The indefensible Republican establishment

It’s really quite amazing the information you are bombarded with in the morning, which is portrayed as news or commentary, but which is hardly newsworthy and as commentary is merely a restatement of the obvious.  Such is the case this morning with the words of Senator Mitch McConnell.  Senator McConnell recently appeared on the FBN show “Mornings with Maria Bartiromo”.  The Senator in response to questions defended the Republican Congress’ record.  He indicated that the Congress had sent bills to the President to repeal Obamacare and dismantle Mr. Obama’s initiatives.  He correctly stated these bills were greeted by a veto, which he knew he lacked the votes to override.

What the Senator said is true as far as it went, however what he failed to say is more significant.  This Congress as all Congresses possesses the power of the purse.  The Congress funds the government.   This Congress knows how the President will react to the bills they sent to him, yet they continue the same tactics in a lame attempt to convince the people, they are attempting to secure change.  What the Congress is actually engaged in is an attempt to insure reelection for its members, while doing nothing to stop the Obama agenda from moving forward.  The Republican establishment values holding office over progress on its legislative agenda.  Member’s futures are prioritized over the good of the country.

Where it could secure meaningful change is through the budgeting process, (the power of the purse) it unilaterally disarms itself at every turn.  Why?  It is a lack of true leadership in the Republican Congress.  There is a failure to spread the conservative message.  Now more than ever, there are multiple news streams available to get out the conservative message, yet they cower and pass omnibus and cromnibus bills, which embolden and advance the President’s agenda.  They believe the people are too ignorant to understand basic civics.   They accept the narrative that the executive is entitled to fund his programs.  What they have as a result of this failure is a populist Democrat, who has captured the Republican nomination for president.  They face a hostile takeover of their party.

Now they are engaged in a campaign to discredit their party’s nominee.  They accept all criticisms of their nominee, while overlooking the inadequacies of the Democratic candidate.  They once again are more concerned about the future of their individual members and unconcerned about the path of the country.  I am to a point where I say, who needs them.  They got Donald Trump because they won’t advance the people’s agenda of less government and less regulation.  They just won’t fight!  Now they will fight, but only against the populist candidate their incompetence enabled.

Once upon a time there was a political party called the Whigs.  When it no longer advanced the will of its constituency, it morphed and became the modern day Republican Party.  We have reached a point in our history where there is a far left party (Democrats) and a party concerned only with the preservation of its elite members (Republicans).  Perhaps we have reached a point, where a new organization with a different culture is needed.  Let’s start a true conservative organization promoting constitutionally mandated limited government and promoting candidates, who serve the people rather than serve for their own future.  Those, who believe in limited government, can come along.  Those, who don’t should find themselves in the refuse pile of history.  Failed members of an era of minority thinking and failed leadership.

Think about it.  We have run out of opportunity to elect new representatives in this primary election, but we have two years to prepare before the next full Congressional primary season.  Planning must start now!  A new party platform created and candidates recruited and financing lined up.  This time we need to be dependent for financing from the many not the few.  Good news is, we have many new and yet not fully explored platforms for securing support.  Social media calls!

Ask yourself these questions.  Are you satisfied being led by a northeastern valued Democrat?  Have your previous choices of a liberal northeastern former governor and “maverick southwestern senator”, who doesn’t understand the principles of limited government (Witness: McCain-Feingold), been the types of choices a limited government individual could zealously support?  If not, then let’s take the opportunity to repeat history and oust the pretenders!

Living life your way

The last post on this site was somewhat unusual as it strayed from what is considered retail politics and was more issue driven. One of the prime issues in this year’s election will be the economy. It seems that neither political candidate will seriously address entitlement reform. Each candidate is concerned with establishing their credentials with the east and west coast liberal urban voters.

You see it is poisonous to suggest there is trouble in paradise. Supporters of Bernie Sanders certainly don’t want to hear the message that any government entitlement should be cut during an election cycle where Senator Sanders is championing new educational program expansion. (free college for all) The soon to be coronated head of the Republican Party is hell bent on securing electoral votes from at least one Northeastern state, so you will see no plans that deal with entitlement reform from him. The message will be all is well, so much for tearing the system down. Establishment Republicans are content to keep any entitlement changes, which might be planned, under wraps during this season, lest they be accused of “pushing grandma off the cliff” again. Hillary Clinton is the last of the old guard big government advocates, so there will be no revision or curtailment of entitlements from her camp. Her slogan should be “Remember Single Payer! I had it first.”

Where does that leave us? I believe where we should be. We should be out front pushing for change by challenging assumptions in our own lives and acting to effect change in our world. (the real world) If we can attract enough attention, by our actions by moving the labor participation rate, then we can force the political class to concede the point that policy must change as the social demographics change. It’s time to address the demographics by changing entitlements to encourage senior work not on a full time basis but as desired. We are a society that is aging. We need qualified workers and trainers to guide the next generation of workers.

After we lead the way by moving the labor participation rate, then Congress needs to act to address antiquated rules that restrict employment and investment. Rules should be changed to conform to the realities of an information society. We need to understand that individuals, who choose to invest, are responsible for their choices and when abuse occurs, then it should be promptly and harshly addressed on a case by case basis. It’s time to demand that state prosecutors do their jobs, when the situation requires it.

Jobs will be created in an information society in many theaters. Workers will be needed to give advice and perform tasks. Investment will be needed and large banks are not the way to create small business. More and  less regulated local funding is the path to small business growth. Let’s put the state “laboratories of democracy” to work crafting information age solutions. Nineteen forties or even nineteen seventies rules have no place in a modern information society. It’s time to let freedom prevail.

We should no longer be shackled by FLSA. Our President believes he did a tremendous service by changing overtime rules for salaried individuals. These ancient rules work against hiring many seniors, who schedules may not conform to the typical work day or work week. He in keeping with his agenda believes he should decide what a desirable situation is. News flash, Mr. President, individuals decide what situation is appropriate for them, not the federal government. Still I am sure in a sluggish economy he bought some democratic and independent votes by his short sighted and short term pay increase. The net result of his actions will be a setback to the economy.

Let’s establish a web presence for experience. Let’s create a market for gray labor. “We can work for less and train others to be the best”. We can afford to work at what would be considered a discount for five to ten years, while collecting retirement pay. We can increase the participation rate, train young workers and still maintain the type of flexible lifestyle that years of labor have earned. My previous post I stated .that people work because it provides them with a sense of purpose. Let’s put seniors to work training the millennials. Education doesn’t end in the vocational or even the college classroom. It’s time to be the movement. Don’t feel the Bern. Change the system. If free will was a blueprint for our creator, then freedom should prevail in our society.

Now a personal note! If anyone needs a senior individual to help out with Microsoft Access and office projects and could use help with office procedure improvement, I am available. I have 13 years of experience and only need to be free to exercise and take the occasional ten day cruise. I’m flexible!

Dispelling a utopian myth in modern American Society

When you were in school, you were probably told to not believe all you are told, but view source documents. How many followed this advice? I can tell you in my experience few, if any followed the advice. As we age, we have an opportunity to reflect on a great number of issues. As we examine ourselves, we find we believe what we were told and what we have come to believe because of personal experience.

If you are like me, your earliest memories of work probably revolve around household chores or menial tasks, you were told to do. You complied at first because of threat of disapproval or punishment or maybe the offer of a reward. I remind you of this to make the following point. Your first impressions of work were probably not real positive ones.

As you gained experience in the “real world”, the tasks required of you were probably more challenging. Hopefully, your reason for work changed. Now you work and your reasons and rewards gained from work changed. Threat of punishment was no longer a factor nor did promise of reward act as the sole reason for your work. If you were like me, a sense of personal achievement and internal sense of accomplishment replaced prior motivations. You gained a sense of purpose. Your job, while still at times less than pleasant, was self rewarding. Still you waited for the day, when your time could be your own and financial concerns and a “job” didn’t monopolize your day. You were told retirement was the ultimate goal. Free time and opportunity for travel, hobbies and other pleasantries, you set aside would await you. You believe this is a desirable goal because you are feeling burdened by your daily grind and the prospect of more freedom is appealing.

This is the time to remember the words of the school teacher. Examine the source of the belief. The retirement dream was one born in another time, when jobs were unfulfilling and dangerous and relief from the physical grind itself was a reward. We live in a time with different national demographics. Concerns over the sustainability of many social programs, which retirees depend on, are in doubt. What is the answer to these concerns? Examine your beliefs. Is the retirement completely free from purpose even desirable? Perhaps the vast union hoard had the whole concept wrong. Perhaps people need work. Some can fulfill that need through volunteer work or a hobby, but for many nothing replaces work with real remuneration.

Is this to suggest we are all to be subject to endless toil until death? No, but more utilization of the experience of the senior population is sensible and is advantageous to both society and the individual. Our society today is employing more and more part time labor. Doesn’t it make sense that those with experience be utilized and incentivized more in what was formerly full retirement? This type of policy if properly incentivized could ease some of the burden on Social Security and Medicaid and still aid the senior and allow for more freedom in what was otherwise complete retirement.

Some will not want this. I say this is their choice. Examine your choices. Are you acting because you want a life style? If you are, then I say proceed. If, however after reaching the age you find a sense of purpose missing, join with me in requesting a choice in retirement. I think you will find an approach, which eases an individual into a partial work situation to be desirable for you.

Next time: Establishing a website for marketing senior experience. Leave a comment and let me know what you think!

Thoughts on the reason behind the Republican’s Presidential Choice and the Message Moving Forward

Everyone has now accepted that Donald Trump will be the nominee of the Republican Party. Why Donald Trump? Republicans did not want someone to speak to them in “Washington Speak”. Future candidates must address the electorate differently, if they want their message to resonate with the voters. Voters simply do not wish to expend the effort to sift through issues and simply do not want to hear about the nuances of candidates positions.

Other Republicans candidates have done a poor job of communicating their message of limited government. The general populace believes that government is the answer to the ills of this country. They have had it drilled into them in both Public and Parochial schools. Public schools have pushed the message by touting the accomplishments of Presidents like Franklin Delano Roosevelt, (New Deal)Woodrow Wilson (League of Nations Proponent and Federal Reserve Proponent) and Lyndon Johnson (Great Society). These Presidents emphasize the federal government’s role in American Society. No wonder children and young adults leave the Public School System with an exaggerated view of the importance of government. Parochial Schools properly advocate the importance of Public Service. Lost in the translation of the Public Service messaging is the importance of the individual. It is the individual to whom the message of Public Service should be directed. Government has never been a good partner to Religion. Religion speaks to the individual and addresses its flock through the church not the government. Governments all too frequently are proponents of values at odds with many religions.

Churches should be wary of government especially socialist and communist governments. Realize that there is no consensus on public values. This country has differing community values depending on where you are and which groups you address within a community. It is this lack of consensus of values that mandates the power of government remain decentralized, so it does not trample the values of the community and individual freedom.

Socialism is a predecessor to communism. It is a stop on the journey. Socialistic societies rely on a government process to provide for many of their services and eventually own the means of production. We have already seen, when you rely on a centralized government to provide funding or even government direction of education, you get message the government sanction message disseminated to pupils. Since it is a government sanctioned message, it will favor the use of government action to accomplish tasks.

Look at the history in the former Soviet Union and China. Both nations promoted the values of the state at the expense of religion. Can anyone deny that both these governments were hostile toward the individual and religion? Why? Success of these systems is dependent upon adoption of a view that government is the cure for all social ills and the values of government should be adopted for the success of the society. Does anyone doubt this is hostile to individual freedom including the freedom of religion?

Look at the Affordable Care Act. It is just the latest example of the incremental creep of socialism. This law is lauded for its compassion. It expands Medicaid. This is another entitlement program for the poor or near poor. It increases the dependence of the individual on government. Government uses its taxing authority to force individuals to pay for this program. The US government uses the dollars position as the world reserve currency to insure the individual does not immediately feel the full financial impact of these services through a reduction of pay. (Tax increases) It cannot however stop the consumer from feeling some effect of the law. (Shortage of service providers as well as increased cost of services due to increased demand on the same or dwindling supply of services) This law attempts to guarantee services be provided. It replaces charity.
Charity is the private sector solution to providing services to those unable to afford it. It has been derided as unsuitable by great society advocates because it is not sufficient. (I.e. an entitlement, right) Charity, since it is not a guarantee allows more than one method of providing the services and can even require the individual to act in a certain manner to receive benefits. The individual however still has choices. He can opt not to act in the manner prescribed by the charity and not accept their services and look for other choices of charity. (There are many providers and could be more absent additional government) He is not forced nor is the charitable donor forced. There is undoubtedly room for growth, if government removes impediments to service provision.

Additionally, incorporated within The Affordable Care Act are provision for regulations which allow government to advance its agenda in areas such as reproductive rights, end of life services, treatments available and ultimately determining the value of a life. (I.e. perhaps an elderly individual should be given a pain pill rather than a procedure to alleviate their pain) So the government is able to foist its secular values on the individual and on religion by providing what is seen as a compassionate service.

Republicans do a poor job of communicating alternatives. Individuals fear uncertainty. Government solutions pretend that scarcity does not exist. Government solutions hide economic reality by pushing costs to the future. The Affordable Care Act does not provide any real methods to increase service supply or service efficiency. Government solutions instruct that the problem is too big for any solution, but a government solution, so dependency on the government is key. Private sector solutions rely on the faith of the populace in themselves. It is the antithesis of the Nanny state. Private sector solutions must be communicated in a manner that shows what is possible, if individuals act. It can be action of an individual or group of individuals acting in concert. It does not depend on the use of government force. It can be instituted without the assent of the legislature. It can be adjusted easily. What must happen to allow this type of action to move forward expeditiously is relaxation of regulation and ultimately state tort reform. The state action desirable, but not mandatory. Private sector solutions can advance provided the heavy hand of government does not intervene to protect the status quo. The challenge of Republicans is twofold: 1)Resist temptation to act to support those with an interest in preserving the status quo. 2) Resist the impulse to jump in with a government solution, when there are the inevitable failures. (Remember, government fails regularly, but is almost never held accountable.)

Communications about the new path of the country should be philosophical in nature. It should accentuate the positive aspects of a voluntary program in education, healthcare and other services currently provided the government, while making it clear that deficiencies can be rectified by individual action without the need to request the permission of a government entity. It is a philosophy rooted in faith in the individual. You must have faith that the individual, when left to act, will act appropriately. It is the antithesis of the tyranny of the majority currently practiced by Washington.

Freedom of choice is the end product. There is no tyranny by a government or even a tyranny by a well intended democratic majority. It is the path of the almighty, who allows free will to all. It affords an opportunity for the individual to express his or her best instincts.

There comes a time

There comes a time, when an individual can no longer merely be a casual observer witnessing events, but is required by circumstances to speak out or bear the blame for the evil outcome, which he supported by his silence  I have witnessed a government intervention, which has succeeded in reengineering the basic unit of society, the traditional nuclear family.  That same government seeks to mandate that we not only acquiesce in its social engineering experiment, but celebrate the destruction this reengineering scheme has wrought.  I can no longer sit silently by and witness the continued destruction of my country’s social and political culture without raising my voice in outrage.

It is time to for all, who believe in traditional American values to voice their disapproval of this social engineering scheme. Begin by educating your children and family members that procreation absent a marital commitment is deviant and unacceptable behavior, which inflicts irreparable harm on the children of these relationships.    Insist that your Priests, Ministers or Rabbis and any other clergy express their support for the traditional family from the pulpit. Show your displeasure with the direction of the political culture through at the ballot box. Contact your Federal Representatives and Senators and insist on a constitutional amendment protecting traditional marriage.   Spread the word to anyone, who will listen that you do not support and will not accept this newly engineered social order and that you have traditional values deeply rooted in nature, history and religion, which cannot be compromised for political expediency or personal gratification.

I have witnessed the systemic destruction of the nuclear family by my government and its replacement with the universally accepted and celebrated single parent household.   I have been warned by my government and media that it is inappropriate to judge these newly created family units by my old religious value system.  After all the individuals are merely acting in a manner, which promotes their personal satisfaction.  The sexual revolution has freed men and women from the slavery of traditional marriage.

If this meddling in the natural order was not sufficient, big brother government inserts itself between the biological parents.   It through its policies and programs alienates children from the parents with the promise of financial independence or reproductive freedom.  Government creates vast bureaucracies, which promise to support, feed and act in loco parentis.  

Government is no one’s parent.  It cannot replace a father and mother.  Politicians and bureaucrats do not know you or your family.  They may not even share your core values.  They cannot act be allowed to substitute their programs in place of the parents.

Unelected short sighted public administrators laud the new poverty programs as economic growth vehicles because money is borrowed by the federal government and pumped relentlessly into the community.   Rules are promulgated and social agencies are utilized to secure acceptance of the new order.  These rules are justified as necessary for individual safety and the maintenance of societal order.  

Government Attorneys are dispatched in droves to secure financial support for these new unsustainable societal units.  Insuring financial support for dependents is a noble charge, but the result this government intrusion is all too often a splintered more severely dysfunctional family unit.

All of these actions are well intentioned and justified by proponents as actions necessary for personal freedom and poverty alleviation.  The societal chaos, which ensues, pits parent against parent and child against parent.  Yet in the wake of vast deficit spending, the poverty still persists and families are torn asunder.  Individuals are heard in the midst of all these noble intentions to decry their newly created social position.  The newly anointed heads of household and their minor charges lament the diffusion of responsibility, which gave rise to and perpetuates this unnatural social existence.

I have personally witnessed multiple religious based program graduations, where estranged young adult males vowed to be better fathers for their children in the future.  Almost to a man each recounted that there was no paternal role model in their home, when they were growing up.  They do not know how to be a parent or how to maintain a traditional family relationship.  The cycle is continued with them.

What is the answer?  Surely we cannot simply allow those society encouraged to embark into these new arrangements to do without and become part of a permanent underclass.  We start small.  We begin by no longer celebrating and financially promoting these single parent arrangements.  We educate the youth that the family is the natural basic unit of a society.  We promote personal responsibility starting in the home.  We reward marriage.  We should encourage marriage between parents even when that commitment occurs post child birth.

We reform some laws to conform to the natural social order.  We formulate a tax structure that doesn’t punish lifelong commitment.  We remove the government from family decisions.  WE accept gifts between parent and child as tax free exchanges at any age, where there is no ongoing commerce involved.  We employ a tax structure that allows parents to assist their offspring at an age with no income reporting requirements except in those rare instances where there is intent to defraud a government program with a wealth transfer.  Wealth exchanges of this type are a family matter not a government revenue source.  Let me be clear.  There should be no gift or income tax consequences for traditional family wealth transfers except where the exchange is done to defraud a government entitlement program.

If this tax strategy is employed, government will benefit in the long run because it will have less individuals dependent on its services.  We should also allow wealth to pass from parent to any age child without tax consideration upon the death of a parent.   Children and spouses are the natural recipients of an individual’s wealth upon death. The government doesn’t need to use families to raise revenue and if some excessive revenue is deemed to pass from parent to child, it is the price we pay for upholding the natural order.

We should require grounds for divorce, where children are present.  Except in the case of financial or domestic abuse we must remove the government from familial interactions.  We should encourage parents to first work out their finances without any government involvement.  Where parental cooperation is lacking and intervention is needed we should utilize churches and community organizations wherever available to assist.  Parents frequently will not work together, when there is a government alternative, which is easier and is often seen to favor one side over the other.

Where severe financial deprivation occurs, society must provide immediate necessaries on a short term basis only, but it must also afford the parents the opportunity to resolve the deprivation.  Provision of necessaries by the government should be short term temporary assistance and it should be repaid by both parents, when they become financially solvent. Current law encourages the creation of vagabond children, who stay with various relatives until the government assistance is no longer available to the possessory relative then the children are moved on to a new assistance providing relative.

If financial deprivation persists, more drastic remedies should be employed including criminal sanctions against income producing non providing parents and as a last resort consideration should be given to removing the children from that environment until the parents demonstrate their ability and willingness to support them   All remedies to assist families should be employed by local and state governments exclusively.   Regulation of families is not a power granted to the federal government.  The health and welfare clause of the U.S. Constitution is not an independent grant of power to the federal government.  The Tenth Amendment must mean something!  All inclusive federal regulations and funding have promoted dependency and encouraged the unacceptable culture we own experience.

Speak up at home and in your community!  Promote personal responsibility even when it is uncomfortable.  Sometimes it is imperative that you speak to prevent harm to your family and community.  Educate the young that the nuclear family is the basic building block of nature.  Listen to those, who are running for office, whether it is federal state or local.  Do they share your values?  Do their solutions always involve use of government force first?  If so, consider the long term social engineering consequences of supporting such a candidate.  Families are a naturally occurring phenomenon, not a creature created by government rules and government intervention.  If you encounter a candidate or policy that runs contrary to your traditional values even within a party you ordinarily support, speak out against the individual or policy.  Don’t contribute to the evil.

A time to hang together

The announcement by Senator Mitch McConnell that the Senate would not take up any nominee for the vacant Supreme Court position advanced by President Obama was startling to the Media, but is completely understandable to me.  Consider the current situation within the Republican Party.  The Party is in chaos.  This strategy is the act of desperate leadership, which understands its limitations.  Leadership simply can not risk a hearing or a vote on any candidate advanced by the Democrats because Republican leadership can’t trust its members to remain cohesive in the face of the upcoming elections.

It is truly a sad commentary that with so much at stake, there is no group understanding of the peril faced by the nation with a liberal appointment to the Court.  There has been so much damage done to the concept of separation of powers by this administration already.

Unfortunately, the Republican Party has been complicit in the creation and advancement of the federal juggernaut.  Many of the party’s members have established careers by accommodating the big government advances of recent decades.

There can be no appointment considered by the Senate  because the leadership can’t and shouldn’t trust its members to stay together and reject any Whitehouse Candidate.  This Congressional group is comparable to a clowder of cats.  They won’t stay together and can’t be herded.

This Congress fails to comprehend basic civics and concedes its power of the purse at the first mention of “Government Shutdown”.  It allows the narrative to be advanced that the executive must have all programs funded at levels acceptable to the administration.  A presidential veto equals shutdown, which means Republican electoral losses, which means immediate and unconditional surrender.

History is important shows how we reached this point.  Congresses past had the power to fund programs only for their terms. The concept of multi year projections is a farce perpetrated upon the public to rationalize fiscal irresponsibility.   Instead of creating self sustaining programs to fund its many social promises and preserving the excess taxes collected for future entitlements, legislators of both parties built careers by thoughtlessly pillaged  the so called trust funds (leaving worthless paper in its wake, which can’t even be sold) and made more unsustainable entitlement promises. These promises now are said to be social contracts, which the electorate has adopted and which can’t easily be abrogated.

So the cycle continues each session.  The President proposes massive program increases.  Congress counters with proposals for less and the President dictates minimal levels by threatening a veto.  Congress surrenders because of fear of electoral losses.

This is the recent history of the Republican majority.  Just as in the past, some Republican members have built their careers by conceding on key party line votes.  Leadership can not trust its own members, and the party is impotent, when it comes time to have crucial showdowns with the executive branch.

I say no vote is better than a bad appointment.  There is just too much at stake to begin trusting now.  I would rather put my faith in the wisdom of the electorate and defer considering any appointment then trust this crowd with such a crucial vote.  So Republicans, you must hang tough on a deferral strategy because history teaches you haven’t the resolve to reject a bad appointment.

Fortunately Republicans can look to the past words of Democratic Senators, who proposed the same strategy, when in the minority in an election year.  These past statements may soften the pain and convince the media not to crucify the Party, but it is going to get thorny, so hang together Republicans on a strategy of inaction because the alternative is much more threatening to the long term health of our now fragile Republic.

Amazing how fragile the political landscape has become

There never was a time, when a political outcome could be guaranteed.  There has always been action then reaction.  One side advances a proposition and the other pushes back.

First please allow me to clarify terms.  Politics is defined as who gets what, when and how.  I learned that long ago from a text book on day one in my first Political Science class.  Ultimately by this definition virtually every decision is subject to politics at some level.

Today I chuckle when pundits use the word.  Most news readers must never have cracked a social science text or if they did, they have long since forgotten their earliest lessons.  They talk of things being political, as if it is a process occurring in a vacuum in distant far away land.  They are tantalized by the constant banter and become immersed in the minutia without any appreciation of the process or the underlying driving philosophies.

The news reader is a captive of the east coast culture and is constantly reassured of their superior knowledge of the process by a parade of hand picked “expert analysts”, whose prognostications never receive a thorough critique after the actual events reveal the fallacy of their original premises.

Today is a day of extreme concern for me.  Today the political landscape is much different and much more fragile than it was last week.

The passing yesterday of Justice Scalia removes from the political landscape an element of political continuity.  Unfortunately, political balance is now dependent on nine unelected life appointed lawyers. This should be distressing to every citizen.  How far we  have strayed from government’s original limitations! So much so that the death of a single justice could tip the balance of this nation.

You see Justice Scalia was a Court leader, who approached all the cases he reviewed with his eye always cast back at the original intent of the founding document.  He saw no necessity for a living breathing Constitution.  If there was a need for change in the original formula at the macro level,  there was the amendment process.  It was difficult to accomplish by design.

Rights to Justice Scalia weren’t inconveniences to be discarded due to popular whim.  The roles of the three branches of government as well as the role of the Federal and State Government were all identified and defined.  The mission was one of following the Constitutional recipe as written and amended.

What resulted from his vigilance was philosophical consistency.  Not a guarantee of anything except adherence to the original plan.  One could disagree on the ultimate outcome, but the method of reaching the result was based upon the original script with no ad libs.

Today, many believe that the Constitution is outdated and call for action and in fact decry the lackadaisical pace of government to address what they see as the pressing issues of modern society.  Count me not among these individuals.

Government remains the greatest threat to a free people and as such must be restrained by a sound foundational philosophy.  That philosophy is one of inalienable individual rights invested in us by our Creator, limited roles of all branches of the federal government and checks and balances to curb the inevitable power grabs destined to occur over the course of time.  Democratic rule unchecked by individual rights is merely tyranny by multiple tyrants.

Modern society is perceived to face threats at levels not encountered in generations past.  To this I say nonsense.  These threats are different, but not historically unique.  What we have allowed to evolve is unbridled government authority over the individual.  The political right threatens liberty by hyperbolizing security fears and the political left  seeks to dominate the individual by soft tyranny.  The left offers this exchange: liberty for financial entitlements.

Let’s return to the fundamental relationships between government, states and individuals.  Remember that  individual rights form the foundation of our union.  It makes us different from most other nations.   We remove cronyism from government by limiting its functions and returning to the original intent of our framers.

Families should take care of their members and failing that local charitable organizations or churches and failing either of those then local communities should be the last resort.  Government does not and can not possibly share all the values of all of its constituents and is not to stand in loco parentis.  (in place of parents)  The best way to insure individual rights is through following the limitations on government set forth as written in the founding document.  It is past time to return to original intent.  Special interests will no longer invest billions of dollars, if limited government is practiced, because there will be nothing to be gained from their lavish expenditures.  If who gets what, cannot be manipulated by government intervention, but is rather accomplished by individual enterprise and merit, then better outcomes will undoubtedly result.

Our political landscape is indeed in a fragile state at this juncture with the passing of Justice Scalia.  Balance on the Supreme Court will most certainly be swayed by any new appointee. and we are threatened with the appointment of more liberal activist jurists, who impose more federal regulation upon the populace without regard for original intent.

President Obama clearly doesn’t share Justice Scalia’s belief in the wisdom the founding documents.  It has been said he sees the Bill of Rights as a listing of negative liberties.  I guess that is so, when you have liberalism as your religion and see government as the road to your salvation.

So to you RINOs ,(Republicans in name only) and patriotic liberty loving Democrats, you must impose this litmus test on any future nominee.  Any Supreme Court nominee must adhere to founding principles of limited government, separation of powers, checks and balances, individual rights and true federalism, which includes respect for the tenth amendment.  Any jurist considered must have a record.  No more trying to slide someone by.  You must have the difficult debates.  You must for just this once show more concern for the future of your nation even at the expense of your personal electoral fate.  If you do not we risk moving from a fragile political landscape to a permanently fractured one.

 

 

Combatting the Allure of Socialism

Every parent, who has a child of middle school age has probably had at least one conversation with that child about the value of hard work and money.  The conversation probably resulted from a request for money.  Somewhere in the course of this interaction, most parents utter that time honored cliche “there is no such thing as a free lunch”.  Most children react with shock and utter disbelief that their needs are met with this perceived hard hearted and ill considered response.  You as a parent didn’t address the need and responded with the harsh reality of the outside world.  Well I am reminded by this conversation of a recent travel experience.

I recently returned from a trip to the Dutch Netherlands in the Caribbean.  If you are geographically challenged as I am, you probably don’t know the location of these picturesque islands.   They are nary a stones throw away from Venezuela.  This time we visited the island of Bonaire.  We were on a cruise and since I am always such a stalwart explorer, we opted for a simple bus tour.  Our guide was pleasant middle aged woman, who like most in the tourist trade was anxious to extol the virtues of her home.  The residences on this island for the most part were primitive by United States standards and many looked like little more than tin covered shacks.  Our guide informed us of the importance of the tourist trade and that most things were brought in and little was produced locally.  Still everyone we met seemed happy, but most with the exception of the merchant owners seemed to lack ambition and initiative.

We toured the city and listened attentively to our guide as she spoke of her beautiful little island.  Aside from the references to the weather, which was beautiful, the theme of her talk centered around what the government did for them.  If there was a wayward juvenile. there was a special government accommodation with coaches and counselors.  She talked on about programs for the pensioners and the unemployed.  What did I glean from this.  This socialistic state trades  personal freedom for financial security.  I was aghast by the number of times I heard and you go to the government and they provide this or that aspect of these peoples daily lives.  What I saw was an island with an ideal climate and unlimited trade opportunities with a people that were imprisoned by their government dependency.

I was left with a certainty that this nation would not be the next hot cauldron of innovation.  This is not because of a lack of education.  You see they can travel to the Netherlands for schooling.  The government provides education.  There simply is no urgent need to achieve among the populace.  The guide said it over and over again during our tour.  The government provides _____________.  You fill in the blank.  As a result, these people will have what is provided to them and no more.

There truly is no such thing as a free lunch.  The parent’s response to the middle schooler seemed harsh to the child who wanted something he couldn’t have, but was in fact an accurate portrayal of the world outside the home.  It was also sound financial information.  There still is scarcity in the world and in our country.  It is only through work, that value is created and the individual and the society as a whole are improved by that work.

While the United States has has continually led all nations as the world’s true economic powerhouse.  There have always been those advancing the position that more should be provided and paid for by others.  These newly provided services are to be paid for by forced redistribution of the economic pie.  This system would be dramatically different from our current system in which individuals acting independently and in their own self interest within a free market structure determine what is produced.  The value of the goods and services produced is priced based upon the principles of supply and demand.  The government in this socialistic system would be the collector of that portion of income that the ruling majority believes to be in excess of what the individual needs, then the collected spoils are to be redistributed to those that are determined to need it.

There are many problems with this thinking.  First, in a vibrant economy it is the surplus funds, which provide the financial capital, that ultimately results in innovation and creation of more goods and services.  Second, the pricing of labor based upon supply and demand insures proper flow of labor and encourages movement of human resources, to those industries where there is the most demand .  It also maximizes an individual’s choice.  An individual in this system can choose where and how much and what kind of works he wishes .  limited only by how much he needs.  He determines all his own choices and the system reacts providing individuals with economic incentives to insure satisfaction of demands.

No individual entity can collect the enormous amount of data needed to make these economic decisions nor provide the freedom of choice for an individual that a free market provides.  Government should insure freedom of opportunity.  and not be responsible for the confiscation of wealth and wealth redistribution based upon the whim of the majority on any given day.

Democrats today seek to redistribute wealth based on what they believe is needed by the individual and what they believe is excess wealth.  Decisions about wealth confiscation and distribution in Socialistic economies are made with insufficient information.  Decisions are frequently made at the whim of the ruling majority based upon its beliefs,   These decisions lack the information and flexibility necessary to accommodate the rapid shifts of both capital and human resources necessary to grow an economy and produce the goods and services desired by its consumers.  The result of these ill advised decisions is malinvestment.  Malinvestment creates overproduction of some goods and services and scarcity of others.  The socialist economic system also limits an individual’s choices resulting in worker dissatisfaction and ultimately lower productivity.  The socialist system promises financial security to the individual, but in fact only insures an individual receives his piece of  a static or more likely a declining economic pie.  There truly is no such thing as a free lunch.

So when you have that conversation with your child about that free lunch,  impress upon your child that all work has value and is needed even if it is unpleasant to him or her at times.   It makes the worker a participant in the greatest and most free economy in the world.  His contribution helps all of us grow the economic pie and provide free choice for all.  Remember there truly is no such thing as a free lunch!

 

Why Traditional Graffitti

The first post for Traditional Graffitti was published on primary election day in New Hampshire.  Traditional Graffitti is not intended to be just a political commentary site.  I began writing this blog because I like many Americans am disgusted by the direction of our country.

I am recently retired, but while working, I had the privilege of attending a training. It was intended to assist me in understanding the different perspectives of the generations that make up our modern society.

This training had an unexpected side benefit for me.  It reinforced my belief that across racial, economic and religious lines we shared common values, especially those, who were fortunate enough to be born in the 1950’s and 60’s.

Our instructor was a very patient African American gentleman born in the 1950’s.  I listened attentively to his presentation and was  fascinated by the topic and robust discussion that ensued, so I engaged him in personal conversation during the presentation breaks.  We had discussions about our youth and how we interacted with our neighbors and friends.

Surprisingly, I found our experiences to be very similar.  We spoke of leaving the house in the morning and enjoying outdoor games with friends until the evening meal then returning to play until the street lights were turned on. All of us knew, when the street lights came on, we all had to return home.  Our neighbors knew all of us and were not timid in reporting any personal transgressions to our parents.  Trust me, being reported by a neighbor for unbecoming conduct led to an undesirable final outcome.  One which every child knew to avoid or quickly learned to avoid.

Corporal punishment was practiced by many parents during this time.  This level of discipline was reserved for conduct, which demanded immediate intervention because it was socially unacceptable or immoral or in some instances dangerous.  Physical punishment was not intended to be abusive, but to impress upon us that an immediate change of conduct was required.  We all quickly learned its purpose.  Do you know it worked so well that after a while the mere utterance of a simple phrase like “Wait till your Dad hears about that” invoked the same deterrent response and behaviors changed as if by magic without the need to strike, plead or bribe.

Conduct that was unacceptable or immoral was easily identified by all.  Kids knew it.  Parents knew and even the neighbors magically knew the moral code.  There were 10 primary rules, whether we were Roman Catholic, as we were, or hailed from a protestant denomination as many of my neighbors did or were non church attendees.  The rules applied to the reverent and the casual and even the non church attenders.

Divorce occurred and we had childhood spats, but they seemed less frequent and much less violent Childhood fights seldom involved anything that might be considered a weapon.  Parents were encouraged to stay together for the sake of their children.

Yes, we were taught rules and they applied to adults and children and they formed a code of conduct and the code did not require that prescribed conduct always make the actor happy.  Concern about others was built into this code.   Why am I talking about this?  It is not because I seek to impose my religious views on you.  As I told you we had many religious groups in our neighborhood and some non religious individuals.  What is my point in sharing this long winded tale?

We neighbors shared a common point of reference around these 10 rules, commandments if you wish and all neighbors enforced the code to varying degrees and all understood they had personal responsibility for their conduct and a duty to assist others in acquiring and following the code. (sometimes it seemed that I was assisted more frequently than I like to recall)

What was the reward?  What prompted individuals to subscribe to a code and act in a manner that didn’t always result in conduct that made the participant feel happy or self satisfied?  Why would anyone voluntarily without government enforcement choose to live by such a code?

The first reward was of this system was civility.  Neighborhoods were not always conflict free zones, but there was an actual sense of community born of personal responsibility.  We were a classless society in my neighborhood at least among the children.  If I had a patch on my jeans because of rough play, no one cared.  No one had four hundred dollar shoes.  We all wore dime store shoes.  When I talked with my instructor that day. I discovered the same rules applied in his neighborhood that applied in mine.  We also discussed how through social engineering it has changed.

I suppose to a great extent it is our generation that is responsible for this breakdown in our society.  We decided at some point that individual happiness was more important than following that simple 10 rule code of conduct.  We even took it further we pushed to change the rules in the name of forming a great society and by our actions slowly facilitated the destruction of the nuclear family.  We authored important sounding documents that spoke of universal human rights that filled volumes, but these collaborative efforts failed to  achieve the clarity of those ten brief rules.

Oh, but as a result of our attempt at social engineering, today we are so much more tolerant.  Now instead of living by a code voluntarily accepted by all in the neighborhood, we enlist the force of a vast paternal federal authority to make us not only accept conduct, which once was unacceptable, but now to promote that once offensive conduct and celebrate it as a new more enlightened normal.  It doesn’t matter that many of us still silently consider much of what is being celebrated to be deviant behavior.  We simply are uneducated and not aware of the benefits of this new modern world.

Our government distributes posters and “enlightened literature” cautioning us against our overly judgmental foibles and instructing us how to act properly, so we too can celebrate and rejoice in this new more tolerant world we have painstakingly engineered.

Our children are taught that all types of family arrangements must be celebrated even if studies suggest they are not a healthy choice for raising the young.  We live in a society designed for true moral equivalence.  No way can be better than any other and all are deserving of equal respect and laud.  To think otherwise would be “heretical”.  After all these new arrangements make the participants happy, at least until the arrangement becomes personally unfulfilling or inconvenient. Statistics about societal problems produced by these transient family units, well they just don’t matter.  These findings are inconvenient impediments to the great new social message and interfere with a participant’s immediate social or sexual gratification.  The loss of a few million children to adverse outcomes is just a small sacrifice at the altar of secular humanism.

After all our schools must be sanitized and remain free of all judgments.  There can be no pressure to assimilate.  Instead of a societal melting pot, teachers now speak about our society as a glorious green salad.  Organized religion is now deemed to be the source of all historic evil.   All mention of it is to be banished from the public square and certainly deserving no place in our superior enlightened society. A mention of religion might be offensive to some one or some group. What are the consequences of this new enlightenment?

We have neighborhoods, where strangers live next to each other without social interaction for years.  Moral decay and a general lack of civility now serve as the new norm and replace the antiquated code of conduct.  If you don’t believe in the new code, you are just a hater, misogynist, bigot or worse a bible thumper intent on imposing your outdated beliefs on the enlightened.  Yes, welcome to our new tolerant society.

We have replaced public discourse with safe zones, so no one has to listen to another or be offended by their moral rants.  How long will it be until this hate speech is punished by mandated retraining?  For now we are satisfied to merely take your goods and ostracize you for the sin of intolerance.

Why am I incorporating all this in a story about common generational values?  It is because we have lost our moral compass and veered far off course as a nation.  We aren’t more tolerant.  Sure we no longer have blue laws.  (Anyone remember the horrible days of Sunday store closings and Sunday family dinners?)  We now condemn the very core values that built this society.

But we must be tolerant and tolerance means acceptance and celebration of these new norms. Unlike the old norms, which were voluntarily adopted by the populace, these new norms must be interpreted and enforced by the power of a central government.  So the voluntary code of the neighborhood is replaced by a tyranny of the new enlightened majority.  Long live the New Enlightened Order!

Any mention of God or morals in the public square is now a violation of the establishment clause.  The phrase separation of church and state does not appear in the constitution.(feel free to look it up, if you doubt me) The first amendment, which was intended to be used as a shield to prevent the government from establishing a state religion is now being wielded as a sword to deter the free exercise of religion by its people.

Don’t worry though, there will be no establishment of any religion because the exercise free speech and especially religious speech in a public setting might offend someone, who disagrees with you, so the government will make certain you remain unoffended free from exposure to this type of moral corruption.

So in my training I learned we once had a common moral code.  I learned it crossed racial and religious and ethnic lines and now I have been told how foolish and unenlightened anyone who clings to that code is.

Our President in a rare moment of candor referred to some Pennsylvanians and I guess me and those of my generation as “bitter clingers”.  He thought he could slip this one by because he was among the new faithful in California and his comment went relatively unnoticed.  His intended smear has become a label I wear as a personal badge of honor.  I as those Pennsylvanians am not ashamed of my upbringing, my religion, those 10 rules I strive to live by or my traditional nuclear family.  Yesterday I watched a political party celebrate socialism,wealth redistribution and the final legitimization of this government enforced new order.

While I say thank you to the democrats for sharing their enlightened perspective with me.  I intend to remain a “bitter clinger”.  I am one who adheres to those 10 rules.  Hey Democrats. at least one of those antiquated rules addresses not coveting thy neighbors goods.  Another rule commands individuals not to steal.  Forceful taking even by the government, to equalize or redistribute goods or close an income gap is still just good old fashion theft.) Just because I have less doesn’t mean I should use the force of government to take something from others.

I believe free will is still a universal God given right.  If my creator allowed me free will, even though my exercise from it might cause me to deviate from his divine plan, then I think my fellow countryman lack the moral authority to take that right from me!

Think about that, New Hampshire Democrats.  Maybe it is time to learn a basic tenet about a free people from this sorely uninformed ,religious, “bitter clinger”.  Free people need equal opportunity not free stuff redistributed from the bounty of others.  Remember New Hampshire residents “Live free or die”.

All these memories and words because of a reflection on how generations have different perspectives.  Let’s do this again tomorrow!

Off My Soapbox

The New Hampshire Primary is the first true test of voter preference in this presidential election cycle. The primary is not the same complicated insider driven game that occurred in Iowa.  Iowa was just a pregame festivity with delegate selection as a sideshow.  New Hampshire is the true opening kickoff of a four quarter brawl.  It is my belief that  New Hampshire is only the kick off and that is all it should be considered.

This election cycle presents a unique set of circumstances for the Republican Party.  It is unique because it features a self funded candidate, who can continue deep into the primary season, even if he fails to meet media expectations.  It is unique due to the anger expressed by the Republican electorate in the preprimary polls.  It is unique because there are candidates with a chance for success, who are outside of the Republican ruling cabal.  Finally, it is unique because of the world situation, which now more than any time in the recent past, requires a strong principled and conservative leader, who can reorient the country.  A leader who can move our country away from government domination, which has been the hallmark of the last eight years.

There are many Republican candidates in this field, who only give lip service to conservative values and individual liberty.  Governor John Kasich from Ohio, who imposed an extension of Medicaid upon his state via a state board after the Republican dominated Ohio Legislature chose not to expand it, is one such example.  After his legislature rejected Medicaid expansion, the Governor, rather than searching for a private sector solution to expand healthcare, opted to use the federal funds available under Obamacare to expand Medicaid . This action, which many believe will subject Ohioans to increased future debt, expands once again the role of the federal government within the state.  I do not doubt the Governor’s good intentions nor his personal moral code, but his lack of imagination and his willingness to throw in with government expansionists rather than do the difficult work of crafting a free market solution to expanding healthcare is distressing.  It is especially distressing from one who touts his reputation as a budget balancer and Conservative small government advocate. I can only conclude from this action that he is neither.

There are two other Governors, who are also vying for the Republican nomination with questionable Conservative leanings, when it comes to individual liberty and small government advocacy.  I must confess as of the date of this writing, I am unconvinced that either would champion smaller government and individual liberty.  This at a time, when adherence to uncompromising principled traditional values are what is needed to reverse the damage done to liberty by our current President.

Governor Christie, a blue state governor ran to embrace President Obama after a storm devastated his state.  No one faults the Governor for looking out for his constituents, however many election observers believe the Governor’s perceived coziness assisted in the President’s reelection bid resulting in four more years of declining liberty.  Perhaps less public begging was in order at such a critical time in the electoral process.  Additionally the Governor’s actions demonstrate a willingness to run to the federal government as a first resource in times of crisis.   One must also wonder how many other principles he must have compromised to garner favor as a “Conservative”, with such a liberal electorate and left leaning media.   The Governor has to be a born compromiser or a “person who gets things done” to use his terms in order to survive in such a hostile political environment.  I don’t believe he fits the profile of a tough freedom fighter.  I believe him to be the same old same old. An establishment sympathizer, who compromises principles  to be elected. His act of begging for funds at election time revealed his true character.

Jeb Bush has some conservative credentials.  He displayed some admirable qualities when he was the Florida Governor .  He has been out of office for some time but, I believe he still carries the Republican establishment banner.  Mr. Bush’s recent explanation of his Common Core stance is the typical response of the Washington ruling class.  He supports  Common Core’s educational standards, but is opposed to Washington’s involvement in the program.  He is far too quick to embrace ” a comprehensive solution” rather than the true state by state experimentation that will lead to the best result winning the day.  I certainly can not at this juncture with all his old money establishment ties support him as the Conservative freedom fighter’s choice for president, but he may do well in “Live Free Or Die” New Hampshire.

I do not expect a ground shaking election result in New Hampshire.  It is the best opportunity for the three Republican Establishment candidates to exceed their national poll numbers.  While New Hampshire’s state motto is “Live free or die”, New Hampshire has voted for the Democratic Presidential Candidate in five of the last six presidential election cycles.  New Hampshire should not be seen as a state quick to side with the advocates of limited government, who are the best guarantee of continued freedom and economic prosperity.  Recent polls indicate the democratic primary favorite is self proclaimed Socialist Senator, Bernie Sanders.  Hardly a living embodiment of the state motto.

Please remember New Hampshire that government, no matter how well intentioned, ultimately rules by the force of law and the enforcement of its regulations. Government is by it’s nature coercive and limits individual freedom.  It limits individual initiative and if involved in the economy, attempts through its rules to pick winners and losers.  It is when unrestrained  a foe of capitalism.

Support for the Democratic party line is not support for traditional conservative values.  The Democratic party is the party of Obamacare, wealth redistribution and national division.

If you are a conservative, freedom loving American, who is concerned about helping his neighbor, as I believe we all should be, then government should not be the vehicle employed to accomplish that end.  True advancements in healthcare, increased employment and national unity are not accomplished by the use of government force through laws, but are the products of the labor of private citizens.  Churches, mutual aid societies and businesses are the best organizations to achieve these goals yet maintain individual liberty.  Freedom is not always the most rapid path to a goal, but it is the least oppressive and ultimately the best accepted way to achieve a desired outcome.  It is because freedoms solutions are chosen not imposed!

So I watch with interest the outcome of both sides of the primary election.  I do not believe New Hampshire should severely limit the scope of the national debate nor the Republican party debate.  It should not by itself dictate the ultimate Republican Party nominee.  The issues of today are far too important to be decided by a small group of northeastern voters alone.

Still, choose wisely New Hampshire!  Remember your state motto, when you enter the voting booth today.