Saturday, September 28, 2013

The Conquering Principle

In the earlier post about the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse, the focus was on the human desire to conquer his fellow man.  Once conquered a man's productive talents go underutilized by nature, thus ushering in the remaining three Horsemen: War, Famine/Pestilence, and finally Death.

The Conquering Principle: The innate desire of man to gain and exert power over the free will of his fellow man.

The United States was and is an effort to limit the possible applications and influence of the Conquering Principle while acknowledging the fundamentally flawed nature of human society.  A place where any man can have the reasonable opportunity to rise or fall based primarily on his own strengths and weaknesses, unimpeded as much as possible by the efforts of his neighbors and peers to control him.

I believe the Conquering Principle can be useful when attempting to understand daily life, in business, in relationships, and most certainly in politics, and will attempt to flesh that out over the course of future posts, interpreting current events and proposing and evaluating new public policies.

Stay tuned...

Thursday, September 26, 2013

The Four Horsemen II

Gonna have to cover Dan Henninger again this week, for the new column he posted today...

First, for the image.  What a great way to visually represent the concepts I mentioned in my post two weeks ago:

The Four Horsemen of the Democratic Apocalypse. Photo: Chad Crowe

Secondly, for his argument, which once again is flawed.

Mr. Henninger posits that we should let Obamacare launch in full, watch it collapse in failure, and stride in as victors and let the people flock to us and the conservative ideal.

Right.  Just like in WWII.  We sat on the sidelines until Hitler's flawed nationalistic facism collapsed in on itself, brought down the regime, and ended the Holocaust.  Danish and French women threw themselves at the conquering American politicians as they rolled into town in luxury limousines.

If Henninger and the myriads of people expressing similar thoughts in response to Senator Cruz's remarkable speech this week were correct then why hasn't the system already collapsed?  Social Security and all the other entitlements went into the red decades ago.  The response?  Politicians on both sides fought for the right to secure massive loans from anyone that would support our addiction to spending... and then they added more programs, like oh, say, this Obamacare thang, and a decade ago, the Medicare Part D and related nonsense that the GOP ushered in.

Think about that: even the threat of bankrupting their children's and grandchildren's generations has not been enough to bring otherwise responsible Americans to right-thinking policies.

To win this fight we have to be in this fight.  To win this fight we have to bring ideas to the table.  Bold ideas, historically proven, based solidly in liberal political thought, founded on freedom, liberty, and God.

Senator Cruz, on Rush's program yesterday, claimed that the GOP in the Senate never even considers the possibility of leading a victorious resistance against the progressive political forces that have them surrounded.  The GOP old guard can't conceive of it, they can't face the risk, so they busily work to live off the scraps and keep their heads down to ensure they can win the next election.  They are squandering the power and potential that exists in the positions they hold and should cede their seats to those willing to stand up and push back.

We have to put forth the positive, alternative, conservative ideology if we want to win this fight.

We have to stand until we can no longer stand.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Bringing it Together

The Four Horsemen post addressed the nature of humanity to attempt to dominate his neighbor, and that effort to conquer his fellow man will lead to death through the inefficient distribution of the human capital that we all have to offer this world.

Apply this to Obamacare.  The supporters of the Affordable Healthcare Act are promoting a law that will conquer the patient, the doctor, and all the providers of healthcare services and equipment.  This law tells everyone involved how they will spend their time and money, what type of services they can provide and how, and establishes an overbearing bureaucratic process.

On a daily basis the patient and provider will decide on the most optimal solution to a medical problem and then government regulations will interfere and prevent the execution of that expedient solution.

The patient must remain longer to have their problem solved after navigating the bureaucratic mess.  Or the patient must leave without having their malady resolved.

The doctor must remain longer to help their staff navigate the bureaucratic mess until the problem is solved.  Or the doctor must accept that the patient might not have their malady resolved.

Both patient and doctor will not be able to simply resolve the issue in the most expedient manner and then move on to the next item in their lives and practices.  The patient has their productivity stolen from them.  The doctor has his productivity stolen from him.

Then what?

What is the joy felt by the politician that has created this scenario?  What accomplishment can they point to that will give them pride, allow them to crow their success and sleep easy at night?

The politician's role is to facilitate the maintenance of an environment where the patient and the physician are free to answer the question to the best of their abilities, knowledge, experience, and personal circumstances.

Obamacare is something much different than that.

That difference makes it worth while to consider the possibility that the people supporting Obamacare are sociopaths.

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Then What?

The idea of tyranny is very confusing.

A dictator sends his thugs out to confront his political enemies.  Those dissenters decline to obey.  They are shot.   Killed.

Then what?

I think pondering that question really helps get to the root motivation of anyone exhibiting tyrannical tendencies.  Because the tyrant... the sociopath... has an answer for that question.

A normal, God-fearing individual can hardly conceive of the possibility.

This is Freedom of Speech

Senator Cruz is doing a marvelous thing for the country right now.  He lengthy speech on the Senate floor today against the funding of Obamacare is a remarkable example of the power of freedom of speech.  Many will say he is wasting his time.  I think not.  Sen. Cruz is doing the remarkable... he is breaking the pattern, the monotony of life.  The Senate is a channel that people can watch (on the Internet anyway) tonight.  That gets noticed.  People tune in and out... but they wonder what is going on, how it can happen, and what it could mean.

What a marvelous example of the power of the First Amendment and of value of our constitutional rights.

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Modern Day Slavery

The state senate in Michigan passed several reform bills last week related to receipt of federal and state entitlement benefits.  One of these bills, the community service bill, "would require people receiving food stamps or other welfare benefits to perform community service in order to get the money."

Welfare reform is always going to be a good idea.  But there are serious flaws with the effort described here.

If the recipients are capable of performing some productive work for the betterment of society, what would stop them from getting a job in the private sector, thus eliminating the need for being on the government dole?

Are these people likely to be of any great service to the organizations who are the beneficiaries of their volunteer service?  If these people are hard working, diligent, creative thinkers, who show up on time and perform quality work... are likely candidates of welfare benefits?  Since they are not gainfully employed in private industry...

The most important issue, though, is this blurs the line between an equitable exchange of value for services rendered and slavery.  In the private marketplace a company pays an employee a wage for their work.  The wage earner uses that money to provide for their own personal needs... Food and clothing, housing, entertainment, etc... The employee is welcome to spend this money as they see fit.

What the state of Michigan is proposing here is something different: work for the state and you will receive funding specifically allocated for your food, housing, healthcare.  Sounds a bit like... living in a plantation in the South in 1850.

The concept of slavery has to come into the conversation because a) the recipient is not an employee and not receiving a wage; and b) the state has. the ability to coerce their citizens to comply with the regulation thru the use of the police powers inherent to its existence.

Play out a scenario where one of these welfare recipients doesn't want to volunteer their services.  Removal of welfare funds?  Or put someone in chains and bring them to the worksite?

Perhaps it would be more useful to restrain the eligibility and funds available such that the potential recipients of state funds (and putative "volunteers" should this bill become law) might feel the need to get a real job and provide for themselves.

Thursday, September 19, 2013

When Nothing Makes Sense...

In the last post I proposed a what if scenario considering a case where the person elected to the position of President of the United States had a sociopathic personality.  Without needing to determine if it was actually true or not, imagining the possibility provides ample reason to protect our natural and constitutionally recognized rights and freedoms.  The scenario also justifies ensuring we live a life as independently as possible of the reach of the federal government, by avoiding acceptance of federal funds.

Dan Henninger's weekly column today, which is a great read, touches on another angle.  He's dancing around the edges of this truth in a few columns now.  I thought I might help him along.

Mr. Henninger's column, "The Obama M.O."describes Obama as "the most anti-political president the United States has had in the post-war era."  He relates the tale of the Syria debacle, wherein Obama gains the support of his political opposition only to abandon them wholeheartedly a week or so later in favor of the leader of Russia... then promptly turns about and attacks his domestic opponents regarding finance issues.

Henninger concludes:

Trace elements of normal politics are inevitable in any presidency. But this one over five years has floated beyond the American political tradition. The Obama modus operandi is reducible to this: I think, therefore you do. Everyone else who still does real politics—from one side to the other—is left to gape.
Obama continually does the unexpected.  He pivots from Syria to the economy and then tosses in an order forcing all pension plans to recognize same-sex marriage in any state of the country, then it'll be on to something else.  The hits just keep on coming.

Consider the president's actions through the lens of "Is he a sociopath" and the strategy becomes clear: Confuse everything.  Jump from policy to policy.  Put out orders that go beyond your constitutional authority.  Announce that you are not enforcing some law.  Include facts that distort reality in your speeches, even outright lies.  Play to emotion all the time.

No matter what, never let your opponents get their feet on the ground.  Keep them spinning as often as possible.  Prevent them from planting their feet and forming a cohesive response.

I believe that this is what the president is doing.

And the best way to respond to the onslaught is to calmly, clearly stand on principles that are undeniable.  State those principles unequivocally.  Repeat them over and over.  Respond with good, common sense governing principles.  Respond with respect for the law and the powers of each branch of the government.  Connect decisions and policies to the Constitution.  Avoid inserting emotional pleas.  Stay rational, coherent, focused, and sure.

Obama may or may not be a sociopath, but I propose that his behavior makes sense if viewed as if he is.  And from the clarity that view of Obama's actions provides, we no longer have to stop, stand, and gape.  We can respond.  We can begin to chip away at the foundation the president stands on, a foundation built upon deliberate confusion delivered with the intent of preventing any meaningful opposition from coalescing.

Obama is winning by playing a different game.  WE can undermine his efforts by playing the original game, by the original rules.

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

The Sociopath In Charge

From time to time I find myself wondering if Barack Obama is a sociopath.

The topic of sociopathic personalities has come up before in my life.  Someone I've discussed it with at length provided wise counsel: detecting and labeling someone as a sociopath is almost impossible.  It is much more likely that the target of the assessment has some sociopathic qualities but is actually just a broken, imperfect human being like all of the rest of us.



Let's set aside the specific personality, and ask the question another direction: What if the President of the United States... a single person in charge of the largest economy, most powerful military, and most impactful political organization in the world... what if the person that we the people elected to that position... was a sociopath?

Time for a definition:

My simple understanding of sociopath is a person who can lie without compunction, without pause for feelings of guilt for his actions or sympathy for the individuals harmed.

Such a situation, a sociopath as president, would be nothing short of a nightmare.  The ability to launch wars.  The ability to write executive orders.  The ability to arbitrarily enforce or not enforce any laws.  The ability to affect economic markets.  The ability to shut down transportation, regulate commerce, seize assets, nationalize industries.  The ability to redirect or shut down funding.  The ability to confuse our foreign policy, abandon our allies, support our enemies.  The ability to oppress any number of people or organizations, inside or outside of the country, using any of the various arms and powers of the federal government.

Such a person could almost do anything they wished.  Not an attractive situation.  And something that might be helpful to work out.  So...

First Question:
How would we know if the president was a sociopath?

Per the advice I've received before: most likely we will not be able to know.  But we will be able to detect the lies, if we maintain a mindful watch.  As suspicions build, challenge the lies.  Poke at and question the things that simply don't make sense.  If the answers are regularly insufficient to resolve the concerns... well, it doesn't matter if the person is or isn't a sociopath.  It's not possible to live a stable life on our own terms if someone with great influence on our lives is regularly lying to us.

Second Question:
What would we do if the President of the United States was a sociopath who would lie without compunction and implement policies without any concern to the moral implications or imposition caused?

If we suspect a sociopath in our lives, the best thing to do is to exit them from our lives.  It is not necessary to be dramatic.  There is no need for an energetic confrontation.  We should feel no need to prove to them or anyone else that we are correct.  In fact, consider that if the person is a sociopath, they will be capable of a response that we would not likely predict or anticipate, leaving us very vulnerable if we ratchet up the emotions.

Calmly, simply, patiently reduce their influence in your life.

That path will be made very difficult if your life is dependent on the suspected individual.  If the sociopath is your boss... you might need to secure a new source of income.  If the sociopath is your parent... challenging.  If the sociopath is the President of the United States...'re going to want to make sure you're living a life as independent as possible from the federal government.  You're going to want to ensure your rights to form a local and state government according to your needs is independent from possible interference by the federal government.  You're going to want to make sure your local economy and government can operate effectively if federal funds are removed.  You're going to want to make sure you are able to maintain your own life without federal funds or favorable programs.  You're going to want to ensure that your right to organize and fund a political opposition are not restrained by the federal bureaucracy.

Social Security.  Medicare.  Medicaid.  Food Stamps.  Education funding.  FEC regulations, IRS designations.  Healthcare laws.  Federally insured mortgages.  Targeted tax deductions.

Are we independent enough to respond to and protect ourselves from the possibility of a sociopath in charge?

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

The Four Horsemen

The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse:

  1. The rider on a white horse, holding a bow, given a crown: Conquest
  2. The rider on a red horse, given a sword: War
  3. The rider on a black horse, carrying a pair of scales: Famine
  4. The rider on a pale horse, with Hades following him: Death
The history of man can be written as an effort by one group of men after another trying to gain power over the life and death of his fellow man, to gain control over the actions and thoughts of his peers, to claim ownership over the fruits of the labors, wealth, and property of his neighbor.  And it has worked... for a time... for so many of history's tyrants... benevolent or otherwise.

Conquest, however, is destined to fail each and every time... because conquest never comes alone.

When man claims dominion over his fellow man the remaining three scourges follow quickly on its heels: war, famine, and of course, death.

When man is ruled against his will by another his skills and productivity will be underutilized.  The incentive for excellence, creativity, invention is stripped away.  In that environment, there is rebellion, or external wars are started, or production is stifled, constricting the supply of food and necessary material goods and services.  What inevitably follows is the untimely deaths by other than natural causes of many who are subjugated by this conqueror.  Tyranny translates into the inefficient use of productivity, and that leads to human suffering.

The real soul of the United States, present at the origin of the country in the Declaration of Independence, is that the individual is in charge of his own destiny.  When in the course of human events a human force comes that threatens him, each man can throw off the bonds of slavery and seize for himself his own life and liberty and proceed with the pursuit of his own happiness.

No claim exists in the Declaration of one man's power over another.  The document does not proclaim some special right of one man or group of men to subject some other group of men to their will and dominion.  The document presumes that each man will assume responsibility for himself and his own actions, his family, his opportunities.  Further, each man is offered a chance to voluntarily join with his neighbors and "mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes, and our sacred Honor."

And so a democratic form of government was designed.  Of the people, by the people, for the people.

But to imagine that man is so powerful and wise in and of himself to abolish tyranny from the earth would be lunacy.  Utopia.  Heaven on Earth.  Impossible.

The founders recognized this, and they constructed a system designed to always provide a relief valve for whatever minority would be become the next target for oppression by the majority.  The U.S. Constitution was designed to set up a competition between the various outlets man might use to claim authority over his fellow man.  One group of men might attempt to exert control through one channel, only to be foiled by a separate group of men through another channel.
  • The will of the people, represented by the 51% majority, can be expressed directly through the Congress.  But only if the popular majority can gain the assent of the Senate... which represents a different organization of the people and competing set of interests in the form of the states.
  • The legislature can pass whatever laws it can manage... and each can be vetoed by the executive.
  • The executive can improperly enforce some rule or the legislative branch can improperly create some new rule in a manner that deprives someone of their rights... and run up against the bulwark of the judicial branch.
The whole idea is that the rights of the minority to simply maintain control over their own lives would always defend against the possibility of the tyranny of the majority.

We have lost sight of this crucial fact of life in our current political, social, and economic order here in the United States.  The thing we need to fear most from our fellow man is his desire for conquest, his almost innate need the hold dominion over his neighbor.

We should fight for freedom from conquest with all of our might.

To restore America to the strength of purpose that led to the original founding of the country requires all of us to become aware of this fundamental principle again.  To open our eyes to the myriad ways that our neighbors are trying to control our daily lives, our every decision, our ability to express ourselves.

When we jealously guard our God given right to control our own individual destiny we will not:
  • let our government decide how our children will be educated; [Common Core]
  • let the federal government tell the state governments how they will organize; [Baker v. Carr, Reynolds v. Sims, etc.]
  • let public workers organize into unions and thus establish a voting block committed to resist the precepts of good governance; [public unions in schools or local, state, and federal government, etc.]
  • let our neighbors tell us that we are not allowed to speak our mind, especially speak about our religion, merely because we are speaking in the public square or at a public institution; [separation of church and state]
  • let our government restrict our access to, possession of, and use of weapons; [gun control]
  • choose slavery by accepting the promise that the government will care for us when we seek an education, are between jobs, become sick, or as we grow old; [the entitlements of educational loans, unemployment, medicare, social security, etc.]
  • enslave our children and grandchildren by allowing the government to assume unreasonable debts; [deficit spending]
  • let the majority be the only force necessary to change core laws governing our communities; [simple majority ballot initiatives to amend state constitutions]
We need to become paranoid once again that our neighbor is trying to remove our ability, today or in the future, to decide for ourselves the best way to live our own lives and the best way to guide and protect our families.

The left would have us believe that the United States was formed in the manner of all other nations in history of man.  Merely another effort to claim dominion over their neighbor, to conquest foreign nations, and to crush the will and freedom of the weaker class.

But that is incorrect.

The United States of America, an experiment unique to all the world and the history of mankind, is an effort to abolish from the earth the conquest of man by his fellow man.  This experiment is a moral undertaking of the highest order designed to protect all men, as much as is possible, from the scourges of conquest, war, famine, and death at the hands of his fellow man, and under this umbrella of protection, to unleash the creative and productive force of each man, restricted only by his own energy and desire.

Thursday, September 05, 2013

The Question that Comes to Mind...

...when I read a story like this one in Chicken, Alaska, where armed and armoured federal EPA agents stormed a mining site in order to perform a routine check of water contamination... is: How does one turn the tide back once the government has decided to rather excessive means?

The non-dramatic answer is that you show up at local meetings and raise the issue until local and state officials generate a meeting with the EPA, and that larger conversation causes the to agency to step down its overreach.

I think it is a question that is worth posing to our friends and neighbors whenever stories like this appear in general conversation.  The more people that think through the challenges of turning the tide back in favor of the general citizen, the more likely we are to accomplish that goal.

Tuesday, September 03, 2013

The Red Line Problem

The issues surrounding the chemical weapons attack on civilians in Syria are intractable.  A he-said-she-said situation.  Some folks say it happened, others say it might not have.  Some say Syrian President Bashar Assad launched the attack, some say it could have been perpetrated by the rebels themselves.  Others go so far as to say that the Obama administration knew in advance that an attack was likely, or perhaps were even complicit in the attack.

The result?  A request for authority to attack Syria now sits in the hands of the congress.

I wouldn't wish this vote on anyone.

Vote for the attack and you may be improving the position of terrorist-aligned forces in the Middle East.  Vote against the attack and Obama is awarded one more issue to use in his persistent claims that the Republican congress is stonewalling the president's policies for partisan reasons.  And this "no" vote would be placed against the supposed murder of some 400 children.

How to escape?

Well, where does the impetus for the use of force originate?

Obama claims we have to respond to the gas attack or else the credibility of the nation is at stake and/or bad actors across the globe will believe they can use chemical weapons without fear of negative consequences from the only military force that matters.

But that isn't quite right.  The issue were in now exists because Obama pulled a remarkably juvenile stunt about a year ago.  A stunt that either demonstrates maniacally evil intent or the extreme naivete of his thinking on foreign policy.

He issued the red line statement.

This was a crucial mistake.

The pronouncement of a red line places the decision-making authority of when we will or will not use the American Military, the greatest military force the world has ever seen, in the hands of two bit dictators or three-bit-dictators-want-to-be.

If Assad gassed his own people, he initiated the use of force by America.

If the rebels forces in Syria used chemical weapons, they initiated the use of force by America.

If the Iranians, or the Russians, or some unknown terrorist offshoot group launched the chemical attack, then they issued the call to arms for America.

And that is ridiculous.  Only the United States decides when, if, and how we use our military.

Congress should vote against this authorization of force.  Obama needs to be held accountable for his misuse of the office of the presidency here.  Let him make the case that he should then go it alone, and set up possible impeachment.  Let him go to the microphones on a national whistle-stop campaign tour and besmirch the Republicans as baby killers.  The left does that yesterday, will do that today, and will do it again tomorrow, not for anything the Republicans have or might do, but just because the GOP is the opposition.

We do not let other nations decide when we go to war.

Sunday, September 01, 2013

Rules? What Rules?

Something tells me the speech President Obama made in the Rose Garden yesterday is a treasure trove for analysis... here's a second gem to follow on my post about the origin and security of our individual rights:

In order to justify a potential attack on Syria, the president knows he needs to build a case based on the national security interests of the United States:

"This attack is an assault on human dignity.  It also presents a serious danger to our national security.  It risks making a mockery of the global prohibition on the use of chemical weapons."

Finally, Mr. Obama has discovered a rule that he agrees should be enforced: The global prohibition of the use of chemical weapons.

Obama regularly makes a mockery of the rule of law, blocking the slam-dunk prosecution of the Black Panthers, suing the state of Arizona to stop enforcing federal laws that the federal government was punting on, moving all the deadlines out for the implementation of Obamacare and approving waivers for any and all favored parties without securing any changes to the law through congress... and then he expects us to line up beside this rule?

Rules are rules, Mr. Obama.  You can only lean on them for support when you also agree to play by them yourself.

Misunderstanding The American Example

President Obama shared a remarkable view into his core beliefs during his remarks regarding Syria made yesterday in the Rose Garden:

"Out of the ashes of world war, we built an international order and enforced the rules that gave it meaning.  And we did so because we believe that the rights of individuals to live in peace and dignity depends on the responsibilities of nations.  We aren't perfect, but this nation more than any other has been willing to meet those responsibilities."

The focus here is Obama's understanding of how our rights as individuals are guaranteed.  The freedoms we hold dear depend "on the responsibilities of the nations."  For Obama, our basic rights and freedoms come from the top, granted and protected by our government, by the government of other nations.

Obama believes that power, authority, freedom, liberty, opportunity, etc. all come from above.  He believes that he, as president of the United States, is the guarantor of those rights.  He believes that the governments of other nations are similarly responsible for the guarantee of our basic rights.

The rights we so cherish here in America are granted by God, and defended and supported by the will of the American people.  The government is intended to be a force to express that will, to be the voice and arm of the American people.  The government is not the source of the rights, and we the people are not dependent on the government to secure those rights.

It is a fundamental misunderstanding of America.