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“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…

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 Tipping Point – a continuation…

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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…

Randomness or Weariness

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So, working on taxes.  Not happy.  Which I think is kinda a requirement when doing taxes.  Don’t get me wrong.  I’m all for paying my fair share. Whoa! Almost sounding like a liberal there. Wait. No. I’m ok. Libs are for OTHERS paying THEIR “fair share.”  Hard to keep this stuff straight sometimes.

So, where was I?

I have been somewhat remiss in my blogging.  My excuse?  No, I have not run out of things to say.  By far.  I’m going with illness and work. Of course, had my wife taken proper care of me I would not have gotten sick.  Of this she is well aware.  Mainly because I made her so.  Work on the other hand is work.  For some reason the payroll department seems to want me to show up to “earn” my pay (sorry, my wife’s pay – I suspect I will get that wrong many times today).  Sigh!  Maybe switching to Liberal wouldn’t be so bad.  I’m sure somebody out there wouldn’t mind having their money stolen and given to us for my wife’s benefit.  Off topic (although I’m not yet sure what the topic of the day is).

Where was I?  Working on taxes.  Boy is that a fun thing to do.  You are always caught between loving and hating the thought of a large return.  Loving it because it is “found” money.  Hating it because when you think about it, and you should, it is YOUR money that you lost in the first place.  While it is never fun to write yet another check to the government so it can waste even MORE of your hard earned money, getting a refund of your interest free loan to those bureaucrats is not the best thought either.  Although I am nowhere near the end of this year’s journey into the annual tax nightmare, I have no doubt I will be writing that check.  To all you Libs out there, you are welcome.  To all you conservatives out there, where the heck are you?  What’s the deal leaving me to continue to fund bridges to nowhere, midnight basketball and mating habits of African Bullfrogs (or was it Australian?).  Next time get off your sofa and vote!  I blame YOU far more than the bottom-of-the-pyramid Libs.  They are just sheep.  Pawns with no desire to educate themselves.  Apathetic.  Easier to just follow their government shepherds and eat whatever the mass media feeds them.  But enough of that.

So many things to discuss.  So many things in this country that need tweaking or a major overhaul.  So many things I am just not in the mood to discuss today.  I am tired.  Illness?  Work?  The problems of this country and the world?  I don’t know.  Just tired.  The more I venture out and view the actions and interactions of my fellow man, the more tired I grow.  Maybe not tired.  Maybe weary.  At church today we were instructed on the parts of the whole.  Not to despair at whatever part you are to play.  The example, for those of you that have ventured into the world of the Bible, was of a physical body.  The foot, the hand, the ear, the eye.  Each has a reason for being.  Each should except its role and understand it has an important part to play.  The idea is that we individuals also have a specific role to play.  A role in the totality of mankind.  I sat there and thought about that (yes, I can think and pay attention at the same time).  I thought many of the problems we have in society may very well come from many of us not “playing” our role.  Not satisfied with being a foot or an ear.  Always thinking that someone else has a better role to play and against all the talents with which we’ve been blessed we try to be something we are not.  Why is that?

For some odd reason we look up to the White Collar workers – the doctors, lawyers, professors, etc.  We look down on the “unskilled”, Blue Collar workers – the garbage man (sorry, sanitation engineers), custodian, cook, etc.  Why is that?  When we come home from work in the evening on “Trash Day” are we not glad the can is empty and prepared for another week of our rubbish?  When we go out for a nice evening on the town or a Sunday breakfast are we not glad there is a cook in the kitchen of our chosen restaurant?  Are we not happy the end of each work day does not include having to take our waste basket to the dumpster?  Someone will be there after we leave to clear it out.  We all have a role to play.  We should be not only thankful for our own, we should be thankful for that of each of our fellow man.

That said, I see much of the problems of society and the world stemming from individuals that want to play a role for which they are not suited.  As mentioned, we all have God given talents (and yes, God still gave you talents whether you believe in Him or not).  To be truly happy in life, it behooves us to make a determined effort to recognize and appreciate what ours are and make it our life’s ambition to select an appropriate role.  A role that uses the talents we have.  Not only for our benefit, but the benefit of all.  Not only would we be happier, but mankind as a whole would be far better off.

So many want to be something they are not, should not and often cannot.  But for whatever reason – envy; desire; pressure from peers, parents, others in authority – they insist their “lot in life” is not theirs.  They MUST be something they are not.  They MUST be something for which they are not prepared.  For which they have no talent.  If an individual’s talents lie in a specific area and they fail to use them, something in the play of mankind is not getting done.  A role is not being played.  This tends to throw everything out of whack.  Take my word for it (or not, don’t really care all that much today), everything is out of whack.  The play is not following the script.  This leads not only to unhappiness on the part of the individual but a “disturbance in the force” (yes, I actually said that).  There is currently a major disturbance.  I believe my weariness derives from this disturbance and, in part, my lack of time, talent or treasure to fix it.  I know, I know.  Who the heck am I to take the world on my shoulders?  I’m actually not.  My weariness stems from the knowledge that neither is anyone else.  So many of us are not fulfilling our role.  Nobody individually is able to solve the problem.  However, as each domino falls due to someone not fulfilling their role, those around it, fulfilling their obligation or not, are also brought down.  This leads to the state of affairs in which we now find ourselves.  Sigh…

Ok…  back to taxes.  The topic or the task?  As long as everyone is of the understanding that I am (sorry, my wife is) being robbed and my (sorry, her) treasure is being wasted, I will get back to the task.  However, if I learn in the future that some of you out their actually believe I am (she is) not paying my (her) fair share, I shall delve DEEPLY into the subject and pelt you unmercifully with the facts.  You WON’T like it I assure you…

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