I do not know how to begin this post. I do not know what to write in it, nor how to end it. I only know that I am feeling like it must feel when one steps into quicksand and there is no branch, or twig or any object or person to help prevent one from just sinking into oblivion. It’s a terrible feeling of resignation, of loss, of failure and hopelessness that things will get better or that conditions ever can.

I am not in this state of mind for reasons of my own making but for reasons of an oppressive government that is steadily and overtly crushing all that this country was built upon as if all the greats this country has ever known have been fools and the new regime knows best how to control the plebes and paeons that are the populace who have heretofore provided the energy and wherewithal to keep the country strong and prosperous, creative, and the envy of the world.

At 59 years of age, my life at least two-thirds over, owning no small business or enterprise to worry about, no longer struggling to manage a children-filled household, why does what this government is doing affect me so?

It is because I see only a very rough future for my children and the whole next generation and those to follow for time out of mind. I see their lives becoming a constant battle to comply with orders, mandates, meet impossible tax requirements, while losing all their inherent drive and initiative and spirit to create their future and their children’s future.

Just a scanning of the news daily reveals more and more of the demolition of what made this country great and those doing it going at it with the glee of the mania witnessed in school kids on a sugar-high as they approach the point of no return. Worse is that the tyrants, under the guise of a “benevolence” of the Chavez sort, are acting in every endeavor against the will of the majority of the citizens as if to say “You don’t know what’s good for you so we have to manage your existence.” Worse yet is the deceit they are employing to boil us frogs. It is as if they have first dosed the people with an intoxicant or soma while promising gifts and utopia, and then bribing and coercing those who see through the sham to take away our freedoms and what we have earned to rectify all they blame the previous regime of. With zero statistical evidence to demonstrate that the direction they are driving the country has ever been successful, they plow ahead in utter arrogance.

The rest of the world is laughing at us like hyenas moving in on the carcass of an elephant ravaged by a pack of lions.

While it has been encouraging to see lots of uprisings by those who see our cherished values evaporating or demolished, I am afraid at seeing too little leadership-quality potentials to take the reins this election cycle and direct us out of this destructive tsunami while too many are still blaming the last incumbents and holding out hope the current ones’ promises are achievable and that they will result somehow in better circumstances for all. And those at the helm are succeeding at undermining the credibility of those who wish to retain the country’s original values. I have no doubts that there has been a seriously devised scheme of diabolical genius to destroy what was and remake us.

It is a great struggle to hold onto my natural optimism and enjoy the good fortune with which I have been blessed when those I care most about may never get to enjoy the same. And clumsy as this note has come out, I felt it would somehow help to regurgitate my feelings of despair. It hasn’t as yet.

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Does demonstrate you can’t wish science to your liking.

Watts Up With That?

Dr. Spencer asks the question: What do we really know about Global Warming?

This is from Wednesday morning July 9th.

This is well worth watching, and I get a mention. Some of the graphs he presents are not only hilarious for their satire of the issue, but are valuable in demonstrating that correlation is not causation.

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The progress of the health care reform (“Affordable Care Act”) has already been shown to be what most of us knew from the beginning, despite throngs of us yelling out to be heard before its implementation began. ACA is a disaster, it’s worst aspects not even yet implemented, as some 1,300+ waivers have so far been granted because of the law’s onerous and stiflingly impossible regulations.

We must not allow governmental ‘master-minding’ to stifle our creative energies. We, a free people, without government interference can achieve the status of the world’s premier provider of health care. Our creative energies must first repeal the new health care laws enacted without due representation against we free people, and enforced upon us by the HHS czar Sebelius. And then we must assertively reject all further implementation of same. We must demand of our representatives that they represent us, preserve our liberties and our rights.

If we do not, I ask, what other of our freedoms do we wish to give over to the out-of-touch elites in government who profess to know best what’s good for us and ours? Think about it: Is there any congressman, senator, department head, justice, other government official, anyone in the federal government whom you know who lives like you and I do!? How could they possibly really understand what our needs are? We’ve told them our needs, insisted on our rights, protested their over-reaches, and they’ve rejected us out of hand, palliated and placated with sugar coating spread atop of the most sweeping take-over of our liberties we’ve ever seen in this country to convince the uninformed what a wonderful thing they are doing for us.

Do we need a Wizard (a la Oz) to solve everything for us; one behind a curtain that leaves us blind to big government’s power-grabbing machinations? Do we have so little faith in our own ingenuities and abilities as to roll over and allow ourselves rendered permanently impotent?

I don’t. I hope you don’t either.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Excepted from:

I, Pencil by Leonard E. Read

From Essays on Liberty, volume VI

Full text and commentary at: http://fee.org/library/books/i-pencil-2/

Once government has had a monopoly of a creative activity such, for instance, as the delivery of the mails, most individuals will believe that the mails could not be efficiently delivered by men acting freely. And here is the reason: Each one acknowledges that he himself doesn’t know how to do all the things incident to mail delivery. He also recognizes that no other individual could do it. These assumptions are correct. No individual possesses enough know-how to perform a nation’s mail delivery any more than any individual possesses enough know-how to make a pencil. Now, in the absence of a faith in free men—in the unawareness that millions of tiny know-hows would naturally and miraculously form and cooperate to satisfy this necessity—the individual cannot help but reach the erroneous conclusion that mail can be delivered only by governmental “master-minding.”  [Bold face not in original.]

. . . .

The lesson I have to teach is this: Leave all creative energies uninhibited. Merely organize society to act in harmony with this lesson. Let society’s legal apparatus remove all obstacles the best it can. Permit these creative know-hows freely to flow. Have faith that free men will respond to the Invisible Hand. This faith will be confirmed. I, Pencil, seemingly simple though I am, offer the miracle of my creation as testimony that this is a practical faith, as practical as the sun, the rain, a cedar tree, the good earth.

# # #

Tuesday, May 3, 2011 at 11:34am

A friend posted a note to Facebook after the Navy Seal raid that killed Usama bin Laden whom he calls “the purported organizer of the tragic events of September 11, 2001.” The note begins with objections to the celebrations upon word of his death seen around the country as depicted by national media, calling these “grotesque,” “immature” and “psychosis.” Did the poster view the celebrations and chants around the Arab world cheering the destruction caused in the United States by bin Laden’s people on 9/11 in such same terms?

In the note he likens bin Laden’s death to those of all other deaths of all other forms of life.  As in the idea “All life is precious.” Hmmm. I would say, no, all life is potentially precious. It is what we do with our lives that make it so or not. Bin Laden, what he did, was certainly not precious nor was it representative of anything precious. He masterminded or at least called for the murder of some 3,000 citizens of our country.  This is not “purported” … He has bragged of his accomplishments and called for more of the same. He is not alone but is among a number of zealots around the world who wish to eliminate all other existences but their own fanatical cults.

The poster apparently does not recognize that all life is not equally valuable. Nor does he see that there is evil in this world. He apparently does not realize that were he to write something like his note in many other countries, he would not be permitted live long enough upon posting to get a Facebook “Like” let alone a response such as this one. He does have that privilege here, in America.

The evil in this world is not America who defends itself and its interests to protect all its citizens, including the poster. The evil are those who are bent on bringing this country down—the bin Ladens and his ilk. The evil in the country is not the amounts of money spent on our national defense. It is quintessential ignorance to say  ….. “The unnecessary deaths of 3000 people on September 11, 2001 is no more or no less important than the deaths of those during the World Wars, via cancer and disease, accidents or anything else.”  Firstly, to our enemy these were “necessary deaths.” Nevery mind that we were attacked, here on our soil, that it was not by disease or accidents nor during any actually declared formal war, that those innocents died.

Bin Laden received his due justice. Period. But to the aforementioned poster it is merely symbolic and he declares such justice “emotional” and “irrational,” and “a neurotic fixation on revenge and retribution.” This is so wrong. By extension, is all of our justice system emotional, irrational and neurotic fixation for revenge and retribution? Should there be no consequence for crimes committed against other citizens, or humanity?

One cannot mix ideals of love and respect in the melting pot of “all life is precious” along with violence, hatred, mass murder, rape, zealotry. Whatever the quoted Rev. Martin L. King meant in saying, “We can’t save the soul of this nation throwing bricks,” surely it cannot be allowed to be interpreted to mean Usama bin Laden’s life was as precious and valuable as King’s, the 3,000 innocents murdered on 9/11, or the aforementioned poster with whom here I adamantly disagree, for what the poster sees as evil, I and most Americans see as protections of their freedoms and their very lives.

For time out of mind there have been religious people and philosophers who have espoused “loving” the world into peaceful co-existence. Thousands of years of history belie this childish and wishful thinking. May Evolution someday take us to that point.

# # #

People have an inalienable right to look after themselves as they see fit. Right?

People, who do not look after themselves and maintain a healthy style of living, are more apt to have medical problems requiring medical care.

In a free market system, an insurance company does not have to insure people against consequences of their unhealthy styles of living. Or when it does, it does so at higher premiums. People may choose to partake or not. That’s fair to everyone.

ObamaCare will convert what’s left of the free market medical care system into what amounts to an expanded Mediare/Medicaid system, applying it to EVERYONE. This will raise costs.

Obamacare requires those who maintain healthy styles of living to pay for the unhealthy living styles of others.

Healthy style of living folks will object big time, and so…  ObamaCare, in order to try to lower the costs it causes to rise, besides regulating what it will cover and by how much, will also have to broaden government’s control of our personal lives as it will now see itself as justified in dictating (if by covert means) what people must do to look after themselves based on what government thinks constitutes looking after one’s health. Government will inevitably have to tax us more to do this and we are likely to see government requiring people to, e.g.:

…exercise thirty minutes a day, with fines for delinquency [regulations for exercise shoes and apparel, mandatory gym memberships]

…must own a bicycle and ride it to work or school if one lives within five miles of his job or school

…eat exactly according to government-defined basic food groups, [will put all fast-food restaurants out of business, among other “unintended” consequences]

…take prescribed multi-vitamins daily

…sleep so many hours a night,  [granted, a bit hard to enforce…but perhaps everyone will have mandatory current prescriptions for sleep aids]

…have certain frequency of “wellness checkups” and screening tests, [including mandatory blood tests for . . . whatever]

… etc, ad infinitum

It doesn’t take a whole lot of imagination to conjure up other areas for government encroachment and regulation of our lives, thereby raising prices of everything we buy from food, to clothing, to autos and homes, to requiring mandatory health education in schools, on and on.

Isn’t it worth taking a bit more time to consider, thoroughly, all the consequences of laws rammed through that are actually more for political advantage than for benefit of the citizens?

When we’re talking about permanent changes to our American way of life, shouldn’t we be much more judicious about what we wish for and what we ask government to take care of for us?

[My standard disclaimer–none of these thoughts applies concerning appropriate assistance for those truly in need and unable to care for themselves and without supportive families.]

# # #

… That anyone has any question about this president anymore? He strongly supports a mosque near Ground Zero, besides utterly ignoring public opinion on every single public issue with which he has been faced, in spite of public protest out of sensitivity for the three thousands of murdered lives on 9-11-01.

Never mind that we are a nation that supports freedom of religion. That is categorically not the point on this mosque-situating matter. Does simple human dignity and decency mean nothing anymore? Insensitivity is now vogue? Some months back it was some jerks protesting across the street from the funeral of a fallen soldier in the name of “Free Speech.” We let that go?

Sorry, where is American humanity and compassion going with these blatantly insensitive displays? It is clear that there are those who are wanting and trying desperately to destroy civility, true compassion and love for fellow human beings as a means to pull the proverbial rug out from under so as to topple the whole structure of this country so that it can be re-formed elsewise to their liking.

I am stunned and more than dismayed at the apparent ignorance of people who continue to support this devil in disguise as the harbinger of “hope and change.” I dare you to tell me now what it is you think you are looking forward to! While it is true Bush betrayed his constituency and upset you, you can dare to say we now have a better leader? If you say “Yes” do tell upon what exactly you base your position.

August 14, 2010

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Comparisons to Europe:  Where this comes up in any discussion, I always want to ask, Why? Why do we try to compare to Europe? For one thing America was primarily populated by the English first, and then a great many other Europeans who wanted a different way of life. A whole book (Reid) was written last year or so on the health care debate citing all manner of European systems of health care and how it works for them over there. Well, maybe it does, maybe it doesn’t really. But, evidently THEY think it does because that’s what they’ve chosen to have. But, they have not chosen their systems independent of everything else in their society, in their economies. They’ve chosen what they have because of fundamental philosophies, because of history, because of patterns of thinking established countless generations ago. America is only some less than 300 years old. It began as a country wanting changes. It wanted religious change, it wanted economic change, and it wanted governmental change. These were not unreasonable desires.

Comparing to Europe may have some usefulness, but the automatic assumption that Europe has somehow been better derives from some logical fallacy, I have come to think. Firstly, looking at their woes over there, how successful have they been lately? Or even in the last century? Great portions of Europe could not even defend itself, and America stepped in for two world wars, and later wars to protect not only its own interests (although there is nothing wrong in that in itself) but the interests of the countries over there whether they realized they needed the backup or not! Europe is rapidly becoming something other than what it has always been because it cannot even sustain its culture. Mark Steyn, a gentleman of considerable intellect, wrote a book, America Alone, several years ago which I read and which widely opened my eyes. In it, among other discussions, he point out that Europe is rapidly losing its culture through attrition. Birth rates among native Europeans is rapidly declining and is below the 2.1 children per family (I believe that’s the number he used) to sustain itself without growth. Meanwhile, there has been a huge migration of Muslim peoples populating Europe and their birth rate is many times that of the native Europeans. So, very quickly, Europe is not going to look anything like it used to, as the new culture moving in is not acculturating to that of Europe but is simply expanding its own culture within Europe’s boundaries. And, like the frog in the slowly boiling pot, the Europeans haven’t been taking notice because they’ve gone complacent. There’s much more in the book, but of course, it is just Mr. Steyn’s take. He’s a Brit, incidentally, who now lives here.

I’m no great historian, and may even a poor one, although I am making it my business to pick up that area of my education that I was deprived of so many years ago. The thoughts I am expressing here are therefore, derived from the questions of an ignorant student.  But, what good is a student without her questions? She’d not be a student at all.

Economic Philosophies: As above, America was founded upon certain ideals, among them the concept of a free market economy. That some other place does not entertain such a philosophy does not automatically make a Free Market Economy bad or wrong. Economists are all over the map, the spectrum, in principles and ideals, any one of which might work so long as there is agreement among the majority. But, there’s the rub. I can think immediately of five large sub-populations within this country who have great impact on our economy and what style of economy we favor or employ.  Three big ones have been “nurtured” into antipathy to the free market system. Here’s the groupings as I see it, roughly:

1)      Corporations, institutions, and small businesses: These are the entities which employ the people and provide goods and services needed by everyone. Without them, what country could survive at all? We’d all be foraging for food or planting and growing, and weaving our own clothing, and everything else we depend on industry comprised of corporations, institutions, and small businesses to provide more for all.

2)      The employees of all of those companies and businesses, and the employees’ families.

Within #2 we have at least three groups who exist from historical major flubs engendered by the greater country over its lifespan to date:

a)      Those who came from slavery, moved into inner cities, were unrecognized for many decades as equals to whites, and mostly lived in poverty with little assistance to come on par with their former masters. The transition was exceedingly too slow and our government was ill prepared to integrate them properly. Part of the preparation was, of course, the attitude toward them by the whites. The mentality of the three fifths vote, back of the bus, etc. Part of the problem had to have involved the lack of infrastructure to employ these people once emancipated. And, I am sure there is more that it takes little imagination to contemplate.

b)      The Amerinds: We dumped them on “reservations.” We did this for two reasons I can speculate. First is that they themselves wanted to preserve their cultures. Well, truthfully, it would have been a gigantic learning curve for folks who’d never before even had the wheel, to leap to assimilation in a society that had known the thing for thousands of years. Another reason is that we probably didn’t want to assimilate these “savages.” So, we dumped them on our worst lands, the least utile lands, and gave them a pittance to subsist. While some assimilation has obviously occurred over the last 150 years or so, taking a drive through any reservation will show you that they still live in primitive conditions or squalor that rivals Soweto, South Africa.

c)       Mexican immigration: Here we have the debacle of the century for this country. These folks came here in droves for employment and to better their existences and that of their families. (Neverminding for the moment, what we have now in drug and people smuggling as well.) They were given Amnesty when it was realized that the influx had got out of control and America was somewhat dependent on their presence. No one in government has confronted the immigration situation. They don’t know how to reconcile the needs of corporations, businesses, agriculture, and wherever else these folks have found their niche.

There is obviously, overlap among the groups. And very obviously, I have vastly simplified conditions and their vicissitudes for the sake of brevity. The three sub-groups, however, have been the most problematic in that we have not found ways to truly bring them out of indigence and into full assimilation. But, they VOTE! And some smart politicians have realized this such that gradually, over the decades, they have engendered programs that support a welfare economic state for these peoples, and also their own continued employment as politicians; they’ve done so whether through their own altruism, or knowingly for the power they reap.

There is yet another group to consider that is shaping our future, and that is government itself. It is expanding beyond comprehension. Somehow, government produces nothing yet expands itself exponentially. For every mandate it issues, government at local and state levels grows. And those employed in government live outside the rules it sets for everyone else, and they also vote.

Welfare, the wrong solution: Over the past century or so, our government has sought to deal with these latter three sub-groups (not including the government group) through welfare programs. And, those groups are growing, and at a much faster rate than those who support them. Our original culture of America is going the way of Europe and is only barely sustaining its birth rate to keep up, so in fact the supporter group (the majority tax-payers) is rapidly being overburdened. Welfare programs will, in my view, inevitably bring the death of any free market economy. I should add that I include in the general concept of welfare state any such programs as nationalized healthcare here, in this country. I do so because it seems to me that had we not mishandled the integration of these populations, they would not require nationalized healthcare, or healthcare paid for by others any more than I ever have, or you ever have.

So, when I see a discussion on equity in taxation or like matters, where people argue what percentage the “wealthy” should pay vs. the amount the poor should contribute to their own welfare . . . I tend to want to look more at the broader situation, because we’re never going to come to an agreement on those percentages. As long as a welfare continuum is being entertained, there will never be enough from the wealthy because the non-wealthy will always “need” more.  They will think they need more because they do not have what the wealthy have, never thinking that a good many of those wealthy got what they have on their own blood, sweat and tears, or by their own ingenuity and hard work. I am not being crass or uncaring or uncompassionate here; I’m being practical. It’s not as though I think people are directly thinking this way, though there may be some who are. There are probably some who believe that anyone having come to wealth has necessarily come to it dishonestly or by greed. Or that they have come to their position of wealth only by having taken away from others. I am not wealthy, but do I believe that Bill Gates came to his wealth by taking from me? Of course not. I’m no Bill Gates, and I don’t have it in me to do whatever he did to come by his wealth.  I am considering human nature. I am considering conditioning and indoctrination. A fair bit of human nature demonstrates to us that people, when done for by others will continue to expect this to continue. I have never been done for by others, never received any form of welfare, and was not raised to think that I deserved more than I myself have earned. Add generations of this pattern that has been developing in this country, and the concept of what are human rights balloons all out of proportion and all human needs are now considered human rights.

It is a condition that is unsustainable.

In effect, we are simply re-enslaving these people, and also now enslaving everyone else! To me, there must be a better way. One that truly brings these populations into parity with the rest, WITHOUT dragging down the infrastructure that made America what it was.

On compassion:  I think true compassion requires taking the biggest, broadest view of our circumstances. To explain what I mean, I’ll cite this example . . . several years ago a horrible tragedy struck the gulf states. Hurricane Katrina came in and devastated a huge swatch of our southern states. They are still reeling from it there while now faced with a new disaster. Images of the devastation were all over the news for weeks and months. No one with a heart could help but feel sympathy and compassion for the victims of the disaster. Network reporters went over there and quickly became part of the disaster and ceased to be reporters. They were reporting THEIR own emotions in large part. Similarly, sometime last year or so, some bigshot insurance company executive went into some poverty stricken area in some southern state where a healthcare clinic function was being conducted. He saw long, long lines of people seeking care for whatever was ailing them and their children. His conscience gripped him like a vise and he suddenly decided that everything his company had been doing to remain in business (I think it was Aetna) and be profitable was unethical! He suddenly “got religion.” Meanwhile, in reality, his company may not have been representative of all the insurance industry; HE may not have been representative of all insurance company executives. So, he went into whistle-blower mode to alleviate his new-found conscience which in effect threw the proverbial baby out with the bath water.

Compassion, to my mind, means if you’re going to take on a problem, you have to analyze it, find root causes and systematically eradicate them. You can’t just go in flapping and making noise or “robbing Peter to pay Paul,” over and over because very shortly Paul will have run out of money!

A very small-scale personal level, though it was big for me, I once was assistant manager of a unit in the hospital in which I worked. The unit was poorly run by the manager and I observed patients suffering for lack of adequate care because of it. After some while of trying to pick up the slack myself, working my tail off, extra hours and at great sacrifice to my own health and costing my family my presence during what should have been my own time for them, I saw that what I was doing was insane and would never fix anything. I spent a weekend writing all my observations, in a comprehensive analysis and evaluating the situation from my intimate knowledge of the scene, and wrote it all up with recommendations in 40 pages which I submitted to the Director. As a result, the manager was canned, a committee was formed as a stop-gap measure until a new one could be found, equipment was obtained, errant support staff were gotten under control, and systems were implemented to provide better care to our patients.

From this little experience I learned that one does not effectively deal with a situation by becoming part of it, under the guise of compassion. One has to take the larger view from the outside, and above. A bird’s eye view, if you will. And one cannot piece-meal solve problems by just saying “Oh, that shouldn’t be! Let’s enact a new law that….” And continually take from those who apparently have to give to those who apparently do not, while never helping those who apparently do not, become more able to be one of those who apparently do.

I’ll leave it there for now.