San Juan Mountains

San Juan Mountains
San Juan Mountains: Grenadier Range

Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Uninsured? You Are A Lawbreaker

How many people in the Socialist Democracy of Amerika  realize that it will soon be illegal to not own health insurance?  Starting tomorrow all people are required by law and under threat of punishment to purchase a health insurance policy.  In case you are wondering, the Supreme Court of the Socialist Democracy of Amerika already considered the law created by Congress and signed by King Obama requiring all of us to buy a health insurance police and deemed it to be 100%, high grade constitutional.  So you can't complain about it.  But you must comply with it or you will become a lawbreaker.
Does it strike anyone besides me that it is very strange to have a law forcing people to buy something?  If the Constitution of the United States give Congress and the King the power to force us to buy stuff, why not force us to buy things like broccoli, multivitamins, annual doctor's visits and other things that are expected to be good for us?  Certainly our rulers want us to be healthy and if a law can make just one person more healthy it is worth it, right?  Better yet, why not force us to buy alcohol, tobacco and firearms and thereby reduce the surplus population?  Scrooge would be proud.  If the law can be used to force you to buy things, I want a law that will force you to buy what I make.  If my congressman wants my vote he had better enact a law that requires all citizens of this country to buy very poorly hand-crafted clay ashtrays.  If you have a problem with that, take it up with the police and the judicial system that will punish you for ignoring that wonderful new law.
The fact that our rulers are making laws that force us to purchase things exposes a serious moral flaw in our legal system.  In particular, we have no philosophy of law.  We have no idea what a law is or what a law should do.  We have no idea what constitutes a good law or a bad law.  All we have is blind obedience to our rulers as they craft an endless supply of new laws that criminalize things we have been doing for years.  Something is seriously wrong with the legal system of the Socialist Democracy of Amerika when yesterday's moral activity is today' criminal action.  (The opposite is also true.  Something is seriously wrong when yesterday's criminal action is today's moral activity.  Marijuana is legal in Colorado tomorrow.  I wonder if those sitting in prison cells for smoking marijuana are happy about the new law?)
For a law to be a law it must directly relate to a moral principle.  This is not a difficult concept to understand, although government employees, abortion advocates and legislators act like it is.  It is wrong to murder.  It is therefore a good law which says one will be punished if he commits murder.  It is wrong to steal.  It is therefore a good law which says one will be punished if he steals.  It is wrong to commit adultery.  It is therefore a good law which says one will be punished if he commits adultery.  As you can see in the progression above, I have already moved into moral relativism.  All but abortion advocates agree that it is wrong to murder.  Abortion advocates are a relatively small group.  All but those who are on the receiving end of government transfer payments believe that it is wrong to steal.  Those who receive government transfer payments are a much larger group.  But almost no one believes it is wrong to commit adultery any more.  Everyone commits adultery.  When the moral sensibilities of the majority of the voters (aka "democracy") becomes the standard by which something is determined to be right or wrong, it will not take much time before we are all awash in moral relativism.  In the SDA today we are drowning in moral relativism.
Law no longer exists to enforce a moral code.  Law no longer exclusively pertains to our three civil rights of life, freedom and personal property.  Insofar as the laws of the land were restricted to protect each person's life, freedom and personal property we never experienced any conflict that could not be resolved by a fair application of the law.  But law no longer exists to protect our civil rights.  The law of the land today exists primarily for the purpose of allowing the politically connected majority to impose its will on the minority.  The law is the means by which we pick each other's pockets.  In other words, the law of the SDA is designed to accomplish the exact opposite of what the law of the USA was designed to bring about. 
Yesterday you could walk down the street unmolested and with a clear conscience if you did not own a health insurance policy.  Tomorrow you are a wanted man if you do not own a health insurance policy.  What changed?  Why is a completely innocuous non-action legal yesterday and illegal tomorrow?  Why are you acting immorally if you do not buy a health insurance policy next year when you were moral all this year without one?  There are no moral answers to these questions.  The only answers to these questions are political answers and they are disgusting and corrupt.
The reason it was legal to walk about this year without owning a health insurance policy is because not owning a health insurance policy was recognized as having nothing to do with morality.  The reason it will be illegal to walk around without a health insurance policy next year is because the majority of the voters in the SDA want the minority of the citizens of this sad land to purchase a health insurance policy for them.  Obamacare is a federally funded program.  The top 49% of the income population pays all federal taxes in this country.  It is therefore necessarily the case that the lower 51% will receive all of the federal funding for their Obamacare health insurance premium credits while the top 49% will get the dirty end of the stick and be forced to pay for them.  Obamacare is a system of income redistribution whereby the top 49% is forced to pay for the health insurance of the lower 51%.  It is socialism at its finest.  In order for socialism to work it is necessary to create an entire body of law that makes it legal to steal from the politically unprotected.  Now that Obamacare is the law of the land, you are a lawbreaker if you do not willingly agree to have your money taken from you and used to pay for the health insurance policy of someone else.
It is all quite ironic.  What I did yesterday was not illegal.  Tomorrow I will be behaving illegally.  But in truth, I am not behaving immorally.  Those who are stealing my income, via the enormous bureaucratic apparatus of the federal government as directed by our King, are guilty of theft.  They are the true lawbreakers.  The fact that my health insurance premium has almost doubled in order to pay for the premiums of envy-ridden freeloaders is an act of theft, but it is legal in the SDA.  I am not the real lawbreaker here because I am not violating any moral principle.  On the other hand, the entire government of the SDA, from the King down to the lowest federal bureaucrat, is breaking moral principles on a daily basis.  So, I ask, who is the real lawbreaker? 
If you are connected to the government in any way that causes you to be an accomplice to the thousands of immoral activities it engages in every single day, I exhort you to quit your job and find something moral to do.  The new year is upon us.  Is it not time for you to be able to live with a clear conscience?  Are you not tired of working for a criminal organization?  Are you ready to come over to the right side?   I know, you are building up a huge, taxpayer financed retirement pension.  That is part of the problem.  The Beast will try to keep you in his service by promising you goodies like retirement pensions.  But you must rise above all of that.  You must resist the temptation of getting something for nothing.  You must stop participating in a system that steals from one to give to another.  Robin Hood was not a hero, he was a thief.  You must behave morally.  You must repudiate theft, murder and especially envy.  For your own good, for the good of your neighbor, for the good of what is left of your country and especially for the good of your immortal soul, please quit your job before it is too late.  Stop being a lawbreaker while you still have the chance.  Come over to the light side where people strive to protect the lives, freedom and property of their neighbors.  Join those of us who believe it is a good thing to leave others alone and mind our own businesses.  Return, oh citizens, to the moral principles that existed so long ago in this land.  Decide today that you are going to stop your life of crime and dedicate yourself to a life of service to others.  Yes, quit your government job and go into business. 

Monday, December 30, 2013

The Truth About Income Inequality

King Obama has dedicated himself to the socialist dream of total equality in all matters of life.  In various speeches over the past month he has continually preached about the evils of income inequality.  Our King seems to define income inequality as a state of economic affairs in which those who have the greatest wealth and income experience the highest rates of increase in that wealth and income.  I will accept that as a reasonable definition of income inequality.  However, I do not accept the idea that income inequality is a bad thing and harmful to the economy.  In fact, just the opposite is the case.
The King is not alone in his proclamation that income inequality is "the defining challenge of our time."  Others, primarily socialists and economists who get paid by the federal government, have come out to agree with him and are calling for massive socioeconomic changes to eliminate this allegedly horrible evil.  In a report by Christopher Rugaber of the Associated Press a couple of weeks ago, Chris informed me that "the growing gap between the richest Americans and everyone else isn't just bad for individuals, it is hurting the U.S. economy."  He also told me that "middle-class pay has stagnated while wealthier households have thrived."  He blames the fact that "higher pay and stock market gains are flowing mainly to affluent Americans" as the primary reason for the problem.  He backed up his thesis by writing that "according to government data and academic studies, income inequality has steadily worsened in recent decades."  I decided to check him out.
I downloaded the spreadsheets from the IRS that tabulate the tax return data for all tax returns submitted for each year.  In particular, I downloaded the data from 1996 and 2011, the most recent year for which data is available.  Those two spreadsheets provide a nice 15 year picture of the real changes to income.  I think it is fair to assume that what people report on their tax returns is as good a picture as any to get a grasp of changes to household income.  What did I learn?  Several things popped out.  The chart below shows the amount of adjusted gross income that was required to be at the margin of each income cohort shown ("Negative" means the members of that group reported negative income for the year):

                                  Income Cohort                  1996                      2011
                                    Bottom  1%                  Negative                Negative
                                    Bottom 10%                   <4,000                  <5,500
                                    Bottom 25%                 <11,000                <14,000
                                    Middle 50%            Between 11-45k     Between 14-69k
                                    Top 25%                      >45,000                 >69,000
                                    Top 10%                      >75,000               >130,000
                                    Top 1%                      >250,000               >470,000

Based upon the above information I have compiled another chart that shows the percent change in adjusted gross income (not inflation adjusted) for each income cohort for the 15 year period from 1996 through 2011.  Note that I have also included an additional column that lists percentages related to the adjusted gross income of each group.  The percentage shown is the percent of that year's income paid in federal income taxes.

                                  Income Cohort           Income Change         AGI % In Taxes
                                    Bottom 1%                        NA                      Cash Back
                                    Bottom 10%                    +38%                        12%
                                    Bottom 25%                    +27%                        11%
                                    Middle 50%                     +47%                        12%
                                    Top 25%                          +53%                         22%
                                    Top 10%                          +73%                         25%
                                    Top 1%                            +88%                         29%

Several things are abundantly clear from the data.  The first is that it is true, income inequality has accelerated over the past 15 years.  People in the lower income cohorts have seen their adjusted gross incomes rise less quickly than those in the higher income cohorts.  In fact, the correlation is direct for all but the bottom 10% where I have to assume that government transfer payments have resulted in a more rapid rate of increase in income for those in that category when compared to those in the bottom 25%.  However, this is not the entire story.
Every income group has seen a real (inflation adjusted) increase in personal income.  Nobody has dropped behind.  Nobody has stagnated, as we are often told is the case.  When the proponents of income inequality speak they usually endeavor to make it appear as if some income cohorts are actually going backwards.  That is clearly not the case.  Everyone is making more money than before.  In addition, the middle class has seen a nice gross increase of almost 50% over the 15 year period.  The median AGI for all tax returns in 1996 was $22,500.  In 2011 it had grown to $33,000, an increase of 47%.  All talk about the death of the middle class needs to be put to rest.  It is clearly untrue.
Something that is rarely mentioned is the fact that the bottom half of the income population gets to keep considerably more of their income than the top half does.   The bottom half experiences a rate of tax extraction equal to 12% of its income.  That percentage rises rapidly when one gets above the mid-line for income.  The top 25% of earners pay 22% of their income in taxes, the top 10% of earners pay 25% of their income in taxes and the top 1% pays a whopping 29% of their income in taxes.  People who made over $10 million in 2011 (there were 11,445 tax returns reporting that figure) paid an average of $5.7 million of their income to the IRS.  That should be enough to satisfy even the most envious socialist but, of course, it doesn't. 
Speaking of envy, we continue to be an almost perfectly socialistic nation.  The bottom 50% of the country pays a grand total of 2% of the federal tax bill.  The top half pays 98% of all federal income taxes.  That means all government programs funded by income taxes are essentially paid for by the "rich" on behalf of the "poor".  Karl Marx would jump up and down in his grave with joy to see his socialist dream come true.  The tax code is especially punitive on the really rich.  The top 1% paid 32% of all federal taxes in 2011 and the top 10% was forced to cough up 66% of the entire bill.  Welcome to the Socialist Democracy of Amerika.
Getting back to the concept of income inequality, why should the above data be a bad thing?  Why is income inequality dangerous to the economy?  The answers to those questions reveal the true intentions of the preachers of the anti-gospel of income inequality. If we are going to live in the real world, and not a socialist utopia, it is important for us to realize that it is absolutely essential and logically necessary that people who have higher annual incomes will experience a more rapid rate of increase in their future incomes.  The reason is simple.  Those who make more money tend to invest that money. Investments produce income.  The more they make the more they invest and the more they earn.  The circle spirals upward.  Conversely, those who either do not earn enough income to make investments or those who spend all of their income on consumption will not experience the same rate of income growth.  Their income growth will be directly related to their income from work whereas those who have investments will see their income grow in relationship to both their work and their investments.  That is a good thing.  It is called letting your money work for you.  It is also called putting your money to work.  Every person who ever earns a dime in this country should seek to get to the position where his money is working as hard, or harder, than  he is.  This is, in fact, what used to be called the American Dream.  Please tell me, what is wrong with that?
Why is it bad for people to invest and make more money?  Why is it right for someone to not invest and demand government transfer payments from those who do invest?  Where do those who make the decision to not invest any of their money obtain a moral claim on the income of those who do?  Nobody ever answers those questions.  Instead we just get a constant stream of propaganda telling us that income inequality is evil and will destroy the country.
Income inequality is a necessary result of free market capitalism.  However, despite what the King tells us, it is not bad for the economy.  In fact, it is good for the economy.  A fallacious Keynesian  presupposition about the negative consequences of income inequality is the basis for this erroneous belief.  Keynes erroneously believed that the economy grows because of consumer spending.  He believed that economic growth would decline (recession) if consumers did not spend enough. He also believed that government should pick up the slack and spend like crazy whenever consumers were not spending enough, however much that mystical number is.  Keynes was an idiot.  As even a grade school student can understand, an economy grows because of savings and investment.  Consumers can try to spend all they want but if entrepreneurs have not first produced goods and services for them to purchase, there will be nothing for them to buy.   It takes a college education and a job as a government economist to miss the obvious truth that consumer spending does not create capital.  That explains why Mr. Rugaber quotes government economists in support of his thesis.  Several of them belly up to the intellectual bar and spout their opinions about how lower income earners need to have more rapid rates of income growth because they spend more of their money on consumer goods and, thus, drive overall economic growth.  Hogwash.
Economic growth is the direct by-product of savings and investment.  Those in the upper income levels save and invest far more than those in the lower income levels.  Although an unpopular truth with the envy ridden masses, it is the rich in our society who drive economic growth. More precisely, it is the investment activity of the rich people who walk among us that is primarily responsible for the production of the goods and services we can all buy.  Rather than being excoriated they should be praised.  Rather than complaining that their wealth is increasing faster than those people who do not invest, we should celebrate their success.  Rather than hating them and calling them names, why not try this....next time you see a rich person walk up to him, shake his hand and thank him for his service to you, the country and the economy. I am sure he will appreciate it.

Friday, December 27, 2013

Rand Paul's "Economic Freedom Zones"

Rand Paul is a Republican senator from Kentucky.   He is a son of well know libertarian and former candidate for King, Ron Paul.  Rand is popular with Tea Party Republicans and, occasionally, people over at Fox News.  Some folks think he might make a run at the White House the next time the Kingdom is opened up for the appointment of a new King.  It would be very entertaining, from the perspective of a blog writer, to have him square off with Hillary for title of King or Queen. I hope it happens.
For a man who is reputed to have a sharp economic mind, Rand has come up with an extraordinarily stupid economic idea.  Maybe you have heard about it.  Rand wants to have the federal government create something he calls an "economic freedom zone."  He announced his proposal for legislation in support of these zones at a speech delivered in that bastion of economic vitality known as Detroit earlier this month.  I learned about his proposal on one of the Fox News shows.  He was being interviewed and the talking head doing the interview went ga-ga over his proposal.  He thought it was a great idea that would revitalize the economy of the Socialist Democracy of Amerika and, most importantly, get a Republican elected King in the next election cycle.  Has everyone gone crazy?
Think about it for a moment, will you?  What is presupposed when the federal government has to create an economic freedom zone?  Is it not obvious to all but the most dim-witted among us that the legislative creation of economic freedom zones presupposes that everywhere else in this tortured land is not economically free?  How can the government create a free zone if the country is already free?  Clearly it can't.  The mere proposal that zones should be declared free is a powerful tacit admission that there is no economic freedom in this country.  That, of course, is the problem.  The solution to the problem is not to create limited zones where I can behave freely.  The solution to the problem is to return to the freedom I was promised by the founding fathers of this country in a little document called the Constitution.  That, of course, will never happen.  The Constitution was abandoned by both political parties long ago.
The proposed creation of economic freedom zones reminds me of the "free speech zone" I saw while hiking along the Appalachian trail several years ago.  I was parked at a gap above Gatlinburg, Tennessee when I noticed the sign.  There it was, clear as could be.  It informed me that I was free to speak my mind as long as I stood in the area designated by the sign as a free speech zone.  Of course, if I spoke of things not previously approved by my federal handlers anywhere outside of that proscribed area, I would be arrested.  I was aghast.  I had heard of these beastly things but had never seen one before.  I finished my hike and got out of there as quickly as I could.  I did not want to be continually reminded that I no longer have freedom of speech in this sad land. 
Any decent economist can immediately predict what will happen if the economic freedom zones are established.  The creation of such a zone will bring about a slew of unintended consequences that will hurt the economy and expand the size of the regulatory government we are oppressed by today.  Let's consider a couple of them. 
Any zone that is created is going to have a border.  Those on the inside of the border will be given "economic freedom", whatever that is, and those on the wrong side of the border will,  I assume, be forced to continue to live under the current conditions of economic slavery.  As a result, how the border is drawn will be of greatest importance.  Everyone will be clamoring for the border to be drawn in such a way as to include him and exclude his neighbor.  Everyone will want a share of the government largess.  Can you imagine more fertile soil for political corruption than this?  Career politicians are already grossly immoral and corrupt.  Why should they now be entrusted with the task of drawing the line which determines who will be economically free and who will be an economic slave?
It is not hard to predict what will happen immediately after the border is drawn.  Capital will flow from the slave zones to the freedom zones.  The poor man who just happened to locate his business on the wrong side of the border will find it very difficult to compete.  He will still be a slave.  He will still pay taxes.  He will still have high regulatory burdens.  As a result, his goods and services will cost more.  In a society in which mobility is not yet restricted, guess what will happen?  That is right!  Customers will vote with their feet and shop in the economic freedom zones, leaving the economic slavery zones to wither and die.  The end result will inevitably be that those who have been favored by the government will prosper and those who have not been favored by the government will suffer.
A very strange thing will happen, totally unexpected by the career politicians and bureaucrats who craft the rules and regulations for the freedom zone, when the areas immediately proximate to the freedom zones suddenly quality for consideration as freedom zones themselves.  Conversely, those areas where men were given freedom will no longer need protection as economic freedom zones.  So career politicians will be called in once again to redraw the lines.  Does anyone think that process will be fair and objective?  New lines will be drawn, new winners and losers will be chosen and the process will start all over again.  It will never end.
Republicans who profess to believe in the Constitution of the United States of America are excited about Rand Paul's proposed economic freedom zones.   I would like for them to explain to me how blatantly unequal and unfair taxes are constitutional.  I want to know how it is that one area can be exempt from regulation and another is not.  I want to know why people are not treated equally before the law.  I want to know why some men are declared to be free and others are forced to remain slaves.  Perhaps most important of all, I want to know why we can't all be free.
Think about it for a minute.  These Republicans believe, and I think they are correct, that economic freedom zones will prosper.  But if prosperity is the immediate result of personal and business freedom, why not go the whole way and declare the entire country to be an economic freedom zone?  Why is it that what is good for Detroit is not also good for the entire country?  Imagine the prosperity that would inevitably result if all citizens of this corrupt country were truly free to pursue their economic self interest without government intervention.  So, I want Mr. Paul to explain to me why I can't have a bit of that freedom?  Why must freedom be limited to those who are government approved?  I want my freedom back.  I want my country back.  Don't tantalize me with freedom zones and tell me you are doing something good for me.  That is a lie and you know it.  Despite all of the talk about freedom coming from Senator Paul's mouth, this is still all about government power, control and regulatory expansion.  That disgusts me and it should disgust you.

Thursday, December 26, 2013

I Am A Slave With Many Masters

What is a slave?  I suspect most people conjure up images, accurate or not, of the pre-civil war south when I ask that question.   The term itself is essentially pejorative.  I don't believe anyone ever uses it in a positive fashion.  To be a slave is not a good thing.  I asked the internet for a definition of the term.  Here is what I found:
A slave is "a person who is the legal property of another and is forced to obey them."  Another online dictionary said that a slave is "a person who is strongly influenced and controlled by something."  I would like to add a definition of my own.  I believe it is fair to say that a slave is a person who is forced to give the fruits of his labor to another person or entity.
How much of your income do you have to surrender before you can properly be called a slave?  In the biblical book of Genesis the Egyptians describe themselves as slaves of Pharaoh when they were required to give up 20% of their annual income to him.   Some people might consider that a bit of a stretch.  After all, isn't it the case that slaves should have to give up all that they produce?  Isn't that the very definition of slavery?  Well, not exactly.  No slave gives up everything he produces.  He has to eat, drink and rest.  Those things require money. Even if everything is turned over to the master, the master has to spend some of the profits to take care of his slaves.  In the middle ages the practice of serfdom was common.  From what I can determine, a serf would usually pay somewhere around 33% of his annual income to the lord.  So I am not sure if I can define slavery by a percentage of income that is stolen from the slave.  Let's just say it is a lot of money.
The other aspects of slavery contained in the above definitions focus upon the lack of freedom experienced by the slave.  He is described as being "forced to obey" his master."  He is also described as being "strongly influenced and controlled by something."  Based upon these definitions, and the impetus of history, I will conclude that a slave is anyone who is forced to give up 33% or more of his annual income to people he is forced to obey.  That being the case, I am a slave with many masters.  If you do not like that terminology, at least admit that I am a serf with many lords.  That is inescapably true.
I just conducted an estimate of the taxes I am going to pay for 2013.  When I totaled up my various tax bills it came to a grand total of 33% of my income for the year.  A full 1/3 of everything I made this past year has been taken from me, against my will, and given to a list of masters that is exceedingly long.  They will use my money for a long list of activities, most of which I find morally objectionable.  My calculations were not exhaustive.  I am sure I have left out many hidden taxes.  In fact, I only totaled up my bill for six popular taxes.  They are:  social security tax (12%), federal income tax (10%),  state income tax (4%),  medicare tax (3%), real estate taxes (2%) and general sales taxes (2%). Let me tell you a little bit about each of these six masters and what they do with the money they have forcibly extracted from me.
My most powerful oppressor is Social Security.  He takes 12% of my income, and threatens to take more each year.  There is nothing I can do to escape this master.  He tries to appease me, as he is picking my pocket, by informing me that the day will come when he will give some of my money back to me.  I don't believe him.  Even if he does return a pittance someday, it pales in comparison to what he has taken from me over the years.  Social Security takes 12% of my annual income and gives it to people that he likes who do not want to work for a living any longer.  He calls them "retirees".  Many, if not most, of these retirees have received far more from Social Security than they ever paid to him.  As a result, they really like him.  They will do everything to make sure the funds keep flowing.  And there are a lot of them.  Those of us who are not retirees have no chance at ever changing the terms of our serfdom.
Some of my fellow slaves have hatched a plan that they think will help them get some of their money back.  They have decided to spend everything they have left over after the master takes his cut on present expenditures.  They are going to save nothing.  They are going to invest nothing.  They have decided to make sure that at some random age in the future they have absolutely no way to financially support themselves.  Then they will qualify for some money from the master.  Then they will be totally enslaved to him.  They think that is a good idea.  I don't.
Federal Income Tax (FIT)  takes 10% of my annual income.  I have it lucky.  There are a lot of people who make much more money than I do.  Those poor folks can have up to 30% of their annual income taken from them by FIT.  Still, many folks like myself who only have 10% of our income taken away continue to clamor for FIT to take even more income from the men and women who make more money than we do.  They call it  their "beggar thy neighbor" policy.  It sounds like a bad idea to me.  I don't see how asking FIT to take more money from my neighbor is good for anyone.  But they don't see it that way.  These folks tell me FIT should take more of our money because he spends it on such worthy projects.  Here are a few of them:
  • A significant portion of my stolen income is used to pay for the men and women who fill the enormous bureaucracy that FIT employees to do all his good deeds.  My money pays their salaries, their pensions, their health insurance benefits and their disability programs.  That means I have tens of thousands of masters, all of whom have a moral claim on my money to pay their bills.  Strangely, FIT tells me that many of the sub-masters I pay money to are "non-essential."  If that is so, why am I paying them?
  • Another large chunk of my annual income is used to pay for the military that ostensibly exists to protect me from foreign invaders.  They must do an extraordinary job.  I haven't been invaded yet.  Maybe that is because they are extremely proactive.  I pay for 164,000 soldiers to live in 150 foreign countries to make sure that none of those foreign citizens come to the Socialist Democracy of Amerika to attack me.  I guess I should thank the soldiers for their service.  Oh wait, I almost forgot, I also pay for the lifetime health care needs of these soldiers as well as lifetime pensions for the more important among them.  That seems like thanks enough to me.
  • If my neighbor decides he does not want to go to work anymore, I pay him a monthly stipend.  If my neighbor decides that he does not want to spend his money on food anymore, I pay him a monthly stipend.  If my local farmer decides he does not want to plant his crops this year, I pay him an annual stipend to leave the fields fallow. All of these payments go through good, old FIT.
  • As a young child I was terrified that I might one day be scalped by Indians.  I guess I watched too many television westerns.  Well, the day has come and it is true.  I pay for all of the medical bills of people who are called "Indians" through a program known as "Indian Health Services".  I really am getting scalped after all. 
State Income Tax (SIT) takes 4% of my annual income and gives it to such nice folks as government schools, local colleges, prisons, judges and an entire host of state government employees who force me to work for them every single day of the year.   I don't see why I should be forced to pay for government schools that teach children things I believe are morally wrong, but who am I to protest?  I certainly do not see why I should be providing room and board for prisoners, but SIT knows better than I do. I also have a hard time understanding why my money should be used to pay for the Public Employee Retirement plan (PERA).  Thanks to the funds that I cough up, PERA is able to deliver annual market-beating returns on its pension funds.  That is easy to do when your investment account is subsidized with taxpayer dollars.  Oh well, who am I to complain?  SIT must know what he is doing or he wouldn't be my master.
Medicare Tax takes 3% of everything I make.  He uses that money to pay the medical bills for all those retirees.  Apparently it is not enough that they receive retirement pensions until the day they die.  They also are entitled to use my money to pay for their medical bills.
For the privilege of living in my home I must pay Jefferson County an annual real estate tax.  He calls it a tax but it is really just a rental payment on the land that he owns.  You see, I don't own my home.  Even if I owned it "free and clear" and without any mortgage, I would still not own it.  How do I know this?  It is quite simple actually.  If I do not pay my annual rental fee to Jefferson County he will send one of his "peace officers" to throw me off my property and then proceed to auction it off to the highest bidder.  How can I claim to own something when I can lose it simply by not paying the rental fee?  In exchange for my serfdom to Jefferson County I receive more bad teaching from the local government schools as well as the privilege of employing thousands of bureaucrats at the county level. They enforce myriad rules and regulations in regards to my home, car and personal property.  They tell me they are keeping me safe but I don't feel that way.
Anytime I spend a nickel of the money I am permitted to keep I have to pay an additional tax to various masters.  Sometimes it is to SIT.  Other times it is to Jefferson County.  Sometimes it is to another master I have never met called RTD.  In fact, so many masters collect my money through the sales tax I do not even know who all of them are.  I trust they are all good people doing good things with the money they have stolen from me.
So there you have it.  My various masters keep telling me that I am a free man and that I should thank them daily for my freedom.  They tell me that things are much worse everywhere else in the world and that I should thank them for their protection.  But I don't feel very free and I don't feel very protected.  All I feel is oppressed. I am strongly influenced and controlled by my masters.  I am forced to obey my masters.  I give up at least 1/3 of my annual income to my masters.  I disagree with just about everything that my masters do with my money but I am required to obey them and to continue making my payments to them.  That is why I am forced to the conclusion that I am a slave with many masters.

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

"Sensitivity" Police Persecute Christians

We are all way too sensitive.  I know that in today's therapeutic state it is unpopular and politically incorrect to believe the old truism but it is still true...sticks and stones may break my bones but names will never hurt me.  Modern men disagree with the essential truth of that classic assertion because everyone today wants to attain official victim status and the privileges conveyed upon their class by government simply for being a member of a victim class.  Homosexuals and blacks are two groups that are especially dedicated to pursuing victim status and its related fruit.
Justine Sacco is a South African who posted a comment to her Twitter account just prior to boarding a plane from the Socialist Democracy of Amerika to South Africa last week.  Here is what she posted, "Going to Africa.   Hope I don't get AIDS.  Just kidding.  I'm white!"  Her comments were picked up by some busy body who took offense at them and quickly went viral on the internet.  The response to her comments has been utterly predictable.  She was fired from her job.  Her Twitter account was closed by Twitter against her will.  I just saw a report on CNBC television about her comments and the three talking heads on the screen all alleged that she was a bigot, an idiot and "highly insensitive" as evidenced by what she wrote.  They all agreed that any and all punishments short of execution were suitable for her egregious offense. Just like the Duck Dynasty boys, all the media types are talking about the tweet and there is near universal agreement that Ms. Sacco is worse than Hitler.  All of this just because of a couple of comments about Africa, AIDS and her skin color. 
All of which she wrote is true, by the way.  She was going to Africa.  Indeed that is her home.  She is white, as many South Africans are.  She does not want to contract AIDS.  Who would?  The AIDS epidemic is more severe in Africa than any other place in the world.  It is more severe among black Africans than anywhere else in the world.  Rampant sexual promiscuity is the primary reason for the out of control AIDS epidemic in Africa.  All of these things are objective facts that should not cause offense to any objective observer.  Sadly the world today has very few objective observers in it.  Most folks are looking for something to become highly offended by in order to obtain their cherished victim status and all of the government transfer payments and privileges associated with that classification. 
Sacco quickly issued the obligatory public apology.  She wrote this to her local South African newspaper, "Words cannot express how sorry I am, and how necessary it is for me to apologize to the people of South Africa, who I have offended due to a needless and careless tweet.  There is an AIDS crisis taking place in this country, that we read about in America, but do not live with or face on a continuous basis. Unfortunately, it is terribly easy to be cavalier about an epidemic that one has never witnessed firsthand.  For being insensitive to this crisis -- which does not discriminate by race, gender or sexual orientation, but which terrifies us all uniformly -- and to the millions of people living with the virus, I am ashamed."  Blah, blah, blah, the apology seemingly went on forever.  I grew tired of her groveling and clicked to another web page.  We all are aware it does not matter how much she grovels now.  She is a member of the pariah class known as "the insensitive".  She is doomed.
On the other hand, Christianity has been labeled "the opiate of the masses" by a famous economist and political theorist from the past.  Christians have been endlessly criticized for engaging in the crusades waged upon presumably innocent Muslims in the Middle East of the past.  Many people in the Socialist Democracy of Amerika share the belief that Christianity is responsible for the death of millions of innocents throughout the ages as people were persecuted when Christians were in power.  Christians have been accused of supporting black, chattel slavery in the southern US.  Christians have been accused of oppressing women, children and racial minorities.  Christians are routinely portrayed in movies as weak-minded numbskulls who are so detached from reality they have no conception about how to live in the real world.  Christians are regularly cast as those who narrow-mindedly  oppose anything that is new or progressive.  They are regarded as idiots, fools and second class citizens.  
It is fashionable to criticize, mock and ridicule Christians and Christianity in the Social Democracy of Amerika.  Christian belief in the immorality of adultery and fornication is cast aside as old fashioned and judgmental.  Christian belief in the immorality of homosexuality is re-classified as hate speech and subject to prosecution by the civil authorities.  Christian belief in the miracles of the Bible is called superstitious and any who profess to belief the Bible are regarded as sub-intellecutal and unworthy of participating in intellectual discussions.  Christian beliefs about creation are forbidden to be taught in government schools and those who profess those beliefs are ridiculed mercilessly by those who believe in the doctrinal tenets of the government religion of Evolution.  The Christian belief that Jesus is the only way to God is deemed hateful and hated by all who are not Christians.  
There are endless streams of comments available on Twitter, Facebook and the internet that disparage, ridicule, persecute and try to offend anyone who professes to be a Christian.  Google "stupid Christians" or "idiotic Christians" and just look at what comes up.  Here is one representative example.  (read the entire page if you want a surprise ending) It is entitled "Myth Begins Where Knowledge Ends".  This is what a kind, thoughtful, warm, caring and sensitive person has to say about Christians:
"We are so sick of hearing those ignorant and self-righteous Christians complain about the problems in our society.  Boo stinkin’ hoo. They’re too stupid to know they’re the ones causing all the problems. They’ll fight to keep a fetus alive, but then they refuse to support single mothers or provide birth control.  Hypocrites. They try to shove their morality down our throats, but in reality they’re a bunch of self-righteous bullies who probably watch kiddy porn on their computers, pick up prostitutes by the airport or solicit sex in public bathrooms. Christian women? A bunch of frigid Betty Crockers who clutch their pearls and demand censorship if they hear a top 40 song. You have to cut them a little slack, though. Their husbands treat them like crap and most likely beat them into submission. These idiots cling to the Bible like it’s a how-to manual. Yeah, right. A book written thousands of years ago about a magical sky god has relevance today. They love talking about their Jesus, but they won’t do what he says. Jesus talks about not judging others, yet these frauds are the first ones to throw stones. Christians are a hateful, mean and nasty bunch of losers. Thankfully, there are some folks who are using social media to fight back against these ignoramuses and pointing out just how stupid and hypocritical they really are."
Well, what do you think about that?  Christians are purveyors of pornography who routinely visit prostitutes. Christian men beat their wives.  Christians are hateful losers.  Christians are responsible for all of life's problems.  Those are the personal beliefs of the author of the article.  And, as he points out, he is not alone.  The internet is filled with similar sites and sentiments.  Now, let me ask you a question.  When is the last time you saw a media report about the insensitivity displayed towards Christians on Twitter, the internet and television?  When is the last time you saw media talking heads universally agreeing that what was written above is wrong?  Yep, that is what I thought.  I have never heard nor seen a report of that type either.  So one woman makes a one sentence joke (you can decide whether it was good or bad) and it becomes a national media sensation.  All the blacks of the world unite in condemning her.  One Louisiana duck hunter paraphrases a Bible verse about homosexuality and it becomes a week long media circus in which practically everyone comes rushing to the defense of homosexuals and homosexuality.  Yet people who hate Christians and Christianity write and speak endlessly about how evil Christians are and nobody gives a rip.  Now why do you think that is the case?
I am a Christian and I believe the author of the article is free to say whatever he wants.  His words do not hurt me in any way.  I am in no way offended by what he has written.  I am not running to the national media or the federal government asking for their support of me and my cause.  I believe in the First Amendment right of free speech.  I believe he should be able to write and say whatever he wants.  I am not his judge, God is.  I am not calling for his arrest.  I am not calling for his prosecution under the provisions of the hate speech statutes. I am not even mad at him.  This is what I expect out of people who live consistently with their non-Christian beliefs.  The Bible has already told me that this is the way pagans will treat us believers and I an neither surprised nor offended by it.  Not only am I not doing these things, none of my fellow Christians are either.  We are all strangely silent when it comes to asking for media and government support, protection and authentication of our position.  We take our verbal licks and go on.  Nobody who is a Christian seems to mind.  We all know and understand that sticks and stones will break our bones but mere words will never hurt us.  We also know and understand that throughout history, and in dozens of countries around the world at this very minute, Christians are being beaten with sticks and stones.  They are being ordered to recant their beliefs or die.  None of this surprises us.  The Jesus so many talk about on this day has already told us who follow Him that these things are going to happen.  We are prepared for it.  We expect it.
Can we all admit the truth?  As real Christians around the world celebrate the incarnation and birth of Jesus on this day and millions of pagans celebrate the winter solstice, materialism, or whatever it is pagans celebrate when they pretend to celebrate Christmas, let us all admit that there is a huge double standard in the SDA when it comes down to "sensitivity".  Christians are expected, under penalty of law, to be "sensitive" to homosexuals, adulterers, fornicators, thieves, liars, worshipers of the government (aka idol worship), blacks, women and dozens of other groups given special privileged status by the government.  At the exact same time, it is open season on Christians and their beliefs.  There is nothing that can be said or written about Christians or Christianity that will ever been deemed "insensitive".  It is impossible to commit a hate speech offense against Christians or Christianity in the Socialist Democracy of Amerika.  Christians know why this is the situation today.  It is because we have the truth and the world and all of its members hates the truth with a passion.  Of course, what I just wrote is, according to the world's legal system, a prime example of hate speech and is highly insensitive to the government protected classes.  Oh well.  Amen ("Amen" means "so be it" for those of you who do not know our secret code speech).

Update:
Immediately after I finished writing the above post three new talking heads appeared on CNBC.  Guess what their feature story was about?  Yep, the Sacco tweet.  All three agreed that Sacco's actions were "indefensible" and "reprehensible".  Meanwhile this comment was posted on a website called "Godlike Productions", "Christians are idiots. 99% of these people who believe the Earth is 6000 years old, don't know the sun is a star and don't know why the moon shows up in different places in the sky are Christians. Christians can not even put up a good argument about why their religion is true, I've asked a few Christians about how their religion is true, most of the responses I got were 'It's because Jesus died for your sins!', 'Satan and demons are getting to you man!', 'Believe in Jesus or you will go to hell!'"  To this man I say, go ahead, don't believe in Jesus.  It is no skin off my back.  Happy Christmas.

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Don't Blame Target For Being Raped

By now everyone is aware of the fact that the retailer Target was the proverbial target of computer hackers who managed to steal credit and debit card information from 40 million customer accounts.  A story on CNNMoney yesterday had this to say about the crime:
"The major hack of discount retailer Target that stole credit and debit card data from 40 million accounts was still reverberating several days later.  Target acknowledged the hack on Thursday -- three weeks after customer data was first scooped up on Black Friday.  On Sunday, Target spokeswoman Molly Snyder said the company had notified millions of affected customers for whom it had email addresses."
This is not the first time a profit seeking business has been hacked by criminals intent upon obtaining credit card information.  Once the credit card information is obtained it can circulate around the black market.  The information itself is valuable and it can be bought and sold by members of the criminal underground.  Additional unscrupulous fellows can then use the information they purchase to run up bills on other people's credit cards.  Even worse, in the case of debit cards, criminals can clandestinely enter the bank accounts of the debit card holders and empty them.  That happened to a lady in Atlanta over the weekend.  Here is her story:
 "'You think you have money in your account, and then you have nothing. You have beyond nothing,' said Gina Sekula. 'It's incredibly frustrating.' Sekula says she is out of more than $400 after she shopped at Target right after Thanksgiving. The money was stolen from her hacked debit card.  Sekula says there were three separate fraudulent transactions from her banking account – two smaller ones and then one large transaction.  'Debit is probably worse because they can take your cash,' Sekula said. 'With credit they are taking your credit. With a debit account, they get everything that is in your checking account and then more.'"
She makes a good point, although I do not know how a thief could actually take "more" than what was in her account.  A stolen debit card really can be much worse than a stolen credit card.  The story went on to report how she was responding to the crime. "Now that her checking account is wiped out, she can't pay her bills.  'Those checks bounced and I had overdraft charges from those checks. So on top of everything else, I have these bills that I paid, and now the checks are bouncing,' Sekula said.
All is not lost however.  The story concluded by saying, "the New Hampshire Attorney General's office says if this happens to you, you're likely to get your money back. 'If a consumer reports the loss immediately, the consumer should not lose the money that's in that credit card loss, but the bank that owns that credit card will have to eat that loss,' said Richard Head of the New Hampshire Attorney General's office."
Now I find that very interesting, don't you?  A criminal steals a lady's debit card number and wipes out her bank account.  It should be quite clear to all objective observers of the situation that the person who stole the debit card number is the perpetrator and the woman who had her bank account emptied is the victim of the crime.  What is the status of the bank in this criminal event?  It should also be obvious to all that the bank, at the very worst, is neutral in the criminal event that transpired.  It is logically possible to see the bank as an additional victim of the thief's criminal activity.  It is impossible to see the bank as an additional perpetrator of the crime, no matter what the circumstances.   Yet the Attorney General of New Hampshire steadfastly asserts that "the bank that owns the credit cared will have to eat that loss".  Why should the bank have to suffer the loss?  The bank does not "own" the credit card, as the Attorney General alleges.  The customer owns the credit card. The bank merely issues the credit that was stolen or, in this case, provides the bank account for the customer.  In the case of a debit card the bank is an unwilling bystander to the criminal event.  In the case of a credit card the bank is an additional victim of the thief's criminal activity.  In no case is the bank a perpetrator of the crime and yet the bank is required to suffer the loss. Outrageous!  Only in the Socialist Democracy of Amerika could the victim be held responsible for the crime committed against him.  But it gets worse.
How have people responded to the criminal attack upon Target?  Has there been an outpouring of sympathy for the discount retailer?  Have feel-good news stories filled the local nightly news broadcasts telling the story of how innocent Target was savagely attacked by evil computer hackers?  Have the citizens of this land expressed their outrage at the criminals who perpetrated the crime?  Have there been repeated calls for the FBI to make this a top priority investigation?  Have there been politicians stepping forward who are promising to craft legislation that will make such criminal events subject to the death penalty and thereby create a powerful disincentive for unsavory persons to do this in the future?  No, none of those things have been taking place.  In an bizarre twist of events that defies logic and that could only take place in the Socialist Democracy of Amerika, Target has been classified as the criminal in the event that took place and is being subjected to persecution and prosecution for its actions.  Again according to the CNNMoney article, here are just a few of the things that have happened since Target was viciously attacked by yet unknown criminals:
1.  Two U.S. senators jumped in with demands for investigations. The goal of the investigations is to get the senators reelected and find some way to prosecute Target for the fact that the company was the victim of a criminal attack. 
2.  Chuck Schumer called on the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau to report on whether retailers should be required to encrypt customer card data. 
3.  Richard Blumenthal called for a Federal Trade Commission probe, saying "it appears that Target may have failed to employ reasonable and appropriate security measures to protect personal information."
4.  Plaintiffs in California sought to bring a class action lawsuit and claimed that Target "failed to implement and maintain reasonable security procedures and practices." 
So let me get this straight.  Target is the victim of a computer hacking and SDA senators are busily preparing legislation and crafting investigations designed to punish Target for what happened to it?  Others are calling upon the federal bureaucracy to create reams of additional rules and regulations that would all be imposed upon Target, the victim of the attack, in the future.  Others are calling upon a federal bureaucracy to try and establish the legal precedent that Target should be held responsible for its own victimization.  And, of course, the lawyers have gathered together to sue Target because it was the victim of a criminal attack.  What is going on here?  Has everyone gone insane?
Imagine the outrage that would be expressed if the circumstances of this crime were just slightly altered.  Imagine for a moment that Target was an innocent young woman who was brutally raped on her way home from work.  Do you believe that SDA Senators would be calling for investigations into her behavior to discover what she did to provoke the attack?  Do you believe that Chuck Schumer would be calling upon the federal bureaucracy to create additional laws that would force all women to carry guns to protect themselves from rapists?  Do you believe that Richard Blumentahal would be calling upon the federal government to investigate the situation with the goal of proving that the woman brought the rape upon herself because she did not "implement and maintain reasonable security procedures and practices"?  Of course not.  None of those things would happen.  Yet that is precisely what is happening to Target.  Why?
Certainly Target, despite being one of the victims of this criminal act, has done everything it possibly can to help those who have had their personal information stolen.  The CNNMoney report concluded by saying that, "Target said it would offer affected customers a free credit monitoring service and set up a telephone hotline. It also offered a store-wide 10% discount on Saturday and Sunday.  The company said it 'began investigating the incident as soon as we learned of it' through a 'leading third-party forensics firm.' The company said it also notified banks and law enforcement."  Target, a victim of this cyber-hacking, is doing everything it can to help the other victims of the cyber-hacking.  What do they get for their good deed?  They get prosecuted by the government, subjected to congressional investigations, buried under a forthcoming body of onerous new regulations and sued by the very people they are desperately trying to help.  Again, I must ask, why is this happening?
I believe we have all figured out the answer to that question.  We all know why Target is being blamed for its own raping.  Target is being blamed because under the terms of injustice routinely administered in the SDA the actual perpetrator of a crime is rarely, if ever,  held responsible for his actions.  This is especially true if he is hard to capture and unlikely to have any money in his pockets if and when he is actually captured.   We must never forget that we live in a socialist society.  Socialism worships the State and persecutes the free market.  Socialism hates profit seeking businesses and Target is a successful profit seeking business.  So what happens when a member of a pariah class in our society gets raped?  Nothing.  Just like black women in the pre-civil rights south could be raped at will by their white masters, so government bureaucrats, career politicians, lawyers and envy filled citizens can rape Target at will.  If Target cries "foul", it is blamed for its own raping.  Profit seeking businesses are evil and get what they deserve, we are told.  There should be no sympathy for profit seeking businesses when they are raped, we are instructed.  They were asking for it, is the steady refrain.  They had it coming, is the final conclusion. 
Are you a profit seeking businessman?  Expect persecution and prosecution from both the government and your customers.  It is the American way.  As we all join our hearts together to celebrate this holiday season let's all remember the vibrant and essential fact of Amerikan life.....all profit seeking businesses are evil and they all owe us big time.  Happy holidays to all except Target, for it is worse than Hitler.

Monday, December 23, 2013

Wrong Reactions To The Arapaho HS Shooting

In any given year about 40 people will be murdered in Denver.  That is just the number of people murdered in Denver proper, it does not include the entire Denver metro area.  Try as I might, I can't find a number for the murder rate for the entire metropolitan area.  So I will have to extrapolate.  I did discover that Aurora, a Denver suburb, averages around 20 murders per year.  Given the size and population of Denver relative to the rest of the metro area I would estimate that someone is murdered in the metro area about every three days.  That would mean the Denver metro area would experience about 100 murders per year.
Last week a selfish, arrogant and hot-tempered teenager, who was upset with his debate coach for suspending him from the debate team, took a shotgun to Arapaho High School and shot an innocent young lady.  His goal was to kill the debate team coach.  The young lady just happened to get in the way as he was trying to find the coach in the library.  As of this time she is in critical condition.  He shot her at point-blank range with a shotgun directly into her face.  The armed guard stationed at the high school was on the teenage gunman immediately.  When confronted by the armed guard the cowardly teenager shot and killed himself.  The entire event was over in a couple of minutes. 
You can just imagine the media coverage since then.  Images of Columbine and the Aurora theater massacre have been incessantly conjured up.  All of the usual suspects have had their time on the nightly news to say how they feel about what happened and what should be done in the future.  Everyone agrees it was a terrible tragedy and that there is something government can do to make sure it never happens again.  Of course, their opinions about what government should do to make sure it never happens again vary wildly and often contradict each other.
As usual, I do not know how to react to the shooting.  When I think about her, which I do not do very often, I feel very sorry for the innocent young lady who was shot in the face.  I watch the television news coverage and hear how the "city is mourning" for the young lady.  I don't know how a city can mourn.  I wonder how far the mourning boundary extends out from the school.  At what geo-political line is the mourning boundary drawn?  Is it wrong for those on the inside of that line to not mourn?  Is it wrong for those on the outside of that line to mourn?  I don't know.  I just know that the nightly news informs me that everyone around is mourning for the young lady.
I am amazed and confused over the message I hear that I am expected to mourn over the shooting of a young woman I do not know and not expected to mourn over the other people who are murdered every third day in the Denver metro area.  I rarely hear about those folks.  I am sure people cared about them as much as they care about the young woman from the high school.  Are they all drug dealers and therefore not worthy of mourning?  I don't know.  That would be hard to imagine.  Still there is something about the shooting of a teenager at a government school that seems to captivate the minds and emotions of people who live near the area and hear the story.  Is a teenager's blood more righteous than anyone else?  Do I have a moral duty to care about the lives of teenagers more than the lives of anyone else?  John Denver once asked this question in one of his songs.  He sang, "Is a hero's blood more righteous than a hobo's sip of wine?"  I don't know.
There is one thing I do know about this situation, however.  I know that when things like this happen people of all sorts are compelled to speak on behalf of God.  For some reason many folks feel a need to defend the name of God when some deranged teenager goes on a homicidal rampage.  That seems very strange to me.  There is a doctrine called the sovereignty of God.  It is an old doctrine and associated with that hated theological system known as Calvinism.  Very few people believe it today.  The doctrine of the sovereignty of God asserts that God is sovereign over all things that come to pass.  All things includes what people generally refer to as bad things.  In other words, everything that happens is God's will.  Nothing happens that is not God's will.  You can see why so many people hate the doctrine.
What is strange to me is how people need to continually assert that God is not sovereign.  In other words, folks keep telling me that when bad things happen God is not involved in them.  Rather, He is just a passive by-stander to the events.  He may have strong feelings about what He is witnessing but He does not do anything about it.  If that doctrine is true (we can call it the doctrine of the impotence of God, if you like) then why should people spend so much time and mental energy defending God against charges that could never be leveled against Him?  It seems to me that the only reason to try to defend God in the face of horrific events is because one already knows and understands that He is sovereign.  Otherwise, what is the point of the defense against a baseless charge?
Reverend Michael Carney of Centennial wrote a letter to the editor of the Denver Post about the Arapaho high school shooting.  Here is what he had to say about what happened, "God weeps at these tragedies and is present in the midst of shock, pain and grief."  I bet you most people who read his letter agreed.  I bet a few tears were shed.  This is the standard response to all things we like to label as a tragedy.  God saw it but could do nothing about it but emote.  But what if God really is sovereign?  What if God really did will for the shooting to take place?  Then it is hard to imagine that He would be weeping over something that He decreed to take place.
You are probably very angry with me right now.  Even suggesting that God would have anything to do with a high school shooting is anathema to you.  It shouldn't be.  If you are angry it is because you, either knowingly or unknowingly, subscribe to the doctrine that asserts that human beings are morally good and innocent.  If human beings are innocent then God is unjust when He decrees bad things to happen to them.  However, if the opposite is the case and human beings are actually morally bad and guilty of sin, both original and actual, then it follows that God is completely just when He decrees bad things to happen to us.  I happen to agree with Church history and the Church fathers.  I believe the orthodox Christian doctrine of original sin is true.  I believe the doctrine of total depravity is true.  I believe we are all deserving of death for our sin.  That includes old folks like me, teenagers and the newborn babe.  The question that we should be asking at this time is not "why did this horrible tragedy happen?"   The question we should be asking is "why did this not happen sooner?"   Or perhaps, "why did this not happen to me?"  Or perhaps, "why does God allow me to draw a breath given how offensive I am to him every single day?"  But nobody asks those questions these days.  Even bringing them up is an example of "hate speech" I suspect.  Write your congressman.  Maybe she can craft a law making the preaching of the doctrine of original sin illegal.  We sure don't want anyone walking around feeling bad about himself as a result of hearing someone tell him he is a sinner in need of redemption, do we?
I need to write about one more wrong reaction to the high school shooting.  Another letter to the editor showed a photograph of a billboard across the street from the high school advertising a "Gun Show" to be held in downtown Denver on December 21st and 22nd.  Under that photograph James Tugman of Centennial said, "If you still don't think guns require reasonable regulation, then perhaps you are the problem."  Now that is a very interesting to say.  As most of you know, Colorado just passed a whole series of new gun regulations (motivated by public outcry about the Aurora theater massacre) that  were designed to make sure that what just happened at the high school would never happen again?  How did that work out?  All the politicians who passed the new regulations said that they were "reasonable" and did not infringe on anyone's right to bear arms.  And guess what?  They didn't work.  It happened again.  So what do we do now?
James seemingly believes that the Colorado legislature needs to pass another bill filled with all sorts of new "reasonable" regulations.  Based upon the photograph above his letter, I believe one of those regulations would decree that all guns shows are illegal.  Anyone who does not believe that all gun shows should be made illegal is a "part of the problem".  I am not sure what that means but it does not sound good.  I don't think guns shows should be illegal.  Does that mean I am guilty of shooting the young woman at the high school?  I don't see how that could be but I tend to not see a lot of things when it comes to arguments for more government rules and regulations.
I won't pretend to tell you how to react to the high school shooting.  It is your business.  I will endeavor to mind my own business.  But when people start telling me that God is weeping over something He decreed to pass and that I am guilty of attempted murder for not wanting to ban gun shows I have to speak up and disagree. Those two reactions are just plain wrong.

PS.  The young lady mentioned above died over the weekend.  My condolences to her friends, family and to all those who cared about her.  What a sad world we live in.

Saturday, December 21, 2013

Militant Homosexuals Are Limp Wristed Sissies

Along with the rest of you I have been watching the media furor over the Duck Dynasty boys.  What can I write here today that will add to the debate?  I guess the answer to that question depends upon the presuppositions you bring to the discussion.  If you believe that homosexual behavior is morally good and proper and that anyone who disagrees with your belief is guilty of the felony of hate speech, then there is very little I can write that you will find palatable.  You have already established the rules of engagement and my opinion has been ruled out before the discussion even begins.  According to you I am not permitted to offer a defense for my position.  Indeed, it goes further than that.  I am not even allowed to state my position.  To do so is a crime.  To do so is a felony.  To do so is a sin of which you are the victim.  To do so will result in the untold deaths of millions of homosexuals as they take their own lives in acts of extreme despair.  To do so is hate speech that must be punished by the civil authorities.  What can I say about the issue under those terms and conditions?  Quite obviously, there is nothing I can write or say when those are the terms of engagement.  But, this is my blog and those are not the terms of engagement in this little piece of the blogosphere. 
As it turns out, I can say a lot about the sissified nature of the militant homosexuals in this land.  I reject their efforts to make my speech illegal, immoral and criminal simply because I do not parrot their opinion of themselves.  Since when is verbal disagreement a criminal offense?  What sort of person would seek the coercive power of the state to enforce a rule that forbids other people from merely disagreeing with him?  I think we all recognize that only a limp wristed sissy would run to the state for protection from an idea.  And that, my friends, is why militant homosexuals are limp wristed sissies. 
I have written about this previously.  Homosexuals demand that profit seeking businesses like Chick-Fil-A affirm their lifestyle or they cry like little girls and demand boycotts of the offending stores.  Homosexuals demand that parades be given in their honor.  Apparently they need the civic support derived from a parade to continue to feel good about themselves.  And let's all admit that feeling good about themselves is what this is all about.  The recent Duck Dynasty debate centers, although nobody seems willing to admit it, on the idea that homosexuals must always have positive feelings about their behavior.  Anyone that does not reinforce their good feelings about their behavior has committed a crime against them.  Homosexuals demand that bakers be forced to provide baked goods for their "wedding" receptions and then cry, whine, complain like little kids when they do not get their way.  They take Christian bakers to civil court to force them to bake cakes for them in order to prop up their amazingly weak and impotent self esteems.  What cowards!  What selfish, insecure little children they are.
On the other hand, homosexuals hatefully reject doctrines of the Christian church that have been promulgated for hundreds of years to millions of people.  They characterize anyone who believes the historic Christian doctrines as neanderthal-like barbarians who should be driven from civilized society. They use extremely vitriolic and acerbic phrases as they spew forth their hate comments about what the Bible teaches and Christians believe about homosexuality.  (By the way, I have never had my psyche harmed in the slightest by all of the things militant homosexuals have told me.  They have called me every name in the book and still done no harm.  What does that tell you?) Yet, their speech is not hate speech.  Why not?  Because they are homosexuals and incapable of hate speech.  Only those who disagree with the intellectual position of a homosexual is capable of the felony of hate speech.  It sure seems like the deck is stacked in favor of the little sissies to me.  I don't care whether you are pro or anti homosexual.  Nobody should tolerate the terms of engagement that have been established for all dialogue about the doctrine and behavior of homosexuality.  This is nothing but tyranny and those who are on the wrong side of the debate, Christians,  lose by government enforced default. Is there a manly homosexual out there who is willing to debate the issue on even ground?  Is there a powerful intellectual lesbian who will argue that homosexuality is morally good and proper without resorting to the "you hurt my feelings when you tell me I am wrong" argument?  I haven't met any. 
Just when I thought it couldn't get any worse, a reader sent me a link to a blog by a Christian youth pastor who says that we need to stop picking on homosexuals.  He has unknowingly succumbed to their argument that mere verbal disagreement with homosexuals is a horrific affront to their psyches that results in untold damage to their beings.  He agrees with the militant homosexual lobby that anything less than a strong endorsement of homosexual behavior is a sinful and criminal act that needs to stop.  You can find his argument here.  Here is some of what he had to say:
"The fact of the matter is, it doesn’t matter whether or not you think homosexuality is a sin. Let me say that again. It does not matter if you think homosexuality is a sin, or if you think it is simply another expression of human love. It doesn’t matter. Why doesn’t it matter? Because people are dying. Kids are literally killing themselves because they are so tired of being rejected and dehumanized that they feel their only option left is to end their life. As a Youth Pastor, this makes me physically ill. And as a human, it should make you feel the same way. So, I’m through with the debate....We are now faced with the reality that there are lives at stake. So whatever you believe about homosexuality, keep it to yourself."
Did you get that?  This youth pastor believes that my disagreement with a homosexual about the moral propriety of his behavior is an attack upon his person that directly results in his suicide.  He believes that I am now in sin and guilty of a felony for simply stating the historic Christian doctrine about the immorality of homosexual behavior.  He orders me to keep my opinion to myself.  Why?   Simply because I hold the intellectual view that homosexuality is morally wrong I am guilty of forcing a person to kill himself.  Has everyone gone mad?  Are homosexuals so thin skinned that they have to kill themselves simply because someone says they should not engage in homosexual behavior?  If homosexuals are the enlightened intellectuals they profess themselves to be, how can the ravings of a neanderthal like me possibly impact their powerful psyches?  Something does not compute in this scenario.
I have mentioned this previously but it must be mentioned again.  Let me ask you some questions.  Would you be prone to kill yourself if I told you that giving $20 to the bum on the street corner was an immoral act?  Would you develop suicidal thoughts if I told you that I believe it is wrong for you to shovel the snow off your neighbor's sidewalk?  Would you be hanging the rope from the rafter in your house if I told you that I believe it is wrong and immoral for you to have sexual relations with your spouse?   I believe it is fair to say that in every example listed above it would be impossible for me to do any psychic harm to you simply because I disagree with your behavior.  Why?  Because you believe your behavior is morally right and proper and anyone who thinks otherwise is wrong.  Homosexuals believe, with all their collective might, that homosexual behavior is morally right and proper.  Why, then, do they get so upset when someone disagrees with them?  Why do they not react the way every other human being does when he is accused of sinning when he does something he believes is morally good?  Why does the criticism of their behavior bother them at all?  Why, like spoiled children, do they run to the government for protection from the idea they find so terrifying, namely, that their behavior could be wrong?  I would suggest that there is one, and only one, reason why homosexuals become so intensely emotionally disturbed by a mere word of criticism, and that is because they know their behavior is immoral.
I wish the public debate would address what I have brought up here.  I have watched dozens of confrontations on the television news stations and they all go down the same way.  A militant homosexual accuses Christians of hate speech.  He appeals to how much harm is being done to the psyche of homosexuals.  Then the Christian responds by saying that the Bible teaches homosexuality is wrong.  He follows that up with the promise that he will treat homosexuals in a kindly fashion in an attempt to love them into the Kingdom.  Then they start yelling at each other and the discussion rapidly degenerates into an argument of no value.  If you have the chance to get involved in a discussion with a militant homosexual please do me a favor.  Focus the argument.  Ask him/her why you should be required to affirm his behavior in order to avoid being a felon.  Ask him why his psyche is so delicate that he suffers irrevocable harm when you merely state that you disagree with him.  Ask him why he needs civil government to protect him from the mere idea that his behavior is immoral.  Then, let him answer the questions.  Don't get side-tracked.  If he goes off on a tangent, bring the discussion back to those questions.  Of course, I believe you will never get an answer to those questions.  Those questions expose the weakness of his entire position so you are assured that an answer will never be forthcoming.  But at least it would enliven the debate.

Friday, December 20, 2013

Department Of Injustice Rapes Another Victim

I read an article in the Business section of the Denver Post last week that enraged me.  It was entitled, "JPMorgan Chase said to be near $2B accord."  The story went on to report that, "JPMorgan Chase & Company, the target of multiple U.S. Justice Department investigations, tentatively agreed to pay about $2 billion to resolve probes into whether it ignored warning signs about Bernard Madoff's crimes..."  I rubbed my eyes and read that sentence once again.  I could not believe what I was seeing.  Do you see what is happening here?  Do you see how unjust it is?
Bernie Madoff, if you are unaware of his story, is a con-man.  He swindled people out of millions of dollars.  I do not know the exact figures but his ponzi scheme was one of the richest in history.  His scam was a classic ponzi scheme.  He would pay new investors outrageous rates of return from the investments of his earlier investors.  This would bring in hoards of new investors and the pyramid would grow.  All along the way he was skimming his percentage off the top and maintaining two sets of books.  One set of books was for the government regulators and the other set of books was for himself.
It is inevitable that all ponzi schemes eventually self destruct.  It is impossible for them to go on since, as they grow larger, they eventually run out of funds to pay the new investors.  When this happens the entire fabrication collapses like the proverbial house of cards.  Those left holding the millions of IOUs are the losers.  They will never be paid back because there is nothing to pay them back with.  The money has been spent in previous payments to earlier investors and by the creators of the ponzi scheme.  Madoff blew through a tremendous amount of money prior to being caught.  But, like they always are, Bernie got caught.
Once his scheme unraveled the wolves, government regulators, politicians and lawyers,  quickly circled to see who could profit from the situation.  Under the terms of the judicial system found in the Socialist Democracy of Amerika, somebody other than Madoff himself had to be blamed for what had happened.  The rather obvious fact that Bernie Madoff was the only person to blame was ignored because he did not have any money left.  At first agents from the federal government of the Socialist Democracy of Amerika went after all of Madoff's relatives.  The goal of the federal agents was to strip all of Madoff's relatives of their wealth, whether it was ill-gotten or honestly earned.  Those pockets, however, proved to be rather shallow.  The feds looked around for deeper pockets.  While searching the horizon for deep pockets their eyes landed upon the SDA's biggest bank, JPMorgan Chase.  That is when JPMorgan Chase's problems began.
Congress hates JPMorgan Chase.  The career politicians who prowl the halls of congress are well aware of the fact that they can receive a constant supply of votes if they pander to the envy of the citizens of this disgusting country by perpetuating a continual stream of hateful comments about the country's largest bank.  Bankers are evil.  Bankers caused the "financial crisis".  Bankers sold your baby to a dingo rancher in Australia.  You get the drift, if something bad happened it was the bankers that did it.  And since JPMorgan Chase is the biggest bank, it is the biggest devil.
The federales had already extorted tens of billions of dollars out of JPMorgan Chase in the grossly immoral prosecution of the company for culpability in the mortgage scandal.  For doing exactly what the government ordered the company to do, it was found guilty of illegal mortgage practices and a multibillion dollar settlement was extorted from the company by the Department of Injustice.  The Department of Injustice specializes in exactly these types of operations.  British Petroleum had run afoul of the department earlier and barely escaped with its balance sheet.  This branch of the federal bureaucracy exists exclusively to extort money from profit seeking businesses that have done no wrong in order to enrich itself and expand the federal bureaucracy.  It is very good at what it does.
Why is JPMorgan Chase being persecuted by the Department of Injustice in regards to the Bernie Madoff scandal?  There is no apparent connection between the two.  There is certainly no financial connection between the two.  JPMorgan Chase did not participate in the ponzi scheme.  Both sides agree to that fact.  So what did JPMorgan Chase do that is going to result in its coughing up $2 billion to the feds?  JPMorgan Chase allowed Bernie Madoff to open a bank account with them.  That is it!  That is all!  Madoff had an account with JPMorgan Chase so JPMorgan chase is now complicit in the Madoff ponzi scheme.  To make that charge go away the shareholders of JPMorgan Chase have to pay the Department of Injustice $2 billion in blood money.
The outlandish, outrageous and patently false charge being brought by the Department of Injustice is that the executives at JPMorgan Chase should have been aware that Bernie Madoff was running a ponzi scheme simply because he had an account at their bank.  Since they should have been aware of the scheme they also should have informed the federal government's bank regulators about what Madoff was doing.  Their refusal to inform the bank regulators about what they allegedly should have known is the basis for their enormous financial penalty.
Not mentioned in the article is what happened to the bank and securities regulators, all employed by the federal government, who were directly responsible for the financial oversight and regulation of Madoff's spurious empire.  Madoff, as an owner of a private securities firm, was examined on a regular basis by financial regulators from the Securities and Exchange Commission as well as various other state and federal regulators.  He was also examined by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority.  Literally dozens of state and federal examiners, whose sole job is to ferret out fraud, examined Bernie Madoff and failed to discover his ponzi scheme.  What happened to those folks?
Nothing happened to those folks.  They work for the government and, although they are well paid and will eventually retire after twenty years of service on rich, taxpayer provided retirement pensions, they did not have deep enough pockets.  None of them were disciplined.  None of them were written up for failure to do their jobs.  None of them lost their jobs.  None of them were publicly castigated for their gross negligence and failure to perform their assigned duties.  In fact, none of the government employees who actually were responsible for the failure to detect Madoff's ponzi scheme had any negative consequences associated with their negligent behavior.  I don't know for sure but I would guess that every government employee who had contact with Madoff received a raise and a promotion for a job well done, despite the fact they did nothing to detect or stop the ponzi scheme.  On the other hand, the nation's largest bank, simply because it is the nation's largest bank that just happened to have an account owned by Bernie Madoff on the books, suddenly becomes responsible for Madoff's illegal actions.
All of these fines are being paid under the terms of the grossly immoral Bank Secrecy Act.  The Bank Secrecy Act is an immoral and unconstitutional set of laws that forces banks to spy upon the private financial activities of its customers and report their findings to the FBI.  It is in direct violation of the Fourth Amendment to the Constitution of the United States, but because the 4th Amendment no longer applies in the Socialist Democracy of Amerika, it is the law of the land. 
So there you have it.  The Department of Injustice just got richer at the expense of the shareholders of JPMorgan Chase.  The shareholders did nothing wrong or immoral yet they are being forced to pay billions of dollars to the federal government.  On the other hand, the government regulators, who themselves are behaving immorally just by reporting to work each day, are free from any culpability for their total failure to do even the smallest part of their jobs.  There is no justice in the legal system of the Socialist Democracy of Amerika.  Shout that truth from the tops of the highest buildings.  You would be wise to do anything and everything you can to avoid any and all contact with what is called the judicial system in this sad land.  There is no justice.  You have no civil rights. The entire system is designed to enrich the state at the expense of the sheeple.  The system works very well.

Update:  January 7, 2014

The final decision on the JP Morgan case came down today.  The profit seeking bank had to cough up $1.7 billion to the federal regulators.  One part of the report about the final settlement caught my eye.  Here is what it said, "A statement of facts included in the agreement describes internal communications at JPMorgan expressing concerns about how Madoff was generating his purported returns. It says executives were disturbed by the fact that Madoff wouldn't let the bank examine his books."  So let me get this straight.....Madoff had no legal responsibility to open his "books" to the bank and the bank had no legal right to examine his books but the Department of Injustice still held JP Morgan responsible for what was on his books.  Conversely, the federal securities regulators had the legal responsibility to examine Madoff's books.  They failed to do so and they get off scot-free.  What a beautiful system we have.