Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Money in Politics

Again campaign finance issues are being bandied about.   The solutions forwarded are all of the kind that proposes some new method of corralling the horses after they're out of the barn.   This is typical of horse thieves who hope to nudge the corrective process to favor their own thieving ways, but put the clamp on the competition rustlers.   This means, how can we write legislation to shut up the opposition and prevent financial support from going to our competition in the political arena.   This means, a directed attack on free speech.   
The solution is much more simple.  If you really truly want to stop money from influencing the executive, legislative, and judicial branches of government, then separate, as much as humanly possible, the government from economics.   Money in politics is buying MUCH MUCH more money for those choosing to "invest" this way. The 'earmarks,' and all the rest are simply paybacks for bribe money. We must stop government from being able to simply steal our money and hand it to whoever knows how to work the channels and networks, or regulate for the interests of those who pay them best, or take over entire industries then choose the favored few who can even enter the game (medicine.) When the politicians can no longer sell our lives to those who are buying them at bargain prices, then there will be NO issues with too much money in political donations.   When the government is prevented from regulating or nudging the markets, or from earmarking money or giving loans with undisclosed details, there will be nothing for anyone to buy from the government.  Outlaw government cookies, and there will be no government money cookie monsters.    
Because our government schools have been specifically designed to destroy the intellectual capacity of our children, most can no longer see that our lobby-government-earmark or regulation system is just a more abstract level of a man in chains being whipped to produce for his master.
This has to be spoken. Often.

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Self Interest

The disingenuous or mentally lazy immediately suggest that self interest means just whacking everyone else over the head and taking their stuff. That is one absurd extreme. Just a consideration of my personal interest in the division of labor shows how asinine that view is.
Once you agree that your life is your own, meaning your time, your thought, your effort, and the products thereof, then you are done with the political or governmental question. The government, group, tribe, nation, state, whatever, does NOT have any right to the products of your life effort.
That leaves the second question. Morally, what ought you do for the total stranger in need. It is easy to see the rightful self interest in helping a friend or family member return to his/her own self sufficiency. Of course, there too, enabling them to become dependent moochers is NOT helping them. So you have to be careful in discerning what effect your 'help' is having, in every case.
So. The stranger in need -- there can be no other agency to FORCE you to help this person. Morally, his/her life is not 'superior' to your own. The only 'ought' help him/her I can see, is in the value you personally hold for individuals in general - for other human beings in general. Value to YOU. This requires your own personal assessment of what that other person's life, productiveness or no, 'usefulness' or no, has for you. Certainly you ought not be compelled to sacrifice for that person. I think the value of that stranger in need, say an 80 yr old man with no remaining family and no likelihood of returning to any sort of 'productive' enterprise, his value for you is a personal question. Assuming your assistance is carefully considered to not harm him by encouraging a dependency that otherwise would not be necessary, I think your assistance must be voluntary, and should be done. I do not think you should believe you 'owe' that person a part of your life. I think your motivation, if it is there, should still be born out of the idea that you are supporting a value to your self. Yes, it would be the abstract value of a human life, of a world in which the old and incompetent are cared for by people who look and think - you, you are like me, but age or illness or harm has come to you and you can not care for yourself -- you, you are like me, and I will help. This is entirely different than feeling guilt and a sense of owing or obligation.
I think Ayn Rand was right  about self interest, but you have to be very careful to think very clearly and effectively whenever you think self interest means skipping past some other human's need. Rational self interest ceases to be self interest when it isn't rational, and that rationality can be defeated by too quick selfish (pejorative sense) whim preoccupation, or lack of information, or lack of insight into the full consequences of the potential actions available, etc.

Saturday, March 29, 2014

Evil of the Left

Evil: To kill,, and blame life.
They undermine freedom with oppressive policies, then blame 'too much freedom' for societal ills.
They undermine the cultivation of intellect in schools by teaching social conformity, then blame the now blind self interest for economic woes.
They insist on politics of pull serving economic interests willing to buy success at a bargain, then blame free self interest for lack of upward mobility.
They tell us 'the good' is others, and search vainly for their children's self esteem.
They tell us that our group consciousness is primary, that there is value wherever we all 'say' there is value, then debase the currency and blame hunger on greed.
They maim the intellect, cultivate resentment and guilt by altruism, poison self esteem by demanding social conformity, steal life effort in the name of charity, and claim it is ALL for the 'common good (tm)' ---- and then, THEN, they stare in shocked, speechless, vapid, cognitive foundering at Sandy Hook, or all the other, now ubiquitous, examples of mutilated minds striking out at they know not what.
Evil: To kill, and blame life.

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Carter Inflation? You ain't seen nuthin'

The facts, from a Peter Schiff article:

"The last few years have proven that there is no line Washington will not cross in order to keep bubbles from popping. Just 10 years ago many of the analysts now crowing about the perfect conditions would have been appalled by policies that have been implemented to create them. The Fed has held interest rates at zero for five consecutive years, it has purchased trillions of dollars of Treasury and mortgage-backed securities, and the Federal government has stimulated the economy through four consecutive trillion-dollar annual deficits. While these moves may once have been looked on as something shocking…now anything goes."

"When President Obama took office at the end of 2008, the national debt was about $10 trillion. Just five years later it has surpassed a staggering $17.5 trillion. This raw increase is roughly equivalent to all the Federal debt accumulated from the birth of our republic to 2004!"

"Janet Yellen may talk about tightening someday, but she will continue to move the goalposts to avoid actually having to do so. (Or as she did this week, remove the goalposts altogether). As global investors finally realize that the Fed has no credible exit strategy from its zero interest policy, they will fashion their own exit strategy from U.S. obligations. Should this happen, interest rates will spike, the dollar will plunge, and inflation’s impact on consumer prices will be far more pronounced than it is today. This is when the inflation tax will take a much larger bite out of our savings and paychecks.  The debt that sustains us now will one day be our undoing."

The conclusion:

It's going to get very bad.   Think Weimar-like bad. 

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Altruism

My life is my own. 
Liberals, collectivists, statists, tell us that the criterion of moral goodness is to live for others.  And yet liberals statistically give the very least of their own money to others.    Some conservatives, some capitalists, tell us that capitalism, individual rights to life and property, are 'good' because, though selfish (bad), the process of honoring individual rights in economics serves the good of the greatest number of people.  Again, the individual life is held up as a *means* to everybody else.  Again, the moral good is that a man lives for everyone else.
Well, stop it.
Stop telling me that 'the good' means any action in which I disregard my own life. 
It is in valuing true values TO SELF, and supporting them, and therefore self, with the productive force of one's own life that is moral. If you are unable or unwilling to see how another man's life is of value to yourself, do all of humanity (including yourself) a favor and DON'T help codify selfLESSness as the criterion of morality. IF you think that destroying or injuring others is the vicious epitome of *your* self interest, then do all of humanity a favor and DON'T try to institutionalize your irrational brutality in the 'name' of charity. 
Should we be surprised that the liberal does not give? The liberal says we must force men to sacrifice for others or they'll all just kill, or harm, or neglect each other in their 'selfish' lusts. Well, you see what their view of man is. You see what is in *their* hearts. Are you not surprised?
Should we be surprised that the conservative does give, and submits to ever greater forcible confiscation of his production?   The conservative submits to being the sacrificial animal for the group because he admits the group's ethic.   
The individual is left undefended.  The liberal screams 'sacrifice him' for everyone's 'good!'  And the conservative says, "I will jump into the volcano if everyone (else) benefits - for this is what I think God, or utilitarianism, or nationalism, or Arianism, (all altruism at base) tells me. "

Let each man seek his own good through his own time, thought, and effort, without using force to violate other men's right to life and the values they produce with their life effort.   Let every man recognize this as the good -- the good based on a necessary standard, that is each  man's life, and the recognition of what each man must do to sustain his life, that is think and act, and the recognition that to think and act man must be free from forcible compulsion, and the recognition that governments, instituted among men, by men, are proper only in so far as they protect this freedom from forced compulsion, and become evil when those governments BECOME the agent of force used to steal the production of a man or negate his ability to think and act.        

Monday, February 24, 2014

Olympic Tax

A senator has forwarded a bill that would exempt the olympians from taxes on their meritorious oppression of the differently abled competitors.  I mean, their winning prizes.
This is strange coming from Washington.
If sacrificing is good, why would we want to prevent the Olympians from 'giving' even MORE to their country?  
Those tax dollars go (at about 20 cents on the dollar) to welfare recipients.  Surely we aren't so cruel as to think those coddled athletes need their fancy gifts more than a welfare recipient needs his or her food stamps?  
Now, taxation money is going to pay the bills of every soul that walks through hospital doors.   We don't think that healthy, probably rich, athletes should selfishly keep their Olympic money without handing over their fair share to help save peoples lives do we?
Our post office provides a crucial service with our tax money.  They even, helpfully, let everyone know about that letter and package carrying service using our tax money.  They provide a crucial  check on the evil competitive monopoly attempts of Fed EX and UPS and other private shipping companies, by staunchly defending our rights to have a monopoly by force, not just efficiency and cost effectiveness.   If Olympians are exempted from supporting THAT noble effort, what kind of terrible self serving example are we setting for the ... the children?  
Since 2009 our tax dollars have once again been allowed to flow freely to the world-wide war on over-population.  Yes.  You and I, and even Olympians, are working.  And a portion of that time, and thought, and heroic effort is channeled, again, to world wide family 'planning' clinics.   How could anyone in their right mind suggest that the Olympians wouldn't want to support more abortions world-wide?   
It is true, though, that between 600 and 700 billion in tax monies go to support the evil imperial forces of the American 'military-industrial complex.'
But compared to that, surely the 3.7 or so trillion per year in social programs makes this a moral no-brainer.   Tax the Olympians!   Heroic strength and glory for "the Common Good (TM) "  

Saturday, February 22, 2014

A Moral Nation

It is said that our people must be moral for the country to survive. Our decline has to do with the sinfulness of man and the decline of American morality.
We hear these things all the time.
Here is the issue at the very bottom of this mess: The fundamental right that each individual has to his life, the protection of which (and its derivatives) was THE idea at which our government was aimed at protecting from the force of other men and the force of the government, the fruit of which was the prosperity of the American experiment --- that right, of Man to live AS man - to be unchained in his attempts to secure his survival AS man --- that right can not be set on top of a Morality of altruism.
If you mix a keen political passion for individual right to life (and thus produced property) with the ethics of self-sacrifice, you get, from the first, the glories and achievements but, from the second, the absurdities, and contradictions, and obscenities of America's history down to today.
By ethics of self sacrifice, I mean the ethical principle that the good, the righteous, for man is to sacrifice his own true good for the interests of others. Full grown, this means that the highest good is for man to have no regard for himself, but to literally live for others. From Plato, to the Stoics, to Kant, to Hegel, to Dewey, to James, to the pop culture that ridicules self interest, projects that all achievement is communal, and worships 'giving back.' THIS has become our morality. Even more powerfully, a Christian misunderstanding of the atonement, penal substitution, in which God Himself sends His Son to DIE (stressed rather than to live), and the Son Christ who completes the highest 'good' to submit to torture and death for others - and especially to sacrifice himself to 'pay' the penalty of others. This mangled theory, with hundreds of nuances, is widely read as the Christian sanction of self-sacrifice as THE CRITERION of the good. The secular and Christian ethics unite in this sense, and over and over, it is screamed at us and whispered to us that the MORAL is the death of the individual, the immolation of the individual, the denial of self interest (in any form). The group, or 'the public", or 'the people," is a figure of language. Only individuals exist. And, because of this, Satan must laugh. (Regarding the atonement and Christian morality: These are very difficult concepts about which to write, with extremely fine shades of meaning. The key point is that we believe that Christ achieved HIs and the Father's aim of doing what was necessary to offer salvation to men. He did not sacrifice a greater personal value for 'others.' He achieved His chosen value - our salvation, our life, HIs victory, as a man over evil - an aspect of which was the idea that my good is your loss and your good is my loss. The shocking thing is that God values His creatures in this way - to enter creation and suffer to be victorious for His ends which is our good. This is not 'sacrifice' in the way that devalues the individual. This is Christos Victor, doing for Himself and Father out of value of mankind - securing the value that God placed in man.   This is far better than Father venting 'necessary' wrath on a necessarily innocent scapegoat who is supposedly 'good' because he agrees to self immolation FOR everyone else. Remember when it went dark in mid-day - Christ said why have you forsaken ME. The creation is destroying the son of man, the son of God, it goes dark at mid day, it appears as if this is not going to be allowed to happen - and Christ says why have you forsaken *me.*  Christ's identification with the value of mankind, and His prioritization of that value over even torture and death-- this is what effected our salvation and defines morality - to value that which is truly good for *US.*        
I realize even broaching the subject of the penal substitutionary view of the atonement is considered by many as tantamount to questioning the entire faith. I would only suggest that folks who feel that way look at two, admittedly daunting, things: the history of Christian atonement theory, and the effects of the typical interpretation of the morality defined by penal theory. )
We do not need to embrace *this*sort of morality to salvage America.  It is this sort of morality that is destroying America.   We need to first define and clarify morality.   A key here, is that for government,, we need only realize that it is moral to protect the INDIVIDUAL's right to life, property, liberty, and pursuit of happiness within the rule of objective law.  We need not define the full particulars of human morality, including the differences in particulars depending on whether there is a loving personal Creator or not.  For Government purposes, we need only protect liberty and right to life from force of other men and government using the power of force of the government.   It is up to individual men, in their liberty, to see the actual value that other men are to them in myriad ways, both physical, and emotional, and spiritual, and potentially even as members of the Kingdom of Heaven.
For those who struggle with this, at the outset, I have found that it was helpful to  look a the reduction to absurdity to which the altruistic ethic leads. If we all, every human, followed the ethics of altruism perfectly, each of us would have nothing and we would all die. Take it to its full conclusion, its full meaning.
Hopefully, you the reader, do value your spouse or your child, or family, or neighbor, or even just your fellow man, and so you see immediately that acting out of your own TRUE, RATIONAL, self interest, as best you can see, taking into account both short and long term, not just any passing whim or wish, will mean that you express a great deal of concern and care for others.   You will also notice that those you honor with your friendship and help will come to, happily, know that you value them, by the values they own, that you admire or approve or cherish or hope for them --- that they are not just a disinterested charity case, or an opportunity for you to practice your virtue.   This spiritual trade is of tremendous importance to the encouragement and strengthening of the soul. 
You can see what the evil of altruism does in the political and economic worlds.
Think a little about what it does in the psychology of man. A man trying to live this way swerves between resentment for the unearned tax that everyone is to him by supposed moral right, and guilt for when he indulges some interest of his own -- he is too 'weak' to live up to what is supposedly moral. And, he looks around and see no one else living up to morality, and he is disillusioned, he comes to hate mankind as a bunch of hypocrites, and himself foremost, in the end.  He doesn't believe the 'morality' and he condemns himself and everyone else for not following it.     What do you suppose the mental state of men and women who career fitfully between guilt, resentment, ridicule, and despair is? ---  I see it every day in my practice.   Get a man to believe that what is evil is good, and that what is good is evil, and he will destroy himself, and perhaps many around him as well.