San Juan Mountains

San Juan Mountains
San Juan Mountains: Grenadier Range

Friday, January 31, 2014

Government Grants A "License To Kill"

I saw an article in the Denver Post last week that made me laugh out loud.  I rarely laugh out loud.  My wife almost fell out of her chair when she heard me.  She is not accustomed to seeing me in that state.  Usually when I express myself  I will yell and scream and throw things around the room.  Even the dog will find some place to hide from the flying projectiles.  But this story was so amazingly ironic that I just had to laugh.  Here is what the article had to say:
"The Boulder County District Attorney's Office is dismissing felony animal cruelty charges against a University of Colorado student accused of killing a raccoon because the student had the proper hunting license and raccoons were in season at the time (he killed one)...Jace Griffiths was arrested in November after he told police he killed a raccoon with a bat so he could take its hide.  Griffiths was charged with one count of aggravated animal cruelty.  But in a motion filed Thursday, District Attorney Stan Garnett said Colorado law allows the killing of 'fur-bearers' during certain seasons for people with the proper licenses."
Are you laughing?  Do you get the joke?  Boy would I have loved to have seen the face of the cop who arrested Jace after he found out that Jace had a license to kill, thus indemnifying him from criminal prosecution for animal cruelty.  I would also have loved to have been in on the conversation in the DA's office as poor Stan considered what to do with this dangerous felon that was running around killing fur-bearing critters.  What shock must have rippled through the room when the esteemed enforcers of the law suddenly realized that Jace was not a felon committing a vicious act of animal cruelty, but instead he was simply a hunter enjoying his sport.  Another easy conviction goes right out the window.
The shenanigans going on in Boulder set me a thinking. The facts of the case are simple.  Jace killed a raccoon.  He used the novel approach of killing the raccoon with a baseball bat, but I doubt that mattered much to the raccoon or to Jace.  Jace wanted a coon-skin cap, just like Davey Crockett and Daniel Boone wore.  Who can blame him?  I would kind of like to have a coon-skin cap myself.  Then I could run around the woods pretending to be a famous pioneer.  That sounds like fun.  The problem is, killing an animal against its will is a violation of the moral law in the county of Boulder.  It is a serious violation of the moral law.  It is not just a misdemeanor, it is a felony.  Anyone who commits felonious actions upon innocent fur-bearing animals is a desperate sinner in need of redemption.  Jace, due to his immoral act (no doubt caused by original sin), was clearly an immoral person who needed to be punished by the state for his immoral behavior.  After all, isn't that what the law is supposed to be about?
When the Boulder DA received the case he ran into a problem.  He investigated the situation and discovered, much to his chagrin, that Jace was actually a government agent.  Not only was he a government agent, he was a government agent who had been granted a license to kill.  All of a sudden the situation changed.  What had been a horribly immoral action resulting in the death of an innocent animal immediately turned into a good deed.  Jace went from being a felon to being an agent of the government used to control the surplus population of fur-bearing critters in Boulder county, and all simply because he had a government license. Yep, just like James Bond, Jace has a license to kill and should be deemed a hero by the citizens of Boulder county for his service to their community.  If you see him, shake his hand and thank him for his service, won't you?
The more I thought about the situation the more I realized that Jace's situation is not unique in the Socialist Democracy of Amerika.  There are many deeds that are deemed immoral when performed by free men but moral when performed by agents of the government.  How the exact same action can go from being moral to immoral simply because the government grants a license to perform that action is never explained.  It seems to me that if something is immoral it is immoral, whether I have a license to do it or not.  I can't steal from my neighbor under normal circumstances.  But if I can get a license from the government I can?  I don't see how.  Even if the government tells me that my license is issued as part of the government's grand program of wealth redistribution, when I actually take my neighbor's property I am still stealing from him.  I am still behaving immorally. But the government does not see things that way.  Why?
Government is a god.  Armed with the power of deity the government is free to make law as it sees fit.  In addition, government is free to make moral law that contradicts itself.  Government can say that a particular action is immoral if you do it as a free man but moral if you do it as an agent of the government.  I think we all know this is true.  We see it all the time.  Let me give you just a couple of examples:
  • When I hike in the foothills near my home I am surrounded by signs warning me to "stay on the trail" at all times.  If I dare to venture off the trail in the presence of a government agent with a nice costume and a big gun I can be shaken down and forced to pay a fine for my offense.  On other hand, I have seen the exact same government agents not only walking around off the trail, I have seen them driving their trucks cross-country through the open space.  The tire tracks they leave are far more invasive of the ecosystem that my gentle footsteps.  Years later I can still see the evidence of his ecological intrusion upon the landscape.  No matter, he is a government agent and what is true for me is not true for him.  When I walk off trail I am behaving immorally.  When he drives his truck anywhere he wants he is behaving morally.  Why do I find that hard to understand?
  • If I provide services to others by rendering medical advice for compensation I am a modern day hero.  I am called a doctor and I am considered by many to be one of the greatest members of our society.  I can save lives because of my practice.  That is, as long as I have a government license to do so.  If I do not have a government license I am a terrible felon intent upon killing people and worthy,when caught doing so, of decades in prison.  Exact same action, completely different outcome.  Why?
  • If I provide services to others by rendering legal advice for compensation I am a modern day hero.  I am a lawyer.  Everyone wants his kid to grow up to be either a doctor or a lawyer.  Lawyers are pillars of our society who defend the rights of the little people against evil, profit seeking corporations.  They are heroes. I am praised for my efforts as a lawyer unless I just happen to be executing my legal maneuvers without a government license.  Then I am a disgusting felon who needs to be arrested and incarcerated.
  • If I work as a taxi driver I am a productive member of society performing a valuable public service, or at least that is what career politicians tell me.  If I take my neighbor to the airport and he pays me $20 for the trip, I am a dangerous lawbreaker who threatens the very fabric of our society.  What is the difference?  In the first case I have a government license, in the second I do not.  The action is the same, the end result is very different.
  • If I cut my neighbor's hair in exchange for a six pack of adult beverage I am breaking the law, unless I have a government license saying that I have the right to cut hair in exchange for a six pack of adult beverage.  Then I am called a hairdresser and a valued member of our society. The action is the same but the final consequences are very different.
These are just five examples of how the permission of the government to do something sanctifies that action and converts it from an immoral action into a moral one.  If that isn't deity, what is?  

Thursday, January 30, 2014

Why Some People Become Rich

I was looking around the internet the other day researching the topic of income inequality.  It has become a big deal thanks to King Obama's proclamation that he will make it a focus of his propaganda campaign for the remainder of his kingship.  One thing that is simply assumed by everyone participating in the debate is that income inequality is a bad thing.  I disagree. Income inequality is neither good nor bad.  In a free market income inequality simply is the way things are.  I have argued for this position in several recent posts which can be found here, here and here.
Today I would like to tackle the topic of why some people become rich and others do not.  A recent poll conducted by the Pew Research Center revealed some very predictable responses to that question.   Here is a quotation from a article about that poll:
"At the core of the inequality debate is the question of why some people are poor and others rich.
Liberals think it's structural, that the economy is rigged to support the privileged and keep down the poor. Conservatives say it's work and culture, that working hard and making the right choices will lift you up.  But a new poll from the Pew Research Center shows that the American Public has a more balanced view of wealth and inequality.  The survey found that most people believe being rich has to do with 'having more advantages than others.' Only about one-third believe wealth is a result of hard work.  Half of those surveyed believe that people are poor because of 'circumstances beyond their control.' Only 35 percent believe it has to do with a lack of effort.  Most also feel the system 'unfairly benefits the wealthy.' (, Published: Thursday, 23 Jan 2014,  By: Robert Frank | CNBC Reporter and Editor.)

Why are Some People Poor and Others Rich?

Wow! Envy has clouded the thinking of everyone on this issue.  Nobody has the right answer.  The liberals say that the "economy is rigged to support the privileged and keep down the poor."  That's not true.  Even using the term "privileged" for the rich indicates that they clearly believe the wealth owned by the rich is not a result of their own effort but has come to them though some conduit known as "privilege", whatever that is.  Conservatives say people become wealthy when they work hard and poor people are poor because they are lazy.  Both liberals and conservatives have missed the boat on this one.  Robert Frank believes that the "American Public", whatever that is, has a better grip on the issue.  He agrees with the liberals that rich people are rich because of this thing called "privilege" ("had more advantages") but he disagrees that poor people are poor because they are lazy.   Poor people are poor, according to the American People, because of bad luck.  If we think about it for just a second or two we all have to admit that getting rich has little to do with total effort expended.  We all know people who work very hard who are poor.  We also know people who have expended very little effort in their careers and yet have become amazingly wealthy.  Clearly effort has little to do with getting rich.
Likewise, in the free market, luck or the elusive idea of privilege also have nothing to do with a person becoming rich.  Unless one happens to stumble upon a hidden stash of cash or pot of gold, luck has nothing to do with riches.  Privilege, on the other hand, needs to be defined before the idea that it creates wealth can be dissected.  There is a sense in which the privilege argument is correct.  If privilege means that some people have more skills than others, then privilege clearly has something to do with riches.  Let's cut to the chase and explain exactly why some people are rich and others are not.
The answer to the question as to why some people are rich and others are not is two-fold.  People become rich because of inequality of ability and inequality of service to the consuming public.  All differences in wealth, therefore, are directly related to these two inequalities that exist in the real world.  To eliminate the twin inequalities of ability and service from our society we would have to execute those who have those abilities.  There is also no way to transfer those abilities from those who have them to those who do not.   We are just going to have to face up to the fact that men are different and they have different abilities to work and to serve the consuming public. 
Let's expand our understanding of these two inequalities in the rest of today's post. Everyone has a different capacity for work.  There are hundreds of things I simply cannot do.  I can't fix a car engine.  I can't pound a nail straight.  I can't read an X-ray.  I can't cut hair and I can't fix a broken water line.  I have no clue how to do any of those things and even if I did, I don't have the physical and mental skills required to do them.  What I can do well is clean things.  As a janitor I can clean your office quicker and more efficiently than just about anyone else.  I can make your floor so clean you can eat off of it.  Really, you can.  The bathrooms in your building will never be cleaner than when you hire me to clean them.  I am proud of the fact that I can create a clean workplace for my employers.  So, the truth about me, and everyone else in the world for that matter, is that I can do some things well, a couple of things very well and everything else quite poorly.
The income that I receive, and the total wealth that I derive from it, is dependent upon how much the free market desires and values the services I can provide.  Because I am very good at what I do I am able to earn considerably more than the minimum wage.  However, there are a lot of people who are also good at cleaning buildings.  I have a lot of competition.  My particular skill is common in the free market.  As a result, the income I can earn for what I do is significantly lower than someone who has a skill that is more rare or valuable to the free market.  I can complain about this fact all I want but it will not change it.  I can ask the government to make a law to pay me more than the free market values me but that would be theft and I want no part of that.  I conclude that I work very hard (many more hours per week than you might think) but will never make enough money to join those in the top 1%, top 10% or even the top 25%.  The abilities that I have are not valued by the market as much as the abilities evidenced by those in the top 25% of the income population.  That is the nature of the real world and I accept it for what it is.
The second determinant of income and overall wealth is the scope of the services I can provide.  I am only one man.  I can only do so much work.  Even if I worked 24 hours a day, 365 days a year I would never make as much money in one year as most of the people whose offices I clean can make in a month or two.  Why does my effort not translate into equal pay when compared to those for whom I work?  The answer is simple.  I do not serve nearly as many people as my employers do.  They make more money for one simple reason....they serve more people.  Think about it for a minute.  Why did Bill Gates become the richest man in the world?  Is it because he worked harder than everyone else?  No.  Is it because he was lucky?  No.  Is it because he was "privileged"?  No.  Bill Gates is the richest man in the world because his operating system sits on the desk tops of hundreds of millions of people around the world.  His software package only costs about $150 but he sells gazillions of units of that software.  He serves more people in one day (or he did before he retired) than I will serve in my entire lifetime.  And that is why he is the world's richest man.
Why do sports figures make so much money?  Once again, they do not work harder than others, they are not lucky nor are they privileged.  What they do have is a rare ability to perform a particular athletic endeavor that is highly valued by hundreds of millions of people.  That combination of rare ability and the high valuation placed upon that ability by the consuming public results in a tremendous amount of wealth flowing to the person with that rare ability.  Why do movie stars make so much money?  By now you should be getting the picture.  It has everything to do with their ability to act and their ability to please large numbers of movie goers.  The rule of the free market is simple and clear.  If you want to make more money, serve more people.  If you want to make huge amounts of money, serve huge amounts of people.  People in the top 1% are there because they have unique skills and abilities that they use to serve large numbers of people.  That is why they are rich and it is a good thing.  It is only the sinful attitude of envy that causes people to disparage the wealthy and accuse them of being evil simply because they have a unique ability and serve many people.  Rather than hating them we should value them for the services they provide to the rest of us who are not as gifted as they are.
There is one exception to the rules that I have described above.  Can you guess what it is?  Most people believe that the poor are poor because of bad luck.  That is not true.  The working poor are poor because they provide a common service to a small group of people.  Most people believe that the rich are rich because of "advantages" they have that others do not.  As we have seen, that is true depending upon how you define "advantage".  When a person has the advantage of being able to provide a particular service to a large number of people he will become wealthy.  That is a good thing.  However, when a person becomes rich because he has an advantage conveyed upon him by the government, he will also become rich and that is a very bad thing.  The government intervenes into the free market all of the time, conveying monopoly privileges upon one group at the expense of all others.  Doctors are rich because the government grants them a monopoly that allows them to control the amount of service that they can provide, thus driving up prices.  The supply of doctors is limited in order to drive up the income they earn.  Lawyers do the same thing.  The various state bar associations are designed to restrict the supply of lawyers and drive up the amount they can charge for their services.  In a free market anyone who wanted to could hang out his shingle and call himself a doctor or a lawyer.  The free market would determine who was good at it and who was not.  The good ones would make lots of money and the bad ones would be driven out of business.  But one thing is for sure, fees for the services of doctors and lawyers would be much lower than they are under our monopolistic system. 
So there you have it.  You are going to be limited in regards to how much money you can make by your own natural abilities.  You can increase the amount that you make if you can figure out how to serve more people but even then you are still limited by your natural ability.  These two rules for why some people are rich and most people are not entirely explain income inequality.  It should be obvious to anyone who is not a career politician or a envy filled socialist that income inequality is neither good nor bad.  It is the end result of people just being who they are.

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

McDonald's "Customers" Should Be Arrested For Trespassing

In a story posted on recently, a sordid tale of alleged victim status, the desire for privilege and the act of trespassing on private property was told.  Here, in part, is the story:
"With its low coffee prices, plentiful tables and available bathrooms, McDonald's restaurants all over the country, and even all over the world, have been adopted by a cost-conscious set as a coffeehouse for the people, a sort of everyman's Starbucks.  Behind the Golden Arches, older people seeking company, schoolchildren putting off homework time and homeless people escaping the cold have transformed the banquettes into headquarters for the kind of laid-back socializing once carried out on a park bench or brownstone stoop.  But patrons have also brought the mores of cafe culture, where often a single purchase is permission to camp out with a laptop. Increasingly, they seem to linger over McCafe Lattes, sometimes spending a lot of time but little money in outlets of this chain, which rose to prominence on a very different business model: food that is always fast. And so restaurant managers and franchise owners are often frustrated by these, their most loyal customers. Such regulars hurt business, some say, and leave little room for other customers. Tensions can sometimes erupt.
In the past month, those tensions came to a boil in New York City. When management at a McDonald's in Flushing, Queens, called the police on a group of older Koreans, prompting outrage at the company's perceived rudeness, calls for a worldwide boycott and a truce mediated by a local politician, it became a famous case of a struggle that happens daily at McDonald's outlets in the city and beyond. Is the customer always right—even the ensconced penny-pincher? The answer seems to be yes among the ones who do the endless sitting.  If Mike Black's friends are looking for him, they know to check the McDonald's on Utica Avenue in East Flatbush, Brooklyn, he said. That is where Mr. Black, who is in his 50s, spends hours reading his junk mail.  'I don't eat fast food,' he said, arguing that his one coffee entitled him to all the leisure time he needed. 'I just come here to hang out and deal with my mail.'
A few miles away at another McDonald's, a fedora-wearing crew holds court daily. 'Old-timers, we have been here for years; we're kids who grew up in the neighborhood,' said Jerry Walters, 70, who was sitting with two friends. On the tables there was nary a coffee, but there was a Budweiser secreted in a paper bag. 'We're accustomed to being here.'  At some of New York City's 235 McDonald's outlets, customers say they have adopted the fast-food franchise as a cafe for a less affluent crowd.   A McDonald's in New York is fighting with a group of elderly people who spend hours and hours in the restaurant while ordering little and leaving no room for other customers.
One afternoon last week, Vincent Diehel, 39, sat at his usual table in a McDonald's near St. Marks Place in Manhattan, scribbling spontaneous bop prosody and then rapping violent lyrics aloud. He was back even though police officers had asked him to vacate after hours of sitting the weekend before, he said. 'I wouldn't leave; I refused to move,' said Mr. Diehel, who said he had fallen on hard times and saw McDonald's as a refuge where he could gather his thoughts. He felt being kicked out was unfair. 'I wasn't ordering no food, no soda, no coffee, no beverages nor any of that. That's probably the reason why." To paraphrase Ann Coulter......Ya think?
Has the whole world gone insane?  It sure seems that way to me.  How can this possibly become a news story?  How can anyone in his right mind believe that he is entitled to trespass on someone's property and then cry foul the moment the property owner has him removed?  Has every single citizen in the Socialist Democracy of Amerika developed an entitlement mentality that renders him incapable of seeing reality for what it is?  Does everyone of us believe we have the right to do whatever we want, whenever we want, however we want and everyone else is expected to oblige us?  I am at a loss in my vain attempt to understand the thinking of these people.
The Korean ladies call for a "worldwide boycott" of McDonald's because McDonald's expects them to buy something when they visit the store.  These women believe that McDonald's is being "rude" for having the expectation that whoever enters a store will actually purchase something from the store and not simply use it as a rent-free meeting place.   A bunch of old geezers with way too much time on their hands believe they can flop at the local McDonald's and drink beer there without so much as buying a cup of coffee between them. Then they have the unmitigated gall to be offended when the store owner asks them to leave?  Then, an unemployed "musician" sits in a booth at the local McDonald's while singing his "songs" so disruptively the store owner has to call the police to remove him.  He immediately returns, refuses to buy anything, and then professes to be incapable of understanding why McDonald's would not want him to stay?  He claims that he is being treated "unfairly"!  What has this world come to?
I was raised to respect the property of others.  Maybe you were too.  When my family went to a store we children were strictly instructed to "touch nothing", "stay in line", "don't shout" and "leave everything the way you found it."  We would never dream of entering a commercial establishment if we did not have the intention of buying something.  It would never have occurred to us to go to a local restaurant and just sit there, without buying anything, until the police arrived to escort us away.  It is incomprehensible to us that we could then see ourselves as victims of the store owner's lawful right to have us removed.
What do you do when you go to a restaurant and it is full?  When you do finally get a table do you make an attempt to eat quickly so that those who are still waiting for a table can get one without waiting for a long period of time?  I am not talking about gagging your food down so that you make yourself sick.  I am talking about simply being aware of others and being courteous to them as you would like them to be to you.  Do you do that?  I do.  I always have.  I was taught to behave that way by my mama.  I think she was right in what she taught me.
What do you do when you are at a restaurant having a leisurely meal/drink and the restaurant begins to fill up?  Are you aware that it is filling?  Do you think about wrapping up your leisurely conversation with your fellow diners before the last table is utilized?  Do you think about taking the pressure off your server by leaving before the line for tables begins to form?  I do.  I always have.  I was taught to behave that way by my mama.  I think she was right in what she taught me.
What do you do when you are in a restaurant, having a drink or a meal with a good friend, and the conversation goes long into the afternoon?  In this case the restaurant is not beginning to fill up, but you have been there for several hours and run up a small tab. Do you tip 15 or 20 percent?  Or do you realize that the tip should be based upon how long your server has served you?  Do you tip 30, 40 or 50 percent to compensate your server for the time you spent in the restaurant?  I do.  I always have.  And, you are right, my mama taught me to do that also.  And I think she was right in this case as well.
I don't understand people today.  I do not understand their sense of entitlement.  I do not understand their brazen selfishness.  I do not understand their perpetual sense of victimization based upon everything that happens to them.  I feel (yes, I am talking about feelings today) as if I live among a nation of people I no longer know or understand.  I feel like a total alien.  And I feel very sad.  What have we become?

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Blame The Norovirus, Not The Cruise Line

You have probably heard about the fuss being raised by passengers on board a recent Caribbean cruise.  CNN reported yesterday that "A 10-day Royal Caribbean cruise ship will return two days early after an outbreak of gastrointestinal illness.  According to Bernadette Burden, a spokeswoman with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than 600 people on the ship have become ill. Passengers and crew members reported vomiting and diarrhea."  I had the misfortune of listening to several passenger interviews last night.  Each of the people interviewed acted as if she had just survived the worst outbreak of illness known to man.  Of course they were all upset with Royal Caribbean and expected compensation for their pain and suffering.  
Although it has been generally the case that cruise ship illnesses have gone largely unreported in the popular media in the past, things have changed since the Carnival cruise liner was stranded at sea for several days last February.   The passengers on board that ship proved to be a large gang of sissies who were unprepared for even the slightest inconvenience.  In this case, the passengers also complained that their experience on board the ship was less than ideal and held the Royal Caribbean company responsible for their self-perceived inferior experience.  Bowing to the maxim that "the customer is always right", Royal Caribbean issued a statement agreeing with the passengers and promising to give them some sort of financial concession.
One common characteristic in the reports about the current outbreak of illness was speculation about where the disease could have come from.  The great majority of the time these illnesses are caused by the norovirus.  The norovirus is a very common virus that infects around 270 million people each year.  Its symptoms are generally described as the "stomach flu" as those infected by the virus tend to suffer diarrhea and vomiting for a day or so.  The infection quickly passes.  We used to call it the "24 hour bug" because it made you feel pretty bad for a day but then was quickly a distant memory.  It is suspected that the norovirus was responsible for the most recent spate of illnesses on board the cruise liner.
Asking the question about the origins of the norovirus aboard a cruise liner is a really stupid thing to do.  Those passengers who were interviewed spoke as if the virus had come out of the metal of the ship and attacked them while they slept in their cabins.  The government inspectors, of course, were called in and they universally agreed that the virus responsible for the disease had to be on board the ship somewhere.  Executives for Royal Caribbean said that the ship would be given a thorough cleaning and all areas of the ship would be disinfected prior to going out to sea again.  What is wrong with these people?  Has everyone gone stark raving mad?
The norovirus is not the alien.  It does not prowl around the ship looking for someone to infect.  It does not lurk in dark corners of the ship, only to come out at night and attack innocent people who did not take the proper precautions against it.  It is not a vampire or a zombie.  It does not live in metal and cannot be found in any of the constituent parts of the ship.  No, the norovirus is simply a virus that is responsible for 90% of all non-bacterial, epidemic outbreaks of gastroenteritis around the world each year.  It is also responsible for 50% of all food-borne outbreaks of gastroenteritis in the SDA each year. The norovirus is highly contagious among humans.  It can be spread through food, water and air.  Once an outbreak occurs among a population of people who are highly concentrated and isolated it is very likely you are going to catch it.  But don't worry, it isn't fatal.  It will pass quickly and you can get on with your life. 
The answer to the question about the origination of the norovirus on board the Royal Carribean cruise liner is simple.  It came on board via one of the passengers or crew.  In other words, it is not possible to blame the ship itself for the outbreak.  It is also not possible to blame the Royal Caribbean company for the outbreak.  Try as they might, the government inspectors and the envy-filled passengers on board the ship cannot scientifically or morally assign blame for their illness to the profit seeking company that sponsored the cruise.  Those who became ill have no moral claim against Royal Caribbean.  Those who were infected have not experienced a tort at the hands of Royal Caribbean.  What happened aboard that ship is just life.  Sometimes people get sick.  Sometimes you get sick when other people get sick.  Get over it.
I am amazed that people understand this principle when they fly.  We all know that the popular term for an airplane as a "germ tube" fits so well because the close proximity of many people for many hours creates an ideal situation where germs can be passed back and forth.  Yet I have never heard of anyone who called a government agent because she became ill after traveling on an airplane.  I have never heard of anyone suing an airline because he become ill after flying.  And I have certainly never heard an airline agree to give passengers free flights in the future simply because they became ill after a flight.  But when the illness strikes people while on a cruise, all bets are off.  Suddenly everyone becomes a gigantic sissy who is looking to get something for nothing.  And where is the best place to look?  At the deep pockets of the cruise line company of course.  
It is time for us to grow up.  Boarding a passenger ship filled with thousands of fellow passengers living in close quarters during the peak of illness season in the winter is a risk those engaging in the activity should be willing to take.  If you are not willing to take that risk, don't go on a cruise.  The cruise line cannot be held morally responsible for outbreaks of norovirus, or any other virus for that matter.  The government should not be called in to harass a profit seeking business simply because people got sick.  If you went on a cruise and became ill do the reasonable and responsible thing, blame the norovirus and not the cruise line.  Stop looking for a handout.  Stop trying to attain victim status so you can get something for nothing from a profit seeking company with a large bank account. Stop looking to the government to support your cause.  
If you go on a cruise and become ill, treat it as an adventure.  Remind yourself of what it would have been like to sail the seas hundreds of years ago.  Imagine what it would have been like to sail from Boston to Hawaii on board a ship stuffed full of other people, each getting into each other's way and passing around various diseases.  Imagine what the food would have been like.  Imagine how seasick you would have become.  Imagine how the weather would have impacted your voyage and give thanks that your experience on board a modern cruise liner is not life threatening.  It is just a fun adventure that should be appreciated for what it is rather than complained about as a significant life hardship.

Monday, January 27, 2014

Obama Declares Himself King, Again

In an amazing abuse of authority and presidential power, Socialist Democracy of Amerika President Obama essentially declared himself to be the King of the SDA on Monday, January 27th.  He declared himself to be king over a year ago as well.  Go here for the story.  Meanwhile, Obama has decided to increase the stakes and  announce that a coup will take place on Tuesday, January 28th.  The following statement was taken from the CNBC website on Monday:
"When he stands before lawmakers Tuesday night for his State of the Union speech, President Barack Obama will have a message for the divided Congress that has largely stymied his agenda for the past three years: Fine, I'll go it alone.  'I've got a pen,' Obama has said in the weeks leading up to the speech, 'and I can use that pen to sign executive orders and take executive actions and administrative actions that move the ball forward.'
Many of Obama's big policy goals have ended up stranded in limbo between the Democratic-controlled Senate trying to advance his agenda and the Republican-led House bent on stopping him.  And, heading into a midterm election year, he faces lame-duck status unless his party can regain control of the House this November.  Frustrated with the Capitol Hill quagmire, the president is increasingly turning toward the power of the presidency to try to solidify his legacy. Obama has pledged to act, saying, 'We are not just going to be waiting for legislation in order to make sure that we're providing Americans the kind of help that they need.'
'The president sees this as a year of action, to work with Congress where he can and to bypass Congress where necessary,' White House press secretary Jay Carney told ABC News Sunday."
Let's think about what our newly declared King has decreed.
When King Obama swore his oath of office he promised, by the help of the God he does not believe in and Who will judge him for his actions, to "uphold the Constitution of the United States."   That means he swore to uphold those parts of the Constitution that specifically declare what his powers are to be.  Article II, Sections 2 and 3 describe the powers that have been granted to the President.  Here is an exhaustive list of those powers:
  • Commander and Chief of the armed forces (but without the ability to declare war).
  • He may request written opinions about government affairs from officers in the Federal government.
  • He may deliver a State of the Union address to Congress.  This is not required.
  • He may grant pardons.
  • He may make treaties but only with 2/3rds consent of the Senate.
  • He may appoint ambassadors with the consent of the Senate.
  • He may make "recess appointments" the the courts or Federal government department heads when Congress is not in session.
  • He has the right to tell Congress what he believes it should be doing but he has no authority to enforce his opinion on Congress.
  • He has the right to convene either house of Congress.
  • He receives foreign ambassadors.
  • He may veto legislation passed by Congress when he believes it to be unconstitutional.
That, folks, is all the President of the USA is legally permitted to do.  If you don't believe me, go read the Constitution for yourself.  It is surprisingly clear and easy to understand.  What the President of the United States is legally permitted to do and what the King of the Socialist Democracy of Amerika has decided to do, however, are two very different things.  
King Obama has declared that he "has a pen" and he is going to use that pen to create laws that will then be forced upon the citizens of the SDA whether they want those laws or not.  Furthermore, the King has decreed that he will create laws with total disregard for the legitimate law making branch of government, the Congress.  Simply put, King Obama has illegally and unconstitutionally declared that he is going to seize power from the legislative branch of the government and consolidate all federal government power in himself.  His statement is treasonous.  His statement is a direct denial of the vow he took two years ago.  He is taking over the federal government.  He is breaking the law and the Constitution.  He should be immediately arrested and imprisoned for treason.
The comment of the White House press secretary in defense of the new King's action is most revealing.  Read it again if you can stomach it.  It is shocking that a man could actually come out and say what he said and not be immediately arrested for his words.  Secretary Carney has clearly informed us that King Obama will "work" with Congress when they give him what he wants and totally ignore Congress when they do not give him what he wants.  He has clearly asserted that the King has the authority to "bypass Congress" and create new law by "Executive Order" anytime he wants to.  That, dear readers, is nothing short of rebellion against the law of the land.  King Obama has staged a coup and arrogated all governmental authority to himself.  President Obama has declared himself to be King Obama, with all of the rights and privileges associated with monarchical reign. 
We, as citizens of the SDA, frequently laugh at how petty dictators come and go in various countries around the world.  Who is in power in Peru today, we wonder?  Who has staged a military coup in Panama today, we ask?  Now it has happened in our own country.  Who is laughing now?  Sadly, but as expected, the citizens of the SDA have received the King's words about the overthrow of the government of the United States with total docility and acceptance.  There is nary a word of complaint.  Apparently the vast majority of the citizens in this disgusting country believe that we need to be like the other countries of the world and have an all-powerful King to lead us. 
Even worse, because they know better, Congress is choosing to remain silent.  Where are the expressions of outrage from Congressmen who have had their authority stripped from them and given to the King?  Where are the calls for impeachment?  Congress has the political and moral duty to protect the citizens of this land from the dictatorial assaults of our self-professed King.  What do they do?  Nothing!  They are all too concerned about posturing and posing for the cameras so they can get reelected in the next election cycle and thus preserve their status as well paid career politicians.  They clearly do not give a rip about the status of their subjects......opps........I mean constituents.
The fact that King Obama can announced in advance of his self-coronation tomorrow night that he is going to seize legislative power from the Congress and not experience any popular or political backlash is astounding.  It is indicative of just how far the citizens of this country have given up their freedom and become subjects to the all-powerful King.  It is a powerful indictment of the people of this land and clearly proves that we have become a nation of government worshipers who desire to have a King to rule over us.  Nobody in this land believes in freedom any longer.  Nobody in this land wants to live a life of personal responsibility.  Everything has become politicized.  Everyone wants a King who will promised to play Robin Hood and take from the rich in order to give to them.  Well folks, we have arrived.  I hope you enjoy what you get because you have asked for it.  Now you are going to get it, good and hard.