Sunday, October 31, 2010

Klavan on the Culture's Guide to the Elections

Marxism in America

Saturday, October 30, 2010

A candy "buy back"

A group of dentists have set up an organization, Operation Gratitude, to "buy back" kids' Halloween candy, then send it to US servicemen deployed in harm's way. It's a good cause, getting sugar out of the mouths of American kids and giving a treat to our GIs. The GIs, in turn, typically share the candy with children in the communities where they're posted.

In a way, the project reminds me of the efforts of the "candy bomber," Gail Halvorsen, way back during the Berlin Airlift in the late '40s.

However, I take issue with the term, "buy back." How can the dentists "buy back" something that they never owned?

The "buy back" term has its roots in the gun-control movement where anti-gun zealots typically exchange small amounts of money or gift cards for heirloom guns that white-haired widows inherited from their long-gone deceased husbands. The zealots think they are doing something about crime. But, think about it, why would a career criminal trade his $500 work tools (guns) for a $20 gift card?

The "buy-back" concept comes from the aristocratic notion that everything belongs to the king (big government) and he graciously allows us peasants to use it on the condition that he can take it back anytime he wants.

I applaud Operation Gratitude and encourage everyone, especially parents and children, to participate. However, I'd like to see them use a term other than "buy back."

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Stop funding National Public Radio!

The Public Broadcasting Act of 1967 crated what now is the present system of public broadcasting. Like virtually all government-funded projects, "public" broadcasting has grown into a more-than-billion-dollar monster which is virtually free of accountability to the taxpayers who are striped of hundreds of millions of dollars to keep it on the air and competing against private-enterprise broadcasters.

Originally conceived to provide educational programming the system has festered into a taxpayer-subsidized political indoctrination tool for leftists -- although it still produces a bit of worthwhile educational programming.

National Public Radio (NPR), the Public Broadcasting Service (PBS), and The Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB) have been feeding at the public trough for far too long. Their intolerance of honesty and diversity of opinion, as manifest by the recent termination of Juan Williams is inexcusable. National Public Radio fired Mr. Williams because he admitted on Fox television to becoming nervous when he sees Muslims on airplanes -- for saying what we all feel!

It is interesting to note the hypocritical difference in how NPR views disparaging remarks about conservatives. Last year, Sarah Spitz, a producer for National Public Radio affiliate KCRW, said that she would "Laugh loudly like a maniac and watch his eyes bug out" if she saw Rush Limbaugh having a heart attack; Spitz was not fired. In 2001, NPR's Bill Moyers called conservative Americans "the right-wing Taliban" and conservative legislators "the ayatollahs in Congress"; Moyers was not fired. In 1995, NPR's Nina Totenberg commented that if there was "retributive justice," conservative former Sen. Jesse Helms would "get AIDS from a transfusion, or one of his grandchildren will get it"; Totenberg was not fired. Also in 1995, NPR commentator Andrei Codrescu declared about fundamentalist Christians, "The evaporation of 4 million who believe this crap would leave the world an instantly better place"; Codrescu was not fired.

NPR, PBS, and CPB must be de-funded, but not because they fired Juan Williams. If NPR was privately-funded their editorial and staffing decisions wouldn't be any of my business. Instead, I would simply be a consumer, free to listen, or not listen to NPR. But, thanks to the busy-body know-it-all politicians in Congress, everything NPR does is my business, because I'm taxed to subsidize NPR. I don't appreciate being forced to pay for other people's "viewpoints," "journalism," or "art" (Don't get me started on the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) which uses taxpayer money to pay "artists" with little or no talent to produce garbage and even profane insults on our sensibilities.).

Of course, any private business should have the right to fire its employees. But NPR, PBS, and CPB (and their many public broadcasting stations) aren't any private business -- they get millions of taxpayer dollars every year! In other words: every taxpayer is paying for leftist talk radio and censorship of non-politically cleansed (AKA politically correct) speech -- content which has been a proven failure in the free market of ideas!

I have written Congress several times over the years insisting that these organizations no longer receive funding from the taxpayer. Where is the Constitutional authority for this spending and for this competition against private enterprise?

I cannot tolerate a government-funded entity competing against private enterprise. And, I certainly cannot tolerate and form of government influence over any source of news or commentary.

These programs
- Violate the First Amendment by forcing me to subsidize other people's speech
- Violate the Ninth Amendment by attacking my freedom of conscience
- Violate the Tenth Amendment because these subsidies aren't authorized by the Constitution.

All federal funding of speech and the arts should be terminated immediately! The must be required to compete in a free market like any other broadcaster!

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Yet another deadly gun-free zone

Once again, two gunmen have proven the absolute folly of "gun-free" zones such as schools, churches, federal buildings, court houses, post offices, and even military installations. This week, the "gun-free" killing zone was a post office in Henning, Tennessee.

Ironically, post offices, where this shooting occurred, are well-known for being excessively restrictive on firearms in the hands of responsible people -- even employees and patrons who have been trained in the safe use of firearms and who have been certified by the FBI and their States as responsible, law-abiding persons.
Weapons and explosives. No person while on postal property may carry firearms, other dangerous or deadly weapons, or explosives, either openly or concealed, or store the same on postal property, except for official purposes. -- Postal Regulation 39 CFR 232.1(l)
How were two miscreants able to gun down two defenseless women? Because policy- and law-makers seem to believe that regulating an inert piece of steel and plastic somehow makes criminals behave! Because the government thinks its better to keep it’s citizens unarmed!

Unfortunately, like all restrictions on law-abiding people, this ban does not affect criminal behavior -- it only leaves responsible people defenseless. I cannot understand why creators of "gun-free" zones don't understand that simple concept. Those who favor and establish gun-free zones need to rationally reconsider their restrictions on the right of good people to defend themselves.

Here's a thought: If signs are so effective in curbing criminal behavior, why not simply post a sign that says, "No criminals beyond this point"? Ya say it won't work? Now you've proved my point! So, why post a sign that bans responsible, peaceful, law-abiding adults simply because they are prepared to defend themselves against the very criminals that disobey your anti-gun sign?

The courts, including the US Supreme Court, have repeatedly ruled that the police have no obligation to protect individuals or even groups. In fact, it is not reasonable or wise to expect them to do so. Violent crimes are typically over long before police have a chance to respond as was the case in today's tragedy. All the cops can do is collect evidence and maybe find the attacker. Additionally, we don't want a nation where police are so prevalent that they can stop all crime before it happens.

One of our most basic human rights is our right to protect ourselves and our families from harm. "Gun-free" zones (ie military installations, most schools, most churches, federal buildings, many businesses, and even court houses) by definition deprive law-abiding citizens of the most effective means of self-protection -- a gun. These disarmed potential victims are left completely vulnerable to attack by those who, by definition, disobey laws such as gun bans.

Experience and reason clearly indicate that "gun-free" zones do nothing but assure criminals and terrorists that they will find unarmed victims defenseless against a homicidal rampage. The only people who have guns in "gun-free" zones are criminals, members of the elite (who create special rules for themselves so they can carry a gun or have armed bodyguards) and maybe a cop or two.

I can't quite decide whether "gun-free" zones are an illusion or an hallucination. But I do know they are evil. I hold the authorities who establish "gun-free" zones just as accountable for the deaths and injuries as the shooter himself. It is reckless and foolish to assume that disarming good people causes bad people to behave as they should. It is my firm opinion that any person, government, agency, business, school, church, or any other entity that creates a "gun-free" zone must also provide absolute security and safety for all who enter therein.

Utah's legislature is one of countless government entities that have established "gun-free" zones and/or have provided for businesses, churches, and government agencies to establish "gun-free" zones. I believe every State legislature and Congress must promptly pass legislation requiring all entities that establish "gun-free" zones also provide absolute security to include armed guards and full screening for weapons.

We must no longer tolerate any attempts to disarm law abiding citizens with silly schemes that criminals will never obey. Tragically, there will be shootings in "gun-free" zones again, but they will happen with, or without any gun laws anyone can think of. Disarming victims is not the solution! Fortunately, enlightened businesses understand that simple fact.

Congress must show proper respect the US Constitution and the Second Amendment by abolshing all unconstitutional laws, regulations, policies and agencies including the regulation (39 CFR 232.1(l)) which facilitated the murder of two defenseless postal workers this week. Those who created this monstrous regulation have blood on their hands as do those who allow it to continue.

Life is too short to allow our government to interfere with our right and ability to defend ourselves and our families.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

The voters are the problem

Let me begin this rant by claiming that 53% of all statistics are made up.

Given that disclaimer, I have determined that:
• One-third of voters get their news and information through careful study of issues and political candidates through newspapers, radio and TV news, non-fiction radio and TV programs, books and magazines and discussions with other voters (including persons with opposing viewpoints) on a variety of issues.
• One-third of voters get their news and information from Jay Leno, David Letterman, and Bill Maher monologues; Hollywood sages (ie Barbara Streisand, Sean Penn, Pamela Anderson, Whoopie Goldberg, and Michael Moore); professional racists (ie Kweisi Mfume, Louis Farakhan, Al Sharpton, Cynthia McKinney, Ray Nagan and Jesse Jackson); and Marxist anti-American college professors and government school teachers.
• Finally, one-third of voters don't get any news or information at all!

Consequently, the two-thirds of voters who make poorly informed choices in the voting booth are out-voting those of us who put in a little effort before voting. That is the primary reason we have our terrible government with excessive taxes and corrupt politicians. Too many voters cast votes based on their personal selfish interests as opposed to what is best for the nation as a whole. We have the democracy we deserve.

Perhaps this problem can best be fixed with a voter test. The questions need not be difficult. For example, if you don't know your mayor's name or who pays for welfare handouts (working people and other taxpayers) or who is next in line for the presidency if both the president and vice president die, you don't get to vote. My voter test would help to reduce the number of ill-informed votes that cancel the voice of responsible voters every election.

If nothing else, each voter should be asked one simple question about his/her prefrred candidate: "Why?"

Leading up to the 2008 presidential election, I asked that one-word question, "Why?", of several would-be voters. Every McCain voter could articulate a reasonable reason related to the McCain's experience, stands on issues, and voting record. No Obama voter could tell me anything about Obama other than the color of his skin and used some variation of "I think he'd be a good president" or "We need a change from Bush." (Note to the clueless Obama zombies: Bush wasn't running for office in 2008 so a "change from Bush" was already guaranteed long before anyone even thought to run for the Whitehouse.)

Some argue that such a test would be discriminatory. Yup -- against ill-informed voters. If more people of one race fail the test than another, that is not a race problem, it's voter-preparedness problem! If an immigrant needs to pass a basic civics test (in English) to become a citizen, why shouldn't I be expected to also pass a basic civics test to vote?

In the Declaration of Independence, our nation's founders affirmed that all men are created equal. By that, they meant that we all have the same God-given rights and that there should be no aristocratic class nor commoner class. Specifically, their declaration was directed to the King of England and their view that he was nothing more than another mortal man with no right to enslave his subjects.

Like King George III, the self-anointed kings and aristocrats in US political office, bureaucracies, and courts believe they are better equipped to make our decisions and impose government programs (at our expense) to deny us freedom to make personal choices. At the same time they seek to build and preserve their own power and wealth -- just like King George.

In the Declaration of Independence, our founders declared
That to secure [our God-given] rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed....
If voters understood this simple concept, that governments exist to protect our rights -- not to provide cradle-to-grave comfort by taking from the producers and giving to the non-producers, they would vote very differently.

The Declaration of Independence continues:
That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness.
Our founders not only were involved in an insurrection against the established and tyrannical government (Great Britain), they were advocating revolution whenever the people see it is necessary to protect their rights and freedom.

Now, consider this: The founders wrote a Constitution that gives us an opportunity for rebellion and change in government every two years. We call that opportunity an election. Every two years we can throw out the entire House of Representatives! But, we don't -- even though we all despise the work they're doing (or not doing). Every four years, we have the opportunity to change the President and the entire top leadership of his administration thereby profoundly changing the way bureaucrats treat our rights. But, we often don't -- even though we all despise the work they all are doing (or not doing). Every two to four years, each State has the opportunity to vote out a senator. In six years, we can purge the entire Senate! But, we don't -- even though we all despise the work they're doing (or not doing).

Our founders gave us the tools needed for a peaceful and orderly overthrow of a tyrannical government. Yet, the uninformed and selfish among us keep electing and reelecting the wrong people!

I hear people always whining about the conspiracies of the Federal Reserve and the Bilderberg Group, out-of control government spending, government waste, unconstitutional laws and wars, bailouts, debt ceilings, cash for clunkers, judicial activism, etc. But, nobody seems to understand that we voters have the power to fix all that in less than six years with wise and informed votes! I guess it is easier to watch Oprah, American Idol, Survivor, and Jerry Springer and then whine about the government we have chosen.

Freedom comes to those who know truth and live its standards. Every man has the right to be free from enslavement, free to make his own choices in life and suffer the consequences thereof as envisioned by the founders. Everyone should have the blessing of freedom. But they have no right to harm the rights of others.

I see voting as a mixture of a right and a responsibility -- just like using a firearm or driving a car. Those who cannot or will not exercise the right responsibly must have that right restricted in order to protect the rights of everyone else. Restricting the right of irresponsible persons to vote (defined as those who don't study the issues and candidates enough to make an informed choice) would ensure that they do not harm the rights of everyone else by their poor choices.

Unfortunately, it'll never happen because certain politicians (ie Nancy Pelosi, Barbara Boxer, Cynthia McKinney, Harry Reid, John Conyers, Barack Obama, Chuck Schumer, Frank Lautenberg, John Kerry, Dianne Feinstein, Richard Daley, Joseph Biden, John McCain, etc.) rely on a constituency consisting of a sizeable portion of idiots to stay in power.

Many people fret about low voter-turnout. Personally, I think that's a good thing. If a person is too lazy to vote, he's also likely too lazy to have an informed opinion. Some propose some sort of incentive to vote such as a lottery as proposed in Arizona a while back. I think that's a bad thing. Again, if a person needs to be bribed to vote, he's likely too lazy to have an informed opinion. Inducing people to vote for the purpose of entering a lottery is contrary to the civic rights, privileges and duties inherent in our citizenship.

I shudder when I watch Jay Leno's "Jay-Walking" excursions wherein he explores how utterly ignorant many Americans are.

Congress has the lowest approval rating of any entity imaginable. Yet, we persistently reelect over 90% of the most corrupt, anti-Constitution, anti-liberty, big-government incumbents we all disapprove of! Many people call for term limits in an effort to get the government back under control. But, as another writer said, this is a cop-out. The fact that some politicians remain in office too long is no reason to also boot out the statesmen our nation needs. We voters have a profound moral obligation to elect and reelect only the best to public office. We are failing in that role.

I predict that even the most corrupt members of Congress will be reelected in November, 2010. Perpetual non-statesmen incumbent congressmen who have been in office far too long, yet who will be reelected include Barbara Boxer, John Conyers, John Dingell, Barney Frank, Jesse Jackson Jr, my own congressman Jim Matheson (who although he claims to be a "Blue Dog" conservative Democrat votes with ultra-leftist Nancy Pelosi 93% of the time), Nancy Pelosi, Charles Rangel, Harry Reid, Maxine Waters, and Don Young. The voters are idiots!
If the next centennial does not find us a great nation, it will be because those who represent the enterprises, the culture, and the morality of the nation do not aid in controlling the political forces. — James A Garfield
Now, more than ever before, the people are responsible for the character of their Congress. If the people be ignorant, reckless, and corrupt, it is because the people tolerate ignorance, recklessness, and corruption. If it be intelligent, brave, and pure, it is because the people demand those high qualities to represent them in the national legislature. — James A Garfield
I honestly don't care if a well-informed voter makes a carefully reasoned vote that is contrary to mine--we need everybody's good ideas to make democracy work best. But those who don't know or understand the issues or the consequences of a candidate's agenda really need to stay home on election day for the good of the country.

Judeo-Christian Voter Guide

Vote Freedom First

American Family Association Election Guide

Eagle Forum Election Guide

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Politicians, Taxes, Subsidies, and Renewable Energy

A candidate for the office of Iron County Commissioner spoke at a recent American Legion meeting in Cedar City. I was pleased to see that the number one issue listed on her flyer was "fiscal responsibility at all levels of county government...."

However, the third issue she listed causes me concern: "encourage renewable energy advancement...." On she answered a related question in a way that further concerns me:
Q - What do you believe is the best solution for Iron County's energy needs?

A - Based on my discussions with our economic development personnel, and supported by their overall research, our best solutions for renewable energy sources would be 1) solar, 2) geothermal, and 3) wind.
Sadly, at least two other candidates for the Iron County Commission also favor pushing the County into the alternative energy boondoggle.

It doesn't take much study to learn that the technologies Mrs. Bulloch and her advisers aspire for are expensive and are not economically viable in a free market. If "green" energy is such a good idea, why hasn't any power company already established wind or solar farms at its own expense? Why is their decision always to build new energy plants that use carbon? It's because they know that rational consumers (that's the overwhelming majority of us) won't consiously pay more just so they can brag about using "green" energy -- energy that can't even be relied on to produce heat or light or work when needed.

Without substantial government subsidies at taxpayer expense, none of these technologies would exist except for remote off-the-grid applications. (In 2007, American taxpayers subsidized government-preferred energy sources to the tune of nearly $17 billion!) These technologies cannot survive in a free market and are only in the market because the government has forced them into the market -- and we have local "leaders" who are eager participants in that force!

A typical "renewable energy" project is the 17-acre, 100-kilowatt "SunSmart" solar farm that the "leadership" of St. George imposed on their citizens. After the project was complete, authorities admitted that it would never pay for itself -- even after collecting taxpayer-funded federal and state subsides!

In the early days of his administration, Obama inaugurated a new $100 million solar project at Nellis AFB near Las Vegas. That project allegedly will save the base $1 million in electric bills per year. Do the math -- 100 years to pay for itself -- and it'll only last 20 years!

The irrational cost of solar projects isn't the only problem. They only work when the sun is shining. And, the production of the solar panels is one of the nastiest industries in the world with regard to the toxic waste that is produced. They simply displace the pollution somewhere out-of-sight-out-of-mind. They call that "green."

In my extensive travels around the nation and the world, I've seen a lot of wind farms. They're far uglier and more intrusive than almost any other human intrusion on nature. I got to spend some time talking about them with a project supervisor who is working on the wind project in Milford county. He described the project's huge demand on fossil fuel for the energy needed to fabricate the turbines, towers, new power lines, etc. Each tower's foundation alone requires many tons of concrete which, in turn, requires tons of fossil fuel to create. Then, there is the heavy demand on fossil fuel to run the equipment to put the things in place. (When you really need to get some work done, you need fossil fuel to do it.)

In similar fashion to solar systems, wind turbines only produce electricity when the winds blow -- and they only produce their rated capacity when the winds are above 30 mph (well above the average wind speed). Actual output is generally less than 20% of rated output. Only a person completely ignorant of the facts or a person who stands to gain financially could support such a system. Like the solar systems, wind systems have a short lifespan. Being mechanical devices, they wear out. A drive between Barstow and Bakersfield, California is all it takes to discover the poor reliability of wind power technology -- a substantial portion of those wind turbines are inoperative. Our politicians are generous with taxpayer money to subsidize new projects. However, maintenance is not subsidized and the turbines don't produce enough electricity to pay for repairs. So they are essentially abandoned. What a waste!

Both solar and wind power are so unreliable that traditional power sources (coal, gas, hydro, nuclear) must be sized to provide 100% of the energy needs of the customers. California's infamous brownouts are a natural consequence of trusting the wind to blow and the turbines to not break down. You might remember that, shortly after St. George proudly inaugurated their 100-kilowatt solar project, it installed a new 40 megawatt gas turbine (which covers only a few hundred square feet) to meet the growing electrical needs of St. George because they can't trust the solar project to meet those needs. In addition to being reliable, the electricity produced by the gas turbine is substantially cheaper than that produced by the solar farm.

Similar arguments can be made against bio-fuels (including ethanol), geothermal energy (except in a few regions where Earth's molten core is close to the surface such as Iceland), and electric/hybrid cars. (Has anyone in the "green" movement given thought to what happens to all those toxic batteries when they're worn out or has any electric/hybrid car purchaser considered the cost of replacing them?)

According to Robert Bryce, author of Power Hungry: The Myths of 'Green' Energy, "One nuclear power plant in Texas covers about 19 square miles, an area slightly smaller than Manhattan. To produce the same amount of power from wind turbines would require an area the size of Rhode Island. This is energy sprawl." To produce the same amount of energy with ethanol, another "green" fuel, it would take 24 Rhode Islands to grow enough corn. How can anyone say that's a good idea?

"Green" energy advocates like to talk about the jobs that their agenda creates. There are, indeed, steady jobs in manufacturing alternative energy components such as solar cells and wind turbines -- in other countries such as China. However, a substantial portion of the remaining "green" jobs are transient. I met the above-mentioned wind-farm project supervisor while he was commuting from Utah to his real home in another state. He said most of his workers live in RVs or motels. Few workers -- even temporary help -- are hired locally. Then the workers move on to install a another project in another site. The "green" people like to count the jobs at each site as a new set of jobs -- even though it's the same group of workers moving from site to site! The only real impact on local jobs is a temporary bump in motel occupancy and burger sales. If "green" technology is such a great place to work, why can't they at least count the jobs honestly?

There is a reason why so-called "renewable" or "alternative" energy technologies are subsidized: They can't even produce enough power to feed the industries that create them! I am unalterably opposed to subsidizing or bailing-out any industry -- including so-called "green" industries. I am even opposed to my city and county governments accepting federal and state subsidies, as St. George did, and Iron County is about to do, to help fund such a boondoggle.

Any person or entity that seeks or accepts government subsidies to fund so-called "alternative" energy schemes is a thief. Some might say that is a strong accusation. Consider this: Every dime that the government gives away has to come from somewhere. The only place government can get that money is by taking it from someone else, by force or threat of force. That makes any recipient of that theft an advocate of, and complicit in, said theft. What difference does it make for one person to steal money to pay the cost of his solar array or hybrid car (There's a $7,500 tax-payer-funded subsidy for Chevy Volt buyers!) or have someone else (the government) steal it for him? I'm getting really tired of involuntarily paying someone else's bills. Shouldn't everyone be getting tired of involuntarily paying someone else's bills?

These technologies would not exist outside the lab (where they still belong) without taxing the people to force these technologies into the market. If wind and solar power were practical or profitable, entrepreneurs would invest in it without the need for government to take money from taxpayers and give it to people pushing green products.

Perhaps, some day in the future, the cost of traditional power sources will rise to a level that justifies the use of the "alternative" energy resources without the need for subsidies -- especially if politicians continue to place unreasonable restrictions on oil, gas, coal and nuclear development. Until then, if a technology cannot stand on its own in a competitive free market, it needs to die.

People who favor these "green" scams don't seem to care about science, don't seem to understand economics, won't do the math, and enjoy having the government force other people to pay their bills for them. Few politicians have the sense to take the time to study the issue before committing taxpayer money to these money-pits. It is time for politicians, journalists, environmentalists, and voters to learn something about science and economics and muster the courage to say no!

All government subsidies of "alternative energy" scams such as solar and wind power and electric and hybrid cars must cease immediately. I even oppose government subsidies for research and development of conventional power.
It's both logically and historically fallacious to conclude that, because something is desirable, government should subsidize it. -- Don Boudreaux
If politicians can't muster the courage to cut off subsidies for "alternative energy" schemes, they must, at least, mandate placards on all subsidized products that clearly specify the amount of subsidy -- and that placard must be visible at a distance of at least 20 feet and permanently affixed (removal prohibited unless the purchaser refunds the entire subsidy to the taxpayer).

It doesn't matter whether the money for government projects comes from local, state, or federal taxes -- it ultimately is money that was extracted from hard-working taxpayers who very likely could do a better job of spending that money than the politicians. I expect my elected officials, and the bureaucrats they hire, to be good stewards of my tax dollars. "Investing" in alternative energy is not a wise use of taxes!

The decision to use so-called "green" technology must always be a business decision made in a free market -- never a decision imposed upon taxpayers and consumers by naive, idealist politicians and activists.

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Congress is too generous!

It's bad enough that the dead in Chicago still vote, but in Congress, the dead continue to receive a paycheck!

It is tradition in Congress for family members of a congressman who died while in office to receive the equivalent of one year’s pay for the congressman. There is no constitutional authority for this generosity.

The family of the late Senator and Klansman Robert C. Byrd will receive $193,400 through the recently-passed temporary spending bill.

In Byrd’s case, that amount came to $193,400. The money is to be equally distributed among Byrd’s children and grandchildren (all of whom are surely as poor as a West Virginia coal miner), according to the text of the amendment.

Where we commoners work somebody passes a hat to collect money to help out the family of a deceased or seriously ill coworker. I expect Congress to do the same -- pass the hat -- not steal money from the people so they can give it to their deceased buddies.

I am pleased that our congressmen are so generous. But, they need to be generous with their own money -- not mine -- it's not theirs to give!

Are you a felon? Probably!

The following is quoted from an article by the Heritage Foundation, Fighting Back Against Arbitrary Government Rule (I recommend you read the entire article.):

"....a very real problem that is currently undermining the civil liberties of all Americans. Between 2000 and 2007, Congress created 452 entirely new crimes, a rate of over one new crime every week. By the end of 2007, the U.S. Code included more than 4,450 federal crimes, with an estimated tens of thousands more located in the federal regulatory code. Civil liberties attorney Harvey Silvergate estimates that the average working American unknowingly commits three felonies a day. Heritage Foundation Senior Legal Research Fellow Brian Walsh explained to last week’s Judiciary Committee hearing why this is happening:
"Placing thousands of vague, overbroad criminal laws in the hands of government officials means that no one is safe from unjust prosecution and punishment. Many of these criminal laws punish conduct that the average person would not guess is prohibited. The body of criminal law thus fails to meet one of the primary requirements of due process: providing individuals with fair notice of what conduct can be punished criminally."
The last time I counted, we had at least 57 federal law enforcement agencies (there are probably more than that now) to go along with the plethora of federal crimes.

So-called "tough on crime" policies and laws actually make things worse for otherwise law-abiding citizens by creating new crimes.

Congress and the Whitehouse must immediately commission a full audit of all federal legislation, regulations, executive orders, and treaties and purge every law, rule, policy, order, treaty, and agency that violate the authority granted to the federal government by the people through the US Constitution.

Related books:
Three Felonies a Day: How the Feds Target the Innocent
Three Felonies a Day: How the Feds Target the Innocent

Go Directly to Jail: The Criminalization of Almost Everything
Go Directly to Jail: The Criminalization of Almost Everything

Flawed Justice: When Our Unalienable Rights Are Ignored
Flawed Justice: When Our Unalienable Rights Are Ignored

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Pension Devastation

I receive a small monthly retirement check from the PBGC (Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation). Because that pension is not indexed to inflation, it will never change in its dollar amount, but inflation will certainly reduce its value.

Because of outrageously reckless federal spending over the past several decades (which has accelerated astronomically over the past couple of years), I fear that inflation will soon soar. Consequently, I expect my modest but hard-earned PBGC pension to be worthless long before I die.

The Congress-caused economic troubles have also devastated my 401k account which is now worth less than half what it was just 2-3 years ago -- and even then, it wasn't much. While a corrupt Congress throws trillions of dollars at dubious "stimulus" projects and morally-destructive social programs (all of which defy the Constitution), those of us who actually worked hard to take care of ourselves and our families over the past 30-40 years are in serious jeopardy.

Since Congress, abetted by generations of presidents and a secretive Federal Reserve, is at fault for its unwillingness to control spending -- especially to support the nations human parasites -- I demand that Congress take immediate steps to make whole those of us who have actually earned our way through life. I earned every penny of that PBGC pension and every penny that used to be in my 401k account. I demand Congress to immediately protect the value of PBGC pensions by providing the funds necessary to index them for inflation. Those funds must come from their own pockets -- not the taxpayers. I also demand that Congress immediately restore a tax and regulatory environment where free enterprise can again flourish so that my 401k can recover quickly.

Where should the money come from? Directly from the pockets of every Congressman, and his heirs, who has introduced or voted for any unconstitutional legislation over the past 100 years.

Another, better, alternative is for Congress to comply with the restraints imposed by the Constitution on Congress and the federal government.