What of yourself is yours?

Leave a comment

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 Tipping Point – a continuation…

Leave a comment

Progressivism (read, Liberalism/Socialism) in a nutshell (although not inclusive)::

Poverty vs welfare: They go hand in hand. What Socialists don’t see is that while welfare doesn’t create poverty, in its current state in our country, it does in fact perpetuate it. This has led to generational dependency and poverty. The way to lift our fellow man out of this perpetual state is to allow the private sector to provide jobs and limit the assistance (at either the State level or via private charity) to a minimal timeframe thereby creating the requirement to accept the work that private sector provides. Considering it is ALWAYS better than the poverty level subsistence provided by the Federal government, why would you NOT take it. Oh yeah, you’d actually have to GET A JOB!
I am not alone in this, the Manhattan Institute, came to this conclusion when it studied the notion of income inequality: “The central problem facing the economy is that income growth over the past few years has been modest to nonexistent, as a result of the financial crisis, the subsequent recession, and an extremely modest recovery. Moreover, policies that aim only to redistribute wealth—rather than generate real economic growth and opportunity—are unlikely to solve, or even meaningfully address, the slow growth trajectory for wages.”

Tax rate vs government income: Proven over and over again, lowering the tax rates creates more income for the government. Makes no sense on the surface (which is as far as the Socialists look because any further would not satisfy their plan of dependency and thereby ensuring its continued power base). However, the reason it works is simple. Less money taken from the private sector by the government allows more money to be spent by individuals and companies. Money spent creates jobs. More jobs equals more income. More income creates more income tax (yes, EVEN at lower tax rates). It is NOT rocket science.
This is not only a solution for our debt, it is a solution for unemployment. It is a solution for pulling anyone and everyone that takes advantage up in social status. As the old saying goes, a rising tide lifts ALL boats. As well, any job created by the government is a cost to all taxpayers, whether you want or need the product/service. Any job created by the private sector is a cost only to those that choose to spend money on that product or service. That said, since profit is the life or death of a company, job creation is required. Without employment, there is no profit. Therefore, the private sector is much better at creating and pricing jobs. Need proof, look at history.

Debt: See comments reference Greece in previous blog (07/05/2015 – The Tipping Point).

Morality: It is a good thing we have a Supreme Court (more on this next week) to dictate morality and create laws to ensure it. I suspect if we keep going down this path (which I see no indication we won’t) we will be able to get rid of Congress (and therefore the will of the people) and just have a dictator as president (later to be renamed monarch since it is more politically correct) and a court to rubber stamp his/her prescriptions. As well, by dictating away Judeo-Christian morals, on which this country was founded and most of our overriding laws (including the Constitution itself) are based, they can ensure their voting base and therefore their power. Keep in mind however that at some point voters will no longer be needed. Subjects on the other hand will be important.

Our national borders: While I fully understand from an individual perspective the desire to improve their standard of living, entering a sovereign nation without permission is not right. From the other side of the border, helping other countries improve the standards of their people is much preferable than taking on their poverty stricken citizens. And undoubtedly less costly in the long run. Not that I am advocating the US as the banker to the world anymore than the police force of the world (although we already supply significant portions of direct and indirect “lending” to nations throughout the world). Nor do I suggest that it is easy to go into a country and presuppose we know better than them how to provide for their people. However, it is without a doubt that we have proven our past philosophies are quite able to ensure a prosperous society. That said, allowing illegal immigration is not the solution to any country’s problems. When we allow the destitute with no means of support (thereby becoming an additional drain on a society already sucked dry), criminals and terrorists to cross into our country unabated, it can only lead to a further decline and eventual destruction of our ability to help ourselves, much less that rest of the world. And it is in direct conflict with the prime raison d’être of government, its reason for existence – to protect (not PROVIDE FOR) its people. Our current policies and level of enforcement is detrimental to our national existence.

Being forced to buy what we may not want (or already have in the form we want): Yes, SCOTUS Care (not interested in using our current POTUS’s name at any time – but aka The Affordable [what a joke] Care Act – as the current major example. The Oligarchy has spoken. The Federal government, or in this case, the Dictator in Chief and his cohorts in Congress, has/have no Constitutional authority to FORCE us to purchase not only something we don’t want, but exactly what and how much it will be. Apparently individual liberty (as in Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness) and the 1st Amendment no longer apply. A solution looking for a problem. Instead of allowing the private sector to solve the problem of the few, the Dictator in Chief has solved the “problem” even for those of us that didn’t have one. As well, we now have pretty much as many or more without coverage than the problem was to address and has shown no lowering in costs for those that are forced to get a new version of something they already had. The numbers for 2012 (prior to “Affordable” Care Act (ACA)) show an uninsured rate of 16.7% with an average family annual premium of $15,745. In 2013 the uninsured rate was 20.8%. Today the uninsured rate is approximately 15.5% with an average family annual premium of $16,800. These numbers are of course from the government that brought you the product you did not need. Honesty? – I don’t think so. In addition, other than forcing people to purchase something they may or may not want, from somewhere they may or may not want purchase it, what has it accomplished? Since, contrary to what was portrayed, there is no indication that the ACA was the cause of the minimal reduction (a theoretical 1.2%) in number of insured. All that said, and contrary to the ruling of the SCOTUS (now a political body vice the intended legal one), there is nothing Constitutionally allowing the Federal government to get involved in health care.

Another long one. The wife hates that. But it needs to be said. And luckily I’m not the only one saying it. If you believe this country needs to get back to prosperity and the moral values upon which it was based, it is time to standup and in whatever way available to you (within the context of those values) do SOMETHING to turn it around.

Again, welcome to the New Dark Ages…

Maybe I’ll try some less depressing topics in the near future.

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

The Tipping Point

Leave a comment

I’m back.
A lot has happened during my hiatus.
In that time I believe we – our country specifically, but the world in general – reached the Tipping Point. We are now on an inevitable march into the New Dark Ages.
Don’t get me wrong. It is not the ABILITY to get back on track that is lacking. It’s not that nothing CAN be done. It is that, as in the past, the DESIRE of those that have the power and authority is to continue down this path toward darkness. Why you may ask? Easy, it is also the desire of those that put them in power and the fear of losing that power. The “receivers” outnumber the “providers” and refuse to give up their spoils. Those in power must continue to provide those spoils or lose everything. In relation to physical spoils, they will of course be forced to do so. The problem for them, and us, is too many are now dependent on too few and it can not be sustained. The providers, not having an endless supply or being given the time and freedom to obtain more, will soon be sucked dry.
That said, these “spoils” come not only in physical (read: financial) support but psychological and moral as well. As with the Dark Ages of old, people want to do what they want to do regardless of any ethical or moral consequences. Regardless of any detriment to society. Regardless of any ill affect on their (our) progeny. They have convinced themselves, and others of equally weak minds, that there are in fact no such consequences. Everybody, as well as any thought, idea, lifestyle – any choice whatsoever – is as valid as the next. The valid, individual worth of the person has transformed into invalid worth of ideas. “I’m as good as you, therefore my ideas are as valid as yours.” Consequences and history be damned. Yes, you ARE as good as me as relates to our worth as human beings. No, your ideas have been shown throughout the ups and downs of history to be based on erroneous information and unsound reasoning and are unquestionably invalid (which is one reason they are not questioned). The acceptance of these ideas is what has led to the collapse of civilizations time and time again.

As one of many examples, let us consider modern day Greece. More and more borrowing over the last 7 years or so. Understating its deficit and debt. Now shut out from borrowing in the world financial markets.
Socialism at its best. The path of the United States. Since much of the issue with Greece is due to the interconnectedness of the world financial markets and the implosion of Wall Street in 2008, many other countries – including the US with $18+ Trillion in debt & no end in sight – will follow shortly. Much of the money lent to Greece by the way was from the US contributions to the international funds. SO… the US going further into debt to bail out a country going further into debt. Some actually considered this a good deal? And finally, in order to obtain the latest in its borrowing, Greece was required to make deep budget cuts (we’ll see how that plays out) and steep tax increases. While it obviously didn’t help – taking money from those that generate the money never does – does this sound familiar?
[note: the day of this original post the Greeks voted in a referendum to reject their creditors’ austerity terms for aid. They rejected the budget cuts. They will have their spoils!]

Not to get to hung up on the financial issues of our march…

“The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing.”
Anonymous [yes I know, that quote has been attributed to many people. But since there is no hard evidence of the true author, I give credit to Anonymous (he has many great quotes)]

And have no doubt. It IS evil that is on the move. Evil in the form of Socialism (Progressive, Democrat, call it what you want). Making slaves – or at best, indentured servants – of so many. More and more, good men are no longer allowed to do anything. Those that have been lured into and convinced of the benefits of this evil are growing in number by the day. They don’t connect their “gifts” of public assistance to their becoming dependent on it (psychologically if nothing else). They don’t connect their “gifts” of public assistance to the taxes of their neighbor. They don’t connect their “gifts” of public assistance to the absurdly high and still growing National debt. Or they just don’t care. But they DO vote.

Previously a great nation assisting around the world to defend, provide humanitarian relief and fund the necessities of the persecuted of other countries (often times, entire countries), we, the US, no longer have the leadership to do so. In addition, our ability to do so has never been so minimal or so strained.
While our fellow man is being brutally tortured and murdered throughout the Middle East and around the world, our leaders (our dictator) has decided to do nothing.

What is leading us to this state of affairs. Why liberalism of course. Progressivism. Socialism. The Scourge. However you wish to refer to it. It is the epitome of evil. It is Lucifer at work. Subtle. Taking what he can, when he can, where he can, how he can. Bringing us the apple in the garden, Sodom and Gomorrah, the Dark Ages, the Holocaust, (yes, I could go on) and most recently – the new, politically correct, way of Socialism.
We will look at some specific aspects of this next time.

In the mean time, to sum up the current state of our government::

Our POTUS is behaving like a Dictator espousing and forcing socialism on his subjects. The dictator commands his branch from an ivory tower and the cabinet members and their many departments decree more and more how we are allowed to live.

Our SCOTUS is run as an Oligarchy ignoring the Constitutional limits of its own power and either rubber-stamping progressive views or legislating liberal ideals from the bench. This oligarchy, with no regard for the will of the people or the law of the land, ignores the duly elected representatives (not to mention the Constitution) and legislates from the bench.

Our Congress is overrun by liberals on both sides of the aisle. We now have but one party split in name only. As well, based on the 17th Amendment, we have but one chamber separated in name only (ok, rules too) and we are suffering the consequences of ignoring the wisdom of our Founding Fathers and changing the original system. When it is not furthering the cause of Socialism, this Congress sits back and, well, sits back.

Because each of the branches has decided to act individually – without any regard for the Constitution, historic precedence, or common sense – the ideal, an institution of checks and balances as intended and prescribed by the Constitution, is no longer existent.

Unfortunately for President Lincoln & the rest of us, the “Government of the people, by the people, for the people…” has perished from the Earth.

As well, our perfect Union, Justice, domestic Tranquility, common defence, general Welfare, and the Blessings of Liberty have all been relegated to the ash bins of history.

We had a good run.
Prepare for the New Dark Ages…

-to be continued-

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