Archive for October, 2009

Ha Ha

October 30, 2009

Is murdering the former president a part of civil discourse? (link)

I guess my sense of humor isn’t finely tuned. Let me try to tell a joke then:

Perhaps we should just get the next civil war over with sooner rather than later. At least when it’s over with, people like Gore Vidal won’t even have a tombstone to mark their remains.

I’m sorry, you’re not laughing at my funny joke?

On Crime and Punishment

October 30, 2009

Seeing an “expert” in the field of crime and punishment post his thoughts on how to reform our judicial system to get less crime and punishment has got me thinking: Why is this so hard in the first place?

I think the answer lies in complexity. We, as humans, do terrible with complicated things. The more complicated something becomes, the more likely we are to get it all wrong. The tale of the blind men and the elephant wouldn’t be so fascinating if they were examining something simple, like a stick.

I don’t think the reason why we have so many criminals is because they don’t understand the law. I doubt there is anyone in prison today who thought they were keeping the law when in fact they broke it. (If there is, it is an injustice to keep them in there.)

The reason why we have so many criminals is because the law is so complicated that crime actually pays. See, if you pull of a massive fraud on investors, it will take twenty years for investigators to discover the crime, another ten to put together a case, and then a couple more years to actually hand down your sentence. That’s a long and full life of crime, where you are untouched by the law. Crime does pay.

If the law were simpler, then crime would be easier to punish. And if it were easier to punish, we would punish more criminals. And this would be a deterrent.

So, for example, if you decided to perpetrate a fraud on the people, investigation would take an afternoon, the trial would last another day, and sentencing would be a few hours. And then you would be suffering the punishment for your crime, rather than enjoying a lifetime of benefits from your criminal acts.

We have built up traditions and practices and policies, and even laws, that prevent us from doing the above. We are so sensitive to people’s rights that we forget the victim’s rights in all of this. The law is supposed to balance the two, not give preference to one or the other. Traditions and practices and policies are supposed to expedite the application of law, not hold it off its application for as long as possible.

To change our judicial system, I propose we go back to a simpler time when laws read more like the 10 commandments and less like legalese you’d find on the back of your credit card statement. I am confident that we can boil down all of our civil laws into a few simple statements focused around individual rights. All of court procedure and investigation procedure can likewise be boiled down to a few lines of text. The entire state and federal code should be something you can read in a few hours, maximum. Little children should be able to memorize the principle concepts and adults should be able to memorize the whole thing.

But we’ll need the cooperation of the courts. As long as appellate and supreme courts keep themselves busy overturning lower courts on the most trivial of technicalities, cases are going to drag on and on. Appellate courts and supreme courts should only act in obvious cases of injustice.

Most importantly, if we, the people, begin to demand a simpler judicial system and the faster application of the law in criminal cases, we will get what we ask for. Simply evaluate candidates and determine whether they will help you get what you want or stand in the way, and vote appropriately.

How Obama Treats the Constitution

October 30, 2009

It seems that President Obama doesn’t like constitutions. He has openly shredded the Honduran constitution, and forced the Honduran government to behave outside the parameters of that sacred document. (link)

Why is a constitution sacred? Because it confers on government its very existence, and the parameters of its behavior. It is sacred in the same way that God’s empowering of the people with natural rights is sacred, because the people are the god of the government, empowering it with a portion of their individual liberties to protect the same.

It is obvious, based on Obama’s behavior, that he doesn’t consider constitutions as important. What does he think of our own? When he took the oath of office, did he swear a false oath to protect and defend our constitution from enemies foreign and domestic?

Based on his behavior, and based on the bills he is supporting, it is apparent that he did make a false oath.

If we have a government that refuses to be limited by the very document that created the same, what is the recourse of the people? Why should we support a government that doesn’t support our constitution?

I declare, that we live today under tyranny. Our President Obama is no better than the King of England. We are not free. We have no sacred rights. And it will remain so until our government comes to believe again that the constitution binds it in a sacred contract between the people and itself.

All those who believe we have no constitution, or that a constitution is “living”, or that a government need not worry about what the constitution actually says, I declare you to be enemies of freedom and advocates of tyranny. Enjoy your feast while it lasts, because kings and tyrants have an interesting habit of eating their own. The flesh you dine on will soon be your own.

It is interesting to note that the first people to go are people like me, who refuse to bow down and worship government as a god. The second are those who advocated for the destruction of people like me and yet retain some sense of morality and will express shock and outrage when the government they supported begins openly raping, torturing, and abusing the people in unheard acts of brutality.

Stand up now while you still can, or bemoan your future.

My Platform

October 28, 2009

Here’s my political platform.

The government spends too much. Limit government spending.

The government borrows too much. Limit government borrowing.

The government taxes too much. Limit government taxes.

The government regulates too much. Limit government regulation.

The government is too big, too powerful, and too much for the people. Limit its size. Let the people live in peace.

Discuss.

Haunted Houses spookier than Al Gore

October 27, 2009

The latest pew poll on climate change has identified that Americans are more likely to believe in haunted houses than Al Gore’s yarn about catastrophic human-caused climate change. (link)  Of course, the greenies are concerned about this. (link) It’s very hard, after all, to impose communism on a people when they are not scared of the demons you’ve invented.

(Hat tip: Climate Depot.)

I think the global warming movement is officially dead. It is unlikely they can do or say anything to convince enough Americans to slit their collective throats, economically speaking, with an insance energy policy whose net effect is to transfer wealth from the poorest among us to Al Gore.

After they’ve lied about the temperature going up in the past decade, lied about the polar bear population diminishing, lied about the ice caps melting, lied about the true impact of CO2 on the climate, lied about the oceans rising, and lied about pretty much everything they’ve claimed, I think the American people are sensing a pattern.

The “stake in the heart” has been the revelation that CO2 is actually not that great of a greenhouse gas, compared to gasses such as water vapor. In fact, even if we dramatically increased the CO2 levels in our atmosphere, the only effect we would see is more abundant plant life across the world. Oh, and perhaps a marginal temperature increase, barring the other effects that we can barely consider but seem to actually exist.

In fact, as our Middle Age ancestors realized, the sun has a far more powerful effect on the weather and the climate than anything we can produce here on earth. A good indicator of how hot or cold it will be is to simply count the number of sunspots. This is a better predictor of climate than anything else, so much so that any honest scientist cannot ignore the evidence. And this is also, surprise surprise, the secret to the Farmer’s Almanac’s impressive record of weather prediction.

Many people look down on Americans because we are not as gullible as they look. This is evidenced by our sincere and unshakable faith on the “Sky God” and his Son. This is also evidenced by our skepticism towards the new theories science invents from time to time, such as evolution. For all the predictions that evolution makes, it won’t forgive our sins or clear our conscience of guilt. Fat lot of good that is, I say.

May we forever be known as the odd nation who refuses to bow down and worship the gods of science and imminent global catastrophe that can only be diverted by a massive government takeover of our private lives.

Request for Comments

October 27, 2009

I’m being quite serious here.

Question: What is the difference between Obama’s vision of the role of the federal government and Kim Jong Il’s vision of the role of the North Korean government?

Please respond with your answers below.

This is deathly important. See, this year, North Korea is likely to produce only 60% of what it produced last year—in food. (link) While South Korea is rapidly becoming an economic powerhouse, North Korea is exploring new depths of poverty unseen in our world’s history.

For those of you who don’t understand why this is important, let me share with you what I, and the majority of the United States citizenry, believe the role of the federal government is.

The federal government exists solely to protect free trade between the states, ensure that contracts are enforced across state borders, and to protect the states from physical threats, foreign and domestic. The federal government also exists to represent the states in international politics. These functions are outlined quite clearly in the Constitution of the United States.

The things that President Obama is attempting to do do not lie within the realm of the role of the federal government. It is not supposed to provide for your retirement or provide health insurance or health care (except as compensation to its employees). It does not exist to keep our streets safe or to limit the trade of potentially harmful substances. It does not exist to tax and distribute those taxes to schools and state governments. It does not exist to control the banking industry, the auto industry, or the medical industry. The only industry it can hope to control is the military industry, and that only because congress writes the checks.

Our view of government as a limited government is where our freedom truly lies. And it is because of our freedoms, not our government, that we have been the most efficient producers of economic wealth in the history of the world. It is also why, even in our poor economic condition, we still continue to run circles around the rest of the world.

When you’ve identified any difference between Kim Jong Il’s vision of unlimited control over the lives of the people and President Obama’s vision of the same, let me know in the comments below.

Remember to keep the comments clean and free from ad hominem attacks.

Mormons and Politics

October 26, 2009

From the newsroom of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints:

Furthermore, the Church views with concern the politics of fear and rhetorical extremism that render civil discussion impossible. As the Church begins to rise in prominence and its members achieve a higher public profile, a diversity of voices and opinions naturally follows. Some may even mistake these voices as being authoritative or representative of the Church. However, individual members think and speak for themselves. Only the First Presidency and the Twelve Apostles speak for the whole Church. (link)

If you are confused about how Glenn Beck, Mitt Romney, Harry Reid, or other members of the LDS church in the public sphere represent the church, the above paragraph should clear things up.

In addition to the above statement, the church is concerned about the lack of civility in public life. Civility is defined simply by treating others like you would want to be treated. If you’re not doing that, you’re not being civil.

The fruits of incivility is the lack of domestic peace, civil war, and eventually, the complete breakdown of society. We are well approaching that as members and organizations that do not agree with President Obama are ruthlessly attacked in the public sphere.

It is well worth noting that the communist plan has been, and still is, the complete overthrow of traditional society. Their plan is to drive us to hate each other to such a degree that we will destroy whatever is left of our constitutional republic. The communists imagine that world peace will follow this kind of destruction.

President Obama is clearly driving our ship of state into the ground.

Those who have a modicum of common sense know exactly what follows the communist plan: the silence of death.

“Reject” R-71

October 24, 2009

There is a simple reason why I rejected R-71. Let me list the most important one.

It is this simple fact: All children deserve a loving father and a mother who love each other and have bound themselves with the bonds of marriage. That is the ideal.

Any law that would equivocate any other type of relationship with the ideal marriage says that children do not deserve the ideal.

And we the people, as individuals, have an interest in seeing children get a loving father and mother who love each other in the bonds of marriage.

That’s the simple answer.

It’s a simple answer that anyone with a modicum of a conscience can see plain as day.

Unfortunately, with many of those who have spent their lives wantonly pursuing their lusts, this kind of conscience is wholly absent from their thoughts. If it does exist, it exists as compass that points south to them.

A New Political Movement

October 23, 2009

The Republican Party seems to be drifting away from conservatism, so much so that there are more people who identify themselves as “conservative” than there are people who identify themselves as “republican”.

Let me share with you what my definition of “conservative” is and how we can help the conservative movement along.

A conservative is someone who understands the essence of liberty. That essence can be boiled down to the following facts:

  1. Our rights come from God.
  2. These rights are unalienable.
  3. Governments exist to protect those rights.
  4. Governments which do more or less than that should be changed.

Now, there are two action items we derive from the above.

  1. Do not allow government to infringe on anyone’s rights.
  2. Keep government protecting everyone’s rights from each other.

This leads to the conservative movement, which is essentially the two above action items.

Today, I think we have learned a few things about our system of government.

  1. We cannot trust the elected or appointed officials to be bound by the constitution.
  2. We cannot allow the government to define what our rights are or are not.
  3. We must “rebel” at the first instance of the infringement of our rights.
  4. We must say “no” by default to government, except when the vast majority of us can be convinced otherwise, and even then, only if the argument is “your rights will be better protected under this new system.”
  5. We must starve government, keeping it in a weak and atrophied state, rather than a robust one.

On the first matter, it is important to consider that we do, from time to time, elect people who are more than happy to walk all over the constitution. We seem to have a high tolerance for that in our country. We cannot expect our elected and appointed officials to be the vanguard of our rights.

On the second matter, we must agree that our rights are what we say our rights are, not the courts nor the legislature nor the governor. As individuals, we have a duty to first determine what we, individually, think our rights should be and then to exercise them. This isn’t rocket science, and a few simple rules can help us all come to a consensus on what our rights should be.

On the third matter, we must consider ourselves, as citiens, as enemies of the government. Our government doesn’t care about us, and the people within the government could care less about our rights. They are just as greedy and selfish as anyone else, perhaps moreso. When we see government behaving outside of its parameters, we, the people, must loudly and forcefully protest.

On the fourth matter, our instant answer on any proposed new law or change is “no.” Practice it with me: “No.” Not until we, as an individual, have been fully persuaded that the new system will better protect our rights (the ones we think we have), should we consent to the action.

On the final matter, there are simple amendments to the constitutions of our country that can guarantee a weak and atrophied government barely able to do what we want it to do. These reforms are:

  1. Limit revenue. List the various ways government can raise money, and put upper limits on them that cannot be exceeded.
  2. Limit spending. List the various ways the government can spend money, and put upper limits on how much. Put in the constitution constraints such as open bidding and auditing to make it very difficult to transfer wealth from government to the pockets of the politicians.
  3. Limit regulation. List the various kinds of regulations government can write and put limits on how many pages or how much the regulations can weigh when printed.  God was able to say all he needed to say in 10 simple commandments. We can probably do everything we need with 100. Allow people to veto any law.
  4. Limit offices. List the specific offices governments have and what the exact qualifications are. List how we verify the qualification and how the hiring decision is made. Leave a way for the people to remove individuals from office. Add provisions such as automatic impeachment upon criminal conviction and so forth.
  5. Limit elections. Limit the time and number of elections that government can run. This way, we can spend our lives living rather than figuring out what to vote for. Put in provisions so that the people control the elections, not the elected officials.

I am not against all organized activity. Indeed, I encourage it. Let us join together in whatever interesting organizations we can imagine, and combine our efforts in whatever ways we can. Political parties are one of many, many ways we do things together.

I am wary of that particular type of organized activity where we give permission to do violence in our behalf—the government. It is a dangerous, although necessary, thing. We must be more cautious than our Founding Fathers were, because we see now what can happen.

Two Americas

October 23, 2009

Barack Obama and his administration, along with the democrats in congress, are proof that there are two Americas.

The one America is full of a liberty-loving people. These people understand that freedom isn’t free. They work to produce the goods and services they use to trade with their countrymen so that they can enjoy the fullness of the earth’s bounty. They rejoice when someone gets a good job, or buys a nice house or a car, or saves up enough money for a handsome retirement. They look up to Bill Gates and other successful people who earned their money through hard work and intelligence. They hope that they and their children can be successful in whatever they put their minds to.

To this America, government is a necessary evil. It would be nice if everyone would always act in good faith, but this is simply not the way the world is. And so we build governments, carefully maximizing our freedoms while keeping our governments in check.

The other America pays lip-service to liberty, but secretly, and sometimes openly, despises it. They see successful, wealthy people and compare them with the poor and ask, “What did the rich man do to that poor man to get so rich?” They use government to make life fair, or at least more fair for themselves. They punish successful people and drop pennies in the beggar’s cup. When someone stands up to them and their corruptions, they bully them with outright lies and vile insults. When possible, they use their power to crush their opponents, in particular their domestic political rivals.

I cannot begin to imagine the insanity of the second America. To me, I can’t fathom spending my life in the vain pursuit of power over my fellow-citizens, and the outright lying and shenanigans it takes to obtain power. This is perhaps because of the way I was raised, or perhaps because of the tenets of my personal faith.

Or maybe it’s something more. Maybe it’s because I haven’t abandoned reason and logic and faith in something good, and they have.

What would drive so many people to insanity? I can only think of a few things. Let me list them here and see how close I am.

  1. Wickedness. This isn’t the kind of wickedness where you have fits of rage or you are tempted and happen to succumb to the temptation at the time. This is the kind of wickedness where you actually spend most of your waking moments trying to think of new ways to express your vilest thoughts in action. These are the kinds of people like NAMBLA (a group of homosexual pedophiles) and Planned Parenthood (formed to eliminate all people of African descent through contraception and abortion) or other groups with even more sinister goals.
  2. Greed. This isn’t the kind of greed that someone like Bill Gates has, where he pursues excellence and he drives to make his company the most successful by creating and marketing the best products he can put together, selling them at the most competitive prices. This is the kind of greed that says, “My entire self-worth is defined by what I have, and so I need to have more to be a more important person.” This may be expressed in the pursuit of money or even political power.
  3. Envy. This envy is taken to a whole new level, where our happiness is defined by having more than what they have. If we look around and derive satisfaction, or more likely, dissatisfaction, based on what others have, then we are guilty of this type of envy.

The above are all things that our Savior preached against. It is said that our personal virtue is the bedrock of our individual liberty. We cannot hope to be wicked, greedy, or envious and still expect to have all of our personal freedoms intact.

When you hear from the pulpit that our wickedness will be our destruction, it’s often hard to see how the two things are connected. It is especially difficult for the wicked to understand.

However, just like a nuclear fusion process one hundred million miles from here is responsible for the Oreo cookies we buy in the store, the connection is very real and very important.

We cannot maintain our liberty and forget our virtue. We must maintain our virtue to preserve our liberty.

Let us maintain our virtue.

Let us not be a part of the second America.