Archive for the ‘Government and Politics’ category

Solutions? Or Trade Offs?

March 24, 2020

Diagram of tradeoff

I heard this statement the other day about our present Covid 19 “crisis”: ” Do we save lives and kill the economy? Or do we save the economy and kill lives?

I’ve learned from economist Thomas Sowell that in our imperfect world, there are no solutions, there are only trade offs. What does that mean? It means that the two choices above are not the only choices. These choices are stated as all or nothing categorical decisions. But many of “experts” fail to see the incremental trade offs that can be made between these two extremes.

When a “crisis” pops up, a particular “solution” to the crisis is imposed on us by an “expert”. People who criticize the “solution are usually hit with this statement: “Even if it saves just one life, isn’t it worth it?” My answer to that question is, “NO” it is not worth it.

The question implies that there is no limit to the amount of resources that should be used in order to save just one life. But a price is put on life everyday. If these people were serious about “saving just one life” they would fight to get the speed limit reduced to 20 mph. Would any of us be willing to trade off the economic benefits of a higher speed limit as well as our ability to get places faster, for the lives lost in accidents.

The deaths of coal miners and power line workers are an acceptable trade off to have electricity in our homes. Some of the most deadly professions are fisherman, farmers and loggers. Yet we don’t think twice about the trade off of these lives when we eat crab legs or a steak or build a house.

The point is, there is a trade off between lives lost and the goods and services our free market economy produces. In fact the standard of living produced by free market capitalism has saved exponentially more lives than have been lost in the production of that standard of living.

Swine Flu data from 09-10 shows 60 million contracted the virus and 22,469 died. Influenza data for this flu season shows between 38-59 million contracted the flu and between 23,000-59,000 died. These were no big deal to the media. These lives were an acceptable trade off to the powers that be and the media. So why is our present “crisis” different?

 

Here are some great articles with great information.

Coronavirus Isn’t A Pandemic, by Richard Epstein, at ricochet.com.

Excerpt from the article:

“But why might the dire predictions be wrong? The theoretical answer to the question of how deadly the virus will turn out lies in part in a strong analytical relationship between the rate of spread and the strength of the virus. Start with the simple assumption that there is some variance in the rate of seriousness of any virus, just as there is in any trait for any species. In the formative stage of any disease, people are typically unaware of the danger. Hence, they take either minimal or no precautions to protect themselves from the virus. In those settings, the virus—which in this instance travels through droplets of moisture from sneezing and bodily contact—will reach its next victim before it kills its host. Hence the powerful viruses will remain dominant only so long as the rate of propagation is rapid. But once people are aware of the disease, they will start to make powerful adaptive responses, including washing their hands and keeping their distance from people known or likely to be carrying the infection. Various institutional measures, both private and public, have also slowed down the transmission rate.”

“At some tipping point, the most virulent viruses will be more likely to kill their hosts before the virus can spread. In contrast, the milder versions of the virus will wreak less damage to their host and thus will survive over the longer time span needed to spread from one person to another. Hence the rate of transmission will trend downward, as will the severity of the virus. It is a form of natural selection.”

 

Coronavirus Overreaction, by Richard Epstein, at ricochet.com.

Here is a point that jumps out at me: “Italy has taken the lead with 6,077 deaths……… which stems, it appears, from a conscious decision not to supply ventilators to anyone over 60.” Death panels anyone?

Excerpt from the article:

“Out of over 367,000 COVID-19 cases reported as of noon March 23, 2020, 16,000 people have died, a rough increase of about 9,500 from the past week. China has contributed about 3,500, a figure that is holding relatively stable — if we are to believe the reporting coming out of the People’s Republic of China — as is Iran’s total of 1,812 deaths (another potentially dubious total). In Spain, the death toll is 2,206. Italy has taken the lead with 6,077 deaths, 85 percent of which are of people over 70, which stems, it appears, from a conscious decision not to supply ventilators to anyone over 60. These four nations make up close to 13,000 deaths or about 82 percent of the total. Taken together, these four countries account for over 13,595 of the 16,097 deaths. The good news here is that the growth rates in both Italy and Spain have turned downward in the past 48 hours.

“We need a public debate on the political response to COVID-19, and we need it now. I fully understand the need for immediate responses to immediate threats, like fires, but not for crises that may last for three months or more. At this point, everyone knows that people who are elderly, especially those with chronic conditions, should stay out of harm’s way. But that prohibition is self-enforcing because those people know that it is in their best interest to self-quarantine, at least in place of high incidence, but by no means nationally. But for low-risk groups, a different set of precautions may fit the bill — an emphasis on thorough hand washing, reduced work hours, reducing workers per shift, and better availability of ventilation equipment.”

“The central Hayekian principle applies: All of these choices are done better at the level of plants, hotels, restaurants, and schools than remotely by political leaders. Our governors have failed to ask a basic question: When all the individual and institutional precautions are in place, what is the marginal gain of having the government shut everything down by a preemptive order? Put otherwise, with these precautions in place, what is the extent of the externalities that remain unaddressed?”

“Progressives think they can run everyone’s lives through central planning, but the state of the economy suggests otherwise. Looking at the costs, the public commands have led to a crash in the stock market, and may only save a small fraction of the lives that are at risk. In addition, there are lost lives on both sides of the equation as many people will now find it more difficult to see a doctor, get regular exercise, stay sober, and eat healthily. None of these alternative hazards are addressed by the worthy governors.

 

Podcast: Richard Epstein Talking With Nick Gillespie About Coronavirus, at reason.com. Listen to this podcast. Epstein makes good sense.

 

Article here: The Costs Are Mounting In This Government-Imposed Economic Collapse, by William L. Anderson, at mises.org.

Excerpt from the article:

“Federal and local authorities are stretching their constitutional limits well beyond anything our ancestors would have recognized in their attempts to keep people away from each other and prevent social contact.”

“…….. Military terms such as “shelter in place” now are part of ordinary language as governments at every level issue orders, with governors competing to see how they can be perceived as being “in charge” as they bark out increasingly draconian commands, threatening deadly force if necessary.”

What we are seeing is how many people want governments to respond to a situation characterized by uncertainty. In such circumstances, they demand “solutions” that only can make things worse, and there is no better way to make the masses vulnerable to disease than to impoverish them. Furthermore, the New York Times and the American Conservative’s one-two punch demanding total subjectivity to the whims of government makes it very difficult for there to be even a smidgen of rational discussion as to what is taking place no matter what one’s ideological stance might be.

As noted earlier, all of this is a response to the uncertainty of just how much this virus will spread and what its actual effect will be on the health of Americans. What we do know (at least at this point), however, does not exactly raise our confidence in American politicians and the media, especially the elite media.

 

Prevention Expert:Data Shows Our Fight Against Coronavirus May Be Worse Than The Disease, by James Barrett, at dalywire.com.

Excerpt from the article:

“…..By taking an “at war” approach to fighting COVID-19 widespread shutdowns and isolation of the entire population rather than a “surgical strike” approach focusing on the truly vulnerable, Katz argues, we have set ourselves on the path to “uncontained viral contagion and monumental collateral damage to our society and economy.” 

“The reason this is so dire, he underscores, is that our current approach is rapidly causing severe damage socially, economically and in terms of public health.”

“I am deeply concerned that the social, economic and public health consequences of this near total meltdown of normal life — schools and businesses closed, gatherings banned — will be long lasting and calamitous, possibly graver than the direct toll of the virus itself,” Katz writes.”

“While the stock market might rebound, many businesses and thus many jobs, may never come back, a result that has massive societal ramifications. Meanwhile, by stretching our limited health care resources “so widely, so shallowly and so haphazardly,” we are likely setting ourselves up for failure on multiple levels.”

 

Never Let A Serious Crisis Go To Waste

Thomas Sowell: “The first rule of economics is scarcity, there are not enough resources to meet the desires and needs of everyone. The first rule of politics is to ignore the first rule of economics.

If that is the first rule of politics than the second rule of politics is: Politicians are always trying to increase the power of government. But when a crisis hits that effort increases exponentially.

I don’t like the fact that the multiple trillion dollar “Stimulus” bill will bail out banks and corporations that previously used The Feds printed money to buy back their stock in order to prop up their stock price. You and I also know that this will end up being more like 4 trillion dollars when you add everything up. This 2-4 trillion is all debt. This debt will be purchased directly or indirectly by the Federal Reserve’s printing press. We are piling more debt on top of what we all ready have. This is what we did in the 2008 crisis (TARP Bailout). Non of the 08 debt has been repaid. We have a Empire State building of debt built on a sand foundation. It is totally top heavy like an inverted pyramid. But we’ll address the Fed money printing in another post.

I also don’t like the Democrats 1400 page bill that is nothing more than the democrat policy platform for the 2020 election. They are trying to implement their agenda before the election takes place.

Here are a few things that are in the 1400 page bill. Increased fuel emission standards for airplanes. Same day voter registration, early voting, voting by mail, and something called ballot harvesting (no potential for voter fraud here). Reserve collective bargaining power for unions. Expand wind and solar tax credits. Money for planned parenthood.

The Democrats, Republicans and the Federal Reserve are definitely not letting this crisis go to waste.

These articles have more info in them.

Nancy Pelosi Proposes 1,400 Page Coronavirus Bill Stuffed With Pork, at breitbart.com.

McConnell: Dems Holding Up Coronavirus Relief Over solar Panel Tax Credits, at breitbart.com.

Everyone In America Should Read About Dems Killing Emergency Relief Package, at theblaze.com.

 

Thoughts About Covid 19: Pandemic, Panic And Power

March 19, 2020

world Corona virus attack concept. world/earth put mask to fight against Corona virus. Concept of fight against virus, danger and public health risk disease. Virus attack isolated on green

MATHEMATICAL RISK

Compared to other “pandemics” the number of people dying from the Covid 19 virus doesn’t measure up. Look here: A Visual History Of Pandemics, at weforum.org. And I know this has a ways to go before it is contained.

We know the number of people who have died form the virus, because we can count the bodies. But we do not know, and can not know, the number of people who have, or have had, the virus. We know the listed number of people who have the virus are only the people who have been tested. But we don’t know how many people have, or have had, the virus who have yet to be tested or will never be tested. So the number of infections is much higher than the posted number. The math is just a guess because it looks like this: Known Number of Deaths/Unknown Number of Infections.

Here are the statistics: Coronavirus Update (Live), at worldometers.info.

People over the age of 60 and people who have existing medical conditions like cardiovascular disease, diabetes, respiratory disease, hypertension, and cancer are where a vast majority of the deaths occur. And most of the people with these medical problems are older people. Here is the breakdown: Coronavirus Age, Sex, Existing Medical Conditions, at worldometersinfo. Access your mathematical risk according to these charts?

 

An Asian woman storing tissue toilet paper during Coronavirus outbreak or Covid-19, Concept of Covid-19 quarantine. Wuhan epidemic outbreak. Dangerous COVID virus, Doomsday panic people panic lockdown

PANIC

The media has pushed this story hard. It doesn’t matter why. But they haven’t panicked everyone. It has been hard for me to find someone who doesn’t think this is a bit over hyped.   Read this article: As Government AuthoritiesUrge Panic Over Coronavirus One Doctor Breaks Rank, at mises.org.

But if you panic enough people on the margin, they can make grocery store shelves look bare. I went to a store to look at what people hoard during a “pandemic”. Here is what I observed. They hoard toilet paper, which I don’t understand at all. Bottled water, which I also don’t understand because the water from their tap is safe. Cleaning products, hand sanitizer, alcohol, pasta, frozen pizzas and cans of soup. Although they don’t buy split pea soup, french onion soup or minestrone. They also don’t buy popping corn or cookies.

But once fifteen to twenty percent of the population is panicked, it seems like everyone is panicked. That’s when the politicians have to step in and “do something”. When politicians see a parade coming down the street they have to get out in front of it so it looks like they are leading.

Our governor in Ohio shut down schools, sporting events, restaurants and Tuesdays primary election, among other things. This raises a few questions.

Why did he shut down these particular activities and allow other businesses, like day care facilities, to stay open? What are the parameters that will make him reopen what he had shut down? Where does he get the power to shut down businesses?

Read this article: Fear Can Spread From Person To Person Faster Than The Coronavirus – But There Are Ways To Slow It Down, at theconversation.com.

 

Hand holding piece of jigsaw puzzle with word problem & solution.

NEVER LET A CRISIS GO TO WASTE

After 9/11, individuals in government passed legislation that gave government more power over “we the people”. We had our civil liberties taken away when congress passed, and Bush signed, The Patriot Act. The bill had a sunset clause where congress had to vote on and pass the bill again after a certain number of years.

I was in favor of this bill because of the sunset clause. How stupid was I? I have read enough Milton Friedman to know this quote: “Nothing is so permanent as a temporary government program“.

We know our politicians and bureaucrats are going to make a power grab because of this “crisis”. Every time a “tragedy” happens in our country, a particular article gets a lot of hits on this site. The article is: “You Never Let A Serious Crisis Go To Waste“. It shows the blue print of how politicians and bureaucrats attempt to expand government power after a perceived or real “crisis”.

Tyrannical power grabs by politicians, bureaucrats and other individuals in government are the norm, not the exception. Here is an example: During this coronavirus panic Mayor Deborah Frank Feinen, of Champaign Illinois, has granted herself  the power to ban the sales of guns and alcohol. Another example: Coronavirus patient from Kentucky has police surround his home forcing him to self quarantine. (Will they shoot him if he doesn’t comply?)

The biggest threat from the Coronavirus is the threat to our individual liberty by politicians and bureaucrats using the power of government to “do something” in order to find a “solution” to the “crisis”.

Here are a few excerpts from this article: Coronacrisis And Leviathan, at mises.org.

“…..the growth of government in the twentieth century can largely be explained by patterns of crisis and response. These crises can be real (World Wars I and II, the Great Depression, stagflation) or imagined (inequality, the various isms). In either case new government programs, agencies, and policies are established, purportedly as temporary responses to the perceived emergency. But, as…..history shows us, most of the temporary measures become permanent—either explicitly or in a revised form based on the original.”

“How will leviathan expand—temporarily and then permanently via the ratchet effect—in response to COVID-19? It’s too early to make any definite predictions, but we can make educated guesses based on experience and our knowledge of how governments work.”

Read this article: They Should Have Called It CONTROLavirus, at theburningplatform.com.

 

Immune bacteria system sign. Antibacterial virus sign. Immune protection antiseptic, anti desease immune icon.

VACCINES AND OUR IMMUNE SYSTEMS.

Read this article: Researchers Discovered How The Body Kills  The Coronavirus, at bgr.com 

Excerpt from the article:

“The coronavirus pandemic is far from being contained, with countries all over the world reporting more and more cases. It’s up to everyone to step up and do their part……….social distancing and hand washing will help do the trick — so that medical systems around the world aren’t overwhelmed. Doctors need time to treat severe cases while some of their peers attempt to develop vaccines or new drugs that will speed up the healing process. The good news for people who catch the new COVID-19 virus is that most people will recover, and that’s because of the body’s immune system. Researchers in Australia have already figured out how the body kills the SARS-CoV-2 virus, and their early results will help others develop new treatments that could extend immunity, and maybe even eradicate the disease.”

“Australian researchers discovered that the human body fights the infection the same way it would deal with the regular flu. The conclusion is valid for mild-to-moderate cases for the time being, which leads to full recovery. It’s still unclear how long the immunity lasts and there’s no guarantee that once healed, the body will not contract the same COVID-19 disease again.”

Are we in a catch 22 situation with regard to Covid 19? There is currently no vaccine for Covid 19. So in order to build up immunity to this virus you have to get infected and recover. But the spread will not only take some of the lives of older people and those with certain medical conditions, the spread might overwhelm the medical system.

Are you old enough to remember “Chickenpox Parties”? Here is an excerpt from an article: Chickenpox Parties: Benefits, Risks, at medicalnewstoday.com.

“People use pox parties as a way to deliberately infect their children with chickenpox. The idea is that the child gets the illness sooner rather than later and builds up a natural immunity to the virus.”

“During a pox party, parents or caregivers encourage uninfected children to play, eat, and interact with a child who currently has chickenpox. This close contact makes it much more likely that the children will catch chickenpox.”

“Chickenpox parties were popular when the vaccine for chickenpox was not yet available. Nowadays, some people who do not want their child to have the vaccine see pox parties as a natural way for them to acquire immunity to the illness.

I have a couple of questions. Would it be better for individuals and the medical system to allow people, who are not in the high risk groups, to get infected in order to build up their immunity to the virus since we don’t have a vaccine yet? So instead of shutting everything down for 90% of the population who are not high risk, would there be lower cost to the economy and a lower psychological cost for everybody if the high risk groups were quarantined to protect them and allow others to go about their normal business?

 

CONCLUSION

I have seen two viruses that were politicized in my life time. AIDs and Covid 19. The government didn’t implement any of the measures it has taken to combat Covid 19 even though it would have been easy to contain AIDs. Why? Because the affected group was a politically protected identity group. SARS in 2002, Swine Flu in 2010, Ebola in 2014, and MERS in 2015 were never politicized. And the main stream media and  politicians don’t even mention the tens of thousands of people who die every year from influenza. Why?

I am skeptical of the statements of politicians, government bureaucrats and the main stream media. The main stream media has hyped a lot of things over the last three years that have proven to be wrong. So they have no credibility. Politicians are not credible because of their incentive to get reelected by any means. Government bureaucrats have no credibility because all they want is to keep or grow their power.

That is what makes this tough to figure out. We know there is a virus afflicting the US and the world. But what do we know for certain after that? Read a lot different articles and trust your instincts. I hope these articles help.

 

July 4th – Individual Freedom vs. Government Tyranny

July 4, 2019

Statue of Liberty on the background of flag usa, sunrise and fireworks

I reread the fourth chapter in Thomas Sowell’s book, “The Quest for Cosmic Justice”, every 4th of July. It is a must read. The fourth chapter is titled “The Quiet Repeal of the American Revolution”. I wish what he states about the difference between the American Revolution and all other revolutions was understood by all Americans. Here are some excerpts from this chapter.

“The war for American independence was not simply a landmark event in the history of the United States. It was a landmark in the history of the world – and especially a landmark in the history of the evolution of free and democratic societies. It’s international significance was symbolized by France’s donation of the Statue of Liberty to the Unites States on the one hundredth anniversary of the Declaration of Independence and by the creation of a facsimile of this state in China, more than a century after that, by protesters vainly seeking to create a free and democratic government in that country”

 

THE AMERICAN REVOLUTION IS SUPERIOR TO ALL OTHERS

“The American revolution was in some ways the most far-reaching of all the great revolutions in history. Other revolutions may have had more sweeping rhetoric, or greater extremes of violence and terror, or more categorical claims of change. They may even have had more radical changes of personnel, as in the change from czarist to Communist rulers in Moscow, while replacing one form of autocratic despotism with another and more bloody from.”

“The French Revolution of the succeeding decade used similar rhetoric, and was supported by such prominent figures in the American Revolution as Thomas Jefferson and Thomas Paine, but nevertheless the French Revolution was grounded on entirely different assumptions and of course took a different path all to characteristic of later revolutions that began with lofty ideals and ended with new and more ruthless despotism.”

  “The American Revolution, however, went further in rejecting a basic conception of man and society that goes back thousands of years, and which is still with us today…people with the most diverse philosophic persuasions have proceeded as if what was needed was to replace false doctrines with true doctrines and false leaders with true leaders – the heathens with the faithful, capitalists with socialists, royalty with republicans, and so on. But, unlike the French revolution and the Bolshevik revolution, for example, the American revolution and its resulting constitution established was not simply a particular system but a process of changing systems, practices, and leaders, together with a method of constraining whoever or whatever was ascendant at any given time…. it gave to the common man a voice, a veto, elbow room, and a refuge from the rampaging presumptions of his “betters”….. it was seen by others in the world at large as a landmark in the general struggle for human freedom. That is why it must be opposed by those with more ambitious visions (even if they do not consciously feel any animosity against constitutional freedoms) because, on issue after issue, those freedoms stand between the morally self-anointed and the realization of dreams which have overwhelming importance to them. Some of these dreams revolve around the quest for cosmic justice, in which constitutional constraints may be seen as technicalities to be finessed. Other dreams may be about personal ambitions that can be fulfilled only in a very different kind of society from that established by the Constitution… Ego and ideals are of course not mutually exclusive but may readily exist in the same individual, who may even mistake the former from the latter.”

America was based on the idea that the individual was sovereign. Our founders knew that Government power had to be restrained or else it would be used arbitrarily by politicians and bureaucrats who were in position to wield it. Our Government was established to protect the individual and his property from aggression by these individuals.

In this chapter Sowell quotes a little known speech by Abraham Lincoln given in 1838 (read here) a mere sixty two years after the signing of the Declaration of Independence. Lincoln fears the dangers to our freedom would not come from foreign enemies, but from internal threats.

“If and when the fundamental principles and structure of American government should fall under attack, “men of sufficient talent and ambition will not be wanting to seize the opportunity” and “strike a blow” against free government.”

“What is particularly significant about Lincoln’s warning is that is was based on the vision of what human beings are like and especially what talented and ambitions leaders are like. To Lincoln, the historic achievement of American society in establishing a new form of government in the world was in jeopardy from later elites precisely because that achievement was already history:”

“Lincoln said: The field of glory is harvested, and the crop is already appropriated. But new reapers will arise, and they, too, will seek a field. It is to deny, what the history of the world tells us is true, to suppose that men of ambition and talents will not continue to spring up amongst us. And , when they do, they will as naturally seek the gratification of their ruling passion, as others have so done before them. The question is, can the gratification be found in supporting and maintaining an edifice that has been erected by others? Most certainly it cannot.”

“While the ambitions of some might be satisfied with “a seat in Congress, a gubernatorial or a presidential chair,” Lincoln said, “such belong not to the family of the lion or the tribe of the eagle.”

“Lincoln added: “What! Think you these places would satisfy an Alexander, a Caesar, or a Napoleon? – Never! Towering genius disdains a beaten path. It seeks regions hitherto unexplored. – It sees not distinction in adding story to story, upon the monuments of fame, erected to memory of others. It denies that it is glory enough to serve under any chief. It scorns to tread in the footsteps of any predecessor, however illustrious. It thirsts and burns for distinction; and, if possible. it will have it, whether at the expense of emancipating slaves, or enslaving freemen.”

Lincoln thought safeguarding those institutions would require a public sufficiently united, sufficiently attached to freedom, and sufficiently wise, “to successfully frustrate his designs.

We are not just talking about a single person with a tyrannical idea. We are also talking about a tyrannical idea which has many people with political power who want to implement this tyranny.

 

OUR HISTORY OF LIBERTY IS FADING

But for me here is the part of Lincoln’s speech that really hit me. He is talking about how the spirit of “76” will fade as time passes.

Lincoln said: “I do not mean to say, that the scenes of the revolution are not or ever will be entirely forgotten; but that like every thing else, they must fade upon the memory of the world, and grow more and more dim by the lapse of time. In history, we hope, they will be read of, and recounted, so long as the bible shall be read; but even granting that they will, their influence cannot be what it heretofore has been. even then, they cannot be so universally known, nor so vividly felt, as they were by the generation just gone to rest. At the close of that struggle, nearly every adult male had been a participator in some of its scenes. The consequence was, that of those scenes, in the form of a husband, a father, a son or brother, a living history was to be found in every family – a history bearing the indubitable testimonies of its own authenticity, in the limbs mangled, in the scars of woulds received, in the midst of the very scenes related – a history, too, that could be read and understood alike by all, the wise and the ignorant, the learned and the unlearned. – But those histories are gone. they can be read no more forever. They were a fortress of strength; but, what invading foeman could never do, the silent artillery of time has done: the leveling of its walls. They are gone. – They were a forest of giant oaks: but the all-resistless hurricane had swept over them, and left only, here and there, a lonely trunk, despoiled of its verdure, shorn of its foliage; unshading and unshaded, to murmur in a few gentle breezes, and to combat with its mutilated limbs, a few more ruder storms, then to sink, and be no more.

“They were the pillars of the temple of liberty; and now, that they have crumbled away, that temple must fall, unless we, their descendants, supply their places with other pillars, hewn from the solid quarry of sober reason. Passion has helped us; but can do so no more. It will in future be our enemy. Reason, cold, calculating, unimpassioned reason, must furnish all the materials for our future support and defence. Let those materials be moulded into general intelligence, sound morality, and in particular, a reverence for the constitution and laws:…

“Upon these let the proud fabric of freedom rest, as the rock of its basis; and as truly as has been said of the only greater institution, “the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.”

Today Ocasio Cortez and the rest of Americas socialist insurgents have a great deal of passion but no sober logic and reason. The side that is supposed to be for individual freedom and liberty has lost its passion. But more importantly it has lost the ability to supply the sober reason necessary to combat the passion of the socialist insurgents in our midst.

The party of Lincoln, the Republicans, are supposed to be the party of small government. But very few Republican politicians can articulate why freedom is superior to government central planning aka tyranny. So most have neither passion or reason. That’s a bad combination.

Will our side become passionate enough to learn the sober reasoning for freedom and liberty before the passion of the socialist insurgents win the day? Only the passage of time will answer that question.

 

THE CASE FOR FREEDOM

THE DECLARATION OF INDEPENDENCE (read here) was our statement of freedom form British tyranny. This document is talking about today as much as it was appropriate in its time. On July 4th, Independence Day, take some time to read the Declaration of Independence. Then tell me it isn’t speaking about the present. This document applies to the past, the present and the future.

 

 

PAUL HARVEY; OUR LIVES, OUR FORTUNES, OUR SACRED HONOR.

 

 

RAY CHARLES – AMERICA THE BEAUTIFUL

This brings a tear to my eye every time.

 

 

Related Article: July 4th 2018: Independence Day, at austrianaddict.com.

Related Article: July 4th: What Does Independence Day Mean? at austrianaddict.com.

Related Article: July 4th – Our Choice: Liberty or Tyranny, at austrianaddict.com.

 

 

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Plastic Straws! Seriously?

July 19, 2018

Close Up Of Hand Holding Plastic Straws Polluting Beach

I never use a plastic straw at home. And I rarely use one at a restaurant. But from this moment forward I will always use a straw at a restaurant. Why? It is my way of protesting against the insane hysteria by activists about straws polluting the oceans.

Think about it. Do the straws you use make it to the ocean? No! They end up in the local dump site. These people are just a bunch of busybodies trying to control a part of your life.

Hardcore environmentalists are essentially socialist central planners. They use “shame” to subtly nudge people into adopting actions that are “good for the planet”. It’s similar to politicians using the term “for the children” to try to nudge people into adopting a big government solution to a perceived problem.

The celebrities, in these public service messages, who say they are not going to “suck” anymore, are being used as useful idiots for the advancement of the central planners plans.

Here is a video that rationally looks at the plastic straw “controversy”.

 

Article: Stossel: Plastic Straw Myths, at reason.com. Excerpts from the article:

“The claim that Americans use 500 million plastic straws daily is based on a nine-year-old’s school project.”

“Banning plastic Straws will accomplish probably nothing at all. It might make some people in hollywood feel good. It might make some politicians feel good like they’re doing something. It might sound good at parties but it’s not going to solve any problems.”

“Plastic straws aren’t environmentally friendly. But neither are their paper replacements. Paper products take more energy and more effort to produce. You’re going to have a net negative environmental impact. You’re replacing a superior product with an inferior one and asking people to pay more. It just doesn’t make a lot of sense.”

“So what they’re trying to do is take away my freedom for nothing in return.”

“As the environment has become cleaner. Its become a speciality of the environmental movement to spend your money on feel good policies that make no real difference.”

 

Related Article: Climate Change: Religion? Economics? Science? at austrianaddict.com.

Related Article: Earth Day 2016, at austrianaddict.com.

Border Separation Is About Politics. “The Children” Are Being Used As Pawns

June 20, 2018

The outrage over “the children” being separated from their families at the border is all about politics. This issue is being used as a weapon. The target of the weapon is Trump. It is that simple. The mid-term elections are coming up and the Democrats need a “Hail  Mary Pass”.

This is not Trumps policy. It is the law of the United States. This same thing was going on when Obama was president.

When reporters and politicians start using terms like “concentration camps” when discussing this, I tune them out. They have no credibility. They are attempting to sway opinion by using emotion. I don’t think this tactic is as effective as it once was.

Shocking Testimony: Civil Rights Attorney Asked Obama To Close Migrant “Baby Jails” in 2015, at zerohedge.com. According to his own words Obama wanted these detention centers. Where was the media outrage? I think we know the answer to that.

Breathtaking Hypocrisy Of The Left On Immigration, at theburningplatform.com. Here are two short videos of Hillary and Obama sounding like Trump. Where was the outrage?

Border Patrol Agent Enlightens CNN Reporter On Reality At The Border.

Four Things The Media Won’t Tell You About The Border Crisis, at thefederalist.com. Excerpt from the article:  “By denouncing Trump’s policy (actually it is a U.S. law) of family separation and demanding that the administration keep families together, the media (along with a large number of lawmakers from both parties) are effectively arguing that families should be released while they await their court hearings or go through the asylum application process. Whether they realize it or not – and no doubt many in the media and the Democratic Party fully realize it – this amounts to a de facto open borders policy….”

 

The R’s And D’s Are On The Same Side – We Are On The Other Side

October 13, 2017

What do I mean when I use the term R’s and D’s?  I am talking about party insiders in positions of power in DC, and insiders who have direct access to the people in these positions of power. I’m not talking about you and me. We are outside the party structure. We are only important to the insider R’s and D’s on election day.

The trick for each party is to get voters (you and me) to think the insiders of the other party are the wolfs, while at the same time portraying themselves as the sheepdog. Unfortunately we have bought into this trick. In reality the R’s and the D’s both want government power to grow. Increasing government power benefits insiders of both parties. When Government grows you and I are forced to give up our freedom and our money. Insiders will choose any policy that increases the power of Government.

We are reaching a point where enough of us are finally realizing that the battle is between us and the insiders of both parties. We should be fighting them not each other.

I found these cartoons of Ralph E. Wolf and Sam Sheepdog. It shows the R and D political model that we have been duped into accepting. Ralph E Wolf and Sam Sheepdog seem to be on opposite sides. But they are on the same side. Each one is just playing his role at any given moment.

 

 

Related ArticleFiscal Cliff or Political Theater, at austrianaddict.com.

Related ArticleA Look Behind The Curtain At The Fiscal Cliff Political Theater, The Joke’s On You! at austrianaddict.com.

Related ArticleBurger King, Corporate Tax Inversions, and Political Theater, at austrianaddict.com.

Good Cops Shouldn’t Tolerate Bad Cops

September 15, 2017

When a video like the one below surfaces the tendency is to say all cops are like this. Even though this video blows my mind at how stupid this cop is, I will not paint all cops with the broad brush this bad cop has placed in my hand. Not all cops are like this.

When you watch this video you will notice the other police officers, not the security guards, seem a little uncomfortable with the action this cop has taken. I think the cop whose body camera filmed this video is trying to figure out how to get out of the mess that the out of control cop has created. So why do regular cops seem to stick up for bad cops? Don’t they know that their silence about the bad cop is seen as support by default? Their inaction is in fact an action.

If you drag this video to 11:00 you will see an officer, who I think is of higher rank than the arresting officer, try to smooth over the situation. The higher ranking officer is using verbal gymnastics and a calm voice to try to confuse the nurse. He is trying to convince her that his fellow officer is in the right and the nurse is wrong. But the Nurse is right. The cops need a warrant or the person’s consent to draw blood.

When you watch the video. Try to put yourself in the nurses shoes. Try to put yourself in the arresting officers shoes, if you can. But try to put yourself in the shoes of the cop who is filming this. What would you have done if a colleague of yours acted like this?

GROUP IDENTITY

I don’t understand the mentality of sticking up for a person in your “identity group” who is not just being an ass, but is not following the rule of law. I am a white male but I have no problem saying that another white male is dead wrong. The difference is I don’t think of myself as a member of a group consisting of white males. I think of myself as an individual. For some reason people find their identity from being a member of a particular group. When you identify yourself as a member of a group and not as an individual, you have to look at criticism of another member of the group as being an attack on the whole group, and therefore an attack on you.

Each of us is a member of many groups at once. We are members of the particular family we were born into. We are male or female. We are a particular race. We have a particular religion or no religion. We work in a particular profession. We have particular hobbies. We are American or from another country. We are a Democrat, a Republican or neither. There are many groups we can choose to identify with. And that’s when the problem starts. We paint ourselves into corners that are hard to escape if our identity comes from a group. You can identify as an individual even though you are a member of many different groups. You don’t have to defend the bad people in ‘the’ group if you think of yourself as an individual first.

Watch the video. Put yourself in the nurses shoes. Put yourself in the arresting cops shoes, if that’s possible. But try to put yourself in the shoes of the cop who is filming this. What would you have done if a colleague acted like this?

 

Sheriff Forced To Pay After Ordering Raid On Blogger Who Criticized Him, at reason.com. This Sheriff should have been fired. Because of his position as sheriff, he had to know he was breaking the law. Since he is in a position of power, he should only get one strike and he’s out. It is not about him as much as it is about constraining other’s in positions of power who want to wield it against citizens.

Police Devise New Revenue Scam By Citing People Who Forget To Press Crosswalk Button, at thefreethoughtproject.com. These are the kind of petty rules that make people dislike cops. City councils should get rid of laws like this.

Forget The Violent Campus Protests – This College Cop Is Gunning For Unlicensed Hot Dog Vendors, at reason.com. Another example of a law that should not be on the books. Cops should be policing real crimes.

Police Serve Warrant To Wrong Address, Kill Man Who Lives There, at reason.com. I know that men are not perfect. We all make mistakes. But can you be sure you are at the right address! Put yourself in the shoes of the person whose door was broken down. Should the cops rules of engagement be like the military’s rules of engagement? Don’t fire until fired upon. Would a different type of person be attracted to the job if this was the rule of engagement?

The Drug Whisperer’: Drivers Arrested While Stoned Cold Sober, at wltx.com. The cop is smarter than the ‘science’ of a blood test? This has to be a violation of a persons fourth and fifth amendment rights.

What Can Happen When You Try To File A Complaint Against Police Officers

There are millions of contacts between citizens and police each day. The vast majority turn out just fine. The bad situations are not the norm. But just because the bad situations are not the norm doesn’t mean they should to be swept under the rug by the people who are supposed to investigate them.

The video below shows cops attempting to stop complaints against their fellow officers from even being filed. These cops use straw man arguments, intimidation, lying, verbal sleight of hand, and force to stop people from filing complaints. By letting the bad cops go unpunished the bad behaviour is incentivized.

This video shows how people act when they identify themselves as members of a group and not as an individual.

If cops want to identify themselves as a group, people are going to gladly give them their wish. People will begin to identify all cops by the lowest common denominator of the group.

Cops have to purge themselves of their bad apples. Or their credibility will continue to erode.

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