Among the issues most commonly discussed are individuality, the rights of the individual, the limits of legitimate government, morality, history, economics, government policy, science, business, education, health care, energy, and man-made global warming evaluations. My posts are aimed at thinking, intelligent individuals, whose comments are very welcome.

"No matter how vast your knowledge or how modest, it is your own mind that has to acquire it." Ayn Rand

16 June 2013

My Response to a Democrat Politician's Wife Request on Father's Day

Karmen Walker Brown is the wife of Anthony Brown, the present Lt. Governor of the state of Maryland, who is now running for Governor.  Anthony Brown has served under the present governor of Maryland, Martin O'Malley.

O'Malley is a strong Obama supporter and has aspirations to run for the office of the President.  He has also strongly pushed applying the high state sales tax to gasoline sales, on top of the fixed cost gasoline tax now in place.  He has forced Maryland electric utilities to buy expensive alternative fuels and pass the costs on to the consumer.  He increased the sales tax by 20%, the top personal income tax rate by 16%, and the top corporate tax rate by 18%.  He pushed for and signed a gun control law that drastically infringes the right to bear arms in Maryland.  He even promoted and signed a rain tax on Marylanders that taxes them for any impervious surfaces on their property.  Before he became governor, he was mayor of Baltimore and presided over that city's horrendous public school system as it became even worse.  He headed the Democratic Governors Association from 2011 - 2013.

The Democrat Socialist Party has tight control of the Maryland state government.  It has large majorities in both houses of the legislature and it has controlled the governor's office for a long time.  The Democrats manage this dominance with a very touchy, feely approach.  Karmen Brown is playing this game now by requesting huge numbers of Marylanders to sign a Father's Day card for her husband Anthony.  Here is how this works:

If you asked Anthony what the most important thing is to him, I know what his answer would be: Family. Our kids mean the world to him.
Father’s Day is one of Anthony’s favorite days. It’s a time for our family – and families across Maryland – to come together and celebrate what’s really important.
With Father’s Day coming up this weekend, the kids and I are hoping you can help us out. We’re putting together a big card and we want you to sign it! I know he’d love hearing from his friends and supporters on such a special day.
Click here now to wish Anthony a Happy Father’s Day.
For Anthony, there’s no doubt that being a father is his most important job. You can see it in the way he helps the kids with their homework or asks about their day.
He’s as dedicated to them as he is to making life better for kids across Maryland. It’s why he works – every day – to improve schools, create jobs, and ensure that all families have access to the health care they need to thrive. He knows that this great state is only as strong as the families who call Maryland home.
That’s why the kids and I want to give Anthony a big Father’s Day surprise.
Can you take a minute to sign our card for Anthony? Click here to add your name.
Thanks and Happy Father’s Day,
Here is my response to Karmen Brown:

Karmen,
I vote on my conviction that there is no political value as great as that of the individual for his individual rights to life, liberty, property, the ownership of his own body, mind, and labor, and the pursuit of his personal happiness.  The individual has a very wide right to freedom of conscience and association, which is not to be infringed by the state.  Gov. O'Malley has been committed to almost constant infringement of individual rights, as indeed any big government advocate and user of brutal force for any purpose but the protection of individual rights must be.  Lt. Gov. Brown has been his ally in these tyrannical infringements of individual rights.  It is very unlikely that he will be able to convince me that he is the less wrongheaded and evil of the two thugs who will be running for Governor under the nomination of the two major parties.

I believe I was put on your list of favorably inclined people because I believe in marriage equality.  Yes, such a belief is implied by individual rights, but so is the belief that I own my own body and that as such I have the right to control my health care and health insurance.  ObamaCare claims that my body belongs to the government.  I reject that claim and I have no intention of selling my body to the government even at the cost of being sent to prison.  I defend all of the rights of the individual, including the right of some to say things that may hurt the feelings of others. Our right to bear arms shall not be infringed.  Bloggers and all writers have the same freedoms as are protected for newspapermen and for the same reason that we all have the right to use our minds and freely express our beliefs in speech, in writing, and in assembly.  We have the right to choose who we will hire, to choose our clients, to choose our friends, and choose our sex and domestic partners.

The rights of the individual are broad and the legitimate functions of government are narrow.  This was established in our earliest founding document, the Declaration of Independence.  The proclamation there established the basis for a People of sovereign individuals mandating the very limited powers of the Constitution and setting up a government which is not sovereign, but was only a legitimate means for sovereign individuals to protect their individual rights.  Note that the 9th and 10th Amendments of the Bill of Rights further inform us that the individual retains his sovereignty.

These issues are of such critical importance that they must be addressed by rational minds, not by feelings that seek to associate your big government thug with fatherhood and child-raising on Father's Day.  I too am a father and my greatest wish is that my three daughters will some day have federal and state governments that will protect, rather than violate, individual rights.  There is nothing else so important.  This is why many a man has fought for these rights and many have given up their lives to protect them.

In a society which protects individual rights, we are enabled to choose our own values and manage our own lives with all of the advantages of free trades in all aspects of our associations with other individuals.  Then and only then can we all pursue our dreams in a harmonious way.  Then and only then are we free to hope that the future will be good and better for us all.  Free minds are the most essential means for improving our standard of life, our security, and for achieving our happiness.

Charles

Charles R. Anderson, Ph.D.
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08 June 2013

Obama Transparency Requires the Elimination of Inspector Generals

When one is busy maintaining the con game that your administration is the most transparent administration in history, it is really awkward having inspector generals pointing out the shortcomings of your agencies.  The Obama administration being the most thoroughly corrupt administration in my lifetime and probably forever since the measure of corruption is both a function of the degree of corruption and the scale of that which is corrupt.  The government has never before been as big and it wields an increasing amount of power simply by decree of the Executive Branch.  The Obama administration has maximized both the scale of the power wielded and the degree of its corruption.

In this light, it is very interesting that according to a Wall St. Journal article by Joseph Schmitz entitled Obama's Inspector General Negligence, Obama has failed to nominate Inspector General candidates for the State, Interior, Labor, Defense, and Homeland Security departments for approval by the Senate.  He is also supposed to provide a nominee for the Agency for International Development.  The missing Inspector Generals have been missing for between 18 months and 5 years.  The State Department IG office has been occupied by a retired career State Dept. employee for the entire Obama presidency as a fill-in.  By law, he cannot hold the actual office permanently due to potential conflict of interest with the friendships and even the viewpoint of a career member of that organization.

These missing inspector generals are a boon to those who wish to operate our government corruptly.  One of the nuisances such people face are the moral whistleblowers.  It is always a very dangerous task to tell the truth in any large organization that is hit by scandal.  Such organizations are usually intent on covering up the scandal.  So, one of the important duties of a fully empowered and Senate-approved IG is to protect whistleblowers.  It is not surprising that each of the three Benghazi whistleblowers has reported reprisals for their role in testifying before Congress.  It also is not surprising that there are few who are willing to step forward and tell the truth.

While the general pattern of corruption in the Obama administration is all too clear, those who persist in claiming that the corruption is not tied to Obama and his cabal of close advisers should be telling us why he has had so little interest in doing his job as required by the Inspector Generals Act of 1978.  Is he just that incompetent that he cannot get the job done?  Or does he just prefer to learn about scandals for the first time from the mostly friendly, immoral press, rather than from a possibly objective and all-too-moral Inspector General?

02 June 2013

The Corrupting Influence of Excessive Power

It is finally becoming apparent to many Americans that the Obama administration is corrupted to its core.  That it would be the case was clear to me when he was still a candidate for President in 2008.  One had only to consider his stated purposes which were incompatible with good government, listen to his criticism of the U.S. Constitution, see the pattern of his attempts to hide his personal history, and to study such of that history as was available to a reader willing to actively seek information about him.  His ideals were a con.  They were unattainable or they were undesirable to the rational man.  He probably only believed in some of his stated values even himself.  In many ways he conned himself.

With time, the transgressions of this administration against good governing have mounted.  The failures to prosecute voter intimidation, Fast and Furious, the grants to sham energy companies run by campaign donors, the bailouts for labor unions, the arbitrary exemptions to ObamaCare provisions, the infringement of freedom of religion in ObamaCare rulings, the long known, but only recently much discussed, IRS vendetta against smaller government groups, the lies about Benghazi, the statement of his brain and forever adviser, Valerie Jarrett, that after the election they would really go after their enemies on the right, the massive voter fraud, and the recently revealed infringements against freedom of the press, all tell a story of corruption at the core of Obama's administration.

Great power corrupts greatly.  This is not just because people of less than the most sterling character are tempted to misuse that great power.  It is even more because that great power cannot be exercised even by the best intention without ignoring a solid fact about man's nature - individuals are very complex and highly differentiated.

Laws must be applied equally and universally.  There are few actions of man that can be regulated by equal and universal law without causing harm to many individuals, who are inherently not equal and not universally facing the same circumstances from the same base of experience with the same capabilities and values.

Those charged with enforcing excessive bodies of law will also become frustrated in time with the mess they can hardly deny they have created.  Criticism is eventually piled upon them.  Many such rulers lose any ideals they may have had and simply become child-like in their determination to have their own way.  To be sure, excessive law has been so dominant in our society now for so long that those most likely to scramble to the top in the quest for power rarely ever use ideals as much more than a con game to collect votes to get the power they seek.  Obama is clearly such a person.

Getting rid of Obama as soon as possible is not an adequate solution.  There are many, many politicians eager to get their chance to exercise excessive control over the myriad individuals of our society.  Some may be more corrupt than Obama and many will be less corrupt.  That corruption is bad, yet it is also the most dramatic indicator that big government has its faults.  Even people paying little attention to understanding government will at least notice these more obvious instances of corruption.

What we really need is for people to acquire the much more fundamental understanding that there are few instances in which laws of a universal and equal nature can be beneficially applied to the richly diverse individuals of our society.   Good government tries first to do no harm.  No one deserves to be harmed by government, save those who are using force or fraud to harm others.

The Utilitarian idea that good government acts to provide the greatest good for most people always fails for many reasons.  Most fundamental is the one I pointed out above that people are complex and highly differentiated.  Government cannot know each of us and what is good for each of us in any broad way.  Indeed, what is good for each of us is constantly changing in our own life.  How on Earth is a mere politician or bureaucrat going to know what is best for each of us, when it is hard for us to know that?

It is also important to note that even if every government law were good for 51% of the people, the many such laws would almost certainly mean that at best we will be helped 51% of the time and hurt 49% of the time.  Most of us can surely do better than that making our own decisions in the private sector.  But it is actually worse than this.  This is because big government falls under the control of factions or special interests to a very large degree.  The laws of such big government will favor them at the expense of most of us most of the time.  Many people live in a fantasy world in which they are convinced that they can chose such an upright politician that he will prevent these special interests from tilting the playing field in their favor.  This is actually the most unlikely of outcomes.  It would even be unlikely if most of the politicians were well-intended, which is a most unlikely case itself.

As we have seen most dramatically demonstrated with Obama, he is not only venal, but he is also an incompetent manager of the government.  Indeed, he is not alone.  Throughout the Executive Branch, the managers are largely incompetent.  The House of Representatives and the Senate are mostly filled with incompetent managers eager to create more and more unnecessary and harmful laws to prove that they are doing something.  Meanwhile, they fail to read the bills they pass, they fail to review and correct prior bad laws, they pass off their deliberative duties to bureaucrats, they fail to protect and defend the Constitution, they use inside information to make investment killings, they extort companies into making political contributions to them, and they reward their political donors with all sorts of special favors.  Then we have a host of federal judges who do not understand or choose to disregard the Constitution.

These many failings are no surprise.  They are exactly what the wise man expects of big government.  Governments do not want to be limited by a constitution and they surely do not wish to be good governments.  Only a People strongly imbued with a strong principled belief in limited government devoted to the protection of every individual's right to life, liberty, property, the ownership of their own bodies, minds, and labor, and the pursuit of their personal happiness will ever enjoy the benefits of good government.

A Terrorist Bombing Spree

In April, 36 bombs were mailed to judges, businessmen, and politicians.  In June, 8 bombs were exploded in an hour and a half period.  One destroyed Attorney General Mitchell Palmer's home, but failed to kill him or his family members.  Other bombs went off in New York City, Boston, Patterson NJ, Philadelphia, Washington DC, Pittsburgh, and Cleveland.  The year was 1919 and anarchists were attacking American government and businesses.

Terrorist attacks are not a new thing in America.  We survived them before without drastically trading our individual rights for a false security.  We can likewise survive the terrorism of Islamic jihadists without trading in our individual rights, though many have claimed otherwise and many are eager to make that bad trade.