#NeverTrump & Austin Petersen

May 8, 2016

I recently had a friend, a conservative I greatly respect, sincerely ask that I reconsider my #NeverTrump position. He explained that due to the President’s role in nominating Supreme Court Justices, I need to realize that while ideals are good, sometimes “live gets in the way” and that as one of those times, I needed to “take one for the team in order to win”. Below is my response followed by a video explaining my take on the current state of conservatism, the Republican Party, and why I’m supporting Austin Petersen for President.

I know you are coming from a place of sincerity. I could not agree more that this election is much more important than who is in the White House for the next four years. Indeed, it is because of my long-term outlook and concern for the Constitution and the God-endowed liberties it protects that I am so strongly opposed to Trump and what supporting him says about the GOP and its conservative base.

Think. Is Trump principled? Is he a man of character? Can you point to one thing he has done in his life, beyond offering up cheap rhetoric in the past couple years, that convinces you that he holds an ounce of commitment to the Constitution or its principles? I’ve looked….and I cannot. He is not a good man. His rise to political popularity has been characterized by capitalizing upon the worst of people. Their anger. Their fear. Their ignorance.

I do not believe that Trump offers any more security in regards to nominations of Supreme Court Justices than Hillary Clinton does. What I do believe is that if conservatives “take one for the team” as you suggest and help Trump become the leader and the face of the Republican party, it represents the death of any surviving remnant of conservatism it has left. I believe, as President Lincoln did, that the Constitution “must be maintained, for it is the only safeguard of our liberties”. At this time, I feel my refusal to support Trump and to support a third-party candidate is the best way to do preserve conservatism and the Constitution it exists to protect. If conservatism suffers a blow at the hand of others, I will serve my days seeking to rebuild it the best way I know how. I ask that you at earnestly and sincerely seek to understand my rationale.

 


Libertarianism VS. Liberalism

August 14, 2012

Recently a friend of a friend, upon finding out that I was a fan of Ron Paul, proceeded to explain how “libertarianism takes liberalism to the extreme”. After summing up the libertarian mindset as “leave me alone, don’t tax me, don’t provide services for me”, he enlightened me on the flaws of the free-market, explaining that a free market lacks a “mechanism to control the consumption of scarce resources” and that without government intervention there is nothing to deter what he referred to as “idiot” marketplace decisions.

Of all the libertarians I’ve met (they are easy to find in the military) I’ve never met one that doesn’t acknowledge the role of taxes and regulations. The key is what is their purpose.

Libertarians believe their constitutionally-sanctioned existence is for the sole purpose of protecting liberty (including economic liberty…ie the free-market). Reasonable regulations are necessary to ensure others (including companies) don’t encroach upon another’s rights. For example, the toxic waste of one company must be regulated to keep it’s improper disposal from damaging the resources available and enjoyed by other individuals & companies.

Taxes are necessary to provide a limited number of services and infrastructure that cannot be effectively provided by non-government institutions (due to conflict of interest etc.).

Libertarians believe that beyond this limited scope taxes & regulations encroach upon the right to private property and to make ones own choices (an increasingly extreme idea to today’s liberals). Libertarians believe that beyond this limited scope it is the individuals actually doing the work and producing, not some detached government bureaucracy, that has the solutions. Liberals on the other hand believe people (normal people not the “anointed intelligentsia” as Thomas Sowell calls them) are too stupid to be left on their own without the help of the government to tell them how to live and to organize society. Every decision as mundane as how to carry home your groceries or what size soda to order to the very personal and serious manner in which you manage your own health must be made for you or at least influenced by the government. This is why people who have no problem with & even enjoy being completely dependent upon the government flock to the Democratic party (home of this brand of liberalism). So you can see how irritating it is to hear libertarianism so mis-represented and to hear the outlandish claim that there is any greater connection than a similar use of letters.

In regards to free-markets, I’ve never heard a libertarian claim that the free-market is flawless (such use absolutes is seriously irritating) only that it has less flaws than any other system where the government steps in to manipulate the marketplace. It’s almost comical to hear someone say the free-market cannot address scarcity. Ever heard of supply and demand? If a resource is truly scarce than (ceteris paribus) the price increases and demand drives innovation. Whale oil, for example, was replaced by kerosene. The problem is eco-fascists have an irrational believe that a scarcity exists when it clearly does not. Since the free-market isn’t promoting the agenda their irrational belief demands, they must us the government to force the changes the free-market is not yet ready to make…and they’ll do it at a great economic loss. Since most of these eco-fascists view humans as a plague upon the earth, the very real and cruel damage caused by such economic loss actually fits in nicely with their irrational belief.

As for “idiot” marketplace decisions (hedge funds, NINJA loans, etc.) there is another important economic concept that apparently slipped through the cracks of economic illiteracy. We call it “risk”. With higher risk comes the greater potential for both profit and loss. The problem is the “too big to fail” concept made popular by G.W. Bush (you’d be hard-pressed to find a libertarian who agrees with the bailouts) and continued by Obama effectively removes the risk associated with these “idiot” decisions. So it was Fannie and Freddie (gov’t sponsored entities) and the liberal push for low-income housing that was the primary factor of the sub-prime mortgage collapse. And a legal system crafted by lawyers’ unions with politicians (of both parties) in their pocket has removed much of the individual responsibility that helped managed “idiot” marketplace decisions on the individual level.

Here is a more entertaining explanation of how government interference in the marketplace worsens the boom & bust cycle & only promotes cronyism. (*Note: Libertarian / Austrian economics is represented by Hayek)

UPDATE: I found the following video in the recommended section of YouTube and it perfectly explains many of the points I made above.


Economic Woes: Who’s to Blame?

January 28, 2010

American economist Thomas Sowell once said:

It is hard to imagine a more stupid or more dangerous way of making decisions than by putting those decisions in the hands of people who pay no price for being wrong.

While pointing the finger of blame is often shunned as a counter-productive or divisive practice, as Sowell pointed out, accountability for poor decisions is necessary for effective governance. How else are we to learn from the mistakes of the past and prevent their re-occurrence than to identify poor decisions and those who made them?

In that context, congress’ Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission is currently interrogating bank executives to identify the cause of the economic melt-down. However, while most of the heated interrogation is being directed toward private financial institutions, lets put the politicians on the hot seat and review the government’s role in getting us into our current economic mess.

First, a basic understanding of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac and their role in the housing and lending market is critical in order to comprehend the root causes of the financial meltdown. In the video below, Senator Jim DeMint offers an excellent summary.

As DeMint stated, it is Congress’ responsibility to provide regulation and oversight of government sponsored entities (GSE’s) such as Fannie & Freddie. Following is a brief time-line of events as it pertains to congress and the regulation of GSE’s.

*Hat tip to Mike Costello for being “the squeaky wheel” that guided me in my research.

  • April 2001 – President Bush raised red flags concerning the size of Fannie and Freddie in his 2002 budget request. He identified the “potential problem” that trouble in either institution could “cause strong repercussions in financial markets”.
  • mid 2003 – Reports and hearings showed Freddie Mac “manipulated its accounting to mislead investors” and that they failed to “adequately hedge against rising interest rates”.
  • July 31, 2003 – The Federal Enterprise Regulatory Reform Act (S. 1508), co-sponsored by John McCain, was introduced. President Bush subsequently  recommended a massive regulatory overhaul. The bill passed the Senate Banking Committee, however with every single democrat on the committee opposing it, the bill was doomed.
  • Feb. 24, 2004 – Chairman of the Federal Reserve, Alan Greenspan, warns congress that “if we fail to strengthen GSE regulation, we increase the possibility of insolvency in crisis; we put at risk our ability to preserve safe and sound financial markets in the United States”.
  • Sept. 2004 – A report following an 8-month investigation by the Office of Federal Housing Enterprises Oversight (OFHEO) showed Fannie executives intentionally manipulated their accounting and overstated their earnings by $10.6 billion in order to hit targets and pocket an additional $27 million in bonuses.
  • Late 2004 – During hearings, republicans expressed concern and called for swift action and more regulation, while democrats expressed anger toward OFHEO for bringing corruption at Fannie to light, suggesting there was nothing wrong and no need for increased regulation.
  • Early 2005 – Regulatory legislation was re-introduced (S. 109) however with every democrat in the banking committee once again voting against it, the bill never made it to the Senate floor.
  • May 2006 – John McCain signed on as a co-sponsor of the stalled bill and said that “if Congress does not act, American taxpayers will continue to be exposed to the enormous risk that Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac pose to the housing market, the overall financial system, and the economy as a whole”.
  • July 2008 – After republicans re-introduced a regulation bill (S. 1100) for the third time, it finally passed. Of course by this time, “toxic assets” from years of risky and reckless leadership at Fannie and Freddie had spread through the financial system, and it was too late.

As republicans are the ones who are generally labeled as “big business sell-outs” constantly pushing for deregulation, one may reasonably ask why, in this case, the roles seemed to be reversed.

First of all, democrats were bought-off by campaign contributions from Frannie Mae and Freddie Mac. Long-time member and current chairman of the Senate Banking Committee democrat Chris Dodd made the top of the list with a purchase price of $165,400. The second top sell-out was non other than…you guessed it, then rookie senator, President Barack Obama. Other democrats making the top of the list include fellow committee member Tim Johnson, current Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, and current Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi.

While they were apparently not as easy to buy off, Fannie and Freddie also contributed to the campaigns of many republicans, including two who also sat on the Senate Banking Committee. Therefore, another motive moved democrats to support the scandal-infested financial institutions. This motive was most commonly presented as “affordable housing”. While those two words have a tendency to create warm fuzzies within liberals, what it really means is putting poor minorities in homes they could in no way truly afford. I wonder how liberals now feel about “affordable housing”, seeing that their compassion-based pipe dream has cost millions of Americans to loose their jobs as well as their homes due to foreclosure. Below is a great video highlighting the role Acorn, Obama, and the dems’ push for “affordable housing” directly and primarily contributed to the housing bubble and resulting collapse.

Is it no surprise that Obama and the dems strive to demonize the executives of the private financial institutions in order to keep attention away from their grievous errors that helped create and/or worsen our current economic woes? How ironic it is that the same individuals who are largely responsible for the collapse of the housing market are now the very same “leaders” who claim to offer the solution to the problem they helped cause. I didn’t know if I should laugh or cry when I visited Chris Dodd’s website and saw that he actually has the nerve to say that he “leads the fight in the Senate for financial regulatory reform”.


Private vs. Socialized Healthcare

November 20, 2009

In a previous post (lie #4) I described how multiple ObamaCare leaders have admitted that a “Public Option” is merely a means to an end – the eventual government take-over of healthcare through a single-payer system. Naturally, one might ask, “Is that so bad? Is socialized healthcare a better system?”. The answer is absolutely, unequivocally, and without a doubt….NO! I will proceed to destroy the five most common arguments in favor of socialized, universal, single-payer healthcare.

False Argument # 1 – Medical treatment is better in countries with socialized healthcare.

The 2007 Lancet Oncology study showed U.S. cancer survival rates were higher in every category than in Europe, especially in Great Britain where their 50-year-old government-run universal healthcare fared worse than the European average.

Also, the 2007 National Bureau of Economic Research study also showed U.S. Cancer survival rates where also higher than in Canada.

Due to mortality as well as the complex and costly nature of treatment, cancer survival rates has become a useful snapshot indicator in healthcare comparisons.

False Argument # 2 – Treatment is more accessible in countries with socialized healthcare.

After proving that the quality of treatment in the U.S. is better than it’s socialized healthcare counterparts, the ObamaCare proponent will predictably complain that the statistics you’ve used illustrate only post-diagnostic data and do not take into account those who, due to financial burden, do not have access to the superior treatment available through private healthcare. Essentially they argue that sacrificing superior treatment is justified if everyone has access to inferior healthcare. While the merit of such a trade-off of quality for quantity is debatable, for the time being I will entertain this argument.

In order to assess the quality of healthcare for all, including those that for whatever reason don’t get treated, statistics illustrating total death counts by cause must be reviewed. Fortunately, we have a 2004 report from the World Health Organization that does just that. When death rates by cause is adjusted for population, the U.S. fares better than the celebrated government healthcare found in Canada, France, Italy, Japan, and the United Kingdom.

I cranked the numbers for each of the six countries previously mentioned. Death rates for “communicable, maternal, perinatal, and nutritional” (which encompasses TB, childhood diseases, and Hepatitis) where lower in the U.S. than France, Japan, and the UK and only slightly worse than Canada and Italy. Cancer (“malignant neoplasms”) death rates carry more weight in significance as between the six countries I reviewed, Cancer is more than 4 times more deadly than communicable, maternal, perinatal, and nutritional illnesses combined. The U.S. had lower death-by-cancer rates than each of it’s socialized healthcare counterparts.

As these numbers represent death by cause totals, it can be concluded that the current private-run healthcare of the U.S. boasts lower death-rates (by illness) than government-run healthcare….even when access to healthcare, or lack thereof, is accounted for.

False Argument # 3 – Socialized healthcare is less expensive than private health-care.

This argument is humorous as lower healthcare spending is one of, if not the greatest reason for the inferior treatment found within socialized healthcare.

Socialized healthcare, as I discussed in a previous post (lie #2), is not a self-sufficient or “deficit-neutral” system. There is never enough tax money coming in to address everyone’s healthcare needs. Therefore, to avoid taxing everyone out of existence (which socialized healthcare gets as close as they can to doing) and spending the country into oblivion, they must set GDP price controls which lead to the rationing of care. Thus, these countries are constantly struggling just to stay afloat and keeping the entire system from imploding on itself. Needless to say, they don’t have the billions necessary to invest toward the development of new and more efficient drugs and treatments. Instead, they wait for those advancements to come out of the US’ private-run healthcare and for the cost to come down enough for their broken system to be able to afford it.

False Argument # 4 – Life expectancy is higher in countries with socialized healthcare.

Warning, this argument is so irrelevant and easy to tear apart it may embarrass the person that spent the time and energy gathering data to prove an irrelevant point. Life expectancy rates do not focus on medical data, but is a broad topic that includes a plethora of non-medical variables such as suicide and alcohol and drug use. The person using this red herring argument is trying to distract you from the medical data that proves their point wrong and is straining to create an argument from irrelevant data.

False Argument # 5 – It’s the government’s purpose to provide critical things such as heatlhcare.

Many things that can be viewed as necessities and as critical were intentionally left unmet and unsubsidized by our founding fathers. Needs such as employment, housing, food, and health insurance where to be provided by, earned, and possessed by a self-sufficient and independent people – not by the government. Essentially, instead of just giving Americans a fish, the goal was to create an environment in which all could have the ability to learn how to fish. To justify a government takeover of healthcare because of it’s important and critical nature, why not put the government in charge of all important and critical needs such as employment and housing?

In the video below Bill Whittle does an excellent job of explaining the dangers of making a commodity a right and of making the healthcare of individuals a collective responsibility.

This type of thinking is what I believe led communist Soviet Union’s Nikita Khrushchev to prophecy that the U.S. will be led into communism through “small doses of socialism”. Such thinking leads many to believe that Obama’s magical utopian road of entitlements ultimately leads to the dark and freedomless destination of communism.


The Big 5: ObamaCare Deception

November 16, 2009

As the Affordable Health Care for America Act (H.R. 3962) continues to face debate and scrutiny in the Senate, it seems appropriate to review the history of ObamaCare and what we’ve seen along the road of healthcare reform. Such a recap is disheartening as we review the 5 big lies Obama and the democrats have made in their effort for healthcare reform.

LIE # 1 – Obama wants transparent negotiations and an informed public.

Throughout his presidential campaign, Obama repeatedly declared that throughout the healthcare reform process, he would ensure negotiations would be televised on C-SPAN, that he’d “enlist the American people in this process”, and that “the public would be part of the conversation”. However, less than three weeks after taking office, Obama began multiple closed-door meetings with private health-industry executives which resulted in a secret deal with the same pharmaceutical lobbyist he criticized in one of his campaign commercials.

Obama proceeded to create a sense of urgency by pressuring congress to pass the 1,000 page bill in less than a month, before the August recess. When such a rush leads democratic congressman John Conyers to state that there was no point in even reading the bill, its apparent the American people are being left out of the process and conversation.

As the healthcare debate continued, information and opposition toward ObamaCare seemed to increase in tandem. In response, the white has led a fascist-like campaign to silence opposition through fear and intimidation. Obama’s threat to the first amendment was most clearly illustrated through the illegal establishment of flag@whitehouse.gov as a means for people to report “fishy” opposition toward health insurance reform. This was followed by the White House’s effort to attack what seems to be the only news organization who isn’t working for the Obama administration. The White House’s war on Fox News even led competing CNN to defend a news organization’s right to report political opposition without fear of attack by the government.

LIE # 2 – Obama: “I will not sign a plan that adds one dime to our deficits – either now or in the future. Period.”

President Obama created quite a stir by issuing his own “read my lips” declaration by stating he would not support healthcare reform that isn’t financially sustainable. Obama’s acknowledgment that being deficit-neutral is a critical component of a successful government-run healthcare program assured Americans that our country will not follow in the footsteps of price-controlled rationing found in other socialized heathcare programs world-wide. If only it were true…

It was the number-crunching wizards of the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) that exposed the lie. Their review of the proposed bill determined that it would not only not be deficit-neutral, but that it would increase the deficit by $239 Billion in the next decade. CBO director and wizard master Douglas Elmendorf also stated that “the proposal would probably generate substantial increases in federal budget deficits during the decade beyond the current 10-year budget window.” It’s no surprise then that Obama’s deception would be referred to as “deficit dishonesty“.

LIE # 3 – Healthcare for illegal aliens.

Many were surprised at Rep. Joe Wilson’s break of decorum when he shouted, “you lie” during President Obama’s heath care address to congress. While fellow members of congress were well aware of what fueled and arguably justified such an outburst, at the time, most Americans were not.

Obama and the democrats claimed that ObamaCare wouldn’t offer tax-funded healthcare to illegal immigrants, pointing to section 246 of H.R. 3200 that, on paper, limits “federal payments for affordability credits on behalf of individuals who are not lawfully present in the United States.” However, this lie was later exposed by the Congressional Research Service which concluded that in practice, there would be no restrictions keeping illegal aliens from receiving government-offered healthcare.

No big deal though, with illegal immigrant loop-holes brought to light, the bill could simply be amended to ensure that the immigration status of ObamaCare participants is verified. This would be easy through the use of already existing and effective programs such as the Systematic Alien Verification for Entitlements (SAVE) program. Two such amendments doing just that were authored by republican representatives Nathan Deal of Georgia and Dean Heller of Nevada. Democrats showed their true colors by voting down both amendments, implicitly allowing illegal immigrants to milk the would-be Obamacare.

Thus, with two small words, Wilson successfully brought the illegal immigrant deception to the attention of the American people. It was so successful, the resulting backlash of an informed public forced Obama to support a provision that would require proof of citizenship for enrollment in ObamaCare. ‘Atta boy Joe!

LIE # 4 – The real purpose of the Public Option.

Most in favor of ObamaCare claim that the purpose of a “public option” is to complete against private healthcare in an effort to drive down costs. For the time being, I’ll put aside the fact that you can’t possibly consider tax-funded government programs as real “competition” in the private market, or that subsidizing the price of heatlhcare in no ways changes the cost of healthcare. Instead I’ll simply point out the fact that many of the liberal leaders of healthcare reform have outright admitted that the public option is simply a “sneaky strategy” to eventually usher in a complete government takeover of the private healthcare industry though a single-payer system. Such ObamaCare proponents include Kathleen Sebelius (Sec. of Health), Rahm Emanuel (Obama’s Chief of Staff), Rep. Barney Frank, Sen. Russ Feingold, Rep. Jan Schakowsky, Paul Krugman (NY Times), and Ezra Klein (Washington Post).

In a later post, I’ll further debate the merits of socialized healthcare and single-payer systems. For now, lets stop pretending that ObamaCare is anything other than what it has been repeatedly admitted to be…a means to eventually replace the private health industry, not to compete with it.

LIE # 5 – The “doctor fix” accounting trick.

 

Obama set a $900 Billion price tag maximum for healthcare reform. The problem is that dealing with healthcare includes trying to fix the mess found in Medicare which includes the failed “sustainable growth rate” (SGR) payment formula which limits reimbursements for participating physicians. Repealing the SGR, a critical concession to gain ObamaCare support from doctors and the American Medical Association, costs $247 Billion.

Solution? Both House and Senate democrats proposed simply moving the $247 Billion “doc fix” into a separate piece of legislation and presto! More money to spend while still being able to claim it’s under Obama’s $900 Billion price tag.

Hopefully, the American people will see past the lies and deception used by Obama and the democrats and urge and pressure their representatives to reject ObamaCare.


Fighting Against Same-Sex Legal Rights will Harm “Traditional Marriage”

November 4, 2009

Recently, I was made aware of Washington state’s Referendum 71 which upholds offering domestic partnerships the same legal rights as marriage. Protect Marriage Washington launched a campaign in opposition to Referendum 71. Some may be surprised to learn that I strongly oppose Protect Marriage Washington and any effort to withhold legal rights to domestic partnerships. As a California resident and someone who was intimately and passionately involved in the Yes on Prop 8 campaign, I feel California best illustrates why I feel this way.

California domestic partners enjoy the same legal rights and obligations as do married spouses through CA Family Code 297.5. This fact was a powerful tool in exposing the lies spread by the gays about “civil rights” and was cited in Yes on 8 commercials.

Following Prop 8’s passage, it was challenged before the same CA Supreme Court that had recently established same-sex marriage. Fortunately, because gay’s had the same legal rights, the arguments made in court had to do with nomenclature and the people’s right to amend their constitution, and not about civil rights for gays…and thus, Prop 8 was upheld by the court. Surely, had the opposition been able to argue that real legal rights were being withheld based on sexual orientation, Prop 8 would’ve lost, and gay “marriage” would’ve been forced upon California. In other words, offering domestic partners the same legal rights ended up saving traditional “marriage”. Should other states face a similar battle over “same-sex marriage” without offering the same legal rights to gay couples, the courts will likely force gay “marriage” as a means to secure those legal rights…so that in the end, gays will successfully redefine “marriage” on top of securing the legal rights.

Due to the fundamental differences between men and women, the balanced environment created by a man and woman committed in marriage, all things being equal, provide the ideal situation in which a child can be raised. However, the reality is that gays do and will always be able to adopt and raise children. Many of the legal rights given in “marriage” are for the benefit and protection of children. Withholding those rights puts children at risk and punishes them for the sexual orientation of their legal guardians.

It must be understood that fighting against giving gays the same legal rights will be viewed by the majority of the public as hateful discrimination. The technique the gays will use will be to give countless examples of the complications and horrors that gays AND THE CHILDREN INVOLVED can and will face without the same legal rights.

Ultimately, judges will have to decide if legal rights can constitutionally (state & federal) be withheld from someone due to their sexual orientation. It doesn’t take a genius or a prophet to foresee that such denial of legal rights will be determined to be discrimination against sexual orientation.

As an American, I’m proud of the fact that we do not tolerate discrimination in extending legal rights and protections. As a defender of traditional marriage and democracy, I am also proud that we are able to decide as a society what values and ideals we recognize and promote, including the definition of “marriage”.


Integrity in Politics

April 8, 2009
Integrity is one of, if not the most important and valuable characteristics one can develop. Those entrusted to represent the voice and welfare of the citizens of local, state, and federal governments have the responsibility and duty to do so with integrity. Politicians who are misleading and demonstrate blatant inconsistency between what they say, and what they do, should be exposed and “called-out”. I am optimistic and grateful that many others educate themselves on relevant and current political issues and take action to hold their elected representatives responsible for their promises and rhetoric.

Those who neglect to fulfill their duty with integrity can and should expect serious consequences. Such is the case of California Republican Assemblyman Anthony Adams, who is facing a powerful recall campaign. A campaign I have donated to and hope is successful.

To me this issue is much larger than my frustration of wasteful government spending and high taxes. I have more respect for a politician who says they are in favor of “tax-and-spend” policies (like Obama) and acts in accordance to those principles (however wrong I feel they may be), than a politician that says one thing and does another.

Click here to see my open letter to Assemblyman Cameron Smyth which was published this morning in The Signal newspaper. In it I criticize his failure to have his actions reflect his rhetoric in regards to being strongly opposed to tax increases. It should be noted that I gave Smyth the opportunity to respond and explain his actions (as I’ve observed them) in case I had misjudged him. I could have retracted my letter before it was published, but received no response from him.