see a doctor if you don’t want to. And laws or governmental mandates interfering in the relationship or association between a patient and one’s doctor is a violation of their right of association, right of contract, and their freedom in general.

You also have a right to have health insurance if you want it, and right to not have health insurance if you don’t want it. Any law or governmental mandate forcing people to have insurance or to do anything involving their private life is a violation of their rights and their freedom.

Health insurance and medical care would be much, much, much less expensive if government and laws would get the hell out of it. As Ronald Reagan said, government is the problem and in fact the cause of these problems, not the solution. People who see MORE government as some kind of solution to all this are ignorant of history, economics, and the actual reality of human relationships. Or they are just corrupt. (Or both.)

Repeal all mandates, regulations and other government intrusions in the medical industry, require people to live more responsibly and undo all the taxes and expensive, unnecessary bureaucracy so that medical providers and insurers can bring their costs way, way, way down (and they will!) so people can afford to see a doctor or have a medical procedure if they have to.