Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Put the rat back in its cage...

A rat sneaks into your granary night after night, month after month, year after year, and steals ever increasing amounts of your grain…

If in the process he grows fat and powerful, gets his coat combed and oiled, his claws manicured, he is still a rat and a thief. Even if you allowed him in the past to take a small portion of your grain, and in return he cleaned up the trash, he is still a rat and a thief. He can’t legitimately claim that because you were complacent all those years, and didn't work harder to stop him, that you are there to serve him, that you owe him, that you are there to work and provide for his upkeep.

Put the rat back in the cage and feed him as you see fit. You are the master, not the servant.

Saturday, May 28, 2011

The Department of Consumer Goods Distribution

Private businesses produce jet engines, cars that park themselves, machines that can see inside live human bodies, and phones that can access the world's information from just about anywhere. For some reason, though, we’re convinced that government should have complete control over teaching children how to read, write, and understand mathematics and history. This belief is so strong that we allow the government to enforce a legal monopoly and collect compulsory payments for this service, even from those that don't use the service. To make matters worse, no matter how bad the service gets, we keep agreeing to pay more, and anyone that questions this arrangement is branded a danger to society or a heartless, selfish person who wants to deny children the opportunity to learn.

Imagine if the government gave Walmart a monopoly on selling all consumer goods. No other stores are allowed to sell canned chili, tennis shoes, DVDs, and lawn furniture. The CEO and the other officers of Walmart are appointed by the Governor with the advice and consent of the Senate. The government forces everyone, even people who grow their own food, make their own clothes, and entertain themselves, to contribute to this system. Everyone is assigned to shop at a specific Walmart; you can’t shop at a different Walmart. The Walmart workers are required to join, and pay dues to, a union that represents them. The union is also given a monoply; no other unions are allowed. The union is allowed to contribute to political candidates that it favors and to promote government policies that support the existing system for distributing consumer goods.

Since it works so well for educating children, it should do wonders for Walmart’s business.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

The Greatest Travesty

I'm having difficulty deciding which is the bigger travesty: the phoney paper money that allows the rich and politically well connected to steal wealth from billions of people or spending our future to maintain a worldwide military empire? What do you think?

Obama House Care?

Should Congress establish rules for painting all the houses in America? Should it approve a list of acceptable house colors? Should it specify how often houses should be painted?  The qualifications necessary to be a house painter? How much a painter can charge for painting your house?  Should it collect taxes to ensure that everyone has access to affordable house painting?

If you don't trust Congress to write rules about something as mundane as painting houses, why would you trust them with something so important and complex as health care?

Saturday, March 26, 2011

I Can't Be a Socialist

The socialists/liberals/progressives (or whatever they call themselves these days) are right to be upset about the unfairness and lopsided distribution of wealth they see in America.  Their politics, though, is based on the false premise that capitalism has failed and needs to be replaced.  Capitalism hasn't failed in America for the simple reason that we don't have capitalism in America.  Sure, the little guy is free to succeed or fail on his own.  At the top, though, what we have is just good, old-fashioned cronyism.  I can't be a socialist, though, because the solution the socialists offer is to replace one set of cronies with a different set of cronies.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

What is Your Choice?

Is it better to achieve peace and justice by force or by persuasion?  Are politicians motivated by altruism or power?  What aspect of the election process fosters the selection of individuals with the wisdom and virtue necessary to tell the rest of us how to live our lives?  If you favor political solutions to mankind's problems, is it because you believe that men only help and respect each other if they are forced to do so or because you can't trust free men to act decently, or is it because you are afraid you can't convince others to follow your lead?  If you believe that the law creates progress, can you tolerate unapproved behavior?  If you can tolerate people choosing and acting freely, why limit their choices or shield them from the consequences of unwise or selfish decisions?  How do you explain the progress made before government began redistributing wealth and organizing society?  How far will you go to impose your vision on mankind?  What will you do to those that disagree and resist your program to improve society?  Can you be trusted with the power to run our lives?  What qualifications do you have to make decisions for everyone else?

Monday, March 14, 2011


I was curious recently about the number of people killed each year by firearms compared to the number killed by drunk drivers. I ran across the “Firearms Refresher Course” below. Although some of the observations are a bit snarky, I think they are all insightful.

I attempted to find the origin of this list, but I suspect the origin has long since been forgotten. You can easily find this posted on thousands of blogs, and I make no claim to authorship. Although I’ve owned a pistol for many years, I’ve never been outspoken about the 2nd Amendment. I repeat this here because I am pro-freedom, and I understand that without arms, the People cannot remain the ultimate sovereign power.

Be sure to complete the “Firearms Take Home Quiz” at the end of the Course. I do claim to have written that.

Firearms Refresher Course

1. An armed man is a citizen. An unarmed man is a subject.
2. When you remove the people’s right to keep and bear arms, you create subjects.
3. Free men do not need permission to keep and bear arms.
4. If you don’t know your rights, you don’t have any.
5. You only have the rights for which you are willing to fight.
6. Guns only have two enemies: rust and politicians.
7. The 2nd Amendment is there in case the politicians ignore the others.
8. What part of “shall not be infringed” don’t you understand?
9. The Bill of Rights © 1791. All Rights Reserved.
10. Those who trade liberty for security have neither.
11. The 2nd Amendment – the original homeland security.
12. A gun in the hand is better than a cop on the phone.
13. Colt: The original point and click interface.
14. You don’t shoot to kill; you shoot to stay alive.
15. Criminals love gun control – it makes their jobs safer.
16. 9-1-1 – Government sponsored Dial-a-Prayer.
17. If guns are outlawed, can we use swords?
18. If guns cause crime, then pencils cause misspelled words and matches cause arson.
19. Assault is a behavior, not a device.
20. 64,999,987 firearms owners killed no one yesterday.
21. Enforce the gun control laws we already have; don’t make more.
22. Gun control is not about guns; it’s about control.
23. Only a government that is afraid of its citizens tries to control them.
24. Know guns, know peace, know safety. No guns, no peace, no safety.
25. The American Revolution would never have happened with gun control.

Firearms Take Home Quiz

If people can’t be trusted with guns, can they be trusted with self-government?

Is the Constitution a grant of rights from the government to the People, or is it a grant of limited authority from the People to the government?

What people will invade the United States of America if they know that in order to rule over us they first have to control millions of armed, freedom-loving Americans?

Drunk drivers with cars kill about as often as people with guns. Why aren’t you required to pass a background check and wait 10 days before you can buy a drink?

Why does every instance, no matter where in the world it happens, of a crazed gunman shooting people receive national media coverage, but the thousands of instances of ordinary people defending themselves with guns are only found in the back pages of local newspapers if they are ever reported at all?

The government has been trying unsuccessfully for the last 75 years to eliminate the existence and use of illegal drugs.  Given this track record, do you believe the government can successfully eliminate the existence and use of firearms?  Explain your answer in detail.

How many times has someone gone on a killing rampage at a shooting range?

Name all the totalitarian regimes that allow their citizens to keep and bear arms?

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Principles are Timeless

Although the political issue involved was decided many months ago, I think the principle involved is always relevant.  I sent the following letter to the editor of my local paper.  It wasn't printed.  I assume because it was too long.  I offer it here for your consideration.


There are so many fallacies and errors in your editorial (Jobless, not the richest, deserve a helping hand; Saturday, Nov. 27, 2010, Page 10A), that it’s hard to know where to start.

Your most glaring error is the idea that unemployment relief produces more economic activity than lower taxes. A minute’s thought reveals the absurdity of this logic. If extending unemployment benefits is better for the economy, then we should believe that extending them indefinitely is our best economic policy and that creating more unemployment will accelerate economic recovery.

Your underlying error is only looking at the immediate and obvious effects of what you advocate. There is no argument that if unemployment benefits are extended, the unemployed will have money to spend on valuable and necessary goods and services they need today. But what is the source of this money and what will be the consequences of the taxes that must be collected (whether through direct taxation, borrowing, or inflation of the money supply) to provide this relief?

Government can only give to one person what it takes from someone else. Taxes cost the taxpayers, and lower taxes save the taxpayers money. To phrase it differently, extending the Bush-era tax cuts will not cost the government money, it will save the taxpayers “an estimated $700 billion over 10 years, 57 times what the defeated unemployment extension would cost.” This is wealth that will either be spent by those taxpayers to buy goods and services or saved (invested) to create additional capital for economic activity. The difference between “saving” the taxpayer and “costing” the government is that in one case free individuals pursuing their own happiness decide how the money will be spent, and in the other, politicians seeking their own advantage will decide how it is spent.

The most repulsive assertion in your editorial is the idea that extending the tax cut is a “giveaway” to rich Americans. This is based on the un-American beliefs that what people earn from their labor belongs to the government and that those empowered by the rest of us to administer the government have the superior virtue necessary to determine how best to spend that wealth and who deserves to have how much.

The plain fact is that our government, like all governments in all places and all times, is run by politicians. Most politicians can’t spell virtue, and few of them possess any. We are all recipients (myself included) of some subsidy, program, tariff, or entitlement promised to us by the politicians in Washington. Every benefit, though, has to be paid by someone. You cannot “tax the rich” to create prosperity and security. If it were possible to do so, then we should speed up the process. Why wait for wealth and comfort if it’s just a matter of taxing the rich – tax them even more.

Your biggest oversight is not pinpointing the cause of this unemployment. Of course the unemployed aren’t to blame for being unemployed, but why are they unemployed? Is there a shortage of work to be done? Of course not. Is there a shortage of money with which to pay people? That can’t be the explanation because the Federal Reserve printed piles of money the last two years.

It’s sad that you give a pass to the self-serving politicians that caused all this heartache. Your job should be to expose the deception of politicians playing Robin Hood (and worse still, stealing from the poor to give to the rich.) You should be exposing the consequences of all of this political meddling and favoritism. Instead of advancing truthful economic solutions, though, like sound money, fiscal responsibility, and constitutional fidelity, you cheer on the same old us vs. them measures that will only aggravate our economic problems and enrich the politicians.

I realize that many will write me off as heartless. Honest men, though, must respect principles. All of the “benefits” we get from our government have to be examined in light of one simple moral question: is it moral to take one man’s property by force and give it to another man because he has less? The correct answer to this question is “no.” Let’s suppose, though, that the answer were “yes.” If it were true that taking property from one man by force and giving it to another who has less is moral, then it must also be true that taking more property from more people by force and giving it more widely to those who have less is also moral. The logical conclusion of this line of reasoning is that the most moral action is to take everything by force from those who have more and give it to those who have less until everyone has exactly the same amount. The only way to do this, of course, would be to give unspeakable power to the people charged with overseeing this redistribution. The result of such a policy is, and has been when tried, the end of progress and freedom.

If you were honest, you would argue openly that unemployment benefits should be given instead of tax breaks because you believe that the “rich” are not entitled to their riches, and that you believe that your choices, or rather the choices made by the government on “our” behalf, are morally superior to those made by the “rich.” This is a vain and dangerous thought that is inconsistent with government in a free society. There is no one pure enough of heart to resist the temptations inherent in redistributing wealth by force.

Stealing from one man to solve another man’s tragedy under the guise of altruism is simply fraud. The fact that it’s done by the government makes it political fraud. The only moral course of action is to not allow anyone to steal from anyone else – not even our government.

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Two Views of America

How the people in Washington view America…

How the Founders viewed America, and how it should be…

Sunday, January 30, 2011


News Release
For Immediate Release
January 8, 2011

Task Force Investigation Results
in Arrest of Eight Area Residents
Several agencies involved;
Large amount of milk, cheese, curds and whey, and cash seized

More than 28 federal and local law enforcement officers fanned out across La-La Land Thursday morning in a massive takedown capping a three-year, multi-agency investigation that targeted major suppliers of unpasteurized products to some of the most violent food gangs based in the area.

Joseph P. Dehimwite, Special Agent in Charge of the United States Food Enforcement Administration, La-La Land Field Division, and Peter Paumkineter, Assistant Attorney for the Southern District of La-La Land, today announced that eight individuals have been charged with various federal food offenses related to the distribution of unpasteurized milk and cheese in the La-La Land area. This matter stems from a Food Enforcement Administration Task Force investigation dubbed “Operation Curds and Whey.” The investigation, which included the participation of several agencies and local departments, and included the use of court-authorized wiretaps, has resulted in the seizure of approximately 260 gallons of milk, two hundred pounds of cheese, $650 in cash, one fruit basket, and several heads of organic lettuce.

“I want to acknowledge the extraordinary effort of all of the agents and officers who participate on the Task Force, and all the local departments who devoted significant time and resources to this investigation,” stated Attorney Paumkineter. “Their coordinated efforts have taken a substantial amount of milk off the streets, and this investigation could not have been done without them.”

“Operation Curds and Whey is another example of great cooperation between the Food Enforcement Administration, our state and local law enforcement partners, and the Office of the La-La Land Attorney,” stated Special Agent in Charge Dehimwite. “The charges in this indictment allege a criminal conspiracy by several weirdos with dairy products being distributed and the proceeds from those sales being returned to traffickers. By working together, law enforcement agencies were able to completely dismantle this trafficking group.”

“I want to compliment the Food Enforcement Administration and officers who worked so diligently to investigate, identify, and arrest these individuals who are alleged to have operated a high-level dairy dealing operation,” stated Chief Baumbler, Chief of the Whoville Police Department. “The flow of illegal milk into the City and region has been significantly interdicted. We believe that cooperative agreements work to everyone’s advantage, and we hope to continue this relationship in our continuing battle against illegal food.”

The eight individuals charged in various counts of an eight-count indictment are:

ESTHER MUFFET, also known as “Lil’ Miss,” 32,

FANTASIA PEEP, also known as “Bo,” 36,

ABAGAIL HUBBARD, also known as “Mother,” 38,

WILLIAM BROWN, also known as “Farmer,” 58,

ADRIANNE LONGSTOCKING, also know as “Pippy,” 29,

CHRISTOPHER NICHOLAUS, also known as “The Saint,” 27,

MARK PHINN, also known as “Huckleberry,” 22,

SARAH RIDENHOOD, also known as “Lil’ Red,” 23,

Thursday’s arrests come after a grand jury returned an indictment against the defendants who allegedly trafficked in large quantities of milk, cheese, and other organic food products. The charges in the indictment include conspiracy to distribute raw milk and unpasteurized cheese as well as organic labeling violations. The defendants were expected to be arraigned in District Court Thursday afternoon.

According to court documents and statements made during court proceedings, the Task Force investigation revealed that MUFFET had allegedly been trafficking in raw milk and multi-ounce quantities of cheese. It is alleged that MUFFET received the milk and cheese from PEEP, who had received it from BROWN, a farmer outside of La-La Land. On January 12, 2011, law enforcement received information that HUBBARD, an associate of BROWN’s, picked up a substantial quantity of milk money from the neighbors. In the early morning hours of January 2, HUBBARD was the subject of a law enforcement traffic stop during which approximately $44 in milk money was seized. Later that morning, LONGSTOCKING and NICHOLAUS were arrested at PHINN’s apartment at 1623 Mayberry Street. During a search of the apartment, law enforcement personnel found approximately four pounds of goat cheese and a Folgers coffee can with approximately $27.85 in cash. RIDENHOOD was arrested later that same day, and an additional five pounds of cheese and approximately $20 hidden in a reusable grocery bag was seized from her. It is also alleged that RIDENHOOD supplied PHINN and NICHOLAUS with several servings of green eggs and ham at her grandmother’s house, and that NICHOLAUS was an alternate source of organic muffins and honey to BROWN.

On January 4, 2011, a grand jury returned an indictment charging MUFFET, PEEP, BROWN, HUBBARD and the others with various federal food offenses. On January 13, 2011, seven of the eight defendants were arraigned in District Court in La-La Land. On January 14, the final defendant, WILLIAM BROWN, turned himself in at the grocery store. He is expected to be arraigned in the near future after he washes the mud off his boots.

Besides the arrests, the La-La Land Attorney’s Office filed a civil “abatement” lawsuit Thursday to shut down trafficking activities at a notorious food co-operative used as a hangout by a foodie gang.

If convicted, a number of the defendants face a minimum term of 10 years watching fast food commercials, a maximum term of life without fresh vegetables, fines of up to $4,000,000, and 30 lashes with a wet noodle. Due to prior food trafficking convictions, a number of defendants face increased penalties.

In addition to the significant resources provided by the Whoville Police Department, Attorney Paumkineter specifically noted the critical assistance that the Wonderland, Fairyland, Tinseltown, Dreamland, Playland, and Fantasyland Police Departments contributed to the investigation. Additional assistance was provided by Woody’s Marshal’s Service and the State of Overkill Office of Parole.

Operation Curds and Whey began in the wake of the multi-agency “Red Red Robin” investigation, which in 2008 resulted in the arrest of nearly four dozen foodies and farmers in the Walla Walla Sisboomba area. The law enforcement agencies involved in Operation Red Red Robin initiated the probe three years ago to identify the origins of the illicit food being distributed by two Wonderland area street gangs – the Downtown Chefs and the Side Street Bakers. Investigators identified traffickers who dealt pound quantities of butter and dozens of farm fresh eggs, much of which was converted into very tasty entrees and baked goods.

Using a variety of investigative techniques – including telephone wiretaps, informants and surveillance – investigators determined that gang members were responsible for funneling thousands of dollars worth of healthy food a month onto the streets of La-La Land.

“As a result of this investigation and enforcement action, we’ve dismantled an entire food trafficking network, from the street dealer to the actual supplier,” said Clem Cadiddle-Hopper, Special Agent in Charge for the Office of Food Security Investigations in La-La Land. “We believe these defendants were responsible for funneling large quantities of raw milk, unpasteurized cheese, and inappropriately labeled organics into our communities. With today’s arrests, we’ve shut down that potentially deadly supply chain and cut off what was a key source of cash for some of the most ruthless and violent foodies operating in this area.”

“Today’s operation is an outstanding example of the partnerships working to successfully improve the quality of life in the communities we serve. This is the culmination of a long-term partnership with law enforcement agencies which significantly reduced the operations of a number of food gangs operating on the streets of La-La Land. Our message to foodie freaks is this – don’t underestimate the will of law enforcement to put you in jail. We will take as much time and effort as is necessary to make sure your criminal enterprises are ended.”

An indictment contains allegations that a defendant has committed a crime.  Every defendant is presumed to be innocent until proven guilty in court.


My mocking, fictitious press release is founded on information I believe is true. Below are a few links I found searching the Internet for a few minutes. I suspect you can find more examples.
While it’s true there is plenty of dubious information on the Internet, and I didn’t investigate these links fully, there are too many of these stories, and too many details, to just dismiss them as isolated or hoaxes. I’ll let you be the judge of the authenticity of this information and its importance.

My own view is that it is ridiculous and horrifying that in the "land of the free," intelligent adults are treated like criminals for choosing to eat food that has not been approved by the government.









Random Thoughts on Liberty...

You cannot legislate sunshine and happiness.

Politicians are good at making politically beneficial decisions. They aren't good at making economically or morally principled decisions. That's why politicians should have limited power to make decisions that affect the rest of us.

The world would make more sense, and we'd all be much happier, if the politicians were kept in confinement and only allowed out for one hour per day.

Ignore the whole Democrat vs. Republican thing. It's nothing more than a carnival show meant to entertain and distract you.

If you rule other people, then you also bear responsibility for their happiness.

Any meaningful discussion about immigration requires a discussion about welfare. A meaningful discussion about welfare requires a discussion about all forms of welfare. And any meaningful discussion about all the forms of welfare in America must include a discussion about the nature and proper role of government.

The main qualification of the politician is his skill at winning a popularity contest. Should Miss Congeniality be in charge of justice, progress, and the distribution of wealth?

The biggest problem with government is that it primarily benefits the rich. Best to let the rich fend for themselves.

One of the laws of the universe, as unavoidable as gravity or conservation of mass, is that there are only two things you can do with debt: pay it off or write it off. The level of debt is so high and so pervasive in America that it cannot be paid off. The social and political consequences of writing off enough debt to return America to productivity is unprecedented. The ultimate question is whether America will abandon or return to its original principles.

Justice is a goal that all men of good will desire. Should we entrust such an important responsibility to a bunch of politicians?

In order to understand politics, you need to understand economics. Understanding economics requires an understanding of the nature and role of money. The value of money is affected by monetary policy, and monetary policy has everything to do with politics and force.

The rich and the politically well-connected will always be able to steal far more wealth by inflating the money supply and corrupting the political process than the middle class and poor can steal through taxation and redistribution of wealth.

If easy credit and cheap money were the source of prosperity, then we should be singing "Happy Days Are Here Again," not struggling to emerge from the Great Recession.

It's a dangerous situation when workers can select their own bosses, and those bosses have the power to deprive consumers of their liberty and property if they refuse to pay for the services offered.

Government price controls, and other forms of regulation that distort prices, discourage creative and innovative people from solving problems. They favor the status quo and impede progress because they eliminate rewards.

A monopoly can only exist if supported by force. The use of force to achieve economic or social objectives is a good definition of government. Putting the only agent capable of creating and sustaining a monopoly in charge of protecting us from monopolies is a conflict of interest.

The label “conspiracy theorist” is often used to discredit people who question the actions of those in power. Rejecting outright the possibility of a conspiracy is na├»ve, though. The world is filled with conspiracies, and rich and powerful people have since the beginning of history conspired with each other to achieve objectives they believed were beneficial to them and their friends.

Many people claim they want to help other people or do what's best for society, but what they secretly want is control.  Goodwill and coercion are irreconcilable, and even the best intentions will be crushed eventually by power lust.  If your participation in their good works is mandatory, you have good reason to be suspicious of their motives.

Tolerance is essential for freedom. Tolerance, though, is not a politically correct set of beliefs, no matter how popular they may be. Tolerance means I have to tolerate the beliefs and actions of other individuals, even though I disagree with them, so that I can live freely without other people imposing their beliefs or choices on me.

The first three words that come to mind when I think about politicians are liars, crooks, and egomaniacs. I’m not saying that all politicians fit into these categories, but the evidence is overwhelming that all but a handful can be described by some combination of these terms. If I’m correct, then why do we allow these people to control our lives and what, if anything, is the alternative?

I don’t believe it’s the government’s responsibility to teach you that drugs are potentially dangerous, and even if it were, I don’t believe that locking you in a cage with a bunch of criminals is a humane teaching method.

It’s interesting to me that some people believe that ordinary citizens are not responsible enough to keep and bear arms, that only the police and military should be armed. These same folks often fervently believe that the citizenry is responsible enough to select representatives that control nuclear weapons, aircraft carrier battle groups, drone squadrons, laser guided bombs, tanks armed with spent uranium projectiles, and a global military empire that dwarfs the military force of every other nation on the planet. Makes perfect sense!

It's important to choose the right tool for the job. Politics is the wrong tool for solving moral or economic problems.

Never underestimate man’s capacity to fuck things up.

The government should...is a dangerous way to start a sentence.  Government can't do anything. Government is an abstract concept. Only people can do things. If you use that as your starting point, then the logical questions that follow include: Which people? How many people? How should they be organized? What powers should they be given? What resources will they need? How will we know if they’re doing a good job? If they do a good job, how should they be rewarded? If they do a bad job, can we stop or redirect them to prevent them from doing more harm? The more established government becomes, the harder it is for people to adapt to new circumstances because those in charge are always reluctant to give up their power to answer these questions; generally those in power only want more power or they selfishly scheme to retain power regardless of the consequences. The benefit of freedom is that people can reorganize themselves and their resources any time they decide that the current arrangements are ineffective or wrong.

Ridicule is the antidote to pomposity.

The idea that inflating the money supply will stimulate economic activity makes no more sense than increasing the number of feet in a mile to encourage people to exercise more.

The purpose of the 2nd Amendment is to ensure that the government cannot deprive the people of the means to protect themselves against unjust government. Before you support gun control laws, however noble your intentions, you must acknowledge that government officials have a conflict of interest. Considering the history of government oppression and the willingness of politicians to seize power when they can, it is reasonable to be suspicious of attempts to limit the natural right of self-defense. The people have several means to protect themselves, but the ultimate check on power mongers is for the people to possess the same force that is available to those that would oppress them.

If the group’s desires are more important than the individual’s, then the individual’s rights will inevitably suffer because he is outnumbered. Not even the strongest man can resist the group’s claims forever. The best way for each man to protect his rights is to recognize and defend the equal rights of every other individual.

If the People can't be trusted to keep and bear arms, then the Government they've elected can't be trusted to keep and bear arms.

If I demand money from you at gunpoint, it's robbery. If I demand money from you at gunpoint for the benefit of others, it's robbery. If our selected representatives demand money from us backed up by the implied threat of armed agents and imprisonment for the benefit of others, it's taxation. If you question the morality of their demands, they will shame you.   Should I be ashamed after seeing the similarity between taxation and robbery?  Is a robber absolved of guilt because his victims are unaware of the crime?

The upside of self-government is that you get to solve your own problems. The downside of self-government is that you get to solve your own problems.

Money corrupts politics and politics corrupts money.

When we are no longer allowed to speak freely, the world will be ruled by tyrants and bullies.

Value‏ must have something to do with scarcity. If you could pick up a pile of diamonds off the ground in your backyard, they wouldn't be worth anything. They'd just be rocks. And if people in high places have unlimited power to create more money to finance their endless political schemes and reward supporters, eventually that money won't be worth anything either.

Is it really a good idea to rely on politicians to regulate outrageous corporate behavior? It’s based on the belief that people are inherently selfish and heartless, and that government oversight is the only way to correct these tendencies. If people truly are selfish and thoughtless, then we should also expect the same of politicians. They’re people too. Inevitably what happens is that corporate and political interests cooperate to give the illusion that the outrageous market behavior is being regulated. Bankruptcy and unrelenting competition are far more efficient regulators than any set of self-interested politicians.

From an economic standpoint, Obamacare is simply the government’s attempt to reduce the price of medicine without increasing the supply of medicine. Imagine if Congress applied the same theory to, say, the hotel industry or the restaurant industry. In other words, what if Congress ordered all of us to purchase a hotel room once a month or to eat out twice as often without bulding more hotel rooms or restaurants or increasing the number of people that run them, and forcing those businesses to accept these new customers. There are only three possible outcomes: someone will get crowded out, the quality of service will deteriorate, or those that can pay will have to pay more.

Tell me if any of this sounds familiar. Interest rates are low… Borrow a bunch of money at an adjustable rate… Interest rates rise… Can’t make the payments… Default on the debt… Only this time it’s not a few homeowners, it’s the United States federal government. If the economy is still distressed five years after some homeowners defaulted on their mortgages, how long will it take to recover from the impending bankruptcy of the federal government and what sort of disruption will it cause?

The difference between cockroaches and politicians is that when you turn the lights on, cockroaches scurry and politicians start looking for the camera and the microphone.

Watching the interaction between the Federal Reserve Bank and Congress is like watching an alcoholic and a drug addict discuss their experiences with sobriety.

If the effect of easing the quantity of money is economic growth and prosperity as the Federal Reserve claims, then what is the benefit of limiting quantitative easing?

Sunday, January 16, 2011


Here’s what you need to know about the federal government’s finances. Even if Congress doubled personal and corporate income taxes, the federal government would still have a deficit of at least $1 trillion per year. Your first reaction might be that this number doesn’t make sense; the news media report that the deficit is about $1.2 trillion out of a $3.8 trillion federal budget. If you doubled taxes, then there should be more than enough to fill the gap, right?

Here are the estimated revenue numbers for 2011. Personal and corporate income taxes are projected to be about $1,400 billion this year. Your next reaction is probably that the numbers still don’t add up. There’s at least a trillion dollars missing somewhere. The difference is projected withholding for Social Security and Medicare equal to about $930 billion and other revenue estimated at about $220 billion.

Now here’s my question for you. If you were the CEO of American Ingenuity, Inc., and you were taking money you were supposed to be setting aside for your employees' future retirement and medical expenses (like Social Security and Medicare), as you told your bond holders you would, and spending it on current expenses, and you were still 30 percent in the red, what do you think your life would be like?

It would be a living hell. You would have busloads of investigators and attorneys from the SEC, the U. S. Attorney’s Office, and the FBI issuing subpoenas and executing search warrants on you, your CFO, your Investor Relations officer, every other officer of your company, your sister, your maid, and your dog. Those buses would be followed by several more busloads of very sharp, very uptight corporate and securities lawyers representing your bond holders all knocking on your door wanting a word with you. In addition to these headaches, your stock price would be heading straight for the South Pole, and you would be laying off employees left and right.

This is the federal government’s current yearly budget situation. It’s spending money it’s supposed to be putting aside for future expenses on current expenses, and it’s still in the red.

It's long term financial picture looks like this.  It has to pay back at least $14 trillion dollars it borrowed in the past (almost equal to the current yearly product of the entire national labor). Plus it has unfunded liabilities for Social Security and Medicare topping $100 trillion. On top of that it has trillions in additional liabilities to Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, other Government Sponsored Enterprises, ongoing care and rehabilitation of wounded soldiers, federal employee pensions, etc., etc., etc.

Here’s the problem. At what point do people stop loaning the federal government money and what happens when they stop? Much of the federal government’s bond debt is short term - 90 day T-bills, one-year and two-year treasury bonds, and so on. It is constantly being rolled over in the bond market. When the market decides that it no longer wants to loan the federal government money because it can’t balance its budget and people don’t think it can make good on its debts, the price of that debt will drop (simple supply and demand). When the price of a bond drops, the “yield” (a.k.a. the interest rate) increases. When the interest rate increases, interest payments increase.

This is exactly the situation that happened with the mortgage mess in 2008. People borrowed money at a low interest rate, at payments they could afford. When interest rates rose, their payments rose. When the payments rose, they were no longer able to make the payments. You know the rest of the story.

The same thing will happen with the federal government if it doesn’t get its budget under control. Only the size of the problem is a hundred times larger, and the consequences will be socially devastating.

Try to imagine what will happen to the lives of ordinary Americans when Congress is forced to choose what it can spend money on because it can no longer charge to the federal credit card. As interest payments balloon, they will squeeze out other budgetary items. Will Congress cut farm subsidies, food stamps, Social Security payments, college loans, subsidies for electric cars, environmental programs, end the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, withdraw troops from other overseas posts, cut the Department of Education, the Department of Energy, the Department of this or that, or any of a thousand other things it spends money on? Choices will have to be made, and those choices will affect those people that were counting on receiving money from the federal government. If choices aren’t made, there is only one conceivable outcome – bankruptcy of the federal government and the corresponding social and financial upheaval associated with the inability of the federal government to function as it has in the past.

What are the options?

1. Print more money. This debases the currency. It is in effect a hidden tax stealing even more money from the American people. It is also a way of cheating foreign creditors out of their money. They won’t let that go on forever. You can see their response already in their efforts to debase their own currencies. If Congress doesn’t get its affairs in order, these efforts will escalate with currency controls, trade wars, increased inspections/delays, and under a worst case scenario, real war.

2. Increase personal and corporate taxes. If Congress doubled personal and corporate income taxes, my guess is that unemployment would double overnight. Marginal tax increases reduce productivity and job creation.

3. Hope that significant new, real wealth is created that can provide jobs and increase federal revenue. The development of new technology (new wealth) would absorb the excess liquidity created to prop up failed businesses and investments.

Can such additional new wealth be created? I believe man’s curiosity will revealed more useful possibilities of this universe, and additional wealth will be created in the future. No doubt there will be huge strides in medical technology, and discoveries of new energy sources are possible. At this point, though, we can only speculate about what will come and when it will come.

4. Hope Congress comes to its senses, balances the federal budget, and begins to pay down the federal debt. This will also require sustainable policies based on government at the appropriate level. First and foremost is to eliminate the idea that Washington has to be involved in every aspect of our lives. Washington doesn’t have all the answers. If it did, they would have solved them by now. The only thing that centralizing decisions in Washington does is increase the power of Washington politicians. The single most important adjustment at the federal level is sound money. Fiat money created this monster. If fiat money is allowed to continue, then all of these problems will reoccur.

When you look at these scenarios, which one seems the most probable?

• Increasing taxes to any large extent is political and economic suicide. If Congress successfully increased taxes, it would only encourage them to spend even more money.

• Hoping for new wealth is just a hope. Even it there is some dramatic new development in our future, it may come too late.

• The tea party phenomenon is a hopeful development. Until these new members of Congress successfully cut spending, though, all the talk is just a pleasant revelry.

• The most likely scenario is that the Federal Reserve will keep printing money and papering over the problems until the whole thing comes crashing down.

I’m by nature an optimist, but the current state of affairs has me feeling very pessimistic these days. My most optimistic prediction is that Congress and the American people will continue to bury their heads until they have no other choice. Then we’ll hear no end of blaming someone else. If we’re lucky, we may renew our constitutional principles after the meltdown. Most likely we will see some “reforms.” The worst case scenario is that circumstances get really bad, and some beguiling madman steps forward during the chaos. Heaven help us if that’s where we wind up.

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Senator Alan Simpson Calls Seniors "Greediest Generation."

From a man in Montana, who, like the rest of us, is PISSED and has just about had enough.  I like his reply, and wish I had sent this to the beloved Senator.  I'd disagree only with his statement that Social Security was "safely tucked away in an interest bearing account."  It's been a Ponzi scheme since Day 1.  Other than that, there isn't a false word, and I believe that many Americans are beginning to wake up to the real cause of our problems - Washington.  Tell it like it is, sir.


Hey Alan,

Let’s get a few things straight…

1. As a career politician, you have been on the public dole for FIFTY YEARS.

2. I have been paying Social Security taxes for 48 YEARS (since I was 15 years old. I am now 63.

3. My Social Security payments, and those of millions of other Americans, were safely tucked away in an interest bearing account for decades until you political pukes decided to raid the account and give OUR money to a bunch of zero ambition losers in return for votes, thus bankrupting the system and turning Social Security into a Ponzi scheme that would have made Bernie Madoff proud.

4. Recently, just like Lucy & Charlie Brown, you and your ilk pulled the proverbial football away from millions of American seniors nearing retirement and moved the goalposts for full retirement from age 65 to age 67. NOW, you and your shill commission is proposing to move the goalposts YET AGAIN.

5. I, and millions of other Americans, have been paying into Medicare from Day One, and now you morons propose to change the rules of the game. Why? Because you idiots mismanaged other parts of the economy to such an extent that you need to steal money from Medicare to pay the bills.

6. I, and millions of other Americans, have been paying income taxes our entire lives, and now you propose to increase our taxes yet again. Why? Because you incompetent bastards spent our money so profligately that you just kept on spending even after you ran out of money. Now, you come to the American taxpayers and say you need more to pay of YOUR debt.

To add insult to injury, you label us “greedy” for calling “bullshit” on your incompetence. Well, Captain Bullshit, I have a few questions for YOU.

1. How much money have you earned from the American taxpayers during your pathetic 50-year political career?

2. At what age did you retire from your pathetic political career, and how much are you receiving in annual retirement benefits from the American taxpayers?

3. How much do you pay for YOUR government provided health insurance?

4. What cuts in YOUR retirement and health care benefits are you proposing in your disgusting deficit reduction proposal, or, as usual, have you exempted yourself and your political cronies?

It is you, Captain Bullshit, and your political co-conspirators who are “greedy.”  It is you and they who have bankrupted America and stolen the American dream from millions of loyal, patriotic taxpayers.  And for what?  Votes.  That’s right, sir.  You and yours have bankrupted America for the sole purpose of advancing your pathetic political careers.  You know it, we know it, and you know that we know it.

 And you can take that to the bank, you miserable son of a bitch.

Always say what you mean !!
Always mean what you say !!


Think about it... Money