We the Evil, Ruthless, and Uncaring People – Part 2

Posted by Jason | Posted in Government | Posted on 15-03-2010

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In part one of this post, I talked about how the government tells us they have to steal, kill and abuse us, because we are too selfish to take care of each other without being forced to. They must protect us from each other, and we need to trust them to wield a monopoly on force in order to have a civilized society. But is this true?  Well, in this part, I’d like to touch on some of the arguments I get from the pro-government crowd.

…Government is there to make sure there is a level playing field.

Hmmm, is this why we give subsidies to failing businesses? Is it unfair that one company might have figured out a way to make a better, cheaper widget, and in doing so is putting it’s competition out of business? Does it make sense to prop up the failing business? Does it make sense to take the money from the workers and the producers in society, who would use their money to buy other products from companies who also figured out how to make better and cheaper products, which ultimately improves all our lives, because we get more and more for less, and give that money to companies who can’t produce what we demand at the prices we demand? Does this keep a level playing field by forcing workers to hand money to failing businesses through subsidies, who ultimately don’t even provide them a product for that money?

This must be why the government gave all our tax money to Wall Street bankers. They couldn’t have a profitable company on Wall Street handing out bonuses, while the failing businesses could not. Maybe this is why they stuck a gun to the responsible bankers’ heads and told them they will take TARP money or else. They just wanted to make sure their buddies, who were completely irresponsible, didn’t have to play on the unlevel playing field that they themselves created.

Ok, Ok. This must be why they take property from the average Joe, who works his whole life for “The American Dream” of owning his own home, so they can hand it off to private developers. Remember the Kelo decision? This is where your property can be stolen from you if the government decides to give it to someone who creates more taxes. Oh, but what happened there. The private developer backed out of the deal. The homeowner had her home taken at gun point, and now the land sits vacant. Hey, just keeping a level playing field.

The truth is government is all about picking winners and losers. They aren’t about keeping a level playing field.

…Government protects us from monopolies.

OK, this is the best. We all know monopolies are just horrible right. So what’s the fix? Give the government a monopoly on the use of force. Give them a monopoly on educating our kids. Give them a monopoly on theft. I know, I know. They do it all for us.

So we constantly hear monopolies would exist if government didn’t regulate against monopolies, but I have a hard time coming up with real examples where this happens. Of course, when you point out that monopolies can’t exist without government backing, proponents of government say “well, that’s because of antitrust laws”. This just isn’t so. Trying to create a monopoly is extremely inefficient, and ultimately a bad monopoly could not last. While a company may be able to corner a market temporarily, they could not hold on to it. If they were charging too much, a competitor would see the excessive profits and decide to get into the business. Yes, they could buy up the smaller business, but that would just signal to others that they too can make money by starting a competing business and being bought up. Ultimately, this buying up of more efficient competitors to maintain an inefficient monopoly, would lead to the monopolies collapse. The only way you could have an inefficient monopoly for the long term is if it was given exclusive rights to some public resource, such as phone lines, land, subsidies, etc, which is why you can only have a monopoly when the government backs you. Think about it. Let’s say Microsoft really was a monopoly. If you haven’t noticed they are getting their butts kicked by Google. Anyway, so they are a monopoly. How can they maintain a monopoly without government? The only way they could is to produce a better product. They cannot force people to buy their product.

What was the big issue with Microsoft? Netscape claimed Microsoft was using its monopoly to stifle other web browsers. Ok, but how was the consumer harmed? The consumer got a free web browser with their computer that came with Microsoft Windows, which made them decide against downloading Netscape. So really, what Microsoft had was a more efficient distribution system that they developed with the wide adoption of their operating system. Because Netscape had a less efficient distribution system for their web browser, they were getting clobbered. Does that mean Microsoft was being monopolistic, or were they just being more efficient? Has Microsoft put competitors out of business and jacked up prices on Internet Explorer? I’m pretty sure it’s still free.

Even more proof that Microsoft is not a monopoly (and never was) is Firefox, Opera, Google Chrome and Safari. People are now downloading other browsers, because they believe Microsoft’s product isn’t up to where it should be. The cost of downloading another program and installing it is now more valued than it was when Netscape was the main competitor. These competitors have figured out a way to compete and be efficient enough to eat away at Microsoft’s market share, and consumers are the ones benefiting.

Now if you want to see the horror of real coercive monopolies, just look at our public education system, where you are forced into using the monopoly. You have to pay whether you want to use it or not. If you try to send your child to a private school, the private school still has to meet the government mandated curriculum. What we get from this monopoly is nothing but ever decreasing results.

…Government protects the children.

This has to be one of the biggest lies out there. Government could careless about your children. They only want to make them mindless zombies, so they are easier to enslave.

Look at the biggest role the government has in your child’s life, which is public schooling, and you’ll see the abuse the government lays on your child. They are trapped in a prison all day long and brainwashed by material that special interest groups want to cram down their throats. They are ushered through grade after grade many times without any progress. Oh, and you better hope your child isn’t a thinker. God forbid your child questions anything taught in class. They’ll be labeled a delinquent, smart alec or a trouble maker. We wouldn’t want any of the other children questioning what’s being taught, so little Junior better just sit there and repeat, “The Constitution is a living document. Government is there to protect us. Obama is a great president, ah huh, ah huh, ah huh.”

Also, with childhood obesity on the rise, what does the all caring government do? Well, they fill your child’s lunch tray up with fatty and sugary foods. Don’t worry though. When your child is all wound up from the sugar, they’ll tell you your child is too hyper and needs to be medicated. While they are forcing private businesses to drop  transfats from the menu, even if people freely want them, they many times exclude the public schools from the same restrictions. They really do just love the children.

Well, unless you want to abort one before the child ever has a chance to be born. Then they are all for harming children. You know, those darn kids just cost the government too much. Better they aren’t born. At least, that’s how many in government see them. But hey, if you are going to have kids anyway, once they are born, the government might as well exploit them for it’s advantage.

…Government protects you from murders and thieves.

Do they really? It seems to me the government only comes in after the murder or burglary has already been committed. As I mentioned in previous posts, the only person who can defend you and your family is you. As long as you have the right to own guns, you can protect your property and your life. After all, there is no one who cares more about your family and your property than you do. Those who give up guns in hopes that the government will save them are just making themselves easy targets.

Now, I’m not saying we shouldn’t have police or laws, but do we really need cameras all over the place, so you have no privacy. Do we need cops sitting on the side of the road every five feet getting their ticket quotas in? Do we need to throw millions in prison,  not because they murdered or stole, but because they decide to smoke weed instead of drink?

Do we need government to throw those evil insider traders into prison? Of course, right? This is what we’ve been brainwashed to believe. Somehow it’s evil to buy or sell a stock because you have inside information, but it’s not evil to hold onto a stock because of inside information? Buying and selling are all signals to the market, so in the example of Enron, owners of the stock might have known ahead of time that the company was a sham if insider trading was permitted. Instead, many lost the savings they had in the company, because insiders weren’t allowed to trade on that evil insider information. I guess instead of protecting us from theft, the government put laws into place to make sure the theft had to take place and was concealed until the bitter end.

…Government protects us from foreign enemies.

This is one we used to all be able to support. Unfortunately, in pursuit of empire, this is not so anymore. As I said in part 1 of this post, no nation would try to invade the US with the amount of weaponry held by the populace. If you think the Soviets got bogged down in Afghanistan and the US got bogged down in Vietnam, that would be nothing compared to what would happen if a country tried invading the US. Our foreign policy has gone from protection to empire. In this pursuit, we create enemies.

Now, I know terrorism is something that gets the blood boiling on all sides. As a recovering neocon, I used to think we were waging a just war on terrorist. The problem is who is instigating terrorism? As long as we keep telling ourselves it’s just because terrorist hate our way of life, this war will never end. Of course, that may be what the government wants. Anyway, ask yourself when terrorism against the US began. Some said it began under Carter, when the Iranians took US hostages. Was that terrorism? We were supporting a dictator in their country, and they revolted against the dictator and us. OK, then it must have been under Reagan when terrorist bombed one of our bases in Beirut. Well, this may be it, but what did Reagan do? Unlike our current policy, Reagan pulled out. He knew it was us being their that instigated the bombing. How many attacks did we have after that? I might be missing something, but I don’t recall any. Ok, so when did it really pick back up again? Well, the first attack was after the gulf war when we decided to setup bases on arab lands and not leave. We’ve had terrorist attacks ever since.

Instead of realizing it’s our bases and using those bases to support the likes of the Saudis that instigates terrorism, we let our leaders tell us it’s that we live. They hate our way of life. “What? Those bastards hate us. Here’s my money and rights government. Go get em!”

Meanwhile, if you listen to what the terrorist want to do to the US, they are achieving it. We are going to go bankrupt, just as we bankrupted the Soviet Union. History is full of empires who never learn the lessons of empire. We’re witnessing the latest. Unfortunately, it’s us.

…Government <Fill in the blank>

You can make up any excuse for the use of force, which is all government is. Everyone wants to win elections, so they can use the gun of government to impose their views on society. In a free society without government or a very small government, you would not be able to do this. You would actually have to convince your neighbor to do something. Can you image? Wow, it would be horrible to have to convince him. It’s so much easier to just stick a gun to his head.

The biggest myth of all is that we need government. If you ever want to think outside the box, there are ways for society to exist without government. Think about wars. Do you really have wars because the people want to fight. I’m guessing an Iraqi and an American would probably get a long just well if they bumped into each other in the street. What you really have wars for is government. Our government wants  their government to do something, and when it doesn’t, our government decides we are going to force them to do it. It’s no different than, if I asked my neighbor to do something, and when he said no, I went back over with a gun and stuck it to his head. Oh wait, we do that too. That’s what government is.

delinquent
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Blowback In The Making

Posted by Jason | Posted in Foreign Policy | Posted on 25-02-2010

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The Wall Street Journal had an article this morning about the US trying to remain “neutral” by selling weapons to both India and Pakistan. Did we claim to be neutral by selling weapons to both sides in WWII? Seems to me selling weapons to both sides will eventually have both sides blaming you in the event of a war.

The Obama administration is sharply expanding American weapons transfers to both India and Pakistan, longtime rivals about to sit down for peace talks Thursday.

Ah, our Nobel Peace prize winner. I’m so proud he won that with all his hard work promoting peace….well except for the dropping bombs in Yemen and Pakistan where we haven’t declared war. Oh, and instigating tensions with both Japan and China…..oh, and ratcheting up the war talk with Iran… oh, and now selling weapons of mass destruction to Pakistan and India.

The U.S. has sought to remain neutral in the thorny relationship between the nuclear-armed neighbors. But Washington hasn’t been shy about pursuing weapons deals in the region, which officials say will lead to closer ties with each country while creating new opportunities for American defense firms.

I am sure glad we have a government more concerned with “creating new opportunities for American defense firms” than with the long term peace with both nations, in other words by really remaining neutral. I have no problem with private businesses selling them weapons, but the problem comes in when our government is used as their sales force.

The U.S. has made billions of dollars in weapons deals with India, which is in the midst of a five-year, $50 billion push to modernize its military.

At the same time, American military aid to Pakistan stands to nearly double next year, allowing Islamabad to acquire more U.S.-made helicopters, night-vision goggles and other military equipment. The aid has made it easier for Pakistan to ramp up its fight against militants on the Afghan border, as the U.S. tries to convince Islamabad that its biggest security threat is within the country, not in India.

During a late January trip to Islamabad, Defense Secretary Robert Gates said the U.S. would for the first time give Pakistan a dozen surveillance drones, a longstanding Pakistani request.

OK kids, this is where you have to really read between the lines. Apparently, the Wall Street Journal doesn’t know what “aid” means. What this should have said is the US government is stealing the wealth of it’s own citizens at gun point. Then they are taking that money to give to defense contractors, who then give their products to Pakistan. Then Pakistan will use those products to kill their own people.

So, riddle me this Batman. If you are a Pakistani, and your family members get killed by a drone or some other weapon that was bought and paid for by the US government, ultimately the US tax payer, who are you going to blame? While it might be the Pakistan government that carried out the killing, who is their supplier? This is major blowback in the making.

Also, do you think for a second that the Pakistan government is ever going to say, “Hey, we don’t need your money anymore America. We killed all the terrorists. Thank you.”? No, we are paying them to wage war on terrorism. Their incentive is to never have that war end, for when it does, their hand out ends.

Washington’s relationships with the two nations are very different. India, which is wealthier and larger than its neighbor, pays for weapons purchases with its own funds. Pakistan, by contrast, uses American grants to fund most of its arms purchases. A new U.S. counterinsurgency assistance fund for Pakistan is slated to increase from $700 million in fiscal year 2010 to $1.2 billion in fiscal year 2011.

“We do straight commercial deals with India, while Pakistan effectively uses the money we give them to buy our equipment,” said a U.S. official who works with the two countries. “But we think that’s ultimately in our national interest because it makes the Pakistanis more capable of dealing with their homegrown terrorists.”

Ring-a-ling, ring-a-ling, ring-a-ling. The bells are going off. This came pretty close to the truth. “Pakistan effectively uses the money we give them (that we stole from our citizens) to buy our equipment (to give to our buddies in the defense industry).”

The country is preparing its military to deal with multiple potential threats, including conflict with Pakistan. Tensions have recently flared between India and China over territorial claims along their border. China defeated India in a short war in 1962.

OK, here’s another fight we are picking with China.

“For 2010 and 2011, India could well be the most important market in the world for defense contractors looking to make foreign military sales,” said Tom Captain, the vice chairman of Deloitte LLP’s aerospace and defense practice.

Russia has been India’s main source of military hardware for decades, supplying about 70% of equipment now in use. Moscow is working to keep that position, with talks ongoing to sell India 29 MiG-29K carrier-borne jet fighters, according to an Indian Defense Ministry spokesman.

The Obama administration is trying to persuade New Delhi to buy American jet fighters instead, a shift White House officials say would lead to closer military and political relations between India and the U.S. It would also be a bonanza for U.S. defense contractors, and has dispatched senior officials such as Mr. Gates to New Delhi to deliver the message that Washington hopes India will choose American defense firms for major purchases in the years ahead.

Still in the pipeline is India’s planned $10 billion purchase of 126 multirole combat aircraft for its air force. U.S. firms Boeing and Lockheed Martin Corp. are vying with Russia and European companies for that deal, which would be a near-record foreign sale for the firms. An agreement last summer allowing the U.S. to monitor the end-use of arms it sells to India is expected to facilitate such deals.

“That’s the biggest deal in the world right now,” said Mr. Captain. “If it goes to an American firm, that would be the final nail in the coffin in terms of India shifting its allegiance from Russia to the U.S.”

Picking another fight with Russia. Is it any wonder why so many people in the world hate our Government? We are trying to be strategic by sticking our finger in the eye of Russia, China, Japan, India and Pakistan, and this is just one article. Do some research on South America, but hey, I’m sure glad Obama won that peace prize.

via U.S. Sells Arms to South Asian Rivals – WSJ.com.

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Private Defense vs Government Defense – Who is incentivized for wars?

Posted by Jason | Posted in Foreign Policy, Government | Posted on 05-02-2010

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Lewrockwell.com has a fascinating post today (actually a chapter from a book) about how the market could better handle defense from foreign agression than government. As I said in my post the other day, defense whether domestic with police or foreign with military, can be defended as a government role, because government’s role is supposed to be defending individual liberty and protecting us from coercion.

While I think it is hard for most people to believe that the free market can provide policing and military defence (even I questioned military), this post makes a great argument for the free market. As I was reading, lights were going off in my head as to downfalls of government defense and the benefits to the people of it being handled in the free market. Here are some highlights. I highly recommend reading the entire post. Whether you agree or disagree, it is fascinating.

Many people ask, “But how in the world could a laissez-faire society deal with aggression by foreign nations, since it would have no government to protect it?” Behind this question are two unrealized assumptions: first, that government is some sort of extra-societal entity with resources of its own – resources which can only be tapped for defense by the action of government – and, second, that government does, in fact, defend its citizens.

In reality, government must draw all its resources from the society over which it rules. When a governmentally controlled society takes defensive action against an aggression by a foreign power, where does it get the resources necessary to take that action? The men who fight are private individuals, usually conscripted into government service. The armaments are produced by private individuals working at their jobs. The money to pay for these armaments and the pittance doled out to the conscripts, as well as the money to pay the salaries of that small minority comprising the other members of the armed forces, is confiscated from private individuals by means of taxation.

Government’s only contribution is to organize the whole effort by the use of force – the force of the draft, taxation, and other, more minor coercions, such as rationing, wage and price ceilings, travel restrictions, etc. So, to maintain that government is necessary to defend a society from foreign aggression is to maintain that it is necessary to use domestic aggression against the citizens in order to protect them from foreign aggression.

In spite of the obvious immorality of forcing men to protect themselves against force, some people still maintain that a coerced defense is more efficient than a willing one and is, therefore, permissible or even necessary in an emergency situation such as war. A brief examination will show the fallacy of this variation of the moral/practical dichotomy.

The success of any endeavor, including war, depends on the amount of thought and effort put into it by those involved. Under the pressure of force, a man may be induced to put forth a great deal of effort and even a little thought, but his reluctant, fear-driven exertions can’t compare in efficiency and productivity with the ambitious and tireless efforts of a free man striving to accomplish something he really wants to get done. The man who works enthusiastically not only works more efficiently, he also uses his mind to discover new and better ways of reaching the goal, and such innovation is the key to success.

Furthermore, a system of force is always wasteful of resources, because the more unwilling is the victim of the force, the more energy must be diverted to keeping him in line and the less is left to accomplish the task. Men who are forced to do what they don’t want to (or not to do what they do want to) are amazingly good at devising devious and complicated ways to cheat on the system which enslaves them. This is why even the most totalitarian of governments find that they cannot wage war without huge propaganda efforts aimed at convincing their own people of the justice and necessity of the war.

Throughout history, people have been talked into submitting to the tyrannies of their governments because, they were told, their government was vitally necessary to protect them from the even more terrible depredations of other governments. The governments, having put over this bit of propaganda, then proceeded to cajole and coerce their citizens into protecting them!

Governments never defend their citizens; they can’t. What they do is make the citizens defend them, usually after their stupid and imperialistic policies have aggravated or threatened another government to the point of armed conflict. Governmental protection against foreign aggression is a myth (but a myth which, sad to say, most people actually believe in).

Government can’t defend its citizens, and it is foolish and sacrificial for the citizens to defend a coercive monopoly which not only enslaves them but makes a practice of provoking conflicts with other coercive monopolies – i.e., with other governments.

Morally, no man may be prevented from defending himself and his values, nor may he be forced to defend them if he doesn’t want to do so.

If some of the people in an area feel that one of their neighbors is not “carrying his fair share of the defense burden,” they are free to use rational persuasion to attempt to convince him that it would be in his interest to assume his own responsibility of self-defense. They may not, however, extort his compliance by any use or threat of force…even if they are clearly in the majority. Nor would it be practical for them to do so. A man who is coerced into defending his neighbors against a foreign aggressor may decide to spend part of his efforts on defending himself against his coercive neighbors instead.

In a laissez-faire society, defense against foreign aggression would be offered for sale on the free market, just as would any other type of defense. Because of the close natural connection between insurance companies and defense agencies, it would probably be most feasible to sell defense against foreign aggression in the form of insurance policies. That is, insurance companies would sell policies agreeing to protect their insureds against foreign aggression and to indemnify them for losses resulting from such aggression (the contract to be void, of course, if the insured provoked the conflict by his own aggressive actions). The insurance companies would see to it that whatever defenses were necessary to prevent the losses were provided, and they would make sure that a very efficient job of defense was done, since any losses would cost them large sums of money.

A major portion of the cost of defense against foreign aggression in a laissez-faire society would be borne originally by business and industry, as owners of industrial plants obviously have a much greater investment to defend than do owners of little houses in suburbia. If there were any real threat of aggression by a foreign power, businessmen would all be strongly motivated to buy insurance against that aggression, for the same reason that they buy fire insurance, even though they could save money in the short run by not doing so.

An interesting result of this fact is that the cost of defense would ultimately tend to be spread among the whole population, since defense costs, along with overhead and other such costs, would have to be included in the prices paid for goods by consumers. So, the concern that “free riders” might get along without paying for their own defense by parasitically depending on the defenses paid for by their neighbors is groundless. It is based on a misconception of how the free-market system would operate.

Foreign Aggression by Morris and Linda Tannehill.

The one part that really struck out at me was paying for defense like an insurance policy. As I stated the other day, insurance companies could provide fire services to their subscribers instead of having it handled through government and taxation. Insurance companies have the incentive to minimize their outlays, so they will are motivated to get fires are put out quickly and make steps to minimize the chances of having fires. The less fires they have, the higher their profits. On the other hand, the more fires (or other services delegated to a fire dept.) the bigger the department comes, and the bigger their budgets become. This is the goal of a government organization. Anyways, they explained how insurance could address defense in a similar manner.

While insurance companies have been demonized in our media and government, they provide valuable services when government isn’t involved. I don’t hear too many people complaining about their evil life and home owner insurance companies. Instead they complain about health insurance companies who are heavily regulated and where government accounts for 50% of all expenditures.

While I haven’t worked through all the details of whether I think this could work or not, here are some of the first thoughts that came to mind when I read this:

1. Insurance companies would not want war. It would cost them too much money. Since their contract is to defend their client, they would pursue diplomacy better than a government would who gets more money and control if there is a war.

2. Insurance companies in looking to reduce the chances of expensive reconstruction costs, would invest heavily in defensive measures that would dissuade agression. Instead of going out looking for dragons to slay, they would do what the people(clients) want, which is to be defended only. Most people do not want their government going out starting wars.

3. While the defense agencies might be incentized to have wars in order to grow, insurance companies, who would be the client or owner of the defense agency has the exact opposite incentive. Because of that, the insurance company would keep the defense agency in check. If the defense agency was stirring up trouble in order to get more business, they would lose the largest clients, insurance companies. Instead their incentive would be to develop lower cost technologies and to become more efficient. That would increase their profits without the need for increased warfare.

Again, this is just off the top of my head as I’m reading this myself, so I may be missing some incentives and some possible downfalls. I’d love to hear thoughts from everyone else.

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Combat Robots – Cheapening life and making war easier to swallow

Posted by Jason | Posted in Foreign Policy, Technology | Posted on 01-02-2010

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As a former Neo-con, I used to love our fighting technology. What better advantage can you have than killing the enemy from miles away from the safety of some compound.

The problem with this is it makes the enemy’s life cheaper, and it makes it more likely you’ll instigate wars. If you are weighing whether to go to war and you know you can kill the other side without your own troops being harmed, do you think that will make you less likely or more likely to wage more wars?

Also, using robots, drones, etc, makes us think that the other side isn’t human. It’s like playing a video game. The problem is the other side is human. While terrorists should be killed, we cannot ignore collateral damage. Do you think the children of a mother accidentally killed by a drone will forgive the US for their mothers death? Will they grow up to be future terrorists in hopes of avenging their mothers death? Keep in mind the only difference between us and them is our respective governments. Chances are if peoples of both sides met on the streets as individuals, we’d say hello, excuse me and be polite. It’s only the belligerence of our governments that make us enemies.

So, back to the robots. Do they make us safer? Maybe in the short run they keep our soldiers safe, but what happens when a possible enemy creates the same technology? All the sudden our compounds are not as safe. Maybe they use robots to infiltrate our compounds, where our soldiers are controlling their robots. Not only that, what happens if terrorists get their hands on robotic terror? How much easier would it be to wage holy war with robots?

While I love technology (I work in the technology field), I think we hasten war and destruction by using technology to take life. Nothing makes you consider the cost of life in war as much as a higher chance of losing yours. We should use technology to create better defenses and for protecting life. We should pause when it comes to aggressive, life cheapening technology. While it may makes billions for defense contractors, in the long run, it poses a major threat to the people of our country. Never forget, these technologies would also be the weapons used against citizens if they ever tried rising up against an oppressive government.

YouTube – Army of the Future: Russian combat Robots.

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Thanksgiving, Statism And Life Outside The Matrix

Posted by Jason | Posted in Economics, Education, Government, Gun Control, Health Care, History | Posted on 28-11-2009

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Over Thanksgiving dinner, my brother and I began our normal debates of politics, war, health care, etc. This year was  a little different.

I’ve always been the typical conservative, who believes the government is a necessary evil that wants to control us more and more with healthcare, welfare, net neutrality and on and on, but we need to maintain a strong military and remain on the offense in the war on terror.

Having always considered my self a free market capitalist, I was reading pro-capitalist books, websites, etc. Eventually, I found myself in a world that challenged my own contradictions. I’ve always realized that liberalism was irrational and illogical, but I always thought conservatism was rational and logical. After reading Ron Paul’s book, End The Fed, I started a debate on Mises.org, a pro-free market site founded to spread the economic ideas of Ludwig von Mises. Like most conservatives, I liked Ron Paul’s belief in the constitution and his domestic policy beliefs, but I thought his foreign policy was isolationist and unrealistic. In the forums, I said I like Ron Paul and would vote for him, but I didn’t believe in his isolationism and questioned whether he believed in a strong military. Having always laughed at liberals and all their contradictions, it was now I who seemed to be the one with contradictions.

Not being used to people debating with logic and reason, I quickly felt like I was being presented an option. The forum users were offering me the Red Pill, leading me on a path which would challenge my assumptions and the Matrix in which we live, or the Blue Pill, in which I could ignore their arguments and stay in the comfort of what I’ve always believed and had reinforced by the Matrix. Having always believed in pursuing TRUTH in spite of fear, ostracizing, or ego, I took the Red Pill. Quickly I realized I was outside the Matrix looking in.

The first thing you realize is the Matrix is constructed of two sides who are opposites of the same contradictory, statist coin. Both believe in using government force in order to compel the populace to live by their terms. One side believes in “national greatness” while the other believes in “national virtue”. Neither fulfills their stated goal, and neither believes in individual liberty. Both sides benefit from the endless debate and the “my team is best” mentality. The Matrix was not constructed over night. It was developed over time piece by piece and quickly became the known world to those who know no alternative to life inside the Matrix. Current generations have had the programming loaded into their minds through the government schools. Even if you attend private schools, you must meet certain mandated “standards”. As an adult, your programming is reinforced with TV shows, news programs, and “educational” programs that reinforce the assumptions that were programmed into you as a child.

The founding institution of the Matrix, the State, is formed by competing parties, which you are encouraged to cheer one as your team and boo the others as the enemy no matter what the topic. Debates rage with differing opinions, but never involve root causes or underlying assumptions. Both sides debate particular wars, but never discuss what caused the war or whether foreign intervention is just and in our best interest (ex: Should our military is deployed in 150 countries). We debate how to best raise the standards of public schools, but no one questions the existence of the public schools or the historical failure of them(ex: Black Americans went from 20% literacy rate in 1860 to 80% by 1890. Now, black Americans have a 60% literacy rate). They debate how to best handle retirement savings, but neither questions whether the government should be handling it at all or the consequences of their mishandling (ex: Inflating Wall Street pay via 401ks and IRAs). Currently, we’re debating health care. One side argues for national health care, and the other argues against it. Neither side debates government involvement and it’s effect on skyrocketing prices in the first place.

It’s not hard to understand why the Matrix is so hard to break free from. It’s all we’ve known. We haven’t experienced schooling without public schools, health care without insurance, a world without US policing, or life without so called “safety nets”. During the debate with my brother, who always argued with my beliefs on foreign policy when I was inside the Matrix, agreed Americans were not looking at the issue properly because they are surrounded by re-enforcing factors such as the media. The media never gives a historical perspective. They only ask what should be done about terrorism or which war we should fight. They never ask why is there terrorism or if we think punishing civilians via embargoes will help them overthrow tyranny. They never ask if we believe it creates less responsibility for Wall Street executives when the Fed drops interest rates to zero and promises to prevent bank failures. They are only asked whether we should have bailouts or not.

The funny thing was as soon as the debate turned to public education, my brother was back in the Matrix. I asked the question of why there should even be public schools, and immediately his programming took hold. “You have to have government schools. How would people get schooling? I don’t think the schools are bad. It’s our culture. Teacher unions aren’t to blame, it’s the parents. You can’t teach a child who’s parent is a drug addict. What about the poor?” On and on the debate raged, but he could not get his head around the fact that the government has created the disastrous system in the first place. He could not comprehend a world without the government. It was if nothing comes about without the government. It’s understandable. Can you imagine arguing what life would be like without slavery in the early 1800s? Surely, you would have been nuts. They were living inside their Matrix, created by generations that came before.

Over the coming months, I will attempt to touch on some of these topics. While I am not an expert, I will present you with Red and Blue pills. The Red pill will question whether our lives our better with government involvement in all aspects of our lives. Is the government really protecting us? Could we live without government? You will have to open your mind and challenge your assumptions if you take the Red pill. On the other hand, you can take the Blue pill. You can stay in your comfort zone, fight the same old fights, assume the government is there for your protection, and live out the consequences of those beliefs. The choice is yours, but you must make a choice.

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Another Responsibility Shirking Government Panel

Posted by Jason | Posted in Government | Posted on 25-11-2009

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Some in Congress are calling for a bi-partisan panel on ways to cut the deficit. As you can imagine, I’m laughing my butt off right now. Can you imagine telling your spouse you  need to get an outside advisor to help you figure out why you are getting further into debt as you go out and buy a bunch of stuff you don’t need on your credit cards?

By JONATHAN WEISMAN and JOHN D. MCKINNON

WASHINGTON — The White House is considering a bipartisan commission to tackle the nation’s swelling deficit, as it seeks to show resolve on a problem that threatens its broader agenda.

Top White House officials, including budget director Peter Orszag, met Tuesday with Senate Budget Committee Chairman Sen. Kent Conrad to discuss establishing such a commission, which has been pushed by Mr. Conrad, a North Dakota Democrat, and his Republican counterpart on the committee, Sen. Judd Gregg of New Hampshire.

Chuck Marr, a budget aide to the Democrats’ former Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle, said some kind of commission or budget summit could be the only way to bring Republicans into the decision making in the hopes of generating support for cutting cherished programs or raising taxes.

So now the Democrats want to bring in Republicans to support cutting cherished programs. Isn’t this as they are about to pass a huge new program that isn’t supported by Republicans?

But House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D, Calif.) and senior Democrats such as House Appropriations Committee Chairman David Obey of Wisconsin have vociferously opposed delegating tough decisions to outside panels or commissions.

Taking concrete steps to cut spending and raise taxes, always politically difficult, has become even harder given the U.S. economy’s weakened condition. With projected deficits averaging more than 5% of gross domestic product over the next decade, the enormity of the task makes it more daunting. So does the looming 2010 election, when Democrats face the possibility of big losses.

via White House Weighs New Panel to Tackle Deficit – WSJ.com.

Holy crap! Who would have thought I would ever agree with Nancy Pelosi. I better reconsider my belief. I was under the impression that we elect these idiots to make the tough decisions. I didn’t think we elected them to create panels anytime things are politically tough to do. They say it’s politically difficult, but yet it seems people on all sides are complaining about the deficit. The only difference seems to be where each side thinks the cuts should come from. I have a great idea that will solve this. Cut everything. Pass legislation that will move towards the end of medicare, social security, etc while protecting those who are on it or will be on it shortly. Young people know they will not get any of these benefits, so quit robbing them to pay for a failing system. For the left, shut some damn bases down around the world. Do we really need the cost of bases in Germany, Japan, South Korea, etc?

Was that hard? Do we really need a commission to make a report that probably wouldn’t include common sense ideas anyway? Now that this has been put out there, congress can use it. They don’t even have to pay me. Well, maybe they could let me not pay taxes for a few years.

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Fort Hood, Gun Control and the Myth of Government Protection

Posted by Jason | Posted in Government, Gun Control | Posted on 13-11-2009

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Bob Murphy had a great post on his blog, FreeAdvice, about how the Right-Wingers (I’ve always considered myself a right-winger) are always blasting the government for it inefficient and disasterous social programs, but yet we act like things are different when it comes to the military, war, and safety. Here’s a snippet of his post.

Army Wasn’t Told of Hasan’s Emails

A person familiar with the matter said a Pentagon worker on a terrorism task force overseen by the Federal Bureau of Investigation was told about the intercepted emails several months ago. But members of terror task forces aren’t allowed to share such information with their agencies, unless they get permission from the FBI, which leads the task forces.

In this case, the Pentagon worker, an employee from the Defense Criminal Investigative Service, helped make the assessment that Maj. Hasan wasn’t a threat, and the FBI’s “procedures for sharing the information were never used,” said the person familiar with the matter.

So the above suggests to me that even if we gave up enough civil liberties to transform the entire country into one big military barracks, we still couldn’t trust the government to protect us from obvious terrorist threats.

Since that’s the case, I vote that we don’t give up our civil liberties and test the theory.

Of course, what will happen is that they will “streamline agency cooperation” and implement other reforms, so that the above doesn’t happen again. Just like Fannie and Freddie and General Motors will keep revising their procedures every time they lose another few billion dollars.

“Just give us some more money and liberty, we’ll get it right eventually. We’re from the government and we’re here to help.”

via Free Advice: Right-Wingers: “Gov’t Can’t Run the DMV or Health Care, But It Will Keep Us Safe From Terrorists”.

Bob is completely right. Right-wingers (me) have a contradiction in their ideas of government. We know the government is horrible at basically everything it does, and the free market is much better at handling the allocation of resources and meeting needs, but we still think it is better equiped to protect us and to wage war. Why would that be? Protection and war are basically just services. Think about it on a local level. Police don’t actually protect you. At best, the thought of police deter some from committing crimes against you, but for those who disregard the threat of police force, you are unprotected. Police can only come after the crime has been committed.

In this case, the military couldn’t even protect it’s soldiers against an obvious threat. So, how did the government actually function in it’s role as protector? It had the exact opposite effect, as government always does. Instead, it disarmed soldiers with idiotic gun control, so that the soldiers had no defense against this mad man. This is the same thing you have in most shootings. The government forces citizens to disarm, and the citizen is left unprotected against those who would do them harm.

The only way to prevent episodes like this or to at least minimize their damage is to rid ourselves of these ridiculous gun laws. “Whoa, whoa, whoa there militia boy. You can’t just have people running around with guns everywhere. It’s too dangerous.” Why is it too dangerous? Study after study have shown that crime is lowered as gun rights are increased and vice versa. If everyone carried guns or at least everyone could be packing, do you think it would not make those who want to do harm hesitate before they do it? Are we to believe that Hasan would have had the stupidity to start his rampage if he knew the other soldiers were armed? Are we to believe that he was not emboldened by the knowledge that the soldiers were unarmed?

Let’s walk through a small scenario. Say there is a guy who wants to kill another guy. He isn’t suicidal, and he doesn’t want to die. He knows where the guy is. Now, let’s say the victim carries a gun. Do you think the killer is going to plan his attack based on where the victim goes? Let’s say the victim works at a school, about the most unprotected place on the planet. Where do you think the killer is going to attack? He’s going to attack the guy when he’s working, because the guy remains unprotected, and no one around the guy will be able to help him either. Everyone is unprotected. Now, if you have unregulated gun ownership as the constitution allows, the killer doesn’t know who has a gun. The killer, not wanting to die himself, will hesitate because the victim could have a gun as well, or anyone around him could have a gun. The more people in society that have guns the more of a deterance to those like our killer here.

“Well, yeah, but what if he doesn’t care if he dies like this Hasan?” Well, if that’s the case, you will not prevent the attack no matter what, but you will end the attack quickly with less lives lost. In the case of Ft. Hood, if the soldiers were allowed to carry, someone would have taken Hasan out after his first kill. It’s horrible to have even one death, but it’s much better than a massacre.

To take it to the next step, would we even have had Hasan if we didn’t have 9/11. Without 9/11, we wouldn’t be fighting two wars against muslims. Because the government prevents anyone from carrying arms onto a plane, you had unprotected passangers unable to do anything to prevent the terrorist attacks. Do you think the terrorists would have hijacked the planes if they knew there were people on the plane with guns and they didn’t know who was armed? So in order to prevent hijackings by armed criminals, we get the exact opposite result of what we wanted.

This is a tough subject, but one that must be thought through rationally. We can’t just wish the world to be the way we want it to be, and then try to regulate it to conform to our ideals. As I’ve said, you end up with the exact opposite of what you wanted. Below is a video from Freedomain Radio. It’s a bit long, but he has a great way of explaining how going against our intution is a much better solution. He even takes it as far as leading to world peace. I don’t know if I’d go that far, but he makes a great case.



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Ron Paul takes on Moore’s smearing of capitalism on Larry King

Posted by Jason | Posted in Economics, Government, Video | Posted on 30-10-2009

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Last night, Ron Paul was on Larry King after Michael Moore. Ron Paul, who seems to be the only congressman who understands economics, rightfully explains that Michael Moore doesn’t seem to know what the free market is. He’s mixing corporatism with capitalism. As I’ve always said, if you listen to liberals talk about capitalism, they are never talking about capitalism. They are talking about whatever they put before capitalism. How many times have you heard crony capitalism, corporate capitalism, greedy capitalism, etc? Their complaint is not about capitalism. Their complaint is with cronyism, corporatism, and greed. None of them are synonymous with capitalism. They are more closely synonymous with government, the very solution that they then propose. Anyway, here’s Ron Paul.

http://www.dailypaul.com/node/112628

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Presidential priorities

Posted by Jason | Posted in Government | Posted on 07-10-2009

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Monica Crowley’s article in the Washington Times this morning highlights how completely upside down our government is anymore. Government’s first role is to protect the people militarily, and the Commander-in-Chief’s primary role is a military one. Lo and behold in the current administration, our foreign wars are the last thing that seems to get the attention of our President. The President and the Congress have no problem finding time for Health Care, which Americans don’t want, Cap and Trade, which will cripple our economy, or working on a subversive stimulus bill number two. Our representatives and our President need to read the Constitution as well as writings of Thomas Paine, John Locke, etc to learn what the purpose of Government is.

McChrystal goes rogue

“You might have a tough time getting President Obama’s attention unless you are a member of the International Olympic Committee (IOC), a golf ball or Jennifer Lopez.

Over the past few weeks, he has deposited a huge carbon footprint by jetting to Copenhagen, only to have the IOC unceremoniously dis him. He has spent five hours each Sunday on the golf course. He also has entertained celebrities including J.Lo and Arnold Palmer at the White House, not to mention schmoozing Oprah Winfrey on their ill-fated Olympic trip.

Given these self-indulgent presidential distractions, the commanding general in Afghanistan, Stanley A. McChrystal, can be forgiven for publicly airing his strategic and troop-level preferences. Appearing on “60 Minutes” and addressing a prestigious London think tank apparently are the only ways Gen. McChrystal can get Mr. Obama’s attention. It was the general as matador, waving the red silk, hoping the bull would turn and notice him.”

…………………………….

The president has been busy chasing nationalized health care, an Olympic dream and his Titleist golf balls. Gen. McChrystal had no choice but to go public to get him focused on the realities of the battlefield and the dangerous world in which he, his soldiers and the rest of us live. The general’s responsibility is to keep us safe from attack. It’s a shame he had to remind Mr. Obama that it’s the president’s responsibility as well.

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