San Juan Mountains

San Juan Mountains
San Juan Mountains: Grenadier Range

Friday, May 29, 2015

Who Is Stealing From Whom?

I saw the photograph below on the other day.  I have copied the caption from the photograph immediately below it.  When I saw this photograph I flew into an almost uncontrollable rage.  Fortunately I have recently given up drinking coffee and I had just removed my coffee cup from my office.  Having nothing more substantial than pens, pencils and paperclips to throw around, I soon tired of the effort and collapsed into my chair, utterly exhausted.  What is wrong with everyone?  Am I the only one who sees the irony in that shot?  The article accompanying the photo went on to describe how politically difficult it is going to be for Republicans to repeal Obamacare given how many citizens of the Socialist Democracy of Amerika have already become totally addicted to the government handouts associated with the program.  This photo perfectly illustrates how quickly envy-filled citizens become habituated to the handouts they receive.  Suddenly Obamacare has become "My Care." Amazing.

Demonstrator Elodie Huttner holds a sign in support of President Barack Obama's health-care law, Obamacare, in front of the U.S. Supreme Court in Washington, on Wednesday, March 4, 2015.
Andrew Harrer | Bloomberg | Getty Images
"Demonstrator Elodie Huttner holds a sign in support of President Barack Obama's health-care law, Obamacare, in front of the U.S. Supreme Court in Washington, on Wednesday, March 4, 2015."

So Elodie Huttner believes that something that belongs to him is being taken away, does he?  What, precisely, is it that belongs to him?  The only possible answer is his Obamacare subsidy.  And what is a subsidy?  I believe even the most ignorant citizen of the SDA understands that a subsidy is money that is first taken from the top 49% of the income population, that pays all federal taxes by the way, and given to a politically protected and favored group.  How quickly Elodie came to believe that the stolen money he was receiving actually belonged to him.  How quickly Elodie came to experience a self-righteous indignation the moment the possibility of losing a future stream of stolen money appeared on the horizon.  He immediately mobilized himself and went out to protest the injustice of it all.  But envy is a sinfully blinding emotion.  While he cries out for the continuation of his "care," he also cries out for the continuation of the theft of my money.  Apparently when I am robbed it is okay but when he is robbed of the money he stole from me in the first place it is a federal offense. 
Here is the gist of the article,  "'If the Supreme Court throws out the subsidies ... this is going to be a political disaster for Republicans, and they're unprepared for it,' said Robert Laszewski, an Obamacare opponent who is president of Health Policy and Strategy Associates, a consulting firm. 'It's unbelievable how short-sighted the Republicans have been here.  The American people have a sense of fairness, and will be unhappy to learn that people in states are losing health coverage while those in states with their own exchanges will retain their insurance, Laszeswki said."
Did I read that right?  Laszeswki says that "the Amerikan people have a sense of fairness?"  Is he kidding?  What is fair about forcing the top 49% of the income population to pay for the health insurance bills of people like Elodie?  If it is fair to force the top half of the income population to pay for the health insurance bills of the lower half, then what about also forcing them to pay for their car loans?  Certainly everyone has a right to a car.  And what about mortgages?  Everyone has a right to a clean, safe and comfortable place to live.  Why should a poor person be denied the right to a car and a home simply because the greedy members of the top 49% are unwilling to pay their fair share?  Where does all of this nonsense ever stop?
Laszeswki is right about one thing.  The Republicans have been amazingly shortsighted, although a short term time horizon is not endemic to only the Republicans.  All career politicians are concerned exclusively with the next election cycle and nothing else.  That is how they become career politicians.  The Republicans are in an impossible position.  They want to rail against Obamacare but too many people, including many who vote Republican,  are already feeding at the trough and unwilling to walk away from it.  Repealing Obamacare will not be expedient if a career politician wishes to remain a career politician.  If Obamacare is repealed it will have to be replaced with some version of Republicancare.  It is too late to close the barn door.  The SDA has socialized the health insurance industry and it is too late to go back to the way it was before.  In fact, it is impossible.  Ultimately the responsibility for this state of affairs lies with the lower 51% of the income population which has decided that a good portion of the income of the top 49% of the income population is morally theirs.  They hire career politicians, by means of the vote,  to set up the system of transfer payments in order to get their hands on what they believe is their own. Given the twin conditions of human sinfulness and democracy, this is a situation that will never change and will only get worse as more aspects of our lives become socialized.  Just ask Elodie, he thinks someone is trying to steal his money. 

Thursday, May 28, 2015

FINRA Strips Brokers Of Their Constitutional Rights

I have posted to this blog before about the shenanigans going on at the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, or FINRA in government alphabet-speak. FINRA is the quasi-governmental, self-regulatory organization all members of the investment brokerage community must, by law, belong to.  In this post I showed how a huge conflict of interest exists between FINRA bureaucrats and the brokers they allegedly serve.   What I have recently learned convinces me that things are much worse than what I have imagined.  Thanks to the efforts of a broker friend, in passing along to me public information that I would never have come across on my own,  I have been able to see just how much the government of the Socialist Democracy of Amerika is persecuting people who are in the investment brokerage business in this stiflingly bureaucratic land.  Indeed, FINRA has suspended the 4th and 5th Amendment rights of all its members.  That sounds a little harsh but it is true.   Allow me to explain.
The 4th Amendment recognizes your right to live a secret life.  Yes, it is true, the 4th Amendment was written because the founding fathers of this envy filled land believed that you should be able to live your life without being seen by the government.  As long as you do not commit an act of violence against your neighbor, the government should have no idea what you are doing or what you are up to.  Although there were sporadic short-term violations of your right to be secure from government surveillance of your personal affairs throughout the history of this land, the wholesale abandonment of the 4th Amendment did not really take place until 9/11.  The sheeple who reside in this country were so terrified by the vision of the twin towers and the panic-filled warnings of our rulers that we were all about to be killed by terrorists that they blindly and stupidly embraced the provisions of the Patriot Act.  Basically everyone without a brain to think or a heart of courage decided to give up all civil rights in exchange for a false promise of government provided security from terrorism.
The Patriot Act impacted investment brokers by making them subject to the provisions of the Bank Secrecy Act.  As a result of the Patriot Act all brokers were suddenly made responsible for turning over private information about their clients to the government at any time and without probable cause.  Any broker who refuses to provide the desired information can and will be fined and imprisoned for a violation of the Patriot Act.  The net result is that all information collected by your broker about your personal financial situation is available to the various government agencies (NSA, FBI, CIA, TSA, HS, etc) at their whim.  To make matters worse, the poor broker is also forbidden from telling you that you are being subjected to an unconstitutional and immoral investigation by your own government.  If he does tell you about the fact that you are being spied upon he will be fined and imprisoned.  What is a broker to do?
I was aware of the violations of the 4th Amendment that brokers and their clients are forced to undergo some time ago.  The violation of the 5th Amendment that brokers are subjected to is new information to me.  My broker friend sent me a copy of an email of a broker who is running for some seat within FINRA.  As a part of his campaign he is quoting from the FINRA rule book about how internal investigations of investment brokers are conducted.  Here is a portion of that email message:

"In FINRA’s OTR instructions, under FINRA Rule 8210, in their “ADDENDUM A TO REQUEST FOR TESTIMONY,” which accompanies their summons for an On The Record Interview (deposition), the following admonition is included.
“You are obligated, under FINRA rules, to answer all questions asked by FINRA staff.  Please be informed that FINRA is not a governmental agency, and thus, does not recognize the Fifth Amendment privilege against self-incrimination in any of its proceedings, including an OTR.  Should you refuse to answer any questions based on and assertion of the privilege, you may be subject to a FINRA disciplinary action and the imposition of sanctions, including a bar from the securities industry, suspension, censure and/or fine.”
The SEC is using FINRA to circumvent the Constitution.  The Fifth Amendment to the United States Constitution protects us against self-incrimination.  However, as you can see, FINRA is above all that.
If the SEC calls you to give testimony, since the SEC is a governmental agency, you have the Constitutional Right to protect yourself against self-incrimination, by citing the Fifth Amendment to the Constitution, if you are asked a question that you feel would be self-incriminating.  The SEC can then tell FINRA to conduct an OTR, give them the questions that you refused to answer by invoking the Fifth and you are compelled to answer since you have no Fifth Amendment protection with FINRA."

The emphasis in the above quote is by the author.  I think it is a good use of bold print.  It is flabbergastingly, if there is such a word, incomprehensible that a government bureaucrat could believe that it is possible to suspend the 5th Amendment by means of a bureaucratic rule.  But there it is, in bold print.  The career bureaucrats at FINRA have written a rule that suspends the 5th Amendment rights of all brokers who are members of FINRA, which is just about all brokers who operate in this sad land.  FINRA bureaucrats claim power for themselves that even the FBI, CIA, NSA, and HS do not claim.  FINRA bureacrats claim that all brokers must incriminate themselves whenever they are asked a question by their government superiors.  What makes all of this most galling is the fact that FINRA is not a government organization.  It is a self-regulatory organization that ostensibly exists to serve its members by helping them comply with the rules being enforced by the Securities and Exchange Commission.  But rather than act as a buffer between hard working investment brokers and the bureaucratic beast which is the SEC, FINRA has jumped into bed with the SEC and adopts an adversarial stance towards the very brokers who pay the salaries of the FINRA employees. 
There is no doubt  that what FINRA is doing is both immoral and unconstitutional.  Unfortunately, given the state of the law in this land today, it is legal.  It saddens me to know that my poor broker has to operate under immoral conditions imposed upon him by the federal government that are the direct result of the cowardice and state-worshiping attitude of the disgusting citizens in this land. 

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

How Government Spending Has Changed

The following pie graphs illustrate the nature of federal spending in the Socialist Democracy of Amerika in 1965 and 2014.  They present a stark comparison between government spending fifty years ago and government spending today. Take a look at these two graphs and see what you can find.  I will join you at the bottom for some commentary of my own.

* includes investment in infrastructure, community & regional development, science & technology, administration of justice, international affairs, etc.
Source: Office of Management and Budget

Although government spending has grown, in nominal terms, from 125 billion dollars to almost 3,600 billion dollars in just fifty years, when calculated as a percentage of Gross Domestic Product it has only increased by 19% over the period.  What is most startling about current government spending is not its enormity, which is enormous enough, but how allocations have changed over the years.  Consider these facts:
  • National Defense has dropped from 41% of the federal budget to 17% in 2015.  The Socialist Democracy of Amerika spends more on defense than any other nation in the world, despite the fact that current levels of defense spending are 60% lower than they were fifty years ago. Of course fifty years ago was right in the middle of the Cold War and nuclear bombs, as well as the research to make new and improved nuclear bombs, was expensive. 
  • As is to be expected, outlays for Social Security have risen from 14% to 24% of all federal spending.  This will only continue to grow as the SDA experiences the demographic reality of an aging population.  You pro-choicers who might be reading this post can thank yourselves for the practical outworking of your doctrine...fewer babies mean fewer workers which means your Social Security checks will likely end up being smaller than today's generation.
  • Interest on the national debt has remained essentially the same, at 6-7% of the total amount spent.  Of course the 1 Year Treasury Note was paying 4.0% in 1965 while today it is paying a whopping .1%.  What do you think will happen when interest rates finally rise?  That will be a fun thing to watch.
  • Payments for all of the various welfare programs have increased by 50% over the last fifty years, from 14% of total spending to 21%.  What have the taxpayers received in exchange for this "investment" in the nation's "poor?"  According to this website, "In 2012, 46.5 million people were living in poverty in the United States—the largest number in the 54 years the Census has measured poverty. The poverty rate (the percentage of all people in the United States who were poor) also remained at high levels: 15% for all Americans and 21.8% for children under age 18."  A rational person would stop investing into such a poor performing investment vehicle.  Do we need any further proof that the career politicians who rule over us are not rational?
  • By far the biggest change in spending over the past fifty years is the migration of spending from the "Other" category to the "Medicare and Other Health Programs" category.  Ladies and Gentlemen, I give you Obamacare!  Medicare and government provided (read "taxpayer provided") health care has grown from just 1% of the total government spending in 1965 to 26% of all federal spending today, with no end in sight to its rise.  What do you think will happen when government spending on health care has consumed all of the money available in the "Other" category?  That category is down to just 6% of spending, from its high of 23% in 1965.  Where is the money for Obamacare going to come from when Other is gone?  
I believe there is only one thing that can be derived from the above pie charts.  Either government is going to soon be forced to exercise fiscal discipline or government spending is soon going to spiral out of control as historical proportions are dramatically exceeded due to the demands of Obamacare.  Which do you think will happen?

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Yesterday Was A Sad Day

I don't know if things are actually getting worse or if I am just becoming more sensitive to what is taking place, but it sure seems to me as if they are.  Idolatry is a terrible thing.  It is difficult to be a believer in the true God and be surrounded by non-stop idolatrous worship of the Beast.  It is especially difficult to live in this imperialistic country on those days that are designated by the career politicians who rule over us as high holy days in celebration and worship of the government.  Memorial Day has morphed into Memorial Weekend and the entire three day period is little more than a festival of soldier worship and statist idolatry.  Anyone who still believes it to be a sin to engage in idolatry, and I realize that is a very small group of people these days, would find his soul greatly disturbed by what goes on in the Socialist Democracy of Amerika over the Memorial Day weekend.
9/11 really did change everything.  No, it did not make the citizens of the SDA more prone to being killed by terrorists.  No, it did not make the world any less safe for Amerikans.  But 9/11 did present an opportunity for the military/industrial complex and the career politicians who govern it to elevate their status in our society.  I remember the good old days when hippies would spit on returning soldiers.  I have fond memories of seeing soldiers returning from foreign wars and being called murderers by the people who had the good sense to stay home and leave foreign countries alone.  I remember when the military was distrusted and teenage boys would only enlist because they had flunked out of school and thought that, somehow, the military would turn them into disciplined, hard working adults.  Fools, all of them.
I tried to watch a Rockies game yesterday.  I almost couldn't get through it.  I had to leave the room several times.  I had to turn the sound down numerous times.  The game began with a salute to veterans.  At the end of each inning the commentators would thank military personnel for their service, whatever that means.  The players were wearing faux camo uniforms and caps.  At the top of the 7th inning every baseball game played yesterday took a break for a "moment of silence."  I have never understood the concept of a moment of silence.  What are you supposed to do during that moment?  The overwhelming majority of the people who participate in the moment hate the God of the Bible with a passion.  They most certainly can't be addressing Him.  And even if they were addressing Him and even if they were asking Him to bless our bombs as they kill foreigners, they would have received a chilling silence in response.  I can't imagine what people actually contemplate during that moment and I have no idea why they are ordered to engage in it. 
The seventh inning stretch was filled with more tributes to soldiers and the singing of "God Bless Amerika."  I wonder if the person singing the song was aware how angry God was with him for his actions?  I wonder if the people who sang along were aware how much the wrath of God was increasing upon them for their actions?  I wonder why no Christian stepped up to warn them about how they were angering God by asking Him to bless this sinful, God-hating land?   I finally turned the game off.  I couldn't stand to watch any more.
This morning I woke up to blue skies and crisp air.  I picked the morning paper up from my driveway and opened it up.  There, on the front page, was a feature story about King Obama delivering a speech at the high, holy ground of Arlington National Cemetery.  I forced myself to read the story, despite the bile rising up in my throat. The King said, "Arlington National Cemetery is more than a final resting place of heroes.  It is a reflection of America itself, the ideals that bind us as one nation."  For perhaps the first time in his life, King Obama said something that was true.  A national cemetery filled with dead soldiers is a very good reflection of Amerika itself.  It shows that we are an imperialistic nation bent on domineering all other nations of the world.  It shows that those who do not agree with us are invaded and conquered.  It shows, most dramatically I might add, how few SDA soldiers have died in the prosecution of those immoral wars when compared to the total number of dirty foreigners we have managed to kill, maim and blow up.  All the national cemeteries in the country could not begin to contain the foreign dead.  But mostly it showed that Amerikan culture is a celebration of immoral wars, death and destruction.  A fine legacy indeed.
King Obama concluded his statements by telling his faithful followers that, "It is a debt we can never fully repay, but it is a debt we will never stop trying to fully repay."  What does that mean?  What is the King really saying?  I certainly owe no debt to a dead soldier's family.  I certainly make no effort to give any of my money to the families of dead soldiers.  Why does the King declare that it is important that the government constantly make laws to take more of my money and give it to the families of dead soldiers?  The VA hospital being built in Denver is already over budget by billions of dollars.  Is that what he means by never fully repaying some imaginary debt?  Ultimately I never understand what politicians say.  What I do understand is that career politicians and military personnel are all heroes and bound for heaven while anti-state curmudgeons like myself are evil, unpatriotic, worse than Hitler and deserving of hell for simply suggesting that Amerika and Amerikans are not exceptional.