Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Happy New Year! Have more fun in 2014!

"So here's a resolution for you: In the new year, obtain more liberty for yourself and for your friends and for your family."

Because government will no longer protect our rights; it upslurps them, we have to assert our rights if we wish to keep them.

  1. 1.
    take (a position of power or importance) illegally or by force.
    "Richard usurped the throne"
    synonyms:seize, take over, take possession of, takecommandeerwrest,assumeexpropriate More

  1. 1.
    take (a position of power or importance) illegally or by force in large volume, as with a hydro-vac truck.
    "Richard upslurped everyone's rights without authority or due process"
    synonyms:seize, take over, take possession of, takecommandeerwrest,assumeexpropriate More

Monday, December 30, 2013

We Are Not Subjects!

by Laura Hollis

The unveiling of the dictatorial debacle that is Obamacare absolutely flabbergasts me. It is stunning on so many levels, but the most shocking aspect of it for me is watching millions of free Americans stand idly by while this man, his minions in Congress and his cheerleaders in the press systematically dismantle our Constitution, steal our money, and crush our freedoms. 

The President, Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid (with no small help from Justice John Roberts) take away our health care, and we allow it. They take away our insurance, and we allow it. They take away our doctors, and we allow it.They charge us thousands of dollars more a year, and we allow it. They make legal products illegal, and we allow it. They cripple our businesses, and we allow it.They announce by fiat that we must ignore our most deeply held beliefs – and we allow it.

Where is your spine, America?

Yes, I know people are complaining. I read the news on the internet. I read blogs. I have a Twitter feed. So what? People in the Soviet Union complained. People in Cuba complain. People in China complain (quietly). Complaining isn't the same thing as doing anything about it. In fact, much of the complaining that we hear sounds like resignation: Wow. This sucks. Oh well, this is the way things are. Too bad.

Perhaps you need reminding of a few important facts. Here goes:

1. The President is not a king. Barack Obama does not behave like a President, an elected official, someone who realizes that he works for us. He behaves like a king, a dictator – someone who believes that his own pronouncements have the force of law, and who thinks he can dispense with the law's enforcement when he deigns to do so. And those of us who object? How dare we? Racists!

And while he moves steadily "forward" with his plans to "fundamentally transform" the greatest country in human history, he distracts people with cheap, meaningless trivialities, like "free birth control pills"! (In fact, let's face it: this administration's odd obsession with sex in general - Birth control! Abortion! Sterilization! Gay guys who play basketball! -- is just plain weird. Since when did the leader of the free world care so much about how people have sex, who they have it with, and what meds they use when they have it? Does he have nothing more important to concern himself with?)

2. It isn't just a failed software program; it is a failed philosophy. People are marveling thatHealthcare.gov was such a spectacular failure. Well, if one is only interested in it as a product launch, I've explained some of the reasons for that here. But the larger point is that it isn't a software failure, or even a product failure; it is a philosophy failure.

I have said this before: Obama is not a centrist; he is a central planner. And this – all of it: the disastrous computer program, the hundreds of millions of dollars wasted, the lies, the manipulation of public opinion, the theft of the public's money and property, and freedom (read insurance, and premiums, and doctors) -- IS what central planning looks like.

The central premise of central planning is that a handful of wunderkinds with your best interests at heart (yeah, right) know better than you what's good for you. The failure of such a premise and the misery it causes have been clear from the dawn of humanity. Kings and congressmen, dictators and Dear Leaders, potentates, princes and presidents can all fall prey to the same imperial impulses: "we know what is good the 'the people.'

And they are always wrong.

There is a reason that the only times communism has really been tried have been after wars, revolutions, or coups d'état. You have to have complete chaos for people to be willing to accept the garbage that centralized planning produces. Take the Soviet Union, for example. After two wars, famine, and the collapse of the Romanov dynasty, why wouldn't people wait in line for hours to buy size 10 shoes? Or settle for the gray matter that passed for meat in the grocery stores?

But communism's watered-down cousin, socialism, isn't much better. Ask the Venezuelans who cannot get toilet paper. Toilet paper. ¡Viva la Revolución!

Contrary to what so many who believe in a "living Constitution" say, the Founding Fathers absolutely understood this. That is why the Constitution was set up to limit government power. (Memo to the President: the drafters of the Constitution deliberately didn't say "what government had to do on your behalf.") They understood that that was the path to folly, fear, and famine.)

3. Obama is deceitful. Just as the collapse of the computer program should not surprise anyone, neither should we be shocked that the President lied about his healthcare plan. Have any of you been paying attention over the past few years? Obama has made no secret of his motivations or his methods. The philosophies which inspire him espouse deceit and other vicious tactics. (Don't take my word for it: read Saul Alinsky.) Obama infamously told reporter Richard Wolffe, "You know, I actually believe my own bullshit." He has refused to be forthcoming about his past (where are his academic records?). His own pastor, Rev. Jeremiah Wright, told author Ed Klein, that Obama said to him, "You know what your problem is? You have to tell the truth."

Did Obama lie when he said dozens of times, "If you like you plan, you can keep it. Period!"? Of course he did. That's what he does.

4. The media is responsible. And had the media been doing their jobs, we would have known a lot of this much, much earlier.

The press is charged with the sacred responsibility of protecting the people from the excesses of government. Our press has been complicit, incompetent, or corrupt. Had they vetted this man in 2008, as they would have a Republican candidate, we would have known far more about him than we do, even now. Had they pressed for more details about Obamacare, Congress' feet would have been held to the fire. Had they done their jobs about Eric Holder, Fast and Furious, Benghazi, the IRS scandal, NSA spying - or any of the other myriad betrayals of the public trust that this administration has committed, Obama would likely have lost his 2012 reelection campaign. (A fact that even The Washington Post has tacitly acknowledged. Well done, fellas! Happy now?)

Instead, they turned a blind eye, even when they knew he was lying, abusing power, disregarding the limits of the Constitution. It was only when he began to spy on them, and when the lies were so blatant that the lowest of low-information voters could figure it out that they realized they had to report on it. (Even in the face of blatant, deliberate and repeated lies,The New York Times has the audacity to tell us that the President "misspoke.") They have betrayed us, abandoned us, and deceived us.

5. Ted Cruz was right. So was Sarah Palin. The computer program is a disaster. The insurance exchanges are a disaster. What's left? The healthcare system itself. And this, of necessity, will be a disaster, too. Millions of people have lost their individual insurance plans. In 2015, millions more will lose their employer-provided coverage (a fact which the Obama administration also knew, and admitted elsewhere). The exorbitant additional costs that Obamacare has foisted on unsuspecting Americans are all part of a plan of wealth confiscation and redistribution. That is bad enough. But it will not end there.

When the numbers of people into the system and the corresponding demand for care vastly exceed the cost projections (and they will, make no mistake), then the rationing will start. Not only choice at that point, but quality and care itself will go down the tubes. And then will come the decisions made by the Independent Payment Advisory Board about what care will be covered (read "paid for") and what will not.

That's just a death panel, put politely. In fact, progressives are already greasing the wheels for acceptance of that miserable reality as well. They're spreading the lie that it will be about the ability of the dying to refuse unwanted or unhelpful care. Don't fall for that one, either. It will be about the deaths that inevitably result from decisions made by people other than the patients, their families, and their physicians. (Perhaps it's helpful to think of their assurances this way: "If you like your end-of-life care, you can keep your end-of-life-care.")

6. We are not SUBJECTS. (or, Nice Try, the Tea Party Isn't Going Away). We have tolerated these incursions into our lives and livelihoods too long already. There is no end to the insatiable demand "progressives" have to remake us in their image. Today it is our insurance, our businesses, our doctors, our health care. Tomorrow some new crusade will be announced that enables them to take over other aspects of our formerly free lives.

I will say it again: WE ARE NOT SUBJECTS. Not only is the Tea Party right on the fiscal issues, but it appears that they are more relevant than ever. We fought a war once to prove we did not want to be the subjects of a king, and the Boston Tea Party was just a taste of the larger conflict to come. If some people missed that lesson in history class, we can give them a refresher.

The 2014 elections are a good place to start. Call your representative, your senator, your candidate and tell them: "We are not subjects. You work for us. And if the word "REPEAL" isn't front and center in your campaign, we won't vote for you. Period."

Laura Hollis is an attorney and teaches entrepreneurship and business law at the University of Notre Dame. She resides in Indiana with her husband and two children.

(Sent to me by several readers. ~ KU)

Update: Here's the original post, on Town Hall.

Friday, December 27, 2013

Kakistocrat of the Year Award

The suspense has been building all year. Who will it be? Well, who else? Last year's winner -- Teh Won, the only, the most selfie president in history, Emperor PotUS himself, Barack Hussein Obama!

Here's an image of il douche for you to gaze upon while we wait for the applause boos, catcalls and groans of the newly-uninsured and soon-to-be-uninsured to die down:

Creepy: Barack Obama portrait at the US Embassy in London (Size Matters)

I should probably list some of the other kakistocrats that were in the running for the KotY awards.
  1. Kathleen Sibelius -- Responsible (or not) for the worst roll-out of a government program in the history of the nation since prohibition. I decided against her because what she had to work with was so bad to start with. Besides, who was responsible for giving her a job that she was unqualified for (hint: BHO)? And who was responsible for creating an environment in which managers are hesitant to tell the CEO that the project was coming in over budget and over schedule (hint: BHO)? Kathleen is pathetic, is all. She may be a kakistocrat, but her boss takes the cake on this one.
  2. Harry Reid -- Responsible for invoking the "nuclear option", breaking a rule that has governed Senate procedure since the body was founded. In a political ploy to stuff the courts with 'progressive' judges, he simply changed the rules to suit his whim. So much for a nation of laws. That is very unstatesmanlike behavior (the definition of a kakistocrat).
  3. There were other, distant runners-up, such as Eric Holder (who might be a bigger kakistocrat than Sibelius), but Sibelius beat him out in sheer luzerdom. Reid narrowly beat him out in sheer craven-ness. Others, too numerous to mention, populate the halls of Congress and the Senate.
This year's award has to go to the KotY-LotY-PotUS, Mr. Barack Hussein Obama. The serial supra-constitutional executive orders; the doing an end-run around Congress to delay phasing in ObamaCare until after the pivotal mid-term elections was a very shameless bit 'o constitutional vandalism. The politicization of the Trayvon Martin affair was also a very kakistacular stunt.

The thing that really clinched it for me was the Lie of the Year (LotY): "If you like your health care plan, you can keep it." (and the corollary, "If you like your doctor, you can keep your doctor.") Period. End of story. Although the lie was told ad nauseum in 2012, it was largely responsible for KotY-LotY-PotUS-BHO's re-election. So it really didn't take effect until 2013, and many people didn't really find out about it first-hand until 2013. Therefore, the effective date of the lie was 2013. (I should point out that I knew it was a lie -- or at least a falsehood -- when I first heard it, based simply on my knowledge of economics and government track records on every social program in history.)

Here's the thing about lies: I really don't like to call something a lie when it is merely a mistake (cf. the "Bush lied; people died" meme). But this was no mistake. KotY-LotY-PotUS-BHO himself might not have known it was a lie. Obama is nothing more than a text-to-speech converter -- mindlessly reading whatever appears on his TelePrompTer. (We could fix a lot of problems with this regime simply by putting the Constitution on his TelePrompTer.) But whomever was responsible for programming KotY-LotY-PotUS-BHO had to know it was a lie, because even a casual reading of ObamaCare would reveal that it could have no other effect. Frankly, no matter how insulated KotY-LotY-PotUS-BHO might be, it is hard to imagine him not getting at least a whiff of the lie that was, "If you like your health care plan, you can keep it." I can imagine Sarah Palin saying, "I can see Obama's Pinocchio nose from my house!" Hell, I bet we could see the nasty thing from the international space station.

KotY-LotY-PotUS-BHO was lying his keester off. Here's your award, KotY! You've earned it!

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Thursday, December 19, 2013

My Annual Christmas Post

This never fails to choke me up, especially since it was mainstream when I first saw it in 1965, and it is considered controversial today.

They would never put this on network TV today. How far we have fallen.

Saturday, December 14, 2013

A Fool's Paradise

This is from an email that has been circulating around the Interweb. It's another cautionary tale.

"Winston, come into the dining room, it's time to eat," Julia yelled to her husband. "In a minute, honey, it's a tie score," he answered.

Actually Winston wasn't very interested in the traditional holiday football game between Detroit and Washington. Ever since the government passed the Civility in Sports Statute of 2017, outlawing tackle football for its "unseemly violence" and the "bad" example it sets for the rest of the world", Winston was far less of a football fan than he used to be. Two-hand touch wasn't nearly as exciting.

Yet, it wasn't the game that Winston was uninterested in. It was more the thought of eating another Tofu Turkey. Even though it was the best type of Veggie Meat available after the government revised the American Anti-Obesity Act of 2018, adding fowl to the list of federally-forbidden foods, (which already included potatoes, cranberry sauce, and mincemeat pie), it wasn't anything like real turkey.

And ever since the government officially changed the name of "Thanksgiving Day" to "A National Day of Atonement" in 2020, to officially acknowledge the Pilgrims' historically brutal treatment of Native Americans, the holiday had lost a lot of its luster.

Eating in the dining room was also a bit daunting. The unearthly gleam of government-mandated fluorescent light bulbs made the Tofu Turkey look even weirder than it actually was, and the room was always cold. Ever since Congress passed the Power Conservation Act of 2016, mandating all thermostats - which were monitored and controlled by the electric company - be kept at 68 degrees, every room on the north side of the house was barely tolerable throughout the entire winter.

Still, it was good getting together with family. Or at least most of the family.Winston missed his mother, who passed on in October, when she had used up her legal allotment of life-saving medical treatment. He had had many heated conversations with the Regional Health Consortium, spawned when the private insurance market finally went bankrupt, and everyone was forced into the government health care program. And though he demanded she be kept on her treatment, it was a futile effort. "The RHC's resources are limited," explained the government bureaucrat Winston spoke with on the phone. "Your mother received all the benefits to which she was entitled. I'm sorry for your loss."

Ed couldn't make it either. He had forgotten to plug in his electric car last night, the only kind available after the Anti-Fossil Fuel Bill of 2021 which outlawed the use of the combustion engines - for everyone but government officials. The fifty mile round trip was about ten miles too far, and Ed didn't want to spend a frosty night on the road somewhere between here and there. Thankfully, Winston's brother, John, and his wife were flying in.

Winston made sure that the dining room chairs had extra cushions for the occasion. No one complained more than John about the pain of sitting down so soon after the government-mandated cavity searches at airports, which severely aggravated his hemorrhoids. Ever since a terrorist successfully smuggled a cavity bomb onto a jetliner, the TSA told Americans the added "inconvenience" was an "absolute necessity" in order to stay "one step ahead of the terrorists."

Winston's own body had grown accustomed to such probing ever since the government expanded their scope to just about anywhere a crowd gathered, via Anti-Profiling Act of 2022. That law made it a crime to single out any group or individual for "unequal scrutiny," even when probable cause was involved. Thus, cavity searches at malls, grocery stores, train stations, bus depots, etc., etc., had become almost routine. Almost.

The Supreme Court is reviewing statute, but most Americans expect a Court composed of six progressives and three conservatives to leave the law intact. "A living Constitution is extremely flexible", said the Court's eldest member, Elena Kagan. "Europe has had laws like this one for years. We should learn from their example," she added.

Winston's thoughts turned to his own children. He got along fairly well with his 12-year-old daughter, Brittany, mostly because she ignored him. Winston had long ago surrendered to the idea that she could text anyone at any time, even during Atonement Dinner. Their only real confrontation had occurred when he limited her to 50,000 texts a month, explaining that was all he could afford. She whined for a week, but got over it.

His 16-year-old son, Jason, was another matter altogether. Perhaps it was the constant bombarding he got in public school that global warming, the bird flu, terrorism, or any of a number of other calamities were "just around the corner", but Jason had developed a kind of nihilistic attitude that ranged between simmering surliness and outright hostility. It didn't help that Jason had reported his father to the police for smoking a cigarette in the house, an act made criminal by the Smoking Control Statute of 2018, which outlawed smoking anywhere within 500 feet of another human being. Winston paid the $5,000 fine, which might have been considered excessive before the American dollar became virtually worthless as a result of QE13.

The latest round of quantitative easing the federal government initiated was, once again, to "spur economic growth." This time, they promised to push unemployment below its years-long rate of 18%, but Winston was not particularly hopeful.

Yet the family had a lot for which to be thankful Winston thought, before remembering it was a Day of Atonement. At least, he had his memories. He felt a twinge of sadness when he realized his children would never know what life was like in the Good Old Days, long before government promises to make life "fair for everyone" realized their full potential.

Winston, like so many of his fellow Americans, never realized how much things could change when they didn't happen all at once, but little by little, so people could get used to them. He wondered what might have happened if the public had stood up while there was still time, maybe back around 2009, when all the real nonsense began.

"Maybe we wouldn't be where we are today if we'd just said 'enough is enough' when we had the chance," he thought.

Maybe so, Winston. Maybe so.

Thanks to Dave and Maddie for sending me this.

Is this over the top? Maybe so, dear reader. Maybe so. But look how oppressive statism is today. For those of you who were in high school in the 1970s, or grew up in the 1960s, like me, you remember what life was like. You remember the freedom. Sure, pot was illegal. Nobody even considered gay marriage (some of us knew gay people but we didn't persecute them; we simply were at liberty not to celebrate or condone their lifestyle).

People were responsible about gun ownership, and you could even openly carry a rifle or a handgun around town (taking it in for service, or buying or selling) without a police escort. You could have a fire in your fireplace, or burn some brush if you needed to, without fines or special permits. You could build a shed on your property (or tear one down), or do some landscaping without being fined or hauled to court by the county government. Oh, and it wasn't legal to kill unborn children by the millions each year.

Meanwhile, we have not reduced poverty; we have institutionalized it. We've created a dependent underclass. We've reduced self-respect. We've increased crime. We've reduced upward mobility. We've reduced liberty. Then, there's this from Bill Whittle:

So is this cautionary tale so outlandish? If we follow the current 'progressive' trajectory, I'd say it's a tad conservative in it's projections. Many of these prognostications are already in force, or nearly so. If you call that 'progress'. The end.

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Wealth Redistribution - A Cautionary Tale

From an email circulating on the interweb...

Barack Obama discovers a leak under his sink, so he calls Joe the Plumber to come and fix it.

Joe drives to Obama's house, which is located in a very nice neighborhood and where it's clear that all the residents make more than $250,000 per year.

Joe arrives and takes his tools into the house. Joe is led to the room that contains the leaky pipe under a sink. Joe assesses the problem and tells Obama, who is standing near the door, that it's an easy repair that will take less than 10 minutes.

Obama asks Joe how much it will cost. Joe immediately says, "$9,500."

"$9,500?" Obama asks, stunned, "But you said it's an easy repair!"

"Yes, but what I do is charge a lot more to my clients who make more than $250,000 per year so I can fix the plumbing of everybody who makes less than that for free," explains Joe. "It's always been my philosophy. As a matter of fact, I lobbied government to pass this philosophy as law, and it did pass earlier this year, so now all plumbers have to do business this way. It's known as 'Joe's Fair Plumbing Act of 2013.' Surprised you haven't heard of it."

In spite of that, Obama tells Joe there's no way he's paying that much for a small plumbing repair, so Joe leaves. Obama spends the next hour flipping through the phone book looking for another plumber, but he finds that all other plumbing businesses listed have gone out of business. Not wanting to pay Joe's price, Obama does nothing. The leak under Obama's sink goes unrepaired for the next several days.

A week later the leak is so bad that Obama has had to put a bucket under the sink. The bucket fills up quickly and has to be emptied every hour, and there's a risk that the room will flood, so Obama calls Joe and pleads with him to return. Joe goes back to Obama's house, looks at the leaky pipe, and says, “Let's see - this will cost you about $21,000."

"A few days ago you told me it would cost $9,500!" Obama quickly fires back.

Joe explains the reason for the dramatic increase. "Well, because of the 'Joe's Fair Plumbing Act,' a lot of rich people are learning how to fix their own plumbing, so there are fewer of you paying for all the free plumbing I'm doing for the people who make less than $250,000. As a result, the rate I have to charge my wealthy paying customers rises every day.

"Not only that, but for some reason the demand for plumbing work from the group of people who get it for free has skyrocketed, and there's a long waiting list of those who need repairs. This has put a lot of my fellow plumbers out of business, and they're not being replaced - nobody is going into the plumbing business because they know they won't make any money. I'm hurting now too - all thanks to greedy rich people like you who won't pay their fair share."

Obama tries to straighten out the plumber: "Of course you're hurting, Joe! Don't you get it? If all the rich people learn how to fix their own plumbing and you refuse to charge the poorer people for your services, you'll be broke, and then what will you do?"

Joe immediately replies, "Run for president, apparently."

Thanks to Elliott.

Saturday, December 7, 2013

What Americans Can Learn From The Constitution Nelson Mandela Signed

Oh boy. This article is so wrong
The South African Constitution, by contrast, devotes 32 different articles to individual rights before it even mentions the structure of government. While America’s founders were primarily worried about how lawmakers would be selected and what powers they would and would not have, South Africa’s Constitution begins with a statement of human rights. It’s drafters wanted first and foremost to ensure that nothing like apartheid would ever exist again.
Our US Constitution doesn't start with a list of rights, because government cannot grant rights! We're born with them by virtue of being human (not by being US citizens). The principles of good government were given in our Declaration of Independence; the Constitution is the specification for the government that implements it. Even our Bill of Rights (the first ten amendments to our Constitution -- not an afterthought) acknowledge that they are not granting these rights, and the tenth amendment further states that the Bill of Rights are not a complete list -- and cannot be (because government cannot grant rights that we're born with). 

The US Constitution is the "white list" of things our government must do. The Bill of Rights is the "black list" of natural rights on which no good government should ever infringe. Guess what? The US government infringes on several of them routinely.

I respect Nelson Mandela, and everything he had to endure under apartheid (not that dissimilar from our own slavery, Jim Crow laws and segregation), but all of those things are already supposed to be illegal -- problems we had to work out under our own form of government. No constitution can prevent tyrants from ignoring it or circumventing it, as we see playing out in abundance today by the US government.

The article is from the website, Think Progress (as in 'progressive'), so you just know I'll disagree with them. Nelson Mandela was an avowed communist, so whatever "individual rights" his Constitution arrogantly granted most likely involved little or no economic freedom, but rather provision without consent, by the productive members of society, for the non-productive members. When done by anyone but government, it is the definition of "theft".

From each according to his ability; to each according to his need is a beautiful thing when it is done voluntarily. But it is slavery when earnings are redistributed by government, without the consent of the worker-producers.