The bad guys won
Date: Fri, 9 May 2014 12:16:45 -0700
The bad guys won.
I scour the news for tidbits of hope—but I do not find any. It is no wonder that so many simply tune out, or better yet—never tune in to begin with. And, based on the sound bites and labels used to classify political positions, without serious study that could take many years—how can a person make sense of it anyway?
The bad guys—those who see the Constitution as an obstacle to progress, those who strive to destroy our faith and our values, those who have fooled the public into believing that government is the big problem solver, those who scorn our Creator—these are the bad guys.
I am tired of liars and schemers who wish to promote themselves as being the solution. As such, I view everyone who promotes themselves for public office—whether they be Tea Party Patriots, Conservatives, or Republicans spouting many of the right sounding slogans—as the problem, not the solution.
Our nation is run by the corrupt—and if not outright corrupt—inept. Our once fairly independent media is now controlled by a handful of large corporate interests—who are bad guys and largely in bed with the government.
I cannot think of a single law passed in the last 100 years where the unintended consequences were not greater than the benefit—with the possible exception of the Civil Rights act aimed at eliminating rampant discrimination and abuses. As for the Constitutional responsibility of the feds to provide for the common defense—my observations are that our foreign policy has done more to promote enemies and uncertainty than much else. Especially in recent years, we are both inept and making enemies at a record pace in a very dangerous and hostile world.
While the United Nations is in theory a good idea, we must exercise extreme caution as most of the nations in the world do not operate under the same premises of human rights, opportunity and individual freedom that is supposed to be the hallmark of our nation.
We are at the point on the exponential curve where things really take off—and have been for the past decade. The deterioration has been going on for over a hundred years, but this Obama character, along with Pelosi, Reid, Dodd, Frank, Schumer (even our latest George Bush) and the rest of the top dog scoundrels sure escalated the rate, and it is not about to diminish—so long as We the People act as dupes.
I can’t get excited about the Republicans (even if led by Tea Party Patriots) gaining the Senate and keeping the House. What are they going to achieve? I cannot see their getting the power to override a veto, so what are they going to achieve?
If they can keep from blowing it until the 2016 election (a big if), they might get control of the Executive and Legislative branches—then what would they achieve? Repeal Obamacare? Repeal Dodd-Frank? Get rid of American support of Agenda 21? Reinforce our 2nd Amendment rights? Rule the minimum wage unconstitutional? I doubt it—the so-called conservatives (or right wing as the pundits like to call it to further confuse the issue) have no plan.
As I read the Bible and as I view history—the success of America was an anomaly. Except for the importation of slavery, the early colonies largely rejected the political, religious, and economic systems of the nations they left—seeking freedom and opportunity instead. However, the intellectual elite started importing the rotten ideologies of Europe once again—and as those ideas and failing concepts took root, our nation has gradually become burdened and corrupted to the point that it is now—moving rapidly to mediocrity and failure.
My personal talents are limited and diminishing by the day. If I could do my life over, I would like to think I could have done a better job of it, if I could have somehow become a positive force for creating entertaining audio/video media. I have witnessed movies and TV progressing from something that was at worse innocuous—to something where every production is geared to degrade (demean, cheapen, worsen the character of) the audience. To that end—the mass media has been successful. We are a degraded society. We do believe the lie.
People of integrity lose their jobs. People of values—those values that make for a stronger and healthier society—are destroyed.
For quite a number of years I have been sending emails, much of which being aimed at helping inform people of events—and more so lately, hoping to promote some positive direction. As the days go by, my optimism withers.
A nation that was once viewed as the “great melting pot” has become a divisive nasty place. Government, in conjunction with large corporate interests and minority factions devour our freedom in so many ways that the public is befuddled—and the political pundits?
As many of us who are in our declining years—we say that we would not want to be a young person or just raising kids in this day and age. We feel for them as they will have it so tough, and likely live lives of confusion, meaningless pastimes, increasing hardship, turmoil and even terror.
What have we wrecked on our nation? Weren’t we too involved having fun, dreaming dreams, working to support family or accumulate—to pay any serious attention to what government, large corporate interests, the mass media, and minority factions were doing to gain control over our lives and the property of America?
Miracles do happen—but perhaps the greatest miracle we have experience lately is that our nation has not yet collapsed. I remember looking at the pictures in my school text book (at maybe the 4th grade) depicting that typical Darwinian progression from a worm or something to modern man—and without any science behind it, I accepted that it must be true.
Most people do not do research and naively believe that what they are taught in school or shown in the media or told by government—is true. I think the time is short, too short to start a new alternate media to try to convince people of the truth. So I can only hope that the majority of people—one way or another—do not buy into the lies.
I do not know what the average person believes. By the time I graduated from college I had become an atheist—but unlike a lot of people today, I felt no compunction to force such on others.
However, over the years, God convinced me He was a reality, and aside from His Word, I have found a growing awe and wonderment as I learn of His Creation. It is beyond our comprehension how God could pull it off—let alone how He could be Eternal, or why He or we even exist.
As I grow in awe of His Creation, and realize that what we know of reality (our expansive cosmos—that according to the best of modern science started from nada but God inspired energy about 13.72 billion years ago) is that man was created to have free will so that we could freely accept or reject our Creator.
It seems that our mass media, government system, government controlled education, and many minority interests—have outright rejected God—and want to make us do the same as well as take away our free will. This makes them very bad guys.
Just about every one of our nation’s most prominent founders expressed in one way or another how essential it was that the people of this nation be a moral and religious people—which is why, the bad guys want so much to undermine our faith and misuse science to give an aura of legitimacy in order to achieve that end: destroy faith and meaning to the point that all we have is the power of government.
I had hope in April 2009, when my wife and I took our placards to participate in a local rally and then a larger one at the step to the Capitol in Sacramento. Similar rallies were held around the nation—but thanks to the corporate controlled media, received minimal attention.
I had great hope for the Tea Party, but it has waned lately, as it seems more a middle class activity about issues that most ruffle middle class feathers. The poor, and those most crushed by government intrusion—who are the recipients of un-earned government benefit programs—are seemingly discarded as being the enemy by the Tea Party. So, the bad guys win, because we remain divided.
But then, to some extent, the very things which have undermined opportunity for the poor—mainly in the realm of private property rights, education, free enterprise, and values—are largely one’s that benefit to one degree or another many in the middle class. So, self-interest becomes an issue—self-interest at the expense of undermining the general welfare.
I guess the bad guys know that they can best divide and conquer when they make rules that benefit one group at the expense of another.
It has been said that the signers of the Declaration of Independence put their lives, their families, their fortunes on the line when they committed themselves in that document. Are we, the middle class willing to do the same? So far, I think not. Actually, I don’t think we even know what we are doing—no vision, no plan.
As for the poor, they have no stake, or very little—and those in power plan to keep it that way. For many, their very survival is dependent upon a government system that robs them of opportunity on the one hand while giving them a bone with the other. Other than some people such as Star Parker, Mychal Massie, Walter Williams, Thomas Sowell, Ben Carson, or even Clarence Thomas—who is an advocate? And even they largely miss the point—as I read of nobody who really points out how the various laws and regulations truly crush. But then, the crushing is so all-encompassing that it is difficult, if not impossible to really grasp and transmit in an entertaining or informative way.
How could we as a society deteriorated so rapidly that a person even suspected of a social preference for one race or nationality over another, or abhorrence for public discourse or disclosure on sexual preferences can be hounded and destroyed?
If there is any hope to be had, we had better pray, we had better stop being divisive among the victims. The bad guys are real, they want to control our lives, they want to tell us how to live, they want to steal the results of our labor, and they want to limit what we can do in labor—they are bad guys. Learn to recognize them.
Tea Party: The poor, those on food stamps, housing subsidies, Medicaid are not the enemy—they are victims. If you are not willing to understand their plight—how government, large corporate interests, government education and teacher unions, local zoning and building departments, government regulation and minimum wage laws, degrading cinematic and TV productions, political correctness all combine to victimize those at the bottom of the economic ladder as well as (increasingly) the middle class—then you do not have a prayer of turning this nation around.
And, if you are to turn this nation around, you must focus on the fixing the Constitution—and yes it is broken. Otherwise, rescinding of all the bad laws—such as Obamacare—will only be temporary window dressing to an otherwise declining nation. We must fix Congress so it does what it is intended, we must fix the Commerce Clause to represent what it was intended (to Promote). If tackling the issues of fixing the Constitution, like rescinding the 17th Amendment and repairing the damage done by unconstitutional acts of Congress—such as the Federal Reserve Act and Apportionment Act of 1911—then we won’t be fixing anything in the long run.
Our founders knew from experience that if you want to elect representatives accountable to the people, that you needed to keep the population at a reasonable level—which they set at 30,000 to 50,000 population per House Member. The bad guys did not like this because as the nation grew in population, it became increasingly difficult to get counterproductive laws through congress as the number of House Members grew—so they froze it at 435 in 1911, where it remains today. Sure, if we followed the old guidelines we would have a lot of House members—but we would also have a local election process whereby we could actually know and talk to the candidates and get someone who represented our interests rather than big money selling us a bill of goods through slick advertising on the mass media. If you want big money out of politics—then return the selection of Senators to the State Legislatures, and return the House to the people.
I am not very clever. If I were I would be working on producing some videos to get the message across more effectively.
I care about this nation. As I look at things, the bad guys really have won. I cannot see a single issue where we have stopped them. And, as I have said, in my book, even if the supposed good guys take the House, Senate, and White House—what are they going to achieve to reverse the trend? Nothing lasting that I can perceive.
As said earlier, I do not trust any candidate for public office. If he or she is self-promoting, I do not trust them.
What I want to hear from public figures is “What is their plan, or what are their ideas” – as we must share our ideas and grow our understanding until we can come up with a solid plan—a plan with sufficient backing and support that we can get sufficient representatives into office to carry the plan to fruition—for we will likely only have one shot at it.
In combined government—federal, state, local—we are paying 4 to 5 times as much for government to screw up our lives as we should for streamlined government that supports a free and prosperous society—one where there actually is opportunity for all. Instead of 86 million private sector jobs supporting 16 million government workers and 116 million on one form of government subsidy or another, we should be a nation where the norm is that people work at productive tasks—and much of the private sectors is not even productive (tax preparation, dealing with government regulations, etc.)
If I had one shot at fixing the government, it would be to render federal minimum wage laws un-constitutional for a free society, rescind the 17th Amendment, pass a new Amendment to require a minimum of one House member per 50,000 population (or maybe a slightly higher population), change the wording of the Interstate Commerce clause from “regulate” to “promote”, clarify that the 14th Amendment that children born in the United States do not have automatic citizenship unless at least one of the parents is a legal U.S. Citizen at the time of birth—recognize lobbying of government officials (and I would define lobbying as any attempts to influence that is not out the open and subject to public observation and scrutiny) as corrupt, outlaw earmarks, pass legislation that provides a non-partisan formula for establishing House Districts that eliminates gerrymandering, and place a sunset clause on every single act that has been passed by congress since 1900. That would only be a bare start.
Competition in the world of ideas is essential to a free society, and our government/media monopoly on thought is quickly destroying it. As far as government involvement in public education, it should become axiomatic, that if the government is going to tax the public to acquire funding for educating the general public, that it is unconscionable as well as un-Constitutional to restrict the options for the student or the parents to choose only government sponsored schools—that the parents or emancipated minors should be able to take their share of the school tax money to help defray the cost of attending a school of their choice. Maybe under such a system, America can once again provide quality education as it did before the government got so involved in the process.
Housing is a big issue—and with minor exception the opportunity for the poor to acquire property has been destroyed by current government practices of levying property taxes, impact fees, zoning, and building department controls. Government should get completely out of the housing business (I am referring to government owned housing)—while assuring for the general welfare that opportunity exist within local communities for working people to acquire property (at fair market value) without government induced subsidies and be able to develop it through hard work and sweat equity to create a home—however humble as a start—rather than having no choice but to remain a tenant.
I believe that if the middle class could unite with the poor in common interest—with a plan of action—that following the 2016 election, we could set a path to correct the ills of done to our Constitution, reduce government, eliminate most if not all the regulatory state, and open the doors of opportunity. But, it will take a miracle—which do happen.
Anyway, enough—it would take a book or several good movies to outline the ideas and I have probably turned enough people off to the point that they will simply delete any future emails sent by me. www.policyusa.com
Obama's Climate Bomb
He's flogging disaster scenarios to promote his political agenda.
May 8, 2014
Supervising the Earth's climate—or at least believing humanity can achieve such miracles—may be the only political project grandiose enough for President Obama. So it shouldn't surprise that after reforming health care and raising taxes, the White House is now getting the global-warming band back together, though it is still merely playing the old classics of unscientific panic.
On Wednesday the White House released the quadrennial National Climate Assessment, an 829-page report. The theme is that "this is not some distant problem of the future. This is a problem that is affecting Americans right now," as Mr. Obama told lovable weather personality Al Roker.
His "Today Show" interview was one of eight hits with television meteorologists to promote the report, part of a coordinated political campaign to scare Americans into supporting his anticarbon tax-and-regulation agenda. The report is designed to dramatize the supposed immediacy of climate change by concentrating on droughts, floods, heat waves, torrential rains, wildfires, polar-vortex winters and other indicia of the end of days. Everybody "gets" the weather.
But as a marketing exercise, the report has the feel of that infomercial footage of the people who can't crack an egg or perform routine household tasks until they acquire this or that as-seen-on-TV product. The cautious findings of serious empirical climate literature are so obviously exaggerated and colored that the document is best understood as a political tract with a few scientific footnotes.
For instance, the report's "overview" summary asserts that "extreme weather events with links to climate change have become more frequent and/or intense," climate change is already "disrupting people's lives," and "this evidence tells an unambiguous story." Good thing we've been building that ark in the backyard.
But the fine print that few will ever read acknowledges the real uncertainties of something as complex as the planet's atmosphere. "There has been no universal trend in the overall extent of drought across the continental U.S. since 1900," the authors observe. We also learn that "trends in severe storms, including the intensity and frequency of tornadoes, hail, and damaging thunderstorm winds, are uncertain and are being studied intensively." And so on.
The National Climate Assessment matters because it serves as the underlying justification for carbon-related regulations. Introducing bias into this primary source (though it does not make new analytic contributions) will distort the rule-making process across the government for years to come.
The report reveals less about climate than it does about the method of the President who described the night he won the Democratic nomination as "the moment when the rise of the oceans began to slow and our planet began to heal." The White House is telling all and sundry that Mr. Obama wants to fill out his last two and a half years in office with action on climate change, but the report shows he doesn't want an open or honest debate.
The crisis mentality of the green industry is not new, and books like "Silent Spring" and "The Population Bomb" inflated ecological problems to elicit a political response. Yet importing this tone into an ostensibly neutral government report corrupts the scientific enterprise, which is supposed to be the gradual displacement of ignorance by knowledge.
Disinterested, objective scientists have the humility to admit that this evolution is contingent and provisional. But climate liberals invoke the authority of science to shut down debate and justify their pre-existing preferences for more government spending, redistribution and control of the economy. The critics are then denigrated as Ptolemys who haven't discovered Copernicus.
Could it be that skeptics have simply concluded that the costs of decarbonizing the U.S. economy exceed the possible gains? Mr. Obama and his green allies are demanding that people who are currently alive make vast economic sacrifices including a lower standing of living in exchange for theoretical benefits that may or may not accrue decades or centuries hence. Americans are supposed to accept diminished economic prospects in return for a climate plan that will be at best pointless when the developing world doesn't go along, and all on the basis of computer models that cannot accurately predict past temperatures, let alone the future.
Inherent scientific uncertainty and the possibility that the models are wrong means that the best insurance policy is economic progress. Floods have been happening since the Old Testament and natural disasters are not unknown in the American experience. California has gone through droughts before and will again. But a more affluent society is better placed to adapt to whatever nature and such byproducts of modernity as fossil fuels oblige humans to confront.
The irony is that to the extent Mr. Obama's agenda damages economic growth, he is leaving the country less prepared for climate change. Gallup recently reported that only a third of Americans worry about global warming and that the share that thinks the threat is exaggerated rose 15 percentage points to 42% over the last two decades. If liberals are wondering why the public is skeptical, one reason is because politicians are abusing science.
We Must Stop Driving Businesses Out of the Country
Cutting corporate taxes to 24% would be a good start. So would closing loopholes that encourage moving overseas.
Updated May 8, 2014
In pursuit of lower tax rates, American multinationals are merging with smaller foreign companies and moving their headquarters over seas. About 50 U.S. companies have leveraged this "inversion" tactic in the past 30 years—and more than 20 have done so in the past two years. And just recently we have seen Pfizer make a bid for AstraZeneca that would move its tax domicile to the United Kingdom.
While they may not be breaking U.S. laws, many of these companies are navigating a loophole in America's broken and dysfunctional tax code. And while their shareholders may secure a temporary win, workers, taxpayers and this country all lose. America's tax base erodes at a cost of hundreds of millions of dollars in revenue, increasing the burden on other companies and individuals. America also loses good jobs, talent, investment, and the ability to compete on a global stage.
Legal or not, this loophole must be plugged. Current law requires that U.S. companies reincorporating overseas must ensure that at least 20% of their stock is owned by their new, foreign partner. As chairman of the Senate Finance Committee, I am committed to raising this floor to at least 50% for all inversions taking place from May 8, 2014, on. I don't approach retroactivity in legislation lightly, but corporations must understand that they won't profit from abandoning the U.S.
It would be easy to point a finger at these runaway corporations alone and simply question their morality or patriotism, but that would be ignoring our own failure to bring the tax code into the 21st century. An uncompetitive tax code strains our economy, and we should not be surprised when corporations fight to get out from under antiquated tax rules.
Congress has a responsibility to reverse the tide—now.
Comprehensive tax reform will entice leading companies to invest further in the U.S. and reduce the ability, as well as the need, to manipulate the system. I'm committed to making this happen and including changes in the inversion rules as part of a tax overhaul. Tax reform is a heavy lift and won't be done overnight, but it has been done before and it can be done again.
The U.S. is stuck with a 35% corporate tax rate—one of the highest in the world—and a painfully complicated and outdated tax code. Few companies pay the full 35%, but some come close and others pay next to nothing. Effective tax rates vary wildly by industry; the entire system flunks the fairness test.
The last overhaul of the U.S. tax code was in 1986. Meanwhile, other countries have modernized their tax policies to encourage investment, and today the average corporate tax rate among the 34 member countries of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development has fallen to 25%.
A corporate tax rate that creates a favorable investment climate and reduces the incentive to game the system is critical to successful reform. The bipartisan tax-reform bill I introduced in the Senate with Republican Judd Gregg in 2010, and reintroduced with Republican Dan Coats and Democrat Mark Begich in the last Congress called for a single flat corporate rate of 24%. Where the rate ends up depends almost entirely on the American business community's willingness to pitch in by closing loopholes. I continue to believe that reducing the current corporate tax rate by approximately one-third will bring the U.S. in line with other developed countries that long ago recognized the need to evolve their policies to compete globally while growing their domestic economies.
The window of opportunity to enact comprehensive tax reform that both the business community and individual taxpayers desperately need is short. Recognizing the unique dynamics that come with a presidential election, there is just over a year to get the job done. But with the cooperation of my colleagues on both sides of the aisle, we can.
Over the next few months, I will be working closely with members of the Senate Finance Committee to delve into the areas necessary for modernizing our tax code. That includes taking a serious look at addressing the growing and emergent challenge of our international tax regime.
While there are many varying viewpoints and approaches to this pressing issue, members of Congress share a common goal of ensuring that the U.S. is on a long-term path to sustained economic growth. House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Dave Camp and former Senate Finance Chairman Max Baucus have played important roles in building a solid foundation for tax reform. Now is the time for us to build on their work and move the country forward.
Mr. Wyden, from Oregon, is chairman of the Senate Finance Committee.