Monday, December 28, 2009

More naughty than nice on this list

Well, it is Christmas week and I am making my own list of who’s been naughty and who has been nice and checking it twice. Ben Nelson, senior Senator from Nebraska has made the naughty list. As a matter of fact, he sits atop the list in a category all his own. This is the man who made it possible for the Democrats to end debate on the mostly secret Harry Reid/Barrack Obama Healthcare Bill. Like cockroaches, Democrats in Washington prefer to hide their activities from the glare of light so they scheduled the vote for 1AM Monday morning. In this particular instance, they also picked a time when the capital was covered in snow.

Ben Nelson had been the last best hope for preventing the government from taking over healthcare. His failure as a servant of the people is setting this country on the road to having the same caliber of people who run the Post Office schedule your brain surgery. Unfortunately, Ben didn’t turn out to be a statesman, just another Washington huckster, for sale to the highest bidder. So Nebraska gets Medicaid payments forever and the rest of the country gets to pick up the tab, so much for equal protection under the law. In addition, we all get Obama care and the slow erosion of what is the best medical care in the world. Where will the Canadians go for heart surgery once our system is as bad as theirs?

The Democrat leadership goes on television every day and complains that the Republicans won’t participate in the design of this important legislation all the while they lock themselves in Harry Reid’s office and hammer out the details. The final bill was released Saturday morning and debate was ended in the middle of the night Sunday; so no real debate took place on the final law. The old Soviet Politburo would have been jealous of the Democrats on this one. They are now saying that the final vote will be held on Christmas Eve ensuring you will be properly distracted as they slide this 2000 page monstrosity one more step closer to law. They don’t want us mere peasants watching what they do because the more we know about it, the fewer of us support it.

There are no heroes here, no champions of the people. Those senators who held out did so because they knew they would be paid off. They were not disappointed. The Congress, which has spent trillions of borrowed money over the past year, is adding another $2.5 Trillion in spending all the while insisting that this is deficit neutral. They tell us that they will cut Medicare by $500 Billion dollars without affecting services. But I would point out that there has never been a cut in Medicare or any other entitlement. Entitlements like taxes are forever. We are being lied to on a massive scale and the news media, that 4th Estate whose job it is to tell us when the government is out of line, is simply a cheerleader for those who are stealing our future and the futures of our grandchildren in the dead of night.

This isn’t the United States I grew up in. I am shocked at how quickly we have become something other than what our founders meant us to be. Those holding power in Washington are not on the side of the people. They have determined that they know better than us. We along with the Constitution of the United States are simply obstacles in the way of their agenda and hence dispensable. We cannot give up. We cannot allow this to stand. We can vote those who are dismantling the country we love out of office. I just hope November 2010 won’t be too late.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

The Political Continuum

I actually had an editor of a major newspaper accuse me of failing to see my ideology reflected in the fellow who murdered the guard at the holocaust museum. That man is a Nazi, an anti-Semite, a racist and a killer. Try as I might I can’t think of a single similarity to my ideology possessed by that person. You see this editor, this product of modern journalism, is typical of his profession. They see conservative Republicans as Nazis and anytime some nutty self proclaimed Nazi shows up on the scene, the media can’t wait to lump them in with the Republicans. This is because they are the ones blinded by ideology. They allow the stereotypes created by their own extremism to muddle their thinking.

I vote for the Republican 100% of the time. I do this because I know the Libertarians are going to lose and because the Democrats are going to overspend and raise taxes. But I have hope that an occasional Republican will restrain himself and support limited government. Here is how I differ from the fellow who murdered the security guard at the holocaust museum.

He is a fascist, I am a libertarian. He hates Israel. I love Israel. He hates Jews. I have no opinion of Jews based either on their religion or their ethnicity. He hates African Americans. I like African Americans just fine and I love my granddaughter and she is half African American. He thinks we were on the wrong side in WWII. I think the US defeat of the Axis powers was the single greatest accomplishment in this nation’s history. He denies the Holocaust; I am a student of the Holocaust. He thinks his first allegiance is to the state. I think my first allegiance is to myself. He is a collectivist. I am an individualist. He puts his trust in a powerful government. I put my trust in individuals. He thinks 911 was an inside job, I think everyone who thinks this is an idiot.

You see, I have nothing in common with this killer. He is not a reflection of my ideology in any way shape or form. The connection is born of liars who support the political left in this country. This idea that Republicanism has anything in common with fascism is absurd. This is especially true of modern conservatives within the Republican movement. We are generally supporters of Israel and limited government. Fascism hates Israel and supports a strong central government that exerts control over private enterprise…sounds familiar but doesn’t sound like Republicanism.

The mistake people make is to assume that ideology is a continuum on a scale starting on the left and moving to the right. It isn’t. There is a continuum, but it is a scale starting with despotism and ending with anarchy, and along the way you add depth as you move from one end to the other. I am closer to the anarchy side than the despot side. I believe that most of the popular “isms” are closer to the despot end of things. Totalitarianism, communism, fascism and socialism, all have strong centralized governments in common. They are all oppressive of individual liberties and economic freedom. The ideologies most common to the United States are liberalism and conservatism. They are pretty much equal and move towards the despotism side of the spectrum depending on whether they are in power or out of power.

As a Republican/libertarian, I vote for the Republican as a practical matter because I believe that the state doesn’t have the right to confiscate my wealth even if they vote themselves the power. I trust the Republicans more than the Democrats in this regard. As a libertarian, I want that government which governs least…so I lean away from the despot end of the spectrum and towards the anarchist end.

Right now in my country I see a government that has been elected under the guise of the Democratic Party but that is quickly moving towards the despotism side of the spectrum. It is strengthening the control of government in ways never seen before in this country. It is nationalizing private businesses and rewarding political organizations based on their loyalty to this government. This is a move towards statism and shows attributes of both socialism and fascism. It reflects fascism in the confiscation and control of private concerns and socialism in its stated desire to redistribute wealth.

This government has the support and loyalty of a large segment of the media. Such statist’s positions have a lot more in common with the fellow who shot the guard at the holocaust museum than I do. It is not people who want a smaller limited government, with lower taxation and fewer regulations who we should fear. It is those who don’t trust the people to make good decisions who are the potential despots among us.

Monday, June 8, 2009

Musings II

“Create OR Save” - Obama has been using this phrase to talk about jobs since he announced his intention to run for President. In the beginning he was promising to “create or save” 4 million jobs. That number moved around to 3 million, then back up to 3.5 million. Now he is at it again and promises to “create or save” 600,000 jobs. This is still as meaningless a phrase as it was during the campaign. What angers me isn’t that Obama is spouting empty rhetoric…that is standard operating procedure for this alleged administration. What angers me is the media’s complicity in allowing this nonsense to go unchallenged. Why doesn’t a single reporter stand up in the press briefing room and ask Gibbs what this means and how is it measured. Basically, if at the end of the day, 20 million people lose their jobs and 600,000 keep theirs then Obama can claim success.

GPS - How come there is a satellite that can track my car though the McDonald’s drive through but it requires a visual search of thousands of square miles of ocean to find a missing airliner?

Chrysler Bankruptcy held up by Supreme Court - I guess not even the liberals on the Supreme Court can stomach this deal. The Obama Administration was poised to have the secured creditors take a backseat to the unions in this political payback deal and none other than Ruth Ginsberg called bullshit. A lot of people have been calling this deal, socialism, fascism, and even communism…but it isn’t really an “ism” at all. It is theft. The Obama administration is plotting to steal the secured assets of one group and hand them over to the unions in exchange for political support. Usually you have to wait until a Democrat’s second term to witness that level of blatant corruption and malfeasance. What is interesting is that the mainstream media reports the events as they happen but never questioned the legality of the deal in the first place. Usually when someone attempts to steal stuff that belongs to someone else, someone gets arrested. Not in this administration, they are allowed to break the law with nothing said. I think the car czar should be charged. Won’t happen though.

North Korea - Rumor has it that the Obama Administration is threatening to have the UN Security Council send the North Korean government a strongly worded letter. This will be the 20th such letter from the UN in the past 20 years or so. Former “Axis of Evil” member North Korea is said to be loading its latest response on the launching pad as we speak. On the bright side, two Al Gore employees have been sentenced to 12 years hard labor for “grave crime(s)” against the regime. Perhaps Al can offer himself in exchange and we can get the journalists back and be rid of Mr. Gore in one good swap.

Health Care Tax - Obama wants to raise taxes on wealthy people to pay for Health Care for all. Why is this news? The only problem is that all these new initiatives by the Obama administration lowers the number of wealthy from which to tax for revenue. It is not a self-sustaining policy. It reminds me of constantly raising taxes on tobacco to pay for some giveaway or another and then complaining when revenues go down as the tax has its desired effect of lowering the number of smokers. Who pays for healthcare when there aren’t enough rich people left?

Israel - The Israelis may wish they had taken out Iran’s nuclear capability before the Obama Administration took office. It appears to me that Obama is an apologist for the Palestinians, clamoring for a two state solution even though the Palestinians have been killing one another and who are sharply divided internally with the terrorist group Hamas on one side and the terror supporting group the Palestinian Authority on the other. In the meantime, Obama announces that these maniacs in Iran have a right to nuclear energy which may be the single most ridiculous thing this man has said since taking office. And that is saying something. I don’t know what the United States would do if Israel took out Iranian nuclear sites, I hope we would stand beside our friend and ally but with this administration infesting the White House, one never knows.

Bank Paybacks - I don’t understand why there is even a question being raised about whether banks can payback the bailout money. Has the government lost its mind completely? The banks should not be allowed to pay the money back…they should be encouraged to and sooner rather than later. That the government is putting conditions on the paybacks is ludicrous.

Mortgages - If you borrow money to buy a house and you lose your job and can’t pay the money back, your house can be repossessed by the secured creditor. If this ceases to be true, why would anyone loan anyone else any money ever again?

Dropping bombs on people – Remember when dropping bombs on people in Central Asia was considered murder? Apparently today’s journalists have decided that Obama Administration bombs that kill civilians are just unfortunate accidents, while the Bush Administration bombs that killed civilians was part of a right wing conspiracy to kill people of color and was done with blatant disregard for humanity. I am sure those on the receiving end of this more benevolent and compassionate ordinance can appreciate the political subtleties.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009


Chrysler and General Motors…end of an era. Now that the government and their union representatives have taken over two of the increasingly ill named “Big Three” auto manufacturers, I am announcing that I will never purchase a GM or Chrysler product again. Two of our largest companies have rolled over in the face of threats and coercion and become part of the Federal Government. I can’t imagine what kinds of vehicles these two entities will churn out in the future and I can’t imagine me wanting to own one. Basically it is the end of domestic automobile manufacturing in the private sector with Ford becoming the “Big One” auto manufacturer. The last government built car I can think of was the Yugo. I guess it is either a Ford or Japanese make for me from now on.

New York City fly by….Can’t help but wonder if this was done for a school project for one of the Obama children who needed a picture of the Statue of Liberty for show and tell. It does show one of two things…either utter contempt for the people of New York and by extension the people of the United States, or the White House staff is made up of complete idiots. Since this is a Democrat administration I am sure they will find someone to blame and fire.

Swine Flu…I am pretty sure the United States is the only country in the world that would rather see the disease spread so as not to do anything politically incorrect like seal the southern border. Better that people die than a protected group be offended. Not an hour had gone by after the announcement of the Mexican child’s death in a Houston hospital that the Obama Administration announced they were doing everything possible to prevent the spread of the disease…except for keeping infected people out of the country.

Arlen Specter……..I don’t think Senator Specter could have won the Republican Primary next time anyway. I will be surprised if he wins the Democrat primary either…why vote for an ex-RINO as the Democrat nominee when there are certainly actual Democrats who have been waiting in line for a chance to run for that seat.

Torture…I think the word is tossed around too freely. In the eyes of Republicans, torture involves screaming. In the eyes of Democrats, it involves heavy sighing. So instead of worrying that someone might lose blood or a digit, we are wringing our hands over the volume of the radio, the temperature of the room and the threat of a caterpillar. Any event I can recall from my fraternity initiation doesn’t constitute torture.

Pirates…I think the solution to the piracy situation has to involve cruise missiles.

Socialism…I believe the new President is a socialist. I believe that he believes that constant government growth is for the greater good. I believe that people’s intelligence should be judged as much by the conclusions they reach as by the mechanism they use to reach them. If the President is looking at the same set of conditions I am and his conclusion is to grow government and tax the rich then he isn’t intelligent.

Rich people….are not the enemy. The fellow who signs my check is a rich guy and I can’t see any scenario where taking money away from him is going to make me more prosperous. What worries me most is that I can see the Obama Administration and the lefties in the Congress deciding that the only way to address the massive debt they are doubling down on, will be a wealth tax. That is where they take over pensions and 401Ks and move you into a Treasury backed version of Social Security. Such a move would be catastrophic and I encourage old people everywhere to stockpile guns and ammo. At least they might be able to get something to eat with a pistol.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

…two nations….with liberty and justice for one of them

In light of the recent mentioning of secession by the Governor of Texas, I would like to throw in my two cents. Our country is now sharply divided between those who think the government should control our lives and those who don't. The Democrats assume everyone's an idiot and cannot be trusted to run their own lives or spend their own money. Considering the people the voters put in control of our once great country this argument may have merit. I for one don't want the government taking half my paycheck and doling it out to the parasite class. I believe there are no guarantees in life. People not willing to expend the same effort as I do, making a go at living in a free country should not be carried along as so much excess baggage on my dime.

The promise of America was that people were free to succeed or fail on their own volition. We are now entering the era where the majority thinks it can vote itself the contents of the treasury. Roughly half the people now believe they are entitled to the wealth created by others based solely on their having been born.

Currently the United States has been taken over by a mob. The people running the government think that government can’t be too big or taxes too high. They believe that people are entitled to material stuff despite the fact that they expend no effort. They think they have a right to a house even if they can’t pay for it. They don’t believe in American exceptionalism. They are perfectly happy to have the country swamped with illegal immigrants even if it bankrupts the governments of the several states.

We are quickly approaching an impasse. This country’s government has survived longer than any other nation in history based on individual liberty and economic freedom. It has been a good run. The time has come for us to seriously consider a split. Two nations! One would keep the current Constitution, be a Republic, have limited government, free markets and unfettered capitalism. The other would write a new Constitution, be a Democracy, and have a large bureaucratic central government, controlled markets and socialism. Everyone would be happy.

I would opt to live in the Republic. We would have no IRS. We would rid our nation of the Department of Education, the Department of Commerce, and HUD. We would have a national sales tax, school choice, be a "right to work" nation, promote business and the competing political parties would be Republicans and Libertarians. The Democracy would have all the current government plus the addition of a Department of the Environment, a Department of National Health, keep their kids in a failing public education system, raise taxes above 50%, outlaw wealth and the competing political parties would be Democrats and Greens.

The Democracy would have universal healthcare, free day care, and free education through college. Of course they would have the confiscate their citizen's property to pay for it, since most if not all of the wealth producers would live in the Republic. The Republic would have to send energy to the Democracy so they wouldn't freeze in the dark since the Democracy would never allow power plants or oil exploration within their territory. The Republic would have a standing army that we would use to guard our borders. The Democracy ran by people who "loathe the military" would soon have a population consisting of a large group of illegal aliens who would be given the same benefits as their citizens, plus the right to vote. I imagine the criminal class would opt for the Democracy where they would be safe from the death penalty and could ply their trade knowing the populace was unarmed.

The way this should happen is the competing factions would construct the makeup of the two countries on paper and the individual states would vote on which one it would join. Those living in the states that voted opposite their beliefs would have a right of immigration for 5 years following the split. Of course, eventually, the Republic would have to re-absorb the Democracy. You see, once they squander the wealth of their people, we would either have to take them in or let them starve.

Thursday, April 9, 2009


This is my comment on how to pursue organ donation in today’s society. I have a problem with the idea that people don’t become organ donors. So why are so many people dying waiting for organs?

According to data available as recent as this morning at 9:25 AM (April 10th, 2009) there were 93,945 people on the various waiting lists for organs. Between January and August 2008 there were 10,026 donors supplying organs and tissue for 19,719 transplants. Quite frankly this is not acceptable to me and shouldn’t be to anyone.

There are several roadblocks to being a donor. One is that our desire indicated on our driver’s license isn’t always honored. It varies from state to state. In some places you can indicate that you are a donor on your driver’s license and still be required to have a living will and an organ donor card. There are national laws and there are local laws designed to discourage organ donation.

The main roadblock to universal organ donation is a 38 year old law called the Uniform Anatomical Gift Act of 1968. This ambiguous law says in part that people have the right to determine whether they will be donors prior to death. The passage causing most of the problem is “A gift of all or part of the body under section 2(a) may also be made by document other than a will. The gift becomes effective upon the death of the donor. The document, which may be a card designed to be carried on the person, must be signed by the donor, in the presence of 2 witnesses who must sign the document in his presence. If the donor cannot sign, the docu¬ment may be signed for him at his direction and in his presence, and in the presence of 2 witnesses who must sign the document in his presence. Delivery of the document of gift during the donor’s lifetime is not necessary to make the gift valid.”

This pretty much makes the Driver’s License signature null and void. I don’t know about you but I didn’t take along two witnesses to get my drivers license.

Where I am going with all this is that I believe the moral and ethical standards of organ transplantation have changed since 1968. I believe that we should err on the side of those who die awaiting organs instead of allowing them to die because not enough people are willing to jump through the hoops necessary to become bonafide donors. Let’s rethink this process. Let us pass new legislation making organ donation automatic and putting provisions in place to allow people with moral, religious or even irrational reasons for not wanting to be an organ donor to opt out. Let them bring the two witnesses to the courthouse and get their “not a donor card.” In the absence of any documentation let’s do the transplants.

Also, we should not allow family members to show up at hospitals wielding veto power over organ donation at the time of death. Emotional declarations of opposition by someone other than the donor have no place in this process.

What I am proposing is an extreme position countering the current extreme position of the government. I understand that it is the duty of our representatives in government to take these two positions and complicate them in order to satisfy various special interests. The interests in this particular argument are those of us who want to save as many lives as possible using organs and tissues that would otherwise be buried or cremated, and those who want to sacrifice lives so that those who want their organs and tissues buried and cremated aren’t offended. If that sounds like an uncompromising position on my part….it is.

One argument by the bury or burn advocates is that if organ donation was automatic, there would be a greater danger of doctors pulling the trigger early on harvesting organs. I suspect if every person was a potential donor the need to be in a hurry for a particular set of organs would be unnecessary because a lot more people die than need hearts, lungs, livers and kidneys. Plus if you don’t trust the medical profession, opt out. I think medical science if protected from nationalization will eventually have the ability to grow organs in the lab, but in the meantime, we can close the gap and get rid of the organ lottery.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009


“Collectivism doesn't work because it's based on a faulty economic premise. There is no such thing as a person's "fair share" of wealth.” P.J. O’Rourke

We don’t elect governments to decide winners and losers and we don’t elect governments to decide what is fair and what is not fair. Governments big enough to enforce some faction’s notion of fairness is big enough to annihilate freedom and liberty and a good number of the people as well.

Why don’t I like today’s liberalism or today’s liberals?

They operate from another false premise: People are entitled to the things others produce. People are not so entitled. The founders of this country were very careful not to enumerate into the Bill of Rights…stuff. Everything in the Bill of Rights involves a right to something you can do for yourself without the aid of government and without someone being forced to provide a material good. Speech, Assembly and Religion do not require anything from anyone. The Right to Bear Arms doesn’t guarantee the firearm. The Right to counsel doesn’t promise the services of a lawyer. That is a misinterpretation of the intent of the founders put into law by lawyers for lawyers. Rights to things cannot be legally assigned without violating the very nature of unalienable rights from the Declaration of Independence and the spirit of American Constitutionalism.

We are individual citizens of a Republic. We are not wards of the state and we are not owned by the state for the purpose of providing our efforts to others by force. Government is force. We are responsible for our own lives and our own actions. Our actions create consequences and it is not a valid function of government to instruct our fellow citizens to sacrifice themselves to mitigate our consequences. If I want a house, it is incumbent upon the government to remove itself as an impediment to my earnings or my opportunity to build that house. I am not entitled to the house. It is my responsibility to obtain the property, materials and labor to produce said house. If I enter into a contract with my fellow citizen either individually or in the form of a lending institution, then I am responsible for faithfully executing the terms of that contract.

If I don’t pay my mortgage then I should lose the house to the lending institution. My inability to honor my contract is not my neighbor’s liability. I am responsible for my actions and liable for my debt. My neighbor is not nor am I liable for my other neighbor’s debt. Any activity by the government that seeks to change this dynamic is un-American. We the people do not have a right to vote ourselves the efforts of our fellow citizens. Any government that does so will and should be opposed by force if necessary. The citizens of this republic who join with the government in an effort to use the power of government to take from me to give to you will be opposed with the expressed purpose of defeating them. Such people are not a part of any acceptable economic solution.

Another issue I have with modern liberalism is over the notion of immigration. Today’s liberals tell me that because we are a nation of immigrants then we should not be allowed to enforce our immigration laws. I heard this from the Speaker of the House. Because they cannot politically win the debate to remove our immigration laws from the books, they work at cross purposes to the law to prevent the enforcement of said laws. There is also the bogus argument that the historic existence of immigration somehow obligates the United States to always allow continuous immigration. This isn’t true or in my opinion desirable. If I am pouring water into a glass and the glass becomes full, I stop pouring even though historically, pouring water into the glass was a desirable activity.

Liberalism seeks to continually grow government. It seeks more and more dependency on government activity to the point where we create a permanent underclass of citizens who no longer have an incentive to create wealth for themselves. This makes them a burden on the ever growing institutions of the state and then imposes further burdens on the productive citizens to support those who believe they are entitled to the efforts and productivity of other citizens. I repeat…they are not. Managing to become born does not give you title to my possessions and efforts. Liberals court these people for their votes. So we have a parasitic relationship between those dependent on the state and those producing enough to maintain said dependency. We are quickly reaching a point of diminishing returns. In New York City the mayor tells us that 40,000 people out of 8 million provide the vast majority of revenue to the city. How can we think to place further burden on such a fragile system?

It is my job to provide for my family and for those whom I choose to provide for. It is my job to provide food, housing, medicine, communications, transportation, clothing and any material thing I can obtain in a free market. It is the responsibility of my fellow citizen to do the same. All men are created equal and the equality we possess is both in opportunity and responsibility. We are not equal in any sort of measurable sense. Government cannot make us so. If I work harder and smarter, I will obtain more material wealth. It is not the place of government in a free society to ensure outcomes among the citizens. Quite frankly the people we elected aren’t smart enough to make such decisions and they don’t have a right to make such decisions. The mob of democracy cannot give that right to a government. Any attempt should result in the removal of said government.

These are not points for debate or compromise. I don’t negotiate with thieves, slave masters or enablers of tyrants. To me the current slide into collectivism is like a water glass filled with poison and my water glass is filled with pure clean water. Where is the compromise? How much poison am I to take into my glass to satisfy those who would see me weakened and stripped of my freedom? No…I am not having a debate here. Collectivism is evil. Individualism is good. It is black and white. The people who see us as a member of some sort of hive can hold their rallies and vote themselves power over my property and my efforts, but I will not participate. I would rather burn my possessions where they lie than have them confiscated by the government and shared among the looters of the world.

I used to be a liberal. I was a card carrying, slogan spouting, useful idiot of the political left determined to redistribute people's wealth that I had no part in creating. I was convinced of my own self-righteousness simply because I confused caring with helping. I didn’t realize that equality included the right to success or failure. I didn’t understand that government force is not compassion and that welfare isn’t charity. I thought that everybody who wasn’t lucky enough to be born me was somehow entitled to a share of what I had. I was a fool. I have since grown a brain. It hurt as the great hollow places filled with grey matter. It is a process I highly recommend.

A liberal is a person who believes society would be better served if he gets to reassign your wealth to someone of his choosing. A liberal believes that anything defined as deviant behavior by moral people is the good, and that moral people are bad. Some liberals believe that animals should have the same rights as people. A liberal believes that wealth is created at the expense of someone else. Liberals are more interested in the collective than the individual. Liberals define the individual by his group characteristics. Liberals are, in this day and age, racist-socialists who label people by race and ethnicity, create dependency on government for various groups, and then fight for the right of selected constituencies to remain dependent on the state.

In the 1970s, I defined myself as liberal. I was anti-Nixon, anti-Vietnam War, anti-government. I was out there walking for the hungry, writing for an “underground” newspaper, writing for the school newspaper, wearing a wide belt and work shirt, certain of the superiority of my views. Except for the wide belt and work shirt my position has not changed.

I did, however, refuse to grow up to become “them.” What happened to the radical left is that they have become the fat cat government bureaucratic left. They have become Nixon. They are the dudes in the Pentagon who bungled the war in Vietnam. They are the IRS, the jack booted storm troopers of the Justice and Treasury Departments. They are our “big government espousing, buy it on credit, relativistic, hypocritical parents.” The only real difference is that unlike our parents, they have done nothing to earn their complacency towards authority except whine.

PJ O’Rourke said it best. They hate people. They hate human beings and have dedicated their lives to making the Earth a miserable place to live. They have squandered the economic future of their own poor uneducated children and now our grandchildren.

Liberalism is a hollow unprincipled shell of a philosophy. It contains no concrete premises. It is the rich man’s communism, a way to get back at those who would seek to enjoy what they have created. It is a vindictive, elitist, guilt ridden, collective of people whose own lives are so empty and pointless that they feel compelled to drag everyone down to a common level.........theirs.

They have a zero concept of right and wrong. They don’t know the difference between can’t and shouldn’t. What is worse, they do not understand the difference between real compassion and government forced giveaway programs. Liberals believe that big government welfare programs are compassionate. They massage their own guilt at having material things by enacting policy that will take the assets of productive people and hand them over to the unproductive. Of the unproductive they ask nothing in return and anyone who disagrees with this approach they label as a racist, a fascist, a Nazi, or intolerant.

Liberals are famous for their tolerance of the intolerable. They see everyone who is not dirt poor as rich and everyone who is rich as an exploiter of the downtrodden...except themselves. It’s okay for them to be rich because “they care.” Makes me want to puke. Tolerance is a mantra to them. It doesn’t even require a qualifier. Tolerant of what? Anything except dissent. To disagree with the universally tolerant is to be bigoted and intolerant. Tolerance is one of those undefined goals of the liberal movement like “change” and “hope.”

One of the favorite words we all used when we were liberals is “fairness.” It is fairness, we said, that drives us to propose bigger government. What is fair, was us getting to divide the wealth, to redistribute what others worked to create. To determine how and where others should live, work and be educated or indoctrinated. The reason education in this country is so abysmal is because liberals don’t think it’s fair that some should be smarter than others or get more because their parents work harder to provide more. As a matter of fact, they seek a dumbed down populace to keep a plurality of voters to put them in office. The election of 2008 was the culmination of years of hard work. Now we have a plurality of voters who think “change” is a policy and “hope” is a direction.

The reason business isn’t providing 100% employment in this country is because liberals don’t really believe in capitalism. So they use government as a club to beat back industrial progress. The reason so many African Americans are poor and hopeless in the inner city is because without their struggle, liberals couldn’t get elected. So they pass laws, regulations and policies to keep them safely tucked away in America’s slums. Socialism is the new slavery, the Democratic Party members are the new overseers, the Federal Government owns the plantation. Emancipation will only come from free markets, unfettered capitalism and the realization that a tin cup is a poor substitute for self-reliance. Electing an African American President won’t change anything because he is more or less just another guilt ridden liberal wringing his hands over the plight of the poor. Obama understands that the policies of the welfare state will make things worse for “his” people, but he will do nothing to help them. He is committed to the cause.

When I was 17, I hung out with this guy who claimed to be a communist. He was definitely a left winger. He despised capitalism, though he enjoyed a house, a TV and food purchased in a free market. He was a few years older than me and I used to sit in his dirty little shack with his pictures of Mao and Lenin on the walls and listen to him talk endlessly about what was wrong with America and why communism was better. Today, we finally have something in common. We both have a shared dislike of liberalism. He called them useful idiots. I have dropped the useful part.

Today the label “liberal” is avoided even by liberals. It is not unlike the communists deciding that the word carried too much negative baggage and began calling themselves socialists. The reason liberalism is such a negative label is because it represents big, out of control government spending, high taxes, interference in the economic lives of citizens, collectivism and a kind of snooty self-righteousness that makes people nauseous.

These days, they have decided to define themselves as mainstream or progressive. That means if you disagree with them you are considered extreme, regressive or even oppressive. They get a lot of support for this point of view from the news media whose claim to be objective is weakened by their admission to being 90% liberal democrats. This election cycle the new media actively campaigned for the liberals, so chalk journalism up to another lost institution. We can put it on the shelf right next to the public schools.

I wonder how people will react when they realize that the paradise promised by the pie-in-the-sky socialist in the White House has no filling. Those who believe that the government is going to level the playing field and make their lives easier will surely be disappointed by the reality of what is coming. Easing the lives of those who have always taken the easy route will be no small feat to muster. How do you make life easier for someone who isn’t trying that hard?

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Boycott Socialism

The problem with socialists is that you eventually run out of other people's money." ...Margaret Thatcher

Okay folks, I have had just about enough of Barrack Obama and the Democrats. Here is what I suggest. Let’s see how well the economy does if the conservatives and Republicans stop taking part in it. Stop buying anything. Let’s shut this socialist sucker down. I am not suggesting a symbolic gesture like the liberals do with their day without a Mexican or their day without gays. I am not talking about 50 people throwing tea bags in Lake Michigan. I am suggesting we take the next 6 months and “stop the motor of the world.” Let’s teach this community activist how real consumer economics works. Let’s show him the true meaning of shared sacrifice and social justice.

Don’t buy anything except food, guns, ammo, necessary pharmaceuticals and gasoline. Don’t buy any stocks, don’t buy any cars, don’t buy anything from General Electric, don’t buy anything advertised in the mainstream media and don’t do any business with any organization taking money from the federal government in these ridiculous spending sprees. No electronics, no appliances, no movies, no eating out, no new clothes, no new shoes…we will not buy anything that isn’t absolutely necessary to our day to day living. Another way government is growing itself is through raising fees. For the next 6 months we should try and limit any purchases or licensing that require paying fees to the government.

I know this will hurt business, but business needs to get on board and tell the government to get off all of our backs. We are an innovative people and the main incentive that keeps our standard of living high is profit motive. Obama and the Congress are working to destroy profit…let’s help them. If you are a business and you aren’t making a profit because the President of the United States is an imbecile, then you need to take one for the team and get on board with boycotting socialism. Don’t expand, don’t hire, don’t upgrade for six months. If you have to have layoffs for your workers…check your parking lot for Obama bumper stickers. If anything else it will get his name off the cars and out of sight on the roads.

Let’s give this Obamination some change he can believe in. The sooner this idiot fails the sooner we can get on with rebuilding the United States as a capitalist nation. We are not Europe. We don’t want socialism either in our banks or in our medical facilities. I don’t want my doctor to work for the government. Capitalism has given the United States a high standard of living and this President seeks to destroy that by redistributing misery and mediocrity. I for one am mad as hell and I am not going to take it any longer…not a moment longer. I can’t make anyone join this movement, but at my house consumerism is stopping today. What the President doesn’t understand is that consumerism is a byproduct of a strong economy and not its cause.

I never thought I would live to see a time when the people of the United States would turn their lives and futures over to the nanny state. When I was young we were taught that taking money from the government was a reason to feel shame and failure. In my view it still is. We aren’t bailing out our banks and automobile companies. We aren’t helping people stay in their homes. We are turning businesses and people into beggars. Money for nothing. Money to keep flushing down the toilet of poor management and bad decision making. Someone tell me what the car companies are doing differently with the taxpayer money that they weren’t doing with their own money? What has changed? They are still losing billions and asking for more. What has AIG done internally to stem the tide of losing money?

This President and his minions in the Congress are mortgaging your children’s and grand children’s future standard of living. They are doing it in the name of the collective…the state. I would call them communist but the actions of the communists were calculated. I don’t know if Obama has a clue what the consequences are of his actions but we have seen the results of increasing control over the means of production in places like Cuba, Eastern Europe before the fall of the iron curtain, and the old Soviet Union. Socialism cannot take hold unless we feed it…so let’s stop feeding it.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Corporate Structure

The view most people have of corporate America lacks perspective. I know this because I am both a consumer of the news and deeply embedded in corporate America. High enough to see what’s going on, low enough to be under the radar, mostly. Listening to the media, you get this picture of malevolent beasts sitting high up in corporate towers plotting against the lowly consumer. Of course, if you would just turn off the TV and think a minute, you would understand that the whole point of a corporation is to help the lowly consumer. Corporations hope that they will rise above their current station in life so they can buy more stuff. Nobody in any corporation wants to kill you. Relax. What they want to do is sell you gadgets. If you are poor they want to sell you a cheap gadget, if you are rich they want to sell you an expensive gadget…and in order to sell the most profitable gadgets, you need to prosper. Corporate America loves you.

Corporations are a lot like governments. While they aren’t efficient enough to purposely harm anyone; they are big enough to trip and fall on you, though seldom intentionally. In a normal corporate organization, there are kings, there are princes, and then there are peons. The kings make vague references, the princes make strategic decisions about those references and the peons make sure that no work occurs that makes their prince look bad. Then there are stockholders, a mix of peons, institutions, kings and princes. A corporate Vice President of a Fortune 500 company, whom I know, is fond of saying “when the elephants dance, the pigmies die.” You see, the princes are always jousting with one another in the hopes that they will one day become king. Princes are judged and rewarded on how little money they spend. Being a prince in a corporation is a very stressful position and is like dancing in a spotlight in the middle of a crystal store. You must keep dancing and you must break less than the prince dancing alongside you. (I am sticking to masculine pronouns and titles king and prince instead of queen and princess as those words have meanings not in play here.)

There is also an ego factor. Kings and princes do not get to be kings and princes without a whole lot of butt kissing and once you reach a certain level it is your butt being kissed. Those of us with souls who don’t kiss any butt or desire our own butt kissed are called managers and directors and that is all we will ever be called. So as a manager or director, one has to be careful around the kings and princes. They are always on the lookout for someone who isn’t properly in awe of their mere presence. If you are incredibly competent, efficient, and you always make your prince look good, he will often overlook some level of non-butt kissing or deference to his exalted position. However, you must be constantly aware of how their ego swings in this regard. In addition to being egotistical in the extreme, they are volatile and unpredictable. It is a short trip from golden boy to “who used to sit over there?”

The entire list of corporate levels are: intern, assistant peon, peon, senior peon, supervisor, assistant manager, manager, senior manager, director, senior director, prince, senior prince, executive prince, and king. This hierarchy, taken to an extreme can be a sign of an unhealthy business model. The company with the fewest layers between king and peon is much more likely to be consistently profitable. Everybody knows this. Those companies that have thick layers pretend it is not true. At the very top, just past king, is CEO. The CEO sets the tone for everything that happens. Usually such a person is rich beyond belief and doesn’t really have any skin in the fight. To them it is just a game. They don’t come to work thinking that if they lose their job they will lose their home or starve to death. They are in zero danger of losing anything other than ego. It is a little disheartening. Fortunately for us peons, the average CEO is really into the game and sees their reputation as every bit as important as us peons having something to eat.

Monday, February 2, 2009

Stimulus or Stimuless?

This started off as a political blog, a place to pontificate endlessly about what I thought was the best approach to governance. I used to write about all things political. You could name a topic and I could knock out 700 words for or against it barely breaking a sweat. However, I see by the last election that my efforts were in vain and the people did what they do best, they screwed up. They elected a ‘know nothing’ as President of the United States and leader of what’s left of the free world. I say “they” because I didn’t vote for the guy.

Barack Obama is a community activist who last week said with a straight face that business people should not count on making profits. And the fact that he didn’t get laughed off the world stage tells me we are in trouble not only as a country but perhaps as a species. Not only did people not laugh, as a matter of fact, a good number of people swooned in his presence and marveled at his brilliance. I am here to tell you that the economic downturn is the least of our worries. To paraphrase the comedian Ron White, ‘you can fix the economy, but you can’t fix stupid.’

So, instead of the daily dose of dazzling political commentary I have posted some of my recent literary efforts as I try and break into the author business. My timing could have been better as I see in the news where a lot of literary agencies are going out of business and the publishing houses are laying off editors in droves…the very people I want to send my work to. That is why I felt okay putting some of my writings on this blog. It isn’t as though it was all down at the printers being made into books.

I do have political opinions about current events. It’s just that I am having a problem stretching, “I think the stimulus package won’t stimulate” into 700 words. I could go into what constitutes economic stimulus and how most of the stuff in the awkwardly misnamed stimulus bill won’t stimulate anything other than the deficit this year and the national debt for years to come. As a matter of fact, it would seem to me that if you have properly identified the problem as a downturn in the national economy, in order to fix it, you would be looking for ways to not spend $900 billion instead of way to spend it. Usually when I have personal economic problems the first thing to cross my mind isn’t to borrow as much money as I can and spend it on stuff that I can’t use for 4 to 6 years out. That would be dumb.

I think it is interesting when some Republican points out just how moronic this new bill is, the answer they get from the Democrats is that Bush did the same thing with his economic stimulus bill. I had always thought that our mothers had taught us the lesson about “if George jumped off a cliff, I guess you would too” when we were little kids. I agree that the only thing worse than getting ready to spend $900 billion in borrowed money is having already spent $750 billion in previously borrowed money. But the fact that we did it is not an argument for doing it again only bigger. It is as though we are not doing the dumb thing George did only because our cliff is higher.

So I will use this blog as a place to put my attempts at literature and occasionally pipe up and point out something really dumb the government is doing. Unfortunately the people have elected the government. So I have to be careful what I say about the people if I ever want to be a bestselling author of serious literature. While the people who would appreciate my literary musings are generally smart people, this last election shows that their numbers are waning. Plus, if the stimulus bill does what it appears to be designed to do, most smart people would do well to save their money for food and heat and forgo books. If course when the heat goes off because it is environmentally taboo to burn fossil fuels, books might prove a pretty good source of fireplace fuel once the lawn furniture is gone.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Introduction to God's Motive

God's Motive is a new book I have just completed but which hasn't been published. I am in search of a literary agent. It is much harder to obtain representation than it is to write a book. I will probably publish one more chapter here at some point but if I put the whole book on this blog nobody will need to read the it if by some miracle it gets published. - Phillip

God is not a concept. God is not a spirit. God is not our father...stepfather maybe but not the all knowing gray-haired kinglike figure sitting on a gold throne someplace in a non-dimensional paradise. God is still a mystery but less a mystery than he used to be, at least to me.

Plausible deniability is the term that comes to mind when dealing with the subject of a visitation from God. Just writing that sentence causes me to look around the room to make sure no one is reading it over my shoulder. I looked long and hard at my future as a functioning member of society before concluding that this book was the best way to go. The decision to write all this down is not unlike deciding to go public after being the only witness to a UFO landing and seeing the alien craft discharging its crew of pink unicorns and silver fairies, who proceed to tell me how to conduct cold fusion, cure cancer and then mysteriously disappear.

Your first inclination is to go get really drunk and keep it all to yourself. The problem is you really do know how to do cold fusion and cure cancer. You also know that in a room of 1000 people 1000 of them will be skeptical or downright hostile to your claims. History is full of people burned at the stake, stoned in the town square, tied to chairs and dunked in the river, nailed to crosses, or locked in padded rooms whom I know with absolute certainty told the same story I am about to tell. The problem is they didn’t tell it right.

I am not a religious man. My personal piety is born of skepticism. I have been showered in the eternal flame of reason, tested by the relentless avalanche of man’s logic and tempted at the altar of science and certainty. I am a zealot in the pursuit of the secular. I will repeatedly claim that I am not a religious man. I am not a man of faith, yet I am asking people to take what I say on faith. I am not asking anyone to perform any rituals or chant in a certain way. There are no reasons to bow or scrape, face a certain direction when you pray or even to pray at all.

The accoutrements of organized religion have no bearing on anything here. No altars, no crosses, no podiums, no lecterns, no pews, candles, hymnals, sermons, fonts, rugs or symbols. No prophets. No dietary rules. No rules about how you should be dressed. No sacred places. No churches, temples, mosques and certainly no tent revivals. You can take every noun associated with religious activity of any kind lock it in a box and toss the box into the ocean. Yet this is a tale about God. Not just about God but about meeting God, at least hearing God while being held up by angels.

It has been thirteen years since I wandered back to my hotel room in Lakeland, Florida, more than a bit dazed and swore myself to secrecy about the events of that day, but here I am, spilling my guts to the world at large, counting on man’s skepticism to keep me alive and counting on their curiosity to keep me financially solvent. Don’t get me wrong. While I am conveying information that could change the world if taken seriously, I am also selling a book and chances are after most people read it they won’t take it seriously. Why should they? It wasn’t written thousands of years ago. It contains little or no lofty rhetoric. No one dies, no one is born to a virgin, no water into wine miracles and no one gets resurrected or ascends into Heaven on a horse. It has little or nothing to offer the common religious person.

For all of these 13+ years, I have been among the enlightened. I have carried around a knowledge unique to these times but common to history. Following is a set of narratives, descriptions and opinions setting down in print, what I know and what I think it means. Unfortunately, I wasn’t given any extended intellectual capabilities that would help me understand any of this better; I was simply given data and information. It is human nature to try and apply our opinions to our knowledge and I will not shy away from that. I definitely have a set of opinions that encompass the scope of this knowledge and it is included here. Everyone gets to accept or reject all or part of anything I have to say. We are all free to judge, we do it all the time about everything else, why should an alternative explanation of God be any different? Skepticism is at the very core of Free Will and Free Will is at the very core of everything.

I have good news and bad news. God exists. Depending on what you currently believe that news is either good or bad. God doesn’t interact with us on any level other than the conveyance of knowledge from time to time to randomly selected individuals. There is no evidence that the selection criterion is based on anything other than randomness. You get to decide which is the good news and which the bad. I wouldn’t know.

None of this is good news for the organized religions of the world unless they have a sincere desire to get to the bottom of the nature of God. When considering their reactions in the past, this doesn’t seem likely. In another time, I would be burned at the stake. In some places that may still be true today. I am not trying to convert anyone to anything because anything they would convert to would be a guess on my part and a waste of their time. While any guess is as good as another, so far, human beings have guessed incorrectly and the results have resulted in a less than stellar set of consequences to civilization’s humanity.

I may yet regret writing all this down. But my regret, like all else human, will be short lived. After all we don’t live forever…at least not in a biological sense. Based on what I know now, forever appears to be finite as well.

The lives of mankind over the centuries have all been guided. We have been convinced, cajoled and controlled by wave after wave of stories turning into traditions, turning into rituals and finally turning into commandments. We have been manipulated by a higher power and that power is ignorance; fed by the deliberate infusion of specific and clearly articulated knowledge that plainly isn’t true. The outcome of this historical distribution of faulty knowledge is not the motive for our existence. That motive is benign…God’s motive. To enlighten us is to bring us closer to understanding why we are here and why we are as we are.

The unforeseen consequence of enlightenment has been centuries of unbelievably stupid behavior driven by man-made dogma. Dogma imposed on us by people who misunderstood what they were being shown or by people who decided that what they were shown held no personal profit delivered “as is.” It had to be embellished to hold the attention of the audience.

So religion was born. Rules were written. Dogma was imposed. Death and destruction soon followed. We are gullible beings. Pretty much anything delivered from a position of authority will be embraced by someone and once embraced, fanaticism soon follows. We are willing …eager even, to use force on our fellow humans so that we aren’t alone in our irrational belief systems. Numbers mitigate doubt. Power removes all doubt. Absolute power removes reason and always leads to oppression. There is no such thing as the benign dictator because no power that controls our Free Will no matter how compassionate is ever benign.

Until 1995 I had led a pretty unremarkable life. I was born in the summer of 1955 in Fort Worth, Texas. We were living in the Fort Worth area because my brother had a severe case of scoliosis and my mother moved the family around based on what doctor he was seeing. Not much was known about the immune system during those times and excessive X-Rays may have compromised his resistance to infection and 3 years later while we were living in rural Oklahoma, he contracted an infection that is associated with chickens and died. Before you could say Munchhausen by Proxy, we moved back to Texas where I grew up on a farm just outside of Gainesville where ironically enough we raised chickens.

We were raised as what I term “holiday Methodists.” My mother wasn’t really very religious and neither was our father. Mama felt obligated to expose us to church so that we didn’t grow up to be heathens. It didn’t really work out. So we sporadically attended services. We also went to church with the family who lived across the highway from us, Marshal and Dosie Chapman. They had lost their son in an accident when he was 6, the same age as my brother.

The Chapman’s were very religious. Mr. Chapman, who smoked 4 packs a day of unfiltered Lucky Strike cigarettes was eventually diagnosed with lung cancer and their already zealous religious fervor, took on a decidedly fundamentalist and strident aspect. We often found ourselves in someone’s house sitting on couches being screamed at by a fire and brimstone preacher who had broken off from the already conservative church up the street as Marshal looked for a miracle. Marshal died in 1968 and I miss him still. God didn’t save his life. God saves no lives. God is only interested in your soul and your soul only presents itself to God when you die. All that happens before that sad event is the providence of man not God.

My next episode with religion was when we moved into Gainesville from the farm and started attending the 1st Methodist Church. My older brother and I attended Sunday school along with a lot of our friends. The Church Fellowship Hall is where I learned to play pool (Trouble in River City). Church to me was a place to play pool and meet girls. Bars played the same role in later life.

I was a kid. I wasn’t really paying much attention to the repetitive nature of the rituals. I know now that each service was exactly the same as the last one with the only variety being in the sermon and choice of readings and hymns. The Sermon’s were basically the same from year to year based on where on the church calendar a particular Sunday fell. People spend their entire lives going to church and repeating the same words, listening to the same message about the same set of events, their entire lives. It never changes. It is the antitheses of Free Will.

This repetitive liturgy is the foundation of a religion that claims to embrace Free Will yet believes in an omnipresent supreme being. Religion is illogical by definition if logic is the absence of contradiction. Basically the Methodists believe in the sacrifice of the perfect to the imperfect. It is not unlike casting pearls before swine or using the best table wine to make a sauce. They see no harm in it. I guess even knowing what I know now I see no harm in it…just a wasted Sunday morning that could be spent doing something constructive, like sleeping.

During my high school years, I discovered that nothing ticked off the adults around me more than a teenager spouting atheism. So as a typical rebellious teenager, I embraced it. I was once removed from a classroom for taking the Lord’s name in vain. I said, “for God’s sake.” It was Texas in 1971 and the English teacher was mortified, offended and angered. She had me remove myself from her presence to the principal’s office. I had to tell the Principal that I was an atheist so that I wouldn’t have to apologize to the old bat.

My youngest son has basically the same outlook now as I did then without quite as much cynicism. He is a true believer in not believing and therefore a zealot in the army of the irreligious and unchurched. I think there isn’t much difference between a fundamentalist Christian and an unrepentant crusading atheist. Both have the potential for making unbelievably intolerant utterances and each think the other is the harbinger of society’s eminent collapse. Opposites are equal.

They are both steeped in dogma and can be counted on to quote their leaders as if quoting the gospel truth. I on the other hand am a true believer in the ambiguity of God’s plan. At this point I know what God’s plan is and it doesn’t really include us except in an abstract way. God isn’t interested in us per se. He is merely protecting his main concept which is one of our many aspects from interference. It is kind of like the prime directive from Star Trek. Unlike Captain Kirk, God sticks to his guns and doesn’t violate his prime directive.

Our relationship with the almighty doesn’t kick in until our biological body dies and frees our soul from the prison of the flesh. Imagine what this sudden freedom must be like for a victim of brain damage?

So, this is the story I am about to tell along with the commentary that goes with it true? I believe that is the wrong question. You should ask, ‘does it really matter?’ It is what we do with the information that matters. The truth of it is irrelevant. We are judged; objectively, based on criteria that is unknown to us and will not be revealed. So there is no dogma to cling to. There is certainly no reason to force a dogma on others no matter how compelling the temptation because we are judged as individuals and not as members of some artificial affiliation with groups, races, creeds, nations or gender. When you stand before the almighty, no one will ask you what groups you belonged to, the color of your skin or the language of your ancestors. We are simply judged on the content and bearing of our souls based on criteria we aren’t allowed to know. So choose prudently your life’s philosophical bent.

My son, who is my sounding board for a lot of this, wasted no time in telling me how unfair such a belief system is. My response is that this is not a system and no one is being asked to believe it or do anything about it. It is just a fact, like gravity and just as unfair and fair. That it doesn’t require you to do anything and doesn’t ask you to emulate perfection with the expectation of failure, requiring forgiveness, makes it a lot more appealing to me than the proclamations of the Methodists. I don’t mean to pick on the Methodists. You kind of go with what you know. The Methodists don’t really expect much either, but they pretend to. I could just as easily have picked on the Lutherans…maybe even more easily.

I don’t have a church. Instead I have an expectation and am completely in control of what I do from a spiritual and every other perspective. I am not in control of my afterlife since I don’t know the criteria for salvation. As long as I don’t pretend to, I don’t foresee any crusades on behalf of Free Will. After all, you can’t impose Free Will on people, you can only leave them alone and “Free Will” will find them. So hold on to your hats.

What I intend to do in this book is explain what happened, what is happening and what it means to me. You will have to work it out among yourselves what it means to you. Here there are no offers of salvation. No promises of a final outcome. The God I know doesn’t care if you pray. He isn’t listening anyway. If you are living a decent life and are happy then you have to admit that life has been more than fair. If you are living a terrible life not of your own making no one is to blame except circumstance and we are in charge of circumstance.

You could be living in abject poverty squatting to pick the runway gravel out of your daily ration of wheat paste that UNICEF just airdropped near what’s left of your war ravaged village. You might be hoping that the water you mix it with to make that paste for your evening meal won’t give you cholera or terminal diarrhea. Life is random, death and dismemberment even more so. We shouldn’t waste a minute of it striving to meet unobtainable expectations of a deity who hasn’t made an appearance in 2000 years. Individual people don’t have an attention span of more than a few minutes yet collective mankind waits indefinitely for Jehovah to make a return visit.

Most of the people reading this will be sitting in their living room with the high definition TV turned down and a nice cup of coffee or tea on the side table. You have exactly the same shot at paradise as that fellow squatting on the runway in Darfur. Fairness is a concept that sits in the middle of a road that we really don’t want to go down. I for one don’t have a problem with the ambiguity of it. I don’t believe that misery loves company. I don’t have the power to fix all the stuff that is broken and now that I understand that God doesn’t either and wouldn’t if He could, I can finally relax and enjoy what is left of my biological life.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Excerpt from Write Winger

This is a little old but considering the less than vast nature of my original audience it will be new to most.
Chapter 1 POLITICAL OBLIQUENESS – Write Winger: Solutions for the Politically Oblique

“That which doesn’t kill me, makes me avoid it all together next time” is just one tenant of political obliqueness. To be Politically Oblique means to approach the world from a non-aligned, angled, north of center kind of direction. It does not require moving left or right but it could require stepping sideways or backing up. It involves the use of reason without tilting it first one way then the other in order to consider the feelings of the target. As a society we used to have taboos that we employed to keep us on the straight and narrow. We had a definite system of values. Right was right, wrong was wrong. There wasn’t all this ambiguity.

Today’s taboos have to do with ideas and the protection of group identity from criticism. I don’t believe in that. I don’t recognize any borders of political correctness that I’m not allowed to cross. I see liberalism, conservatism, religion, Indians, minorities, political parties, political movements and any other class of people as equally deserving of a closer look and a sound verbal thrashing as the situation demands it.

As Americans, we have allowed ourselves to be bullied into a kind of uneasy silence. We are not allowed to question the motives of the environmental movement because hey! ..who wants dirty air and water? The implication is, if you disagree or question the positions taken by certain groups you obviously want dirty air and water, or you want animals killed, or you want war, or you want liberals rounded up and put in camps. I’m here to tell you that I don’t want 3 out of 4 of those things to happen.

We are not allowed to question the special status of Indians even if that status has been destructive to their lives. From the point of view of the do-gooder, it is only the intent that matters. If keeping the Indians on reservations and allowing them to pretend to be independent nations makes the cry-baby whining class of American citizen think they are doing the Indians a favor, then we are supposed to look the other way as a large segment of American Indians sinks further and further into drunken poverty.

Now that Indians are allowed the privilege of opening gambling casinos when other citizens are not, we are supposed to shut up and not notice the double standard. Society demands we agree that the policy is correct because they are Indians. Equal opportunity is not to be applied as a concept when it is the politically correct victim group getting the perk. The Politically Oblique person will say....hogwash or some similar expletive.

The truth is paramount to taking these positions....the cold hard naked truth...if that’s what it takes. Honesty protects us from those who would have us be silent. The politically oblique person sees the individual and only refers to groups when the individual refers to himself or herself as a member of a group. I am heritage blind, ethnicity blind, and I am color blind. I see fine.

It is those people who insist on defining themselves and others on the basis of color, creed or ethnicity whom I oppose. Affirmative Action is a policy and not a right. It is a policy where color is considered ahead of merit. That is a racist position. Any political or social stance that considers race as a mitigating factor for good or ill is a racist position. I am interested in the content of your character. If the color of your skin drives your character, you’re fair game. Your character is also fair game.

I do not apologize for my beliefs. I do not question your right to have yours. I do not accept your beliefs as being on an equal footing with mine if I find them to be dumb or ill conceived. You, I and everyone else are not equals except under the law. Some people are smarter, faster, richer, more industrious, prettier, more talented and yes some are even better than others.

There are people with lofty ideals and motives but there are also people who are null and void, your basic low-life’s. I have the right and the intention of pointing it out whenever I notice it. Mother Teresa is better than Madonna. Ronald Reagan is better than John Hinkley. JC Watts is better than Snoop Dog E Dogg. Oliver North is better than Aldrich Ames. Almost everybody is better than Bill Clinton. I am better than Charlie Manson. Not just in actions, but fundamentally better, more worthy of the gifts of life, liberty and prosperity and subject to having it pointed out.

Do not for a second doubt my firm grip on my beliefs and opinions. I am one of those people feared and despised by those who define themselves by any affiliation other than their given name first. If you have a hyphen in the word that describes you, then to me, you are putting the collective ahead of yourself. I find that repugnant. I am Phillip. Not the white Phillip of German Irish stock but simply Phillip. In this country there is no greater description or position of greater merit than the individual human being. I am not a group. You are not a group. Identity is singular. Cattle live in herds...people live alone.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Excerpt from GOD'S MOTIVE - working title.

Chapter 3 - FREE WILL – God’s Motive

There is no such thing as predestination. Free Will is the metaphysically given. It is axiomatic. We are free to live our lives, determine our futures, and to imagine or create any creed we desire and there are no judgments about these held beliefs by a higher power. God doesn’t care what you pattern your thinking after. Free Will is the primary creation of God. The preservation of Free Will is God’s only purpose from the beginning of the universe and the reason for its creation.

In my view Free Will is absolute. Way back in 1981 long before any of this started, I got into a drunken argument with this FBI agent about the nature of Free Will. We were at the opening of the new offices of Derrick Petroleum where I was working at the time and Special Agent Dimwit was in attendance as one of my fellow employee’s date. She was hot. I seriously wanted to dazzle her with my soaring intellect. The more beers I had the more my intellect soared. I don’t remember how the argument started but my premise was that we were free to do absolutely anything we pleased and the only restrictions were self imposed based on our fear of consequence.

This fellow apparently took great offense to my very existence and all but proved my point by refraining from pulling his pistol and shooting me. I maintain my position on Free Will to this day. I didn’t understand the origin of Free Will at the time but I had a firm understanding of the implications of it.

Free Will demands nothing from us in the way of restraint. We can expect consequences. We can accept the consequences for what we do or we can deny them. They exist as a result of our actions and how those actions are viewed by others or even the laws of physics. But the fact is we have absolute freedom to do as we please. It remains a concrete axiomatic truth of existence. I don’t care what the FBI says about it. They should hire more abstract thinkers.

Free will is the reason for all of this. By all this, I mean the observed universe of stars, planets and miscellaneous structures of matter, energy, time and space. What we observe about the universe from a scientific perspective is valid. What we imagine about the nature of the creator of the universe is invalid from the standpoint of reason but valid from the standpoint of Free Will’s allowance for our being spectacularly wrong about everything.

The laws of physics remain in this universe regardless of our desires, perspectives, perceptions or actions. God set events in motion and the physical nature of the universe that He exists in took over the mechanics. Man was not the creation of God; we are the creation of circumstances set in motion by God. God lives in an objective reality just like us, only His ability to interact with that reality far exceeds ours. I won’t venture a guess on just what those abilities are or what allows them to exist. That is the stuff of dogma.

There is a rule in textbook logic that tells us that we may not logically discuss that which does not exist or that which we cannot observe or experience through our senses. “Existential import” is an artificial construct in logic used to have such discussions. I don’t need to employ “existential import” because I have witnessed God with my senses of hearing and sight. So what I tell you is what I know. God’s reality is my reality. There is nothing supernatural about God, just superior capability. It is not unlike comparing man’s abilities to those of a microbe.

Both are real and each observable by the other under certain circumstances. Being the only one of us who knows for certain doesn’t change my perception or understanding of reality. I do understand that others will have to take what I say on faith. Please note and keep at the top of your cognitive awareness, I do not require anything of you and neither does God. Go in peace and do nothing.

Free Will allows us to choose our destiny with regard to our lives on earth. While Free Will is inherent in everyone, not everyone starts at the same place or is afforded the same opportunities, cognitive skills or physical capabilities with which to direct the nature of their lives. There is also an aspect of Free Will that theologians and philosophers do not consider. We are subject to the randomness of genetics, evolution and dumb luck. Free Will works in the mechanism of how life comes into being and how it ends. The world is not controlled. The universe is not controlled. It is used as a tool by a being that has the physical attributes and capabilities to use it. I can wield a hammer. God wields a galaxy or two….billion.

The human race has wasted many an opportunity for enlightenment arguing the nature of Free Will. Free Will is the easiest definition of how things work that we could possibly hope for. It means what it says. We are free of any controls or obligations outside of those that we impose on ourselves. We are not forced by a higher power to do anything specific for others, to others or for ourselves. We are independent beings. There is not a collective anything. Connections are artificial.

The idea of complete freedom scares people almost as much as the idea of certainty. We need to use the disapproval or approval of a greater power in order to mask our own lack of knowledge and courage. Pretty much anything that exceeds our grasp we think of as being held out of our reach by God. It is a convenient excuse to lower our expectations of ourselves and others. Even those who profess no belief in God fear certainty and attribute it to a negative like hate or arrogance.

When we do something utterly stupid that results in damage or injury to others, how convenient is it to bring God’s will into the conversation and relieve ourselves from blame? The smallness of man’s God makes me wonder why so many would worship such a petty being. God kills your cat on the road at night, makes the bird fall from the sky and allows the virus to expand resulting in everything from the sniffles in a child to the wholesale death of entire population centers. God is the killer of crops. God is the maker of rain. God is the giver of luck both good and bad without rhyme or reason.

God is the giant random number generator in the sky making that fellow I don’t know over in the next state win the lotto instead of me every time I buy a ticket. God is the Supreme Being that so conveniently fits in my pocket to be withdrawn for credit or blame. God is also supposed to be the granter of Free Will according to the contradictory descriptions of the theologians in the Christian faith.

These are people who created the Holy Trinity of the Father, the Son and the Holy Ghost when they had to come up with an explanation of the manifestations of God in their own religion and they weren’t smart enough to insist on the very attribute of omnipotence that they claim God has. Instead they had to create a convoluted God physically divided sharing one mind so they could justify the Godhead of Jesus talking to his Father and the Holy Spirit lurking in the background kidnapping fishermen in the name of the almighty.

Free Will is our greatest attribute and we give it up willingly at the first sign of trouble.

Friday, January 16, 2009

Economics 102

Economics 101 is the axiom that subsidizing stuff gives you more of it and taxing stuff gives you less of it. This is true of everything concrete including subsidizing poverty and taxing wealth. You get more poverty and less wealth. It is so simple even a Chicago Democrat can understand it. We as a nation are now moving into the area of Economics 102. This is the theories that cover wealth creation and the direction of flow (trickle down versus trickle up.) It is much more complex than the axiom of 101. Those who push government giveaway schemes understand that the average taxpayer doesn’t understand the markets, that we will simply cash the checks and believe ourselves lucky to have a little extra money to spend.

Soon to be former President Bush passed out cash earlier this year in the form of the increasingly ill-named “economic stimulus” package where each taxpaying household received between $300 and $1500 depending on the number of people claimed as dependents. President-elect Obama promises even more checks under the same economic theory. He wants to stimulate the economy from the ground up. He takes it one step further and promises money even to those who haven’t paid any income taxes (hereafter referred to as welfare recipients.) He figures that the more money placed into the hands of the consumer, the greater the stimulus on the economy.

The problem with both of these Presidential plans is that they assume consumerism determines economic health.

Stepping back and taking a hard look at the nature of market capitalism, I have determined that both the Bush economic stimulus of last summer and the proposed Obama plan to take from the prosperous and give to the not-as-prosperous didn’t and won’t work. My reasoning is that wealth is created by capital investment and we are conspicuous consumers based solely on the financial ability of our employers to pay us well. Consumerism is a side effect of strong economic growth and not its cause. Wealth doesn’t trickle up. It would be akin to pouring water into the mouth of the Mississippi River to combat draught conditions in Dubuque, Iowa.

Both plans bypass the wealth creation mechanism. We give people money directly from the treasury in sums not large enough to impact anything we manufacture in this country in hopes of stimulating something. Most of this money is borrowed from China. So we take China’s money and purchase Chinese goods with it, plus we don’t even collect a tax on the way out. That piece of the pie we didn’t actually borrow we tax away from the people who actually create wealth. So, economic activity is reduced, tax revenues aren’t collected and the national debt rises. Anyone see an upside here? What exactly does this stimulate?

I believe that the amount of money given to the consumer is not all that relevant. What if instead of the small sums, the giveaways were large to enough to purchase an automobile? What do you think the outcome would be then? I’m fairly certain that most wouldn’t buy a car and of those who did, most wouldn’t buy it from GM, Ford or Chrysler. If the government demanded or required that everyone use the money to buy an American car, it would only serve to reduce the existing inventory of cars the companies have already taken a loss on, increase production to meet the excess demand short term, and leave the automakers with the same failing business model and union burdens they have now. Plus Americans at the Toyota plants would get laid off.

I am sure that those proposing this stuff understand the consequences and impact as well as I do. They assume with confidence that we are too stupid see the implications. What they are doing is attempting to purchase political power from the masses and they are perfectly willing to sacrifice our long term economic well being. All economic solutions in a market driven economy need to be market driven. Government doesn’t create wealth and it doesn’t drive economic growth except by lessening its cost to the markets.
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Government is a drain on free market capital and if they would loosen the money supply and keep existing dollars in the marketplace they could help with economic growth. Nothing they do that involves taking money out of the wealth creation mechanisms helps. I guess our elected officials think it is better to be in charge of a sinking ship than to be just a passenger on a sound one. This is very short term thinking. Thinking we the people can no longer afford to ignore. Of course we will do just that.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

The Death of Journalism in America

The man who reads nothing at all is better educated than the man who reads nothing but newspapers. Thomas Jefferson.

To read a newspaper is to refrain from reading something worthwhile. The first discipline of education must therefore be to refuse resolutely to feed the mind with canned chatter. Aleister Crowley

When I was in Journalism School learning the craft of objective reporting I was lucky enough to have a professor who actually believed that being a journalist was a higher calling, a call to watch the world and faithfully report what I saw there. I was taught that there was nobility in the reporter’s creed to be thorough but to take no side. I was taught of a stark difference between the news and the opinion pages in a paper, that there was a wall of separation greater than the width of an ocean or length of an age. I was told that we were to report who, where, what and how and leave why to the imagination and leanings of the reader. This was in another time, long ago…1975.

Out in the real world away from the safety of the classroom there had always been bias in the press. It was easily recognized by the reader and steadily denied by the perpetrators. Early on, the subtly of it allowed the deniers to convince those of their persuasion that the perceived bias was an illusion being foisted upon the innocent reporters by malcontents with biases of their own. The chorus of indignant repudiation against the accusers relied on the myth of objectivity passed down to the public by those faithful in their belief in the sanctity of journalists like my former professor.

As the years have passed the bias has grown, yet the shrill disclaimers still were hysterically inflicted on the reading public. Before long the claims of journalistic integrity became something of a contest of wills, the journalism industry and those who shared their bias would nod and wink at one another as they claimed that those who pointed it out were imagining things.

It is hard for anyone to believe it these days, but once upon a time a free press was seen as the protector of liberty and the bastion of virtue standing against the excesses of government. The founders of this country felt so strongly about it that they enshrined the press into the Constitution with the other limits placed on government by the Bill of Rights. It was this belief in the integrity of the press that has offered reporters special protections and unparalleled access around the world. This sanctuary of the written word designed to be the gatekeeper for the people in their dealings with the institutions of power.

This last couple of years a good many of the nation’s newspapers have dropped all pretense to objectivity. They have left the throne of respectability and sold their souls for the paltry sum of partisan politics. They don’t even bother to object to the charge as it has become so apparent that not only would denial be futile it would be laughable. It would be like kicking the neighbor’s dog in full view of the neighbor and trying to convince said neighbor that it wasn’t you who kicked his dog.

This week a lot of the big newspapers along with their brothers and sisters in the electronic media have joined forces with a political position to elect a government and to protect those ruling the country from the scrutiny of the people. The ethics of journalistic integrity no longer hold sway over the practitioners of this once noble craft. At least it was once noble in my eyes, the eyes of an idealist who once held the singular dream of working in the fourth estate, the guardian of freedom and justice. The people’s champion in the arena of ideas no longer holds my esteem. Journalism is just another hurdle to overcome in the pursuit of liberty. Journalistic integrity is indeed dead and it has been ruled a suicide.