Saturday, March 6, 2010

There is Still Time to Say No to Obamacare

Raquel Okyay has this to say about the Health Care proposal:

"The truth is the President, together with the main architects of the proposed plan - Reid, Pelosi, Baucus and SEIU Boss (and most frequent guest at the Obama-shah White House) Andy Stern have successfully designed a system that over time squeezes out private insurance companies through excess regulation and taxation that will force the federal government to be national insurer and in charge of providing health care to all Americans – make no mistake this has been the plan all along."

Raquel adds a list of the damage that Obama's plan would do:

-Doctors will face financial penalties beginning in 2014 for treating high-cost patients with complex conditions.

-Emergency Rooms would receive fewer resources to deal with higher caseloads of Medicaid patients.

-Health care will be provided to all non-U.S. citizens, illegal or otherwise.

-You will be forced to buy government-run health care under penalty of fines and/prison.

-Imposes almost half a trillion dollars worth of new taxes, fees and penalties on individuals, families and businesses.

-Government tells doctors what and how much they may own.

-Non-resident aliens will be exempt from individual taxes.

Raquel adds a list of Senators to contact:

Here is a list of key Senators – contact one or some of them:

Senator Evan Bayh (IN)
Chief of Staff: Thomas Sugar)
Washington, DC (202) 224-5623 / (202) 228-1377 fax

Senator Michael Bennet (CO)
Chief of Staff: Jeff Lane
Washington, DC (202) 224-5852 / (202) 228-5036

Senator Joe Lieberman (CT)
Chief of Staff: Clarine Riddle (
Washington, DC (202) 224-4041 / (202) 224-9750 fax
Hartford (860) 549-8463 / (866) 317-2242 fax

Senator Bill Nelson (NE)
Chief of Staff: Tim Becker
Washington, DC (202) 224-6551 / (202) 228-0012 fax
Chief of Staff: Elizabeth Burks (
Washington, DC (202) 224-4843 / (202) 228-1371 fax

Senator Mary Landrieu (LA)
Chief of Staff: Jane Campbell (
Washington, DC (202) 224-5824 / (202) 224-9735 fax

Senator Mark Pryor (AR)
Chief of Staff: Bob Russell (
Washington, DC (202) 224-2353 / (202) 228-0908 fax

Senator Mark Warner (VA)
Chief of Staff: Luke Albee (
Washington, DC (202) 224-2023 / (202) 224-6295 fax

Senator Mark Begich (AK)
Chief of Staff: David Ramseur (
Washington, DC (202) 224-3004 / (202) 224-2354 fax

Senator Robert Byrd (WV)
Chief of Staff: Barbara Videnieks (
Washington, DC (202) 224-3954 / (202) 228-0002 fax

Senator Thomas Carper (DE)
Chief of Staff: Jim Reilly (
Washington, DC (202) 224-2441 / (202) 228-2190 fax

Senator Jim Webb (VA)
Chief of Staff: Paul Reagan (
Washington, DC (202) 224-4024 / 202-228-6363 fax

Senator Jon Tester (MT)
Chief of Staff (Deputy): Mary Walsh
Washington, DC (202) 224-2644 / (202) 224-8594 fax

Senator Olympia Snowe (ME)
Chief of Staff: Unknown
Washington, DC (202) 224-5344 / (202) 224-1946 f

Senator Blanche Lincoln (AR)
Chief of Staff: Elizabeth Burks (
Washington, DC (202) 224-4843 / (202) 228-1371 f

Senator Mark Pryor (AR)
Chief of Staff: Bob Russell (email address unknown)
Washington, DC (202) 224-2353 / (202) 228-0908 fax

In the House of Representatives – contact one or more of the following “Targeted House of Representative Members” (Source: Tea Party Patriots):

Rep. Michael Arcuri, New York 24th
DC Office Number: (202) 225-3665, DC Fax Number: (202) 225-1891

Rep. John Boccieri, Ohio, 16th
DC Office Number: (202) 225-3876, DC Fax Number: (202) 225-3059
Local Office Number: (330) 489-4414, Local Fax Number: (330) 489-4448

Rep. Allen Boyd, Florida, 2nd
DC Office Number: (202) 225-5235, DC Fax Number: (202) 225-5615
Local Office Number: (850) 561-3979, Local Fax Number: (850) 681-2902

Rep. Christopher Carney, Pennsylvania, 16th
DC Office Number: (202) 225-3731, DC Fax Number: (202) 225-9594
Local Office Number: (570) 585-9988, Local Fax Number: (570) 585-9977

Rep. Gerald “Gerry” Connolly, Virginia, 11th
DC Office Number: (202) 225-1492 DC Fax Number: (202) 225-3071
Local Office Number: (703) 256-3071, Local Fax Number: (703) 354-1284

Rep. Henry Cuellar, Texas 28th
DC Office Number: 202-225-1640, DC Fax Number: 202-225-1641
Local Office Number: (210) 271-2851, Local Fax Number: (210) 277-6671

Rep. Steve Driehaus, Ohio, 1st
DC Office Number: (202) 225-2216, DC Fax Number: (202) 225-3012
Local Office Number: (513) 684-2723, Local Fax Number: (513) 421-8722

Rep. Chet Edwards, Texas, 17th
DC Office Number: 202-225-6105, DC Fax Number: Fax: 202-225-0350
Local Office Number: (979) 691-8797, Local Fax Number: (979) 691-8939

Rep. Brad Ellsworth, Indiana, 8th
DC Office Number: (202) 225-4636, DC Office Fax: (202) 225-3284
Local Office Number: (812) 465-6484, Local Fax Number: (812) 422-4761

Rep. Bob Etheridge, North Carolina, 2nd
DC Office Number: (202) 225-4531
Local Office Number: (919) 829-9122

Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, Arizona, 8th
DC Office Number: (202) 225-2542, DC Fax Number: (202) 225-0378
Local Office Number: (520) 881-3588, Local Fax Number: (520) 322-9490

Rep. Deborah “Debbie” Halvorson, Illinois, 11th
DC Office Number: (202) 225-3635, DC Fax Number: (202) 225-3521
Local Office Number: (815) 726-4998, Local Fax Number: (815) 726-8024

Rep. Paul W. Hodes, New Hampshire, 2nd
DC Office Number: (202) 225-5206, DC Fax Number: (202) 225-2946
Local Office Phone: (603) 223-9814, Local Fax Number: (603) 223-9819

Rep. Jay Inslee, Washington, 1st
DC Office Number: (202) 225-6311, DC Fax Number: (202) 226-1606
Local Office Number: (360) 598-2342, Local Fax Number: (360) 598-3650

Rep. Paul Kanjorski, Pennsylvania, 11th
DC Office Number: 202-225-6511, DC Fax Number: 202-225-0764
Local Office Number: 570-825-2200, Local Fax Number: 570-825-8685

Rep. Marcy Kaptur, Ohio, 9th
DC Office Number: (202) 225-4146, DC Fax Number: (202) 225-7711
Local Office Number: (419) 259-7500, Local Fax Number: (419) 255-9623

Rep. Ann Kirkpatrick, Arizona, 1st
DC Office Number: (202) 225-2315, DC Fax Number: (202) 226-9739
Local Office Number: (928) 226-6914, Local Fax Number: (928) 226-2876

Rep. Ron Klein, Florida, 22nd
DC Office Number: (202) 225.3026, DC Fax Number: (202) 225.8398
Local Office Number: (561) 544-6910, Local Fax Number: (561) 544-2864

Rep. Suzanne Kosmas, Florida, 24th
DC Office Number: (202) 225-2706, DC Fax Number: (202) 226-6299
Local Office Number: (407) 208-1106, Local Fax Number: (407) 208-1108

Rep. Dennis J. Kucinich, Ohio 10th
DC Office Number: (202) 225-5871
Local Office Number: (216) 228-8850

Rep. Jim Langevin, Rhode Island, 2nd
DC Office Number: (202) 225-2735, DC Fax Number: (202) 225-5976
Local Office Number: (401) 732-9400, Local Fax Number: (401) 737-2982

Rep. Stephen Lynch, Massachusetts, 9th
DC Office Number: 202-225-8273, DC Fax Number: 202-225-3984
Local Office Number: 617-428-2000, Local Office Fax: 617-428-2011

Rep. Daniel B. Maffei, New York, 25th
DC Fax Number: (202) 225-3701, DC Fax Number: (202) 225-4042
Local Office Number: (315) 423-5657, Local Fax Number: (315) 423-5669

Rep. Ed Markey, Massachusetts, 7th
DC Office Number: 202-225-2836
Local Office Number: 781-396-2900

Rep. Alan B. Mollohan, West Virginia, 1st
DC Office Number: (202) 225-4172, DC Fax Number: (202) 225-7564
Local Office Number: (304) 292-3019, Local Fax Number: (304) 292-3027

Rep. John Murtha, Pennsylvania, 12th
DC Office Number: (202) 225-2065, DC Fax Number: (202) 225-5709
Local Office Number: (814) 535-2642, Local Fax Number: (814) 539-6229

Rep. Glenn C. Nye III, Virginia, 2nd
DC Office Number: (202) 225-4215, DC Fax Number: (202) 225-4218
Local Office Number: (757) 326-6201, Fax: (757) 326-6209

Rep. Tom Perriello, Virginia, 5th
DC Office Number: (202) 225-4711, DC Fax Number: (202) 225-5681
Local Office Number: (434) 293-9631, Local Fax Number: (434) 293-9632

Rep. Gary Peters, Michigan, 9th
DC Office Number: (202) 225-5802, DC Fax Number: (202) 226-2356
Local Office Number: (248) 273-4227, Local Fax Number: (248) 273-4704

Rep. Nick Rahall, West Virginia, 3rd
DC Office Number: (202) 225-3452
Local Office Number: (304) 325-6222

Rep. Laura Richardson, California, 37th
DC Office Number: (202) 225-7924, DC Fax Number: (202) 225-7926
District Office Number: (202) 225-7924, District Fax Number: (202) 225-7926

Rep. Ciro Rodriguez, Texas 23rd
DC Office Number: (202) 225-4511, DC Fax Number: (202) 225-2237
Local Office Number: (830) 757-8398, Local Fax Number: (830) 752-1893

Rep. Dutch Ruppersberger, Maryland, 2nd
DC Office Number: 202-225-3061, DC Fax Number: 202-225-3094
Local Office Number: 410-628-2701, Local Fax Number: 410-628-2708

Rep. Linda Sanchez, California, 39th
DC Office Number: (202) 225-6676
Local Office Number: (562) 860-5050

Rep. Kurt Schrader, Oregon, 5th
DC Office Number: (202) 225-5711, DC Fax Number: (202) 225-5699
Local Office Number: (503) 588-9100, Local Fax Number: (503) 588-5517

Rep. David Scott, Georgia, 13th
DC Office Number: (202) 225-2939, DC Fax Number: (202) 225-4628
Local Office Number: (770) 210-5073, Local Fax Number: (770) 210-5673

Rep. Adam Smith, Washington, 9th
DC Office Number: (202) 225-8901
Local Office Number: (253) 593-6600, Local Fax Number: (253) 593-6776

Rep. Peter Visclosky, Indiana, 1st
DC Office Number: (202) 225-2461, DC Fax Number: (202) 225-2493
Local Office Number: (219) 795-1844, DC Fax Number: (219) 795-1850

Rep. David Wu, Oregon, 1st
DC Office Number: (202) 225-0855, DC Fax Number: (202) 225-9497
Local Office Number: (503) 326-2901, Local Fax Number: (503) 326-5066

Rep. John Adler, New Jersey 3rd
DC Office Number: (202) 225-4765, DC Fax Number: (202) 225-0778
Local Office Number: (732) 608-7235, Local Fax Number: (732) 608-7268

Rep. Jason Altmire, Pennsylvania 4th
DC Office Number: (202) 225-2565, DC Fax Number: (202) 226-2274
Local Office Number: (724) 378-0928, Local Fax Number: (724) 378-6171

Rep. Brian Baird, Washington 3rd
DC Office Number: (202) 225-3536, DC Fax Number: (202) 225-2478
Local Office Number: (360) 695-6292, Local Fax Number: (360) 695-6197

Rep. John Barrow, Georgia 12th
DC Office Number: (202) 225-2823, DC Fax Number: (202) 225-3377
Local Office Number: (706) 722-4494, Local Fax Number: (706) 722-4496

Rep. Melissa Bean, Illinois 8th
DC Office Number: (202) 225-3711, DC Fax Number: (202) 225-7830
Local Office Number: (847) 517-2927, Local Fax Number: (847) 517-2931

Rep. Marion Berry, Arkansas 1st
DC Office Number: (202) 225-4076, DC Fax Number: (202) 225-5602
Local Office Number: (870) 972-4600, Local Fax Number: (870) 972-4605

Rep. Rick Boucher, Virginia 9th
DC Office Number: (202) 225-3861, DC Fax Number: (202) 225-0442
Local Office Number: (276) 628-1145

Rep. Dennis Cardoza, California 18th
DC Office Number: (202) 225-6131, DC Fax Number: (202) 225-0819
Local Office Number: (209) 383-4455, Local Fax Number: (209) 726-1065

Rep. Travis Childers, Mississippi 1st
DC Office Number: (202) 225-4306, DC Fax Number: (202) 225-3549
Local Office Number: (662) 841-8808, Local Fax Number: (662) 841-8845

Rep. Jim Costa, California 20th
DC Office Number: (202) 225-3341, DC Fax Number: (202) 225-9308
Local Office Number: (559) 495-1620, Local Fax Number: (559) 495-1027

Rep. Artur Davis, Alabama 7th
DC Office Number: (202) 225-2665, DC Fax Number: (202) 226-9567
Local Office Number: (205) 752-5380, Local Fax Number: (205) 752-5899

Rep. Joe Donnelly, Indiana 2nd
DC Office Number: (202) 225-3915, DC Fax Number: (202) 225-6798
Local Office Number: (574) 288-2780, Local Fax Number: (574) 288-2825

Rep. Parker Griffith, Alabama 5th
DC Office Number: (202) 225-4801, DC Fax Number: (202) 225-4392
Local Office Number: (256) 551-0190, Local Fax Number: (256) 551-0194

Rep. Baron Hill, Indiana 9th
DC Office Number: (202) 225-5315, DC Fax Number: (202) 226-6866
Local Office Number: (812) 288-3999, Local Fax Number: (812) 288-3873

Rep. Steve Kagen, Wisconsin 8th
DC Office Number: (202) 225-5655, DC Fax Number: (202) 225-5729
Local Office Number: (920) 437-1954, Local Fax Number: (920) 437-1978

Rep. Daniel Lipinski, Illinois 3rd
DC Office Number: (202) 225-5701, DC Fax Number: (202) 225-1012
Local Office Number: (312) 886-0481, Local Fax Number: (773) 767-9395

Rep. Jim Marshall, Georgia 8th
DC Office Number: (202) 225-6531, DC Fax Number: (202) 225-3013
Local Office Number: (478) 464-0255, Local Fax Number: (478) 464-0277

Rep. Jim Matheson, Utah 2nd
DC Office Number: (202) 225-3011, DC Fax Number: (202) 225-5638
Local Office Number: (801) 486-1236, Local Fax Number: (801) 486-1417

Rep. Michael E. McMahon, New York 13th
DC Office Number: (202) 225-3371, DC Fax Number: (202) 226-1272
Local Office Number: (718) 351-1062, Local Fax Number: (718) 980-0768

Rep. Michael Michaud, Maine 2nd
DC Office Number: (202) 225-6306, DC Fax Number: (202) 225-2943
Local Office Number: (207) 942-6935, Local Fax Number: (207) 942-5907

Rep. Harry Mitchell, Arizona 5th
DC Office Number: (202) 225-2190
Local Office Number: (480) 946-2411

Rep. Collin C. Peterson, Minnesota 7th
DC Office Number: (202) 225-2165, DC Fax Number: (202) 225-1593
Local Office Number: (218) 847-5056

Rep. Mike Ross, Arkansas 4th
DC Office Number: (202) 225-3772, DC Fax Number: (202) 225-1314
Local Office Number: (870) 881-0681, Local Fax Number: (870) 881-0683

Rep. Ike Skelton, Missouri 4th
DC Office Number: (202) 225-2876
Local Office Number: (816) 228-4242

Rep. Bart Stupak, Michigan 1st
DC Office Number: (202) 225-4735, DC Fax Number: (202) 225-4744
Local Office Number: (906) 786-4504, Local Fax Number: (906) 786-4534

Rep. Gene Taylor, Mississippi 4th
DC Office Number: (202) 225-5772, DC Fax Number: (202) 225-7074

RNC Should Go Into the Car Business

Given the persistent failure of the Republican National Committee to find political candidates suitable for a presidential run, perhaps they should consider going into another line. One that would seem to suit them well is the car business. The car companies have failed to find ways to produce quality outputs to compete with the Japanese, and likewise, the RNC has failed to find good quality candidates to compete with the Democrats. The American automobile companies lost their way in the 1940s when they decided to fixate on styling and marketing rather than improving quality, and the RNC lost its way when it decided to focus on providing large benefits to corrupt special interests rather than focusing on limiting government and supporting the Constitution. The American car companies depend on a corrupt government bailout and the RNC supports an even more corrupt bailout of investment banks.

The car business would be well suited to the RNC. Instead of financing political campaigns, they can take government money and open up shop in Mexico.

Friday, March 5, 2010

Term Limits Would Stimulate Leadership Development

The current political system has led to a leadership drought. The reason is that the Congress is entrenched and Congressmen are time servers who obsequiously obey the party leadership in order to gain committee appointments and chairmanships.

Term limits would increase the reservoir of frustrated, experienced talent that lacks a job. It is time to begin kicking Congressmen out of office after 4 terms and Senators after one. Americans can no longer find leadership at the national level that is willing to think for itself. America's leaders have become a crop of homogenized drones who avoid risk and parrot the dying media for fear of upsetting the political establishment's rickety apple cart. Newt Gingrich is still being presented as someone of importance in the GOP. What more need be said? We need structural change. A clown like Obama seemed good only because the tens of millions of better qualified Americans are not power hungry enough to play the game.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Tea Parties Should Limit Themselves to State and Local Politics

Sarah Palin thinks that Jefferson sang this song.

It has become increasingly evident that the Tea Party lacks any national leadership. D. Eris of Poli-Tea and I have debated a related point a couple of times, with Eris claiming the desirability of third party candidates. That may be the case, but Eris's claim still begs the question as to who a charismatic and capable national leader might be.

Sarah Palin is great looking but lacks the intellectual foundations to be a leader. Reagan was no genius, as Chet of Snyder's bar pointed out last night, but he had an intuitive grasp and appointed some good people (not good enough in my opinion but better than any Republican since). Palin does not know anything about the history, political ideas or ideology of freedom. She thinks Jefferson is an African-American dry cleaner in Manhattan who "moved on up to the east side." She doesn't know why anyone might question the Fed, or who in American history favored doing so. In fact, she would be surprised if she found out. This is not to disparage her as a person. We are all members of what Kant called the Kingdom of Ends and so Palin deserves the same respect I give to Sherman Hemsley, who played George Jefferson. But as a presidential candidate she is too unread, and I definitely fear that the special interests may have gotten to her by now. I would make the same observations but to a lesser degree about any of the conservative media people, specifically including all of the announcers on Fox.

The fact that the Tea Party people have tended to congregate around Fox says that the movement is too green to support a national political candidate. The Tea Party needs to start from the local level and there needs to be a core coalition that starts to read, read, read about the ideas that built America. Anyone who does not know what Andrew Jackson stood for or why he would not have liked Abraham Lincoln does not know enough about American history to make sense of what is going on today.

Thus, I urge the Tea Party to develop a relationship with the Foundation for Economic Education. That fine institution has quietly served as a fulcrum on which the freedom movement has rested since the 1940s. Without the support it gave to many freedom oriented scholars through the years, the ideas that are alive today would have died. How many in the Tea Party have taken the time to educate themselves? To develop a relationship with the Foundation for Economic Education? To read about the substance of American history, including the banking controversies that were never resolved?

Moreover, none, I say not one, of the national figures in the Republican Party has the intellectual background nor the moral sense (and I specifically include Newt Gingrich) to represent a freedom movement. Thus, the Tea Party has no leadership and does not know where to turn.

It is only at the local level that freedom oriented candidates can be developed. It is time for the Tea Party to develop candidates who will evolve into the leadership of the coming nine decades. This must be done at the local, not the national level. I do not even think it can be done at the state level. A state like New York just appointed Richard M. Nixon's son-in-law, Edward F. Cox, a Wall Street attorney, to head the state's GOP. Is a Wall Street attorney the direction in which a party corrupted by massive subsidies to Wall Street ought to turn?

Nullification and the Tenth Amendment

Contrairimairi of Chicago sent me a link to Michael Boldin's excellent blog on the Tenth Amendment Center site. Boldin's blog is evidence why no media source or national politician ought to be trusted. Questions like nullification and secession are off limits on the Republicrat media, but they ought to be issues that Americans are considering now.

According to Boldin:

"Nullification begins with a decision made in your state legislature to resist a federal law deemed to be unconstitutional. It usually involves a bill, which is passed by both houses and is signed by your governor. In some cases, it might be approved by the voters of your state directly, in a referendum. It may change your state’s statutory law or it might even amend your state constitution. It is a refusal on the part of your state government to cooperate with, or enforce any federal law it deems to be unconstitutional.

"At its very core, nullification is mass civil-disobedience to the federal government with the support of the state apparatus. It’s about 'We the People' exercising our rights whether the politicians or judges in Washington D.C want to give us “permission” to exercise those rights or not."

Boldin goes on to discuss the history of Roscoe Filburn, a farmer who resisted the Roosevelt administration's fascistic agricultural regulations that limited food production at a time when the country was going hungry, during the Great Depression. Boldin points out that once the federal government gets a power it never gives it up. Socialists claim that collectivization is naturally altruistic, but history has concluded that collectivism involves transfers of wealth to the socialists themselves, to Wall Street and ultimately involves starvation and mass murder.

Boldin is spot on. His argument is for a literal interpretation of the 10th Amendment of the Bill of Rights, which reads:

"The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people."

If you accept that we are a nation of laws and that the Constitution governs those laws, then much if not most of the federal legislation of the past 100 years has been unconstitutional. As Boldin points out, "conservatives" have been as complicit as "liberals". In fact, both names are inaccurate; better names would be Taftian Progressives and Rooseveltian Progressives. William Howard Taft was the first twentieth century conservative and was also the second Progressive President. When he favored judicial rather than regulatory enforcement of anti-trust law, his sponsor, Theodore Roosevelt, broke with him and ran as a third party candidate, effectively backing Democrat Woodrow Wilson. Legislation such as Wilson's Federal Reserve Act and establishment of price fixing during World War I have led to the modern day super-state. Ongoing subsidies to many industries, including agriculture, which most national Republicans favor, violate the right to property as does "social welfare" motivated legislation. Both seriously damage social welfare, whether in the name of economic trickle down effects or of debilitating welfare payments to multi-generational poor. No greater harm has been done to the poor than by the Democrats and "social liberals" in the tradition of John Dewey.

I can certainly agree with Boldin when he concludes:

"...we can see that the Tenth Amendment is not about political parties. It’s not about political ideologies. It’s not even about political candidates. It’s about liberty. It was designed to promote your liberty by strictly limiting the powers of the federal government."

The problem facing Boldin and anyone else who cares about freedom is that there is no national voice for freedom.

Jim Crum on American Economic Collapse

Jim Crum of Chicago, who has corresponded frequently with me since the early days of the Obama birth certificate controversy, has published his first article on New Media Journal. Jim is a truly patriotic citizen who claims that freedom will withstand an economic collapse. I think he is right. Jim would like to live in a town called "Theory" because everything the Democrats and Republicrats have done works in theory but not in reality.

Jim notes:

"The trajectory we travel is perfectly clear, it is in the wrong direction, and it raises serious questions as to whether we can pull the nose up on this thing.

"If we cannot exorcise financial rot, moral decay, waste and fraud from our midst, circumstances will force it upon us...

"Liberty can survive -even flourish- in such circumstances as it does not require material wealth to function. Yet, it does require stability and adherence to basic rules and standards of conduct. An economic implosion we could survive, provided that it did not rend the social contract we follow. A very dicey game of chicken we are playing right now..."

Victoria Jackson's "There's a Communist in the White House"

PETE STARK: "I wouldn't dignify you by peeing on your leg"

My West Shokan neighbor forwarded this video of a town hall meeting in which several citizens question Congressman Pete Stark's (D-CA) support for the Obama health plan. It is good that some Americans have been standing up against this fiasco. One woman who questions the bailout says "Obama in eight months has accumulated a deficit three times larger than Bush's." But many Americans do not know what freedom is.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Kant on Ethics

In his Groundwork of the Metaphysics of Morals Immanuel Kant describes three versions of the categorical imperative, the law of reason on which a human will bases moral action. Morality, for Kant, exists in a sphere that is separate from prudent or sensibly motivated action, such as the quest for happiness. Kant did not put much stock in the pursuit of happiness and saw morality as something else, the duty to act in accordance with the universal moral law. The categorical imperative contrasts with the hypothetical imperative, which is just a reason to do things based on real-world motives, such as I aim to find a job so I ought to network and read the help wanted ads. Or I am a ship captain and therefore I ought to do what a ship captain ought to do. In determining what to do, people use what Kant calls "maxims" or rules of behavior such as Madoff's maxim that "lying to people to take their money is a good aim". While hypothetical imperatives determine action of a sensible nature, morality is universal and the categorical imperative is the universal ground of morality.

In contrast to the hypothetical imperative, the categorical imperative governs all maxims and defines morality. Because it is universal, argues, Kant, it must describe morality as a universal law. Thus the first way he states the categorical imperative is:

"Act only on that maxim whereby thou canst at the same time will that it should become a universal law"

In other words, if you do something you are saying that you think it's ok if everyone does it.

The second way that Kant articulates the categorical imperative (and he controversially claims that all three ways are logically equivalent) is:

"So act as to treat humanity, whether in thine own person or in that of any other, in every case as an end withal, never as means only."

In other words, each person is an end to himself, and we should never use or harm others. The link between the categorical imperative and the Golden Rule is evident.

The third way relates to the second:

"A rational being must always regard himself as giving laws either as a member or as a sovereign in a kingdom of ends which is rendered possible by the freedom of will...Morality consists then in the reference of all action to the legislation which alone can render a kingdom of ends possible...In the kingdom of ends everything has either value or dignity...Morality is the condition under which alone a rational being can be an end in himself, since by this alone is it possible that he should be a legislating member in the kingdom of ends."

Philosophers continue to debate about Kant's ethical system to this day. Scholars like Onora O'Neill articulate vigorous and elegant arguments on Kant's behalf, while particularists like Jonathan Dancy argue that moral principles are impossible because any principle must permit exceptions so that the basis on which a moral conclusion is reached cannot be the principle itself.

Kant wrote Groundwork 225 years ago, in 1785. His claim, that morality must be deducible from rational (or "a priori") principles, continues to challenge and amaze readers today.

Even if Kant does not ultimately prove a rational basis for morality, and even if his system has been misused and condemned for fracturing moral belief, it remains a monument to the good, great and reasonable in humanity. Much as Aristotle said that we must look to the phronimos, the man wise in practical wisdom for guidance, so we may look to the moral aims of Immanuel Kant, who sought to ground morality on the cold, hard foundation of practical reason. In doing so he articulated the notion of the kingdom of ends, of humanity's dignity, and so even if his scheme does not withstand philosophical skepticism, it stands as a monument to the ultimate in human morality, intellect and ambition.

Mike Huckabee Should Study Economics

Last week Newsmax reported that Mike Huckabee felt that too many conservatives are too focused on economic rather than social issues. Newsmax's Ralph C. Hallow writes:

"In a sign of lingering divisions on the right, former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee blasted last week's Conservative Political Action Conference, the largest meeting of conservatives in the nation, saying it was unrepresentative of the Republican Party as a whole.

"'CPAC has become increasingly more libertarian and less Republican over the last years - one of the reasons I didn't go this year,' said the former Southern Baptist minister, who enjoys a devoted following among Christian conservative voters and who ran for the GOP presidential nomination in 2008."

I have told my colleagues in New York's Republican Liberty Caucus the same thing I'm going to say to Huckabee. The religious movement cannot go it alone, nor can the libertarian movement. Together they can win. That means that libertarians need to compromise on certain social issues and Christian-oriented Republicans need to respect (compromise is not the right word because libertarian economics is totally compatible with Christianity) libertarians' economics concerns.

During the Bush years big government apologists, who often were really neo-conservatives, adopted Christian rhetoric but advocated policies that subsidized banking and the pharmaceutical industry supposedly in a move toward "compassionate conservativsm". Those of us who are committed libertarians will no longer stand for this. I would rather see Obama in the White House in 2012 than another Republican like George Bush or Mike Huckabee.

So Mr. Huckabee has to make up his mind. Either he will work with freedom oriented Americans, or he will remain a newscaster.

Moreover, the idea that there is anything "compassionate" or "social justice" oriented about Keynesian economics is ridiculous. Anyone who thinks that should contact the Foundation for Economic Education and obtain a copy of Henry Hazlitt's Economics in One Lesson. Laissez-faire capitalism provides greater social justice than any other economic system in human history.

Governor Huckabee, it's time to study economics.

Let Socialists Live with American Exceptionalism

In 1630 John Winthrop, the governor of the Massachusetts Bay Colony, spoke these words:

"for wee must Consider that wee shall be as a Citty upon a Hill, the eies of all people are uppon us; soe that if wee shall deale falsely with our god in this worke wee have undertaken and soe cause him to withdrawe his present help from us, wee shall be made a story and a byword through the world..."

Since then, Americans have considered themselves to be exceptional: the freest, most God-fearing, successful and since World War II the most powerful nation. It is not surprising that those who dislike America claim that America ought not to be an exception; that it ought to adopt the tyrannical and godless practices of Europe. "Americans are foolish for not copying the Germans," claim the America-haters, the socialists and the progressives.

Yet I have seen or heard of few who would trade their place here for citizenship in other nations. Who among them offers to move to socialist nations like India or Cuba, who after sixty years have dirt poor economies? On the other hand, I have seen many, many come here from Europe, eager to partake of the fruits of 19th century laissez faire, that still flower but are dying, and patronizingly claim that America should become more like the Europe from which they departed. Such people should return home. And as Americans have heeded the naysayers, the socialists, those who hate freedom and who would trade it for a world that minimizes maximum loss, America has declined and lost its virtue.

Let us re-read De Tocqueville, who argued that America would occupy a special place in the world. America was greatest without central banking; without a planned economy; without a big government in Washington or the state capitals. And as we have imitated the Greeks, the Spaniards, the French and the British, so have we stumbled.

Monday, March 1, 2010

Jewish Socialists Continue to Collaborate with the Holocaust

I recently blogged on Hannah Arendt's discussion of Jews' cooperation with the German National Socialists in their own mass murder through the Judenraten, the Jewish Councils that assisted the Nazis in facilitating an orderly movement of Jews into concentration camps. While Hannah Arendt attributes their cooperation to the moral decline associated with National Socialism, I claim that socialism per se, national socialism, socialism in one country or of any other variety, contributes to obedience to authority that in turn leads to collaboration with tyranny. Glenda McGee recently forwarded my blog to a left wing activist (and published poet) in the Village of Woodstock, NY who briefly responded to my blog and I respond to his comments.

The founding fathers, especially the Anti-Federalists, viewed private ownership of guns and the ability of private citizens to constitute a militia as crucial to defense against tyranny. English history is full of instances of taxation and tax revolts, and as well, other forms of tyranny such as religious suppression. But the founding fathers, although some like Hamilton were in fact socialists, could never have envisioned a system as horrific as the socialism that was conceptualized in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries nor the mass murders to which socialism led in Cambodia, Vietnam, Cuba, China, Germany and worst of all, the USSR.

The respondent writes:

>Yes, we (human beings) are almost always complicit, to a greater or lesser degree, in our victimization at the hands of other human beings. This is not news. Native Americans allowed themselves to be used as scouts by the U.S. Army in its brutal campaigns against the Indians in the mid- to late-19th century. Closer to our time and more apropos of the behavior of Jewish councils in World War II, the French notoriously collaborated with the Nazis (the "Resistance" was much, much smaller in number than postwar myth makes it out to be), as did citizens in every country the Nazis invaded (think of Quisling in Norway, whose name has become synonymous with treachery to one's own people). To posit that this very widespread human tendency to save one's own skin at the expense of others has something to do with an ingrained "tribal socialism" is misleading.

>Also, unless I'm mistaken, the Jewish councils were mostly composed of upstanding members of the community — the more well-to-do, the upper class. These people did not have socialist ideals; they had vested interests in maintaining the status quo. And we should note, too, that as far as Hitler was concerned, there was not a lot of difference between socialists (or communists) and Jews; they were all fodder for the ovens.

My response:

>Do upper class American Jews like George Soros and half of Hollywood have socialist or capitalist ideals? Since Soros was a prime backer of Obama, as was Warren Buffett, might we conclude that socialism and upper class socioeconomic status go hand in hand? And why would it have been different in the 1940s?

The leading Jewish Progressives in pre-World War II America included: Walter Lippmann, Walter Weyl, Bernard Baruch and Robert Moses. All were German Jews from upper class backgrounds and all were socialists or bordering on it (Progressive/corporatists like Moses or Baruch). Likewise, the leading WASP socialists of the pre World War I period were often trained in German universities, which were the source of Progressivism in America. The reason that Progressivism grew so rapidly in the US was the large number of upper class US graduate students who went to Germany for graduate school in the post Civil War era, the Gilded Age, at a time when only 5% of the population attended college. The graduates came back advocating the same socialism that upper class Jews of German ancestry like Walter Weyl advocated when he taught at Wharton.

It was the upper class that was most strongly socialist and this was true in the US going back to Alexander Hamilton, who advocated a socialist (government owned) manufacturing industry. The Whigs were the upper class, more socialist party in America between 1830 and 1856. Thereafter, the Republicans were the more socialist/upper class of the two parties (they were basically the same as the Whigs) until 1932, when the Democrats adopted Whig socialism cloaked in Jacksonian rhetoric, which has always been a lie. Of course, the socialism of Hamilton would not have repealed private property rights or fostered tyranny to the degree that the Marxist advocates of socialism in one country or the National Socialists of Germany did.

In America, socialism was advocated most strongly by the patrician Theodore Roosevelt and his advisers, Herbert Croly and George Perkins, president of International Harvester and adviser to JP Morgan before TR's patrician cousin, FDR, picked up the mantle. Socialism by its own nature favors the upper class because they can more flexibly implement their whims when all of the nation is forced to live at their mercy. Hence, the segment of the upper class with strongly developed power needs (Kennedy, Soros) have always been socialist leaders.

As far as Hitler, not only did he not mind socialism, he was an aggressive socialist himself. Prior to Hitler, the Nazi Party had been called the German Worker's Party. Its 25 point program was socialist and included advocacy of expansion of national health insurance. "'The German Workers' Party name was changed by Hitler to include the term National Socialist. Thus the full name was the National Socialist German Workers' Party (Nationalsozialistische Deutsche Arbeiterpartei or NSDAP) called for short, Nazi." Note that the terms "national socialist" that Hitler adopted and "socialism in one country" that Stalin adopted are logically equal. As a result, left-wing historians prefer to incorrectly call Hitler "fascist".

Nazism was very much socialist in operation. Hitler's government oversaw and directed industry. Germany's was a socialist, centrally planned economy.

Without socialism the Jews would have been much more able to resist. For instance, if they had owned guns and had private property rights resistance would have been much easier. Who favors gun control today, socialist Jews or the Tea Party? In other words, American Jews continue to advocate the holocaust accomodation that killed the Jews in Germany. They call themselves "progressives" in doing so.

Nazism was financed through the same Keynesian economics that Jewish progressives and neo-conservatives advocate today. Nazism was very much liked by progressive Democrats of the World War II era, such as Joseph Kennedy, who advocated appeasement and lost his job as ambassador to Britain because he said that Germany was the new progressive model and democracy was finished.

As well, the Swedish socialist economist Gunnar Myrdal was an open supporter of Hitler and the Nazis during the 1930s. The socialist Swedes were officially neutral but quietly admired and supported Hitler (including his anti-Semitism, according to some) through the war.

It seems evident that the socialist impulse toward belief in collectivism; toward belief in the justice of unlimited majority power; opposition to individual rights such as the right to bear arms and the right of private property; belief in the right of the state to monopolize money and redirect its value into the hands of the military and banking elite all militate toward holocaust risk to this day. Socialists believe that the collective ought to have authority over the individual. Where in socialist ideology is there emphasis on the right of the individual to resist forcible tyranny of the collective? People who trust in the authority of the state are more, not less, likely to trust in the authority of the Nazi state, or of some future tyrannical state.

Even today, the increasing power of the United States is viewed as tyrannical by Jewish libertarians, but viewed with ardor by Jewish socialists. In their eyes, the state can do no wrong. So where would the Jews of Europe have found the intellectual resources to resist the Nazi state? Where in the socialist imagination would such resistance reside?

Milton Friedman made similar arguments in Capitalism and Freedom, and he was right. The Jews have been their own worst enemies. The current positions of the majority of Jews are exactly the same as those that were widespread in Germany between 1880 and 1920 and that are directly linked to the rise of Nazism.

Sunday, February 28, 2010

Repeated Betrayals by the Media, GOP Leadership

Members of the freedom movement will have to create their own leadership from scratch and must never trust media sources. Someone posted a complaint that I have unfairly questioned Glenn Beck. Actually, if anyone thinks that Glenn Beck is trustworthy or that he should not be questioned, rather than reading my blog please pick up a subscription to the New York Times, because trust is for suckers.

The freedom movement has no, I repeat no, representative on the national level. If you favor big government, then trust Mitt Romney and Sarah Pailin.

As far as Beck goes, when the chips were down, he favored the bailout. We will see if he continues to favor pro Wall Street candidates like Rick Perry or Mitt Romney. I have yet to hear of Beck proposing an alternative to the Federal Reserve system. This might include competitive money supplies, repeal of the legal tender law, or advocacy of the gold standard or other commodity basis for money. Unless government's and Wall Street's ability to expand the money supply at your expense is curtailed, government will continue to grow and you will continue to become poorer.

If you want to be loyal to a TV personality, pick someone with credibility, like Mickey Mouse or the Three Stooges. My favorite was always Curly. In news and politics, I have no reason to believe in anyone at this point in history. If you want a savior, go to church, don't watch TV news.

How Limousine Liberals Support the Rich

I just sent this letter to the editor of my local newspaper, the Olive Press. I have been writing to them each month:

A number of Olive residents have questioned my claim that limousine liberals favor the wealthy, i.e., themselves. The financial elite has often been called the military industrial complex (MIC) but is more accurately a nexus of real estate, Wall Street and commercial banking with the MIC and so I will refer to it as the banking elite.

Gabriel Kolko in his Triumph of Conservatism shows that the establishment of the Federal Reserve Bank was part of a larger movement, Progressivism, that reflected the banking elite's interests. This followed three decades of cumulative politicization of the economy by the Mugwumps and Populists of the 1880s and 1890s. One fruit of these movements, the 1890 Sherman Anti-trust Act, supported increasing concentration of industry. Martin J. Sklar provides detailed documentation in his Corporate Reconstruction of American Capitalism 1890-1916. The Federal Reserve Act in 1913 further enhanced the banking elite's domination, which was accelerated in 1932 when Franklin D. Roosevelt abolished the gold standard and confiscated all privately held gold.

The way that the Federal Reserve Bank helps the banking elite at the expense of the average American is that it increases the number of dollars in circulation, distributing them to the banking system. The banking system takes the reserves that the Fed gives it and expands the reserves further through fractional reserve banking. Briefly, when the fractional reserve banking system receives a Federal Reserve deposit (created out of thin air) of one dollar, it can expand the number of dollars by ten. Thus, the Federal Reserve Bank, which the banking system legally owns, can create deposits (reserves) out of thin air and then the banks can lend up to ten times the reserves also out of thin air. In other words, the Fed and the banking system cheapen the dollars that you own.

Economists, who are on the banking elite's payroll through consultancies, endowed chairs, and appointments to the Federal Reserve Bank staff, serve as an important propaganda source. They claim that the reserves are distributed evenly throughout the economy. Of course, this claim is absurd. Limousine liberals like William Greider (author of Secrets of the Temple) claim: (a) the Federal Reserve Bank helps the middle class but (b) the Federal Reserve Bank gives hundreds of billions of dollars to Bunker Hunt, Wall Street speculators and recipients of foreign investment. Limousine liberals never question how it might be possible to give hundreds of billions to Wall Street banks and at the same time help the average American.

Thus, at the foundation of big government is big subsidy to the banking elite. But that's the least of big government's subsidy to limousine liberals. A bigger way is the Fed's bloating of the stock market. The way the Fed's monetary expansion bloats the stock market is by reducing interest rates. Low interest rates mean higher stock prices. The present value of future dividend payments are higher at a lower interest rate. Since stocks are present value indicators of a firm's future profits, lower interest rates reduce the discount factor and raise stock prices.

The income inequality about which limousine liberals shed crocodile tears is due to the system which they put in place: by keeping interest rates low, stock prices are buoyed and wealthy limousine liberals like George Soros and Warren Buffett become richer. The way that interest rates are kept low is by the Fed's and the banking system's increasing the amount of money. The increasing amount of money leads to higher prices (inflation). Higher prices mean the average American becomes poorer. Thus, the inflation adjusted wages of workers are reduced while stock prices are increased and the wealthy become wealthier. No source has advocated this system more aggressively or for longer than the New York Times.

The period of the Fed's greatest power began in 1971 and continues today. During this 39 year history, American workers' wages began to stagnate in the early to mid 1970s. They continue to stagnate today. American workers today earn per hour what they earned in 1971. Prior to 1971, real hourly wages increased 2% per year. The post 1971 period saw massive increases in stock prices and increasing income inequality. All of this is due to the policies of limousine liberals, beginning with Franklin D. Roosevelt, who abolished the gold standard, and Richard M. Nixon, who declared "We are all Keynesians now."


Mitchell Langbert

Ernie Haase & SSQ -- I Then Shall Live

Jim Crum forwarded this video.