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I keep waiting for more of a splash! I understand the Libertarian party struggles for funds compared to the ‘big two’ but I would expect that would lead such a party to find more creative ways to catch news headlines. As a result I’ve still remained hesitant to donate time and money until I’m more convinced you can garner more support than in past elections.

Which leads me to a question…

It occurs to me that a lot of attention for Gary is overshadowed by Ron Paul. I don’t like Ron Paul as much as I do Gary. RP strikes me as an all-too-typical politico. The speed at which he threw his newsletter contributors ‘under the bus’ amid fallacious allegations of racist or controversial statements and disavowed any knowledge of them instead of using it as an opportunity to point out the hypocrisy, falsehoods and bias of the media and defend not only his authors but the truth and the 1st amendment freedoms of expression and the press was extremely disappointing if not alarming

But, like it or not, Ron Paul has a cult following of people who think they know what a liberty candidate is. Ron Paul is not it, especially when any issue of liberty crosses over his religious boundaries. But again, he has a core following.

Gary Johnson / Ron Paul

Thus my question, is the libertarian party doing anything to try to explore or otherwise court Ron Paul as a potential VP for Gary Johnson? Gary is a better candidate but RP has more attention. A GJ/RP ticket could actually win an election where Romney and Obama are the other two choices. A GJ/RP ticket could have enough combined ideas in line with Tea Party sentiment to gain their support, not to mention a LOT of media attention. The combined media black-outs against both Gary and Ron could be used as a weapon to bludgeon the media into paying attention.

Have you guys considered this? If it was me, even if I thought it was a virtual impossibility, I would still have someone who’s job it was to scour the press every morning to find new reasons why it would be a good idea for Ron Paul to consider and have them call Ron’s campaign headquarters with those two tidbits every single morning to ask “what about now?”
Whether I like him or not, he would be a strong resource to make a libertarian ticket viable in 2012. (and he’s still better than Romney/Obama)

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The following is a response I recently sent to an email that was forwarded to me.  The email included a number of quotations of sales figures of Walmart (with what appeared to be old numbers) comparing them to other chains and eventually criticizing government operations going on in the present. From what I could tell it was praise of Walmart in light of all the demonization going on by the progressive left. But I expanded on it a bit.

From the original email:

  1. Americans spend $36,000,000 at Wal-Mart Every hour of every day.
  2. This works out to $20,928 profit every minute!
  3. Wal-Mart will sell more from January 1 to St. Patrick’s Day (March 17th) than Target sells all year.
  4. Wal-Mart is bigger than Home Depot + Kroger + Target +Sears + Costco + K-Mart combined.
  5. Wal-Mart employs 1.6 million people, is the world’s largest private employer, and most speak English.
  6. Wal-Mart is the largest company in the history of the world.
  7. Wal-Mart now sells more food than Kroger and Safeway combined, and  keep in mind they did this in only fifteen years.
  8. During this same period, 31 big supermarket chains sought bankruptcy.
  9. Wal-Mart now sells more food than any other store in the world.
  10. Wal-Mart has approx 3,900 stores in the USA of which 1,906 are Super Centers; this is 1,000 more than it had five years ago.
  11. This year 7.2 billion different purchasing experiences will occur at Wal-Mart stores. (Earth’s population is approximately 6.5 Billion.)
  12. 90% of all Americans live within fifteen miles of a Wal-Mart.

I then went on to add:

Here’s some other numbers. Walmart currently employs 2.1 million people worldwide. For those of you counting, that amounts to about 1.5% of all the working people (amounting to 140 million) in the country. i.e. if we had about 9 more companies like Walmart, there would be no unemployment right now. The average wage of those employees is not high, but the average skill needed to work at a Walmart isn’t incredibly complex. The average is about $11.75 per hour. (the national average for retail employees is right about $12 per hour, but Walmart also has many programs that involve part-time employment of retirees and special ‘needs’ people. This average is also well above the federal minimum wage of $7.25)

The national poverty line is currently at $22,000 which would also place the annual wage of walmart ($20,744) slightly below that amount, but they also offer benefits and profit share programs to many of their full-time employees. But one should also consider that if a single household has two people working at Walmart making the average wage, that places the total household income above $40,000 per year, well into the so-called ‘middle class’.

Just for sake of argument though, Walmart did post $15 billion in profit last year. So perhaps they should increase wages. With 2.1 million employees and annual (net profit) earnings of 15 billion, if they spent every cent of their profits on raises, that would amount to a great big whopping $3.50 per hour raising the average annual earnings of each employee to $29,000 per year.

Of course, large corporations don’t exist to post no profit. Stockholders don’t buy stock to have no earnings.

So how’s about some other numbers? The US government spends $121,000 dollars per second. To pay for this, they have to borrow $52,000 every second. This means that in 1 minute, the US government eats up $7,264,020 in money that otherwise could have been profits for companies such as Walmart. That’s $435,841,200 per hour, $10,460,188,800 per day.

And of course, the government doesn’t exist to post any profit. So what are they paying as an average salary from all this money they are spending from other people’s productivity? The average federal employee made about $68,000 per year in 2008. And we are upset at Walmart? For what? Making money? THOSE BASTARDS!

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What is in a word? Apparently a lot of the recent hullabaloo over Rush Limbaugh‘s use of the word ‘slut’ in describing women’s rights activist Sandra Fluke.

Some time ago, I ran into a usage of the word ‘slut’ that I hadn’t previously been aware of. I tried to find the reference, but the Fluke/Limbaugh/contraception story is so out of control at the moment, any searches I try to do on google either bring up that story or a whole slew of pornography. The essence of the usage was akin to that of ‘bitch’. The references I had seen attributed the use of the word ‘slut’ also to that of breeding classes of animals. i.e. on a farm, a female animal considered to be well suited to mothering more animals of the breed was referred to as ‘the slut’ in much the same, non-negative manner that we call a female dog used for breeding ‘the bitch’.

Cow Slut

The etymology of the term is a bit cloudy, it’s origins most likely pointing to a word meaning something akin to ‘mud’ or otherwise un-pure liquid. And it appears it’s usage in application to women of ‘loose sexual morals’ (as defined at wikipedia) goes back about as far as it’s usage when referring to farm breeding stock or dogs – possibly farther. But the term appears to have parallel usage in both aspects going back at least as far as most etymological sources I can find can speak for. It would be my guess that the existence of one usage helps support the usage of the other and vice versa.

So let’s examine the usage of words like ‘slut’ or ‘bitch’ in relation to breeding stock. What would be considered the most desirable traits of an animal you wish to breed. It should have desirable attributes — attributes consistent with what you want from that particular type of animal. If it’s a cow, you might want an ability to produce lots of milk or perhaps to produce the best cuts of meat. For a sheep you might instead prefer an animal capable of producing a thick coat of wool. On a pig you might want the biggest backstrap to make bacon. But all-in-all, it boils down to ‘desirable characteristics’, whatever they may be.

Another big requirement of a slut or bitch, is a lack of resistance to sexual activity. If you are going to be breeding an animal, you aren’t going to want to go through a lot of fuss any time you seek to sire the female. Any good slut would not be resistant to the advances of the animal you bring to ‘stud’ her with or from.

Thus is why I think these two usages support one another. When applied to a female, it applies to a woman who is generally presumed to not be too resistant to having sex with anyone. In essence, to quote an old musical, “she’s just a girl who can’t say no!”

So no everyone is getting offended because ole Rush, a radio talk show host, said something sensational! Isn’t that kind of like getting upset because the sun rises? OH MY GOODNESS, a person who makes their living by being sensational was BEING SENSATIONAL!!! Call out the national guard!  But was what he said really ‘offensive’?  Was what he said, a response to something equally or of greater offensiveness?  Well, why should I say anything, Rush is more than capable of speaking about such things for himself:

Listen to Rush Limbaugh“What is she 30 years old? Thirty years old, a student at Georgetown Law, who admits to having so much sex that she can’t afford it anymore.

And thus, a new welfare entitlement must be created so that society will pay for it. You know, somebody asked me, “Why are you so insulting?” Me? Can anybody understand that a whole lot of us are insulted by this? Here we are, we’re minding our business one day. We’re bothering nobody. We can’t anyway! We can’t inspect your kids’ lunch box. We can’t raise your taxes. We can’t send your kids off to war. We can’t make you buy a certain kind of car. We can’t do anything. And all of a sudden we’re told that people who want to have sex without consequence, sex with no responsibility, and we have pay for it! We’re told we have to pay for it — and if we object, that somehow we’re Neanderthal. Just out of nowhere this comes up.

Now, that, to me, is insulting.

It’s no different than if somebody that I don’t know knocked on my door and said, “You know what? I’m outta money. I can’t afford birth control pills and I’m supposed to have sex with three guys tonight.”

“Well, why are you coming to me?”

“Well, because you’ve got the money.”

“Well, have you ever thought maybe you shouldn’t? If you can’t afford it, you can’t do it.”

Where is it written that all of a sudden, if you want something and don’t have the money for it, somebody else has to pay for it. I think the whole notion of being insulted here is misplaced. There are a lot of us insulted by this whole idea that is growing throughout the Obama administration, that the people who make this country work are somehow not doing their fair share. Not paying their fair share. We’ve gotta be punished even more. And here’s the latest example of it.”

(From Transcript)

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In the aftermath of the Catholic-condom scandal, I think I’ve come upon a clue as to how things work in America. So I have an idea. If you can put sufficient pressure on the government simply because you belong to a religion (in spite of the 1st amendment establishment clause) then perhaps instead of fighting religions we should follow the “if you can’t beat them, join them!” creedo.

It’s about time those of us that seek to understand reality by way of rational and objective observation of fact, find a way to get equal protection under the laws that seem to be becoming more and more inclined to pander to religious pressure.

Since religions always seem to have pretentious, hoity-toity names, thus I bring you….

Independent ManThe Manifest Cognizance of the Evident Percipience

As members of the MCEP, we believe that it is essential to our spiritual wholeness that each man or woman should be held accountable for meeting his or her own responsibilities. Each one of us accumulates a sum of these invisible, non-corporeal things known as ‘concepts’. And among these includes a special sub-sect known as OESWs. (objective evidence of self-worthiness)

These OESWs are essential to the mental condition of humans as spiritual beings. They improve one’s mood and increase motivation, help overcome depression and inspire achievement. A low quantity of OESWs tends to leave individuals susceptible to hoaxes, lies, misrepresentations, frauds and can lead to dependency, drug use, suicide, alcoholism, violent behavior and many other social maladies.

The view of the MCEP is that there is no greater moral sin than to willfully act in a manner or to participate in any action that will lead to a decrease of OESWs in themselves or in other human beings.  Therefore, it is strongly against our conceptual belief system to support, participate or otherwise contribute to any government programs (such as welfare, medicare, medicaid, social security, unemployment programs, foreign aid, minority endowments, social redistribution, public housing, public education, etc.) that will only serve to decrease the quantity of these OESWs in other human beings and therefore do them harm!

(feel free to suggest your own tenets of MCEP in comments)

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I came to realize something blatantly in error with one of my prior self quotes. It’s one that I am rather fond of so the realization was something I felt worthy of clarification. The problem isn’t so much an inaccuracy of the sentiment as it was a fault of omission. Below is the quote I refer to from my facebook stati tab:

I intend to leave the quote as is, but will point a link back to this posting for further details. The omitted concept is one that any reasonable person would consider implied within the statement and thus it’s not immediately necessary to belabor the quote with unnecessary detail. But since some folks like to stir muck, additional pre-emptive explanation should steal any such deviant’s thunder before they get the opportunity.

The omitted concept is in relation to the words ‘should not morally do’ in relation to a role a taken on behalf of the people by a government entity. When I say that the government be enlisted to do things that the people “morally” should not undertake for themselves, this assumes that the thing being undertaken exists as a moral action to be done on their behalf.

Upon discovering this omission, it occurred to me current government behaviors such as the act of ‘redistributing’ wealth (a role I condemn as both immoral and unconstitutional) might be considered condone-able actions for a ‘government’ to undertake in their stead by way of this omission. This is not what I meant in the slightest.

Instead, I refer to things such as the prosecution of criminal acts after-the-fact or the execution of foreign relations and the role of national defense when facing an imminent threat from a foreign power. Acts of diplomacy must reflect the combined will of the entire population governed and no one individual or small group should be morally allowed to endanger the lives of others or take it upon themselves to extol justice or declare war on foreign nations.

So I just wanted to clear this up before anyone chose to make an attempt at exploiting any potential ambiguity in that particular quote’s wording.

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I heard some woman say the other day that if she could ask the candidates one question, she would ask them:

“Would you [willingly] die for your country?”

All I could think at the time was ‘what an idiotic question!’  Here this clearly – it takes an irrational person to say they willingly die for a country, a religion, a cause or any other reason.  There is, of course, the possibility that they mean something else. But it is important to pay attention to what words are actually used because words ‘mean things’!

I can think of a great number of causes that I would risk my life willingly to uphold, protect or defend. Certain ideas or ideologies are worthy of assuming risk to self for the purpose of defending. But NOT ONE of those ideas would I ‘willingly’ die for. As in, I am going to do everything in my power to avoid dying even if I am willing to risk my life.

Take a quote posted by someone on facebook today:

“The less justified a man is in claiming excellence for his own self, the more ready he is to claim all excellence for his nation, his religion, his race or his holy cause.” – Eric Hoffer

I have often asserted that those who follow a ‘belief’, be it religion or statism or some other kind of subjective reasoning, supplants part of their self-esteem for the sake of the ideal. If their notion of what is good constitutes satisfying the constructs of a ‘belief’ that is not based on fact, then the notion of what is good for themselves is dependent upon adhering to the ideal. And if the ideal is one asserted by others and relies upon faith and not proof, then that person’s self-esteem is subject to the whims of the person claiming to speak for the ideal.

I would like to suggest that anyone who says “I would die for my country” just save us all time. Go to your kitchen, find a nice big butcher knife. Place the tip of it between the 4th and 5th ribs slightly to the left of your scapula, shout out whatever pro-state slogans you desire and have at it!

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I’m surprised no one has been making as much noise with the numbers while the whole occupy thing has been going on. I was busy with doing things on the new job or I would have got to this sooner, but I think it’s about time to take a look at just what that infernal 1% is doing. The OWS folks like to tell us that the rich need to pay more, that they don’t pay their fair share, etc. So what are they actually paying?

Let’s start by looking at the 99% shall we? Wikipedia reports that the median household income in the US in 2009 as we were barely eeking out of the latest recession was right around $50,000/yr. In that same year, those making that much or below were only paying a sum total of about 10% [1] of the total tax burden in this country. This is despite them making up about 59.5% of the total workforce [2].  Those making less than $32,000/yr account for more than 50% of the total population and are only responsible for less 2.25% of all taxes paid.

So who’s carrying the burden? Let’s climb the scales a little higher shall we? The top 10% of wage earners were responsible for paying over 70% of all income taxes paid in the year 2009. (Keep in mind, these numbers are ‘income tax paid’. These numbers do not reflect taxes upon corporate earnings prior to them being paid out as salaries or distributed as dividends to shareholders) This is just ‘income’. But lets go a little higher.

The top 5% carried the weight of  almost 60% (58.66) of all income taxes paid! So 95% of the US working population only paid 41.44% of total taxes paid. And what about that nasty, dirty, rotten, good-for-nothing 1%?

The top 1% of wage earners carried 36.73% of the total national income tax burden in 2009. Those evil rotten bastards!!! I just have to ask the question, if they aren’t paying enough (especially considering this doesn’t account for double-taxation on corporate earnings), how much is too much?

[1] “Who Pays the Income Tax?” – National Tax Payers Union
[2] “Money Income of People” – US Census Bureau

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I was listening to this address on the way home and found the first portion highly pertinent in this coming election cycle:

Ayn Rand Institute Multimedia Library

From Ayn Rand’s address “A Nation’s Unity” on October, 1972 at the Ford Hall Forum (click the graphic or link to hear the full audio of the address)

Every four years, at about this time, we begin to hear louder and louder appeals for national unity. We hear them between Presidential elections as well—particularly when something is about to be put over on us—though they are uttered in a more perfunctory manner.

Observe, however, that in recent years it has become fashionable to disparage unity, between elections, and to praise dissent as a kind of moral or patriotic duty. But the pattern of a Presidential election remains the same: first, there is a campaign in which the candidates denounce each other and seem to appeal to some sort of unstated principles; then, when the election is over, the appeals become, in effect: now let’s forget all about principles—national unity comes first.

This is, therefore, an appropriate time to examine the issue of national unity and to ask certain questions: Is such unity necessary? Is it possible? What makes it possible? What is the alternative? What are the consequences? The present election campaign offers many clues to the answers.

As in the case of many other errors or evils, today’s appeals for national unity are based on a perverted element of truth. It is true that, in order to exist as a nation, the large number of men who live in the same geographical area and deal with one another, must agree on some fundamental principle(s). And more: any two men who choose to deal with each other must have some sort of basic agreement, at least for the duration of their joint action. If you joined forces with another man in order to lift a heavy boulder, and you strained to lift it while he strained to push it down, nothing would come of both your efforts but failure, frustration, and—if the issue were important enough to both of you—the recourse to blows and mutual extermination.

The fact that in case of disagreement men can resort to physical force, i.e., to human destruction, is the reason why every human association is based on some sort of agreement, which is implemented by certain rules of conduct. An agreement, in this context, does not necessarily mean a common purpose: you may make an agreement with a neighbor that you will not attack him so long as he does not attack you—and if both of you abide by it, you are free to go your own ways and, perhaps, never see each other again. The fundamental agreement which is required of a nation is an agreement on the rules of peaceful coexistence. A territory inhabited by men engaged in perpetual conflicts, chronic fighting, physical violence, and general hatred of all for all, is not a nation nor a country, but a bloody mess. Internal peace and some sort of harmony are the precondition of the existence of a nation.

The big questions, however, are: Peace—at what price? Harmony—on what terms? Agreement—about what? And more: Can such terms and agreements be chosen arbitrarily? Can men choose any terms and make them work simply by wishing them to do so? Or are there objective factors which necessitate certain principles of human association, and defeat all others? In sum, the fundamental social question is: What principles should men agree upon in order to live and deal with one another?

The best way to answer questions of this kind is to start not with an enormous, floating abstraction, such as “society as a whole,” but with one member of society, the one you know best: yourself. Ask yourself: What rules of conduct would you be able and willing to accept in order to deal with your neighbors?

Let us say you are a young man who knows that he must work in order to support his life. You have a good job, a small family, and a home in the suburbs. Since you do not intend to stagnate, you maintain a certain financial and intellectual balance between the present and the future; you budget your money and your time: your money, to provide for your present needs and to improve your standard of living, For example, to pay off the mortgage on your home—your time, to do your present job well and to study in order to qualify for a better one. You like some of your neighbors, and you dislike others, but you are not afraid of any of them: they are not a threat to you, nor you to them.

This is the normal pattern of your life and you take it for granted, as if it were a fact of nature. But it is not. It took thousands and thousands of years to achieve it. Let us see what it depends on.

Suppose this country’s political system was changed. It was decided that the affairs of each community are to be determined at a monthly meeting of all it’s citizens – by general democratic vote, and that the rule of the majority is absolute – without limits or appeals. It would mean that you could be thrown out of your home and out of your community if the majority so voted. It would mean that you could be sentenced to die, if not liking your manners or your ideas, the majority so voted.

This is not fantasy. This was the social system of many Greek city-states – pure democracy, unlimited majority rule. Would you agree to accept it in the name of communal unity? No? Than would you agree to accept it on a much larger scale and by remote control?

Suppose it was decided but never announced openly and explicitly that the nation holds the absolute power of a Greek city-state. But since one cannot convene an entire nation to a monthly meeting, the people are compressed into groups representing various interests, and the government acts as arbiter and ruler – who listens to their clashing demands and enforces the will of those it deems to be representative of the public interest.

These groups are not elected. They are formed informally, spontaneously, democratically. Anyone is free to form them and to clamor demands for anything. How will you adjust to it?

First, there is a business lobby. But you don’t mind it, it helps your boss.

Then there is a labor lobby. But you don’t mind it – it helps you!

Then there is a farm lobby. But you don’t notice it. It is too remote from your activities.

Then a neighbor on the next block forms a group demanding better roads, and two blocks further a woman forms a group demanding better schools.

Another group demands ‘free lunches‘ for all school children and a rival group demands ‘free textbooks‘.

Your windows are smashed one night by a group of the ‘local juvenile delinquents’ or ‘problem adolescents‘. They show non-negotiable demands which you cannot quite untangle, but you gather it has something to do with ‘Youth Power’.

The residents of the local old-folks home form a group demanding ‘Senior-citizen power’.

The old-maid file clerk at the office – that you can’t stand because she can’t keep the files straight – is given a promotion with the help of a group that demands the liberation of women.

You have no time to keep track of it all. You notice only that your taxes keep rising and rising, and your money keeps buying less and less.

You are late getting to the office one morning because the local ‘welfare recipients’ group lies stretched out across the highway demanding a yearly income greater than half of your’s. You slam on your breaks just in time to avoid running over the group’s leader: a lady known as ‘fatso’ who has 12 children and no visible husband.

You had planned to have three children but you decided to wait a little for the third one – you cannot afford them.

A long haired, young man forms a group to forbid anyone to have more than two children, and a short haired young woman forms a group to forbid abortion and the use of contraceptives.

There’s a group that demands the display of sexual intercourse on the screen and another group that demands censorship of all movies above the intellectual level of a 6 year old. So you give up going to the movies.

You fall behind in your mortgage payment but your property taxes keep rising and rising. You consider giving up your house and renting one in a new development five miles away. But a local ‘birdwatchers’ group is suing the developer, demanding that the land he cleared be turned into a public park.

Your boss has promised you a promotion: the job of managing a new branch factory he is planning to build in your district. But he does not build it. The lady who used to have the local poetry club now has a group that demands the preservation of the beautiful ‘swamp’ he was going to kill.

Then, an educational group decrees that you cannot send your children to the local schools which so much of your property taxes has gone to pay for. So your children are bussed to a distant town: a daily trip of two hours going there, and another two hours coming back. This you are told will achieve ‘racial integration’.

You have never thought of it before, but you have become race conscious and try to untangle your own ancestry. You find it so mixed that you cannot qualify for any of the groups into which your community is [based]. The afro-americans, the chicano-americans, the italo-americans, the jewish americans, the irish americans, etc. And you … you are just a ‘mongrel-american‘. (so am I)

A title of which you would have been proud at one time but which is becoming ‘dangerous’. If you lose your job, there will be no preferential quota to help you get another one, and no way of knowing how many ‘ethnic’ applications will be pushed ahead of you. There will be no preferential quota for your son’s admission to a college when the time comes.

You are alone, unprotected, defenseless – and the only reason you know that you are living in a human society and not on a deserted island is the fact that your ‘taxes’ keep rising and rising.

How do you adjust? To whom and to what? The first thing to go is your future.

You can barely keep up with your current expenses. You have no way to plan ahead. If you try to save, you do not know which demands of which groups will eat up your savings in the form of new taxes and higher prices.

Why study to develop your skills? You do not know if you will ever get a better job or what new obstacles will spring up overnight or whether there will be anyone left to hire you.

You used to plan your course in terms of years. The range of your concerns shrinks to one year, then to one month, and then to next payday. You can see nothing beyond but a black void.

Strange things happen to a man without a future. You begin to act like the type of man you once despised.

You become sloppy at your job. You can barely summon the effort just to get by.

You get drunk too often. You buy a luxurious lawn mower which you have no time to use and you quarrel with your wife over the expensive cut of lamb chops she bought for dinner.

And when you hear a seedy lecture at the group meeting that declares that Horatio Alger’s stories are a myth, [and claims] that man cannot rise by individual effort and ability, you applaud defiantly and beligerently.

Oh yes! You have joined a group! You have joined several groups.

You do not know exactly what they stand for but they talk of community action and mutual protection and they denounce other groups. You do not know clearly which ones or why. You had tried to get it clear but gave up.

Everytime you read the newspaper or listen to the snarling voices on television, things grow murkier.

You do not know by what steps your attitude toward your neighbors has changed. You have begun to watch them suspiciously.

Whenever you see two of them in a heated discussion or observe several cars parked in front of a house you feel a touch of anxiety. You do not know what they might be up to, what ‘new group’ might be formed and what it will do to you.

You learn to feel ‘fear’. You are afraid of your neighbors – of any human being.

You are afraid to speak. You smile and you agree with everyone you meet.

You are afraid to think.

One day, you discover that what you feel for men … is hatred.

In that moment, you wonder ‘what has happened to your neighbors?’ They were decent people once – you remember vaguely. They did not act like wild packs, scrambling to get at one-another’s throats – and pockets!

You do not know how many of them are wondering the same thing about you.

You know only that there was a time when the local bird watcher, and the problem adolescent and the poetry-club ladies and ‘Ms fatso‘ were of no danger to anyone – but now they are! Why were they better in the past?

If someone answered:

Because – they – did – not – have – a – GUN!

you would not understand it.

You have come to believe that people are no good and that force is the only practical way to deal with them, since ‘reason’ – they all tell you – has failed.

You cannot cope with the enormous complexity of an entire nation’s problems. You have no way of knowing – you conclude – who is right or wrong, so let some groups force others and re-established order.

No one has explained to you that the ‘golden rule’ applies to politics. If certain conditions of social existence are unacceptable and unbearable to you, you cannot expect others to accept them and make them work. And what these conditions do to you, they do to society as a whole.

Do you agree to accept a social system of this kind?

It is of course, the system under which we are living today, but which we have never ‘chosen’.

It is important to consider it now because, in the coming presidential election one of the candidates is asking us to agree – and in the name of ‘national unity’ – explicitly to accept the principle that society has an unlimited power, and that our lives belong to the state!

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Imagine the following headline:

Madoff schill sues fellow victims for damages

You’d probably think the guy was nuts wouldn’t you? You’d probably think he has no basis for a case. You’d probably be right.

Bernie Madoff was tried and convicted for what has been dubbed the ‘largest ponzi scheme in history‘. The scheme cost his investors a combined 18 billion dollars in losses and earned Madoff a 150 year sentence on 11 different federal felony charges.  The victims only have Madoff (and their own lack of due diligence) to blame.

Yet many argue that Madoff is in fact not the perpetrator of the ‘largest ponzi scheme in history’. Some suggest (with growing evidence) that this title goes to the US government and relates to the ‘Old-Age, Survivors, and Disability Insurance (OASDI) program’ – aka ‘Social Security’ – originally put in place as part of Franklin Delano Roosevelt‘s New Deal.

Not too long ago, I wrote the story “The S.S. Administration” after realizing that modern politicians seem totally spineless when it comes to pointing out the obvious pending failure of what has become the worlds largest ‘pay-as-you-go’ scheme.  They are more interested in being re-elected and therefore will not touch these programs despite the huge and growing burden that they are placing on the American economy.

A lot of political clout and lobbying power lies in senior groups tied to the growing number of ‘baby-boomer’ retirees through organizations such as AARP and others. Yet despite huge criticisms of ‘special interest’ PACs and lobbyists, groups such as the AARP and similar organizations often get a pass on these criticisms and the notion of denying social security benefits to seniors is considered a poison pill by almost all politicians.

The notion that someone has paid into a system their whole lives is a noble one to uphold.  These people have worked hard under the promise of receiving retirement benefits.  Many (at least until recent generations) planned their lives around an expectation of receiving Social Security benefits. (to an extent, the same applies to Medicare and Medicaid, especially in that many companies as well as government pensions have dropped individual medical coverage in retirement plans in favor of these programs)  And of course, none of us want to see these people suffer or be denied coverage that they paid into with good faith and the promise to receive a reward.

But, are these people any different than the victims of Madoff and his fraudulent  investments?  Is it any less ridiculous to hold current and future generations responsible for the fraudulent scam of pandering politicians?

Don’t shoot the messenger

Now, I’m sure anyone past or nearing retirement age is probably going to get really pissed at me for daring to suggest that they are S.o.L. when it comes to receiving their benefits – but in fact I am saying that you ‘should’ be S.o.L. when it comes to paying your benefits.

Many people in ‘my’ generation have lived for some time with little or no expectation of ever receiving any benefits whatsoever from the social security program despite being forced to pay into the program just as our retire-age citizens had. Many people my age are asking – and in some cases demanding – the ability to ‘opt out’ so they can invest [all of] their money themselves.

Irony in Age

Amazingly enough, the most vocal folks speaking out against entitlement programs such as welfare and disability are the older generations. Yet these same generations cannot see the similarities between the Madoff victims, retirees and welfare recipients.

You got scammed – you got scammed by politicians – but not by our younger generation.

When you realize that the system as it stands today is a sham and a fraud akin to the Madoff investment mess, the expectation of retirees to receive their checks from government (and ultimately from the current working class) is [almost] as ridiculous and offensive as the welfare worker or the person claiming a disability check.

I feel for you, but you are not entitled to my salary.  We, the young, have learned from your mistakes. Don’t blame us – blame the guy(s and gals) that sold you on the fraud in the first place.  And blame yourself for not seeing through it earlier.

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“… but I live in a blue state, what can I do?”

I have to give the kudos to my dad for the idea behind this post.  It was his idea and I am simply passing it along as it is a good one.

I live in a progressive stronghold.  I like the technology and (some of the) culture in the Ann Arbor area, so I choose to remain here.  But every election, the Dingells win, the Levins win, the Conyers win, the the Stabenows win.  It’s not even close in most SE Michigan districts when the Union vote has anything to do with it.  Democrats just sweep.

There are many parts of the country where this tends to be the case.  I can imagine people with similar frustrations in the districts of Barney Frank or Nancy Pelosi, Harry Reid, etc.  You end up looking around and you are surrounded by people that drank the progressive koolaid, so what the hell can you do?

I hate apathy.  I don’t like it when I am faced with futility.  So I was glad when my father told me how he deals with the problem.  Yeah, the Levins and Stabenows and the democrats in general always seem to win the state-wide elections in Michigan.  So last election cycle, my father looked around to see what he could do.  He watched the news and came up with an idea.

What my father did was he started to pay attention to the races around the country that were in contention and were hard to predict an outcome.  Every time he heard of such a race, he wrote the name of the candidates down.  When he had time later, he looked up the websites of those candidates and got the addresses for them.

He then not only wrote a check to those candidates, but encouraged all his frustrated friends to do likewise.  He also got on the phone to various organizations he supports such as the National Rifle Association and a few others and told them they should recommend following his example.  He told as many people as he could to give as much as they can spare to help those fighting for a few more votes to defeat democratic incumbents in other districts around the country.

Sure, Michigan might be a lock for the democrats, but you can damn well make sure those democrats are going to have a hell of a hard time getting anything done when they get there!

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