The Great Danger

There is a great danger looming. It will be a turning point in history and decide the future for much of the Western world for the next 1,000 years.

This danger is not economic though the economic crisis may trigger it.

If anyone is out there unwilling to see humanity fall back into an age of Endarkenment, these people must start -now- promoting urgently ideas and concepts deriving from freedom.

And this argument must come from a moral center.

Socialist/Leftists/Statists want to argue from a point of the moral high ground – which they will typically start with such a rhetorical statement as: Would you let a man starve?

The Socialists will often agree that as an overall economic system, theirs doesn’t work very well but essentially it is a good idea ethically.

They argue that even though their society may produce many harmful results, it is better because it is moral.

The founder of the FEE, Leonard Reed, however, said this:

He would hate to live in a world in which a good, moral idea produces harmful results.

That would mean that an idea which produces better results–the free market–could be immoral.

But the reason that socialism produces bad results is because it is an immoral idea.

Socialism de-emphasizes self-responsibility and is contrary to the major premise which is founded on the emergence of the individual.

All human action is ultimately individual, and without the firm hold on self-responsibility, human action becomes an atrocity.

The moral argument for freedom is the emphasis of responsibility. The emphasis on responsibility impacts the choices of action for men. How can a man choose wisely if he is not responsible?

Defenders of the freedom and the free market have faced a major obstacles with their arguments, however.

Because the Socialists have always claimed possession of the high moral ground, they have been able to appeal to people’s better instincts in a defense of coercive State power.

They have pointed to the effects of capital shortage–poverty–and have called for programs of coercive wealth redistribution in the name of the downtrodden.

This moral appeal has always been stronger than the dry economists’ technical arguments or the anarchists’ philosophical arguments of human rights.

Even today, in the wake of the collapse of the Communist and Socialist economies, socialism’s moral appeal is still dominant.

But the defenders of freedom must start responding to this moral claim in terms of a rival moral claim.

It has had this moral response to socialism’s rhetorical question: “The pathway to wealth, long term, is not theft but personal responsibility. Theft in the name of the poor is still theft.”

Why is such a moral stance so important?

The People in this nation are ideologically vulnerable. The system they have been taught to believe that was there for their support, protection and benefit is collapsing.

When a People are ideologically vulnerable, they become very easy prey to the  application of soft tyranny. It is at this time that the defenders of freedom must articulate themselves loudly.

There are many that believe they can engineer other people’s lives through force.

These men prey on those that believe in a political messiah. The dreams of overnight deliverance rests on the assumption of such political messianism. One of the greatest books ever written on the French Revolution has this title, Political Messianism.

The People in such trying times as these will want to rush to such a messiah – with the disastrous results that always follow.

In 1790, Edmund Burke wrote Reflections on the Revolution in France – probably the greatest work ever written in political theory. He accurately predicted the murderous atrocities of the French Revolution that did not begin for another three years.

He was an opponent of the French Revolution.

Why?

Because it was a top-down revolution.

It was being engineered by a handful of men who thought their wisdom was great — so great that they could reshape men’s lives and a nation’s ways of life.

How?

By coercion.
This always leads to tyranny, he said.

It did.

If this nation is to avoid the Great Terror, it is now that the articulation of the ideas that founded this nation must be made.

Life, Liberty and Pursuit of Happiness.

The argument for this idea must be made on its moral foundations of self-responsibility and a repudiation of those that demand that others can solve the national problems.

Of what I read on SUFA and other blogs, there is a welling-up of a desire to seek some political messiah, someone who will “solve” the great problems of the day, someone who will return the nation to the good and prosperous days – and do so overnight.

I have posted often that such a solution is impossible.

I am now urgently warning that seeking such a person or party who promises such solution will lead this nation on to a path of tyranny and terror.

The solution to the crisis is not coercive force.
The solution to the crisis is not some political promise.

The solution to the crisis is self-responsibility.

The solution will take decades. It cannot happen overnight.

Nothing of any lasting good happens overnight.

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Comments

  1. IlliterateVagrant says:

    I used to think that your way of thinking was way too rigid and inflexible but now I understand why it has to be that way.

    Good points, and clear logic.

    Why should I be forced into a system that may indeed help those less fortunate but also may be “gamed” by those who have the means but are unwilling to work for themselves.

    It is by accepting a personal responsibility can you eliminate the need for others thus relying on yourself. We are humans, we can always adapt and overcome no matter the odds.

    If the government cannot meet the needs of the people without forcing compliance then it is up to the people to change the government, not to alter personal freedoms.

    • gmanfortruth says:

      IV,

      Good thoughts. This statement caught my eye : If the government cannot meet the needs of the people without forcing compliance then it is up to the people to change the government, not to alter personal freedoms.

      How do you equate this to our nation today?

      G!

      • IlliterateVagrant says:

        Gman,

        I think that the people ARE trying to change the government. The problem seems to be the way that they are going ABOUT changing it. America is not as polarized as the candidates who run for president because both Republicans and Democrats want a president who is committed fully to their cause (most of the time sacrificing compromise.)

        With the two different goals of both parties it seems every 4 years we have 10% of the population being completely satisfied, 10% being completely unsatisfied, and 80% (the everyman) just kind of seeing what will happen.

        That is why Obama’s rhetoric of change was so successful in his election. People were unhappy with Bush and Republicans so they responded by a radical clearing of house. Basically accepting one form of control for another. Now we’re upset because we’ve given both the President AND the House over to democrats thus overriding checks and balances (I’m not a Democrat basher, just saying what’s what.) Most Americans (I’m assuming here, which is naughty but I’ll do it anyway) see the President as the overall leader of reform but I think they pay less attention to the elected leaders they are putting in the House and the Senate. Even if the president is polarized on his opinions, creating a diverse environment in the House and Senate seems essential.

        The problem is that our system of government is so set in custom and way that changing it almost seems impossible. Therefore I would offer that maybe a REALISTIC and ATTAINABLE solution is more emphasis on voters decisions in the House and Senate than has been in the past. Moving reform SHOULD take a lot of time even if it is annoying. It helps keep laws from just getting shoved through without reading. Let it sit and stew and be rewritten by both parties. The essence should be compromise. Having one interest in control of laws seems doubleplusungood.

        As BF says, “nothing good can happen overnight.”

        • IlliterateVagrant says:

          Sorry, quote should be, “Nothing of any lasting good happens overnight.”

          It was the illiteracy kicking in there ;)

        • gmanfortruth says:

          IV,

          I understand that things don’t happen overnight when it comes to politics. However, you didn’t really address the question I asked. I was referring to the altering of freedoms by the government in the name of security, which are BS anyway. Actually, things do happen overnight, mostly bad I might add. While Flags topic and presentation were correct, he fails to see the unkown, which can change things drastically in short time.

          Your quote: “Nothing of any lasting good happens overnight.”

          Depends on the subject. Many good things happen in a single moment that can be of lasting good , just depends on the event!

  2. Socialism de-emphasizes self-responsibility and is contrary to the major premise which is founded on the emergence of the individual.

    Or, one might argue (I would), that socialism emphasizes personal responsibility because the entire paradigm is built around cooperation.

    You’ll often find, if you bother to look, that worker bees are worker bees under any economic or political structure. Likewise, slackers are slackers the same way.

    All human action is ultimately individual, and without the firm hold on self-responsibility, human action becomes an atrocity.

    So sayeth the Black Flag; those acting in a cooperative manner cannot have a firm hold on responsibility? What a crock …

    When a People are ideologically vulnerable, they become very easy prey to the application of soft tyranny. It is at this time that the defenders of freedom must articulate themselves loudly.

    Oh, boy … here we go again. Gman on steroids … the redskies are gonna “soft tyrannize” yo’ll ..

    Life, Liberty and Pursuit of Happiness.

    I always find it interesting how you forget that “all men are created equal” bit … created equal (but some were enslaved at the time you’re quoting from (let’s call that “an inconvenient truth”) … so, if you start at the bottom (whether in chains or not), you’re still an equal, right? Wrong. So, why not level the playing field? Afraid of the competition that might ensue? Concerned maybe the black guy might be a better athlete, tennis player, golfer, runner than you? Concerned maybe the immigrant Irish, Italian and Jewish kids might rise too fast too soon? You don’t like the idea of losing that power you were born into, huh? Inconceivable in a land of the free, huh?

    I have posted often that such a solution is impossible.

    I don’t know about yous, but this kind of statement reminds me of Yul Brenner: “So it is written, so it shall be done.” Where do you come off being so arrogant, BF? Who cares what you have posted (outside of your sycophants)? Nobody else, trust me.

    Nothing of any lasting good happens overnight.

    Charlie Sheen!

    I guess my problem with your edict from on high is your initial assumption that socialism de-emphasizes personal responsibility. Without having to go through pages upon pages of your rational thought process and never ending Ayn Rand hatred of altruism, just try (try, try, try) to comprehend that not everybody believes what you have demanded is fact. Living under a socialist paradigm does not require a deemphasizing of responsibility. That’s your first mistake; the rest roll on exponentially, as usual … but I have a busy day and can only take a look-see from time to time.

    • Good morning, my weird thinking, leftist, albeit Plutonian friend. When you drop back in, please answer me this, if you can. (I don’t think you can answer without innuendo but I am willing to give you a chance)…

      Plutonian Charlie says: Or, one might argue (I would), that socialism emphasizes personal responsibility because the entire paradigm is built around cooperation.

      d13, the illustrious colonel who knows nothing asks: Please explain the paradigm of cooperation and explain to me how this does not stifle productivity. It would appear to me, that to have your paradigm, all conscious thought must be generated to a collective. No one ahould be allowed to be a free thinker and doer WITHOUT keeping the collective in mind. So the word incentive, appears to me, means nothing to you. Allow me this example: I am in Charlie’s world working my fields and there is Charlie over there working his field but not as hard because he knows I will make up for his slack…there is no incentive. Or, I just found a way to make better bricks to build my house. It takes hard work and when the storm is over and Charlies house is flattened and mine is standing strong, then Charlie comes over and demands better bricks because it is not fair that I now have a house? It appears to me that a collective breeds inefficiency and mind numbing robotic culture that stifles creativity. So, if I decide to sell my bricks, that I made from my own land ( or do I own land under your system..maybe not…probably not because under your system, no one would own anything)….of course,, the Borg. But let’s continue….I have a way to make bricks better than anyone and I decide to sell them. So, I hire your neighbor to work for me…(not you because you are lazy)…you believe then, that his labor, for which I am paying a wage that he accepts, is evil if it makes me rich because I can now sell bricks at whatever the market price demands. The more that I make, the more money that I have…better house, etc. But Charlie, under his paradigm determines that I must now share my proceeds with him because he is lazy and does not have to work as hard because it is going to be taken away. Now………….where is this not destroying (a) incentive, and (b) self (personal) responsibility.

      Or, are you making the argument, that in your Plutonian “forced” collective, everyone would think as you and this air of cooperation would just merely exist?

      • One other little thing Charlie… you said the following: Living under a socialist paradigm does not require a deemphasizing of responsibility.

        D13, the unknowing Colonel agrees: It does not require it…..it breeds it. It breeds deemphasizing of personal responsibility….hell, it breeds no responsibility.

      • I think the bigger question is: Is D13 a star trek fan?

      • Please explain the paradigm of cooperation and explain to me how this does not stifle productivity.

        The good Colonel (who knows much more than he lets on) ask the above. Charles (of Plutonia) responds: There are already companies in this (Sarah Palin soundtrack) “Great land of ours” who work as cooperatives (some mentioned in Michael Moore’s Capitalism movie); companies that are owned by the workers and as such answer only to each other. Neither the state or one individual owns them. They “earn” (key word here) a profitable income and share in it equally (the CEO is not so greedy as to demand more than his “fellow” workers). If just one such company can exist in our “capitalist” market, than so can others exist … where profits are shared equitably (as our health care costs, etc.). Again, neither the big bad bully state or the big bad bully capitalist have anything to do with these companies other than tolerate them.

        Proving that cooperation and responsibility can go hand in hand (and completely defunct(ing) BF’s statement from on high.

        Imagine those kinds of mini-democracies spread throughout the land? They would require cooperation … and remember, I didn’t say socialism is the ONLY way to go (just a better way to go than capitalism for the greater good “IF” the two have to put up against each other as the ONLY alternative. I’m saying any form of cooperative over time will outlast the monopolistic nature of capitalism.

        I hope that helps, Colonel … whether you agree or not, it was an attempt to explain part 1. I’ll now move on to any further questions you might have, good sir.

        I mean that respect with all sincerity, Colonel. Most of my sarcasm is in response to BF’s sarcasm (for the record).

        • Charlie:
          I have seen, and greatly like companies such as you describe. They are indeed possible. They do, however, require certain circumstances.

          They require either all of the workers invovled to be involved from the start, OR some sort of equitable means to manage turnover and expansion. As a company like this grows, do all people get a smaller piece of the pie? Does the guy who just started get as big a slice as the guy who help found the company a decade ago? Not insurmountable issues, but valid concerns to be sure.

          Also, such things require a pooling of resources to start the company, a loan bourne by all involved, or a very generous founder. Not all situations are like that. Most, in fact, are not.

          But the market has no problem with any voluntary business arrangements. In fact, I think it does really well with companies like you describe. The issue comes when someone tries to force that sort of arrangement on everyone, especially when the circumstances of the business arrangement are completely incomparable.

        • Charlie

          They would require cooperation

          The great contradiction called Charlie

          He requires that which can only exist voluntarily, and thus invokes slavery as his social model.

        • Charlie, I know where your sarcasm is directed…no apologies necessary. But, did you just not prove BF’ point? There is no question that a true cooperative can exist….if, like you say, they are in it from the beginning. But that is the point that NF was trying to make…..it was a true market beginning ( meaning there was a mrket for this cooperative ) and there it is. And it was a free choice to make this cooperative. It was not an ideology that was forced to take form anyone. The cooperative that you mention will function just great. So, in this free market society, the free choice cooperative operates. Cool-a-mundo. But that is not what I think you were saying. You wish to do away with the free market and corporations, etc. If these cooperatives you mention become popular and are great, then the market will have more of them. Your cooperative can do whatever it wants….split the profits, insure domestic tranquility ( I am sure I have read that somewhere…sounds vaguely familiar), everyone is equal by CHOICE….and not by force as I feel you want it to be. Let the capitalist society thrive and let the cooperative thrive…side by side….the market will decide.

          But, yes, it did help because I can now see where you are coming from directly….you are not really a socialist according to your example above.

          • NF???? No Flag???? Sorry…insert the “B”….

          • Colonel, the capitalist system will not let the cooperative thrive; over time it will crush it via monopoly and or laws through its gov’t (and I think we all agree the 2%’s own the gov’t). It is the nature of capitalism to expand and crush competition (leaving the workers under foot). If it is a system wide approach, it only makes slaves of those who insist on wanting more than what they need (beyond reasonable expections). Now, of course, comes BF’s out of context retort that states “who gets to decide what is reasonable … etc.”

            We all do … democratically, something capitalism cannot survive (true democracy); why it needs the gov’t.

            • Without governmnet, me thinks that capitalist will still survive….without laws, capitalists will still survive…..I could never do just enough to “get by”….it is not my nature.

              • Socialism does not dictate that people do just enough to get by; that is a capitalism phallacy. Peeople can still work as hard as they like (and workers like yourself, myself, will always work hard under any system). It does mean the profit is no longer centralized to one individual (or board of directors, etc.) inequitably. Those coop businesses mentioned above reward workes for putting in extra hours accordingly; but they don’t have anyone siphoning off the bulk of profit as some CEO/shareholder, etc.

    • Truthseeker says:

      “So, why not level the playing field? Afraid of the competition that might ensue? Concerned maybe the black guy might be a better athlete, tennis player, golfer, runner than you? Concerned maybe the immigrant Irish, Italian and Jewish kids might rise too fast too soon? You don’t like the idea of losing that power you were born into, huh?”

      Charlie, I don’t understand where you are comming from on this. Are you suggesting that if we zero’d everybodies bank accounts, that those that are successful would no longer be successful? Do you really beleive that people that actually make good money are unskilled or that everybody posseses the same skills?

      Are you implying that a good lot of wealth is born with a silver spoon in their mouth? I can name several BILLIONAIRS who didn’t grow up in a rich home. Why were they successful and others not?

      While we may all have the ABILITY to be successful, it is up to you to use your skills and knowledge wisely.

      • Do you really beleive that people that actually make good money are unskilled or that everybody posseses the same skills?

        I’m trying to answer as many as I can as quickly as I can as I have to go back to writing my dopey crime novels about greed (very capitalistic by the way).

        Not at all, Truth … but I am suggesting and insisting that many who have the power (money–and I mean big money) are descendants of wealth they never contributed to; that many who are in power (like the “genisues” on Wall Street who brought the economy to its knees with bad bets) contribute no more than the porters who clean their floors (if not less). Where’s the equity in those clowns “earning” hundred million dollar bonuses (for bankrupting their companies) while the porters and the guys in the mail room and secretaries get laid off?

        • I care not about equity. I do, however, agree that wealth allows one to create more wealth far more easily than one with as much or more talent, work, dedication, etc. It also allows you to survive more bad circumstances and even bad decisions or lack of ability.

          That said, there is no way to equalize the playing field. There will always be aspects of life that are unfair. That is reality. In my view, the method that allows the most potential (which is hand in hand with the most risk) is the best way to go. That method, my friend, is freedom.

          • It’s only free, my friend, if you get to determine the definition (please BF, bark up another tree here). Meaning: those with true power (2%’s) get to own the gov’t, establish the law, regulate (or not) the law and everybody else gets the crumbs. Unfair to local 12, villains, thieves and scoundrel’s union …

            • Then why the crap do you want to increase the size of government, which just increase the size and power of the 2%-I know you want to protect the “worker” but how many times do you have to point out the problem accurately and then continue to want to use the problem as the solution-it isn’t logical

              • IlliterateVagrant says:

                Good point.

                Look at the force and violence required to change a form of government, which is what Charlie is suggesting. Do the events in the Middle East help with your perspective?

                Honestly do you think that the people are polarized in this country enough to mount a protest strong enough to show that the majority of our country has a deep seated problem with not being more socialized?

                You propose solutions that are unrealistic and unattainable in our current political environment. How much success has a third party EVER had against a Dem or Repub? I’m not saying that it’s personally acceptable but sometimes you have to accept compromise. I wish I could fly around on my own power, but since I can’t with current technology I have to rely on American Airlines. Maybe one day I’ll be able to but for now it’s unrealistic.

                Now if you want to test it out by throwing yourself off a cliff and seeing if you can fly, well then that’s your prerogative. Probably not a recipe for success though. :)

              • If the 2%’s own the gov’t now and it isn’t fair to workers (which it isn’t); continuing down that path (by your “logical” definition) is wrong. If the gov’t becomes the 98%, it will be far more equitable.

            • Precisely, that my primary complaint with our current system. Business has no place in government, but it will always have one as long as government is allowed a place in business. We need separation of business and state just as much as we need separation of church and state. When the two get mixed, we do not have a free market. We have a corporatist/fascist society like we have now, rather than a capitalist system. I understand what you rail against charlie, where we disagree is on the solution to the problem and, more importantly, the cause of the problem. What you are witnessing now is not a product of the free market, but of government and business combining power. The market cannot correct corruption in business if business is protected by government.

    • Charlie,

      Can you provide one instance where Socialism has worked?
      Where it provided that “Greater Good” for all or most of it’s people? Failing that, can you explain why you keep advocating something that has been shown to cause misery and massive loss of life? If it don’t work, why do it?

      • Socialism only works when no one is a slacker and no one is greedy. There is no human society without either of those.

      • France, Holland, Germany, Italy, Canada … at least as regards health care. Those systems also have their corruption, don’t get me wrong, but at the very least, their people have health care.

        • gmanfortruth says:

          We have healthcare as well. If you use it, pay the bill. Why do I need government to do that?

          • Because Gman, you need those meds I keep trying to remind you of … :)

            Why not make it an across the board right? What’s so wrong with people taking care of other people?

            • gmanfortruth says:

              My meds are working fine :)

              If force is used, it’s immoral and wrong. If I chose to help someone without force, then it is moral. You are advocating immorality, which is evil :)

              • So those of us forced (by need) to work for 2%’s are being treated immorally. We want our morality back. We take it. Let’s see how the 2%’s feel about evil now.

                Oy vey, if 98% decide it’s more less immoral for the 2%’s (and some of you crazies on the right) to help the greater good, then you’ll have to live with that “evil” just the way we have to live with it now. Works for us.

        • Charlie,

          France, Holland, Germany, Italy, Canada … at least as regards health care. Those systems also have their corruption, don’t get me wrong, but at the very least, their people have health care.

          Indeed.

          If I steal 1/10 of your wealth to buy my food, I have food today.

          One day, you will run out of money, and the day after that, I will run out of food.

          The Time Reference of your argument is too short.

          As I said before, you are observant but are unable to extend your observation past two minutes to the current hour.

        • DisposableCarbonUnit says:

          And you wouldn’t believe the number of slackers we have here in Canada that demand the whole healthcare system be available for just them, even though they never paid a cent into it.

          • It’s still better than people here losing their homes because they can’t afford to maintain their health. No contest, universal health care is better for the greater good.

            • Charlie

              …better for Great Good…

              You error again.

              Because you are ego centric and judge only by what is good for you right now – you do not care if in the long term you destroy the economy of the entire nation and toss all the people into poverty

            • DisposableCarbonUnit says:

              So, don’t pay a cent for a valuable service then expect to use it when and however you wish for free. This is why the slackers in Canada are having a hard time finding a doctor. It’s also why it will NEVER work in the US.

              Doctors are also sick of seeing people who just whine about the sniffles and wonder why the doctor can’t just GIVE them free drugs.

              In Canada, those type of people are generally S.O.L. when it comes to prompt service…they also complain to the news everytime they are denied something that they REALLY, REALLY, REALLY want for free.

              Most people here see there GP once a year for an annual check-up and use emergency services in the case of emergency. The whiners and slackers who don’t pay for a damn thing are lined up three blocks deep at every health care facility demanding more and more for themselves.

              This is coming to a head in Canada, and it won’t be too long before even we (us socialist cousins!) move to a two tier system. We are going the way of the US and the US is trying to create a system similar to ours that WILL, without a doubt, bankrupt your entire nation.

              But what the hell do I know, I only worked inside of that system for 20 years.

        • Truthseeker says:

          Since I have been stationed in Germany for 12 years, I will respond in regards to heathcare.

          Germans pay a LOT in taxes. About 50% right off the top is knocked off. Add to that an additional 19% flat sales tax everytime you buy something. Yes they have universal health care but you will pay your butt off. Also, if the universal health care was so good, why is there a private insurance industry in Germany that allows CERTAIN people to be able to use it? When you have Private health care, you get to see the BEST doctors and you get the BEST treatment. Luckily, I have the Private insurance and it is the very first thing they ask you when you show up. I also get much faster appointments.

          Universal health care comes at a great cost to everybody, whether you wish to participate or not. Why should people that are doing all the right things like taking care of themselves, have to pay for those that do not? Should non-smokers pay for smokers health care? What about those who are not obese and paying for the obese?

          It is never going to be fair, as life is NOT fair.

          • Because unless there is an eventual swing toward a more socialist system, Truth, the disparity between the have’s (2%’s) and have nots will become so great that the 98%’s will be forced to take what they need rather than negotiate for it. Life can be a lot more fair than it is now. It’ll be a long time coming in the US (as those bailouts proved just how drugged we are here (opiate of the masses is now electronic toys, etc.) but if enough people are forced out of their homes because the 2%’s get to do what they did with the bailouts, there will come a time when they reap what they’ve sowed.

    • Sorry Charlie, but Socialism absolutely does NOT promote self-responsibility. It promotes societal responsibility.

      Sure, a socialist society prefers one to take responsibility for themselves by being honest and doing their best. But it goes further. It also requires that people be responsible for those around them.

      Also, there are no consequences if you fail to take responsibility for yourself. Others are responsibilie for you, so you can demand that they take up the slack if you fail. This is not personal responsibility.

      A successful socialistic society is a pipe-dream.

      • A successful capitalist system is at best, equally a pipe dream … or you wouldn’t have the disparity we have now.

        • We had a fairly successful one that did more than any system before it to create and build a middle class and decrease the disparity between rich and poor. It certainly had issues, particularly cultural ones, but the market side of it was excellent. Unfortunately, our Constitution was not perfect, and we ended up with the wealthy finding ways into government (and vice-versa) and dismantling the free market. What we have now is the result of meddling and tampering and manipulating the free market under the guise of protecting the people.

          • Jon,
            Do you have a general time frame for when the successful capitalist system ended?

            • It did not end overnight, but there were some significant blows to it. I think the killer was around 1913 with the creation of the Federal Reserve. That shift of monetary control to government and initialization of Keynesian concepts was the death blow. That is not to say there was no corruption before this. The early unions had to fight against government/business alliances, making their struggle significantly more difficult and disguising their success, something the government used to amplify its role in supporting unions with labor laws. Various land deals with railroad companies and troop support for railway expansion also existed, adding to the list of attrocities committed by our young nation. There were problems, inerferences, but the bulk of economic activity and growth were driven by a very free market with minimal government intereference or regulation. Even early conservation activities and demands for efficiency and decreased pollution were privately organized, not government mandated. Such trnds could, and would, have continued without interference. Based on the EPA’s track record I would say things would have been better in that arena without government involvement.

              • Jon,
                Ok, so early 20th century. Do you have any idea what working conditions were like in the late 19th and early 20th century? In northern Wisconsin, the Lumber Baron’s kept ledgers to figure out how many new employee’s they needed each week to replace those injured or killed (17 at one lumber mill). There was no medical care for those injured or compensation to the families of those killed.

                Factories were like the current 3rd world sweat shops. 12 hour shifts. No breaks. No benefits. Wages that barely allowed someone to survive.

                Is this the type of society you’d like to live in? Because this is the result of your relatively “free market” capitalism…

                This started to change in the 20th century with government regulation and unions…

                More later – gotta run!

              • Wrong.

                It started to change with unions. Unions in the US date to the early to mid 1800s. The changes started in the mid 1800s, and then only after the unions overcame government interference. Unions themselves were illegal in many countries. Even Adam Smith in The Wealth of Nations criticized the calling for government help by employers when unions formed or workers banded together. He strongly supported the idea of unions as part of the balance ina free market. The thing he missed was that if government got into union’s pockets they would corrupt them to the point that they were nothing more than beaurocracy instead of actually being a support of labor.

                Now, were there still abuses? Absolutely. Are there abuses now? Absolutley. I specifically mentioned the struggle unions had with government being involed in business, did you ignore that part and just read the date before you responded? There were issues of corruption and collusion between business and government even then. Still, look at the separation between the classes before 1776 through 1915. See any improvement? When did it decline? When did the gap begin to widen?

              • Jon,
                The unions of the 1800’s and early 1900’s had limited success and were constantly fought by companies and the government thru the courts. They didn’t gain any widespread support and power until the 1930’s.

                You also skipped over the working conditions before the 1930’s.

                The current gap in income inequality started in the 1980’s, when Reagan lowered tax rates and fired air traffic controllers, a major blow to unions in general:

                http://www.thenation.com/image/extreme-inequality-chart

              • Jon,
                Do have any information to support your earlier comment:

                Even early conservation activities and demands for efficiency and decreased pollution were privately organized, not government mandated. Such trnds could, and would, have continued without interference. Based on the EPA’s track record I would say things would have been better in that arena without government involvement.

                Yes, there were many private activities for conservation, efficiency and decreased pollution, but by 1970 many of the rivers in the US were dead zones from pollution. The EPA has cleaned up many of those rivers.

  3. gmanfortruth says:

    Good Morning All :)

    Good advice Mr’ Flag. When you mentioned Political Messianism, first thing that came to mind was election night 2008, and the Chicago circus that ensued. Hope and Change 2011, little Hope and only Change in their pockets.

    • Or the cult chanting in Egypt or Germany or wherever he went right off the bat:

      Obama..Obama..Obama! oooooo! that freaked me out :)

      • gmanfortruth says:

        Barak Husain Obama…MMM..MMM..MMM, sung by young school children and put on You Tube. That made me vomit! :mrgreen:

    • gmanfortruth says:

      Flag, Are you proposing action in some form? Words on blogs can only go so far.

  4. Common Man says:

    BF

    Well done and spot on!!!

    CM

  5. Ray Hawkins says:

    Interesting “article”

    I’d maybe ask that when heading down this heady path if some terms/defs are offered (“this is how I define Socialism….”) – the philosophies of Veblen and de Rouvroy for example (the top downers) may be very different from Mainwaring or Goldman (net being there are many different ways that Socialism is defined – some of which is slightly or more linked to communism (small “c”) or even anarchism.

    So a question Black Flag – do you believe elements of our Constitution to be socialist in nature?

    If yes, which ones?

    Is that a good thing? Bad thing? Why?

  6. Of what I read on SUFA and other blogs, there is a welling-up of a desire to seek some political messiah, someone who will “solve” the great problems of the day, someone who will return the nation to the good and prosperous days – and do so overnight.

    It’s also been posted on SUFA that we are a nation of laws not men. Meaning we are governed by laws not by a ‘messiah’. I posted the following thought once in the past..let’s see how it will fly today:

    What if there were no POTUS?

    That idea alone should make people outside the box. It automatically makes your mind think that there is no one in charge. Personal responsibility would then be paramount. We are not loyal to any one person or ‘side’. The idea alone decentralizes govt and makes people think they alone are responsible for their own self.

    We could still have a congress..but before the congress could act it would need approval of the majority of governors. That means that we are not slaves to a central government but that government is slave to the people.

    We could still have a cabinet. Foreign affairs could be addressed by the Sec of State. Military affairs could be addressed by DoD..and so on. The governors could vote on who’s in the cabinet. The idea would also make other countries think they are up against the entire population of the United States instead of just the president.

    Yeah, yeah, it’s a far fetched idea but it could work..and it goes hand in hand with personal responsibility.

    Disclaimer: Fire away but I haven’t thought this through any further.

    • Of course I missed a word…make people THINK outside the box

    • Okay, let me see if I understand this-the governors would basically become a panel with the power of the president. And Congress would remain the same in regards to overruling veto’s and such. It would certainly give more power back to the states. Interesting! Must think more about this.

    • gmanfortruth says:

      Why pay for a Congress with no power? Get rid of the whole Federal government and let the states handle things. Governors must run every year to keep their position. Kill all laws that restrict freedom, liberty and equal justice. I could go on and on.

      • We’ve been aiming for that for a couple years around here. We seem to be stuck in a rut on it. This idea is a baby step in that direction.

      • Truthseeker says:

        We still need the Federal Government to provide a common defense, administer treaties and international Trade, and finnaly help resolve trade issues between states. Simple.

        • gmanfortruth says:

          The fifty Governors can appoint people to handle these issues. The SCOTUS would still exist as well. We’ve become to accustomed to the status quo. Time for change to a much smaller leadership.

          • Truthseeker says:

            Why would we want governers to appoint people to handle things that affect everybody and not be elected by us? Think about it this way. Those that they elect, will have power. Eventually, those with power will lobby Governers and evnetually throw them dog bones or carrots. What do you think that will lead to?

            • gmanfortruth says:

              Good point! Change appoint to elected by the people. In fact, no laws can be passed without the vote of the people. Only emergency military action is within the governors powers, invasion must also be voted by the people. The people should have the power, which is not the case today.

      • Why are you saying Congress would have no power-they would still have as much power as they do now-except the “president” wouldn’t be a member of just one party-unless all the governors where from the same party. Seems like more separation of power. And less party power.

        • gmanfortruth says:

          It’s the “parties” that have this nation in a mess. No party power would be my goal.

    • A Puritan Descendant says:

      I love the idea Anita but I would include a 2/3 majority vote by the Governors.

      Another idea would be to have the common people vote who becomes a congressman such as it is now, but only land owners and/or business owners would vote for Senators protecting this country from the downward left spiral that we are presently on. Maybe the ideas can be melded together into something that could save this country………… sorry I am dreaming outloud again…..

      • I’m dreaming too APD but last I heard there is no law against dreaming yet. I can buy your 2/3 request.

  7. The solution to the crisis is not coercive force.
    (that’s a good description of our political process)

    The solution to the crisis is not some political promise.
    (depends on the promise & if they make good on it.
    I have some hope the TeaParty advocating small gov. and fiscal restrain might return us to our root principals)

    The solution to the crisis is self-responsibility.
    ( I like that, wish it was taught more at home)

    The solution will take decades. It cannot happen overnight.
    (agree)

    Nothing of any lasting good happens overnight.
    ( I thought you had a doting daughter?)LOL

  8. Charlie Stella

    Or, one might argue (I would), that socialism emphasizes personal responsibility because the entire paradigm is built around cooperation.

    Cooperation and responsibility are not co-linked. You can have one without the other.

    Cooperation inside Socialism: I cooperate with those that force others to feed me.

    You’ll often find, if you bother to look, that worker bees are worker bees under any economic or political structure. Likewise, slackers are slackers the same way.

    Those bees that do not work are expelled from the hive. This is necessary for bees to survive as the difference between having enough and total collapse is slim.

    Human society – for most of its existence – was the same way. “Slackers” were expelled.

    It has only been in the last 300 years – due to the advent of Industrialization brought about the Free Market systems that has provide society with such largess of resources as to support a very larger “slacker” component within society.

    The irony: the Free Market created the necessary economic resources for Socialism and anti-Free Market systems to exist.

    The danger: the natural tendency of humans is to endeavor for free lunches.

    The more the “slackers” are rewarded with resources, the more “slackers” there are. It is an unavoidable desire to get something for nothing, and the attraction is undeniable.

    There comes a tipping point that the slackers consume the excess of society and begin to consume the necessity.

    Society begins to dissolve as the conditions that created the large number of slackers now has created a large force of human action which will completely resist any reversal of these conditions.

    Collapse is all but guaranteed.

    All human action is ultimately individual, and without the firm hold on self-responsibility, human action becomes an atrocity.

    So sayeth the Black Flag;

    Do you disagree that your actions are your actions?

    those acting in a cooperative manner cannot have a firm hold on responsibility? What a crock …

    You fail here because you erroneously applied a definition that is not true.

    Cooperation and responsibility are not co-linked.

    You can have irresponsible cooperation (a gang of hoodlums smashing car windows) and you can have responsible cooperation (a gang of producers making iPhones).

    Thus, your original contention is in error, and as such so is the basis of your argument here

    • You can have irresponsible cooperation (a gang of hoodlums smashing car windows) and you can have responsible cooperation (a gang of producers making iPhones).

      See my answer to the Colonel up above. It already exists, companies that are coops. So, why not society? Why not a branch of those cooperatives? Why not a society based on cooperation?

      No state, no capitalist?

      See Dr. Jonas Salk (invented a cure for Polio and left it to the greater good (rather than sell it to some pharmaceutical company) for altruistic reasons; proving people will still seek the best of what they can achieve for nothing more than the accomplishment/challenge … doesn’t need to be dollars and sense involved … pure cooperation. It already exists. It will eventually have to become the mainstay of societies worldwide.

      • gmanfortruth says:

        CS said “Why not a society based on cooperation?”

        We just tried that experiment two days ago. We can’t even do it here with 10-15 people and you think an entire society can do it? OY YA YOY!

        Come back to earth Frenchy!

      • Charlie,

        Why not a society based on cooperation?

        We do that already.

        But that is what disgusts you!

        Voluntary cooperation is the foundation of our society.

        There is no such thing as forced cooperation – it is called slavery

        • Except … we are slaves to our wages here in the great democracy of the US&A (Borat) …

          The only cooperation going on in this country, my pirate buddy, is that between the 2%’s and this government at the expense of the rest of us. That couldn’t be more obvious. Contrary to your insistance that we “agree” to our wages by taking the various jobs we do, most in the workforce today don’t have much of an option (certainly not to agree). They take jobs because of need (which to you is conveniently called an agreement). It is no such thing. Witness WI and how that “agreement” is going down … please.

          • If you had no need, would you work? Would you cooperate? There are men like Jonas Salk in the world. There are men like Thomas Edison in the world who did sell his inventions but put it all back into R&D, not for society but because of his passion. Then there are those who want to gain wealth and give it to those they love. And those who find wealth itself to be their passion. There are men who stand on the wall and protect the freedom of others at the risk of their own lives for very little money. There are men who will whine and wheedle and manipulate and slack and take and steal and harm and kill. There are those who seek to control, whether because they think themselves better equipped to create a good outcome in the world or whether they merely lust for power matters not, they seek control of other men, and are little different from slave owners. These are all people. They are all a part of our society. Why can we not have a whole society based on cooperation? Because we are not all Jonas Salk. I am not certain we would function as well as it looks in theory even if we were.

          • Yes they do Charlie…..they can start their own business. It is done everyday….just apply yourself. And even in this regulated stupid environement, you can still start your own business. So, one does not have to rely on others in actuality…they choose to.

          • Truthseeker says:

            Charlie, do you know about the big Foundation Bill Gates and other Billionairs form to donate their wealth (freely) to good causes? They have far more money and resources than the millionairs that are greedy. They are doing far more for society than you will trying to forcefully take it.

            • They will go to heaven if there is one … they are to be commended … but they still own the means of production immorally … they could not possibly have “earned” what they have alone. Why not spread the wealth? Why hord it? Somehow charitable organizations (many of them) are found to be as corrupt as the gov’t. Why not just spread the wealth? Does Bill Gates need that multi-million dollar paradise he had built to live in? Really? He’s one man; he deserves the high profit margin made off of all those who work for him? Sorry, that’s insane.

      • Jonas Salk was involved in a study that injected patients in an insane asylum with experimental vaccines, so yup he did a lot things for the “greater good”.

        • Jennie,

          He also created an oral vaccine that actually in fact caused thousands to suffer the disease and actually created an epidemic!

          When they stopped using it, the incidents evaporated.

        • Yea, that might be another reason that us all being like Jonas might not make a great society like the fantasy lovers think.

          • Yes, lets bash Jonas Salk now … and cheer on sarah palin. Geesh, what a bunch of party poopers. Salk was an EXAMPLE of how people still strive to achieve greater things without the carrot on a stick capitalism is … the problem is only so many people can get that carrot and it is from a direct unfair advantage they do so. Oy vey …

            • Truthseeker says:

              Talking about deflection. How can anybody have a serious conversation if you pull something from outside the ball park. Where is the corralation?

            • For the record, I do not like Palin, and also for the record, that was quite a red herring. The Jonas Salk bashing was, perhaps, off topic, I apologize. And I will remember that next time someone says something about going back to the constitution and people start saying that means bring back slavery. If Salk can be an example without the negative aspects being involved, then other things can too.

              Where Salk’s bad side is relevant is in pointing out that even altruists are not perfect, and maybe a society of altruism would not be utopia you think, because it is dependent on perfect people. Such people do not exist.

  9. Alright, here’s where I struggle with your philosophy. We need to start with where we are at, not where we’d like to be.

    I agree full-heartedly with self-responsibility and while I thought I’d always lived by this mantra, since coming to this site and mostly from digesting your epics, I have truly re-examined my life, decisions, positions and have made some pretty significant changes, literally and figuratively.

    Here’s my challenge. I can’t resist the urge to be involved! How else can we attempt to reduce government and all it’s oppressiveness without trying? I think the effects of the tea party, in just over just two years’ time, has been pretty amazing. But it is just a small little baby step to getting like-minded (self- responsibility loving, small government) people. Not looking for a messiah, but real people, non-professional politicians, that have the backbone to say, “NO” to the gimmee crowd.

    I see what is happening in Madison as a microcosm of this. The unions are coercive in their demands of their members and then rob them of the need to maintain self-responsibility. Mindless sheep is a perfect name for them. I could say, who cares, their issue, let them keep the union lasso around their neck until it strangles them, not my business. But it is my business, because of the structure, it is costing me more in tax monies.

    So, why isn’t it OK to practice self-responsibility myself, but also fight against those that try to link me into their chains?

    • Kathy,

      Alright, here’s where I struggle with your philosophy. We need to start with where we are at, not where we’d like to be.

      We need to change direction, not continue down the same path.

      Whether you walk slower toward oblivion or not – oblivion is your doom. You must leave the path, not just change the pace.

      Here’s my challenge. I can’t resist the urge to be involved!

      I understand this need.

      So a true story to highlight my warning regarding the need to do something.

      A yacht was hit in the night by a passing freighter – completely unknown to the freighter. It carried right on, leaving the fatally crippled yacht.

      The yacht was about 20 miles off-shore from its mooring.

      All the passengers scrambled out of their sleeping quarters and got aboard a life raft – everyone made it and there were no injuries.

      But the boat sank so fast that no one was able to send a SOS – so they were confined to floating in the water until morning when they were assured to be spotted.

      A few hours after the accident, the boat owner up and announced.:
      “I can’t wait any longer. I’m going to go get the cell phone out of my car”….

      … and jumped into the water and began swim to shore.

      A few minutes later – and for a short -but terrifying – few minutes after, the rest of the passengers had to listen to his screams as he was eaten alive by sharks.

      • ??? Did you answer my question?

        But I did get your shark analogy……

        • Kathy,

          Stay tuned. Over the next few days, a number of other articles will address your questions.

          • Thank you!

            With that, I’m outta here. Balmy 39 degrees here so heading out for a nice run and then letting the weekend begin!

            What’s that saying LOI? Beer30? (What does that mean?)

  10. gman

    Flag, Are you proposing action in some form? Words on blogs can only go so far.

    Stay tuned.

  11. Ray Hawkins

    I’d maybe ask that when heading down this heady path if some terms/defs are offered (“this is how I define Socialism….”) – the philosophies of Veblen and de Rouvroy for example (the top downers) may be very different from Mainwaring or Goldman (net being there are many different ways that Socialism is defined – some of which is slightly or more linked to communism (small “c”) or even anarchism.

    Easy definition:
    Socialism – Redistribution of wealth using coercive State (government) power. Methodology or rational of why such redistribution is done is irrelevant to the definition.

    So a question Black Flag – do you believe elements of our Constitution to be socialist in nature?

    Yes.

    If yes, which ones?

    Starts in the preamble “..provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, …”

    Is that a good thing? Bad thing? Why?

    • Ray,

      Missed this:

      Is that a good thing? Bad thing? Why?

      By abdicating my responsibility for my own defense to another, I also abdicate my authority over myself.

      By advocating that I must promote the welfare of others that are unknown to me personally, I am at risk of failing to provide the necessary welfare for those that I am responsible to – my family

      • BF

        If you applied the meaning of the words that existed when those men wrote them you would get a different answer.

        General Welfare did not mean to promote the caring for others. It meant to protect our rights so that a free people could maintain their welfare.

        It is not until later that the power seekers distort the meaning.

        • I think I hear the tapping of a keyboard-A Buck message should be arriving soon. :)

        • Citation, please.

          • A Puritan Descendant says:

            common sense?

            • I was thinking of something more like a document written by a founding father, or a scholarly work to that effect.

              My common sense says that JAC is mistaken.

          • A Puritan Descendant says:

            actually there was limited welfare in those days. If people/a family arrived to a Town without permission they may get a “warnings out”. This usually just protected the town from having to pay for the Welfare of the newly arrived, and placed the burden back onto the Town from which they came from. So yes there was ‘Welfare’. But I tend to agree with Jac’s definition. Hopefully there is a citation somewhere to back it up.

        • A Puritan Descendant says:

          Mathias
          This should be a correct quote by Madison. I don’t have much time so I will just post it here. >
          Some, who have not denied the necessity of the power of taxation, have grounded a very fierce attack against the Constitution, on the language in which it is defined. It has been urged and echoed, that the power “to lay and collect taxes, duties, imposts, and excises, to pay the debts, and provide for the common defense and general welfare of the United States,” amounts to an unlimited commission to exercise every power which may be alleged to be necessary for the common defense or general welfare. No stronger proof could be given of the distress under which these writers labor for objections, than their stooping to such a misconstruction. Had no other enumeration or definition of the powers of the Congress been found in the Constitution, than the general expressions just cited, the authors of the objection might have had some color for it; though it would have been difficult to find a reason for so awkward a form of describing an authority to legislate in all possible cases. A power to destroy the freedom of the press, the trial by jury, or even to regulate the course of descents, or the forms of conveyances, must be very singularly expressed by the terms “to raise money for the general welfare. ”But what color can the objection have, when a specification of the objects alluded to by these general terms immediately follows, and is not even separated by a longer pause than a semicolon? If the different parts of the same instrument ought to be so expounded, as to give meaning to every part which will bear it, shall one part of the same sentence be excluded altogether from a share in the meaning; and shall the more doubtful and indefinite terms be retained in their full extent, and the clear and precise expressions be denied any signification whatsoever? For what purpose could the enumeration of particular powers be inserted, if these and all others were meant to be included in the preceding general power? Nothing is more natural nor common than first to use a general phrase, and then to explain and qualify it by a recital of particulars. But the idea of an enumeration of particulars which neither explain nor qualify the general meaning, and can have no other effect than to confound and mislead, is an absurdity, which, as we are reduced to the dilemma of charging either on the authors of the objection or on the authors of the Constitution, we must take the liberty of supposing, had not its origin with the latter. The objection here is the more extraordinary, as it appears that the language used by the convention is a copy from the articles of Confederation. The objects of the Union among the States, as described in article third, are “their common defense, security of their liberties, and mutual and general welfare. ” The terms of article eighth are still more identical: “All charges of war and all other expenses that shall be incurred for the common defense or general welfare, and allowed by the United States in Congress, shall be defrayed out of a common treasury,” etc. A similar language again occurs in article ninth. Construe either of these articles by the rules which would justify the construction put on the new Constitution, and they vest in the existing Congress a power to legislate in all cases whatsoever.

      • By advocating that I must promote the welfare of others that are unknown to me personally, I am at risk of failing to provide the necessary welfare for those that I am responsible to – my family

        So, when your family is safe and comfortable and seven other families need what you horde, they should what, ask or take?

        I know, I know … those silly savages … but aren’t they supposed to look out for themselves too? And they won’t even need the state to help them. They just take.

        You’ll shoot them, I know.

        But they might outnumber you and shoot you too.

        You get 5 of the 6 families (because you’re an excellent shot) but one of them survive and you don’t.

        How’d that work out for you?

        • Mathius,

          So, when your family is safe and comfortable and seven other families need what you horde, they should what, ask or take?

          I decide when my family is sufficiently safe and sufficiently comfortable – not you or anyone else.

          Then I decide who may receive the benefit of my charity and how much – not you or anyone else

          • Charlie,
            Sorry this was to you not Mathius.

            • No problem, BF. I understand what you’re saying. And you may well be a charitable guy … but whatever you have, unless you’re a very special case (and there are very few of those), you could not possibly have come to “earn” on your own; others had to be involved. Why not acknowledge them without this overwhelming fear of being a slave by contributing to a cooperation of sorts (taxes–shared income–distribution of wealth)? The vast majority of Americans (and peoples in general) are not those very special cases and have to work for others, but do not receive equitable distribution for their services (% of profit, if you will).

              I know, I know … the forty paragraph rationality argument …

              • Because the percentage of decent, incorruptible people in government, who is in control of the taxes, is even lower than among the 2% of hoarders for one thing. Even if I could go along with your philosophy, your means of accomplishing your goal is illogical.

              • Charlie,

                possibly have come to “earn” on your own; others had to be involved

                Those that have effort on my behalf got paid – I bought their work with my money.

                The got what they wanted – traded what they have too much of (their time and their talent) for something they do not have too much of ( money).

              • Those who contributed were “acknowledged” by the wage they earned to produce the product or provide the service.

                Am I, an avid reader, entitled to part of the profits earned by the authors of the books I buy because I assisted them by buying their books in the first place?

        • At least I took more of the darn thieves with me than if a government army was doing the stealing.

          • For Plainly: Yes! Yes, indeed, my friend! And how cool would that be … getting paid to read what you want; write what you want, etc. Why not? I have no problem with that. Zero. I don’t need a gazilion trillion fazools to be happy. I’d rather see the family of 6 incapable of making due with dignity share in whatever wealth is out there than see one guy swallow it hole (that is immoral) … love your neighbor (he/she might even be a hottie!). Go for it … the greater good.

            • OK, I await my check for my share good author! :)

              (Bank cashier’s check please – we wouldn’t want there to be any “irregularities” when I cash it). ;)

              Seriously though Charlie. If that’s the case why not just post your books up for free? Why must we waste time with this exchange of funny “money” between each other?

              Dump the Federal Reserve and allow two people to decide what to exchange between them for whatever it is they are trying to gain (I believe that would be called “cooperatiove barter”).

              • If the system changed tomorrow (to socialism), I’d have no problem with that scenario … besides, the checks aren’t all that big (actually paying better overseas than here–gotta love those europeans) …

            • Oh, and if you could Charlie – could you explain how it will be decided what each needs to what level to have this “fair” society of your dreams?

              • To be worked out by all the people equitably. Imagine?

              • “all” as in everyone must agree it is fair, or “all” as in a majority, or is there some other “all” I am missing?

                If it is “all’ as in everyone then you have – again – doomed your system since “all” people will never totally agree. You may think two potatoes per person is fair, I may believe it is three. We can’t agree so we can’t cooperate.

      • Ray Hawkins says:

        Thanks for candid answer Black Flag – hope all is well with you….

        ;-)

  12. anita

    It’s also been posted on SUFA that we are a nation of laws not men. Meaning we are governed by laws not by a ‘messiah’. I posted the following thought once in the past..let’s see how it will fly today:

    There is a fatal misunderstanding about the “we are a nation of laws and not of men”.

    Men make the laws

    If I make a law that imposes upon you, but avoids me – there is little difference between me being a direct
    dictator and a “democratically elected leader”.

    Thus the most important element within law

    Is the law MORAL or IMMORAL at its foundation

    What if there were no POTUS?

    Nothing changes.
    Whether you are ruled by the tyranny of one or the tyranny of hundreds, tyranny reigns.

    • I understand. But as Kathy says we have to start from where we are not where we’d like to be. No POTUS would at least start to change the mindset. Another thing…We are a republic..a collection of sovereign states..No POTUS follows that thinking.

    • Dread Pirate Mathius says:

      Imagine there’s no POTUS.
      It’s easy if you try.
      No need for birth certificates.
      And no elections, too!

      Imagine no legislation.
      It isn’t hard to do.
      No need for budget ceilings.
      And no taxation, too!

      You may say that I’m a dreamer.
      But I’m not the only one.

      I hope some day you’ll join us.
      And the world will be more fun! :)

      • Burma Shave?

        • Mathius says:

          Every shaver
          Now can snore
          Six more minutes
          Than before
          By using
          Burma-Shave!

          • Memories of riding the highways in my youth with dad driv )ing and all the kids watching for….license plates from out of state and reading burma shave signs…while on our way to Colorado to go skiing… ( Sorry Charlie, my familiy did its part for Colorado during the tourist skiing season ) We had the money to spend on our entertainment and did in Aspen…before it became popular and expensive. Actually broke my leg on top of Ruthies Run getting off the damned chairlift….Spiral break on the femur….painful thing it was.

  13. D13,

    Your thoughts, if you would:

    LINK

  14. Mathius says:

    A question for SUFA.

    Unemployment, defined as the number of people who are out of work, but are currently trying to find a job, is calculated how?

    Specifically, how does the government know who is looking for work? It’s easy enough to figure out who is applying for UI, but if you are past the time limit or don’t qualify or whatever, how do they count you?

    Thanks!

    • Mathius,

      They do not count you.

      And that is precisely how that statistic works.

      When you longer show up, you not part of the “looking for work” statistic.

      Thus, “official” unemployment goes down! Great day!

    • Also, the part time work is dropped as there is no unemploymnet number for that when the part time work is finished. Remember…figures don’t lie….but liars can figure. Want to manipuate the UE numbers……do what the Obama congress did to get the right numbers from the CBO…..don’t include all the numbers and reclassify them. Same with UE.

    • In the population of working age adults, the non employment rate is 26.9% (28,255,000 of 105,229,000). As a comparison to current levels, in 1998, the working age population growth was 80,662,000 and the non-employed in that population was 6,571,000 (8.15%).

      http://www.economicpopulist.org/content/measuring-non-employment-us-working-age-adults

    • Mathius

      I have tried to explain this many times.

      The weekly and sometimes monthly numbers cited are the “new unemployment filing”. But this is only noise in the media.

      The BIG numbers that are bandied about are from the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

      This data is collected by conducting surveys of households within predetermined geographic areas within each state. Data is then accumulated and summarized by State, then region, then ???, then for the Nation.

      It is basically a public opinion survey.

      Unemployment can increase, using this method, when the economy starts to recover. Those in the “I quite looking” group may decide to join the “I’m unemployed but looking” group. It is usually only this last group that is reported in the general press.

      There are at least 6 categories (if I remember correctly) of unemployment collected in the surveys.

  15. Charlie

    we are slaves to our wages here in the great democracy of the US&A (Borat) …

    Man must wait long time for cooked chicken to fly into his mouth

    A Universal Fact: you must work to live

    If in your philosophy, Charlie, you wish to be free from working, you will also be freed from life a month or so later.

    As such you have mis-defined freedom.

    Freedom is not “free from reality”.

    Freedom is “free from the impositions of other men”.

    Because you hold an irrational understanding of freedom, you hold an equally irrational understanding of slavery vs. voluntary cooperation.

    • A Universal Fact: you must work to live

      How naive this is. Are you suggesting there are those amongst us who actually have to work for a living? There are some very rich people in this country who never have to wipe their own asses to clean themselves, never mind do a day’s work, my friendly pirate.

      And then there are those who work their asses off and get the shaft in return for their efforts (usually non-union workers, by the way). Or they’re told the gov’t just gave Wall Street a $700 Billion dollar bailout but sorry, there’s no way they could protect their job because one of the bailed out companies just outsourced it. Yeah, that’s a real good “agreement” for workers to have made. Lots of “freedom” in that move.

      The vast majority of Americans, mr. pirate, are in fact slaves to their wages … not the state, the capitalist system.

      • gmanfortruth says:

        Charlie, You seem to have a serious vendeta against the 2%. To advocate destroying a society to get your revenge is not in anybodies best interest, it’s only in your self interest of revenge.

        • It’s all about equity, Gman; nothing to do with vendetta. The 2%’s simply don’t need what they have. They accumulatd it unfairly. Redistribute it.

          • gmanfortruth says:

            I admire your grit, but no society has ever succeeded in the venture you want, it has always been a failure with even worse disparity, usually resulting in bloody revolutions. Why stick to a failed ideology that has never worked?

            • Once again, I don’t say it is the ONLY way … just a more fair way than capitalism. I don’t see capitalism working anymore (unless you’re a 2% or lucky) … and revolutions are sometimes a very good thing (think 1776).

              • gmanfortruth says:

                I actually understand your thinking! It’s your resolution to the problem that makes me wonder. If your ideals are proven to fail, wouldn’t a better idea be appropriate. Revolution might not be a bad idea though, I like taking down corruption, when do we start! :)

      • Charlie,

        How naive this is. Are you suggesting there are those amongst us who actually have to work for a living?

        Here, you are merely attempting to define “work” to fit within your own mindset.

        What you decide is not “work” or is “work” becomes your justification to steal the proceeds and wealth of others.

        Again, you display your most core characteristic -ego-centrism – that is, you judge “good” in the world by what is in your immediate benefit and “bad” if it is in your determent.

        You do not measure it objectively nor do you understand that what may be in your benefit is destructive to the whole of society.

        This is also the same mindset of criminals, they destroy the lives of others to benefit themselves – and ignore the long term destructive consequences to society and -often- to themselves.

        • This is also the same mindset of criminals

          Reads an awful lot like “greed” to me, BF. And, hey, aren’t you the one promoting greed/capitalism?

          Talk about ego-centric … sweet jesus, the thought of sharing must overwhelm you’re every moment.

          • Charlie,

            Reads an awful lot like “greed” to me, BF. And, hey, aren’t you the one promoting greed/capitalism?

            Greed is no sin. It is the desire to improve one’s own lot in life.

            Without greed, we’d still be living in mud huts on the desert plains of Africa.

            Envy is evil.

            It the wanting of what someone else already has.

            • Greed is in fact a sin (one of the deadly 7, by the way) … but I digress (7 was such a good movie).

              Envy has nothing to do with anything; equality does. That frightens the daylights out of you; the thought of people sharing. Why?

              • Charlie

                BF used the term “evil”, not “sin”.

              • The thought of people sharing is wonderful. The thought of people being forced to share is horrifying. I will share with a stranger. I will share with a friend. I will share with my family. I will not share with my enemy. I will not share with those who have shown themselves to be undeserving, like the lazy or the evil ones or the ones who will not share. I can decide that for myself, I have the right to do so. I can decide what I share, how much I share, and with whom I share. I do not need anyone else to decide those things for me. No one else has the right to decide those things for me.

          • Most people have no problem with sharing. It’s being robbed that they object to.

            • And many of the employees would not choose to own a part of the business-if that ownership included being held responsible for the liability.

              • The ones mention way up above do in fact share in the liability. So there goes that theory …

              • Please explain how your example isn’t an example of capitalism. Free people agreeing to start a business-agreeing on the terms and starting a business.

      • Charlie,

        Right or wrong, taking candy from a baby?

        You’re bigger and “need” more food to survive.
        Might makes right!

        The “rich” 2% don’t need all they have.
        You have them outnumbered, so how can it be wrong to “take” from them what you need?

        I can see how you get stuck so easily.

        • Finally, somebody “sees” it … oy vey.

          The 2%’s did NOT come by their wealth fairly.

          • IlliterateVagrant says:

            Er…I don’t think his example was supportive of your statement. He’s saying since the non-2%ers have more people and more might, they have a right to take other people’s money. Might equals right. (YOU) Taking candy from a baby (2%ers) because YOU are bigger and need it more than them…

            Not good…

            • Ivy,

              You seem to be semi-literate at least.LOL

              Charlie is in denial. Did the baby “earn” the candy? By his standards, the baby has no right to the candy, anyone who works has a moral right to take it.

              He knows his principle is flawed, but lets his emotions find an excuse to rationalize his behavior. The rich have more than the masses. The vagrants should demand 90% of what Bill Gates has, he’ll still be rich. And those vagrants who only work a couple days a month, enough to satisfy gov. paperwork requirements, they deserve an ever growing list of entitlements. Used to be food and shelter, now heat and A/C, TV and cellphones. Somehow, they walk around in $100 jeans and sneakers.

              Principals are simple things. Not easy, but simple.

              “The 2%’s did NOT come by their wealth fairly.”
              Your mob taking it is not “fair” either.
              Take that baby’s candy Charlie, or tell me he/she earned it.

  16. gmanfortruth says:

    “Some people tend to take things for granted. They assume that the
    present situation will continue unchanged, and since nothing bad has
    happened so far, they don’t have to worry about what might happen
    next, even though in actuality some danger may be growing in their
    midst. In fact, they even forget to think about possible threats and
    dangers. They stop paying attention to important telltale signs and
    become careless.

    “Overcoming that mindset is the first step in preventing accidents.
    Nichiren Daishonin writes: ‘A wise person, while dwelling in security,
    anticipates danger’ (WND-1, 621). Astute people will always be
    prepared for an emergency, even when the situation seems safe.”

    WND are the Writings of Nicherin Daishonin which were written in the
    1200’s. Still applies today.

  17. Just saw this when reading an article-Not sure what this means-they can publish my login name or my real name and location. They can edit what I say and then publish my name as saying it.

    “NPR reserves the right to read on the air and/or publish on its website or in any medium now known or unknown the e-mails and letters that we receive. We may edit them for clarity or brevity and identify authors by name and location. For additional information, please consult our Terms of Use. “

  18. So close no matter how far
    Couldn’t be much more from the heart
    Forever trusting who we are
    And nothing else matters

    Never opened myself this way
    Life is ours, we live it our way
    All these words I don’t just say
    And nothing else matters

    Trust I seek and I find in you
    Every day for us something new
    Open mind for a different view
    And nothing else matters

    Never cared for what they do
    Never cared for what they know, whoa
    But I know

    So close no matter how far
    Couldn’t be much more from the heart
    Forever trusting who we are
    And nothing else matters

    Never cared for what they do
    Never cared for what they know, whoa
    but I know

    I never opened myself this way
    Life is ours, we live it our way
    All these words I don’t just say
    And nothing else matters

    Trust I seek and I find in you
    Every day for us something new
    Open mind for a different view
    And nothing else matters

    Never cared for what they say
    Never cared for games they play
    I’d never cared for what they do
    I’d never cared for what they know
    And I know

    Yeah!

    So close no matter how far
    Couldn’t be much more from the heart
    Forever trusting who we are
    And nothing else matters

  19. Off topic, BF but I think very important.

    Critics of U.S. spending on the United Nations got a huge boost—and supporters of that spending, especially the Obama Administration, took a body blow—from an unlikely source this week: the British government, long one of the U.N.’s staunchest supporters.

    In a sweeping and hard-nosed reorganization of priorities for its $10.6 billion multilateral foreign aid program, the Conservative-Liberal Democrat coalition government of Prime Minister David Cameron has pulled the financial plug entirely on four U.N. agencies at the end of next year, put three others judged merely “adequate” on notice that they could face the same fate unless they improve their performance “as a matter of absolute urgency;” and issued pointed criticisms of almost all the rest.

  20. Judy Sabatini says:

    I thought I heard it all, but this really tops it. Watch this video.

    http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/21134540/vp/41889946#41889946

    • Judy Sabatini says:

      OMG & I thought I have heard everything, but
      this tops it now. Miscarriage is traumatizing enough as it is, I
      know, been there twice, one in the 4th, & one on the 5th, so how can
      this possibly be the mother’s fault? OMG God, Where in the H**L is
      there thinking coming from. Yeah, sure, don’t penalize a woman for an
      …abortion, but penalize her a miscarriage. Yeah, that’s rally smart
      thinking now, isn’t it.

    • Another kook! Goes to show they’re all the same. Where’s Esom.. this is his job.

    • Spin. He’s trying to pass an extreme anti-abortion law.

      http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/02/23/antiabortion-georgia-lawm_n_827340.html

      ‘Prenatal murder’ means the intentional removal of a fetus from a woman with an intention other than to produce a live birth or to remove a dead fetus; provided, however, that if a physician makes a medically justified effort to save the lives of both the mother and the fetus and the fetus does not survive, such action shall not be prenatal murder. Such term does not include a naturally occurring expulsion of a fetus known medically as a ‘spontaneous abortion’ and popularly as a ‘miscarriage’ so long as there is no human involvement whatsoever in the causation of such event.

      (c) The act of prenatal murder is contrary to the health and well-being of the citizens of this state and to the state itself and is illegal in this state in all instances.

      (d) Any person committing prenatal murder in this state shall be guilty of a felony and, upon conviction, shall be punished as provided in subsection (d) of Code Section 16-5-1.

  21. Silver..$35.50 & change !

  22. Lessons in Logic, thanks to Charlie Stella

    If people are slaves to wages:

    And since wages are simply the fruit of our labor, then:

    people are slaves to their own labor to secure their own life, and thus:

    people are slaves to air, water, and food.

    For these are equally required for survival as the effort needed to secure them.

  23. Mathius

    You asked for citations regarding my view of the phrase “general welfare”.

    Well lets start with a most recent case as an example of twisted meaning. The Westboro SCOTUS ruling. I chuckled here the other day when everyone was saying Right On regarding “freedom of speech”. I knew there was a different answer but had to wait until the Professor issued his explanation. So here it is. Why the SCOTUS got it wrong and has been getting it wrong for some time.

    http://constitution.i2i.org/2011/03/03/supreme-court%E2%80%99s-new-first-amendment-decision-unrelated-to-the-first-amendment/

    Matt, within the article is a reference to another document by Natelson that discussed the “original” meaning of the Constitution.

    • Hi JAC…how are you this evening? I do not think that this article changes anything. If I get the gist of it, it was pertaining to damages that were awarded and not whether or not there was a free speech issue. It appears to me that the courst ruled on the damages aspect saying that if free speech is allowed, then short of slander, there are no damages. I read the actual decision and that is what I gleaned from it. But, being that I am not a constitutional lawyer…..who knows if I interpreted the ruling correctly.

      • d13

        The court linked the two issues. There could be no damages because they had freedom of speech.

        Natelson is pointing out that Free Speech was not a legal issue in question. The jury found that their speech caused harm. That is a tort or common law issue.

        The tort case can not violate the free speech provision because neither Congress nor the State Legislature passed a law that was in dispute.

    • Hey JAC.. I never said ‘right on’ the other day. I like Natelson’s angle. Isn’t this where we can turn the tables on the ‘living document’ crowd? :)

      • anita

        When you have time follow all his links to his past articles.

        The one I gave here should lead you to others.

        Yes, he provides STRONG evidence against the “living document” theory.

        You will especially love his work on “commerce clause”. He actually went to England to research the language and writing practices in the period prior to and during the revolution/constitution. Commerce was pretty specific to that activity involving the purchase and resale of goods.

        Even retail would not have qualified then.

  24. Huffington Post Contributor Plans Strike, Seeks Payment
    » 12 comments
    by Alex Alvarez | 1:58 pm, March 3rd, 2011

    Huffington Post contributor Visual Arts Source has announced that it will cease to provide the site with content until HuffPost agrees to pay its writers – and it wants other HuffPost writers and contributors to join in.

    In a post on the company’s website, Visual Arts Source publisher and co-editor Bill Lasarow writes that he was well aware of the Huffington Post’s payment policy when his company agreed to provide the site with content. However, in light of Aol’s decision to buy the Huffington Post for $315 million, the company has done some reassessing, coming up with two specific demands:

    And just like the corporate titans of the American Right, it would come as no surprise if Ms Huffington, whom I am certain has a good heart and only the best intentions, were to assume the obvious position: Who needs these people anyway? They are not even employees.

    Nonetheless, we shall remain on strike until these two demands are met. First, a pay schedule must be proposed and steps initiated to implement it for all contributing writers and bloggers. Second, paid promotional material must no longer be posted alongside editorial content; a press release or exhibition catalogue essay is fundamentally different from editorial content and must be either segregated and indicated as such, or not published at all.

    One of the goals in organizing this strike, Lasarow explains, is to “professionalize” the relationship among the HuffPost and its contributors. Additionally, he writes, it is “unethical to expect trained and qualified professionals to contribute quality content for nothing.”

    We reached out to the Huffington Post for comment, and the site took the opportunity to clarify the misconception that it’s entire workforce is unpaid. In fact, the site has 143 editors, writers, and reporters on its edit team, and maintains that its other, “group blog” contributors – who, again, are aware of the site’s policy when agreeing to write for them – are compensated by the exposure they receive from having their writing and opinions featured on a high-traffic site.

    It’s a sentiment echoed by Judy Shapiro, who wrote a post for Ad Week on the non-monetary compensation she feels she’s received thanks to the Huffington Post:

    Exploitation means that one side has an unfair advantage over the other. That was never the case here. People submitted to be bloggers and got accepted (or not) on the merit of their work and their ability to build an audience. Not a single HuffPo blogger did it without understanding why she did it. In most cases and most times, this was an agreement made with everyone knowing exactly what each was getting in the bargain. For a great many writers, the bargain was tilted in their favor. Very talented but unknown people have become well-known thought-leaders and pundits as a result; to be a successful Huffington Post blogger can be a career-changing experience.

    I, for one, have nothing but gratitude to the HuffPo. It gave me a valuable platform to create a franchise called “Judy Consumer,” where I explore how the technology tsunami (yes, I use that word deliberately) is affecting regular people outside the marketing/tech world.

    Other contributors have been open about the other writing opportunities that have come their way as a result of their HuffPost blogging stints, like Greg Gutfeld, who credits his Huffing Post blogging gig as paving the way for Red Eye.

    And that, of course, is a point that keeps popping up in discussions about HuffPost’s payment policy: Its writers are very much aware that they won’t receive payment, and yet they choose to write for the site anyway. We’re more concerned, really, with Visual Arts Source’s reason for going on strike.

    So tell us: Is their assessment that HuffPost’s policy is “unethical” a fair one? Does the site owe its unpaid contributors anything other than a platform for their writing?

    http://www.mediaite.com/online/huffington-post-contributor-plans-strike-seeks-payment/

  25. WhiteSnow says:

    Good Lord!! Ultimately the responsibility of the crisis our government is now in is lies with the people. So, the article states the obvious…we got ourselves into this mess & now we need to get ourselves out of this mess. I agree.

    With that said, corporate political funding of our corrupt politicians stops us. We are now longer in a democracy where the people choose their leader….the corporations gives us 2 choices & we choose which of THEIR choices we want.

    Need to read a book just out about Americans finally taking a stand against tyranny. It’s worked before & I’m pleased to see revolution mentioned in the article cause no one wants a French style revolution, but it doesn’t have to be that way. It’s a must read as we watch Wisconsin public unions & socialist controlling our lives. I recommend it.
    http://www.booksbyoliver.com

    great article. Thanks causes you hit on many issues.

  26. Excellent post, BF!

    • Check out Kent’s new gravatar. It’s a cartoon Kent!

      • It’s not that new- I just hadn’t used it on WordPress before. People around here have actually recognized me strictly from that pic, so I guess it really does look like me. :)

  27. Off Topic-Sorry-but I simply had to post this!

    Busting the Birth-Control Myth

    by Kirsten Powers Info

    Planned Parenthood claims women get more abortions if they don’t have access to contraception—though research suggests otherwise. Kirsten Powers reports.

    During the recent debate over whether to cut off government funding to Planned Parenthood, the organization claimed that its contraceptive services prevent a half-million abortions a year. Without their services, the group’s officials insist, more women will get abortions.

    I’ll admit I bought the argument—it makes intuitive sense—and initially opposed cutting off funding for precisely that reason.

    Article – Powers Planned Parenthood Recent stats seem to imply that Planned Parenthood doesn’t lower the abortion rate. Credit: Jose Luis Magana / AP Photo Then I did a little research.

    Turns out, a 2009 study by the journal Contraception found, in a 10-year study of women in Spain, that as overall contraceptive use increased from around 49 percent to 80 percent, the elective abortion rate more than doubled. This doesn’t mean that access to contraception causes more abortion—though some believe that—but that it doesn’t necessarily reduce it.

    In the U.S., the story isn’t much different. A January 2011 fact sheet by the pro-abortion rights Guttmacher Institute listed all the reasons that women who have had an abortion give for their unexpected pregnancy, and not one of them is lack of access to contraception. In fact, 54 percent of women who had abortions had used a contraceptive method, if incorrectly, in the month they got pregnant. For the 46 percent who had not used contraception, 33 percent had perceived themselves to be at low risk for pregnancy; 32 percent had had concerns about contraceptive methods; 26 percent had had unexpected sex, and 1 percent had been forced to have sex. Not one fraction of 1 percent said they got pregnant because they lacked access to contraception. Some described having unexpected sex, but all that can be said about them is that they are irresponsible, not that they felt they lacked access to contraception.

    Lack of knowledge of contraception also isn’t a reason that American women get abortions. Guttmacher reported that only 8 percent of women who undergo abortions have never used a method of birth control.

    This deception smacks of a fleecing of taxpayers in an effort to promote an ideological agenda, rather than a sincere effort to help women plan families.

    But what is truly astonishing about the Guttmacher statistics is that they are completely unchanged from a decade ago.

    In the year 2000, Guttmacher experts reported: “Forty-six percent of women [seeking abortions] had not used a contraceptive method in the month they conceived, mainly because of perceived low risk of pregnancy and concerns about contraception. More than half of women obtaining abortions in 2000 (54 percent) had been using a contraceptive method during the month they became pregnant.”

    These are exactly the same as the 2011 numbers.

    Over this time period, the U.S. government has funneled billions of dollars to Planned Parenthood, in large part because the organization claims to provide services to avoid unplanned pregnancies – a laudable goal. Yet despite a robust budget—Planned Parenthood reported a total annual revenue of $1.1 billion in its last financial filing—the organization has done absolutely nothing to change the fundamental dynamics of the United States’ abortion rate.

    Asked about the “Contraception” study, the Guttmacher numbers and why no women were saying they got abortions due to lack of access to contraception, a Planned Parenthood spokesman emailed this Orwellian response: “I think the biggest barrier is access to affordable contraception.” Huh?

    I was pointed to a Planned Parenthood study that showed that one in three women voters reported having struggled with the cost of prescription birth control at some point.

    It’s unclear whether Planned Parenthood officials simply don’t understand statistics or are so accustomed to having their claims unquestioned that they think if they repeat them often enough, the facts will disappear. Obviously, you can complain of struggling with the cost of prescription birth control and also face an unwanted pregnancy for reasons that have nothing to do with lack of access to birth control. (By the way, Guttmacher was founded by Planned Parenthood; these are the numbers the group views as the most reliable.)

    The House recently approved a Republican proposal to block $363 million in federal aid for Planned Parenthood, a move wholly motivated by opposition to the abortion services that the organization provides–even though officials say they don’t use federal funds directly to perform abortions. The vote was mostly along party lines, with 10 Democrats voting for the measure to defund, and seven Republicans opposing it. It is unlikely to survive in the Democratic-controlled Senate.

    To preserve its federal subsidy, Planned Parenthood continues to claim that without its contraception services the abortion rate will go up. This deception smacks of a fleecing of taxpayers in an effort to promote an ideological agenda, rather than a sincere effort to help women plan families.

    What is that ideology, exactly? To find out, you have to dig through Planned Parenthood’s tax forms because the group certainly isn’t going to tell you. According to its most recent tax filing, the purpose of Planned Parenthood Federation of America is to provide leadership in “[a]chieving, through informed individual choice, a U.S. population of stable size in an optimum environment; in stimulating and sponsoring relevant biomedical, socio-economic, and demographic research.”

    So it is, in reality, a population-control organization. Funny, this was never mentioned in the gauzy $200,000 advertising campaign launched last week. It also doesn’t make it into the “About Us” section of the group’s website, which repeatedly claims its mission is to protect women’s health, when in fact the real mission is to keep the birth rate at whatever level the leaders believe it should be.

    To hear Planned Parenthood and their supporters, they exist only to provide Pap smears or breast exams or prenatal services. In fact, President Cecile Richards has gone so far as to erroneously imply that they provide mammograms. (A spokesperson for the group confirmed to me that this is untrue.)

    Planned Parenthood officials are allowed to believe whatever they want and to pursue whatever goals they choose. But their dishonesty in how they present their organization to the public, along with ignoring basic statistics about their area of expertise, makes you wonder what else they are hiding. It’s also hard to deny that they are at core a blindly ideological organization, not a run-of-the-mill charitable nonprofit.

    Whatever you think of abortion rights, this is not the kind of organization that taxpayers should be funding.

    http://www.thedailybeast.com/blogs-and-stories/2011-03-04/planned-parenthoods-birth-control-myth/full/

    • O’reilly agrees. He’s been on somewhat of a witch hunt against them for a while. He wants them defunded. I agree.

  28. Birdman says:

    Black Flag:

    Good article. I don’t get to SUFA that often but had to stop by and read your article. I do what I can to talk about freedom and liberty but the indoctrination of our society is hard to overcome.

    I thank you for opening my eyes to another way.

  29. As usual, I had a very hard time reading through BF’s seemingly inane rambling way of writing. If this is what MENSA does to you, then I am glad I am not a member ;-)

    However, on a more serious note, I have found that I do agree with BF if even it is only on the principle statement.

    I define that statement with the following words;

    We are all in the same boat, and unless we get our act together and and start rowing in the same direction, this boat will continue to falter and it just might even sink.

    Personal responsibility, integrity, honesty, and the like have been on the wane for many decades now. I have seen these basic human traits being replaced with selfishness and greed for quite some time now.

    I would love to live on a planet that its inhabitants all based their lives on freedom, liberty, honesty and integrity.

    Well, I can dream, can’t I?

    • I have seen these basic human traits being replaced with selfishness and greed for quite some time now.

      Welcome to the front, PapaDawg! Greed/Capitalism is NOT good. Victory!

      • So, Charlie . . . Just WHAT would you replace Capitalism with?

        FYI – Greed is a human condition, not a political condition.

        • Perhaps a more moderate form; more regulated so the inequities that exist are tailored off for the sake of fairness. Less huge gaps in profit between the owners and the workers, etc. Just more fairness in general; much higher taxes for the sake of the greater good, of course … we can’t forget that!

          • Problem is, taxation will ALWAYS destroy the upper middle class first, thereby insulating the very rich, the “2%” you hate so much from any sort of competition. They have no risk of anyone with means competing for the good investments, they no longer have to work hard to be skilled since no one can touch them. They can run right over people with impunity. It is the very attempt at equalizing things that removes and chance of equality.

  30. MATHIUS

    Re: your request about unemployment.

    Check out the following link.

    http://www.bls.gov/cps/cps_htgm.htm

    Then look around. You will find a report describing the various groups U1-U7 and how these were changed in the 1990’s.

    Note that the BLS household survey was put in place to track numbers relative to the FDR make work programs.

    One other note. The numbers are NOT CUMULATIVE from region to state to national. Because it is a “statistical survey” there are adjustments made for each geographic summary. So the State numbers may vary from the sum of the county/regions within a state and the national will vary from the sum of the states.

    Hope this helps. If you have questions just ask. I have a few sources that should be able to answer just about any you have on how these numbers are developed.

  31. Charlie Stella

    Lets assume for a moment that you get your dream and the “workers of the world unite”. They suddenly impose your “socialist” dream of “redistribution” upon the nations that have been ripping off the poor workers.

    Now I wonder how over 50% of the world who make less than our “poorest” citizens will view REDISTRIBUTION?

    In this new global socialist utopia I wonder who’ s income they will come after? Check out this graph Charlie and try as you might to assure yourself they won’t be coming after YOU.

    http://electriccityweblog.com/?p=12100

    • They are welcome … how cool is that?

      • gmanfortruth says:

        ‘Useful idiots’ was how mass murderer Stalin dubbed left-wing academics who enthusiastically endorsed Communism.

      • So you look at that chart and decide it is cool, in the name of fairness, to have a worldwide median of wealth that comes in at or below the poorest in this country.

        I look at the chart and see that, if Capitalism is as bad as you say, then why are our poorest at the 70% mark compared to the rest of the world? And that is in spite of our capitalist system getting screwed up and the wealth disappearing because of damage to the freedom of the country and its economy.

  32. gmanfortruth says:

    Why I’m divorced.

    Last week was my birthday and I didn’t feel very well waking up on
    that morning.

    I went downstairs for breakfast hoping my husband would be pleasant and say,
    ‘Happy Birthday!’, and possibly have a small present for me.

    As it turned out, he barely said good morning, let alone ‘ Happy Birthday.’

    I thought….Well, that’s marriage for you, but the kids….They will
    remember.

    My kids came bounding down stairs to breakfast and didn’t say a word..
    So when I left for the office, I felt pretty low and somewhat despondent.

    As I walked into my office, my handsome Boss Rick, said,
    ‘Good Morning, lady, and by the way Happy Birthday ! ‘
    It felt a little better that at least someone had remembered.

    I worked until one o’clock, when Rick knocked on my door
    and said, ‘You know, It’s such a beautiful day outside,
    and it is your Birthday, what do you say we go out to lunch,
    just you and me..’
    I said, ‘Thanks, Rick, that’s the greatest thing I’ve heard all day.
    Let’s go!’

    We went to lunch. But we didn’t go where we normally would go.
    He chose instead a quiet bistro with a private table.
    We had two martinis each and I enjoyed the meal tremendously.

    On the way back to the office,
    Rick said, ‘You know, It’s such a beautiful day…
    We don’t need to go straight back to the office, Do We?’

    I responded, ‘I guess not. What do you have in mind?’
    He said, ‘Let’s drop by my place, it’s just around the corner.’

    After arriving at his house, Rick turned to me and said,
    If you don’t mind, I’m going to step into the bedroom
    for just a moment. I’ll be right back.’
    ‘Ok.’ I nervously replied.

    He went into the bedroom and, after a couple of minutes,
    he came out carrying a huge birthday cake …
    Followed by my husband, my kids, and dozens of my friends
    and co-workers, all singing ‘Happy Birthday’.

    And I just sat there….

    On the couch….

    Naked.

  33. This is really funny! I was reading an article this morning about a woman making a citizens arrest of a flasher-and this was one of the comments. I almost fell out of my chair laughing.

    Dustyluv
    Posted on March 5, 2011 at 8:37am

    Way to go girl! I remember a friend of mine had a flasher in her convienience store who layed his junk on the counter. She banged it with a can of corn. He passed out and was arrested.

  34. Charlie,

    Seriously good sir, you need to lay off smoking the peyote!

    Socialism is flawed and a failed paradigm. 98% of the people running things = anarchy (and not the BF kind).

    You’re making my head hurt with this insistence that a proven failure will succeed.

    • Look at it this way, his extreme stance might help convince the moderate progressive mind set that socialism is dangerous, in away we can’t. He’s using the same arguments and coming to the conclusion that we should be a totally socialistic country. Something they keep saying can’t happen in this country. While socialistic programs are increasing consistently and this mind set is actually standing up and using words like socialism and communism out in the open. Because they know it is getting more and more acceptable each day.

      • gmanfortruth says:

        It sure isn’t acceptable to me! What’s happening to this country is like a hijacked jetliner. There are usually two end results, the hijackers are killed in a raid or the plane crashes killing everyone.

  35. FOUND HIM!

    Charlie, you sly dog. You’ve been hanging out in Madison this whole time. Watch this and pay particular attention at the :28 mark…….

    http://potluckbloggers.wordpress.com/2011/03/05/the-real-heart-of-the-matter-why-do-you-have-the-right-to-your-money/

    • I seem to recall my wife saying that. “What’s yours is mine, what’s mine is mine.” Oh wait, she was a member of the NEA once. Is that where it came from?

  36. Not on topic for BF’s posting but a follow-up to previous posting on sex demo at NU. Now that the teachers’ unions are having some light shed on them, more information is coming out about what exactly is going on in the public schools today. While I’ve long been leery about many things in our schools and have been a very active participant in my kids’ schooling, I must admit to being very naive of the sinister intentions and deep indoctrination attempts used by those in charge. I must say, kudos to those of you on here that figured this out a long time ago.

    “Schools need to teach about orgasms” says NEA to UN

    “Oral sex, masturbation, and orgasms need to be taught in education,” Diane Schneider told the audience at a panel on combating homophobia and transphobia. Schneider, representing the National Education Association (NEA), the largest teachers union in the US, advocated for more “inclusive” sex education in US schools, with curricula based on liberal hetero and homosexual expression. She claimed that the idea of sex education remains an oxymoron if it is abstinence-based, or if students are still able to opt-out.

    Note that last sentence…..”if students are still able to opt-out” Yeah, we wouldn’t want to keep the parents in the know and/or have control over their kids. Absolutely disgusting.

    http://www.c-fam.org/publications/id.1798/pub_detail.asp

    • and in case you’ve forgotten who the NEA is, here’s this clip to refresh your memory. Sometimes they actually speak the truth and that is when it gets really scary.

    • Judy Sabatini says:

      They don’t need to teach all that stuff in schools, let the parents handle it. Why are they so determined to cram this stuff down the kids throats? There are some kids way to young to even comprehend any of it. We didn’t have teachings like this when I was in school, heck, even the word sex was a taboo word, much less teach every aspect about it. Let the kids be kids, & enjoy their youth while they can, because they’ll know enough about it when they get older.

      • But Judy, as you’re aware that I wrote – it’s all about indoctrinating our youth for their usefulness later on to the “greater good” of liberal/progressive agenda.

        http://gmanfortruth.wordpress.com/2011/03/04/educating-for-a-greater-good/

        • Judy Sabatini says:

          Greater good for them maybe, but not for the kids. Kindergartners don’t need to know this stuff. I don’t think they care about that really. I volunteer here at the Boys & Girls club here in town a couple, maybe 3 times a week here, & my group of kids consist of kindergartners & 1st, graders, & believe me, that’s the last thing on their minds. They’re more concerned with going out to play, when’s dinner, reading in their story books, getting their homework done, & things like that. Not one of those kids from kinders, to the 6th grade ever mentions anything about sex, who’s gay, who isn’t, who likes who.

          Sure teach them everything there is to know, then it will be just a matter of time, before they go behind the school & experiment. We told our son’s all they needed to know when they asked us. They weren’t interested in girls when they were young, all they cared about was going out to play with their friends. They knew the consequences of having sex & what the possibilities could bring.

          • Believe me I’m with you (and Kathy) on this, kids need to be kids. The continual desires to teach our children subjects that are the exclusive rights of parents to determine is not the program parents send their children to schools for.

            The educational value of schools is sadly lacking. As I read in Wisconsin for instance the reading skills of kids have not significantly changed for the better between 1998 and 2009.

            http://plainlyspoken.wordpress.com/2011/02/22/more-wisconsin/

            Yet, we are told of the how heroic these teachers our in taking on the education of our children. Riiight!

            Our child is home schooled for many reasons (and the topic of Kathy’s post is an excellent example why we do). We control our child’s education and we decide what she should be learning beyond the primary educational subjects.

            • Judy Sabatini says:

              I’m just so glad & grateful I don’t have to go through this now, & my son’s are grown men & on their own. If they had done this while they were in school we would have pulled them out, & home schooled them then.

    • Thursday, March 03, 2011
      Nudity, Child Rape, Suicide Shown to 9yr olds at Suburban Chicago Winnetka Grade School. ‘Appropriately’, no one Fired

      However, we can assure the public that the staff members involved in this incident were treated fairly and appropriately. No employees were or will be fired as a result of this incident.

      Do you know who’s teaching your child? And what they’re “teaching”? Who decides when a child is old enough for nudity, rape and suicide – parents or teachers?

      Maybe it’s all the rumblings about union salaries, pensions and power in the news, but there is a broader question raised by a recent incident at Greeley School in Winnetka. That’s where a couple of substitute teachers showed parts of an HBO movie called The Middle Passage to fourth graders a few weeks ago. Some parents were upset that their 9-year-olds were viewing a movie that included nudity, child rape and suicide aboard a slave ship.

      Of course parents who questioned this were accused of being vile bigots…

      The issue came to light after Patrick Livney and three other parents of Greeley School fourth graders complained about the film.

      Livney said it’s had scarring effects on his daughter and other students at Greeley.

      “Now we’ve got a situation where there’s demonstrable damage done to 9-year-olds’ brains. We have fourth graders talking about depressing classrooms, depression. Boys going around talking about ‘rape dogs.’ Are you kidding me?” Livney said. “After five great years at Greeley, (my daughter) doesn’t want to go to school.”

      He said some boys now don’t want to go into the water “because this movie shows sharks devouring slaves who were purposely thrown overboard.”[snip]

      From a harshly sarcastic email by Jen McQuet, a Winnetka parent, published in TribLocal:

      About 20 million Africans were taken from homes and families and sold into slavery to work plantations in North and South America. More than half died. But the real tragedy, really and seriously, is that a privileged little girl from Winnetka had to see some scary pictures of it. That’s serious, long-lasting damage.

      …For wanting to protect their children from vile imagery. (You know, something a bit like this but much, much worse.) More at leftie Huffpo, which overwhelmingly voted it was OK to show this to grade school kids.

      Who is politicizing education? For the children. Who is treating children as pawns for their agenda? Is this a “safe learning environment”? Causing some children to cry until midnight and have recurring nightmares and fears?

      What next, Winnetka, a Laurie Dann reenactment? For educational purposes, of course.

      What’s worse, a teacher having child porn on a computer (whose dad, a teacher, was the union shop steward) or visual abuse in the classroom.

      Teachers have been fired for one, what about the other?

      I talked to a parent who told me this movie had apparently been shown the previous year as well, but nothing was said, nothing was done. Are parents now so cowed by political correctness and the teachers union–who might ostracize a child and harm their future prospects–that they won’t speak up even at such brutal, horrific images being shown to children in the classroom?

      The Winnetka school board podcast (parents start about 2 min. in) of the subsequent meeting Tuesday:

      The movie, “Middle Passage,” which tells of the brutal voyage of a slave trading ship from Africa, was shown by two different substitute teachers in two different classrooms. But the video is not an approved part of the curriculum; nor, apparently, was it prescreened by the Greeley principal or at least one of the regular teachers who advised a substitute to show it to her class while she was working elsewhere in the district that day.

      Emphasis mine. What was this other teacher doing? (And, as any public school parent knows, substitute teachers are rampant–especially covering for that Friday-Monday flu.)

      The new policy is ultimately toothless.

      Where are the consequences for this stunning lack of judgment? These children have been robbed of their childhood.

      The letter from the school administration. Here’s the capper:

      However, we can assure the public that the staff members involved in this incident were treated fairly and appropriately. No employees were or will be fired as a result of this incident.

      What? Oh, we should have sympathy for the teacher. There are good teachers and bad. There are excellent teachers and horrific ones–but the teachers union does not distinguish between the two, and actively protects and rewards the horrific under their collective bargaining agreements and contracts.

      You know, these children are in their formative years. If they lose learning time in school or are deliberately traumatized it can affect their future learning dramatically.

      What it takes to get rid of a bad teacher, Chicago Tribune, via Reason. 27 steps. More from the school board meeting:

      “It wasn’t shown, but it was heard,” Livaditis said. “Now I have to explain rape to my child.”

      At Tuesday night’s meeting, she asked the superintendent to read the warning on the video sleeve. The video has no rating but, in small print, it states the movie has “adult content, nudity and violence.”

      Are nine year olds adults?

      There are adults who face consequences for their behavior, and then there are teachers.

      As we know, there are two classes of people.

      The next school board meeting is March 22:

      The School Board will begin to address the policy implications of this incident at its next regular meeting.

      Oh, and par for the course, with absolutely no sense of irony, the district seeks to instruct parents that they are letting their child watch too much TV at home: TV Tune Out Week March 6-12

      You think you don’t have control over your child’s education now…

      With the teachers union the inmates run the asylum. Your child is not your own.

      P.S.
      @Suntimes Suntimes
      Aurora parents say a teacher sprayed their 7th-grader in the eyes with blackboard cleaning solution http://suntm.es/i0iR4A

      Teachers’ Unions 101: “A” is for “agitation” Michelle Malkin:

      If public school teachers spent more time teaching in classrooms and less time community-organizing in political war rooms, maybe taxpayers wouldn’t feel as ripped off as they do. Before the Big Labor bosses start complaining about “teacher-bashing,” let’s be clear: An increasing number of rank-and-file teachers feel exactly the same way.

      More. Via the Instapundit. REPORT: Lawyer for Ohio police threatens state legislator who voted against unions. Another reason why the police shouldn’t be allowed to unionize. These kind of threats are wielded against teachers from their unions as well. Not to mention the implied threat to children and their parents.

      P.P.S. Golly gee, what’s going on nearby at Northwestern?

      mypointis at 11:21 AM March 3, 2011

      Senator Dick Durbin was there Sunday at a press conterence saying what wonderful things Northwestern is doing and they need to continue giving them large sums of money from the Obama Stimulus Package

      More at Althouse “More than 100 Northwestern University students watched as a naked 25-year-old woman was penetrated…”

      http://backyardconservative.blogspot.com/2011/03/nudity-child-rape-suicide-shown-to-9yr.html

      • Wait…we got corrected the other day when we said our tax dollars were going to support this kind of stuff. Someone said it was a Private University…..

        Durbin: …….and they need to continue giving them large sums of money from the Obama Stimulus Package.

        • Interesting. So even the so-called private schools have their greedy fingers in our pocketbooks.

  37. Judy Sabatini says:

    As far as I know, when my son’s were in grade school, even middle school, they were never shown any movies like that. If they had shown anything like that, & I found out about it, you better believe I would have raised some hell about it. Those teachers, any teacher for that matter who shows movies like that should be fired on the spot, no if’s ands, or buts about it, they would have been gone if I was in charge of that school.

    • Take note as Kathy pointed out-that students shouldn’t be allowed to opt-out, is the goal and in mine-no one approved the video but no one is going to be punished for showing the video. So there isn’t any reason not to show another one.

      • Judy Sabatini says:

        I think that’s total BS too, not being allowed to opt out. If this is the kind of stuff they’re teaching in schools now instead of the basic lessons, then there’s something majorially wrong with the education system.

  38. gmanfortruth says:
  39. A well done video:

    • It is clear and logical-gives hope :) and shows that we have many better ways today to fight the power of money than using the power of government.

  40. Lots of information coming forth on what exactly has been obtained through public union “collective bargaining”. Here’s an example:

    Green Bay Emeritus program for retired teachers. Upon retirement a teacher applies to become part of this program. They commit to teaching 10 days in each of the next three years and for that they will receive one year of pay (or 1/3 each year). So let’s do the math –

    Pay at retirement = $60,000 (approx – often higher) (1/3 is $20,000)

    10 days of teaching = $2,000/day

    This is in addition to pension and retiree health benefits. WTH? Unsustainable? I think so. Not surprising 140 teachers and several administrators have applied to this program just in the last 2 weeks since Walker introduced budget repair bill. I wonder what the payback was for the school board or whoever that initially “bargained” for this scam????

    http://badgerblogger.com/?p=19380

    • Let’s see-just the new members of 140 would add 140 x 20,000=$2,800,000 a year to the budget. I wonder what the total number of teachers currently receiving this benefit are. And I have to wonder what it cost to pay a substitute teacher not to mention the number of jobs the young and working don’t get because they have this supply of Expensive “retired” teachers working instead.

  41. Come on, tell the truth, you’re just jealous.

  42. Can those who so strongly support the unions tell me if unions overreach and become detrimental (with specific examples of what the overreaching would be)?

    Or is it that the unions can do no wrong in your thinking?

    • Plainlyspoken,
      Yes, unions can over-reach. The air-traffic controllers are a good example, and they paid a sever price for that.

      I’ll ask you the same question – can companies/management over-reach? Examples? Or can companies/management do no wrong?

      • Todd,

        Absolutely they can! If not would unions have ever been needed? No says I. There are more examples than we need articulate to show that point (you and Jon have touched upon them in general).

        But what seems to be getting lost in all this is that things are being pushed to the extreme arguments and I find that problematic.

        Maybe if we were dealing with private employer unions the support for actions by the employer would be much smaller. But we are discussing public employee unions and they have a recourse to action – the political process – as well as collective bargaining. Public employee unions are not as likely to be, for lack of a better word, exploited by their employers. I would say that unions are more important to private enterprise workers than public employees (just my opinion of course) because of this.

        One of the other suspicions I have is that the unions are more concerned with the public employees because that is where their strength lies overall as unions have no real depth of membership in the private sector.

  43. Townhall: Michele Bachmann: Rescinding the $105 Billion Appropriated to ObamaCare
    Posted on March 04th, 2011 in News

    The next battle we face is defunding ObamaCare. Recently I read startling information about the funding of ObamaCare presented by former Representative Ernest Istook of Oklahoma (now a Distinguished Fellow at the Heritage Foundation).

    Representative Istook wrote, “Rather than respecting the right of future Congresses to decide on funding, ObamaCare’s sponsors included several years’ worth of current and future appropriations for the health care makeover – money that mostly has not yet been spent.”

    Wait a minute. Does that mean the vote we just took in Congress on H.R. 1 to defund ObamaCare, doesn’t actually starve the health care beast of its funding?

    That is exactly what Istook is saying.

    You see, it turns out Pelosi was right when she said, “We have to pass the bill so that you can find out what is in it.” Because now, months after passage, we are discovering an astonishing $105,464,000,000 has already been appropriated to the Health and Human Services Secretary for ObamaCare through FY2019.

    When ObamaCare was passed, Democrats knew they would lose the gavel. But this funding ensures they will not lose their prized government takeover of health care because it’s already well-funded.

    The Congressional Research Service outlined the billions appropriated to ObamaCare in their report, “Appropriations and Fund transfers in the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA).” Some of what’s included:
    Section 1311(a) of ObamaCare provides an unlimited appropriation to the Health and Human Services Secretary to award grants to states for Exchanges.Section 4002 essentially creates a $16 billion slush fund for the HHS Secretary to spend and $2 billion is appropriated to the Secretary per year in perpetuity after 2015.Section 4101(a) allows $230 million in appropriation for school-based health centers.Section 5508 appropriates $230 million for expanded primary care residency programs.Section 2953 allocates $320 to Title XX-type education programs.
    In the next two weeks, both parties in the House and Senate will engage in a showdown over funding of the federal government through the remainder of the fiscal year. We must win the battle on rescinding funds to ObamaCare. But if we do not fight, we cannot win. We must fight. Taxpayers are counting on us.

    http://katypundit.com/news/townhall-michele-bachmann-rescinding-the-105-billion-appropriated-to-obamacare/

    Is this unusual? and why are we just hearing about it?
    I was under the impression that a bill was the outline but Congress decided when and how to fund it after it was passed.

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