San Juan Mountains

San Juan Mountains
San Juan Mountains: Grenadier Range

Saturday, March 5, 2016

Tyranny In The Short-Term Rental Market

The government of the Socialist Democracy of Amerika is tyrannical and seeks to destroy the freedom of every subject living under its control.  Career politicians and their bureaucratic lackeys love nothing more than to do things that destroy personal freedom and make us all government dependent drones.  One of the most recent examples of this truth is what is taking place in the short-term rental real estate market.  I am sure readers of this blog are aware of this new outburst of freedom that is sweeping the country.  People who own homes are using the internet to connect with other people who want to rent those homes for a short period of time.  Everyone wins as people freely rent their homes to people who want to visit a particular area for a while and have the comfort and convenience of a home setting as opposed to a hotel.  As you would expect, government agents despise this new expression of freedom and are quickly moving to squelch it.  Let's talk about that for a while today.
George Mayl of Denver wrote a letter to the editor of the Denver Post that succinctly summarizes the position of freedom haters seeking to use the coercive power of government to control the behavior of their neighbors.  I will quote his letter in its entirety since it is such a sterling example of so many of the things wrong with these people.  He writes, "Let's first state the obvious:  short-term rentals in residential neighborhoods have been and continue to be illegal.  These 'hosts' know it is illegal, but have done so in the past and continue because they make money at neighborhood's expense.  They can say how wonderful it is having 'guests' come and stay and feel the real Denver --- but make no mistake, its about the dollars.  At the four town hall meetings, these lawbreakers said they do not want the city to enforce a permanent-residence clause, meaning a short-term rental must be your primary residence. Neighborhoods are for fostering our children, protecting our neighbors and enjoying our solitude; they are not entertainment centers.  The City Council should put the issue up for a vote of the people."
George is mad about a lot of things.  Mostly he is mad that other people are making money and he is not.  That is a characteristic typical of people who are riddled with envy.  For a man attempting to make a moral argument, George is not getting off to a good start.   George begins by telling us what we already know.  According to Denver law, no rental property may be rented for a period less than 30 days.  The clear intention of that law is to prohibit people from renting their residences on a short-term basis.  The reason for the existence of that law is less obvious to the untrained eye.  Fortunately my trained Welsh eyes see many things that others do not.
The law forbidding short term rentals was put into the books to protect the motel/hotel lobby.  Career politicians in Denver have bought a lot of votes over the years by pandering to this lobby.  The payback for the votes they picked up was the creation of a law to grant special government protection to owners of hotels and motels.  Then, in a classic case of "you scratch my back and I will scratch yours," the hotel/motel lobby agreed to collect a 10.75% hotel tax on every room rented, passing that tax on to the hapless tourists who visit this town and sending the largess to the city to use to buy votes from other politically privileged groups.
Of course no politician and no special interest group is ever going to admit that this is precisely what is going on.  In order to justify their immoral relationship they couch their behavior in terms of the public health, the public interest or some other thing having to do with the public.  We have heard the arguments many times.  The government must forbid short-term rentals because the presence of a short-term rental property increases traffic flow which inevitably causes dozens of fatalities as the guests run over school children on their way to visit the Denver Mint.  Those same guests also drink too much and become unruly in the late hours of the evening.  No citizen of Denver has ever been guilty of being drunk and disorderly.  It is always these stinking tourists who come in and ruin the place.  Public peace and tranquility is always destroyed when some freedom loving property owner decides to rent his property to a tourist for 29 days.
George says that people who rent out their homes to tourists are making "money at neighborhood's expense."  Notwithstanding (the) poor grammar, I am not sure what he means.  I don't know what a neighborhood is and I don't see how a neighborhood, if it could be defined, is going to end up paying the bills for a short-term rental owner.  George offers no insight into what he means when he makes the outrageous and irrational claim that his neighborhood, whatever it is, is going to be stuck with some sort of bill from either the property owners or their guests after their stay is over.
George also says, "make no mistake, it is about the dollars."  Apparently George considers this to be a bad thing.  Too bad George does not understand more about economics.  If he did he would realize that profits are realized when entrepreneurs satisfy the needs of consumers.  Indeed, profits are the most sure sign that business people are making their customers happy.  In case George is not aware, that is a good state of affairs.  Short-term rental proprietors are not engaging in an immoral business activity and when they rent their properties to tourists the tourists are glad to pay the rental fee.  There is no coercion involved.  Both parties go away happy.  The tourists exchange their dollars for a rental and the owner receives dollars for giving up his home for a couple of days.  Like all free market transactions, both parties go away satisfied.  This outrages George who does not believe people should be free, satisfied or happy.
George refers to the "town hall" meetings that bureaucrats with the City of Denver have been holding to try and come up with a way to extract more money from the citizens.  The bureaucrats are smart enough to realize that the freedom brought to the citizenry by the internet makes it truly impossible for them to enforce the no short-term rental law.  So what have they cooked up instead?  They want to create a new law that allows only resident owners to engage in short-term rental agreements.  This proposed new rule is, of course, described as being in the best interests of the public but it is pretty clear what is going on here.  By excluding non-resident owners of short-term rentals the bureaucrats are quite efficiently getting rid of people who could not vote for them in the next election.  No harm is done to their political careers.  Those resident owners which remain in the business will be "licensed."  That means they will be given government monopoly privileges that benefit both them and the city government.  The city government benefits because it charges an annual fee for the license.  The short-term rental owner benefits because he can use the power of government to exclude some of his competitors from the business, thus enabling him to raise rents.  The licensed business owner now has a strong incentive to call the cops on his unlicensed competitor.  This law, and hundreds of others just like it, is one of the best tools used by government to turn citizens into a de facto police force. Isn't it wonderful every time government gets involved with something.  So many noble people and so many noble motivations rise to the surface every time a government agent walks into the room.
George concludes his diatribe by giving us a bit of philosophy.  Although I still do not know what a neighborhood is, he proceeds to tell me what a neighborhood does.  According to George, a neighborhood does three things:  1) foster our children, 2) protect our neighbors and, 3) enjoy our solitude.  Let's consider these three things for a moment.
I guess if neighborhoods actually exist, and George believes they do, they are somehow able to reproduce.  When a male and female neighborhood get together something magical happens.  They produce children.  The children do not belong to anyone in particular.  Indeed, according to George, they belong to everyone.  George believes that they are "our" children, whatever that means.  I do not know how else to interpret George's assertion that neighborhoods "protect our children."  I know what children are.  I know who my children are and I also know that I am the one responsible for protecting them.  If some neighborhood ever knocks on my front door and tries to protect my kids I will have a most unpleasant response ready for it.
Neighborhoods also exist to protect our neighbors.  That can't be completely true because some of the neighbors in the neighborhood want to rent out their properties on a short-term basis.  George does not want the neighborhood to protect those neighbors.  I guess George believes that neighborhoods should exist to protect only the neighbors he likes.  I wonder if George has, or had, kids?  I wonder if he sent, or is sending, them to government schools?  I wonder if George realizes that if he has sent his kids to government schools he has robbed his neighbors to pay part of the costs associated with schooling his children.  Apparently George believes robbing his neighbor is a form of protection.  Wow!  That sounds a lot like the mafia, don't you think?
George also believes that neighborhoods exist to protect his solitude.  What a strange contradiction.  Solitude is found in isolation, not in groups of people.  If George really wanted solitude he should have purchased several acres of land in the mountains to live on.  Why would any person in his right mind buy a home in a neighborhood and then expect that neighborhood to protect his solitude?  Answer:  George is not in his right mind.
George finishes with his coup de gras when he writes, "The City Council should put the issue up for a vote of the people."  I knew George would eventually become a preacher for his religion.  George believes in the religion of democracy where the will of the majority is the voice of God Himself.  George is so mad that some of his neighbors are making money, that school children are being run over by cars on a daily basis and that he has no solitude in the middle of his neighborhood, whatever that is, that he wants to call for a service of religious worship where the faithful will gather, enjoy the sacrament of voting and impose their sovereign will upon some unlucky minority that is only trying to serve the public.  Enjoy your worship service George.  Maybe some day you will discover you are worshiping idols and repent before it is too late.

Thursday, March 3, 2016

The Political View of the World Is Distorted

I try to stay away from politics as much as possible.  Nevertheless, presidential election cycles give me so much fodder for this blog I end up occasionally getting sucked into the realm of politics.  One of the things I have begun to realize about the political view of the world is the huge impact it has upon my perspective regarding other parts of life.  Folks caught up in politics seem to have little to no ability to realistically see what goes on in the rest of the world.  Everything comes to revolve around politics, the next election and the next anticipated piece of legislation that is going to make things right.  When those things are accomplished a fresh set of new things that need to be fixed by career politicians arrive on the horizon and the process starts all over again.  Meanwhile a lot of life has gone by unnoticed.  Let's consider that for a moment today.
Real (inflation adjusted) gross domestic product in the Socialist Democracy of Amerika has gone from 2.84 trillion dollars on the day I was born to 16.5 trillion dollars today.  That is a real increase of almost six times.  Do you have any idea what that means?  There is almost six times more wealth, capital and sheer stuff in the world today compared to when I was born.  That is amazing.  Everyone today is rich, including the victim class that calls itself poor, when compared to what it was like to live in 1957, the year I was born.
I grew up with three brothers in a three bedroom home that was smaller than my garage is today.  We raised fruits and vegetables in the backyard garden to supplement our food supply.  We, or more accurately my mom,  washed clothes in a tub and wrung them out with an old-fashioned wringer.  I still remember watching her put the clothes through that thing, wondering what it would feel like to get my fingers caught in it.  The clothes were dried, of course, on the clothesline in the backyard.  We were solidly middle class and we had one car and, at first, no garage.  There were no microwave ovens and one black and white television that we would gather around in the evening to watch.  We had one telephone with a party line.  A party line, for those of you who do not know, is a phone line shared by several families.  If I picked up the phone I might not get a dial tone because one of the other families was on the line at the time.  The polite thing to do was hang up and try again later.  And you know what?  We were happy and we felt quite rich.
When I was born my life expectancy was 66 years.  Today it is over 78 years.  Where did those extra twelve years come from?  Did some career politician or bureaucrat pass legislation creating them for me?  I don't think so.  They are the result of profit seeking businessmen constantly searching for better ways to serve me, the consumer of health care goods and services.  Thanks fellas, I appreciate it.  And as for you career politicians, thanks for nothing.  Life expectancy for all the citizens of the world is 71 years today, compared to 50 years in 1957.  How did that happen?  Was that the result of political action?  Hardly.
When I went to government school as I child I was instructed to hide under my desk when the nuclear bombs started exploding.  We actually had drills showing us how to do so.  Being a trusting sort of child I believed my desk would protect me from atomic bombs so I dutifully did as I was instructed.  As you have probably guessed, Russia never invaded and the country in which I was living did not turn communist until several years later when Lyndon Johnson created the Great Society.  Who would have thunk it?  The communists won without ever firing a shot.  Today the communists have embraced the free market and are getting rich while the SDA has embraced full fledged socialism and still, somehow, continues to grow. What a strange irony it all is. 
There are two classes of people in the world.  One class produces things and the other uses coercion to take the things that have been produced and move them between various groups that have political privilege.  Everything that we have today is a byproduct of the productive class.  The enormous growth in wealth, the amazing progress in longevity and the fact that SDA citizens live better than royalty did a scant couple of centuries ago all give testimony to the powerful force that is the free market.  If government were to do only what it is morally allowed to do, namely protect my right to my life, my freedom and my property, we would all be even richer than we are.  But that is not the way things work under socialism.
Socialism needs to create a reason for government intervention.  In a free market there is no need for government intervention as each participant gets exactly what he deserves, based upon his participation in the system and his relative skill and ability to serve others.  Government does have a part to play in the free market as it adjudicates the disputes between the various participants within the free market when they believe their lives, freedom or property have been violated.  Other than that, government has nothing to do.  So what does government do to justify its intrusion into our lives?  It creates victim classes.
Victim classes are groups of people the career politicians pander to in order to continue to be career politicians.  They exploit the sinful envy of the citizens of this land and, in combination with a carefully orchestrated campaign of propaganda, they convince the victim classes that they are being harmed by the productive members of the free market as they simply go about their business.  Hence, the rich become evil and profit seeking corporations are demonized.  What to do with rich and demonic people?  Bring in the government protectors!
Bernie Sanders is a perfect example of this sort of thing.  He sees the amazing wealth created by the free market over the past 60 years and declares it to be evil.  All he can see is that the wealth is generally concentrated in the hands of those who created it.  He believes that economic reality is a product of crony-capitalists and their government partners who have conspired to steal the wealth that he believes somehow just magically and spontaneously appeared in the economy.  Bernie can observe a profit seeking business operating in the free market, think Apple or Google here, and have nothing but contempt for what he sees.  He is incapable of seeing the good that is being done.  Despite casting himself as a "progressive," he is incapable of seeing the progress that is being made.  In his eyes those two companies are exploiting the poor and need to be brought down by government action.  Sadly, he shares his eyes with many covetous and envy-filled people in this sinful country.  I know, Bernie won Colorado two days ago.  I am surrounded by these hateful people.
If you have been caught up in the political world-view you are, no doubt, filled with erroneous views about the nature of reality.  You are quite possibly very angry and have come to believe that everything and everyone except your anointed politician is against you.  You are wrong.  Things are not anything like you believe them to be. Things are much better than you have ever thought possible.  You just don't have the eyes to see how good things are.  Like the free-trade protesters in Seattle who organized their protests against the WTO on their Apple computers and like Donald Trump who used his I-Phone to send a message to Apple telling the CEO he is evil for not knuckling under to the FBI, career politicians and the politically involved are blind to the myriad beauties and joys of life in today's world brought to them by the free market.  In a way I feel sorry for them.  In another way I despise them.  Mostly I despise them.  But there I go again, getting sucked into the political arena.  What a nasty and dirty place it is.

Wednesday, March 2, 2016

Warren Buffet's Brilliance and Blindness

Last Saturday was the release date for a highly coveted annual report from one of Amerika's most famous people.  No, it was not the Oscars edition of People magazine, a magazine that had no photographs of black people in it I was told.  It was the annual letter to shareholders of Berkshire Hathaway.  For those of you who do not know, Berkshire Hathaway is Warren Buffet's holding company. Berkshire Hathaway has been responsible for turning many citizens of Omaha into millionaires.   The annual report is not exactly like most corporation's annual reports. Buffet includes a lot of home-spun humor and storytelling in his report.  This year's report was no different.  Let's talk about it for a while today.
Allow me to quote from Miraj Chokshi's article published in the The Washington Post about Buffet's letter:  "In his annual letter to shareholders, Berkshire Hathaway chairman Warren Buffet made a forceful argument that Americans should look to the future with optimism, despite the dour messages broadcast from the presidential campaign trail....'For 240 years it has been a terrible mistake to bet against America, and now is no time to start,' he said in the letter.  'America's golden goose of commerce and innovation will continue to lay more and larger eggs....The market excels at producing things people don't know they want.'  For example, Buffet noted that he never thought as a child that he would someday need a personal computer....Buffet noted that American economic output, per person, has grown tremendously over his lifetime. 'American GDP per capita is now about $56,000.  As I mentioned last year, that, in real terms, is a staggering six times the amount in 1930, the year I was born, a leap far beyond the wildest dreams of my parents or their contemporaries....This all powerful trend is certain to continue:  America's economic magic remains alive and well.'"  Thus spake the Oracle of Omaha.
Buffet is spot on when he writes optimistically about the economic future of the Socialist Democracy of Amerika.  The SDA economy is far too large to be destroyed by the current level of government attack against it.  There are far too many people who completely ignore the political realm of life who go to work day after day seeking to serve the people around them by making more and better goods and services.  He is also right on the mark when he observes that politicians major in the negatives.  No politician is ever going to come out and say what Buffet wrote in his report because it would make him superfluous.  Who would vote for a politician who says that everything is going just fine and should be left alone?  Politicians need victim classes and the free market eliminates those classes.  Political action, on the other hand, allows for the creation of hundreds of different victim classes, known generally as special interests, all of which clamor for the attention of the career politicians.  The politicians are then beseeched to make new laws to take the income and wealth of the rich, whoever they are, and give it to their class because, after all, they are victims in need of compensation.
Buffet's observations about the past and predictions about the future should give hope to any rational citizen in this immoral land.  Unfortunately there are very few rational citizens in this country.   Most of the Amerikan people are dedicated to pursuing their twin goals of envy and covetousness.  They will vote for career politicians who will take the wealth created by the productive class and give it to them.  In that way they can satisfy their covetousness by getting something for nothing from the government and they can satisfy their envy by punishing the productive folks around them for being productive.  It is the perfect system for sinful men.
Unfortunately, and despite all of Buffet's financial genius, he has never grasped the principle of personal and economic freedom.   As many of you probably know, Buffet is a tax and spend Democrat.  He supports Hillary.  He believes there should be a confiscatory tax on wealth transfers at the time of death.  In a word, he is a philosophical socialist.  His socialism was on full display in another comment he made in his letter.  I quote, "Though the pie to be shared by the next generation will be far larger than today's, how it will be divided will remain fiercely contentious.  Just as it is now the case, there will be struggles for the increased out put of goods and services...Congress will be the battlefield; money and votes will be the weapons.  Lobbying will remain a growth industry."  What a bizarrely contradictory and profoundly sad thing for Buffet to write.
Buffet recognizes that profit seeking businesses are responsible for the dramatic increase in wealth in this land.  Then he goes on  to describe that wealth via the socialistic "pie" analogy, as if that wealth just somehow popped into existence apart from the entrepreneurial activities of business people.  He knows better but his bias will not allow him to write about it.  Wealth does not come from nowhere.  It is created by people seeking to serve the needs and wants of other people.  Those who do that the best create the most wealth and become the most personally rich.  If anyone should know that fact it would be the richest man in Amerika.
Buffet also believes that it is good, right and proper for that pie to be "divided" by agents from the government.  Why should it be divided?  Why should it not belong to the people who baked it?  Buffet does not say.  He simply assumes, because of his socialistic bias, that government has the moral right and duty to intervene in the economy and divide up the pie that has just been created by the productive class and give it to the hundreds of ravenous victim classes calling out for more and more wealth they had nothing to do with creating.  Strangely, and accurately,  Buffet uses the terminology of warfare to describe the political process by which the wealth of the group that created it is taken from them, by majority vote and career politicians, and given to the politically protected victim classes.  Warren, it need not be this way!  You don't have to grant the government the legal authority to rob and pillage the productive.  You do not have to believe the propaganda being dispensed by the victim classes that the productive class is evil simply because it is productive, but you do anyway.  How very sad it all is.

Tuesday, March 1, 2016

More Government Cooperation Means More Laws

The headline article on the front page of the Denver Post yesterday was a perfect illustration of the madness that grips the minds of career politicians and their dedicated followers.  I have posted an article to this blog, found here, that describes the insane belief found in the minds of the idiots at the Colorado Department of Transportation that it is possible to go through an entire year without having a single traffic fatality.  Here, in part, is what the article said:
"Frustrated by a surge in traffic fatalities (2015 was a record year, ed), experts are urging stricter laws and a shift in the way drivers think about safety behind the wheel.  Last year's 11.7 percent increase in traffic fatalities in Colorado is slightly ahead of the national increase of 9.3 percent recorded by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.  In 2015, 545 people died in Colorado traffic crashes, compared with 488 traffic deaths in 2014....Traffic safety professionals from around the nation convened in Denver this month trying to brainstorm solutions for the big question on their minds:  What can we do to reach zero deaths on the highway?...NHTSA administrator Mark Rosekind said, 'At some point, we've got to quit fooling around with working toward zero fatal crashes or having a vision of zero traffic fatalities.  We just need to get to zero.'"  The article went on to describe the brilliant methods and programs the taxpayer financed brainstormers at the convention came up with to attain their goal of zero traffic fatalities in the Socialist Democracy of Amerika in perpetuity.  Before I tell you what they were, let's consider the harebrained belief that getting to such a point is even possible.
There are over 300 million people in this country.  There are 255 million registered automobiles in the land.  According to the Federal Reserve Bank (who would have thought our taxpayer dollars would be paying the Fed to keep track of how many miles we drive?), Amerikans drove 3.147 trillion miles on SDA highways last year.  There were 32,675 people killed in auto accidents in the SDA in 2014, the last year for which full data are available.  Please explain to me how any person in his right mind could ever come to the conclusion that it is possible for a bureau of the government to eradicate all automobile accidents in which a death occurs?  Surely anyone with half a brain realizes that it is not possible to police over three trillion traffic miles a year to ensure that nobody ever makes a driving error resulting in a fatal crash.  Surely everyone realizes that it is not possible to control the behavior of over 200 million drivers as they take to the roadways on a daily basis.  You would think these things would be obvious to all human beings with sentience but government bureaus charged with keeping us safe while driving our cars are spending your taxpayer dollars in a vain attempt to prevent all car related fatalities.
The most bizarre thing about this entire program to eliminate all highway deaths is the fact that the bureaucrats believe they can actually accomplish it.  In order to do what they want to do several things must first take place.  First, the bureaucrats must be omniscient.  They must know when every single driver in this country is about to get into his car.  Second, they must be omnipresent.  They must be able to somehow reach out to every single driver in this country at the precise moment he is getting into his car.  Third, they must be omnipotent.  Somehow, via a government program that is yet to be determined, these noble warriors for safety will exercise their will and keep all of us from ever dying in a car crash.  Those with eyes to see, and that would include everyone who does not work for the government, can see that the requisite skills needed to accomplish the NHTSA's goals are all characteristics of God, and God alone.  Need I say more as I point out, time and time again, that career politicians believe they are gods and their dedicated followers worship them?
You will not be surprised to know that the proposed solutions to the problem of traffic accident deaths, which will lead us all to the promised land of zero-deaths, are more laws.  All the participants at the convention agreed that there needs to be a federal law mandating the right of cops to pull people over for not using seat belts, a law which is not currently on the books in renegade states like Colorado.  In addition, public education programs must be funded in which trained government agents will inform us plebeians that, with an exhaustive comprehension of the proper set of government generated data points about highway safety, it is possible for us to drive without ever getting into an accident.  There also need to be many more laws about drunk driving, driving while under the influence of THC, driving while talking on the phone, and driving while texting.  High risk groups like the old and the young need special programs to ensure their safety.  Education and more restrictive licensing will fill the bill there.  Pretty soon, if the NHTSA gets its way, the only people driving on the nation's highways will be government agents.  I suspect that would cause an upward spike in traffic fatalities, don't you?
Everything I have written up to this point is merely an introduction to today's main idea. The vainglorious efforts of the NHTSA are not my point here today.  My point is that career politicians, career bureaucrats and assorted government officials endowed with the power to rule over us all see life through the same looking glass.  You have heard the expression, no doubt, that every carpenter sees a hammer as the solution to all of life's problems.  To every plumber a problem can be solved by using a wrench.  To every cop a problem can be solved by beating up a citizen.  To every television preacher life's problems can be solved by sending him a donation.  And to government officials every problem can be solved by creating a new law.  Unlike the plumber and the carpenter and the cop and the preacher however, the blows they strike soon fade into the memory of their victims while the laws created by career politicians and their lackeys remain forever.
The extreme stupidity of career politicians is most evident during times like presidential election cycles.  Every candidate answers the various questions tossed their way in exactly the same fashion.  First they say that the candidates in the opposing party are stupid and will ruin the country.  They follow that up with another statement about how stupid, ugly and big-eared all of their opponents in their own party are.  They conclude their answer by saying something like this......I have a plan.  I will spend XXX billions of dollars to create XXX government bureau to make sure this never happens again and this problem gets fixed forever.  Of course the next election cycle comes along and the alleged problem still exists, along with a host of new problems created by the government's solution to the first one.  The original problem and the host of new problems are all attacked with a bevy of new laws, each designed to fix the problem so that it will never happen again.
No career politician that I am aware of has ever said that something alleged to be a problem is really no problem at all  No career politician has ever said that there is no such thing as income inequality.  The media is granted the sovereign power to tell the career politicians what the list of problems are, whether they are really problems or not.  Then, after the alleged problem has been brought up, no career politician ever says that government cannot solve that problem.  In their eyes, and in the eyes of the media and the idolatrous people who worship career politicians, government can solve every alleged problem.  All that is required is a plan or a program, plus several billion dollars of taxpayer dollars.  Amazingly to my mind, the citizens of this ridiculous land continue to believe that this political theater equates to the real world.  Fools, all of them.
If the talking heads on the television are correct, and I have no idea if they are or not, it seems as if we are living in a time in which the Amerikan people, whoever they are, believe that government needs to get off the snide and do something.  I hear them all the time telling their viewers that folks in this country are rallying along Bernie and Donald because they are fed up with the status quo where government legislative bodies are in deadlock because of the unwillingness of the various members of the two political parties to set aside their differences and solve, with more government laws and programs,  the huge list of enormous problems facing this doomed country.  The common assumption undergirding all of this nonsense is the belief that government can solve all problems by creating new laws.  That is a fatal belief.
If you are a patriot, if you love your country, if you care about the future for yourself and your children, and if you love your neighbor as yourself, you will hope and pray that every legislative body in this envy-filled land stays in perpetual political deadlock.  The best thing for this country is when career politicians do nothing and the best way to get them to do nothing is to get them fighting incessantly among themselves.  Think about it for a moment.  Do you really want more laws?  Do you really want more regulations?  Do you really want to give up what little freedom you have left for a specious promise of protection?  More government means more laws.  Less government means more freedom.  Given the choice, I will opt for freedom.

Monday, February 29, 2016

The "Amerikan People" Do Not Exist

In the last month I have been told many things about the beliefs of the Amerikan people.  I have been told that the Amerikan people:
  • Believe that Obamacare is a disaster that must be repealed while, at the same time, they believe that Obamacare is the greatest thing since sliced bread since it allows everyone to obtain quality health care.
  • Believe that our borders must be secure and illegal aliens deported back to wherever they came from while, at the same time, they believe that a compassionate people would find a place for these economic refugees and most certainly never break up families by deporting parents and leaving their children behind.
  • Believe that the military of the Socialist Democracy of Amerika should invade Iran in order to keep them from blowing us up with atomic bombs while, at the same time, they believe that Iran poses no legitimate threat to the domestic security of the SDA.
  • Believe the military of the SDA has a moral duty to bomb ISIS into oblivion while, at the same time, they believe we should not be involved in any more wars in the Middle East.
  • Believe that taxes are too high while, at the same time, they believe that taxes are too low.
  • Believe that there are too many regulations on businesses while, at the same time, they believe there are too few regulations on businesses.
  • Believe that global warming is going to kill us all while, at the same time, they believe that global warming is a socialist hoax.
  • Believe that income inequality is a serious problem while, at the same time, they believe that income inequality is simply a reflection of market realities and in no need of government intervention.
  • Believe that racism is pandemic in this country while, at the same time, they believe that racism has been largely eradicated in this country.
  • Believe that the police are being unfairly persecuted while, at the same time, they believe the police need to be seriously reigned in.
  • Believe that all teenagers have a moral right to a government provided college education while, at the same time, they believe teenagers should pay for their own post high school education.
  • Believe that homosexuals should be allowed to obtain government approval for their cohabitation while, at the same time, they believe homosexual behavior is immoral and should not be sanctioned or endorsed by civil government.
  • Believe that marijuana should be decriminalized while, at the same time, they believe that marijuana should continue to be criminalized.
  • Believe that the drug war needs to be expanded while, at the same time, they believe the drug war needs to be abandoned.
  • Believe that abortion should continue to be a constitutional and civil right in the SDA while, at the same time, they believe that killing unborn babies is murder and should be treated as such.
  • Believe that the economy is on the verge of recession while, at the same time, they believe the economy still has ample room to grow.
  • Believe that things will be worse for their children in the future while, at the same time, they believe things will be better for their children in the future. 
  • Believe that they should be free to ride a motorcycle without a helmet while, at the same time, they believe that the government needs to make riding a motorcycle without a helmet a crime.
  • Believe that the stock market is rigged so only the rich, whoever they are, can profit while, at the same time, they believe that every man can realize good lifetime returns in the stock market.
  • Believe that the Great Recession was caused by greedy profit seeking corporations while, at the same time, they understand that the Great Recession was entirely the creation of the federal government.
OK, I made that last one up.  I believe it is the case that I am the only person in the SDA today who realizes that the Great Recession was a creation of the federal government and not profit seeking corporations.  How else does one explain the popularity of that ridiculous movie called "The Big Short?"  Other than that however, the rest of my assertions in the above list are repeated almost daily at some place or another in this envy-filled and immoral land.
You probably noticed that each statement in the list above is a contradiction.  Both cannot be true at the same time.  Indeed, only two things can possibly be true about each of the comments in the list.  Either both phrases are incorrect or one of them is correct.  There are no other options.  In no case can both assertions be true.  Yet, on a daily basis, I hear both assertions being made by various career politicians who are seeking to be reelected to their chosen positions of power.  The list I have created is a short one.  I could go on and list hundreds of things I am told practically everyday that the Amerikan people allegedly believe.  I did not touch on education, the environment, welfare, social justice or the state of the baby seals in Alaska.  What is going on here?
The first, and most obvious answer, is that everything career politicians say is a lie.  Although I believe that to be true, I do not believe it gets to the heart of the problem with their doctrine of the Amerika people.  Do these idiots know that the majority of the citizens of this immoral country really do not support their particular stance but tell us that they do in order to give credibility to their claims?  Probably.   Most likely I believe career politicians are so enveloped in their own throng of worshiping followers they are incapable of knowing what the Amerikan people really and truly believe.  They are surrounded by Yes-Men who hang on their every word and tell them everything they say is true.  It is a small wonder that they come to believe that the Amerikan people endorse every word that comes out of their mouths.  But that truth still does not get to the heart of the matter.
The reason we hear mind-numbing chatter about the Amerika people on a daily basis is primarily due to the fact that we live in a democracy where, by definition, the majority has all the power to do anything it wants to do, at least in regards to the issue for which that particular majority exists.   But even that assessment is inaccurate.  In any given election roughly half of all eligible voters will actually vote.  Kudos to those with the good sense to stay away from the voting booth!  Obtaining a majority of the people who make the mindless decision to participate in the process of worshiping our rulers by voting for them therefore means garnering 26% of the potentially available votes.  The last time I checked, 26% of the voters did not constitute 51%  of the voters, but why let the facts get in the way of good propaganda?
Career politicians justify their immoral actions by convincing themselves, and those who follow them, that they are speaking for the majority of the people in this land.  Being believers in the religion of democracy, obtaining the endorsement of the majority immediately makes their proposed programs of wealth redistribution sanctified and proper.  Ten years ago in Colorado it was immoral to smoke marijuana.  Today it is moral to smoke marijuana. What happened?  The majority now believe it is moral to smoke marijuana.  Yet, according to the latest poll, 46% of the people living in Colorado still believe smoking marijuana is immoral.  So do the Colorado people, whoever they are,  endorse the smoking of marijuana?  Clearly not.
It is time to be more precise in our language.  Using the term "Amerikan people" is a utter waste of time, and confusing as well.  There is no such thing as the Amerikan people, just as there is no such thing as the Colorado people or the Denver people or the Highlands Ranch people or the Dad Clark Boulevard people.  Each of those meaningless phrases is simply a case of randomly choosing an arbitrary geo-political boundary and following that up with some crazed guess about what the majority of those folks who are domiciled within that boundary might believe for the moment.
What follows from a proper understanding of the sheer lunacy of the concept of the Amerika people is the realistic view that no politician and no political party has ever had a "mandate from the people" to do anything.  Right now the Republicans are claiming that they will not hold hearings on a potential replacement for Scalia on the Supreme Court of Jokers.  They claim they have a mandate from the people to do that.   Conversely, the Democrats are making the same claim as they point out that Obama was elected by the Amerika people twice!  What is that if not a mandate?  Here are the facts:  1) 58% of eligible voters participated in the 2012 presidential election and, 2)  Barack Obama obtained 51% of the votes cast, therefore, 3) King Obama had a mandate from 30% of the Amerikan people.  That is not much of a mandate in my view.  I make a simple request of our leaders.  Please stop ascribing the things that you do, or want to do, to the will of the Amerikan people.  Rarely, if ever, do you speak for me and I am an Amerikan person.  I firmly believe it is the will of the Amerikan people that you stop talking about us.