Thank you for stopping by for a visit. You are invited to read and comment on anything posted on this blog. I advocate the maximum amount of Personal and Economic Liberty, consistent with the defense of individual rights. I am fiscally conservative yet socially tolerant, I favor lower taxes, free trade, individual rights, strong national defense and limited government. I subscribe to the Freedom Fighters Creed: I am an American Patriot, defender of the Constitution, First Principles and Essential Liberty.

I believe that buried deep down inside every Conservative you'll find a Libertarian - And Inside Every Liberal Is A Totalitarian Screaming To Get Out.

"One of the penalties of refusing to participate in politics is that you end up being governed by your inferiors" - Plato

FYI any crude or vulgar comments will be removed from the blog.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Tea Party at the Crossroads

Third parties have had an unbroken record of failure in American presidential politics. So it was refreshing to see in the Tea Party an insurgent movement, mainly of people who were not professional politicians, but who nevertheless had the good sense to see that their only chance of getting their ideals enacted into public policies was within one of the two major parties.

More important, the Tea Party was an insurgent movement that was not trying to impose some untried Utopia, but to restore the lost heritage of America that had been eroded, undermined or just plain sold out by professional politicians.

What the Tea Party was attempting was conservative, but it was also insurgent -- if not radical -- in the sense of opposing the root assumptions behind the dominant political trends of our times. Since those trends have included the erosion, if not the dismantling, of the Constitutional safeguards of American freedom, what the Tea Party was attempting was long overdue.

ObamaCare epitomized those trends, since its fundamental premise was that the federal government had the right to order individual Americans to buy what the government wanted them to buy, whether they wanted to or not, based on the assumption that Washington elites know what is good for us better than we know ourselves.

The Tea Party's principles were clear. But their tactics can only be judged by the consequences.

Since the Tea Party sees itself as the conservative wing of the Republican Party, its supporters might want to consider what was said by an iconic conservative figure of the past, Edmund Burke: "Preserving my principles unshaken, I reserve my activity for rational endeavours." \CONTINUE READING


Friday, November 8, 2013

The Barrier Between the Geeks and the Suits

Edward Snowden's stolen secrets and the dismal failure of the rollout of Obamacare is giving electronic technology a bad name. But blaming high-tech tools is more like blaming the messenger. We have to work harder to master the secrets of the Internet, but the human element remains our biggest weakness.

It's hardly news that the screening process for giving Snowden access to sensitive data was deeply flawed. So, too, were the instructions to the National Security Agency that enabled the abuse of the rest of us. For whatever good intentions the NSA might have had, the snoops cost America the moral high ground in dealing with the evil abundant in the world. We've enabled Vladimir Putin, the old KGB hand, to give a civil-rights lecture to the president of the United States.

Angela Merkel, one of America's best friends among the Europeans, is more than embarrassed by Snowden's revelations. Germans are sensitive to their Gestapo/Stasi past, and they're devouring Snowden's self-serving open letter in der Spiegel, justifying his leaks, as if he's a reincarnation of Tom Paine. Citizens, Snowden writes, "have to fight against the suppression of information about affairs of essential importance for the public." He now has a job with a large Russian website. If this is bad news for Barack Obama, it's more than interesting news for Vladimir Putin.

The failure of the electronic tools for making Obamacare accessible to those who are required to use it poses a different problem. America, which led in inventing the Internet, has nevertheless fallen behind the curve in the high tech world in how it delivers government services. This goes to the heart of why big government couldn't get the Obamacare rollout right. A White House that doesn't know much about business, and sneers at those who do, compounded the failure.

In a 2010 memo that is only now getting attention, David Cutler, who worked for Obama as a healthcare adviser, warned the president and his administration that it lacked the crucial ingredients for the successful implementation of the health care law, which needs men and women with experience in complex business start-ups, basic regulations, technology and policy coordination. \CONTINUE READING

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Inarticulate Republicans

If the continued existence of mathematics depended on the ability of the Republicans to defend the proposition that two plus two equals four, that would probably mean the end of mathematics and of all the things that require mathematics.

Republican Speaker of the House of Representatives, John Boehner, epitomized what has been wrong with the Republicans for decades when he emerged from a White House meeting last Wednesday, went over to the assembled microphones, briefly expressed his disgust with the Democrats' intransigence and walked on away.

We are in the midst of a national crisis, immediately affecting millions of Americans and potentially affecting the kind of country this will become if ObamaCare goes into effect -- and yet, with multiple television network cameras focused on Speaker Boehner as he emerged from the White House, he couldn't be bothered to prepare a statement that would help clarify a confused situation, full of fallacies and lies.

Boehner was not unique in having a blind spot when it comes to recognizing the importance of articulation and the need to put some serious time and effort into presenting your case in a way that people outside the Beltway would understand. On the contrary, he has been all too typical of Republican leaders in recent decades.

When the government was shut down during the Clinton administration, Republican leaders who went on television to tell their side of the story talked about "OMB numbers" versus "CBO numbers" -- as if most people beyond the Beltway knew what these abbreviations meant or why the statistics in question were relevant to the shutdown. Why talk to them in Beltway-speak?

When Speaker Boehner today goes around talking about the "CR," that is just more of the same thinking -- or lack of thinking. Policy wonks inside the Beltway know that he is talking about the "continuing resolution" that authorizes the existing level of government spending to continue, pending a new budget agreement.

But, believe it or not, there are lots of citizens and voters outside the Beltway. And what is believed by those people whom too many Republicans are talking past can decide not only the outcome of this crisis but the fate of the nation for generations to come.

You might think that the stakes are high enough for Republicans to put in some serious time trying to clarify their message. As the great economist Alfred Marshall once said, facts do not speak for themselves. If we are waiting for the Republicans to do the speaking, the country is in big trouble.

Democrats, by contrast, are all talk. They could sell refrigerators to Eskimos before Republicans could sell them blankets.CONTINUE READING

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Minimum Wage Madness

Political crusades for raising the minimum wage are back again. Advocates of minimum wage laws often give themselves credit for being more "compassionate" towards "the poor." But they seldom bother to check what are the actual consequences of such laws.

One of the simplest and most fundamental economic principles is that people tend to buy more when the price is lower and less when the price is higher. Yet advocates of minimum wage laws seem to think that the government can raise the price of labor without reducing the amount of labor that will be hired.

When you turn from economic principles to hard facts, the case against minimum wage laws is even stronger. Countries with minimum wage laws almost invariably have higher rates of unemployment than countries without minimum wage laws.

Most nations today have minimum wage laws, but they have not always had them. Unemployment rates have been very much lower in places and times when there were no minimum wage laws.

Switzerland is one of the few modern nations without a minimum wage law. In 2003, "The Economist" magazine reported: "Switzerland's unemployment neared a five-year high of 3.9 percent in February." In February of this year, Switzerland's unemployment rate was 3.1 percent. A recent issue of "The Economist" showed Switzerland's unemployment rate as 2.1 percent.

Most Americans today have never seen unemployment rates that low. However, there was a time when there was no federal minimum wage law in the United States. The last time was during the Coolidge administration, when the annual unemployment rate got as low as 1.8 percent. When Hong Kong was a British colony, it had no minimum wage law. In 1991 its unemployment rate was under 2 percent.

As for being "compassionate" toward "the poor," this assumes that there is some enduring class of Americans who are poor in some meaningful sense, and that there is something compassionate about reducing their chances of getting a job.

Most Americans living below the government-set poverty line have a washer and/or a dryer, as well as a computer. More than 80 percent have air conditioning. More than 80 percent also have both a landline and a cell phone. Nearly all have television and a refrigerator. Most Americans living below the official poverty line also own a motor vehicle and have more living space than the average European -- not Europeans in poverty, the average European.

Why then are they called "poor"? Because government bureaucrats create the official definition of poverty, and they do so in ways that provide a political rationale for the welfare state -- and, not incidentally, for the bureaucrats' own jobs.

Most people in the lower income brackets are not an enduring class. Most working people in the bottom 20 percent in income at a given time do not stay there over time. More of them end up in the top 20 percent than remain behind in the bottom 20 percent.

There is nothing mysterious about the fact that most people start off in entry level jobs that pay much less than they will earn after they get some work experience. But, when minimum wage levels are set without regard to their initial productivity, young people are disproportionately unemployed -- priced out of jobs.

Friday, September 13, 2013

Dear President Putin:

First of all, thanks for “speaking directly to the American people” in your New York Times op-ed. I’d grown used to reading various communists in those pages, but to get a note from an actual Russian president is something special.

You may be noticing that it’s not going over so well. I thought I could explain.

The short answer is many of us feel we are on to you. We know we can’t trust Assad, and don’t get us started on trusting our own president. But you may be overplaying this so ham-handedly that some clarity may be emerging.

It all just looks too tidy. You, Assad and President Obama were all facing a dark fate. Obama was about to get a congressional punch in the nose, Assad was about to hear bombs whizzing by his windows and you were facing the loss of your Syrian friend and henchman.

Now it’s high fives all around. Assad can make dinner plans into the foreseeable future, Obama can crow about a “strong stance” that cooled all heads, and you are probably up for a Peace Prize from those knuckleheads at the Nobel Committee.

What happened?

All of you would like us to believe that the eternally wooden John Kerry embarked on a hypothetical riff that involved you pressuring Assad to submit his chemical weapons to international scrutiny, quickly qualifying that prospect by saying Assad “isn’t about to do it” and “it can’t be done.”

But wait! Apparently it can, and at lightning speed! You got your people to Geneva to meet with Kerry faster than I can run down to the corner for milk. In view of the usual glacial pace of such sensitive matters, this is a real eye-opener.

But what we see drips with suspicion. And now here you are, enjoying your momentary perch as global power-broker, lecturing Americans about “brute force" interventions and your preference for just calming down and talking everything out.

That’s always what tyrants want. CONTINUE READING

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Breaking: High Level Source Confirms Secret US Nuclear Warhead Combat Readiness Transfer to South Carolina

A high level source inside the military has now confirmed to us that Dyess Air Force base is actively moving nuclear warheads to the East Coast of the United States in a secret transfer that has no paper trail.

According to the high level military source, who has a strong record of continually being proven correct in deep military activity, the Dyess Air Force Commander authorized unknown parties to transfer the nuclear warheads to an unknown location that has been reported to be South Carolina, where the warheads will then be picked up and potentially utilized.

This is of particular interest not only due to the fact that the Syrian situation has escalated to the point of a very realistic hot war scenario, but due to the fact that Dyess has repeatedly denied the existence of nuclear warheads inside the base.

The brief report from the top level military source, which was written in a rush to get the information out, reads:

"Dyess is beginning to move out nuclear war heads today. I got a tap from DERMO earlier. He said it was the first time they have been even acknowledged since being put there in the 80′s. No signature was required for transfer… There was no directive. He said that Dyess Commander was on site to give authority to release. No one knew where they were going really, but the truck driver said to take them to South Carolina and another pick up will take them from there."

The fact that this transfer was not signed for and there were no papers is key. It shows how the military is now secretly operating with the transfer of nuclear weapons, and what's more, we know that DERMO (a military base in Florida) is a hotbed of special operations. Why is DERMO operating the nuclear warheads out of Dyess Air Force base with no paper trail? This shows that this is a highly secretive, black ops style move here that the military does not want on record.

The fact is that they don't move all of these assets unless they plan on using them. Nuclear warheads are not simply moved to the East Coast for no reason, and the bottom line is that these missiles are likely being used for something even much greater than Syria.


Friday, August 30, 2013

MIT professor: global warming is a ‘religion’

Throughout history, governments have twisted science to suit a political agenda. Global warming is no different, according to Dr. Richard Lindzen of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

“Global climate alarmism has been costly to society, and it has the potential to be vastly more costly. It has also been damaging to science, as scientists adjust both data and even theory to accommodate politically correct positions,” writes Lindzen in the fall 2013 issue of the Journal of American Physicians and Surgeons.

According to Lindzen, scientists make essentially “meaningless” claims about certain phenomenon. Activists for certain causes take up claims made by scientists and politicians respond to the alarmism spread by activists by doling out more research funding. — creating an “Iron Triangle” of poor incentives.

“How can one escape from the Iron Triangle when it produces flawed science that is immensely influential and is forcing catastrophic public policy?” Lindzen asks.

Lindzen compares global warming to past politicized scientific movements: the eugenics movement in the early 20th Century and Lysenkoism in the Soviet Union under Stalin. However, the MIT professor argues that global warming goes even beyond what these past movements in terms of twisting science.

“Global Warming has become a religion,” writes Lindzen. “A surprisingly large number of people seem to have concluded that all that gives meaning to their lives is the belief that they are saving the planet by paying attention to their carbon footprint.”

“There may be a growing realization that this may not add all that much meaning to one’s life, but, outside the pages of the Wall Street Journal, this has not been widely promulgated, and people with no other source of meaning will defend their religion with jihadist zeal,” he added.

President Obama announced his plan to tackle global warming this summer.

“I refuse to condemn your generation and future generations to a planet that’s beyond fixing,” Obama said. “And that’s why, today, I’m announcing a new national climate action plan, and I’m here to enlist your generation’s help in keeping the United States of America a leader — a global leader — in the fight against climate change.”

A recently leaked report by the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change claims there is a 95 percent chance that human activity — mostly from burning fossil fuels — is the main cause of global warming.

However, there has been no rise in global temperatures for the past 15 years. CONINUE READING

Friday, August 16, 2013

Government acknowledges Area 51 in declassified spy plane documents

The government has finally recognized the existence of Area 51, according to the National Security Archive, which published recently obtained declassified CIA reports detailing and mapping the previously unacknowledged area in Nevada.

The National Security Archive at George Washington University published a report, "The Secret History of the U-2," on the spy planes that the Central Intelligence Agency relied on during the Cold War.

The Archive obtained declassified documents about the history of the U-2 — which reference Area 51 on numerous occasions — through a Freedom of Information Act request filed in 2005.

The origins of Area 51 are tightly bound up in the history of the U-2, for which the CIA needed a reliable and secret test facility in the U.S.

They found it in Groom Lake on April 12, 1955, according to “The Central Intelligence Agency and Overhead Reconnaissance,” an internal CIA history of the U-2 and OXCART programs written by Gregory W. Pedlow and Donald E. Welzenbach that was declassified in fulfillment of the National Security Archive’s FOIA request.

OXCART was the code name for the program to develop the Lockheed A-12 reconnaissance plane.

Sunday, August 11, 2013

The Great Washington Explosion

You may be walking around thinking that you are just a small person with no say regarding what your government should be doing. You vote every chance you get, but it seems like the government grows more distant and less responsive. You feel this anguish of hopelessness that the government you grew up with is slipping away. All those feelings are justified because the monolith of Washington, DC, is swallowing up all levels of government -- thereby further distancing you from having any say over your life.

Certainly, it was not always this way. David Brinkley, one of our greatest and most historic newscasters, in 1996 wrote a terrific book that clarified for us the genesis of Washington, DC, being the center of the universe. In Washington Goes to War, Brinkley tells of how a sleepy little town became the central focus of the most powerful country in the world. By the time anyone read the book in the late 1990’s, we were already accepting the omnipotence of D.C. However, since then, the control over our lives has become even more pervasive.

The Tax Foundation (Taxfoundation.org) performed an analysis of how deeply D.C. has its claws in our everyday life. What they showed on a map (found on their website) is the percentage of each state’s budget that comes from Washington funding. The range of state budgets beholden to the federal government are Alaska, at the low-end coming in at 24%, to Mississippi which has 49% of its budget funded by the federal government.

In analyzing the study, it is impossible to point the finger at conservative vs. liberal states as to how they exist on federal funds. The reason is that high tax states may have a lower percent of their revenue coming from federal funds because of the huge revenue they collect. A perfect example is California has only 32.4% and Illinois has 33.7% of their funding coming from Washington, while Florida has 36.9% and Texas has 40% of their state budget being paid from federal funds. That being said even those who argue for state’s rights still feed at the federal trough.

Governors and state legislatures would argue that it makes sense that so much money comes from the federal government because of the immense amount of mandates they have to confront coming from Washington. They would even argue that there are many more unfunded mandates that are forced upon them by the feds. If that is true, it just more clearly defines how much say people in D.C. have over each state’s spending priorities.

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Busybody Politics

It is hard to read a newspaper, or watch a television newscast, without encountering someone who has come up with a new "solution" to society's "problems." Sometimes it seems as if there are more solutions than there are problems. On closer scrutiny, it turns out that many of today's problems are a result of yesterday's solutions.

San Francisco and New York are both plagued with large "homeless" populations today, largely as a result of previous housing "reforms" that made housing more expensive and severely limited how much housing, and of what kind, could be built.

The solution? Spend more of the taxpayers' money making homelessness a viable lifestyle for more people.

Education is a field with endless reforms, creating endless problems, requiring endless solutions. One of the invincible fallacies among educators is that all sorts of children can be educated in the same classroom. Not just children of different races, but children of different abilities, languages, and values.

Isn't it nice to think so? I suspect that even most conservatives would prefer to live in the kind of world conjured up in the liberals' imagination, rather than in the kind of world we are in fact stuck with.

The result is that many very bright children are bored to the point of becoming behavior problems, when the school work is slowed to a pace within the range of students who are slower learners.

By federal law, even children with severe mental or emotional problems must be "mainstreamed" into classes for other students -- often in disregard of how much this disrupts these classes and sacrifices the education of the other children.

Parents who complain about the effect of these "solutions" on their own children's education are made to feel guilty for not being more "understanding" about the problems of handicapped students.

Nothing is easier for third party busybodies than being "understanding" and "compassionate" at someone else's expense -- especially if the busybodies have their own children in private schools, as so many public school educators do.

Whether in housing, education or innumerable other aspects of life, the key to busybody politics, and its endlessly imposed "solutions," is that third parties pay no price for being wrong.

This not only presents opportunities for the busybodies to engage in moral preening, but also to flatter themselves that they know better what is good for other people than these other people know for themselves.