This is not a political site. This is an anti-political site. Our purpose is to advance civil society and the freedom philosophy and perhaps have a little fun while we're at it.

4/30/12

What's the Problem? Taxes Too Low? Or Spending Too High?

Most of the readers of this blog already know the answer to the question. The real question is, will the less than three minutes it takes to watch this excellent video convince any of your left leaning friends (who think that taxing  the "rich" more can solve the problem) that the country has a spending problem? The only way to get the answer to that question is to circulate this video widely.



As usual, hat tip to Dan Mitchell for posting the video on his terrific blog - International Liberty - where you can read more about this subject. (And just about anything else worth knowing about the country's fiscal woes.)

Note- The professor in this video, Anthony Davies, is no relation to the author of these comments, but he seems almost as clever.

Editor's note: The video on the side bar concerning how much tax it takes to support the spending has been there for many months. It stays there because the goofy ideas it refutes are still being passed around. If you haven't watched it, you should. If you have, you should do so again. And no matter what, you should circulate it as widely as possible.

4/27/12

Portland Citizens Take Themselves for a Ride

Here's an idea. I propose that our local government pass a law that forces some businesses to charge a lot more for their services than their competitors, and do a worse job at the services they provide.

No, not a law that causes that to happen as a side effect. Instead, a law that does so purposely and openly, and plainly explains that the purpose is to favor some competitors over others.

And if you happen to be in one of those businesses who sells a coupon that offers a competitive price and faster service, the fines would be so large that to pay them would put you out of business.

Why do that? Well, it's because certain businesses promise us political support and/or money. You think a law like that is preposterous? You don't like the idea? Tough.

So let's stop the charade, I don't propose a law like that, I merely report it to you as fact. Such a law is being enforced in Portland Oregon against limousine and sedan services who compete with taxi cabs. As a news story in the Weekly Standard has it:

"The Portland city council two years ago put in place regulations that force limousine and sedan services to charge a $50 minimum for rides to and from the airport, and at least 35 percent more than taxis for trips to any other destination. And these transportation companies cannot pick up customers until at least an hour after the customer calls for a ride.
And it gets worse. Daily deal companies such as Groupon and LivingSocial partner with local businesses looking for new customers and offer limited-time specials that allow people to buy goods and services at a discounted price. 
But when two companies offered their chauffeur services at a cut-rate through Groupon in separate months last year, Portland responded each time by assessing fines on every Groupon sold: a total of $635,500 for Towncar.com and $259,500 for Fiesta Limousine. The firms refunded their would-be customers rather than risk going bankrupt."
 The article includes a link to a Huffington Post story that quotes the "surprisingly frank rationale" the Portland officials give for this tyranny. You can read much more about this here, if you have the stomach for it.


But before you direct your anger toward the arrogant imbeciles who made and enforce this law, always remember, the voters put these people in office. And they keep them there.

4/24/12

Some Straight Answers About Cato

As many of you know, The Cato Institute is a public policy think tank that promotes free markets, individual liberty, personal responsibility, and civil society in general.  They have a very extensive web site which explains that, and a lot of other things, in detail. You can and should visit the site at Cato.org.

Ed Crane is the founder and President of the Cato Institute. I've met Ed at various Cato functions over the years (just to say hello and exchange pleasantries) and he seems to me to be a genuinely nice guy who just happens to have made the promotion of freedom and human dignity his life's work. In my opinion, the world is a somewhat better place because he made that choice.

So when I saw this very short video of Ed explaining some of his philosophy, I knew it was a good thing to share with our readers. His thoughtful answers to a few basic questions, without any over the top rhetoric or other distractions, may answer some of the questions you might have asked him if you were being introduced to Cato for the first time.

The concepts are simple, and I'm a simple guy, so perhaps that's why I've always been attracted to them.


4/19/12

The First Shot in a New Rebellion?

The signs are becoming more clear that some of the states have had enough of the destruction of the US Constitution. There already have been a number of states who have sued the federal government to halt the implementation of certain provisions of Obama-care. A few more states have sued over various other policies concerning immigration and other issues. Several others have informally begun the practice of non-cooperation with the DEA regarding the laws prohibiting the use of certain substances, usually marijuana.

But yesterday one state, Virginia, formally made it state policy to refuse to cooperate in the enforcement of a new unconstitutional US law that essentially revokes the right of  Habeas Corpus.

In fact, as one news release, from the Young Americans for Liberty, has it,
 
"On Wednesday, the Virginia legislature overwhelmingly passed a law that forbids state agencies from cooperating with any federal attempt to exercise the indefinite detention without due process provisions written into sections 1021 and 1022 of the National Defense Authorization Act."


It could possibly be the start of something I have thought about for a long time. I have posed the question to myself by asking, "what might happen if some states essentially seceded from the union by ceasing dealings with the over-reaching and rights-violating federal government?"

No blood, no violence. Just a "Keep your money, enforce your own laws, collect your own taxes, and we'll take care of our own business" policy. End cooperation and maybe even formal communication. Would the President send troops? To do what? Shoot the Governors? Imprison all the people?

I think the Congress and the President would blink first. Passive resistance has worked in the past, so it's not as crazy as it first sounds. The USSR was defeated without a shot being fired. Gandhi and Martin Luther King had success using non-violent non-cooperation as well.

If even one state did this, might Congressmen and Senators finally understand what's going on? Might they start to seriously consider the overwhelming debt burden the country is starting to collapse under? Might they take the destruction of the value of the currency seriously then? Do you think this might be a huge issue on the front page of every newspaper in the country? The lead story on every network and cable news show?

So is this the first shot in a new non-military civil war? I for one hope so, even if I'm not predicting it will happen. I'm guessing that plenty of folks might think I'm crazy. Some already do.

But what's crazier, watching the end of our liberties without a whimper? Or lifting a finger, the middle one, to fight for our constitutionally guaranteed rights? Legislators in Virginia have taken the first step even if some of them don't realize it. I'd rather be thought crazy than know I did nothing as the whole thing degenerated into tyranny and chaos.

Feel free to comment about what you think we should do about the situation, if anything.

4/16/12

You Can Learn a Lot From Body Language

Keep your chin up.

El Duce



and

 El Duce Bag



Sorry if I offended anyone,,,,umm,,never mind.

4/13/12

The Gullible Gazette - 2nd Edition

A few days ago we posted a piece about whether people were gullible enough to swallow the nonsense concerning Obama's new proposed "Buffett Tax."

You know the one, the tax that says that rich people (previously defined as anyone making more than $250,000) should pay income tax at a rate of at least 30% so they would be sure to pay more than their secretaries. It's all  about "fairness" ya' know.

It is also claimed that we could balance the budget with the proceeds, or at least make a big dent. I'm guessing that no regular readers of this blog bought into that nonsense, but in that article we gave a mathematical illustration just in case they wanted to explain the whole thing to their more gullible friends.

So why am I talking about this again? Well, it's because President Obama's tax return was released today. So let's continue the "Gullible Gazette" series with another Jeff Foxworthy question and answer gag by saying;

If you think that Obama really believes that everybody who makes $789,674 per year (like Obama himself did last year) should pay at least 30%....you just might be gullible. 

You see, he paid his taxes at the rate of 20.5% instead of the 30% he thinks should be willingly paid by his goofy buddy Warren Buffett and anyone else who dares to succeed financially.

No word yet on why he doesn't just skip a bunch of deductions himself so he can cough up the other 10%. Maybe it's because he has redefined "rich"- for this piece of legislation only- as anyone making a million dollars a year instead of the measly $789,674 he made after his deductions.

Pretty convenient I'd say. At least I'd say that if I was gullible.

Late breaking news! Since this piece was posted I came across a new news item from ABC news. Yep, you guessed it, President Obama’s Secretary Paid Higher Tax Rate Than He Did.  The spin on this one is likely to be sufficient to back a golf ball up from Augusta to Pebble Beach.

4/11/12

The Gullible Gazette - 1st Edition

How can you tell if you are among the millions of people in this country who are habitually gullible?


Well, in a hat tip to Mr. Jeff Foxworthy, one of the redneck comedy boys:
You might be gullible:


If you think that President Obama's new campaign proposal that anyone making over $1million a year should pay income tax at a rate of at least 30% because it will help balance the budget and promote "fairness" ---- you might just be gullible.


As David Burge, aka, the "Iowa Hawk" - who does the math for a hugely popular blog of the same name - explains it: "If you taxed income in the US at 100% above $250k, you'd get $1.41 trillion - not enough to run the govt for 5 months."


And speaking of Foxworthy, he and Larry the Cable Guy would be a better ticket to vote for in the upcoming Presidential election than any of the other offerings. Oh, I know that Obama's policies are hilarious, but he's just a rank amateur, these guys are pros when it comes to laughter.


If we elect them, "Yes we can" Git R Done.

4/5/12

Eating Trayvon

Image courtesy of Craven's World
By Grant Davies

All the facts concerning the tragic shooting of a teenager in Florida by a neighborhood watch patrol member may not be known for quite a while. In fact, they may never be known if reporting what actually happened is left up to a media obsessed with inflaming such tragedies while ignoring the real stories that don't sell as well.

Most people who have already made up their mind about the event only know what they heard in the media, and they only heard what they wanted to hear. And as usual, they only heard it from whom they wanted to hear it from. So let's concentrate on what we do know.

We know that there are tragedies everyday in the world, but only certain tragedies grow into major stories. And the ones that grow best are the ones that are watered with copious amounts of potential profits.

We know that race pimps like Jesse Jackson, Al Sharpton, and U.S Representative Bobby Rush can smell fame and fortune from thousands of miles away as long the dead people are black and the people who killed them are not.

They don't seem to have a very good sense of smell for gunpowder in their own back yards. The streets of Chicago and other big cities are literally littered with the corpses of the black children who are being slaughtered by other black youngsters. The perpetrators are largely gang thugs who often times dress up in the hoodies and droopy pants that have become the uniforms of a whole generation of fatherless killers.

Rep. Rush dressed up in just such a costume and showed up on the floor of the U.S House because he thought it would show solidarity with the dead teen in Florida. Someone had the good sense to toss his imbecilic rear end out of that less than august assembly, for all the wrong reasons. The truth is he was showing solidarity with gangsters, not victims. The same gangsters that have murdered our black children in such horrifying numbers.

There doesn't seem to be much money, fame or power to be gained by exposing the causes of those murders. The perpetrators just don't have the right profile and the actual cause of the mayhem might be embarrassing to the race pimps.

A few years ago a famous black comedian had the guts to expose the real reasons for the multiple tragedies that befall the residents of the inner city. After the initial news blurbs about a prominent black man talking about the alarming number of children born out of wedlock and abandoned by the men who sired them without bothering to father them, all he got for his trouble was derision and scorn. Worse than that, he was ultimately ignored by a media who saw no profit potential in exposing their own complicity in promoting the policies that contributed so much to the problems.

So today we have a media feasting on the corpse of a kid named Trayvon, who died a tragic death, while the same buzzards don't dare to land anywhere near the real story of the horrors of growing up in the thug infested inner city where the pimps made their fortunes by blaming white people instead of power hungry politicians.