San Juan Mountains

San Juan Mountains
San Juan Mountains: Grenadier Range

Friday, September 23, 2016

Let Us Adopt Massachusetts Colonial Law

I have a national constitutional amendment item for your consideration.  Since elitists in most states of the Socialist Democracy of Amerika now use the constitutional amendment referendum as a means to create law that is then shoved down the throats of unsuspecting citizens, I believe it is high time to do the same thing on the national level.  The cowardly career politicians who populate the legislative branch of the federal government are unwilling to do what needs to be done to establish a legal system that is just and fair.  If we have any hope of obtaining justice in this immoral and idolatrous country it must come from the sovereign voice of the people as we establish a law system that protects individual rights and punishes the immoral perpetrators of sins and crimes.  And what better source for this almost utopian law can be found other than "The Book of the General Laws and Liberties Concerning the Inhabitants of Massachusetts," published and enacted in 1648?
I want a legal code that is simple and easy to understand.  The Book, as I shall refer to it, is only 16 pages long.  I want a legal code that describes both my freedoms (liberties) and my crimes.  The Book gives me both.  I want a legal code that is grounded in Amerikan history and that functioned with seamless efficiency for over a hundred years.  The Book gives me those two qualities.  I want a code of law that does not grant special privileges to various groups but treats everyone equally.  The Book gives me that system.  The introduction to the Book states, "If any of you meet with some law that seems not to tend to your particular benefit, you must consider that laws are made with respect to the whole people, and not to each particular person: and obedience to them must be yielded with respect to the common welfare, not to thy private advantage,..."   Sound good to you?  Then let us proceed and examine some of the particulars of the legal code we desperately need to adopt as our own.
The Book is arranged topically and in alphabetical order.  The first topic addressed is what to do with those evil and pernicious Anabaptists.  They were starting to swarm all over the colony, teaching their heretical doctrines and engaging in their apostate practices everywhere they went.  Quite wisely the law proscribes how they should be treated when it said, "It is therefore ordered by this Court & Authority thereof, that if any person or persons within this Jurisdiction shall either openly condemn or oppose the baptizing of Infants, or go about secretly to seduce others from the approbation or use thereof, or shall purposely depart the Congregation at the administration of that Ordinance; or shall deny the Ordinance of Magistrates, or their lawful right or authority to make war, or to punish the outward breaches of the first Table, and shall appear to the Court willfully and obstinately to continue therein, after due means of conviction, every such person or persons shall be sentenced to Banishment."
Did you get all that?  Anyone who denies the validity and propriety of infant baptism is to be banished. Furthermore, anyone who denies the right of the civil government to wage war must be banished.  Most importantly, anyone who denied the right and the responsibility of the civil government to enforce sanctions against violations of the First Table of the Law must be banished.  I realize in today's post-Christian society what I just wrote is indecipherable.  The "First Table of the Law" is a reference to the 10 Commandments and the Book declares that anyone guilty of violating the first four commandments shall be punished.  That means idolatry, blasphemy and Sabbath desecration will be punished by the civil sanction of banishment.  That is the way it should be, don't you think?
Shall we all admit the obvious and confess what we all know to be true?  Bakers are a notoriously sinful lot.  They are constantly trying to pass off a 22 ounce loaf of bread as a 23 ounce loaf of bread.  To prevent this act of theft the Book created a law to prevent misrepresentation of the size of a loaf of bread.  Here, in part, is what the law entails, "there shall be in every market town, and all other towns needful, one or two able persons annually chosen by each town, who shall be sworn at the next county Court. or by the next Magistrate, unto the faithful discharge of his or their office; who are hereby authorized to enter into all houses, either with a Constable or without where they shall suspect or be informed of any bread baked for sale: & also to weigh the said bread as oft as they see cause: and to seize all such as they find defective."  The bread police must instill fear in the hearts and minds of unscrupulous bakers and make sure misrepresentation of the weight of a loaf of bread never happens again.  Granting them the authority to break down the doors of all houses to gain entry and weigh the loafs of bread found within is a great idea.  No-knock bread raids can only be good for society.
I, for one, am sick and tired of burglary.  The Book deals with burglary swiftly and efficiently.  Here is what it says, "tis therefore ordered by this Court and Authority thereof that if any person shall commit Burglary by breaking up any dwelling house, or shall rob any person in the field, or high ways; such a person so offending shall for the first offence be branded on the forehead with the letter (B) If he shall offend in the same kind the second time, he shall be branded as before and also be severally whipped: and if he shall fall into the like offence the third time he shall be put to death, as being incorrigible."  I especially appreciate the three strikes and you are dead provision of this law.  Imagine how much less burglary would be taking place in your neighborhood if this law were imposed.  Plus, would it not be super-cool to see all the people walking around with an enormous B branded on their foreheads?  It is the olden days equivalent of the ankle bracelet. 
The Book specifies all of the offenses that shall be punished by death.  They include:  being a witch, blasphemy, murder, bestiality, homosexuality, adultery, kidnapping and being a rebellious youth.  Who can disagree with those capital offenses?  You might notice that the list is strangely coincident with the list of capital offenses found in the Bible.  God of the Bible haters and their ilk will despise the laws found in the Book, as will evangelical Christians, but it will be too late for them if we can get the constitutional amendment passed.  Witches are a growing problem in our land.  The swift and efficient execution of the death penalty for all convicted witches would go a long way towards reducing the problem.  If you don't agree with me, just think of the children!
For our economy to grow it is very important we have incentives for people to work.  Economic growth is vital for the public welfare and idleness is the devil's workshop you know.  To that end the Book had a couple of laws to ensure that people worked hard and created wealth.  Much like video games have come to dominate the lives of all of today's twenty-something males, forcing them into days of seclusion in their parent's basements, so the game of shuffle-board did the same thing to the citizens of Massachusetts colony.  Change the word shuffle-board to video games and I think this law will work wonderfully:  "That no person shall henceforth use the said game of Shuffleboard in any such house, nor in any other house used as common for such purpose, upon pain for every Keeper of such house to forfeit for every such offence twenty shillings: and for every person playing at the said game in any such house, to forfeit for every such offence five shillings."  Hit the lazy people in the pocketbook and see how long it takes for them to find gainful employment, that is my motto.
We all know how men are prone to excess when it comes to drink.  The good citizens of Massachusetts were well aware of that common problem and created this wonderful series of laws to regulate the consumption of things that were actually legal to consume:  "Forasmuch as there is a necessary use of houses of common entertainment in every Commonwealth, and of such as retail wine, beer and victuals; yet because there are so many abuses of that lawful liberty, both by persons entertaining and persons entertained, there is also need of strict Laws and Rules to regulate such an employment: It is therefore ordered by this Court and Authority thereof;...That no person or persons shall at any time under any pretence or color whatsoever undertake to be a common Victual, Keeper of a Cooks shop or house for common entertainment, Taverner, or public seller of wine, ale, beer or strong water, nor shall any sell wine privately in his house or out of doors by a less quantity or under a quarter cask: without approbation of the selected Townsmen and License of the Shire Court where they dwell: upon pain of forfeiture of five pounds for every such offence, or imprisonment at pleasure of the Court, where satisfaction cannot be had....Neither shall any such licensed person aforesaid suffer any to be drunken, or drink excessively [that is] above half a pint of wine for one person at one time; or to continue tippling above the space of half an hour, or at unreasonable times, or after nine of the clock at night in, or about any of their houses on penalty of five shillings for every such offence."  Hummm....those laws sound strangely familiar to today's laws, don't they?  No selling booze without a license, limits on how much a person can drink, specification of the particular hours when a person is permitted to drink.....this all sounds very modern.  I guess the Puritans were well ahead of their time.
Prior to 1648 the colony had laws against the use of tobacco.  At some point in time those laws were repealed but the stigma against tobacco continued.  Rather than an outright prohibition on tobacco the colony decided that, "no man shall take any tobacco within twenty poles of any house, or so near as may endanger the same, or near any Barn, corn, or haycock as may occasion the firing thereof, upon pain of ten shillings for every such offence, besides full recompense of all damages done by means thereof. Nor shall any take tobacco in any Inn or common Victualinghouse, except in a private room there, so as neither the Master of the said house nor any other Guests there shall take offence thereat, which if any doe, then such person shall forthwith forbear, upon pain of two shillings sixpence for every such offence."  Did you catch that one?  It was okay to smoke in a public house unless one of the guests took offense.  If someone did take offense the smoker owed the offended party two shillings.  Golly, I can't imagine how that law would have created any perverse incentives, can you?
I guess I have given you enough examples from the law of Massachusetts colony.  Are you ready to vote for it?  Strangely, as I have written today's post I have slowly changed my opinion about the Book.  I thought, at first, since it paid homage to the God of the Bible it might be good for all of us to be subject to it.  But the more I read the specific laws the more I realized the good folks of Massachusetts, although they were Reformed Christians, enjoyed meddling in the lives of their fellow citizens just as much as folks do today.   Indeed, the laws related to drinking and smoking are almost identical.  I guess it is just human nature to spend inordinate amounts of time minding the business of others.  That drives me to one, and only one, conclusion.  I am going to abandon the Book and become an advocate for Theonomy.  (If you don't know what that is, look it up.)

Thursday, September 22, 2016

Colorado's Amendment 72

Even if you are not a citizen of Colorado you should care about Colorado's Amendment 72.  Why, you might ask?  Because it is a perfect example of what the political process has become throughout the Socialist Democracy of Amerika, as well as being another sterling example of how smokers have no rights in this tyrannical country.  Let's consider it for a while today.
According to Debra Dyer (M.D. and chair of the Department of Radiology at National Jewish Health), "Amendment 72, which raises the tax on a pack of cigarettes from 84 cents to $2.59 will not only help reduce tobacco use in the state but also will generate revenues that will be used exclusively for health-related purposes."  Amendment 72 is a proposed amendment to the Constitution of the State of Colorado.  When special interest groups are unable to get the legislators of their state to pass new laws giving them special government protection and privileges their Plan B usually revolves around some sort of constitutional amendment referendum.  In this case the legislators in the Colorado Congress were unwilling to pass a new law raising the tax rate on a pack of smokes.  Rather than acknowledging that the "will of the people" had spoken through the inaction of the legislature, a special interest group on a crusade against tobacco products and those who smoke cigarettes decided to take their proposal directly to the people by means of a constitutional referendum.  They hope to find a more sympathetic ear for their cause among the people who vote. Given the fact we live in a democracy, where the majority always wins, and given the fact that smokers are a distinct minority it is highly likely the amendment will pass.
Some time in the not so distant past I wrote a post to this blog in which I suggested that the various legislative branches of government in this envy filled and idolatrous land should all be abolished and replaced by an annual vote of the citizens.   That is, in essence, what the constitutional amendment referendum is.  The career politicians elected by the minority of the citizens of a state who vote for them are paid to sit around and create a bevy of new laws for us all to obey without question.  The way the game is usually played dictates that we bribe our career politicians in order to get special government privileges from them.  Now, when those career politicians refuse to do the bidding of a special interest group, that group goes directly to the people and conducts a concerted campaign of propaganda designed to get the majority of those who vote to approve their plan.  If they can get the majority to vote for them we have a new law imposed upon us.  I propose that we simplify the process and abolish one of the two groups.  Either abolish the Congress and have an annual vote by which the voters determine the new laws that will be enforced upon us or abolish the process of amending the constitution simply to put a new law on the books.
Debra wants the the voters to approve Amendment 72.  She believes that a constitutional amendment is the best way to raise the amount of tax paid on a pack of cigarettes in Colorado.  Does it seem unreasonable to anyone besides me to put a mundane issue like the rate of tax on a pack of cigarettes into a state constitution?  Debra does not think so.  Debra also believes in the power of the omniscient and beneficent State.  In a phrase, she is a worshiper of civil government.   She believes she knows what is best for people, even if what she believes is best for people is not what the people themselves believe is in their best interest.  It does not matter what the people believe is in their best interest as they are all simpletons and idiots anyway, Debra has a plan for their lives and she is going to force them into compliance with her plan by means of an amendment to the constitution of the State of Colorado.
Debra believes that tobacco use in the state needs to be reduced, whatever that means.  Why does she believe this?  She writes, "As medical providers specializing in lung diseases at National Jewish Health, we see the damaging effects of tobacco on a daily basis and feel that continued efforts are needed to reduce the impact of smoking on our state."  Well there you have it.  Debra treats someone called "our state" on a regular basis.  She believes "our state" should stop smoking cigarettes because smoking cigarettes can cause lung disease.   Debra therefore "feels" (does anyone think anymore?) that the voters of this state need to approve a 208% increase to the state cigarette tax to accomplish her goal.
Why does Debra "feel" that raising the cigarette tax is the best way to help keep "our state" from contracting lung disease?  "Tobacco tax increases are used in other states as an effective, evidence-based strategy to reduce smoking and tobacco use.  Studies show that for every ten percent increase in the price of cigarettes, consumption decreases by 3 to 5 percent in adults and 6 to 7 percent in kids."  Debra's evidence is no doubt quite true.  In general people with lower incomes tend to smoke more than people with higher incomes. (I was too lazy to look up the actual statistics but you can find them somewhere if you don't believe me.)  That means the 208% tax increase will make it more difficult for the lower income groups to purchase cigarettes, thus causing more of them to smoke less.  Why the power of government should be used to control the non-sinful and voluntary behaviors of individual citizens is not explained.  Why Debra should be able to force her will upon the citizens of this state is not developed by rational argumentation.  All that we are to know is that Debra is our superior and she believes we need to smoke less.
Debra continues her diatribe in support of using the Colorado constitution to punish people who make the legal, moral and voluntary decision to smoke cigarettes with this gem, "The funds will support those disproportionately affected by smoking, including low-income residents, those living in rural or under-served communities, and veterans who have been particularly burdened by the ravages of tobacco."  Only an elitist worshiper of civil government can reconstruct the facts of a case to make a tax increase designed to hurt the poor the most into a source of revenue designed to help the poor the most.  I guess logic was not one of the classes required when Debra obtained her M.D.  Debra also resorts to the common practice of ex-soldier worship to further fortify her case.  Veterans, heroes all, are somehow victims of tobacco, having been "ravaged" by this insidious beast against their will at some point in their past lives.  Who can oppose a tax increase when one of the stated beneficiaries of that increase is our heroic warriors of past wars of empire expansion?
Here is the bottom line.  It is wrong to worship civil government.  It is wrong, that means immoral, to use civil government to control the amoral behavior of citizens under that government.  It is wrong, that means immoral, to use a constitutional amendment to increase a tax to modify the behavior of a select group of citizens, even if you think it is in their best interest.  It is wrong, that is immoral, to force your view about amoral issues upon another group of people.  It is also wrong to vote for Amendment 72.  Many well meaning members of the deplorable classes will vote for this amendment in order to get a warm feeling in their hearts and convince themselves that they are doing something to help the poor when, in reality, they are oppressing and exploiting the very group they believe they are helping.  People should be free to smoke cigarettes.  Indeed, people should be free to smoke anything they want to smoke.  It is none of my business what people smoke and it is also none of your business what people smoke.  We would all be much better off if everyone minded his own business.  Won't you make a commitment to mind your own business and refuse to support Amendment 72?  In fact, how about making a commitment to mind your own business and cease the practice of voting altogether?

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Breaking News: Obamacare Is A Failure!!!!

Have you ever noticed how the big three news media outlets (Fox, CNN and MSNBC) have a trailer on the bottom of the screen constantly declaring that there is some sort of "Breaking News" we must all give our immediate attention to?  For fun I just now clicked on each of those channels and, sure enough, each one of them had a prominent "Breaking News" bug on the bottom of the screen.  I would think if news is important enough to be breaking it would be important enough to be on all three channels at the same time, but that was not the case.  Instead, each channel had a breaking news item designed to support its particular political agenda.  It all seems so fair and balanced, as well as allowing me to decide what is true and what is false.
I have breaking news for you today.  It is shocking and it is not being reported on any of the three major cable news outlets.  The breaking news I have for you today should not come as a shock to anyone who understands basic economic principles.  The only people who will be shocked by the news I have for you today are those who worship at the throne of civil government.  Those poor misguided souls believe that civil government in the Socialist Democracy of Amerika is omniscient, omnipotent and beneficent.  They believe that there is nothing government cannot do, even if it contradicts basic economic truths.  It is too bad those who idolize the State are doomed to the Lake of Fire for eternity but that is the way it will be unless they repent of their idolatry and turn to the living and true God of the Bible.
Basic economic principles teach us that government can never be as efficient as the free market.  Indeed, free market economics teaches us that government cannot do anything that is not harmful to the economy.  Government cannot produce anything without first having stolen something from someone else.  As a result government is utterly incapable of creating economic growth.  At the very best, and that state of affairs does not exist in the real world, government intervention into the economy would be a zero sum game.  In the real world government intervention into the economy is always harmful, even for those who are its direct beneficiaries via wealth transfer payments. 
What is true of government is not true of the free market, where real goods and services are produced by businessmen who use capital they have accumulated via voluntary transactions to produce those goods and services for people to purchase.  In the free market consumers reign supreme and producers vie with each other for the privilege of serving them.  In a market free of government intervention prices always go down and the value of the currency always goes up.  Real wages and productivity constantly rise.  There are no recessions and people are free to trade with whomever they please.  Everyone is better off and only the lazy and indigent experience economic suffering, as it should be.  If a man will not work, neither should he eat. (For those of you who are not aware, that last sentence was written by the Apostle Paul.  For those of you who are not aware, and that is most people in our post-Christian society, the Apostle Paul wrote huge parts of the New Testament.  For those of you who are not aware, the New Testament is a part of the Bible.  If you do not know what the Bible is prepare for the Lake of Fire as it is your future.)
Believers in the religious practices of Obamacare believe that a government administered program of health insurance can insure every citizen in the SDA for a lower cost than the free market could.  They also believe Obamacare mandated insurance coverage is superior to other, free market, policies in that it allows you to chose from a huge variety of medical services, all of which will be provided for lower prices than the free market would provide them.  Believers in Obamacare, like all practitioners of State worship, are seriously deluded about their god and what he can do for them.
The front page of my Denver Post had this story today, "Health Insurance:  Individual rates in Colorado to jump an average of 20%."  Here is a part of the story, "Colorado residents who buy their health insurance themselves will pay 20 percent more on average next year, and, for the first time, residents in 14 counties will have the choice of only one carrier offering plans in their area via the state health insurance exchange.  The increases are the largest in Colorado since the 2014 launch of the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare.  In some parts of rural Colorado, premium increases will top 40 percent, according to figures approved Tuesday by the Colorado Division of Insurance."
Well there you  have it.  Obamacare is going into its third year of existence and it is already a miserable failure.  Promises of cheap insurance are being replaced with guarantees of super expensive insurance.  If my health insurance premium goes up by 40% next year I will be paying more for health insurance than any other line item in my monthly budget.  If it goes up by the average 20% expected around the state, it will be my second largest monthly budget item.  I laughed out loud when I read the sentence about how, "the increases are the largest in Colorado since the 2014 launch of the Affordable Care Act."  If the act is about affordable care, how can it be that my cost for health insurance has risen so dramatically? (My monthly premium has more than doubled in the past four years.)   If the act is about affordable and abundant care, how can it be that many people will have no choice about who they purchase their health insurance from?  Shall we admit the obvious?  Shall we admit what everyone who understood free market economics predicted years ago?  Shall we admit that Obamacare is a miserable failure?  Yes, and that is Breaking News!!!

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Islamic Terrorists Hate Us Because We Are Free?

I have made this argument before but it bears repeating in light of some new evidence I recently discovered.  The career politicians who rule over me in this sad land continually tell me that I need to be in perpetual fear of Islamic terrorists who are wandering about my country seeking to kill me simply because I am free and rich.  Apparently Islamic terrorists are motivated by nothing more than envy and anger as they seek to kill the citizens of the Socialist Democracy of Amerika for fun and sport.  In many ways I am being asked to believe that Islamic terrorists are just like the envy filled citizens of this country, with one important exception.  They use guns to express their hatred and envy while we use the ballot box to express ours.
The Fraser Institute just came out with its list of the most free countries in the world.  I have reproduced a page from that report here...

You probably scanned the list to find out where the Socialist Democracy of Amerika ranks on the freedom scale.  The land of the free and the home of the brave comes in 16th place on this list.  The top five countries on the list are Hong Kong, Singapore, New Zealand, Switzerland and Canada.  Not surprisingly, four out of the top five countries, Canada being the exception, have higher per capita incomes than the citizens of the SDA.  One of the points to be made from the Fraser survey is the indisputable fact that wealth and personal freedom go hand in hand.  If you want to have a strong and vibrant economy you must have personal freedom.  Countries that are stifled by socialism and government regulation will never be as wealthy as they could be. Furthermore their citizens will always be worse off despite the claims made by their rulers about how their government programs are helping them.
If it is true that Islamic terrorists are scanning the globe in search of free rich people to kill, why are there no reports of terrorist activity in Hong Kong, Singapore, Switzerland, New Zealand and Canada?  It seems to me that if the primary reason an Islamic terrorist wants to kill someone is bound to that person's personal wealth and freedom index, then these countries should be filled with terror, yet they are not.   I wonder why?
Here is a link to a website that contains a comprehensive list of every country in the world that maintains a foreign military base.  If you take the time to click on the link you will discover that none of the five countries of the world that are most free, and most wealthy, have or maintain military bases on foreign soil.  In fact, only ten countries of the world operate military installations in foreign lands.  And, as the website declares, "the United States is the largest operator of overseas military bases, with as many as 662 sites in 38 countries in 2010."
In addition to having a military presence in 38 countries around the world, the military forces of the SDA have "killed more than 20 million people in 37 victim nations since WWII."  Go here for the story.  If you do click through the link you will discover, maybe to your complete surprise, that many of the 37 victim nations are dominated by practitioners of Islam.  Now that should set your mind to it possible that Islamic terrorists do not hate us because we are rich and free but maybe, just maybe, they hate us because we have invaded their homelands and killed millions of their people?  Just a thought.