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Niki was right!

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The “quote” from Nikita Khrushchev to the UN on September 29, 1959 is yet again circulating the web and e-mails. Aside from there being no evidence he actually said it, at least not directly (and the banging of his shoe is complete fabrication) I have no doubt the sentiment has always been there. Some reliable evidence suggests his quote was more indirect. In fact, I would suggest it was (and is still) their (Russians in this case) plan A. Plan B (a simultaneous action) being a slow, methodical (but more obvious) military takeover of the world. Plan B is not going quite as well as desired at the moment. Plan A? Well you decide…

For those that remember well all the pontifications about it at the time (no, I was not around!) and remember laughing at what he said… I bet you’re not laughing anymore! At least I HOPE not.

Here is the more reliable “quote” as circulated at the time (and since):

“We cannot expect the Americans to jump from capitalism to Communism, but we can assist their elected leaders in giving Americans small doses of socialism until they suddenly awake to find they have Communism.” – Soviet Leader Nikita Khrushchev, 1959

Personally I think Socialism is worse than Communism but that is for another time.

Now I’m not suggesting any particular politician (I’ll leave it to Nikita to call them “leaders”) were (are?) assisted by Russia. I’m just say’n…

Per the Oxford Dictionary of English, Socialism is: “A political and economic theory of social organization that advocates that the means of production, distribution, and exchange should be owned or regulated by the community as a whole.” [bold, italics mine] A sub definition [ibid]: “Policy or practice based on the political and economic theory of socialism.” [again, bold, italics, underline mine].

Apparently Bernie Sanders believes we are there. And who am I to argue with a U.S. Senator (at least when they are right).

On the other hand, according to Mises Institute, “Sanders is wrong about the New Deal ‘putting people to work’ since their government-funded activity did nothing to create wealth or end the [D]expression. The Depression lasted until 1945. And the New Deal certainly isn’t ‘the foundation of the middle class’ which grew and thrived in the second half of the 19th century. However, when he classifies the New Deal programs that dominate US policy today as “socialist,” Sanders is absolutely correct.”

It always sounds good on paper, especially when the liberal media adds its two-cents. But it never actually works out that way.

The Mises Institute also states: “To get a sense of what has constituted socialism, historically speaking, it is a mistake to rely on Marxism as the benchmark. Marxism was just one type of socialism in the 19th century, and it failed to gain traction in western Europe. Part of this is because, by the mid-19th century, it was already becoming clear that the predictions of Marxism were wrong. The ownership of capital was not becoming more concentrated. It was becoming more diffuse. The working classes were not descending into a wretched proletariat in western Europe. They were experiencing gains in their standard of living.”

It was for a time also the case on “this side of the pond”; further research showing the application to the U.S. as well. However, we now ARE getting that more concentrated capital (although not to the extent Marx predicted – YET). But the concentration is being caused by the power brokers implementing SOCIALISM, no longer allowing for the diffusion created by CAPITALISM. Why? Well… interestingly enough:

“But socialism isn’t just about cash transfer payment. It’s largely about government regulation, which is where the New Deal was most revolutionary. As political scientist Theda Skocpol pointed out years ago in her research (most especially in her book Protecting Soldiers and Mothers) the US has had “welfare” going back to the 19th century. What was most different about the New Deal — other than its scale — was how it took a largely unregulated economic system and imposed a massive amount of new regulation on property owners in the form of laws related to wages, labor, prices, and more. Arguably, this sort of regulation is far more damaging than mere cash transfers since it directly impedes the creation of wealth before it can even be redistributed.” [ibid]

So, our current state of Socialism? Let’s take a look…
*Medicare, *Medicaid, *Social Security, *Healthcare (ACA as only the latest example), *Public schools funded by the Federal government, *Government college grants, scholarships, and loans, *FDA, *EPA, *HUD, *EBT/ Food stamps, *Minimum wage, *Unemployment insurance, *40-hour work week, *Deposit insurance, *Job programs, *etc. etc. etc. (actually this is just the short list – the VERY short list.)

Hey, what said we combine both redistribution AND massive regulation and see how many lives we can destroy.

Don’t get me wrong. People, from time to time need help. However, I think if we mention that to the “more than 1.5 million nonprofit organizations [that] are registered in the U.S.” [according to the National Center for Charitable Statistics (NCCS)], we might get the problem solved without government involvement (and might I add bureaucratic expense and interference?).

While I completely agree that government has its place, in the United States of America that place is supposedly (used to be) defined by the Constitution. Leaving aside the completely absurd argument that the Preamble defines the responsibilities of the Federal government (i.e., the results of suggesting “…in Order to form a more perfect Union, … promote the general Welfare….” defines ANYTHING the fed is allowed to do), the Constitution defines specific enumerated responsibilities (defined in Section 8 – the remainder primarily defining how it is to do them). Unfortunately, “…promote the general Welfare…”, while intended to explain the WHY of the Federal government vice the WHAT, apparently allows for anything and everything the Federal government wants to force upon us.

Welcome to Socialism. I think we are there. And a sad state of affairs to be sure…

>>> The day is at a close, the night is drawing in and my cigar awaits – ’til next time…

“In God We Trust” – Well, at least we used to

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I think I will have a few regrets, but hopefully only a few, when I finally depart this earth.
Of the, if not THE, greatest will be that my generation destroyed a country by our lust for power. This lust led us not only to a great country ruined, but also to convince a great majority of the Rising Generation to believe Socialism is not only ok, but should be honored and glorified. A belief that replaces God with the government (since we apparently no longer have trust in God – interesting for a country with “In God We Trust” on its currency…).

By dictionary definition, Socialism is “a system of society or group living in which there is no private property” or “a system or condition of society in which the means of production are owned or controlled by the state” or “a stage of society in Marxist theory transitional between capitalism and communism and distinguished by unequal distribution of goods and pay according to work done”. I think a careful read of the last part of that sentence is telling – key on the word “unequal”. Communism is “distinguished by unequal distribution of goods and pay according to work done”. Sound like anywhere you know? It seems we are attempting to achieve, if not already having achieved, what the U.S.S.R. never could. Regardless, under any definition, it is the stealing from one to give to another. Stealing? Yes, when taxes are used to redistribute wealth from one segment of the population to another, vice to pay for services needed by all, it is stealing.

“From each according to his ability, to each according to his needs…” was popularized by Marx and Engels in The Manifesto of the Communist Party. This will never of course be achieved in this country because so many are convinced the “from each according to his ability” part is unnecessary. Why waste to energy. The State will take care of me. However, it creates a state where those that ARE willing to do what they are able are robbed of the fruits of their labor to provide for those not willing – regardless of ability.

There are numerous ways to categorize people in. For the sake of this commentary I will use these five. The Power Hungry. The I Want to Work But Can’t Find A Job. The Why Work, the Government Will Take Care of Me. The Working. The Employer (aka, Rich).
Here’s how the five play out:
The Power Hungry say, “vote for me and I’ll take care of you”.
Some say, “OK” and become the Why Work, the Government Will Take Care of Me.

The Power Hungry steal more money (in the form of increasing various taxes) from the Employer and the Working to pay for the Why Work, the Government Will Take Care of Me.
The Employer lays off some of the Working because he can’t afford them due to the decreased sales (since, due to higher taxes, the Working don’t have as much money to spend) and increased taxes on the Employer thereby creating more I Want to Work But Can’t Find A Job.
The Power Hungry say to the new I Want to Work But Can’t Find A Job, “vote for me and I’ll take care of you”.
Some of the new I Want to Work But Can’t Find A Job give up for lack of jobs and become Why Work, the Government Will Take Care of Me.

The Power Hungry steal more money (in the form of increasing various taxes) from the Employer and the Working to pay for the Why Work, the Government Will Take Care of Me.
The Employer lays off more Working because he can’t afford them (see above) thereby creating more I Want to Work But Can’t Find A Job.
The Power Hungry say to the new I Want to Work But Can’t Find A Job, “vote for me and I’ll take care of you”.
Some of the new I Want to Work But Can’t Find A Job give up for lack of jobs and become Why Work, the Government Will Take Care of Me.
Etc. Etc. Etc.
And around and around we go.

In the end, the Power Hungry (aka, government) control all and the rest are slaves of the system. Welcome to the New Dark Ages.

Regrets and apologies (oops, sounding like BO) to the Rising Generation.
Now that you know, you CAN turn it around. Unless you are already one of the…

>>> The day is at a close, the night is drawing in and my cigar awaits – ’til next time…

I’m Old Fashioned

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I’ve heard this song many times sung by the Dowden Sisters.
I realize I’m not THAT old but I believe I can relate.
I think I’m old fashioned.
Too bad “the fashions of men” are no longer.
“Progress” is not always a good thing.

The Old Fashioned Meeting
by Herbert Buffum

O how well I remember in the old-fashioned days,
When some old fashioned people had some old-fashioned ways;
In the old-fashioned meetings, as they tarried there
In the old-fashioned manner, how God answered their prayer.

Twas an old-fashioned meeting in an old-fashioned place,
Where some old-fashioned people had some old-fashioned grace;
As an old-fashioned sinner I began to pray,
And God heard me and saved me in the old-fashioned way.

There was singing, such singing of those old-fashioned airs!
There was power, such power in those old-fashioned prayers,
An old-fashioned conviction made the sinner pray,
And the Lord heard and saved him in the old-fashioned way.

Twas an old-fashioned meeting in an old-fashioned place,
Where some old-fashioned people had some old-fashioned grace;
As an old-fashioned sinner I began to pray,
And God heard me and saved me in the old-fashioned way.

If the Lord never changes, as the fashions of men,
If He’s always the same, why, He is old-fashioned then!

As an old-fashioned sinner saved thru old-time grace,
O I’m sure He will take me to an old-fashioned place.

Twas an old-fashioned meeting in an old-fashioned place,
Where some old-fashioned people had some old-fashioned grace;
As an old-fashioned sinner I began to pray,
And God heard me and saved me in the old-fashioned way.

Twas an old-fashioned meeting in an old-fashioned place,
Where some old-fashioned people had some old-fashioned grace;
As an old-fashioned sinner I began to pray,
And God heard me and saved me in the old-fashioned way.
And God heard me and saved me in the old-fashioned way.
And God heard me and saved me in the old-fashioned way.

>>> The day is at a close, the night is drawing in and my cigar awaits – ’til next time…

What of yourself is yours?

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I am sorry to say, but you have very little that is intrinsically yours. Your time, your talent and your thoughts are pretty much the extent of it. And it is what you DO with that time as well as those talents and thoughts that become everything else that is yours. You usually accomplish this by turning them into money with which you then purchase other things (goods or services).
To what should be a limited extent, living in society requires us to give up some of what is intrinsically ours for an individual and collective benefit. We expect (but have no specific right to) such things as protection – other than self defense (e.g., military, law enforcement, fire protection, etc), education (to a level that is of benefit to society – currently set at the secondary level), clean water, power, etc. Many of these things (depending on where you live) are provided by the State and/or local government. In order to pay for them we must pay taxes.
The question then becomes, how much of ourselves – what is intrinsically ours or what we turn that into – can society demand? To how much does it have the right? Most specifically, to how much does it have ANY right if that demand does not in turn provide direct benefit to us (such as what is listed above).
A professional photographer in NM is told she is breaking the law by not photographing the union of a same-sex couple. She refused to use her time and talent in that manner on religious grounds. She was told that it was discrimination and was compelled to do it. The Supreme Court ruled that Elaine Photography violated New Mexico’s Human Rights Act by refusing to photograph the same-sex ceremony. She was ordered to pay over $7,000 in legal fees.
In 2013 an Oregon baker, Sweet Cakes by Melissa, refused to use his time and talents make a wedding cake for a lesbian couple. Since Aaron Klein, co-owner, declined to provide a cake for a lesbian “wedding” they now face $135,000 in “damages” for the “emotional suffering” of the couple and are under a “gag order” denying them their 1st Amendment right to present their side of the story. The bakery closed its doors in Dec. 2013.
Other cases (and losses) include a Washington state florist and a Colorado cake artist who refused to do work for same-sex couples and a Kentucky T-shirt printer who declined to make shirts promoting a gay pride festival. All being forced by the state to use their time and talent with neither individual or collective benefit.
“Only unjust laws separate what people say from what they believe,” said Alliance Defending Freedom Senior Counsel Jordan Lorence.
Writing in Forbes, 8/28/2013, Josh Steimle states:
“If we want a level playing field with fairness and justice for all, let the law focus on crimes of violence, and let individuals use persuasion in all other matters. This means letting people get away with doing wrong, as long as they commit no act of outright aggression. Even if it is wrong for Elaine to discriminate, we must be tolerant of such behavior if we want to live in a free society with a thriving entrepreneurial base. Those who take joy in this case because the law has ruled in their favor may come to regret a future day when that precedent is used to rule against them. The better way is to not give government such power in the first place.”
Bottom line: Individuals should not be compelled to part with what is intrinsically theirs when that parting provides no specific benefit to them or the society in which they live as a WHOLE. And especially when that parting violates their Constitutional rights.
Of course, not to suggest the effects of the issue above are not of great significance, the major overreach of government at this time is the “Affordable Care Act”. The government forcing its citizens to purchase a specific product and at a specific minimum level. And telling the providers of the end-service (e.g., the medical professionals) they must accept payment as dictated by that service – thereby minimizing the value of their time and talents. In addition, it is a disregard for not only what is intrinsically an individuals – using it for something that is no benefit to them individually (since virtually all already had what they wanted/needed) – but, often times, going against their 1st Amendment rights as well as using the fruits of their time and talent solely for the benefit of others.
Keep in mind, from the standpoint of many of the “powers that be” promoting these issues, it is not truly about any individual or even any of these items. It’s about the mindset. The immature, sophomoric way of viewing individuals vs society. This leads to the fallacy of equality. When T. Jefferson stated, “all Men are created equal” he was referring to their intrinsic VALUE – specifically in the “eyes” of our Creator. It should be obvious to even the most casual observer that we are not all equal in every respect. Yet this theory of equality is what leads to Socialism/Liberalism/Progressivism and the eventual downfall of a society (as should be noted from the history of every society of any significance that has tried it).
As well, the underlying reason many (most?) of those that proclaim these positions is to support their own agenda. They won’t admit it, but this is their way of saying “I want to do what I want to do and they rest of you should let me do it.” And those in power continue that statement with “and YOU need to fall in line and do it to.” They just couch it I such a way as to declare they are SO benevolent to others all the while expecting the benefit, if achieved, to eventually get back to them and their issue. If nothing else, eventually society as a whole just becomes liaise faire and let’s anybody do anything. This is a version of Anarchy. Nay, the DEFINITION of Anarchy.
The answer to the question? Apparently even your time and talent are no longer yours. The government can force you to use them as they dictate. Is thought next? King George III is back!

>>> The day is at a close, the night is drawing in and my cigar awaits – ’til next time…

The Mass Media lies

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In the latest example of today’s topic – In the 7 July 2015 cnn.com/Money article, Gun sales spike in June, by Aaron Smith, it is stated, “Last month the FBI conducted nearly 1.53 million background checks, which are required for all in-store purchases, but not for sales at gun shows or between individuals”.
This is of course a lie. Not so much the number of background checks (of that we can only take his word (actually not something I am prepared to do)) but, for any that take to the time to know the law, the assertion the they are not required at gun shows. 90+% of the sales at guns shows are by Federal Firearms License (FFL) holders. All FFL holders are required to run background checks for all sales (exception noted below) regardless of the location. Aaron Smith knows this. Aaron Smith is a liar. Should I give him the benefit of the doubt? Should I presume he is just ignorant of the topic and is doing the best he can? He IS writing for the “Money” section after all. The answer is a resounding NO! He is not writing for some minor rag in some Podunk town in the middle of nowhere. He is writing for CNN. If he is THAT good, he should be THAT good! But of course he IS that good. He phrases it the way he does on purpose. To further the agenda of the Liberals/Progressives/Socialists. And most people will just take his word for it. Mission accomplished.
So I ask, what is the point of mass media if they continually and blatantly lie to us. How many of you take them at face value? Why?

As an aside, part of the point of his article is to suggest that since the number of background checks is increasing, the number of gun sales is therefore increasing. Three points are to be made (mifireaFFLLibersnor of course, but you’ll only hear it here).
– FFL holders are not required to run background checks on concealed carry permit (CCW) holders. The rational being that CCW holders have already had a background check (one far more in-depth that one used to purchase a firearm). In my state, a CCW is valid for five (5) years. In that time I may purchase one gun or one gun a year or one a month or one a week or one a day. For none of which will a background check be run. The safeguard of course being that: a) if I do something that would make it illegal for me to purchase a gun or hold the permit, it will be revoked and b) I must still complete all the “no, I’ve not done anything bad in my past” paperwork under threat of fine and jail time if it turns out I’m lying. But since I don’t work for the press, nor am I a criminal, I’m probably ok.
– Not all background checks lead to gun sales. Kinda the point if you think about it. Of course thinking is not something the press is known for.
– He is correct (imagine that!) in that sales between individuals do not require background checks. Since criminals, by definition, don’t care about the law, the presumption behind this is that the seller knows the buyer well enough to know they can legally own a gun. As well, just to ensure this, it is illegal to KNOWINGLY sell a gun to someone not legally allowed to own/possess one. Therefore, if you are a criminal you won’t care anyway and if you are an upstanding citizen you won’t sell the gun if you know that person can’t legally own one.

Finally, he can only PRESUME that since background checks are increasing, gun sales are increasing. Not my major issue with his article but none-the-less. Leaving the whole issue of illegal sales out of the argument (let’s presume he was only referring to legitimate, legal sales), maybe more people are currently buying from gun stores than their friends and relatives. Maybe CCW permit holders have all the guns they want at this time and were not buying last month.

Another minor example: the “press” reports that “The official confirmation had to wait until new population figures were released by the Census Bureau this summer. The new tally, released in late June, shows that as of July 1, 2014, about 14.99 million Latinos live in California, edging out the 14.92 million whites in the state.” On the surface this may seem somewhat innocuous. This is not only a lie but it is also purposefully divisive. The problem? Latinos ARE white. Latino is an ethnicity, not a race. White is a race. The US Census Bureau knows this. SO…. Yet another misrepresentation by the press. In this case, another division to set one group of people against another. Illegal immigration aside (which, by the way, isCe not all Latinos!), WHO CARES? Why do we need to concern ourselves with such divisions of people in this country (or any for that matter). If you wish to differentiate legal from illegal (read, criminal) people in this country, more power to you. Goes to sovereignty. However, in any other argument, WHY? Why must we divide by race? Why must we divide by ethnicity? Why can’t we all just be American?

Regardless, between presumptions, ignorance and outright lies, the mainstream media provides more of an amusement than a source of valid information. Take it for what it is worth.

>>> The day is at a close, the night is drawing in and my cigar awaits – ’til next time…

Yesterday (19 July 2015) was updated

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For those of you that subscribe, I understand “modifications” to posts are not sent out. This is unfortunate since I, from time-to-time, do make corrections, additions or general modifications to posts rather than create a whole new post that then must be linked back to the one it references.
For this I apologize. I strive to ensure my posts are correct and complete but, much to my chagrin (not a normal state of affairs), I am not perfect. Just traditional.
That said, I was on vacation this past week and my post of yesterday was not as well thought out or complete as I had hoped. Even in my desire to keep them informative but short, I failed.
Therefore, I have updated my post of 19 July 2015 if you wish to read the “complete” thought (or at least as complete as it can be for an internet blog post).
Thank you as always for your support and readership.

Supreme Court Rulings – Always Right?

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Is the SCOTUS always right?
Several recent cases (not to mention legalization of abortion several decades ago) have led to many suggesting a given argument is “settled law”. Stop arguing. It is over. Accept it.
But is this really the case?
A quick review of the last few hundred years show that the Supreme Court has overturned previous SCOTUS rulings 123 times as of EOY 2014.
Seems to me nothing is settled. Ever.

As an aside – over the approximately 2000 years of the Catholic Church, while the Popes throughout its history have made only a few of what are called “Ex Cathedra” proclamations, which literally means, “from the chair” (with the full authority of office (especially of the pope’s infallibility as defined in Roman Catholic doctrine)), none have been reversed. These are basically the Pope declaring something to be true and what must be believed. It is quite telling that at no time has a Pope reversed the proclamation of a predecessor. EVER. And while there have only been a few Ex Cathedra declarations, there have been many determinations from popes throughout the history of the Church that have also NEVER been reversed.
It is interesting that the Catholic Church has never reversed what essentially the equivalent or greater (so to speak) of a Supreme Court ruling in 2000 years but the SCOTUS has reversed itself 123 times in approximately 1/10th the length of time.

Post note: I know what some of you will say… The SCOTUS has made hundreds or even thousands of decisions over the last few hundred years and the pope has only made a few. Of course they are going to get things wrong. True. However, not to get into detail of how the Catholic Church works, there are other ways of “declaring” something true and doctrinal. One is through “collegiality” where the pope makes a determination in communion with the other bishops of the church. This is not Ex Cathedra per se but holds the same authority. As well, several Church councils have been called over the centuries (Trent, Vatican I & II are probably the best known). While these councils make non-doctrinal decisions, they also have made doctrinal ones. Again, none of the doctrinal determinations of the Church have been reversed.
This post was not supposed to be a comparison of the Catholic Church and the SCOTUS.
The post overall and the comparison was intended to point out two things.
A) Supreme Court decisions are NOT settled law.
B) When determinations are made on the basis of the truth of right and wrong (vice “I want to do it so it must be right”), good and bad, morals, they have much less chance of being overturned. When decisions are made on the basis of polls, current societal “norms”, “equality”, etc., they will eventually, hopefully, be corrected. The SCOTUS is more and more making decisions based on current societal norms vice what is right (or even Constitutional). I harken again back to Sodom and Gomorrah.

So take heart. Poor decisions can, and hopefully will, be reversed. Oh, wait a minute… have we the time?

One final thought – let’s take a quick look at the Constitution of the United States. You remember that document. The one the POTUS and SCOTUS like to ignore.
It specifies in Article III, Section 2, Paragraph 2:
“In all Cases affecting Ambassadors, other public Ministers and Consuls, and those in which a State shall be Party, the supreme Court shall have original Jurisdiction. In all the other Cases before mentioned, the Supreme Court shall have appellate Jurisdiction, both as to Law and Fact, with such Exceptions, and under such Regulations as the Congress shall make.”
So the question may be – Why does Congress, the body of the people, not stand up for what is right for the people? Congress is Constitutionally authorized to make exceptions as to on what the Supreme Court may or may not rule. For what are they waiting? The people, through their Representatives, have the authority to say “this is the way we wish our country to be run… this is what is right and what is wrong… the minority can’t dictate to the majority… having an opinion (preference?) does not make you right…”. However, our Congress is either ignoring or ignorant of it’s authority to stand up for the people. So much for a “representative democracy”.

>>> The day is at a close, the night is drawing in and my cigar awaits – ’til next time…

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