Saturday, April 30, 2011

A 'Radical' Plan To Cut Military Spending : NPR

A 'Radical' Plan To Cut Military Spending : NPR

"Americans need to understand that these wars of choice, these interventions of choice, have been both unnecessary, counterproductive, strategically self-defeating and infinitely too expensive for what we can actually afford."
Ret. Army Col. Douglas Macgregor

Concise and to-the-point article clearly highlighting the possibility of defense cuts and the political obstacles in its way.

I have not heard of this guy before, but his ideas seem similar to a man named Chalmers Johnson who wrote a lot about the military-industrial-complex & the blowback effects of interventionism. But thats another story.

The Alarm Clock Day

I saved this a long time ago, regarding two views of a typical day in a persons life and how it is affected by the government and private action. I do not take credit for writing either of these but do not know who did.

First View

This morning I was awoken by my alarm clock, powered by electricity generated by the public power monopoly regulated by the US Department of Energy. I then took a shower in the clean water provided by the municipal water utility. After that, I turned on the TV to one of the FCC regulated channels to see what the National Weather Service of the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration determined the weather was going to be like using satellites designed, built, and launched by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration. I watch this while eating my breakfast of US Department of Agriculture inspected food and taking the drugs which have been determined as safe by the Food and Drug Administration.

At the appropriate time as regulated by the US Congress, and kept accurate by the National Institute of Standards and Technology and the US Naval Observatory, I get into my National Highway Traffic Safety Administration approved automobile and set out to work on the roads built by the local, state, and federal Departments of Transportation, possibly stopping to purchase additional fuel of a quality level determined by the Environmental Protection Agency, using legal tender issued by the Federal Reserve Bank. On the way out the door, I deposit any mail I have to be sent out via the US Postal Service and drop the kids off at the public school.

After work, I drive my NHTSA bar back home on DOT roads, to a house which has not burned down in my absence because of the state and local building codes and Fire Marshal’s inspection, and which has not been plundered of all its valuables thanks to the local police department.
I then log on to the internet which was developed by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Administration and post of and Fox News forums about how SOCIALISM in medicine is BAD because the government can’t do anything right.

Second View
This morning I was awoken by my alarm clock built by the ingenuity of millions of individuals all working for their own gain, but whose efforts were coordinated by the prices for labor and materials and finished goods provided by the free market. I then took a shower in the clean water provided by the shower head, pipes, and sanitation facilities whose construction also involved the efforts of thousands of people acting in their independent interest. After that, I turned on the TV to The Weather Channel, whose owners include one of the largest multi-national corporations and private equity companies, to see the week’s forecast presented in a clear, informative (and even entertaining) manner. I watched this while eating breakfast of General Mills’ inspected food and taking drugs whose strong brand name gives me confidence in its safety.

At the time which millions of people coordinate their activities to take advantage of each other’s knowledge and skills, I leave for work. I get into my Japanese-designed, Mexican-supplied, Michigan-assembled automobile and set out to work on the roads built by construction contracting companies and named after corrupt politicians, possibly stopping to purchase additional fuel that was shipped from the Middle East by an oil company at a per gallon cost many times lower than the price of having a letter delivered across the street by the government monopoly that loses millions of dollars each year. To make the purchase there is no need to leave the pump; I am able to slide a piece of plastic into a small slot and get credit extended to me by a bank who has never met me in person. On the way out the door, I put out the Fed-Ex envelope containing the documents I need to arrive across the country tomorrow morning and drop the kids off at the public school which is attended by only the best students, thanks to the high home prices in the area.

After work, I drive my Japanese-Latino-Midwestern car back home, to a house which has not burned down in my absence because of materials developed in the research and development departments of hundreds of corporations and which has not been plundered of all is valuables thanks to the lock on the door and a sign advertising the security company whose services I employ. My piece of mind was not interrupted by the thought of these events anyway, as I have both fire and homeowners insurance through privately held insurance company.

I then log on to the internet to watch and listen to artists who don’t appeal to a broad enough audience to make it onto one of the few channels that a government monopoly allows to be broadcast. I then log onto the to post about how DEREGULATING the medical industry is BAD because low-cost, quality health care can never be provided by greedy, self-interested people.”

Friday, April 29, 2011

Nikki Haley: Obama's Silence on Boeing Is Unacceptable -

Nikki Haley: Obama's Silence on Boeing Is Unacceptable -

The Governor of South Carolina stands up for her state, capitalism, and working people's right to choose or not to choose to be in a Union.

My friend Andy asked before this article who will stand up for the Carolinians while the NLRB protects the Union, and here is his answer.

Of important note in the article, the head of the NLRB board, hand-picked by President Obama, has not yet been confirmed by the US Senate. Furthermore, President Obama has made no mention to the NLRB's decision.

Sidenote, 1st quarter growth for 2011 was 1.8%, good job Keynesian stimulus.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Rand and "Inalienable Rights" -

Rand and "Inalienable Rights" -

Very interesting article, especially if you are interested in Ayn Rand's Atlas Shrugged novel or her philosophy overall.

I admire the work of Ayn, and reading Atlas Shrugged made me look at the world in a completely new light, it changed the fundamentals of how I view and address issues. It was one of those books.

But, always you had to question some of her ideas. Her absolutism and radical ideas always seemed as though they needed to be tempered.

The article above shows an interesting fault with her moral and political philosophy in that their is an inherent incompatibility with her belief in the supremacy of the individual on one hand and a duty to live solely for ones self on the other. There cannot be both a duty to not interfere with another and hold that there are no rights or laws beyond one's own mind or self.

You cannot hold there are no inalienable rights and that " you should not live for anyone else's sake, nor demand that anyone else live for yours."

If there are no transcendental rights, if there is nothing beyond your own conscious and will, then you cannot also hold that you cannot coerce and use others. In fact, her idea of "self-interest" leads to using others for that interest.

So, do you believe that inalienable rights exist, is there a natural right to life and liberty everyone is born with and which cannot be taken away. Or is this just an imagination of our consciousness, made up and invented by ourselves and a representation of our times, our culture, and our values? It is an interesting philosophical question with very real impacts.

Recommend the book nonetheless and go see the movie in theaters.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Race & Representation

There are two types of representation. There is identity representation and substantive representation. Identity representation is when a person represents you outwardly, either by the color of their skin, their nationality, heritage, language, or even their alma mater. substantive representation is when a person represents you with similar ideas or with policy which is beneficial to you. A black male Democrat would be substantively represented by Rep. Pelosi but would not have identity representation, whereas Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas would give the same black male Democrat identity representation but no substantive representation.

My point is that there is a difference between the two, an important difference. However, oftentimes decisions, such as voting, are made based on identity representation on the hope that that will lead to substantive representation. It does not always work out.

Now lets think about President Obama and his support from black voters, 95% of whom voted for him. Now, if this were the only fact known, it would seem black voters are voting based purely on identity representation. He shares the same color skin so must represent my views. If 95% of white voters in the 2008 election had not voted for presidential hopeful Obama, but for McCain, I would argue there would be calls of racism. Obviously the fact that President Obama is black encouraged more black people to vote (over 2 million more than 2004), and obviously some voted for him solely because of his identity (important note: I understand the importance of a black person being elected President of the country, not very long ago Jim Crow laws and segregated schools were still commonplace and racism is still a problem of our era, his election was a proud statement to the world and ourselves of our social progression of acceptance and truly viewing each other equally, I in no way mean to minimize this accomplishment)  However!, this is normal and not in any way more significant than evangelicals voting for people who share their religion, or any other identity indicator.

How do we know the overwhelming support by blacks for President Obama was not purely identity voting, because blacks have always voted overwhelmingly for the Democratic ticket in the last decade, whether that candidate was white or black. 90% and 88% of all voters in 2000 and 2004 voted for the Democratic ticket, which rose to 95% in 2008. Black voters vote for the Democratic ticket because they feel they will be substantively represented by that party, which is why they vote in that manner, not because of identity.

I therefore do not believe that black voters mindlessly voted for Obama based on identity representation, but largely did so because they believed in "change" and what he had to offer. If a black man ran on the Republican ticket or another ticket, I do not think we would see his black vote percentage above 15%.

Once again, I would like to reiterate that I understand the fervor and support for Obama, I understand the importance of a black man being elected. I wrote this because I feel there is a misnomer that black people blindly followed and supported Obama because he was black, that they were lied to about his policies, when in fact this is not the case, the vast majority voted for Obama for the same reasons they voted for Gore, because they feel represented by their proposed or believed policies.

Exit Polls - Election Results 2008 - The New York Times

2000- blacks voted for Gore 90% & comprised 10% of all voters
2004- blacks voted for Kerry 88% & comprised 11% of all voters
2008- blacks voted for Obama 95% & comprised 13% of all voters

2 million more blacks voted in 2008 than 2004 (

Monday, April 25, 2011

Labor Board Says Boeing’s South Carolina Plant Breaks Law -

Labor Board Says Boeing’s South Carolina Plant Breaks Law -

Business needs mobility. The government cannot tell Boeing it cannot open a new plant to deal with excess demand of Boeing products because it is "retaliatory" against unions. The union is not being harmed or injured, it is not being punished, it is merely not being benefited. Anti-retaliatory law may hold retaliation against unions is illegal, but it does not follow that unions have a right to be benefited.

Free markets make business efficient. Boeing needs to be able to freely move its capital without the government stopping it through the court system. This is appalling, a plant was just built, 1,000 people hired, and now the court states they cannot use the plant, really?!

This is eerily reminiscent of the government in Atlas Shrugged. Government opposing business efficiency and competition on the grounds that it is "against public policy." This move by the NLRB will destroy jobs, make Boeing less efficient, and is the type of government coercion which will have a chilling effect on business expansion into this country.

Saturday, April 23, 2011


I can find no warrant for such an appropriation in the Constitution, and I do not believe that the power and duty of the general government ought to be extended to the relief of individual suffering which is in no manner properly related to the public service or benefit. A prevalent tendency to disregard the limited mission of this power and duty should, I think, be steadfastly resisted, to the end that the lesson should be constantly enforced that, though the people support the government, the government should not support the people.
The friendliness and charity of our countrymen can always be relied upon to relieve their fellow-citizens in misfortune. This has been repeatedly and quite lately demonstrated. Federal aid in such cases encourages the expectation of paternal care on the part of the government and weakens the sturdiness of our national character, while it prevents the indulgence among our people of that kindly sentiment and conduct which strengthens the bonds of a common brotherhood.
Cleveland's Veto of the Texas Seed Bill
February 16, 1887

A question as to the role of Government. 

No President would have the testicular wherewithal to do this today.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Modern Liberalism and True Liberalism

Within a certain political ideology, you will have divergent paths taken over time which take the core principles of the given ideology and apply it in different fashions to reach very different outcomes. Yet, it is still ultimately derived from the same tenets of the ideology as any other diversion.

                Modern liberalism is not an example of this scenario. Modern liberalism is not a sub-division of liberalism with any remaining meaningful attachment to the core of liberalism. This leads to the question, what exactly are the core features of liberalism? The most important feature, as Heywood states, is the “primacy of the individual,” followed by freedom, reason, justice (not equality, but justice), and toleration. Modern liberalism does not hold true to these tenets, first and foremost for its lack of focus on “the primacy of the individual.”

                Liberalism is an ideology based on the individual and freedom. Freedom is the ability to think and act as one wishes and individualism, the main belief of liberals, is the idea that there is supreme importance of the individual over society or the collective. Modern Liberalism attempts to maintain its attachment to the ideology in terms of freedom, though modern liberalism focuses on positive freedom as opposed to negative freedom. Positive freedom is a perverted mutation of the true meaning of freedom, and is more antonymous than synonymous with freedom.

                Positive freedom is conveniently defined as the achievement of autonomy, and the ability of self mastery, or self-realization. In contrast, negative freedom is the freedom of choice. Negative freedoms include the right to bear arms, to speak freely, and to practice whichever religion one wants. These freedoms do not place burdens onto other people, but maximize the liberty of the individual up until the point in which it begins to interfere with another’s right or freedom ("The right to swing my fist ends where the other man's nose begins" Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes). Positive freedoms on the other hand are, by definition, place a burden on another. Positive freedom does not increase peoples circle of liberty, because for every purported right to a new “freedom” comes the attached detriment of a freedom lost. The “freedom” to have health care is the lost freedom, for a doctor at least, to provide healthcare for a consensually agreed upon price. The “freedom” to welfare support requires the abusive coercion of the government in denying other people of their freedom to their earned wages. Positive freedom provides no additional liberty, and therefore does not deserve the title of a “freedom.”       

“Government, even in its best state, is but a necessary evil; in its worst state, an intolerable one," so stated Thomas Paine. Thomas Paine is alluding to the idea, which Milton Friedman would agree with, that a political system characterized by consensual free market agreements between private parties is not only more just, but provides more freedom, than from a society in which the government, ruled by a majority, mandates what is altruistic, and uses coercion (laws and a police force) to destroy all alternatives. The larger the government, the less liberal a society becomes, this was true in 1800, and it is true today. 

Modern liberalism represents an ideology of coercion, tyrannical controls by a majority for a proposed altruistic utopian ideal of equality that has left freedom and individualism so far in its wake that it has departed from the ideological foundation from which it considers itself derived.

"A society that puts equality before freedom will get neither. A society that puts freedom before equality will get a high degree of both." Milton Friedman