FREEDOMSITE.US

Editorials: 

 

 THE SLOW CIVIL WAR


What is REALLY happening before our eyes!


by F. Eric Saunders

 

For over 100 years, there has been a dedicated contingent that has worked (some consciously and some only by being caught up in the superficial attractiveness of liberal politics) toward the goal of worldwide socialism, according to the tenets and tactics outlined by the Fabian Society in 1884. For example, Tony Blair and several recent Australian Prime Ministers have been avowed members and advocates of the Fabian Society, and proud of it.  FDR, Ted Kennedy, and such folks have, in their heart of hearts, believed that the only thing that has stood in the way of their collective vision of a socialist utopia is the success of a capitalist USA and they, therefore, have wittingly made themselves enemies of the USA that I believe in (as will be explained, below). Only our proud tradition of freedom, that would not (yet) allow an avowed socialist leader, has kept these folks from joining Blair and all as self described Fabians.  I believe that we are at war with such people. I believe that those who fail to recognize this, who merely go about their daily existence as though this is not a war, are “neutrals”, and that they just don't get it. And I believe that, as in any all out war, there is no place for neutrals. Aside from the immorality of idly permitting an evil to prevail, such people are just too easily used as tools of the enemy. (I would cite John McCain, George Bush, and people of such ilk, as examples here.)

 

Some Washington Tea Party participants who really understand!And we stand in serious jeopardy of losing this war of wars. Most of the advantages are on the side of the enemy. There is a misconception that “compromise” is a holy virtue, and that an unwillingness to move in baby steps toward socialist goals evidences an unwillingness to “play fair” with the enemy. (Those who meet the other side half way, and then half again, and half again, might just as well concede defeat at the outset.) There is a general misconception that being “the party of NO” is a bad thing, as though an unwillingness to change what should not be changed is an illegitimate position. There are some (although, thankfully, still a minority) who believe that “comprehensive” change is preferable to gradually changing what needs to be changed and leaving the rest the hell alone, despite the illogic of treading on the wisdom and experience of the past. (Although I admit that this is illogical only from the perspective of one actually desirous of achieving the stated goals. If the real goal is simply a move toward socialism, then comprehensive change is the apotheosis.) And these are just a few of the obstacles we must face.

 

In this war, our only advantage is truth and logic. I believe that people, in general, if not deceived, will exercise logic and reason. I realize that this is, at best, a marginally correct observation, particularly given the natural smallness of people in acknowledging that they may previously have been mistaken. But I must believe it, otherwise there is no hope and I will not recognize that as fact. Given this uneven playing field, I firmly, sincerely, and without apology, assert that we MUST recognize our own, and we MUST acknowledge those who are on our side, and particularly those who are successful, in getting the truth to the people. We must recognize that the enemy of our enemy is our friend – meaning that petty differences such as our stances on (in no particular order) general civil rights, particular “rights” such as the “right to die” and “freedom of choice”, views on religion, education, “man made global warming”, and such, must take a back seat to this one major issue. That is not to say that these other issues are not important. Indeed, they are the sine quo non of an advancing and worthy society. They are the very things that make this fight worthwhile, for in the end, it is the ability to debate and improve these things that we are fighting for. But the reason they must be secondary is that ONLY in a society with sufficient freedom to debate AND sufficient prosperity to act upon the conclusion of such debate can such ideals be realized. The main point that our liberal “friends” seem blind to is that equality is meaningless if it means that all are equally miserable.


But not only must we advance our truth and logic, we must also equally publicize the schemes of our enemies. That is why the Fox News strategy of giving Liberals equal time is so important, and should be supported. Only if “we the people” know what they are up to can we hope to stave it off.

 

The health care debate presents a perfect example here.  Like the myriad ridiculously impossible promises that suckered the easily duped into voting for Obama, the Obama Health Care Plan will not withstand even the slightest scrutiny. For example, Obama has repeatedly and consistently reviled the “Insurance Companies” as profiteers. But, using the figure of 2.3 trillion annually for health care (the figure proposed by the Democrats), a look at the annual reports of ALL the health care insurance providers operating in the US shows that taking 100% of those profits from such companies would pay for about 2 days of health care. Obviously, Obama is intentionally misstating the problem. Another example is that, during the recent “Health Care Summit”, Obama repeated like a broken record that the savings would come from “pooling” - “pooling . . . like they do in the Senate for health care” - “pooling . . . like they do at Wall-Mart to get a better price.” But this overlooks the fact that insurance carriers are not the providers of the services. They can't cut prices unless their costs go down, and there is nothing inherent in this “pooling” that addresses that core issue. Obviously, again, Obama was not being truthful. And I respect his intelligence enough to be very confident that he knew he was not being truthful. He was lying. As usual.

 

This - a wolf in sheeps clothing - is the emblem of the Fabian Society!!!What then is the REAL goal of the Obama Health Care Plan? It should be apparent that Obama wants to get a large “comprehensive” plan enacted – one that creates lots of entitlements. That it may prove to be both unworkable and unconstitutional is not only “not a problem” to him and his cronies, THAT IS THE INTENTION. When this new system inevitably becomes overly burdensome THEN they will propose (and maybe then rightly so) that the only way out will be a full blown, income tax funded, National Health Care System (in progressive speak, a "Public Option"). If we could go back and take away the entitlements, then that would be a way out. But we all know how that works, don't we?


This plan is right out of the 120 year old Fabian papers. This tactic is referred to as “crisis creation” and it goes like this; first do anything possible to screw up the capitalist system and then, when there is discord and panic among the citizenry, propose a step toward socialism as the cure. It doesn't matter that socialist intervention was the root of the problem. The public is too stupid to figure that out. Look how well it worked in the current economic crisis. The Democrats, over the heated objection of Republicans, forced Fannie and Freddie to give loans to those who cannot afford them. The end result: The “Bail Out Bill” - the biggest single step toward socialism, that didn't involve an armed revolt, in history. This plan never fails.
  As Obama's mad dog White House Chief of Staff, Rahm Emanuel recently said, "We never let a good crisis go to waste."


Just some of the evidence that Obamacare is a sick joke.Note that the famous Cloward-Piven strategy for “Controlled Crisis Creation for Crippling Capitalism,” that was all the rage in academic circles back in the 60's, is really just a subset of this overall Fabian concept of “Crisis Creation” strategy that has been around much longer. That strategy has sometimes been restated as, “Building Socialism on the ashes of Capitalism.”


If we watch for these things, if we recognize and understand them when we see them, then we have a fighting chance.











 
BUT DON'T JUST TAKE MY WORD FOR IT!!!!!   Here is an article by Wayne Allyn Root, Barack Obama's classmate at Columbia. (Submitted by Teresa Borchard.)

 

VERIFIED THROUGH  http://www.snopes.com/politics/soapbox/overwhelm.asp

 

Overwhelm The System 

by Wayne Allyn Root

Barack Obama is no fool.  He is not incompetent.  To the contrary, he is brilliant.  He knows exactly what he's doing. He is purposely overwhelming the U.S. economy to create systemic failure, economic crisis and social chaos -- thereby destroying capitalism and our country from within.

 Barack Obama was my college classmate (Columbia University, class of '83). As Glenn Beck correctly predicted from day one, Obama is following the plan of Cloward & Piven, two professors at Columbia University. They outlined a plan to socialize America by overwhelming the system with government spending and entitlement demands. Add up the clues below. Taken individually they're alarming. Taken as a whole, it is a brilliant Machiavellian game plan to turn the United States into a socialist/Marxist state with a permanent majority that desperately needs government for survival ... and can be counted on to always vote for bigger government. Why not? They have no responsibility to pay for it.

 -- Universal health care. The health care bill had very little to do with health care. It had everything to do with unionizing millions of hospital and health care workers, as well as adding 15,000 to 20,000 new IRS agents (who will join government employee unions). Obama doesn't care that giving free health care to 30 million Americans will add trillions to the national debt. What he does care about is that it cements the dependence of those 30 million voters to Democrats and big government. Who but a socialist revolutionary would pass this reckless spending bill in the middle of a depression?

 -- Cap and trade. Like health care legislation having nothing to do with health care, cap and trade has nothing to do with global warming. It has everything to do with redistribution of income, government control of the economy and a criminal payoff to Obama's biggest contributors. Those powerful and wealthy unions and contributors (like GE, which owns NBC, MSNBC and CNBC) can then be counted on to support everything Obama wants. They will kick-back hundreds of millions of dollars in contributions to Obama and the Democratic Party to keep them in power. The bonus is that all the new taxes on Americans with bigger cars, bigger homes and businesses helps Obama "spread the wealth around."

 -- Make  Puerto Rico  a state. Why? Who's asking for a 51st state? Who's asking for millions of new welfare recipients and government entitlement addicts in the middle of a depression? Certainly not American taxpayers. But this has been Obama's plan all along. His goal is to add two new Democrat senators, five Democrat congressman and a million loyal Democratic voters who are dependent on big government.

 -- Legalize 12 million illegal immigrants. Just giving these 12 million potential new citizens free health care alone could overwhelm the system and bankrupt America. But it adds 12 million reliable new Democrat voters who can be counted on to support big government. Add another few trillion dollars in welfare, aid to dependent children, food stamps, free medical, education, tax credits for the poor, and eventually Social Security.

 -- Stimulus and bailouts. Where did all that money go? It went to Democrat contributors, organizations (ACORN), and unions -- including billions of dollars to save or create jobs of government employees across the country. It went to save GM and Chrysler so that their employees could keep paying union dues. It went to AIG so that Goldman Sachs could be bailed out (after giving Obama almost $1 million in contributions). A staggering $125 billion went to teachers (thereby protecting their union dues). All those public employees will vote loyally Democrat to protect their bloated salaries and pensions that are bankrupting America. The country goes broke, future generations face a bleak future, but Obama, the Democrat Party, government, and the unions grow more powerful. The ends justify the means.

 -- Raise taxes on small business owners, high-income earners, and job creators. Put the entire burden on only the top 20 percent of taxpayers, redistribute the income, punish success, and reward those who did nothing to deserve it (except vote for Obama). Reagan wanted to dramatically cut taxes in order to starve the government. Obama wants to dramatically raise taxes to starve his political opposition.

 With the acts outlined above, Obama and his regime have created a vast and rapidly expanding constituency of voters dependent on big government; a vast privileged class of public employees who work for big government; and a government dedicated to destroying capitalism and installing themselves as socialist rulers by overwhelming the system.

 Add it up and you've got the perfect Marxist scheme -- all devised by my Columbia University college classmate Barack Obama using the Cloward and Piven Plan. 
 

VERIFIED THROUGH      http://www.snopes.com/politics/soapbox/overwhelm.asp

But don't just take HIS word for it, either. Here are just a few examples of the opinions of other commentators on this subject to be found on the web:

 A Fabian Socialists dream come true http://www.nolanchart.com/article4425.html

 

The Fabian Socialist Window (literally) http://www.awakeandarise.org/article/FabianWindow.htm

 

Fabian Socialist = Criminal http://www.nolanchart.com/article5211.html

 

Fabian Socialism: the Bane of Freedom http://asset1.helium.com/items/816224-fabian-socialism-the-bane-of-freedom

 

Barack Obama: Fabian Socialist http://www.forbes.com/2008/11/03/obama-fabian-socialist-oped-cx_jb_1103bowyer.html


Freedom v. Socialists:  Mostly, some very good flash videos of President Reagan speaking out against socialism.  The recording of his speech about the evils of socialized medicine is particularly on point.
http://freedomvsocialists.blogspot.com/


Socialism v. Capitalism:  Does a great job of debunking the myth that socialism is the "morally superior" system: 

http://www.ashbrook.org/publicat/onprin/v1n3/thompson.html


Obamacare: Socialism by any other name ….
http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/2456964/posts
 



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 HOPE AND CHANGE

By F Eric Saunders

December 28, 2010

This will be a short article.  I only want to make one point, and it is so obvious a point that I have been thinking it was unnecessary to discuss.  But today I heard that President Obama is planning on running for reelection on a stance that would have him still being the “candidate of change”.  Well, boys and girls, if you haven’t yet realized that his so-called “change” was a scam from the beginning, then it looks like we need to talk.  As is argued throughout this web page, we are on a slow (or, maybe now, not so slow) slide into socialism.  Government spending equals government control.  And government debt certainly goes hand-in-hand with government spending.  We got into this mess because of debt – personal debt, corporate debt, but most importantly, government debt.  So how are we getting out of it?  During the first two years of the Obama administration, the Democrat congress, with the President’s approval, has piled more debt on us than we had previously accumulated during the entire more than two hundred year history of this county.

To any thinking person, it has always been obvious that Obama never wanted change.  The corruption in government, the “earmarks” and all the other ridiculous spending by congress, the “passing the buck” to non-elected officials, the return of any savings to Congress for re-distribution, and on and on – these are the vehicles of our move toward socialism.  The very last thing Obama wanted was to change any of that.  And he didn’t even pretend that he did want real change.  He admitted that he did not – while McCain campaigned on a legitimate platform of change.  While I was not a strong McCain supporter, I certainly recognized, and appreciated that he wanted to change all of those things about government that are so threatening the America we love.  Obama had a nice slogan – for airheads who didn’t take even a moment to examine what he really meant by “change”.  (He even admitted once that he wanted to “fundamentally change America”.  Not change GOVERNMENT, as is needed.  Change AMERICA!)  If that is the kind of change you want folks, then you don’t have to wait for it.  Move to North Korea.  They already have the sort of wonderful socialist Utopia we are heading toward.

                            


 

Let's Look at the Record of "Change":

Back

 

Two years ago, Barack Obama was inaugurated as president of the United States.  Are you better off today than you were two years ago?  

Numbers don't lie! 

 

January 2009

TODAY

% chg

Source

Avg. retail price/gallon gas in U.S.

$1.83

$3.104

69.6%

1

Crude oil, European Brent (barrel)

$43.48

$99.02

127.7%

2

Crude oil, West TX Inter. (barrel)

$38.74

$91.38

135.9%

2

Gold: London (per troy oz.)

$853.25

$1,369.50

60.5%

2

Corn, No.2 yellow, Central IL

$3.56

$6.33

78.1%

2

Soybeans, No. 1 yellow, IL

$9.66

$13.75

42.3%

2

Sugar, cane, raw, world, lb. fob

$13.37

$35.39

164.7%

2

Unemployment rate, non-farm, overall

7.6%

9.4%

23.7%

3

Unemployment rate, blacks

12.6%

15.8%

25.4%

3

Number of unemployed

11,616,000

14,485,000

24.7%

3

Number of fed. employees, ex. military (curr = 12/10 prelim)

2,779,000

2,840,000

2.2%

3

Real median household income (2008 v 2009)

$50,112

$49,777

-0.7%

4

Number of food stamp recipients (curr = 10/10)

31,983,716

43,200,878

35.1%

5

Number of unemployment benefit recipients (curr = 12/10)

7,526,598

9,193,838

22.2%

6

Number of long-term unemployed

2,600,000

6,400,000

146.2%

3

Poverty rate, individuals (2008 v 2009)

13.2%

14.3%

8.3%

4

People in poverty in U.S. (2008 v 2009)

39,800,000

43,600,000

9.5%

4

U.S. rank in Economic Freedom World Rankings

5

9

n/a

10

Present Situation Index (curr = 12/10)

29.9

23.5

-21.4%

11

Failed banks (curr = 2010 + 2011 to date)

140

164

17.1%

12

U.S. dollar versus Japanese yen exchange rate

89.76

82.03

-8.6%

2

U.S. money supply, M1, in billions (curr = 12/10 prelim)

1,575.1

1,865.7

18.4%

13

U.S. money supply, M2, in billions (curr = 12/10 prelim)

8,310.9

8,852.3

6.5%

13

National debt, in trillions

$10.627

$14.052

32.2%

14

Sources:

(1) U.S. Energy Information Administration; (2) Wall Street Journal; (3) Bureau of Labor Statistics; (4) Census Bureau; (5) USDA; (6) U.S. Dept. of Labor; (7) FHFA; (8) Standard & Poor's/Case-Shiller; (9) RealtyTrac; (10) Heritage Foundation and WSJ; (11) The Conference Board; (12) FDIC; (13) Federal Reserve; (14) U.S. Treasury

 

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 I Don't Vote For the Party, I Vote for the “Man” 

by F Eric Saunders

 

I have mentioned briefly here before that my main muse for Freedomsite.US articles comes when my friends disagree with me. That is because agreement seldom gives one pause to think. One expects that idiots and morons will disagree with you and is surprised only when they agree. But when someone whose opinion and thought processes you respect says something you disagree with, it is time to examine the subject in more detail. That happy coincidence occurred again yesterday.

 

In the lead article on this web page, I argued at length that we have to set aside petty differences in our fight against the economic AND personal oppressions that are attendant to a slide toward socialism. I will not repeat that whole argument here, only just that those other important issues can be properly addressed in a society that has both the freedom to argue about them and also the resources to implement the solutions.

 

But I stopped a step short of finishing that thought. I should also have mentioned that voters need to understand that many of the detractions, upon which we might otherwise base our voting decisions, are equally harmful to the long term well being of our society. I have heard people say things like, “I don't vote for the party, I vote for the man or woman” or, “I vote for the person of the highest character. What is important is to put people in office that have moral and ethical substance.” Well, I understand the sentiment, and I can't disagree with a part of that thought process. Certainly, I don't want people in office who are going to deliberately steal from the populace (see, for example, our Cap and Trade Criminal Conspiracy article, or the addendum to that article about Hillary Clinton's 'clean stoves for the Africans' deal), or who betray their high office by diddling around with interns in the Oval Office. But I do have two problems with that approach to voting.

 

An Obama supporter with a very bad reason to not vote for someone.First is the difficulty of accuracy. I will use the same example cited to me yesterday. My friend said that he was unwilling to vote for Meg Whitman for governor of California because she is, to his mind, being hypocritical about family values while her own son has had several traffic tickets and was even accused of rape. While the accusation that he was so accused is, I believe, factually correct, that this makes Meg Whitman a hypocrite is less clear to me. The logical connection is far too complex to fully explore in this short article, but suffice it to say that I don't find her concern about family values and her son's having gone astray to be inconsistent. Obviously, how one feels about those things can be colored by what one thinks about other aspects of the candidate. The same goes for the overwhelming onslaught of negative advertisements we are seeing these days. I'm sure you, as readers of Freedomsite.US, are aware that some of those negative ads are outright lies. Others, on the other hand, contain some truth but only serve to divert potential voters from the more important issues. In short, while it may not be a complete fantasy to believe that we can judge the character of candidates through the flood of information and misinformation, there is certainly sufficient doubt to make us wonder if there might not be another, even a better way to make our decisions.

 

An even worse reason TO vote for someone.Fortunately, there is a better way, which brings me to my second point: It is usually pretty easy to determine, between two candidates, which is the one who favors big government and which is concerned with limiting the grasp of government over our lives. Taxing, spending, increasing the power of government – those all mean EXACTLY the same thing. The government can't spend without taxing, and if it taxes it WILL spend. And when it spends it will do so in a way that increases government intrusion in every aspect of our lives – to the extent that even our business decisions are taken away from us and, in the long run, our economy and our great nation will be destroyed. So why would you vote based on any consideration other than this? If you want to help poor people, then you had BETTER vote for the candidate who will aid in our prosperity. Otherwise, we will all be poor and there will be no one left to pay the taxes to provide such help. Surely, you understand that by now? If you live in California, you are part of the example.

 

Using, again, the same example as above, I really kind of like some things about Jerry Brown. But he is a tax and spend disciple. There are some things I don't like about Meg Whitman, but she understands that we HAVE to get government out of the way of business – that we HAVE to reduce taxes enough to stop the exodus of business and even moderately wealthy people from our state, and even to attract some of them back. The record is clear on both. How could you possibly decide your vote on any other basis than this?

 

And, of course, the above is just an example, that I hope will serve long after the election just two days away as I write this. What I am asking you to consider is this: Many people seem to approach political issues and elections as though this were some sort of fine tuning – that the choice of candidates is almost a distinction without a difference. But, that is not the case, people. We have among us candidates whose policies are destroying us, either out of some evil intent on their part or, much more likely, out of their inability to think the problems all the way through. (We need to help poor people, so we need to tax the rich people and give the money to the poor people. Ya, that should work! Thought processes ending now!) Now, I KNOW that no one reading this thinks like that. Yet some of you end up voting for people who do, because you are choosing candidates for the wrong reasons. Most of the choices you face on election day are not fine tuning. If you consider the one truly important issue, most of the candidate pairs are polar opposites. Even if that is not obvious surely, at least, one candidate will give SOME indications of being more pro-business than the other. And it is your duty as an American to vote for that candidate who will uphold the principles and policies upon which our country was founded or, failing that, to vote for the candidate who will do the least harm.

 











Addendum 12/14/2010:


While we are on the subject, please allow me to mention one more incredibly stupid reason to vote for anyone. That is, to so vote because you believe the individual will be particularly good at “bringing home the bacon”. Or, put in less colloquial terms, that such person wields enough power or influence, AND will use such power, to provide some special benefit for your state. Well, if you have ever voted for someone for such reason, then shame on you. Shame on you twice; once for being so self centered as to put yourself and your state above the rest of the county, and once again for being so stupid. About the first, if your mama didn't teach you morals, then I am too late. But as for the second, it is really quite simple. If you are stupid enough to vote for the socialist candidate, who will ruin this country in the long run, no short term benefit to your state will anchor it from the abyss into which the whole country will slide. Even if such person might procure some short term benefit to your state – increased government contracts, a disproportionate benefit for an industry concentrated in your state, or the like – it is transitory. We have a NATIONAL economy. Sure, some states will lag behind and some surge ahead an any given time. But, in the long run, we will all reap the rewards of a good economy. We will all suffer from a bad economy.


The people of Nevada recently reelected Harry Ried, despite the fact that the vast majority of them disapproved of the measures he had pushed through in his previous term, despite the fact that he had declared himself to be dedicated to the socialist ideal – the “public option”. They didn't vote for him because they approved of him. The polls show that it was just they opposite. They voted for him because their economy is hurting and they thought that he would be able to use graft, corruption, deal making and abuse of his power to help bail them out. Shame on you, Nevada. Even some prominent businessmen, who should have known better, supported him, and proposed, bare faced, that people vote for him for that very reason. We will all rise or fall together, folks. Or, as Ben Franklin said, "We must all hang together, or surely we will hang separately." What part of being an American didn't they understand?


In contrast, the people of Arizona have repeatedly elected John McCain, despite the fact the he has not added one single earmark to one single bill during his entire tenure. He realizes that earmarks are stepping stones on the road to socialism. They are one of the means (albeit a small one, but significant because of the example they set) by which we spend money that we don't have. If something is needed, then good and honest representatives will vote for it. If it is not of high enough priority to pass in its own right, then it should not pass. John McCain is an honest man. Although I disagree with many of his policies, I must honor him for that. Indeed, that is undoubtedly why he was not elected president. How could simple honesty compete with the lie-per-minute output of his opponent?


And one more thing, isn't this just about the ultimate hypocrisy? I thought Liberals were all about us all being equal, even if that means that such equality is at a lower level than where we would be in a free market society. So why would they then turn around and vote for a candidate that they thought would give them some particular advantage over the rest of us?



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 How Bad Is It- Really??

 by F Eric Saunders


I was listening to a guy yesterday, on a supposedly conservative radio show (on Fox News Radio), ridiculing former Congressman Tom Tancredo for saying that he thought Obama is a more serious threat to this country than is Al Queda. The worst part was that this guy was derisive, offensive, mocking and smarmy to the string of callers who called to try to say that this is not as silly as he was trying to let on.

 

While we all know that Al Queda would destroy this country, if it could, the fact is that it can't. (For more on this, see our article here about The Real Threat of Al Queda on our “Miscellaneous Ramblings” page.) But, in contrast, Obama's plan for a “New America” seems to be working. If all of his socialistic programs – socialized health care, government grabs of private assets through “bail out bills” and the “stimulus bill” or through any other means he can think of, his so-called “climate bill”, “cap and trade”, “the financial reform bill”, and on and on – if all, or even most, of these are passed into law, then my precious country will be so far down the road to socialism that it may never see the light of freedom again.

 

What those people, who don't recognize how dangerous Obama and his policies are, seem not to appreciate is this: Remember what Obama said when he was asked whether he doesn't believe in the concept of “American Exceptionalism” (the concept that there is something special about our Constitution and the people that made it, and those who have and continue to live their lives in a way so as to support it)? He replied, “Well, I'm sure that people in other countries think that they are exceptional, too.” A lot of people agree with him. Those people think that it is arrogant, jingoistic, and even racist, to think that our great country is somehow “special”; that our “great experiment” is just a bit better than all of the other failed experiments of history. I don't agree with him, but a lot of people do.

 

But then how do those same people look in the mirror and say to themselves, “It can't happen here?” Hitler couldn't happen here! Pol Pot couldn't happen here! Hugo Chavez couldn't happen here! Any of the tens, or even hundreds of charismatic leaders who have, with the complicity and support of their own respective uninvolved, compliant and complacent constituencies, couldn't happen here. Damn it, it CAN happen here! It IS happening here! Wake the hell up!!!! How do those people, almost in the same breath, assert that there is nothing special about us, and yet hold that we are so clearly immune to this disaster that has destroyed so many civilizations throughout history, and up to the present day?

 

Al Quada could, with another successful attack, take thousands of lives. How many lives will a fully socialized medical system take? How many lives will the destruction of our economy take or destroy? What is the cost of the theft of our sense of pride in our country and ourselves, our hope for the future, our freedom? As discussed elsewhere herein, what is happening to us will destroy all of the many, many important advances made through the brief history of our nation. Our "progress" toward socialism will rob us of BOTH the freedom to explore solutions to the problems of mankind, AND ALSO of the resources required to implement such solutions.

 

There is simply no comparison between the threats being posed by Al Qaeda and by Obama. Obama, and his ilk, are the most serious threats our country has ever faced. Bar none. Al Qaeda is just a pimple on the ass of the world.

 

They probably laughed and joked, in the early days, when some few German citizens tried to say that Hitler posed a potential problem to the well being of their own great country. They probably ridiculed those good people, too. If there had been talk-radio shows, the callers earnest words would have been repeated back to them in a mocking tone. Please, please, please, don't let these words fall on deaf ears this time.

 


HOW BAD IS IT, CONTINUED 

BEING A SHORT DISCOURSE ON THE CRISIS OF OUR ECONOMY

By F. Eric Saunders

30 January, 2011

 
"We must not let our rulers load us with perpetual debt. We must make our election between economy and liberty or profusion and servitude. If we run into such debt, as that we must be taxed in our meat and in our drink, in our necessaries and our comforts, in our labors and our amusements, for our calling and our creeds...[we will] have no time to think, no means of calling our miss-managers to account, but be glad to obtain subsistence by hiring ourselves to rivet their chains on the necks of our fellow-sufferers... And this is the tendency of all human governments. A departure from principle in one instance becomes a precedent for [another ]... till the bulk of society is reduced to be mere automatons of misery... And the fore-horse of this frightful team is public debt. Taxation follows that, and in its train wretchedness and oppression."
- Thomas Jefferson

Our President ended his recent State of the Union Address (in which he didn't even bother to mention our debt crisis) with the words, “The state of our union is strong.”  Encouraging words, such as those, make us feel good – and many of us vote for the person who makes us feel the best.  But the truth, as it stands now, does not make us feel so good.

Courtesy Wikipedia.comPresident Obama, during the above mentioned Address, stressed that we must make spending cuts – so that we can “invest” the money saved back into our country (into high speed railroads, and such).  I would say that he still “just doesn’t get it”, except that I know that he does.  Running our great country into insurmountable debt is an integral part of the great Fabian plan.

At the risk of making you feel bad, here are the facts:  The total US debt is now over 14 trillion dollars ($14,000,000,000,000), and is growing rapidly.  That is, we owe approximately 96% of our total Gross Domestic Product (GDP).  And that doesn’t include “off book” debts owed as a result of our obligations to indemnify Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, and numerous other institutions, or obligations to pay future debts, such as retirement funds not yet due, and goods and services contracted for but not yet payable.    About 66% of the publically held portion of that debt is held by foreign banks, and about 44% of that 66% is held by just Japan and China, either of which could, all by itself, effectively bankrupt us if they decide to stop buying our debt or, worse yet, to start selling.

At our present rate of spending, our debt is increasing by about 4 billion dollars ($4,000,000,000) per DAY.  Over 40% of every dollar our government takes in goes to paying interest to our debtors*, and that percentage is increasing rapidly.

We all want every wonderful thing imaginable for the people of our country,and of the world.  But, no matter how hard we try, no matter what level of economy destroying tax rates we burden our businesses with, only a little over half (and soon less) of what we take in can go to those noble purposes.  Soon the interest on our debt will be 50%, and then 60%, and then 70% (by 2015, if everything continues at the present rate), and before we know it, 100%.  Then what will happen to all our great social reforms?

Right now Republicans are pushing to decrease our DEFICIT (that is, how much FURTHER we go into debt each year) by just 1/3 – from about $1,500,000,000,000 down to $1,000,000,000,000.  But President Obama wants to “invest” that “saved” $500,000,000,000 – without decreasing the rate at which we are going further into debt at all!!!  [Added 14 Feb. 2011:  Indeed, the final presidential budget, which is going to congress today, only even promises (and an empty promise, at that) to cut the deficit by ONE trillion over the next 10 YEARS.  And that assumes that 1/3 of the "cut" would come from revenue increases - mostly on the backs of the middle class in the form of drastic reductions in home mortgage deductions, and such.  At that rate, the national debt will INCREASE by 13 trillion over the next 10 years.  And the President's proposed budget does, of course, include massive NEW spending programs.  Even if this budget were successful in achieving its goals, it would be a total disaster.  And, on top of that, the new spending programs will undoubtedly run OVER budget and the predictions of increased revenue are undoubtedly over optimistic.]

Even if, by some miracle, we are able to pass a Balanced Budget Amendment, and FORCE our “leaders” to pay as they go in the future, what is going to happen to the debt we already have?  Will we continue to burden future generations with having only a small portion of the money they take in for their own use – with most of it going to pay INTEREST ONLY on OUR debts? 

I heard a Democrat spokesperson on the radio the other day, repeating like a broken record the “talking point” that, “Republicans want to take a machete to the budget, but what is needed is to get rid of waste with a scalpel.”  A SCALPEL?!?!  We couldn’t, in our wildest dreams, cut our way out of this with a thousand machetes.  It’s time to bring in the heavy equipment!

We do face a few small obstacles in this task.  For example, did you know that it is actually IMPOSSIBLE for us to pay off the national debt under our current financial system?  “How can that be,” you say?  Well, for one thing, we owe more money than there is in the world.  If we were to collect every dollar in existence in order to try to pay off our debt, we still wouldn’t have nearly enough.  And we can’t print more to pay off the debt.  Not only would that result in catastrophic runaway inflation, but under our current system we have to BORROW from the Federal Reserve in order to print more money, which would only leave us further in debt! For more details on these issues see THE ECONOMIC COLLAPSE BLOG.  We have painted ourselves into a serious corner.  But, unlike that analogy, we don’t even have the option of just waiting till the paint dries.  The longer we go along this path, the more difficult it will be to extricate ourselves and our children.

If we have an OUNCE of morality left in us, we will solve this problem IN OUR GENERATION.  We MUST not only completely eliminate the deficit.  We MUST begin IMMEDIATELY to pay off the National Debt.

Please do check out the very interesting and informative NATIONAL DEBT CLOCK at www.usdebtclock.org .

*I should point out that figures such as ‘interest as a percentage of revenue’ are WAY hard to figure out.  If you look on the “official” US government page, it shows that we are only paying about 21% of revenue as interest.  BUT there are variables not disclosed there.  For example, there is a lot of “revenue” listed that comes from things other than income tax, and much of that is not very “efficient” revenue – meaning that in some cases collection and other costs associated with the revenue are greater even than the income.  The figures used in the text of this article are net revenue rather than gross revenue (as would show on a balance sheet).  Similarly, the US government official “interest” figure only includes interest paid directly on Federal Reserve notes, but the entire cost of carrying our National Debt is considerably greater than just that.  In short, I can’t guarantee the exactness of the figures I used above.  (I didn’t do the calculations myself, but I did do a pretty good reality check on the original calculations.)  But even the “best case” official figures are alarming, and I CAN guarantee that they are not accurate, in the sense that they don’t reveal the whole picture. 

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 WHO ARE THE EXTREMISTS?

By F Eric Saunders

 

An old acquaintance, who possesses more than average native intelligence, remarked recently that he believes the country is veering to the right.  What that otherwise astute individual failed to realize is that ordinary conservative ideas just SEEM to get further and further to the right, as they remain constant (the very essence of conservatism) while the “norm” of our society careens, headlong, to the left.  
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I heard Bill Mahr being interviewed by Bill O’Reilly yesterday on the radio.  I find Mahr to be an interesting character because I think he really believes what he says.  He said he believes that, in general, liberals are concerned about other people while conservatives are generally more self interested.  I have addressed this issue in another essay in Freedomsite.US entitled True Compassion.  In short, though I know that a lot of young idealist progressives have the best intentions, and THINK they are being kind when they advocate policies that will lead down, as Friedrich Hayeck said, “The Road to Serfdom”, it is conservatives who consistently understand and fight for policies that will REALLY lead us toward a better world for all.  

But another thing he said was that he believes that most extremists are on the right, and that there are very few “left wing extremists”.  Well, believe it or not, there is some truth to what he was saying, IF you look at things from his peculiar perspective.  But there has been considerable distortion of this perspective over the past few years, and this deserves a closer look.

Mahr was right, in a way, that there are relatively few left wing extremists, if you define an extremist as being someone who deviates extremely from the “norm” of the party.  But I remind you that the “norm” of the Democrat party today, if the norm is defined by its leaders, is advocating, indeed enacting, big-government, socialist-leaning, measures that would have appalled Democrat leaders, such as John Kennedy, only a few years ago.  So, in short, the extreme of just a few years ago has become the norm of the Democrat party today.  Twenty years ago, the idea that we might move, even slightly, toward being a socialist state would have been too bitter to think of, let alone to speak.  But in 2009, Newsweek proudly announced that “We Are All Socialists Now”.

As for the right, some people would have us believe that the Tea Party folk are an extreme branch of the Republican party.  But us tea partiers are just simple folk, who believe in the “old fashioned” ideas of small government and minimal taxes (which is two ways of saying the same thing).  That is not really a radical idea, at least it wasn’t just a few years ago.  We don’t think that we are radicals at all, and I don’t think a historical perspective will justify putting that label on us.  And don’t forget, the majority of Americans agree with us.

So Mahr was right, there aren’t a lot of left wing extremists.  There is no need for them.  The whole damned party has gone extreme.  And he was correct about there being a lot of right wing extremists, if you look at things through some sort of distorted lens that sees extremists as anyone whose viewpoint deviates greatly from a self-defined “norm”, wherein taking giant leaps toward socialism and away from all the things that made this country great are the standard.

 

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 Subtle Variations in (ill) Logic 

by F. Eric Saunders

 

This short essay will discuss just one of the MANY logical fallacies that are in use by “progressive” proponents. There are many others, and still more logical fallacies that lie at the root and theory of socialism itself. But one must begin somewhere: Liberals have adopted a very clever, and very successful policy that is a variation of the logical “fallacy of exhaustive hypothesis”, but with an interesting twist. Of course, we do see the obvious “Morton's Fork” variation of this fallacy all the time in politics – used by both sides. The example of the Morton's Fork is that either you are for THIS health care bill or you are against health care reform. That is so blatant an error that it should not be worth discussing – except for the fact that it still seems to work. But the more subtle variation I am referencing here is exemplified by the debate between (a) this health care bill with provisions for preventing government funding of abortion and (b) this health care bill without provisions for preventing government funding of abortion. What makes this particular tactic so unique and so successful is that, although the logical fallacy is obvious – there are clearly other logical choices – the social/psychological effects of channeling a debate in this direction are powerful. It completely takes the focus away from the real and important issues.  (In the law biz, we call this a "red herring".)  Watch for this. You will see it in just about every political debate that arises, at least in the foreseeable future. The side that is campaigning for change (almost always the liberal side) will focus the debate on what KIND of change there should be, so as to cause even some staunch conservatives to get suckered into this “red herring” debate, while effectively abandoning the fight against the substance of the change.

 

Addendum: The above was written during the “Health Care Debate” - about 4 weeks before it came to vote. Now that Obamacare has passed, I can only add: See, it worked! In the final days the debate was centered on the abortion issue, and the hopes of all of us who wanted this “abortion of a bill” to pass away were centered on a man who, on principle, could not vote for it because of his stance on abortion. That worked out well, didn't it?


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 The Conservative Straw Man


by F Eric Saunders

 

 


Today, boys and girls, we are going to learn about a particular type of sophism called a “straw man” or, if you are from the other side of the pond, an “Aunt Sally”. A Straw Man is an imaginary character that is set up just to knock down. If it shares SOME characteristics with one's opponent or the arguments thereof, then it is more likely to have the desired effect.

We here at freedomsite.US welcome intelligent discourse that disagrees with our conclusions. We have been wrong before, and expect to be again. And if we are wrong, we are eager to discover our mistakes and thankful to those who help us along that path. If you want to challenge us, there are two ways to do it. You can point to the inaccuracy of our facts, or the illogic of our conclusions. But the problem with “progressive logic” (giving them the benefit of the doubt to presume that there is such a thing), is that it does violence to BOTH logic and facts. And the “straw man” is a perfect example of this. A Straw Man argument is what is called an “informal” fallacy. This means that the form of the logical argument is correct, but that the error is in the premises.

Rather than try to formulate our own definition, we will borrow one from Wikipedia: A straw man argument is an informal fallacy based on misrepresentation of an opponent's position. To "attack a straw man" is to create the illusion of having refuted a proposition by substituting a superficially similar yet weaker proposition (the "straw man"), and refuting it, without ever having actually refuted the original position.

The harm done to intelligent debate by using straw man arguments is twofold. The most easily recognized is that the conclusions drawn will simply not be be logically supported. (They may or may not be correct, but they are certainly not proven so by the argument made.) Of course, if we are to sort through our problems logically and come to reliably good conclusions, then all of us must constantly make an effort to be logical. But the less often recognized harm done by straw man arguments is that, in the mind of the target audience, the association between the straw man and the real opponent is established, and such association often has negative connotations. Therefore, this sort of straw man argument is also a very effective form of demagoguery.

Probably the most prevalent example is the constant tirade of arguments that “progressives” make against those evil, heartless conservatives. For example, instead of arguing for or against the economic wisdom of keeping or removing tax cuts for those people and businesses that make more than X amount of dollars, progressives prefer to argue against “tax cuts for the rich”. This fits my two-fold-harm analysis. Not only does it avoid any logical discussion of the real issue, it is a very effective propaganda method to define, at least in the mind of the unthinking masses, those who favor stimulation through tax policy as being some fictional movement to help the rich at the expense of the poor. Similarly, arguments that “we should help the poor” or “we should help the children” or “we should help the elderly” are really ugly straw man arguments. They presume that there is someone out there who prefers to see the poor, children, and the elderly suffer – or at least that such fictional conservatives would rather witness the suffering than to give up any of their own luxuries. Of course, that is ridiculous. (See our article on True Compassion.) But that evil, heartless, selfish, uncaring “straw man” is an easy target. Once he is set up, we all take joy in seeing him knocked down. The art is in setting up the straw man because, once that is done properly, he is often so frail that he falls spontaneously.

A day does not go by but that we see progressives using this rhetorical tactic. As I am writing this, President Obama has recently voiced his opinion that, “This is 'merica”. And so, “There is a constitutional right to build that mosque [near ground zero].” Of course, Obama knew full well that there is no one out there arguing that there is not such constitutional right. The next day he qualified his earlier statement by saying that he was not then speaking to the wisdom of doing so, but only to the constitutional right. But that only reinforced the illusion that he was grandly opposing those who are arguing that there is no such right. Or else why would he have to make the argument at all? Such fictional characters are the straw men that he was setting up, in an attempt to make those who are arguing against the proposed site look like evil, unAmerican, hypocrites. The very next day, he sent his stooges out to the talk shows to talk about “those people who dress up like the founding fathers, and go the their tea parties, but seem to have no real knowledge of or respect for the Constitution at all.” By the way, that is a literal quote of what I actually heard on the morning talk shows last Monday.

So, when you next listen to a newscast, try to count the Straw Men. But don't take your socks off while you are driving!

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 I Have a RIGHT to My Opinion

by F Eric Saunders

 

How many times have you heard that said? And it is true, to an extent. Our Constitution does guarantee that even bizarre and unorthodox opinions are protected, and that a person may not only hold such ideas, but can also voice them (with only a very few necessary exceptions). But that is where the right ends. Whether one has a legal right to ACT on his opinion depends entirely on the legality of the action. Similarly, whether one has a moral right to ACT on his opinion depends entirely on the morality of the action.

We could discuss, ad infinitum, examples of opinions that, if acted upon, are either legally or morally wrong, or both. And yet, many progressives, when confronted with a logical argument, insist, “I have a right to my opinion.” Have you ever noticed how conservatives love to explore ideas, but progressives love to bury their heads in the sand? Apparently, being a progressive is a sort of self fulfilling prophesy. If one has that sort of leaning, then one is unlikely to explore the ideas, challenge the beliefs, and go the extra steps necessary to learn. A well informed liberal is an oxymoron. At the very best, it can take a die hard liberal years and years to get around to thinking logically. That is where the wisdom of Churchill's line about having no heart if you are not a liberal at 20, and having no mind if you are not a conservative at 40, comes from.

So why do liberals say that? Why does it make sense to them that “I have a right to my opinion” is a proper retort? I think that it is because they don't envision their opinion as having any consequence. It is my opinion that the highland Scotches are superior to the lowland versions. That opinion is without much consequence (except, in a very minor way, to my liquor distributor), even though I do act upon it – as often as possible. But it is also my opinion that socialism is an insidious evil that threatens to destroy my future, the future of coming generations of Americans, and the hope for a better world in any foreseeable future. And that opinion guides my vote. While it is true that just my one vote has only a small fractional consequence, it has the same sort of proportional importance in the political arena as do I in the great scheme of things. It has consequence because it is one of many, and the many are mighty.

So, do you have a moral right to form an opinion and then vote it, even if that opinion is without foundation in fact and/or is totally illogical? No, of course not. Acting in a manner that is destructive to civilization is evil. So is a studied ignorance that acts out of prejudice, resentment, laziness, or anything except the best intentions and the very best effort to sort out the lies, think things through logically, and act on the knowledge thereby acquired.

Have you noticed that, for the last few years, there have been ads featuring certain bone heads, some of them actually physically wrapped in an American flag, extolling their fans to “get out and vote”. Of course, there is no hint that the fans should educate themselves first. Is it patriotic to vote? They would have you believe that the answer is an unqualified yes. But the fact is, that it is UNpatriotic to drag your sorry ass to the polls without having educated the other end of you first. Why? Didn't you read the paragraph above? So now we have throngs of ignorant bastards standing in line at the polls with no idea who or what they are going to vote for, except that Democrats are cool and Republicans don't care about the poor and the suffering, and are only out to help the rich. Oh, and by the way, Republicans hate Mexicans, too!

So, bottom line is this: If you are reading this, you SHOULD vote, because you either agree with it, or you at least care enough to consider diverse opinions. Congratulations. You are a Citizen. And if you are an American Citizen, then you are subject to the Noblesse Oblige we share. So it is your DUTY to (a) do your very best to educate yourself and then (b) act on it.

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 COULD IS NOT SHOULD

by F Eric Saunders

 

One would think that the statement in the title of this editorial should be obvious. But, apparently, it is not – at least not to everyone.

As discussed in our lead article, the fight to save our way of life, and all the good that has resulted from our Constitution and our efforts, depends almost entirely on (a) our not falling victim to illogic and ignorance and (b) our encouraging and teaching others, especially our children, not to do so. The statements coming from our politicians and political pundits today provide many examples of illogic for our study here. In fact, there are so many that we cannot hope to deal with them all at once. So, we must carefully choose, based on factors such as: (a) how prevalent is a logical error, (b) how damaging is it, and (c) how likely are we to be able to successfully keep alert for it and to help alert others?

I have, therefore, chosen one specific variation of the "avoiding the question" error as my subject here. Of course, I think we all know how prevalent is "avoiding the question". Our kids do it. Politicians do it. We all do it, when it is expedient to do so. And most of the time when we do it, we are fully aware of it. Indeed, the more aware we are, the more skillfully we can seem to be answering the question without actually doing so.

President Obama and Speaker Pelosi celebrate their health care victory over the American people.But, sometimes, even the person doing the avoiding is unaware that he/she is doing so. This can occur when the logical error is sufficiently subtle to fool even the speaker. And there are certain classes of subtle errors that seem to defy recognition, given how often they occur. I want to focus here on just one very specific type. That is, the apparent inability, in our culture today, to distinguish between whether one CAN do something and whether one SHOULD do it. I don't think I even need to draw out the syllogism here. Every one of us has, at one time or another, reasoned through the logic that, just because we can do something doesn't mean that we should do it. This self assessment often even involves a reductio ad incommodum line of reasoning. Just because I can jump off this building doesn't mean that I should!

But, still, I hear it ALMOST EVERY DAY. A group put up a very offensive billboard and, when confronted, argued their 1st amendment right to do so. Just now they are arguing about whether a Mosque should be erected 600 yards from Ground Zero in New York. I haven't heard any responsible person arguing that there is no right to put it there. I have heard a lot of people arguing about whether they should. But, unfortunately, I have also heard a lot of people arguing to the effect that, of course they should put it there – the Constitution guarantees them the right to do so. Our President has intentionally obfuscated this line. (See our article here on Straw Man arguments.) But, I am very afraid, many of the people who are doing this sincerely believe that this is a logical argument. I, myself, fail to see what is so hard about this simple distinction. But it appears to be ingrained into our culture here that if one has a “right” to do something then it is an illegitimate position to contend that they should not do it.

Women have a “right” to have a career, so it must be wrong for a woman to make a different choice. Children have a “right” not to consider their parents opinions once they have turned 18. Congress has a “right” to “deem” the health care bill passed, even though the majority of their own constituents are against it. I have a “right” to abandon my wife and family, if that is what I need to do to lead a fulfilling life. Am I starting to sound like the old man that I am – with all this implied admonishment to do what is right, rather than what you have a “right” to do? I think I am only being consistent with the values that I espoused, even in my hippie youth – that rights come with responsibilities. Why is this so confusing? Listen for it.

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 I Know It When I See It

(With apologies to Justice Stewart)

by F. Eric Saunders

 

If socialism is the enemy, then how do we recognize the it? Clearly, there are degrees of socialism, and there may never have been a totally socialistic society. But all degrees of socialism INSIST on perpetuating themselves (for the same reason that the principle goal of any bureaucracy is, and must be, the continuing survival of that same bureaucracy) and, in order to do so, they insist upon plunging even further and further into the socialistic abyss until, eventually, there is revolt and the system collapses entirely under its own self imposed burden. The reason for this is very simple: SOCIALISM DOESN'T WORK. It depends upon assumptions about human characteristics that are just not true. So, whatever stage socialism is in, it will be in chaos. Such chaos may be readily apparent on the surface or, more likely, it will be fairly well concealed by a brutal totalitarian state. Given such chaos and instability, there will be a constant need for “change”, and such “change” will, inevitably be in the direction toward more socialistic attributes. It is inevitable because, to those who perpetrated the socialist policies that created the chaos, capitalism and free will are the enemy - so there is only one direction that can possibly be considered. Also, as long as the misguided ideologues that made the last move for socialism are still in power (or, in power again, as in a society such as ours where power tends to shift back and forth between the factions), there will be no admission that they were previously wrong. There are a number of other reasons why such "change" can only be in that one direction, including that entitlements are self perpetuating, which fact I don't think I have to prove here.

 

So, what ARE the characteristics of socialism? Certainly there are the economic manifestations. While outright ownership of the means of production by the government may or may not exist, there are many ways for the government to exercise control without manifest ownership, and any of these may produce the same economic effect. But there is another inevitable aspect of socialism that is less often recognized. That is, such control of so fundamental an aspect of society as the economy NECESSARILY means that the people have less power than they would in a capitalistically motivated society. There is a trade off – almost a directly inverse correlation – between the quantity of decisions made by the government and the quantity of choices that remain for the individual. One particularly effective method for taking away individual choice is to remove the consequences for bad choices, but that is a matter for another essay. But many individuals will not take kindly to their liberties and choices being removed from them. This means that it is also NECESSARY for the government to exercise an iron hand in dealing with such people. Certainly, they cannot have access to arms. As Mr. Hitler said, for the government to permit the citizenry to possess arms would be tantamount to suicide (for a government of the sort that he had in mind).   In short, oppression of free speech is an unavoidable aspect of the "progressive" agenda.


The most effective way to take power away from a citizenry is to make the citizens feel helpless.  They must feel that they need the police to protect them, and so any means of self defense must be removed.  They must feel that they need the government to provide jobs for them, and so the private sector must be weakened in proportion to the power vested in government.  They must feel that they need the government to provide for their healthcare, and so a government run healthcare system would be a very significant advance toward totalitarianism.  They must feel that they need the government to provide for their retirement and, indeed, the government has already achieved that goal.  In short, government must creep into every aspect of our lives, if socialism is to take over, and it is, sometimes slowly and sometimes rapidly, doing so.
 

So, to sum it up. PRACTICAL SOCIALISM (as opposed to a textbook definition) requires four simple things: (1) Government control of a significant part of the economy, (2) A dramatic reduction (as compared to a free society) in individual choices, (3) Strict control of those who would opposed the government or resist their loss of freedom, and particularly of any means by which such people could offer meaningful resistance and (4) Most of all, it requires a willing pupulace - one that is more concerned about being taken care of than it is about liberty. 

 

Does this remind you of anything? 





Here is the view of yet another commentator on this:   http://www.middletownca.com/LIBERAL-EQUALS-SOCIALIST.htm 

 

And also, here is the view of Reverend Al Sharpton, which I find quite interesting: http://my-thoughts-on-freedom.blogspot.com/2010/03/al-sharpton-america-voted-for-socialism.html

 

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 Drawing the Line

 

by F. Eric Saunders

 

As I have mentioned in a previous editorial, one of the topics that has arisen as we discuss and debate against socialism is: Where do legitimate government functions end and government intrusion that is a step toward socialism begin? Wow, that is a good question and quite a challenge. But not being one who is readily deterred by a challenge, here we go.


Many years ago, when I was studying economics in college and graduate school, there was a generally accepted premise that there ARE some “legitimate government functions”. These occur when there is a PUBLIC need that cannot reasonably be addressed through private investment or, at least, so said my professors.


Put another way, anyone who has taken economics 101 will remember the distinction between a “public good” and a “private good”. A public good is a good that is non-rivalrous and non-excludable. Non-rivalry means that consumption of the good by one individual does not reduce availability of the good for consumption by others; and non-excludability means that no one can be effectively excluded from using the good. In the real world, there may be no such thing as an absolutely non-rivaled and non-excludable good; but the concepts are useful approximations.


For example, if one individual visits a doctor there is one less doctor's visit for everyone else, and it is possible to exclude others from visiting the doctor. This makes doctor visits a rivaled and excludable private good. Conversely, my visiting a large public park does not significantly reduce the amount of park available to others, and people are not (at least in this example) generally excluded from using the park. This makes the park a public good.

The important issue with public goods is that there may be problems relating to the production of such goods caused by a condition that economists refer to as “market failure”, wherein uncoordinated markets driven by parties working in their own self interest may be unable to provide these goods in the desired quantities. These issues are known as public goods problems, and there is a good deal of debate and literature on how to measure and account for their significance to an economy. Public goods problems are related to the broader issue of “externalities”, a detailed theses on which subject is beyond the scope of this short editorial.

But even though the exact metes and bounds of “public goods” may be open to some debate, the idea does provide us with a basis for making the sort of distinctions we are attempting here. Let's start with the most extreme case. Freedom from being killed by a foreign invader is clearly a public good. You or I can hardly afford to finance our own army, even if we band together. And if we did band together to provide an army, it would protect us (you and me), and not the rest of the population as a whole (unless you are a whole lot more philanthropic than am I). Therefore, the associated condition of “market failure” certainly applies.

You may have noticed that, somewhere in the world, there will always be someone who espouses the most extreme and bizarre viewpoints imaginable, and some that cannot be imagined. Well, there is no exception here. There are those, calling themselves “market anarchists”, who argue that even armies should be privately funded. And while their arguments may have some theoretical basis, I am here summarily rejecting the idea. I neither want to fund an army, nor to have you fund one. If the former, I simply don't want to pay for it myself. If the later, I simply don't want you having an army if I don't have one too – I don't trust you all that much! So, national defense is a “public good” AND one that we will classify as a “legitimate government function” under our little scheme here.

Next up on our “good to bad” scale of government functions is the justice system, both civil and criminal justice. Here, too, our thinking is not entirely unprecedented. An economic school of thought called “minarchism” maintains that the state's only legitimate function is the protection of individuals from aggression, theft, breach of contract and fraud. (Such states are sometimes called “night watchman states”.) Minarchists defend the existence of the state as a necessary evil, but assert that it may only act to protect the life, liberty and property of each individual. Well, I'm pretty much with the minarchists there. We can, and undoubtedly will, debate forever about how the courts should be structured, how and when law enforcement functions should be performed, and on and on. But the simple fact that there is a public good at work here is undeniable. And so, without commenting on the exact form which it should take, I am here decreeing (I have that power – it's my editorial!) that a legal system (including courts and some kind of enforcement activity) is a public good and a legitimate government function.

I should note here that a friend of mine recently opined that it is important to reduce the law enforcement function in this time of stress, as law enforcement will, inevitably, become morphed from an agency that primarily looks out for the welfare of the people into one that looks out for the welfare of the state, and thereby oppresses the people.  I, myself, am a big supporter of the men and women that dedicate their lives to the service and protection of the public, but I also recognize that the entity itself can drive its dedicated people to either good ends or bad, depending upon the extant dynamics of the organization. So, my friend has a point. But I insert this paragraph here mostly as an example to show that this is a debate about the KIND of public good that should be provided, and should not be confused with the fact that there is a necessary public good at work here.

We are now getting into more “borderline” cases. There are some services that may have at one time been necessary to government or, at least, may have seemed so, but are no more. Examples would be the postal service, public education, and highways and other aspects of public transportation. These all are, at least arguably, some sort of “public good”, if only by virtue of their bigness. (Note that, in my example of a public park, that park was only a “public good” because (a) it was open to the public and (b) it was big – such that my being there did not occupy a significant portion of the available space. But if it were a very small park with only one picnic table, and I were there sleeping off the profligacy of my night before on that very table – thereby keeping a deserving little family from their picnic – we could no longer call it a “public good”.)

But, unless you are a postal worker (and I don't argue with those folks), I don't think I have to explain that complete privatization of the postal service is a good idea. The market has grown to meet the demand. There are alternative means available today and, if they were allowed to compete on an equal footing, it would be the US Postal Service that would fail. So, this no longer meets our criteria of “market failure” and is NOT a legitimate government function.

Education presents a similar, but different, situation. If there is a “public good” aspect to the postal system, it is that the AVAILABILITY of such services is provided for everyone but, as explained above, that is now certainly covered by the market. And since we have to pay for the individual postal services either way, that aspect of the postal debate is moot. But both aspects of the Education system remain. There is a public interest in making sure that education is available for every child, and there is also a public interest in who pays for it. It is generally agreed that it is good for us, as a nation, that our next generation is universally as well educated as possible. But if there is no public interest in who pays for the education, then only those who can afford it will get it. So, we have to look at each of these two aspects of the problem.

As for the availability of public education, that situation is almost exactly like the postal example discussed above. If the public schools were to close tomorrow there are plenty of people out there who would either expand existing schools or create new ones to fill the need. There would be exactly the same number of teachers that there are now, except that they would be working for the private institutions and not the government. The quality of schools would instantly improve, because there would be competition. That would benefit ALL students – some less than others to be sure – but this gets back to the basic debate between socialism and a free market. Is it better if we can improve the lot of ALL students - even if it means that some schools might get only a little better while others get a lot better, or should we stick with a system wherein ALL students (except those who can already afford private schooling) are stuck in the dismal public education system? I think you know my answer! Our present public education system HAS to go in order to fund a free market education system for the benefit of ALL.

So, we have established that the delivery system (the “availability” aspect) of eduction is NOT a public good and NOT a legitimate government function. But what about the funding? We established above that this IS a “public good” meeting all our other criteria. Therefore, a voucher system, or some equivalent, IS a legitimate government function.

This is getting a bit long, so I will just say that aspects of public transportation and the highway system are divisible. Using the same sort of analysis we have used here, some of these may be considered legitimate government functions, while some that are currently draining the public's coffers clearly are not. We have addressed health care elsewhere, but it also is a divisible field, aspects of which may or may not be legitimate government functions.

Now getting to some functions that clearly are NOT any business of the government. Government intrusions into our personal lives that have no significant economic impact AND do not function to abate our infringement on the rights of others are (how can I say this loudly enough?) NONE OF THE GOVERNMENT'S DAMNED BUSINESS!!!!! Of course, there can be honest disagreement about whether or not a particular law is bound by these premises. Do laws against the use of marijuana actually protect the public from hoards of drug crazed hippies, rampaging about the neighborhood in search of brownies and beer? I don't know. I will leave that for some other scholar to ascertain.

But here we are concerned with government functions that directly affect the economy. These are the ones that clearly are, no matter how much we may love one or two of them individually, creeping socialism at best and, at worst, run-for-your-life-the-commies-are-coming government takeovers. Redistribution of wealth is number one on this list. Books have been written about how this does not work, and if you don't know that already then I am wasting my time here. But our President has stated that he is for it – in those exact words. How does this fit into our definitions then? Individual wealth is certainly not a public good – it is the antithesis of that in all of its characteristics. It is a private good that belongs to a private citizen, and the government confiscates it and gives it to another private citizen – sometimes blatantly and sometimes through a ruse such as “earned income credit”. So this is wrong, no matter which end you look from. From the point of view of the recipients, it robs the soul of incentive, creates a new form of slavery, and makes it almost impossible to climb out of the ghetto it creates. From the point of view of the “giver”, it is fiscal rape!

An example of something almost as bad as direct income distribution is “social security”. While, theoretically, one pays in and then one draws out in some wildly relative proportion – in fact, it is just a mild form of income distribution. But worse than distributing the income between “classes” (which it does, also) it distributes the income between GENERATIONS. Each successive generation bears the burden of the one before, and each successive generation becomes more burdensome than the one before. Like ALL socialist schemes, it is BOTH unsustainable AND unjust.

I have recently seen circulating a “conservative pledge” that some half witted buffoon has created and circulated on the net – undoubtedly being quite pleased with himself at having exposed the folly of conservative ideals. He proposes that all conservatives, unless they are hypocrites (perish the thought), pledge to abstain from all “socialist” services, such as homeland security, police protection and social security. Well, as to the former two, we have here distinguished certain legitimate government functions from “socialism”. As for the last one, to suggest that it is hypocritical to accept social security is like saying it is hypocritical when a person who, having been robbed at gunpoint, picks up a bit of the cash dropped by the fleeing felon.

So, in conclusion, while we can't here draw a clear and immutable line, we can make it clear that there ARE legitimate government functions and there ARE functions that can only be described as socialism. Do you suppose that the bone head who wrote that idiotic “conservative pledge” will read this and be convinced? Neither do I.  









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 Republicans and Socialism

  
  

I have noticed an interesting trend. Certainly, we all know that Republicans are far from blameless in our slide toward socialism. But I have seen several liberal websites that attempt to counter the allegations of socialism hurled at their camp by pointing out that Republicans favor socialistic enterprises such as public highway systems, the military, and police services. Well, we never said that there is no such thing as a legitimate government function, and our editorial here, Drawing the Line under the "Know Thine Enemy" heading, explores this issue in more detail.


But we want to make it clear here, we understand that there are "Progressives" in both major political parties. While we think that Republicans, in general, tend to be less progressive, that is no excuse for their lapses.  All big spending, all big government, and all failures to try to pull back from the great morass of government excesses that we already have, are progressive, socialistic policies.  And Republicans have certainly been complicit in those things.


But we do need to be careful not to oversimplify here, either when trying to blame the Democrats or when blaming the Republicans.  There is only so much that any President can do to improve the economy.  As President Reagan proved during the 1983 "recession", the best thing the government can do to help the economy is to get out of the way.  And don't forget that it is Congress that passes a budget.  Often, the president is at the mercy of Congress, especially if he needs to "buy" votes to get his agenda through, as Reagan had to in order to end the Cold War.  Which brings to mind another issue:  It should not be too surprising that defense spending increases when we are at war.  Finally, while charts like the one on the right do provide plenty of evidence that neither Republicans nor Democrats are blameless, they can be misleading, too.  Note that this particular one conveniently leaves out "entitlements", but the current administration is all about increasing entitlements. 

 


                                           


For further infromation on this:  While we heartily disagree with the spending policies under the Bush administration,  this chart from the CBO does help to put it all in perspective.  Facts from the CBO


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 Taxed to Death

by F. Eric Saunders


One of my dreams is to have the time and resources to do a thorough study of the REAL burden of taxes on our economy. The first level of such a study would be to calculate how much of people's income (at all levels) goes to taxes. It would be fairly easy to calculate the direct taxes – by adding up (for each of selected groups) Federal income tax, State income tax, FICA and other government payroll deductions such as disability, property tax and other taxes collected with property tax, gas tax, auto license fees, sales and use taxes, corporate and other business taxes, dog and marriage licenses and other such miscellaneous licenses, personal property taxes, travel taxes such as airport fees (included in ticket prices) and local hotel guest taxes, school and water and trash and any other such district taxes in addition to those collected with property tax, public parking fees and bridge tolls, toll roads, fees for routine government services such as birth and death certificates, postage fees over and above the value of the service, electric and telephone taxes included in the utility bills, and on, and on.

 

BUT, such direct taxes are only the tip of the iceberg. Most of our hard earned money goes to pay HIDDEN taxes. When you buy a loaf of bread, included in the price is a portion of all or most of the taxes paid by the store where you bought it – after all, the taxes they pay are a part of their overhead, and they have to pass the overhead on to the customer in order to stay in business. But the taxes paid by the grocery store are not the only costs they pass on to you. In addition to their own taxes, hidden in the wholesale price of that bread were an apportioned part of the taxes of the bakery and the company that delivered the bread – and hidden in those costs were the costs of their suppliers – and so on almost ad infinitum. In today's economy, where we make almost nothing that we use for ourselves and trade for everything, the cascading effect of a tax is almost incalculable.   (Originally, we had a short mathematical example here.  But this is just too complex to try to illustrate in a short article.  Suffice it to say, there is no way to illustrate just how greatly this phenomenon affects the economy without resorting to the Calculus.)

 

Finally, there are other types of hidden taxes not even addressed here yet. As just one example, we have to count as taxes the profits that government receives from its state owned enterprises, which are much more than you might suspect – such as patent licensing revenues from government owned research facilities, and the growingly substantial profits from the preferred stock acquired by the Federal Government in such agencies as Wells Fargo and Chase during the “bail out”.

 

What is the bottom line here then? It is simply this: That so much of our wealth is tied up in inefficient tithes to the government that there is precious little left to fuel the economy. As almost all economists agree, the faster money circulates, the more vigorous is the economy. But money taken out in taxes only returns to the economy in very inefficient, wasteful and non self-perpetuating ways. Therefore, even modest taxes hurt the economy more that is commonly appreciated. And every penny of additional tax, NO MATTER WHO PAYS IT, hurts you, it hurts me, it hurts our economy, and it is killing the United States of America that I love.

 
This may be the most important article on this whole web site – because it clearly points out the FATAL flaw in “progressive” socialism. I want ALL of those things that liberals want for people: Free health care, free education, free child care, free food. Hell, I would throw in free scotch and cigars. But who is going to pay for these things? If we pay for them with taxes – again, no matter WHO pays those taxes – it will cripple the economy. If we cripple the economy, then who will pay for them? No one, that's who. But then we will finally have achieved the “progressive” dream. We will all be equal!

We HAVE to lower the tax burden on this country if we are to survive!


Given the difficulty of rolling back the clock on taxes, I propose that the main focus of our efforts should be on making taxes more visible. As long as people continue to be deceived about what they are really paying to the government, then it will be impossible to gather enough support to save our country from this slow death. That is one reason that I favor a sales tax that is added on at the point of sale, so that people can see exactly how much they are paying and when, INSTEAD of income tax. But, on the other hand, those who want to subvert our system and move toward socialism just love hidden taxes – the more hidden the better. And the very best way to hide them is to “tax the corporations” or “tax the rich” - and the populace supports such measures because they seem to be blissfully unaware that it is THEY who will end up paying these taxes – both “out of pocket” in the cost of their goods and services and also through an overall reduced economy that will put many of them out of jobs and cause the rest to have to pay for even more “entitlements” and suffer the other effects of a falling economy. And even though there may be cycles of prosperity and cycles of recession, the general trend will continue to be down, and down, and down unless and until we GET RID of the crushing tax burden the government has placed on us. But, instead, we seem now to be heading in the other direction - “helping” people by taxing others while hiding the fact that we are destroying those we purport to help. 

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We have published a letter from a friend on the op-ed page so we could link to it here.  Howard has some interesting additional comments regarding taxes:  Howard on Taxes 


... and if you didn't click on it from our home page, don't miss checking out www.irx-solutions.com, a page that is dedicated to the problem of so-called "income tax" in our country.  Thanks.


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 Lies and Damned Lies

by F. Eric Saunders

The character of a liar is at once so hateful and contemptible, that even of those who have lost their virtue it might be expected that from the violation of truth they should be restrained by their pride. Almost every other vice that disgraces human nature, may be kept in countenance by applause and association: the corrupter of virgin innocence sees himself envied by the men, and at least not detested by the women; the drunkard may easily unite with beings, devoted like himself to noisy merriments or silent insensibility, who will celebrate his victories over the novices of intemperance, boast themselves the companions of his prowess, and tell with rapture of the multitudes whom unsuccessful emulation has hurried to the grave; even the robber and the cut-throat have their followers, who admire their address and intrepidity, their stratagems of rapine, and their fidelity to the gang.  The liar, and only the liar, is invariably and universally despised, abandoned, and disowned: he has no domestick consolations, which he can oppose to the censure of mankind; he can retire to no fraternity, where his crimes may stand in the place of virtues; but is given up to the hisses of the multitude, without friend and without apologist. It is the peculiar condition of falsehood, to be equally detested by the good and bad: "The devils," says Sir Thomas Brown, "do not tell lies to one another; for truth is necessary to all societies: nor can the society of hell subsist without it."  Dr. Samuel Johnson -- But note that Dr. Johnson was not familiar with modern politics, wherein lying is dismissed as being “just the way it’s done” – at least in some circles.  A small part of our politicians have even become so debased as to consider skill at lying a laudable trait.

 

“If you repeat a lie often enough, it becomes the truth.”  Joseph Goebbels
(The "big lie" theory that was first proposed by Hitler in Mien Kamp and then perfected by Goebbels.)

As someone who has “Veritas” tattooed on my arm, this is a subject of particular interest to me.

I have been watching, with interest, the mounting attacks on Glenn Beck in the media and by several liberal mouthpieces. As one who warmed slowly to Glenn but, having given him the benefit of the doubt for long enough to see how he puts his points and evidence together over time (it takes time to deal with such complex issues) I now find him to be right on target most of the time, and I can understand the real reason for the attacks. To the Liberals, he is very, very dangerous. But I am not as interested in why they are doing it as I am in why the campaign appears to be so effective. I have spoken to a number of people who have formed an opinion about Mr. Beck based solely on this avalanche of slander. And this is just one example of MANY campaigns of creative facts that we are seeing just about every day coming out of Washington and the liberal media. This line of thinking has caused me to revisit one of the themes that I have pondered in the past. That is, it is apparent to me that the level of liberal lying is skyrocketing.

I have always maintained that, although the Republican party certainly has its faults, one of its distinguishing features is that, in general, its leaders simply do not lie as much as their Democrat counterparts. I would like to think that Republican politicians are just better, fine, upstanding people, and are more prone to the truth than are progressives. (Actually, I do believe that, but it's not universally true and it's not a very good argument either.) But the substantial difference is enabled by the fact that Democrat constituents, apparently, tend to be more gullible. I attribute that to several factors, among which are that Democrat voters, ON AVERAGE, are far less educated, and also that they tend to be far more locked in to an “end justifies the means”, “group-think”, “the greater good” attitude – perhaps inspired by the historical rhetoric of socialism that it is “for the good of the people”. But these are just my observations. Whatever the reason, there are ways of showing that the quantity of Democrat lies significantly surpasses that of the Republicans. As just one source, if you care to check on the accuracy of this assertion, you can go to the web sites of several “independent” fact checking organizations that were tracking speeches during the last presidential campaign.   Predictably, the accounts I saw were not as lopsided as my own observations, but they did all agree that the Democrat candidates (speaking specifically of Obama and Biden here) were far less “factually correct” in their campaign assertions, by a significant factor. Much of the discussion below will be about one of the reasons why my own observations detected a more severe discrepancy than did these fact checkers. But I will here just say that it is most likely because of the vast spectrum of types of “untruths”. For example,  IF Sarah Palin HAD said that she could see Russia out of her window (it was actually Tina Fey that said that, but those who get their news from SNL and the Daily Show persist in believing she was quoting Palin) it would be counted as one untruth. Barack Obama’s saying that he hardly knew Bill Ayers was (particularly in light of recent revelations) also untrue – but also much more important. But both of these “lies” counted the same, if all you were doing was counting. And, as will be discussed in greater detail below, the Bill Ayers lie was one of the more innocuous by Obama. Many of his lies go to straight to the heart of the major issues that are dividing the country, and are even now irrevocably changing it for the worse. People wanted “change” – they are getting it.

As for Republican lies, certainly there are some and, as discussed briefly above, in the world of politics there are varying degrees and types of lying – lies of omission being one of type which is common among the members of both parties. According to some liberals, the greatest conservative lie lately was that of George Bush about the “weapons of mass destruction”. There were bumper stickers proclaiming that ‘BUSH LIED’. But of course, I don’t think I need to point out to any of the prospective readers here that it is incontrovertible that the statements that Bush and Colin Powell made about the information obtained from British intelligence regarding the importation of parts that appeared to be for the manufacture of such weapons, and other such statements were, quite literally, true. But, despite such an inconvenient fact, some "progressives" still maintain that Bush intended to deceive, even if the statements were not literally false. But, of course, anyone with half a brain and two seconds to reflect upon it will see the problem with that “logic”. That is, despite the fact that liberals would like to believe that Bush was stupid, his academic record (which was far better, for example, than Gore’s, but that’s not saying much), and his achievements, belie that.  And anyway, he was surrounded by a lot of very intelligent and well educated advisors who, no matter how evil you might think they are, are verifiably not of sub-par IQ. So, in order to believe that “Bush Lied”, even in a subliminal or non-literal manner, you would have to believe that those, admittedly intelligent, people planned to use lies as an excuse to go into Iraq where they knew perfectly well that no WMD would be found, so that it would be proven that they had lied. Doesn’t make sense, does it? But the liberal media persists with such assertions. Why? Because they can get away with it!


Put another way, if you are going to make stuff up, you should at least make up stuff that is plausible on its face.  That is a dubious standard, to be sure, but at least it is a standard.  Conservatives are, by the nature of their constituency, obliged to hold to that standard and higher.  But liberals seem to have no standard.  In addition to the “Bush Lied” obvious fallacy, there are numerous other examples.  One that is circulating right now is that guns are being smuggled into Mexico from the US and used to contribute to the problem of violence on the border.  But, anyone who has seen or read anything about that situation knows that those Mexican gangs have automatic weapons.  Automatic weapons are illegal in the US, so the only way to get them here is to smuggle them in.  And the only practical way to smuggle them in is to fly them into Mexico and smuggle them in from there.  Is it plausible to think that folks are smuggling guns in from Mexico only so that they can smuggle them back into Mexico?  But that’s what liberal politicians are saying and what the liberal media is reporting.

Now, just for purposes of comparison let’s look at a few Democrat lies. We have a generous supply from which to choose. Pelosi and Barney Frank come to mind as tempting subjects, because they have provided many examples to explore. But the king of them all is, without question, the great Obama. I am still amazed by his presidential campaign. One tracker calculated that, if he kept every promise he made during the campaign, then that would increase the yearly .... and I mean it, too!!!!!deficit by 700 fold. But you don’t have to believe that. What if it were only 70 fold, or 10 fold, or even double? And, by the way, these things won’t result in a tax increase for ANYONE except the evil “RICH”. Could you still believe that there was even a possibility that he was telling the truth in all, or even most, of those promises? No rational person could. But the electorate did! Now he is espousing a list of good ideas for the health care system and, simultaneously, asserting that they WON’T COST ANYTHING!!! Could any rational person believe that? Of course, anyone can reel off a campaign list of nice things, knowing full-well that it would be impossible to do them all – at least anyone with the audacity to lie like that could. That would be anyone who adheres to the “BIG LIE” theory.

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Addendum 21 July, 2010:  An example of lying occurred yesterday that I thought was good enough to warrant inclusion here.  In short, President Obama perpetrated three lies in a single breath.  That is, by no means, a record for him, but this example is so easily demonstrated that it is noteworthy in that regard alone.  Anyway, in a speech yesterday, Obama stated that the Republicans were holding back an extension of unemployment benefits because that would benefit the middle class, and the Republicans are only out for the rich.  In the same speech, he stated that the economic troubles we have are because of the "unsustainable burden of debt" that he inherited.  The three lies were:
(1) The Republicans were not holding back the extension at all.  As he well knew, as he spoke he had the votes to pass this even over Republican objections.  That is not what the debate was about.
(2) The Republicans favored an extension of the benefits, but wanted to pay for it out of the 480 billion dollars left as-yet unused and unuseful in the "economic stimulus" fund (which is, itself, money borrowed from China), INSTEAD OF  borrowing this additional money from China - which is what the Democrats wanted and what they got.
(3) The third is the lie of omission in the first statement cited above that relates to the later statement.  That is, although he later complained of the overwhelming burden of debt that he inherited, he kept silent that the real argument with the Republicans was over whether or not to increase that debt even more.

Why, I have to wonder, do even Obama's own supporters not rise up and say something about such obvious lies?  Is it because the end justifies the means - that supporting Obama is an end unto itself that is more important than making him tell the truth?  Is it because they are just too uninformed or uncaring to catch these lies?  Maybe that applies to most of his lies, but surely not to all - surely not to these so obvious ones!  Is it because they hate Replubicans more than Note that this ad is from Hillary.  Cant blame the Republicans for this one!they love this country?  I just don't know why.  I wish I did.  Maybe that is the goal of this entire web site - to try to figure that out.

Why doesn't the "main stream media" call Obama on these lies.  They monitored George Bush with a fine tooth comb, and the best they could come up with was the lame accusation that he "lied" about the "weapons of mass destruction", as discussed above.  But Obama never gives a speech that is devoid of numerous distortions, half-truths, and downright lies.  Where is the "fifth estate" when we need them?


BTW, keep in mind that borrowing money from China is a "double whammy".  Not only do our children have to pay that money back, WITH INTEREST, they will have to print more money, and thus devalue the American dollar, to do so.  That will mean that the Chinese can use the money that we pay them to buy up American assets at bargain-basement prices, due to the artificially inflated dollar value.  There surely can be no better way to destroy our country than to borrow so much money from China.  So, the Democrat politicians are apparently not as dumb as their constituents.  They know what they are doing.  And the Chinese certainly know what they are doing, too.




 Here is your homework assignment.  Go to You Tube, and search for "Obama Lies".  I was astounded when I did that.  There were so many well document lies, many of which even I had not been aware of before.  But there they were, caught on video, for all of us to see.  Amazing!  Then, just to be fair, I search for "Bush Lies".  There were a lot of videos there, too.  But unlike the "Obama Lies" videos, which showed hundreds of different lies, almost all of the "Bush Lies" videos were about that old tired "WMD" mistake.  I think you will find it interesting.

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 True Compassion

by F. Eric Saunders

 

This morning I was following a car with a bumper sticker that read, “Liberals treat dogs like people and conservatives treat people like dogs.” I do treat dogs like people, or better. So I guess I'm aligned with the liberals there. But the other part of this bumper sticker homily really irks me, and it points to one of the major stumbling blocks we have in our fight for liberty. That is, liberals seem to be convinced, or at least to have others convinced, that we conservatives don't care about people. That is a despicable ad hominem attack on our policies. Speaking for myself, I defy anyone to show that they care more about people than I do. And I know that my conservative friends and acquaintances care deeply for the welfare of the sick, the poor, the helpless and the victims of any sort of misfortune. That we are strongly opposed to programs that may be proffered as help, but that will inevitably leave them worse off, does NOT mean that we don't care about them. I care with every fiber of my being. But, as is the theme of the entire freedomsite.us, the best way to help people is to provide them with opportunity - and socialism, in any form or degree, is the very antithesis of real “help”. Another aspect of this question is that, while liberals seek their desired ends DESPITE the long term consequences, we conservatives – being generally more successful in life, which requires that we take a longer term view of things – are concerned just as much about the welfare of the nation as a whole as about our own, or any other individual's welfare. This means that conservatives are fully cognizant that it is not good for ANYONE to have malnutrition, under-education, poor health, or any such pervasive problems in our country. For that reason alone, we would be for doing our very best to alleviate these things, even if it were not for our native altruism.

 

Certainly, those with special needs, especially but not exclusively when such need is beyond their control, should be helped. And although some liberals may unquestioningly scoff at it, conservatives have led the way in providing that sort of help, both through legislation (where appropriate) and through private charity. I will not even try to “prove” that here, since anyone who is already convinced that conservatives favor the “single solution” to the problems of both the “homeless” and the “hungry” - that of feeding the homeless to the hungry - will not be persuaded. (Watch for it. I anticipate that I will be quoted as favoring that solution.) In short, as P.J. O'Rourke discussed at length in Parliament of Whores, “You can't get rid of poverty by giving people money”.

 

But anyway, look at the big-picture historical record. Has history really shown that people are better off in a socialist society? Or are liberals really more concerned with making people more equal than they are with improving the lot of all? That is what I think. I view liberal policies as being more concerned with disparity than they are with well being and doing good. Conservatives, on the other hand, recognize that there will be disparity in outcome in a free society. But as long as even the poorest and most unfortunate of us are benefited (even if not proportionately) then we are ALL better off.


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 NET GAIN OR NET LOSS?

by F Eric Saunders
 

One of the main points of controversy between conservatives and progressives these days seems to be the battle over whether tax cuts do (or even can) increase total revenue to the government.  Obviously, this is a complex question, else it should have been settled long ago.  But it can be made quite a bit simpler by weeding out some of the tangential issues, so that we can concentrate on the gist of the matter.

 

In sorting through this, from the simple to the complex, progressives win the first round.  It is kindergarten simple to realize that, all other things being equal, if you raise taxes you will get more revenue. So, the entire argument is over that phrase, "all other things being equal." 


I still recall some of the first words of advice from the professor in my first ever college economics class.  Given that this was over 45 years ago, that is impressive.  But the credit goes not to my memory, but rather to how profound were those words, as I came to appreciate through my continuing studies of economics in college, in graduate school and throughout life.  What he said was this"  "If you learn nothing else from this class, you must learn that it is completely impossible to affect just one aspect of an economic system.  Any action you take to 'tweak' one aspect of the system will have far reaching effects on other aspects of the system, some of which you can predict and some of which may be completely unpredictable."  Truer words were never spoken.  And that is why we must examine what 'else' would occur, if one were foolish enough to try to use increased taxes as a panacea for a budget deficit.

 

Let's start with an undeniable foundation - an axiom.  That is, taxes hurt business!  Business would prosper the most without any taxes at all.  If they had all their money to themselves, not only would they have more capitol to increase their production, as necessary, but also they would have that necessity - since their customers would all have more money to spend on their products.  Now, I realize that there is an 'infrastructure' argument - that taxes provide infrastructure that benefits business.  But we need not decide here whether businesses might be able to find ways around a lack of government-provided infrastructure.  (I think they would, and they also would find a way to provide infrastructure needed by the public at large - for a modest profit, of course.)  But here, we need not argue this point, as we are not advocating a complete eradication of ALL taxes.  We are here accepting, if not the necessity, at least the inevitability of some taxes, and those should be used for infrastructure, and the like.

 

So, given that we now accept the simple proposition that taxes, in general, inevitably detract from the vigor of the economy (with the possible exception discussed above), then it is a short step to realize that the greater the tax burden, the less healthy the economy will be.  Here, too, we must acknowledge one possible exception.  That is, 'market socialists' believe that the harm done to the private sector by taxing it can be offset by pumping money back into the economy from the government.  I reject that proposition outright.  There are many, many ways that I could illustrate my point here.  But the simplest is just to point to the inefficiency in government.  Tax dollars must filter through a bureaucracy to find their way through the government, and back to 'creating jobs' and the like. This means the bureaucrats, like leaches, are sucking the blood out of the economy.  No bureaucrat has ever done anything for the economy better than acting like any other consumer. Their “work product” does not contribute to the GDP.  It is waste! Look at the billions of dollars that are being spent right now to “create jobs”.  If you have been following this, you are aware of the waste and fraud that is actually being created. Is there anyone out there that really thinks that any government program is efficient - or even that one could be?



Put another way, it is axiomatic that government can only give to some what it takes away from others. Given the efficiency of the market and the inefficiency of government, wouldn't it be better to just leave as much money as possible in private hands?
 

Also, the above is not the only problem with trying to stimulate the economy through government spending.  Not only does it not get nearly as much money into the hands of businesses as does private investment, and not only does it likely get what money it does disburse into the wrong hands, there is an institutionalization effect associated with government spending that has serious long-term deleterious consequences.  That is, government spending tends to create jobs (to the extent that it does so at all) in one of two ways.  Either (a) it creates short term 'government' jobs, such as through "stimulus" programs that do pump money into the economy temporarily, or (b) it creates institutions and bureaucracies that tend to be self perpetuating even when they should not be.   In the first instance, we are, in the long run, left the worse off.  That is because, when money is diverted from the private sector to create government jobs, and when those jobs end, then the businesses that should be there to catch the workers will have withered to the point that those workers will simply be unemployed, thus necessitating even more government jobs.  In the second instance, one of the great things about Capitalism is its flexibility.  The "invisible hand", first described by Adam Smith in 1776 (quite a coincidence, huh?) works just as well today as it ever did.  If there is a need to be filled, a capitalist will find a way to fill it - for a profit, of course. Unprofitable endeavors are quickly abandoned in favor of   the production of goods and services that ARE needed. But Government doesn't work that way.  Once a bureaucracy is established, its main purpose in life becomes its own self-preservation.  The high-paid director certainly doesn't want to put himself out of a job, and neither do any of his minions want to lose theirs. In addition to the old adage that nothing is inevitable except death and taxes, I think we should add two more: the permanence of entitlements, and the intransigence of bureaucracies.     

 

Anyway, I will take a page from the book of my old Professor and tell you the one thing that you should take away from this whole discussion:  Whichever side of this argument one might take, you have to realize that the argument is over the MARGINAL EFFECTIVENESS of tax cuts/hikes.  That is, we KNOW that taxes hurt business.  So we KNOW that increasing taxes will provide revenue of a greater percentage, but of a smaller tax base.  Conversely, we KNOW that cutting taxes will provide revenue of a smaller percentage, but of a larger tax base.  But WHICHEVER WE DO, THE TOTAL EFFECT WILL BE SMALL, as the effects of the two competing factors (percentage vs. base) will converge toward each other.

 

But we still haven't addressed the question of; in which direction will this (smaller than might be expected) trend occur?  This, of course, is where the complexity comes in. Even bad tax policies will look good in times of prosperity, but in times of recession, even the best tax policy will not provide the desired revenue.  (Did you ever hear that you can't get blood from a turnip?)  So, whatever we do, as long as the present recession continues, our tax revenues will continue to fall.  And, given what we established above, whatever tax policy we institute (cut taxes, raise taxes, or do nothing) will really have little effect on the recession. Among the factors that affect the economy to a MUCH greater degree than marginal tax reform, are "technology bubbles", long term effects of prior economic policies and, most importantly, regression phenomena.


It should also be noted that the present state of the economy is an important factor.  No economist, no matter how liberal, can deny that there is some point where raising taxes will be so harmful to business that it destroys the tax base.  If you have not studied economics, I will tell you here that it is considered axiom among economists that ANY graph of taxes versus revenue will have termini of zero revenue for tax rates of 0% and of 100%. The argument is about where the peak of such a curve occurs, and the shape.  It is, again, axiom that any tax increase left of the peak will increase revenue, and any tax increase to the right of the peak will decrease revenue.  But the point I am trying to make here is that such curve is, itself, dynamic.  That is, in a weakened economy, the peak will be further to the left.  Put in practical terms, if businesses are already struggling, then it will take less of a push to get them to go out of business, cut back, or such.

  

Of course, prominent economists, such as Art Laffer, argue that there can be (when operating above the peak of the so-called Laffer curve) a net gain from tax cuts. But alleged "liberal economists” (an oxymoron, if I ever heard one) disagree.  The Wall Street Journal did an extensive study supporting the net gain theory.  But there are those who argue against the Wall Street Journal article.  We are showing some charts here that provide relevant information regarding this argument.  These charts are all from reliable sources. WE believe these charts and disbelieve those that are proffered to counter them.  But that certainly doesn't prove our case.  Charts are for the simple minded, anyway.  (Or, at least, a RELIANCE on charts is.) You can "prove" anything you want to on a chart.  So we will have to work our way around this issue.

  

The way around it is this:  We have already established that neither a tax hike, nor a tax cut, will have a very great short-term effect on the revenue coming in to the government. So we have to look at other factors to make our decision.  We are not the only ones to think along those lines.  During the presidential campaign, Obama famously replied to the question, "Senator Obama, if it were proven that a tax increase would lower overall revenue, would you still be in favor of the tax increase?"  His answer was, "Yes, because that would be fair."  There it is, folks.  How many times have I said it?  What will it take to make you realize it?  Progressives don't care about improving this country.  They don't care about making this country prosper.  They don't care about creating a rising tide that raises everyone's boat.  They don't even care about the actual welfare of "the poor" (as opposed to their relative welfare).  They care about being "fair".  They care about bringing successful people down to the level of those that are less successful.  They want everyone to be "equal" no matter what the cost, no matter that it will be at the cost of the continuing prosperity of our nation.

 

So, we AGREE with Obama on this.  (No, that's not the first time.  But it is rare.)  In deciding whether to cut or increase taxes, we should consider FIRST our overall philosophy.  That's easy.  We are against big government.  It oppresses us individually, and destroys our economy in the long run.  So, even if you tell us, "If you decrease taxes you will lower revenue to the government a little," we will just say, "Good!"  But our real reasons go beyond this, and are much more substantial.  Remember, we already established that, even if a decrease in taxes will only slightly increase OR DECREASE revenue, it will DEFINITELY help businesses to grow and prosper.  So, even if the short term effect on revenue is only marginal, the long term effect on business (and, therefore, on FUTURE revenue) is an exponential function of the short term benefit to business.  Plan for the future, Mr. President. Let business prosper!  If you want to cut the deficit, and you certainly should, CUT SPENDING YOU BLOOMING IDIOT!!!!

 

During the '80s recession, President Reagan was pressed by reporters to say what he was going to do about the fact that the stock market was plummeting.  His response, "Eh, markets go up and markets go down."  Reagan didn't MAKE the economy recover.  He ALLOWED it to recover.  If only our recent presidents, both Bush and Obama, had been as calm in the face of falling markets. If only they both had more faith in our country and in our system.  If only they had shown just a little constraint with their massive “bail out” and “stimulus” bills.  We would be on the mend again, instead of on the brink of disaster.

 

But does all of this really matter?  I want to cut the size of government by lowering taxes.  Progressives want to increase the size of government, at any cost.  But they also want to buy votes by “taxing the rich” - or at least to cost the Republicans votes by depicting them as favoring tax breaks for the “evil rich”. A small portion of the voting public is so full of resentment for successful people that they can't see beyond the cheap thrill of revenge against their imagined oppressors. As long as the progressives can feed on the bias and ignorance of voters, they will win.  Only when people start to think will the cause of Freedom win.   

  

Addendum, September 28, 2010:  As just one more example that Democrats in Congress are not serious about “reducing the deficit” by repealing (actually, failing to continue) “tax cuts for the rich”, the GAO reports that doing so, EVEN ASSUMING THAT THE TAX BASE WOULD NOT BE NEGATIVELY EFFECTED THEREBY, would bring enough money into the treasury to pay for about 9/365 (or 9 days) of this year’s budget. Of course, that assumption is not valid, and the actual total would be far less, if not a negative figure.  Is that really worth placing that extra burden on long term growth of the economy?  Or is this just an attempt to gain popularity and votes by seeming to “stick it to” those rich bastards?

  To get the most from freedomsite.US, please return to the home page after reading each article to browse the introductions to other articles. Thanks.


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