Posts Tagged ‘election’

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Brat politics…

November 14, 2016

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In case of ennui….or…

November 7, 2016

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On minding one’s own business…

August 9, 2016

and remaining heavily armed ….

Much as I hate to admit it, “sides” are a normal part of the universe. I have been particularly rabid in my efforts to be oppositional and critical, and to avoid championing a “side” during this phase of the perpetual election cycle, but it finally dawned on me……

Even a handful of decades ago, when I was helping a friend of mine on his lobstah bo’t, I had enough sense not to relieve myself into the wind when the need arose, but I fear that is just what I have been doing politically.

You see, those who are identified as the “Left” malign the philosophies, policies, morals, intellect, shoe size, and favorite vegetables of those who are identified as the “Right” and vice versa. Despite what I think has been a gallant attempt to discover the legendary “Middle Ground,” my own idealism seems to have seduced me away from Truth. It might be compared to Anastasia or Drizella attempting to cram a size 12 callous mill into a size 5 glass slipper.

All is not lost, which can be interpreted to mean there remains a glimmer of hope for my mission, or that I remain engorged with horse feathers. We’ll see. In any case, I’ve decided that my error was in believing the hype that all references to “sides” mean “Left” or “Right”, and that no other arrangement or perspective exists. Heck, even a humble cube has four sides, so what’s with the two stuff? What if reality is actually more like a dodecahedron or something like that?

Ergo, I no longer subscribe to the Left-Right dyad, or to the self generated myth that there must for some reason be legitimate, identifiable space between them. Perhaps not. Perhaps they’re both full of crap.

History tends to bear out that point. Neither leftist nor right-wing schemes for running a society have ever lasted on their own momentum. Anything surviving more than a generation or so seems to have done so by virtue of continuously expanding levels and complexities of force. I might say that the answer is as clear as the nose on my face, which is true to the extent that it means I should stop worrying over the nose on anyone else’s face. What a novel idea.

Personally, I’m fine with that. Whether I am oppositional or just refuse to be bullied by majority opinion is, well, a matter of opinion. I’ve thought for many years that it meant being generally Libertarian.

…..which brings me back to the dodecahedron. If you have twelve people in a room, there are, by default, twelve opinions which may differ or agree with each other in many different combinations. When the potential mathematical computation poops out, kind of like mine did the day I walked into my first Statistical Analysis class, it boils down to the best solution being “To each his own,” as long as one does no harm to another.

Not everybody plays by the rules, though, or believes in math, Western ethics, or anything but their own particular concept of Existence, which may include extermination of all who differ. Cessation of such behavior can be incentivized by the possibility of a recall on that 62 grain chunk of lead a few milliseconds away from bisecting the brain of the self-anointed one. It is what it is. Nevertheless, the goal and method are both focused on my own nose on my own face right now.

Humanity is predisposed to King of the Mountain, and expecting others to respect my desire to be left to my own devices was proven to be a fool’s errand by the Pleistocene. Plan “B” meshes nicely with sort of a Libertarian approach, in that I should mind my own business but remain heavily armed.

That’s just me, however. What can a nation of some 325 million people do? Well, we did it during the late eighteenth century, but soon set about the business of everybody else’s business, ostensibly in order to prevent our having to do it all over again. Now, we live in a world, at least partly of our own creation, where the proverbial Rock and Hard Place are represented by the inevitability being part of a conquered world or being the one doing the conquering.

In case it hasn’t dawned on folks yet, the golden age of thundering in on horseback, honing one’s saber in the air, or roaring in aboard a Humvee shredding real estate, recalcitrants, and residents alike are the things of history and video games. Conflict resolution, conflict perpetration, and just plain trying to grab the other guy’s stuff are now the realm of Dirty Tricks and Cyber Mischief. I don’t have to shoot an adversary anymore. I just have to jam his phone and then extort his compliance. Then shoot him.

I know how to play. I just don’t want to.

…and since I live in a society that allows for limited opinionating and noisemaking without consequences, a society pretty much controlled by silent partners behind the ones we actually sort of elect through banter and ballot, I’ll contribute to the din. After all, even those who view me as just another beef critter on the ranch like to gamble that we won’t actually outplay them some day. Workin’ on it. Some day, hopefully soon, but probably not, a whole lot of beef critters are going to do their business on the Capitol steps…

Wait for it….

 

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Own it to Change it

May 24, 2016

“They” are imaginary friends…..

I was never a star student, tending to set my priorities elsewhere at the time, but I have always harbored a nearly insatiable and somewhat undisciplined curiosity. Whether or not that led to useful learning might be a matter of opinion, but it did place me right up front with my toes over the line when good and bad things happened. I learned far more after my formal education was completed than I ever did during its course. In defense of that education, I was taught how to learn should I ever have chosen to do so. I did.

Having said that, my rudimentary understanding of our system of government suggests to me that our government was put together with three branches for very good reason. We have a Legislative branch which is empowered to write laws, a Judicial branch which is empowered to interpret those laws, and an Executive branch that is responsible for implementing and administering the policies enacted by the Legislative branch.

What that means to me is that no one branch of government wields universal power, and for the whole to work most effectively, the three must respect those boundaries. Somehow, we the people have been remiss in allowing our elected representatives and those appointed or employed by them to stray and to rewrite those job descriptions for their own convenience over time. While I have no doubt that there are exceptions, I believe these course corrections were not made out of malice or as part of any great conspiracy. Corruption takes more than a bad guy to rear its head; it takes a complacent constituency to allow it to happen. Thus, as the public came to recognize and enjoy various aspects of our way of life, and were encouraged to do so by those empowered to manage and safeguard it all, the unmentioned fourth branch of government, the citizens of the United States, got lazy and let their guard down.

Consequently, over the past several decades, government authority and responsibility have grown and expanded. Whenever government assumes a responsibility, the public loses the power to fulfill that responsibility itself. This is progressive and cumulative.

Government has developed a system of checks and balances of its own, of sorts, not only ensuring it will maintain control, but that it will be in a position to expand it as well.

We have been subject to a federal Income Tax for the past hundred years or so, and the arguments about its legality continue. In and of itself, if the original checks and balances of the three branches of government had remained intact, such an assessment might be tolerable on a temporary basis from time to time, but that is not how it happened. As it turned out, the Income Tax provided a source of revenue, and various offices began to act on some of their ideas. In time, the onus reversed from a government constrained to manage within a budget to the taxpayer having to meet the government’s financial demands. Appropriate analogies have bred like June mosquitoes.

In recent years, the government has made inroads into management of the private sector through regulation and legislation. At the same time, the process was facilitated by a softening of the separation of powers among the branches of government. The Presidency has long had legitimate but limited independent powers of its own, but these have come to be used as a shortcut and a way to bypass a reticent Congress, drawing critical comparisons to “one man rule.” Similarly, the Judicial branch has ventured beyond its interpretational responsibilities into the realm redefining certain laws. In fact, if one were to strip away all of the regulations, mandates, and statutory parameters not specifically authorized by Congress, those who have come to harvest perpetual Free Lunch on the taxpayer’s dime would have to find another carcass to feed upon. I’m not talking about the people on welfare, I’m talking about the Welfare Industry and the tens of thousands of bureaucrats and employees of private sector “non-profit” entities who “profit”, ironically, from administering welfare programs. As with any industry, development of new products is a constant need. The welfare industry has a somewhat captive “customer” base, and a completely captive source of revenue, something private sector industries don’t enjoy. New programs require more personnel and more money and the bottom line of maintaining the “throughput” is job security.

So, how do we change all of this? How do we fix it? Without question, it will be a difficult task. People will fight to protect their jobs, as any of us would. There would most likely be a significant escalation in authoritarianism, which actually would only be a premature emergence of the inevitable mad scramble for universal control leading to fascism and other authoritarian structures. This is where the rubber will meet the road, so to speak.

We’ve been there before, to some extent. The Civil Rights movement literally involved “fire in the streets” and outright armed confrontations. People were assassinated. The Vietnam War controversy also came to a head with armed confrontations and citizens firmly saying “no.” The retaking of the reins of the existing government by an overwhelming force of citizens determined to return to Constitutional government could very well dwarf those two campaigns.

People are afraid. People are angry. Asked why, many cannot say. How else could we come to experience a Presidential election dominated by generally despised front runners who lead by the weight of phalanxes of dedicated and passionate minorities passively observed by disinterested impotent majorities? Change is inevitable, but it may not be the kind of change most would like to see, not as long as we remain passive and impotent.

I don’t wish to see the reins of government held by a naïve, bombastic businessman of questionable ethics and judgment. The world has not fared well in the past when such things came to pass. I don’t wish to see the Oval Office occupied by an avowed adherent to socialist principles who unabashedly intends to suck the economy dry to pay for a Christmas List of “free stuff”. I don’t want to see the White House become home once again to a former First Lady and Secretary of State who has had her eye on being the first woman President since the day she left that building. She promises “more of the same”, and “more so,” and she hauls a truckload of political baggage with her. I’ve had enough Liberal usurpation of liberty for this lifetime, and I’m not in the mood for any other brand of despotism either.

There are those who predict the demise of the major parties. Washington advised against party politics, but I think it is human nature to organize into groups. What would be welcome would be a change to major parties more aligned with Constitutional government and Libertarian values that would return government to its role as the public’s servants instead of the other way around.

I’m not so naïve as to believe these changes can be made peacefully and politely. They can’t. The question is, are there enough people who are fed up enough to support such changes anyway? Are we more in number or passion than those who rally for Trump, Clinton, and Sanders?

 

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A “Save-the Day” candidate!!!

April 1, 2016

or something like that ….

I would like to take this opportunity to announce my availability as a write-in candidate for President of the United States.

I have no party affiliation, but, like most people, I have agendas. My platform? To get government out of the way so the People can exercise their greatness freely. I won’t promise to do anything spectacular to get the media’s skivvies in a twitch because, unlike the current contenders, I realize the fact that my job will be to work with Congress, to lead them, not to bypass them or order them around. I see the wisdom in following the guidelines of the Constitution as opposed to digging around for ways to exploit loopholes. If elected, I don’t intend to spend one minute working on a “legacy”. I mean, who would waste time on such a thing other than a consummate Narcissist? I didn’t pay people to sign my yearbook, for cryin’ out loud, and I didn’t expect those whodid to pay me for the privilege….

Forget the “vetting”. I’ll show the media and the pucker-butts my rap sheet. Who cares? That was then and this is now. Besides, I’ve never regretted anything that I didn’t enjoy the hell out of first, and boy, have I had a blast! Fortunately, other than a few misdemeanors and adolescent social faux pas, I am fully qualified for the office. Well, I’m not a lawyer, but I’m a bit of a windbag and I do know a few.

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I’m not a bumpkin, either. I graduated from college. I’ve been around. I’ve dined with the Governor. I’ve chewed on a cold boloney sandwich in a six by eight. I’ve shaken the hands of Senators, Representatives of Congress, a future Secretary of Defense, and a couple of Hell’s Angels.

But enough about me.

Never mind. Why should I care to run for the most impossible job on the planet?

Primarily because those currently running scare the pants off of me and a whole lot of other people, and those with the PC credentials to go for it themselves are more interested in protecting their PC credentials. They had help with such decisions from millions of misguided citizens who either want the USA to “goose step its way to greatness” or fulfill Kruschev’s prophesy by jamming our path to full Statism into passing gear.

My core politic is a mixture. I think all existing parties have good points and are full of bovine flapjacks on others. Generally speaking, I believe the Constitution is central, and that we should strictly follow it in spirit in order to properly respect it, especially when making adaptations for “context”. I value the concept of the individual as primary, and that of public servants as just that.

I believe it is important that we have a strong legal system that provides rational and appropriate consequences for crimes of violence and property. Personal property is inviolate. Nobody has the right to take the property of another, or to interfere with their use of it. Including government.

I believe in equal treatment under the law for all people. That does not translate into equal accoutrements of some statistically median lifestyle or unlimited freebies to make it feel that way. Nevertheless, I believe in generous welfare and support for those who are unable to care for themselves. That means safe and reasonably comfortable housing. That means basic nutrition, which does not include snack foods, soda pop, lobster, or gourmet fare. Specifying allowable purchases does not violate anybody’s rights. Nobody is “entitled” to any extra credit for being on a “list”, nor should anybody merit any less, for the same reason. I would be interested to see how Congress addresses these issues.

Religion is none of the government’s business. That means government does not promote or show disfavor toward any matter of spirituality, but maintains a neutral position while still following the law. No sacrificing virgins, for example. You can burn a cross if you so desire, but do it on your own lawn. That kind of thing. The Taliban mentality of removing existing historic monuments and icons because they don’t live up to the Politically Correct mandates of the moment is not OK. That behavior violates the rights of those who created such monuments and those who enjoy them. It also violates the right of those who don’t actually give a damn, but by so doing the Taliban effectively are dictating to them certain belief systems and using force to promote them.

I would support and encourage movement toward a society where individuals are free to pursue their dreams to the best of their ability. Not everybody has dreams, of course. Many just wish to have enough to get along, or at least only have enough drive to pursue that level. That’s fine. The rest of society is not obligated to supplement their ambitions, however, in order to achieve some statistically pleasing standard of living.

At least one candidate believes everyone should have access to a “free” college education, not because they are smart but because they can prove they can’t afford it. Of course they can’t afford it, they haven’t graduated yet. As far as education is concerned, I think everybody should have access to college loans, and counseling to assist with applying for any of the thousands of grants available from private industries and other interests. Other than that, debt can be a great motivator for performance. Or, one can acquire an education incrementally, over a period of years, working between enrolled semesters to save money or to play, or whatever.

We have to be realistic about economic matters. I believe the cry to “audit the fed” is a reasonable action, as is serious consideration of returning to a money supply founded upon tangible assets. Moving off of the gold and silver standards was not done because it was a good idea for the people or for the country, but to favor the agendas of a few.

I won’t argue that the Federal Reserve was a bad idea back when it was created, but I will argue that it is a good idea to chew on the question of whether it is a good idea in this particular part of the twenty first century. We are no longer a keystone in the brick and mortar industrial world because that world has changed and given way to an economic environment centered around technology and computer science. Regardless of nationalistic viewpoints, we need to accept that the economy is now global in nature, and if we wish to participate and play king of the mountain therein, we have to understand the rules of the game. I read somewhere that one of the barriers to that understanding is our archaic vision of a “factory” being a structure where raw materials go in the front door and finished products come out the back. The factory still exists, but is segmented around the planet instead of just around a city lot down by the tracks. We play an important part in that economy, but the “brick and mortar” folks are just going to have to find some new way to earn a living. Their ancestors had to do the same thing when the horseshoe and carriage industries fizzled out.

One thing I have a very strong politic about is that government should not be an industry, nor should it operate like one. The USA embarked on a reasonable, rational, and Constitutional path some sixty years ago when it began a concerted effort to eliminate the conditions that disallowed a huge portion of our population equal access to the rights and privileges enjoyed by others. Why they were denied is not relevant at this point. However, the Why has replaced the original problem of deprivation and continues to be a seemingly insurmountable issue today, with the historic deprivation itself actually serving as an “Oh, yeah…that too…” kind of point. We need to learn from, and end, that approach to Constitutional issues.

Just as acting like American Taliban in protecting the freedom of religion concept tends to

violate the very principle it claims to represent, overly exuberant efforts to “end poverty” and all of its cognates has been said to actually give those conditions a certain immortality. Look at it this way:

A need is discovered. Johnny needs shoes.

A program is started to identify other people who need shoes and to provide them with some.

So far, so good.

Such a program requires personnel and a budget.

And a building.

and so forth….oh, and more personnel…

It doesn’t take too many years, and too many additional good idea programs to convert government from a service to a service industry. To many, that may still seem like a good idea. It is not; look at it this way: An industry “produces” a product or service. A product producer needs raw materials, which it purchases from those who have them available for sale. A service industry, like the brick and mortar version, also requires “raw materials”, which comes in the form of whatever “need” the service aspires to fill or resolve. Those who create income by consulting, fixing, caring for, and providing numerous other service related “products” have to compete for the business. Like any business, it requires Research & Development, Sales, Advertising, Professional Providers, Management, Accounting, and more. He who provides the greatest value for the smallest cost wins the game.

A government service industry runs in very much the same manner, with a few key differences.

Products: As mentioned, the product is “need”. In order to stay viable, even before the initially identified need is fulfilled, it becomes crucial to identify new needs to be fulfilled. Johnny has shoes. Now What?

R&D…steps in to either find needs or to create them. That’s where sales and advertising come in. Selling refrigerators to Eskimos and all of that sort of thing.

None of these functions is self sustaining or subject to the “natural” rules and forces of a market economy in thins case, however. The industry takes what it needs, gives away what it wants to, and can mandate the purchase of its products, all of this financed with money taken from the taxpaying public. The only thing missing from this formula is the gun. No it’s not. It’s there, but you won’t see it unless you decline to participate.

The welfare economy requires three things: a limitless, free supply of “raw materials” and cash, a captive market, and force. While many may appear to benefit from it,, it is primarily a “jobs program” for those employed in the industry, and the people in need are a crucial raw material and therefore indispensible. They are captured, they are husbanded like cattle.

Military: Like welfare, originally established to help the helpless and to care for those who are unable to care for themselves, military functions were originally conceived to defend the physical nation and its people from enemies “foreign and domestic”. Eisenhower wasn’t the first to notice, but he is known for voicing concerns about a “military-industrial complex. ” Such a marriage was reasonable and necessary during WWII, of course, but it was not subsequently dismantled. It found new things to do, new causes to fight for. In fact, the Unites States of America has been engaged in armed conflict of one kind or another for 222+ our of the last 230+ years…93% of our very existence. That speaks to something other than “self defense.” It is an industry<e/m>. A “profit center,” if you please. The 100 top producing “industries” are all engaged in the production, sales, and distribution of weaponry or some related “product”. When we aren’t asserting ourselves as global police, we serve as mercenaries, or “observers”. Right. That’s a little like being an “observer” at an orgy, isn’t it?

Just as an end to poverty would bankrupt the country and millions of previously middle class wage earners, starting the cycle all over again, if “peace” was ever actually achieved, our surviving brick and mortar industries and “defense” related interest would collapse.

In other words, despite our vigorous PR and traditions to the contrary, the USA is a welfare state in the making, and not in the least bit interested in world peace. We can’t afford to win either campaign.

I’d like to find a way to change that. I’d like to rally those who would also be willing to take the risks involved in becoming a productive, independent population, more interested in making and selling widgets than making and selling weapons, war, and welfare.

Unions will, of course, be among the most energetic of my detractors, as would be federal employees and civilian federal contractors whose jobs depend on serving the “needs” of the poor or of the military industrial complex.

It’s a free country, but that doesn’t mean it’s free to live here, and it shouldn’t obligate the population to pay for each others’ pipe dreams or the pipe dreams of those with a pocketful of power to play with.

That’s enough for now. I’m hungry, anyway. I think I’ll pop up to Martha’s Vineyard for
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March 28, 2016

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The New Trump Flag……

March 3, 2016

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