Archive for August, 2011

Perry v. Romney (and others)

August 26, 2011

It’s really funny when I read about Perry calling Romney someone who’s been inside the beltway. Apart from his 4 years as governor, Romney hasn’t spent a day in any elected position in any government. Perry, on the other hand, has over twenty years experience as an elected official in one role or another.

I think that Perry’s high ratings in the polls are numbered. Romney is giving him some room to breath, a calm before the storm, so to speak. As people become familiar with who Perry really is and what is policies really were, he’ll fall in the polls leaving Romney the last man standing.

I wish this were simply speculation, but judging one what other republican insiders see, this is the likely result. If you want to run for the GOP position, you have to build up a network and name recognition well before the campaign season starts. The GOP is a huge, fragmented organization, not a top-down structure like what the democrats have. It is more difficult, I believe, to unite the GOP behind you as a presidential candidate, than to get the rest of the country to elect you.

Sarah Palin, I believe, may likely run this year. I don’t join with her critics in condemning her or her positions or her record. As far as presidential candidates go, she would make a fine president. I hope she runs. By doing so, that will mean the 2016/2020 ticket will be full of good, prepared candidates. To be honest, I believe the Romney./Palin ticket would sweep the country.

Michele Bachmann, unfortunately, is ending up as a Ron Paul, Jr. I don’t see her campaign getting put together, I don’t see her making the strategic moves, and I don’t see her effectively selling herself to the larger GOP audience. She should stick with her state politics, focus on becoming a house leader, and let that be her life’s achievement. If she keeps her nose clean, then ten, twenty years from now she can be a real contender, much more likely than Newt Gingrich. I wouldn’t say that a house-to-president run is impossible, only very unlikely, and only after you’ve been speaker of the house or some other very high ranking house member, and only if you’ve built a solid network before declaring.

Speaking of which, Ron Paul is really doing what only Ron Paul can do. I hope he takes his leadership and power and uses it to make real change. I think Paul was given a tremendous chance on fed oversight panel, and he should focus mostly on that and organizing his troops to see that we get an honest-to-gosh fiscal conservative in office, everywhere. The Paulians are really earning a name for themselves. This derogatory term will soon be a badge of honor if they continue with their ways.

I want to emphasize something here. There are several political factions, but only 2 that I know of that will actually see results. Of course, there’s the Tea Party, but more importantly, and I think, at the heart of the Tea Party, are the Paulians. They are running for office, taking seats one by one, building foundations that will give them an enormous amount of power. I know several Paulians, and to be honest, if you want to try to win the GOP without their support, you will find your victory Pyrrhic at best.

I am not a Paulian, I don’t support much of the Libertarian or Ron Paul platform, but I do agree, wholeheartedly, on cutting the federal budget, and so I find association with the Paulians to be beneficial.

Herman Cain is wholly unsuited for this vicious business. I get the sense, based on what I am seeing, that he is a good person, may make a wonderful president, but is not oriented towards the political way of doing things. Did he expect the GOP candidates and factions to treat him with kid gloves? I don’t know that he really understands the depth of corruption that politics is. I am sure he is learning, and by the end of this year, will probably be more fit to be elected than almost any other leader in the GOP.

He has two opportunities: One, he can shift the debate and focus of the presidential race. Mission accomplished, but there is more he can do. Two, he can build the foundation for partnering with existing political forces already at work. Some are saying that the Romney-Cain machine would be unstoppable. I would hope Cain effectively integrates with at least Romney, but others as well. I believe Cain as a spokesperson for the Tea Party might be an ideal role. Along with Bachmann, Palin, and Paul, these outside-the-beltway types can really stir things up.

The liberal strategy is to divide the right by religion and ad hominem. They will try to stick as many wedges as they can between the factions and leaders. I don’t think it is going to work, principally because the factions won’t let it work. Yes, the Tea Party and the Paulians and the Country-Club Republicans and the pro-lifers and the NOM and everyone is viciously focused on their goals, but they know, at the heart of the matter, the enemy #1 to their political goals is Obama and the democratic-controlled congress and state houses.

Back to Basics

August 24, 2011

The concept of “The Crown” to the English people is that of an abstract, ideal government. It derives its power to rule directly from God. It’s agent is the king (currently queen).

The idea that the king can do whatever he wants is in direct opposition to the idea of The Crown. The king is not free to do as he pleases–only free to do a God pleases. For instance, the king cannot claim that by thwarting the obvious commandments of God—“Thou shalt not kill”, “Thou shalt not commit adultery”, etc…—he is really doing what God wants him to do.

It is by this that parliament gains power over the king, because parliament is able to determine whether or not the king’s actions align with God’s will, and if not, which actions would. However, God did not give parliament the power to be king, and the last time that was tried it ended in disaster for the country.

Our American system of government is no different, except we interpret things very differently.

First, ultimate authority under the American system still rests with God. As Creator and as Lord of all, He is truly the King of Kings. I want to emphasize at this point that God is not who we wish God would be, but he is who He Is. It is the scientist, who executes experiments upon the objects of God’s creations, subject to God’s law, that is exercising true faith in God and discovering God’s true nature, not the philosopher and scholar who merely read God’s word and tries to draw conclusions from it.

Second, unlike the English system, we do not believe God vests his power in the king or “The Crown”. We believe he has given his power directly to man. When God pronounced to Adam that he was lord of the entire earth, that authority passed through his seed to us today. We are all equal inheritors to Adam’s lordship. We are all, collectively and individually, lords of the entire earth.

Third, and this is crucial, comes the commandment from God to us to form governments for the protection of our liberties. God has always created governments, and he will always do so. Those governments have power as long as they act according to the scope wherein they were created—to benefit man individually and collectively.

I do not care to discuss at this point which form of government is superior to another. As long as the government protects the rights of the individual and the people, and as long as the government doesn’t trample on God’s law, it is truly an irrelevant question. A benevolent dictator, who acted purely according to God’s will and respected individual liberties is far superior to a wicked republic that does neither.

I think, as we enter this election cycle, we need to remind ourselves of these important facts. It really doesn’t matter who we put in charge of our various organizations and bodies, provided they protect our individual and collective liberties. It really doesn’t matter how we choose who is put in charge as long as it is obvious that the power to govern comes from the consent of the governed—sovereign individuals entitled to an equal claim to Adam’s lordship.

I hope that, as a sovereign individual, you execute your responsibilities dutifully. Turn your eyes and heart to God, or if you find that offensive, the ideals of perfection. Set that as your primary goal as an individual. Then, act according to your full ability to fulfill those ideals.

Yes, the vast majority of what is said and done in a political environment is stupid posturing. Yes, ultimately none of it really matters that much. The only bits that truly matter whether the government we create for ourselves protects our liberties or not.

Corporations ARE People

August 18, 2011

I am mystified by this recent trend that pretends that corporations aren’t people. It’s well established, at least in legal and business circles, that corporations are people, and that’s the only way you can treat them properly.

I think this sentiment comes from both a misunderstanding of what corporations are and a misunderstanding of what natural rights people have.

I believe I, and every other sentient human being, is born with the God-given right to assemble and organize. If I want to form a group with officers to represent that group, and with assets and liabilities and other things that individuals in our society might have, then I am free to do so, because that’s my God-given right.

Those who argue that corporations are not people are really saying that people don’t have the right to organize and assemble, cannot appoint officers to represent their so-created organizations, and cannot pool their natural rights and resources for a common goal.

Which idea inspires freedom, liberty, and the civil society?

I’m ashamed I have to explain this. I can say, definitively, that what I know about corporations I did not learn in my state-run education. After all, one of the purposes of state-run education is not to produce independent, sovereign citizens of the greatest country on God’s green earth. It is, obviously, to produce happy little subjects that pay their taxes on time so that the people who feed at the trough of public money can make their tee-time. This is one of the reasons why I adamantly oppose state-run public education, the other being that it has been a colossal failure in even producing people who can pay their taxes!

What is a corporation? It is an organization, any organization, where people join together for some purpose. In so doing, they create an entity that represents them and their rights to do certain things, like own property, speak their mind, transact in a free economy, etc.

A corporation, almost by definition, is people. The corporation itself is merely the creation of a new body from the bodies of the people who formed it and own it. Read the founding documents, identify who currently owns the corporation, identify how decisions are made about how to execute on its rights and responsibilities, and you will see everything a living, breathing person is, at least in the law an in the economy.

Our Federal Government is a corporation, as well as all governments anywhere in the world. People joined together, sharing their natural rights to create an entity that can act with the power of those rights.

Churches and charities are corporations. They represent people forming organizations together for the specific purpose of worship or helping the poor and needy, or whatever purpose they imagine is worthy of exercising their natural liberties to support.

Of course, companies you deal with every day are corporations. If you want to have an organization that can transact billions of dollars of business every year, it can only come about if several thousand people pledge some of their time and resources to its operation.

I really can’t see any reason why anyone who understands what our natural rights are and what corporations really are could call it anything but a person. It is the most appropriate appellation.

Was Joseph Smith a Convicted Fraudster?

August 10, 2011

I read an article in politicsusa written by an avowed anti-religious bigot. He mentions, casually, that Joseph Smith was, “a convicted fraudster”.

Well, this was news to me! I hadn’t heard of Joseph Smith being convicted of anything. In fact, it was in waiting for his trial in Missouri that he was freed by his captors. It was waiting for his trial in Illinois that he was murdered in cold blood by a mob of so-called Christians. If that is the faith the author wants to align himself with, then let the blood of Joseph Smith be on his hands. Let’s see what the angels in heaven will testify against him at the last day that he stands before his Maker.

There is a curious rumor floating around that Joseph Smith was convicted of being a “glass-looker” and using stones to find treasure in 1826. The sad truth is that there was no record of conviction, only a trial, for which we have no record of the verdict or even much testimony. The curious should read the article at SHIELDS if they would like an accurate look at what we have records of and what is most likely to have occurred.

If Joseph Smith committed fraud, then where are the deceived, and what was his prize? Was he so rich? Did he live a life of luxury? Did he take advantage of even the slightest weakness of any around him?

Those who study Joseph Smith honestly will come to the same conclusion as I have. Either he was a prophet of God of the same type and nature as Moses, Isaiah, and Jeremiah, or he is something else. What that something else could be, we cannot tell. He certainly wasn’t a fraudster. He certainly wasn’t a womanizer or a murderer or any of the other things he has been accused of being.

That he made extraordinary claims, we cannot argue. He claims to have walked with angels, spoken with God, and restored powers that left the earth with the passing of Peter, James and John long ago.

His most extraordinary claim of all was that a record was prepared for over three thousand years on golden plates to be translated by the power of God at the hands of Joseph Smith, and that this record would change the entire world preparatory to the Second Coming. We have the book, and it is freely available for anyone to read. Our invitation is simple: Read the book, ponder on its implications, and ask God, with real intent, whether it is true. If it is true, then you must join the same church the book comes from. If it is not, then you will know for yourself, from God Himself, that Joseph Smith was no prophet. The fact that so-called Christian leaders teach people not to pray to God about such an important matter should be alarming.

Those people who want to mix religion and politics, or rather, church and state, are playing with fire. They wouldn’t like to be judged by their beliefs, and yet judge others by theirs. Isn’t this what Jesus preached against? Isn’t that hypocrisy in its purest form?

Let me expound, for a few moments, the absurdity of your beliefs, if you will allow me to do so. Let me state first, that even though I believe these things about you, I do not think you any less human because of it. Indeed, I firmly believe that people are free and should be free and should choose for themselves what to believe. This is the only way to truth.

First, you believe that the God who created the universe cannot speak to a prophet.

Second, you believe that the God who created man as his crowning creation does not care to reveal himself to the same.

Third, you believe that the same God you call merciful and just does not intend to reward as many people as possible with the same blessings he enjoys for all eternity.

Fourth, you believe that the same God who calls himself Father does not think of us as Gods in embryo, or in other words, children of God, destined to become exactly like God.

Fifth, you believe that Jesus did not descend below all things to bring the world, as much as possible, back to God.

Sixth, you believe that man can live by his own devices, and that we need not rely on the supernatural or divine in the least bit, while failing to acknowledge the foundation for logic and reason and science itself is supernatural and divine in nature.

Seventh, you believe that the people around you are not connected by blood, spiritual and physical, and should inherit the same respect that the wisest and most noble among us deserve, regardless of their current situation, especially in light of their future possibility.

Eighth, you believe that God, who organizes all the celestial bodies in order, does not intend to organize the earth in like order, with prophets and apostles, teachers and priests and others, in organized religion administered from the mouth of God through His prophets and servants.

Ninth, you believe that man is not nothing compared to God, and that we can have a sane thought on our own accord.

Tenth, you believe that when the entire world rises up and murders someone in cold blood who was guilty of no crime, it must have been because that person was bad, not that he was a threat to all the evil institutions and practices of the world.

If you want to make this election about religion, let’s stick to the only religious topics that matter: Is man free? Should one person live off the labor of another? Should we protect individual rights or only group rights? I think on these points we, the vast majority of America agree, and should we let lesser beliefs divide us, then we won’t live to see any of our beliefs bear fruit.

Threats, Debt, and Financial Terrorism

August 9, 2011

The left is all ablaze with their thundering defeat over the debt ceiling increase. The following economic downturn has sent shivers down their spine. In reaction, they are lashing out against their political opponents, calling them “terrorists”.

Let’s step back and understand the scene here.

First, the role of government is to protect the rights of the individual. From our earliest founding documents until this day that has not changed. Whether the leftist agrees with this concept or not is immaterial. Our country is founded on the ideals that all men are created equal, meaning that they already have equal rights once they come into this world. That implies that government should be instituted to protect their already existing rights, including (but not limited to) their rights to life, liberty, and property.

Second, the federal government was created for a specific purpose within specific limitations. That purpose is to secure our national liberty by providing for a means of war fighting, foreign diplomacy, and unity among the several separate states through free trade. These principles were enshrined in the Constitution of the United States.

It’s important to revisit these topics it is the leftist who would rather we forget all about them, or who would pervert them into something they are not.

Third, it wasn’t until FDR that the federal government began a new phase, extra-constitutionally, a phase which is marked by government largess. The people in power use government to distribute favors to their political supporters, rather than protecting the rights of all equally. The government began to exert its authority to reward the losers and punish the winners. While the federal government had toyed with this in the past, never before had it been done in such a large and unlimited scale.

What fueled the changes beginning with FDR was a combination of Marxist philosophy (the poor are powerless and need to rise up by tearing down the rich), combined with economic inanity found in Keynesian philosophy (government debt creates wealth, not individual action), and old-fashioned tyranny. The Democratic Party since that time, and to some degree, the Republican Party as well, has more or less expanded on these ideas. We see it in Medicare and Social Security. We see it in the TSA, the FDA, and government regulation of health care.

Fourth, that the experiment beginning with FDR has been a failure. Politicians are incapable of managing any resources, let alone the retirement program for the entire nation. When given a choice, politicians will choose to spend, borrow, and tax. When given a choice, politicians will favor special interests at the cost of national interests.

The Tea Party, started by Rick Santelli, is really a continuation of the same anti-government disgust that lead to the American revolution in 1776. It is the sentiment that government does not know best, and that the people are better served with limited, small government than an unlimited tyranny.

Let’s compare philosophies, for a moment, to uncover who the real “terrorists” are.

The Tea Party says that people should be free to make their own choices, and should not be enslaved to the special interests of others through government forces such as taxation and excessive spending. The left says that the rich don’t deserve their money and that the poor are incapable of fending for themselves in this world, and so strict regulations and punishments need to be meted out in order to make the world fair. Who advocates force and fear? The left. That is terrorism.

The Tea Party says that it is wrong to enslave future generations in debt, and that we need to make spending cuts today and no longer tolerate an expansion of the debt limit. The Left says that we have plenty of money and that it’s only because the rich aren’t willing to pay their fair share that we have debt in the first place. Who is bankrupting our future—the people who point out the obvious or the people who live in a lie?

The bottom line is that the Tea Party wants less government. When Rep. Cantor makes public his intention to actually cut the size of government, not in baseline spending, but actually spending fewer dollars in the future than we spend today, he is aligning himself with the same ideas that created this nation in the first place: that people are free, and that governments can only protect those freedoms, and that governments must be so limited.

What is the Dollar Worth?

August 8, 2011

As we are beginning to experience inflation, and as our price expectations are changing, it’s good to take the time to understand a few simple, yet very important, facts about the dollar.

First, what is a dollar? It’s simply a piece of paper. It doesn’t really mean anything, other than the meaning that you attach to it. Your opinion of the dollar is largely based on what other people’s opinion of the dollar is because you don’t have money just to have money—you own it so you can buy things in the future.

What affects the opinion people have of the dollar? There are several factors.

One is its usefulness. Who accepts dollars, and who doesn’t? Keep in mind that no one is forcing you to use dollars to buy and sell things here in America. A long time ago, we happily used foreign currencies, even Spanish coins, and we thought nothing of it at the time.

The dollar has maintained its usefulness because it has been a relatively stable currency. That means that over time, its value doesn’t change very much, or its value tends to go up. Because there are plenty of dollars in the world, it’s easy for people to acquire dollars when they need them. Because there is a lot of usefulness for the dollar, people can “sell” the dollar when they no longer want it, exchanging it for some other currency or for goods and services they need.

Let me help you understand what I mean. When I lived in South Korea from ’95-’97, I could’ve walked into almost any store and bought things with American dollars. Now, the store owners weren’t too pleased to get dollars instead of Korean Won, but as long as I was willing to take the exchange hit, they didn’t mind. It’s just a simple matter of going to the nearest bank and converting the dollar to won, and they can stuff their pockets full of won. Dollars were very useful in Korea, because Korea engaged in a lot of foreign trade with America, and there were a lot of Americans living in Korea.

A country like North Korea, on the other hand, which was shut off from America, probably didn’t find the dollar as useful, because there aren’t many Americans in North Korea and because the can’t trade directly with the United States.

Another factor in the dollar’s value is how many dollars there are floating around. If there are too many dollars and not enough uses for the dollar, then the dollar’s value drops. It’s easy to acquire dollars but hard to get rid of them. On the other hand, if everyone wants to use dollars but there aren’t enough dollars around, then the value goes up.

Where do dollars come from? The Federal Exchange Bank (Fed) is the only bank in the world authorized to print dollars. They can print as many dollars as they like, whenever they feel like it. They can give those dollars to whomever they choose. Granted, of course, they don’t sprinkle dollars around like it is candy, or at least they didn’t use to. They only give dollars to people who promise to repay those dollars in the future—with interest.

Nowadays, we’ve reached a point where the dollar is declining in value. Why is this? Not enough usefulness, and too many of them floating around.

Why has the usefulness declined? Because they expectation of future usefulness has declined. This is a vicious feedback loop, where negative results leads to more negative results. It’s important to understand, however, that temporary shifts in value due only to the changing, temporary expected value and not on substantive facts are generally temporary, although they might be severe from time to time. As long as the underlying reality remains the same, opinion can only shift so far.

There is another part—the quantity of dollars—that has shifted, and shows signs of continually shifting. The debt battle we just witnessed in the Federal Government sent a message to the world that the quantity of dollars will continue to increase, and eventually increase at a very rapid rate.

I think this is where I will lose the liberal readers of my blog, for a very important reason: they cannot understand where the government gets its money from. If they understood where government gets its money from and wanted to have ever increasing sums of it to spend on the poor, sick and elderly, they would agree with my proposals below.

Basically, government can only acquire cash in one of three ways: (1) Taxes, (2) printing, and (3) borrowing. We have, with the Fed Act of 1913, declared that we will not use printing to acquire money. Instead, we created a bank that we borrow from and pay interest to. That bank is allowed to print our money, instead of our government. Now, this is only a law, and could potentially change at any day in the future, but I doubt it will because the people whom this law benefits are making billions and billions every year. Every dime we pay in interest on the debt is a dime that goes directly into their pockets. They have every reason in the world to keep the electorate confused about this important topic.

Granted that we can’t print our money, the way the Founding Fathers intended, the government can only acquire cash through taxes and borrowing.

We have, a very long time ago, decided as a country that we’re fine with carrying a national debt that our children’s children for the perpetual future will have to pay interest on. I don’t know why we as a country tolerated this, but we did. We are, basically, slaves to our national debt. On the one hand, we have promised with the strongest of oaths that we will always pay our debts and interest on the debt. On the other hand, we have promised ourselves that we will never spend within our means, nor pay down on the principal of our debt. This is not necessarily a bad thing, considering the growth of the economy.

  • If the economy grows at at least the rate by which our debt grows, then everything is roughly OK. The proportion of our grandchildren’s income that they will have to spend on the debt is about the same what we pay today. This is the same as taking on twice as much debt as your income doubles.
  • If the economy grows faster, then the debt shrinks in proportional pain, and one day could potentially be seen as hardly an obstacle worth thinking much about. A hundred trillion dollars is nothing for an economy that measures its size in quadrillions. This is like taking on twice as much debt but seeing your income triple.
  • If the economy grows more slowly than the debt, then we have big problems. We will find the debt is more and more difficult to pay, until we reach a breaking point where we simply cannot pay it. This is like taking on triple the debt with only double the income, or worse, doubling your debt while halving your income.

Now, some people propose taxes as a way to remedy the problem, but they do not understand that every penny taxed is a thousand penny’s worth of damages to the economy. This is the same group that believes you can simply change the world by changing laws and regulations, and that either they don’t believe there is an economic impact to these rules and regulations, or that the American people are smart enough slaves to figure a good way around the conflicting laws. As I outlined above, the way to beat the debt is to increase the income—the American economy–while increasing or stabilizing the debt, not harm our income.

We are in a state today where the economy is growing at about 1%-2%, with occasional dips. Our debt, however, is ballooning at an enormous rate. In the first few years of Obama’s presidency, the entire national debt in terms of cash has doubled. This is partially due to decreased tax revenue due to the economy lagging, but also due to massive new spending programs. The programs of Social Security and Medicare are also debt but not in the cash sense. These are debts that are coming due today, debts that must be paid and total well over a hundred trillion dollars.

I think you will see that we are in the least ideal position. I hope you also understand that the tax rate should not be changed, or if possible, lowered so that we can get into a better position.

What does this all mean? Well, it means at some point the US government will either figure out that they can print their own money without taking on debt, or that they will just keep borrowing from the Fed and spending ever more vast sums of money. The result of both of these policies is that the world will be flooded with dollars, without a corresponding increase in demand.

The Tea Party is right about what needs to be done. If we can show the world that we can not only stop increasing the debt, but actually reverse course and start paying down the principal, and at the same time, reorganize our entitlement programs so that we won’t be scrambling to find hundreds of trillions of dollars, then we will send a signal to the world that we won’t flood the world with dollars. At the same time, we need to cut taxes to get our economy growing again, hopefully at the 5% range and perhaps, God willing, at the 10% range that truly free economies experience. If we, as a country, show the political will to do these things, then the entire world will once again regard us as the most stable and most secure economy in the world. The dollar will rise in value, making exports hard but making Americans the wealthiest people on planet earth.

Downgraded

August 5, 2011

Standard & Poor has downgraded the US Federal Government to one notch below the highest rating.

What does that mean?

It means that they think we may not pay back all of our loans.

And it makes sense,  too.

Instead of holding the line by not granting any extension of the debt, the Republican Party in the house and senate allowed the debt limit to increase by $1 trillion. In exchange, they got vague promises that the overall spending of the federal government ill be cut by $1 trillion—using baseline budgeting, which means we are borrowing money we can never pay back, not in a trillion years.

Our nation is about to go the same way as all the great empires, and for the same reason. There is a large group of people that have attached themselves to the federal treasury, like a baby to the bottle, and we do not have the political will to cut them off.