Friday, November 26, 2010

Another Korean War?

The news seems to indicate that North Korea is agitated and shelled an island in the Yellow Sea along part of the disputed border on the peninsula.

So what had them agitated? Besides the fact that they are looking to make a transition from one psycho dictator to another, they seemed to want to send a message in response to another event.

The US and South Korea were doing their own military and naval exercises earlier hoping to send some sort of message. Now that the North has shelled a few houses we've responded by sending a aircraft carrier task force to the region.

I've said for years that if you want to find a war, send your navy out into the sea and they'll find one for you. Now as the situation remains tense, we're only one accident or misunderstanding from it escalating into a war on a small highly populated peninsula.

Of course we're told that we can't remain neutral because we have too much as stake. But somehow China has remained neutral despite being a neighbor to the region and would more than likely would be a host to millions of refugees if a war broke out. With more at stake they seem to understand that staying out of it may be a good idea.

South Korea has a GDP ten times that of North Korea. If they were able to defend themselves without our intervention, I would imagine that North Korea would never attack them for fear of being completely destroyed.

On the bright side it may spark a brand new M*A*S*H sitcom.

Thursday, November 04, 2010

So, how did the election go?

I cast a vote on my ballot for only a single candidate and he's hanging on by a thread as more votes roll in. I'm sad to say that the returns indicated that my cat did not win a single race for which he was a write-in. Chairman Meow is already over it.

Prop 19 in California failed and this saddened me quite a bit. It's only a matter of time before it passes in some state.

In my state we seem to like state-run liquor stores. I voted to allow liquor to be sold in public schools and daycare centers but it failed.

My state elected a pro warfare/welfare senator (Patty Murray) who is just an embarrassment in so many ways. She ran against Dino Rossi who is a neocon flavored warfare/welfare candidate. I had nobody to vote for on this one and on many as my party is routinely shut out of ballots due to election laws in my state.

I voted against the introduction of an Income Tax in my state and it was soundly defeated. I'm against an income tax on principle. Taxing someone's productive effort to survive is immoral in my view. It was sold to voters as a tax on the rich (accurately) but as Washington State will no doubt suffer from more budget crises in the future, I can only imagine the eligible marginal rates dropping until I find myself paying both an income and sales tax.

Barney Frank was elected again and I couldn't be happier. He is the one Democrat not named Dennis Kucinich that will state very plainly where federal spending can be cut. The Pentagon may hate him but I'd vote for him.

Excise taxes on candy and soda were repealed in Washington state. I voted to repeal it though I had no passion about it. It's a fair tax probably.

Rand Paul won and he could be an interesting senator. Even many liberal blogs who spent the night and next day after the election whining could at least admit that Rand Paul's views on civil liberties, gay marriage, and the drug war could be a bright side. I hope Rand responds more like a libertarian than the paleo-conservative that won the election.

Oh, and while everyone is still talking about the election, the Federal Reserve introduced QE2 to centrally stimulate idle resources in the economic structure. I'd take bets with anyone who thinks the quantitative easing will amount to a lasting recovery, but you'll need to pony up with gold. Economic jokes are so lame.

I'm looking forward to the blessed gridlock that is sure to come. It worked for Clinton, and it will work for Obama too...prepare for the results from this last election to usher in the reelection of President Obama in 2012.

Monday, October 18, 2010


There seems to be a reshaping of our republic going on lately with citizens of many states showing themselves as uncomfortable with the size and scope of government. 

Now I know just using the phrase “size and scope” of government seems like John Birch Society bunker dwelling language but in the modern age of government creep, the idea is reaching across the left/right political spectrum.

Sure 20 states have given the go ahead to sue the federal government on the basis that elements of Obamacare is not constitutional.  What would you expect from a bunch of right-wing nutjobs anyway, right? 

But now California has put on the ballot an initiative to legalize marijuana.  Now forget about the compassion argument of allowing California’s sick and infirmed access to the weed, we’re talking about full-on legalization.  Just putting this on the ballot is giving the citizens the choice of whether they want to abide by a federal law or not.  This sort of democracy is not exactly the sort of right of center thinking you’d expect from those openly questioning the “size and scope” of government.  President Obama’s administration has stated in a preemptive strike that they will “aggressively” enforce the Federal Controlled Substance laws no matter how California may decide to vote.

Thomas Woods wrote what I consider to be the best modern day discussion of Nullification and discusses it here in this video Interview with a Zombie.  Woods breaks through the popular notions that nullification is just a veiled term used to give cause for bigots to deny rights to some vulnerable minority.

Our federal government has over reached into our lives to such idiotic proportions that they’ve made enemies on both the left and the right.  And while that’s not necessarily surprising, it is however very surprising that those on the left and right are actually doing something about it.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

More help from the Fed!

While China and Japan fight over who should top of the list of US Treasury Bills, there is a 3rd challenger making its way toward the top…The Federal Reserve itself!

The higher the Fed goes up on this list the less likely anyone else is finding a US Treasury Bill inviting.  There is only so far China is willing to devalue their own currency to keep pace with ours.  Ya know about that right?  The reason you can only buy things made in China is because, as our own currency loses its value, they become one of the few countries that matches our own devaluation. 

In a healthy economy if our currency became devalued it would be CHEAPER to build things in the USA.  Countries would see our value and relatively skilled workforce as an invitation to build their products by American workers but when China is your banker…you never really catch up as a country…even when your money buys less.

Now that in the last two years of the Bush administration and the first two of Obama’s we’re experiencing our once every three decade reminder that Keynesian economics fails about every time it’s tried.

And while I’m already not looking forward to hearing all of my so-called progressive friends whine and doing their best Henny Penny impression when so many Democrats are going to lose in November…I simply don’t see many of our countries idiotic monetary policies stopping.  

Don’t worry, I’m sure the geniuses at the Fed will figure it all out.

Thursday, September 09, 2010

Provoking Muslims to Violence

President Obama stated correctly that as a practical matter, and as Commander-in-Chief the nobody Florida pastor who shepherds a giant flock of 55 people will likely put our troops in harms way if he continues with his stunt to burn the Muslim Holy Book.

Now never mind that they may already be incited to violence because of other things like:

  • US Troops on the Arabian Peninsula
  • Unmanned predator drones flying over Muslim countries
  • Propping up unelected dictators of Muslim countries
  • Secret international prisons
  • Provoking Iran continually

But no, Mr. Obama actually magnifies a situation that would probably be ignored by the entire world.  As distasteful as burning things in protest is, it is a protected right.  After all, only distasteful acts require protecting.  But what right does this president or the last one have to engage in the list above on behalf of the American people?

You’re right Mr. Obama.  The actions of this stupid pastor in Florida will spark unnecessary international violence…but probably not as much violence as you spark in a single day. 

Monday, September 06, 2010

Our brave non-combat troops still fighting in Iraq

It hasn’t been very long since the last combat brigade has left Iraq and now American troops transition forces were left to defend an Iraqi military compound which was invaded by evil doers.

Still, the deadline for all US Troops to leave Iraq is 2012.  It’ll be interesting to see if that really does happen. 

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Congratulations Canada!

I’m so proud of our progressive, globally conscious, and all around awesome neighbors to the north who made the brave and forward looking decision to stop spilling their poo poo and pee pee into the waters of my state.

Congratulations Canada, welcome to the 20th Century.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

2nd Phase of Fake End of War Complete

The US just completed its second fake end to the war in Iraq and invented a new type of soldier known as the "Transition Soldier".

If you remember from Bush's speech on the USS Lincoln, he declared an end of "major combat operations" which was a necessary step to usher in troops from nations who agreed to go into Iraq in a new phase. We know how that went.

Now we're declaring that the last combat troops have left Iraq and crossed over into Kuwait. Hooray. Maybe they'll be redeployed to Afghanistan, but maybe not. But one problem still persists:

One of the major reason Bin Laden indicated for his continuing attacks on the US was our military presence on the Arabian peninsula, something not resolved by moving a brigade to Kuwait.

Are we any more safe with troops in Kuwait rather than Iraq? If an insurgency grows once again in Iraq is there any question that our troops will quietly return? Is this really the troop withdrawal everyone was counting on?

I just hope this is the last fake end of the war we have to celebrate.

Monday, July 26, 2010

What? Afghanistan going poorly?

I'm shocked.

Thanks to Wikileaks we're learning that even after flushing 1 billion dollars of foreign aid down the craphole that is Pakistan, their spy services are directing the Afghan insurgents with information to fight against U.S. troops.

Maybe 2 billion would get them to stop? 3 billion maybe?

Of course we have to be there in Afghanistan. How else will these poor souls, learn to have democracy unless we are there to occupy their country and eventually steal their lithium deposits.

Two years in to the Obama administration and try as I may I simply can't hear any muttering from the once active anti-war left. If any of you really are against war like you claimed then it's about time to break out your NO WAR FOR OIL LITHIUM signs.

...but on second thought you're probably still trying to figure out how to explain the most recent failures of Keynsian economics. Nevermind. In the long run we're all dead, right?

Thursday, July 08, 2010

Finally a sensible policy discussion

Ron Paul and Barney Frank are engaging in a type of bi-partisan effort I couldn't be more in favor of. A reduction in federal spending to the tune of 1 Trillion dollars!

What's the catch?

It's a proposal to reduce military spending.

Many of you are already shaking your heads because military spending is off the table. To suggest cutting it is dismissed as irresponsible, unpatriotic, reckless and whatever other descriptions are thrown at the idea without even a thoughtful argument to accompany it. But here is a reality that can't really be argued: Our country is broke.

A good military spending reduction policy will not be to remove important weapons systems, but instead remove troops from hundreds of countries around the world. Yeah, yeah...I know some of you are foreign policy zombies and your knee just jerked up and hit the bottom of the desk where you're sitting as you screamed out the words "YOU'RE AN ISOLATIONIST!" Maybe it would help to give you a list of things to explore while discovering America's new role in this phase of economic disaster.

1. True Isolationism is borrowing so much foreign money that you can only afford to trade with countries that voluntarily devalue their own money. Importing from everywhere else becomes too expensive. We trade with fewer nations today than ever.

2. True isolationism is influencing trade on certain items by pressuring foreign nations with your navy and subsidizing dying industries at home. This was done prior to World War I and was called 'mercantilism". It failed then, it will fail again.

3. We station troops and our navy in Japan while they hold more US debt than any other nation. In short, we borrow from Japan to protect Japan.

4. National Guard units fighting overseas cannot assist in natural disasters or oil spills at home.

5. Being the policeman of the world is expensive in a country where true unemployment figures are hanging around 20%.

We need to come to our senses and realize that a 10 year program to reduce military spending by 1 Trillion Dollars is long overdue and needs to begin now.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Hey, I'm back

Took a month or so off to enjoy the arrival of my new son and try to sleep from time to time. Yeah, I know you missed me.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Congrats Mr. President

Your pledge to end the war in Iraq and bring 2 brigades of soldiers home each month until they were all home in 16 months was pretty much what I thought it was. You've been president 16 months now and every soldier removed from Iraq thus far has stayed in the region and replaced with more expensive military mercenaries contractors.

For every soldier that stays in the region we make five more enemies.

For every dollar of national defense spent overseas we weaken our overall defense and make Americans less safe.

Would've been nice if the "Hope" and "Change" we were promised meant a more reasonable foreign policy and not just tweaking the failed policies of Bush.

Saturday, May 08, 2010

Turns out all cops aren’t heroes [UPDATED]

This area has seen some deaths among police officers and our whole region has been just worshiping these brave public servants. After all, whenever a police man is killed in the line of duty, it's never a bad cop that gets killed. It's always the mothers and fathers who were loved and respected in their community. Somehow the bad cops disappear or the media temporarily convinces everyone that they never really existed in the first place.

So now in Seattle, a freelance videographer, may have accidently discovered some bad cops. Watch it here.

I have no doubts that these officers have family too. I’m sure they have neighbors and friends who can claim that these public servants are upstanding citizens. These are the very cops our community would honor if they were hurt or killed while on duty.

I hope every one of these Costume Wearing City Sanctioned Thugs spends a great deal of time in jail for what they did to this person. I hope any officer who was close to this incident and didn’t try to stop this goes to jail too. These are the very people our community needs protection from. They are not heroes, they are criminals.

[UPDATE] The primary thug has now held a press conference (See here) and apologized for the racially insensitive remarks he made while he and his badged gang of heroes kicked the innocent latino while he was on the ground. Funny he never apologized for the assault which will hopefully put him in a cell of his own. I'm sure the apology has smoothed things over...I mean how can you not forgive people for calling you racially insenstive names while they're kicking you while you lay face down on a sidewalk?

Wednesday, May 05, 2010

Stop inviting me to your Tea Party

I’ve always believed that if you say no often enough to party invitations, then people will eventually stop inviting you. I’m not a person who likes parties and the Tea Party is no exception. Yet people still invite me.

I’m not coming to your Tea Party. Why you ask?

  1. You’re intellectually dishonest about taxation and spending
  2. You’re not sufficiently anti-war
  3. You’re not serious about deficits
  4. You’re mostly just Republicans
  5. Some of you are disenchanted lefties with no friends

Like the guy who was the fan of the unsigned band that suddenly became popular, I was against spending before being a deficit hawk was popular. I was for civil liberties way before anyone was mad that they’d be forced to purchase medical insurance. I don’t own freedom’s greatest hits album…I have the original on 8-track and still listen to it from time-to-time. You guys are posers.

So please…stop inviting me to your party. I’m not coming.

Monday, April 26, 2010

So is it Constitutional? – Part 2

[updated: Now with complete sentences]

Arizona just passed a law that may require an individual suspected of being an illegal alien to prove citizenship or their legal right to be in the country. Is it Constitutional?

This one in my view isn’t very close. It is completely unconstitutional to ask someone to show their papers or even identify themselves if they’re not involved in an actual crime.

It’s funny how conservatives who claim to be against things like a National ID card, don’t have a problem with making someone who just may “look” like an illegal and therefore undocumented alien identify themselves.

I hope this is thrown out as quickly as the health insurance mandate.

Tuesday, April 06, 2010

The Fake Outrage about Stimulus Package Waste

I read in the news about every week some story about wasteful spending related to the stimulus packages from both Bush and Obama. If you had the chance to confront a politician about it you'd get some fake outrage about how terrible it is and they'll promise to look into it. You must understand though that if they voted for the stimulus funds believing that they would help the economy, they are LYING about their concern for how it was spent.

You have to understand first that anyone who supports this type of economic rescue plan does not believe there is such a thing as waste when it comes to stimulus. Every politician has an economist who is close to them and assures them that this money had to enter the economy somewhere, and it mostly doesn't matter where.

President Obama introduced his stimulus as being available for "shovel ready" jobs to assure you that people would go to work immediately, but we find out everyday that pieces of the whole plan were spent on some silly projects.

As Bastiat pointed out over a hundred years ago, people who believe in this type of economic system believe that even if you use the money to hire people to break windows, the glass man gets paid and when the glass man has money he will buy food and goods and services with it. For this reason Keynesian economists and the politicians they advise will only pretend to be outraged by where the money is spent.

The fatal mistake of these plans is that they ultimately put the financial money supply in the wrong places. This cannot be centrally planned. Instead they give resources to the politically connected at the expense of those who may use it productively. So if the money is spent to hire a guy to hold a shovel, resources for someone to build and manufacture a better shovel will be scarcer. Even well-meaning ideas like "green jobs" or some other centrally planned industry will put resources in a place that a free market won' least not yet.

Our nation's hope to pay back the debt we've been accumulating since the 1980's will come from either currency devaluation (pay back cheaper dollars than those we borrowed) or through increased productive capacity. It's doubtful we'll reach higher productivity with an economy supported by reinflated market bubbles waiting for the next round of government influenced mal-investment to be exposed.

I'd like to see some genuine outrage about the government's role in these recessions and less fake outrage over how their "rescue" plans were enacted.

Monday, April 05, 2010

Now wait a minute...

I thought only Right-wing Tea Baggers were capable of ridiculous, overblown, and dangerous rhetoric...and poorly made homemade signs. Could it be somehow that there are those on both the left and the right that are nuts? Or more to the point...being left or right is just plain nuts. Yeah, that's probably it.

Friday, April 02, 2010

Governor Gregoire = Less sucky

Washington Governor Christine Gregoire recently signed a bill yesterday which opens the way for a broader spectrum of healthcare professionals to prescribe medical marijuana to their patients. This is a hugely welcome sign of freedom that is truly compassionate on the most vulnerable and sick in our world. I commend her for it.

It is curious that she has railed against recent claims about "State's Rights" while she quietly enacted this law. This is also not being characterized as an act of defiance against the Federal Government and I wonder why. How can she legally sign a bill to open access to a controlled substance the Federal Government strictly prohibits? Is this any less of a 10th Amendment principled stand than say...our Attorney General joining the lawsuit against the Federal Government over the recent health care reform?

This is the type of bi-partisanship I love to see. Each side staking out their case to defend the liberties of the citizens of my state. I hope they're both successful.

Friday, March 26, 2010

Not Riverdale too!

As I get older I find myself saying things like "When I was a kid, this used to be a post office." and boring anyone who is polite enough to listen about what used to be what. The town I grew up in has grown quite a bit and honestly, most of the changes were in the last 15 years so it's not quite like I'm a grandpa on the porch swing cogitatin' on days gone by.

I was just reading an Archie's comic digest I picked up at the store the other day to see how the gang was doing. It seems that Riverdale now has a supermall complete with an indoor amusement park. When I was a kid there was just a malt shop and a few stores.

Now I know I'm old when I can point out that the fictional places of my life have undergone urban sprawl.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Well, is it constitutional?

In this whole thought experiment the answer to that question just isn't that easy to come up with. Now I know if you don't like the healthcare bill you already have decided that it is not constitutional. This is the knee-jerk reaction of partisans who respond to the political success of the hated other wing. I heard tons of similar arguments during the Bush years. Idiot Seattle progressives yacked all the time about how Bush was crapping on the constitution, and often they were right but they really didn't understand why.

Whether you agree or not with the bill, a challenge on the constitutionality of the law will need to be brought by someone who claims they have been damaged directly by it. They must have a case. This will not be possible for some time until the law has been enacted for awhile. The threats of lawsuits by a few State Attorney Generals is merely symbolic and probably a ploy for free publicity as they gear up a future run for governor.

The type of case will need to come from shareholders of an insurance company that may claim that they were ruined directly by the law. This will hardly be possible as the Federal Government can protect any insurance company from failure with an executive order. It may be brought by a doctor who claims that his disassociation from a 3rd party payor is infringed. Most certainly this is a reasonable claim, but will it be taken seriously by court that thinks the meaning of laws are as elusive as holding a water weiny? Once the law is in place and someone can be damaged by it...then and only then can someone bring a case on the slow journey through the federal courts on its way to the Supreme Court. The Court must consider the claim of someone damaged as they view any enacted law as the will of the people...whether you like it now or not.

As I've predicted over and over that President Obama will be re-elected, it is quite possible that in the year 2014 the Supreme Court will have that quaint living and breathing view of the law of the land. The kind of view that will make amendments obsolete because its words will evolve into the useful meaning of the day rather than original intent.

And by the way...this bill is not socialism. Not even close. This bill is just more good ol' fashioned Corporatism where the winners and losers will be chosen in DC. It's significant but hardly radical. Not nearly as radical as say...attacking a sovereign nation who never attacked you...just sayin'.

Oh, and a message to you angry GOP morons out there. Maybe you would've been more believable in this whole argument had you whined and protested like this during the Medicare prescription plan a few years ago that so many of you voted for. You expanded the state by throwing bill after bill at a president who didn't veto any proposed legislation until well into his second term. It's so frustrating to watch someone else expand the state while you have to just sit back and watch isn't it?

As for me, this bill is not compatible with The Constitution I've read. It is not compatible with that of a free society...but neither was the former system. I have a replica of the constitution on the wall in my downstairs bathroom. I joke constantly that I can tell what political party my friends belong to when they use that bathroom. The Democrats look at it and ask what it is and the Republicans try to use it for toilet paper.

So anyway, get used to it. It's the law and will be for a long time.

Friday, March 19, 2010

Hooray Ninth Circuit!

The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals has been busy lately. News from this court is a mixed bag as they are known for being the most overturned circuit court in our country. Two different rulings from this court over the last week have given me some hope as it relates to freedom and liberty.

First, a seminarian (this is a dude training to be a Roman Catholic Priest) sued for overtime pay as his duties at the seminary, which included helping with mass, probably made his timesheet rather busy. The seminarian claimed that he was due compensation for time-and-a-half but the ninth circuit rightly ruled that he wasn't. Protecting the first amendment and his freedom of association (or diassociation) was key in ruling against him. He should try being Lutheran...just a suggestion.

Secondly, the court ruled in favor of the son of Texas oil tycoon Howard Marshall, who was married to Anna Nicole Smith back in 1994 after meeting him while working at a strip club. This one was tough as over 300 million dollars was up in the air. It either went to the oil tycoon's son or it went to the very young daughter of dead tycoon's wife who was also dead...whose only legal heir was her oldest son who was also dead. Seems like common sense prevailed and they decided to just let the tycoons keep their money. What's more American than that? It'd be nice if the tycoons setup a trust for the young girl just the same.

Friday, March 12, 2010

The 'No Earmark Pledge' is silly

The Democrats and Republicans are making an empty election year promise to not engage in the hated practice of congressional earmarks. Everyone hates it when someone else's congressman asks for a little of their district's money back in taxes. The dirty little secret is that it won't matter.

Now forget the argument that earmarks collectively don't make up much of the federal deficit. Let's just say that you agree in principle that any cutting in government is good and this pledge cuts at the heart of pork barrell projects. Even this so-called moral high-ground of principle won't cut even a single dollar in spending. But how can this be?

Earmarks don't add to spending, instead they say where spending will be prioritized. The congress will approve a budget that leaves in it room for discretionary spending. This is where the real problem is. Once it is in the approved budget, it's up to members of congress to start carving out where this money should be spent. So what will happen if no earmarks are submitted? One of two things will happen: The president will spend the money instead of congress or they will define in law what the proportion of spending will be by state and just allow for grants that can be applied for. How much money will be saved by either of these moves? Not a penny.

Don't be fooled by this. They're not interested in spending less and most of you don't want them to stop bringing home the bacon either. We should at least stop pretending that earmarks are the cause of all of our problems.

Tuesday, March 09, 2010

Another Income Tax? Not so fast.

My state legislature is working on an income tax proposal to help offset the huge budget hole Olympia is in. Apparently over the years we just haven't paid them enough taxes to do everything they want to do so they're simply going to need more.

It's not as if there is no support for it in this state though. Like almost every state, citizens here walk the irrational tight-rope of wanting fewer taxes, more services, and more laws enforced.

Washington state currently operates with a state-wide sales tax (food is exempt), a handful of excise taxes and property taxes. Each apportioned equally and every citizen subjected to the tax pays the same. In the minds of most on the western part of the state this is considered a regressive tax as it impacts the poor more because they may pay a larger portion of their income. It's hard to know if this is correct or not as normally the poor do not subject themselves to the sales tax associated with big ticket items...but I'm sure there's a statistic for it somewhere.

The current solution in Olympia is to lower the state's portion of the sales tax to 5.5% (from 6.5%) and impose a 4% income tax on people who earn an income of $200,000 annually. This will be attractive if it goes to voters...nevermind that if it passed this $200,000 figure would slide its way down to impact anyone necessary to pay for the next budget hole that will inevitably occur.

There's one glitch though. The law of our state probably won't allow this. Our state's constitution is horribly old fashioned when it comes to taxes. Courts have repeatedly upheld that income is property. The state's constitution requires that all taxes on property be apportioned. To expect a segment of society to pay 4% on their property and others to pay nothing isn't going to work without an amendment...which in this state could happen. Likely what will happen is that any bill will be amended to include a modest income tax on everyone until the amendment is passed. The important part is to get the income tax on the books...after that it's simply a matter of parliamentary procedure in a one-party state.

But in the meantime, I'm thankful that I have lived (if even temporarily) in a state where all taxation was voluntary and that I could choose whether or not I wanted to subject myself to any tax.

Monday, March 01, 2010

Why Charities are Dying

With the growth of government intervention over the last decade, the empty suggestion that private charities could step in and take back the role of helping the less fortunate is laughed at. Why does it have to be this way?

My mom was born in a charity hospital. Today there are no more charity hospitals left in my state. Were they forced out by giant corporations or an aggressive medical industry? Were they closed due to lack of funding or excess regulation?

Over the years, charity hospitals closed due to the Great Society legislation of Lyndon Johnson. In this legislation and expanding legislation since, the government can treat all hospitals like charity hospitals through programs like Medicaid. This isn't all bad on paper. A person can go to a hospital and get treated and if they qualify for a subsidy, they can get it. The hospital gets paid no matter if it's a county hospital or a Presbyterian hospital.

Charities are having a hard time competing against the government primarily because a charity can only spend what it collects as a foundation. The government can spend more than it collects and pretends that everyone enrolled in their programs are treated just like all citizens. Of course this isn't true.

Charities, unlike corporate businesses, are not allowed to have a learning curve for raising and allocating funds. A business is allowed to adjust their business model and even deny their investors a profit to shape their business. The first hint that a charity is not releasing a certain percentage of their funds and they're on the radar of their state's Attorney General. Perhaps a new taxable non-profit status would allow new charities to build powerful foundations for causes without the fear of unreasonable regulation.

Many doctors resent taking patients that are on government assistance. They know in advance they're not going to get paid for their costs. My mother who was born in the charity hospital and received treatment for polio in that same hospital today finds herself having problems finding a doctor who can treat her with post-polio syndrome under medicare. Her choices for doctors are very limited due to location and their acceptance of the insurance she is forced to have as a retired American citizen. How is that charitable? Most elderly people out there don't have children who insist that so-called government assistance is never an option for them.

There are charities out there battling away trying to help her and many have...but any shortfall is made up privately. And by privately I mean it's ME competing against bottomless government dollars.

Charities are slowly dying because they must compete against a government that doesn't even bother to count receipts anymore when they spend money on these programs that are designed to help people. Only when charities are able to forcefully make you donate to them, or print their own money will they ever play a significant role in America again. That's very sad and very true.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Apparently we can't afford it

Listening to the GOP responses in the Healthcare Summit was again laughable and demonstrated clearly that Republicans have no real principled ideas about how to solve the problem of healthcare prices.

They hemmed and hawed and reminded the president and the public that we simply can't afford his plan and we need to start over with a fresh debate. Why? Because they're stalling and waiting for the 2010 elections to happen where they are certain to be able to stop any plan from moving forward. Now what's wrong with this?

What I never heard from any Republican was that the Federal Government intervention in healthcare was not just a bad idea, but largely an immoral and inefficient way of using tax payer's money. What is wrong with reminding the public that it is fundamentally unbecoming of a free country to take money from citizens for the benefit of other individuals or corporations. What's wrong with reminding the public that only through peaceful exchange and voluntary association (on a level playing field) can prices remain low and quality increase? I'm sure it never entered their heads.

But instead, in a very empty argument, they complained about costs while these same jokers were responsible for endless deficits during the Bush years. If you used the same cost argument for the war in Iraq or Afghanistan you'd simply be dismissed as naive or unAmerican.

In 2010, our country will likely throw out one set of bums in exchange for another and claim again for a few months that they've really made a change. I'll believe it when I see it.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Census Schmensus

Aside from telling the US Census how many people live in my home and how many are of voting age, they're not likely to get any more information from me.

Is it because I think the government wants to spy on me? No, probably not. They're not that good at spying good could they be? I mean they're relying on me to answer their questions. That's not good spying.

Is it because they will not protect my personal information? No, I think they'll keep it from neighbors, people who read my blog, and people who are not smart enough to hack into the information.

So why am I not going to respond to the 2010 Census?

Simply because I don't like how they use the information. Whether you're a Conservative or a Liberal, you shouldn't either.

Hey Liberals, do you know that information collected from the Census Bureau was used to fight against a public option of health care?

Hey Conservatives, do you know that information collected from the Census Bureau was used to concentrate information to give more of your Income Tax to failing public which many of you don't send your own kids?

While they insist that they're protecting your information, they do not guarantee that your information won't be shared with other governmental agencies including law enforcement. If this is true, are you covered by the 5th Amendment by refusing to answer their personal questions that could be used against you later? They say you're not.

They insist that the Constitution gives them perfect authority to gather information by Census every 10 years but fail to remember that it was simply for counting us. Besides that point, they're sending information gatherers out monthly to collect data for things like the Consumer Confidence Index to find out what kind of things you're buying so central economic planners can figure out how to get you to spend more of your money in the name of the keeping a good economy.

They tell me next that if i don't respond my community may not be eligible for public funds. In other words I won't have access to YOUR wallet for the benefit of my community.

So...I'm not answering their stupid questions. I'm not interested in qualifying for your "public funds" to benefit from the fruit of your labor. I'm not interested in them playing political games with my information for left and right wing agendas. The Constitution authorizes the government to count us every 10 years so that our federal representation is properly apportioned. Nothing more.

Oh and one more thing: I didn't respond in 2000 either.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

What 4th Amendment?

Of course you don't know what that amendment is. Why would you? It's usually the ones we can't remember that we take for granted and are generally protected well. It's the one that goes like this:

The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.

Basically government agents of force cannot search you or take your stuff unless they've convinced a judge to allow them to look for a specific thing. No open investigations allowed...just permission to look for specific evidence.

But now the Obama administration continues the hope and change express started by the Bush administration. They argue that warrantless tracking (of cell phones) is permitted by the constitution because American's "enjoy no reasonable expectation of privacy" when it comes to the tracking of their cell phones. They continue to argue that any information about yourself that is stored by a 3rd party (bank, school, doctor, church) is not protected by the 4th Amendment and that the government has every right to it.

The issue is before the 3rd Circuit Court.

Thursday, February 04, 2010

Iraq to sue US and Britain

They'll never see a dime, but Iraq seeks compensation from the US and Britain over the rise in birth defects and cancer after we used depleted uranium bombs to force democracy on their nation.

Maybe if we pay them off with a huge settlement they'll finally welcome us as liberators.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Negative interest rates are coming

Logically it had to happen right? Artificially low interest rates are to stimulate the economy, but you can only hold them at zero for so long before people are already tired of hearing about a "jobless recovery". So how does negative interest rates work? The Federal Reserve in its wisdom will actually charge member banks for holding onto money. This will force them to lend at a time when the public isn't looking to borrow.

Didn't we just go through this? How are the banks going to lend money if no one is lining up for the loans? And how are they going to do it without being accused of predatory lending practices?

You may not know the economic term now, but if you watch the news over the next year you'll becomes familiar with it: Moral Hazard

Oh and one more charming thought...if you're on Social Security or another style of fixed will become poorer this year while simply trying to tread water. This is how your benevolent overlords in Washington watch out for you. They dare not tax you during these economic woes, so instead they rob the value of the money you hold in your purse, wallet, or mattress.

Shame on this government, both Republicans and Democrats. A pox on both of their houses.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

I got a radar detector for Christmas

I couldn't be happier with it.

I'm not a particularly fast driver. Many in my family say I drive too slowly, but I do drive alot of country back roads that have become aggressively enforced over the last year. With the dip in economy and the loss of revenue to local governments...apparently traffic safety has never been more important...and profitable.

I've seen on county roads motorcycle police standing in the middle of the road with a radar gun with chase cars on the radio nearby to pull over cars that come down a hill too fast. I figured I may as well even the score and just be warned of speed traps before I come up on them. I don't know if it has saved me from a ticket thus far but I have successfully been warned of law enforcement well before I could've seen them with the naked eye. This happens on a daily basis.

One thing that has surprised me is that I've come to find out there are more speed traps than I was ever aware of. Now when I see certain bands of radar being detected I look all around trying to find them. I've found them in places I pass by all the time, but they were hidden away unknown to me. It's become a game of "find the cop".

I think cars should come standard with them frankly (yes, I'm aware that they are illegal in Virginia and the District of Columbia) as they make you more aware of your speed. It could be argued that I drive closer to the speed limit now as I have a constant reminer of potential enforcement right there on the dash.

It has become little more than a game in the car than it has been getting away with anything, but I am enjoying it. If you've considered getting one I would recommend it. I may write more later on which model I'm using if anyone shows any interest.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Get ready for more 'change'

A vote for change in Massachusetts would've been to elect Joseph Kennedy (I) rather than simply electing another neo-con to the US Senate. Oh, I know...some of you are so happy that Ted Kennedy's seat didn't go to another self-anointed Democrat. Part of me is glad too...but in the end, more war, more deficits, more foreign intervention will now be the believed mandate from "the people's seat" of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.

God help this country.

Friday, January 15, 2010


Finally someone gets respectful treatment from a police officer despite aggressively resisting arrest.

Apparently a North Charleston woman had too much to drink and was caught doing 65 in a 40mph zone.  After a short chase she finally pulled over.  She mouthed off to the officers and even physically resisted arrest.  There was a scuffle that caused her to have a bloody lip but she was never tazed, beaten or threatened with a firearm.  Eventually charges were dropped and she was allowed to go home.  This woman's encounter with police is an example of how there are some cops out there that aren't interested in having a power trip in every encounter with the public.

Oh, did I mention the person they pulled over was an off-duty police officer?   That couldn't have had anything to do with it...could it?

You decide.

Tuesday, January 05, 2010

Police worship

I wrote last year about how the actions of rogue cops would end up eventually killing good cops. It's not been a good time to revisit this topic as in the Puget Sound area we're growing tired of all-day televised police funerals. One is being held again today, this time in the Tacoma Dome and will be attended by thousands.

In this area people are worshipping the police as "heroes who keep us safe" even though the courts have repeatedly held that it is not the job of the police to keep any individual free of harm. So while we mourn, we also rightfully pour money in to help the family(ies) left behind, usually with small children, any criticm of police is well...sort of poorly played.

I wish there was similar public support behind the victims of local police like Christopher Harris.